Sufficiently Less Than Enough: Consent, Sex, and Moral Behaviour
Consent is uniquely argued position within philosophical analysis of moral and immoral behaviours, especially in regards to positions refuting consents ability to be sufficient enough to legitimize moral behaviour. We must remain critical in our analysis of consent, and ways that it may, or may not legitimize moral behaviours. At first glance, one might assume that; the consent of two people is enough to constitute moral behaviour. Upon further investigation, we become aware of another’s ability to consciously consent and engage in acts that will degrade and cause some form of harm to the other, usually for their own mental or physical pleasure, inducing the fact that consent is not sufficient for ensuring moral behaviour. Consent is certainly a necessary part of contextualizing and legitimizing moral, sexual behaviours, however, consent is not implicitly sufficient for moral behaviour on its own. Consent is not sufficient legitimizing certain behaviours.
One most take into consideration that consent is necessary, however, although a necessary requirement, it does not, by default, qualify as sufficient. I will argue this by using Seiriol Morgan’s views on the nature of human desires, and his discussions of Kant’s moral theories opposing arguments failed to completely analyze in their views of consent as necessary and sufficient. Consent does not, by default, illicit moral behaviour. Moral behaviour is often legitimized through consent; however, immoral behaviour may benefit or even be validated through consent. In our evaluation of consent and ways in which consent is considered morally transformative, we must understand the diverse nature that consent is situated.
Consent is implicitly situated in diverse and complicated human desires, often subject to individualized discourses within the self that can be subject to less virtuous wants and desires. Accounts in opposition to the belief that consent is not sufficient, base their beliefs that consent itself is morally transformative, grounded in the notion that consent is mutually affirming in two parties ability to procure common respect and regard for interpersonal sexual intentionality. To assume that consent procures this universal narrative, would be a gross underestimation of the subjective nature of human desires and ways that desires illicit immoral behaviours at the expense of others. In this paper I will argue that consent is certainly a necessary component of legitimate moral behaviour, however, consent alone is not sufficient because it fails to embody the complex and sometimes dark nature of human desires that may subject individuals to dehumanizing desires benign to their happiness or well-being. However, the counter argument fails to imply
Seiriol Morgan’s Dark Desires produces an excellent account for arguing consent as necessary, but not sufficient in validating sexual morality. Morgan draws on...