- Don't apologize for the length! I'm very glad that you have a lot to say. You've made a lot of great points, and I'm glad we can discuss them.
- As far as your first paragraph is concerned, I would say for all intents and purposes, I do agree. As an apostate of the Catholic faith, I can personally attest to such feelings, and would agree with that statement in such a light.
- My first argument is imbedded in stating with what sex has a purpose in. Bonding, and giving life are both crucial elements in what sex has a purpose in. Sex, however, should not be limited to just these two purposes. It does have more purposes than these two, and to limit sex to such purposes is selling it short. It is capable of more.
- Sex is part of the self-discovery process. When done responsibly and safely, sex can be used to understand what one is capable of feeling, of what one wants and needs, and what one thinks about the world around him. It's not the only outlet that does this, and by no means would I say it is mandatory in any one person's development. Part of humanity is our individuality, though, and we do develop in different ways. I find most of my development is through discussion and debate, enjoying and dissecting media, and challenging my mind and my beliefs. There are a multitude of ways that other people develop themselves. Some focus more on a physical plane, while others focus more on a spiritual. And while we all focus on different planes, we should never lose focus on the other two. Nor would I ever say that one plane of development is more meaningful than the other. Sex is naturally mostly found on the physical plane. I would argue that its potential development can and does stretch into the other planes, particularly the spiritual plane of development.
- Sex should also not be required to fulfill all of its purposes with every time it is executed. The purpose of eating is to provide the body with energy and nourishment, but also to take pleasure in the act itself, and is often done with friends and family in a bonding way, such at events like Thanksgiving dinner. And yes, some people take such eating habits to extremes, becoming gluttons and obese. All things can be abused. But when done responsibly, and precautions taken, no one would (or at least should) slight someone who indulges on occasion in eating more than what is necessary for the body.
- Continuing my point, pleasure and bonding to God, or any higher power, belief, or understanding of the universe are NOT mutually exclusive. Pleasure, in sex, is essential in bonding to a higher point of existence or understanding, and it is only through pleasure during intercourse that we reach this critical point. To dismiss seeking pleasure in the act would be dismissing this higher place of understanding, and that would be dismissing a crucial factor of what sex is.
- One point you argue is that "REAL love" is "willing the good of the other as other". While the general premise is accurate, there are some connotions along with this statement that I'd like to contest.
- There is an inference that there is only one type of love, or that love is one existence. We know from experience this is not true. The love for the mother is different than the love for the father. The love for your sister will be different than the one for your brother. The love for your friend of two years will be different than the one of ten. Indeed, even two people in one's life that similar in almost an identical way will have a love that is different way, and this is based largely on the relationship with the individual. None of these loves are more real than the other. I understand you stress the term to exclude those times when it is casually used among two young people who have little experience in the world, and find themselves lost in infatuation and attraction. When you speak about love, I infer that you mean (And I understand this is an assumption on my part, so I beg pardon if I am incorrect or misrepresent you) two people, married, who have the experience to dedicate themselves to one another for the rest of their lives. That love is a complete selfless giving up one's self to the other.
- And I challenge that notion. Love can be that, and when it is that, it is very beautiful. But love is a word that is used, as I've implied before, for a multitude of related feelings, and that life-long selfless dedication is but one of them. Love is an expression of dedication, trust, passion, desire, and faith. It is a word that has been used for feelings containing most or all of the above, and I'm sure a few more that I have left out. It can be selfish, or selfless; it can be calm, or wild. But no matter the variance, it is real. Love can be temporary. And there is no shame in that, so long as one is true to those feelings, that is to say, that one honestly holds on to the meaning of those feelings as long as they truly exist. If love can have a beginning, it can have an end. The Catholic Faith holds that God is love. To state in those terms, if God can enter a relationship, God can leave that same relationship.
- Pornography is the depiction of people in sexual acts. The question we've been debating is whether pornography can exist in a moral, meaningful way. And I still stand firmly on the position it can be. The action in and of itself does not objectify people anymore than pictures of humans in any other form. A picture of a mountaineer does not reduce the mountaineer to his current action, although those who look at it might only think about who he is in relation to the mountain. In that manner, those that are depicted in sexual acts are not reduced to their sexual acts, although those that view the depiction may only think about who they are in relation to those acts. I'd also like to ask your opinion behind pornography that does not depict actual humans, such as drawings, or "literotica". They can depict love together with sex, and even under previous reasoning neither partner can be "reduced".
- Pornography does not "remove" love from sex, it simply invokes another use of sex, as form of self-discovery and understanding of a higher point of life through pleasure. I would not hold that pornography or masturbation rival the potency of sex with another person, but that it can be healthy option to those who have limited choices.
- Pornography as self-discovery on the physical plane is also perfectly moral within its own right. Those who exercise and strive to perfect their bodies are neither inherently better or worse than those that study and strive to perfect their minds, or those that pray and strive to perfect their souls. Nor, again, must these be mutually exclusive. But in that manner, knowledge, faith, and strength are equal attributes to possess, so long as they correctly used. In this manner, sexuality is also a physical attribute, and is just as right a pursuit as knowledge. Lust is not bad in and of itself, danger only exists in it if one acts upon it irrationally or impetuously. One can be in control of one's sexual appetite and partake in a sexually active life. It's a learning experience.
- To summarize,
- - I agree with you that sexuality is amazing, and can reach out to, or resemble a connection of something higher than oneself.
- -Sex has more than two purposes, and is not required to fulfill all purposes within its execution
- -Pleasure, when in terms of sex, is a crucial element in reaching out or resembling this higher connection, and should not be dismissed or undervalued
- -There is more than one type of love, and all types are equally real
- -Love is not required to be an eternal, selfless feeling, although it by no means is restricted from existing as such a feeling
- -Pornography can be demonstrated in a moral and meaningful way, and does not innately objectify those depicted
- -Pornography does not remove love from sex, but simply invokes a different purpose of sex altogether
- -Pornography, while not in and of itself eliminating the mind and soul, is not immoral for focusing on only the physical.
- Sex is beautiful, and individuals see its beauty in different forms. People should be free to pursue the beauty they see in it, while being encouraged to act responsibly.
- I look forward to your response. Best regards!
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