baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

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baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:41 am

Are there any Baha'i writings addressing the issue of pornography specifically? If so, I'm interested to see in what manner it is spoken against (as I can imagine).

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:51 pm

Not as far as I know. The Writings don't tell us "this is wrong" for every single thing. From our understanding of the Writings, we already know what the answer is.

We can put many different quotes together to fully understand what a chaste and holy life entails.

Baha'u'llah:

"Disencumber yourselves of all attachment to this world and the vanities thereof. Beware that ye approach them not, inasmuch as they prompt you to walk after your own lusts and covetous desires, and hinder you from entering the straight and glorious Path."

Viewing pornography is walking "after your own lusts and covetous desires" in my opinion. The Guardian states:

"Outside of marital life there can be no lawful or healthy use of the sex impulse."

Viewing pornography is a form of sexual gratification. It is not the same thing, but it pollutes your mind and makes you less spiritual. Don't believe me? How many people, after viewing pornography, become revitalized with spirituality and go to read prayers and study the Word of God? We are missing the whole point if just "abide" by the Laws but not by exhortations.

Also the Guardian states:

"Amongst the many other evils afflicting society in this spiritual low-water mark in history is the question of immorality, and overemphasis of sex."

Just look at the media. You cannot avoid sex. It's always in movies, music, magazines, etc. On a personal note, I used to enjoy going over to the magazine rack to look at body building magazines (being a body builder), but even those have become polluted with pictures of loose women. When you see such things, you know what Shoghi Effendi meant by "prostitution of the arts and literature," and it is in fact very literal.

Shoghi Effendi:

"All of them, be they men or women, must, at this threatening hour when the lights of religion are fading out, and its restraints are one by one being abolished, pause to examine themselves, scrutinize their conduct, and with characteristic resolution arise to purge the life of their community of every trace of moral laxity that might stain the name, or impair the integrity, of so holy and precious a Faith."


Think about it. If someone who is not a Baha'i finds out that you are one and he sees you looking at pornography on your computer, what is he going to think? He may associate that bad action with the Baha'i Faith, even though he shouldn't. I usually like to think of it this way: would 'Abdu'l-Baha do what you are doing? Or, would you be embarrassed if 'Abdu'l-Baha was visiting your house and caught you looking at pornography on your computer? Now, 'Abdu'l-Baha is even closer to us and so we should take that into account before we do something. That's just what I think.


Also, if someone could locate this, I believe Shoghi Effendi stated somewhere that Baha'is should not read love novels, meaning corrupt love novels that raise passions. If anyone can locate that I'd appreciate it...

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:55 pm

Hmmm, out of curiosity: what is the Baha'i view on viewing pornography "for fun" after you're married, say, with your spouse? Not even alone, but viewing as a couple.

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:55 pm

Forgot to add: I already have an idea of whether this is good or not, but I want to see what others say about it.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:50 pm

My friend,

What others have to say about this matter, I believe, should be in accordance with the Writings. That's what I hope I am doing.

About your question if married people can view pornography together. Well, let me put it this way: you certainly won't find yourself burning in hell in the next world if you did. However, as far as I can tell, you probably shouldn't. In the Hidden Words, Baha'u'llah states: "Hear no evil, and see no evil, abase not thyself, neither sigh nor weep." I take, for example, "hear no evil" to mean not to listen to others backbiting, or not to listen to messages that go contrary to our beliefs. "See no evil" to me would mean, in this case, not viewing fornicators engage in intercourse. I'm not married so I'd have no idea if that kind of thing "improves" a marriage, but still to the best of my knowledge I would think that part of keeping the mind pure would include not viewing others engaging in sin. Watching pornography gets you more into the carnal aspects of sex, rather than its main purpose which is to bring man and wife closer. That’s just what I think, however, I could be completely wrong and am always open to correction.

anoinette

Porn

Postby anoinette » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:18 pm




I have a problem with porn. I didn't like it when I was married and I wasn't a Baha'i at the time.To be paid for having sex and filming it is something I don't understand. :oops:
he ones that I did see were under aged girks which is also against what I feel is right, It is exploting the girl.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:42 pm

well, i would not hesitate to call porn itself evil. anoinette, you are right, it is much worse if the porn involves underage girls, but that's the kind of stuff porn addicts like anway.

you must be a man and fight your perverse, animal nature! that is what i would call a real man. a man that gives in and becomes a slave to his passions is, as the Writings state, not a man but a mere animal. in fact, in such a case the animal is better than the man.

now we all have our weaknesses. through prayer we should try to overcome them. we are not "bad" people because of our weaknesses—that is part of being human. but if we do not make any effort to improve ourselves, then how can we say we are better than animals?

antoinette

Porn

Postby antoinette » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:36 pm



As Baha'i we are not to judge a person for his actions. It of course doesn't mean we will do it.
the world is changing daily. Slowly, but it is still changing. The views of a lot of the people of the world are trying to grow up. The issues are not always clear as to what is best.
One group I am in , we talk about unconditional love and what that means to each individual.
So....... Again we must not judge or look down on anyone since we do not walk in their shoes

I understand that Porn to some degree is a form of expression and that since we are in the free world we can't take their right away to decide for themselves.
Of course that means that I also have the choice NOT to watch it.
We all have to look at the moral issues in everything that we do.
Antoinette

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:59 pm

Yes, you are correct Antoinette, we should not judge others. We should only worry about ourselves, because each person will be accountable for his own actions before God, and not for the actions of others. Baha'u'llah, in the Hidden Words, states:

"O SON OF MAN!

Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness."



So we can generally say things like what I said, "porn is evil," but that doesn't mean we can automatically draw the conclusion that a person who is viewing porn is evil. Like you said, we don't walk in other people's shoes, and we should always keep this in mind before judging others. We all have our weaknesses, and it is best if we focus on our own.

Antoinette

Porn

Postby Antoinette » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:36 pm

Yes. I have a dear friend of whom I adore and though he is not a Baha'i I respect him and love him very much. We do not have the right to judge, but love them anyway. I don't always agree with my friends decisions, however they are his decisions to make . Not mine.


KY

Re: Porn

Postby KY » Fri Nov 25, 2005 3:28 pm

anoinette wrote:

I have a problem with porn. I didn't like it when I was married and I wasn't a Baha'i at the time.To be paid for having sex and filming it is something I don't understand. :oops:
he ones that I did see were under aged girks which is also against what I feel is right, It is exploting the girl.


woa! ok hold on a sec. Pornographic material which portrays underaged persons is illegal. I'll say it again, ILLEGAL. It isn't "what we feel is right" it is illegal. Say it with me: ill - e - gal. It is also illegal to portray mature persons as though they were underage. ok? Glad that's clear.

Now for the main event. Before you can even talk about this you have to define clearly what you mean by pornography. What you may consider pornographic may not be what others do. Take for example someone from Utah and someone from the south of France. Their views are radically different.

Second, pornography (the legal kind) does not "exploit girls". In fact, if you think about it for a bit you will acknowledge that it is the buyer/user of pornography who is being exploited. The people creating the material are well compensated financially - one of the few jobs in which women get paid much more than men btw.

Third, pornography is not explicitely mentioned in the Faith (much like homosexuality). And Shoghi Effendi's words (or his secretaries words) are not Baha'i law. The Guardian's sphere of authority excludes creating, modifying or eliminating Baha'i laws. So quoting him re some vague 50's notion of puritanism is not really helpful.

Instead of trying to find some way for the Bahai Faith to regulate each and everything in a person's life with do's and don'ts why don't we concentrate on its mystical elements? why not build a communtiy that will attract the world?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to write an email to the House of Justice to inquire as to whether it is sacriligous to eat overcooked basmati rice with a 4 pronged fork or whether a spoon (wooden or ssteel?) would be the Baha'i way to go.

Guest

Re: Porn

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:33 pm

KY wrote:Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to write an email to the House of Justice to inquire as to whether it is sacriligous to eat overcooked basmati rice with a 4 pronged fork or whether a spoon (wooden or ssteel?) would be the Baha'i way to go.

+1 for the wooden spoon, defo. wooden spoon FTW.

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Re: Porn

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:40 pm

KY wrote:woa! ok hold on a sec. Pornographic material which portrays underaged persons is illegal. I'll say it again, ILLEGAL. It isn't "what we feel is right" it is illegal. Say it with me: ill - e - gal. It is also illegal to portray mature persons as though they were underage. ok? Glad that's clear


So you are saying kiddy porn would have been okay if it were legal, because we might "feel" it is right?



KY wrote:Second, pornography (the legal kind) does not "exploit girls". In fact, if you think about it for a bit you will acknowledge that it is the buyer/user of pornography who is being exploited. The people creating the material are well compensated financially - one of the few jobs in which women get paid much more than men btw.


And women get paid more than the men because the men would even do it for free. So, no, on the contrary, the buyer/user is no exploited, he is sitting on his couch with a big smile on his face. In my opinion, no one is really exploited, not even the girl, because she knows what she's getting into (no pun intended).


KY wrote:Third, pornography is not explicitely mentioned in the Faith (much like homosexuality). And Shoghi Effendi's words (or his secretaries words) are not Baha'i law. The Guardian's sphere of authority excludes creating, modifying or eliminating Baha'i laws. So quoting him re some vague 50's notion of puritanism is not really helpful.


And the Writings also don't explicitly say you can't eat your wife's feces, so I must then conclude that it is okay to do so (and I'll also forgot all the Baha'i principles because they don't address this issue directly) :roll:


KY wrote:Instead of trying to find some way for the Bahai Faith to regulate each and everything in a person's life with do's and don'ts why don't we concentrate on its mystical elements? why not build a communtiy that will attract the world?


KY, if you read the first post, someone asked "Are there any Baha'i writings addressing the issue of pornography specifically?" I think he deserves an answer. It's kind of hard to be "mystical" while getting up every day to look at porn. And no, you don't need to write the UHJ about that.


KY wrote:Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to write an email to the House of Justice to inquire as to whether it is sacriligous to eat overcooked basmati rice with a 4 pronged fork or whether a spoon (wooden or ssteel?) would be the Baha'i way to go.


It's too bad that wasn't funny, because I heard God loves laughter.

KY

Re: Porn

Postby KY » Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:59 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:So you are saying kiddy porn would have been okay if it were legal, because we might "feel" it is right?


Thanks for the attempt to put words in my mouth but its kind of full right now...mmph! chocolate cake...yummy. Now, what were you saying? Uh, right. I have no idea why you want to make kiddie porn legal, personally I'm against that so we wouldn't be able to hug and sing kumbaya on that issue. I think most people would also agree with me and disagree with you on that point. But hey, unity in diversity and all that.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:And the Writings also don't explicitly say you can't eat your wife's feces, so I must then conclude that it is okay to do so (and I'll also forgot all the Baha'i principles because they don't address this issue directly)


ok you're officially weirding me out now. --slowly moving away from the computer -- If you want to get all wacky and go totally fundamentalist, then actually according to Baha'i scripture you can eat whatever is pleasing to you (halal) since whatever is not pleasing to you is forbidden (haram). So umm... really, its um...you know, up to you...according to the Kitab-i-Aqdas. But again, I think you'll prolly be in the minority on this issue also.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:KY, if you read the first post, someone asked "Are there any Baha'i writings addressing the issue of pornography specifically?" I think he deserves an answer. It's kind of hard to be "mystical" while getting up every day to look at porn. And no, you don't need to write the UHJ about that.


ummm...yeah thanks for the new offer of some new words to be stuffed in my mouth but I'm really full. Thanksgiving meal and all that - I really shouldn't have eaten that much. My point was that instead of asking what does the Faith say about this esoteric topic or about that minutia, ad naseum maybe we should you know, use our noggin - the one God gave us. And you know, live our lives as Baha'is...trying our best to be Baha'is and follow Abdu'l-Baha's example.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:It's too bad that wasn't funny, because I heard God loves laughter.


No worries mate. To find it funny you have to have a sense of humour. But you've heard correctly. Baha'u'llah says one of God's names is the Humorist. Doubt me? Go ahead and make a plan in life and then listen very closely...if you listen closely enough you will hear the sound of muffled giggling coming from up there. Try it. Never fails to work.

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Re: Porn

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:25 pm

KY wrote:Third, pornography is not explicitely mentioned in the Faith (much like homosexuality). And Shoghi Effendi's words (or his secretaries words) are not Baha'i law. The Guardian's sphere of authority excludes creating, modifying or eliminating Baha'i laws. So quoting him re some vague 50's notion of puritanism is not really helpful.


Pornography is a "sexual vice." Period. No matter if it's a 2 y.o. girl or a 101 y.o. granny. So yeah, Shoghi Effendi's words "are not Baha'i law," but there's something called exhortations.

Therefore, according to the Baha'i exhortations and the many references to "sexual vices" that the Guardian makes, an intelligent person would certainly conclude that pornography is indeed bad. Case closed.

KY

Re: Porn

Postby KY » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:12 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Case closed.


Except that we still don't have a definition of pornography.

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Re: Porn

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:20 pm

KY wrote:
Baha'i Warrior wrote:Case closed.


Except that we still don't have a definition of pornography.



Here is the definition of pornography: images/videos (esp. pornographic ones) that raise the (animal) passions. You can figure that out if you read the Writings.

KY

Re: Porn

Postby KY » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:34 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
KY wrote:
Baha'i Warrior wrote:Case closed.


Except that we still don't have a definition of pornography.



Here is the definition of pornography: images/videos (esp. pornographic ones) that raise the (animal) passions. You can figure that out if you read the Writings.


Thanks for proving my point: its subjective. I could look at La Maja Desnuda and appreciate it for its beautiful composition and lighting technique but someone else will find...how do you put it? their animal passions? oohh lala.

In Italy no one will bat an eyelash at a Cosmo (mag) but in Saudi Arabia you could get your hands (and maybe nads) chopped off for reading it.

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Re: Porn

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:09 pm

Ok, you win. It's subjective, if you want to call it that. So if La Mojo Disuni doesn't raise your animal passions—and you know what I mean by that—then it's okay. So one of those classic paintings of a naked lady holding flowers isn't going to be harmful, or an image of a naked women in an anatomy book. But explicit images and video smut of women being defiled—based on what I have read in the Writings—made and shown with the intention of raising "carnal desires," as Shoghi Effendi puts it, is wrong:

"It demands daily vigilance in the control of one's carnal desires and corrupt inclinations."

So if you view porn and find that as a result you have lost your control over your carnal desires and corrupt inclinations, then, according to Shoghi Effendi, it is bad for your spiritual health. This is what I get out of the Writings, and you certainly don't have to agree with my conclusions because I don't have an explicit statement saying "Pornography is bad." Obviously, as I have demonstrated, there are different levels of "pornography," and where you draw the line most likely will be decided by the House in the future.

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I'd like to add that...

Postby temersonjr » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:14 pm

...I think, for the most part, we know what constitutes porn and what doesn't. Pornography is by definition appealing to our animal nature, the intent of pornography is to appeal to carnal desires absent of any spiritual/artisitc value and is not subjective. The original question dealt with pornography, not whether there is value or not in erotic art. There is an intrinsic difference between the INTENT of a Jenna Jamison film and a Fellini film. The question of what constitutes erotic art is a different discussion -- still possibly valuable and should be discussed, but that is not the question being asked.

I believe that Baha'i Warrior has adequately answered the original question of what the Baha'i writings imply about pornography (though I question the value judgement of "porn is evil" - I think "not conducive to spiritual development" is more accurate). Dragging this discussion through child porn, erotic art, what constitutes porn, etc. is straying from the topic.

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Re: I'd like to add that...

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:02 pm

temersonjr wrote:I believe that Baha'i Warrior has adequately answered the original question of what the Baha'i writings imply about pornography (though I question the value judgement of "porn is evil"


'Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions:

    "Nevertheless a doubt occurs to the mind--that is, scorpions and serpents are poisonous. Are they good or evil, for they are existing beings? Yes, a scorpion is evil in relation to man; a serpent is evil in relation to man; but in relation to themselves they are not evil, for their poison is their weapon, and by their sting they defend themselves. But as the elements of their poison do not agree with our elements--that is to say, as there is antagonism between these different elements, therefore, this antagonism is evil; but in reality as regards themselves they are good.

    "The epitome of this discourse is that it is possible that one thing in relation to another may be evil, and at the same time within the limits of its proper being it may not be evil. Then it is proved that there is no evil in existence; all that God created He created good. This evil is nothingness; so death is the absence of life. When man no longer receives life, he dies. Darkness is the absence of light: when there is no light, there is darkness. Light is an existing thing, but darkness is nonexistent. Wealth is an existing thing, but poverty is nonexisting."



Porn = evil in relation to man

Porn by itself is not evil because locked up in a basement it can do no harm

But there really exists no evil.

So

"This evil is nothingness."

Therefore

Porn = nothingness

nothingness = bad, because it is the absence of good.

speaking in terms of its relation to man

That's how I look at it

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a moment of time frozen in a picture

Postby majnun » Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:56 am

Again, relations with pictures, real of mental,
is treated in valley no 2. After the unification (tauhid)
process is completed (valley no 4), pictures,
or moving pictures, even commercial adds, wont have
any effect on you, they wont either excite nor repulse you,
because you now know deeply that it is only a picture.

People who did not realized these small first steps
react to whatever is aroung them, moving of not,
because of reasons we dont explain, because it is
a part of the educative course titled: The valleys.

Show a picture of a person to a tribe in deep africa,
and they may cook you for supper, or elect you as
the medecine man of the village.
Taking pictures, and
moving picture, was a trend around 1965, but it rapidly decayed.
Maybe men are tired of always looking at their
physical self with pictures. Maybe it depends on the evolution
of some groups.
Young singers showing their bodies
to attract attention, maybe this is only a temporary trend too.

Anyways, i dont listen to Mariah Cary nor to Céline.


Majnun.

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a moment of time frozen in a picture

Postby majnun » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:00 am

Again, relations with pictures, real of mental,
is treated in valley no 2. After the unification (tauhid)
process is completed (valley no 4), pictures,
or moving pictures, even commercial adds, wont have
any effect on you, they wont either excite nor repulse you,
because you now know deeply that it is only a picture.

People who did not realized these small first steps
react to whatever is aroung them, moving of not,
because of reasons we dont explain, because it is
a part of the educative course titled: The valleys.

Show a picture of a person to a tribe in deep africa,
and they may cook you for supper, or elect you as
the medecine man of the village.
Taking pictures, and
moving picture, was a trend around 1965, but it rapidly decayed.
Maybe men are tired of always looking at their
physical self with pictures. Maybe it depends on the evolution
of some groups.
Young singers showing their bodies
to attract attention, maybe this is only a temporary trend too.

Anyways, i dont listen to Mariah Cary nor to Céline, nor the
Jackson girl pop-ups. What is in a boob ? Oh it's booby trapped !

How about Enya for a change,
for harmonious melodies and decent songs ?

Majnun.

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Re: a moment of time frozen in a picture

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:25 am

majnun wrote:Again, relations with pictures, real of mental,
is treated in valley no 2. After the unification (tauhid)
process is completed (valley no 4), pictures,
or moving pictures, even commercial adds, wont have
any effect on you, they wont either excite nor repulse you,
because you now know deeply that it is only a picture.


and if someone says something to anger you, you should never react because they are only words. but very few people can do that all the time

but majnun, if we took a scan of your brain while you viewed certain pictures that "excite or repulse," i promise you that we would see some sort of neural response to those pictures (maybe unless you have a damaged amygdala or whatever).

so therefore, pictures are not only pictures. to understand this, you have to get out of the Valleys for a moment and check out some other baha'i texts. if you want to understand, that is

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:21 pm

Pictures, moving or not, have no influence
on a baha'i who realized the valleys. Unless
he only "think" he realized them.

So does television and other earth stuff.
It does mean a thing for a bahai on the
right way. The bahai vision distinguishes
the real from the unreal in the instant.

Majnun.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:17 pm

Majnun, you are constantly, deliberately forming opinions that go contrary to the Writings and the guidance from the House. If you call yourself a Baha'i, I would suggest you find out what it means to be a Baha'i and try to follow that. You might need to look at something other than the Valleys for that.

Let's say for the sake of argument that you are right, that "pictures, moving or not, have no influence on a baha'i who realized the valleys." That is still no good, because as we know from 'Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions, the absence of good is nothingness: "Good exists; evil is nonexistent" (p. 264).

Opium in itself is not evil, but when a person uses opium, in relation to him the opium is now evil:

"The epitome of this discourse is that it is possible that one thing in relation to another may be evil, and at the same time within the limits of its proper being it may not be evil."

So viewing pornography is nonexistent and "evil" in relation to the man viewing it. You cannot look at pornography any other way. "Evil" and "nonexistent" are not strong enough words. They lead someone on the right path onto the wrong path. They are material things that tear you away from God and kill your soul. 'Abdu'l-Baha says that we have 2 natures: that of the spiritual and that of the animal. When a person is not spiritual, he is worse than an animal. Viewing porn does not keep one in a spiritual state. The only people that would try to combat what I'm saying are those who feverishly view pornography every day and want to fool themselves into thinking that they are doing nothing wrong viewing porn. I hate to break that to you. If you are going to look at porn that is one thing, but keep it to yourself. Don't try to make other Baha'is think that it is something that is okay because it is very clear that we are exhorted to have a stainless and pure minds, so that we may return to God that way. Any Baha'i that tries to make other Baha'i believe that a sin such as viewing porn is "okay" is doing a great disservice to not only himself, but to others also, and causing much harm. This cannot be overstated.

Again, I would encourage the Baha’is and non-Baha’is on this message board not to take anything I say or anything someone else says who claims to be a Baha’i as true. Always go to the Writings. My biggest mistake when I was a junior youth was to look at other Baha’i youth doing bad things and assure myself that since they are doing it, it must not be wrong. At the back of my mind I knew I was only fooling myself. So the conclusion is always investigate for yourself, and educate yourself!

CJ

Postby CJ » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:01 am

i had to reply to this subject and say that in a way I do think that pornography exploits women, in the way that we know that there are not as great job opportunities for women right now as there are for men, and for this reason, many women get into this business when they wouldn't have if there were better opportunities for them. as well, there is such a huge pressure in many parts of the world for women to be seen as objects with their only worth as trophies and only value in their looks, so many women, I believe, look to this type of job for a sense of self. not all women, but a lot. this is what many men need to understand. would you be okay with your daughter, mother or wife doing porn? then why would you accept to watch someone else's daughter do this? and if you're married, why would you ever want to look at another woman other than your wife in a lustful way? because really whoever you're watching, when you watch porn, is someone else's wife or husband and if they're not, how do you know that God doesn't have a plan for them that doesn't involve you rubbing yourself to their naked image?

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:41 pm

CJ wrote:i had to reply to this subject and say that in a way I do think that pornography exploits women, in the way that we know that there are not as great job opportunities for women right now as there are for men, and for this reason, many women get into this business when they wouldn't have if there were better opportunities for them.


If I was a women I don't think I'd sell myself for cash and have some fat bald guy all over me even if my son was dying of hunger. I'd go flip some burgers, clean some toilets, maybe even steal, but not that.

CJ you make some very insightful points. The girl you are lusting over is going to be someone's wife someday, or she's someone's daughter at least. If you think to yourself that she could have been your daughter, then you might think twice before being a pervert. That is a thing that makes a man very angry, to know that another man is lusting over his wife (I don't have a wife but I'd sure as hell feel that way :evil: ).

Anyway, at least for men one of the biggest tests God has given them is women.

—Warrior

Chad
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Re: baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

Postby Chad » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:02 am

Muhammad, pbuh, said that beauty clears one's eyesight (Al-Kafi). The human body is very beautiful, so I think it can rightly be portrayed as art in the nude. However, this profession as an artist would need to take into consideration the values of their locality and the artist's true intentions would need to be pure.

There is a big difference between porn and nude art, and because the Bab , in the Arabic Bayan, declared masturbation forgiven by God, I don't know if a Bahai would necessarily pervert the purity of nude art and the purity of masturbation by mixing them.

Muhammad, pbuh, said that masturbation is just having sex with oneself (and also sanctioned it) (Al-Kafi), so would masturbation while looking at nude art be dwelling in the Second Valley? I think it would be left to the individual conscience. But Ruhi Book 1, Unit 1, says that a Bahai would not read pornography.

People in public dwell so actively in the Third Valley as well as when teaching the Faith, through words, dwells in the Third Valley, so that such masturbation might put one into a realm of consciousness where they are seen as outsiders.

Fadl
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Re: baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

Postby Fadl » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:33 pm

Here are some quotes on the subject:

Masturbation is clearly not a proper use of the sex instinct, as this is understood in the Faith. Moreover it involves . . . mental fantasies, while Bahá’u’lláh, in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, has exhorted us not to indulge our passions and in one of His well-known Tablets ‘Abdu’l-Bahá encourages us to keep our “secret thoughts pure”. -Universal House of Justice, 1981, Lights of Guidance, p. 364

"God forgiveth you your nocturnal emissions and masturbation. But know ye the value of your seed, for your seed is the cause of the creation of one who worshippeth God. Keep your seed in the exquisite place. The purpose of this command is that perhaps the fruit of your existence will come to the aid of the religion of God. When semen cometh out by your own free will, make the ablutions, prostrate yourself and say this verse nineteen times: 'Thou art the Most Pure and Sublime, O my God! Thou art free from error and lack. There is none other God save Thee! I proclaim Thy sublimity, and I am of those who know that Thou art the Pure.'" -Báb, Arabic Bayan, Vahid 8, Báb 10; provisional translation
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

brettz9
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Re:

Postby brettz9 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:28 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Also, if someone could locate this, I believe Shoghi Effendi stated somewhere that Baha'is should not read love novels, meaning corrupt love novels that raise passions. If anyone can locate that I'd appreciate it...


Quite a belated reply, but FWIW, and if for those coming by search engine if nothing else, here is the quote:

"The subjects to be taught in children's school are many...the avoidance of materialistic works that are current among those who see only natural causation, and tales of love, and books that arouse the passions. To sum up, let all the lessons be entirely devoted to the acquisition of human perfections. Here, then, in brief are directions for the curriculum of these schools."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, from a Tablet to an individual believer, published in "The Baha'i World: 1972-1976, vol. 16, pp. 36-37, at http://bahai-library.com/compilation_wr ... iting#2221 or http://bahai-library.com/compilation_bahai_education#77 )


You may be interested in the following, which includes one elucidation from the House on the above passage (in how it is indeed about those which arouse the passions and not all): https://bahai9.com/wiki/Romance

Chad
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Re: baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

Postby Chad » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:28 am

In the Third Valley of The Four Valleys it says, "to be seated amidst the sandals by the door is the same as to abide at the place of honor, and in the path of the Beloved the retreats of earthly beauty differ not from the field of battle waged". It's interesting that the place where nothing can exist but the "countenance of love", the earthly beauty would be like a battle waged.

Also, in the Call of the Divine Beloved in "other tablets" it states, "The ascendancy of God's names and attributes will so surround a soul as to leave it no place either to stay or to flee". This is often where I get the urge to look at women in swimsuits and masturbate, because I'm so surrounded by "God's names and attributes" that the Beauty Divine gets mixed up with earthly female beauty, and I question whether seeing the invisible Beauty is better than the earthly beauties. A war indeed!

Chad
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Re: baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

Postby Chad » Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:31 pm

Baha'u'llah says that "chaste eyes enjoy the beautific vision of the Lord". Jesus said to even look at a woman with lust is fornication. Muhammad puts masturbation in the same category as fornication. Muhammad and the Bab said masturbation was okay and forgiven respectively.

Chaste eyes when it comes to looking at women are in degrees: porn, nude art, bikinis, one-piece, and fully clothed. Thus, enjoying beautific vision of the Lord is also in degrees to the lust that is manifested and the degree that one breaks with social norms. I know that in Africa in some tribes unmarried women go topless while men often walk openly with their penis shown to all. Obviously social norms count for something when the degree of lust is manifested in men. Muhammad told His followers never to wear clothing where one would be seen as an outsider (al-Kafi).

Also, what is missing in my vision if lust for a lady overwhelms the field of beauty and then to regard my safety in the next world and my humanity in this world as naught when I commit this sin? Moreover, there is a sense that I have no humanity at times if I don't show lust through ejaculation - like I hold myself above others whereby the poison of lust remedies my pride now knowing that I'm "just another man like all the rest". In fact, it is this pride in righteousness that has made me sin more than anything else in my life.

I've been told that the idea is not to feel too bad about these things as we are "children of the half light", but it is small doses of remorse that limit me from vaunting my righteousness over others and thus inwardly judging them. Truly a battlefield of virtues.

Chad
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Re: baha'i writings addressing pornography specifically?

Postby Chad » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:59 pm

In the Four Valleys when talking about the "countenance of love" in the third valley: "In this station, neither the reign of the intellect is sufficient nor the rule of self. Thus one of the Prophets of God asked, "O my Lord, how shall I reach Thee?" and the answer came: "Leave thy self behind, and then approach Me."

When overcome in the battle of beauties, the "reign of the intellect" means that reason is out-thought and cannot fight the good fight, it is circumscribed. The "rule of self" is the Law of the Covenant embodied, so no child-like yearning for obedience is sufficient to help me fight it. Therefore, just as late at night when I'm not satisfied with stopping what I'm doing, so too is the inclination for that bedazzling beauty. I can only "leave the self behind" meaning I just have to give up and go to bed, or sometimes, I just have to put away all desire and simply sit leaving "my self" as a kind of trance.


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