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Justice - Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Enforcement of Morals

- Does the fact that sodomy violates common morality (assuming that it does) provide a legitimate reason for criminalizing it?
- What is the distinction between the claim that sodomy violates the common morality in a society, and the claim that it is condemned by the moral views of the majority in society? Does that distinction make a difference?
- Utilitarians have traditionally opposed the enforcement of morality. Do they have a convincing utilitarian case against it?
- Are there reasons for opposing the enforcement of morality that strike you as more convincing than the utilitarian argument?
- If anti-sodomy laws are unacceptable, then what about bans on gay and lesbian marriage? Are they permissible? Is there a case for preserving a ban on gay and lesbian marriage that does not depend on judgments about sexual morality?

Prof. Joshua Cohen
17.01J / 24.04J Justice
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare)
Date accessed: 2008-12-28
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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