The Return of Syphilis and the Problem of Seeking Technical Solutions to Moral Failing

February 12, 2024 | Carl Trueman
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Another sign of changing notions of virtue can be found in a recent report from the Center for Disease Control, which documents a sharp increase in cases of syphilis in the U.S. over the past few years. Carl Trueman notes that the report discusses every possible solution but sexual restraint, in what he sees as a departure not only from the Judeo-Christian moral framework, but most other traditional moral frameworks as well. He writes:

Just as smoking a cigar is bad but puffing on a joint is OK, so spreading illnesses by being unvaccinated is evil while spreading disease through sexual indulgence is a mere technical problem.

There is a real but simple lesson here for Western culture: while there is a cure for STDs, there is no cure for stupidity. The sexual revolution is one of the most obviously failed experiments ever attempted in human history and yet, rather than reject it, society keeps forging ahead. All the evidence of its failure—the urban scourge of single parenthood, the elaborate menu of diseases, the rates of abortion, the falling birthrates, the objectification and exploitation of women—is regarded as a bug of the system, a set of technical problems to be addressed with technical solutions.

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