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Cannibal Culture

By Eloquence in Culture
Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:30:51 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)
Food

The Internet connects people with the same interests. And sometimes that interest is death. The German media are currently in a frenzy about a case that could not have happened in this form 10 years ago. It's the case of two men who are still only identified by their first names -- Armin M. and Jürgen B. Early last year, Jürgen wrote his testament, then he drove hundreds of kilometres to the large estate owned by Armin. When Jürgen arrived, Armin led him to a specially designated "butcher's room". There he asked him to strip naked. With his consent, he cut off Jürgen's penis. They ate it together. He then killed Jürgen and cut his body into pieces, some of which he ate. The rest he froze and ate later. All of it was recorded on video.

World-wide, thousands of people have fantasies of death and mutilation. Sometimes, the border between fantasy and reality is crossed. But what creates these fetishes? Were they always there? Can we become a sexually healthy culture?


Armin B. came from a conservative family -- the father was a policeman, the brother a priest, and he himself had served in the military for 12 years. He had several unsuccessful heterosexual relationships. Yet his fantasies, which he posted to Usenet in German and English under the nickname Antrophagus, that is, man-eater (post history), involved other young men. Men he wanted to butcher, cook and eat. Jürgen's fantasy was the exact opposite -- to be killed and eaten. The fantasy became reality. Jürgen's inedible remains were found buried in Armin's garden. The police had been alerted to other, more recent posts by Armin in which he was looking for new victims. The police might have expected the posts to be fantasies or hoaxes -- they did not, and they were not.

The above link "post history" points to posts in a newsgroup called alt.sex.snuff.cannibalism. Besides the usual spam, such posts are not uncommon in the newsgroup: Some people look for others to eat, other people ask to be eaten. There are many other such newsgroups, web forums, groups and clubs at Yahoo!, mailing lists, FTP servers, IRC channels etc. One only has to browse the huge Dark Sites directory to find very elaborate websites about various fetishes of death: murder by various means (beheading, asphyxiation, crucifixion etc.), cannibalism, women and men eaten by monsters, and so on. Mixed among these are less extreme fetishes, such as involuntary sex victims under hypnosis, asleep etc.

This, again, is only a subset of the much larger category of sexual fetishes and paraphilias. There is a huge scene called "BDSM" (bondage, domination, sadism and masochism). This scene does its best to portray itself as harmless and sometimes even as natural. A very favorable Wikipedia article explains:

In BDSM play, the top applies sensation to the bottom by spanking, slapping, pinching, stroking or scratching with fingernails, or using implements like straps, whips, paddles, canes, knives, hot wax, ice, clothespins, bamboo skewers, etc. The sensation of being bound with rope, chains, straps, cling wrap, handcuffs or other materials can also be part of the experience.

Indeed, BDSM is composed chiefly of the components immobilization and pain. In the pain category, spanking makes up a very large subgroup. There is yet another distinction to be made between people who practice BDSM and those who merely fantasize about it.

But BDSM is hardly the only fetish. There are fetishes involving feces and urine, and fetishes towards very specific objects like shoes, undergarments and children's toys. There is a very active community of people sexually fantasizing about robots or women which are petrified as statues. And then there are men (or at least primarily men, it seems) who have fantasies about sex with dead people. And there is the amputee scene -- people who absolutely must lose one of their body parts or who want to have sex with an amputee. Like in the cannibalism case, sometimes the fantasy becomes reality, either with the help of a surgeon or without it. This appears to be related to the phenomenon of self-injury, and perhaps to the bizarre cult of trepanation.

And what about zoophiles, furries (people fantasizing about anthropomorphic animals -- a gigantic scene), pedophiles, or even homosexuals? There appears to be a distinction between these groups and the group of fetishes mentioned above. Any sexual fantasy has two components: the nature of the subject -- man, woman, child, animal, and, *cough*, anthropomorphic animal -- and the nature of the fantasy. Even a shoe fetishist doesn't like "just shoes" -- it must be shoes of a woman, a man, a child. There are, in fact, separate forums dedicated exclusively to the fantasy of eating or killing men, women, or children (!). If you browse the VCL furry art gallery archive, you will find fantasies of man-animals being killed or eaten, among more "normal" furry sex fantasies.

What the fuck is going on here?

One might wonder if there are still people who fantasize about having sex (or, even better, actually have it), and find relief in the vast pornography archives of the Internet. And one might ask the question how these often seemingly absurd fetishes have become such a large part of our culture. The answers to these questions might help us resolve the cases of non-consensual sexual deviance: rape, child abuse, or even sadistic murder and sexualized cannibalism as practiced by the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer and Fritz Haarmann.

In reality, the phenomenon of sexual fetishes is all but ignored by the mass media. Furries are a phenomenon that most people are probably not even aware of -- yet every day, hundreds of furry fantasies are written, images are drawn, posted and distributed. BDSM and object fetishes are sometimes the subject of ridicule in popular culture (and when Britney Spears sings "I'm a slave for you", it doesn't take much to assume solid market research behind the lyrics). But do we really know what makes us so perverted? There is certainly not much scientific inquiry into the question, and the small field of sexology is under constant siege by fundamentalists.

There is, of course, a huge difference between a man fantasizing about killing and eating another man, and the harmless furry fantasies that are so popular. And much of the furry scene is not sexual at all. But when it comes to sexual fetishes, people do not seem to have much of a choice: Some develop the most extreme ones, others fantasize about hypnosis or about robots.

Let us look for a moment at the pornography of another culture, one that preceded ours by nearly 2000 years. In the year 79 AD, Vesuvius erupted, and the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were covered in a thick layer of ashes and lava. Ancient archaeologists tried to dig them up, but to no avail -- only some valuables could be rescued. It was not until the 18th century that Pompeii was rediscovered -- a discovery that shocked a European society in love with antiquity. It was the discovery of a civilization that was, in many respects (including some technology), superior to the one that discovered it.

Fortunately for us, the ancient Romans loved art. Frescoes of immense beauty survived, and many of them were pornographic (selection). Too pornographic for the times. In 1819, when king Francis I of Naples visited the exhibition at the National Museum with his wife and daughter, he was so embarrassed by the erotic artwork that he decided to have it locked away in a secret cabinet, accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals." Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly 100 years, it was made briefly accessible again at the end of the 1960s (the time of the sexual revolution) and has finally been re-opened in the year 2000. Minors are not allowed entry to the once secret cabinet without a guardian or a written permission. Even in the 1960s, selected frescoes were covered with a lockable door, which was only opened to visitors who asked at the entrance.

The frescoes, statues and figurines show sexual acts, or men with extremely enlarged penises. It was not uncommon for a kitchen or living room wall to be decorated with a fresco of the naked god Priapus, a man with a donkey-size penis. And then there is Pan, perhaps an early furry, a goat-man/god who is in one astonishingly detailed sculpture depicted as having sex with a real goat. There are the penis windchimes and the brothel paintings. Homosexuality, zoophilia, pederasty (sexual relationships between men and young boys) are known to have been widely practiced.

There are no fetishes.

There is no painting depicting spanking or other forms of BDSM. There appear to be no urine or feces fantasies. There are certainly no sexual cannibalism or sexual murder fantasies. And although ancient Rome had many erotic statues, it is unlikely that there was a wide-spread petrification fetish.

One may point out that such fetishes may have been unlikely to have been depicted openly. Still, if the Romans were so shameless about pederasty and sodomy, why be hesitant when it comes to other fantasies? While the Romans seem to have known the entire spectrum of subjects of sexual desire, they apparently have not had the same spectrum of types of sexual desire.

What about other cultures? In the 19th and 20th century, anthropologists collected large volumes of data from "primitive" cultures. In some of them, we find extreme acts of sexual mutilation -- including male and female circumcision. In others, these are entirely absent. Famous is one episode from Captain Cook's voyages of discovery in the 18th century: After a man of his crew had violated one of the native women, Cook, trying to be friendly, had the man publicly whipped and the natives invited. When the first stroke of the whip went down, the reaction was unexpected: The natives were extremely shocked and the victim of the violation cried desperately. Everyone wanted the barbaric ritual to stop.

What makes some cultures so fond of violence that they institutionalize it, and what makes others regard violence as repugnant?

The Middle Ages should be the Fetish Ages

While ancient Rome was relatively "normal" sexuality-wise, what about Christian Europe? Christianity was founded on the idea of a ritual murder: the crucifixion of Christ. The symbol of this murder remains the symbol of the religion. In some of its more extreme variants, a bleeding Jesus is often depicted in astonishing detail on the cross. And as brutal as its symbolism, as brutal is its history. Whole books have been written about the extent of self-injury (flagellation and castigation) the early "Saints" were capable of. Castration and mutilation cults were common in the early Dark Ages. The often invented martyrdom of Christians was imagined in gruesome detail -- frequently depicted, for example, is the martyrdom of St. Lawrence, who is shown with his symbol, a gridiron, which he is said to have been roasted on. Although that never happened, St. Lawrence, the first "papal librarian" (who managed the books of the church -- other books were of course not allowed) is the Saint of libraries and, well, cooks.

Little needs to be written here about the various instruments of torture, many of which were invented in the Middle Ages. It is no coincidence that many BDSM fantasies play in the Middle Ages, and use medieval instruments. Flagellation and other forms of physical punishment remain popular until today -- it was often practiced ritually, both for sexual satisfaction and behavioral correction; many priests routinely spanked girls and young women after their confession. When we see nudity in medieval and later Christian art, it is almost always in the context of murder, torture, impalement, burning, punishment etc. Is it a surprise that this culture, when it finally reawakened, was shocked by the discovery of Pompeii?

The legacy of medieval antisexuality and anti-body ideology lives on until the 21st century. The late 19th century hysteria about masturbation culminated in various forms of genital mutilation, and in the modern cult of routine infant circumcision. Spanking is still used by many parents -- in spite of evidence linking it to behavioral problems and the spanking fetish. In fact, many US schools still practice corporal punishment. One spanking-fan has created a huge archive of modern and historical corporal punishment rituals. And then there are the various fetishes.

Putting the pieces together

The re-arrival of the scientific method has allowed us to study in detail the nature of sexuality, the meaning of touch and the relevance of pleasure. I have written here before about the key findings of Dr. James Prescott, built upon the earlier research by Harry Harlow and others, related to the effects of pleasure deprivation in childhood and adolescence on behavior. Prescott's team studied both the "primitive cultures" mentioned above and the actual brain physiology of primates who are raised in isolation, without physical bonding. The results are as important and enlightening as they are obvious: Cultures that physically punish their infants and deprive them of pleasure (touch, holding, breastfeeding etc.) are more violent than those who do not. When you add a culture's treatment of juvenile sexuality, you can predict with certainty whether it is violent or not -- cultures that both punish their infants and prohibit premarital sex are violent, cultures that lavish their infants with physical affection and are sexually permissive are peaceful.

And then there are the monkeys -- monkeys reared in isolation become extremely aggressive and violent. Proper bonding (rocking, movement, touching) is essential for peaceful behavior. And humans: Prescott's colleague Robert Heath studied in detail the pleasure center of the human brain -- and found that, if he electrically stimulated it, he could entirely eliminate aggression in his patients, extreme schizophrenics suddenly started to joke and flirt with the researchers.

The research was discontinued in 1980. Heath's work was co-opted by the CIA as part of its infamous MKULTRA program. Prescott was fired under the false pretext that research on the origins of violence and on child abuse and neglect was "outside the scope of NICHD responsibilities". His findings were unwanted -- much like the results of the 1967-70 Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography that found pornography to be harmless, probably even harmless to minors. Richard Nixon responded to the results of this commission by saying: "So long as I am in the White House there will be no relaxation of the national effort to control and eliminate smut from our national life .. I totally reject this report". Among other things, the Commission had found that sex offenders are most likely to be from sex-restrictive, ultra-conservative families.

But what about the fetishes? What about the sexual cannibalism? John Money is a sexologist infamous for his attempt to turn a boy into a girl: after a botched circumcision, the boy was surgically altered to be as much as a girl as possible, and raised in the same way -- but the boy did not want to be a girl, and severe trauma was the result. This story shows that some parts of a person's sexual identity are unalterable and genetically determined.

Money's theory of so-called "lovemaps" is interesting nevertheless. Money believes sexual desires of a person to be dependent on certain imprinting sexual memories. As a result, the less sexual experiences there are, the more likely it is that an early "sexualized" memory may have nothing to do with sexuality at all.

This is certainly not true for homosexuality, and possibly not true for pedophilia or zoophilia (of which furrydom may be a subset) either. The long-held belief that homosexuality is the result of early homosexual experiences is discredited. But what about a child who grows up in a world which treats explicit depictions of sexuality as taboo, and which thrives from non-explicit references to sexuality? If Money's theory is true, such a world would beget many different fetishes, created during memorable childhood experiences of sexual arousal that are somehow linked to the fetish in question.

The friends of petrification may have grown up in a family with a naked statue somewhere, but otherwise rather rigid morals. The urine fetishists may have experienced early sexual arousal during toilet experiences. The cannibal fetishists may have been aroused by one of the many cannibalism cartoons and jokes that have entered our culture. And so on .. Not all cases may be as obvious as that of one "snuff" artist who likes to create very elaborate Photoshop pictures of crucified women -- and who reports having grown up in a very Christian family. Or the case of "Peter", who fantasizes about sticking knives into a woman's stomach (although he says he could never hurt a woman in real life), and who reports a childhood memory of seeing a naked neighbour child with a large belly, thinking he could make the child "normal" by sticking a knife into its belly. Sometimes the imprinting memories may be long forgotten with only their effects still in place, or they may not be identified as causes.

In a culture where explicit sexuality is mostly taboo, it may not take much to create the most bizarre fetishes and paraphilias.

Quite simply put, our value system is formed in childhood and adolescence. The brain is looking for pathways that let it experience sexual pleasure. If a child has been taught that normal sexual pleasure is taboo, it might project sexuality into different contexts: Naked feet, statues, wet clothes etc. BDSM is a more "general" paraphilia as domination/submission probably offer other ways to experience pleasure without guilt: "I am the slave - I have to be punished. There's nothing I can do about it." "I am the master - my slave has to be punished - there's nothing she can do about it." Sexual mores learned in childhood can thus be circumvented. This is perhaps the most glaringly obvious in the immobilization aspect of BDSM.

The pain/pleasure fetishes and behavior patterns such as self-injury point to a fundamental mix-up of the brain's pleasure circuitry, the exact nature of which needs yet to be understood, but which is closely linked to lack of physical pleasure, and can be certainly prevented and possibly even cured with it. Although it is intuitively true that a person who has a pleasant and fulfilled sex life and many other positive body experiences, a person who has had a happy childhood, will not slit their own arms, we are not creating an environment that supports such experiences.

Conclusions

The fringe subject of fetishes and paraphilias has led us to explore some of the history of mankind, and what we have seen makes some things patently clear. The self-appointed arbiters of morality, be it the mostly removed Taliban in Afghanistan, the religious fundamentalists in America or the child-abusing priests everywhere, are in reality one of the primary historical causes of immorality and sexual perversion. It is the rejection of physical touch, of sexuality and its perfectly natural display, that creates violence, aggression, hatred, and various sexual fantasies that would otherwise not exist (which sometimes culminate in cases like that of Jürgen and Armin -- consensual cannibalism -- or that of an American woman who was consensually asphyxiated). In no other century has Christianity regained as much ground as in the 20th -- it seems to thrive together with the chaos that surrounds it.

The ever-available world of pornography of the Internet stands in sharp contrast to the sex-censorship of other media, where the display of sexual acts is considered harmful and so-called "swear-words" are beeped out. On American television, even human breasts are pixelized. Religious leaders who complain about "sexualization" of their children by Britney et al. do not realize that in reality, this is a culture of teasing, where "the real thing" is reserved for video stores, pay TV and the dark alleys of the Net (ever notice how many porn sites have a black background?).

How can we fix our culture? Here are some recommendations:

  1. Strict separation of church and state. Religion needs to be a choice, never an obligation. Its moral judgments are far too questionable to make them mandatory. Be wary of creationists, ten-commandment-zealots and "faith-based" services.
  2. Complete legalization of non-violent pornography. By ending the ridiculous and unjustifiable ban on the display of sexual acts, we make sure that children will regard sexuality as natural, and will not have imprinting childhood experiences that turn them into foot fetishists or cannibals.
  3. Fight spanking in homes, corporal punishment in schools and circumcision in hospitals. These are social rituals in the medieval spirit. They are unnecessary and harmful. Support breast-feeding as a healthy and natural form of mother/child bonding. Support attachment parenting. Tickle, kiss and hug your children.
  4. Stop "Public Display of Affection Bans" (hugging and kissing bans) in schools. Instead, encourage massages among pupils as a method of calming them down, and provide rooms dedicated to physical affection, including safe sexual acts among pupils.
  5. Prevent the dangerous anti-premarital-sex agenda of the religious right from succeeding. "Virginity Pledges" and anti-sex-propaganda in schools have the primary motivation to regulate adolescent sexual behavior and to extend the reach of religious fundamentalists. Virginity pledges have been shown to successfully delay first intercourse (which many parents see as an advantage) -- and they have been shown to increase the likelihood of pregnancies when they are broken. The Netherlands, which use an early-age pro-sex education approach, have an order of magnitude less teenage pregnancies than the US. Do not buy the anti-sex propaganda.
  6. Fight censorship on the Internet. The Net is the only space that is not limited by the immoral restrictions placed on other media. Cases that are, in reality, caused by the sexual repression dominating our culture will be blamed on the Net. Do not let the media and the moralists get away with that.
  7. Make sure that abortion and prostitution stay legal / become legal. Abortion ensures that only wanted children are born. It is no coincidence that there is a strong correlation between antisexuality and anti-abortionism. By the twisted logic of the antisexuals, only the unborn child can be truly sexually "innocent", and is therefore worshipped. (Note the prevalence of foetus devotionals in anti-abortion circles.) Prostitution is a legitimate form of sexual expression, and its prohibition is harmful to a culture. Banning it equates to sexual repression for those with sexual problems, and creates a dangerous black market.
  8. End our cultural taboos against homosexuality. Gay marriage and adoption are perfectly natural. Discriminating against homosexuality is what drives people to suppressing it -- and thereby to the development of deviant behavior. Similarly, even though we may consider fetishisms and paraphilias an artificial product of our culture, the general principle that consensual acts are OK should hold true. (Consensual killing should, however, always happen under the auspices of law enforcement, and be preceded by offers of therapy and help.)
  9. Combat attempts to regulate children's sexuality. Consensual sex acts among children are perfectly natural and not abusive. Similarly, sex acts among juveniles should not be treated as "statutory rape". Fight attempts to define adults as children -- age of consent laws must be reasonable and stay reasonable (e.g. 14 years as in Germany). When in doubt about consent, ask the child.
  10. Subscribe to Peacelist, a moderated mailing list where we discuss these and related issues. Psychologists and practitioners are present here, including Dr. Prescott. If you can code, help me build the next generation of this site, which will be a Scoop-based wiki-weblog on the subject of touch and sexuality, with the goal to reach out to millions of parents and other concerned readers. Contact me if you want to help out.

There will be many arguments that this article simplifies things. That it sees causations where only correlations exists. That it demonizes religion for no good reason. That it uses scare stories to make its case. That it is a veiled attempt to support pedophilia or Roman-style pederasty. That spanking is acceptable in some cases, if it is not "abusive". That circumcision is really a useful procedure. None of this is true -- but many who will read this article will read it from a perspective that only allows such conclusions. If you hold views that are described herein as harmful, what else are you to do? Drop them? If people dropped their views after they have been historically proven to be harmful, religious fundamentalism would be non-existent.

If you have an open mind, look at the facts. Is a culture that produces cannibals a healthy culture? Or is it a culture that will destroy, devour itself?

Erik Möller 2002. This article is in the public domain. Please link and distribute.

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Poll
Your fetish or paraphilia?
o I don't have one - I'm perfectly normal, thank you very much 28%
o Shoes. I like shoes. Can I have your shoe size, please? 1%
o Natalie Portman, naked and petrified. 20%
o Urine, feces -- you name it, if it comes out of a body opening I love it 1%
o I really love to be punished. Spank me, baby! 10%
o I like to fantasize about Captain Kirk. As a furry. On a starship covered with fur. In fur-space. 6%
o Hang on a second, I've got someone^H^H^Hthing in my oven! 5%
o All of the above. None of the above. Some of the above. 26%

Votes: 193
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Scoop
o Yahoo
o frenzy
o case
o post history
o Dark Sites
o amputee
o trepanatio n
o gigantic
o scene
o Frescoes of immense beauty
o selection
o cult of routine infant circumcision
o evidence
o huge archive
o studied
o MKULTRA
o "outside the scope of NICHD responsibilities".
o "Public Display of Affection Bans"
o attempts to regulate children's sexuality
o Subscribe to Peacelist
o this site
o Contact me
o Also by Eloquence


Display: Sort:
Cannibal Culture | 678 comments (660 topical, 18 editorial, 1 hidden)
As a cannibal... (2.66 / 9) (#1)
by baldnik on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:14:54 PM EST

I think the current culture's just fine.

As a fellow cannibal... (5.00 / 3) (#291)
by Ranieri on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:26:18 AM EST

I think the current culture could use a little bit more salt and oregano.
--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
heh. (5.00 / 2) (#304)
by baldnik on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:37:25 AM EST

And maybe a shower once in a while.

[ Parent ]
Oh, gross! (4.54 / 24) (#4)
by kaemaril on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:26:17 PM EST

I think if some weirdo asked me if I minded being devoured, I'd probably tell them to bite me.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


hehe (3.00 / 2) (#94)
by locke baron on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:53:23 AM EST

hrm - I think they might just take you up on the offer ;-)



Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]

I agree (4.00 / 3) (#120)
by kaemaril on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:50:34 AM EST

I'm inclined to agree. It's at times like these that I regret that Kuro5hin won't let me use the new HTML tag <EnglishHumour></EnglishHumour> :)


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Define: (4.29 / 17) (#5)
by frankcrist on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:37:52 PM EST

"sexually healthy culture."  One man, one woman, one missionary?  You've taken a story about cannibalism (from Spiegel, and probably others), followed an interesting vein, but all I see is you spreading your revulsion about the cannibalistic act around into the world of fetishes.

Also, and let me just say this for the record, there is spanking and there is spanking.  Let me assure you that most people in the BDSM scene (or even just naughty little bitches) overwhelmingly prefer the former.  Sure, if you go looking for spank pix you'll find the extreme stuff (bamboo canes, whips, blood), but that's just because it makes for a more photogenic experience than light spanking, which seldom leaves marks that last more than an hour or so.  Ahem.

Certainly I will agree that some people have weird sexual fetishes based on an inability to express some childhood trauma, but your article doesn't leave room for any other manifestations of the practice.  What about those of us that are just bored, or creative, or have just had so much goddamned sex in our lives that we have to get past the big 3: missionary, doggie style, and standing in the shower.

And, honestly, I don't think putting massage in the schools is going to dull a child's lust for forbidden sex.  Children are slaves to their hormones and, while we shouldn't cripple their young minds with inaccurate tales of what happens in "those places" on a body, there is nothing that we can do (short of extreme measures) that will prevent a 12-year-old boy from waking up with an erection every day of his life.

So, your article is long, and well-written, and covers some interesting ground, but I think you're way off course, and so -1 from me.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!

There's more than the missionary position (none / 0) (#13)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:02:53 AM EST

It leaves me perplexed that you would reduce the world of sex to the "missionary position", in particular since I explicitly embrace homosexuality. Also, ever heard of Kama Sutra? The point of my article is not to condemn certain sexual practices and fantasies -- it is to explain them. "Creative boredom" does not explain to me the desire to tie a woman up, to gag her, to spank her, to slap her or to otherwise humiliate her.

I believe that for many who have developed the brain physiology necessary to enjoy BDSM, it is a much more effective outlet of sexual desire than normal sex, for the reasons described in the article. Does it not logically follow that we should tolerate such desires? That, however, is not the point. You seem to be offended by the notion that I consider it valuable to prevent this brain state from developing. I support the right of the BDSM culture to exist, but it should not be sustained unnecessarily.

And let me tell you another unpleasant truth which you touch upon: The borders from "soft" BDSM to "hard" and "extreme" BDSM are very fluid. One only has to look in the respective newsgroups to find vivid promises of "rape" and "extreme torture", sometimes fulfilled. Or what about the branding fantasy that is so popular? The "soft" BDSM community has an understandable desire to legitimize itself by condemning the "hard" one, but are the causes really qualitatively different, or just quantitatively?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Baited Phrases (4.87 / 8) (#22)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:25:22 AM EST

"One only has to look in the respective newsgroups to find vivid promises of "rape" and "extreme torture", sometimes fulfilled."

One only has to look in the respective movie theaters to find vivid promises of war and murder, sometimes fulfilled.

"it should not be sustained unnecessarily."

Because it's...wrong?

As to the Kama Sutra, if you don't see that as a highly fetishistic reference manual, then you're not reading it.  Biting, unnatural positions--sure, there isn't any "shower" play, but there is a whole lot that goes well beyond the norm, and well into your defined realm of "fetish".  I find it very humorous that you would use this work as a reference after writing an article basically condemning it.

I think you're really, really confused.  You found a hidden, undiscovered niche in the world that is very popular yet hasn't been exposed in the media, and sought to mine it.  But I think you found waters way too deep for you to understand, especially considering that your point of entry is cannibalism.  Your article shows that you basically have no conceptual idea of the boundaries between reality and fantasy that 99.9% of the people who engage in these acts take as understood.  You are an outsider looking in and finding unexpected, horrific things, and reporting them with a gusto that belies your highly conservative attitude.  You treat it with shock and sensationalism, effectively trolling for supporters.  Had you written a more even-handed discussion, then I would have readily supported your article, regardless if I agreed with all of it.  However, you have taken the liberty of saying what is "right" and "normal", and what "should not be sustained unnecessarily."  For this reason, no amount of real discussion can be achieved from this article except for two types:  the jokesters, who will write cloddish (yet often humorous) bits about any number of topics you've presented that can be juvinilized; or the haters, who hate those weird, sex fetish people, and just want to see them dead.  Dead?  No, no, no, just prevented.

Look, you've obviously put a lot of time and energy into this thing, and so I'm not going to expect to be able to ask you to rewrite it from a more objective POV just for my vote.  However, were you to do that, to present the facts of your findings instead of anecdotal evidence and speculative conclusions, then I would definitely reconsider it.  But I guess it's up to you whether you wish to be a journalist or a sensationalist.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

I think you are only interested .. (4.33 / 3) (#40)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:19:19 AM EST

.. in rationalizing what is essentially an aberration. Why is this aberration dangerous? Because sometimes, the borders of fantasy and reality are crossed, against consent. Because it makes you wonder how different our behavioral patterns, in economy, private life, interests etc. would be if all children were raised in as natural and loving an atmosphere as possible. Sure, the company executive who is into BDSM may not ever actually physically abuse his secretary -- but what about verbal abuses or other forms of exploitation? Whether there is such a link has not been studied except for Prescott's cross-cultural research, which suggests that it exists. But to believe that someone can simply take the desire to humiliate others and condemn it to a lonely niche without affecting the rest of their life in any way seems preposterous -- especially when this belief is not restricted to an individual, but a huge community of individuals.

Virtually all articles I have seen so far on the subject of BDSM are either extremely apologist (the usual rhetoric like the one you use here) or extremely condemning (usually condemned by people who probably harbor BDSM fantasies themselves). I do not condemn the practice of BDSM (it is assumed to be consensual), I do however condemn the cultural lack of love and affection that has created it.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Your speculation bores yet excites me (5.00 / 5) (#45)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:44:58 AM EST

"Virtually all articles..."  You reaffirm your outsider status here.  There are many positively-oriented articles on all manner of things related to BDSM and other sexual fetishes.  If you can write a statement like that and live with yourself, then you are indeed a very close-minded person, as well as a poor journalist.  Instead of cruising Yahoo Groups for pictures that will drastically offend your notions of good, clean sex, why don't you actually talk with someone, face-to-face, who is in the scene (a point your article sorely lacks).  If you want children to grow up in a healthy and loving society, you won't subject them to the kind of thinking that creates close-mindedness and non-acceptance based on speculation and anecdotes from one man who is a complete outsider to the thing he is attempting to deconstruct.

Take that also with your "aberration" comment.  Your big problem is that you think you're being all scientific and objective about this when it is just the opposite.  You're grand-standing. You're taking a moral position and presenting it as cold, hard science.  The sad truth is that you will fool a lot of the people here who, as you well know, fall for troll after troll every single day.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

We're all products of experience (5.00 / 1) (#349)
by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 07:07:12 PM EST

The sad truth is that you will fool a lot of the people here who, as you well know, fall for troll after troll every single day.
Wow. Talk about a non-sequiter. This article is clearly not a troll.

To be fair, when was the last time we saw an article on K5 that used firsthand research and interviewing? I certainly can't remember such an article. This article has a ton of flaws, but the author is arriving at a conclusion that has been reached via other lines of argument by more qualified researchers.

The funny thing is, you're very concerned about being labeled as an outsider, but you throw that label around like it was going out of style. Who's more likely to be objective about BDSM? An outsider or a practitioner?

Ironically, the stronger somebody resists to the idea that their specific sexual behavior is wrought in suppressed childhood experience, the more obvious it is that they're subconsciously suppressing something.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Er...you misquote the Kama Sutra (4.00 / 1) (#653)
by libertine on Sat Dec 21, 2002 at 06:38:30 PM EST

There are several sections on biting, marking, choking, beating, and other acts, all for sexual pleasure...maybe you read an abridged picture book...

You also leave out several thousand years of culture involving tantric yoga (which involves sexual activity that far encompasses and exceeds the activities you delineate as healthy), and other non-western cultures who were far more open and advanced in their understanding of human sexuality before the Western Europeans started persecuting them.

As for your acceptance of homosexuality, the flavor and direction of your article's prose comes from a a point of view found in the early years of psychoanalysis that condemns and vilifies anything not "wholesome"or "normal", as defined by them.  Such a behavior and view can be traced back to folks who basically condemned everything but married sex between a man and a woman as evidence of some sort of mental aberration.  This included heterosexuality (any interest in sex outside of marriage, or sex beyond the utilitarian purpose of creating children), btw, as well as homosexual activity.  In fact, most of those behaviors that you list as objectionable to your worldview were labelled so by people who would find your own interests in "normal, healthy" intercourse just as objectionable.  Using their words to prove your point, well...

Prior to that period of Western-European culture, there was evidence in a variety of cultures of sexual behaviors that varied considerably from the "healthy norms" that you propose exist as some kind of healthy standard.  Your explanation of such practices, in this culture and others, lacks the kind of objectivity that you apply to what others might refer to as "vanilla sex"- just coitus, no frills, however you want to serve it.  I don't blame you for your point of view, I just think it is amusing that you are so adamant in your following of edicts set down by primitive psychoanalysts who themselves would have vilified you for your "purient" interests.

Oh, and by the way, my wife would like to kick you in the balls- she says she doesn't need you to stand up for her if she wants me to whip her, and wants you to know that modern women are capable of defending their own honor, and defining what is sexually healthy for them, thank you very much.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Girls with Dicks (3.00 / 1) (#664)
by Eloquence on Mon Dec 23, 2002 at 11:42:37 PM EST

Oh, and by the way, my wife would like to kick you in the balls-

Well, she'll have to wait, there's a pretty long queue ending somewhere in Mongolia. More seriously, I think by using such a phrase you reveal more about the relationship between played and real violence (physical, verbal or otherwise) than you probably intended.

What cultural (or specifically sexual) relativists ignore is that there are certain behaviors which we clearly do not find in some cultures, and that appear to be associated with certain environments. They also ignore that there is such a thing as "natural" in a post-Freudian or rather Darwinian sense, namely natural from an evolutionary perspective. They remind me of feminists who often seem to believe that if girls were raised like boys, they would also grow penises.

I don't care much about what happens in your bedroom, but I care about the very real violence and repression in modern society, from infant circumcision to corporal punishment, from the war on sex to the war on drugs. What you also ignore is that, while some people may be quite happy having a certain fetish or paraphilia, many others are not. It is in this context that the restoration of a natural, sexually permissive culture makes sense.

But as I said before, I cannot give BDSM or other paraphilias the "natural" stamp that they crave so much. In a truly natural, permissive atmosphere, they would all but vanish within a generation or two. It is this truth that many people do not want to acknowledge, and knee-jerk denial is the result, in spite of the fact that the specific changes I advocate are too permissive for many of the same people.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

waking up with an erection (3.66 / 3) (#29)
by omegadan on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:52:09 AM EST

While I generally detest this entire discussion/article and am voting -1 with ya, waking up with an erection is quite normal for men of all ages.

"Morning Wood" (for lack of an appropriate phrase) is a sign of a healthy reproductive system -- absence of morning wood is generally a sign of current or impending sexual disfunction such as impotence.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Hrm (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:17:43 AM EST

I and some of my friends usually don't experience morningwood. This has been for our entire lives, and everything's working down there....

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

your mileage may vary (5.00 / 2) (#53)
by omegadan on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:13:28 AM EST

As with all things medical, nothing is an absolute. If your penis isnt engorged when you wake up and it works for you, more power to ya. Sounds more conveniant then what I deal with each morning :)

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Have you adjusted (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:13:34 AM EST

for daylight saving?

[ Parent ]
Thank God! (5.00 / 8) (#39)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:18:30 AM EST

I thought I had morning wood all of the time because of the chick tied up in the cage above my bed.

Phew!

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

pretty good (4.27 / 11) (#6)
by Matt Oneiros on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:39:41 PM EST

When reading this a particular book came to mind, Aldous Huxley's Island. I won't bother summarizing it, if you haven't read it, you probably should.

At any rate it's things like this that add to my growing dislike for humanity. At any rate, it makes me thankful and ever comforted by plain porn, just nice vanilla porn. Not only can I get sexual pleasure from looking at naked women and wome removing their clothes I also feel quite good in general while doing it.

Vanilla porn comforts me and allows me to live further in my bubble of safety and general unawareness.

Vanilla porn is the one true escape from a world that I find some new grotesque humanity in everyday.

Vanilla porn is my way out.

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real

Some prefer rice pudding porn. Naughty desert![NT] (none / 0) (#388)
by axxeman on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:08:42 AM EST


Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest
[ Parent ]

Some points (4.30 / 13) (#8)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:51:41 PM EST

On the cannibalism:

I quite honestly have no problems with this. Some guy wants to be killed and eaten, he got his wish.

On the Roman images:

There is a guy FUCKING A GOAT! I do believe that is a fetish. Those flying detached penises with animal parts and the really huge cocks on two of the guys could be fetishes too.

Tim

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

Dude (none / 0) (#9)
by frankcrist on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:57:03 PM EST

Getting eaten is not a sexually healthy relationship.  Obviously, you've been talking with a priest.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]
I never said it was healthy. (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:58:45 PM EST

But if you want to do something unhealthy it's your choice. Even if you want to get eaten.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

missing something important (3.66 / 3) (#26)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:32:28 AM EST

Usually people that want to harm themselves, like suicide or cutting, have a problem. As a loving society we should help people overcome those unhealthy desires, not encourage them or ignore them.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
"loving society"? (4.40 / 5) (#35)
by baldnik on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:11:29 AM EST

You're obviously not from New York.

[ Parent ]
My point (none / 0) (#15)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:13:13 AM EST

He may be fucking a goat, but he is not spanking it. It is quite possible that zoophilia evolved naturally, as it gives prehistoric groups a survival advantage (easier domestication of animals). But if the animal preference evolved from normal sexuality, it must share elements of it -- thus we get the anthropomorphic "furry culture". I realize that I'd probably tick off a few people by suggesting animal sex is natural (and a few furries by linking furrydom to zoophilia), so I did not include that in the article.

The mega-cocks are quite obviously not fetishes. When the penis is considered the primary source of pleasure, it naturally becomes the symbol of pleasure. Romans liked to have a phallus on their tombstone -- it was simply a symbol for "having lived a good life". Whatever good you can say about them, they were still a fairly patriarchal culture -- the vagina was apparently not regarded as so important. Or perhaps it's simply harder to make a vagina statue ..
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Still in edit mode (none / 0) (#18)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:16:47 AM EST

Plenty of time to include your thoughts on zoophilia as an evolutionary advantage in there. They are rather interesting.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

That's a separate article (none / 0) (#20)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:22:18 AM EST

A case can be made that early hominids would not have been able to survive at all without the zoophilia advantage. Also, there are several studies of the subject which deserve mentioning. Stuff for books, or at least a separate article. Believe me, you don't want a horde of mad furries at your hands without collecting all your facts :-)
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#37)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:16:44 AM EST

Are they going to devour me, unbirth me, or inflate me?

Just can't resist getting in my jabs at furries now and then...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I don't get it. (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:30:56 AM EST

How does having the desire to fuck a goat help you domesticate it?
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Believe it or not .. (4.00 / 4) (#30)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:53:08 AM EST

1) Humans are related to animals. Our sex functions are not unique. Other animals have genitals as well.

2) These genitals, when properly stimulated, are likely to give them pleasure.

3) Similarly, in many higher mammals, the skin is a source of pleasure.

4) Domesticating an animal requires a very long-term commitment.

5) Zoophiles love animals like other people love humans. For them, an animal is not just a sex partner, but a lover.

6) Zoophiles are able to enter into long-term relationships with animals, by giving them pleasure using touch and genital stimulation. They can use these relationships as the basis for continued training, taming and artificial selection.

Zoophiles are the only ones likely to be motivated to make such a commitment over several years as opposed to a commitment to a human partner.

The reason why religions and, as a result, our culture are so opposed to zoophilia? Simple: It brings man closer to animals. The equation of man and animal is, of course, one of the ideas that religion has historically opposed.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Hahahaha (4.25 / 4) (#51)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:08:02 AM EST

Eloquence, I've been arguing with you this whole time (because I think you're a dangerous asshole), but instead I should be saluting you.  As a writer of fiction, I can honestly say that material this good doesn't come around often.

"For them, an animal is not just a sex partner, but a lover. "

I need a goddamned cigarette!!

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

This is a little silly (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by jman11 on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:20:25 AM EST

Isn't this tking things a little too far.  4,5 and 6 seem to push the boundaries of common sense.

#4 False, it does not require a long term commitment with an individual animal.  Just ask a farmer how long he spends with his sheep (not a Kiwi though).

#5:  Irrelevant to domesticating an animal.  The goat has to return your love.

$6:  Isn't it a one way relationship, many argue a child cannot give consent.  A child displays much more intelligence than a goat.  I also don't think there are relationships between goats.  Isn't it a herd with a dominant male, which could change tomorrow.  With probably very few tears shed by the other goats.

I can't believe I'm responding to this discussion and talking about a person shagging a goat to domesticate it.

[ Parent ]

Eh (none / 0) (#86)
by greenrd on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:58:53 AM EST

I'm afraid you're either decades ahead of your time ... or you only think you're ahead of your time. And I'm not sure which.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

big problem (4.00 / 1) (#211)
by adequate nathan on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:47:43 PM EST

If a cavewoman is fucking her dog, she's going to come down with some truly mindblowing infections. Ditto for her father and his pet goat.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

You gotta get a dictionary... (none / 0) (#25)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:31:40 AM EST

fet·ish also fet·ich    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (ftsh, ftsh)
n.
  1. An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices.
  2. An object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence: made a fetish of punctuality.
  3. Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
  4. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment; a fixation.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Depictions of incredibly large penises.. definition 4?  Hmmm?

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

Sure, it may be a fetish in the dictionary sense (5.00 / 1) (#32)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:59:35 AM EST

But then, so again may be a TV set, as some people are obviously abnormally and obsessively preoccupied by and attached to them. This is not the type of fetish I am referring to here.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Words and not words (none / 0) (#36)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:14:52 AM EST

Well, then your understanding of how to use the word is not very good if it is equal to your own usage.  Look, I'm not being a hard-on, so don't get me wrong, but you're being very unclear on this point.  How is cannibalism a fetish, and depictions of great gargantuan penises not a fetish?  It appears to me that you're trying to stick a negatively loaded connotation upon the word "fetish," which is one reason why I hate your article.  Take an opposite example: if I wrote an article that just praised the fucking fuck out of the word "fuck," would that mean that whatever concept I defined of "fuck" would also be just as worthy of praise?  Of course not, because the word "fuck" is already defined, and the connotations of said word are irreversibly linked with the so-defined concept, including (and this is important) all such connotations--good, bad, blue, ugly, whatever.

Does this make it a little more clear for you?

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

Let me try to make it simple (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:24:59 AM EST

Given the use of the phallus symbol, often very large, virtually everywhere, it was probably no more a fetish than, say, a picture of a human head. The Romans didn't masturbate to it. Do you masturbate to a windchime or a street sign? Context is essential, and we understand the meaning of the phallus symbol in ancient society quite well -- it is the one I describe above.

One would have to be a prick to argue otherwise. ;-)
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Five messages deep (none / 0) (#47)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:55:24 AM EST

That's where you want your reader to know exactly how you mean to use the word "fetish"?  Five messages deep in the threads?

Of course not--you don't want him to know what you mean by the word fetish at all.  Instead, you want to load your use of this word such that it will cause your reader to evoke dark images himself--of men who only want to hurt women, or cut off their own penises.  For you, and the assertions of your article, natural sex != fetish.

And here is a perfect example of your wild speculation:  "The Romans didn't masturbate to it."  Of course you would know, because you were there.  But, of course, no one can disprove you because they weren't there either.  Yeah, that's called speculation, and it's worth shit.

All better now?

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

did they? (5.00 / 4) (#52)
by MrLarch on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:08:06 AM EST

The Romans didn't masturbate to it.

Are you sure?

[ Parent ]

Zoophilia natural? (5.00 / 1) (#245)
by juju2112 on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:29:43 PM EST

I realize that I'd probably tick off a few people by suggesting animal sex is natural
'Natural' of course, being a synonym for 'moral'?

[ Parent ]
there is the rub (none / 0) (#271)
by jcolter on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 06:17:10 AM EST

It would seem that ultimately has two options.  Either you behave naturally (assuming its possible) or you are a sodomite.  

The author speaks highly of coitus, and even allows for non productive activities such as fellatio and cunnilingus.  One would think that you couldn't have it both ways.

What the author seems to be suggesting is that people that are interested/involved in S/M have been poisoned by our Sadistic and Masochistic culture.  In other words, there is fundamentally normal sex play, and S/M is bad.


[ Parent ]

not to get to far out there but (none / 0) (#268)
by jcolter on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 06:03:16 AM EST

How is picking up a sexual interest from my society any less natural than adapting "normal" behavior to goats?  

Additionally I was wondering if this fucking for domestication idea is anything more that your own hypothesis?  


[ Parent ]

uhm (4.09 / 22) (#10)
by turmeric on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 11:57:50 PM EST

" Consensual sex acts among children are perfectly natural and not abusive "

i dont think so. 8 year old fucking a 4 year old = wrong wrong wrong. can 4 year olds consent to anything? we dont put them thru confirmation in church until they are like 12, because its thought that before then they are not able to make judgements. but you think 4 year olds can consent?

as for legalizing prostitution, next thing you know we will have corporately controlled whorehouses. how would this be better than the pimps? i guess at least OSHA would show up .. . . . but there has to be some solution that is in between making McProstitution and our current screwed up situation.

but hey at least people are talknig about these issues. not a bad article i guess. excpet for that 'child sex' thing. gimme a break.

Let me ask you a question (4.37 / 8) (#31)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:55:02 AM EST

If you assume that 4 year old children cannot consent to "anything", how do they fall under the sentence that begins with "Consensual sex acts among children"?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
thats the point (2.40 / 5) (#137)
by turmeric on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:25:58 PM EST

children cant consent to sex so leave me alone you buggering old weirdo.

i find your lack of attacking nambla to be distrubting, you seemed to dig up every other wacked out behavior in your aticle

[ Parent ]

Children can make their own decisions. (none / 0) (#244)
by juju2112 on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:11:39 PM EST

We may not always think their decisions are wise and/or informed, but that doesn't mean they can't consent to things. Making an uninformed choice doesn't mean that you haven't made a choice at all.

[ Parent ]
Playing doctor vs. motivated sex (5.00 / 1) (#343)
by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 06:31:43 PM EST

My problem with that particular conclusion is that most children who are sexualized enough at an early age to do more than just "play doctor" have been abused by adults or other children. It occurs to me that just about the only children who would take advantage of the freedom you're promoting would be abused children, since most prepubescents are uninterested and unknowledgeable in the actual mechanics of adult sex.

That's not to say that children are asexual or lack curiousity, merely that the major motivation for sex doesn't occur until the hormones of puberty begin pumping. That is to say, the motivation only kicks in early when a kid's wires have been crossed by abuse.

Early outwardly directed sexualization seems to be a pretty serious red flag to me, and it would probably serve no great purpose to sanction it.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

legalized prostitution in Nevada (5.00 / 2) (#312)
by rhino1302 on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:47:45 PM EST

Many people don't seem to know that prostitution is legal in the US, it is just illegal in every state but Nevada.

Part of this misconception stems from the fact that brothels are banned from advertizing in Nevada. Also, brothel operators learn quickly to avoid the spotlight. They know if their activities are too obvious, public sentiment will change and they will be outlawed. One brothel, the Moonlight Bunny Ranch was (is?) owned by a big-time porn film producer who tried to advertise it by setting is films there. There was a backlash against that, and he keeps a lower profile now.

Currently prostitution is seen as an issue of local control, which is very important in a state where there are only two big cities and huge, virtually unpopulated rural areas. Regulation left up to the counties everywhere but Clark County (where Las Vegas is), in which prostitution is implicitly illegal by state law.

Because the brothels are very secretive, it's hard to tell to what degree the women working in them are exploited. One good source is the book Brothel, which has an in-depth and pretty value-neutral look at the life of the women who work in Nevada brothels.

One of the surprising revelations in the book is that many of the brothel prostitutes have pimps - "boyfriends" on the outside who they "support" with their earnings. Overall, while they seem to be much better off than street-walkers, the brothel prostitutes are still exploited, and legalization does not appear to be the entire solution.



[ Parent ]
1970 Presidential Commission (4.70 / 10) (#19)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:19:25 AM EST

There have been two commission to study pornography: 1970 and 1986. The 1970 Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography concluded that there was insuffient evidence to prove a link between the exposured to sexually explicit material and criminal behavior. This is not even close to what you claim: that the commission found pornography harmless. However, the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography came to the opposite conclusion, claiming that the available pornography at the time caused different levels of harm.

The reason these two commission disagreed was largly to do with what they were studying. Pornography changed drastically between 1970 and 1986. In 1970 full frontal nudity was a rarity while in 1986 close-ups of anatomy were common and visible penetration could be found in hard-core magazines at adult stores. The 1970 commission was also railed on for failing to research violent pornography. By 1996 this research hole was filled and the findings were that it led to agression against women (in laboratory test conditions) and the acceptance of the rape myth that women secretly want it.

Later in 1986, a Surgeon General's Workshop on  Pornography and Public Health met and found that "pronography does stimulate attitudes and behavior that lead to gravely negative consequences for individuals and society."

Since these studies, various meta-studides have only strengthened these positions.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

Laboratory conditions? (4.66 / 3) (#24)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:31:22 AM EST

By 1996 this research hole was filled and the findings were that it led to agression against women (in laboratory test conditions)

I bet there are some laboratories facing serious civil tort claims if this is true. Unless, of course, the right-wing tort reformers have managed to horn in a special "S&M research exception" exempting the perps.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Meese commission (5.00 / 10) (#28)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:44:43 AM EST

The 1970 Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography concluded that there was insuffient evidence to prove a link between the exposured to sexually explicit material and criminal behavior.

This is incorrect. The commission produced more than 80 studies, and examined not only criminal behavior, but also changes in attitudes towards women, psychical problems etc.. The commission's report concludes (back-translated from German translation):

Detailed empirical studies by the Commission and other groups have found no supporting evidence that the confrontation with explicit sexual content is causally linked to personal or social harm, such as criminality, delinquency, sexual or non-sexual deviance, serious psychical problems. Empirical studies thus confirm the view of the overwhelming majority of experts dealing with the treatment of deviant or socially harmful behavior and with the causes of crime that the confrontation with erotica has no causal function.

The commission correctly realized the scientific principle that, if after looking carefully, you find no evidence of harm, you have to assume there is none. Several people pretended to keep looking, though, and the result of one of these attempts it the Meese Commission, which has been torn to pieces by literally everyone who wrote about it except for those who took a part in this fraudulent undertaking. See Pat Califia's The Obscene, Disgusting, and Vile Meese Commission Report for a detailed dissection. Even the scientists who were abused by this anti-porn crusade distanced themselves from it, stating that the report's conclusions were not supported by the evidence.

For the record, the only thing close to hard evidence for the harmfulness of pornography that anti-porn-crusaders have so far been able to come up with are repeated experiments where subjects were given the opportunity to "electro-shock" other subjects for and after viewing (or, in some shoddy variants of this experiment, imagining) porn (the shock was of course fictional). They used higher dosages after viewing porn. Besides very basic methodological problems, the key conclusion here is: People who are sexually aroused and who are then asked to suppress their arousal become aggressive. In none of the experiments the subjects were allowed to first experience orgasm and then electro-shock the other participants. Interestingly, experiments with soft porn (that did not lead to sexual arousal) produced the exact opposite result, the dosage beacme lower. Why? Simple: Looking at a naked woman makes many people feel good.

Your statement that the fraudulent claims of the Meese Commission have in any way been "strengthened" is also nonsense. For example, in 1990 Henner Ertel conducted one of the largest long-time studies of the effects of pornography (Ertel, Henner: Erotika und Pornographie. München, Psychologie-Verlags-Union) and found: 1) there is no escalation spiral from soft to harder materials, 2) sexual behavior is rarely, if ever, affected, paraphilias or sexual violence do not result from viewing, 3) attitudes towards sexual partners are not affected.
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[ Parent ]

Pat Califia? You can do better than that. (4.50 / 4) (#56)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:24:59 AM EST

Pat Califia is just full of spite because her pecious opinions are being debunked and it would hurt her cause and book sales. Her indictment of the Messe commission is along first amendment lines and is filled with ad hominim attacks such as saying Judith Reinmann's experience comes from Captain Kangaroo. Hardly scholary work, much less an argument. The closest she gets to actually disputing the Meese report is saying that it had members whose morality "falls right of the Old Testament."

Since 1986 numerous meta-studies has supported the Meese findings too. A 1994 meta-study titled "A Systematic Review of the Effects of Aggressive and Nonagressive Pornography" included 81 original studies, a 1995 meta-study "A Meta-ananysis Summerizing the Effects of Pornography" included 33 original studies, another 1995 study "Exposure to Pornography and Acceptance of Rape Myths" included 24 orignial studies all support that violent and non-violent pornography increase the likelihood of rape, sexual callousness, violence, and violent attitudes towards women. Even stepping outside the US, a study in 1989 by the Canadian government comes to the same conclusion, saying that after viewing pornography men were twice as likely to rape women after viewing pornography.

In 1989 "Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations," by Zillerman and Bryant, found that over a period of time viewing pornography are "at a greater risk of becoming callous" towards women.

The concept that pornogrpahy viewing does not spiral is laughable. It is natural to become desensitized and seek greater or more advertureous thrills. It happens in all forms of human activity. People get tired of driving fast, so they drive faster for a greater thrill, bungy jumping becomes boring after a while so they search for sky diving, we become used to having sex one way so we want to try more adventurous ways. In "Pornography's Effects on Adults and Children" Dr. Victor Cline of the University of Utah delineates four phases of pornography addiction: addiction, escalation, desensitization, and acting out.

Since mainstream pornography has become more hard-core the preponderence of evidence is that it does adversely effect our behavior. I don't want to blow my load here, this is from an article that I have only half written (and has been that way for about 6 months now). After I get to the library I will finish the article and post it.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Another theory of "human nature" (4.75 / 8) (#58)
by rusty on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:45:18 AM EST

It is natural to become desensitized and seek greater or more advertureous thrills. It happens in all forms of human activity. People get tired of driving fast, so they drive faster for a greater thrill, bungy jumping becomes boring after a while so they search for sky diving...

I used to drive very fast. Then I got tired of it and now I drive slow. Sometimes I rock climb for a while, and the thrill wears off, so I go kayaking. Eventually, I'll feel like going climbing again, and it will be new and challenging again.

Sometimes people search for "escalating thrills," and sometimes they don't. My own experience is that people search for variety. You get tired of having one kind of sex, so you have another for a while. You'll probably come back to the first eventually.

This doesn't disprove any evidence you have or prove any kind of counter-argument. I'm just pointing out that argument from "human nature" never does anything to convince anyone who doesn't already believe you. You've got your idea of human nature, and I've got mine, and they're both opinion. We should all accept that and look at whatever facts we've got.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Let's burn it, burn it all .. (5.00 / 5) (#231)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:39:34 PM EST

Pat Califia is just full of spite because her pecious opinions are being debunked and it would hurt her cause and book sales.

Of course, you completely ignore the factual evidence she presents: that several commissioners were rabid anti-porn crusaders -- feminist or Christian fundamentalist -- or extremists with fringe views, that the Commission didn't conduct actual studies, that the Commission's recommendations were independent of its actual findings, that most of its hearings didn't have anything to do with science at all, that scientific recommendations were ignored or even suppressed, that distinguished researchers like Donnerstein and Strauss who were misinterpreted publicly criticized the "bizarre" (Donnerstein) conclusions, and so on, and so forth.

I mean, wow. I've seen some impressive selective perception, but this really makes the top of the list. In light of these facts, you have nothing else to say than "Pat Califia is just full of spite because her pecious [sic] opinions are being debunked"? Wow man, just wow.

Her indictment of the Messe commission is along first amendment lines and is filled with ad hominim attacks such as saying Judith Reinmann's experience comes from Captain Kangaroo.

You're apparently perfectly unaware of the nature of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Ad hominem means that you argue that a specific statement is wrong because of the person's background. Califia doesn't do this -- what the tries to determine is whether the "researchers" who were heard by the Commission are trustworthy, that is, if they can be expected to present the facts in an unbiased manner. After Califia's article, Judith Reisman (not Reinmann) has written such brilliant pieces as "Crafting "Gay" Children: An Inquiry Into the Abuse of Vulnerable Children via Establishment Media & The Schoolroom", a rabid conspiracy tract that perpetuates the myth of homosexual child seduction in a propaganda style that could have been used 50 years ago. Does that mean that any specific claim she makes is wrong? Of course not. Does that mean that she can be trusted to present the facts about pornography in a scientifically sound and unbiased fashion? Of course not.

As for your meta-studies, it's nice to know that you can use Google, I find it quite disturbing, however, how readily you not only accept summaries on an anti-porn site, but also twist them even more to your liking ("all support that.."). Meta-analysis can be useful, but it is also methodologically problematic, because studies with very different methods have to be aggregated. Unlike review studies, an attempt is made to quantify the aggregated statistical claims. If you want to look at what the science says, you've got to go the original research. Unlike you, I have actually done this (I have been paid to summarize the state of pornography research for the German TV self-control organization, and have lectured on the subject at various opportunities). [Also, on a slightly different note: The notion of recentness to indicate a scientific study's quality is dubious, even more so in meta analysis, which presents older studies, so if you want to claim that the fraudulent Meese Commission was "supported" by later studies you actually have to point to studies, not meta-studies.]

First, it is correct that some studies on violent pornography have found negative effects, repeatedly, especially effects on attitudes about women, acceptance of rape myths etc. As regards behavior, contrary to your claim, the Presidential Commission already examined existing sado-masochistic pornography and found that sex offenders had consumed less such pornography than the control group (as published, for example, by Goldstein and Kant: Pornography. Psychology Today, December 1970). There is not the slightest bit of evidence to link violent pornography to actual violent behavior -- in fact, crime statistics suggest the exact opposite: Japan, with its rich S/M pornography, has the lowest rape rates in the industrialized world (the popular myth that Japanese women do report rape less than American women has been disproved).

Given the ambiguousness of the findings regarding attitude change, however, I have recommended in my article to legalize only non-violent pornography. The potential for harm from violent pornography cannot be ruled out (although it is unlikely to be consumed by normal, healthy adults or children).

Regarding the repeated claims about alleged links between aggression and pornography, there have been literally dozens of variants of one and the same experiment, one of the earliest forms of which was described by Larry Baron ("Effects of heightened sexual arousal on Physical Aggression", Proceedings, 81st Annual Convetions, APA, 1971). The goal was to determine whether sexually aroused subjects would be more likely to "punish" a designated "confederate" who previously angered them after being sexually aroused. In some variants, this arousal was accomplished using pornography, in others it was not. The findings were very different from study to study, and so everyone thought to make a contribution to science by creating their own setup, with Donnerstein's variant being the most popular. I cite Baron because he was the first to point out the very obvious reasons behind the differences (Baron's study found that aroused subjects were likely to use lower dosages):

Instead, exposure to erotic stimuli, and the resulting increments in sexual arousal so produced, seemed to inhibit aggression against victims of both sexes early in the experiment. This finding contrasts sharply with the results of previous studies (Meyer, 1972; Zillman, 1971) which have reported that increments in sexual arousal may enhance rather than inhibit subsequent attacks against others. One possible explanation for these contrasting patterns of findings may lie in the markedly different types of erotic stimuli employed in the previous and present investigations.

More specifically, subjects participating in both the Zillman (1971) and Meyer (1972) experiments were exposed to erotic stimuli which probably caused them to experience relatively high levels of sexual arousal (films of attractive young couples in various acts of love making). Unfortunately, of course, they were then unable to satisfy the strong sexual urges they experienced. As a result, they may have felt irritated, annoyed, or frustrated, and so directed higher levels of shock against the victim than subjects who were not similarly aroused. In contrast, subjects in the present investigation were exposed to much milder erotic stimuli which probably caused them to experience only moderate levels of sexual arousal (pictures of attractive female nudes). Comments during a postexperimental interview suggested that they found such arousal to be highly pleasurable ..

The many authors who followed Baron almost exclusively ignored this explanation, and when they did not, they mentioned it only in passing. Regardless, anti-porn feminists and fundamentalists were of course eager to take whatever they could use to fight porn and thus promoted these studies to a prominence they would otherwise not have received. These studies support the thesis presented in the article: That suppressing sexual urges creates aggression and violence. And if a meta-analysis of such "laboratory conditions" studies shows them to have the same result, this only further strengthens this pro-pornography thesis.

Regardless, I won't make any specific comments about meta-summaries I have not read, so I will order some of them first, if only to find out how far your summaries of the summaries diverge from the actual truth :-).

The concept that pornogrpahy viewing does not spiral is laughable.

I'm not interested in your armchair psychology. If you have any empirical studies showing an escalation spiral, post them and I will gladly dissect them. (And no, I do not take this guy seriously). Also, how about criticizing Ertel's findings? It is the largest study of the subject I am aware of, and it's not even close to matching your preconceived notions. Oh, sorry, I forgot, selective perception ...
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[ Parent ]

Burn it all? Hardly what I am saying. (none / 0) (#248)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:27:59 PM EST

You can not seriously hold Pat Califia up as impartial when at the same time lambasting people because of their Christian upbringing. Anybody reading her review of the Meese Commission can see that it is just an angry rant. Your perception is warped. Saying that somebody cannot come to a proper conclusing in pornography because they have Biblical morality is the definition of ad hominem. The Bible also teaches not to lie, so how can you hold these people to one part of their background, but dismiss the other. Oh I know why, becuase you disagree with them, so you do the common thing amount anti-religion liberals and tear down somebody by association with Christianity.

I'm also sorry I pasted the best general information, I didn't feel like retyping parts of the article I am working on.  After speanding a week reading article from psychology and human sexuality publications, I find the preponderance of evidence going the other way, and after I get the rest of the reserach done, I'll post it.

I don't really like your tone and I am not going to continue this.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Axe to grind (4.00 / 3) (#251)
by greenrd on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:45:25 AM EST

Oh I know why, becuase you disagree with them, so you do the common thing amount anti-religion liberals and tear down somebody by association with Christianity.

Well, it works on me. I'm more likely to be convinced by researchers and anti-porn advocates who don't have a conservative religious axe to grind.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

what about those (4.66 / 3) (#252)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:55:08 AM EST

With a raving liberalist axe?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Yes (4.00 / 1) (#257)
by greenrd on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:08:25 AM EST

"Raving" as in mentally unhinged? Yes, of course.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

How about this strange alternative group (4.75 / 4) (#270)
by kholmes on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 06:17:10 AM EST

You know, I hear we can think for ourselves. The old way. When you read the study for yourself and decided if it makes sense.

And here's the trippy part. You form your opinion based on the study instead using the study to back your opinion! Whoa, huh?

Have you ever seen a debate where this is so? Where one party or another ends the debate by saying "You know, you might be right. I'll have to consider that." I haven't. So I've been doing this a lot lately and you know what the response is? A holier than thou attitude! "Well...told ya so!"

And you know what usually happens? If in a debate you make an assertion someone responds "I'd really like to see some studies to back that up" (at least the more humble ones do--the rest can't stop from throwing a "you're an idiot" somewheres in there). You know what the odd thing is? Although I have no research to back me up, they want the study so they can tear it apart! The slightest deference--the slightest ambiguity would be revealed in the harshest tone possible to make the entire study seem invalid. And people wonder why politics is so fucked up?

And then I read the following:

"Well, it works on me. I'm more likely to be convinced by researchers and anti-porn advocates who don't have a conservative religious axe to grind."

And it all makes sense. People don't have ideas, they *are* their ideas. You don't just have liberal views, you are a liberal. And rather than change your views based on research, you examine the research so that it will comply with your views. And you will die with the same views you had in your twenties. Yet you will never find the enemy, for the enemy is you.

I don't mean to direct this post at you, you were just a nearby target. It is aimed at all the sticks in the mud who stare at each other hoping the wind will blow the other over first. I would like to see more harmony in the world.

Have a nice day.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

I'm not closed-minded (5.00 / 1) (#338)
by greenrd on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 05:04:48 PM EST

And it all makes sense. People don't have ideas, they *are* their ideas. You don't just have liberal views, you are a liberal.

No, a socialist actually.

And rather than change your views based on research, you examine the research so that it will comply with your views.

I've changed my views based on research. (In fact, I obtained a lot of my political views in the first place based on research.) For just one recent example of the former, I recently read a report of some scientific studies in The Vegan magazine which said that vegans currently have a lower life expectancy than lacto-ovo vegetarians (who have a higher life expectancy than non-smoking meat eaters), probably due to insufficient vitamin B12 (but this could probably be rectified by taking large quantities of B12, about 10x the recommended daily amount[*] IIRC, every day). I believed it even though it was a case of cognitive dissonance, because The Vegan magazine really has no motivation to misrepresent in the direction that puts veganism. Basic principle that I learned in history class in school: trust a statement more on balance if it puts the speaker or the speaker's cause in a bad light.

All I said about the pornography study was, I'd find it less convincing given the untrustworthiness of the source. Not that I couldn't be convinced if the argument was strong enough.

[*] RDA levels are set very low, because they are only to avoid life-threatening and other major deficiencies - not to avoid more recently discovered deficiencies which slowly erode health.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Maybe you are (4.00 / 2) (#420)
by kholmes on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:36:04 PM EST

"No, a socialist actually."

No you're not. You have socialist views. Did you understand my post? Don't make yourself a target. Make the target socialism itself. Let me just say that you have larger balls than most by making yourself a target in this way, but it isn't needed.

"I believed it even though it was a case of cognitive dissonance, because The Vegan magazine really has no motivation to misrepresent in the direction that puts veganism."

Or perhaps someday we can leave these agendas behind us and start talking about real things. I understand you...but the distrust isn't because of who did the study, its because you disagree with its conclusions. And you become part of the problem that annoys all of us so much.

"All I said about the pornography study was, I'd find it less convincing given the untrustworthiness of the source. Not that I couldn't be convinced if the argument was strong enough."

Sorry that I snapped at you, but you were preceded by two guys talking about the same freaking study and disagreed entirely about what the studies mean. Do you see the absurdity? Some fellas spend the time and money doing research--they post their findings--other folks come along--don't like the conclusion--so they shoot the messenger! Conduct your own damned study! And keep repeating it until they get their desired outcome.

Where does the insanity come from?

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

That's Hilarious! (5.00 / 1) (#276)
by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:01:24 AM EST

The Bible also teaches not to lie

Hahahahahaha.....

Okay, aside from the fact that you can't say "Christians don't lie" there's a good example right there in Exodus.

Quiz (no cheating, put that Bible down):  Did Moses (actually, his spokesman Aaron) say "Let my people go" in the context of "Let my people go free"?

[ Parent ]

Weighing the quality of these two posters (4.66 / 3) (#493)
by myrddin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 05:32:24 PM EST

. . . I have to say I find Eloquence much more persuasive than jjayson. That of course doesn't mean one is right and the other is wrong, it's just that Eloquence displays a researched depth of knowledge that jjayson either does not or cannot match. Still, this debate really highlights a problem I see as pervasive--there is so much information available that we are reduced to forming our opinions based on summaries of summaries of summaries of conclusions based on research. And since everyone bring bias to the table, from the original researcher through to the end consumer, there is no way to have faith in knowledge purportedly revealed through even original research. As was pointed out, even the process of developing research is subject to decisions that draw it's conclusions into question. So I am reduced to forming my current opinion of this subject solely based on my preexisting knowledge (limited) and what I just read in the article and follow-up comments. To that end, I find Eloquence substnatially more persuasive as a writer and appears to be more versed on the subject. jjayson's responses seem to amount to little more than semantic wordplay. I wish that was helpful in developing a true conclusion, but ultimately it just reinforces the idea that life is futile and humans are incapable of being objective.

[ Parent ]
can you explain (5.00 / 1) (#497)
by jjayson on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 07:31:32 PM EST

What sematic wordplay I involved in?

I wrote a response but somebody said it was too mean spirited to post. I was in a very pissed off mood because of idea that if somebody has a religios background, speicificall Christian, we cannot be trusted. It is not possible to argue with somebody that think Patrick Califia is unbiased. Eloquence's post turned very adversarial and offensive, so I stopped instead of being dragging into a yelling match with somebody who has some pretty strange ideas.

Califia's article is insulting to the people involved in the commission and to any of Christian out there. How do you discuss something with somebody who thinks that no matter what I say, I am biased and incapable of rational decision making. Well you can't, so I won't. Eloquence started with the attacks, and won't follow up. I am tired of K5 thread's turning into this shit. It is almost enough to want to leave the site.

I've spent too much time and effort researching this crap, but I still have more journals to look through. I will post the article when it is done.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Very Interesting (none / 0) (#275)
by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 07:57:53 AM EST

I have been paid to summarize the state of pornography research for the German TV self-control organization, and have lectured on the subject at various opportunities

What is the name of this agency (German, no translation please)?

Anyway, having been raised in America and spent the last 11 years in Germany, I thought a lot of what you say would be self-apparent -- the recent cannibalism thing aside (I'm shocked it happened in Germany, I would have expected the U.S. more)

Non-consensual sex crime in the U.S. is high, and fairly low in Germany.  In the U.S., images are banned, prostitution is illegal and porno and sex paraphernalia is largely relegated to seedy shops.  Plus there's no end to the disinformation from the anti-sex crowd.  When "sex" is generally associated with "dirty and immoral" you can expect people to act that way about it.

However, in Germany, with breasts shown on billboards, soft-core porn on regular TV, sex shops generally being clean places, prostituion safe and legal and hard-core porn mags on the front counter of the local gas station, people tend to have an attitude of sex as natural and healthy.

[ Parent ]

Prostitution illegal in US? (none / 0) (#308)
by rhino1302 on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:02:28 PM EST

Common myth.

[ Parent ]
One small spot of sanity (4.00 / 1) (#385)
by Quila on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 03:10:58 AM EST

Doesn't undo all the damage for the other 99%+ of the U.S. population.

[ Parent ]
Typical (4.36 / 11) (#21)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:25:07 AM EST

Obviously written by someone who doesn't have a parpahilia of his own. Full of misconceptions and dreadful generalizations as a result. Contains just enough truth to be sickeningly persuasive.

BTW, while my paraphilia is fairly common, it is fascinating to me that it fails to appear in your poll. How about a side order of projection to whet your appetite for that plate of cliches?

I can haz blog!

I like the part (3.80 / 5) (#27)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:42:11 AM EST

...where it goes, "Is a culture that produces cannibals a healthy culture?"

One instance of cannibalism in, how many years?, produces a Cannibal Culture.  Man, that is very deeply rooted in some sound analysis.  Yes sir.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

The use of the term cannibal in that sentence .. (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:33:15 AM EST

.. is metaphoric, in that it (extremely unfairly, I know) calls people with cannibalistic sexual fantasies "cannibals" (they use that term to refer to themselves as well). There are quite a few such people (some groups have hundreds of members), although I would not dare to make any quantitative estimate.
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[ Parent ]
Get off it (2.66 / 3) (#48)
by frankcrist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:58:37 AM EST

A group that calls itself a "cannibal" group does not mean that it contains actual cannibals.  I greatly doubt if the members of the band Cannibal Corpse are actually undead eaters of flesh.

And yes it was the "extremely unfairly" aspect that I was addressing.  What the fuck did you think I was talking about?  Are you just practicing your english now or what?

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!
[ Parent ]

The poll (none / 0) (#42)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:28:48 AM EST

There are only so many options -- I tried to pick the ones where I could think of something half-witty to say. Whatever your paraphilia is, I probably don't find it funny ;-)
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
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[ Parent ]
The Poll, The Poll (5.00 / 6) (#96)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:09:16 AM EST

There are only so many options -- I tried to pick the ones where I could think of something half-witty to say.

Trust me, combining Captain Kirk with the Fur Planet isn't witty, it's just stupid. It's the kind of thing that reveals how little you understand about sexual paraphilia.

Your poll responses range from the nearly universal to the kind of thing that might actually describe a few people, but only a few people, in the entire world. Clearly, you do not get this concept that some things are more common than others, and therefore more indicative.

For example, I once read an account of a man who could only achieve orgasm by masturbating into the tailpipe of his classic car. Literally. Now, does it make sense to draw a bunch of generalizations from this about our "car culture?" Of course not. This far from the center of the bell curve you find some very weird things that say nothing at all about what's at the center.

Meanwhile, there is an entire culture of females who fantasize about Kirk and Spock's homosexual relationship and how it is expressed in highly S&M charged dungeon scenes. The "K/S ladies" as they are known in fan circles are not gay themselves, are not known for practicing S&M themselves, but put out a steady stream of shockingly explicit fanzines. Does this say something about our culture? I'd say it probably does, and one might get a nice article out of a clear examination of the phenomenon.

Meanwhile, about 10% of the population seems to turn out gay no matter how kids are raised, the only reliably detectable difference being that they are tolerated by some cultures and abused by others. How can you construct a list of sexual deviations without mentioning homosexuality?

Meanwhile you seem aware that shoe fetishes are common enough to mention, but not other clothing items, or cross-dressing, or materials like leather and latex. Here you fail to draw the generalization that is important. Your "Natalie Portman" entry is a reference to a very narrowly focused group with a limited number of members. You correctly IMO generalize urophilia and copraphilia, then give us an overly specific example of masochism without a corresponding entry for sadism (or generalizing the whole phenomenon as sadomasochism).

Your entire article is like this. You confuse overly specific examples (the titular cannibal for starters) with broad generalizations and draw conclusions that are meaningless as a result. You go on and on about very narrow, limited, and rare phenomena without noticing things that are nearly universal, or equally common and more indicative. Given the title, I'm amazed that you managed to research this article without noticing amputation fetishists.

It's well written, obvious you put a fair amount of time into it, and it's sad that your understanding remains so shallow that your conclusions are completely worthless.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Um, yeah (4.00 / 2) (#239)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:36:46 PM EST

You may notice that K5 polls have a long tradition of being primarily used for comic relief. That, and nothing else (except maybe to see how many people would choose "no fetish"), was the intent here -- certainly not a fair characterization and prioritization of different fetishes. Maybe it wasn't funny, but maybe you should just remove your head from your ass.

As for your criticism of the article:

You confuse overly specific examples (the titular cannibal for starters) with broad generalizations and draw conclusions that are meaningless as a result. You go on and on about very narrow, limited, and rare phenomena without noticing things that are nearly universal, or equally common and more indicative. Given the title, I'm amazed that you managed to research this article without noticing amputation fetishists.

Have you actually read the article? Search for "amputee". My goal was not, and is not, to quantify fetishes, although it is clear to me that some, like BDSM or furry, are far more popular than others, and I have offered some possible explanations for why that is so. My goal was to explain the common cultural roots of many fetishes and paraphilias, and to point out how a loving, sexually permissive culture would be likely to be far healthier, not only in the fetish sense. I realize that many people with paraphilias are waiting for someone who gives them a stamp that says "natural" or at least a nice relativistic claim that all cultures have been equally perverted. I cannot offer them that because the historical and scientific evidence does not allow it.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
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[ Parent ]

no, localroger is correct (4.66 / 3) (#267)
by Lode Runner on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 03:45:00 AM EST

I voted down your well-written article because I found it overly normative; and the more your norm appears to exclude anything that deviates from a rather arbitrarily defined "natural" straight out of Coming of Age in Samoa the better I feel about my vote.

If you're going to talk about fetishism in historical terms, you really need to familiarize yourself with Foucault as well as the feminist critique's literature on definitions of sexuality (e.g. Joan Wallach Scott).

Even though you'll find plenty of outdated literature --I'm thinking of Mead, Beauvoir, and the whole lot of those Marxist and/or Durkheimian anthropologists-- to support your views, the social sciences have moved on. As it stands, your historic and scientific analyses are rooted firmly in the 19th century constructs of class, sex, and gender.

In short, your leftist-interventionalist utopia won't solve the "problem" of paraphilias because many of them are indeed not manifestations of issues that can be addressed by imposing Marx on the postmodern world.

[ Parent ]

broken record (5.00 / 1) (#422)
by demi on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 06:36:18 PM EST

There you go again with your own paraphilia.

[ Parent ]
Ironic (none / 0) (#428)
by Lode Runner on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 08:13:36 PM EST

because anyone called "demi" probably already thinks just like a Derridean.

[ Parent ]
nope (5.00 / 1) (#431)
by demi on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 09:55:40 PM EST

try Branch Davidian.

[ Parent ]
I reckon (5.00 / 2) (#432)
by Lode Runner on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 10:39:16 PM EST

that's Texan for Derridean.

[ Parent ]
-1, Several Problems (4.50 / 14) (#46)
by Tux on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:54:03 AM EST

I have several problems with this article.  First, how do you know the "culture" caused this cannibalism to happen?  Both of them could be screwed up independent of the surrounding culture.  You have not proven the current culture is what caused them to do what they did.

Second, you say "The Netherlands, which use an early-age pro-sex education approach, have an order of magnitude less teenage pregnancies than the US."  The Netherlands also has an order of magnitude less population than the U.S. which would mean neither the Dutch or American approaches are having an effect.

Third, you say "By the twisted logic of the antisexuals, only the unborn child can be truly sexually "innocent", and is therefore worshipped. (Note the prevalence of foetus devotionals in anti-abortion circles.)".  This is clearly made up.  Both sides of the abortion arguement believe it to be a human rights issue (pro-life: right of the child to live, pro-choice: right of the woman over her own body).

Fourth, you say "Fight attempts to define adults as children -- age of consent laws must be reasonable and stay reasonable (e.g. 14 years as in Germany)."  I agree with this to a point.  If a 14 year old is an adult shouldn't they be treated as adults fully and have the right to choose wether to go to school or work, and have right to get a mortgage by themselves, vote, etc?  In other words, all of the rights of an adult.  Every person who I have met that wants to lower the age of consent/keep it low, recoils at the suggestion that if you are going to treat a teen as an adult wrt sexual behavior that you should treat them as an adult everywhere else.  Either they are adults or they aren't, period, not just in your pet area.

Fifth, I agree banning prostitution is bad and needs to be stopped.  What if someone doesn't want to use them for whatever reason (wether it is religious, they only want sex within a relationship, can't afford a prostitute, whatever)?  If lack of sex creates violence like you claim then anyone who can't get laid/can't get a date is a criminal waiting to happen according to you.  Are you going to throw these people in jail, force them to have sex with a prostitute against their will, or what?  As someone who had trouble getting a date in high school, it looks like your "healthy culture" would throw me in jail simply for being on the wrong end of the high school social hierarchy.  Even if these people weren't thrown in jail, they would still be pariahs in your society which just makes their inability to get laid worse.  Since they are pariahs not even the prostitutes will want to have sex with them.  You have no options to deal with these people unless your ideas are wrong.

I think trolls and goatse are a fresh outlet for news and lively debate, too.
-An AC in response to the idea that slashdot is a fresh outlet for pertinent news and lively debate

Of fetuses and fetishes .. (4.50 / 2) (#235)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:36:21 PM EST

First, how do you know the "culture" caused this cannibalism to happen? Both of them could be screwed up independent of the surrounding culture. You have not proven the current culture is what caused them to do what they did.

You are correct that if Armin and Jürgen were isolated cases, it would be premature to suggest cultural causes -- it might well be a rare genetic defect. But I have put this case in a larger context, pointing both to the impressively huge snuff community and the various other fetishes/paraphilias that exist. When we then find evidence of such paraphilias only in specific cultures, namely those that repress sexuality, we can start thinking seriously about the cultural causes.

Second, you say "The Netherlands, which use an early-age pro-sex education approach, have an order of magnitude less teenage pregnancies than the US." The Netherlands also has an order of magnitude less population than the U.S. which would mean neither the Dutch or American approaches are having an effect.

You can expect me to be a little smarter than that. The teenage pregancy rate in the Netherlands is 10 per 1,000 people, in the United States it is 99 per 1,000 (Reuters: March 2, 2001). I expect the US rate to climb as more and more anti-sex programs are implemented.

Both sides of the abortion arguement believe it to be a human rights issue (pro-life: right of the child to live

As Carl Sagan explained in his essay The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers:

So, if only a person can be murdered, when does the fetus attain personhood? When its face becomes distinctly human, near the end of the first trimester? When the fetus becomes responsive to stimuli--again, at the end of the first trimester? When it becomes active enough to be felt as quickening, typically in the middle of the second trimester? When the lungs have reached a stage of development sufficient that the fetus might, just conceivably, be able to breathe on its own in the outside air?

The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they're arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely human characteristics--apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn't stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion and respiration are not what make us human.

Other animals have advantages over us--in speed, strength, endurance, climbing or burrowing skills, camouflage, sight or smell or hearing, mastery of the air or water. Our one great advantage, the secret of our success, is thought--characteristically human thought. We are able to think things through, imagine events yet to occur, figure things out. That's how we invented agriculture and civilization. Thought is our blessing and our curse, and it makes us who we are.

Thinking occurs, of course, in the brain--principally in the top layers of the convoluted "gray matter" called the cerebral cortex. The roughly 100 billion neurons in the brain constitute the material basis of thought. The neurons are connected to each other, and their linkups play a major role in what we experience as thinking. But large-scale linking up of neurons doesn't begin until the 24th to 27th week of pregnancy--the sixth month.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject's head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy--near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this--however alive and active they may be--lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

These scientific facts have been well known for decades. Yet the anti-abortionists choose deliberately to ignore them, because they want to stick to a definition of "human" that is not tied to biology. Thus, the claim that this is a "human rights issue" is merely a pretext, although of course some people are likely to genuinely buy into it. In my article, I have proposed an explanation for the anti-abortion stance that looks deeper: Why do the same people who have no problems advocating capital punishment, the same people who are so keen to restrict other people's freedom so interested in preserving human life when it doesn't even exist yet?

Here's an interesting anecdote: A few years ago, a German priest said in an interview that pictures of nude babies would have to be forbidden because (paraphrased) "it's only natural to get aroused when looking at a naked baby". Natural for him, apparently. Another anecdote: a few years ago, a US politician waiting, I think, in a doctor's waiting room took a crying two-year-old child by another mother and spanked the child. After the media reported the case, some parents actually applauded this action, arguing that, at this age, children are "out of control".

These two episodes are telling in that they show how the value system of a religious fundamentalist often works: a young child is sinful when it is nude and shameless, and when it doesn't have its own emotions under control. The foetus, on the other hand, is free of all guilt: It is, after all, safely protected by its mother, immobile, incapable of thought or actions. The perfect Christian.

And there's the other aspect of anti-abortionism as a secret outlet of gore fetishisms -- one only has to look at sites like the Christian Gallery to explore this dark secret (the same site that became famous for death-listing abortion doctors).

There are other aspects as well, such as the denial of the likeness of man and animal, for which the possession of a soul seems to be very important (which then rests at the core of many personhood arguments).

If a 14 year old is an adult shouldn't they be treated as adults fully and have the right to choose wether to go to school or work, and have right to get a mortgage by themselves, vote, etc? In other words, all of the rights of an adult. Every person who I have met that wants to lower the age of consent/keep it low, recoils at the suggestion that if you are going to treat a teen as an adult wrt sexual behavior that you should treat them as an adult everywhere else. Either they are adults or they aren't, period, not just in your pet area.

These points are debatable separately and lead us far away from the subject of the article at hand. I'm always amused, however, by the "complexity" many people believe sexual decisions to have.

If lack of sex creates violence like you claim then anyone who can't get laid/can't get a date is a criminal waiting to happen according to you.

Most people don't have sexual needs that are strong enough to drive them to use physical force, and even if they do, most people are capable of using other sexual outlets such as masturbation. One only has to look at the high incidence of prisoner rape to know, however, that sexually repressive environments foster sexual coercion, even against a person's sexual preferences (i.e. homosexual rape by heterosexuals). The fact that many prisons have rules against masturbation makes the situation only more bizarre.

Intrusive attempts to "regulate" sexual behavior in the interest of public safety are always tempting to some people, but by creating an open and sexually permissive environment, we create the necessary conditions for proper self-regulation. However, people who ask for help should always be offered help.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Scary as it is... (4.66 / 3) (#391)
by Gromit on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:37:37 AM EST

...to take on Eloquence and Sagan simultaneously, particularly as I'm going slightly off-topic:
These scientific facts have been well known for decades. Yet the anti-abortionists choose deliberately to ignore them, because they want to stick to a definition of "human" that is not tied to biology.
This particular anti-abortionist does so tied firmly to science. While Sagan (a great loss to us all) seems to have thought we're not human until we can think, I take a different view: We're human when our first cells form as an organism; e.g., conception. After all, what makes us human (physically, that is)? Our genetic structure, which is present from the outset. (In most cases, this structure is unique to each of us, but that's not a requirement -- "identical" twins are no less individual for the fact they share the same genetic structure.) Most abortions take place when, without intervention, the nascent human would grow into a more-obviously-human being (breathing, thinking, taking out the garbage, etc.), in much the same way that I, without intervention, will continue breathing, thinking, and taking out the garbage tomorrow (one hopes!). In both cases, that intervention (in non-emotive terms) is killing. [I always hate it when anti-abortionists talk about "murder," because A) Not all killing is murder, and B) It's not like it advances the debate or their point in any way.]

I find this stance on abortion, which is not popular with other people in my social circle, to be entirely in harmony with my stances (and theirs) on other issues: Avoiding war if at all possible, outlawing capital punishment, avoiding lethal force in law enforcement except to prevent an imminent violent crime, etc. Each of us is a unique human being as soon as we're formed; if we value the ones walking around, talking, etc., we must value to exactly the same degree those who are as yet not sufficiently developed to do so. (Most of us -- emotionally -- value them more because they're defenseless, and humans are social animals conditioned to respond to defenseless young -- human babies, kittens, puppies -- with seemingly irrational tenderness.)

This view allows for abortion in the case of serious physical danger to the mother of continuing the pregnancy; again, not all killing is murder. It doesn't, sadly, offer a way to deal with the very real problem of pregnancy as a result of the various forms of rape, except by providing a framework for thinking about it: Are we going to kill the child because the father is a rapist? Evolutionary arguments aside, I think not. We should be able to deal with this problem medically fairly soon, particularly if we focus effort (funds, etc.) on doing so rather than on buying politicians and bombing abortion clinics, by transplanting the unwanted child from the traumatized mother -- who shouldn't, in any rational universe, have to carry her rapist's child if she doesn't want to -- to a woman who wants the child (or in whatever other way we find to allow the child to live without requiring the raped woman to carry it).

And of course finally, the best way to solve the abortion question is to do away with the desire for abortion, e.g., unwanted pregnancy. This is where I make myself so unpopular with the other side of the abortion debate, because to my mind the sooner and more thoroughly we teach pubescent or soon-to-be-pubescent children how to avoid pregnancy, and the easier we make it for them to get the necessary materials (condoms, etc.), the better. (And even there, some caution is required -- the "day after" pill is a form of abortion and therefore, to me, killing; the condom is not.) Abstinence is certainly an effective way of avoiding unwanted pregnancy, but it is not something that will work for everyone -- possibly not even most -- and this ridiculous approach in the current U.S. administration that any federally-funded "family planning" programs can only teach abstinence and not other forms of birth control is just insane. Much more rational to teach that safe sex is a healthy thing with the right person at the right time, that there is no right or wrong time except as you yourself define it (for instance, if you're a Catholic you may define it as after marriage; if you're a Buddist, that may not be a factor), and that you always have the right to say "no" to sex if you want to; and that choosing to have sex carries some dangers (STDs, including HIV) and significant responsibilities with it, including the very real possibility that you or your partner may become pregnant, meaning you'll then have to be responsible (with him or her) for the child you've created.

This has gotten way too long; maybe I should do an article on it. I'll stop here, you get the idea.

As this is a direct reply to Eloquence, let me say: I thought very highly of your article. Couldn't agree with you more on about 80% of it, and indeed on the main focus of it -- that we should work toward a less sexually-repressive and violent culture. (The other 20% just plain scares me.<g>)



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
One question/comment (5.00 / 2) (#410)
by hatshepsut on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 12:47:20 PM EST

I found your comment to be reasoned and well-written, even if I disagree with your stance on abortion.

Ignoring that for the moment, however, I would like to make a comment on your example of a woman who has become pregnant due to an incident of rape. Your two possible solutions would appear to be either to carry to term the offspring of a man who violated her OR undergo an as yet unavailable, major medical procedure to transplant the fetus to another woman. Are you really serious?

This would seem to be a case of punishing the woman to a large extreme, for what is after all her misfortune. She was raped, she became pregnant through no consent or volition of her own, and her two choices should be either to carry a child to term or undergo major surgery? This seems more a punitive measure for having "gotten herself raped" than an open-minded admission from an "anti-abortionist/pro-lifer".

I will readily admit that I don't believe that an undifferentiated bunch of cells (or an organism that couldn't possibly exist on its own) is a human being, and therefore abortion during that timeframe isn't killing a human. But neither do I believe that women who are raped should be punished by being forced to carry a child to term (or undergo the hypothetical major surgery you suggest).

[ Parent ]

Really serious, but not quite as you suggest (5.00 / 2) (#463)
by Gromit on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:27:02 AM EST

I found your comment to be reasoned and well-written, even if I disagree with your stance on abortion.
Thanks, I appreciate your reply being in the same vein.
Your two possible solutions would appear to be either to carry to term the offspring of a man who violated her OR undergo an as yet unavailable, major medical procedure to transplant the fetus to another woman. Are you really serious?
Yes. But I think you assume facts not in evidence, that said procedure will be "major." It's my hope that with applied research -- really just extension of techniques already used for IVF and other forms of fertility treatment -- it will be minor. I can't imagine how it could not be invasive, though, even if minor. This is, of course, a horrible thing -- rape is a horrible thing in the first place.

In fact, if it is major surgery, then I don't think it should be required and we should have a narrow rape exception clause in the (theoretical) anti-abortion law we're talking about, because at that point we're dealing with percentages -- likelihood the child will actually live if not interfered with (many pregnancies, particularly early ones, terminate "naturally" for many reasons), likelihood that the transplantation would succeed, and likelihood that the woman would be harmed or even killed by the surgery -- which would clearly be contrary to the whole purpose, preserving individual lives where possible. A minor procedure, then yes, try to save the child. A major one? Too speculative.

(Note that even the minor procedure is a major, major risk for the child; I balance that risk against the potential emotional and physical harm to the woman of having to carry to term, and say the risk to the child is justified.)

....This seems more a punitive measure for having "gotten herself raped" than...
I don't really think you meant to, not based on your overall reasonable tone, but please be careful not to seem to put such hateful words as "gotten herself raped" in my mouth. I believe you intended simply to evoke the image of the kind of troglodyte who would believe such a thing, but one could easily get the impression from the quotation marks that you were responding to something I actually said, if one weren't reading carefully. I did not say "gotten herself raped." It's an offensive phrase indicative of a blame-the-victim attitude. I said "pregnancy as a result of the various forms of rape," "traumatized mother," and "raped woman," none of which seeks to blame the woman for her attacker's behavior; a repulsive notion.

Addressing your idea that it's a "punative" measure, of course it isn't meant as such. Neither is it meant to be punative when we, as a society, make her stand up in a courtroom and explain the things he did to her, things she (if she's like many rape victims) feels guilty that she couldn't prevent -- that must be a horrible experience. We do it so we have a shot at keeping him from raping again, or even worse. Neither is it meant to be punative when the police have the doctor comb through the woman's pubic hair immediately after the rape to collect evidence, which must surely be a horrible experience. They're doing it because it greatly improves the chances of putting the rapist in jail for as long as legally possible should they be lucky enough to catch him. As I understand it, that's a voluntary procedure, which makes sense to me as no one's life immediately hangs in the balance (barring a long chain of uncertain events, and if we're to think logically we can't compound uncertainties). However, when a child has been conceived -- even in such horrible circumstances -- a life does hang in the balance (in my view). There's no question that it's a terrible thing she should have to face such a choice, much less that she should then have to go through with either option (carrying to term or having this invasive, hopefully minor procedure). Rape is a terrible thing with terrible consequences for the victim, there's no getting around it.

I will readily admit that I don't believe that an undifferentiated bunch of cells...is a human being...neither do I believe that women who are raped should be punished by being forced to carry a child to term (or undergo the hypothetical major surgery you suggest).
I understand your position. If I didn't believe the "nascent human" (as I put it) is just that, a human, I wouldn't agree with this either. Indeed, I used to be "pro-choice" (the way I was raised) before I really thought it through in terms of my other convictions and understanding of what makes us human. But try to pretend for a moment that you did believe as I do; this position then becomes much easier to understand. A thought experiment: Abusive husband, wife, young son. The husband brutally rapes the wife. He's convicted and sent away, thank God. The child is that rapist's son, maybe he even looks a lot like him, and maybe he mistakenly thinks his mother did something wrong and that's why his father went away, and berates his mother endlessly with this. She is constantly reminded of her rapist by this boy, and can't stand the thought of having to rear him. Do we kill the boy? Of course we don't. And I have to point out that we don't make it easy for her to give up the boy, either. It's a drawn-out process with very little sympathy for the mother who wants to "abandon" her child. I expect it's a terrible choice to be faced with, rearing the boy or giving him up, and having made the decision (for instance) to give him up, I expect it's terrible to go through with it. Sound familiar? I'm at least hoping that with research, once she's made the hard decision in the case of conception-from-rape, we make it as easy as possible for her to get away from that child -- short of killing the child. (And when I say "as easy as possible," I mean we as society bear all of the costs of the procedure and storing the "nascent human" until implantation; even in countries without a national health service such as the U.S., cost must not come into it for her.)

But really it's pointless to debate the pregnancy-from-rape issue; it's a side point. The basic place we part company is when a human becomes a human:

...I don't believe that an undifferentiated bunch of cells (or an organism that couldn't possibly exist on its own) is a human being...
You and I are just such organisms. We cannot exist outside of the environment for which we are developmentally suited. We are as reliant on algae and other plants (for oxygen and food) as the unborn child is on its mother (for oxygen and food). But we're big and obviously human, and no one debates our humanity for that reason.

As for differentiation, I know you're speaking developmentally, but just playing with words, I would say these cells are differentiated -- in the sense that they are differentiated from plant cells or, I don't know, duck cells, and they are differentiated genetically from the outset from both the rapist and the raped woman.

What's your view of when we become human, or individual?



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Just something to think about (none / 0) (#467)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:56:00 AM EST

If a few cells growing in the body of a woman that cannot survive on their own are considered a distinct human life from the mother, what about the rest of one's body?  If someone has their appendix removed, nobody would keep the fetus alive and thriving separate from the body.

The only difference is that the cells in the fetus could become a distinct life someday, if all goes well.  But I do not believe it is a distinct living creature yet.  I would not consider it murder when someone aborts a fetus anymore than a family would have a funeral and grave for a miscarriage.

Just my opinion on the matter.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

The question of uniqueness... (5.00 / 1) (#469)
by Gromit on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 12:35:11 PM EST

If a few cells growing in the body of a woman that cannot survive on their own are considered a distinct human life from the mother, what about the rest of one's body?
It's easy to distinguish these cases: The distinct form we're talking about here will become a more-obviously-distinct one unless we interfere (if, as you say, all goes well). Another clear indicator is that the genes in this lifeform are different from the mother's and therefore clearly distinct, but that gets us into issues where the genes are not distinct and yet the people are (identical twins, clones) and all sorts of other Fun Stuff which takes us off-point.
I would not consider it murder when someone aborts a fetus anymore than a family would have a funeral and grave for a miscarriage.
Note I make a point of saying "killing," not murder. I think it's an important distinction.

People consider miscarriage-through-trauma (e.g., child dies as an apparent result of mother's being in a car accident) a death and are sympathetic to the parents, who are typically genuinely bereaved (as opposed to just sad). (Indeed, people are usually sympathetic when a spontaneous miscarriage occurs, although they realize this is usually because the child simply wasn't viable.) Some families do have funerals and graves for miscarried children, although as far as I know it's fairly rare.

The extent of bereavement felt by the parents around a miscarriage varies, and granted is probably much less than -- say -- when a five-year-old dies in a car accident. But I believe this is a result of our "knowing" the person being lost more than anything else. I submit that a father who learned he had a five-year-old boy he hadn't known about before, but then found out a few months later -- not having had the chance to meet the boy or learn much about him -- that the boy had just died suddenly probably feels the same sort of bereavement a father of a second trimester child who dies by miscarriage-through-trauma feels, and I submit that that bereavement -- though certainly real -- is not what he would have felt had he spent those five years raising that boy. But this is all speculation on my part; I'm not a bereavement counselor, not a psychologist, have never had a child, am not a doctor who sees death every day, etc.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]

Clarification (5.00 / 1) (#475)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 03:09:43 PM EST

It's easy to distinguish these cases: The distinct form we're talking about here will become a more-obviously-distinct one unless we interfere (if, as you say, all goes well).
My point here was this: I realize it would be ridiculous to assume a cut-off hand is going to grow into a whole human being, but just because something has the potential (even likelihood) to be grown into a human by the mother, does that necessarily mean it is a distinct and living human when it is a barely-formed clump of cells? I don't think so(though I know you do).


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Barely-formed clump of cells (none / 0) (#523)
by Gromit on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:45:45 AM EST

Well, that's where we part company. :-)  I think "barely-formed" is the same as "formed" from an ethical perspective -- it doesn't matter how long something's existed, does it? -- and that "formed" on its own is, in this context, superfluous, and so "barely-formed clump of cells" can be reduced:
    barely-formed clump of cells
    formed clump of cells
    clump of cells
...which is to say, you and I (being, as we are, large clumps of cells). (Not being a religious man, I won't get into arguments about souls and such.) So, in my view, we're talking about a unique lifeform with (usually) a unique genetic structure (and certainly a human genetic structure) and the beginnings of unique experience (we know that these early-stage clumps-of-cells are quite sensitive to their environment, and so have experiences [physical ones, of course, not mental ones as they don't yet have minds]). This is why I call it a unique human life, or "nascent human" as I originally put it.

Anyway, it seems to me we're at an impasse, and have to accept we don't persuade each other.



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Sorry, forgot to mention (none / 0) (#527)
by Gromit on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 05:22:38 AM EST

...just because something has the potential (even likelihood) to be grown into a human by the mother...
The data* I can find off-hand suggest that even "likelihood" is quite a mild way to put it, at least in the U.S. for the years 1990-1995. My take on that data is that more than 80% of pregnancies that were not intentionally terminated had live births; a four-out-of-five chance that the clump of cells will be squalling in a delivery room someday. :-)  I call that pretty good odds.

(Sadly, that number goes down to less than 60% when you include abortions in the calculation, because a quarter of all pregnancies reported in that period were aborted. E.g., the live-birth-per-unaborted-pregnancy outcome is >80%; the live-birth-per-pregnancy outcome is <60%.)

(* That chart lacks an important footnote, that the numbers given are per 1,000 women. I checked that with a professional health educator to be sure.)



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
More likely than not? Even then... (none / 0) (#538)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 11:58:19 AM EST

When I said "likelihood", it was to acknowledge that it could even be something like 60-80%... and my main point is that this is still a potential human, but not yet there.

As for the barely-formed clump of cells thing, I do agree that some cells are still *some cells*, but this clump of cells will not grow into an adult human on its own-- the mother is perpetuating its existence (or, otherwise, a laboratory).  It is for predominantly this reason that I don't consider it a distinct human yet.

But as you mentioned, we can't really convince each other of anything else at this point.  Just thought I'd do one more clarification for the heck of it.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

In response to your question (5.00 / 1) (#549)
by hatshepsut on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 05:12:34 PM EST

While some others here have carried the ball and responded to your comments, I thought I would reply to your final question (sorry for the delay, I only tend to hit K5 once or twice a day):
What's your view of when we become human, or individual?
I cannot bring myself to believe that a small lump of cells, undifferentiated (in the biological sense that they are not nerve cells, muscle cells, etc.), and completely unable to survive in the environment to which humans are suited (N2 and O2 gaseous atmosphere, etc.) can possibly be human. Shedding such a growth not only occurs naturally (and fairly often, frequently even before it is known that fertilization has occurred), but is reasonably easy on the woman's body.

By the time the fetus is actually capable of making the transition from obtaining oxygen from the mother to being an air-breather, has all the required organs and is done developing (except for size) which occurs quite late in the pregnancy, it would seem to me that it is definitely human.

I consider the question of individuality to be a different case entirely. I know some adults who can't function as individuals.

I wouldn't ever try to convince anyone pro or against abortion (it is one of those issues where no one can change another's opinion, either they change it or they don't). That said, my own believe is that I could never tell a woman that she HAD to bear a child (ever read The Handmaid's Tale?). Saying that the rights of something that might someday be a human being, but isn't yet, supersedes the rights of a woman to have control over her own life and body horrifies me.

[ Parent ]

That's not what I'm saying (none / 0) (#592)
by Gromit on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 04:35:40 AM EST

Saying that the rights of something that might someday be a human being, but isn't yet, supersedes the rights of a woman to have control over her own life and body horrifies me.
That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that the thing "...that might someday be a human being..." by your standards (its odds of making it are more than four-out-of-five, by the way) also has rights, and that when the rights of individuals in our society conflict, we usually try to mediate that conflict to get an acceptable outcome for both parties, which usually involves compromise. I'm suggesting we make it as easy as possible for her not to be burdened with the offspring of her rapist, and for the offspring to at least possibly be spared being killed (or, if you prefer, denied a chance at life) for its father's crime. The compromise bit from her perspective is the minor-but-admittedly-invasive procedure which I posit must be safe; the compromise bit from the offspring's point of view is the very large risk it will die (or, if you prefer, not get a chance to live) because of the procedure. I expect that as we get better at reproductive science, its odds of not being condemned by its father's crime will increase, but in the near future where I believe we'll have the ability to provide the minor procedure, this is still a huge risk to the child.

That's a very different thing from saying its rights supercede hers.

By the time the fetus is actually capable of making the transition from obtaining oxygen from the mother to being an air- breather, has all the required organs and is done developing (except for size) which occurs quite late in the pregnancy, it would seem to me that it is definitely human.
In fact, the baby has all the required organs (warning, popups on that link) at about 13 weeks (3 months), but can legally be aborted much, much later than that in the U.S. But it is true that the lungs cannot reliably sustain breathing our air until fairly late in pregnancy, quite rare before 28 weeks; but we as a society have made "rescuing" premature babies such a priority that where 28-30 week babies used to have about a 5% chance of survival, they now have a 75-90% chance of survival (depends who you ask) because we support them with an appropriate environment, respirators as required, and drugs. And when a preemie's lungs are not able to manage it and the child dies, people mourn the loss of a child, you'll note, not a foetus. Clearly, just because they can't survive without our help is not the determining factor for most people.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Agree to Disagree? (none / 0) (#622)
by hatshepsut on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:40:24 PM EST

I don't believe that either one of us is going to change our minds on this one, and don't really want to get into an argument anyway, to be honest. Can we agree to disagree?

Your hypothetical procedure to remove a viable foetus from a woman unwilling to bear a child and transplant it to someone else is just that: hypothetical, so I don't think it is really relevant to the current discussion. Surgery of any kind has its risks, and abdominal surgery (especially when you actually have to cut into organs) is rarely considered "minor".

In Canada, an abortion is allowed up to the 20th week of a pregnancy, I believe, and some women apparently travel to the US where it is allowed later (up to 24 weeks?). And if a child was born at that time, it would require massive intervention in order to survive (and could possibly suffer death or complications regardless). I don't see why abortion is a problem at these timescales. At 28 weeks, I can possibly see your problem (though I would still have problems with telling someone else what to do with their body), but not at 20. I also feel that this doesn't just apply to cases of rape, but to anyone.

Thanks for the reasoned discussion, however, you have given me some new information to think about.

[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 0) (#646)
by Gromit on Sat Dec 21, 2002 at 07:40:38 AM EST

Yep, we're both pretty stuck in. <g>

Just a quick correction about the minor procedure: No abdominal surgery/cutting into organs required; rather, at most it would be a laparoscopic procedure, probably even without the usual small incision for the instruments, and it could even be even less invasive (medically) than that. This is, as I've said, just an advance on current IVF egg harvesting procedure, which is overwhelmingly done in doctor's offices rather than in hospitals (and when in hospitals, on an outpatient basis). Like egg harvesting, it could probably be performed under local anesthesia and IV sedation. (In some ways, it's more straight-forward than egg harvesting, which requires going into the ovaries; the embryo is more accessible.) So yes, while it is certainly hypothetical at the moment, it's entirely feasible we could have this very soon indeed if we made it a priority.

About telling people what to do with their bodies, this is one of our fundamental disagreements. I don't think the child's body is the mother's body; pro-choice people usually do believe that. I think it flies in the face of science. The genes are different. The woman's body even grows a special barrier between it and the child because otherwise, her body would reject it as foreign.

Many thanks to you, too, for the reasoned discussion!

Regards,
--
Gromit



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
No fetus fetish (none / 0) (#587)
by Tux on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:39:09 AM EST

You are correct that if Armin and Jürgen were isolated cases, it would be premature to suggest cultural causes -- it might well be a rare genetic defect. But I have put this case in a larger context, pointing both to the impressively huge snuff community and the various other fetishes/paraphilias that exist. When we then find evidence of such paraphilias only in specific cultures, namely those that repress sexuality, we can start thinking seriously about the cultural causes.

How do you know that any of these fetishes/paraphilias are even related to each other like that?  What percentage of the population are really involved in those things?  Someone else (I can't remember who) already pointed out in this story that the internet facilities communication between people interested in these extereme minority fetishes.  How can a "culture" cause these things if it doesn't happen to most people?  Also, this happened in Germany not the U.S., hardly a sexually "repressed" culture.

You can expect me to be a little smarter than that. The teenage pregancy rate in the Netherlands is 10 per 1,000 people, in the United States it is 99 per 1,000 (Reuters: March 2, 2001). I expect the US rate to climb as more and more anti-sex programs are implemented.

I checked that, and it talked about (at least on the U.S. side) about 18 and 19 year olds being included.  I'm not sure exactly why they included adults in a teen pregnancy statistic.  This just goes back to my original point.

By placing harmless electrodes on a subject's head, scientists can measure the electrical activity produced by the network of neurons inside the skull. Different kinds of mental activity show different kinds of brain waves. But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy--near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this--however alive and active they may be--lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think.

This can't prove anything since electrodes could be hooked up to any animal with a functional brain and register activity.  As Sagan points out animals don't think so obviously, neural activity doesn't show someone or something is thinking.

These scientific facts have been well known for decades. Yet the anti-abortionists choose deliberately to ignore them, because they want to stick to a definition of "human" that is not tied to biology. Thus, the claim that this is a "human rights issue" is merely a pretext, although of course some people are likely to genuinely buy into it.

If they believe its a human rights issue, then it proves my point that your fetus fetish idea is completely made up.

In my article, I have proposed an explanation for the anti-abortion stance that looks deeper: Why do the same people who have no problems advocating capital punishment, the same people who are so keen to restrict other people's freedom so interested in preserving human life when it doesn't even exist yet?

If it is assumed that fetus is a human which pro-life people do, then the only way the fetus could be executed is if it was convicted in a court a law of a crime that warranted the death penalty.  In other words just like any other person.  No freedom is lost here.

Here's an interesting anecdote: A few years ago, a German priest said in an interview that pictures of nude babies would have to be forbidden because (paraphrased) "it's only natural to get aroused when looking at a naked baby". Natural for him, apparently. Another anecdote: a few years ago, a US politician waiting, I think, in a doctor's waiting room took a crying two-year-old child by another mother and spanked the child. After the media reported the case, some parents actually applauded this action, arguing that, at this age, children are "out of control".

Two ancedotes don't make evidence.  Without more information either of those people could be liberals just as much as they could be religious fundamentalists.

These two episodes are telling in that they show how the value system of a religious fundamentalist often works: a young child is sinful when it is nude and shameless, and when it doesn't have its own emotions under control. The foetus, on the other hand, is free of all guilt: It is, after all, safely protected by its mother, immobile, incapable of thought or actions. The perfect Christian.

You have made this up.  The German priest in no way proved that he was advocating this.  All that showed was the guy is most likely a pedophile, and since there isn't some massive conspiracy of religious fundamentalists to be attracted to babies there is no proof that any religious fundamentalist belives this.  Also, what does spanking to correct a child's behavior have to this?  Sex isn't involved in any way whatsoever.  Spanking may or may not be the best way to correct a child's behavior.  I don't know, but sex obviously wasn't involved.

And there's the other aspect of anti-abortionism as a secret outlet of gore fetishisms -- one only has to look at sites like the Christian Gallery to explore this dark secret (the same site that became famous for death-listing abortion doctors).

Again, you're making this up.  Pro-lifers want to show that abortion is a gruesome procedure that deprives people of their lives.  Those images help in that idea.  Sometimes, people actually do things completely unrelated to sex.

There are other aspects as well, such as the denial of the likeness of man and animal, for which the possession of a soul seems to be very important (which then rests at the core of many personhood arguments).

Sagan already did that by showing that what makes humans different than animals is that humans can think.

These points are debatable separately and lead us far away from the subject of the article at hand. I'm always amused, however, by the "complexity" many people believe sexual decisions to have.

I didn't argue complexity.  All I argued it that adults should be treated as adults.  If a 14 year old is to be an adult, they have to be an adult not in some sort of inbewteen stage.

Most people don't have sexual needs that are strong enough to drive them to use physical force, and even if they do, most people are capable of using other sexual outlets such as masturbation. One only has to look at the high incidence of prisoner rape to know, however, that sexually repressive environments foster sexual coercion, even against a person's sexual preferences (i.e. homosexual rape by heterosexuals). The fact that many prisons have rules against masturbation makes the situation only more bizarre.

You already said that lack of sex leads to violent behavior in general not just rape.  (This is also in your violence.de link.)  No society no matter how sexually repressive is violent criminals stuck together is one place in a single sex enviornment.  Prison can't compare to anything else.

Intrusive attempts to "regulate" sexual behavior in the interest of public safety are always tempting to some people, but by creating an open and sexually permissive environment, we create the necessary conditions for proper self-regulation. However, people who ask for help should always be offered help.

You're the one who wants to regulate sexual behavior.  What are you going to do about the pariahs who can't get laid since no one wants to have sex with them, knowing that this will be a cycle that feeds upon itself since their lack of sex will cause people to assume the pariahs will be violent leading to a climate of fear and exclusion around the pariahs?

I think trolls and goatse are a fresh outlet for news and lively debate, too.
-An AC in response to the idea that slashdot is a fresh outlet for pertinent news and lively debate
[ Parent ]

Teens (none / 0) (#598)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 10:32:02 AM EST

it talked about (at least on the U.S. side) about 18 and 19 year olds being included. I'm not sure exactly why they included adults in a teen pregnancy statistic.
Because it's a teen pregancy study, and those ages are eighteen and nineteen.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
18 and 19 year olds are adults (none / 0) (#616)
by Tux on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:04:47 PM EST

Because it's a teen pregancy study, and those ages are eighteen and nineteen.

Eighteen and nineteen year olds can vote so therefore they are adults not teens.  Since they are adults they don't belong in a teen pregnancy statistic.

I think trolls and goatse are a fresh outlet for news and lively debate, too.
-An AC in response to the idea that slashdot is a fresh outlet for pertinent news and lively debate
[ Parent ]

It's very simple (4.00 / 2) (#631)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 03:06:42 PM EST

The "teens" are the numbers that end in "teen": thirteen through nineteen.  The meaning of the word is inherent in the name.  The name "teenager" and the shortened "teen" come directly from their age ending in "teen".  When my friends all turned twenty a few years ago, we noted that we weren't teenagers anymore.  My mom tells people that she has two teenagers in the house, and that they are 18 years old.

If this study had been on "underage pregnancy" instead of "teen pregnancy", then you would have a point.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

I don't think that's the claim (5.00 / 1) (#277)
by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:05:48 AM EST

If lack of sex creates violence like you claim then anyone who can't get laid/can't get a date is a criminal waiting to happen according to you

He seems to have hedged in that direction (and probably shouldn't have), but the main claim is that painting sex as a bad thing and a general atmosphere of repression is what's bad.

Remember: Sex is filthy, immoral and disgusting, and you should only share it with the one you love.

[ Parent ]

It's in his violence.de link (none / 0) (#588)
by Tux on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:52:23 AM EST

He seems to have hedged in that direction (and probably shouldn't have), but the main claim is that painting sex as a bad thing and a general atmosphere of repression is what's bad.

The idea that lack of sex and similar contact causes someone to be a violent criminal is the main thesis of his violence.de link.  There is really no way that if that idea was implemented it wouldn't end badly.  Back when I was in high school no one wanted to have sex with me, so if this idea was implemented I know I would be thrown in prison simply for the choices of other people.  It would basically be a post-Columbine reaction as the sexless became the new group to fear.  After all this fear is justified since they are the only violent people on the planet.  At least that's what would be believed.  Real criminals wouldn't get convicted in court since they would just show how they can get laid easily to be let off.  Who are they going to blame then anyone who can't get laid.

Remember: Sex is filthy, immoral and disgusting, and you should only share it with the one you love.

Absolutely.

I think trolls and goatse are a fresh outlet for news and lively debate, too.
-An AC in response to the idea that slashdot is a fresh outlet for pertinent news and lively debate
[ Parent ]

abortion issue (5.00 / 1) (#355)
by tunesmith on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:28:09 PM EST

Both sides of the abortion arguement believe it to be a human rights issue (pro-life: right of the child to live, pro-choice: right of the woman over her own body).

Argh. Why does everyone describe this as the two points being OPPOSED to each other? They're not. They're skew.

Both sides would agree with one objective. To reduce and prevent unwanted pregnancies. If they would just wise up and remember to focus on that objective rather than all their stupid bickering, we'd get a lot done.

Curt
Yes, I have a blog.
[ Parent ]

Poll: Other (3.66 / 6) (#50)
by OneWord on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:01:59 AM EST

Some of the above. Shoes, urine, feces, spit, snot. Sadomasocistism (is that even a word? umm, Giving and getting pain). Men, Women, Children, Animals, Monsters, Robots, and ANIME. Snuff, from newborns to old folks. Random likes and dislikes within those ranges.

I was not blocked from adult content on TV nor from Playboy when I was old enough to ask. Been sexually aware since age of seven. Don't remember any abuse, from home anyway. Constantly belittled by female teachers and students. Sado and pedophilic desires since seven, believe worsened by unhealthy environment at school.

Sex was concidered somewhat taboo in household, not spoken of often. Never saw (to my remembering) parents having sex, saw very little affection towards each other, rarely hugged or cared for by father.

Do not believe any desire to be *wrong*, do not have guilt anymore. Even though had strong guilt while christian.

Have only had limited action in any sexual sense. Still virgin and not bothered by it. Not constantly horny (like males are supposedly like), sometimes going for 1-2 weeks without sexual desire and are not bothered by that either.

Have form of MPD (thoughts only), each with different desires, all kinda muddled together.


The word you're looking for is sadomasochism (NT) (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by pope nihil on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:57:03 AM EST

The word you're looking for is sadomasochism (NT)

I voted.

[ Parent ]
But it does bother you (2.00 / 2) (#65)
by sticky on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:19:39 AM EST

I can tell by your phrasing. The lack of reference to your self in many of your sentences suggests a detachment from your sexuality, like you are trying to analyze it from a completely objective point of view. Something is bugging you; you'd best find out what.


Don't eat the shrimp.---God
[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 0) (#69)
by OneWord on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:46:23 AM EST

I have friends that read here and other forums where they know me, and I am worried if they found out I "like little kids" that either my friendship or safety might be at risk and that risk is just too great, today at least.

If I had to find guilt with any one fetish it would have to be the sado stuff but really everything in me says that if it's just a thought it's nothing. I'm not acting on it. If anything I feel that I am *supposed* to feel guilt (chistian blah blah) and feel guilty that I don't.

Thanks for the reply :)


[ Parent ]

Sadomasochism (3.50 / 2) (#181)
by omghax on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:25:46 PM EST

Is, essentially, deriving sadistic pleasure from abusing yourself while at the same time deriving masochistic pleasure from being abused.

Kind of a two for the price of one. =/



I put the "LOL" in phiLOLigcal leadership - vote for OMGHAX for CMF president!
[ Parent ]
ladies and gentlemen of the jury (3.50 / 2) (#298)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:13:55 AM EST

Allow me to present today's healthy sexuality. Its representative and exemplar: a panmorphously perverse snot and death fetishist who, inevitably, remains a virgin to this day. To whom sex is penetration by a robot or an animal.

I don't know whose fault this is, but it just drives me. I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Even more other (4.00 / 1) (#644)
by BeeMaya on Sat Dec 21, 2002 at 02:02:57 AM EST

Hi, I'm a nearly a sexual blank like you, apart from a night of petting experiences 3 years ago (very sweet) and two little doctorgames in my childhood. That is a slang in germany (outside of castle Wolfenstein, too?) for childs experiencing the unknown and irritating, but in my opinion instinctive world of sexual intercourse, sometimes using the element of imitating a doctor while inspecting the bodily functions of the partner. In my case that were just two little events of jumping quickly into bed and rubbing our bodys at each other (I was supposing, my parents were doing this under their blanket...or hurting each other, because of the suspicious noises they were fabricating).

So this, along with a useful sex educating comicbook for infants (which described every part of the male/female body, and even what can be done with it), was my introduction into the complex. At these days (ca. 16 years ago, I was 7 years old, so now I am at the age where I suppose Hagbard Celine has started his mission), erotic on TV was, when a New-Wave Act, let's say Nena showed up in a local music show.

And now for something completly different. A little warp into 2003. An anonymus, neurotic, chainsmoker sits before his pc, behind him a night of wonderous accumulation of Letters, coming out of the light emitting thing before his nose. So we are constantly staring at each other. My PC me and I.

If your're getting the feeling that some unwordly hermit is posting this, that's no bad guess. I am not very good in communication, since I moved into the big bad city, 3 years ago, and had a constant flirt with capitalism and its dis- and advantages, but none with girls or its counterparts. I rather spend my recent life in failing to accomplish, in the task of being a programmer and often being so disstressed and neurotic that I sometimes hurted myself (not really heavy, but a broken wall inside my flat and some wounds on the beating hand, were the results). I had to compensate the aggression inside me, which I forced at myself, I think. A result of missing human contact, as I learned from study about a chimpanse without contact to his mates, which heavily got onto an autoagression-trip after a while.

Since I hopped over the critical phase of my puberty, I never forced violence in a physical manner on anyone, although I've tortured an equal-aged boy, long ago in coorporation with a schoolmate over a span of weeks. In primary school I was nearly equally treated by a small group in my class.

I've done a quick research on google: "Freud"+"imprinting" Result: Some Behaviours/Thinkingpatterns of human and animal behaviours are not instinctive, rather they have to be learned in sensible phases of life. One of these sensible phases is the age up to five, where especially the relation to the ones that raise you is determining in which way you develop your emotions. (Leary is explaining it similar)

My opionion is that we always change our state of mind. And if I remeber right, my views and feelings 3 years ago, drastically differed to the ones I have today, but only because I were willing to adopt new theories, and I knew some people to discuss these views with. So this guy is concentrating on his "dark" motions and that one goes for the contrary.

So if you OneWord have all these fantasies to play with, it might not even be a misleading thing, if you don't project it on real world. But try to analyse yourself, and ask yourself, if it is really you, that wants to know more about these fetishes, or rather the TV or the internet is suggesting you that it is a fine thing to do. I am really not a moralist, but please note the Freud thing stated above (I know that your ahead of childhood, but neverless)

The cannibals shocked me. I would recommend to anyone with these feelings to go to www.transhumanism.com today and read everything there. If that does not helps, look for a good psychatrist. Don't know if it is helping you, I don't even if I can make this hole post meaningful with this, but remember, that everywhere on the world people are being brutalized, violated and fucked up inside their minds, and in these regions the life is ultra-hard, I think. Would you like to live in such an eviroment?

D.

And it burns, burns, burns. The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

[ Parent ]
I see lots of problems here. Too many. (2.23 / 17) (#55)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:22:15 AM EST

Pornography is violence against the very idea of women, so it doesn't make sense to ask for the legalization of non-violent pornography. I think you make the very good point that we should commission scientists to study the link between macabre fetishes and the socio-economic class of young men who can program their computer to find USENET on the Internet. However, the rest of your essay takes merely forever to repeatedly confuse correlation with causation and completely ignore the instantiation of Evil at birth, an odd think for a German to forget.

---
"I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car."

What the hell is this supposed to mean? (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by ZanThrax on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:39:57 AM EST

Pornography is violence against the very idea of women

The idea of women? Freedom's an idea, women are people.

If Bush can attack Iraq because they might do something to Americans someday, can I attack Bush because he might invade Canada someday? I figure I'm as entit
[ Parent ]

yes, that was a typo (3.33 / 3) (#74)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:54:55 AM EST

What I meant to write was "the rest of your essay [the manifesto tacked on at the end] takes merely forever to repeatedly confuse lack of correlation with causation." I am not sure I understand your point. If you insist the experience of being woman is insubstantial, because it cannot be falsified and because experience, if it exists at all, exists in the mind alone outside the realm of things (such as sex objects), then your insistence will make it difficult for me to distinguish women from the "people" that bear their remarkable resemblance on VHS. And that can't be good.

---
"I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car."
[ Parent ]

better <nt> (none / 0) (#91)
by CodeWright on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:35:35 AM EST



--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
If pornography is... (4.33 / 6) (#84)
by CtrlBR on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:04:43 AM EST

...violence against the very idea of women, is gay porn not pornography? What about porn with mistresses with strap-on dildo anally raping bound male victims?

Your argument is just to stupid to debunk thoroughly.

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
Hello. (5.00 / 2) (#134)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:16:49 PM EST

He said "the idea of women", not "women themselves".

That means that pronography is meant to degrade women in the mind of the person watching it.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Again, address gay porn (3.00 / 2) (#278)
by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:13:47 AM EST

A guy watching gay porn degrades men in the mind of the men watching it?  How about a woman watching straight porn?  A woman watching lesbian porn?  How about a man watching S&M porn where the woman is in the power position and the man is on bottom?

Normal, straight porn is contradictive to the Islamo-Judeo-Christian cornerstone of the woman being a vile creature to be subjected (with very few exceptions).  It shows the woman being able to enjoy sex on equal footing with the man, whereas she is supposed to be "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen" and suffered to live only because she is necessary to the continuation of the race (the latter paraphrasing Martin Luther).

[ Parent ]

heh (3.66 / 3) (#282)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:56:59 AM EST

Normal, straight porn ... shows the woman being able to enjoy sex on equal footing with the man...

Rock and Roll Rocco would be terribly upset to hear that, my man. As would the producers of such pro-woman works as Young, Dumb, and Full of Cum, and Fuck Pigs 5.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

"normal" (none / 0) (#289)
by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:06:47 AM EST

From context I believe your examples show a degradation fetish where the woman is portrayed as being subordinate to the man, a possession to be used and swapped and shown her inferior status.

In that case I guess we could call it "Christian porn."

[ Parent ]

haha! I get it! (none / 0) (#294)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:53:46 AM EST

jesus!

trinity!

Plus, you can really see in the preceding links how the girls are all wearing crosses, censing ikons, praying, and studying St Irenaeus.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

funny (none / 0) (#90)
by CodeWright on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:34:15 AM EST

but not quite up to your standards

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
A stab at figuring out what is happening here (2.12 / 8) (#62)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:05:37 AM EST

I think the topic you raise is one of some significance. What is changing in Western countries so that this is happening?

I have been told by a friend of mine that is an MD that the typical profile of a psychopathic serial killer in the US is a white male of Northern European ancestry. Earlier today, Baldrson showed that there is a correlation of high suicide rates and specific nationalities of Northern European descent. Now, it strikes me as plausible that the same phenomena that drive someone to kill themselves may drive them to kill others or engage in behavior widely regarded as "sick".

What we really need to do here is get some decent statistics on crimes like serial killings and mutilations and correlate them with other factors. I personally think there is a possibility that this phenomena is associate with mass immigration-but I do not yet have good statistical analysis to support that theory.

If folks have other another hypothesis and a data set they'd like simple statistical analysis run on, please let us know.



my pet theory (none / 0) (#68)
by Lode Runner on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:39:33 AM EST

is that the higher suicide rates cause the increased presence of various groups of Northern Europeans. I can support this argument with the correlations you have provided.

If we can figure out how to quantify anomie, we'll be all set...

[ Parent ]

Question-time series (1.00 / 2) (#82)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:58:12 AM EST

Well, then how to do you explain that the areas in which these groups lived had a lower suicide rate 100 years ago when these groups made up a much larger portion of the population?

[ Parent ]
Henry Ford [nt] (none / 0) (#226)
by Lode Runner on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:43:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Genetics? (none / 0) (#87)
by greenrd on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:27:53 AM EST

I have been told by a friend of mine that is an MD that the typical profile of a psychopathic serial killer in the US is a white male of Northern European ancestry.

Or perhaps white males are slightly more prone to genetic anomalies that predispose them towards being raving psychopaths - just as black people are statistically more likely to be born with the gene(s) for sickle cell anemia?

Just thought I'd match one racially offensive speculation with another!

Disclaimer: I am a white male.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

How this might work (1.00 / 4) (#147)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:50:01 PM EST

Serial killers tend to be white, heterosexual males in their twenties and thirties who are sexually dysfunctional and have low self-esteem. Their methodical rampages are almost always sexual in nature. Their killings are usually part of an elaborate fantasy that builds to a climax at the moment of their murderous outburst.

Now, the costs of mass immigration is disproportionately born by young men, particularly those that were from groups of lower socio-economic status prior to the start of the mass immigration.

Economic power is much more concentrated in the US along ethnic lines than is commonly appreciated. The only groups in the US with more millionaires/capita than the general population are Russians/Jews, Scots, Dutch-and some smaller recently arrived Asian groups. What this means is that many other groups are especially vulnerable as a group to downward pressure on wages/living standards brought about by mass immigration(the wealthier groups insulated somewhat by holding capital assets).

Wilhelm Reich wrote about contribution of the depression in Germany upsetting "mating patterns" that provided fertile ground for the rise of the Nazi movement(I think later on, Reich went in a nutty direction but that analysis may hold). I'm saying that just possibly, we can statistically analyze some other factors that are here that might help us better understand this whole phenomena of mass murder/genocide and its relation with social dislocation.

I find it unfortunate that the religion of Political Correctness makes it difficult for folks to think clearly in this whole area-and may result in quite a few folks needlessly dying.



[ Parent ]

Casual play (4.66 / 6) (#63)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:13:38 AM EST

To me, it seems silly to paint every odd sexual practice as a "fetish", which usually means something you are fixated on and may require to get off. BDSM play I can take or leave; it is fun from time to time, but I don't need it. More serious things—those that involve lasting damage or significant risk thereof—are a different manner, of course.

expression of evil (1.00 / 2) (#197)
by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:06:41 PM EST

"To me, it seems silly to paint every odd sexual practice as a "fetish", which usually means something you are fixated on and may require to get off."

Another case of bad wording but still it is bisare and unnecessary.

" BDSM play I can take or leave; it is fun from time to time, but I don't need it."

Male or Female? Is this a different sex relationship?

Now that that little piece of curiousity is out of the way. Thinking of human beings as differented as masters and slaves is something I do not go for. Too much of a pure Lenin thing I guess.

" More serious things--those that involve lasting damage or significant risk thereof--are a different manner, of course. "

Of course.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

As an exercise, (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:57:14 PM EST

when you make an argument about BDSM sex, apply it to oral sex as well. If you're like most modern Americans, you don't have a problem with oral sex; yet it is "unnecessary" (to procreation), "bizarre" (to people in other cultures, and even to our culture not so many decades ago), and so on. There's even a power thing intrinsic to it: giving head is usually thought of as taking on a submissive role.

While people can and do take on master/slave roles on an ongoing basis, it's not necessary. My own BDSM play is entirely a matter of temporary erotic roles, not a lifestyle: one person or the other takes firm, physical control of the sexual situation and the other lets the passive role carry him or her away. Physical restraint may or may not be involved. In this particular case, I am he and she is she, and we don't formally take turns, but we end up playing about 50-50.

Another thought for you: the traditional roles of husband and wife are very much roles of dominance and submission, even in the sexual arena. Do you consider that as twisted and evil as the same roles with the label "BDSM" attached? If not, where do you draw the line?



[ Parent ]
very well (1.00 / 3) (#224)
by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:33:01 PM EST

"when you make an argument about BDSM sex, apply it to oral sex as well."

I really don't see why? There isn't the same level of infusion of negative idealism.

" If you're like most modern Americans, you don't have a problem with oral sex; yet it is "unnecessary" (to procreation), "bizarre" (to people in other cultures, and even to our culture not so many decades ago), and so on."

Which modern culture finds this bizare? However this really wasn't my most cogent point or the most debatable one I believe that this is comming up next.

" There's even a power thing intrinsic to it: giving head is usually thought of as taking on a submissive role."

Possibly but there is thinking to *degree* and *intent* in every single act something has to be dominant and something submissive. Two people cannot both be on top. It's just a matter of fact.

"While people can and do take on master/slave roles on an ongoing basis, it's not necessary."

The physical perameters and the thinking behind the act are again of a greater degree in the same way that smashing ants on a sidewalk and killing millions are the same thinking it's a question of degree and the degree is only relevent when it becomes large enough.

" My own BDSM play is entirely a matter of temporary erotic roles, not a lifestyle: one person or the other takes firm, physical control of the sexual situation and the other lets the passive role carry him or her away."

I think that for the most part there must be a clear definitive differentiation of BDSM and sex. According to you normal sex can be classified according to these criteria. There is something you are not telling me. What is the main thing that makes BDSM special and you have the thing that I am most likely critiquing. It's a special hellish brand of dehamanizing.

" Physical restraint may or may not be involved."

If it's not what makes it different from regular sex?

" In this particular case, I am he and she is she, and we don't formally take turns, but we end up playing about 50-50."

I thought it could be the gay thing. That's a relief.

"Another thought for you: the traditional roles of husband and wife are very much roles of dominance and submission, even in the sexual arena."

Why is that? Why does there necessarily have to be a victor and a vanquished? It's not necessarily bad to have someone lead say in dancing neither is is bad to have someone lead in this area. It's the practical ideas infused mostly in the idea.

It seems that most of the ideas you have developed for BDSM seem to be the same as in traditional sexual relationships.

I am attacking the root underlying causes of thinking behind the ideas. Sex is just sex. BDSM is based on theories of subsconscious evil and subjudication.

" Do you consider that as twisted and evil as the same roles with the label "BDSM" attached?"

I don't because sociologically and anthropologically as well as historically sex is not as firmly rooted in it's baseline principles with hegemony as BDSM. That's what I have been saying.

" If not, where do you draw the line? "

Inflicting pain is not part of the program. Pain is bad. (Personally I think Bhuddism is silly. I have heard all I desire to hear about accepting suffering. Human kind hasn't crawled out of the slime pit just to get knocked down. Human dignity is all triumphant. I had an incling that was going to be going through someone's mind here.) Avoidance of pain and persuance of pleasure is the goal.

Some goals are higher than others. Persuing some erotic literature (say at http://www.asstr.org is a really good example) is instructive how individuals (presumably) aquainted with such problems apply a basic philosophical problem with thought of real world practicality. Wanting to dominate and control is not my idea of a pleaseant state of affairs in any way. Don't be fooled there is nothing I would rather not like than to be at the hands of a dictator.

I draw the line in which a person is going to (with full knowledge of the other person's state of mind) to engage in repressing that person (in a traditional way of enforcing the other person's non-status in a relationship.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Play and hurt (5.00 / 2) (#228)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:52:37 PM EST

I'm still having difficulty gathering the patience to read and reply to your post, both because of the length and because of the quoting style. I wish you'd boil it down some. As it is, I can't reply point by point, but I will try to reply to the essence of what you are saying.

To me there is no clear line between BDSM play and "regular" sex; that's a big part of my point. There can be power play (who's on top?) and pain play (love bites) even in the ordinary, accepted style of sex. My style sometimes reaches into physical restraint, and sometimes involves conscious role-playing. I would say that BDSM in general is characterized by conscious, consensual power and pain play; if those are the most important elements in the activity, you can officially call it not-normal-sex or whatever. And sometimes I do that, and sometimes not.

Power play, pain play, and anything else humans do is bad if and only if it is done in a way that is intentionally or recklessly harmful. It is not harmful prima facie; I know plenty of people who do a lot more than I do in this vein and are not hurt by it. The people who get hurt are at least as likely to be in plain-vanilla relationships; someone gets hurt when the other person has real, lasting power (not play-power) over them and abuses it.

If you want to talk about what's been generally accepted at various points in history, you will quickly get in trouble. There have been many times and places when rape and violence were the normal way of things; this idea of treating one another as equals, negotiating, and doing things consensually is a modern innovation, one I'm quite proud to be a part of. I don't think tradition for its own sake is the right way to go; we learn from history by considering what served our ancestors well and what did not, not by blindly aping them.



[ Parent ]
the refined point (none / 0) (#361)
by uniball vision micro on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:58:30 PM EST

"I'm still having difficulty gathering the patience to read and reply to your post, both because of the length and because of the quoting style. I wish you'd boil it down some. As it is, I can't reply point by point, but I will try to reply to the essence of what you are saying. "

I hope to try but there are some 'angel on the head of a pin' kind of things that have to be brought up.

"To me there is no clear line between BDSM play and "regular" sex; that's a big part of my point. There can be power play (who's on top?) and pain play (love bites) even in the ordinary, accepted style of sex."

What I am trying to say is that the original intent of the act and the premises behind it are different for each.

It's kind of like comparing the difference between say the police (modern) and the gestapo in Germany. Maybe the ways that they currently act and currently acted respectively are somewhat similar but that dosn't mean that their founding principles were. This is the most important part of what I was trying to say.

" My style sometimes reaches into physical restraint, and sometimes involves conscious role-playing."

I really wasn't going to go too deeply into what is person and preferrential. I was just really interested in the level of ideological intensity that was there.

" I would say that BDSM in general is characterized by conscious, consensual power and pain play; if those are the most important elements in the activity, you can officially call it not-normal-sex or whatever. And sometimes I do that, and sometimes not. "

Thank you for answering this important question. So we have established the concept of what makes BDSM importantly different from normal sex. It involves some ritualized violence and restraint.

I would think that normal sex is in fact a little less complicated than this in the same way as my example. In my example the police are simple law enforcers. The gestapo in fact are more sinister and employ more thug like tactics with more ideological control than their more benign counterparts. Do you see where I am going with this?

"Power play, pain play, and anything else humans do is bad if and only if it is done in a way that is intentionally or recklessly harmful. "

I have to say that for the most part you are right about intent. However there is some objectivity about an action and the intellectual baggage that comes along with the action.

"It is not harmful prima facie; I know plenty of people who do a lot more than I do in this vein and are not hurt by it."

How do you define hurt and injury? Of course not necessarily physical but what about reasoning in the thought process? What if I assume that the best way to relate to women is to subjudicate them or treat them like I can manipulate them into doing what I desire. What If further I decide that the woman may like what I do becase hey you think that you are just that damn persuasive via this power? Just a thought.

" The people who get hurt are at least as likely to be in plain-vanilla relationships; someone gets hurt when the other person has real, lasting power (not play-power) over them and abuses it. "

I will admit that abuse of power (ie domestic violence and the like) are likely in many situations including normal ones. That climate of power and abuse of power has to be an intellectual hurdle that one has to overcome to initiate that behaviour.

BDSM has on it's underlying principle the concept that a person is dominant in theory or practice. This would at least to me make it possible to have the subjudication of another on their mind already. Now that would not necessarily translate into abuse because people who are most likely engaging in such behaviour are people who are socially liberal and would probably hold people in high esteem (at least I think).

What I am comparing the basic contentions at the start. When you start admitting that some things are ethically justifiable you start moving down a slippery slope. I re-read the article and found it interesting as a point that the ancient inhabitants of Pompeii didn't engage in such behaviour and didn't think that it was necessary even in such a violent time as theirs.

"If you want to talk about what's been generally accepted at various points in history, you will quickly get in trouble. There have been many times and places when rape and violence were the normal way of things; this idea of treating one another as equals, negotiating, and doing things consensually is a modern innovation, one I'm quite proud to be a part of."

So am I. I personally like the concept that we don't have to live in a world with evil and subjudication. The thing is that we should see history as a continnum between the evolution of an idea and the application of an idea for the sake of purity of the thought. Yeah sure sex has been through some ideas but I think that the problem has been smoothed over more so than has been thought.

BDSM is not an old idea by a modern extension of some ideas that are impractical extensions of what people thought of the past. This is where I disagree with the selection above. Medieval torture is never conclusively linked with medieval sexual practices. Church and sexual relations are not the same. People didn't (in normal domestic relations) tie people up and beat them.

" I don't think tradition for its own sake is the right way to go; we learn from history by considering what served our ancestors well and what did not, not by blindly aping them. "

How does BDSM supposedly serve modern man well? Considering that it is in fact a modern invention that seems to draw on antecendents from disperate sources in the medieval world that were never meant to be integrated how is it even ancient?

Ancient man was about living close to nature and close to society in a way which most people cannot comphrend. Even medieval man didn't have the problems that we seem to have.

Giving people exactly what they want is not going to reform society; bread and circuses don't make a decent society. Personally I don't think that much of the modern generation really knows what it wants.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

FYI (none / 0) (#669)
by vectro on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:23:25 AM EST

Your quoting style is very difficult to read. I'd suggest indentation, italics, or both.

Or better yet, don't quote at all. I find that generally one's posts flow better without a point-by-point rebuttal, except in cases where that's required.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Power and transcendence (3.00 / 1) (#260)
by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:26:53 AM EST

Actually, I've heard some women express that they feel like the dominant one while giving oral sex. However, I didn't particularly buy their rationalization and they weren't exactly the sanest cookies on the block, especially since part of the rationale was, "well, if he hurts me, I can always bite it off." Uhm, what? I suppose it's possible that both parties can feel empowered by this situation, but, frankly, I think it's dumb. An act of love shouldn't concern rationalizations about power whatsoever. Once you start thinking about people as better than or worse than, then you've pretty much forgotten about their inate humanity.

I don't trust sub/dom play. It's too reminiscent of how the real world works. There are people who subconsciously reenact childhood abuses over and over again because they want it all to work out correctly this time around. That's why there are so many serial victims of domestic abuse and that's why people are always making the same damn mistakes in their relationships.

This article argues that childhood spanking is what sets the spanking fetish in motion. BDSM is (usually) safe reenactment. I'm glad that people can act out these fantasies safely. But the fantasy always ends the same way: The one you love. The one you trust. They hurt you. Again.

Please, baby, one more time?

If someone plans on becoming a self-actualized individual, then they have to stop playing that tape over and over again. They have to transcend power games and self-abuse and learn how to forgive the past abuses that incite their being.

Note: Very few people actually accomplish this goal.

Incidentally, people who are just in their actions and know deep down that they are correct tend not to feel the need to argue incessantly with morons. A morally confident person doesn't have to keep reconvincing themselves that they're correct by advertising their actions and constantly defending them against others.

Fetishists, on the other hand, will piss their pants if you say something wrong about their obsession.

Speaking of morality, since that's my particular fetish, what is to be said of the person who rewards a sadist by participating in and encouraging their actions? Was Jürgen a victim, an accomplish or perhaps both? It's also interesting to note that most abusers were victims of abuse at one point before they decided to continue the cycle of violence.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Media'sSexual Conditioning (4.00 / 2) (#64)
by cronian on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:15:41 AM EST

I don't think pure porn is harmful, but there is violent porn. Even if it is only loosely porn at all many advertisements on television and in magzines promote violence against women. I think the same can be said for zoology especially in black fashion magazines.

The media also promotes porn through censorship. I remember reading a great article, although I don't recall where it was, about how the success of major TV shows is determined by how many obscenities they are allowed to put in the shows. TV shows highlight what little inkling they have toward including any obscenities and pornography to promote. However, in America, violence is more acceptable than porn so they always seem to tie the two toegether which probably creates violent fetishes. THey attract an audience to TV shows through "obscenities" so they try to put in as much as possible.



We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
Provocative, but statistical flaws (4.85 / 14) (#72)
by Seth Finkelstein on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:18:41 AM EST

Your thesis that no surviving art depicting fetishes, means there were no fetishes, seems to me extremely flawed. I believe the error is in not considering the lower-common-denominator nature of the art. That is, large expensive decorations were likely to be those which had mass appeal, rather than to specialized niches. After all, one of the great benefits of the advance in networked communications is that it provides abilities to associate for those who are decidedly unmainstream (whether intellectual, political, or sexual) But that hardly means such views didn't exist previously.

With just a little searching (I love the net ... umm, not quite the way that sounds ...), I was able to find a Roman art example of a flagellation image

In particular, when you write "And although ancient Rome had many erotic statues, it is unlikely that there was a wide-spread petrification fetish", I can't resist asking: "What would a statue of a petrification fetish look like? How would you tell?".

More specifically, if the same relative proportion of the population of ancient Rome had that fetish, how likely it is that there would be any surviving art about it? And the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea certainly sounds like some sort of statue-related fetish to me (I mean, calling the statue his wife - C'mon!).

The points about repression leading to problems are fine, but I think you're ignoring too much in order to have a type of Noble Savage myth.


-- Seth Finkelstein

Petrification (5.00 / 3) (#83)
by mumble on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:03:48 AM EST

I can't resist asking: "What would a statue of a petrification fetish look like?"

I can't resist replying: Natalie Portman.

(Sorry, as a slashdotter, it had to be said)

-----
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"They must know I'm here. The half and half jug is missing" - MDC.
"I've grown weary of googling the solutions to my many problems" - MDC.
[ Parent ]

I agree (5.00 / 3) (#85)
by greenrd on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:50:26 AM EST

In addition, Eloquence misses a related reason, despite touching on it in his intro.

With the Internet we have a mechanism by which members of extreme minority groups (e.g. cannibalists) can find each other semi-anonymously and feel validated. In ancient Roman times you just didn't have that. So the reason why you find art depicting gay sex and zoophilia from those times was that homosexuality and zoophilia were, as now, at least common enough to be accepted(?!) (or at least to be laughed at, which I think is more likely in the case of zoophilia!) but sexualised cannibalism was unheard of because it was (and is) so rare (and so gross to the average person I expect).

Eloquence might be right in his (fallaciously justified) assumption that ancient Rome had no e.g. sexualised cannibals, but that would be difficult to prove. Especially if the proportion of sexualised cannibals in the general population today is so small as to make the comparison statistically meaningless (as there were a lot less people alive then)!


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Context (5.00 / 1) (#237)
by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:12:58 PM EST

Your thesis that no surviving art depicting fetishes, means there were no fetishes, seems to me extremely flawed.

Actually, that is not my thesis. Read again:

The frescoes, statues and figurines show sexual acts, or men with extremely enlarged penises. It was not uncommon for a kitchen or living room wall to be decorated with a fresco of the naked god Priapus, a man with a donkey-size penis. And then there is Pan, perhaps an early furry, a goat-man/god who is in one astonishingly detailed sculpture depicted as having sex with a real goat. There are the penis windchimes and the brothel paintings. Homosexuality, zoophilia, pederasty (sexual relationships between men and young boys) are known to have been widely practiced.

There are no fetishes.

I only describe what we have found. The claim "there are no fetishes", although it has been interpreted by many readers as such, is not supposed to mean that ancient Rome was entirely fetish-free. The Empire and Republic span many centuries, and the culture has obviously varied a lot over that time. Even before the coup d'etat by Christianity, sexual mores became more rigid and controlled. The ancient Greeks were, in many respects, deeply patriarchal and considered women very low on the evolutionary ladder, the Romans obviously inherited much of this ideology.

What I do claim, however, is that the evidence allows us to make the reasonable assumption that ancient Rome, at the time of Pompeii, in that particular region at least, was sexually very different from our culture. What "we" would consider hard-core pornography -- the phalli, the pornographic statues, the frescoes -- was celebrated openly. The Romans were considered "shameless" by later cultures. Yet, their sexual practices are astonishingly "vanilla" and fetish-free.

Sure, you may argue that such fetishes still existed in small subcultures etc., but there's a logical problem: If the Romans were so open about sexuality, why would anyone have needed to hide their own fetish so well that even after searching every house, every graffiti, every personal possession we cannot find any record of it? Especially as it's so easy to find a pretext for even the most extreme fetish -- history, mythology etc. In medieval times, this was certainly common. I have a whole book consisting only of Christian depictions of torture, executions, suffering etc. And the medieval Christians were about as narrow-minded about sexuality as it gets -- if they had no problem celebrating their fetishes in that fashion, why would the Romans have had them?

Under these circumstances, the only reasonable assumption is that these fetishes did not exist in Pompeii to a significant extent. Even the lower-class graffitis are very benign: "XY gives a good blow-job. I had sex with A. Bla is gay".

How different would a German or American city frozen in time look? What would we find there? Personal collections of spanking magazines, whips, nipple clips, and many other instruments of bondage or particular to specific sexual fetishes. The Romans could well have had the ancient equivalents. Yet the best you can come up with is a mythology scene where an angel (!) raises a cane of some kind. The woman has no visible whip marks on her back. Next to her is a dancing woman with cymbals.

The common interpretation of this scene is that it depicts a rite of initiation in the old cult of Bacchus/Dionysos - the dancing woman is interpreted to be the caned women in the next stage of the ritual. The angelic figure in this context must be understood as a symbol for suffering -- like Amor with his bow and arrow is a symbol for love, not a baby-with-arrow fetish. The Romans made it easy for us: Whenever they wanted to say "This isn't really happening" they attached some wings to the person in question :-). Context is important -- this is part of a much larger symbolic tale consisting of many different episodes, not a depiction of an actual flagellation ritual. It takes a modern viewer to provide a sexualized interpretation.

And the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea certainly sounds like some sort of statue-related fetish to me (I mean, calling the statue his wife - C'mon!).

The gist of the story is that the statue becomes a real woman. If you look at one of the many petrification websites, such as Medusa's Realm (which was advertised here by a K5 member) you will notice that the petrification fetish works the other way around: a real woman becomes a statue -- this is the height of sexual pleasure in the petrification fantasy.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Absence of evidence =! evidence of absence (4.00 / 2) (#247)
by Seth Finkelstein on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:41:59 PM EST

If the Romans were so open about sexuality, why would anyone have needed to hide their own fetish so well that even after searching every house, every graffiti, every personal possession we cannot find any record of it?

Again, how would you tell? If an ancient Roman had a shoe-fetish (well, maybe back then it was a sandal-fetish), what would you expect to find in their house to prove this? If a person had a fetish involving used togas, what would be preserved in this case? If someone had a riding-harness for their spouse rather than their horse, how to tell for which they used it? (and note such an item would be comparatively extremely expensive)

It seems to me that you are making a classic error of confusing absence of evidence with evidence of absence. Moreover, you've compounded this by apparently not taking into account how much cheaper and more common are drawings and writings in the modern era.

Much of my argument is not one of "shame", but of economics. You write about depictions being astonishingly "vanilla" and fetish-free (ignoring the goats ...), and then claim it means that these fetishes did not exist in Pompeii to a significant extent. Rather, perhaps it means there was not much of a market for those depictions. This is a very different matter. By contrast, medieval Christianity could almost be said to have produced a fad for what we'd call "bondage chic". What is the market proportion, even now, for fetish sexuality compared to "vanilla"? There's much more Playboy than Shoe Fetish Fancier.

Here's a counter-argument - how many images of crucifixion survive from ancient Rome, compared to the number from medieval times? If you go by images alone, you might argue that crucifixion reached its height as a practice in medieval times, not Roman eras.

Even the lower-class graffitis are very benign

How much graffiti outside of Slashdot is about Natalie-Portman-naked-and-petrified?

Note, regarding the Roman art example of a flagellation image, that was just in a few minutes of searching. It inclines me to think that there might in fact be some ancient art about the more common fetishes.

Perhaps Pygmalion and Galatea should be classified as an object-fetish rather than a petrification-fetish. But it certainly is an eyebrow-raising story in this context.


-- Seth Finkelstein
[ Parent ]

Excellent Article (3.50 / 8) (#75)
by psychologist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:10:51 AM EST

I'll post a longer reply when I have time to think about it.

But what I would like to point out is that Afghansitan is not particularly known for sexual deviants. Neither are any African countries, in spite of the huge taboo against talkiing about/conducting in premarital sex in most tribes there. Also, Pakistan, Turkey, the Arabs, India, Sri Lanka are not known for sexual deviation, in spite of strict moral codes being practised there.

It is the countries with the naked body cults that have the perverts. It is Germany, America, Netherlands etc. these liberal countries always manage to amaze us with tales of sexual horror.

In comparism to a random country such as Central African Republic, America is very very openly sexual. And germany is very much more open than America. Beeped out words from American movies are shown in German TV, and womens breasts are. Soft core porn is shown on late night TV.

And remember that south park episode with the German porno?

Germany is 'easy' sexually. Why does the deviant behavious come frrom there then, and not from Tunisia?

I dunno (2.50 / 4) (#77)
by epepke on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:25:26 AM EST

Shooting an adulteress in the back of the head with a rifle in a converted basketball stadium strikes me as pretty sexually deviant.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
That isn't sexually deviant (4.60 / 5) (#80)
by psychologist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:37:26 AM EST

It is socially deviant. The shooting has nothing to do with sexual urges, and the person performing the act does not feel sexually gratified.

[ Parent ]
How do you know what the shooter feels? (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#351)
by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 07:41:28 PM EST



--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Ouch. (5.00 / 1) (#389)
by Ranieri on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:19:20 AM EST

I think you might have picked the right person to answer that question. Have you read his blog?
--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#396)
by Skwirl on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 06:15:22 AM EST

I was trying to be the straight man, but you ruined it. ;)

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Not true (5.00 / 2) (#89)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:31:08 AM EST

But what I would like to point out is that Afghansitan is not particularly known for sexual deviants.

May I respectfully suggest you do a Google search for the unquoted set of words Kandahar one wing.

Neither are any African countries, in spite of the huge taboo against talkiing about/conducting in premarital sex in most tribes there.

After doing the Kandahar search, may I respectfully suggest you do another for the word infibulation.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Look, I respect and like you (none / 0) (#99)
by psychologist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:36:57 AM EST

Since you are intelligent, witty, learned and a very interesting writer. But all the same, I must point out respectfully that you are wrong. Female circumcision is not a sexually deviant act. It is a cultural established practise, and the person performing the cut, and the people who order it done (the parents) do not derive any sexual satisfaction from it.

And I am not sure that homosexuality is such a deviant act. I think it needs to be placed in a separate category from the other fetishes, like foot fetish or cannibalsim. I mean, there is homosexuality amongs other apes. And evolution conveniently placed the asshole so near to the vagina hole. You never know, maybe there is a purpose for it.

If you can show real deviance, then I will be ready to change my opinion readily.

[ Parent ]

Fetishes and culture (none / 0) (#112)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:38:38 AM EST

A fetish is a misdirected imprint. There is obviously a "correct" direction for these imprints, especially in evolutionary terms, where you would expect the animal to imprint on actions and objects whose pursuit would lead to procreation, which is what this whole sexual business was originally about.

But evolution does not pick the best solution, it picks the first one that works. Evolution does not care about individuals. A mutation which dooms 5% of a population while making the other 95% stronger will tend to prevail. This is a critical point in understanding fetishes.

A sexual fetish is a biological fuckup. On an individual scale it may or may not be overcome to allow the individual to reproduce, but for the individual it is a liability. The reason such fuckups happen is that, as long as they only affect a small percentage of the population, they don't matter. What does evolution get for allowing this level of fuckups in our case? I'd say most likely it gets a mechanism that works at all. Since we are not strongly guided by pheremones, colors, and other easily genetically programmable patterns, we must acquire our patterns through experience, and the mechanism that permits this doesn't have to be perfect -- and it isn't.

All the phenomena mentioned here -- homosexuality, object fetishes, modification fetishes like circumcision (even when adopted by entire cultures) are distractions from the main event, which is heterosexual sex leading to procreation in an environment where successful childrearing will ensue.

Now in human culture the need for procreation has been reduced by our extreme success, so it is not a knock to say that one's sexual strategy is not evolutionarily successful. Society no longer needs to be in the business of enforcing particular sexual mores, whether the "normal" one of hetsex --> childrearing or a distinctly abnormal one like male or female circumcision. I don't have kids myself and it's likely I never will, yet I hope and believe that society is benefitted by my works and a little richer for my passing anyway.

Sometimes activities which are fetishes in this sense are adopted by entire societies. This does not de-fetishize the activities; they remain distractions. What this shows is that the human race is so successful we can afford even a widespread occurrence of fuckups. Our societies are so successful that we can deliberately increase the incidence of non-procreative sex or the death rate from infection without jeopardizing our position at the top of the food chain.

I'm sure that at some point in the distant past there was some sick fuck of an pervert in Africa who came up with the idea of infibulation, and some weird social current caused the idea to spread. (Humans can be perverse this way. Look at the history of any major religion.) So infibulation became adopted as a social norm, but it remains what it was when it wasn't a social norm, and no amount of social spin can change that.

Most fetishes do no harm, and in a just society they should be tolerated. (Given that the main article's titular act was consensual, whether it falls in this category depends on how you feel about suicide I suppose.) Others do harm, especially when adopted by an entire culture, and should be suppressed, resisted, or regulated. A consensual subculture of whips-n-chains enthusiasts may be embarrassing to its host city, but should not be confused with a similar group of budding Hannibal Lecters. The problem with infibulation is not that it is done; it is far from the weirdest consensual body modication out there. The problem is that it is done coercively and universally. In other words, you have it quite backward; it doesn't fail to be a fetish because it's universal, its universality in a culture makes it an especially dangerous fetish which must be regarded suspiciously instead of merely tolerated.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Interesting (4.50 / 2) (#133)
by psychologist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:15:48 PM EST

You are quite right, I realize. However, perhaps circumsision was once a fetish. But it can no longer be regarded as a fetish, since the people who are performing the act are not mentally fucked up. They don't have anything wrong with them biologically (as opposed to the person who invented it.) What they are doing is simply following the norm, without thinking about the consequences, or acting on a biological miswiring.

So, while circumcision can be described as a sexually deviant activity, in that it involves the sexual organs, and behaviour that is sexually deviant, the people who perfom the acts do not have aynthing wrong with them.

If you took a born homosexual, and told him that his homosexuality was wrong, he still would not be able to change. If you took an African family, and explained to them that circumcision was bad, and made good arguments, they would give up the act without any pags of loss.

They learnt sexual deviant behaviour from their society yes, but that deviant behaviour is not an integral part of them, and was not occasioned by any emotional confusion in their lives.

That is why I say that the culture is deviating, and not the sexuality of the people.

The same doesn't apply for homosexuality. Homosexuality fits into your defination of sexually deviant thought. But I still am not convinced that it lies in the same category as foot lovin'.

Homosexuality is more biologically caused than foot fetishism, which I would claim was emotionally caused. There are children, who appear homosexual right from birth. Foot loving is usually triggered by an emotional experience, and maintained by a more complex thought process than simply homosexuality.

Evolution must have screwed up more often in the past than it did now. Even the lesser animals are not more primitive than we are, they are perefectly working machines. They are just simpler than we are. Do you get that? A shark is more primitive than an ant, even though it is more complex than an ant.

As such, my personal theory for homosexuality is that back in the day when we were still primitive, the line between female and male was more blurred, with offspring sometimes not falling correctly into either category. I theorized that homosexuality allowed the uncertain gender people in the past to still be actively sexual, even if there was no offspring possibility.

That, I believe, is why the sexual organs of the female can be simulated by males.

Of course, this is simply a theory, and I wouldn't stake my professional reputation on this, seeing how difficult it is to prove.

But that is why I tend to disregard homosexuality when it comes to fetishes. I believe homosexuality should not be drawn into that group, simply because it might actually have a function. As such, the homosexual urges would be more built up and complex than other urges, such as a need to sleep with an amputee.

And in any case, I am liberal, and I feel that whoever wants to kill whomever in the name of sex is free to do so, if this is consensual.

[ Parent ]

You presume an unidentified cause (none / 0) (#166)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:37:56 PM EST

But it can no longer be regarded as a fetish, since the people who are performing the act are not mentally fucked up. They don't have anything wrong with them biologically (as opposed to the person who invented it.)

I think your mistake here is assuming that the original person had an identifiable defect that caused the fetish. That kind of thing is far from established, and my personal opinion is that perverts start out biologically identical to the people who will end up normal. Unfortunately, there is no compelling evidence to sway the argument in either direction at this time.

If the original person does a fucked up thing -- say, murders a stranger -- because he was picked on by a redhead when an infant, and developed a deep and unquenchable hatred of redheads which leads him eventually to kill one in a fit of rage, is that really different from his child who he deliberately teaches to hate redheads with his own deep and unquenchable passion? Does that mean redheads should not worry, because this activity becomes "normal" once it is allowed to proliferate throughout society?

Homosexuality is more biologically caused than foot fetishism, which I would claim was emotionally caused.

We will have to simply disagree on this. I think homosexuality is caused by exactly the same cause as foot fetishism. Homosexuality is more common because the imprinted image is closer to the optimal -- at least it's a whole human being, just the wrong sex. I think a good case could be made that power fetishes (BDSM, etc.) are becoming a bit more common because industrialized societies expose children to power-oriented relationships younger than primitive societies do, giving them a chance to imprint on this abstraction which doesn't usually form until a later age when imprinting is complete.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Meep? o.O (none / 0) (#258)
by Alfie on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:10:10 AM EST

Forgive me for not commenting on most of your points, but I would like to address one issue. You said:

Our societies are so successful that we can deliberately increase the incidence of non-procreative sex or the death rate from infection without jeopardizing our position at the top of the food chain.

If I am reading you correctly, your comment suggests that sex for purposes other than procreation is an evolutionary liability--a "vice" in which humans can indulge because they are so successful in other ways. However, I think a more accurate viewpoint would be that humans and other species have given more than one evolutionary purpose to sex and sexuality. Consider the Bonobos, a species which Frans B. M. de Waal wrote about in the March 1995 issue of Scientific American. He notes, as have many others, that bonobos use sexual play as a form of conflict resolution. The entire article is worth reading so I won't repeat it here.



[ Parent ]
You're insane (3.60 / 5) (#93)
by CodeWright on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:42:23 AM EST

Sexual deviancy is the history of Afghanistan. Read any history of the place (going back as many hundred or thousand years as you want), and you will read about zoophilia, pederasty, anthrophagy, sexual torture, etc.

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Ooh! (5.00 / 3) (#98)
by TurboThy on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:23:48 AM EST

Soft core porn is shown on late night TV.
...in Denmark, hard core porn is shown on late night TV (not coded, not PPV) Fridays and Saturdays. The other nights it's only soft porn.

Beats me.
__
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
[ Parent ]
Haha (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by psychologist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:17:08 AM EST

You can't say that the cannibal man does not have a grisly sense of humor..

Umm (none / 0) (#81)
by psychologist on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:38:46 AM EST

Read the post below it for what he thinks about that guys proposal.

[ Parent ]
Sick, sick, sick (3.10 / 10) (#78)
by Rogerborg on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:38:36 AM EST

You're saying he saw another guy naked?  That's beyond the pale.

Also, what's with classing perfectly natural shoe fetishism in with weirdos like that?

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

"Shoe fetishism". (5.00 / 2) (#130)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:10:27 PM EST

Point is, the difference between "shoe fetishism" and eating another person alive is simply a matter of degree. The underlying psychological and spiritual idea for both perversities is the same.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

excellent article (2.33 / 6) (#79)
by tiger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:39:46 AM EST

Very well done. Congratulations.

--
Americans :— Say no to male genital mutilation. In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child



You assume far too much. and deserve -1 for that (4.00 / 4) (#88)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:52:03 AM EST

And one might ask the question how these often seemingly absurd fetishes have become such a large part of our culture.

Our culture? Which culture are you talking about?

The Western culture? Which bits of it? The UK that still bans the import of pornographic magazines and has censors that actually cut films? Or the Netherlands and Germany in which you can watch soft porn every night in free TV channels, or hard core if you pay a fee? Or Ireland in which until recently divorce was not legal?

Or perhaps you refer to the USA in which you have San Francisco and Utha.

Our culture indeed.

And secondly, since when all the fetishes you mention are a large part of our culture?

Large parts of our culture (assuming we are talking about the amorphous thing we call "Western Culture") are pop-music, striving for certain values like freedom, more or less agreeing that we have the right to private property, plus other you easily can find out. Canibalism is not a large part of our culture, neither is paedophilia, zoophilia or other sexual realted activites you have mentioned (most of which I will not call perversions).

As usual the media magnifies the most insignificant off oddities and run amok with it. You are doing likewise, drawing grand conclussions about "our culture" parting from the analysis of small groups of people completely dissimilar that mostly live in the peripheria of "our culture" (bar gays that can claim they are become more and more part of "our culture", once again if you mean big cosmopolitan cities in Western countries).

I feel like we have been trolled, and I don't want K5 to be known for its troll population, no matter how witty  they are.

-1, but it was pretty hard to argue why.


European? Say no to software patents.

Counterpoint (3.00 / 1) (#92)
by locke baron on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:36:42 AM EST

I'd argue that even if this article was a troll, it was good enough to stand on its own merits. Personally, though, I don't think it was a troll (just fairly opinionated - flamebait, maybe, but not intentionally).

Ah well, it's too late to argy-bargy about it now :-)

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]

Paraphilia (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by medham on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:03:02 AM EST

Is explained best by the triumph of what Marx long-ago identified as commodity fetishism--when people start relating to themselves as things to be sold and disposed of rather than as fellow humans.

Yes, you can find instances in pre-capitalistic societies of what we now term paraphilia, but they were invariably (as far as we know) ritualistic.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Dangerously wrong. (3.00 / 13) (#100)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:39:38 AM EST

Taboos and sexual repression is there for a very good reason; to protect vulnerable people (women and children) from the aggressive sexual drives of men.

Evolutionary psychology is an amazingly accurate system for predicting human behaviour. People are basically animals, not "higher beings". The evolutionary goal of every male is to spread their DNA far and wide. Society needs to be regulated in order to make sure that it does not become primitive. Men will naturally act apallingly whenever they have the chance; for example, in times of war they will rape indiscriminately

And primitive does not mean good. Primates kill their own children as well as engaging in amazingly human-like machiavellian politics. In some species, a common male reproductive strategy is rape. Others include pretending to be a female so that territorial males ignore you, and then raping the female.

People like you are arrogant enough to claim that humans are completely superior to animals and that milennia of cultural evolution (religion, morals, taboos) is wrong.

Many of your plans would probably cause real social problems and be disastrous if they were actually implemented.

Finally, sex is relatively meaningless to people other than adult males. This may seem to be a sexist statement but I stand by it.

Men are obsessed with it and think it is the center of the universe. Freud thought it could explain everything. Women enjoy it, but not half as much as men do.

So stating that society is all about sexual repression, is really just reflecting the fact that you are a male. If you were female, I highly doubt you would say that.

Women probably would say is that there are too many sex-obsessed men who cannot have proper relationships, be emotionally mature and raise families. A statement I would agree with much sooner than anything you have said.


What a load of crap (3.75 / 4) (#102)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:07:41 AM EST

Women enjoy it, but not half as much as men do.

Is it that women don't enjoy sex, or is it that they don't enjoy sex with you?

Those of us who have not worked so hard to turn ourselves into walking negative stereotypes have had a somewhat different experience.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Yeesh (1.00 / 1) (#104)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:13:13 AM EST

Talk about a predictable put-down.

Alright, if you are so smart, then please explain why men rape much, much more than women do?

And why men consume pornography more than women do?

You can't can you? Because you are full of crap. Pseudo-feminists like yourself are the walking negative stereotypes.

[ Parent ]

Social conditioning (4.66 / 3) (#105)
by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:20:21 AM EST

Rape is a power issue, NOT a sex issue. Pretending otherwise flies in the face of nearly every bit of research made on the subject. Rape of males by females often occurs when the victim is young.

The main reason why women consume less pornography is the fact that there is so little pornography made for women. The vast majority of porn caters to male penetrative fantasies- you may as well be asking why so few kung-fu action fans are big Bette Midler watchers.

[ Parent ]

Denial (none / 0) (#109)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:32:55 AM EST

I really do not understand the statement that "rape is about power, not sex" at all. And I have really tried.

If rape was about power then why does it ALWAYS occur with a sexual act - penetration. In fact it is defined by this act.

If you could explain this statement at all I would be grateful - it makes no sense at all to me.

If rape was just about power then any situation where one person exerted their power over another person would be called rape.

To me, this seems to be a way to comfort rape victims that they have not engaged in sex but been the victim of violence. Evo. Psych. explains this very well; a woman has been raped has lost a lot of reproductive value. Depicting it as asexual will make them feel less damaged.

Rape of males by females often occurs when the victim is young.

Not that i have heard of. I have never ever heard of this. Please; some links would be helpful. And have read and spoken to people who know about this subject.

The main reason why women consume less pornography is the fact that there is so little pornography made for women. The vast majority of porn caters to male penetrative fantasies- you may as well be asking why so few kung-fu action fans are big Bette Midler watchers.

The laws of capitalism have produced pornography to cater for every taste. So if there really was a female market for pornogrpahy it would have been exploited to the max by now.

This all seems to be a feminist denial of the fact that men and women are different, which flies in the face of reality.

I am not saying women don't enjoy sex. I am just saying they don't pursue it with the monomaniacal obssession which men do.

[ Parent ]

Hey! Enlightenment! (4.25 / 4) (#114)
by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:41:56 AM EST

If rape was just about power then any situation where one person exerted their power over another person would be called rape.

Hey! You've got it in one, actually! Any situation where power is exerted against another's will is exactly rape.

Why is it that the mental concepts described by people who have been raped and those who have been robbed or had their houses broken into are similar, differing only in intensity?

Why do people who dominate another person in player vs. player combat in online games often say "haha you got raped"?

The concepts are indeed inextricable. The frightening thing about rape is not even the act itself (something which under other circumstances people obviously enjoy, male or female passive) it's the power exertion involved. Power is the motive when you say "no" and they say "I'm gonna fuck you anyway".

The laws of capitalism have produced pornography to cater for every taste. So if there really was a female market for pornogrpahy it would have been exploited to the max by now.

To be able to consume something you have to first know that it exists, second understand that it's the right thing for you. Were this not the case, marketing would not exist and advertisements would be superfluous. Trying to explain a marketing failure fueled by social disapproval and antiorgasmic conditioning as an innate quality of women doesn't work all that well.

[ Parent ]

That makes "rape" (none / 0) (#118)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:48:36 AM EST

utterly meaningless.

So if I lose at quake I can call up a rape helpline?

Why is it that the mental concepts described by people who have been raped and those who have been robbed or had their houses broken into are similar, differing only in intensity?

Have you ever been raped or know someone who was raped?

Rape is far, far worse than being the victim of theft. Even being the victim of violence is better. It causes lots of pain and misery. You ask anyone.

And it's not just a difference in intensity it is a different kind of pain.

Wow, I'm on the feminist side now ;)

To be able to consume something you have to first know that it exists, second understand that it's the right thing for you. Were this not the case, marketing would not exist and advertisements would be superfluous. Trying to explain a marketing failure fueled by social disapproval and antiorgasmic conditioning as an innate quality of women doesn't work all that well.

But women have managed to overcome other taboos, such as sport, doing men's jobs, anything. They just don't want porn.

I take it you're a blank-slatist?

[ Parent ]

Careful. (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:00:35 PM EST

So if I lose at quake I can call up a rape helpline?

Mental associations. You know an illustration as well as I do.

Have you ever been raped or know someone who was raped?

Yes, actually. I do not feel it is proper to discuss particulars, but I have observed previous rape victims' reactions to theft and other crimes, and spoken with therapists about it. The situations bring forth similar mental associations, and can often trigger "flashbacks" to the incident.

Rape is far, far worse than being the victim of theft. Even being the victim of violence is better. It causes lots of pain and misery. You ask anyone.

It is a pleasure to agree with you. But this is a pretty fundamental assumption necessary to the understanding of the topic at hand.

But women have managed to overcome other taboos, such as sport, doing men's jobs, anything. They just don't want porn.

Not in an unlimited fashion. Women's desire for porn will emerge into greater social awareness when they become more sexually liberated- and I don't mean simple "freedom to screw", but the ability to cherish their own bodies and enjoy sex without needless guilt. I'm sure you'll agree that we all have a long way to go in that regard, as the article notes.

I take it you're a blank-slatist?

I'm not an absolutist of any kind.

[ Parent ]

Where do you live? (none / 0) (#131)
by RoOoBo on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:11:02 PM EST

But women have managed to overcome other taboos, such as sport, doing men's jobs, anything. They just don't want porn.

Because I just remember some strip boys shows announced in some local newspapers. And I think the target wasn't gays.

And what does mean the word 'giggolo'? I wonder ...

Sure the fact that until very recently women should be closed at house watching their children doesn't have to do with anything, really ...

Or the fact that Internet started between male technicians (with a very minority of women) has nothing to do either.



[ Parent ]
Actually some women do want porn. (none / 0) (#269)
by haakon on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 06:15:26 AM EST

And I can cite two directly witnessed examples.
  1. My girlfriend likes porn and will look at it whether I'm around or not.
  2. At the ISP I used to work for there was one girl who I watched look at the a good chunk of the pictures in the alt.binaries.erotica.* section of our nntp server. (It was a very open minded workplace.)
Also I am aware of at least one Porn film production company that specialises in porn for women.

[ Parent ]
There is no such thing... (3.00 / 1) (#412)
by hatshepsut on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 01:15:07 PM EST

as "men's jobs".

Your prejudices are showing.

[ Parent ]

See, that's the bit I don't get... (none / 0) (#435)
by irrevenant on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 11:24:26 PM EST

The concepts are indeed inextricable. The frightening thing about rape is not even the act itself (something which under other circumstances people obviously enjoy, male or female passive) it's the power exertion involved. Power is the motive when you say "no" and they say "I'm gonna fuck you anyway".

See, that's the bit I don't get. "Rape" is a catch-all term for non-consensual sex. A large proportion of rapes are "date rapes", which basically seem to consist of: Guy wants sex, girl doesn't want sex, guy still wants sex and has it with her anyway. In some cases the guy doesn't even realise it was non-consensual (eg. if he is drunk, or just insensitive). Sex with someone who can't legally consent (eg. underage or under the influence) is also considered rape.

There are certainly rapists out there who get off on the feeling of power, but indications are, their numbers are dwarfed by date rapists, and statuatory rapists who aren't necessarily power motivated - maybe they just want to get laid and aren't too fussy about how. And in the case of the former, power is certainly a motivator, but how do we know it's the only one? It's hard to imagine rapists exerting their power through sex if they didn't want sex too.

In short, is there supporting evidence for the theory that sexual urges aren't the (or a) motivator in many rapes?

[ Parent ]
No crap here (5.00 / 1) (#111)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:37:24 AM EST

Alright, if you are so smart, then please explain why men rape much, much more than women do?

Mechanics. Think about it.

And why men consume pornography more than women do?

Simple, our sex drives make us more aggressive. That doesn't mean we're more horney. Oh no. Just more aggressive.

Women look at porn too. Most women are just smart about it and do not discuss it.

You can't can you? Because you are full of crap.

I just did for him. No crap here. But we're all here just to discuss this really ao you don't have to insult.

[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 0) (#115)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:42:32 AM EST

Mechanics. Think about it.

I have. What's to protect men against envelopement which can't protect women from penetration?

I just did for him. No crap here. But we're all here just to discuss this really ao you don't have to insult.

Indeed. But you can't just let people hurl abuse at you without recourse.

[ Parent ]

Um no. (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by Tau on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:48:40 PM EST

Mechanics. Think about it.

That's so inaccurate it's downright embarassing. No, it boils down to a fundamental anisotropy. Male engages in opportunistic intercourse, the genetics are passed on, so aggressive promiscuity is selected for. Female engages in opportunistic intercourse, she becomes severely physically disadvantaged for a considerable length of time (most of the nine months of gestation). This trait is selected against, although it still exists because the female needs to carry the genes forward too. Thus rape and the accompanying traits of aggression and so forth is a male phenomenon. QED.

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]

Man, no one can take a joke (none / 0) (#148)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:51:21 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Culture (5.00 / 2) (#161)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:22:29 PM EST

Alright, if you are so smart, then please explain why men rape much, much more than women do?

Culture.

And why men consume pornography more than women do?

Culture.

There, that wasn't so hard, was it? To elaborate, both in my experience and in studies that have been performed, women get just as much out of pornography as men; but the reason it isn't noticed is that even heterosexual women enjoy looking at pictures of naked women as much as men do. That, again, probably has to do with cultural ideals of beauty; in ancient Greece the situation seems to have been exactly opposite, with the male form being objectified by both sexes.

As for rape, there are both mechanical and cultural reasons. Men are encouraged to be aggressive in ways both subtle and overt from infancy, while women are encouraged to be passive. Even with all this reverse rape occurs with some frequency (hard to determine because how many men would report it?) and lots of women enjoy pornography.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

The culture argument (none / 0) (#170)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:45:45 PM EST

can be easily argued against because men and women act the same all over the world, in all the different cultures.

Sure, in some cultures the men may be more restrained  and in others more aggressive, but the roles are always the same.

And I'm sure some women do like porn and some men don't like porn; this entire discussion is about generalisations. Generally, women don't like porn.

But I agree women do get off at looking at other women; this is unsexual though, although it is reproductively-orientated. Women are obssessed with looking good, to match men's obssession with looking at attractive females.

And if men only found other men attractive in Ancient Greece, their society would have serious fertility problems (considering child mortality, et al).

But would you care to tell me the mechanical problems with women raping men, or do you just mean that men are physically stronger?

[ Parent ]

OK (4.00 / 3) (#175)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:05:49 PM EST

But I agree women do get off at looking at other women; this is unsexual though, although it is reproductively-orientated.

You have no basis whatsoever for the claim that this is unsexual. If a woman begins reading the magazine because it's lying around, becomes aroused, begins flirting with me, and the end result is that we have sex, even though I wasn't originally in the mood to initiate things, how again is this unsexual?

Also worth noting, most women get more out of written and soft-core pornography than most men, so things we don't ordinarily regard as pornographic (like "trashy women's magazines" and bodice ripper romance novels) perform the same function more overt things like Hustler do for men. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, one could interpret that as a sign that men require more stimulation to become interested in sex, perhaps because there is a larger expenditure of energy on our part in the act itself...

And if men only found other men attractive in Ancient Greece, their society would have serious fertility problems (considering child mortality, et al).

You are quite mistaken. Even in our culture, gay men have children all the time. They suck it up and think about their real fantasies while doing what they have to do to pass as normal -- or, in Greece, where it was fairly normal at times, to continue the family line.

But would you care to tell me the mechanical problems with women raping men, or do you just mean that men are physically stronger?

First, how do you force an unwilling man to have an erection? Maybe some men respond automatically to being threatened and mounted by going stiff, but it's by no means universal, and how much risk does a rapist want to take of being disappointed?

I also tend to think this happens with greater frequency than we hear about, precisely because, if you do respond like this and a woman fucks you against your will, how do you explain that you were the victim? Who would listen? We really have no idea how much or little it happens, only anecdotal evidence that it is at least possible (since you only need one occurrence to establish that).

All in all,

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Where are the cultures? (1.66 / 3) (#187)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:52:44 PM EST

You have no basis whatsoever for the claim that this is unsexual. If a woman begins reading the magazine because it's lying around, becomes aroused, begins flirting with me, and the end result is that we have sex, even though I wasn't originally in the mood to initiate things, how again is this unsexual?

Well, maybe, but this is ancedotal. I'm talking about statistics here.

Also worth noting, most women get more out of written and soft-core pornography than most men, so things we don't ordinarily regard as pornographic (like "trashy women's magazines" and bodice ripper romance novels) perform the same function more overt things like Hustler do for men. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, one could interpret that as a sign that men require more stimulation to become interested in sex, perhaps because there is a larger expenditure of energy on our part in the act itself...

Bodice rippers and trashy women aren't porn. They're to porn what foreplay is to sex. They are as much about relationships and romance as they are about sex.

Romance novels, no matter how trashy, are not pornography. Not that I've read any; but if they were just about sex they would resemble Mr Garrison's attempt to write a romance novel (think penises. Lots of penises). Which they don't. I hope.

If you read a women's mag they're about sex, sure. But it is all about having sex with your boyfriend, not anonymous, context-free sex. Whereas a men's magazine it will entirely be about the sex act, context free, with anyone, anywhere.

You are quite mistaken. Even in our culture, gay men have children all the time. They suck it up and think about their real fantasies while doing what they have to do to pass as normal -- or, in Greece, where it was fairly normal at times, to continue the family line.

Some gay men have children (not any that I know) and the total gay population is 2-3% of the total. If they made up even 50% there would be a serious dent in fertility.

As for the men being motivated to continue the family line? Sure. But that needs only 1 son, hardly enough to sustain a population.

First, how do you force an unwilling man to have an erection? Maybe some men respond automatically to being threatened and mounted by going stiff, but it's by no means universal, and how much risk does a rapist want to take of being disappointed?

Well the erectile response is entirely autonomous; this is a biological. If it's not stiff a female rapist could simply stimulate it (by directly touching it). It is highly probable it would respond even if the main was using all his will power to shrink it. Male rapists have a similar mechanical problem with tightness and dryness, yet they seem to overcome that.

But my main argument is the same: Cultures every where are the same. Considering the long periods of isolation, this can't be coincidence. Where are the cultures full of nymphomaniacs? Where are the cultures where women are agressively sexual and pay for sex more than men?

Tell me and I'll book a ticket ;)

[ Parent ]

Sheesh (4.33 / 3) (#191)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:34:55 PM EST

Well, maybe, but this is ancedotal. I'm talking about statistics here.

What statistics? We are talking about what people do. The original comment was that women use pornography, which you said "wasn't sexual." Use of pornography is inherently sexual. To argue otherwise is nonsense.

Bodice rippers and trashy women aren't porn. They're to porn what foreplay is to sex. They are as much about relationships and romance as they are about sex.

Have you ever read one? Oh wait, you admitted you hadn't, which is why you don't have a fucking clue what you are talking about. Bodice rippers are sexual fantasies. Just as some men find their fantasies more energizing if they add in high heels, lingerie, and size extra-large boobs, women tend to find the sex scenes more interesting if woven into a believable matrix of relationships and supporting activity. Even hard-core porno movies don't spend 100% of the screen time on penetration close-ups; some screen time is taken to set up a situation and put the sex in context. That makes it more believable, more real, and this is a thing that is important to a lot of people.

If you read a women's mag they're about sex, sure. But it is all about having sex with your boyfriend, not anonymous, context-free sex.

Again, you don't know what you are talking about. Much of the fantasies and advice in mags like Cosmopolitan is aimed straight at the girl who does "one night stands" and aims to keep her relationships light and non-intrusive, knowing that "your boyfriend" is likely to be fifteen different guys over a span of twelve months. Men being how they are, and all that (wink).

Some gay men have children (not any that I know) and the total gay population is 2-3% of the total. If they made up even 50% there would be a serious dent in fertility. As for the men being motivated to continue the family line? Sure. But that needs only 1 son, hardly enough to sustain a population.

OK, now you are officially trolling. Setting aside that I have never seen a credible estimate of the gay population at less than 10%, your deliberate failure to understand that a homosexual might want a family, a thing that should be simple even for a very stupid person to understand, brings the argument to an end.


I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Well aren't you ignorant? (1.00 / 1) (#196)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:53:25 PM EST


What statistics? We are talking about what people do.

No, I am talking about statistics - cold hard facts.

And have you read a romance novel? Fully? Can you tell me the plot and the sex scenes and how graphic they are?

Or are you are just lying? Like you are now:

Setting aside that I have never seen a credible estimate of the gay population at less than 10%,

That was from the now widely discredited Kinsey study from the 60s. So you've seen 1 study and you repeat it is as though it as the commonly accepted truth?  You are a very ignorant person / troll and there is no reason to believe anything you say.

Finally, there is no need to be abusive. If you are angry about something, fine, but I'm not interested.


[ Parent ]

Jean M. Auel? (4.00 / 1) (#200)
by RoOoBo on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:12:24 PM EST

Earth's Children

May be the plot is prehistoric but that couple is really hot (and very it is very explicitily explained). In fact it is just a pure romantic novel, by a pure romantic novel writer. The prehistoric plot is interesting too ;), a bit farfetched, Ayla seems like the same very Goddess incarnated sometimes (or just she is too lucky ...).



[ Parent ]
They don't (5.00 / 3) (#165)
by Shajenko on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:32:35 PM EST

And why men consume pornography more than women do?

Their pornography comes in a different form: romance novels.

[ Parent ]
Antiorgasmic conditioning (5.00 / 2) (#108)
by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:32:00 AM EST

In a society where many women don't even know what an orgasm is or know how to have one, is it any surprise that out-and-out sexual desire among women is sublimated?

Blame anti-masturbation conditioning for that one.

[ Parent ]

A little behind the times, hmm? (none / 0) (#162)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:28:23 PM EST

In a society where many women don't even know what an orgasm is or know how to have one, is it any surprise that out-and-out sexual desire among women is sublimated?

I suspect the first time I saw the word "orgasm" was on the cover of Cosmo in a grocery store. Women know what orgasms are. But of course, there's a lot more to know about sex than that, and it's not reliably taught, so I agree in essense if not in the details.



[ Parent ]
Sexual beings (4.00 / 1) (#313)
by Perianwyr on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:50:09 PM EST

The average woman's conception of orgasm seems to be a wave crashing against the rocks in a romantic movie. Self-understanding is the essential building block of sexual satisfaction, but even suggesting that masturbation be mentioned as an acceptable outlet for sexual inclinations is NOT kosher in modern society- just ask Joycelyn Elders.

The fact that such a simple concept is so anathema to our society is enough to make me believe that while we may talk the talk of orgasm at times, we're unwilling to walk the walk.


[ Parent ]

ooo your opinionated (4.66 / 3) (#107)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:30:37 AM EST

People are basically animals, not "higher beings".

Point one, we are animals. We are governed by the basic needs nature has seen fit to bestow on us.

The evolutionary goal of every male is to spread their DNA far and wide. Society needs to be regulated in order to make sure that it does not become primitive.

Uh, but we're animals remember?! We should repress the urge to procreate that nature has give us? Society, a big collection of people are going to regulate my sex?! My freedom should be taken away, my thoughts controlled? To be an animal is to be primitive. What you are suggesting is unnatural. I will be primative and I will fight for my right to lust after high school girls with nice bodies. Thhpppttfff!

Men will naturally act apallingly whenever they have the chance; for example, in times of war they will rape indiscriminately

You're a man hater aren't you? It is an insult to say that my actions are apalling. And that they are so whenever I can get away with it. Indescriminately rape? Even animals know what "wrong" is. Of course what is wrong to us may not be wrong to them. It isn't logical to judge other animals based on our moral system.

War. To be at war is to kill, destroy, dominate, and fight to be completely in control. There are no rules. You're choice to relate sex and war was a nice little trick. However, in war morals are irrelivant. That's why it's fucking war. Even though I think to rape your war victims is objectionable, I can see that it serves the purpose of winning the war. War isn't just killing and taking land and money, war is about pure unadulterated domination. War = no rules and therefor a very bad example to use in an argument about society and morals.

And primitive does not mean good. Primates kill their own children as well as engaging in amazingly human-like machiavellian politics. In some species, a common male reproductive strategy is rape. Others include pretending to be a female so that territorial males ignore you, and then raping the female.

Yes, monkeys are evil, mother nature created a monster and all primates should be destroyed.

And just how long did humans survive on this planet by being "primitive?" Are humans being a bit errogant lately?

People like you are arrogant enough to claim that humans are completely superior to animals and that milennia of cultural evolution (religion, morals, taboos) is wrong.

Contradiction city. Aren't you by stating that primates have evil social practices, and that primitive does not mean good, making the same claim. Did you smoke your breakfast? And just how good can cultural evolution be if we're still waging war, killing eachother during sex, killing babies because we don't want them, telling children that violent tv is god but sex is bad, spending tax payers money to feed and cloth violent criminals, and slowly destroying our life sustaining environment in the name of progress and money? Great fucking progress. I'd rather live in a cave. Side note about the above: I am pro choice, and the earth could shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

Many of your plans would probably cause real social problems and be disastrous if they were actually implemented.

Right or wrong you've got a valid point here. If school kids are getting massages and having sex all day long, when will they find time to read and write?

Finally, sex is relatively meaningless to people other than adult males. This may seem to be a sexist statement but I stand by it.

Go tell it to Dr. Ruth. Sex is fun.

Men are obsessed with it and think it is the center of the universe. Freud thought it could explain everything. Women enjoy it, but not half as much as men do.

No way. My girlfriends were capable of having longer sustained orgams than I was! And of course we're obsessed with it. We're animals whos primary drive is to breed and raise our young.

So stating that society is all about sexual repression, is really just reflecting the fact that you are a male. If you were female, I highly doubt you would say that.

Did you ever burn a bra? Women are repressed as sexual creatures just as much as men.

Women probably would say is that there are too many sex-obsessed men who cannot have proper relationships, be emotionally mature and raise families. A statement I would agree with much sooner than anything you have said.

Only the ones unfortunate enough to have bad experiences and who have based their opinion of all males based on their limited experiences. I doubt a happily married mother would agree with you. You have a hang-up about men.

[ Parent ]

Yes I am. (none / 0) (#113)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:40:20 AM EST

This is mainly reactionary, so I have probably exagerrated my point of view, but still. I do believe that, and like most people here on K5, I am a man.

The reason I used war as an example is because it is a time when there are no rules like you say - a regression to uncivilised times.

No way. My girlfriends were capable of having longer sustained orgams than I was! And of course we're obsessed with it. We're animals whos primary drive is to breed and raise our young.

Ah - but consider this. All a woman needs to pass her DNA onto her offspring is a successful male to help protect it. Sex is really just icing on the cake. The women will be incapacitated with the baby anyway.

But to a male, if he can have sex with a woman any old way his DNA is in the baby! It doesn't matter about relationships or stability - just sex.

So the evolutionary strategies of men and women are very different.


[ Parent ]

Relationships (none / 0) (#116)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:48:08 AM EST

But to a male, if he can have sex with a woman any old way his DNA is in the baby! It doesn't matter about relationships or stability - just sex.

Sure the relationship matters. After sex, there is the inborn desire to protect your offspring. That means protecting the woman that cares for the child as well.

Ah - but consider this. All a woman needs to pass her DNA onto her offspring is a successful male to help protect it. Sex is really just icing on the cake. The women will be incapacitated with the baby anyway.



[ Parent ]

True. (none / 0) (#119)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:50:17 AM EST

Some men are nice guys.

But many aren't - they go and sleep around and possibly benefit from this.

Women, OTOH, they don't have the choice - the only babies they will have with their DNA with it will gestate in them and take 9 months of their life to produce.

[ Parent ]

Women don't sleep around? (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:03:18 PM EST

It might be illuminating to consider why we have a word with mighty, curseword impact in English for a woman that sleeps around ("slut",) but don't have one for a man that does so (other than generic terms like "cheating asshole".)

That's indicative of a power discrepancy.

[ Parent ]

Women have a choice and exercise it (5.00 / 3) (#129)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:08:02 PM EST

You yourself hit on the key issue without noticing. Evolution-wise, a woman needs a sperm donor and one or more protectors, and these can be different people. Even in societies where the norm is to have the sperm donor and the protector be the same man (a "father"), there is usually a very significant level of bastardy for the simple reason that the traits that make the best sperm donor are completely independent of those that make the best protector. Women are turned on by men who are "bad" and take risks, and yet rarely settle down with them; do you think they always stop having sex with the bad boys when they marry the good ones? It wouldn't make any sense: the bad boys have traits (risk taking, willingness to abuse others) that, while they shouldn't be taken to extremes, are too valuable to let die out lest one's descendents be made the bitches of other family lines that had more bad boys in them.

[ Parent ]
Sure women sleep around (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:25:36 PM EST

But they still need to be choosy about their mate.

This is why they emphasise the things which prelude sex in order to judge their partner, rather than the actual act itself.

[ Parent ]

Sort of (5.00 / 2) (#140)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:35:58 PM EST

But they still need to be choosy about their mate.

Yes and no. You'll find that if a woman can choose "both" (i.e., have sex with several men, get impregnated by the one with the most motile sperm and/or the best pumping action (I don't have a good link for this, but supposedly the action of sex and the shape of the penis are intended to pump out the sperm of other men who may have beat you there), and then either spread the responsibility or pick the best protector (whew)), she will.

This is why they emphasise the things which prelude sex in order to judge their partner, rather than the actual act itself.

You're right, this does happen to a large extent, and surely it's because pregnancy is such an expensive and risky proposition for her.



[ Parent ]
You don't get around much, do you? (2.50 / 2) (#153)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:03:36 PM EST

Most people just don't care about things like that.

There are lots of people out there that simply wouldn't give a damn if their baby was squashed under a bus tomorrow. Case and point, abortion.

This is what makes us different from animals -- we don't have to care for our offspring. It's a conscious choice we have to make.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Missing the point, are you? (5.00 / 1) (#160)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:21:01 PM EST

Most people just don't care about things like that.

No, most women aren't going around saying to themselves "ah, if I have sex with this man, my children will be tough go-getters, and if I marry this man, he will not notice when I bear children to other men". It's an evolutionary "reason" (i.e., a tendency that comes about as a result of natural selection), not a rational (i.e., how you explain the thing to yourself) "reason".



[ Parent ]
Cogratulations, you have a coherent explanation! (5.00 / 3) (#194)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:46:36 PM EST

Hey, man, how much evolutionary intentionality does it take to fill a test-tube? Evolutionary behaviorists posit un-falsifiable just-so stories with the same frequency and enthusiasm as Ptolemaic astronomers posited epicycles.

---
"I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car."
[ Parent ]

Your poetry is sweet; I do not disagree (none / 0) (#210)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:47:37 PM EST

The telling of a plausible story is indeed not science, but speculation. In the absence of good science, it's better than nothing. I wish to beat conga drums to accentuate the music of your speech. Are you in Campbridge these days? I imagine you'd be welcome at the Canptab open mics.



[ Parent ]
Apples and Oranges (none / 0) (#364)
by drsmithy on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:16:06 PM EST

You are comparing two different scenarios - men "having sex" (in the spirit of "spreading the seed") and women "mating" (in the spirit of producing offspring).
Most men are picky about choosing the person they choose to end up "mating" with. They tend to be distinctly less picky about choosing women they simply "have sex" with, but that has more to do with social constructs than anything else (at least since the invention of reliable birth control).
Women are picky about who they "have sex" with because they can be. It's trivial for a woman to pick up a man for casual sex if that's all she wants. For men, it is much harder - so they can't afford to be as picky. Again, this is due to social pressures ("slut" vs "stallion").

[ Parent ]
hrm (4.50 / 2) (#121)
by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:52:13 AM EST

The reason I used war as an example is because it is a time when there are no rules like you say - a regression to uncivilised times.

Not a regression- an amplification of aggression. Aggression is the main emotion encouraged in soldiers during combat (second only to obedience.) Is it any surprise that when they're turned loose on a passive population, they act out this aggression without limit?

All a woman needs to pass her DNA onto her offspring is a successful male to help protect it. Sex is really just icing on the cake. The women will be incapacitated with the baby anyway.

So, what value does the female orgasm have?

[ Parent ]

Men are not animals. (3.16 / 6) (#128)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:04:04 PM EST

Animals don't "have sex". Animals copulate once a year strictly for the purpose of procreation.

The whole concept of "sex" is a purely psychological construct invented by man.

"Sex" is as much a product of our technological civilization as the steamship and the credit card.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Of course animals have sex (none / 0) (#142)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:36:36 PM EST

Animals do have sex for pleasure. Dolphines have sex, rodents have sex (ever seen a hampster play with himself?), and it's not once a year for all animals. The next time fluffy is humping your leg tell him your leg is out of season.

And, as I am just as mamalian as those damned dirty apes, and whales, and spiders, and fluffy little bunnies, that makes me an animal. Why is it that we call all other mamals other than our our species "animals?" We're not? How does that work?

[ Parent ]

Read your biology again. (2.66 / 3) (#151)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:00:21 PM EST

You are quite simply dead wrong.

99.9% of the animals out there (including the chimpanzee) are simply psysiologically incapable of engaging in copulation outside of a very narrow and rigidly pre-determined set of environmental stimuli.

Besides, applying the word "pleasure" to an animal seems a little suspect to me. It's as senseless an act of anthoromorphisation as assuming that clouds, rocks and trees are moved by human-like spirits.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Hehe (none / 0) (#152)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:02:47 PM EST

If it isn't for please then why does it feel good for them? Now then, I'm off to a social event where I can hopefully meet a nice girl who I can have dirty, kinky, strange, animal like sex with. Wish me luck!

[ Parent ]
They don't (2.20 / 5) (#158)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:13:09 PM EST

Please don't anthropomorphize your hampster, it doesn't really feel "pleasure" in any accepted sense of the word.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

You're like the energizer bunny! (5.00 / 2) (#167)
by Trevor OLeary on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:39:27 PM EST

it just keeps trolling and trolling and trolling...

[ Parent ]
You're cute. (1.00 / 1) (#326)
by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:14:23 PM EST

Even though you are terminally dumb.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

he's right, you know (none / 0) (#295)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:58:21 AM EST

Does your hamster feel satisfaction when it raises its little hamster family? Does it feel love when it adorably rubs its chin-glands against your finger?

I think y'all are projecting just a little bit.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Physical (none / 0) (#299)
by anyonymous [35789] on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:28:32 AM EST

no no no. Not emotional feelings. Physical sensations that are enjoyable.

[ Parent ]
enjoyable to /person/? (none / 0) (#305)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:41:34 AM EST

How far do we have to take this, anyhow? Are light-sensitive bacteria happier when they're in the light?

tkatchev is rightly insisting on the distinction between humans and animals, to support his contention that animals do not 'mate for pleasure.' I mean, come on. If sexual pleasure (as opposed to sexual desire) motivated animals, dogs would just lick their penises all day long, because they can.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

to /what person/ nt (none / 0) (#307)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:51:07 AM EST


"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

No they wouldn't (none / 0) (#490)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 05:25:40 PM EST

People don't sit and play with themselves all day just because they can. Surely you aren't claiming that people aren't motivated by pleasure?
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[ Parent ]
Exactly. (1.00 / 2) (#521)
by tkatchev on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:40:08 AM EST

Quite right. People aren't motivated by pleasure.

Except some very mentally unhealthy individuals, but those are almost all either in strict mental institutions or maximum-security prisons.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

What? (5.00 / 2) (#530)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 08:14:36 AM EST

Quite right. People aren't motivated by pleasure.

They certainly are. But they aren't motivated solely by pleasure. And neither are animals.
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[ Parent ]
guh (none / 0) (#558)
by adequate nathan on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:27:49 PM EST

Well, what are a dog's hierarchy of values, that they allow him to displace immediate pleasure for calculated gain?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

How would I know? (4.00 / 1) (#563)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:50:08 PM EST

Obviously I have no way of knowing, but here are some factors that seem to factor in to a dog's mind:

Hunger/Thirst/Sex/Sleep
Pack Leadership, or failing that, Approval of the Pack Leader
Attention
Territorialism

Also note that there are diminishing returns on most motivations, so the dog won't want to do one thing continuously. After a good bout of licking, he will decide that it's time for some grub, or a quick game of tug-of-war.
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Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
your formulation doesn't seem (1.00 / 1) (#578)
by adequate nathan on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 10:39:00 PM EST

To leave much room for a concept of 'pleasure' as an end in itself. Which is what is at issue.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

leaving room? (none / 0) (#579)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 11:53:32 PM EST

Which is what is at issue.

You claimed that if dogs were motivated by pleasure, they would masturbate all day. I gave you a number of reasons they wouldn't. However, they DO masturbate at times, and they know there's no mate there, so it seems likely they derive pleasure from it.

As for pleasure as an end in itself, the fact that they play games is telling.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Hey dude. (1.00 / 1) (#608)
by tkatchev on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 11:45:05 AM EST

Admit you lost and stop it already.

You lost the argument, get over it.

You are not the smartest person in the world; when you get to college, this might be a shock to you, so I suggest you start getting acquainted with the idea early on.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Back atcha (1.00 / 1) (#614)
by Happy Monkey on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 12:55:16 PM EST

Though if it's come to this level of post, there's probably no point in continuing.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
uhuh (1.00 / 1) (#649)
by tkatchev on Sat Dec 21, 2002 at 08:23:27 AM EST

yo momma dude

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

No way am I wishing you luck... (5.00 / 2) (#232)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:44:13 PM EST

Because if you find a nice girl to have dirty, kinky, strange, animal-like sex with, that'd mean for a 30 second time period, the pool of nice girls with whom I have to potential to have dirty, kinky, strange, animal-like sex with would reduce by one. I will not jeopardise my chances by even an infinitesmal.

[ Parent ]
I love you man... (none / 0) (#233)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:12:08 PM EST

you still can't have my bud light Johnny.

[ Parent ]
Ha! (5.00 / 2) (#150)
by borderline on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:59:15 PM EST

Ever heard of Bonobos?

[ Parent ]
Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:11:55 PM EST

Have you heard of the chimpanzees?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Haven't spent much time around animals, have you? (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:28:46 PM EST

Seriously, you are so far off base here it is hard to know where to start.

Animal sexual behavior runs the gamut from the kind of automechanical reflex you describe to activities similar in every way to human courtship and love. You can make any activity - -including any human activity -- sound rote and mechanical if you describe it in sufficiently prosaic and mechanical terms. The staff of mental institutions do this all the time, so that perfectly normal activities are described as "the patient engaging in unusual levels of reading activity" instead of "Joe read Moby Dick today." This is basically what behaviorists do when talking about animals -- assuming the animal can't possibly have feelings comparable to our own, all behavior is described in formulaic terms that make it seem mechanical, reinforcing the original stupid assumption.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

No (3.33 / 3) (#288)
by Citori on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:03:45 AM EST

I've spent incredible amounts of time observing animal behavior, it is what I have been doing for a living for nearly 15 years now.

I can tell you from experience that the idea of animals mating for the sheer pleasure of the act is primarily a construction of those people who would like to elevate animals to the same social and legal status as human beings. An endless array of animal behavior has been ascribed some anthropomorphic component by these people.

Animals mate to pass on their genes. In a general sense, with mammals anyway, the males become aggressive and lose quite a bit of their tendency toward self preservation. The females may require what appears to the casual observer (and can easily be twisted to confuse a layperson) to be some sort of courtship. In reality, all she really wants is to be sure that her mate has the best genes. It is all quite apparent when you observe animals in the wild. Unfortunately, a large portion of the information available on the subject is colored by an animal rights agenda, or is drawn from observations of lab chimps in lab chimp rehabilitation facilities.

[ Parent ]

Mirror! (4.50 / 2) (#296)
by linca on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:04:00 AM EST

You're just rejecting a projection, and putting in its stead another. Genetic teleological arguments are just as valid for animals as they are for humans.

A mammal female most probably doesn't have any concept of genes to check or to pass on, anyway.

[ Parent ]

Hello? (1.00 / 1) (#325)
by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:13:03 PM EST

"Passing on genes" isn't "fun" in any sense of the word.

Some wacky pseudo-science people have claimed here that animals copulate "for fun"; this is as ridiculous an assertion as the assertion that the sun rises and falls because it is drawn by an eight-horse carriage steered by Helios the Mighty Sun God.

I don't see why this point has to be discussed further

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#537)
by Citori on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 11:33:24 AM EST

Do you find anything in my post that indicates that I think an animal has any concept of genes?

You won't because they don't. They still have a very strong desire to pass them on though, and if you knew anything about them you would already know that. Ask anyone who hunts whitetail deer.

[ Parent ]

Error: Data Usage does not match Declaration (none / 0) (#559)
by localroger on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:32:11 PM EST

Do you find anything in my post that indicates that I think an animal has any concept of genes? You won't because they don't. They still have a very strong desire to pass them on though,

They cannot have a desire to pass on something of which they are unaware. The very idea is as ridiculous as some stupid metaphor about chariots pulling the sun across the sky.

What the animal can, and does, desire is to engage in certain activities which tend to result in their genes being passed on. So, interestingly enough, do humans. The mechanisms involved are nearly universal among animals simpler than any given complexity, and among higher animals are apparently congruent with our own. There is no sane reason to assert that the animal's experience of reproductive urges is much different than our own, except that they think of cached food and a warm den instead of the Lexus and diamond ring.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

I never understand this line of thinking (1.00 / 1) (#572)
by jjayson on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 07:45:45 PM EST

From what we observe, humans have far different experiences than animals: other animals don't have a sense of self, they don't have art, they don't have prison, they don't have morality, ...

Why then do you assume that animals and humans have the same experience in other areas?
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Whose observations? (none / 0) (#575)
by localroger on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 09:24:17 PM EST

From what we observe, humans have far different experiences than animals:

According to whom? And how did they describe it? What were their biases?

other animals don't have a sense of self,

How do you know? Have you made telepathic contact with one, or has some invisible sky being clued you in? FYI, I have known several animals which have clearly had a sense of self, demonstrated through long-term personal interaction. This is not anthropomorphism, either, unless you also want to say it's anthrophomorphism to hypothesize that other human beings who clearly differ from me in a lot of other respects must possess my same basic set of feelings.

they don't have art, they don't have prison, they don't have morality, ...

What an odd choice of defining concepts. FYI, there are groups of humans lacking all possible combinations of 2 of those 3 things, and groups of animals clearly possessing as many as 2 of them. I leave it as an exercise to find out what I am talking about with that last sentence; try googling the word "lek" for the art reference.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

No (2.00 / 1) (#665)
by Citori on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:03:47 AM EST

Of course animals can have the desire to pass on their genes, regardless of whether or not they understand exactly what it is they they will be passing on.

I suppose that the elders of the various groups I contact are better judges of what I can do for them than you attempt to be. As it is I continue to be welcomed by them.

I really can't allow this to continue as your ignorance of the topic is glaring. I've not mentioned any specific groups, nor any specific lore, yet you seem to feel that my desire to avoid humanizing animals conflicts with their beliefs. One could generally say that, of the cultures I have studied, their religious beliefs (for lack of a better term) would appear to the ignorant to assign anthropomorphic qualities to animals, but to the believers themselves and to anyone who truly understands they are quite distinct in their belief that animals are animals, men are men, and sprits are spirits.

[ Parent ]

Animal behavior (none / 0) (#340)
by localroger on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 05:28:42 PM EST

I've spent incredible amounts of time observing animal behavior, it is what I have been doing for a living for nearly 15 years now.

Yes, obviously in that entirely natural and stimulating environment, a lab.

You have no idea how animals act in a natural environment.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Try again (none / 0) (#536)
by Citori on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 11:29:21 AM EST

No, I've spent very little time in a lab. Quite a bit has been in the field interacting with various indigenous groups who still live a lifestyle very similar to what their ancestors lived several hundred years ago.

The balance has been observing animals in the field, predators primarily.

Thanks for offering your opinion though. Without the people who are completely and totally mistaken about their judgements those of us who are correct wouldn't appear to be as good as what we do.

[ Parent ]

Well then... (none / 0) (#555)
by localroger on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:25:28 PM EST

No, I've spent very little time in a lab. Quite a bit has been in the field interacting with various indigenous groups who still live a lifestyle very similar to what their ancestors lived several hundred years ago.

Amazing, then. Just when I think I have encountered the limits to something like stupidity or denial, I am always confronted with yet another superlative.

You are, of course, poisoning your observations with the words you use to describe them; this much is plain from what little you have posted here. Like the mental health "professional" who described a perfectly healthy volunteer as "engaging in unusual reading behavior," you avoid describing animals with any words that might smack of that dangerous anthropomorphism even when those words might be accurate.

I am no vegetarian or PETA member, but it is plain to me that many animals interact in ways that are exactly analagous to the ways humans interact, and to describe their behaviors any differently is a kind of intellectual fraud. To suggest than animals enjoy, play, fear, and otherwise feel is no wild assertion but an obvious fact. To claim that our own abilities in this area sprung full-formed 150,000 years ago from a previous evolutionary vacuum is far more ridiculous.

I also wonder how much worthwhile work you can be doing for indigenous groups when you have such obvious contempt for what is a nearly universal core belief of their various religious systems.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

horrible. (1.00 / 1) (#569)
by jjayson on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 07:35:44 PM EST

Somebody disagrees with you and could possible know more than you in their field and you resort to calling it "intellectual fraud" and personal attacks. You know that you are probably wrong in many of your beliefs, just like many of us are. However, some of us will actually admit it at times.

What background do you have?
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Background (none / 0) (#576)
by localroger on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 09:34:41 PM EST

What background do you have?

I am who I am.

What the hell are your qualifications?

P.S. A very, very tiny amount of effort on your part could uncover a great deal of information about me, my background, my beliefs, and so on, but far be it from me to tell such a superior intellect about something they should already know.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

oh I get it... (1.00 / 1) (#583)
by jjayson on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:01:10 AM EST

You're an Adequoid. Nevermind. I should just ignore you from now on.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Hint (none / 0) (#596)
by localroger on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 08:03:24 AM EST

Think "stories by localroger." I really hate repeating myself.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

good troll (1.00 / 1) (#138)
by turmeric on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:27:51 PM EST

oh wait, you were serious? sheesh.

[ Parent ]
borderline trollishness was not the intent (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by anyonymous [35789] on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:42:48 PM EST

Just playing devils advocate....with a little bit of opinion thrown in for flavor.

[ Parent ]
Huh (4.66 / 3) (#208)
by cr8dle2grave on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:34:38 PM EST

Evolutionary psychology is an amazingly accurate system for predicting human behaviour.

Hogwash! Where are these amazingly accurate predictions you speak of? I'll give you that there seem to be very limited domains within which EP has had some limited success in predicting cross cultural behavior, but those domains are so limited that the truths promulgated by EP are mere banal truisms (eg., men are more aggressive than women, cultures universally make some gender distinctions, etc...). Get back to me when EP can even account for the mere existence of the interesting aspect of the human psyche.

Men are obsessed with it and think it is the center of the universe. Freud thought it could explain everything. Women enjoy it, but not half as much as men do.

It might interest you know that nowhere does Freud enjoy as much prestige as he does among feminist theorists.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
You have already Fed the Troll (2.00 / 2) (#262)
by ultimai on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:32:20 AM EST

  1. You are a troll.  Your opinion is too obvious.
  2. My very existance (and the existance of many other men I know) is the counter thesis to your point.


[ Parent ]
You are irrationally whitewashing homosexuality (3.50 / 8) (#101)
by Jonathan Walther on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:51:56 AM EST

What makes you say that homosexuality is not influenced by a persons early "imprinting" experiences, while other deviant perversions are not?  Strong evidence suggests that it is.  But gay researchers shoot down any attempts to do research that would characterize those experiences more thoroughly.

NAMBLA wouldn't shout it's slogan "Sex before 8 before it's too late" if childhood experiences didn't have some influence in determing a persons sexual orientation.  The fact that peoples sexual orientation can even shift several times after adolescence indicates that homosexuality is largely due to the environment.

You'll need to back your handwaving up with hard facts if you expect to retain any credibility.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


Simple. (4.00 / 3) (#126)
by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:02:06 PM EST

If it's a lifestyle, than it is a personal choice.

If it's not a personal choice, then it is predetermined by genetic physiological factors.

Evidence very clearly suggests that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Nurture (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by cloudboi on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:24:02 PM EST

If it's not a personal choice, why could it not be determined by environment?

[ Parent ]
Because. (2.00 / 1) (#323)
by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:09:51 PM EST

"Determined" means that it is final and out of our control.

Granted, there are some environmental factors that can greatly bias our choice-making abilities, but fundamentally you still get to choose.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Un Natural or Un Nurtural or What ? (none / 0) (#358)
by jefu on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:48:56 PM EST

As far as I know (and I do at least try to pay attention to such things) there is no good consensus among researchers about the nature of homosexuality.

Statistical evidence of a sex-linked genetic basis is still there, but not strong enough to be completely convincing. Claims of hormone imbalances during pregnancy, clinging mothers, distant fathers, childhood molestation and others (lots of others) still lurk - but with no more convincing evidence.

There is, however, a consensus among many researchers that for many people the primary sexual orientation (hetero-,homo-,bi- sexual - not paraphilias) is fixed, not a matter of choice and not subject to change (at least with any methods now known). (Situational changes such as prison life are usually reflected in either self appraisal or behavior outside that situation.)

I may have missed research into this topic, if you have reliable, scientifically sound research, please post it in a followup.

[ Parent ]

I suspect it's a mistake... (none / 0) (#398)
by Gromit on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 07:12:51 AM EST

...to assume that there is a cause (if you will) of homosexuality. My suspicion is that sometimes it's an inborn trait (genetic, chemical environment during gestation), other times it relates to events in childhood, etc. Kinda like other sexual behaviors, or indeed other behaviors generally.

And it's not like homosexuality means something is "broken," and so looking for a "cause" (my word, not yours, well done) is probably no more meaningful than looking for a "cause" of blue-eyed people; nice to know, maybe, but not really important. Even from an evolutionary standpoint, homosexuals are not broken -- they do propagate (I wouldn't be here otherwise), by engaging in heterosexual sex, but that doesn't mean they're "heterosexuals" in the sense of preferring to sleep with and form relationships with the other gender rather than the same gender, any more than the guys having sex in prison are "homosexuals" just because they're having homosexual sex because their preferred type is unavailable. In each case, the person is acting against their sexual preference to satisfy a deeper need; in the former case, the need to propagate; the latter case, the need to have sex for sex's sake (which I suppose is probably a variant of the same need, come to think of it).



--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Where's love in all this? (4.75 / 16) (#103)
by Lynx0 on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:09:38 AM EST

When you look through the page at the time of this posting, you will find that love is never mentioned as a part of sexuality, although the topic of sex is discussed. Why is this?
Most people I know have sex with a partner they love, girl/boyfriend or such.
But it seems to me, all the cases of 'unnormal' sexuality in the article remove the concept of love from sex. As in the fetishes, the people love things instead of humans, they project sexual desires onto their fetish. This is maybe also true for the 'furries', who turn the human (partly) into an animal, which does not feel human love.
In the BSDM scene it is even turned around: Love is exchanged for violence and hate, and respect becomes humiliation.

If people can fullfill their secret desires, like cannibalism, they look for satisfaction. Does it make Armin M. happy when he can eat someone, or does he need the satisfaction, like a drug addict needs his drug?

BDSM and love (4.00 / 1) (#122)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:54:42 AM EST

I have enough contact with people who are heavily into BDSM to know that you slander them when you say what they're doing is any less about love than "normal" sex. (And since when is "normal" sex more about love than about horniness and habit?)

If acts that are normally thought of as sources of pain give pleasure, then the one who inflicts them can certainly be doing it because they like giving pleasure rather than because they like inflicting pain, yes? Likewise, submission is about surrendering control and the burdens it implies, submerging one's self in service to another—a source of ecstasy known to mankind in many contexts throughout history, but particularly in religious acts. (And submission is often characterized as an act of worship.)

The act of ordinary fucking is not intrinsically an act of love: consider rape. Love is not in the act, but in the relationship around the act, and its is the relationship that determines the acts, not the reverse.



[ Parent ]
BSDM and love (1.00 / 2) (#203)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:21:46 PM EST

Some of BSDM I don't find appealing, but I can't think of a good reason to reject it. Then there is the dregredation, humiliation, and dehumanization that comes with power exchange that I think is safe to say is antithetical to love. Calling somebody your slave, chaining them to your penis for extended periods of forced oral sex, humiliating somebody by having them act out in front of a group, these are all experiences I have read about and actually seen done. I can't see how any of this can help expose love. People seem to get confused between love and fun, more and more in soceity people are trying to replace love with other emotions and it sickens me.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
problems (1.00 / 2) (#207)
by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:33:00 PM EST

"Some of BSDM I don't find appealing, but I can't think of a good reason to reject it."

Easy more justification of control over a sentient human being in a high handed manner.

"Then there is the dregredation, humiliation, and dehumanization that comes with power exchange that I think is safe to say is antithetical to love."

Well duh but he dosn't understand that now does he.

Going to break this down more becuase this even better illustrates my point.

" Calling somebody your slave,"

Hey with all this crap about the 'suffering Iraqi people' and all this should have been considered when even thinking about BDSM unless we have a little Dr Jeckel/Mr. Hyde thing going on here.

" chaining them to your penis for extended periods of forced oral sex,"

That dosn't even look fun in hentai and that is one of the few domains that can make some of this spurious evil look good.

" humiliating somebody by having them act out in front of a group,"

Aaaawww come on don't you want to actually *feel* like some of the slaves in America did back in the good old days without the cumberance of a time machine and temporal paradoxes?

" these are all experiences I have read about and actually seen done."

Hmmm personally?

" I can't see how any of this can help expose love."

They don't.

" People seem to get confused between love and fun, more and more in soceity people are trying to replace love with other emotions and it sickens me."

Fun for whom? The perpetrator but most likely even he/she can't fully justify if queried.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]

Roles, play, love (none / 0) (#213)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:06:54 PM EST

Then there is the dregredation, humiliation, and dehumanization that comes with power exchange that I think is safe to say is antithetical to love.

I don't agree that voluntary power exchange implies degredation, humiliation, or dehumanization, precisely because it's voluntary. It's play, not reality: the actors are real people, but they can step out of the roles if they need to. (Of course the physical acts are real, but the roles are not.)

People seem to get confused between love and fun

I feel like that's what you're doing. Love is a property of the relationship, while fun is a property of the act. Sex itself can be intense fun, and so can other kinds of play that you find mutually satisfying, but none of them is love in itself. Love is not in the physical motions and sensations; it is in the motivation behind them, and in the reaction to them. The motions themselves do not matter, as long as they suit the lovers.



[ Parent ]
false dichotomy (none / 0) (#217)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:45:54 PM EST

I don't agree that voluntary power exchange implies degredation, humiliation, or dehumanization, precisely because it's voluntary. It's play, not reality: the actors are real people, but they can step out of the roles if they need to. (Of course the physical acts are real, but the roles are not.)
First, Just because something is voluntary, doesn't imply that it can also also be degrating. You can voluntarily submit to degredation and abused spouses do it all across the world and some don't even know they are being abused. Second, the roles may be consensual prima facia but they derive their degradation from teh non-consensual actions. The sub is often told to submit to actions that they do not want and it is this being forced to humiliate one's self that people may get off on. This says nothing of the dom, where there is clearly enjoyment for forcing people into debasing situations. Clearly something cannot be dehumanizing and loving at the same time (appeasing somebodies unhealty desires doesn't count as love, but as being a negative enabler).

I feel like that's what you're doing. Love is a property of the relationship, while fun is a property of the act. Sex itself can be intense fun, and so can other kinds of play that you find mutually satisfying, but none of them is love in itself. Love is not in the physical motions and sensations; it is in the motivation behind them, and in the reaction to them. The motions themselves do not matter, as long as they suit the lovers.
Love can also be a property of an action and this is recognized is speech when we say a "loving hug" or a "loving decision." I am not saying that fun and love cannot both happen at the same time, however poeple tend to lack love in their relationships, and noticing something missing, they try to fill it with more fun or other emotion. Sex is a very unique action, both emotionally and physiologically; it is a consumation and expression of love. To argue against that is to argue against all of human history. It is also well established that love is strengthed and emotional ties are created during sex. At this level, love is in the every thrust, moan, and beed of sweat in sex. To say that sex is just fun and love is in the relationship is only half the truth.

Go ahead and have sex outside the bonds of strongly committed love, but don't expect me to accept it or think it is healthy.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Love and choices (none / 0) (#220)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:06:11 PM EST

First, Just because something is voluntary, doesn't imply that it can also also be degrating.

Now we're in a territory where words are fuzzy and definitions matter a lot. Is degradation an immediate feeling or a lasting effect on one's being? If it's the former, I agree, you can experience it even if you are completely free to make other choices, the same way you can experience real fear while riding a roller coaster—and it can be positive for the same reason. It's an experience that, if it were happening to you, you would find horrible; but because you are choosing to do it, because you know the parameters and you have control of the larger situation even as you relinquish it in the smaller, it can be a positive experience instead.

On the other hand, I don't agree that power exchange necessarily results in degradation in the sense of lasting damage to a person's psyche. It can—but so can ordinary sex or conversation if performed abusively. If someone is abused by means of bondage or sex or conversation, it's the abuse, not the bondage or the sex or the conversation, that is the problem. The core distinction here is in the immediate situation versus the larger relationship: if the overall relationship is assymmetric—if one person depends on the other and doesn't dare leave—somebody is going to get hurt, but within the context of an otherwise healthy relationship, consensual power play is nothing more or less than play.

Love can also be a property of an action and this is recognized is speech when we say a "loving hug" or a "loving decision."

But this is exactly what I mean. A loving hug is a hug intended lovingly, extended in a loving context; it is not the mere motion of a hug. Sex outside of a loving relationship is fun, but is not an act of love; it is the loving relationship that makes it so. Within a loving relationship, any mutually satisfying act from washing the dishes together to fucking while skydiving to playing master and servant can be an act of love; outside of one, the most passionate act of conventional sex is nothing more or less than fun. Love is love, and acts of love are acts performed in the context of love, not necessarily a particular kind of sex.



[ Parent ]
Not everything consensual can provide love. (none / 0) (#227)
by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:51:48 PM EST

I really don't know why you keep repeating that mantra. Last time I had this discussion on K5, the same thing happened. Post after post, people said that as long as it was consensual and everybody knew what was going on, then it could be loving. I emphatically deny that. It may be fun for them, but that is not the same thing.

Let me clarify from my first post what I am specifically refering to: "degredation, humiliation, and dehumanization that comes with power exchange" and "aalling somebody your slave, chaining them to your penis for extended periods of forced oral sex, humiliating somebody by having them act out in front of a group, these are all experiences I have read about and actually seen done." So outside the play world, these activities are already considered harmful to somebody. The BDSM's argument seems to be that if we wrap it up with some safe words then it makes it all right. I don't see how making the activity consensual make them any less degrading. In fact, part of the appeal of being the sub is being forced to do things against your will. The subculture tries to say that there is great joy in being a sub and forced behavior, but they turn around and say that they aren't really being a sub. That is illogical. Either they are performing acts against their will or they aren't.

On the other hand, I don't agree that power exchange necessarily results in degradation in the sense of lasting damage to a person's psyche. It can--but so can ordinary sex or conversation if performed abusively. If someone is abused by means of bondage or sex or conversation, it's the abuse, not the bondage or the sex or the conversation, that is the problem.
Yes, abuse can come in all forms, and I don't encourage any of them. However, ordinary sex and conversation can be loving. Dehumanizing and debasing actions can never be loving. Making it consensual dehumanization doesn't make it any better. This is never something has been able to show me otherwise.

The core distinction here is in the immediate situation versus the larger relationship: if the overall relationship is assymmetric--if one person depends on the other and doesn't dare leave--somebody is going to get hurt, but within the context of an otherwise healthy relationship, consensual power play is nothing more or less than play.
Yes, these are all problems. However this doesn't strike at the heart of the matter: much of power exchange is an exercise in dehumanization. The relationship changes for those period of play time and there isn't anything healthy in it. I fail to see your point.

Within a loving relationship, any mutually satisfying act from washing the dishes together to fucking while skydiving to playing master and servant can be an act of love
No. An relationship that includes power exchange as I have described doesn't make the power exchange a loving expression, on the contrary, the power exchange makes the relationship less loving. To say that beating somebody is loving because I love them is begging the question. You look to the acts of the relationship to call it loving after all. This only makes sense: when you see somebody treat his husband as a slave and yet claim that she loves him you don't believe them. How does this guise of consensual slavery make it any better?

_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
On love and will (none / 0) (#229)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:15:15 PM EST

You're saying that someone can claim to love someone else and yet still hurt that person, and that's a bad thing. I agree. But that doesn't address the idea that, in the context of actual love, the mechanics of what you do together is not the important thing. If person A and person B love each other, and person B asks to be called "bitch" and physically compelled to suck dick, what exactly is person A doing wrong in fulfilling that desire? Your only answer seems to be that they don't really love each other or they wouldn't do that, and if that's really all that is, I can neither agree with you nor argue with you usefully: you're making the definition of love subject to your final point, not reasoning from a given idea of love to a careful conclusion about BDSM. If that's not what you're saying, I don't understand what you're saying, so please say it again in different words.

The subculture tries to say that there is great joy in being a sub and forced behavior, but they turn around and say that they aren't really being a sub. That is illogical. Either they are performing acts against their will or they aren't.

You're mistaken here, plain and simple. You're missing the critical subtlety, which is that there is a meaningful difference between roles played by choice and roles into which we are genuinely forced. Despite having just stated it baldly, I suspect the only way I can really (i.e., emotionally) get the idea through to you is through metaphor. An actor doing method acting (mentally getting into the role to be played) is in a different position than someone in the same real-life situation, even though while actually in the situation, simulated or not, they may feel the same emotions. The actor's overall situation can be great if they're doing it because they love it, because they make a million dollars a movie for doing it; or it can be terrible because they're struggling and desperate for work and this is all they can get. The experience overall is good or bad on its own merits, based on how well the person's reality fits with how they want it to be, not based on their instantanous emotions.



[ Parent ]
I think what he's saying... (5.00 / 2) (#243)
by verb on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:10:33 PM EST

...is that the examples cited (say, being caled a bitch and forced to suck a partner off) are not signs of a healthy self-image, or something like that.

Let's step back for a moment and ignore the 'borderline' stuff like role play and submission. Let's jump back to the example the original author started with: a guy wants to be eaten. Another wants to eat someone. Is it possible for this to be "loving?" I would argue that it is not. Even if the guy-who-wants-to-be-eaten is having his desires fulfilled, they are not healthy, beneficial desires. A loving person would, in theory at least, desire the best for their partner and would refuse to be complicit an an act that would harm their partner.

You may disagree with this premise that loving people do not harm their partners. You may disagree with the idea that nonfatal BDSM is harmful to a partner, either psychologically or physically. I believe the latter is the trickiest of the assumptions, but I think that given those two points it's not very difficult at all to see what jjayson is trying to say:

Loving people do not willfully hurt their partners, either physically, psychologically, or emotionally.

--verb

[ Parent ]

Lasting damage (5.00 / 1) (#249)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:43:06 PM EST

I've said from the beginning that lasting damage is different, and the stuff I'm arguing for accepting is stuff that does not, so far as I can tell, involve permanent damage: it is play. Psychologically complex play, play that flirts with danger, but not actually very dangerous because of the care with which it is done and the limits within which it is kept.

[ Parent ]
Not helping somebody overcome is hurtfull. (1.00 / 1) (#255)
by jjayson on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:55:30 AM EST

When somebody desires to be dehumanized (or have their penis eaten) and you oblige them, you are part of the problem. If you truly loved somebody you could not use them to get yourself off nor see them being defiled. How hard is this concept for many of the BDSM people to get? There is no love in that behavior.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
At this point, all I have to say is (none / 0) (#280)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:53:42 AM EST

play hurt is not the same as real hurt. If you don't buy that, I think we're at an impasse, because I can't see how to convince you.

[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#302)
by verb on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:35:00 AM EST

Is there ever a point at which play hurt is real hurt, regardless of what the participants think? A broken arm, a lopped off foot, scars and limps...

Is there a point at which one simply must say, 'Hey. That's really unhealthy. If you love your partner, you're not going to do that...'?

If the disagreement is about WHERE that point lies, then there is hope for common ground in the discussion. If the disagreement is about WHETHER that point exists, then there isn't really much point to continuing it, IMO.

--v.

[ Parent ]

The line between reality and play (none / 0) (#309)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:02:39 PM EST

I think we all agree that significant lasting damage, physical or psychological, is real harm. What I'm saying is that power play does not necessarily involve such harm. Indeed, in practice among the people I know, it is carefully structured to avoid such harm: all parties are supposed to watch out for themselves and the others, back off it it seems appropriate, and abort altogether if things seem to be getting bad. It's just another form of grown-up play: people play with dangerous things (speed and gravity being the most obvious examples) all the time, but reasonable people do it under controlled circumstances so that the benefits outweigh the risks.

[ Parent ]
a few simple points (none / 0) (#303)
by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:37:19 AM EST

  • If you're chopping off someone's cock, it's a safe bet that it's "real hurt." Just to bring this out of the clouds a little bit.
  • Making ritual humiliation part of the sex act suggests that it's not completely about the sex. It's about enjoying humiliation, distress, and pain.

    Maybe RobotSlave could convince me that S and M can have a loving dimension. You aren't succeeding.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

  • Grumble. (none / 0) (#310)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:08:11 PM EST

    How do you get, from a comment where I say "lasting harm is not OK", the idea that I am defending things that do lasting harm?

    Making ritual humiliation part of the sex act suggests that it's not completely about the sex. It's about enjoying humiliation, distress, and pain.

    Well, yes, isn't that obvious? I was certainly taking it for granted. My point has never been that it is "completely about the sex"—in fact, there need not even be sex at all. My point is that if both parties enjoy it and no lasting harm is done, it's play.



    [ Parent ]
    I remember from some reading (5.00 / 1) (#283)
    by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:00:51 AM EST

    About the submissives usually actually not being submissive in the entire relationship, just when they're playing.  And the roles of dominant and submissive may reverse occasionally depending on what they feel like doing.

    Some poor people probably have self-image or anger problems and use BDSM as a way of acting out or dealing with those problems, but to most:

    it's just a game.


    [ Parent ]
    No Way (none / 0) (#279)
    by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:52:05 AM EST

    The sub is often told to submit to actions that they do not want

    Then it is no longer BDSM as defined in the mainstream.  Their motto is "safe, sane, consensual" and your description violated one of those.  This is non-consensual behavior, and the bottom person probably needs psych care if he sticks with the dominant one who is forcing him to do things against his will.

    Now, if it just looked non-consensual to you, then they were very good actors.

    [ Parent ]

    Defining BDSM (none / 0) (#306)
    by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:42:37 AM EST

    I see nothing wrong with the CONCEPT of power-exchange as long as it IS voluntary. However, many of the things I read about online are (IMO) disgusting and I would neither inflict it on anyone, nor allow it to be inflicted on me. It's all a question of where both parties choose to draw the line.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    lack of love (1.33 / 9) (#205)
    by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:27:11 PM EST

    "I have enough contact with people who are heavily into BDSM to know that you slander them when you say what they're doing is any less about love than "normal" sex."

    Too bad opinions of borderline inhuman monsters dosn't concern me.

    " (And since when is "normal" sex more about love than about horniness and habit?) "

    Well let's see there's the old concept of the golden rule (for those idiots who don't even know this thing ancient long haired, sandal wearing guy talking about not screwing people without wanting to get screwed in return).

    Tieing up someone and abusing them even if you are both in on the idea that you may even deeply love each other is really not being completely honest. How do you think people who are normal can become violent and do evil things. The capacity to become the next Hitler is in us all.

    "If acts that are normally thought of as sources of pain give pleasure, then the one who inflicts them can certainly be doing it because they like giving pleasure rather than because they like inflicting pain, yes?"

    The neural pathways in a normal person and the chemical neurotransmitters in a brain will almost always cause pain=bad, pleasure=good (I mean physical nerve antagonism here). Anything is an anomaly and should be either considered damaged or faulty (since when is it evolutionary helpful to find say getting a broken leg to be fun?).

    " Likewise, submission is about surrendering control and the burdens it implies, submerging one's self in service to another--a source of ecstasy known to mankind in many contexts throughout history, but particularly in religious acts."

    Thought you were being cleaver with that one right? Yeah think I can out argue that one right? Wrong.

    Simply put the *kind* and *nature* of the "submission" is the problem. Having a person who is at best requient with the needs of another or who is utilizing the needs of another to selfishly further their own agenda is by definition bad.

    Religious deities are not (at least according to their own religious text and major religious theologians) about that kind of submission but to give an ability to think of a greater truth.

    Hey maybe you can give me the old pedophile line about adults being the best way to get young kinds gently into sex right?

    " (And submission is often characterized as an act of worship.) "

    Yeah know all about the arabic meaning of 'muslim' about being 'one who submits' already covered this one.

    "The act of ordinary fucking is not intrinsically an act of love: consider rape."

    You can love the person you are rapeing. However with rape the other dosn't return your love necessarily.

    " Love is not in the act, but in the relationship around the act, and its is the relationship that determines the acts, not the reverse."

    And unfortunately BDSM is not love because of the criterion that you give of the relationship. People who hold such ideas are simply put wrong.
    "So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
    [ Parent ]

    Ad hominem and clean it up (none / 0) (#214)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:11:22 PM EST

    There are two reasons I am moderating you down and not bothering with a real reply, even though I want to address some of what you say:
    1. Your quoting style is illegible. Use <blockquote> or italics.
    2. You're reacting with anger and name-calling rather than calmly making a point. I can't address what you say point by point without getting really angry myself and writing a bad answer.
    Please try again.

    [ Parent ]
    well thanks (1.00 / 3) (#221)
    by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:10:11 PM EST

    "There are two reasons I am moderating you down and not bothering with a real reply, even though I want to address some of what you say: "

    Wow thanks.

    "Your quoting style is illegible."

    To whom I use IE and netscape and don't see anything wrong. It is also anybrowser compliant. Lynx and other text only formatting schemes don't see any of the fancy html tags.

    " Use <blockquote> or italics. "

    I did that on another forum gets difficult as well.

    "You're reacting with anger and name-calling rather than calmly making a point."

    Not necessarily name calling but more of an opinion.

    The expression of such traits has logical intellectual antecedents as well as consequences.

    " I can't address what you say point by point without getting really angry myself and writing a bad answer. "

    How is that my fault. If something is evil does that obligate me from pandering to someone else's taste?

    "Please try again."

    Thank you I shall try other posts but this one needs some more intellectual opinion instead of editoralizing.
    "So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
    [ Parent ]

    Nope. (none / 0) (#455)
    by ethereal on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 08:12:57 AM EST

    I'm pretty sure calling someone "borderline inhuman" is just plain name-calling. That was unnecessary and uncalled-for.

    --

    Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    [ Parent ]

    Lack of Logic (none / 0) (#354)
    by Anatta on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:31:47 PM EST

    Well let's see there's the old concept of the golden rule (for those idiots who don't even know this thing ancient long haired, sandal wearing guy talking about not screwing people without wanting to get screwed in return).

    Tieing up someone and abusing them even if you are both in on the idea that you may even deeply love each other is really not being completely honest. How do you think people who are normal can become violent and do evil things. The capacity to become the next Hitler is in us all.

    In Matthew 7:12, Jesus states states that we should do on to others as we would like them to do onto us. If a sadist brings pleasure and satisfaction to a masochist, and a masochist gives pleasure and satisfaction to a sadist, are they not following the golden rule? Oh, and don't forget Matthew 7:1-5. I'll leave you to look that up.

    The neural pathways in a normal person and the chemical neurotransmitters in a brain will almost always cause pain=bad, pleasure=good (I mean physical nerve antagonism here).

    Perhaps the pathways aren't necessarily different for those who like to inflict/receive pain, but rather that they respond to the intensity of all sensation in certain situations, not just pleasure or pain. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to perceive a sensation, and some people perceive sensations differently than others. One person can get seasick on the same boat as someone who feels fine. One person can be hot while sitting in the same room as someone who is cold. Are you going to tell the cold person his neural pathways are inferior to yours because he doesn't feel the same sensations you do? Some people are colorblind, while most of us perceive colors correctly. Perhaps those who find a modicum of pleasure in experiencing certain painful situations are like those who visualize in a vivid color spectrum, while those who do not find any pleasure in pain are like those who see only black, white, and gray.

    Anything is an anomaly and should be either considered damaged or faulty (since when is it evolutionary helpful to find say getting a broken leg to be fun?).

    If two experience an inordinately intense orgasm while engaged in BDSM, and the semen moves further into the vagina than it might normally do, and the vagina contracts more than usual, drawing the sperm even further in than it normally does, perhaps BDSM, to some, is an evolutionary advantage.

    And unfortunately BDSM is not love because of the criterion that you give of the relationship. People who hold such ideas are simply put wrong.

    What is love? If two people who engage in BDSM tell you they are in love, are they lying? Have they deceived themselves, Or could they genuinely feel love for one another and simultaneously enjoy BDSM "play"? Are you the arbiter of who is truly in love? Can we see your Certificate of Amorous Arbitration to verify that you are an official judge and that we should all listen to your decrees?

    It looks to me like you're grasping at straws. You've tossed in

    It looks to me like you're using a whole lot of fire and brimstone to make your argument, rather than a solid, steady flame. You tossed in one part misinterpretation of Jesus, two pounds of Evil Dictator (what, you couldn't somehow work Ivan the Terrible into the argument?), a pinch of evolutionary chicanery, and garnished with righteous fury declaring yourself the arbiter of what is "real" love.

    Rather tasteless way to make an argument, isn't it?


    My Music
    [ Parent ]

    sex and love (1.33 / 3) (#202)
    by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:14:41 PM EST

    "When you look through the page at the time of this posting, you will find that love is never mentioned as a part of sexuality, although the topic of sex is discussed."

    I see.

    "Why is this?"

    Well the Germans invented the whole concept of the Nazi regime right?

    Even better than that they had a *massive* problem with homosexuality before the war. (Interestingly enough there is some rather hard to disprove information that Hitler himself may have actually been gay himself.)

    Much of what these movements at the time stood for was anything but love more like power and control of one form or another consciously or unsciously.

    "Most people I know have sex with a partner they love, girl/boyfriend or such."

    I would hope so. There is unfortunately some ways that humans can not so much love but to dominate in some fashion.

    "But it seems to me, all the cases of 'unnormal' sexuality in the article remove the concept of love from sex."

    What gave that away? The cannibalism?

    " As in the fetishes, the people love things instead of humans, they project sexual desires onto their fetish."

    In other words: a sterotype right?

    " This is maybe also true for the 'furries', who turn the human (partly) into an animal, which does not feel human love."

    Or maybe they don't have the guts to fuck an animal?

    "In the BSDM scene it is even turned around: Love is exchanged for violence and hate, and respect becomes humiliation."

    Thus people are not human and become evil. They have purpously forsaken their humanity and deserve neither pitty nor respect.

    "If people can fullfill their secret desires, like cannibalism, they look for satisfaction."

    Cannibalism is both evil and unlawful. Of course there are many levels of satisfaction that one gets into.

    " Does it make Armin M. happy when he can eat someone, or does he need the satisfaction, like a drug addict needs his drug?"

    I think more like a drug. Kind of like a serial killer.
    "So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
    [ Parent ]

    BSDM scene (none / 0) (#329)
    by His angel on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:54:38 PM EST

    Seems to me you don't know much about the "bdsm scene." Love is not exchanged for violence and hate. Nor does respect become humuliation. Those of us that choose to participate in such things do so for a variety of reasons. And what one person perceives as pain is perceived as enjoyable by another. For example, it hurts me to stub my toe or slam my hand in a car door. i can get "pain" for pain sakes anywhere or with anyone. So while much of what i perceive as sensuous physical sensation may be considered pain by others, it is indeed not pain for me. Not in the sense that most people consider pain to be.

    i happen to be in a very loving relationship that is based upon respect. As well as it is based on honesty, love, communications, honor, friendship, passion and compassion. It doesn't hurt either that i happen to be with someone that has some of the same "kinks" as myself.

    You should also know that most of the "bdsm community" follows a creed of Safe, Sane and Consensual. Even i would not find people that want to eat one another, be eaten, be murdered, murder or anything along such lines to be sane. Then again, i'm sure much of what i do is not considered "sane" by some aspects of society. We do what we do for mutual enjoyment. And despite what many may think, either partner can refuse to participate in such activities at most any time. At least in *most* consensual bdsm practices and relationships.

    Personally i am offended that someone would lump me into a group of something they have no experience of. Other than what they may "perceive" based on here say or media reports. The relationship i am in is undoubedly more or less like any other "healthy" adult relationship. The fact that i enjoy bondage, spankings and masturbation makes me no less or no more than anyone else. And it certainly does not mean that i am any less respected, any less loved, or that i am being abused.

    ~angel~
    His ~angel~
    [ Parent ]
    love connected to sex (none / 0) (#348)
    by tunesmith on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 07:06:26 PM EST

    Thanks for saying this. Erik sort of glosses over the linkage between sex and love.

    Sex is also very linked to emotional healing, there is a lot that can change in ones attitudes towards oneself or another through the act of sex, just because it's so intimate. It's an inherently intimate act, no matter how much people try to make it non-intimate.

    Unfortunately you're making the comment with an anti-bdsm agenda. bdsm is not necessarily against love. bdsm IS a complete minefield, however. Yes, it's totally possible to be into some bdsm, also connected to love. However, it's also true that there are many many people into bdsm that are rationalizing it as honest and loving, but somewhere underneath are struggling with very personal and intense issues of shame, guilt, rage, or self-hatred.

    Making a distinction between those two camps is impossible legislatively, though, because it's trying to put hard criteria on a very fluid range of human emotions. The best you can do is support programs that encourage a linkage between sex and love, and resist support to programs that are directly counter to that.

    Note that sex<->love, counter-intuitively to right-wingers, also depends on an encouragement of people to make their own choices and accept responsibility, rather than have outside morals, discipline, and control asserted on them.

    (yeah, I realize sex-connected-to-love is my own outside morals, but come on. To deny that sex<->love is GOOD is to deny one's own emotions and health. Who would do that? Nihilists maybe...?)

    Curt
    Yes, I have a blog.
    [ Parent ]

    I hate to be the guy who brings this up.... (3.55 / 20) (#106)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:28:42 AM EST

    But...

    The article author suggests that we need to allow people more freedom to do as they will, especially w.r.t. pornography.

    I think he is missing the point entirely.

    The whole fetish scene came from the sexual liberation of the 60's. It was very, very tiny before then. Sexual deviancy is being fed by the "An it Harm None, Do What Thou Will" school. As a culture we in America have lost the ability to make moral judements, take a stand and say, "This is wrong. Stop."

    Remember the SNL skit where every sentence was followed by a gush of "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" ;)

    But here it is in a nutshell: The more permissive society becomes, the weirder you have to get to cause people to bat an eye. Now if you want to reduce or fight sexual deviancy, you have to establish a sexual normalcy, and enforce it with social pressure. In short, the right-wing agenda the author is so afraid of. The decriminalization of prostitution, homosexuality, removal of all censorship, denigration of virginity pledge, age of consent at 14 ... man, are you TRYING to make people get weirder?



    Slight offtopic appendix:

    Let me just add one more thing. Age of consent at 14? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND? Most of what is said on K5 is, sadly, easy to ignore with a chuckle, or a raised eyebrow perchance. But this is dangerous, wrong, and altogether sick. Maybe in the Middle Ages, when 14 yrs old was an adult with adult responsibilities that was okay. But today 14-year-olds are CHILDREN. They have no judgement, no cash, and are still being trained by their parents. Meanwhile they feel awkward about their changing bodies (nb: I never thought I'd use the phrase "changing bodies" in anger; God, I am getting old), and can't handle their own sexuality. This precisely at the age when they start becoming "cute" to evil old men. In short, it's hard to imagine a more vulnerable, more in-need-of-protection population.

    Sir, I suggest you go have a couple daughters and rethink your position. Meanwhile I'm trying to revive the custom of strict chaperonage on dates!

    What if the point isn't to get people to notice? (none / 0) (#110)
    by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:34:04 AM EST

    What if the point is just to have fun? What if "deviancy" is best defined on individual cases (as the word itself suggests) rather than as a "fight" to "reduce" some sort of tide of sexual doom?

    [ Parent ]
    I don't think the point is to have fun (3.50 / 4) (#117)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:48:23 AM EST

    What if the point is just to have fun? What if "deviancy" is best defined on individual cases (as the word itself suggests) rather than as a "fight" to "reduce" some sort of tide of sexual doom?
    I'm not sure if sexual fetish is meant to be fun. I'm no expert, but so much of it involves pain and humiliation, I'm not sure "fun" is the first thing on their minds. Maybe the shoe guys... ;)

    What I'm trying to get at is that I believe that what we're calling here sexual deviancy came about because Western society abruptly became way more permissive sexually, and essentially left people to their own devices. And in some cases, I do mean devices. ;O

    Hence, I argue that Traditional Morality is good for protecting children and suppressing deviancy, at the cost of some self-expression of arguable worth. This is a debate that society is starting to have. That's why in America you have both NAMBLA -- may they rot in Hell forever -- and the Virginity Pledge. Our culture is fighting; it is fighting an undeclared civil war to define the mainstream. Whatever side you're on, get out there. I want to see you on the barricades!

    [ Parent ]
    Degrees (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Perianwyr on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:12:06 PM EST

    I'd like to see some comparisons between our society and others with regard to sexual permissiveness that have some actual backup before I'll make any judgments on that part- that's the real flaw of the article.

    I would opine that what we consider "perversion" is entirely dependent on our social viewpoint- a Greek warrior might have found our views on homosexuality bizarre (especially our belief that anal sex is the commensurate gay act) as would a Japanese swordmaster, who would have found a gay relationship with an apprentice to be completely within the spectrum of socially tolerated sex.

    I don't have the data to make a complete point-for-point judgment, other than to say that claims of social degradation (especially with regard to sex) are generally overblown and rather Western in flavor.

    [ Parent ]

    Overblown? (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:54:09 PM EST

    Uh, remind me again where Ancient Greece is now?

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    So? (4.00 / 1) (#168)
    by RoOoBo on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:43:14 PM EST

    In the same place that, let see .... Catholic Spanish Empire and Inquisition? In history books.

    Seriously, are you trying to say that old Greeks power disappeared because they were gays?



    [ Parent ]
    Why the Greeks disappeared (5.00 / 3) (#182)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:27:45 PM EST

    Seriously, are you trying to say that old Greeks power disappeared because they were gays?
    At the risk of inserting some levity into this very earnest discussion...

    The Greeks' power disappeared precisely because they took it in the rear. At a place called Kynoskephalai.

    (Read the article, you'll get the joke)

    [ Parent ]
    Yes I am. (none / 0) (#321)
    by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:05:43 PM EST

    Do you have a better theory?

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Sure (none / 0) (#334)
    by RoOoBo on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 04:29:05 PM EST

    What about that the Romans kicked their asses?

    Or that after Alexandre they become very fragmented (in fact those were Macedonians, not Greeks, Athens, Sparta and the other early famous Greek cities were already down).

    BTW, what do you think about Rome? They fell because they were corrupted and depravated too? Or the Inquisition, sure they were very sexually depravated ...



    [ Parent ]
    Yes. (1.00 / 4) (#337)
    by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 04:56:16 PM EST

    You notice now that there is a very clear causal link?

    You do believe in empricism, like any good citizen, don't you?

    I think one of two: either a) you'll have to agree with me seeing all this incontrovertible scientific evidence I presented, or b) you don't really believe in science, rather you are tricking gullible people by labelling your sick perverted phallus-worshipping cult as "science".

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Actually... (5.00 / 1) (#353)
    by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:18:51 PM EST

    I seem to recall from studying ancient Greek history that Athenian democracy was the longest lasting democracy in history. IIRC, the United States still has to last a few more years until we overtake their record.

    --
    "Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
    [ Parent ]
    No you don't. (2.50 / 2) (#390)
    by Ranieri on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:25:48 AM EST

    The US is not a democracy in the Athenian sense, it's a representative republic. And in that arena, I believe the crown still goes to the French.
    --
    Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
    [ Parent ]
    ACK! How dare you! (none / 0) (#403)
    by Parrot Fish on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 09:06:44 AM EST

    The US is more of a democracy than your stinking eurocrap will ever be. Now please crawl back into that cave you and your Cromagnon sieblings came out of.

    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, longest lasting democracy... (1.00 / 1) (#393)
    by tkatchev on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:51:20 AM EST

    ...founded on slave labour. Yipee, I feel all warm inside now.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    I don't know where you're from ... (none / 0) (#401)
    by Ranieri on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 08:24:58 AM EST

    But there isn't a single western country that did not join in...
    --
    Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
    [ Parent ]
    Definitely. (none / 0) (#445)
    by tkatchev on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:37:43 AM EST

    And look at where they all are now.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Traditional Morality (3.66 / 3) (#177)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:15:24 PM EST

    Th fact that a morality is traditional enough, is not an adequate defence of its applicability. This is not to say that traditional moralities do not have merit, but, at the very least, their merit cannot be defined by their status as tradition.
    I think Burke said it best: "The individual is foolish, but the species is wise." The argument here being that traditional morality -- and every group has a T.M., against which the young rail ;) -- has developed over many years and has been shown to work. Random social experimentation is not something to be entered upon lightly. Every generation should not see its duty as reinventing society out of whole cloth.

    [ Parent ]
    An opinion from an expert (4.50 / 2) (#159)
    by localroger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:15:54 PM EST

    Well, when Re/Search asked Fakir Musafar why he has practiced just about every form of ritual body modification ever invented, his response was: BECAUSE IT'S FUN!!! (caps, emphasis, and explamation points preserved from original.)

    Given that he has experience with this stuff and you don't, I think we can consider the question settled.

    I can haz blog!
    [ Parent ]

    Qualifications (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:19:19 PM EST

    Well, when Re/Search asked Fakir Musafar why he has practiced just about every form of ritual body modification ever invented, his response was: BECAUSE IT'S FUN!!! (caps, emphasis, and explamation points preserved from original.)

    Given that he has experience with this stuff and you don't, I think we can consider the question settled.
    Let's not be silly. If we restrained ourselves to commenting on things we had direct experience on, K5 would be thunderously silent.

    I submit that Musafar can hardly be considered the end-all and be-all of weird sex behavior. That such has been studied as pathology was already established in the original article. Get a grip (exactly where is your own business), and please note that it just may be possible to see patterns in fetish culture without answering to "Gimp". Sheesh.

    [ Parent ]
    Traditional morality? (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by coillte on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:48:52 PM EST

    Whose tradition.

    There are traditional moralities which encourage male incest with designated aunts as a form of sexual education, there are traditions which designate genital mutilation (occasionally on males, more often on females) an acceptable and/or desireable practice.

    There are traditions which dictate that women should be killed for committing adultery, or having sex outside of marriage, or falling under suspicion of having done so.

    Th fact that a morality is traditional enough, is not an adequate defence of its applicability. This is not to say that traditional moralities do not have merit, but, at the very least, their merit cannot be defined by their status as tradition.

    It also strikes me that a morality which cannot or will not adapt to changing circumstances in the world it attempts to circumscribe is one which will, in time, serve to harm rather than protect its adherents. Christian morality moved from a polygamous origin, or at least partial polyganous origin, through to monogamy. The concept of tradition as justification tens to ossify a morality.

    Etics may be eternal, but morality, arguably by definition, must be contextual.

    ___________-
    "XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
    [ Parent ]

    Newsflash. (3.50 / 2) (#124)
    by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:59:09 AM EST

    Having your own private parts cut off and fed to you isn't "fun" in any sense of the word.

    Stop confusing people with incorret language; please take your filthy agenda elsewhere.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    No Experience (4.00 / 1) (#135)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:24:17 PM EST

    You assume the worst of people, with no proof to back it up. If all the sudden people were allowed to do whatever they wanted sexually, i'm sure that for a while there would be a big boost in extreme sexual acts. Pretty soon, however, that would get old. Having extreme sex or sex with lots of people wouldn't be so impressive, if it weren't taboo. Why do you assume that they would have to do something even more extreme?

    I do think there is an error if extreme sexual behavior is encouraged. I really don't think people should be told what to do either way. Growing up my parents never said anything one way or the other about sex. They explained what it was and when I was much older said that if i had sex I should go on the pill. They never talked down about sex or said people will different sexual ideals were good or bad. Their lack of concern with me having sex didn't lead me to have to impress them with extreme behavior. Instead I realized that it was not a big deal and when I met someone i really cared about, many months later, I decided to have sex.

    It is proven that in countries that are more open sexually, there are less diseases and less unwanted pregnacies. What is your opinion on this? Where are you getting you ideas from when the facts contridict you completely?

    [ Parent ]
    Au Contraire... (3.50 / 2) (#176)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:08:43 PM EST

    It is proven that in countries that are more open sexually, there are less diseases and less unwanted pregnacies. What is your opinion on this? Where are you getting you ideas from when the facts contridict you completely?
    Er ... what?

    Let's compare some sexually open countries, like Ghana and the U.S. and Haiti, vs. some sexually repressive countries, like say, Saudi Arabia.

    Now let's consider STD rates. You do the math.

    [ Parent ]
    wow (4.50 / 2) (#183)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:28:18 PM EST

    Seems you will do anything to prove a point, like ignore the facts.

    You're right that in countries where they aren't allow to have sex, no one gets diseases. However, I'm sure you can hardly claim that these countries are sexually healthy.

    Why, however, are you ignoring the countries in Europe that were talked about in the article, like the Netherlands, where openly discussing sex has lead to reduced pregnacy and disease? I'm calling for sex education and sex being correlated in a society. In the US and Ghana, there is open sex without open discussion. Therein lies the problem.

    [ Parent ]
    Lighten up (4.33 / 3) (#184)
    by jubilation on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:44:14 PM EST

    Seems you will do anything to prove a point, like ignore the facts.
    No need to be rude, now.
    You're right that in countries where they aren't allow to have sex, no one gets diseases. However, I'm sure you can hardly claim that these countries are sexually healthy.

    Why, however, are you ignoring the countries in Europe that were talked about in the article, like the Netherlands, where openly discussing sex has lead to reduced pregnacy and disease? I'm calling for sex education and sex being correlated in a society. In the US and Ghana, there is open sex without open discussion. Therein lies the problem.
    I would challenge your assertion that there is no open discussion of sex in America. In our mass media there is too much of it, for my liking. Media oversaturation of sex leads to acceptance of casual sex, and that is what leads to disease. Knowing handy facts about safe sex prevents disease to some extent, but so does not having sex. Even in the ultra-healthy Netherlands they are having some problems with openness. Pregnancy and STDs are not the only dangers of weird (& especially underaged) sex -- I think you have discounted the moral degradation and emotional scarring involved in power/age-disproportionate sex relations. Don't forget, in Germany they're eating one another.

    Look ... I'm all for teaching about safe sex and condoms etc. Fair enough, those are good things. But I am worried about the demarginalization of strange, dangerous, and risky behaviors. I think -- and I'd love to see some formal studies of this -- that demarginalization of formerly-unacceptable acts makes the fringe push further and further out. I worry about creeping incrementalism.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok (4.50 / 2) (#189)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:01:49 PM EST

    Thank you for telling me to lighten up. I really need to. I just felt so much misinformation on one page that it made my head spin. Thanks for actually sending me some facts.

    My problem is that I'm both young, and female, something that it doesn't seem many people on the page are. I agree that not everything should be allowed and that people should be protected against rape and sexual maltreatment, and that people should not have to see anything on the internet or television that they don't want to. My problem comes with the fact that if i look up studies about pornography google comes back with pages about the "evils" of porn, and no solid facts. All i have is my own experience. I was well educated about sex and have had open discussions with friends about it, so when I decided I was old enough to have sex, I got myself on the pill and bought condoms. I don't think people should be having sex on the streets and showing beastiality in saturday morning cartoons. I do, however, think that if peopel weren't told sex was so wrong, then they might let their desires turn violent or dangerous. All I want is more openness between friends and family and society. I want a child to be able to go to their parents and feel comfortable asking questions.

    [ Parent ]
    porn's negative effects and other things (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:11:16 PM EST

    I do, however, think that if peopel weren't told sex was so wrong, then they might let their desires turn violent or dangerous.

    Here is another post I made in reference to this:
    http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2002/12/14/232013/10/56#56

    I don't understand what being young and female has to with your opinion. I am a 25 year-old male and when I decided that I was old enough to have sex, we went and got her on the birth control pill and bought condoms, too. However, I was 14 and I view that as a tremendous mistake in my life. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have waited. I wish somebody would have drilled it into my head I should wait.

    All I want is more openness between friends and family and society. I want a child to be able to go to their parents and feel comfortable asking questions.
    Openness is a great thing, but that doesn't mean that we should encourage our children to be having sex. You can combine openness and abstinence.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Age of consent (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by rumor on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:39:46 PM EST

    As it happens, the legal age of sexual consent between minors in Canada _is_ 14. That is to say, people under 18 can have sex with people as young as 14, legally. The rule changes when one partner is over 18... I think the age of consent becomes 16, then. I don't recall exactly. The point here being that 14 and 15 year old's having sex with each other is seen as correct, in a politcally moral sense, in Canada.

    Also I might suggest that the sexual wierdness, as you call it, may not simply be a result of the sexual revolution, but of a sexual revolution following centuries of repression and in the atmosphere of continued attempts at repression and denegration.

    -- Rumor

    [ Parent ]
    Not exactly. (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by mindstrm on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:10:20 PM EST

    It's more liberal than that.
    At the age of 14, you can consent to sex with anyone, legally, as long as they are not in some kind of authority position.. and the courts are quite strict about this. Can't be your teacher/landlord/guardian/instructor/priest/manager/boss/etc.
    Other than that, it's allowed.

    At 18, you can consent no matter what.

    I researched this in BC. I'm not sure if it tries from province to province or not.

    [ Parent ]

    The origin(s) of the fetish scene. (5.00 / 4) (#188)
    by Back Spaced on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:58:28 PM EST

    One of the items in my bookshelf is the collected works of Donatien Alphonse François Sade, which I recieved as a Christmas present a few years ago. In this you may be right about the fetish scene orginating in the 60s - if you mean the 1760's. Far from being a product of a "very tiny" scene, Sade was one of the most popular writers of his time in spite of formal government censorship, and his works have survived and been passed down to us today.

    Another great "fetish society" was Victorian England, where a great deal of propriety proved to be a poor cover for a thriving trade in pornography and prostitution. Interestingly enough, some of the most common pornographic fantasies involved spanking or flagellation, to the point that the buttocks were sometimes considered to be a more potent erogenous zone than the genetalia. It certainly doesn't seem to be that great a jump to propose that this comes from the English fascination with corporal punishment.

    That being said, I really doubt that many fetishes are very new, or are a product of western society. The author of this article fails to note that fetishes are by definition marginalized in any cultural setting, and one wouldn't expect them to be memorialized on the walls of houses, or to be represented to a great degree in pornography. A random sampling of a half-dozen pornographic items from today's world would probably not contain any fetish materials simply becuase the odds are against it. A better idea would be to look at other contemporary cultures for fetish practices. The marginalalized sexual practices of a culture almost 2000 years gone are simply too hard to reconstruct.

    In any case, the goal of fetishists is not to be "weird enough to make people bat an eye" - it is to get themselves off, to put it plainly. The sexual thrill associated with fetishes is not one of misbehavior, but one related to the actual fetish in question. Therefore, narrowing sexual norms are likley to be ineffective in changing fetish behavior.

    Finally, if you want my guess as to why strange fetishes are proliferating today, I think that it can be summed up simply by saying population + technology. A greater population means that the odds of any particular fetish showing up are higher, and technology makes it much easier for people with a particular fetsh to find one another.

    Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
    Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
    [ Parent ]

    Ages of consent (none / 0) (#230)
    by innerlemming on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 07:25:25 PM EST

    http://www.ageofconsent.com/ageofconsent.htm

    -----mrok!
    [ Parent ]

    Ever heard of Canada? (3.80 / 5) (#261)
    by alizard on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:27:14 AM EST

    Let me just add one more thing. Age of consent at 14? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND? Most of what is said on K5 is, sadly, easy to ignore with a chuckle, or a raised eyebrow perchance. But this is dangerous, wrong, and altogether sick.

    Canada has had the age of consent at 14 for several years, with exceptions for adults "in a position of trust". I think you would agree that Canada's culture and kids are fairly comparable with that of the US.

    No problems.

    The Canadian government now is seriously decriminalizing marijuana.

    Find the URLs yourself, presumably you know how to use google and the above information is readily available from public sources.

    "An it Harm None, Do What Thou Will" with a link to a Wicca site?

    You are blaming Wicca for America's sexual deviancy? Do your other explanations for what's going on around you involve UFOs and Elvis? I'm not going to ask you "ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?", you've already answered that question to my satisfaction and that of all but a few hard-core crazies that agree with you.

    Here's a link for you. Perhaps you'll find wearing the article of clothing whose design will be imparted to you at the URL will help you.

    I believe you are in need of psychological counseling, and your daughters have my sincerest sympathy.
    "The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
    [ Parent ]

    Children of the hippy generation (5.00 / 1) (#352)
    by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:06:58 PM EST

    I don't think your analysis and the analysis of the author are necessarily mutually exclusive. To mix a metaphor, the free love movement opened up the floodgates and then dropped the ball. The children of the hippies found themselves entering puberty right smack dab in the middle of 1980s conservative America and their formerly free wheeling parents were now straight laced sell outs.

    The problem here might not be that the world is too liberal or too conservative, but merely that the world is bipolar. Our schizophrenic American culture breeds postmodern confusions like the virgin-whore Britney Spears and various other mixed messages.

    I'm of the school of thought that people resort to histrionic attention grabbing if and only if they're being ignored. A permissive society might make it harder to be sensationalistic, but, hopefully, people's need to be noticed would be met before they had to act out.

    The hippies failed because they were too greedy. Their movement was based on self-centered experiences such as drug use and casual sex. They would have gotten a lot farther if they had stuck to the principles of peace, sharing, love and human dignity.

    --
    "Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
    [ Parent ]

    OT: schizoprenic is not bipolar (1.00 / 1) (#360)
    by jjayson on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:57:50 PM EST

    The problem here might not be that the world is too liberal or too conservative, but merely that the world is bipolar. Our schizophrenic American culture breeds postmodern confusions like the virgin-whore Britney Spears and various other mixed messages.
    Schizoprenia is often associated with paranoia and other misperceptions of reality. It does not mean that somebody has multiple personalities or that they are bipolar (once called manic depressive).
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    welp... (none / 0) (#369)
    by Skwirl on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:44:45 PM EST

    I was using the second, non-clinical definition of schizophrenic. I was also using the non-clinical definition of bipolar. I like to sound important while babbling nonsense like that.

    --
    "Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
    [ Parent ]
    wow... (5.00 / 1) (#370)
    by jjayson on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:48:58 PM EST

    How does outright wrong useage make it into the dictionary. I shall have to stop correcting people on that, then.

    (P.s., I didn't have any problem with your useage of bipolar)
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]

    the dictionary (5.00 / 1) (#378)
    by aphrael on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 12:12:53 AM EST

    the dictionary reflects common popular usage. technical usage is a different thing. political scientists have been used to this for years.

    [ Parent ]
    'cause English is a schizo language <g> (none / 0) (#399)
    by Gromit on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 07:41:56 AM EST

    Seriously, I suspect because of the prefix "schizo" meaning separate or divided, which we're familiar with from words like "schism." Popular culture got hold of the word "Schizophrenia" and heard about MPD and put two-and-two (sorry, couldn't resist ;-) together. My guess is it happened very early in the 1900s after the popularization of psychiatry. Mind you, this is all theory and no substance, except I know it was a common use in the 1970s from sitcoms and such.

    --
    "The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

    [ Parent ]
    I wonder. (2.66 / 12) (#123)
    by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 11:56:52 AM EST

    Am I the only one who sees the obvious connection between this (these) perversity (ies) and the degeneration of Christian society in the "West"?

    Without Christianity, there is no Europe.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

    For example during the reign of... (5.00 / 3) (#144)
    by the on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:42:28 PM EST

    ...Mary, in England, Protestants endured things like having their genitals cut off and bowels cut open and displayed to them (as well as a crowd of onlookers) before being sliced into pieces. Because England was a civilized Christian country nobody would ever have thought of eating this stuff.

    --
    The Definite Article
    [ Parent ]
    Exactly. (3.50 / 4) (#155)
    by tkatchev on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:11:20 PM EST

    Your point? That people aren't killed nowadays? That isn't really true, and you know it.

    (Besides, England was never a fully Christian country.)

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Do I have to explain? (3.00 / 2) (#169)
    by the on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:44:26 PM EST

    My point is pretty simple. Slicing and dicing is a feature of religion. Where you have a non-secular state you expect to see plenty of slicing and dicing. It was practised by the Christians nations of the past and is still practised by many Muslim nations. It was also a feature of many polytheistic cultures and is practised (though non-fatally), even today in the West, by Jews on babies. We don't see it much within secular states in the West. I think you need to look elsewhere for an explanation.
    Besides, England was never a fully Christian country
    This is called the "No True Scotsman" move by logicians. It's a pretty weak play.

    --
    The Definite Article
    [ Parent ]
    OK, I'll bite. (3.00 / 4) (#190)
    by Noam Chompsky on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:28:55 PM EST

    My point is pretty simple. Slicing and dicing is a feature of religion.

    A feature of secular progress is the destruction of entire cities and their inhabitants in five minutes, and the environment in five decades. Magic may have been loose in the world a lot longer than secularism, but secularism is a quick understudy, I think, and doesn't it look stylish in its antiseptic threads. C'mon, human agency is the only currency that counts in history. Withdrawing it from religion (degeneracy is a feature of religion) and depositing it in secularism (individual secularists are degenerate) isn't kosher accounting.

    Our models of the world are simply topics of conversation; we're the same species we've always been.

    ---
    "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car."
    [ Parent ]

    Even Rorty would have to admit... (3.00 / 2) (#218)
    by the on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:56:08 PM EST

    ...that "just who exactly we need to chop into pieces" is an example of a "topic of a conversation".

    --
    The Definite Article
    [ Parent ]
    Technology (3.33 / 3) (#284)
    by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:10:29 AM EST

    A feature of secular progress is the destruction of entire cities and their inhabitants in five minutes

    Only because recently governments have been secular along with an advance in technology, some of which enables more efficient killing.

    I wonder how long the Crusaders would have taken to sack Byzantium if they's had cruise missiles.  Doesn't matter, they managed to rape, pillage and burn just fine the old fashioned way.

    [ Parent ]

    confidential to Quila (1.00 / 3) (#301)
    by adequate nathan on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:33:35 AM EST

    In 1939, we found out how long it would take the atheists to steamroller (Catholic) Poland.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Do we need to get into it again? (5.00 / 2) (#383)
    by Quila on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 03:01:30 AM EST

    Despite protests from Christians, there is ample historical evidence for Hitler being Christian.  You'll find Christians who will say he wasn't Christian, but then they'll often also say the Crusades and the Inquisition weren't really Christian either ("No True Scotsman" fallacy).

    Just admit Christianity has a dark past and not try to repeat it again.

    [ Parent ]

    You fucktard. (3.00 / 2) (#415)
    by derek3000 on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 03:35:06 PM EST

    He was talking about the Russians. It took them about 10 days to take Warsaw. Duh.

    Two thumbs down--way down.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    A bit of history (4.00 / 1) (#457)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 09:44:33 AM EST

    Hitler's troops invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939, using their famous blitzkrieg tactics (I assume this means nathan's "steamroller" reference).

    In seven days the Polish resistance was reduced to the final entrenched holdouts in Warsaw.  Ten days later the Russians, in their first chickenshit move of the war, invaded from the East and commenced a nice leisurely stroll to Warsaw.  There was then a Russian-German siege that lasted another 10 days.  Almost all the casualties of the campaign were taken by Polish and German troops.

    Therefore, unless he has as little idea of what he's talking about as you do, he was referring to the German army, commanded ultimately by a professed Christian.

    [ Parent ]

    You are talking about the military. (none / 0) (#460)
    by derek3000 on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 10:05:37 AM EST

    I'm talking about civilians. But fine; maybe you'd prefer to talk about Stalin's policies towards the faithful in his own country?

    Just admit that humans are power-hungry and salivate at the idea of disembowling the enemy...period. Maybe you'll save some face.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    Of course (none / 0) (#461)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 10:52:13 AM EST

    Just admit that humans are power-hungry and salivate at the idea of disembowling the enemy...period.

    Isn't that obvious?  My objections were 1) Christians disavowing Hitler's Christianity to save face and 2) the implication that only atheists commit these horrible acts.

    There was nothing in 1939 relating to "steamrolling" that had to do with civilians.  The only thing I can think of around then having to do with civilians at all was the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940 -- by the Germans.  Stalin doesn't appear to have put much effort into persecution at that time, as he was working on expanding his territory.

    Move your timeframe quite a bit later, then we can start talking about Stalin's atrocities in Poland.  But according to the post that started this, we're talking about 1939.

    [ Parent ]

    refresh my memory (none / 0) (#481)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:20:46 PM EST

    Is there any evidence that, after the age of 18, Hitler ever set foot in a church, studied the Bible, or consulted with a priest?

    In fact, wasn't the Nazi Party officially atheist? (Gottgläubiger being the word Nazis ordinarily used to describe their views.)

    Yeah, you know it, all right. And, by the way, "steamrollering" is an entirely apt word to describe the Soviet invasion of Poland. But thanks for biting.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    I'm confused (5.00 / 1) (#488)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 05:04:58 PM EST

    In fact, wasn't the Nazi Party officially atheist? (Gottgläubiger being the word Nazis ordinarily used to describe their views.)
    A Gottgläubiger is a deist, and they are not atheist. Regardless of that, it is untrue that the Nazi party was officially deist anyway.

    In the point 24 of the 25-point NSDAP Programm:

    We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    as Hannah Arendt points out (2.00 / 1) (#498)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 07:57:43 PM EST

    Eichmann used the term Gottgläubiger to mean 'unbeliever' in his 1961 trial. Further, the program of the Nazi Party was a piece of propaganda with little to do with any policies the Nazi elite expected to implement (source: Eichmann in Jerusalem.)

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Gottgläubiger (5.00 / 1) (#501)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 09:09:52 PM EST

    The very word "Gottgläubiger" is contradictory to atheism.  Gottgläubiger means literally "God-believer".

    In German the word "Gottgläubiger" is, I believe, the same as the English "deist".  That's someone who believes God created the universe, but doesn't exert any influence on it from that point on.

    A Christian couldn't be a deist, but neither could an atheist.

    But my main point was that the NSDAP officially supported Christianity, whether or not it was mere propaganda.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]

    Others pointed out, but (none / 0) (#529)
    by Quila on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:00:41 AM EST

    Hitler ever set foot in a church, studied the Bible, or consulted with a priest?

    No idea, but in many speeches and policies, he promoted Christianity.  The only problem he had with Christianity is the one the Chinese have with the Catholics now: it was a threat to his power.  He fully supported Christianity as long as its power structures were subordinate to the authority of the state.  This is the essence of his deal with the Catholic church.

    In fact, wasn't the Nazi Party officially atheist? (Gottgläubiger being the word Nazis ordinarily used to describe their views.)

    As has been pointed out, that is roughly a deist.  When asked if Christian, a Nazi can say "no, I'm a deist."  That doesn't make him atheist, just not Christian and possibly as strong a believer in the "supreme being" as a Christian.

    And, by the way, "steamrollering" is an entirely apt word to describe the Soviet invasion of Poland.

    It's easy to steamroll a field of daisies after the Germans have already removed any opposition.  It was as chickenshit a move as declaring war on Japan after we'd dropped the nukes, and with Stalin already knowing Japan was contemplating surrender to the U.S. even before that.

    [ Parent ]

    And as an argument.... (none / 0) (#541)
    by linca on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 12:51:25 PM EST

    Staline was an atheist, but his pacifism and generosity were the result of being educated to become a priest... The great effects of religion, once again.

    [ Parent ]
    I wouldn't say that (none / 0) (#590)
    by Quila on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 03:20:57 AM EST

    I don't know enough of the details of the subject to say if the seminary had any role in creating the madman, but I'd bet against it.  I don't believe being in a seminary is enough to create such a monster, so he must have had it in him already.

    (Ohmygod, Quila's defending established religion!)

    [ Parent ]

    alot of assertion with very little fact (1.00 / 2) (#195)
    by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:51:26 PM EST

    besides cherry picking a few countries, do you have anything more substantial? Do you have to drag out the old debunked idea that religion has been the causes or more deaths than anything else. What, do the atheists just used bullets instead?
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    The assertions are trivial to back up so I won't (none / 0) (#201)
    by the on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:13:51 PM EST

    History books tell the sorry tales. I cherry picked because this little textbox doesn't have room for truckloads.

    But I really am not trying to blame anything or anyone. I'm just pointing out that horrific acts have been carried out by a wide variety of cultures irrespective of religion.

    My favorite kind of place to live right now, and that opinion is partly shaped by my desire not to be a victim of horrific acts, is in liberal secular nations. They tend not to have dicing and slicing of their own citizens as part of their culture. I trace the fact that we don't experience these things to the emergence of human rights during the Enlightenment which itself was something of a reaction against many aspects of religion. (For example the US Constitution has an explicit provision against 'cruel and unusual' acts, and also, curiously, provisions against church interference in the state) On the other hand I think that many of the details of those rights were influenced by Christian values.

    --
    The Definite Article
    [ Parent ]

    a slight correction (2.66 / 3) (#206)
    by adequate nathan on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:29:49 PM EST

    Where you have a ... state you expect to see plenty of slicing and dicing.

    There, all better. May the Algonquins not roll your tendons in retribution.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    You don't go far enough. (4.00 / 1) (#397)
    by it certainly is on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 06:27:12 AM EST

    ... you expect to see plenty of slicing and dicing.

    There. Better. People are savages. Society, the Church, the State, these things do not destroy the savagery in man, they merely mask it like a whore's scent masks her reeking gash. Man is still a primal beast, he yearns to kill, to fuck, to dominate. This cannot be concealed. We pretend otherwise in order to deceive ourselves; the more we are deceived, the more "human" we believe we have become.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    I don't even know (4.33 / 3) (#180)
    by coillte on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:25:34 PM EST

    where to begin with whats wrong with your statement.

    Perhaps you are the only one to see this. In which case, you may need to seek immediate and professional help.

    Europe would not exist, as it does, without a variety of tradirions and cultures.

    The non Christian Greco-Roman foundations of Europe are well established. Ditto the non Christian Arabic determining influence on medicine, philosophy, mathematics and engineering. Ditto Egyptian civilisation BC.

    Ditto the contribution of the Jewish Diaspora, with several revolutionary aspects. The Chinese and gunpowder. Remarkable effect on the development of Europe. Ditto alchemists - be they Islamic, Qabbalistic (either Judaic, or Judeo Christian), secular, neo hellenic, neo egyptian, and their defining role in the Renaissance. So has atheism.

    Christianity has had an immense effect on Europe. So has gunpowder. So have all the above. It seems rather irrational to single out Christianity as the only system worth following on that basis.

    Perversity is quite often merely a frame of mind. One mans fetish is another mans foible. And another mans fun.

    One mans troll is also another mans magnum opus I guess.
    ________________
    "XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
    [ Parent ]

    Europe as a unified entity. (1.00 / 2) (#320)
    by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:03:34 PM EST

    "Europe" as a unified entity. Otherwise, we would still be stuck in a bloody and senseless perpetual war between Swabian and Bavarian tribal clans.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Wikipedia articles (5.00 / 12) (#139)
    by winthrop on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:30:45 PM EST

    Erik, I think it would have been appropriate to point out that the two Wikipedia articles you link to were primarily written by you, and that the one article you quote from was not.

    Not that it is in any way inappropriate for you to works you've helped create, but it does create a sense of authority and acceptedness, when in truth, if there's anything inaccurate in the articles, there was nobody else on Wikipedia with enough knowledge to seriously dispute it.

    Actually I could make the case .. (3.00 / 2) (#240)
    by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:45:55 PM EST

    .. that I do need to add disclaimers only to articles not written by me, as these are the only ones for which I have not fully checked the facts. ;-) That's why I have added the note about bias to the BDSM quote -- I did not consider that article balanced or particularly well researched, but it was a quickly available resource.

    The Pompeii galleries are a project I'm currently working on, but feel free to add any pictures you can find (with sources if possible).
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    please explain (4.42 / 7) (#141)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 12:36:03 PM EST

    Why is everyone assuming that 4 year olds would have sex if we let them? If porn was on TV every night, 4 years olds would still want to watch barney. A society completely open about sex would not change the fact that children (except in extreme cases) do not get strong sexual desires until teenage or preteen years.

    I really don't understand where any of the assumptions are coming from that if society was more open about sex, people would start running wild. I know that I would still do everything as I do now, no matter what was legal. Is it that the people who are being most vocal about sex sensoring society would do something violent or extreme? Please explain where your assumptions are coming from.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#157)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:12:41 PM EST

    Why is everyone assuming that 4 year olds would have sex if we let them?

    Who is assuming that?



    [ Parent ]
    who i was talking about (none / 0) (#172)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:49:49 PM EST

    I was mostly referring to jubilation's "i hate to be the guy that brings this up" and uhm by turmeric

    [ Parent ]
    Dunno about jubilation, but (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:53:03 PM EST

    turmeric is not exactly a representative sample of K5 opinion.

    [ Parent ]
    i am aware of this (4.50 / 2) (#174)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:03:38 PM EST

    I know that some people are of completely extremist views, but from reading people's comments down the page, it seemed like a lot more people were against a society with open sexuality. I decided for my comment to speak against the most ridiculous comments toward the other side, because it really doesn't seem like people are thinking logically. It seems to me, like many are assuming they would be engaging in extreme sexual behaviors had they been raised in a society where such things were discussed. I really have no idea where these people are getting their ideas. No one is using facts. Just like any other debate. I just wonder the kind of sexual repression people have in their own lives that they are so willing to jump down a persons throat who says we need a little openness. I don't agree with all the statements in the article (specifically the stuff about in school) but everyone seems so ready to attack on this issue and i can't figure out why.

    [ Parent ]
    i didnt say any of that shit (none / 0) (#666)
    by turmeric on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:29:54 AM EST

    i attack pedophilia , which has nothing to do with comfortable healthy sexual society.

    [ Parent ]
    Really? (4.00 / 1) (#163)
    by awgsilyari on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 01:28:30 PM EST

    Why is everyone assuming that 4 year olds would have sex if we let them? If porn was on TV every night, 4 years olds would still want to watch barney.

    Do you have any psych studies or other references that would prove that?

    You're not necessarily wrong, but seriously? How can you claim something like that with no evidence?

    --------
    Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
    [ Parent ]

    You're right (3.80 / 5) (#179)
    by dorinda on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:22:51 PM EST

    This is exactly what you want to hear, you're right. I am no psychologist and i have no experiments to back me up. All I can tell you is what I've seen. I have several very young cousins who i have spent quite a bit of time with. When watchign television they like the things that are the loudest, the most rapidly moving and the most colorful. At age 4, and their are studiest to prove this, children like television with the most extreme sounds and visuals, thus the fact that sesame street is very colorful and full of sound, to best market to children. Pornography does not have these flashing lights and sounds. I just went on google to seen if i could find any studies about children and porn, but all i could find was unscientific cites telling us that we desparetly need to protect our children from smut, or evil, or the work of the devil, or something of that nature. I would really like to see something scientific. Personally, i think my observance of my young cousins is more scientifically sound than people screaming against children's exposure to porn, when they dont' even know that the child would be interested and they don't know the long term affects. This is a very touchy subject with people. I don't think it should be. I think that if they grew up knowing sex was ok, if you found a good person to have it with, then they would be a lot more comfortable now. Thank you for not attacking my opinion, but proving that I have no evidence. I think thats very important in a post like this.

    [ Parent ]
    children are curious (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by jjayson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:45:31 PM EST

    They don't have to sit down and watch it everyday from 4:00 to 4:30. When they see it just by flipping channel they will stop. I have two younger brothers who used to watch all sorts of random stuff from talking head, to documentaries on the history channel, to bad tv movies just because they were curious. Ask anybody with young children, they will repeat anything they see or hear on TV. They don't neccessarily know what they are doing, but they will still act it out, predending to be like the people on TV.

    The everyday evidence of parents seems to support these conclusions, but where is yours to show otherwise?
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]

    Masturbating girl (none / 0) (#274)
    by xenthar on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 07:52:45 AM EST

    I for one know of a girl who had been masturbating since she was three years old, and her parents tried to stop it but eventually gave up. She was six when I heard about that.
    -- Conciousness is contagious. Work on improving yours, it will affect the world.
    [ Parent ]
    Flawed premise (4.50 / 12) (#185)
    by godix on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:45:50 PM EST

    "There are certainly no sexual cannibalism or sexual murder fantasies."

    Consider the Maenads, they represent the sexual murder fantasies you say didn't exist.

    Similarly the play Oedipus Rex clearly shows taboos and fetishes in ancient societies.

    "And although ancient Rome had many erotic statues, it is unlikely that there was a wide-spread petrification fetish."

    The medusa myth could easily fill that role. Besides, do you really expect us to believe there were that many stone penises around and they didn't get used? Especially in an age before vibrators?

    You assumptions about ancient mythology make about as much sense as someone in Saudi Arabia saying 'Those americans show women without veils right on TV so they must show all taboos on TV. Since they don't have a necrophiliac on TV that must mean they don't have necropholia.' A brief moments thought will show the error in this chain of thought.

    "Christianity was founded on the idea of a ritual murder: the crucifixion of Christ."

    I'm by no means religious, but come on, Christianity isn't nearly as blood thirsty as the Aztecs just to pick an example.

    "Little needs to be written here about the various instruments of torture, many of which were invented in the Middle Ages."

    Well, maybe a little needs to written to show those torture instruments are from an elite ruling class of royality trying to keep the rabble under control instead of the church. Note that the Marquis De Sade was a noble instead of a monk.

    "When we see nudity in medieval and later Christian art, it is almost always in the context of murder, torture, impalement, burning, punishment etc"

    Hmmm, how do you explain the Sistine Chappel which shows a nude Adam? It takes a very cynical mindset to call being created 'torture' or 'punishment'.

    "Spanking is still used by many parents -- in spite of evidence linking it to behavioral problems and the spanking fetish"

    Still a lot of controversy over that one. For every person you could find that says spanking is evil I could find one who says it's neccesary. I'm sure we could both find examples of people who were/weren't spanked to prove our point too.

    The basis of you article is incredibly flawed, so flawed I wonder if you did any basic research on it at all. I also have to wonder if your basis is this wrong then how sound can your conclusions be?


    Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

    Oh, one more thing (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by godix on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:48:13 PM EST

    I really like the topic you put this in. I'd have given you a +1 FP just for that.


    Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

    [ Parent ]
    Fuzzy logic ? (5.00 / 1) (#222)
    by levesque on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:17:57 PM EST

    You Quote this:

    "When we see nudity in medieval and later Christian art, it is almost always in the context of murder, torture, impalement, burning, punishment etc"

    Then you ask this:

    Hmmm, how do you explain the Sistine Chappel which shows a nude Adam?

    Then you state this:

    It takes a very cynical mindset to call being created 'torture' or 'punishment'.



    [ Parent ]

    Sistine Chapel (I learned how to spell it right!) (none / 0) (#236)
    by godix on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:04:07 PM EST

    As far as I know most Christian art featuring nudes are either Adam and Eve, Madonna, or angels. The place where torture and the rest show up in Christian art is with pictures of the Apocalypse, a part of the bible astonishingly free of nudity. Not being very interested in christian artwork I could easily be missing something, but the view from someone vaugely familiar with the popular pieces he's just wrong.

    Besides, the Sistine Chapel is one of most well known examples of Christian art. It's hard for me to ignore it with the phrase 'is almost always'.



    Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

    [ Parent ]

    Try .. (none / 0) (#238)
    by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:20:28 PM EST

    .. the Christian Horror Picture Show for a very small selection of what happened outside of the Sistine Chapel, faithfully recorded by Christian artists (Catholics and Protestants). There are huge books that collect such pictures, usually sold cheaply in sex shops and advertised as a "secret tip" for BDSM enthusiasts.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]
    Misunderstand (none / 0) (#241)
    by godix on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:50:03 PM EST

    I looked through it but for the most part failed to notice much nudity. There was some, but it was never the focus of the 'art' and it was never as prominent as the Sistine Chapel. I'm not disputing the Christianity did some horrible things, but artwork highlighting nudity and violence together doesn't seem to be one of those things.


    Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

    [ Parent ]
    Wrong (5.00 / 1) (#242)
    by Eloquence on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:08:09 PM EST

    First, you seem to believe that nudity was perfectly normal in Christian art. It was not. Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel are the very embodiment of the Renaissance, the reawakening from the Dark Ages. And, as Wikipedia correctly notes:

    The Last Judgement was object of a heavy dispute between Cardinal Carafa and Michelangelo: the artist was accused of immorality, intolerable obscenity, having depicted naked figures, with genitals in evidence inside the most important church of Christianity, so a censorship campaign (known as the "Fig-Leaf Campaign") was organized by Carafa and Monsignor Sernini (Mantua's ambassador) to remove the frescoes, but the Pope resisted. In coincidence with Michelangelo's death, a law was issued to cover genitals ("Pictura in Cappella Ap.ca coopriantur"). So Daniele da Volterra, an apprentice of Michelangelo that after this work was nicknamed "Braghettone", covered with sort of perizomas (briefs) the genitals, leaving unaltered the complex of bodies. When the work was restored in 1993, the restorers chose not to remove the perizomas of Daniele; however, a faithful uncensored copy of the original, by Marcello Venusti, is now in Naples, at the Capodimonte Museum.

    In medieval times in particular, any kind of nudity is hardly ever seen in any other context than violence. Later it became more common, although different regions obviously varied in their treatment.

    Second, while the online collection doesn't focus on the sexuality aspect (it tries to use the pictures to explain history), I could refer you to, for example, Roland Villeneuve: Grausamkeit und Sexualität, Rixdofer Verlagsgesellschaft Berlin 1988. There you would find a full collection of such pictures, with lots of full frontal nudity, usually in the context of spanking, asphyxiation, impalement, cannibalism, torture, burning etc. I'm not aware of a good online collection with this focus.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    Interesting, but deeply flawed (4.93 / 16) (#192)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 03:40:38 PM EST

    To cut to the chase, the core of your argument is dependent upon a variation of the "noble savage" myth. I'll make you a wager, name for me any culture you believe to be wholly without violence and I'll find for you a study or ethnography which severely undermines that claim or outright refutes it.

    The captain Cook anecdote that you mention, accepting its veracity for the sake of argument, doesn't demonstrate that the culture in question abhorred violence, only that they found the "whipping" to be an abhorrent form of violence. Arguing that the native's behavior indicates a general aversion to violence would be analogous to arguing that Americans and Europeans are a violence adverse people because of their negative response to recent stoning of a women for adultery in Nigeria. It isn't unusual that two "violent" cultures find one another's socially accepted forms of violence repellent, while finding nothing objectionable about their own.

    Also, reasoning according to your thesis wouldn't you expect that, given the lack of fetishistic behavior among the Romans (I find your argument highly dubious on this point, but...), they would have been a peaceful and violence abhorring people. Or do you intend for us to believe that their intensely violent culture can be accounted for solely by the lack of affection inherent in their methods of child rearing?

    I do think there is some merit to the basic notion that there exists an interesting connection between the methods of child rearing and culture. The idea that a culture's methods of child rearing act to manufacture, to some significant degree, a person physiologically, nee psychologically, well adapted to living within that culture seems to me be reasonable hypothesis. The first explicit occurrence of this idea, that I am aware of, is to be found in Erikson's Childhood and Society, in which he argues for a rich feedback loop between child rearing and culture, mediated by the resultant psychological makeup of the individual members of that society. You could also say that this idea was to some degree implicit in Freud's general schema of libidinal development and even in Nietzsche's rich understanding of the interplay between biology and culture.

    Where I strongly diverge from your viewpoint is at those points where you seem to attach a moral significance to the developmental spectrum. Both sexual repression and a tendency to violence can (and demonstrably have) be sublimated and redirected into higher forms of cultural expression; forms I believe we would be greatly impoverished without.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    Good point, but for interest's sake... (none / 0) (#430)
    by irrevenant on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 08:59:40 PM EST

    What about the Moriori of Chatham Island?

    [ Parent ]
    How devious of you... (5.00 / 1) (#485)
    by cr8dle2grave on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:43:00 PM EST

    ...choosing a culture for which no reliable ethnographic record exists ;)

    Actually, the Moriori are a classic example of western misunderstanding due to the influence of the noble savage myth. It is probably true that Moriori managed to live without war for most of their autonomous existence. They had to. Their immediate environment allowed only the most precarious sort of existence, always living just at the threshold of sustainability. But their own mytho-history provides enough material to undo the misunderstanding. The Moriori culture instituted a form of highly regulated and ritualized violence, in the form of a stick fight that ceased at first blood. Their history records an abandonment of war, but in its place there arose a suitable substitute precisely because they couldn't entirely rid themselves of violent impulses. Very similar traditions of socially regulated violence have arisen in other cultures and we can, to some extent, apply what we know of them to the case of the Moriori. For instance, the Maasai of Africa also recognize an institution of non-lethal stick fights as a means to settling disputes, but they are not always non-lethal and neither are they always successful in avoiding wider conflicts.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Somewhat confused... (4.61 / 13) (#199)
    by hershmire on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:12:08 PM EST

    You state towards the end:

    The ever-available world of pornography of the Internet stands in sharp contrast to the sex-censorship of other media, where the display of sexual acts is considered harmful and so-called "swear-words" are beeped out. On American television, even human breasts are pixelized.

    However, Germany is much more liberal when it comes to what is shown of television. Women can be portrayed completely nude, as can men (as long as the penis isn't erect, don't ask me why that is the arbitrary boundary). Swear words are not censored. Hell, one of the more popular shows is based wholly on sex and sex culture.

    Sex stores are not usually hidden in dark alleys, instead are out in the open, and it is not considered shameful to patronize such a store.

    Despite this, you're flagship example of weird or sick fetishes (cannibalism) comes directly from this country. How can this be in a society that is so liberal about sex?

    My point is, it's not right to blame society for the problems of a small minority. Sure, I think that the US' obsession with censorship is unhealthy, but it's only making us more anal, and not in the sexual way.
    FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
    I agree and disagree with youre statement (4.50 / 2) (#225)
    by levesque on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:38:49 PM EST

    My point is, it's not right to blame society for the problems of a small minority

    I'd say it's wrong to blame but it's right to look at society as a possible cause.

    [ Parent ]

    True (none / 0) (#290)
    by hershmire on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:09:25 AM EST

    Perhaps I should have stated:

    My point is, it's not right to blame society entirely for the problems of a small minority.
    FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
    [ Parent ]
    No fetishes in ancient Rome? (5.00 / 13) (#204)
    by Apuleius on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:24:53 PM EST

    Get thee to Suetonius, buddy. There's Tiberius, the "Old Goat" who earned the hatred of the people because of his pedophilia. There's Caligula, and Nero, enough said. There were fetishes galore, and love of bloodshed galore (forgotten about the Circuses, hav we?), and there were plenty of moralists who disliked both, and who among other things denounced the upper classes for being openly sexual in front of kids. Just because they didn't make frescoes of the rape of slave girls or of festivities in the vomitoria does't mean these things didn't happen.


    There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
    Vomitoria (5.00 / 2) (#215)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:16:19 PM EST

    You mean amphitheater exits?

    [ Parent ]
    In Erik's actual source... (5.00 / 4) (#234)
    by 5s for Everyone on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:18:36 PM EST

    The "Erotic art in Pompeii" article you link to seems to contradict your statement that in ancient Roman frescoes, "there is no painting depicting spanking or other forms of BDSM". The Pan & Hamadryad mosaic clearly depicts Hamadryad tied to a pole. It doesn't look like regular sex to me, especially considering the fact that Pan is a god and would exert control over the dryads.
    --
    There is Damezumari in the Bamboo Joint
    [ Parent ]
    your "ideas" (2.84 / 13) (#209)
    by uniball vision micro on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:44:14 PM EST

    "How can we fix our culture?"

    Maybe we really need to have the government write more about what it means to be human and letting people have less of an interpretation.

    " Here are some recommendations: "

    Ohhh these are fun, fun, doodle dum let's start out on our little mini jihad okie dokie!

    "Strict separation of church and state."

    We have that it's called the constitution.

    " Religion needs to be a choice, never an obligation."

    Fine but then how to these various slack jaw idiots get the message that moral relativism when it comes to human rights isn't ok. Maybe a forced test on Kant by the government before 20 or something.

    " Its moral judgments are far too questionable to make them mandatory."

    How so because some armchair intellectuals say so.

    " Be wary of creationists, ten-commandment-zealots and "faith-based" services. "

    Why got a little problem with thinking that some things are just wrong? Then have more people justify why they are wrong ad infinitium.

    "Complete legalization of non-violent pornography."

    Hmmm what's banned. I took a trip to the local pornographer (god bless him) and was able to see almost anything that was avaible. Take a look at something more than just playboy or hustler for a look at the "good" stuff.

    Or is this kiddie porn? Have a justification for that?

    " By ending the ridiculous and unjustifiable ban on the display of sexual acts, we make sure that children will regard sexuality as natural, and will not have imprinting childhood experiences that turn them into foot fetishists or cannibals."

    That is assuming that is that simple as a developmentalist perspective. Not all psychologists agree.

    Exactly how do you justify fucking in public? It can't be seen as a public good.

    "Fight spanking in homes, corporal punishment in schools and circumcision in hospitals."

    Wow more rebellious kids. Funny how do you prepose do deal with children who won't obey. In my childhood I had spankings and it corrected me. Funny if you have to convince some children they have the most interesting 'theories' about why they shouldn't do something.

    " These are social rituals in the medieval spirit."

    Cry me a river. But medieval empires and might were the most unsurpassed of any. They must have done something right.

    " They are unnecessary and harmful."

    Harmful sometimes. Unnecessary is debatable.

    " Support breast-feeding as a healthy and natural form of mother/child bonding."

    Hey maybe this can happen in public too go great along with your previous suggestion of public screwing. Of course this is theoretical as well.

    " Support attachment parenting."

    What kind of parenting in the real world isn't like this?

    " Tickle, kiss and hug your children."

    Uh enistein this happens now.
    "So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930

    Public breastfeeding (4.66 / 3) (#286)
    by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:18:18 AM EST

    Him: Support breast-feeding as a healthy and natural form of mother/child bonding."

    You: Hey maybe this can happen in public too

    I sure as hell hope so.  If you consider a mother breastfeeding her child in public to be some sort of public indecency or sex-related act, you are one sick fuck.

    My wife told me she got some nasty looks for breastfeeding in public, and I wished I could have been there to fuck somebody up.  Note that we're in Germany, and she only got nasty looks when doing it in areas with a concentrated American population.

    [ Parent ]

    like itching your groin (none / 0) (#362)
    by uniball vision micro on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:05:30 PM EST

    "I sure as hell hope so."

    But you are not in the same society as me so why exactly are you qualified to deal with US mores?

    "  If you consider a mother breastfeeding her child in public to be some sort of public indecency or sex-related act, you are one sick fuck."

    It's on the level of itching the groin. Yes in theory it's not that bad but it's public perceptions.

    "My wife told me she got some nasty looks for breastfeeding in public, and I wished I could have been there to fuck somebody up."

    Who are you to say that people can't have an opinion. Being a hot head gets nowhere but makeing you look foolish and like a neanderthal of the lowest level. I thought being in a center of learning like Germany perhaps you would have some manners but maybe the French have more.

    "  Note that we're in Germany, and she only got nasty looks when doing it in areas with a concentrated American population."

    And that's their perorgative but I think that people have some right to their opinion to make a judgement call. In victorian times people thought that ankles being exposed was a problem. In French society of the 14th century people liked plucked foreheads it's called historically influenced culture.

    Personally I hate all the waste of time that is child rearing largely because it's one big legal and social liability but again that's my right derived from my experience.
    "So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
    [ Parent ]

    Society (none / 0) (#386)
    by Quila on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 03:33:01 AM EST

    But you are not in the same society as me so why exactly are you qualified to deal with US mores?

    Because I was born and raised American.  I just currently live in Germany since that's where I got out of the Army.

    It's on the level of itching the groin. Yes in theory it's not that bad but it's public perceptions.

    Apparently anything dealing with breasts or genitalia is forbidden because of a remote reminder of sex.  There are people who get off on birth videos, and we would consider them sick because they're attaching something sexual to something non-sexual.  You are doing the same with breastfeeding, just not getting off on it.

    It's like those people who tell you to put clothes on your two year old because it's indecent to have her naked at the pool.  WTF is their problem?  She's a toddler!  There's nothing sexual about her to be indecent.  The people calling her nudity indecent are the sick perverts who are attaching sexuality to a toddler.

    Who are you to say that people can't have an opinion.

    They've crossed the line when they try to make my wife uncomfortable for breastfeeding my daughter.  I remember a devout Christian school teacher I had, who was also a strong anti-porn crusader (even Playboy in the 7/11).  I visited her some time later when she had a baby, and in public she started breastfeeding him.  Why?  She can't envision anything sexual attached to it.

    And that's their perorgative

    No it isn't.  They've intruded on the rearing of my child.  They next time their kid is crying in the aisles, can I go smack their kid up?

    If you had a kid you'd understand.  You can't be taught this stuff, you have to experience it.  I know five years ago I wouldn't have understood half the stuff I do now.

    [ Parent ]

    mindless bigot (5.00 / 1) (#513)
    by cubalibre on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:01:32 AM EST

    Wow more rebellious kids. Funny how do you prepose do deal with children who won't obey. In my childhood I had spankings and it corrected me. Funny if you have to convince some children they have the most interesting 'theories' about why they shouldn't do something.

    Oh, ofcourse, you can't talk to your children. I live in a country where corporal punishment is not only frowned upon but illegal. We have a fraction of the crime and violence levels in the US and the UK where spanking is quite widely accepted. Our police officers don't even carry guns.

    I was never physically punished as a child. Actually, I was never punished at all. The worst thing my parents did was to raise their voice. Yet, lo and behold, I only fought at school when physically attacked, I've never shoplifted, I have a great career. All in all I have caused very little trouble for anyone else, and resent the idea of doing so. Why? Maybe because my parents spent the time necessary to explain to me why something was wrong, and made me see the consequences of my actions instead of slapping or caning me.

    And guess what? The few people I know with a violent history were beaten as children.

    Hey maybe this can happen in public too go great along with your previous suggestion of public screwing. Of course this is theoretical as well.

    What is sexual about breastfeeding? This might come as a surprise to you, but breastfeeding in public is accepted and viewed as something perfectly natural in most parts of the world.

    I'm truly sorry I don't have time to verbally kick your ass right now, but I get the feeling that I will get other opportunities later...


    Wir haben angst und sind allein, gott weiss ich will kein engel sein.
    [ Parent ]
    "I know somebody and I know this other person (1.00 / 2) (#547)
    by jjayson on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 04:02:49 PM EST

    Personal anecdotes aren't very persuasive. Guess what. I was spanked as a child (alot and sometimes too hard). I wouldn't go that far on my own children, but I appear to have ended up fine, too. Wow. What do you know. Maybe spanking isn't what causes people to turn violent in life.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Got me. (4.00 / 2) (#567)
    by cubalibre on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 07:24:06 PM EST

    You're right. The reference to people I know who were beaten as children was quite irrelevant. My point was that a society without spanking can turn out just as fine, or even better, than one were corporal punishment is accepted. Lack of punishment does not create rebellious and delinquent kids. I was provoked by the statement that the only effective way to deal with inobedient children is to beat them, an idea I find totally repulsive. There are other ways to teach your kids right from wrong. My experience is that harsh punishment just makes them better at hiding what they're doing, it doesn't stop them from wanting to do whatever they are punished for.

    The goal should be to make people not want to do harmful things, making them scared doesn't do much good.

    And, if kids are totally uncontrollable no matter how hard you try to make them understand, they often suffer from ADHD and need medical treatment, not a slap across the face.

    I'm not saying a kid who has been spanked or beaten necessarily ends up being a violent person. I just think there's enough evidence, through societies where the levels of crime and violence are exceptionally low and this kind of punishment is very rare, to suggest that it doesn't do much good.


    Wir haben angst und sind allein, gott weiss ich will kein engel sein.
    [ Parent ]
    I you would put this much energy and thought... (3.80 / 10) (#219)
    by ogre on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:03:30 PM EST

    ... into a genuine effort to be objective and actually understand the issues instead of just trying to prove a conclusion you have already arrived at, you could probably write something very worthwhile. As it is, all you have managed to accomplish is what is commonly known as "junk science". You give carefully selected evidence, ignoring anything that you can't make support your view. You (deliberately, it seems) mix up verifiable facts with conjectures so that the reader can't tell the difference, you make broad generalizations and rely far too much on questionable assumptions.

    I hate to make broad criticisms like this without examples, so I'll give a few, however the other responses to this article give all the examples that are really needed.

    1. You refer to the large numbers of people involved in these fetishes while neglecting to mention what percentage of the population they make up. If ten percent of the population is involved in these activities, that makes it significant. If it's one in a million, that makes it not significant.

    2. Your statement that Roman culture was superior to 18th century Europe "in many ways" is a completely subjective opinion like "blueberries are better than strawberries". Yet you present it as a "discovery".

    3. Your linking of infant circumcision to sex is preposterous. It's done for reasons of religion, health, and history and has nothing to do with sex. You know, the male penis has another function besides reproduction, and it is still hanging there even when not in use for reproduction. Not everything that involves the penis involves sex. I suppose you think athletic cups are a social mechanism to restrict sexual freedom.

    4. Your assumption that corporal punishment, parental discouraging of sexuality, and lack of physical intimacy in a family go together is nothing less than bizarre. Just because you spank your kids occasionally doesn't mean you seldom hug them. Whatever could give you that idea? And there are plenty of parents who beat their kids for being too loud when the parent has a hangover, but who couldn't care less if the kid feels up the neighbor girl.

    5. Your attempts to blame the unapproved sexual deviancies on strict religious upbringings but to say that homosexuality is not caused by upbringing is amusing. Childhood experiences either do or do not have a strong effect on adult sexual behavior. This rationalization to preserve both your accusations against religion and your inconsistent but politically correct faith in the mythology of homosexuality is pathetic.

    Everybody relax, I'm here.

    Circumcision and sex (5.00 / 1) (#223)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:23:26 PM EST

    Maimonides disagrees with you there, as does my own experience. Lousy cockchoppers, I want my sensation back!

    [ Parent ]
    Many sex-crazed circumcized men exist (nt) (none / 0) (#259)
    by ultimai on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:11:24 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, yeah (none / 0) (#281)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:54:33 AM EST

    They still have less fun.

    [ Parent ]
    circumcized penis (none / 0) (#316)
    by Luyseyal on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:47:05 PM EST

    I have a theory that women thought up the circumcized penis thing to help their husbands go longer... maybe I should publish that in a fancy feminist journal. hehehehe

    -l

    p.s., for the humor-impaired, this is a joke.


    [ Parent ]

    Sounds right (none / 0) (#317)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:50:04 PM EST

    You could also phrase it thusly: women who couldn't assemble the stable of men necessary to acheive true satisfaction became resentful and took it out on their men.

    Bastards.



    [ Parent ]
    How would you know? (4.00 / 1) (#357)
    by ogre on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:39:19 PM EST

    I mean, unless you had your cock chopped in adulthood, you wouldn't really know how it effects sensation. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I would need more than your and Maimonide's unsupported opinions on the subject.

    I'm inclined to think that Maimonide, whoever he his, is also suffering from freudianism, the fallacy that anything that can be linked to sex in any way, must be about sex. Other psychologists call this "obsessive behavior". (Actually, this is part of a larger class of fallacious reasoning, including argument-by-analogy, and schizophrenia, those fallacies that takes one's conceptual apparatus as a basis of reality).

    Of course, just because a few religious leader nutcases and a few anti-religion nutcases think circumscision is about sex, that doesn't make it so. The people who make the decision to have their innocent young child HACKED OFF are the ones to ask about what the reasons are. I very much doubt that a significant number of them would say that they want their child to enjoy sex less, or even that they believe it has this effect.

    Sorry about the cockchopping though.

    Everybody relax, I'm here.
    [ Parent ]

    Both theory and the empiricism of 3 (5.00 / 1) (#365)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:17:41 PM EST

    I mean, unless you had your cock chopped in adulthood, you wouldn't really know how it effects sensation.

    I can compare fairly directly to other men being subjected to approximately the same stimuli, and I can note the fact that there are lots of nerve endings in the bit of tissue I'm missing to explain the fact that my outward reaction to sex is much less.



    [ Parent ]
    Gotta tell ya mate... (none / 0) (#402)
    by Gromit on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 08:30:42 AM EST

    ...it could just be you. I'm circumcized, and there are times I wish I were less sensitive, if you know what I mean, and there's only so much thinking about basketball a guy can do. Now, it could just be me, or it could be that there's plenty of nerve endings in this particular location to go around... ;-)

    Mind you, if I have a son, I'm sure as heck not having him circumcized, because there's no evidence it's a good idea, so why go around chopping off bits of his willy? But I'm not angry with my parents about their mistaken belief in the hygiene argument (we're not Jewish), either.



    --
    "The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

    [ Parent ]
    whether or not to have a son circumcized (none / 0) (#409)
    by Burning Straw Man on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 12:11:03 PM EST

    That's one of the questions which is really bothering my lately. My wife and I are talking about having children soon, and I really don't know what to do about circumcision.

    Myself, I am circumcized, and pretty damned happy with my sex life. It is a known to me, therefore, that a circumcized penis can be healthy, happy, and so on.

    Not circumcizing a son, to me, represents putting them in an unknown. How can I be the best parent I can be, while ignoring the things that I know, and instead choosing the unknown? For all that I know, being uncircumcized is disgusting, with a complete loss of sensation.

    My wife compares circumcision to the practice of feet-binding in China, or vaginal mutilation in Islamic countries, but I just don't find those as solid arguments, because when I look at myself I am happy, why wouldn't I want that for my son?

    In the end, though, my wife wins the argument (she's a lawyer, she always win the argument) and if we have a son, he will not be circumcized. The thought of a botched circumcision permanently mutilating my son scares the crap out of me.
    --
    your straw man is on fire...
    [ Parent ]

    When in doubt, defer what's deferrable (4.33 / 3) (#425)
    by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 07:07:16 PM EST

    A good principle for life, especially here. If your son finds that he hates being uncircumcized, he can always have it done later. On the other hand, if he is circumsized and later wishes he hadn't been, there isn't much he can do.

    [ Parent ]
    Hygeine. (none / 0) (#427)
    by irrevenant on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 07:33:42 PM EST

    One thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet is hygeine. It is widely believed that uncircumsized penises are a bigger hassle to keep clean (especially for kids who tend to be a bit lazy with detail work), and hence more prone to infection etc.

    To what extent this is true, or how it weighs up against a potential loss of sexual potency I don't know, but thought I should throw it into the pot.

    [ Parent ]
    Discredited (5.00 / 1) (#453)
    by Gromit on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 07:24:57 AM EST

    FWIW, I understand that the hygiene argument has been discredited for modern Western civilizations -- e.g., places where men have ready access to a bath or shower.

    --
    "The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

    [ Parent ]
    Surgery (none / 0) (#454)
    by Gromit on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 07:27:26 AM EST

    I (a circumcized male) am with your wife on this one. I'm perfectly happy with my sex life, don't seem to have suffered any significant harm from the op all those years ago, but there's just no medical reason for doing it in today's world (if there ever was). So avoiding unnecessary surgery is always a good idea. I wouldn't worry about it being horrible not to be circumcized; we'd have heard about it if it were.<g>

    --
    "The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

    [ Parent ]
    Read this before you decide what to do: (none / 0) (#566)
    by Roman on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 07:22:47 PM EST

    http://www.noharmm.org/paige.htm Personally I am not circumcised and I would have been really upset with my family if I was. Leave it to your son to decide when he is old enough whether he needs it or not - that would be fair. Otherwise you would just be pushing your believes onto him.
    One more thing - I fucking hate my parents for been born on the first place at all. I think noone has the right to procreate simply because they cannot ask the non-existing child (at a point where the child is a mature person) whether he/she wanted to be born.

    [ Parent ]
    if I weren't circumcised already (1.00 / 1) (#659)
    by adequate nathan on Sun Dec 22, 2002 at 12:18:31 AM EST

    I'd get it done just to spite you, you idiot.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Ha ha ha good laugh (none / 0) (#661)
    by Roman on Sun Dec 22, 2002 at 11:24:15 AM EST

    You would do it just in spite me, he he, well, that covers it then. Go ahead, you, moron, do it again, why don't you, what do I care if someone else does it? Why should I give a flying fuck if you even have a dick or not? Cut it off and get over with it! Cheers

    [ Parent ]
    Circumcision has nothing to do with sex (5.00 / 1) (#565)
    by Roman on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 07:17:59 PM EST

    or health.
    read and weep

    [ Parent ]
    Absolutely! (4.50 / 4) (#246)
    by Skwirl on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:41:11 PM EST

    I don't agree with all the examples here or all the conclusions, but I just can't help but throw out a "I agree!" post.

    Sexual fetish is a sign of sexual deprivation. (Note: That's neither a moral nor an absolute judgement.) Some fetishes are explicitly about deprivation, such as men who agree to have their prostate milked daily and wear chastity belts in order to prevent pleasant ejaculation. If someone's been taught to subconsciously fear sex and avoid happiness, what better way could there be for the subconscious to invoke a (temporary) moritorium on sex than to necessitate certain impossible circumstances to be present prior to arousal?

    How on God's green Earth can you ever be happy if your highest held, most potent fantasy is to be raped by an anthropomorphic unicorn?

    It's been pointed out on Loveline that abused people often have bipolar jags of sexual deprivation (e.g. reborn virginity) followed by sex addiction. Almost all of the hoity toity virgin advocates I've ever known have eventually turned the corner and become out of control.

    From the fairly accurate stereotype about Catholic school girls to the fetishization of Disney cartoons, it seems very clear to me that where ever there is a sexual void, there is an unstoppable urge to fill it.

    --
    "Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse

    catholic school girls (2.00 / 1) (#266)
    by jjayson on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 03:20:34 AM EST

    From the fairly accurate stereotype about Catholic school girls

    This is a pet peeve of mine. I went to a Catholic high school and public school, and I have many friends sisters that are still in Catholic school. This is a fat myth. From my experience in school and from friends' brothers and sisters, Catholic school girls are not nearly as sexually active as those in public school. Before degrading my friends' sisters I would like to see something more from you than just your wet dreams.

    [googles...]

    Darn, I can't seem to find the high school sex statistics right, but I wish I could since they do prove my point from what I remember.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]

    My experience agrees with the original poster. (none / 0) (#285)
    by dJCL on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:14:22 AM EST

    I am not from a catholic school, but many of the women that I have had relationships with were, a majority in fact. And they have all been quite willing to do whatever they wanted too, whenever they wanted too. No waiting if that was their decision. The town I grew up in opened a new Catholic high school while I was half way throu the Public high school. Basically, all the bad apples in town turned around and went there.(There were plenty of good people there too, a majority in fact) I agree with the articel, religion is one of many parts of today's world that throu it's restrictions makes things worse.

    And if none of that makes sense, I just woke up after about 3 hours of sleep.

    my sig was too long, and getting annoying, so this is all you get. deal with it.
    [ Parent ]

    Good stuff. (none / 0) (#381)
    by Alfie on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 02:02:26 AM EST

    I read your essay on the fetishization of Disney characters, and I mostly agree with you. Since you seem to know a lot about this kind of stuff, can you tell me what the term is for projecting one's deepest sexual fears onto an alien social group?



    [ Parent ]
    Feels very preconceived.. (4.71 / 7) (#250)
    by Rainy on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 12:13:24 AM EST

    You say that since romans show bestiality etc in frescas but don't show fetishism, that would mean they didn't have it at all, because if they did they'd show it. Your reasoning goes that since fetishism is less 'taboo' than bestiality, or at least not more so, they'd have no qualms about showing it. BUT therein lies your mistake. It's less taboo for *us*, not for them. For them it may have been the most disgusting thing, ever.

    Take Babylon, for instance. They had a tradition of each woman, no matter how wealthy or high in status prostituting her for a symbolic price (a piece of silver) once in her life, to a stranger. She had to do that before getting married. However, if she did get married and had an affair, she could legally be killed by her husband, if he was so inclined. For us, the first custom seems unacceptable but affairs are more or less tolerated. Likewise, to a roman bestiality may have seen as an odd but not terribly shocking while urine fetish could be absolutely diabolical and abhorred.

    As a general advice, I'd say to you: dig deeper. Why is sexuality so suppressed? Unless you can answer that, you're attacking symptoms. You might say that Christianity is the reason, but that helps us only so far as someone raises a hand and asks why people chose Christianity in the first place and why do they keep believing some parts of it and not the others (i.e. Biblical custom of polygamy).

    It's obvious that Christianity reflects social movement, not the other way around (although there's bound to be some feedback).

    Let's look at the society that many historians refer to as the healthiest in history, even up to our own times. The golden age of Greece. What about their sexuality? We know they considered normal some things that we can hardly talk about - man-boy sexual relationships, temple prostitution. Masturbation was the norm, it was also a subject of Pottery art very often. Nakedness was very common in sports (gymnast means naked iirc).

    There are many ways Greek society was different from ours - direct democracy, slavery, thorough militarism, wives and daughters locked out from the world in 'wives quarters' (sp?), tolerance of courtesans who'd be the educated and artistic (and even philosophical) counterweight to the wives taken up with home maintainance and children rearing, universal admiration of sport and arts, religion that held health, beauty and power as heights of human earning.

    Let's not forget though that the Golden age did not last long. Our grand goal is a society that is both healthy and lasts forever, isn't it? Obviously, there was never such a beast in all of history.

    I think your mistake is that you take one detail of a civilization and forget that it's an integral part, and cannot be analyzed by itself, alone.

    In order to 'fix' society, you have to fix people's minds. Most of people think things are okay the way they are, or if they din't, they are too weak to change them. In the first case, your write-up did nothing to convince them, because to a strict christian sexual freedom of all is worse than perversion of the few. In the latter case, you simply did not address the issue at all.
    --
    Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

    the rape myth (4.66 / 3) (#253)
    by auraslip on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:10:43 AM EST

    Well I think it is certainly fucked up. But I've had a discussion with 4 differant women at the same time that did have that fantasy.
    I think it's pretty fucked up.
    Of course they said they would never actually want it to happen, they just fantasized about it.
    (I say it's fucked up only becuase I don't want to sound sexist, in reality I don't really care)
    124
    My theory is that they want sex but feel repressed (5.00 / 2) (#256)
    by ultimai on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:05:23 AM EST

    They fantanize about "rape" because they want sex but they want to do it without any effort, they want to be wanted so bad in a sense that men would go after them.  Or they feel that they cant do anything about it because of various different reasons.  Its not really non-consentiual at all in their fantasy, although it may seem like it.  Get my point?  I think its somewhat linked to the BDSM fetsish group.

    [ Parent ]
    "Rape fantasy" vs. real rape (5.00 / 5) (#297)
    by ggeens on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:04:59 AM EST

    I think that if you'd take these women's fantasies and compare it to the experiences of rape victims.

    In a rape fantasy, the woman (or a man - I guess there are quite a few men who have similar fantasies) is "forced" into sex by another person (most likely a man, and certainly stronger than the "victim").

    That other person is made up by the person who has the fantasy, and thus "controlled" by them. So in fact, the "victim" is in control.

    Since it is not real, the "victim" does not experience the real pain of the things done to her. Additionally, by giving the initiative to the "rapist", she can dissociate herself from what happens. She can picture herself doing (and enjoying) things she would find unacceptable in real life, but they are allowed inside the fantasy because "someone else" is in control. Therefore, the victim doesn't have to feel ashamed of what she's done.

    Additionally, the imaginary rapist will not commit acts that are really out of bounds for the victim. A "fantasy rape" is safe. It won't hurt more than the victim can handle.

    L'enfer, c'est les huîtres.


    [ Parent ]
    submission (5.00 / 1) (#542)
    by Stomil on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 01:03:53 PM EST

    I've talked a lot with women who suppose they are
    submissive (in the BDSM sense). Usually after a long journey into their fantasies, they reveal that they want to be in the real control. They want to be in the center of the attention of their <iMmaster</i>. They want it to be as they want it.

    The master/rapist/etc is usually a tool to do (imagine) without shame, things that are consciously  considered improper or morally wrong, because the imagined siutation is that they are forced to do it, so no sin (or other appropriate term) implied.

    Alex

    [ Parent ]

    good, if flawed, article; and read Foucault. (5.00 / 6) (#254)
    by akp on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:45:42 AM EST

    I hate posting when I haven't read all of the comments, but it's late, and I kind of want to go to bed. So sorry if some of this has already been covered.

    First, if you haven't, you should read Foucault's History of Sexuality. Touches on a lot of these same subjects. I actually have to say that I'm disappointed that a text search of 250 comments on this topic failed to show any references.

    Second... What exactly defines something as a sexual fetish rather than, say, a sexual interest or attaction? Is there anything innate in oral sex or a breast fixation that makes it more 'natural' than an attraction to shoes or urine? Or is it just that tits and blowjobs are part of mainstream Western culture, while piss and toes are scary things that the 'deviants' are into? Isn't there something a bit irrational about saying that someone who enjoys having his nipples sucked and bitten is healthy, while his enjoying very similar sensations from nipple clips is an abnormal (and therefore bad) fetish? I mean, yeah, we have to define something as sexually unhealthy, because otherwise how could we show that we're healthy. Still, that realization itself reveals how often such distictions are arbitrary rather than based on any real objective criteria.

    Third, I think that, in the article at least, there's not as much of a distinction made between what we should consider a harmless sexual interest and what should be seen as a harmful one. I mean, I would hold that any interest that leads a person to kill another person (brushing aside assisted suicide for the moment) is a harmful interest, whether it's sexual or not. Similarly, I would say that forcing another person to perform an act against that person's will is a harmful thing, whether said action is sexual or not. On the other hand, I think that being sexually aroused by an uncommon object or activity is just fine, as long as nobody is permanently or nonconsensually harmed in said activity.

    That's enough for now, I suppose. Mmm, sleep. :)

    -allen



    Like a bolt of lightening; A ray of clarity (3.50 / 2) (#292)
    by krek on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:34:32 AM EST

    "I mean, yeah, we have to define something as sexually unhealthy, because otherwise how could we show that we're healthy."

    Do you realise what you have just said? It explains so much.... not just sexual prejudice, but racial, religious and mental prejudices as well!

    I will need to ponder and assimilate that one for a while.

    [ Parent ]
    Hey man. (1.33 / 3) (#319)
    by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:58:02 PM EST

    Prejudices are OK; we all have them.

    What's important, rather, is that we realise when and how we have them; and in this respect, you, Sir, are no better than the worst sort of cross-burning, mob-lynching, slave-driving racist.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    This is the second time that you have insulted me! (none / 0) (#324)
    by krek on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:12:29 PM EST

    Prepare to die!

    But, aside from your lack of manners, I was just delighted to gain a small insight into the root of prejudice... beyond that of simply being fearful and suspicious of that which is unfamiliar, and, which, does not explain persecution at all.

    [ Parent ]
    So, (none / 0) (#336)
    by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 04:53:07 PM EST

    You are claiming that you are absolutely without prejudice?

    Are you sure you aren't going to ascend into heaven suddenly in a bright beam of light right now?

    Pardon me, but I'm currently having a great difficulty taking you seriously.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    No, (none / 0) (#339)
    by krek on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 05:07:03 PM EST

    I am claiming that you insulted me.

    [ Parent ]
    Enjoyment vs. addiction (none / 0) (#345)
    by michaelp on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 06:52:24 PM EST

    is how the healthy vs. unheathy dichotomy boils down for me. A quirk becomes a fetish when the person can no longer enjoy sex that doesn't involve the fetish. At this point it becomes unheathly, IMO, because the fetishee is focusing on a particular behavior rather than the whole person (of themselves, or their friends, or their partner).

    IOW, if you and your patner think nipple clamps are a fun thing sometimes, have fun. But if you cancel intimacy because you can't find the nipple clamps, then I'd say it's unhealty...

    I'd add the caveat that someone who enjoys causing permanent harm to another (such as amputation, rape, or snuff) is sick regardless of whether their 'partner' is willing.

    Further, I think both of the above morals have biological roots: being locked into a particular fetish may block us from finding our best biological match, while nearly all humans look on permanent harm as a bad thing (which is why soldiers and slavers must dehumanize their victims), because it is generally bad for a communal species to harm or kill one of it's members.


    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

    [ Parent ]
    As good as any other "reader digest" lev (3.50 / 4) (#263)
    by ultimai on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:53:33 AM EST

    It's well writen, well done, but the facts are not fully researched, the conclusions and solutions obviously abritary. Heck you take a bunch of what ifs, assume their true and put your own solutions that would solve these what ifs. There is not enough research done yet. Good research. The other flaws are pointed out in the comments. Your solutions by the way, follow a certain liberal strain of thought to be too obvious. They are more political and opinionated that real, cold verified facts.

    another view (2.72 / 18) (#264)
    by jjayson on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 02:59:18 AM EST

    Our humanly wisdom may not give us the right view on things, for we are biased creatures and people of desire and flesh. When we look towards the Word for guidance this is what we find, though:

    Matthew 5:27-30: You have heard that it was said, "Do not commit adultery." But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to loose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

    So we may not actually commit adultery physically, but we phantasize about it and would do it if given the chance, then we have already made up our minds in our heart and are guilty of the sin, for God cares more about where our hearts our than what our deeds are. Pornography breeds this desire in our heart, so why would we want to expose ourselves to more of it?

    Also, why is sexual imorality so bad? Because unlike lying or stealing, it is a sin against our body:

    1 Corinthians 6:18-20: Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

    Since our creator is pure, we must also be, that means putting away immorality and embracing love:

    Ephesians 5:1-7: Be imitators of God, therefor, as dearly loved children and live a life or love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But amoung you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy place. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -- such a man is an idolater -- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

    So while looking at the naked body may not be sinful it itself, the lust it easily leeds to is what we want to avoid.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    It's more fun to follow other examples (Bible tag) (3.62 / 8) (#287)
    by Quila on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 10:01:01 AM EST

    I could rape my maid (slave) to make her bear a child for me, Genesis 16:1-4 and 30:1-4

    Apparently in the second instance above, she becomes his mistress, but then as his son I get to have sex with daddy's mistress! Genesis 35:22

    Enough with Genesis.  There's way too much there.  According to Deuteronomy 21:11-14, I could find a captive, make her my wife, and get rid of her when I tire of her.  Unfortunately, I can't sell her, bummer.  I could have had sex and get paid!

    I could be like Sampson and screw a prostitute (Judges 16:1)

    Of course, I could have a handmaid like Ruth get me drunk to take advantage of me.

    Oh, there are so many more.

    But I'm confused, the mother of harlots in Revelations 17:5 is a bad person, supposedly representative of how bad harlots are, yet the harlot in Joshua 2:1 saved the lives of Joshua's spies (after they'd spent the night there, what else do you do at a harlot's house overnight?).

    The Bible would be the longest hardcore porn movie ever, even if we just used the instances sactioned by God or done by "righteous" people.


    [ Parent ]

    Hello. (3.00 / 5) (#318)
    by tkatchev on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:55:24 PM EST

    What you quoted was from the oldest parts of the Old Testament -- "God FAQ 1.0" for illiterate herdsmen living in the year 4000 B.C.

    There is also a New Testament, written for educated Hellenic men who already learned about self-reflection.

    Filter everything though that.

    But also, remember that no matter what God says to us, it will always be Him speaking down to us. To God, you beating off to that porn you enjoy is no less insulting and disgusting than ancient pagans in 1000 B.C. who worshipped giant phallic effigies and practised ritual rape and child sacrifice.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    The Christian view of God (4.00 / 1) (#384)
    by Quila on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 03:07:10 AM EST

    Omnipotent, Omniscient, infinite love, and (here's the kicker) unchanging.

    His words may have been reinterpreted later, but the god of the Old Testament is the god of the New Testament.  You have to admit the Bible is quite inaccurate (then how can you trust any of it?), or the nature of God is fluid.

    it will always be Him speaking down to us. To God, you beating off

    IIRC, the Bible says it's better to put that semen into a prostitute than spill it on the ground.  Hmmm, prostitution is legal in Germany... (although I don't think my wife would approve).

    [ Parent ]

    Hello, are you retarded? (2.00 / 1) (#392)
    by tkatchev on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:49:20 AM EST

    How could God reveal the whole of truth to a mere human?

    That would be sort of like me trying to explain the social implications of the war in Iraq to an ant. Only even more so.

    Obviously God communicates in a way such that those on the recieving end can understand. Which is why the "facts of life" sound different when explained to illiterate goat herders and educated philosopher-thinkers.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Be nice. No name calling. (n/t) (none / 0) (#395)
    by jjayson on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 06:04:00 AM EST


    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    You can't have it both ways (4.00 / 1) (#405)
    by Quila on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 10:56:30 AM EST

    How could God reveal the whole of truth to a mere human?

    Standard cop-out.

    No a la carte religion please.  Either the Old Testament is authoritative, or it is not, goatherder status irrelevant.  Did God tell them to do all that nasty stuff, or not?

    If the OT is not authoritative, then I shouldn't hear mention of the Ten Commandments anymore, as they are no longer the authoritative commandments of God.  Actually, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances" Eph 2:15.

    So, are we saying the entire Old Testament is irrelevant, or do you want to pick and choose?

    No, wait, Mt.5:17-19 says "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. ... Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven"

    I think Jesus just said all the old laws stand.

    Bible tag!

    Oh yeah, about the title of your post:  "... whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" Mt.5:22.

    [ Parent ]

    Biblical heurmeneutics (4.75 / 4) (#416)
    by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 03:42:21 PM EST

    First off, it pains me to find myself writing anything in support of tkatchev's position as I find him to be one of the more annoying and offensive twits on this board, but the argument he alludes to -- the standard Catholic theories on biblical heurmeneutics -- is far more sophisticated than you allow for in your post. Since I doubt that he is capable of advancing the argument in a rational manner without resorting to wild invectives and ad hominem, I'll have a go, if you don't mind:

    Standard cop-out.

    Not at all, unless you insist on believing that divine revelation must, of necessity, be delivered in the form of simple declarative sentences. Consider that among all the world's mystical and religious traditions there are very few accounts of a plain speaking and straightforward divinity. You don't need to be a believer (I'm not) to recognize that the mystical experience of revelation or divine presence, whatever it might be, is not best described according to the model of normative conversational exchange, but rather it occurs as an ecstatic experience, one often mediated by an intensely poetic language of metaphor and symbol.

    No a la carte religion please.  Either the Old Testament is authoritative, or it is not, goatherder status irrelevant.  Did God tell them to do all that nasty stuff, or not?

    Catholic dogma does not hold that either the Old or New Testament is the inviolate word of God. Instead, they believe it to be a collection of documents authored by men, but inspired by divine revelation. Each author's understanding of the content relayed to them via revelation was necessarily limited by their cultural perspective, and the act of recording that already imperfect understanding incurs even greater distortion as it is fitted to the particular idiom and cultural context of the author.

    It just isn't so simple as determining whether or not the Old or New Testaments, taken in toto, are authoritative. Neither is one single document which stands or falls all together, but a rich tapestry of faintly glimpsed half-truths expressed cacophonously. It is the task of biblical heurmenut to extract from this apparent flux the enduring and invariant truths about the nature of God.

    Catholic heurmeneutics long ago arrived at process known as the heurmenuetic circle. According to this model of interpretation, the reader encounters the biblical text through the lense of his culture, his education, his experiences, and and his own personal limitations. In turn, this encounter with the biblical text contributes to altering the perspective of the reader, which enables new insight into the biblical text, which leads to a further alteration of the reader's perspective. And so on, around and around ad infinitum. Catholics add to this purely secular interpretive model the notion of Grace, the presence of the Holy Spirit, as a force which can guide the intuitions of heurmeneut toward an ever more truthful understanding of the biblical texts.

    The model of the heurmeneutic circle, sans the guiding hand of Grace, remains a very valid model of interpretation to this day. Reader reception theories generally and, quite explicitly, Umberto Eco's broader semiotic philosophy of language are both contemporary variations of the theoretical framework embodied in the Scholastic practice of biblical heurmeneutics.

    I think Jesus just said all the old laws stand.

    Indeed, he did. But consider that he violated the the sanctity of the Sabbath and encouraged others to do so as well. How does one rectify this seeming contradiction? What would you do in the case of encountering a seeming contradiction in the viewpoint of character in a novel? Reject the whole as incoherent? I should hope not. A careful interpretation requires looking beyond the superficial level of seeming contradiction. The contradictory statements of Jesus with respect to the status of traditional Hebraic Law have traditionally been resolved by recourse to the distinction between the Law and the Spirit as well as the renewed Covenant brought about by the Crucifiction. You may not find this account compelling, but casting the problem within such narrow straights is necessary only if one adopts the most painfully impoverished literalism; that type favored by both the revivalist tent preacher and the over eager bible debunker.

    Bible tag!

    It does little good to play the game of dueling verses without first having reached some rough consensus as to what the fundamental rules are. No?

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Great. (none / 0) (#418)
    by jjayson on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 04:05:59 PM EST

    One of the best explanations I have ever heard.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    excellent post (2.33 / 3) (#419)
    by adequate nathan on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 04:08:07 PM EST

    But still stuck in a Western rationalist model.

    tkatchev resorts to wild invective because most people are totally incapable of being pursuaded by evidence and arguments. For instance, Quila isn't going to give up his cherished anti-literalist prejudices just because you refuted him. The only way to make anyone realize that he is doing evil is to treat him that way.

    Conversation, wonderful as it is, is powerless against the deep anti-religious prejudice and hate of the idea of God that informs most athestic discourse.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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    [ Parent ]

    Anyone who disagrees (none / 0) (#439)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 02:37:26 AM EST

    Must hate you.  A very standard paranoid fundamentalist view.

    [ Parent ]
    Fundamentalist? (3.00 / 2) (#448)
    by tkatchev on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:54:14 AM EST

    You're way off the mark, my man.

    Go find an Islamic web board to troll. :))

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    The paranoia (none / 0) (#450)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 06:07:24 AM EST

    along the lines of "is powerless against the deep anti-religious prejudice and hate of the idea of God that informs most athestic discourse" is usually found in fundies.  I believe most people realize that being atheist usually doesn't mean hate.

    [ Parent ]
    Funniest. Line. Ever. (none / 0) (#459)
    by derek3000 on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 10:02:40 AM EST

    I believe most people realize that being atheist usually doesn't mean hate.

    Like fuck it doesn't. How old are you? You're making me feel ancient. And tired.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    Why the false dichotomy? (none / 0) (#462)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:01:16 AM EST

    If you're not religious, do you have to hate religion?  There are many who hate religion, and there are many religious who hate other religions, but there is a place for someone fitting the literal definition of an atheist in simply not believing -- no more added meaning outside the definition needed.

    I've definitely seen more hate from the religious towards atheists than I have seen in the other direction.  Any atheist hate is probably a backlash to persecution.

    You should probably be around 50 for me to make you feel old.

    [ Parent ]

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#465)
    by derek3000 on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:33:38 AM EST

    I've definitely seen more hate from the religious towards atheists than I have seen in the other direction.

    But my experience has been quite opposite. This isn't just about personal anecdotes, either: take the Mongol Horde in Central Asia, for example.

    I'm just more than a little touchy when people insinuate that religion, as opposed to our human flaws, is a catalyst for violence.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    I would say it is (none / 0) (#466)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:51:27 AM EST

    I'm just more than a little touchy when people insinuate that religion, as opposed to our human flaws, is a catalyst for violence.

    But only because our human flaws turn what should be benign into a power tool to be exploited at the detriment of others.

    [ Parent ]

    guh (none / 0) (#505)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 10:39:22 PM EST

    What are you trying to say? Ideology is bad?

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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    [ Parent ]

    Ideology (4.00 / 1) (#526)
    by Quila on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 04:18:57 AM EST

    Ideology claiming a high level of prerogative has the potential to be dangerous in the wrong hands, no matter what it is.  The level of potential danger rises with the level of prerogative, and you can't claim a prerogative higher than god.

    [ Parent ]
    One and the same (none / 0) (#468)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 12:02:19 PM EST

    I'm just more than a little touchy when people insinuate that religion, as opposed to our human flaws, is a catalyst for violence.
    The problem with what you are saying is that most atheists believe that religion itself is due to our human flaws.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, sure. (none / 0) (#470)
    by derek3000 on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 01:11:11 PM EST

    That's why I don't like them, usually. Too myopic.

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    that's totally insane (none / 0) (#482)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:25:40 PM EST

    There are lots of atheist criminals too. What's wrong with them, then?

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    That makes no sense (none / 0) (#489)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 05:07:24 PM EST

    Huh?


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    sorry, I misread (none / 0) (#499)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 07:59:45 PM EST

    But then, so did you, apparently. The argument that people are religious because of their flaws is classic ad hominem (denigrating the view by denigrating the man;) and anyway the criticism doesn't speak to the existential questions that religion seeks to address.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Not ad hominem (none / 0) (#503)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 09:22:29 PM EST

    I don't believe my comment was ad hominem.  The original person I replied to said that he gets touchy when people say that religion, rather than human flaw, leads to violence.  My point was that this distinction doesn't make much sense to an atheist, because an atheist believes that religion is a human flaw.

    Even if this might be a disagreeable statement to a religious person, it is only ad hominem if it does not relate to the subject at hand, which it does.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]

    True (none / 0) (#525)
    by Quila on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 04:13:15 AM EST

    The problem with what you are saying is that most atheists believe that religion itself is due to our human flaws.

    I wouldn't call it a human flaw.  I call it a phase of humanity that I hope we'll eventually grow out of, as someday it will be no longer necessary.  We've gone from many gods, to few, to one, and there's only one more step.

    It's just way too dangerous in our hands as a method of repression and societal division even within religions.  It's like giving a revolver to a four year old, only with higher casualties.

    [ Parent ]

    Persecution. (3.66 / 3) (#473)
    by tkatchev on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 01:40:06 PM EST

    Why, poor persecuted you.

    I simply don't see how you manage to live in this awful Christianized world of ours.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    It's hard sometimes (1.00 / 1) (#524)
    by Quila on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:59:13 AM EST

    An atheist is the only class in America that it's allowable to persecute.  Gays, women, minority religions, blacks, Asians, etc. -- it's not "PC" to persecute or shun them anymore.  We've made progress, but we're not quite there yet.

    However, I do find it strange that my best friends seem to be Christian or Jewish.  Maybe it's because I value those religious people who won't hold my atheism against me as opposed to the common Dr. Laura point of view.

    Even after the establishment of the U.S., there were still laws restricting the rights of atheists.  The Texas constitution even disqualifies atheists to hold any office.  The article is still there, although it is ineffective due to court decision.

    "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." - George H.W. Bush, as Presidential Nominee for the Republican party; 27 Aug 1987 (and I fought under that man in the Gulf War -- silly me).

    [ Parent ]

    quite right (2.33 / 3) (#483)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:27:23 PM EST

    Any atheist hate is probably a backlash to persecution.

    Those Chinese Catholics are absolute cockmasters to their atheist overlords. Their persecution is eminently justified.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Whose persecution? (none / 0) (#522)
    by Quila on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:45:26 AM EST

    The Chinese government will not allow any threat to the power of the state as they run it.  Whether it's religous or secular, they will either control or crush that power.  Most religous states do this too.  It's not about religion or atheism, it's about power.

    [ Parent ]
    "The atheist that doesn't mean to hate". (5.00 / 1) (#472)
    by tkatchev on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 01:38:15 PM EST

    Yes, but he does and awfully good job of it.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    It's safer to cut and paste when quoting. (none / 0) (#535)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 10:28:39 AM EST

    That way you don't add extra words.
    ___
    Length 17, Width 3
    [ Parent ]
    I'm reading too fast. (none / 0) (#452)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 06:24:12 AM EST

    I just caught this: "his cherished anti-literalist prejudices"

    That would imply that I have not studied and debated this extensively.  At one point I believed, but then I started really reading for myself rather than just believing what I was told.  That is how I came to my current viewpoint.  My wife didn't believe, more along the "I just never thought about it" lines, and a Christian friend of hers pleaded with her to just read the Bible, then she'd understand.  Now my wife definitely will never believe after reading it.

    The editors of the Bible through the ages did a great job of collecting various tales and letters, trying to get them into one cohesive document.  That at almost a million words, it's amazing they managed to make it an generally inconsistent work rather than just a complete mess.  They did not have the advantage of an Isaac Asimov to produce over four million words of a book series (all Foundation-related) and have it internally consistent as you can have with one skillful author.  Of course, literalists say that one skillful author (God) wrote it, and you'd think God would be a better author than Isaac.

    BTW, I have the coolest Bible.  It's an A1 poster -- the entire thing.  It's impossible to read since it's one mostly one big block set in 4pt type with 4.2pt leading, but it's cool.  And it has a typo.  And I found it.

    [ Parent ]

    I don't care how much you've studied (3.50 / 2) (#464)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 11:31:32 AM EST

    It sounds as though hating Christianity is a vital part of your emotional life. If you don't believe in God, why does it matter so much to you that you breathe fire when the topic comes up?

    I don't believe in "the invisibe hand," but that doesn't mean I get mad whenever someone mentions it. Likewise for the Easter bunny.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    You are paranoid (2.00 / 1) (#511)
    by Quila on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 02:52:56 AM EST

    why does it matter so much to you that you breathe fire when the topic comes up?

    You're reading too much into it.  Read more and you'll find I don't hate religion (don't forget, there's more than just yours, yours is not special).  However, people using the Bible as an authoritative source for morals is questionable, although one can find some good stuff in there.

    [ Parent ]

    Quite good (3.00 / 2) (#441)
    by Quila on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 03:15:41 AM EST

    Since I quite often find myself debating with Bible literalists and inerrantists, I tend to start a debate from the stance of discussing with one of them.  I apologize if tkatchev is not one, as in that case I am apparentlly not addressing the correct argument.

    From a fundamentalist POV, the Bible is the authoritative word of God, to be believed in its whole as history, fact and an absolute guide to morality.  I find this a wholly untenable position with all of the God-sanctioned immorality, contradictions and factual errors within.

    However, you can take the Bible to be a collection of history, narrative, philosophy and mysticism spanning thousands of years of a tribe from its primitive state to its relatively civilized state in the Roman times.  Genesis, a mix of early polytheistic origin myths and then-modern monotheistic origin myths, no longer has an inherent contradiction.  All of the criticisms of the Bible simply fall apart.

    If you are religious, you can say that there is a god and he guided these people, although they were woefully prone to misinterpretation.  If you're non-religious, you can take it as an important work of literature (as I do).

    Unfortunately, the religious position has a problem in my eyes.  Basically tkatchev's position is that those primitive tribes erred in many of their interpretations of God's word, to be corrected by the more educated people of Christ's time a couple of thousand years later.  Who's to say that two thousand years later, Christ's message and teachings aren't just as outdated?

    To me many of his teachings can't be outdated -- ever.  In many cases he presented what is now obviously the right thing to do, although his ideas were revolutionary at the time in his society.  But if you hinge your acceptance of his teachings on them being the word of God, you may have problems if you think that interpretations of God's will easily change.

    As far as character contradiction in fiction, I would regard ones as egregious as the Bible's a reason enough to put down the book.  It was hard to get through it.  Some laws, such as Sabbath, are so incredibly clear that to later call for a revocation of laws previously said to stand forever is too internally inconsistent.

    Since I don't have belief in a deity, nor find the Bible authoritative in any way, I can say this: Dump all three versions of the Ten Commandments as taken from Exodus, and just use Jesus' six from Mt.19:18-19.  It's not full of religious commandments and useless law. It's just right.  So, a question: If Jesus tightened, refined and more narrowly defined previous law so much as to render it useless on its face when there is new doctrine given, why do I always hear reference to the Ten Commandments instead of the Six Commandments?

    [ Parent ]

    Now wait a second. (none / 0) (#458)
    by kitten on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 09:59:30 AM EST

    it occurs as an ecstatic experience, one often mediated by an intensely poetic language of metaphor and symbol. ...
    ...a rich tapestry of faintly glimpsed half-truths expressed cacophonously. It is the task of biblical heurmenut to extract from this apparent flux the enduring and invariant truths about the nature of God.
    [1]

    So the Catholics would have us believe that:

  • God will only reveal himself directly to a select few, and then only in the most obscure, muddled, difficult-or-impossible-to-interpret, and utterly open-ended means he can.
  • God has indirectly revealed himself to the masses, using a "whole sort of general mishmash" style of storytelling, and each bit of information it provides 'may or may not' be true, and cannot be confirmed or denied without a secondary source (e.g., revelation). In addition, the parts that aren't abjectly false are meant to be interpreted however the reader wants.
  • This God gets really annoyed when you don't believe in him, after all this high-quality evidence he's provided, and sends you to a place of eternal torment.

    Right.

    Fact is, this is nothing more than apologetics and fancy juggling. This happens every so often when religion fails to keep up with society and science - what was once the Absolute Literal Truth is suddenly "just a metaphor". It may not have actually been written by God as was claimed for hundreds of years, but merely "inspired", and so forth. [2].
    It wasn't long ago that Catholics did maintain that the Bible was the direct and literal word of God. Now it's to be "interpreted", individually, by each reader, who may pull from the noise whatever signal he chooses to support virtually any worldview he already has.

    If the Bible's only purpose is to provide metaphorical maybes, delivered through a string of "cacophonous half-truths", then what's the point of having it at all? Such a model provides us with nothing in terms of understanding God, God's work, God's will, God's plan, God's commandments. Anyone can interpret anything they like into it, dismissing other parts that contradict their personal views as being "the errors of man".

    I'm not impressed.

    [1] The only "invariant and enduring" truth that God has been able to transmit unambiguously is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's what, less than a dozen words? Pretty much everything else he's ever said, or any description of his nature or will, has been completely contradicted, or at least wildly distorted, by other things he's said or other descriptions.

    [2] Whatever the hell "inspired" means. Michaelangelo was certainly inspired by God when he painted the Sistine Chapel, but that isn't the 'divine' inspiration we speak of. I may be inspired by my girlfriend to write a moving sonnet, but that sonnet will tell you nothing about the lady who inspired it.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
  • I'll speak slowly this time around. (5.00 / 1) (#471)
    by tkatchev on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 01:36:12 PM EST

    You folks seems to have a tremendous problem with reading comprehension.

    Look, there is simply no way for God to speak to man directly. That would be like me trying to speak directly to an ant; utterly pointless.

    What God does instead is communicate with each person on an indivudual basis -- using means that are individually fitted for each man. Analogously, pretend that I wanted to communicate to my dog that it is a bad idea to pee all over my carpet; it would do no good to lecture it about how difficult it is to clean carpets and how expensive they are, and the fact that my relatives might feel uneasy if the carpet smelled of dog excrement. The dog is simply incapable of understanding. You have to communicate with it in an individual and a very simplified, primitive manner.

    For this reason, it is utter insanity to believe that the Bible sort of fell down from the sky in a perfect form.

    The Bible was written by regular people who were trying to communicate their own, purely human and intimate experiences. They were influenced by God, definitely, but it is not a matter of "automatic writing". They were fully conscious and sound of mind and body.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    You know we can't hear you speaking as you type... (5.00 / 2) (#476)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 03:18:47 PM EST

    Analogously, pretend that I wanted to communicate to my dog that it is a bad idea to pee all over my carpet; it would do no good to lecture it about how difficult it is to clean carpets and how expensive they are, and the fact that my relatives might feel uneasy if the carpet smelled of dog excrement. The dog is simply incapable of understanding. You have to communicate with it in an individual and a very simplified, primitive manner.
    I would imagine the first step would be going into the same room as the dog and allowing it to see that you exist. Even interact with it directly. Then it might eventually have some idea of not only what you wanted, but that you wanted something at all and that there is even a "you" in the first place.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    maybe He is (none / 0) (#477)
    by jjayson on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 03:30:53 PM EST

    I would imagine the first step would be going into the same room as the dog and allowing it to see that you exist. Even interact with it directly.
    Maybe He is, but like the dog who doesn't know what it is looking at, you can't see Him?
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Why not? (5.00 / 2) (#487)
    by Happy Monkey on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 04:59:57 PM EST

    If someone can't see an omnipotent being, then it is because the being does not want to be seen.
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    [ Parent ]
    Uh. (none / 0) (#520)
    by tkatchev on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:34:43 AM EST

    If God manifested Himself to you right now would you believe?

    I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't.

    So, why the demagouguery?

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Of course (5.00 / 2) (#531)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 08:23:38 AM EST

    God would know precisely the manifestation to appear to me as in order to prove his existence. He is omnipotent and omniscient, after all.
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    [ Parent ]
    How prideful! (none / 0) (#546)
    by jjayson on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:52:18 PM EST

    That you would make God appear to you in your way. What, is He your servant? I would think not. God appears to us in His way.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Now you're just being silly (4.00 / 1) (#548)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 04:17:18 PM EST

    I'm not making any requests for a particular manifestation. All I'm saying is that if God wants me to believe in Him, He has the ability to give convincing evidence. If you're saying that doing so would in some way make Him my servant, that's your opinion and you're welcome to it. However, claiming that it is prideful to expect an omnipotent entity to reveal Himself in a recognizable way seems to be a bit of a cop-out. You seem to be trying to direct attention away from the fact that He could, and toward a guess as to a reason why He hasn't.
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    [ Parent ]
    what do you want, (none / 0) (#556)
    by adequate nathan on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:25:46 PM EST

    Neon lights and a flashing sign? That might entice you to believe in God, but it wouldn't help you to have faith in Him. As for mere practical belief, well, we are told that even the demons believe.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    As I said in the post you're replying to, (none / 0) (#562)
    by Happy Monkey on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:46:14 PM EST

    I'm not requesting any particular manifestation. But if God wants to convince me of anything at all, even His ultimate goodness, He certainly has the ability. That's all I've been saying in this subthread. You can provide any number of possible reasons that He would decide not to, but the fact remains that He could if He wanted to.

    Indeed it is true that He could prove His existence without giving me a reason to worship Him, but let's take this one step at a time. I'm certainly not going to worship something I don't believe exists.
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    [ Parent ]
    Sounds perfectly logical to me (5.00 / 1) (#584)
    by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:03:28 AM EST

    In fact, he could even skip the middleman and just cause you to suddenly believe, if he wanted, I suppose.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    huh? that violated freewill. (n/t) (none / 0) (#586)
    by jjayson on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:12:24 AM EST


    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    To an extent (none / 0) (#597)
    by Happy Monkey on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 10:16:11 AM EST

    But every physical and psychological limitation that people have could be interpreted as a limitation on free will which has been imposed by God. I wouldn't consider it an imposition if I was made to believe in something that actually does exist. As far as free will violations go, knowledge of a bit of truth seems pretty mild. Instilling a reverence for Him would be a bit more insidious, however.
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    [ Parent ]
    I don't quite understand? (none / 0) (#629)
    by jjayson on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 02:28:10 PM EST

    Freewill is the ability to make a choice. It is a mental thing. There is nothing else we are forced to believe so why would God violate our freewill in one way by instilling a belief in Him?

    As a Biblical comparison, look at laws of murder. Matthew 5:21-26 explains that murder is in your heart not your actions (Matthew 5:27-30 makes the same claim for adultery). If you wished you could kill somebody, but haven't because you haven't had the opportunity or fear of punishment stops you, then you have already committed murder even without killing anybody. Some people may remember President Jimmy Carter when asked if he committed adultery, he said yes, in his heart. God cares about what is in your mind more than anything else, so putting something there for you go against what He is looking for.

    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]

    Why would he? (5.00 / 2) (#634)
    by Happy Monkey on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 03:55:53 PM EST

    All I've been saying is that He could provide an infinite number of more successful, and credible, message forms than a handful of self-proclaimed prophets, their followers, and several thousand years of passed-down information. He could provide a burning bush experience to every person as they come of age. People could still have the free will to reject His teachings, but they would know He exists. Just as Moses had his momentary lapse even as he was carrying the first set of Commandments, and had to go back for another set. As for why He doesn't do so - assuming He exists, I can't guess His motives.
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    [ Parent ]
    Huh? You don't decide the rules (none / 0) (#599)
    by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 10:47:04 AM EST

    I'm wondering why a god would not do certain things. Obviously god doesn't just make every person believe in him, because most people don't believe. I was saying that he could have, but decided to make the world such that this doesn't happen. Why is this a good thing?


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    not quite what I understood the posted to say (none / 0) (#627)
    by jjayson on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 02:12:13 PM EST

    God can't make us follow Him, because to follow Him has to be an act of love, and love is only by choice. Obviously He would like us all to choose Him. I don't understand how He could make us all believe without violating our freewill. It seems illogical like making a sqaured circle or one plus one equaling three. Freewill without choice?
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Here's what I mean (4.00 / 1) (#632)
    by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 03:30:44 PM EST

    I'm not saying God would make us love him or follow him, but simply make us know without a doubt that he existed, and with that information, we could choose what we wanted to do with ourselves.  If it were just something that is there, it would be natural and not considered part of "free will".  Like, do I have the choice as to whether my heart beats or not?  Can we decide we don't really feel like dying just yet?  Some things you don't get to choose.  I don't know why knowing the existence of our creator should be optional.  Seems rather important, when you think about the short time we are alive on the earth compared to the rest of eternity afterward.

    And don't forget that god created all the things you are talking about.  God made love a choice, god made hate exist, and everything else that is bad.  God made doubt exist.  God even made Satan and Hell exist.  Forcing us to follow god doesn't make sense to you because that's the way god decided to make the universe work.  I'm wondering why he would feel the way he does about us and at the same time make the universe work in this way.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]

    There are differences (none / 0) (#635)
    by jjayson on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 03:56:55 PM EST

    I'm not saying God would make us love him or follow him, but simply make us know without a doubt that he existed, and with that information, we could choose what we wanted to do with ourselves.  If it were just something that is there, it would be natural and not considered part of "free will".  Like, do I have the choice as to whether my heart beats or not?  Can we decide we don't really feel like dying just yet?  Some things you don't get to choose.  I don't know why knowing the existence of our creator should be optional.  Seems rather important, when you think about the short time we are alive on the earth compared to the rest of eternity afterward.
    I think I said this in another thread, I am not sure. Excuse me if I repeat myself. But the examples you give are physical. More example would be we can't choose to fly or to breat water, correct? However knowing that God exists is something in our mind, something we believe. I can't think of anything we are forced to believe. Can you?

    And don't forget that god created all the things you are talking about.  God made love a choice, god made hate exist, and everything else that is bad.  God made doubt exist.  God even made Satan and Hell exist.  Forcing us to follow god doesn't make sense to you because that's the way god decided to make the universe work.  I'm wondering why he would feel the way he does about us and at the same time make the universe work in this way.
    Some things seem like they just had to be. It would be illogical for them to not exists. You cannot have freewill without the ability choose the wrong way. There is no way to make somebody love you and our freewill is a gift. Saying that you could make love without choice just goes back to the nonsensical claims like God could make a circle with four sides. It is an empty statement. Doubt has to exist because belief exists. I really don't understand how he could give us freewill without giving us choice; it is required by definition.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Not forcing beliefs (none / 0) (#636)
    by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 05:19:40 PM EST

    I can't think of anything we are forced to believe. Can you?
    I was thinking about if feeling the presence of God were just an aspect of being a human. Like, when you get near something hot, you feel that. You aren't being forced to believe in heat... you know it very tangibly, you wouldn't try to deny it. Why not be able to feel God's presence in the same way? Something that just happens to everyone, and it is tangible and undeniable. I don't see how this isn't free will.
    Some things seem like they just had to be. It would be illogical for them to not exists. You cannot have freewill without the ability choose the wrong way. There is no way to make somebody love you and our freewill is a gift. Saying that you could make love without choice just goes back to the nonsensical claims like God could make a circle with four sides. It is an empty statement. Doubt has to exist because belief exists. I really don't understand how he could give us freewill without giving us choice; it is required by definition.
    Just step out of all of that and don't think about any rules of the way the universe exists right now. Assume there is a god, and this god creates the universe. He creates everything. He creates up and down, happy and sad, man, woman, grass, monkey, rocks, comets, black holes, the colors, atoms, pride, hate, love, everything. Well, why did he create the bad things? Why did he create suffering? He could have created the universe however he wanted.

    Of course it makes no sense to imagine a circle with four sides, but that is because we are trapped within the universe god created, and our minds are only finite. If we could transcend beyond the confines of our universe then we would rival God.

    Now, I could assume that God has his reasons and that I am not meant to understand, but existence as it is has its purpose. However, that assumes the existence of a Christian God (who loves me). Even if I assume "First Mover", which I have no reason to, then I have no reason to believe it is the Christian God and not the Deist God (a god who created the universe and abandoned it).


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    what do you want, (none / 0) (#557)
    by adequate nathan on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 06:26:03 PM EST

    Neon lights and a flashing sign? That might entice you to believe in God, but it wouldn't help you to have faith in Him. As for mere practical belief, well, we are told that even the demons believe.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Then he must like messing with us (5.00 / 1) (#491)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 05:27:53 PM EST

    Maybe He is, but like the dog who doesn't know what it is looking at, you can't see Him?
    The dog knows you are there, and that you are a living being, and can recognize you by sound, sight, and smell.

    Now, it might be incapable of knowing that you are a human and (if you're Christian) a higher life-form. However, we humans are not incapable of imagining a higher being that created us and everything else. Isn't that what makes us more important than the other animals?

    God can do anything, and God knows what limitations we have. God even created those limitations. So, for some reason he made us able to go against him and condemn ourselves to hell, while at the same time not ever definitively making his presence known. He even made sure a book we are supposed to follow was written by people so that it would be full of contradictions, falsehoods, errors, etc. Why?

    Is the most likely conclusion "God works in mysterious ways" or is it "Christianity is one of many mythologies that civilizations have created throughout history to explain life"?


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    "Able to go against him". (1.00 / 1) (#519)
    by tkatchev on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 03:33:03 AM EST

    It's called free will.

    It's also what makes us different from animals.

    I understand that quite a lot of people are resentful that they weren't born a chimpanzee; however, try to bear with the unjustice. Trust me, it's better this way, ultimately.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Try again. (none / 0) (#539)
    by Dephex Twin on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 12:11:57 PM EST

    I said that god made us able to go against him while AT THE SAME TIME making the bible totally contradictory, and never directly revealing himself, and allowing the church do be corrupt, never even reaching certain civilizations in the world, etc. etc. and so forth.

    So why does he give us the choice and then intentionally make it indistinguishable from other religions and mythologies throughout history?  My conclusion stands-- if he does exist, he likes messing with us.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]

    a favorite fallback of the unbeliever (none / 0) (#545)