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:
Stallman’s permissive streak extended to all varieties of illegal sexual behavior. In 2003, he wrote a post about a judge who argued that repealing an Alabama anti-sodomy law would lead to the legalization of “prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.” The computer scientist responded, “All of these acts should be legal as long as no one is coerced. They are illegal only because of prejudice and narrowmindedness.”
Okay, so at this point, I said to myself – “I bet this guy is an atheist.” And thanks to google, I would have won that bet. Here is Stallman in his own words:
I am an Atheist, for scientific reasons. The religious theory of the natural world (“It’s this way because a god decided to make it this way”) does not explain anything, it only replaces one question with another. That means it is so bad that “valid” and “invalid” don’t even apply.
I also reject the idea that a god’s opinions would provide us with a moral compass. A god that would allow so much suffering to occur — most of it not the result of anyone’s free will — is clearly no guide to what anyone should do. It would be entitled to its opinion just like you or I, but its opinion would not be entitled to any special respect.
My, oh my. Those are common New Atheist talking points.
Religion offers no moral short-cut. It is up to us to figure out what is right and what is wrong.
Of course. And from there, Stallman the Atheist figures out that voluntarily pedophilia is good and that the only reason why necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, incest and pedophilia are illegal is because “of prejudice and narrowmindedness.”