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Ethical inclusivist argument

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The ethical inclusivist argument is a debating strategy that applies standard utilitarian/consequentialist ethics to adult-minor sexual activity, but is perceived to be morally outrageous and abhorrent by most people. The argument holds that in a utopian society, even if the results of inter-generational sexual activity in childhood were as negative as commonly claimed (or variable, as is in fact the case), the overall net benefit to adult partners would outweigh the negatives on the minor side, and make the acts morally permissible - even necessary.

  • This argument is rhetorically flawed, and thus not recommended as a debating strategy unless you are engaged in the dark arts of trolling, with no reference to a joined-up activist strategy.
  • This argument could also potentially be used to defend illegalist ethics and some instances of rape (when discounting the brutalization of moral values it would entail). As such, the argument is banned from sites such as our forum within the illegalist context.

Example of an ethical inclusivist calculation

Age of consent, 18 - prohibitionist

Number of 1-on-1 interactions is 1. Average value to minor (1-7) is 2. Average value to adult (1-7) is 6.

Total value of 8, divided by 2, is 4 (neutral). No net benefit. Abolition may be necessary to reduce costs/adverse consequences.

Age of consent, abolished - permissivist

Number of 1-on-1 interactions is 2. Average value to minor (1-7) is 2.5. Average value to adult (1-7) is 6.5.

Total value of 18, divided by 4, is 4.5 (positive), with a net benefit of 1 due to higher frequency. Abolition was necessary.

Soft inclusivist argument

This argument can be used in its softer form, particularly on mainstream liberals - by pointing to adverse consequences of various policies and social reactions, and how these costs and consequences would be de-burdened if laws were relaxed.