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Iamme
4th August 2007, 09:17 AM
I read in my today's paper that this one guy got arrested and they found it in his bedroom. But the guy also had partaken in underage sex.

But let's just say somebody squealed on someone and authorites found dirty pictures. So?

Shouldn't that be your right, as an adult, to view what you want, if you don't act on what you viewed? ( A liberatarian type of thought process here)

Try arguing THIS analogy: What if authorites found the bedroom plastered with picures of bombings where death had occured. That the guy was INTO bombings that kill people. What is worse then...some guy who likes to watch underage sex?, or somebody that likes to view death...maybe death involving children? What if the guy who viewed and collected bombings memorabilia had a penchant for wanting to go out and bomb schools where kids are?

See what I mean? So how can they single out what a person wants to freely access/collect, in your own privacy?

And maybe this is actually a GOOD thing certain individuals do this as this is their only 'release', since they are too timid to actually commit a live act out of fear of being caught by the police. This way at least they get to lick their chops and fantasize, and let it go at that.

strathmeyer
4th August 2007, 09:19 AM
Is it illegal to just hire someone to kill someone? I mean, as long as I'm not the one doing the actual killing, it should be completely legal, right?

Damien Evans
4th August 2007, 09:26 AM
Down here, yes, it is illegal to view/download kiddie porn

blobru
4th August 2007, 09:38 AM
As far as I know, kiddie porn is contraband, and possession of any contraband is illegal. This would include images on someone's hard drive.
So, unless you just stumble upon the images accidentally while surfing the web or something like that, it is "illegal to just view kiddie porn".

skeptifem
4th August 2007, 09:41 AM
yeah it is. Im pretty sure its not illegal if you report it to the authorities upon seeing it.

The_Fire
4th August 2007, 10:38 AM
In Denmark, if you know about it, keep it and don't report it? Yes.

True story:

A couple of years back, I arrived at work, the only place where I could check my email, only to discover that I had apparently ended up on a kiddie-porn distribution list. Complete with pictures and link to a paysite.

After regaining my equibrillium and ranted to the receptionist (located less than 10 metres from my workspace), I contacted the local IT crimes unit. After a short conversation, and a rather distressing visit to the site mentioned in the email to make sure it was what I thought it was on behalf of the cop, I was told to send the nice guy on the other end a copy of the email, complete with headers, and then told to delete the email, the browser cache and block the sending email addy.

That was the last of it.

The nice cop also told me that I probably ended up on the list due to the fact that I had subscribed to several free services (including what I discovered to be a rather shady webhost) and that one of them had probably sold their client database to a third party.

Lesson?
It's illegal to download and keep kiddie porn and you should be really really careful what you sign up for.

RemieV
4th August 2007, 11:14 AM
Here's something that I always found weird on that front... The government here is even against virtual child pornography (http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/articles/2002dltr0019.html).

I totally agree that possession of child pornography should be illegal because buying it, looking at it, or keeping it is allowing the creator to keep creating it. And I'm not really down with the victimization of children.

However, in the case of virtual pornography, who is the victim?




Edit: The ban on virtual child porn was apparently struck down (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/LAW/04/16/scotus.virtual.child.porn/).

Dogdoctor
4th August 2007, 11:30 AM
I think it is illegal to possess kiddie porn, you don't necessarily have to look at it at all.

OXEL
4th August 2007, 11:30 AM
That depends on national law. Where I live, child porn is forbidden. Virtual as well! I think at least the real one is forbidden in most countries.

This is a rather complicated issue. Because psychology can't really tell, which option is the worse one.

On the one hand you can argue, people watching child porn may gain more interest so to say and be more likely to rape a real child. On the other hand you could argue that it prevents them from doing real damage by giving them a vent to release their pressure (as you said). But of course it's very hard to back up such claims with statistics...

But there is one thing you can argue for sure: There really are some questinable laws regarding private things in some countries.

Fengirl
4th August 2007, 11:37 AM
But let's just say somebody squealed on someone and authorites found dirty pictures. So?

Shouldn't that be your right, as an adult, to view what you want, if you don't act on what you viewed?

<snip>

See what I mean? So how can they single out what a person wants to freely access/collect, in your own privacy?

.

I find it very hard to believe you are asking that question seriously rather than just trolling…but on the off-chance you are…

What possible “right” could you imagine in your wildest dreams anyone has to look at photographs of children being sexually violated and abused?

Seriously, Iamme….I’m asking. Feel free to explain why you think the “rights” of the person wishing to view such material should trump the rights of the children not to have their privacy further violated.

I have a therapist friend who works with victims of childhood sexual abuse. She tells me that almost without exception, the aspect of the abuse victims find most hurtful, most damaging and hardest to come to terms with is when photographs of the abuse exist. As long as those photographs are being downloaded and viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world, the abuse doesn’t stop. Looking at child pornography is an ongoing violation of the child.

I have zero time for people who argue that “looking at pictures doesn’t actually harm anybody.” It’s utter BS. If you view child pornography, you are supporting and contributing first-hand to the on-going sexual abuse of children.

tim
4th August 2007, 12:16 PM
I'm with Fengirl on this. In the UK possessing child pornography is a crime and rightly so. Chris Langham, a fairly well known tv actor in the UK has just been convicted of said crime.
See here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/6928288.stm

Iamme
4th August 2007, 12:58 PM
Is it illegal to just hire someone to kill someone? I mean, as long as I'm not the one doing the actual killing, it should be completely legal, right?

Now that is the dumbest counter-argument I have ever heard. Um, duh....you are causing someone to get killed. You are the one behind it even if you hire someone. The person VIEWING materials harms nobody, duh!

Iamme
4th August 2007, 01:03 PM
Down here, yes, it is illegal to view/download kiddie porn

I kind of thought so.

And no, I am not into kiddie porn myself. In fact, I am pretty clean cut as I do not even visit adult porn sites! (Which might come as a surprise to many of you who have engaged me before on such topics.) Oh...and it's not out of fear of having anyone find it on the hardrive. I do not even own or rent any such material, either...although I do enjoy a nice looking...oh, never mind.

I'm into basic freedoms and liberty, that's all.

Iamme
4th August 2007, 01:08 PM
But there is one thing you can argue for sure: There really are some questinable laws regarding private things in some countries.

Glad I don't live in one of those countries where they chop off parts of your body that was the participant in the offense.

Iamme
4th August 2007, 01:09 PM
I'm with Fengirl on this. In the UK possessing child pornography is a crime and rightly so. Chris Langham, a fairly well known tv actor in the UK has just been convicted of said crime.
See here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/6928288.stm

Why do you say, "rightly so"?

Checkmite
4th August 2007, 01:46 PM
Why do you say, "rightly so"?

Wow, this is really quite amazing, in a Genghis Pwn kind of way.

Darat
4th August 2007, 01:50 PM
Why do you say, "rightly so"?

He told you - he agrees with Fengirl i.e.

I find it very hard to believe you are asking that question seriously rather than just trolling…but on the off-chance you are…

What possible “right” could you imagine in your wildest dreams anyone has to look at photographs of children being sexually violated and abused?

Seriously, Iamme….I’m asking. Feel free to explain why you think the “rights” of the person wishing to view such material should trump the rights of the children not to have their privacy further violated.

I have a therapist friend who works with victims of childhood sexual abuse. She tells me that almost without exception, the aspect of the abuse victims find most hurtful, most damaging and hardest to come to terms with is when photographs of the abuse exist. As long as those photographs are being downloaded and viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world, the abuse doesn’t stop. Looking at child pornography is an ongoing violation of the child.

I have zero time for people who argue that “looking at pictures doesn’t actually harm anybody.” It’s utter BS. If you view child pornography, you are supporting and contributing first-hand to the on-going sexual abuse of children.


And I also say "rightly so", well put Fengirl, it will be interesting to see if Iamme can address the questions you asked him.

Iamme
4th August 2007, 02:32 PM
But Darat,

It was HIS opinion about the "rightly so" part.

If he wants to say "rightly so", that is his opinion and I can respect that. But I'd simply like to know why he thinks that. I've stated my case that if a person simply views it and does not engage, not say even distributes to others...then *I* am not sure as to how this really should be illegal, if the person is an adult.

Why don't authorities just go after those making or posting such stuff and then they'd have the problem solved. Nobody would be able to see it then (including kids themselves). Not even by accident.

Darat
4th August 2007, 02:35 PM
...snip...

Do you have a response to the questions Fengirl put to you?

Gurdur
4th August 2007, 02:40 PM
I'll just chime in to say I agree completely with FenGirl too. As far as I am concerned, possession of kiddie porn should be criminalised.

Iamme
4th August 2007, 02:49 PM
I find it very hard to believe you are asking that question seriously rather than just trolling…but on the off-chance you are…

What possible “right” could you imagine in your wildest dreams anyone has to look at photographs of children being sexually violated and abused?

Seriously, Iamme….I’m asking. Feel free to explain why you think the “rights” of the person wishing to view such material should trump the rights of the children not to have their privacy further violated.

I have a therapist friend who works with victims of childhood sexual abuse. She tells me that almost without exception, the aspect of the abuse victims find most hurtful, most damaging and hardest to come to terms with is when photographs of the abuse exist. As long as those photographs are being downloaded and viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world, the abuse doesn’t stop. Looking at child pornography is an ongoing violation of the child.

I have zero time for people who argue that “looking at pictures doesn’t actually harm anybody.” It’s utter BS. If you view child pornography, you are supporting and contributing first-hand to the on-going sexual abuse of children.

Why would the person viewing trump the rights of those being violated? Go after those making the porn.

We have eyes. If one doesn't act with your hands or whatever, I can't see how eyes hurt anything.

But I'm trying to remain open and analyze to see if i am out in left field here. Hmmm. What if a pervert uses his eyes, and don't touch, to peek in someones bathroom window? The person being viewed gets violated. I would agree with this. But this is quite direct.

So now I'll ask (myself) how it would be if someone else photographed the person in their bathroom and handed you the photo. Yes, that person got violated, but you did not directly go and view that person. (I'm trying to talk this out to myself) You simply viewed second hand what the first person saw. This latter analogy is most akin to the what the thread is about. This is kind of tough, because it becomes like a chain potentially involving many from the singular act. One innocent unsuspecting (or duped, due to being too young to know better as in case with kids) person can then be viewed and "violated" by many even though one actually saw it first hand.

Hmmm.

I'm maybe wrong on my initial view (How many here would EVER admit that?). I'll give this matter more thought. Notice that others under similar circumstances may have ducked your question.

Iamme
4th August 2007, 02:53 PM
Do you have a response to the questions Fengirl put to you?

Actually yes. Just posted it. Did not see your post until now.

Gurdur
4th August 2007, 02:55 PM
Why would the person viewing trump the rights of those being violated?
No.
FenGirl already told you why there are no such "rights" to view kiddie porn.
Deal with it.
I'm maybe wrong on my initial view
FYI also, the Pope is a Catholic.
I'll give this matter more thought. Notice that others under similar circumstances may have ducked your question.
The rest of us gave it more thought a long time ago.

Undesired Walrus
4th August 2007, 03:09 PM
Virtual Porn is Illegal?? Damn.

I better hand myself in for seeing that cartoon of Homer performing oral sex on Bart that my mate sent me in the email then.... I thought it was funny.

Random
4th August 2007, 06:37 PM
Virtual Porn is Illegal?? Damn.

I better hand myself in for seeing that cartoon of Homer performing oral sex on Bart that my mate sent me in the email then.... I thought it was funny.
A graphic image depicting incestuous homosexual acts between and adult and an underage child? Yeah, that should fit under a law about virtual child pornography.

I'm not sure what the current law here in the states is regarding virtual child pornography. They are trying to write a law that would ban the above mentioned cartoon, but still allow you to transmit the text of Romeo and Juliet. It is really tough to write a law that bans only "bad" forms of art.

Piscivore
4th August 2007, 07:08 PM
I agree with Fen and Remie.

NeoRicen
4th August 2007, 09:30 PM
Viewing it provides an audience for the people who create it by abusing kids. It's illegal and should be illegal.

Loss Leader
4th August 2007, 09:56 PM
First of all, I'd just like to say I love IAmMe threads. They're just so ... unnecessary. It's like Hershey's chocolate kisses - you could just buy a bag of chocolate chips.

Second of all, let me state the law in the US: Posession of child porn is illegal. This actually is a lot less strict than it first seems. For instance, just viewing child porn isn't actually against the law. All of us have had pop-ups come flying at us or opened files that were mislabeled and seen things we didn't want to see. Just having child porn come up on your computer is not illegal. You have to want to have it. If you see the pic by accident but like it and save it, you've possessed child porn. If you wanted the pic, download it but never looked at it, you've also possessed child porn.

Another point is that pictures of nude children may not be kiddie porn. Nude does not necessarily mean lascivious. If the nudes are "tasteful," they may be legal. (That's why you're not going to get into trouble for having taped your baby son running down the hallway naked.)


Shouldn't that be your right, as an adult, to view what you want, if you don't act on what you viewed? ( A liberatarian type of thought process here)


No and for a very good reason - it is impossible to possess child porn without someone having gone out and sexually abused a child. If you want to possess it, you are creating a market for it and somebody will fill that market need. Laws criminalizing the possession of child porn exist for the purpose of destroying the market. (Do the laws succeed? I don't know. But whether the laws are effective or not, that is the reason for them.)


uing THIS analogy: What if authorites found the bedroom plastered with picures of bombings where death had occured. That the guy was INTO bombings that kill people. What is worse then...some guy who likes to watch underage sex?, or somebody that likes to view death...maybe death involving children? What if the guy who viewed and collected bombings memorabilia had a penchant for wanting to go out and bomb schools where kids are?


Okay, I'll try THIS analogy. Um ... it's very unlikely that anyone would go out and bomb people in order to sell the pictures of it. Banning the possession of pictures won't shrink the market for bombings. If it would, the pictures would be banned.


t I mean? So how can they single out what a person wants to freely access/collect, in your own privacy?


Because you can't possess a picture unless a child has been abused.


Virtual Porn is Illegal?? Damn.


Nope, it's not. The attempt to ban virtual depictions of child sex was overturned by the courts. You can find absolutely terrible comics online all perfectly legal. And you can also find drawings that are nothing more than tracings of real child porn pics. They're legal, too. The theory is that no child is harmed in the making of a drawing so banning the drawings won't protect children.

Now that is the dumbest counter-argument I have ever heard. Um, duh....you are causing someone to get killed. You are the one behind it even if you hire someone. The person VIEWING materials harms nobody, duh!


Well, you're wrong on that. By wanting kiddie porn, you are giving an incentive to some businessmen to abuse children for your benefit.

Lonewulf
4th August 2007, 10:38 PM
I'd like to say:

You don't have the right to look at kiddie porn.

You also don't have the right to read Lolita. Therefore, we should burn all books that makes references to child molestation.

Then, we burn all movies, DVDs, and every episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

I find it funny how emotional appeals are the only thing people ever use in arguments like this. It's why I generally try to avoid them, but naturally, my impulsiveness leads me to make a post.

I'm sure that most people here would be for banning virtual porn, right? If they weren't, they probably would have said so already.

For the record, I do think that it's right to ban kiddie porn where a child was actually molested. I also think that banning images of women or men being raped is good, as long as the rape was "real"; "fake" rape is okay (I.E., if it's fictional, it's okay).

In the same sense, I think that virtual kiddie porn should still be allowable, although I personally don't want to see it.

Kevin_Lowe
5th August 2007, 12:58 AM
I think I've said before that I think the real reason pronographic material featuring underage participants is illegal to possess (as opposed to illegal to create or to purchase) is because it is seen as a highly reliable marker for paedophilia, and as a society we have a drive to imprison paedophiles.

It may sound heartless, but I can see no good reason to lock people up for possessing child pornography just because the victims of the pornography's production feel bad if they think somebody is looking at that pornography. Unless those people have psychic powers they cannot know of or be hurt by any individual person viewing that material. Barring similarly unlikely police powers such material will never be entirely removed from circulation, so even in theory the victims of child pronography will never be relieved of the burden of knowing that child pornography is out there. So not only is their claimed suffering not directly linked to any one individual possessing such material, but in addition their suffering cannot be relieved by prosecuting individual possessors. In other words, in and of itself attempting to relieve their suffering cannot be justified as a use of police time.

(I have seen attempts to argue by analogy that we are morally obliged to hunt down some viewers of child pornography even if we cannot catch all of them, in the same way that we are morally obliged to hunt down drug dealers even if we cannot catch all of them. In my view the analogy fails because if drugs are harmful, then a drug dealer is causing concrete harm to concrete individuals every time they sell drugs. Someone viewing child pornography does not at the moment of doing so harm anybody in any identifiable way).

I also think that there is an enormous element of special pleading in that particular argument, because I cannot imagine criminalising any other kind of expression merely because a set of crime victims were upset by it. Even if it turned out that anti-western individuals were watching footage of the 9/11 attacks for fun, and that this caused considerable emotional trauma to survivors of the 9/11 attacks, I do not think we would see a moral justification to criminalise the possession of such footage. Only in this one case is such suffering used to justify the criminalisation of mere possession of offending material.

All of the other arguments I have seen for criminalising mere possession, or free transfer, or child pornography make no legal or moral sense on their own merits. Thus my suspicion that criminalisation is a means to the end of identifying people with evil desires and locking them up, and a way of avoiding the inconvenient matter of waiting for them to actually harm another human being before we punish them.

Obviously abusing children should be illegal (whether for the purpose of making pornography or otherwise), as should charging for or paying for such material.

It is particularly apparent that something is odd about our treatment of child pornography when you consider that the free sharing of legal material people want to charge money for (software, music) is claimed to be harmful to the producers and distributors of that material, but the free sharing of illegal material (child pornography) is argued with equal earnestness to somehow benefit the producers and distributors of that material.

Virtual child pornography is an even more clear-cut case. We can be absolutely certain in the case of virtual child pornography that no child was harmed in the production of the material, and no child is suffering from the awareness that somebody out these is viewing the material. The only reason to criminalise the creation and possession of virtual child pornography is that it is a marker for "bad people", and criminalisation is a means to the end of identifying and imprisoning them.

I'm not categorically against locking up people who have the mere desire to molest children, if they were contained in institutions like mental asylums which would be intended to isolate people with potentially dangerous conditions rather than to punish them. If statistics showed that doing so averted enough incidences of child molestation to justify the net cost I could support it.

I do think that treating mere possession of child pornography as a serious criminal offence is unjust and inconsistent with the bases of a good legal system. I do not think we should criminalise desires or thoughts, even if it happens to be convenient to do so. Only when someone attempts, plans or conspires to molest a child should they be treated as a criminal.

Others have felt obliged to include disclaimers to the effect that they aren't afficionados of child pornpgraphy themselves, which simply should not be necessary in a civilised discussion forum. It is wise to do so however, since sadly this is not a civilised discussion forum when it comes to this particular topic. So I'll say that I myself do not have a brain that is wired to find prepubescents sexy. I do suspect, however, that my attraction to adults is by chance rather than moral choice and that when a paedophile is hauled away for thought crime "there but for fortune" go any one of us.

Big Les
5th August 2007, 04:21 AM
You make some interesting points Kevin. I do think there's a lot of emotion clouding the whole issue. For most, anyone who views such material is automatically a threat to children and ought to forfeit their human rights. As much as I might want to get behind that on a reactive level, it doesn't seem very consistent or progressive. Clearly, any actual or psychological harm inflicted on a child must be punished appropriately, but I'm not 100% convinced that the act of viewing the porn itself equates to harm.

On the other hand, your point re paying for images vs viewing them for free and the analogy with media piracy doesn't seem valid. With child porn, the majority of such images are being traded rather than paid for. As such, the economics of the exchange/spread of the images are rather different, and a blanket ban seems to make some sense.

Another argument in favour of outright (if notional) criminalisation of these images is that it might prevent them becoming in some way mainstream as a form of twisted curiosity - sites like Ogrish and Rotten.com showed that otherwise "normal" people will indulge their curiosity and/or darker sides by looking at horrendous images of injury and death. Though currently there is a such a strong societal taboo re child porn that the vast majority would probably eschew it, I think you could make the case that this taboo would slip just as it has for others (bestiality for example). Younger people in particular might well view and distribute such material for shock and "gross-out" value alone, and if even a few people did do this, you have an increased risk of others, including young people and children themselves. coming across it. Whether that's an inherently bad thing or not is down to opinion I suppose.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 07:06 AM
What I don't get is, studies show that porn hasn't resulted in increase sex rates, right?

Why isn't it the same as with child porn? Are the studies entirely different?

shemp
5th August 2007, 07:11 AM
I agree with Fen and Remie.

I agree with Ren and Stimpy.

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 07:23 AM
Arguments from emotion are used to make a lot of things illegal. For instance, a rape is still prosecutable, even when the act results in no physical injury. Slapping someone can put you in jail, even when (again) it results in no physical injury. Resisting arrest is illegal, even though it is victimless, as is counterfeiting money.

Let's try it this way: receipt of stolen property, when you know that property is stolen, is illegal, and you can go to jail for it, even if you did not commit, commission, or otherwise participate in the actual theft. Same principle applies to child pornography. You can argue that the stolen property is something "tangible", unlike kids' feelings (which we apparently shouldn't care about); however, this means nothing - refer to the above argument involving non-injurous rape.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 07:28 AM
Arguments from emotion are used to make a lot of things illegal. For instance, a rape is still prosecutable, even when the act results in no physical injury. Slapping someone can put you in jail, even when (again) it results in no physical injury. Resisting arrest is illegal, even though it is victimless, as is counterfeiting money.

Counterfeiting money does damage. Rape has mental injury, not just physical, and is still using someone against their will. The rest of the examples are just as silly.

There's a big difference between looking at a free picture and doing any of that...

Let's try it this way: receipt of stolen property, when you know that property is stolen, is illegal, and you can go to jail for it, even if you did not commit, commission, or otherwise participate in the actual theft. Same principle applies to child pornography. You can argue that the stolen property is something "tangible", unlike kids' feelings (which we apparently shouldn't care about); however, this means nothing - refer to the above argument involving non-injurous rape.
This comparison is more prudent. However...

Who's saying that no one should "care about kids' feelings"? That's certainly not my argument.

And do you have any opinion on virtual porn? As in, porn that involves no participants that were actually harmed?

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 07:35 AM
I have a question: Why can't I demand Lolita, and any book or show or movie that mentions child molestation to be banned?

I mean, seriously. You don't have a "right" to see it, just like you don't have a "right" to see porn.

I'm 100% serious here. What if someone that was molested sees it or reads it? Shouldn't their feelings be taken to account? Surely the feelings of such people carries weight.

Does it carry less weight because books are different? What if they depict it with images, such as a graphic novel? And even then, that doesn't carry weight for shows or movies.

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 07:55 AM
Rape has mental injury, not just physical, and is still using someone against their will.

Wow, it seems like that's exactly the reason child pornography is illegal. Unless you intend to declare that the mental injury suffered by its victims is nonexistent.


And do you have any opinion on virtual porn? As in, porn that involves no participants that were actually harmed?


Of course I do; I have given it before, in a very, very long thread recently dedicated to exactly that topic, which I seem to remember you participating in at least once (could be wrong). In case you have forgotten: of course virtual porn shouldn't be illegal.

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 07:56 AM
I have a question: Why can't I demand Lolita, and any book or show or movie that mentions child molestation to be banned?

I mean, seriously. You don't have a "right" to see it, just like you don't have a "right" to see porn.

I'm 100% serious here. What if someone that was molested sees it or reads it? Shouldn't their feelings be taken to account? Surely the feelings of such people carries weight.

Does it carry less weight because books are different? What if they depict it with images, such as a graphic novel? And even then, that doesn't carry weight for shows or movies.

The difference is where you're dealing with real people who were really harmed.

Big Les
5th August 2007, 08:03 AM
But how does an individual acquiring an image without paying for it (or, crucially, providing an image of their own making in trade) harm either the child in the image, or any future victims of the image creator?

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 08:09 AM
Wow, it seems like that's exactly the reason child pornography is illegal. Unless you intend to declare that the mental injury suffered by its victims is nonexistent.

Please don't declare anything for me. I'd much rather speak for myself, thank you.

The production of child pornography is harmful to the child. Of course that is true, and please don't tell me that I'm saying differently when I am obviously not.

Looking at something is far different than producing it, however. It is also different than buying it. Please keep that in mind.

I still lean towards banning "real" child porn, however. But it seems strange to me; if such images are deemed illegal to view, why not an image of someone being murdered IRL? That gets rid of a lot of footage, including what you'll see on the news.

If you're going to ban free images, or even paid-for images where people involved are harmed, then why not be logically consistent and not just focus on children? It's rather arbitrary in my view.

I feel that adults have as much of every right as a child does. If watching an adult be harmed is bad, then we should ban it; if someone gets off on viewing rape, then we should ban any depiction of said rape. If people get turned on by gunshot wounds, then we should ban pictures of gunshot wounds. This would be consistent.

Of course I do; I have given it before, in a very, very long thread recently dedicated to exactly that topic, which I seem to remember you participating in at least once (could be wrong). In case you have forgotten: of course virtual porn shouldn't be illegal.

Then we agree.

he difference is where you're dealing with real people who were really harmed.
No, we're dealing people watching images where someone is really harmed... usually for free. There's a difference.

Watching an event is not quite the same as participating. Though watching an event and letting it pass without doing anything about it can be said to be acting in a different manner; making no choice is still making a choice.

Regardless, what if someone turns in the producers, but still wants to keep the images? Or what if the producers were already caught?

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 08:12 AM
Since folks who don't charge for this sort of thing obviously aren't in it for the money, it seems fairly obvious that they post pictures of the crimes they commit because 1) they want to brag to those who would respect them for these activities, and 2) they understand that there is a demand among likeminded people for images of this sort. Downloading such pictures is nothing less than tacit approval and positive reinforcement. You can go to jail for inciting a riot (the whole "ringleader" thing) without torching a single car.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 08:16 AM
Since folks who don't charge for this sort of thing obviously aren't in it for the money, it seems fairly obvious that they post pictures of the crimes they commit because 1) they want to brag to those who would respect them for these activities, and 2) they understand that there is a demand among likeminded people for images of this sort. Downloading such pictures is nothing less than tacit approval and positive reinforcement. You can go to jail for inciting a riot (the whole "ringleader" thing) without torching a single car.
So inciting a riot is equivalent to viewing or downloading an image?

Jeesh, who knew!

We gotta protect ourselves from the Interweb Rioters! They're taking over and torching the interweb!!!!!11111

Ryokan
5th August 2007, 08:21 AM
But how does an individual acquiring an image without paying for it (or, crucially, providing an image of their own making in trade) harm either the child in the image, or any future victims of the image creator?

Why do you want to know, hmm? :p

Anyway, there are plenty of p2p programs where you can find stuff like this, and lots of other stuff as well, for free. Like Kazzaa or Ares Galaxy. Most of these programs will give you stuff you don't want as well, like viruses and spyware.

Some torrent sites also offer stuff like that.

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 08:24 AM
I still lean towards banning "real" child porn, however. But it seems strange to me; if such images are deemed illegal to view, why not an image of someone being murdered IRL? That gets rid of a lot of footage, including what you'll see on the news.

If you're going to ban free images, or even paid-for images where people involved are harmed, then why not be logically consistent and not just focus on children? It's rather arbitrary in my view.

I feel that adults have as much of every right as a child does. If watching an adult be harmed is bad, then we should ban it; if someone gets off on viewing rape, then we should ban any depiction of said rape. If people get turned on by gunshot wounds, then we should ban pictures of gunshot wounds. This would be consistent.

As far as I'm aware, you don't have to deal with ongoing mental trauma on the part of dead people, because they are dead. Barring that, it seems to me that images of things like rape and gore typically are for the most part verboten, though stories about them are not. In addition, photos or video of the aftermath of a crime are not the same as photos depicting the crimes themselves. A newsphotographer photographing a gunshot victim is in this way distinct from a person who films the gunshot happening and distributes the video (I believe this is known as "snuff"?)


Watching an event is not quite the same as participating. Though watching an event and letting it pass without doing anything about it can be said to be acting in a different manner; making no choice is still making a choice.


Receipt of stolen property is not quite the same as theft, either. The sentences for these crimes typically reflect these differences in severity. Someone who molests a child will likely go to jail longer than someone who is found "only" possessing pornography (emphasis added to reflect the fact of my impression being that most people who are convicted of possessing child pornography are typically concurrently convicted of other sex crimes).

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 08:26 AM
So inciting a riot is equivalent to viewing or downloading an image?

Jeesh, who knew!

We gotta protect ourselves from the Interweb Rioters! They're taking over and torching the interweb!!!!!11111

Calm down. The analogy is valid, in that "inciting a riot" is to "rioting" as "collection of child pornography" is to "production of child pornography".

Loss Leader
5th August 2007, 08:28 AM
What I don't get is, studies show that porn hasn't resulted in increase sex rates, right?

Why isn't it the same as with child porn? Are the studies entirely different?



The reason behind laws banning child porn don't have much to do with the chance that it will incite the viewer of the image to take action. The reason behind the law is that the existence of a willing viewer incites someone else to take action to provide that picture to the person.

Why, then, are freely distributed images treated the same as images for sale. Why is it a crime to receive pictures you didn't pay for? The answer is judicial economy. The government simply cannot be bothered to separate child porn into two catagories and add an element they must then prove at trial. It's easier for the government to just assume it's true that willing receivers create suppliers, money or not.

This may not seem fair but it is, at least, not unusual. Having a certain amount of cocaine allows the government to charge you with possession with intent to sell even without actually proving you intended to sell anything.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 08:44 AM
As far as I'm aware, you don't have to deal with ongoing mental trauma on the part of dead people, because they are dead.

Who said anything about dead people? I may have mentioned them, although that wasn't my main focus.

Just because you suffer a gunshot, doesn't make you dead.

Barring that, it seems to me that images of things like rape and gore typically are for the most part verboten, though stories about them are not. In addition, photos or video of the aftermath of a crime are not the same as photos depicting the crimes themselves. A newsphotographer photographing a gunshot victim is in this way distinct from a person who films the gunshot happening and distributes the video (I believe this is known as "snuff"?)
Point, but the issue is in someone WATCHING said footage. If there is a problem inherent in WATCHING said footage, then where that footage came from should not be factored into the equation.

Calm down. The analogy is valid, in that "inciting a riot" is to "rioting" as "collection of child pornography" is to "production of child pornography".

I'm sorry, but I have to seriously ask you, with a not-so-straight face: You *REALLY* think that inciting a riot is the same thing as people producing materials online?

Why, then, are freely distributed images treated the same as images for sale. Why is it a crime to receive pictures you didn't pay for? The answer is judicial economy. The government simply cannot be bothered to separate child porn into two catagories and add an element they must then prove at trial. It's easier for the government to just assume it's true that willing receivers create suppliers, money or not.

This may not seem fair but it is, at least, not unusual. Having a certain amount of cocaine allows the government to charge you with possession with intent to sell even without actually proving you intended to sell anything.

It's nice to see making someone's job easier triumphs over logic...

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 08:56 AM
I'm sorry, but I have to seriously ask you, with a not-so-straight face: You *REALLY* think that inciting a riot is the same thing as people producing materials online?

I'm going to assume that you're not being intentionally obtuse here, so I will explain. That a situation is "analagous" is not the same as saying that situation is "equivalent". Riots do not happen unless they're incited by some person or persons. Likewise, child pornography does not get produced and disseminated unless there's people who are asking for it.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 08:58 AM
I'm going to assume that you're not being intentionally obtuse here, so I will explain. That a situation is "analagous" is not the same as saying that situation is "equivalent". Riots do not happen unless they're incited by some person or persons. Likewise, child pornography does not get produced and disseminated unless there's people who are asking for it.
Out of curiosity...

There are groups that attempt to free slaves by buying them from slave traders. Now, there's criticism over the practice, but under your argument, those people should be arrested and thrown in prison, right?

Also, seriously. Viewing a *free* image? You really think that that has as major an impact as *INCITING A RIOT*?

You're comparing knives and 7.62mm rifles here. Actually, you're comparing *looking* at knives to *firing* 7.62mm rifles here. Inciting a riot has a clear *intent* involved that does not exist with just looking at an image.

Of course there's a difference between an analogy and a straight comparison. But even analogies can be silly. And this analogy goes a long way from convincing me of anything at all...

Loss Leader
5th August 2007, 09:02 AM
It's nice to see making someone's job easier triumphs over logic...



Well, remember that it's not just "someone," it's the government. In the US, they have three hundred million people to protect and serve. That's a whole lot of resources that have to be devoted. Any shortcut doesn't just make someone's job a little easier, it eliminates the need for untold employees, resources and man-hours. Sometimes those shortcuts are too severe but I don't think many people are going to go to bat for the rights of people who want to possess child porn without paying for it.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 09:13 AM
Well, remember that it's not just "someone," it's the government. In the US, they have three hundred million people to protect and serve. That's a whole lot of resources that have to be devoted. Any shortcut doesn't just make someone's job a little easier, it eliminates the need for untold employees, resources and man-hours. Sometimes those shortcuts are too severe but I don't think many people are going to go to bat for the rights of people who want to possess child porn without paying for it.
Not many people would go to bat for the rights of people who want to hold neo-nazi rallies, either.

That doesn't make suppressing their speech "right".

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 09:21 AM
Out of curiosity...

There are groups that attempt to free slaves by buying them from slave traders. Now, there's criticism over the practice, but under your argument, those people should be arrested and thrown in prison, right?

Now's your turn to explain - how you can get anything like that from anything I've said.

Police may receive child pornography in the course of trying to bring down a child molester; those officers don't go to jail.

Also, seriously. Viewing a *free* image? You really think that that has as major an impact as *INCITING A RIOT*?

What exactly does "free" have to do with it?

Anyway, yes - I don't think even you will contest that being used in kiddy porn can have at least as much of an effect on a victim of that crime as losing property can have on the victim of riotous behavior. (Or maybe you will - who knows) The "mere collector" of child pornography shares at least as much responsibility for that effect, as the person who incites a riot resulting in property destruction shares some responsibility, even though he himself may not break anything.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 09:35 AM
Now's your turn to explain - how you can get anything like that from anything I've said.

Police may receive child pornography in the course of trying to bring down a child molester; those officers don't go to jail.
So, *buying* slaves is okay if it's done with legitimate reasons.

looking at kiddie porn is only okay if you're part of the government (I.E., a police officer, but probably not a private investigator?), even though you don't pay for it.

I still find it hard to accept the argument. I dunno, I may be underestimating "free" images online.

Is there evidence that organizations will stay around if everyone views their products for free? Is there evidence that looking at images for free has a significant impact?

What exactly does "free" have to do with it?
???????

An organization finds it hard to stand without funds. You do realize that, right? If someone views an image for free, they're only debatably directly contributing. They're *definitely* contributing if they actually shovel over money.

I mean, hell, if I accidentally stumble on a website I'm "contributing" JUST AS MUCH as Bob the Child Porn Viewer, who only clicks on an image once. Why shouldn't I go to jail for as much time as he does? Obviously I'm a great threat to society that's directly and totally contributing to this evil ring that will use my electrons from my computer to buy massive pedophile rings. ONOSE!

Anyway, yes - I don't think even you will contest that being used in kiddy porn can have at least as much of an effect on a victim of that crime as losing property can have on the victim of riotous behavior.
Well, okay. But there's still a difference between *LOOKING AT AN IMAGE*, and *INTENTIONALLY INCITING A RIOT*.

Am I really the only one that gets this? Am I so insane as to think that falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater is innately different than viewing an image?

The "mere collector" of child pornography shares at least as much responsibility for that effect, as the person who incites a riot resulting in property destruction shares some responsibility, even though he himself may not break anything.
You really just don't get it, do you? Willfully inciting riot > looking at image. Unless you can demonstrate clear and concrete evidence that looking at images is very significant.

Sigh.

I think I'll leave the debate. As I've said before, nothing ever comes of these discussions. People will do anything to justify their viewpoint.

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 09:40 AM
An organization finds it hard to stand without funds. You do realize that, right? If someone views an image for free, they're only debatably directly contributing. They're *definitely* contributing if they actually shovel over money.

Organization? What? Child pornography hasn't been a commercial enterprise since the 80's, dude. People make this stuff in their living rooms with digital cameras and no "monetary contributions" necessary.

I mean, hell, if I accidentally stumble on a website I'm "contributing" JUST AS MUCH as Bob the Child Porn Viewer, who only clicks on an image once. Why shouldn't I go to jail for as much time as he does? Obviously I'm a great threat to society that's directly and totally contributing to this evil ring that will use my electrons from my computer to buy massive pedophile rings. ONOSE!

Oh, I see - you're ignoring the fact that nobody goes to jail just for accidentally stumbling onto a child porn site. It's so clear now.

stilicho
5th August 2007, 09:51 AM
I kind of thought so.

And no, I am not into kiddie porn myself. In fact, I am pretty clean cut as I do not even visit adult porn sites! (Which might come as a surprise to many of you who have engaged me before on such topics.) Oh...and it's not out of fear of having anyone find it on the hardrive. I do not even own or rent any such material, either...although I do enjoy a nice looking...oh, never mind.

I'm into basic freedoms and liberty, that's all.

I understand what you think you are saying. You are concentrating on the basic freedoms and liberties of the viewer of said material.

However, the production of the material must be borne into mind. Is it consensual? If it is not, then the basic freedoms and liberties of the subject(s) have been overtrodden.

Now--there's the question of whether consent has been given. Children, of course, are legally prohibited from giving consent. That's why it's illegal to view such a product. But what about mentally handicapped people?

This is where legal disclaimers (common on adult web sites) come into play. The participants have to comply with a set of regulations, and the host of the site is responsible for the depictions contained there.

Ultimately, of course, "pure" liberty would allow viewers and producers of "adult entertainment" to apply their own reason and judgement. There would then, of course, be no child pornography because reasonable individuals would recognise the depiction of minors in adult situations as abhorrent. Sadly it is not the case that many people fit such a definition of "reasonable".

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 09:57 AM
Organization? What? Child pornography hasn't been a commercial enterprise since the 80's, dude. People make this stuff in their living rooms with digital cameras and no "monetary contributions" necessary..

So just looking at something, because it has this dubious amount of incredible POWER to enable those evil kiddie porn distributors, has become illegal. No one collects money, it's distributed for free, but yet these people would instantly stop even though they're getting no income either way, if say, 20 people visited their site instead of 200... they'd immediately stop their production altogether. Very logical.

Checkmite
5th August 2007, 10:02 AM
So just looking at something, because it has this dubious amount of incredible POWER to enable those evil kiddie porn distributors, has become illegal. No one collects money, it's distributed for free, but yet these people would instantly stop even though they're getting no income either way, if say, 20 people visited their site instead of 200... they'd immediately stop their production altogether. Very logical.

It's not merely the act of looking. It's the act of downloading - which provides a demand; encouraging the shmuck abusing his kids to make more pics, which necessarily means more incidents of abuse.

TriangleMan
5th August 2007, 10:12 AM
The Canadian Supreme Court looked at this issue a number of years back, R. vs. Sharpe (http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2001/2001scc2/2001scc2.html). Many of the arguments mentioned in this thread were brought up during the case. For the most part Sharpe lost, primarily on the grounds that: (paragraph 239)
In most cases, the prohibition’s restriction on expression will affect adults who seek fulfilment through the possession of child pornography. These adults seek to fulfill themselves by deriving sexual pleasure from images and writings which objectify and degrade children. It is important to emphasize that the self-fulfilment denied by the law is closely connected to the harm to children. The benefits of the prohibition of the possession of child pornography far outweigh any deleterious effect on the right to free expression.

The Court also ruled that Sharpe could not be prosectued for any child pornogrphy that consisted of drawings or stories that he himself created (but did not distribute). Most of the stuff he did have was not stories he wrote though.

slingblade
5th August 2007, 10:19 AM
I'm going to assume that you're not being intentionally obtuse here, so I will explain. That a situation is "analagous" is not the same as saying that situation is "equivalent". Riots do not happen unless they're incited by some person or persons. Likewise, child pornography does not get produced and disseminated unless there's people who are asking for it.

Wait now...that's taking it a bit too far, I think, although I do agree with you, essentially and decidedly.

Kiddie porn would still be produced without a mass audience: an audience of one is more than sufficient. But I do agree the incidents might decrease--might--if there were not such a large demand from so many.

Michael Redman
5th August 2007, 10:19 AM
Not all depictions of sex and/or nudity are pornographic. This goes for children, as well as adults. Literature which graphically depicts sexual activity for the purpose of arousing the reader may be pornographic. Literature which simply acknowledges the fact that an underage person has sex is not.



Here's one for you: What about pornographic films of adult actors portraying minors? Child porn?

Loss Leader
5th August 2007, 10:20 AM
So just looking at something, because it has this dubious amount of incredible POWER to enable those evil kiddie porn distributors, has become illegal. No one collects money, it's distributed for free, but yet these people would instantly stop even though they're getting no income either way, if say, 20 people visited their site instead of 200... they'd immediately stop their production altogether. Very logical.


You might not like it, but you've encapsulated the prevailing logic of the law.

Lonewulf
5th August 2007, 10:27 AM
You might not like it, but you've encapsulated the prevailing logic of the law.
I'm sad to say that I disagree with such logic.

Yes, I know, I can't do that; the law is law and is indisputable and all that junk. But I just do.

Loss Leader
5th August 2007, 12:50 PM
I'm sad to say that I disagree with such logic.

Yes, I know, I can't do that; the law is law and is indisputable and all that junk. But I just do.


Oh, it's quite disputable. Reputable people with decades of legal training have made that same argument to some of the highest courts in at least my nation. They just haven't won yet. There is nothing insane or unworkable about your point of view, it just has not carried the day in any court in my country, at least.

Kevin_Lowe
5th August 2007, 05:30 PM
On the other hand, your point re paying for images vs viewing them for free and the analogy with media piracy doesn't seem valid. With child porn, the majority of such images are being traded rather than paid for. As such, the economics of the exchange/spread of the images are rather different, and a blanket ban seems to make some sense.

In cases where child pornography is traded for more child pornography, I'd tend to treat the case as exactly like an exchange of child pornography for cash. Both participants in such cases are at least arguably creating an incentive for people to create child pornography and we don't want that.

However if somebody downloads child pornography or otherwise receives it for free, no incentive exists besides a hypothetical social incentive (as mentioned by Joshua). I am disinclined to criminalise mere possession of child pornography on that basis however, since by exactly the same logic it should be illegal for someone to say "Child pornography is great! People should make child pornography!". Such a statement would undoubtedly encourage the makers of child pornography just as much as silently downloading their images encourages them, and so if one act is illegal on that basis then both should be illegal.

The fact is, groups like NAMBLA can say all sorts of things in support of child pornography without it being illegal. I don't like what they say particularly, but the fact that their statements support child pornography is not sufficient to make the mere statements criminal in my view.

I should have said this earlier, but if the argument that child pornography should be illegal because those depicted suffer from the knowledge that their images are "out there" holds, then there should be a category of legal child pornography which covers material depicting people who have since died of causes unrelated to the production of the pornography. Since those people clearly cannot suffer, there is no basis to criminalise child pornography involving them.

Matteo Martini
5th August 2007, 06:21 PM
I have a question: Why can't I demand Lolita, and any book or show or movie that mentions child molestation to be banned?

I mean, seriously. You don't have a "right" to see it, just like you don't have a "right" to see porn.


Lolita is a fictional book.
Fictional books are fictional, and they have less impact than real pics.

Fictional movies, are just, fictional, they feature kids who are not, indeed, molested.
Real pics, are real, they feature kids who are molested.

pipelineaudio
5th August 2007, 09:38 PM
what about the weird situation where photos are made where the age of consent is lower.

Were those people victims?

When I was a youngin' and doing it I dont think I would have felt victimized if I had a picture of said act

But lets say someone saw that in another country where the age of consent is higher?

I guess its that saying " all politics is local"

Kevin_Lowe
5th August 2007, 10:31 PM
what about the weird situation where photos are made where the age of consent is lower.

Were those people victims?

When I was a youngin' and doing it I dont think I would have felt victimized if I had a picture of said act

But lets say someone saw that in another country where the age of consent is higher?

I guess its that saying " all politics is local"

It's a tricky question. I suspect the answer must depend on the claimed justification for the material being illegal in the first place.

If it's illegal because the subjects feel bad about it being in circulation, then to be consistent such foreign material should be legal, because it was created with their consent when they were of age locally and so it cannot be assumed they feel bad about the material existing.

If it's illegal because people of that age (whatever it is) Just Should Not Have Sex, then ito be consistent it should remain illegal because the location they had sex in is immaterial.

Similarly if the claim is that the existence of such material will increase the rate of underage sex and/or rape then to be consistent it should remain illegal.

That is not to say that all of the available justficiations for existing laws stand up to scrutiny of course. I am just laying out what I see as the logical consequences of the available justifications taken at face value.

autumn1971
5th August 2007, 10:38 PM
To Kevin Lowe,
As far as I am familiar with them, current interpretations of the First Amendment of the Constitution would draw a very precise line regarding a person saying "child pornography is great...". If one has a reasonable expectation that their words will have an immediate and clear effect, the speech is not protected. If someone were to say the above quote to a random person, for shock value, or some other reason, it would simply be tasteless, but lawfully protected, speech. If, however, it is said to an individual the speaker knows to be involved in child pornography, and a reasonable person would expect the quote to have an immediate effect on the hearer's behavior, it is akin to shouting "let's kill the pigs" to an angry, but as yet non-violent, mob, i.e., incitement to perform an illegal activity.

stilicho
6th August 2007, 12:16 AM
Most of the stuff he did have was not stories he wrote though.
Now that part of it--the written depiction of a fictitious event for "self-fulfillment"--does bother me, though.

It is true that, here in Canada, if I write: "The nine-year-old fellated the elder in the public square", and someone found "self-fulfillment" from this written depiction of a fictitious event, both the reader and myself could be prosecuted.

I actually don't understand that. The written depiction involves no victims whatsoever.

It gets worse. Prior to the advent of the "anonymous" internet, it was up to Canadian customs officials to determine whether written material might be used for "self-fulfillment".

I've always wondered how they did this. Practice?

Checkmite
6th August 2007, 03:52 AM
If you think certain instances of child pornography should be legal to produce or own, I suggest you petition your relevant legislative office to change the law.

Ryokan
6th August 2007, 04:01 AM
what about the weird situation where photos are made where the age of consent is lower.

Were those people victims?

You think that's a strange dilemma?

In my country, I can do anything sexually to a 16-year-old. But if I see a picture if her naked, I can go to prison :p

Wolfman
6th August 2007, 07:08 AM
Allow me to add my two bits here, addressed primarily to Iamme, but open for comment by others, also. I'm going to present two separate but (IMNSHO) equally valid arguments.

Balancing Freedoms and Rights

I'm a big proponent of freedoms and rights, also. And support those freedoms and rights where they do not conflict with the freedoms and rights of others. This is a principle which I think most would be able to agree with.

However, in many cases, we come up against a situation where we must choose between the freedoms/rights of one group, or of another. This is one such situation.

Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you download some kiddie porn for free, so there is no issue that you are financially supporting the people who make such products. Let us say further than you use it purely for personal gratification, and do not engage in any such activities with children yourself. In short, you're hurting no one.

At least, not directly.

Now, let's assume that my daughter was raped by someone, and that was filmed and placed on the internet. This experience is incredibly traumatic for our entire family. What we want, more than anything else, is to just put it behind us.

But how can my daughter put it behind her, when she knows that there are men out there, not only viewing her rape, but using the destruction of her life to further their own sexual gratification? How can I put it behind me, when I know that just by typing in "child rape" and "lolita" in Google, I can find videos of my daughter being raped...and that other people are doing that at this very moment?

I would argue that the damage done to the victims by continuing to allow others to possess these materials is far, far, far greater than the damage done to anyone by telling them that, "No, you can't watch that."

(Please note, I am referring exclusively to child porn that involves the actual abuse/exploitation of children; virtual porn is an entirely different subject, and should be discussed under a separate title)

Lawful Destruction of Materials

This brings me to my second point. Again, let us assume that a pedophile sexually abuses a child, and takes pictures and videos. He is caught, tried, and sentenced. After sentencing, all the materials he made are ordered destroyed, in order to prevent the potential of them being exploited or abused by anyone in future. This is a very common practice, and one that I would support 100%. Anyone who attempts to deny this order by making copies, or preventing the destruction of those materials, is in violation of the law.

Here is a basic legal principle which I feel can be very readily applied to this debate. The pedophile who makes the original materials has produced illegal materials. If he reproduces those materials and gives/sells them to others, he is distributing illegal materials. And if you come into possession of those materials, then you are receiving illegal materials.

These are materials that were produced in the execution of a crime. Legal authorities have the right to seize and destroy any/all such materials. And those authorities have the right to punish anyone who participates in or aids the reproduction and distribution of those materials. When you download such things, you are aiding in the reproduction of them; and if you make them available to anyone else, you are aiding in the distribution of them. It does not matter what the purpose is for which you are reproducing them; you are nevertheless guilty of reproducing illegal materials.

What it comes down to for me is this. Denying someone the 'right' to view the destruction of another person's life is not something I'm ever going to lose sleep over. Denying someone the 'right' to get sexual gratification from the humiliation of another is not something I'm ever going to feel terribly guilty about.

ImaginalDisc
6th August 2007, 07:12 AM
Can define kiddie porn? My parents have pictures taken of me when I was an infant, playing naked in the tub. Another relative has a large painting of children playing on a raft, some of them naked. Are either of these items classifiable as "kiddie porn?"

Wolfman
6th August 2007, 07:26 AM
Can define kiddie porn? My parents have pictures taken of me when I was an infant, playing naked in the tub. Another relative has a large painting of children playing on a raft, some of them naked. Are either of these items classifiable as "kiddie porn?"
Yes, let's try to throw in as many red herrings as we can.

For legal purposes, and for the purposes of my own arguments above, "kiddie porn" would be pornography that actually involves the sexual exploitation of children. Pictures of your kids running around nude obviously are not included in my definition, or in the legal definition (which is what started this topic)...the government is not threatening to arrest people who have pictures of their kids running naked on the beach, or show home movies of them bathing their baby.

I admit that there will be gray areas. What of porn where children are posed in deliberately sexual poses (such as a 5 year old girl laying on her back, legs spread wide, pulling apart the folds of her labia for the camera). A case could be made that the child was not actually sexually molested, and may in fact come away from such an experience entirely unaffected. But I'd still tend to put such a picture in the category of kiddie porn.

slingblade
6th August 2007, 11:50 AM
There are those who get sexually aroused at the mere sight of children, whether the kids are clothed or unclothed.

They get turned on by a Toys R Us advert, or a snap of kids flying kites, or a family photo with kids in it.

If the goal is to remove anything and everything that could possibly sexually arouse someone who is aroused by kids....well, good luck.

Fengirl
6th August 2007, 03:06 PM
Can define kiddie porn? My parents have pictures taken of me when I was an infant, playing naked in the tub. Another relative has a large painting of children playing on a raft, some of them naked. Are either of these items classifiable as "kiddie porn?"

To add to what Wolfman has already said:

I don't know any specifics with regard to the system in the USA, but in the UK, there are judicial guidelines which classify indecent images of children from level 1 to level 5, with possession of level 5 images attracting the heaviest sentences.

Level 1 - Images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity
Level 2 - Non-penetrative sexual activity between children, or solo
masturbation by a child
Level 3 - Non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children
Level 4 - Penetrative sexual activity involving a child or children, or both
children and adults
Level 5 - Sadism or penetration of, or by, an animal

So, no - photos of kids naked in the bath are very unlikely to cross the Level 1 threshold unless there is an element of "erotic posing".

Iamme
6th August 2007, 03:35 PM
Allow me to add my two bits here, addressed primarily to Iamme, but open for comment by others, also. I'm going to present two separate but (IMNSHO) equally valid arguments.

Balancing Freedoms and Rights

I'm a big proponent of freedoms and rights, also. And support those freedoms and rights where they do not conflict with the freedoms and rights of others. This is a principle which I think most would be able to agree with.

However, in many cases, we come up against a situation where we must choose between the freedoms/rights of one group, or of another. This is one such situation.

Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you download some kiddie porn for free, so there is no issue that you are financially supporting the people who make such products. Let us say further than you use it purely for personal gratification, and do not engage in any such activities with children yourself. In short, you're hurting no one.

At least, not directly.

Now, let's assume that my daughter was raped by someone, and that was filmed and placed on the internet. This experience is incredibly traumatic for our entire family. What we want, more than anything else, is to just put it behind us.

But how can my daughter put it behind her, when she knows that there are men out there, not only viewing her rape, but using the destruction of her life to further their own sexual gratification? How can I put it behind me, when I know that just by typing in "child rape" and "lolita" in Google, I can find videos of my daughter being raped...and that other people are doing that at this very moment?

I would argue that the damage done to the victims by continuing to allow others to possess these materials is far, far, far greater than the damage done to anyone by telling them that, "No, you can't watch that."

(Please note, I am referring exclusively to child porn that involves the actual abuse/exploitation of children; virtual porn is an entirely different subject, and should be discussed under a separate title)

Lawful Destruction of Materials

This brings me to my second point. Again, let us assume that a pedophile sexually abuses a child, and takes pictures and videos. He is caught, tried, and sentenced. After sentencing, all the materials he made are ordered destroyed, in order to prevent the potential of them being exploited or abused by anyone in future. This is a very common practice, and one that I would support 100%. Anyone who attempts to deny this order by making copies, or preventing the destruction of those materials, is in violation of the law.

Here is a basic legal principle which I feel can be very readily applied to this debate. The pedophile who makes the original materials has produced illegal materials. If he reproduces those materials and gives/sells them to others, he is distributing illegal materials. And if you come into possession of those materials, then you are receiving illegal materials.

These are materials that were produced in the execution of a crime. Legal authorities have the right to seize and destroy any/all such materials. And those authorities have the right to punish anyone who participates in or aids the reproduction and distribution of those materials. When you download such things, you are aiding in the reproduction of them; and if you make them available to anyone else, you are aiding in the distribution of them. It does not matter what the purpose is for which you are reproducing them; you are nevertheless guilty of reproducing illegal materials.

What it comes down to for me is this. Denying someone the 'right' to view the destruction of another person's life is not something I'm ever going to lose sleep over. Denying someone the 'right' to get sexual gratification from the humiliation of another is not something I'm ever going to feel terribly guilty about.

I read it. You covered about everything.

I concede it's not a good idea.

That said, before I read your post, I was going to say that a person who simply clicks on some web site and views child porn for personal use only and is not paying anyone to recieve these images, may not necessarily be causing the guilty party to film more child porn because the person filming it, if not recompensed, would have done the filming anyway, for THEIR own pleasure.

But I agree with everything you say. You put everything very well.

Kevin_Lowe
6th August 2007, 06:18 PM
Now, let's assume that my daughter was raped by someone, and that was filmed and placed on the internet. This experience is incredibly traumatic for our entire family. What we want, more than anything else, is to just put it behind us.

But how can my daughter put it behind her, when she knows that there are men out there, not only viewing her rape, but using the destruction of her life to further their own sexual gratification? How can I put it behind me, when I know that just by typing in "child rape" and "lolita" in Google, I can find videos of my daughter being raped...and that other people are doing that at this very moment?

I would argue that the damage done to the victims by continuing to allow others to possess these materials is far, far, far greater than the damage done to anyone by telling them that, "No, you can't watch that."

Okay. The first thing we need to check is, are we indulging in special pleading? Or to put it another way, are we willing to get behind criminalising the possession of any depiction of a crime being committed, where one or more victims of the crime prefer that the depiction not be viewed?

Yes, child molestation is terrible. But by any sane measurement, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were much, much more terrible than a single instance of child molestation. If the survivors of the 9/11 WTC attacks wanted all footage of the attacks destroyed, would we honour their request and jail those who did not comply? Should we engage in sting operations to catch people who harbour the illicit desire to watch such material? Would this be a use of tax money and police time you would support?

Serious question: Is there a study that shows that victims of child pornography are always suffering as a result of the belief that the porn they were used to produce is being viewed, that excludes the possibility that they have been coached (intentionally or otherwise) to feel this way? It sounds like a heartless question, but we know from the awful 80s "satanic child care center" witch hunts that even purely imaginary sexual abuse can cause enormous emotional damage if children are coached in how they are supposed to be suffering, and so that effect must be excluded from proper studies.

I'm sure people are rushing to hit the quote button and post "OMG, how can you ask that, how would you feel in their shoes, it's just so obvious, etc. etc.". That's not evidence.


Lawful Destruction of Materials

This brings me to my second point. Again, let us assume that a pedophile sexually abuses a child, and takes pictures and videos. He is caught, tried, and sentenced. After sentencing, all the materials he made are ordered destroyed, in order to prevent the potential of them being exploited or abused by anyone in future. This is a very common practice, and one that I would support 100%. Anyone who attempts to deny this order by making copies, or preventing the destruction of those materials, is in violation of the law.

This argument seems circular to me. You seem to be arguing that possessing child pornography should be illegal because it is illegal. Police might equally well collect and destroy pipes, syringes, or guns involved in a crime they prosecute but this does not make it illegal to possess pipes, syringes or guns in general.

Also there are legal analogies that could lead to the opposite intuitions. For example, it is illegal to run a factory that makes bootleg Harry Potter books, and illegal to knowingly sell them. Police might well want to seize and destroy the bootleg books, and it would be illegal to stop them or to steal and distribute impounded books. However unless the laws have been changed recently it is not illegal in most places to buy or own such a bootleg copy. So it is simply not true in every case that it is illegal to possess items the police might want to destroy under certain circumstances. That justification for criminalisation needs more work if it is to stand up.

Wolfman
6th August 2007, 09:52 PM
Okay. The first thing we need to check is, are we indulging in special pleading? Or to put it another way, are we willing to get behind criminalising the possession of any depiction of a crime being committed, where one or more victims of the crime prefer that the depiction not be viewed?

Yes, child molestation is terrible. But by any sane measurement, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were much, much more terrible than a single instance of child molestation. If the survivors of the 9/11 WTC attacks wanted all footage of the attacks destroyed, would we honour their request and jail those who did not comply? Should we engage in sting operations to catch people who harbour the illicit desire to watch such material? Would this be a use of tax money and police time you would support?
Kevin,

You appear a fairly intelligent guy, so I'll assume that you're playing the Devil's Advocate here, rather than assume that you are unable to see the numerous differences in the situations being discussed.

First, regarding "any sane measurement", you are correct so far as the scale of the tragedy goes; but if I were to put together all the children who are sexually abused in the U.S., and compare that with all the people who died or were victimized in 9/11, I'd say that by "any sane measurement" the former (an ongoing tragedy that destroys countless thousands of lives) is far more traumatic than the latter (a tragedy which, however terrible, was essentially a one-time event). You are attempting to compare a one-time atrocity with an atrocity that is perpetrated every day, on thousands/millions of children. If you think that "any sane measurement" renders the ongoing rape of children as less important or less traumatic or less of a priority than the events of 9/11...then I think you'll find an awful lot of people disagreeing with you.

Second, pictures and videos of the sexual abuse of children are an integral part of the crime that is being committed. Anyone who makes such a video is, pretty much by definition, complicit in the execution of that crime. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander who happens to catch it on video, or a TV crew that shows up to cover it; if such people are present, they have a moral and legal obligation to attempt to stop such activity, not simply to stand there and tape it.

That is completely different from the situation of 9/11, where the videos that you refer to were made by bystanders and TV crews, none of whom were involved in the commission of the crime, and none of whom could have taken any action to prevent the crime.

Third, the destruction of such materials in rape cases is done (at least in Canada) at the request of the victim and/or their family. It is not automatically mandated by the state; rather, the victim/family are given the right to choose what will happen to the materials that were a product of their abuse. By far the overwhelming majority choose to have it destroyed. And again, I would argue that this is their right; and if you seek to deny them that right by copying and distributing copies of such materials, then legal penalties should be applied.

You are attempting to draw parallels between situations that are not at all co-equal.
Serious question: Is there a study that shows that victims of child pornography are always suffering as a result of the belief that the porn they were used to produce is being viewed, that excludes the possibility that they have been coached (intentionally or otherwise) to feel this way? It sounds like a heartless question, but we know from the awful 80s "satanic child care center" witch hunts that even purely imaginary sexual abuse can cause enormous emotional damage if children are coached in how they are supposed to be suffering, and so that effect must be excluded from proper studies.

I'm sure people are rushing to hit the quote button and post "OMG, how can you ask that, how would you feel in their shoes, it's just so obvious, etc. etc.". That's not evidence.
...and this affects the argument how? Let us assume for the sake of argument that in some cases, such guilt/fear/shame is a result of coaching or conditioning. Does that mean that, somehow, the feelings they feel are therefore not legitimate, and they deserve no protection?

"Oh, its okay to make and distribute kiddie porn because their feelings of violation, abuse, shame, and trauma are just imagined, conditioned by their society. Its no my fault for making these videos; it is society's fault for making them feel bad about it".

Let me point out that in by far the majority of cases, fear, threats, intimidation, and guilt are tools used by the sexual predator to control their victim. If you are viewing kiddie porn, there is no way for you to discern if the child experienced what you might consider "legitimate" pain, or any other such consideration.

Again, I would put the protection of children from such abuse as a far, far, far higher priority than the "right of people to produce, copy, or distribute" such materials.

If you disagree...then please give a cogent argument as to why the protection of those making/copying/distributing such materials should have greater priority than the protection of children.
This argument seems circular to me. You seem to be arguing that possessing child pornography should be illegal because it is illegal. Police might equally well collect and destroy pipes, syringes, or guns involved in a crime they prosecute but this does not make it illegal to possess pipes, syringes or guns in general.
Again...are you seriously incapable of seeing the difference between the two?

It is impossible to have kiddie porn that was produced legally. The process of producing it was, by definition, illegal. Therefore, possessing it means possessing illegal materials; distributing it means distributing illegal materials; copying it means copying illegal materials.

Pipes, syringes, guns, or any other such products can be produced legally. There is nothing implicitly illegal in the production of them, nor in the ownership of them.
Also there are legal analogies that could lead to the opposite intuitions. For example, it is illegal to run a factory that makes bootleg Harry Potter books, and illegal to knowingly sell them. Police might well want to seize and destroy the bootleg books, and it would be illegal to stop them or to steal and distribute impounded books. However unless the laws have been changed recently it is not illegal in most places to buy or own such a bootleg copy. So it is simply not true in every case that it is illegal to possess items the police might want to destroy under certain circumstances. That justification for criminalisation needs more work if it is to stand up.
Of course it is not true in every case. That is why there is not one single law governing such issues, but a wide variety of laws that address different situations. When considering such laws, and penalties, there are a variety of factors that must be discussed. These include the severity of the crime, the impact on the victims, etc.

Any reasonable person would be able to perceive that copying Harry Potter books is a considerably less severe crime than raping a five year old girl and video taping it. Any reasonable person would be able to perceive that the "suffering" of the author and publisher who've had their book copied is barely comparable to the suffering of the child who's been sexually abused. Any reasonable person would feel that the authorities have a considerably larger responsibility to prevent the sexual abuse of children, as opposed to preventing copying of Harry Potter.

The problem I have with arguments like the ones you've raised is that they seek to use fear, rather than reasoned argument, to defend their position.

"Oh my god! If you let them arrest people who own porn, then you're supporting arresting people who buy illegal copies of Harry Potter!"

"Oh my god! If you say that it is wrong to allow people to copy video tapes of children being sexually exploited, then you are empowering the government to stop you from showing anything they don't like!"

The most common trait of the person who uses this type of argument is that they suggest no solutions -- as, in fact, is the case with you. You haven't anywhere suggested what we should do; you rely on objections based on comparisons that are not legitimate.

Here's my challenge to you; if you think that my suggestions are wrong, that's fine. Instead of all these inaccurate comparisons, please simply tell me what you think the police should do; and explain how your system better protects the rights of the victims of sexual abuse than my suggestions do.

JJR
7th August 2007, 06:50 AM
Kiddie porn is gross. Stick with Lolicon . . . then develop a real sex life and move out of the basement. Any pornography can be a serious addiction, but fortuneately bad habbits can be replaced with healthy recreational activities. Adult entertainment.

Most guys are too stupid to be allowed to hang out with kids at all. The guardians get nervous, and I've noticed that whole scene is rather . . . abrasive. Things relax around the teen aged years because children are smarter then and know what not to do and can take whatever grumbling 40-year-old adolescence they are served with a grain of salt.

If you ain't go the skills to be a parent . . . you basically don't belong around kids. It's just natural. Give it up and be a weird uncle (the whole pedo world now - the problem itself) and admit you're more the loud football type. As Dirty Harry says, "A man's got to know his limitations."

"Barely Legal" porn is a good replacement for anything perverted like kiddie porn . . . and it's legal!!! No scarring of the brain, there. All the fun without creating killer mutants from the planet Zolton, dude.

And you avoid serious jail time that way. That can be important.

Kevin_Lowe
7th August 2007, 08:45 PM
Kevin,

You appear a fairly intelligent guy, so I'll assume that you're playing the Devil's Advocate here, rather than assume that you are unable to see the numerous differences in the situations being discussed.

First, regarding "any sane measurement", you are correct so far as the scale of the tragedy goes; but if I were to put together all the children who are sexually abused in the U.S., and compare that with all the people who died or were victimized in 9/11, I'd say that by "any sane measurement" the former (an ongoing tragedy that destroys countless thousands of lives) is far more traumatic than the latter (a tragedy which, however terrible, was essentially a one-time event). You are attempting to compare a one-time atrocity with an atrocity that is perpetrated every day, on thousands/millions of children. If you think that "any sane measurement" renders the ongoing rape of children as less important or less traumatic or less of a priority than the events of 9/11...then I think you'll find an awful lot of people disagreeing with you.

Hang on a sec, I thought we were talking about criminalising images or footage (or whatever) because specific people suffered as a result of that specific content being available. A single pornographic image is not magically totemic of all pornographic images everywhere. You can't magically transfer moral culpability for all child abuse everywhere to some guy for possessing an image of a single instance of child abuse.

If that move is legal, then I get to add all instances of terrorism ever to to my side of the argument, and say that if you add up all terrorism ever then the sum is so ghastly that of course we must criminalise the possession of images of terrorist attacks if terrorism victims wish us to do so.


Second, pictures and videos of the sexual abuse of children are an integral part of the crime that is being committed. Anyone who makes such a video is, pretty much by definition, complicit in the execution of that crime. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander who happens to catch it on video, or a TV crew that shows up to cover it; if such people are present, they have a moral and legal obligation to attempt to stop such activity, not simply to stand there and tape it.

That is completely different from the situation of 9/11, where the videos that you refer to were made by bystanders and TV crews, none of whom were involved in the commission of the crime, and none of whom could have taken any action to prevent the crime.

If we are talking about the suffering of victims caused by knowing that the footage is in the wild, then this is neither here nor there. The victims would suffer equally whether the footage was taken deliberately or (somehow) by an innocent bystander, since the motive of the person recording the content does not magically alter the fact that it is a record of a human being the victim of sexual abuse.

Implicit in this argument is the conclusion that if the rape of a child was caught on tape accidentally (say a rapist committed their crime unaware they were being recorded by an unmanned security camera) then that footage should be legal to possess. Is that a conclusion you want?


Third, the destruction of such materials in rape cases is done (at least in Canada) at the request of the victim and/or their family. It is not automatically mandated by the state; rather, the victim/family are given the right to choose what will happen to the materials that were a product of their abuse. By far the overwhelming majority choose to have it destroyed. And again, I would argue that this is their right; and if you seek to deny them that right by copying and distributing copies of such materials, then legal penalties should be applied.

You are just restating your original claim, which still looks to me like a composite of a circular argument and special pleading. Yes, it's illegal, but why exactly is this kind of record of a crime illegal to possess while other records of criminal activity are not? If it is because it causes the victims suffering should these laws be generalised to all records of criminal acts which cause suffering? If not, then you are just engaging in special pleading.


...and this affects the argument [I]how? Let us assume for the sake of argument that in some cases, such guilt/fear/shame is a result of coaching or conditioning. Does that mean that, somehow, the feelings they feel are therefore not legitimate, and they deserve no protection?

"Oh, its okay to make and distribute kiddie porn because their feelings of violation, abuse, shame, and trauma are just imagined, conditioned by their society. Its no my fault for making these videos; it is society's fault for making them feel bad about it".

Let me point out that in by far the majority of cases, fear, threats, intimidation, and guilt are tools used by the sexual predator to control their victim. If you are viewing kiddie porn, there is no way for you to discern if the child experienced what you might consider "legitimate" pain, or any other such consideration.

Again, I would put the protection of children from such abuse as a far, far, far higher priority than the "right of people to produce, copy, or distribute" such materials.

I think it is an important question because if it turned out to be a psychological fact that all or most victims of child sexual abuse suffered if they thought that records of their victimisation were in the wild, regardless of whether the posibility of coaching exists, then that would be a decent argument for criminalising the possession of such records. If it were true, then by definition possessing such records contributes to the suffering of innocent people.

However if it is not a psychological fact that all or most child sexual abuse victims feel that way without coaching, then not only would it not necessarily be true that possessing such records caused suffering, but it would also be true that the suffering would no longer be the sole moral responsibility of the perpetrator and the pornograpy possessor.

I think alot of people who would be happy to support criminalising something to prevent suffering caused by crime, would not be happy to criminalise that same something to prevent suffering caused iatrogenically by psychological manipulation. If that was allowed, all sorts of things could become illegal just because a psychologist coached someone into obsessing over it, and that is not an acceptable conclusion.

Another implicit conclusion you might not like: If future developments in psychological counselling or medication allowed victims to completely get over the fact that footage of their victimisation was in the wild, then you could no longer justify criminalisation. Is that a conclusion you want?


If you disagree...then please give a cogent argument as to why the protection of those making/copying/distributing such materials should have greater priority than the protection of children.

The battle for freedom of speech and thought is necessarily fought in the mucky ground at the edge of what is tolerable. That's why the ACLU supported the right of neo-Nazis to march in the street - not because they agreed with anything they had to say, but because they saw the need to fight for their right to say it.

Child pornography in particular is used politically as a way to justify all sorts of intrusions into people's privacy which we would not tolerate if they were justified in terms of catching tax dodgers or car thieves. If you hear a politician arguing that his government needs more power to search through your possessions, or more power to monitor your internet connection, then it's a safe bet they'll justify the extended police powers in terms of terrorism and child pornography. Then such powers, once won, will be used however the police and government want.

In my view, thought crimes are a dangerous precedent to set, probably too dangerous to be healthy for a free society. Once the legal precedent is set that it can be illegal to want to have sexual contact with underage people, then people are free to try to make other desires illegal as well. Is someone who wants to support terrorists (but who has not actually done so in any way) any less dangerous than someone who wants to have sexual contact with underage people? Probably not, so why not criminalise the possession of literature consistent with such desires as well?


Again...are you seriously incapable of seeing the difference between the two?

It is impossible to have kiddie porn that was produced legally. The process of producing it was, by definition, illegal. Therefore, possessing it means possessing illegal materials; distributing it means distributing illegal materials; copying it means copying illegal materials.

Pipes, syringes, guns, or any other such products can be produced legally. There is nothing implicitly illegal in the production of them, nor in the ownership of them.

It's perfectly possible to produce content legally in one place then get arrested for possession of it someplace else, or to produce content legally which is later made illegal by a change in laws. The porn actress Traci Lords falsified her age in order to appear in porn when she was underage, and when this was discovered her work went from legal to illegal overnight.

Is this the usual case? Of course not. Is it more than sufficient to disprove the claim that such products cannot be produced legally? Yes.

In any case, this is more special pleading. I could make sculpture by bashing unwilling victims into metal objects, and that would not make it illegal to possess such sculptures.


Any reasonable person would be able to perceive that copying Harry Potter books is a considerably less severe crime than raping a five year old girl and video taping it. Any reasonable person would be able to perceive that the "suffering" of the author and publisher who've had their book copied is barely comparable to the suffering of the child who's been sexually abused. Any reasonable person would feel that the authorities have a considerably larger responsibility to prevent the sexual abuse of children, as opposed to preventing copying of Harry Potter.

You have engaged with a straw man here. My point, which I think I established successfully, is that there is no general rule in morality or law which makes it wrong or illegal to possess something which was illegally produced. The heinousness of the crime or the suffering of the victim is immaterial, as the example of assault-sculpture demonstrates.

If you want to justify the criminalisation of mere possession of offending content, you have to justify it by some other means.


The problem I have with arguments like the ones you've raised is that they seek to use fear, rather than reasoned argument, to defend their position.

"Oh my god! If you let them arrest people who own porn, then you're supporting arresting people who buy illegal copies of Harry Potter!"

"Oh my god! If you say that it is wrong to allow people to copy video tapes of children being sexually exploited, then you are empowering the government to stop you from showing anything they don't like!"

The most common trait of the person who uses this type of argument is that they suggest no solutions -- as, in fact, is the case with you. You haven't anywhere suggested what we should do; you rely on objections based on comparisons that are not legitimate.

Since you seem to me to be using mostly appeal-to-emotion and special-pleading arguments yourself, I don't think this is much of a rebuttal. It does not help that you are using straw man versions of what I said to support this attack.

As for the question of what we should do, I think attempting to shift the goal posts that way is completely inappropriate if we have not yet hashed out the justifications for our moral views about the issue Once we have come to an agreement about the moral underpinnings of the situation then presumably we can move on to the question of how best to manifest those underpinnings in enforceable law.


Here's my challenge to you; if you think that my suggestions are wrong, that's fine. Instead of all these inaccurate comparisons, please simply tell me what you think the police should do; and explain how your system better protects the rights of the victims of sexual abuse than my suggestions do.

Here's my challenge to you: leave those goalposts where they are, and come up with a justification for the criminalisation of records of child abuse that does not entail the need to criminalise other dangerous thoughts or desires, does not entail the need to criminalise records of other crimes, does not rely on psychological claims which have not been well supported, and ideally which demonstrates that the good achieved by enforcing such laws justifies their existence. Eschew special pleading and appeals to emotion and explain why the existing policies are a good idea in a supposedly free society.

firecoins
7th August 2007, 08:52 PM
I haven't read this thread but why would anyone want to look at kiddie porn?

Yes it is illegal to have it and I won't have anything to do with it.

JJR
7th August 2007, 09:04 PM
I haven't read this thread but why would anyone want to look at kiddie porn?

Yes it is illegal to have it and I won't have anything to do with it.

I'm convinced it comes from staying at home at watching too much Japanese anime. Basically, if it looks creepy (que the heavy masturbational overtones gong) then it probably is.

Sick mon. :eek:

Just like the old Navy films now: When at sea, you can deal with your urges in a natural way with arts and crafts and crossword puzzles . . . or you can let them develop UNnaturally . . . winding up pinned to a sophmore named Chip when you get back home.

It couldn't be simpler . . . Jack. :boggled:

Kevin_Lowe
7th August 2007, 09:25 PM
I haven't read this thread but why would anyone want to look at kiddie porn?

Yes it is illegal to have it and I won't have anything to do with it.

Human sexuality is a funny thing. Some people want to look at grannies, some to look at trannies, some to look at gays, some to look at straights, and their desires don't seem to be the product of conscious choice

The fact is people do want to look at it, so much so that they risk imprisonment and enormous social consequences to do so.

My best guess is that there's something biologically wrong with the bits of their brain that are meant to recognise which people are desireable sexual partners, but that's a guess. Most of us are attracted to physical signs of sexual maturity, paedophiles are attracted to people who do not show such signs.

Wolfman
7th August 2007, 10:19 PM
Here's my challenge to you: leave those goalposts where they are, and come up with a justification for the criminalisation of records of child abuse that does not entail the need to criminalise other dangerous thoughts or desires, does not entail the need to criminalise records of other crimes, does not rely on psychological claims which have not been well supported, and ideally which demonstrates that the good achieved by enforcing such laws justifies their existence. Eschew special pleading and appeals to emotion and explain why the existing policies are a good idea in a supposedly free society.
Ummmm...now you've totally lost me.

"Leave those goalposts where they are." Just which goalposts are you talking about? Because, as already discussed in detail, the current goalposts state that possession of child porn is illegal. Which is the position that I've been arguing to support from the beginning. It is you who seems to be arguing to move the goalposts.

In regards to the rest, this is more of the same; you set up a set of criteria that you personally feel is "right", and it is then somehow my responsibility to meet those criteria. Meanwhile, when challenged to suggest your own solutions, you refuse/fail to do so.

I am arguing from a position of established law and precedent. I'm not arguing to change laws; I'm arguing in support of existing laws. It is you who makes an argument that these laws are somehow wrong, yet apparently you have no obligation to suggest alternative options?

Sorry, but I'm pretty much done with this. You sit there and cherry-pick with criticisms that have limited validity at best, while refusing to state your own position, or give an argument that I can debate or attempt to refute.

In case you're not aware of it, debate requires both sides to state a position. One side of the debate is for the status quo (that is me); the other side of the debate calls for change in the status quo (that is you). Intelligent debate involves each side stating their positions, and justifying their reasons for those positions.

Your form of debate is quite different. "I completely disagree with your arguments, but will not state my own position, or give any defense for my position. If you cannot meet my criteria for answers, then you have lost, I have no need to give any alternate suggestions."

My position here is simple. I don't think that criminalizing possession of child porn is perfect, and I believe that there are potential problems and difficulties with it that need to be addressed. But it is still preferable, in my opinion, to any other options that I've seen here.

If you can present an alternative option, and arguments as to why that option is superior to what we have now, go ahead.

If not...stop wasting my time.

Kevin_Lowe
7th August 2007, 10:46 PM
I thought the goalposts were very clear. You were attempting to present moral justifications for the practise of criminalising (as the thread title says) "just viewing" child pornography.

I was pointing out that the moral justifications presented either failed to make their case, or would lead to unacceptable conclusions if we embraced them as generally true. In other words, they were instances of special pleading, asking for a special set of rules to apply to this one case but not to any other case.

If you want my position, it's that I'm skeptical that the criminalisation of mere possession of child pornography can be morally justified, especially for definitions of child pornography that capture content which was not illegal when it was created, content which depicts people who are now dead, content which did not involve anyone being coerced/harmed/raped and so on.

It follows from this skepticism that I require extraordinarily good evidence that the criminalisation of mere possession has positive net effects before I can support it, in the absence of compelling arguments that mere possession is immoral. If it was shown that criminalisation of mere possession led to a significant decrease in actual rapes of children that might do it, for example, depending on how many people we had to lock up for how long and under what conditions to achieve that decrease.

Bear in mind that it's dead easy to explain why murder or theft should be criminalised. Anyone can do that. If you find you have to engage in constant special pleading, speculation, unsupported assumptions, emotional appeals or appeals to administrative convenience to justify criminalising something then it may well be a sign that there is no clear case for criminalisation to be made.

Wolfman
7th August 2007, 11:30 PM
I thought the goalposts were very clear. You were attempting to present moral justifications for the practise of criminalising (as the thread title says) "just viewing" child pornography.
And again -- when established law states that possession of child pornography is illegal, it seems to me that those are the goalposts. Forgive me, but your definition of "the goalposts" seems to be "what I think is morally right".
If you want my position, it's that I'm skeptical that the criminalisation of mere possession of child pornography can be morally justified, especially for definitions of child pornography that capture content which was not illegal when it was created, content which depicts people who are now dead, content which did not involve anyone being coerced/harmed/raped and so on."If I want your position" <-- Naw, my repeated requests for your position so that I could actually understand what you believed in this matter were entirely irrelevant.

Not.

Sarcasm aside, thanks for giving me something I can actually respond to. And it may surprise you, but now that you've actually told me what your beliefs are, I would at least partly agree with you.

My arguments pertained specifically to kiddie porn which involved the deliberate sexual exploitation of children. It was not in reference to things like virtual porn (animations of sex with children for example), or things such as simple nude photos of children. And I'm certainly not talking about 17 year olds pretending to be 18 so they can get into porn (ie. your Tracy Lords argument)...I don't know anyone who considers that to be "kiddie porn".

However, where you and I differ, obviously, is where the line should be drawn. I would argue that where there is even minimal chance/danger of harm or further harm to the victim, we must err on the side of the victim.

So allow me to clearly define my terms. I am talking about pornography that involves children under the age of 14, in which they actually engage in sexual acts. We will exclude all other forms of kiddie pornography for the time being (although there are other forms that I would argue do require at least some degree of enforcement, also).

You raise the question of whether it was consensual, or whether or not the child suffered trauma as a result. My question would be, can the viewer of such materials confidently differentiate between the two? If not (and I don't see how you could do so), you are left with a choice of "criminalize all such porn" or "criminalize none of it". I don't see how it would be possible to reasonably differentiate between them, without further victimizing the children themselves.

Why?

Because if you created two such categories, then when a person was arrested, as part of their defence, they would be entitled to require that the child or children involved in the pornography in question be examined and questioned, to determine the specific circumstances and effects. In other words, they would have the right to demand that victims of child abuse would be forced to re-live and recount their experience. And I absolutely cannot support any such position.


My position, as I've stated before, is that protecting the victims must always take precedence over protecting those who want to view such pornography. If there is only a 5% or 10% chance that the children will be further affected; or if there are only 5% or 10% of children that can be absolutely proven to have been hurt by this -- that is more than adequate justification.

I do not see how any person will be physically or psychologically damaged by simply telling them they are not allowed to view kiddie porn. Creating restrictions in such an area limits some 'freedoms', yes...but I don't see how it can be argued that it actually hurts them (unless they choose to break the law, in which case they suffer the consequences for doing so, as they would suffer the consequences for breaking any other law).

However, it is very easy to see how such products hurt children, and their families. Not just by making them, but by allowing the continued distribution of them. Consider the following:

* The effect on a child who has been sexually abused, who must live with the knowledge that hundreds/thousands of men are masturbating to the video of her being raped?

* The effect on a child who is contacted by someone who has viewed their video (there have been a number of cases of pedophiles who, after viewing such pictures/videos, subsequently attempt to contact the child or their family)

Are these "emotional" arguments? Perhaps so. But the pain and suffering that are being discussed here are very real, and are central to the discussion. For children who have already been victimized, our focus should be to do everything we can to prevent further victimization and suffering as a result of that incident.

My problem with your "solution" is that it makes the situation worse. Under your system, there would be cases where it would necessitate calling the child victims of such abuse to testify about what happened, in order to determine which "category" the particular kiddie porn should be placed.

Here, again, is my challenge to you:

Present an argument where, using the principles you are arguing for, victims of sexual abuse would be adequately protected from further victimization. That means, among other things, that they would not have to worry about some pervert viewing their pictures/videos, then attempting to contact them; and that they would not have to worry about being called into court and forced to re-live their trauma in order to 'defend' the rights of some guy who wanted to watch their video.

If you can do so, great...the two of us are a step closer to some degree of agreement. If you cannot, then I'm afraid that in my opinion, the rights of these children to be protected from even the potential of further abuse arising from the original act more than outweigh any rights an adult has to view such materials.

slingblade
8th August 2007, 12:55 AM
Most of us want to protect our children from sexual predators.

I have two people on my ignore list who appear eager to have the age of consent lowered or even abolished. And that's why they're on my ignore list.

I'd love to have a machine I could strap to their heads. A machine which would allow them to feel what I felt, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

And I would never...never....never take the bloody machine off.

Only in that way could they ever truly understand the horror they propose. But they'd suffer while learning that lesson, and I really relish that idea.

Kevin_Lowe
8th August 2007, 04:30 AM
And again -- when established law states that possession of child pornography is illegal, it seems to me that those are the goalposts. Forgive me, but your definition of "the goalposts" seems to be "what I think is morally right".

That seems like begging the question to me. If we're questioning whether a given law is morally justified, saying "Well it's the law, dammit, so it's right until proven otherwise" is assuming what you should be arguing for.

In addition, now we've explored each other's views in more detail it turns out you aren't defending the law as written (in many places, anyway) at all, because you aren't supporting the criminalisation of virtual child porn, child porn created by seventeen-year-old people who falsified their age and so on and so forth. You're only supporting the criminalisation of records of people under fourteen engaging in sexual acts, which is only a subset of the things the law in most places deems to be child pornography.


My arguments pertained specifically to kiddie porn which involved the deliberate sexual exploitation of children. It was not in reference to things like virtual porn (animations of sex with children for example), or things such as simple nude photos of children. And I'm certainly not talking about 17 year olds pretending to be 18 so they can get into porn (ie. your Tracy Lords argument)...I don't know anyone who considers that to be "kiddie porn".

The law does.


However, where you and I differ, obviously, is where the line should be drawn. I would argue that where there is even minimal chance/danger of harm or further harm to the victim, we must err on the side of the victim.

But only on the side of the child abuse victim, right? Not on the side of the victim of any other kind of crime. This is special pleading again.


So allow me to clearly define my terms. I am talking about pornography that involves children under the age of 14, in which they actually engage in sexual acts. We will exclude all other forms of kiddie pornography for the time being (although there are other forms that I would argue do require at least some degree of enforcement, also).

You raise the question of whether it was consensual, or whether or not the child suffered trauma as a result. My question would be, can the viewer of such materials confidently differentiate between the two? If not (and I don't see how you could do so), you are left with a choice of "criminalize all such porn" or "criminalize none of it". I don't see how it would be possible to reasonably differentiate between them, without further victimizing the children themselves.

Why?

Because if you created two such categories, then when a person was arrested, as part of their defence, they would be entitled to require that the child or children involved in the pornography in question be examined and questioned, to determine the specific circumstances and effects. In other words, they would have the right to demand that victims of child abuse would be forced to re-live and recount their experience. And I absolutely cannot support any such position.

Well, if we were making up the law as we saw fit it's a problem we could get around. We'd make it a legal defence against a charge of possessing child pornography to establish that the defendant had reason to believe that the content in question was not currently causing heartache for any living human being, but not let either side subpoena the people involved to testify. Leave the burden of proof on the defendant and require them to prove their case without harassing any child abuse victims.

That seems sound to me, but I just made it up and I've had a glass of wine so it may have a hole in it I have not thought of.


My position, as I've stated before, is that protecting the victims must always take precedence over protecting those who want to view such pornography. If there is only a 5% or 10% chance that the children will be further affected; or if there are only 5% or 10% of children that can be absolutely proven to have been hurt by this -- that is more than adequate justification.

I do not see how any person will be physically or psychologically damaged by simply telling them they are not allowed to view kiddie porn. Creating restrictions in such an area limits some 'freedoms', yes...but I don't see how it can be argued that it actually hurts them (unless they choose to break the law, in which case they suffer the consequences for doing so, as they would suffer the consequences for breaking any other law).

Sorry, but as far as I'm concerned if you want to limit free speech and free thought then you better have a solid case for it. You don't get to say "I don't see why you need this kind of free speech, so I'll take it away". You have to prove a pressing danger to society from that speech or those thoughts, not just provide a theory that 5% of 5% of abused children might somehow be harmed.


However, it is very easy to see how such products hurt children, and their families. Not just by making them, but by allowing the continued distribution of them. Consider the following:

* The effect on a child who has been sexually abused, who must live with the knowledge that hundreds/thousands of men are masturbating to the video of her being raped?

* The effect on a child who is contacted by someone who has viewed their video (there have been a number of cases of pedophiles who, after viewing such pictures/videos, subsequently attempt to contact the child or their family)

Are these "emotional" arguments? Perhaps so. But the pain and suffering that are being discussed here are very real, and are central to the discussion. For children who have already been victimized, our focus should be to do everything we can to prevent further victimization and suffering as a result of that incident.

Yes, yes, think of the children, special pleading, I get it.

Every time if I ask you if you are going to extend the same concern to the victims of any other kind of crime at all you avoid making a meaningful response.

Be consistent. Either argue for criminalising any record of a heinous crime that one or more victims does not want distributed, or admit that you don't have a case that stands up without appeals to emotion and special pleading.

If they harass a molested kid lock them up and throw away the key, I find it hard to imagine anyone opposing the idea. Assuming that everyone who is in mere possession of prohibited content is going to do that strikes me as utterly crazy however.


Here, again, is my challenge to you:

Present an argument where, using the principles you are arguing for, victims of sexual abuse would be adequately protected from further victimization. That means, among other things, that they would not have to worry about some pervert viewing their pictures/videos, then attempting to contact them; and that they would not have to worry about being called into court and forced to re-live their trauma in order to 'defend' the rights of some guy who wanted to watch their video.

I'll get right on that, just after I ensure every robbery victim is totally protected from ever being robbed again, every adult rape victim is totally protected from ever being reminded of what happened, every person who is in a car crash is never required to drive anywhere again and everyone who ever barked their shin is issued with padded shin guards.

Oh wait, let me guess. Child abuse is special, and rules apply to it as a matter of course that could never even conceivably apply to any other crime.

If you cannot tie the person being led away in handcuffs to specific harm done to a specific human being, then you're prosecuting them for evil thought or evil speech, not evil actions.