The Instigator
GThomas
Pro (for)
Losing
26 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Depictions of nudity when done in an artistic and tasteful manner are not pornography.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,358 times Debate No: 15327
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (10)

 

GThomas

Pro

Women are beautiful. Of course, some may debate that, but that's what this site's about. But I'm not looking for a beauty argument. I believe that if nudity is shown in a tasteful and non-sleazy way (like Domai.com (mods/admin, let me know if posting this is against the rules and just delete this debate if it is, please)) or an artistic way (Spice & Wolf), then it shouldn't be considered pornography.

I'll admit it, I'm liberal when it comes to this subject, so my argument may be biased, but I'll try as hard as I can to keep bias out of my arguments.

I do not want a "Porn is bad" debate. I also do not want any "You're too young to see that" BS. I want someone to try and prove to me that it is indeed sexually explicit material. I thank in advance anyone who will debate this with me.
KRFournier

Con

It's been a while since I've debated, but I thank my opponent for creating the opportunity to discuss this. I will start with the definition of Pornography.

Pornography: writings, pictures, films, etc., designed to stimulate sexual excitement. [1]

Pornography is defined by the creator's intent, not the audience's assessment of artistry or tastefulness. Note that pornography is not exclusive to photography either. In fact, the word comes from the Greek pornographos, writing of harlots, from pornē a harlot + graphein to write. Thus, original pornography was limited to words.

Anything that suggests sex, is pornography. This can be as "tasteful" as the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, or as "distasteful" as hardcore pornography. A person need not be completely naked, as even a suggestive pose meets the above definition. Furthermore, even if one does not find the depictions arousing (perhaps it's not how they roll), it is still pornography if sexual arousal was the creator's design.

My opponent's assertion reads as an absolute assertion. Unfortunately, he cannot hope to objectively distinguish between such subjective notions as artistic and tasteful. Even if he could, he misuses the term pornography, which--as I've already shown--has nothing to do with how the depictions are received. The resolution might be true sometimes, but only in the happenstance that his criteria (tasteful and artistic) just so happen to coincide with the definition (that someone did not intend sexual stimulation). However, this makes the resolution merely circumstantial and not a truth we can hang our hat on.

In conclusion, I stand in firm negation of the resolution that depictions of nudity when done in an artistic and tasteful manner are not pornography. Sometimes this is true, but sometimes it is not, especially in the cases cited in the comments. I challenge my opponent to uphold this resolution as an objective truth claim by which he can indict any naysayers. I do not think he can.

SOURCES
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
GThomas

Pro

I thank my opponent again for accepting my challenge.

Rebuttals:

"Pornography is defined by the creator's intent, not the audience's assessment of artistry or tastefulness." "Anything that suggests sex, is pornography" (One point disguised as two, and if I may note, my opponent's ONLY point)

It says on the Domai article about nudity that "If we were surrounded all the time by nude people, do you think we would think about sex all the time? Of course not, we would get used to it. So it follows that the reason nudity has a tendency to remind us of sex is that we are stopped continually from seeing nude people. And that it is quite unnatural." [1] Eolake Stobblehouse, the webmaster for that website makes a good point. Now, I'm not saying "Hey, let's all join nudist colonies", but I'm saying that that particular website is not (primarily, at least) about suggesting sex; it is about the hidden beauty of the female body.

Another example is the popular manga and anime series Spice & Wolf. Holo, one of the main characters, transforms from a wolf to a girl. Whenever she transforms into a girl, she has no clothes. This is for realism (as wolves don't normally wear clothes), not to suggest sex. In fact, the only time I remember Holo talking about sex ("mating", she calls it), she was fully clothed. Holo's nudity is meant purely for aesthetic and realistic purposes. [2][3]

I'm not saying that there aren't instances of nudity that blatantly suggest sex, I'm saying that if it is meant artistically and/or tastefully, it isn't pornography.

Sources
[1] http://www.domai.com...
[2] http://www.animefreak.tv...
[3] http://www.mangareader.net...
KRFournier

Con

My opponent has made the blanket assertion that depictions of nudity when done in an artistic and tasteful manner are not pornography. My goal, as Con, is to show that this blanket assertion does not always hold true.

The resolution fails on two points:

1. Artistry and tastefulness are not objective criteria. As such, they are insufficient to uphold the resolution in any concrete way.

Take Pro's own example of Spice & Wolf. He says it's depiction of nudity is tasteful and artistic. I claim it is not tasteful enough. After all, there are many ways to depict the realism of a nude woman without the need for putting her naughty bits on display. Movies do this all the time, where a person is shown from a variety of angles to communicate nudity without actually displaying. My point is that Pro cannot declare this use of nudity as universally and unequivocally tasteful and artistic. It's simply his opinion, which I'm afraid does little in making the resolution an objective truth.

2. Pornography already has a specific meaning, and Pro will be hard pressed to redefine it, especially in these terms

Pro is essentially attempting to redefine pornography in a completely arbitrary way when it already has an historical meaning. Pornography, as it is defined, has nothing to do with tastefulness or artistry. It only has to do with content. There is tasteful pornography and distasteful pornography, but it is pornography nonetheless. Thus, the very definition of the term negates the resolution as being objectively true.

My opponent has chosen to criticize my argument as only having "one point disguised as two," a clever little red herring tactic. What does it matter if I only have one point if that point arguably refutes the resolution? Still, in the nature of good sport, I'll offer another rebuttal.

Pro's definition has ethical implications. Take, for example, child pornography. The crime has less to do with content and more to do with the sexual exploitation of innocent children. Will my opponent assert that all child nudity is distasteful, and therefore should be called pornography? What about those that would claim that child nudity is artistic? Child pornography has been criminalized for good reason, and such a loose definition as my opponent's would be very difficult to police.

To conclude, my opponent's definition is arbitrary, untenable and carries with it ethical issues. Therefore, I think it very reasonable to consider the resolution to be false. We should stick with the original definition, which has served humanity just fine.
Debate Round No. 2
GThomas

Pro

I restate my point that if nudity is depicted in a way that is artistic or tasteful, it should not be considered pornography.

Rebuttals:

1) "My opponent has made the blanket assertion that depictions of nudity when done in an artistic and tasteful manner are not pornography." I did no such thing. I never said that they AREN'T pornography, I merely said that they SHOULDN'T be. Bending words, when noticed by your opponent, really makes you look bad to the voters, and aren't the voters' opinions what really count on here? This is only my second debate on this website, but I've lurked enough to notice this basic principle.

2) My opponent has contradicted himself. Earlier, he said that "Pornography is defined by the creator's intent, not the audience's assessment of artistry or tastefulness." In his most recent argument, however, he said that "Pornography, as it is defined, has nothing to do with tastefulness or artistry. It only has to do with content." This is a strong contradiction and damages his argument. Is it defined by intent or content? He really should make up his mind.

3) In his criticism of Spice & Wolf, my opponent said that he claims "it is not tasteful enough." However, in his first argument, he said that "[My opponent] cannot hope to objectively distinguish between such subjective notions as artistic and tasteful." If I can't objectively distinguish between those two notions, how/why can he? Another contradiction.

4) "My opponent has chosen to criticize my argument as only having 'one point disguised as two,' a clever little red herring tactic." Both your disguising of your points and your counter-criticism are also "clever little red herring tactics". If you want to look good in a debate, don't be a hypocrite.

5) I knew it would be a matter of time until my opponent brought up child pornography. CP has nothing to do with my argument or my topic, except they share the word "pornography". However, I'll make a rebuttal just for that paragraph.

I am well aware that child pornography is a crime because it takes advantage of children (I'll save my definition of "child" for a different debate). I think child pornography is disgusting, wrong, and rightfully illegal. I am well aware that this statement makes no contribution to my argument, but neither did Con's statement. I offered a rebuttal "in the nature of good sport," just as my opponent did.

Thanks again for this debate, Con. It was fun.

Please vote Pro.
KRFournier

Con

I thank my opponent for his timely responses. I am only sorry that he spent more time erroneously criticizing me than he did refuting my actual arguments. Thus, I have decided to respond point by point. It seems to be the only way to clear my name.

1) "My opponent has made the blanket assertion that depictions of nudity when done in an artistic and tasteful manner are not pornography." I did no such thing. I never said that they AREN'T pornography, I merely said that they SHOULDN'T be. Bending words, when noticed by your opponent, really makes you look bad to the voters, and aren't the voters' opinions what really count on here? This is only my second debate on this website, but I've lurked enough to notice this basic principle.

Debate is about defending truth. My opponent invited anyone to contest his resolution, which I have taken word for word from the title. Whether or not he chooses to use "aren't" or "shouldn't" is irrelevant, as both are taking an absolute stand on the matter. If using "arn't," he takes the position that opponents are incorrect. If using "shouldn't," he takes the position that opponents are "immoral." Either way, he is taking the position that he is right and opponents are wrong.

Besides, I don’t see how I am bending words here since I quite literally copied and pasted them. My opponent appears to be splitting hairs over semantics in order to discredit me as a debator rather than actually address my arguments.

2) My opponent has contradicted himself. Earlier, he said that "Pornography is defined by the creator's intent, not the audience's assessment of artistry or tastefulness." In his most recent argument, however, he said that "Pornography, as it is defined, has nothing to do with tastefulness or artistry. It only has to do with content." This is a strong contradiction and damages his argument. Is it defined by intent or content? He really should make up his mind.

Upon rereading my statement, I will admit my choice of words was poor. Allow me to clarify. By definition, pornography is media designed to stimulate sexual excitement. So, when I said it is defined by content, I meant "content designed to stimulate sexual excitement." However, I do not think this error constitutes a contradiction because I have been very consistent in my position everywhere else. In fact, both quotes above make the same point: artistry and tastefulness are not the criteria by which pornography is defined. Thus, my opponent is at least partially guilty of quoting out of context here.

3) In his criticism of Spice & Wolf, my opponent said that he claims "it is not tasteful enough." However, in his first argument, he said that "[My opponent] cannot hope to objectively distinguish between such subjective notions as artistic and tasteful." If I can't objectively distinguish between those two notions, how/why can he? Another contradiction.

I cannot see how I was making any sort of objective claim given the context of the paragraph. I started by stating that artistry and tastefulness are not objective criteria. Then, I have two sentences side by side: the first is my opponent’s claim, the second is my claim. I think it should have been clear that I was making a point that neither of us are qualified to make an objective claim about what is tasteful. There is no contradiction here. If anything, my opponent is reinforcing the very point I have been making all along.

4) "My opponent has chosen to criticize my argument as only having 'one point disguised as two,' a clever little red herring tactic." Both your disguising of your points and your counter-criticism are also "clever little red herring tactics". If you want to look good in a debate, don't be a hypocrite.

I don’t even know what to say here. This is blatant ad-hominem. He is arguing against me and not against my arguments. He attacked my technique by saying that I am disguising two points as one. I called him out on this tactic only to have my counter-criticism attacked in the same way. This issue never would have even came up if he had just focused on refuting my "disguised" points to begin with.

5) I knew it would be a matter of time until my opponent brought up child pornography. CP has nothing to do with my argument or my topic, except they share the word "pornography".

My opponent says child pornography has nothing to do with this debate, but doesn't say why. Ipse dixit does not win debates. I showed the absurdity of using artistry and tastefulness to define pornography by using the same criteria in defining child pornography. My point was dismissed, not rebutted, and therefore remains unanswered.

To summarie my position, I argue that artistry and tastefulness are too subjective to define what is and is not pornography, therefore making Pro's stance arbitrary. I also argued that pornography also had a clearcut definition that contradicts Pro's stance. I finally pointed out the ethical implications of such thinking by showing the absurdity of using Pro's criteria in the area of child pornography. My points have not be refuted, merely criticized in their form and execution.

Therefore, I stand in firm negation of the resolution, "Depictions of nudity when done in an artistic and tasteful manner are not pornography."
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by GThomas 5 years ago
GThomas
Ah. It's only midnight here. Night.
Posted by TesterPot 5 years ago
TesterPot
It did come to mind, but it'll have to be tomorrow+ as it's 6 AM now (bed time for me).
Posted by GThomas 5 years ago
GThomas
To me, even then it might not be. =/ Everyone's different, I suppose. It may be because I've looked up a lot of what is considered "hardcore" porn, and the fact that I've never considered "softcore" porn actual "porn" anyway. If you want, we could have a separate debate all about this.
Posted by TesterPot 5 years ago
TesterPot
That's right. I just think most sensible people would agree that women posing suggestively and pushing their breasts together carries the images over the pornography line.
Posted by GThomas 5 years ago
GThomas
I had different media (Spice & Wolf) in mind when I said artistic. And tastefulness is an opinion.
Posted by TesterPot 5 years ago
TesterPot
While I agree with your position in the actual debate, I'd have to say that I don't find the pictures featured on the website you linked all that tasteful or artistic.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is correct in labeling Pro's arguments as baseless assertions that seem designed to circumvent the commonly understood definition of pornography. Con's appropriate inclusion of child pornography in the discussion cleverly demonstrated the dangers of subjectively classifying things as pornography or not based solely on their artistic value. Arguments to Con. Conduct also goes to Con for Pro's unwarranted insults.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: counter brookin (5), counter kweef (2/3). One was based on opinion the other was BS.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: So many vbs below
Vote Placed by brokenboy 5 years ago
brokenboy
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: nudity does not equal pornography
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: women are sexy
Vote Placed by kweef 5 years ago
kweef
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Personally, I agreed with Pro beforehand, I believe that art is tasteful, and there is a fine line between pornography and art.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 5 years ago
Rockylightning
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: pros sources better. con refutes all pros arguments
Vote Placed by Kegan 5 years ago
Kegan
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Good Round, but pro had good refutes.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro should have defined pornography in the opening, Con needed to press harder to show that all nudity had the purpose of stimulating sex.
Vote Placed by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
GThomasKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Why does it matter if there's only one point disguised as two? Defeat it/them. Argments: KRF defined pornography where GT never did. He fairly clearly pointed out that there's no reason to accept Pro's proposal. Also, the resolution says "are not" and not "should not be." Sources: The dictionary wins.