Sexual ethics

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  • Sexual ethics
    • Key issues
      • Consent
      • Whether = intrinsically right/wrong
    • 3 purposes:
      • Fidelity - faithfulness
      • Procreation - reproduce
      • Union - binds couples together
    • Pre-marital and extra-marital sex
      • Pre-marital - Christian ethics - teachings of St Paul - celebacy = important to Christianity = best way to live - sexual immorality
      • Best place to have sex = within marriage. Pre-marital sex = wrong
      • Sex - v.strong + dangerous - when St Paul was teaching - v. promiscious - married people having sex with other+both men/women
      • Most sacred relationship = with G-d. Sex distracts you from this.
      • Virginity = pure - people want this from women - virgin surgery
    • Catholics
      • Purpose of marriage - procreate + have sex. Cohabiting = wrong. Man should leave his mother + father to bind together wife wife. Pre-marital sex = wrong
    • Liberal Christians
      • Pre-marital sex = O.K - as long as promise to marry within long-term relationship
    • Aristotle
      • Ancient greeks - Prime Mover = telos - not an immanent G-d so transendent + not a law-giver.
    • Augustine
      • Agreed with St Paul - live in celibacy. Sex gives you 'bodily pleasures'. 
      • Sin + evil exist through Adam + Eve. After Fall - original sin came into world. Sexual desire became evil act - sometimes necessary for children. 
      • Ideal to be celibate - Priests , nuns, etc 
    • Application to:
      • Natural Law
      • Utilitarianism
        • }Pleasure is the intrinsic good. }Shared pleasure can build happiness in a relationship. }Consensual sex is what most seem to desire to be fulfilled, so maximises happiness. }Bad consequences eg STDs should be avoided. }But is consent enough to make something “good”? (eg sex with minors?). }Mill saw sex belonging to “lower pleasures”. }Harm principle eg long term pain of affairs.
      • Christian ethics

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