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Philosophy/Is student-teacher love relationship permissible? (i badly need your positive logical answers.. please?)


we are having a debate this monday. and we are tasked to defend on the affirmative side.. its really hard for us to defend our side because this kind of relationship is rare and acceptable to the society because its always been bad and disgusting in the eyes of the public.. i'd really appreciate your answers guys <3 thank you so much

I must confess I have a visceral reaction against student/teacher love relationships. and that surprises me, since I think of myself as quite liberal on matters of personal relations.

That aside, let's see if we can think of some positive rejoinders to what your debate opponents will undoubtedly say. They'll say:

(1) In the vast majority of jurisdictions, student/teacher relationships are against the law.

(2) Even if they're not specifically against the law, virtually all jurisdictions have age-of-consent laws (we're talkin' sex here, right?)

(3) It will be very hard for a teacher who is having sex with one or more students to treat the other students fairly.

(4) If there's a breakup, it will be very hard for the teacher to be fair to those with whom he has broken up.

(5) Power in the student/teacher relationship is vastly asymmetric. The teacher has essentially ALL the power. If student/teacher relationships are permitted, teachers can effectively coerce sex.

Now let's see if we can up with responses for you to use:

(1) So the law is the law. Laws are culture-bound. In ancient Greece, homosexual relationships between (male) students and teachers were considered a positive part of education. (Women were property and thought not to be worth educated.)

(2) Effective age is relative. Some students under the age of consent are very mature, some above the age of consent are effectively still children.

(3) If teachers are supposed to be exemplars to children, they ought to be able to be fair.

(4) See answer to (3).

(5) See answer to (4).

Hope this helps.




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Charles K. MacKay


I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)



BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

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