“Forward” is more than just a political catchphrase for some; it’s a moral imperative. Religious and social progressives are fond of portraying the human species as evolving, discarding out-dated mores, unenlightened beliefs, and barbaric practices (i.e., most of the commands in the Old Testament).
But is all progression good? Is “forward” always better?
Wherever you find yourself on the ideological scale, conservative or liberal, you must draw moral lines. Truly consistent relativists are rare. Even those who disavow moral Absolutes seldom disavow them absolutely. So even progressives believe that “forward” is NOT always better. In this sense, going forward has no inherent value. It is relative, determined entirely by one’s direction. I mean, if your goal is to complete a marathon, then once you reach the finish line, you stop. And celebrate. If there is no finish line, then the race becomes pointless. Heck, you might as well turn around and run backwards.
Morally speaking, the issue is always the finish line, the ideal. What is it? Who’s drawn it? And how do we know if we’re going the right direction? Which means Forwardism is a fallacy. Real “progress” means moving in the right direction.
But moral direction is exactly where we can’t agree.
Many suggest moral direction is personal, arbitrary. But if moral direction is arbitrary, determined solely by individuals and their current societies, then “forward” can always be defined as “better.” And “backward” can always be defined as “bad.” This is, I’m afraid, where we’re at as a society. Postmodernism has dismantled our moral compass. Because we are confused as to what constitutes Good, we more easily drift into what was once considered Bad. Every direction is the “right” one for the sailor without a destination. Or a compass.
Which brings me to the springboard for this little doodle.
The latest issue of Salvo Magazine contains an article on the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) incremental softening toward pedophilia. Salvo notes how, over the last several decades, the APA has changed the classification of pedophilia from a “deviation” to a “sexual orientation.” Until,
…in 1994, the diagnostic criteria shifted such that a diagnosis of pedophilia hinged, not on a perpetrator’s objective behavior, but on his subjective feelings about the behavior. (emphasis in original)
This led to the conclusion that “an adult sexual predator who felt no compunction about molesting children and had no desire to change could be classified as psychiatrically normal.” Then, in August of last year, a group of mental health professionals and sympathetic pedophile activists, staged a conference in Baltimore in which they advocated sympathy for “minor-attracted persons” and encouraged tolerance, if not, decriminalization of pedophilia. (You can find a detailed article about the conferee’s objectives HERE.) Compound this with the recent discovery of a “pedophile gene,” and you have all the makings of a powerful academic and scientific basis to downgrade pedophilia and move it one small step closer to social acceptance.
Question: Would the re-labeling of pedophilia as “normative” or the suggestion of the decriminalization of pedophilia be considered moving forward?
I’m assuming most of my readers will answer a resounding “no.” Interestingly enough, however, if you apply that same question to homosexuality (also once considered deviant), your answer may look completely different. But why? (And before you level the “consensual sex” rebuttal, please know that advocates of pedophile leniency use consensuality to bolster their arguments for man / child sexual relationships.) Dr. Michael Brown in his book A Queer Thing Happened in America notes that the same arguments being used to legitimize pedophilia today are the same arguments used to reclassify homosexuality in 1973.
Question: If the redefining of homosexuality, the portrayal of same-sex attraction as normal, is now considered “progress,” what keeps us from not approaching pedophilia the same way?
Simple: We haven’t moved the line that far yet.
This slow, incremental redefining of what was once (and still is in many quarters) considered deviance, should be a sobering example of postmodernism’s corrosive creep. And make no mistake, the issue is the Moral finish line.
Social and religious progressives only move “forward” by first moving the Line. Problem is, once you start moving the Line, who says when and where it stops? Eventually, the line will have been moved so far that Good is called Evil, and Evil, Good. Yet, not only do we continue to move that Line further and further, we are in danger of eliminating it completely!
Going back is not going backwards, especially when you’re headed over a cliff. You can rename the cliff anything you want — “civil rights,” “emancipation,” “freedom,” or “social progress.” If it is, indeed, a real cliff, all the world will watch us splat.
As long as we remain divided on where to draw that line of Morality, we are like a sailor without a compass: Any wind is the right wind.