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

Josh Coates jcoates at archive.org
Wed Feb 22 18:33:06 MST 2006

>Claims made by people with a grudge...based entirely on emotion, 
>religious beliefs, etc, rather than on facts and logic.

(un)fortunately, we live in a day and age where access to information is
such that no one has a good excuse not to have their facts straight - or if
not facts, then well thought out reason.

so far you've based your arguments on:

-your personal experience with porn
-your first hand knowledge of families that have used porn (which you at
least admit isn't very useful data)
-you spent 5 minutes googling and found some links about the industry that a
bunch of other people link to
-and your opinion that you think society is "just fine".

so, yeah - i'd say that you could use a little a bit more facts and some
logic to go with those emotional claims. ;-)

like i said before, if you're going to make a pro-porn argument, at least do
your homework first.  it's nothing personal - but i just think it's
important to get your facts straight before you bloviate.  (hey - that

oh, and i apologize for calling charles a predictable ass.  that wasn't very
nice of me. :-/



> -----Original Message-----
> From: plug-bounces at plug.org [mailto:plug-bounces at plug.org] On 
> Behalf Of Josh Hansen
> Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 5:32 PM
> To: Provo Linux Users Group Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [OT] Re: UVLUG presents Pete Ashdown on Open 
> Source, politics andgovernment *PLUS* an installfest!
> 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 pro-porn.
> >> 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 society,
> > 
> > 
> > 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 do, but any more of these 
> >>pointless spams from you will simply get you added to my blacklist.
> > 
> > 
> > That _would_ be a shame. :)
> > 
> >>Anyway, I rarely read slashdot, but from statistics I am 
> finding now 
> >>(on a lot of sites, but mainly from the same two sources,
> >>http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-por
> nography-
> >>statistics.html
> >>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 
> >>abuse 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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