Debate and Discussion

Obscenity Laws: A Necessary Evil or Just Plain Evil?
El Cid at 4:38PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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I don’t get it. Nobody likes censorship. Any time you ask someone about it, all they can say is how much they hate it, and freedom of speech this and freedom of speech that, yet we still keep seeing governments taking new measures to control what we are allowed to see. The UK passed new stricter obscenity guidelines with draconian punishments not too long ago. Australia’s building a big Happy Bubble around herself to keep all the bad web sites away. The free world is looking a little less free every day.

Why is that? Why, if everybody hates censorship, can we not just do away with it? I think it’s because most people hold onto this misguided belief that it’s a necessary evil, that there are some things just so heinous and so awful that no human eyes should ever be allowed to behold them. Because while everybody’s immediately against censorship, if you give them a little nudge, the tune starts to change to “I don’t believe anything should be censored… well, except for maybe these few things…” And that of course leaves the door open for all types of thought policing hanky-panky, because everybody has their own set of taboos that they’re so uncomfortable with that they’re willing to see other people punished for enjoying them.

The very concept of obscenity laws, that your personal sense of good taste is grounds for having other people put in shackles, is obscene and should be done away with. I am of the opinion that all obscenity laws should be abolished. All of them. And yes, I really do mean all of them, even that one that you still think is “not such a bad idea.” It is such a bad idea. If people were harmed in order to create something, then there are already laws to go after them with. If distributing that material serves to further demean the victim, we can find a way to make laws to deal with that. We don’t need to invent some convoluted self-righteous concept of legally-enforced decency to pursue such matters. It is an insidious, toxic notion and I believe it serves to menace society more than protect it. Seriously, what are we being protected from?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Hawk at 5:04PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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El Cid
Seriously, what are we being protected from?

I think the root of many forms of censorship stem from keeping certain materials away from children below a certain age. So let me ask you this: In keeping with your idea of abolishing all censorship laws, is there anything you believe might be harmful for a child to see or know about? Things akin to pornography, drugs, hateful imagery, and so on…

I'm not making a judgment on your idea or censorship at all, I'm just curious about your opinion. People have differing opinions about what children are able to process, and what might be harmful to them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
El Cid at 5:22PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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Hawk
I think the root of many forms of censorship stem from keeping certain materials away from children below a certain age. So let me ask you this: In keeping with your idea of abolishing all censorship laws, is there anything you believe might be harmful for a child to see or know about? Things akin to pornography, drugs, hateful imagery, and so on…
All of them, probably. I may not have done a good job, but what I was trying to make this thread about was obscenity laws in particular, not censorship in general. Like, for example, I have a friend in the UK who used to do some really vile gory artwork. A lot but not all of it centered around themes of torture and warfare in Medieval Europe. However, the UK passed new laws by which he could (at least by his own interpretation) face three years in prison for producing or possessing that kind of material. So now he does fairies and light BDSM artwork. It's sad, really, and I can tell he isn't a happy camper.

So I guess mainly I'm focusing on the outright criminalizing of certain “indecent” forms of expression, which I don't believe is ever called for. I'm definitely not opposed to things like ratings and age requirements and “parental controls,” all that stuff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
kyupol at 6:51PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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I don’t get it. Nobody likes censorship. Any time you ask someone about it, all they can say is how much they hate it, and freedom of speech this and freedom of speech that, yet we still keep seeing governments taking new measures to control what we are allowed to see. The UK passed new stricter obscenity guidelines with draconian punishments not too long ago. Australia’s building a big Happy Bubble around herself to keep all the bad web sites away. The free world is looking a little less free every day.

U.K. = Police State capital of the world (um… at least its getting there. It looks like its only behind China and North Korea but… it will get there!) Look at all their cameras and overall police stupidity for crying out loud. Don't believe me? Read the mail online and see for yourself.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241994/Businessman-arrested-wife-son–anti-gipsy–email-didn-t-write.html
Tony Blair called for censorship as well:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1554289/Blair-backs-new-online-journalism-regulator.html


Australia = Chinese Style net censorship. Same as the U.K. as well.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/mandatory-censorship-on-web/story-0-1111117883306

Why is that? Why, if everybody hates censorship, can we not just do away with it? I think it’s because most people hold onto this misguided belief that it’s a necessary evil, that there are some things just so heinous and so awful that no human eyes should ever be allowed to behold them. Because while everybody’s immediately against censorship, if you give them a little nudge, the tune starts to change to “I don’t believe anything should be censored… well, except for maybe these few things…” And that of course leaves the door open for all types of thought policing hanky-panky, because everybody has their own set of taboos that they’re so uncomfortable with that they’re willing to see other people punished for enjoying them.

The very concept of obscenity laws, that your personal sense of good taste is grounds for having other people put in shackles, is obscene and should be done away with. I am of the opinion that all obscenity laws should be abolished. All of them. And yes, I really do mean all of them, even that one that you still think is “not such a bad idea.” It is such a bad idea. If people were harmed in order to create something, then there are already laws to go after them with. If distributing that material serves to further demean the victim, we can find a way to make laws to deal with that. We don’t need to invent some convoluted self-righteous concept of legally-enforced decency to pursue such matters. It is an insidious, toxic notion and I believe it serves to menace society more than protect it. Seriously, what are we being protected from?

Its to keep you safe. Government loves you and totally cares about you! That is why we need to raise more taxes and hire more police and get rid of the old internet. Because of those scary scary scarrry conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, Ron Paul, Alan Watt, and more… who talk about “liberty” and “the constitution” and all that nonsense!

North Korea is an example of big government. See how happy their people are? Happily gathered around the Dear Leader… in single-minded unity… in the Worker's paradise! They're not starving to death. There's nobody trying to escape North Korea. That is just capitalistic propaganda!

We must all follow the example of North Korea and Kim Jong Il's and Songun Politics!
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
ozoneocean at 10:25PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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Kyu, you're a crazy mad bugger, but I'll give you this:
kyupol
Australia = Chinese Style net censorship. Same as the U.K. as well.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/mandatory-censorship-on-web/story-0-1111117883306
100% true.

Your “big government = bad” thing is a bit silly though. You yourself should know there are no rules, equations, strictures or categories that fit everyone and every situation all the time. All cases are individual, for every badly implemented thing there is one that's done perfectly. In the case of politics and government though, whatever system for managing people you chose will have its problems anyway. The idea that there is some better way to do things, better than all the rest, is in itself the insane rant of a frothing madman.
The biggest problem with government and politics is not government or politics; it's people. That's the people in charge and also the people who are being governed.

If the people were perfectly happy, well behaved, sane, respecting each other's rights, helping everyone else, kind etc, then ANY system of government would work perfectly, but then the people wouldn't need a government.

There is no perfect system, there is no better than average system either, just systems. And people behaving like idiots.

So a good way of doing things is to have a turnover of the system every now and again to keep it fresh. That's all democracy really does. The downside is that it puts limits on stability and long term programs don't tend to work well in democracies.
————————————–

OK “obscenity laws”… It's too tricky. There has to be balance. Normal adult sexuality shouldn't be as criminalised as it is, children only ever make up a minority of the population everywhere except in some 3rd world countries who've suffered a lot of war. You can not dictate the laws of your country based on a small minority of its population.

But there are things I'm happy to ban and even jail people for propagating- Child pornography being the main one. I'm not hysterical over the threat of it, I don't see paedophiles hiding under ever stone and in every crack and crevice waiting to lure kids away, but I'm adamant that it's something we do not need.
Filming actual violence and death and then watching that for entrainment, whether sexual or not, is also just as bad if not worse than child porn. ie. filming a rape or execution, beatings etc. -(I'm not talking about consensual BDSM )
Add to that animal cruelty as well.

Those are all firmly in the same camp. People that film it for entertainment and those that watch it for that purpose are probably not good members of society and bear close scrutiny. -Add that to your big brother paranoia Kyu ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Hawk at 10:31PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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El Cid
So I guess mainly I'm focusing on the outright criminalizing of certain “indecent” forms of expression, which I don't believe is ever called for. I'm definitely not opposed to things like ratings and age requirements and “parental controls,” all that stuff.

Thanks, that does clarify the point you've been trying to make. I mainly bring up children because it's the key factor in network television. The FCC keeps certain things off the air on network TV because it's totally possible that children could be watching. This can be considered censorship, though it's pretty widely accepted.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
ozoneocean at 11:49PM, Feb. 19, 2010
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Hawk
Thanks, that does clarify the point you've been trying to make. I mainly bring up children because it's the key factor in network television. The FCC keeps certain things off the air on network TV because it's totally possible that children could be watching. This can be considered censorship, though it's pretty widely accepted.
Since children are a minority it doesn't make sense to weight things overly towards them- restricting what the majority have access to just for the “benefit” of the minority. Logically it would make much more sense if children were simply restricted from watching TV in the first place.

And hat would be better for them too. :)
As to how you manage it: parents.
If the parents can't manage it then it's their own faults. Maybe they should have their TVs taken away.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
DAJB at 1:48AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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Obscenity laws are the way they are because the law-makers can't get away from the Mediaeval notion that that some things are inherently “evil” and should therefore be controlled, irrespective of whether they actually cause any harm or not.

A good law should only prohibit items which cause harm to others or which could realistically inspire others to do harm. Despite all the furore surrounding certain movies in the 1970s and certain video games today, the reality is that very few works of art, literature or even pornography are of that nature. And those that are can often be prosecuted under a whole host of other laws without resorting to someone else's arbitrary notion of what's “obscene”.

On the other hand, it's important to keep the current trend in perspective. It's not all one way traffic. Yes, there are increasingly tight controls being introduced in most developed Western countries at the moment but - at the same time - there is an increasing amount of material now freely available which would once have been considered obscene. These two trends will be butting heads together for a long time yet before a generally accepted “norm” re-establishes itself.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
El Cid at 6:20AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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ozoneocean
OK “obscenity laws”… It's too tricky. There has to be balance… But there are things I'm happy to ban and even jail people for propagating- Child pornography being the main one… Filming actual violence and death and then watching that for entrainment, whether sexual or not, is also just as bad if not worse than child porn. ie. filming a rape or execution, beatings etc. -(I'm not talking about consensual BDSM )
Add to that animal cruelty as well.
You remember what I said, about how everybody says “I’m against it, except for…?” You just did an “except for.” In the United States, for instance, it’s not actually illegal to possess film or images of an execution, and I really don’t believe the millions of people who viewed for example the beheadings of American captives in Iraq actually need to be punished for it or aren’t mostly productive members of society. You’ve just recommended an expansion of obscenity statutes. That’s how these things grow. (Sorry about the cut and paste job; I wanted to keep the pertinent points. I’m pretty sure I didn’t ruin the context.)

It doesn’t need to be tricky. The creation of child pornography already violates tons of laws in and of itself. It’s already prosecutable without resorting to a dangerously subjective concept like obscenity. The distribution of child pornography continues the victimization cycle. There may or may not already be legal language to address this but if not, then that’s the direction to go. You can already combat these sorts of things without venturing out onto that slippery slope of determining what is and is not “obscene.”

ozoneocean
Those are all firmly in the same camp. People that film it for entertainment and those that watch it for that purpose are probably not good members of society and bear close scrutiny.
And what if it’s not filmed for entertainment? How often do people film actual executions, rapes, etc. for entertainment/distribution purposes? I’m sure it’s probably happened once or twice in some dark corner of the world, but by and large most footage and images of such things come from journalistic sources, be they professional or amateur. They’re rarely if ever staged and photographed for a purely prurient purpose and really I don’t see where it’s even realistically determinable or much less of anyone’s concern with what intentions these materials are consumed by the public. I’m sure a lot of the people who watched the Nick Berg beheading, especially on college campuses, didn’t do so with the soberest of motives. So what?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
El Cid at 6:23AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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DAJB
On the other hand, it's important to keep the current trend in perspective. It's not all one way traffic. Yes, there are increasingly tight controls being introduced in most developed Western countries at the moment but - at the same time - there is an increasing amount of material now freely available which would once have been considered obscene. These two trends will be butting heads together for a long time yet before a generally accepted “norm” re-establishes itself.
We definitely need to adapt how we deal with these things, but I believe the way to go is by loosening controls, not tightening them. Besides the steady onslaught of “questionable” content over the Internet, people in general live their lives and think their thoughts in a much more public manner than ever before. The recent “sexting” incidents we’ve had here are a good example of just how outmoded the concept of obscenity has become. If a fourteen year old girl sends a lewd image of herself to a fourteen year old boy over her cell phone, should she be facing criminal charges for distributing child pornography? Of course not. This is just young people flirting! There is no need to get the courts involved. The parents, maybe. But it's not the Crime of the Century!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ozoneocean at 6:48AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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El Cid
You remember what I said, about how everybody says “I’m against it, except for…?” You just did an “except for.”

And what if it’s not filmed for entertainment? How often do people film actual executions, rapes, etc

I’m sure a lot of the people who watched the Nick Berg beheading, especially on college campuses, didn’t do so with the soberest of motives. So what?

1. You always have to allow for exceptions.

2. There's an obvious distinction there. If it's news it's news. And people do film those things quite often, you'd be very surprised, it's becoming more and more prevalent with the spread of cheap digital cameras on phones.

3. If they watched it for entertainment It's the same as watching child porn or videos of animal cruelty for entertainment/gratification etc. They need to have a long, hard look at themselves. The same laws should apply to the possession and dissemination of such materials as it does to child porn.
-But, see my first point. There will be exceptions and those should always be analysed on a case by case basis.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
El Cid at 7:11AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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“Long hard look at themselves?” I think all they'll see is that they're human. People are curious, and have been fascinated by gory spectacles since the beginning of time. There's nothing wrong with any of them, and there's nothing aberrant about their behavior. They're certainly not in the same camp as pedophiles.

I don't think something like the video of Nick Berg's beheading or the shooting of Neda in Iran, horrific though they may be, needs to be an “exception of the rule” to get by, because I don't see the purpose of the rule itself. If we can get by without the rule, then why do we need exceptions?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
kyupol at 7:18AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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Your “big government = bad” thing is a bit silly though.

Name me ONE example in world history of a big government that did not turn into a monster.

ALL governments. Regardless where it is set up. Once it turns too big, it becomes a problem.

China. Soviet Union. Nazi Germany. Khmer Rouge. North Korea. Zimbabwe. Philippines (during the time of Ferdinand Marcos. But at the rate its going, it will become just like the Marcos regime again as the media talking heads love acting like puppy dogs who think that everything the USA and UK does is so-called “progress”. That includes the police state measures currently being set up)


US can Kill Americans Abroad
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/02/04/killing.americans/index.html

Police use drones to spy on Americans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tHk9Q3Fv6g

Police push for warrantless searches
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10455611-38.html

Car seizures at DUI checkpoints prove profitable for cities, raise legal questions
http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions

Police Brutality: Cops Plant Drugs On Suspect & Lets Dog Attack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d12VJgmgVE

I can go on and on and on…


Even the so-called “jewel” of freedom, the United States, is turning into a police state as its size of government expands.


You yourself should know there are no rules, equations, strictures or categories that fit everyone and every situation all the time. All cases are individual, for every badly implemented thing there is one that's done perfectly. In the case of politics and government though, whatever system for managing people you chose will have its problems anyway. The idea that there is some better way to do things, better than all the rest, is in itself the insane rant of a frothing madman.

Exactly. This is why I am a libertarian in the first place. I believe there has to be SOME SEMBLANCE of government or else we'd turn into something like Somalia.

The reason why I like libertarians is because they do not try to push their form of government as a utopia. Yes there will still be problems. Even Ron Paul and various libertarian speakers I've listened to say that.

There will still be crime, poverty, domestic violence, drunk drivers, etc. They do not push a form of utopia that is about building the world up from scratch and reforming human nature just like the communists and nazis.

The biggest problem with government and politics is not government or politics; it's people. That's the people in charge and also the people who are being governed.

Partially agree. Yes the people in charge and the people being governed are responsible for the kind of government they deserve.

“Walang mang-aapi kung walang magpapa-api” (There are no tyrants where there are no slaves) - Dr. Jose Rizal -

But what is to stop a PSYCHOPATH from abusing his/her power?

Psychopaths are in control of government, you know…
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2684-Law-Enforcement-Examiner~y2009m6d12-Serial-killers-and-politicians-share-traits

Here's some of the psychopaths that run the world:
Ben Bernanke:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKSKWSnhCwI

Gordon Brown talks about a “New World Order”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv5cqh26CC0

Henry Kissinger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bKwH3kJew4

Rahm Emanuel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mzcbXi1Tkk

George Bush
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TSJ2ZvLk5M

Barack Obama
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CV8Xt2VWvc

Pope Benedict
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/world/europe/08pope.html

I can go on and on and on…

If the people were perfectly happy, well behaved, sane, respecting each other's rights, helping everyone else, kind etc, then ANY system of government would work perfectly, but then the people wouldn't need a government.

There is no perfect system, there is no better than average system either, just systems. And people behaving like idiots.

Partially agree. However, government (or rather… the psychopaths that run government) would always try to find an excuse to get their agenda through. There is no need for “people behaving like idiots” for government to find an excuse to push their agenda.

Whether its pure greed or eugenics, remember the H1N1 hype?

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/02/f-viewpoint-cassels.html

Before that there was the SARS, the Bird Flu, etc?

And what about the Detroit bomber?
CNN covers it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAtK7FFDukQ
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
ozoneocean at 7:49AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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El Cid
“Long hard look at themselves?” I think all they'll see is that they're human. People are curious, and have been fascinated by gory spectacles since the beginning of time. There's nothing wrong with any of them, and there's nothing aberrant about their behavior. They're certainly not in the same camp as pedophiles.

I don't think something like the video of Nick Berg's beheading or the shooting of Neda in Iran, horrific though they may be, needs to be an “exception of the rule” to get by, because I don't see the purpose of the rule itself. If we can get by without the rule, then why do we need exceptions?
* They are indeed in the same camp. If people are seeing those things as a form of entertainment there's something wrong with them.

* “Exceptions” when people have possession of the material for evidence, historical, research or documentary purposes etc, the same situation with all problematic material.
————————————-

Kuypol
Name me ONE example in world history of a big government that did not turn into a monster.

ALL governments. Regardless where it is set up. Once it turns too big, it becomes a problem.
Big or small Kyu, there's not much of a difference as far as I'm concerned, the terms are more like catch-cries than something with real meaning.

In somewhere like North Korea the governing system has too many regulations and invades too much of a person's life. But in other places with less government regulation over individuals (like the US) you'll find that corporations are able to take over much of that control directly and indirectly through the legal system.
Humans are a social species, when we live together in large groups we need to have modes and rules in order to organise ourselves and the way we interact. The larger the communities, the more complicated the interactions, the more rules are needed. If a government isn't supplying them they'll be supplied another way- through the courts, corporations, social conventions, powerful families, gangs, powerful individuals, religious groups, etc.
With a government supplying them at least you have some say in the matter.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
El Cid at 8:06AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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ozoneocean
* They are indeed in the same camp. If people are seeing those things as a form of entertainment there's something wrong with them.
I disagree that those people are aberrant in any way, but even if I didn't, having something “wrong” with you is not a crime, now is it? Well, not in this country at least. If you think people deserve to be put in prison because there “must be something wrong” with them, then I'd say you don't have a right to complain about what they're doing in Australia right now. I don't believe anyone deserves to be in prison unless they've actually harmed somebody else.

(not sure if that is what you're saying; still a bit sketchy on that. How would you translate your views into policy, if at all?)
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ozoneocean at 8:18AM, Feb. 20, 2010
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El Cid
I disagree that those people are aberrant in any way, but even if I didn't, having something “wrong” with you is not a crime, now is it?
It is in the case of paedophilia, where a person has a prurient interest in either having sexual intercourse with children, or watching others do it.
How is it hard to understand that having the same sort of interest in cruelty and execution should be regarded similarly?
I'm baffled that you'd have trouble with that concept.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
El Cid at 5:20PM, Feb. 20, 2010
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Pedophilia is a sexual orientation. A weird one, at least in modern civilized society, but I'm pretty sure those people are born with it. And I'm sure a lot of them, maybe most of them, lead perfectly normal lives raising families and never harming anyone despite their condition. I don't believe in locking people up just for being attracted to young boys/girls/sheep/whatever. I believe in locking people up when and if they act upon those impulses.

I'm African American. Statistically speaking, there's a one out of three chance that I will be through the correctional system at some point in my life (it's already happened to two of my three brothers). So why not just lock me up now? There's a one out of three chance you're preventing a crime before it happens. Sounds ghoulish, doesn't it? Ridiculous, right? Now, how many of the millions of people who look at gory images on the internet actually go on to harm other people? I doubt it's a third. I'd be pretty shocked if it were even a two-digit percentage. Yet you seem to feel justified in saying these people “deserve special scrutiny,” whatever that means. Yes, I do have a lot of trouble with that concept.

I think it's easy for people to get away with statements like that because the people you're talking about are easy targets. The pedophile is all too convenient a pariah. Hell, even I don't want to defend them! But the argument that “we should lock them up now because maybe they might possibly do something bad at some undetermined point in the future” just doesn't hold water with me.
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isukun at 5:56PM, Feb. 20, 2010
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I woul have to agree with El Cid on the content issue. Looking at a particular type of content for entertainment reasons isn't really inhuman or something a person should be chastised for. There are whole roups of people who are into pedophillic anime and manga, yet they don't go out raping children and under the US legal system cannot be prosecuted for their taste in entertainment.

Deviant interests and deviant behavior don't always go hand in hand. A lot of people get a kick out of violent movies and games. How is that any different than watching real violence? People are deriving entertainment from watching what appears to be other people getting maimed and killed. Does that make everyone who watches a Tarantino movie intrisically disturbed? And where does that leave people who create that kind of entertaiment, whether they hurt someone or not? It's obviously something they think about and something they find entertaining.

It's also possible (and looking at it historically, very likely) that violent and sexual media actually act more as a release for those people who would otherwise need to find other outlets for their nature. Providing them with that release could actually decrease their chances of going out and molesting a child or killing another person.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
ozoneocean at 8:41PM, Feb. 20, 2010
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Possession of paedophiliac material is enough to get you jailed. That is: actual footage and images of abuse of real children that people possess and use for their own entertainment. Anyone possessing footage and images of actual executions, rapes, beatings and animal cruelty for entertainment purposes should suffer the same fate.

I'm not talking about anime and Manga here, video games or any other simulated media. I'm talking about the actual acts being recorded in a form of media and people possessing that media and watching it for their own entertainment. The rationale given for treating those possessing paedophiliac material is that it encourages the production of such material so in a sense the viewer is partly responsible for the act by providing a market for that act, the same situation applies with the other material I've mentioned.

If you have a prurient interest in looking at actual footage and images of non-consensual violent acts, it would tend to indicate something a little twisted in your psyche and to most people it's a good initial warning sing of something worse. But as I say, like with the possession of paedophiliac material, as a viewer and especially a viewer who disseminates it, you are supporting the production and therefore the prorogation of the act, which makes you partly responsible for the act.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
El Cid at 5:26AM, Feb. 21, 2010
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At least part of your objections to footage of actual abuse don't stem from their “obscene” status then. They stem from their “actual harm” status, which is the whole point I've been making and spelled out clearly at least twice already. You don't need a dodgy concept like “obscenity” to go after such things, when the very creation of these materials already by necessity violates any number of very serious laws.

Unfortunately, you're still clinging onto this nonsense about “it's okay because there must be something wrong with them.” I've already explained to you why that is a wrongheaded approach to lawmaking, and it's inconsistent reasoning on top of that. You seem to believe people who look at real images of actual violence and abuse are sick, yet somehow people who look at just as graphic depictions of the very same things in Manga or video games are perfectly normal. As Isukun pointed out, the appeal is the same for either. You're just trying to gaybash the stuff you're uncomfortable with while ignoring the fact that those same rules apply to things you enjoy as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ozoneocean at 6:40AM, Feb. 21, 2010
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El Cid
At least part of your objections to footage of actual abuse don't stem from their “obscene” status then. They stem from their “actual harm” status, which is the whole point I've been making and spelled out clearly at least twice already. You don't need a dodgy concept like “obscenity” to go after such things, when the very creation of these materials already by necessity violates any number of very serious laws.
Not just the creation, but the consumption. The laws do not cover the consumption.

El Cid
Unfortunately, you're still clinging onto this nonsense about “it's okay because there must be something wrong with them.” I've already explained to you why that is a wrongheaded approach to lawmaking, and it's inconsistent reasoning on top of that. You seem to believe people who look at real images of actual violence and abuse are sick, yet somehow people who look at just as graphic depictions of the very same things in Manga or video games are perfectly normal. As Isukun pointed out, the appeal is the same for either. You're just trying to gaybash the stuff you're uncomfortable with while ignoring the fact that those same rules apply to things you enjoy as well.
Nice sophistry there but it doesn't apply.
I am only talking about media depict actual acts here, not simulations. There is a world of difference, since the production of one is actually harmful, the production of the other is not. Consumption encourages production, therefore it participates in the harm. Therefore those consuming are partly responsible for that harm.

If we factor in psychological and moral issues that adds another dimension. If we consider it immoral to deliberately cause harm to others through our actions, then those consumers are acting in an immoral fashion. Similarly, what does that say about the psychological profile of the sort of person who is part of that equation- they are happy to have other beings abused (in reality) for their entertainment. It's very likely therefore that at some stage they will participate themselves directly in such acts or even create such media themselves.
Remember, I'm talking about media featuring actual depictions of non-consensual violence, torture, rape, animal abuse, execution that are used for entertainment. That sort of material is becoming more and more prevalent and accessible on the internet (simple beatings are the mildest form and those are posted on Youtube regularly). There are not laws and regulations in place covering the consumption of ALL this type of media.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Product Placement at 6:45AM, Feb. 21, 2010
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Some of you have already mentioned the few thing that I like to ban with impunity (namely child pornography ans snuff films) but apart from that, I say it's up to the viewer to decide what he wants and doesn't want to see. As for the whole “we need to protect our children” rant I say, Fine! Be a responsible parent then and interact with your child about what's right and wrong instead of going to rallies to whine about why your kid isn't safe.
ozoneocean
Since children are a minority it doesn't make sense to weight things overly towards them- restricting what the majority have access to just for the “benefit” of the minority. Logically it would make much more sense if children were simply restricted from watching TV in the first place.

And hat would be better for them too. :)
As to how you manage it: parents.
If the parents can't manage it then it's their own faults. Maybe they should have their TVs taken away.
Pretty much my viewpoint 100%
El Cid
How often do people film actual executions, rapes, etc
It happens more often than you'd like to know. There some people who are just that evil. Yeah, I know it's cliché to brand people “evil” but when you hear stories about men going over to disaster areas, looking for orphaned children to sell as slaves and/or abuse them sexually, you tend to realize that there are people out there that aren't right in their head.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
El Cid at 3:48PM, Feb. 21, 2010
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Hey Ozone, it seems like every time you respond to me, you just keep trimming your statements down to sound more and more like what I've already said in the original post. Anyway, you've now completely dropped the parts I was objecting to, so I guess we're about as close to being in agreement as we're going to be. It really scares the bejeezus out of me that a modern first-world country like Australia is actually getting into the business of banning websites “for the good of the people,” and I sure as heck hope it never happens here in the States. Hopefully you folks will manage to turn that ship around some day.
Product Placement
El Cid
How often do people film actual executions, rapes, etc
It happens more often than you'd like to know. There some people who are just that evil. Yeah, I know it's cliché to brand people “evil” but when you hear stories about men going over to disaster areas, looking for orphaned children to sell as slaves and/or abuse them sexually, you tend to realize that there are people out there that aren't right in their head.
I'd love to know. I know of a handful of hair-raising incidents, in Russia (or was that Ukraine?) and Thailand. And rumors abound. But I've never heard anything that would lead me to believe there actually are large-scale operations putting out snuff films on the black market for profit. And that makes sense, because I doubt such an operation would be terribly profitable, and the risks involved would outweigh any potential gain. It makes good fodder for campfire stories and horror films but in real life, I'm skeptical.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Product Placement at 4:09PM, Feb. 21, 2010
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Never said that there would be any large scale operations behind it but you will find individuals here and there that will sink that low and there are 6 billion of us.

The closest thing to organized groups would be those child pornography rings that form every once in a while. The individuals in them are pedophiles who are seeking out light minded people to share their work. They don't do it for profits though. They're doing it to satisfy their need for more pornography.

As for my campfire story, those things happened after the Christmas tsunami that leveled the coastlines in the Philippines. People were looking for children that had been orphaned in the disaster area and tried to ship them out of the country. I thought it was sick when I heard about it the first time but I really became worried about the mental health of humanity now that I heard that similar individuals had attempted the same in Tahiti after the Earthquakes there.

But in order to explain my position about censorship better, I'd like to say this: I don't really care what's on the screen as long as the people (or the animals) in the footage weren't being harmed in any way during the production.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
isukun at 12:06PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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I think you're arguing a point El Cid didn't make, here. You're kind of taking that comment out of context. El Cid was stating that while child porn is a real issue, the other kinds of content ozoneocean was referring to really don't get enough demand to see any sort of organized attempt to create them or make them available to the public for the purposes of entertainment. Coming back with an example of child porn and prostitution isn't really an argument against that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Product Placement at 1:32PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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isukun
I think you're arguing a point El Cid didn't make, here. You're kind of taking that comment out of context. El Cid was stating that while child porn is a real issue, the other kinds of content ozoneocean was referring to really don't get enough demand to see any sort of organized attempt to create them or make them available to the public for the purposes of entertainment. Coming back with an example of child porn and prostitution isn't really an argument against that.
It wasn't supposed to be an argument against him either. I was making my own point about my own opinion about this issue and I chose to use that particular sentence that El Cid wrote as my launching pad. I wasn't taking Ozon's side nor El Cid's.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
ozoneocean at 6:36PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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isukun
the other kinds of content ozoneocean was referring to really don't get enough demand to see any sort of organized attempt to create them or make them available to the public for the purposes of entertainment.
The creation does not need to be organised. Why would that matter? It is the dissemination that is important in that respect. Footage and imagery of violent, brutal acts is increasingly available on the world wide web and there is a culture of entertainment surrounding it. You are making a point from a position of ignorance since you are obviously either unaware of this material or don't actually consider it problematic- and if that is the case, you should probably re-examine your opinions.
-The example of paedophilia is because of the similar harm that material creates and the situation of harm that surrounds its creation.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
El Cid at 10:08PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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There most certainly is a culture of entertainment surrounding violent imagery on the internet. But it’s pretty clear that it’s the availability of these images which creates this audience, not the other way around. The endless parade of grisly war crime images and crime scene photos you’ll find freely floating around the web do not depict events which happened because people are watching. The audience is not a participant, and its existence is neither a good nor a bad thing. There are exceptions of course; it may well have been the pursuit of notoriety which inspired some of the “happy slapping” incidents which originated in the UK, but even then I don’t believe you’d have cause to go out and arrest everyone who clicked on those ghastly Youtube vids.

Ozone: You indicated your familiarity with “materials” you believe Isukun is unaware of which will validate your point. What materials, specifically, are you talking about? Shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find examples, given that the Internet is apparently rife with the stuff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
isukun at 10:47PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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What materials, specifically, are you talking about?

I'm kind of curious about that, myself. I'm certainly more well versed in these things than Ozone seems to think, but nothing I've seen has had a “situation of harm that surrounds its creation.” At least among the violent videos and web sites devoted to real violence that I've seen, none of it was created with the intent to hurt another person. They were all cases of journalistic pursuits or accidents. You cannot judge this stuff based on the intents or motivations of the viewer. Doing so breaks down the barriers between fantasy and reality and then you may as well prosecute everyone who buys an R-rated movie.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
ozoneocean at 11:23PM, Feb. 22, 2010
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isukun
“situation of harm that surrounds its creation.” At least among the violent videos and web sites devoted to real violence that I've seen, none of it was created with the intent to hurt another person.
Happy slapping is a very good example of just this sort of thing. The very availability of those things has created a subculture surrounding them that is self perpetuating.
The execution videos by terrorist groups in the Middle East is exactly the same sort of thing- though intended for different audiences (for mass media in order to magnify the impact of the act, therefore fulfilling its role as “terrorism” ). These videos are widely viewed as a macabre form of entertainment by certain individuals. And as the popularity of the notion of those acts spreads, so do the imitators- among other terrorist groups around the world, when they know how far and how widely they can penetrate the mass consciousness.
The current journalistic and even historic journalist material depicting horrific acts (as you mention) is also collected and disseminated especially so it can be viewed for entertainment. Fantasy or “barriers”? If you watch those for entertainment you are in a similar position to a paedophile viewing material related to their subject.
-And funnily enough your justification is exactly the same as that of paedophiles in that situation.

Troops from around the world in various war zones have been frequently and increasingly amassing footage they've created of various acts they've committed, these are always intended for audiences of various sorts- even if it's just friends.
There have been quite a few incidents where users have posted such imagery and videos here and I have had to remove them and send severe warning to those users. One I recall was video of Two US solders hurling a live puppy off of a cliff.

There is no burden of proof on my part here- I can see that you are both well aware of what I speak. I'm simply struck with disbelief at the blase ignorance affected by both of you over this aspect of the subject.

If there is anything in this world that can be classified as “obscene” it's the class of material I've described- especially when viewers are encouraged by it's presentation to see it as a form of amusement. Also “obscene” is the act of viewing this material for the purposes of amusement.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM

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