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PHL243H1 (24)

Benatar - Two Views of Sexual Ethics.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ronniede Sousa

- In the casual philosophy of sex, sex has intrinsic worth as a source of pleasure (395) - In the significance philosophy of sex, sex has instrumental value as an expression of love and commitment (395) - But if the value of sex lies in the pleasure it produces, then casual sex is fine but sometimes the value of the pleasure produced will outweigh the harm (at least in principle) that is done in rape or pedophilia (395) - Accepting promiscuity is unacceptable with viewing rape as worse than other forms of coercion or assault or seeing many acts with willing children as wrong at all (396) - The view that would explain the wrongness of these acts fully would also rule out promiscuity (396) - The significance view says that pedophilia is wrong because children are unable to appreciate the full significance that sex should have (397) - So having sex with a child is treating the child as a means to erotic pleasure without considering the child’s feelings, and the experience may be bewildering and traumatizing (398) - The significance view says rape is wrong because forcing people to have sex is to compel them to engage in an activity that should be an expression of great affection, so to strip it of that significance expresses indifference to the person whose body is being used (398) - Some people who believe in the casual view of sex say that pedophilia i
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