I consider the profession unwise and harmful to all. But I'm looking for a compelling argument against it.
PS. Maybe "compelling" is too strong a word.
Buddhism Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people practicing or interested in Buddhist philosophy, teaching, and practice. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The Therigata includes their saying "free" from "crooked old" and or (elsewhere) "shameless" husband.
But I'm not sure that can be understood, or explained to someone:
And reading Wikipedia's Prostitution in Thailand I'm not sure there is anything really "compelling" in the canon: because if there were then perhaps it wouldn't prevail in a Buddhist society?
Thig 15 is about a nun who says she was rejected by her husband, because in a former life she had been a man who slept with another man's wife and therefore suffered consequences (including rebirth in hell and as an animal). If you, or "the prostitute" to whom you want to give advice, took that to be true then that might be compelling advice -- i.e. that infidelity/unchastity leads to hell -- but even then I think people take a narrow view from the canon of what the third precept means and use that to argue that prostitution is explicitly permitted.
Two arguments you could try:
Are you trying to offer "going forth" as the alternative?
If not must you consider what the person's mundane employment alternatives are? Because that may be what they find "compelling".
Well, I do not know from the Suttas perspective exactly. The way I see this profession is that it leads to corruption and unwholesome states of mind. The reason is because the person is constantly exposed to one of the strongest pleasurable feelings. These are not easy to remain unattached to and sooner or later strong clinging will develop. This translates to suffering. Also another reason, not all the clients will be according to the prostitute's liking and the ones which she dislikes she will have to put up with, She will be negotiating her hygiene/risk of disease etc for some money and this is bad I think - kind of like selling one's soul. Thus I believe it is bad for one's mind.