Evil deeds should be punished. But what of evil thoughts?

… Does watching pornographic images of child abuse make one a paedophile? This is a highly equivocal question. It can ask whether watching such pictures entails that one is a paedophile or it can ask whether watching them causes one to become a paedophile.The second question is notoriously hard to answer. What is the causal effect of violence or sexual abuse shown on television upon those who watch it? For years, sociologists and moralists have argued inconclusively about this. Common sense has no doubt that habitual language is gradually changing because people hear ‘bad language’ as the common currency on much of television.

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