Originally Posted by speakingtohe
Ahh, but is that not why they read the books and/or movies?
They enjoy being horrified or titilated or feeding their paranoia.
If a book makes me uncomfortable or causes me mental pain I stop reading it and wish I had never picked it up. Those who do enjoy what to me are abhorrent books are very different from me but I doubt that reading the books made them this way.
Bad things were done by bad people long before the written word or computers and the internet.
People are responsible for what they do, of course. I'm only arguing that people are affected by the choices they make in what they consume.
Originally Posted by HansTWN
So, everybody who has ever read a book from Agatha Christie is scarred for life?
That's an unfair exaggeration of what I said. A fairer summary of what I'm saying is, "Everybody who has read any book has been affected by it."
Overall, the argument I'm making is one that many here would accept, I think, if it wasn't to do with erotic or pornographic books. Books like Uncle Tom's Cabin
or Fahrenheit 451
affect people. Some have argued that these books only affect people who want to be affected. I don't think that's entirely true--many books affect people who aren't expecting to be affected at all. Many kids went to read Harry Potter and never expected to be exposed to a wonderful example of courage or honor. They just expected to be entertained. And Harry Potter affected their views on what was courageous or honorable.
I think it's a bit of, "Having your cake and eating it too," to argue that books (of any kind) affect people in positive ways, but can't affect them in negative ways.
In this case, I believe (my opinion of course, and no one has to agree with this) that pornography has a negative affect on folks when they consume it. Specifically, I think it leads a person towards a mindset in which sexual partners are dehumanized or objectified.
But you don't have to agree that it has a negative affect to think it has some affect. Using erotic literature as an example, if you're reading a book and you are titillated by an act you had not previously considered, then you have been affected by it--you now have a changed view on what is titillating; you have a new sexual desire. Likewise, if you read a book and are disturbed or disgusted by a sexual act you had never previously considered, you have been affected by that book as well--you now have a different view of what is not sexually pleasurable; you have a new sexual turn-off. This is an argument that seems like it would be acceptable to people regardless of whether or not they think that the consumption of pornography bears negative effects.