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Legal foundation for public decency, lewdness, nudity

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Seeing someone else having sex doesn't automatically make them part of your sexual life. You choose whether or not you allow that to happen.

It does. A neighbour having sex in front of my house every day in full daylight is making me a part of their sexual life. I would have to close my eyes while walking by, keep my windowns closed and curtains shot all day while in the house, or make sure to never look toward the window - to not be a part of it.

If will also remove my right to judge and have a control over what content my five year old son is ready to be exposed to at his age.

Seeing a sexual image or scene is not the same as actually having sex with that person. My sex life isn't being intruded upon by a sex scene in a movie, and that's definitely a real person who is (pretending to) having sex there.

I have not claimed that those two are exactly the same. Obviously if you consenting to watching something - you are inviting the impact. And there is one.

But even if they actually had sex during the making of the movie, that doesn't impact my sexual realm in any way, unless I want that to happen.

Do you mean to say that you can watch a porn video and not be affected by what you hearing and watching without shooting off your senses and your conceptual faculty?

If I have to stop thinking in order not to be affected by what I am perceiving - isn't that not and interference with my ability to use my mind?

Edited by ~Sophia~
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See this thread: Bill Clinton's Impeachment--The legal aspects of abnormal behavior. It's quite a long one and full of pointless bickering, but there is about 10% or so of the posts where you will fin

I disagree with this in part; positive emotions (or any emotions, for that matter) are not the standard of value, but they are values.

It does. A neighbour having sex in front of my house every day in full daylight is making me a part of their sexual life. I would have to close my eyes while walking by, keep my windowns closed and curtains shot all day while in the house, or make sure to never look toward the window - to not be a part of it.

If will also remove my right to judge and have a control over what content my five year old son is ready to be exposed to at his age.

I have not claimed that those two are exactly the same. Obviously if you consenting to watching something - you are inviting the impact. And there is one.

I don't agree with that. Anyway, I think what is more relevant here is whether or not your sexual life is affected, not whether or not someone else includes you in their sexual life without your consent (which they could also do by fantasizing about you, which is not a violation of your rights). And you still choose whether or not you allow someone into your sexual life, or not. But I don't think we'll agree on that point...

Do you mean to say that you can watch a porn video and not be affected by what you hearing and watching without shooting off your senses and your conceptual capacity?

If I have to stop thinking in order for me not to be affected by what I am perceiving - isn't that not interference with my ability to use my mind?

Well, that depends on what you mean by being affected. It certainly wouldn't be an enjoyable or inspiring sight to see. All it would do, for me, is to further reinforce in my mind how good the sex I choose to have is, compared to what I am seeing at that instant. It would make the contrast much clearer, and remind me of how much of a disvalue sex could be in certain circumstances, which is a good thing to be aware of.

So no, you don't have to stop thinking, and no, it doesn't interfere with your ability to use your mind.

P.S. I'm not Viking ;)

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I don't agree with that. Anyway, I think what is more relevant here is whether or not your sexual life is affected...

You are trying to reduce this issue only to that aspect and I am trying to explain to you that there is more to it than that.

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Yes, I think I can agree to that. Except, the on your own property remark is kind of superfluous here, because the actions we are discussing (that are objectively harmful) would also be violations of your rights when you were just walking down the street.

It's not superfluous, because the "public" connection is an extension of property rights. A rather complex one, but it is rooted in them. And as I said, it is horribly muddled by the anti-concept of "public property." I'll explain it, but only after everything else is resolved.

Okay, I can understand that if someone did that, it should be made illegal. But how does projecting disgusting images on your wall create hazardous conditions for you?

If you will accept for the sake of argument that one can be harmed by viewing a thing (without getting into the details of what that thing is), then the projection onto your property creates a harmful condition (the image) on your property. Being that it is your property, nobody can claim the responsibility is yours to avoid looking at it.

Edited by Inspector
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If you will accept for the sake of argument that one can be harmed by viewing a thing (without getting into the details of what that thing is), then the projection onto your property creates a harmful condition (the image) on your property. Being that it is your property, nobody can claim the responsibility is yours to avoid looking at it.

I guess that's where we disagree, then. I can't think of any sights that are objectively harmful in a way similar to how something can be toxic to your body....

But yes, if you could prove to me that seeing something is objectively harmful to you, I would agree with the rest of your reasoning. But we won't progress any further without looking at specifics, because you have to show the causal relationship by which a certain perception is harmful to your life.

Edited by Maarten
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I guess that's where we disagree, then. I can't think of any sights that are objectively harmful in a way similar to how something can be toxic to your body....

But yes, if you could prove to me that seeing something is objectively harmful to you, I would agree with the rest of your reasoning. But we won't progress any further without looking at specifics, because you have to show the causal relationship by which a certain perception is harmful to your life.

Okay. I suggest you start by watching those videos. If they can't harm you, then you have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time...

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Okay. I suggest you start by watching those videos. If they can't harm you, then you have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time...

I perused the thread and couldn't find the videos. Could you link them again, please? Thanks!

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Okay. I suggest you start by watching those videos. If they can't harm you, then you have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time...

Perhaps we should first define harm? I know that even witnessing something as evil as that won't make me change my mind about anything that matters. What it would do is make it crystal clear that such evil people exist, and that there are good reasons why we should want to kill them all. But it won't make me a violent person, or unhappy, and it won't make me start believing in a malevolent universe premise. What do you think the proper criteria are to determine whether something harms your life, or not? I don't think an emotional reponse on its own is enough, no matter how severe it is. Emotions aren't primaries, after all.

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So you agree, that if someone projects a stimuli onto your property which objectively harms you, that this is an initiation of force? That it is not proper to expect you to plug up your senses, on your own property, to avoid being harmed by a stimulus that another is causing?

"A stimuli"!?! Oh, my eyes! My head! That hurt! And I couldn't just turn my eyes away from my own computer screen either. I think you owe me some damages. ;)

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I perused the thread and couldn't find the videos.
That's because I didn't put the actual links there. If you are strong and curious enough and willing to live with the consequences, I can tell you that the beheadings of Ken Bigley and Hussein Shanun were tapes, and you will have to work some to find the actual videos. Remember, those used to be humans. There are about 15 beheadings there.
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I don't see how dropping one's pants

It's actually her bra that she's dropping. Just for the sake of accuracy! ;)

in a context where it is obvious that one is not posing any real physical threat

Physical threat? A society where men are scared of being beaten by lewd women is hardly one likely to form a proper captialist government! :P

is the same (in essence) as doing something physical -- like grabbing someone's crotch.

Whether or not it's "physical" is as inessential to sexual rights as it is to property rights. We're not materialists.

If it is, then what is that essence?

The essence is the initiation of a sexual situation. By "initiation," I do NOT mean the same as "invitation" ; I mean that a sexual situation has actually begun when the clothes have been dropped or the crotch has been touched. This is distinct from a mere expression of interest by means of eye contact or body language, which just says "I would like to be in a sexual situation with you" but does not in itself constitute a sexual situation. The difference is one between a potential sexual situation and an actual one.

To give an analogy, suppose you're having some guests in your home. In version 1, one of them takes a pack of cigarettes out of her pocket and asks you if she may smoke, to which you politely say no. In version 2, she pulls out a cigarette and lights it without asking; but before she has a chance to inhale, you tell her to stop and she does. In neither case has she actually ingested nicotine, just like neither of the scenarios above actually involves sex. But in version 2, there has been cigarette smoke, while in version 1, there is only the potential for cigarette smoke.

Dropping her bra does create a sexual situation, while just offering to engage in intimacy does not.

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Hey, some good stuff in this thread! ok, diving in!

Inspector, it is possible that the term "(objective) psychological damage" (or psychological abuse/force) will help you here.

While it's very easy to see how physical force is a violation of rights, it's not easy at all to make a case for when something constitutes an act of psychological abuse (or force).

Human being are not just a body, but also a mind, and they require both things working in a certain way to live.

If rights are that which allows humans the freedom to pursue that which is required for their existence, then things which are objectively psychologically harmful, or coercive (in the same way that tying/pushing someone is coercion of their body) are an act of force against a human being just as acting against his body would.

"Coercion" has to be differentiated from "impact"; if you slightly bump against someone on the street as you are walking, you impact their physical body. If you breath next to someone you impact their physical body - but those things are not acts of force. In the same way, talking to someone or showing them a picture creates an unavoidable psychological impact (they have to think about it, because this is the automatic process that is going on in their brain), but this impact is not force.

So seeing someone having sex would definitely create an unavoidable psychological impact - the question however, whether this is force or not. I don't think that this is objectively harmful, and therefor I don't think that this is an act of force.

There is a case however, for images of mutilated things. Something like this can objectively cause psychological damage.

But determining "Objective psychological damage" is hard.

But I think you have a case about creating a state of psychological abuse Inspector: I realize why you emphasize that this is done on private property. I think your case is that being exposed to this over time is psychological abuse. (as opposed to being exposed to it briefly for one time, on some street). Yes/No?

Edit: I just want to add, that I find the term "initation of intimacy" especially funny. In fact I think some people here have initiated intimacy against me, and I ask that they be permenantly removed from the board ;):P .

Edited by ifatart
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Edit: I just want to add, that I find the term "initation of intimacy" especially funny. In fact I think some people here have initiated intimacy against me, and I ask that they be permenantly removed from the board :P :P .

Sorry, you gave implicit consent to that by posting paintings of nude women on the boards ;)

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It's actually her bra that she's dropping. Just for the sake of accuracy! ;)
Yeah, I know. It's just that Inspector changed it into a guy who dropped his pants in front of my wife and actually began to masturbate! That's also where the "physical threat" thing came from.

I agree that it's rude of women to drop their bras in front of men who'd rather they not do so. hardly a violation of rights, though. At least where I live -- mid-western suburbia -- public statues with bare breasts are unremarkable. Our library just put one in, with no comment that I know of. A nearby college has one day of the year when the kids run naked through the streets. Whatever one thinks about the nihilism, it really doesn't bother anyone -- life goes on as normal.

Since minors might be an exception, I think default assumption of "no genital exposure" and "no depiction of human sexual acts" could be a default legal assumption for any place that did not have an "adults-only sign".

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Since minors might be an exception, I think default assumption of "no genital exposure" and "no depiction of human sexual acts" could be a default legal assumption for any place that did not have an "adults-only sign".

I am assuming because minors cannot rationally grasp cause and effect and thus consent to being shown sexual material any more than they can consent to sex itself. So the need for consent is there and it would also apply to adults.

Thinking that in a free society there is no place for rules and regulations, for procedural matters regarding societal etiquette (the "anything goes" as long as it is not physical initiation of force) when it comes to public places is anarchy. In a civilized society it is only proper for any person to have a right to wander through a public place without the expectation of being subjected to viewing people copulating or loathsome images such as pictures of dismembered bodies or displays of graphic violence. One can not assume consent for such things without asking. This is not the issue of anything anyone may find offensive but rather that which is grossly offensive as a matter of standard in a civilized society. This need for decency in one's normal daily life is a real one. I wouldn't want to live in a society in which people regularly engaged in sex on the sidewalks.

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(the "anything goes" as long as it is not physical initiation of force) when it comes to public places is anarchy.

Yeah, I totally agree. As well this ''anything goes in terms of the 'free' market as long as no one initiates force'' is also anarchy. Laissez-Faire?? Forget it!

Oh wait, is that a strawman????

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I am assuming because minors cannot rationally grasp cause and effect and thus consent to being shown sexual material...
In this case, I think this is not an issue of the minor's consent and ability to contract, and more a question of the likelihood that a minor will misconstrue things, take them out of context, try to emulate them, etc. Truth is that if one concedes an exception for minors, this entire argument becomes mostly theoretical, because "decency" would be the rule wherever minors might be present. I'm not fully convinced of the minor-exception in this particular case, but I'm not going to campaign against it!

Thinking that in a free society there is no place for rules and regulations, for procedural matters regarding societal etiquette (the "anything goes" as long as it is not physical initiation of force) when it comes to public places is anarchy. In a civilized society it is only proper for any person to have a right to wander through a public place without the expectation of being subjected to viewing people copulating or loathsome images such as pictures of dismembered bodies or displays of graphic violence.
The lack of rules in any particular sphere is not a call for anarchy. It is clear that people have rights and that they need an enforcement authority (a government) to enforce those rights. So, to call this anarchy would be to assume that a certain class of rights (for the unconsenting not to see things) does exist; but, that would be to beg the question.

I wouldn't want to live in a society in which people regularly engaged in sex on the sidewalks.
In my opinion, a rational society would not have people regularly engaging in sex on the sidewalks. Further, in most contexts, there would be rules disallowing it. In my subdivision I have to keep my grass cut to at least 5 inches (or some such number). There are those who say that without such city ordinances and zoning laws, the neighborhood would deteriorate. One could say that one would not want to live in a neighborhood that let a few people keep their houses in an extremely sorry state of disrepair. Or, one could say that one does not want to live in a society that lets its streets go to ruin, and therefore one support government roads.

Anyhow, as I said, once one concedes an exception for minors, the bulk of the argument becomes theoretical. We're left with minor differences like asking if a sign saying "Adults Only" is enough, or if it should provide more explicit information.

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CapForever: thanks for that explanation, it helps. By the way, a common expression that will also help your argument is "leaving nothing to the imagination." This marks a good point for where to draw the line in such cases!

Maarten:

But those perceptual things are not violations of rights because they are disgusting! That's my whole point. Whether it's disgusting or not is entirely irrelevant. Since when do emotional states make a difference in matters of law? This whole focus on the acts being disgusting is focusing on the non-essentials in the situation. Something can only be a violation of your rights if it forces your mind. Actions such as these cannot do that.
-my bold.

Maarten: I said this to Meta earlier when he gave a similar formulation of human rights violations that has to necessarily involve violation of processes of consciousness: a statement like that (in bold) is patently false. Deliberately touching the hair of a sleeping woman (e.g because you admire it) can be a violation of her rights, even if her mind (or senses) is completely unaffected by the action.

Secondly (following from the same mistaken premise), proof of "harm" is also not absolutely necessary for a discourse on human rights violations. I'm not sure I understand why you and Inspector have agreed to work from that premise in your protracted exchange.

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Yeah, I totally agree. As well this ''anything goes in terms of the 'free' market as long as no one initiates force'' is also anarchy. Laissez-Faire?? Forget it!

Oh wait, is that a strawman????

I can expand.

There are already various degrees of implied consent present when one steps into a public space, depending on the context. Unless in a crowded area during rush hour or something similar - another person simply touching me, not hurting, not holding me back, not threatening - is violation of my rights.

When it comes to the things under discussion consent can not be assumed.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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The lack of rules in any particular sphere is not a call for anarchy.

Calling for no social rules of conduct in a public space is calling for anarchy.

It is clear that people have rights and that they need an enforcement authority (a government) to enforce those rights. So, to call this anarchy would be to assume that a certain class of rights (for the unconsenting not to see things) does exist; but, that would be to beg the question.

Yes you are right. I do think they ought to exist when it comes to certan sights. I reject the argument that if you allow one thing - it will open the window for other things. We hear this argument from anarchists when we are discussing government - the "if you allow it to exist - it will necessarily grow".

My comment was not about aestetic value of such things or deterioration of society. It is about being able to expect certain minimum level of decency from others when in public. I find anything other unreasonable way to socialize. Walking into a dirty public place without warning is quiet different from walking into a display of human beheading without being warned. It is a considerable difference in the disvalue level.

A simple Adult Only or similar sign is the exact type of warning I am advocating. I don't understand why a rational person would be against such regulation. It does not prevent anybody from producing any content or sharing any content. At the same time it allows everybody to have a choice about it.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Maarten: I said this to Meta earlier when he gave a similar formulation of human rights violations that has to necessarily involve violation of processes of consciousness: a statement like that (in bold) is patently false. Deliberately touching the hair of a sleeping woman (e.g because you admire it) can be a violation of her rights, even if her mind (or senses) is completely unaffected by the action.

And it still stands that first: you must show how this is a violation, simply asserting it will not do and second: you must show how my principle is at odds with the fact that touching someone without their permission is a violation of their right to their instrument of enacting their mind to their life. Man is a being of body and mind, to say that rights exist to protect the mind means that the body must also be protected. You are separating the two, not I, my argument stands. Just because I did not hold your hand and walk you through the entire deduction and application doesn't mean its not there.

Calling for no social rules of conduct in a public space is calling for anarchy.

You have no idea what anarchy means.

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