A Moral World As Plastic As Our Neural Pathways

One would not allow alcoholics to have the last word on liquor licensing laws or crack addicts on drug policy. Yet when it comes to sexual morality, that is the kind of world in which we now live. The availability of pornography and the near universality of its consumption are today facts of human existence, at least in the West, and are likely to remain so. That means that moral thinking is thus at the mercy of an industry whose interests do not lie in promoting the common good unless that common good is understood in terms of unfettered sexual license. Even worse, we are seeing the creation of a hardwired ethic of supply-side immorality to which the principle of consent will not be able to set meaningful boundaries. Indeed, if the only practical ethical standard left is the principle of consent, then in a world pervaded by pornography, society’s sexual ethics are likely to be as plastic as our neural pathways.

—Carl Trueman, “In Bondage to Pornography

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