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thought crimes

Comments on thought crimes

libertygrl
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Posted 08/24/08 - 2:22 AM:
Subject: thought crimes
i was recently asked, as part of a thought experiment, if i felt it should be illegal to view child pornography, even if one did not participate in the making of it. my answer was that yes, it should still be illegal, because by becoming audience to it, one is supporting the sexual exploitation of children (obviously the anticipated response). the next question, then, was whether child pornography should be illegal even if no children were exploited in the making of it - for example, if it were part of a virtual reality setting wherein the pornographic scenes were created with CGI instead of live people.

the same question could equally apply to a rape scenario, or any other action which, if it were happening for real, would be a crime. in your opinion, should it be illegal to produce material which enables people to participate in "virtual" criminal activities - what one might call "thought crimes"? bear in mind that people are already able to kill other people in all sorts of explicitly violent ways in video games. should CGI child pornography be permitted? i find it a particularly sensitive issue; i am against the idea of it myself. i am also against the viewing of snuff films.

i'd love to hear your thoughts.

cheers,
lib
e.
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Posted 08/24/08 - 3:25 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
i was recently asked, as part of a thought experiment, if i felt it should be illegal to view child pornography, even if one did not participate in the making of it. my answer was that yes, it should still be illegal, because by becoming audience to it, one is supporting the sexual exploitation of children (obviously the anticipated response). the next question, then, was whether child pornography should be illegal even if no children were exploited in the making of it - for example, if it were part of a virtual reality setting wherein the pornographic scenes were created with CGI instead of live people.

the same question could equally apply to a rape scenario, or any other action which, if it were happening for real, would be a crime. in your opinion, should it be illegal to produce material which enables people to participate in "virtual" criminal activities - what one might call "thought crimes"? bear in mind that people are already able to kill other people in all sorts of explicitly violent ways in video games. should CGI child pornography be permitted? i find it a particularly sensitive issue; i am against the idea of it myself. i am also against the viewing of snuff films.

i'd love to hear your thoughts.

cheers,
lib


Lib,

I like to play those arcade games where you have to shoot up a load of zombies or alien monsters, but I don't play the 'war' ones where you shoot people.

Watching the Romero zombie films, a great deal is made of shooting zombies through the head, with lots of close ups of the hardware and lots of lock and load shots. It just seems more acceptable, and enjoyable, to shoot things that look a bit like people but are definitely not people.

At least it is for me.

e.

smokinpristiformis
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Posted 08/24/08 - 10:10 AM:

Hmmmm. It's a tough one. While the action itself might be innocent, the connotation or the idea might be hurtful or even dangerous.

On the other hand... there's loads of horrible things: murder, whatnot... on tv daily, and I'm not convinced that that is a problem.


e.

Slippery surface there, though: I'm pretty sure that's how many horrible murders were commited, along with wars etc. The subject may look somewhat human, but definately isn't. So we should have no ethical problem abusing them (black africans) as slaves, or to kill the 'others' (christian, muslim, depending on what side you're on).

Are you so sure that those zombies and aliens don't have feelings too? ;D

Willem
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Posted 08/24/08 - 8:45 PM:

Seems like a double-edged sword, one side is sharper than the other. One could argue that simulated sexual engagement with a child could provide a legal and safe alternative to the real thing (if ever the numbers of offenders were so high that it could be seen as a useful tool for deterring a real crime) . I see that allowing such media might increase demand and erode the obvious moral taboo.

That would be an interesting experiment (and scandal) for a photorealist painter. Photorealism is a type of painting that nearly achieves the affect of photography. If the child pornography isn't real but achieves the affect of being real, what is the difference?

What if all circulated child pornography in the world could be faked (consider it fake now)? The media nonetheless acts as a reference which excites offenders to do real crimes.
________

An additional observation: false violence on television is weak in its affect compared to the real thing (being party to it in the real world of our senses). I experienced this first hand when I helped slaughter a pig. I felt a lot of sympathy for that pig -- it made me reconsider eating meat.







dullard
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Posted 08/25/08 - 3:16 AM:

Given how thought and desire serve as premises to sexual acts, the production of child pornographic materials in a virtual form would complicate the impetus behind pedophilia.

No doubt, some pedophiles would have their desire for adult-child sex satisfied through the use of virtual technology to create a fantasy-based outlet. A problem arises, however, when the same means raises the level of desire in the mind of the pedophile, thereby increasing his need to seek either real depictions of adult-child sex or such sex itself.

I don't believe that any depiction of (legal or illegal) sex can completely satisfy a demand for the real thing.
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Posted 09/15/08 - 11:05 AM:

I'm suddenly feeling a bit "out of generation" reading the posts here. Child pornography can't be good. It uses, demeans and suggests that children can be used as sex objects.

While I was working in Camarillo in the late 70's, the police went by with their car loudspeakers on full blast. They were looking for a 2 year old girl that was found a day later tortured, raped and sadistically murdered. My daughter was 2 years old at the time. I didn't sleep nights for months.

Anything that debases the value of human life is wrong! Anything that opens doors for twisted minds is a co-creation of the resulting crimes against children. There can be no tolerance of child pornography. The horrible death of Amy Sue Sykes and all of the other children who have suffered this fate, simply make this a no debate decision.

Are you releaving the tension of pedophiles or teasing them into action with child poronography? Can you envison your child their victim. Are you willing to allow that possibilty.

Child molesters need to be helped with professional care. The rest of us deserve the right to protect our children and have these individuals permantly removed from society. This is a black and white issue.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/15/08 - 11:52 AM:

NL wrote:
I see that allowing such media might increase demand and erode the obvious moral taboo.

dullard wrote:
A problem arises, however, when the same means raises the level of desire in the mind of the pedophile, thereby increasing his need to seek either real depictions of adult-child sex or such sex itself.

think1 wrote:
Are you releaving the tension of pedophiles or teasing them into action with child poronography?

hi think1, welcome smiling face

it seems this topic finds us all in agreement as to what the problem is with this whole idea. thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, it's helped to clarify a lot of things.
e.
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Posted 09/15/08 - 3:10 PM:

Welcome think1, you are talking good sense.

e.
praxis
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Posted 09/17/08 - 12:58 AM:

Similarly, studies have shown that acting out anger or aggression in a controlled environment (punching bag or whatever) does nothing to reduce the root cause and may only reinforce the behavior of acting out negative impulses.
Monk2400
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Posted 09/17/08 - 4:01 PM:

This issue is never about keeping children safe. It is always about liberty, freedom of expression, and the right to do so.


lib wrote:

the same question could equally apply to a rape scenario, or any other action which, if it were happening for real, would be a crime. in your opinion, should it be illegal to produce material which enables people to participate in "virtual" criminal activities - what one might call "thought crimes"?


This line of thinking troubles me greatly. There IS NO 'THOUGHT CRIME'. A person cannot be tried and convicted for having a feeling, for thinking a thought, and no government or non-governmental organisation has the RIGHT to determine what goes on in the hearts and minds of free individuals.

There is no such thing as a 'virtual criminal activity'.


think1 wrote:

Child molesters need to be helped with professional care. The rest of us deserve the right to protect our children and have these individuals permantly removed from society. This is a black and white issue.


'Removed from society'...? IOW, such persons do not have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness granted all other 'normal' citizens.

This is an extremely dangerous line to take. This is no slippery slope--its dancing on the edge of a precipice.

'Black and white' thinking seldom helps matters. What it is good at doing is marginalising individuals, dividing people, and creating criminals where no criminal act was performed.


Again, this is not about protecting children. Predators have and will always exist in our society, no matter what rules we concoct, no matter how many locks we put on the doors. We can't keep everyone 'safe' all the time. Nor is safety more important than the liberty of individuals. For in that case, it always comes down to the judgment of the few holding sway over the many.

Banning, making illegal, destroying--these are not ways to encourage good and proper conduct of human beings. All they do is curtail human expressivity, imagination, and spirit, and make people afraid to assert their natural right to freedom and self-expression. Not only that, but it creates a tide of fear and hatred that washes throught the thick-minded masses, making them prone to suspicion and paranoia.

Everybody fears the pedophilia bogey-man. Don't let us catch you looking sideways at my kid!! But most abuse is by a close relative, not inflicted on the masses at random by gangs of pedophiles slinking around. There is no clear and present danger of pedophilia.

Artists ought, nay MUST be free to depict any and all manner of human realities for both contemplation and entertainment. Morality should not play a role in the creation of art. It may, however, play a role in the consumption of art. While I would provide freedom for the artist to create depictions of child pornography, I would suggest heavy social prohibitions against consuming it as a form of pedophiliac titilation. This already exists--as consumers of child porn are scorned and stigmatised by the population at large. If we don't want people partaking of some barbarity, we need to educate our people against it, point out why its dangerous, and invite them to use their moral judgment. We do not need to break down doors, raid computers, and burn magazines.

CGI porn that depicts adult-child relations is purely fantasy. It doesn't matter how 'realistic' it looks. It is the product of human imagination, exploring the culmination of some desire or curiosity. Fantasy cannot be outlawed. Who has the right to reach inside a person's mind and declare 'these thoughts are EVIL!' Evils must be confined to acts and acts alone. For it is only by acts that we know each other and that we can fairly judge each other. When one transgresses against us, it is hesh act, not fantasy, that we need to address and resolve. What hesh thinks in their room at night is, strictly speaking, of no concern or business to the public.

Thus, a form of art marketed as entertainment depicting 'indecent acts' while not actually engaging in them in real life situations (all simulated), consumed by individuals for whom this is appealing, is really not in the scope (for or against) of public interest.

People indulge in fantasy. That's why the 'schoolgirl' outfit is so popular in Japan. Let them. If they start indulging their predilictions in reality, and these are contrary to the public good, then we should act.


And meanwhile, common sense and sound morals ought to be the best defense for children against social predators.

imho,

8)
Monk2400
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Posted 09/17/08 - 4:12 PM:

My main point is this: That art must be free to depict any possible scenario, however distasteful some person might find it.

Most 'normal' people will naturally find child porn disgusting. Even the suggestion of it will instantly turn people off, turn them away. There is a brutality to it that incites our empathy and rage. Thus, such persons will not now or ever be interested in this form of representation.

Same might be said for any form of porn at all--gay porn, violent porn, even softcore.

But just because some people dislike it, that is no ground to outlaw it.

The only criteria is the danger to some individual.

While we may talk about whether or not viewing child porn (real or simulated) contributes to pedophiles acting out in the real world, this in itself is not ground for making such products 'illegal'.

In real porn, the question is more clear cut, as to do this requires real children, hence real victims of exploitation. The act of creation of the art is intimately involved with a criminal and henious act. The porn film is, in effect, the spoils of crime, like the bag of money the robber takes from the vault. It cannot be separated from the crime.

But the case of virtual porn is nothing like this. 'No children were harmed in the making of this movie' or better yet 'No children were used in the making of this movie'. There is no crime here, no exploitation, no henious act. There is only a representation. To outlaw it is like outlawing the word 'porn' because it suggests a sexual act, because it represents the act. This is equally, but more obviously true (imo) for other media, such as literary arts. Please, we need to discriminate fiction from reality, fantasy from actuality, art from politics.
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Posted 09/20/08 - 4:53 AM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:
But just because some people dislike it, that is no ground to outlaw it.

The only criteria is the danger to some individual.


What about the sexualization of an entire class of people (children) who are less than physically or mentally mature to engage in sexual activity?

And your invocation of the term "art" is highly presumptuous and assumes a shared opinion with your reader.
praxis
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Posted 09/20/08 - 11:04 AM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:
This issue is never about keeping children safe. It is always about liberty, freedom of expression, and the right to do so.

Nothing against freedom, but you might want to consider your cultural bias in this issue.
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Posted 09/20/08 - 1:46 PM:

the question is not whether commiting "thought crime" suggests that it will be translated into reality, instead we should be asking ourselves why any of these forms of media (be it pornography, violent games & movies etc.) exist at all. At present there is a demand for it, but I can't really understand why. I mean someone said that it is a form of free self-expression (someone suggested that it is art!huh?), but that still does not explain why anyone would want to express themselves in such a way.
It is the same forces that drive a person to view child pornography, make child pornography and even molest children, the only difference is the intensity of the force.
We should first start by creating stable sociological environments for our peers before we even consider stopping the aformentioned practices. We should get our priorities is check.
Monk2400
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Posted 09/22/08 - 10:46 AM:

praxis wrote:

Nothing against freedom, but you might want to consider your cultural bias in this issue.


what cultural bias might that be?
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Posted 09/22/08 - 10:57 AM:

dullard wrote:

What about the sexualization of an entire class of people (children) who are less than physically or mentally mature to engage in sexual activity?


Well, maybe you should complain to Disney about that.

The fact is, human beings are sexual beings. We can't deny that, escape it, or avoid it. We are created from sex, we seek out sex our whole lives, and sex defines our bodies and for many of us, our personalities. By pretending that children are not in any way sexual, we are just ignoring our own nature, making children too, ignorant of the facts of their being.

Since we recognize the harmful effects of the exploitation, manipulation, and (basically) rape of children by adults, then our focus as a society ought to be to ensure that adults so inclined to do such henious things are prevented from doing so, and punished extremely severely if they do. That means live child porn is out, because, as I pointed out, the crime is identical with the 'creation'. Just as wanton murder is out. But this rule does not extend to artistic works, to an individual's ability to represent a possible world. If so, then we should, presumably, ban all representations of murder from art, lest people start becoming desensitized and thinking murder is ok. Are we cultivating a culture of murder because we grew up on Hitcock?

But trying to fix people's thoughts and curtain free expression and creation is pointless, foolish, and self-destructive to society.

dullard wrote:

And your invocation of the term "art" is highly presumptuous and assumes a shared opinion with your reader.


How so?
libertygrl
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Posted 09/22/08 - 1:11 PM:

MM wrote:
Well, maybe you should complain to Disney about that.

in what way does disney sexualize children? must be something i missed.

i recently heard about an incident in australia which relates to this topic. an art magazine published a photo of a nude 6-year-old girl on their cover, which provoked a tremendous amount of community opposition. full report:

www.independent.co.uk/arts-...s-in-australia-861720.html

personally, i don't find the photo to be offensive. i would classify it as art, and not pornography. any thoughts?

we can talk about freedom of speech as an ideal, but can it be denied that some speech is actually hurtful? likewise, freedom of artistic expression sounds fine and good as an ideal, but in conjunction with child pornography, other issues clearly arise. merriam webster defines pornography as "the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement". in other words, the whole point behind pornography is create sexual excitement in the viewer about its subject. can we ignore the danger in this when the subject is children?


Monk2400
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Posted 09/22/08 - 2:31 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

we can talk about freedom of speech as an ideal, but can it be denied that some speech is actually hurtful? likewise, freedom of artistic expression sounds fine and good as an ideal, but in conjunction with child pornography, other issues clearly arise.


Freedom of speech oughtnt be an 'ideal'--it ought to be the basis for everyday life, the expectation that every individual citizen can fully count on. Without freedom of speech--absolute freedom of speech--no one is really free.

There is no such thing as 'harmful speech'.

Speech is just words, words are just concepts, and concepts are just associations of impressions, grouped and synthesized by social construction. Harm arises ONLY in cases where alternative readings are prohibited, which is exactly what happens when freedom of speech is denied. Has anyone ever cursed you in a language you don't understand? Doesn't mean a whole lot, does it? The meaning of any given phrase is largely determined by your own unique interpretation. We choose whether or not words will impact us. They are not weapons. A word cannot kill us like a knife or a hail of bullets. We can choose the level of our reaction to meanings. That is the freedom of the axiological agent--to shift value.

Even if things people say 'hurt' us, that is not an objective condition beyond our control. We all have the power to identify chains of meaning and observe how, in ourselves, they are connected to emotional reactions. And, once we do that, we can disassociate them, and allow a disinterested evaluation of the worth of the meaning. Hence, sticks and stones can break my bones but words cannot hurt me--unless we give them the power to do so.

OTOH--and this is important--there is nothing we can do to deflect a bullet or stop a knife from piercing our bodies.

libertygrl wrote:

merriam webster defines pornography as "the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement". in other words, the whole point behind pornography is create sexual excitement in the viewer about its subject. can we ignore the danger in this when the subject is children?


lib, all movies and forms of entertainment today are, by this definition, pornographic. They ALL intend to cause 'excitement' in the viewer, who experiences a vicarious thrill through the medium of symbolic representation. Quite honestly, we should be far, far less concerned with child exploitation than with ganster movies that depcit wanton murder, as on the whole, child exploitation is no where near as prolific as people murdering each other. And there is nothing more final than death, hence, nothing more serious to avoid for a living being!

Politicians giving speeches is political pornography.
Musicians gyrating on stage with sultry voices is musical pornography.
The car-cash-shoot-em-up movie is violent pornography.
Reality TV is social pornography.

Its a little disnegenious of our culture to isolate things that stimulate sexual feelings, when we are quite openly and plainly stimulating every other kind of feeling known to humankind through every medium possible, all day, every day. The sexual stimulation is what drives the demand.

Again, if CGI child porn can satisfy a demand, let it be. I don't buy the argument that it's mere existence and/or distribution will create an epidemic of child abuse. People will indulge in their fantasies. CGI just makes it possible to accutely visualize and share these fantasies.

Again, all we need to be concerned about as a society, IMMHO, is preventing real, live, physical abuses from taking place. And that, as I suggested, is practically impossible to do 100%. So we ramp up punishments and vigorously pursuse victimizers, as it should be. We need to seek out and punish the GUILTY.

However, we should not at the same time marginalize the INNOCENT.

A person who consumed CGI child porn to indulge in a fantasy but has not now nor ever practiced child abuse in real life is NOT GUILTY.

A lot of women have rape fantasies. That doesn't mean they ACTUALLY want to be raped in the real world.

8)
Monk2400
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Posted 09/22/08 - 2:42 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

i recently heard about an incident in australia which relates to this topic. an art magazine published a photo of a nude 6-year-old girl on their cover, which provoked a tremendous amount of community opposition. full report:

www.independent.co.uk/arts-...s-in-australia-861720.html

personally, i don't find the photo to be offensive. i would classify it as art, and not pornography. any thoughts?


There's a fine line.

Of course, for the wanker, the Sears catalogue is as good as anything!!

We shouldn't be so afraid of nudity. Read the reaction this this photo--officals are 'disgusted'. That's just a revelation of their own fears projected on to the medium. We are so scared of nudity and sexuality in 'real life' that we can't show those baby pictures of you in the bath anymore. Last year a local teacher was suspended because some snooping parent discovered a nude picture of the teacher on their own private photo sharing site--one out of hundreds. There was a scandal (I posted about this).

Kids like to run around naked. Let em! 'Normal' folks dont get boners from mere nakedity. But the situation isn't helped by making nudity 'forbidden'.

There's a nude beach here in Vancouver, Wreck Beach, and it is basically a family beach. You will see parents and kids playing in the sand and surf. They aren't worrying about 'predators' because if anyone steps out of line, there are 5-10 people who will take care of it immediately. The community there is protective of the right to freely enjoy nature au naturele without being hassled or brining overt explicit sexuality into play. The attitude puts sex in its proper place.

The trouble with magazines et al, is that they rarely present a 'normal' child. Children, especially girls, are aged-up through make up, suggestive poses, and dress (or lack thereof). And, since we are innundated by sexualized images all day, everyday, in all other media, it is easy to transpose the 'meaning' of the naked girl into a sexual one. The make-up, the poses--these are cues designed to ellicite certain associations. If you had pics of kids being kids, you would't see much sexuality in them.

8)
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Posted 09/22/08 - 7:02 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:

Read the reaction this this photo--officals are 'disgusted'. That's just a revelation of their own fears projected on to the medium.

It’s quite normal to be repulsed by sexualizing a child, at least I hope it is. When making moral judgments it seems we all start with the gut reaction and then, hopefully, the big fancy smancy cerebral cortex goes to work.*nerd*
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Posted 09/22/08 - 8:22 PM:

praxis wrote:

It’s quite normal to be repulsed by sexualizing a child, at least I hope it is. When making moral judgments it seems we all start with the gut reaction and then, hopefully, the big fancy smancy cerebral cortex goes to work.*nerd*

definitely. and this topic is not just about personal moral standards, but also in larger part a question of what is fair to legislate.
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Posted 09/22/08 - 8:47 PM:

MM wrote:
Without freedom of speech--absolute freedom of speech--no one is really free.

the only entity i imagine capable of enjoying absolute freedom is the universe itself. it enjoys the ultimate freedom of expression: being. outside of that, there is no such thing as absolute freedom of anything. individual freedoms can only ever be relative to the individual freedoms enjoyed by others.

MM wrote:
Has anyone ever cursed you in a language you don't understand? Doesn't mean a whole lot, does it?

of course not. that doesn't mean that cursing a person in a language they *do* understand shouldn't mean anything either. what good is having freedom of speech if you expect no one to render any meaning to the things you have to say? a person can spew all sorts of hatred and tell folks they're free to ignore if they want, but i suspect it's more than likely the person spewing the hatred has no interest in being ignored. that really defeats the purpose.

i think it's highly dangerous terrain to believe you can categorically eradicate emotional pain through rationalization. i feel quite certain that anyone you love very dearly is capable of wounding you emotionally with words that only time can heal. apologies and forgiveness certainly help, but the memory of the wound is not always that simple to erase just by saying "it's only words".

it's even more difficult when you're exposed to perpetual verbal abuse as a child. that kind of emotional damage can take a lifetime to undo, if it even can be undone.

MM wrote:
We can choose the level of our reaction to meanings. That is the freedom of the axiological agent--to shift value.

MM wrote:
We all have the power to identify chains of meaning and observe how, in ourselves, they are connected to emotional reactions.

i disagree that we all have that power. not everyone has the luxury of being able to deconstruct their own complex emotional reactions (in fact i would say very, very few people do), and even so, being able to make those observations is not the same as having control over one's emotions. there is a limit to how far one can control one's emotions. anyone who hasn't experienced that limitation under the weight of emotional trauma could very well be on the road to becoming a sociopath.

i don't see how anyone with any sense of empathy or compassion could seek to exercise absolute freedom of speech.

MM wrote:
Its a little disnegenious of our culture to isolate things that stimulate sexual feelings, when we are quite openly and plainly stimulating every other kind of feeling known to humankind through every medium possible, all day, every day.

i don't think there's anything wrong with drawing a line. where the line should be drawn is of course open to debate, but that there is one is not something i would call disingenuous.

MM wrote:
lib, all movies and forms of entertainment today are, by this definition, pornographic. They ALL intend to cause 'excitement' in the viewer, who experiences a vicarious thrill through the medium of symbolic representation.

pornography is defined as erotic depictions intended to cause sexual excitement, not just excitement. and i agree that many forms of entertainment intend to cause sexual excitement. but intending to cause sexual excitement toward children is not something i personally can condone. the potential risk, in my opinion, far, far outweighs any potential benefit.

i agree that nudity in and of itself does not constitute pornography.

cheers,
peacelib
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Posted 09/22/08 - 9:01 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

this topic is not just about personal moral standards, but also in larger part a question of what is fair to legislate.

What's fair to legislate is comprised of personal moral standards or the ethics of the culture, right? For instance, personal freedom (such as freedom of speech) or individuality seems to be more highly valued in the west than it is in eastern culture, and their legislation express this differing value. Are they wrong?
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#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 09/23/08 - 11:59 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

the only entity i imagine capable of enjoying absolute freedom is the universe itself. it enjoys the ultimate freedom of expression: being. outside of that, there is no such thing as absolute freedom of anything. individual freedoms can only ever be relative to the individual freedoms enjoyed by others.


However, my right to speech is not predicated on your right for me to not say something that you find offensive. There is no such a right.

Our right to speech, to free expression, needs to be absolute before the law. If it is not, then we have supression, repression, marginalization--we are not longer free in the only 'absolute' way that a human being can be free--choosing and asserting values (and meanings). I can't agree that free speech, the free expression of art and value, can or should be 'relative' to some other right of other people. It can't work that way.


libertygrl wrote:

of course not. that doesn't mean that cursing a person in a language they *do* understand shouldn't mean anything either. what good is having freedom of speech if you expect no one to render any meaning to the things you have to say? a person can spew all sorts of hatred and tell folks they're free to ignore if they want, but i suspect it's more than likely the person spewing the hatred has no interest in being ignored. that really defeats the purpose.


It is irrelevant what a person's motivations are for uttering any speech. We can't say 'you're free to speak, but only if you say something GOOD'.

My point about the other language is that when we are not attaching value to the impact of the meanings of the words, they cease to have any impact. There's no reason why a 'curse' in our own language should affect us either--unless we let it.


libertygrl wrote:

i think it's highly dangerous terrain to believe you can categorically eradicate emotional pain through rationalization. i feel quite certain that anyone you love very dearly is capable of wounding you emotionally with words that only time can heal. apologies and forgiveness certainly help, but the memory of the wound is not always that simple to erase just by saying "it's only words".

it's even more difficult when you're exposed to perpetual verbal abuse as a child. that kind of emotional damage can take a lifetime to undo, if it even can be undone.


This isn't about eradicating emotional pain through rationalization. Its about self-awareness. And it's not about whether the people you are most attached to--note how level of ATTACHMENT is connected to the severity of any 'impact'--have any power to 'wound you with words'. Sure, the more attached to someone I am the more their every little attention towards me is felt. But again, if we are aware of that condition, it ceases to have the same power. We do not need to be subject to our emotions. They are not an external force like gravity--we can modify our responses to them.




libertygrl wrote:

i disagree that we all have that power. not everyone has the luxury of being able to deconstruct their own complex emotional reactions (in fact i would say very, very few people do), and even so, being able to make those observations is not the same as having control over one's emotions. there is a limit to how far one can control one's emotions. anyone who hasn't experienced that limitation under the weight of emotional trauma could very well be on the road to becoming a sociopath.


lib, I have to strongly disagree with this position. It sets up an artificial boundary that is rooted in value-creation and meaning-creation--the two things which are for humans real freedoms--and describes it as though it was a natural impediment hard-wired into human beings. Unless you are mentally retarded and really can't put 2 and 2 together, this level of self-analysis and awareness is possible for you.

Everyone is endowed with Buddha nature. Whether or not any one person attains a full and clear realization of this is another matter. It is difficult, and many many ideas and patterns and habits obscure it and distract from it. But it's there and we are participate in it.

The fact of our speaking--not just parrotting, but speaking--is sufficient to establish that we have the ability to be aware of what we're saying. Emotions are not complex. They are reactions. There's nothing mysterious about them. They may be subtle but they're not 'complex' like the plans for a nuclear reactor or something. And finding them out is just a matter of looking at them, watching yourself as you experience them. And everyone except the mentally retarded (or those incapable because of physiognomy) has the ability to do this. If you contend that we don't you are basically saying that we don't possess the ability to be fully self-aware.

Again, whether June and Joe become fully self-aware is another issue. But it is in part their choice to remain passive recepticles of meaning and not seek that awareness.

Now who would you rather have a debate with? A person who claims that they can't control their emotions because they have no power of self-awareness and are simply subject to the currents of the moment, or a person who recognizes that they are self-aware, can rationally and objectively assess their emotional state, can allow it to happen (react), but through that awareness not be controlled by it?


libertygrl wrote:

i don't see how anyone with any sense of empathy or compassion could seek to exercise absolute freedom of speech.


Empathy and compassion are irrelevant.

Again, we don't only have a freedom of speech 'if we say nice things about people'.


libertygrl wrote:

i don't think there's anything wrong with drawing a line. where the line should be drawn is of course open to debate, but that there is one is not something i would call disingenuous.


In terms of speech and art, there is no line that can be drawn that does anything but inhibit creativity and liberty.

The line is when a child molester--note, not merely a consumer of fantasy child porn--actually touches a child. That's the line. And it has nothing to do with settting rules and restrictions on speech.


libertygrl wrote:

pornography is defined as erotic depictions intended to cause sexual excitement, not just excitement. and i agree that many forms of entertainment intend to cause sexual excitement. but intending to cause sexual excitement toward children is not something i personally can condone. the potential risk, in my opinion, far, far outweighs any potential benefit.


It's all causing excitement. 'Sexual' vs. 'violent' vs. 'sentimental' vs. 'moral' is irrelevant. Why is 'sexual excitement' isolated and distinguished? Why are we afraid of this? I'd be more worried about things that incite violence, hatred, anger. Do you condone art that depicts murder? That depicts blasphemy? That excites people against some idea, some culture, some tradition?

It's like saying to people 'you can't put the recipe for a bomb on the internet, because some one might get hurt'. NONSENSE! Yes bombs are dangerous, yes some one will probably get hurt because they try to build and blow one up, but restricting knowledge and expression is not the answer. All that does is consolidate power structures in society, and place the knowledge and information (the Power) in the hands of the few. And then we are subject to them, and have lost our liberty.

So, what are the 'risks' of CGI child porn?

We already know that no child was harmed during the making of it. It is 'safe' and 'sanitary' with respect to actual children.

It's not creating an epidemic of child molesters, because, again, most Junes and Joes simply are put off by the very suggestion--it runs contrary to their desire-set.

It's a niche market, appealing to a select few people on the fringe of our society (unless this is far more widespread than we know).

If a person finds release through this medium, is that not a benefit for society?

What are the risks?

8)
Monk2400
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#25 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 09/23/08 - 12:02 PM:

praxis wrote:

What's fair to legislate is comprised of personal moral standards or the ethics of the culture, right? For instance, personal freedom (such as freedom of speech) or individuality seems to be more highly valued in the west than it is in eastern culture, and their legislation express this differing value. Are they wrong?


Well which society would you rather live in? That's your answer.

If you want to be merely 'a member of society' and defer your natural rights to 'the group', go for a society that 'values' group-think and supresses individualism.

If you want to be free to find expression in any and all forms possible without a system imposing restrictions on you, go for a society that puts a premium on individualism and personal liberty.
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