Instigator / Pro
1501
rating
88
debates
33.52%
won
Topic

pedophilia is not immoral

Status
Debating

Waiting for the contender's second argument.

The round will be automatically forfeited in:

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Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
1494
rating
5
debates
40.0%
won
Description
~ 84 / 5,000

Pedophilia: sexual feelings directed toward children.

Let me show you how it’s done

Round 1
Pro
Pro idea is simple. Pedophilia is a mental illness. As WebMD says, "The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has included pedophilia in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders since 1968." Does con believe that other mental illnesses are immoral merely to hold onto unwise beliefs? Dementia, ADHD, Schizophrenia, these are now all at the cutting board if con tries to think that Pedophilia is immoral. As we move on from this, suddenly we think, wouldn't the government censor other unwise beliefs? If even thinking about violating children is immoral, then what else is immoral? You are arrested for thinking about committing a crime. You are arrested for thinking about hitting your boss in the face. The resulting censorships on books, news, etc. becomes absolutely unsustainable. Even to denounce a crime, it is difficult to ground the immorality of crime without first, visualizing and thinking ahead about what would occur if you committed the crime. If even thoughts were to be immoral, then con supports the idea of rashly acting out, and failing to think of consequences. Ironically, by thinking of crime, you may very well fail to commit it. There is so much evidence to get rid of, alibi to create, eye witnesses to get out of the way, motivation necessary for the crime. By thinking carefully, you prevent emotion from making you actually hit your boss, should you be fired in the heat of the moment. We cannot punish mere thought, as it is a solid grounding for which you base your actions on.

I dare con to make his argument without mentioning what pedophilia's consequences are. I dare con to successfully craft an argument without even considering what pedophilia is. Because the imagery of children potentially being violated is already in his mind. He is already being immoral, if he even dares mention pedophilia itself. So he has no way to win this argument, because either he is doing something immoral by thinking of pedophilia and its consequences, or he does not mention tackle my arguments head on, and loses as a result.
Con
Thanks to Pro for the opening,

Pro touched a very good point but unfortunately he might have confused himself as to what debate he is in.

The point he made would work pretty well in a debate called "Pedophilia is not a crime". Well, that's not the case here. When you are talking about a thought or thoughts in general not being immoral, you'll have to carry the burden of proof  with relevant authority- which hasn't been seen.

Immoral
: not moral
broadly : conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principles [1]

ARGUMENT

Now, to make my point, I'll just have to figure if thoughts and emotions and feelings can be billed as immoral in any sense since Pedophilia, by my opponent's own definition is a feeling after all.

Neurobiological Study. In a recent 2011 study published in a peer-reviewed journal called the Evolutionary Neuroscience, it has been experimentally shown that the left hemisphere of our brain is responsible for our immoral thinking- that's how the journal articulated the experiment [2]. The methods involved also relied upon manipulating the subjects into thinking either moral or immoral events. So, scientifically, it's well proven that thinking can be attributed as immoral.

Philosophical Take. The debate is not a news here as it has been a topic of great polarization over the start of 21st century. There is a common consensus among the philosophers that we voluntarily choose to experience our emotions. As William James pointed out-

"The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is compos sui if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence."
Depending upon the stretch of possible consequences, this voluntary choice of emotions can be regarded either moral or immoral [3]. Because as we can derive from the famous Gandhi quoting-

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
it is deemed that the only way to prevent such "bad" thoughts from turning into a violent action is by fixing them all by drawing attention- also according to James. [4]

Psychological Study. The interrelation between morality and emotions has been addressed extensively in numerous psychological studies. There are multiple arguments regarding this and I'll use just the one that appeals to all the skeptics about the matter as well. Emotions are powerful in terms of motivating an agent to act accordingly- either in a moral sense or an immoral one [5]. Such a psychological impact can never go unaddressed and over the years many psychologists have confirmed such effects on human mindset namely JP Tangney, A. Damasio or H. Naar. I would like to continue on other arguments if needed.

So, I believe I have sufficiently proven from a scientific, philosophical and psychological point of view that emotions or feelings can be immoral. Therefore, Pedophilia being a sexual feeling for that matter can also be immoral given the moral standard that we all go by in this regard.

REBUTTAL

If even thinking about violating children is immoral, then what else is immoral? You are arrested for thinking about committing a crime. You are arrested for thinking about hitting your boss in the face. The resulting censorships on books, news, etc. becomes absolutely unsustainable. Even to denounce a crime, it is difficult to ground the immorality of crime without first, visualizing and thinking ahead about what would occur if you committed the crime. If even thoughts were to be immoral, then con supports the idea of rashly acting out, and failing to think of consequences... We cannot punish mere thought, as it is a solid grounding for which you base your actions on.
My argument drops everything Pro has to say here and nullifies his position as a Pro since he has to start all over again. The debate was never about Pedophilia being a punishable crime but an immoral setup of brain.

Because the imagery of children potentially being violated is already in his mind.
Having a violent image in mind and thinking of committing that violence are two completely different things.

I dare con to make his argument without mentioning what pedophilia's consequences are. I dare con to successfully craft an argument without even considering what pedophilia is.
I just did. Thank you.

Vote For Con!

REFERENCES

Round 2
Pro
Immoral Thinking in Left hemisphere: The problem is, con's study focuses on affirming what most people think is immoral. As Pedophilia believes what they want to do is correct, this means this would be less applicable to them. And remember that "most people" implies a cultural norm or ideals held, which may be inaccurate depending on the timing and information available to the culture. 

Choice of emotion: Con is not entirely correct. A different-minded blog differentiates, arguing: " Anger, shame, guilt, fear, sadness and other painful emotions play an important role in our lives and even in our survival. And they are a part of life, whether we like it or not.
These emotions are triggered by events that happen in our lives. Physical pain, the loss of a job, feeling that important beliefs are threatened, a traumatic event or losing someone important to you are the types of life events that happen to most people at some point or another in life that can cause painful feelings.
But, that initial experience of emotion that occurs nearly immediately after something happens is more short lived than you might think. An emotion’s life-span is a matter of minutes or even seconds, not hours or days.
So how is it that we can be stuck in painful emotions for long periods of time? Every emotion has a powerful aftereffect. After we experience anger, for example, our attention narrows, typically causing us to overlook aspects of a situation that are fair, just or otherwise not related to feeling anger. Instead, after anger our focus contracts to those parts of our experience that make us angry. We may ruminate about other situations that have made us angry in the past, imagine future situations that will make us angry or get stuck thinking about the current situation, to the exclusion of all else.
The end result is that we continue to feel angry for a long period of time, rather than for the seconds or minutes that it takes to experience an emotion.
So where is the choice?
After we experience an emotion, whether we continue to feel it or whether it passes and we experience other emotions depends on the focus of our attention."

Now, this resonates with what con said, but keep in mind that mental disorders are extremely distracting and problematic. ADHD in particular has the exact problem of not being able to focus strongly on one activity, which is... the exact problem that we are trying to solve. Clearly, ADHD can't be immoral if the problem is the solution (if you get what I mean). I will get to how this relates to pedophilia later.

Psychology study: Careful. An article notes: "The etiology of pedophilia can be attributed to both biological and environmental factors. Case studies indicate that cerebral dysfunction may be a contributing or dominant factor of pedophilia (Scott, 1984), including problems with self-control, extreme urges, and cognitive distortions. Many experts also believe that disorders for sexual preferences emerge from childhood experiences during critical periods in human development (DiChristina, 2009). In many cases, child sex abusers suffer from traumatic experiences during their childhood.
More specifically, pedophiles tend to also have been molested as children. As children, they lacked the ability to control the situation. By sexually assaulting children, pedophiles attempt to re-live the trauma they experienced and they learn how to master it. A complete role reversal gives them the upper hand and prevents them from being victimized. Overall, through the impact of cerebral dysfunction and traumatic development, the sexual urges and desires for children can become ingrained within a person’s nervous system."

As you can see the problem in the brain adds upon the problem in a way similar to ADHD's lack of self-control, and the distortion is similarly preventing the focus on attention to defeat the use of emotion. So pedophiles have much less choice than the average person, which con is arguing about. 

Conclusion: If con was arguing we should not have sexual feelings toward child, with no disorder in mind, then he would win, However, this mental disorder is far more complex than "I choose to like children in a misguided fashion", with past experience stablishing a foundation, leading to loss of control over physical and mental ideas about their life. He has not differentiated this from dementia, schizophrenia, etc. All of which are not immoral to simply have. It would be an absurd insult to say that the man who has dementia was immoral because you think he can choose whether to remember, whether to feel, when his brain itself has had physical problems that lead to mental holes in his mind.
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Round 3
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