Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Herald opinion piece is wrong.

The rise of internet pornography is distressing, a 'filter' isn't the solution.

Or so it goes by the normally fantastic Milo Yiannopoulos on the normally fantastic Catholic Herald website. Quite a large argument, written in responses to a change in policy by the ISP'sI think I can condense it into three simple points:
  1. It will be bad for the economy - Regulation hampers economic growth.
  2. It will be unworkable - Children will be able to find porn.
  3. The government should not regulate morality - what is requires is more healthy society and better parenting.

I think this might be the simplest critique of an argument ever done, so tell me if you think I've completely missed his point:
  1.  Economy - Firstly so what if it does? Pornography does enormous damage to both individuals (particularly children) and society; the economy exists to serve us and not the other way around. Perhaps a filter is a compromise solution, with it's own faults, but do not ignore the benefits! He also argues that 'unnecessary regulation suffocates innovation' - errrr, is this a bad thing to stop the 'innovation' of this disgusting industry which study's are showing is getting more and more extreme? 
  2. Unworkability - I'm not a technology expert, but your comment that an ISP filter will not 'stop determined children from accessing it or reduce its appeal' is barmy. Perhaps not stop but reduce for sure. Some die hard addicted children will still be able to access this material via the internet - a fraction of the current number. Most children will not, and will not have much desire to either, and I imagine that the same will apply to millions, even tens of millions, of adults too. The primary problem is not that pornography exists but that it is so easily accessible. The chances are that if your reading this now, you could be looking at hardcore pornography within the next ten seconds if you so desired. Surely, that this will no longer be the case will be a huge bonus. 
  3. Wrong to censer - Imagine if smoking were not only completly unrestricted, but also that cigarettes were given out completely for free on demand at any moment of the day. This is the current situation, not only for adults, but also for children as far as pornography is concerned. Parenting alone would not stop children from smoking if this were the case, it would be part of the solution, but it would remain just that, just as it remains only part of the solution to stopping children from accessing inappropriate material. 
If you disagree with me I imagine it will be based upon the belief that society should be founded upon the economy, on individualism, or excessive consumerism. I don't. These values have got us into the mess we are into today. I'm not saying they don't have value, or that they haven't brought many benefits - that would be unfair - but they should not be allowed to dictate our lives, and in particular the lives of our children. Let's put them first, for once.

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