Nothing 'pure' about it.
100% no. All that is doing is finding an alternate method to sate the same evil desire.
Why should the state be in the business of curbing people from expressing "evil desires" in an entirely fictional format? And it is the state's business, why should it stop with child pornography? Why not do away with movies that depict murder, rape, torture, etc?
Basically, I think that there are very good reasons for making child pornography illegal when it involves actual children who are harmed in the production and disemination. I fail to see how any of those reasons could apply to completely fictional characters that are animated rather than portrayed by actual children.
But, as atheists, you are all forced to look at such desires within the context of evolutionary usefullness. And within that context, people like Joe can justify things which we know, if we are prepared to be honest, are just plain wrong.
I think that everyone needs to look at our desires and behaviors with evolution in mind, regardless of where they stand on the god question. I just don't think it makes sense to pretend that our values, however deeply and sincerely we hold them, are the only thing worth considering in a discussion of morality or any subject for that matter. And I wouldn't think that this would be all that difficult for a Christian to really work with. Most Christians I know believe that we are born with a sin nature and that this is something that we, as humans, should do our best to overcome. Christians also believe that we are born with God's law written on our hearts. I think it works more or less the same way with what we might call our basic, primal nature. There are what we would mostly consider good things that are instilled in us through evolution and there are things that are a bit more base. If we're talking about morality and moral questions we ought to keep that in mind, but that doesn't mean that we have to hold up the findings of evolutionary biologists as sign posts that will guide us towards absolute moral truth.
It's a problem for the many atheists on this forum who have read this thread without commenting. Silently disgusted, they have failed to give voice to that disgust partly because it raises the question of good and evil outside the evolutionary context. They can see the evil with absolute clarity, but how to explain it in the face of 'logic' and 'reason' which might tell us that such things are not harmful at all?
Not really. I find pedophilia to be disgusting. I have no problem saying that. But with that said, I think that I can also recognize that a sub-set of the adult population is going to be sexually attracted to children and that this is not something that is their fault. It's therefore not something that I would condemn. At this point, we're only talking about sexual orientation. What I would condemn, however, is an adult actually engaging in a sexual act with a child. And I don't need to appeal to a god to do this. I condemn it because it does tangible damage to the children that fall victim to it. I condemn it because it is essentially rape, even if ostensibly consensual (working from the premise that children are not capable of giving informed consent).
What's more, I would say that your view is actually worse for the world. If we're going to condemn people as being evil for their innate desires, those people are probably not going to seek out the sorts of therapies that would work towards preventing them from harming children.
I stand by my previous comment that logic and reason comes a distant second to the conviction many of you must have that what Joe supports is wrong. The source of that conviction may trouble you, but I am interested now to hear from those yet to weigh in on this matter as to whether I am off base.
I think you're off base.
I think that one of the biggest knocks against the notion that modern Christian ideas about morality are really innate is that there have been so many cultures over the course of human history, many of them Christian cultures that would not share our disgust.
That photo that joe put up, for example, was off-putting to me. I have a problem with what appears to be a young girl being sexualized in that way. (And I think Quesi was completely on point about the pose.) I think you would too.
But here's the thing. The notion that I should not look at a 14 or 15 year old as a potential sexual partner is not something that we humans have always believed. In fact, it's very recent. And this is where I think that the whole evolutionary thing is important to take into consideration. For most of our history, it was considered normal for girls of child-bearing age to be....bearing children. In other words, for most of our history a 14 or so year old girl wasn't a "girl," she was a woman. A shift in our thinking has taken place. It's a shift that I think is a good thing. However, it's not a shift that I would expect to necessarily inform anyone's involuntary reaction to a photograph.