Finally, a word in edgeways at the Guardian!. is a blog entry penned by Tom O’Carroll. He points to a media piece by Jon Henley published in The Guardian in which he shares his overview of the current debate regarding the pedophile. As journalism goes these days on this topic Henley’s piece is well written and balanced.
On my Facebook site this comment was offered: “Matt Wilkinson of the Sun, and where one writes seems to be well worth making note of, attacks Henley for being liberal and left-wing. Clearly for him such labels are harmful to writers! Sadly The Sun newspaper and it’s writers see any reasoned argument as pro-pedophile, and if they are right, then it tells us a lot as to where the Sun believes the debate is going to travel to. The fear here is that reason, in the end, will prevail.”
The response to Jon Henley’s article (a sample listed below) has included some strong messages of criticism about the Guardian newspaper for publishing this item, as well as personal attacks on Tom O’Carroll – viewed in such attacks as unable to speak because he has a profile of a ‘career pedophile’. Sociologically speaking O’Carroll is probably one of the most consistent contributors one can find to the global debate on pedophilia, for a period spanning decades. (For more see his website: Heretic TOC.)
Reflecting on this article by Henley there is an important question in play here, that of what constitutes scientific and moral authority, how is the truth spoken, what are the rules governing this process, and is it that moral positions, especially driven by emotional aspects, can have little or no empirical basis and still stay in play?
Recently in an article by Zachar and Kendler the question was posed can decisions in the sciences like the classification of Pluto as a planet and is homosexuality a mental disorder help us understand how scientific authority functions for us today? In their paper they show there are situations, at times controversial ones at that, where empirical evidence and theorizing can be very much at odds. Their solution is problematic for some issues however. Zachar and Kendler argue for a form of democratic exchange, they see privilege and the seeding of scientific subcommittees with one-sided experts as unhelpful, and on the face of it such a position is easy to agree with. Where this democratic process can be unhelpful are in issues that are deeply socially contentious, issues like pedophilia. Democracy tends to keep social prejudice rather than overturn it.
What is needed is something both secular culture and religion have come to value – in secular thought it comes under the heading of intellectual insight and critical thought; inside the world of religion it is seen as prophetic speech, visionary leadership. From a secular perspective what you end up with is a better view of the real, and in some cases that includes an emancipated society and culture; in religious groups it is an appreciation of the divine and the human. Both frames of reference see any situation as able to be improved able to get better, science can progress from where it is to a science which is more sound, societies that are more humane. Perhaps that is what unites a person like Tom O’Carroll and the sex abuse industry, there is a belief that things can improve, child abuse can be reduced, individuals can see themselves as being inside a human community and they should not be expelled for being sexually what they feel they cannot change – and why should they.
- The Guardian criticised over paedophile article by Jon Henley (thesun.co.uk)
- The Guardian speaks up for paedophiles, flirts with anti-Semitism and jumps on every crazy Leftist bandwagon in sight. What happened to quality control? (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Even Guardian readers are outraged by the paper’s massive error of judgment over paedophilia (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Guardian: Paedophiles are ‘ordinary members of society’ who need moral support (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- A response to Jon Henley’s article on paedophilia (tom-watson.co.uk)
- Paedophilia: bringing dark desires to light (digger666.com)
- Why paedophilia is wrong, and liberals should not be trying to break the taboo (jesusinthecoffeehouse.wordpress.com)
- Paedophilia: bringing dark desires to light (guardian.co.uk)
- Is The Guardian trolling us? (thefword.org.uk)
- ‘Don’t excuse paedophilia’ says top child abuse lawyer (pannone.com)
- The removal of Pluto from the class of planets and homosexuality from the class of psychiatric disorders: a comparison (Journal: Philosophy, ethics, and humanities in medicine : PEHM)