While MIT engages in damage control following revelations the university’s Media Lab accepted millions of dollars in funding from Jeffrey Epstein, a renowned computer scientist at the university has fanned the flames by apparently going out of his way to defend the accused sex trafficker—and child pornography in general.
Richard Stallman has been hailed as one of the most influential computer scientists around today and honored with a slew of awards and honorary doctorates, but his eminence in the academic computer science community came into question Friday afternoon when purportedly leaked email excerpts showed him suggesting one of Epstein’s alleged victims was “entirely willing.”
What’s interesting is how this Epstein apologist was so obsessed with the topic of sex and pedophilia:
A deep dive into his writings shows this isn’t the first time Stallman has expressed such questionable views, however. He has written dozens of posts on his personal website in favor of legalizing pedophilia and child pornography for more than 15 years.
Stallman commented on the news of Epstein at length on his personal site. In April of this year, the programmer wrote of one story, “I disagree with some of what the article says about Epstein. Epstein is not, apparently, a pedophile, since the people he raped seem to have all been postpuberal.”
At some point, his arguments then begin to remind me of Richard Dawkins trying to defend “mild pedophilia” a few years back:
Stallman was apparently also quite open about his ideas not only on age of consent laws, but also pedophilia. In 2006, he wrote, “I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren’t voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing.”
In 2006, he said it wouldn’t so bad for an adult man who worked for the Department of Homeland Security to have sex with a 14-year-old, as one government employee had allegedly propositioned: “Supposing she had voluntarily had sex with him, presuming that they used a condom and suitable contraception, it would have done no harm to either of them.”
He reiterated his point in 2013: “There is little evidence to justify the widespread assumption that willing participation in pedophilia hurts children.”
To his credit, he is up front about the slippery slope aspect that is inherent in these demands for yet more sexual permissiveness: