DONATOR ONLY PREMIUM CONTENT - For more information on donator levels click here

 

 

If your donator status is incorrect, please contact Michael at operations@freedomainradio.com with the relevant information.

 

Freedomain Radio Amazon Affiliate Links: United States - Canada - United Kingdom

Welcome to Freedomain Radio Message Board

If you're interested in joining the philosophical discussion, click "sign in" or "create account" on the right of the page. If you're creating a new account, please be sure to include an explanation as to why you're interested in joining the message board community. This verification requirement is included to cut down on possible spam accounts.

 

If you have supported Freedomain Radio financially and would like immediate access to the message board - or - your donation status is incorrect, please contact Michael at operations@freedomainradio.com with your Paypal email/Bitcoin address/etc as well as your board account name and the situation will be addressed ASAP.

farnoud

Why can't rape be considered morally neutral?

56 posts in this topic

In part two of the book (Application) when Stefan is testing the moral value of rape against the 7 different categories, he dismisses the notion that rape can be considered morally neutral by stating that it is a preference enforced upon someone; however, to my knowledge he never stablished why an action that is enforced upon someone can't be morally neutral. I find this to be a breach in the practicability of UPB. Can anyone explain why a preference enforced upon another human being can't be morally neutral?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, not being able to murder people whenever you want is impractical...

If you think that is morally neutral what did you accept, if anything, as not morally neutral?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, not being able to murder people whenever you want is impractical...

All I'm arguing is the validity of UPB...

 

If you think that is morally neutral what did you accept, if anything, as not morally neutral?

What I think has no effect on the validity of the argument and what you're asking is exactly my problem with UPB at this moment. It doesn't provide a way in which you could distinguish whether something is morally neutral or not.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hmmmm... this really isn't the place for non-aggression principle 1.0. This is NAP level 1000 only.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just what preference is being asserted on you without consent? What is the consequence for resistance? Rape is not just the trauma of the act, it is also the very likely, immediate threat of injury or death for not complying with the act, with accompanying long-term mental injuries (forced helplessness, verbal abuse, invalidation of consent and personal integrity), physical injury, probably long-term fertility consequences, a likely induced aversion to certain activities because of association with trauma, and much, much more. Rape is not about the simple activity of sex, it is total subjugation to another without consent and in the face of being extinguished. There is no sense in claiming asserting unwanted series of unwanted consequences for a moment's sake of gratification is morally neutral.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rape is a violation of the non-aggression principle. Its immoral and not neutral  :)

Can you explain why one should follow the non-aggression principle by relying on UPB?

Just what preference is being asserted on you without consent? What is the consequence for resistance? Rape is not just the trauma of the act, it is also the very likely, immediate threat of injury or death for not complying with the act, with accompanying long-term mental injuries (forced helplessness, verbal abuse, invalidation of consent and personal integrity), physical injury, probably long-term fertility consequences, a likely induced aversion to certain activities because of association with trauma, and much, much more. Rape is not about the simple activity of sex, it is total subjugation to another without consent and in the face of being extinguished. There is no sense in claiming asserting unwanted series of unwanted consequences for a moment's sake of gratification is morally neutral.

I'm not trying to encourage anyone to become a rapist and I'm well aware that it has negative effects on the victim. All I'm trying to figure out is whether UPB is a reliable moral system.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you explain why one should follow the non-aggression principle by relying on UPB?

I'm not trying to encourage anyone to become a rapist and I'm well aware that it has negative effects on the victim. All I'm trying to figure out is whether UPB is a reliable moral system.

 

You're not challenging it as a valid moral system. You're asking if morality is relevant or what the point of morality is. Which is why I asked in my first response for you to provide some example of something you consider moral. If you have zero examples of something as being a valid moral and can conclude nothing is immoral, then you're just rejecting all morals and offering nothing towards morality. If you can't accept that rape is immoral, then you are suggesting rape is morally acceptable, which is a form of promotion or acceptance of rape as okay and not wrong.

 

Or perhaps another question is, if you reject UPB as a valid moral system, but consider rape immoral, how did you come to that conclusion? You would require a means of establishing morals another way, if that's what you're getting at, and not simply rejecting all morals while offering nothing and no suggestions of what is or isn't moral.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not challenging it as a valid moral system. You're asking if morality is relevant or what the point of morality is. Which is why I asked in my first response for you to provide some example of something you consider moral. If you have zero examples of something as being a valid moral and can conclude nothing is immoral, then you're just rejecting all morals and offering nothing towards morality. If you can't accept that rape is immoral, then you are suggesting rape is morally acceptable, which is a form of promotion or acceptance of rape as okay and not wrong.

 

Or perhaps another question is, if you reject UPB as a valid moral system, but consider rape immoral, how did you come to that conclusion? You would require a means of establishing morals another way, if that's what you're getting at, and not simply rejecting all morals while offering nothing and no suggestions of what is or isn't moral.

I have accepted Stefan's argument on the existence of UPB, so I do believe there exists an objective form of morality but its nature is still unknown to a great degree. Valuing truth over falsehood can be an example of a UPB. My problem is I can't see how we can decide actions like rape, murder, ect. would not fall into the morally neutral category.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to encourage anyone to become a rapist and I'm well aware that it has negative effects on the victim. All I'm trying to figure out is whether UPB is a reliable moral system.

 

UPB's methodology came to a quickly easy conclusion that rape cannot be universally preferable. Was that insufficient?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPB's methodology came to a quickly easy conclusion that rape cannot be universally preferable. Was that insufficient?

Have you read my original post? I explained how I think it is insufficient. I agree that it can't be universally preferable, but just because something can't be universally preferable doesn't mean it has to be a moral issue. Eating ice cream also can't be  universally preferable, but that doesn't make it immoral.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you read my original post? I explained how I think it is insufficient. I agree that it can't be universally preferable, but just because something can't be universally preferable doesn't mean it has to be a moral issue. Eating ice cream also can't be  universally preferable, but that doesn't make it immoral.

 

Sorry, how is eating ice cream not universally preferable?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you read my original post? I explained how I think it is insufficient. I agree that it can't be universally preferable, but just because something can't be universally preferable doesn't mean it has to be a moral issue. Eating ice cream also can't be  universally preferable, but that doesn't make it immoral.

 

I did read your original post. I pointed out that HOW that preference is forced upon another is important. How is everyone being forced to prefer ice cream in your formulation? Where is the behavior involving more than one actor? There is a substantial difference here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, how is eating ice cream not universally preferable?

All right! Maybe it is. I just wanted to point out that I can't see how we can infer that something can't be morally neutral from it not being universally preferable. I can't think of an example of something that's not universally preferable and we can agree is not immoral.

I did read your original post. I pointed out that HOW that preference is forced upon another is important. How is everyone being forced to prefer ice cream in your formulation? Where is the behavior involving more than one actor? There is a substantial difference here.

I understand that a preference is being forced upon some else, and of course it comes with its effects. I don't see how a behavior involving more than one actor can naturally be dismissed as being a neutral moral act. I take back the ice cream example.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember, UPB proscribes actions, it never prescribes.  There are no unchosen positive obligations, only obligations to refrain from certain actions.  My understanding is that anything that cannot be universalized (i.e. is logically contradictory) is immoral. In the case of subjective preferences (neutral), it is possible that everyone could like ice cream, even though it is likely that will not be the case.  It is not logically possible for everyone to prefer rape by definition, so it can't be universally preferable nor is it morally neutral.  It's helpful for me to discard the "moral" category and focus on what is immoral. In other words an action may fall into the category of immoral, the opposite of immoral, or neutral. 

 

 

Is this helpful?  Do you think I have any misunderstandings?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not logically possible for everyone to prefer rape by definition, so it can't be universally preferable nor is it morally neutral.

This is exactly where I can't follow the logic anymore. I know that it is not logically possible for everyone to universally prefer rape, but I don't know how from this we conclude that it can't be morally neutral.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of people seem to get confused on the preferable verse universally preferred. Something being possible to be preferred by all involved parties, universal preferable, doesn't mean all those parties or any of them actually prefer it, it just means they can all prefer it without a contradiction or overriding of preferences. Is that where you are getting stuck?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that a preference is being forced upon some else, and of course it comes with its effects. I don't see how a behavior involving more than one actor can naturally be dismissed as being a neutral moral act. I take back the ice cream example.

 

Everyone preferring ice cream does not force one actor's preferences on another. You got what I was saying backwards. Rape forces one actor's preferences to have sex on another that doesn't prefer it in that instance. If they did prefer it they would call it "sex" not "rape". The difference between the two terms is the preference of the victim.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is exactly where I can't follow the logic anymore. I know that it is not logically possible for everyone to universally prefer rape, but I don't know how from this we conclude that it can't be morally neutral.

The definition of rape includes within it the preference to not have sex with someone. Which means one person, when they are "raping" someone, necessarily means one person is forcefully overriding another person's body, will, and preference. If they were okay with having sex with that person it would just be voluntary consensual sex and not rape.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone preferring ice cream does not force one actor's preferences on another. You got what I was saying backwards. Rape forces one actor's preferences to have sex on another that doesn't prefer it in that instance. If they did prefer it they would call it "sex" not "rape". The difference between the two terms is the preference of the victim.

And my question initially was how can we establish that if someone enforces a preference upon others against their will, must be considered immoral. From my understanding you're assuming that I've accepted this to be valid, but that's what I'm having trouble with.

 

The definition of rape includes within it the preference to not have sex with someone. Which means one person, when they are "raping" someone, necessarily means one person is forcefully overriding another person's body, will, and preference. If they were okay with having sex with that person it would just be voluntary consensual sex and not rape.

So so far we've proven that considering rape to be morally good, is logically inconsistent and considering it to be evil can be a universally preferred behavior. What I'm saying is that considering rape to be morally neutral also seem to pass the test of consistency. I can't see how considering rape to be morally neutral would be illogical.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is exactly where I can't follow the logic anymore. I know that it is not logically possible for everyone to universally prefer rape, but I don't know how from this we conclude that it can't be morally neutral.

 

 

It's a good question, and I enjoy trying to formulate a response to this.  

 

So morally neutral is another way of saying not having anything to do with morality at all, right? It's basically a category which includes all the actions based on subjective preference that have no imposed effect on other people.  Morality enters the equation when we are trying to determine what are acceptable interactions between two or more people.  From time immemorial people have tried to create rules to govern these interactions, and this is what we recognize as morality.  There is nothing that exists that tells us to be moral, but if we want to create moral rules, i.e. rules that regulate behavior, without gods or governments how do we do that?  UPB defines morality in such a way that it is logically consistent, with the goal of using reason to restrain the negative behaviors that most moral systems have tried to proscribe through logically inconsistent means.  

 

Since morality doesn't exist in tangible reality but only as a concept, the definitions are therefore not explicated by objective reality (like the physical sciences).  However that does not mean that the definitions set by people cannot be objective (i.e. in conformity with reality and logically consistent).  Similarly, reality does not give us the scientific method; the concept is derived in the minds of people with the goal of conforming to objective reality.  Therefore Stef has defined morality as UPB, and within UPB aesthetics (opinions) are defined as non-enforceable actions and ethics as enforceable actions.  So since rape requires force to enact and to defend against, it falls into the category of morality, not neutrality.

 

UPB is not for those who reject morality altogether.  It's to provide a solution to those looking for morality in the absence of religion and statism, as well as a means to protect moral people from sophists who wish to use the desire people have to be good to dictate ethical values from which they exempt themselves in order to achieve wealth and power.

 

I'm afraid I'm not articulating this as well as I would like, is it making sense? 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So morally neutral is another way of saying not having anything to do with morality at all, right? It's basically a category which includes all the actions based on subjective preference that have no imposed effect on other people.

What the way Stefan argued for the existence of UPB tells us is that there exists some human behaviors that can't be based on subjective preferences and that doesn't mean that there can't be any human behavior that can't be based on subjective preferences. So, I can't agree that the morally neutral category includes "ALL" the actions based on subjective preference that have no imposed effect on other people. There can be some actions with than nature in the category.

 

Did I miss it or have you still not answered what you think is not morally neutral. What if anything have you concluded to be immoral?

Imagine a world in which the only two human behaviors while interacting with each other are 1)Whether to follow the non-contradiction principle while arguing with one another and 2)Whether to rape or not. Stefan argued for the existence for UPB which I already told you I've accepted. But the problem is I don't find UPB to be self sufficient in a way that could clarify what this set of universally preferable behaviors is. We just know it can't be an empty set. Is it that we should only follow the non-contradiction principle while arguing with each other? Is it that we should only not rape anyone while interacting with each other? Or is it both? I can't explain my problem any simpler than this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Cheers. As it explains, something morally neutral has no ethical content. The ethical rule that rape is a personal preference (morally neutral) cannot logically stand because rape is enforced on others. Therefore rape cannot be morally neutral. Rape cannot be UPB.

It's explained just above the "morally neutral" part you linked. 

 

Stefan did not "dismiss" the notion that rape can be morally neutral with a statement. He made an argument. You need to show where that argument is wrong. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers. As it explains, something morally neutral has no ethical content. The ethical rule that rape is a personal preference (morally neutral) cannot logically stand because rape is enforced on others.

Can you explain more why considering that the enforcement of a preference on someone to be morally neutral can't logically stand? It's not self-evident to me and it is at the root of my problem.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rape by definition and necessity contains the concept of Morality, as does Property. I remember a joke once during Jiu Jitsu where someone said "Its not Rape if I enjoy it".

 

UPB in my understanding is a refinement of Kant's  Categorical Imperative "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." To overcome Subjective or Objective definitions of Morality.

 

Objectivism would be holding man's life as the standard of value.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you explain more why considering that the enforcement of a preference on someone to be morally neutral can't logically stand? It's not self-evident to me and it is at the root of my problem.

 

Rape involves violently inflicting that preference on others. So it can't be morally neutral. That's why a rape victim who uses force on her rapist is engaging in self-defense. But the same person using force on someone for playing jazz (because she prefers not to hear jazz) is NOT engaging in self defense. If rape was morally neutral then it would be no different from listening to jazz. But clearly there's a moral distinction.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rape involves violently inflicting that preference on others. So it can't be morally neutral. That's why a rape victim who uses force on her rapist is engaging in self-defense. But the same person using force on someone for playing jazz (because she prefers not to hear jazz) is NOT engaging in self defense. If rape was morally neutral then it would be no different from listening to jazz. But clearly there's a moral distinction.

I don't recall Stefan arguing anywhere in the book that if any preference is violently enforced on someone else it has to fall into the realm of UPB. That's where I'm having trouble connecting the dots as to why violently inflicting a preference on others is in contradiction with it being morally neutral. Can you elaborate some more?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPB in my understanding is a refinement of Kant's  Categorical Imperative "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." To overcome Subjective or Objective definitions of Morality.

 

I think the difference is that UPB is a methodology for testing moral rules, not a moral rule itself. The categorical imperative specifies a "should". UPB helps us winnow out "shoulds" that don't pass scrutiny.

And my question initially was how can we establish that if someone enforces a preference upon others against their will, must be considered immoral. From my understanding you're assuming that I've accepted this to be valid, but that's what I'm having trouble with.

 

Ah, well rape was a bad example then because the force is not by reason or logic but instead by threat of physical damage on one hand, and if consent is freely given it's not rape by definition on the other. The ice cream example doesn't work, either, because no one is forcing anyone to prefer ice cream. UPB asks us to evaluate, "Is a world where everyone should prefer ice cream logically consistent?" Well, there's no force, and there's a problem with the lactose intolerant, but it doesn't really cause any problems.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't recall Stefan arguing anywhere in the book that if any preference is violently enforced on someone else it has to fall into the realm of UPB. That's where I'm having trouble connecting the dots as to why violently inflicting a preference on others is in contradiction with it being morally neutral. Can you elaborate some more?

 

I just gave you an argument. Tell me where it's either wrong or somehow not relevant.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, well rape was a bad example then because the force is not by reason or logic but instead by threat of physical damage on one hand, and if consent is freely given it's not rape by definition on the other. The ice cream example doesn't work, either, because no one is forcing anyone to prefer ice cream. UPB asks us to evaluate, "Is a world where everyone should prefer ice cream logically consistent?" Well, there's no force, and there's a problem with the lactose intolerant, but it doesn't really cause any problems.

I understand that a world where everyone should treat rape as evil is going to be logically consistent, but what I'm thinking is that it's not the only logically consistent way of living. I can't find a logical inconsistency in a world where people put no moral value on the act of rape.

 

I just gave you an argument. Tell me where it's either wrong or somehow not relevant.

What I'm trying to say is that first you have to establish why we have to evaluate the act of rape by looking into UPB (why does it have to be a moral issue?) or else you can't argue that it can't be morally neutral.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I don't care if I get raped" is invalid. Rape implies a preference and if that preference doesn't exist it isn't rape. If no one cares about when someone has sex with them, there is no possibility of rape. Rape implies the preference exists and UPB states it can logically exist without contradiction within a moral code, but nobody has to have that sexual preference. You're not saying rape is morally neutral, because the term implies it isn't morally neutral. You're just saying there doesn't have to be that preference and with such a group of people there would be no such thing as rape between them because that preference doesn't exist in that situation. In which case it's just sex, which is morally neutral. You're not getting the inherent preference within the word rape that is differentiating it from sex and moving it from a morally neutral act to an immoral act, by the presence of the preference.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now