Fight The New Drug

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
Wonderment
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Wonderment » Fri Oct 13, 2023 9:21 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:04 pm
Just This Guy wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 4:42 pm

It's 3rd hand, so take it what you will.

DW had a friend (male) from high school who complained that he wife got a lifesize Edward cutout and insisted on keeping it setup in their bedroom. Needles to say, he was not amused. No idea how long it lasted.
Sister Ryder has something similar.

Only substitute the name like and image of Edward with that of Brad Pitt Jesus…

And shrink the life size down to an 8 X 10 portrait.

Place on the nightstand.

Pray to him and his father nightly. :lol: :lol:
No kidding ! I have a friend in her early 60's in Utah who had an 8 x10 portrait of Donny Osmond on the nightstand next to the bed she shared with her husband ! That's crazy. Finally, her husband spoke up about it. He felt that she was constantly fantasizing and comparing him to Donny. ( which she probably was). She reluctantly put the photo away. Not sure why Mormon women who are active in the church consider this an acceptable practice -- i.e., photos of vampires, celebrities, etc. I think this fetish is the result of very strict prohibition of any sexuality prior to marriage. JMO -- Wndr.

Cnsl1
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat Oct 14, 2023 4:10 am

Hagoth, please don't tease with tantalizing tidbits of neuropsych research without giving sources where we can find such succulent morsels. Oh my great God of wonder, research that suggests that the opposite of religious thinking is spirituality? I am aware of studies looking at brain areas that activate while responding to religious beliefs (and it's not a particularly active brain), but I'm still in the dark regarding research that really differentiates the religiosity and spirituality cognitions. Please, sir... give us more info.

This certainly resounds with what I have learned and felt throughout my life and it would be very nice to have empirical back up.

Additionally, it's the acme of teasing to post about the Utah County Mormon dense porn poppers without a source.

C'mon, man! Where did you get these delightful nuggets?

I do remember some dude, years ago, whilst decrying Utah porn use, posted that 80 something percent of the websites accessed on Sundays in Utah were porn sites. On SUNDAY! Well, duh. I was surprised it wasn't higher. That's when all the Mormons are at church and 8 out of the 10 non Mormons can get faster internet service. So, Hagoth, do the data suggest that Utah County has the highest porn downloads per capita? Per number? Per pound? (Hey, I've heard BBW and PAWG are things). Show me the research (not necessarily the porn).

Thanks man.
Last edited by Cnsl1 on Mon Oct 16, 2023 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hagoth
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Hagoth » Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:33 am

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 4:10 am

Hagoth, please don't tease with tantalizing tidbits of neuropsych research without giving sources where we can find such succulent morsels. Oh my great God of wonder, research that suggests that the opposite of religious thinking is spirituality? I am aware of studies looking at brain areas that activate while responding to religious beliefs (and it's not a particularly active brain), but I'm still in the dark regarding research that really differentiates the religiosity and spirituality cognitions. Please, sir... give us more info.

This certainly resounds with what I have learned and felt throughout my life and it would be very nice to have empirical back up.

Additionally, it's the acme of teasing to post about the Utah County Mormon dense porn poppers without a source.

C'mon, man! Where did you get these delightful nuggets?

I do remember some dude, years ago, whilst decrying Utah porn use, posted that 80 something percent of the websites accessed on Sundays in Utah were porn sites. On SUNDAY! Well, duh. I was surprised it wasn't higher. That's when all the Mormons are at church and 8 out of the 10 non Mormons can get faster internet service. So, Hagoth, do the data suggest that Utah County has the highest porn downloads per capita? Per number? Per pound? (Hey, I've heard BBW and PAWG are things). Show me the research (not necessarily the porn).

Thanks man.
Csn1, My link to the Harvard pornography study no longer works, but here is a KSL rebuttal. Their point is that the Harvard study didn't necessarily prove that Utahns access more porn, only that Utahns pay for more porn downloads than anyone else in the nation. This suggests to me that Utahns must look at WAY more porn, because people who are doing sneaky, covert activities are the least likely to want it to show up on their credit card bill!

https://www.ksl.com/article/5744801/uta ... onsumption

Trying not to veer too far off topic, but about the neurospirituality stuff:
Dr. Michael Ferguson runs the Neurospirituality Lab at Brigham and Womens hospital. He is also the first person to teach simultaneously at both Harvard Medical School and Harvard Divinity School. He kind of started the neurospirituality ball rolling when he did a study at the UofU as a graduate student in which he assembled volunteers who could consistently reproduce a spiritual experience. They turned out to be mostly Mormon returned missionaries who could "feel The Spirit" while listening to a favorite hymn, conference talk, etc. He put them in the fMRI scanner and played whatever audio ques they required. When they were feeling the spirit they pushed a button and Dr. Ferguson grabbed a snapshot of their brain activity.

You can read his study here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 16.1257437
He also did a TEDx talk called This Is Your Brain on God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocuqguH1OIw

Since then, many researchers have done similar things with all kinds of spiritual practitioners: meditating Buddhists, chanting monks, Sufi mystics, etc. All show the same unique brain activity, including people using psychedelics.

Next, he took on the task of finding the switching mechanism for this brain circuit and found that a brain center called the Periaqueductal Gray, in the brainstem, is the culprit that modulates spiritual AND religious experience.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 2321014037

"But wait," I said, "I used to be much more religious, but now I'm basically non-religious but far more spiritual. How does the Periaqueducal Gray modulate spirituality AND religiosity when they are such different things?" He responded by showing me brain scans from his latest (soon to be published) study. The people having spiritual experiences had the familiar ThisIsYourBrainonGod circuit lit up, but the people thinking dogmatically about their religious beliefs had an almost opposite brain response, like the spiritual circuit switched off when the dogmatic circuit became active.

I will check in with him about the status of that paper. I'm really looking forward to it.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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moksha
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by moksha » Sat Oct 14, 2023 10:09 am

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 4:10 am
By the way, did you know that Utah County is both the most Mormon-dense place on earth and simultaneously has the highest number of porn downloads?
Perhaps when your body gets worked up on righteousness, you need a visual stimulus to help release that pressure. Alternatively, you can join one of the many soaking clubs at BYU.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Hagoth
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Hagoth » Sat Oct 14, 2023 5:12 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:33 am
The people having spiritual experiences had the familiar ThisIsYourBrainonGod circuit lit up, but the people thinking dogmatically about their religious beliefs had an almost opposite brain response, like the spiritual circuit switched off when the dogmatic circuit became active.
I forgot the punch line. It appears that the Periaqueductal Gray switches on both spiritual and religious/dogmatic brain states. Dr. Ferguson observes that these two states are not the same thing, but more like opposites. My conclusion (I haven't seen his written conclusion yet) is that perhaps the reason we link the spiritual state so closely with religiously dogmatic thinking is that the activation of those two brain circuits originates in the same location. Two different things that we perceive as being closely or inseparably connected.

Still much to learn, but I think it's all pretty exciting.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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2bizE
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by 2bizE » Sun Oct 15, 2023 10:40 am

I haven’t read many of the replies to this topic, but I find the statement that Porn is the new drug to be repulsive. I think is is a manufactured “drug”. There are multiple bad things about porn, don’t get me wrong.
I believe pornography is an industry. It sometimes takes advantage of people, particularly women, using them to make money. There is also the absolutely illegal and wrong side of child abuse/porn.
Our bodies and brains are programmed innately to reproduce. We are programmed toward sexuality. What religion does is tried to shame and guilt people into thinking this natural aspect of human life is wrong. This causes more harm than looking at porn could ever cause.
~2bizE

Cnsl1
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Oct 15, 2023 12:01 pm

Thank you very much, Hagoth.

Also, I apologize for messing up the quotations.

This is incredibly interesting research. I do remember now the study examining mostly returned missionaries.

The similarities and yet clear differences in religiousity and spirituality resounds loudly with me, and supports my life experiences.

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deacon blues
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by deacon blues » Sun Oct 15, 2023 4:21 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:33 am
Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 4:10 am

Hagoth, please don't tease with tantalizing tidbits of neuropsych research without giving sources where we can find such succulent morsels. Oh my great God of wonder, research that suggests that the opposite of religious thinking is spirituality? I am aware of studies looking at brain areas that activate while responding to religious beliefs (and it's not a particularly active brain), but I'm still in the dark regarding research that really differentiates the religiosity and spirituality cognitions. Please, sir... give us more info.

This certainly resounds with what I have learned and felt throughout my life and it would be very nice to have empirical back up.

Additionally, it's the acme of teasing to post about the Utah County Mormon dense porn poppers without a source.

C'mon, man! Where did you get these delightful nuggets?

I do remember some dude, years ago, whilst decrying Utah porn use, posted that 80 something percent of the websites accessed on Sundays in Utah were porn sites. On SUNDAY! Well, duh. I was surprised it wasn't higher. That's when all the Mormons are at church and 8 out of the 10 non Mormons can get faster internet service. So, Hagoth, do the data suggest that Utah County has the highest porn downloads per capita? Per number? Per pound? (Hey, I've heard BBW and PAWG are things). Show me the research (not necessarily the porn).

Thanks man.
Csn1, My link to the Harvard pornography study no longer works, but here is a KSL rebuttal. Their point is that the Harvard study didn't necessarily prove that Utahns access more porn, only that Utahns pay for more porn downloads than anyone else in the nation. This suggests to me that Utahns must look at WAY more porn, because people who are doing sneaky, covert activities are the least likely to want it to show up on their credit card bill!

https://www.ksl.com/article/5744801/uta ... onsumption

Trying not to veer too far off topic, but about the neurospirituality stuff:
Dr. Michael Ferguson runs the Neurospirituality Lab at Brigham and Womens hospital. He is also the first person to teach simultaneously at both Harvard Medical School and Harvard Divinity School. He kind of started the neurospirituality ball rolling when he did a study at the UofU as a graduate student in which he assembled volunteers who could consistently reproduce a spiritual experience. They turned out to be mostly Mormon returned missionaries who could "feel The Spirit" while listening to a favorite hymn, conference talk, etc. He put them in the fMRI scanner and played whatever audio ques they required. When they were feeling the spirit they pushed a button and Dr. Ferguson grabbed a snapshot of their brain activity.

You can read his study here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 16.1257437
He also did a TEDx talk called This Is Your Brain on God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocuqguH1OIw

Since then, many researchers have done similar things with all kinds of spiritual practitioners: meditating Buddhists, chanting monks, Sufi mystics, etc. All show the same unique brain activity, including people using psychedelics.

Next, he took on the task of finding the switching mechanism for this brain circuit and found that a brain center called the Periaqueductal Gray, in the brainstem, is the culprit that modulates spiritual AND religious experience.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 2321014037

"But wait," I said, "I used to be much more religious, but now I'm basically non-religious but far more spiritual. How does the Periaqueducal Gray modulate spirituality AND religiosity when they are such different things?" He responded by showing me brain scans from his latest (soon to be published) study. The people having spiritual experiences had the familiar ThisIsYourBrainonGod circuit lit up, but the people thinking dogmatically about their religious beliefs had an almost opposite brain response, like the spiritual circuit switched off when the dogmatic circuit became active.

I will check in with him about the status of that paper. I'm really looking forward to it.
Man, this is fascinating! Thanks, Hagoth.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

Evil Monkey
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Evil Monkey » Mon Oct 16, 2023 3:07 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:46 am
Mmmmmmm, Drugs... ( <- I typed that with my "Homer Simpson" fingers.)

I like DRUGS!

Too bad porn isn't a drug... I guess I'll just stick with my caffeine. :|
Ill have what he's having ;)
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Evil Monkey
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Evil Monkey » Mon Oct 16, 2023 3:12 am

I have been a part of the NOM community for 15 plus years now ...and the subject of porn is the most polarizing topic on this forum. Has been that way since i joined. Probably has and always will be that way. We as NOMs find common ground on so many topics but this is not one of them. There will always be a divide on this topic.

Evil Monkey
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Evil Monkey » Mon Oct 16, 2023 3:32 am

Looks like I joined the party really late on this one. This "Think of the Children" type movement is what brought us prohibition and the outlawing of so many things in the 1920s that we are still trying to recover from. Just watched a straight to streaming film called "Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game". Little known fact just how much was made illegal back when making things illegal in the 1920's was cool. One of the victims was the game of Pinball which was outlawed in most major cities in the country. It took this man that the movie is about playing a game of Pinball in the middle of City Council Chambers to get people to wake up. My point is that making things illegal on moral grounds is usually not the answer....its usually a giant power grab for people. One thing taught in the Mormon Church that i have always seen eye to eye on is how important free agency is. Lucifer wanted to make everything easy....have a set path... making everything illegal that is deemed as immoral or unclean by the Church or any group in power is just a portion of Lucifer's plan. Let people have there agency.
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RubinHighlander
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Oct 16, 2023 12:00 pm

Bonfire wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:52 am
Do not worship the human form, man or woman, or any beast or thing, instead of worshipping the living God.

Everything on Earth is a tool and a gift. To bow to any other person or thing is dishonoring the creator.

Give reverence to God in all things and for all creation.

How many elders in the church refuse to stand for righteousness without permission from their spouse?

How many women fear their husbands more than God?

Do we make sacrifices for our children or the Almighty?
Sorry Bonfire, but you might be preaching to the wrong crowd here. Many of us here no longer believe in the "living God" that we were indoctrinated with that we used have to bow down to. I understand your frustration in the statements you made. There are a great many "elders" in that church that do not stand for the values and tenants their church proports to represent. Women fearing their husbands, husbands fearing their leaders, fear, fear, fear, a main ingredient in the religious formula. For most of us that have left the mormon church, I would bet it wasn't pornography that got us there.

About 10% of sapiens are more predisposed to addictions, be it drugs, diet coke or whatever. Most of us can easily adult around the scapegoat evils we were beaten over the head with as TBMs. Most of those sins fell off the evil list when we escaped mormonism and began living our lives and thinking for ourselves. There was no big shift in moral values for my wife and I post mormon, we just had a lot less to stress about. It's like hearing an awful noise in your basement, thinking Beelzebub has opened the gates of hell; then you investigate and find out the furnace fan was going out. No boogey man, just a basic repair needed, no more worries and a good laugh at how silly it was that we were so scared.

I don't think porn is the root of most of the evil you mention above, it's just another scapegoat. The very nature and dogma of the church and most others is a continual effort to control and suppress women in a patriarchy, driven by fear and guilt. Religions pounding fear and guilt over sex into their members just creates an unhealthy environment, mentally and physically.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

lostinmiddlemormonism
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Tue Oct 17, 2023 4:40 pm

Meth was first created in 1893
PCP was first synthesized in 1950
Crack cocaine emerges in. the 1970's


Looking at naked bodies has been around a lot longer than that....so shouldn't this more accurately be termed fight the old drug?

-lost

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Red Ryder
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Oct 17, 2023 5:57 pm

lostinmiddlemormonism wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2023 4:40 pm
Meth was first created in 1893
PCP was first synthesized in 1950
Crack cocaine emerges in. the 1970's


Looking at naked bodies has been around a lot longer than that....so shouldn't this more accurately be termed fight the old drug?

-lost
Semantics aside, I think the combination of high speed internet and endless porn creates a different problem. When Porn can be dialed up at any moment and the search for novelty only takes a few clicks, this combination creates a whole new routine in searching out excitement that can last hours.

I’m not a brain scientist nor do I play one on TV, but I’d have to assume that this creates excess stressors on the brain that overtime could impact behaviors and memory patterns.

The instantaneous response to novelty along with the ease to find it seems to elicit spikes of dopamine for all of the “salient” stimuli for which we evolved to be on the lookout for.

Strong emotions: surprise, fear, disgust.
Novelty: new food sources, new predators, new mates.
Seeking and searching: exploring territories, foods or mating opportunities.
Anything that violates expectations: unexpected bonanzas or dangers.

Perhaps this is true or not. I don’t really know. I do however know it’s turned a bunch of right handed people into ambi-wackstrous people.

What day ye? Does high speed internet and porn rot the brain like video games and vape pens?
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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Hagoth
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Hagoth » Wed Oct 18, 2023 7:06 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2023 5:57 pm

Semantics aside, I think the combination of high speed internet and endless porn creates a different problem. When Porn can be dialed up at any moment and the search for novelty only takes a few clicks, this combination creates a whole new routine in searching out excitement that can last hours.

What day ye? Does high speed internet and porn rot the brain like video games and vape pens?
Not rot, but I'm sure it can certainly cause problems and stresses, wasted time not being the least of them. It seems like very powerful visual stimulus combined with a very powerful physical reward (watch and whack™) can definitely forge new circuits that promote the behavior. But as we have seen, shame can create equally disruptive stress and even obsessions. What's the old saying? If you repress it you will obsess it. When we talk about causing emotional stress, either extreme seems unhealthy. I don't know, but I would expect that a mental health professional who is really interested in helping someone with obsessive and disruptive porn/masturbation behavior would not shame them and advise them not to stop both cold turkey, but to separate the two behaviors and stop doing them at the same time, to construct the circuits differently, and then work on each behavior individually.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Jeffret
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Jeffret » Thu Oct 26, 2023 7:33 am

How about, instead of focusing so much time and energy on this issue (not to mention the pink elephant), which may have negative repercussions, perhaps, but we haven't really been able to pin it down and has been around since the beginning of time, we instead focus on much more serious issues with definite harm? In place of all the hand-wringing here, or the repeated talks in GC, we deal with child abuse, sexual abuse, mistreatment of women and other minorities and various other real and substantive issues? For every talk in GC about porn or bare shoulders, how many are there, especially in a direct fashion, about not mistreating wives and children?

(Note 1: This isn't really my observation, but it really resonates with me. Dehlin made the observation in a recent Mormon Stories segment I'm currently working through.)

(Note 2: And I'm definitely not talking about focusing on child sexual abuse in the completely fraudulent and harmful way as Tim Ballard / OUR.)
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Jeffret
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Jeffret » Thu Oct 26, 2023 8:13 am

(Note 3: Oh, and John and guests also call out FtND for their harmful practices.)
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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moksha
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by moksha » Thu Oct 26, 2023 4:37 pm

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 4:10 am
C'mon, man! Where did you get these delightful nuggets?
Really taxes my memory, but I think there was a mention in a story (Huffington Post News?) that was based on analytics taken from a website called Porn Hub.

Hey, really delicious cheese curd nuggets can be found fresh each day in Scipio, Utah.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Cnsl1
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Cnsl1 » Fri Oct 27, 2023 2:25 am

Then there's the story of the man who confessed to his bishop about viewing porn and when the bishop asked for more information was told that the porn was a cosmo magazine.

And with my very own ears I heard a stake president say that viewing porn was akin to adultry. He said it was the SAME THING. His reasoning? Jesus said that to lust upon a woman was committing adultry in your heart. Ergo, porn equals adultry.

Therefore, by logical extension.. Utah also has the greatest amount of adultry in America.

Them Mormons, I tell ya....

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Jeffret
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Re: Fight The New Drug

Post by Jeffret » Fri Oct 27, 2023 11:26 am

John Dehlin's comments in a recent Mormon Stories episode regarding "Visions of Glory" and the problems around it really caught my attention. They weren't exactly related to this discussion, though FtND was mentioned concerning their connections to Thom Harrison.

John posed the question, Why does the Church continually support problematic therapists, like Jodi Hildebrandt, Maurice Harker, and Thom Harrison? And then they kick out therapists that actually attempt to follow accepted best practices and scientifically informed approaches and views, such as Natasha Helfer?

John answered the question, It's because the Church's teachings are so out of line with what we understand from science. They can't accept a therapist that will lead people to scientifically accepted beliefs. Instead, they get these people that nominally accept the Church's teachings, but would be censured by any recognized licensing body and have used not only questionable practices but unethical and sometimes illegal ones.

During his comments (paraphrased above, not quoted), John repeated multiple times, "Masturbation is normative". In other words masturbation is normal and is a normal thing among humans (and various types of animals). The idea that it is wrong is based only upon its sinfulness and is not supported by scientifically-based inquiry.

He didn't address the concept of porn there, but we have to take his informed, expert opinion on masturbation with some degree of credence. He certainly is more informed on the current understanding of the topic than myself, and I expect than anyone else here.

If masturbation is normative then personal sexual stimulation and arousal certainly is. That necessarily shifts the consideration away from whether porn is the mighty problem portrayed in the Mormon Church. (It's not that mighty problem, except when the problem is self-created -- forget the pink elephant.) We should not label porn, per se, including bare shoulders, as good or evil, which is also a very distorted way of looking at things.

Some people have mentioned in this discussion that some porn may be unethically produced, shared, or distributed. Rather than just declaring that porn is bad, we should instead pursue eliminating situations where there are actual harm.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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