TheAmazingAtheist purportedly wrote these words, looked at them, and chose to publish them

UPDATE: It has been shown that there is no evidence that TheAmazingAtheist actually wrote these words, and Kincaid has responded to these allegations. The tumblr from which this quote was sourced has been deleted. Please see below.

Count yourself lucky if you’ve never heard of somewhat popular video-blogger TheAmazingAtheist aka TJ Kincaid. He’s one of the subset of atheists who want certain other atheists to “stop being divisive” via pointing out the injustices of the kyriarchal status quo ongoing within the atheist “movement”. He has ever so many rational and deeply intellectual opinions about life, the universe and everything. I just saw a link on Manboobz to a tumblr quoting directlyattributing this quote to Amazeman’s (self-published) e-book Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman (2007);

[NOTE: Image macro showing TAA with disputed quote has been removed since this appears to be a manufactured quote, and the tumblr where it was posted has now been deleted. I’m leaving the quote itself to lend context to the rest of the post and comments.]

Nature already has an age of consent. That age is approximately 12-13, otherwise known as the onset of puberty. We don’t need Christian morals to set an arbitrary age on when a sexually mature human female can mate legally. We already have clear parameters on sexually [sic] maturity as established by the law of evolution, and acting within those parameters does not under any reasonable definition constitute “rape”. Moreover, because this irrational moral imperialism is almostly solely applied against males who pursue relationships with younger females, I do believe the change of age-of-consent laws should be a critical area of focus for Men’s Rights Activists.

So sure, 2007 is ancient stuff in internet years, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it, and Kincaid is back on the atheosphere’s radar due to other stuff going on which is not directly relevant to this quote, so I’m choosing to highlight this particular example of his scumbaggery because he doesn’t seem to have changed these opinions since 2007 because it’s not an uncommon argument and deserves to be scorned.

I’m struggling to get past histhese misconceptions about puberty and physical sexual maturity to count the other errors in that paragraph. The *onset* of puberty is the *beginning* of the bodily changes associated with physical sexual maturity rather than the sign of the *completion* of the bodily changes associated with physical sexual maturity. Women need more physiological changes to occur than just having begun the menstrual cycle for their bodies to be ready to safely complete a pregnancy, so even if we were to accept his argument that “Nature already has an age of consent” he’s looking at the wrong age.

Heit’s also losing me on the idea that the current legal age of sexual consent has anything to do with Christian morals in particular. Simply on a pragmatic social stability level society has an interest in attempting to minimise the number of babies born to girls who are have not yet acquired the life skills necessary to either control their fertility reliably or be financially secure parents (thus aiming for fewer households with children requiring state aid), entirely aside from the many, many other ethical considerations that don’t need “Christian morals” for their foundation which I’m sure you all can think of.

Don’t get me started on the “law of evolution” crap.


UPDATE: PZ Myers also posted on this macro over at Pharyngula, and the Horde has been unable to find a verified cite. I’ve also woken up to  find a handful of drive-by comments here informing me that they can’t find it either.  As the rationalwiki entry on Kincaid notes though,

Kincaid made a post on a Marilyn Manson fanforum in his pre-Youtube days in which he advocated a lowering of the age of consent to “12 or 13” and admitted to having had “extreme pedophilic fantasies.”[6] In fact, he has admitted to having “dated” a 14 year old girl when he was 23.[7]

The exact words in the macro above, in particular the errors of fact, cannot be shown at this time to belong to Kincaid. The attitude towards sex with pubescent children though is consistent with his words expressed in the past.


FURTHER UPDATE: Kincaid has addressed this allegation on his tumblr:

Somebody said that you think that age of consent should be 13 and tau you were in a intimate relationship with a 14 year old when you were 23

Asked by Anonymous

Wow. The rumor mill just keeps on churning.

The age of consent thing is based on a post I made on an internet forum when I was like 20. And it was actually a pretty popular sentiment on the boards at that time. Hell, it was a popular sentiment on the internet in general at that time. It was also, I’m sad to say, an opinion that my father held.

After experiencing another decade on planet earth, I realize how horribly misguided that opinion was and is. I think that maybe it’s not so horrible for kids that age to begin sexual exploration with one another, but it’s definitely wrong for an adult to engage is sex with someone that young and inexperienced.

As for this nonsense about me dating a 14-year-old when I was 23, I was actually mocking a friend of mine who was over 30 and was macking on some 16-year-old girl. The sad fact is that when I was 23, I was single and pussyless. And I was too timid and frightened to even approach a girl sexually, let alone one who could wind me up in prison.



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, social justice

Tags: , , ,

23 replies

  1. This is repulsive. I’m really struggling to wrap my mind around the absurdity of his position. Not to mention, the AVERAGE age of onset of puberty for girls is in the early teens, but some girls start puberty earlier than that as young as 8. Also, the average age of onset of puberty has been getting earlier, for non-evolutionary reasons! So just. WHAT.

  2. I’ve read them about four times now, and I find them repulsive.

  3. Hi,
    I find this discussion interesting. I was sexually active from age 13 and my very liberal parents made sure I new about birth control. I don’t for a moment regret the sense of freedom and power I enjoyed but I do now resent that fact that I was technically a criminal.
    I think I was about 7 when I first rode my bike to school on a public road; an activity that was far more dangerous than my sexual activity.
    My experience made me a sex positive feminist. I gave my own children the same knowledge and freedoms I enjoyed as a child and I have no regrets, nor do they if I may take them at their word. Tens of thousands of other pubescent young people are likewise sexually active in Australia without an epidemic of 13 year old mothers.
    The OP also loses me with this statement: “He’s also losing me on the idea that the current legal age of sexual consent has anything to do with Christian morals in particular.”
    It is common knowledge that the age of consent was pushed up in the 1800s and early 1900s in many Western jurisdictions to about where they are they are today (other than for gays) mostly on the back of Christian womens groups’ campaigns like this.
    The increase in the age of consent was progressive in the 1800s, when children sold themselves for sex in the slums of London and Paris and patriarchy was rarely challenged. But I think today sex-positivist feminists ought be listened to, even if mainstream feminists choose to disagree.
    Thanks for your time.

    • Cindy, just because Christian women’s groups were active in agitating for an increase in the age of consent doesn’t mean that their justifications were necessarily Christian. There is no chapter and verse in the Bible that condemns men being sexually active with pubescent girls. Church groups were the only socially acceptable form of activism for respectable married women in the 1800s, so they used them to push non-biblical agendas and as Mellow Monkey points out – before modern contraception methods pregnancy was an almost certain result of becoming sexually active, and before modern medicine pregnancy for teenagers was extremely dangerous and had demographic implications (at least some of those women activists were probably mostly concerned about young White women’s breeding capacity being compromised by premature sexual activity, let’s be honest about the social agendas of the 1800s).
      As for sex positivity etc, my parents were also very open with us about sex and contraception and left those choices up to us (with encouragement to ask for help in acquiring contraception), and we were children of the 70s in a bushwalking and naturist and folkie family where there was no lack of openness about pre/extra-marital sex in those communities. I happened to decide nonetheless to wait until I went away to uni to become sexually active, because that’s what felt right to me, because I wanted to be able to talk about contraception etc before having sex, and none of the boys I dated in high school seemed ready for that conversation.

  4. I don’t know what to say to that except for making puke noises.

  5. Okay, this nincompoop seems to have forgotten the one clarifying factor about homo sapiens sapiens which differentiates us from the majority of other species on the planet: we stopped relying on genetic evolution as our sole evolutionary path back around about the time our distant ancestors first figured out fire. Instead of waiting around down the generations for our genotypes to adapt to the environment around us, we use our cultural abilities to alter our environment to suit our phenotypes. We build shelters, we farm, we create complex organisational structures to feed large numbers of people, and yes, we figure out ways to delay breeding until the majority of individuals have learned enough about the culture they’re living in to be productive members of that culture. We create rules about who can breed with whom in order to avoid chronic inbreeding within small genetic pools, and figure out ways of creating sanctioned and unsanctioned breeding pairs (or in other words “married” and “unmarried” couples). We also think up rules about what would be right and wrong about various types of sexual activity.
    We stopped listening solely to our genes long ago. Why would we be taking their parameters as gospel now?

  6. Not to mention the implication that being ‘sexually mature’ equals giving consent to sex. Because, you know, that’s all that females are really there for, right?

  7. Yo, can you cite the exact chapter and page where you found that quote? I’m running a search engine through an e-book copy and can’t find that quote…

  8. Err… I’m looking for any part of that quote in the book and I haven’t found anything. Where did you/they find that one?
    https://www.scribd.com/embeds/27500455/content (function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “https://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })()

  9. He never said anything remotely similar. This is the book : http://www.scribd.com/doc/27500455/Scumbag-Musings-of-a-Subhuman

    Maybe you could edit an apology or similar.

  10. UPDATE: PZ Myers also posted on this macro over at Pharyngula, and the Horde has been unable to find a verified cite. I’ve also woken up to find a handful of drive-by comments here informing me that they can’t find it either. As the rationalwiki entry on Kincaid notes though,

    Kincaid made a post on a Marilyn Manson fanforum in his pre-Youtube days in which he advocated a lowering of the age of consent to “12 or 13″ and admitted to having had “extreme pedophilic fantasies.”[6] In fact, he has admitted to having “dated” a 14 year old girl when he was 23.[7]

    The exact words in the macro above, in particular the errors of fact, cannot be shown at this time to belong to Kincaid. The attitude towards sex with pubescent children though is consistent with his words expressed in the past.

    • BTW, someone at Pharyngula predictably repeated the Juliet myth that teen/pubescent marriage was common in the European Middle Ages, and Mellow Monkey dropped a cite that others might like to bookmark,

      13 The Mellow Monkey 21 July 2014 at 9:48 am (UTC -5)
      cervantes @ 8

      And it was also pretty much that way for European peasants in the Middle Ages. And people would marry shortly after puberty

      No, it fucking wasn’t.
      Please, for the love of history and the age of consent, don’t repeat this bullshit lie. Peasants married later than nobility and even the nobility weren’t marrying that young.

      “The so-called northwestern European marriage pattern included first marriages in the mid-twenties for women, and mid-to-late twenties for men. Nobility and gentry tended to marry a little younger: women in their late teens to early twenties while their grooms were often in their early twenties. During the later Middle Ages, reliable records for demographic studies are not as plentiful, but P. J. P. Goldberg has collated results from a variety of sources and studies and concluded that the pattern of late age at first marriage largely had been established by the later Middle Ages, but with averages a bit lower (late teens to early twenties) in rural areas, especially among the more well-to-do.” Source: He Would Never Consent in His Heart”: Child Marriages in Early Modern England, Johanna Rickman.

      Peasants being intimately aware that breeding heifers/ewes etc too young tended to lead to fatalities of both dam and get, did not marry their daughters off before they were fully physically mature, especially since daughters who’d reached the age necessary to acquire the full range of skills involved in tending livestock and gardens and cheesemaking etc were more valuable when marriage negotiations were being made between families (joining families to expand landholdings was not only an aristocratic pursuit).

      • And some more cites from Mellow Monkey regarding the Juliet myth:

        30 The Mellow Monkey 21 July 2014 at 10:19 am (UTC -5)
        cervantes @ 18
        Follow my link in my original comment. That quote is an example from the link, but the documentation of average marriage ages spreads far beyond one quote.

        Aristocratic women in the Sung Period in China (from The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period) were often married young, when they were between 17 and 22. 90% of women had been married at 22, generally to men of a similar age. Almost no women were married at 15 or younger.

        The mean age at first marriage for women in Mexico City in 1811 was 22.7. The Women of Mexico City, 1790-1857 states that 22 was younger than the average European range at the time.

        A demographic chart of single women in Europe, 1280-1800
        To further go into why extremely young marriage has not been a common practice, consider how dangerous pregnancy and childbirth were before modern medicine and adequate nutrition. Pregnancy for extremely young mothers is more dangerous in general, which would be a huge risk to take without modern medicine:

        Pregnant teens are at much higher risk of having serious medical complications such as:
        Placenta previa
        Pregnancy-induced hypertension
        Premature delivery
        Significant anemia
        Toxemia
        Infants born to teens are 2 – 6 times more likely to have low birth weight than those born to mothers age 20 or older. Prematurity plays the greatest role in low birth weight, but intrauterine growth retardation (inadequate growth of the fetus during pregnancy) is also a factor.
        Teen mothers are more likely to have unhealthy habits that place the infant at greater risk for inadequate growth, infection, or chemical dependence. The younger a mother is below age 20, the greater the risk of her infant dying during the first year of life.

        A lot of this today is socioeconomic in nature, but by looking at the concerns expressed over early marriage for noblewomen in historical documents we can see many of these risks were still felt by them. A good chunk of your population dying in childbirth at fifteen, likely without any surviving issue, would be a fantastic way to have a population crash.
        All concerns of cultural impact and psychological well-being aside, it doesn’t make medical sense to declare a menstruating 12-year-old mature enough for sex.

  11. Further update I’m about to add to the post – Kincaid has addressed this allegation on his tumblr:

    Somebody said that you think that age of consent should be 13 and tau you were in a intimate relationship with a 14 year old when you were 23
    Asked by Anonymous

    Wow. The rumor mill just keeps on churning.
    The age of consent thing is based on a post I made on an internet forum when I was like 20. And it was actually a pretty popular sentiment on the boards at that time. Hell, it was a popular sentiment on the internet in general at that time. It was also, I’m sad to say, an opinion that my father held.
    After experiencing another decade on planet earth, I realize how horribly misguided that opinion was and is. I think that maybe it’s not so horrible for kids that age to begin sexual exploration with one another, but it’s definitely wrong for an adult to engage is sex with someone that young and inexperienced.
    As for this nonsense about me dating a 14-year-old when I was 23, I was actually mocking a friend of mine who was over 30 and was macking on some 16-year-old girl. The sad fact is that when I was 23, I was single and pussyless. And I was too timid and frightened to even approach a girl sexually, let alone one who could wind me up in prison.

  12. I was looking at I think some UN stats a few years ago, and globally, the leading cause of death for 15-19 year old women is pregnancy/ birth. Risk of death per pregnancy is much higher for under 15s, but not enough get pregnant that young for it to be one of the leading causes of death.
    From what I remember, the risk of death or serious injury drops dramatically enough from the 15-19 to 20-24 age group that my takeaway was “we should do everything we can to support or encourage women to not get pregnant until they’re 20.”
    For myself, I thought I’d stopped growing at 13-14, and I was a quite reasonable “adult” size, but then I had this extra growth spurt around 20: another few cm in height and a re-proportioning of my waist and hip measurements, which I now totally think of as becoming mature enough for pregnancy, even though I’d had periods since I was 11.

  13. I definitely stopped growing when I was 14 (and started menstruating when I was 12), but there were still changes going on after that – in physique and in my reproductive system.
    Given that we now know that human brains don’t completely mature until the early 20’s (most particularly in the decision making areas), I wonder why we don’t see all these naturalistic fallacy numpties suggesting that no one gets to choose to have sex (or drink, or drive, or choose a career, or whatever) until they are 25..?

  14. So, tigtog, you wrote a blog post attributing the words purportedly written by AA, looked at it and chose to publish it without verifying its authenticity. And so did PZ, and two other bloggers at FtB.
    You people are so adorable. But I wouldn’t go as far as to call you good sceptics. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve crossed the line to full-on dogmatists.

    • You’re quite right that I did rush in on this one and was insufficiently rigorous. As my posting frequency has dropped due to Life ™ getting busy, I’m not quite as dedicated to blogging as I used to be, and my antennae are not quite so twitchy either.
      However, I walked this attribution back several days ago already, and as plenty of others have pointed out in the last few days, there is plentiful documentation of dodgy crap that Kincaid has indisputably said/written over the years that makes him someone whose standards should not be walked by or overlooked. I wonder why you chose to comment only on this post and not on that more recent one?

    • Also:

      But I wouldn’t go as far as to call you good sceptics.

      This post is not tagged with “sceptics/skeptics” so why have you brought that up? Besides, in the words attibuted variously to John Maynard Keynes or his fellow economist Paul Samuelson:

      When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

      I was presented with evidence that my original claim was unfounded, and I have updated my post in order to make that clear. How do you manage to spin changing one’s conclusion on the basis of evidence presented as an unsceptical approach?

  15. Why is this still up? What I want to see is “Post deleted because I was flat out wrong.”
    Your link for “plentiful documentation of dodgy crap” goes to the top of this site.
    Putting “TheAmazingAtheist” or “Kincaid” in your search box returns only this post.
    On the evidence you and your readers are no better than the people you criticize.

    • Thank you Steve for letting me know that I had neglected to include “TheAmazingAtheist” or “Kincaid” in the post to which I linked above, which does not actually go to the top of the site but to a post quoting Greta Christina, where she writes about some well documented “dodgy crap” from TJ Kincaid aka TheAmazingAthiest. I’ve included a line to make the connection clearer.
      BTW, a search for “Amazing Atheist” with normal spaces would have returned that post.

  16. What I want to see is “Post deleted because I was flat out wrong”.

    *snort* That isn’t a standard I have noticed being adhered to on many blogs, some of which take particular pride in being flat out wrong. I don’t see why we should be held to a standard no one else bothers with.

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