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Theory Of Sexual Morality Through A Kantian Sexual Ethic By Thomas Mappes

Thomas Mappes developed his theory of sexual morality through a Kantian sexual ethic, by following the logic that one should never treat someone as a method to our own ends, we must treat others as an end in themselves. The Kantian principle is embedded with key ideas, such as, “it is morally wrong for A to use B merely as a means to achieve A’s ends” and that, “Using someone as a means is okay, but using them merely as a means is incompatible with respect to their personhood”. Mappes makes it clear that using someone is knowingly acting towards one in a way that goes against the need that our association with other people be rooted in their voluntary and informed consent. Although, their are two ways to threaten voluntary informed consent, which are deception (the informed part) and coercion (the voluntary part).

According to Mappes, coercion occurs in two forms: occurrent and dispositional. Occurrent coercion takes place when their is the use of physical force, while dispositional coercion requires the threat of harm. Deception on the other hand, in this context, has to do with knowingly deceiving someone to benefit your own ends. This could be applied to taking advantage of someone who is clearly intoxicated, deceiving children who are not of age to give legal consent, cheating on your partner and withholding the information, and so on. Raja Halwani begins by stating that causal sex may have objectification, but they don’t as a consequence. Nonetheless, even if objectification does occur, the immorality of casual sex can be made up for through other deliberations.

Therefore, this idea of casual sex might be morally permissible. First, it is important to define the term “casual sex” as it is greatly discussed within Halwani’s view of sexual morality. He defines it as a “no strings attached sex, such that the consent of the parties implies no commitment beyond the act”. He continues this argument by saying that as long as the people involved in the casual sex relationship do not use each other as mere tools to their own gratification, then it is morally permissible. This is where Mappes and Halwani would disagree because Mappes would still desire that there would be a level of respect to be evident even though both individuals are having casual sex, the moral principles should apply to the human behavior.

Another key idea of Halwani’s theory of sexual morality states that people have the option to treat each other as objects, or not. But, if you do treat someone as an object, then that is the only way you can treat them. It is not plausible to say that you can treat an individual as someone who lacks the capacity to make decisions, due to lack of freedom, and also treat them in a way that promotes the idea that they indeed can make choices and exercise freedom.

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