Prostitution should be legalized
Being completely new to this forum, I was not aware about the technicalities and colour codes. So you can post my comments to the appropriate section in the forum. Regarding the debate, I have been repeatedly telling that there is no point of extending this debate as we do not agree on the basic premises of the problem itself. I was intially under impression that people agree that prostitution is a social evil but when I realised that there is a disagreement on this I decided to conclude this debate. If somebody takes it as a vindication of ones view simpy because majority agrees to it, let it be so.

My opinion about this forum is based on my limited interaction so far and on the basis of reading some other posts.I agree it might be a grossly generalised perception or even mistaken one and I would surely be prepared to change my view if I happen to see some discussions which go contrary to my perception.
(13-Oct-2010, 11:15 PM)anandinqalab Wrote: My last response was not an attempt to refute your specific arguments. There I just wanted to conclude the debate and mentioned some points to ponder. I have clearly told 'LET'S AGREE TO DISAGREE' as our view point cannot converge if we look the issue from totally different vantage points.

anandinqalab, saying that you want to agree to disagree does not mean that I must shut up and not respond to your arguments. You are simply refusing to abide by the rules of debate that require that you read what others are saying and argue against their actual positions instead of having your own argument with a bunch of straw-men.

Quote:I was attracted towards this forum because it proclaimed to promote free thought in India about which I am also very much passionate about. But to my surprise I found that it is not the 'free thought' which is being encouraged, instead only pragmatic, practical, short term, quick fix solutions within the framework of existing socio-economic, political and ideological framework which is sought.

Congratulations, you've just earned your first troll warning. You may not realize that you're acting trollish, but let me explain why. Firstly, there are plenty of posts on these forums where we have already established what freethought means. Instead of pouring through them all, let me point you to an article that explains in detail why you are a troll.

First regarding the definition of freethought, which you seem to be unaware of going by your statement:
"Contrary to what most people think, the word ‘freethought’ does not simply represent the meaning implied in the coming together of the words ‘Free’ and ‘Thought’. ‘Freethought’ is a concept that has been around for about 300 years. It refers to a set of philosophies that adopt science, reason and logic as tools for understanding the natural world, rejecting sources of authority and tradition such as religion that claim infallible truth and require blind allegiance. The Freethinker magazine was first published in England in 1881 and is still around as a website. Today, the word ‘freethought’ is used as an umbrella term encompassing a number of ideas such as skepticism, the scientific method, naturalism, atheism, rationalism, humanism etc."

Secondly, the reason you're acting like a troll is because of the way you are belittling the entire forum and our purpose here, using a condescending tone. From the article, explaining why you are a troll.

"- Contrarian Warning Sign Number One: The most important indicator of a poster’s Contrarian Troll status is his constant use of subtle and not-so-subtle insults, a technique intended to make people angry."

"- Contrarian Warning Sign Number Two: Constant references to the forum membership as monolithic. “You guys are all just [descriptor].” “You’re a lynch mob.” “You all just want to ridicule anyone who disagrees with you.”"

"- Contrarian Warning Sign Number Five: Attempts to condescend. Pursued by Troll Bashers (see Natural Predators below), the Contrarian will seek refuge in condescending remarks that repeatedly scorn his or her critics as beneath notice - all the while continuing to respond to them."

Quote:The topic of this debate was 'Prostitution should be legalised'. Your claim is that only those who support this view are reasonable and if someone says that it does not address the crux of the problem which is the exploitation of the majority of the women who are forced by their circumstances; many of them entered into this flash trade since childhood then according to you it is an 'Appeal to emotion (where the emotional appeal is based on false premises)'.

No, that is not my claim. Please stop blatantly misrepresenting me. This is what is annoying about you. You seem to take extra pleasure in distorting what I and others say to argue against the point that you wish to argue against. In essence, creating straw men. The reason why I first responded to you is because you attacked palaeo's reasoned arguments with generalities that did not address the points she was making, but suggesting that you were. It was you who first entered this debate dismissing someone else's positions with your own positions that did not even address the issues she was talking about.

You still are not getting why setting up false premises makes your particular appeal to emotion particularly egregiousness. Let me explain in the context of your particular response above, which is actually the second time you are making the fallacy, and this time actually in the response to the charge that you are making the fallacy. That is, your defense of the fallacy is to make it again and argue against a straw-man.

The fact that the majority of prostitutes have been forced into prostitution has already been noted multiple times before you entered this discussion. The arguments from palaeo, myself and many others on this thread have made that a central point of debate, and legalization of prostitution was explicitly presented as something that would reduce the suffering caused. Yet you insisted on acting as though your position is the only one that captures this idea that many of those who enter prostitution are forced into it due to circumstances, social, economic and criminal. There are undoubtedly many approaches that governments and other bodies can take to solve the causal problems involved. But legalization is certainly one of the vital steps that makes it possible to fight the causes and effects of forced prostitution. The reason your argument was an appeal to emotion is because you said, and continue to say, that it is only your argument that addresses these issues, when in fact your dismissal of palaeo's positions offered nothing new. That is, you placed yourself on the moral high-ground on the issue, despite the fact that palaeo and others have already addressed the moral point that you are appealing to. You are doing the same thing in your previous comment, by suggesting that the reason I called you out on your appeal to emotion is because you are concerned about "the exploitation of the majority of the women who are forced by their circumstances". We are all concerned about "the exploitation of the majority of the women who are forced by their circumstances", as apparent from our arguments (if you had read them), and positioning yourself as the only one who is concerned about this, in order to dismiss the legalization question, is what makes your argument an appeal to emotion based on false premises. The appeal to emotion as a fallacy is not simply using emotional arguments, but using emotional arguments that misrepresent the premises of those you are arguing against, in order to claim a moral-high ground and thus dismiss the positions of the others (which may indeed include as premises those very same moral/emotional considerations that you profess) as ignoring those premises and therefore wrong.

Another condescending point from you in response to donatello's post:

Quote:"I was intially under impression that people agree that prostitution is a social evil but when I realised that there is a disagreement on this I decided to conclude this debate. If somebody takes it as a vindication of ones view simpy because majority agrees to it, let it be so. "

This is why I asked you to read the arguments again. Trolls usually are under the impression everyone else is too stupid to have anything meaningful to say. If you had actually read the arguments that people before you had made, you would not have been "under impression that people agree that prostitution is a social evil". You would have know that our positions are a lot more nuanced, and that we were dissecting the notion of prostitution itself before addressing the actual social harms associated with the practice of prostitution in modern society.

Your cheap shot about majority opinion is a classic example of trolling. You have not logically or scientifically refuted a single argument that anyone has made, and yet you think that the reason why I disagree with you is because your view is not the majority one. Delusions of grandeur and arrogance make for a terrible combination. I could get into another long explanation for why logically coherent discourse and reason-based argument are essential in order to discuss complex issues, but I don't think anyone worthy of this forum needs that discussion. There are many other forums you can troll freely, and will perhaps even be welcomed. Here we are freethinkers, and that requires a certain commitment to reason. There is no room for those who are simply intent on derailing the debate.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
In response to the previous post, the person identified as a troll continued to make trollish statements. On investigation it turned out that this particular troll was well-versed in trolling strategies such as using IP proxies. This particular thread has been closed because of anandinqalab's trolling, but the subject is an important one and if anyone wishes to continue having a civil conversation taking into consideration the fact that we are all in this together, please send me a PM (and I will re-open the thread) or post another thread.

The admins here are stretched thin, and frankly the larger goals of the freethought movement are compromised when we waste so much time having inane arguments with trolls.

Update: Thread has been re-opened on demand.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
LOL, I wanted to ask him lot of questions!!!
Hi guys

Sorry for the long break! I asked Ajita to reopen this thread, but I had a personal loss a week ago, and I was in no state to discuss anything! So i'm back now, and would like to further this thread.

Basically, we all seem to agree, that some kind of legalization will be useful for this "profession". Now my doubt is, how do we propagate such an idea. Other topics that we deal with, even direct atheism, and other "sensitive" topics are still discussable. But somehow the topic of prostitution and sex in itself seems taboo to a public and open forum.

I think raising social awareness is the first step to encouraging NGOs to come up. Which might at a later point in time, encourage the government to step in by itself. (You can suggest a better flow, if possible).

So how do we go about raising social awareness. The BBC documentary is a brilliant example. Are there other well written articles, videos, documentaries that we can share around? Are there any NGO's that are currently working in such activities that we can assist? Any other such ideas?

PS: I wanted to continue this discussion because I did not want this thread to just be an academic debate. I wanted it to have some social implications, if we can help it.
Why cant prostitution be allowed to pay bills? I see nothing wrong in that. It is certainly not the best choice in your judgement but we are no one to "allow" them anything. To each his/her own. Having said that, I know that prostitution is a very exploitative business and there have to be safe guards to protect the interests of the workers.
Legalizing will help in safeguarding their interest, they wont have to be scared of the law, they can collectively bargain for higher wages. Arresting prostitutes for sex is like persecuting the victim. An analogy to the burqa ban, Burqa is deeply disrespectful, bigotry, objectification of some sort, (like the bindi and sindur etc) banning burqa hurts the victim. The women have decided to not leave their house often and they are the ones who would be fined if they wear burqa. So, damned if you do and damned if you dont.
Prof Nayak's comment on FB:
Quote:Narendra Nayak : Sex between to individuals of the opposite sex is not an offence under any laws of the land as long as they are above the age of consent and the woman is not married to some one else. The Suppression of immoral traffic act applies to soliciting in public places, maintaining premises for the purpose of prostitution and living off the earnings of a prositutue etc
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
I see Switzerland as going in the right direction. But my judgment has caveats.

Prostitution is already legal in Switzerland, and the government is moving towards stricter regulatory measures and providing more support for prostitutes.

Full article:

Quote:By Tina Fassbind
ZURICH - Local officials have decided that this city's expanding legal sex industry needs to be better organized. Zurich municipal authorities have proposed a series of changes to existing prostitution regulations that would allow prostitutes to continue plying their trade, but only in three specific zones -- including one equipped with new "booths" to welcome their clients
The proposed measures, which need City Council approval, include forbidding street prostitution along the Sihlquai riverbank and in the busy Langstrasse area. In exchange, the activity will be allowed between Aargauerstrasse and Würzgrabenstrasse, outside the city center, where booths will be built to accomodate sex workers and their customers.
Street prostitutes will still be allowed to work the city’s pedestrian nightlife area, the centrally-located Niederdorf, and solicit vehicle-driving clients in Allmend Brunau. The Zurich City Council expects the new laws will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.
Presenting the new measures to the media at a Town Hall press conference on May 25 were three of Zurich’s nine city councilors: Claudia Nielsen, Daniel Leupi, and Martin Waser, who respectively are responsible for policy on health and environment, the police, and social issues.
Leupi explained that the City Council's goal in introducing the measures was to combat human trafficking, offer appropriate response to victims, minimize the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and protect both sex workers and the population at large from violence.
Councilor Waser explained that at peak hours, when up to 120 sex workers can operate at the same time, street solicitation can be a real disturbance to ordinary people – thus the need to channel the activity to designated areas.
According to Nielsen, in 2010, the number of female sex workers in Zurich City increased significantly over recent years, with many of the new workers arriving from Hungary. Nielsen said that the increase in the number of workers also increases pimping and human trafficking risks. The new measures, she explained, are not so much anti-prostitution as anti-trafficking.
As sex workers often don’t have information about their rights, Nielsen added, the Council is looking to advise prostitutes by establishing direct lines of communication. Once the new regulations are in place, sex workers – whether or not they work the streets – will also need to obtain licenses.
Introducing: "sex boxes"
Other developments include creating a special commission on which representatives of local NGOS will also sit, and measures to insure that resources are allocated as effectively as possible.
The Council plans initially to build 10 booths, popularly known as “sex boxes,” in Altstetten, with more to be built if the amount of activity warrants it. Resources presently allocated to Sihlquai will be switched to the new area, so the only additional costs anticipated of 2.4 million Swiss francs ($2.8 million) will be those of constructing the boxes.
The new Altstetten prostitution area will be easy to monitor, control, and protect, council members say. It will be operated and maintained by social services. Residents of the area have been informed of the plan. Plans for the design and construction of the sex boxes, scheduled to be ready by the spring of 2012, are already underway.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.

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