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Examine At Least Two Religious Perspectives On Sexual Ethics. (14 Marks)To What Extent,Is It Reasonable To Claim That Sexual Ethics Should Be Separated From Religious Beliefs? (6 Marks)

2272 words - 10 pages

Sexual ethics is a topical issue of today as sexual identity and sexual activities are perhaps the most personal and basic ways that we can express ourselves. From the Christian perspective, sexuality is a matter of individuality and private morality, whilst political bodies, religious institution and social values render a variety of interpretations of gender and sexual relationships. In other words, sexual ethics is profoundly political, economic and social. For many religions, sexual ethics is expressive of a divine relationship as well as the fact that it is undertaken within a community. This tension in sexual ethics between the private and the public sphere is what makes it an ...view middle of the document...

Traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sex are based on the Bible, with contributions to their beliefs from early Christian writers, such as Aquinas and St. Augustine who both felt that sex was solely for the propagation of the species. The influential Christian writer, St. Paul, believed that celibacy was the more holy state due to the example set by Jesus as well as the fact that marriage could be a distraction from an individual's relationship with God. However, although he felt that marriage prevented people from truly serving God, Paul recognised that it was better to marry than to 'burn with desire' and accepted that although Jesus didn't marry, He had a positive view of marriage.Sex is one of the key features for making judgements about particular actions in Christian ethics today. Premarital sex is held to be sinful by almost all denominations of Christianity as most importantly, it is thought that the only place for sex is within the contract of marriage, which is due to the belief that sex is solely for procreation and that marriage is the only stable state for a family. It is also thought that sex should only take place where there is commitment and marriage is thought to be the example of this as married couples relationships are monogamous and fulfilling, and from the Roman Catholic point of view, it's though that marriage is a Sacrament.Traditional Christians feel that any sexual act which doesn't result in reproduction, such as masturbation, oral sex and anal sex are intrinsically wrong. Aquinas's Natural Moral Law largely influenced these beliefs and its features are still upheld by certain Catholics today due to its acceptance by the Roman Catholic Church. The two precepts of Natural Moral Law claimed that firstly, the purpose of genitalia was for procreation and secondly, that contraceptive were forbidden as they prevent God's purpose. In the secondary precept of Natural Moral Law, Aquinas stated that masturbation was not allowed, that the purpose of sex must be procreation not personal pleasure and that homosexuality was an intrinsic evil. Natural Moral Law prohibits any form of contraception as it is thought to prevent God's will and it also forbids sex that's unconventional in terms of position and anything that hinders procreation is considered a mortal sin. Although the Catholic Church adopted the beliefs stated in Aquinas's Natural Law, it now allows natural contraception, as it is recognised that the body specifically provides a time during the month for a woman to have sex without getting pregnant. The Church relented on natural contraception due to the fact that although it was unhealthy for women to continually have children, many families were also struggling financially to support large families.Contrasting the above beliefs about sex by Christians is the Libertarian view that sex is morally permissible if both parties are of mutual consent, and this can also be recognised as a contractarian viewpoint....

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