Again, both arguments agree on a central ethical norm – the especially deontological emphasis on (near-)absolute respect for the autonomy of persons. The debate is, in part at least, how far the sorts of narratives found in alt porn or games such as RapeLay serve the autonomy, especially, of women.
(A) Do you have (a) strong thought(s)/feeling(s)/intuition(s) regarding this debate – that is, if forced to choose, about which side you might take? If so, can you offer specific reasons, evidence (including your own experiences, both positive and negative, if you’re comfortable doing so), and/or other warrants that might support your views on this debate?
(B) Given your views, do they support some sorts of restrictions on such materials – for example, filtering software intended to prevent children from accessing alt porn (and pornography* sites more generally), national legislation and enforcement systems that would rate games as appropriate to specific age groups – or no restrictions whatsoever on such materials? Explain and justify your response as best you can.
(C) Is there consensus or considerable diversity of opinion and viewpoint on these matters in your class? Especially if there is considerable diversity, can you and your class, perhaps with help from your instructor(s), see any way(s) of moving forward toward resolving these differences?
Recall that we’ve seen three sorts of meta-ethical responses to profound ethical differences: ethical relativism, ethical monism/dogmatism, and ethical pluralism. Are any of the differences articulated in this exercise resolvable via some version of ethical pluralism – if so, what would it look like? If not, then are you comfortable with the remaining choices:
either a relativism, which would likely threaten the basic deontological claim that human autonomy requires (near-)absolute respect as a primary ethical value – i.e., one that is (more or less) universal, not relative to a given culture or time; or a monism/dogmatism, which would insist that only one view can be correct, and any diverging views must be wrong?
4. What if it turns out that the presumed boundaries between virtual game worlds and our everyday lives are not clear and solid? What happens if – as especially virtue ethics approaches argue – what we do in such game worlds does interact with our everyday lives, insofar as we learn and practice in those worlds (as Sicart emphasizes, for example) specific habits and, perhaps, attitudes?