Ethics: Argues points made by Prof. Raymond Angelo Belliotti's essay Sexual Intercourse Between Consenting Adults Is Always Permissible

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Someone Finally Caught On: Sexual Intercourse Between Consenting Adults Is Always Permissible

In the chapter on Sex, Love, and Marriage of "The Moral Life" we are posed with a very interesting article about sexual ethics. The essay is called Sexual Intercourse Between Consenting Adults Is Always Permissible, and is written by Raymond Angelo Belliotti. Belliotti is a professor of philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, and has written many works on moral philosophy.

In Belliotti's view any sexual act is permissible as long as it does not infringe one of the following rules 1. Deception 2. Promise-braking and 3. Exploitation, and as long as both parties treat one another with respect sexual relations are permissible (pp618) Some of the topics which he covers are rape, bestiality, necrophilia and incest. But before we explore those more taboo sexual relations let us look at the general overview of his argument. He begins by using one of Kant's maxims "it is morally wrong to treat someone merely as a means to his own end", and I think that we can all agree that this is true.

He goes on to say that one of the worst things that a human being can do is to treat another human being as if they were inferior to him, to use that human being as an object used merely as means to the users ends (pp682). However this is not to say that we as humans are not being that need to rely on one another and use one another to progress in life, using someone for a means is permissible if the user gives consent to being used, and we treat that individual with equality. He says that this becomes even more important in the context of sexual relations among humans.

In the second part of...