Many thanks to Shane Vander Hart, a non-Catholic Christian, for his post pointing out some of the reasoning behind the Catholic Church’s opposition to condoms for AIDS prevention
And here we have a clash of worldviews. Emba used an illustration by moral philosopher Janet Smith to illustrate how the Catholic Church’s (among others) stand is addressing a larger problem.
If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would be better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it [for that] would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets. Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing.
Shane notes that passing out condoms is akin to Russian Roulette.
Of course, there is more to the reasoning than just this. For example, we now know with statistical backing that condom use is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The accepted wisdom in the scientific community, explained Green, is that condoms lower the HIV infection rate, but after numerous studies, researchers have found the opposite to be true. “We just cannot find an association between more condom use and lower HIV reduction rates” in Africa.
Dr. Green found that part of the elusive reason is a phenomenon known as risk compensation or behavioral disinhibition.
“[Risk compensation] is the idea that if somebody is using a certain technology to reduce risk, a phenomenon actually occurs where people are willing to take on greater risk.” The idea can be related to someone that puts on sun block and is willing to stay out in the sun longer because they have added protection. In this case, however, the greater risk is sexual. Because people are willing take on more risk, they may “disproportionally erase” the benefits of condom use, Green said.
This is just another example of God’s way being proven to actually be the best way.