Why pornography and violence on media are so harmful for one's mind?

I seek humanity in mysterious ways

One of the major problems of dealing with the harmful effects of pornography, for instance, is that the individuals that seek to debate about such subject, normally put into the reasoning theological or religious precepts contaminating therefore a pure scientific approach on the subject. I will not at all on this text evoke any religious or theological arguments. There are mainly, according to psychoanalysis, three levels of driven works and thoughts in one's mind, the consciousness, the preconsciousness and the unconsciousness. All the primary instincts come mainly from the so called limbic system, and they do operate not only on the pre- and conscious level, but they are much more powerful on the unconscious level. When one fells hungry, even if one tries to counterbalance such primary instinct with a rational and logical thought, one's mind will be absorbed unconsciously by that specific feeling of hungriness and his apparently rational choice will indeed be biased by a primary instinct. It's an illusion so that the individual, in his ego, may suppose he's making a free choice purely driven by freewill. It's not a question of destiny nor fate, it's simply a drive that works on the unconscious level and bias one's apparently rational choice. Two mathematicians from the same school and with the same methodology solving the same equation most likely would use different mathematical approaches if one is immensely hungry and the other is sexually aroused. Indeed that's what defines the true human nature, a mix between logical abstraction of thoughts and primary instincts evolved from natural selection.

As Freud clearly puts it, in his Civilisation and its Discontents, people seek happiness through satisfaction of sexual and other primary instincts. The remaining people are the source of unhappiness in the sense that other people block one's primary intentions and block one's drives to seek those primary instincts. Indeed when you, an heterossexual man for example, desire a woman, the main true feeling that prevents you from copulate with her is fear. Your fear the consequences even if you don't consciously realise it. You fear her husband, her father, you fear the lawful consequences, the authorities, you fear your family or the reprimand from society. That's fear the counter psychoanalytical drive that stops you from ravish and eventually raper her. That counter force is very powerful and efficient because it works on the same level of the sexual primary instincts. As sexual drive is very powerful, fear is efficient because it uses the same primary methodology and operation, since both drives come from the limbic system and both operate on the unconsciousness. One will never admit that is fear, what truly prevents him from ravish another human being into the most primary actions like forced intercourse or even murder. This balance between two primary opposite drives, brings humanity into the society. Plato, in his Phaedrus, presents us with the same paradigm in a more philosophic and literate presentation when Socrates tell us that, when the individual is strongly in love with someone, he's like a coach pulled by two horses, a white one and a black one. The black horse pulls the individual strongly and instinctively, without concern with the status quo or social rules, towards the loved one; whilst the white horse cools down these instincts and brings rationality into the drive. Religion, as Freud puts it and Freud was an atheist, is thus a very efficient means for harmony in the society since religion normally, with the notion of guilt and sin, indeed embeds fear in one's mind. Not fear from the society but fear from an imaginary almighty father. Another religious methodology is prohibition. By simply forbidding sexual intercourse or sexual pleasure like masturbation, on so many different circumstances, and stages of life, religion was efficient in bringing harmony into the society. If it is true for the majority, indeed religion brought as well tremendous attacks for the freedom of the individual, even if such freedom is only partially apparent. And one of the most iniquitous attacks performed by religion, is the freedom of thought.

If she, the hypothetical lusty lady, doesn't want you, and you, a heterossexual man as a mere example, do not fear her father, husband, family or law, because you are either brave or mad, you most likely will have then the consequences through another primary feeling: pain. Either the father or the husband will beat you, either you will be incarcerated or you'll be ostracised by your family, friends or society; in any case the consequences are the painful effects that such violence, lack of liberty or ostracisation implies. Obviously the majority of the people are civilised, and through the smoothly abolition of fear, respecting all the cultural and societal rules, the majority of the men engage therefore romantically and sexually with a partner through socially acceptable means. But that demands time and effort, whilst technology provides immediate sexual pleasure through pornography. Why losing time and effort for the same sexually intense pleasurable goal? If one can obtain the same intense sexual satisfaction, as a pure voyer of sexual intercourse, being completely sure that one disguises oneself as being a totally anonymous viewer, the fear fully disappears remaining only the guilty and the sinful thoughts brought by religion and education. If one has no religious beliefs or one doesn't have them as being that important or relevant, one most likely will let oneself be absorbed by those consequences-free and immediate sexual pleasures. Pornography pays then back, as it provides the viewer a powerful sexual satisfaction without fearful or painful consequences. Then, you know you may advance, since nothing stopped you from that specific primary satisfaction. Therefore you seek the next step of satisfaction, either by seeking more violent sexual intercourses or more humiliating scenes for the passive actor or actress. The common and exemplary sexual intercourse doesn't satisfy you anymore. Your wife or girlfriend doesn't satisfy you anymore which may also explain the enormous divorce rate in western societies. Then you seek younger or more sexually attractive actresses to see, even more beautiful or voluptuous than the previous ones, since the previous do not satisfy you anymore. What would stop you according to psychoanalysis? Fear or pain, and you have neither. The borderline to reach pathology, vice or unlawful media content might be easily reached, since nothing is able to stop those ravish instincts. Since sexuality and violence play on the some level on the primary instincts, because in the Paleolithic and a feature common to most mammals, sexual intercourse was made most likely through the use of violence against other males; you'll seek more violent movies, series or video games, since the previous ones become boring, i.e., without the violent content that truly satisfy you. You'll tend to go into extreme ideologies too, since fear from other individuals was also brought from this mix of instincts and all this media content has distorted your notion of the outer realm. Probably either you'll start to defend extreme left ideologies and you'll start to hate all the human beings that have more money or power than you, being those the potential male competitors in the Paleolithic which you have to kill to obtain power and females; or you'll tend to extreme right and you'll start to hate and despise immigrants and minorities, since violent instincts haven taken your thoughts.

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