Philosophical Question… Is Consent All You Need for Society to Function?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

It depends on if both parties have equal bargaining power. In the case of employment, the employer always has more power, which is why structures like unions and legislation need to exist to give employees a more equal footing. But in the case of 3 individuals who want to have sex, each party is an equal. And where one holds some power over the other, like in a case where a boss wants his/her employee to have sex with him/her, the implicit power imbalance makes the consent not freely given, and thus not valid. 

Post # 4
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

Regarding sweatshops, I see it as an unfortunate side effect of the progress of an economy, before the workers have gained enough power to organize for more and more rights. There is a reason poor farmers wait in lines to try and get a sweatshop job– because it’s better than what they had. I think this is a phase each nation has to go through in its journey. All the wealthy industrialized nations of today did. You can’t jump dump a lot of money into a poor country and not have it wreak havoc on their economy.

Post # 5
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

Philosphically, I think a free market economy with all externalities properly internalized is the best system we have. Of course, the part of internalizing externalities is the trick.

Post # 6
Member
849 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@Rachel631:  Great question. But also a loaded question.  For example: In SA the natural father of a child born out of wedlock has no automatic right to access to that child but he has a duty to pay support for such a child. Rights have obligations, but obligations do not always have rights. In fact, legally, a couple can not draw up an agreement whereby they agree that the natural father of a child born out of wedlock shall not have to pay alimony for said child – this is the point (HERE) at which the consent of an individual does not matter legally.

– sorry very legal. I studied law until it became clear that studying law was like sitting in an incredibly uncomfortable chair for four years. Possibly a torture chair, but that is all just speculation.

 

When I suffered through a philosophy course at varsity it came down to an argument between rights and freedoms – the long-suffering lecturer told me that individual philosophies do not have anything to do with laws and religions (beliefs). I believe him, though I don’t like him and don’t always agree with him.

Post # 9
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Rachel631:  Are you consenting because you have power that you are willing to sacrifice for safety/protection or are you forced into consent because you have no power or safety/protection.  The bigger the society, the bigger problems it has because inherently one government cannot satisfy all members of its society at once.  Political Sociology by Orum is a great read on this subject.  I took a class based around the text during the last election and found it to be a great resource for understanding how large governments form and evolve.

Post # 10
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

@Rachel631:  Depends on the culture. In ours, children unilaterally do not have a right to consent to certain things. And it is true that women have less rights than men, globally, but again, you have to look at each culture differently. In first world countries, women’s rights came about legislatively, and then economically, almost all in the 20th century. In these countries where women have an equal right of voting and equal rights, I would say that a woman’s consent has equal power to that of a man’s <with variations with different micro-cultures. See workplace sexual harassment as example>. But somewhere in a patriarchal society where women can’t even drive? Then the power imbalance necessitates we look closer at the situation. Can a woman consent to be beaten during sex? In the US, it’s a popular sub-culture (BDSM). But in Oman, the context of male/female power imbalance necessitates a closer look. 

 

 

 

In short, culture is context. 

 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

@SoupyCat:  (WB won’t let me edit for some reason). I wanted to add that while *generally* women and men have equal powers of consent in first world countries, there are variations within micro-cultures. One example was sexual harassment at workplace. But these things can go both ways (man or woman in the position of higher power.)

Post # 13
Hostess
15072 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Personal freedoms out weigh everything. Freedom is not given from society not is it for society. Freedom/liberties are my barrier against society. Freedom is absolute. 

Post # 14
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

@Rachel631:  I think the CD case demonstrates this essential power imbalance of male/female, which is institutionalized through religion (according to the mindset of the participants). Can those women really get out if they wanted to, or have they been taught throughout their lives that the man was the ruler and punisher, and that they can’t physically refuse if they want to acheive salvation? Same in the BDSM relationships– if the person taking the pain was such that they’re mentally and spiritually defeated to the point of not thinking they can’t say no, then I would say that their consent is invalid or at least needs closer examination. 

ETA: Of couse, these are really hard questions because you can’t read people’s minds…

 

Post # 16
Hostess
15072 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Rachel631:  it’s actually all one answer. By defining a freedom for someone else, you are defining the freedom for yourself. 

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