Many different aspects were covered, such as the age of the people involved, the intent of the viewing, relationship to the victims, abuse of the existing laws, wrongful arrest and/or prosecution, making emotional appeals to justify overreaching legislation rather than rationally addressing the issue etc. It was an interesting discussion.
The following was my summary judgment on the matter, and I feel that it bears consideration, as even though a few people do obviously feel conflicted about the matter, they agree with the principles I've stated.
Sorry, I still simply don't think it should be illegal to be in possession of pictures if you could prove that you didn't take them and weren't in any way involved in their manufacture. I hate censorship laws where certain material is deemed illegal because the government is making a moral judgement and deems you incapable of viewing such material without being criminal or intent on committing a crime. Banned books are one such an example in history. Adult pornography in many areas still fits that description, because prudish religious types feel that it's sinful and will lead to criminal and sinful activity etc.
My point is that you have committed no crime, you are in no way linked to the crime, and as long as you're not committing a crime, your thoughts shouldn't be policed. I resent the idea of a government telling you what you can and can't look at, what you can and can't read, and what you can and can't think about. And that's what we're dealing with here. And all your excuses about "well, it's illegal. you're probably a criminal and will commit a crime if you look at it." are hollow attempts to justify what is essentially nothing more than government policing what you're allowed to think.
Taking the pictures should be illegal. Molesting the children should be illegal. Actually paying for the pictures should be illegal, as that does provide material support and thus motivation for the crime. But making it a crime to even look at the pictures and treating that as a sex crime that can land you on the registry for life and ruin your life... that is nothing more than a lazy authoritarian government restricting your freedom to read or look at what you please. You're not committing any crime other than looking at something they've decided you shouldn't be looking at.
And in todays world of digital information, where an image can be endlessly duplicated with no contact with the original required etc, the crime is already committed. It's like a murderer taking pictures of his victims and those pictures being viewed later. Is your viewing of that photo killing the victim? If you don't view the picture is the victim going to come back to life? Is your not viewing the picture going to stop murders? Is your viewing the picture going to unquestionably provoke you to go out and murder someone yourself, even if you can sit and think of what it would be like to do so? Of course not.
Part of truly being free is to be able to entertain thoughts that aren't approved of by an authoritarian government. To sit and think about building bombs, or murdering people, or child pornography, or amputation fetishes or necrophilia or whatever else you feel like.
It reminds me of the words of Thomas Jefferson, when he spoke about government meddling in religious affairs; "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
It neither picks anyone's proverbial pocket, nor breaks their proverbial leg, for you to read or view whatever you choose. You're simply restricted from doing so out of a fear that doing so may at some later point motivate you to commit a crime. It's not about a crime being committed, it's about the possibility that it might contribute to a crime, or that the mere thought that you might view the picture might contribute to someone else committing a crime. It's not about the actual crime that was committed, that is already rightfully illegal.