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Old 10-12-2017, 11:07 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Moral question about a divine hypothetical

Suppose I have godlike powers for a single moment, to change one thing about humans. I choose the following -- from now on, any time someone tries to sexually abuse/assault another person, no matter the particulars, they are struck by a wave of debilitating nausea, which goes away once they stop doing so, and comes back if they resume. This nausea is divinely/supernaturally induced, not by chemical or biological means, and therefore is 100% accurate (i.e. someone grabbing someone for safety reasons gets no nausea, while crotch-grabbing for groping reasons does get nausea, and anything fully consensual gets no nausea).

What downsides to this rule can people think of? Would any downsides be worse than the positives?

Just trying to plan what to do in case I get a moment of godlike powers. And trying to figure out if I should be pissed off that any possibly-existing deity hasn't done this.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:43 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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What if people are into some fetish-type role playing?

And, what if the man (it's usually a man) decided to take it out, physically, on the woman? Not sexually abuse her, but punish her for making him nauseous?

Last edited by John Mace; 10-12-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:47 AM
Aufgeblassen Aufgeblassen is offline
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IF there was actually a god, it would have designed things that way, there is not that, therefore there is none.

Last edited by Aufgeblassen; 10-12-2017 at 11:48 AM.
  #4  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:51 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
IF there was actually a god, it would have designed things that way...
You have no way of knowing that.

Last edited by John Mace; 10-12-2017 at 11:51 AM.
  #5  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:28 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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What if people are into some fetish-type role playing?
I know a woman who only enjoys extremely rough sex. On a couple of occasions she or her guy have had to go to the ER after consensual sex. What happens to her?
  #6  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:39 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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Assault requires mens rea, if not legally then morally, so any actual divinity would have access to a person's deepest thoughts and be able to craft a just punishment based on intent, not merely action.

It would have to be intent from both sides, such that both parties would have to actively desire the act for it to not be assault. In the absence of that, even if the assaulting party thinks the other person is consenting, it is still assault. Similarly, it's possible for two people to assault each other, if they're both intoxicated. In that case, both would get the wave of nausea.

Contrariwise, rough consensual sex is not assault. This magical deity-created justice property would be able to reliably distinguish that by using intent as well.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:45 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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The nausea is magical, so I assume it is aware of consent. So BDSM would still work.

Hopefully the nausea is merely a feeling, and doesn't lead to actual vomiting. Getting suddenly puked on might be better than getting suddenly groped (or not?), but regardless it still wouldn't be pleasant.

The issue of the pissed off guys nonsexually attacking their victims remains.

It occurs to me that there might be some interesting side effects to the dating scene. Not sure if she wants you to put your arm around her? Give it a try. If you start to feel queasy pull back in a hurry: now you know!
  #8  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:47 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Assault requires mens rea, if not legally then morally, so any actual divinity would have access to a person's deepest thoughts and be able to craft a just punishment based on intent, not merely action.
I think the OP left that less clear that you imply since he specifically said "no matter the particulars". There is certainly a school of thought that certain sexual relationships, even with "consent", are de facto abusive. I'll await clarification by the OP, but that phrase is exactly why I raised the question in the first place.

Last edited by John Mace; 10-12-2017 at 12:48 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:53 PM
manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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"The sex HAD to be consensual your Honor, since I didn't suffer a wave of debilitating nausea while having it."
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:04 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
What if people are into some fetish-type role playing?
This isn't a problem, since the "rule" is 100% knowledgeable about intent and consent. Only non-consensual (meaning either party does not consent) acts can cause the nausea.

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And, what if the man (it's usually a man) decided to take it out, physically, on the woman? Not sexually abuse her, but punish her for making him nauseous?
That would be bad, and not covered by this rule. I don't know if this counts as a "downside", since the rule isn't causing such assaults, but it's a good thought.
  #11  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:39 PM
Ignotus Ignotus is offline
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ISTM the obvious problem is that your remedy really has no way to deal with things like mixed feelings. It's not like "consent" is always either 0 or 100%.

(And if you have godlike powers, is there some reason to restrict yourself to dealing with sexual matters? What about, say, financial exploitation? Why not simply enforce the Golden Rule or some equivalent?)
  #12  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:05 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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ISTM the obvious problem is that your remedy really has no way to deal with things like mixed feelings. It's not like "consent" is always either 0 or 100%.
In my understanding of consent, if it's not "yes", then there's no consent. If someone isn't sure if they want to be touched in a certain way, then they haven't consented to being touched in that way. Why is this a problem? What harm does it cause?

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(And if you have godlike powers, is there some reason to restrict yourself to dealing with sexual matters? What about, say, financial exploitation? Why not simply enforce the Golden Rule or some equivalent?)
Good questions about godlike powers in general, but in this thread, I'm just talking about this one hypothetical rule. I was thinking about some sort of very clear moral transgression -- one that's relatively uncomplicated (which isn't to say easy to fix!).

I could make it even less complicated and more clear cut, perhaps, if I restricted the rule to children -- anyone who is about to molest a child is struck with debilitating nausea, no matter the circumstances. This doesn't cover "playing doctor" between kids of the same age, but would cover teens or older kids preying on younger kids.

The intent of my question is both to explore these kinds of particular rules, and to explore the possibility that if an omnipotent deity exists and hasn't instituted such rules, then maybe they're morally reprehensible and certainly unworthy of any worship. I'm wondering if maybe I've missed something, and not including such rules wouldn't be as morally reprehensible as I suspect it would be.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:15 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I know a woman who only enjoys extremely rough sex. On a couple of occasions she or her guy have had to go to the ER after consensual sex. What happens to her?
She dances to the Masochism Tango, of course.

And the OP's proposal sounds good to me. Consent under duress (perhaps financial) is not consent. Consent under drugs is not consent. This is not hard even for us to figure out - should be simple for a deity.
  #14  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:17 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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I'm surprised that no one has brought up free will yet. If the deity sets this constriction, he, she or it is limiting the free will of the abuser. Which is much worse than abuse, the apologists say.

But many of us could no more coerce or abuse than we can fly, and no one worries about our limited free will. So I don't think the argument works - just preemptively noting it.
  #15  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:33 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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No downside I can think of.
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:02 PM
greenmario greenmario is offline
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No immediate downsides. Although maybe people will decide that since God only intervenes in sexual assault cases it would follow that he doesn't care about other crimes. Cue The Purge
  #17  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:11 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by greenmario View Post
No immediate downsides. Although maybe people will decide that since God only intervenes in sexual assault cases it would follow that he doesn't care about other crimes. Cue The Purge
LOL -- this is a good answer. It would be hard to be an atheist if such a "law" came to pass... and perhaps more religious belief of this sort wouldn't necessarily be good.
  #18  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:04 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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LOL -- this is a good answer. It would be hard to be an atheist if such a "law" came to pass... and perhaps more religious belief of this sort wouldn't necessarily be good.
Well, speaking as an atheist, it would indicate that *something* odd was going on. If this happened suddenly and instantly worldwide, even more so.

However, I personally wouldn't leap straight to "god did it" - if for no other reason than that no god I've ever heard of seems to have the moral good in mind. We would know that some force with the ability to read all people's intents and opinions and make intelligent judgments therefrom existed, and had the ability and inclination to mess with people's gag reflex too, but the nature and goals of this force would still be unclear.

This mysterious force would still be terrifying, of course, though not as terrifying as if we got definitive evidence of the typically vengeful force known as "god".

Last edited by begbert2; 10-12-2017 at 05:04 PM.
  #19  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:07 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
IF there was actually a god, it would have designed things that way, there is not that, therefore there is none.
Your premise is flawed. Lots of religions portray gods who not only condoned sexual assault but committed it personally.
  #20  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:09 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I'm surprised that no one has brought up free will yet. If the deity sets this constriction, he, she or it is limiting the free will of the abuser. Which is much worse than abuse, the apologists say.
This no more limits free will than herpes does, or gravity. There are plenty of cases in our universe where the things I want to do aren't possible, or involve terrible consequences. This doesn't affect folks' ability to want certain things, or even to decide to do them; it just makes it very difficult to carry out certain plans.

I too worry about men figuring out a way to threaten women with nonsexual violence into consent. I don't think that'd be worse than the cure, but it makes me wonder if expanding this effect, such that any attempt to initiate violence against someone who's not currently treating another person with violence, would bring a visit from St. Ralph.
  #21  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:12 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
What if people are into some fetish-type role playing?
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I know a woman who only enjoys extremely rough sex. On a couple of occasions she or her guy have had to go to the ER after consensual sex. What happens to her?
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Contrariwise, rough consensual sex is not assault. This magical deity-created justice property would be able to reliably distinguish that by using intent as well.
The OP specifically said "anything fully consensual gets no nausea". So it appears there's no problem for people who are into S&M or whatever.

Personally, I'm not seeing any downside in the OP's scenario. I suppose the idea of people having their free will diminished by divine intervention is generally a bad idea but I'm not so dedicated to the principle that I'd choose free will over rape.
  #22  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:20 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Two possible objections have already been pointed out, by Ignotus and greenmario respectively: (1) It requires that there be a clear, binary line between what does and what does not count as sexual assault; and (2) It makes sexual assault the one offense, out of all possible human misbehavior, that is so prohibited. Neither of these objections is necessarily a dealbreaker, but both are at least worth thinking about.

Another thing worth thinking about: The result of this divine action would be a world in which people quickly learn that no matter what they do or where they go or how they act or whom they hang around with, they cannot and will not be sexually assaulted. This could easily have effects on what they choose to do and where they choose to go and etc. Some of these effects, I think, would be to the good; but would all of them?
  #23  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:26 PM
74westy 74westy is offline
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Will it stop people from enjoying Beethoven?
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  #24  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:39 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Will it stop people from enjoying Beethoven?
Not me; Beethoven already makes me hurl.


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Old 10-12-2017, 08:37 PM
Mnemnosyne Mnemnosyne is offline
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
That would be bad, and not covered by this rule. I don't know if this counts as a "downside", since the rule isn't causing such assaults, but it's a good thought.
I would definitely consider it a downside if it winds up with more people hurt than otherwise. If there's no more sexual assault but instead physical assault goes up by a huge margin, then the ultimate result has been making things worse, not better.

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I'm surprised that no one has brought up free will yet. If the deity sets this constriction, he, she or it is limiting the free will of the abuser. Which is much worse than abuse, the apologists say.

But many of us could no more coerce or abuse than we can fly, and no one worries about our limited free will. So I don't think the argument works - just preemptively noting it.
I don't see this argument, though. Free will isn't being taken away; consequences are being applied instantaneously in response to certain exercises of that free will. There's a difference between 'you're prevented and punished for what you do' versus 'you're unable to even attempt to do it at all' or worse 'your mind is prevented from thinking those thoughts'.

To compare, would you say that fire infringes on free will because you can't stick your hand in it without it being burned? It seems like the same thing to me. Place your hand in the fire, get burned. Attempt sexual assault, get nauseated.

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Originally Posted by greenmario View Post
No immediate downsides. Although maybe people will decide that since God only intervenes in sexual assault cases it would follow that he doesn't care about other crimes. Cue The Purge
This, however, I see as a really big downside. If suddenly a supernatural punishment starts affecting people that attempt sexual assault and it's rendered impossible by a seemingly divine force, then the most rational conclusion is that a god has decided to start directly intervening in human affairs. If this is the only intervention, then the further assumption becomes: this is what is prohibited; anything else is allowed.

After all, why would a god intervene in this when there's so many other things happening constantly? Why not prevent murders? Wars? Starvation? Disease? Anything else that's currently considered bad. Well, obviously the god doesn't care about those things, and therefore they are allowed by inference.

Which leads me to my main criticism with this: why? Why sexual assault? What is it about that version of harm in particular that draws such excessive opprobrium, so much so that it takes all focus away from all the myriad other horrible things happening in the world, to the extent that this is the one focus you would have if you had an opportunity like this?

Why not have the same effect happen anytime a human is harming another human? Or even better, when any sophont is harming any other? That would seem like a much better use of such power (there are some details that would probably be wise to work out with that, but that's beyond the point at the moment).

That said, I find it awkward that in a hypothetical scenario where you could prohibit all humans from causing any sort of harm to each other, you would limit yourself to only sexual assault. I don't find it surprising because it does in fact seem common with our culture and society...which is in itself a somewhat disturbing aspect of our culture, if you ask me. That we're so obsessed with sexual crime that it can seem perfectly normal for a person to focus on it to the exclusion of all other harms that may be being inflicted by people on other people. A culture that doesn't think that way would be just as puzzled by this as we would be if I were to propose doing something about people that beat others with baseball bats. Only with baseball bats, though; paying no attention to any other form or implement of beating.
  #26  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:14 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
This no more limits free will than herpes does, or gravity. There are plenty of cases in our universe where the things I want to do aren't possible, or involve terrible consequences. This doesn't affect folks' ability to want certain things, or even to decide to do them; it just makes it very difficult to carry out certain plans.
I already brought up that counterargument, which I agree is valid. But when you ask theists why God allows human evil, you often get the free will argument. Which is why I usually use natural evil, like earthquakes, where free will is not an issue.
Quote:
I too worry about men figuring out a way to threaten women with nonsexual violence into consent. I don't think that'd be worse than the cure, but it makes me wonder if expanding this effect, such that any attempt to initiate violence against someone who's not currently treating another person with violence, would bring a visit from St. Ralph.
I could just see a footnote in a Discworld book about this case. Double the nausea, and a whisper about not trying to fool the deity.
  #27  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:16 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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I don't see this argument, though. Free will isn't being taken away; consequences are being applied instantaneously in response to certain exercises of that free will. There's a difference between 'you're prevented and punished for what you do' versus 'you're unable to even attempt to do it at all' or worse 'your mind is prevented from thinking those thoughts'.

To compare, would you say that fire infringes on free will because you can't stick your hand in it without it being burned? It seems like the same thing to me. Place your hand in the fire, get burned. Attempt sexual assault, get nauseated.
This would be the reduction of free will by conditioning - and Clockwork Orange has already been alluded to. I think we all pretty much avoid fire unless there is some urgent reason not to, and in this scenario men would avoid assault unless there is some urgent reason to do so. (Don't ask me what that could be.) It is not quite the elimination of free will in this case, but it would be close.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:28 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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Hopefully the nausea is merely a feeling, and doesn't lead to actual vomiting. Getting suddenly puked on might be better than getting suddenly groped (or not?), but regardless it still wouldn't be pleasant.
Imagine, if you will, an intense, wrenching nausea. You feel like puking, your body is gripped by heaves, but you never actually do puke. That would probably be more unpleasant than actually emptying your stomach.
  #29  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:29 PM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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The main downside I would see would be that it would inspire a wave of irrational cults purporting to explain the new metaphysics of the universe. Anything fundamentally inexplicable with science or logic would be bad for the reputation and usefulness of those things.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:33 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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The main downside I would see would be that it would inspire a wave of irrational cults purporting to explain the new metaphysics of the universe. Anything fundamentally inexplicable with science or logic would be bad for the reputation and usefulness of those things.
It would be a different world, but it wouldn't be any less logical or rational, would it?
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:18 PM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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It would be a different world, but it wouldn't be any less logical or rational, would it?
Well, how would you explain the sudden change in physics, and how it works? I mean, perhaps there'd be some cult that claims that this sudden change is because the end of the world is close, or that rapture has happened and the rest of us are changed? Or that this nausea is God's judgment on humanity? Or that guru Smith claims that God told him that this was all in his plan, and that we should give up all our possessions and join him in his compound? Or some random guy on the internet who claims that it's because he had godlike powers for a moment and made it so, but now he conveniently doesn't have those powers any more?

Now, to the rational, none of the above claims would make any sense. But what rational alternative explanation could be offered for the sudden, unexplained change?
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:29 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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I'm surprised that no one has brought up free will yet. If the deity sets this constriction, he, she or it is limiting the free will of the abuser. Which is much worse than abuse, the apologists say.

But many of us could no more coerce or abuse than we can fly, and no one worries about our limited free will. So I don't think the argument works - just preemptively noting it.
Well, IF he gets caught, he freedom is going to be curtailed momentarily, and if he is convicted, curtailed for a long, long time. Better a momentary wave of nausea than 30 years behind bars.

I'm closing my curtains.
  #33  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:37 AM
AI Proofreader AI Proofreader is offline
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No immediate downsides. Although maybe people will decide that since God only intervenes in sexual assault cases it would follow that he doesn't care about other crimes. Cue The Purge
+1. doubleplusgood even.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:47 AM
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Well, how would you explain the sudden change in physics, and how it works? I mean, perhaps there'd be some cult that claims that this sudden change is because the end of the world is close, or that rapture has happened and the rest of us are changed? Or that this nausea is God's judgment on humanity? Or that guru Smith claims that God told him that this was all in his plan, and that we should give up all our possessions and join him in his compound? Or some random guy on the internet who claims that it's because he had godlike powers for a moment and made it so, but now he conveniently doesn't have those powers any more?

Now, to the rational, none of the above claims would make any sense. But what rational alternative explanation could be offered for the sudden, unexplained change?
That's a good point, if it were suddenly instituted. It would most definitely have serious consequences for cults, religions, and increased persecution of atheists.

But in a universe where "the guilt sickness" or whatever they would call it had always existed, it would just be another fact of life. Religions would have whole, established dogma surrounding its origins and purpose, probably morality tales / Bible stories as well. Cults and blasphemers would have nonstandard interpretations.

Scientists would probably have a hand-waving explanation which would still very much allow for atheism.. off the top of my head, "Mutually-exchanged pheromones which lead to gastric distress in those attempting sexual assault, which evolved due to the advantage of preserving the health and well-being of mothers."
  #35  
Old 10-13-2017, 09:17 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Now, to the rational, none of the above claims would make any sense. But what rational alternative explanation could be offered for the sudden, unexplained change?
Why wouldn't the true explanation be the rational one? "Rational" doesn't mean materialistic. In a world where magic or overt divine intervention or anything supernatural like that actually existed, it would be rational to believe in such things and to take them into account.

But you're right that this would make people more open to supernatural explanations of other things (and to incorrect supernatural explanations of this phenomenon), which would be mistaken according to the OP's scenario.

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Originally Posted by AI Proofreader View Post
Scientists would probably have a hand-waving explanation which would still very much allow for atheism.. off the top of my head, "Mutually-exchanged pheromones which lead to gastric distress in those attempting sexual assault, which evolved due to the advantage of preserving the health and well-being of mothers."
And (if we accept the hypothetical) they'd be barking up the wrong tree to do so. So scientists would either search for a mechanical explanation where none ultimately exists, or they would adapt to allow for regular, predictable, rule-based divine intervention as a part of science. Either one of which would change things.
  #36  
Old 10-13-2017, 09:44 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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I would definitely consider it a downside if it winds up with more people hurt than otherwise. If there's no more sexual assault but instead physical assault goes up by a huge margin, then the ultimate result has been making things worse, not better.


I don't see this argument, though. Free will isn't being taken away; consequences are being applied instantaneously in response to certain exercises of that free will. There's a difference between 'you're prevented and punished for what you do' versus 'you're unable to even attempt to do it at all' or worse 'your mind is prevented from thinking those thoughts'.

To compare, would you say that fire infringes on free will because you can't stick your hand in it without it being burned? It seems like the same thing to me. Place your hand in the fire, get burned. Attempt sexual assault, get nauseated.


This, however, I see as a really big downside. If suddenly a supernatural punishment starts affecting people that attempt sexual assault and it's rendered impossible by a seemingly divine force, then the most rational conclusion is that a god has decided to start directly intervening in human affairs. If this is the only intervention, then the further assumption becomes: this is what is prohibited; anything else is allowed.

After all, why would a god intervene in this when there's so many other things happening constantly? Why not prevent murders? Wars? Starvation? Disease? Anything else that's currently considered bad. Well, obviously the god doesn't care about those things, and therefore they are allowed by inference.

Which leads me to my main criticism with this: why? Why sexual assault? What is it about that version of harm in particular that draws such excessive opprobrium, so much so that it takes all focus away from all the myriad other horrible things happening in the world, to the extent that this is the one focus you would have if you had an opportunity like this?

Why not have the same effect happen anytime a human is harming another human? Or even better, when any sophont is harming any other? That would seem like a much better use of such power (there are some details that would probably be wise to work out with that, but that's beyond the point at the moment).

That said, I find it awkward that in a hypothetical scenario where you could prohibit all humans from causing any sort of harm to each other, you would limit yourself to only sexual assault. I don't find it surprising because it does in fact seem common with our culture and society...which is in itself a somewhat disturbing aspect of our culture, if you ask me. That we're so obsessed with sexual crime that it can seem perfectly normal for a person to focus on it to the exclusion of all other harms that may be being inflicted by people on other people. A culture that doesn't think that way would be just as puzzled by this as we would be if I were to propose doing something about people that beat others with baseball bats. Only with baseball bats, though; paying no attention to any other form or implement of beating.
I chose sexual assault (and anything along the sexual assault spectrum) because it's one of those rare actions that's never morally justifiable or acceptable, unlike assault or murder. Sometimes it's reasonable or morally good to punch someone without their consent; sometimes it's even reasonable to kill someone; it's never reasonable or morally other-than-evil to molest or sexually assault someone. And thus a relatively simple rule could be crafted (assuming momentary omnipotence) to counteract it. Any "rule" against other sorts of immoral violence would be much, much harder to craft.
  #37  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:30 AM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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That's a good point, if it were suddenly instituted. It would most definitely have serious consequences for cults, religions, and increased persecution of atheists.

But in a universe where "the guilt sickness" or whatever they would call it had always existed, it would just be another fact of life. Religions would have whole, established dogma surrounding its origins and purpose, probably morality tales / Bible stories as well. Cults and blasphemers would have nonstandard interpretations.

Scientists would probably have a hand-waving explanation which would still very much allow for atheism.. off the top of my head, "Mutually-exchanged pheromones which lead to gastric distress in those attempting sexual assault, which evolved due to the advantage of preserving the health and well-being of mothers."
The OP clearly states that the change would be "from now on", which makes it clear that the change would be sudden. Your hypothetical universe is not the one the OP specified.
  #38  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:40 AM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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Why wouldn't the true explanation be the rational one? "Rational" doesn't mean materialistic. In a world where magic or overt divine intervention or anything supernatural like that actually existed, it would be rational to believe in such things and to take them into account.
What evidence could they possibly find to rationally come to the true conclusion? As I mentioned earlier, I would expect there to be hundreds or thousands of people who would claim responsibility via various implausible scenarios. How would a rational person in this universe (other than Andy, who personally experienced it) be able to evaluate his claim as the one true one?

As to your new hypothetical of a universe where this sort of divine intervention was in the plural, and random people periodically got this power and the choice of what to do with it - the downsides of that hypothetical universe should be obvious.
  #39  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:59 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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What evidence could they possibly find to rationally come to the true conclusion? As I mentioned earlier, I would expect there to be hundreds or thousands of people who would claim responsibility via various implausible scenarios. How would a rational person in this universe (other than Andy, who personally experienced it) be able to evaluate his claim as the one true one?
Okay, I probably should have said "Why wouldn't the true explanation be a rational one?" You're probably right that no one would be able to evaluate the claim as the one true one. But it would at least be one of the possible explanations that was not incompatible with all available evidence, and so it would not be irrational to believe it.
  #40  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:07 AM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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Ah, on reflection, there is a way. It would probably take some time after the change went into effect before most people noticed it, and even longer than that before the details of the rules of how it work would be worked out.

If Andy makes a public announcement immediately after implementation with the details of how it works, that would be decent evidence that at least some parts of his story are true. (Conspiracy theorists would still claim he was just a traitorous insider who revealed the details of the True Guru's plan, or somesuch.)

Now, what happens to Andy in this scenario? I'm thinking either a nutjob assassinates him, or some organization (possibly governmental) would kidnap him and attempt to force/drug/torture him into revealing how it really was done, or try to get him to implement other changes. No, I don't think every single organization in the world would believe his claim that this had been a personal a one-use only divine intervention power.
  #41  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:47 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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LOL -- I like the recent points made. It makes me realize that (in the hypothetical) I better not spill the beans, either before or after, to avoid making myself a target!

But it also makes me think of something else -- is it possible that word might never get out beyond conspiracy-theory mutterings? Most people don't try to sexually assault anyone. And of those leftover that do, what would they say? "Hey, I'm getting nauseated all the time when I try to ra---... I mean, I'm getting nauseated sometimes for no reason at all!" Some might go to the doctor, but what could they report? They wouldn't actually feel any nausea except during the assault attempts themselves. Once they're overcome by nausea, and they stop trying to do it, it stops. If they try again, it comes back. They'd very quickly learn the association between the acts... but who would they tell? Other rapists, perhaps. But no one else, I think.

So I actually think it's possible that the only thing the wider world would notice is a very significant drop in reports of sexual assault. Perhaps some of the would-be victims will report that their attacker suddenly dropped to the ground, but I'm not sure how quickly that would be put together by investigators, especially once the attackers realize that their attacks are futile (and thus they stop even trying).

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 10-13-2017 at 11:48 AM.
  #42  
Old 10-13-2017, 01:36 PM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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Well, I would expect that in some US prisons, for example, the fact that a change had occurred would become widely known fairly quickly. Also, perhaps, certain fraternities. Anecdotes of bizarrely failed rape attempts would probably be common knowledge right off the bat, and the crime statistics would be unmistakable fairly soon.
  #43  
Old 10-13-2017, 01:40 PM
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I could see a paranoia rising among men that any sexual thought will be punished with nausea. There's already enough guilt for sexual thoughts provided by religious pressure, and an additional real consequence would lead to severe mental problems. Besides, any sort of instinct for sexual assault might be repressed, but it wouldn't be eliminated. It might make men more angry and frustrated in general, and the most aggressive of them would channel their rage through violence.

Some women could use sexual nausea as a weapon. Seduce a guy, provoke him to the point of aggression, make him sick, and tell police "See the vomit? Proof he tried to rape me."

In addition, it doesn't rule out the possibility that certain men would replace their sexual aggression with another type of damaging sexual practice, such as contracting a social disease and spreading it to as many sexual partners as possible.
  #44  
Old 10-13-2017, 01:54 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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I could see a paranoia rising among men that any sexual thought will be punished with nausea. There's already enough guilt for sexual thoughts provided by religious pressure, and an additional real consequence would lead to severe mental problems. Besides, any sort of instinct for sexual assault might be repressed, but it wouldn't be eliminated. It might make men more angry and frustrated in general, and the most aggressive of them would channel their rage through violence.
I have little doubt it would make some rapists "more angry and frustrated in general", but it seems very unlikely to me that that would result in anything close to as much violence as compared to all the sexual violence the 'rule' would prevent.

Quote:
Some women could use sexual nausea as a weapon. Seduce a guy, provoke him to the point of aggression, make him sick, and tell police "See the vomit? Proof he tried to rape me."
The 'rule' can read intentions and consent and wouldn't allow this. There'd be no way for a would-be victim to "provoke" feelings of nausea under this rule.

Quote:
In addition, it doesn't rule out the possibility that certain men would replace their sexual aggression with another type of damaging sexual practice, such as contracting a social disease and spreading it to as many sexual partners as possible.
That's possible. Though the rule could be crafted such that even that would be prevented.
  #45  
Old 10-13-2017, 01:58 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Question for the OP: Does "any time someone tries to sexually abuse/assault another person, no matter the particulars" include statutory rape? It'd pretty much have to, if you want to prevent child molestation, but how would the cutoff age be determined?

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 10-13-2017 at 01:59 PM.
  #46  
Old 10-13-2017, 02:06 PM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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Deliberately spreading VD might be parsed as sexual assault by this divine mechanism.

The phrasing of the OP seems to base the effect on intent - it only triggers if they believe the action they are attempting is "to sexually abuse/assault another person." If they honestly believe that their target is not really a person then they would suffer no ill effect, whether or not the target is in reality a person.

Thus it would not work on a psychotic who does not believe other people are real.

Worst case scenario would be a group(perhaps a cult) that claims another group is subhuman- possibly by race but not necessarily. With a starting core of true believers, they could then use rape as a 'proof' that a raped member of the outgroup was never really a person at all, and thus 'confirm' and spread the belief that the outgroup is subhuman.
  #47  
Old 10-13-2017, 02:31 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by Some Call Me... Tim View Post
Deliberately spreading VD might be parsed as sexual assault by this divine mechanism.

The phrasing of the OP seems to base the effect on intent - it only triggers if they believe the action they are attempting is "to sexually abuse/assault another person." If they honestly believe that their target is not really a person then they would suffer no ill effect, whether or not the target is in reality a person.

Thus it would not work on a psychotic who does not believe other people are real.

Worst case scenario would be a group(perhaps a cult) that claims another group is subhuman- possibly by race but not necessarily. With a starting core of true believers, they could then use rape as a 'proof' that a raped member of the outgroup was never really a person at all, and thus 'confirm' and spread the belief that the outgroup is subhuman.
Not just intent, but consent (which is ultimately more important). An idiot frat boy who thinks the girl really wants it would still be struck by nausea if she didn't actually want him to touch her. So the 'rule' knows and takes into account the mind state of both the potential assaulter and assaultee.
  #48  
Old 10-13-2017, 02:33 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Question for the OP: Does "any time someone tries to sexually abuse/assault another person, no matter the particulars" include statutory rape? It'd pretty much have to, if you want to prevent child molestation, but how would the cutoff age be determined?
I'll assume the 'rule' knows whether or not someone is truly capable of consent -- thus requiring a fully mature understanding of sex and intimacy, including the potential consequences (so, yes, 'taking advantage' of a feeble-minded person could cause the nausea, depending on the circumstances). There might be some apparent grey areas to observers, but the 'rule' would know, with complete accuracy, whether this is so or not.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 10-13-2017 at 02:34 PM.
  #49  
Old 10-13-2017, 03:38 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Since you have godlike powers why don't you just take away the desire to engage in non-consensual sex in the first place? As already mentioned, if people suffer as a result of a sexual desire they may become angry and abusive in a non-sexual way.
  #50  
Old 10-13-2017, 04:21 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Since you have godlike powers why don't you just take away the desire to engage in non-consensual sex in the first place? As already mentioned, if people suffer as a result of a sexual desire they may become angry and abusive in a non-sexual way.
That'd be another way to do it, but I'd have real moral trouble with the idea of altering thoughts -- IMO, thoughts on their own are never morally bad (or good); it's only actions that can be bad or good.
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