- What “conservative” arguments support same sex marriage?
The first argument is that it shows America’s commitment to ensure every person enjoys equal rights which is a fundamental principle in America. Secondly, the conservatives argue that gay marriages will reduce the rates of divorce as fewer couples will get divorced due to incompatibility. There’s also the argument that the church and the state are separate entities. As such, the point that gayism is sin in other religions does not affect the laws of a country. Fourthly, other conservatists also argue that gay marriage is a reality and so it is not a question of whether or not it is allowed, but rather how to accommodate them in society.
What makes them “conservative”?
They are conservative because they hold the views of the few in society as opposed to many who are against gay marriage.
- How does Frederick Elliston argue against Devlin’s argument for legal moralism? (Frederick Elliston’s article “Gay Marriage”)
Legal moralism according to Devlin is the legal protection of society’s ideas. This means that the law has a responsibility to protect the society’s desires as far as gay marriage is concerned. However, Fredrick argues against such a protection where there is lack of unanimous opposition to same-sex marriage. He says the law then needs to accommodate both those who are for and against same sex marriage to bring about equity.
- How does Frederick Elliston dispute the claim that the welfare of children requires the prohibition of same-sex marriage? (Frederick Elliston’s article “Gay Marriage”)
Fredrick does not support the idea that to promote the welfare of children, they need to be born in the presence of a father and mother as they need both parents for a healthy growth. He argues against a statement by Pope Paul in 1968 that children ought to be born of a “husband and wife bound by love and affection.” For Fredrick, in whatever context children are born, for as long as the two parties involved care for their welfare, they will be well taken care of.
- How can one argue with the idea that the function and/or history of marriage requires that we not allow same-sex marriage?
Until recently, there never was such a thing as same-sex marriage. Marriage was solely for companionship, sexual fulfilment and procreation. The conservative argument that heterosexual marriage is a way of socialization is untrue. If so, why is it that in the past no one was socialized into gay marriage? This was both unheard of and detestable as the only example modelled in those days was cross gender marriages.
- How does Vincent Punzo use “existentialist perfectionism” to ground the view that sex should only be acceptable in marital unions?
Punzo argues that sex should be engaged in only when there is commitment of the two persons. According to him, it is not necessary that the two must be married to have sex. For as long as they are committed to get married, they can enjoy sex. For Punzo, marriage is not necessarily a ceremony but a commitment of two people to have a life-long relationship.
In what way does this view contrast with the traditional conservative view? (Vincent Punzo’s article “Morality and Human Sexuality”)
This view of Punzo contrasts with the traditional conservative view which only allows for sex in the context of marriage, after it is made public through a ceremony or announcement. The idea here is that honest and committed relationships only exist in marriage.
- According to Michael Wreen, what is “marriage”?
According to Michael Wreen, marriage is sacrificing one’s happiness for the other so that they enjoy a greater and more fulfilling relationship with each other.
How does he use a Kantian-style argument to ground his view that adultery is immoral? (Michael Wreen’s article “What’s Really Wrong with Adultery”)
Michael Wreen argues that although a specific behavior is widespread, it does not make it right. Therefore, adultery being practiced by many does not stop it from being wrong and immoral. Michael outlines three reasons for opposing adultery. One, it involves a spouses breaking the promise they made to the other. Secondly, it causes the adulterous spouse to keep on lying in order to cover their tracks. Thirdly, it weakens the marriage and family institutions.
- What does Mike Martin believe regarding the moral acceptability of extramarital sexual relationships? In what cases might it be morally acceptable or even desirable? (Mike Martin’s article “Adult and Fidelity”)
Mike believes that there are instances when extramarital affairs are excusable. Such instances include where one can no longer bear a sexless life.
- What would Thomas Nagel say about whether bestiality, sadomasochism, and/or anal sex (what he calls “buggery”) should be considered perversions? (Describe each case separately.) (Thomas Nagel’s article “Sexual Perversion”)
According to Nagel, sex is a form of communication. For one to be said to have engaged in a sexual activity, there must have been complete conversation between the two parties. As such he does not consider homosexuality a pervasion since the two are able to hold a complete conversation. Nagel observes that bestiality, sadomasochism, and anal sex all involve complete communication that reaches ‘saturation’ leading to sex. Bestiality refers to sexual relations between a human being and an animal. Sadomasochism, on the other hand, involves when getting pleasure due to one inflicting pain on them such as flogging them while having sex. On the other hand, anal sex refers to sexual activity through the anus. All the three cases involve communication. The position of Nagel is that as long as there is complete communication, then none of these experiences is termed as pervasion.
- What does Allan Goldman believe to be the definition of sexual activity and how does he account for apparent problems with this view? (Allan Goldman’s article “Plain Sex”)
Goldman defines sexual activity as “…activity which tends to fulfil such desire of the agent” (131.4). The problem with this view is that sometimes one may desire sexual activity with one they oughtn’t to relate with. For instance, a married person needs to be faithful to their spouse. Allan’s view, if not restrained to particular scenarios, may lead to lots of unfaithfulness in marriages and relationships.
- How does Alan Soble argue regarding whether sexual pleasure is either a necessary or sufficient condition when giving a definition of sexual activity? (Alan Soble’s article “Antioch’s ‘Sexual Offense policy’)
Alan Soble argues that sexual pleasure is necessary. It should be coupled with consent at every stage to avoid “sexual offence” as in the case of Antioch College.
- Explain the significance of the act of fellatio insemination in Sambian culture to the anti-essentialist view of sex.
According to essentialist beliefs, homosexuality has been in existence since time immemorial. It was reflected even in the traditional cultures long before this era. Anti-essentialists, also called the social constructionists, believed that even though same-sex love was seen in some cultures, the conclusion that these people ought to engage in same-sex marriage is not an accurate inference. Therefore, the oral sex performed in the male community by males unto fellow males rightly proves same sex existed in the Sambia culture. However, true to the anti-essentialists’ observation, these very men end up getting married to women prepared for them and become faithful to them all their lives. No other act of fellatio insemination is seen in these men once they are married. This proves that when one shows interest in same sex relations, it does not mean they are wired towards same sex marriages (Pigney 1).
- What examples does Greta Christina use to show that “sex” is not to be simply defined as sexual intercourse?
Greta gives an example of rape or having sex with one who is asleep where one actually has sexual intercourse, but then is forced into it or is not aware of the happenings around them. With these examples, Grey concludes that sex should possess an aspect of ‘consent’ in it (Christina 1).
What is her best definition of sex and what cases does she consider to be problematic for this definition? (Greta Christina’s article “Are We Having Sex Now or What?”)
Greta’s best definition of sex is “the conscious, consenting, mutually acknowledged pursuit of shared sexual pleasure.” She mentions cases such as when she met a male guy in a club, they masturbated together by staring at each other. She wondered whether that was included in the definition of sex. Secondly, there was a case of sadomasochism where both her and the woman she was involved with, never even touched each other’s genitals. These two cases were problematic in applying her definition of ‘sex’ (Christina 1).
Christina, Greta. Are we having sex now or what? Greta Christina’s Blog. Web. 17 Sept. 2006.
Goldman, Allan, H. Plain Sex. The Blossoming Tree. WordPress. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Pigney, Stephen. Sex and History: Bleeding noses and fellatio-the Sambia and sexuality. WordPress. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.
Soble, Allan. Antioch’s “Sexual Offence Policy”: A philosophical exploration. Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring 1997, 22-38.