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There are three kinds of disputes about pornography: definitional, ethical and political. The first relates to whether the representation of sexual imagery or descriptions for aesthetic purposes, ‘erotic art’ is itself pornographic. While individual cases may be disputed it is now generally accepted that some works may be erotic without being pornographic, because of their aesthetic interest and merit. The issue of whether pornography is morally good, bad or neither involves questions about intrinsic and extrinsic value. One argument is that it is bad because it leads to the sexual abuse of human beings, another holds that whatever its further effects it is bad in and of itself because it expresses and communicates a degrading view of human beings. Defenders of pornography argue that it satisfies sexual interests. The political issue is whether if it is morally bad that justifies restricting or banning it.

  • http://www.firstthings.com
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    As the impressively depressing cover story “America the Obese” in the May issue of The Atlantic . . . .

  • https://afaofpa.org
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    1 The Abuse of Sex Roger Scruton We are a long way from the days when homosexuality was described as a perversion, pornography as an offence against public morals and masturbation as ‘self-abuse'. The old morality which condemned sex outside marriage, and saw nothing wrong with laws that treat homosexuality as a criminal offence, even if it has a following in the Muslim world, has few adherents in the West. In general we have moved on at such a pace in the last half a century that to many people it appears quaint to talk of sexual morality at all. If there is sexual misconduct, many people think, it is only some special case of the more general sin of forcing, defrauding or manipulating other people into doing something they do not really want to do. If they do really want to do it, and the feeling is mutual, then what on earth is wrong? That is the view that I wish to challenge. What I say may not persuade everyone; indeed, it may not persuade anyone. But I will have achieved half of my purpose if I convince you that the argument is not about consent but about the very nature of the sexual act and the desire expressed in it. 1. Some modern myths. There are certain ways of describing and (in consequence) experiencing sexual phenomena which I believe to be founded in myths. The myths in question originate some in wishful thinking and some in scientific and pseudo-scientific theories. The first myth is that sexual desire is desire for a particular kind of pleasure, located in the sexual organs. On this view all sex is like masturbation – a manipulation of the sexual organs for the sake of pleasure. The other person is seen as a stimulus to the desire, but not an object of it. The desire is not for him or her but for a pleasure that could be obtained in other ways. Why should people believe that? There are two dominant reasons, I think. One is that it simplifies the phenomena of sex in a way that makes them intellectually manageable. Sex becomes like eating and drinking: the desire is for sensory gratification, and is part of the general 2 pleasure-seeking character of the animal organism. The instinct on which this pleasure depends is aroused by the sight or contact of another person: and that explains the function of sexual pleasure in the life of the human organism, and why it is usually aroused by a member of the opposite sex. This pleasure helps the reproductive process, in just the way that the pleasure of eating helps to keep the organism fed. The other reason for being drawn to this myth is that it simplifies the phenomena of sex in ways that make it morally manageable. If sex is just like eating, then all the fuss about personal relationships, commitment, and the rest can be discounted from the moral point of view. As long as the other person sits down with you voluntarily to enjoy the meal, so to speak, the elementary requirements of morality are satisfied. And maybe, for health reasons, you should be careful about the diet. But all those old hesitations, such as shame, honour, marital duty, and the rest, are as irrational as the Jewish dietary laws and a mere survival from a previous era, in which 'safe sex' was difficult to guarantee. The second myth is that sexual satisfaction depends upon such factors as the intensity and duration of sensory pleasure, culminating in orgasm, and that ‘good sex’ is a matter of getting those things right. This is what lovers should aim at, and what ultimately cements the bond between them. Around the myth of 'good sex' has grown an enormous literature, both popular and 'scientific'. Like the previous myth, this one serves to simplify the phenomena of sex, both factually and morally. It reduces to a technique what is more properly described as an art, and represents as a means what is understandable only as an end. In short, it ‘instrumentalizes' the sexual act. The third myth is of a different kind. This is the myth that sexual urges need to be expressed, and that the attempt to 'repress' them is psychologically harmful. The origins of this myth lie in the theories of Freud, who did not, however, endorse the view that repression is harmful. What Freud did do was to introduce the ‘hydraulic' imagery with which sexual desire is now so often understood. The urge is welling up inside me, can be kept down - at least for a while - but will seek a channel eventually, and not allowed to escape through one channel may escape through another. The more it is kept down, the more dangerous might its eruption eventually be, when it finds release in activities which pose a threat to others, such as sadism or child abuse. The great apostle of this view was Wilhelm Reich, who saw orgasm as a kind of release, sex as the technique for securing it, and repression as the path to insanity. 3 Associated with this third myth is a fourth, which is that sexual desire is the same kind of thing, whatever the nature of the partner who arouses it. The urge that is welling within me might be stimulated by a woman, or a man, or an animal, or simply an imaginary being. There is nothing intrinsic to desire that requires that it to focus on a member of the opposite sex, and there is no difference in the essential nature of the desire, whether it be men, women or dogs that spark it off in you. Of course, convention and decency set proper limits to how a human being should behave in the course of satisfying his sexual urges. But there is nothing in the urge itself that demands any particular kind of partner. Sexual ‘orientation', as it is now called, is simply an ingrained habit of arousal, trained on a particular kind of object. This myth goes naturally with the other three, but the motive for adopting it is rather different. For it offers an easy path to the conclusion that there is no such thing as sexual normality, and that homosexuality (for example) is not in itself a perversion. Seeing sexual desire in this way it becomes difficult to argue that homosexual conduct is a different kind of thing from heterosexual conduct. On the contrary, the two kinds of sexual conduct are seen as using different instruments, but to the same end. And any argument for distinguishing right from wrong applies equally to both kinds of sex. There should be no coercion, no fraud, no trickery; each partner must be open and honest with the other; but the sex of the partner is irrelevant to the morality of the act. Finally, the fifth and in many ways most important of the modern myths about sex. This tells us that attitudes like shame, guilt and disgust are unhealthy - costs that cannot be outweighed by the benefits of sexual release. Hence we should strive to free ourselves from these hangovers, and learn to engage in sexual activity in full awareness that it is in essence no more guilty an activity than eating or drinking - a psychological benefit that need have no psychological cost. Much modern sex education is designed as a therapy for guilt and shame, a way of getting young people to accept their sexual urges, and to find ways to express them without feeling bad about doing so. What makes people feel bad, it is suggested, is the ‘judgemental' attitude prevalent in the surrounding culture, which young people interiorize, so that they accuse themselves in the very moment of sexual release. Moral progress means freeing ourselves from this internal judgement, learning to express our sexuality freely, and to overcome the irrational guilt that stems from others and not from our true inner selves. 4 Now I agree with the view that we must aim to find ways to express our sexual desires without feeling guilt and shame. But I also think that guilt and shame are often justified, and that what they demand of us is not therapy, in order to remove them, but right conduct, in order that they should have no cause to occur. 2. Some consequences of the myths. Not everyone adheres to those myths, and there are of course more and less subtle ways of upholding them. But they define a pattern of thinking in our society, which impacts on every aspect of the culture. Whenever people write of the ‘recreational' use of sex; whenever they suggest that there is no basis to sexual morality other than the rule that force and fraud are forbidden; whenever they describe 'gay' sex as though it were a mere variation of a routine that exists also in a 'straight' variety – they are usually leaning on those myths. And perhaps the greatest evidence of the triumph of these myths is the growing indifference in our society towards the glut of pornography. For if those myths are true then it is impossible to condemn pornography or the practice of those who use it as a sexual stimulant. Indeed, pornography might even be regarded as the best form of sexual recreation, in that it involves nobody apart from the person watching it, and is free from the dangers, medical, psychological and personal, of sex with a partner. As Oscar Wilde said of masturbation: ‘it is cleaner, more efficient, and you meet a better class of person', by which he meant himself. Now I am one of those who think of pornography as something that we should avoid ourselves and do everything to forbid to our children. But I find nothing in the modern myths that would justify that attitude, and therefore I must search in my mind for the error which those myths involve, and attempt to put in place of them a rival picture of human sexual desire. This is what I wish to sketch in the remainder of this talk. But first, let me make some disclaimers. The myths that I have set out above might be simply described as involving an ‘instrumentalized' view of sexual conduct - the view that the sexual act, in whatever form it takes, is being viewed as a means to something else, be it sensory pleasure, orgasm or relief from internal pressure. It doesn't follow from this that it does not have other values. Just as food is a means to gustatory pleasure and also to nourishment, so does eating have other values - and especially eating in 5 company, which is a form of companionship that brings with it both intimacy and comfort. Companionsip is a by-product of eating which is a pleasure in itself and also a value. In a similar way someone could adhere to the instrumentalized view of sexual desire, and still argue that when we take this pleasure in company there is a social pay-off, in the form of an intimacy and mutual enjoyment that are both pleasant and valuable in themselves. So you could, from this instrumentalized view of sexual conduct, go on to build a picture of 'good sex' which reconstructs some of the moral values which we associate with loving relations in general and marriage in particular. But these moral values will not be intrinsic to the sexual act. They will be by-products of the act, and will have no intrinsic bearing on the morality of the act itself, any more than the social value of dinner à deux has any bearing on the rightness or wrongness of eating the particular thing that is eaten (and which may in fact be forbidden by some dietary code). Furthermore, in opposing those myths, I am not insisting that the only alternative to them is the old morality that regards heterosexual relations within marriage as the only legitimate form of sexual expression, and which dismisses homosexuality, for example, as a perversion. Exactly what moral code is the right one, or whether there is any single right one, is not a matter that concerns me directly in this talk. I am concerned only with the more fundamental question, which is a question of philosophical psychology rather than morality – the question what to put in place of the instrumentalized view of sex. If I go on to draw moral conclusions, they will be tentative, and based in a sense of what is at risk in our sexual encounters.3. Persons and animals. The first point to make is that sexual desire belongs to that aspect of the human being which we summarize in the concept of the person. Many of the things that we experience we experience as animals. The pain of a wound is the very same state of mind that a dog might feel if wounded in a similar part. Seeing and hearing, too, we share with animals, and when tired or hungry what we feel does not normally depend upon thought, intention or personality. But there are other states of mind that only persons can experience. For example, while a dog can experience aggression, he cannot experience remorse or shame, cannot wonder about the laws of nature, cannot judge another dog morally, and so on.

  • http://www.thenewatlantis.com
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    David Bentley Hart on the damage of pornography to minds and culture

  • Your Brain on Porn: How Internet Porn Affects the Brain

    EMPOWER YOURSELF AS YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION, AND DISCOVER HOW TO FIND A WAY OUT OF IT Read on your PC, Mac, smart phone or Kindle device. This book will start you on your journey to recovering from your pornography addiction. This is for those who want to understand why this addiction holds them (or others) captive, and how to find a way out. It is a book that will give you hope as you not only understand pornography addiction, but also learn empowering strategies to challenge and overcome the mind-sets that support it. In this book we discuss rewiring your brain, and the term neural bonding is introduced. We will show how changing neural bonding, not just using 'try harder', is the key to success in breaking this bondage. This is an easy to read, and incredibly helpful book. The aim of this ebook is to not only help you understand what is going on under the surface, but to also give practical strategies to give you hope and a road to recovery. "Paul Crawford has done a great job in bringing clarity to a difficult topic in this easy to read book. It will be a powerful, practical, and vital tool in the hands of men, many of whom are desperate for a way of escape from the vice-like grip of porn addiction. This book is realistic, doable, non-judgmental, full of hope, and backed up by years of successful experience." Pastor Tak Bhana Church Unlimited Running With Fire Auckland, New Zealand "At last, a book to help men in an area that is increasingly more common. I pray for so many men with issues around porn, and to be able to recommend a wonderful tool like this is fantastic." Geoff Wiklund Senior Pastor, Eden Assembly of God Promise Keepers, Board Member Auckland, New Zealand "Paul Crawford's book Breaking Pornography Addiction is both a description of the techniques used to help men overcome addiction to pornography, and a guide for those men who are seeking to be freed from this obsession. Included are descriptions of various ways men may become infatuated with pornography... and techniques used to effect freedom from this addiction. The book balances straight forward explanations of the science and psychology of treatment with helpful tips and guidance for the reader. It provides hope for those who may find their circumstances hopeless because of this powerful threat to their wellbeing." Cecil D. Price, MD Director Wake Forest University Student Health Service Winston-Salem, NC 27109 USA Here Is A Preview Of What You'll Learn Magnitude Of The ProblemWhy Do I Do It - What's In It For Me?The Justification Factor - The Role Of The SubconsciousMisbeliefs That Support The AddictionMental Fusions - Triggers And The Slippery SlopeWillpower Is Needed But Is Not Enough In ItselfSociety No Longer Provides The Invisible BarrierThe Way Into Personal Freedom - A Strategy For Moving Forward Take action right away to start your empowering journey today by buying this book, "Breaking Porn Addiction Through Rewiring Your Brain"! Tags: Pornography addiction, addictions, addiction recovery, internet pornography, neuroplasticity, brain rewiring, overcoming addiction, neural bonding

  • https://www.yourbrainonporn.com

    Evolution has not prepared your brain for today’s porn. Are you curious about the latest research on internet porn's effects? Wondering about erectile dysfunction, inability to orgasm or low libido? Escalation to extreme material? A lack of desire for partnered sex? Social anxiety, cognitive problems, lack of motivation? You're in the right place.

  • https://www.vatican.va
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    The Holy Father Francis received in audience the members of the “Meter” Association, 15 May 2021

  • https://www.youtube.com
    Human Dignity and the Problem with Pornography

    In this exclusive segment, Matt Fradd and I discuss the themes of Saint John Paul II's Love and Responsibility and explore how they expose the fundamental problem with pornography. Matt and I have been friends for many years and I recently had the privilege of being on his show, Pints with Aquinas. We had an all out conversation about God, struggles with sexuality, human brokenness, and Theology of the Body. You can check that out over on his channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N12crMjh-I ––––––––––––––––––––– Click the link to join our Patron Community! Your monthly gift helps us continue to put out the message of Theology of the Body to the world. Thank you! https://tobinstitute.krtra.com/t/iwWmB9OY1Ea4 Want to attend a course at the Theology of the Body Institute online or in person? Click the link to view our schedule: https://tobinstitute.org/programs/tobi-schedule/ Check out our store to purchase a Theology of the Body Institute mug, and other cool merch! https://shop.corproject.com/collections/swag/products/tobi-campfire-ceramic-mug?variant=32126174822502 Click here to shop at the Theology of the Body Institute book store: https://shop.corproject.com

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    Introduction The Internet and Pornography Dear Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Major Superiors, esteemed colleagues and fellow participants, it is an honor and privilege to address you this day. Thank you for allowing us to present to you. In the words of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, the new technologies pose a great opportunity and this age is being "transformed." "It is an ever more commonly held opinion that, just as the Industrial Revolution in its day brought about a profound transformation in society by the modifications it introduced into the cycles of production and the lives of workers, so today the radical changes taking place in communications are guiding significant cultural and social developments. The new technologies are not only changing the way we communicate, but communication itself, so much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation. This means of spreading information and knowledge is giving birth to a new way of learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship." Let us take these words to heart! Today's Focus This time together must not only focus on the possibilities that modern technology pose for us and those we serve, but also the perils and problems associated with inappropriate, often troubling and possibly new addictive processes as well. His Holiness also challenges us and the young to be aware of the possible dangers that these new opportunities may pose to us and our very way of being, "Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal encounters with others, provided that attention is paid to avoiding dangers such as enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world. In the search for sharing, for "friends", there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself." 1 Our Tradition The focus for today must be about the safety and care of the children, the young adults, parents, the young and the old - all those we serve. This has been and is our tradition. The current crisis may challenge us in this regard, but let us be clear about this effort and this reality. It is always in our tradition to care for the "least amongst us." [Matthew 25:40] Certainly these days pose new and challenging problems for all who use the Internet and technology, and we will by implication be specifically addressing these individuals who parent our children, teach our children, and pastor our children but they themselves as adults might be also overwhelmed by these challenges and opportunities and they too must be vigilant and sensitive to the possibilities and the problems today associated with the appropriate use of the Internet and technology. Research across cultures and countries indicates that the youth, college students and young adults are the primary users of these new technologies. We would be well served to enter it wisely, completely, and with due haste. Our first and primary concern is safety. This has been and is central to our tradition. Children and adults often enter this world without formal education and training in the proper and appropriate use of the Internet and technology. Research into the negative effects of these gifts demonstrates that if we educate children and ourselves into the ways we might better use these realities, the possibilities of misuse and addiction decrease dramatically. Simply put, research demonstrates that “normal” Internet and proper use of technology must be a taught discipline like the ability to drive. By way of analogy, we must first be driven by an adult who has learned how to drive, we must feel safe and we must learn the rules of the "road." In most parts of the world, we would never give a child keys to a car and place him or her behind the wheel without making sure that they are mature enough to see, to view the road, to learn how to turn the car, manage it properly, to know how to read a map, use speed appropriately, and how to safely park and maintain a car. Why do we do differently with the Internet, cell phones, and modern technology? Clearly, in Rome, when you see how one drives here... many parents of Rome may have forgotten to educate their children properly or like many today with the Internet may have abandoned any formal education in the basics of how to use the roads and the information highway wisely and prudently... but this may not have been the wisest form of education for us who have to get out of their way ... 2 for fear, on the streets of Rome and/or on the information highway. Fear reduction and education in these matters is of paramount importance and is about safety on the roads of Rome and on the information highway in the new millennium. A New Way of Relating The second key point in the use and the misuse of the Internet and technology is that we must see this gift in a different light than most other realities that we have seen and known. This gift, this reality, is evolving and changing as we speak. This demands a new way of relating and adapting. The minute we wrote this presentation, new technologies and new ways of driving on the Internet have been developed and are demanding different responses and additional guidelines. Most companies, governments, and most universities have what is called “planned obsolescence"... in other words; they know that as soon as a computer is sold and bought; the next version that is quicker and better is being prepared to replace the one you just purchased. You cannot manage research, you cannot manage business, you cannot keep pace with the new information that is changing and evolving, if you too do not adapt. This new reality, therefore, presents us with a dramatic and new way of knowing, relating, and being. If we fail to understand this new way and grasp its dynamic nature, our children, parents, priests, our people, and our Church will be at grave risk. Safety would be and could be placed in jeopardy. Again, basic safety, basic knowledge would be compromised and we would be left vulnerable. We can stay stagnant or we can have processes that change with these new modes or processes of informational and relational importance. Without careful attention to this dynamic, our theology and our sense of meaning could be discarded. Children, young adults, parents, teachers, and our priests could be used and discarded as mere objects much more quickly and more rapidly in an already materialistic, hypersexual, and rapidly paced age. New "Rules" for the "Road" It is essential that any new manner of behaving and relating must also have new "rules" of using this technology. As such, the word, "rules" may not apply. 3 Attached to this presentation, please find one religious order's way of managing these new public domains and one Archdiocese's way of responding to these new realities. These are "Guidelines" and as such will change and need to change. As a caveat or concrete suggestion, use language that is adaptable. “Guidelines" or "Policies" is a word in English that connotes concrete suggestions without being set in stone or something that is and will be amended as technology and problems emerge. As we referenced before, speed limits and stop lights in Rome mean one thing here... (if there are any) as opposed to a speed limit in London or Berlin where say precision and attention to every detail and compliance take on new meaning and shall we say, enforcement? In technology and in the use of the Internet, one's "Guidelines" must be adaptable to the ever-changing advances in technology which occur and will occur frequently. The University of Southern California (USC, the Annenberg School/Center for a Digital Future) is one of the premier centers in the world that manage and research international data on the use and trends within the Internet. They have extensive data about the Internet for businesses, users, and academic institutions, and they report, “Through 10 years of studies, we have observed one particularly fascinating constant: that online behavior changes relentlessly, and users and non-users develop attitudes and actions that are constantly in flux as technology emerges, and then thrives or withers, this report, the nine studies that preceded it, and those that will follow, are our ongoing attempt to chronicle this extraordinary interplay between technology and behavior." International data on the use of the Internet seems to indicate a tremendous ability to engage, relate and become healthier and connected to those we love and with whom we work, this new and reassuring data is useful and important. A Gospel Understanding of the Gift Few presentations start with this aspect of the giftedness of the Internet and the emerging role of technology, but this is essential in this presentation. New technologies and the Internet itself are truly incredible gifts. This “transformation,” as His Holiness describes to us, is happening now and will be happening in the foreseeable future. Information exchange is enormous, ever- expanding and is more and more rapid. New cell phone technologies are helping in every aspect of the globe and helping rich and poor alike. Farmers in Africa are getting up to date prices to better anticipate their market needs while in their very fields that they are harvesting their crops. “Wall Street" and "Main Street" 4 are benefiting from immediate and an explosive, omni-present business and marketing information. Communication, classrooms, relationships, business meetings, conferences, information, entertainment that is convenient, immediate and universally accessible makes this new reality an ever-unfolding rich and seemingly endless possibility. It is also critical to not panic. Additionally, Most researchers are finding healthy and appropriate use of the Internet leads to more social connection not less and healthier relationships, in general. One has to avoid what one researcher calls, “jovenoia" similar to the English word, paranoia. There is little evidence to suggest that the Internet or technology is "horrible, evil or awful" for our youth or us. Such language and such a panic are clearly unwarranted. In contrast there is growing data to suggest the opposite. In the words of the Holy Father, we are undergoing another “revolution,” similar to many such revolutions in the history of mankind and our planet. This is the grace of this moment in history and this is also the very challenge and the very peril of this moment. If we fail to grasp this gift, we fail ourselves, our people in our care, and we fail our God, by not responding to the mandate of the Lord in the Gospel of John, "to care for those I have given you." This is the Gospel understanding of this unique gift that we are presented with in the Internet and in the emerging role of technology. Early research across cultures and countries tends to support the simple yet central notion that the Internet enhances familial and social bonds. This data has now been replicated and is now becoming well accepted information about internet use. The “Arab Spring" is testimony to the possible benefits in the political arena of the use of technology and the Internet. Understanding Tentative and New Data As with any gift, there can be a dark side. Reliable information and news can often be sacrificed and research across cultures shows this suspicion of the Internet. Additionally, canon law and our Holy Father have made it clear that the parents must be the first teachers in all matters of sexuality. However, research across cultures clearly indicates that they are not doing this. This is a major international problem and concern. Bishops, pastors, and teachers need to be quite clear that they cannot talk about preventing child abuse until and if they know that the child has been taught of the essential God-given grace, beauty, and giftedness of sexuality. Research also indicates that if a child first views and or experiences 5

  • https://www.youtube.com
    On the Abuse of Sex

    The members of a culture that buys into false philosophies of sexual desire will instrumentalize others and themselves, and risk losing the ability to love. We need to recall that sexual desire directs us not to objects but to human persons. by Roger Scruton