"It is clear that the loss of contact with God's wise design is the deepest root of modern man's confusion, both when this loss leads to a freedom without rules and when it leaves man in 'fear' of his freedom.
"By living 'as if God did not exist', man not only loses sight of the mystery of God, but also of the mystery of the world and the mystery of his own being.
"The eclipse of the sense of God and of man inevitable leads to a practical materialism, which breeds individualism, utilitarianism, and hedonism. Here too we see the permanent validity of the words of the Apostle, 'And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct' (Rom. 1:28). The values of being are replaced by those of having. The only goal which counts is the pursuit of one's own material well-being. The so-called 'quality of life' is interpreted primarily or exclusively as economic efficiency, inordinate consummerism, physical beauty and pleasure, to the neglect of the more profound dimensions of existence - the interpersonal, spiritual and religious dimensions.
"In such a context, suffering, an inescapable burden of human existence but also a factor of possible growth, is 'censored', rejected as useless, indeed opposed as an evil, always and in every way to be avoided. When it cannot be avoided and the prospect of even some future well-being vanishes, then life appears to have lost all meaning and the temptation grows in man to claim the right to suppress it.
"Within this same cultural climate, the body is no longer perceived as a properly personal reality, a sign and place of relations with others, with God, and with the world. It is reduced to pure materiality; it is simply a complex of organs, functions, and energies to be used according to the sole criteria of pleasure and efficiency. Consequently, sexuality too is depersonalized and exploited: from being the sign, place, and language of love, that is, of the gift of self and acceptance of another, in all the other's richness as a person, it increasingly becomes the occasion and instrument for self-assertion and the selfish satisfaction of personal desires and instincts. Thus the original import of human sexuality is distorted and falsified, and the two meanings, unitive and procreative, inherent in the very nature of the conjugal act, are artificially separated: in this way, the marriage union is betrayed and its fruitfulness is subjected to the caprice of the couple. Procreation then becomes the 'enemy' to be avoided in sexual activity; if it is welcomed, this is only because it expresses a desire, or indeed the intention, to have a child 'at all costs', and not because it signifies the complete acceptance of the other and therefore an openness to the richness of life which the child represents."
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 22-23.