Porn: The New Narcotic

Over at Public Discourse, Morgan Bennett has an important two-part article dealing with the social and legal issues surrounding internet pornography.

In part one, Bennett argues that pornography–especially internet porn–is addictive in the way that chemical substances are.  According to the science he cites, it actually causes changes in the brain–and not for the better.

Think of the brain as a forest where trails are worn down by hikers who walk along the same path over and over again, day after day. The exposure to pornographic images creates similar neural pathways that, over time, become more and more “well-paved” as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. Those neurological pathways eventually become the trail in the brain’s forest by which sexual interactions are routed. Thus, a pornography user has “unknowingly created a neurological circuit” that makes his or her default perspective toward sexual matters ruled by the norms and expectations of pornography.

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By consuming pornography, people are doing things to themselves just as bad or worse than what others are doing by taking heroin or cocaine.  But what can you do?  Taking narcotics is an action, but pornography is speech, and therefore protected by the First Amendment, right?  Wrong–wrong, at least, if you are guided by the original understanding of the First Amendment.  In part two Bennett argues (quite correctly, in my view) that those who framed and ratified the First Amendment would never have understood it to protect trafficking in obscenity.

It was uncontested in the Founders’ era and far beyond that speech or conduct tending to injure the public morals was subject to government control. Profanity, obscenity, indecency, and pornography were treated the same as public nudity or public intoxication. Consider the following quotation from an 1824 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case: “Licentiousness endangering the public peace, when tending to corrupt society, is considered as a breach of the peace, and punishable by indictment. Every immoral act is not indictable, but when it is destructive of morality generally, it is, because it weakens the bonds by which society is held together.”

Both parts are well worth reading, and can be found here and here.

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Categories:Culture

5 thoughts on “Porn: The New Narcotic

  1. Don Cashman says:

    Vagina monologues on campus at Notre Dame U., queer week at Jesuit Universities , Sebelius and abortion, Pelosi , Burke at Benedictine of Lisle and on and on. The church does nothing to punish our own, how can she hope to have influence outside ?

  2. mojo says:

    It is simply unbelievable how sick we have come in this perverse society, and it appears the government is not a bit concerned, but actually endorses this filth, producing a nation of perverts who watch it, and the prostitutes who participate in it. Children are being exposed before they are 10 years old! Marriages are being destroyed daily, and the idiots involved in this trash classify themselves as “models”, “stars”, “adult entertainers”, when in reality, they are all, both men and women, nothing less than PROSTITUTES!
    There is a passage in the Bible that foretells that men will get worse and worse; and oh brother, have we ever arrived!

  3. Rosario says:

    I believe that behind every case of sexual child abuse is a person addicted to pornography. This kind of child abuse is growing rapidly. Our present day society must recognize this. We must protect our children from this loss of innocence.

  4. Chris says:

    We as men need to live by truth, and if you are addicted to pornography I would suggest you look up on youtube videos that show the truth of pornography. How women are treated as slaves. Yeah they are getting paid, but when they have to use that money to buy drugs and alcohol to bring back some false sanity to thier lives what good is the money. Ill gotten gains are never blessed. Stand up men and stop abusing and start protecting God’s precious daughters.

    1. Aubrey says:

      Amen, Chris! Thanks for being a man of God and standing on the truth!! Keep being a light in this ever darkening world. Blessings on you, brother.

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