I posted my response to Rob Breakenridge in his comments box here.  We’ve gone back and forth for a bit.  In his latest response (see below), Rob side-stepped my challenge to him where I said:

“Rob, if you don’t like the example of public porn of your [fictionally deceased] wife’s photo. What about in a magazine? She can’t sue because she’s dead. All I am trying to do is “level the playing field” so to speak. Very rarely do you see people who defend “free speech” at all costs being themselves the object of PERSONAL attack against a family member. And yet, that is exactly what Jesus Christ is to us. We all know what a “libertarian” would do if someone close to him were smeared and he had no recourse. He’s no different than any other class of people as far as their reactions would go. You’d get some just doing nothing; and other taking a more “proactive” role. If you deny this, then you are simply not dealing with the truth of human nature of reality itself…”

You have not acknowledged my point above. And I’ll tell you why.  Social and moral libertarian leaning folks  generally have no public targets that mean anything to them.  They don’t have religious figures. They don’t generally care about attacks on human dignity in the form of abortion or pornography.  In other words, they cut themselves off from the bonds of community and faith so they are less vulnerable to attack, BUT if there was an occasion when they were attacked, like the example I gave you above, you’d see a goodly number of libertarians change their tune.  As soon as they’re hit with something that really means something to them, that’s where the rubber hits the road.  It’s all well and good for Jesus to be immersed in urine, but I’m sure heads would roll if some fool did it to a picture of their father.  In more masculine times, such an act would be settled “mano a mano” outside.  And the guy who whooped the offender’s ass wouldn’t think twice about committing the “crime” of trampling on someone’s “free speech”. To suggest that all libertarians would simply rebut a vicious personal attack (similar in “hard core” offense like the one I proposed above) with a detached “I don’t agree with your point of view, but I will fight for your right to say it” is just complete bullkaka and you know it.  

What does this mean? It means that stepping on the free speech gas, indiscriminately and without merit, diminishes the common good and disrespects the truth of who we are as human beings.  And, yes, it also means heads roll.

Here is Robs’ latest response to me:

“John, you’re a heartbeat away from sounding like Warren Kinsella – “if you don’t think that hate has an effect…” blah blah blah. 

I don’t mindlessly accept every reason offered by us “freespeechers”.  Of course, hate has an effect. Dangerous political ideologies – like the preceding century’s Nazism and Communism – are not accepted by populations through osmosis, Rob.  They are accepted through speech.  To the extent that that speech departs from THE TRUTH is the extent to which we will suffer.   Suppressing speech is tyranny. But that doesn’t mean that wild and false speech doesn’t bring its own kind of hell. It does.  If you think it doesn’t, then you are merely elevating “freedom” (licence actually) into an idol and refusing to acknowledge that speech that does not respect the boundary of truth is speech that will eventually enslave us.  This is the legal fiction that many people have failed to recognize on “our” side of the fence.  Freedom without the truth is a legal fiction. It will not sustain a civilization.  Amazingly, there was a time when Canada did not accept pornography or abortion or homosexual imperialism or even contraception.  That was before Trudeau and I should think Canadians before Trudeaupia knew and understood freedom much better than we do today.   Lord knows that that generation paid the price defending it so they should know what they are talking about.

But let’s look at the research – as I wrote: “Consider that the amount of pornography has exploded with the onset of the Internet age, and sexual assaults in Canada have plunged dramatically over the last 15 years. According to Statistics Canada, the number of sexual assaults declined by 32.6 per cent between 1994 and 2004. That drop hasn’t ended, either; 2006 numbers were down nine per cent from the previous year, and 2007 numbers were down another 4.5 per cent. (…) Clemson University professor Todd Kendall has examined this question in great detail and has concluded that pornography is a substitute for rape. In other words, pornography prevents sex crimes. Kendall’s research (PDF) finds that a 10 per cent increase in Internet access produces a 7.3 per cent reduction in the number of rapes, but larger declines happened to occur in states which adopted the Internet more quickly. No other crime levels followed the same pattern.””

So you’re defending porn now, Rob?  How low can you go? 

Correlation is not causation.  It could be true. I don’t dismiss it out-of-hand, since something evil could replace something even worse.  I doubt it though. Usually, one evil trying to replace another usually makes the situation worse.  Then again, Kendall’s research is hardly conclusive:

EXHIBIT A: 

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pervasive use of pornography in western society appears to be the cause of 6 out of 10 men polled indicating they would rape a woman if there was no chance of getting caught. This is according to a recent study by the Journal of Research in Personality, a report that experts are linking to the consumption of pornography.

The study showed that 60% of men polled would rape or force a woman to do something she didn’t want to do if they were sure they could do so with impunity. Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Cognitive Therapy, said there is a correlation between viewing porn and aggressive sexual behavior among individuals. The results of the study reflect attitudes and behavior that she attributes to prolonged exposure to pornography….(Source)

EXHIBIT B:

CALGARY, March 12, 2002 (LSN.ca) – A new study has found that viewing pornography is harmful to the viewer and society. In a meta-analysis (a statistical integration of all existing scientific data), researchers have found that using pornographic materials leads to several behavioral, psychological and social problems.

One of the most common psychological problems is a deviant attitude towards intimate relationships such as perceptions of sexual dominance, submissiveness, sex role stereotyping or viewing persons as sexual objects. Behavioral problems include fetishes and excessive or ritualistic masturbation. Sexual aggressiveness, sexually hostile and violent behaviours are social problems as well as individual problems that are linked to pornography.

“Our findings are very alarming”, said Dr. Claudio Violato one of the co-authors of the study.Dr. Violato, Director of Research at the National Foundation for Family Research and Education (NFFRE) and a professor at the University of Calgary, said “This is a very serious social problem since pornography is so widespread nowadays and easily accessible on the internet, television, videos and print materials”….(Source)

I notice that you omitted talking about the OTHER negative consequences that come from porn in the article. Why, Rob?  What about the $3Billion annual child porn industry, Rob?  I suppose that’s another beast, completely unrelated to conventional porn, is it? 

If you’re confused about real sex and not the false kind that you are defending, may I suggest my little piece here.

3 Responses to “My Discussion with Rob Breakenridge About Freedom & Porn”
  1. Rob says:

    John, those who produce and consume porn are engaging in a private, legal activity that is none of my business and none of your business. To conflate child porn with legal porn is akin to conflating sex between two consenting adults and sex between a 40-year-old and a 12-year-old. I know you see the distinction, so why even mention child porn? If the government sought to silence a religious TV network, I’d be as outraged as you. I’d likely not be watching Fundamentalist TV, nor will I be watching Northern Peaks. I’m opposed to censorship, which is what supporting free speech really means.

    You say “Amazingly, there was a time when Canada did not accept pornography or abortion or homosexual imperialism or even contraception.” Well not everyone does, I suppose. Perhaps Sharia law provides the answer then: http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/016913.php

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