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  1. #261

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    She was saying that people need to not bag on one religion. It shows bigotry.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #262

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    But then should your avatar be shown? It clearly is offensive to millions of Muslims.
    It probably also offends every citizen in your neighboring town of Colorado City, AZ.

    (A fundamentalist Mormon town that still practices polygamy - for those that are not familiar with the reference.)

  3. #263

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    She was saying that people need to not bag on one religion.
    There is not enough time in the day to "bag on" every religion. One therefor needs to be selective.

  4. #264

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    I am going to suppose that the preceding post was meant is humor.

    I believe that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I believe that it would be best not to offend others by making light of their belief or by ridiculing those beliefs. I believe that it is best not to look for offense where none may have been intended.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  5. #265

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    She was saying that people need to not bag on one religion. It shows bigotry.
    That's one of the things that she said.

    In any case, why does poking fun of a religion entail bigotry? Poking fun of something inherently involves saying something negative about the thing in question. We aren't allowed to do that? Or if we do, we have to do it about a lot of different groups so that one group doesn't feel singled out? So all comedy is immoral?

    And that relates to our topic in the following way: being offended does not mean being harmed, at least in a sense that should be illegal, as per JS Mill's Harm principle. Furthermore, actions or images that don't involve inherently harming something shouldn't be illegal. In other words one person should not be able to legally limit the freedom of someone else simply because the first person doesn't like what the other person is doing.) If you're offended by something, don't look at it, or don't let your kids look at it. It's that simple.

    All of the various definitions of porn rely on personal taste, and that's it. Unless a good argument can be made that a practice unacceptably harms someone, then there's no basis for illegality. (While harming something is a necessary condition for the limitation of someone's freedom, it isn't suffient for such limitition. Even if a practice does cause harm, it doesn't follow that it should be illegal, since otherwise driving cars would be illegal.) Obscenity or community standards are ridiculous as they are purely subjective, and hence they shouldn't be the basis for limiting someone's freedom, as it would entail the government picking favorites.

  6. #266

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    As a side-line on this, there have been some very interesting programmes on the telly here just recently on the history of pornography. Pre-Victoria things were, of course, much freer and during the eighteenth century there was a particular 'flowering' of pornographic pamphlets. Pre-photography, of course, but very explicit cartoons, (specially on a largeish colour telly )

    It's not at all certain their publication would be allowed today. At the time they were also seen as transgressive, but interestingly not because of the sexual content, but because of their ulterior purpose - which was in fact not sexual at all, but social unrest - the drawings were all of the nobility and upper classes and their purpose was to demean them and poke fun at them (preparing the way, eventually for bloody, or non-bloody revolution in Europe). Quite interesting that at this particular part of pornography's history there is a 'given' sense that graphic portrayal of - in this case - the sexual act or naughty bits in anticipation of same - is undeniably associated with the demeaning of those portrayed, and the amusement of those looking at them.
    There's a classic story of Pepys pleasuring himself over one of them, and then immediately burning it as sinful/subversive. All recorded in his diaries

    Cate

  7. #267

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    Quite interesting that at this particular part of pornography's history there is a 'given' sense that graphic portrayal of - in this case - the sexual act or naughty bits in anticipation of same - is undeniably associated with the demeaning of those portrayed, and the amusement of those looking at them.

    Cate
    This is a good point. People against certain types of sexual behavior or imagery often claim that the behavior or image is demeaning. Aggie's recent claim that some pictures only have one purpose (Making money? Arousing men? Angering Aggie?) is of this sort. The problem is that people who make these claims have a tough time demonstrating the demeaning nature of the acts or images in question. For example, is oral sex inherently immoral or demeaning? If yes, then why? If no, then why would a picture of oral sex be demeaning or immoral? Just because someone doesn't like something, or someone is disgusted by something, or someone wouldn't personally engage in something, it doesn't follow that that thing is demeaning for others.

    On a related example, when I asked my students if homosexuality was immoral, many of them would say "yes!" When asked why, the number one response was "because it's gross." Well, as far as arguments go, that's pretty pathetic, as being gross (to someone) isn't sufficient for something being immoral. Otherwise eating tapioca pudding would be immoral. I mean yuck!

    People often claim, for example, that stripping is demeaning. But if you interview strippers, most don't think they are being demeaned. The same goes for models, actors and actresses, investment bankers... "I'm not being demeaned." "Oh yes you are!" "Really? How?"

  8. #268

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    Peter, you have a right to make your point of course, but may I suggest that this discussion now be steered away from remarks relating to Aggie? It's beginning to make me uncomfortable.
    Just a thought....
    Cate

  9. #269
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    Most religions by their very nature are about social engineering and control of people. So naturally the more fundamentalist that they are they more they are the supressors or repressers of sexual expression, and well as "art."

    So religion usually ends up in the arguments about art/porn/erotica because they are usually the crusaders against it. However many societies in the past revered the sex act and it's many variations partly because sexual expression led to more population, which was a good thing. Besides, it was fun.

    Even today fundamentalist religious types love to spout things like Sodom and Gomorrah stories and myths like the reason Rome fell was because of sexual decadence. So, deeply ingrained in any Judeo/Christian society or its descendents is the notion that sex is bad, demeaning, and evil.

    Keeping religion out of the debate is pretty difficult.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #270

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    So, deeply ingrained in any Judeo/Christian society or its descendents is the notion that sex is bad, demeaning, and evil.
    Michael
    That's true, or certainly post-puritanism. Though not consistently so. Life pre-Victoria was pretty licenscious, and we are still recovering from the hypocrisy of the Victorian age, where double standards and a split between public and private life was the norm. Also those working classes were always at it, weren't they, throughout the ages.....

    The Kama Sutra is often quoted as an example of an alternative approach and culture/religion. But it's also often forgotten that only 20% of the Kama Sutra concerns sexual positions; the rest is about how to be a good citizen. Even the sexual bits are (touchingly) about how to please your partner, and the original title of the whole was "Vatsyayana's Aphorisms on Love". Hardly pornography, then.

    I find it amazing that tradition has it that the author was a celibate scholar.

    Cate
    Last edited by catem; 11-20-2006 at 01:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.



 

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