Tyrone youth pastor arrested

Wed, 06/21/2006 - 10:51am
By: John Munford

A youth pastor for a Tyrone church has been arrested in the ongoing undercover Internet sting, Peachtree City police said.

Robert Kyle Amerson of Fairburn was arrested today at his home and charged with violation of the computer pornography and child exploitation act, police said. Amerson is the youth pastor for the Abundant Life Worship Center in Tyrone.

Police said Amerson contacted an undercover officer on the Internet who he believed was 14 years old, to engage in a sex act. He is the 16th arrest recorded by the efforts from the Peachtree City Police Department; the one officer working these cases only does so on a part-time basis along with her other duties.

Amerson was interviewed by Peachtree City Police and agents from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, police said.

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muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 3:17pm.

Of course, we should slow down and recall the "innocent until proven guilty" clause. But the legality and morality of this situation can be examined independently.

I went to the church website and I see that this guy is married.

What a shame and disgrace.

I would bet that he didn't wake up one morning and decide that he wanted to be the sort of person who would solicit sex from a little girl. With most such predators, it is an obsession, and I would venture to guess that this bad character formation was gradual and a long time coming. Ted Bundy claimed on the eve of his execution that he could trace his obsessions that led him to murder to the finding of a porn magazine in an alley when he was a child.

What wrong initial moves does a man make that can set him on such a course? But for the grace of God there go I.

It used to be that pornography was reasonably difficult for the average family man to view. There was a sort of "threshhold of shame" that one had to cross to get it. You had to walk into some store and tell the clerk behind the counter, "I would like that piece of nasty rat filth right there...yes, that's the one with the naked woman in that impossible position." This "kept honest people honest" in generally keeping the stuff out of the hands of an otherwise good man who might be tempted.

These days it can be accessed through the convenience and privacy of one's own computer. I have to suppose that more and more men are acquiring an addiction to porn. That's right: I said "addiction." Addictions tend to be accompanied by a "tolerance effect." If three beers once gave you the buzz that you were seeking, after a while it takes four--then five. When soft porn loses its thrill, the harder and harder stuff is tried, so that there is a kind of ratchet effect.
For some, mere photos and videos become insufficient, so that real life interaction is sought. I would bet one of my Taylor guitars that this fellow's history followed roughly this path.

The children of inattentive parents are very likely to be exposed to the worst of the worst that is available on the internet. There are many dimensions to the wrongness of this, but one is that it is likely to skew the way they view sexuality--indeed, the very way they view women.

And my wife, daughters and (soon) two granddaughters will be going to work, school and shopping elbow-to-elbow with budding perverts and predators.

And here's a young fellow with a wife (and, perhaps, family) who likely entered the Christian ministry with nothing but the best intentions, but who has ruined his life and that of his family, and disgraced the name of Christ. Think of the impact on kids in his youth group who looked up to him.

I'm sorry, but if he is indeed guilty as charged, then I would hope that he will be prosecuted to the full extent. This is someone whom the community had entrusted their children of the same age upon which he was preying.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:54am.

I wonder if it is a coincidence that as porn has become more easily accessible this sort of problem has become increasingly common.

The American male is WAY over stimulated everywhere he goes (it is worse in Western Europe of course). No wonder we have so many sexual / marital / preditor problems in our society.

We need to get the porn (yes I said porn) out of the grocery store line, off of the bill boards, out of advertising. We need to put clothes back on our kids.

Exposing men to higher and higher levels of stimulation is just tempting nature. The result is predictable and not suprising.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:05am.

Kohesion! You and I agree!

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:22am.

Kohesion, Muddle and PTC Guy agree on something.

Males are biologically visual wired to respond to females presenting themselve in sexually stimulating manners.

And most assuredly tight, barely there, bouncing, twitching and all the other descriptives of putting their bodies out for public viewing is stimulating.

Why do so many women do it? To attract men or to compete with each other for who is sexiest, meaning who can turn the most male heads.

There is a ton of responsibility on these issues for all involved. And that sure includes a lot of females out there.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

fancypants's picture
Submitted by fancypants on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:28am.

Because they have seen from a very young age on that that's how the women they look up to dress/act like, so in order to be more like those women they will take it a step further! It's a downward spiral and unfortunately it seems it's only getting worse.

Once again it starts in the home for both genders! Teach your kids how to be modest, to use common sense and to control ones emotions. That is part of the foundation for healthy and well adjusted adults.

You know what cracks me up? I have several friends who are very concerned about the demise of this country and it's society, but who think it's absolutely ok to consume drugs, alcohol, porn and the like. After all, that's what makes this country free, right?

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:49am.

Since everyone seems to think I am a liberal I am going to take a shot at them.

Many liberals seem to think that it is okay to involve society in a huge number of social experiments all at once.

In a period of 50 years, we have torn down thousands of years of social evolution. I guess humanity is too advanced now to need outdated social conventions.

Here is my short list of what we have lost:
Mairrage (at least by many definitions)
Gender roles (the good and the bad)
Village living (sorry conservatives, it does take a village)
Sustainable living practices
Piety (nothing is sacred)
Sence of responsibility (personal and societal)
Decency in the arts

It is extreme arrogance to think that you can just remove all the social norms in a small space of time and expect your culture to thrive. I expect this will be one of the many reasons the US will eventually become a third world country.

Lets see we have:
Addiction to a finite resource (petroleum)
Out of control spending (personal and governmental)
Global warming
Depleted aquifers
Massively polluted water ways
Growing criminal culture
Break down of the American family
Massive trade imbalance
Unhealthy economy

Yeah, we're screwed.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:27am.

I bet there are lots of things we agree on... at least partially.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:45am.

That would not suprise me.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:09am.

I can't even go to the mall anymore, I get so turned on I can't even shop let alone think in a straight line. It is a combination of the young girls dressed like hookers and the provocative posters all over the place.

Call me a pervert but I can't handle the stimulation. I would be willing to wager that there are many men in this situation, they just aren't honest enough to admit it. I also stopped watching TV (other than CSPAN occasionally) for this reason.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:34am.

Writing in the 1960s, Malcolm Muggeridge once said that the slogan for contemporary Western society should be "copulo ergo sum."

Look, ours is a society in which hamburgers may be sold by featuring a nearly naked nympho (a.k.a Paris Hilton) sudsing a car. Lest one object that soft porn and sandwiches have nothing in common, the filthy rich and revoltingly promiscuous Hilton was shown in the ad eating the featured burger while washing the car—thus providing the conceptual link. People who objected to this commercial acted as though they had never seen a barely clad woman gyrating, detailing a car, and eating a sandwich at the same time.

I love this quote from Allen Bloom's 1987 THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND:

"Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy."

Hey, if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. Trying to quit smoking? One of the advised steps is to avoid the circumstances in which you were prone to light up. If the overabundance of glandular stimulation out there is having the effects on you desired by its producers, then you are wise beyond your years for making precisely the moves you are making.

What you describe about yourself makes you anything but a "pervert."

fancypants's picture
Submitted by fancypants on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:39am.

"I copulate, therefore I am."

fancypants's picture
Submitted by fancypants on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:11am.

Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to fixing a problem!

I'm glad to finally know that I'm not the only one who feels like you do about all this increased sexual stimuli outside the bedroom.

A smart man once told me: "Sex is like a fireplace in your bedroom. Once out of control it will burn down your whole house!"

christi's picture
Submitted by christi on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:46am.

would like to applaud you for realizing that you need to avoid those things and doing it. It takes self-control and good sense to avoid what the "flesh" sometimes wants but your head knows it doesn't need! Keep up the good work, especially for someone your age.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:25am.

If you have trouble with your self-control, just do what I do. Just keep telling yourself, “that girl is just about the same age as my daughter”.

Works every time.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:25am.

Self control is an issue.

But do not even try to let the females who are deliberately provocative off the hook as if they bear no responsibility.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

christi's picture
Submitted by christi on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:00am.

These girls' parents need to have some control over what their daughters are wearing. You don't have to look like a hooker to be attractive. If you look like a hooker, you will eventually be treated like one.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:32am.

Whatever bud.. not everyone is the same as you. I've been through very good counseling thank you very much and have a clean bill of mental health.

Not going to the mall and turning off the TV IS my way of dealing with a hopelessly corrupt society. It takes quite a bit of self control to make these sort of changes in your life. I guess you didn't think of that did you?

Sorry, I don't have kids. I am too young.

People like you pretending that it is the tempted persons fault is why the problem continues.

Submitted by Stroke on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:03am.

Your comments about this Tyrone youth minister mess are way too thoughtful. Please read some of the other posts here, a good place to start is the comments on the PTC teen who got shot and killed. You are going to have to get a LOT more stupid if you want to fit it around here.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:40am.

Thanks, Stroke.

Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" was aired again last night--this time from Greenville, OH. The predators were swarming around putative pubescents so thickly that they had to usher one out the front door as another was coming in the back!

One guy had already been convicted and sentenced for that very crime. He was four days away from beginning an 11-month stint in prison, and went right back to it. What does Proverbs say about a "dog returning to its own vomit"?

The story of this youth pastor reads like a tragedy in the classic sense: a character flaw has lead inevitably to his downfall. And, of course, a lot of other people--church kids in particular--are likely to stumble with him.

Submitted by MSC on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:25pm.

Porn addiction. Unfortunately the laws for this kind of act are not strict enough. Ever see the Dateline follow up on the child predators they caught ? Most were back at it again even before their going to court for the offense. Pornography on the internet is causing alot of problems. People need to forget the "oh it's just pictures" no sense. They way I see it, if you are caught doing this or raping someone, they castrate you. Problem solved.

Submitted by fcteacher on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:50am.

I just don't agree with that. I'm tired of hearing about addictions. Some people are just pu**y motherf***ers, and some aren't. This is a crime that makes my blood boil. My mother told me that she and my father, and another couple, ventured into a porn shop one night after having dinner downtown (Philly-early 70s)and that what she saw in there turned her stomach. She said she had no idea that porn was anything more than a Playboy magazine and/or sex toys. She saw polaroids of little girls (2/3 years old) with body parts in their mouths. Her youngest daughter, at that time, was that age. She said that image would forever be with her. I don't care what "level" of porn one is on, that's what it is to me, that's the image my mind conjures when I read/hear about it. I have 3 daughters and a granddaughter and with that in mind, I would dearly love to be put into a room, alone, with this scumbag. Castration? Oh yes, and then some insertion. Does anyone ever go to the sex offender website? I check it periodically and advise you all to do it too. It changes as the scum move in and out of the county. Personally, I think we should gather them all up and force them to reap what it is that they so enjoy sowing and then kill them. Think about it, when you have decay in your tooth, it's removed so that it doesn't spread. Why can't we do that with people (that are like decay) in our society?

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:05am.

Actually, not only is it a chemical addiction but it is supposed to be the hardest addictions to escape. While safer than taking illegal drugs, it has a similar chemical effect within the brain. No wonder the number one thing the internet is used for is porn.

You are right, porn should not be tolerated in our society. There are some people who are more susceptible to it than others. The freedoms we enjoy to choose whether or not we look allows others who are weak in this area to be enslaved. I think this is one freedom America must forego.

Castration won't solve the problem (other than with the one person). The problem is huge and widespread. We need to nip it in the bud.

So when are we going to go raid the nearest gas station and demand they stop carrying the stuff? Have you noticed that they put it right at childrens eye level?

I dare you to stop demanding castration and start demanding decency where you shop. It doesn't take many people complaining to make a difference.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:04am.

You're mistaken. It can and does indeed become an addiction. I don't have the research at my fingertips, but I recall reading (about) an extensive study, culminating in a seminal work, on the matter.

What you seem to assume is that if it *were* an addiction then this would remove the predator's responsibility for his actions. But why think a thing like that? I can make a series of free, conscious, incremental choices that progressively lock me into a behavior. It would not follow that I am not responsible for that behavior. To suppose so is like imagine a drunk driver who has just caused an accident pleading innocent on the grounds that, since he was intoxicated while behind the wheel, he had no control of the vehicle and therefore cannot be held responsible. What we hold him responsible for, of course, is putting himself into the situation in the first place. (Aristotle discussed all of this nicely in Bk. 3 of his Nicomachean Ethics, by the way.)

If you are reacting to the trend today of regarding everyone the victim of genes or environemt or the like, and thus denying that anyone is responsible for anything, then I'm with you. Ads a former colleague of mine once put it, "Some people are just $hits and they need to be told that they are $hits." But thinking of this behavior as addictive does not have that implication.

Submitted by fcteacher on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:57am.

but I do remember Plato's. Not very well, mind you, but I do remember reading and discussing gold, silver and bronze "soul levels" that Freud later called the super ego, ego and id. People that are into porn are operating in the bronze area, correct? I think it's choice. One chooses to look, or not look. To touch, or not touch. If it were truly a chemical problem then there would be a pill for it. Don't you think? There are pills for every other chemical problem (depression, manic depression, etc.), I think alcoholics can even take pills that will make them vomit should they consume alcohol. By the way, I totally agree with the comments that girls, today, dress like whores. It is disgusting. I think the blame for that goes to the fashion designers. We are, after all, slaves to them. Who designs most of the teenage fashions anyway? And I agree that the porn needs to be removed from the stores. And I think we are totally screwed up with our role models. Did anyone catch the story about the football player with the diablo? Did you hear his arrogant comments? I'm going back to work now, before I scream.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 11:21am.

Well, I guess he didn't write on porn.

But he did write on how to become a good (or bad) person.

My reference to his Nicomachean Ethics was not a case of philosophical name-dropping. This remains a very practical guide to the moral education of the young.

It is about habituation. How does one become just or temperate? Answer: by performing just or temperate acts even when they do not come naturally to us. He compares the acquisition of the virtues to learning to play a musical instrument. How do you learn to play, say, the slide guitar? You pick up a guitar and play it--badly at first, but, all other things being equal, in time it comes naturally to you. The same goes for bad character. Wrongful choices go toward character formation--habituation or a propensity to think and behave wrongly. At one point he compares the resulting habituation to a stain that has been rubbed into the very fibers of a wood which, he notes, is very hard to rub back out again.

All of this is against a backdrop of a philosophy that affirms a robust account of free will and responsibility.

Since I reject physicalism--the view that humans are purely physical beings--I am not inclined to accept the view that addiction is always a matter of chemistry. Actually, though, one could reject physicalism as I do and maintain that there is a reciprocal relation between the mental and the physical. My (pure) thought life might very well have an impact on my physical constitution. Is this perhaps what happens when people fall into clinical depression as a result of brooding over purely cognitive issues?

Submitted by fcteacher on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 11:38am.

Ayn Rand may have used that as a basis for The Virtue of Selfishness. I suppose all philosphers just "stand on the shoulders of giants," and take it a step farther. When we read it, it all seems so simple, but yet it's so hard to follow. Hence man's need for a Saviour, right?

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:20pm.

Rand may have claimed Aristotle as a forebear, but, if so, I think she was wrong. His moral philosophy was a variety of Virtue Ethics based on an overall idea of human flourishing. (For Aristotle, a virtue is a character trait that is conducive to human flourishing.)

Aristotle says much that is plausible. There is nothing whatsoever that is plausible about Rand's account.

Her "ethic" is a variety of egoism, where egoism is the view that one has *direct* duties only to oneself and *indirect* duties, at best, *regarding* anyone or anything else. (To illustrate: I have a direct duty to you not to, say, vandalize your car; I only have an indirect duty *regarding* your car. Cars are not "wronged" or treated "unjustly" by anyone's actions; the owners of cars are.)

As an egoist, I'm supposed to calculate and determine what will be in my own best interests and then pursue the prescribed course of action. One complaint against such an approach is that, under some circumstances, what serves my own interests in the long run involves cheating you. And so we might get the counterintuitive result that cheating is the moral thing to do.

Egoists like Rand tend to deny that doing such dastardly deeds to our friends would ever serve our own interests in the long run. "No man is an island," they tell us. Bishop Butler asserted that one's own interests are bound up inextricably with communal interests in such a way that you cannot harm others without harming yourself and cannot benefit yourself without benefitting others.

So perhaps a good egoist would not be a cheat.

Still, we must ask *why* it is wrong to cheat given egoism. Answer: it would be wrong to cheat you because in doing so I would be violating a direct duty to myself--it would harm *me* somehow in the long run. Your interests are not taken directly into the calculation.

This problem becomes glaringly obvious if we chan ge the example. Is rape wrong given the adoption of Randian egoism? Perhaps. But what is the *ground* for its being wrong, according to egoist reasoning? Answer: Rape is wrong because it wrongs the rapist! One might have thought that the answer to its wrongness has to do with the way in which it wrongs the victim! But this is an impossible answer on this "virtue of selfishness" doctrine.

Egoism, even on its very best showing, is the least plausible of proposed ethical theories.

Submitted by fcteacher on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 6:28am.

I don't know if she based her philosophy on Aristotle's, however they appear to be similar in many aspects (based upon what you've written regarding Aristotle). The pursuit of happiness is the road to take and happiness is the final goal, right? And "basic goodness" is the means to obtain this? And eventually, this path becomes second nature? Does Aristotle lay out the "moral rules" to follow? Does he state that all morality the result of tradition? I could have read Rand all wrong. I'm probably biased because she's a woman and there are so few women philosphers. The male philosophical views tend to promote male supremacy, except for Plato who felt they were equals when it came to all nude, co-ed PE (again, if I remember correctly). Of course, he also felt that love shared between a man and a woman was third in the "love heirarchy." Love between man and (his) God was first, followed by the love between two men. I believe I shall reread Rand's book with your perspective in mind. I may try to read some Aristotle as well. I have to laugh about my faulty knowledge as last night I searched through my old college books looking for the play Lysistrata that I just KNEW was written my Aristotle because I wanted to argue an obscure point that a comedy writer could not possibly be taken as a serious philosopher. It was Aristophanes. Luckily I kept my mouth (keyboard) shut. With that in mind, I could be totally screwed up about everything (as we tend to remember things how we want them to be and not how they really are). Thanks for the interesting exchange.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 7:07am.

Here's a female philosopher you should read: Mary Midgley. She has a book titled, "Can't We Make Moral Judgements?", which is critical of Rand's egoism.

You are right that both Rand and Aristotle held out "happiness" as the ultimate end--what Aristotle calls the "Highest Good."

There is a difference, though. Aristotle did not have anything like mere personal pleasure or benefit in mind. His use of the Greek "eudaimonia" was morally charged. Most generally, to pursue eudaimonia is to seek to fulfill your nature and purpose--to live well. Depending upon what else is said, this *could* be a matter of living your life in the service of others, and for their sake, which would be incompatible with Rand's philosophy. In fact, if you'll stick with me a bit, let me take it just a bit farther and compare Aristotle to yet another philosopher: Confucius.

What they have in common is that both urged Virtue Ethics that were based on their respective accounts of human nature. But those accounts were interestingly different.

Aristotle proceeds by asking what is the purpose of human existence, or, what is the human "function" (Gk: "ergon") in the grand scheme of things. He concludes that the one thing that sets us apart from everything else is our reason. He thus defines humans as "rational animals." The resulting account of the Highest Good for Aristotle is one in which reason or contemplation (Gk: "theoria") is centrally employed in some way. Here's where Aristotle scholarship is divided. Does he mean that contemplation is *itself* the end, so that, essentially, the life of the philosopher is the purpose of human existence? Or is it, rather, that contemplation is instrumental in achieving a life of virtue (e.g., temperance, justice, piety, etc)? I'm a philosopher but not an Aristotle scholar. But here I argue that the first option is implausible and the second is circular. (I'll skip the argument for the "circular" here.)

One reason the first is implausible is that, if my main prescribed aim in life is to THINK, then it will follow that a VIRTUE is any character trait that is conducive to this end. But would the resulting character traits make a plausible list of moral virtues? Reclusiveness is conducive to contemplation, for instance.

Confucius offered a different account of human nature and human flourishing. You have to read between the lines to find it, but Confucius defined humans as "moral animals" (as opposed to Aristotle's "rational animals.") And so, on his account, we flourish insofar as we live the moral life, and a virtue is a character trait that is conducive to that end. Saying no more, the account is circular and vacuous: I am virtuous insofar as I am moral, and moral so long as virtuous.

But Confucious says more. The essence of morality is "Jen" (pronounced "wren"), which means, roughly, "human-heartedness" or "love of humanity." Hence, we live well, fulfill our essential natures, or achieve "happiness" to the degree that we love humanity.

The rest of the Confucian virtues are arranged in a hierarchy as instrumental to our manifesting this cardinal virtue of "Jen." For instance, the Confucian emphasis upon family and "filial piety" ("Hsiao") is grounded in the claim in the Analects that "filial love is the root of Jen." That is, the family is where we learn to become human-hearted.

I dig this feature of Confucianism, which is typically missed by the stereotype of Confucius as someone overly concerned with formality--propriety, etc.

My point in all of this (if there is **anyone** still reading) is that the basic "eudaimonistic" structure that Aristotle urges is open to approaches that are as far from Rand as the East is from the West.

Confucius actually taught that the "superior man" will seek to do the right thing with no thought to his own personal profit. Here, he compares favorably to my favorite moral philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Try to place volumes of Kant and Rand next to each other and they will behave like magnets with their respective polarities reversed--they are mutually repulsed.

As for your comment about gender and philosophy, you are, of course, right. The vast majority of philosophers have been male, and many of them reflect a kind of chauvinism. But where this exists it is typically just a reflection of the fact that they were children of their times. In most cases, it is easy to get to the kernel of the philosophy and leave such socio-historical husk behind. Kant, for instance, lapsed into a sort of chauvinism in some of his writings, but, clearly, a consistent application of his respect-for-persons ethic (emphasizing the dignity of the individual) applies without regard to gender, race, etc.

Submitted by fcteacher on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:10am.

Kant...he was the all work and no play guy, right? I will look for the Mary M book and add it to my reading list. It's good to know that there is a "local philosopher" to which I can pose my questions. I'm going to be gone for a while, but, rest assured, will find time to refresh my knowledge of philosophy and work on my debating skill, because I think this kind of arguing is WAY more fun then the other kind(s) that take place on this blog.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:34pm.

Is not Egoism a champion philosophy of Situational Ethics?

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:45pm.

It could be.

I think you mean this: If my supposed duty is to do whatever I have calculated will benefit me in the long run, then the results may differ over time and from person to person. In one set of circumstances, kindness to you is prescribed; cruelty in another.

This is, I take it, a part of what convinced egoists are seeking to avoid when they argue that, given human nature and our (worldwide?) shared circumstances, there are some fixed duties that are grounded on egoistic principles. Rape will always come off being wrong on sound principles of egoism, as would, sasy, anything like the holocaust. A world full of egoists would be like one big Hallmark commercial: people in expensive sweaters, smiling and bearing mutual gifts.

My objection is twofold:

(a) The way the world is, some people literally *do* get away with murder and are positively cheerful about it. Witness OJ. Given the basic principle of egoism, these people are saints.

(b) Even if I waive the objection in (a) and allow the egoist's (implausible) claim that a good egoist is a recognizably virtuos person, we still have the intuitively right actions for the intuitively wrong reasons. Why was it wrong for Dr. Mengele to perform grotesque experiments on Jewish children? My own answer appeals to the inherent worth, rights, and dignity of each one of those children--particularly as bearers of the imago dei. But the egoist, in order to stay with his own system of ethics, must say that Mengele wronged Mengele somehow in doing what he did tio those children (after all, witness his own fate!).

I assert that if this is the best explanation for the wrongness of such an act, then ethics is altogether a sham.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:24am.

I think you are too kind to Egoism.

Egoism would argue that being cruel to one and kind to another in the same issue occuring in different situations is all based on self justification, meaning how they benefit.

If being kind to one person benefits them, then the situation demands they be kind because the ethics of the situation benefits them. Thus moral justification by outcome.

If being cruel benefits them then the situation demands they be cruel. Again, moral justification.

Let me put it in an true context I encountered.

The son of a German judge condemned Jews and Christians to death because to do otherwise would mean their deaths.

When challenged, the son said the judge did not want to do it and in any other situation would not. But because condemning them saved the judge the judge was morally right to do so.

So, wrongly condemning one to death is not morally justified if the judge was not at risk. But was morally justified if the judge was at risk.

What was the pivotal issue here? Self.

Ego declares morality is based on the situational impact of self. Or, to say it another way, the actions are justified by the outcomes affect on self.

Therefore, rape is not always wrong.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:55pm.

Addiction is a very abused term.

Which definition one uses matters greatly. From the dictionary.

Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance: a drug used in the treatment of heroin addiction.
An instance of this: a person with multiple chemical addictions.

The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.
An instance of this: had an addiction for fast cars.

Habit as need is person choice. One will not die or go into convulsions if one does not get a habit fix on a regular basis.

Whereas smoking, hard drugs and such most assuredly create a need in a person that will result in very negative physical reaction if not met.

Bottom line, what one does wrong from compulsion is self serving. What one does from physical need is addictive.

And yes, this does bring in the sin nature and need for a Savior issues.

Think about it. Why can some break a true addiction and others cannot break a habit? Because they are physically unable or because they are unwilling and self serving?

Don't get me wrong. We all have some kinds of compulsive habits we need to get rid of. We all struggle.

But in this PC world addiction has become an excuse. Blame it on anything but the individual and their choices.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:04am.

Actually, there are pills for it depending on what is causing it. If porn compulsion / addiction (yes I know they aren't the same) is caused by OCD, depression or other chemical imbalance then drugs can help bring it under control.

Popping pills for sexual problems in America would be treating the symptoms and not the root problem. The root problem is the over stimulation of men. Anyway, popping pills is not a simple thing. Brain chemistry is very complicated and unique to each person.

I guess being gay is a choice to, otherwise there would be pills for it.

Submitted by fcteacher on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 11:15am.

would entail cutting off the genitalia of any offender (male or female-you figure it out). Why not start making examples of some of these people? Why not scare them? A pill for being gay? To me, being gay is not a problem. I could careless about what you choose to [[[edited]]], as long as it does not involve hurting a child. If you hurt a child, you need to be punished.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:14am.

Another thing that drives me crazy about Americans is the ridiculous individualism.

If a high percentage of "good" people have a problem with porn then it is a societal problem. Sure the individual bares responsibility, that doesn't let the entire society off the hook.

Yes PTC, you are your brother keeper.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:37am.

Things that server no social good, but cause a lot of destruction do justify society interveing against them, legally and otherwise.

Porn is one such thing.

But the addiction excuse has been pushed too far.

Yes, biological and other urges are powerful pushes on the person. And many fail to resist.

Does that make it an irresistable addiction? No.

Does that make it a powerful drive on mind and body that many fail to control? Yes.

Society and individuals bear responsibility here. Both have failed miserably way too often.

But it does not negate the personal responsibility aspect.

Sorry, I do not accept alcoholism as a disease. I accept it as an urge and desire people fail to control. And that failure can become an addiction, physically speaking.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:54am.

Sorry bud, it is demonstrated in the brain scans.

Porn = cocaine

It is a chemical addiction

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:40pm.

For one who claims to understand science you are not doing so well.

I am not anti-science. I am anti peversion of science for humanistic goals. And I am anti-twisting science for self justification.

Sexual stimulation triggers hormones and a lot of chemical reactions in the body and brain. Female sex flush, increased agressiveness in males, increased passivity in females, decreased sensory feeling for pain and related and on and on.

If Porn is a chemically addictive stimuli then anything that stimulates sexually is addictive.

The touchie feelie politically correct have lost the ability to distinquish between addiction and self control.

Almost EVERYONE gets sexually stimulated. It is a norm of life.

And for guys visual stimulation carries a much more massive slap than for women.

There is no chemical entering the body. Thus no chemical addiction is possible.

The body has a reaction due to visual stimuli.

Get your terms straight.

And add a note here. Runners experience the same results in a different way. They get a high off of running due the the chemical reactions within their bodies. Thus the 'good' feelings they get.

Are they chemically addicted as well? Some cannot live without running every day.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:37pm.

You just get more funny the deeper you dig yourself in a hole.

No chemical addition therefore no chemical dependency?

You have no idea what you are talking about... Maybe you should take a beginners course on brain chemistry.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:04pm.

Is 'Runners' High' a Cure for Depression?
Article By Daniel DeNoon
WebMD Medical News

Sept. 27, 2001 -- Depressed? Get moving! Even moderate exercise apparently raises levels of a brain chemical that improves a person's mood.

The substance is phenylethylamine, or PEA, a natural stimulant produced by the body. It is related to amphetamines but does not have the long-lasting effects that make "speed" or "ice" such deadly drugs.

Now a British research team reports early findings suggesting that moderate exercise increases PEA levels for most people. They argue that this increase causes the euphoric mood often called "runners' high." And because depressed people tend to have low PEA levels, the researchers say there now is an explanation of why exercise has a natural antidepressant action.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:10pm.

Eating spicy food has a similar affect on many people.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:32pm.

I was concerned by an earlier post of yours that described that you couldn’t even go to the mall for the thought of seeing a pretty girl would send you over the edge.

If your point was that you can’t control what you think and how you act than I would have to disagree with you.

Modifying ones behavior without drug intervention is no harder than riding a bike. Someone just needs to teach you how to do it first and you have to be willing to learn.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:23pm.

Try learning before you open your yap.


chemical dependency
A physical and psychological habituation to a mood- or mind-altering drug, such as alcohol or cocaine.


chemical dependency
A chemical dependency is such a strong dependency on a substance that it becomes necessary to have this substance just to function properly. The need of a substance is developed from abusing it, which leads to a requirement of the substance for survival, like the need for food or water.

You have to intake it in some form for it to be a Chemical Addiction.

The natural reaction of the body to stimuli and such can be an addiction, which can only mean habit, and cause hormonal and other changes in the body. But it is not a Chemical Addiction.

As I said, by your definition runners have a Chemical Addiction, in example.

Porn does not meet the definition. Visual input is not drug taking.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:54pm.

Maybe you should use a medical dictionary next time. You are still wrong.

Okay, let me make this real simple for you (at the risk of butchering the explanation)

The input chemical is not (necessarily) what causes the addiction. The input chemical triggers secondary brain chemistry reactions. It is the secondary reaction you are addicted to, not the primary. Porn does the same thing as the input chemical.

Over time your brain adapts to the stimulus you feed it so that your desire mechanisms are messed up. The need for food, sleep etc over time can be minimized as your receptors increasingly come to expect the "drug". The longer this goes on, the more ones life starts going down the drain.

Try listening to Lichtenstein media's program "the infinite mind" on occasion.


Again, you are arguing with science. You are really way out of your league on this one. This is not my area of expertise but you obviously know next to nothing about it.

If you want to argue this further, talk to a specialist.

Once again you are trying to take on the entire medical science community. Maybe you should stick to talking about what you actually know.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:17pm.

The chemical you’re trying to think of is endorphins

The brains of both men and woman produce them as a result of stimulation.

Endorphins trigger the brain to produce a number of other chemical messengers one of them being oxytocin. In women, for example, the sexual act triggers the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin promotes feelings of affection and triggers that nurturing instinct.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:38pm.


You blew it again.

Those definitions did not come out of a dictionary site, but an addiction treatment site.

The input chemical is not (necessarily) what causes the addiction. The input chemical triggers secondary brain chemistry reactions. It is the secondary reaction you are addicted to, not the primary. Porn does the same thing as the input chemical.

You defeat yourself with our own statement. Porn is the primary input, but it most assuredly is not a input CHEMICAL.

Therefore it does not trigger secondary brain chemistry reactions, it trigger primary reactions due to external visual stimuli.

People read porn with the intent of triggering the responses.

In fact, there are several layers and sequences of responses throughout the whole sexual experience. And most are dependent upon continued external stimuli.

In fact, the external stimuli can begin with visual, porn, teasing, and so on, but to complete it MUST move on to physical actions at some point.

So, there is no input chemical with Porn, hence it is not a Chemical Addiction.

Did I say no one gets addicted? No. I simply stated it is not a chemical addiction.

Your abuse of the term, and what the entails and implies, is what I was addressing.

Again, by your definition, runners are addicted, people, was muddle indicated, who have a blog and forum habit, are addicted, those who crave money are addicted and on and on.

In your world there is no self control issues. It is all chemical addictions. And thus are excuses for bad choices and behavior.

I am indeed aware of the scientific research on the brain, which obviously includes sexuality.

It is very interesting, makes sense and so on.

And says you need to stop pretending to be the scientific elite here. Many appear to know more than you.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:25pm.

Some of us seem to be developing an addiction to this forum. If porn qualifies as a chemical addiction, then so does this!

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:22pm.

But I can’t find anything wrong with people having open debate even if it is addictive.

GOD, I hope this doesn’t mean that I might learn something by reading what and how other people think.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:35pm.

Is there room, on your view, for the notion of addictive behavior that is not chemically based?

Your answer (and mine) may betray metaphysical assumptions. It comes to whether there are any trans-physical causes of our behavior.

Indeed, if your answer to my initial question here is no, then one might wonder why *any* behavior should be exempt from such explanations. Perhaps *everything* we do is chemically determined.
But then, try to make sense of basic notions of rational (and moral) agency on such a variety of reductionism.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:03pm.

Yes. It is called our sin nature and our spiritual nature.

Our sin nature is genetic and we are stuck with it. But our spiritual nature can be changed and is not governed by chemicals.

Our minds is the meeting grounds of the spirit and flesh.

We are not beings purely of flesh and blood.

Science can find no reason for individuality, personality and such. That comes from no physical source.

So, behavior cannot be reduced to simply chemical equations. And we see that demonstrated over and over around us and in history.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:02pm.

Muddle, if I’m reading you post correctly than you are speaking of consciences.

To answer your question, if being sentient, is or is not, the result chemical interactions within the brain, I am of the belief that it is, then my answer is no.

I’ve worked with computers and their programming for a while now and have found no evidence that they are capable of independent thought. Hence since my being is the result of chemical processes and that chemical process allows me to create something form nothing.

I could be wrong though.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:06pm.

My post should have followed yours.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:13pm.

Like I said, I work with computers and rarely have the pleasure of typing real english language sentences.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:38pm.

Yepper! Good point.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:50pm.

I believe it’s called “Second Wind”, really. It’s common in marathon runners.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:44am.

Anyone convicted of something this egregious needs to just stop breathing.

Submitted by Stroke on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:19am.

Now we are getting somewhere, fcteacher, bad_ptc, you guys are fitting in around here. Please continue to post!!!

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:56am.

Oh that is just silly. He has an addiction, its out of control, he needs to get help.

Demonizing others is indicitive of your own low self esteem.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:00am.

Several states are now considering legislation that would lock a GPS transmitter to every child molester for the rest of their lives so they can be tracked everywhere they go, forever.

Sorry for the delay in responding. I had to look it up.



Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime.

The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 accounted for nearly 4,877,000 arrest charges over their recorded careers.

Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide.

Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders.
Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.

Sex offenders

On a given day in 1994 there were approximately 234,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies; nearly 60% of these sex offenders are under conditional supervision in the community.

The median age of the victims of imprisoned sexual assaulters was less than 13 years old; the median age of rape victims was about 22 years.

An estimated 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of the offense for which they were in State prison in 1991.

Of the 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, 5.3% were rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release.
Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40% perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.

Child victimizers

Approximately 4,300 child molesters were released from prisons in 15 States in 1994. An estimated 3.3% of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.

Among child molesters released from prison in 1994, 60% had been in prison for molesting a child 13 years old or younger.
Offenders who had victimized a child were on average 5 years older than the violent offenders who had committed their crimes against adults. Nearly 25% of child victimizers were age 40 or older, but about 10% of the inmates with adult victims fell in that age range.
Bottom line, they need to stop breathing!

fancypants's picture
Submitted by fancypants on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:54am.

If molesting children and emotionally (and literally) screwing them up for the rest of their lives is not a demonizing behaviour, then what is? Pedophilia is the "gift" that keeps on giving. A lot of these pedophiles have been abused when they were younguns. This is a cycle that has to be broken and yes, it has to be broken with harsh punishment and consequences for these horrible actions of theirs.

These kind of people invited the "demon" into their lives and gave him free lodging in their minds and actions. They did this willingly or unwillingly, but they are still responsible for their actions.

Lemme guess, you have no children or nieces/nephews of your own? Then you clearly can not understand the excessive fear of a parent who is trying to raise a child to become a responsible citizen in this world and is confronted with people like this "pastor".

Please kohesion, in your own words, describe demonizing attributes! In my book it is somebody who plays with the demon/devil and let's him enter their mind/lives.

kohesion's picture
Submitted by kohesion on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:00am.

It's not that the youth director isn't guilt of a great crime (especially considering his employment). It's just that castration while it may fix the problem in the individual does not do anything to solve the larger problem of societal culpability.

We need a massive culture change, a return to modesty if you will.

fancypants's picture
Submitted by fancypants on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:09am.

That cultural change has to happen one person at a time, though. Why not let it start with this youth pastor and everybody who's heard his story? I still believe there are a lot of good people in this country, but we are the ** SILENT ** majority. It really is becoming time to speak up and be heard, no matter how much the "free thinkers" of this world will classify us as extremists.

I just read a few more of your posts on this page and commend you for your personal decisions to stay away from temptation. Yes, us men are tempted a lot on this society and it is so easy to give in. It starts out as "but I'm not hurting anybody" behaviour in one's own bedroom and ends up on the frontpage of The Citizen.

Submitted by flip212 on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 1:48pm.

Awesome work...you go girl...keep up the great work...you have the support of the community.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 2:10pm.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You PTC Police. Another one nailed and in our own backyard. Now if we can get our DA to do his job then we might get him this one off the street for a while.

You do have our support on this PTC Law. Well, everyones' except maybe the Cat Eater.

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