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Perversion

Satisfactory Essays
Dermott O'Flanagan
Sexual Ethics Paper

The issues of sexual ethics in relation to morality and perversion have been addressed in depth by each of the gentleman at this table. Sexual activity as described by Solomon and Nagle is comprised of a moral standard and ‘naturalness’ aspect. So, in claiming an act is perverted we must first examine it through a moral framework and understand how this interacts with the ‘naturalness’ of a particular act. Solomon makes the distinction as follows “Perversion is an insidious concept…To describe an activity as perverse is not yet a full blown moral condemnation, for it need not entail that one ought not to indulge in such activities.” Along with the examination of the nature of an act, there must be clear justification as to why sexual acts deserve special separate ethical principles. The question arises: does an act simply due to its sexual nature deserve a separate form of moral inquisition than other acts that occur in nature? In this essay I shall argue that perversion and immorality are not mutually exclusive. By this I mean that a sexual act that is, by my definition, immoral must also be perverted. It is also my contention that if an act is perverted we must also define it as immoral. This second part of the argument is contrary to what many of you have claimed. At the outset of this paper I would also like to state my support of Thomas Nagel’s argument holding that the connection between sex and reproduction has no bearing on sexual perversion. (Nagel 105)
I will begin first with the idea that sexual behavior should not be granted its own moral code. Sexual ethics only makes sense if sexuality plays a unique role in human life. If procreation has significance precisely because it is a contribution to God's ongoing work of creation, sexuality is supremely important and must be governed by restrictive rules, which would therefore prohibit sexual acts that are not for procreative purposes. This justification of sexuality as a unique aspect of human life, however, is dependent on a theological claim that there exists a God who micro manages the sexual lives of individuals. Without the presence of such a God, there can exist no separate restrictive rules on the nature of sexual acts. Even if we grant that there is a God, most people will agree that sex is more often used as a way to intensify the bond between two people and therefor sex is the ultimate trust and intimacy that you can share with a person.
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