Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Two audiences: pedophiles and public

My year 2014 posts were addressed primarily to a public that is skeptical of anything good or decent about pedophiles at all.

My year 2015 posts so far have been addressed primarily to pro-contact pedophiles -- ones who think sex with children is fundamentally OK.

Even some people who respect celibate pedophiles might feel that engaging pro-contact pedophiles in conversation is a disgrace. Some might think that the Virtuous Pedophiles cause would be served politically by distancing myself from them thoroughly and trying to outdo society in vilifying them.

By nature I want to assume the basic humanity of any group and try to understand them. The pro-contact position is respectable in terms of values -- the well-being of children is high on their list. It is seriously off-kilter in terms of facts -- what actually contributes to the well-being of children. Some proponents of the position recognize that as society exists today, sexual activity is risky for children -- harm outweighs benefit. They urge all pedophiles to stay celibate until society changes. Usually this is expressed in terms of impatient derision -- society is dead wrong. But to the extent they are actually willing to wait, they are grudgingly within the social compact. They can argue their case, but until it is accepted they urge continued celibacy. If it is never accepted, those with integrity will argue for unending celibacy.

I have proposed an anti-contact position that is free from such clear falsehoods as: (1) children are asexual, (2) all children are devastated by sexual activity with adults, (3) no young teens would ever actively want sex with an adult, and (4) a man finding young teens attractive is uncommon -- let alone horrifyingly sick. The solid anti-contact case rests on competing costs and benefits, probabilities, temptations, incentives to misperceive, and legal proof in the crucial matter of consent -- things that actually happen in the world. I hope that this more nuanced anti-contact argument will be persuasive to some pro-contact pedophiles who typically measure their views only against the more extreme anti-contact positions.

This post ends my series addressing pro-contact pedophiles. My ideas for future posts now return to the audience of the general public.

1 comment:

  1. Ethan, what is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. In 50 years, adult-child sex may be fashionable. We may have half naked girls posing in ads for cars. Would they be harmed? Yes, but that wouldn't matter. Everybody would be doing it, so it would automatically be okay.

    You and I look at what is moral. Most people automatically conclude "If everyone is doing it, it must be right". They don't think for themselves, and that is dangerous. If sex with children by adults were to become fashionable, we would have a lot of hurt kids. And society would look the other way.

    In Germany, it came close to being legalized in the 1980s, and now the Greens had to apologize. They did a lot of harm, in a time where a society was vulnerable to such arguments. We must never be vulnerable to such arguments here in the US.