Sure, I expect that Objectivists would be of the opinion that prostitution should be legal. But do they consider it moral?
asked Sep 25 '10 at 11:17
For a good discussion of this, see Rationally Selfish Q&A #004 on NoodleFood, where Diana answers the question: "Is it immoral to have a sexually-oriented job, such as stripper or pornography actress/actor? Is it wrong of me to enjoy having a sexually-oriented job?" Key quote:
[T]he sex worker is deeply warping his/her own view of sexuality -- such that the reality of sex is smutty and bestial, and the spiritual meaning of sex is mere pretense. A person who develops that view of sex closes off his/her capacity for truly deep and meaningful sexual relationships. Given the value of such relationships, I can't but regard that as self-destructive.
answered Sep 25 '10 at 13:18
Prostitution usually refers to seeking sex for money, or vice versa, or facilitating both (i.e., as a pimp or madam). The traditional objection to prostitution is that sex is bad (though assuredly tempting), prostitution is sex, and therefore prostitution is bad. Over the centuries, this has created an atmosphere in which many tend to assume that if one regards sex as good, then one logically would also regard prostitution as good.
Objectivism, however, regards sex as too good to squander on prostitution. Ayn Rand's basic view of sex is well described in the collection of excerpts contained in The Ayn Rand Lexicon in the entry on "Sex." The application of that view to prostitution should be straightforward.
One may dispute many aspects of Ayn Rand's view of sex, but the essence of it -- i.e., sex as good -- is most definitely a key part of Objectivism. Indeed, sexual relationships offer the potential for immense personal happiness for rational producers and achievers, as Ayn Rand concretizes in her novels. Imagine trying to achieve anything close to that potential by having sex with someone who wants only money in return, and who must consciously strive not to become emotionally close to the "clients," lest it detract from ability to offer an equally enticing "show" to all paying customers. One must blank out the ugliness of the psychological context in order to "enjoy" sex with a prostitute, and the enjoyment can never be more than purely physical and temporary.
Morality in Objectivism refers to "a code of values accepted by choice," to guide the life of a rational being. To judge the moral status of prostitution, all one need do is ask whether and how it serves the life of a rational being, especially a rational person's deepest emotional needs and potential happiness.
answered Sep 28 '10 at 01:48
Ideas for Life ♦
Until the person is mature and integrated enough to be romantic, sex is just an animal satisfaction. It is still a satisfaction. Once the person does develop the understanding and firmness of character to be capable of romance, their sexual appetites will require the romantic dimension.
answered Jan 04 '11 at 19:11
Mindy Newton ♦