It seems we have gone full circle in regard to clothing. It was made to protect the family and it has turned into one of the things that wedges it apart. It stresses the parents who have additional, non-trivial chores because of it; it stresses the children because their parents are stressed and nervous about family members appearing naked before other family members, and because they would rather not wear clothing occasionally.
We avoid exposing our weaknesses - not simply because we don't want them exploited, but because we don't want to deal with them. We don't want to scrutinize them rationally. We hide them from others, but more terribly, we hide them from ourselves. We simplify ourselves to the point where we become so simple we are unable to function and then we suffer, pretending that we are simple.
Gymnophobia is a learned, cultural phenomenon that is relatively recent.
Clothes tend to hide [our posture] and instead impose an image of how the position we occupy is viewed by society, thus diminishing the person that occupies it. Clothes are in most cases a lie draped over our bodies; a lie we ought to wear to protect people from recognizing - from our posture and other forms of non-verbal communication which the clothes hide - how miserable we truly are underneath that expensive designer suit, or dress.
Most of the time you don't need [clothes ...]. Yet you're willing to spend sometimes even much more than an hour of your life on a single garment. [... There] is this fear that is present today, where people think that they absolutely need to be wearing some clothes, but that is an irrational fear. It's fear of being ridiculed, or judged by others.
The situation is somewhere between symbolism and analogy, really. The clothes make me feel trapped when I wear them. Now I'm trapped in this place because of them.
A Christian website went out of its way to explain how "the foremost reason of clothing is to cover up those parts of our body which are involved in sex" failing to realize that our entire body is very much involved in sex (in fact some of them should realize that their mouths are quite involved in sex too, and cover them up as well occasionally). If that's the main purpose of clothing then maybe we should all wear burquas and sunglasses at all times.
Everything is natural. Appealing to the "naturalness" of something isn't an argument in either its favor, or against it. In fact, when someone invokes an appeal to nature it makes me dubious because if "it's natural" (like everything else) is all one has to say about a thing, then that thing doesn't sound like it's very interesting.
The only way to define freedom in a consistent and non-contradictory manner in the context of a society (any society) is that one is free to do anything except initiate the use of physical force against others.
[W]e consider ourselves a democratic and free society. However, as Stephen has noticed but cannot articulate why, this doesn't go very far. This high opinion of ourselves is baseless because some of us - our Human Rights Court judges (no less) included - are not ready to accept this in all possible instances of our exercise of that democracy and that freedom.