Archive for July, 2014

Erosophia Podcast #22: Pleasure and The Purpose of Life


In this episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, Devin, and William discuss the role of pleasure in life, the life focussed on pleasure (hedonism), and whether that is a real path to living a good life.

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Today’s Topic: Pleasure and the Purpose of Life

 What is hedonism?  Is it simply the pursuit of pleasure?  Is there more to it?  Can pleasure be pursued directly?  Is pleasure just pleasure or is there more to it?  Are there moral alternatives to hedonism?  Do these need to be pleasureless?  The answer to all of these questions and more in this episode of the Erosophia Podcast!

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Thanks to Jennifer Snow for editing the podcast.

Nudity Now Legal in Munich

by Jason Stotts

Nudity has now been legalized in Munich Germany, which is Germany’s third largest city.  The city, in what I think is a reasonable compromise, designated six different areas around the city where nudity is permitted. Additionally, the city is very tolerating of nudity and has a tradition of what they call Freikörperkultur or “free-body culture.”

I think this is a move in the right direction and I hope that more cities adopt this, especially in the US.  Frankly, I think it’s deplorable that some people think that they should be able to control the actions of others, even when they are not violating anyone’s rights. Nudity should be legal.  It most certainly shouldn’t be a “sex crime,” like it is here in the US where one can be equated with a rapist for doing no more than exposing one’s body.  The body is not always sexual. And, contrary to christianity and islam, the body is not evil.

Now, of course, if you want nudity prohibited on your private property, that is your right.  But you don’t have the right to force others to always remain clothed, even when being naked would be preferable or objectively better (like at a beach).

Making the body taboo makes us all worse off. But, today, I’ll let Lord Russell have the last word:

 The proper place for nudity is out-of-doors in the sunshine and in the water.  If our conventions allowed of this, it would soon cease to make any sexual appeal; we should all hold ourselves better, we should be healthier from the contact of air and sun with the skin, and our standards of beauty would more nearly coincide with standards of health, since they would concern themselves with the body and its carriage, not only with the face.  In this respect the practice of the Greeks was to be commended.

~ Bertrand Russell

Operation Choke Point and the Erosion of Freedom

by Jason Stotts

Today is the Fourth of July or American Independence Day. It’s a day when we celebrate the freedoms we have by enjoying spending time with our families, having barbecues, going to parades, and watching fireworks.  It’s a day when we should be contemplating what freedom is and what it took to achieve it.

This has made me think about Operation Choke Point (OCP) and the erosion of freedom that began under Bush and escalated under Obama.  In OCP, the Obama Administration and the DOJ are going after “undesirable” entities and trying to get rid of them by cutting of their access to banks and financial services.  The two most targeted areas, or at least the two areas who are vocally standing up for themselves, are porn and firearms.  I’ve already written about this in terms of porn (The Obama DOJ and the War on Porn), but what I want to point out today is something different.

In both the porn camp and the firearms camp are people who are vocally rejecting this draconian and clearly immoral use of the government to try to stomp out things with which they do not agree.  Each camp stresses that they should have the right to do the things they’re doing because they’re not harming anyone.  Each camp is, to this extent, right.  The problem is that these two camps don’t like each other and each would be happy to see the other fall to the Obama DOJ.  Of course, not everyone in each camp thinks like this, there will always be exceptions, but it holds true for the general view of each side. But each side would like to see the other fall and so refuses to come to their aid.

The problem is that if we don’t defend freedom in principle, then we can’t provide a real defense of it at all. If I think the government should stop you from what you’re doing because it offends me, then what possible objection could I offer if my own actions offended someone else?  We need to stand together to fight against this tyrannical destruction of our rights to live the kinds of lives we want to lead.  As long as we violate no one else’s rights, there should be no restrictions on our actions.

We must either stand for freedom on principle, or fall individually one by one, and this is especially true of things that we don’t like and don’t agree with.

You either stand for freedom on principle or you don’t.