Hawknc wrote:It's not a moral judgement, it's a statement of fact. The only thing we don't know for sure there is if they're primarily attracted to prepubescents, or whether they just took advantage of a young girl.
There are all sorts of bizarre and convoluted scenarios one could envision that would cause them to fall outside of these two possibilities. Such scenarios just happen to be extremely unlikely.
Hawknc wrote:Wow. I just don't get this topic. A girl gets raped at 7 years of age, which completely skews her sexual development, but it's okay that ten guys took advantage of that to have sex with her at age 10, despite no evidence that she was even aware of the potential consequences of sex? I don't even know what the arguments here are trying to achieve.
I believe that in the typical manner of a group of nerds, we're ignoring the actual case in order to discuss whether the laws and feelings involved are reasonable at all times or whether there are peculiar cases where they would result in unjust decisions. For example, if she were actually a quickly-developing humanoid alien, would age of consent still apply? I think that most in the discussion agree that what happened was quite wrong. The only argument I could see that would apply to the particular situation is that this behaviour might somehow be part of the culture and therefore singling these men out for what is a more general problem might be unfair, but even that is dubious and probably irrelevant anyway.
Belial wrote:We don't let children make decisions that will hurt them for the rest of their lives because we don't believe they should have to suffer the rest of their lives for a decision they made in an impaired state. And being undeveloped both neurologically and psychologically is an impaired state.
Certainly, in many cases, what you say might be true. But you, like society and the law, leave no room for exceptions, and exceptions do exist, though they tend to be extremely rare. It should also be said that you don't go far enough in other statements: in most cases, we hardly let children make any decisions at all, even beneficial ones.
GhostWolfe wrote:Do you remember being 10?
I can't speak for all of you, because frankly, I think I was a late bloomer, but it was only in the last few years that I developed an actual awareness of the world beyond my own head. It wasn't until very recently that I realised that when I was ten: I had no idea what grown ups did all day long, I thought the food at McDonalds magically appeared on the trays, when I was ten I didn't even realise there was staff serving the counters.
At the age of ten, I was not in anyway fully capable of making decisions about my own body.
I understand what people have been saying about the so-called arbitrarity of the "age of consent", and you keep presenting these arguments suggesting that some children mature - mentally and/or physically - earlier than the age of consent. No one is going to dispute that some of them do, but the point of age of consent is to protect the majority that didn't mature that quickly.
I think I had a reasonable understanding of things when I was ten. Perhaps I was more idealistic, and thus thought communism could be workable even though it had failed in the past, and also that, at a children's video competition in Indiana, a video primarily about the socioeconomic factors that affect international borders would be well received, but these don't really mean that I didn't have an actual awareness of the world or capability to make responsible decisions. In fact, I would say that I cared far more about issues in the outside world then than I do now, and probably, in general, made better decisions. Unfortunately, quite a bit of my time was spent trying to fight against the protection you endorse.
As you say the point is to protect the majority, but making statements and laws that are too strict make life much harder than necessary for the small minority. For example, in this case, if the ten year old had organized the defence and come up with the legal arguments used, I might be inclined to raise my opinion of the men, though coming up out of an nearly endless abyss is difficult. I might also think more highly of them if it became clear that she had intentionally and maliciously caused them to perform the acts, perhaps through drugging, in order to ruin their lives for some reason. However, I highly doubt that any such of these took place, and thus it really seems that the light punishment is very unfortunate.