Saturday, December 20, 2008

Defense of artificial child pornography

A conviction was upheld for a man possessing materials of cartoon child pornography.

Defense of artificial child pornography may epitomize the libertarian framework. Many are deeply offended at such a position, because they see the production and consumption of such materials as deeply offensive and always immoral.

The libertarian position though, easily enough, recognizes that there is no actual victim in the production or consumption of artificial child pornography. No child is harmed in any way from these materials. Still, lots of people have an instant and visceral revulsion to allowing such materials, even though they cannot articulate that anyone is actually harmed.

Opponents may argue that allowing such materials promotes the production and consumption of actual child pornography, or paves a path to actual sexual predation, but we have laws that exist precisely prohibiting those activities, because there are actual victims associated with those crimes. So, here we have two conflicting camps of jurisprudence as the foundation for the larger disagreement. There are those who believe in a collective responsibility and advocate that government take preemptive action to prevent crime, as against those who believe in individual responsibility, where only people who actually commit crimes against others are held accountable for their actions.

The real, actual crime is the action that harms another person. If preemptive action is accepted as a legitimate tool to protect people, what totalitarian measure could not be justified?

Of course, the possession of artificial child pornography may serve as legitimate probable cause to search for real child pornography. It's plausible that there's a link between artificial child pornography and real child pornography or sexual predation, but Whorley is not being convicted of any such crime. He is being imprisoned for an activity that involved no victim.

I don't think that I need to clarify that any previous conviction should be irrelevant.

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