A Philosophical Exploration of the Common Fear of Sexuality

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Post Number:#16  Postby Dewey » February 5th, 2011, 1:57 am

pjkeeley wrote:
Dewey wrote:What do you think?

I think there is a necessary difference between private and public morality and I think you may be conflating the two in your criticism of libertarians.



I don't think its really a conflation. More nearly, it's a doubt that there is such a thing as private versus public morality. Developmental psychologist D. A. Abbott says: " We believe the whole notion of public versus private morality is a false belief. It has neither logic nor empirical evidence to support it. A man or a woman has a "general moral character" not two separate moral dispositions within the same psyche."

Let's suppose I have a friend addicted to the seduction of young virgins. I want to help him to reform and have a good chance of doing so. If the victims are under the legal age limit my public morality allows me to help my friend. If they are a year or two over the limit, my public morality doesn't apply and I must not infringe on my friend's "freedom" Ridiculous? Yes, a perfect lose-lose proposition!

Well, to get back to the real me ----. Like always when I get into the subject of ethics, I end up wiser but sad and not wise enough. I don't like the liberalists' overall approach because it accepts and perpetuates our present standards of morality. There are no provisions, no expectations, for raising them out of their dank basement.

But I don't know what to do about it.
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Post Number:#17  Postby pjkeeley » February 6th, 2011, 7:10 am

Dewey wrote:Let's suppose I have a friend addicted to the seduction of young virgins. I want to help him to reform and have a good chance of doing so. If the victims are under the legal age limit my public morality allows me to help my friend. If they are a year or two over the limit, my public morality doesn't apply and I must not infringe on my friend's "freedom" Ridiculous? Yes, a perfect lose-lose proposition!

But I provided an example like this in my post to show why you should intervene in such a case. Let me re-iterate: public morality is about limiting the power of public institutions, while private morality, on the other hand, is not confined by such limitations, being the conscience of private citizens. The distinction is relevant and useful. I emphasised that public morality, while essentially limited, should not represent the limits of a person's private morality, which at times will oblige us to intervene and even infringe on the rights of others. You apparently only read the first sentence of my post.

To critique the example you provided, public morality requries that we apply the letter of the law to limit the power of policy makers; public institutions should not intervene if the man is engaging in consensual sex with young men or women who are above the age of consent. If you reflect on this point I think you'll agree that, even if you think what the man does is wrong, is is not wrong for public institutions to be prevented from acting beyond their power to intervene, because if policy makers and public institutions acted beyond the powers they are given by law out of conscience, they are misusing public office, regardless of who is right or wrong. Another example: anti-abortion politicians should not have abortionists arrested or use police to turn away women from abortion clinics if there is no law against abortion in their jurisdiction. It would be wrong for them to do so regardless of whether you or they feel that abortion is right or wrong, simply because it is wrong to misuse public office (the essential theme of public morality).

That is public morality. It is about ensuring that we limit the power of authorities and that we maintain a necessary mistrust of those authorities because of the power they wield.

Private morality however dictates that we do what we feel is right in our capacity as private citizens. It is, of course, subject to public morality, because we live in a society governed by laws and laws necessarily have a moral content, but private morality is not necessarily confined by the same limits as public morality, because sometimes our laws allow injustices to occur. And in fact this is taken for granted in our legal system. Often when people violate the constraints of public morality out of a sense of private morality, for example, by breaking the law to save a person's life, courts will take the moral character of the person into account when, for example, a judge is sentencing them. Those who intervene out of a sense of private morality should not be exempt from the law, I'm sure you'd agree, and they needn't be: there are avenues for taking private morality into account in our public institutions (such as in sentencing, as I mentioned).

I think that outright dismissal of the distinction between the two types of morality is ridiculous, especially in a democracy, in which we are all entitled to hold different opinions of what is right and wrong, and in which we rely on our institutions to uphold a system of laws and to protect our freedoms.
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Post Number:#18  Postby Dewey » February 6th, 2011, 6:05 pm

Thanks, pj.

I,m right, I think, in my doubts about our ability as individuals to accomodate two morality standards, but that which you propose looks like the best we can do at this stage of our development. (I did read your entire article, but was too full of MY opinion.)

I should have known I was off course because I had weakened my case against a widespread misconception of political morality that harms us greatly. It is the notion that, unlike the rest of us, the politician loses his or her ability to adequately perform his/her job once he/she has misbehaved sexually or otherwise immorally in his/her private life.

I must do whatever I can to dispel the grossly unjust opinion the public has of its government.
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Re: A Philosophical Exploration of the Common Fear of Sexual

Post Number:#19  Postby Only_truth » April 7th, 2012, 7:49 pm

I will never forget checking out why Catholicism or priests were made to be celibate. Simply by googling info I found out that there was an issue of land being kept in the church. So to prevent the loss of land, someone somewhere made it a law that priests could not have girlfriends, or be married. Interestingly enough, also, by googling, I found out that someone in the church outvoted (yes, outvoted) the idea of reincarnation, even though for years, and I mean thousands of years beforehand, this was normal understanding. In my life, with the right person, I have found sexuality to be a wonderful experience. However, if it ever is equated with power or control, well, the feeling disappears.
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Re: A Philosophical Exploration of the Common Fear of Sexual

Post Number:#20  Postby TheBrainintheJar » August 24th, 2015, 4:27 pm

Here is what many people forget while talking about how great sex is: It's very unevenly distributed.

I'm welcome to the option that this is just in my age group (I'm 21). This is what I've seen:

There are a select few men who have enough charisma, courage and looks (generally thin) to get women to like them. The women will then maybe have sex with these guys, but only with them. Any other guy is mostly invisible.

I'm not on a misogynisitc tip here. People should only have sex with people they're attracted to, and if it happens that only 10 guys out of 50 will get then so be it. However, it will result in a bunch of people who will have to do something with this unfulfilled sexuality. It seems throughout human history they tried to destroy the World of the Beautiful People, instead of finding an alternative.
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Re: A Philosophical Exploration of the Common Fear of Sexual

Post Number:#21  Postby Scott » September 28th, 2015, 10:38 am

TheBrainintheJar wrote:There are a select few men who have enough charisma, courage and looks (generally thin) to get women to like them. The women will then maybe have sex with these guys, but only with them. Any other guy is mostly invisible.

What is your source for this statistical claim? That is a statistic that is easily scientifically gathered, is it not?
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Re: A Philosophical Exploration of the Common Fear of Sexual

Post Number:#22  Postby Gordon975 » October 10th, 2015, 3:36 am

Scott Wrote: that Political Power …. Psychological Projection …. Insecurity and Patriarchy …. Fear of the Dangers ….

Are the reasons for a Common Fear of Sexuality


The above topics may in part explain "The Common Fear of Sexuality" but I believe there is another, which perhaps includes them all, or at least from which they are all derived and that is, Conscience.

My proposition is that everything that lives, or at least lives and has a primitive intellect, has a conscience and the intellect of all creatures of which perhaps the human species has evolved to the point where it is the most advanced, has been derived from the fact that a conscience is one of the most important factor in the survival of a species of life.

My suggestion is that even the simplest life form with intellect has a conscience, but does not need to posses very great intelligence to possess one, the existence of intelligence and its development is perhaps one of the direct result of conscience.

Conscience is the ability to differentiate between what is right to achieve the best chance of species survival and what is wrong. This decision-making ability is based on reproductive natural selection, and what has evolved, and what we now think of as conscience has then perhaps evolved further to become intellect.

For the human species in its primitive state the human reproductive cycle comprises a time scale of perhaps 15 years, and for a partnership between male and female that needs to last longer than this perhaps to at least 20 years to achieve the birth of perhaps at least 5 offspring to allow for infant mortality and death in child birth etc.

Deviation away from the long term relationship between male and female of the human species to achieve species survival must be contrary to the conscience that is given to each of us in our species as the result of reproductive natural selection.

No animal without a language with which to pass on experience knows how to reproduce itself except by instinct and as part of, if not all of, instinct, is the contribution make by conscience, this naturally attracts male to female and visa versa, none of us would be here if this were not true.

The human species and perhaps many others have intellects that can successfully over ride their conscience.

Conscience comes from a primitive foundation, based the need of any life form to have inbuilt knowledge of its species survival strategy within an environment.

Intellect in the human species is heavily dependant on conscience for its "Moral code" and therefore the topics "Political Power, Psychological Projection, Insecurity and Patriarchy and Fear of the Dangers" link strongly with the human species collective and inherited conscience to enable its successful and continued existence.

It is perhaps now possible say that some of the taboos that our species once had as the result of our evolution from more primitive beginnings mean that we should override conscience using reasoned thought, however this will probably never mean that it will ever be possible for everyone to feel completely at ease with the result.

The rules for the existence of a species are defined by it conscience and then enhanced and enabled by its intellect, if needed, to achieve a maximised chance of species survival.

Any member of a species born without conscience is potentially a danger to other members of that species, as decisions made by its intellect are unrestrained.

The rules of the various gods perhaps also derive from conscience making us believe them to be right because they are "hard wired" into us as the result of our evolutionary past.
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Re: A Philosophical Exploration of the Common Fear of Sexual

Post Number:#23  Postby LuckyR » October 21st, 2015, 5:09 pm

TheBrainintheJar wrote:Here is what many people forget while talking about how great sex is: It's very unevenly distributed.

I'm welcome to the option that this is just in my age group (I'm 21). This is what I've seen:

There are a select few men who have enough charisma, courage and looks (generally thin) to get women to like them. The women will then maybe have sex with these guys, but only with them. Any other guy is mostly invisible.

I'm not on a misogynisitc tip here. People should only have sex with people they're attracted to, and if it happens that only 10 guys out of 50 will get then so be it. However, it will result in a bunch of people who will have to do something with this unfulfilled sexuality. It seems throughout human history they tried to destroy the World of the Beautiful People, instead of finding an alternative.



Great thread. As Scott mentioned but did not stress the OP is in relation to US culture (. France, for example does NOT have these hangups. Thus the role of the original Puritanical ideals of the US are playing a subtle but important part in current US public attitudes about sex and sexuality.

This is shown for example in the above post. The red area is a complete fallacy which would be laughably obvious to someone with practical experience in the field. In much greater amounts than other things on the mind of young people: music, drugs, alcohol, consumer electronics/goods, there is a large difference between the common understanding (like the red highlit area) and the reality.
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