Why Is Prostitution Illegal?

Did you ever stop to wonder why prostitution is illegal? I did. Aside from explicitly religious moral reasons, I can't see why it is.

Pick your jaw off the floor. Got it? OK, then, I'll continue.

When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, what is a prostitute doing? She…I know men prostitute themselves, too, but definite pronouns are less confusing…She is selling the use of her body for a span of time. Why is that illegal? It's her body. It's not like there isn't legal precedence for it.

Anyone who does physical labor, be it working in a coal mine, building a house, or being a body guard, is selling his body. His physical strength and endurance is an economic asset to himself, his family, and his employer.

Take athletes for example. They sell the use of their highly trained bodies to sports teams. They can be beaten up repeatedly and left with a multitude of lingering physical ailments when they retire. Nobody's arresting them (at least not for what they do for a living). Not only do they sell their bodies for competition, but they also sell themselves as clothing racks. Companies pay millions of dollars for a sports star to wear their logos or their brand.

Athletes aren't the only ones who sell their bodies as advertizements. These days, any ordinary Joe can walk around with an ad for GoldenPalace.com tattooed to his forehead. It's happened. There have even been pregnant women renting out ad space on their extruded abdomens. That's not illegal. It's capitalism.

Let's not forget the quintessential walking billboard, models. In fact, not only are they paid to use their bodies to show off clothing, they're paid to do so with sex appeal. Models use their sexuality as a business asset for themselves and for their employers, something they have in common with prostitutes.

Pornographic models are even more closely related. They're not just selling sexiness, they're selling eroticism. One might even argue that the goal of their work is to assist in bringing about sexual gratification for viewers. We Christians consider pornography vulgar and sinful, and rightly so, but it's quite legal (except under certain extreme circumstances).

What, then, makes prostitution illegal? What's the difference between a guy paying for a dirty magazine, looking at it, and pleasuring himself, and a guy who pays for someone else to arouse and pleasure him? From the preceding, it's clear that the selling of one's body, even for sexual purposes, isn't illegal. Nor is the purchase of goods and services rendered by another body. It must be the sexual act itself.

I suppose one could argue that prostitution detrimentally affects society in the form of broken marriages and the like. Then again, so do spending too much time at work or play, drinking too much, and adultery. When was the last time you saw someone get arrested for any of those?

Maybe prostitution is a public health hazard because prostitutes often carry and spread diseases. Well, there are a hell of a lot of people engaging in consentual unprotected sex and spreading diseases. Are we going to arrest them?

A common arguement is that prostitution is degrading to women. I could list a number of legal things that are degrading to women, but I'll refrain for fear of being mislabeled as sexist. Of course, for a lot of prostitutes, the job goes well beyond degrading when their pimps beat them or otherwise treat them as cheap property. Well, abuse is illegal on its own, so that's a red herring. Besides, this problem, and the health hazards, could be more effectively dealt with if prostitution were legal, which brings me to my next point.

Not only can I find little reason for it to be illegal, I can think of potential benefits of making it legal. In fact, legalization could help alleviate or ameliorate most of the problems mentioned above.

Prostitution's hard work and could permanently damage prostitutes' bodies. OK, give them health insurance. Better yet, force their pimps to pay for their insurance. As it stands, they're working anyway, but without insurance.

I mentioned that people sell themselves as billboards. Well, if prostitution were legal, the possibility of endorsement deals would open up. Condom makers, for instance, could endorse prostitutes. Another possibility would be clothing designers paying for their clothes to be worn on the job. There are other economic benefits, though. As a legal form of employment, prostitution would generate tax revenue through income tax collection.

How about the public health hazard? Well, that can be helped in two ways. The first is that legalization would put prostitutes and pimps into a legal employee-employer relationship that would be regulated by applicable laws concerning fair hiring practices, fair wages, etc. The second would be regulation. Corner hotdog vendors have to have 1) a sales permit that allows them to legally solicit on the premises and 2) a health permit that says that their equipment, methods, and raw materials have been inspected and found to produce safe foodstuffs. Why couldn't the same ideas be applied to prostitution? Permits for solicitation and health code certification could be required. Furthermore, periodic health screenings would help ensure not only the health of the workers, but also their customers.

As legally recognized members of the workforce, prostitutes could unionize. This would give them leverage against their pimps and result in better treatment and probably better pay.

Another considerable benefit of legalization would be spare law enforcement man-hours. If cops didn't have to investigate and arrest, lawyers didn't have to prosecute, and judges didn't have to judge and sentence prostitutes and pimps, they'd be free to pursue other, perhaps more dangerous, criminals.

All in all, the only harm I can see in legalizing prostitution is moral in nature. There are a great number of societal ills, as defined by religious morality, that open acceptance of the practice would cause. Since when is that a reason to make something illegal, though? If it were, there'd be a lot more we're not allowed to do, and we wouldn't be very free people. If, as a country, governed by representatives elected to wield legislative power by the free consent of the governed, we can agree that moral grounds are sufficient to make laws, so be it; prostitution should remain illegal. A corollary to that, though, is that the same moral grounds could justifiably be used to ban abortion and homosexual marriage. If, on the other hand, the electorate decides that moral grounds are insufficient by themselves for legislation, prostitution should be made legal.

Please realize that this post is a long out-loud thought. I'm not irrevocably attached to any of the preceding arguments. I just thought they'd spur interesting conversations. So, dear readers, what are your thoughts on this matter?

Addendum 02/08/06: A certain theme in the comments has convinced me that some clarification is needed. A representative sample:

"I was just aghast that so much ink (or pixels, as the case may be) would be spilled on a Christian website arguing that prostitution should be legal."

If nothing else, it is my hope that a rational debate about this matter would aid in Christians in the pursuit of moral legislation on non-moral grounds. If we could be convinced, and then convince the secular world, that there are good reasons other than divine writ to ban (or maintain bans) on practices like prostitution, we'd be well on our way to formulating and executing more effective plans for getting wholesome legislation passed. Learning how to argue better on secular terms would be an invaluable asset in our efforts to abolish abortion, for instance.

Comments 98

  1. Funky Dung wrote:

    “I was just aghast that so much ink (or pixels, as the case may be) would be spilled on a Christian website arguing that prostitution should be legal.”

    If nothing else, it is my hope that a rational debate about this matter would aid in Christians in the pursuit of moral legislation on non-moral grounds. If we could be convinced, and then convince the secular world, that there are good reasons other than divine writ to ban (or maintain bans) on practices like prostitution, we’d be well on our way to formulating and executing more effective plans for getting wholesome legislation passed. Learning how to argue better on secular terms would be an invaluable asset in our efforts to abolish abortion.

    Hmm…perhaps I should have made some of these points in the epilogue to the post. I may do that. Thank you for proding me into explaining myself better and, in fact, discovering benefits to this discussion that I had not previosly considered.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 3:17 pm
  2. Funky Dung wrote:

    “Don’t apologize, Adrian. It is far from clear whether you’ve hit hard enough…”

    Gee, thanks. With friends like you… 😉

    “Funky occasionally drinks too much from the libertarian (enlightenment rationalist) bottle and needs a swift kick in the ass to sober up.”

    I won’t deny needed an occasional boot up the rear (who doesn’t?), but *libertarian*? It never ceases to amaze me how when one’s beliefs are neither hard left or hard right, they equally reviled by both. I’ve had conservatives call me a liberal (and spit on the ground as they say so) and liberals call me a conservative (and spit on the ground as they say), but I must say that “libertarian” not a label I’ve heard applied to me before.

    “The reason prostitution (and pornography and adultery and fornication and exhorbitant interest rates and unbridled suburban sprawl and excessive fuel consumption and dangerous drugs &c. &c.) should be illegal is that we live in society.”

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. You’re just opened a new can of worms. You can’t just lump all those societal ills together without justification, especially when 1) they were not previously part of the discussion and 2) they are currently legal and in little danger of becoming illegal.

    “The idea that the economic arrangement between the prostitute and the patron is ONLY between them and ONLY affects them is a pure fiction. The transaction affects the families of those contracting for such services. It affects the quality of life in the area where the transaction occurs. Ultimately it affects people completely unknown and unrelated to the participants, since the unhindered provision of such services promises future demand on the part of new consumers and ostensible careers for new service providers.”

    Let us then discuss the effects on society that legalized prostitution would have rather than waving our hands about them. Then, and only then, can we have a meaningful discussion about why those ill effects warrant criminal legislation.

    “Society therefore has a stake (a say) in whether prostitution (or any other societal ‘ill’) ought be legal.”

    But should civil government be concerned with actively supporting contested societal constructs? I’m not saying it shouldn’t, but others might (and not just libertarians, unless the ACLU counts), so I think it’s worth discussing.

    “Reducing the question to a private economic arrangement between consenting participants (which is a rule that Libertarianism applies to everything) makes it SEEM logical to suggest that there is no natural law against prostitution.”

    I do not see how libertarians’ proclivity for resorting to that hackneyed argument makes natural law arguments seem illogical. I was unaware that liberatarians considered themselves immune to natural law arguments. Please explain.

    “But the fiction of Libertarianism is that ANY such question can be so reduced. They cannot. The view fails to take seriously the way people actually live, i.e., interdependent, in community, in society.”

    This is true, but one could argue that civil government is not the appropriate arbiter and protector of social constructs and relationships and that other aspects of societal leadership, religion for instance, should bear that responsibility. No society is entirely homogenous and the larger it is, the less likely is to be even close to homogenous. I think here the notion of subsidiarity might come into play. The lowest level (that is, the one that manages the fewest number of people) that can effectively maintain and protect societal interests should be the one that is employed. IOW, civil government, at least at the federal level, should not be busied with enforcing norms and mores that could be more effectively and uniformly enforced by leadership at a lower level. I’m not saying I agree with that argument entirely, but I think it’s worth discussing.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 4:09 pm
  3. cjmr wrote:

    Not necessarily a logical or rational argument, but how about:

    Because we don’t want our daughters to feel like selling their bodies for sex is merely another ‘enlightened career choice’?

    Because in places where prostitution is legal in Europe, a woman can be kicked off unemployment for refusing to take an available job in the ‘sex-industry’ no matter how personally repugnant or morally distasteful she considers that job to be? Given the US government’s predilection for removing everyone possible from public assistance, I don’t think it would be any different here.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:01 pm
  4. Adrian wrote:

    Dear Funky Dung,

    From your comments, I understand better now your intent, which is cause for some relief on my part. Nevertheless, I have attempted to summarize what I believe to be the error of your argument.

    I find the argument you have laid out to be very inhuman, removing the human from the reality of their identity, and then asking why something is contrary to this commercialized identity.

    First off, to divorce laws from morals is a false starting point. Laws are by nature about what a society considers right and wrong, just and unjust. Laws are about the relations between humans, and humans are moral actors. As such, trying to reason why a law exists while not relying on morals, is like asking a man to stand up without using his legs. So the question is not so much whether you can legislate morality, but what morality can be legislated.

    Nor do i think morality is the sole domain of the Christian. Human experience and reason illuminate for us certain truths. We may not always agree on all of them, but there are certain ones we hold in common that form a basis for our society. These laws are observable from nature (‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’).

    Political laws form the outer boundaries within which civil society can exist. They’re not so much prescriptive as punitive; the presumption being that if you break a law, you are sufficiently outside the bounds of what is considered the common good as to place yourself and/or others in a grave jeopardy (such as speeding on a highway).

    Why is it that, in the name of reason, we often fail to see what is openly in front of us? Is it that much in question whether prostitution is bad? Do not the motivations that lead to prostitution, the clandestine nature in which the act is committed, and the observable effects of the practice on people and society, sufficiently mark it as destructive? Sorta like controlled substances. There’s a point after which it is clearly evident that a thing is gravely destructive to the human, and a society which promotes the common good ordered to the elevation of the human, free though it may be, should not permit it, and indeed punish it (the appropriate punishment being an altogether different topic).

    To summarize, prostitution should be illegal because it is objectively destructive on the order of severe. Said differently, it is in no way good, and the degree of its bad is grave.

    I know I have argued strenously here, but my intent is not to be overbearing, but rather as succint as I can without sacrificing clarity for couched phraseology. Please pardon any inadequacies.

    Your servant,
    Adrian

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:06 pm
  5. Funky Dung wrote:

    “Because in places where prostitution is legal in Europe, a woman can be kicked off unemployment for refusing to take an available job in the ‘sex-industry’ no matter how personally repugnant or morally distasteful she considers that job to be? Given the US government’s predilection for removing everyone possible from public assistance, I don’t think it would be any different here.”

    That’s an excellent point. Thanks. :) Now, does can anyone foresee how someone might argue around this point? If there is ever a movement in the U.S. to legalize prostitution, you can be sure someone in favor of that legislation will seek to bypass or disarm it, so we might as well have an answer ready.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:20 pm
  6. Kevin Jones wrote:

    At some points you seem to be saying “we can’t prevent all degradation, so let’s legalize all degradation!” That’s a foolish consistency.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:28 pm
  7. Funky Dung wrote:

    “From your comments, I understand better now your intent, which is cause for some relief on my part.”

    Good. :)

    “First off, to divorce laws from morals is a false starting point. Laws are by nature about what a society considers right and wrong, just and unjust. Laws are about the relations between humans, and humans are moral actors. As such, trying to reason why a law exists while not relying on morals, is like asking a man to stand up without using his legs. So the question is not so much whether you can legislate morality, but what morality can be legislated.”

    I agree, and I have argued similarly against “don’t impose your morals on my uterus” types. There is a fundamental flaw in that line of reasoning, though. Who defines morality? Should laws only pertain to those rights and wrongs that are nearly universally agreed to or should a mere plurality or majority of the electorate be allowed determine right and wrong for the remainder?

    “Nor do i think morality is the sole domain of the Christian. Human experience and reason illuminate for us certain truths. We may not always agree on all of them, but there are certain ones we hold in common that form a basis for our society.”

    Those would presumably fall into the category of natural law. So, I ask again, what are the natural law arguments against prostitution?

    “These laws are observable from nature (‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’).”

    How would legalized prostitution be contrary to the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapiness?

    “Political laws form the outer boundaries within which civil society can exist. They’re not so much prescriptive as punitive; the presumption being that if you break a law, you are sufficiently outside the bounds of what is considered the common good as to place yourself and/or others in a grave jeopardy (such as speeding on a highway).”

    While there are notable exceptions, I agree with the broad strokes of this argument. However, you have not explained why prostitution should be considered to be “out of bounds”.

    “Why is it that, in the name of reason, we often fail to see what is openly in front of us? Is it that much in question whether prostitution is bad?”

    I could say the same for a great many things, including sex outside of marriage, but the laws against that are either gone or not enforced. To be bad is insufficient for a ban. An action must be very bad, and you have not explained why it is very bad.

    “Do not the motivations that lead to prostitution, the clandestine nature in which the act is committed, and the observable effects of the practice on people and society, sufficiently mark it as destructive?”

    No. I could say the same things about pornography and casual sex, which remain legal.

    “To summarize, prostitution should be illegal because it is objectively destructive on the order of severe. Said differently, it is in no way good, and the degree of its bad is grave.”

    Saying so does not make it so. Please humor me and logically demonstrate why it is objectively bad. Imagine you’re arguing your point in Congress.

    “Please pardon any inadequacies.”

    Only if you pardon mine. 😉

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:37 pm
  8. Funky Dung wrote:

    “At some points you seem to be saying ‘we can’t prevent all degradation, so let’s legalize all degradation!’ That’s a foolish consistency.”

    No. I’m merely saying that just because an activity is degrading doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be illegal. If all degrading activities were made illegal, there’d be no White House press secretaries or mimes. 😉

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:39 pm
  9. Adrian wrote:

    Dear Funky Dung,

    Boy, you drive a hard line. :-) I had doubled-back to make sure the path of natural law was laid, and it seems we’re on the same page there. And when I got to the the meat, I basically said “it’s obvious that prostitution is a grave bad to society, and that’s why it should be illegal.” But it sounds like your intent is to focus on the obvious, and it’s articulating the obvious which is often the hardest thing to do. I will give it some more thought and see what comes up.

    Tangentially, it seems odd to me that you did not comment on the part of my post where I think I came closest to answering your question. (middle of the sixth paragraph: “There’s a point after which…”)

    Also, I don’t see a flaw in the “it’s not a question of whether to legislate morality, but rather what morality should be legislated” argument, as much as a struggle which is characteristic of the human experience every day and in every age. It would be folly to wait for one of these moral truths to be universal before legislating it (’cause we humans can never all seem to agree on one thing at the same time), thus the rule of the majority provides a remedy. But I see great wisdom in the balancing principle of our system of self-government which places emphasis on the respect of minority rights. This question interests me greatly, but we’ll need to set it aside for the time being.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 7:34 pm
  10. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    An activity that is degrading to public morals should be illegal. There mere fact that pornography and adultery luxury SUVs are legal, doesn’t imply that some other vice should also be legal. There is no guarantee of equal rights for vices, either in natural or positive law AFAIK. If you wanna vice, go get yourself a nice legal one… like smoking!

    You’re point about regulation at the appropriate governmental level is a good one. But when I advocate government action (prohibition), I am not (God forbid!) automatically advocating Federal action. In fact, this is where I usually agree with Libertarians, that regulation should be applied (when it is applied at all) at the lowest practical level of government.

    To wit, prostitution is NOT illegal in America, i.e., there is no federal law banning it. It IS illegal in 49 states. If you want to make it illegal at the local government level, I’m fine with that…

    But I’m not fine with making it legal… at any level. We live with a tense and uneasy and perhaps thin majority of people who are now opposed to it. Their will should trump, not merely because they are the ones who will inherit a society further degraded by such practices, but because the moral reasoning of the vast majority of people is so weak that legalization (or decriminalization) of prostitution will lead many of that thin majority to take up the yet more damnable Personally-Opposed-But… view.

    And that is, I think, what you’re advocating here: I’m personally opposed but… You better get busy having some kids who will have to grow up in such a world. That’ll change your mind!

    And Eric, you need to stop with this left, right, middle thing. They are meaningless terms. You ought to know that, and you ought resist thinking in such terms. The view you’re espousing here is CLASSIC libertarianism (except for the Hookers’ Union part). I’m not calling YOU a libertarian, but merely this particular argument. It is a natural outgrowth of social contract (rationalist enlightenment) theory. If you enshrine protection of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the sole purpose of government, then, yes, there is no argument to be made against legalized prostitution (as long as no one “gets hurt”). But if you enshrine such principles, then you are very American and very mainstream and very libertarian… AND you’re also not thinking straight at all, instead hoodwinked by America’s own set of noble lies.

    So your error here is not in finding no argument in late liberal democratic (i.e., Locke & Jefferson, not Kerry and Hillary) thinking against legalized prostitution, but in accepting late liberal democratic thinking in the first place.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 10:12 pm
  11. Rob wrote:

    Someone might want to check on the “have to take a job as a hooker” bit. Originally, it got media play that way, but it turned out the original report was incorrect. Darned if I remember how it actually went, and I can’t find it on Google.

    I say legalize prostitution, but let OSHA set the workplace rules.

    Think about it….

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 10:21 pm
  12. Tom Smith wrote:

    Eric:

    “non-religious natural law?”

    WTF?

    There is only Natural Law. . . it’s neither religious nor irreligious.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 5:58 am
  13. Funky Dung wrote:

    Perhaps my wording was poor, but I meant the same as you’ve said. I’m interested in natural law arguments because they are areligious. I’m interested in talking about social order issues, and ultimately morality, outside of a strict Judeo-Christian context. Since so many these days are keen on running our government in an entirely secular manner , I’d like to know how to discuss morality in law without resorting to religion. I’m thinking along the lines of the beginning of “Mere Christianity”. Know what I mean?

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 12:43 pm
  14. Lightwave wrote:

    Well, after those several pages of comments, I have $0.02 to add as well. Some of my points were hinted at or even briefly noted, so forgive me for any repetition.

    First, there’s been a lot of discussion on the topic of “natural law”. I had my own idea of what that
    means, but it didn’t seem to make sense with the discussion, so I looked it up. I found about 30 definitions, many very different from the others. Some based on the concept of a God, others on nature, some on moral theory, and others still on rationality.

    In my humble opinion, natural law is only the basic laws which must form for a society of any size to function. For example, random wanton murder is naturally outlawed, because one would expect that if it were commonplace, folks would begin to band together for protection in small groups, outlawing such a practice amongst themselves, then forming larger groups for protection against other small groups, and so-on, and so-forth.

    Frankly, however, I think its easier to look at the basis of the law. In Pennsylvania (I know the discussion is broader than PA law, but I think you can extend my point), if I recall my history lessons, a lot of the laws are based on the Puritans who settled here. I don’t see anything immoral about selling liquor on Sunday, yet it is illegal. In fact, until the mid-70’s it was illegal for any business (with a few exceptions) to be open for business on a Sunday. If you ask me, the Jews got screwed on this one…no business Saturday or Sunday! That’s precisely the reason why I think its very dangerous to legislate morality based on a single religious value system.

    This is where pluralism comes in pretty handy, rather than majority rule. Think of it this way, if some religious moral systems had the majority in PA, it would be illegal to kill a cow. I don’t think that’s right either. I mean, tacos made with ground turkey are okay, but they just don’t taste as good as beef. 😉

    Its not enough to say, think of the effect of prostitution on families either. By that argument, a number of other things that are perfectly legal are not, including adultery, poor spending habits, and general disrespect. The last of which is actually protected in one form in the US constitution as freedom of speech!

    Frankly, our laws are quite inconsistent when it comes to legislating morality with regard to vices. Leisure drugs are outlawed…except for alcohol and caffeine. Sex for money is illegal, but not sex for fun, or sex for non-monetary favors.

    I guess the reality of the situation is status-quo and politics. No lawmaker who wants to get votes is going to recommend legalizing prostitution. Similarly, none would outlaw alchohol (especially after what happened last time!). Right now, it might be very popular for some politicians to outlaw gay marriage, so the laws may go on the books. Over the next few decades, sentiment may shift, such that it would not be popular to create the same laws, yet it would take an incredibly compelling reason to attempt to remove them.

    In my estimation, that status quo reasoning is why we see so many “moral” laws that don’t seem to fit today (I’m not arguing that prostitution doesn’t fit). This is part of the reason why it is so dangerous to create such laws.

    I like that this law exists. It works for me. That doesn’t make it right. My moral compass tells me prostitution is bad. It also tells me missing church on Sunday is bad. If I legislate one, should I not legislate the other?

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 3:22 pm
  15. Funky Dung wrote:

    Thank you x 1000, Lightwave. In essense, you’ve restated most of my points in clear and concise language. That status quo thing is a nice addition, too. It’s something that was kind of implicit in my original thoughts on this matter. I (for reasons unknown to me) suddenly found myself questioning a law that had been unquestioned (at least in the public forums I encounter) for a very long time. When I tried to understand why the law existed, the answer wasn’t so clear.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 4:19 pm
  16. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    There is a natural law argument against prostitution, but the idea that “natural law” is amoral or irreligious is crazy. The entire idea of “law” (whether natural OR positive) can never but be an expression of morality. Take the “morality” or “religious aspects” out of natural law, you excise any and all notion of “law”, and you’re left with only a flaccid strip of “natural” in your hand.

    Now Christian thinkers have long held that the “social” portions of the decalogue are natural. By way of proof, what society in the history of the world has even held societal norms that flatly contradict it? No society, save late (and increasingly doomed) liberal democracies, has ever held that anyone, anywhere can do whatever they want, as long as no one gets hurt. What could be more unnatural than that?

    Natural law arguments can also be applied against contraception, abortion, usury, &c. Corruption of public morals (i.e., most people don’t want themselves or others to behave a certain way) is a perfectly valid natural law argument. QED.

    The problem here, Eric, is that our nation does not accept, nor has it ever really accepted natural law as a basis for its positive law. America is founded on Locke’s social contract theory, which suggests (stupidly) that in a state of nature all men are free and equal, and may therefore be expected to rationally bargain with each other in a mutually advantageous way. Paine said it best:

    Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

    These are key formative principles of the American republic. (And I don’t think I need to point out that they are thoroughly pagan. This is not to say that paganism is necessarily bad. Christianity owes an enormous debt to quite a few pagans, reformed and otherwise.) And as formative principles, “noble lies” I called them above, they are accepted uncritically by the vast, vast majority of Americans as being not merely true, but self-evident. Of course they are neither, but that doesn’t stop them from being remarkably successful in governing a pluralistic society. But most importantly, Locke and Paine, and by extension, most truly American political thought, makes no room for natural law, the idea that positive laws are founded on some great unchanging principles built into the cosmos. Instead, positive law as an end in itself is founded merely upon rational, presumed egalitarian, contractarian behaviors of free people.

    With this presupposition THERE IS NO rational argument against prostitution in principle. If it can be guaranteed that no one gets “hurt” or “exploited” or it presents no hazard to “public health”, you cannot appeal to anything above the contract between “consenting adults”. I.e., no one can rationally interfere with the social bargainers’ “pursuit of happiness”.

    So Eric, this is your acheivement in this post: You have proved that given sufficient safeguards, and founded on the sole principle of contractarian (economic) social relationships, there is no argument against legalized prostitution. Two words: No duh! One more word: Nevada!!

    So the problem here is that we, as Christians, as believers in transcendant goods that may (or may NOT) be rationally negotiated via social contract, cannot accept social contract as the basis (or at least not the primary basis) for positive law. If you do, you have already capitulated, the fight is over… let’s go crawl into our catacombs.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 4:28 pm
  17. Funky Dung wrote:

    “So Eric, this is your acheivement in this post: You have proved that given sufficient safeguards, and founded on the sole principle of contractarian (economic) social relationships, there is no argument against legalized prostitution. Two words: No duh! One more word: Nevada!!”

    1) Who pissed in your Cheerios, dude? There’s no reason to be a jerk about this.

    2) I think I’ve achieved a whole lot more. I’ve learned more about subject, like natural law, that I didn’t understand. I hope to continue learning. I also hope others have learned something. I’m sorry this is all so bloody boring and of common sense to you, but it isn’t for everyone.

    3) I greatly appreciate your contributions regarding Locke, et al., because I no nothign of that stuff, not being a student of political science, philosophy, or American history. I would be very interested if you composed a post about how Christians go about working effectively within the confines of a government founded on social contract principles.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 4:53 pm
  18. Funky Dung wrote:

    BTW, if someone could clear up what natural law really is, I’d be thrilled. As Lightwave pointed out, there are a ton of definitions and we don’t seem to be agreeing on one in this forum.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 4:54 pm
  19. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Funky, I hope you know me well enough to know that I dole out slaps in the face with the deepest charity… 😉

    It is not that I think this is boring, nor that it is obvious, but that it is a very old, classical argument between classical conservatism and libertarianism, the latter being the overwhelming reigning political philosophy in America (think lotto). My alarm is from observing that you seem to assume the presuppositions of the “wrong” (the Whig) side. If I didn’t think you were redeemable, I wouldn’t waste ASCII chars. See Michael Brendan’s excellent posts on Markets and Morality here, and then here to followup. He’s got a few good references, too.

    Cheers!

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 6:18 pm
  20. Funky Dung wrote:

    I’m not going to tackle every one of your points, Steve, for fear of getting too far off track. I will, however, highlight this:

    “An activity that is degrading to public morals should be illegal. There mere fact that pornography and adultery luxury SUVs are legal, doesn’t imply that some other vice should also be legal. There is no guarantee of equal rights for vices, either in natural or positive law AFAIK. If you wanna vice, go get yourself a nice legal one… like smoking!”

    and

    “Natural law arguments can also be applied against contraception, abortion, usury, &c.”

    You’ve repeatedly referenced activities that are in no danger of becoming illegal. If you’ve going to lump prostitution, an activity illegal in 49 of 50 states, in with legal activities, the burden is on you to 1) explain what makes them similar and 2) why they should all be illegal.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 10:43 pm
  21. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    More critique of late liberal democratic capitalism from Houellebecq (not exactly your Sunday School teacher)

    Just like unrestrained economic liberalism, and for similar reasons, sexual liberalism produces phenomena of absolute pauperisation. Some men make love every day; others five or six times in their life, or never. Some make love with dozens of women; others with none. It?s what?s known as ?the law of the market?. In an economic system where unfair dismissal is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their place. In a sexual system where adultery is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their bed mate. In a totally liberal economic system, certain people accumulate considerable fortunes; others stagnate in unemployment in misery. In a totally liberal sexual system, certain people have a varied and exciting erotic life; others are reduced to masturbation and solitude. Economic liberalism is an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society. Sexual liberalism is likewise an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society.

    The review goes on to note that from Houellebecq’s (deformed yet remarkably lucid) perspective,

    Actionists, beatniks, hippies and serial killers were all pure libertarians who advanced the rights of the individual against social norms and against what they believed to be the hypocrisy of morality, sentiment, justice and pity. From this point of view, Charles Manson was not some monstrous aberration in the hippy movement, but its logical conclusion.?

    Mmmmm…. good stuff!

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 10:16 pm
  22. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    You’ve repeatedly referenced activities that are in no danger of becoming illegal. If you’ve going to lump prostitution, an activity illegal in 49 of 50 states, in with legal activities, the burden is on you to 1) explain what makes them similar and 2) why they should all be illegal.

    1) they corrupt public morals;

    2) things that corrupt public morals should be illegal.

    I don’t mean to be snarky. It really is that simple in my mind (Romans 13). I realize it’s an uphill battle, that is to say, where it’s a battle at all. Look, I’m not a short-term optimist. The Western World really is going to hell in a hand-basket, and there’s really not much (at this late date, roughly a 1/4 of a millenium after the fact) that we can do about it. Of course, we should do what we can… bravely living contrarian (i.e., godly) lives, bravely holding our pinkies in the dike-n-all, but I think things’ll get a whole lot worse before they get better, in the post-oil, post-choice, post-autonomous, post-therapeutic, post-apocalyptic renaissance. (the POPCPAPTPAR for short! ;-))

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 10:57 pm
  23. dlw wrote:

    I think a feminist argument would say that to make prostitution gives women more bargaining power in their relationships with me since they ultimately control when a man can have sex(this is a fair amount of power given that men want to have sex much more frequently than women do.).

    I’d argue for prostitution remaining legal on the grounds of promoting greater equality between the sexes. If poor women turn to prostitution out of desperation, there are better ways to help them out than making prostitution legal. I agree about focusing on johns for the purpose of prevention of prostitution.

    One can argue also that even though it is impossible to end prostitution that having it be illegal sends an important signal socially that sex is not a commodity. In this world of ours where regions that have lax views on sex are suffering greatly from the AIDS virus, this is an important message to have. I know that in Thailand, paying to have sex with a prostitute is viewed at the same level as buying a coke and a father would take his son to visit a prostitute to teach him about sex.

    Lastly, sexual intercourse tends to cause an obsession that is not healthy, consider the film “The Story of Adele H”, which is based on the true story of how Victor Hugo’s daughter went against her family’s wishes to chase after the British soldier that had seduced her and ends up frittering away her sanity trying to make him love her. It’s extreme, but the danger of sexual intercourse leading to obsession, crimes of passion, or even just addiction are good reasons to set the cultural rules of the game to discourage males from being able to have sex whenever they feel like it and can afford it.

    Another good movie on this theme is “The Decline of the American Empire”. It’s a French Quebec film and explores thoroughly how the secular permissive approach to sex is unfulfilling, with many being hurt as sex no longer serves as the bond of marriage in a family.

    dlw

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 3:19 am
  24. Tom Smith wrote:

    Natural law is traditionally thought of as more than simply an ethical or legal explanatory device; it is a thing which exists absolutely. Voltaire defines natural law as “the instinct which makes us feel justice.” He defines as “just and unjust” that which “appears such (just and unjust) to the entire universe.” The problem I see with this Enlightenment formulation of natural law is that, because one is made to “feel justice” in a particular situation doesn’t mean that justice objectively exists in that context.

    A less “enlightened” concept of natural law should, I think, capture better the absolute immanence of natural law, not only an immanence within man, but within all things. The correct way to think of the beneficial impact of natural law in its application to ethics, I believe (though I invite correction), is in an appeal to metaphysics.

    Aristotle explains that one achieves eudaimonia (something between “happiness” and “fulfillment”) through an actuation of one’s form. One actuates one’s form through perfect obedience to natural law.

    This is why we say that all things are ordered toward a certain end; natural law is written on the essence (or form) of every substance. (Ordered = obedient to natural law; disordered = disobedient to natural law.)

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 4:16 am
  25. Funky Dung wrote:

    “1) they corrupt public morals;”

    How so? Don’t beg the question. Humor us poor simpletons. 😉 Seriously, though, if Christians are to ever have productive dialog with the secular world, we can’t just go around saying thing corrupt public morals without 1) explaining how and 2) explaining why they’re bad enough that they must be legislated against.

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 12:20 pm
  26. Funky Dung wrote:

    Tom, thanks for the info. For some time I’ve thought that natural law was something Thomistic, and therefore not distinct for religious moral arguments.

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 12:29 pm
  27. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Just to be thoroughly pedantic, prostitution corrupts public morals because:

    1) no one would be happy if their daughter (or wife) provided this service;

    2) few consumers would be happy for everyone they know to know they procured such a service (sure, there might be a few that “didn’t care” but they would just be exceptions proving the rule);

    3) (WORSE) toleration of the institution militates against the natural purposes of marriage, i.e., to define boundaries for “licit” sex; AND

    4) (WORST) toleration of the institution militates against divine purposes of marriage

    BUT…

    Who is to say the “dialog with the secular world” (I assume you mean “politics) ought necessarily be “productive” (I assume you mean “favorable”)? Politics is the art of the possible. If you wish to convince someone who doesn’t believe that the corruption of public morals is anything to legislate against, then good luck! What is necessary is nothing short of religious conversion, and the prostitution question is merely a red herring. If, on the other hand, you wish to convince someone who already believes that the corruption of public ought be legislated against to take the next step and simply vote that way, then fine, I suppose a rationalist approach might work. BUT… if our hypothetical ally is not already voting the way they ought, then I suspect propaganda (vis-a-vis reason) is much better, much surer way to control… err… “reach out to” them. You see, men in a state of nature are NOT free and equal… in fact they are anything but!

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 2:51 pm
  28. Adrian wrote:

    (Here’s another go–some of it synthesis, other parts further explanation.)

    A society is a group of persons organically (not contractually) bound by a principle of unity which goes beyond each of them (i.e. we’re not just in it for ourselves, we recognize there’s a bigger purpose which can only be worked towards as a group). Society is ordered to the service of the human person, and is formed for the promotion and protection of their common good. As a result, a proper understanding of the human person is critical to the proper functioning of a society. Through right reason applied to human experience, we can understand certain truths about the human person observable from his nature. These are expressed in the natural law.

    Gravely destructive–Regarding prostitution, we can observe that it is gravely destructive. Right reason and human experience show us that the two ends of sex are: the expression of the union between a man and a woman, and the transmission of human life. Both of these ends are contradicted in the act of prostitution: the union recognized in nature as marriage is absent, and the intent and environment for the transmission of human life recognized in nature as family is also absent. It is no wonder, then, that individuals who participate in such acts become seriously wounded. This can easily be observed from the destructive effects on the human physche, emotions, biology, relational, and soul, to name a few. We can also see this by realizing that in the act of prostitution the proper order of things is inverted: greater value is given to the physical over the soul, and the human is reduced to a means to sexual pleasure, rather than as an end in him or her self.

    Pervasive–By itself, sexual acts which are not ordered to their proper end would not be just cause for legal restriction (thus masturbation, fornication, and adultery are not illegal). However, prostitution takes illicit sexual acts further by widening the scope to society as a whole. As a result, the common good is adversely and significantly affected by this gravely destructive act, and there arises a societal interest in the protection of its members. To those who would argue otherwise, I would challenge to explain how a society with only prostitution and no marriage and family, is better than one with only marriage and family and no prostitution.

    Commerce–Although not strictly a criteria in itself, I think the fact that prostitution comprises commerce further establishes a societal interest.

    Given the above factors, I think it is clearly demonstrable that prostitution is severely contrary to the human person, and significantly detrimental to the common good. Making it illegal is therefore justifiable.

    (I cannot claim credit for the originality of any of these arguments, but I hope that they may be found at least partially helpful to someone.)

    Your servant,

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 6:52 pm
  29. Funky Dung wrote:

    Thank you for taking the time answer the questions I posed. :)

    Allow me to respond as the Devil’s advocate to this:

    “To those who would argue otherwise, I would challenge to explain how a society with only prostitution and no marriage and family, is better than one with only marriage and family and no prostitution.”

    How would you respond to those who might say that a free society in which prostitution peacefully coexists with marriage and family would be better than either of the options you presented?

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 8:15 pm
  30. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    How would you respond to those who might say that a free society in which prostitution peacefully coexists with marriage and family would be better than either of the options you presented?

    Define “better”. Tho’ in anticipation, I’d offer they cannot peacefully coexist. In a society that tolerates prostitution (legally or otherwise, like our own), the institution of marriage & family is doomed. Transcendant goods cannot compete with the atomized individual’s “pursuit of happiness” on a level playing field. Coercion is a necessary part of fulfilling righteousness, at least while the earth lasts. Paul VI’s predictions in his much maligned encyclical Humana Vitae have already largely come true.

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 10:22 pm
  31. Adrian wrote:

    Dear Funky,

    Boy, it is hard to make you satisfied. :-) Responding to your question:

    I would say they got distracted from the point. The point was that by considering the extremes, common sense blatantly tells us that marriage/family is significantly beneficial to the common good and is therefore worthy of promotion, while prostitution is signficantly detrimental to the common good is therefore worthy of outlawing.

    Will we have either extreme? Not this side of eternity. Despite the fact that we live in an imperfect world, expending effort to get them to “peacefully” coexist is contradictory, bordering on schizophrenic. It would be incongruous for a society to promote/protect prostitution, since society is ordered to the service of the human person and the common good. For example, you can’t protect the right to private property and thieves at the same time.

    I hope this has been helpful, but I don’t want to get caught in an endless loop of debating questions that are peripheral to our focus of answering why prostitution should be illegal. I think I may need a break.

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 11:05 pm
  32. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    BTW, Catholic Encyclopedia has a nice entry on Natural Law. Warning! It was written for 19th century attention spans.

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 11:09 pm
  33. Fred K. wrote:

    In light of this discussion, I found the following reflection quite chastening.

    Posted 11 Feb 2006 at 12:27 am
  34. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Fred!! Wow, I didn’t know you ventured over here. Ales Rarus must be more popular than I ever imagined. Powerful story by the way…

    Posted 11 Feb 2006 at 1:38 am
  35. Fred K. wrote:

    I keep up with the st blogs blogdigger, but I met FD at the St. Blogs Parish Hall.

    Posted 11 Feb 2006 at 5:57 pm
  36. dlw wrote:

    Hey Funk, I realize I messed up some in my post, but I think the reasoning comes through, though as always the language is a bit different from others at this blog as I am not an adherent to nat’l law/rights stuff.

    I reposted it at my blog and still hope to hear back from you.

    dlw

    Posted 11 Feb 2006 at 6:17 pm
  37. Funky Dung wrote:

    DLW, I hope to read your post soon, but I need to respond to a harsher criticism. Look for a new post soon.

    Posted 11 Feb 2006 at 6:58 pm
  38. Jim McCarville wrote:

    For as long as I have followed the “public outrage” about prostitution, it has only been a case of “not wanting it in my neighborhood”. And the biggest reason that I can think of is to not want prostitution in your neighborhood is that then non-prostitute females would not be able to walk on the streets without being constantly accosted. Thus prostitution exists in practically every big city in the politically least powerful neighborhoods only.

    You were not only right to set aside moral arguments about why prostitution is illegal, but the moral arguments have very little to do with the question. If the moral concerns really weighed in the consideration, either we would have no prosititution or it would be everywhere.

    Posted 12 Feb 2006 at 10:57 pm
  39. dlw wrote:

    Jim,

    I agree that from a practical standpoint, legal action against prostitution does tend to make it happen only in certain places and may only discourage it some, or force the payment of bribes to police.

    I’d like to cut back on prostitution by 1.) Reducing poverty with a Basic Income Guarantee reform of the US income tax(see http://www.usbig.net/)(note:this would radically reduce the geographic variation in the value of housing/give workers with fewer skills more bargaining power/tend to reduce the number of hours supplied by sex-workers to the market), 2.) fining and humiliating johns(this would have more of a deterrence effect and get more community support if the fines stayed in the community. The mugs and names of the johns could be posted on the internet.) 3.) forcing caught prostitutes to do community service and get training or seek better employment.

    Sometimes, it just takes some creativity and a willingness to learn from others/experience to deal with these sorts of things.

    dlw

    Posted 13 Feb 2006 at 6:58 pm
  40. Advogado de Diabos wrote:

    My cynical take on it (inspired in a large part to the History Channel which loves to run shows on the history of prostitution, not kidding they have show on all the time) is that prostitution is illegal so politicians can pretend to be outraged that prostitution exists (for the benefit of their wives and constituents wives). But most they don?t really care if it exists or not as long as its not in their backyard. And some of them find it convenient that prostitution is pushed to neighborhoods where they can solicit sex without running in to their neighbors.

    Posted 14 Feb 2006 at 9:44 pm
  41. dlw wrote:

    I’m with the cynicism bit on why practically it is illegal.

    The issue is more, in my mind, one of where do we go from here. How do we interact with those who want to make it legal? How might we reform the system so it is more effective and fair?

    And so on…

    dlw

    Posted 15 Feb 2006 at 12:46 am
  42. regina doman wrote:

    From a natural law perspective, you could make the following argument against the legalization of prostitution:

    Prostitution is in and of itself a disordered practice – using the sexual act in a way it was never intended to be used and in a way that is foreign to the very nature of the act. The natural state of the sexual act is that it is intended to be practiced in a loving manner between one man and one woman who have committed themselves to one another for life in a covenant with legal status (marriage). This is the form in which sex best serves society, and all deviations from this form have shown (historically, legally, sociologically, psychologically) to cause problems – and indeed grave social evils.

    Society is better off when the institution of marriage is protected by law and respected in society. Prostitution by its intrinsic nature attacks this monagomous and committed relationship between a man and a woman.

    Since marriage is the appropriate and ordered expression of sexuality, prostitution can never be anything but a disordered expression of sexuality.

    Legalizing a disorder does not and cannot make it more manageable or clear up the problems associated with the disorder. In fact, legalization may indeed cause more disorder by giving more people access to and giving more respectability to the disorder, including the young, ignorant, and vulnerable.

    Legalizing divorce has not allayed any of the problems associated with divorce (ie: estrangement and separation) before it was legal. Abandonment of children, theft of property, spousal abuse, child abuse, and other evils associated with one partner leaving his or her marriage partner have not mitigated since the introduction of divorce laws – in fact, such problems have increased as divorce has become widespread and more accessible. Legalization of divorce has also not led to the reduction of the amount of estrangements and separations – in fact, it has only increased them.

    >From a natural law perspective, divorce is intrinisically disordered, and we should not expect the problems associated with it to disappear merely because the problem is legalized and monitored.

    The same could be said with slavery, which has much in common with prostitution.

    It’s not necessary to enter the realm of faith to find a reason to outlaw prostitution.

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 at 3:12 am
  43. Adrian wrote:

    Yea!! I’m so happy to see someone make a similar argument. Thank you Regina, I no longer feel alone! :-)

    Posted 16 Feb 2006 at 2:11 pm
  44. Tom Smith wrote:

    The arguments that apply to the legalization of homosexual marriage, divorce, abortion, and many other things that Christians would traditionally be opposed to apply equally well to legalization of prostitution and recreational drugs.

    That’s not to say that any of those things should be legal, however. There is no natural right to do wrong, and in my opinion, legal rights should be based on natural rights.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 4:42 am
  45. Funky Dung wrote:

    First, you must define wrong. You cannot define a right to perform a wrong action, or lack thereof, until there is agreement of what is wrong.

    One approach that I deliberately avoided due to lack of education would be to to justify its illegality based on non-religious natural law. I’m totally unequipped to start that argument, though.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 4:55 am
  46. Adrian wrote:

    Boy, it’s a sad day when you have to explain to a fellow Christian why prostitution should be illegal.

    When sex is seen as merely physical pleasure, it becomes commercial. But sex isn’t merely physical pleasure: it’s an act signifying indissoluble union, and it’s the means for transmitting human life. We seem to forget this fact when we treat sex like a chocolate shake to be shared with someone “close”, and when we throw up shields like condoms, birth control pills, and abortion. What we try to deny through these acts, though, merely makes more obvious (in a reverse way) what sex is really about.

    Bottom line, prostitution is objectively destructive to the human person, period. Like homicide, in a less visible, but no less serious, way. Things which are that objectively and gravely destructive should not be legal.

    Why is is that we have lost common sense in our age of enlightenment?

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 5:18 am
  47. John wrote:

    Adrian, that was a load of conceited crap. And what’s more, I think you know it.
    You’re argument was moralistic, and funky had established a priori that he was disregarding moral arguments.
    Furthermore, the Age of Enlightenment was an eighteenth century movement. Even the broadest conception of the term would put a cut off date of 1918.

    Furthermore, historically prostitution laws began as nuissance laws. The goal was not to prevent women from selling themselves, but just to prevent them from doing it in places where “descent” people would have to see them.
    Also, they’ve never been that successful. If you want to stop prostitution (on whatever grounds) you’ll be far more successful going after the Johns than the prostitutes. Ultimately there’s little threat you can hang over the head of someone already selling her body for money. Once case I know of working was that in the 80s Boston had a serious problem with prostitution, so they started giving the name of every single person arrested for soliciting a prostitute to the newspapers. These lists being printed every day put an end to the problem real quick.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 5:48 am
  48. Rob wrote:

    So who said “If you expel prostitution from society, you will unsettle everything on account of lusts”?

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:05 am
  49. Funky Dung wrote:

    Apparently, St. Augustine did. Interesting.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:19 am
  50. Funky Dung wrote:

    “Boy, it’s a sad day when you have to explain to a fellow Christian why prostitution should be illegal.”

    Since I was, as John bluntly pointed out, ignoring moral, and by extension Christian, arguments for the sake of argument, perhaps it’s not such a sad day.

    “When sex is seen as merely physical pleasure, it becomes commercial. But sex isn’t merely physical pleasure: it’s an act signifying indissoluble union, and it’s the means for transmitting human life. We seem to forget this fact when we treat sex like a chocolate shake to be shared with someone ‘close’, and when we throw up shields like condoms, birth control pills, and abortion. What we try to deny through these acts, though, merely makes more obvious (in a reverse way) what sex is really about.”

    That sounds suspiciously like a natural law argument. Kudos for responding to the call. However, I don’t think you’ve made your case. Simply saying sex is more than pleasure and treating it as less than an indissoluble union is wrong (two separate though related, arguments, btw) does not make it so. Humor me, please, and connect the dots. There may be non-Christians reading who might well be educated by your arguments.

    “Bottom line, prostitution is objectively destructive to the human person, period. Like homicide, in a less visible, but no less serious, way. Things which are that objectively and gravely destructive should not be legal.”

    Again, you’ve begged the question. Please explain in logical terms why it is objectively destruction (without resporting to Scripture or Tradition).

    “Why is is that we have lost common sense in our age of enlightenment?”

    I assume you mean that I’ve either lost or always lacked common sense. Gee, that’s an awfully nice thing to say from the safety of an comment lacking both email and web address. Since when are drive-by insults part of proper Christian behavior?

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 6:39 am
  51. Jerry Nora wrote:

    “A common arguement is that prostitution is degrading to women. I could list a number of legal things that are degrading to women, but I?ll refrain for fear of being mislabeled as sexist.”

    So let’s completely degrade women in the name of consistency… I don’t buy it.

    The argument you make is not unlike what the Dutch and Germans have argued, as they have legalized prostitution. That has not prevented the extensive sex slavery where Slavic women are deceived into thinking they can find honest work in the West, only to be kidnapped, raped (“broken in”) and sold. Legalizing prostitution, therefore, even in a highly regulated, “enlightened” milieu like Western Europe is no guarantee. A larger, more heterogeneous country like the USA that isn’t so welcoming of regulation is certainly going to be even harder. Especially since we have no shortage of illegal immigrants that can get sucked into this (on top of the sex slave rings that we have here, to boot).

    In “Salt of the Earth”, a book-length interview by Peter Seewald, Ratzinger does acknowledge that position of Augustine, but said that this cannot work well in a modern society since sex can be so pervasive with the media. Where it may have been the lesser of two evils in Augustine’s time, it may only further damage the fabric of our society.

    Regarding the health aspect: pimps (and even prostitutes in some cases) would have an interest in working even with HIV or Hep C. How frequently would you test them? Weekly? That still gives the “johns” a chance to get infected on Friday by a prostitute who caught a bug on Monday but gets tested on Saturday.

    Actually, the “johns” (which is the usual slang for the men who procure prostitution) bring me to the best remedy: go after the guys who get hookers in the first place. Pittsburgh has had an interesting run with doing that. In return for not getting busted on lewd conduct or whatnot (and having to explain to the wife why they got jailed), they must attend a workshop where ex-prostitutes talk about how they got exploited and how prostitution fed the abuse and the drugs that kept them there. I got the impression that it made an impression on some of the fellas.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 1:34 pm
  52. Adrian wrote:

    Dear Funky Dung,

    I apologize if I seemed off the cuff–I was just aghast that so much ink (or pixels, as the case may be) would be spilled on a Christian website arguing that prostitution should be legal. (Though you have stated you’re not irrevocably attached to the argument.) I guess it’s a purely intellectual exercise, but to the ungrounded it could be scandalous. Please forgive me if I have been insulting, and thank you for being more gracious in your response than I was in mine. I will attempt to provide a more thorough line of reasoning later today.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 1:53 pm
  53. Funky Dung wrote:

    “So let’s completely degrade women in the name of consistency… I don’t buy it.”

    That’s not my point at all. I’m merely stating that the argument for illegality cannot depend on degradation since there are lots of legal means of degradation that society seemingly has little or no drive to make illegal. Put more succinctly, there is little or no legal precedent for establishing or maintaining illegality of an action based on its psychological impact. i think abortion is degrading to women, but that’s hardly an argument for making it illegal. Rather, I must rely on natural law and medical science to make my case that 1) it can be physically harmful to women and 2) it ends the life of a human person and constitutes murder.

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 3:08 pm
  54. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Don’t apologize, Adrian. It is far from clear whether you’ve hit hard enough… Funky occasionally drinks too much from the libertarian (enlightenment rationalist) bottle and needs a swift kick in the ass to sober up.

    The reason prostitution (and pornography and adultery and fornication and exhorbitant interest rates and unbridled suburban sprawl and excessive fuel consumption and dangerous drugs &c. &c.) should be illegal is that we live in society. The idea that the economic arrangement between the prostitute and the patron is ONLY between them and ONLY affects them is a pure fiction. The transaction affects the families of those contracting for such services. It affects the quality of life in the area where the transaction occurs. Ultimately it affects people completely unknown and unrelated to the participants, since the unhindered provision of such services promises future demand on the part of new consumers and ostensible careers for new service providers.

    Society therefore has a stake (a say) in whether prostitution (or any other societal “ill”) ought be legal. Reducing the question to a private economic arrangement between consenting participants (which is a rule that Libertarianism applies to everything) makes it SEEM logical to suggest that there is no natural law against prostitution. But the fiction of Libertarianism is that ANY such question can be so reduced. They cannot. The view fails to take seriously the way people actually live, i.e., interdependent, in community, in society.

    [/Rant]

    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 3:10 pm
  55. Proskillz3x3 wrote:

    I, being a Christian also, really find this a hard topic to discuss. I find the act of prostitution morally wrong itself, but I think making it illegal is a wrong move. So many bad things come up from illegal prostitution. Things such as drug abuse, under-age sex, STDS, violence towards the prostitutes themselves, etc.

    A lot of these problems are due to or are magnified because prostitution is treated as a problem by the government. I would be hard pressed to find why it is considered a crime for reasons other than ones based from certain religious perspectives; it seems prostitution is a ‘victimless crime’ in America, so why should it be illegal?

    If it were to be legal I think it would be better maintained in America. Just as Funky Dung brought up on how a hot dog stand or any business for that matter is ran in America, so could prostitution. As Christians we live in a world that is not our own, we are apart from it but live in it (as explained in the bible) wrong things are going to persist because people do wrong things. We ought to let them make their own decisions on what is right or wrong, but we ought to let them make their own decisions with God’s Word upon them. God gave humanity free will, to do what they want to do, whether God condones it or not. I dont believe it should be the government making decisions for us especially when the Creator of the universe allows us to make our own decisions.

    You could say that the government isn’t forcing decisions on us but is doing more like how God does with us. He gives us an absolute truth: rights and wrongs. We are allowed to do what we want between the two but as God says sin is not rewarded but yet disciplined therefore the sinner would repent and hopefully draw nearer to God. As I said earlier this is a very hard topic to discuss. It comes down to what Adrian said way up on that comment board. The fact that you can’t really set morality and someone’s codes of ethics aside, it would be like “standing up without legs”. Our thoughts, our opinions, are all based on what we think is right or wrong, our morals. Something is either right or wrong, that is absolute truth, and its someone’s morals that reflect that. If you think a certain way about a certain topic (such as prostitution) its because your morals say its either wrong or right you react accordingly to it. You can’t really set that aside.

    Posted 03 May 2006 at 3:42 am
  56. Bryan Davis wrote:

    Wow! What a great discussion. It’s hard seeing it so late into the comment train, because reading along prompted so many potential interjections.

    I think it’s great that Funky prompted the argument – Christians should always be prepared to give an answer, and I don’t think “Because it’s immoral” is an answer. If you say, “Because the Bible says so”, and can quote chapter and verse, that’s one thing (it should be good enough for convincing Christians, but not necessarily the legislature), but you should be able to provide a more thorough, elaborative response than simple immorality.

    Immorality is such a fuzzy topic, when you are talking with people who do not share the same set of a priori assumptions. To say that no-one would want their wife or daughter to be a prostitute would be patently false. I know people who feel otherwise – honestly. Many people in Nevada, who have been able to see prostitution in its actuality, instead of relying upon the mythologized version of it they read about and imagine, are able to see it as an economic transaction, on the lines of being a model.

    To say that the majority of people would not want their wives or children to be prostitutes is certainly more acceptable, but there are millions in the US who would not want their wives or children to be Christians, and that hardly makes Christianity immoral.

    To say that it cheapens sex begs the question – who made sex a sacrament? Some people see cutting a tree as sacriligious – I don’t think you would agree with them.

    One could argue that because this is a Christian country, it’s fair to outlaw prostitution on the basis of Christian morals. Fair enough. I won’t really argue that (though I think it could be strenuously rebutted). But somebody please tell me what the Bible says about prostitution. (Prostitution, not adultery.) Also, please look at what it says about divorce, and tell me we shouldn’t leave prostitutes to their own means and start pushing anti-divorce laws through Congress.

    I think the only justification for the illegality of prostitution is the “public nuisance” factor. People don’t want nuclear reactors in their back yard. They don’t want a train station next door. They don’t want a brothel down the street.

    But those are location problems, not a fair reason to outlaw prostitution itself.

    So, congratulations, Funky Dung. Excellent discussion, and the kind of discussion that should be had. I think we’re beginning to miss the type of Christian (which CS Lewis exemplified) that could rationally apply their faith and religion to their public life in a consistant and reasonable manner that actually follows the teachings of Jesus and the apostles and would make Him proud. I applaud you for your thought on the matter.

    Posted 07 Jun 2006 at 4:36 pm
  57. Funky Dung wrote:

    Thanks. *blushes*

    Posted 07 Jun 2006 at 4:43 pm
  58. Proskillz3x3 wrote:

    Bryan: “But somebody please tell me what the Bible says about prostitution. (Prostitution, not adultery.)”

    Well, on what stance would prostitution not be adultery? Sex outside marriage is considered a sin, wouldn’t prostitution be categorized as so due to its outside of a marriage, or it could be inside, but that would constitute an even greater problem. Matthew 5:27-28 states, “The law of Moses says, ‘do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Lust is adultery in the heart. It is true that when you imagine having sex with someone, you have not consummated it with that person physically. But in your heart, you have.

    As you clearly state in your post it is hard to argue if something is moral or immoral when every one’s moral standards are different. People think different things because people have different beliefs. So how do we prove anything to anyone if we refer to text from the bible as I just have?

    If someone doesn’t believe in God they won’t have any reason to listen to anything the bible says because in their mind it would hold no grounds to judge their actions. If someone did believe in God, and believed he is all knowing and has the right as creator of all things to judge us for our actions-then if the bible says sexual immorality is wrong one would deduct that prostitution is wrong also because of where their beliefs lay. Moral arguments can go in circles because someone could disagree with another at the drop of a hat. The only way moral arguments or concerns are met in agreement is by means of majority consensus; however, someone will always be counted out.

    Posted 08 Jun 2006 at 9:46 pm
  59. Funky Dung wrote:

    For the time being, automatic paragraph formatting is busted. I think it’s a WP 2.03 bug. Perhaps after the weekend I’ll roll back to 2.02.

    Posted 08 Jun 2006 at 11:59 pm
  60. Bryan Davis wrote:

    Proskillz – as I understand it, prostitution is by definition fornication, but not necessarily adultery. Adultery requires one or more of the partners to be married (but not to the other parter, or perhaps more specifically, the woman to be married to someone other than her partner. Now, I know Paul takes a dim view of fornication and prostitution in 1 Corninthians 6 (the same passage where he says all things are permissable but not beneficial), but this, to me seems to be on par with his admonition not to marry at all; moreover, by his reasoning, he suggests that prostitutes are unsaveable, which certainly Jesus would disagree with.

    In regards to the quote from Matthew, I believe it is fair to assume that Jesus’s quote could be literally assumed to imply that the woman to whom the lustful man was looking would have been an object of adultery (e.g., his neighbors’ wife from the Mosaic allusion), as opposed to his own wife or sister or an unmarried maiden.

    But you’re right. It’s not worth anything to quote bible verses to non-believers; I brought the Bible into it because I believe this is a worthwhile discussion to have within the context of Christianity. Just like Paul had to knock a few churches about the head and shoulders for excluding non-Jews and those who ate meat sacrificed to idols, or got drunk on the sacraments, sometimes the church today needs a knock or two to make sure their moralities are biblical more than cultural.

    Regarding the law, I think we should be very careful not to have the government take the role of the parent – I think it’s the role of the mother and the father to teach their children sexual mores, not the state. Even when there is a moral majority, I don’t recall any biblical admonition after the advent of a Hebrew king (i.e., the end of the Theocracy) to have morality enforced by law. But I’m certainly open to being disproven!

    Posted 09 Jun 2006 at 4:07 pm
  61. Iain Parkes wrote:

    An interesting discussion, I’m not a christian, so maybe I look at matters differently.

    One could argue that marrage is a form of ritual prostitution – afterall, the woman agrees to have sex with and have babies by one man in return for protection and support! Bartering away sexual rights for goods and services is prostitution!

    regina doman said “Prostitution is in and of itself a disordered practice – using the sexual act in a way it was never intended to be used and in a way that is foreign to the very nature of the act. The natural state of the sexual act is that it is intended to be practiced in a loving manner between one man and one woman who have committed themselves to one another for life in a covenant with legal status (marriage).”

    Now, given that we evolved from other forms of animals, it must be infered that the nature of the act is simply to reproduce – afterall, the beasts in the field do not have marrage contracts (legal or otherwise!) do they fornicate or commit adultery simply because they are not married?. With farming, it is often the case where one male will service a large number of females – is that against gods way too?

    Maybe my arguments are below the standards expected of this forum but if you are going to talk about an act being wrong simply because some people talked to burning bushes or hiked to the top of mountains to communicate with invisible beings, then maybe rational discussion is simply not possible!

    Posted 16 Sep 2006 at 5:01 am
  62. BV wrote:

    “One could argue that marriage is a form of ritual prostitution.”

    Sacrificial love expressed in a life-long union between man and woman ordered toward their growth and the raising of a family, is not similar to sex for money.

    “Now, given that we evolved from other forms of animals, it must be inferred that the nature of the act is simply to reproduce – afterall, the beasts in the field do not have marriage contracts (legal or otherwise!) do they fornicate or commit adultery simply because they are not married?.”

    You have countered your own point: the very fact that ‘beasts of the field don’t have marriage or contracts’ suggests that man is different than beasts.

    “If you are going to talk about an act being wrong simply because some people talked to burning bushes or hiked to the top of mountains to communicate with invisible beings, then maybe rational discussion is simply not possible!”

    I dunno, the acknowledgement of God is a reasonable starting point.

    There seems to be an overall thread to your observations: denial of the existence of things that cannot be seen. As a result, marriage and prostitution appear the same, humans are no different than other beasts, and the existence of an invisible God is irrational. This idea itself is evidence of the unseen, because ideas exist, but they are not material.

    Posted 22 Sep 2006 at 11:53 pm
  63. JeroenBok wrote:

    As stated previously

    “The only way moral arguments or concerns are met in agreement is by means of majority consensus”

    Hmmm, the majority consensus, can’t be a vehicle for morality, Sodom and Gamorha come to mind. The Majority of peoples in those cities were corrupt, and they chose to be so, does it make them “corrupt” because a minority thought that what they were doing in those cities was wrong?

    And the Adultry by way of Marriage card can’t be played either, Marriage as being a union sanctioned by the church, didn’t exist til the middle ages, when the struggling churches as they separated from the Roman Catholic Church, looked to find ways of generating income. Prior to the Churches involvement, people pledged themselves to each other, or were pledged by their parents, but these pledges were not binding, and could be severed if certain agreements were no upheld, it usually wasnt severed, but the option still existed. So what then was meant by Adultry back when the 10 commandments were penned to Moses? I personaly think it was the taking on a second or more wives to produce a male heir, because the first one cant concieve a son, I believe was the concern of God, not nessesarily the act of sex with another partner.

    Adultry is number 7 on the list of commandments,
    The churchgoers break the 2nd all the time by pray befor a cross on the wall as to focus our prayers. We as a whole as Christians dont take the 4th one to heart either that being the Sabbath. And we all fall short on the 5th and 10th, we find fault with our parents, and we judge our worth and stature by seeing what everyone else is or has. So why not slip adultery under the table as well?

    I think it is because we all want to be better than we are. As we grow in God, and begin to rise above our limitations, we strive to lift others to our new found level of morality. Whether they want to go their too or not.

    So where does all this leave us with our concerns over prostitution? Well, who are we to judge another, for their heart is seem by God alone, it is not our place to be the judge of them.

    Well I hope I have come full circle in my reasoning, and made no point at all.

    Posted 09 Mar 2007 at 12:25 pm
  64. Funky Dung wrote:

    “Well I hope I have come full circle in my reasoning, and made no point at all.

    I think it’s safe to say you’ve succeeded. 😉

    Posted 10 Mar 2007 at 8:52 am
  65. dlw wrote:

    I guess you never got back to my post, aye?

    Hope you are well, I fear this issue will get more attention in the near future due to the WashDC madam’s list…

    dlw

    Posted 02 May 2007 at 3:35 pm
  66. Funky Dung wrote:

    Well, I’ve been super busy lately and haven’t had time to post much of anything.

    Posted 02 May 2007 at 3:54 pm
  67. Funky Dung wrote:

    I think a feminist argument would say that to make prostitution gives women more bargaining power in their relationships with me since they ultimately control when a man can have sex(this is a fair amount of power given that men want to have sex much more frequently than women do.).

    Huh? The way I see it, getting men to pay for sex gives women a hell of a lot of power.

    I’d argue for prostitution remaining legal on the grounds of promoting greater equality between the sexes. If poor women turn to prostitution out of desperation, there are better ways to help them out than making prostitution legal. I agree about focusing on johns for the purpose of prevention of prostitution.

    How do you know that all or most women turn to prostitution out of desperation? Even so, abuse does not destroy right use. What’s at issue here is not whether prostitution sometimes causes harm (i.e., is abused), but whether there is any right use for it and whether that right use is worth protecting by law in the face of abuses.

    One can argue also that even though it is impossible to end prostitution that having it be illegal sends an important signal socially that sex is not a commodity.

    I agree. However, one could ask if it’s the government’s job to make such a statement.

    In this world of ours where regions that have lax views on sex are suffering greatly from the AIDS virus, this is an important message to have. I know that in Thailand, paying to have sex with a prostitute is viewed at the same level as buying a coke and a father would take his son to visit a prostitute to teach him about sex.

    You have conflated two arguments, the latter being moral (and thus out of bounds for this discussion). Stopping prostitution could be viewed and defended as a public health measure. However, some countries have dealt with that issue by instead regulating prostitution. My impression is that in those countries sex with prostitutes is much safer for both hooker and john. Your statement about sex, coke, and learning about sex is a non sequitur in relation to the first argument and appeals to a moral code in which prostitution is immoral and for a father to take his son to a prostitute for sex is scandalous.

    Lastly, sexual intercourse tends to cause an obsession that is not healthy, consider the film “The Story of Adele H”, which is based on the true story of how Victor Hugo’s daughter went against her family’s wishes to chase after the British soldier that had seduced her and ends up frittering away her sanity trying to make him love her. It’s extreme, but the danger of sexual intercourse leading to obsession, crimes of passion, or even just addiction are good reasons to set the cultural rules of the game to discourage males from being able to have sex whenever they feel like it and can afford it.

    If we follow this line of reasoning, all sex would be banned, not just prostitution. 😉 Seriously, though, this line of argument is dangerous because it would lead to serious curtailing of privacy and personal freedom.

    Another good movie on this theme is “The Decline of the American Empire”. It’s a French Quebec film and explores thoroughly how the secular permissive approach to sex is unfulfilling, with many being hurt as sex no longer serves as the bond of marriage in a family.

    This only demonstrates that casual sex is a bad idea, not that it should be restricted by law. I think becoming a mine and annoying people with mime routines is a bad idea, but I wouldn’t legislate against it.

    Then again, a mime is a wonderful thing to waste. Perhaps I would ban them. 😉

    Posted 02 May 2007 at 4:18 pm
  68. TJinSG wrote:

    I think it’s time to fight this ridiculous law that makes paying for sex a crime. Men have always paid for sex in one way or another and always will. Sex between consenting adults is a great experience that everyone wants and most people indulge in as often as they are able to. The fact that a man pays a woman or a woman pays a man should be none of the governments business.

    Sex is a basic human desire and need. Everyone on this planet thinks about it at some time or other and many participate as well. Who knows what the percentage is that participate but it is probably well into the 90’s.

    I understand that the issue is about paying for sex, not the act of engaging in it. And since that is the case the law must widen the nets for those that are arrested because the constitution gives Fair and Equal treatment under the law. And here are examples.

    Men go to bars and pay for drinks for a woman hoping to get sex. Didn’t he compensate the woman by paying for her drinks? Sure, he bought her the drinks to loosen her up so she would be more apt to go have sex with him., but, she on the other hand knows what may happen if she accepts the drinks. But isn’t that income for the woman? Whether or not it was expressly agreed to that she would have sex if he bought her drinks the outcome is still the same. Especially if she more than likely would not have had sex with him if he did not pay for the drinks and maybe even breakfast.

    When a man goes on a date with a woman he is hoping to have sex with her. The man generally pays for the date hoping it will get him sex. Men generally know in they dont pay for the date the chance of them having sex is very minimal. When they do end up having sex hasn’t the woman become a prostitute? How many women would go on a date or have sex with the guy if she had to pay her own way? The only way to guaranty she did not become a prostitute would be for her to pay her own way and then have or dont have sex with the man just based on his personality, that way money or some kind of compensation is not involved.

    Aren’t women always turning themselves into prostitutes when they expect, or even demand, that the man pay for something or she would not have sex with him? She may not say she wont have sex with him if he didnt pay but the result is the same.

    Aren’t wives turned into prostitutes and husbands turned into John’s? How many wives would continue to have sex with their husbands if he told her she had to get a job and support herself. Her money was her money and his money was his. They would split all the household bills like the mortgage, electricity, gas, water. etc. in half as well as the cost for any children but she was financially responsible for her own survival, just like when she was single. She now had to buy her own food, clothes, jewelery, car, insurance and what ever else she needed. But he still expected her to have sex with him as often as he wanted. How many wives would agree to that? She would probably tell him since she was now responsible for her own self then he was too and he was now responsible to take care of his self sexually as well.

    How many husbands would stay with his wife if she told him she was not going to have sex with him anymore but expected him to still continue paying for everything as if she was having sex with him? (oops, that already happens, it’s called DIVORCE and ALIMONY, or should that be spelled alimony?)

    What about when a couple have an argument and the man goes and buys the woman something and because of buying that something for her she is now happy and decides to have sex with him? Hasn’t she become a prostitute and him John? She would not have had sex with him if he didn’t buy that something for her.

    What about when a boyfriend gives money to his girlfriend. She is his girlfriend because they have a sexual relationship. Doesn’t that make her a prostitute and him a John? What if he gives money to several women that he is sexually involved with? Doesn’t that make them a prostitute and him a John. What if she has the same kind of relationship with several guys, as in cheating? Doesn’t that make her a prostitute and the guys Johns, even though none of the parties realize or acknowledge it? Isn’t this just another form of prostitution?

    This has to show that prostitution exists in many forms, not just the direct exchange of money from hand to hand at the time the activity happened. And not because of the relationship of the parties involved. Prostitution still happens between boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives that way too by the husband or boyfriend giving money to the girlfriend or wife before, during or after the act. They don’t think they are paying for sex but would they give the money to the girlfriend or wife if sex was not a part of their relationship?

    For prostitution not to exist sex would have to be engaged in between parties freely and with no compensation, enrichment, giving up of funds, receiving of gifts, food , shelter or liquids of any kind being paid for by either party at any time. There could not be any kind of exchange between the parties that caused either party to incur any kind of loss or gain weather financial or otherwise.

    For Fair and Equal treatment under the law there would have to be policemen in every bar, night club, restaurant, store, etc and anywhere men and women meet making sure that if the couples were going to have sex there would be no other exchange involved. The police would have to be watching every relationship and marriage to make sure money was not involved in that relationship if the people involved were having sex.

    Women are taught from an early age “Don’t give it up freely”. Even Dr. Laura Schlessinger on her daily radio show tells women not to give it up without getting something in return. If a woman is living with a man she says the man is getting sex for free! Make him marry you so he has to pay for it!

    Why is this a law? There are two consenting adults that are not being harmed. Alcohol does more harm to the people who drink and to their families, but it is legal. Is this some baseless law that we are blindly following? Is this a law because “moral”, fanatical, hypocrite’s are forcing their beliefs on others? If no one is being hurt let them follow their beliefs and leave others alone.

    And what is it that they are objecting to? Is it that a man is paying to have physical pleasure? What about all the other physical pleasures men pay to get, should those be made illegal too? Is it because the woman is having the pleasure of sex and being paid too? As mentioned above that happens anyways. Is it the amount of sex she or he is having? Do we have to be restricted to once or twice a week? Just what is their problem?

    How can it be illegal if so many people are involved in it in one form or another? How can she be arrested for something that so many people are openly involved in? Every relationship would have to be examined. Everyone in government positions would have to turn themselves in because they were sworn to uphold the law. If they themselves are breaking the law they have to turn themselves in, from the president on down to every policeman on the job. From politicians to judges and even the jurors.

    When men get married it is mostly because they think they are going to have all the sex they want, and the price of marriage is worth it. Ask him would he marry this person if everything else was the same but there would be no sex at all. If he is honest he will say NO.

    When a woman gets married it is mostly for the security and support from her husband. Ask her if she would have sex with him after they got married if he didnt support her financially? If she is honest she would say no.

    Sex is the one area where women have greater control over men, to get the man to give them what they want.

    Maybe this law is being driven by both single and married women because of fear of losing their power over men. If one woman is willing to take money for sex then the other woman is losing her power and control over the man. Now he can get what he wants without having to submit to a womans control to give it to him.

    If prostitution were legal it would help to make marriages better. The wife would now know her husband could legally go to a prostitute for the sex he is not getting from his wife. If she is smart it should make her think about how to be a better sexual partner for her husband so he wont want to go anywhere else. It should help to keep her from becoming fat and lazy and realize she needs to be attractive for her husband.

    And of course there are those women out there that dont want to have sex anyway. Now she can send her husband to the local prostitute to take care of him, knowing hell be coming back to take care of her financial needs, which is all she wants.

    The argument of paying for sex will probably go on and on. But what if comes down to is it should only be a matter between the parties involved.

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 6:34 pm
  69. dlw wrote:

    My counter args vs Funky and the other position is that sex shd not be commodified and ought to be ensconced in relationships due to its psychological and physiological hazards, which can only be mitigated imperfectly.

    I am not saying that money will not play a role in sex, but I am saying that its role shd be delimited by keeping prostitution illegal. Since us males will continue to want sex more frequently than females will and will likely continue to have a higher purchasing power for the foreseeable future, it is important to set the rules of the game for sex so as to promote females’ interests rather than ours and to promote more discipline or a less consumeristic mentality among us males wrt sex. I believe this, ensconcing sex within relationships, will also mitigate the inevitable conflicts between the genders and foster greater cooperation and specialization within our households.
    dlw

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 8:37 pm
  70. JeroenBok wrote:

    OK…Males also Drink and Smoke far more than females, they are legal. And yet the majority of the population doesn’t smoke or drink, because we know the hazards involved and don’t wish to run the risk of dying a horrible death, either abruptly or lingering. Same with prostitution, there are hazards involved, not to mention the STD’s , but the relationship with your spouse would be in ever increasing stress. Legalizing prostitution could be legalized for those willing to take the risks involved, like skydiving, or joining the military, or driving under overpasses in Indianapolis. All life is a risk, even though certain endevors are riskier, it should be up to the individual. Free Will and all that, though we were given free will, it is within us to forgo it and do what we as individuals know is the Divine Will.

    Posted 08 May 2007 at 1:10 pm
  71. John Summers wrote:

    this is ridiculous!

    [And this is spam, Mr. Summers. Say something substantial next time. You won’t be warned again. – Funky]

    Posted 13 Feb 2008 at 3:33 am
  72. sophie Friedman wrote:

    i’m a student in a debate class, ( I’m in 10th grade.)
    and me and my partner are going againt two people debateing why
    we think prosituion should be legal.
    This site has been extremly great to me, so i just wanted to
    thank you.

    Posted 10 Apr 2008 at 12:06 pm
  73. Funky Dung wrote:

    Sophie, it pleases me to know that a post on this blog has helped further someone’s education. Bear in mind, though, that this post only scratches the surface of relevant issues. At minimum, you should also look into social contract theory and how it applies to our countries founding documents. You may also wish to look into varieties of natural law and how they differ from each other.

    Please come back and let me know your grade on the paper. :)

    Posted 11 Apr 2008 at 10:13 am
  74. Funky Dung wrote:

    I know it’s been a very long time since any substantive comments were made, but I’d like to offer another bit of food for thought.

    In light of the Supreme Court decision that struck down anti-sodomy laws in Texas, are anti-prostitution laws really constitutional?

    Posted 05 Jun 2008 at 3:52 pm
  75. gbm3 wrote:

    [A]re anti-prostitution laws really constitutional?

    Really, are any marriage laws to be upheld? Polygamy, bestial relations, underage marriages, sibling “marriages”, etc. What keeps them out?
    (I might say Leviticus 18 ( http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/leviticus/leviticus18.htm ) and all the voting public who agree with it in addition to the natural laws pertaining thereto.)

    You may also want to see the case study done by 20/20 at http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4480892&page=1 , “Prostitution in America: Diane Sawyer Special Examines World’s Oldest Profession”. March 19, 2008

    Prostitution still has a capital compensation component which sodomy does not. However, I still think sodomy should be illegal as the law is drafted since I believe it is an assault (no pun intended) of the sodomized, even if consented: just as in prostitution, the victim’s humanity is stripped as if they were considered an animal and not a human. The person is used as a means for bestial pleasure instead of being treated with human dignity (as in marriage without assault).

    Posted 06 Jun 2008 at 9:43 pm
  76. Funky Dung wrote:

    “Really, are any marriage laws to be upheld? Polygamy, bestial relations, underage marriages, sibling “marriages”, etc.”

    Not at the federal level, I’d hope. States and social institutions, by rights preserved under Amendments 9 and 10, should have the right to freely associate and determine marriage laws. Still, as I’ve stated elsewhere, I don’t see a need to give the State any role in marriage whatsoever.

    “Polygamy, bestial relations, underage marriages, sibling ‘marriages’, etc. What keeps them out?”

    Nothing. Nor do I believe there ought to be, with the exception of underage marriages, because they involve sexual abuse. With few exceptions, people should be legally free to copulate with whomsoever they please, so long as consent is given, or whatever they please, so long as they own it or have consent of the owner. If folks want to create towns like the one the Dominoes guy created in Florida, and strictly regulate marriage and marital relations, they should be free to do so, but freedom association means that those who completely disagree should be free to create their own towns reflecting their beliefs.

    “I might say Leviticus 18…and all the voting public who agree with it in addition to the natural laws pertaining thereto.”

    Sometimes the voting public is wrong. Really, have you no respect for rule of law? Whether a law is just is one matter. Whether it is good is another. Whether it is valid is yet another. Regardless of how people vote, if a law is unconstitutional it should be struck down until appropriate amendments are made to the Constitution. To do otherwise is to reject rule of law when it suits voters.

    As for sodomy, why should the State have any say about whether and under what circumstances a person may or may not they consent to be treated with less than human dignity.

    BTW, “human dignity” is hardly a universal concept. There may be generalities people agree on, but people will always disagree about details.

    Posted 06 Jun 2008 at 10:37 pm
  77. gbm3 wrote:

    Really, have you no respect for rule of law?

    I was wondering when you were going to ask this. Yes. That is why I try to change the laws with my vote and reasoning.

    Specifically, however for this subject of sodomy, the rule of State law was overridden by the Supreme Court (SC) and not by the true rule of law. By using non-Constitutional “privacy” right idea from, among other rulings, Roe v. Wade, the Court overruled a State law. Perhaps you should ask if the SC has respect for the rule of law. Texas had a sodomy law, the US Constitution does not have a sodomy section, therefore the SC should have deferred to the State law.

    Why is Sodomy illegal? Why is prostitution illegal? Because, legally speaking, the State, i.e. one of the fifty states has a law that deems it illegal. Same goes for prostitution.

    As far as the desire to amend the US Constitution for every law under the sun, I don’t know if this is really necessary. Obviously, I’m no legal scholar, per se, but I’m sure if Congress passes laws without having to amend the US Const. every day, Congress has to have legal permission to make laws of public interest. To what degree? I’m not sure. That’s the kicker.

    Posted 08 Jun 2008 at 9:32 am
  78. Funky Dung wrote:

    Specifically, however for this subject of sodomy, the rule of State law was overridden by the Supreme Court (SC) and not by the true rule of law. By using non-Constitutional “privacy” right idea from, among other rulings, Roe v. Wade, the Court overruled a State law. Perhaps you should ask if the SC has respect for the rule of law. Texas had a sodomy law, the US Constitution does not have a sodomy section, therefore the SC should have deferred to the State law.

    I’m disappointed. That’s one of the most ignorant statements about the Constitution I’ve ever heard. It’s also an example of why some of the framers didn’t want an explicit bill of rights; they feared that enumerating some rights would endanger others. That’s the reasoning behind amendments 9 and 10. Tolle, lege.

    There is no need for a right to be explicitly mentioned for it to be protected. We shouldn’t have to argue for particular rights as though the State granted them as privileges. It should be quite the other way around. The State should have limited and enumerated powers, and any power not given to the State should be a right of the People. Oh wait, that’s exactly what the Constitution dictates. I wonder why we don’t obey it. >:-/

    As far as the desire to amend the US Constitution for every law under the sun, I don’t know if this is really necessary. Obviously, I’m no legal scholar, per se, but I’m sure if Congress passes laws without having to amend the US Const. every day, Congress has to have legal permission to make laws of public interest. To what degree? I’m not sure. That’s the kicker.

    Congress oversteps its bounds and shirks its duties frequently. That doesn’t make it right in doing either. That’s why I support the following bills and wish to see them passed into law.

    Enumerated Powers Act
    Read the Bills Act
    Write the Laws Act

    Posted 08 Jun 2008 at 10:03 am
  79. gbm3 wrote:

    The State should have limited and enumerated powers, and any power not given to the State should be a right of the People. Oh wait, that’s exactly what the Constitution dictates. I wonder why we don’t obey it. >:-/

    Here are the 9th and 10th amendments:

    Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am15

    Tolle Lege – Take Up and Read!

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/tolle-lege.html

    Where in the US Constitution does it discuss power to outlaw sodomy? Nowhere. So, it goes to the States or the people. Texas passed a law to outlaw sodomy. You’ll probably call me dense, but I don’t see the problem here with Texas, a State, to outlaw sodomy. Where has my “disappointing” logic gone wrong?

    Posted 08 Jun 2008 at 1:27 pm
  80. Funky Dung wrote:

    The Constitution is a fundamentally libertarian document, codifying the beliefs that brought about a preceding libertarian document, the Declaration of Independence. Nobody, least of all the State, has the right to forcefully take life, liberty, or property without good reason. For the State to have legitimate complaint against sodomy, it would have to give substantive proof that it harms non-consenting parties. The involved parties themselves, so long as they maintain consent, are free to harm themselves. It is not the duty of the State to protect us from ourselves.

    Posted 08 Jun 2008 at 9:38 pm
  81. gbm3 wrote:

    For the State to have legitimate complaint against sodomy, it would have to give substantive proof that it harms non-consenting parties. The involved parties themselves, so long as they maintain consent, are free to harm themselves. It is not the duty of the State to protect us from ourselves.

    Please tell me where my logic is faulty regarding the Texas sodomy law vis-a-vis the 9th and 10th amendments.

    Where has [m]y “disappointing” logic gone wrong?

    Posted 09 Jun 2008 at 8:35 pm
  82. gbm3 wrote:

    … but I must say that “libertarian” not a label I’ve heard applied to me before. -FD
    Posted 08 Feb 2006 at 4:09 pm

    So, what happened? I guess Ron Paul?

    Posted 19 Jun 2008 at 8:45 pm
  83. Funky Dung wrote:

    “Please tell me where my logic is faulty regarding the Texas sodomy law vis-a-vis the 9th and 10th amendments.”

    I stand corrected. After much thought, I’ve realized that states should have the constitutional right to enact anti-sodomy laws. Interestingly, the SCOTUS did not disagree. They struck down the law based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment said that an anti-sodomy law that applied to heterosexual couples as well would meet constitutional muster.

    “So, what happened? I guess Ron Paul?”

    Yup. I’m certainly not a through-and-through, principled libertarian, though.

    Anyhow, people change over time. Heck, commenter Steve Nicoloso is now Catholic. :)

    Posted 19 Jun 2008 at 9:17 pm
  84. Tim wrote:

    My question is;;; if I take a date out for dinner, spend $200 for that, cab, etc.; then just happen to get lucky, is she a prostitute???

    Posted 23 Jun 2008 at 12:47 am
  85. gbm3 wrote:

    My question is;;; if I take a date out for dinner, spend $200 for that, cab, etc.; then just happen to get lucky, is she a prostitute???

    How about this?
    It depends. If there is a (verbal or written) contract for prostitution before (or perhaps during or after) the date, then yes. If there is not, it isn’t.

    From your fact pattern above (“just happen to get lucky”), it is not prostitution, but it’s immoral (pre/extra-marital sex).

    Posted 25 Jun 2008 at 9:27 pm
  86. Schlomo wrote:

    I swear, normally I would have a lot more to say. This is not to aver that said “lot more” would necessarily be of greater interest or utility to anyone at all, I’m just stating this for the record (however inconsequential it may be).

    That said, WOW, I’ve just spent a good hour or two (I dunno exactly) reading this thread and I am really amazed. I’m a non-practicing Jew, a believer in legalized prostitution, against organized religion, etc. But even if I’m not exactly the typical member of this community, and even if I might not see eye-to-eye with so many of you, I was extremely impressed, surprised, and even enlightened by so many of these posts. So to you, for that, I say “thank you very much.”

    Of course I was also often angered, even disgusted, moved to a bilious desire to rebut, etc. (yet chose not to; see beginning of this post), but then I see that as nothing more than evidence of a good discussion. :)

    Lastly, while I thought I’d say nothing particularly substantive, I’d like to clarify my anti-organized-religion comment. I happen to believe in God and/but support anyone’s right to believe or not believe as they so choose. My only real problems with religion, and these are my own bones of contention (although I suspect many of you would agree) are when religion proselytizes and/or imposes itself on others who are unwilling/uninterested, and when religion is used simply as a tool for monetary gain. Perhaps this critique, if you can even call it that, is quite simple and obvious. I, for one, think it is. But if it is so simple and obvious, I have to wonder how and why religions, as such, continue to exist, even thrive.

    Anyhoo, again, this made for some very interesting reading, and I thank you all for it. Especially you, FD.

    Posted 08 Jul 2008 at 5:36 am
  87. john wrote:

    Only cheap/inexpensive prostitutiion is illegal– the kind which is controlled by a pimp.

    In New York City, escorts charge $300/hr. at the minimum.

    No matter which way you look at it, the Pink is as valuable as one is committed to it.

    Posted 23 Aug 2008 at 7:49 pm
  88. Fr. Wayne McNamara wrote:

    Arguments for or against anything must begin with first thoughts of God in Scripture about the meaning of the body, the nature of male and female as ‘image of God’, the purpose of marriage and the one-flesh relationship. If you take the Bible as a normative revelation for all people at all times it is clear how prostitution distorts the image of God and corrupts the integrity and purpose of marriage.

    Fr. Wayne McNamara

    Posted 08 Sep 2008 at 9:16 am
  89. isabel wrote:

    i was wondering if this blog was ever published, or this is just striclty a blog, weird question… but ur blog is very fascinating to me and im trying to do an essay on your thoughts, and my professor requires an article that has a proper citation, im not allowed to use a blog, but hopefully i can get away with useing yours, help.

    Posted 30 Sep 2008 at 12:11 am
  90. Funky Dung wrote:

    isabel,

    No, this post has never been published by a reputable or peer-reviewed entity. However, self-published articles on the web (any web page, really) can be legitimately cited using standard citation schemes (e.g., APA).

    Posted 30 Sep 2008 at 1:12 pm
  91. suzy wrote:

    I agree with the Alex. But to get down to the source of the fire men are ultimately the ones responsible for prostitution. With out the demand for sex with various women there would be no prostitution; but men love it. They have an urge to be with as many women and if women can’t stop these urges by being faithful and good women why not charge and get something out of it. I think it degrading to make prostitution ILLIGEL. This is a mans world but if it was legal it would be a womans world. Most women are taught that their bodies are priceless and sex is so special and whatever……after breakups over infidelity over and over it doesn’t feel as special as it was supposed to be. But if women could put a price on their bodies I bet they would feel a lot more valuable. Without any education in prostitution the starting wages are higher than most college grad wages per hour. Just as long as men are not recieving any of the profits then it is not degrading at all. And manipulation of a second person (yes this person can be a woman also) I think if someone was to manage they would be working for the prostitute and the prostitute would be the boss and the person setting up the appointments would be like the secretary so maybe 70/30 or 80/20 depending on how generous the prostitute. Or hourly. Whatever the case pimps never really serve a purpose. If its to protect the prostitute there are self defense courses and mace that can help her out in violent situations. And also…….I think prostitution can help society out. When men have sex they get a little drained and their essence (testonsterone levels) drop and thus they are more calm, relaxed and less animalistic and violent. I also believe prostitution can enlighten the lives of unhappy, ugly, fat, lonely men with low self esteem. I mean prostitutes should be commended for doing those undesirable types of men cause god knows they are probably never getting laid for free. And why wouldn’t god want us all to have a good lay. God made sex and it was one of his greatest creations. Its just the urge in men is too deep to ever satisfy completely and thats probably due to the fact that animalistically he has a need to perpetuate the species with as many of his clones as possible. Anyways…….i can think this out forever. Nice article.

    Posted 15 Nov 2008 at 2:48 am
  92. Julian wrote:

    wow, i just read the entire thing and you seem to be very smart, as a matter of fact too smart to be christian (i used to be catholic and then became christian… for a few weeks until i realized how nothing made sense) now im agnostic. did you ever consider looking into these things? listen to george carlin (although an atheist he has GREAT points) and other opinions? were you raised christian or catholic? do you really think christians do have the “right answer” to go to heaven? dont you have that idea (logic) in your head that tells you that maybe people that is willing to kill themselves for their believes (muslims and other religions) have as much “faith” in their religion as you do and that def one of them have to be wrong? (possibly both) do you really think you have the answer to a question arguement and fight older than 2000 years. i read your article and i think you are very very smart. your should read about and consider other religions or perhaps none. i thought id write this to you because id feel its a waste that such a smart person would make a decicion based on only one book (divided in 2, the old one in which God is kind of a prick and the new one which he is nicer which proves they’re both obviously written by man and if God inspired them, he must have been drunk that night huh?) Anyways check all your options, you wouldnt say vanilla is your fav flavor if its the only one you’ve ever tried right? oh and if you’re wondering what im doing in this website, i looked up on yahoo “why is prostitution illegal” and this one came up by chance or like a christian would say “God put me in your path” so yeah… pure chance.

    Posted 07 Dec 2008 at 1:34 am
  93. Julian wrote:

    oh i forgot to say, you should leave christianity to the brainwashed with low IQ. you’re too smart for this.

    Posted 07 Dec 2008 at 1:38 am
  94. Corey Furman wrote:

    Please explain in logical terms why it is objectively destruction (without resporting to Scripture or Tradition).

    This is something that Christians just should not do. We are commanded to follow the scriptures.

    Furthermore, I find the argument that it’s simply practical to legalize prostitution deeply flawed on a moral level. If a thing is wrong then it should be treated as such, apart from the concept of enforcement.

    Posted 11 Feb 2009 at 5:54 pm
  95. Listen please wrote:

    The article the OP wrote is a solid argument. There really is no refuting it. The societal ills caused by prostitution i.e disease, the degradation of women are a result of its illegality. You basically stated this in your article. No one in this whole thread has been able to state a reason why it is bad that hasnt been based on the assumption that sex is wrong and we should try to stop it. Also there is no way you could ever make me believe that people who seek government aid in the Netherlands are told to go sell themselves first before receiving aid. How could anyone be getting government help if this is the case. You have to include references in order to make such a ridiculous claim. Those countries have welfare states so much larger than our own. or is it just attractive people who are told to go out and be a prostitute when they file for unemployment. There is simply no way that this is true. That made up assertion was the only argument against the OP that held any water.

    Posted 19 May 2009 at 5:36 pm
  96. Bat wrote:

    The next you know stealing would be legalized too. 😀

    XoXo

    Posted 14 Jun 2009 at 1:34 pm
  97. Tiana wrote:

    i kno this blog is years old but i am doing a research project in my 12th grade english class about why prostitution is illegal. me and my father have addressed this issue many times and i was looking through multiple sites for information when i found this blog. i can relate my view points on many of the topics the author has hit in this blog. in my research project i hope to be able to write my paper as good and influencing as this one. if the author still checks this blog i would like to tell them that their thoughts have inspired me and will better help me with my research paper.

    Posted 16 Dec 2009 at 8:57 am
  98. Eric Williams wrote:

    Thanks, Tiana. I’m glad most helped. :)

    I’ve moved on to new blogs (politics and family), but I leave this one up for popular posts like this. I might eventually import it into my new blog, though.

    Anyhow, since writing this post I’ve learned that my argument is a common libertarian one. An excellent example can be found in Walter Block’s classic, Defending the Undefendable. I hope that helps. :)

    Posted 23 Jan 2010 at 7:16 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 17

  1. From theartoflife.blog-city.com on 18 Sep 2006 at 5:28 am

    ‘Tis a bizarre, funny and fascinating thing, but I have to agree with this blogger on the subject of the potential of making prostitution legal. I don’t think I ever even gave it that much thought. But hey, weirder things happen than a liberal recovering Catholic finding something to like on a Christian website.

  2. From Ambition Run Amok on 07 May 2006 at 2:11 am

    [IMG Law and Regulation]Why Is Prostitution Illegal? Funky Dung seeks to understand why prostitution is illegal from an amoral perspective. The arguments presented in favor of making it legal touch upon topics related to commerce (and by extension capitalism).

  3. From Homespun Bloggers on 13 Feb 2006 at 7:32 pm

    “Cutting Edge” Medicine First it was clean needles so junkies could kill themselves in a sanitary manner. Now, there’s a proposal that self-abusers be given clean razor blades with which to cut themselves.Ales Rarus Why Is Prostitution Illegal? Did you ever stop to wonder why prostitution is illegal? I did. Aside from explicitly religious moral reasons, I cant see why it is. Pick your jaw off the floor. Got it? OK, then, Ill continue.

  4. From the mindful mission on 09 Feb 2006 at 5:49 pm

    A while back we discussed the issue of prostitution and why it is illegal. Alex Rarus, a blogger that I frequently read, has nowproposed the same question: Did you ever stop to wonder why prostitution is illegal? I did. Aside from explicitly religious moral reasons, I cant see why it is. Pick your jaw off the floor. Got it? OK, then, Ill continue.

  5. From HappyHumans Network on 30 Nov -0001 at 12:00 am

  6. From the smedley log :: The enemy you know, and more contrarian fun from eclectic row on 09 Feb 2006 at 1:50 am

    […] And what’s this? A Christian (even Catholic) blogger giving reasons why prostitution should be legal? Well, it’s not quite that simple, but it is an interesting post/comment thread on an atypical subject for the foremost God-blogger on my sidebar. […]

  7. From The Anti-Manichaeist » FunkyDung asks:”Why is Prostitution Illegal?” on 09 Feb 2006 at 10:38 pm

    […] Independent-minded Catholic Blogger FunkyDung thinks out loud on this question at his blog Ales Rarus. I think this is the sort of dialogue that internet shd promote and a helpful exercise for Christians who consider policy activism/debate as part of their witness to others. […]

  8. From Confessions of a Wayward Catholic » Prostitution in Nevada - what it is really like on 11 Feb 2006 at 2:36 am

    […] In checking my referrer logs this evening, I noticed that there were several hits coming from a com box and naturally, curious, I went over to check it out and it turns out to be a rather heated discussion about legalizing prostitution. I went and checked the initiating post and it’s by a Christian who is apparently suggesting that prostitution should be legal. I’m not going to comment on that idea because I think that it is really best that you read my commentary on the actual experience of prostitution and draw your own conclusions as to whether or not it should be legalized. […]

  9. From Carnival of the Capitalists » frugal underground » money: saving more, making more, enjoying more, needing less on 13 Feb 2006 at 10:40 am

    […] Why Is Prostitution Illegal?Funky Dung seeks to understand why prostitution is illegal from an amoral perspective. “The arguments presented in favor of making it legal touch upon topics related to commerce (and by extension capitalism).” It should be noted that this is an intellectual exercise and the author is not actually interested in legalizing prostitution. […]

  10. From Prostitution is Exclusive ONLY for Sheriffs » OddJack, the Gambling Guide - Casino, Poker, Sports Betting, Horse Racing on 15 Feb 2006 at 4:59 am

    […] When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, what is a prostitute doing? She… I know men prostitute themselves, too, but definite pronouns are less confusing… She is selling the use of her body for a span of time. Why is that illegal? It’s her body. It’s not like there isn’t legal precedence for it. […]

  11. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » On Cartoon Villains on 23 Feb 2006 at 12:36 am

    […] On Cartoon Villains By Steve Funky alerted me recently to an article by Annie Gottlieb, an accomplished and interesting author and friend of Ales Rarus, who advertises what purports to be a serious opposition to traditionalism in Towards a New Revelation (or, Why I Am Not a Traditionalist) over on AmbivaBlog. Since this site is frequented by a good many traditionalists, and owned by one (tho’ occasionally I’ve my doubts about that), he thought it might be edifying to here critically examine Ms. Gottlieb’s post. As you might expect, as a traditionalist I beg to differ with her. […]

  12. From Making the Best of a Bad Situation | Christianity @ Ales Rarus on 21 Sep 2006 at 3:42 pm

    […] I have a knack for offending people unintentionally. Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate doing that. Darn it, if I'm going to offend somebody, I want to mean it! Seriously, though, my recent post on legalizing prostitution offended someone, and that was never my intention. The following is from an email by a woman who has escaped the hell of prostitution. […]

  13. From The Anti-Manichaeist » Blog Archive » Why is Prostitution Illegal? on 02 May 2007 at 3:50 pm

    […] dlw: There was an extended debate on the legality of prostitution at the Ales Rarus blog a long while back. I wrote my own feminist consequentialist argument against the legality of prostitution, which unfortunately wasn’t as interesting for the main blogger FunkyDung as the “natural law” arguments made by others, but I thought it was worth bringing up again. I can see this issue possibly becoming a significantissue for the next election. […]

  14. From Confessions of a Wayward Catholic » Prostitution in Nevada - what it is really like on 04 Jul 2007 at 2:58 am

    […] prostitution. I went and checked the initiating post and it’s by a Christian who is apparently suggesting that prostitution should be legal. I’m not going to comment on that idea because I think that it is really best that you read […]

  15. From why prostitution - Web - WebCrawler on 20 Sep 2007 at 12:35 pm

    […] the street hooker. … http://www.sexwork.com/coalition/15reasons.html [Found on Google] 8. Why Is Prostitution Illegal? @ Ales Rarus Did you ever stop to wonder why prostitution is illegal? I did. … Why Is Prostitution Illegal? […]

  16. From Why Is Prostitution Illegal In The US - Dogpile Web Search on 01 Dec 2007 at 10:25 pm

    […] … http://www.straightdope.com/columns/000114.html [Found on Yahoo! Search, Ask.com] 2. Why Is Prostitution Illegal? @ Ales Rarus Did you ever stop to wonder why prostitution is illegal? I did. … is within us to forgo it and […]

  17. From the mindful mission - (Il)Legal Prostitution on 14 Mar 2008 at 12:32 am

    […] Rarus, a blogger that I frequently read, has now proposed the same question:Did you ever stop to wonder why prostitution is illegal? I did. Aside from explicitly religious […]

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