Atheism a road to paedophilia?
Yep, that is the bow that was drawn at a recent debate between Sydney
atheists and Sydney's Muslim students association. The debaters on our side as
I am sure I would have been where flabbergasted by this, or simply missed it amongst
the barrage of other non-sequiturs and logical fallacies.
Let’s get to the crux of it. Their argument is that basically, atheists have
no moral arbitrator so thus anything is eventually acceptable. Why they didn't
use some less heinous crime is beyond me, may be a psychologist can weigh in on
why they would deem this as an action they would take if they felt there was no
divine policemen to keep them in check.
OK so if there is no moral enforcer, no God(s) who can define moral law then
moral law needs to be defined as we go along. This comes back to Euthyphros dilemma;
Is something good because God deems it so, or does God do things that are only
good. If you pick the first then God could arbitrarily change the rules, could
all of a sudden decide that killing your own child is morally good... don't
laugh he did this to Abraham, Jephthah, the 42 children that God kills with
bears and his own son, if you believe the bible.
If you take the second option, then Morality is over and above God, and God is
not omnipotent (all powerful) and omnibenevolent (all good) as he is deemed by
some, all-be-it not by some Muslims.
So you either are worshipping a being that deems murder is good on its whim, or
cannot change morality and thus morality arises independently of this being.
Let’s look where the atheist view gets us, independently arisen morality.
I will state first up I believe that morality is objective, meaning that the
same morality doesn't necessarily hold for all situations. For example I think
murder is abhorrent and wrong... but if I was thrust into combat I would fight
and kill to save me and my families lives.
I think rape is wrong (actually above murder, but that is personal disgust),
but can see that the Angler fish in which the male effectively rapes the female
as the only means of perpetuating their species is not morally as wrong as
letting the species die out.
I think you get the picture, morality in life is a grey area, you need to think about things a bit and not be moraly lazy, besides who wouldn't steal a loaf
of bread to feed their starving family.
Society, to work in cohesion develops rules however. We don't need to rape
to survive as a species, so it is outlawed, leniency is shown the thief doing
so out of necessity, killing in self-defence is also shown leniency. These
rules have been built up over time in secular legal systems all over the world,
independently of each other, and often times independently of religion.
Now to the argument of paedophilia. Most societies deem sex between
consenting individuals as OK, if there is no consent then it is simply rape.
I believe every country has an age of consent, and this is deemed by their
legal institution as the age at which a child can make possible life changing
decisions, such as moving out on their own, or consenting to sexual
intercourse, this varies country to country which is a little odd, but
interestingly averages around 16 years of age.
This makes sense as children are naive, they are overly trusting and they are
easily influenced/ picking an age that allows for mental maturation in a
majority of children, allows for these decisions to be made with greater
foresight. If they can't consent then it is against their will and thus rape,
where paedophilia is just rape of a minor.
So for our society paedophilia is rightly outlawed.
But let’s create a hypothetical world, one where a disease causes all males
of the intelligent species inhabiting this world to be sterile shortly after
they first become sterile, long before mental maturation, lets also say IVF for
whatever reason is not discovered or doesn't work.
A law maybe passed that enforces these young boys to continue the species is it
wrong, in our eyes, yes. In this species eyes they wouldn't exist without it.