Sunday, September 15, 2013

Religion: The Benefits of Following to a Possible Non-Believer


Today as I sat in church, listening to the sermon, I found myself engaging in a dialogue with myself trying to figure out what religion really is. Is God real? Is there an afterlife? Will we ever know? These questions raced through my mind as I sat and listened to a guest preacher go on and on about faith being the conviction of what we believe, rather than what we see. Isn't seeing believing though? How do we strongly believe in something or someone that we've never seen? What if the bible is really just a fairy tale? May God forgive me for these thoughts, but from a rational point of view, religion seems to be the first form of government, and the bible seems to be the first constitution.

Before civilization, mankind was free to do whatever they wanted. That obviously led to chaos (as listed in tales such as that of Sodom and Gomorrah). In order to bring about some form of structure and organization, a governing body of some sort had to be established. This is where I think religion comes in. Religion brought about a set of rules and regulations that if followed, would bring about peace and stability. But why would mankind follow these laws? Well, that is where the promise of the afterlife comes in.

Mankind is fond of the concept of reinforcement: if you do A and B, you will be rewarded with C and D. In other other words, if you follow these sets of laws established in the name of "God," you will be rewarded by getting to see him in the euphoric after life, and avoid the burning gates of hell. Sounds pretty appealing, right? So obviously mankind would be inclined to follow these laws simply on the basis of faith and not necessarily rationality. Now, I'm not here to condemn the concept of religion simply because I don't believe there is a God (I'm uncertain of what I believe, I'm torn on the subject), instead I'm here to explore why the concept of religion (whether rational or not) is beneficial to society.

Whether or not you believe in every word of the Bible or Quran or whatever book you follow, following some form of monotheistic religion seems to set you on a path to be successful in life. It keeps you grounded, and makes you a law abiding citizen, as religious texts typically expect more of you than the government ever will. For example, all religious texts preach the avoidance of the type of behavior that may be detrimental to oneself or another. The concept of killing, for example is frowned upon everywhere. Following such guarantees that you will stay away from any legal repercussions for homicides, etc. Avoiding taking what's not yours also guarantees that you will not be convicted of larceny or burglary, etc. These examples are just a few of the many guidelines of religion that cross paths with the laws of society. In sum, being religious pretty much guarantees that you'll be an outstanding law abiding citizen (for the most part, since religion never mentioned avoiding speeding and such).

Where I really disagree with religion, in particular Christianity, is on certain topics that are subjective to the generation that we are in. Take for example the concept of abstinence before marriage. I believe that this concept was practiced in the past because there was no means for contraception besides avoiding the act itself. With that being said, folk of those times wanted to avoid reproduction to the extent where proper care would escape some children; therefore they frowned upon the concept of sex as a source of pleasure, and considered it solely as a reproductive act. Premarital sex was then frowned upon because marriage was somewhat of an indicator that a newborn would be able to receive the proper care that he or she ought to receive. With the changes that we've experienced in modern society today, this practice or belief seems invalid, or at least on the basis of the logic being used here.

In sum, whether or not there is a God, or whether or not there is an afterlife, etc. is something that we may never know until we die; however one thing we do know is that following some form of monotheistic religion seems to mold us into being law abiding citizens who live a pretty prosperous life. For that reason, I encourage all people to adopt some form of religion and practice it to the best of your ability, even if you believe there is no God, as this will set you up to live a pretty disciplined life filled with good fortunes due to your good actions.


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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Prostitution: The Economic and Criminal Justice Benefits of Legalization


The debate over whether or not prostitution should be legalized in this country is an on-going issue that is yet to be solved. The act of “offering one's self for hire to engage in sexual relations,” ( is predominantly viewed as deviant, and is deemed illegal in most parts of this country. To be exact, prostitution is outlawed in all states except Nevada, where this “profession” is closely regulated at licensed brothels. According to Standley White of, prostitutes in these brothels are tested monthly for HIV and syphilis, and weekly for other STDs ( In addition, condom use is required, and street walking remains illegal, just like other parts of the country (White, Nevertheless, other parts of the country aren’t as accepting of this concept of sexual relations for monetary gain, for reasons stemming from a moral standpoint. Despite these reasons however, the success of prostitution in parts of Nevada serves as a great example of the fact that the legalization of prostitution could potentially be of greater benefit for this nation. With my current knowledge on the subject prior to research, I expect to make findings that suggest that the legalization of prostitution would in fact benefit this nation. The economic sector and the criminal justice sector are a few areas that could specifically benefit a lot from the legalization of prostitution; this paper will explain how the potential benefits of these sectors serve as a good enough reason as to why prostitution should be legalized.

Legalized Prostitution and the Economy

The struggle of the US economy is no unfamiliar news to residents or even informed foreign followers of this nation. During such a period of hardship, a spark to an economic boom is desperately being searched for, and the legalization of prostitution could possibly provide such a boost. The biggest impact that the legalization of prostitution can have on the economic sector is through the generation of revenue in the form of income taxes. As mentioned in the introduction, the success of Nevada’s prostitution regulation serves as evidence of the potential success that can be achieved by the nation as a whole; this success is heavily seen in the economic gains that have been generated by the profession. Findings by Chris Ayres of The Times indicate that based on the current rates of income of an employee at a Nevada brothel, the ability to generate tax revenue is bound to contribute at least $20,000 in federal income taxes per year per person (Ayres, 2003). Using the current estimate of over one million women prostituted in this nation, this industry is bound to raise at least $20 billion per year (Sonntag, 2009). It is needless to say that money generated from this industry can go a long way towards helping the nation, as it can be used to build homeless shelters, further education, fix highways, etc.

Legalized prostitution can also help address the problem of unemployment in this nation, ultimately helping the economy. As we all know, a direct impact of the economic struggles that this nation is enduring is the unemployment status being suffered by many. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), five million Americans are currently unemployed long-term. This results in the inability for many to provide a comfortable living for themselves, as well as their families. The Prostitutes’ Education Network (2008) states that over one million Americans, which is about 1% of the population, have worked as prostitutes at one point or another in their lifetime. This goes to show that people are willing to part-take in this industry if necessary. In the midst of this current economic crisis, these one million people can potentially decrease the unemployment rate, as those who shy away from the industry simply because it is deemed illegal will be more accepting of the profession. In addition, those who are secretly involved would undoubtedly embrace the profession and perhaps encourage more individuals to join in as well. Lastly, law abiding citizens who are in desperate need of income will be provided with an opportunity to provide a living for their families. All these components can contribute to a decrease in the current unemployment rates, and ultimately benefit the economy.

Legalization of Prostitution and the Criminal Justice System

Another sector that is bound to benefit from the legalization of prostitution is the Criminal Justice System. The illegality of the concept of prostitution places the need for law enforcement to make a concerted effort to reduce the frequency or even potentially eliminate the occurrence of the act. According to findings by Howard N. Snyder of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2012), the state of California alone had a total number of 11,334 people arrested for prostitution in the year 2010. Considering a significant amount of time and effort is put into fighting prostitution and keeping prostitutes from the public streets, legalized prostitution would reduce the amount of street monitoring needed, as most prostitutes would be in brothels. The partial alleviation of these duties would allow for law enforcement officers to focus on more serious crimes and other issues such as community policing, securing national borders, fighting terrorism, etc.

In addition to the freedom to focus on other safety issues, the legalization of prostitution would help the Criminal Justice System to address the problem of overpopulation in correctional facilities, and help the process of prison reform. In the state of Texas for example, more than three hundred and fifty prostitutes occupy bunks in state prisons (Associated Press, 2012). Although this is not a significant amount, all it takes is an additional number of one hundred inmates to create overpopulation in a facility intended to house a thousand. Legalized prostitution would eliminate the need to add on to this growing problem of crowding in facilities. Also, money spent to accommodate, feed, and clothe these petty “criminals” can be attributed to other prisoners’ rehabilitation process, or saved for other criminal justice endeavors.

Lastly, the legalization of prostitution would ensure the protection of the prostitutes involved, eliminating the need for victimization cases related to the job. According to Linda Lowen of (2002), a lot of prostitutes are abused by pimps, or even clients, yet fail to report the incidents to law enforcement due to fear of being arrested for prostituting in the first place. The legalization of prostitution would open the line of communication between prostitutes and law enforcement, ultimately resulting in their safety. Also, legalized prostitution would eliminate the need for the act to take place in discreet isolated environments where the safety of the prostitutes is in jeopardy. In brothels, the act will take place in a highly secured environment where victimization of a prostitute would be unlikely. This ultimately ensures the safety of all parties involved, which benefits the criminal justice sector and the nation as a whole.


The research conducted reinforces my preexisting belief that the legalization of prostitution would be beneficiary to this country. Despite my prior assumption of legalized prostitution being beneficial, I was quite surprised to find out the extent to which it can actually benefit the nation. For example, I was shocked to find out that as much as 20 billion dollars can be generated through income taxes annually. I’m puzzled as to why prostitution hasn’t become a big business industry yet, when it has the potential to generate so much revenue. The finding that surprised me the most was the fact that one million people in this country have been prostitutes at one point or another in their lifetime. I had no idea that prostitution was that common, and that many people were open to it. It made me wonder what the main reasoning for entering the industry was; although I’d assume that monetary gain would be the answer.

In regards to whether or not these potential benefits outweigh the negatives, I think they certainly do. Although opposition state that it is morally wrong, it ruins marriages, and it degrades the human body, I am still in favor of legalizing prostitution because of the reasons listed throughout the paper, and because its illegal status will not prevent the act from occurring. It is inevitable that prostitution will continue to occur; therefore the nation might as well find a way to benefit from it. If an individual is fine with selling his/her body for money, who are we to stop him/her? After all, is it not a right to be able to express yourself however you may please? Wasn’t this nation built on the concept of freedom? Doesn’t this law somehow violate that freedom? It also baffles me that porn is legal yet prostitution isn’t. Aren’t the two practically the same, with the only different component being the presence of a camera? That is highly irrational in my opinion. For these reasons, prostitution should be legalized.


In conclusion, the legalization of prostitution, despite its current disapproval and deviant view, is bound to benefit the nation in many ways. It is likely to provide a much needed boost to our economy through the taxation of prostitutes and brothels, and through the creation of jobs. It is also going to aid our criminal justice system by presenting law enforcement officers with more freedom to focus on more serious matters, by helping to address the problem of overpopulation in correctional facilities, and by ensuring the safety of the individuals involved in prostitution. These reasons go to show the potential benefits of the legalization of prostitution and why it should be implemented. Prostitution has been around this nation for many years, and it doesn’t seem to be ready to make an exit yet; therefore instead of trying to fight it, we should regulate it and try to reap the benefits that the state of Nevada has been able to achieve. As the cliché saying goes, “you never know until try.” The legalization of prostitution is a calculated risk which is bound to however prove to be beneficial; therefore legalize prostitution, for what it’s worth!


Associated Press (2012, August 26). Texas May Reconsider Sending Prostitutes to Prison.Tulsa World [Tulsa]. Retrieved from

Ayres, C. (2003, September 19). Cathouses Find Sex is Taxing the Wild West. The Times. Retrieved from

Employment Situation Summary. (2012, November 2). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved November 15, 2012, from

Lowen, L. (2002). Prostitution Statistics and Rape - Physical Abuse of Prostitutes - Prostitution and Childhood Sexual Abuse - Alieen Wuornos. Women's Issues - All About Women's Issues. Retrieved November 23, 2012, from

Prostitutes' Education Network (2008). Prostitution in the United States - The Statistics.Prostitutes' Education Network. Retrieved October 18, 2012, from

Prostitution legal definition of Prostitution. Prostitution synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary. (n.d.). In Legal Dictionary. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from

Snyder, H. N. (2012, October 31). Arrest in the United States, 1990-2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from

Sonntag, T. P. (2009). Case for Legalizing Prostitution >> Tax Revenue. Case for Legalizing Prostitution. Retrieved October 17, 2012, from