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Featured The Consent Argument

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by nPeace, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I am sorry all that happened to you but I am glad you survived it and were able to break away. I do not doubt for one minute that the fundamentalist Christian churches did much damage to you and many others and turned them away from God. I was fortunate to have never been raised as a Christian in the days when 95% of people in the U.S. were Christians, so I never had any damage to undo. My dad who was a college professor was friends with homosexuals back in the days when that was not socially acceptable but he did not care. I always took after him in not caring what people think but rather wanting to do what is right.
     
  2. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Thank you.
     
  3. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    Not contending. But I didn't completely follow your position in the OP. I agree that adult consent does not make something morally right nor does it mean it should necessarily be legal. But I don't think there are many people, be they religious, liberal, or conservative who would disagree. It seems the "consent" argument is usually "consenting adults with no harm done to them or to a third party". That's the catch. So while the mutual consent of adults is essential in some cases to make something ok, it's certainly not sufficient. The debate rages not over consent but over which consensual behavior does harm to society and which does not. The more one believes in God and that God makes the rules of morality, the more likely one is to perceive harm to society in consensual acts that violate God's laws. On the other hand, the less one believes in absolute God given laws, the less likely they are to perceive harm done for violating those laws. I'm on the side that there is a God and there is absolute moral law.
     
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  4. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy Spring!
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    First of all, whether the creator has the right depends on what he commands us to do and why, doesn't it? If the creator asked you to rape someone, would that make it right?

    If your answer is yes, we honestly have nothing further to discuss.

    If your answer is no, then you believe your creator wouldn't command that, or that if he did it would be wrong. So the question is, for the nth time...WHY. What is it about that act that would make it such that your creator wouldn't command it, or that if he did it'd be wrong? This is why appealing to your creator does nothing for you in this conversation. Your god is morally useless, as far as I can see. We still have to do the hard work of figuring out why your creator morally reasons the way he does.

    And second, it's worth noting that you don't have access to what your god thinks, even if he has moral opinions. What you have is a book written by humans, claiming to speak on behalf of your god. Which is not remotely the same thing.

    No, sir, you didn't. You still have not explained what demonstrable harm is done by the adults in my scenario. So yes, you are still dancing. Can you answer now?

    I've addressed the issue of teenagers having sex multiple times now. Go back and read. The issue is informed consent, at whatever age that's able to happen.

    Your projection is transparent.

    You're addressing the ethics of other humans in the OP, presumably, right? Or is "the consent argument" made by some alien race I'm unaware of?

    Yes. Literally. We're two people having a conversation about our moral views. You may think your view has a seal of approval from the creator god you worship, but your claim doesn't make it so. That is, yet again, just your view. And again, appealing to your deity doesn't help us actually figure out how to constructively deal with each other, which is what ethics is about. I can just claim my creator deity disagrees. Now what? We still have to do the actual work of morally reasoning with one another.

    Good question. It's help/harm, in my view. You seemed to agree earlier. Or no?

    We do.

    Still us.
     
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  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    This is the problem with religious people continuing to follow scriptures such as the Bible that are archaic and contain laws that do not apply to the modern age we live in. The problem is that those religious people believe that the teachings and laws in the Bible still apply. The Baha'i Faith is the only religion that teaches that laws have to be updated in every age, to suit the people and the times they live in.

    “The second part of the Religion of God, which refers to the material world, and which comprises fasting, prayer, forms of worship, marriage and divorce, the abolition of slavery, legal processes, transactions, indemnities for murder, violence, theft and injuries—this part of the Law of God, which refers to material things, is modified and altered in each prophetic cycle in accordance with the necessities of the times.” Some Answered Questions, pp. 48
     
  6. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Like I just said, I do not believe that these archaic laws on the Bible apply to the modern age, but as long as so many religious people follow the Bible, the laws contained therein will considered valid to them and that spills over onto people who do not believe as they do, if they foist their beliefs upon others.
    I do not approve of religious laws that are oppressive but the flip side of that is that there is also harm in not following any religious laws regarding sexual behavior, because that leads to a complete lack of constraint, an "anything goes" kind of attitude, and that leads to STDs, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and broken families. This is not good for individuals society. The Baha'i Book of Laws explains the reason for the law, but it only applies to Baha'is and we do not expect anyone else to follow our Laws.

    “The Bahá’í teachings on sexual morality centre on marriage and the family as the bedrock of the whole structure of human society and are designed to protect and strengthen that divine institution. Bahá’í law thus restricts permissible sexual intercourse to that between a man and the woman to whom he is married.” The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 223
    In the Baha'i Faith, we are enjoined to have children, but sex is not limited to couples who have a family. I had very good reasons not to have children, but I had plenty of sex.
     
  7. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    I never said that people need sex in order to be normal, happy or well adjusted. Whether something is normal or abnormal isn't a statement as to whether it is right or wrong, so I do not see why you brought "normal" into the discussion. A person being asexual might not be normal, but there is nothing wrong with it.

    Sex, devoid of if it a person has children, is indeed a need for many people. What you are saying is equivalent to saying that people do not need to have physical contact with each other because they won't die if they isolate themselves. In reality there are those who do not need to have sex and those that do need to have sex, depending on their libido. Many people suffer psychological issues for not having sex:

    More Adults Than You Think Are Avoiding Having Sex. Here's Why.
    Sex and Our Psychological Needs

    In this discussion you are ignoring the psychological needs of people. You are focusing too much on the physical needs.
     
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  8. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Sexual repression is also not good for society. The negative aspects of sexual behaviour you mentioned can all be sorted out if people used contraceptives, which is a relatively easy solution, except with your "lack of constraint" argument which actually has no merit. Why should a person constrain themselves so rigidly regarding sex? So whereas the negative effects you mentioned can be relatively easy to manage with education and physical solutions, the psychological effects of sexual repression cannot be managed in such a way. Therefore what you are supporting has more negative effects in society than good.
     
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  9. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Since you are not interested in honest discussion I shall leave you to claim your Pigeon victory.
     
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  10. gurudavid

    gurudavid New Member

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    Good morning.

    One of the relevant things in issues like this is the one of Context. Another relevant thing is; Who is the one doing the evaluation and why?

    Our biological and our intellectual natures are not necessarily the same thing. Someone may be psychologically biased to a type of behaviours or attitudes and intellectually biased to another similar or contradictory behaviours or attitudes.

    Where this is the case, internal conflicts are likely to occur as the behaviours and attitudes clash.

    An example of this is where a same sex relationship is desired by the biological mind but the intellectual mind finds it to be unacceptable.

    Another example is someone who is biologically biased towards crime and is intellectually biased towards upholding the Law.

    How to resolve this conflict depends upon many factors including where and how the pressure to resolve this issue comes from. Those with vested interest or who want to promote a particular outcome can be particularly biased on these occassions.

    I think if you believe something to be right and you do it; then you should be willing to accept, however unfair it may be in reality, that someone may not agree with you for a whole host of other reasons.
     
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  11. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I think that may be the key point in this discussion.
    You believe in a universal sovereign. (And it happens to be the one leading your club.) You assume to have the right to declare laws on behalf of that sovereign. You possibly even want to overthrow the constitution to get rid of religious freedom (and should therefore be on a government watch list.)

    At least that is what I (and I guess others here) hear when someone talks about "universal sovereigns".

    To soften that view, can we agree that
    1. You have the constitutional right to not engage in homosexual intercourse.
    2. Your church has the right to tell its members that they should not engage in homosexual intercourse if they want to stay on the good side of your agreed upon diety.
    3. People not in your congregation have the right to their own religious or non-religious morality.
    4. Let's all hold to the rights of everyone as set by secular law.
     
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  12. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Honest discussion to you means what? Saying what you want? That's called something else, but surely nothing to do with honest... quite the opposite.
    You don't have to accept that your frivolous attempt failed at getting around the truth, but it is clearly evident.
    Bye.
     
  13. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested to know what you think my position in the OP is.
     
  14. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I suspect that if you actually talked to those 'heathens', they don't act like what you think.

    And that is a basic point of disagreement. Even if there was a creator (which I don't think there is), that creator would NOT have the right to set standards. If that creation has conscious, feeling individuals, then the creator does NOT have the right to torture them. It does NOT have the right to set of a cruel system which makes their lives miserable.

    This gets to a very basic issue: from where does morality come? Is it dictated by some being? Or does it follow from compassion and caring?

    If the creator is evil, I don't think there is any burden to follow him/her/it. If the creator is good, it should be easy to justify the rules promoted by that creator. Either way, it is compassion and caring that determine morality, NOT the desires of some creator. At least, that's how I see it.

    So, if a creator says that homosexuality is immoral without saying *why* it is immoral, there is no requirement to follow the dictates of that creator. If the immorality *can* be justified by showing the actual harm and that harm is greater than the harm of oppression, then the rules should be followed by rational beings. But then, they would be.

    OK, you can choose whatever book you want to follow. But that doesn't mean you get to say the choices others make are immoral. If *you* don't want to do them, that is your business. But, if someone else wants to do something your doesn't like, then they can do so as long as it doesn't harm others. If you want to impose your system on others, you have to give a good reason for doing so.

    And, again, each society chooses at what stage a person is considered an adult. Traditional Biblical society said it was at age 13. But you seem to think that is too young to engage in sex in spite of Biblical precedent.

    Your right to swing your arm stops at my face. It really is that simple.

    An act is immoral if it causes unnecessary harm to another.

    Unless you can show specific harm, then there is no reason to restrict an act.

    I believe gay sex is moral for exactly the same reason I believe straight sex is moral and in the same situations: it is an expression of love and caring between people, strengthening the bond between them. Or, alternatively, it is a mutually beneficial interaction where stress is released and a human connection is made.
     
    #154 Polymath257, Nov 24, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  15. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    And that is part of the larger problem: kids bully other kids. They bully those who they see as different in *any* way.

    That can be because they get good grades in school, because they don't run as fast as others, because they like boys instead of girls, because they like girls, because they are the teacher's pet, because their father drives a Buick, because they go to a different church, etc, etc, etc.

    Kids are vicious little creatures.
     
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  16. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Now the curtain falls... revealing the foundation of your strawman.
    In other words, "right is wrong, so long as it's not right to me."
    Let's stick a pin there.

    Now considering that you said, as long as two informed consenting adults who are not "married" to someone, wants to have sexual relations, it is okay.
    You are referring to agreement between parties, which does not harm someone.

    We are not talking about parties consenting to harm another, so your rape question is another strawman.
    When I raise anything like that in the issue of informed consenting adults, you get sick at the comparison, so to be fair, here you are doing the same thing.

    We could start to create all sorts of scenarios here. For example, if the law decides to torture a prisoner to extract vital information, is that right (it's not a question to you. i am simply showing how we can create scenarios).
    You may not know why they made the decision to torture the person. You may just see the torture, and not see that 1, 000, 000 lives will be lost if that information is not retrieved.
    So don't raise the scenarios.
    So you know, it could also be the case that the act was not rape, just that you viewed it that way.

    What we may consider to be right, may be right in our eyes only.
    Let's stick a pin here as well.

    Here is the other area I wanted you to reveal.
    You believe, "there is no universal law. It is just opinions of people."
    This is how I know that revealing why the creator makes these laws, and is in a position to do so, will make no difference to you.
    You will just carry on like the young people that ignore what the adults tell them.
    So there. You answered your question, How do I know.
    Yes, and I do know, and have access to what my God thinks. The man Jesus Christ revealed it, as well as Moses, and the Psalms, and the Prophets.
    You don't have to believe what God thinks, but you have no basis for saying that no one knows what God thinks. You don't want to know, evidently.

    I could, but I explained that it would be moot.
    Even if I showed you, as you put it... "evidence for those claims".

    I'll do it now though, since it is clear what the strawman rests on, and I believe all the cards have been laid out.

    The family is supposed to be the strongest structure in all the world.
    It is said, 'Strong families make strong societies ' communities.

    The creator - the supreme universal sovereign - is the originator of the family. He is life giver, and head of the family - universally. You don't believe this. Doesn't change anything... other that whether you contribute to the success of families directly, or indirectly related to you, or not.
    (Ephesians 3:14, 15) For this reason I bend my knees to the Father, to whom every family in heaven and on earth owes its name.

    I don't think I need to go into detail on how God made the family - heavenly sons, and earthly.
    Moving on.
    God gave instructions to his family, for their good, and to protect all families from harm.
    Hence to go away from those instructions, will result in harm, whether one is aware of that or not.

    God instituted marriage to his earthly creation... a myth to you, of course. (Genesis 2:23-25)

    Marriage between a man and woman was God's arrangement. (Matthew 19:5 ; Mark 10:7, 8 ; Romans 7:2 ; 1 Corinthians 6:16 ; Hebrews 13:4)

    Without that marriage between man and woman, there would have be no human family.
    Male + Female = Male + Female = Male + Female... That was the process.

    God created them to extend the human families.
    The instruction were given throughout the history of God's dealing with the family, and in the Tanakh, and later through Jesus and the apostles.

    Because those instructions were often ignored... even today, it has resulted in harm to societies all around the globe - every part of the world, actually.

    The evidence (Click image to enlarge)
    info.png

    Study on High-risk Premarital Sexual Behavior
    Background: The pre-marital sex and live-in relationship among young people are increasing at an alarming rate. Remote consequences of such high risk behaviors are increase in the incidence of STDs (including HIV), unsafe and illegal abortion, adolescent pregnancy and motherhood, single mother child/abandoned child, juvenile delinquency and many more.

    Results: Out of all 450 participants, 49.11% were in the age group of 18-20 years. Among study subjects, 13.78% had one or more pre-marital sexual exposures. In students with positive pre-marital sexual history, the various sex partners were girlfriends (95.16%), commercial sex workers (14.5%), homosexuals (6.45%), and multiple sex partners (33.88%). Among students, 62.9% were using condom consistently. Three-fifth of the ones indulged in premarital sex, were in the age group of 16-20 at the time of sexual debut. Conclusions: Most of the students were quite young (16-18 years) at the time of first pre-marital sexual exposure. Consistent condom usage was not uniform. The students staying at hostels, indulged in premarital sex, were found to have multiple sex partners.


    There are tons of statistics showing the repercussions of immorality, which there is no need to produce.
    Adults tend to think that their actions cause no harm, but they do not see the results of the harm.
    Monkey see, monkey do
    Children learn from what they see

    As the evidence shows, Older adults actions affect young adults, whose actions affect minors, who grow to be young adults, practicing the things that they learn, as they grow to older adults. The unbroken cycle of damaged and broken families.

    Actually, not only in the area of sex, but in all areas of human life, God's instruction manual - with its moral code - is useful for building and maintaining the family unit.

    God has a family on earth that follows the instructions of his manual. For this reason, they make up one united family, worldwide.
    Soon, in the near future, I believe, there will be one universal family, when Christ acts to remove all who do not want to conform to his moral standards.
    (Ephesians 1:9, 10) 9 It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. Yes, in him

    All who reject him, will be gone from the face of the earth, and only those who submit to God's view of right and wrong, will remain.
    (Proverbs 2:21, 22) 21 For only the upright will reside in the earth, And the blameless will remain in it. 22 As for the wicked, they will be cut off from the earth, And the treacherous will be torn away from it.
     
    #156 nPeace, Nov 24, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  17. SkepticThinker

    SkepticThinker Veteran Member

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    If you have access to what your God thinks, then why are you having such a difficult time explaining it to everyone?
     
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  18. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy Spring!
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    Let's not. Let's have you actually answer the question I asked.

    No, I am not. You broadened the subject to what makes acts moral or immoral broadly speaking, sexual or otherwise. I asked you a question about an act I assume both of us would agree is immoral. I could've asked it about murder, or some other egregious act we'd both agree on. The question remains, if the Creator asks you to do something, does his asking make that thing moral, or is he constrained to only command things which are themselves moral to begin with? Asking about an act that is broadly considered immoral drives the point. If God asks you to commit murder, does that make it moral, because God asked? Or would God not ask that, because it's immoral? If the latter, the question is, for the 20th time, why is that thing immoral?

    No, let's raise scenarios, nPeace. In any moral quandary you raise, and indeed they are fascinating and complicated and shaded with grey, one glaring point remains: your god is morally useless to solve them. Theism doesn't get us one inch closer to a resolution of any such rock-and-a-hard-place moral questions. If you claim your god wants us to torture someone, we still need to ask what makes that command moral, under what circumstances, etc. Otherwise you're just making a bald claim that whatever your god says goes, with no evidence, no matter how morally repugnant the command is.

    So again, invoking your god does not help you rationally address what is moral or not.

    And that goes for what your god allegedly thinks as well. Until we actually do the work of morally reasoning, we don't know.

    Again, if the creator "makes a law," we still have to ask the fundamental question of what makes his laws moral. This is the basic Euthyphro dilemma that no theist has been able to adequately address since the ancient Greeks were around. And you, evidently, are no different.

    You have access to precisely zero of Jesus direct words or actions. All you have are books written decades later by other people of what Jesus allegedly did or said.

    Those are all written by humans. Not your god. Like countless other faiths claiming to speak for the divine.

    If anyone knows what God thinks, they've given zero evidence to date that they do. You could start. :shrug:

    What makes a family, a family? If a couple adopts a child, are they a family?

    As before, the importance of "the family" (however you're defining that) stands or falls independently of whether a deity "originated" it.

    All claims, no evidence.

    Thank you for posting this. Note that it does not actually show how many of those young people contracted any sort of STI, or had an unwanted pregnancy, etc. from their premarital sexual encounters. Note also that the study showed that condom usage was inconsistent.

    Now you're aware that all of these "consequences" you mention are not consistent, right? Rates of STIs, unwanted pregnancies, and so on, fluctuate over time based on things like contraception usage, number of sexual partners, and so on.

    And you're also aware that those things happen to heterosexual married couples, right?

    So if a heterosexual married couple has an unwanted pregnancy, is that evidence that their relationship is inherently sinful and against God's "plan?"

    And if an unmarried couple has sex, and does not contract an STI or have an unwanted pregnancy, would you admit no harm was done? Or at least that you have no evidence it was?

    If your answer to either of those questions is no, then this isn't about STIs and unwanted pregnancies. That's smoke and mirrors. You are still convinced of some "harm" being done when people have sex without saying I Do first. But it's a harm you have yet to actually demonstrate. So can you?

    The thing is, we can get into as much details as you like about the "repercussions" of what you think "immorality" is. And indeed, I agree that sex involves risks and can harm. Even straight married sex involves risks and can harm. The bottom line though, is that the adults in my scenario have no STIs, they have no unwanted pregnancy. They use contraception effectively. Why is their sexual behavior immoral?

    Indeed children copy adult behaviors, no big surprise there. That doesn't demonstrate that all extramarital sex, or all same-sex sex, is immoral though. Many people engage in sex outside marriage, or gay sex, and are not harmed in any demonstrable way. In the case of gay people, the harm done to them by religious institutions who convince them their sexuality is evil, unnatural, etc. and that they should repress or change their orientation needs no recitation (I hope). Yet I'd wager that you support such teachings.

    The thing is, you are trying to come up with a rationalization for the absolutist sexual ethics of your religion, when you don't have the evidence to back it up. So your retort is that the harm may be unseen. But of course, anyone can say that about anything. Being a JW is harming you, nPeace! You just don't see the harm! But you will! One day!

    Does that convince you? It shouldn't. So why would anyone else be convinced by your claim that their sex life is hurting them, but they just don't see how? The time to believe something is when you have evidence for it.

    More claims, no evidence. I just told you that reciting Bible verses is not evidence. I care about the evidence (or more likely, lack thereof) behind what the Bible verses say.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    nPeace did explain it, but nobody wants to hear what God thinks.;) Nobody cares what God thinks unless they believe in God, and sometimes not even then. In matters of sex, most people just want to do whatever they want to do, so why even bother to ask what God thinks?

    nPeace said:

    God gave instructions to his family, for their good, and to protect all families from harm.
    Hence to go away from those instructions, will result in harm, whether one is aware of that or not.

    God instituted marriage to his earthly creation... a myth to you, of course. (Genesis 2:23-25)

    Marriage between a man and woman was God's arrangement. (Matthew 19:5 ; Mark 10:7, 8 ; Romans 7:2 ; 1 Corinthians 6:16 ; Hebrews 13:4)

    Without that marriage between man and woman, there would have be no human family.
    Male + Female = Male + Female = Male + Female... That was the process.

    God created them to extend the human families.
    The instruction were given throughout the history of God's dealing with the family, and in the Tanakh, and later through Jesus and the apostles.

    Because those instructions were often ignored... even today, it has resulted in harm to societies all around the globe - every part of the world, actually.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    They certainly can be.
     
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