Anscombe Society members hold Q-and-A session in Murray-Dodge
The socially conservative student organization, which has about 20 active members according to Anscombe president David Pederson ’12, opposes extramarital and homosexual sex.
“The main focus of Anscombe is to provide arguments ... for traditional values” in a non-dogmatic way, Pederson said.
When asked about the organization’s purpose, he said, “Our central principle is that sex is a human good that is naturally fulfilling in the context of marriage between a man and a woman.”
The club is named after 20th century British philosopher and University of Cambridge professor Elizabeth Anscombe, a proponent of “traditional sexual ethics,” according to Pederson.
“She was chosen as our namesake for her unabashed dedication to the life of the mind and to marriage and family in her life and work,” according to the Anscombe Society’s website.
During the discussion, which attracted around a half-dozen students, Pederson criticized a “hookup culture” that promotes irresponsible sexual behavior, noting that he would convince a peer to see the benefits of “traditional values” by encouraging them to “try it out first.” He also claimed that the benefits of abstinence can be discovered after some time.
Anscombe vice president Audrey Pollnow ’13 said that the best way to convince someone to abstain depends on the individual person and is usually best done in the context of one friend to another.
Members also discussed their personal ideals and how they came to believe what they do. Most said that they were raised in socially conservative households, spent some time questioning their childhood beliefs and came to the conclusion that conservative ideas about sex were the most accurate.
Several members also explained that sociological evidence demonstrates the benefits of abstinence and that philosophy also provides a strong foundation for their beliefs.
Two of the five members present said that they were philosophy majors and that the choice of Elizabeth Anscombe as the club’s namesake reflected the members’ interest in philosophy.
The club’s members also discussed their ideas about homosexuality.
The organization’s official standpoint, according to its website, is that “homosexual persons are called to lead chaste lifestyles along with all other members of society,” and that the organization “cannot support either homosexual relations that fall outside of the goals of chastity or the proposition for same sex marriage, which challenges the fundamental definition of marriage itself.”
Members at the event said that homosexual people should be expected to follow abstinence in the same way that an unmarried straight person is expected to do so.
Despite the group’s public stance against homosexuality, Pederson said that sexual orientation shouldn’t be a basis for discrimination and shouldn’t ruin a friendship.