Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby TheVat on April 18th, 2014, 1:17 pm 

Seems better to look at an industry on its own merits, rather than strive too much to form analogies to other ones. If the production of porn is dominated by exploitation and mistreatment of workers, then it's a serious issue for the consumer. Really seems best to look at particular instances and remain unjudgmental about the entertainment value. Chacun a son gout. If Alice and Bob make a home video, and wish to distribute it, I don't see a problem.

The healthcare industry is quite different - serves basic human need of physical survival, so one can't really boycott it in quite the same neat way - someone is going to have yank that tumor or inflamed appendix out of there. The sugar industry employs people who, as laborers, have no other option to make money, so again, the issue of necessity arises there in a way that it doesn't in entertainment. IOW, reform in any industry has its own particular obstacles and options.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby ElectraQT on April 18th, 2014, 1:34 pm 

I found several statements quite ironic, to the point that I chuckled. However, I believe it is important, for enjoying forum discussions, to know when to stop repeating yourself. I think I've stated my views quite clearly, and I was never deluded about the impact they might have on others. My intention was not to convert anybody anyway, but to make sure the other side gets heard ("listened to" is often asking too much). At the end of the day, we are all slaves to our predispositions, and only occasionally are we lucky enough to have a moment of true and honest self revision.

Thanks everyone.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby TheVat on April 18th, 2014, 1:59 pm 

One hopes that SPCF is a place where one can slough off some of those "predispositions" and break the chains of slavery to sclerotic habits of thinking. It is much harder, however, when there are deep emotions tied to an issue, which is usually the case with anything in the area of ethics. We start with "gut feelings" there, and it's hard to move away from them.

I see Turtle is no longer a cat! "Turtles all the way down" ?
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby Dave_Oblad on April 18th, 2014, 4:37 pm 

Hi All,

MTB wrote:I don't have a problem with "dirty pictures" but the industry is another thing.

You contradicted yourself in the first line.
"I don't have a problem with..."
"Dirty Pictures"...

The fact you called them "Dirty" rather than Erotic or Nude etc.. means you actually do have a problem with them.

Also, every year there is an award presentation in Vegas much like the Academy Awards. It's the industry's attempt to gain legitimacy. "Best oral sex scene Award in a Sci-Fi spoof goes to...". But honestly, I don't see how they can compete with 10,000 Private Cam Girls you can interact with real time. " Hi Cindy.. Can you put your toe in your Ear?"...lol. Or 100,000 Cam Girl Recorded Movies that's Archived and free to access.

The Internet has taken most of the profit out of Produced Porn. Most of it is now Amateur stuff from Female (and Male) exhibitionists that get a cheap thrill showing off their talents. Although some charge maybe $10 per show.. when they are popular enough.

They are not worried at this time if their activity will produce future negative repercussions. It's up to people like Venus, FiLTH, MTB.. etc.. to make sure these dirty exhibitionists are persecuted for the rest of their natural life for daring to make such immoral decisions contrary to the "I Know what's Right!" crowd.

IMHO...

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby mtbturtle on April 18th, 2014, 4:51 pm 

Dave,

I'm too old to be lectured and psychoanalyzed regarding my usage of "dirty pictures". thanks but ummm no.

As for the internet taking the "profit" out I would like to see any kind of evidence for such a trend.

Oh and I don't recall anything in my comments about persecuted anybody for the rest of their natural life so you can save your self righteous indignation. I'm much more the type to legalize, regulate and organize when it comes to policy alternatives for sex workers.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby ElectraQT on April 18th, 2014, 5:08 pm 

OK so your position is what exactly, mtbturtle? That the porn industry needs regulation and reform? Did anyone here argue that it didn't?

Apart from that, do you think the act of consentual porn-making necessarily degrades women, irrespective of how it relates to the porn-making industry?
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby Dave_Oblad on April 18th, 2014, 5:19 pm 

Hi MTB,

First, I mean no disrespect for people that have opposing opinions to mine. I get vocal when I see people campaign to put their opinions into LAW. This goes for many subjects (Interracial Relationships, Gay Marriage, Drugs, etc).

As to your question.. the answer is logical.. why pay for what you can get free elsewhere... duhhhhh.

And if you want proof of Volume.. just Google using any set of obvious keywords.. You will get drowned in available Websites, Private Cam shows and free stuff. Be sure you have a good anti-virus program before you go poking around at random. Some are Booby-Trapped (pun not intended). I usually use websites that list trusted sights and offer reviews. Pay sites are usually safest to visit as they want your money.

Also beware that such searches may put you on the Government Radar to archive your activities.. just in case they want to use this info to persecute/prosecute you someday in the future, when the tide changes again.

Best Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby mtbturtle on April 18th, 2014, 5:24 pm 

ElectraQT » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:08 pm wrote:OK so your position is what exactly, mtbturtle? That the porn industry needs regulation and reform? Did anyone here argue that it didn't?

Apart from that, do you think the act of consensual porn-making necessarily degrades women, irrespective of how it relates to the porn-making industry?


I'm ambivalent to arguments surrounding any essentialist arguments regarding the degradation of women and/or sex. I'm not sure it makes any difference particularly in terms of "what to do". There is more than enough rape and other harms going on to worry about for me when it comes to morality.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby rchrdstvr77 on April 18th, 2014, 6:04 pm 

What's the ethics' view on this phenomenon?>>

Men seem to like it more than women. At 78, I still look, but I forgot why.

“My life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot.” Ashleigh Brilliant
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby Venus on April 18th, 2014, 6:19 pm 

Dave_Oblad » April 18th, 2014, 1:37 pm wrote:Hi All,

MTB wrote:I don't have a problem with "dirty pictures" but the industry is another thing.

You contradicted yourself in the first line.
"I don't have a problem with..."
"Dirty Pictures"...

The fact you called them "Dirty" rather than Erotic or Nude etc.. means you actually do have a problem with them.

Oh boy......

Sex, if it ain't dirty it ain't good! :)
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby Lomax on April 19th, 2014, 1:50 am 

mtbturtle » April 18th, 2014, 10:24 pm wrote:
ElectraQT » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:08 pm wrote:OK so your position is what exactly, mtbturtle? That the porn industry needs regulation and reform? Did anyone here argue that it didn't?

Apart from that, do you think the act of consensual porn-making necessarily degrades women, irrespective of how it relates to the porn-making industry?


I'm ambivalent to arguments surrounding any essentialist arguments regarding the degradation of women and/or sex. I'm not sure it makes any difference particularly in terms of "what to do".

I should think it makes all the difference. For instance several of us have tried to draw distinctions between the kind of pornography that's more likely to be exploitative - professional industry stuff, in other words - and the kind that's just produced by hobbyists. By deliberately blurring the distinctions and lumping it all back in together - having made arguments against only one of the two - I cannot see how you advance a more practical position.

Since you say your opinion is that pornography should be legalised and regulated, I'm curious whether (and how) you would regulate amateur pornography. (Or whether, alternatively, you would make that part illegal.)
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 4:20 am 

Porn is Good, Bad, and Ugly...

Porn, in the broadest sense, which includes cams, etc, is probably good for women in this day and age, since the breakdown of traditional marriage and increasing difficulty in finding a male provider due to changes in the economy in developed nations (erosion of middle class associated with deindustrialization).

Women have always used sex to get what they want/need, and porn is basically an opportunity/venue for women to sell sex.

However, it is also bad for women's relationships with men because porn creates unrealistic sexual expectations for partners and wives...porn, in my opinion, encourages infidelity and new sexual stimulus seeking...which means different partners...shorter relationships

Not all men. Some men just aren't that big on sex, and they tend to be more reliable partners (women know this and often marry such men)....however women are not particularly attracted to these kinds of men (sexually at least) and so they may be dissatisfied in that respect...

Thus for women, porn is beneficial in light of the problems it creates...marriage has been eroded (in part due to porn)...but luckily for women...they can make some extra cash in porn...and maybe get back some of that lost confidence in their desirability

Irony :)

Finally, porn is ugly because (some) men come to see women as whores rather than madonnas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna%E2 ... re_complex

For men, I would say it is also bad because it can become an addiction and literally ruin their life.

So, overall, it is probably bad, but given the current situation and the damage already done by feminism and associated economic changes, it is ok I guess. (Feminism followed from the economic changes...so it was really the economic changes wrought by global capitalism)
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby mtbturtle on April 19th, 2014, 8:46 am 

Lomax » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:50 am wrote:
mtbturtle » April 18th, 2014, 10:24 pm wrote:
ElectraQT » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:08 pm wrote:OK so your position is what exactly, mtbturtle? That the porn industry needs regulation and reform? Did anyone here argue that it didn't?

Apart from that, do you think the act of consensual porn-making necessarily degrades women, irrespective of how it relates to the porn-making industry?


I'm ambivalent to arguments surrounding any essentialist arguments regarding the degradation of women and/or sex. I'm not sure it makes any difference particularly in terms of "what to do".

I should think it makes all the difference. For instance several of us have tried to draw distinctions between the kind of pornography that's more likely to be exploitative - professional industry stuff, in other words - and the kind that's just produced by hobbyists. By deliberately blurring the distinctions and lumping it all back in together - having made arguments against only one of the two - I cannot see how you advance a more practical position.

Since you say your opinion is that pornography should be legalised and regulated, I'm curious whether (and how) you would regulate amateur pornography. (Or whether, alternatively, you would make that part illegal.)


Lomax,

I'm not strongly convinced one way or the other whether pornography and other sex work is harmful, in and of itself. I'm willing to accept that there might be some exceptions or that circumstances might arise or be devised that would circumvent some harms. However, we don't live in that world and it's not the exceptional that we have to deal with regularly. As a practical matter even if I accept that there is ok porno I'm left wondering how I'm going to figure out which is which.

Perhaps some of the porn advocates can tell me how you ethically consume pornography? Surely, being found on an "amateur" sight or labeled "amateur" isn't sufficient?
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby TheVat on April 19th, 2014, 10:34 am 

The burden of an ethical argument may rest with how one UNethically consumes porn. IOW, if one pays for porn and has no knowledge of any exploitative practice in its making, can one be held responsible? Ethics seems to be about actions performed knowingly. In this regard, I tend to see the locus of ethical action to be with the porn-makers and their employees (if that's the right word). I.e. society should expect that adults are responsible and expected to flex their free will if they find themselves in unsavory situations. Before anyone rushes in and cries, "but what about minors?" - well, of course, we must all be on the lookout for situations where minors might be coerced and used by unscrupulous adults. That's a no-brainer.

- full disclosure: I don't do porn, not out of any particular religous/moral stance, but just have found other ways to get the old rocks off. So you may take the above with grain of salt, etc.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby FiLTH on April 19th, 2014, 11:50 am 

In response to Lomax's questions/insinuations/statements:

1.
"I think you have been watching a specific type of pornography. As I mentioned before, there's an important distinction between "amateur" and "professional" pornography; the "amateur" stuff tends to be just that - not made by hired actors and paid producers, but uploaded by choice (for whatever reason, I don't know) for others to enjoy. Any criticism of the innate nature of porn itself is going to have to cover both types."


-Be slower to assume. It'll be best if you ask questions for clarification instead and not take things to heart.

I do not watch pornography and I wasn't referring to a specific type of pornography. I also do not know what you mentioned before as I didn't read your earlier postings.
If you were referring to my statement "the persons portrayed are mostly actors with no real essence. You should read the sentence that came before it: "it's plainly watching some other person (group/single) having sex for your own arousal." Pornography as a whole has no real essence, whether it is a person watching a private video of someone else or an acted video. There is a deeper side to sensuality that pornography doesn't cover and that was the point made in my earlier postings while talking to Dave.

2.
I have to say I find something condescending about the arguments made by Venus and FiLTH, and for separate reasons.


-Realistically, I can't do anything about your feelings, if feel condescended on...you'll survive, the feeling will pass. It's ok by me since it wasn't my intentions when conversing with Dave/Electra, who hopefully didn't take offense...as I said everyone is expressing their own thoughts on the matter or challenging another person's thoughts on the matter. -That's fine by me.

3.
Meanwhile FiLTH tells us that pornography degrades only the feminine gender (or does he mean the female sex? There seems some inconsistency). He tells ElectraQT that unrepenting pornographic actresses' opinions do not matter because they -


FiLTH » April 18th, 2014, 2:52 am wrote:represent themselves and not the whole of the female gender, just as my postings represent my thoughts and not that of any other gender.

- and goes on to inform us that -


FiLTH wrote:Ask that question to a group of women, if they'll mind being sexually violated by a strange handsome man. And most would be offended.

- in other words, pro-porn women cannot speak for womanhood, but an anti-porn man, apparently, can.


By stating that my opinion holds as much weight as the women in the forum is simply that. Their opinion and my opinion don't represent a gender, it represents only our own. I'm not elevating my opinion nor theirs. Simple stuff. You can hype it up to mean "pro-porn women can't speak for womanhood, but an anti-porn man, can". That's your interpretation.

The example of asking a group of men and a group of women was in connection to what Dave said that he'd not mind if women wanted to see him masturbate. If you pay attention to society you will see the different views of men and women on sensuality. You're free to put it to the test and ask a random group of men and women. It was more a subtle statement.
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On a side note: The intention of pornography (the concept or the physical thing) isn't to empower women or any gender, itself is for arousal of outside parties. The industry side of it is of course a business. Pornography isn't all there is, there are other means of exploring sensuality and satisfying that natural need...but that is another discussion.
And Spanish is my native language. If I make errors in English, ask and I'll clarify my words.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby FiLTH on April 19th, 2014, 1:16 pm 

@Dave
They are not worried at this time if their activity will produce future negative repercussions. It's up to people like Venus, FiLTH, MTB.. etc.. to make sure these dirty exhibitionists are persecuted for the rest of their natural life for daring to make such immoral decisions contrary to the "I Know what's Right!" crowd.


I don't understand. It is up to people like what?
I've not taken a moral/immoral stance. I labelled it as 'unfortunate' as porn takes away from something that can be built on. That's one of the reasons I don't bother with it, along with other reasons.
I might be misunderstanding your statement there, but it seem as if you're having an 'us' against 'them' moment with the 'them' being some representation of piety or righteousness and the 'us' being a radical/immoral group.
I don't know MTB or Venus' position on the topic but it's best you take it as individual statements than as a group of 'us' vs 'them'.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 2:20 pm 

Btw, if you guys want to assess the ethicalness of porn, just think of it as prostitution. That is in essence what it is.

So what is your stance on prostitution? Now just apply that porn.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby Venus on April 19th, 2014, 3:02 pm 

571- » April 19th, 2014, 11:20 am wrote:Btw, if you guys want to assess the ethicalness of porn, just think of it as prostitution. That is in essence what it is.

So what is your stance on prostitution? Now just apply that porn.

It is similar, nothing good comes from it.

Doing drugs, gambling, being a prostitute, being a pornographer, all these things can take a big toll on life.

They are in my opinion inadvisable!
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby FiLTH on April 19th, 2014, 3:47 pm 

haa they're both different things, man.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 3:54 pm 

How so? (In essence)

Porn is virtual voyeur prostitution.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby FiLTH on April 19th, 2014, 4:13 pm 

Apart from being different things entirely? One difference is pornography is more a spectator position (it can be in the form of drawings, videos, illustration) whereas Prostitution is trading something for direct sex.
Prostitution can branch off into different things too. Example there are prostitutes who educate married persons/individuals on enhancing their sexual experiences... But I gather you're referring to women/men who hang around the street corners.

Why do you place them as the same? I see a few similarities but both can stand on their own. Some arguments against one may not work for the other.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 4:44 pm 

Which ethical arguments apply to one but not the other?

Porn is prostitution for the prudest middle-class who think they are morally superior.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 5:26 pm 

Although I agree that the mode (drawings, etc) I suppose may change the ethical circumstances.

But that is not what porn is, chiefly.

Porn of the highest consumption consists of the depiction of real people having sex for the voyeuristic pleasure of an audience.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby ElectraQT on April 19th, 2014, 5:35 pm 

Yikes. There's some seriously ignorant judgement that's being passed around as obvious fact. Equating participation in pornography with street prostitution is ridiculous, from both technical and conceptual perspectives.

Mind you, I don't see how eliminating the porn industry would necessarily help with the issue of human trafficking and abuse, nor how the porn industry is to be blamed for creating that problem. If anything, I can think of reasons why eliminating porn would actually exacerbate the issue. And I'll bet that the proportion of it that contributes to the porn industry is miniscule compared to what goes to privately satisfy the urges of perverted patrons.

Also, how long has human trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, and so on been around? And porn?

Tsk tsk. Seriously poor form.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby mtbturtle on April 19th, 2014, 6:03 pm 

There are plenty who would disagree with you Electra. For example Catherine MacKinnon that I linked to earlier links pornography and prostitution or being prostituted. Here's another bit from MacKinnon

http://public.callutheran.edu/~brint/Jurisprudence/MacKinnon.pdf

Catherine A. MacKinnon
Pornography as Defamation and Discrimination
Boston University Law Review
November, 1991
In all pornography, women are prostituted. This is done because it means sexual pleasure to pornography's consumers and profits to its providers, largely organized
crime. But to those who are exploited, it means being bound, battered, tortured, harassed, raped, *797 and sometimes killed, or merely humiliated, molested , objectified, and used. It is done because someone who has more power than they do, someone who matters, someone with rights, a full human being and a full citizen, gets pleasure from seeing it, or doing it, or seeing it as a form of doing it. [FN10] In order to produce what the consumer wants to see, it must first be done to someone, usually a woman, a woman with few real choices. Because he wants to see it done, it is done to her


I haven't finished this one yet. The other paper by MacKinnon Trafficking, Prostitution, and Inequality is worth the read or at least skim. It's not as long as it appears if you skip the footnotes. Although the footnotes are packed with references and statistics and figures. It did make me rethink my ideas concerning legalization of prostitution or at least we would more typically think of as prostitution.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 6:24 pm 

ElectraQT » April 19th, 2014, 4:35 pm wrote:Yikes. There's some seriously ignorant judgement that's being passed around as obvious fact. Equating participation in pornography with street prostitution is ridiculous, from both technical and conceptual perspectives.

Mind you, I don't see how eliminating the porn industry would necessarily help with the issue of human trafficking and abuse, nor how the porn industry is to be blamed for creating that problem. If anything, I can think of reasons why eliminating porn would actually exacerbate the issue. And I'll bet that the proportion of it that contributes to the porn industry is miniscule compared to what goes to privately satisfy the urges of perverted patrons.

Also, how long has human trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, and so on been around? And porn?

Tsk tsk. Seriously poor form.


Yes, the porn industry allows for some regulation of the selling of sex. Actually, it is engineered to maximize profits.

I agree with you that were the porn industry criminalized, it would just go underground.

This is why when we judge something, we have to specify whether it is good or bad in the absolute sense, or in relation to current conditions.

Currently, legalization of pornography is probably a good thing if we are prioritizing women's safety in the selling of sex (so guarding against human trafficking and abuse), because it allows for regulation and public scrutiny.

However, legalization and regulation also means that some women may be excluded, for whatever reason. Underground may be more risky, but it's also more open.

So the effectiveness of the porn industry to guard against human trafficking and abuse depends on 1) standards upheld and 2) access/openness to women, not just privileged women...or other women will just go underground where human trafficking and abuse abound.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 7:09 pm 

Also, Electra, porn is prostitution.

I think what you are getting at is the implications of street versus pornographic prostitution, for human trafficking and abuse for instance.

There are often significant differences in this respect, although these vary by country/location too.

But street prostitution and pornography are in essence the same. Unless anyone can argue otherwise?

I thought Filth raised a good point about mode (drawings versus depiction of real people, for ex.) that potentially holds ethical differences and significance, but keep in mind most pornography consumed involves real people and hence falls under prostitution.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby Venus on April 19th, 2014, 7:42 pm 

571- » April 19th, 2014, 4:09 pm wrote:...porn is prostitution.
...street prostitution and pornography are in essence the same.
....most pornography consumed involves real people and hence falls under prostitution.

Repeat it 100 times and perhaps you think people believe it any better?

Prostitution and pornography are obviously two different things, they have similarities but so does an elephant and a frog.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 7:49 pm 

How are they different in essence?

If you cannot explain, then you cannot be right.

I have already outlined some of the differences...and the implications for human trafficking and abuse.

There are differences in these respects...I am acknowledging that.

Also prostitution more typically denotes physical sexual relations with a consumer, not merely voyeuristic.

This is a major but not essential difference between the two.

Selling sex is selling sex. Whether there is contact involved is not essential.

Pornography is a form of prostitution. It is a category within, rather than separate.

Why should it be separate. Both are part of the sex industry, both involve selling sex.

The difference is a matter of level/mode of contact/relations.

Both are sex workers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_worker

Thus, although the term sex worker is sometimes viewed as a synonym or euphemism for prostitute, it is more general. Some people use the term to avoid invoking the stigma associated with the word prostitute.


But that does not change the fact that they are essentially the same.
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Re: Pornography, Good, Bad or Ugly?

Postby 571- on April 19th, 2014, 8:22 pm 

Why should physical contact make a difference?

It's just not essential...

The commodification of sex is what makes them the same, ethically.

It is the ethical implications of commodification which they share.

Let me ask you guys something: Are there any ethical differences between the two?

I am asking.

This is the question that needs to be answered. It's the essence of the discussion :)

Prostitution is a negative judgement - it is 'unethical'.

If pornography is prostitution, it is unethical.

If it is not, it may not be.

Ok, I got it.

Assuming prostitution (not pornography) is unethical, what about it specifically is unethical?

This is the fundamental question.
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