Tag Archives: rape

Sam Harris on the rape of religion

As a biological phenomenon, religion is the product of cognitive processes that have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Some researchers have speculated that religion itself may have played an important role in getting large groups of prehistoric humans to socially cohere. If this is true, we can say that religion has served an important purpose. This does not suggest, however, that it serves an important purpose  now. There is, after all, nothing more natural than rape. But no one would argue that rape is good, or compatible with a civil society, because it may have had evolutionary advantages for our ancestors. That religion may have served some necessary func­tion for us in the past does not preclude the possibility that it is now the greatest impedi­ment to our building a global civilization.

-Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

If religion is an evolutionary byproduct which is no longer useful, why should we suppose that Sam’s atheism is any different? Indeed, it seems that if evolution can take us from rape being beneficial to socially condemned, doesn’t it stand to reason that the practice could make a comeback at a future date if evolution (whatever that is) leads us in that direction?

I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not
seem good. Still, the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of
the eighteenth century. Anyone who spoke with confidence about eradicating slavery in the
United States in the year 1775 surely appeared to be wasting his time, and wasting it
dangerously.

Indeed, it seems that we have little reason to think that rapists today aren’t merely misunderstood revolutionaries who want to drive us back to a more traditional time where men apparently clubbed women over the heads whenever they felt the urge to mate.

After all, if evolutionists are right with regard to our origins, rape is apparently the original “traditional marriage”.

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Islam and child brides

Islam’s founder and foundational documents condone and encourage Muslim men to take prepubescent girls as wives and then to have sex with them. This leads to many deaths like this one.

Women in Islam are treated very differently than women anywhere else.

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Are women ever “asking” to be raped?

I recently ran across a poll on Facebook which posed the question, “Is a woman ever “asking” for rape?”

This question intrigued me so I thought about it and came up with the following in reply:

This is a misleading question meant to elicit an emotional response as opposed to a rational one. A woman is not guilty for rape, which is wholly the fault of the rapist, but her poor choices and irresponsibility can certainly put her in greater danger she wouldn’t have otherwise have faced.

Here is a study which shows that the assertion that rapes are under-reported is not only not true, but is categorically false. The truth is that they are not under-reported but over-reported primarily because many women do not want to face the responsibility of their actions. Studies also show that drug-facilitated rape is also largely a myth as most of these incidents are, again, women refusing to face the consequences of their own inebriated and wholly consensual decisions.

Sorry, but while I do believe there are legitimate cases of random acts of evil (rape), I do not think we pay enough attention to the individual responsibility of people not to place themselves in positions where they are at greater risk.

I liken this to a person who eats at McDonalds every day and doesn’t work out. The heart attack they will likely have eventually is not less tragic but is even more so precisely because it is easily preventable.

The same concept stands for most of these cases of “rape” like with the stripper who tried to claim she was raped by the Duke lacross team.

At this point, a friend of mine brought up the topic of suggestive clothing and whether we could really make a judgement on whether anyone’s clothing was really suggestive or whether it’s all in the viewer’s mind (leaving the woman blameless regardless of her clothing).

“Suggestive” implies intent. So if a woman wears clothing with the express intention of arousing sexual desire (something that’s admittedly not hard to do with most men) then yes, she is at fault for intentionally putting herself in harms way.

Especially if you couple that with intoxication and other reckless lifestyle and relational choices such as yielding responsibility for yourself to a stranger who is either just as inebriated as you are or, worse, has nefarious intentions.

Sorry, but this is one of the reasons we teach our daughter that she needs to have shorts on under her dress. Not because we think she is intentionally trying to invite abuse but because we know that it discourages others and is more responsible than dressing her up like a slut and “tempting fate” so to speak.

And it’s not just rape that reckless living invites. Reckless lifestyles and choices invite a whole host of problems that could otherwise be mitigated or avoided altogether.

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