Stephanie T Butler
March 11th, 2014
PHIL 1550 B
Matthew MacLennan Pornography, the material that is responsible for many lonely men and women to experience some sort of pleasure, while avoiding the physical, and emotional aspect of a sexual partner. In other words, to avoid the hassle of nagging, judgement, or perhaps the modesty of a potential sexual partner. Many people often view pornography as harmless, pleasurable, and part of their private sexual lives. When pornography becomes violent, however, it tends to contradict the main reasons pornography is permissible. For instance, pornography is harmful, it is harmful because it is pleasurable, and this dilemma affects all of society; not just the private sexual lives of individuals. Simultaneously, violent pornography creates a justification for the violent acts being portrayed. In other words, I will be arguing that violent pornography is harmful, discriminating, inequitable, and is becoming desensitized as it continues to be produce, therefore, pornography should be banned.
It is important for people to voice their opinions during all sorts of arguments. Moreover, it would be immoral to silence people’s right to speak freely. An opinion is greatly shaped by the authoritative or governmental figures, or the side of an argument to which the person feels a tendency to abide by (LaFollette, 2012). To possess a strong opinion, according to Mill, there must be discussion to show how the experience is to be interpreted (LaFollette, 2012). The reason being that facts, by itself, are not strong enough to be used without comments to bring out their meaning (LaFollette, 2012). People hold various opinions that may or may not conflict with the opinions of others, which can lead to harm. A problem arises, however, when free speech overrides harm of society as a whole.
Harm could involve physical, emotional, and social harm that deliberately inflicts injury people (Dictionary.com, 2014). The question to examine here would be if free speech does, in fact, outweighs harm of society as a whole? John Stuart Mill would respond by saying that society should not restrict speech if the opinion to be repressed is false or true, because what matters is how the person argues their opinion to the point that their opponent becomes intemperate (LaFollette, 2012). In other words, a strong case for an argument can supersede the harm that it inflicts as long as it can be justified that the harm done is worth more than any alternative route (LaFollette, 2012). Similar to the utilitarian view of morality, the action is based on how good the consequences are compared to the alternatives (LaFollette, 2012). Mill, therefore, is a utilitarian who believes that free speech’s consequences are just as good as or better than any of the alternatives (LaFollette, 2012). When this perspective is applied to pornography, however, free speech is questioned as being a separate component in the pornography industry (LaFollette, 2012). Ultimately, many theorists in favour of my argument disregards violent pornography as more significant than the harm that it causes. As previously mentioned, harm includes deliberately inflicting injury on others, whether it is physical, emotional, or social. In pornography, harm is constantly incorporated as a stimulation for sexual arousal (LaFollette, 2012). Pornography is defined as the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words that also includes women dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities; enjoying pain or humiliation or rape; being tied up, cut up, mutilated, bruised; in postures of sexual submission; reduced to body parts, penetrated by objects or animals, presented in scenarios of degradation, injury, torture; shown as filthy or inferior, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual (LaFollette, 2012). According to