Porno or No?
The Ethical Egoist’s View on Pornography
SOC120: Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
Instructor: Michael Kellam
April 28, 2014
“Everyone, no matter how refined, had a stash of Pornography.”-Tinnean, No One Should Be Alone
Pornography is prevailing everywhere you look. Most people put up with it or deal with it with blind eyes. However, several eyes are wide open. In fact seventy-seven percent of Americans view Pornography at least once a month. On a weekly basis 68 percent of adult men and 18 percent of women use Pornography at least once every week. (Ackman, 2011) Another shocking truth is the pornography industry generate $13 billion each year in the United States alone. Although, most are morally opposed to pornography the numbers are constantly growing faster over a thirty year trend. Does it have an effect on individuals who engage in pornographic activities? What exactly is pornography, and what are the moral conflicts that are so controversial in our society? This paper will discuss pornography topics from an ethical egoist point of view. An ethical egoist is an individual who finds it in their own self-interest to act regardless of the case. Secondly, ethical egoist may practice behaviors in which society would rule as immoral, but it is alright as long as it preserves the person’s self-interest and promotes survival. Ethical egoism is modest and regular, under which an action is to be judged only by the benefit to the person performing the action. We tend to do what the self may, despite others opposing them. The egoist principle of action must satisfy, and pornography diffidently promotes self-happiness and self- help. From the beginning of civilization, pornographic images were found on the walls of caves, inside the ancient pyramids, rock art and petroglyphs in China over 9,000 years ago (Gayle, 2013). Also, 30,000 years ago carvings were found of women with large breast and thick thighs. Furthermore, the ancient Greeks had public sculptures and painting clearly indicating homosexuality, threesomes, and oral sexual actions. In India during the second century a manual or a relationship handbook manifested known as Kama Sutra. Around the world in Peru, ancient pottery with painted sexual scenes. Pornography may be an extremely diverse topic to tackle but the history suggests that human being have always been interested in images of sex. Pornography is defined as printed or visual material containing explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual arousal.(Strossen, 1995) Pornography has no legal definition, it is something that you recognize when you see it. There are no laws that apply to the distribution, purchase, or possession of internet pornography. The word porn actually means “depiction of whores” came from Greeks who painted images on the walls of their brothels. Porn was born by the spread of erotic novels during the mid- 1600’s in France. By 1839 technology drove pornography upon new levels with the form of photography. Soon to follow the same path was video in 1896, filmmakers in France were developing short erotic silent clips with a simple strip tease. The Internet and the invention of the digital camera tore down the barriers to producing pornographic materials. Nowadays it is widely available in publications, film, smartphones, sculptures, painting, video games and the World Wide Web. In our modern technological savvy society, many may actually believe that the internet is strictly for pornography. The traditional pornography industry is dying out and facing hard times, trying to keep up with the internet. Some facts that support there is a decline in traditional pornography is condom use in the adult-film industry rose from seventeen percent to twenty three percent in March 2004; the percentage has since declined again to seventeen and a half percent in...
References: Ackman, D. (2011, May 25). “How big is Pornography?”. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/2001/05/25/0524Pornography.html
Baram, M., ABC News: Free Porn Threatens Adult Film Industry, June 11, 2007, accessed April 6, 2009.
Gayle, D. (2013, February 19). Is this the world 's first Pornography? The incredibly explicit images carved in north-west China 4,000 years ago. Retrieved from Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2279322/Is-worlds-Pornography-The-incredibly-explicit-images-carved-north-west-China-4-000-years-ago.html
Kendrick,W. (1987). The secret museum: Pornography in modern culture. University of California, Berkley Press.
McMahon, R. (2010). Porn addiction destroys relationships, lives. Retrieved from The Chronical: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Porn-addiction-destroys-relationships-lives-3272230.php#page-2
Shiffrin, S. & Choper, J. (1996). The First amendment: Cases, comments, questions. St. Paul: West Publishing Co.
Stoller, R. (1991). Pornography: Myths for the twentieth century. New Haven, CT.: Yale University Press.
Strossen, N. (1995). Defending Pornography. New York: Scribner.
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