Is Watching Porn a Sin?

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watching porn a sin
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Watching Porn a Sin: This question would have come to you at least once in your life. It might have been due to the taboo that revolves around the topic, it might have been due to your religious beliefs. But most people are not ready to explore this topic as it opposes their cultural and societal norms. 

It is easy to shun this thought away by saying it depends on the way you look at it. And that too is one way to look at it. But how do we address this specific question? Is it only a sin in terms of religious beliefs? Or is watching porn completely wrong, as many would put it?  

Let’s find out. 

But what is a sin? 

Any act that is by large considered wrong in its very nature is a sin. The textbook definition would be any immoral act that is against divine law. But what is divine is specific to the set of beliefs you or your religion upholds.  

Therefore, it adheres to the culture around you. For example, using contraceptives while having sex is considered a sin in Christianity as it defeats the original purpose of procreation. But the modern churches are now advocating the calendar method for sex as a means of improving the intimacy between partners.  

So, cultures and religions change their perspective to be relevant as times change. But some things remain sins regardless, like taking the life of another. Such acts are considered immoral universally and rightly so.  

Political philosopher Jean-Jaques Rousseau stated that all humans are innately good at heart and therefore able to differentiate between right and wrong. This is true for most people despite what culture they belong to.  

But with porn, the answers are always varying with some supporting it and some calling it the new addictive drug. Let’s dive right into it to understand how porn could or could not be a sin, both religious or otherwise.  

Religious Views on Pornography 

Pornography, though not new, wasn’t exactly around the time when most religions were formed. What was popular was sex, the root cause for all life. As the primary purpose of sex is procreation for these institutions, premarital sex has always been looked down upon.  

By large, most religions are against sex and anything related to it when it’s solely for the purpose of pleasure. This naturally includes touching oneself and porn goes without saying. Most modern societies have been predominantly against pornography and its consumption as well.  

What does the Bible say about Pornography? 

Specifically, about pornography, the bible says nothing. But that is because the word didn’t exist then. However, Christianity being strongly against premarital sex and lust in general, denounces pornography.  

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mathew 5:28) 

Many Christians believe this verse (among others) to be a warning the bible gave about pornography. Christianity discourages one from indulging in acts of sexual immorality as they have a lasting residual effect.  

The body of a Christian is a temple. It’s not on its own and has a price to it. So, it shall be used to glorify God. Every sin is performed outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  

Masturbation and/or watching pornography has nothing to do with the glorification of the creator. The bible also mentions that sins can be pleasurable but the pleasure derived so would be fleeting. Though pornography is not explicitly stated in the bible, everything the Holy book has to say goes against the idea of self-pleasure.  

In fact, by watching pornography, one openly refuses to obey several rules of Christianity that adheres to keep one on God’s path. In other words, consuming pornographic content is a ticket to hell. 

Islamic view on pornography 

Fahishah is an Arabic word that means lewdness or indecency, an important term in Islam. Several acts are termed immoral and put under this concept including lying and treating one’s parent(s) badly. But the first and foremost acts deemed as Fahishah are adultery and fornication. 

Islam, though not against sex, prohibits men from looking at non-mahram women lustfully. This pretty much gives you the answer on whether Islam is okay with pornography or not.  

In case you need help, the answer is a big NO. With pornography, one is looking (lustfully) at women performing sexual acts. Islamic views strongly oppose the idea of public display of sex/sexual acts. Moreover, scholars of the religion ask Muslims not to watch, share, make or take part in pornography.  

Further, sexually explicit content leads to masturbation. Along with adultery and fornication, masturbation is also considered haram. Therefore the religion is totally against anything that has to do with these acts, including pornography.  

Unethical Porn 

In the 21st century, more people are denouncing religions for being anti-feminist, communalistic and propagating dangerous values. However, regardless of what your beliefs are, watching porn could be ethical or unethical depending on a multitude of factors.  

The porn industry in itself is full of conflicts and problems. Most actors are underpaid and the middlemen involved take all the money. Further, the agents are often known for exploiting new talents by making them work for free and actors pay out of their own pockets for STD tests.  

However, most porn videos are released legally, by consenting actors and producers. It is a multibillion-dollar industry that gives employment to many. There’s nothing wrong with the creation and being part of adult content. But it becomes unethical depending on how a certain content was created.  

Sexually explicit images or videos of minors, hidden cameras and unconsented videos, leaked sex tapes all constitute unethical pornographic content. By indulging in these, you’re promoting a market that makes money off stolen and/or immoral sexual content.  

Most countries have strict punishments against the consumption, creation and distribution of child porn. Distribution of stolen content, placing cams without the knowledge of the subjects in the video, watching and sharing pirated porn are all illegal and punishable by law. 

Conclusion 

So, when posed with the question of whether porn is a sin or not, it depends on how you’re looking at it. But almost all times, it is often a sin or unethical or both due to the factors mentioned above. Apart from these factors, porn is addictive as most studies point out and can ruin relationships.  

It alters the way in which your brain reacts and behaves to sexual activities. It can cause sexual dysfunctions, induce performance anxiety and make real sex feel underwhelming. Further, excessive consumption can lead to a bad body image of the self and therefore lower self-esteem. 

Social anxiety, isolation and depression are some of the mental health risks that porn poses. But most people seem to be unaware or ignorant of these aspects. Conversations around the topic are never started due to it being taboo in most cultures.  

It is time to see things for what they are and educate people about the effects of compulsive habits so they can help others and, most importantly, themselves.  

References 

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/sin/bible-say-about-pornography.html

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/seven-reasons-you-should-not-indulge-in-pornography

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