• TheMadFool
    7.3k
    The ‘bad’ I’m referring to is an interoception of negative affect in the body, and is not necessarily conscious. This negative valence would be sufficient to unconsciously establish a basic, non-linguistic conceptual structure against a repeat of this internal event. It’s a determination by action from feeling, without actual thought or self-reflection. Most social animals are capable of this. It is Adam and Eve’s apperception of this feeling as a goal-directed emotion concept (“We were afraid, so we hid”) that demonstrated what ‘knowledge’ they’ve gained, and what they’re still missing. They don’t know nakedness as bad or immoral - at most they know that they felt afraid, which caused them to hide (or that they intended/willed to hide, which they attributed to a feeling of fear).Possibility

    My take on this is very simple. Adam and Eve underwent a change - that change has to do with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In essence, there's a before and an after as the far as the forbidden fruit is concerned. Before, Adam and Eve didn't care about their nakedness, After (consuming the forbidden fruit), they did. What caused this transition from not caring to caring about their nakedness? The tree of knowledge of good and evil. Ergo, this change in attitude in Adam and Eve toward their nakedness must be caused by knowledge of good and evil (morality). In other words, Adam and Eve discovered that nakedness is bad.

    Sure - it’s a case of subsuming any appearance of ‘nakedness’ under a moral judgement - but there’s more to an experience of nakedness than ‘frolicking wherever one fancies’. Check out 3017amen’s lengthy personal account above. The possibility of pure, non-conceptual delight enables some experiences of nakedness to transcend this moral judgement, rendering the statement ‘nakedness is bad’ as problematical.Possibility

    After all, being naked in front of someone else is the most vulnerable a person could ever be. No barriers, no shield, no interface, no pretence. And no weapons, either. Nakedness exposes us to every potential danger that we know: from cold and pain to assault, criticism and rejection. When we are naked, we have nothing to help us deflect or absorb the injury - we must bear it all, physically and emotionally.Possibility

    Surely, then, by your own admission,nakedness is bad. Why else would you say "we must bear it all". Last I heard, we don't bear enjoyable experiences, they're not burdens to bear.

    My argument is not that we’re afraid of nakedness, but that we’re afraid of our vulnerabilityPossibility

    Why are we vulnerable? Because we're naked, right?

    So I disagree that our purpose is to allay this fear, but rather I believe [/u]this vulnerability is necessary[/u], and that our fear is essential to human experience.Possibility

    Why is do you think "...this vulnerability is necessary.."?
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    Clothing is"necessary" in the psychological, cultural sense. Long before the current cultural milieu, people started wearing clothes -- not just clothes, but clothes that were a a lot of trouble to make, at a time when survival was much more difficult than now.

    I'm thinking of an archeological find of a cloth fragment preserved by chance in NW Europe; it was about 20,000 years old if I remember correctly, and it was woven with a plaid pattern--not exactly a rich plaid like Scottish clan plaids, but plaid, nonetheless--vertical and horizontal bands of colored thread incorporated in the warp and weft. The fabric required extra steps and more technology (like dyeing fibers), so the desire to wear haute couture has, apparently, been with us for a long time.

    Going back to a slightly earlier time, a small carved fertility figure was found which incorporated a 'skirt' of knotted thread that was designed to reveal more than obscure. 5000 years ago the ice man who died on a glacier in the Alps was dressed head to foot in clothing which had been carefully made and patched as it wore out. Just guessing, but when we were troglodytes dressed in animal skins, I bet some animal skins were preferred over others, because they just looked good: "I have a very nice saber-tooth tiger fur while she has that hideous rotten mammoth skin.")

    We can easily and effectively meet the survival aspects of dress, and have been doing so for a long time. For survival, we mostly don't have to wear clothes at all. But WE LIKE TO WEAR CLOTHES as a form of self-enhancement, and this seems to have been present for at least 25,000 years. Given a few thousand years of practice, clothing is probably not an option any more.
    Bitter Crank

    I appreciate you adding the scare quotes. I agree that clothing has been commonly perceived as ‘necessary’ for millennia within many cultures, for the reasons you touch on here: survival, diversifying to aesthetic value/potential, diversifying to intentional expression of ‘self’. I will concede that clothing is often judged as hypothetically ‘necessary’ within particular cultural experiences. But just because it is, does not mean it should be.

    It is necessary that we observe cultural imperatives. We produce the culture and then we obey it, and feel bad when we don't. We don't have the option of dropping all culture and reverting to some sort of innocent animal existence a la Rousseau AND remaining human. Producing and reproducing culture is evolutionary. Take language: we can't remain human without language. So, the languageless animal that looks just like us but has no language wouldn't be human. The look-alike animal that has no culture is likewise not human.

    Now, there are areas of San Francisco where guys walk down the street naked. They aren't at all free of culture -- they are as cultured in their nakedness as anyone wearing the latest haute couture. They are both making a statement (not the same statement, but not altogether different, either). "Vestis virum reddit!" the Romans said. Clothes make the man. Put a purple banded toga on that schmuck and he looks like a Senator."

    You wouldn't want to see Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell walking around naked in the US Capitol. It would not only be a fatal breach of culture and couture, it would be an absolutely horrifying sight. Clothing saves us from all that.

    Maggie Kuhn, the founder of the Grey Panthers (a senior citizen group) once said that they could bring the Vietnam war to an end by threatening to have a few thousand old people undress on the Mall.
    Bitter Crank

    My question is, though: how bad is feeling bad? Isn’t it less a question of whether dropping ALL culture is an option, but whether we recognise that a particularly hypothetical cultural imperative is really a choice that we make because we don’t like the alternatives? Do we even recognise the alternatives as such, or simply obey because it’s easier? We reconstruct culture every time we exercise this choice as a choice - not as blind obedience.

    I disagree that a human-looking being without language cannot be human, and therefore need not be treated as if they were human. You’re drawing an arbitrary line in the sand, not for truth but for pragmatic purposes - which is fair enough, but I think it’s important to recognise that they’re not the same thing.

    My argument is not to somehow get ‘free’ of culture, but to transcend it (again, not the same thing). To recognise that we do make and remake culture by understanding that the choices we make are not forced upon us. We have the capacity to increase awareness, connect and collaborate - and in doing so, to realise that covering up is only perceived as ‘necessary’ within a particular and hypothetical cultural construct. Covering up isn’t necessary to human experience in general, let alone to existence itself, objectively speaking. Then we can ask ourselves honestly why we insist on it, and if it holds us back to impose it on every potential experience of nakedness.
  • Judaka
    911

    The choices you make are forced upon you, your preference for wearing clothing isn't required. Similarly, the types of clothes you wear are often not choices for you to make either, or rather, the consequences for defying expectations are too severe for you to sensibly decide to defy them. The "insistence" on clothing is actually just norms operating seamlessly created by people conforming to and following social rules and the law. Is there a practical incentive for anyone to want this changed?
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    My take on this is very simple. Adam and Eve underwent a change - that change has to do with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In essence, there's a before and an after as the far as the forbidden fruit is concerned. Before, Adam and Eve didn't care about their nakedness, After (consuming the forbidden fruit), they did. What caused this transition from not caring to caring about their nakedness? The tree of knowledge of good and evil. Ergo, this change in attitude in Adam and Eve toward their nakedness must be caused by knowledge of good and evil (morality). In other words, Adam and Eve discovered that nakedness is bad.TheMadFool

    You’re assuming the necessary truth of ‘nakedness is bad’, and then trying to justify the statement. You might as well be doing apologetics.

    There are two main forms of ‘knowledge’:

    1. facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

    This type of knowledge is acquired through a temporal process. It requires effort, often repeated, over a duration.

    2. awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

    This second type of knowledge is gained from an appearance. It requires attention (“their eyes were opened”) and can be instant, like an ‘ah-ha’ moment of sudden realisation or awareness.

    So it seems clear to me that it’s this second form of knowledge that is gained by Adam and Eve: awareness of fear, gained from an appearance of nakedness. Their knowledge that ‘nakedness is bad’ is limited to singular situation. This is not knowledge of a ‘moral system’ as such. From awareness-type knowledge we begin to construct a moral system of value-attributed concepts, which we would test and refine in relation to the first type of knowledge, acquired through effort to interact (often repeatedly) over time. But only positive value-attributed concepts are refined in this way. When a negative value is attributed (eg. ‘Nakedness is bad’), we avoid future interaction, and any possible knowledge to be gained from a similar experience is then ignored, isolated or excluded, based on this singular experience (which I can almost guarantee would have consisted of a mixture of both positive and negative feelings, even if overall its quality appeared negative).

    When we are naked, we have nothing to help us deflect or absorb the injury - we must bear it all, physically and emotionally.
    — Possibility

    Surely, then, by your own admission,nakedness is bad. Why else would you say "we must bear it all". Last I heard, we don't bear enjoyable experiences, they're not burdens to bear.
    TheMadFool

    Nakedness is not necessarily bad. Injury is bad - it is this we must bear if it occurs when we’re naked - but injury from nakedness is only bad as a hypothetical relation.

    My argument is not that we’re afraid of nakedness, but that we’re afraid of our vulnerability
    — Possibility

    Why are we vulnerable? Because we're naked, right?
    TheMadFool

    It can seem that way: we feel vulnerable because we’re naked. But the truth is that we’re still vulnerable in so many ways, even when fully clothed. We’re vulnerable because we’re alive. It is in the appearance of nakedness that we so unavoidably perceive this vulnerability as a negative experience, which if we conceptualise as self-attributed ‘fear’ would only affirm it. So instead we attribute this negative quality to the concept ‘nakedness’, which we then strive to avoid, lest we are confronted once again with the truth that this vulnerability is inherent to all living beings.

    Why is do you think "...this vulnerability is necessary.."?TheMadFool

    As an integrated temporal existence, our vulnerability is unavoidable. No life is impermeable, immune to the potential for damage, or for a death considered ‘premature’. By living, we necessarily open ourselves up to change, harm and death at some point. That’s life. But the potential that openness brings - to live, to become, to desire, connect, collaborate, delight, learn, understand and imagine - seems to me worth being vulnerable.

    (In all honesty, even life is a limited perspective, but I thought this would be challenging enough...)
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    The choices you make are forced upon you, your preference for wearing clothing isn't required. Similarly, the types of clothes you wear are often not choices for you to make either, or rather, the consequences for defying expectations are too severe for you to sensibly decide to defy them. The "insistence" on clothing is actually just norms operating seamlessly created by people conforming to and following social rules and the law. Is there a practical incentive for anyone to want this changed?Judaka

    They’re not choices laid out for you, sure - but they’re still choices you make, whether you do so consciously, or according to socially constructed concepts you’ve integrated through language and experience (including avoiding threatened punishments).

    It’s not about whether we want it changed - it’s about recognising that we can change it, and being honest about the real reasons why we don’t want it changed. It’s about evaluating behaviour that defies expectations, not on its deviation from the ‘norm’, but on the extent to which it alleviates/contributes to suffering, through awareness/ignorance, connection/isolation and collaboration/exclusion in the world.
  • TheMadFool
    7.3k
    You’re assuming the necessary truth of ‘nakedness is bad’, and then trying to justify the statement.Possibility

    I'm not assuming anything. Something happened to Adam and Eve that made them go from stark naked to strategic parts covered with fig leaves. That something was knowledge of morality. Am I wrong then to infer that nakedness is bad/immoral?

    So it seems clear to me that it’s this second form of knowledge that is gained by Adam and EvePossibility

    Nevertheless, moral knowledge, right?

    Imagine two people X and Y and they never did F before and then they experience M after which I start doing F. The cause of X and Y doing F is M, correct? It fits the bill insofar as a causal agent is being considered. In other words, F is a matter of M. Replace X with Adam, Y with Eve, M with morality, F with covering private parts with fig leaves, and it becomes clear that covering private parts with fig leaves is a matter of morality. Put simply, nakedness is immoral, at least for Adam and Eve.

    There are two main forms of ‘knowledge’:Possibility

    I thought knowledge is justified, true, belief.

    But only positive value-attributed concepts are refined in this way. When a negative value is attributed (eg. ‘Nakedness is bad’), we avoid future interaction, and any possible knowledge to be gained from a similar experience is then ignored, isolated or excluded, based on this singular experience (which I can almost guarantee would have consisted of a mixture of both positive and negative feelings, even if overall its quality appeared negative).Possibility

    I beg to differ. Moral theories, all of them, are exceptionally clear and specific about the immoral (negatives) and are hopelessly vague about the moral (positives) indicating, by my reckoning, a greater familiarity and deeper understanding of the negatively valued than the positively valued.

    which I can almost guarantee would have consisted of a mixture of both positive and negative feelings, even if overall its quality appeared negativePossibility

    I suppose the "positive" feelings Adam and Eve experienced were sexual in nature. That's not how morality works. Morality is, to my knowledge, marketed as something that transcends the physical, sexuality and all.

    It can seem that way: we feel vulnerable because we’re naked. But the truth is that we’re still vulnerable in so many ways, even when fully clothed. We’re vulnerable because we’re alive. It is in the appearance of nakedness that we so unavoidably perceive this vulnerability as a negative experience, which if we conceptualise as self-attributed ‘fear’ would only affirm it. So instead we attribute this negative quality to the concept ‘nakedness’, which we then strive to avoid, lest we are confronted once again with the truth that this vulnerability is inherent to all living beings.Possibility

    So, this is some kind of a psychological phenomenon in which we, for some reason, associate all our fears with our naked bodies? Our state of complete undress then perceived as us utterly defenseless? :up: If this is what you're getting at then, please ignore the rest of my post.
  • Judaka
    911

    They’re not choices laid out for you, sure - but they’re still choices you make, whether you do so consciously, or according to socially constructed concepts you’ve integrated through language and experience (including avoiding threatened punishments).Possibility

    What "choices"? To go to the supermarket naked? It's against the law. What choice are you talking about?

    It’s not about whether we want it changed - it’s about recognising that we can change it, and being honest about the real reasons why we don’t want it changed. It’s about evaluating behaviour that defies expectations, not on its deviation from the ‘norm’, but on the extent to which it alleviates/contributes to suffering, through awareness/ignorance, connection/isolation and collaboration/exclusion in the world.Possibility

    Nono, you cannot reasonably talk about "we" when talking about interactions between humans and their systems. Clothing isn't necessary but it's preferable for most people that things stay the way they are, what are you going to do about it? Talk about "we" when it includes people who do and don't want to challenge these norms? "We" needs to at least be a group within society.
  • 3017amen
    2.6k
    This second type of knowledge is gained from an appearance. It requires attention (“their eyes were opened”) and can be instant, like an ‘ah-ha’ moment of sudden realisation or awareness.

    So it seems clear to me that it’s this second form of knowledge that is gained by Adam and Eve: awareness of fear, gained from an appearance of nakedness. Their knowledge that ‘nakedness is bad’ is limited to singular situation. This is not knowledge of a ‘moral system’ as such. From awareness-type knowledge we begin to construct a moral system of value-attributed concepts,
    Possibility

    I agree with this interpretation of awareness. I think there are two metaphors in Genesis that relate to that awareness.

    The common theme to both the allegorical tree of knowledge and shameful nakedness is self-awareness and self-consciousness respectively.

    The tree of knowledge itself and lack thereof, provided a simple word picture for a metaphorical sense of finitude that we have only through our self-awareness. Meaning, as compared to lower life-forms who presumably don't have higher levels of consciousness and self-awareness, we have become aware of the concept of imperfection. And that speaks to the same sense of ignorance in all forms of temporal existence as presented to us in feeling our existential angst relative to the human condition.

    To broad-brush it, whether it's a lack of perfection associated with our interpersonal struggles to seek satisfactory happiness, or deficiencies in our vocational needs or professional lives/science and a lack of knowledge and understanding about same, the natural world that we find ourselves in is in fact incomplete (Godel and Heisenberg).

    Then there is self-consciousness coming from that same source of self-awareness. In this instance, I am self-conscious of my body. And I feel vulnerable to shame because I cannot choose otherwise. Moreover, I am now selfish through my self-awareness. I now have insatiable needs and I live a constant life of striving (Maslow). A feeling of existential angst has power over me (Ecclesiastes).

    You are not what you could be, and you are not what you ought to be. And of course, what you are not you cannot perceive to understand; it cannot communicate itself to you. The chasm between what you are and what you ought to be is as unreconcilable as unresolved paradox from the so-called self-referential statements of Being (Liars paradox).

    Covering yourself with clothing is a right response to this—to conceal it, and some argue, to confess it. In any case, we're aware of it, self aware. Henceforth, you shall wear clothing, not to conceal that you are not what you should be, but to confess that you are not what you should be. We have now become humble.

    Fast-forwarding a bit, we do have opportunities to shed this facade (nudist colonies), in order to provide for a false sense of innocence. Hence my own personal experience (the foregoing thought-- experiment) of feeling joyful in that nakedness, and a feeling of no shame and no vulnerability. A liberation of sorts (both a discovery and uncovery of a truth/ Being), but a temporalness nonetheless...
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    I'm not assuming anything. Something happened to Adam and Eve that made them go from stark naked to strategic parts covered with fig leaves. That something was knowledge of morality. Am I wrong then to infer that nakedness is bad/immoral?TheMadFool

    It isn’t about ‘wrong’, it’s about accuracy. You’re inferring from the word ‘knowledge’ that all of it is justified, true belief. But is it? The knowledge they gain is of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, not about it. They know a distinction exists between their own ‘good’ feeling and ‘bad’, that’s all. Everything else is incorrect inference on their part - cognitive bias. Morality - as a set of principles or codes for ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour - is then constructed from this initial faulty reasoning, to be refined and corrected according to further knowledge, acquired through practical, theoretical and apparent experience over time.

    Moral theories, all of them, are exceptionally clear and specific about the immoral (negatives) and are hopelessly vague about the moral (positives) indicating, by my reckoning, a greater familiarity and deeper understanding of the negatively valued than the positively valued.TheMadFool

    It often appears that way, but what moral theories do is clearly define the lower limits of unacceptable behaviour - the event horizon, so to speak.

    I suppose the "positive" feelings Adam and Eve experienced were sexual in nature. That's not how morality works. Morality is, to my knowledge, marketed as something that transcends the physical, sexuality and all.TheMadFool

    Not all of the positive feelings would be sexual in nature; much of it would be aesthetic. But one would need to interact more with the experience in order to distinguish between these feelings, which would entail getting past this ‘nakedness is bad’ judgement.

    Morality does seem to be marketed as an a priori knowledge that ‘just is’. After all, it’s grounded in interoception of affect (which we are only recently beginning to understand) and our many cognitive biases. When we get past this essentialist view of morality, and see it instead as a constructed system of value-attributed behaviour concepts, then we can engage in a disinterested harmony of our faculties (imagination, understanding and judgement) in relation to behaviour.

    So, this is some kind of a psychological phenomenon in which we, for some reason, associate all our fears with our naked bodies? Our state of complete undress then perceived as us utterly defenseless? :up: If this is what you're getting at then, please ignore the rest of my post.TheMadFool

    What is it with subsuming experiences under ‘psychological phenomenon’, as if that justifies indeterminate reasoning? It’s not about defenselessness, but about being open to reality. We put up walls and make laws and employ police and lock our doors and put on clothes and restrict online access to our information, and convince ourselves that we’re not vulnerable because we have all of this - but we are. Because at the end of the day, we live only to the extent that we interact openly with the world - and none of this will actually stop directed, intentional and motivated harm, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What is moral judgement, but an attempt to define the event horizon of our vulnerability?
  • Cobra
    34
    Yes it is for sanitary reasons. Bacteria and viruses are notoriously and easily transferred through fluids. I don't want to leave snail trails everywhere or want constant vaginal infections from touching random public areas or coming into contact with other snail trails and ass sweat. No thank you.
  • Kevin
    62
    I live in a little place in Florida with some silly nude beach between Daytona and Cape Canaveral. My observations of the local 'wildlife' here are going to lead me to be fairly unphilosophical, unthoughtful, un-self-critical...I just have zero interest in seeing the locals naked. I'll leave my prejudices up for the experts - just please don't 'Clockwork Orange' me.
  • TheMadFool
    7.3k
    It isn’t about ‘wrong’, it’s about accuracy. You’re inferring from the word ‘knowledge’ that all of it is justified, true belief. But is it? The knowledge they gain is of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, not about it. They know a distinction exists between their own ‘good’ feeling and ‘bad’, that’s all. Everything else is incorrect inference on their part - cognitive bias. Morality - as a set of principles or codes for ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour - is then constructed from this initial faulty reasoning, to be refined and corrected according to further knowledge, acquired through practical, theoretical and apparent experience over timePossibility

    What's the difference between "wrong" and "inaccurate" and "imprecise" to add? As far as I can tell, you're on a path that takes you to meta-ethics, about the very meaning of right and wrong - the foundations of morality so to speak. You think that Adam and Eve caught but a glimpse of morality and from that brief encounter all they could discern was the what? (such and such behavior is good, such and such behavior is bad) but they failed to find out the why? (why is such and such behavior good and why is such and such behavior bad). The full extent of moral knowledge is yet to be revealed/discovered - a work in progress even as I speak. Am I on the right track?

    It often appears that way, but what moral theories do is clearly define the lower limits of unacceptable behaviour - the event horizon, so to speakPossibility

    Good analogy. Is the emphasis on a [moral] point of no return a reasonable approach to the issue of right and wrong? I guess it makes sense to red-flag extreme immorality - it dissuades us from going to those dander zones in a manner speaking.

    Not all of the positive feelings would be sexual in nature; much of it would be aesthetic. But one would need to interact more with the experience in order to distinguish between these feelings, which would entail getting past this ‘nakedness is bad’ judgement.

    Morality does seem to be marketed as an a priori knowledge that ‘just is’. After all, it’s grounded in interoception of affect (which we are only recently beginning to understand) and our many cognitive biases. When we get past this essentialist view of morality, and see it instead as a constructed system of value-attributed behaviour concepts, then we can engage in a disinterested harmony of our faculties (imagination, understanding and judgement) in relation to behaviour.
    Possibility

    I think there's only a thin line between aesthetic appreciation and sexual arousal as far as our bodies are concerned. I guess I'm speaking from a lack of experience than from experience here? I'd like to know what kind of experiences enable a person to disentangle aesthetics from sex. The two seem inseparable. If this is off-topic, please ignore it.

    What is it with subsuming experiences under ‘psychological phenomenon’, as if that justifies indeterminate reasoning? It’s not about defenselessness, but about being open to reality. We put up walls and make laws and employ police and lock our doors and put on clothes and restrict online access to our information, and convince ourselves that we’re not vulnerable because we have all of this - but we are. Because at the end of the day, we live only to the extent that we interact openly with the world - and none of this will actually stop directed, intentional and motivated harm, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What is moral judgement, but an attempt to define the event horizon of our vulnerability?Possibility

    You said we're deeply concerned about exposing ourselves because it causes fear for the reason that in the nude we're vulnerable. I just took what you said to its logical conclusion - nakedness represents either the event horizon of our vulnerability or is the canary in a coal mine of our vulnerability - it demands immediate action, constant attention.
  • 3017amen
    2.6k


    I agree I hate it when that happens (just being lighthearted) !!

    Yeah I think there were some previous comments about the so-called pragmatics of clothing relative to protection, safety needs, and so forth. Much like pubic hair, I would think that it also offers an added degree of protection.

    But after reading your comment I couldn't help but think about the modern day reality show called naked and afraid. I wonder what the philosophy was behind creating such a scenario? Metaphysically, it's testing one's own will to survive while incorporating the sexual energy between man and woman, through the aesthetical element...

    I'm sure it runs through one's mind as to whether the sexual energy is enough to engage in intercourse.. Nonetheless, it's an interesting tension between the will to survive and the will to procreate.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    What "choices"? To go to the supermarket naked? It's against the law. What choice are you talking about?Judaka

    What, you don’t think it’s still a choice: to abide by that law OR to bear the consequences? Just because we longer make these choices consciously, doesn’t mean we don’t still make them as part of our process of determining action.

    Nono, you cannot reasonably talk about "we" when talking about interactions between humans and their systems. Clothing isn't necessary but it's preferable for most people that things stay the way they are, what are you going to do about it? Talk about "we" when it includes people who do and don't want to challenge these norms? "We" needs to at least be a group within societyJudaka

    Do ‘we’ need to define a position in relation to these norms? And who said I wanted to do anything about it? The question was simple enough: is clothing necessary? Your answer appears to be no, and I agree. This is about awareness of value and potentiality structures in relation to determining behaviour, regardless of moral position. Yes, most people prefer that things stay the way we believe it should be, which is not so much that ‘nakedness is bad’, but that I am not confronted with an experience of nakedness (mine or anyone else’s) against my will. But why is that? Is nakedness actually harmful in itself, or is it the potentiality perceived in nakedness that we find offensive or threatening? And on the flip side: if it is my will to experience nakedness that would cause no actual harm to others, am I denied that freedom on ‘moral’ grounds, and if so, how accurate is that judgement? How realistic is it to meet these demands, given that each of us has a unique will? And how open can we be to reasoning that positions our own will in a disinterested collaboration?

    As an example...

    I live in a little place in Florida with some silly nude beach between Daytona and Cape Canaveral. My observations of the local 'wildlife' here are going to lead me to be fairly unphilosophical, unthoughtful, un-self-critical...I just have zero interest in seeing the locals naked.Kevin

    Kevin says he has zero interest in seeing the locals naked, and yet there are enough with a strong interest in being naked at the beach to warrant a space that enables this. He might assume that they want him to see them naked, but many of them probably don’t care who sees - that’s not their aim. Even though they’re able to find the positive in being seen, I would argue that the real delight in nakedness comes from the intensity of being open to the entire experience.
  • Judaka
    911

    Let me be specific, there is a choice but the pattern of people choosing to obey the law in this instance is so concrete that this pattern becomes more powerful than the choice. The choice is just an intellectual exercise, the pattern is what makes reality the way it is. You are talking about a form of self-harm which is psychological, economic, social and so on, and we cannot expect this to result in anything except what it has resulted in, people choosing not to self-harm in this way. In other words, the "freedom of choice" here is an inconsequential, insignificant force which accounts for nothing and does nothing except justifying being able to label it "a choice".

    And who said I wanted to do anything about it?Possibility

    I was not addressing your desire, I was addressing your claim that "we" could do something about it. Some people would like to repeal certain laws outlawing public nudity and some people want to keep them, thus the "we" becomes a bit silly for me, this is not a helpful way to speak.

    I think in individualistic societies like in the West, there's a balance between your freedom and your imposition on others. The key issue here is not whether you should want this freedom but there is an imposition on others, is that a reasonable way of looking at it and which should trump the other? Kevin says he doesn't want to be nude in public or see others nude in public and random nudist says they want to be nude in public and screw Kevin. A nudist beach seems like a compromise to me, you have a designated spot where you can be nude in public without imposing your nudeness on others. I don't feel as if I know enough about the issue to explore it in depth.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    The tree of knowledge itself and lack thereof, provided a simple word picture for a metaphorical sense of finitude that we have only through our self-awareness. Meaning, as compared to lower life-forms who presumably don't have higher levels of consciousness and self-awareness, we have become aware of the concept of imperfection. And that speaks to the same sense of ignorance in all forms of temporal existence as presented to us in feeling our existential angst relative to the human condition.3017amen

    Interestingly, we can also observe social animal responses to ‘imperfection’ or a sense of ‘less than’ at the level of value/potential, as if they too may be vaguely ‘perceptive’ of it (though not as a concept/prediction, and not in self-reference). This is the distinction between perception and apperception. It’s like anomalies that we keep excluding, until they’ve amassed enough that we can no longer ignore them, and recognise patterns starting to emerge.

    To broad-brush it, whether it's a lack of perfection associated with our interpersonal struggles to seek satisfactory happiness, or deficiencies in our vocational needs or professional lives/science and a lack of knowledge and understanding about same, the natural world that we find ourselves in is in fact incomplete (Godel and Heisenberg).3017amen

    In fact? The appearance of the world according to our facts is incomplete; according to our predictions, it’s merely uncertain. It’s because of a reliance on ‘fact’ as a foundation that this troubles us so much.

    Then there is self-consciousness coming from that same source of self-awareness. In this instance, I am self-conscious of my body. And I feel vulnerable to shame because I cannot choose otherwise. Moreover, I am now selfish through my self-awareness. I now have insatiable needs and I live a constant life of striving (Maslow). A feeling of existential angst has power over me (Ecclesiastes).

    You are not what you could be, and you are not what you ought to be. And of course, what you are not you cannot perceive to understand; it cannot communicate itself to you. The chasm between what you are and what you ought to be is as unreconcilable as unresolved paradox from the so-called self-referential statements of Being (Liars paradox).

    Covering yourself with clothing is a right response to this—to conceal it, and some argue, to confess it. In any case, we're aware of it, self aware. Henceforth, you shall wear clothing, not to conceal that you are not what you should be, but to confess that you are not what you should be. We have now become humble.
    3017amen

    It appears ‘right’ to an incomplete apperception - and somewhere along the way, we forgot how to be humble. Confessing it begins by stating “We were afraid, because we were naked, so we hid”, and continues with an answer to the question: “Who told you that you were naked?” Because it isn’t that we ‘just know’, it’s that we use the faculty of judgement without any practical or theoretical knowledge (ie. understanding) whatsoever - I have the capacity to judge potential and value based on how the world appears to me, including feelings I don’t even understand. So we judge, and in our false confidence of modernism we believe ourselves justified in this, because who’s going to say that we should be patient and strive to understand first? After all, who knows more about the world than we do? So, confess to whom? Each other?

    You keep repeating this quote from Maslow, but I disagree - you can perceive to understand what you are not. You just can’t expect to achieve it alone, and you can’t always state it as ‘knowledge’. This is what imagination is for, why we share the depth of our experiences, expressing them in words, art, movement and sound. Not just to be aware or connect, but to collaborate with what we are not. We don’t need a full working knowledge necessarily, but just to keep in mind what my teenage daughter repeats ad nauseum: ‘don’t judge’. This generation are learning to go beyond ‘confessing’ to each other: recognising NOT that they are not what they should be, but that what they currently understand is incomplete, uncertain - insufficient for these judgements that close the door to understanding.

    Fast-forwarding a bit, we do have opportunities to shed this facade (nudist colonies), in order to provide for a false sense of innocence. Hence my own personal experience (the foregoing thought-- experiment) of feeling joyful in that nakedness, and a feeling of no shame and no vulnerability. A liberation of sorts (both a discovery and uncovery of a truth/ Being), but a temporalness nonetheless...3017amen

    I would argue that it’s not so much ‘no vulnerability’ - openness gives us a sense of increased capacity to anticipate and manage our physical vulnerability, or transcend this temporalness (and by transcend, once again, I don’t mean deny or escape - only to recognise that we are more than our temporal existence, and therefore not bound by it). It seems to me, though, that your preference is instead to regress your awareness, to retreat into ignorance and deny this vulnerability, and in doing so to retrieve a false sense of ‘innocence’. I’m thinking you might have missed the point of it being a thought experiment...
  • MSC
    207
    "Think of the children, won't someone please think of the children?!"

    Sorry. Someone had to say it.

    Seriously though, it's not worth getting my ass beat by my wife on the rare occasions where I get semi erect in public due to an uncontrollable physiological reaction when confronted with someone I find attractive. Really, really not worth it.

    I only get naked in public for a fight, while saying "I fuck what I beat". This is just an intimidation tactic to try and avoid the fight though as few people want to mess with a crazy person. No one has done it back yet though which would be equally terrifying to me!
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    What's the difference between "wrong" and "inaccurate" and "imprecise" to add? As far as I can tell, you're on a path that takes you to meta-ethics, about the very meaning of right and wrong - the foundations of morality so to speak. You think that Adam and Eve caught but a glimpse of morality and from that brief encounter all they could discern was the what? (such and such behavior is good, such and such behavior is bad) but they failed to find out the why? (why is such and such behavior good and why is such and such behavior bad). The full extent of moral knowledge is yet to be revealed/discovered - a work in progress even as I speak. Am I on the right track?TheMadFool

    Yes, meta-ethics is where I’m headed, but I would argue that human experience is the foundation of morality - that it’s constructed as part of our conceptual systems, from a vague interoception of affect. All Adam and Eve could discern was a negative feeling, where there wasn’t one before. You’re assuming that ‘moral knowledge’ was out there to be ‘revealed/discovered’, but my view is that it’s a condition of our inter-subjective relation to the world, to be hypothesised, tested, refined and corrected over time - a work in progress as we speak.

    Good analogy. Is the emphasis on a [moral] point of no return a reasonable approach to the issue of right and wrong? I guess it makes sense to red-flag extreme immorality - it dissuades us from going to those dander zones in a manner speaking.TheMadFool

    It’s not so much the point of no return, but the point beyond which our efforts to understand appear to threaten our own relative [moral] position.

    I think there's only a thin line between aesthetic appreciation and sexual arousal as far as our bodies are concerned. I guess I'm speaking from a lack of experience than from experience here? I'd like to know what kind of experiences enable a person to disentangle aesthetics from sex. The two seem inseparable. If this is off-topic, please ignore it.TheMadFool

    You’re delving into a topic here that 3017amen and I have been discussing for some time on another thread - from which this thread is tangential. You’re welcome to join us there.

    You said we're deeply concerned about exposing ourselves because it causes fear for the reason that in the nude we're vulnerable. I just took what you said to its logical conclusion - nakedness represents either the event horizon of our vulnerability or is the canary in a coal mine of our vulnerability - it demands immediate action, constant attention.TheMadFool

    It demands effort and attention, yes - but it needn’t be something to avoid. Do you see science giving up on understanding black holes? There is a path to be negotiated between fascination and fear, between increasing awareness, connection and collaboration and seeking refuge in exclusion, isolation or ignorance. I’m not suggesting we do away with clothing, that we march straight into the coal mine alone - only that we stop denying our own vulnerability by sacrificing canaries...
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    I was not addressing your desire, I was addressing your claim that "we" could do something about it. Some people would like to repeal certain laws outlawing public nudity and some people want to keep them, thus the "we" becomes a bit silly for me, this is not a helpful way to speak.Judaka

    But you are addressing desire here - what I’m referring to is understanding, regardless of law or will. So it makes little difference to the discussion whether anyone wants to repeal laws or keep them, and dichotomising in this way fails to take into account those who enjoy nakedness yet, regardless of laws, would not choose to knowingly subject someone else to an experience of nakedness against their will.

    I think in individualistic societies like in the West, there's a balance between your freedom and your imposition on others. The key issue here is not whether you should want this freedom but there is an imposition on others, is that a reasonable way of looking at it and which should trump the other? Kevin says he doesn't want to be nude in public or see others nude in public and random nudist says they want to be nude in public and screw Kevin. A nudist beach seems like a compromise to me, you have a designated spot where you can be nude in public without imposing your nudeness on others. I don't feel as if I know enough about the issue to explore it in depth.Judaka

    Your opinion of the random nudist is showing as a blatant disregard for others - if that were the case, then having a nudist beach available would make little difference to their behaviour. A nudist beach is viewed as collaboration for some, isolation or exclusion for others. That you see this as an indication of what side of the law they’re on is interesting.
  • TheMadFool
    7.3k
    Yes, meta-ethics is where I’m headed, but I would argue that human experience is the foundation of morality - that it’s constructed as part of our conceptual systems, from a vague interoception of affect. All Adam and Eve could discern was a negative feeling, where there wasn’t one before. You’re assuming that ‘moral knowledge’ was out there to be ‘revealed/discovered’, but my view is that it’s a condition of our inter-subjective relation to the world, to be hypothesised, tested, refined and corrected over time - a work in progress as we speak.Possibility

    I think you're confusing learning morality with knowledge of morality- the difference between the two being that the former is dynamic - morphs over time - and that the latter is static - unalterable. The learning process is characterized by changes, big and small, results of new understanding and this appears to us as if we're building a moral edifice from scratch, so much so that it might even seem that we're inventing morality as we go along. This isn't true.

    First understand that morality, if it has a rationale, should resemble an axiomatic system with a few basic postulates that underpin a body of do's and don't's of a moral nature. Morality sits there, complete and whole, in, what some might even say, the Platonic world of forms, perfect in every way, waiting to be discovered.

    Were this not true, morality would be a subjective affair - people would invent rules and issue injunctions of any kind, their whims and fancies ruling the roost. This is clearly not how people view morality - they see it as consisting of truths based on some rational foundation i.e. people think of morality as objective.

    It’s not so much the point of no return, but the point beyond which our efforts to understand appear to threaten our own relative [moral] position.Possibility

    Kindly explain.


    It demands effort and attention, yes - but it needn’t be something to avoid. Do you see science giving up on understanding black holes? There is a path to be negotiated between fascination and fear, between increasing awareness, connection and collaboration and seeking refuge in exclusion, isolation or ignorance. I’m not suggesting we do away with clothing, that we march straight into the coal mine alone - only that we stop denying our own vulnerability by sacrificing canaries...Possibility

    But the canary is there precisely because we recognize our vulnerability.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    I think you're confusing learning morality with knowledge of morality- the difference between the two being that the former is dynamic - morphs over time - and that the latter is static - unalterable. The learning process is characterized by changes, big and small, results of new understanding and this appears to us as if we're building a moral edifice from scratch, so much so that it might even seem that we're inventing morality as we go along. This isn't true.

    First understand that morality, if it has a rationale, should resemble an axiomatic system with a few basic postulates that underpin a body of do's and don't's of a moral nature. Morality sits there, complete and whole, in, what some might even say, the Platonic world of forms, perfect in every way, waiting to be discovered.

    Were this not true, morality would be a subjective affair - people would invent rules and issue injunctions of any kind, their whims and fancies ruling the roost. This is clearly not how people view morality - they see it as consisting of truths based on some rational foundation i.e. people think of morality as objective.
    TheMadFool

    I’m not confused - this is where we disagree. Don’t get me wrong - I do agree that any supposedly moral system should aim to be axiomatic, eternally viable and perfectly complete. But I disagree that morality refers to a pre-existing body of ‘knowledge’ waiting to be discovered. Rather, it’s an inter-subjective value system we are in the process of constructing and refining from our collective human experience of the unfolding universe. Over the centuries and millennia it has been re-defined by changes, big and small, results of new understanding, etc - and if it were truly ‘objective’ then it wouldn’t necessarily exist. Because any system of relating to the world objectively would not advocate exclusion, isolation or ignorance on the grounds of value.

    But the canary is there precisely because we accept our vulnerability.TheMadFool

    No, we project this perception of vulnerability onto the canary, and then save ourselves when it dies - no consideration for the bird, no responsibility for its death. That’s not accepting our vulnerability at all.
  • TheMadFool
    7.3k
    I’m not confused - this is where we disagree. Don’t get me wrong - I do agree that any supposedly moral system should aim to be axiomatic, eternally viable and perfectly complete. But I disagree that morality refers to a pre-existing body of ‘knowledge’ waiting to be discovered. Rather, it’s an inter-subjective value system we are in the process of constructing and refining from our collective human experience of the unfolding universe. Over the centuries and millennia it has been re-defined by changes, big and small, results of new understanding, etc - and if it were truly ‘objective’ then it wouldn’t necessarily exist. Because any system of relating to the world objectively would not advocate exclusion, isolation or ignorance on the grounds of value.Possibility

    If what you say is true then, as I said, morality is, well, man-made in the sense it's just one of those systems of rules we build to make living easier. By that logic slavery or murder or rape aren't actually immoral - they're just agreed upon to fall in the category of bad deeds. Yet, moral systems, all of them, use a happiness/suffering paradigm, and we know for certain slavery, murder, and rape, all, induce suffering in the victims and their loved ones. In other words, morality is objective to the extent it's based on a hedonistic metric and being so must count as a discovered item.
  • Judaka
    911

    But you are addressing desire here - what I’m referring to is understanding, regardless of law or will.Possibility

    You are missing my point, which is to refute what you said when you said "it's about recognising we can change it", I am addressing desire only to address reality. What else is your point? That views on nakedness aren't part of the laws of the world but just based on culture and preference? Why would that even need to be said?

    dichotomising in this way fails to take into account those who enjoy nakedness yet, regardless of laws, would not choose to knowingly subject someone else to an experience of nakedness against their will.Possibility

    Do you mean the nakedness of the nudist or forcing someone to be naked who wanted clothing? If it is the former, then that's how it is already, be naked in your house nobody cares and if it is the latter then I disagree and I never imagined the law would be "you must be naked in public".

    Your opinion of the random nudist is showing as a blatant disregard for others - if that were the case, then having a nudist beach available would make little difference to their behaviour.Possibility

    I can't make sense of this statement.

    That you see this as an indication of what side of the law they’re on is interesting.Possibility

    It is meaningless to be a nudist if you can be naked in public only in circumstances where you have to be. I am not saying that being a nudist means wanting all laws about the necessity of clothing repealed but obviously, there has to be something, is that not correct?
  • 3017amen
    2.6k
    seems to me, though, that your preference is instead to regress your awareness, to retreat into ignorance and deny this vulnerability, and in doing so to retrieve a false sense of ‘innocence’. I’m thinking you might have missed the point of it being a thought experiment...Possibility

    Actually I think it is you who is denying your vulnerability. And that was evidenced by your foregoing arguments concerning denial over the objectification of women.

    Further, and don't take this the wrong way, this is another reason why I respect Maslow (and Pragmatist William James), as he was a psychologist turned philosopher; not just all theory and philosophical jibberish. He put practice into theory. Just like my theory was put into practice by visiting the nudist colony. Whereas you my dear, are all theory.

    I would recommend either applying for the reality show 'naked and afraid' or simply visiting a nudist colony then come back with relevant facts from your experience.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    If what you say is true then, as I said, morality is, well, man-made in the sense it's just one of those systems of rules we build to make living easier. By that logic slavery or murder or rape aren't actually immoral - they're just agreed upon to fall in the category of bad deeds. Yet, moral systems, all of them, are based on a happiness/suffering paradigm, and we know for certain slavery, murder, and rape, all, induce suffering in the victims and their loved ones. In other words, morality is objective to the extent it's based on a hedonistic metric abd being so must count as a discovered item.TheMadFool

    Moral systems are man-made in the same sense that the laws of physics are man-made. They are constructed conceptual systems to make living understandable from our perspective. The main difference is that morality is still bound by human interoception of affect, because we struggle to imagine a qualitative value system in which this happiness/suffering paradigm is irrelevant. So our moral systems are applicable within a human interactive context, but beyond this they can say nothing accurate or objective about our relation to existence.

    The Copernican Revolution was more than rejecting the assumption that the Earth is motionless - it led to rejecting the assumption that our perspective of the physical universe is a necessarily central orientation. Kant’s own attempt at a similar paradigm shift was hampered by his essentialist perspective of human reason. Without Darwin’s Evolution of the Species, he still assumed that our human perspective of the unfolding, temporal universe was a necessarily central orientation - and his metaphysics reflected this. To complete Kant’s Copernican Turn, we must first complete Darwin’s, and then de-centralise human reasoning itself. Only then can we re-examine an objective critique of moral systems.

    It does not follow from this that slavery, murder or rape aren’t immoral - only that there’s more to human experience than what we can conceptualise according to morality. Regardless of whether nakedness is conceptualised as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, our relation to the experience is more complex, and our capacity for nakedness transcends the moral concept itself. My argument is simply to recognise that morality is not the ‘event horizon’ of human experience that we make it out to be. Our capacity to imagine a non-conceptual or disinterested experience of nakedness (for instance) allows for ‘free play’ between the faculties of understanding and judgement.

    But disinterest is not denial. We are vulnerable - more than we’d like to admit. However, this appearance of vulnerability we experience is also inclusive of potential and possible harm, and the forms in which they appear are further away from us in reality than they seem.

    Consider moral systems as analogous to the geocentric model that acts as an horizon: bringing order and sense to an unknowable reality based on observations from a fixed, central orientation. The cosmos appears as a container, and the stars line its walls, for all we knew. Two steps must occur for the paradigm shift: first, imagine that this supposedly fixed position is actually in motion itself (this is what Kant was aiming for); second, imagine that this supposedly central orientation is merely a particular position - one of, rather than singular or universal.

    The result is a recognition that this aspect of reality is not as unknowable as we once thought. What was once the 3D horizon (our observation/measurement of space) becomes a particular variable perspective in a container with a broader 4D horizon (our empirical knowledge of the unfolding universe), which is itself a particular variable perspective in another container with an even broader 5D horizon (our conceptual reality, or our inter-subjective understanding of the potential universe). Dare we take this further? If we can engage imagination to understand the most remote potential of the universe, what is stopping us from understanding the scope of human potentiality, without necessarily going there? In other words, what can we learn about ourselves and our capacity - beyond this horizon of moral judgement - from the shared experiences of those who perceive (or are confronted with) this human potential for nakedness; even for slavery, murder or rape?

    So when I ask “Is clothing necessary?” the challenge is not to answer with reasons why we need it, but to imagine who we are beyond it...
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    You are missing my point, which is to refute what you said when you said "it's about recognising we can change it", I am addressing desire only to address reality. What else is your point? That views on nakedness aren't part of the laws of the world but just based on culture and preference? Why would that even need to be said?Judaka

    To refute claims to universality, to inherence, in the statement ‘clothing is necessary’. To critique the moral judgement surrounding ‘nakedness’ as a concept. Reality is not necessarily about what we do, but what we are capable of.

    Do you mean the nakedness of the nudist or forcing someone to be naked who wanted clothing? If it is the former, then that's how it is already, be naked in your house nobody cares and if it is the latter then I disagree and I never imagined the law would be "you must be naked in public".Judaka

    I also disagree with the latter. But these are not the only ways to experience nakedness. My point is that the human experience of nakedness is more complex than morality or the law implies. When we recognise that clothing is not necessary, then this complexity becomes obvious, and we are faced with the reality of our human potential, for better or worse.
  • Judaka
    911

    I have never encountered an example of someone thinking clothing is necessary. I also have not really encountered anyone saying that the issue of whether clothing should be mandatory is complex. Most people would just say "ew" and that's done and dusted. Sure, some factors like religion make it complex but religion does that with many concepts. Why do you think this is a complex issue and why should people even care?
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    seems to me, though, that your preference is instead to regress your awareness, to retreat into ignorance and deny this vulnerability, and in doing so to retrieve a false sense of ‘innocence’. I’m thinking you might have missed the point of it being a thought experiment...
    — Possibility

    Actually I think it is you who is denying your vulnerability. And that was evidenced by your foregoing arguments concerning denial over the objectification of women.

    Further, and don't take this the wrong way, this is another reason why I respect Maslow (and Pragmatist William James), as he was a psychologist turned philosopher; not just all theory and philosophical jibberish. He put practice into theory. Just like my theory was put into practice by visiting the nudist colony. Whereas you my dear, are all theory.

    I would recommend either applying for the reality show 'naked and afraid' or simply visiting a nudist colony then come back with relevant facts from your experience.
    3017amen

    With all due respect, none of this constitutes an argument. You’re taking aim at my speculative approach because I challenged yours. I’m not expecting you to agree with me, but I did expect more from you than this.

    A visit to a nudist colony neither constitutes proof of your theory, nor a thought experiment in itself. It’s a particular subjective account. Useful, but only if you’re willing to be honest about your experience and accept the challenge of an alternate interpretation.

    Consider the possibility that your ‘thought’ process consisted only of subsuming ‘feelings’ under your theory. Now, consider the possibility that your theory might be inaccurate, and allow your full experience to challenge this original thinking, instead of submitting to it. In other words, engage all three faculties of imagination, understanding and judgement in the process of critiquing your own theory in relation to your experience - that’s what they’re for.

    FWIW, I don’t pretend to engage in anything more than speculative philosophy. All I have is inter-subjective experience and my faculties, in the end. Philosophical theory put into practice is living and interacting with the world - I’m doing that just fine, thanks, but I certainly don’t consider any ‘facts’ of my experiences to be proof of my theories.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    I have never encountered an example of someone thinking clothing is necessary. I also have not really encountered anyone saying that the issue of whether clothing should be mandatory is complex. Most people would just say "ew" and that's done and dusted. Sure, some factors like religion make it complex but religion does that with many concepts. Why do you think this is a complex issue and why should people even care?Judaka

    It was in response to the statement made in another thread - to be honest, I didn’t expect this much discussion on it. I thought it was well understood, and that the statement was an attempt to shut down part of a more complex discussion on the necessity of the ‘physical object’ in human experience.

    We often take for granted or assume certain limitations or essentials in the human experience at an interpersonal level. That ‘nakedness is bad’ is one of these automatic responses even though, in thoughtful discussion, we can acknowledge the narrowness of this position.

    What intrigued me here, though, was how many responded initially by justifying it as a limitation, and then took some discussion before admitting for the record that it isn’t really necessary. The question isn’t ‘whether clothing should be mandatory’, but whether it is either essential or necessary to human experience, existence or survival as a whole. Can we be human without clothing? If it isn’t necessary, then what is it about nakedness that threatens our humanity, such that we are so hesitant to admit this? The answer lies as much in what humans are capable of, as in our vulnerability as a result.

    Moral judgement on clothing/nakedness presents an horizon, beyond which some would rather not risk ourselves. We won’t learn much from the horizon (except to face our own fear and fascination), but I don’t believe it’s necessary to actually cross this horizon ourselves. It is our capacity to increase awareness, connection and collaboration with others - genuinely and beyond moral judgement - that enables us to better understand the complex, inter-subjective relational structure between our various limitations and the diversity of what we’re capable of.
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