WeiWenDi wrote:That's where I have to disagree with you. The medium is not irrelevant, nor is the context. If you just think about a certain sex act, no one else can see it or has to hear about it. If you write it down or draw it or film it, then other people can see it and hear about it. And of course it matters in what context the writing or drawing or filming of it is presented - if the purpose of it is to titillate arousal or provoke outrage or to make a broader point, for example.
If I write something in a journal and leave it on my bookshelf, or create graphics and save them to my hard drive, and never share these things with anyone, it can only be exposed to other people if my privacy is invaded.
WeiWenDi wrote:Well, therein lies the problem. You say below precisely that you don't want anarchy. But that's precisely what you get if you don't draw the line somewhere with regard to public morality, and assume that morality is completely private rather than the proper domain of the government. You can't have it both ways. If you don't want political or moral anarchy, then those lines regarding proper public behaviour don't always have to be ones with legal punishments attached, but they do have to be there.
I really don't understand this. It's actually relatively easy to have a peaceful society that allows individuals to have their own morality without having anarchy - in fact, for the first 150 years of the United States, that's essentially what was around. As long as you did not bring harm to others, the government would not impose morality on you. So obviously things like murder and theft would be illegal and those who broke those laws be prosecuted, but anything else that didn't negatively affect others was fair game.
Individuals could decide for themselves to either drink or not. They could smoke tobacco or not. They could use opiates or not. They could eat pork or not. They could give to charity or not. They could engage in homosexual acts or not. They could support the KKK or not. They could be Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, Sunni, Shia, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Atheist, or whatever you like without fear. And you could do all of it publically. If you went to the town square and began preaching about the evils of alcohols, or the benefits of giving to charity, or one of any number of subjects, you wouldn't face persecution from the government - and that's the big thing.
Now, this doesn't save you from the scorn of your peers. I would expect someone who was on a street corner preaching about something that obviously goes against the public sentiment (like supporting the KKK) to have their peers discourage that behavior however they could. A private business might refuse him service, other citizens might refuse to associate with him, etc; and they should have the right to. That doesn't mean he can't live in that society, or associate with others that agree with him and share his views, and that they, as a group, can assemble peacefully and discuss their views.
In fact, more often when a central power attempts to legislate morality, more often that's when we run into trouble. We can see that today - in the areas that ISIS controls, they essentially are able to execute Christians at-will. Yes, they are a terrorist group, and yes their methods are extreme, but they are the central power in the regions they control. They're attempting to legislate morality, only the penalty for breaking those laws is death.
It's no coincidence that we generally consider freer nations better places to live. Consider this report by FreedomHouse.org. When you consider the map in particular, we see that the most desirable places to live in the world (The United States, Canada, western Europe, Japan, Australia) are also the most free, while the more undesirable places to live (Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China) are less free. Ultimately, having the central power dictate morals is to ensure that that becomes a place that minority would want to live.