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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Can it be ethically/logically proven or not proven that Porn is "demeaning" to women? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Can it be ethically/logically proven or not proven that Porn is "demeaning" to women?
Epictetus
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I think the point MattP was making was if you say something like "pornography ruins people's lives" you have to take into account what they mean by ruin.

Edit: Dang, I type really slowly [Razz]

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike:
I think in most cases where it's a problem, the husband is just as likely to see it as an evil as the wife is.

This is true. There is terrible guilt involved. Similar to what many alcoholics go through, except with pornography the guilt (and condemnation by others) is about implications of behavior, rather than tangible effects.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
I have anecdotal evidence of people whose lives it's ruined.
A lot of the ruining is in the context of an environment where porn is viewed as inherently evil. Women kick their husbands out rather than have "that filth" in their house, without considering whether the pornography produces any objective outward harm.


Is it just "that filth," or is the wife starting to feel threatened and perhaps betrayed by her husband's porn use? Is the husband's behavior toward her affected by the porn? Is it really just the wife that's flipping out about the porn when really there's nothing wrong? It's hard not to see that as a misogynistic perspective.
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MattP
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quote:
Is it just "that filth," or is the wife starting to feel threatened and perhaps betrayed by her husband's porn use? Is the husband's behavior toward her affected by the porn? Is it really just the wife that's flipping out about the porn when really there's nothing wrong? It's hard not to see that as a misogynistic perspective.
Oh it can be all of those things and more. But it isn't always. There is a knee jerk response to porn in some people that reminds me of the time that my daughter broke down into tears when she heard that I was eating a chocolate that contained liquor. All she knew was that alcohol was a horrible thing that ruined lives and she responded to that rather than to the actual situation before her.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's quite possible their sex life is nonexistent and so she has turned to pornography. Maybe he has a pornographic addiction and out of guilt supports his wife's activities.

Thats possible.
Its also possible that their sex live was revived by the use of pornography and maybe they want to help others as well. We don't really know either way, but I would note that a big reason we're going into this speculation is specifically because she is working in that industry.
All we know for sure is what she says, she's proud of it, it makes money, she wants to continue, and involves the family.

quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
There is nothing uplifting or useful about pornography. I'm glad you have anecdotal evidence of people who say it makes them happy - I have anecdotal evidence of people whose lives it's ruined.
...

Despite the fact that may not reading anymore, I may point out that you contradict yourself. After all, you *only* need anecdotal evidence (assuming no lying is going on) to contradict your first statement. Your statement about "nothing" has an extremely high standard of proof which only needs one counterexample.

Its possible that *few* things are uplifting or useful, but "nothing" like BlackBlade's use of "has ever brought" is an overreach.

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King of Men
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Why are you arguing rationally with someone who is clearly having a visceral, emotional reaction and is in no condition to actually think about the issue?
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scifibum
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OK, personal anecdote time. TMI warning. This is intensely personal but I think it's a useful anecdote.

I grew up with what felt like compulsive urges to seek out sexually titillating material. I felt a great deal of shame and guilt over it at the time, and that shame and guilt was reinforced by my family and my church leaders (LDS). I experienced what I can only describe as a self-reinforcing spiral of shame, failure, and despair, and desperate need to soothe myself with futher indulgence. This continued until I was about 20.

When I finally quit reinforcing the shame (essentially by removing myself from the religious and familial context that generated it) I was able to moderate my behavior and overall became a much healthier, happier, and more productive citizen. I didn't purge myself of the sin, but did change my thinking about my behavior. But like I said, it became much more manageable and stopped interfering with having a normal life.

Is this evidence that porn ruined my life? From a certain point of view, yes, it is. I realize that. But from my point of view, it didn't. What used to be ruining my life was attempting to hold myself to a standard that I didn't want to meet as much as I needed not to meet it.

It's terrible when people feel like their lives got ruined. And they only have so much power to modify their perspective, or change their own feelings. But that doesn't change my opinion that sometimes it's the attitude toward the behavior that is responsible for the damage, at least as much as the behavior itself.

I have no doubt that many people have been devastated by pornography, but I have a healthy amount of doubt that in a society free from moral condemnation of porn that any comparable amount of damage would have occurred.

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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
There is nothing uplifting or useful about pornography. I'm glad you have anecdotal evidence of people who say it makes them happy - I have anecdotal evidence of people whose lives it's ruined.
Have you seen The Reader? Not that it's uplifting.

There was a time when photographs of women in full length underwear was porn. Nowadays you can have a feature length movie about half of which is dedicated to showing the main characters naked and having sex, and it isn't.

One problem with this thread is that I don't see a definition of porn. Oh wait... "I know it when I see it." That's right.

I agree that there is a spiral effect, not limited to people that are addicted to porn, but to overall porn-ness. Producers of porn feel they have to push the envelope to compete, and dirtiness, badness, extremeness are the easy ways to accomplish that. Artistry gives way to business decisions. That cheapens the whole thing, and creates a greater distinction between what we call porn and what we call art.

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PSI Teleport
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MattP: You have anecdotal evidence that men were not less responsive to their wives as a result of their porn use. I have anecdotal evidence otherwise. But it's all anecdotal, so... *shrug*

But, yes, I know several women who felt threatened by their husband's porn use, and a couple more who felt compelled to accept it, even though it bothered them, because they were afraid of being assertive and driving off their husbands. My personal, TMI experience is that, as a woman with a pretty high sex drive, my husband would not be able to keep up with me if he used porn as often as he liked. I'm not unrealistic about it; I don't freak out just thinking about porn. But I do feel a certain competition with it, and it would definitely be a strain on my marriage.

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
Jebus,

While I'm not going to go as far as Annie and say that all porn is evil (I do believe that ANY method of trivializing sex is morally wrong - but that's a seperate issue), I do think that your attitude towards it is precisely WHY some people think it is demeaning. I don't think that every male in the world who doesn't enjoy pornography needs to be considered castrated! Maybe there are some males who actually care more about the experience than the image!

I hope you will believe me when I tell you that I too care more about the experience than the image.


quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Why are you arguing rationally with someone who is clearly having a visceral, emotional reaction and is in no condition to actually think about the issue?

Pretty much.
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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
quote:
Scientific research does show young men with easy access to porn are less likely to rape women, so that seems like porn makes real flesh and blood women less into objects.
Really? Link? Isn't rape generally recognized as less an issue of sex than of power? Or am I misunderstanding that?

Oh, thanks. I was posting at the same time as you, scholarette.

My understanding of the studies was that the major effect was seen amongst young men under 20. In this group, the motivation for rape might be different.
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Starsnuffer
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This study came our recently: http://www.seductionlabs.org/2009/02/20/bikinis-make-men-see-women-as-sex-objects/

The short of it is that scans of college-aged men when shown pictures of women in bininis with the heads cropped off showed activation in tool-using regions of the brain, regions which do not normally activate when looking at people.

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Avatar300
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Maybe because a headless body is not people.
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neo-dragon
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Between this thread and the Watchmen thread I'm beginning to notice that some people are quite pornophobic.
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jebus202
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Hatwackers is the kwaziest peoples.
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Mucus
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KoM: In case the poster calms down or alternatively for the benefit of others that may be reading and find her line of reasoning convincing.
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Zotto!
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I disagree with the implication that if someone vehemently disagrees with the morality they perceive in a product like porn then they are by definition "phobic".

Attempting to characterize opponents in a discussion of morality as suffering from some sort of faux medical issue is not actually a reasoned argument against them.

I, for one, strongly disapprove of porn (anyone's definition) and my motive is certainly not "fear" of seeing people bumpin' uglies.

In point of fact, I disagree with the whole structure of the morality-systems by which people defend such blase treatment of sexuality because I value it so very highly within what I believe to be the proper context.

I've only known porn to cause problems for people. Hypothetical people "helped" by porn do not share my personal definition of "healthy".

(I don't have time to get into the meat of the debate, I just wanted to make sure that it is noted that Annie is not some lone voice in the wilderness, she's merely refusing to be silent about a point of view that a healthy portion of the people I've known share. Angry she may be, but that anger is by no means based on irrationality. Just a different rationality than some of the people here -- and I agree with her.)

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I've only known porn to cause problems for people.
With whom have you discussed healthy, non-harmful porn? I have trouble believing that you or Annie -- just to use two examples -- would have patience for this conversation, and as a result are severely limiting your available anecdotal samples.
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Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by Zotto!:
Hypothetical people "helped" by porn do not share my personal definition of "healthy".

And the same is most likely true for actual people. Like me.
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neo-dragon
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For the record, I just thought the word "pornophobic" sounded funny, is all. I didn't really mean to imply that people who disapprove of porn are literally frightened of it. [Roll Eyes]


*edit to add
And since I might as well contribute something to the conversation as long as I'm here, I'll say that although porn doesn't exactly rank up there with kittens and rainbows in the grand list of wonderful things in the world, I do think that many people generally overreact to it. Calling it evil?? The holocaust was evil. Slavery is evil. Lighting people on fire just to watch them die in agony is evil. Consenting adults performing sexual acts on camera to stimulate others is at the worst upsetting to some. Let's not make light of all the truly evil things in the world by clumping porn in the same category.

In my personal experiences, I haven't seen anyone's life be enhanced or diminished by viewing pornography, so my own anecdotal evidence would suggest that it's pretty benign for most people. Certainly a lot less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes. The morality of it is a much more subjective issue, and I can't comment on the lifestyles of those actually involved in the porn industry.

[ March 11, 2009, 12:08 AM: Message edited by: neo-dragon ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'm not so sure pornography in moderation has ever brought a family closer together.
I know a few couples who would say they're closer as a consequence. I doubt they share it with their children, though.
I'm closer to my main squeeze thanks to pornography.

She also used to be a Suicide Girl but that ended up sucking for her because the owner was a dirtbag, apparently!

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Zotto!
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*laugh* Tom, I grew up in a Liberal home in Hawaii and have lived and worked for years in the middle of downtown Portland, Oregon. I have (or easily could have) discussed "healthy, non-harmful porn" with nearly every person I've had any extended conversation with for the past 23 years. Certainly no viewpoint expressed in this thread (or any of the many threads we've had in the past about this subject) has been news to me, nor has anything here begun to approach the complexity and depth of the justifications I've heard from others in my life about the supposed harmlessness of porn.

The opposite is actually the case -- I didn't know that the aforementioned "healthy portion" of people who share my concerns even existed until a few years ago. I have trouble believing that you -- just to use one example -- could possibly have enough information about me to even begin to speculate on what I have had the patience to hear.

Thanks for your concern over the size and quality of the source of my anecdotal samples, tho. [Smile]

Mike, I apologize if I offended you, but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with stating the belief that a generalized portion of people are behaving in unhealthy ways. I certainly know many people who think that my supposed prudishness is unhealthy, and I don't begrudge them that opinion, though of course I disagree.

(If, on the other hand, someone were to tell me that anyone who craves Reeses Peanut Butter Cups twenty-four hours a day is unhealthy, I would agree that their concerns applied to me in a cholesterol-clogged heartbeat. *grin*)

As a result, I don't understand what the revelatory "like me" bit was attempting to accomplish.

neo: Sorry, I didn't realize you were making a joke. It's worth pointing out, though, that it's not a particularly funny one to someone who believes as I do, regardless of how blisteringly obvious your little eye-rolling thing at the end there seems to imply that it should be.

All that your edit accomplished for me was to make clear that we're merely drawing the line between good and evil in a different place. My belief that porn is harmful is not even tangentially related to "making light of all the truly evil things in the world".

Just because I don't believe that porn is nearly as directly harmful as slavery or the Holocaust doesn't mean it ain't pretty dang evil. In my opinion, which does not erase your own.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Just because I don't believe that porn is nearly as directly harmful as slavery or the Holocaust doesn't mean it ain't pretty dang evil.
Oh, but it is indirectly as harmful as slavery or the Holocaust? or uh
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Vyrus
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I didn't read the vast majority of the posts, (except for the last one), so please ignore me if what I'm saying is repetitive or not relevant.

I personally believe, as both a feminist and a believer in sexual liberation, that somebody, anybody, as long as they are of a mature and consenting age, can take control of their own sexuality, meaning, decide the who, where, what, how of their sex lives, without having any lasting damage, and indeed, it may even be beneficial.

In a large portion of our society, now more than ever, sex is seen as being inherently evil or wrong, to some extent that some people view it as evil even if it's done in the classic missionary position, only for child-begetting, solely-for-the-man's-pleasure kind of way many churches seem to be pushing.

Humans are sexual beings, and if we're going to be healthy (STD's and pregnancy aside), fully, spiritually and mentally healthy, denying one of our most ancient and basic of instincts goes against the nature of man.

Just like certain things that are generally considered vice, like drugs, drinking, gambling, etc., it should be up to each individual to decide within their own limits and wants and needs what sort of sexual nature they wish to portray in their lives to fulfill their desires and personal needs-whether that's a completely chaste virgin until marriage, followed by strict fidelity, or a polyamorist, or a swinger, or a whore, or even a porn star, it's entirely up to them.

I hate that we live in a world where violence is largely glorified and is showed en masse, yet where sex is demonized and hidden in the back alleys, made be a thing of evil and shame.

It's not.

Sex is a thing of manyfold beauty, a way for people to express themselves-whether it's for love, child-rearing, or even just closeness or physical pleasure, nobody can tell you what's right for you.

Because it's a personal choice people have to make based on their own goals and wants for life, like something as large as religion to something a infinitesimal as clothing or haircolor, you can't tell people what's right for them.

I don't even think things like gender should come into the matter. We are (whether we like to think it or not) in a largely male-dominated society, that still tries to place women in roles (which most adhere to to some extent), which can greatly influence a person, but is never the final deciding factor.

Yes, sex, just like any other vice or virtue, can be perverted into a thing of evil, distaste, or even just be unharmonious with the nature of the person performing the act. (ie-good person doing things they're not really comfortable with.)[Edit for clarity]:So, yes, porn can "ruin people's lives" or be a bad thing, but it doesn't have to be.

It's like telling somebody what religion you think would be best for them.

You might only be trying to help them, but if it doesn't take, it doesn't take.

In synopsis, it's not so much a "wrong or right" or question, but an individual decision based on factors you can't possibly fully know about anybody except for yourself, the concept of "good and evil" is not even applicable in this situation.

[ March 11, 2009, 03:17 AM: Message edited by: Vyrus ]

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Vyrus
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Addition for reply:
Indirectly? Could you provide an example, precisely? I'll include an obvious one, which is kids or teens getting ahold of porn.

Like, first, kids (!!!) get illegal porn, then they watch it, then, they learn things about sex that they weren't quite at the mental capacity to learn just yet, and get perceptions about sex and proper sexual relationships that aren't accurate. Yeah, that's a bad thing.

So, yah, systemic killing and brutal, rape, murder, slaughter, genocide of millions of people=sex on camera for $$.

I don't mean to be malicious, but I don't think calling "indirectly" or "directly" it could hold anywhere near the same connotation.

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Zotto!
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Vyrus, thanks for the reasoned first post and the slightly-less-snarky-than-Samprimary second. I'm sorry -- I'm not trying to be evasive -- but I don't have the time to get into a detailed discussion with you. Nearly every statement in your longer post rests on a premise I don't agree with, and in order to discuss this at any intelligent depth I'd have to nit-pick your entire precis for longer than I can spare. As I said earlier, I posted so that the impression that Annie is some lone, irrational voice would be changed. (Cue the "Yeah, now there's two of 'em!" line. *grin*)

A few very cursory points:

Please recall that it was neo-dragon who brought up the comparison, not me. I've already agreed with you guys that, in the sense that watching a porno doesn't physically bash your head in against a wall like a Nazi might, it is not as directly harmful.

I have no idea how we could possibly design a reproducible experiment, let alone a control group, to "test" whether or not the net effect of porn in society throughout the years is a greater or lesser evil, though -- how can we scientifically evaluate morality?

"Porn! It's not nearly as bad as the Holocaust or Slavery!" is not the most ringing of endorsements, though.

[ March 11, 2009, 04:19 AM: Message edited by: Zotto! ]

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Samprimary
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But we're not making that endorsement. It's an endorsement based entirely upon hyperbole that you are using.
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MightyCow
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Sometimes I wonder if there should be a copy of every hot-button thread like this made, so that rational, cool-headed debate could go on in one version, and in the other version people can make unsupported proclamations, bandy about slavery and the holocaust as though they're perfectly reasonable analogies, and behave like lunatics if they so desire.

The first group has a hard time discussing things with the second group starting fires, and the second group doesn't really care what anyone else has to say anyway, so they'd be better off just ranting past each other.


*Edit:
It seems that my wish has been granted. Please continue ranting as though I hadn't said anything. Porn=murder!

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Puppy
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Approval or disapproval of porn, obviously, has a lot to do with the way sex is treated in an individual's culture. If you are part of a culture where sex is thought of as something private, intensely valued, and/or divine, then the way the subject is treated in porn can be incredibly offensive and threatening. IE, "If this is how my people begin thinking about sex, then my culture will be harmed."

It's easy to be derisive towards cultures like this if you consider yourself to be "liberated" from such concerns. But to the people for whom these things are very important, porn cannot just be dismissed as harmless fun, the way it can for people into whose culture porn fits just perfectly. It represents a way of thinking that is totally contrary to much that they hold dear, and it is deliberately presented in a way that is meant to entice viewers into a certain pattern of thought that goes contrary to, and even erodes, values that these people care very much about.

If you don't care about these particular values, that's a choice you are free to make. But there is no scientific definition for "what a human being ought to strive for, idealize, or value". If someone has chosen something different from you, then they should definitely be allowed to treat as a threat something that actually does threaten the ideals they hold, even if you do not share those ideals.

Porn is a violation of a marriage if the people marrying each other both feel that porn ought to be out-of-bounds. If they belong to a culture where getting involved with pornography represents a betrayal, then no, you can't just say, "She needs to get over it!" It's a betrayal. The consequences of the betrayal, and how the whole thing plays out, is up to the couple. I'd like to hope that in most cases, they would find a way to work things out. But the feelings of betrayal are very real and difficult to get over.

I don't think there are a lot of women who enjoy the idea of their husbands spending a lot of their private time in a fantasy world full of nubile other women performing all manner of sex acts for them. It can be tolerated, but it's not exactly a pleasant thing to ponder. I think it is a bit callous (if not misogynistic) for a man to say, "Well, I like my porn, so she's just got to deal with it." I'd hate for that to be the standard of behavior we expect as a society.

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Puppy
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I'm also not totally comfortable with the idea of revising your ideals to match your behavior. IE, "I think X is wrong, but I just keep doing X, and it's making me feel awful about myself. So I will stop thinking X is wrong. Problem solved."

That's fine, I suppose, in an isolated case, if you truly believe that X is not wrong. But it seems like a really bad precedent to set for yourself. If your ethics are conditional based on your behavior, then can you be said to have any ethics?

I'm not saying that a person's ethics should not change as they learn and grow, and certainly, the situation I describe above can be come by honestly. But I wouldn't go recommending it wholesale to anyone who feels guilty about something they've done, or fails repeatedly to change a behavior they detest. In many cases, the guilt is appropriate, and the behavior is detestable, and the person should find a way to deal with it that is NOT simply deciding it's now okay.

Changing your behavior and revising your ethics are not the only ways to combat guilt, especially within a Christian religion. But I think people too often fail at the former, then resort to the latter, without really trying anything else.

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Puppy
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[removed a post that, so far, no one has responded to, and that I realized might not thrill the moderators ... my apologies if this is annoying, but I'm related to a lot of them [Smile] ]

[ March 11, 2009, 10:13 AM: Message edited by: Puppy ]

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Zotto!:


"Porn! It's not nearly as bad as the Holocaust or Slavery!" is not the most ringing of endorsements, though.

It's not an endorsement at all. I understand disapproval of porn, I just don't think that it's "evil". That's a term that I reserve for things that are more harmful and malicious.
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Oshki
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I think that sex and love should be the same thing. Once sex is separated from love it ignores the personhood of the sex object and leads to such inane statements as: "But Baby it was only sex and doesn't mean I don't love you."

Porn is the separation of love from sex or sex without love. The more extreem the porn gets the greater the titillation but with a converse loss of any sense of reality, unless one thinks it is lucky to marry a porn star and then they might say: "I only do that in the movies and I though you loved me!". Porn is empty so more and more of it means emptier and emptier until one becomes jaded. But life goes on and one day your wife may say, after having a baby, "No, moms don't do that." In which case go buy a magazine or watch a porn show or say "I guess dads don't either."

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think that sex and love should be the same thing.
But they aren't. You can wish they were all you want, but they will never be.
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Chris Bridges
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Now we've moved away from a discussion about the relative merits and harms of porn, and into a discussion of personal moralities and the expression of love. Does anyone here see one side convincing the other to change?

Vyrus and Puppy have both presented well-reasoned defenses of the two sides (and yes, there are far more than two sides in this, I'm just simplifying). It's time to go back to the opposing sides uneasily and disapprovingly coexisting.

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Tresopax
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What is meant by "ethically/logically proven" in this thread title?

I think that if you really really don't want to believe something is wrong, you can find some rationalization to undermine ANY logical proof of ANY ethical claim. That doesn't mean it isn't wrong; it just means you can't prove it's wrong to satisfy someone who is intent on thinking it's right.

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Chris Bridges
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"If someone has chosen something different from you, then they should definitely be allowed to treat as a threat something that actually does threaten the ideals they hold, even if you do not share those ideals."

Of course this works both ways.

But narrowing it down to a simple "porn is good, love it" and "porn is evil, detest it" argument (yes, as I also did the last post [Smile] ) is unrealistic.

Some people love porn in all its forms.
Some people consider any depiction of sexual activity at all to be evil.
Some people enjoy porn that appeals to their personal interests and are disgusted, creeped out, or indifferent to the rest.
Some people see porn as a glorious expression of human sexuality.
Some people see porn as an undeniable objectification of the people involved, something that encourages further objectification of all people.
Some people see porn as a pleasant entertainment, like a mystery novel.
Some people are addicted to porn and cannot get by without it, no matter what that addiction does to themselves, their lives, or their families.
Some of us have seen repression of sexuality hurt people, deeply.
Some of us have seen expression of sexuality hurt people, deeply.
Most people have a little of most or all of these.

Plus there's "porn" itself, which apparently represents everything from a shadowy hip seen in a PG movie to full on, hardcore XXX action, possibly involving someone being snuffed. Raging at porn is like raging at TV. Only the extremist would say all TV is bad or all TV is good; most of the rest of us draw our lines somewhere in the middle, based on our values and interests.

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scifibum
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Puppy, I want to respond but will have to take time later. For now, I want to mention that some morality is externally imposed and indoctrinated, and questioning that is not only appropriate but necessary for most people.
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Teshi
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I was going to write something more detailed but I think Chris Bridges has covered it.

EDIT: In light of the CT thread that's been bumped I'd like to stipulate that there is a form of beautiful pornography but it is not at all what is usually used to refer to with the word 'porn'. Here I refer to the generally lower class form of porn.

I guess the question is where does 'beauty of the human form' end and 'pornography' begin?

My original post:

I'm not a fan of porn (that is to say, I don't consume it). I think it does reduce both the consumer and the performer to something reasonably homogeneous. Since the audience is often (but definately not exclusively) male, it is the female figure who is the object and thus the one reduced to a single purpose in an unrealistic way.

Now, maybe this is a good thing. Other animals don't usually have all the bother associated with post-courting relationships. Once the female is won and the sex achieved, and further sex (if it happens at all) doesn't involve a lot of complicated second guessing for either person. In the human world, there is a lot of bother involved. Perhaps this fantasy of mostly bother-free sex is a useful safety valve for a society that is biologically trained to copulate but unable to due to restraints created by our ludicrously intelligent minds. Most of the time we seem to be caught between desire and the rules to control desire.

But on the other hand, is the presentation of higher-level-thought-free sexual figures (when they are) merely exacerbating this problem?

EDITED CONCLUSION:

Due to there being, as Chris B. already pointed out, a variety of kinds of "erotic visuals", it is impossible to draw a single conclusion. I think it is safe to say that certain kinds of pornography does reduce people, but whether that's a bad thing or simply a thing is likely due to the way the person regards the pornography.

[ March 11, 2009, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: Teshi ]

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Blayne Bradley
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The argument I was making in the aforementioned op conversation was that in the legal mainstream cable tv gov't regulated (ish?) version of pornography it is somewhat by definition impossible for it to be demeaning to women since its consentual, voluntary and generally afaik well paying job no different then any other job. The counter argument? They argue that most people in porn generally are "forced" into it by unfair cicrumstances (being a waitress doesnt pay enough etc etc) or forced from their home by abusive parents "forcing" them into a "degrading" situation. It gets funnier where after a cursory look in the dictionary informs me that degradation == or is equilevent to the word "humiliation" and then they try to argue that they are not arguing that it is humiliating and that they weren't arguing it was degrading despite using that word several times.

They also argued that women who do like being in porn have something "seriously wrong with them on some level" for liking being in it. And that they also argue that its impossible for men to watch porn and NOT see women as objects arguing a man never wonders what its like to be the woman etc, I of course for reasons refuse to answer that, of course they use that as admission of guilt and not admission to something somewhat more embarrasing to my manliness.

Which brings me to believe that trying to argue it logically with them may be impossible but I am willing to try.

And yes, they are funnily enough not what I would consider attractive it is a funny coincidence, then again my perfect ideal of attraction is a red headed asian whose born in russia.

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Teshi
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Hang on, is this thread really about whether men who watch porn are sexist or are considered sexist or should be able to do so without feeling shame that stems from wondering if what they're doing is hurting women?
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Blayne Bradley
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I honestly don't know. Women are fickle things.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
it is somewhat by definition impossible for it to be demeaning to women since its consentual
"Demeaning" does not mean "non-consensual." You can consent to being demeaned.
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Blayne Bradley
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then it should stop being demeaning, a job is a job, if your job is to wash dishes and you decide voluntarily to work there it stop being demeaning.
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Puppy
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scifibum, I made sure to emphasize in my post that changes to one's personal morality can be come by honestly, and that I only distrust this approach because it can be misused, not because it universally is ... mostly because I didn't want my post to come off as a personal criticism of your decisions [Smile] Naturally, a person can change over time and realize that they're not actually comfortable with long-held beliefs without there being some kind of self-justifying motivation to it. I really hope I've made that clear enough [Smile]
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Chris Bridges
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You can also consent to doing something you might not find demeaning but that others may see and use as justification for demeaning others.
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Teshi
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quote:
I honestly don't know. Women are fickle things.
If this is intended seriously, then this is more indicative of your attitude towards women than your porn-viewing habits.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
if your job is to wash dishes and you decide voluntarily to work there it stop being demeaning.
Why do you think so? If someone offers me ten million dollars to lick his boots, and I do so, I am demeaning myself voluntarily.
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Mucus
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As an idle thought, I wonder how much of the American opposition to the subject is weighed by concern for the consumer and how much is informed by concern for the producer. I'm not sure how to isolate for the two but one rough approximation for the first could be if we changed the OP question to:

a) Can it be ethically/logically proven or not proven that hentai* is "demeaning" to women?

Japanese cartoon porn, basically. I suppose isolating for the second would give...prostitution?

b) Can it be ethically/logically proven or not proven that prostitution is "demeaning" to women?

Probably both aren't very happy for the opposition, but I am curious how the two breakdown.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
scifibum, I made sure to emphasize in my post that changes to one's personal morality can be come by honestly, and that I only distrust this approach because it can be misused, not because it universally is ... mostly because I didn't want my post to come off as a personal criticism of your decisions [Smile] Naturally, a person can change over time and realize that they're not actually comfortable with long-held beliefs without there being some kind of self-justifying motivation to it. I really hope I've made that clear enough [Smile]

Thanks, I scanned the last 20 or 30 posts in a hurry and probably didn't read you carefully enough. I may respond later anyway to talk about relative degrees of ethical and moral concerns about porn.
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