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Thoughts and Ideas 
9th-Feb-2012 08:40 am
Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 251

Poll #1817800 Think About It

"Thoughts are neither good nor bad, they just are." Agree or disagree?

I agree
I disagree. A thought can be good or bad
I'm not sure
Something else (please tell us what in a comment)

Hypothetical: Assume that pedophilia is defined as a sexual attraction to children. Assume that X is a pedophile who has never acted out his or her pedophilic thoughts, has never viewed or downloaded child pornography, but who has imagined pedophilic fantasy while masturbating in the privacy of his/her home. Is X a bad person?

Yes. Just being a pedophile is wrong, whether or not one acts on the thoughts
X isn't a bad person, but is a sick person who needs to be cured of an illness.
No, as long as X never acts in a way that hurts anyone else, X is nether wrong nor sick for having these thoughts.
I'm not sure.
Something else.(please tell us what in a comment)

Assume that ephebophilia is a sexual attraction to late teens (e.g. 15-17 year olds.) Are ephebophiles wrong or sick to have that attraction (assuming that they never act out on it in such a way that someone else is harmed)?

Yes, this is wrong or sick.
This is just wrong, but not a sickness.
This is not wrong, but it is a mental illness.
Not only is this not wrong, this is probably normal in a large segment of the population.
I'm not sure
Something else (please tell us what in a comment)

Throughout history, there have been times when the publishing of ideas that went against the government was illegal. John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Act that jailed critics of the government, Woodrow Wilson passed laws jailing critics such as Eugene Debs who said that the US should not be involved in World War I and then there is the Patriot Act. Are there any circumstances under which criticism of the government should be illegal? (e.g. if the country is at war and someone is publishing articles designed to convince people to aid the enemy.)

I'm not sure
Something else (please tell us what in a comment)
9th-Feb-2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Your polls are always so thought-provoking; thank you :)

I have a lot of thoughts on the pedophilia thing, but I won't air them here because I'm not too well-versed on the topic and I don't want to cause wank.

Ephebophilia can be very problematic, but I think it's a little difficult to call it inherently wrong when people that age are pretty close to sexually mature if not there already. It's not their fault we as a society treat adolescence as Childhood Plus.

Regarding the last question: Sometimes it's a fine line to draw between harmless dissent and activity that could result in a genuine threat to the safety of a nation, but I don't believe the former should ever be banned.
10th-Feb-2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Thank you for your compliment and your comments. I think you make a good point about ephebophilia. It wasn't too long ago historically that women aged 14-18 were married. (I'm not saying that this was necessarily a healthy thing.) In many cultures, the age of consent is in the late teens. (I think it's 16 here in Canada, although if one party is under the age of 18 and there is a significant age gap, this can sometimes be considered to be exploitation and consent becomes irrelevant.)
10th-Feb-2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
Espically when in some countries such as my own it's legal to have sex with someone 16 upwards.
12th-Feb-2012 12:00 am (UTC)
a paedophile who hasnt committed acts of crime is not a a criminal or a bad person. The paedophile becomes a bad person as soon as he lives it out. I support therapies that help people live with paedophilia but I don't know enough about it to say whether it is preset notion,(like disorders) or whether it is something that developes through trauma or a disorder.
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