Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Surprise, surprise

Secularist organizations seem to be having a lot of trouble with sexual harassment. 

You have to ask "What did you think was going to happen?" One of the key selling points of secularism is that you don't have to follow those benighted old restrictions on sexual conduct imposed by those nasty, prudish and repressive Christians. And then, lo and behold, vulnerable people are threatened by the out-of-control libidos of such "liberated" people." 

Surprise, surprise. Next thing you know, we will be finding out that gambling is going on in Casablanca. 

26 comments:

B. Prokop said...

Genuinely curious here. Has anyone published any data on what percentage of professed atheists are male or female, white, black, Asian, rich, poor, middle class, etc?

I get the impression from the internet that atheism is pretty much a middle-to-upper class white male thing, but I'd love to see some hard figures.

Jacob McNeese said...

Victor, out of curiosity, where are you getting these reports of harrassment?

planks length said...

Jacob,

Check out this blog.

Angra Mainyu said...

Victor,

Do you have any data backing the implication that sexual harassment (or even worse non-consensual sexual behavior) is more frequent in atheist organizations than it is among the general population, or in religious organizations, or whatever the group you're implicitly comparing the atheist organizations with, in order to make your assessment about some of the consequences of not following Christian restrictions on sexual behavior?

Ilíon said...

^ Three cheers for the passive-aggressive "Citations, Please!" game!

JaredMithrandir said...

LOL, as if Sexual Harassment is a non issue within The Church.

Victor Reppert said...

I'm not saying it's a nonissue. What I am saying is that in Christianity, you can say to a sexual harasser that there are rules and your broke them. With secularism, the rule structure that tells people they can't engage in certain types of conduct is dismantled. So, you then have to ask what the rules are, and how they are going to work.

Angra Mainyu said...

Victor,

Again, do you have any evidence of any of that?
Even from your own interaction with atheists. Are you not projecting some of your beliefs about the consequences of atheism onto atheists who do not share such beliefs?
If you have any evidence of things happening differently, please share it (links, references, anecdotes, anything), but in my experience, nearly all atheists also engage in moral deliberation, they make moral assessments, etc. In fact, complaints about sexual harassment came from atheists who clearly judged the behavior of some other atheists immoral.
Those who engaged in those behaviors either believe they're immoral but they do it anyway, or they have a moral disagreement with the others.
Granted, some atheists are also moral error theorists, but those are a minority, and even most of them are usually inconsistent since they tend to make moral assessments regardless (even if they use other terms).
Now, granted, atheists do not have the Bible as a guide. But having a book so full of moral errors as a guide is a big hindrance when it comes to ascertaining moral truth, not an advantage. Now, many atheists also have other ideologies that lead them astray, so there is that. But that doesn't seem to be the issue when it comes to harassment.

Also, within Christianity, there are also vast moral disagreements, only they tend to involve not only the normal features of moral debate, like presenting hypothetical scenarios, asking people to consider the consequences, appeal to intuitions, asking people to put themselves in the shoes of others, on occasion reasoning from accepted moral premises, etc., but also appeal to the Bible (or some other source depending on the variant of Christianity), on the basis of a false belief that it's inerrant when it comes to morality, or that at least it's generally a good guide because it's the word of a morally perfect person, etc.

James McCulloch said...

Church organizations seem to be having a lot of trouble with sexual harassment.

You have to ask "What did you think was going to happen?" One of the key selling points of accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior is that you don't have to follow those benighted old restrictions on sexual conduct imposed by those nasty, politically correct, law-abiding secularists, because you are already going to heaven. And then, lo and behold, vulnerable people are threatened by the out-of-control libidos of such "saved" people.

Surprise, surprise. Next thing you know, we will be finding out that gambling is going on in Casablanca.

Victor Reppert said...

Are there any benighted restrictions on sexual conduct coming from secularists?

Ilíon said...

Victor,
These people are neither illiterate nor ignorant nor stupid -- they understand what you're saying; the problem is that they are intellectually dishonest.

JaredMithrandir said...

Well as a Christina I believe a person who needs rules to behave like a decent human being isn't a decent human being and should exposed as such.

Christianity teaches we are not under The Law.

Ilíon said...

^ attempts to elevate foolishness to equivalence with Christianity.

steve said...

It's funny to see atheists go ballistic over Victor's post. Over at the Secular Outpost, Keith Parsons tried to ridicule Victor's post.

However, atheists routinely deride traditional Christian sexual mores as oppressive. Christians suffer from these prudish sexual hangups.

So the secular alternative is bound to be something more libertine.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

It's funny to see atheists go ballistic over Victor's post. Over at the Secular Outpost, Keith Parsons tried to ridicule Victor's post.

It's funny to see a Christian characterize a very funny post as "going ballistic." If that is "going ballistic," then I wonder what words you would use to describe things that I would call "going ballistic." "Going really ballistic," perhaps? "Going nuclear?"

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Victor,

I expected a better logical analysis of the situation from a professional philosopher such as yourself. You may be correct that there is something intrinsic about secularism or atheism which has played / continues to play a causal role in incidents of sexual harassment. But you haven't shown that, and the analysis in this post is unworthy of your intellectual stature and abilities.

First, you know as well as anyone else that correlation does not equal causation, but it is as if you completely forgot about that concept when writing your post. So... where is your logical analysis showing that this is causation and not mere correlation. For example, where is your analysis of the possibility that atheist organizations actually comply, by taking allegations seriously, conducting independent investigations, being transparent, and having zero tolerance for confirmed violations of their policies? It could be that that possibility is completely wrong, i.e., that isn't what happens. My educated guess -- and I emphasize the word "guess" -- is that secularist organizations do what I just said. But if that's wrong (and it could be), then I would have expected you to show that as a necessary condition for refuting the "correlation does not equal causation" objection.

Second, you know as well as anyone that there are other options besides:

* sex is okay only between a husband and wife (and maybe, even then, only for the purpose of procreation); and
* sex is okay with anyone (or anything) at any time.

It's as if you've completely forgotten about secularist approaches to normative ethics in general or applied ethics (specifically, sexual morality).

Frankly, if I were a Christian trying to 'score' rhetorical points against atheists by 'capitalizing' on this as a 'PR' opportunity, I would go about it in a much different way. Channeling my inner William Lane Craig, I would say something like this:

"I think most atheists condemn sexual misconduct and sexual harassment and so these allegations are not representative of how most atheists think or behave, but (1) they don't have any ontological basis for condemning such behavior; (2) there's no real downside to such behavior IF the atheist can get away with it; and (3) if the atheists who engage in such behavior espouse values which condemn such behavior, then it would appear that atheism and secularism can have hypocrisy just as much as theism can. Atheists can't criticize hypocrisy in the Church while ignoring or excusing hypocrisy in their own camp."

steve said...

My, Jeff certainly is touchy on this issue. And it wasn't just the post, but the subsequent comments by Parsons.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

My, Steve is determined to try to make an issue where one does not exist.

Scott said...

Actually, atheists agree that Jahweh can be far too libertine.

"If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her."

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

A man rapes a woman ... and this is supposed to be rectified by (1) paying her father 50 shekels of silver; and (2) the rapist marries his victim?

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

@Scott: I realize you were quoting Deuteronomy 22, BTW.

Ilíon said...

one fool: "Actually, atheists agree that Jahweh can be far too libertine. ..."

another fool: "A man rapes a woman ... and this is supposed to be rectified by (1) paying her father 50 shekels of silver; and (2) the rapist marries his victim?"

And Victor Reppert *still* will continue to pretend that JJL is merely mistaken rather than actively deliberately engaging in intellectual dishonesty.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

One Asshole for Jesus: "And Victor Reppert *still* will continue to pretend that JJL is merely mistaken rather than actively deliberately engaging in intellectual dishonesty."

And Victor Reppert *still* will continue to pretend that Illion is merely mistaken rather than deliberately engaging in intellectual dishonesty (regarding JJL's and other atheists' alleged intellectual dishonesty).

See how easy it is to sling accusations around, without backing them up?

For a more serious observation: On the assumption that all atheists are intellectually dishonest, you'd expect atheists to deny that because, well, ex hypothesi they are intellectually dishonest. You'd expect them to lie about their own dishonesty.

But, on that same hypothesis, it is surprising that Christian philosophers like Victor Reppert, Randal Rauser, Stephen J Graham, et al reject the hypothesis. They have no vested interest in defending the intellectual honesty of atheists. Their rejection of the "all atheists are intellectually dishonest" thesis is evidence against the truth of that thesis.

Ilíon said...

^ Calling me an asshole doesn't negate your intellectual dishonesty.

Scott said...

^ But denying you're an asshole would have confirmed it.

Ilíon said...

^ I do understand how "Heads, I Win; Tails, You Lose" works.