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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Oldest Profession

Advocates of prostitution put forward some weak arguments. The oldest profession in the world argument erroneously suggests that just because the practice exists and has done for a long time, it is automatically justified. Another says that more marriages would break up if not for sex services. A third says that the incidence of rape would increase if men couldn't pay for sex.These are fallacious arguments which are easily dismissed by virtue of simple logic.

The best argument in favour of prostitution is the exercise of free will in a free market economy. If an adult chooses to sell themselves for sex, we may question their motives, be perplexed about how anyone could do that, think it morally outrageous and wrong, but in the end we must allow the choice. If sex is simply another service, and the sale of it is legal, then what is the problem? Is anybody getting hurt? Is anybody being taken advantage of? Deceived? Defrauded? If a person chooses to pay for sex we must allow that choice as well, despite any moral objections we may have.

It could be argued that, like the sex worker, the labourer uses his body to make money, as does the sportsperson and the model. The labourer requires strength to carry out his duties, the sportsperson strength and skill, while the model requires beauty. The sex worker must have all three to execute their role and earn their rightful dues. Having sex with strangers for money is in every way, but one, the same as every other so called respectable job, isn't it?

Many argue that it's not the same because we are talking about the most intimate form of human relations and the most private expression of love, but obviously, sex, for many others, does not fit that description. Sex has other objectives. It can be incredibly selfish, and it can be harmful. It can be a tool which is used to achieve some other purpose besides the expression of love. It can be used as weapon. No matter how it is used, ultimately we are left with the argument that what consenting adults do in their private lives is their own business.

As a Christian I accept the Bible's teaching that the only moral context for sexual relations is marriage, which is defined as being between a man and a woman. In such an exclusive and committed relationship, love can be expressed through sex. Adultery is condemned, as is fornication and homosexual practice. One of the things I really love about the bible is that it not only talks about the way things should be, but also the way things are. The chasm between what is and what should be causes us humans to suffer emotional pain.

The bottom line is we must respect the right of others to make choices about how they live, how they work and how they play. This includes sex workers. The consequences of their choices may be unfortunate and regrettable, or not, but they still have the right to choose. God gave us all free will. People are amazingly complex and the reasons we do, or don't do certain things, are no less complicated.

I finish with a quote from a friend of mine, "Each person needs to consider their actions, beliefs and addictions for themselves. My role is not to judge them, rather to walk beside them as best as I can... To be God's hands and feet to all people. I'll leave judging to God."

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