Roger Scruton Quote

Sexual desire, as it has been understood in every epoch prior to the present, is inherently compromising, and the choice to express it or to yield to it has been viewed as an existential choice, in which more is at risk than present satisfaction. Not surprisingly, therefore, the sexual act has been surrounded by prohibitions; it brings with it a weight of shame, guilt, and jealousy, as well as joy and happiness. Sex is therefore deeply implicated in the sense of original sin: the sense of being sundered from what we truly are, by our fall into the world of objects. There is an important insight contained in the book of Genesis, concerning the place of shame in our understanding of sex. Adam and Eve have partaken of the forbidden fruit, and obtained the knowledge of good and evil — in other words the ability to invent for themselves the code that governs their behavior. God walks in the garden and they hide, conscious for the first time of their bodies as objects of shame. This shame of the body is an extraordinary feeling, and one that only a self-conscious animal could have. It is a recognition of the body as both intimately me and in some way not me — a thing that has wandered into the world of objects as though of its own accord, to become the victim of uninvited glances. (...)We lost what was most precious to us, which is the untorn veil of the Lebenswelt, stretching from horizon to horizon across the dark matter from which all things, we included, are composed.

Roger Scruton

Sexual desire, as it has been understood in every epoch prior to the present, is inherently compromising, and the choice to express it or to yield to it has been viewed as an existential choice, in which more is at risk than present satisfaction. Not surprisingly, therefore, the sexual act has been surrounded by prohibitions; it brings with it a weight of shame, guilt, and jealousy, as well as joy and happiness. Sex is therefore deeply implicated in the sense of original sin: the sense of being sundered from what we truly are, by our fall into the world of objects. There is an important insight contained in the book of Genesis, concerning the place of shame in our understanding of sex. Adam and Eve have partaken of the forbidden fruit, and obtained the knowledge of good and evil — in other words the ability to invent for themselves the code that governs their behavior. God walks in the garden and they hide, conscious for the first time of their bodies as objects of shame. This shame of the body is an extraordinary feeling, and one that only a self-conscious animal could have. It is a recognition of the body as both intimately me and in some way not me — a thing that has wandered into the world of objects as though of its own accord, to become the victim of uninvited glances. (...)We lost what was most precious to us, which is the untorn veil of the Lebenswelt, stretching from horizon to horizon across the dark matter from which all things, we included, are composed.

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About Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Vernon Scruton (; 27 February 1944 – 12 January 2020) was an English philosopher and writer who specialised in aesthetics and political philosophy, particularly in the furtherance of traditionalist conservative views.Editor from 1982 to 2001 of The Salisbury Review, a conservative political journal, Scruton wrote over 50 books on philosophy, art, music, politics, literature, culture, sexuality, and religion; he also wrote novels and two operas. His most notable publications include The Meaning of Conservatism (1980), Sexual Desire (1986), The Aesthetics of Music (1997), and How to Be a Conservative (2014). He was a regular contributor to the popular media, including The Times, The Spectator, and the New Statesman.
Scruton embraced conservatism after witnessing the May 1968 student protests in France. From 1971 to 1992 he was a lecturer and professor of aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London, after which he held several part-time academic positions, including in the United States. In the 1980s he helped to establish underground academic networks in Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe, for which he was awarded the Czech Republic's Medal of Merit (First Class) by President Václav Havel in 1998. Scruton was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for "services to philosophy, teaching and public education".