The concept of pornography begins with religion and its concept of sin. In the West, prior to the intrusion of The Christian church, sexual representations were "erotica," which is purely a descriptive term. Once the church got involved, erotica became "pornography" (literally, graphics of whores). "Pornography" (the word) isn't a descriptive term, it's a negatively judgmental term.

I think if more atheists understood that pornography as something bad is an invention of religious folk, and not something which is necessarily wrong or bad, tolerance of it in the atheist community might result. This isn't to say that some sorts of porn are necessarily good, such as pedophile porn, but we need to understand that erotica isn't new, and that it's a natural expression of natural interests and tendencies.

What's unnatural is the attitude that there is something inherently wrong with it.

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In a genetic sense, everyone who never had sex has died. 

Well, archaeopteryx is still alive. :P

Kinda obvious.

Porn isn't bad, filthy or evil, and ironically the people who claim it as such are usually the most sexually repressed freaks, and always on the border of breaking down.

Whenever someone talks about how porn and sexuality is disgusting, evil and immoral, you can bet your ass there's a good chance they got some little naked children chained up in their basements. Either that or 50 GB of animal porn on their hard drive.

You can be a hypocrite and deny your nature all you want, but in the end it'll catch up.

And, indeed, the idea that porn is "disgusting, evil and immoral" explains the morbid fascination with it in the minds of the religious. I always say that the most dangerous guy isn't the one who beats off to porn but the one who believes that his only permitted sexual outlet is sex with a woman but can't find a woman to do it with. Add to that some issues with women as the source of all evil or anger toward their mom and...there you go!

As an example: It's a lot of fun when you're arguing with a homophobe, and you point out to them that they're thinking more about gay sex and porn than the gays themselves do.

That pisses them off so much.

I think the religious folk seem to have a problem with masturbation, rather than sex.  There are acceptable circumstances in the religious mindset where sex is permissible, but as far as I am aware, masturbation never reaches those circumstances.  Pornography seems to have more of a connotation with masturbation, and as such, it is seen to be the fuel that operates the sin train.

What a load of imbecility that is.

Not exactly. They have a problem with sex before marriage, too. Oh, and adultery, but a lot of us don't think a lot of that as well.

It's even worse when the less educated among them will try to use the story of Onan to inveigh against masturbation... when it's clear from reading the story that doG was mad at him for premature withdrawal.  Which come (pun intended) to think of it happens a lot in porno flicks.

I suppose "substantial penalty for early withdrawal" goes back a long way.

You gotta love yourself before you can love others! :D

This is interesting. "A report that will be voted on in the European Union parliament March 12 could lay the groundwork for laws banning pornography across all media -- including the Internet -- and could potentially restrict civil liberties, free speech advocates claim."

Is there even a mechanism to do this?  I read the article, it seems rather vague as to how such a ruling might be implemented.

By what mechanism? I imagine it would be through making laws forcing the ISP's to block porn sites. How they'd keep it out of email, SMS, FTP, etc., I have no idea. It seems impossible to block totally. They'd just be creating an underground that'd be all but impossible to monitor. Even the Chinese can't stop it totally. 


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