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Hunt

Morality: Thought Experiment

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I obviously agree with DugNevius and CA_Scouter.

I further find that the argument that a piece of paper with a picture on it may cause a violent felony - is preposterous. If one makes that argument, then they would also have to support the contention that guns DO kill people (actually this is a much stronger contention in that the inanimate object is actually the tool for the crime's commission).

 

In fact, a rapist decides to commit the crime. It isn't an accident or something they were forced to do. It was something the rapist decided to do. If the contention was that a rapist might also look at a picture on a piece of paper, I would agree. I would also consider that perhaps most rapists would look at the picture. But to infer causality reaches beyond reason.

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Checked in quickly before running off to Pers. Mgt. . . .

 

I am a trained sexual assault volunteer. Rape is a crime that has actually has far less to do with sex than with issues of asserting power and control over someone, female or male. If an issue of Playboy was the catalyst to cause a rape, be assured that there are far more serious issues needing attention.

 

To me, this is a separate issue from the Thought Experiment Hunt presented (a belated thanks for moving this out here, Hunt!)

 

Rape is not only criminal but immoral. The violation caused by rape can having lasting consequences not only for the victim, but also for the victim's significant others.

 

I'll add this into the mix--

 

1. Can morality be legislated?

 

2. If noone is being hurt, can an act still be considered immoral?

 

Back later,

 

Busylady

 

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BusyLady took the words right out of my mouth, er fingers... I was always to understand that rape was an act of violence, not lust.

 

Oooh, I just saw a picture of a bank. Guess I'll go rob it now...

 

 

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In response to the original questions... I'm gonna agree with Ed on the basics... except for I would talk to Mr. Z. As some other people hinted, maybe he has a very clean good explanation... and maybe he is a closet porn reader... that's not really something you should bring up in public until the truth is well understood. perhaps thru talking to Mr. Z, you could make him realize the difficult situation it puts the troop in and he'll reconsider his... viewing habits...

-Curtis

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Then again there's the issue of "now you know" so what if something bad in the future happens and you knew mr. z was a possible threat to the boys?

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I hope you all dont take this personal, but if we all ever move to a "scouter.com housing development" and form a troop. I hope you understand there will be no committee or other meetings at my domicile.

 

So, if Playboy is bad, what if Cosmopolitan is found? The New Republic, Naitonal Enquirer, and then the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition ?

 

What if you notice lots of empty beer cans in the garage and a generously stocked bar?

 

What if I have an interest in greek mythology and have several nudes in my house?

 

Remember, when most pedophilia cases come up, its not the flashy out of the closet flamer that is caught nor the neighborhood drunk/ne'r do well its the straight laced devoted father and husband, I am not sure you can make a case for magazines or decorating style

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I never responded to Hunt's original question, so I am doing so now, sort of. I find it an interesting question in light of the fact that my father, who has been a Scouter since the 1940's, was also a subscriber to Playboy. Whether he still is, I do not know. I do know that he was a subscriber while he was a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Troop CC, District Activities Chair, etc. I would also say that my father was (and is) as "morally straight" as anyone I have ever known, both while other people were watching and when they weren't. So I guess my answer would have to be, the magazine doesn't necessarily mean anything.

 

This also raises another question in my mind: If Hunt's question had been asked 20 years ago, would the percentage of people who think the subscription is a problem be less than, equal to or greater than it would be today. I think it would be substantially less.

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I picked this example because I thought subscribing to Playboy would be something that many people would think is at least somewhat immoral, but that nobody would think was bad enough to make a big deal about. I could have said that Mr. Z regularly travels to Las Vega to play the slots, or any other legal act that is considered immoral by many.

I think Ed is right that almost nobody would think that moral behavior is the same as legal behavior. On the other hand, once you get beyond what is legal, the criteria people use to decide what is moral and what isn't vary widely. Unless you are a particularly devout follower of a particular religion, there is not much you can point to without some interpretations and extrapolation.

 

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Men who defend pornography are fools if not immoral. And those who claim that pornography has no affect on them are fools if not liars. Rape - it may well be an act of violence. Amd who knows what inspires pedophiles and other perverts. But let's not play games here. It's well known amongst law enforcement, and it should be common knowledge by now - these idiots usually have closets (or computers) loaded with pornography. Don't try to intellectualize it. It's plain to see. Pornography is insidious and it DOES affect men...even "good" men.

 

1. Is Mr. Z morally straight?

Its a little difficult to judge based the facts given. At the least, he seems to be playing with fire.

 

2. Do you have enough information to determine if Mr. Z is morally straight?

No.

 

3. Is Mr. Z performing his duty to God?

By appearances, Id say he is not honoring God by buying pornography. He may be doing his duty to God in other ways but this isnt one of them.

 

4. Should you say anything to Mr. Z about this?

It would depend on my relationship with him.

 

Should you report this to the Committee or the COR?

No.

 

Does it matter if you know that the CO, a church, strongly condemns such material?

Yes, but that fact alone would not necessarily dictate any particular action on my part

 

5. If you were the head of BSA, how would you go about determining whether a person with a subscription to Playboy is morally straight or not?

If I was the head of the BSA, I would condemn such magazines publicly. But, Im not sure how I would approach the leader issue if in fact I would approach this at all.

 

How would you determine whether such a person should be allowed to be a Scout leader?

Id have to be given more facts or create my own to answer that question. With the given facts, Id probably leave the issue alone unless something else came to light.

 

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1. Is Mr. Z morally straight?

Mr Z. Has been selected by the chartering organization and has filled out the adult application which has come back with no red flags.

2. Do you have enough information to determine if Mr. Z is morally straight?

Do we ever have all the information?

3. Is Mr. Z performing his duty to God?

By signing the application and by being selected by the CO,I would have thought so.

4. Should you say anything to Mr. Z about this? Should you report this to the Committee or the COR? Does it matter if you know that the CO, a church, strongly condemns such material?

I might if I thought that youth members were using his house for merit badges. I don't think this is appropriate material for young people to be looking at.

5. If you were the head of BSA, how would you go about determining whether a person with a subscription to Playboy is morally straight or not? How would you determine whether such a person should be allowed to be a Scout leader?

The selection of leaders is done by the CO, some might see Playboy subscription in a different light than others. The head of the BSA has no part in this unless the National Council were to make a policy which stated that no Playboy subscribers would be allowed membership in the BSA.

Eamonn.

 

 

 

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"Rape - it may well be an act of violence. Amd who knows what inspires pedophiles and other perverts. But let's not play games here. It's well known amongst law enforcement, and it should be common knowledge by now - these idiots usually have closets (or computers) loaded with pornography."

 

yes but nude photography can not be proven to cause any violence at all. There is no scientific evidence that seeing nude women CAUSE men to become violent, but rather violent men have it already inherent in them. The FBI agrees that nude images dont cause sex crimes. This is a false cause argument here. Millions of grown men all over the country have looked at nude photographs without ever harming another person, and its probably safe to say that most of us on this very website have seen a naked women,but how many of us are rapists? This argument is no different then saying all scout leaders are into child Porn and pedophilia because a small percentage in history have been like Douglas Smith.

 

Mr Z's possession of a playboy is in no way at all any indicator that he is dangerous to anyone.(This message has been edited by DugNevius)

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Let he who is without sin fill out the first BSA leader application. People amaze me with their self-righteous down-the-nose attitude.

 

If I read a book on Nazism, does that make me a Nazi? If I watch football on TV, does that make me a Quarterback? Just because I read Playboy doesn't make me a rapist.

 

I would rather have a Playboy reader lead my sons troop than I would a smoker. At least he doesn't bring his Playboy on camping trips and read it around the campfire or sneak out to his truck every 30 minutes to gaze at the centerfold.

 

Is he doing his duty to God? Who here is so arrogant that they can presume to know the answer to that deeply personal question?

 

Pray for him if you must. Anything beyond that is out of line and an invasion of his privacy.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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I would rather have a Playboy reader lead my sons troop than I would a smoker. At least he doesn't bring his Playboy on camping trips and read it around the campfire or sneak out to his truck every 30 minutes to gaze at the centerfold.

 

Based on the original scenario, the magazine was sitting on the bathroom counter, not hidden under the sink, while a commitee meeting was going on. I took this as an indication that Mr. Z did not care if other people knew of his interest in pornography. Certinaly if he cared, he would have put the magazine away for the evening. Of course, hiding it brings up other issues that we are not discussing (yet). Character is what happens when nobody is looking ;)

 

Scoutldr, what would make you think that he may not bring it out while sitting around the campfire (just like I may bring out a Stephen King novel) and start reading it? Many, if not all, of us have heard stories of people reading Playboy, Penthouse, etc. while sitting on an airplane. Why would sitting around a campfire be any different to somebody that does not think twice about leaving an "adult" magazine sitting on the counter in his house.

 

To answer the original questions:

1. Maybe

2. Not based on this 1 scenario.

3. Maybe

4. If I had reason to based on other dealings with him I would talk to him, but nobody else until after discussing it with him. If the CO strongly condemns such material, I would discuss it with Mr. Z regardless of previous dealings.

5. I will not be head of the BSA, nor is it the job of the BSA to make that determination, it is the role of the CO.

 

Just my $.02

 

Kurt

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OGE, good one. The alcohol thing is perhaps another question. The adult mentions during casual conversation that he occasionally allows his 19-year-old to have a sip of beer or wine. Clearly a violation of law. Now what?

Or allows his underage child to dip snuff?

Or allows his underage son to watch an 'NC-17'-rated video?

Or allows a group of his son's underage friends to watch an 'NC-17'-rated video?

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