Someone left a link to this article by Rabbi Moshe Averick claiming that pedophilia is the natural next step to atheism. It’s just the standard old argument we hear from religionists all the time — atheism means no morality and that means people are free to do awful things, including (fill in whatever awful thing you want to pretend is caused by atheism here).
Since these values are nothing more than reflections of the prevalent subjective preferences they obviously will shift and metamorphose to accommodate changing needs and attitudes. In my own lifetime I have witnessed radical societal swings in moral behavior and attitudes regarding marriage and sexuality, homosexuality, the killing of unborn children, euthanasia, and the use of illicit drugs.
One can reasonably predict that as the infatuation with skepticism and atheism grows among the influential “intellectual elite” of our society, so too will their readiness to embrace more radical changes in moral values. Religious believers expressing dismay and horror at the ominous moral storm clouds looming on the horizon are met with smug derision, hysterical counter-accusations, or utter indifference. There is nothing that atheistic societies are incapable of rationalizing and accepting – including the sexual molestation of children.
Now join me in the real world for a while, Rabbi. In the real world, there is nothing that religious societies have been incapable of rationalizing and accepting — yes, including the sexual molestation of children. Take a long at your own Torah, for crying out loud, which is filled with the most barbaric acts imaginable, from slavery to genocide, and nearly all of them not merely allowed by God but commanded by God. Just look at Numbers 31 and tell me how a non-religious society could possibly do any worse.
In the real world, it is the Catholic Church that has had an overwhelming problem with pedophilia. And they’re hardly alone. The world of Orthodox Judaism has had its own problems in that regard. I’ve read many tales of child molestation being quite routine among Orthodox Jews, especially in communities that isolate themselves from the rest of society.
The notion that atheism implies no morality while religious belief provides a sound basis for morality is historically disproved. Can you think of a single act of barbarism that has not been justified throughout history as being commanded by one god or another? I can’t either.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: