I'd say there are a lot of good arguments for why pornography, or at least the public distribution thereof, could be made illegal, and it seems that many countries in the West are beginning to regulate internet pornography more strictly lately.

Some arguments I find interesting:

1. One argument is that an actor in a pornographic film doesn't have the physical ability to consent to being viewed by strangers on the internet, therefore a 'contract' of consent to a porn company is null and void; and a person viewing a stranger in a sexual situation would typically be criminally charged under laws such as voyeurism laws; therefore viewing internet pornography is the same as voyeurism, and therefore could be made illegal to view or distribute.

2. Likewise, an argument could be made that producing or viewing pornography violates the property rights of one's body, and while legally a body is one's living property, much like a horse one owns, one isn't legally allowed to do "anything" they want to it in practice; for example one can't legally give a person written permission to murder you and have them escape murder charges.

So using these facts, a case could be made that producing pornography for the viewing of strangers is permitting them to engage in a property rights violation against one's body, and therefore could be illegal regardless of one's consent.


I think these arguments have good philosophical bases, and apparently the trend in the West is to begin cracking down on internet pornography, so it will be interesting to see where this trend leads; likewise the popularity of 'amateur' pornography seems to be helping to drive commercial pornography out of business, much as internet piracy has more or less done CD music, so it'll be interesting to see the direction things go.

Hopefully not an excessive backlash like the Victorian Era of England, or the rise of the Ayatollah in Iran following the Shah's removal from power, but if society on the whole is showing signs of backlash against the more uncultured and sub-literati elements in mass culture, a la internet pornography and lots of "quasi-pornography" which doesn't meet any artistic merit despite barely being over the 'legal' threshold, this may be a good thing.

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"As far as credentials goes, I've read various literature such as "A History of Art and Music" by Joseph Kirman, and I'm a published writer"

"An again no offense, but the general standards of what is passed off as "art and music" today seem extremely low, and more just about marketing than about knowledge of actual artistic or aesthetic subject matter."


PS: I'm surprised that a published writer has such a unique understanding of concepts, laws and contracts related to the distribution of art, published works, intellectual property, etc.

The Dadaist movement alone proved that beauty didn't have anything to do with art. 

Or else that art didn't have anything to do with Dadaism.

I'm joking, really.  I like Dadaism.  It's so crazy.

For that matter, my understanding is that philosophically truth and beauty are interrelated concepts.

So one arguing that beauty is entirely subjective is like arguing that truth is entirely subjective, which aside from being oxmoronic (since the person is stating as an "absolute truth" that truth is subjective), is basically like arguing that whether or not the earth is flat or round is "subjective", and that if the earth "looks flat" to a person on the ground, their view is "equally true" to that of an astronaut viewing it from space.

So to be brutally honest, that just sounds like an anti-intellectual argument and a cop-out to avoid having to actually attempt to define it.

That suggests to me that you missed, entirely, the point of what DADA was about.

I'm aware of what the Dada movement was about, and simply stating that they were incorrect, as were there attempts to redefine it.

 If anything, art is not defined by beauty, but by intent and process. And even that is fraught with exception. 

That's as logical as saying that "science isn't defined by facts, just by intent"; and therefore since the "intent" of young earth creationists such as Kent Hovind is allegedly to discover truth, that "young earth creation science" is therefore just as valid as the scientific method since...

...science isn't defined by factuality, just by the ambiguous "intent" of the individuals.

...or likewise, winning at a sport (which are performance arts) isn't defined by actual criteria, just by "intent", and therefore since the "intent" of the Detroit Lions is to win the Super Bowl, they deserve to be given the Vince Lombardi trophy regardless of any objective criteria.


This was essentially the message of the Dada movement; it was basically sophistry and just an attempt to redefine "art" in an ambiguous way which removed all objective facts and realities so that anything could be defined as "art" regardless of it's objectively artistic content.

Basically it was to art what fringe movements like the Flat Earth Society, or Young Earth Creationism was to science; attempting to redefine the definition of "science" along very ambiguous lines so that anything they wanted could be declared "science" while being totally exempted from any objective standards, and therefore immune to criticism.

Even aesthetic philosophers disagree, and have done so for centuries.

Well of course, but so have scientists, but of course that doesn't mean that scientific truth is entirely 'subjective' merely because people disagree on specific details.

The Dadaist movement alone proved that beauty didn't have anything to do with art.

Well no, it proved that the Dadaist or "anti-art" movement itself didn't have anything to do with beauty, and therefore art, but rather attempted to redefine art as an incorrect definition in which all 'rules' were stripped out.

Much as the Flat Earth Society attempting to solipsistically redefine "science" in order to equate their flat earth theories which scientific method, doesn't prove that "science has nothing to do with facts" - merely that some attempt to redefine it as such for their own personal motives.

You have read a few books. I have taken a dozen college level courses, both on design and art theory, as well as the philosophy, and given lectures on the subject, worked as an art director and photographer (for 20+ years), and I would never assume someone random in a forum I was relatively new to, knew less than I did on the subject. Much less that they knew so little as to not comment meaningfully.

It's your words that seem to give me that assumption, such as that very ignorant statement about the Dada movement.

Much as while Donald Trump graduated from a prestigious Ivy League university, it would be pretty ignorant for one to not take him at his own words, and presume his Ivy League education automatically makes his view on... Mexicans correct.

Well no, it proved that the Dadaist or "anti-art" movement itself didn't have anything to do with beauty, and therefore art, but rather attempted to redefine art as an incorrect definition in which all 'rules' were stripped out.

That suggests to me that you missed, entirely, the point of what DADA was about. If anything, art is not defined by beauty, but by intent and process. And even that is fraught with exception. 

Also - LOL.

Aesthetics are not science. Asserting without evidence that there are objective criteria for beauty lands you in hot philosophical water. Nor is there any necessary link between art and beauty - you have asserted that, not demonstrated it, aside from your own criteria, you would have a hard time showing it to be true.

So which stance are you using? Art? or Aesthetics - who will be in charge of determining if it meets either criteria it for the purposes of legal justice?

Aesthetics, according to most credible theories, are linked to the formal sciences of the universe, such as mathematical concepts, so yes I would say aesthetic truths and falsehoods are as objective as scientific truths, albeit there isn't (currently) an "aesthetic method" for testing it as rigorously as the scientific method... but for that matter, neither is there with social science such as psychology, compared to natural sciences.

And your statement that the Dada movement "proved" art doesn't have to do with beauty is still a non-sequitur; they didn't prove it merely asserted it.

But if the same "art" standards they attempted to assert were applied to a performance art like sports, then one would have to argue that winning the Super Bowl has nothing to do with objective or measurable criteria, just "intent", therefore the actual scoring and performance of the players doesn't matter, and if the Detroit Lions "intended more" than the New England Patriots to win despite scoring less, then they should be declared the winner.

And most would likely agree that in a context such as that, the argument is more or less rubbish, so I'd extend that conclusion to other art mediums as well.

Your analogy to sports doesn't track, EXCEPT with something like the olympics, which often do have categories not only for objective scores, technical scores, but also interpretive/artistic scores - where someone can indeed perform better for their intent and interpretation, than someone who objectively did better on technical merits.

But even so, I would argue something like modern dance and ballet - intent and process are important, and there is not a ball-game type score to override, and makes a better example per a discussion of aesthetics versus merely performance. 

Regarding Dada - unlike the Flat earth people, where the scientific community asks for evidence, and rejects the claims made - the Art community asks for evidence, and accepts the claims made. You therefor find Dada works in books, museums, galleries, and private collections the world over. 

Consensus does not define absolute truth, but often it is as close as we can actually get until new evidence is brought to bear (since we can never know that what we believe to be true, is the absolute truth). 

"albeit there isn't (currently) an "aesthetic method" for testing it as rigorously as the scientific method..."

And that makes a lot of your argument pretty hard to defend. Without an objective method for defining and evaluating claims of aesthetic merit, it comes down to very subjective measures. And that's our entire point.

Using "ignorant" to mean "disagrees with me" does not help your case. 

Plato and Aquinas could help more.

In that case I meant genuinely ignorant not just "disagree with me", since the statement was a non-sequitur, and was as logically fallacious as saying "the flat earth society proved that science doesn't have anything to do with facts".

So if a statement doesn't show even a margin of logic behind it, I see it as ignorant, if it does but I disagree with it (a la some of Jack Baur's statements here) I don't view it as ignorant.

Likewise mentioning credentials but being unwilling or unable to articulate one's understanding of the concept that they gleaned from their education an experience, and falling back on 'argument from ignorance' fallacies, also comes across to me as ignorant.

Given the topic of the thread, shouldn't that be "booty"?

I'd support that. PS: The WWL discussion in the Test group hasn't had much action lately.


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