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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Sure people can and should have control over their own bodies.. it's just two parties may not form a legal contract based around the exchange of monies for human flesh, to allow this is to commoditise and/or cheapen said flesh, most people buy into this notion, regardless of their cultural/religious/ethical heritage - though I will concede it is a subjective value statement

    Indeed there is nothing inherently exploitative about anything where parties involved are totally empowered and secure in themselves

    Unfortunately this does not tend to be the case where prostitution is concerned, in spite of what the secret diary of a call girl and other such glamorisations - of what is ultimately a pretty unpleasant industry for almost all involved, except perhaps the clientele (or rather those who get away with it) - may have us believe

    Where porn is concerned the exploitation argument is perhaps weaker, however a great many young women who get into the game, be it porn or prostitution, do so to correct a 'market failure' if you will e.g. to pay college fees, because they get into debt, because they are convinced to do something they're not entirely comfortable with but then get sucked in deeper and deeper etc

    In that sense it is exploitative where these women would not ordinarily 'debase' themselves. Many women, including some of the ones we're talking about, buy into this idea that what they're doing is 'debasing'/'dehumanising' - which I'm sure you're aware can cause them direct mental/indirect reputational social trauma - but they do so as they feel they have little choice, not typically because it's a life of thrills and spills

    These industries literally capitalise on their misfortune/desperation, and we as a society, and more specifically as men, are party to that exploitation the moment we proliferate/pay for such 'services'/'entertainment'

    Few people serve their country for the money, any squaddie will tell you there's **** all money in it

    Selling your body, or rather risking ill health, in the name of science, medicine or some combination of the above and commercialism is not something I would advise anyone to do. We get one life and our bodies are more precious than material wealth in my view. We have outlawed certain types of animal testing and rightly so, many types of testing on humans are either similarly outlawed or subject to serious scrutiny for precisely the reason that human life is precious and suffering should be avoided

    I can see where you’re coming from on the ethical double standard but the main distinctions that spring to mind are threefold:

    1) That medical testing can bring great benefits to mankind and reduce suffering in a way that just edges it over relieving a guy's hornyness

    2) Prostitution has been illegal for a very long time whereas scientific testing has, as far as I'm aware, been legal for a very long time

    3) The attached normative statements are quite different:

    It is ok to go on a drug trial, lying in bed being pumped with (already fairly well tested) substances for a few hundred or thousand pounds

    vs.

    It is ok to go to a crack-house, lying on a dirty mattress being pumped by a series of complete strangers who may or may not turn violent and who may or may not leave you with more than you bargained for in the STD department, being treated like a sexual rag-doll, day in day out, for a few hundred or thousand pounds

    Selling/renting yourself out for the most intimate acts - that can be infused with all kinds of emotions and, for want of some serious cringe, can be very 'special' - with complete strangers, turning such intimate behaviour into a cold, hard, tradable commodity typically devoid of almost any emotion, and opening yourself up to abuse, injury, ill health and potential mortality, to me does not seem like something we should in any way encourage
    Two things that you don't seem to understand.

    1) The issues (or dangers) you highlight with prostitution would by and large be alleviated through legalization. The threat of STD's? Legalize prostitution and have both workers and those who want to be customers tested, while keeping all information anonymous. The threat of violence? Again, proper security would be required and if there was violence it could be brought before the courts because the prostitutes themselves would not be afraid of being prosecuted and losing their livelihood. If you really did have the best interests of the prostitutes in mind you would support this, because prostitution is, as they say, the oldest profession, and it will never go away.

    2) Just because prostitution may be a ****ty job (in your own, very biased, eyes), does not mean it should be illegal. There are plenty of worse and, yes, more dangerous, jobs that are legal. Why? Because in most cases people are given the right to decide what they want to do for a living. The only, yes, only reason prostitution is different is because of this absurd moral objection arising from religious beliefs, or paternalistic and sexist notions regarding the "sacredness" of female sexuality. Grow up and realize that people have sex all the time, for a variety or reasons, outside of your own idea of what sex should be.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    The issues (or dangers) you highlight with prostitution would by and large be alleviated through legalization
    I don't deny that the situation would most likely improve for many sex workers but I don't believe that just because a nefarious black market exists we should be blackmailed into capitulating re: practices that have been outlawed for millennia and that the vast majority of the general public feel are at best distasteful and at worst abhorent

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Legalize prostitution and have both workers and those who want to be customers tested, while keeping all information anonymous
    Would be nice but hardly fullproof, can't see many clients willing to get into all that, they just want to get their end away, hence if you try to formalise the whole process you perpetuate the black market.. plus a number of STDs can go undetected anyway :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Wucker)
    If there was violence it could be brought before the courts because the prostitutes themselves would not be afraid of being prosecuted and losing their livelihood
    Granted this has been a problem in the past but less so now in the sense that residual difficulties with the justice system are largely attitudinal e.g. Police not being too bothered what happens to hookers, which of course is not likely simply to change were we to legalise it

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Because prostitution is, as they say, the oldest profession, and it will never go away
    A market will probably always exist for it, like crime more generally, tis true.. I don't see why that should mean we just give up and let it consume our society, have a hooker on every corner and be done with it

    (Original post by Wucker)
    The only, yes, only reason prostitution is different is because of ... sexist notions regarding the "sacredness" of female sexuality
    Same thing applies to rent boys tbh, nowt to do with sexism or religion sorry - it's just there are far more female prostitutes and the female objectification side feeds into the macro-social objectification issue

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Grow up and realize that people have sex all the time, for a variety or reasons, outside of your own idea of what sex should be
    Unnecessarily antagonistic and baseless comment son. I do not tell people how to behave sexually and, for that matter, I don't always behave in ways that are totally in line with some of the POVs I've touched on myself, but does my discussing these aspects of morality mean I need to grow up, or necessarily mean that I am in some way blinkered/sheltered from the real world out there?..

    ***** please, you don't know me :holmes:
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I don't deny that the situation would most likely improve for many sex workers but I don't believe that just because a nefarious black market exists we should be blackmailed into capitulating re: practices that have been outlawed for millennia and that the vast majority of the general public feel are at best distasteful and at worst abhorent

    Would be nice but hardly fullproof, can't see many clients willing to get into all that, they just want to get their end away, hence if you try to formalise the whole process you perpetuate the black market.. plus a number of STDs can go undetected anyway :rolleyes:

    Granted this has been a problem in the past but less so now in the sense that residual difficulties with the justice system are largely attitudinal e.g. Police not being too bothered what happens to hookers, which of course is not likely simply to change were we to legalise it

    A market will probably always exist for it, like crime more generally, tis true.. I don't see why that should mean we just give up and let it consume our society, have a hooker on every corner and be done with it

    Same thing applies to men tbh, nowt to do with sexism or religion sorry

    Unnecessarily antagonistic and baseless comment son. I do not tell people how to behave sexually and I don't always behave in ways that are totally in line with some of the POVs I've touched on but does my discussing these aspects of morality mean I need to grow up or necessarily mean that I am in some way blinkered/sheltered from the real world out there?.. ***** please, you don't know me
    So you are more concerned with showing an anonymous and vaguely defined black market what's what than protecting sex workers? Hah.

    If the process were, in fact, anonymous, there would be nothing to fear. The fact is, illegal prostitution wouldn't be able to compete because the safety, legitimacy, efficiency, and, likely, cost of operating on the free market would simply destroy any competition. A good example would be Prohibition (the criminalizing of alcohol in the U.S. in the 1930s), where black markets flourished until alcohol was once again made legal and it collapsed. There still are moonshine operations, intended to get around various federal regulations, but they are dwarfed by the legitimate and safer legal market.

    I am saying that Prostitutes do not report crimes because their profession is, in and of itself, illegal. This barrier would, clearly, be removed should their profession become acceptable in the eyes of the law.

    This is a common fallacy. People often say "well there will always be murdered so by your logic shouldn't we legalize murder?" The key difference, though, between murder and prostitution is that prostitution, unlike murder, is a victimless crime (consenting sex between two individuals).

    If not sexist and religion, then an outdated, reactionary, restrictive, illiberal worldview.

    Frankly, I find it hard to respect proponents of the offense principle (look it up). I am able to let people live their lives as they see fit, even if I don't agree with their lifestyle choices. As for people who are unable to accept the rights of others to say and believe and do as they want, well, I find my ability to respect that to be somewhat lacking.
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    (Original post by Barden)
    Any addict who became hooked before heroin was made illegal would be... what, over 100 years old by now?

    It was illegal when they took their first hit, the state tried to stop that from happening, the addict knew the risks and knew that they'd be forever tied to the criminal underworld due to their addiction.
    I understand that, but surely this is an issue of what works best rather than 'it was illegal first so we won't help you now'. The fact that drugs are illegal isn't right... one day we'll all look back on drug prohibition with disdain.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    I hate it when I hear this. Why are so many people obsessed with banning relatively harmless things that they don't like? Things like drugs, prostitution, gambling, porn - activities which are, in and of themselves, harmless to others. Instead of trying to meddle with other peoples lives, why don't you let them live as they please?

    As for those who contend that these activities are, in fact, harmful to society, I can do nothing but laugh. The harm, such as drug killings and overdose, sex slavery, underground gambling rings etc., all arise from the fact that these activities are either illegal or semi-legal.

    Finally, I invite anybody to please explain how these activities, when regulated by the government to ensure safety, have the capacity to do any real harm.
    Firstly i wouldnd trust this government to walk a dog safely never mind regulate a sex slave industry.

    Your post has some major flaws - firstly no western government is ever going to govern a sex slave industry. a sex trade industry has merits, a sex slaver industry no.

    Secondly - drug legalisation. Thats a divided issue however again no government is going to legalise things like heroin as its seen as too damn dangerous. And just because its legal doesnt mean it will stop people from going out and killing in order to get a fix.

    Thirdly gambling - already legal in this country (hence why we have bookies and casinos) so how you can regulate an underground gambling ring is beyond me.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    So you are more concerned with showing an anonymous and vaguely defined black market what's what than protecting sex workers? Hah.

    If the process were, in fact, anonymous, there would be nothing to fear. The fact is, illegal prostitution wouldn't be able to compete because the safety, legitimacy, efficiency, and, likely, cost of operating on the free market would simply destroy any competition. A good example would be Prohibition (the criminalizing of alcohol in the U.S. in the 1930s), where black markets flourished until alcohol was once again made legal and it collapsed. There still are moonshine operations, intended to get around various federal regulations, but they are dwarfed by the legitimate and safer legal market.

    I am saying that Prostitutes do not report crimes because their profession is, in and of itself, illegal. This barrier would, clearly, be removed should their profession become acceptable in the eyes of the law.

    This is a common fallacy. People often say "well there will always be murdered so by your logic shouldn't we legalize murder?" The key difference, though, between murder and prostitution is that prostitution, unlike murder, is a victimless crime (consenting sex between two individuals).

    If not sexist and religion, then an outdated, reactionary, restrictive, illiberal worldview.

    Frankly, I find it hard to respect proponents of the offense principle (look it up). I am able to let people live their lives as they see fit, even if I don't agree with their lifestyle choices. As for people who are unable to accept the rights of others to say and believe and do as they want, well, I find my ability to respect that to be somewhat lacking.
    Your logic is horrendously flawed, completely. Prostitutes do not report crimes not because of what they do but because they live in absolute fear of things like pimps. Violence against prostitutes mostly stems from those who walk the streets, those who operate as escorts or work in massage parlours not so much.

    Secondly - prostitution is not a victimless crime. Whilst the media would have you beleive that every massage parlour is teeming with illegally trafficked women its not quite that bad but these rings do exist. Women (and men) are brought into the UK by gangs who force them into the sex trade and they have little to no hope of escape. Also there is a lot of support out there for people in the sex industry.

    Granted i am in favour of legalising Prostitution and having it regulated.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    So you are more concerned with showing an anonymous and vaguely defined black market what's what than protecting sex workers?
    My point is kind of the reverse - sure we tackle black market activity in so much as we are able but it seems foolhardy to believe that when you start making concessions you will see a rapid reciprocal decline in said illicit markets

    (Original post by Wucker)
    If the process were, in fact, anonymous, there would be nothing to fear
    What do you think a guy who shows up positive with something (that will register on a spot test) is going to do? Be all: "OK, let me just get my condom, and it's pull out when I'm about to go off right?".. or go down the road and get some barely legal exploited teen who's willing to undercut this warped nouveau-conventional market y'all dream of to do whatever.. be real :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Wucker)
    I am saying that Prostitutes do not report crimes because their profession is, in and of itself, illegal
    Sorry but you're not living in the real world, hookers often report crimes, it's the ones that live in fear of the actions of others that tend not to e.g. with the association with crime, which again, does not disappear the moment you legalise prostitution - just look at the Amsterdam experience

    (Original post by Wucker)
    People often say "well there will always be murdered so by your logic shouldn't we legalize murder?"
    No mate, by your logic, that's precisely the whole point I was making: just because something is pervasive, and always likely to be, this doesn't mean we just give up on combatting it! :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Then an outdated, reactionary, restrictive, illiberal worldview
    Outdated? Please!- If we had a referendum on the issue tomorrow what do you think the result would be?

    Reactionary? Pretty obviously not, given the nature of the comments in this thread

    Illiberal? Since when is blanket liberalism innately prescient? Derp.

    (Original post by Wucker)
    As for people who are unable to accept the rights of others to say and believe and do as they want, well, I find my ability to respect that to be somewhat lacking
    I accept plenty of rights, with a few exceptions e.g. certain ones 'handed down' from the E.U. That's a bit of an aside but quite a good point actually, conservatism for the sake of it is just as derptastic as white flag liberalism; instead it would seem best to remain fairly focused on social pragmatism when approaching such policy issues - this means a balance of subjective perspectives with objective rationality, which, as you may know, is (at this present time) the only route to suitable, progressive public policy that is truly beneficial to society and, crucially, sustainable

    Sex workers ostensibly have plenty of rights over their own bodies, prostitution itself isn't illegal as such, two consenting parties are free to do what the **** they like in private, the institutions of our country are just not about to cave to bull**** pressure from small minorities concerning the few safeguards we have in place to prevent such insidious industries from becoming a legitimate part of the fabric of our society, deal with it (preferably without running yo mouth like a gobbly little upstart douchebag aye )
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    (Original post by CoolDude)
    I think if you made all of the above activities legal, there would be a lot of damage to the society. But again, if you made them completely illegal it would still bring a lot of harm to the society, but not as much in the first case, where all of the "activities" are legal.
    Do you think making all the above legal has caused a lot of damage to society in the Netherlands?
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    My point is kind of the reverse - sure we tackle black market activity in so much as we are able but it seems foolhardy to believe that when you start making concessions you will see a rapid reciprocal decline in said illicit markets

    What do you think a guy who shows up positive with something (that will register on a spot test) is going to do? Be all: "OK, let me just get my condom, and it's pull out when I'm about to go off right?".. or go down the road and get some barely legal exploited teen who's willing to undercut this warped nouveau-conventional market y'all dream of to do whatever.. be real :rolleyes:

    Sorry but you're not living in the real world, hookers often report crimes, it's the ones that live in fear of the actions of others that tend not to e.g. with the association with crime, which again, does not disappear the moment you legalise prostitution - just look at the Amsterdam experience

    No mate, by your logic, that's precisely the whole point I was making: just because something is pervasive, and always likely to be, this doesn't mean we just give up on combatting it! :rolleyes:

    Outdated? Please!- If we had a referendum on the issue tomorrow what do you think the result would be?

    Reactionary? Pretty obviously not, given the nature of the comments in this thread

    Illiberal? Since when is blanket liberalism innately prescient? Derp.

    I accept plenty of rights, with a few exceptions e.g. certain ones 'handed down' from the E.U. That's a bit of an aside but quite a good point actually, conservatism for the sake of it is just as derptastic as white flag liberalism; instead it would seem best to remain fairly focused on social pragmatism when approaching such policy issues - this means a balance of subjective perspectives with objective rationality, which, as you may know, is (at this present time) the only route to suitable, progressive public policy that is truly beneficial to society and, crucially, sustainable

    Sex workers ostensibly have plenty of rights over their own bodies, prostitution itself isn't illegal as such, two consenting parties are free to do what the **** they like in private, the institutions of our country are just not about to cave to bull**** pressure from small minorities concerning the few safeguards we have in place to prevent such insidious industries from becoming a legitimate part of the fabric of our society, deal with it (preferably without running yo mouth like a gobbly little upstart douchebag aye )
    I find it funny that you refuse to address perhaps the greatest case study of the legalization of a victimless crime: the end of Prohibition.

    And you think legalization is a concession? Hah. I'm sure you understand how capitalism works. It is a competition, and well funded, well established, and efficient legal businesses will in all likelihood win that competition, like they did with Alchohol in the U.S. or Gambling and Prostitution in Nevada. Also, even feminists have good things to say about Prostitution in the Netherlands (http://feministsforchoice.com/hollan...rostitutes.htm).

    I don't care what most people think because, unlike you, I find the terms "moderate" and "pragmatist" to be akin to cowardice, to an unwillingness to stand up for what you believe is right in favor of unnecessary and harmful compromise. These concepts are the reason why President Obama has been such a disappointment, and so ineffective.

    You can go ahead and say that prostitution is wrong, and "insidious," and that it would never become legal - but that doesn't make it so. If you honestly wanted to help regular people, you would want it to be legal - however, most people are more concerned with their own morality to allow that to happen. There is a deeply fundamental flaw in the creation, perpetration, and defense of victimless crimes, because that is what they are, underneath all the straw men you can think of, they are simply consenting adults engaging in activities that do not hurt anybody else.
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    (Original post by silverbolt)
    Firstly i wouldnd trust this government to walk a dog safely never mind regulate a sex slave industry.

    Your post has some major flaws - firstly no western government is ever going to govern a sex slave industry. a sex trade industry has merits, a sex slaver industry no.

    Secondly - drug legalisation. Thats a divided issue however again no government is going to legalise things like heroin as its seen as too damn dangerous. And just because its legal doesnt mean it will stop people from going out and killing in order to get a fix.

    Thirdly gambling - already legal in this country (hence why we have bookies and casinos) so how you can regulate an underground gambling ring is beyond me.
    (Original post by silverbolt)
    Your logic is horrendously flawed, completely. Prostitutes do not report crimes not because of what they do but because they live in absolute fear of things like pimps. Violence against prostitutes mostly stems from those who walk the streets, those who operate as escorts or work in massage parlours not so much.

    Secondly - prostitution is not a victimless crime. Whilst the media would have you beleive that every massage parlour is teeming with illegally trafficked women its not quite that bad but these rings do exist. Women (and men) are brought into the UK by gangs who force them into the sex trade and they have little to no hope of escape. Also there is a lot of support out there for people in the sex industry.

    Granted i am in favour of legalising Prostitution and having it regulated.
    And yet you trust the government with your life? They run the NHS, they run the military, they run the police, they regulate cars, airplanes, food, drugs - all life and death matters, and yet you are more concerned about sex? Ludicrous.

    When did I ever say I supported a "sex slave" industry? Of course my post has "major flaws" if you pretend I support slavery.

    There are plenty of dangerous things, that affect you mentally, and are legal. Paint and Alcohol, for example, or prescription drugs. And it won't stop all drug related crime, but it will remove the necessity for most drug related crime, which revolves around illegal trafficking.

    I understand that is the case in the UK, however I was writing this post in a more general sense. In many countries it remains illegal (like in the US).

    I must tell you, this is hilarious. You call my logic "horrendously flawed," and then you use a tired and fallacious argument I have heard many times before. You say we need to keep prostitution illegal, because of the bad things that happen as a result of its illegality. Right.

    See above.

    You say no government would legalize it, you think it is inherently dangerous, and you believe that it a crime (implied when you said it isn't a victimless crime), and yet you also support legalization? Ok, you present weak, anti-legalization arguments attempting to refute my pro-legalization points, and they say that you are, in fact, pro-legalization.

    Although I am sure you will say I just did a poor job arguing in favor of it. That seems to be easier for you that contradicting what I say in an reasonable, rational manner. I suggest you read John Stuart Mill, then you will see the original rationale for my argument. Or just look up the harm principle. Either way.
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    (Original post by Wucker)


    I must tell you, this is hilarious. You call my logic "horrendously flawed," and then you use a tired and fallacious argument I have heard many times before. You say we need to keep prostitution illegal, because of the bad things that happen as a result of its illegality. Right.
    I did? really?

    Where? Point out in my post where i said keep prostitution illegal.
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    (Original post by silverbolt)
    I did? really?

    Where? Point out in my post where i said keep prostitution illegal.
    Well, you are actually quite contradictory.

    First, you say "i wouldnd trust this government to walk a dog safely never mind regulate a sex slave industry." This implies that you would not, in fact, want Prostitution to be legal.

    You proceed to make many poor arguments in favor of this position.

    Then, at the very end of another post, you throw in, almost in passing, it would seem "Granted i am in favour of legalising Prostitution and having it regulated."

    So which is it, and why do you refuse to address my rebuttals?
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    I find it funny that you refuse to address perhaps the greatest case study of the legalization of a victimless crime: the end of Prohibition
    I'll address it if you like, but not in a vein of conversation concerning prostitution sorry, that would be ludicrous, completely different model/timescale/history of prevalent attitudes concerning, and on another continent with very different social structures and consumption trends concerning two very different 'commodities'

    (Original post by Wucker)
    And you think legalization is a concession?
    Aye, most would view it as a concession, a bit of arm-twisting on the part of pressure groups, most of whom would push the welfare point, and I agree there are welfare gains to be made, I just think it's a little naive to assume everything would be sunshine and smiles the moment you legalise public soliciting - hence the welfare gain is limited and not a gain many would be comfortable with 'British values' paying for

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Also, even feminists have good things to say about Prostitution in the Netherlands (http://feministsforchoice.com/hollan...rostitutes.htm)
    I'm sure they do, they don't have to live in the neighbourhoods bordering the red light district, nor suffer at the hands of the criminal gangs who have become even more pervasive since 2000, forcing the authorities to re-think such 'progressive' policies and regulate the industry more heavily as, surprise surprise, it hasn't turned into a well oiled, super-slick capitalist machine of the kind you seem to think would automatically emerge in the UK :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Wucker)
    I don't care what most people think
    Are ye anti-Democracy? PR in the legal/ethical stakes? Every man/woman for him/herself? Reflexive value systems? Anarchy?

    (Original post by Wucker)
    I find the terms "moderate" and "pragmatist" to be akin to cowardice
    Moderate yes, pragmatist no - pragmatism is in essence quite close to what you seem to buy into. Difference is that you seem to have missed the need to stand back, include dimensions that may seem at odds with pure objectivity or reason, or a little pessimistic, but nevertheless actually do feed into long term social sustainability constraints, which must be considered by any responsible policymaker, and are hence quite reasonable concerns

    (Original post by Wucker)
    The reason why President Obama has been such a disappointment, and so ineffective
    Distinction between political economies/realism and socio-economic pragmatism dude :rolleyes:

    (Original post by Wucker)
    You can go ahead and say that prostitution is wrong, and "insidious," ... but that doesn't make it so
    I'm not sure I've said "it is wrong" as such? I've mentioned a number of times that some of my comments are reflections of subjective moralities though - they may not be objective universal truths but they are institutional realities, like it or not

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Most people are more concerned with their own morality to allow that to happen
    Prostitution has literally no impact on me or my life and as I've said I am not the type to go preaching to others, particularly strangers, about their life choices. My comments are reflections intended to explain positions counter-posed to the legalisation argument or pro-ban positions

    Yes I consider 'the game' to be insidious and/or certainly often feeds into complimentary nefarious trends, even, and in some cases especially, where prostitution has been legalised. I do hope that it will not become considered legitimate as I am not comfortable with what that says about society or the affect that such norms would have on young, impressionable minds who are already bombarded with all kinds of crap concerning (young) flesh

    Sorry which of my comments constitutes a straw man argument?..
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    OP is right adults should be allowed to do what they want if it doesn't effect any one else. I have no idea why drugs are banned. The only tricky issues are guns and abortion, I don't know what my opinion is on either.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I'll address it if you like, but not in a vein of conversation concerning prostitution sorry, that would be ludicrous, completely different model/timescale/history of prevalent attitudes concerning, and on another continent with very different social structures and consumption trends concerning two very different 'commodities'

    Aye, most would view it as a concession, a bit of arm-twisting on the part of pressure groups, most of whom would push the welfare point, and I agree there are welfare gains to be made, I just think it's a little naive to assume everything would be sunshine and smiles the moment you legalise public soliciting - hence the welfare gain is limited and not a gain many would be comfortable with 'British values' paying for

    I'm sure they do, they don't have to live in the neighbourhoods bordering the red light district, nor suffer at the hands of the criminal gangs who have become even more pervasive since 2000, forcing the authorities to re-think such 'progressive' policies and regulate the industry more heavily as, surprise surprise, it hasn't turned into a well oiled, super-slick capitalist machine of the kind you seem to think would automatically emerge in the UK :rolleyes:

    Are ye anti-Democracy? PR in the legal/ethical stakes? Every man/woman for him/herself? Reflexive value systems? Anarchy?

    Moderate yes, pragmatist no - pragmatism is in essence quite close to what you seem to buy into. Difference is that you seem to have missed the need to stand back, include dimensions that may seem at odds with pure objectivity or reason, or a little pessimistic, but nevertheless actually do feed into long term social sustainability constraints, which must be considered by any responsible policymaker, and are hence quite reasonable concerns

    Distinction between political economies/realism and socio-economic pragmatism dude :rolleyes:

    I'm not sure I've said "it is wrong" as such? I've mentioned a number of times that some of my comments are reflections of subjective moralities though - they may not be objective universal truths but they are institutional realities, like it or not

    Prostitution has literally no impact on me or my life and as I've said I am not the type to go preaching to others, particularly strangers, about their life choices. My comments are reflections intended to explain positions counter-posed to the legalisation argument or pro-ban positions

    Yes I consider 'the game' to be insidious and/or certainly often feeds into complimentary nefarious trends, even, and in some cases especially, where prostitution has been legalised. I do hope that it will not become considered legitimate as I am not comfortable with what that says about society or the affect that such norms would have on young, impressionable minds who are already bombarded with all kinds of crap concerning (young) flesh

    Sorry which of my comments constitutes a straw man argument?..
    Of course there are many differences, but it does show that legalization of victimless crime can work.

    I don't doubt that everything would not be fine and dandy. I am a negative utilitarian, and therefore see the best possible approach is one that minimizes unhappiness and harm. The best way to do that, is, in my opinion, legalization.

    Two things in response to this. Firstly, you are right that the success of legal Prostitution in the Netherlands has been mixed. This I would put down to two reasons, first, the failure of the Netherlands to adequately regulate (which will be helped by this new taxation law, as it brings Prostitutes more into the mainstream society) and by the laws of surrounding countries. The Netherlands is quite small, and its influence on criminal organizations that originate outside the country is nil (which is the case with Prostitution, because almost all rings are run by foreigners). The size of their market isn't great enough to destroy multi-national criminal organizations. A hypothetical comparison would be that if Mexico legalized drugs (which its former president has called for), there would still be a large illegal trade marketed towards the United States in Mexico operating outside the law. Now, I think things would be much different if you legalized prostitution throughout the EU - that would allow legitimate business to counter the then comparatively small weight of illegal gangs.

    Pragmatism, like moderation is, in essence, a valid idea. The issue, I think, is that the band of political discourse in Western society is so narrow that ideas even slightly outside mainstream thought are automatically discounted.

    Barack Obama is not a realist, merely a gutless politician. He had the opportunity to significantly alter our political system, but he did not take it, either because he couldn't do it or because he lied to the American people and, in actuality, did not support "change." He is, basically, a third way, neo-liberal, Clinton 2.0. The same approach he takes to issues such as healthcare, that is "centrism" "moderation" and "compromise," is taken with social issues. For example, he does not support medical marijuana or gay marriage, and he is quite ambivalent on abortion.

    Institution realities are, inherently, subjective. You are making value judgements (or at least, mirroring that of mainstream society). I, on the other hand, make no such value judgements about lifestyle.

    I understand these aren't your arguments, but you are, in this situation, the one making them, so I will address you instead of your argument because it would sound weird otherwise.

    That is quite a hypocritical position, unless you plan to ban every action movie ever created. Why does our society decide that gratuitous violence can be shown in a positive light to children whilst the concept of sexuality, or more specifically, sex as a profession, is too abhorrent? I'm not saying this should be banned because, personally, I think it should be up to the parents to decide what their child does or doesn't see, not the government. For you to remain intellectually consistent, however, it would be very hard to hold the position that assault and murder can be show while the worlds oldest profession must be hidden.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    The size of their market isn't great enough to destroy multi-national criminal organizations
    Your idea is to legalise prostitution across Europe and have the tax revenues generated partly invested in Interpol or some such organisation which you then expect to deal with the threat posed by international organised crime?

    This all seems rather farfetched. Beyond technical feasibility in terms of unilateral legislation and associated agreement.. you can't currently prevent economic migrants from moving about, whether criminal before or after they arrive in their host communities. This issue relates to state-infiltration e.g. demographic flows which most nations, including island states such as Britain, has little control over, particularly in free-movement zones e.g. E.U

    The capacity of international, or larger national, authorities to micro-manage flows linked to prostitution/pimping is limited no matter what resources you throw at it - unless you regulate the 'industry' itself to death (choke point). This will unfortunately have (and has been having) the effect of driving many operations back underground and, as I say, all you then find that you have ultimately achieved is a relatively minor welfare gain for some sex workers and the debasement of your value systems

    (Original post by Wucker)
    The band of political discourse in Western society is so narrow that ideas even slightly outside mainstream thought are automatically discounted
    On this we are agreed

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Barack Obama ... does not support medical marijuana or gay marriage, and he is quite ambivalent on abortion
    These particular positions would seem to relate more to personal 'American'/religious values than to political realism, don't see a clear-cut argument for the political economy in a President taking a strong position on matters pertaining to state legislation, even less on issues that have the country divided in the way that these sorts do, even less so at the head of the Democratic party and a way off the next election..

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Institution realities are, inherently, subjective
    Of that there is no question, and Britain is no exception

    (Original post by Wucker)
    You are making value judgements (or at least, mirroring that of mainstream society)
    Value judgements may be inferred but in terms of commentary/analysis to focus on them is to deviate from the central discussion/practical realities at play here. We could argue all day about what's 'right' and 'wrong' but really I have no interest in doing that..

    (Original post by Wucker)
    That is quite a hypocritical position, unless you plan to ban every action movie ever created. Why does our society decide that gratuitous violence can be shown in a positive light to children whilst the concept of sex as a profession is too abhorrent?
    Institutions designed to prevent/curtail prostitution have for thousands of years existed in this country

    Action movies are a relatively new phenomenon and do not generally tend to preach the indiscriminate use of violence, though I agree that there is an argument that they serve as to glamourise it and to desensitise impressionable people to an extent. There is a rating system in place to ensure that the more extreme content is either never aired publically, or only (ideally likely to be) viewed by those who are mature enough not to typically be disturbed by them in any lasting sense

    I do feel that we need to be careful of the things we expose young people to, to include graphic sex/violence etc and that the way society is going young people are often bombarded with too much at an age/in a condition where this may shape the way they develop and in some instances cause, or at least contribute to, psychological problems

    Ultimately it is indeed up to parents to strike a healthy balance between molly coddling their kids, teaching them their own (subjective) values and exposing their children to worldly realities and the various extremes that life will inevitably subject some of them to anyway

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Assault and murder can be shown while the worlds oldest profession must be hidden
    I don't believe that anything too graphic benefits a child, though I do believe that once people reach a certain age they should be able to experience a range of extremes, apart from anything else seeing someone killed brings home the horror of war, something that people can often become disconnected from and complacent about

    There's nowt necessarily wrong with children knowing that prostitution exists, I certainly wouldn't hide it from my children indefinitely but I would hope that they would see (without me needing to raise the issue explicitly) that treating a person as a sexual commodity is not something that those who are civil, with healthy minds, hearts and interpersonal skills, typically engage in

    P.S. Would still like to know which of my comments you consider straw men?
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Your idea is to legalise prostitution across Europe and have the tax revenues generated partly invested in Interpol or some such organisation which you then expect to deal with the threat posed by international organised crime?

    This all seems rather farfetched. Beyond technical feasibility in terms of unilateral legislation and associated agreement.. you can't currently prevent economic migrants from moving about, whether criminal before or after they arrive in their host communities. This issue relates to state-infiltration e.g. demographic flows which most nations, including island states such as Britain, has little control over, particularly in free-movement zones e.g. E.U

    The capacity of international, or larger national, authorities to micro-manage flows linked to prostitution/pimping is limited no matter what resources you throw at it - unless you regulate the 'industry' itself to death (choke point). This will unfortunately have (and has been having) the effect of driving many operations back underground and, as I say, all you then find that you have ultimately achieved is a relatively minor welfare gain for some sex workers and the debasement of your value systems

    On this we are agreed

    These particular positions would seem to relate more to personal 'American'/religious values than to political realism, don't see a clear-cut argument for the political economy in a President taking a strong position on matters pertaining to state legislation, even less on issues that have the country divided in the way that these sorts do, even less so at the head of the Democratic party and a way off the next election..

    Of that there is no question, and Britain is no exception

    Value judgements may be inferred but in terms of commentary/analysis to focus on them is to deviate from the central discussion/practical realities at play here. We could argue all day about what's 'right' and 'wrong' but really I have no interest in doing that..

    Institutions designed to prevent/curtail prostitution have for thousands of years existed in this country

    Action movies are a relatively new phenomenon and do not generally tend to preach the indiscriminate use of violence, though I agree that there is an argument that they serve as to glamourise it and to desensitise impressionable people to an extent. There is a rating system in place to ensure that the more extreme content is either never aired publically, or only (ideally likely to be) viewed by those who are mature enough not to typically be disturbed by them in any lasting sense

    I do feel that we need to be careful of the things we expose young people to, to include graphic sex/violence etc and that the way society is going young people are often bombarded with too much at an age/in a condition where this may shape the way they develop and in some instances cause, or at least contribute to, psychological problems

    Ultimately it is indeed up to parents to strike a healthy balance between molly coddling their kids, teaching them their own (subjective) values and exposing their children to worldly realities and the various extremes that life will inevitably subject some of them to anyway

    I don't believe that anything too graphic benefits a child, though I do believe that once people reach a certain age they should be able to experience a range of extremes, apart from anything else seeing someone killed brings home the horror of war, something that people can often become disconnected from and complacent about

    There's nowt necessarily wrong with children knowing that prostitution exists, I certainly wouldn't hide it from my children indefinitely but I would hope that they would see (without me needing to raise the issue explicitly) that treating a person as a sexual commodity is not something that those who are civil, with healthy minds, hearts and interpersonal skills, typically engage in

    P.S. Would still like to know which of my comments you consider straw men?
    You are right that you cannot regulate international population flows (or, at least, most member states in the EU are unwilling to do so), however the goal isn't to prevent completely illegal prostitution but remove the profit motive. By making it safer, more efficient, and more profitable through legality. If the EU, on an multi-national level, banded together to legalize prostitution, it would greatly reduce the market for illegal prostitution.

    Now, you might say that sex slaves may still be used, however this is where regulation comes in. You routinely inspect brothels, and make sure every worker registers with the government. This is what the Netherlands is in the process of doing, both in terms of ID's and taxation.

    "Political economy" is a meaningless term - effective politicians shape political opinion, they don't respond to it. That is why Republicans are so successful. They don't care that majorities of Americans don't want to privatize Medicare because they know that people will be drawn to a strong position. With gay marriage, for example, there are two possibilities as to why Obama opposes it. One, either he genuinely opposes it for religious reasons (which would make him an idiot), or two, he thinks it is fine but doesn't support it because 45% of the population doesn't either (which makes him a liar and a coward).

    Nor do I wish to discuss right and wrong because, unlike you, I don't use my own definition of "right" and "wrong" lifestyles to determine my political positions. Morality should not be legislated, but unfortunately it seems you disagree, which is why it must be discussed.

    Firstly, I personally don't care whether the violence is gratuitous or not, I believe in the right of freedom of expression. They can "preach" whatever they want. There are clearly movies that do engage in this, Fight Club, American Psycho, the TV show Dexter, I could name so many, anybody could.

    This is an absurd argument - this generation is the safest in humanities history. The violence, disease, and death that plagued the real lives of many past children no longer exist in such a great extent. I'm not going to advocate that the state tell parents how to raise their children, and what to expose them to, because of some psuedo-science idea that imaginary stories might scare them. Using your logic, you could make a much greater argument that the concept of Hell should be banned - you are telling kids that if they do certain things they will burn for eternity, for real.

    And yet again, here you go with the value judgements - "treating women like a commodity." What do you think capitalism is? The entire premise is that people are commodities, their skills, physical or mental, are bought and sold on the market place. Prostitution is no different.

    The above, sir, like the arguments you made in your first post relating to the supposed sexism of Prostitution, are straw men. They are simply your own moral beliefs about the issue and should not determine whether or not something should be illegal.

    Just because you view a lifestyle as immoral, does not mean it should be illegal. We (are supposed to) live in a free society, where people can choose their own destiny.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    Making it safer, more efficient, and more profitable through legality
    Difficult when it's always been tied to illegality/black market forces (where tax evasion is a fairly insurmountable counter-progressive incentive)

    (Original post by Wucker)
    This is what the Netherlands is in the process of doing, both in terms of ID's and taxation
    The Netherlands is a small country populated mainly by fairly friendly, law abiding people, hell I'm sure even the criminals are nice! Yet 10 years on they're "in the process of doing" this? Doesn't bode well for a larger state model, never mind a pan-European one!

    (Original post by Wucker)
    "Political economy" is a meaningless term
    Spoken like one who has great faith in the objectivity of our leaders? You surprise me - political economy (in a variable temporal sense) permeates just about every major political decision taken in this country, in the post-modern era certainly hence New Labour..

    (Original post by Wucker)
    That is why Republicans are so successful
    I know relatively little about American politics but isn't the Republican party now in disarray?- I'd have thought the Tea Party movement would doubtless have something to say about real Republic values being adhered to?

    (Original post by Wucker)
    One, either he genuinely opposes it for religious reasons (which would make him an idiot), or two, he thinks it is fine but doesn't support it because 45% of the population doesn't either (which makes him a liar and a coward)
    Or a combination of the above e.g. isn't all that keen personally but can't see it having a massive negative impact on the fabric of American society (seems most likely to me) = personal sentiments and assessment of the political capital in adopting a definitive position (political economy)

    (Original post by Wucker)
    I don't use my own definition of "right" and "wrong" lifestyles to determine my political positions
    So you don't have a political position? Surely ones ideological standing stems from one's core values no?- Or do you get your political instruction handed down from a force from on high?

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Morality should not be legislated, but unfortunately it seems you disagree, which is why it must be discussed
    Sorry dude, again nowhere in this thread have I declared prostitution is simply inherently morally wrong and must therefore remain illegal

    (Original post by Wucker)
    Fight Club, American Psycho
    These films contain a lot of gratuitous violence but they are framed as such – one does not leave the movie theatre thinking *wow that film company really wanted me to believe that these things are normal/acceptable*

    Granted we feel a certain degree of sympathy, perhaps some feel empathy, towards Norton’s character and are in a sense in awe of Brad Pitt’s character but nothing in the film actually promotes such violence and the tongue in cheek style of it e.g. Brad Pitt’s whole character, the smiley face in the building etc undermines the idea of anyone taking it too seriously. Also those who engage in/are on the receiving end of the violence tend to be willing parties – I’m not sure anyone is killed in that film either?

    As for American Psycho, it’s more horrific/gory but you don’t see much (directly) of the victims being killed the way it is filmed and again it’s not saying this is an acceptable way to behave, it's designed to shock, and even the psycho himself has a mini breakdown and realises he’s done wrong

    (Original post by Wucker)
    This generation is the safest in humanities history
    This is something to be thankful for, but not complacent about surely. Welfare gains/societal evolution don’t suddenly become less desirable when we check ourselves and realise it’s no longer the dark ages.. :holmes:

    (Original post by Wucker)
    I'm not going to advocate that the state tell parents how to raise their children
    Neither am I necessarily, though I believe all conscientious members of society from the pinnacle of state/corporate leadership down to the vagabond chugging Tennets in the street have a duty to try to promote modes/attitudes found to be conducive to positive, healthy lives for their fellow citizens

    (Original post by Wucker)
    The concept of Hell should be banned
    As a parent I don’t think I’d usefully refer to hell in a prescriptive sense no, being as I am unreligious and would hope that a child of mine wouldn’t need the threat of eternal damnation to behave with common decently towards his fellow man

    (Original post by Wucker)
    "Treating women like a commodity" What do you think capitalism is?
    The labour market rewards people for their time and services aye, but prostitution/pornography is essentially treating people as a sexual commodity, commoditising them in a physical sense that goes way beyond anything nominally seen in the workplace – if you can’t grasp this distinction then I’m sorry but I can’t help you

    (Original post by Wucker)
    The above, sir, like the arguments you made in your first post relating to the supposed sexism of Prostitution, are straw men
    I’m not sure you fully understand the meaning of the term ‘straw man’. If you are, I invite you to cite specific examples please..

    My own statements have been grossly misrepresented a number of times (admittedly primarily by the other lad) but I’m fairly certain I have not twisted your comments nor opened with a proposition concerning shoulds or shouldn’ts. I have merely explored the concepts/sentiments behind propositions that keep the concept of legalisation out of favour with the majority of my fellow Brits, to include the 'political/legislative classes'
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Difficult when it's always been tied to illegality/black market forces (where tax evasion is a fairly insurmountable counter-progressive incentive)

    The Netherlands is a small country populated mainly by fairly friendly, law abiding people, hell I'm sure even the criminals are nice! Yet 10 years on they're "in the process of doing" this? Doesn't bode well for a larger state model, never mind a pan-European one!

    Spoken like one who has great faith in the objectivity of our leaders? You surprise me - political economy (in a variable temporal sense) permeates just about every major political decision taken in this country, in the post-modern era certainly hence New Labour..

    I know relatively little about American politics but isn't the Republican party now in disarray?- I'd have thought the Tea Party movement would doubtless have something to say about real Republic values being adhered to?

    Or a combination of the above e.g. isn't all that keen personally but can't see it having a massive negative impact on the fabric of American society (seems most likely to me) = personal sentiments and assessment of the political capital in adopting a definitive position (political economy)

    So you don't have a political position? Surely ones ideological standing stems from one's core values no?- Or do you get your political instruction handed down from a force from on high?

    Sorry dude, again nowhere in this thread have I declared prostitution is simply inherently morally wrong and must therefore remain illegal

    These films contain a lot of gratuitous violence but they are framed as such – one does not leave the movie theatre thinking *wow that film company really wanted me to believe that these things are normal/acceptable*

    Granted we feel a certain degree of sympathy, perhaps some feel empathy, towards Norton’s character and are in a sense in awe of Brad Pitt’s character but nothing in the film actually promotes such violence and the tongue in cheek style of it e.g. Brad Pitt’s whole character, the smiley face in the building etc undermines the idea of anyone taking it too seriously. Also those who engage in/are on the receiving end of the violence tend to be willing parties – I’m not sure anyone is killed in that film either?

    As for American Psycho, it’s more horrific/gory but you don’t see much (directly) of the victims being killed the way it is filmed and again it’s not saying this is an acceptable way to behave, it's designed to shock, and even the psycho himself has a mini breakdown and realises he’s done wrong

    This is something to be thankful for, but not complacent about surely. Welfare gains/societal evolution don’t suddenly become less desirable when we check ourselves and realise it’s no longer the dark ages.. :holmes:

    Neither am I necessarily, though I believe all conscientious members of society from the pinnacle of state/corporate leadership down to the vagabond chugging Tennets in the street have a duty to try to promote modes/attitudes found to be conducive to positive, healthy lives for their fellow citizens

    As a parent I don’t think I’d usefully refer to hell in a prescriptive sense no, being as I am unreligious and would hope that a child of mine wouldn’t need the threat of eternal damnation to behave with common decently towards his fellow man

    The labour market rewards people for their time and services aye, but prostitution/pornography is essentially treating people as a sexual commodity, commoditising them in a physical sense that goes way beyond anything nominally seen in the workplace – if you can’t grasp this distinction then I’m sorry but I can’t help you

    I’m not sure you fully understand the meaning of the term ‘straw man’. If you are, I invite you to cite specific examples please..

    My own statements have been grossly misrepresented a number of times (admittedly primarily by the other lad) but I’m fairly certain I have not twisted your comments nor opened with a proposition concerning shoulds or shouldn’ts. I have merely explored the concepts/sentiments behind propositions that keep the concept of legalisation out of favour with the majority of my fellow Brits, to include the 'political/legislative classes'
    It has always been tied to illegality/black market forces because it has always been illegal.

    Welcome to politics, everything doesn't happen at once. Currently, at least with the statistics I have seen, Prostitution makes up something like 5% of their GDP. Purely on economic grounds, then, it seems important to attempt to regulate and tax it.

    Our leaders are not objective in the least. They respond to the subjective opinions of their constituents and their corporate interests. There is no objective reason that Pot should be illegal, but it is, for political reasons. It is a rational decision politically but not a rational decision objectively.

    The Republican Party is much stronger than it was two years ago, and the Tea Party played a large role in that. It has moved so far to the right it isn't even funny.

    If he is not keen on gay marriage, personally, then I cannot respect him. Withholding marriage rights from a significant group of the populace for personal reasons, even if they are couched in political realities, is absurd and cruel.

    My political position, at least socially, is one of social libertarianism. I do not seek to impose my own lifestyle choices on others, and I expect freedom to live as I please, as long as it does not harm people.

    If you declare that Prostitution, selling sex for money, is commoditizing women, you are certainly implying that it is wrong.

    This isn't really relevant, I don't care, personally, that movies have horrific violence (which they do). I just don't see how having sex scenes is worse in any way.

    My point is that there is no real proof that violent movies and TV shows incite violence, neither has widespread internet Porn incited rape, so I am wondering why public acknowledgement of Prostitution would lead to any detrimental social consequences.

    The fact that they have a duty to do so does not in any way mean ideas viewed as "detrimental" should be banned from being expressed.

    Exactly, but you do not think it should be banned. So why should other negative, secular, influences be banned?

    Again, people are treated as commodities, even sexual commodities (think models, strippers, trophy wives etc.). The prostitute is, in essence, renting his/her body out for a limited period of time, just like a construction worker or a masseuse. There isn't anything inherently "special" or "sacred" about the fact that they happen to use a different set of body parts.

    The straw man, or informal fallacy based on a misrepresentation of the opponents argument, that I feel is occurring in this thread is that just because I do not wish to ban prostitution means that I think that Prostitution is moral. The truth is, my own personal moral opinion is irrelevant to the argument, because I do not wish to legislate my morality in that manner.
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    Wouldn't drugs harm the user? So therefore it is harming someone right?
 
 
 
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