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Morality of visiting Strip Clubs

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I agree, and the Ayn Rand fans that believe there can be only one moral agreement between lovers should do more research into Rand’s life before stating their condemnation so emphatically.

We need to do more research? Coming from someone who has expressed subjectivist/libertarian "ethics" in this very thread, that's quite a bold statement. Offensively hypocritical, actually.

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I agree, and the Ayn Rand fans that believe there can be only one moral agreement between lovers should do more research into Rand’s life before stating their condemnation so emphatically.

bold mine.

I don't think that's the issue in this case. In fact we see here a case where there is NO agreement between lovers. Putting words into our mouths again - straw man.

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In fact we see here a case where there is NO agreement between lovers. Putting words into our mouths again - straw man.
Do you believe that it is possible for two lovers to have an agreement (that is moral according to Objectivist Ethics) that permits such acts as going to strip clubs, hiring hookers, and/or having affairs?
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Can you explain what you think "moral sexual desire" is? I personally would be very interested in your view.

I was referring to the quote directly above that statement as being a summation of moral sexual desire:

Consider that sexual desire is a response to personal values. For a rational person, it is not a desire for mindless, indiscriminate indulgence, but a feeling that results from the embodiment in one's lover of one's highest, most important values.

I can think of no necessary addendum to what Lockitch is saying, here. Moral sexual desires are those that stem from this embodiment of personal values, and not from anything less.

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Do you believe that it is possible for two lovers to have an agreement (that is moral according to Objectivist Ethics) that permits such acts as going to strip clubs, hiring hookers, and/or having affairs

Don't think of it necessarily as between two people. The Objectivist ethics is geared more toward the actions of one person for himself. Ask yourself if it is moral to go to a strip club without a gf, or hire a hooker without one. Of course the affair thing is moot, but you smuggled in an element of immorality when calling it an affair, any sex that is outside a person's main relationship and is consented by both parties is not an "affair."

So ask yourself these questions:

What is the value I get out of going to strip clubs and hiring hookers?

[Edited for typoes]

Edited by IAmMetaphysical
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But I just can't stand to see subjectivist/promiscuous attitudes passed off as compatable with Objectivism (and the rare, but equally maddening closet Catholic/intrinsic)... so I end up getting drawn in.

Okay, but I would hope you aren't insinuating that all positions that disagree with yours are necessarily "subjectivist/promiscuous attitudes".

If you do, I'll be forced to bring out some Church Lady references. :confused:

Edited by RationalBiker
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I was referring to the quote directly above that statement as being a summation of moral sexual desire:

I can think of no necessary addendum to what Lockitch is saying, here.

So moral sexual desire to you is: "“Consider that sexual desire is a response to personal values. For a rational person, it is not a desire for mindless, indiscriminate indulgence, but a feeling that results from the embodiment in one's lover of one's highest, most important values.”

Going to a massage parlor is not (necessarily) a mindless, indiscriminate indulgence. Yes, it is an indulgence but choosing the right one is very important. You should look for cleanliness and a low chance of being raided by the cops. You also want to make sure that the women are skilled and beautiful. If you do not use your reasoning ability you could end paying a lot for a low quality experience or you could even be arrested.

The rest of the quote, " ...but a feeling that results from the embodiment in one's lover of one's highest, most important values," is a little strange. Does this mean that you can only have a moral sexual desire for your lover? Wouldn't that mean that masturbation is not moral?

Also ... do you believe in the “no mind-body dichotomy” theory that basically says (I think) that a desire is not a desire unless it manifests itself in a physical response? In other words, do you believe that a “moral sexual desire” can be a mental activity alone or does it have to manifest itself physically in one of your erogenous zones?

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We need to do more research? Coming from someone who has expressed subjectivist/libertarian "ethics" in this very thread, that's quite a bold statement. Offensively hypocritical, actually.
So do you also think that Ayn Rand's affair with Nathaniel Branden was immoral and "subjectivist/libertarian" and offensively hypocritical?
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Hm. Interesting topic.

I think that men who go to strip clubs don't necessarily have to be immoral, but I'd have to think it through. I've never been to a strip club, but here's my argument:

Really loving someone takes time and commitment if it's to be more than just a feeling that can pop up and vanish. You really need to get to know a person. Anything before that stage has the same status as watching a stripper. It's superficial. You take one tiny part of the entire person, the part which you happen to value, and indulge in that. Feelings run high then, but I doubt that's moral desire.

Moral desire would require the interest to know more about that person, to talk to that person and to see if your initial superficial attraction is met, too. Under these requirements it's possible to build up love, that is: your full appreciation of the other person and the other way around. It's impossible to do this before out of epistemological reasons alone. But it doesn't just happen. Initial attraction may take place as a direct reaction to a value one sees out of context. Love requires both to want to know more about the other person and to share what's on your mind.

The only moral problem with strip clubs is then that you sacrifice the possibility of love for the initial hedonistic pleasure of getting good feelings from seeing a value, but out of context (initial attraction).

For men who don't have the time to really get to know a person and share what they think, the strip club is the only option they have left. Of course it's way less than what you get out of true love, but it's all these guys can get at the moment. If this is not a general thing, and just short term, I see no moral problems, actually. They try to get the most out of life they can. And if they knowingly just indulge in these pleasures to relax, I don't see it as more wrong than going to the movies or eating ice cream. They haven't given up the higher value, they just knowingly accept a lesser one because at the moment they can't get the full package.

There are of course men, who don't care to go the way of connecting to another person to such a high degree. The initial feeling fades away because they don't care enough about a real relationship and then they see some value in someone else and get attracted to that one. They are doomed to jump from one hedonistic initial attraction to another and that's all they'll ever get.

That's where the immorality begins. You sacrifice a higher value to a lower one out of ignorance, fear or unwillingness to connect.

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Going to a massage parlor is not (necessarily) a mindless, indiscriminate indulgence. Yes, it is an indulgence but choosing the right one is very important. You should look for cleanliness and a low chance of being raided by the cops. You also want to make sure that the women are skilled and beautiful. If you do not use your reasoning ability you could end paying a lot for a low quality experience or you could even be arrested.

Is massage parlor some sort of euphemism for brothel? You make a dire error, here. The quote does not refer to seeking out the least poor quality whore house in which to seek "moral sexual desire". Rather, it renounces these and refers instead to a sexual desire that is mindful and discriminate--not of cleanliness or fear of cops--but of the beauty of the reasoning mind in your partner that so reflects your own values. Evaluating and adoring the character of one worthy of your dedication and seeking out the least filthy location in which to pay for a loveless orgasm are laughably incomparable.

The rest of the quote, " ...but a feeling that results from the embodiment in one's lover of one's highest, most important values," is a little strange. Does this mean that you can only have a moral sexual desire for your lover? Wouldn't that mean that masturbation is not moral?

This means that your lover epitomizes the qualities which stimulate your mind most--and therefore your sexual desires as well. As far as masturbation goes, why would it not be based on these same principles? Sexual pleasure rightfully derived from the thought of a person that is a whole embodiment of one's ideals.

Also ... do you believe in the “no mind-body dichotomy” theory that basically says (I think) that a desire is not a desire unless it manifests itself in a physical response? In other words, do you believe that a “moral sexual desire” can be a mental activity alone or does it have to manifest itself physically in one of your erogenous zones?

Please clarify.

[Edit: Fixed formatting on the quotes. Matt]

Edited by Groovenstein
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Evidence that they had an affair?
A fair question. What kind of evidence would satisfy you? 1) Written firsthand account or admission of one of the participants, 2) accounts of close personal friends of the participants, 3) eye witnesses, 4) other. If you have seen Michael Paxton’s Documentary: “AYN RAND a sense of life”, what did you think of Dr, Peikoff comment about the affair? (Do you consider it evidence? Do you need evidence beyond any and all doubt or just beyond any reasonable doubt? Further, if I do present this evidence and you became convinced it did happen, would it change your opinion of the morality of going to strip clubs, hiring hookers, and/or having affairs?
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Please clarify.
"In a man of fully rational, fully integrated convictions, emotions follow the judgments of reason as an unforced, automatic response." Ayn Rand letters January 3, 1961.

I would assume that "desire" for an attractive woman (looks alone) would be an emotional response based on man's "animal" nature. Even a rational man is still an animal. A rational man according to Rand (IMO) would not have this animal desire, he would only desire the women that he reasoned are of high moral character.

And since his emotions are not off in space, (they are in his body) his body would naturally respond in a physical way (in this case the sexual desire would manifest itself in his groin).

My point is that if this is true then unless an "Objectivist" had a physical response while visiting a strip club he could honestly say that he did NOT desire the naked women that he watched while drinking beer with his buddies.

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So do you also think that Ayn Rand's affair with Nathaniel Branden was immoral and "subjectivist/libertarian" and offensively hypocritical?

All I know about that was that I heard Ayn Rand said it was a gigantic mistake. Not sure what her exact words were.

As for why she did it, I couldn't even begin to fathom and neither can you. The details of why must necessarily involve a number of details and circumstances that you are utterly ignorant of. So don't even begin to presume to use it in any kind of argument whatsoever.

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I'm really not terribly interested in unraveling your hedonism here, Rsalar. I just got done with a thread on that. Go read that thread if you're terribly interested in my position on this. All I want to state here, for the record, is that I believe your position is badly subjectivist/hedonist. You have already stated that no action between two consenting adults could possibly be immoral. Your position is utterly irreconcilable with Objectivism and I hope you come to learn that.

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1) Written firsthand account or admission of one of the participants,

Even if you do believe Branden's account, it was not an affair per se. The way he/they presented it was that Rand discussed this with her husband first and came to an agreement about the "affair". An affair typically means without the spouse's knowledge.

However, as is often the case when people "kiss and tell" after they part ways, there may be other motivations for his sharing this "admission" with people.

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If you have seen Michael Paxton’s Documentary: “AYN RAND a sense of life”, what did you think of Dr, Peikoff comment about the affair?

I have not seen the documentary. What does Dr. Peikoff say?

Further, if I do present this evidence and you became convinced it did happen, would it change your opinion of the morality of going to strip clubs, hiring hookers, and/or having affairs?

No.

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Even if you do believe Branden's account, it was not an affair per se. The way he/they presented it was that Rand discussed this with her husband first and came to an agreement about the "affair". An affair typically means without the spouse's knowledge.
You are helping me make my point. Two lovers can have whatever type of agreement they wish to have. It is their private business (as long as they do not violate the rights of others)--and if a wife (or girl friend) decides it is okay with her if her husband (boyfriend) goes to strip clubs then it is totally moral and proper. I know a guy who lies to his girlfriend about playing golf! To those who think it is so bad and immoral to go to strip clubs I wonder which they would rather have: an honest partner who gets “permission” to go to strip clubs or one that lies about playing golf?
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I'm really not terribly interested in unraveling your hedonism here, Rsalar. I just got done with a thread on that. Go read that thread if you're terribly interested in my position on this. All I want to state here, for the record, is that I believe your position is badly subjectivist/hedonist. You have already stated that no action between two consenting adults could possibly be immoral. Your position is utterly irreconcilable with Objectivism and I hope you come to learn that.
You keep calling me all these different names. I’ll spare you the embarrassment of asking you to explain what purpose that serves.
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Do you believe that it is possible for two lovers to have an agreement (that is moral according to Objectivist Ethics) that permits such acts as going to strip clubs, hiring hookers, and/or having affairs?

Well, I've already said...

I have no problem with strip clubs per se. The ethicalness of them is very much contextual.

I have no problem with men who go to strip clubs, even within a consenting relationship. Yawn... it's a boring ethical discussion, and not the one that was initiated.

It continues to not be the issue. The issue is, if the realtionship is not consenting, what is the proper ethical course of action.

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Read more carefully.
It's a yes or no question and all you said was that you are not sure about a whole lot of things. You seemed pretty sure of yourself when you made your accusations about me--and you know far less about me than you know about Rand (I hope). So lets have it: Was she a subjectivist/hedonist for having the affair?
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It continues to not be the issue. The issue is, if the realtionship is not consenting, what is the proper ethical course of action.
She said: "I appreciate all opinions on this topic and will commit to replys." So it is fine for us to explore other scenarios--maybe she will start letting him go and he will learn that he doesn’t need to any more. Maybe they will fall deeply in love because of her open mindedness and understanding and they will live happily forever and ever …
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