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Puritanical to an extreme

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avconway
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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235360

Postby avconway » July 9th, 2019, 9:55 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:If you (avconway) would kindly go and read my post again, you'll see that I am not commenting on the man or his actions.


Thank you, Itsallaguess. I don't think I've misread your post – you were expressing surprise that BnC should see reasons for defending Terrence Inglis.

itsallaguess wrote:What I am commenting on is BnC's defence of the man and his actions....


Quite so. That's exactly what I thought you were doing. Indeed you seemed to be “absolutely” astounded that there could be any defence at all.

I am on the other side of the fence – I am somewhat surprised that some can find a case for pillorying this man who seems (there is no evidence) to have caused no harm or nuisance to anybody, thus to me the question which arises is not: “Why should this man be defended?” but: “On what grounds should this man be pilloried?”

avconway

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235365

Postby Lootman » July 9th, 2019, 10:11 pm

avconway wrote:I am somewhat surprised that some can find a case for pillorying this man who seems (there is no evidence) to have caused no harm or nuisance to anybody, thus to me the question which arises is not: “Why should this man be defended?” but: “On what grounds should this man be pilloried?”

In general I agree in that I always think that I should be judged only by what I say or do, and not by what I think, feel or desire. After all I cannot really control thoughts and feelings - they just happen. But I can control what I do about them.

And in general the law supports that view. So called "thought crimes" are not prosecuted and to do so is deemed Orwellian. Likewise the notion of a "future crime" where you are punished for what you might do in the future is similarly untenable.

Except when it comes to sexual offenses involving children. I think the problem is that people are so viscerally repulsed by the concept that they will support ever stronger punishments. No politician will be voted out for being too harsh on child sex perps and so the law only ever gets more strict. Another example is the register of sex offenders, which throws out the notion that once you have served your time, your debt to society is paid. In fact you pay for the rest of your life.

The result is that you can be thrown in prison for looking at an image when no harm was done to anyone.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235368

Postby vrdiver » July 9th, 2019, 10:23 pm

I'm still struggling with this case.

On the one hand, he fails the "would you let this person babysit for you" test (at least, when I apply it he does...) BUT

Whilst what he has done is against the law, it seems the law has punished him for what is essentially a thought crime. He has created images for his own gratification from material that is legally available. If he had drawn them with a pencil, would he be punished for that?

Had he shared the images, I could understand the crime, but unshared, they, to me, seem to reside within his own fantasy world, not harming any other person.

I guess my quandary is in the definition of where a fantasy becomes a physical crime? His thinking about these things may be odious, but is not a crime. The boundary between a legal thought and an illegal physical action - as his creation of these images has been declared, seems perilously close to being a "thought crime".

Imagine instead if he had written a fantasy story about his meeting with a child; would that be illegal? (And yes, for the sake of argument, let's assume his story described the acts represented in the doctored pictures.)

I may not like his fantasy, but I dislike even more the idea that anybody's fantasies are subject to moral censure. In this case I think the law has encroached on his freedom, rather than acted to protect others, and the balance seems wrong.

If there is statistical evidence that such behaviours are indicators of or precursors to future acts of harm, then fair enough, but without the "danger to the public" aspect, this seems puritanical rather than balanced.

VRD

ursaminortaur
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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235390

Postby ursaminortaur » July 9th, 2019, 11:47 pm

vrdiver wrote:I'm still struggling with this case.

On the one hand, he fails the "would you let this person babysit for you" test (at least, when I apply it he does...) BUT

Whilst what he has done is against the law, it seems the law has punished him for what is essentially a thought crime. He has created images for his own gratification from material that is legally available. If he had drawn them with a pencil, would he be punished for that?


The answer to the latter question is yes he would have been since pornographic drawings and cartoons of minors are similarly illegal.

https://theconversation.com/when-a-drawing-or-cartoon-image-can-land-you-in-jail-33418

Under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, sections 62-68 made it a criminal offence to be in possession of “prohibited images” of children. This is defined closely to require that the image is first grossly offensive and obscene, and pornographic for purposes of sexual arousal. It also requires that the focus is principally on the child’s genitals and sexual regions, or includes one of various sexual acts either with the child or in the presence of the child. It also covers images that depict sexual activity in the presence of or between children and an animal, whether dead, alive, or imaginary.

The law covers still and moving images, and can include cartoons, drawings, and manga-style images. These images are easier to find on the internet than actual child abuse images involving real children, largely due to the fact that virtual pornography is not illegal in all countries. For example, the existence of Japanese websites featuring fantasy child sexual abuse has been a concern in countries where it is illegal.

The two main justifications given by the government for criminalising the possession of these “prohibited images” was that they could be used for grooming children and could fuel child abuse by reinforcing potential abusers’ inappropriate feelings towards children. But as the Home Office’s own Consultation Paper acknowledged, these justifications were not based on any conclusive scientific research. In other words, the rationale of the law was to address a possible risk of harm to children.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235392

Postby vrdiver » July 10th, 2019, 12:16 am

ursaminortaur wrote:
https://theconversation.com/when-a-drawing-or-cartoon-image-can-land-you-in-jail-33418

The two main justifications given by the government for criminalising the possession of these “prohibited images” was that they could be used for grooming children and could fuel child abuse by reinforcing potential abusers’ inappropriate feelings towards children. But as the Home Office’s own Consultation Paper acknowledged, these justifications were not based on any conclusive scientific research. In other words, the rationale of the law was to address a possible risk of harm to children.[/i]

(My emphasis)

Thanks for posting clarification.

As per your extract, the criminalisation of this activity is justified by a "just in case" defense. Refering back to the title of the thread, it does seem to support the idea that unsavoury behaviour can be made illegal not because it is proven to harm others, but because we don't like it.

Justification that it might harm others (children) is moral grandstanding. Access to cigarettes harms children (provably) but they are still available to purchase, even though children will be harmed as a result.

The figleaf of justification seems to be covering up the puritanical attitudes of the lawmakers. Dangerous territory for freedom of expression.

VRD

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235581

Postby anticrank » July 10th, 2019, 4:08 pm

vrdiver wrote:
ursaminortaur wrote:
https://theconversation.com/when-a-drawing-or-cartoon-image-can-land-you-in-jail-33418

The two main justifications given by the government for criminalising the possession of these “prohibited images” was that they could be used for grooming children and could fuel child abuse by reinforcing potential abusers’ inappropriate feelings towards children. But as the Home Office’s own Consultation Paper acknowledged, these justifications were not based on any conclusive scientific research. In other words, the rationale of the law was to address a possible risk of harm to children.[/i]

(My emphasis)

Thanks for posting clarification.

As per your extract, the criminalisation of this activity is justified by a "just in case" defense. Refering back to the title of the thread, it does seem to support the idea that unsavoury behaviour can be made illegal not because it is proven to harm others, but because we don't like it.

Justification that it might harm others (children) is moral grandstanding. Access to cigarettes harms children (provably) but they are still available to purchase, even though children will be harmed as a result.

The figleaf of justification seems to be covering up the puritanical attitudes of the lawmakers. Dangerous territory for freedom of expression.

VRD


If you make the law blind to confected or computer generated child porn, then you provide actual child abusers with camouflage for the 'real thing'. They will load their machines with it, hiding the really abusive stuff in plain sight.

If you make the law such that it is blind to such stuff unless shared, you again allow it to be used as camouflage for the stuff that has been shared. In short, you make it difficult to detect the 'real' thing and to enforce the law.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235619

Postby Itsallaguess » July 10th, 2019, 5:11 pm

Lootman wrote:
avconway wrote:
I am somewhat surprised that some can find a case for pillorying this man who seems (there is no evidence) to have caused no harm or nuisance to anybody, thus to me the question which arises is not: “Why should this man be defended?” but: “On what grounds should this man be pilloried?”


In general I agree in that I always think that I should be judged only by what I say or do, and not by what I think, feel or desire. After all I cannot really control thoughts and feelings - they just happen. But I can control what I do about them.

And in general the law supports that view. So called "thought crimes" are not prosecuted and to do so is deemed Orwellian.


The difference here is that this isn't just a 'thought crime'.

His transcendence from 'thought' to 'act' involved manipulating adult sexual scenes to look like they were being acted out by children. In doing so he broke the law.

It seems that I am still waiting on BnC to justify this claim -

He was "cutting and pasting the heads of (young) girls" onto adult bodies which implies surely he wasn't wanting to have sex with children but with adults?

https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=18274&start=40#p235270

I ask again - what motivation would he have to use images of children at all, if he 'wanted to have sex with adults'?

Itsallaguess

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235623

Postby csearle » July 10th, 2019, 5:19 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:It seems that I am still waiting on BnC to justify this claim
He might just be busy. C.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235626

Postby Itsallaguess » July 10th, 2019, 5:24 pm

csearle wrote:
Itsallaguess wrote:
It seems that I am still waiting on BnC to justify this claim


He might just be busy.


Perhaps someone's been spotted putting a Mars Bar in their Sainsbury's trolley...

We'd learn the meaning of the word 'puritanical' then, for sure....

Itsallaguess

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235664

Postby Lootman » July 10th, 2019, 6:44 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
Lootman wrote:
avconway wrote:I am somewhat surprised that some can find a case for pillorying this man who seems (there is no evidence) to have caused no harm or nuisance to anybody, thus to me the question which arises is not: “Why should this man be defended?” but: “On what grounds should this man be pilloried?”

In general I agree in that I always think that I should be judged only by what I say or do, and not by what I think, feel or desire. After all I cannot really control thoughts and feelings - they just happen. But I can control what I do about them.

And in general the law supports that view. So called "thought crimes" are not prosecuted and to do so is deemed Orwellian.

The difference here is that this isn't just a 'thought crime'.

His transcendence from 'thought' to 'act' involved manipulating adult sexual scenes to look like they were being acted out by children. In doing so he broke the law.

The context there was Avconway's assertion that no harm was done to others. So yes, technically, he didn't just think about this but also put together some images and looked at them. But there was no resultant harm to others and so it is a victimless crime.

Of course an act does not have to involve a victim in order for it to be deemed criminal. Various laws about taking recreational drugs are like that, for example. But to my mind there is a big question mark over making victimless acts criminal when that is really based on speculations about what might happen rather than what did happen.

Drunk driving is a crime even if you don't hit anyone or anything. But in that case there is a reasonable probability that you might have done, and so the public good is served by drunk driving being a crime. Does that apply here though? To my mind you'd have to believe that there is some direct causal link between merely looking at images and actually involving a child.

Of course if he had actually touched a kid then I'd be fine with throwing the book at him.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235742

Postby servodude » July 11th, 2019, 3:50 am

Borrowing a line of logic:

Create pornographic images involving children is a crime even if you don't molest kids in the process.
But in that case there is a reasonable probability that you might have done, and so the public good is served by create pornographic images involving children being a crime.

I would hope that would make things sufficiently clear: somehow i doubt it though

see you next time
- sd

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235753

Postby JamesMuenchen » July 11th, 2019, 7:41 am

brightncheerful wrote: he "created ‘pseudo’ images of children, cutting and pasting the heads of girls as young as six onto adult bodies and adding his own head to that of adult males to make it look like he was having sex with children."
....
I am suggesting that the daughter's reporting him to the police was ott when arguably it could've been sorted out direct without involving the authorities.

You've no idea how good the guy's Photoshop skills are, or how convincing the finished product was.

Maybe it looked "like he was having sex with children."

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235768

Postby vrdiver » July 11th, 2019, 8:33 am

servodude wrote:Borrowing a line of logic:

Create pornographic images involving children is a crime even if you don't molest kids in the process.
But in that case there is a reasonable probability that you might have done, and so the public good is served by create pornographic images involving children being a crime.

I would hope that would make things sufficiently clear: somehow i doubt it though

see you next time
- sd

But in that case there is a reasonable probability that you might have done

and therin lies the nub of the matter. Is there? If so, could you provide a link to the research that establishes this fact.

Otherwise, it's just prejudice, with us who detest the idea being unable to differentiate between something we don't approve of (his fantasy world) and reality.

VRD

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235775

Postby paullidd » July 11th, 2019, 8:52 am

Surely this is quite simple, there is a law he broke it and now suffers the consequences.

If you don't like the law you could write to your MP to try to get it changed. However it might be worth you having a look at the sort of people who would be on your side in that arguement. Not people I would feel too comfortable with.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235817

Postby servodude » July 11th, 2019, 10:39 am

vrdiver wrote:
But in that case there is a reasonable probability that you might have done

and therin lies the nub of the matter. Is there? If so, could you provide a link to the research that establishes this fact.

Otherwise, it's just prejudice, with us who detest the idea being unable to differentiate between something we don't approve of (his fantasy world) and reality.

VRD


Are you really denying that children are abused to create child pornography?

-sd

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#235932

Postby Lootman » July 11th, 2019, 4:13 pm

paullidd wrote:Surely this is quite simple, there is a law he broke it and now suffers the consequences.

If you don't like the law you could write to your MP to try to get it changed. However it might be worth you having a look at the sort of people who would be on your side in that arguement. Not people I would feel too comfortable with.

I would think that the fact that this topic has attracted 75 replies so far would indicate that a good number of Lemons do not regard this case as "simple" at all.

So sure, yes, there was an infringement of a law. But that is really just a technical matter. In any given case one can always examine to see if the spirit of that law was being broken, or merely the letter of it.

And one can also question the relevance and fairness of the law. Where a law is perceived by many to be unfair then that law is more likely to be broken and is more likely to be harder to successfully prosecute, because a jury may decline to convict in the absence of actual harm. I know that I, as a juror, would struggle to convict under a law that seems unreasonable on the face of it, or given the facts.

If you double park your car to run into a burning building and save someone's life, should you still be prosecuted for double parking? Most people and potential jurors would probably say not. I'm not saying this case is like that - as well as no harm being done here, there was also no good being done. Although it might be possible to argue that looking at images releases the urge and makes it less likely that he would go out and actually do such things in real life.

Either way, it is quite possible to break a law without it mattering in any material way.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#236031

Postby quelquod » July 11th, 2019, 9:39 pm

Lootman wrote:Either way, it is quite possible to break a law without it mattering in any material way.


It’s not uncommon for such laws to be based on (someone’s view of) the balance of probabilities. Picking an earlier example of yours, that of driving with excess alcohol in the blood, there’s a wide range of alcohol tolerance amongst people. To pick an extreme example, an established alcoholic can often remain functional within his limits with an alcohol content which might be fatal to an ordinary person. To some extent the old test of walking along the kerb was fairer, but in the interests of an absolute test a limit has been chosen. So the limit here is simply to prohibit the activity whatever the individual’s capacities. Of course it’s unfair, but the law isn’t justice.

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#236053

Postby vrdiver » July 11th, 2019, 11:35 pm

servodude wrote:Are you really denying that children are abused to create child pornography?


No. Absolutely not.

Quite what that has got to do with this case is beyond me. The man used adult pornographic images and pasted onto them heads from non-pornographic images of children.

No children were abused.

The man has been punished because somebody has declared "if you do "A", then that will lead to the illegal activity "B", but nobody has put forward any evidence to support such a link.

As for his daughter reporting him, unless she spent time studying the pictures and a) realised how they'd been made and b) was satisfied this was the only activity going on and that it was harmless "entertainment" (i.e. she was in a position to make an expert psychological judgement) then I think the only choice she had was to go to the police. Quite simply, the unknown risk of not reporting him (as in the risk to society) would have outweighed any family loyalty (IMHO).

VRD

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#236073

Postby servodude » July 12th, 2019, 1:48 am

vrdiver wrote:The man has been punished because somebody has declared "if you do "A", then that will lead to the illegal activity "B", but nobody has put forward any evidence to support such a link.


The man has been punished because he created images that are illegal
- illegal because the traditional method for creating them abuses children
- illegal because the fantasy they present supports a market that enourages the abuse of children

There was a link I posted to a wiki page earlier that leads to various and conflicting reports around the avialabilty of this material and the progression of offenders
I fully accept that it's not clear cut, so to my mind that makes it a question of risk; how much are we as a society prepared risk children?

In this age of deepfakes I think the law needs to be such that any possible loophole for the abuse and exploitation of children is closed


- sd

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Re: Puritanical to an extreme

#236078

Postby anticrank » July 12th, 2019, 7:12 am

servodude wrote:
vrdiver wrote:The man has been punished because somebody has declared "if you do "A", then that will lead to the illegal activity "B", but nobody has put forward any evidence to support such a link.


The man has been punished because he created images that are illegal
- illegal because the traditional method for creating them abuses children
- illegal because the fantasy they present supports a market that enourages the abuse of children

There was a link I posted to a wiki page earlier that leads to various and conflicting reports around the avialabilty of this material and the progression of offenders
I fully accept that it's not clear cut, so to my mind that makes it a question of risk; how much are we as a society prepared risk children?

In this age of deepfakes I think the law needs to be such that any possible loophole for the abuse and exploitation of children is closed


- sd


Agree with all of that. And I'll repeat a point I made earlier. The proliferation of fakes makes it harder to identify images of actual abuse and, by extension, detect actual abusers and protect their victims. Each of these images is, in effect, a fake crime scene that (on discovery) wastes police time. That seems to me to be a perfectly good reason to make their production and possession illegal.


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