Pornography: The Problem with Not Getting Caught
There are many reasons why few people choose to socialize with me. One, among many, is that my favorite book is The Republic by Plato. Some people know how to start conversations; it seems I specialize in ending them.
At a dinner party it goes something like this:
Someone asks me to say a bit about myself.
“I am a pastor.”
“I am a politics professor.”
“I love reading books by old dead Greeks”.
I hardly ever get the chance to get to number 3.
But their books have changed my life.
For instance, Plato has a helpful angle for thinking about a problem with pornography.
Before I go further, I want to issue a disclaimer. I do not understand female sexuality. I have a hard time understanding male sexuality. If what I have to say today is helpful to women I’ll be thrilled, but it will be an accident. I am writing this essay as a man and men are my target audience.
There are lots of problems with pornography. The objectification of women and men, the addictive nature of it, and the fact that in order to feed the addiction you have to find more explicit and diverse pornography. The ultimate problem with pornography is that if you let the addiction run its course, it ruins your sex life by rendering sex boring and uninteresting.
Another problem with pornography is that the reasoning in preceding paragraph doesn’t seem to make a difference to men. Pornography was the first industry to make money on the Internet, and demand is growing. The irony that pornography ultimately undermines sexuality is lost on us.
There is, however, one problem with pornography on which men agree: having a woman discover you are a consumer of it.
When I speak about pornography to a public audience (yet another conversation ender), as soon as I say the word, I can look at the audience and tell by eye contact and body language who got caught and who did the catching.
What few men seem understand is that a bigger problem is not getting caught.
In Plato’s Republic two young men give Socrates a challenge. They not only ask him to define justice, but prove to them that it is always better to be just (do the right thing), even if you could be unjust and never get caught.