Social Intuitionist Model

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One night, two adult siblings, a brother Mark and a sister Julie, decide to make love. Julie is on the pill and Mark uses a condom. After deriving pleasure, they both agree to keep the night a secret and to not repeat the act. While some people may have strong reactions to this thought experiment, the experiment forces the reader to reflect on their own cognitive process of coming to their moral judgment. In this essay, I explicate two models of moral judgment and the concept of victimless crimes, in order to understand the permissibility of Julie and Mark’s act. In doing so, I argue that their act was morally permissible. One model that explains an individual’s reaction to the incest in all innocence experiment is the social intuitionist model. In moral psychology, the social intuitionist model argues that intuitions are the embodiment of a particular culture. From this perspective, it is intuition, reason, social and cultural influences that produce moral judgments within an individual (Haidt, 2001,…show more content…
The moral permissibility of Julie and Mark’s act can also be determined through the moral theories of minimalism and maximalism. According to minimalism, morality is in “our relationships with others and, more precisely, of wrong done to others...and early on, we make a distinction between three different domains, morality, conventions and personal…[in this regard,] only crimes with victims are immoral” (Ogien, 2011, 44, 47). From a minimalism perspective, Julie and Mark’s act was not immoral. Contrastingly, maximalism, states that “some victimless crimes are immoral” (Ogien, 2011, 44). Agreeing that some victimless crimes are immoral (though not in the case of Julie and Mark), I employ the ethics of autonomy to argue for the permissibility of Julie and Mark’s act. An act based on individual preferences which both had the capacity to

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