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Sexual radicalism as rule-following mindlessness

After public complaints, the German government has finally pulled a sex-ed booklet that promoted conduct that came close to incestuous pedophilia. Since this is a G-rated weblog, you’ll have to click on the links to get the details, which were startling enough to make me go and find the booklet itself. Not surprisingly, the German text (pp. 26-27) is more diffuse than the English translation, but I don’t think the translation is inaccurate.

In general, the booklet struck me as more an example of modern (and maybe Teutonic) literal-mindedness and addiction to rule-following than perversion. Someone said that the problem with the modern world is that stupidity has learned to think. That seems to be so. The idea is that nothing anyone has ever felt or thought about human life has any value, that everything has to be reconstructed from the beginning based on Modern Scientific Knowledge, and that Modern Scientific Knowledge makes human relations so simple it’s not clear why knowledge is needed at all. All you have to remember is that that pain is bad, pleasure is good, and natural human impulses and qualities should be approved, especially in children, except when they immediately and obviously interfere with others or make the person himself unhappy. Follow those simple principles literally and you get the booklet among many other modern blessings.

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