Christian, I imagine, are against prostitution, but don't acknowledge that Jesus and prostitute Mary Magdalene were probably getting it on. Unless gods can't get a stiffy. And if Jesus, god, the holy spirit and the holy ghost were all one being, then isn't Jesus a MFer?
I don't know if I can sustain this argument but just to play the part of Statist-Advocate here...
There are many instances where contracts involving consenting adults are deemed unenforceable and void.
One example is usury. If I borrow money from you and you charge me 30 per cent interest per day you are going to jail (unless you are a major American financial institution) and I will not have to pay anything back. There are actually people who agree to such contracts. Laws exist to protect these people from themselves.
There must be dozens of similar examples.
So let's not let that the fact that we are talking about selling sex here cloud our judgement. And I don't want to to start wanking-off debating with some libertarian about the legitimacy of the state to regulate our lives.
The question is given that government has a legitimate interest and does in fact regulate much of what we as adults do... why should sexual services be banned, as opposed to regulated? Regulation I think is warranted in order to protect children and prevent the spread of disease but as a student of marxism I wonder if it is reasonable to ban prostitution as we would ban slavery in that it objectifies human beings - turns their very bodies into a commodity and therefore de-humanizes them.
As Atheists we may assume that laws are made exclusively by the religious to force everyone to conform to there code of behaviour but sometimes the right laws exist fro the wrong reasons.
A rational, materialist discussion on this topic may merit my (and thinkatheist subscribers) time. So, is there something to debate here without resorting to the standard libertarian drivel? Maybe not.
Neal made the following point on this thread: "Prostitution is legal in many parts of Nevada. What happens when the act is legal? STD's are kept in control, no slave market of young women or men, no pimps. A person can choose to do it, or walk away."
You say, Dave, "I wonder if it is reasonable to ban prostitution as we would ban slavery in that it objectifies human beings - turns their very bodies into a commodity and therefore de-humanizes...[?]"
I don't think sex objectifies humans any more than any other service oriented job. It would seem so, though, if one has been brought up to think of sex as something immoral. There are literally millions of Americans working in the sex trade--prostitutes--gays, too--escorts, masseuse, porn actors, dominatrices, porn suppliers, merchandise, etc.....
Quite frankly I think nobody has any business banning anything unless people are being hurt (against their will) or damage to property is being done.
And if two or more people are paid to have sex so others can watch thats perfectly legal. its called porn. I cant really see the difference. But the porn industry makes a lot of money so the double standard is okay.
Think how much organised crime would suffer if prostitution and drugs were both legalized. Throw in no holds barred immigration and a lot o people are going to loose a lot of money and power. Don't fool yourself that any of this has anything to do with morality and religion. If that actually counted banks would not have the power they have, the pharmaceutical industry leaders would all be in prison, there would be no wars and so on.
If prostitutes can advertise safely on the net with no need for any organisation behind them they are a danger to the status quo. Morality and religion are just the excuses. Money and power the real reasons.