Prostitution and Morality (Essay Sample)


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Prostitution would be morally permissible or not if it follows three theories; utilitarianism, formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative, and Aristotle’s virtue theory. These theories or approaches have their way of considering action and consequences, which can be linked to the idea of prostitution. Some of the main points of these approaches, for example, utilitarianism, claim that the idea that something is good or bad depends on the results it produced. It is crucial to consider the side effects on individual character or community character and what defines right and wrong attitudes. Consideration of such an approach would be appropriate to handle any cases surround morals and an aspect of prostitution. The essay broadly analyzes whether or not prostitution would be morally permissible according to utilitarianism, the second formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative, and Aristotle’s virtue theory.

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There are different points to consider before making numerous judgments that would determine whether prostitution would be morally permissible. Utilitarianism claims or makes an essential idea that when we calculate the utility of actions, laws, or policies, we must not do so from an impartial perspective that favors our friends (Nagin, 2019). Such a point of utilitarianism supports the position that prostitution is morally right. Why do individuals judge prostitution wrongly? Do they consider their surroundings or individuals right after where they are? These questions present and demonstrate as well as answer the question of whether or not prostitution is morally permissible. Prostitution is not ethically permissible because those who judge the act only favor what fits them purely (Nagin, 2019). The point is primarily based on the utility of actions. If actions should be what supports both ourselves and others and not only our friends, then prostitution is not morally permissible. In society, level prostitution is judged based on what people believe to be ethically right. They should consider prostitution and those who perform the act, including what are moral rights to them and the community at large.

Utilitarianism is governed by one evaluative principle; do what produces the best consequence (Nagin, 2019). If at all, individuals should do what produces the best outcomes, then prostitution is morally permissible. Considering these points or concepts, prostitutes would want to practice prostitution because of the results, which could be economic matters. It fits their needs in society, and it is the reason why they practice prostitution. Just like any other consideration or moral situation, people often make or decide what best suit them as much as given conditions are involved. Prostitutes do the same thing; they perform what ensures the best consequence.

Kant’s Categorical Imperative

Kant’s categorical imperatives have different opinions that morally support prostitution. The hypothetical imperative suggests that if you want to go to a medical school, you have to study biology (Nisenbaum, 2020). It is one of the examples that should be considered morally in the context of prostitution. Individuals or people should learn why a person becomes a prostitute. There should always be a reason behind individuals perform or practice prostitution. It might be because they want to raise money for commercial purposes or feel their pleasure. If these factors are considered, then prostitution is morally permissible considering Kant’s categorical imperatives. A good number of prostitutes perform or practice prostitution because they want financial support, and lack of employment has been the leading reason. I am sure they are after these practices because of something else, and they not only want to support immoral behaviors. Considering this item of Kant’s categorical imperative, prostitution, in this case, is morally permissible.

Kant claims that a person is good or bad, depending on the motivation of their actions. Such a claim mainly supports or allows prostitution morally (Nisenbaum, 2020). If people consider what prostitutes feel or what motivates them into prostitution, it would be essential to find out if prostitution is morally permissible. The majority of individuals who practice prostitution would do so because of financial reasons; they want to pay bills that occur their way. Since the force of economic reasons awakens them every night, what they do is morally permissible, considering Kant’s categorical imperative. The reason lies behind why individuals practice prostitution.

Based on Kant’s categorical imperative, it is the motivation that matters (Nisenbaum, 2020). Therefore, it is crucial to learn what motivates the majority of people who practice prostitution to understand whether or not prostitution is morally permissible, according to Kant’s categorical imperative. As earlier mentioned, Kant’s point of motivation refers to what keeps people in the practice of prostitution, or what force keeps them going. It also touches on something about consequences, that consequences do not matter on aspects of morality. If the consequence is not the case, then people or individuals should not be looking at the outcome of prostitution but on motivation, which supports or morally allows prostitution. Prostitution is judge ethically based on consequences people believe such practice brings, such as character. Based on Kant, this is not the case meaning it prostitution is morally permissible.

Aristotle’s Virtue Theory

Aristotle’s virtue theory has different considerations or items of virtue that can be examined differently depending on what a person may consider as a moral right. Aristotle claims that action is right and only right if it is what an agent with virtuous character would do in the circumstance. Different people may consider this point varyingly depending on what they consider the moral character and on what area of concern. If this is the case, then prostitution is morally permissible. People cannot say that individuals who practice prostitution are not virtuous character-wise. Some prostitutes are courageous, courage, and prudence who practice prostitution. The same practice can be performed by a person or an agent with moral character openly. The same thin means that prostitution is morally permissible, considering the specified item of Aristotle’s virtue theory.

Aristotle’s virtue theory states that acting rightly does not mean maximizing the good or best outcome (Nisenbaum, 2020). It is crucial to consider that even prostitution is a practice like any other thing and is not associated with the maximization of the good or result. That means that prostitution is morally permissible. If prostitution does not maximize the good, then it means that it is morally permissible. The question to consider now goes back to whether or not prostitution maximizes what is termed good. Does prostitution maximize the good, how? No point shows if prostitution maximizes the good, and if this is not the case, then it is morally permissible. It is permissible morally because individuals cannot demonstrate how the practice of prostitution maximizes the good.

Another item in Aristotle’s Virtue theory is that virtues are objectively good. The point morally permits prostitution. The real question that people or those concerned should ask themselves is the concept of whether prostitutes are virtuous character-wise or they are not as much as elements of what defines good character is considered. Practicing prostitution does not imply that those individuals are not moral; it means that they decide to follow that specific path. They might be morally right, depending on what they stand for, just like any other opportunity. If prostitutes are courageous in their act of prostitution, those who perform the actions are virtuous, and the effect is morally permissible.

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