General Question

longgone's avatar

How come it is okay to openly ask for pedophiles to be tortured?

Asked by longgone (12793points) November 6th, 2013

I’m all for locking up every single convicted pedophile – I don’t think they can be cured in the majority of cases and obviously, keeping kids safe is incredibly important.

What I don’t get is why it is considered no big deal to describe in detail how one would like a pedophile to be punished. There are Facebook groups dedicated to this that make me shiver. Yes, pedophiles are dangerous, they have probably destroyed a child’s life, and I don’t like to think about them. But does it really help anyone to imagine them tortured? How? Do you think hate can help the children and parents involved to heal? Is it just a way of showing support? Or is it something entirely different, which I am not even thinking of?

Again: I do want pedophiles locked up. I am not advocating compromising kids’ safety, please understand that. I couldn’t bear to put any child at risk, we are (hopefully) all in agreement there.

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204 Answers

tom_g's avatar

There are crimes that we find so upsetting that our reaction (many of us – especially parents) is to want to do awful things to these people.

However, it is precisely this instinct (or tendency) that we need to fear or keep in check through a justice system that provides a cool, rational approach to making sure that the accused is truly guilty of the crime. And it should be designed to simply remove threats from the population to stop repeat offenders.

The system in some sense needs to protect us from our primal urges for revenge.

Edit: To answer your question – I do not think it is OK. It makes me very uncomfortable, but I understand where it comes from.

whitenoise's avatar

I couldn’t answer that…. I feel people are just bloodthirsty animals still.

They would like to make these suggestions likely for any one sort of criminal, but feel that it is commonly understood that anything goes for pedophiles.

The (in)humanity you put into a penalty is not just reflecting on the victim, but also on the society in whose name the punishment is implemented. This view I have always had and is one of the reasons I am against death penalty as well.

Savage punishments imply degrading ourselves when we apply them.

For the parents of individual victims, I can empathize more with the gut yearning for revenge. That is why we have judges and juries…

elbanditoroso's avatar

You can ask for anything you want. If it makes you sound extremist and crazy, well, that’s the price you pay for the right to sound outlandish.

Like it or not, we have laws and courts. We don’t live in a vigilante society, we live in a society where there are rules. Get over it.

jerv's avatar

If everybody wants to do something, it can’t be wrong, with “wrong” being defined as “unacceptable to the majority”.

jerv's avatar

@elbanditoroso If a large enough percentage of people agree with you, you’re “average” by definition, so you cannot be “extremist”.

whitenoise's avatar

@jerv

You are only correct for your limited interpretation of the definition of wrong.

If everybody’s wrong, however, then everybody’s wrong. Simple.

More so… everybody could want to do something, still realizing that it is wrong to put such action into reality.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t like to see that type of thing here, or anywhere. It’s not okay with me.

ucme's avatar

I’m of the opinion that the parents/family of the innocents that had their lives torn away in the most barbaric fashion by these sick fucks, should get to kill the bastards responsible.
Of course it won’t bring their children back, neither will it stop their suffering, that’s a life sentence from which there’s no escape. But for sheer, undiluted rage fuelled vengeance…that’s got to count for something.

Katniss's avatar

The Facebook groups are a little over the top, I agree with that.
However, if somebody hurt my child, it would be game over for them. Just sayin.

ucme's avatar

@Katniss Exactly right, all rational thought of what’s right or wrong goes flying out the window.
Harm my kids & I turn into a fucking cold blooded sadistic killer with only one goal left in life, your fucking head on a plate!

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve never seen those groups and find it disturbing their are groups like that. However, if I were going to answer your question it would be because many victims of pedophilia have a lifetime of torture. Anxiety, lack of trust, low self esteem, paranoia, diffculties in relationships, etc. Also, I believe we naturally want to protect our children, so we have a lot of disgust for those who purposely harm children.

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jerv's avatar

So, @ucme, what does it count for? What is it that makes “eye for an eye” acceptable? My interpretation of the question is that there is an apparent double standard that the OP wants clarified. Why is it not okay to be a monster, but it’s okay to be a monster? Any attempt at arguing context (“But he hurt a child! That makes ripping his spleen out with a rusty sppon okay!”) is, to me, not really a valid justification; monstrous is monstrous.

josie's avatar

I like what @elbanditoroso said.

That aside, what if the torture of pedophiles was limited to waterboarding. Would that be good compromise?

tom_g's avatar

@jerv: “My interpretation of the question is that there is an apparent double standard that the OP wants clarified. Why is it not okay to be a monster, but it’s okay to be a monster?”

This is my interpretation of the question as well.

It’s not an opportunity to explain what’s so bad about pedophilia – we’re all on the same page there.

Seek's avatar

The same argument can be used against capital punishment.

Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

—The answer is, I don’t know. I personally think we should bring back banishment. Stop spending so much money on putting bad people in cages, and put them somewhere and let them fend for themselves; make some quality of life apart from children. In a couple hundred years, we’ll have another Australia.

longgone's avatar

“My interpretation of the question is that there is an apparent double standard that the OP wants clarified. Why is it not okay to be a monster, but it’s okay to be a monster?”

That is what I’m asking, yes.

I know this is a sensitive topic. I’d like to thank everyone up to this point for discussing it in a civil way. I’m sure I would have been slaughtered on many other Q&A sites.

jerv's avatar

@tom_g Precisely! However I had the feeling before I read any of the responses that there would be some people turning this thread into something resembling one of the Facebook groups the OP mentioned.

@josie Considering the vigilante nature of society, about the only humane thing would be lethal injection. Less painless than living as a pariah until you’re beaten to death by an angry mob.

@Seek_Kolinahr But then there wouldn’t be so much money flowing towards for-profit prisons!

Seek's avatar

^ Less painless or less painful?

jerv's avatar

I think that one possible justification is that it’s the human thing to do. Humans are not logical creatures; we react emotionally to certain things. It’s not normal for a human to seek sexual gratification from a child, but most species have an instinctive desire to protect the young. So it’s considered “okay” because it’s a natural reaction whereas pedophilia is considered “unnatural”.

@Seek_Kolinahr Damn autocorrect! I’m posting from my phone.

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filmfann's avatar

If we allow the torture of pedophiles, we then have to be 100% sure that those convicted of being pedophiles really are. I cannot imagine a system that is 100% accurate on convictions.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t think any prisoners should be tortured, regardless of their crimes. People let their emotions get the best of them, but that doesn’t make their argument logical by any means.

Rickomg's avatar

I believe the definition of “Right” is what is most survival for the greatest number of people. Definition of “Wrong” is what is least survival for the greatest number of people. That given putting these types in jail, when we can never allow them to be in society ever again, is a waste of time and resources. When all those resources should actually go for the victims of these crimes. They are the ones that suffer. So personally I can understand and think its a natural reaction for a parents wish to wreak equal trama upon the pedophiles that was done to their children. However, rather than allowing those parents to “get blood on their hands” I believe we should put the offenders to death in as humane way as possible. Thus ending the chance or any possibility of recurrence and wastes no more time or resources on a complete liability to our society. It does not have to be public, but I do believe that the Parents of the victims and possible even the victims should be able to witness if they so choose, for closure.

Seek's avatar

^ Kill them all? Just the ones that touch babies, or the 30 year old dude who didn’t check the “barely-legal’s” ID?

Why is it OK to allow the penal system to have blood on their hands, but not the person who has a reason to seek revenge?

Also, do you know what capital cases cost?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr “or the 30 year old dude who didn’t check the “barely-legal’s” ID?”

That man may be a sex offender, but he’s not a pedophile. And if the other person is “barely legal,” he wouldn’t even be a sex offender. Barely legal is still legal.

Seek's avatar

That’s why I had it in quotes. Some dudes like the “barely legal” look, and that’s how they get trapped, by getting caught with actual 17 year olds, or by actually of age law enforcement plants.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Just as a side note, a “barely legal” in Colorado would be 14. A 30-year-old man getting busted with a 14-year-old girl and prosecuted is hardly a travesty.

ucme's avatar

@jerv It counts for nothing, as I said in my post, it’s just pure naked fury & I don’t give a shit about the morality of it. No amount of bleeding heart liberal crap is going to hold me back if some sick fuck harms my kids, regardless of the personal consequences.

Seek's avatar

Prosecuted, fine.

Murdered, not fine.

tom_g's avatar

@ucme: “No amount of bleeding heart liberal crap…”

Huh? What does this have to do with “bleeding heart liberal crap”? Did I miss a post somewhere?

Neodarwinian's avatar

It is not OK and people with such ” fantasies ” are more dangerous than the pedophile.

What next? What other things could such barbaric minds conceive of as worthy of such punishment?

An individual reaction in the heat of the moment is one thing but to think that such barbarity could be encoded in law is quite another thing, a thing that must be zealously guarded against.

ucme's avatar

@tom_g Nowhere in my post did I reference anyone here, i’m not responsible for any assumption made, in this case, by you. The crap I was referring to was the popular opinion which goes against the tide of my stance on the subject.

Rickomg's avatar

So Your basically saying, (to put it in a metaphore) that if you had a finger that was infected and highly infectious to others and would never get better and constantly need expensive medical treatment (and Insurance would never pay for it all expenses for its up keep would be out of your pocket) that you would prefer to keep the finger and live with the trouble, pain, and expense rather than having it surgically removed thus eliminating the chance of further trouble… Your Logic is Based more on emotion than fact. Yes I am saying remove the offending “finger” in such a way as to leave no chance of ever causing more infection.

tom_g's avatar

@ucme: “The crap I was referring to was the popular opinion which goes against the tide of my stance on the subject.”

Here in the states, the tide is quite with you. And I think we’re probably in agreement, but possibly talking past each other on a technicality.

As soon as my first kid was born, I went from thinking I was incapable of hurting someone to having very vivid fantasies of inflicting immense pain and suffering on people whenever I sensed (or even imagined) a threat to my kid.

I was out on a walk one day and a guy had a dog that was unleashed and out of control. It ran right up to my 2-year-old daughter with it’s hair standing straight up and started showing it’s teeth. I pounced on the dog and pinned it to the ground. The guy walked up and started giving me grief about how I was restraining his dog. I told him to leash his dog and get it away from my kid now. He still gave me grief, and I told him (note: this was all true) that if he didn’t shut his fucking mouth, apologize, and run away with his dog as fast as he could, I was going to dismember the dog, and then I would dismember him. I could actually see myself doing so in my mind. I know exactly how I would do it, and it would feel right.

I know what it feels like to want to spend years torturing someone for inflicting even the most minor pain on my kid. There is a reason these thoughts are common – evolution. But that doesn’t mean that it’s “right” in a moral sense. And you have essentially already stated that (@ucme: “I don’t give a shit about the morality of it”).

But what we’re talking about (I believe) when we discuss what is “okay” is what we aspire to be as a society, and what it means to build a morality that isn’t just primal instinct. These instincts are to be acknowledged, but they are certainly not to be celebrated – or codified into law.

Are we on the same page here? Are you saying that you know what you would do, even though you know it wouldn’t be “right”? Or are you proposing that society should alter its laws to allow for torture as a means of allowing our most primitive expressions of revenge to be expressed?

ucme's avatar

@tom_g We’re definitely on the same page man, same line read simultaneously if truth be told.
I abhor violence, always have, hate confrontation of any kind, it’s just not what i’m about.
At my core i’m as soft & fluffy as a teddy bear who constantly yells “hug me!”
The facebook scenario sickens me, not least because half of them probably don’t even have kids & are probably driven by hostility in all areas of their lives, rent a mob mentality.
I’m also not condoning torture, it’s just me, a lust for revenge & immediate death to the piece of human waste that dared to harm my kids.
Completely instinctive reaction based entirely on savage rage, i’d more than likely cry rivers of tears upon completing the ugly act, but there it is.

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ragingloli's avatar

Because Jews are off limits. The savages need some sort of outlet.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Because when it comes to parents’ outrage over their children being harmed, all bets are off. I wouldn’t necessarily torture someone for molesting my child, but I would kill them before our fucked up justice system could treat them like the decent humans they are not.

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Coloma's avatar

I don’t advocate torture, but I do advocate execution.
If we can euthanize a poor dog for being “vicious” when it is only acting out of fear,instinct and/or conditioning by humans we should gas those that have the brain power to choose their dirty deeds without remorse. They may be sick, and whatever issues they have are cause for some compassion, but…bottom line, pedophiles are not rehabilitation material, they are deviants that will continue to molest until the day they die.

It is morally sound at times to make certain sacrifices for the greater good.

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Mama_Cakes's avatar

Throw them on an island someone (no chance for escape) and let them fend for themselves.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

My aunt married a man who ended up being a child molester. He was found guilty on multiple accounts, thrown in prison and was murdered in there a few months later.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Mama_Cakes Then I guess incarceration really works.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

“Prosecuted, fine. Murdered, not fine.”

Of course. I never suggested anything on the contrary.

Nimis's avatar

Do I think people should spend an unhealthy amount of time online indulging in these fantasies? No.

Do I think actual (not speaking in terms of law, convicted, non-convicted, etc) pedophiles should be tortured? Yeah. I kind of do.
Agree with the dilemma that filmfann brought up.

I know the whole “an eye for an eye will leave the world blind” thing. But I also believe the punishment should fit the crime. What they do to these children is basically torture. While disturbing, I’m sure many of the suggestions on those Facebook pages only address the physical aspect of the crime. How do you choose a punishment equal to the crime for the psychological damage that they’ve done?

ucme's avatar

An example of the mob mentality that makes you want to puke.
A few years ago these bunch of dicks & dickettes smashed the windows on a guy’s house & if it wasn’t for the swift action of the police, were bent on dragging him out in the street & beating the crap out of him.
The rumour had spread that he was a paedophile, he was in fact a paedotrician…fucking dumb cunts!!

tom_g's avatar

@Nimis: “But I also believe the punishment should fit the crime.”

Why? And do you really mean that? I mean, if you commit a crime, should we calculate the sum of the suffering your crime has created, and find a way to inflict that on you? To what purpose would this serve?

Nimis's avatar

@tom_g I do believe that. Though not necessarily always about calculating the sum of suffering and inflicting it upon the perpetrator. It could also be about calculating the sum of damage and trying to undo it.

Crime: graffiti
Punishment: hours of community service painting walls
NOT: someone coming over to graffiti your house

But for the most part, in this example, much of the damage can not be undone.

tom_g's avatar

^ What about the “why?” part of the question (and the “what purpose” part)?

longgone's avatar

Thanks for sharing your opinions. Sometimes it seems like I’m the bad guy for not wanting to rip out a child molester’s spleen… However, I now understand the motivation behind parents’ comments a little better, mostly due to @jerv‘s post:

‘I think that one possible justification is that it’s the human thing to do. Humans are not logical creatures; we react emotionally to certain things. It’s not normal for a human to seek sexual gratification from a child, but most species have an instinctive desire to protect the young. So it’s considered “okay” because it’s a natural reaction whereas pedophilia is considered “unnatural”.’

I can understand that.

@whitenoise ‘For the parents of individual victims, I can empathize more with the gut yearning for revenge.’ Me, too.

@ucme ’ The facebook scenario sickens me, not least because half of them probably don’t even have kids & are probably driven by hostility in all areas of their lives, rent a mob mentality.’ That’s what worries me the most.

@Coloma ‘They may be sick, and whatever issues they have are cause for some compassion, but…bottom line, pedophiles are not rehabilitation material, they are deviants that will continue to molest until the day they die.’ You are willing to admit pedophiles might be sick, yet still want to kill them all? Is that really true? What if someone close to you got sick?

@Nimis If the damage can’t be undone – traumatized child, for example – why inflict more pain? Just because that’s “fair”?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I read somewhere that sex offenders have the highest recidivism rate of all crime offenders. So, personally, I feel as though we should lock ‘em up and throw away the key.

Don’t let them back into society.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t think anyone has the right to kill someone for anything at all.

Most of these boasts are hyperbole and hubris.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Yes, they are mentally ill, and I do have compassion, nobody thinks to themsrlves as a child ” Hey..I want to grow up to be a child molester”, anymore than a sociopath would choose being a serial killer. Thing is, in both cases these disorders are not curable, not treatable and the odds of re-offending are astronomical. Sooo…the question is, do we warehouse deviants forever or humanely euthanize them?
I have changed my views on this subject several times over the years but am now thinking that humane death for the worst of the worst is probably the kindest thing we could do for all involved.

tom_g's avatar

@Coloma – I think you may have meant to respond to @longgone‘s comment directed at you, not me. But I’ll respond…

@Coloma: “Sooo…the question is, do we warehouse deviants forever or humanely euthanize them?”

This is the capital punishment dilemma that we often have here. Since there is no way to guarantee that the correct person has been convicted of the crime, I think our only option is to warehouse them. There is then a chance for correction.

Nimis's avatar

To begin to understand the damage that they’ve done. That’s why I wouldn’t be down for water boarding them.
Sorry, josie.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I think that euthanizing them is a little extreme. And this is coming from someone who was sexually abused.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g I agree, the innocent factor is a huge consideration, I don’t know…all I know for sure is that innocent children need to be protected from this kind of life destroying harm.
The usual double edged sword, how many convictions should a pedophile be allowed to make certain they are not wrongly accused?
Kinda like having to wait to be murdered before the authorities will take ones fears of another seriously.

tom_g's avatar

@Coloma: “The usual double edged sword, how many convictions should a pedophile be allowed to make certain they are not wrongly accused?”

Wait – this is a completely different issue then you initially raised. Before, you were commenting on the choice between warehousing and killing offenders. Now you are bringing up the possibility that a pedophile should be allowed free once convicted. I completely oppose this. The recidivism rate (and the stakes) is too high to allow convicted pedophiles to walk free. We should warehouse them for life to protect the public.

Actually, I re-read this and I’m not sure I understood what you were saying. Sorry if I took this off in a wrong direction.

Nimis's avatar

Also, @Neodarwinian. I don’t think it should be encoded into law. Nor do I think it should be carried out by some crazed vigilante mob. I also don’t think it should be carried out by the victim or their families. That would place a whole different kind of psychological burden on them.

And that is my ahem torture dilemma. There’s no appropriate person to carry it out.

Dilemma, dilemma.

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Neodarwinian's avatar

@Nimis

What you think is immaterial.

That is why we cede power of this kind to the state so you really have no dilemma and the punishment fitting the crime thing is not up to you either.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Paedophiles must be tried, convicted and incarcerated to protect society. Torture is neither a form of rehabilitation not a fit manner for agents of of society to act. I understand the rage and revulsion that motivates calls to abuse these criminals but I reject their suggestions outright and absolutely!

YARNLADY's avatar

This is exactly the type of issue that demands a form of treatment.

In the old days they had something called lobotomy. It was very effective, but also subject to misuse and corruption.

If only some sort of precision brain surgery could be developed, I would prefer that method.

tom_g's avatar

@YARNLADY – While lobotomies are crude, you do bring up a good point. The advances in neuroscience will certainly present us with moral questions that we’ll need to discuss in the future.

Nimis's avatar

@Neodarwinian Isn’t the question asking what I think? Everyone’s responses here are immaterial. We’re just tossing around a bunch of ideas.

I don’t want the responsibility of finding the appropriate punishment. I was just trying to point out that while I might not be against pedophiles being tortured, I wasn’t for anyone having to do the torturing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

To say it and to actually do it are two different things. I wonder, if the people who say this should be done, had to actually go in and do the torturing, and if they could actually do it, I’d say they’re no better than the pedophile.

Skylight's avatar

We must all answer to our own conscience. My personal paradigm of reality adheres to the energetic laws of creation. Like begets like. Actions create reflections of themselves, which return to us as karma. An eye for an eye is just leveling the playing field so everyone allows their self to be reduced in behavior at the behest of the original perpetrator. The offender has set the rules, controlled the game to be played, and manipulated the ideals of everyone else.

There is no knowledge of how universal principles work, nor is there understanding of the concept of interconnectedness.

When one makes a choice to intentionally harm, and another makes a choice to intentionally harm them because of it, they both create the karma born of the willful choice to harm. It is the willful choice to harm that is responded to by the universe. It doesn’t matter why. They are the same intention, whether one pulls a knife or pulls a switch.

If one makes the choice not to harm despite the choice made by another, they determine their future as well. There will be no karmic return born of negativity, but of instead, positive action.

That we place ourselves as judge and jury over one another is highly unfortunate, as it propagates a vicious circle of negativity into the world.

Until people wake up to the universal laws they are ignorantly navigating, they will be imprisoned within them.

Are there victims? My understanding is no. This can only be workable in conjunction with the laws of karma and reincarnation. Previous lifetimes of actions before coming into this life partially determine that which we experience here, whether child or adult. All children have been adults before many times.

I would believe in the flawless intelligence of universal law over the limited judgments of a human being. That being said, compassion is still imperative when we witness harm to another. This incarnation rarely understands why things happen to them. They are, in that sense, innocent. Therefore we must as though occupy two spaces simultaneously: one in which we are aware of a far greater picture pertaining to what we witness, that demolishes the possibility of victimhood. The other is a space of compassion, based upon the innocence of this incarnation. As all incarnations lend knowledge to the soul, our truer self, it is this aspect of ourselves that each of our incarnations agree to serve even before being born, that one soul that illuminates each of our incarnations.

This includes their understanding of what is to come, and agreement to it. They are asked, “Do you see why this must happen?” They are made to see the karma that created that life experience, that action they themselves performed that began a negative journey back to them.

Humans love to blame. Personally, I cannot stand most of how I see human beings act in this world. It is my understanding of a greater order and purpose that sees me through it, as well as the beauty, hope and caring I see in so many other human beings.

I might as well mention that if bringing hardship to the life of a child is worthy of punishment, why are not the Republicans who vote against feeding, housing and educating children being held to account? Need we redefine the word ‘harm’ to prevent ourselves being hypocrites?

What ever happened to being an example of higher ideals? Must it always be ‘monkey see’, ‘monkey do’? That is a childish substitute for intelligence. It is also why, when we look around us, we see so much ugliness, cruelty and sorrow. These are choices supposedly conscious human beings are making. Greed, cruelty, hunger for power, dysfunctional minds, diseased bodies, and grave unhappiness are what happens when humans become disconnected from their truth.

When understood, the concepts I have spoken of are recognized as being in harmony with a very loving intelligence, with higher laws of being and comprehension, and with pervasive love that guides each being through the fires and into their inherent joy. We are taught, not punished. We are given the dignity of growth, not the shameful reed upon our butts throughout all of time and eternity. What futility such a scenario as hell serves.

What has an eye for an eye ever contributed to our evolution, but more of that which renders us hopeless? Within its context there is no growth, no vision, no healing, no transcendence, no shining, heroic example of our true potential. Is it any wonder heroes are so popular to humans? They look to someone else to do the heroic thing.

What there remains with an eye for an eye, is two empty eye sockets. Which begets the blind leading the blind.

Neodarwinian's avatar

” Everyone’s responses here are immaterial. ”

No, they are not. Some are material. Some realize that even this is ceded to the state.

” I might not be against pedophiles being tortured, I wasn’t for anyone having to do the torturing. ”

And not being against torturing pedophiles is definitely a troubling response, material or not.

Nimis's avatar

No, they are not. Some are material. Some realize that even this is ceded to the state.
Can you clarify a bit on this. I’m a little unclear on what you mean. My response is not material because I don’t realize that I cede this to the state? What is this referring to?

And not being against torturing pedophiles is definitely a troubling response, material or not.
I can understand that it is troubling to you. But I wasn’t trying to clarify to make it less troubling. Just clarifying.

chyna's avatar

I didn’t read the other answers yet, so if I repeat, sorry.
There was a case out in California (I think) years ago where a guy molested a child. He was on trial and the mom walked into the court and shot him dead. She didn’t want her child to have to look over his/her shoulder the rest of their life, afraid this man would do it again. She was willing, and did, go to jail for her child. I felt she did the best she could for her child.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@chyna The best thing was depriving a traumatized child of a mother? Yeah, parent of the year.

chyna's avatar

@livelaughlove21 She did what she thought was best. I have no idea if she is mother of the year or not.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@chyna What that child needed was his/her mother, and that mother betrayed her child by taking that away. The guy was on trial – who’s to say he wouldn’t have been sent to prison anyway? It was a stupid, emotionally charged decision that probably damaged the kid even more. Ridiculous.

chyna's avatar

@livelaughlove21 We will never know.

YARNLADY's avatar

@chyna @livelaughlove21 Her name was Ellie Nesler. It did not have a good outcome

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augustlan's avatar

I wonder if this kind of thing is consistent with a more conservative or authoritarian mind-set. If you’re pro-spanking, for instance, or pro-death penalty, does this go along with that? Just musing, here.

As most of you know, I was sexually abused from birth to age 13…and I cannot wrap my head around this “torture/kill them” idea. I have never wanted my abuser killed or tortured, though I would have killed him to save myself if it came down to it. My best possible outcome would have been for him to be locked up for life. Not even as a punishment, just to prevent him from hurting anyone else the way he hurt me. He’s dead, now, of natural causes.

As a mother of three girls, I can see myself going off the deep end if I walked in on someone harming my child. If I caught someone in the act, I could easily snap and kill (but not torture) the offender. If I found out after the fact? Never.

illusionslies's avatar

Death sentence is ridiculous.
Torturing pedophiles is sad.

This question should open up discussions on morality, security and even politics.

jerv's avatar

@augustlan That’s because you’re human, not a monster.

@illusionslies I was hoping for that myself. It was a rare moment of misplaced optimism.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@YARNLADY Even worse than I suspected. Like I said, parent of the year. Nice going, mom.

Nimis's avatar

@illusionslies
Do I think child molesters should be tortured? Yes.

Do I think torturing someone is morally wrong? Yes. It’s a moral burden that I wouldn’t want to inflict upon anyone.

I don’t think anyone is going to argue that torturing someone is morally right.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Nimis “Do I think child molesters should be tortured? Yes. Do I think torturing someone is morally wrong? Yes. It’s a moral burden that I wouldn’t want to inflict upon anyone.”

You just contradicted yourself. You wouldn’t inflict it upon anyone…except pedophiles. Makes no sense.

Nimis's avatar

@livelaughlove21
Being tortured is not a moral burden.
Doing the torturing is a moral burden.

augustlan's avatar

We probably all have things that we think are immoral or just bad that we do (or wish we could do) anyway. For instance, I smoke. Do I think I should? No. But I continue to do it with great relish. While I don’t understand @Nimis’ desire to have pedophiles tortured, the world (and the human beings in it) are not black-and-white, but many shades of grey. We are full of dichotomies.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Nimis After going back and reading your other responses here, it’s safe to say we won’t agree, so it doesn’t really matter. I avoided responding to your “punishment should fit the crime” comment like the plague for a reason.

Nimis's avatar

@augustlan I think it’s kind of you to try to play peacekeeper, but I don’t think that comparison will sit well with the masses.

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longgone's avatar

@tinyfaery
“Most of these boasts are hyperbole and hubris.”
I agree most people would never do what they’re describing, as @Dutchess_III pointed out. In spite of that, I still think even talking that way is a problem. There are all sorts of things a mob will do in the “right” mindset.

@YARNLADY
“If only some sort of precision brain surgery could be developed, I would prefer that method.”
Good point. It would be wonderful if discussions like this one were futile someday.

@chyna
Thanks for the story, and @YARNLADY, thank you for the link. I agree with @livelaughlove21 here…this mother may have meant well, but she didn’t help her son in the long run. Very sad.

@augustlan
“I can see myself going off the deep end if I walked in on someone harming my child. If I caught someone in the act, I could easily snap and kill (but not torture) the offender. If I found out after the fact? Never.”

Exactly how I feel. I understand the emotional parent of a victim, but to cold-bloodedly describe how you’d hurt another human being, deadly serious, that seems very wrong.

“We probably all have things that we think are immoral or just bad that we do (or wish we could do) anyway.”

I think that helped me understand the distinction @Nimis is making between wanting pedophiles to be tortured and not thinking it is morally right. However, I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning in general…I’ve thought about it, and have not come up with any examples that would apply to me. I may want to take a chocolate bar when I’m at a store without money, but I do know why stealing won’t work. The cigarettes you’re addicted to, so I would say that’s different. Is there really anything you want to change in the world while knowing it would be wrong? I can’t wrap my head around that. I’m still thinking, though, so that may change.

@Nimis
“Isn’t the question asking what I think?”

It is, yes…and I’m glad you’re responding!

“To begin to understand the damage that they’ve done.”

Would your opinion change if the pedophile in question had been molested himself? I seem to recall there are a lot of those cases (no time for research). That person would not need to “understand” the damage he’d done – he’s been through it himself.

LostInParadise's avatar

How much do we know about the psychology of pedophiles? Most of them do not engage in other criminal acts and many of them have positions of power and respect. As an extreme case, consider members of the clergy who are child molesters. How can such a thing be possible? Do they understand the hypocrisy of what they are doing? Do they feel remorse? What would really be best for everyone is if there were a way of reaching out to potential pedophiles and working to prevent them from acting on their impulses, if such a thing is possible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you walked in on someone hurting your child in that way and you killed him right then and there, I can’t imagine that you’d do any jail time.

Coloma's avatar

I have changed my views on this subject over the years. I was pretty new agey for awhile, into all the speeeritual thought of oneness and how our every thought and action effects the greater good or evil of the planet.
However….really, if you want to take certain philosophies down to the bare bones if, as humans, we are to be aware of how our deeds play out on a collective level, then eliminating a few for the greater good of many is a sound “speeeritual” practice.

Pedophiles suffer, their victims suffer, and therefore, if we eliminate the suffering of the pedophile by humane death, we also eliminate much potential future suffering for victims that will, thankfully, never be victimized.
This would be a sound decision in the best interest of the greater good IMO.
Of course, actually implementing this and finding infallible ways to make sure innocent people are not victims of a system gone wrong…well…that’s a fish far too big for me to fry.

I am not saying this would be a perfect solution, and certainly in cases such as these, the ” 3 strikes” law is rendered useless. 3 strikes for a Pedophile is not on the same continuum as 3 strikes for a drug dealer or petty thief.
I’d also agree that although I am more pacifist at heart, you betcha’, if I walked in on someone molesting my child I am pretty damn sure I could put a butcher knife through their heart with little remorse.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III You’d probably be charged with voluntary manslaughter but any decent lawyer would use “defense of others” defense. And I think a jury would probably find you not guilty. However, not every case works out that way. If you had to leave the room to find a gun on the other side of the house, you’d probably be on trial for murder as opposed to manslaughter and that defense probably wouldn’t work.

Going to the courtroom weeks or months after the event and shooting the perp is a whole other story. That shows premeditation (no heat of the moment) and your ass would deserve prison time for it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wouldn’t be leaving the room without taking my kid with me! No, I’d kill him right then and there unless he killed me first.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with your assessment @livelaughlove21. Reading the link that referred to that incident…the woman was a little unhinged anyway, it sounded like.

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jerv's avatar

I’m with @livelaughlove21; once you get into premeditation, you really aren’t much better than a kiddy-diddler yourself.

mattbrowne's avatar

In Germany, I recently saw a bumper sticker on a car that read: For animal testing use pedophiles instead of animals, which I found shocking and in violation of article one of Germany’s constitution (and which actually makes the sticker illegal).

Torturing pedophiles is not okay to me. Why is it okay to some people? Probably the same reason some people support the death penalty, based on primitive instincts predating civilization, as if revenge removes evil from the world. As if the judicial system never makes mistakes.

Locking criminals away for their crimes without torture is the civilized way to go.

Coloma's avatar

@mattbrowne To be very clear, I do NOT support “torture”, however, using hardcore, violent offenders/criminals for medical testing, humanely done, is not a bad thing IMO. For one, animal studies are not reflective of human reaction, and secondly, why not have these people contribute to the greater good of all mankind by giving back something, not to mention the cost of 40–50k a year or more to warehouse these people.

I see nothing wrong with them being used for humanely carried out science and medical research. Commit these types of crimes, child molestation, rape, murder, and you lose your rights. Just as you have taken away the rights of your victims to live and flourish in a safe community.

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tom_g's avatar

@Coloma: “I see nothing wrong with them being used for humanely carried out science and medical research. Commit these types of crimes, child molestation, rape, murder, and you lose your rights.”

Well, not to be redundant, but I strongly disagree with your position here. I’m just curious why you feel that these specific crimes are the ones that should result in people being used for medical testing. Do you think it has something to do with your emotional response when you think about the crimes that have been committed? Or have you calculated the amount of suffering that has been caused by these crimes, and the amount of suffering is significantly higher, and therefore would justify this?

And more importantly, we’re talking about an imperfect system where people are incorrectly convicted of crimes. Would it concern you at all that you or a family member could be convicted of a crime, and while sitting there in jail hoping to eventually find evidence to overturn the case is subjected to being turned into some kind of guinea pig?

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Coloma's avatar

@tom_g

Well, again, I certainly am not able to come up with a fool proof plan to make sure innocents are not wrongly harmed. However….as I mentioned, if one commits violent crimes I feel they give up their rights when they choose to exploit the rights of others.
Most importantly, research on animals is inconclusive and species specific in it’s results. The best “subjects” for human research are other humans.

I’m not talking about a blow torch to someone, I am suggesting humane research on human subjects which would advance care for others, be the most accurate in research progress and allow these people to give something back for all they have taken and destroyed in the lives of others. Not really a bad idea if you think about it but certainly highly controversial.

Coloma's avatar

I’d also add that seeing how many of these types are murdered, “tortured” and killed within the prison system perhaps segegating them and applying humane research practices might be more humane than leaving them at the mercy of their fellow inmates.

tom_g's avatar

@Coloma – Fair enough, we’ll exclude the “innocent” thing for a moment. But why is it that these particular crimes (“violent crimes”) make someone eligible for such treatment?

Note: I’m trying to determine if you feel that there should be a punitive system, or one that simply removes problems, and if there are certain crimes that are excluded.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Really, just following a thought, being a big picture type thinker. My thoughts are, again, that “eligibility” would be only for hardcore violent offenders not Martha Stewart. lol
Trust me, I have gone around and around on my feelings/thoughts on this sort of topic. Just tossing out various possibilities for dealing with the worst of the worst.

I would only, ever, even remotely, suggest this idea as an alternative to incarceration if there was iron clad proof, and, only for the most violent and deranged, along with repeating that by so choosing to commit these atrocious acts, they relinquish their rights. Of course this opens another can of philosophical worms.

How to determine “sanity” and “choice.” Very complex, sooo, to reiterate my disclaimer, just following a train of thought, not certain it is a solution or a truth, just entertaining a myriad of scenarios in what to do with and about the most deviant of the planet.

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tom_g's avatar

@Coloma – I don’t think we’re going to agree on this. But thanks for your response.

Just out of curiosity, what are your (brief) thoughts on free will? And does that play a role in your thoughts on crime and punishment?

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Well..that’s the catch. Is there really such a thing as “free will” at all? Some say yes, some say no. From my vast studies over the years I would have to say that in many ways, one cannot determine free will if people are acting from a place of unconsciousness, run by their compulsions and rote programming. Free will or not though there are consequences tfor our actions in this “civilization.”
Again, I am not saying I would really “choose” the avenue I present, just exploring all possible solutions, tossing in some out of the box ideas.

I do agree that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, OTOH, a pedophile for a pedophile leaves a lot of children safer.

livelaughlove21's avatar

So criminals haven’t lost enough rights as a result of their crimes, so let’s stick them with needles and force-feed them experimental drugs that may have horrible side effects or even kill them. Yeah, that’ll happen. The right to be free is taken from them (the right to live where they want, eat what they want, sleep where they want, do what they want), but not the right to their own bodies. I’d love to know what “humane” testing of human beings really is. Who determines whether it’s humane or not? It sounds like the exact opposite of humane, in fact, if it is against the will of that human being. If drugs are tested on humans, those people should be volunteers, not individuals who committed a few select crimes that society deems “worse” than all the others.

@Coloma ”...a pedophile for a pedophile leaves a lot of children safer.”

Forgive my ignorance, but what does that even mean? Incarcerating pedophiles also keeps children safer – at least in theory. But what the hell is “a pedophile for a pedophile?”

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tom_g's avatar

@Coloma: “Free will or not though there are consequences tfor our actions in this “civilization.””

The “or not” part matters, right? If you don’t believe that traditional free will exists, then likely you will view the role of a criminal justice system as one of simply removing threats from the population. Period. Similar to how you might remove a cancerous tumor.

But if it does exist in the traditional sense (which I do not believe it does), then people might be tempted to engage in “punishment” of some kind.

Coloma's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Just playing with words, pun intended.
Again, I am just posing potential ideas here, if push came to shove I do not know exactly what I would agree with or disagree with.
As far as rights, well, drunks lose their driving rights, bank robbers lose their rights as free citizens and pedophiles lose their freedom as well, their “right” as a good citizen to co-mingle in society and possibly their “right” to humane treatment in the prison system.

@tom g Duly noted and agreed.

I’ve enjoyed this discussion, but quite frankly I’m exhausted now. :-)

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Constitutionally protected speech.

For now anyway.

Also: You say you want these fiends locked up.

Looks like those that want them tortured will get their wish.

longgone's avatar

@mattbrowne I’ve seen a bumper sticker like that…made me feel sick. If these experiments were safe and humane, they wouldn’t need to be done.

I just found this NCBI study , in which 42% of the pedophiles questioned claimed to have been molested in their own childhoods.

Coloma's avatar

@longgone I agree, victims of victims, sad, but….I had a less than idyllic childhood and have not committed any crimes against others. Maybe brings up the resilience factor too. very complex issue.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, but her stats indicate that 58% of pedophiles weren’t molested as children.

longgone's avatar

@Coloma If you’ve been abused yourself, I understand the issue is more than upsetting to you.

@Dutchess_III If we thought they had all been molested, there would hopefully not be anyone claiming they should be tortured. I think 42% is a relatively high number. Though this study is by no means representative.

Coloma's avatar

@longgone I had the “funny Uncle”, nothing major, but yes, the extra “touchy feely” type. However, my feelings are not influenced by my past, the “abuse” was subtle compared to what many kids experience. I just think that as sad as it is, pedophiles are never going to be safe people and just look at all the registered sex offenders out there. Playing with fire IMO.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Right….in these caes it is simply deviant behavior, brain wiring, who knows what recipe makes a pedophile.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Coloma – I disagree for two reasons. 1:No judicial system is perfect. 2:There are messed up adults raised and constantly beaten by their drug-addicted parents. We still have to protect society from these messed up adults, if they become a threat, but we can’t treat them as anything less than humans.

Human dignity is inviolable. (article 1 of the German constitution)

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Coloma's avatar

@mattbrowne I’m not advocating treating them as less than human, just posing a myriad of possible scenarios. What would be more humane, allowing them to be tortured and murdered in prison or cared for comfortably while contributing to the advancement of science and medicine in a humane and controlled environment?
I agree the judicial system is flawed and mentioned that I certainly don’t have all the answers but, sometimes, in the best interest of the greater good, sacrifice may happen, it is unavoidable.

We take for granted the thousands of innocent victims of war yet the idea of eliminating, with as much accuracy as possible, a few extremely dangerous individuals is somehow an outrageous proposition?
Again, I am the first to say that just because I am tossing out some scenarios here does not mean, when push comes to shoving the pedophile, that I would vote for or agree with my musings.

LostInParadise's avatar

Something to ponder. I contend that a society that practices harsh punishment of offenders creates an environment of hatred that at some point becomes counter-productive.

There is certainly deterrent value in imprisoning criminals, but beyond that the message being sent is that harsh treatment of people is okay. A state that practices capital punishment is sanctifying murder. The state can’t say that murdering is okay for me but not for you, do as I say but not as I do. The same holds for any kind of harsh treatment of pedophiles or anyone else.

One goal of the legal system is to prevent crime. Spreading anger, hatred and violence creates an environment that fosters crime and is therefore counter-productive.

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mattbrowne's avatar

@Coloma – Beaten by his parents as a child, then experimented on as adults in the name of the advancement of science and medicine? Being a voluntary test person is okay. But everyone should be treated the same, pedophile or not.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@mattbrowne I have to respectfully, yet vehemently disagree. In my very honest opinion, one that I’ve had since before ever becoming a mother, when an adult deliberately strips a child of their human right to innocence, that adult forfeits any rights to being treated with any kind of respect or kindness. Adults who abuse children in that manner are the scum of the earth, and do not deserve any sort of decent treatment. I’m always glad to see stories on the news of pedophiles being justifiably murdered by the child’s parents, or being murdered in prison. That’s what they deserve.

If there were a choice for pedophiles to be in a more secure area of the prison and undergo scientific testing, I’m sure many of them would sign up, just to save their own asses. And I wouldn’t have a problem with that, since they’d be doing something beneficial with their scumsucking lives.

ucme's avatar

They don’t deserve human rights because they gave up on being human the moment they chose to be sick fucking bastards.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ Exactly that.

You can have those thoughts in your head, never act on them, and live with being a disgusting pervert. Once you act on them, you are a sick fucking piece of shit who just gave up your right to be treated humanely.

Again, I’m not saying I could watch pedophiles be tortured, much as I like to imagine the thought, but I can understand the reasoning behind it. Any mutherfucker who dared to touch my child like that would be a dead mutherfucker. I might entertain the thought of killing him slowly, with pliers, and a hacksaw, and a spoon, and hedge clippers, and a baseball bat, and hydrochloric acid, and a rusty butter knife… but I don’t know that I could actually stomach it.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Why do the animals that abuse kids have any rights? I think they give that up as soon as they hurt someone else.

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livelaughlove21's avatar

What about adult men that rape adult women? What about female teachers that sleep with teenage boys in their class? What about your run-of-the-mill murderers? What about the robber that didn’t plan to hurt anyone, but got spooked and shot a convenience store clerk?

Do all of these give up their right to be treated humanely because they hurt people, or is it just male pedophiles that should be tortured for their crimes?

If it’s just pedophiles and none of the others (or even a few others), what is the logic behind that? If you take emotion out of the equation, what makes one worse than the other?

^Real question, looking for a real answer.

tom_g's avatar

I’m convinced that the two “sides” of this issue are nothing more than a reflection of our different beliefs concerning the existence of free will.

I need to come up with a separate question here on fluther that will explore this question in more detail.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@livelaughlove21 The difference between all of those and pedophiles can be summed up very easily: You. Don’t. Destroy. Children. Children are sacred.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I put all rapists in the same category as the peds. When you touch someone’s sexuality you are also touching their most private, intimate areas, and their souls. That is something no one has the right to take from someone else. It should never be taken by force.

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tom_g's avatar

Remember, explaining what is so wrong about molesting a child is not even on topic here. We’re all on the same page concerning pedophilia. The question is not about how bad it is, or a chance to explain how much more opposed to pedophilia you are than anyone else.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yeah, but explaining why it’s SO wrong is a huge part of explaining why some people are okay with discussing vicious punishment, which IS the topic. It is so disgusting and heinous, that I feel fine with calling for their death, and imagine the thought of torture. The terrible nature of the crime is WHY it is “okay to ask for” that terrible punishment.

tom_g's avatar

^ I disagree. It explains why people discuss those things, but does nothing to explain why we are okay with discussing this. That is, it might explain our instinctual, brutal, reactions. But does not explain why, at our most rational, we are ok with encouraging this. And this thread has really turned into a discussion about how pedophiles should be treated once convicted.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Maybe we’re just not reading it the same, then. “How come it is okay to openly ask for pedophiles to be tortured?” “It’s okay because their crime is so disgustingly heinous and unthinkable, that asking for heinous and unthinkable punishment is a normal reaction.” So to me, explaining why pedophilia is so fucking nasty, answers the why of the question. Explaining why pedophilia is so much more disgusting than other crimes, answers why we’re not okay with encouraging torture for “normal” crimes, but are okay with requesting it for pedophiles.

tom_g's avatar

Ok. I’ll grant you that we will likely not come to an agreement here. And it is most likely something deeper than this question. For example, when a bunch of religious martyrs flew planes into the WTC, we all strained to deal with the pain and we struggled to make sense out of it. But when a large part of the population responded with yet more religion, I was stumped. It seemed extremely inappropriate. I tend to not want to strive towards a society that expresses its dislike of something by doing exactly what it professes to dislike.

ucme's avatar

* chews on jelly babies *
What makes paedophiles worse is their victims didn’t get a chance at life yet, that was torn away from them at the will of a born to lose fuckwad who failed in their miserable life.
Sure, lock away rapists & murderers, throw the fucking key away & let them rot, but kiddyfiddlers…die cunt die!!
I’m not advocating torture, as I said earlier, i’d kill them outright in an instant if they harmed my kids, pure instinctive rage reflex.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@tom_g Oh, it’s definitely something deeper that triggers such emotional responses toward this subject. People who have not been victims of pedophilia can never understand the emotional torture the victims go through for the rest of their lives. Never. You can’t even come close to truly understanding the desire for the torture or death of such defilers. The only reason one sick fucker is still alive right now, is because he destroyed me and not my children. Is it okay for me to literally torture that pedophile? No. Is it okay for me to want to? Yes. Why is it okay for me to want to? Because he killed a piece of me that I can never get back. Because he traumatized me so deeply that he permanently ruined a part of my life. So the thorough explanation of the awful nature of the crime fully explains the why of the question.

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Coloma's avatar

Well..bottom line, in nature the weak, defective and deviant are culled. Why should it be any different for humans? We are nature, and not nearly as “evolved” as our egos like to believe.

longgone's avatar

@mattbrowne “Beaten by his parents as a child, then experimented on as adults in the name of the advancement of science and medicine?”

Excellent point. That’s what it boils down to. Do we

a) keep it simple, saying, “Pedophile=death/torture” or do we
b) give a thought to what might have preceded this individual’s crimes?

The existence/extent of free will is relevant here, as @tom_g said. I’m looking forward to that question.

@Coloma We can be as evolved as we try to be. By your logic, disabled children should be murdered on the spot.

Please refrain from attacking each other. This is in General for a good reason.

Coloma's avatar

@longgone I was half joking, but only half. However, yes, that would be true. Not that I am advocating that, just sayin’ that survival of the fittest is the name of the nature game.
Just a random thought that I should have kept to myself methinks.

Many animals kill their rivals offspring, and unhealthy, deformed offspring that would call attention to the herd, pride, slow them down, put the group at risk are eliminated as well.
I don’t find nature cruel, it’s a system that works for all the “lesser” creatures, and very well I might add. Even some humans do away with themselves when they become a burden to the group. Inuit people often commit suicide when they become old and inform to not burden their family members. Pedophiles are certainly a burden to the health and saftey of the “tribe.”

muppetish's avatar

[Mod says] Please ensure that all responses are helpful and on-topic. Flame-baiting and personal attacks will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If this question cannot get back on the right track, we will consider closing it to the archives.

jerv's avatar

This thread has pretty much devolved into one of those Facebook groups that the OP talked about, so I’m out.

But I will leave you with this parting thought; what defines “acceptable”? Since it seems a rather large number of you are all for forming lynch mobs and tearing pedophiles limb from limb, how many of you would consider it unacceptable if someone else did the limb-ripping, and how many of you would just say, “Good! I’m glad someone killed that monster horrifically!”, and go about your normal day?

I ask that rhetorically as I won’t be here to read the answers; I already know what many of those answers will be, which is why I’m leaving this thread full of the sort of hatred that makes me see quite a few of you in a different (and less favorable) light.

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augustlan's avatar

Being a victim made me more compassionate, and I’ve never once had one of those fantasies about killing my abuser or having him tortured. It’s interesting to me that similar experiences can have such different effects on an individual, and that’s where my earlier musings came from. Maybe there is just something inherently different in the way we’re wired, and that influences our responses to trauma in our lives. If so, there will always be people who feel that ‘torture talk’ is justified, and others who will feel sickened by it.

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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m being allowed a re-post of my comment, with two sentences removed. I also added a small bit. And just so no one thinks I’m specifically addressing them, I’m using “you” in a general sense.

I’ll just point out, again, that one who has not been a victim of pedophilia can not even come close to understanding this specific type of hatred. Rape victims can understand it better, but even that isn’t totally the same because there is such a huge difference between an adult’s mind and a child’s mind. If you’ve never experienced it, you literally have no idea, zero, zip, zilch, what victims of pedophilia go through and you can never have the slightest inkling why the sense of injustice leads one to feel so irrationally vengeful.

Oh, you can say “I understand how awful it must be, but if that happened to me, I would never have such horrible thoughts about castrating a person or wanting him to die” until you are blue in the face, but the hard truth is that you can not possibly know that unless you’re actually in that situation and have to face the pain every day.

If you’ve never experienced shame, self-disgust, and a sick to the stomach feeling every time you have to touch your own body while showering, because of what someone else did to you, your comments referring to advocates of harsh punishment as monstrous are coming straight from complete ignorance of the situation. If your husband’s touch has never made you feel sick or emotionally distraught, as a lingering effect of the trauma you experienced, you have NO reason or right to judge someone else and say that they are wrong for wanting their attacker dead, or even for imagining torturing their attacker in the same manner they’ve felt tortured for years. If you haven’t experienced the pain that some victims suffer daily with, you quite honestly do not and can not know what you’re talking about when you say that people who call for harsh punishment or death are evil, or monstrous, or hateful, or wrong.

I’m still not saying that actual torture is justified, just that those dark feelings and desires for justice and punishment are entirely justified. Some people are able to forgive their attackers and move on, others just flat out aren’t capable of it, and get no kind of closure, and it gnaws at them for the rest of their lives. You have no idea what that feels like unless you’ve actually been through it, so don’t presume to tell people they’re wrong for feeling the way they do.

And don’t you ever DARE have the arrogant audacity to tell a victim that even though they were brutalized, traumatized, emotionally damaged, and will forever live with those horrible memories, that feeling hatred toward their attacker and all other pedophiles makes them a monster no better than the pedophile who damaged them. Don’t you dare compare a broken victim to their attacker. Because you couldn’t be more fucking wrong if you tried.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have imagined just driving up, shooting the man who broke me, and driving away. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been awake in bed at night, thinking about how to get rid of him without getting caught. And I’ve come up with some pretty clever ideas. And I know where he lives. But I’ve never followed through on it, and I never will. Why? Because I am not a fucking monster. All the other victims who feel this way are not monsters. So don’t you dare have the nerve to suggest otherwise.
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TL;DR Whether you like it or not, if you haven’t personally gone through it, you will never understand the constant personal suffering that causes people to cry out for harsh punishments for child molesters. So instead of being judgmental and speaking out of ignorance, simply say, “I can’t possibly imagine what victims of pedophilia have to live with, so who am I to judge how they feel?” and just sit down.

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longgone's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate:
Thank you for that post. You’re right in that hardly any of us can even attempt to relate.
But… @ucme said, way up there ^ :The facebook scenario sickens me, not least because half of them probably don’t even have kids & are probably driven by hostility in all areas of their lives, rent a mob mentality.

Above all, that’s what is worrying to me. I didn’t post this question with victims (or their parents) in mind. I would never go up to someone who has suffered that kind of trauma and tell them to just get over themselves. I don’t suppose any of the people on this thread would.

That’s actually where I was going with the study I posted. As a child, you’re a victim. Then, grown up, some victims turn into offenders themselves. No-one gives a thought to their past. They’re hated immediately. Yes, that’s understandable, but… I honestly think some people can’t help being monsters. Maybe what happened to them was too horrible, and they can’t ever recover. I – as someone who wasn’t abused – don’t think I have the right to claim for these people to be tortured/killed. What’s more, I don’t think I should want to. If anyone does have that right, that’s you.

(Again, not excusing child molesters, and not advocating letting them run around. I want all of them locked up. I don’t want any children endangered.)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It’s only worrisome to me if people actually begin torturing criminals. It doesn’t bother me, due to my experiences, if people talk about what they would like to do to pedos. I could go into great detail about what I would want to do to someone who hurt my kids, including multiple brutal instruments, but I would never literally do it.

Should there be Facebook pages dedicated to graphically discussing torture? Probably not. But do I completely understand why people feel the need to discuss it or do a happy dance every time a pedo murder hits the news? Hell yes. If I heard that my attacker had been caught again and had been brutally murdered by the victim’s parent or by a fellow inmate, I would cry tears of joy and gleefully spit on his memory.

As for a child’s upbringing making them a monster, well… sorry, but tough shit. I don’t give a damn if my attacker did what he did because he might have been diddled as a child. He had a choice to either keep it in his head (and his pants) or to defile multiple children. He made the wrong choice. I was abused by him and it has permanently fucked me up, but I’m the furthest thing from a child abuser as you can get. I have all the knowledge and means at my disposal to take away his life. But I make the conscious choice, almost daily, to not do it, because as I mentioned before, it was me and not my kids that was hurt.

Regardless of upbringing, every pedophile, rapist, serial killer, etc… has a choice, and I honestly don’t believe that some of them “can’t help it.” If a man abused one of my daughters, I would take him out. That would be my choice. I wouldn’t say “I couldn’t help it” because it wouldn’t be true. I could hold him at gunpoint until the cops arrived. But I wouldn’t. That would be one less pervert capable of being released from prison in two years’ time. When you make a conscious choice to hurt someone, you know exactly what you’re doing, screwed up upbringing or not.

I guess my whole point is- I don’t care if people feel comfortable talking about eviscerating, castrating, or whatevering pedophiles, because I have personal reasons to be in the same mindset, but it would be wrong to go vigilante and actually do it. And I don’t care if the perp had an abusive childhood, they still made that conscious decision to violate innocent children. I think saying “I was abused as a kid so I just couldn’t help it” is a total cop-out.

longgone's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Okay. I won’t understand you there, I think. Thank you for answering, though.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I don’t blame victims and their families for wanting that person dead or tortured. However, it’s purely emotional and illogical. The government should not have the right to torture pedophiles, rapists, or any other criminal. They shouldn’t have the right to kill them either, but that’s another argument I’d rather not start. People have the right to think that that’s what they deserve, but actually doing it? Come on…

Stick their asses in prison where they belong. Yeah, we pay for them to be there, but it’s a small price to pay to keep people safe and not flush human rights down the toilet.

As for not being able to help it, most can help it and choose to give in to their desires. However, some are severely mentally ill and, to them, they really had no choice. Anyone who does not acknowledge that simply knows squat about mental illness.

Coloma's avatar

I was terrorized in the late 70’s by a severely mentally ill disorganized serial killer on the loose in my neighborhood. He slaughtered a family 10 doors down and beheaded a 2 yr. old child and dumped his body in a box behind a church. Poor sick fuck..well….maybe the severely mentally ill need to spend the night naked in the wilderness annointed with bacon grease. Here mama bear and here big kitty, kitty, kitty. I don’t give a rats ass about severely mentally ill people when they are raping and butchering innocent others.

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Katniss's avatar

I have a REALLY hard time feeling sorry for pedophiles no matter what is done to them. They HAVE NO RIGHTS as they dismissed them the first time they do wrong to a child. No Mercy, No remorse, just dismissed and banished from life.

Yes!! Yes!! I agree 110%.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not a matter of feeling sorry for the pedophile, but rather a matter of compromising your own humanity. Do you torture a lion because it kills or maims someone? Why consider doing it to a person.

Coloma's avatar

@YARNLADY The Lion is acting from instinct and survival needs not compulsive perversion.
A Gazelle or a human are only potential food.
Pedophiles do not need to molest children to eat or survive.
The nature of that beast is a threat without reason.

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mattbrowne's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – If we as a society follow your advice, we are no better than the criminals. Our standards must be higher than those of criminals. Pedophiles violate the dignity of innocent human beings. Our standard must be that we don’t. Which means we treat a pedophile or a murderer as a human being. We lock criminals away as punishment and to protect society. But we don’t sacrifice the criminal’s dignity as a human being. If we do, we descend to their level.

Rickomg's avatar

IF this comment makes it past the Censors on the page I will be suprised. However, the Only way for a abused person to truly feel safe again is if the criminal is completely removed from any chance at all of ever doing it again.. Ever! This means removed from life. Putting them in jail? HA! Only serves to make the rest of us to pay for his food, medical, and housing Not to mention his TV and entertainment… It’s absurd! I also find it VERY Irresponsible, not only to the victims of his or her actions, but to the rest of society as well to now have to bear the burden of his upkeep. No sympathy for molesters EVER. Anyone who does bear sympathy for them….. Deserves to pay for all their upkeep themselves bearing the entire burden of their care in jail. Lets see how long it takes for the sympathizers to change their tune then… I guarantee every one of them will be whining all the louder if they were forced to take complete responsibility for molesters. My answer would be… “You wanted to keep them around? You are now responsible for them and all their actions for ever more. Good luck with that.”

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mattbrowne's avatar

@Rickomg – Dignity is not sympathy. Forcing someone to stay in a prison for many decades is a much harder punishment than forcing someone into resting in a graveyard. Once the criminal is dead, his pain is over. In addition, applying the death penalty cannot be undone. No justice system is perfect. The civilized world understands this. Only some US states are mentally still in the dark ages.

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