Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where Do You Draw The Line Between Right and Wrong?

This entry may not be suitable for all readers. There is no mature content, only hypothetical questions that may offend some audiences.

It's an honest question. Where is the line? If you think about stealing, is that wrong? Or it is only wrong if you follow through and actually steal something? (I'm not going to discuss the point "only illegal if you get caught" because this isn't about legality, it's about personal morals and ethics.)

I know Christians (and other demographics, but I'm just focusing on them for this example) who hold that just thinking about stealing breaks the commandment, even if they don't go forth and actually steal anything. I've also met Christians (ditto) who don't hold to that at all. It is by and large a personal choice.

However, there are aspects of this judgment that affect us all. I will warn you that I am going to try to objective about this, so I am siding with neither standpoint, merely presenting both sides.

What is typically called Paedophilia (mispelled as "pedophilia"), but is actually incorrectly used as an umbrella term to cover true paedophilia (prepubescents), hebephilia (11-14 pubescents), and ephebophilia (mid- to late-pubescents), is the sexual attraction to minors, underage members of society, adolescents, and other names.

I acknowledge that adults having sexual affairs with children (or those below the legal age of majority, which varies between states and countries) is illegal and wrong. That's not the question. The question is: is thinking about having sexual affairs with children (ditto) without following through wrong? Is it morally wrong to be turned on by the thoughts of children in sexually compromising situations wrong even if those thinking these thoughts never follow through?

I recognize that it's a disgusting thought, but that's not the question here. What is perceived to be disgusting has minimal affect on moral rightness. Scat, by definition, is disgusting, but it is not immoral (look it up if you must, I'm not going to describe it here). Many people in the world perceive homosexuality (and bi-sexuality, transexualism, pansexualism, transvestitism, hermaphrodism, this list could go on all day) disgusting but still are not against equal rights for homosexuals (and all those listed previously and more, ditto); in their minds, non-heterosexuality is disgusting, but not immoral.

Should someone be punished, either by their supreme deity (provided they have one) or ruling government, for thinking about this action without following through which gives them sexual satisfaction in a manner that would be illegal if and only if they did perform it (which they aren't)?

I would love to hear your answers and opinions, but please don't spout bible verses at me. Spell it out in your own words. I know what I believe and why I believe it, and I'm not going to post it in this entry. If I get sufficient answers, then maybe I will, but I need a better measure of my audience first.