Comment by Rene, 12 Dec, 2017
Hya, and good analysis on the classic argument of "It's fine to slaughter people, just don't use too many naughty words and cover up the breast when you cut out the heart or someone will be offended!".
I think it all boils down to the Bible itself. The religious get their guidance for life from the Bible, and the Bible CLEARLY has no issues with grotesque violence and barbaric behaviour, gleefully describing it in detail every chance they get. So the implication to a Christian is that God loves suffering, as it brings you closer to Jesus (quote from Mother Theresa BTW), and that horrific violence is a natural part of our sinful natures and thus cannot be removed, only directed well. I mean, even Jesus himself said "bring him to me so that I may slay him" and he's the example of all that is good, right?
However look at sex ... everyone is capable of slaughter in holy rapturous ecstasy (in the name of God of course) they cannot stand the idea that someone might not want to fuck them, or that they might be fucking in a way that they cannot appreciate, and thus all sex is immoral. If THEY cannot appreciate the pleasures of humanity's touches, than NOBODY should, and since being judgemental is second nature to Christians, they judge all sex that isn't for the job of making Christian babies to be immoral somehow. Apparently they forgot that the Bible itself said "go forth and multiply" and that God would have given them the desires and parts, and that Eve was to be a COMPANION to Adam and not just an incubator, or that "virgin" just meant "unmarried" back them (she could have been the biggest slut in Bethlehem for all we know, but she never married and thus was a virgin by OUR modern definition for some reason) but no matter. God clearly loves violence and hates sex, and thus they feel the need to suck up a little more to him by carrying on the beliefs, and naturally imposing those values on everyone in earshot. After all, all love is GOD and OF GOD and supposedly NOTHING is greater than God, but an orgasm doesn't need his involvement to make you feel the best you physically/mentally could ... and it's done with a HUMAN lover, not God. They HATE that idea ...
It's pure hypocrisy of course, but then they need an excuse to justify God's love of slaughter and ironic punishments, and thus the blind spot. Otherwise they'd have to admit that their god is a tyrant who's got issues with human's basic COMPETING passions and thus not worthy of worship. Easier to just stab the heathen who suggests it in the name of God and hope he likes the devotion you show in emulating him. <lol>
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Dec, 2017
Hi Rene. We also suspect that the underlying reason most people find violence and vengeance acceptable and entertaining (at least on the screen) and nudity and sex shameful (on or off the screen) is due to the Bible's insidious influence. Devout Christians, Jews and Muslims all derive their moral code from the stories in their holy books, stories which all share the same god, many of the original stories and most certainly the same submissive, backward attitudes. Believers are weaned on the graphic and often totally unjust violence and vengeance in the (fictional) origin stories of their ancestors, as well as learning that their god is utterly obsessed with controlling every detail, major or minor, that is connected to sex, and who, at the same time, is utterly appalled, disgusted and repulsed by it all. The sex that is, not the violence, he just loves the violence, the more barbaric the better.
In the first book of the Bible we're told that God made Adam and Eve and that, 'The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame'. This clearly states that they were not ashamed in being naked, and implies that God their creator didn't find the naked human body offensive either, after all, he had specifically designed us to look and function the way we do. And more importantly, having created them naked, God apparently intended that they remain naked, that nudity was natural and normal and nothing to be ashamed of. He made no attempt to clothe them. And as you say Rene, the naked Adam and Eve were instructed by God to go forth and multiply, to shamelessly put their genitals together and produce new life, and their offspring, which were also born naked, were to do likewise. And importantly, we were all to have great fun doing it. After all, God deliberately gave us the orgasm, it wasn't something invented by hippies in the 1960s.
Unfortunately, this idyllic lifestyle quickly took a turn for the worse when a talking snake decided to have a little chat with Eve, and everything went downhill from there. Next thing they knew they were being evicted from their Club Med home and forced out onto the street, brother was soon killing brother, tribes were warring with each other, and God was joining in the melee by confusing languages, spreading lies, picking favourites and encouraging genocide. Suffering, sometimes on a monumental scale, had entered the world. The orgasms were still great, but they were now usually tinged with a deep guilt, which naturally lessened their overall appeal, meaning that many god-fearing people tried to then suppress their god-given urges and live a life of near celibacy, or in the case of Catholic priests, absolute celibacy. And no, sex with little boys isn't "real" sex and so it doesn't count. It's not clear what turned God from a caring creator who strolled naked with Adam and Eve in their garden of an evening into a vicious, homicidal megalomaniac that now abhorred sex, and the naughty bits needed to perform it, but change he did. Apart from the first verses of the first book of the Bible, the rest have God baying for blood and threatening to torture for all eternity anyone seen naked or having sex for purposes other than procreation. That means no sex for pure enjoyment, no sex if you're unable to produce children for any reason or are beyond the age of child-bearing, no homosexual sex, no sex if you're pregnant, and no masturbation, because all these activities fail to produce kids, the sole justification for Christians to have sex. Some centuries ago the Church even taught that it was better for a son to rape his mother than to masturbate, since at least the rape might result in a child for God. God even saw no problem with raping Mary to get himself a human son that he could then reject, leaving Mary to raise him, and then later return to have him tortured and killed.
Many Biblical stories are well known, but most people, Christian or non-Christian, would be hard pressed to find one that at it's core doesn't involve the use of violence and/or injustice to achieve it goals, and in the stories where sex, the body and/or nudity is involved, find the view that it's not repugnant and shameful. Of course women will know this because they need to know how long they must shun contact with others during their periods because they are filthy and unclean. Because Christians are told they must love God and follow his moral code in order to emulate his ways, and because his stories often involve him slaughtering entire civilisations, or even having a father murder his own beloved daughter, then of course Christians are going to view violence as perfectly acceptable and nothing to be repulsed by, because it's the tool of choice of their beloved heavenly father. Likewise, because God only views sex as a necessary evil, and the naked body merely the disgusting tool that is needed to procreate, then when not doing the vile deed in some darkened room, sex and the naked body must be consciously kept hidden form public view, and anyone who transgresses this behaviour, accidental or otherwise, must have shame and disapproval heaped upon them.
Of course many people today would argue that they're not all that religious, and thus the Bible views of violence and sexuality don't inform their views. But we'd argue that for most, they are likely wrong. They might then say that we atheists just want to blame God for everything, even what we see in the movies, but today's movie censorship laws are merely a slightly modified version of that which was forced on us decades ago by the Christian Church and a society that was far more supportive of the Church, eg the Hays Code. Think of the views that most people, religious or not, have of homosexuality, masturbation, pre-martial sex, nudity, abortion and divorce through to capital punishment, parent's hitting children, retribution, suicide, theft, murder and even President George Bush's war against Iraq that he called a 'Crusade', saying that you were either with him or against him, a quote from Jesus. For nearly everyone, their views on these topics come from the Bible. Try explaining why homosexuality or masturbation is wrong without any reference to the Bible stories, or try arguing for retribution without thinking of the Biblical phrase, an eye for an eye, or arguing against suicide without mentioning the idea that our life belongs to God.
We may now be a secular society, but the reality is that many of the laws and customs of our present society are founded on the Biblical worldview of our Christian ancestors. And many of them are just plain wrong, and the world is only slowly starting to realise that an ancient book written by ignorant Bronze Age goat herders is not the best place to look for ideas on how to lead a good life. Look at how attitudes and laws concerning such things as homosexuality, abortion, suicide and even masturbation have changed for the better in recent years. All these involved the wholesale rejection of Biblical views. Look at people that bemoan these changes and they'll likely have a Bible under their arm or at least make some mention of God and their faith. We're not a Christian country, as some falsely claim, but there is no doubt that our society is riddled with age-old Christian beliefs, and their influence has been widespread over the centuries. Take the Pacific Island cultures. They didn't have a problem with nudity until after contact with Europeans. Accounts from Christian missionaries reveal that they had their work cut out trying to instil a sense of body shame in the carefree natives. But now, centuries later, Pacific Island cultures are more ashamed of nudity, and more religious, than even the European Christians that brainwashed them. Only after becoming Christians did Pacific Islanders start to view the body differently. Many people may have now forgotten exactly why their parents told them to cover up — Because I said so! — but push them for a plausible answer and soon you will run up against the Bible as the source, or an admission of complete ignorance, that they simply don't know why nudity is bad. We'd challenge any reader to explain why public nudity is bad, without referring to the dictates of some sky fairy.
Graphic violence easily finds its way onto our screens, while sex and nudity is hurriedly wrapped in a trench coat and marched down to the police station to be booked for obscenity. As it was in the Bible, so it is still.
Comment by Murray, 14 Apr, 2018
Morning! I'm pretty late to the blog entry, but I felt the need to share thoughts.
My most crystal sharp exposure to this attitude came some 20 years ago. My friends have three children and this was when they were pretty young, obviously. A video of "The Terminator" was procured for the evening's entertainment. I expressed some reservations if the movie was appropriate for kids, but the parents waved me away. Okay.
So, we watched Arnie kill and maim dozens of people in his brutal quest for Sarah Connor. An entire police station annihilated. Not a blink of concern for inappropriate viewing.
Then the plot reached the moment when the two hunted fugitives find safety long enough to catch their breath and unclench, if only for a few hours. They're desperate and hurting and exhausted. They've grown close in their desperate attempt to escape. We are now witness to a thoroughly plausible and certainly not gratuitous (unlike so many movies) scene of the two nude characters making love (as opposed to "screwing their brains out").
The wife and mother watching the movie had never seen "The Terminator". She wasn't aware of such a scene. She went volcanic on us for not warning her of such a disgusting moment and letting her children see it.
It baffled me then and it baffles me now.
There's this belief that runs thru our world that male humans are on a hair trigger, where the sight of one curvaceous ankle will turn us into slobbering simians of rampaging, red-eyed lust. Various religions around take this "axiom" to heart and require women to be smothered in layers of clothing. Maybe there is a more secular fear deep down that any human, especially teens, will see a nipple and plunge into wild bouts of bunny sex, leading to unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
As for acceptance of violence, it may be partly due to desensitization. Violence is part of the adventure in a story and writers have to keep upping the ante so consumers stay on the edge of their seats. For example, I finally saw Hitchcock's "Psycho" for the first time in the 1990's, but was well aware of many of the details, especially the legendary "shower scene". Well, the scene came and went and I was stunned all right. Stunned at how tame, and even "innocent", the scene came across to my sensibilities. I was not thinking in any critical fashion towards Hitchcock or the audiences some 35 years earlier. It was a staggering example of how... sophisticated... numb... we had become in the interim.
And, that's about it. On with the day!
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Apr, 2018
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Murray. While I personally can't remember anyone going ballistic over encountering a sex scene in a movie, I can recall many examples of my fellow viewers exhibiting extreme embarrassment, often looking away, when suddenly confronted with scenes involving nudity or sex. And yet, the violence never really fazed them.
So why are we accepting of graphic violence in our movies but not sex or nudity? You're right that there is this bullshit notion that, 'male humans are on a hair trigger, where the sight of one curvaceous ankle will turn us into slobbering simians of rampaging, red-eyed lust'. I'm looking at you Muslims, and even some of you fundamentalist Christians. I suspect the religious upbringing that most people are subjected to, even in more liberal societies, is what informs their stance on sex and public nudity, and that stance is all about promoting shame and embarrassment and concealment. When you really push people to explain why sex must be hidden or why nude beaches should be illegal, their first answers are normally quite empty, eg it's what my parents taught me or it's what society demands. When you try to understand what underpinned their parents' or society's demands, it nearly always rests on primitive codes of conduct found in old holy books. Some god told their ancestors that sex was dirty and disgusting and that the naked body was ugly and shameful and thus both sex and nudity must be avoided where possible and always concealed from the public gaze. Let's remember that the Bible's New Testament proclaims that while sex is permissible within marriage for procreation, celibacy is the preferred option for everyone. I have yet to hear someone successfully argue that sex and nudity must be kept private due to some reason that doesn't ultimately fall back on silly beliefs found in some old religion.
The reality is that banning graphic sex and nudity from movies merely creates ignorant prudes. And any argument that claims that graphic scenes would be dangerous, that people will blindly emulate what they see in the movies is shown to be bogus and hypocritical since these same people permit graphic violence in movies with no fear (or evidence) that viewers will copy the violence.
I agree when you say that, 'Violence is part of the adventure in a story and writers have to keep upping the ante so consumers stay on the edge of their seats'. Moviegoers keep demanding something new, better special effects and unexpected twists on old stories. But while this helps explain why violence has become ever more pervasive, graphic and realistic in our movies, we must remember that sex is very often part of the story too. And this is nothing new, sex in storytelling is as ancient as violence in stories, and many famous tales would make no sense if the sex scenes were removed. Look at the Bible, it's not just graphic violence, it's also replete with stories involving sex and naked bodies, with the violence and sex often interrelated.
So, if because of desensitisation, movie violence must get more graphic to keep the stories believable and the viewers interested, why don't the sex scenes have to keep pace? The reality is that while there is just as much implied sex now as there ever was, as in heaving naked shoulders and moaning under the sheets, there is much less nudity in movies now than there was in the recent past (in the 1970s and '80s for example), and yet people keep flocking to the new releases. Why aren't moviegoers pushing the producers and directors to make the sex scenes more graphic and realistic, as they apparently are doing with the innumerable scenes of violence? Why are modern viewers happy to have the sex scenes regress to match the old-fashioned and conservative values of their great-grandparents, and yet still clamour for more realistic violence? Why do people have no problem seeing a beautiful clothed woman shot full of bullet holes and collapsing dead in a pool of her own blood, but wouldn't want to see her walk naked along a sun-drenched beach?
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