Sexual ethics- the theory

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  • Sexual ethics
    • Historical views of sex
      • Greek philosophers- Sex weakens the mind
      • Pythagorean-- humans should refrain from physical activities and live more in the pursuit of contemplative ideas
      • Dualist-plato- living a more Ascetic (contemplative ideas) gives the soul which is imprisoned in the body, the freedom to move to a new form
      • Cynics-- no point in controlling sexual desire- no shame in the act- went as far as doing it public
      • Stoics- reacted to cynics wanted people to overcome their emotions with self-control-- sex was only linked to reproduction
    • Old Testament
      • Not one particular view of sex
      • Genesis 1 and 2-- sex is created by God and meant for procreation-- sex is not seen as wrong but good- however it should not be practised in sinful ways.
      • Sexual involvement with non-Israelites was forbidden-- it could lead away from God. (1 Kings 11 : 1-13)
      • Adultery forbidden (10 commandments)
      • Women should be virgins on marriage
    • New Testament
      • Jesus said little about sex - he ;leaves the issue open.
      • His teachings about marriage and divorce are not clear-- 'whoever divorces his wife an marries another commits adultery against her' (Mark 10:11)
      • St Paul
        • Much of Pauls writitngs are affected by the return of \christ and the end of the world (rapture) therefore Paul beleived there was no point in giving a detailed opinion of sex becuase these relationships would soon end.
        • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 - Christians should not let their bodily emotions control them--- 'Do you know your bodies are members of Christ?'
        • Marriage was forbidden but considered only for those who have no self control
      • Feminism-- 'there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus' ( Galatians 3:28)
    • Augustine
      • sex is necessary for procreation- contrasting to the Greeks and Paul
      • Sex is to be restricted for marriage
      • The devil uses women to lead men away from reason, and pleasure in sex leads men away from reason to.
      • Problem and solution of sex-- creation and the fall-- Adam and eve must have been created for procreation they would not have needed to procreate before the fall, or would have not experienced desire or pleasure.
      • God knew Eve would take the forbidden fruit and prepared for the consequences- sexual desire is a constant reminder of man rebellion against God (original sin)
      • Chastity was ideal but sex was allowed within marriage and so long as it wasn't enjoyed
    • Pelagius-- sexual desire can be controlled by self-will.
    • Aquinas
      • Opinion of sex is based on natural law
      • Purpose of sexual organs and activity was procreation, any other use of sex was intrinsically wrong.
      • Sex for Aquinas was to take place within marriage and must be open to the possibility of procreation -- Roman Catholics


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