Paedophilia And The Uneasy Conscience

In 1998 a writer on The Economist made the thought-provoking suggestion that there are two possible views of our fellows and the crimes they are likely to commit against us, one based on statistics and the other rooted in what he or she called “the moral imagination”. It is a striking phrase, and suggests that, like Chesterton’s Father Brown, we understand our neighbour’s evil all too well, because we find the materials upon which our moral imagination works in our own hearts. Except that, unlike Father Brown, we do not admit it. Given that most people firmly believe that child molesters exist in numbers vastly greater than is supported by the evidence, what are their hearts telling them that the statistics do not yet know?

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  1. Written by Mr Fnortner
    on April 21, 2011 at 19:01

    That we despise most in others what we hate in ourselves is well and widely known.

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