Let's Digress

Pornography and Ethics

Warning: This post contains adult terms and talks about culturally sensitive things. No kids allowed. Seriously, grown ups only. 

This is the transcript of a conversation I had with an individual on social media recently. The link below is the original blog post from a third-party author. It’s an excellent, lengthy, and well-written post that is incredibly counter-cultural. I suggest reading that post first, before reading the rest of this one. 

Original article/post: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/porn-is-the-quickest-way-to-cheat-on-your-wife-and-emasculate-yourself/

The transcript has not been altered other than for changing names.

“But what if a guy looked at porn where the “actors” were 18 but, for the purposes of the fantasy, they played 12-year-olds? …would you be comfortable having this guy come over and babysit?”

Calisto: If a guy is talking about his porn preferences while in an interview for babysitting, then you have bigger reasons to reject him other than what he’s watching. If you do not know what he watches, then it makes no difference (and it should not).


Adam: If you’re interviewing a potential childcare candidate and do not know that they’re a convicted sex offender, does it still not make any difference?

Just like other drugs, pornographic stimuli has to be continually increased to achieve the same “high” as previous exposures to it. Meaning that eventually just watching images or videos won’t be enough, that’s part of the reason why there are studies supporting the theory of how extreme porn often leads to real-life actions.

So, individuals who watch porn where adults pretend to be minors—early-adolescent children—would seem to imply that 1) there is something incredibly dark and twisted going on inside of them that needs to be addressed on multiple levels. Once again, these are individuals who are obtaining sexual gratification from the illusion of exploiting children in one of the most abhorrent manners conceivable, and 2) they have a higher likelihood of eventually taking real-life sexual action against children compared to those who don’t watch that kind of material.

Can you elaborate how it doesn’t make any difference?


Calisto: It’s very simple. You have no idea what type of porn somebody watches unless they tell you.

Let’s run through your example. You are interviewing the following for a babysitting position:

1) 24 year old male. Says he attends church twice a week. Currently in college for engineering.

2) 18 year old female. Has 5 years of babysitting experience. Knows baby CPR and works as a lifeguard on the weekends.

3) 22 year old male. Currently engaged. Works at a nursing home. Has a small tattoo.

Which of these three watches “young fantasy” porn?

The answer is:

You can’t tell. Because it makes no difference, unless they make the choice to become a sexual predator. What they do in their free time is between them and God. If they go beyond that and start raping people, then you are going to find out for a reason that has nothing to do with the porn they watch. You claim that porn is like a drug, and it gives less and less of a high, but that is a very academic statement coming from a source that, to be honest, doesn’t know what it’s talking about. Porn is not some drug that forces people into sex crimes. Criminals commit crime, not porn viewers.


Adam: Correct, we can’t tell unless blatant evidence is displayed to us somehow.

That wasn’t my source for porn having drug-like qualities; my sources are these: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2014/02/03/brain-chemicals-and-porn-addiction/ and http://fightthenewdrug.org/the-disturbing-link-between-porn-and-sex-crimes/

No, porn does not force people to participate in sex crimes, that is absurd. However, chronic porn use, even more so with the extreme stuff, is often a gateway to bigger and worse things that are done in real life to real people. Not all porn viewers are criminals, but there are studies supporting that most criminals are porn viewers. Not to mention that the majority of sex offenders behave as if it is a compulsion that they can’t stop or control. It’s a gateway vice that can lead to much worse behavior that is much more difficult to stop.

What we do in our free time is strictly between us and God? 1) If we’re bringing God into this, then perhaps we should begin talking about the spiritual morality of watching porn period, not just the ethical questionability of fantasy child porn. That is an even more open and shut case of it being morally wrong and spiritually detrimental. 2) If our free time is strictly just ours and God’s business, then where do we draw the line? Was what Jared Fogel did in his spare time with children just between him and God?

The point is not if we do or do not know what kind of sexually explicit material someone indulges in. The point is that if someone indulges in sexually explicit material featuring children or adults pretending to be children, then it is an obvious indication that a much bigger problem is going on inside of that person, making it unwise to have them around children. At what point will they begin looking lustfully or longingly at the children they’re around? Even with just looking at children they see in real life, their behavior has switched from strictly something on-screen to real life directed at a real person.

No, we don’t often know who these people are. But that doesn’t change the fact that there is still something disturbingly and horrifically insidious taking place inside of them.


Calisto: I read the articles you linked.

To summarize them, they claim that porn almost identically mimics the body’s reaction to sex. Then they make an unproven claim that all porn viewers will mindlessly and relentlessly seek out more intense porn to reproduce the initial high, and when that is not enough, they might advance to sexual experiences and/or crimes.

This is not only untrue, but it is opposite what is found to actually happen.

In this article:


The author points out that the people who go from porn to sex crimes are the same people who are likely to commit crimes anyway, regardless of porn. So criminals commit crimes. Porn does not make them do it.

Furthermore, he links this study—a 15 year study of the Czech Republic during a time before and after pornography was legalized.


Sex crimes immediately dropped after porn became widespread. There was a jump in rapes (the causes of which the study examines in depth), but this number dropped within a year down to an overall decrease.

They literally found that when people had access to porn, they were less likely to rape other people. It is a satisfactory substitute for sex that does not typically lead a person to commit crimes in search of greater satisfaction.


Porn is good for a society.


Adam: Well, obviously we both have vastly different fundamental ideas about morality, sexually explicit material, and the ramifications that porn has on both an individual and societal level. It would also appear that regardless of opposing evidence, ethical points, or God-esk spiritual arguments, that your mind is set on the idea of porn, even child porn (and porn where adults pretend to be and look like children), being good and healthy for both the individual and society.

If anything, I feel that this discussion has solidified my point that there are, in fact, deeper and malicious problems with sexually explicit material, especially so with material pertaining to children and adults looking like children partaking in sexual behavior that grown adults watch for sexual gratification. But on another level I think it also shows just how far our society has fallen, even so low to the point where culturally, it is acceptable—even encouraged—to support and avidly watch such material.

So, I’m going to keep my moral footing on this one and not alter my position. You can do as you wish in your free time, after all, that’s only between you and God and isn’t anyone else’s business.


Calisto: Are you kidding me? At what point did I say that child porn was okay? Go ahead and copy that sentence for me. I’ll wait.

Your argument is that porn is harmful to the individual because it has drug-like qualities and addiction potential. That is not a good argument. Soda is addictive. Candy is addictive. Hamburgers, smartphones, EXERCISE is addictive. You know what makes an addiction bad? A lack of moderation. This is when you cross the line from enjoying something that we are biologically designed to enjoy to getting diabetes, obesity, poor social conduct, and anorexia.

Porn is no different. If you abuse it and seek it to the neglection of all else, then of course it will be harmful to you! But you have not provided any evidence that a casual usage of porn is harmful. You’ve provided the opinions of various people. We call that the Appeal to Authority Fallacy. A doctor might agree with you, but that doesn’t make him right. I provided peer-reviewed, detailed, and complex evidence that shows that the addition of porn is beneficial to a society.

There are no inherent problems with porn. If you want to abstain from it, then fine. More power to you. But when you accuse the hundreds of millions of people who watch porn of being incapable of resisting the temptation to escalate from looking at lingerie to raping a child, then somebody has to step in and tell you how horribly, horribly wrong you are.


Adam: Your defense of all genres pornography has been an overarching theme for this entire discussion. “If you do not know what he watches, then it makes no difference (and it should not).” “It should not” is they key phrase for that one, implying that whatever the individual views in their free time is okay and shouldn’t have any bearing on anyone else. Especially when it’s closely followed with, “What they do in their free time is between them and God.” And, “Porn is good for society.”

There hasn’t been any talk at all of pornography with children or adults pretending to be children possibly being a bad thing mentioned anywhere from you. Only talk of sex crimes being bad, which are only performed by criminals that aren’t linked at all whatsoever to the use of pornographic material and how all porn is healthy and good to watch. Doctors might agree with me, yes, and the majority of people on a sex offender list would definitely agree with you.

Regardless of how valid you think my argument of porn being addictive in a manner similar to drug use is, it doesn’t change the morality of what I’m arguing: 1) Child pornography with children is wrong. 2) Pornography where adults look like and pretend to be children is also wrong. 3) People who watch such material have something very gruesome and broken going on inside of them that needs to be addressed on multiple levels. The very fact of them watching such material screams that they find something about children or the sexual taboo of children to be sexually appealing and gratifying. 4) It’s only a very small step for that to turn into longingly/lustfully staring at, gawking at, and thinking about real children in real life.

Are you saying that you’re against this genre of pornography now? If not, where is the moral line drawn? Is looking at real children in real life with sexual ideations okay? Technically doing that isn’t hurting anyone, right? For it to be wrong, does there have to be some sort of physical contact between the individual and child? What if it’s “innocent” contact, like a high five? Where is the line drawn?

Or could it be that it’s all bad behavior? That is certainly a high possibility in a context pertaining to God, Christianity, and spiritual health.

Knowing that someone watches such material—regardless if it actually is or isn’t addictive, is or isn’t linked to related criminal offenses, and is or isn’t linked with real life action taken towards children—just a person viewing it “casually” for sexual gratification, I still wouldn’t be comfortable with them working around children. Certainly not my own children, if I had any. I’m also confident that the majority of parents with children would agree with me, I’ve asked.


Helvetica with the micdrop: To answer this question: “But what if a guy looked at porn where the “actors” were 18 but, for the purposes of the fantasy, they played 12-year-olds? …would you be comfortable having this guy come over and babysit?”

No. No I would not be comfortable having this guy come over and babysit. Question answered.


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