Archive for March, 2014

Erosophia Podcast #19: Racial Fetishes and the BBC

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In this episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, Devin, and Joia discuss Racial Fetishes.

News

Confession: I lost a recording of Erosophia

This is our one year anniversary!

I’ve completed my second complete draft of Eros and Ethos.

Question

“Given that it’s possible for couples to have arrangements where they may have sex with other people outside the relationship, how should a man act, accordingly, if he sees a married woman he’s interested in, or if the married woman shows interest in him?

I’m not  talking about cheating, of course, but given that whole “arrangements” thing . . . is there an appropriate way to flirt/court, or find out about a potential arrangement?”

– Interested in Wives

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Today’s Topic: Racial Fetishes

What are fetishes? What kinds of race-related fetishes are there? Is there any moral import to racial fetishes?  On this episode we discuss these fetishes and their morality.

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A special thanks to Jennifer Snow for editing today’s podcast!

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The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

by Jason Stotts

My friend Alex Epstein has lined up a publisher for his new book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, but he needs our help!

Summary: Certain people in the publishing industry say that my next book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” has an unacceptable title because it’s not okay to suggest that fossil fuels could be moral. They are claiming no one will buy the book, and trying to intimidate people into distancing them from it. Please help me counter them by pre-ordering as many as you can.

The Establishment Attacks the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels—Help Us Fight Back

On November 13, 2014, Penguin/Portfolio, one of the leading publishers in the world, will release a book with a title I never expected a major publisher would carry: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

And for the same reason I never expected a major publisher to carry it (the anti-fossil-fuel establishment has a vested interest in keeping the moral high ground), it is already under attack.

Here’s the background—and what you can do about it. (Short answer to the second: pre-order a lot of books.)

Today’s mainstream discussion of fossil fuels has framed the debate in a lose-lose way for the fossil fuel industry and everyone who benefits from it (i.e., everyone). Environmental groups characterize fossil fuels as an unnecessary evil, an addiction to be ended in the next decade or two. The “defenders” of fossil fuels counter that, no, fossil fuels are a necessary evil—an addiction that will take many, many decades to end.

My essay “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” offered a new alternative: Fossil fuels are a necessary good—something that we should embrace, champion, and further. If we look at them big-picture, instead of focusing out-of-context on negatives, they are a boon to every aspect of human life, including our environment. This argument got the attention of hundreds of industry executives because it was unique and uniquely powerful. And it got the attention of a major book agent, my (now) agent Wes Neff of Leigh Bureau, who thought it was a unique contribution to the energy debate.

But now that the book has been announced, certain people in the publishing industry (not my publisher) have been saying that the title is inappropriate, that it goes too far, that they won’t carry the book. They’d rather see something bland like The Case for Fossil Fuels, which may go unnoticed because everyone will think it’s the same old “necessary evil” argument.

Think about it: We are in a world where someone can say it’s inappropriate to even argue that fossil fuels are morally good. And these people want to intimidate me into changing the title on the idea that no one will buy a book that openly argues that the fossil fuel industry is moral.

Well, there is one way to show these people—and the many who are sure to follow as the book comes closer to release—how we feel. Pre-order copies on Amazon. My agent tells me that if we can get 5000 pre-orders it will be a game changer in terms of the publicity the book gets. It will show that making a new, compelling case for fossil fuels is not a commercial liability but a commercial asset.

So I ask you, please pre-order multiple copies of this book and let me know how many you buy. If you like my current writing, I can promise you that this book is on a totally different level. It’s the book you will want to hand to any friend, family member, Republican, or Democrat who is interested in these issues. And if you’re considering buying copies, now is the time.

For anyone who buys 10 copies before the end of the month, I’ll send you a personalized, autographed copy.

For anyone or any group that buys 100, I will send you 100 physical copies of Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet to pass out while you’re waiting for the book to be released in November.

For any company that buys 1000 copies or more—and I sincerely believe every employee in the industry needs to read this book—I will come speak to your company about it for free.

It is an absolute guarantee that if we can drive up the pre-orders the book will get more publicity and be more influential. And I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed in the book. I work on it every morning, weekday or weekend, consulting with the best researchers, editors, philosophers, and energy experts I can find. Many on this list said they particularly enjoyed my recent Forbes piece, “The Unscientific Consensus,” which finally clarified the issue of how to think about the “climate change consensus.” That is material taken straight from the book, and there are 60,000 more words where that came from.

Please help me promote this book and stop those who disagree with us from trying to stop it before it gets started. Order now.

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Porn Addiction?

by Jason Stotts

I’ve argued before that I don’t think porn addiction is a real thing (here and Erosophia Podcast #14 & #15).  I’ve also referenced Dr. Marty Klein’s essay on it.  But, here’s an angle that I haven’t pursued enough yet: why do people think they’re addicted to porn in the first place?

 It turns out that it might be because they’re religious:

Compared with their less spiritual peers, people who identified as very religious were more likely to have a perceived Internet pornography addiction, no matter how much porn they actually consumed, according to a new study.

“We were surprised that the amount of viewing did not impact the perception of addiction, but strong moral beliefs did,” the study’s lead author Joshua Grubbs, a doctoral student in psychology at Case Western Reserve University, said in a statement. (LINK)

In some ways this isn’t surprising, because it is religion that labels porn wrong and we can only have addictions to things that are “wrong.”  If you don’t think that’s right, consider that I have a strong chemical addiction to caffeine.  Not only that, it’s easily available, lots of people have this same addiction, and some people spend lots of time and money on their addiction.  But, even though this is a chemical addiction with literally all the signs and symptoms of an addiction, this isn’t an “addiction.”

Actually, and this is rather off-topic, but I am reconsidering my views on “addiction.” After taking classes in addiction and substance abuse for my MFT program, I’m not sure that I even think that the idea of “addiction” is a useful concept. In fact, I think it probably does more to obscure the true problem than elucidate it. The idea is this: people use drugs because they are in pain and don’t know how to cope with it. I don’t think I would have accepted this idea before my classes and before attending a SMART Recovery (cognitive based recovery, which is a really good program) meeting and some AA meetings (which I think do more harm than good).  Before, I thought of drug addicts in the stereotypical way of purposely doing something immoral and being completely culpable for this.  While at the Smart meeting, I heard the addicts there describe their pain and how good their substance made them feel, when nothing else would help.  How they came back to their substance of choice when things got worse, in a very vicious cycle, because they needed their substance more when it was hard and not less.  I initially couldn’t quite understand this, how these people could keep using their substances even in the face of all of the problems mounting because of their use.  Now I understand that they don’t escalate their use in spite of their mounting problems, their mounting problems are another reason they use! I can’t help but think this idea, that people use because they are in pain, restores the humanity to drug addicts.  It also gives us a clear place to begin in treating addiction and helping the addict to overcome their problems. If we can’t help them to overcome their deeper pain, all we’ll do is send them into an endless cycle of relapse.  But, once we can help them to heal their inner pain, we can help them to quit using or to control their using. I think that it also explains addiction more thoroughly than other frameworks, including why addiction can be self-perpetuating as the pain increases from the addiction itself.  Moreover, it explains the apparent contradiction in the disease model whereby the disease model cannot explain why some people with very strong genetic dispositions to addiction never actually use and why some people with no genetic disposition to use become addicts.  Frankly, the disease model is a bad metaphor gone awry.  One does not “catch” alcoholism like one catches herpes.  There is no virus or bacterium that causes addiction.  While it might cause dis-ease in a person’s life, it shares nothing in common with the common usage of that word and to continue to call it a disease is both wrong and misleading.

Anyway, getting back to “porn addiction,” of course those who feel that porn is wrong are going to have a problem with watching porn.  Since they’re watching porn to masturbate (because really, why else do you watch porn?), and masturbation is also a sin, but sexual needs are real needs and important needs, but their “addiction” to watching porn makes them look at porn, which makes them touch their dirty genitals, well…you can see how their god wouldn’t be happy.  Since watching porn is both immoral and feels good, the christian comes to think that there must be something wrong with them that makes them feel pleasure in this “immoral act.”  But, the problem is their christianity and mistaken beliefs, not the pleasure they get from porn and masturbation.

So, the easiest way to get rid of “porn addiction” is just to get rid of christianity.

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