Rape and Consent Post 2: Maybe I shouldn’t have sex with that drunk person

The laws need to be clear about sexual acts, where drugs or alcohol are involved. Two people who are wasted having sex with each other might be unfortunate, but it cannot be rape, since neither could consent. Someone who is not drunk (maybe only had a couple of drinks) having sex with someone who is throwing up and can’t stand up straight is in my opinion a rapist. There is just no telling whether or not the wasted person would have wanted to consent, if they were in their right minds. They cannot consent. We shouldn’t still be in the days where “getting someone drunk” is just considered sneaky or even romantic. It is wrong.

Sadly, many people think it’s the victim’s fault where alcohol or drugs are involved. It may never be smart for someone to get that inebriated at a party. That’s a given, but that does not give the sober/slightly buzzed person a right to take advantage of someone. If you wouldn’t have sex with someone in a coma, paralyzed, or otherwise, you shouldn’t sex with someone as drunk as I have described. It is not just bad sex. It is abuse. The only person with the power of a sound mind in this situation is non-inebriated person. The wasted individual may not even be capable of remembering the event. What does that say about the individual who has sex with them? Well, it tells me they’re immoral. It tells me they are okay taking advantage of people.

Look, I understand there are gray areas, but as far as I’m concerned, their needs to be some standards here. A person who has had two drinks, or no drinks, should not have sex with someone who has had 20. I, also, no some people have ahigh tolerance to drugs or alcohol. Perhaps, and I’m not devoted to this, their should be a set limit on how many drinks a person can have before being labeled as unable to give consent. Even if I’m wrong on setting a limit, we owe it to our men and women to be clear on consent and rape where drugs and alcohol are concerned. Tell me what you think!


Rape and Consent Post 1: Should you actually have to ask?

Rape is a terrible thing, and I hope I didn’t need to tell anyone that. The laws on what’s consider consensual or not need to be reformed. They need to very specific, very clear, and the law needs to understand normal sex practices. We need to be able to distinguish clearly what constitutes rape. I find it very disconcerting that current laws are either ambiguous or stupid or even absent, so I will be writing a series of 3 posts on consent and rape. This first one is simply the background for this conversation.

When I walk around my campus, I always see signs saying, “Ask for her consent every time.” I’ve heard other people say that this is ridiculous. Sex happens in the heat of the moment. The woman (or man) should say no, if things get too heated. Let me be clear. I think it is the responsibility of both parties to make sure they both want to have sexual contact. It may be a hassle. It may not be very romantic. Well, neither is making sure your partner is on birth control/using condom, but I hope most of us do that anyway. The fact of the matter is some people are not very assertive. Situations do happen in the heat of the moment. I’m not saying this should be considered rape under the law, but sometimes with passive people, they don’t feel like they can say no. They might not even have expected sex. All of sudden sex is just happening that they didn’t ask for. They end up having unwanted sex. Thus, to the passive person, it is like being raped, even if a “no” was never uttered. It is clearer for everyone involved, if you verbally ask for consent. Please, guys and girls, ask for consent, especially if it is your first time with a particular partner.

Do Atheists get their Morals from Christianity?

I’m not one of those atheists who completely ignore theology or apologetics, but now, unless I uncover a book containing an argument that is unique, I feel like I’ve put in my time. I’ve read theology, apologetics, and watched many video lectures by the more prominent theologians. I’ve even taken a 300 level philosophy of religion course. (I am aware this doesn’t make me a theologian.) Not to mention, I’ve read the Bible several times.

Recently, a commenter recommended a book. I looked at the book on amazon, and the book’s premise was that even atheists use Christian morals. I have heard this argument before. The premise is usually a variant on the idea that people, here anyways, grow up in a largely Christian society, and this is where atheists get their morals. Thus, an atheist’s moral values originate from Christianity.

While no one can doubt that Christianity has had a large effect on many societies, I think the idea that all atheists nowadays are following and should follow Christian morality is wrong. The fact of the matter is that people know, without the Bible, that murder is wrong. Yes, the Bible points out certain things are wrong that most of agree on, but other pre-Christian ethics have done the same thing. The Code of Hammurabi predates Mosaic law with eerie similarities in some places. (Here’s a wikipedia article on it.) The Code of Hammurabi has laws on slander, theft, and more. Still, I do not claim to follow The Code of Hammurabi or the Bible. Just because some of the prohibitions are good doesn’t mean the entirety of the text should be kept, and just because we can all agree on some things, like do not kill, doesn’t mean we got that rule out of the Bible. I do not think most of us would ever be that barbaric with or without the Bible.

Now, I think most atheists keep their morality simply by contemplation. However, their is a wealth of content on morality from philosophy. Moral philosophy has been going on since the ancient Greeks, and I for one try to look at these systems of beliefs. (Although, my work is not done.) I suggest others consult moral philosophy as well. I have posted before that I think any good moral system should look at sources such as psychology, moral philosophy, sociology, and neuroscience. We can turn morality into a system that works for everybody. I think we should try our best to do this.

Are the Police Overstepping their Authority?

Although, there is an obvious racial component to the recent viral situations of the overuse of force by police, I will refrain from discussing it in this post. I do not feel prepared enough to dissect that ball of wax, so I will keep mum about that, at least for now. So why am I posting at all? I think there are various strains of issues, regarding the police, that feed this fire, and I would like to examine them. I suppose I risk unpopularity, but do try to bare with me.

Everyone when being pulled over or stopped by police should be respectful and polite. People should know to keep their hands where the police can see them, and people should, in most circumstances, do what the police officer asks them to do. Just as well, they should respond to the officer’s questions and not be stubborn about it.

However, not everyone is going to do this. Maybe the person is oppositional by nature. Maybe some people just don’t handle having a rough day well. (Anytime you’re pulled over or stopped by police, you are probably having a bad day.) Just because someone is nasty or rude is not license for someone to be arrested or asked to step out of their vehicle. Police officers are professionals, and they should know how to deal with irritated, rude, or downright nasty people. In fact, they really should expect it. Even though, ideally, they shouldn’t have to deal with bad behavior, especially from grown adults.

My point? I’ve known officers, who have been talked backed to over a traffic citation, who threaten the individual with arrest. I’ve known cases where people were charged with extra crimes simply because they yelled at an officer. I’ve known places where this was a common issue. (Yes, I know crime is bad.) This is not okay. While, people should respect officers. Officers should not over step their authority. Speaking, insulting, yelling, or whatever the case is, like it or not, is free speech.

Furthermore, non-lethal violence should always be met with non-lethal force. Legally, where I’m at, I cannot use lethal force against someone unless they are using lethal force against me or someone else. I think this law should apply to officers. By all means if a police officer is chasing a suspect and the suspect is reaching for his pocket, taser the person. He could have a gun, and I’d much prefer no one die.

Now, I’m not trying to demonize most police officers. I do admire police, and I have respect for the police. You better believe I’m the nicest person a police officer will ever meet, who is pulled over for a one day old expired registration tag. Still, I think there are police who have let their authority go to their head, and that’s an issue we keep seeing over and over again. It’s a legitimate concern, and I think it needs to be addressed. Even criminals shouldn’t have their rights violated.

What’s the Meaning of Life? And Other Questions

A lot of atheists maintain that we create our own meaning. Famous people such as Neil Degrass Tyson and Richard Dawkins have said as much, but for someone prone to existential crisis I’m not sure that helps.

When people ask what the meaning of life is, they are usually asking an objective value based question. Phrased better: what is the meaning of life, ultimately? But, there are no good answers to these types of questions. Look at some other value based questions. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do people have to die? Why does everything change? Why do people and animals suffer? There just simply aren’t answers to these questions.

At this point, a theist usually balks. These, to them, are important questions requiring an answer, and the theist is likely to point to their particular religion for the answers. However, not every question or every sentence is logical. At this point, perhaps my math background helps. Take a look at this sentence: this statement is false. If it’s true, then the statement is false. This is a logical contradiction. If it’s false, then the statement is still false. If it is true, it false, and if it’s false, it is false. (Here is an article in case you are confused.) The statement cannot be true or false.

We are humans. We are used to human agents doing thins for reasons, but the universe and life events don’t work that way. If there is no human-like being running the show, it is very unlikely that objective value based questions have answers.There just aren’t. Now, I’m sorry, if this bothers people, but that’s the way the world is as far as I can tell.

Even I, would like to have answers. There is something deeply satisfying about having answers, but there aren’t always answers. I know how it can feel to lose a loved one at a young age, and it is hard not ask why. My advice? Just don’t ask these types of questions. Things like death and suffering are just natural parts of life, and it’s time we just accept that.

A Minature Review of Penn and Teller: Bullshit!

I’ve been watching Penn and Teller: Bullshit! It’s free on my amazon prime account. This show is supposed to expose hoaxes, scams, and the like. Bullshit! was my first introduction to Penn and Teller. Before, that my only real knowledge of them was that they were magicians and outspoken atheists with crass vocabulary.

I can get passed the cornucopia of foul language; although, I would prefer not to be exposed to it. Still, this is not a show with an adequate amount of reason. For example, there is episode on environmentalism. They claim that the environmental movement is entrenched in political movements such as socialism. (This maybe true.) They then conclude that, while discussing socialism may be beneficial, hoaxes are not. Guess what the hoax is: global warming and other environmental concerns.  Although they do a good job of making certain people look stupid, they conclude that there isn’t enough evidence for climate change.

What the actual hell? Maybe Penn and Teller should have spent more time looking at the data and less time making 20-something hippies look stupid.

Struggling with Vegetarianism

As an atheist, I do not see myself as “special” due to a soul. Instead, I see myself as a human animal, who like other humans, happens to have the most complex brain, when compared to other animals, so I, also, care about the suffering of animals. Animals are different than humans, cognitively speaking, but other animals do feel pain. Now, I don’t consider mere physical pleasure and suffering to be the only thing that matters, but I do think the pain and pleasure of other animals matter. Thus, I decided to become a vegetarian, but I am struggling quite a bit.

For meals at home, it is easy to not eat meet, usually, but I, occasionally, eat at restaurants. It is very hard to find vegetarian options at restaurants where I live. I suppose I could order a salad, but they are usually higher in calories than even cheese burgers. Plus, their more expensive. Then again, I could eat fish, which would at least cause less suffering, but once again it is more expensive.

Sometimes, I eat at other peoples’ homes, which is even harder. I do not feel comfortable telling people they have to serve a vegetarian option. I don’t really know what to do there. Then again, they already bought the meat, and the animal is already dead. Ugh, I don’t know a good solution.

Perhaps, my fellow vegetarian bloggers can help me. Anyone have any advice?