Note: I am aware this post will be controversial. It is an honest attempt to answer a question posed by a visitor in a way that applies my previous writings. Comments, as always, are welcome. For the record, I agree with Senator Santorum’s view on pedophilia.
You left an email from my blog, with a link to here, but no email address to respond to you, so I’m posting here. You say that the increased penalties will lead to MORE murders of children. Ok, fine if that is your opinion, but what I’d like to ask is what you propose should be done?
I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want them to be safe.
Obviously the laws we have now are not working. Instead of being a naysayer and telling us what we have in mind won’t work, why not put your logic to better use and propose something that will.
Thanks for listening.
I’m purposely not posting my email address or blog because I don’t usually like to get into political discussions.
The commentator said “…as a parent” and “… my kids…” so I will assume that the commentator is wondering how society can help parents protect their children from pedophiles. I’m assuming the commentator is a mother, so I will refer to the commentator as “she” or “her” (if the commentator is a father, I apologize). And we both agree that the laws are not working.
From her comment and my short description, we know the outline of the conflict
Proganonist’s preferred battlespace: The government and laws.
What are the strong points of the adversaries?
Parents: Super-motivated to keep their children away from pedophiles
Pedophiles: Super-motivated to sexually interact with children
The pedophile’s sexual motivation is his schwerpunkt, his “center of gravity.” Our laws are designed to subdue him at this strong point – to crush him in decisive battle.
It has not been working. His motivation exceeds the ability of the law to stop him. We cannot subdue him. The parent/pedophile war looks like an eternal struggle, with neither side able to concede. Both appear to be driven by biological urges deep enough to drown any compromise.
Several sayings can help us here
“If what you are doing is not working, stop doing it.”
“An unchangeable fact is not an enemy. It is weapon.”
“Just act recklessly and it will be all right.”
The first reminds us that our goal is victory, not struggle. “Doing something” is not wise when that something is not working. It is more important to win that steadfastly keep to our old tactics.
The second reminds us that we should use every tool available — including the enemy himself. If possible we should use thing that makes the enemy “invincible” against him.
The third reminds us when time is not on your side, “slow-and-steady” approaches are guaranteed to fail. Because we are substantially failing in our current strategy, every day we do not change is a day of failure.
So we need a new approach that uses the enemy’s strength against him daringly.
To refresh, the strength of the pedophiles is their very strong motivation. Significantly increasing the cost does not significantly decrease consumption. (This also means that significantly decreasing the cost will not significantly decrease consumption.) As long as the pedophilia is able to pay, he will.
One approach would be to vaporize the planet in a hail of H-Bombs, except the cost of this is too high for the parents.
This option isn’t as crazy as it seems. The parents are trying to protect their children, so if we could have a solution we knew work that would cause the death of millions of parents, it is likely the parents would accept it. That is how much they love their children. They are prepared to pay a very high price to ensure that their children are not used by pedophiles.
In the words of one parent:
I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want [my grandchildren] to be safe.
We know that “subduing” pedophiles will not work, because they are too motivated. The only other path to victory is “subversion” — to turn them so they help us. We need to rearrange the minds of pedophiles, so they desire to help parents.
Now how can we rearrange the minds of people who want to sexually used children in a way that is acceptable to people whose primary concern is protecting their children?
What could pedophiles possible want that would make them allies of the parents who are frightened of them?
What tool can we use to subvert pedophiles, to turn them?
Someone else’s kids.
If we look at the problem as a diagram, we certainly see the logic of it, whether most parents care (which they do):
Recent evidence of an astonishly organized ring in France
The 45 victims, many the children and grandchildren of adults who stood trial for attacking them, ranged from a baby of six months to 14-year-olds. They suffered more than 100 separate sexual assaults.
suggests it it somewhere in between. The percentage could be vanishingly small. If say 2% of adult males are pedophiles (about the same percentage of adult males who are homosexualists) the remainder of all parents less those parents who are opposed to pedophiles would only have to be one in fifty. Throw in states that have more children than capital, and the threshold could be easily met.
This is a fact that cannot be changed. And a fact that cannot be changed is a weapon.
Parents, through the government and laws, could use this weapon to protect their children from pedophiles. The strength of pedophiles, their high level of motivation, can now be used with this weapon, other people’s kids, to help the parents protect their children.
We could daringly build an extensive system of monitoring and reporting if we subverted pedophiles in this way. Parents could know more about pedophiles — very high levels of disclosure could be required to participate in the managed market — and have their children much safer from them — their is an alternate, lawful supply — if they would simply take up the weapon.
We can find a parallel for this in the Bible. King Saul had an enemy.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
An enemy that looked invincible
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
and a method of fighting that could not work
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
David found new weapons
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
and won in a new way
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
Other people’s kids is the sling. The pedophile’s own motivation is the stone. And the children of concerned parents are children of Israel.
David recognized that an “honorable” way of fighting — with sword and shield — would lead to a dishonorable defeat and grave danger for sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah. So David found a new way.
Will parents? Or do they not care for their own children more than strangers?