Is nakedness per se evil? Is it evil when it’s around anyone else? Is it evil when it’s around anyone else you don’t know? Around just the opposite gender? Before more than one person of the same gender? Before more than one person in mixed company? Is any of this true because of the potential to provoke lustful thoughts? Is any or all of this true because of the shameful component?
What, then, are we to say of (even Catholic) art that sometimes portrays full nudity? I think of the famous David, for instance. Could not seeing that alone provoke lustful thoughts and even physical response?
Furthermore, as I recall reading it, some of the early Fathers (of particular interest to me, primarily because of my field of study) seemed to approve of, say, going to public exercise (which, in those times, would have been done in the nude), though they stated that it should be only to improve one’s health and not because of any competitive desire. Some, as I recall, even approved of going to the public baths for similar health reasons. Again, we would there have had public nudity. However, even the pagan Romans of that day themselves seemed to be leery of public nudity outside of these situations (the Geeks less-so). Still, they seemed legitimately to have no shame being and seeing each other naked in the places I just mentioned. Even their art showed the member (please don’t ban me, I’m trying to keep it clean!) quite openly, and this seemed to cause no shame. Indeed, art depicting their heroes, for instance, often praised their bodies as the model example (again, taking influence from Greek thought).
Are we all to be required to be ashamed of nakedness? Are we all to consider it immodest?
If nakedness is permissible even in some of these circumstances, what does that say for modesty of dress? If full nudity is permitted in certain situations, why would more revealing clothing be deemed “immodest”? (I ask this seriously, as I’m not seeing the logical connections here.)
(Again, do forgive me if I sound vulgar in some of my phraseology. I didn’t not intend this and tried to be as careful in speech here as I could!)