Vigilantes: worse than paedophiles?

Discuss, with reference to this appalling bunch of cunts.

Seriously, why the fuck has society developed the view that abusing children is worse than murder, when it’s patently obvious to anyone who isn’t insane that murder is worse than abusing children? (should you be sceptical of this, I recommend you speak to someone who was abused as a child and suggest that they would be better off if they were dead).

(via Laban)

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23 thoughts on “Vigilantes: worse than paedophiles?

  1. A female registrar was hounded from her home in south Wales because neighbours confused "paediatrician" with "paedophile"

    Makes me all Proud Of Britain.

  2. Your suggested test is wrong John; since many survivors of child abuse commit suicide, the responses are going to be biased. At the very least, the evidence would suggest it’s arguable both ways, and since victims of murder (definitionally) don’t grow up to become murderers themselves, you also have to consider the long-run effects.

    Sorry about this; a particularly virulent bout of Lancet denialism has sprung up on the internets again, so my statistical pedantry muscle is all engorged.

  3. John, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to describe these bastards all day. "Appalling bunch of cunts" will do for now.

    I hope when they’re eventually nicked, the police station steps are especially slippy that night.

  4. "Sorry about this; a particularly virulent bout of Lancet denialism has sprung up on the internets again…."

    … so it has. How extraordinary. There must be some explanation for it. It’s almost as if these people never learn….

  5. "many survivors of child abuse commit suicide, the responses are going to be biased"

    Not that much surely? There are about 5,000 suicides a year in Britain, wheras child abuse prevalence is estimated between 5% and 25%, which (I’m estimating here on the assumption there are about 800,000 of each year-age) means 40,000 to 200,000 victims a year.

  6. "Sorry about this; a particularly virulent bout of Lancet denialism has sprung up on the internets again…."

    At some point even the lowball estimates the deniers cite will approach 100,000, making Lancet denialism a bit moot…

  7. child abuse prevalence is estimated between 5% and 25%

    Cough splutter!!!! I’m not dismissing this out of hand, but that sounds bloody high; what’s the provenance of the estimate? Otoh, at the low end it would mean that one kid in every class at school was being interfered with, which very tragically doesn’t necessarily seem completely implausible.

  8. There are some more tables on this page on the NSPCC’s web site, with widely varying estimates but in about the same range Matt quotes. That said, it still seems bloody high; for comparison, according to the 2001 return for children and young people on child protection registers, there were "26,800 children on child protection registers at 31 March 2001", representing "24 children per 10,000 of the population aged under 18". But this presumably refers only to cases of more serious abuse.

  9. Even if murder is worse than child abuse, that doesn’t mean that murderers are worse than child abusers.

    Not definitionally, but it would be a rather odd conclusion to draw from the relative seriousness of the crimes combined with any moral principle I can think of.

    I guess you could work ‘doing horrible things for enjoyment/gratification is worse than doing them out of rage or desperation’ into it somewhere, which would allow you to say that child abusers were worse than the majority of murderers.

  10. I think a child-abuser can be worse than a murderer.

    I can think of less than abominable and depraved reasons to kill someone (though they’d still be wicked reasons). I can’t think of any reason to abuse a child that is not abominable and depraved. It’s nothing more than taking the liberal "if it feels good, do it" to the furthest extremes.

  11. Peter is, of course, talking crap when he tries to work liberalism into it, but, apart from that, he’s right.

    > I guess you could work ‘doing horrible things for enjoyment/gratification is worse than doing them out of rage or desperation’ into it somewhere, which would allow you to say that child abusers were worse than the majority of murderers.

    That is exactly my opinion, yes. Plus the fact that children never do anything that causes them to deserve child abuse in any reasonable person’s view.

    Incidentally, for similar reasons, I think drunk-driving is worse than murder. Killing someone you know because they’ve made your life hell isn’t half as bad as killing a total stranger because you couldn’t be bothered getting a taxi.

  12. I think drunk-driving is worse than murder. Killing someone you know because they’ve made your life hell isn’t half as bad as killing a total stranger because you couldn’t be bothered getting a taxi.

    Do you *really* believe that? Would you really consider a friend who you knew drove home after four pints last year worse than a friend who topped their (horrible, hence deserved) acquaintance last year?

  13. I wouldn’t be friends with someone whom I knew to be a drink-driver. It amounts to thinking "My right to have some drinks is more important than your right to life." Anyone who thinks that is a stain on humanity.

  14. The ‘kill all the peados’ brigade generally make the argument that child abusers are possessed by uncontrollable lusts and hence cannot be reformed. If this is the case, then their crime – despite its impact – is in an altogether different category to the murderer operating according to what we might describe as free choice.

    As for the argument that drunk driving is worse than murder – this would make sense IF each case of drunk driving led to a death. But it clearly does not. Each case of murder involves a death. The tremendous majority of drunk driving cases (even excluding the undetected) does not. If we say that increasing one’s risk of causing the death of an innocent in a traffic accident is worse than murder – then speeding is worse than murder!

    And, as these are arbitrary limits – on both alcohol and speed – then we must say that any non-emergency use of a car is worse than murder!

  15. Yusuf: cheers 4 link.

    AB: I’m genuinely amazed by S2′s perspective, hence the sarcastic tone of question. There are people I like and respect who have drink-driven, who have sped inappropriately, and who have driven on too little sleep (the only reason a difference is drawn between the three is because of crazy drink-drive propaganda). Fortunately, none of them have crashed and caused harm. If they had, I’d mostly have viewed them as unlucky.

    FWIW, I’m broadly anti-car and keen to restrict the suffocating impact of cars on cities, but I don’t view demonising individual imperfect car drivers as a constructive way of doing this.

    Meanwhile, were someone I knew to murder someone else out of rage, I would view them as a fucking maniac, and never talk to them again.

  16. God, I’m stupid sometimes. Having carefully drawn that distinction in my first comment, I then totally ignored it in my second. For the record: I don’t think drink-driving is worse than murder, for the obvious statistical reason Andrew stated; I think drunk-drivers are, in general, worse than murderers.

    Andrew’s other point about arbitrary limits is entirely fair, which is why I refer to drunk-driving — driving while drunk — rather than drink-driving — driving after drinking an amount of alcohol decided by the government. I am aware that some people can drink vast amounts of alcohol without getting drunk. The law doesn’t allow for them; such is life. But people who get into their cars and drive them around public roads while pissed are the scum of the Earth. Fuck ‘em.

    > I’m broadly anti-car and keen to restrict the suffocating impact of cars on cities, but I don’t view demonising individual imperfect car drivers as a constructive way of doing this.

    Oh, I agree: I wouldn’t demonise drunk-drivers as a way of achieving some other aim. I demonise them because they’re self-important self-absorbed selfish deluded bastards who have taken the idea of inconsideration to such an extreme that they are willing to risk the lives of strangers in order to affirm their own arrogance.

  17. which is why I refer to drunk-driving — driving while drunk — rather than drink-driving — driving after drinking an amount of alcohol decided by the government

    In that case we’re more in agreement than I thought (was thrown because puritan groups often use ‘drunk-driving’ synomously with ‘drink-drinking’, so didn’t think about whether you intended a distinction or not).

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