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Consent Is No Basis for Morality

“A workable ethic, or morality, should take into consideration what harm can be done to your body, and to your relationships by practicing a certain behaviour. This is why it is important to transcend basing your morality on merely something like consent.”


The Wiccan Rede is summed up by these words, “And ye harm none, do as ye will.” In other words, as long as no one is hurt and if you are doing something with another and the other person consents, do what you want. This is the Satanic, Wiccan and Libertarian philosophy.

The idea is that we all build our own, subjective moral system based on contracts and agreements. What people say they are ok with, is what is ok, or ethical.

This is also the basis of so-called “ethical” porn. As the website, Soul Refiner notes,

“In recent years, there has been a rise in porn producers claiming they make ‘ethical porn.’ They are trying to overcome the negative press around porn’s link to human trafficking and sexual abuse.

“Ethical porn is described as porn that is legally made, fully respecting the rights of both male and female performers (including consenting to all actions), provides violence-free and good working conditions, promotes sexual diversity, and provides fair pay. But is that the reality?

“Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology research fellow Megan Tyler says, ‘The claims about ethical porn, at this point in time, are more industry propaganda than anything else, and are — what would elsewhere be rightly recognized as — corporate whitewashing…It’s for a small segment of consumers who would like to think that their pornography consumption is unproblematic and they would like to think that what they are doing is totally different from what others are doing when, in reality, it all feeds the same commercial sex industry.’”

Why There Is No Such Thing as Ethical Porn, Jeremy Wiles, 2023

The idea that porn can be considered ethical, is incredibly foolhardy. But this idea is based on a horizontal basis for morality. You and I together agreed on what is good, and that is what is moral or ethical. Therefore, in this libertarian framework two consenting adults who agree to do unspeakable things to each other on film and for money are producing so-called “ethical” content.

There are many problems with this way of thinking, as the Soul Refiner article acknowledges. But the most important reason this kind of thinking is flawed and dangerous is because this world was not created by us.

Rather it was created for us by an all-knowing God, who created it to work according to certain principles and laws, and the world he created does not care whether or not we agree with those laws and principles, it enforces them regardless of what we think of them.

Whatever you think of the law of gravity, the drop from the top of the Eiffel tower does not care one iota how you feel about it. Whatever you think about sexual practice, your body was designed to function in a certain way sexually, in the relationship between a husband and wife, and to ignore this brings devastating results.

This shows us why basing a moral system only on consent is actually quite evil. This is just another way of saying that man should determine morality, not God. This is not to say that consent does not have its place, of course, it does.

The traditional marriage vows are a good example, where both the man and the woman need to consent, that is say ‘I do’, for the marriage to be legitimate. Consent has its place.

But it cannot be the basis of morality, because there is a higher authority under which we submit, that is God, and he does not really care whether we think we know better or not. If we ignore his guidelines we will harm or even destroy ourselves.

As the article goes on to explain,

“Joshua Sharp explains, ‘A person does not look at porn to appreciate the beauty of God’s design for human sexuality. A person views porn specifically to pursue sexual satisfaction through the objectification of other people. The screen and the page allow the viewer to bypass relationship, commitment, sacrifice and love. The people in the picture or video are no longer people; they are objects to be used and disposed of at will. Consuming pornography, then, is inherently lustful, and those who make pornography do so specifically to feed others’ lusts.’

“Former porn actress Jessica Neely is now an anti-pornography activist. Bluntly she explains,

“Lust is something that is never going to be satisfied. It is a trap that makes you resent your wife. My job was to make you hate your wife. Lust is a monster that can never be satisfied. The very end-road of an all-consuming addiction is a guaranteed death. You are going to lose everything.”

Ibid.

Her goal was to get you to hate your wife. That is shun your wife for the woman on a screen. To bond to a woman that would never give you the time of day, and ignore the real woman in your bed. 

What you do on repetition changes your mind. The more you repeat something, the more you build neural pathways in your mind that reinforce and get your body used to, even addicted to, that sort of activity.

This is why martial artists do the same katas again and again and again, for years, so that these forms of moving are grafted into their minds, like tyre tracks on an old farmhouse’s driveway.

This is how the military takes young men and turns them into dangerous fighting machines, that can handle some of the most complicated equipment in the world, by making them repeat this again and again and again.

Repetition creates these pathways in your mind, reinforcing certain behaviours which you default to, especially if you are tired or under stress.

So if you are constantly masturbating in front of a screen to images of people doing all sorts of sexual activity, you are going to train your body to respond to certain stimuli and certain behaviours that will actually lessen your ability to have healthy relationships with other people, especially women.

Consent matters not, your biology does not care that you have agreed with yourself that this is ok, or the people on the screen agreed that defiling each other on camera was ok. Your body will be retrained anyway for a diminished sexual response to a woman, and become conditioned to arousal for certain stimuli. Why do you think that erectile dysfunction is increasing? It comes down to several factors, but one of them is that “too much porn can diminish sexual performance.

A workable ethic, or morality, should take into consideration what harm can be done to your body, and to your relationships by practicing a certain behaviour. This is why it is important to transcend basing your morality on merely something like consent. You need to recognize the importance of following the wisdom also of the one who created you, who warned you to avoid all types of sexual immorality.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7

There is no use complaining that you watched “ethical” porn if you cannot perform sexually with your wife, is there? Not to mention that the exploitation in the sex industry is well known. The sex trade, which often deals in the trading of kidnapped, and coerced, young girls and boys, is an inherently immoral industry. And there is no whitewashing it by saying a certain segment of it is “ethical.”

What happened in the lives of those “consenting” adults to cause them to think something like porn is a good thing to pursue anyway? At the very least they were raised poorly, more likely they were abused and conditioned to accept this kind of lifestyle. It is an entire industry based on evil. 

The best path is to listen to the advice of the Scriptures and avoid that which can destroy you, and avoid supporting something which has harmed many people and will harm many more.

The consent of the God who created us is the most important standard for morality, and he does not give it for sexual immorality. Because he knows it is evil and will harm us.

This is another aspect of life where the Bible correctly warned us, and where we should be quick to listen to it.

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