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You are right that is tough. Good catch.
I also find this interesting. If a community starts defining what beauty and virtue are, they essentially say what ugliness and vice are by the very fact that they are defining what virtue and beauty are. (thus the community also defines what vice and ugliness is) Or am I reading you incorrectly?
There is nothing inherently wrong about sex; it isn't something we should rise above. I understand the concerns about sex - it is easy for sex to become a very selfish act, and for poor relationships to cause great harm. But it seems the problems are no different with sex than with anything else man does - selfishness, greed, lust, and every other mindless reaction we so often have.
I'm not sure the relationship of sex needs to be viewed objectively. The subjective nature of sex seems fairly apparent. What I'm suggesting is that the ethical problems of sex are little different than the ethical problems of anything else; only the circumstances change (which is true of any ethical situation).
Yes Didymos, sex is not inately wrong, nor is it something we should rise above (I stand corrected). Yes sexual morality is like any other moral/ethical delema (only the circumstances change).
And yes Fido sexuality is a form of relationship, and can be viewed in comparison with other relationships.
A relationship requires effect/interaction between two or more, wrether the effect is intentional or unintentional. Usually the interaction is reciprical but not neccessarilly.
Imorality is an act or effect that is harmfull to another/others, especially when done with malice, but also when done with selfish disregard.
so sexual imorality would be a sexual relationship that is harmfull to someone either malisiously or motivated by selfish disregard.
The grey area is who defines what is harmfull. By that I mean; when the interaction is consentual but is precieved as offensive, could it somehow still be harmfull? Poligamist are concentual partners that are not harmed in the relationship but still viewed by some as wrong/imoral. Pornograpy might be another example.
Any thoughts from my fellow philosophers?
I'm really glad you posted this, and I mean that with complete sincerity. I can tell you've got an old soul inside of you and that quality is not only hard to come by these days, but given the fact it's currently a young man's world that quality is often grossly misunderstood. Its funny how one of the common qualities many people claim they like to see in someone is that they're old fashioned, and yet when such a person comes along a lot of these same people's actions suggest differently.
I have often said that today we live in a young man's world. Just by looking at what we favor today in American pop culture (obsession with good looks, sexuality, lust, vice, and petrifying fear of getting fat) we can see it cators to such a world. Like everything else there's good sides and bad sides. Often a good side associated with youth is tolerance, and certainly one can say that is definately a positive note in our culture today. One bad side in particular is immaturity, which is what all of those characteristics I put in parenthesis is a result of.
I agree our fervant obsession with sex today is problematic. Over 50% of the young people today who are HIV positive don't even know it...that's a scary thought. I don't think it'll take a world renowned philosopher to draw the link connecting this disturbing statistic with this country's obsession with sex. Indeed our sex fetish does present moral problems regarding the health and well being of the community.
However we live in a different time than we did during the Beatles. We've got new technologies at our disposal now that we could never even dreamed of back then, and when the technology changes the culture changes to support it. Some examples: cell phones, laptops, iPods, iPhones, the very Internet we are using to discuss this. When a culture becomes so dependent, even to our extent of obsessive, on technology like we are today you can pretty much count on a complete culture change to go along with that dependency, that obsession. Certainly to some degree the sex issue is no doubt an effect of that. I mean really think back, did you really see a cultural obsession and indifference to sexual promsicuity before the Internet became as accessible as it did, thus making accessible thousands of free pornographic links? No. Since the Internet pornography has become more personal, more private, more intimate with the viewer. So to some degree this obsession with sex can be directly linked to the surge of new technologies within the past 15-20 years or so, and as we advance further you can expect more cultural changes to come.
Really the issue of sex is a delicate one, and I can't say I have a firm stance one way or the other. I can't say that I don't think it presents a moral problem because I'd be lying to myself if I did, but for the same reason I can't say it's out of context with America today. It's a different world, a young man's world, not only that but this is something I'm still struggling with personally (though I get the impression you've got a lot more years of world experience than I do so I expect this struggle is only because I'm young and still have lots to learn both about myself and the world.)
But I do appreciate you posting this. Regardless of wherever folks stand on this, I don't think anyone can deny that it's an important and entirely relevant issue to discuss.
About fifteen years ago, when I was forty, and married, I was working with another guy about my age on a highschool in a country town. The other guy said: These girls are sooo Beautiful.
I said: Ya, but they're so stupid!
And he said with a grin: Ya, Isn't it wonderful?
I trust that stupidity is the quality most men find attractive in young women, but I know better than to think it will last. You might be able to tell a young woman she is happy, or should be happy; but if she is not she will figure it out. The one lie every old man should dispense with is of being a good lover. For that reason alone the old should love the old and the young should love the young.
You know; business has been selling the demi-virg, and selling to the demi virg for a long time. They have a lack of supervision, a need for love, and an abundance of money. What does society do, and what is it supposed to do when one person's immorality is another person's dollar? It certainly is immoral to advertize with sex, and to put it under every kids nose when there is no proper sex education and stds are so common. If you say I would die for you it might be a damned lie or the absolute truth.
I would warn you away from free internet porn. First of all, it is not really free, and the hidden cost is the moral consideration. Until you know some one is not abused, or forced by a situation out of their control, coerced as it were, into public sexuality when that is usually ones most intimate gift to another, then, it is wrong to believe what is not in evidence. There is plenty of evidence of drugs, violence, intimidation, or coersion in regard to white slavery. Hell, that may be half the attraction to some folks. But it is not Just, and even if some flirt with a web cam can put her self out there and works her way through college with it, it does women as a whole no justice.
Intimacy, a relationship, love are all we really have to give, which is no mean feat, as that works out to 110% of everybody. When it gets hard to carry on with your commitments, is it fair for some one to tease you, entice you, and offer to destroy your relationship for you? Very often in primitive societies women are cut up bad in an attempt to destroy their power to injure society with their sexuality. It is men who need to control themselves. Don't sell sex, and don't buy it. Never take what you cannot return in equal measure. Don't ever confuse a financial relationship with a romatic one. Learn to love. Do justice.