Reasoning To Belief: Feser’s The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism — Part VI: Akin And Abortion After Rape

Stop in the name of the Law!

Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part Interlude, Part IV, Part V, Part VI. Part Last.

Earlier this month, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin uttered these infamous words: “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.”

Oops, no. Sorry. Wrong quote. Those were actually the words of Whoopi Goldberg spoken in defense of convicted child rapist and film director Roman Polanksi. Goldberg was of the opinion that the little so-and-so (the 13-year-old girl, not Polanski), had it coming. Or something. The price Goldberg paid for her “slip” was exactly nil.

I have it now! What Akin said, in answer to a question of the abortion in the case of rape, was this:

Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Not a particularly fluid explanation, and a poor choice with legitimate. What Akin meant was that in the cases of, as Whoopi would put it, “rape-rape”, a woman is less likely to become impregnated than if she has intercourse with her husband. And that even if she did become pregnant as a result of rape, “the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.” Because abortion is always wrong.

Incidentally, it is an empirical, not a moral, question whether a woman is less likely to become pregnant from a rape. The answer is therefore irrelevant to whether it is moral to kill the baby. As in irrelevant. Akin and his many critics, including those who should know better, forgot this. Nevertheless, here is a quotation from one doctor1, showing that Akin might not have been far wrong:

A 1988 textbook, the second edition of “Human Sex and Sexuality” by Edwin B. Steen and James H. Price, estimates a 2 percent pregnancy rate. A 2012 textbook, “Comprehensive Gynecology,” 6th edition, gives an estimate of between 2 percent and 5 percent and states that “in the experience of most sexual assault centers, the chance of pregnancy occurring is quite low.” Estimates depend on flawed methods, with inevitable biases. An experiment to give an accurate figure is, of course, impossible. And does the estimate really matter to the woman who has been raped? Either she gets pregnant, or she doesn’t.

Another tidbit: the woman behind Roe v Wade, Norma McCorvey, who wanted women to legally kill their fetuses, testified to the Supreme Court of impregnations due to rape. She recanted in 1988 and said to the Senate2:

The affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court didn’t happen the way I said it did, pure and simple. I lied! Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffey needed an extreme case to make their client look pitiable. Rape seemed to be the ticket. What made rape even worse? A gang rape! It all started out as a little lie, but my little lie grew and became more horrible with each telling.

One imagines (this was 1973) a young Al Sharpton taking notes. Anyway, back to Feser!

Natural law says rape is wrong. We all, at some level, acknowledge this when we say rape is wrong. And it is absolutely wrong, which means it is always wrong, regardless where and when people happen to be. It would be wrong even if a body of men made rape “legal”—say, in Hollywood, as long as the perpetrator had won one of: Oscar (earned or honorary), Emmy, Tony. A Golden Globe allows only groping.

But why is rape wrong? It is hardly an explanation to say, “Because natural law says it is.” The question is: how do we arrive the morally true principle “rape is wrong” from natural law?

The “nature” of a thing, from an Aristotelian point of view, is, as we’ve seen, the form or essence it instantiates. Hence, once again to haul in my triangle example, it is of the essence, nature, or form of a triangle to have three perfectly straight sides. Notice that this remains true even if some particular triangle does not have three perfectly straight sides, and indeed even though…every material instance of a triangle has some defect or other. The point is that these are defects, failures to conform to the nature of essence of triangularity; the fact that such defective triangles exist in the natural world and in accordance with the laws of physics doesn’t make them any less “unnatural” in the relevant sense.

To change one of Feser’s example in a way I hope he approves of, suppose it were discovered that a gene or genes were associated with rapists: rapists have this gene or genes more often than do non-rapists. This empirical fact would not make rape “natural” or morally right. Nor would we suddenly attend “rapists pride” parades.

Nor would it be plausible to suggest that God “made [rapists]3 that way,” any more than God ‘makes’ people to be born blind, deaf, armless, legless, prone to alcoholism, or autistic. God obviously allows these things, for whatever reason; but it doesn’t follow that He positively wills them, and it certainly doesn’t follow that they are “natural.”…

In the same way, should it turn out that a desire to molest children has a genetic basis, no one would conclude from this that sexual attraction toward children is a good thing, even if the person who has it was able to satisfy his disgusting urges without actually touching any children…

Now I realize, of course, that many readers will acknowledge that we do in fact have these reactions, but would nevertheless write them off as mere reactions. “Our tendency to find something personally disgusting,” they will sniff, “doesn’t show that there is anything objectively wrong with it.” This is the sort of stupidity-masquerading-as-insight that absolutely pervades modern intellectual life, as it has the same source as so many other contemporary intellectual pathologies…For we need to ask why there is a universal, or near universal, reaction of disgust to certain behaviors, and why certain traits count as unnatural even though there is a genetic factor underlying them.

Human beings “have a nature or essence, and the good for them, like the good for anything else, is defined in terms of this nature or essence.” And the “good for us is in fact whatever tends to fulfill our nature or essence in the sense of realizing the natural ends or purposes of our various natural capacities.” Doing what is good “may require a fight against one’s desires and such a fight might in some cases be so extremely difficult and unpleasant that one might not have the stomach for it.”

But can we derive an ought from an is? Yes.

[H]uman beings have a formal cause—their form, essence, or nature—and this formal cause entails certain final causes for their various capacities. So, for example, our nature or essence is to be rational animals, and reason or intellect has as its final cause the attainment of truth. Hence the attainment of truth is a good for us..[T]he sense of “good” in question here is a completely objective one, connoting, not some subjective preference we happen to have for a thing, but rather the conformity of a thing to a nature or essence as a kind of paradigm (the way that, again, a “good” triangle is just one which has perfectly straight sides…).

Given our capacities and the existence of formal causes, “what is good for human beings in the use of those capacities is to use them only in a way consistent with this final cause.” And all this “remains true whatever the reason is for someone’s desire to act in a way contrary to nature’s purpose—whether simple intellectual error, habituated vice, genetic defect, or whatever—however strong that desire is.” Including, of course, a desire to rape.

As Feser says, this “subject requires a book of its own.” He only provides the barest sketch and covers only the most contentious areas. Nowhere does he, nor do I, for example, attempt to show, in complete detail, just why rape is wrong. He shows why abortion is wrong, even in the case of rape. It is the killing of a human life—in a, it hardly needs to be said, unnatural way.

————————————————————————–

1Disclosure: I met Dr Orient at the DPP conference where I was invited to speak.

2Interestingly, the linked article was written by a woman who was conceived in a rape.

3Feser used club feet as his example, not rapist. This is my change.

Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part Interlude, Part IV, Part V, Part VI. Part Last.

28 Comments

  1. God obviously allows these things, for whatever reason; but it doesn’t follow that He positively wills them

    So God does/causes some things without intent and has “Oops” moments?

    Notice that this remains true even if some particular triangle does not have three perfectly straight sides, and indeed even though — every material instance of a triangle has some defect or other. The point is that these are defects, failures to conform to the nature of essence of triangularity …

    Of course, in no way, would it ever imply that one’s concept of a triangle might be wrong. If what I see doesn’t match my ideal it must be defective? And if you encounter someone who doesn’t match your concept of right or wrong then they are obviously defective?

    There may be many reasons for assigning right and wrong. Surely one can do better than an appeal to some ideal concept of humanity.

  2. Dr. Briggs,

    You stated that rape is absolutely wrong. You stated that abortion is “always wrong”.

    Do you hold that abortion is absolutely wrong?

    If not, then you hold that there are circumstances where some greater wrong outweighs the wrong of abortion.

    It would appear that God “allows” situations to exist where we can only choose the lesser of the two wrongs, which it seems includes killing babies.

    If a person created this dilemma (having to choose between killing a baby or else doing something worse), we would rightfully call him a monster.

    How then is God not a monster?

    V/r.

  3. It’s mesmerizing to find out that the very same person from whom you have learned to be wary of overcertainty in scientific studies, is convinced that God’s existence can be proved…

  4. If not, then you hold that there are circumstances where some greater wrong outweighs the wrong of abortion.

    That doesn’t follow at all…to quote from the post:

    Natural law says rape is wrong. We all, at some level, acknowledge this when we say rape is wrong. And it is absolutely wrong, which means it is always wrong, regardless where and when people happen to be.

    Replace ‘rape’ with abortion, and you have the same thing going on. There’s no “outweighing” going on…rape and abortion are both intrinsically immoral acts, and are equal in that respect.

    It would appear that God “allows” situations to exist where we can only choose the lesser of the two wrongs, which it seems includes killing babies.

    ? Who is choosing “the lesser of two wrongs”? The one is choosing to either rape or not, and the other is choosing to abort a child or not.

  5. It’s mesmerizing to find out that the very same person from whom you have learned to be wary of overcertainty in scientific studies, is convinced that God’s existence can be proved…

    Interestingly, overcertainty in scientific studies is a result of giving the quality of metaphysical demonstration to scientific arguments; and undercertainty of God’s existence comes from giving the quality of scientific arguments to what is meant as a metaphysical demonstration…

  6. I see that the occasionalist (look it up, folks) theologians are already here. Suffice it to say that Aquinas’s God does not personally determine every event. The idea of “secondary causes” is what allows this to work. If God personally determined everything–including evil–, then how could he be called anything but a tyrant?

  7. Jaime,

    Your reply indicates the very kind of over-certainty I highlight. All opinion, no logic, no argument, all bluff.

    You assume that God’s existence cannot be proved. Your argument? If you have one, and you are not just bluffing, or are not just operating on a “gut feeling”, i.e. faith in the face of evidence, it would fit in with the second and third of this series, wherein I outline some proofs of God’s existence. But if you’d rather, feel free to place it here.

    Eric,

    There are some instances in which I do not think abortion wrong (say the child if not aborted would certainly kill the mother). But, given that, I hold that abortion is absolutely wrong. And this is where I lose you: I mean, I’m not sure of the dichotomy you’re offering. Can you re-phrase?

    DAV,

    Re: oops moments. I believe you would agree there is a difference between allowing and positively willing. Nevertheless, this is tricky, and it’s probably an area I could do a better job explaining, especially in the light of God being the first cause (in Aquinas’s sense). And I see rank sophist has already helped us here.

  8. Personally I would take the word abortion mostly out of the discussion. Murder is absolutely wrong. However, the intentional killing of another human is not always murder, for example: self defense (justifiable homicide).

    I would apply this reasoning to abortion. Abortion is sometimes, but not always murder. In the case of a pregnancy where niether mother nor fetus can survive the pregnancy, the fetus can not be saved in any case and the mother can only be saved by killing the fetus abortion would not be murder.

  9. Re: oops moments. I believe you would agree there is a difference between allowing and positively willing.

    Yes, I do, but this is God we are discussing.

    If I implement a design that did something I didn’t intend then that’s because I have shortcomings in complex foresight. However, if I were able to foresee the consequences, wouldn’t allowing them to stand signify intent to implement them?

    God can’t foresee the consequences of God’s Own actions? Hard to see how “Evil” hasn’t been designed-in if God is All-Knowing and just allowed it. Or is God not All-Knowing?

    As far as “secondary cause”, how is it any different than pulling the trigger of a functional, loaded gun with the safety off then claiming you didn’t intend for the gun to fire? Wouldn’t you counter instead that all events between the pulling of the trigger up to and including the ejection of a bullet were intended even if not directly specified or supervised? What does the supervision of every event have to do with anything if you’ve ultimately caused it and knew it would happen?

    Maybe the Aquinas explanation is just another variant of “God moves in Mysterious Ways” which answers nothing but mostly implies: “Don’t ask”? Kinda like my mother’s response to hard questions: “because” — but with obfuscation.

    Anyway, this is what I tried to embody in “oops moment” which effectively is: “Huh? I didn’t intend that!”

    Could it be God doesn’t really care about some things? If so, why should we?


    All,
    Is asking for the elevator speech too much instead of saying the equivalent of Aquinas waved his hands and solved the problem? It’s not very good argument or explanation. Oblique references might be fine in Theology 503 but a bit out of place here. If you can’t summarize it, you probably don’t understand it.


    I see the new and improved edit box. It grows! Yay!
    And now it’s gone.

    Nice try. Maybe you can get it back.

  10. As far as “secondary cause”, how is it any different than pulling the trigger of a functional, loaded gun with the safety off then claiming you didn’t intend for the gun to fire? Wouldn’t you counter instead that all events between the pulling of the trigger up to and including the ejection of a bullet were intended even if not directly specified or supervised? What does the supervision of every event have to do with anything if you’ve ultimately caused it and knew it would happen?

    Maybe the Aquinas explanation is just another variant of “God moves in Mysterious Ways” which answers nothing but mostly implies: “Don’t ask”? Kinda like my mother’s response to hard questions: “because” — but with obfuscation.

    Hey, look–it’s DAV, pontificating in ignorance. No need to read the material before posting, that’s for sure!

  11. Dr. Briggs,

    Ethically, the correct decision to take, is the action that is the least wrong.

    If an action is always-wrong, while there is no context where it is right. Regardless of this, given a choice of actions, the always-wrong action may not be the least wrong action available.

    If an action is absolutely wrong, then there is no other action that can be more wrong.

    The case where an absolutely wrong action can be ethically be taken is if one must choose between two absolutely wrong actions.

    If I read your response correctly (and if I am using the same meanings as you are) then I think you take both abortion and losing the life of a mother to both be absolutely wrong.

    However, my main point has to do with whether God is worthy of intellectual defense. (Please keep in mind that these questions, while frank, are intended to be respectful of your readers’ various beliefs; I may be treading into areas that faith-based theists may consider settled.)

    It seems to me that there are those theists that have found God through rational means (of which I include belief, or “educated guessing”), and those who have found God through faith.

    My question is restricted to rational explanations of God.

    It would appear that God, as you described Him, sets us up to only fail. God grants us the ability to appreciate right, and aspire to do right things, but presents us with an existence of choosing between a always-wrong actions, and occasionally absolutely-wrong actions.

    If a human being were to force us to make these choices, we would call this behavior evil and we would despise and reject him.

    My question: Is there a rational reason to hold God to a lesser ethical standard than a human? If not, why can’t we rationally demand the same behavior of God than we can of each other?

    A side issue that in your earlier essays on your discussion of Aquinas’s First Way (which I regret I could not participate), you accepted his assertion that there must be a First Actuality, instead of an infinite series of actions. The infinite series interpretation was rejected (in your essay and in the discussion thread) but without explanation. My guess is that Aquinas assumed (perhaps for the sake of illustration) atomicity in actions. However if the observable universe is infinitely divisible, then actions are not atomic, and every instant can consist of the infinite series of actions. Hence the First Actuality interpretation becomes unnecessary (not necessarily false, just not required). Is there an error in this alternate analysis?

    A second side issue has to do with the nature of God. Since He is outside the space-time of our universe, He (presumably) experiences our universe all at once. He is well aware of the effects of his actions as Prime Mover, so must be indifferent to any human suffering that results. One explanation for this is that He must value our free will more than our suffering. As a father, I do not value my children’s freedom above their suffering. Is God a poorer father than I am?

    Again, what I am looking for are any classical rational resolutions to these questions. If I have made any error in fact, scope, assumption, or analogy, please let me know.

    V/r.

  12. Type correction to my previous post: “If an action is always-wrong, then there is no context where it is right.”

  13. Eric:

    Thank you for the ‘ethical’ formulation; even Dr. Briggs fails to distinguish between Moral and Ethical, occasionally.

    Matt:
    in twitter sidebar, typo:
    Romney, not Romey.

  14. A rape pregnancy rate of 2%, or 2% to 5%, that is more than twice as much . And the figure is not relevant without the consensual pregnancy rate.

    And what is this Natural Law? Something next to this God? Or a different name for an aspect of this God?

    Anyway, with the Christian one, you can always ask for forgiveness, both for the rape and the pregnancy. Which makes the discussion a bit academic as it will turn out that neither action has long term consequences (long term, as in the afterlife).

  15. Is asking for the elevator speech too much instead of saying the equivalent of Aquinas waved his hands and solved the problem? It’s not very good argument or explanation. Oblique references might be fine in Theology 503 but a bit out of place here. If you can’t summarize it, you probably don’t understand it.

    aka “TL;DR”

    I love these formulations from people claiming to be fans of science, which would end up disproving science as well. i.e. “If you can’t summarize [Quantum Mechanics], you probably don’t understand it.” (add your own!)

    If anything, those of actual learning realize that the more you understand something, the HARDER it is to summarize because one then ends up either 1) making use of a lot of terms and references that were created for the express use of summarizing that are actually oblique to those without the requisite background knowledge or 2) trying to give the requisite background knowledge and end up in a long rant just trying to get the listener up to point that most introductory students start at.

    OR: DAV, stop blaming others for your ignorance.

  16. @Eric,

    regarding your side issue (first way). I struggled myself.

    Let’s try it with the motion of the waves of the sea. (This is a new experiment for me). The movement of the water depends on the winds. The winds depend in their turn on warmth and warmth is sustained by the action of the sun. And now you may speculate further or simply say: It is through God that we actually have a sun, causing actual warmth on earth, causing actual winds, causing actual waves.
    Even if you were to speculate further, you must acknowledge beforehand that the series must end with something actually causing something. If it must end, then the last in line must be it’s own cause, hence a first mover. If it does not end, nothing is actually caused and hence there are no waves, no winds, no warmth, no sun, no nothing.
    So the next time you are enjoying the sight of the sea, think about it that it is God who is extending his power through all his proxies to your leisure. I love that thought.

  17. The price Goldberg paid for her “slip” was exactly nil”

    Irrelevancy overload! So, society accepted her cruelty because of liberal media bias, her race (an argument could be made that most, if not all, African Americans who are of mixed blood and slave descent are the product of forcible rape), or sex (woman have a a prejudice themselves about the definition of rape -anecdotally, I once had a woman tell me hers was a “stranger rape”, as if it was somehow she felt less at fault?).

    For we need to ask why there is a universal, or near universal, reaction of disgust to certain behaviors, and why certain traits count as unnatural even though there is a genetic factor underlying them

    Feser is failing to reason: his assumption is that there is a direct genetic expression and not vestigial. It is possible that we have dormant genes that find new purpose (a gene recycling)? It possibly could explain the mastery of art, science, our collective disgust reaction, or even deviant behavior. The question is how they are triggered -nature or nurture?

  18. Just a few notes — all of which highlight the importance of using words appropriate to the issue discussed rather than inventing words, or new meanings for words usually used elsewhere. Knowing the subject, and the jargon that goes with it, avoids a lot of problems.

    “RAPE” — there’s many ways to define it, but in legal jargon there are two types: 1) statutory, which is by mutual consent but in which one party is legally obligated not to engage in the act anyway, and 2) forcible, which is self-explanatory. NOTE that even president Obama, a lawyer, has gone on record to the effect (if not exactly) that ‘rape is rape’ — well…not really becuase “rape” not further defined includes a LOT of consenting acts.

    “ODDS OF SUCCESSFUL IMPREGNATION” — ALWAYS pretty low; 2% to 5% (or whatever) from any encounter. Given that, and that the vast majority of pregnancies occur from consensual encounters, the number/proportion by forcible rape (no doubt what was meant by the oddball term “legitimate” rape) is necessarily very small.

    So, the hullaballoo — especially from the liberal element of society — about what Akin said hinges on semantics first, and nitpicking about odds of pregnancy & the dubious remark about bodily functions that might work to impede pregnancy–a factor Akin remarked on and then even dismissed as being particularly relevant….

    ….to point out that the emphasis should be on not punishing an unborn child, which involves issues of high significance & personal values.

    Liberals, to avoid addressing the value of children, applied their usual switcheroo of shifting debate & attention to points that aren’t really significant or even germaine to the issue Akin addressed.

    And much, maybe all, of that would have been avoided if he had chosen his words better.

    That’s a lesson for us all.

    RELATED:

    Abortion is a special case of killing…just like the morality of abortion is determined, in part, on the motive for the abortion (e.g. defective fetus guaranteed to die shortly after childbirth or even sooner, etc.).

    Since killing other humans is “moral” under some circumstances, presumably killing a fetus, a special case of killing, is moral under some circumstances.

    “God” is cited–but without definition; and that is very significant as what “God” means & values & has conveyed to humanity is so radically different from one sect/denomination to another as to render that reference ambiguous, at best.

    However, the usual meanings attributed to “God” include “free will” by practicioners. That includes the choice to sin. Murder/killing is regulated by society, with or without a reference to “God” or “God’s will” to the extent such regulation is needed for society.

    But to what extent is regulation needed for an abortion, especially were the circumstances are such that reasonable people disagree?

    If “God” or “God’s will” is cited for intervening, by denying the ability to get an abortion, does that leave the person involved “better” from a moral perspective?

    Put another way, does taking away the opportunity to “sin” (if that’s how its viewed), taking away the element of free will, lead to more morality? If so, then by that standard some of the most morally upright people are in maximum security prison cells.

    Also, invoking “God” in some form is commonly done and carries with it the implicit theme that God needs some people to intervene & control others for their benefit. But that’s nowhere evident in any of the major faiths. In fact, exactly the opposite is clearly established — the faithful must choose to be faithful and act accordingly of their own free will. There’s no provision overt or implied about putting them in some sort of social box to prevent misbehavior.

    Thus, invoking “God” to impose a limit on free will to force moral behavior is inconsistent with everything we know, from all major faiths & their denominations, about how “God” is said to operate.

    Which means there’s a corruption in the application of “God” going one here.

  19. For we need to ask why there is a universal, or near universal, reaction of disgust to certain behaviors, and why certain traits count as unnatural even though there is a genetic factor underlying them

    If there is a universal form of men and we grasp it and we apply it to our particular being, a desire is born to “improve our sloppy lines” (as if we were triangles). If this ideal lives strongly within our souls, we develop disgust and joy accordingly. If we do not do so, we simply acquire the appetites of society as it is now. Your constitution may be prone to certain appetites over others, but that just throws a little variation into the mix.

    So, if you are an optimist, you can look for the general likes and dislikes for moral orientation:)

  20. Nate Winchester,

    “Too complicated to summarize” is the refuge of the wannabes and hand-wavers and other “Holders of Secret Knowledge”. In the Unix world they are the first to shout RTFM. YOS, for example, does a reasonable job but he’s likely a professional writer. Look at hos posts for hints.

    In any case, I am more interested on the poster’s take and understanding — not his/her source’s viewpoint. Telling someone to go read Aquinas, Aristotle, etc. without summarizing and/or narrowing the search; parroting; and things like “go learn philosophy” 1) comes across as appeal to authority, name-dropping and posturing and 2) is uninformative.

    I notice you were able to summarize your life’s philosophy here in just one sentence — but then, it’s not very complicated, is it?

    http://en.gravatar.com/natewinchester

    Explains your good-natured humor.

    rank sophist,

    pontificating in ignorance

    Ain’t it clever how I did that with question marks after my proclamations? Talk about pompous and dogmatic! Thank you for your answer. Informative as we have come to expect without a hint of rancor or condescension. Good job.

  21. @DAV

    🙂 that’s what I would call an Oops moment. I now regret not stating my evaluation of Hawking’s argument “in just one sentence”.

  22. “Too complicated to summarize” is the refuge of the wannabes and hand-wavers and other “Holders of Secret Knowledge”. In the Unix world they are the first to shout RTFM. YOS, for example, does a reasonable job but he’s likely a professional writer. Look at hos posts for hints.

    Heh, well touche. Since my day job is spent with a lot of computers, so I’m quite sympathetic to “RTFM” (or RTFC as they say in gaming lingo).

    And yes, YOS is a professional writer, but then he’s doing what I mentioned as part 2) having to recover old ground that most intros cover.

    Telling someone to go read Aquinas, Aristotle, etc. without summarizing and/or narrowing the search; parroting; and things like “go learn philosophy” 1) comes across as appeal to authority, name-dropping and posturing and 2) is uninformative.

    Now to be fair, all of these posts have been almost nothing but summarizing and narrowing the search by pointing out intro texts, or even linking to Ed’s blog which is chock full of philosophy and intro stuff.

    I notice you were able to summarize your life’s philosophy here in just one sentence — but then, it’s not very complicated, is it?

    Don’t confuse my life’s fandom with philosophy now. 😉

  23. Hopefully, we can put our back-biting behind us (no pun intended).

    Don’t confuse my life’s fandom with philosophy now.

    fair enough.

  24. Back from holidays and I can already see that the God party is long gone now. Oh well, and I did have so much fun with this philosophy of inventing categories and characteristics and drawing out “God” from under the concept’s carpet and call it a “proof”, with the ironic funny twist of thus proclaiming the new atheists as “silly”. Monty Python wouldn’t have done it better, mr Briggs, so I thank you for that.

    Regarding the current subject, I am still amazed that you derive that rape is “wrong” from the “nature” of the human species and so on. If rape is absolutely, definitely, amazingly “WRONG”, then how is it that it was so well condoned by the Bible itself in the times of the hebreus? Watch carefully how the reasoning that these were “primitive” people does not matter one jolt, if morals are to be absolute. As far as I can tell the holy ten commandments do not include “RAPE” as a sin, rather it admonishes us to not do such sinful things as proclaiming the LORD’s name in vain, or to hold him dear, or to not work on saturdays. Because clearly, that’s a much bigger problem than rape.

    It must be. God implied so.

  25. Rape is a particularly vile form of physical assault (except statutory rape or rape of a man by a woman, which seem to require some voluntary assistance, and are more legal definitions than just physical assault). The basis for any form of violent assault being “wrong” is the absolute fact that your rights stop at the boundary of others rights. You can call “rights” god given or just the necessary requirement for practical civilization to exist, but they are necessary. By these definition, taxes not agreed to by the vast majority, or rules not agreed to by the vast majority, such as redistribution of wealth by legal force, are illegal.

  26. By these definition, taxes not agreed to by the vast majority, or rules not agreed to by the vast majority, such as redistribution of wealth by legal force, are illegal.

    You assume that legality comes from popularity. Even Mr Briggs is capable of seeing through that inanity.

  27. Luis,

    Please give me the basis for legality if it does not come from popularity. I did not say what is right, I said what is legal. Often what is legal is not right. Slavery is an example.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *