Originally Posted by Glassylicious
Regarding your reply to CA1:
Reading your reply to this, as with the rest of your post, it is very clear that the disagreement we are having here boils down to differing views of sex. It appears that you take on a highly conservative view of it [please do correct me if I am wrong] while I personally don't believe sex and sex-related activities should be placed on a divine pedestal. I see it as just a rite of life, it's part of growing up.
I spoke strictly from the point of "porn can reduce rape" simply because I thought that was the main point of contention of this debate.
The reasons youngyew has pointed out are mostly morality issues, and I don't feel up to delving into the morality aspect of porn because I feel that is strictly not the point of the debate, but I do have one thing to say: Gambling probably isn't very much different from porn going by the same logic. Associated with crime, is a "dirty industry", and granted it doesn't objectify anyone, but it does promote addiction among the "weaker" people which is arguably just as bad. So, following your logic, should casinos be banned?
I flat out disagree with your submitted negative side effect of porn. "Desensitizing yourself to sex" is the most commonly cited excuse by my high school teachers when they give us the yearly talk about the "dangers" of porn and masturbation. In my opinion, I think this is a reason that does an incredibly poor job in reflecting reality, and it reeks of ignorance.
On the contrary, I argue that porn can enhance the experience. I know a lot of couples who watch porn together for pleasure. Porn can be educational, some couples watch porn to learn new things that they can try out with their respective partners. The logic that watching porn will "desensitize you from sex" simply fails because: a) there are even people going for classes that teach you new positions to spice their sex life up, if this doesn't expose you to as much sexual content as porn does I don't know what will; and b) I've had many discussions about porn with other people before, and the feedback I've always received was that the "novelty of porn runs dry when you actually get a proper girl". This is evidence from their personal experience -- an average joe who watches porn to masturbate. To put it in a more frank way: If you start preferring porn to your partner, then your partner is simply not doing it right. Blame the partner or blame yourself for overindulging in porn, not the porn which is just a tool which may be over or underutilized according to your tastes and preferences. You can ever only become "desensitized" to sex if your partner keeps doing the same old stuff again and again.
In response to your "quantity reduces quality" idea, I think that's irrelevant because I don't see how or why the law should be used to impede on your personal choices that may only, generally speaking, affect your quality of sex life. Extrapolating this reasoning, I also don't see why we should ban porn because it has the potential to "desensitive an individual's sex life"; this is basically saying the law should be used as a tool to safeguard an individual's sex life and frankly speaking, I'd rather not degrade the law to the extent of "being nanny" to people's personal lives.
Regarding your reply to CA2:
My previous post actually addressed this issue. It's all about perception, and a lot of people are strongly against the legalization of porn because they perceive it to be the "legalization of evil, doom and darkness". You perceive porn to be bad for the "many negative side effects" it allegedly brings. My stance is that from an utilitarian point of view, the legalization of porn will prevent less damage from happening as opposed to banning it completely, even though SOME damage will inevitably be done [this is where we insert the morality arguments which I am unwilling to discuss]. There's this concept of "harm minimization". Porn may be objectionable from the moral aspect which everyone keeps harping about, but in the long run, considering the amount of people who employ its use for personal gratification, and how they mostly keep things under control anyway, you're going to affect lots more people by whisking it away. It's an issue of "harming" 1% of porn users [who are mentally deranged/inclined to overuse porn to "desensitize themselves to sex"/whatever] versus the other 99%, and the utilitarian point of view will obviously take on the latter.
I will concede to your point that the "vaccination and medication" analogy was not an excellent one, but at the same time I disagree with your own proposed analogy for reasons I have already stated -- differing perceptions of porn. If we were to attempt to fit porn into your proposed analogy, it would be akin to saying that porn will do more harm than good, which is against my opinion.
Yes, porn is a double-edged sword, but my argument is that it does more good than harm. Totally banning it would do more harm than good. Tons of people utilize porn for their own satisfaction. You mentioned proper education as a means of reducing rape, which is a fine idea indeed, but banning porn is still going to affect a completely unrelated [and not to mention HUGE] group of people who want to get on with their lives and want nothing to do with those maniacal rapists. Why not educate to teach people not to misuse porn?
Your reply to Q2:
I know tons of people who masturbate to porn, and having extensively discussed porn with them before, I can answer with absolute and resounding certainty that NO, they do not feel any less of a man by masturbating to porn. They are also not less capable of being aroused, and no, they do not feel any less appreciation for real sex because masturbation will only be just that -- masturbation. It can never compare to having real sex with a partner in flesh. And again, if a man prefers porn to sex, then the partner needs to start learning to keep things fresh.
People who watch porn are not vegetables on an IV drip. They are not less of a man, and porn is not some kind of drug of which effects you eventually develop tolerance to and are thus "desensitized".
I also know that a lot of these people I know would take great offence to your question of whether they feel any less of a man by masturbating. I really really hate to criticize your personal opinion in this way because I know you are a fantastic person [please don't take this personally, tsar!], but while you claim that you don't view them any less just because they masturbate, your questions that follow immediately after that contradict your initial claim because you are implying that they would be inclined to suffer the negative side effects and thus feel/be "less of a man and less capable of appreciating sex". I know you probably didn't mean your words to have that effect, but yes, taken as a whole and in that context, it does imply that you do view less of them.
Author's note: No, I have never watched porn nor have I ever had sex before so please don't accuse me of "defending a habit" or something, but I have discussed extensively about both issues and have been given the honors of a wide spectrum of opinions garnered from their respective personal experiences, of which I feel are more reflective of reality rather than philosophical theory.
Ah, I knew it would be taken that way. Let's put it this way, I'm not a moral police officer. What they do to themselves and harm themselves is not for me to mind or nanny. I recognise though that they are harming themselves, and in my opinion it does not tantamount to "viewing less" of them. Does that make it clearer? Rather I'd say it views them highly as individuals capable of making choices, even in this case IMHO they made bad choices.
Perhaps you're right, we're merely working on differences of opinion. You're right when you say I'm leaning towards traditional, but I'd rather say I'm liberally traditional (if that makes any sense). I chose traditional views because I view them to, given proper implementation, create a better and healthier environment. I didn't choose tradition for tradition's sake.
Again I stress, I don't disagree with your views, and your pointing out of my error is correct, my apologies.
I think you're of the opinion that I want to ban porn. Let me stress that this is not the case. I take no position with regards to whether we should allow porn or not, or whether it would actually reduce rape. Banning porn is like allowing it - treating the symptom, albeit in two different ways. You could argue, from a utilitarian point of view, that a complete and total ban (if possible) would prevent rape, because you wouldn't have stimuli in the first place. Again, we see that banning porn is a double edged sword. It most definitely addresses the symptom, but does it cure the underlying cause of rape? No. Would it cause a myriad of other problems? Going by your arguments, people would have less sexual material to release their stress on.
By the way, I think I should highlight that one doesn't need porn to masturbate. If you ban porn, you won't see a significant rise in rape cases.
I do think that the reason couples aren't having a good sex life and "need" all these classes is due to the proliferation of sex "mentality". Sort of like a cascade effect, inevitably starting with the day we stopped imposing a taboo on the subject. But again, differences on opinion I suppose.
Then maybe I should say this here. Moral values are there for a reason. Many people think that they're there as limitations, taboos and whatnot, but in reality they're there to protect and uphold society as we know it. For example, being kind and considerate is merely a form a grace we show to our fellow man and helps keep the society together (we function better as a group rather than individual hunter gatherers). Similarly, moral values with regards to sex are there not to increase pleasure or create unnecessary taboos, they're there to protect the marriage between two individuals, which is the backbone of the family unit which, in turn, forms the backbone of society as we know it.
You know where I'm going with this. I do not particularly question the morality, but I do express concern for the family unit as we know it. Even if couples use it to enhance their sexual experience, it's important to recognise that marriage is not merely sex. Porn may (empasis on may) enhance it a little to far, or it may reduce the experience. Both will be harmful on the couple's relationship.