Kant and Sexual Morality

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Homosexuality, Human sexual behavior Pages: 4 (1383 words) Published: April 21, 2012
German Philosopher Immanuel Kant claimed that it is morally wrong to use a person merely as a means to your end. This judgement helps us to understand and determined sexual morality. Thomas A. Mappes supports Kant’s claims and helps to further explain Kant’s statement by defining it and introducing the idea that one must give their voluntary informed consent in order for certain actions to be moral. Mappes also illustrates that voluntary informed consent can be undermined through both deception and coercion. This helps us in the understanding of sexual morality. It is important to understand what Kant means when claiming that it is morally wrong to use another person merely as a means to your end when making the decision whether or not this statement is relevant when talking about sexual morality. The word merely is where this statement claims immorality to be. Merely meaning only and without any consideration of another person by not showing them any human respect. We use people as a means to our end in everyday situations. If we are hungry we go to a shop and buy food. We are using the shopkeepers as a means to our end, when hunger is our end. However, we are not merely using the shopkeeper as a means to our end. Thomas Mappes explains this by saying if we are treating someone merely as a means to our end, then we are not respecting him or her as human beings. Voluntary informed consent, according to Mappes (p.73 of course book) is central to the notion of treating people merely as a means to an end. Voluntary informed consent is where the person who is being used as a means to an end has given their full permission and consent. They are aware of what the person is trying to achieve and are willing to give their consent to this. Mappes uses the example of a person who has a gun put to their head and are forced to hand over $200. Although the person has given them the money, they did not do this voluntarily, therefore did not give their voluntary informed...
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