Analecto

6 de maio de 2019

What I learned from “The ‘Participating Victim’ in the Study of Erotic Experiences Between Children and Adults.”

The ‘Participating Victim’ in the Study of Erotic Experiences Between Children and Adults: An Historical Analysis.” Was written by Agustín Malón. Below, what I learned by reading this text.

  1. In the twentieth century, there was an increase in scientific and lay interest in relationships between adults and minors.
  2. The focus of the text is the concept of ” participating victim” or ” voluntary victim”: the child or adolescent who, when found in an relationship with an adult, does not want the relationship to end.
  3. This classification can be explained in emotional and ideological terms, rooted in the rise of the victim paradigm.
  4. Relationships between adults and minors only became a problem in the last third of the twentieth century, with the child abuse paradigm.
  5. Before that time, the adult who was in a relationship with a minor was not seen as a monster or a demon, as is the case today.
  6. It is no longer investigated whether experience was harmful or not: it’s assumed to be harmful.
  7. This reality is only sustained by the indiscriminate labelling of all those minors as victims.
  8. Such relationships are now demonized in five levels: legal (it’s crime), moral (it’s immoral), personal (it’s unwanted), existential (it’s traumatic), and medical (it’s harmful).
  9. In order to explain any occurences of adult/child relationships that may de-authorize this disapproval, it is necessary to redefine the boy who desires such relationships, to construe his experience as unwanted (even if it was wanted), and to find negative effects.
  10. So the child, in theory, would never want that kind of relationship, which is always negative and traumatic.
  11. The author questions: how can scientific literature deny the existence of children who desire such relationships, are active participants and do not want a break-up?
  12. There is an implicit political goal in the child abuse paradigm: there are things we can not say about the minors involved and things we need to presume about all the minors involved.
  13. In other words, saying that the child would want a relationship with an adult could lead accusations of victim-blaming, even when the experience was voluntary and innocuous.
  14. Thus, in the seventies and eighties, literature that was opposed to the view of inherent harm was viewed with suspicion.
  15. The author of the text is concerned only with providing a historical account of the evolution of this rejection to relationships between adult and minor: he is not interested in discussing morality , consent or acceptability .
  16. The existence of positive relationships between adults and minors is not enough to make this kind of relationship acceptable.
  17. The authors studied by Malon have vaguely used the term “minor,” without saying what age this “minor” is, if a child or adolescent.
  18. Nevertheless, the term “minor” is often used in the literature to refer to subjects between nine and thirteen years of age.
  19. In works like those of Finkelhor, the age of the participants is often omitted.
  20. Before the 1980s, child sexuality was generally considered normal , even when the child or adolescent desired adults (which does not mean that such adventure was allowed by law).
  21. The fact is that the child’s willingness to participate in these relationships was taken into account back then.
  22. In the 1970s, there were very few studies in English on adult-to-minor sex, and the growing feminist wave attempted to fill that demand using victimology.
  23. The modern Western rejection of relationships between adults and minors would not be possible without feminism.
  24. Although there were several studies that challenged the vitimological view, they were ignored as a minority.
  25. Although the vitimological view was the “standard” view in the West, both its detractors and proponents were aware of children and adolescents who made the advance or consented to an advance.
  26. When the victim paradigm came into vogue in the West, the problem of the desiring child was ignored or seen as something of lesser importance.
  27. But before, scholars tried to find out why some children desired adults and why some did not.
  28. Incest became a reason for judicial intervention.
  29. The literature that most grounded such attitude change in relation to consensual relationships between adult and minor was the clinical literature, focused on incest, while the literature of more comprehensive focus gave a central role to the child’s view of experience .
  30. Child protection services are aware that some children make the invitation, consent, initiate, accept or even seduce others (that is, they try to “seduce”).
  31. The idea that the consent of the child is invalid appears for the first time in the twentieth century, in 1969 more specifically.
  32. In the thirties, Bender and Blau’s The Reaction of Children to Sexual Relations with Adults is released: sixteen children are interviewed and the tone of their narratives is strangely optimistic
  33. The children were emphatic in saying that their experiences were positive and guilt-free.
  34. They also had an active role in these relationships, not mere recipients of adult advancement.
  35. They could either deny the advance or encourage the adult.
  36. The child is not innocent.
  37. The interesting personality of these children may have helped to seduce the adult with whom they related.
  38. These relationships only stopped after discovered, not because they could not report, but because they did not want to stop.
  39. The disapproval of this type of relationship in the 1930s was moral, not medical: it was not feared that the girl could be traumatized, but feared that she would grow promiscuous.
  40. In the fifties, A Study of Girl Sex Victims is released: the authors tried to understand which aspects of the child’s personality predispose the girl to accept advancements from adults or to attempt seduction.
  41. This study examined seventy-three girls who, between the ages of four and sixteen, had intercourse with adults.
  42. Twenty-one were “casual victims”, that is, victims in the strict sense; forty-four were “participating victims”, that is, they wanted contact and did not feel victimized; eight could not be classified in either group.
  43. The victims participating in this study fall into two groups: those who are sexual by symptom (their sexuality is problematic because the family or the social context are problematic) and those who are sexual by personality .
  44. Is the latency period really a thing?
  45. The pre-adolescent is a sexual being, although we try to rationalize this tendency as a desire for affection.
  46. Although nothing can suppress child sexuality, its correct channeling is one of the tasks assigned to education .
  47. Because of this, we tend to treat deviations in child sexual conduct as problems of poor education.
  48. All children have impulse and sexual responsiveness , but not to the same degree.
  49. However, the fact that the child is sexual does not imply that the child can make a personal bacchanal out of his or her life.
  50. Adults can tolerate child sexuality, but seldom promote it or stimulate it.
  51. Child sexuality is normal, but it should not manifest itself in illicit ways.
  52. One of the factors that predisposes the girl to sexual initiation with others is the lack of love at home (which leads her to look for other adults from whom to receive attention) and a poor education, especially a deficient sex education (she learns in practice, which can be aided by the limited conception of guilt ).
  53. Another factor is the low self-control against particularly strong impulses.
  54. To some researchers, this is problematic, but there are those who disagree.
  55. For example, according to Kinsey, sexual initiation by an older person is beneficial to the boy, who learns about sexuality more easily and more quickly than if he had to discover them alone or with someone as inexperienced as himself.
  56. With the victim paradigm, girl sexual desire is seen as mere curiosity, search for affection or even as a bargaining tool to obtain material goods, since the girl, insofar as it is assumed that she is the victim of sexual crime, can only have a sexually passive role, being inadmissible to the victimology that a girl would want pleasure .
  57. If the child does indeed enjoy pleasure, it is still possible to rationalize that this pleasure has been “forced“, rather than spontaneous.
  58. Thus, the child who consents and says that the contact was pleasurable is still a victim of sexual crime.
  59. But some people make the distinction legal child victim and factual child victim.
  60. The child who understands that his or her parents could be held responsible for the child’s actions may seek to do illegal things to put the parents in trouble as a form of revenge.
  61. Another factor that can cause the child to seek illegal relationships is precisely the prohibition imposed on sexuality, a prohibition that incites curiosity and challenge .
  62. If you say to your child, “sex sucks, do not do it,” you may spark temptation.
  63. A child discovered in an illegal relationship with an adult may not learn the lesson and look for another adult.
  64. In such cases, admission that the act was “bad” is a false admission: the tyke will do it again at the first opportunity.
  65. Illegal relationships alone do not cause guilt in the child, who only begins to feel guilty with the social reaction to the act or upon learning the taboo.
  66. There are several reasons that take a child to not disclose what is happening or has happened.
  67. They may not disclose due to threat, bribe, desire to continue, love for the perpetrator, fear of parents’ reaction, among others.
  68. If you read a scientific article on child sexuality from the thirties or fifties, you feel as if the authors had permission insult to the children subjected to the study (calling them rebellious, disobedient, lascivious, among others things), something that would be unacceptable today.
  69. Nowadays, we accuse those papers, perhaps rightfully, to be blaming the victims.
  70. Another factor that predisposes the child to seek relationships is the need for alternative sources of affection.
  71. We generally don’t agree that children can exchange pleasure for affection.
  72. The girl may seek such affection for a number of reasons: parents may not love her enough, she may want to escape domestic stress, perhaps she wants to challenge her parents’ authority, prove to herself that she is “independent”, to be approved by someone…
  73. Some children show more interest in adults than in same-aged children, preferring adult companions.
  74. If the family is chaotic, the child will seek stability elsewhere.
  75. What does victimology do in face of the boy who flees from an abusive family, then seeks and finds the stability he needed away from home, with another adult?
  76. This is especially embarrassing in cases where the relationship continues even after the minor has become an adult himself, after the partner has served their sentence.
  77. The sample from the Bender and Blau study can not be generalized because the children were working class and misfits, meaning that the data collected does not apply to all children.
  78. There was a time when the victim status was not attributed by the nature of the act (whether sexual or not), but by the effect of the act (whether the person suffered or not).
  79. It is easier to absolve the girl than the boy, because one thinks that the girl only becomes sexual because of external factors, like an unfit family, but people often argue that “boys will be boys”.
  80. Thus, the sexual girl is seen as a victim of her family or society.
  81. Arguments that say that these experiences are bad because sex is bad (it is not), because the child is being precociously sexualized (children are sexual from birth ) or because these experiences are always traumatic ( demonstrably false ) are easy to debunk.
  82. The only valid argument against these experiences is informed consent: because this type of relationship is dangerous , anyone who engages in it should be aware of the implicit risks (the chil usually is not) and should be able to make a free decision about taking the risk or not (the child may have his or her freedom of decision limited by physical strength, intelligence or social position of the adult as a person of authority on whom the child’s well-being may depend).
  83. Because of this, victimology’s task is to prove that kids can’t consent.
  84. In the eighties, the book Sexually Victimized Children is released.
  85. The book assumes that in the field of victimology, the question of how to deal with children who consent and derive pleasure from experience is a “destructive concern.”
  86. This concern has been addressed by emphasizing cases of sexual abuse in the strict sense (where there is no consent, where the child suffers from the experience) and minimizing the importance of the child’s consent to the point of irrelevance .
  87. In the victim paradigm, the girl is necessarily a recipient, and no responsibility is to be attributed to her.
  88. As all subjects that can challenge the victim’s paradigm ( children and adolescents ) are absorbed by such a paradigm (through classification as “victims”), such a paradigm becomes indisputable .
  89. “Protecting” the girl from sexuality may harm her.
  90. Experiences between two minors should not be seen as abusive, provided they are consensual .
  91. Consent is what matters.
  92. The problem is that, while it is said that consent is what matters, it is also said that the minor’s consent is invalid in experiences with adults.
  93. But what if the minor starts the contact?
  94. For Finkelhor , early sexual experience can turn the child into a homosexual .
  95. The desire to repeat the experience becomes a “risk factor.”
  96. Finkelhor and the feminists admit that there are children who want these experiences and there are still people who point that out (Arreola et al, 2008; Arreola et al, 2009; Bauserman & Rind, 1997; Carballo-Diéguez et al, 2011; Condy et al, 1987; Dolezal et al, 2014; Kilpatrick, 1987; Lahtinen et al, 2018; Leahy, 1996; Mulya, 2018; Rind, 2001; Rind, 2016; Rind & Tromovitch, 1997; Rind & Welter, 2013; Rind & Welter, 2016; Rind et al, 1998; Sandfort, 1984; Sandfort, 1987; Tindall, 1978; Ulrich et al, 2005-2006; Wet et al, 2018).
  97. This is problematic, because admitting the minor’s desire is an attack on one of the foundations of victimology: that the victim never takes any responsibility for the “abuse” suffered.
  98. If child sexuality is part of the child, attacking child sexuality is an attack on the child’s dignity .
  99. Reconciling child sexuality with the victim paradigm is done through the association between sexualization and trauma: if the child has a sexual encounter with another child, then it’s tolerable; if the contact is between child and adult, then it must be traumatic.
  100. Traumatic in the sense of directing child sexuality in a “problematic” direction.
  101. In this way, the act would be traumatic, perhaps more profoundly traumatic, if the child is a voluntary participant and if the experience is pleasurable: the child acquires access to forms sexual expression that are not age-appropriate (like a “moral trauma”).
  102. Aiming to repeat the experience, the child then looks for other children, introducing them to such practices as well.
  103. So it is not that child sexuality is a problem for victimology, but such sexuality must stay within the boundaries of age-appropriate; deviating from that is a symptom os “moral trauma”.
  104. Such deviation can also lead the boy to question if he is gay or not.
  105. With the construction of pleasant experiences as morally traumatic, sexual initiation by an older person is no longer a moral issue, but a public health issue.
  106. For Finkelhor, a child would never become interested in an adult unless the child is influenced by the environment.
  107. In this way, the victim paradigm supports the view that a sexually precocious child is such because of adult influence.
  108. The victim paradigm works with the inherent damage hypothesis (all experiences between adult and minor must be traumatic), but, at the same time, it admits that such hypothesis lacks empirical proof!
  109. Despite this, they construct their reasoning upon the intrinsic harm hypothesis, going onto identifying traumatogenic factors.
  110. The fear felt by victimologists is that children and adolescents could have their worldview altered or be impaired in their self-concept .
  111. What if the child, because of this experience, starts to see the world in a different way?
  112. If there are no traumatic elements in the experience, can it still be considered traumatic?
  113. Finkelhor never answers that question.
  114. On the other hand, external factors reduce the importance of traumatogenic factors: if you have a family that supports you, for example, you will recover more easily from abuse, than if you had parents who don’t care about your suffering.
  115. This point, though mentioned by the victim paradigm, is not discussed in all its depth: victimology makes no mention of what factors could mitigate traumatic sexualization ( the adoption of adult sexual behavior ).
  116. For victimology, child sexuality has no influence on the continuation of the relationship (implying that a child who had a sexual contact would be always unwilling to repeat it).
  117. The child who takes the lead in libidinous acts only has his agency recognized if the other participant is a same age peer.
  118. The “children who molest” phenomenon is only recognized as such if the victim is another minor.
  119. Taken to it’s last consenquences, such argument implies that, when a minor rapes a woman, the woman is to blame (or, at least, someone else who “corrupted” the tyke, but never the minor himself).
  120. This is because, according to victimology, a normal boy would never want anything to do with sex, when it comes to adults.
  121. If he enters into a relationship with an adult, he never enters or stay by his will, says victimology.
  122. The legitimate desire of the boy is then construed as the result of something that has gone wrong, a type of “brainwashing”, which means that the boy is never responsible for any sexual involvement with an adult: it’s never his fault, according to victimology.
  123. Thus, since teleiophilia is excluded from child sexuality in an axiomatic way, it does not make sense to ask why the child or adolescent would want such contact, why he initiated, why he would he want to maintain such relationship, none of that matters.
  124. Thus, for victimology, to say that the minor “consented” or “advanced” is the same as blaming the ” victim .”
  125. It is important, for victimology, that the child or adolescent has been threatened or intimidated, in order to validate itself as a paradigm.
  126. It follows that vitimology can only admit two hypotheses:
    1. The child or adolescent was forced.
    2. The child or teenager had his or her consent purchased by bribery or threat.
  127. Victimology takes this as reality, and its mission is to make the population “identify” this reality.
  128. Thus, because it is assumed that the child or adolescent will resist, the question ceases to be “what leads the child to initiate or accept a libidinous act?” to become “how the child’s resistance was violated?”.
  129. This is a reflection of the reluctance to attribute responsibility to the minor: to say that the minor can consent, although not directly attribution of responsibility, can be seen as such, which is contrary to the spirit of the times .
  130. Thus, the friendship between child and adult, when it takes a sexual aspect, becomes grooming: sexual friendship is never legitimate, but always a trap.
  131. The fact that a child would want to repeat the experience is not explained, unless one takes the assertion “if it was repeated, the repetition had to be forced” as an explanation.
  132. Okay, and why do some repeat the experience with other people, even after the first partner was arrested and jailed?
  133. Strangely, vithmology admits child sexual agency only in cases where the child is a boy: victimology even admits that boys may be less affected by such experiences .
  134. That is why studies on child sexual abuse generally have an overrepresentation of girls in a given sample: if we make a distinction between boys and girls in data analysis, the universal aspect of the trauma will be more easily questioned, and it will be easier to point out that positive experiences happen.
  135. That impairs the study of positive experiences that, because they were positive, were repeated instead of reported.
  136. In the West, the child was seen as a potential enemy of the state: all education was explicitly intended to instill the social values ​​in a child’s mind so that the social order would not be challenged (see note 111).
  137. Now the child is seen as the savior of the state: all education has the veiled aim of instilling prevailing social values ​​in the child’s mind, so that the social order is maintained (see note 111).
  138. Our society says that the girl should exercise critical thinking, but also that she should not exercise critical thinking in every matter!
  139. There’s a need that the child’s concept of abuse mirrors society’s concept of abuse.
  140. For victimology, a society that thinks that relationships between adult and minor are not always abusive is a society that is insensitive to the suffering of the child.
  141. That means that a victimological society immunizes itself against change: seeing things differently equals “being insensitive”, which automatically casts a bad light upon the dissident and encourages self-censorship (in media, research, art, news, everything).
  142. Observe how society is always accused of being a facilitator of child sexual abuse, even when it does everything right, within it’s capacities.
  143. The two employers of such rhetoric are child protection organizations and feminism .
  144. Both sources influenced Finkelhor.
  145. For victimology, a child who does not report what occurred must be motivated by fear and bribery.
  146. That is: silence becomes a sign of violence, not reporting is a sign of violence.
  147. It is assumed that nonviolent relationships are statistically unlikely .
  148. A child who says “I did not suffer from what happened” or “I liked what happened” is not believed.
  149. The desire for affection, attention and approval becomes a “risk factor”; the affection-starved child is a child at risk.
  150. Thus, the desire to participate in the relationship is converted into an inability to resist the relationship, due to the affection implied or promised.
  151. The emphasis on the libidinous act as object of study distracts the researcher from other factors that could explain any negative symptoms presented by the child: an unstable family can be just as harmful or even more.
  152. Researchers would rather study the libidinous act isolated from it’s circumstances , since such circumstances , if studied, could jeopardize the dominant narrative (sexual contact between adult and child is always bad, always profoundly traumatic and is equally bad for boys and girls).
  153. Most of the explanations given by victimology are hypothetical .
  154. If the victim is the passive part, then, for victimology, all guilt must necessarily fall upon the active part.
  155. Finkelhor says that all research points to the fact that the child or adolescent never initiates sexual contact with an adult, but that’s not true.
  156. The problem is that victimology does not know what to do with minor’s willingness to participate.
  157. This creates another problem: secondary victimization.
  158. Secondary victimization is the harm that arises not from experience itself, but from the reaction of others to experience: imagine if your relationship is desired and you want to maintain it, but you have the bond suddenly destroyed by the legal system, the mental health system, and the social rejection.
  159. Researching this implies recognizing that intervention must not always take place.
  160. If the process begins, the boy who says that the libidinous act was not violent will have his testimony ignored.
  161. If the boy insists that the contact was not violent, he will be stigmatized .
  162. Victimology does not want to save the child only in physical or psychological sense, but also in a moral.
  163. This causes collateral damage.
  164. Victimology has an ideal of childhood that may not apply to concrete children.
  165. If the child has sexuality, a purely ideological denial of his or her interpretation of a particular experience may be psychologically traumatic, especially when such denial employs the legal and therapeutic apparatus.
  166. Showing only negative cases is essential for maintaining this paradigm.
  167. This is because non-violent contacts, seen as exceptional, may be numerous enough to invalidate the paradigm (they could be the norm, rather than the exception).
  168. Classical studies that show the existence of children and adolescents who feel, desire and seek for libidinosity have been forgotten and are seen as outrageous today.
  169. The criticisms delivered on such studies, however, are often based on a forced interpretation of what is being said in the text.
  170. This forced interpretation is enforced by the child abuse paradigm, according to which no child or adolescent would ever desire an adult.
  171. Victimology keeps the business of mental health.
  172. Sexual victimology is the elevation of victimhood to the degree of convincing pseudoscience, so that studies sharing victimology’s view receive funding for scientific development.
  173. Because it is popular, victimology can not be contradicted with impunity and studies that contradict it have to be independently funded.
  174. Victimology funds campaigns against researchers who contradict it.
  175. In a world where babies masturbate or even have orgasms still inside the mother’s womb, there are still people who say that it is impossible to orgasm before puberty.
  176. Victimology may be more interested in condemning the adult than acting according to the minor’s best interest.
  177. Challenging this paradigm can cost you your career.
  178. Relationships between adults and minors have become a public problem, not a private occurrence that can be resolved by listening to both parties.
  179. Consent and innocuousness are the only parameters by which we can judge any sexual relationship, so to keep relationships between adults and minors forbidden, it is necessary to invalidate the consent of the minor or to show that such contacts are harmful as a rule.
  180. Society has recognized child sexuality as something that exists, while denying such sexuality any mutual expression.
  181. In the case of relationships between adult and minor, this is possible through the application of feminist power rhetoric on the problem of child sexual abuse.
  182. As this is done in the field of social sciences, which claim to be the moral compass of the whole society, this view is easily imposed as scientifically correct (from the point of view of social sciences).
  183. This is a sign that social sciences no longer see the world as it really is, but are rather invested in shaping the world in the way they see fit.
  184. This makes their “absolute” findings questionable.
  185. When the American Congress condemned the study A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples, congressists demanded that science stopped studying positive relationships between adults and children.
  186. But this undermines the scientific understanding of the phenomena of these relationships in general.
  187. The author is not in favor of legalizing these relationships because there are several things to take into consideration before changing the age of consent.
  188. By acting according to victimology, society does not know exactly what it is doing.

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9 de fevereiro de 2018

Plato’s “Crito”.

Filed under: Livros, Passatempos — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 17:23
  1. One can say that you really are a happy person when they see you calm even when a disaster happens.
  2. If death is unavoidable, you can only accept it.
  3. People hate people those who care more for their money than for their friends.
  4. Still, you don’t have to care about what people think of you anyway.
  5. Spreading lies about someone can cause their indirect death.
  6. If the people could really operate great evils, they were supposed to also be capable of great good deeds (but they are not).
  7. Most people lack critical thinking, seemingly operating with randomness.
  8. Sometimes it’s cheap to buy a judge.
  9. Don’t have children, unless you are capable of suffering with them.
  10. If someone has an opinion about you, don’t accept it unless you are sure that you should accept.
  11. Socrates accepted his sentence because he was being faithful to his principles, it was a matter of integrity.
  12. Don’t accept suggestions from those who don’t know better.
  13. If you accept those, you may ruin yourself or die.
  14. Being alive isn’t enough, if you don’t live well.
  15. If you don’t do anything without considering what others would think, one can wonder how your actions amount to.
  16. If acting unfairly is always wrong, then you should seek revenge from injustice by promoting injustice.
  17. You owe respect to the ruler of the nation you belong in.
  18. The law may submit you, but the law isn’t unchangeable and you should try to change them if you think they are unfair.
  19. If you dislike the laws in your place, move to another place.
  20. If you like your nation, you may want to improve it.

20 de janeiro de 2018

Notes on “Boys and Their Contacts With Men”.

Filed under: Livros, Notícias e política, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 16:30

“Boys on Their Contacts With Men: A Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships” was written by Theo Sandfort. Here are some notes on this book. They do not necessarily reflect my opinion on a given subject.

  1. Being born after the year 2000 means having a high chance of growing up unaware of studies regarding child sexuality.
  2. Sexuality begins in childhood.
  3. Society not only openly states that child sexuality does not exist, but also forbids itself from funding research on this subject and repudiates any independently conducted study on child sexuality (voluntary ignorance).
  4. There is no clinical area devoted to the minor’s sexual health, which is unacceptable, considering that minors are the biggest offenders of age of consent laws.
  5. There is a general shortage of studies on crucial areas of sexuality.
  6. Child sexual repression does have consequences in adult sexual life.
  7. Teenage crises, centered on puberty, would have less impact if the child had more freedom for his sexual expression, provided he did not express it self-destructively.
  8. As long as society continues to think that children are asexual, there will be no science to study child sexuality and consequently there will be no support, including clinical support, for the healthy sexual development of children.
  9. A minor-attracted person may look attractive to minors, so the attraction, for example, between adult and child is often reciprocal.
  10. What makes an adult attractive to a minor is the fact that the adult treats the child as equal.
  11. Attraction by minors is not choice; no one chooses to be attracted to much younger people.
  12. As there is no effective clinical treatment for homosexuality, there is no effective clinical treatment for pedophilia.
  13. There is also no hypothesis, evolutionary or not, that could explain why are there people who feel attracted to others who are much older or much younger.
  14. Any serious and impartial study in the area of intergenerational relationships or child sexuality is welcome, because it seems that there is not enough work on the subject.
  15. However, any research that does not use the terms “victim,” “perpretator,” or appears to be positive or favorable to such relationships, is viewed as “rationalizing” criminal behavior (although, if we were to think like that, homosexuality would never have been decriminalized), not to mention that the scientific community should not condemn someone for “rationalizing” anything.
  16. People expect that all minors in relationships with adults suffer and, when research concludes that it’s not always like that, people condemn the study as propaganda or poorly-conducted.
  17. It is easier for a study to conclude negatively if it only uses samples that feel abused because of those relationships, that is, you automatically close yourself to those who say “I liked it, I was not forced into it.”
  18. Critics say that the interviewed minors who say they have not suffered from their relationships are lying, but statistical studies with general samples almost always conclude that minors are not stressed or forced most of the times.
  19. The argument that power imbalance invalidates the minor’s consent is inconclusive.
  20. Other critics feel free to criticize without reading the book: “If he concludes that these relationships can be positive, he’s obviously wrong, so I won’t even bother to read it.”
  21. For some reason, when such work comes out, the only ones who reject it immediately are the Americans.
  22. Maybe it’s because it attacks foundations upon which many careers have been built (just remember what happened to poor Susan Clancy).
  23. The best research on sexuality in general is not done in the United States.
  24. There are a lot of eleven-year-olds who are sexually active, not caring if their relationships are illegal.
  25. AIDS is a huge problem, but you may often think it’s bigger than it actually is.
  26. If there are a lot of minors, including minors in relationships with adults, who are not infected with AIDS, whereas AIDS is mainly transmitted by penetration, we can conclude that those relationships are not penetrative most of the time.
  27. If child sexuality is not penetrative, it is unlikely that a child will acquire AIDS unless he is raped.
  28. If there are sexually active minors, especially if active in secret, then sex education is imperative, or these brats will get sick before they are eighteen.
  29. The book exposes the accounts of twenty-five boys who had sexual relationships with adult men.
  30. The debate on pedophilia in the 1970s was balanced: there were intellectuals on both sides, both against and favorable, meaning that relationships between adults and minors, provided they were not harmful to the minor, were not automatically associated with abuse.
  31. The author of the book admits that twenty-five is a very low number and that therefore the accounts exposed in the book can not be generalized.
  32. Most studies focus on negative cases, but this study focuses on positives cases, meaning the author will not talk about abuse here.
  33. The book closes with considerations about how the law should adapt so as not to punish positive relationships, limiting itself to punishing only harmful relationships.
  34. Our sexual opinions are unstable, they change over time.
  35. Relationships between adults and minors only became taboo in the 1980s (in Brazil, a sexual relationship involving children under the age of fourteen only became automatically criminal in 2009, with the new rape law).
  36. Power disparity does not make a relationship automatically abusive.
  37. An accusation isn’t a fact until proven.
  38. But a false accusation leaves it’s mark on public opinion, even after the accusation is proven false.
  39. The media played a central role in criminalizing child porn.
  40. But the media only began to behave that way because of the American movement to restore the purity and honor of the traditional family.
  41. This persecution has, therefore, religious roots, it’s not based on children’s welfare.
  42. It’s more a matter of protecting jobs, reaching feminist goals and maintaining religious values than actually thinking if the child is even being harmed.
  43. The gay movement back in seventies and eighties didn’t see intergenerational contact as fundamentally wrong.
  44. Abuse doesn’t need to take place in order to produce child porn.
  45. The right-wing gains followers when the economy is going bad.
  46. Part of the moral panic about pedophilia comes from the feminist reaction to the sexual revolution: people wanted sexual freedom without discussing in detail the issues of incest, harassment and rape, whose victims were almost always women and girls.
  47. At some point, it seemed like all men were potential rapists.
  48. The argument in favor of that worldview was the power disparity: men are stronger and more influential than women, so it would be too easy for him to abuse her if the laws became more sexually liberal (this is the same argument used against relationships between adults and minors).
  49. But it’s an argument without solid empirical or statistical ground.
  50. That climate established a nagging feeling that heterosexual sex is always exploitative.
  51. The feminism, in the eighties, instilled a sense of existential guilt in men themselves, who began to feel ashamed of their sex.
  52. As it seems that most pedophiles are men, feminism has attacked pedophilia as a manifestation of male sexual behavior.
  53. If power disparity wasn’t enough to keep heterosexual relationships between adults from happening, it was enough to interfere in a minoritary sexual behavior.
  54. “Power” took love’s place as the central concept of a relationship.
  55. Disparity has become synonymous with misuse (power disparity = misuse of power), as if a person of more power would necessarily abuse that power.
  56. The benefits of power disparity, such as identification and pedagogy, were denied.
  57. The problem of power disparity affects more than just sexual relationships, to the point of people becoming suspicious of any adult who nurtures friendships with children, as that friendship is also unequal.
  58. Feminism isn’t an unified movement, as it comes in different flavors, some more liberal than others.
  59. Not all feminists see sex as a source of anxiety.
  60. But feminists who are against age of consent laws are a minority.
  61. The moral panic towards pedophilia kills discussions about decriminalization (“they legalized gay marriage, so pedophilia is likely the next step” or “they legalized marijuana, so pedophilia must be the next step”).
  62. That’s the “spirit of our times”, which wasn’t that conservative in the sixties and seventies, and might become more liberal in the next decade.
  63. When the focus changes from love to force, sex becomes a source of anxiety and danger; you can easily go to jail for having sex, even if uncoerced and non-penetrative.
  64. Public policies tend to see sex as a threat.
  65. State is “reverting to it’s old role of moral dictator — and a feminist one at that.”
  66. “Looking for authority to the women’s emancipation movement, the vision of one small section of society is allowed to be our moral determinant” (it’s important to remind you that this book was written in the eighties).
  67. If sex is a danger, children are vulnerable.
  68. If we think that all men are potential rapists, we will end up thinking that all women are potential victims, and laws will adapt to that thought.
  69. No one looks at the victim to say “it was your fault”, so being a victim is generally safe.
  70. That worldview keeps women from coming to terms with their heterosexuality, as men are starting to deliberately decline involvement with women.
  71. To change that, it’s important to focus on the benefits that one can gain from a sexual relationship, not in the consequences of abuse, which doesn’t even happen most of the times.
  72. The sex negativity also affects youth.
  73. Feminism ruined sexual revolution.
  74. When you talk about sex with the tykes, you no longer talk about adventure or exploration, but you talk about protection against exploitation, but it was like that before, in the sixties, when even children felt that sex was a tool for personal fulfillment.
  75. The previous paradigm was freedom, but now it’s protection.
  76. Children need protection from abuse, but is the law doing a good job?
  77. If the paradigm is protection, children need to be as protected as possible, harming their maturing, bringing the need for more protection.
  78. That doesn’t mean lifting all protections, but to allow experimentation and gradual exposure, as well as openness.
  79. You shouldn’t teach that sex is an outside threat, but an inside nature.
  80. When it comes to sexuality, children’s sexual experiences are often ignored.
  81. The book’s goal is to attract attention to positive relationships between adults and children, because news aren’t being impartial by only showing negative relationships (for a possible reason why news do that, see “MAP Starting Guide“).
  82. A lot of homosexuals didn’t think those relationships were unethical or immoral by definition, back in the seventies.
  83. In Holland, there was a state doctor whose job was to listen to children’s sexual complaints, so that a child could go to him, tell the experience, be examined and then the doctor would file a charge if needed, that is, the child had someone to turn to in case of experiencing sex negatively.
  84. When Holland was debating age of consent reform, it listened to psychiatrists, jurists and social workers, before taking action.
  85. Society expects you to only have friends around your age.
  86. Because of that, adult/child relationships adapt to hostility, in order to continue with little meddling, despite being illegal if they take a sexual hue.
  87. The minors in this book met their adults through same age friends or through family members, in way that no bribery had to take place.
  88. Pedophiles seldom conform to the “creepy old man” stereotype.
  89. Minors often start the contact, even when the adult isn’t interested at first.
  90. Those relationships can start at random, without either party actively looking for friendship.
  91. The sexual aspect starts earlier if the minor is adolescent.
  92. At least in these twenty-five cases, no minor was forced.
  93. There are pedophiles among social workers, by the way.
  94. One of the reasons for starting and maintaining the relationships were common interests.
  95. Another reason was exclusive attention from an adult, whereas the minor had to share parental attention with his siblings at home.
  96. One of the interviewed boys say that you can only get that attention from an unrelated adult, unless you are the only child your parents have.
  97. Another reason was the freedom that those boys received from the adults, being allowed to decide things themselves.
  98. The climate at home may be overprotective.
  99. Another reason was having someone who could listen to you.
  100. There’s something in those adults that is lacking in the parents.
  101. Another reason was physical affection (such as hugs).
  102. Many adolescent boys would like to be hugged, but feel like it would be “sissy” to.
  103. Another reason could be family unstability (quarrelling parents and divorce).
  104. One of the minors said that he hated his father.
  105. “There can’t be any families worse than ours.”
  106. Even if those boys have no complaints about the sexual contacts with their adults, some of them report domestic physical abuse (which happens more often than sexual contact between adult and minor, with verbal abuse being even more common).
  107. The minors in this book were well-informed about who they could turn to in case of abuse and, even though they didn’t report the adults they were having contacts with, one of them filed a complaint against another adult for physical abuse (it seems like a Dutch kid, in the eighties, could file complaints if they were at least 12).
  108. However, most of the 25 minors were okay with their families and only a minority reported bad climate at home.
  109. Because of that, it’s incorrect to conclude that all children who seek attention from unrelated adults only do so because they don’t feel loved at home.
  110. However, they wouldn’t seek that attention without a reason.
  111. So, the family doesn’t need to be awful to make a child long for attention from unrelated adults, but an awful family increases the chance of a child longing for that, in a way that the adult/minor relationship continues for as long as the unrelated adult is capable of supplying the child with attention.
  112. Some of the parents knew that their children were sexually involved with unrelated adults, but didn’t stop the relationship.
  113. When the family climate is good, the minor in a relationship with an adult sees that relationship more like a “surplus”, than a need.
  114. Sex is completely secondary; the relationship between those adults and those boys would continue even if the sexual aspect became absent.
  115. If the relationship was purely sexual, the boys wouldn’t have continued it.
  116. The relationship between adult and minor isn’t simply a matter of sex, unless the adult is a situational offender.
  117. We don’t know for sure how often minors exchange sex for material goods, but it’s certain that it doesn’t happen all the time and that minors often have mutually desired sexual contact, without having material gain as goal.
  118. The need for attention is reduced as the child grows.
  119. A child from a loving family, but who still has a relationship with an unrelated adult, may still love his parents more than he loves his adult.
  120. When a minor attributes a great deal of importance to his adult, a legal rupture in the relationship creates the risk of psychological harm.
  121. While sexual intimacy isn’t the main reason why those relationships begin or continue, it’s still the main reason why those relationships face so much disapproval (it would be safer to abstain from sexual contact, then).
  122. When a person knows that there’s something sexual happening between an adult and a minor, the shock can be so great that they become unable to see the other aspects of the relationship.
  123. The author reminds us, again, that twenty-five is a small number and that the experiences of those minors can not be generalized (more research needed), and he doesn’t encourage any adult to actually have affairs with children.
  124. Some researchers say that adults gradually introduce minors into sexual practices, but the author says that it’s not always the case: some adult/minor relationships become sexual almost instantly.
  125. Less than half of the 25 minors waited for the adult to start the sexual contact.
  126. It’s possible to have sex without noticing it’s sex.
  127. Some minors lose their virginity with adults and don’t feel bad about that.
  128. A minor with previous experience is more inclined to start the contact.
  129. A minor may do something that the adult interprets as sexual, without having any faint idea that his behavior is enticing arousal.
  130. Clinical literature concludes differently, because it doesn’t deal with everyday cases, only with cases in which the person seeks treatment (if the minor enjoyed it, they won’t look for therapy, meaning that studies relying on clinical samples will only deal with negative encounters).
  131. The most common sexual act in those relationships is masturbation.
  132. The adults in those relationships didn’t feel okay with doing something that they knew the minor would dislike.
  133. That’s because those adults feel lust over the minor’s pleasure: if the minor isn’t enjoying it, then it’s no fun.
  134. There’s a number of adult/minor relationships that are devoid of sexual acts.
  135. Even in positive relationships, sexual contact can be undesired.
  136. The youngest of the twenty-five boys was less interested in sexual contact, but more interested in physical contact (hugs, feeling of safety and security).
  137. Some parents don’t talk about sex to their children, even if they become adults.
  138. Why should we complicate something that is so simple?
  139. Even with those twenty-five boys who report positive relationships, the sexual aspect was still cause of worry because of social environment, partner’s behavior and problems that could happen during the act.
  140. One of the minors had doubts about the sexual contact, because he felt like he could be homosexual.
  141. Those relationships are far from perfect and have problems that are often equivalent to the problems inherent to adult relationships.
  142. If a minor knows that those relationships are socially unacceptable, but enjoys them anyway, he will keep secret, even if the minor hates to keep secrets.
  143. If you have to hide, you are, of course, scared of discovery.
  144. One of the reasons to hide it is fear of getting a bad reputation.
  145. Another reason was, of course, fear of what the police would do.
  146. There are minors who dislike those laws.
  147. The minor could feel responsible for the adult’s arrest if the relationship is found out, he could feel like it’s his fault.
  148. Under what conditions it’s ethical to arrest someone who did no harm to anyone, specially if the arrest could cause damage to an also innocent third party?
  149. Sex crimes are punished without proportion.
  150. One of the minors said that the law doesn’t keep him from doing anything.
  151. Some parents become jealous of the minor’s adult.
  152. One of the minors stopped having sexual contacts with his adult after he found a girlfriend of his age.
  153. Power disparity is inherent to adult/minor relationships, but was it a problem in the 25 cases studied?
  154. Power disparity is inherent to almost all human relationships.
  155. If the adult in relationship with a minor is one of the minor’s parents (incest), the disparity is even greater and the child likely won’t have anyone to turn to in case of abuse.
  156. Power is relative.
  157. The relationship between parent and child is acceptable, despite unequal, because the child receives a great deal of benefit from that relationship.
  158. But other studies show that sexual adult/minor relationships often benefit the minor more than they benefit the adult.
  159. The closest thing to an adult/minor romance is a parent/child relationship.
  160. Power disparity can be used in benefit of the minor.
  161. There’s more power disparity in a chaste parent/child relationship than in an intergenerational romance, but families aren’t abolished because of that.
  162. A child can also exercise power, or we wouldn’t hear of parents being controlled by their offspring.
  163. If power disparity poses a problem even to friendship, then it’s impossible for any adult to befriend a child.
  164. Power disparity doesn’t always harm children.
  165. Minors admire and identify with adults, power disparity doesn’t scare them unless a violent intention is shown.
  166. It’s possible to recognize that someone is better than you without feeling humiliated.
  167. “Do this, or I’m telling the cops, you perv.”
  168. A minor who knows that those contacts are illegal and manages to have them (jailbait), can blackmail the adult.
  169. Presence of power, use of power and misuse of power are three different things.
  170. That doesn’t mean that misuse of power never happens, as it happens even between adults.
  171. Power disparity isn’t a reason to deny informed consent, as Finkelhor wants (according to Finkelhor, a child can not consent because the kid lacks information and lacks power, which supposedly renders the child unable to say “no”).
  172. The adult has the responsibility to keep the child from becoming dependant on him.
  173. To be fair, in some of the twenty-five cases there was some form of small coercion.
  174. Power abuse doesn’t always happens in adult/minor relationships.
  175. But power abuse often happens in parent/child dynamics.
  176. A minor can coerce an adult.
  177. Some minors continue despite being forbidden by their parents.
  178. The parents would feel twice as disgusted if the kid was going out with a same-sex adult (it would be both pedophilia and homosexuality).
  179. If a boy knows any adults whom aren’t known by his father, we have a problem…
  180. If it was an adult woman, maybe the father would be proud.
  181. A parent may kill the adult, rather than reporting.
  182. And the minor may find it unfair.
  183. If the adult knows some bad secret of the minor’s parents, he may use it as protection (“if you report me, I report you”).
  184. Parents fear that the minor may become homosexual.
  185. In practice, the minor has no right to voice his opinion.
  186. Minors in positive relationships feel that the legal obstacles are not needed.
  187. NVSH still exists, guys.
  188. Some parents think it’s “normal”, which is surprising.
  189. What the author knows about the parents was what the minors told him; he did not interview the parents.
  190. There are no studies about parents whose children have affairs with adults.
  191. Children often hide their sexuality from the parents.
  192. They prefer to discuss their sexuality among friends.
  193. That’s because they fear being punished by the parents and because they would see no reason for telling anyone if the relationship isn’t hurting them (a harmed child could tell the experience to their parents in the first opportunity, as the rapist can not stay around the child all the time to ensure secrecy).
  194. If the child isn’t enjoying or is scared, they will likely report the incident to parents or police.
  195. Parents often react with horror upon knowing that their child is involved with an adult, even if in a non-sexual manner.
  196. That could be because the parents feel that they “failed” in protecting or educating their child.
  197. Parents are afraid of talking about sex to their children, because they fear that their children would end up enjoying the subject (the problem is here is “tainting” the child’s innocence).
  198. But that may vary, as the parents’ reaction to the child’s sexual experience often reflect the parents’ own attitude towards sex.
  199. A sexually-repressed parent will be shocked upon knowing that his child has sexual feelings.
  200. Upon knowing that his child is in a relationship with an unrelated adult, the parent might feel that they failed at loving the child, but the parent will also project that guilt into the child and the unrelated adult.
  201. Most of the information you have about adult/minor relationships is wrong.
  202. A minor may hide his relationship as a way to exercise his autonomy (as if saying “it’s not your business”).
  203. It happens more often that you think.
  204. The minor in a relationship with an adult may cause jealousy in other minors (like that student who managed to go on a date with the teacher).
  205. It’s easier to ignore what your friends think about your affairs, but it’s harder to ignore what your parents think.
  206. A lot of those minors are scared of being called “gay” if the relationship was found out.
  207. Being with a girl can be disappointing.
  208. A same-sex relationship may escalate quicker and easier.
  209. Pedophile“, “child molester” and “rapist” are different things.
  210. Part of the rejection has religious roots.
  211. Love and lust are different things, that’s why we have sex with people we don’t love.
  212. One of the minors, despite being in a “positive” relationship with an adult, opposes to porn production.
  213. There are intergenerational relationships between adults (such as an young adult going out with a middle-aged or elder person).
  214. You can not generalize and say that “minors don’t want it”.
  215. How should the law change, in order to allow positive relationships and still punish the negative ones?
  216. At the end of the interviews, the boys didn’t contradict themselves, keeping the consistency of their answers.
  217. Despite judging the contacts as positive overall, the boys were also honest about their doubts and the negative aspects of the relationships.
  218. There’s no reason to assume that the 25 boys lied in both interviews.
  219. If you believe when a child says that they are suffering due to a sexual contact with an adult, but doesn’t believe when a child says that they didn’t suffer because of a sexual contact with an adult, you are being biased.
  220. This investigation doesn’t aim to generalize information obtained in such a small sample poll.
  221. But any study that relies on clinical or forensic samples should also drop any generalization goals: when you generalize a study conducted with clinical samples, it’s like going to the hospital, concluding that 94% of the patients are ill and then conclude that 94% of the world population is ill (that problem was never taken seriously until the Rind controversy took place).
  222. There are minors who do not suffer with those contacts, but we know that abuse does happen and no research can ever conclude that all minors regard those contacts as positive.
  223. There’s a lot of focus on sexually abused girls, but almost no focus on boys whatsoever.
  224. You can’t compare sex with drugs or alcohol, meaning that lowering age of consent, but not the drinking age, isn’t illogical: you are more likely to suffer from alcohol than sex.
  225. Child sexual repression harms sex life in adulthood.
  226. Being able to drive is a matter of skill and preparation, not age.
  227. Just like adults regret some relationships, it’s also possible for minors to regret what they did.
  228. A child who wasn’t traumatized by the sexual contact, may be traumatized by how the parents react upon finding it, and the trauma can be further developed if the incident ends in court.
  229. One of the reasons why we keep those relationships illegal is the belief that those contacts are inherently harmful.
  230. A minor who had a sexual contact in childhood can still grow perfectly normal, which can either mean that the experience had no negative impact on him or, if it had a negative impact, the impact was overcome.
  231. Intrinsic harm is a myth.
  232. What causes the damage is force; without force, the risk of trauma is minimal.
  233. The minor should judge the contact, not the therapist.
  234. When those interviews happened, all those adults who were in relationships with those minors were, obviously, criminals.
  235. When those interviews happened, you couldn’t stay in jail for sex with minors for more than six years, in Holland (in Brazil, the same crime would earn you fifteen years of jail time, meaning that our own Penal Code enables the collapsing of the prison system).
  236. Those laws also prosecute minors in relationship with other minors.
  237. Age of consent laws, in Holland, are around 200-years-old, rendering them relatively “new”, compared to laws against murder or theft.
  238. Children are considered innocent since 17th Century, it wasn’t always like that.
  239. The state should not be worried about people’s morals, state is not church.
  240. The sexual revolution could begin when the church didn’t have as much power as it had before.
  241. The growing sexual tolerance back then reflected in the justice system: people found in relationships with minors were seldom prosecuted.
  242. Age of consent should adapt to the current society and current youth: a more empowered and informed youth requires a lower age of consent (Brazil recently tried to lower age of consent from 14 to 12, but the protestant lobby stopped the proposal).
  243. Oddly enough, one of the groups that advocated age of consent abolishment in Holland was the Protestant Alliance for Child Protection, which argued that the normal rape laws, which punish only negative contacts, were enough.
  244. There’s no scientific proof that sexual contacts between adults and children are harmful in themselves, but there’s a lot of evidence that harm comes from pain, force or shame, which aren’t inherent to the contact (meaning that there’s no intrinsic harm).
  245. No need to punish a harmless contact.
  246. If you see a better way to deal with the situation, then don’t arrest anyone.
  247. It’s illogical to apply a punishment that causes more harm than the punished act.
  248. Laws should be clear.
  249. Voluntary sexual contact is usually harmless (ever played doctor when you were a kid?).
  250. The minor has the right for sexual self-determination and those laws are interferring with that right.
  251. If you have a sexual contact with a minor and then you notice that you could get away with it if the child is never found again, wouldn’t you be tempted to kill the child?
  252. The minor shouldn’t be legally impotent.
  253. Freedom shouldn’t be limited without a good reason.
  254. However, desired relationships are still forbidden, as long as at least one of the parties is under age 14 (in Brazil, that is, as I’m also using my context).
  255. The most frequent reason among the proponents of age of consent is the power disparity: it supposs that a relationship needs equality to work, while children and adults are not equal, specially when it comes to mental aspects.
  256. Another reason would be that minors often don’t think about the consequences of their acts (even though one can ask what are those horrible consequences).
  257. Another reason is that allowing children to have sexual contacts freely, as long it’s harmless and uncoerced, is still a violation of parental authority.
  258. The individual freedom of accepting or rejecting affection must be protected.
  259. The law must not make decisions without consulting science.
  260. When the law criminalizes too many behaviors, more and more people become willing to ignore it as a joke.
  261. Punishing a harmless act isn’t protection.
  262. Is the law still capable of reflecting reality?
  263. Even if those acts remain illegal, the penalty is still far too high.
  264. If the contact is motivated by material benefit (child prostitution), it should still be criminal.
  265. The law must be written in a way to promote neutrality, but ambiguous terms (such as “grooming” or “seduction”) work against that neutrality.
  266. It makes more sense to apply age of consent laws to penetration only, while other sexual acts would only be forbidden if forced or in case of physical harm.
  267. Do minors have the right to have sexual experiences?
  268. A law that is motivated by morality is often authoritary, criminalizing without explaining why.
  269. One of the reasons for the existence of age of consent is the belief that we can’t always prove if the act was coerced or not (“better safe than sorry”).
  270. But minors are becoming sexually active and sexually informed at a quicker pace nowadays, so we can’t presume that violence took place, specially because kids are seeking those contacts earlier and earlier at every passing generation.
  271. Adults often seen precocious maturing as self-destructive (“willing children must be protected from themselves”).
  272. Positioning yourself as favorable to lowering or abolishing age of consent could make you lose voters.
  273. Back when the proposal was being discussed in Holland, there were people favorable to giving a child the right for euthanasia, but not the right to be sexually active.
  274. Media played a role in making people regard age of consent reform as lunacy, by promoting a scare, making people believe that kids would soon have unlimited sexual freedom.
  275. A careful proposal made by scientists who noticed that the law no longer conformed to reality was no match for a public emotional reaction, meaning that emotions are the root of social changes, not science.
  276. Prosecuting is not always the best solution.
  277. Prosecution should be last resort.
  278. What the law currently does is to threaten the minor.
  279. In the twenty-five cases studied by the author, there was nothing in those relationships that could justify legal punishment, except for the violation of public moral standards.
  280. There must be a way to protect against sexual abuse without keeping the kid from having positive experiences.
  281. If someone is gossiping you, pretend you don’t know.
  282. People judge you if you are the only good player in a bad soccer team.
  283. Thinking about school and thinking in school are different things.
  284. One of the kids has no complaints about the sexual contact, but really fears a nuclear war.
  285. At least one of the minors was in a relationship with more than one adult.
  286. At least one of the minors thinks he is not “normal” for going on with the relationship, rather than stopping it.
  287. There are minors who desire older people.
  288. Having a girlfriend may imply loss of freedom.
  289. People may think you are unhealthy for choosing the “single man” lifestyle.
  290. When you are young and is seen with an adult of your same sex, you are more likely to be called a “queer” than a “victim”.
  291. Some minors get involved with adults because it’s “fun” to do things that people think are wrong.
  292. Some parents allow the relationship to continue, as long as they know the adult and see that he is someone worth being trusted.
  293. Other adults may know about the relationship and still not interfere (then again, this is Holland, in the eighties).
  294. A minor who willingly gets in a relationship with an adult may very well not be the only one; other children may be having affairs with adults in the same area.
  295. If you hang out with homosexuals, people might think you are homosexual yourself, which may be a problem depending on how tolerant is the environment.

12 de janeiro de 2018

Notes on “Confessions”.

Filed under: Livros, Passatempos — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 10:33

“Confessions” was written by Augustine. Below are some notes I made about his text. They aren’t quotations and may not reflect my views on a given subject.

  1. It seems like some people can’t function without having a religion.
  2. To talk about a god without knowing that god risks you to talk about the wrong god.
  3. God punishes.
  4. But God also forgives.
  5. If God is the wisest being in existence, disagreeing with him is being wrong (that doesn’t exclude the possibility of misinterpretation).
  6. A baby can’t have his desires completely fulfilled, because he can’t communicate his needs through words.
  7. Is a fetus an being on it’s own or part of the mother’s body?
  8. Time is a never-ending “today”.
  9. Children aren’t innocent.
  10. Children are capable of envy, aggression and other things, which puts the concept of innocence in question.
  11. We often don’t remember our childhood, but we sure did a lot of embarrassing stuff as children.
  12. How can we care if children are innocent or not, if we often can’t remember a time when we were “innocent“?
  13. We are start learning to speak through observation, thanks to need for communication.
  14. We can’t punish a child for not being able to learn something if they aren’t mature enough to understand.
  15. Coerced work is inferior to really voluntary work.
  16. If you want to get someone to accept your ideas, you aren’t supposed to do that by force.
  17. An immoderate soul hurts itself.
  18. Grammar, obviously, is more important than fiction literature.
  19. Learning a second language is hard because you usually have to rely on artificial terms to learn it, while the first language is learned at home in an easy-going manner.
  20. It’s much better to learn by curiosity than by being intimated to.
  21. At school, you learn a lot of stuff that you won’t ever use.
  22. Attributing human vices to gods is an attempt at making humans look less hateful.
  23. Bad behavior in adults is the same as bad behavior in children, just in different scale.
  24. By saying the the Kingdom of God belongs to children, says Augustine, Jesus is using children as a metaphor for being humble, rather than talking about inherent innocence.
  25. Love and lust may present themselves as the same thing.
  26. A married person can’t fully commit to other things.
  27. A teacher not always cares about your development as person.
  28. There’s cultural pressure upon men for libidinous acts.
  29. A thief also doesn’t want to have their belongings stolen.
  30. A person can commit a crime because it’s thrilling.
  31. It’s possible to love “too much”, when your love makes you do bad things.
  32. If you commit a crime for a good cause, it’s still a crime, though it’s also more worth being forgiven.
  33. Some crimes are easier or more fun to commit if you are in group.
  34. Gratuitous (senseless) bad behavior is like tickling: it’s fun, but you don’t know why.
  35. Blind love can stimulate us to lie to the loved person, in order to appear to be something that you are not, going out of your way just so they can like you.
  36. Loving implies taking the risk of jealousy.
  37. It’s disturbing that we tend to like tragedies (when they happen to someone else).
  38. Maybe that’s because we feel empathy over those who suffer.
  39. Philosophy isn’t always anti-religion.
  40. Fiction, as long as it’s seen as fiction, is not something to worry about.
  41. “Image and resemblance of God” isn’t at all physical appearance.
  42. Evil is lack of good.
  43. Absence is an evil.
  44. There’s a type of virtue implied in every act.
  45. A person can do bad things if they believe it’s a commission from God.
  46. The problem of astrology is that people attribute the responsibility of their acts to the stars.
  47. People often learn astrology because it’s fun, not because it’s useful.
  48. If astrology does something right, it was luck.
  49. Don’t place all of your love into something perishable, such as a friend or lover, because you will be devastated if that person dies.
  50. Crying is comforting, like a pain-killer, but it can be addictive.
  51. A lover must be ready for an eventual death of the loved one.
  52. A person can defend an idea that they actually don’t believe in, to be better accepted.
  53. It’s unlikely that you would be able to explain God rationally.
  54. You can’t run away from God.
  55. Religion and science aren’t mutually exclusive.
  56. Divine knowledge is more important.
  57. A person can speak like a researcher in order to make his lie pass as acceptable.
  58. “The letter kills, but the spirit vitalizes” isn’t literal.
  59. We often have to believe in things that we don’t fully understand, such as medical prescription, unless we are trained in medicine.
  60. How can I know if my parents are really my parents, if I don’t remember anything about the day I was born?
  61. Getting drunk may be tempting, but that’s a shameful kind of joy.
  62. Nonetheless, it’s better being happy and drunk, than building your happiness onto criminal things, because a drunk person, for a short while, has nothing to worry about, while a criminal is often worried about the police.
  63. A lot of people turn to religion for fear of death.
  64. If we define God as someone who isn’t incorruptible, then we should verify if an incorruptible thing really exists.
  65. Fear is evil, so, if you fear, evil exists.
  66. If twins are born under the same astrological configuration, see if their fate or personality traits are the same.
  67. Species are put in a hierarchy.
  68. Corruption happens due to a disturbance in a person’s “amount of good” (in this case, it could be health).
  69. Existence is good, so, if someone is deprived from all good, they disappear (die).
  70. The Bible is a text that can be interpreted in several ways, so it’s natural that some seem more logical than others.
  71. Paul’s doctrine has similarities with Platonism.
  72. Having money and wealth as life goal can make your life tedious.
  73. Not everyone can withstand marriage.
  74. When you find something that was lost, the joy is always bigger than the joy of always having something, because, when you find something that was lost, you both feel happy for finding it and experience immediate relief from pain.
  75. When important people are converted to a faith, more people feel encouraged to join too, that’s why new religions aim to convert celebrities.
  76. Feeling unsure isn’t the same as having two souls or two minds.
  77. Life isn’t always a battle between good and evil, because we sometimes have to choose between two equally evil things.
  78. The religious chant is a way to push sadness and boredom away, to make meetings more tolerable.
  79. A person can be perverted by praise, even if it’s praise coming from friends.
  80. Body can resurrect.
  81. It doesn’t matter where you are buried after you die.
  82. If a person had a good life and died peacefully, there’s no need to feel sorrow; it’s more of a matter of slowly adapting to the person’s absence.
  83. We cry a lot over things of less importance, but also are often indifferent to tragedies.
  84. You should confess your sins to God, but particularly, not to someone else, in a selected place, like how confession is currently done.
  85. It’s impossible to fully know someone else, specially because we often don’t know ourselves completely either.
  86. God was here first.
  87. There’s a way to escape every temptation.
  88. Reason is supposed to interpret what we see, hear or feel.
  89. People bow to the things they created, such as money, submitting themselves to it and submitting the next generations as well.
  90. Isn’t possible to get close to God without the use of reason.
  91. Almost everything that we have in memory came from our five senses.
  92. Our memories are interpretations of what we once felt and may not reflect what we actually felt.
  93. A sensation leaves an impression, which we can recall even when that sensation is absent.
  94. Language depend on memory.
  95. The mind can copy concepts that are in another mind, without having experienced what that mind experienced, through means of teaching and learning.
  96. We can work with math even when concrete elements are absent.
  97. “Spirit” can stand for “memory”, depending on the context.
  98. Recalling emotions won’t necessarily make us relive those emotions.
  99. Memory is a big mystery.
  100. The ability to think is proof that we are alive, because we can’t think if we don’t exist.
  101. Memory isn’t exclusive to humans.
  102. How can we define something we don’t feel, such as happiness?
  103. If happiness as concept exists in memory, then we felt it once.
  104. Different people define happiness differently, but what those definitions have in common?
  105. It seems like happiness is related to joy, which is something that we feel.
  106. If you learn something good, you can say that you learned something divine.
  107. Not all pleasures are forbidden.
  108. Gluttony is harder to avoid than lust, because you, naturally, eat more often than you have sex, obviously.
  109. We aren’t fully aware of our weaknesses, as no one can fully known themselves.
  110. A person can do something because they are curious, despite knowing it’s frowned upon.
  111. Sensuality, curiosity and pride are three common sources of sin.
  112. A person can only enjoy a praise if they are praised for something they want to be praised for.
  113. If you claim that you hate boasting, you are already boasting.
  114. If nothing exists, then you create.
  115. God sees the time as an eternal present, rather than sectioning it into past, present and future.
  116. Time can be infinitely divided.
  117. If you claim to be able to measure past (which is gone) or future (which hasn’t come yet), then you are claiming that nothingness can be measured.
  118. Past and future only exist in the present, as memory and anticipation.
  119. Still, speaking about before and after, if it’s needed for communication, isn’t a bad thing to do.
  120. Time is the way humans measure movements (in the sense of change from a state to another).
  121. Is it possible to know how long the present lasts?
  122. While it’s not possible to know how long the present lasts, we can measure how long events that take place in present last.
  123. Explaining a discovery is easier than actually discovering something.
  124. God’s not in a literal “sky”.
  125. God creates the sky twice in Genesis, but Augustine says that the first sky is the Heaven, where God inhabits, with the second sky being the one above our heads.
  126. Genesis can not be understood in a single way, so it’s natural that people would arrive at different conclusions about it.
  127. “God’s spirit floated over the water”, but there’s no mention in the Genesis about where that water came from (Genesis 1:1-2).
  128. To understand creation isn’t the same as understanding what Moses wrote.
  129. We can’t verify which interpretation of Genesis is correct.
  130. It’s only natural for different people to arrive at different conclusions about the same text.
  131. What you conclude from a text can change as you grow older.
  132. Even if something can exist without having a shape, you can’t give a shape to something that does not exist.
  133. Weight not always pulls an object down (for example, if something is lighter than the air, it will float).
  134. God gifts people with abilities that are useful to the community.
  135. If you aren’t aggressive, you will likely be loved.
  136. You can’t take the Genesis literally.
  137. It’s hard for non-intellectual people to appreciate spiritual or intellectual things.
  138. A text that doesn’t expresses it’s ideas using time measures (past, present, future) won’t be understood.
  139. Worshiping is thanking.

27 de dezembro de 2017

Notes on “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”.

Filed under: Livros, Passatempos — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 21:58
  1. Love for humanity can isolate you from it, if you love it too much.
  2. You may end up helping others to make your life harder.
  3. The loner is seen with suspicion.
  4. A person can be isolated due to religious fanaticism.
  5. A person may turn to religion after being disappointed with humanity.
  6. The modern human isn’t the final step in evolution.
  7. Other people are not interested in improving themselves.
  8. If we evolve, maybe we look back and notice that we were acting foolish.
  9. In many ways, we are worse than monkeys.
  10. Do not forget about this world.
  11. The belief that the soul is empowered by weakening and submitting the body is wrong.
  12. Neglecting the body, rather than using it for good purposes, is a sign of a weak soul.
  13. Maybe you become bored of your reason, your happiness or your morals.
  14. Can happiness really justify our existence?
  15. We can’t have knowledge about everything.
  16. A man is a rope stretched over an abyss, between animal and his next evolutionary step.
  17. The human being must be surpassed; it’s not the last evolutionary step.
  18. If it’s not possible for you to make that change happen all at once, at least help out.
  19. It’s better to act without expecting gratitude.
  20. If you speak about the far future, it’s unlikely that you will be understood by people who live here and now.
  21. The shining star comes from the chaos inside.
  22. Work is also distraction.
  23. If you think differently from others in your community, you may be called a lunatic.
  24. The soul dies before the body.
  25. Maybe you feel that life is not worth living if it doesn’t continue after death, but focus on living your life in a fulfilling manner.
  26. Human life is devoid of meaning, except for the evolution to the next step.
  27. When you defend a controversial idea and people laugh at you, feel glad for being laughed at, rather than killed off.
  28. But if they laugh, you should continue despite it, if you feel that what you have to say has any value.
  29. It’s better to talk to friends, rather than to the general population.
  30. Make your friends think differently and maybe your friends make others think differently.
  31. The loner must find other loners.
  32. Animals can be less dangerous than people.
  33. A good night of sleep is one of the goals of a virtuous life.
  34. Those who are excessively worried with their hours of sleep are forgetting to stay awake.
  35. If you are suffering, you feel pleasure upon forgetting the suffering.
  36. Beliving in other worlds is madness; there’s only one world and it’s this one.
  37. The body and the earth, both deserve respect.
  38. Live in the real world.
  39. “Heal yourselves, dominate yourselves, build a more powerful body!”
  40. The atheist should have mercy on the religious person.
  41. Do not harm yourself; heal your body.
  42. To neglect one’s own body is a sign of suicidal tendency.
  43. It can also be a sign of envy towards those who have better bodies.
  44. Evolving yourself also means evolving your body.
  45. Virtues are born from passion.
  46. A chronic sufferer finds salvation in a quick death.
  47. Everyone wants to do something illegal or disgusting.
  48. Fantasize, act on the fantasy and being caught acting on a fantasy are three different things.
  49. The best texts were the ones written with the author’s blood.
  50. Only a fighter can love the wisdom.
  51. There’s a hint of madness in love and bit of reason in madness.
  52. We can be affected by forces that we don’t see, but that are felt, nonetheless.
  53. When you reach the top, you are likely alone in there.
  54. Plus, a lightning may strike you while you are at the top.
  55. That lightning often is a person who happens to be better than you.
  56. A person who preaches against the body and says that true life is afterlife, probably sees this life as a constant temptation, thus experimenting life in a limited manner.
  57. It’s weird that a person like that doesn’t conclude that it would be nice to suicide or to kill others as an act of “mercy” or “love”.
  58. Those people not only preach against their own lives, but also against the lives of those who aren’t even born yet.
  59. Work allows us to forget about ourselves.
  60. No sense in having peace after being crushed; peace must come from victory.
  61. Young women like beautiful, nice guys, but it’s not always a good idea to be beautiful or nice.
  62. Be the best possible, even if it costs you women’s approval.
  63. All good warriors are ready to die.
  64. The state can lie.
  65. The state isn’t the people.
  66. The state can offend laws and customs.
  67. An atheist can religiously obey the state.
  68. The state can pose as an idol and demand worshiping.
  69. The state is maintained by people that make no historical difference.
  70. The state can willingly kill it’s people.
  71. The state can steal your belongings.
  72. The less one has, the less one is possessed.
  73. Humans must evolve in a way to not need government.
  74. A person who can not debate will resort on violence and won’t accept impartiality.
  75. The greatest products of human spirit aren’t always noticed by ordinary people.
  76. Cowards are cunning.
  77. If something stimulates too much thinking, it is viewed with suspicion.
  78. A person may forgive your mistakes, but it doesn’t mean they will forgive your qualities.
  79. They treat you like a victim, so you can see your flaws as qualities and your qualities as flaws.
  80. When you are good at something, you end up surrounded by envious people.
  81. Go where the weak can not go.
  82. Chastity may become a vice.
  83. Being chaste is a matter of personal aptitude and shouldn’t be forced onto someone.
  84. The friend ensures that a loner won’t waste his life talking to himself.
  85. We build friendships with people like us, who have a relationship of equality with us.
  86. The variation in our concepts of good and bad are also a survival resource.
  87. What’s acceptable in other cultures may be repugnant here.
  88. A community is already dying when one of it’s members becomes selfish.
  89. Love and hate are the driving force behind every virtue.
  90. You may feel better about yourself after calling someone just to hear them say good things about you.
  91. Your self-esteem increases when other people think good things about you.
  92. Solitude is intolerable for people with low self-esteem.
  93. A large group may feel tempted to kill people from other groups.
  94. Allow the future to be your present cause.
  95. It doesn’t matter what you are free from, but what you are free to do.
  96. The more you succeed, the more they hate you.
  97. If men are children, then many children have women as favorite toys.
  98. Better than humiliating your foe, make them see that their hate is actually making you stronger.
  99. Disapproval is better than insisting in making the other see his mistake, when he doesn’t want to see it.
  100. Before having children, ask yourself if you can raise them.
  101. If you can’t be a good father, you have no right to have children.
  102. A father did a good job when the child becomes better than himself.
  103. Marriage was supposed to be an agreement to make a child who surpasses the parents, but marriage is seldom seen as such.
  104. Some marriages end so badly that one can wonder if marriage is really a blessing from God.
  105. A bad marriage hurts the child.
  106. You never know who you are marrying.
  107. A lot of feelings are mistaken for love.
  108. Some people don’t really love each other, but only find out after marrying.
  109. Sometimes, the heart ages faster than the brain, but other times it’s the opposite.
  110. Gold is as useless as it’s valuable, just like some virtues.
  111. The future of the species is priority.
  112. It’s hard for a loving person to not tend to a loved one, when such is needed.
  113. When you are told that the good deeds that you received from someone are socially unacceptable, you may feel ashamed of having received those good deeds.
  114. Nothing is immune to change.
  115. It’s unfair to have just a little fun.
  116. A person can feel hurt for receiving help.
  117. It’s hard to shut the yap, that’s why it’s hard to live in community.
  118. If you don’t tame your heart, you will lose your head.
  119. A person who causes suffering may very well be seeking compensation for their own suffering.
  120. Don’t try to be virtuous expecting payment for that.
  121. A “virtuous” person may be acting on self-interest, such as desire for approval, even if that means losing contact with reality.
  122. A mother doesn’t seek payment for loving her son.
  123. Virtue must be in yourself, not in your image.
  124. Acting virtuously can also be a dissimulate way to receive approval by bashing others.
  125. Virtuous behavior can be used as cover to hide true feelings, in order to achieve acceptance.
  126. For some, virtue is a license to judge others.
  127. There’s no consensus on what “virtue” is.
  128. There’s no such thing as “uninterested good deed”.
  129. It’s possible to twist a word’s meaning by repeated misuse.
  130. We aren’t equal, but should be treated with justice.
  131. There are intellectuals who are there just to say “amen” to the status quo, even when they know that the status quo is problematic.
  132. The most praised intellectuals are those who work to validate the prejudices of their historical context.
  133. A person who thinks differently enrages the mob.
  134. The mob hates the men that are, in the end, the only responsible for human evolution, like Galileo was hated for showing that everyone, but him, was wrong.
  135. People’s voice isn’t God’s voice (you just need to remember that the people wanted Jesus to die).
  136. Politicians may manipulate science to validate their own morals.
  137. If science wants to progress, it needs to be ammoral, rather than being scared of public outrage.
  138. If you need to submit to someone, submit to the person who finds you useful.
  139. Philosophy isn’t poetry, let alone poorly-written poetry.
  140. Some crimes are worse than murder.
  141. Every day is sacred, don’t wait for the “proper time” to do anything.
  142. You can not “want to exist”.
  143. You can love something more than you love your own life.
  144. Our concepts of “good” and “evil” aren’t absolute.
  145. Life is a war between preferences.
  146. Beauty is power in it’s visible form.
  147. You can be capable of all sorts of evil things, but you are demanded to act correctly.
  148. One can laugh out of fear.
  149. Do not repeat with your children the mistakes that your parents did to you.
  150. A person may be convinced that he should ignore earthly pleasures, but his guts will never be convinced of it.
  151. An ascetic person with short willpower will very often feel ashamed.
  152. Desiring something, but saying that the virtuous thing to do is to not do it, can be understood as hipocrisy: you say it’s “virtuous”, but only because you know that satisfaction is impossible, so you glorify your incapacity, saying it’s “the right thing to do” (sour grapes, implying that they wouldn’t think about virtue if they could have what they wanted).
  153. You need to tell the truth to hipocrites.
  154. If adults don’t think you are wise, try your luck with children.
  155. A person who speaks in complex words isn’t necessary a deep thinker.
  156. The huge revolutions start silently.
  157. Church is a kind of state.
  158. State is hipocrite.
  159. State regards itself as the most important thing in the world.
  160. When you say something and the person reacts violently, that might be because they know you are right.
  161. A person may be so tired and unenthusiatic to the point of not having enough motivation to leave the bed, grab a knife and kill themselves.
  162. A vice may not develop on a person if that person didn’t learn to run.
  163. Punishment is revenge, often named “justice”.
  164. A person may speak to themselves in one way, but speak to others in a different way.
  165. It’s not the height that scares you, but the possibility of falling from there.
  166. To remain pure in a crowd is like coming out clean from dirty water.
  167. You can’t give a definite judgement on someone if you can’t give a definite judgement about yourself.
  168. Trying to reach a goal alone may be easier than ordering others towards that same goal.
  169. The best leaders have no shame over their decisions, just like children.
  170. A person can have mature ideas, but that doesn’t mean they have maturity to apply those ideas.
  171. Guessing (instinct) isn’t the same as concluding (logic).
  172. Sometimes you hear the Devil’s doctrine from the mouth of a pastor.
  173. The benefit of solitude can only be felt once you are done mourning over the friends you abandoned.
  174. Don’t run after women and happiness will run after you.
  175. Our concepts of good and evil are fading clouds in the skies of mankind.
  176. People do not forgive those who are not envious of those who live the standard way of life.
  177. People may talk about you without thinking about you.
  178. If a person doesn’t have time for you, don’t waste your time with them.
  179. Every praise is a demand for more.
  180. Those who walk slowly can become a problem to those who want to go fast.
  181. Humility, for as long as motivated by fear of being harmed by others, is cowardice.
  182. Men train each other like humans train dogs.
  183. Mediocrity is sometimes mistakenly called “moderation”.
  184. Can a person who doesn’t love himself truly love someone else?
  185. It’s better to suffer than to idolize.
  186. Some people lie for sake of love.
  187. Someone’s contempt can be despicable.
  188. Move to a place where your love is acceptable.
  189. There are people who pray to flee from the responsibility to act.
  190. There are secret communities everywhere, even if those communities aren’t made of humans.
  191. You can’t pretend that it’s “wise” to do something that you know is useless.
  192. There’s a difference between solitude and abandonment.
  193. Voluptuousness and the desire for dominance are not necessarily bad.
  194. Voluptuousness is only bad for ascetics, celibates and people who like to flee from pleasure.
  195. For all others, voluptuousness is like a wine: tastes good, is healthy and can be taken in decent amount.
  196. Desire for dominance is linked to dissatisfaction with reality, to rejection of half-baked answers.
  197. Do not bow, like a slave, to the opinions of others.
  198. Don’t be ashamed of yourself.
  199. Society doesn’t want children to love themselves for what they are.
  200. Life is hard because humans evolved that way; we are paying the price of poor choices made by our ancestors (which aren’t an excuse to accept things the way they are, rather than changing it).
  201. Do not accept everything, do not reject everything.
  202. Those who want to be loved without giving love back are human-shaped parasites.
  203. It’s not wise to accept as gift something you can get by yourself.
  204. Those who can not give orders to themselves must accept orders from others.
  205. And there are those who can order, but don’t know how to obey.
  206. If you don’t tell the truth, you aren’t really being “nice” at all.
  207. Truth hurts.
  208. Good and evil aren’t solid concepts for humans.
  209. Humanity doesn’t work well with concepts between two extremes; historically, it goes back and forth from an extreme to another.
  210. If something needs to be bought, it doesn’t have a lot of value.
  211. It doesn’t matter where you come from, but where you are looking at.
  212. The best people aren’t invincible.
  213. If you are unsatisfied with the world, you aren’t excused of changing it.
  214. You live in this world.
  215. New moral values can be just as wrong as the old moral values.
  216. How can someone say “I’m tired of this world” and still feel scared of the death?
  217. Being “tired of this world” is a cool lifestyle.
  218. You don’t need to declare war to someone who is meaningless.
  219. Nowadays, spying on someone’s life is part of living in a “good neighborhood”.
  220. Marriage shouldn’t be a rushed decision.
  221. If you no longer love your wife, get a divorce, as it’s better than cheating on her secretely.
  222. Marriage can be hell.
  223. Nothing wrong in admitting it when your marriage is going downhill.
  224. Marriage is a decision that should be planned and thought out before being taken.
  225. If you can’t have children that can surpass you, it’s better to not have children at all.
  226. The human being is the most cruel animal in existence.
  227. A person can be cruel to other humans, but also to their very selves, as if finding pleasure through self-imposed suffering, seeing the suffering as a source of pride.
  228. The soul isn’t immortal.
  229. If I were to live in a desert island and share the place with another person, just us two, I would need to learn to love that person.
  230. If a person loves you because of your wisdom, they will stop loving you if you turn dumb.
  231. Doing something crazy may be better than doing nothing at all.
  232. Random things happen.
  233. If you don’t live in society, of course you won’t know social norms, and many people would rather live without having to care about social norms.
  234. High society is just a polished, golden variation of the same old archetypes found in working class.
  235. The working class is healthier than the “golden”, sedentary class in many senses.
  236. The working class, if it’s really better, should rule the nation.
  237. Working class isn’t the same as medium class.
  238. A bad king can still be taken in high regard because of the family he descends from.
  239. It’s a tragedy when the wisest men aren’t the nation’s rulers.

  240. There are people who need to lie in order to keep their life style.
  241. Depriving a religous person from their deity doesn’t free that person.
  242. The weak is not supposed to be the only one to give moral judgement.
  243. Wealth was never a reliable sign of evil; a rich person and a poor person can be equally perverse.
  244. Sometimes it’s safer in jail.
  245. A person can be taken for wise without being intelligent.
  246. It’s dangerous for the loner to go to a public place without being prepared.
  247. It’s useless to speak to everyone when no one wants to listen.
  248. The normal, everyday man doesn’t believe that people can evolve.
  249. “We are all equal” has become an excuse for conformism.
  250. We shouldn’t restrict ourselves to thinking how to survive as men, but also how to become something better than what we currently are.
  251. The essential isn’t enough for some people.
  252. Being human isn’t the top of evolution scale; we should become super-human.
  253. There are causes that are more valuable than survival.
  254. It’s better to live your life the way you please than living your life the way people tell you to.
  255. If you have a heart, tame your fear.
  256. If you suffer for yourself, you are weak, but that’s not the case when you suffer for the whole mankind.
  257. Submit the lightning that could kill you.
  258. Discernment is not a popular virtue.
  259. Unfounded belief can not be destroyed by reason, so resort on emotion.
  260. Ordinary people are suspicious of reason.
  261. Not lying isn’t the same as loving the truth.
  262. What you love most, that’s where your virtue comes from.
  263. Don’t try to be virtuous beyond your capacity.
  264. Don’t try something knowing it will go wrong.
  265. If you aren’t finding a reason to laugh, you are not looking in the right spots.
  266. It’s better to become mad from happiness than mad from sadness.
  267. Some people praise chastity because chastity can be sexy.
  268. We are scared of animals, even that one animal that lives within.
  269. It’s also innocence when you don’t know what innocence even is.
  270. Wisdom can lead someone to behave abnormally.
  271. Accepting the good things that life has to offer implies accepting the pain that life can also inflict.

25 de dezembro de 2017

Psychological damage.

About Psychological Damage

A short reply to Doobious Wolf.

Written by me for the readers of Analecto, in hopes of someone showing this to Doobious Wolf.

Resumo.

Em resposta a Doobious Wolf, tento esclarecer por que temos a sensação de dano intrínsceco à relações sexuais entre adultos e menores. Acontece que relações entre adulto e menor não seguem padrões de resultado, isto é, não terminam todas da mesma forma e que, portanto, é um mito sustentar que todas as crianças que se relacionaram com adultos manifestarão os mesmos sintomas. Em adição, crianças que tiveram essas relações e as descrevem como positivas podem ter uma boa memória convertida em razão de ansiedade pela necessidade de esconder o ocorrido e também pela vergonha que acompanha o ato. No entanto, esse é um fenômeno cultural que não é facilmente observado em sociedades mais liberais como o Brasil ou sociedades indígenas isoladas. Donde decorre que só há dano intrínsceco à relações negativas, mas sintomas negativos podem aparecer em pessoas com experiências positivas porque o meio em que vivem rejeita essas relações (vitimização secundária).

Abstract.

In response to Doobious Wolf, I try to clarify why do we feel that there’s intrinsic harm to sexual relationships between adults and minors. What actually happens is that adult-minor relationships don’t follow outcome patterns, that is, they don’t always have the same effect on the minor and, because of that, it’s a myth that all children who had a relationship with an adult will show the same symptoms. Plus, children who had those relationships and regard them as positive can still have a positive memory turned into a source of anxiety due to the need to hide and due to the shame that comes with the act. However, that’s a cultural phenomenon that isn’t easily observed in Brazil or isolated indigenous societies. From which we draw that there’s intrinsic harm only to negative relationships, but negative symptoms may appear on people with positive experiences because their cultural context rejects those relationships (secondary victimization).

The problem.

In a video in which Doobious Wolf replies to relevant comments that he received, he decides to reply to a comment that inquires him about his opinion on the secondary victimization1 of children who had sexual contacts with adults. In the comment, Warz asks Wolf if psychological damage couldn’t be minimized if society didn’t see sex in general as such a big deal.2 In fact, we have many sexual taboos and Warz asks if the adult-child sex taboo could be the cause of many traumas related to sexual contact between adult and minor.

Doobious Wolf then answers that, even if he agrees that children may have physically harmless sexual contacts with adults, he doesn’t discard the possibility of intrinsic psychological damage.3

Before discussing the issue in depth, the video’s author shows that he is up to discussing the subject in an unbiased manner, rather than immediately rejecting the idea of age of consent abolishment (a point defended by Amos Yee). He even did research in APA’s website, listing a number of symptoms related to child sexual abuse, that is: thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, sleep disturbance, eating disorder, poor school performance, isolation, aggressiveness, alcohol/drug abuse and anxiety. I fully agree with him, that is, that abusive contacts are harmful to the minors. However, knowing that:

  1. A fair number of those contacts do not result in harm, including psychological harm,4 often being recalled as “positive”, and

  2. A number of those contacts is not forced,5

It becomes clear that the word “abuse” or “rape” is being misused, whenever it’s used to describe all sexual contacts engaged before age of consent,6 which is fourteen in Brazil (my home country). What I’m going to try is to offer evidence and arguments against the inherent psychological harm thesis.

Argumentation.

When researching long-term effects of sexual contacts involving people below age of consent, it’s important to remember that a symptom isn’t always related to a specific cause. For example: a cough can be a sign of tuberculosis, pneumonia or hay fever.

So, when a child suffers any of the symptoms pointed out by Wolf, the child may be feeling bad for reasons unrelated to the sexual contact, specially if the sexual contact was peaceful and desired, for example, a libidinous, non-penetrative, non-forced, non-reciprocal act.7 Then, a sexual relationship, specially if regarded as positive by the minor, can not be safely assumed as cause of psychological maladjustment in adult life.8 The child may be maladjusted thanks to other childhood problems or even due to problems that only began after the child has become an adult.

When researching effects of sexual abuse, it’s important to look for other causes and to control third variables, such as family environment, psychological stress, bullying, verbal abuse, sexual repression, physical abuse (slipper hits, spanking, belting) and other data that may be relevant.9 A good way to know which variables must be controlled before offering definitive diagnosis is by talking to the minor to see how the minor evaluates the contact, what was the degree of permission given or if the minor started the contact. If the contact has been negative, it’s safer, but not completely safe, to conclude that it’s the cause of maladjustment. To conclude once and for all, it’s needed to ask the minor if the link between maladjustment and contact can be made. In short, the minor should judge the contact, not the therapist.

By not proceeding that way, we risk a wrong diagnosis and, consequently, a wrong treatment, which can cause further problems to the minor.10

Another variable to be considered is the treatment that the minor is receiving for effects. Let’s suppose that a child had a positive sexual contact in childhood, didn’t fight it, welcomed it, to the point of asking for more, but then the child grows up, feels ashamed for his or her behavior, feels that he or she was abused or manipulated. What kind of treatment should that person receive? Susan Clancy suggests that the adult should accept what happened and understand that it’s his or her interpretation of the act that is causing maladjustment and that the adult should leave the incident behind.11 However, Clancy suffered academical and popular persecution, first because there are therapists who work upon the child abuse paradigm, meaning that Clancy’s data could become an economical disturbance, and second because she proposes the acceptance of a socially hideous memory, which wouldn’t be a problem if adult-child sex wasn’t taboo.12

It’s that kind of secondary victimization that Warz is speaking about: the conflict between moral values and personal experience may lead the person to feel immoral for enjoying the “abuse” they suffered, turning a positive experience into source of anxiety. That gives the impression of inherent harm, because that means that negative symptoms can appear both in people with negative experiences and people with positive experiences. But even so, there’s a number of adult-child relationships that are remembered as positive and cause no anxiety even after the minor has grown up.

That leads me to another variable, that is cultural environment. According to Rind Report, 37% of boys and 11% of girls recall their childhood sexual experiences as “positive” (counting the four generic types13 and including child-child contacts),14 but, in a study ran in Campinas, Brazil, that number among boys is 57% (including a single type,15 including only adult-child sex).16 Plus, other cultures who don’t make a big deal about child sexuality, despite being more sexually liberal, aren’t overloaded with traumatized adults,17 with some being pretty peaceful.18 So, we need to evaluate if cultural environment doesn’t play a role in turning positive memories into source of anxiety. That data support Warz’s point, that maybe the taboo (the idea that those contacts are wrong, that all those adults are monsters, that those contacts imply the use of a minor as mere tool for adult satisfaction and other prejudices) plays a role in generating symptoms.

Last, the fact that the number of positive experiences in United States (where are of consent is at least 16) is low, but high in other places (age of consent in Brazil is 14), shows that high ages of consent don‘t keep those contacts from happening,19 but discourages well-meaning adults that could provide a minor of a experience that could even be desired by said minor.20 That’s enough of a rebuttal of the inherent psychological damage to all those contacts, but it’s not a rebuttal of the inherent damage to coerced or negative contacts, which deserve to be called “abuse”.

If we can say that the problem of psychological damage is solved, it’s also needed to pay attention to those symptoms when they spawn on children who were not sexually abused, nor had any sexual contact, even if non-abusive, even with other minors. If we persist in the belief that those symptoms are necessary, at same time that society seems to willingly ignore other possible causes when they start suspecting that abuse took place, we might open the possibility of false accusations of molestation. But truth is that childhood sexual contacts don’t follow outcome patterns21, turning useless any attempt at constructing a fixed list of symptoms to be attributed to every child, specially if the child regards the contact as positive.

The moral panic towards pedophilia is leading us to overprotect our children, causing a rupture between generations: children grow suspicious of adults and adults flee from children. The deprivation of affection between generations harms the minors, who become alienated from adults even in dire situations.22 In the current climate, a false accusation could destroy a person’s life.23 That discourages healthy interaction between adults and minors.

Conclusion.

If positive relationships, which result in non-symptomatic adults, who can function just like any other adults, exist, then the inherent psychological damage thesis is false. However, a person with positive memories can have his experience turned into a source of stress thanks to social reaction to the act, causing feelings of shame and also guilt, if the minor has started the contact. But that’s an environment reaction, meaning that the taboo has a role in the development of negative feelings even in people with positive memories.

I propose that people with positive experiences should have their judgment respected, just as much as those who had negative experiences. In fact, if an experience was positive, it’s pointless to discuss damage; we should discuss the extent of the benefit. Stigmatizing a person with positive experiences, to make them feel bad for what happened, is, also, abuse, because the symptoms wouldn’t appear without someone “interpreting” the experience with different criteria. That also explains why more liberal societies have less sexually traumatized adults. A child with positive experiences, in contact with a society that sees those experiences as taboo, start to feel shame and to hide what was done, maybe finding themselves forced to publicly admit that the experience was abusive, despite their own inner judgment saying it was not. That can’t be healthy. A child with a positive experience was supposed to be able to speak out about those experiences without suffering because of it, just as much as those who report their own negative contacts and receive emotional support.

Finally, that shows that age of consent laws are unable to stop those relationships from happening, but discourage minor-attracted people who mean no harm, as well as positive contacts between minors themselves. Age of consent is supposed to measure a minor’s degree of maturity, but how? How come the age of consent varies from country to country? Is it because children mature faster in Japan or Mexico, compared to United States and United Kingdom? If age of consent doesn’t measure maturity, what does it measure? If it’s a legal concept, it doesn’t have to be included in a debate about psychology, unless we are talking about social impact (like I am doing). If there’s no social element, it would be better to discuss “maturity”, rather than age of consent.

Since I don’t have an YouTube account, I can’t personally show this text to Doobious Wolf. So, if you are reading this and has an account, I would be thankful if you could show this to him.

References.

CARBALLO-DIÉGUEZ, A. ; BALAN, I. ; DOLEZAL, C. ; MELLO, M. B. Recalled Sexual Experiences in Childhood with Older Partners: A Study of Brazilian Men Who Have Sex with Men and Male-to-Female Transgender Persons. Available at: <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-011-9748-y>. Accessed at: 12/25/17.

CLRESEARCHBLOG. Society’s Stigma of the Act May Account for Large Portion of the Harm. Available at: <https://clresearchblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/societys-stigma-of-the-act-may-account-for-a-large-portion-of-the-harm/>. Accessed at: 12/25/17.

D’AGOSTINHO, R. Tribunais Absolvem Acusados De Sexo Com Menor Apesar De Nova Lei. Available at: <http://g1.globo.com/brasil/noticia/2012/05/tribunais-absolvem-acusados-de-sexo-com-menor-apesar-de-nova-lei.html>. Accessed at: 12/25/17.

DOOBIOUS WOLF. Comment Response Time! (12/07/17). Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw5cIBhQ940>. Accessed at: 12/25/17.

IACCINO, L. Child Sexual Abuse: Top 5 Countries With The Highest Rates. Available at: <http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/child-sexual-abuse-top-5-countries-highest-rates-1436162>. Accessed at: 25/12/17.

IPCE. Hysteria is Dangerous: Did Pedophilia Hysteria Cause Child’s Death?, in Ipce Newstletter, n° 30. Available at: <https://www.ipce.info/newsletters/newsl_pdf/Ipce%20Newsletter%20E%2030.pdf>. Accessed at: 25/12/17.

LEAHY, T. Sex and The Age of Consent: The Ethical Issues, in Social Analysis, n° 39. 1996.

LISBOA, F. S. Resenha do Filme “A Caça”. Available at: <https://psicologiadospsicologos.blogspot.com/2014/08/resenha-do-filme-caca.html>. Accessed at: 25/12/17.

O’CARROLL, T. Paedophilia: The Radical Case, in Contemporary Social Issues Series, n° 12. Londres: Peter Owen, 1980.

PEDOSEXUAL RESOURCES DIRECTORY. The Sexual Interest of the Pedophile, in Archive.org. Available at: <https://web.archive.org/web/20071219095524/http://www.paedosexualitaet.de:80/pedo/interest.html>. Accessed at: 25/12/17.

PRESCOTT, J. W. Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence. Available at: <http://violence.de/prescott/bulletin/article.html>. Accessed at: 25/12/17.

RIND, B. ; BAUSERMAN, R. ; TROMOVITCH, P. A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples, in Psychological Bulletin, volume 124, n° 1, pages 22 to 53. American Psychological Association, 1998.

RIVAS, T. Positive Memories: Cases of positive memories of erotic and platonic relationships and contacts of children with adults, as seen from the perspective of the former minor, 3rd Edition. Ipce, 2016.

ZUGER, A. Abusing Not Only Children, but Also Science. Available at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/health/26zuger.html>. Accessed at: 12/25/17.

1Secondary victimization: a type of psychological damage that isn’t caused by an act per itself, but by environment reaction to the act (in this case, a child who has a sexual relationship with an adult and enjoys what happened, but ends up suffering with parent reaction, with the feeling of shame that is attributed to the act, with the medical exam for detection of abuse signs or by legal intervention). See Paedophilia: the Radical Case. Chapter 3: The ‘Molester’ and His ‘Victim’. https://www.ipce.info/host/radicase/chap03.htm

3Comment Response Time! (12/07/17). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw5cIBhQ940

4A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Results > self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA. https://www.ipce.info/library_3/rbt/metaana.pdf

5Positive Memories: Cases of positive memories of erotic and platonic relationships and contacts of children with adults, as seen from the perspective of the former minor. Boys with women > BW-10 – Vili Fualaau. https://www.ipce.info/host/rivas/boys_women/vili_fualaau.htm

6A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Summary and conclusion. https://www.ipce.info/library_3/rbt/metaana.pdf

8A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Previous literature review > qualitative literature reviews. https://www.ipce.info/library_3/rbt/metaana.pdf

9A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. The four assumed properties of CSA revisited > causality. https://www.ipce.info/library_3/rbt/metaana.pdf

10Positive Memories: Cases of positive memories of erotic and platonic relationships and contacts of children with adults, as seen from the perspective of the former minor. Boys with men > BM-16 – Chris. https://www.ipce.info/host/rivas/boys_men/chris.htm

11To be fair, Clancy doesn’t believe that adult-child relationships should be allowed, because, in her view, a child is unable to give informed consent. But others question the very notion of informed consent. See Sex and The Age of Consent: the Ethical Issues. https://www.ipce.info/library/journal-article/sex-and-age-consent-ethical-issues

12‘The Trauma Myth,’ by Susan A. Clancy. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/health/26zuger.html

13Boy/man, boy/woman, girl/man, girl/woman.

14A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Results > self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA. https://www.ipce.info/library_3/rbt/metaana.pdf

15Boy/man.

16Recalled Sexual Experiences in Childhood with Older Partners: A Study of Brazilian Men Who Have Sex with Men and Male-to-Female Transgender Persons. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-011-9748-y

17Paedophilia: the Radical Case. Chapter 2: Children’s Sexuality: What do We Mean? https://www.ipce.info/host/radicase/chap02.htm

18Body Pleasure and The Origins of Violence. http://violence.de/prescott/bulletin/article.html

19Child Sexual Abuse: Top 5 Countries With the Highest Rates. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/child-sexual-abuse-top-5-countries-highest-rates-1436162

20In Brazil, a twelve-year-old girl asked for sex to a twenty-nine-year-old man. The mother reported the incident, but regretted. The adult was declared innocent. See Tribunais Absolvem Acusados De Sexo Com Menor Apesar De Nova Lei. http://g1.globo.com/brasil/noticia/2012/05/tribunais-absolvem-acusados-de-sexo-com-menor-apesar-de-nova-lei.html

21A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples. Child sexual abuse as construct reconsidered. https://www.ipce.info/library_3/rbt/metaana.pdf

22Ipce Newstletter #30. Hysteria is Dangerous: Did Pedophilia Hysteria Cause Child’s Death? https://www.ipce.info/newsletters/newsl_pdf/Ipce%20Newsletter%20E%2030.pdf

23To have an idea of how, see The Hunt (2012). Resenha do Filme “A Caça”. https://psicologiadospsicologos.blogspot.com/2014/08/resenha-do-filme-caca.html

18 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “The Tranquility of the Soul”.

Filed under: Livros, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 22:17

“The Tranquility of the Soul” was written by Sêneca. Below are some statements made in that book. They are not citations. Questions can be asked in the comments.

  1. If you feel temptation, that’s because you are giving effort into resisting.
  2. Good intentions can stand between you and virtue.
  3. Tranquility is the feeling of having nothing to worry about.
  4. To seek tranquility is to seek a state of having no pain, nor strong emotions.
  5. You shouldn’t have many aspirations and desires.
  6. If you have many desires, you are likely to be frustrated many times.
  7. You won’t be able to reach happiness wihtout feeling satisfied with yourself first.
  8. Learn to endure, when such is needed.
  9. Be useful to yourself and others.
  10. The universe is your nation.
  11. You need to balance activity and good rest.
  12. We can still be role models, even when mute.
  13. Get a job at something you like to do.
  14. Never try to do something without wondering if you actually can do it.
  15. The evils of the wealth are the worst kind of evil.
  16. It’s better to have never been rich than losing your fortune.
  17. If money was that good, God would have some.
  18. You should only be in debt with yourself.
  19. Don’t be crazy for money, but that doesn’t imply having no money.
  20. You should spend on useful things, not “cool” things.
  21. You should eat when hungry, not for mere pleasure.
  22. Don’t buy books if you aren’t going to read them.
  23. It’s immoral to use a full bookshelf as decoration.
  24. The excess is what turns a behavior into a vice.
  25. Bad things happen, they are part of life.
  26. You can’t fall in despair without wanting it.
  27. Avoid being too ambitious, or you may end up too disappointed.
  28. Try to stay calm despite having bad luck.
  29. If you accept that you are going to die, then you can accept anything.
  30. It’s useless to worry about things that do not depend on us.
  31. If you try something, but don’t nurture high hopes about it working, you won’t be disappointed if you fail, but, if it works, the success is sweetened with surprise.
  32. Never forget that what happens to others may happen to you.
  33. Don’t try to do something that isn’t worth it or that likely won’t work.
  34. It’s sad when someone wants to do something, but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do.
  35. Gossip is a vice.
  36. Don’t make promises.
  37. There’s a good side in everything.
  38. You can poke fun at the problems you face.
  39. When a tragedy happens, you don’t need to react like everyone else.
  40. You needn’t to feel bad for someone who isn’t suffering.
  41. Omitting isn’t the same as lying.
  42. Being alone restores our energy.
  43. You should work, but you should also have fun.
  44. Working too much harms productivity.
  45. Finish what you started.

16 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “The Republic”.

“A República” was written by Platão. Below are some statements made in that text. They may or may not reflect what I think about this subject. Questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. The aging process kills youthful desires, which enslave the young men.
  2. Wisdom makes it tolerable to age.
  3. If you get you worked for your own money, you will feel how much it’s valuable.
  4. The fool, if very attached to material goods, feels despair when death is near, because he doesn’t know the future of his goods and his soul.
  5. Justice is not simply speaking the truth and giving someone what’s due…
  6. Is justice the virtue of caring for friends while harming enemies?
  7. If so, justice is useless in times of peace.
  8. We don’t always know who are our true friends.
  9. Justice implies caring for your enemies too.
  10. Justice is not the convenience of the strongest.
  11. Being strong doesn’t guarantee that your laws are going to be fair.
  12. A ruler doesn’t always know what is in the nation’s best interest.
  13. Ruling a nation means acting in the best interest of those who are under your hierarchy.
  14. Being unjust is profitable, but still wrong.
  15. Being unjust implies a degree of ignorance.
  16. You can’t practice justice if you are ignorant.
  17. Justice enables harmony, while being unjust causes chaos.
  18. An unjust person beings harm to themselves, as no one would trust them.
  19. If God is just, you better also be…
  20. If you are unjust, you can’t rule your own life with perfection, let alone rule the lives of others.
  21. Justice is more useful in a community level, rather than personal level.
  22. A person can not live completely alone.
  23. The differences between types of people make them more fit for certain roles.
  24. No city would be built if we didn’t need each other.
  25. The better a community is, the more allies it has.
  26. A community can only become interested in art, science or economy after the basic needs (water, food, shelter, health) are sorted out.
  27. Excess of resources makes the population ill, as it becomes easier to adopt unhealthy habits.
  28. In a community where the desire for futile stuff has become high, resources start to diminish too quickly, creating the need to take what already belongs to other communities.
  29. It would be ideal if each person had just one job, that could be executed expertly.
  30. Desire to learn already makes you philosopher.
  31. There’s good and bad literature, the bad literature being the one that has no contact with reality, that is, a literature that lies to the reader.
  32. Fiction counts as bad literature.
  33. A religion that teaches that gods can have wars between themselves ends up sanctioning violence between humans (“even gods fight”).
  34. Even if those stories had a hidden meaning, nothing can guarantee that a person wouldn’t get the meaning wrong.
  35. If a child learns something false, they won’t easily forget.
  36. If somehting bad happens, don’t blame the gods.
  37. A “real lie” is the one that exploits the listener’s ignorance.
  38. Overcoming the fear of death requires fiction writers to not write scary stuff about afterlife, that is, exercise a kind of censorship.
  39. Fiction appeals to emotion, harming the full exercise of reason.
  40. You can’t go to war if you aren’t ready to die.
  41. If you can live without someone, you don’t need to cry when that person dies.
  42. Laughter should also be avoided.
  43. The government can lie, but only if the lie is told on the population’s best interest.
  44. Fiction writers shouldn’t write bad things about gods or heroes, to not encourage bad behavior among normal humans who see gods and heroes as role models.
  45. There should have no sad music.
  46. There should have no calm music.
  47. There should have a list of allowed musical instruments and a list of banned musical techniques.
  48. Other artist should abide to those restrictions, not only writers and composers.
  49. Music has educational value too.
  50. Real love isn’t lust.
  51. It’s wise to improve your body as well as your mind.
  52. A warrior needs it’s own diet.
  53. A good diet is supposed to be simple.
  54. If there is a great demand for doctors it is because there are a lot of ill people.
  55. It’s shameful to need doctors to treat self-inflicted illnesses and injuries.
  56. A judge must be able to recognize an unjust act without acting against justice himself.
  57. Physical education has the role of keeping the body in shape, so that people wouldn’t need doctors so often.
  58. Physical education (gymnastics) must be practiced alongside music, as physical education alone could make a person turn “brute” and music alone could make the person too soft.
  59. A warrior needs to stay firm in what he believes.
  60. A warrior needs to live off state, rather than having own properties, so he can fully commit to his job.
  61. Community happiness comes first, personal happiness comes second.
  62. A person shouldn’t be wealthy to the point of not needing to have a role in society.
  63. Excess of wealth causes temptation to work less.
  64. You shouldn’t be filthy rich, but shouldn’t be dirt poor either.
  65. There should be no marriage.
  66. Four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, justice.
  67. Every ruler must be wise and moderated, while the ruled people must be courageous and moderated.
  68. Jobs come in four kinds: manufacturer, warrior, ruler and merchant.
  69. It’s just to exercise the work that you are most useful at, rather than exercising many jobs or hopping from one to another.
  70. Sciences are separated from each other due to intimate differences, which appear when humans start to focus on a different object.
  71. The soul is divided in three parts: reason, emotion and appetite.
  72. A person is just when reason dominates emotion, which dominates appetite.
  73. Women should receive the same education as men.
  74. No such thing as “man’s job” or “woman’s job”, but each person must pick the job they are most useful at.
  75. There are laws that go against nature.
  76. Nuclear family must be abolished.
  77. State must interfere in sexual relationships in order to guarantee that the next generation will be better than the previous.
  78. A person must deserve the right to reproduce based on how useful they are to the community.
  79. Children are raised by state.
  80. A woman should feed random children, rather than electing one (her own child).
  81. Age of consent: 20 for women, 30 for men.
  82. Procreation must be authorized by state first.
  83. Children see older people as “dad” and “mom”, even if they aren’t biologically so.
  84. Children should watch the war.
  85. Children, before going to watch the war, must be taught to flee.
  86. Soldiers who are taken captive shouldn’t be rescued.
  87. Science is a discourse about how things truly are, while opinion is a discourse about how things seem to be.
  88. The philosopher looks for stable knowledge, one that doesn’t change with time.
  89. If you love wisdom, you are likely virtuous.
  90. A philosopher isn’t afraid of dying.
  91. Because most people are dumb, philosophers are seldom heard, making them almost completely useless for state and public life.
  92. A philosopher who ends up preaching a stupid idea probably had a philosophical nature that was perverted by poor education.
  93. Philosophy is dangerous for status quo.
  94. The philosopher should rule the nation.
  95. If a group of philosophers takes control over the nation, it would still take some time for the new laws to appear.
  96. Laws shouldn’t be made in a rush.
  97. A ruler who is dumb or doesn’t love his people must be impeached.
  98. A ruler should be able to enjoy studying, or isn’t fit for the task.
  99. A philosopher must be both wise and healthy.
  100. If something isn’t good, we wouldn’t want it, unless we mistook it for good.
  101. “Good” and “pleasant” aren’t the same, although they can overlap in a same object.
  102. You can find pleasure in doing something bad.
  103. If you can speak about what other people think, you are supposed to be able to speak about what you think as well.
  104. Science and truth are siblings.
  105. You can put your thoughts in a scale of clarity, from most obscure to clearest: I suppose (most obscrure), I believe, I understand, I know (clearest).
  106. Appearance is misleading, so you can’t judge an object from it’s appearance.
  107. Practicing science can be confusing, to the point of causing a person to regret practicing it.
  108. The wise feels pity on the ignorant.
  109. The wise man may behave pathetically in public life.
  110. Nevertheless, the wise man should not isolate himself from others.
  111. Education is to turn the student’s soul towards truth, rather than opinion.
  112. A philospher must worry about the others as well, not only about himself.
  113. The philosopher must use opinions as pedagogical resource.
  114. Everyone should know math, even soldiers.
  115. If you want to reach the truth, you can’t do so without calculation.
  116. Math should be taught in school as mandatory class.
  117. Geometry can completely change the way you analyze things.
  118. Astronomy can also be useful for everyone.
  119. Imperfect study shouldn’t be encouraged.Calculus, geometry, astronomy and dialetics are responsible for turning a person away from opinion and towards the truth.
  120. You can not learn dialetics without learning mathematics first.
  121. Exact sciences are universally valid.
  122. Philosophy’s bad reputation comes from those who practice it without being prepared or without having talent, that is, people who are bad at it.
  123. Children should learn math by playing games, as it’s easier for them to remember what they learned with pleasure.
  124. Learning dialetics at an young age can make a person turn rebellious, because the youth will notice that many things he used to believe are incorrect, causing hatred towards society.
  125. Dialetics can only be taught to people with a stable mind.
  126. Women can rule the state, if they are fit for the job.
  127. No human government lasts forever.
  128. An oligarchy is a form of government exercised only by rich people, who use the poor as resource poll.
  129. Wealth and virtue generally go into different directions.
  130. The problem with oligarchy is that rich people are often terrible rulers.
  131. Plus, poor people and wealthy people sometimes conspirate against each other.
  132. Oligarchs sell public goods, empoverish their territories and attract bad reputation.
  133. A state with too many poor people is a state with too many crimes, both perpretated by poor and wealthy people.
  134. An ignorant person prefers money over dignity.
  135. People’s rebellion can turn an oligarchy into a democracy.
  136. The election of better qualified people can turn a democracy into an aristocracy.
  137. Democracies highly regard freedom.
  138. A tyrant needs to ensure that people will need him.
  139. A tyrant needs war.
  140. A tyrant’s need for war makes him hated by his people.
  141. A tyrant needs to kill those who oppose to him.
  142. To control his own territory, a tyrant may need help from other nations.
  143. A tyrant uses public wealth to reinforce his army, thus defending himself.
  144. Everyone has wild, irrational desires.
  145. We often dream about them.
  146. A tyrant is defenseless without servants.
  147. Some people think that something is only worth being done if it brings them money.
  148. Under a philosopher’s guidance, people can better conduct their ambition and desire for money.
  149. Impulse and desire must be moderated, but never eliminated.
  150. Money and power can’t compensate a soul’s decadence.
  151. Beautiful lies can destroy a person’s intelligence.
  152. An artisan makes physical objects using a mental model as base.
  153. If someone seems to know everything, they are lying.
  154. Fiction is a lie and should be treated as such, that is, shouldn’t be taken seriously.
  155. Falsifications are a toy or a game; believing something false as if it was true is silly.
  156. Reason should moderate suffering.
  157. Emotion is what makes us feel despair.
  158. Emotion harms the free use of reason.
  159. Suffering excessively isn’t masculine.
  160. The more you laugh, the harder it will be to contain your laughter next time you see something funny.
  161. The body can only die from age, illness or physical damage.

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