by phil on Thursday Jun 12, 2003 8:26 PM
Woo-ooh, taboo nation.
On Fark and elsewhere it is said like, "Well, how can it be okay to be a pedophile but not okay to act as one." Depends on how you define okay. If okay means a normal part of human behavior, such as stealing, that doesn't remove the fact that you can't legislate against it. Normal by legal standards doesn't and shouldn't coincide with normal by natural human patterns, because that is precisely what laws are intended to do, prevent people from naturally harming each other. Laws are for order and don't determine what is "normal" for people. Normal is actually just too ridiculous of a word in many instances, but I won't get into it here.
What I am interested in by these things is, does truth have morality? Does information have morality? I put that article earlier today about Egypt banning The Matrix Reloaded because it possibly could reveal the truth about religion, i.e. that it's just a joke. The question specific to this issue is, is it the American Psychiatrists Association's (APA) responsibility to accurately determine what is the truth and reveal it or to withhold such investigations out of respect for the implications it may have.
The people at APA claim that they indeed believe that pedophilia is wrong. But then how can they be consistent in their research if the end effect is that pedophilic activity rises. Or, does relevation of the truth have an even higher moral value?
I would tend to think that the truth matters most, but that's getting to be a little bit passe. Bear with me. Up till, maybe the 1930s, truth and rational illumination emerged as the most fashionable ideal among the philosophers because so little truth was commonplace around them. As we approach the Singularity, truth will have to be reconsidered because too much truth, or truth in certain areas, can lead to anti-humanistic tendancies. i.e., hello everybody, everything's just an illusion of the mind, there is no right or wrong, thinking just makes it so, you care nothing when you die so why live? etc.. I wrote about this earlier in regards to Japanese people having double the suicides per-capita that America has.
I think Truth and Information does have morality attached to it. I'm generally pro-truth and pro-information, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they're morally colorless. The question then becomes, do morals really matter? Well, morals don't require that question to be answered because morals are all about the placement of weights. Now you place weights to a bunch of things, you can initaly say that those weights were rationally and objectively determined. True for most of them, but at some point, there must be some weight that is placed a priori or out of habit. In which case, it further shows that yes, in the end, we invent morality. But then, most people don't even choose their a priori introductions but rather are vessels for memes in the mind. I think this is further discussed in the idea of "moral luck" that I found on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.