Good intentions: what religions have, right? Nonsense on sex trafficking

So a bunch of clergypeople want to stop sex trafficking. Well, their expensive move against Backpage and The Village Voice is silly, and how much does a full-page ad in the New York Times cost these days anyway?

There are no rules of the moral universe because there is no moral universe, even about children and sex, not to mention about the exchange of money for sex. The idea that there is some absolute place where everyone will agree on morality is an illusion held by some people with little imagination, who universalise their own experiences. On top of that fantasy they build campaigns in which all other moral senses are turned into crime, sin and perversity. Shame on these members of the clergy for taking such a cheap shot, for ignoring the subtleties of what many people say about their own experiences with money and sex and for spending precious money on such promotional self-congratulation. Ashton Kutcher is clueless, okay, it is understandable. But the clergy?

There is no universal clergy either, for that matter, so I imagine there are plenty of people employed by institutionalised religions that do not appreciate this advertisement.

To add insult to injury, the Huffington Post, which is rabid on the subject of sex trafficking, has illustrated their story on this clergical error with a repellent photo of Demi Moore, an archtypal white saviour-lady, patronising a brown Indian lady. Rank colonialism, ghastly. Words fail.

–Laura Agustin, the Naked Anthropologist

5 thoughts on “Good intentions: what religions have, right? Nonsense on sex trafficking

  1. ewaffle

    Demi Moore: Another White in Shining Armor, out to save those who don’t know who she is and who very often don’t need “saving”.

    Reply
    1. Laura Agustín

      I’m not so sure about that. Ladies who have suffered at the hands of men, even cute kids like Ashton, go on to claim empathy with all other suffering women. All she has to do is even allude to the victim card…

      Reply
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  3. Magh

    If you allow me, a different kind of comment, concerning the reactionism this hybristic ‘moralist’ tendency causes.

    Morals, or rather Ethics, do exist but in the PHILOSOPHICAL context and philosophy is the real tool to explore them. And not hysteria or prejudice.

    Another chief element is that real ethics must have the element of timelessness. Meaning that ethical values are necessarily independent of any age and society. They are unrelated to whimsical trends and whatever beliefs that are deemed fashionable, acceptable or ‘correct’ this or that decade, in this or that country.

    In this area, the classic hellenic philosophy has some great gems to offer, like Plutarch’s extended work, Moralia. There one finds that the ethical values and questions are applicable in any age and society, exactly because they come from a deep understanding of human nature in combination with a high intellectual contemplation on the attainment of virtue (the word ‘virtue’ used literally, as virility, fighting ideals, liberality etc.)

    Examples from Plutarch’s Moralia issues:
    – How to deal with anger, in order to cease being angry easily or act hastily under anger
    – How to learn to mind your own business, in order to cease gossiping and occupying with trivial, petty and insignificant matters, which really concern you not, neither contribute to your benefit, profit or philosophical evolution.
    – How to deal with the desire for money and the danger of becoming a miser
    – How to avoid loaning and debt
    – whether virtue can be taught
    – on the young people’s breeding
    – how to deal with the death of your child

    All these issues, one can easily see that they are indeed timeless and applicable in any age or society.

    The worst problem with today’s ‘moralists’ is exactly this: that neither they or their opponents see the real cause – the attempt to promote and enforce some pseudomorals, which aren’t the fruits of high philosophy but whims and current trends in vogue, that do not hold any validity if examined under the principles of philosophy and dialectic checking.

    Reply

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