Q: Why do we regard watching pornography as sinful and watching a murder action trailer as morally neutral?
A: I think your question is pretty subjective. I was brought up to think of pornography as sinful. Maybe you were, too. But, obviously, not everyone feels the same these days. Pornography is an industry, and is one of the largest and most profitable in the world. There’s no shortage of it, but we do, as a society, seem to keep it under wraps more than we do violence, which is also pervasive—especially in entertainment. We are a violent species, just beginning to discover that we may be able to create peace. And yet we are seem to be still in love with war and killing, unfortunately, and seem to be less in love with one another.
Pornography is natural love taken to a licentious extreme, and violence is the extreme of human conflict. Neither one is desirable or uplifting, in my opinion. As for sinfulness, that may be a matter between the individual and God, although it is hard to imagine that either of these extremes would be pleasing to our loving Heavenly Father.
It may be that there is less a sense of “sinfulness” about many things in our society than there once was. There is a coarseness about much of our entertainment, and both of these extremes bleed into each other. Violence in film is but a reflection of our society, and pornography is simple license in my opinion—pornographers take advantage of weak-minded people who see no reason to control themselves. As well, pornography can be seen as a type of violence against women.
This is precisely the reason that spiritual values are so very important. An eternal spiritual perspective, and the knowledge that one is part of a Universe family and is loved dearly as an individual would fill so many needs that we have which are now satisfied only by increasing violence and more intense stimulation of the physical senses.
Thanks for this question. I hope this reply has been helpful to you.