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Old 08-21-2018, 04:46 PM   #26
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Again, your original post lumped all major religions together, so I am doing the same thing. I never said or even implied that Quakers had anything to do with the heinous acts.

If you'd like to amend your original thesis by making it specifically about Quakers, I might agree with it.
Nope. You are relying on a fallacious inference. FWIW, my question had nothing inherently to do with Quakers; I could just as readily ask the same about my participating in the local Catholic mass. In fact, it is possible to both be a Catholic and work within Catholicism against child abuse, perhaps by advocating for the removal of priests and bishops who have not taken these sins by their clergy as seriously as they should, or by otherwise changing Catholic Church policies to lessen the potential for child abuse. For that person, attending Catholic mass has the effect of discouraging child abuse.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:49 PM   #27
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

Sure, that would be possible. But I believe it would be more effective to be outside the catholic church and work towards legally prosecuting the hierarchy, putting bishops who hid the problem in prison, supporting civil suits to take away the property of the church, etc.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:01 PM   #28
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Sure, that would be possible. But I believe it would be more effective to be outside the catholic church and work towards legally prosecuting the hierarchy, putting bishops who hid the problem in prison, supporting civil suits to take away the property of the church, etc.
Maybe so. I'm not making a strong claim one way or the other about the most effective way of changing a religion. However, my prior is the opposite of yours, as I think that people within a religion have more impact in changing it than those outside of it.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:17 PM   #29
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Thus, if you care about passing your values on to future generations and if you can sufficiently restrict the downsides of this unwarranted credulity, then it can be rational to participate in a religion.
.
Most of the world's problems would eventually go away if people got rid of unwarranted credulity.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:08 PM   #30
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Most of the world's problems would eventually go away if people got rid of unwarranted credulity.
While I think that is somewhat true, I also think unwarranted credulity is a stable feature of mass human psychology, so I'm doubtful that it will be gotten rid of anytime soon. Given that, it is not clear to me that we should constantly seek to overturn the current credulously accepted myths. Why should we assume that the inevitable replacements will be any better? Perhaps religious institutions allowed to grow over time can have a moderating effect on the religious enthusiasms of the day.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:48 AM   #31
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Sure, I'm just assuming this based on my hazy sense of the historical record. The future might be very different from the past. I'll acknowledge this as an unverified premise in my argument.



I'm not sure these are properly analogous. I'm taking a somewhat realist view towards human society and saying, my guess is that of current social institutions, religious ones are likely to be among the most long-lived. Furthermore, religion has the important social function of maintaining and transmitting values across generations. Neither of these seems applicable to propaganda outlets, which I think are not likely to be long-lived or an effective means to transmitting my values across generations, so I don't see how my argument for religious participation also applies to propaganda.
The analogy was not meant to be perfect, it was merely meant to illustrate the dangers of taking a subject so broad into very specific yes / no conclusion about it being healthy.

Religion, after all, exists on a scale where "be nice, god is watching" and "we need to carve out the hearts of living people" are both entries.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:28 AM   #32
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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My guess is that 2p2 religion forum self-selects for people who are unsatisfied in their IRL religious community, so I expect this to be a typical complaint for religious and former religious people here. But obviously lots of other people with views similar to yours do find religious communities that are sufficiently compatible with their own values.
I agree about the self-selection problem here, but I'm not convinced that lots of other people with similar views do in fact find communities. I mean, maybe, I don't know. Most of the other people I've met who I would describe as similar to myself were not members of any church. I suspect some of this is just down to the places I have and haven't lived.

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But this seems like exactly what I'm describing. You're a smart guy. If you were an active and engaged member of that progressive church community you might have been able to cause the side that favors your own more gay-friendly values to win.
I can't figure out what to say here that's not going to sound overly curmudgeonly, but man I kinda doubt it. I think I rate the probability of that happening to be much smaller than you do. But OK, I agree there's some chance.

I think my reaction is very similar to uke_master's, so I don't want to make you say everything twice. When you said that uke_master may be valuing personal authenticity over passing on his ideas, I think that probably is true for me. I've never been good at belonging to organizations that emphasize ideological commitments, for that reason. I've also never been very good at convincing people about my ideas, as far as I can tell. I'm sure the two things are related.

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Religion, like social media, benefits from network effects, so there is a lot of benefit in advertising your own ideas from within the currently existing religions rather than trying to start up your own platform. I would view joining a young alternative secular organization as a high variance strategy, which is likely to have no impact at all on future generations because it'll disappear, but if it does continue to exist, your personal impact has the potential to be much greater than it is likely to be from within an already existing religion. People's risk tolerance varies, so I wouldn't say that one or the other of these strategies is correct, but it seems like at minimum more tolerance should be given to those who adopt the low-variance strategy.
To your last sentence: absolutely.

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I'll also point out that from an equilibrium perspective, if my claim that religion is an effective transmitter of values is correct, then even if you feel like you personally cannot participate in religion, you should still want some people who otherwise agree with you on moral and rational values to have influence in religion. Given that religion's values will have an outsized impact on the future, it is foolish to just ignore it or assume it will just go away in the future.
I think your claim that religion is an effective transmitter of values is correct, and so I'm broadly sympathetic to the argument you're making. And I guess that it's almost necessarily true that if people did as you are suggesting in large enough numbers that it would have an impact.

I think there's a collective action problem here though in that my doing as you suggest individually is very unlikely by itself to accomplish anything other than frustrating the hell out of me :P Although it's funny, when I still considered myself Christian I had similar ideas, or at least hopes. I just became disenchanted with them.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:32 AM   #33
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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OK, well if you want to lump them in with all Christians, I think Christianity overall encourages child molestation, bombing of abortion clinics, and other heinous acts. You can't have it both ways. I believe that at least the major western religions (Christianity and Islam) encourage much more bad behavior than good. I don't know enough about eastern religions to make a judgement.

So, more to your point, I do not believe that supporting these religions would be likely to encourage my preferred morality in future generations.
Beyond OrP's observation that this appears to be a logical fallacy, it's worth thinking about this from a perspective that includes the inherent randomness of human behaviors. Nobody is attempting to make a strong claim that if religion then bad-things-don't-happen. Similarly, I don't think anyone is (should be) trying to argue that if no-religion then bad-things-don't-happen.

You're going to get bad things with or without religion. You're going to get good things with or without religion. The types of social structures that impact human behavior happen with and without religious influences. We're watching in real time the impact of a charismatic leadership that is obstensibly secular.

So there is a sense in which you *can* have it both ways, in that you can (must?) truthfully acknowledge that some religions may go in a bad way while others go in a good way. And that possibility of the failure of values is on the table as part of the reality of it.

To the deeper point of OrP's actual position, the structure of the passing along of values comes from a type of social cohesion. People who get together and do things together, and find ways to reinforce what they do together. Religion is a built-in mechanism that accomplishes these things.

In the absence of religion, it's not as clear that one can find the same type of cohesive force. One can speculate that something like politics could suffice, but we clearly see that politics is as prone (if not more prone?) to the types of corruption that lead to the abuses that have happened in the church. There are tons of examples of overt abuses on human lives propagated by political power.

We also see a form of secular social cohesion that's doing similar sorts of things, such as the anti-vaxxer movement and unhealthy diet fads, but also within the structure of business (age/gender discrimination and wage inequities). All of these can rightly be seen as negatives on society being propagated through secular channels.

At the core, I might pose that religion, at least as an aspirational claim, seeks to make the world better for reasons that are somehow transcendent to human whims. Granted, the implementation of this value varies wildly. I do not know whether a secular society, in the absence of some sense of transcendent value, can hold that together in quite the same way.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:02 AM   #34
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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I think religious participation encourages molestation of children and dropping planes on buildings.
Don't forget killing children because they refuse to go see a doctor.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:12 AM   #35
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Don't forget killing children because they refuse to go see a doctor.
On the secular side of things, there's homeopathy and a lot of anti-vaxxers. Religion is not the sole source of stupidity when it comes to medical care.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:19 AM   #36
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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On the secular side of things, there's homeopathy and a lot of anti-vaxxers. Religion is not the sole source of stupidity when it comes to medical care.
I'd say the willingness to let your children die vastly increases if you believe it's in god's hands. What's the worst that could happen, they go to heaven?
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:29 PM   #37
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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I'd say the willingness to let your children die vastly increases if you believe it's in god's hands. What's the worst that could happen, they go to heaven?
You might say lots of things. But what you might say and whether someone else might say it are two completely separate matters.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:43 PM   #38
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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You might say lots of things. But what you might say and whether someone else might say it are two completely separate matters.
I have a feeling a lot of people say that about you behind your back.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:49 PM   #39
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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I have a feeling a lot of people say that about you behind your back.
That's fine. But I'm saying it directly to you and specifically with regards to the comment you made.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:54 PM   #40
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

Sure, bad things could and do happen without religion. And some religions are better or worse about encouraging bad things. But we started out talking about "major religions" here, and the two biggest western religions (Catholicism and Islam) have led pretty directly to the two particular evils I mentioned. Without some kind of religious fervor I really doubt hijackers would be willing to kill themselves just to be able to protest other people's differing beliefs. And without a church bizarrely insisting that their leaders deny themselves normal sexual relationships with other adults, it would be unlikely that those same people would have both the desire and the opportunity to molest children,

If we somehow got rid of all religions, there would still be evils in the world. But I believe there would be fewer evils, not that some new forms of evil would jump up to replace the obsolete religious ones.
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:55 PM   #41
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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I'd say the willingness to let your children die vastly increases if you believe it's in god's hands. What's the worst that could happen, they go to heaven?
I hereby second that motion, so that you're not alone in saying it.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:00 PM   #42
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

No that can't be true because Aaron knows everything and is super smart and is never wrong.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:07 PM   #43
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Sure, bad things could and do happen without religion. And some religions are better or worse about encouraging bad things. But we started out talking about "major religions" here, and the two biggest western religions (Catholicism and Islam) have led pretty directly to the two particular evils I mentioned.
Sure. You can certainly claim that power structures have helped to perpetuate the systems that allowed those things to happen. Whether this is "religion's fault" or not is much more in question.

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Without some kind of religious fervor I really doubt hijackers would be willing to kill themselves just to be able to protest other people's differing beliefs.
There's plenty of non-religious fervor going into separating families at the border for tribal reasons, not to mention the non-religious ways that sexual abuse happens in those types of settings. Or the non-religious violence related to drug cartels.

There's kind of a "blind eye" fallacy in which you're focusing very intently on things that I would agree are problems, but placing such a high emphasis on those things as to seemingly ignore all other cases.

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And without a church bizarrely insisting that their leaders deny themselves normal sexual relationships with other adults, it would be unlikely that those same people would have both the desire and the opportunity to molest children,
There's questionable cause-effect here. It's far from obvious that adult chastity is a causal component of sexual predation of minors. The evidence points far more to misplaced trust, especially in light of the fact that the overwhelming majority (something like 90%) of sexual assaults on minors are trusted adults (with no specific correlation with other sexual activity).

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If we somehow got rid of all religions, there would still be evils in the world. But I believe there would be fewer evils, not that some new forms of evil would jump up to replace the obsolete religious ones.
You are welcome to believe that there would be fewer evils. In fact, you can believe whatever you want about the speculative conditions. But in your argumentation, try to avoid sheer ignorance like above. Take the time to do some research and be an informed debater.

(Edit: To be absolutely clear, you're arguing that "If those people had just had some adult sex, they wouldn't be pedophiles." As far as I can tell, there's ZERO evidence of this type of causality. And promoting/propagating that belief is probably doing significantly more harm than good for those who are victims. I'm open to being proven wrong about that, but you're going to have to provide data.)

Also, your argument is just generally weak. For example, your argument would prove that if we never created knives, there would be no knife violence. And this would be true. But it's pretty difficult to conclude that therefore there would be a net decrease in violence. You have to move your argument in a certain way for it to gain strength. It's not just enough to assert that "if X wasn't around then we can conclude something about Y." You still have to draw a connection.

Last edited by Aaron W.; 08-22-2018 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:38 PM   #44
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

I don't think there is much evidence of pedophilia being a problem in churches that allow their ministers to be married. At least it is not as much in the news, and I haven't heard about it.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:08 AM   #45
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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I don't think there is much evidence of pedophilia being a problem in churches that allow their ministers to be married. At least it is not as much in the news, and I haven't heard about it.
It seems that you didn't try very hard to research the question.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/valer..._b_740853.html

https://www.christiancentury.org/art...s-sexual-abuse

You also see these behaviors in doctors:

http://www.norwalkreflector.com/Heal...recorded-abuse

And teachers:

https://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/orsp_sha...t_spring03.pdf

The common thread is more about positions of authority than it has to do with whether or not the person is having adult sex.

I give space for people to be ignorant because there's a lot of stuff in the world that any individual might not know about. But there's a level of ignorance which is dangerous, and that's when people make false statements that are relatively easy to research. Your two most recent posts in this thread fall into that category of ignorance.

This is particularly important in this case, as false myths about the nature of sexual abuse of children is part of the underlying structural problem with child abuse. If we're going to talk about it, let's talk about it truthfully and not ignorantly.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:02 AM   #46
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

Where is the article about rabbis?
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:44 AM   #47
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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OP,
How do you view the role of status in the success of transmitting your values to future generations? From a Pragmatic perspective, wouldn’t seeking to elevate your status first be a more useful strategy?
The internet notwithstanding, religious participation is high status IRL. Being a member of the clergy is a high status occupation and the elders and deacons at the local church are usually also pillar of the community types. So I think these are more congruent than opposed strategies.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:44 AM   #48
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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Where is the article about rabbis?
Which one?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual...redi_community

https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com...-sexual-abuse/

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We have seen too many cases of child sexual abuse where our Jewish institutions — camps, schools and synagogues — have good intentions but insufficient policies and procedures in place.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:47 PM   #49
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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It seems that you didn't try very hard to research the question.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/valer..._b_740853.html

https://www.christiancentury.org/art...s-sexual-abuse

You also see these behaviors in doctors:

http://www.norwalkreflector.com/Heal...recorded-abuse

And teachers:

https://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/orsp_sha...t_spring03.pdf

The common thread is more about positions of authority than it has to do with whether or not the person is having adult sex.

I give space for people to be ignorant because there's a lot of stuff in the world that any individual might not know about. But there's a level of ignorance which is dangerous, and that's when people make false statements that are relatively easy to research. Your two most recent posts in this thread fall into that category of ignorance.

This is particularly important in this case, as false myths about the nature of sexual abuse of children is part of the underlying structural problem with child abuse. If we're going to talk about it, let's talk about it truthfully and not ignorantly.
So what are the percentages for these different groups (including the rabbis you mention in a subsequent post)? If they are not somewhat similar the point you are trying to make is refuted.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:20 PM   #50
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Re: A Pragmatic Argument for Religious Participation

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So what are the percentages for these different groups (including the rabbis you mention in a subsequent post)? If they are not somewhat similar the point you are trying to make is refuted.
Good luck getting solid data of this type. It is notoriously difficult to get in this arena, and underreporting (and cover-ups) are sources of issues.

But to your point, even if there were a statistically significant increase in the chaste priest population, it does little to make the argument for adult sex as a causative factor of pedophilia. If you wanted to make the argument that adult sex is a causative factor, you would find it in the pedophile population at large and not just in this specific demographic. That is, of all the offending persons, you would find more that are not sexually active (with adults). At this time, I have seen zero evidence for this.

Also, I want to point out the general stupidity of the structure of the argument. This comparison will likely bother uke (he thinks all comparisons between homosexuality and pedophilia are disgusting), but that would be like saying that a gay person can be made straight if they had heterosexual sexual encounters. Or that you can make someone gay by putting them into sexual contact with someone of the same sex.

Sexual attraction simply doesn't appear to work that way at any level. So it will take a rather significant argument and volume of data to say that, in this one special case, a primary causative factor is an absence of a particular sexual activity.
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