Is masturbation immoral?

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Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 08:57 am
@Dave Allen,
Two confused people, though both Sharpton and Hitchens are remarkably reasonable in this discussion... at least as compared to their typical appearances.

Recognizing the good deed of another is recognizing God in another. We may not like to think of these things in terms of God - and that's fine - but we also should understand that a great many people do understand things in this way.

Can there be morality without God? Of course, and of course not - it's a semantic debate, a debate over which words to use and how to use them.

Masturbation can be immoral. Masturbation is not necessarily immoral. Masturbation can be an extension of delusions and dangerous desires, or masturbation can be a very natural act of self gratification in the same way scratching an itch on the back of my neck is self gratification. Whether or not masturbation is moral or immoral depends upon the mind of the individual as the individual masturbates. Typically, I think, self-pleasure is a perfectly natural act and in no way immoral.

We all have sexual urges, and sometimes they strike when a partner is not available. What should we then do: repress our natural urges, natural urges which in no way harm others? I do not think so.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 09:21 am
@Greg phil,
Hmmm. Interesting question: Can it be immoral if the facilitating mental images chosen are of immoral acts, even though the immoral act is imaginary? If so, this has nothing directly to do with the masturbation, but in being pleased with or by imaginary immoral acts. In other words, it is the fantasies, not the act they facilitate if any, wherein the immorality must lie.

If a person fantasises about, say, indulging in sadistic behaviour instead of acting out sadistic behaviour, there's as strong an argument that they're morally good, since the person recognises it is wrong to act thus and satisfies such urges with the imagination. Nonetheless, if we knew a person to fantasise thus, we would be compelled to make a moral judgement - this person enjoys the idea of sadism, and so is immoral.

It's an interesting notion for a moral relativist, since any behaviour that a third party is unaware of and does not effect their interests would, on the face of it, be non-moral. But for a pragmatist, it seems useless to say something is non-moral that is universally perceived to be immoral, especially with such a compelling justification.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 09:35 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:
Hmmm. Interesting question: Can it be immoral if the facilitating mental images chosen are of immoral acts, even though the immoral act is imaginary? If so, this has nothing directly to do with the masturbation, but in being pleased with or by imaginary immoral acts. In other words, it is the fantasies, not the act they facilitate if any, wherein the immorality must lie.


I think you are quite right. It is not masturbation itself, but the nature of the accompanying aspects of simple masturbation.

But let us not decide, then, that masturbation cannot be immoral. Living is not necessarily immoral, but the way in which we live might be immoral. so, there are moral and immoral ways of living, just as there are morally acceptable and unacceptable ways of masturbating.

Bones-O! wrote:
If a person fantasises about, say, indulging in sadistic behaviour instead of acting out sadistic behaviour, there's as strong an argument that they're morally good, since the person recognises it is wrong to act thus and satisfies such urges with the imagination.


I disagree. I think, instead, that there is a strong argument that imagining a sadistic act in such a way is better than acting out a sadistic act, but his does not constitute an argument that imagining the sadistic act is moral - only less immoral than acting upon the fantasy.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 09:46 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Thanks DT.

Didymos Thomas wrote:

But let us not decide, then, that masturbation cannot be immoral. Living is not necessarily immoral, but the way in which we live might be immoral. so, there are moral and immoral ways of living, just as there are morally acceptable and unacceptable ways of masturbating.


But this can lead to wrong assumptions if it is not also clarified that whatever life is lived immorally, that criteria for that moral judgement do not include "He lived" or "She is alive" but other conditions that depend on being alive. Thus life itself is not immoral, but someone's life was immorally lived. As for pleasuring oneself, I can not think of an immoral way of doing it that actually depends on it.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
I disagree. I think, instead, that there is a strong argument that imagining a sadistic act in such a way is better than acting out a sadistic act, but his does not constitute an argument that imagining the sadistic act is moral - only less immoral than acting upon the fantasy.


Yes. I was considering a very simplified moral choice: to act it, or to imagining acting. I did not include neither. I'm wondering if, for certain instantaneously mentally unstable and hormonally overendowed persons for instance, the act-or-imagine choice might ever be applicable.

For instance, a lot of couples have intense arguments, even as part of the basis of the relationship (fight, make-up sex, fight...). If a person is angered by the other's actions, they might have an overwhelming physical urge toward violence. If that person then punches the coffee table, shattering it, to expel that aggression, have they acted immorally by willful destruction, or morally by willful redirection of aggression?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 09:56 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:

But this can lead to wrong assumptions if it is not also clarified that whatever life is lived immorally, that criteria for that moral judgement do not include "He lived" or "She is alive" but other conditions that depend on being alive.


Yes - simply living is not immoral or moral, but the qualities of living.

Bones-O! wrote:
As for pleasuring oneself, I can not think of an immoral way of doing it that actually depends on it.


Whether or not the masturbation is morally acceptable or unacceptable necessarily depends on the act of masturbation. Now, I think your point is that masturbation in of itself is not immoral, but masturbating with certain conditions can be immoral - and I agree.

Bones-O! wrote:
For instance, a lot of couples have intense arguments, even as part of the basis of the relationship (fight, make-up sex, fight...). If a person is angered by the other's actions, they might have an overwhelming physical urge toward violence. If that person then punches the coffee table, shattering it, to expel that aggression, have they acted immorally by willful destruction, or morally by willful redirection of aggression?


I would say immorally - but less so than had they taken out their anger on another sentient being.

By punching the table, they have redirected their anger toward something else: their mind is still infested with anger, and such infestation increases the likelihood of future violence, violence which may be acted out against a sentient being.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 10:06 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Whether or not the masturbation is morally acceptable or unacceptable necessarily depends on the act of masturbation. Now, I think your point is that masturbation in of itself is not immoral, but masturbating with certain conditions can be immoral - and I agree.


Yeah, my point went a little further, based on the previous example of 'immoral' thoughts. Since the fantasies may be had without doing the act, the act is irrelevant to the fantasies and so the act is not even contingently immoral. However, there are clearly immoral ways of masturbating that do depend on the act, such as where you do it and in whose company. So, yes, agreed.


Didymos Thomas wrote:
I would say immorally - but less so than had they taken out their anger on another sentient being.

By punching the table, they have redirected their anger toward something else: their mind is still infested with anger, and such infestation increases the likelihood of future violence, violence which may be acted out against a sentient being.


I understand your point, but disagree. If there is no option not to act, that is if the comlpete necessity to expel aggression is physically manifest, to act in the least destructive way is a moral decision. To be in that state where aggression is a necessity is not a moral decision, but a physiological reaction to the environment. I don't believe physiological constitution and condition is a moral subject anymore than, say, a psychopath is a moral subject. The only moral decision made in the above scenario, where the necessity of aggression is a given, is what is the harmful way of doing it.

In general, if the only options are two evils, to choose the lesser of two evils is a moral (positive) decision in my view.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 10:23 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:
Since the fantasies may be had without doing the act, the act is irrelevant to the fantasies and so the act is not even contingently immoral.


Our disagreement seems to be this: whereas I think thoughts, our mental processes, can be immoral, you think only outward actions can be immoral.

Bones-O! wrote:
I understand your point, but disagree. If there is no option not to act, that is if the comlpete necessity to expel aggression is physically manifest, to act in the least destructive way is a moral decision.


Two things: first, I disagree that a person has no option but to act on one's anger in some way.

Second, while I agree that striking the table is relatively more moral than striking another person, it seems to me that both are violent acts and therefore immoral acts.

Bones-O! wrote:
I don't believe physiological constitution and condition is a moral subject anymore than, say, a psychopath is a moral subject.


And I cannot imagine why. Humans have the ability to alter the way they think and react to such situations. A person with angry tendencies can, for example, pursue anger management as a way to alter this tendency.

A person with violent tendencies has a moral obligation to pursue methods by which these violent tendencies can be muted and possibly removed altogether.

This pursuit seems to be the whole purpose of ethics: to determine the errors of our tendencies and cultivate in ourselves proper and moral tendencies.

Bones-O! wrote:
In general, if the only options are two evils, to choose the lesser of two evils is a moral (positive) decision in my view.


Then you have, in essence, argued that evilness can be moral. I disagree, and I doubt you really believe this. If the only two options are two evils, then the morally appropriate choice is the lesser of two evils - so the decision to pursue the lesser of two evils is the morally appropriate choice, but this morally appropriate choice is not acting morally, but acting in the least immoral manner possible.

The decision is pursue the lesser of two evils is morally appropriate, but the action, the lesser of two evils, is still immoral.

And all this assumes that there are situations in which the only options are immoral options. There might be such situations, but I imagine they are quite rare.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 11:02 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Our disagreement seems to be this: whereas I think thoughts, our mental processes, can be immoral, you think only outward actions can be immoral.


No, that's not what I said. I said thinking immoral thoughts does not depend on an act, so if there is an associated act it is not the subject of moral judgement. The thoughts are the only moral subject here, which is the opposite of your reading of my post.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Two things: first, I disagree that a person has no option but to act on one's anger in some way.


Anger can clearly be overridden. That is not to say it can always be overriden. There are clear cases where a person has no choice but to do what they do, for instance in OCD cases. So the claim that one always has an option not to act is not one I could agree with.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Second, while I agree that striking the table is relatively more moral than striking another person, it seems to me that both are violent acts and therefore immoral acts.
...
The decision is pursue the lesser of two evils is morally appropriate, but the action, the lesser of two evils, is still immoral.


I'm not sure I believe in evil acts, only evil intentions. To ascribe moral value to an act is no more sensible to me than to ascribe it to an inert body, or the dynamics of one. When we say murder is evil, we mean murderers are evil. People are evil; actions are wrong (as in incorrect, according to some ethical code).

Didymos Thomas wrote:
And I cannot imagine why. Humans have the ability to alter the way they think and react to such situations. A person with angry tendencies can, for example, pursue anger management as a way to alter this tendency.


But in the example I cited above, the anger is part of the relationship. Both parties privately agree to it. I see no moral obligation in such cases to seek anger management. If that person takes his anger out on someone else, fine. But anger management courses cost. (But then so does crockery.)

Didymos Thomas wrote:
A person with violent tendencies has a moral obligation to pursue methods by which these violent tendencies can be muted and possibly removed altogether.


Well, again, take the psychopath for example. It is meaningless to say a psychopath has a moral obligation to seek psychiatric help when they are a completely non-moral agent.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
This pursuit seems to be the whole purpose of ethics: to determine the errors of our tendencies and cultivate in ourselves proper and moral tendencies.


But there is no more moral culpability in a psychopath, enfant or a person in a heightened physiological state than there is in an eggcup or an electron. Just because we can make moral judgements, it does not make it meaningful to make them about everything.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Then you have, in essence, argued that evilness can be moral. I disagree, and I doubt you really believe this. If the only two options are two evils, then the morally appropriate choice is the lesser of two evils - so the decision to pursue the lesser of two evils is the morally appropriate choice, but this morally appropriate choice is not acting morally, but acting in the least immoral manner possible.


Ha! Terminologically, I suppose. "The lesser of two evils" is a well known, well understood phrase. I simply meant that choosing the least harmful of all possible options is morally good.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
And all this assumes that there are situations in which the only options are immoral options. There might be such situations, but I imagine they are quite rare.


Agreed. But the thorniest and most interesting moral problems are usually the rarest.
 
Greg phil
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 02:16 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Greg,do you think this subject is a religious moral question? not, it could be please, your opinion.Thanks xris..

Any moral question will have to be linked to the Will of God if it is believed that such a being exists and that we can know of His will.
Since I'm an agnostic I don't think like that however.

But whether morality is religious or not in nature; I don't know.
I'm sorry for not giving any definite opinions but I won't claim to have knowledge which I don't.
A common human fallancy is to make up knowledge instead of admiting ignorence: i hope to not fall into this trap.


I'm sorry that I haven't really came to any conclusions. I guess I just feel uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation: you could criticise me for being 'indoctrinated' by Catholicism I guess (willful, consented, act of masterbation is a mortal sin in Catholicism - you do it without later repenting and your soul is in jeperdy)
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 02:50 pm
@Greg phil,
Greg wrote:
I'm sorry that I haven't really came to any conclusions. I guess I just feel uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation: you could criticise me for being 'indoctrinated' by Catholicism I guess (willful, consented, act of masterbation is a mortal sin in Catholicism - you do it without later repenting and your soul is in jeperdy)


There are other positions to take on matters than moral ones. You don't have to be comfortable with masturbation in order to believe it has no moral value, negative or positive, just as you don't have to like eating insects to admit they're nutritious. For one thing it is a prviate act, so you don't have to be in the position of making any judgement of it except whether you want to do it or not yourself. And frankly we don't want to know the answer to that. :a-ok:
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 03:01 pm
@Greg phil,
Greg wrote:
Any moral question will have to be linked to the Will of God if it is believed that such a being exists and that we can know of His will.
Since I'm an agnostic I don't think like that however.

But whether morality is religious or not in nature; I don't know.
I'm sorry for not giving any definite opinions but I won't claim to have knowledge which I don't.
A common human fallancy is to make up knowledge instead of admiting ignorence: i hope to not fall into this trap.


I'm sorry that I haven't really came to any conclusions. I guess I just feel uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation: you could criticise me for being 'indoctrinated' by Catholicism I guess (willful, consented, act of masterbation is a mortal sin in Catholicism - you do it without later repenting and your soul is in jeperdy)
If any moral view is being influenced by religious thinking it in my opinion omits the individuals power to be honest.If child abuse was permitted in faith would that make it right, would it become morally correct? i dont think so. Morals are judged to be of a higher nature than say male dominated societies or for faith driven reasons.
 
salima
 
Reply Mon 25 May, 2009 11:38 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:

I'm not sure I believe in evil acts, only evil intentions. To ascribe moral value to an act is no more sensible to me than to ascribe it to an inert body, or the dynamics of one. When we say murder is evil, we mean murderers are evil. People are evil; actions are wrong (as in incorrect, according to some ethical code).

Well, again, take the psychopath for example. It is meaningless to say a psychopath has a moral obligation to seek psychiatric help when they are a completely non-moral agent.

But there is no more moral culpability in a psychopath, enfant or a person in a heightened physiological state than there is in an eggcup or an electron. Just because we can make moral judgements, it does not make it meaningful to make them about everything.


you guys are really giving me a lot to think about :devilish:

so much difficulty with semantics, it drives me nuts.
i agree that murder in itself is not immoral/evil, but not that murderers are necessarily evil. it does begin to sound like intention has a lot to do with it. either way someone is dead-but why? under what circumstances etc...oh and again we have to define murder...maybe if you kill someone in self defense it would not be called murder? also what about the level of stress, such as when a person has been abused for years and one day cracks and kills their abuser? that is murder and revenge and retaliation and self defense as well.

as to the psychopath, there may be no culpability-but there still can be evil in what they do or think or intend. i dont see them as 'non-moral agents'. same thing with drunks-there are happy drunks and there are mean drunks. there is something innate in them that is brought out by the alcohol (in my humble opinion after observing the drunkards in my circle of family and friends). it is debatable whether alcoholism is a choice moreso than psychosis...whole 'nother debate there.

and i may have mentioned somewhere that i was taught as a catholic that our thoughts are also evil on their own even if they are unintentional. now in that case, if i keep getting thoughts of doing immoral things whether or not i want to do them and i cant stop the thoughts from occurring, would that mean i am evil? or psychotic?

i dont really like the word evil-to me evil and immoral are not the same thing. a person can do immoral things according to some standard or even his own standard, and regret it later or despise himself for doing it, but someone who is evil takes delight in doing immoral things. at least that is what popped into my head just now....more semantics.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 12:00 am
@Greg phil,
Quote:
i dont really like the word evil-to me evil and immoral are not the same thing.


I agree and

Quote:
but someone who is evil takes delight in doing immoral things.


I think there is a little more to this too.

I think someone can be deemed evil by making a kill decision when there might be alternative solutions to the problem.

For example if you want to kill someone because they teased you, that is not the only solution for the problem but some will find it as the only solution and that makes them evil.

If you have no other options and if you did have other options you would have gladly chose one of the alternatives but since none exist and death is the only choice then in that case it would not make you evil. Does this honestly happen? I don't think so but it could be argued anyways.

So in my opinion, a truly good person is one who weights the possible options in which there is the least suffering, pain, or death as a result. Those who don't care about the numbers are not good people in my opinion.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 04:07 am
@salima,
salima wrote:
you guys are really giving me a lot to think about :devilish:


Groovy!!!

salima wrote:
under what circumstances etc...oh and again we have to define murder...maybe if you kill someone in self defense it would not be called murder? also what about the level of stress, such as when a person has been abused for years and one day cracks and kills their abuser? that is murder and revenge and retaliation and self defense as well.


Murder is denotatively the unlawful and willful killing of a person. I suppose one scenario where it might be considered good or at least not bad is in the case of the assassination of a tyrant dictator.

salima wrote:
as to the psychopath, there may be no culpability-but there still can be evil in what they do or think or intend. i dont see them as 'non-moral agents'.


In what they do, they don't know whether it's good or bad. I don't think a person incapable of knowing what is good or bad can really be said to be good or bad, or have good or bad intentions.

salima wrote:
same thing with drunks-there are happy drunks and there are mean drunks. there is something innate in them that is brought out by the alcohol (in my humble opinion after observing the drunkards in my circle of family and friends). it is debatable whether alcoholism is a choice moreso than psychosis...whole 'nother debate there.


Well, you do choose to get drunk. If you do something wrong because you're under the influence, you can be forgiven the first time for not knowing that would happen. But if you choose to get that drunk again...

salima wrote:
and i may have mentioned somewhere that i was taught as a catholic that our thoughts are also evil on their own even if they are unintentional. now in that case, if i keep getting thoughts of doing immoral things whether or not i want to do them and i cant stop the thoughts from occurring, would that mean i am evil? or psychotic?


It means you're a normal human being whose brain presents itself with hypothetical scenarios for consideration just as anyone else's does. Guilt is the currency of Catholicism. The more guilty you are, the more you need the Church, the more they will 'save' you, and the more you will be grateful. And just in case you're absolutely pure in thought and deed, there's the principle of hereditry sin as well. Grrrr. I'm clearly not a fan.

salima wrote:
i dont really like the word evil-to me evil and immoral are not the same thing. a person can do immoral things according to some standard or even his own standard, and regret it later or despise himself for doing it, but someone who is evil takes delight in doing immoral things. at least that is what popped into my head just now....more semantics.


Sure, 'evil' is a bit rhetorical. Good and bad?
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 06:40 pm
@Krumple,
[quote=Krumple]I agree and
I think there is a little more to this too.

I think someone can be deemed evil by making a kill decision when there might be alternative solutions to the problem.

For example if you want to kill someone because they teased you, that is not the only solution for the problem but some will find it as the only solution and that makes them evil.[/quote]


maybe that just makes them stupid? there are more nuances the farther we go. but i can see that a person would tend to immediately believe the solutions they choose are the best and often the only ones without realizing there are others, sometimes because of their nature and their unwillingness to accept the possibility of anything outside that. evil to me would be more of the case where someone knows there are other choices and solutions but chooses murder over and above other options.

Krumple wrote:

If you have no other options and if you did have other options you would have gladly chose one of the alternatives but since none exist and death is the only choice then in that case it would not make you evil. Does this honestly happen? I don't think so but it could be argued anyways.


then in the case of the abused person, after long periods of stress one is not able to think properly, the same with someone who is sleep-deprived.
if they are no longer able to think properly i guess that is the legal argument of 'temporary insanity'. and the condition does exist.

have to agree with your definition of what a good person is though.

Krumple wrote:

So in my opinion, a truly good person is one who weights the possible options in which there is the least suffering, pain, or death as a result. Those who don't care about the numbers are not good people in my opinion.


---------- Post added at 06:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:10 AM ----------

Bones-O! wrote:


In what they do, they don't know whether it's good or bad. I don't think a person incapable of knowing what is good or bad can really be said to be good or bad, or have good or bad intentions.

Sure, 'evil' is a bit rhetorical. Good and bad?


i once thought that no one ever does anything they think is bad, no matter how wrong the rest of the world says they are-but there are those who want to do exactly the opposite of what everyone else thinks is right, rebels shall we say, anti-social etc. so they think it is good to be bad. and there are people who fervently fight for causes they believe to be right and in ways they believe to be right, sometimes believing that they are the only ones who have the right to do so, etc etc. would we find that all of them fit the description of psychotic?

look at people who are bigots-they think they know what is right and that is what they are fighting for. this is part of why i think you cant really say people are good or bad-they choose to do good or bad things for various reasons while not necessarily having the same definition of those things as anyone else.

maybe we need to define psychotic to include all of the above. there are a lot of people running around and sitting in offices as leaders of the countries of the world who should be locked up...

i also dont like to use the terms good and bad because they also cant really be defined. even if you say that which does the least harm to the greatest number...do you weigh the value of each person as being equal? this is going back to the people on the railroad tracks dilemma. what if you have to murder two thousand innocent civilians to stop a maniac who is leading a nation to commit genocide against an entire country? (i know it could be argued that there are other solutions, but my question is what if you have to?)

no matter how hard anyone has tried to define good and bad, right or wrong, there is always something that doesnt fit in because everything is relative. so then you get on to making the end results the criteria; do we use that to define a good or bad by whether its results are good or bad? you have the same problem there.
 
pianoplayer phil
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 04:08 am
@Greg phil,
For me most of what counts as having a moral value (be it positive or negative)does so because it has an effect on other people. I see masturbation as a biological function...animals do it, human beings do it. How can masturbation possibly have a moral valence, positive or negative? Above all I think it's a mistake to think that physical pleasure is an enemy of spirituality!
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 12:10 am
@Greg phil,
Greg;64518 wrote:
Having been a practicing Catholic until a couple of months ago I was wondering what other philosopher's think.
If mastrubation is immoral, then the world is flat, then the world is the center of the universe, then we should reinact witchburnings.

Is it immortal to show your hair? Muslim women cover their hair!
Is it immortal to show your face? Muslim women civer their face!

No, it's not immoral, it causes no harm. May a man does it and lives a good life.
 
Insty
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 12:25 am
@Greg phil,
I wouldn't say that I believe masturbation is immoral, but I can understand why the Catholic Church teaches that it is immoral (or a sin), and I think once one understands the teaching, it's not outlandish or unreasonable.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 12:38 am
@Insty,
Insty;139231 wrote:
I wouldn't say that I believe masturbation is immoral, but I can understand why the Catholic Church teaches that it is immoral (or a sin), and I think once one understands the teaching, it's not outlandish or unreasonable.
Uhmm? ..why? Could you please explain your view on the matter?
 
Insty
 
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2010 12:57 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;139235 wrote:
Uhmm? ..why? Could you please explain your view on the matter?


Well, it's not actually my view. It's my understanding of the Catholic view. But I do think that the Catholic view makes sense. Catholic moral precepts are rooted in a certain picture of the human person and human relationships. Sexuality is an integral part of the human person and is deeply bound up with procreation and with deepening the bonds of love between persons. When sexuality is viewed in this way, masturbation is a deficient form of sexual expression. That doesn't mean that a person will go to hell for masturbating, or that God will punish a person for doing it. It just means that masturbation has a way of hindering an individual's ability to develop into a certain kind of person and to participate in certain kinds of relationships.
 
 

 
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