It’s a difficult situation to manage. If we believe that everyone exists within a conscious bubble of subjective perceptions of the world, which I think is the most reasonable way of looking at people at the most fundamental level of what makes them human, truth becomes fickle and hard to manage.
One of the big problems with truth is that there are so many layers of it and humans aren’t capable of looking at all of them at once. For example, consider the workings of a computer. It is true to say that a computer computes things. But how true is that? Is that true enough? It’s also true that a computer consists of 5 main components, the Input, Storage, CPU, ALU, and Output. Instructions are formatted as 1’s and 0’s and processed in the CPU. But how are they processed? Do we need to start talking about how logic gates are designed, transistors, differences between static and dynamic memory? Is that useful to us? Does use define truth in any way? It’s true, but it’s not Truth, with a capital T. Can we as humans even understand Truth? Is Truth, which I am assuming is an objective term, even possible to find within a subjective conscious bubble?
These are the ramblings of a madman, seemingly, yet they have a very real effect on the world, especially in our world today where the lines between truth and fiction become more blurred by the month with the advent of VR, gender dysphoria run amok like some kind of fad, LGBT propaganda promoting an unhealthy man-hating form of lesbianism, AI algorithms running the Internet, and all the rest. But all of those things I just mentioned are only one layer of truth, and this is where the issue comes in: Some layers seem to be more useful than others, so if one person is focused too far up (too shallow) while another person is focused too far down (missing the bigger picture), we’re both looking at the same truth but completely missing the middle point where we want to be.
What this led me to conclude some years ago was that I needed to erase the social conditioning as much as possible and start forming ideas from the ground up as best I could, making note of inconsistencies in both the mainstream and anti-mainstream narrative as I went along. It’s been… a painful journey, to say the least, and continues to be painful. Because there’s a far deeper issue in our modern society than your truth vs. my truth: Truth vs. Virtue, specifically the cases where the two are not equivalent.
Let’s consider the classic train thought-experiment, where one is asked whether they would push a fat man onto a train track to save a group of people on the tracks from a runaway train. Let’s first change the man into a woman. I wonder how that would make some people feel? Perhaps we should reflect on those feelings for a moment… alright, let’s move on. I think the answer is inanely obvious: I would, without hesitation, push the fat woman, child, cat, or whomever it was. Not only I would but I should. Anyone should. The philosophical musings about whether said fat woman could be the one who finds the cure for cancer can be equivalently attributed, and with a greater probability, to the group of people on the tracks. I don’t see the philosophical conundrum and it’s really a boring experiment at the end of the day; you can change it however you like and I simply give a reasonable answer in response based on least death and most probable benefit based on known variables:
“What if the group on the tracks were elderly and the one being pushed was a child?” Then don’t push, the child has more to give to society assuming we know nothing else about the elderly people.
“What if two of the group of five on the tracks are murderers?” Then don’t push. We don’t know in this case how many people the murderers may kill, but assuming the two murderers carry out one homicide each, if we push, we’ve killed three innocent people (the one pushed and the two murdered) and if we don’t we’ve killed three (the 3 non-murderers). Best save yourself the psychological torment in this case.
Let’s consider a more interesting thought-experiment, more relevant to the current times and better illustrating the failures of modern society to uphold truth over some abstract moral virtue… Let’s say that if we allow pedophile fiction to be sold in adult stores, we know for a fact that the rates of child rape will drop by 50%. Knowing this, would you vote on the bill that allowed pedophile content to be sold? Apart from the most unprincipled of us out there, I would hope most would say yes. But many will not.
What if we change it a bit: If we allow pedophile fiction to be sold in adult stores, there is a 1% chance that the rates of child rape will drop by 50% and not a chance that it will increase. Knowing this, would you vote on the bill that allowed pedophile content to be sold? Now let’s now ponder how our answer or hesitation to answer makes us feel. Why hesitate? There is no chance that the rate will increase, so this can only be a positive or neutral outcome. Then it is reasonable to conclude that the only possible factor in determining your hesitation is internal, society-driven virtue. Abstract, unsubstantial, and in fact harmful in this case if one were to vote against it.
But statistically speaking, in the West, people still would. It has in fact been shown that the rape statistics in Japan, the center of fictional loli content, are significantly lower than in the West. There are, of course, multiple factors to consider, but if we take the psychological fact that people become more aggravated when you forcefully remove something than less, and also the fact that robust studies have shown illegal fictional content does not correlate with increases in that illegal behavior, it’s very, very clear if we are objective that objections to loli content are entirely virtuous and not truthful.
The most distressing aspect of this particular issue, for me, is that as the censors censor, they use the fact that proliferation of loli content is actually increasing as a result as evidence in favor of continuing to censor. Because it looks good to protect children, provided everyone agrees that’s what you’re doing, even if it is quite the opposite.
The point is, this is my thought-process. There are a lot of reasonable things that have been painted as unreasonable in this day and age. As far as loli is concerned, I’m not interested in the virtuous arguments against loli content. I’m interested in its effects on people, and more specifically, the negative effects of its removal. It shouldn’t be counter-intuitive if we look at any other relationship humans have with fiction; I so dearly wish that we could collectively wake up from our programmed minds, abstain from our selfish disgust for content with no documented adverse effects, and see this.
But ah, well.
I’m practically alone here, anyway. Who wants to tell the truth when it makes you look bad? It’s reasonable, I suppose. I eagerly await the day (coming soon) that the world eats itself alive and then turns around and stupidly asks “what happened?”