January 16th-18th Lecture Notes

January 16th-18th Lecture Notes - Current Moral Problems...

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Current Moral Problems Lecture January 16 – 18 Sexual Morality: An Examination of Four Views Natural law Conventional sexual morality The sex with love view The liberal view What Is the Standard for Ethically Evaluating Sex Associated with Each View? Sex is ethically permissible____________________ The Ethical Standard Associated with the Natural Law View Sex is ethically permissible only if the primary purpose or intent is to procreate. The Ethical Standard Associated with the Conventional View Sex is ethically permissible only if the sexual partners are married to each other . The Ethical Standard Associated with the Sex with Love View Sex is ethically permissible only if the sexual partners are in love with each other. The Liberal View Sex is ethically permissible if and only if it does not violate a general moral rule or principle . Examples of general moral rules or principles: Don’t harm others 1
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Don’t lie or break promises Don’t manipulate or exploit others A Significant Difference Between the Liberal View and the other Three Views Each of the other three views proposes a special standard for ethically evaluating sex. The liberal view rejects the need for a special ethical standard. Ethics vs. Personal Preference or Life Style Choice Ethics: Premarital sex is ethically wrong . There is an ethical obligation to refrain from having sex before one is married. People who engage in premarital sex are acting immorally . Personal preference (or life style choice): I will not engage in premarital sex. I’m just not that type of person. Premarital sex is not for me. Evaluating the Four Views Are there good reasons for any of the three views with special standards? If there aren’t good reasons for adopting any of the three views with special standards, the “default” position is the liberal view. An Argument for Natural Law Procreation is the natural purpose of sex. Sex is ethically permissible if and only if the primary purpose for having sex is its natural purpose. Consequently, sex is ethically permissible if and only if procreation is the primary purpose for having sex. 2
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Analyzing the Argument Is the argument valid? Premise #1: Does sex have a “natural purpose?” Premise #2: Even if sex has a “natural purpose,” is it ethically wrong to have sex for another purpose (e.g., to express love or to experience pleasure)? Analogy: eating A Problem With Natural Law? Does the natural law view have any clearly unacceptable implications? Reasons for the Conventional View It is supported by the natural law view. It is essential for stable family units (i.e., stable heterosexual marriages), which in turn are necessary for the proper upbringing of children (social utility). It reduces the risk of acquiring STDs.
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January 16th-18th Lecture Notes - Current Moral Problems...

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