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Old 06-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #61
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Are you talking to me?
I quoted you, didn't I?
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:30 PM   #62
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I'll never forget something I heard once: "to a liar, the world is full of liars, and to a thief, the world is full of thieves." The idea being that, in our own eyes, our dysfunctional behavior sometimes seems very normal. That doesn't make it right.

My earlier comment had nothing to do with masturbation, and more to do with the far more pervasive mentality of many that someone else is simply an object for your gratification. With the mentality of many who think it's fine to use others purely for your own sexual pleasure. It's a mentality that fuels industries from porn to sex trafficking.
So now we have jumped from looking at a woman twice to sex trafficking in barely a turn of phrase.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:44 PM   #63
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I'll never forget something I heard once: "to a liar, the world is full of liars, and to a thief, the world is full of thieves." The idea being that, in our own eyes, our dysfunctional behavior sometimes seems very normal. That doesn't make it right.
OK, seriously?

If I'm away on business and my partner whacks off and thinks of me, I don't see it as dysfunction. Sorry. Frankly I'd see the opposite as concerning.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:25 AM   #64
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OK, seriously?

If I'm away on business and my partner whacks off and thinks of me, I don't see it as dysfunction. Sorry. Frankly I'd see the opposite as concerning.
Sexual activity with your spouse/partner -- in whatever context -- is very different than collecting faces for a "spank bank."
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:26 AM   #65
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I quoted you, didn't I?
I just wanted to make sure that you'd resorted to name-calling. You've made your position about the whole issue of sin clear; I'm not sure that calling me a repressed, shamed, lying prude strengthens your case (or, frankly, elevates the discussion).
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:27 AM   #66
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I'd think that it would be safe to assume that most people masturbate (it is healthy and completely normal) and what's more, that most of those who do have at some point had a fantasy play out in their head that included whoever - their boyfriend, girlfriend, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie. And I wouldn't consider this to be a depravity either.


If I'm in a relationship with a guy, and he's fantasizing about some female celebrity on TV, I'm not going to be bothered by it one bit, because there are male celebrities I fantasize about, so, you know, don't really want to be hypocritical here.

If it's someone one or both of us knows, I would understand the concern more, but even then, that would only be an issue to deal with if they acted upon the thoughts, and how they acted upon said thoughts, not if they merely think them. And I'm not about to persecute a guy simply because he's human and thought a woman he saw was really sexy.

It's a nice idea in theory, having eyes for one person alone, but it's not exactly a realistic one. That's an issue many have with religion, on the one hand we're told we'll never be perfect and live up to *Insert deity of choice here*'s ideal, but on the other hand we also have people telling us all these behaviors we must abide by in order to even come close to his perfection. Are we forever imperfect or not? And if we are forever imperfect, why put such unrealistic behavioral standards on us if they know full well we'll fall short of them often?
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:30 AM   #67
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I'm suppose to ask for forgiveness for having thoughts pop into my head? That seems rather tyrannical of God, doesn't it?

I am saying that you have practically no control over fleeting thoughts. Let's say I meet a neighbor who has an attractive wife. Am I a sinner if my first, unchecked thought is that I would enjoy having sex with her? According to that commandment, I am.

That's what I mean when I talk about thoughtcrime.
I'm not arguing that fleeting thoughts are sinful. In my opinion, sin can't apply to things that one can't control. This is why feelings of any kind are neither right nor wrong, but are morally neutral, because you can't control them. What you choose to do with those thoughts is where sin comes in, and that can apply to internal thought processes as well as outward actions. After all, I'm sure you're not suggesting that all thought is beyond our control.

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OK, seriously?

If I'm away on business and my partner whacks off and thinks of me, I don't see it as dysfunction. Sorry. Frankly I'd see the opposite as concerning.
This is not a fair comparison. It is, with all due a respect, a conveniently self-serving one though. "Let's make it so that Nathan is saying my partner/spouse is sinning if they are fantasizing about me while he/she is masturbating. Then we can all congratulate ourselves on what a prude he is."

A fairer comparison would be "If I'm making a presentation at work and my colleague is fantasizing about me naked while I'm talking, and then excuses himself to the restroom to complete the mental fantasy, I don't see it as dysfunction." Such an argument would at least not be misrepresenting Nathan and challenging what he's actually saying rather than a useful straw man.

I'd like to go ahead and play devils advocate (just a figure of speech, everyone.. ), and argue Nathan's point, and then provide a counterargument. It is totally fine to engage in intentional prolonged fantasizing about anyone that I find attractive as long as they don't know about it. How can a person be held responsible for their private thought life about others. Until they come up with a machine that makes it possible for our thoughts to be broadcast, where's the harm if every time I see so-and-so I think about what I'd like to do to him/her.

My counterargument would be:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
― Lao Tzu

(I'm actually not at all sure Lao Tzu said that. The Google search I did came up with a variety of sources for the quote. I have a feeling "Unknown" is the most likely author)

My point is that this quote is not reserved for repressed, prudish, fundamentalist Christians. Outside this context most of us would see at least some sense in this idea.

To me the question that each of us should ask ourselves is at what point do our thoughts become words (think Harry talking about Meghan in this seasons Mad Man) or actions (I find my eyes wander to her breasts or ass instead of her eyes when we're talking), and when that is problematic. To simply raise these issues is not cause for eye-rolling and scorn.

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And I'm not about to persecute a guy simply because he's human and thought a woman he saw was really sexy.
Again, a gross oversimplification.

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It's a nice idea in theory, having eyes for one person alone, but it's not exactly a realistic one. That's an issue many have with religion, on the one hand we're told we'll never be perfect and live up to *Insert deity of choice here*'s ideal, but on the other hand we also have people telling us all these behaviors we must abide by in order to even come close to his perfection. Are we forever imperfect or not? And if we are forever imperfect, why put such unrealistic behavioral standards on us if they know full well we'll fall short of them often?
"Shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars" blah, blah, blah. . .

Seriously though, the question of perfection is where you really do start to see quite bit of disagreement among people of faith. Probably Nathan and I would disagree on it for example, since we come from different denominational backgrounds.

Beyond whether "perfection" is possible or not though, is really the question of whether "pretty good" is good enough. I think most of us think "Hey, look I'm a pretty good person. I may not be perfect, but I'm basically a good person. . .'don't cheat on my taxes, don't cheat on my girl, I've got values that would make the White House jealous'".

To be honest, I think most people on this world are pretty good. There's a few truly evil types and a few real saints, but most people are basically good. The question is: How is that working out, this world full of pretty good people?

When I look at the world I don't think it's working out so well. Pretty good, somehow, for whatever reason, isn't apparently good enough. And that's where the religious person's discussion of sin begins. IMHO.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:58 AM   #68
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This is not a fair comparison. It is, with all due a respect, a conveniently self-serving one though. "Let's make it so that Nathan is saying my partner/spouse is sinning if they are fantasizing about me while he/she is masturbating. Then we can all congratulate ourselves on what a prude he is."

A fairer comparison would be "If I'm making a presentation at work and my colleague is fantasizing about me naked while I'm talking, and then excuses himself to the restroom to complete the mental fantasy, I don't see it as dysfunction." Such an argument would at least not be misrepresenting Nathan and challenging what he's actually saying rather than a useful straw man.
I think it's fair in the sense that it's related to a prior post in which I specifically brought up people fantasizing about their boyfriends or girlfriends while masturbating and Nathan, in response to that said that just because we don't think it's dysfunctional doesn't mean it's so. I also included a couple of celebrities there, so maybe he skipped past the partners and concentrated on them, but it seemed to me that he was lumping any sort of fantasy in with inappropriate sexual objectification and I don't agree with it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:13 AM   #69
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I think it's fair in the sense that it's related to a prior post in which I specifically brought up people fantasizing about their boyfriends or girlfriends while masturbating and Nathan, in response to that said that just because we don't think it's dysfunctional doesn't mean it's so. I also included a couple of celebrities there, so maybe he skipped past the partners and concentrated on them, but it seemed to me that he was lumping any sort of fantasy in with inappropriate sexual objectification and I don't agree with it.

I understand now. I went back followed the series of posts and I can see why you responded as you did. I agree with you. I suspect Nathan actually does too, and it was just a misunderstanding. But I'll let him speak for himself.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:59 AM   #70
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I understand now. I went back followed the series of posts and I can see why you responded as you did. I agree with you. I suspect Nathan actually does too, and it was just a misunderstanding. But I'll let him speak for himself.
Agree completely.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:05 PM   #71
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I just wanted to make sure that you'd resorted to name-calling. You've made your position about the whole issue of sin clear; I'm not sure that calling me a repressed, shamed, lying prude strengthens your case (or, frankly, elevates the discussion).
you realize you did the exact same thing with your post, right? The only difference is that I didn't bother pussyfooting around like you did
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #72
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A fairer comparison would be "If I'm making a presentation at work and my colleague is fantasizing about me naked while I'm talking, and then excuses himself to the restroom to complete the mental fantasy, I don't see it as dysfunction." Such an argument would at least not be misrepresenting Nathan and challenging what he's actually saying rather than a useful straw man.
Come on dude. If antitram's scenario is unfair (where you conveniently left out the part about fantasizing about Angelina Jolie or George Clooney, which completely changes the context), then implying that we mean it's alright to excuse yourself from a meeting to go knock one out about your coworker in the bathroom is completely distorting the argument.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:15 PM   #73
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My counterargument would be:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
― Lao Tzu
This is nothing more than a slippery slope argument wrapped up in a fancy quote (Or it might be a Phantom Menace line). Either way, I don't buy it and there is nothing wrong with fantasizing about anyone sexually. Most people have more than a fleeing sexual thought about other people and we've yet to descend into a rape based society
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:17 PM   #74
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I'm not arguing that fleeting thoughts are sinful. In my opinion, sin can't apply to things that one can't control. This is why feelings of any kind are neither right nor wrong, but are morally neutral, because you can't control them. What you choose to do with those thoughts is where sin comes in, and that can apply to internal thought processes as well as outward actions. After all, I'm sure you're not suggesting that all thought is beyond our control.
I would argue that finding someone sexually attractive and not being able to stifle the thoughts after the first one is still completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of (and nothing to try to repress). Think about how damaging it must be to either push those thoughts into the recesses of your mind, or continually beat yourself up (as opposed to off) because they keep popping up
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:30 PM   #75
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I've got an honest question for you guys: What would you suggest someone think about while masturbating to avoid god's wrath?
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