Ethics of Prostitution

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Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 10:28 am
@New Mysterianism,
New Mysterianism;84037 wrote:
Human vision in its natural state doesn't involve visual aids (glasses, contacts, optical surgery). Is visual aid unethical? The domesticaton of wild crops for human consumption differs from its wild, natural state. Is eating macaroni unethical?

What? Im sorry but handing over your genitalia for someone else's gratification and not your own is not the same as needing glasses or eating pasta.
I think it would be clearer if you if you contested my actual points instead of providing examples that don't make any sense, clarify any position or offer any enlightenment regarding your point you are trying to make. In answer to your question, no of course it's not!

---------- Post added 08-18-2009 at 11:33 AM ----------

The point is there are other ways to earn a living that doesn't involve sharing your most intimate parts of your body. Needing glasses does not involve this and depending on what you're into neither does eating pasta.

---------- Post added 08-18-2009 at 11:41 AM ----------

I used to share a room with a pro when I was homleess and she made the decision and was happy with it but it still damaged her. She was always washing her clothes to the point they were falling apart and she even got her friend into it to make herself feel better. There is always shame involved no matter how non-judgemental society is because you're handing over your body for money, (money is not a natural thing), and not love or lust, (which is natural), and she could never get a decent bloke.
 
William
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 10:55 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;83999 wrote:
.....As far as me "not see"-ing the nature of others' mindsets because I, "... don't want to see the real wrong nature of a chemically laden woman...", take care, you've no idea what I've seen.
Thanks again


Agreed. I should not have said that. I do apologize.

William
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 10:57 am
@Caroline,
Ethical prostitution? In what twisted sense?

Legalized prostitution does not, in any way, address the psychological implications - legalized prostitution only addresses the legal implications.

To equate prostitution with dating is either absurdly cynical or basely ignorant. New Mysterian asks for difference in dating and prostitution and then goes on to give differences! Not to mention the variety of differences not explained - you know, the sense of intimacy, of reciprocal admiration, and so forth.

There should be nothing but sympathy for the prostitute. But any attempt to give prostitution an ethical basis is sick. Especially if those involved have no experience of the craft! Who is anyone to comment on the healthiness of that profession without having experienced it?
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 10:57 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;84039 wrote:
What? Im sorry but handing over your genitalia for someone else's gratification and not your own is not the same as needing glasses or eating pasta.
I think it would be clearer if you if you contested my actual points instead of providing examples that don't make any sense, clarify any position or offer any enlightenment regarding your point you are trying to make. in answer to your question, no of course it's not!


I agree that the examples I provided result in absurd conclusions, but understand that they follow the very same logic you have employed in defense of your position on the ethics of prostitution. You stated that prostitution is unethical because it is a sexual activity which differs from sex in its "natural state." When you were asked why it is that sexual activity that differs from its natural state is unethical, you merely restated your conclusion, namely, that sex should be performed without monetary compensation. Your premise and conclusion are therefore semantically equivalent (i.e., circular reasoning), so your argument doesn't actually provide any supporting reasons.

Caroline;84039 wrote:
The point is there are other ways to earn a living that doesn't involve sharing your most intimate parts of your body. Needing glasses does not involve this and depending on what you're into neither does eating pasta.


Okay, this looks more like a supportive reason for your argument. In other words, you are claiming that providing services which involve one's "intimate" body parts is unethical. If I work 8 hours at the construction yard doing manual labor, I have provided bodily services and received some monetary compensation. Clearly, this kind of service does not involve the sharing of my more "intimate" body parts, so it's morally acceptable in your estimation.

So the next question would be this: why is providing a service which requires sharing genitalia for monetary compensation unethical?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:02 am
@Khethil,
Because to me it is the most intimate and private parts of your body, it's like a one night stand with a stranger, normally you don't feel too great about it the next morning, why is that? Because maybe you didn't know the person well enough to share these intimate and special things. Thanks.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:17 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;84052 wrote:
Because to me it is the most intimate and private parts of your body, it's like a one night stand with a stranger, normally you don't feel too great about it the next morning, why is that? Because maybe you didn't know the person well enough to share these intimate and special things. Thanks.


Okay, let's schematize your argument:

1. Genitalia is the most intimate and private part of the human body.
2. Prostitution is a paid service which involves the sharing of genitalia.
3. Therefore, prostitution is unethical.

What we need here is an additional premise which informs us why the sharing of genitalia for monetary compensation is unethical. Absent further argument, the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.

As an aside, I would say that soliciting prostitution is less ethically questionable than most one-night stands. Humans regularly engage in casual sex for sheer physical pleasure. Moreover, most one night-stands are influenced by alcohol or brought about by lying or manipulation, which seems far less ethical than a sober prostitute making a rational decision about her body.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:19 am
@Khethil,
William wrote:
Zetherin in lieu of the "definition" I provided above, your reprimand of me is biased, in my opinion, and should not be a part of a moderators duties if they are so engaged in the debate themselves of which you are. I will agree you are entitled to your opinions just as every one else, but in this case I think it wrong for you to utilize your "powers" to stifle what I did say, which I will also agree was sarcastic. So was the "hit and run" comment theages made to Jg's offering, considering theages has not participated in the discussion "at all" up until that point only that it "agreed" with your assessment noted above of which the definition I provided shows there can be nothing "ethical" regarding prostitution which more that solidifies the offering Jg made.


I did not attempt to stifle your opinions on this matter at all. I chose what I quoted very carefully, in hopes it would not appear I'm "abusing my powers". Nothing I quoted had anything to do with your opinion on prostitution, as I'm wholly aware members have a problem with moderators reprimanding others while involved in the same discussion. All I quoted from you was a sarcastic attack on another, which didn't appear to have anything to do with prostitution. These are the types of things I feel comfortable reprimanding - attacks so off-topic, they do not belong here.

If you feel I'm abusing my powers, that's fine, but Khethil warned you (and others) from the beginning, did he not? I ask to heed his advice so no other moderators have to get involved.
 
William
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:21 am
@Theages,
Theages;84022 wrote:
See above for what?


I find it interesting you elected to "not include" in this post what "above" is refering to.

Theages;84022 wrote:
What does any of that have to do with metaethical procedures?


There is nothing in the OP that even mentions "metaethics"! The term itself is a discussion that explores the very nature and confusion of what the word "ethical" represents. If anyone can find an ethical reason for prostitution in view of that definition (you left out) clearly shows our confusion of the word itself and that is exactly what "metaethics" is trying to establish. So in other words it has everything to do with "metaethics". IMO.

William
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:23 am
@Khethil,
All really good points N.M.
How about looking at the reasons for the existence of prostitution because lets face it there's obviously a need so it is providing some benefits in that, if it didn't exist what would happen then, more rapes? Possibly?
I think in answer to your question I believe it is unethical to share your body for money and for money only as that is not what sex is for.
 
Theages
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:39 am
@Caroline,
William;84058 wrote:
I find it interesting you elected to "not include" in this post what "above" is refering to.

There is nothing in the OP that even mentions "metaethics"!

I find it interesting that you brought up the OP when I didn't even respond to it. I responded to jgweed. He made an implicit metaethical claim. You advised me to read something that has nothing whatsoever to do with metaethics. How many times do I have to remind you about I, you, and others have said? Can't you just read it all yourself?

Caroline;84059 wrote:
it is unethical to share your body for money and for money only as that is not what sex is for.

And what exactly is it that sex is "for"? Does it have anything to do with how sex is when it is "natural"? And are you ever going to clarify that word?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:44 am
@Theages,
Theages;84065 wrote:
And what exactly is it that sex is "for"? Does it have anything to do with how sex is when it is "natural"? And are you ever going to clarify that word?

Well to me sex is for pleasure, love and lust, and procreation. I thought I had clarified it.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:45 am
@Khethil,
Quote:
Ethical prostitution? In what twisted sense?

Legalized prostitution does not, in any way, address the psychological implications - legalized prostitution only addresses the legal implications.


This is not you speaking, this is your religion dictation and you are regurgitating it back as if it were some actual fact. There are psychological stuff to everything so should we start making other every day things illegal too just because they are psychologically damaging. No, is probably what you would say yet you try to use this argument as if it somehow determines why prostitution SHOULD remain illegal.

Quote:

To equate prostitution with dating is either absurdly cynical or basely ignorant. New Mysterian asks for difference in dating and prostitution and then goes on to give differences! Not to mention the variety of differences not explained - you know, the sense of intimacy, of reciprocal admiration, and so forth.


To some people dating is just the legal way for prostitution.

Quote:

There should be nothing but sympathy for the prostitute. But any attempt to give prostitution an ethical basis is sick. Especially if those involved have no experience of the craft! Who is anyone to comment on the healthiness of that profession without having experienced it?


You know, legalizing it would make it much cleaner, safer for the women, because it would no longer be a "street business". Brothels would provide safe environments, which then could not only maintain the health of the women but also screen the potential clients. Unlike the street prostitution, a woman has absolutely nothing to warn her that she might be climbing into the car of a serial killer. You could just easily write it off and say, well she shouldn't be walking the streets if she doesn't want to get murdered. Well that might be true but it is not a valid argument for why it should remain illegal.

On a side note, some try to make the argument that women would be heavily exploited if prostitution were made legal. But I have never seen the case where making a business legal has in turn exploited it's employees. If anything it would make things less exploited because it could now be sanctioned by laws. No more pimps beating the crap out of some woman for not making enough.

The people that seriously oppose prostitution are usually religious and they try to use religious reasoning to support their weak arguments.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:48 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;84059 wrote:
I think in answer to your question I believe it is unethical to share your body for money and for money only as that is not what sex is for.


Okay, so the claim here is that prostitution is unethical because it differs from what sex is really for, and "what sex is really for" is presumably whatever purpose it serves in its natural state: procreation.

What you still need to argue here is why "engaging in an activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state" is unethical. But absent that, let's consider the logical implications of your ethical principle. Firstly, it would make casual sex, including all other forms of sexual activity, unethical.

Secondly, from a natural standpoint, our ears are used for hearing and for alerting us to different sounds. So suppose I'm a comedian, and while on stage, I autonomously wiggle my ears with the intention of eliciting laughter from the audience. Now, "wiggling one's ears with the intention of eliciting laughter from others" is the same as "engaging in an activity which differs from whatever purpose ears serve in their natural state," which is hearing. Is ear-wiggling unethical?
 
Theages
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:57 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;84066 wrote:
Well to me sex is for pleasure, love and lust, and procreation. I thought I had clarified it.

That's a good start. Your teleological account of sex involves four factors. Now explain in terms of those four factors how to distinguish ethical sexual activity from unethical.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:00 pm
@New Mysterianism,
Krumple;84068 wrote:
This is not you speaking, this is your religion dictation and you are regurgitating it back as if it were some actual fact.


How on earth could you possibly make such a distinction - as if I am entirely separate from my spiritual views? As if I am somehow ignorant of my spiritual views, and as if they have no relation to my ethical judgment?

Simply because an ethical opinion is informed by spiritual perspective is no reason to reject said ethical opinion. Further, I have not mentioned religion or spirituality in this thread - although many of my arguments against ethical prostitution may indeed come from that very perspective, entertain for a moment the possibility that I am capable of conjuring up arguments untethered to religious notions.

Krumple;84068 wrote:
There are psychological stuff to everything so should we start making other every day things illegal too just because they are psychologically damaging.


I never said that because prostitution is immoral that it should be illegal. Matter of fact, I favor legal prostitution. But in the same breath I manage to recognize that prostitution, legal or otherwise, is immoral.

Krumple;84068 wrote:
No, is probably what you would say yet you try to use this argument as if it somehow determines why prostitution SHOULD remain illegal.


Slow down with the straw men, friend. Again, I favor legal prostitution.

Krumple;84068 wrote:
To some people dating is just the legal way for prostitution.


And this, in no way shape or form, means that said people are correct.

Krumple;84068 wrote:
The people that seriously oppose prostitution are usually religious and they try to use religious reasoning to support their weak arguments.


I have ignored the bulk of your post because it incorrectly assumes that I oppose legal prostitution, which is not the case.

The question before us is not the issue of legal versus illegal prostitution, but the ethical nature of prostitution. I have addressed the ethical matter, not the legal one. The only aspect of the legal matter I have addressed is the legality of prostitution's relation to the psychological impact. Although legal prostitution would, most likely, reduce the overall psychological damage to prostitutes, psychological harm cannot be eliminated by simple legalization. Legal or otherwise, prostitution is likely to cause psychological harm to both prostitute and purchaser of services.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:18 pm
@New Mysterianism,
New Mysterianism;84070 wrote:

it would make casual sex, including all other forms of sexual activity, unethical.
No, I said lust and pleasure aswell.

New Mysterianism;84070 wrote:
Secondly, from a natural standpoint, our ears are used for hearing and for alerting us to different sounds. So suppose I'm a comedian, and while on stage, I autonomously wiggle my ears with the intention of eliciting laughter from the audience. Now, "wiggling one's ears with the intention of eliciting laughter from others" is the same as "engaging in an activity which differs from whatever purpose ears serve in their natural state," which is hearing. Is ear-wiggling unethical?
I can wiggle my ears and not feel shame, I'm not getting your examples because you're just picking up on what im saying about a natural state, if you want to make a comparison then I would think that ripping his ears off for someone elses pleasure would be more appropriate.

---------- Post added 08-18-2009 at 01:23 PM ----------

Theages;84075 wrote:
That's a good start. Your teleological account of sex involves four factors. Now explain in terms of those four factors how to distinguish ethical sexual activity from unethical.

Not sure what you mean. I thought I already had?
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:26 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;84076 wrote:
The question before us is not the issue of legal versus illegal prostitution, but the ethical nature of prostitution. I have addressed the ethical matter, not the legal one. The only aspect of the legal matter I have addressed is the legality of prostitution's relation to the psychological impact. Although legal prostitution would, most likely, reduce the overall psychological damage to prostitutes, psychological harm cannot be eliminated by simple legalization. Legal or otherwise, prostitution is likely to cause psychological harm to both prostitute and purchaser of services.


It's unlikely that the potential for psychological harm can be eliminated in any legal human interaction. For example, I used to work at a grocery store. I was given a mediocre wage, worked long hours, had few benefits, and endured verbal abuse from impatient customers. I would hazard to say that these conditions were less tolerable than those experienced by a professional call-girl, but more tolerable than those experienced by a drug-addicted streetwalker. We need to make a distinction here between the "visible" and "invisible" elements of prostitution--between the street-based sex workers who are mostly engaged in sex for survival, and the professional call-girls who often employ security personnel and who hold their clients to strict rules of hygiene and safety.

Much of the divide actually is the result of harsh legality. Depending on law and zoning, many women who would prefer working in numbers indoors (for security) are pushed outdoors by government (e.g., a criminal record for prostitution-related charges prohibits people from working as licensed out-call escorts).
 
William
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:26 pm
@Caroline,
First Caroline, I want to thank you for your contributions in this thread.

Caroline;84059 wrote:

How about looking at the reasons for the existence of prostitution because lets face it there's obviously a need so it is providing some benefits in that, if it didn't exist what would happen then, more rapes? Possibly?.


Well put! It is my observation that woman's greatest power is her beauty itself and she can certainly use that power to survive in this world if she is forced to. I sincerely don't think there is an argument to that observation. If you disagree, please feel free of to offer it. I encourage it.

Having said that, it also brings to the table the ability she has to "attract" the male defined in the very word "attractive" itself. IMO. When she is forced to resort to her power can also be explained in the word "vamp, seductress, temptress and femme fatale and the greek understanding of siren (one we rarely contemplate) which goes back to man's interpretation given in genesis creating a "self-fulfilling prophecy" in that "wrong interpretation", IMO. And for that wrong misgiving, please let me on behalf of all males extend my apology as being a member of that male society as a whole.

As what DT maintains as having sympathy, I, in all due respect to the reasoning behind such an offering, think we, as males, deserve the destruction the siren is so very capable of inflicting as we develop a better understanding of those roles that are male and female and their complimentary relationship that is the very essense of that universal paradigm that "created" them and the balance between the heavens and the earth of which I have espoused in other threads not to be reiterated here, again.

Caroline;84059 wrote:
I think in answer to your question I believe it is unethical to share your body for money and for money only as that is not what sex is for.


Thank you, I totally agree. :a-ok:

William
 
Theages
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:27 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84083 wrote:
Not sure what you mean. I thought I already had?

No, you had only made circular arguments and vague allusions to an undefined teleology. Now that you've revealed your teleology, I'm asking you to explain precisely how to distinguish ethical sexual acts from unethical ones.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:34 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84083 wrote:
I can wiggle my ears and not feel shame, I'm not getting your examples because you're just picking up on what im saying about a natural state, if you want to make a comparison then I would think that ripping his ears off for someone elses pleasure would be more appropriate.


You keep adding new criteria, Caroline. You made no previous mention of "shame." You said that prostitution is unethical because it is an activity which differs from the purpose sex serves in its natural state, which is procreation, love and lust, etc. Given this logic, a comedian wiggling his ears to elicit laughter is also unethical, because it involves engaging in an activity which differs from the purpose ears serve in their natural state, which is hearing. If you want to add a new criterion, "shame," understand that there are many innocuous professions which elicit this emotion, all of which would be deemed unethical by the lights of your principle.

Lastly, there is still the matter of justifying why "engaging in an activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state" is unethical.
 
 

 
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