the power of one thing changing everything!

December 30th, 2008

TheThinkMovement.com by j. sakiya sandiferÂ

I found this article by Jeremy Stangroom very intriguing and wanted to share.

Okay, so here’s a thing.

Suppose an 18 year old fella takes some photographs of his 17 year old girlfriend in various states of undress.  Not pornographic, but not artistic (so we’re talking mild readers wives type stuff).  She is not coerced in any way, has no objections to him possessing the photographs, and he will never show them to anybody else.

They split up a few years later.  She’s happy for him to keep the photographs. Fast forward 25 years. He still possesses the photographs.  He’s now in his mid-40s, and he hasn’t been in touch with his old girlfriend for some 20 years, so he has no idea whether she’d mind that he still has the photos (of course, he recognises that she might mind).

So various questions arise:

1. Is it morally wrong for a man in his mid-40s to be looking at naked photos of his 17 year old ex-girlfriend taken 25 years previously? (I’m not interested in whether it is sad, pathetic, etc).

2. If it is morally wrong, was it wrong when he was 18?

3. If not, is it the age difference that makes it morally wrong? If it is the age difference, how old was he when he started to behave immorally?

4. If not (2 or 3), is it the fact that he can no longer assume her consent?  If so, suppose he contacts her, and finds out that she doesn’t mind.  Is it okay then?

5. If it still wrong, and it isn’t the age difference, is it because she is not now able to consent for her 17 year old self? (So the thought here is that her 17 year old self would not have consented to the 45 year old version of her boyfriend looking at the photos.)

Generally, what should he do with the photographs? Destroy them? (I’m not interested in the legal status of said photographs. Just the moral question.)

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Entry Filed under: Think About It!

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