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“The Virtues of Being an Object” by Conner Habib

Conner Habib writes:

Below are excerpts from my essay in the book Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness (Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books), “The Virtues of Being an Object”.  The essay is about all sorts of things; but all relate to the charge that porn “objectifies” people.  We’ve all heard that argument, but I wasn’t so sure it made any sense.  When I tried to figure out what porn critics were getting at, I figured out that they were even more confused than I thought.
Because the topics of the essay are so interwoven with each other, it wouldn’t have made sense to present a big long excerpt from it.  Instead, I cut out little parts here and there and modified them into mini-essays for this blog.  For the whole essay, please buy the book by clicking the cover.  

ON SCIENCE, RELIGION, EXPERIENCE, and DEHUMANIZATION
or, “…science may be the most objectifying force in the world.”

While you read this essay, your hair will grow and spit will form in your mouth.  Your bones and tendons will be shaping themselves and decaying, and masticated food will be dissolving in your stomach acid.  Mites will crawl through your eyelashes, your cells will touch each other.  You will be and are a wave of motion and movement, of blood and piss and bile.  This is science’s description of your body.

The problem with it is simple:  you thought you were sitting still, reading.

When you say hello to or kiss or have sex with someone, are you aware of their liver producing bile?  Of the shit forming in their bowels?  People say they want x-ray vision, but they don’t really want to see what’s going on – not just under the skin, but even underneath clothing, where they wouldn’t see perfect bodies, naked and sexual – they’d see nipples squished up against bras, dicks and testicles all mangled up in underwear, and flesh pushed into weird mis-directions.

So we notice our experience of science’s description of the body: there’s a feeling of distance from it.  The descriptions of fluids and processes may seem repulsive or alien, or simply funny or strange.  But they’re not what we normally encounter as our bodies.

This is the deal that science strikes with us.  It will tell us, unblinkingly, what is there and what is “real”, but in exchange, we must accept this as the truth, whether we experience it as true or not.  We shouldn’t dismiss what science has to tell us, but what if we didn’t have to trade experience for information?

(Nevermind pornography)… science may be the most objectifying force in the world.  And of course, it is constantlyconfusing the body for the entire self.  Science/scientific progress’s worst crimes are ones that misunderstand a whole organism or system: they’re crimes like genetic manipulation of seeds, dumping poisonous mercury into rivers, testing weapons out on humans for experimental purposes.  While defenders of science may claim it to be objective, science does not exist in a vacuum.  It demands that the world be material, then blends with its objectifying counterpart, consumerism, and commits materialist crimes.  After all, what’s to stop anyone from doing anything heinous if all that matters is that we’re just stuff and nothing else, not even experience?

READ MORE ON CONNER’S BLOG

Conner adds:

My twitter is @ConnerHabib .  My (NSFW) adult site, which is in need of an update, but has a list of the movies I’ve been in, photos, and more is connerhabib.com, and my (NSFW) Tumblr is ConnerLovesEveryone.  If you just want to talk, email me at connerhabibsocial at gmail.com .  I answer every email and love hearing from anyone who’s interested in what I’m up to.  Thanks and big love.

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