Posted by: matt25 | September 30, 2014

Incest and Rational Thinking About Pornography

IMG_0466.JPG

Have you ever thought about incest and the reasons it isn’t accepted behavior? This isn’t a topic that most people in our culture ever consider rationally. If they consider it at all, they may not dig any deeper than emotional reactions or the possibility of birth defects in children born from the union of people who are closely related. In a world of shifting patterns of what is considered morally acceptable behavior, the taboo against incest still holds mostly firm but, since that may not be true for our children or their children, some deeper thinking is in order.

This is not a new question. In fact it was one that Thomas Aquinas addressed In the Supplement to his Summa, where he discusses questions of consanguinity. This was brought to my attention in a recent post by Christopher O. Tollefsen, Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina, in which he shows Aquinas had three arguments against incest which are strikingly similar to three observed results of the use of pornography. I recommend reading the entire post but here is a portion:

– First, there is an erosion of the sexual integrity of young men and women, who have no place to escape the pressures of a sexualized world.
– Second, use of porn among young people is correlated with early, and risky, sexual activity. Such activity is itself harmful to those engaged in it, to their families, and to the stability or even possibility of their future marriages.
– And third, porn use destabilizes marital relationships, bringing competition into the home. Indeed, the worry that wives cannot “compete” with what their husbands see online is a frequent complaint of those who are married to porn users.

Perhaps our cultural taboo against incest is quite wise after all. Perhaps the cultural acceptance of pornography is not. I know what I think about it and I know it is worth thinking about.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: