A one-night stand is a sexual activity that seems to be ubiquitous in a modern society where casual sex has become increasingly acceptable. In a general form, this act can be classified as a sexual activity occurring in one night between people that do not have any complimentary emotional attachments for each other. With this general definition, can a one-night stand be deemed morally acceptable? The traditional view of sexual morality places great importance on marriage. In this view, sex outside of marriage is morally unacceptable. Yet the traditional view is not without its problems. This argument relies heavily on Natural Law theory, which confuses the terms "is" and "ought". Just because something is for a purpose does not mean it ought to be for that purpose. Furthermore, the criteria for determining the purpose of something are confusing and detrimental to the overall argument. The deficiencies of this contention force us to look to other moral theories to determine what is acceptable moral conduct with respect to sex. So is there a philosophical approach that provides better insight into the question of a one-night stand? Aristotle's approach to morality in his version of virtue ethics accepts a conservative approach to sexuality yet is not burdened with the same problems as the traditional view. Rather than looking at the act itself, this philosophy analyzes the traits of human character that will determine good choices. Using the theoretical formulations of Aristotelian virtue ethics, a one-night stand is not morally acceptable. Furthermore, when challenged by a Kantian view of virtue, Aristotelian virtue is a favorable definition in morality. In order to better understand virtue ethics and a one-night stand, it is important to look at the basic theory of Aristotle.
Goodness according to Aristotelian virtue ethics is reached by pointing out that the goal of everything in the universe is to realize itself to the fullest. So in the case...
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