Sexual intercourse outside of marriage is nearly always exploitative, though, undoubtedly, there are couples who demonstrate mutual fidelity without legal sanction. Our society provides for common-law marriage; we recognize that a couple can make a genuine commitment without benefit of the usual legal arrangement. There will always be exceptional instances where two people achieve union first and then seek public or official acknowledgement of their oneness. But having said this, we must go on to say that most premarital intercourse does not result in marriage. In the vast majority of cases, when it is not previously undergirded with the commitment of marriage, sexual intercourse simply means that one person is taking from another. Usually premarital intimacy is giving of one’s body without giving of one’s self. Whenever two persons make use of each other’s bodies, while they remain unwilling or unable to surrender their selves at the same level, it is exploitation. Often, when two people allow themselves to be swept into an illicit liaison, it is not because they love each other too much, but because they respect each other too little.
Genuine love demands that a couple preserve the final line of intimacy until the final commitment of marriage….
William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.84-85
“Rights,” as the term is used ideologically, are ultimately assertions of arbitrary authority by third parties to prescribe things that others have never agreed to.
The same principle is expressed when terms like “social responsibility” or “social contract” are used to describe what third parties want done, regardless of whether any others have agreed to do it. Thus business is said to have a “social responsibility” to provide various benefits to various individuals or to society at large, regardless of whether or not those businesses have chosen to assume such a responsibility. Nor are these responsibilities necessarily based on laws that have been enacted. On the contrary, the asserted “responsibilities” are the basis for advocating the passing of such laws, even though the responsibilities have no basis themselves, other than the fact that third parties want them imposed.
The same principle can be seen in assertions of figurative “promises,” as in the title of “The Promise of American Life,” by Herbert Croly, the Progressive-era first editor of the “New Republic’” magazine. These “promises” are found nowhere except in the desires of Herbert Croly and like-minded Progressives, including some a hundred years later. Similarly with “contracts” that no one has signed or even seen. Thus Social Security has been described as a “contract between generations” when, obviously, generations yet unborn could not have agreed to any such contract.
Legal obligations can of course be imposed on unborn generations, whether through Social Security or the national debt, but the argument is not about what is physically possible but what has any logical or empirical foundation. To say that it has a moral foundation, without providing any specifics, is only to say that some people feel that way. But there would be no issue in the first place unless other people felt differently. Nor are the asserted “rights,” “social responsibilities,” or fictitious “contracts” or “promises” necessarily based on claims of demonstrable majorities favoring such things. On the contrary, they are asserted as reasons why the majority or political leaders or the courts ought to impose what third parties want imposed. They are arguments without arguments.
If human sexuality were merely a matter of physiological function, and not expressive of man’s unique nature, then the ability to perform the function would be the sole criterion, and sexual partners might be interchangeable at will — if one’s partner is merely a functionary, one functionary is as good as another.
William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.82-83
There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get will. Booker T. Washington. Cited by Taleeb Starkes, The Un-Civil War: Blacks vs Niggers, p.222-223
Here’s what a warrior is. It’s not the guy who is armed with an AR15 and 30-round magazines. The warrior is someone who says: “This is what I love. This is what I hold dear. This is my family. This is my country. This is my faith. And this is what threatens it. This is the enemy. You will not hurt what I hold dear. You will not hurt what I love, without coming through me.”
General Jerry Boykin, “God’s Call to Warriors.” Decision magazine April 2014, p.26
If someone has a right, someone else has an obligation. But the proposed right to a “living wage,” for example, is not based on any obligation agreed to by an employer. On the contrary, this “right” is cited as a reason why government should force the employer to pay what third parties would like to be paid. Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.157
The words of the famous creed are: “Anything in sex is OK as long as no one gets hurt.” This proviso seems adequate to many otherwise thoughtful people, because they do not examine carefully the meaning of “hurt.” Given our human finitude, we do not always know who is hurt, for life is such an intricate maze that acts which seem trivial at the moment may bring injury years later. The consequences of human conduct are so far-reaching that no moral decision is even an isolated one. There are many ways in which one can be hurt, in addition to obvious physical ones. William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.81
We’ve always heard that Hollywood is about making money, but I think it’s really about an immoral or amoral agenda to promote lifestyles, relativism, compromise and shades of gray with no black and white. …
There is a force in that community that says more important than making $100 million is to plant seeds in the minds of young people that will take them away from Jude-Christian ethics. …
Like anything, if you’re exposed to it enough, you become numb to it and you don’t see its effects on you. I tell the folks at our church it’s like eating cheesecake. We wake up and can’t feel its effects. But if we ate it and woke up with a big lump of fat that had appeared on our side, we’d say, “Whoa, that’s not good.”
It’s the cumulative effect that wears down our resistance. The devil is willing to bide his time and wait for the end result. Scripture tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7) — but first it says to submit ourselves to God.
Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. Cited by Charles Chandler, “Hollywood’s Immoral Agenda,” Decision magazine April 2014, p18, 20
An empirical study by Professor Arthur C. Brooks of Syracuse University, to test the extent to which liberals and conservatives in American donated money, blood, and time to philanthropic endeavors, found that conservatives donated on average both a larger amount of money and a higher percentage of their incomes (which were slightly lower than liberals’ incomes) to philanthropic causes, that they donated more hours of their time as volunteers, and that they donated far more blood. Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.145
[N]o studies -- including those searching for an "addiction gene" -- have proved that a factor other than the self is responsible for the individual's choice to abuse drugs or alcohol. Despite the consistency of this data, however, there is a constant demand for more addiction treatment. The public is rarely told just how utterly ineffective most of these treatment programs really are -- especially those that stress the model of addiction-as-disease instead of personal responsibility. Anne Hendershott, "The Politics of Deviance," p.27
All materialistic philosophies regard sex as a function and view marriage as merely instrumental. Societies that have reflected this view always favor easy divorce, when one of the partners is found to be incapable of performing the procreative function. Our own culture, which is decisively materialistic in practice, holds that partners should not be bound when they decide that they are incompatible — a weasel word, which often means one partner does not perform the physical function to the full satisfaction of the other. Such a view of marriage does not regard the husband and wife as bound together in a relationship of being, but as involved in a functional liaison. William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.80
Equality is one of the most widespread and long-lived ideals, especially among modern intellectuals.* *This sometimes extends to avoidance of titles that distinguish either varying achievements or the varying personal relationships among individuals. Calling a stranger named William Smith “Bill” — instead of Mr. Smith, Dr. Smith, Colonel Smith or whatever his title might be — is just one of these increasingly common practices which verbally banish differences. This can extend to children calling adults, including their teachers or even parents, by their first names. But a mother is not just another woman named Mary or Elizabeth. Her relationship to the child is one unlike any other that the child is likely to encounter in a lifetime. Moreover, a given individual will have many different names, denoting widely varying relationships with others. William Smith, for example, may be Uncle Bill to his siblings’ children, “Billy” as a small child, “honey” to his wife, “coach” to a Little League team and so on. These are often relationships that people on both ends of a relationship may need to keep in mind, in order to remind themselves that they are not just abstract people in an abstract world but people with limited roles or particular responsibilities vis-a-vis particular others. Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.133
It is said that baby busters do not want to be lectured; they expect to be entertained. They prefer videos to books; many of them have not learned to think in a linear fashion; they put more store that they recognize in mere impressions.As a result, they can live with all sorts of logical inconsistencies and be totally unaware of them.(How many times have I tried to explain to a university-age young person who has made some profession of faith that it is fundamentally inconsistent to claim to know and love the God of the Bible, while cohabiting with someone?They can see they are doing what the Bible forbids, but when you press them to articulate the contradiction they scuttle into inconsistency without embarrassment.)They are cynical, not idealistic.They vehemently deny the existence of absolutes: that is their one absolute.Many have never experienced principled morality in the home.They have been brought up without a coherent vision or value system, and they have embraced pragmatism with a vengeance.Many of them are furious with the preceding generation (that’s me and my generation) for being so crassly materialistic as to ruin the economy and dump a tax load onto their shoulders.On the other hand, they are no less materialistic themselves, and will vote for any candidate who promises to deliver more goodies while lowering taxes - precisely the same greedy stupidity that afflicted the generation they condemn.Pluralism is so much their creed that even when the strongest arguments are arrayed to explain, on biblical presuppositions, why morally “good” people should be rejected by the Christian God and assigned to hell, their emotions so rule their heads that very frequently no amount of argumentation is adequate.On the other hand, they tend to be interested in “spirituality” (very hazily defined), and on the whole tend to see themselves as occupying a fairly high place in the spiritual pecking order. D.A. Carson, “The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism,” p. 45
The playboy philosophy perpetuates the synthetic view of man, in which sex is reduced to his genital parts. The fallacy of such a view is that it makes too little of sex, not too much, for it isolates what was meant to pervade and makes small what was intended to be large.Thus the popular philosophy falls into the same fallacy as that of the religious heritage it affects to despise. William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.78-79
Using pornography is like adultery. It’s not legally adultery, which requires penetration. But there are many ways of cheating. It’s often effectively desertion — men abandoning their family to spend time with porn.
Marcia Maddox, cited by Pamela Paul, "From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm,” p.12
Inequalities of income, power, prestige, and other things have long preoccupied intellectuals, both as things to explain and things to correct. The time and attention devoted to these inequalities might suggest that equality is so common or so automatic that its absence is what requires an explanation.
Various causes of this apparently inexplicable inequality of outcomes have been suggested - racism, sexism, or class bias, for example. But seldom is it considered necessary to demonstrate the automatic equality which makes an explanation of its absence necessary. Anyone who suggests that individuals - or, worse yet, groups - are unequal in behavior or performance risks being written off intellectually and denounced morally as biased or bigoted toward those considered less than equal in some respects. Yet the empirical case for equality of consequential characteristics ranges from meager to non-existent.
Once the focus shifts from abstract potential to empirical capabilities, the notion of equality is not merely unproven but unlikely to the point of being absurd. How could people living in the Himalayas develop the seafaring skills of people living in ports around the Mediterranean? How could the Bedouins of the Sahara know as much about fishing as the Polynesians of the Pacific - or the Polynesians know as much about camels as the Bedouins? How could Eskimos be as proficient at growing tropical crops as the people of Hawaii or the Caribbean?
Such considerations are far more crucial for mundane knowledge than for academic knowledge. Ph.D.s in mathematics can have the same knowledge in Delhi as in Paris. However, in the world of mundane but consequential knowledge, how could an industrial revolution have originated in places which lack the key natural resources - iron ore and coal - and are too geographically inaccessible for those resources to be transported to them without prohibitive costs? The industrial revolution could hardly have begun in the Balkans or Hawaii, regardless of what people were living there - and neither could the people in those places have developed the same industrial skills, habits and ways of life at the same time as people in other places where they industrial revolution in fact began.
Differences among the racial, national or other groups range from the momentous to the mundane, whether in the United States or in other countries around the world and down through the centuries.
Empirically observable skills have always been grossly unequal - which is to say, real people have never been even close to the equality of abstract people, when it comes to developed capabilities, as distinguished from abstract potential. Among the many groups in countries around the world, very few have ever matched the major role played by the Jains from India in the cutting of diamonds for the world market, whether the Jains lived in India or in Amsterdam. People of German ancestry have been similarly prominent in the brewing of beer, whether in Germany or in the United States, where the best-selling brands of beer were created by people of German ancestry, as was true of China’s famous Tsingtao beer. In nineteenth century Argentina, German beer drove English beer from the local market, while Germans also established breweries in Australia and Brazil, as they had brewed beer in the days of the Roman Empire.
Jews have been similarly prominent, if not predominant, in the apparel industry, whether in medieval Spain, the Ottoman Empire, Eastern Europe, Argentina or the United States. Yet intellectuals’ emphasis on external circumstances over internal cultures led an academic historian to say that Jewish immigrants to the United States were fortunate that they arrived in this country just when the garment industry was about to take off. The same coincidence seems to have occurred in a number of other countries, just as the arrival of large numbers of overseas Chinese in various countries in Southeast Asia galvanized particular sectors of the economics there, and the arrival of Huguenots galvanized the watch-making industry in seventeenth-century England.
Innumerable other examples could be cited, involving other groups in countries around the world. But none of that has made a dent in the intelligentsia’s indignant responses when discovering statistical disparities in outcomes among groups. The burden of proof to the contrary is put on others, rather than on those whose presumptions are based on nothing more than reasoning as if they were discussing abstract people in an abstract world, and applying statistical techniques that would be appropriate to such homogeneous human beings or people who are in effect essentially random events, on which much statistical analysis is based.
Whatever the abstract potential of individuals and groups, the distinction between abstract potential and developed capabilities is not trivial, even though that distinction is often lost sight of, or is finessed, by intellectuals who speak in generalities about “equality.” Abstract potential carries very little weight anywhere in the real world, when people are making decisions for themselves. Performance is what counts. What we want to know is what real people can actually do, not what abstract potential there is in abstract people.
Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.128-130
The problem with soft-core pornography is that it is voyeurism -- it teaches men to view women as objects rather than to be in relationships with women as human beings. Pamela Paul, "From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm," p.5
The significance of manhood and womanhood resides, not in what each is unto itself, but in what each can become along with the other. As radically different as they are, yet perfectly complementary, man and woman hunger innately to immerse their separate, prior selves into one complete self. William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.78
Sex is not a biological appendage; it is an aspect of human existence by which every man, through his attitudes and actions, reveals something of his deepest convictions about life itself. A thorough study of any society, ancient or modern, must always include careful information about its sexual practices, for nothing drives more quickly to the heart of a people’s values or provides a surer index into their total view of life. When we discover what men regard as right and wrong in sexual ethics, we learn what they believe about much else. Most important of all, it is in the relationships of sex that men mirror their basic beliefs concerning their own nature, their origin and dignity as men. William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.72
The facts noted below refers to people defined as poor by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
*Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patior.
*Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
*Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
*The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
*Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
*Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
*Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
*Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
Abstract people have an immortality which flesh-and-blood people have yet to achieve. Thus, a historian writing about the newly-created state of Czechoslovakia after the First World War, said that its policies regarding the ethnic groups within it were designed “to correct social injustice” and to “put right the historic wrongs of the seventeenth century” - despite the fact that the actual flesh-and-blood people from the seventeenth century had died long before, putting the redressing of their wrongs beyond the reach of human power.
Much the same kind of reasoning has continued to be ideologically powerful among the intelligentsia in twenty-first century America, who speak of “whites” and “blacks” as intertemporal abstractions with centuries-old issues to be redressed, rather than as flesh-and-blood individuals who take their sins and their sufferings with them to the grave. There is surely no more profound difference between human beings than the difference between the dead and the living. Yet even that difference is glided over verbally when speaking of races as intertemporal abstractions, of whom the current living generation is just the latest embodiment.
Unlike real people, abstract people can be sent “back” to places where they have never been. Thus millions of descendants of German families who had lived for centuries in parts of Eastern Europe and the Balkans were sent “back” to Germany after the Second World War, as the majority populations of these regions reacted bitterly to having been mistreated during Nazi occupation by imposing a massive ethnic cleansing of Germans from their midst after the war. Many of these flesh-and-blood individuals of German ancestry had never laid eyes on Germany, to which they were being sent “back.” Only as intertemporal abstractions had they come from Germany.
It was much the same story with so-called Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka who, in the 1960s, were sent “back” to India, from which their ancestors had emigrated in the nineteenth century. Similarly, when people of Indian and Pakistani heritage were expelled from Uganda in the 1970s, most of them had been born in Uganda and more of them resettled in Britain than in India or Pakistan. Perhaps the most persistent efforts to repatriate intertemporal abstractions were nineteenth-century American proposals to free the slaves and then send them “back to Africa” - a continent which in most cases neither they nor their grandparents had ever seen.
Intertemporal abstractions are especially useful to those intellectuals who tend to conceive of social issues in terms which allow the intelligentsia to be on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. When intellectuals are unable to find enough contemporary grievances to suit their vision or agenda, they can mine the past for harm inflicted by some on others. By conceiving of those involved in the past as members of intertemporal abstractions, the intelligentsia can polarize contemporary descendants of those involved in past acts. The kind of society to which that leads is one in which a newborn baby enters the world supplied with prepackaged grievances against other babies born the same day.
It is hard to imagine anything more conducive to unending internal strife and a weakening of the bonds that hold a society together. The tragic history of territorial irredentism offers little reason for optimism about moral irredentism.
Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.126-127
Sexual intercourse involves more than the body; it involves the whole person, or, more accurately, two whole persons. Whether they give themselves wholly to one another is one thing, but that they are wholly involved is beyond doubt. No act of sexual union may ever be regarded as recreational or as one person’s private business, for someone else is always profoundly implicated, and the participants will never be again be the same toward one another as they were before coming together. Once done, the experience can never be undone, and its effect, though imperceptible, is indelible. If they are husband and wife the embrace should be both source and symbol of the common life they re building together. But if they are not husband and wife, the sexual act is of such inherency significance that its unitive power is frustrated. Intercourse without obligation depersonalizes the parties involved, uniting them in an act of mutual exploitation. It is not because it is temporary, but because, in a sense, casual sex always involves permanent consequences, that it is intrinsically wrong. The playboy creed encourages fornication without involvement.
William S. Banowsky, It’s A Playboy World, p.80-81