Sexual Ethics

  • Created by: amyquince
  • Created on: 10-06-19 11:21

PREMARITAL SEX

- 'trial marraige' is where the couple intend to marry later

- For Catholic Church, premarital sex does not express faithfulness, exclusiviity and commitment and consequently does not tolerate sex before marraige

- people who engage in premarital sex are committing a grave sin and are excluded from the sacramental communion until living in a morally correct way

- Yet the Church of England does "accept that cohabitation is, for many people, a step along the way towards the fuller and more complete cmmitment"

1 of 15

EXTRAMARITAL SEX

- LISA SOWLE CAHIL - argues that historically wealthy, powerful mean had concubines as well as wives. 

1. men having long term relationships with several women (polygamy) was common

2. Adultery was a crime that virtually only women were accused of

3. Divorce was exclusively a male prerogative

- churches ban on adultery, made it impossilble for men to have concubines and the ban on divorce stopped men abandoning women.

2 of 15

HOMOSEXUALITY

- 'do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a women, that is detestable' (Leviticus 18:22)

- prohibits 'shrine prostitution' where men and women are able to have sex with men for money (Deuteronomy 23)

- Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis)

- paul noted that 'men committed shameful acts with other men' (Romans 1)

- Paul, in a letter to the Corinthians, also wrote that maen who have sex with men will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians)

- Eve was made from Adam's rib

- GARETH MOORE points out that many rulesa are not s forcefully imposed by christians today, such as those that advocate beheading or those that forbid the wearing of garments made by two kinds of material (Leviticus)

- seems for Moore that inconvenient rules are ignored while other that pursue attacking minorities are supported.

3 of 15

CHURCH OF ENGLAND ON HOMOSEXUALITY

- opposes same sex marraige therefore requires homosexual clergy to remain celibate

- in 2017, the bishops of CoE issues statements called 'marraige and same sex relationships' - this affirmed that marraife is between man and woman

- although it is also affirmed that there is a place for homosexuals in the Church and that some shame and repentance is appropriate for the way homosexuals have been treated

- However, when taken for a vote before the General Synod it was rejected

- CoE remains split over this

4 of 15

CATHOLIC CHURCH ON HOMOSEXUALITY

- there is no sin involved in an inclination towards a member of the same sex, as such an inclination is not freely chosen and is a trial

- however, the pope backtracked when stats showed that 150-200 gay men are murdered in italy every year

- pope said homosexuality is not the same as heterosexuality

- with this in mind he said 'if a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am i to judge?'

5 of 15

METHODIST CHURCH

- challenge the traditional disapproval of homosexuality (found in bible or natural law) maintaining that the quality of relationships is what determines its value. 

- believe god made is all 'in the image of God' (Genesis) implying that all men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, are by nature good.

- otherwise, implies God intentionally created disorder

- liberal christians, maintain that homosexuality is normal and natural and is not changeable or freely chosen

6 of 15

METHODIST CHURCH

- challenge the traditional disapproval of homosexuality (found in bible or natural law) maintaining that the quality of relationships is what determines its value. 

- believe god made is all 'in the image of God' (Genesis) implying that all men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, are by nature good.

- otherwise, implies God intentionally created disorder

- liberal christians, maintain that homosexuality is normal and natural and is not changeable or freely chosen

7 of 15

NATURAL LAW ON SEXUAL ETHICS

- procreation is central to the purpose of sexual intercourse and marraige

- homosexuality, premarital sex, extramarital sex, contraception and masturbation are all wrong because they do not support the precepts or a flourishing society

- sex might feel good but this is an apparent good not a real good

- sometimes the way that teachings and laws can be interpreted may change the conclusions drawn. eg: extra marital sex could be moral as a way of resolving infertillity, such as in the bible when Abraham sired a child with his servent because his wife was infertile. surrogate sex in this way (whilst extra martial sex) 'might not be' frowned upon

8 of 15

SITUATION ETHICS ON SEXUAL ETHICS

- JOSEPH FELTCHER - the woman in a prison of war camp who asked the guard (not her husband) to have sex with her - the spy who was sex with the enemy agent in order to end the way - Both of these examples Fletcher argues can be seen as ethical

- however, these examples have been criticised for being exceptional circumstances and not suitable for a basis for a general moral theory

- But for Fletcher that was the point of SE, to help deal with moral decisions when the usual moral rules don't seem to apply

- It is a pragmatic approach setting aside fixed moral truths in order to put the person and their relationship at the heart of each decision

- SE is always open to breaking traditional ethical rules, including sexual ethics rules because deicsions are made situationally, not prescriptively

- However, difficulties with applying SE to sexual ethics emerge when considering how other people are affected in such situations. SE puts the primary people first but what about broader family, community, interest of society.

9 of 15

KANT ON SEXUAL ETHICS

- number of things at heart of Kantian ethics including:

- freedom (autonomy) thus consent is priority for Kantain sexual ethics, Consensual promises, Always considering the value and worth of the people involved, dignity, equality and equal rights

- categorical imperative first formulation: universalizability (applying maxims to everyone universally)

- works for marital sex, homosexuality and premarital sex

- Second formulation: means to an end - dont treat others as a meand to your own pleasure. thus no:

- ****, forced marraige, objectifying people (***********)

10 of 15

UTILITARIANISM ON SEXUAL ETHICS

- often called libertarnianism:

- consenting adults do as they want - protects freedom of choice - 'harm principle' is important eg. extra marital affairs cause harm long term - praises safe sex as avoids unwanted pregnancies, HIV, STIs and broken hearts all=pain.

- Bentham wanted the greatest wellbeing for everyone thus believed that the rules of marraige protect those involved against pre and extra marital sex.

- Questions arise though such as: who do you consider the happiness and pleasure of? Is it just the people involved or wider society? eg: Does homosexuality harm society and cause unhappiness for majority who may be opposed tosame sex relationships?

- mill was concerned with the extent to which religion forbids certain behaviours, envisaging a free liberal society, moving awa from the constraints of religion. 

- mill fought for: artificial contraception being available to the poor, womens rights, gender equality, marraige that promotes equal partnership

11 of 15

EVALUATION OF NATURAL LAW

- is an unnatural act always wrong if it is mutual and consented to?

- is what is natural always right? What about sexual abuse within marraige?

- illogical to say that an infertile couple cannt have sex - what about love, commitment, connection?

- aquinas was celibate

- can masturbation and homosexuality be argued to be natural?

- is it natural to only have one partner and a monogamous relationships if sex is centred purely on redproduction?

- leiser: to condemn people for using their sexual organs for pleasure eg: elderly couples cannot reproduce, reveal prejudices and irrational taboos of society

- without contraceptions world over populated and spread of STI

12 of 15

EVALUATION OF KANT

- emphasies the importance of equality and not treating others as a tool for our own pleasure

- Recognised the importance of pleasure within a marraige

- sexual relations always recognise other person as free - never means to an end

- ignores the importance of emotions within a relationship

- just because something cannotbe universalised does not mean it is wrong. there would be no variation.

13 of 15

EVALUATION OF KANT

- emphasies the importance of equality and not treating others as a tool for our own pleasure

- Recognised the importance of pleasure within a marraige

- sexual relations always recognise other person as free - never means to an end

- ignores the importance of emotions within a relationship

- just because something cannotbe universalised does not mean it is wrong. there would be no variation.

14 of 15

EVALUATION OF UTILITARIANISM

- emphasises the importance of pleasure within a relationship

- allows sexual freedom and choice

- emphasized importance of consent, equality and sharing pleasure and love mutually

- realistic -allows for contraception and safe sex

- flexible and subjective so can be applied to individual situations

- hard to apply hedonic calculus to specific situations

- mill says that sex is a lower pleasure but dont humans experience sex differently from animals - sex is more important

- teleological - cant always predict outcomes

- do emotions / passion cloud our judgement

15 of 15

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Ethics resources »