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January 17, 2011

Comments

Robin Goodfellow

"But from time to time we need to pause and give rational, biblical expression why..."

Sorry, you lost credibility right there.

Religion was never invented with rationality in mind.

Some of its rules, yes, but as a base of logic in general, no.

Cady Driver

Thanks for your post, Robin. I'm just curious, but can you support your belief that religion does not possess logic?

Melissa May

Humans throughout the ages and in every corner of the world have by and large always possessed some sort of rudimentary religious belief. To discount the religious expression of morality simply because it's religious is silly. One doesn't have to believe in a particular religion to grasp the importance of it's tenets on a society.

Cady doesn't lose any credibility for believing in biblical principles and sharing an article that left an impression on her. If anything, it's those who react in knee-jerk fashion to the mere mention of religion who lose credibility because in so doing, they prove that they lack the ability to separate belief in a religion from simple understanding of that religion's beliefs.

The point of this post was highlight a man's take on modesty and his willingness to speak out publicly on the matter. Whether his stance was based on religious teachings or not isn't the point because his arguments were credible either way.

robert

A few thoughts from a man:

IMO, the author GREATLY overstates his case. We are not talking about a billboard on a highway which is thrust upon us against our will, we are dealing with a newspaper which people can choose to purchase and view, or not.

It is misplaced to feel shame for a professional model who willfully chooses to participate in ads for undergarments.

A man who sees ads such as this and as a result develops difficulties dealing with women as dignified people, or develops prurient fantasies, or becomes dissatisfied with his wife, obviously has many underlying issues which really need to be addressed by a professional counselor. Normal, healthy men should have absolutely no trouble dealing properly with women (or their own wife) after viewing such ads.

A normal, healthy woman should be able to view such an ad in its proper context. It is a professional model who is not at all representative of the vast majority of women. A normal man should be able to appreciate this too. If a woman develops issues of self esteem as a result of viewing such ads, she (imo) has underlying issues which should be addressed by a professional counselor.

Perhaps if our society was made up of all saints, the author may be right in his assertions. The reality is, for better or worse, this ad does not do dammage in a society of healthy men and women.

Just my thoughts.

Cady Driver

Thank you for your point of view, Robert. I must respectfully disagree with you, though. I think that great harm has been done in our society through the hardening of our sensibilities to such ads, TV shows, etc.

The problem isn't that the model is just doing her job...the problem is that the model (and society) has been deceived into thinking that her job is perfectly legitimate and perfectly fine. What you are believing about viewing women in these states of undress is, quite frankly, a lie.....and it's the greatest lie out there. This lie states that it is perfectly alright for women to exhibit themselves in various stages of undress and that there is no harm in it for society and that secure people should be able to handle it just fine.

Tell me....please....do you have evidence of no harm to our society? Because I see evidence of great harm and it's apparent everywhere you look.

Robin Goodfellow

I meant to say I was quoting the article (I did read it, btw, I didn't just stop at the R word).

Though I think that this is understood.

I take issue with religion because it's employed as an agenda, but accommodated in the name of a(n often) self-serving righteousness.

As much as it is a knee-jerk reaction from [me] to discredit something because of religious mores, it is to the other side just as much an impulse to use religion as a basis to judge others and assume propriety. Like I said, I'm not religious, but I don't think Christ would be too proud of his faithful using his message of love and understanding to say "told you so".

I also don't think I have to be religious to say what I just did.

Currently, even if it's not the intent, I'm under the impression that certain religious people never check themselves for bias... this is the leading cause for friction between theists, and atheists (which acknowledge their own distrust... and shame on them if they don't!).

The base of the author's moral correctness was religious, which, according to religious rights and freedoms, isn't to be imposed or demanded of anyone. The things that can be demanded of me, the "right and wrong", "laws", are not delivered to me by the church but the state. And while I do acknowledge its religion-based law system, it's (in the Western world) now supposedly based on human civil rights. Otherwise, the social norms imposed on me (or anyone) are based on any type of respectful person, be they religious or not.


I also said that religion as a "base" for logic doesn't work. Religion is effectively the practice of a faith, and faith isn't logical/rational.

Eg.
The Catholic Church's original view that the universe revolved around the Earth... which Galileo proved otherwise, and was burned at the stake for.

Annnnnnnnnnnyway...


The thing is I really want you guys to "win", but all nodding your heads in agreement to what you already feel because of how your faith supports you, won't prove anything to your opponents.

The propriety of any one religion, from a logical stand point, isn't inherent to everyone. So the only effective way to irrefutably prove the value of modesty as _universal_, is to do so without religious argument.


robert

Cady,

I understand that we respectfully disagree.

I believe, as I've stated, that normal, healthy, secure men should have no problem viewing women in various stages of undress. No harm should come to the man or to society as a whole.

Do I have evidence of this?

It is impossible for me (or anyone) to prove the non-existence of anything- in this case (non) harm to society. It is like asking an atheist to prove that a Supreme Being does not exist-it can't be done-it's impossible to do. Atheists believe the way they do not b/c they have proof of the non existence of a deity, but rather b/c they believe that the existence of a deity has not been substantially proven. I also believe that extra terrestrial aliens do not exist. Can I prove this? No. The burden of proof is upon those who do believe in the existence of et's.

The burden of proof is upon the one who makes a proposition. In this case the burden is to prove that "great harm" comes to society when images of women in various states of undress are viewed by normal, healthy men. Can you, Cady, furnish any proof that harm comes to society from the viewing of images? Where do you see evidence of "great harm"?

Boyd

Proof? You're joking... right?

Not only has it been common sense knowledge for centuries, voiced by philosophers and religious gurus alike, there is a growing body of science that proves there are harmful consequences to even "normal, healthy, secure" men who view "images of women in various stages of undress" (i.e. porn).

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." - Mahatma Ghandi

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Buddha

"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
- Marcus Aurelius

"It is the mind that makes the body rich; and as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit." - Shakespeare

"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking." - Albert Einstein


http://www.drjudithreisman.com/archives/brain.pdf

"Dr. Victor Cline, Professor of Psychology, noted researcher and counselor in the area of the effects of pornography states: "In the scientific world the question of pornography effects is no longer a hot issue. It's really not debated any more. The scientists and professionals are no longer 'pretending not to know.' The new pornography commission is almost redundant. (1986) Everybody knows that pornography can cause harm, it can also change people's sexual appetites, values and behavior. . . . It's a power form of education. It can also condition people into deviancy. It can also addict. There are too many articles in the scientific journals as well as current books reviewing research attesting to this for anybody to deny its effects anymore."

"Dr. Jennings Bryant, head of the radio-television school of communication at the University of Houston said that exposure to so-called "soft" pornography (that which is found on the covers of magazines in many stores) has greater effects than most people realize. He states on p. 3 of this report: "We're finding proof that this (less violent) stuff is doing harm, and something has to be done about it." Dr. Bryant's study finds that men and women who are exposed to non-violent pornography have altered views about the roles of family, marriage and morals in society."

Cady Driver

Hi again, Robin! I understand your thoughts completely about religion and faith and I can sympathize with your prejudices against people of faith.

Although faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen, it is not completely based on unreality nor is it irrational or without proof. (even scientific proof, amazingly!)

I am not attempting to start up a discussion about intelligent design vs. evolution (b/c that would be a long discussion!) :) I just find it wonderfully fascinating to study different creatures whose unique characteristics make evolution impossible. Creatures such as the bombardier beetle, the giraffe and the butterfly (and that is only scratching the surface!)

What about the Fibonnacci golden spiral, literally called "God's fingerprint" on nature? The mathematical impossibility of this spiral to evolve itself perfectly all through nature is basically nil. The precise mathematical equation that makes up the spiral is found in a nautilus seashell, the ram's horn, the fern, even some galaxies....etc.

Even in the cell world, things like the flagellum, the tail-like projection that aids the cell in locomotion....things like these that need every single part to work properly and that prove beyond a doubt that it could not have evolved slowly.....it's proof like this that is thrilling beyond words and so incredibly fascinating!


Studying nature, how it is put together points me more and more towards the fact that there is a Creator, there is incredible intelligence in the design and we are one day going to be held accountable for our lives to this Creator.

Anyhow, not to get carried away, but it's just so interesting!

So, in response to your thoughtful post, I do believe that religion is not just blind belief....it's truly not just people feeling around in the dark, making things up as they go. The evidence surrounds us on all sides. It just takes one a little effort to open your eyes and see that the heavens do declare the glory of God and the earth does show off His handiwork.

:)

Science is so much fun! lol

Ben Woolridge

I believe morality is a common thread of religion and law. In addition, I believe morals should be observed for the public good and not simply overlooked for the pleasure and profit of others. The author provides a much needed voice from a gender that is typically portrayed as intrinsically chauvinistic.

Darla Gaylor

On the idea of religion, it was noted earlier that people have always had some sort of rudimentary religion or belief structure. I agree. Interestingly, as "secularism" is on the rise, I see no change in the desire of humans to create religions out of anything (but God, of course)- animals, the environment, science, humans, politics, and even more, I'm sure. People worship at these altars and consider themselves full of reason and logic, above those who believe in a Creator. Such a shame to worship the creation and not the Creator and call oneself "reasonable."

Stacy

It's definitely nice to hear a man speak up and see a man who truly cares about raising his sons to be real men.
And sorry to disappoint anyone that didn't "check" themselves, but Galileo was not burned at the stake. But I have to somewhat agree with Robin that he loses credibility with a lot of people by bringing in the Bible. Just as I think some evolutionists (Dawkins, Krauss...) lose a lot of credit religious people by purposely offending them and calling them stupid.
If you go to chastity.com they talk about issues like pornography and have variations on their talks, the option of a religious-oriented talk or a secular one. They also have great citations, from sources like CDC.
research-audiovault-chastity at Harvard is a really good secular talk to which I've directed atheist friends.
Anyway, I think that if a "healthy" person regards these images as nothing/normal then I don't want to be healthy. When my husband was a kid his Italian friend talked about nudity etc. being no big deal because in Europe there are naked people in commercials and beaches and my husband's response at that young age was that he didn't think he'd like that because he might become jaded.

robert

Boyd,

I disagree with your assertion that it has been common sense knowledge "for centuries"-what is your source for this? There are certainly philosophers and religious people who have and currently advocate for a nudist lifestyle.

You can find articles on both sides of the issue. I do not believe that it has been conclusively proven one way or the other as to whether harm comes to a normal person, or to society from the viewing of women in various stages of undress. The links below show that it very well may be beneficial to engage in nudist activity. Certainly, citing only those articles that conform to your opinion while ignoring articles that offer opposing viewpoints is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest. The greatest harm comes to society when people refuse to acknowledge that their opinion is not the only possible perspective.

http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/24390

http://www.experiencegrace.com/bible_society_and_nudity/bible_society_and_nudity_chapter5end.html

http://www.humanismbyjoe.com/dont_knock_nudism.htm

Robin Goodfellow

Thanks for your response, Cady. I've always been irked by your posts before, but I think I'll see you in a different light now. A comrade instead of opponent.

Indeed, I do acknowledge the intricacies that intersect both faith and science.

On this note, Albert Einstein himself said:

"There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle."

And yet he also said:

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

(http://www.heartquotes.net/Einstein.html)

I feel equally akin to both of these statements.

Note that these quotes don't "prove" any point. I just feel that religion and science are two sides of the same coin, and wanted an esteemed example of someone who felt the same way.


Back to the OT, I want the arousal from seeing [women] in various stages of undress not vilified (and rather desired, in its proper context). But in its current application, it's imposition on women when it's so public does indeed hurt them.

To flip things around, I'm the only guy in my department at work. One day they were talking about the new "Spartacus" series, and how all the men were bare-chested pieces of eye-candy. While I told myself "Meh, what did you expect them to act like?", I also silently felt compared to, and hated it (AND the stigma attached to a _guy_ feeling insecure about his body in that situation). I imagine that's how other women feel around guys when they see images like the one in the article.


@ Stacy,

Alright, it's true. He wasn't burned at the stake (although the Inquisition wasn't so nice to him later). He even "apologized" for criticizing the church. I did actually do a quick wiki search before I used the example of Galileo and admit to using some generalities for my purposes.

Also, you're a godsend for that link (irony intended :P). I was unaware of such secular forums existing.

Cady Driver

Well, I'm glad that my irksomeness has diminished some.....lol

Honestly, I think that intelligent and polite dialogue concerning these issues is really good! It gets people thinking and it means that we are all concerned enough about our society that we're able to thoughtfully work through the kinks.

I think that that is the purpose of this blog....to get people thinking. (myself included!) :)

Thanks for your post, Robin! It's always welcome.

Anonymous

Regarding the argument that "healthy" people would look at the picture and move on..... what about the unhealthy people? Is there any social responsibility for them?

For the record, I do believe that ads like these ARE harmful to the viewers, whether subtly or not. My husband and I work with a youth group at church, and when we do purity studies with the students, we often hear that the first time these boys are exposed to the nearly-nude female figure was in the ad from the newspaper or their mother's Victoria's Secret catalogue, etc. Many go from there to seek out cable programs or the internet to see more, and before they are 18 years old, some "healthy" boys have a full-blown pornography addiction. But, as I've read in posts before, not everyone reading this blog agrees on exactly what is a pornography addiction. :/

This is how my own healthy husband's addiction started. He thought that he wouldn't need to look at porn once he was married, but he was in so much denial that he even watched some while we were on our honeymoon while I was relaxing on the beach (he had brought our laptop so we could listen to music in our room). Our intimacy in lovemaking was nil. It was once he confessed to this problem and sought freedom from it that our marriage and sexual relationship blossomed. Anyone who says that pornography is not harmful to a marriage is wrong. He was "only" watching 1-3 times a week, but it affected EVERYTHING. I believe if they don't think their marriage or sex life is being affected that they are blind to how totally open and free those two things could be without it.

I sincerely and truly hate that the beautiful gift of sexual intimacy is eroded away a little here and little there to where so many don't even realize what's gone.

robert

Anonymous,

IMO, the viewing of the ads is not the cause of the boys seeking out the cable programs or the internet. Boys (and men) have a natural curiosity to see the opposite sex. It is the demonization of this natural curiosity which leads boys to seek out salacious images. If instead, we were to take a more sanguine approach, and recognize this natural curiosity for what it is, I believe we can have a more amenable outcome. It would be beneficial if we can teach them that its ok to view women, but it is not healthy or advisable to view those images which distort reality or exploit their curiosities. There ia a difference b/w healthy viewing of nudes in art or seeing women scantily clad when appropriate (i.e. at a beach or pool) and the viewing of pornographic images. By guiding them to take a healthy view of the opposite sex in all the ways they appear, including nude or nearly nude, we can prevent them from falling prey to the noxious effects of the porn industry.

Cady Driver

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your transparency in sharing your experience in your marriage. That was very courageous of you and I can sympathize with your struggle and heartbreak b/c I have also been there. It is a long and painful road to heal that marriage and the journey can sometimes seem long and bleak. Re-establishing trust and intimacy takes so much time in the healing process, but in the end, it is worth it b/c God is faithful to forgive and rebuild and I can testify to that fact.

Robert...unfortunately, the scientific data doesn't support your opinions about nudity. Boys viewing ads and TV shows does, in fact, lead to them wanting more.

If you check out this website http://www.purelifeministries.org/, you will find that this is a problem that affects a HUGE portion of our population.

Even if you don't have a porn problem, you cannot deny that millions of American men struggle secretly with this problem and the issue doesn't start with the "demonization" of a developing boy's curiosity. Back in the 1700's and 1800's. men never saw a woman unclothed until he got married (at least the decent men) and when he got married, it was a beautiful and right thing. Yes, young men were curious, but just because one is curious about something doesn't mean that that curiosity needs to be instantly gratified.

There is a lovely little phrase that we all like to use and it's "...wait for it....wait for it....." and we use this phrase when we want to express a big announcement or a wonderful surprise.

It would be nice if young men could be taught this phrase in regard to their sexuality b/c there is nothing more beautiful than a young man and a young woman who have "waited for it" and can enjoy the fullness of their relationship for the first time on their wedding night.

robert

Cady,

You said: "...the scientific data doesn't support your opinions about nudity."

And then you said: "Boys viewing ads and TV shows does, in fact, lead to them wanting more."

I urge you to view the following:

http://www.cybercollege.com/sexrsh.htm

Do you have any scientific data to support your "fact"?

The only mention of science I found in the pure life ministries website was regarding the belief many homosexuals have that they were created and born as homosexual: "The scientific community has reinforced this mindset among countless struggling homosexuals, and the devil has worked through numerous activists and influential personalities to widen the gate for individuals to enter this pathway which eventually leads to death."

This is hardly an endorsement for the value of scientific studies on the part of the religious community.

As Senator Moynihan said: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."

I think it would be fitting and proper if we would both agree that there are valid opinions on both sides of the question of the alleged harm in viewing images of women. It is incumbent on each individual to look into their own hearts and minds to decide the path that is best and proper for them.

Stacy

Admin, my response to Robert was not posted...

Admin

Stacy,

Did you fill in the code after posting? There is no comment from you regarding this topic in the system, sorry. Please try again and make sure you fill out the code to confirm that you're a human being.

A Man

This is a little off topic, and mostly addressed to the author of the original post so there's not really any need to publish this, as you yourself said "I am not attempting to start up a discussion about intelligent design vs. evolution" and I certainly don't want to start that discussion in the comments for this article either.

I am not a religious person, I don't have a problem with those of us who choose to believe in a deity. But when those persons, such as yourself, repeat anti-science nonsense about evolution as you do above, I have to wonder what you are so afraid of? Knowledge? Because everything you claim above is false. I don't understand why people find evolution so threatening to their beliefs. How can you care so much about modesty and how you want to reflect your modesty in every aspect of your life but not care that you come across as wilfully ignorant when you say those things that are easily proven to be false? Why is evolution so threatening to your beliefs? I don't mean this to come across as attacking, I really just wonder. If you're really feeling daring, maybe you could give this a read.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

God and evolution don't have anything to do with each other. The existence of one doesn't imply the absence of the other.

Cady Driver

A Man,

Thank you for your thoughtful post (although it does sting a bit to be accused of being "willfully ignorant", but that's alright :) ). I have actually studied irreducible complexity before and I was not surprised at the evolutionary bias of the Wikipedia article.

To be honest with you, we could probably bounce articles back and forth for a very long time in support of our beliefs and I think it would be futile to do so since neither of us is going to change the mind of the other.

I will, though, answer your question as to why I believe that the belief in evolution is threatening to the belief in God. The two are fundamentally incompatible and contrary to what you have written, there is a mountain of evidence that supports intelligent design. Just FYI. :)

You see, my friend, evolution is a man made belief that takes more faith and twisting of truth to believe in than Creation. When man eliminates God from His role in this world (and that role includes God's creation of this world and God becoming a man to pay the price for our sins on the cross), then life becomes a pointless existence devoid of purpose. Evolution greatly devalues life and opens the door for mankind to eliminate those who are weaker or inconvenient in society. We have seen this pattern played out on the historical stage over and over again and we are even seeing the elimination of our weakest and most vulnerable through the tragedy of abortion.

When people are taught that "survival of the fittest" is the natural and right way of nature and that there is no God or accountability to God for our actions....when we teach these lies to our children in our schools and universities, we shouldn't be surprised at the decline of morality in our cultures.

If you ever have the chance I would encourage you to watch the documentary "Expelled" and the documentary "The Case For Faith". They are extremely illuminating arguments exploring what the consequences are for cultures that eliminate God through the exaltation of evolution.

On a side note, I had to chuckle at your comment of "If you're really feeling daring".... I just want to say that I DO feel daring. Daring enough to stand up for truth, daring enough to be at the bottom of the rung socially by being, number one, at stay at home mom, and number two *gasp*, a homeschool mom. Daring enough to withstand the ridicule that comes from speaking up about time honored beliefs of modesty, decency, God, honor and country.

Sir, if I didn't feel daring, I wouldn't be contributing to this blog. :)

A Man

Nice strawman

"When people are taught that "survival of the fittest" is the natural and right way of nature and that there is no God or accountability to God for our actions...."

Funny, that idea never once came up in my population mechanics and genetics class or my molecular evolution class or any of my biochemistry classes. What I did learn is that evolution is speciation through genetic variation and natural selection, not "survival of the fittest".

What I always end up wondering is how people who take for granted all the things in their life that are provided by chemistry and biology, vaccines for smallpox/polio, or any modern medical treatment for that matter, suddenly have a problem with science when it comes to evolution? Biology is not a salad bar, you don't get to pick and choose the parts that you like and claim the rest is false.

Boyd

What if you believe that scientific discovery will eventually lead to the discovery of God?

There are Christians who are completely comfortable with evolution and science in general. Many believers in the Bible believe that was is not said in the Bible may be just as important as what is.

Boyd

-Make that "what is not said" instead of "was is said"

Doh!

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