A Terrific Article about Pornography

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 15 Aug 2016, 21:11

One point I don't remember the article mentioning that I brought up on the other thread is that the internet has been a permanent game-changer in this case but it looks like the Church doesn't want to accept the current reality and adjust to it. Their familiar toolset for controlling people's behavior of guilt, shame, fear, and social pressure that actually used to work fairly well to prevent LDS men and especially married LDS men from doing this similar to the way they currently work for the Word of Wisdom no longer work as effective deterrents nearly as well anymore because now it is more like masturbation where it costs men nothing and they can easily get away with it without anyone that would disapprove knowing about it.

So now more LDS men are certainly going to continue to view porn/nudity repeatedly than the way it used to be no matter how wrong and unacceptable anti-porn moral crusaders act like it is. That's why I think the more they try to push the idea that this supposedly makes men unworthy the more it will backfire by causing more LDS men to fall away and encouraging many LDS women to judge men relatively harshly over this sometimes to the point of divorce. The fact that they aren't quite as obsessed with trying to completely stamp out masturbation, romance novels, etc. already shows that they don't absolutely have to do this but it seems like it has become one of their favorite boogeymen they have singled out to focus on for whatever reason. In fact here in Utah of all the problems legislators could spend time worrying about they recently passed a resolution declaring porn a "public health crisis" and when this was reported Holland was going on about this as if the sky was falling. For exmple look at the following news quote.
"Society must see this evil like the epidemic it is," said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "This ought to be seen like a public health crisis, like a war, like an infectious fatal epidemic, like a moral plague on the body politic that is maiming the lives of our citizens."
Really? Why? Suppose that never happens on a large scale; what difference will it make for the average person in real life (not in terms of hypothetical "spiritual" consequences)?
"Truth is what works." - William James

Roy
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Roy » 16 Aug 2016, 09:39

This article talks specifically about an approach to having this sensitive discussion with your adolescent children.

I agree that some of our all or nothing rhetoric is just driving the problem underground with heaps of shame. I want my son to know that he is not deviant or deficient.
Heber13 wrote:Recently we have had talks about it again with my boys, especially with the one getting ready to get his mission papers done and is sure to have to talk about it with priesthood leaders. And my talks with the boys went well. I think it helps them have some perspective on it and reduce some of the fears about it and be aware of the evils around it. Sometimes talks start awkward, but they are well-worth it to have the door open to have the discussion.
Yes, to be able to talk about it is key. My son is 8. I really hope to eventually talk to him about what a great kid he is and how these desires and emotions are normal (if somewhat overwhelming during the puberty years). This is not a fatal flaw, or Achilles heel, or chink in the whole Armor of God. Someday, he will be a good husband and partner for a young woman of his choosing (and at that time she will equally choose him). In the interim - it is natural to explore some. I believe it is important to avoid extremes. I also believe that it is important to grow and maintain healthy respect towards all human beings as complete individuals (as opposed to just one dimensional images on a screen).
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Heber13
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Heber13 » 16 Aug 2016, 10:27

The trick is how to talk about it responsibly because of the real evils and problems that exist.

The problem I hear DA talk about is that it becomes institutionalized in missions and priesthood interviews.

Those are the lowest forms of teaching and motivation. Perhaps it is better than nothing, with a risk young people actually thing it is a good thing when it is not.

But it feels to me like it is akin to alcohol. For most people, moderation in all things would work, it's not good and should be avoided but not an "epidemic" unless they make it to be so and start prohibition laws.

But for a few small number of people, it really could be disastrous for their lives and relationships, or the industry having awful things as a result of the demand.

So to make it easy, just have everyone in the church agree to avoid it always and that takes care of it from a teaching point of view. That's easy.

Even if alcohol isn't going to ruin your soul with one sip. Same with this.

But the church takes the easy way and avoids talks about sex.

It's not the best situation, and therefore parents MUST fill in the gaps.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 16 Aug 2016, 21:12

Heber13 wrote:The trick is how to talk about it responsibly because of the real evils and problems that exist...The problem I hear DA talk about is that it becomes institutionalized in missions and priesthood interviews...Those are the lowest forms of teaching and motivation. Perhaps it is better than nothing, with a risk young people actually thing it is a good thing when it is not...But it feels to me like it is akin to alcohol. For most people, moderation in all things would work, it's not good and should be avoided but not an "epidemic" unless they make it to be so and start prohibition laws...But for a few small number of people, it really could be disastrous for their lives and relationships, or the industry having awful things as a result of the demand...So to make it easy, just have everyone in the church agree to avoid it always and that takes care of it from a teaching point of view. That's easy...Even if alcohol isn't going to ruin your soul with one sip. Same with this.
Personally I think they talk about it too much and if they never said anything about it then the overall results would actually be better for almost everyone involved. Just because they tell everyone it it wrong, terrible, etc. that doesn't mean hearing that repeatedly will actually stop most LDS men from doing this. So what happens when it is demonized so much but a significant number of LDS men continue to do this anyway?

It's basically a question of how much "sin" can we live with or not and why? For example, it seems like the Church is already content to live with the "sin" of masturbation to some extent and I think the primary reason why is that deep down they know that there would be practically no men/young men left to pass the sacrament, go on missions, get married in the temple, accept many callings, etc. if it required the same drawn out groveling repentance process as fornication to be temple worthy and/or was openly condemned as much as porn.

However, Church leaders still act like they cannot live with members disobeying the WoW and are happy to let this be an absolute deal-breaker to really separate the sheep from the goats. My main point is that the internet has completely changed the whole dynamic so that I'm not sure Church leaders have a very good idea what they are doing with this whole war on porn because it just doesn't look like a battle they are going to win over the long run in terms of the number that will actually happily do what they are told in this case versus the number that will it will mostly serve to alienate and/or de-motivate.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Aug 2016, 09:02

I agree that obsessive focus causes more damage than simply teaching a correct principle and having people make the connections on their own.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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