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Discussion 8 to Reflections on Ethics 36
Rape is not a get-out-of-thinking-free-card

by Maarten van den Driest

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This exchange of views has been continued.

Anthony (cum suis),

There is a Dutch word in existence that means something like 'viewpoint-discussion'. That is a discussion that is not a meeting of minds, a furthering of understanding on all sides, but a steady repeat of everyone's position.

This is what Mr. DeLucchi is doing.

JT, I and others may do our best to come up with solid arguments and explanations of why we think what we think, all based in reality but to no avail. All Mr. DeLucchi seems able - or, worse, willing - to write are constant reminders of his views. I would appreciate an explanation.

I know! I already understand your position, Anthony. Please, please explain the reasons for your remarks. If you claim that you think what you think because this feels best for you, no problem. But then stop trying to persuade others. If you have valid reasons that even remotely deal with reality, come forward.

I am getting very tired of these pointless discussions but since I am targeted personally here, I respond.

Never, EVER, tell someone he doesn't know what he's talking about when speaking of rape! Or any other horrible things, for that matter. What do you know of me personally? What do you know of my life, my struggles? (I, at least, keep quiet about them.)

You will find, when you take the trouble to read through our discussions again, that I have attacked you a lot - I admit - but always your views. Never your person.

You ask 'how else can we deal' with the crime of rape? My answer comes in two parts. Firstly, we deal with rape as with any other crime, by granting the accused due process, with all the rights and obligations that come with it. A country may choose to punish harshly or leniently but that is a matter for the politicians.

Secondly, we try to take away the reasons behind rape. Rape is a terrible crime but that doesn't mean a rapist is automatically an animal. There are people in existence who have absolutely no conscience, who are devoid of all possibility of remorse. They are, luckily, extremely rare. Do not lightly accuse anyone of this, even implicitly.

Changes in all our societies will have to be made, however hard that may be, to reflect a greater respect for the integrity of others. Also, a healthier attitude regarding sexuality and accurate information and guidance for our teenagers will help. Realise that rape is also usually not a sexual crime but a crime of overpowering.

Another good argument is that harsh punishment evidently doesn't really help. 'That will teach them' is almost never true. A person willing to commit a horrible crime and mentally able to pull it off will not be stopped by the thought of the law. The USA has far harsher punishments for the same crimes than The Netherlands but also far higher rates for murder, rape, abortion etc. etc. So, I imagine, does South Africa.

If you cannot emphasize with criminals then this is your failing, not mine. Everyone deserves a measure of respect, without exception.

See how easy it is for a total layman as myself (not a psychologist or doctor) to write a short paragraph or so of sense? You can do it to, if you choose to.

The points again:

My final point would be: just because you personally can't do something or cannot understand something, doesn't mean it's true or should be outlawed. I personally cannot understand religious fundamentalism but far be it from me to force fundamentalists to change. Ask them to, maybe demand but never force.