Ethics of Prostitution

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Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:37 pm
@Theages,
Theages;84091 wrote:
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.
I have, it involves money which isn't what sex is about.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:41 pm
@Theages,
New Mysterianism;84087 wrote:
It's unlikely that the potential for psychological harm can be eliminated in any legal human interaction.


Sure - there is always potential for psychological harm. But in the case of prostitution it seems self evident that psychological harm is either highly likely to occur or that whatever harm could have occurred already existed. If this does not seem so self evident to others, I would be willing to explain as best I can.

New Mysterianism;84087 wrote:
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.


Terrible shame.

New Mysterianism;84087 wrote:
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.


Without any personal experience of either, I have no idea how you might reach such a conclusion, however hazardous.

Low wages and irate customers is quite different from the degradation of one's sexuality for the sake of money, no matter how much money might be involved.

New Mysterianism;84087 wrote:
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.


While there is such a distinction, and while one is certainly preferable to the other, neither precludes the psychological and physical harm inherent in the business.

No matter how "high class" the prostitute, he or she is selling her body for money. This is immoral.

New Mysterianism;84087 wrote:
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).


Again, I support legalized prostitution because legalized prostitution, when properly enacted, drastically reduces the harm of prostitution. But no matter how well done, the profession is still the exchange of body for money - which centers around the degradation of the former out of desire for the later.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:46 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;84096 wrote:
No matter how "high class" the prostitute, he or she is selling her body for money. This is immoral.


Why is it immoral? Like any paid labourer, we need our bodies to do our jobs, and we receive monetary compensation for our services.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:50 pm
@New Mysterianism,
New Mysterianism;84099 wrote:
Why is it immoral? Like any paid labourer, we need our bodies to do our jobs, and we receive monetary compensation for our services.


Currently, I am a gas station attendant. I find the work to be morally objectionable.

But to the point - the difference here is that prostitution does not deal with simple physical skills, but with sexual relations, which are far more personal than digging a ditch.

Because prostitution degrades the sense of sexual intimacy and reciprocal affection, love or lust, the practice is harmful, and therefore immoral.

Then again, I trust you are capable of coming up with differences between ditch digging and prostitution on your own.
 
Theages
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:50 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84094 wrote:
I have, it involves money which isn't what sex is about.

But it does involve pleasure and lust, which according to you it is "about".
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:56 pm
@Theages,
Theages;84104 wrote:
But it does involve pleasure and lust, which according to you it is "about".

Yes I said that's what it involves, what's your point?
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:58 pm
@Theages,
Mans desires can be base and uncaring, they are more of a necessity than a thoughtful expression. What I cant imagine is a woman's emotional ability to have sex with any man who has the cash, but then i wont condemn her because of my inability.
 
Theages
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:02 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84106 wrote:
Yes I said that's what involves, what's your point?

Excuse me for being unclear. Prostitution involves pleasure and lust.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:07 pm
@Theages,
Theages;84108 wrote:
Excuse me for being unclear. Prostitution involves pleasure and lust.
That's alright. Only from the man's point of view.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:18 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;84103 wrote:
Because prostitution degrades the sense of sexual intimacy and reciprocal affection, love or lust, the practice is harmful, and therefore immoral.


This logic results in absurdities. For example, one could use the same reasoning to argue that because ear-wiggling degrades the natural purpose for which ears were intended--hearing--ear-wiggling is harmful, and therefore immoral.

Second example: workers with jobs in retail are required to feign overly pleasant and solicitous attitudes towards customers. Service with a smile. This degrades the sense of X, where X can be sincerity, etc. The principle you're working under would morally condemn a variety of innocuous activities. It's like saying that a mundane business transaction is really harmful and immoral because it degrades the concepts of charity or gift-giving.
 
Theages
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:20 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84109 wrote:
That's alright. Only from the man's point of view.

There are prostitutes who enjoy what they do.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:42 pm
@Theages,
Theages;84112 wrote:
There are prostitutes who enjoy what they do.


Right. And even if some, or many, prostitutes don't enjoy what they do, I don't see how that's morally relevant. How many people honestly enjoy their job?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 01:53 pm
@Theages,
Theages;84112 wrote:
There are prostitutes who enjoy what they do.
There are, who told you that?

---------- Post added 08-18-2009 at 03:15 PM ----------

New Mysterianism;84111 wrote:
This logic results in absurdities. For example, one could use the same reasoning to argue that because ear-wiggling degrades the natural purpose for which ears were intended--hearing--ear-wiggling is harmful, and therefore immoral.

You can't compare ear wiggling to prostituting your sex because your ears are on display to the public and your sex isn't, it's private, something I've explained before.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:27 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84119 wrote:
You can't compare ear wiggling to prostituting your sex because your ears are on display to the public and your sex isn't, it's private, something I've explained before.


Yes, prostitution is not on public display. No disagreement there. The problem here is that you keep inserting hidden criteria into your principle. First, you had "engaging in any activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state is unethical." Now, you have "engaging in any personal activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state is unethical."

So ignoring for the moment the fact that there are also non-sexual personal activities which differ from their natural purposes, the next question is: why is this public/private distinction morally relevant? In other words, why exactly is it so that "engaging in a personal activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state" is unethical?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:34 pm
@New Mysterianism,
New Mysterianism;84127 wrote:
The problem here is that you keep inserting hidden criteria into your principle.?
I do?

New Mysterianism;84127 wrote:
First, you had "engaging in any activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state is unethical."
I did? Where?

New Mysterianism;84127 wrote:
Now, you have "engaging in any personal activity which differs from whatever purpose it serves in its natural state is unethical."
What?

New Mysterianism;84127 wrote:
So the next question is: why is this public/private distinction morally relevant?
I would've have thought it was obvious. Your privacy and your personal morals has nothing to do with the public.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:47 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84130 wrote:
I do?


Yes:

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.


New criterion: intimate, private parts.

Caroline;84066 wrote:
Well to me sex is for pleasure, love and lust, and procreation. I thought I had clarified it.


New criteria beyond procreation: pleasure, love and lust.

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


New criterion: shame.

Caroline;84130 wrote:
You can't compare ear wiggling to prostituting your sex because your ears are on display to the public and your sex isn't, it's private, something I've explained before.


New criterion: the public/private distinction.

Caroline;84130 wrote:
I did? Where?


Here:

Caroline;84015 wrote:
I don't think it's right or ethical because sex should be natural and making money out of it to me isn't natural.


Caroline;84024 wrote:
I did not say sex should not be exchanged for money, I said that I believe that sex that is sold for money is unethical because I believe that paying for sex in essence is not natural. I did back up my points.


Caroline;84033 wrote:
Sex in it's natural state doesn't involve money Theages.


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.


Seems fairly obvious from your posts that "natural" is the central factor here. This particular post was a wonderful personal exercise because it has forced me to comply with proper quotation rules (whew!)
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:50 pm
@Khethil,
And your point is?
Lol. Ya missed one.
Yay!Smile
 
Shadow Dragon
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:54 pm
@Khethil,
In places where it's legal (like Nevada and Netherlands), there isn't anything unethical about it. As long as they take proper precautions (i.e. making the guy wear a condom) and they're doing by their choose, then why shouldn't they be allowed to and why wouldn't it be ethical? They're simply trading a service for payment, the same as any other job.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:58 pm
@Khethil,
We've established that legalisation has benefits and that the person has a right to chose, what we are arguing about is the damage it can do to a person and is it ethical in principle and I say no and for reasons I have stated in previous posts.
 
New Mysterianism
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 03:04 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;84135 wrote:
And your point is?
Lol. Ya missed one.
Yay!Smile


"and your point is?" strikes me as a bit flippant and dismissive. You expressed some incredulity about your argumentative inconsistencies and asked for proof, so I took some pains to dig up your previous posts and show you where. If you aren't particularly interested in evaluating the reasons in support of your argument, or want to persist in circularity and hidden criteria (the moving-target fallacy), I won't pursue the matter further.
 
 

 
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