Culpable for eternity…


by Kulvinder
25th May, 2007 at 5:19 am    

Child pornography is one of the greatest taboos of our time. Infact its possibly the greatest. It may be vile but it is still legal to possess and distribute images or digital recordings of beheadings and war. I can’t think of a single politician who has called for possession of the Nick Berg execution to be made illegal. We may rightly be repulsed by the events that occurred, but we don’t accuse anyone in possession of that footage for being the executioner by proxy.

On the other hand there seems to be an entrenched inability to be rational about images that contain child abuse. The main reasons given for banning child abuse images are that it desensitizes the viewer to the point they become an abuser, and it encourages further abuse as a result of which you are in essence abusing by proxy. Both those arguments are essentially about condoning thought crimes.

It has been argued repeatedly that viewing violent computer games or movies encourages violent behaviour without there being conclusive evidence to support that. At the most you may become desensitized to what you see, but that doesn’t make you mimic what’s on the screen. If there was a simple casual link between viewing images and repeating behaviour the highest correlation between those who saw the images and abused children would be with the police officers who investigate the images. I don’t believe any such casual link exists and it is quite frankly absurd for anyone to suggest that viewing a naked image of a child is more likely to make me a rapist.

Similarly I can’t extend that argument to suggest that if more people were to view abuse images more abuse would occur to ‘fill a demand’. As an analogy despite numerous ‘beheading videos’ being produced there hasn’t been a demonstrable increase in beheadings occurring in other parts of the world. There hasn’t been a greater desire for ‘snuff’ movies simply because someone logged onto liveleak. It is one of the ironies of our time that we can accuse someone of being an ‘abuser by proxy’ for possessing a picture depicting the rape of a child yet if that child had been decapitated by a bomb or beheaded by a terrorist we’d never think of inflicting the same ‘thought crime’. This is before we even consider the actions of photojournalists.

One of the most laughable aspects of this hysteria is the fact it is illegal to possess an ‘indecent image’ of a 16 year old yet it is perfectly legal to have sex with them. Regardless of what justification you want to use to support these laws, I’ll leave you with this. There is no Statute of limitations on child pornography. Quite simply you are not only held responsible for something you did not do, you are held responsible even if it occurred before your birth. It is brutal and absurd to suggest anyone born today is responsible for the worst images that were apparently produced decades ago. I simply cannot justify that a person who is born 20 years from now could be held culpable for a rape that occurred 20 years ago.

The rape or execution of any individual are grotesque acts that should be punished, but unless we start to question laws that hold us accountable for merely possessing documentary evidence of something we didn’t do we risk going down an ill-thought out road where horribly injust decisions are supported.


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  1. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 9:57 am  

    As an analogy despite numerous ‘beheading videos’ being produced there hasn’t been a demonstrable increase in beheadings occurring in other parts of the world

    For one thing I am not sure that is true, and in any case, for it to be a valid analogy, the beheaders would have to be doing it at least partly for the money brought in by subscription fees.

    Snuff porn, even faked, is in fact very illegal, despite the fact I don’t think there has ever been a proven real case.

  2. Jai — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:20 am  

    I think this question would require behavioural psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists to really explain the impact that child pornography has on the psyche and behaviour of adults seeing it, along with the possible differences between this situation and the violent images Kulvinder has mentioned in his article.

  3. Billy — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:51 am  

    I think the problem is that people have child pornography to get off on, less so beheading videos.

  4. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:43 am  

    For one thing I am not sure that is true, and in any case, for it to be a valid analogy, the beheaders would have to be doing it at least partly for the money brought in by subscription fees.

    Why would that matter? The obvious case of people paying for it was is operation ore, but there have been numerous convictions based on people possessing it without any financial motive.

    The reason i chose the beheading videos was because i could think of no more extreme version of a crime being committed and recorded partly for the reasons of proliferation, admitedly its ‘propaganda’ rather than ‘entertainment’ but still zarqawi and his like did it partly to encourage their supporters. It can be seen in the context of a trophy video.

    Still financial benefit from suffering is an interesting issue, and i was going to add it to the article but forgot. For the sake of argument lets say there was a direct financial raionale for these kinds of images, would that be worse than what the likes of the crimelibrary/the tabloids/crime writers do? I don’t see why its conceptually ‘better’ to read a book giving a detailed blow-by-blow account of a rape/murder than looking a photograph of the event. Surely if the Sun or NOTW give a first-hand sensationalised account of a crime they’re not only profiting from the suffering but ‘abusing by proxy’. I don’t see why photographic documentary evidence should be more heinous than the a written account of the same event.

    Snuff porn, even faked, is in fact very illegal, despite the fact I don’t think there has ever been a proven real case.

    Yup you’re right, it was only after i posted that i remembered this. I was taking ‘snuff film’ in a wider context outside pornography, but apparently the word isn’t used in that context.

    Obviously i disagree with that law, and my main points are applicable to it. If nothing else any snuff film would be illegal for eternity and that is something i find ludicrous.

  5. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:47 am  

    nb i haven’t actually watched a single beheading video because i am really repulsed by the thought and its just too gruesome for me, but neither have i downloaded child porn so if nothing else im judging them from the same position.

  6. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:49 am  

    I think the problem is that people have child pornography to get off on, less so beheading videos.

    So it really is a thought crime…

  7. Ginerva — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:16 pm  

    Is it ‘just’ a thought crime?
    In America, where David Cash Jr. stood by in full knowledge, while Sherrice Iverson was dragged into a toilet, raped & killed, Nevada introduced a law to punish what surely is the ultimate in bystander apathy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherrice_Iverson

    Similarly, many other countries have Good Samaritan laws describing ‘…a legal requirement for citizens to assist people in distress, unless doing so would put themselves in harm’s way ‘.

    If you don’t want viewers of child porn to be convicted of ‘rape by proxy’ what do you think of their culpability in not (anonymously) reporting the sites & handing in the hundreds of images of actual crime they witness every time they add to their collection?

    Also, I have read that for some child porn sites, membership is granted if the applicant will supply images as proof of ‘good faith’ with emphasis on new images therefore inciting abuse.

  8. Ravi Naik — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:17 pm  

    “It has been argued repeatedly that viewing violent computer games or movies encourages violent behaviour without there being conclusive evidence to support that. At the most you may become desensitized to what you see, but that doesn’t make you mimic what’s on the screen.”

    I agree with what you’ve said. Again, we have the case of ‘correlation implies causation’ fallacy. People who do commit violent crimes do indeed consume this kind of material, but so do other people when they play violent games or watch violent movies. The difference being that ‘normal’ people understand the line between fantasy and reality, and will not cross that line.

    I also think that this kind of material can actually be beneficial, so that people do not have to ‘act’ out in reality. Killing a bunch of pixels by pressing a few buttons on your keyboard or mouse sounds less harmful than doing it in real life.

    And that would go for paedophile material. Except that the material they consume is based on explotation of real kids which are subject to horrific experiences. And that is why I feel that those who use this kind of material for sexual gratification should be severely punished, because they are feeding the machine that brings so much misery to children and their families, and rewarding the predators.

  9. ChrisC — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

    Very interesting post.
    (Though combine child porn with climate change denial and you would really have hit the taboo jackpot!)

    The normal argument, in additon to “deprave and corrupt”, is obviously that possession implies payment (not unreasonably) which encourages further exploitation. That is a strong argument for maintaining rharsh penalties, though not 200 years!

    If no-one watched the beheadings would the terrorists be discouraged?

  10. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

    The main reasons given for banning child abuse images are that it desensitizes the viewer to the point they become an abuser, and it encourages further abuse as a result of which you are in essence abusing by proxy. Both those arguments are essentially about condoning thought crimes.

    No Kulvinder. Raping children is bad. Raping children and filming and photographing it is bad. Demanding that children be raped and filmed so you can be sexually gratified is bad. Creating a law in which those who contribute to the economy and culture that rapes children and films it by paying to watch it and buy those images is a good thing.

    IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THOUGHT CRIMES

    It has everything to do with the direct causative connection between the rape of children and the demand for these images to be disseminated to paedophiles. It’s to protect children.

  11. squared — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:13 pm  

    Well fucking said. I wish I had more time to comment. :(

    I’ll just say that often people are too emotional and react in very strong (above) ways when things like child porn are mentioned. It means that very little rational arguments like yours are put forward and nobody really challenges the thoughts behind them. I especially like what you challenged the laws governing both sex and child porn. People are so busy being disgusted that they ignore little facts like that.

  12. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:24 pm  

    Sound stuff. This should be posted on CiF.

  13. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    Squared, what could be more rational than explaining that the reason for having criminal sentences for the possession of child pornography is to punish those whose demand for the material has a direct and contributory causative relationship with the production of such material and the rape and sexual abuse in the first place? That is rational.

    If Kulvinder the Trendy Anarchist is upset over a sentence of 200 years given to some paedophile in Alabama then he should petition the judiciary there to amend their laws.

    So, once again — possessing child pornography contributes directly to the production of the material and the rape and sexual abuse of children. It has nothing to do with thought crimes.

    Completely 100% rational.

  14. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:28 pm  
  15. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    Jagdeep is right. The law is in place to protect the exploited child. It is not a ‘thought crime’. It is child protection. It is 100% right that any society should do that. Even an anarchist one.

  16. Ravi Naik — on 25th May, 2007 at 2:01 pm  

    “Personally, I suspect that belief may be one of those that is held more because it is comforting than that it is particularly likely to be true.”

    It is a fact that western society in this new age is so much more benign and civil than say 200 years ago, 500 years ago, and 1000 years ago. And TV (and the Internet) was invented not so long ago.

    This is a complex issue, and frankly there are a lot of variables that can explain an increase or decrease of crime. For instance, the book ‘freakonomics’ shows a strong correlation between the time that the US legalised abortions, and how it affected crime in the next generation (90′s). Basically, crime decreased considerably.

    I honestly believe that violent material on TV and games do not create violent people, because the vast majority of people understand the boundaries of fantasy and reality (the same cannot be said of children for obvious reasons). Paedophilic material is wrong – very wrong – because children are being victims, not because it turns people into paedophiles.

  17. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    Kulvinder

    If repeated exposure had little or no effect then there would be no need for advertising. And similarly propaganda would be ineffective; the US military wouldn’t make use of computer games to numb and suppress the fear of killing.

    The argument against possession of this type of material is that of supply and demand. Which also applies to prostitution, if the kerb crawlers weren’t about then the sex-workers wouldn’t come to the area.

    If there was no demand there would be no one actually abusing children to generate the material.

    The connection is direct.

  18. Alsoknownas — on 25th May, 2007 at 2:56 pm  

    Footage of war bears witness to its horrors; horrors which voters should be aware of since governments claim to wage war on their behalf. Since there are no newspaper editors or politicians who argue that child abuse is a nesessary evil there is no countervailing need to make plain its depravity.

    There is a legitimate discussion to be had about how graphic war reportage should be – clearly a balance must be struck. In cases such as the Virginia Tech shootings when the apparent aim of the violence is notoriety broadcasters ought to be especially cautious.

    While the lack of editorial control on the internet has benefits with regards war reporting (since it by-passes the strictly controlled “embedded” journalists) I can think of nothing positive about the proliferation of child porn. Exactly how bad its negative effects are is a more difficult question to answer.

  19. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

    The comparison is bollocks anyway.

    Child porn is produced and tailored for the pederasts who get off on it. Therefore it involves the rape and abuse of children in front of the camera who otherwise would not be subjected to that ordeal.

    Beheading videos are disseminated as propaganda by terrorists but they are part of the evil reality of war.

    The comparison would only be valid if there were snuff porn perverts whose demand for that kind of porn led to a market of people being beheaded or physically tortured and violated for the masturbation gratification.

    Thought crime my foot.

  20. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:19 pm  

    I honestly believe that violent material on TV and games do not create violent people, because the vast majority of people understand the boundaries of fantasy and reality

    For the first half of that statement to be true, the second would have to be true for ‘absolutely everybody’, not merely the vast majority.

    Sticking with america, 250 million people, perhaps 99.9% of whom completely understand the boundaries of fantasy and reality. That’s still 250,000 potential murderers. If 1 in 25 is placed in the right situation, that’s your 10,000, even ignoring multiple murders.

  21. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    If you don’t want viewers of child porn to be convicted of ‘rape by proxy’ what do you think of their culpability in not (anonymously) reporting the sites & handing in the hundreds of images of actual crime they witness every time they add to their collection?

    We haven’t got good samaritan laws in the UK, that said id think their culpablity would be the same as someone who watches crimewatch. Do you think someone who watched a beheading video was culpable in the murder? What about the mistaken US bombing run on British troops?

    To give a broader analogy I don’t agree with laws against incitement (ie i believe in free speech). The person who ‘incites’ shouldn’t be prosecuted – we have free will – it should be the person who kills. Similarly i don’t agree with punishing those that simply possess documantary evidence of a crime. It was only the people who committed the act that should be punished.

    Also, I have read that for some child porn sites, membership is granted if the applicant will supply images as proof of ‘good faith’ with emphasis on new images therefore inciting abuse.

    ‘Inciting’ how? Does liveleak ‘incite’ people to commit murder? By any logical extention of that argument rotten/fugly/liveleak etc should be outlawed.

  22. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    No Kulvinder. Raping children is bad. Raping children and filming and photographing it is bad…

    …It has everything to do with the direct causative connection between the rape of children and the demand for these images to be disseminated to paedophiles. It’s to protect children.

    I never argued that the rape of children was ‘good’ that said the exact same arguments for ‘incitement’ were used in the 80s and early 90s for ‘normal porn’. Basically it was thought pornography encouraged the rape of women, that isn’t whats being found now

  23. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:32 pm  

    So, once again — possessing child pornography contributes directly to the production of the material and the rape and sexual abuse of children. It has nothing to do with thought crimes.

    Jagdeep is right. The law is in place to protect the exploited child. It is not a ‘thought crime’. It is child protection. It is 100% right that any society should do that. Even an anarchist one.

    Contributes how? A direct link in what sense?

    If you’re saying people are corrupted into abuse then the police officers investigating child porn are the ones most to be feared. If you’re saying it encourages more abuse then i’d like to know why that same ‘link’ isn’t used to justify the banning or censorship of anything else?

  24. bananabrain — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:32 pm  

    the purpose of executing someone on camera is to make propaganda. it is being done on camera not for private or group gratification, but as an alternate method of waging “asymmetrical” warfare. the idea, of course, is to dictate the initiative to the other side and force them to act in another way. in the case of the recent prince harry fiasco, it is clearly successful. it is similar to other forms of hijacking and is intended to subvert the media into acting as a channel. as such i’d distinguish child pornography, as it is not intended for the same purposes, i.e. to force us to stop prosecuting the evil bastards.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  25. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:34 pm  

    Contributes how? A direct link in what sense?

    In the sense of men wanting to view pornographic content leading to the demand and supply of children being sexually abused on camera. Stop being so bloody disingenuous Kulvinder.

  26. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:35 pm  

    For the first half of that statement to be true, the second would have to be true for ‘absolutely everybody’, not merely the vast majority.

    Sticking with america, 250 million people, perhaps 99.9% of whom completely understand the boundaries of fantasy and reality. That’s still 250,000 potential murderers. If 1 in 25 is placed in the right situation, that’s your 10,000, even ignoring multiple murders.

    Just to clarify do you want the censorship of videogames and cinema?

  27. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

    In the sense of men wanting to view pornographic content leading to the demand and supply of children being sexually abused on camera. Stop being so bloody disingenuous Kulvinder.

    Does liveleak lead to the supply and demand of the content it hosts?

  28. anon — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    I assume this post was some sort of sick joke from a warped mind…

  29. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

    Kulvinder —- paedophiles want to watch pornographic images of children being sexually abused. People abuse and rape children on camera to satisfy the demand for this. Without the demand, the children will not be raped on camera for the sexual and economic benefit of pederasts. There is a direct causal link. Therefore it is a great thing that there are criminal laws to punish and jail men who utilise child pornography. I’ve said this about four times now. Stop being so bloody disingenuous.

  30. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

    The comparison would only be valid if there were snuff porn perverts whose demand for that kind of porn led to a market of people being beheaded or physically tortured and violated for the masturbation gratification.

    You do realise what arguments were used to justify this

    Yes there are people who get sexually turned on by violence, yes there are people who get turned on by torture!!!

  31. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    Yes there are people who get sexually turned on by violence, yes there are people who get turned on by torture!!!

    As usual Kulvinder, you miss the point by an ocean mile.

    The comparison would only be valid if snuff porn enthusiasts have their demand satiated by pornographers who murder and torture innocent people for their gratification and profit.

    Just like how pederast’s demands to watch children being raped leads to actual children being raped on camera for their gratification.

  32. Don — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    Another aspect to consider is that viewing child porn over the internet may not only desensitise the viewer, but may also provide a certain validation, by giving a sense of belonging to a group with shared ‘interests’.

  33. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    Without the demand, the children will not be raped on camera for the sexual and economic benefit of pederasts. There is a direct causal link. Therefore it is a great thing that there are criminal laws to punish and jail men who utilise child pornography. I’ve said this about four times now. Stop being so bloody disingenuous.

    I’m not being disingenuous i’m simply juxtaposing arguments. You’re advocating a certain type of argument to support a certain law without saying why the same argument shouldn’t be used to support the censorship of anything else.

    My point is consistent regardless of how im applying it. There is no link between documents and rape when viewing ‘normal’ pornography, there is no link between violent video games and murder, liveleak doesn’t encourage a demand for its content, hollywood isn’t responsible for those that go nuts and claim its because they watched a movie.

    Besides do you support photographs being outlawed for all eternity? If you’re saying you’re more likely to rape someone by looking at a photograph from 50 years ago fair enough, personally im not like that.

  34. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

    If you’re saying people are corrupted into abuse then the police officers investigating child porn are the ones most to be feared.

    Just to clarify do you want the censorship of videogames and cinema?

    haha
    Kulvinder makes excellent points about the moral disconnect between culpability and voyeurism and then he blows any chance of it gaining acceptance with provocative sensationalism.

  35. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    Another aspect to consider is that viewing child porn over the internet may not only desensitise the viewer, but may also provide a certain validation, by giving a sense of belonging to a group with shared ‘interests’.

    That would be bad because…?

  36. Jai — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:50 pm  

    Either the basic argument — as eloquently summarised repeatedly by Jagdeep — isn’t getting through to some people here, or they’re just being argumentative for the sake of it.

    So here it is again, in simple terms:

    1. People rape/sexually abuse children and film it because there is a market for people wishing to view such activities.

    2. Eradicate the market — ie. prosecute the viewers concerned — and it will reduce the incidence of children being raped/sexually abused and filmed, since there will not be a market.

    Supply & Demand, as stated by Refresh in #17.

    Fundamentally, it’s to protect the children from being exploited in such a manner.

    If that’s still not clear, here’s another analogy:

    If there was a modern-day equivalent of the Roman Colloseum, where prisoners were forced to fight each other and/or be killed by wild animals, purely to satisfy the bloodlust of members of the public wishing to view such activities, then by prosecuting these spectators you will be able to protect the prisoners from being exploited like this because the people doing the exploiting will suffer as a result of there being less of a market for them to provide their nefarious services to.

    There IS an equivalence to snuff movies here. However, there is NOT an equivalence to jihadi beheadings. The latter is obviously abhorrent, but is not specifically undertaken due to a market for people seeking personal gratification by viewing such activities.

  37. Jagdeep — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:52 pm  

    I’m not being disingenuous i’m simply juxtaposing arguments. You’re advocating a certain type of argument to support a certain law without saying why the same argument shouldn’t be used to support the censorship of anything else

    Because the demand for child pornography leads to children being raped, sodomised, sexually abused. This has got nothing to with censorship.

  38. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    Either the basic argument — as eloquently summarised repeatedly by Jagdeep — isn’t getting through to some people here, or they’re just being argumentative for the sake of it.

    Id just like that argument to be applied consistently and for us all to stop watching anything ‘bad’

    If there was a modern-day equivalent of the Roman Colloseum, where prisoners were forced to fight each other and/or be killed by wild animals, purely to satisfy the bloodlust of members of the public wishing to view such activities, then by prosecuting these spectators you will be able to protect the prisoners from being exploited like this because the people doing the exploiting will suffer as a result of there being less of a market for them to provide their nefarious services to.

    That would be true if we weren’t dealing with ‘documentary evidence’ rather than a live event. So if a lowly roman 30 years later happened to have in his possession a charcoal drawing of the slaughter, does that make him culpable for what happened? If it does we may as well ban art.

  39. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:56 pm  

    Just to clarify do you want the censorship of videogames and cinema?

    No, 10,000 deaths is an entirely reasonable price to pay for Battlestar Galactica and Veronica Mars, just as the similar figure is for car ownership.

    I just see no point in lying about that situation (assuming it is the case – I’m open to persuasion otherwise, but the killology site seems to know what it is talking about).

    Once the situation is understood, then you can talk about how future progress in science, the economy and poltics can be cashed in to get both freer TV and fewer TV-induced mortalities.

  40. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 3:59 pm  

    Because the demand for child pornography leads to children being raped, sodomised, sexually abused. This has got nothing to with censorship.

    And once again

    to reiterate laws that once were…

  41. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    No, 10,000 deaths is an entirely reasonable price to pay for Battlestar Galactica and Veronica Mars, just as the similar figure is for car ownership.

    So if the total amount of abuse was at or below that level you’d be ok with it? (im not criticising just trying to understand)

  42. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    No Kulvinder, you are being disingenuous. You have it in your head that the victim is the paedophile. You’ve been told no-one agrees with you. The victim is the exploited child. The person deserving protection here is that child, and other children. Surely, you must see that?

    I think in general we’d do our best to stop executions too, if we had the power to. Then there wouldn’t be any videos of them either, now would there?

  43. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:09 pm  

    You have it in your head that the victim is the paedophile.

    If all the paedophile did was possess his own collection of child porn (without abusing anyone), and he was prosecuted for it, yeah id think he was a victim. Incidently possession of child porn was legal till 1988.

    You’ve been told no-one agrees with you.

    Mcsquizzle agrees with me and shes cooler than you!

    The victim is the exploited child. The person deserving protection here is that child, and other children. Surely, you must see that?

    What if the child has been dead for 20 years? Everyone seems to want to keep this in a ‘current’ context whereas the Spiked article (and by extension myself) say:

    ‘Furthermore, it is admitted that the evidence as to child pornography, and its prevalence on the internet, is patchy. Much of the hard core child pornography to be found on the internet was not produced recently, but dates back several decades. To hold viewers of such pornography as somehow complicit in the abuse of children is a legal absurdity.’

  44. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    re-linking to spiked

    btw spiked online is amongst the most subversive sites on the internet and should be read by all

  45. Jai — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    It is quite staggering that the simple flow of events logically explained by Jagdeep and several other commenters here including myself is not registering in your mind. The matter really isn’t as complicated as you’re making it out to be.

    The “violent” equivalent of filmed/photographed child abuse is filmed/photographed snuff movies. It is NOT violent computer games, or 18-rated movies depicting warfare, or Arnie deciding to strap on his Uzi 9mm and “blow everyone away”. And again, it is also NOT jihadi beheadings videos, since both the nature of the audience and the motivating factors behind such videos is quite different to that involved in child pornography.

    =>”So if a lowly roman 30 years later happened to have in his possession a charcoal drawing of the slaughter, does that make him culpable for what happened?”

    It makes him culpable for the continuing production of such “charcoal drawings” if people are deliberately being slaughtered specifically so that charcoal drawings depicting the event can be produced.

  46. Jai — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:14 pm  

    For the record, I find it disgusting that Kulvinder is apparently attempting to defend the “right” of people to possess material depicting the sexual abuse of children.

  47. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:17 pm  

    The “violent” equivalent of filmed/photographed child abuse is filmed/photographed snuff movies. It is NOT violent computer games, or 18-rated movies depicting warfare, or Arnie deciding to strap on his Uzi 9mm and “blow everyone away”. And again, it is also NOT jihadi beheadings videos, since both the nature of the audience and the motivating factors behind such videos is quite different to that involved in child pornography.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on the nature of BDSM, but for the record Guns, slaughter, and torture can be sexy.

    It makes him culpable for the continuing production of such “charcoal drawings” if people are deliberately being slaughtered specifically so that charcoal drawings depicting the event can be produced.

    I take it you agree it should be banned for ever and a day, which is lunacy from my pov but at least you’re consistent. Can we also ban mein kampf and other fascist literature?

    before you criticse the inclusion of literature read above to serialised accounts of abuse

  48. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    Universal arguments are like universal solvents – you can’t contain them so they only apply to the things you want.

    The particular form of argument Kulvinder is using here is this:

    1. some people, P1, say thing A is bad, because of reason B
    2. other people, P2, say thing C is bad, also because of reason B
    3. consequently, it is inconsistent to treat A and C differently

    The problem here is that this is a universal argument: it applies to all possible statements. For all reasons B, there exists some people P2 who would say it applies to any given C.

    Or, translating out of logicese, some people are dumb, and say stupid stuff. They make wrong arguments that should be rejected immediately, rather than after you have used them to create a contradiction with something else.

  49. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

    For the record, I find it disgusting that Kulvinder is apparently attempting to defend the “right” of people to possess material depicting the sexual abuse of children.

    I’m actually defending the right of people to possess any documentary material they wish and to say anything they like. The child porn thing is simply the current manisfestation of that neverending freespeech/freeexpression battle – its only been going on since 1988.

  50. Ravi Naik — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    “I honestly believe that violent material on TV and games do not create violent people, because the vast majority of people understand the boundaries of fantasy and reality”

    “For the first half of that statement to be true, the second would have to be true for ‘absolutely everybody’, not merely the vast majority.”

    This is like saying ‘nuts’ are bad for everyone, because some people are allergic to them. The implication being let’s ban nuts for everyone. People who commit these violent crimes will do them regardless of imaging or not. If the vast majority does not cross the line despite being subject to this type of media, then, in my view, there is no causation.

    “Eradicate the market… since there will not be a market….Supply & Demand, as stated by Refresh in #17″

    Is it a question of economics? I don’t think it is. I would think that is a case of predators showing off and sharing their conquests, and what Don (#32) said about providing validation and a sense of belonging to a group with shared ‘interests’. I wonder how much material is actually “sold”, considering the amount of people who get caught by providing their credit card details.

  51. sid — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    The problem here is that this is a universal argument: it applies to all possible statements. For all reasons B, there exists some people P2 who would say it applies to any given C.

    Yeah but soru, this brings back your own statement in an earlier thread. The judge in the court of Buddha is not the Lord Buddha and there is a disconnect between universal arguments and their application to the real world. This requires a fundamental leap of faith that religions claim to have monopoly over. But this goes back to your P1 and P2 collectives and we’re back at sq.1.0.

  52. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Or, translating out of logicese, some people are dumb, and say stupid stuff. They make wrong arguments that should be rejected immediately, rather than after you have used them to create a contradiction with something else.

    …right.

  53. Ravi Naik — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    “That’s still 250,000 potential murderers. If 1 in 25 is placed in the right situation, that’s your 10,000, even ignoring multiple murders.”

    And all of them were real nice people until they saw Battlestar Galactica, read one of Agatha Christie books, or played Halo 2.

  54. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    right of people to possess

    Got to see the neoliberals at spiked being consistent – property rights trump the right not to be raped to fulfill to a futures contract.

    A hypothetical person prosecuted for owning back copies of the Sun, or a 1970s record cover, would in fact be hard done by.

    People who understand that there is a balance between different types of rights would evaluate the risk of that injustice relative to other relevant ones.

  55. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    Got to see the neoliberals at spiked being consistent – property rights trump the right not to be raped to fulfill to a futures contract.

    what?

  56. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    This is like saying ‘nuts’ are bad for everyone, because some people are allergic to them. The implication being let’s ban nuts for everyone.

    1. nuts should not be banned
    2. nuts do cause allergic reactions

    The above two statements are not contradictory. Do you think they are?

    Do you understand that ‘most people are not allergic to nuts’ doesn’t disprove any of the above?

    Now replace ‘nuts’ with ‘TV’ and, ‘allergic reaction’ with ‘murder’. Which of the statements do you now think becomes false?

    People who commit these violent crimes will do them regardless of imaging or not.

    That seems, by the evidence, to be false, equivalent to ‘people who have allergic reactions to nuts will do so regardless of whether they eat them or not’.

    If the vast majority does not cross the line despite being subject to this type of media, then, in my view, there is no causation.

    The vast majority of people do not get allergic reactions from nuts (much much more than 99.9%). Does that mean that nuts do not cause allergic reactions?

  57. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    When are you going to raise the photorealistic CGI issue?

    “Mcsquizzle agrees with me and shes cooler than you!”

    Of course. Everyone is cooler than me. At least, I hope so.

    “What if the child has been dead for 20 years?”

    It was still exploitation. It was still child abuse. I don’t think sad, sick people should get rich on the back of that, do you? A little respect for the dead, maybe?

  58. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:07 pm  

    That seems, by the evidence, to be false, equivalent to ‘people who have allergic reactions to nuts will do so regardless of whether they eat them or not’.

    Evidence?

  59. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:14 pm  

    When are you going to raise the photorealistic CGI issue?

    TBH i just forgot, but it obviously just comes under the thou shalt be made into a rapist by watching rapes argument.

    It was still exploitation. It was still child abuse. I don’t think sad, sick people should get rich on the back of that, do you? A little respect for the dead, maybe?

    What about the genocide in Rawanda, it was murder on a mass scale. Photojournalists went there to document what happened, they sold their photographs for a profit to news organisations who further distributed it for a profit. Non-public service broadcasters make a profit on suffering. Beyond that the tabloids publish highly graphic accounts of what happened – all for a profit.

  60. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:20 pm  

    @kulvinder:

    which bit don’t you follow?

    spiked is the journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Frank Furedi’s ironically-named corporate consultancy.

    neoliberalism is the belief that there is no alternative to the free market, and the freer the market the better.

    rules against possessing/trading drugs, or porn, interfere with the free market.

    the production of child porn involves rape in the same way the production of coal involves mining.

    according to standard economics, a free market increases the chance of buyers hooking up with producers, and so raises aggregate production

    Now, if that increased child rape would get me something sufficiently useful, I might be in favour of it. But I don’t see why I should vote to allow it if the only people that benifit are perverts and rapists.

  61. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

    nb to expand on the media angle, Billy Connolly was criticised for mentioning Ken Bigley during one of his routines, he retorted

    …stage comments were restricted to pointing out the hypocrisy of some people, including sections of the media, faking concern about Mr Bigley’s predicament while enjoying the drama of the tragedy and exploiting it for their own ends

    and i agree with him, if the concept of abuse by proxy has any real meaning what the tabloids do is as bad if not worse than simply looking a picture. If we hold those who view a picture of a rape as being culpable in that rape, what then do we think of jounralists who write blow-by-blow accounts of what happened – all for a profit.

  62. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 5:43 pm  

    I’ve tried googling spiked online and neoliberalism but can’t find anything conclusive, if you could just link me to what they say id be greatful.

    Regardless

    the production of child porn involves rape in the same way the production of coal involves mining.

    You’re taking an exclusive anti-capitalist stance against child porn. That isn’t something i’ve done simply because i don’t think anyone should have a copyright on it, there is simply no profit in it. I’m assuming you think zarqawi made a profit on his execution videos?

    That aside and since Douglas brought it up, the production of child porn doesn’t necesarrily need abuse – photorealistic CGI is possible (though in your mind this turns men into rapists). Even if abuse for profit was possible why would it be demonstrably worse than any news organisation? From a purely capitalist stand point they’re simply fulfilling the consumer.

  63. Ms_Xtreme — on 25th May, 2007 at 6:15 pm  

    Ah finally I know who Kulvinder really is. :D

    Okay, I’ve read these types of threads a few times by Kulvinder, and I have to admit, I’m beginning to see his point of view. If we truely want to implement equality across all societal chasms, then this is one that should be re-considered.

    No Kulvinder. Raping children is bad. Raping children and filming and photographing it is bad. Demanding that children be raped and filmed so you can be sexually gratified is bad. Creating a law in which those who contribute to the economy and culture that rapes children and films it by paying to watch it and buy those images is a good thing.

    You’re absolutely right mate. It is bad. More so, it’s inhumane. But so is beheadings, stonings, dog fights etc. etc.

    In no way am I supporting this idea of child pornography becoming legal. However, if we’re going to support punishment for having child porn on their laptops, then we need to punish people who are exploiting nude women, gay men, and all else that gets some of us sexually aroused. Rape porn is becoming increasingly popular. Why isn’t anyone stopping that? Doesn’t that give people ideas?

    Some would argue that these are rules set in place to protect our children from predators. Well then, somebody needs to monitor school buses, because more children are being robbed of their innocence on there than anywhere else. Other children are more of a threat to their kind than anyone else.

  64. douglas clark — on 25th May, 2007 at 7:12 pm  

    Ms_Xtreme,

    “then we need to punish people who are exploiting nude women, gay men, and all else that gets some of us sexually aroused…”

    Don’t think we do. Unless we can prove they were exploited. With children the, in my view, completely legitimate presumption is that they were exploited as they are unable to give any kind of informed consent. Which is as it should be.

    Where it gets awefully messy is when you move to computer generated images, where no real child has been involved whatsoever. Your mention of dog fights reminded me of the Puritans objection to bear baiting. It was not so much the pain it caused to the bear, as the pleasure it brought to the crowd. I think in this case we should be with the Puritans and not with the mob. In any event anyone who funded that sort of stuff should be strung up from the nearest lamp-post. Illogical? Maybe. Irrational? No.

  65. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 7:51 pm  

    With children the, in my view, completely legitimate presumption is that they were exploited as they are unable to give any kind of informed consent. Which is as it should be.

    It would be legal for me to have sex with a 16 year old but illegal to possess a videotape or photograph of that act. Bringing in the notion of ‘informed consent’ detracts the thread as its impossible to declare anyone of an arbitary age is equally incapable of something. So for the sake of argument i took it as given they were raped.

    My point is even if they were exploited its ridiculous to say someone is incited to rape simply from viewing an image; if they are those we should be most concerned about aren’t ordinary members of the public but the police constantly viewing the images. Unfourtunately the public has an irritating habit of being deferential towards the police instead of questioning them. If the concern is profit from exploitation simply prevent copyright of the material.

    Whats worrying to me is even an institution like the US supreme court which has a duty to uphold the first amendment of their constitution has reached a point where its unwilling to free a man who hasn’t physically harmed anyone. I simply cannot condone a law that imprisons an individual for any length of time let alone for 200 years for simply posessing a document which depicts a crime which they took no part in. Every justification for these laws is done on the false presumption that somehow the abuse is worse now than it was in the past, as the spiked article points out we’re willing to imprison people for something that happened before their birth.

    As reprehensible as certain acts are, only those that comitted them should be punished. I do not agree with the argument that someone who ‘incites’ before an act is culpable for something someone else did, and i do not agree that someone who views a document of that act after the event is similarly culpable.

    To give an analogy the 9/11 hijackers had free will and are ultimately responsible for what they did. You cannot prosecute a chain of people who might (inadvertently) have ‘incited’ them before they carried out their terrorist attack, and you cannot prosecute someone who possesses footage of that attack after the event as being a terrorist by proxy – even if they cheered on the hijackers.

  66. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

    I’m not sure if the time argument applies here… it would be near impossible to police people’s actions or demand for child porn on the basis of how “old” it is. So I don’t buy that argument.

    To a certain extent I think violent imagery and violent fantasy does satisfy people’s desires, but it will also generate more. So in that sense they’ll get bored with it and want more and more images… to the point that the existing supply does not fulfil demand but leads to more demand – and thus supply.

    So in effect legalising child porn, even quite restrictively, would lead to more supply and money being made.

    Does that mean beheading videos and rough sex should be banned? I think some rough lines should be drawn and they already exist. The reason why beheading videos don’t seem to have much impact is because: they are a rarity and people because people watch it in the context of a war and religious reasons etc.

    For example, potential terrorists who are brainwashed do end up watching a lot of emotion inducing propaganda porn – they’ll be told how ‘their sisters’ are being raped, they’ll be shown videos of dead mothers and crying children… all imagery designed to impact their emotions and make them more susceptible. All that has an impact.

    So yes, I’d be in favour of banning it.

  67. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:00 pm  

    nb if you’re wondering ‘why i care’ its simply because every government introduces authoritarianism from the edges rather than the middle. We have no proper right to silence in this country as it was taken away in order to more ‘effeciently’ prosecute the IRA. We may now even go beyond ‘inferences being drawn’ to outright accusations of guilt because of the men who absconded from control orders. The loss of liberty is always done under the pretext of protecting you from the degenerates.

    ID cards will first be introduced not to ordinary members of the public but to the hated immigrants. A device like a ‘lie detector’ has always been deemed too unreliable for britain, but hey if they’re doing it on the paedophile gangs on every corner, who cares. You either fight for everyone – even if they hate you – or you fall with them.

  68. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:02 pm  

    Sunny, you were doing fine until you got to this:

    “because people watch it in the context of a war and religious reasons etc.”

    What does that mean?

  69. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:04 pm  

    With regards liegality of war imagery – I seem to recall someone being taken to court and convicted of showing someone else a beheading video on their mobile phone. It may well also bring in the question of who is actually showing it.

  70. Refresh — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:06 pm  

    As for videogames and film etc., there is a strong element of social engineering and propaganda.

    Bush did summon Hollywood and call on them to do their duty.

  71. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:08 pm  

    it would be near impossible to police people’s actions or demand for child porn on the basis of how “old”

    Just to clarify you’d rather just outlaw it than deal with the fuss of deciding how old it is?

    To a certain extent I think violent imagery and violent fantasy does satisfy people’s desires, but it will also generate more. So in that sense they’ll get bored with it and want more and more images… to the point that the existing supply does not fulfil demand but leads to more demand – and thus supply.

    Even if that were true it would only hold for a situation where there was no prosecution of those that carried out the rapes.

    The people who carried out the rapes would still be prosecuted, i’m not sure where this argument of supply ‘meeting’ demand is coming from. There would be no profit from the images. I’m not advocating giving copyright protection to them. If there was no monetary reason for anyone to ‘meet demand’ the only reason they would is if you buy into this idea of being ‘corrupted’ by images. Which again ties in with the police and sensationalist tabloids. Why would ‘supply’ want to satisfy demand?

  72. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:11 pm  

    Oh and the argument that corruption leads to violence doesn’t explain japanese society and hentai. IIRC the opposite may be true, i’ll try and find a link.

  73. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:22 pm  

    Just to clarify you’d rather just outlaw it than deal with the fuss of deciding how old it is?

    Yes. Because I think policing it on the basis of how old it is would be prohibitively difficult.

    Even if that were true it would only hold for a situation where there was no prosecution of those that carried out the rapes.

    Prosecution for rapes does not stop it happening anyway. for the same reason, prosecution for child porn may not stop people from generating more if: (a) there remains a financial incentive; (b) they are sexually hungry for more to satisfy their desire.

    Oh and the argument that corruption leads to violence doesn’t explain japanese society and hentai

    I think more research needs to be done into this. Firstly Japan is a very socially controlled society, much more authoritarian than the one we live in. Secondly, managa and hentai are clearly fantasy and there is no blurring of fantasy and reality.

    Refresh: Bush did summon Hollywood and call on them to do their duty.

    This is a poor argument. Hollywood is generally more Democrat and more anti-Bush than other segments of the population. Some like war movies but Hollywood hasn’t generally followed any ‘call’ by Bush.

    What does that mean?

    Most modern beheading videos are accompanied by Muslim imagery and propaganda… I’m saying that’s not exactly conducive to sexual fantasy.

  74. soru — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:22 pm  

    re spiked:

    http://www.richarddnorth.com/new_stuff/spiked.htm

    http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=78

    The once fervent Trotskyist, Frank Furedi, who has been called the ‘Father of the modern RCP’, has in recent years been found defending Monsanto in the columns of the Wall Street Journal and pamphlet writing for the Centre for Policy Studies , a think tank founded by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph. His CPS pamphlet was advertised alongside those of Lord Archer and Lord Saatchi.

    This corporate-alignment is also to be found at Spiked and still more at the IoI where events are put on, for example, in ‘association with Pfizer’, the giant pharmaceutical company that aggressively promotes biotech, and with ‘thanks’ to CropLife International (a ‘global federation’ led by BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta). In a Times’ interview the IoI’s director is drawn on another sponsor, Novartis. Asked who they are, she responds, ‘Pharmaceuticals, I think. I don’t know who they are.’

    ‘I’m assuming you think zarqawi made a profit on his execution videos?’

    He didn’t, which is why, while they should not exactly be broadcast on Blue Peter, there is no particularly good argument for making sites that distribute them illegal, and strong arguments agaisnt doing so.

    To put it another way, if it was proven zarqawi was in the pay of some foreign intelligence service, would that service have been comitting a moral or legal crime in your view if it merely paid for his services as a sub-contractor, instead of telling him explicitly whose throat should be cut?

    Or is the free market a holy sacrament that washes away all sins?

  75. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:40 pm  

    I can’t see anything in those links about neoliberalism?!!?

    He didn’t, which is why, while they should not exactly be broadcast on Blue Peter, there is no particularly good argument for making sites that distribute them illegal, and strong arguments agaisnt doing so.

    So if there was no copyright protection on childporn there would no profit to be made from it and you’d be ‘okay’ with it being legal???

    To put it another way, if it was proven zarqawi was in the pay of some foreign intelligence service, would that service have been comitting a moral or legal crime in your view if it merely paid for his services as a sub-contractor, instead of telling him explicitly whose throat should be cut?

    Jai’s already made this point, if i paid the romans, or you or anyone to kill someone obviously i’m culpable for what happens. You’re now bringing in ‘abuse to order’ which isn’t what my thread is about.

    The justification against child pornography has never centred around capitalist theory which is why i never mentioned it in my article. But to put the same question back to you, when you buy a newscorp paper or you view a getty image that was taken by someone who went to a war zone to sell photographs of death and destruction, how culpable do you feel?

    Or is the free market a holy sacrament that washes away all sins?

    Since you’re the one who has bizzarely gone down this route you tell me?? At what point does the exploitation of capitalism become too much for you? When you buy nikes made in sweatshops, when you offset that with ‘fair trade’ tea/coffee, when immigrant workers clean your offices at below minimum wage???

    There has always been an inherent exploitation in capitalism, the reason this has never been brought into the child porn debate is because you go round in circles discussing nothing. If you have a problem with the markets so be it, but trying to conjure up some kind of censorhip argument based on that is absurd.

  76. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:49 pm  

    Yes. Because I think policing it on the basis of how old it is would be prohibitively difficult.

    I’d rather not live in a society that presumes the guilt of someone based on its ‘can’t be boovvered’ attitude to evidence :(

    prosecution for child porn may not stop people from generating more if: (a) there remains a financial incentive; (b) they are sexually hungry for more to satisfy their desire.

    Why would there be a financial motive? how would that work? I’m not advocating copyright protection for abuse images i’m simply saying they shouldn’t be made illegal. On a far less ‘seriousness’ scale, happy slap clips show assualts occurying. I don’t think they should be made illegal but neither do i think they should be given any kind of civil protection. The people who carrry out happyslaps are more easily identifiable because they broadcast their crimes, they can’t make any money from the images.

    The ‘sexually hungry desire’ debate raged on with ‘conventional’ porn in the 70s 80s and 90s it hasn’t led to more rapes.

    Secondly, managa and hentai are clearly fantasy and there is no blurring of fantasy and reality.

    Theres always blurring

  77. Not Saussure — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:50 pm  

    Sunny makes the argument I was about to make concerning the ‘time’ argument (but I’ll make it anyway,and broaden it a bit).

    The burden of proof is, quite rightly, on the prosecution. Introduce a defence that the images concerned are, in fact, more than N years old and the prosecution then has to make the jury sure (we don’t say ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ any more) that they were, in fact, taken more recently than that.

    That’s, AIUI, one reason why the age limit is 18, while the age of consent is 16: it’s considerably more difficult to argue about whether the girl in the picture is 14 or 18 than it is about whether she’s 14 or 16 (in practice, the vast majority of the images in the collections of the people we see in the courts where I work are of children considerably younger than 14).

    Avoiding overcomplicating prosecutions is, again as I understand it, also the reason for prohibiting pseudo-images. If someone takes a photograph of somebody else and starts manipulating it with Photo-Shop, at what stage does it cease to be and image and become a pseudo-image, and how would you provide a definition on which a jury could decide? Because the vast majority of the pseudo-images in the collections of people who find themselves before the courts aren’t sketches.

  78. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 8:55 pm  

    Hooray for sensible well thought out laws about the burden of proof in our judicial system :(

  79. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:06 pm  

    I’d rather not live in a society that presumes the guilt of someone based on its ‘can’t be boovvered’ attitude to evidence

    It’s not about being bovvered, but about taking into account real problems. Firstly, who is going to sift through tons of child porn to find out how old the images are? Secondly, what about photoshopped stuff, as Not Saussure pointed out above?
    It is impossible to be legally precise about everything… and impossible to physically enforce the law in all cases. Hence it is much better in certain cases to have complete bans :)

    Why would there be a financial motive?

    Financial motive for supplying child porn. People do so on the web.

    The ’sexually hungry desire’ debate raged on with ‘conventional’ porn in the 70s 80s and 90s it hasn’t led to more rapes.

    I don’t think the analogy works. The supply of legal porn has increased since and it has become much more unregulated… there are problems in that too, but the main point is that it is broadly consensual. On the other hand expanding the market for child porn would automatically lead to more abuse since it non-consensual.

  80. Ms_Xtreme — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:09 pm  

    Don’t think we do. Unless we can prove they were exploited. With children the, in my view, completely legitimate presumption is that they were exploited as they are unable to give any kind of informed consent. Which is as it should be.

    You do understand that 11 year olds are having sex now don’t you? And more often than not, with people way older than themselves. Does your opinion change if the child voluntarily poses for a camera nude?

    Again, I think that rules keep humans civilized (or try to lol), I’m all for rules. But lets keep them equal across all ages, genders, races, and religions.

    It’s difficult, but isn’t it the way it should be? When was the last time you saw the government monitoring voyeurism the way they monitor child pornography? The differences are shocking.

  81. Katy — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:41 pm  

    Kulvinder, I understand your thought-crime argument, but I don’t think it applies. You can’t charge a person with an offence for standing next to a school playground looking at children and thinking about having sex with them. It’s disgusting to think that there are people who do that, but at the end of the day their thoughts are their own and the children aren’t hurt by them. Charging someone in those circumstances would be thought-crime.

    But there is a difference between standing looking at children and thinking about doing things, which does not involve children actually being hurt and of which they are blissfully unaware, and setting out to purchase images of children which you know are illegal, and who you know have had those things done to them and have suffered whilst it was done. That is not punishing someone for thinking about a crime; that’s punishing someone for choosing to perform an illegal act.

  82. Sunny — on 25th May, 2007 at 10:45 pm  

    You do understand that 11 year olds are having sex now don’t you? And more often than not, with people way older than themselves. Does your opinion change if the child voluntarily poses for a camera nude?

    No it doesn’t… and I thought this before I made my point since I knew people would raise it. Just because someone does something doesn’t make it right. At 11 I don’t believe a kid understands the implication of what they’re doing. So I wouldn’t support legalising sexual consent to that age.
    And neither would I support any move towards ‘consensual’ chil porn.

    When was the last time you saw the government monitoring voyeurism the way they monitor child pornography?

    Huh? You mean voyerurism of sex between consenting adults? Is that illegal?

  83. Ms_Xtreme — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:02 pm  

    No when talking about voyeurism, I meant the upskirt shots of unsuspecting women posted all over the internet as well as made videos of.

    Also, will a peeping tom get the same punishment as someone viewing child porn? Should they?

  84. Not Saussure — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:29 pm  

    Indeed, Kulvinder. There’s an important distinction, though, between maintaining the burden of proof and drafting laws that are, in effect, virtually unenforcible because they’re technically flawed.

    Ms_Xtreme — I take the point. The problem is, though, that, to my mind, there’s a difference between, on the one hand, banning an image that of something the making of which would involve a crime if it wasn’t made consensually but which may be produced consensually (e.g. the sort of exhibitionism on which the Girls Gone Wild franchise relies) or enacted to look as if it isn’t consensual, and, on the other, something that has to involve a serious criminal offence in making it. Child pornography is, by definition, a record of a sexual assault to which the child cannot legally have consented.

  85. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:35 pm  

    It is impossible to be legally precise about everything… and impossible to physically enforce the law in all cases. Hence it is much better in certain cases to have complete bans

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, personally i find it abhorent laws exist in part because its too difficult to determine the timeline the abuse occured in. The justification you’re giving is that its too difficult for the government to sort its own evidence for prosecution. That to me is just a priori wrong; if you don’t have the evidence you don’t prosecute, if your evidence isn’t good enough you don’t prosecute.

    Saying ‘ah but we’ll jiggle the laws a little in these circumstances’ is as crap as saying ‘well the terrorist threat we face is “different” so we’ll jiggle the liberty laws’

    Financial motive for supplying child porn. People do so on the web.

    But why would demand increase? the only way you can justify it would is by bringing in the ‘moral corruption’ argument ie legalising it would lead to more people watching and more people wanting. In which case the highest correlation of abuse would be amongst the police not to mention the fact there are far worse things that would have to be banned (FPS violent computer games for one).

    I fundamentally do not understand this ‘money worry’ about child porn. People are fine with capitalism exploiting children in a million ways but suddenly in a situation where anyone exploiting them would be prosecuted we start taking imaginary high grounds.

    Again i’ll just have to agree to disagree, i don’t think more people would pay to watch child porn because i don’t think the majority of men are closet rapists.

    I don’t think the analogy works. The supply of legal porn has increased since and it has become much more unregulated… there are problems in that too, but the main point is that it is broadly consensual. On the other hand expanding the market for child porn would automatically lead to more abuse since it non-consensual

    That wasn’t my point though it was an increase in ABUSE outright regardless of consent. The fear of pornography wasn’t that more women would become slutty or whatever and consent to sex, it was that men would be corrupted into rape. The concept of consent had nothing to do with the debate.

    The fear was that men would rape more women in the streets because they would be so sexually aroused by porn, it had nothing to do with consent. Now infact the opposite can be shown, not only from the link i gave but on a cultural anecdotal level. Men who live in countries where women cover up or where nudity is banned tend to be more perverted. There is natural curiosity about something that is banned and that in turn makes them more, well perverted. Similarly i don’t think these laws are helping i think they’re making things worse. To me banning every nude image of a child and having such hysteria over childporn increases the level of curiosity and as a result pervertedness and abuse. Id be willing to bet that in some hypothetical country where the moral police didn’t exist and child porn wasn’t banned the level of pervyness/childabuse would be a lot less – infact thats partly why i think the japanese have a low crime/abuse rate;they let it all out in print.

    Lets not detract the thread onto consent, its a seperate debate, and as i’ve pointed out more than once the law does accept children can consent yet it simultaneously bans child porn. A 16 year old could consent to sex with me, but id be prosecuted if i videotaped it.

  86. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:37 pm  

    Child pornography is, by definition, a record of a sexual assault to which the child cannot legally have consented.

    This is false, can everyone please stop saying it :(

    The ages of consent, and the age at which you are no longer considered a minor are different. In britain the disparity is 2 years, in other countries its more. It isn’t about sodding consent.

  87. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:43 pm  

    and setting out to purchase images of children which you know are illegal, and who you know have had those things done to them and have suffered whilst it was done. That is not punishing someone for thinking about a crime; that’s punishing someone for choosing to perform an illegal act.

    Blah at the money argument again, whats worse prosecuting someone for posessing a naked picture of a child (which iirc comes under level 1 of the current scaling) or prosecuting them whilst wearing shoes made a sweatshop? What if it was one photograph at level 5 but your shoes were made by 50 children in a sweatshop?
    Capitalism is an inherently exploitative process, im advocating a ban on any copyright to prevent an incentive for profit. More than that i just don’t think the level of abuse would increase as i don’t think theres a substantial number of men who are ‘just waiting’ to abuse children.

    Other than that the main thrust of my argument wasn’t that abuse would occur rather the worst abuse already has occured and been documented decades ago. I simply do not believe in prosecuting someone for something they had nothing to do with.

  88. Ms_Xtreme — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:43 pm  

    And even if it’s about consent. Who’s to decide the mental capacity of a 12 yr old vs that of a 30 yr old? Or am I the only one who’s met wahaaaay too many daft 30+ people and kids who are wahaaay too smart for their age?

    Hmm?

  89. Kulvinder — on 25th May, 2007 at 11:50 pm  

    And even if it’s about consent. Who’s to decide the mental capacity of a 12 yr old vs that of a 30 yr old?

    The bastard politicians and they’ll take their stupid arguments to their logical conclusion by prosecuting children who have sex and cam whores.

  90. soru — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:04 am  

    I fundamentally do not understand this ‘money worry’ about child porn. People are fine with capitalism exploiting children in a million ways but suddenly in a situation where anyone exploiting them would be prosecuted we start taking imaginary high grounds.

    Am I reading you right in that you are an absolute idealist? You make no distinction between a situation where one person gets slapped, and another where a million die in agony: both are wrong, and would regard somone who preferred one to the other as a hypocrite?

    You don’t understand or accept that some people think reducing a harm is a good thing, even if the harm is not reduced to zero?

    So if there was no copyright protection on childporn there would no profit to be made from it and you’d be ‘okay’ with it being legal???

    There’s no enforcable copyright protection at the moment: you can’t take someone to court for stealing your drugs.

    Money is still made. Copyright is not essential to a market in images, and opinions are divided over whether it even helps, though it probably does.

    An interesting hypothetical would be the equivalent of methadone for drug users: say a free and controlled supply of synthetic or historical images to registered users. If the experts in the area recommended that, I would have no moral problems with it.

  91. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:13 am  

    You don’t understand or accept that some people think reducing a harm is a good thing, even if the harm is not reduced to zero?

    Erm no i didn’t say that, i do object to condemning harm on one hand and condonining it on the other because if irrational emotiveness.

    There’s no enforcable copyright protection at the moment: you can’t take someone to court for stealing your drugs.

    Yeah but i took people to be under the misapprehension that i was advocating a child porn industry. Why else have money worries?

  92. Sunny — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:15 am  

    In britain the disparity is 2 years, in other countries its more. It isn’t about sodding consent.

    That doesn’t mean a kid under the age of 15 has not been sexually abused for pictures does it?? The two are not mutually exclusive arguments. What drugs are you on?

    Or am I the only one who’s met wahaaaay too many daft 30+ people and kids who are wahaaay too smart for their age?

    I think we’ll have to go with the idea that people under the age of 18 generally are less mature than those over 30. Shoot me for making generalisations… we all make the assumption that the person next to us in the bus is not going to be a psycho killer.

    because its too difficult to determine the timeline the abuse occured in.

    Yeah, well, tough luck. Life is harsh man.

    But why would demand increase? the only way you can justify it would is by bringing in the ‘moral corruption’ argument ie legalising it would lead to more people watching and more people wanting. In which case the highest correlation of abuse would be amongst the police not to mention the fact there are far worse things that would have to be banned (FPS violent computer games for one).

    The two arguments are different.

    Playing FPS games on the PC may make you want to buy more games where you can kill people… but generally that’s good for the economy than helping hurt people in real life.

    Trying to obtain more child pornography is generally not a good thing, for various reasons outlined above.

    To me banning every nude image of a child and having such hysteria over childporn increases the level of curiosity and as a result pervertedness and abuse.

    Now you’re just pulling assumptions outta your fat ass :)

  93. soru — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:31 am  

    Erm no i didn’t say that, i do object to condemning harm on one hand and condonining it on the other because if irrational emotiveness.

    So, your argument is that if some people support a decision for reasons you consider emotive, that is reason enough to reject that decision, independantly of any other rational argument that may or may not exist?

    I suspect you are expressing an irrational hatred of irrationality, phobophobia, rather than actually thinking things through.

  94. Katy — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:52 am  

    Er. Okay. Firstly, I didn’t make a “money argument”, so I’m not sure where that came from.

    Secondly, sweatshops = blatant straw man. The fact that making pornographic videos about children for money can on one level be characterised as an unethical capitalist enterprise does not mean that you can then draw an arbitrary distinction between that and another unethical capitalist enterprise that is completely different in character and say that because the latter isn’t illegal the former shouldn’t be either. Unless you think that if children are being abused in one way it might as well be legal to abuse them in every other way possible as well…

  95. Katy — on 26th May, 2007 at 1:01 am  

    whats worse prosecuting someone for posessing a naked picture of a child (which iirc comes under level 1 of the current scaling)

    The legal categories of pornographic images of children are:

    1.Images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity.

    2. Sexual activity between children or solo masturbation by a child.

    3. Non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children.

    4. Penetrative sexual activity between children and adults.

    5. Sadism or bestiality.

    What about prosecuting someone for a level 2 picture? Level 3? Level 4? Level 5? Let’s say you have a Level 5 photo of a child and I have a pair of shoes made by a child in a sweatshop. If one of us is prosecuted, do you really think it holds any water to point at the other one and say “But you didn’t prosecute them, therefore it’s wrong to prosecute me”?

  96. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:02 am  

    Kulvinder,

    Even in an anarchist society, what you are advocating would go down like a lead balloon. These folk, the perverts that want to see this stuff, would be seen for what they are. Even anarchists, perhaps especially anarchists, after much debate about whether collective action was ever justifiable or defensible, would kick their balls in.

    Protection of your child, specifically, or the protection of children generally, is built into parenthood. Across species even. Usually, normally, etc, etc.

    Frankly, if you get out of the loop of thinking of it as an abstract issue, and get into the guts of it, your arguement falls to bits. There is something feral about the protection of children. And rightly so. Given a Darwinist or even religious perspective, that is entirely understandable.

    Your idea essentially devolves to supporting paedophiles in their erections, or hopefully, solo orgasms. It suggests that you don’t see the damage done, nor feel any responsibility or culpability for the child that was raped. That is, frankly, unacceptable. It is treating real life, or death, – the one the child experienced – as a fucking game show. Or a bit of historical masturbation.

    You have a good general arguement. It just does not apply in the case you tried to make. Why not try basing it on the suppression of Salman Rushdies Satanic Verses next time? Instead of this ludicrous nonsense.

  97. Refresh — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:10 am  

    “Refresh: Bush did summon Hollywood and call on them to do their duty.

    This is a poor argument. Hollywood is generally more Democrat and more anti-Bush than other segments of the population. Some like war movies but Hollywood hasn’t generally followed any ‘call’ by Bush.”

    Not a poor argument in the context of this discussion. Clearly Bush summoned Hollywood expecting full backing for his ‘Axis of Evil’ worldview. The fact he didn’t to the degree he hoped doesn’t take away anything from the view that imagery is important in propaganda – more the better.

    And the same went/goes for videogames.

  98. Refresh — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:11 am  

    Can we bring this one to close. Please!

    Its turning into a depressing form of intellectualism.

  99. Clairwil — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:43 am  

    Well here’s my tuppence worth.

    I don’t personally see the sexual attraction in children. They’re always scratching their arses, picking their noses and then sticking their fingers in their mouths. The repellent little beasts. Anyway to tackle the matter at hand, Katy helpfully supplied the legal definition of child pornography as;

    1.Images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity.

    2. Sexual activity between children or solo masturbation by a child.

    3. Non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children.

    4. Penetrative sexual activity between children and adults.

    5. Sadism or bestiality.

    I think that is a reasonably fair definition of child pornography. It may also be useful to define what age group I consider to be children. For me that is anyone under the age of thirteen. Though as we know the law sets the benchmark a bit higher.

    I’m not unduly worried by any of the above being produced as erotic literature, paintings,photorealistic CGI, cartoons, sculptures, drawings etc. That’s a matter for personal taste. I’d be amazed if the child rape figures increased much if any of that were legalised/continued to be legal.

    The difficulty for me then occurs if we are asking children to do this as paid performers. I do not accept that children are old enough to offer consent to a career as a porn star. As for the worst case scenario of children being forced to do this, that is an obvious violation.

    All that said I would still like to prosecutions for the consumption of porn made using real children in order to stamp out the business but let’s keep sentencing in proportion.

    If photorealistic CGI were legally available, I don’t doubt it would be marketed as ‘the real thing’ in some quarters. However this would inevitably lead to investigations by police where it could be established that real children were not being abused.

    As for ‘fake’ snuff movies, let them be made. The human imagination and appetite for voyeurism is what it is.

  100. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:51 am  

    So, your argument is that if some people support a decision for reasons you consider emotive, that is reason enough to reject that decision, independantly of any other rational argument that may or may not exist?

    I didn’t say emotiveness i said ‘irrational emotiveness’, but yeah if they base their decisions on that im likely to reject their way of thinking.

  101. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:04 am  

    Refresh,

    My points have been exclusively anti-intellectual. I cannot stomach the idea that soru or Kulvinder see themselves as intellectual giants, simply because they are not. They are idiotic little children.

    Soru has read a book, wow! He plays the languid intellect on here and you buy it? He is a very shallow chap. He has nothing worthwhile to say, it is all game playing and a lack of substance. His comments have much fire, much aggression, zero content.

    Kulvinder tries to stir controversy, where none exists. Kulvinder, everyone hates paedophiles, what is difficult about that? You think they are misunderstood? You are alone in that.

    They are both attempting to argue from a lack of experience. A lack of life,

    So, these are our outspoken heros on PP. I think not.

    Which says it all. Cheap comments from adolescents.

    What did you expect from the wains? The point is that children are not exclusively right, that stupid little intellectuals can stifle, rather than enhance discussion, that soru in particular sees his lazy intellect as ruling the roost. You accept that, so does Jagdeep. You are being completely naive. Best of luck with your new Guru.

  102. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:22 am  

    Er. Okay. Firstly, I didn’t make a “money argument”, so I’m not sure where that came from.

    Well your post was centred around ‘abuse for profit’ which came under money argument in my mind.

    The fact that making pornographic videos about children for money can on one level be characterised as an unethical capitalist enterprise does not mean that you can then draw an arbitrary distinction between that and another unethical capitalist enterprise that is completely different in character and say that because the latter isn’t illegal the former shouldn’t be either.

    Yup you can, its been done in the past, its done now, it’ll be done in the future, im really curious what makes you think otherwise.

    Juxtaposing different artifacts, strands, or ideas is pretty fundamental to the development of ethics in any true sense of that word. I don’t agree with them but to give an idea that what im doing is hardly that abstract the work of the likes of Singer or Dyder drew on things like utilitarianism to form the most currently used arguments for ‘animal rights’. Now thats literally a case of forming an argument about ethics regarding inter-species interaction. They juxtaposed, compared and drew distinctions between vastly different concepts.

    All im arguing is that if the debate about child porn is to centre around capitalism then its perfectly fine to draw on other cultural norms that depend on the exploitation of children. I don’t see why its ethically better to exploit a 16 year old in a sweatshop as opposed to a porn studio. That said im not calling for the legalisation of a child porn industry but neither do i see any point in saying ‘exploitation A is universally worse than exploitation B’

    Unless you think that if children are being abused in one way it might as well be legal to abuse them in every other way possible as well…

    Before i answer id just like to reiterate this has nothing to do with my article, your question is about abuse in the present tense, my article is about prosecuting someone for possession of documentary evidence of a crime – possibly before their birth.

    It depends on the context of the word ‘abused’. The core of my personal philosophy is individualism and anti-autoritarianism. I don’t think any government is capable of universally declaring an age of consent. The very idea is absurd to me. So it is possible in my mind that someone under the age of 16 could make a rational informed decision about sex. If they can make that choice i don’t see what business it is of mine what they do with their bodies – even if they sell them for sex.

    I wouldn’t be morally opposed to the idea that an individual regardless of age could make an informed decision to consensually work inside a sweatshop or as a porn star.

  103. Sunny — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:37 am  

    Douglas, I quite like soru and kulvinder. I don’t think any of us here are intellectual giants. Which is what makes it fun to discuss :)

  104. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:44 am  

    Kulvinder,

    Are you opposed to the concept that you don’t have two brain cells to rub together? That, perhaps, you are being ridiculous? That this is nonsensical:

    ” wouldn’t be morally opposed to the idea that an individual regardless of age could make an informed decision to consensually work inside a sweatshop or as a porn star.”

    Do you accept that that is shite?

    Most of us would.

    Oops, I’ve got your good friend soru, to fisk next.

    Next post.

  105. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:54 am  

    Do you accept that that is shite?

    The irrational emotiveness aside, what exactly are you trying to say? Just by looking at someone you can determine their age and what profession they’d like to be in?

    But no i don’t think its absurd or shite to suggest any individual is potentially capable of making an informed choice about job they want to do.

  106. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 4:05 am  

    Sunny,

    You might see them as somewhat less than intellectual giants. I agree. What they are doing is pretending to be supermen. Specifically soru. I am so bloody angry at his unsupportable arrogance, that I cannot fail to express it. Do you want examples? Do you expect me to back off to a person with nothing but big words? This site has always had the room for controversy, I am embarrased to be put in the position that challenging a moron should have you defending him.

    Sunny, this is not what I would have expected of you.

  107. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 4:38 am  

    Sunny,

    Contrary to what you think, I quite like Kulvider, I consider him a friend, surprisingly enough.

    Though I do consider it is my right to view soru as an idiot, given the evidence. You are all in love with an obscure fabulist, so be it.

  108. soru — on 26th May, 2007 at 11:39 am  

    ? Do you expect me to back off to a person with nothing but big words?

    hey, be fair, I have small and medium-sized words too.

  109. Chairwoman — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

    Kulvinder – There’s more than a touch of the Dennis Wheatleys about your argument “Do what thy will shall be the whole of the law”.

    Miss Xtreme – The reason we have laws to protect children is because they are not yet old enough to make reasoned and sensible decisions for themselves. Having sex at eleven, whether their ‘partner’ be the same age or older is an excellent example.

    Therefore if an eleven year old agreed to pose for pornographic images for an ipod and a happy meal, it would still, imo, not be consent.

  110. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

    True, it is the way you put them together that rankles. There are folk here that think your gnomic utterances are the work of a genius.

    You are either the best satirist of our age, as I have said before, or you are someone who is doing media studies and has swallowed that whole, along with post modernism. Oh, by the way, they are mutually exclusive, so no daft wee equations please.

    The jury in my head is still out on which it is. :-)

  111. Chairwoman — on 26th May, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    Yes, yes, I know that it was originally Aleistair Crowley, but the first time I read it, it was quoted in a Dennis Wheatley novel (which had been lent to me by Jimmy Page).

  112. soru — on 26th May, 2007 at 1:07 pm  

    If it helps you decide, I have not done a media studies course, or read a book on media studies.

  113. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 1:11 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    The options of working as a porn star or in a sweat shop are so divorced from most folks reality that you might as well have said being David Beckham or a Big Issue vendor.

    When you are a wain, the chances are you’d rather be the former than the latter. It is not an informed decision. Neither, for most of us, are they in any way likely outcomes.

  114. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 1:24 pm  

    soru,

    Well that’s reassuring. Perhaps you need to work on your satire then? Assuming that that is how you see yourself. Satire needs to be clunkingly obvious sometimes. Subtle it usually ain’t.

  115. douglas clark — on 26th May, 2007 at 1:56 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    You know what? You are to be congratulated for this thread. My head agrees with what you are saying, my heart, on the other hand, knows it is completely wrong.

    If I have been over aggressive to you or soru, I apologise, it’s not often that I am as conflicted as I have been here. Strange emotion.

  116. Katy — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:07 pm  

    Kulvinder, there is a difference between being anti-authoritarian and libertarian, and failing to extend protection to people who need it. Some of the images that are available on the internet may be historic images, yes, but – and forgive me for touting my experience in criminal law – most of them are not. Children are being abused now in order to provide images for the gratification of adults are downloading those photos from the internet now, whether it is for money or for free and whether they are doing so because they are child abusers now, because they intend to be child abusers, because they don’t intend to abuse children themselves but find the idea of abuse of children titillating, or just because they are curious to see what the photos are like.

    As long as there are people who download these photos there will be children who are abused in order to create them. Fact. It is always more difficult to get to the people who produce these images than it is to get at the people who buy or obtain them for free on the internet. The law against possession of child pornography exists, not because more children would be abused if it didn’t, but because the lawmakers hope that by making it illegal to possess the photos the market for them will be reduced and therefore fewer children will suffer. And I think they are right. I believe that there are people out there who might download child pornography if it was legal to do so, but do not because it is illegal as well as taboo.

    As a libertarian I believe that everyone is entitled to do what they want – provided they don’t hurt anyone else by doing it. I don’t think this falls into that category. I believe that if there is a possibility that children are being spared harm by the existence of this law, then that possibility is more worthy of protection than the right of adults to download pictures of children being hurt for kicks.

    If you also want to bring in a rule that it’s illegal to possess items of clothing made in sweatshops in the Far East, be my guest.

  117. Sunny — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    I think you’re taking this rather too seriously douglas.

    chairwoman: which had been lent to me by Jimmy Page).

    tsk, such a name dropper! :)

  118. sid — on 26th May, 2007 at 2:57 pm  

    but oh, what a name.

  119. Refresh — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    Douglas

    Not intellectual giants – not at all.

    Soru needs a bit more probing perhaps – which, funnily enough and lazily, I was relying on you to do.

    But the shame of being put in the same camp as that other intellectual giant, Jagdeep, will be hard to live down.

  120. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    Some of the images that are available on the internet may be historic images, yes, but – and forgive me for touting my experience in criminal law – most of them are not.

    I don’t like those kinds of arguments, but fine Barbara Hewson disagrees.

    As long as there are people who download these photos there will be children who are abused in order to create them. Fact.

    I don’t agree. Again theres this inclination to add a supply must meet demand argument without justifying why. I don’t think the children that are abused are abused because of an undefined desire to please someone you’ve never met on the internet.

    You’re saying the primary motive for abuse isn’t sexual gratification but to meet ‘demand’. I’m saying the abuse occurs for the primary gratification of the abuser who may or may not then distribute documentary evidence of that abuse. There is no simple universal casual link between the abuser and some anonymous person on the internet.

    Sexual abuse will occur regardless of whether you ban the documentation of that abuse, the only way to create a definitive link between the abuser and someone who downloads the images is to introduce a financial motive. And regardless of what capitalist theory you look at witholding copyright on that material will prevent an escalation of abuse. Could a few people still make money, its possible, BUT you can’t argue that it would lead to an escalation of abuse.

    Without a financial motive there is no logical reason for an abuser to commit a crime for the viewing pleasure of ‘the internet’ Downloads don’t create demand, the sexual dysfunction of the abuser ‘creates the demand’. Viewing the documentary evidence of that doesn’t create any logical link back to the abuser – especially if we’re dealing with the anonymity of the internet. Its like saying viewing CCTV images of crime will lead to more crime.

  121. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    You know what? You are to be congratulated for this thread. My head agrees with what you are saying, my heart, on the other hand, knows it is completely wrong.

    If I have been over aggressive to you or soru, I apologise, it’s not often that I am as conflicted as I have been here. Strange emotion.

    Meh no offence taken :)

  122. soru — on 26th May, 2007 at 5:15 pm  

    Could a few people still make money, its possible, BUT you can’t argue that it would lead to an escalation of abuse.

    Really, it would.

    Current situation: perp risks jail, can’t enforce copyright, but still makes money. Perv pays money and risks jail.

    Your proposal (correct me if I am wrong): perp still risks jail, can’t enforce copyright, still makes money. Perv pays money but does not risk jail.

    Without the risk of jail, I can’t see how there would not be more pervs willing to pay.

    With more money entering the market, more perps would be able to make a living from rape.

    Which means more abuse.

  123. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 5:53 pm  

    Without the risk of jail, I can’t see how there would not be more pervs willing to pay.

    Without copyright they wouldn’t have to pay. There would be no way in which exclusivity could be maintained without civil protection. The only way pseudo-exclusivity is maintained at the moment is by risk of prosecution.

    You’re basically arguing someone would choose to pay for something they could get for free (via torrents or a p2p network) without the risk of prosecution. I agreed its possible a very few may be able to make some money but that would only work for the first few viewers – after that the images would be relased on the internet.

    There wouldn’t be more money entering the ‘market’ without a way of maintaining intellectual rights.

  124. Not Saussure — on 26th May, 2007 at 6:00 pm  

    ‘Do what thou wilt’ It wasn’t Dennis Wheatley or Aliester Crowley who first said it. It’s a quote from Rabelais, who himself took it from St Augustine

    See what we are insisting upon; that the deeds of men are only discerned by the root of charity. For many things may be done that have a good appearance, and yet proceed not from the root of charity. For thorns also have flowers: some actions truly seem rough, seem savage; howbeit they are done for discipline at the bidding of charity. Once for all, then, a short precept is given you: Love, and do what you will: whether you hold your peace, through love hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.

    Homily 7 on the First Epistle of John

    I don’t know if Crowley was consciously quoting one of the Church Fathers,but I rather doubt it.

  125. soru — on 26th May, 2007 at 6:47 pm  

    The only way pseudo-exclusivity is maintained at the moment is by risk of prosecution.

    That’s a fair point – that does complicate things. However, p2p exists now, and copyright is effectively unenforceable on it. Online porn is still worth ~$3 billion a year.

    Poeple are not as rational and smart as simple economic models say they are.

    If you were persuaded more harm _would_ result from your proposal, would you change your mind?

    Or is it a matter of principle?

  126. Sunny — on 26th May, 2007 at 7:55 pm  

    Without copyright they wouldn’t have to pay. There would be no way in which exclusivity could be maintained without civil protection.

    Your economic argument doesn’t make sense Kulvinder.

    Firstly, people may still pay for access to ‘new stuff’ as well as being provided easy access to material. Just because its there on bittorrent doesn’t mean everyone knows how to use it.

    There wouldn’t be more money entering the ‘market’ without a way of maintaining intellectual rights.

    You still haven’t answered what would happen if supply of older material led to demand for new material (as is the case with porn, otherwise the industry wouldnt be making so much money every year).

    Plus, as Katy pointed out, since there is so much ‘new’ material out there, how would anyone regulate it to ensure the new material goes out of circulation and the old stuff remains… and that it is easy to track all of this.

    Sorry mate, havent even come close to convincing me.

  127. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 8:09 pm  

    However, p2p exists now, and copyright is effectively unenforceable on it. Online porn is still worth ~$3 billion a year.

    Because its a legal industry – there are no prosecutions for producing the videos. I’m not advocating the development of an industry simply the abolishment of laws that prevent the possession of documents.

    If copyright was rescinded on ‘normal’ pornography and the producers of those movies were prosecuted for rape commercial pornography would cease to exist.

  128. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 8:21 pm  

    Firstly, people may still pay for access to ‘new stuff’ as well as being provided easy access to material. Just because its there on bittorrent doesn’t mean everyone knows how to use it.

    If thats your opinion fair enough, though i would add that even with civil protection people are finding it incredibly difficult to protect their intellectual property because of the proliferation of p2p.

    You still haven’t answered what would happen if supply of older material led to demand for new material (as is the case with porn, otherwise the industry wouldnt be making so much money every year).

    Again led to demand how? I’m not advocating the legalisation of an industry, without financial incentive the only way demand could increase was if you believe all men were closet rapists who might be corrupted into abuse.

    Abuse occurs for the internal motives of the abuser – irrespective of the camera, just as crime occurs for internal motive of a shoplifter. You can’t rationally say looking at CCTV footage of shoplifting leads to more crime ‘because demand increases’

    Plus, as Katy pointed out, since there is so much ‘new’ material out there, how would anyone regulate it to ensure the new material goes out of circulation and the old stuff remains… and that it is easy to track all of this.

    I wouldn’t regulate it, im not calling for regulation of child porn?!!!?

    I’ve already given the analogy but to reiterate. I don’t want to legalise a happyslapping industry, but neither do i want to prosecute those who have happyslap videos on their computers. Any financial incentive for happyslapping can be taken away by refusing copyright. I don’t believe anyone is corrupted into happyslapping people in the street – those that do it would do it regardless of they are shown and regardless of the cameras.

  129. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 8:33 pm  

    If you were persuaded more harm _would_ result from your proposal, would you change your mind?

    Or is it a matter of principle?

    Sorry i missed this. Its a matter of principle. The greatest harm ever inflicted on man has always been through politics. Words are far more harmful than pictures – a picuture isn’t worth a thousand words. We argue and debate and exchange ideas primarily through words, and yet i do not want any words to be censored. I don’t want the BNP to be prosecuted, I don’t want an emotional muslim calling for those who insult islam to be beheaded to be prosecuted, I don’t want anyone who calls for my death to be prosecuted.

    Freedom of speech is a matter of principle for me. I will not censor words; I will not censor images – even if those words and images lead to harm.

  130. Not Saussure — on 26th May, 2007 at 10:42 pm  

    Freedom of speech is a matter of principle for me. I will not censor words; I will not censor images – even if those words and images lead to harm.

    No laws on libel or confidentiality, then?

  131. Kulvinder — on 26th May, 2007 at 11:44 pm  

    I was talking about freespeech in the context of criminal law ie it should be free of government interference. Libel is tort issue if thats all the world had to worry about id be a happier man.

    Still since you ask I don’t really agree with the concept of defamation. Is it really be a good thing for someone like mcdonalds to use vastly disproportionate resources to sue people who say they’re shit? They could argue they were doing it for the good of their customers just as governments argue they’re acting for the good of their people but its still essentially about smiting your enemies. Is awarding tens of thousands of pounds against someone because they called you a paedophile on the internet worth it?

    If the concept of libel had to exist id have it purely as a method of arbitration with no possibility of damages. Because that essentially is what people want. Millionaire celebrities don’t want paltry £3000 damages for being called anorexic, they just want someone to say ‘you were right they were wrong’ Mcdonalds wanted someone to decide for them that they were right and the burger haters were wrong. Its basically about running to the teacher with teary eyes and saying ‘she called me fat’ etc.

    I do think the social and cultural history of libel is basically to do with the past having a far more closed society. The internet means its far easier for Mcdonalds to just refute the bad words with their own facts and let us all decide for ourselves, we shouldn’t need to have judges deciding whos right on cases ranging from anorexia to the health content of burgers via the implications of being called a paedophile.

  132. Ms_Xtreme — on 26th May, 2007 at 11:56 pm  

    This is now boring me. :(

    Image or no image, sexual abuse of children still goes on. It’s dumb that we’re pouring in resources to monitor and catch the few people here trying to abuse children, when there’s millions other who are getting away with it all the time.

    End of. It’s Saturday night, go out and do something people.

  133. Kulvinder — on 27th May, 2007 at 12:29 am  

    I’m not going out tonight :( I was thinking about either writing a post about my fav building or about why batman is an enemy of the people; which one d’ya reckon?

  134. Katy — on 27th May, 2007 at 1:10 am  

    I say blog about Batman, that notorious emissary of the nanny state.

    :-D

  135. Muhamad — on 27th May, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    So, Kulvinder (and anyone else), would you say that G W Bush can’t be held up for war crimes (possibly not even thought crimes!) because the true culprit is the American soldier who, in Abu Ghraib, meted out genital torture?
    Who is responsible? The one who inchoates it or the one who further perpetuates it?

    Thanks in advance.

  136. Sunny — on 27th May, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

    If thats your opinion fair enough, though i would add

    It’s not opinion, its life. People still buy music though its freely available on the web. Why? packaging, ease of access etc.

    Again led to demand how? I’m not advocating the legalisation of an industry, without financial incentive the only way demand could increase was if you believe all men were closet rapists who might be corrupted into abuse.

    I’m not saying suddenly men will develop an unhealthy obsession with child porn. I’m saying that existing users will want more, new material to continue their habit. Virtual sexual gratification requires a constant stream of new material, even if it’s selling to the same audience. That is how the porn industry survives. So I’m saying legalising the posession of images and not going after the distribution of images will spur demand for new material and lead to more abuse.

  137. Rumbold — on 27th May, 2007 at 7:15 pm  

    Kulvinder:

    “I was thinking about either writing a post about my fav building or about why batman is an enemy of the people”

    ‘Batman: Nobody’s elected him, he’s accountable to no-one, and he goes round threatening jokers, penguins, and people who come up with riddles; a billionaire vigilante hands out justice.’

    I often disagree with what Kulvinder says, as in this case, but I am sure glad that he does say it.

  138. lithcol — on 27th May, 2007 at 10:42 pm  

    We the people claim Kulvider’s essence. He/she has no rights over his/her existence or anything that he/she may uniquely contribute during his/her lifetime.

  139. Ravi Naik — on 27th May, 2007 at 11:24 pm  

    “Still since you ask I don’t really agree with the concept of defamation. Is it really be a good thing for someone like mcdonalds to use vastly disproportionate resources to sue people who say they’re shit?”

    Freedom of speech requires responsability, and defamation laws protect those who abuse it. If the media reports on daily basis that you, Kulvinder, are a rapist without any proof… it becomes “truth” to the eyes of the majority. What would you then do? Just proudly say that you are for freedom of speech?

  140. Kulvinder — on 28th May, 2007 at 5:56 am  

    I say blog about Batman, that notorious emissary of the nanny state.

    done :)

    ‘Batman: Nobody’s elected him, he’s accountable to no-one, and he goes round threatening jokers, penguins, and people who come up with riddles; a billionaire vigilante hands out justice.’

    Thats actually quite close :)

  141. Kulvinder — on 28th May, 2007 at 6:06 am  

    I’m not saying suddenly men will develop an unhealthy obsession with child porn. I’m saying that existing users will want more, new material to continue their habit.

    I think everyone is pretty much growing bored of this, but you still aren’t saying why supply would meet demand. The desire for new material – even if you believe that to be true – is irrelevant. Even if those ‘consuming’ childporn wanted new material they would have no way of affecting the causality of abuse.

    Any abuser would not only immediately expose himself to the public and hence authorities (as with happy slapping) but he would be incapable of making profit on his abuse (lack of copyright). Infact the only reason he can make profit now is because illegality creates pseudo-exclusitivity ie people can’t easily spread the images and illiminate his profit as theres a great deal of risk to themselves, since they can’t trust each other they individually find and pay to access abuse websites.

    Apart from cultural taboos theres nothing special about the nature of child porn wrt the markets.

  142. Kulvinder — on 28th May, 2007 at 6:12 am  

    If the media reports on daily basis that you, Kulvinder, are a rapist without any proof… it becomes “truth” to the eyes of the majority. What would you then do? Just proudly say that you are for freedom of speech?

    Pretty much, but then why would i care what the majority think? If you want to hate just because Rebekah Wade tells you to i don’t really care what you think and would rather not waste my energy trying to change your mind.

  143. Kulvinder — on 29th May, 2007 at 9:16 pm  

    This is utterly utterly brilliant.

    A group of parents are launching a child safety scheme aimed at warning off paedophiles following claims of an attempted child abduction in a town.

    …Dorset Police said an incident reported by a parent was investigated but “there had been no attempted abduction”.

    Homer: Ah, not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm!
    Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
    Homer: Thank you, honey.
    Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away!
    Homer: Uh-huh, and how does it work?
    Lisa: It doesn’t work.
    Homer: Uh-huh.
    Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
    Homer: Uh-huh.
    Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around here, do you?
    Homer: (Looks around) Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock.

  144. mr_xxxtreme — on 30th May, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

    “In no way am I supporting this idea of child pornography becoming legal. However, if we’re going to support punishment for having child porn on their laptops, then we need to punish people who are exploiting nude women, gay men, and all else that gets some of us sexually aroused.”

    much, if not all of that is made by consenting, paid adults. not quite the same as a pre-teen child being made or coerced into having sex with an adult.

    “Rape porn is becoming increasingly popular. Why isn’t anyone stopping that? Doesn’t that give people ideas?!

    i dont watch rape porn but im guessing much if not all of it is simulated. meaning the rape isnt actually forced, but just made to look as though it is. and its agreed on by adults. child porn usually is rape for real as the children have no idea whats being done to them.

    “Some would argue that these are rules set in place to protect our children from predators. Well then, somebody needs to monitor school buses, because more children are being robbed of their innocence on there than anywhere else. Other children are more of a threat to their kind than anyone else.”

    theyre not being made to have sex on buses by adults filming the act to be downloaded from pay-to-view porn sites on the net are they?

  145. Ms_Xtreme — on 1st June, 2007 at 7:25 pm  

    Hubby? What you doing here? You’re supposed to be protecting me from the men who are pinching my arse while I walk around in my burqa. :D

    Hey Kulvinder, looks like you’ve touched the heart of Jim Gamble. What do you think of his proposal?

    Also, are your objections only about viewing child pornography, or do they extend to sexual acts with children? Do you think that laws to prosecute adult sexual relationships with children are adequate/justified? (This stems from a convo I was having with someone).

  146. Kulvinder — on 1st June, 2007 at 10:10 pm  

    Hey Kulvinder, looks like you’ve touched the heart of Jim Gamble. What do you think of his proposal?

    Well its a start and obviously its better to have a situation where the person the government appoints to fight this ‘crime’ isn’t hell bent on fire and brimestone demagoguery (as in america). But it was depressingly obvious that the irrational artards would stand and screech.

    However, Michele Elliot, director of Kidscape, said: “They are just as guilty as the person taking the photos. If they did not view the child would not be abused, therefore I think these people deserve prison,” she said.

    As with the discussion above im sure she also thinks watching CCTV cameras leads to more crime or that some magical mystical causality link exists between random people on the internet.

    Personally i prefered the Sun of 10+ years ago when naked children posed with their naked mothers but then im just a sun reader and natural reactionary at heart.

    I think any kind of ‘documentary crime’ is inherently unjustifiable and it is simply inevitable that these laws will be scrapped. I don’t think its going to happen in the next 10 years as the momentum of hysteria has to die down but i do think it’ll happen and i for one firmly take the position now that its all bollocks (this will allow me to smugly look back at all the idiots who bought the hype). What the police are essentially doing is building their own secret museum of ‘subversive sexual stuff’. If you replace the ‘gentlemen with superior constitutions’ of the victorian era with ‘dc plod a reputable member of society’ you end up with the same thing.

    So erm yeah, im not really sure what to say, Gamble is obviously not a lunatic we could have ended up with someone who ‘wanted all their balls chopped off and stuffed down their gobs’ etc.

    Also, are your objections only about viewing child pornography, or do they extend to sexual acts with children? Do you think that laws to prosecute adult sexual relationships with children are adequate/justified?

    Its already legal to have sex with children, we just arbitarily differentiate between children for reasons that have never been made clear to me. But to be frank i don’t a conceptual problem with ‘adults’ (who decided they have to be 18 or over?) and ‘children’ doing what they want as long as theres consent on all sides. I’m an individualist and i apply that universally.

    If you accept the logic that the government decides a universal age of consent and that it is impossible for that logic to be broken (which is the case now) you get into all kinds of difficult arguments;

    ‘anyone who has sex with anyone under 16 is a rapist’
    ‘so you’re proposing we bring these people to justice?’
    ‘yes’
    ‘lets invade europe their age of consent is lower so they must be advocating rape

    basically any rigorously defined age of consent could be universally applied across the globe and the fact every country is different is testament to the fact each government ‘just decides’, and to me it simply isn’t good enough for the government to ‘just decide’.

    The constant theme when fighting any kind of sexual taboo in society is the fact those who want to prosecute automatically take the position

    ‘Sexual act A = RAPE

    and anytime you try to apply some kind of rational argument you’re met with

    ‘but you’re advocating RAPE; you’re defending RAPISTS

    this is usually followed by some kind of

    ‘you don’t have any compassion for suffering you cold hearted bastard’

    type outburst. So for example when homosexuality was still outlawed the ‘anti-homo’ arguments centred around homosexuals being rapists. Thats what they did. Rape. You repeatedly equate homosexuality with rapists and you end up with this.. Notice that ‘boys beware’ isn’t looking for any kind of discussion – no matter how highbrow – its just taking a big rape stick and hitting everyone over the head with it.

    Thats essentially what happens when you try and discuss anything related to children and sex.

    YOU’RE ADVOCATING RAPE YOU COLD HEARTED BASTARD

    well no im not, im simply questioning the a priori definition of rape that exists (regardless of circumstance noone under 16 can consent). I’m not calling for school kids to be snatched from the streets and id certainly advocate prosecution in the pretty horrendus child abduction cases that occur.

    I think laws that exist to protect individuals that can’t or don’t consent are valid, however i strongly believe that laws that premptively assume no consent could have taken place simply becuase of the persons age actually do far far more harm than good. Those laws are unjust and unjustifiable to me so regardless of the taboo i choose to question them.

  147. Kulvinder — on 1st June, 2007 at 10:13 pm  

    nb im sure ive said elsewhere but my personal philosophy also applies to incest laws, and i consider the criminal prosecution of that german couple to be barbaric

    apologies for open tags

  148. Ms_Xtreme — on 1st June, 2007 at 11:05 pm  

    So then a 6 year old can consent to sex with a 21 year old and that’s not a crime? You think the 21 year old shouldn’t get penalized for it?

    Hmm. But who’s to prove there was consent or not? Wouldn’t those cases just end up he said/she said claims then possibly causing some cases to be dismissed thus sending a message that adult/child sexual relationships are okay?

  149. douglas clark — on 1st June, 2007 at 11:29 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    Thank goodness my heart has been ruling my head. What is your definition of informed consent? I agree that we have a too simplistic approach to this issue, but a sixteen year old having sex with a fifteen year old is somewhat different from a forty year old grooming a twelve year old, or do you disagree with that too? At what stage can consent be said to be informed? I’d argue that some young people can make that decision, other can’t. Tough on those that can, safety for those that can’t.

    Anyway the twelve year old that wants sex with his or her parents contemopraries has a lot of issues to resolve….. Oedipus, etc.

    In any event, the age of criminal behaviour is a moveable feast, as you say. The point is that it is the current consensus. Nowt wrong with thinking the current consensus is about right. Caveat ré relative ages obviously.

  150. Don — on 2nd June, 2007 at 12:11 am  

    I can’t recall any cases where the law has got all draconian over a young couple having sex a year or two either side of the line. And it isn’t exactly ‘The love that dare not speak its name.’

    If you are saying there should be no line, then you really have to address the question of informed consent. As has several times been requested.

    I don’t want to bring you down from your rarefied sphere, but do you see any practical benefits in legalising child pornography and abolishing the age of consent? Being consistent with the Kulvinder World View doesn’t count as a social benefit, by the way.

  151. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 12:45 am  

    or do you disagree with that too?

    I’d disagree with the idea that too, i’m not sure why its conceptually worse for a 40 year old to have a relationship with a 12 year old. Why is it worse? (im looking for something other than a ‘omg its obvious its worse eughhhh yuchhh’ type argument)

    At what stage can consent be said to be informed?

    It depends on the context. You’re asking me to give a universal declaration of when consent is possible when im arguing against that very notion. To put it another way, when dealing when adult sexual relationships at what stage can consent be said to be informed? well again it depends on the individual circumstance. But i certainly don’t preempt by saying it had to be rape

  152. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 12:54 am  

    I can’t recall any cases where the law has got all draconian over a young couple having sex a year or two either side of the line. And it isn’t exactly ‘The love that dare not speak its name.’

    Why does ‘the line’ matter?

    If you are saying there should be no line, then you really have to address the question of informed consent.

    In the broadest possible terms when someone says

    ‘yes i understand what this act was and yes i agreed to it’

    i take it as consent.

    I don’t want to bring you down from your rarefied sphere,

    Don’t worry, you won’t.

    but do you see any practical benefits in legalising child pornography and abolishing the age of consent? Being consistent with the Kulvinder World View doesn’t count as a social benefit, by the way.

    Do i see an inherent benefit in questioning laws that are irrational and as far as im concerned unjustifiable, uhm yeah? ‘Social benefit’ is of secondary (if any) importance on individual liberty.

    15 years ago that would have been like asking do i see any practical benefit to legalising pornography and lowering the age of homosexual consent to 16. What you mean apart from letting people get on with their lives?

  153. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 1:16 am  

    nb on the 12 year old /40 year old relationship issue.

    Wiki says the age of consent in spain is 13 (barring deceit whatever that means) – ok not 12 but close, infact loads of countries seem to have 13. In mexico city the local laws state it is infact 12, as apparently it is in chile.

    Are you taking the cultural imperialist argument that they’re barbarians that don’t know the meaning of rape or are you saying that their children develop emotionally and intellectually quicker than ours do?

  154. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 1:33 am  

    just for clarification i think they ‘just decided’ on 12 or 13 or whatever, and it makes no sense whatsoever to base reactions of the nature ‘omg one of them is x years and the other is z years old’ on ‘a line’ that is based on arbitary reasoning. To most americans the idea of a 16 year old marrying a 40 year old would probably be horrendus, in britain it may raise eyebrows but it wouldn’t automatically be assumed that it was rape. The J. Howard Marshall/Anna Nicole Smith relationship was pretty fucking repulsive from my own personal standpoint BUT i didn’t call for it to be outlawed purely because of disgust.

  155. Don — on 2nd June, 2007 at 2:13 am  

    ‘In the broadest possible terms when someone says

    ‘yes i understand what this act was and yes i agreed to it’

    Could we focus on this for a moment? I’m sure you could coach a child of any age to say those words. You haven’t established that this is meaningful consent, only a form of words which, apparently, permits adults to fuck children.

    So it’s twelve in Mexico, is it? Well, god forbid I should be be culturally imperialist, but that doesn’t strike me as being very libertarian from a female point of view. I may be mistaken, perhaps there is no power dynamic involved. Just a lot of twelve year olds keen to marry middle aged blokes.

    ‘in britain it may raise eyebrows ‘ Yes, that’s about where we are and most people are ok with that.

    ‘Social benefit’ is of secondary (if any) importance on individual liberty.’

    That (obviously) is where we disagree. If you are making real world decisions, then social benefit must be a factor.

    Also, why do you so often answer a question with a question, or by reframing the question into one you wish to answer? It’s very annoying. Is there an answer to the one I put in #150?

  156. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 2:40 am  

    Could we focus on this for a moment? I’m sure you could coach a child of any age to say those words. You haven’t established that this is meaningful consent, only a form of words which, apparently, permits adults to fuck children.

    You could coach anyone to say anything, if someone kidnapped a 25 year old woman and held her for a period of time im pretty sure they could make her think raping her was for her own benefit.

    Besides you’re saying you could do that, are you accepting consent could occur without any of that happening?? I suppose id settle for a consent certificate that everyone had to obtain from the government, but that anyone could try to obtain regardless of age, so you’d take a gillick type test and be ‘approved’ for sex. Its fairer than just saying age X is legal.

    So it’s twelve in Mexico, is it? Well, god forbid I should be be culturally imperialist, but that doesn’t strike me as being very libertarian from a female point of view.

    I don’t understand what ‘libertarian from a female point of view’ means, but im guessing you mean female/male relationships; presumably im the only one who’s seen the newsreports of adult females with young teenage boys??

    That (obviously) is where we disagree. If you are making real world decisions, then social benefit must be a factor.

    What was the social benefit to legalising porn?

    Also, why do you so often answer a question with a question, or by reframing the question into one you wish to answer? It’s very annoying.

    Because i take philosophy very very seriously so im careful to try and be internally consistent in my arguments. Often (on this site anyway) people are making ad-hoc choices that are contradictory, so for example they’re against incestous relationships that produce children but fine with HIV+ parents producing HIV+ babies. I’m trying to juxtapose similar situations to help them see my pov. At the same time i may be able to follow their line of thought even though i disagree with it, but suddenly be confused by a point they make and which i can’t see ‘fitting in’ to what they’ve said. So ill ask things like ‘im not sure what you meant but’ or ‘i think you mean’ etc to develop the discussion. Its better than saying ‘you’re wrong’ ‘stupid’ ‘idiot’ which is what people tend to resort to.

    I don’t comment on CIF and rarely comment on other blogs like HP as the comment makers tend to just spew rather than making an argument. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but i want to be completely clear in my mind that i understand the reasons why they’re disagreeing. Thats just for my benefit – they could be saying something that drastically changes my pov.

    Is there an answer to the one I put in #150?

    Sorry which question? If you mean (haha) an example of someone ‘just on either side’ i gave an example of a 15 year old boy who was ‘just on the other side’ and an 11 year old girl. Why does ‘the line’ matter when from what i’ve read they both seemed to be equally able of consent?

  157. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 6:11 am  

    Sorry xtremey i completely missed you

    So then a 6 year old can consent to sex with a 21 year old and that’s not a crime? You think the 21 year old shouldn’t get penalized for it?

    You’ve framed your question as ‘can consent‘, are you asking if a situation arises where a 6 year old has been ‘shown’ (gillick or some kind of test) to be able to consent he/she should be allowed to? to me obviously yes. And no their partner shouldn’t be prosecuted – provided there was consent.

    That doesn’t mean i think 6 year olds are automatically capable of consent i doubt if the vast majority are, but if there was a 6 year old who could consent – who had the intellectual and emotional capacity to do so then why should they be prejudiced against?

    Hmm. But who’s to prove there was consent or not? Wouldn’t those cases just end up he said/she said claims then possibly causing some cases to be dismissed thus sending a message that adult/child sexual relationships are okay?

    Adult/Child relationships are ok. I think you mean adult-prepubescent relationships the term is often incorrectly used but you mean paedophilic relationships right? I don’t ‘get’ the sexual attraction of prepubescents, i really don’t understand what the turnon is for paedophiles – just as i don’t understand what the turn on is for women who marry geriatrics (ignore the money for a moment), but is it up me to decide on what is and isn’t okay for others based on my ability to comprehend the turn on? The law doesn’t really support that notion either, child abuse is a crime paedophilia is not. It isn’t about whats ‘okay’ its about harm. I’m not advocating a situation where those who cause harm aren’t punished im simply querying the idea that harm is intrinsically linked to age.

    From a practical point of view could there be different opinions on individual cases. Yes. I don’t doubt it would happen, but that happens now in cases involving adults. Is it that much more abstract to debate consent in these terms than it is when the issue is related to alcohol? It would be up to the jury to decide.

  158. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 6:21 am  

    Incidentally on the ANS/JHM theme there is an interesting parallel with adult-geriatric relationships ie the adult women are gold diggers ‘grooming’ very senile old men in order to get money.

    How do you decide rich old duffers aren’t being conned out of their money? Well it depends on the individuals concerned. I wouldn’t support any law that said anyone over the age of 100 was automatically non compos mentis.

  159. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 11:36 am  

    Kulvinder, if what you’re saying is that you think the age of consent should be lowered to 12 or 13 then say it, but don’t try and suggest that a child of 6 could ever give informed consent to a sexual act with someone of 16 or over. Even you must accept that that’s ridiculous.

  160. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 11:41 am  

    Jesus, you actually are arguing that. I’ve just gone back and read it.

    That’s actually sick. If you’re serious about this, I would not leave a child of mine alone with you. I mean, we’re talking about children who are too young to decide when they go to bed, for fuck’s sake.

  161. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    It isn’t about whats ‘okay’ its about harm. I’m not advocating a situation where those who cause harm aren’t punished im simply querying the idea that harm is intrinsically linked to age.

    Fucking hell, Kulvinder. Children below the age of puberty are not physically ready for sex. That is what puberty is for. Emotionally ready is a different issue altogether, which is why in this country the age of consent is set substantially after most children will have gone through puberty. Sex hurts prepubescent children physically; it does not give them pleasure; it damages them emotionally. I have come into contact with a lot of victims of sexual abuse, some of whom went on to be abusers themselves, and I can tell you now that whilst few of them felt able to say no, every single one of them felt violated, and betrayed by the adults around them who did not protect them.

    Your views are utterly uninformed and deeply offensive. I suggest you try talking to people who’ve gone through the abuse that you’re dismissing so flippantly before you start mouthing off in future.

    In the meantime – you disgust me. You really do.

  162. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

    Children below the age of puberty are not physically ready for sex. That is what puberty is for.

    Yeah but the youngest mother ever was 5 so if id just linked it to puberty; i’d be arguing that it was ok as long as they were ‘physically ready’ (which im not, i think thats dangerous)

    Im hardly saying those cases are anything but the most extreme outlier rather than the norm. We’re debating the intellectual and emotional capacity for someone to comprehend whats happening to them and from that make a decision about what they want – and how frame the law for that – Ms_Xtreme asked me the question as

    ‘So then a 6 year old can consent…’

    not the percentage of 6 year olds that could but (hypothetically if you will) if there was a 6 year old would i object to it, and if it there was a 6 year old that passed whatever test you wanted to apply for cognition would i still object in principle just becuase they were 6, and i gave an honest answer, no i wouldn’t. Thats hardly a green light to abuse 6 year olds.

    I would not leave a child of mine alone with you.

    ‘you’re advocating rape you cold hearted bastard’ etc

    Just for the record my readyness to have a discussion on any topic is not linked to any kind of a desire to molest/harm/fightwith/blowup anyone. I’ve said i don’t really see why those men that escaped the control orders were doing anything ‘wrong’ by wanting to fight an illegal occupation, but that doesn’t mean im about to strap explosives to myself and blow innocent people up (or that i even condone such behaviour).

    All in all i wish mcsquared was here :(

  163. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 3:01 pm  

    *squared

  164. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    Yeah but the youngest mother ever was 5 so if id just linked it to puberty; i’d be arguing that it was ok as long as they were ‘physically ready’ (which im not, i think thats dangerous)

    Why is that dangerous if it’s all about consent? I assume that’s the basis upon which some countries allow sexual activity after the age of 13. Personally, I think that’s dangerous too. And that’s why the age of consent is 16 even though the vast majority of children reach puberty several years earlier than that.

    if it there was a 6 year old that passed whatever test you wanted to apply for cognition would i still object in principle just becuase they were 6, and i gave an honest answer, no i wouldn’t.

    I don’t think there is a six year old on the planet who would pass any such test no matter how you framed it, and that is why your argument is utterly ridiculous. What are you going to do? Remove the age of consent altogether and require people to administer cognitive tests before they have sex? How many people would that protect? How do you decide which test to use? The laws about sexual activity are passed to protect the greatest number of people. That’s why the age of consent is 16 and some sexually precocious fourteen year olds have to wait for a couple of years or risk breaking the law and getting a slap on the wrist.

    I would not leave a child of mine alone with you.

    I don’t know whether you would rape a child or not, because I don’t know you. I have to say that I find your suggestion that a child of that age might be able to consent to sexual activity worrying. Either you have never met any children or you’re a sociopath. I wouldn’t leave a child with you because I don’t think you can be trusted to make sensible decisions on a child’s behalf. Your argument about child pornography I could see, although I didn’t agree with it. But your suggestion that a child of six might in theory be able to give informed consent to sexual activity is outrageous, and offensive, and contrary to reason. I suppose you think they should be allowed to drive, and drink as much alcohol as they want, and smoke like chimneys as well.

    And I notice that you have ignored what I consider to be a fairly important point, which is that the available evidence – that which comes from people who have been drawn into sexual activity with adults in childhood themselves, and therefore have some idea of what it is like – demonstrates that children are harmed by it, emotionally and physically.

  165. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    Why is that dangerous if it’s all about consent?

    Because physical development has nothing to do with emotional/intellectual development, so to me its dangerous to link puberty to consent. To reverse the argument i don’t think all 16 year olds are emotionally or intellectually developed to give consent.

    I don’t think there is a six year old on the planet who would pass any such test no matter how you framed it, and that is why your argument is utterly ridiculous.

    I can’t speak for all 6 year olds so i wouldn’t know, i personally wouldn’t frame any legislation on that basis though (and to link it back to things like gillick you’d have to argue you don’t think any 6 year olds would ever be capable of giving consent to medical treatment). Would you consider the possibility of a 6 year old (or even younger!) giving a blow job to another student to be utterly ridiculous?

    Remove the age of consent altogether and require people to administer cognitive tests before they have sex?

    Yup its fairer all round. We don’t universally declare everyone over a certain age of being senile. Note this isn’t about consent in individual circumstances but about when the law recognises your ability to consent; so getting a certificate doesn’t mean im saying its ok to abduct them from the street or something.

    How many people would that protect?

    I’m not sure i understand, im trying to advocate as much liberty as possible…

    How do you decide which test to use?

    Any test that was designed around mapping someones emotional and intellectual development would be fine. I don’t see any point in prescribing a particular one.

    I suppose you think they should be allowed to drive, and drink as much alcohol as they want, and smoke like chimneys as well.

    Yup. Any driving test should be based on ability alone.

    And I notice that you have ignored what I consider to be a fairly important point, which is that the available evidence – that which comes from people who have been drawn into sexual activity with adults in childhood themselves, and therefore have some idea of what it is like – demonstrates that children are harmed by it, emotionally and physically.

    I didn’t ignore it i just considered it besides the point, you’re saying they didn’t consent and they were abused. I don’t know who these people are, but fine – why would i argue against that?

    Either you have never met any children or you’re a sociopath.

    Well er no i don’t meet many 6 year olds, or the normal amount anyway?!!?? do people go to meetings with 6 year olds than im not aware of?? I don’t lock myself in a room and refuse to out (for what this is worth)

    I just don’t have a problem with discussing anything about the nature of society. If trying to broaden the discussion makes me a raping sociopath then…okkaay.

  166. Chairwoman — on 2nd June, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    “Yup. Any driving test should be based on ability alone”

    And being able to turn the steering wheel, concentrate for more than 3 seconds and, of course, see out the windscreen.

  167. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 4:51 pm  

    They’d have to pass a proper driving test, but if for instance a 7 year old passed that test why would it matter that he/she was 7?? Daniel Shanklin became the youngest pilot to fly from coast to coast in the US at the age of 7, thats flying!! which even less people have an aptitude for! (his website says hes in finance now)

    Im also in favour of voting rights being based solely on someone applying for them.

  168. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 4:53 pm  

    ‘Guest Appearance – Late Night with David Letterman. New York, NY, June 1991. Honored with guest appearance for becoming the youngest pilot at age 7 to fly coast-to-coast (video available at danielshanklin.com)’

  169. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

    I didn’t ignore it i just considered it besides the point, you’re saying they didn’t consent and they were abused.

    NO! That is NOT what I said. Many of them DID consent. None of them knew what they were consenting to. Six year olds do not understand about sex. They do not physically want to do it. These children consent because the adults ask them to do it and out of a desire to please them or to be obedient or because they have been taught that adults are always right they do so. They consent in circumstances that they would not consent in if they were older and more experienced. A six year old has only been on the planet for six years, Kulvinder, and only walking unassisted for about four of them and only talking properly for three of them.

    Well er no i don’t meet many 6 year olds, or the normal amount anyway?!!?? do people go to meetings with 6 year olds than im not aware of?? I don’t lock myself in a room and refuse to out (for what this is worth)

    This is why I find you absolutely impossible to deal with. First you posit a series of hypotheses completely unsupported by any sort of evidence. Then when I ask you if you have met any six year olds or if you have actually spoken to those people who did participate in sexual activity at that sort of age you reply that you haven’t met any and it’s irrelevant. I thought you prided yourself on being some sort of rationalist. Personally I think you just like to be controversial.

    I have not accused you of raping children; I’ve just made the point that I can’t be expected to know whether you would want to or not; and I maintain that anyone who thinks that a six year old can give informed consent to anything beyond what s/he wants in her/his sandwich either hasn’t met very many of them or is a sociopath. You say you haven’t met very many of them; fair enough. I accept that you are not a sociopath. You are clearly just ill-informed and unwilling or unable to accept that the available evidence of people who have been children in sexual situations doesn’t support any of what you say.

  170. Devil's Kitchen — on 2nd June, 2007 at 6:24 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    ‘Social benefit’ is of secondary (if any) importance on individual liberty.

    and

    I suppose id settle for a consent certificate that everyone had to obtain from the government,

    Since when has government licensing had anything at all to do with individual liberty? This is a nonsensical position to take.

    DK

  171. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 6:25 pm  

    NO! That is NOT what I said. Many of them DID consent…

    …They do not physically want to do it.

    Then we’re dealing with completely different connotations of the word consent. That to me wouldn’t be consent anymore than an adult could consent by having a gun placed to their head (they do it but not really wanting to do it etc). You’re introducing this ambiguity that they didn’t really want to do something but did it anyway when i never supported that definition. I’ve never supported the concept of consent through coercion.

    First you posit a series of hypotheses completely unsupported by any sort of evidence.

    Hypotheses don’t need formal evidential proof; thats a theory. I have never said and i will never say i have a theory about the cognitive abilities of 6 year olds.

    Then when I ask you if you have met any six year olds or if you have actually spoken to those people who did participate in sexual activity at that sort of age you reply that you haven’t met any and it’s irrelevant. I thought you prided yourself on being some sort of rationalist.

    I didn’t say it was irrelevant i said i didn’t see the point in questioning your assertion you know some 6 year olds were abused.

    I just don’t know that many 6 year olds and i wouldn’t question them or their parents on sex so failing that i tried to find examples in the media to help my point, i linked to a story where those under the age of 6 are basically having sex without any adults present. Are they raping each other? A 7 year old piloted his own plane across the continental united states, something i could not do. I did give examples just of people who i’ve never met.

    I choose not to ignore the possibility that any individual could be capable having the intellectual and emotional ability to carry out any task or act. Because of that i advocate a society where ability isn’t inherently linked to age and where ‘equal measured tests’ are applicable to everyone.

  172. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 6:35 pm  

    Since when has government licensing had anything at all to do with individual liberty? This is a nonsensical position to take.

    ‘Social benefit’ is of secondary (if any) importance on individual liberty.

    I suppose id settle for a consent certificate that everyone had to obtain from the government,

    Government has never been excluded from the physical public space, so a 7 year old can drive a car on private property but he/she can’t do that on a public highway. I’m trying to suggest a way the latter could occur. I’d broadly agree that ‘consent certificates’ are anti-libertarian but id say it would be a better situtation than we have at present, so it is if nothing else progression. There obviously are some acts that the governement doesn’t interfere on – circumcision is a permanent act on a non-consenting human after all, and i obviously support the parents doing what ever they wish with their child, but its more to do with the politics of pragmatism than anything.

  173. Jai — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:02 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    =>”I just don’t know that many 6 year olds”

    Perhaps that’s part of the basic problem here. I suggest you spend some more time with your pre-adolescent nephews & nieces and/or your married friends & their children. That should give you a clearer idea of what children that age are actually like, beyond the detached-from-reality hypotheses that many of your arguments on this thread are based on. It should also hopefully go some way towards rectifying what appears to be an unhealthy preoccupation on your part with the alleged “sexuality” (and yes, the air quotes are deliberate) of children, which — like Katy — I’m finding quite disturbing.

    Liberty, rights, theoretical ability to consent etc etc are noble ideals, but for God’s sake temper the intellectual acrobatics with a strong injection of common sense.

  174. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:08 pm  

    No, no, he doesn’t accept that knowing six year olds or knowing anyone who has been abused as a child is relevant, and yes, Kulvinder, that is what you said.

  175. Refresh — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:13 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    “It should also hopefully go some way towards rectifying what appears to be an unhealthy preoccupation….”

    I agree with Jai. Although I suspect the reality is much simpler, and it is to do with your analytical interest in social ‘issues’, and perhaps even the concept of innocent v. guilty and how that changes over time.

    I only wish you had chosen a different issue to test your theories on.

    As we can see the debate can be long and tedious and potentially expose you to a great deal of misunderstanding.

  176. Refresh — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:16 pm  

    I should have said:

    “and perhaps even the concept of innocent v. guilty, innocence and guilt, and how these change over time.”

    Because it sounds a little more high brow.

  177. Refresh — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:17 pm  

    In other words, libertarian or not, stop digging.

  178. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:22 pm  

    I don’t see why i should need to spend time with children to advocate their rights, and im trying to provide examples relevant to my argument – its hardly like im being completely abstract.

    to be an unhealthy preoccupation on your part with the alleged “sexuality” (and yes, the air quotes are deliberate) of children, which — like Katy — I’m finding quite disturbing.

    One article dude. But yeah the ‘you’re a deviant/rapist/shutupyou’resick’ argument always comes across well. As i said to Don i take my philosophy seriously, im a libertarian. David Jones the canadian i linked to in my original post is a libertarian. The ACLU are fighting in the US because they believe in civil liberties. Are you saying the ACLU are closet rapists?

    If the discussion is too uncomfortable for you to take, if you don’t want to consider difficult issues fair enough, don’t read. But please, when the ACLU were fighting for equal rights for homosexuals would you have sneered ‘fags’?

  179. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:33 pm  

    Although I suspect the reality is much simpler, and it is to do with your analytical interest in social ‘issues’, and perhaps even the concept of innocent v. guilty and how that changes over time.

    This is more or less true, i could have only posted regarding equal voting rights or concentrated solely on driving rights but i chose a subject that is relevant to modern society – and yes controversial. But so what?

    Half the other fucking articles are about the BNP or Islam. If thats all you want to read fair enough, but i don’t mind pushing the envelope. How else does progress occur? I have consistently applied the way i think regardless of whether we’re dealing with women wearing burkhas or when i disagree both with the concept of ‘political correctness gone mad’ and ‘institutional racism’. I argue for the right of the BNP to say what they want, i argue for the right of muslim protesters to say what they want. And damnit ill argue that laws based on arbitary ages are irrational. If you can’t deal with that don’t read. I’m not making you. But neither am i alone in some backwater of philosophy constantly apart from other civil libertarians. Quite the opposite.

  180. Jai — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    =>”I don’t see why i should need to spend time with children to advocate their rights, and im trying to provide examples relevant to my argument – its hardly like im being completely abstract.”

    “Abstract” is exactly what you’re being, dude. You are not in a position to advocate the rights of children (especially in matters of “sexuality”) if you haven’t spent a sufficient amount of time with them and have little concept of the reality of pre-adolescent psychology.

    =>”As i said to Don i take my philosophy seriously, im a libertarian.”

    Philosophy needs to be tempered and balanced with reality and common sense, otherwise it’s just pie-in-the-sky, living-with-the-fairies theorising. One of the dangers of pointless, mental gymnastics which has no basis in, or relation to, real life.

    =>”But please, when the ACLU were fighting for equal rights for homosexuals would you have sneered ‘fags’?”

    Irrelevant analogy. “Consenting adults”, etc etc. Plus I would have expected the ACLU to have had at least a basic level of contact with homosexuals, and an understanding of their psychology and motivations, to be in any informed position to advocate their rights.

  181. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:42 pm  

    “Abstract” is exactly what you’re being, dude. You are not in a position to advocate the rights of children (especially in matters of “sexuality”) if you haven’t spent a sufficient amount of time with them and have little concept of the reality of pre-adolescent psychology.

    Can you tell me how a 7 year old can fly a plane but at same time in your mind not be capable of driving a car? Is 6 year olds are universally incapable of consenting, were they raping one another in that jamaican classroom?

    If you think they were, fair enough. I’m not going to disagree with you. But what do we do about it? How do we stop them raping each other?

    Philosophy needs to be tempered and balanced with reality

    Philosophy is very very much about reality

    Irrelevant analogy. “Consenting adults”, etc etc.

    Dude read the link i posted it was very much about minors.

  182. Katy — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:44 pm  

    If the discussion is too uncomfortable for you to take, if you don’t want to consider difficult issues fair enough, don’t read.

    Oh please. Everyone has engaged with your arguments. No one is shy of reading about this or of listening to what you have to say. So don’t try you’re “Oh it’s because I’m so libertarian and none of you can deal with it” crap. So far no one agrees with you. Because they think you’re wrong.

    ‘you’re a deviant/rapist/shutupyou’resick’ argument always comes across well.

    No one has told you to shut up. Or do you dispute my right to tell you that I find your ideas offensive?

    I don’t see why i should need to spend time with children to advocate their rights

    Oh, poo, evidence, who needs it? All right, forget the fact that there is no concrete example of your hypothesis. How far exactly do children’s rights go? Do you think that six year old children should also have criminal responsibility and receive adult punishments? That six year olds should be allowed to draw benefits and obtain mortgages, loans and other forms of credit? That six year olds should be allowed to run for government? Are you saying that there is no distinction between the rights of children and the rights of adults?

    Incidentally, I love the way your argument has moved from fighting for the “right” of adult perverts to downloading pictures of children being abused for their pleasure to fighting for the “right” of a six year old to have sex with an adult. As if there was ever a six year old who went looking to have sex with adults.

    when the ACLU were fighting for equal rights for homosexuals would you have sneered ‘fags’?

    You’re drawing a comparison between the right for consulting adults to have sex with each other and the “right” of children to have sex with adults?

  183. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:52 pm  

    Or do you dispute my right to tell you that I find your ideas offensive?

    There are no rights in the context of a private website, but yeah if you want to tell me you’re offended go ahead. That isn’t an argument though.

    Do you think that six year old children should also have criminal responsibility and receive adult punishments?

    Yup, though to put it the other way i think if child murderers can be reformed then reformative justice can work with adults as such the tendency to increase sentences for adults is something i disagree with.

    That six year olds should be allowed to draw benefits and obtain mortgages, loans and other forms of credit?

    If thats what they want yeah.

    That six year olds should be allowed to run for government?

    I’ve already said id grant voting rights based on application alone (for nationals)

    Are you saying that there is no distinction between the rights of children and the rights of adults?

    Bingo. Incidentally im not arguing there is no distinction, im saying there is but it isn’t based on anything other than saying ’18 is an adult’. I’m advocating equal rights for all.

    I love the way your argument has moved from fighting for the “right” of adult perverts to downloading pictures of children being abused for their pleasure to fighting for the “right” of a six year old to have sex with an adult. As if there was ever a six year old who went looking to have sex with adults.

    Ms Xtreme asked a question, i answered.

  184. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:53 pm  

    All right, forget the fact that there is no concrete example of your hypothesis.

    Once again with the 7 year old flying a plane…

  185. Jai — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:53 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    =>”Can you tell me how a 7 year old can fly a plane but at same time in your mind not be capable of driving a car?”

    I’m not going to play ball with you here. There is a considerable difference between the scenarios of children flying planes and engaging in sexual activity.

    Why ? Because the latter is intimately connected to many aspects of human biology, reproductive development, neuroscience, psychiatry etc, as Katy has alluded to above and as I mentioned myself very early in this thread.

    =>”But what do we do about it? How do we stop them raping each other?”

    Depends on exactly what factors motivated them to engage in such activity in the first place. “Stopping them” in this case is primarily the responsibility of their respective parents, not people confortably ensconced in Ol’ Blighty and viewing the situation with an air of excessively academic detachment.

    =>”Philosophy is very very much about reality”

    Not if the factors you are considering in order to address a particular real-life scenario actually have no basis in reality, especially if you have no experience of the scenario concerned or the people it involves.

  186. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 7:59 pm  

    I’m not going to play ball with you here. There is a considerable difference between the scenarios of children flying planes and engaging in sexual activity.

    That wasn’t the analogy i was making, but lets concentrate solely on ‘driving rights’. If a 7 year old that had showed the ability to fly a plane as well as anyone else desired to drive a car would you support his wish?

    Not if the factors you are considering in order to address a particular real-life scenario actually have no basis in reality, especially if you have no experience of the scenario concerned or the people it involves.

    I don’t support the idea you can only discuss something you’ve experienced.

  187. Jai — on 2nd June, 2007 at 8:08 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    =>”but lets concentrate solely on ‘driving rights’.”

    Let’s not, because this topic focuses on pre-pubescent “sexuality”, and has no relation whatsoever with the notion of a 7 year old having the right (or lack of it) to drive. I will not be drawn into even a tangential discussion attempting to imply an equivalence between the two situations.

    =>”I don’t support the idea you can only discuss something you’ve experienced.”

    Neither do I, but if your lack of experience of a certain situation or the people it involves results in your understanding of both being insanely unrealistic, then it is obviously necessary in your particular case for you to gain some direct first-hand experience before you can start advocating the “rights” of the individuals concerned.

    If you have had such little contact with young children via your relatives and friends, perhaps in your case you will only understand the dynamics invoved if and when you have children yourself.

  188. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 8:15 pm  

    Let’s not, because this topic focuses on pre-pubescent “sexuality”, and has no relation whatsoever with the notion of a 7 year old having the right (or lack of it) to drive. I will not be drawn into even a tangential discussion attempting to imply an equivalence between the two situations.

    LOL well that sure answered my question. But to be fair you’re the one now ‘fixating’ on sexuality (btw just to be sure, you’re calling me a paedophile amirite?). I’m advocating equal rights based on merit and exclusive of age. And punishment of those who cause harm. If you want to concentrate on on children having sex we’ll do that but lets be clear this is something you’re choosing.

    Neither do I, but if your lack of experience of a certain situation or the people it involves results in your understanding of both being insanely unrealistic

    Unrealistic how?? I freely admit i don’t hang around nor do i have any desire to hang around 6 or 7 year olds. But its not like im avoiding giving examples, its based in reality?!

  189. Devil's Kitchen — on 2nd June, 2007 at 8:28 pm  

    And damnit ill argue that laws based on arbitary ages are irrational.

    Yes, but it is not an arbitrary age is it? There is, generally speaking, an age at which sexual desire is felt (usually during or after puberty); the age that we assign to this is above that.

    Then there is an average age at which we, as a society, feel that the human brain is sufficiently developed to understand the consequences of decisions. (I would say, actually, that 16 is probably rather young, but there you go.)

    In practice, we tend to be flexible about this law; in one of your examples, a 15 year old boy is being prosecuted for statutory rape; this is not because he is fifteen, but because the girl is 11. Had the girl concerned been 15, or even 14, it is likely that the case would not have been prosecuted.

    In any justice system – and a justice system of some sort is fundamental to any libertarian society – there are always going to be law based on “arbitrary” concepts. But, in our legal system, we do allow for individual discretion.

    However, any libertarian society is based on the rights of people to make their own decisions; however, for any person to be able to make a decision, they must understand the consequences of that decision or it is not a freely-made decision.

    That, at heart, is the point behind age-of-consent laws; we deem people below a certain age to be incapable of rationally foreseeing and determining the consequences of the course of action that they decide on.

    Libertarian philosophy also strictly forbids the initiation of force against others. However, the age-of-consent laws recognise that, because they are incapable of rational decision-making, children (particularly) can be coerced into consenting to things that they do not understand the results of and that someone who does this is effectively initiating force against that child.

    In this way, we can see that, first, the age set is not completely arbitrary (showing up a few exceptional examples does not in any way strengthen your case, I’m afraid): the law is not irrational because – although it takes an average age – that age is based on a rational assessment of the vast majority of people.

    Second, the law is enforced in a way that allows for the flexibility that you desire (and without everyone having to show their government-sanctioned Fuck Test results before going to bed with one-another).

    Third, the law is far from being inconsistent with libertarian principles. Those who are unable to understand consequences are not capable of understanding the consequences. I severelydoubt that your plane-flying seven year old really understood the concept of death when he took to the sky.

    Third, nor is it inconsistent with libertarian principles. Libertarian philosophy requires people to be able to understand the consequences of their decisions or else they are not taking a voluntary decision; in fact, they cannot take a voluntary decision if they do not understand consequences because they are not making that decision based on a true understanding of what it means. Children do not and thus cannot be said to make free and voluntary decisions.

    DK

  190. Kulvinder — on 2nd June, 2007 at 9:30 pm  

    DK thank you for your very very thoughtful reply, which was something along the lines of what i wanted. It isn’t a matter of someone disagreeing with me i just want to know why, and why with consistency.

    I don’t think this thread is going anywhere and i wasn’t planning on replying anymore but i feel you deserve at least some sort of responce (though it will be my final one, promise everyone!)

    To try and shed more light on my pov beyond children. Take the example of geriatric seniles. Their mental capacity isn’t based on an age that is specified by the government but on them. I take your point about the use of the word arbitary and perhaps its is misleading so the ‘concept’ im trying to get across is empirically derived individualism.

    That doesn’t mean that im supporting the idea that 6&7 year olds are anything other than the most extreme outliers (and i wish xtremey had never brought the bloody thing up) but to me there has to be an attempt to recognise them. Not the the mean of when puberty or any development occurs but them individually.

    I’m not supporting the abuse of the elderly or of the young, nor am i suggesting that 99.999% of 6 year olds could ‘consent’ but if you’ve read the rest of my posts for the past 2 years you’ll understand i can’t conciously exclude the possibility. I just can’t; it would be dishonest for me to say the one in a trillion six year old that possibly could give consent should be ignored when my foundations of everything else is the individual.

    Imagine (having read my other posts in other threads) being faced with a situation where the government said x% of everyone over the age of 100 is senile therefore it was reasonable to say they all were. Which is what you were discussing about ‘arbitary’ and you’re right.

    But to me it just isn’t good enough and despite the horror i’ve probably raised in some reading i can’t just skew around it. The only solution i have is one where everyone is ‘measured/assessed’ individually – just as geriatric seniles. And those that are shown to be mature enough are given the rights that everyone enjoys.

    I’d like people to just empathise with the point im trying to make. Disagree with it if you wish but i can’t, i just can’t support laws that are based on percentages across the population and not the individual. Obviously i wish all children grow-up free from abuse.

  191. Devil's Kitchen — on 2nd June, 2007 at 9:43 pm  

    Refresh,

    Only just noticed this…

    If repeated exposure had little or no effect then there would be no need for advertising.

    Er, that’s not entirely true, is it? Advertising tells people about products; I have bought a number of things having seen them advertised. It is not solely about brainwashing people through constant exposure…

    DK

  192. Devil's Kitchen — on 2nd June, 2007 at 10:15 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    I know that you are not replying, but I would ask you to consider why we insist that someone should look after any person under 16.

    In other words, do you think that a 6 or 7 year old could actually live in the world without any help? No: which is why we assign a legal guardian (usually the parents).

    We do the same for geriactric seniles, as it happens. The difference is that not everyone goes senile, whilst I don’t think that even 16 year olds are entirely cognisant of the consequences of actions. It not simply a question of biological development, but also of worldly experience.

    DK

  193. Refresh — on 2nd June, 2007 at 11:15 pm  

    Kitchen,

    I wasn’t talking about advertising as brainwashing, but if you continue running the same advert (assuming the creatives behind it know their ‘job’) without information and knowledge beyond what is presented, it might as well be brainwashing.

    As far as the creatives are concerned they are trained to appreciate the psychology of their target economic group(s).

  194. Refresh — on 2nd June, 2007 at 11:18 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    It might be worth considering there are limits to libertarianism, like everything else.

  195. Chairwoman — on 2nd June, 2007 at 11:30 pm  

    Refresh – Advertising must have moved on considerably since I plied my trade there if ‘creatives’ appreciate the psychology of anything but the appearance of the next gin and tonic.

    No offence to any Islamic creative directors intended :-)

  196. Jai — on 3rd June, 2007 at 12:45 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    =>”LOL well that sure answered my question. But to be fair you’re the one now ‘fixating’ on sexuality…..If you want to concentrate on on children having sex we’ll do that but lets be clear this is something you’re choosing.”

    That’s bullshit. You wrote an article based on the subject of sexual activity involving children. This entire thread has followed on from that. Don’t be a hypocrite by trying to turn everything back towards me and accusing me of being ‘fixated’ on children having sex, when — like everyone else here — all I have done is address the points you have been making during this discussion.

    =>”(btw just to be sure, you’re calling me a paedophile amirite?).”

    No. If I was going to call you a paedophile (or any other negative description) I would do so outright.

    =>”Unrealistic how?? I freely admit i don’t hang around nor do i have any desire to hang around 6 or 7 year olds. But its not like im avoiding giving examples, its based in reality?!”

    Devil’s Kitchen has explained this sufficiently during the last few posts, which mirrors my own viewpoint on the matter.

  197. Ms_Xtreme — on 4th June, 2007 at 3:30 am  

    Thank you Kulvinder, I thought you did forget about me. :)

    The law doesn’t really support that notion either, child abuse is a crime paedophilia is not.

    Really? I thought the law specifically targetted paedophilia. Why else would they have to register as a sex offender and monitored constantly?

    Anyhow, I have not read the responses after that. I think people are going off on one. I myself was more interested in your views on punishment for “thought crimes” vs actual sex offences. Should people be punished for looking at any picture and forming weird fantancies in their head – obviously not. Should people be punished for hurting someone sexually, whether it be a child, adult, or animal even – of course.

    That’s my take on the whole issue. I am done with this until I find another interesting news story to share with you.

  198. Ms_Xtreme — on 4th June, 2007 at 3:37 am  

    Oh and ah.. (and i wish xtremey had never brought the bloody thing up)

    I’m sorry, it was a hypothetical question. Such cases are a rarity – thank the Eye In The Sky.

  199. Kulvinder — on 4th June, 2007 at 9:10 am  

    I know i said i wouldn’t reply, but its my thread so i don’t care

    Really? I thought the law specifically targetted paedophilia. Why else would they have to register as a sex offender and monitored constantly?

    Oh it targets it, but its framed around the act. Otherwise it literally would be a thoughtcrime. So for example people who want to bugger animals can say thats their particular inclination but the act itself stays banned (and before you ask obviously it should be legal, but then i’ve never owned a pet so i don’t know what im talking about :p). If you banned the concept rather than the physical act it would be impossible to even discuss it any level. Similarly laws against obscenity are structured around acts not thoughts.

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