Did you think that the one moral certainty in our society that everyone agrees on is the evil of the sexual abuse of children? Think again. This taboo is the next one to fall.
If you would like a lesson in how old Screwtape works take time to read through this article from the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
The piece discusses various studies on pedophilia, and attempts to relativize this horrible issue. Here’s a quote:
“There are a lot of people who say: “we outlawed homosexuality, and we were wrong. Perhaps we’re wrong about paedophilia.”
The journalist doesn’t go so far as to endorse pedophilia. He doesn’t even write sympathetically about pedophiles. Oh no, it’s much more subtle than that. Instead he states that “society’s attitudes change” and “experts don’t agree” and “it’s all very complicated” and “it could be that pedophilia is simply a natural condition that cannot be changed. He opines that it may be one of many sexual orientations, and that we should seek to understand the condition rather than condemn. He goes on to say that certain studies have shown that sexual relationships between adults and underage partners are not necessarily “harmful”.
Quite apart from the actual article itself, it is interesting to see what is going on here. The writer uses contrasting studies by “experts” to confuse his readership about a moral choice which should be transparently easy. Pedophilia in all its forms is wrong. End of story.
The modern relativist, however, is more unhappy with a moral black and white than he is with pedophilia itself. Like a tongue with a broken tooth–he can’t leave it alone. He has to unpack every moral decision and show how “It’s not that easy” and “Its actually very complicated”. This obsession is so complete in our society that the relativist will now even begin to attempt to show us that pedophilia is “a disease” and “a condition”. If it is such, then there is no moral blame and we tolerant people must “try to understand”.
Before too long pedophiles will be coming out of the closet. If they have not already done so, they will write “moving memoirs” of how they were persecuted for “love that dare not speak its name.” The liberal press will daintily begin to tell the stories of pedophiles who were in “loving relationships” with young people who “may have been legally underage, but emotionally were very mature”. They will tell heart breaking stories of men pedophiles who “were born that way” and “have been living a lie” because of “society’s bigotry and cruelty.” They will manufacture or dig up stories of young men and women who were in a relationship when they were underage who will testify that there was not only nothing wrong with it, but that was the place they at last found “true love”. Indeed, the article quotes a pedophile activist,
“If there’s no bullying, no coercion, no abuse of power, if the child enters into the relationship voluntarily … the evidence shows there need be no harm.”
Beneath all the psycho babble, the fake compassion and pseudo rationalistic, intellectual ‘concern’ notice how it all works: the first premise is that there are no moral absolutes. From that follows the only criteria for judgement is “what society thinks” or individual opinions mixed with sentimentality and a utilitarian approach. With such subjective criteria for judgement virtually anything is permitted for with a few clever arguments virtually anything can be permitted because virtually anything can be argued for.
What is the final result of such relativism? Tyranny. That’s why Benedict XVI calls names “the dictatorship of relativism”. Not only does one become a slave to the different forms of relativistic thinking, but eventually one will be come a slave to a real life dictator.
Why is this? Because the world of relativism is amoral. The relativist argues away every absolute moral standard. The result is that there are no morals except what is decided by “society” and when “society” is so complacent and self indulgent that it cannot conceive of any morality and does not want to enforce any morality, then there is only one power great enough to enforce good behavior: armed force–a police force. That police force in a totalitarian state will be ruthless and uncompromising–putting in place arbitrary rules that are decided by a greater power for the greater good.
There will be no argument against them–no argument that their force is irrational or unfair–no appeal to a higher authority because any idea of a greater good or a transcendent authority for what has good has already been disposed of long ago. Consequently the only rule of law will be that arbitrary rule of law deemed to be for the best of all by a supreme authority–the dictator of the age.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.