(The Liberal View of Sex: A Response from the Perspective of Christian Ethics)

The modern society is plagued by the ideology of sexual liberation which says that any kind of sexual behaviour, as long as it doesn’t hurt other people and is done out of consent, is legitimate and morally acceptable. I call it the Liberal View of Sex. In contrast, the Christian View of Sex regards sex as a gift from God. Different forms of sexual behaviour can be judged acceptable or unacceptable with reference to the creation purpose and design plan of God. Since the Liberal View is becoming more prevalent and poses a serious challenge to the Christian church, it is incumbent on Christian intellectuals to explore how we should respond to this kind of philosophy.

In this paper, I argue for a combination of approaches, and note the merits and limitations of each. I adopt the presuppositional approach to defend the legitimacy of our adhering to Christian presuppositions. It is because in a pluralistic society neither the Christian presuppositions nor the secularist presuppositions (which lie behind the Liberal View of Sex) can be strictly proven or overthrown on neutral grounds. Not only the sexual liberationists but also the Christians have a right to use democratic means to promote their values. However, to avoid a complete deadlock and to enhance the public credibility of the Christian position, I further propose several criteria to evaluate different presuppositions. I also argue that the Liberal View does not fare very well under these criteria.

First, a value system should at least be internally coherent. However, the Liberal View suffers from many kinds of inconsistency or internal tension. Second, a value system should conform to our well-established moral intuitions or common-sense. I point out that the Liberal View of Sex flagrantly violates our moral intuitions about appropriate sexual behaviour. Third, a value system should contribute to a good life and happiness of human beings but the Liberal View tends to destabilize the society and cause many kinds of social problem. On all three counts, the Liberal View of Sex is not beyond reproach. In addition to holding fast to the faith, Christians should also utilize these kinds of public argument to criticize the Liberal View of Sex. While each type of argument has inherent limitations, the combination of them does build up a cumulative case against the ideology of sexual liberation.







        至於道德方面,吳敏倫似乎傾向功利主義(utilitarianism),判斷一些見解的時候,應該看看這些見解最終能否為人為己都帶來利益(94:46)。他厭惡嚴格的義務論(deontology),認為世上並沒有放諸四海而皆準的道德標準,任何做法本質上都沒所謂對與錯 (94:112)。他也不贊同康德派以是否非人化(dehumanization)的角度去評論性問題,例如,好些傳統派認為色情文化是非人性的,因為這種文化將異性用作性刺激的工具。吳敏倫回應時直截了當地說,利用異性來刺激性幻想是最自然、最直接、和最有效的方法,難道要利用同性、物件、或動物來刺激性幻想嗎?(94:157) 「一個人怎樣才算是一個人」,其實是相對的(94:264),而且,社會上不也有許多把他人當作工具的例子嗎(94:265)