web analytics

1 comment

    • Dannyboy on August 26, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I suppose I ought to respond to this. Incidentally, i was interested to see that one of the tags on this post is “atheist friend”. I was fondly imagining that there might be a whole array of other short essays on your site, which I had somehow overlooked up to this point, discussing me in humorous and admiring tones. Picture my surprise and dismay on clicking the tag link only to discover that this is the only instance in which it has ever been used! It may take me a while to recover from such a nasty shock.

    However, in the spirit of not looking gift horses in the mouth I could probably have gotten past this (I would argue) unpardonable oversight, if you hadn’t used your only public mention of me in order to misrepresent me. I know there’s supposed to be no such thing as bad publicity, but still…

    Anyway, I’ll get to that. First to correct another significant error in your post:

    “…the evolutionary ethic ought to entail men trying to impregnate as many women as they possibly could in order to spread their genes.  This assertion is irrefutable on evolutionary grounds.”

    Not so. Impregnation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for passing on ones genes. Multiple impregnations which do not result in live births, and further, do not themselves survive to reach sexual maturity and have offspring of their own, do the prolific sower of wild oats no good whatsoever (in evolutionary terms). A single mother would be unlikely to survive, let alone successfully nurture a small baby, in the Hobbsian conditions in which we evolved, which gives an evolutionary incentive (making ones genes more likely to be successfully spread) to pair bonding and collaborative child rearing. That alone refutes your supposedly irrefutable assertion.

    “My friend gave me a very thorough biological description of the woman’s body’s defense mechanism against forced intercourse, suggesting that our social mores against rape are an unconscious societal acknowledgement of these biological truths.”

    Saying there is some plausible speculation that the female orgasm assists with the process of conception is quite different to implying that any rape which results in pregnancy obviously wasn’t a “legitimate” rape at all. The reason, I assume, that people are making a big deal about this comment is that it represents a particularly unpleasant strain in these debates, namely the efforts of some social conservatives to delegitimise certain kinds of rape (as in the bill that Akin cosponsored with Paul Ryan a few years ago which privileged the term “forcible” rape). To suggest that the victims of rape carried out by means of threats or drug intoxication, for example, are somehow responsible for their situation is offensive to many people, hence the backlash Akin has faced (unfairly in a way, since he was merely inartfully articulating the GOP platform on this issue).

    The fact that women clearly do sometimes conceive as a result of rape (of any variety) does not argue against the possibility that female orgasms may assist conception, which also most certainly does not entail the crass victim-blaming tactics that some anti-abortion activists use to make their case on the issue of pregnancies resulting from rape.

    So, consider yourself corrected. Always happy to help.
    Your Atheist Friend (TM)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

9 + seven =