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ChristianInvestigator

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Should we decriminalize sex work?
« on: November 25, 2020, 12:16:50 am »
Recently read this article by the ACLU arguing that we should decriminalize sex work.

The arguments seem to be very similar to arguements for decriminalizing drugs (which I tend to agree with).

Sex workers get taken advantage of by police and their clients -- being abused, robbed, assaulted, harassed, etc. They are afraid to speak out or report crimes against them, for fear of going to prison. If sex work was decriminalized, they would be safer and have access to justice.

Many people go into sex work because they've run out of options, as a way to "survive." We shouldn't look at them as evil people.

Since sex work is illegal, sex workers aren't able to do background checks on clients, which means it's a lot more dangerous for them. The article also mentioned they usually don't have condoms with them for fear of being suspected of sex work, which is dangerous.



Lots of interesting arguments for decriminalization, but I should mention the obvious drawbacks:

Prostitution hurts society by promoting relational unfaithfulness and hurting families. We want it to stop, and the threat of prison and punishment will stop prostitutes from hurting society.

The practice of prostitution hurts the prostitutes themselves. They don't want to sell their bodies to strangers, but they think they have to in order to stay alive. If we remove that option, we can save them from going down a bad path.



I'll be interested to know your opinions on this...
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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Spero

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 12:48:00 am »
My opinions concerning stuff like this have really evolved over the years. I’ve become quite libertarian in my views and have come to believe that prohibition of non-violent offenses just complicates things by creating more problems than it seeks to solve. This also goes for narcotics. I realize a lot of people have a moral problem with legalizing things like this, but I consider myself a practical person...what we’re doing doesn’t seem to be working all that well. I recommend a book called “Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari ( you can also listen to him on Joe Rogan, but the book is more detailed ). I think a better solution might be to legalize and regulate.  We should at least give it a try here in the U.S. and see if things improve...I really believe they would.

Here’s the link to Rogan if your interested. Mainly deals with drugs, but these principles also apply to things like prostitution. Long, but well worth the listen:

https://youtu.be/DQUgd9GQtoQ
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 09:45:08 am »
Joe Rogan has some good stuff. I'll take a look!
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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Language-Gamer

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 12:51:23 pm »
What’s scripture have to say?
I told her all about how we been livin' a lie
And that they love to see us all go to prison or die
Like, "Baby, look at how they show us on the TV screen"
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans

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Spero

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 03:24:03 pm »
What’s scripture have to say?
About legalizing such things?  I think obviously if one takes their example from OT law put forth by Moses for Israel, such things should be illegal, but then are we to follow the OT example of how to govern?  The NT obviously has things to say about the immorality of such acts, but IMO very little about legislating against them. What’s your take on this, LG?
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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Language-Gamer

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 03:54:27 pm »
What’s scripture have to say?
About legalizing such things?  I think obviously if one takes their example from OT law put forth by Moses for Israel, such things should be illegal, but then are we to follow the OT example of how to govern?  The NT obviously has things to say about the immorality of such acts, but IMO very little about legislating against them. What’s your take on this, LG?

I guess I simply find it weird that apparently scripture has nothing to say about the topic.
I told her all about how we been livin' a lie
And that they love to see us all go to prison or die
Like, "Baby, look at how they show us on the TV screen"
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans

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bskeptic

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2020, 04:26:54 pm »
What’s scripture have to say?
About legalizing such things?  I think obviously if one takes their example from OT law put forth by Moses for Israel, such things should be illegal, but then are we to follow the OT example of how to govern?  The NT obviously has things to say about the immorality of such acts, but IMO very little about legislating against them. What’s your take on this, LG?

I guess I simply find it weird that apparently scripture has nothing to say about the topic.

I think that the New Testament has very little to say about politics in general. It accepts the legitimacy of government, and probably punishment (I think), but it gives next to zero commentary on the ideal way of running a government or particular policy that you should favour. Neither are we given too much guidance on when government should be disobeyed, but presumably that would have been accepted as sometimes justified.

Perhaps Jesus just wasn't interested in politics, and was much more concerned with either a coming future kingdom, or whatever community could be established, a sub-culture, among his followers.

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bskeptic

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2020, 04:37:40 pm »
I think the strongest argument would be, just the individual right to do it if you choose, combined with the principle that it's probably too difficult and problematic to ban it anyway.

Kind of like pornography. (Consenting adults I mean.) Even if you wanted to ban it, it would be difficult enough to control in the age of video tape; it's completely and utterly impossible to control in the age of the internet, unless perhaps you went to some pretty extreme enforcement measures, and went after a big chunk of society as serious criminals.

So more trouble that it's worth to ban it.

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2020, 07:08:19 pm »
@ bskeptic: I agree with your conclusion, and the argument that it's not worthwhile to enforce, but I don't accept that we should legalize it just because "you can do it if you choose," because it does have the potential to do objective harm (to families). However, I think the potential benefits of decriminalization outweigh the potential harm.
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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Spero

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2020, 11:48:01 pm »
I think it can be really challenging to find that proverbial line in the sand as to what we legislate vs what we don’t.  For example, things like adultery, non-public drunkenness and gluttony also have the potential to do objective harm ( both emotionally and physically ), but we relegate them to just personal moral choices without threat of incarceration from breaking a law. It gets tricky.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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bskeptic

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2020, 05:35:20 am »
But with prostitution, it's self-inflicted harm. OK, one person in a marriage may be innocent and harmed, but their partner has chosen to do something harmful. It's self-inflicted in that sense. I don't think it's really the job of government to stop people making bad decisions or protecting them from all vice.

Although in this case, I'm actually kind of fine with adultery having criminal or civil penalties. Or at least, if two people explicitly want to opt-in to their marriage being protected by criminal punishment, then I'm fine with them doing it. Perhaps such a system would have too many practical problems. But I'm certainly fine in theory with (a) you signed up to this being the punishment for adultery at the time of your wedding, (b) adultery has been proven and so now you have 3 months in prison and get the short end of the divorce settlement.

I'm sure some people would argue that the police, and courts, and prison system, have too much other crime to deal with, to spend their time trying to police relationships of "opt-in" couples. And maybe that's correct that it's too much hassle. But as I say, in theory, I would be happy to punish you for it.

That's the nature of contracts. Surely there needs to be a penalty.

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2020, 11:55:17 pm »
Let me make an argument from the other side. I'll use drugs as the example, but sex work can be argued against along the same lines:

If you legalize drug use, that legitimizes the practice. We're taking something meant to be illegal and on the fringe and saying "actually, it's okay. You can do this now." Obviously drug use has huge negative effects on people, and it may be good to keep it criminal in order to prevent someone from thinking, "Hey, this is legal now. Maybe I should try it."
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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Spero

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2020, 04:37:02 pm »
Quote
We're taking something meant to be illegal and on the fringe and saying "actually, it's okay. You can do this now."
I don’t know..that sounds rather specious to me. I think what we’re saying - and should highlight when decriminalizing - is that you have the freedom to do these things, but negative consequences will result, and so we strongly recommend against it.

I think the vast majority of people know this already anyway, and so I believe decriminalization will only have a negligible effect on recruiting new users. Those who don’t currently use, but want to try it due to peer pressure, the experience, etc are going to do it regardless. If we want to be more effective in combating various criminal elements and cartels, whose mere existence cause massive strains on society via their methods, this may be the way to go. I believe it would have a huge impact on their their power and influence.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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Language-Gamer

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2020, 05:03:44 am »
The other day I had a thought that if Christians from basically the first 1950+ years of the church read discussions like these they would probably wonder if the participants were even Christians.
I told her all about how we been livin' a lie
And that they love to see us all go to prison or die
Like, "Baby, look at how they show us on the TV screen"
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans

14

Spero

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Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2020, 04:12:08 pm »
The other day I had a thought that if Christians from basically the first 1950+ years of the church read discussions like these they would probably wonder if the participants were even Christians.
If you read the literature that came out of the Temperance Movement, amongst others, one can understand why many Christians at that time, and decades prior to the 1920s, came to the conclusion that prohibition of alcohol was the moral thing to do before God..and so the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified. Those Christians who opposed such an Amendment were seen as being unchristian by many others.

I’m curious to know if you find the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to have been an unchristian thing to support in 1933.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18