PHIL-1100 Ethics Sexual Morality Essay

PHIL-1100 Ethics Sexual Morality Essay - Thursday, November...

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Monday, May 11, 2009 PHIL-1100 Ethics: First Essay Assignment There continues to be a heated debate over the legal status of explicit materials, despite the ongoing cul- tural liberalization of American society as a whole. Pornography, like any other media, material, drug, food or any other consumable, is available because there is a demand for it. If we propose to be a freedom loving, liber- al democracy we ought to allow any media to be subject to acceptance or rejection by the market. It is accept- able to censor materials that are intended to harm, or are the product of harm, such as child pornography. However, as thinking reasoning beings with an extensive justice system we ought to be able to control harmful material and allow explicit materials the same protections we allow almost all other media. Sexually explicit materials are protected by freedom of expression laws in a society that values individu- al freedom as long as those individual freedoms do not violate the human rights of others. The production of sexually explicit materials does not cause harm to the producers of the material, it does not lead to hate, or dam- age to society, is voluntary and the the mutual benefit of the participants. Therefore, sexually explicit materials fall under a category of expressive material, like literature and art, that should remain protected by freedom of expression and not be made illegal. In order to examine why pornographic materials should not be made illegal, we must first examine why it is currently legal. Sexually explicit material is protected under the same laws that protect the press, public speech and artwork, the First Amendment. The First Amendment states that congress shall make no law that is intended to prohibit or abridge the press or freedom of speech (U.S., 1789). This ideal serves to protect the press, art, and public speech from politically motivated censorship. Explicit materials, pornography, qualifies as a form of expression in the same way that a novel or painting is an expression of creativity by the writer or artists. By having laws, like the First Amendment, society has demonstrated a belief that we should not make any media strictly illegal without due cause. We do however, believe that some materials that cause harm, such as hate speech, should be controlled to protect society. The adult industry that produces the majority of sexually 1
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Monday, May 11, 2009 PHIL-1100 Ethics: First Essay Assignment explicit material is already highly regulated by the government. Producing materials that are considered harmful to society, such as child pornography and graphically violent content is already criminalized. We may choose to exclude some activities that directly lead to group or individual harm from First Amendment protection, such as hate speech. We do this because hate speech is literature or speech with the sole intent of in-sighting a violent reaction. We criminalize this type of speech not because the material itself is dan-
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course PHIL 1100 taught by Professor Mills during the Fall '08 term at Colorado.

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PHIL-1100 Ethics Sexual Morality Essay - Thursday, November...

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