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Pornography

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joseph_lubnan

Legendary Member
IN BONDAGE TO PORNOGRAPHY

WHAT YOU WATCH DETERMINES WHAT YOU WANT

by Carl R. Trueman

I have noted numerous times on this blog that the ethics, and increasingly the laws, surrounding sexual behavior are coming to rest exclusively on the idea of consent. Like an ant who can apparently carry multiples of its own body weight, the principle of consent is now expected to be the sole provider of a sufficient moral foundation for society at large.

In a recent article on the psychological cost of sadomasochism, Aaron Kheriaty makes the point that consent is a complicated issue. Most obviously, it has a social context and is typically shaped by existing power relations. In short, consent can be manufactured or indeed cajoled. It is therefore a very dubious foundation for a social ethic.

The problem is exacerbated by a connection which Kheriaty does not make explicit in the article but for which he offers evidence. He cites research on the plasticity of the brain’s neural pathways which demonstrates that the brain has the ability to change depending on the type of stimulation it receives. Learning an instrument or a second language at a young age, for example, creates certain mental capacities by literally altering the way the one thinks. On the dark side, this means that exposure to pornography transforms sexual expectations and behavior.

In large part, sexual morality has been transformed by the aesthetics of pop culture, with its rhetorically loaded narratives of liberating the marginal and giving voices to the victims. Making the case for traditional sexual morality must take this into account. Yet it is clear that even dismantling these aesthetics will not be enough. Pornography is not simply changing our tastes through its representation of sex as a self-directed and recreational activity; it is literally changing the way our brains think. That makes the task of defending traditional morality in the public square much more difficult.

It also exposes the specious nature of moral arguments built on the principle of consent. These assume that the nature of consent is constant, absolute, and easily established. As Kheriaty points out, it is none of these. Consent is always complicated by specific context. Furthermore, the principle of consent assumes at a minimum that individuals have sovereign rights over the range of purposes and uses to which their own bodies can be put. Yet the evidence of the impact of pornography on the brain indicates that the individual is not consciously in control of determining the nature of that range. Pornography alters the sexual desires and transforms the understanding of the body’s purpose not by ethical or even aesthetic persuasion. Rather it does so by altering the physiology of the brain itself, a process beyond the conscious control of the consumer of pornography, and which thus subverts the assumptions of the principle of consent.

One would not allow alcoholics to have the last word on liquor licensing laws or crack addicts on drug policy. Yet when it comes to sexual morality, that is the kind of world in which we now live. The availability of pornography and the near universality of its consumption are today facts of human existence, at least in the West, and are likely to remain so. That means that moral thinking is thus at the mercy of an industry whose interests do not lie in promoting the common good unless that common good is understood in terms of unfettered sexual license. Even worse, we are seeing the creation of a hardwired ethic of supply-side immorality to which the principle of consent will not be able to set meaningful boundaries. Indeed, if the only practical ethical standard left is the principle of consent, then in a world pervaded by pornography, society’s sexual ethics are likely to be as plastic as our neural pathways.

In Bondage to Pornography | Carl R. Trueman | First Things
That's funny :)
 
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  • Isabella

    Isabella

    The queen of "Bazella"
    Orange Room Supporter
    - There's a difference between seeing and watching.
    of course there is, you don't just stumble on porn, you seek it out :p

    - The author is a liscenced psychiatrist (Ph.D.). He is not judging anyone, he is trying to help people and give them a new perspective to consider. As I said before, many non-religious people are against porn as well, because there are many non-religious arguments that can be made against it. This one source happens to combine faith and psychology.
    His argument that anyone who seeks out porn has an absentee father and a mother who has withheld attention and nurture is pseudo psychology at best, I don't care that he has a PhD in psychology, unless he examined the billions of people who consume porn every single day, this is bullshit!

    - Just because everyone does something, it doesn't mean it's healthy.
    Right but it does mean that it's normal :p!

    - Just because someone has done something in the past, it doesn't mean they have to keep doing it, and endorsing it, for life.
    True, but it does make them hypocritical when they pass judgement on others who engage in their same behaviour ;)

    I think we've argued about this long enough though be it here or in the thread I made about pornography! I believe human beings look for satisfaction in all shapes and forms, masturbation is one of those few pleasures we have in life! I don't think there's anything wrong in someone satisfying themselves lol! Now the judgement comes either from a religious, an uptight, or a "for the sake of those poor women in the 70s" perspective! Either way, porn exists in many shapes and forms and it's not at all limited to abusive crap! I get that you're opposed to pornography, I'm not, I enjoy it :p (I believe you do as well but that's a different discussion lol) so let's just agree to disagree and dial back on the pseudo scientific crap!
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    His argument that anyone who seeks out porn has an absentee father and a mother who has withheld attention and nurture is pseudo psychology at best, I don't care that he has a PhD in psychology, unless he examined the billions of people who consume porn every single day, this is bullshit!
    His argument is much more nuanced than what you're portraying it as.

    Right but it does mean that it's normal :p!
    Smoking is "normal" too. Except it isn't...

    True, but it does make them hypocritical when they pass judgement on others who engage in their same behaviour ;)
    Again...no one is passing judgment on anyone. That is not the point.

    Either way, porn exists in many shapes and forms and it's not at all limited to abusive crap!
    Porn doesn't have to depict abusive scenes...it is abusive in its essence, because it defiles an act that should manifest love.

    And whoever argues that sex and love are seperate things needs to seriously reconsider the state of their soul.

    I get that you're opposed to pornography, I'm not, I enjoy it :p (I believe you do as well but that's a different discussion lol) so let's just agree to disagree and dial back on the pseudo scientific crap!
    Everyone and anyone can "enjoy" pornography in the strictly sexual sense. But I am not a strictly sexual being and neither is anyone else. Therefore, our behaviour should reflect that reality.

    There is nothing pseudo-scientific about any of this.
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    @Isabella to put it plainly...

    I do not accept that anyone uses and discards me for sexual gratification (in fact, at this point, I do not even tolerate being used and discarded for someone's emotional gratification); therefore, I will not use and discard anyone for sexual gratification either.

    I do not care that someone "consented" to appear in porn. People consent to things and regret them all the time. People are covertly manipulated to consent to things all the time. Consent is a bs criteria.
     
    Isabella

    Isabella

    The queen of "Bazella"
    Orange Room Supporter
    @Isabella to put it plainly...

    I do not accept that anyone uses and discards me for sexual gratification (in fact, at this point, I do not even tolerate being used and discarded for someone's emotional gratification); therefore, I will not use and discard anyone for sexual gratification either.

    I do not care that someone "consented" to appear in porn. People consent to things and regret them all the time. People are covertly manipulated to consent to things all the time. Consent is a bs criteria.
    Never talked about consent to be honest! Pornography is not at all limited to real actual people either you have your anime, hentai, 3d renderings, erotic novels, erotic fan fiction, pics, etc.

    Not everything is freaking bdsm, abuse and humiliation!

    As previously stated though I don't think you are entirely honest in this discussion, and I'm not going to force it
     
    Isabella

    Isabella

    The queen of "Bazella"
    Orange Room Supporter
    His argument is much more nuanced than what you're portraying it as.
    No it wasn't lol



    Smoking is "normal" too. Except it isn't...
    Nope smoking is not normal, masturbation on the other hand is ^_^




    Again...no one is passing judgment on anyone. That is not the point.
    RIGHT saying the only reason people watch porn is because their parents suck is not passing judgement, it's actually a valid psychological argument lol



    Porn doesn't have to depict abusive scenes...it is abusive in its essence, because it defiles an act that should manifest love.

    And whoever argues that sex and love are seperate things needs to seriously reconsider the state of their soul.
    Masturbation and love are two separate things, you have psychological issues if you think they are one and the same :p



    Everyone and anyone can "enjoy" pornography in the strictly sexual sense. But I am not a strictly sexual being and neither is anyone else. Therefore, our behaviour should reflect that reality.

    There is nothing pseudo-scientific about any of this.
    I suppose you are asexual, that's fine ^_^

    Isabella out :p
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Never talked about consent to be honest! Pornography is not at all limited to real actual people either you have your anime, hentai, 3d renderings, erotic novels, erotic fan fiction, pics, etc.
    I'm pretty sure most people use pornography that depicts real people.

    And even those who don't are better off nurturing real relationships.

    Not everything is freaking bdsm, abuse and humiliation!
    I already replied to this...

    As previously stated though I don't think you are entirely honest in this discussion, and I'm not going to force it
    I am being honest, but you are free to believe otherwise.
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    No it wasn't lol

    Nope smoking is not normal, masturbation on the other hand is ^_^

    RIGHT saying the only reason people watch porn is because their parents suck is not passing judgement, it's actually a valid psychological argument lol

    Masturbation and love are two separate things, you have psychological issues if you think they are one and the same :p

    I suppose you are asexual, that's fine ^_^

    Isabella out :p
    No, I am not asexual. As for the rest, I said what I had to say. I am not forcing anyone to adopt my perspective. So let's agree to disagree.
     
    Isabella

    Isabella

    The queen of "Bazella"
    Orange Room Supporter
    I'm pretty sure most people use pornography that depicts real people.

    And even those who don't are better off nurturing real relationships.

    I already replied to this...



    I am being honest, but you are free to believe otherwise.
    Nope not necessarily, there's a huge market for erotic novels, hentai and everything else I listed! There is no correlation between consuming porn and real relationships lol! Everyone has sexual fantasies, porn just makes it easier to visualise :p

    To end this: it's cool, the good Catholic girl in you finds it hard to admit that masturbating is a okay! It has nothing to do with sex or real relationships and everything else in between it's just something that feels good, that human beings have been doing for thousands of years, and that porn has capitalized on this primal urge in everyone to touch themselves lol!
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Nope not necessarily, there's a huge market for erotic novels, hentai and everything else I listed! There is no correlation between consuming porn and real relationships lol! Everyone has sexual fantasies, porn just makes it easier to visualise :p

    To end this: it's cool, the good Catholic girl in you finds it hard to admit that masturbating is a okay! It has nothing to do with sex or real relationships and everything else in between it's just something that feels good, that human beings have been doing for thousands of years, and that porn has capitalized on this primal urge in everyone to touch themselves lol!
    This discussion has nothing to do with the "good Catholic girl" in me. I can support my anti-pornography stance without using a single religious argument.
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    SEE NO EVIL
    by Samuel D. James

    If there’s any good reason to distrust the self-awareness of contemporary progressives, it's the cultural epidemic of pornography.

    Of all the Sexual Revolution’s fruits, porn is arguably the one that has rotted fastest. It has defied the categorical wisdom of libertines by growing in users and extremeness, even as cultural mores against casual, commitment-free sex have eroded. Contrary to the predictions of many, porn has proven to be addictive and isolating. What was once promised as an end to slavish prudishness has instead ensnared millions in powerful neurological patterns, patterns that, if unabated, are conducive to the worst kinds of abusive and sadomasochistic behavior.

    Despite much emerging data, including research on the psychological costs of addiction, it seems that the American left rarely talks about porn and culture. A celebrity iCloud hack or the firing of a schoolteacher tend to inspire a round of takes on body-shaming and feminism, of course. And occasionally a Game of Thrones episode will trigger a backlash against simulated rape. Otherwise, it seems that pornography is the pink elephant in the room for most mainstream liberals.

    One glaring example of this can be found in a recent New York Times piece by Roni Caryn Rabin, an alarming profile on the growing popularity, among teenage girls, of genital cosmetic surgery. “Labiaplasties” are surging in demand among girls under 18, despite the warnings of doctors against the procedures. What could be driving this demand for perfectly engineered nether-regions? Here’s how Rabin’s piece answers:

    These girls have come of age at a time when they can go online and look up images of the vulva, doctors say. But the images are often air-brushed and do not portray the range of normal variation in shape, color, size and asymmetry, experts say.

    “I think the most important thing to understand is that there’s huge variety in anatomy,” said Dr. Veronica Gomez-Lobo, the director of Pediatric and Adolescent Ob/Gyn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the president of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. She often recommends young women look at unretouched photographs of vulvas, like those in the book “Petals” by Nick Karras.
    This is an Olympic-quality hurdle. The “air-brushed” pictures mentioned in the second sentence are, obviously, not those of anatomy textbooks or health literature. It doesn’t take powerful deduction skills to realize that what’s being discussed here is pornography. So why is there a herculean effort to avoid mentioning it?

    Perhaps Rabin or her editors were afraid that the word “pornography” would unnecessarily stigmatize or shame the girls seeking these dangerous procedures. That would be an understandable concern. But it’s also a deceitful one, and it gets to the heart of the divided mind that progressives display about a pornified culture. The motivations for labial surgery are easy to condemn because they violate our culture’s values of wellness and “body-positive” imagery. But the thing that shapes those motivations—pornography—is so morally ambiguous it ought not be mentioned at all. The unstoppable force of self-esteem has met the immovable object of sexual autonomy.

    In an attempt to solve this riddle, some cultural elites are acknowledging that porn has negative effects, but describing these effects wholly in terms of neurology and behavioral science. That was the approach of Time magazine’s recent cover story, which gathered the testimonies of several young men who believed that years of watching porn had stunted their social and sexual growth. The Time piece was as close to a full-blooded critique of pornography as anything produced by a major media outlet in a long time, yet it too was characterized by confusion and equivocation—the complete absence, as Denny Burk noted, of a moral framework.

    Because modern progressivism lacks categories of moral obligations for the isolated, autonomous individual, it cannot speak meaningfully to the pornography crisis. The best it can do is to correctly identify the anti-social effects of porn addiction. But even then, liberals are handicapped, since porn’s effects on relationships and social capital can only really be felt where those human bonds are still strong—such as monogamous marriages and covenant communities. A culture where meaningful mutuality is fraying and isolated and autonomous individualism is growing is a ripe host for the parasite of pornography.

    This is precisely why Christians and churches must address this issue. As Carl Trueman put it, the sexual conscience of modern culture cannot do this, for the same reason that an alcoholic cannot be trusted to guard the expensive stuff. Our communities are suspended in midair, somewhere between the abolition of man and the nihilism of the labiaplasty.

    We hunger for something better. We were created for chastity and faithfulness, family and friendship. The tangling of flesh only satisfies when the soul has shriveled to its size. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see more than immaculately Photoshopped bodies. They shall see God.

    See No Evil | Samuel D. James | First Things
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    SEE NO EVIL
    by Samuel D. James

    If there’s any good reason to distrust the self-awareness of contemporary progressives, it's the cultural epidemic of pornography.

    Of all the Sexual Revolution’s fruits, porn is arguably the one that has rotted fastest. It has defied the categorical wisdom of libertines by growing in users and extremeness, even as cultural mores against casual, commitment-free sex have eroded. Contrary to the predictions of many, porn has proven to be addictive and isolating. What was once promised as an end to slavish prudishness has instead ensnared millions in powerful neurological patterns, patterns that, if unabated, are conducive to the worst kinds of abusive and sadomasochistic behavior.

    Despite much emerging data, including research on the psychological costs of addiction, it seems that the American left rarely talks about porn and culture. A celebrity iCloud hack or the firing of a schoolteacher tend to inspire a round of takes on body-shaming and feminism, of course. And occasionally a Game of Thrones episode will trigger a backlash against simulated rape. Otherwise, it seems that pornography is the pink elephant in the room for most mainstream liberals.

    One glaring example of this can be found in a recent New York Times piece by Roni Caryn Rabin, an alarming profile on the growing popularity, among teenage girls, of genital cosmetic surgery. “Labiaplasties” are surging in demand among girls under 18, despite the warnings of doctors against the procedures. What could be driving this demand for perfectly engineered nether-regions? Here’s how Rabin’s piece answers:

    These girls have come of age at a time when they can go online and look up images of the vulva, doctors say. But the images are often air-brushed and do not portray the range of normal variation in shape, color, size and asymmetry, experts say.

    “I think the most important thing to understand is that there’s huge variety in anatomy,” said Dr. Veronica Gomez-Lobo, the director of Pediatric and Adolescent Ob/Gyn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the president of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. She often recommends young women look at unretouched photographs of vulvas, like those in the book “Petals” by Nick Karras.
    This is an Olympic-quality hurdle. The “air-brushed” pictures mentioned in the second sentence are, obviously, not those of anatomy textbooks or health literature. It doesn’t take powerful deduction skills to realize that what’s being discussed here is pornography. So why is there a herculean effort to avoid mentioning it?

    Perhaps Rabin or her editors were afraid that the word “pornography” would unnecessarily stigmatize or shame the girls seeking these dangerous procedures. That would be an understandable concern. But it’s also a deceitful one, and it gets to the heart of the divided mind that progressives display about a pornified culture. The motivations for labial surgery are easy to condemn because they violate our culture’s values of wellness and “body-positive” imagery. But the thing that shapes those motivations—pornography—is so morally ambiguous it ought not be mentioned at all. The unstoppable force of self-esteem has met the immovable object of sexual autonomy.

    In an attempt to solve this riddle, some cultural elites are acknowledging that porn has negative effects, but describing these effects wholly in terms of neurology and behavioral science. That was the approach of Time magazine’s recent cover story, which gathered the testimonies of several young men who believed that years of watching porn had stunted their social and sexual growth. The Time piece was as close to a full-blooded critique of pornography as anything produced by a major media outlet in a long time, yet it too was characterized by confusion and equivocation—the complete absence, as Denny Burk noted, of a moral framework.

    Because modern progressivism lacks categories of moral obligations for the isolated, autonomous individual, it cannot speak meaningfully to the pornography crisis. The best it can do is to correctly identify the anti-social effects of porn addiction. But even then, liberals are handicapped, since porn’s effects on relationships and social capital can only really be felt where those human bonds are still strong—such as monogamous marriages and covenant communities. A culture where meaningful mutuality is fraying and isolated and autonomous individualism is growing is a ripe host for the parasite of pornography.

    This is precisely why Christians and churches must address this issue. As Carl Trueman put it, the sexual conscience of modern culture cannot do this, for the same reason that an alcoholic cannot be trusted to guard the expensive stuff. Our communities are suspended in midair, somewhere between the abolition of man and the nihilism of the labiaplasty.

    We hunger for something better. We were created for chastity and faithfulness, family and friendship. The tangling of flesh only satisfies when the soul has shriveled to its size. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see more than immaculately Photoshopped bodies. They shall see God.

    See No Evil | Samuel D. James | First Things
    More BS :) why do you insist on BS?
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    Indie porn will always be around just like prostitution will always be around. All society can do is accept it and understand it better to regulate it reasonably.
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    This discussion has nothing to do with the "good Catholic girl" in me. I can support my anti-pornography stance without using a single religious argument.
    Ladies ladies, please stop repeating "good Catholic girls" this is not the place for it :)
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Indie porn will always be around just like prostitution will always be around. All society can do is accept it and understand it better to regulate it reasonably.
    That would be like our ancestors saying "slavery has always been around...all we can do is accept it and regulate it."

    Or replace slavery with any other evil or morally bankrupt or unhealthy vice.
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    That would be like our ancestors saying "slavery has always been around...all we can do is accept it and regulate it."

    Or replace slavery with any other evil or morally bankrupt or unhealthy vice.
    Society even regulates war! :)
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Society even regulates war! :)
    And, yet, millions still suffer...because it makes no difference.

    The correct sentence would be: "society attempts to regulate war (because society is full of delusional, ignorant, and morally bankrupt narcissists).
     
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