William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is Rape Worse Than Murder?

I have heard it argued that "rape is worse than murder." In response, I have tried to explain my position that, although rape is terrible, there are varying degrees and varieties of it, some of which are far worse than others, as illustrated by the following hypotheticals:

1. A, an adult, forcibly rapes a 9-year old.
2. A, an adult, is partying hard with her adult boyfriend, decides she wants to have sex with him, and, knowing he would otherwise never consent because he believes in holding off on sex before marriage, slips something into his drink to overcome his inhibitions.
3. A, a teenager, is making out with his teenage girlfriend, and after the two of them get carried away in the moment, she suddenly says she'd rather not have sex but he continues on and overpowers her will.
4. A, an adult, is seduced by a seventeen year old girl who pretends she is 18, but it turns out it is technically statutory rape.
5. A, an adult, seduces her sixteen-year-old high school student who, because of his age, is deemed unable to consent to the act although he feels no coercion whatsoever.
6. A, an adult, kidnaps a stranger, tortures and mutilates his victim, and then rapes her.
7. A, an adult, tells a woman he meets in a bar that he has just won 5 million dollars, and based upon that lie, she agrees to sleep with him because she is after his money.
8. A, an adult, tells his female subordinate at work that he will fire her unless she sleeps with him, and she does so, feeling no attraction and feeling coerced.
9. A, an adult, has sex with his fiance while she is in a coma after a car accident. She awakes having no memory of what happened, nor any lasting physical effects.

Clearly, these examples are not all on the same level, and although all of them are serious, some are, in my opinion, a far cry from being comparable with murder.

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