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F3nd1 wrote

[…] However, you did say that you thought it was reasonable to be skeptical that pedophilia is harmful. You did try to come up with an example in which a child "consented".

I did say it seemed reasonable to be ‘sceptical that voluntary paedophilia was harmful, until proven wrong’, commenting on Richard Stallman's statement. Firstly, being sceptical of anything is reasonable, until you come across a firm base to support it. It is reasonable to be sceptical that a stone tossed into water will sink, but coming across a firm base for that is very simple, and many of us do so very early. Determining and examining all the kinds of harm caused by paedophilia gets more complex. Based on an article which Richard Stallman linked to in one of his posts, we can easily suppose that he did not come across a base to support the claim that paedophilia is always harmful, but did come across a base to support the claim that paedophilia does not have to be harmful.

Were he dealing with stones, he would have only found a reason to believe that a stone tossed into water will float, and without any evidence for it, being sceptical of the claim that a stone tossed into water will sink would be reasonable of him.

Now, a whole different problem is the wording of ‘voluntary paedophilia’. It has been pointed out that children can not give consent to sex, as in making an informed and rational decision whilst being aware of its implications and consequences. I do not challenge this statement, which also presents a rather specific definition of ‘consent’, which seems to be the norm when talking about sexual relations, and it's probably my bad that I have used the word in broader meaning.

In common language (from what I have observed), ‘consent’ may be equated to giving an affirmative response to a suggestion (e.g. saying ‘yes’), with little regard to the ability and qualification of the subject to make a certain decision of importance. Likewise, ‘voluntary’ may be understood as ‘was up for it at the time’, not ‘had the capacity to foresee the deep meaning and possible consequences of their choices, and ended up consenting’.

Children have some capacity to feel and think rationally, which does not mean they are able to consent to sex in the exact definition, but generally speaking, they can say if they like or dislike, and want or do not want something. In broad understanding of the terms ‘consent’ and ‘voluntary’, children are perfectly capable of them, and one could normally use them when talking about topics less serious than paedophilia. (E.g. Jimmy consented to lending his brother his teddy bear, and the next day, his brother voluntarily gave it back.)

So, given the relatively broad meaning of those terms, it's very thinkable that they will be used in their broad sense even when discussing topics where more precise definitions exist. I am used to interpreting the terms in their broad meaning, which is what I did in my comments (at least in the early ones). Consider these phrases I wrote:

  • Legally they are unable to consent (and I suppose there's a good reason for that), but not ‘completely’ unable.
  • That is not to say the second victim is mature enough to be sexually active […]

They only make sense if we consider the broad meaning of ‘consent’. I am clearly implying that there's they're able to consent by some interpretation of the word (by saying they're not ‘completely’ unable), and implying that there's a different, more rigid definition of consent in place (talking about ‘legal consent’). And further on:

  • There may be no capacity to give valid consent to sex, but there is a capacity to determine ‘I'm comfortable with this’ or ‘I'm uncomfortable with this’.

Here again, I speak of consent which may be considered valid, and consent which may be considered invalid. This maps to content by the rigid definition, and consent by the broad definition, which I normally use. If we discard the broad definition of consent, and interpret ‘consent’ by the rigid definition whenever I mentioned it, my replies will not make that much sense.

So, to be more precise in my wording, what I did was come up with a situation where the child ‘gave an affirmative response to a suggestion’, and ‘was up for it at the time’, therefore experiencing less suffering through the act than someone who ‘gave a negative response and was definitely not up for it’ would. Does that shift my perceived position on the matter a bit?

If you were in a group of people who beat someone to death; in this instance, you didn't produce the killing blow but you sure helped with a few punches and kicks.

You don't have to be explicitly for something to be doing the work of slowly chipping away at the opposition to it. […]

I'm not sure how exactly should I map ‘this instance’ to a situation where I'm in a group of people beating someone to death, so please feel free to elaborate on that, should you want to see me succeed at the task. But I think I may have partly addressed your concern near the end of my reply to /u/GrimWillow/, in which I also project myself into the role of a hypothetical murderer, which you might find of interest!


ziq OP wrote

will you please just shut up