A Brazilian woman has sold her virginity for $780,000 in an online auction organised by a Melbourne filmmaker. Catarina Migliorini, a 20-year-old physical exercise student, had volunteered to sell her virginity as part of a documentary by Justin Sisely. Last night the auction was reportedly finalised with a Japanese man, identified only by the name Natsu, agreeing to pay $780,000. Mr Sisely told ninemsn that Ms Migliorini is ecstatic about the sale and had not expected this amount of interest. Ms Migliorini has come under fire after news of the auction made headlines, with many likening the sale to prostitution. “If you do it once in your life than you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer,” she said. “The auction is just business, I’m a romantic girl at heart and believe in love.”
There are many things I could talk about in relation to this article but instead I want to rather focus on just one thing.
The definition of prostitution by the concise encyclopedia is “practice of engaging in sexual activity, usually with individuals other than a spouse or friend, in exchange for immediate payment in money or other valuables.” The young lady is engaging in a sexual activity with a stranger for all intent and purposes in exchange for $780,000. By definition, she is engaging in prostitution right? Even though this generally accepted definition for prostitution is very clear and understood, the young lady boldly declares that she is not engaging in prostitution. Her justification seems to be that if you only do it once, it doesn’t count. Maybe she is familiar with the official rules for backyard cricket in Australia, that is, you cannot get out on the first ball!
What gives her the confidence to blatantly reject the truth of a definition? I believe it is a very common pattern of thinking most westerners hold whether they know it or not. It is her philosophy of relativism. Relativism as defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them”. In a relative world, there are no absolutes. Definition is up to you! Obviously this lady did not agree with the definition of prostitution so she decided to redefine it to suit her situation and release her from any moral or ethical responsibility. As a legal safeguard, just in case prostitution is actually wrong despite their personal view, there was talk of the act being carried out on a private jet over the Pacific Ocean.
Do you agree that we have the ability to redefine truth to reflect our personal ideals? Do you agree that there is no such thing as an absolute? If not, what is truth? Is everything true? If everything is true, what is false? If truth is not exclusive but inclusive, truth ceases to exist because there is no longer a distinction between true and false! These are not rhetorical questions but questions that we each need to give an answer for and work through the consequences of our answers.
If we play this out in a community of people, all free to establish their own truths, what will it look like? What might be stealing to one person is justifiable to another on the basis of income disparity (this happens regularly in developing countries). What might be murder to one person is justifiable to another on the basis of payback because you accidentally killed their relative in a car accident (again this happens). You might say that a community is governed by laws that stop these kinds of things. There are numerous examples where this is not the case outside of our western society. What happens if a majority of a community adopt a specific law? Does that make it true? What would you say to Sharia Law in Saudi Arabia? A majority does not equal truth.
The game that this young lady is playing in denying the truth through self justification is being played across much of our western civilization today. Postmodern philosophy does not encourage progress and development of our society. Rather it is seeking to undermine all authority and cannot really find it’s end in anything other than anarchy. Do you agree this is a reasonable possible result?
I prefer to embrace the evidence that there is truth and a moral absolute, written on the hearts of men, that tells us killing and stealing is wrong, sleeping with your neighbour’s wife is wrong, and dishonouring your parents is wrong. I do not believe this is a result of the evolutionary processes because languages would hinder this process of morals being passed from culture to culture. I believe it is more possible that this is given by a transcendent (from outside of our physical world as we know it) moral law giver. As we continue to deny the reality of a moral law giver, our hearts will harden against the absolute moral law and truth written on our hearts and relativism will be embraced further to the point where adultery will become ok, dishonouring your parents will become ok and killing and steal will become justifiable and ok. Look at where we already are as a society as moral decline is becoming more evident.
We in western society have had the Truth. We are now turning away from it. How does that make you feel? What are you going to do about it?