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Quite often, an individual is obliged to engage in critical thinking before reaching a decision regarding a certain subject. By doing so, one participates in a "believing game" in which he or she accommodates all ideas regardless of whatever side of the argument he or she has taken (Elbow, 2006). In the case of whether prostitution should be legalized, the believing game allows one to evaluate the perspectives of both proponents and opponents, while overcoming biases (such as believe bias and overconfidence) that may impact his/her conclusion. In the end, one becomes convinced that prostitution should be legalized as it is an economic career, it poses no threat to the society’s social values and morals, and it is an effective means of countering the increase in the rape cases witnessed in the society.
My Position on the Topic I selected for Assignment 1.1
‘Legalizing Prostitution’ is the topic I selected for my assignment 1.1. To effect the legalization, I pointed out that regulatory measures should be drafted, which should dictate how prostitution should be carried out.
Reasons for my Position
The Procon.org website – a leading source for the pros and cons of controversial issues - points out three main reasons why prostitution should be legalized. According to the site, such reasons include, the argument that prostitution is a freely chosen profession, the sex-trade is not immoral, and that legalizing prostitution would be a rational way of curbing rape incidents.
To start with, every individual is entitled to choose a career that he/she would be more comfortable earning a livelihood from. Some, feel that prostitution is the main way through which they can earn a living and, hence, it (prostitution) should not only be deemed as a means of exchanging sexual favors but also as an employment opportunity ("Prostitution ProCon.org -- Should prostitution be legal?", 2017). As a result of being members of this profession, prostitutes, (just like people from other careers) have been able to fend for their families. I chose this reason as a result of conviction from Kathleen Peratis’ (Chair of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch) insight that most of the prostitutes are adult women, who are assumed that they can make rational decisions and, hence, most of them have indulged into the profession due to its economic gains, which have enabled most of them to support themselves and their families as well.
Prostitution is termed as one of the oldest professions on earth and, hence, the reason why it is quite impossible to eliminate it. Catherine La Croix also argues that it is a business like any other (for instance, the distilling or chocolate businesses), which justifies that it is not an immoral enterprise ("Prostitution ProCon.org -- Should prostitution be legal?", 2017). Since it also involves the case of a ‘willing buyer, willing seller,’ it should not be demonized as it does not portend any threat to the society’s moral values. The major reason why I chose this reason is because of the realization that prostitution is a profession that has been there for ages and, hence, there is no way it could start being detrimental to the society’s values over the recent past. Since the society has tolerated it from the past, then it would only be rational for it (society) to come up with measures of safeguarding it instead of illegalizing it as doing so would result in far-reaching consequences such as sexual exploitation of the workers.
There has also been an argument that legalizing prostitution would be a major milestone towards the elimination of the rape incidences witnessed in the society. Cundiff – an Associate Professor of Finance at Northeastern State University – is of the opinion that legalization of prostitution in the United States would lead to a consequent decrease in the number of rape cases by 25%, which represents an equivalent decrease of rape incidences by 25000 in a year ("Prostitution ProCon.org -- Should prostitution be legal?", 2017). Therefore, it would be right for the society to give its members an easier way of fulfilling their sexual gratification through legalization of prostitution rather than by criminalizing it, which might lead to an upsurge of the rape cases. My conviction to chose this point was driven by the fact that most people commit rape to quench their sexual desires, hence, it would be rational to counter this trend by offering societal members an easier way of meeting their sexual gratification.
Answers to the “believing” Questions That Oppose My Position
The ‘believing’ questions play an integral role as they enable an individual to analyze the issue at hand critically before making a conclusion. One of the ‘believing’ questions that I have put into perspective before coming up with the above conclusion is whether prostitution is a freely chosen profession. Though a lot of people would argue that most prostitutes engage in the commercial sex industry, hence, implying that they unwillingly take part in the trade, it is important to note that some of them are educated and, thus, they can get employed in other societal institutions. Nonetheless, as Kathleen reveals, most of them are grown ups and, therefore, they are in a position to make informed decisions on the kind of economic activities they wish to take part in. In relation to whether prostitution is immoral, the opponents of its legalization would out rightly argue that indeed it is. However, it is important to point out that no one is coerced to take part in it and, hence, the reason why it is founded on the principle of ‘willing buyer, willing seller.’ As a result, the society has put up with it since time immemorial, which implies that it doesn’t adversely affect its (society’s) dictations on morality. Finally, opponents of the legalization of prostitution would argue that doing so would not have any significant effect in preventing rape. This claim is incorrect, evidence from nations that have legalized prostitution – such as Holland – depicts that the number of rape cases has significantly reduced as a result of the legalization. According to Trilling, rape instances in Holland reduced by approximately thirty-two percent to forty percent (Trilling, 2017), thus, justifying that legalization of prostitution would have a significant effect in curbing an increase in rape cases witnessed in the society.
Biases Likely To Be Experienced When Evaluating the Reasons for and Against My Position
Biases may make an individual come up with incorrect conclusions during critical thinking. A belief bias is one of the biases that one might experience while analyzing whether prostitution should be legalized or not. Belief bias refers to a case whereby an individual believes something just because others do so (Battersby & Bailin, 2013). In this case, one would believe that prostitution is immoral just because the society does not embrace it. One might also experience a bias of overconfidence, a case whereby one becomes very confident of his/her judgment without paying attention to the available evidence (Battersby & Bailin, 2013). For instance, one would argue that legalization would not lead to a decline in rape cases without paying attention to the rape statistics from nations that have already legalized prostitution.
Effects of My Enculturation
Enculturation is defined as a process through which an individual learns the values and norms of society. By doing so, it plays a key role in shaping the individual’s perceptions. Being one of the proponents of the legalization of prostitution has enabled me to figure out the positive effects of one of the controversial issues in the society – prostitution.
Whether or Not My Thinking Has Changed
After playing the ‘believing game,’ my position has remained unchanged and, hence, I am still convinced that prostitution should be legalized. Though I have been in a position to identify the major arguments for and against this topic, it is evident that the positive arguments outweigh the negative ones by far. Apart from the realization that prostitution is a profession like any other, it also poses no threat to the values of the society and, thus, the main reasons why it should be legalized.
In a nutshell, the ‘believing game’ enables an individual to engage in critical thinking whenever he/she addresses an issue, more so the controversial ones (for instance, prostitution) in the society. After playing the game in relation to whether prostitution should be legalized or not, one tends to get convinced that indeed adequate measures should be put in place to legalize prostitution. A critical analysis of this issue reveals that prostitution is an economic career and that it has the potential to eliminate some criminal acts – such as crime – from the society.
Battersby, M., Bailin, S. (2013). Critical thinking and cognitive biases. University of Windsor: OSSA Conference Archive.
Elbow, P. (2006). The believing game and how to make conflicting opinions more fruitful. Nurturing the Peacemakers in Our Students: A Guide to Teaching Peace, Empathy, and Understanding, 16-25.
Prostitution ProCon.org -- Should prostitution be legal?. (2017). Prostitution.procon.org. Retrieved 21 July 2017, from http://prostitution.procon.org/
Trilling, D. (2017). Holland’s legal prostitution zones reduce rape: New Research. Journalist’s Resource. Retrieved 21 July 2017, from https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/legal-prostitution-reduce-rape-holland
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