I have been studing esthetics and beauty. What it is and so on. I want to understand beauty and Aristotle gives a good explaination of it. But how do you keep from lusting? For example with a sexual lust situation like this-Pornography. Can it be looked at as celibrating beauty and not lust? I can see the beauty in a child learning 123s or would that be joy?
If you are experiencing temptations to lust then that is the near occaison of sin and you have a duty to stop looking at whatever it is that is causing you to experience this arousal.
Certain nude art works can be looked at without experiencing arousal (such as what you would find on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel), but I would wager to guess that the vast majoriy of the “artwork” that is being produced today would not represent the human body with such respect and looking at it could put your soul in grave danger.
In short, there is no “safe” way to look at images that are capable of causing a person to lust.
First, let’s get our definitions straight…While “lust” can be used in a broad sense in normal conversation, the Catechism defines lust as,
“…disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.” (CCC 2351)
So when speaking in terms of sin, lust is defined more narrowly. Different terms are used for disordered desires for other things (like money=greed)
For example with a sexual lust situation like this-Pornography.
Again - from the Catechism…
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.
Can it be looked at as celebrating beauty and not lust?
No - pornography as described above - cannot be seen as celebrating beauty.
I can see the beauty in a child learning 123s or would that be joy?
I don’t think this needs to be one or the other. Why not both?
Pornography is taking people and making them objects. It is unrealistic and not beautiful at all. Nude art in my opinion can be both lustful and beautiful, depending on the context. I don’t seem to lust at sacred nude art, but I do when it’s secular. I struggle with this. Not so much that I’m aroused by one and not the other, but by needing to turn away from things/people other than my husband for arousal. Sexual temptation is hard.
Simply looking at a nude body male or female is no enticement to lust is it? God created these things and god cannot create anything that tempts. James 1:13-14. But then again the problem doesn’t lie with god but our society and the mess that we are in. We can’t get out of it without the supernatural virtues in particular the 3 theological virtues bestowed by grace by the holy spirit.
Those magazines are designed to create lust and there not even the real person there edited to make the person “perfect” in the eyes of the secular world. They have no purpose other than for the evil ones gain of souls imo.
I wish to understand exactly what beauty is in all definitions. I do not look at pornography myself though I used to it’s been so long. When I see a beautiful woman in my eyes I tend to look right through it and immediately get to know the person. As taught in other religion’s philosophy and I’m sure ours beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My goal I guess is to understand beauty in it’s truest sense. John Keats said “truth is beauty and beauty is truth”. I believe beauty is obtained by merit.
A man here claims he sees nudity all the time and is not lustful. I personally tend to think to do this we need grace and can truely overcome without being callous. Without god’s grace imo we cannot overcome what is true lust.
I find it hard to lust when looking at a beautiful woman’s facial shot. And none of the body is shown. It seems to me that lust always comes in when the body is included. I disagree with the church calling lust sexual and nothing else. There is lust for power,money, and so on. Calling that greed just robs us of other ways to understand lust. It is desire. Most religion teach don’t desire. Easier said than done and we need the holy spirit’s grace to advance IMO.
A woman’s body with or without clothes if you are man viewing it has no meaning that your mind does not give it. Lust occurs in the mind based on the meaning you give whatever it is you are viewing and with practice you can grow in Lust or Chastity, both are matters of habit.
Just from my own experience I have to say that lust does not always occur with the body is included. Sometimes it depends on when where and how the body is presented. A men’s magazine is one way and I agree that it’s intent is generally to promote arousal, a painting or sculpture in a museum can be quite different, and the presentation of the human form in a medical textbook is something altogether different.
Then too there is the attitude and intent and spiritual maturity of the one looking to consider…
I disagree with the church calling lust sexual and nothing else. There is lust for power,money, and so on. Calling that greed just robs us of other ways to understand lust. It is desire. Most religion teach don’t desire. Easier said than done and we need the holy spirit’s grace to advance IMO.
I agree. The main reason I pointed out the Church’s definition was to avoid any potential miscommunication when discussing here. That said…The Church does teach, “don’t desire” - inordinately.
I must say though that I don’t agree that the church’s definition of lust “robs” us of anything. A reasonable thinking person can recognize that “inordinate desire” is the underpinning of all of these things no matter what they are called, lust, greed, avarice, gluttony and so forth.
I immediately thought of this passage…From Mt 15:
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a man…"