Kant and Sexual Morality
German Philosopher Immanuel Kant claimed that it is morally wrong to use a person merely as a means to your end. This judgement helps us to understand and determined sexual morality. Thomas A. Mappes supports Kant’s claims and helps to further explain Kant’s statement by defining it and introducing the idea that one must give their voluntary informed consent in order for certain actions to be moral. Mappes also illustrates that voluntary informed consent can be undermined through both deception and coercion. This helps us in the understanding of sexual morality.
It is important to understand what Kant means when claiming that it is morally wrong to use another person merely as a means to your end when making the decision whether or not
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And example of deception is subject A. telling subject B. that they love them, as subject A. knows that subject B. will only enter into a sexual relationship if both parties have a mutual love for one another. This is deceiving subject B. into giving their voluntary informed consent into entering a sexual relationship. This is immoral, as voluntary informed consent has been undermined by deception. When looking at Kant's claim it is easy to determined the morality in this situation as subject as has merely used subject B in order to fulfil their sexual wants.
It is also important to consider whether the decision was informed. 3. As seen in page. 76 of the course book, some could argue that a child or someone with severe learning difficulties is still able to give voluntary consent. This is true, but a child or person with severe learning difficulties is unable to give informed consent. If someone is to endeavour in sexual behaviours with a child or a person with learning difficulties, then it is clear they are using them for their own sexual gratification, and not respecting the person whom they are using. As Kant claims, this is morally unacceptable.
When thinking about the morality of sexual behaviour it is hard to ignore that of homosexual relationships and/or homosexual sex. When looking at Kant's statement that it is immoral to use another person merely as a means to your ends and Mappes further explanation of voluntary informed consent, we can