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Sexual Ethics

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Fiona Hopkins

on 2 June 2013

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Transcript of Sexual Ethics

Kant Why are these issues? Premarital Sex I Should Know The Issues surrounding Sexual ethics Virtue Ethics Conservative Christian Liberal Christian Ethics Sexual Ethics Premarital Extra-marital Homosexuality Contraception How ethical theories apply to each Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Premarital Sex Evaluation Issues Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Premarital Sex Evaluation Issues Utilitaranism Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Premarital Sex Evaluation Issues Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Premarital Sex Evaluation Issues Natural Moral Law Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Premarital Sex Evaluation Issues Extramarital Sex Homosexuality Contraception Premarital Sex Evaluation Issues Religious Objections


Undermining Mirage

Faithfulness to future partners


Single Parenting

Self-Image and Esteem

Social Obligation Religious Obligation


Undermining Vows


Broken Homes

Self-image and Maintenance

Social Obligation Nature vs Nurture


Religious implications

Parenting Structure

Sanctity of Mirage

Rights and Status Gods Plan/Nature

Unnatural Intervention


Social Responsibility

Abortifacients Categorical imperative (means to an end + ends in themselves) means that intercourse is morally unsound.

Any person who desires sex is fundamentally interested only in there sex drive.

The autonomy of every person negates this kind of social contract.

The pursuit of sexual pleasure is only allowed when serving more valuable goals (marriage).

It is only appropriate to have sex with someone if you are prepared to have a child with that person. Marriage is the best method of regulating sexual intercourse and the creation of offspring.

It is a contract in which two people grant each other rights, so it is not about one person using or abusing another.

All sexual activity outside of marriage is a means to an end.

A husband who commits adultery cannot want extramarital sex to be a universal law, unless he wants his wife, children etc to do so as well. A crime of the flesh and degrades human beings below the level of animals.

All sexual activity outside of marriages a means to an end, this includes homosexual sex.

Cannot be universalized since everyone is created through a heterosexual relationship. Procreation is an intrinsic duty of the human race, therefore contraception could be seen as morally wrong.

However human beings should never be treated as means to an end, so it would be morally wrong for a woman to be forced to have children in the same way that is is wrong to force a woman to get an abortion. Emphasizes the need for humans to preserve life, yet regards sex as degrading and animalistic.

He saw that sex was necessary, but imperfect.

Emphasizes the physical side of sex, not the emotional side.

Husband and wife are equal, and sexual enjoyment is a right that comes with the partnership. Homosexuality could potentially be Universalized with artificial insemination.

Providing sexual services is okay as long as no force is involved.

Some people cannot have children, yet sex deepens the relationship.

Assumes that all sex outside marriage is lustful and meaningless. Kant was celibate, so if his own rule was Universalized, the human race would disappear. M- Sexual relationships are guided by the need for freedom, with men and women as equal.
It is right for people to decide for themselves when they want sex.
Personal freedom should not be restrained by society. M- Marriage is essential as a higher pleasure, it is about friendship and companionship.
Sexual intercourse outside of a marriage should not be unlawful.
Personal freedom should not be restrained by society.
The harm that extramarital relationships creates in terms of emotional suffering caused by deceit and the consequences for the other persons determine its morality. B- Approved of gay relationships which give harm to no-one and pleasure to many.

M- Accepted it as moral, but if it were the norm it would harm society.

S- "Homosexuality is not immoral" B- Depends on the family life of those involved.
If it reduces poverty and controls unwanted births, and so results in a reduction if lawlessness, poverty and disease; it ensures the greatest good for the greatest number.

M- Contraception gives women control over their lives, prevents unwanted pregnancies and stops a woman from being forced to have a family. Reasons for having sex are: the value of pleasure, the value of relationships, and consensual sex creating much good.
If harm is avoided, it provides great happiness for a great number.

B- Distinguishing offenses against the self from offenses against society; homosexuality, pornography and prostitution are fine.
Sex is a basic human need that exists to give pleasure.

M- Sexual intercourse is necessary, but a lower pleasure. M- Nothing wrong with having sex in a field, as long as the general public is unlikely to see.
It should not be illegal, but not occur where it might embarrass of cause offense.
Porn and Prostitution should fit the same standard.
Disregards the negative effect of autonomy?

H- Preference utilitarianism considers what a persons sexual preferance is.
Premarital sex could be bad, depending on what the future parnter wants. Joins two people in an emotional and physical union.

Should not be treated lightly as just bodily sensations.

Permissible as long as the relationship still exists without marriage.

Aristotle says that only marriage creates the conditions in which virtuous love can flourish. Behaviors that involve pleasure in giving oneself to another and developing intimacy and commitment are moral, but those that use others for ones' own pleasure makes us less virtuous. Virtue Ethics that derive from NML regard homosexuality as contrary to the conduct of a virtuous person.

The desire to reproduce and ensure that life continues is seen as an intrinsic virtue.

Other views are more concerned with character traits.

Virtuous traits can be found in the lives of homosexuals.

There is nothing incompatible in homosexuality and a virtuous life. Virtues lie in human reproduction and the loving caring relationships in families.

Contraception leads to casual sex which is inherently immoral as it treats people as a means to personal satisfaction.

However Slote emphasizes caring for yourself, care for family and friends, and care for humanity.

This emphasizes the need to prevent death and sickness through SITs. Central to sexual relationships is the idea of commitment, love, honesty, loyalty, friendship and pleasure.
Harmful traits such as exploitation and selfishness would not be considered moral.
We are responsible for our own moral choices, and urged to recover the balance in human sexuality and relationships. The view that homosexuality is wrong because it doesn't produce children does not take into account fertility treatments. Sex only within the marital state, as stated in scripture.
Intrinsically connected to procreation.
Celibacy is supported (Roman Catholic Priests).
Aquinus says pro-creation/pleasure/unity.
Traditionally, this means marriage, but could apply to committed couples.
If these things are not in balance, the act is intrinsically wrong. Sex only within the marital state.
Intrinsically connected to procreation.
Emphasis in the bible is for a successful human relationship with God.

"Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself" - Matt:22

RCC teaches; Fides (faithfulness), Proles (reproduction), and Sacramentum (two becoming one flesh). Sex is intrinsically connected to procreation.

Gay sex can never conform to the intention of procreation.

Homosexual intercourse is therefore morally wrong but there is no sin in having homosexual inclinations, but acting on it is immoral Reproduction is the intrinsic "telos" of the sexual act.
Anything that prevents the possibility of children is immoral since it prevents nature.

Takes God away from his role in the transmission of human life.

Some use the principle of double effects to argue that condoms are moral as they stop HIV and AIDS spreading.

Pope Paul VI allowed the "rhythm method" and other natural methods, as well as abstinence. "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" - Gen 1:28
Rape and incest are unnatural, not because they prevent the potentially of children, but rather they conflict with the good of society (Primary Precept) and respect for the other person involved.
The creation of a harmonious and virtuous society is important.
Aquinus' 3 values.
Acts have intrinsic value. Sex is celebrated in the bible and seen as enjoyable
"By night on my bed i sought him whom my soul loveth" - Songs 3:1
Sex is to unite couples as well as reproduce.
Are "unnatural" acts always wrong?
Might God have created people with different forms of sexual expression?
Does S&M go against pleasure?
Sexual pleasure could be considered a gift from God.
There is no difference in result between natural and artificial contraception.
What constitutes a sexual act?
Is sex as a uniting act always sinful if you don't end up with that person? The principle of double effects and contraception. (DCT) Sex is only permitted within the marital state.
"abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" - Peter 2:11
Is is intrinsically connected to procreation.
Emphasis on the security that marriage brings.

Paul: Christians should remain celibate as a spiritual ideal, unless desires are too much to resist, at which point they should marry.
This was an appeal to wait for the second coming of Jesus. Sex only within the marital state.
Bible focuses on the security of marriage, ensuring that pleasure and procreation are morally acceptable.
Marriage is based on trust, this is betraying vows and union.

Adultery is wrong and can be punished by death (Old Testament).
"You shall not commit adultery" - Exodus 20:14

Some Christians view sex as a remarried person as an adulterous act.
Only death can exempt vows.
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her" - Mark 10:11 Intrinsically connected to procreation.

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination" - Lev 18:22

New Testament emphasis the quality of the relationship more than anything else.

Bible is "a revelation by God of his will for human nature" - McQuilkin

"The commitment is made in love for love" - The Anglican Church Reproduction is the intrinsic "telos" of the sexual act.

Takes God away from his role in the transmission of human life.

Man spilling seed on the ground - Gen 38:9

Could lead to promiscuity. Bonds of marriage and sacred union that has been joined together by God (within that unity, sex can take place).
Sex is celebrated in the bible (Songs 3:1)

St Augustine: Sex is a sin unless it's used for reproduction otherwise it puts obligation on to the "immoral negative desires of the flesh".
He also said that sex is a "necessary evil" that has to happen in order to "go forth and multiply", it is not to be enjoyed.

Paul sees celibacy as a gift, but this is to be taken in context - 1 Corinthians.
"The Good consists in always doing what God wills at any particular moment" - Brunner "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" - Gen 1:28 Emphasis in NT is more on a successful human relationship with God.
"Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself" - Mat:22
Why would God want us to commit a "necessary evil"?

OT views reflected general contemporary opinion and also prohibit men from shaving so as not to look like women, as well as homosexuality.

Dominion argues that sex is so powerful and meaningful that justice can only be done to it in a continuous and enduring relationship.
He doesn't see premarital sex, or one-off adultery, as destroying this, and even considers that homosexual sex is fine within a permanent, loving relationship. Adultery is wrong and can be punished by death, but Jesus saves an adulterous woman in the New Testament. (SE) Encourages sex within marriage, but realizes that emotions and desires may sometimes get the better of us, and consider cohabitation an equivalent.
If the relationship is committed and strong, they wouldn't condemn premarital sex if unity is present.
As long as the intention of sex is not to be promiscuous then it is acceptable.
Not explicitly supported by the bible, however it ensures that the principles of a sexual relationship outlined by the bible are upheld.
"love is the only norm"
It is good in itself, and rules can be broken in certain circumstances to do the most loving thing. "Love is the only norm" and is good in itself, rules can be broken.

"Only the end justifies the means, nothing else"

"Love's decisions are made situationally, not prescriptively."

Fletcher's example - Sacrificial Adultery.
Mrs Bergmeier escaping the war prison by getting pregnant. Heterosexual relationships should be encouraged.

To deny couples the right to build relationships, get married and have sex is wrong, as if a man is gay, the possibility of him having a reproductive relationship with a woman is not great.

It would go against personalism, pragmatism, positivism and relativism.

"It is the nature and quality of a relationship that matters... one must not judge by its outward appearance but by its inner worth" - Quakers Acceptable if it is the most loving thing in the situation.
Fletcher's own example of a sexually active 13 year old who's mother provides her with contraception.

Relativism says "always" and "never" are not acceptable.
Positivism says the judgement made needs to give first place to love.

Personalism says we must consider people and their needs, if a couple want to have sex to cement their love but it would be impracticable to have a child, contraception is acceptable. Sex in a relationship is acceptable if there is: a loving unity between two people, the people are committed to the success of the relationship.

The enjoyment of sex is also encouraged and not just reproduction. Can this still be considered Christian ethics when most things are justifiable?

Cannot Predict consequences of actions.

Consider downsides of Mrs Bergmeier story.
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