Kant and Sexual Ethics

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  • Kant and Sexual Ethics
    • The categorical imperative causes Kant to take a conservative attitude to sexual ethics in many ways
    • All activities outside the norm such as extramarital sex or homosexuality would be rejected as they would not be able to be universalised
    • He would perceive all moral actions to be dictated by duty
    • Have sex for pleasure only if you think everyone should only have sex for pleasure, or use contraception of you think everyone else should
    • Sexual acts can be wrong in themselves as they involve using another person for one's own pleasure - this does not apply to marriage
    • Kant does not see sex within marriage as wrong as the purpose of marriage is not to procreate but is the union of two people
      • Sexual enjoyment is permitted
    • Kant proposes a contractual approach where as a long as both parties consent and it doesn't go against categorical imperative it is allowed
      • Prostitution can in some forms be permitted if it was a free choice and not used as a means to an end
    • Pornography is always seen as wrong as it is using people for your own benefit

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