RELG 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Artha, Concupiscence, Dukkha

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-Sex and morality
-Ethics - about the good and about the right
-Morality - reflection on the good and evil of human acts and the person who performs them
-Normativity - concern for what people ought to value and ought to do
-Practical reason - human capacity to resolve through reflection and deliberation the question of
what to do
-Normative ethical theories
-Theological - oriented toward a “good” end
-Virtue - moral character
-Consequentialist - the morality of an action is continent on its outcome or results
—> Utilitarianism - best actions result in most happiness for the greatest number of people
-Deontological - moral decision making is based on duties and obligations toward the rights and
entitlements of others; the “right” is prior to the “good”
-Divine command - moral goodness is related to whether God commands an action
-Natural law - aptitude for virtuous action is derived from a rational nature (first principle of
natural law instilled in us by god is do good and reject and avoid what is evil - build into human
-Plain sex (Goldman): sex is the desire for physical pleasure with another person’s body. So,
what is sex? pleasure, contact, bodies.
-Sexual desire is desire for contact with another person’s body and for the pleasure which such
contact produces; sexual activity which tends to fulfill such desire in the agent
-Critique of means-end analysis (necessary external purposes)
—> Reproduction
—> Expression of love
—> Simple communication (gestures or series of gestures)
-Sex is not a means to an end, pleasurable within itself
-My account recognizes the stratification of desire and the pleasure this brings as the central
psychological function of the sex act for the individual
-Problematic seperations
-Love from sexual exchange
-Sexual intercourse from marriage
-Marriage from conception and childbirth
-Childbirth from parenthood
-Child rearing from marriage
-Child rearing from biological parenthood
-Economic viability of individuals from marriage
-Is sex itself a moral category?
-Conclusions about sexual morality:
-No necessary connection between sex and morality
-Application of general rules complicated by particular preferences
-Pleasure is intrinsic but does not attach duty to sex
-Central principle of reciprocity
-Separation of perversion from morality (statistical, not evaluative)
-Pervasion speaks to abnormality
-It is not necessarily immoral
-The principles which condemn perverted acts would condemn them equally if they were
common and nonsexual
-Sex and religion
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