Is pornography morally wrong?

@freemo Depends in part on how one distinguishes between "mature content", "erotica", and "pornography".

Conservatives are out there crying for bans on sex ed books and anatomy books that they consider "porn" just for correctly illustrating and naming body parts, while handwaving away Genesis 19, Genesis 38, Ezekiel 23, the entirety of the Song of Solomon, and so on.

@bii I am using porn in the normal way here... Lets just say the majority of normal stuff youd find on pornhub... Or to put it another way... naked people engaging in sexual activity with the explicit intent to arouse the viewer and includes penetration and full nudity in graphic detail for that purpose.

@freemo Indeed, and maybe my initial example, in its own un-nuanced extremity, wasn't the best to illustrate my thought, which is that "mature content" is an objective term, while a distinction between "erotica" and "pornography" feels more subjective to me.

I get your definition, and shall run with it.

@bii I mean i agree with your definition. erotica is "lighter" than porn sure.

@freemo @bii

Philosophically, I would argue that unchecked libertarianism, which permits "two consenting adults" to do anything they want (so long as consent was obtained) and allows individuals to act in whatever way they want without imposing moral imperatives unless they harm another person, is not a good system to achieve widespread eudaimonia. Instead, it ultimately results in most individuals being slaves to their desires.

Without a defined set of boundaries on "sin" (i.e. what is morally wrong), societies ultimately end up expanding liberties into those boundaries to the point that ostensible self-harm becomes the norm (see the obesity epidemic for an alternative example; note I'm saying this as a current fat guy).

Gluttony "used to be" a sin for a multitude of reasons, and we are now acutely aware of all the negative impacts on the body and mind that over consumption has, and yet the issue persists (please note that I am not claiming those with real biological issues are necessarily at fault, but most obese individuals are not biologically impaired beyond their control).

The question we must then posit is thus: does consuming explicit sexual material (or producing it) have similar harmful effects on the body and/or mind? The answer to this is yes, both on an individual and societal level. Individually, many men report early-onset erectile dysfunction, inability to achieve orgasm with real partners, and diminished appetite for actual partners but increased appetite for the illicit substitute. Enough of these individuals in a population, may have untold impacts on the culture itself (e.g. japanese herbivore men and their plummeting birthrate).

Thus, if consumption of the product is harmful, then production of it is also harmful (both for society but also the "stars", you can see loads of examples of this in the industry with predatory contracts, grooming of under-age women to take jobs upon turning 18, trafficking, kidnapping, spread of STIs, etc.). There may be a case for "responsible use" or "free-range production" but substances that are targeted as super-normal stimuli are highly addictive and blunt our responses to "realistic" stimuli, thus making the super-normal stimulus more desirable (an effect mentioned above). Of course, there's also the hedonic treadmill effect which causes people to seek ever increasingly stimulating material (that is, their tastes may change over time to desire material that is more explicit than they started on).

Of course, this is all the worst case, but the existence of this case and its prevalence, I think, speaks volumes.

That's my 2 cents, take it for what you think it's worth.

P.S. I have citations for the claims I've made but I'm at work and can't look them up right now. If you want me to link them in a followup toot, lemme know.


@johnabs @freemo @bii

I really like your take on this subject, it's well written out and to the point.

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@voidabyss @freemo @bii Thanks! I appreciate the positive feedback 😁

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