larvalsubjects Says: October 17, 2007 at 4:48 pm I do, of course, agree that environment has a formative influence on us. This is what all my talk of individuation is about:
However, I would disagree that there are transcendent, transhistorical, non-situated values through which we might posit values to evaluate situations. Values must themselves be individuated or emerge out of the structure of situations. The person arguing that there is something intrinsically negative about immodest dress has a pretty tall mountain to climb: think of the Greeks, Romans, tribes that wear nothing more than a loin cloth.
It is difficult to see how the case can be made that such things have an intrinsically negative psychological or detrimental impact. Rather, just as written text allows for certain possibilities that oral traditions or the internet do not, while also closing off other formations, so too with modes of dress and forms of life. Simply going on the basis of my own readings of Scripture, I find the obsession of many Christians with issues surrounding sex to be bizarre. The Old Testament seems more worried about questions of food and hospitality than sex. The New Testament seems more concerned with questions of how we ought to relate to our neighbor and whether we should pray in public.