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Old 08-15-2012, 01:00 PM   #70
QuantumIguana
Philosopher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djulian View Post
I want to make sure I understand your claim--you're claiming that some not-defined length of history, illiterate people have perpetuated the majority of sex crimes without being able to read books that, for instance, glorify incest. Because of this, we can conclude that books that glorify incest are not actually detrimental to the social/emotional development of the people who read them. Is that the gist of your argument?
I claimed nothing of the sort. I neither said nor implied that illiterates committed the majority of sex crimes. I am saying that if reading erotica leads to sex crimes, then we should expect to see that those who read erotica commit more sex crimes than those who do not. Illiterates obviously do not read erotica, therefore, we should expect to see that readers commit more sex crimes than non-readers.

If we claim that cigarette smoking causes cancer, we would expect to see a higher incidence of cancer among smokers than of non-smokers. We do see such a higher incidence, smokers are at higher risks of cancer than non-smokers. If instead we saw no higher cancer rates among smokers, this would have been counter-evidence against the claim that smoking causes cancer. It would then be of no use to claim that the non-smokers breathed smoggy air, and that this explained why we saw no difference, because smokers breathed the same smoggy air. If both smoking and smog cause cancer, we would expect to see more cancer among those who both smoked and breathed smoggy air than with those who only breathed smoggy air.

Similarly, if both watching and reading erotica leads to sex crimes, we should see higher rates of sex crimes among those who watch both watch and read erotica than those who only watch erotica.

I never said that illiterates committed the majority of sex crimes. I said that there is no evidence that readers were more inclined to commit sex crimes. To say that readers are no more likely to commit sex crimes than are illiterates in no way, shape or form implies that illiterates are more likely to commit sex crimes than readers. If I said that left-handers are more likely to be criminals than are right-handers, this doesn't mean that I have said that right-handers are more likely to commit crimes than are left-handers. Left-handers and right-handers have the same crime rates.

Quote:
I don't know if there is any statistical support for the claim that illiterate people perpetuate the majority of sex crimes. And even if there were, that still doesn't disprove the idea that pornographic content has the ability to negatively affect those who consume it.
I don't need to disprove a thing. You're the one making the claims, you provide the evidence. If readers are really more likely to commit sex crimes than non-readers - which ought to be the case if reading erotica lead to sex crimes - then by all means, present the evidence.

Quote:
As a side point, I reject the claim that "as we go back in time, and keep removing technology, all we are left with is the written word." This disregards widespread evidence of art forms that predate any known written works--for instance, statues, totems, cave paintings, dance, oral storytelling, song, etc.
I didn't say that the only method of communication was the written word. But it isn't reasonable to include cave paintings in a discussion of erotica. The point, which was clear enough was that video and magazines are quite recent inventions, and that erotica goes back much farther. It would be a mistake to limit ourselves to the current era which is merely a blip. My time period is not undefined, it's all of history. Except for the current blip in time, the only people who had access to erotica have been readers. But even without access to erotica, people have committed sex crimes. No evidence has been presented that readers are any more likely to commit sex crimes than are illiterates. Again, I'm not saying that illiterates are MORE likely to commit sex crimes than are readers.
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