[ExI] If 90% of all rapists are men, are 90% of all men rapists?

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 11 14:02:25 UTC 2009

--- On Wed, 6/10/09, mail at harveynewstrom.com <mail at harveynewstrom.com> wrote:
> Dan writes:
>> I'm not so sure.  If one is arguing from X is a S
>> and some Ss do A, so X is likely to do A, then one must rely
>> on some sort of probabilistic causal argument. 
>> (Why?  Because not all Ss do A.  If they all did,
>> then there'd be no argument, no?)
> That is not what I am arguing.  The original question
> was why don't christians follow the commands in Deuteronomy
> to kill nonbelievers.  My point is that many of them
> do.  I am not claiming that all of them do, or even
> most of them do. 

Oh, all right.  My point was, in bringing up the Deuteronomy verses, that most Jews and Christians -- after all, this is in the Hebrew Bible -- do not follow the command.  Heck, my guess is most of them aren't even aware of it and probably wouldn't follow it anyhow.

Also, I'm not sure killing abortion doctors, gays, etc. follows the command.  The command is actually specific about those who worship other gods -- not merely people who break certain other rules.

Granted, elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament, being a practicing gay is punishable by death.  But the list of things where death is the punishment is quite long in the Old Testament.

I don't recall verses where abortion is similarly proscribed.  IIRC, abortion is only mentioned once in the Old Testament and not in the New at all.  I don't remember any place where either rail against abortion.*  (Also, side issue: I think the mainstream Christian interpretation, too, would NOT be that the unborn are innocent.  They would all be marked by sin, no?  Or am I making a mistake in interpreting of their theology here?)  So, those Biblical literalists lashing out against abortion -- whether peacefully or not -- are, IMO, going beyond what most would think of as a purely literal interpretation.

All of this said, I'm not defending Christianity or Judaism (or Islam) -- or literal readings of these texts.  My wider point was merely that people calling themselves Christians, Jews, and Muslims are, for the most part today, peaceful and tolerant.  Of course, there are exceptions, but this goes for probably members of all belief systems.  (This leaves alone, of course, how one identifies a member of a given belief system.  Some might say that today's Christians and Jews have been seculiarized or at least live in basically secular societies where they can't enforce their more unlibertarian views.  There seems to be some truth to this, though religious tolerance in the West seems to have risen not from secularism per se, but from the religious wars following the Protestant Reformation.  One might argue, though, that this was part of the process of secularization -- as modern nation states arose and shifted from being explicitly religious to just more
 narrowly political-military.)



*  One thing Jesus seems to consistently rail against is divorce, but I don't see many Christian Biblical literalists calling for prohibiting divorce.  (Of course, I'm assuming here that there was a Jesus and that the New Testament is accurate in regard to this part of his views.  I think it's highly questionable that there ever was Jesus -- much less that the New Testament is an accurate record of his views, life, and deeds.)


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