Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Making Pedophilia Respectable

Sex & Sexuality publishes philosophical defense of sex with children by convicted pedophile
Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 12.24.07 PM

I hope you’re sitting down for this. Thomas O’Carroll, a convicted British pedophile, has published an essay in a peer-reviewed academic quarterly arguing for legalized pedophilia. Justin Lee writes about the situation in his Arc Digital column. Excerpts:

At 73 years old, O’Carroll has long been a bogeyman for both the left and the right — not to mention the children he has violated. To the right, he’s the perfect condensed symbol for the Sexual Revolution’s true telos — the nihilistic destructuring of human relations. To the left, he’s an albatross, a useful idiot for conservatives intent on establishing a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. He’s also a testament to the degraded standards of interdisciplinary scholarship.

His Sexuality & Culture article, which reads like the senior thesis of a bright-enough undergraduate edgelord majoring in philosophy, attempts to make the case that virtue ethics fails to provide a convincing justification for rejecting sex between adults and children. Moreover, he argues that in an ideal world, virtue would be understood in such a way as to include such practices and even celebrate them.

Lee pulls this quote from O’Carroll’s paper. Remember, this is O’Carroll writing, not Lee. Lee has highlighted a part of the passage:

The assertion that children are incapable of reciprocal sexual relations is empirically unfounded. Where is the evidence? A comparison with animals is again suggested. Dogs appear to be perfectly capable of reciprocity in loving relationships with human beings, often to the extent of being every bit as devoted and loyal in their affections towards their owners as their owners are towards them, and perhaps even more so. Again, even the personhood-restricting Scruton has acknowledged this (Scruton 20132014). Dogs may lack a sophisticated appreciation of the other’s “intentionality”, on which Scruton sets so much store as a qualifying criterion of moral agency within sexual relations, but this appears to be no barrier to reciprocity in what many would consider to be its morally essential features. There should be mutual affection and attention to the other’s wishes. What else is needed, really? It may be thought this analogy is insufficiently close because dogs are not sexual partners of their human masters. But they can be. Dogs are not shy about expressing sexual interest in humans, and when their owner reciprocates that interest a sexual (and loving) relationship may develop, as has been attested in Dearest Pet, a book by Dutch controversialist (and children’s writer!) Midas Dekkers, and endorsed in a review by philosopher Peter Singer (Dekkers 2000; Singer 2001). (emphasis mine)

Got that? O’Carroll says that because bestiality is permissible, so too is pedophilia. Lee summarizes:

This question-begging dismissal of intentionality serves a dark purpose: the banishment of “consent” as a relevant category of concern. Consent, after all, is predicated upon intentionality. This is much too reminiscent of Peter Singer’s argument for bestiality, which can be summarized thusly: We eat animals without their consent, so why not screw them? Children, especially young children, consent to little of what we subject them to, so why shouldn’t we let O’Carroll bugger babies?

Lee, who is a professor, attacks the O’Carroll paper from a philosophical perspective, but finally says that it’s too filthy to carry on dissecting. “Wading through this feculence has been morally exhausting,” he writes. “Stare too long into the abyss and you’ll need to take a shower.”

Here, though, is how his column ends:

But I have to give credit where it’s due: O’Carroll is right that, in order to be logically compelling, the case against pedophilia must be grounded in an anthropology that sees human sexuality as sacred. Any ethic premised in liberal individualism will inevitably leave room for the acceptance of adult-child sex. How could it be otherwise, when the arbitrary exuberance of the human will is held to be the highest good? We’re left with only the will-to-power of the individual or the intersubjective will-to-power of the collective. Either way, we’re left with nihilism.

“At the heart of liberty,” wrote Anthony Kennedy, that arch-sophist, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

For Thomas O’Carroll, for all of us, that “mystery” covers a multitude of sins.

Trust me, you need to read the whole thing.  Try to wrap your mind around the fact that a peer-reviewed academic quarterly has just published this convicted pedophile’s philosophical argument for legalizing the rape of children.

The reader who sent me Lee’s column added:

There’s apparently a whole community of pedophiles on Twitter. They call themselves “MAPs” (minor-attracted persons). Many of them euphemistically refer to themselves as protectors of children and anti-abuse activists. Some like to use the label “NOMAP” (NO=”non-offending). The same people will also note their “aoa” (age of attraction) in their profile. It’s utterly surreal that the great and good at Twitter are scouring the platform of anti-trans content but are perfectly content with tolerating pedophile community-building.

Here’s a horrifying thread on a handful of these accounts. If you read it, you’ll notice that many (most?) of these people also identify as trans, queer, or gay.

The thread begins with this tweet. To be clear: CherryGuts is not endorsing them; he/she is exposing them:


There is nothing NSFW about the thread — it’s just screenshots of these users’ profiles. Such as:

You get the idea. Twitter is kicking off anyone who “deadnames” or “misgenders” a trans person, but allows stuff like this. The reader who sent me the Lee column adds, with regard to my post about Tumblr ending porn and thereby outraging Social Justice Pervs:

An element of this story you might not be aware of is that a score of tumblr perverts are already migrating to Twitter—which, of course, is more than happy to host porn. This is sure to make Twitter even more toxic. Just think of all the “activists” who also lurk on tumblr interacting with this stuff on their regular Twitter accounts (assuming they don’t make secondary, anonymous accounts).

The normalization of pedophilia is coming. The destructuring of human relations under the guise of liberating desire is the goal of these people, whether they realize it or not. Without God, or some other binding source of sacred order, there is only nihilism. If you will not have God, prepare to make room for Tom O’Carroll and his celebration of diversity.

UPDATE: Reader kgasmart comments:

The normalization of pedophilia is coming.

I agree, but when it does it will come under the ruse of “marginalized communities” because really, who’s more marginalized than a pedophile?

The concept of “consent” will be the biggest hurdle to get over. The left has fetishized consent; so long as consent is involved, any and all sexual practices are permitted – indeed, to be celebrated! But who can give consent?

How is it the LGBT left holds that pre-teens can consent to, say, taking hormones or binding their breasts, or whatever measures precede transition surgery – but those pre-teens can’t consent to sex? How can they consent to one but not the other; how can they have full agency regarding the first – but not the second?

That’s the slippery slope we’ll slide down here.

UPDATE.2: Reader Xenie:

Lee lays out perfectly why “consent” ethics will be inadequate to stop this: children are already given medical treatments, personal hygiene care, etc, that they cannot consent to. Either the powers that be will reverse engineer things to claim they can give consent after all (as is happening with the transing of very young children) or they will shrug consent off as not always mattering so much, or for certain important things. If consent is all you’ve got, then, it’s game over either way, and evil wins the day.

I cannot overstate just how much the rhetoric of the transgender movement is working to soften society up for this horrific pedo revolution to come. If you can believe, as many well-meaning liberals now do, that a 4 year old boy can meaningfully declare himself a girl and “consent” to a name change, social status change, and then, at age 12 or so, the first medical interventions to transform him into a “real girl,” then how will they defend themselves against the idea that he could also “consent” to a “mentoring” relationship of a sexual nature with some “caring” adult?