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.

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?

IF there was actually a god, it would have designed things that way, there is not that, therefore there is none.

You have no way of knowing that.

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?

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.

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!

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.

“The sex HAD to be consensual your Honor, since I didn’t suffer a wave of debilitating nausea while having it.”

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.

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.

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?)

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?

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.

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.

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.

No downside I can think of.

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.

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”.

Your premise is flawed. Lots of religions portray gods who not only condoned sexual assault but committed it personally.

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.