Sexual Ethics Notes

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Utilitarianism, Ethics Pages: 5 (1930 words) Published: January 22, 2014
Islam is strongly pro-family and regards children as a gift from God. And one of His signs is that He created mates for you, that you may find rest in them, and Heenvisaged between you love and compassion ... (Quran, 30:21) "They are your garments and you are their garments." (2:187) The sexual unison between husband and wife is more than seeking a relief from the urge of desire. Indeed the prophet taught that it is one of the charities in Islam. He said to his companions, enumerating examples of charitable deeds : "And when the one of you makes love (has sex) it is a rewardable charity. " His companions were surprised and asked him' 'How come the one of us answers the urge of his desire and out of this gets the reward of a charity. To which the prophet answered: Don't you see that if he does the same but in a forbidden situation it would be counted against him as a sin? And so if he does it in legitimacy it is counted for him as a charity." (Muslim) Unhelpful: Can be hard to adapt to scientific findings and such, esp with sexual ethics. Different new methods of transplant and such like IVF not clear to answer

Contraception: A Christians approach to sex is that it unites a couple and expresses one another’s love towards each other. When looking at natural laws view they would feel that the purpose of sex is to reproduce, this causes issues with contraception. If contraception is used then it may cheapen a person as sex is merely being used for pleasure not reproduction. Therefore contraception will be going against god’s purpose for us. Any sexual activity, which isn’t open to reproduction, is also viewed as unnatural. They view that acts such as masturbation are wrong and a sinful act to do.

Homosexuality: When looking at the issue of homosexuality a traditional Christian’s response would be that it is morally wrong, as there will be no possibility of a life from the act. Any sex outside marriage is impermissible. It can also be viewed as an un-natural thing to do. As it states in the bible same-sex acts are “dishonoring their bodies” therefore you are merely using yourself. It also states that “you shall not lie with a man as with women: that is an abomination”.

Consent: A Christian would view that sex should only be permissible if a person is in a committed relationship (married) as it unites the couple. This brings in the issue of consent. It is not right to have sex with a person who cannot consent. However it is hard to decide when both people in the relationship have matured. Many countries view differently upon this in the U.K the age of consent is 16 and in Peru the man must be over the age of 14 and the female must be over the age of 12.

Masturbation: When looking at masturbation the Christian church teaches that sex should only be used as a practice for those who are in a committed relationship. Acts such as masturbation are wrong as there will be no possibility of a life from the act as a result and it is seen as a sinful act to do. This view is also shared with the Roman Catholics.

Utilitarianism: The consequentialist nature of utilitarianism and its focus on the pleasure/ pain which arises from an action, leads us to analyse sex in a way of merely considering how pleasurable it is. For example, traditional utilitarianism, Bentham’s quantitative outlook, may say it is ‘good’ for one to masturbate over a picture of a rape victim if it brings about pleasure as the victim will never know therefore she cannot feel any pain.

However, developments in the utilitarian movement have accounted for this flaw in the theory. For example, Hare’s focus on preferences in utilitarianism now considers what the victim's preferences would have been, thus forbidding the action which we clearly feel is ‘bad’ anyway. When considering the issue of homosexuality the failings of Hare’s preference theory become evident. For example, in the deep south of America where conservative, prejudiced opinions are...
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