[OT] Re: UVLUG presents Pete Ashdown on Open Source, politics andgovernment *PLUS* an installfest!

Josh Hansen josh_lists at xmission.com
Wed Feb 22 17:31:31 MST 2006

Grant Robinson wrote:
> On Feb 22, 2006, at 4:06 PM, Josh Hansen wrote:
> <snip>
>>I wasn't trying to make a pro-porn argument,
> Interesting.  So saying that it's a big industry, society is  
> functioning fine with it, etc., are not arguments saying that porn is  
> OK?

Ok, fine, it was a pro-porn argument then.

> So, if I said that lots of people get abortions and it doesn't seem to  
> harm the mother or society, would you say I was pro-life or pro-choice?

I would say you were pro-life if you felt that abortion should be
illegal, and pro-choice if you felt that women should be allowed to
choose.  Since I don't think porn should be illegal, I suppose I must be

>> I was trying to argue that
>>basing your vote on a candidate's stance on pornography doesn't make a
>>lot of sense,
> Sure it does.  People can base their vote on whatever they would like,  
> be it the War in Iraq, social security, Homeland security, tax reform,  
> etc, etc.

You can base your vote on whatever you want, sure, but that doesn't mean
that it makes sense.

>>and I also added my opinion that porn is not harmful to
> But you're not pro-porn?

I guess I am.

>>without adding a lot of hard facts and statistics because I
>>assumed that nobody would care.
> If you are going to state an opinion that runs counter to what other  
> people have expressed, hard facts and statistics go a long way towards  
> proving that you may actually have a case.

Forgive me for assuming that everyone else here had seen figures on the
size of the porn industry at some point in their lives.

>>  If you want to read past the first few
>>lines of my original post and discuss the rest of it with me, please  
>>but any more of these pointless spams from you will simply get you  
>>to my blacklist.
> That _would_ be a shame. :)
>>Anyway, I rarely read slashdot, but from statistics I am finding now  
>>a lot of sites, but mainly from the same two sources,
>>and http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html, porn is
>>a 57 billion dollar industry worldwide, and 12 billion in the US, which
>>is larger than the combined revenue of all professional football,
>>baseball and basketball franchises, and the combined revenue of ABC,
>>CBS, and NBC.
> So just because an industry is big and brings in a lot of money, it is  
> a good industry?  Is Microsoft a 'good' company just because they have  
> a large market share?  What about Enron?  They were the darling of the  
> energy industry?  Were they a good company?  The oil industry is way  
> larger than porn.  Chevron alone brought in over 100 Billion dollars  
> last year.  Is the oil industry a good industry?  Is the OPEC cartel a  
> good organization?  I believe that we should probably base whether an  
> industry or company is good or bad, good for society or harmful to  
> society, on more than market cap or revenue.  I am not necessarily  
> saying that any of these companies are good or bad, just that success  
> and making money don't really correlate with how _harmful_ that  
> business or industry is towards society or individuals.
> BTW, I would check some facts before using those as a basis for  
> argument, as in 2005 NBC Universal brought in 3.1 billion all on it's  
> own, and the one website you quoted claimed the revenue for all 3 was  
> only 6 billion.  The website you pulled that info from provided no  
> information as to where _any_ of these stats came from.

My point there was that with as large as the porn industry is, and with
the amount of people who indulge in pornography out there, it can't be
as harmful to society as Richard Miller believes it is, because the vast
majority of society functions just fine.  I wasn't exactly saying that
porn is good just because it's popular.

As for the figures I stated, I searched Google for a few minutes, and
almost every page I found with statistics about the size of the porn
industry cited the two links I provided as their own sources.  I would
definitely love to see some more accurate numbers, if there are any.

>>If such a large industry is so harmful to society, where is all the
>>harm?  I know that some people like to blame rape and other sexual  
>>crimes, the divorce rate, etc on porn, but I don't buy that, and I
>>haven't seen any information to convince me otherwise.
> You are free to believe whatever you want.  I have seen statistics both  
> ways.  From the experiences of people I know, I believe that  
> pornography can be _very_ destructive.  If you believe otherwise, I  
> would base it on more than just how much money an industry rakes in.   
> Tobacco companies make a killing too, but it's an undisputed fact that  
> people who smoke are _way_ more likely to develop lung cancer than  
> those who don't.  And yet people still buy cigarettes.  I once saw a  
> guy who had lung cancer and whose lungs barely functioned (he was on  
> oxygen) and could barely walk (he was in a motorized scooter) driving  
> down the sidewalk smoking a cigarette with the oxygen tube in his nose.  
>   Just because people spend money on things does not in any way mean  
> that those things can't, won't, or don't harm them.
> Grant

My own anecdotal experience would indicate to me that porn is not
destructive at all, because almost everyone that I know and spend time
with on a daily basis looks at pornography at least on occasion, whether
it's the DVD here and there, a collection of magazines, websites, or
links to porn or shock pics on IRC.  In case you're wondering how I know
people look at porn, it's not because we all get together and look at it
together, but because it's easy to gather through conversations and
other ways when you know someone well.  In my experience, people who
aren't vehemently against porn don't worry too much about hiding the
fact that they enjoy it now and then.  But anyway, I have never known
about a single family destroyed by porn (or even slightly inconvenienced
by it).  I have known of plenty of families torn apart by other various
things, but not porn.  But forget my own experiences, they don't matter
in an argument anyway.  I have read about families destroyed by porn in
the newspaper, usually it's a prominent religious leader or someone like
that who everyone thought was a good guy, but who got busted with kiddy
porn, which is illegal already.  The fact is, millions of people all
over the world are into porn, and for the vast majority of them, it
doesn't cause any problems.  It probably does contribute to the
deterioration of an already unstable individual in some cases, but those
are exceptions, and we don't need new, unenforceable laws to deal with
them.  Basically, I think claims that the porn industry harms society
are no different than claims that violent videogames harm children.
Claims made by people with a grudge (against porn, or violent
videogames), based entirely on emotion, religious beliefs, etc, rather
than on facts and logic.

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