Not quite home, and almost regretting it

I’m back in the US! At least, I’m in Chicago, with a flight delay, so it’s at least another 6 or 7 hours of traveling before I pull up to my door. Unfortunately, I’m tempted to turn around and go back to Germany.

You see, I’m returning from a most excellent international atheist conference, where I learned a lot and was also very impressed with the commitment of the worldwide atheist community to more than just convincing everyone there is no god. One of the themes that came up repeatedly was the importance of women and feminism to promoting secular ideals.

So after a long flight with total internet deprivation, I land and happen to check in to the Facebook, and what’s the very first thing I see, at the very top of the page? This.

Tried this in another atheist group, got banned LOL.

Thought experiment.

Would you allow rape if it was the only means to prevent the extinction of the human species?

He (of course it’s a he!) defends this as a “philosophical thought experiment.” I think he meant “puke-inducing misogynistic fantasy.” Must have been that danged autocorrect.

I had a few thoughts.

First, good on that other atheist group — I wish he’d named them so I could applaud them directly. For your information, if anyone tries to pull that kind of dumb-ass hypothetical here, they’ll get banned, too. LOL.

Second, where do these people who clearly have no real background in philosophy or science think that attaching the label “philosophical thought experiment” to their pointless exercises in public masturbation makes it sound intelligent? It doesn’t. Everyone can see right through you.

Why is it always rape for which they are reaching to find a justification? How about this one: If the population of men was so drastically reduced that the only way to restore it was to chop off your balls, put ’em in a blender, and use the resulting slurry to inseminate the maximum number of women, would you allow it? Or would you just wonder what kind of sick mind has a castration fetish?

There are no details on the peculiar situation that would require rape to repopulate the earth — and I do not want to hear any — but given that humans tend to require cooperative parenting, it sounds counterproductive to me. Any solution that requires intra-specific violence to propagate the species suggests to me that maybe we ought to just hang it up and say goodbye, Homo sapiens. (Ditto for any any solution that requires surgical mutilation of men.)

This rationalization sounds very close to the personal justification of rapists right now — they’d never get any sex if they didn’t just take it, so their own gratification is warrant enough to cause others pain and misery. This is not a thought experiment. It’s an attempt to write a violent porn scenario, and get other people to give him a thumbs-up for it.

Oh, well. Turning around and leaving the American atheist community isn’t really a practical option — I’ve got a wife I’m anxious to see, and a good job that I enjoy. But jebus, these are the kinds of people I’m tired of seeing infesting the atheist movement — just join the Republican party and accept Christ into your heart, already.

The author of that clueless abomination on facebook is commenting here, and I have two things to say:

  1. You remind me of the Wizard with a Nuke “thought experiment”. You’re an idjit.

  2. I was serious about banning people who post such stupidity. You’re allowed to comment on this thread, and this thread only — I’d rather your foulness did not spread elsewhere. If you comment on any other thread, you will be banned, denying the other commenters the pleasure of pecking the flesh from your bones.


  1. vaiyt says

    @487: Atheists must rape to outbreed the religious! Brilliant plan. My flabbers are truly ghasted at such brilliance.

  2. pensnest says

    Joshua Shaffer #50

    YOU decided that the victim is a woman. Nowhere was the gender of the victim indicated.

    I can’t believe I didn’t realise this was about women raping men in order to repopulate the species! Of course! It would make so much sense to go against the demonstrated wishes of males who did not want to reproduce, and to violate their bodily integrity, since they are the holders of all those valuable and magnificent spermatozoa.

    Although, you know, in a “let’s repopulate the species” scenario, it might be best for sperm donors and uterus-owners to co-operate. Basically, your ‘thought experiment’ makes no sense. There is no justification at all for assuming that rape would be the only possible answer to the dilemma. It is, in fact, entirely stupid.


    Extinction, I.E. NO MORE PEOPLE, what could possibly be anywhere close to as frightening as that for a normal person?

    Anywhere close to as frightening? How about: the idea that I might give birth to a child, and then die as a result of any of the many disastrous things that can occur after (or during) childbirth, leaving my child alone, defenceless and likely to die in turn (or at best, to be raised in a society of rapists)? The idea that my child might grow up to be raped and forced to give birth? The idea that my child might end up alone in the universe after the “attempt to repopulate the human race” failed? I’d rather be the last human being on earth than have my child be the last human being on earth.

    Or how about this one: the idea that you might be forced to commit a horrible crime against another human being in the name of “repopulating the species”.

    It’s not difficult for a normal person to come up with terrifying scenarios. Hell, I’ve thought of five more frightening possibilities before breakfast every day since my first child was born. Seriously, what is so terrifying about there being no more people? Neither you nor I would be around to see it, by definition. So… so what?


    Objectively, preventing our extinction as a member of our species is highly favorable.

    Why? Seriously, why?

  3. says

    congrats on being comment number 500! btw.

    unlikely to recover isn’t the same as impossible, first of all.

    and second of all, that’s one possible interpretation of the scenario, i encourage everyone to interpret it in however creatively they wish.

  4. marinerachel says

    Why is it always some gross fucking dude eeking out circumstances under which rape is coo? It’s never creative or interesting or realistic or controversial. It’s just “Circumstance under which rape is OK because the human species matters to the universe” even though it doesn’t and it’s not.

    Our species has done more fucking damage to the planet and it’s surroundings than beavers do to their environments but some dude on the internet who thinks himself clever as shit has decided allowing that legacy of ours to continue is a perfect justification for RAPING people and it’s the people who wouldn’t commit rape that deserve chiding.

    BTW, POS Opie, it wouldn’t matter how many times you raped me to “save the species”. I’d just keep flushing it,

  5. azhael says

    A for fuck’s sake….500 comments wasted on this horseshit? Seriously?
    Joshua, you are not clever, the ridiculous, pointless, empty excuse for a trollfart you insist on calling a “thought experiment” is not even original…I’m sure your ego got so many strokes that by now you are just lying on a pool of jizz, laughing maniacally because you trolled everybody so hard…I’m also sure there could be something worthwhile you could be doing with your life instead of being an embarrashment for all humanity…
    I mean….i admit i got a chuckle from the idea of you thinking that you are a deep, free thinker, someone trying to explore the philosophical vastness of a complex and profound question, intricately designed to spark the intellects of masses and result in a transcendent and revolutionary explosion of new thought. Instead what we got was just another internet moron thinking that “would you allow rape if….?” actually constitutes a question worth more than the two seconds it takes to say “Nope, bugger off to your cave now”. It takes a massively delusional ego to think that that’s a thought experiment…Not that i believe you do..i think you are just a troll, but if you did, that would be sad….very, very sad….but not in an adorable, understandable way, like a child who just discovered lying and assumes they are the first to ever achieve such a remarkable power. It’s more on the side of an internet arsehole thinking that they are deep thinkers by asking, i don’t know, something transparently odious, pointless and vacuous like “would you rape if….?”. Yes, it’s that flavour of sad….

  6. azhael says

    @503 pensnest

    Objectively, preventing our extinction as a member of our species is highly favorable.

    Why? Seriously, why?

    You are talking to someone who thinks his stupid little question is an interesting and profound “thought experiment” and who has so little idea of the meaning of the word “objective” that he uses it meaning “subjective”…don’t expect a coherent answer from this idiot….

  7. thomasjbarrett says

    @464 Ormond

    Joshua posited an extinction event, and by our system, morality is not absolute, ends DO justify the means, and death of the species trumps all.

    Number one, how is it not clear to you that’s your system, not ours?

    Number two, where is your logical proof of those statements? Or do you expect us to be blinded by your magnificent atheism? Those are exceptional statements that you are hanging your argument on. And by argument, I mean your implicit statement that rape is OK. Isn’t that what you mean by that sentence?

  8. Anri says

    Picked your victim yet, Joshua Shaffer?
    Can’t have a rape without a victim.

    If you’re finding the question too uncomfortable to answer, BTW, just say so.
    (I have no idea if that’s the reason you aren’t answering, I just wanted to cover the most obvious base here.)

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see you didn’t take my constructive criticism / advise on board.

    OH, you mean your shitty thinking and support of a rapist? Just another illogical slymer heard from.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anyway how are you and hows the redhead?

    None of your business. You are trolling. Being a slymey asshole.
    Try showing some maturity and fucking off.

  11. says

    He’s unclear on basic ecology, basic philosophy, basic logic, and basic human decency.

    By the way, the slymepitter brive has been banned and his comments deleted. One thing about those cowards: they do love to slink in when I’m in transit somewhere, and they do love to harass victims of sexual assault. Creepy.

  12. zenlike says

    Brive, like any good slymepitter/rape apologist, doesn’t understand bounderies. Being banned somewhere is just an invite to contnue posting under another, barely dissimilar name. They don’t know what ‘no’ means. Which is why it is no surpise that they don’t understand the concept of consent, and why I have no problem threating them like potential rapists.

  13. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    We all know what the real purpose of “thought experiments” like these are: to let women know that we are only fully human until some man somewhere believes that there’s a justification for raping us or forcing us to carry a baby to term. Because this little scenario contains elements of both, doesn’t it?

  14. Nick Gotts says

    death of the species trumps all – Ormond Otvos@464

    Wot, no argument for your claim? Why are we just expected to accept the assertion of a pompous braggart to that effect?

  15. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ Joshua Schaffer

    Wow, I am late to this party, but I’ll play.

    Would you allow rape if it was the only means to prevent the extinction of the human species?

    No, and here’s why:

    – Firstly, you have presented this as a negative binary choice, thus forcing us to choose the lesser of two evils. I am not convinced that the negatives of allowing the species to go extinct outweigh the negatives of rape, particularly multiple rapes. Indeed, you have yet to explain why the species going extinct is necessarily a negative at all; you have merely assumed that it is. Most of humanity has a horror of the extinction of our species due to our shared instinct for self-preservation, but you have to understand that this is entirely subjective and there really is no logical reason to assume that extinction would be a negative at all. Assuming the extinction happens over a long period of time due to natural death rate being higher than birth rate, it’s not actually causing any harm to any individual. Rape, on the other hand, demonstrably causes harm to the victim.

    – Secondly, as already mentioned you have presented this as a binary choice (we either allow rape, or we go extinct), which shows a severe flaw in your logic because in reality it would not be. The scenario is already completely implausible; we will almost certainly never be in the situation you describe. But if we were, people would still be procreating naturally and willingly, because that’s what people do. That’s the third option, which you don’t mention, and it means that allowing rape is not necessary for procreation, as your question implies.

    – Thirdly; perhaps, given the assumption regarding the mechanism of extinction above, you feel that extreme measures need to be taken to drive up the birth rate. However, there is no reason to believe that allowing rape would increase the birth rate to any significant extent; for a couple of reasons.
    – You fail to make clear what you mean by “allow”. In the absence of any clear definition, I have assumed the most obvious choice, which is that you mean “decriminalize”, or “make legal”. This fails to take into account that current data shows that prison sentences do not seem to act as any significant deterrent. It also fails to take into account societal attitudes towards rape which, while admittedly pretty fucking lax in regards to most definitions of rape, are pretty harsh towards the very specific scenario which involves a stranger literally holding someone down and fucking them against their will, which seems to be what your scenario suggests. People who want to rape do so anyway, and those who don’t seem to be motivated by their perception of what is and is not moral rather than what is criminal. Your scenario would remove the least effective barrier to rape, and thus there is no real reason to assume any significant increase in the rate of rape.
    – I hesitate to say this in case I give you ideas, but you have mentioned no plans to force female victims to carry the child to term, so even if everyone jumped on board and started raping everyone else without using any protection (another important point you failed to specify), which as demonstrated is unlikely in my opinion, all you’d potentially be increasing is the rate of impregnation, not necessarily birth. Given the above, it’s doubtful that you’d even drive up the rate of impregnation, but in the world you posit where the human race stands on the brink of extinction, presumably with all the societal instability which that implies, what measures could you possibly put in place to ensure that all pregnancies are carried to term?

    To put it simply, what you have really asked here is: “In order to prevent Bad Thing X, would you allow Bad Act Y?”, in which Bad Thing X is logically not that bad, but Bad Act Y is demonstrably bad and probably won’t prevent Bad Thing X anyway. So the answer is very obviously “no”.

    So, now the dispassionate philosophical wankery is out of the way, I have a question. You have repeatedly asserted that:

    Plausibility is irrelevant, as that’s not the point of the thought experiment.

    I’m curious; what is the point of the “thought experiment”? What exactly were you hoping to learn or achieve by asking this?

    I’m being charitable and assuming that this was a genuine thought experiment in which you were genuinely interested in people’s answers and actually hoped to learn something. But, since this is an implausible thought experiment which will never apply to a real world situation, the answer is never really going to be meaningful or in any way useful in a practical way. And while I’m not at all opposed to knowledge for knowledge’s sake, it has to be recognized that merely by asking such a question in a public space you have triggered some people and upset an awful lot more; and unless you are emotionally fuckwitted you had to know that such a reaction was coming. That being the case, in order to justify your “thought experiment” you have to be fairly certain that the information gathered is going to be useful enough to outweigh the pain caused by gathering it in the first place, and so far you have conclusively failed to demonstrate that this is the case. It’s not even clear what information you were attempting to gather. So what was the point?

  16. Snoof says

    Ormond Otvos@464

    Joshua posited an extinction event, and by our system, morality is not absolute, ends DO justify the means, and death of the species trumps all.

    “Our” system? Who’s we? You, Joshua and your imaginary friend?

    (Also, put me in the bandwagon for ceasing to understand why human extinction the ultimate Big Bad. Suffering, sure, that sucks. Death? Kind of scary, but ultimately oblivion is no more awful than being unborn. Species-level extinction? I honestly can’t understand why that’s such a big issue. Is the non-continuance of your own genes or culture really that frightening? I mean, if the extinction was nasty and messy and involved a lot of the aforementioned suffering, then I might have a problem, but it’s the suffering I object to, not the extinction itself.)

  17. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Massive threadrupt:

    a normal person?

    Why does this always mean “man”?

    When Columbus came to the Americas the indigenous peoples were enslaved. It was standard practice to rape the native women. Those women decided that it was better to let their people die out than to live as slaves. They killed themselves when they became pregnant. I believe I’d do the same. My body does not have a “In case of emergency rape this woman” sign on it, though it is clear many men think it does. A species made of rapists and their brood slaves should die out. So should this ridiculous rape apology.

  18. anteprepro says

    Good fucking Christ.

    Morality not existing when humans don’t exist does not suddenly make it moral to keep humans in existence by any means necessary.
    Extinction would happen by the last few individuals dying and not reproducing. Those individuals are going to die anyway. There is no moral compulsion to bring new individuals to life to prevent “humanity” from “dying”. To believe the opposite is essentially analogous to the anti-choice arguments in which Potential Humans are treated the same as actual people, disregarding the fact that the Potential Humans don’t actual think, feel, or suffer. Not reproducing and letting the human race die is comparable to aborting a fetus: No one is actually harmed in the process, the only outcome is that potential human beings that could have been born, aren’t. And yet the people adamantly and vehemently stating, by assertion, that extinction is the ultimate evil have been unable, consistently, to justify this claim. But they sure as hell use this claim to justify rape quite a bit. Fancy that.

    I do not buy for one fucking second that this isn’t either an attempt to taunt, trigger, irritate, and disgust feminists or an attempt to actually justify rape, in a manner similar to Sam Harris using contrived hypotheticals to justify torture. This isn’t complicated. It is absolutely transparent and has been done a thousand times before. You are not clever, you are not novel, you are not fooling anyone.

  19. says

    Given that Mr Shaffer is clearly not bothering to understand any of the criticisms of his bullshit “thought experiment”, and is now reduced to wallowing in the notoriety of being a grade A internet asshole, I’ve BANNED the little turd, and he won’t be contributing further to this thread.

  20. thelastholdout says

    Nooo! Why did you have to ban him?! Now he’s back to annoying the Facebook group!

  21. zenlike says


    Joshua Schaffer proclaiming victory on the FB group because he was banned here in 3, 2, 1,…

  22. says

    anteprepro 29

    And there was much rejoicing.


    Thanks to everyone else for saying what I was thinking better than I could say it and before I could try to type it in and screw it up.

  23. thelastholdout says

    Also, this exchange may interest you, from the Facebook group:


    ” Josh, the dogged determination with which you continue to engage people over this shitty “thought experiment” borders on obsession. You clearly aren’t satisfied with any “no” answer. You want people to say “yes.””


    ” I do want people to say yes, because I know there are people who would agree with me entirely and also have a totally clear conscience. I am having a tough time contemplating how the extinction of our species comes so easily to so many people. But your answers are still all valid!”

  24. anteprepro says

    Poor Joshua. “Quickly silenced”, just as he predicted. Censored, stifled, suppressed, ignored. After a mere 67 comments issued. Never even had a chance to link to a picture of his asshole, or whatever else was necessary to obtain 100% completion of his sophisticated philosophical intellectual thought experiment. The irony of us all, under the banner of Freethought, rejecting someone for having thoughts with zero value! Villains, all of us.

  25. thelastholdout says

    @anteprepro #33:

    It’s really a shame that I can’t “like” or “plus one” comments here.

  26. numerobis says

    The thought experiment is not so completely outlandish, except maybe in modern times. There have often been small, highly isolated pockets of humans — think Polynesia before all the islands were settled, or think Beringia or the North Sea when they were flooding, or some groups in the Amazon or Papua New Guinea, etc etc.

    These would have faced extinction with some regularity. Humanity as a whole would continue, but from the perspective of those small groups of humans, it would have been it.

    I’m certain that every possible conclusion happened in these pockets — not giving a shit, “well that’s a pity”, rape and eventual extinction anyway, or a permanent culture of rape.

    Pitcairn Island is one horrible example of the last one:

  27. anteprepro says

    thelastholdout 32: Really, that is all we needed to know about him. I think he said similarly revealing things in this thread, but that just illustrates quite clearly that he really, really just wants to find people to nod in agreement along with him that they would be willing to rape if given “justification”. Fucking disgusting human being. I hope that these comments haunt him.

    The internet is forever, Joshua. Hope that this shit you are pulling is worth the short-term shits and giggles enough for these words to be attached to your name for the rest of your life. And I hope to god that our society is decent enough for it to sting.

  28. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Wait. Saying I’d kill Joshua the would be rapists if he attempted to rape me is a death threat but his admission that he’s merrily rape me is not a rape threat?
    What color is the sky on planet male privilege?

    On second thought, I would not kill myself before I tried to pull a Judith or Jael. Perhaps a nice dinner for my rapists like the Viking ladies of yore would have made for an invading army? Maybe a nice Ivan the Terrible style dinner party?

    Despite what this rapist wanker seems to think, women are not passive vessels. I’d set fire to a dining hall full of rapists and make S’mores with the flames if I had half a chance. If Josh wants top imagine being a rapist, he should imagine himself being treated like one.

  29. Nick Gotts says

    Anyone care to bet on whether Joshua Shaffer has actually done anything about things that might really threaten human extinction, such as anthropogenic climate change or nuclear and biological weapons? My hunch would be no.

  30. thelastholdout says

    anteprepro 36: I agree entirely. Some more gold from this shitstain follows.


    What about raping a man and letting humans go extinct?
    Or raping a sentient machine capable of creating humans?
    Or reprogrammihg cybernetic genitals that gained sentience and refused to assist in reproduction of any more humans?
    The definition of rape could change with our technology.


    Josh, face it. Your “thought experiment” is a failure. Give up your obsession over post apocalyptic rape, please. The real world isn’t hentai.


    I disagree, I feel its a resounding success. It offended the reactionaries, gave some people the opportunity to think, and overall strengthened people in their resolve.

  31. anteprepro says


    Wait. Saying I’d kill Joshua the would be rapists if he attempted to rape me is a death threat but his admission that he’s merrily rape me is not a rape threat?
    What color is the sky on planet male privilege?

    That puts it damn well.

  32. says

    I am, as usual, late to the party, and two of the three trolls are gone, but what the hell, I’ll say my piece anyway. Even putting aside all the touchy-feely stuff about values and not committing horrible acts of violence against other human beings – because of course, dudebros with their steely embrace of cold logic have nothing but disdain for such mushy nonsense – this “thought experiment” is still idiotic. You can’t save the human race with rape, because rape is a piss-poor reproductive strategy. The rapiest, most violent societies in history – the Vikings, the Mongols, the Seljuk Turks – understood that children of rape just don’t fare very well; in fact, they probably understood this better than anyone (given their vast experience), which is one of the reasons why women native to those societies – i.e. women intended to produce heirs — enjoyed a comparatively high social status, relative to their neighbors.

    Children conceived in rape have a higher than average chance of being aborted, miscarried, stillborn, killed at birth, abandoned. The physical and psychological trauma of rape complicates pregnancy and childbirth, leading to a vastly increased risk of prematurity and congenital abnormalities. Beyond this, such children have a higher risk of being abused, neglected and deprived of affection and guidance. Rapists make terrible fathers, and the idea of a rapist and his victim cooperating with regard to caring for the product of the rape is, needless to say, a highly unrealistic one.

    I often marvel at these MRA-ish dudebros, whose understanding of human reproduction is on the level of a 10-year-old, who nevertheless mansplain to us about this subject; men who believe that the process of “preserving” their genes is complete upon blowing their load into a fertile woman; men who seem completely unaware that children need care in order to thrive, that creating viable offspring is a years-long, perilous, labor-intensive journey, yet have the gall to screech about “Fathers’ Rights” and complain about not getting equal custody in divorce. They often posit this rape-themed “thought experiment” and think themselves terribly clever. The idea is to get people to concede that rape is SOMETIMES okay, even necessary; and once people have conceded that, they plan to transition from their ridiculous hypothetical to arguing that real-life rapists are just poor, unfortunate omegas who have no choice, because of women’s irrational refusal to spread for them. After all, if you allow rape as a means to preserve the human species, there is a short bridge from that to allowing rape as a means to preserve an individual’s genes, amirite?
    I need a drink.

  33. anteprepro says

    thelastholdout: The “what about sentient machines that can get pregnant!?” angle is such a ridiculous fucking cop out. I can’t believe he doesn’t realize how ridiculous he looks.

    And his thought experiment succeeded because it offended some people, gave some people the opportunity to think, and strengthened the resolve of other people? I am terrified at who exactly he thinks had their resolves strengthened, in what way, by this thought experiment. Also, he certainly didn’t take the opportunity to think from this. And the only resolves that were strengthened were his, in stubbornly defending his abject idiocy, and everyone else, in their opposition to his inane, odious ramblings.

  34. thelastholdout says

    anteprepro 43: Not only that, but on the first night in his initial thread, there was a woman who was clearly being triggered by the discussion of rape and who began to freak out. For Josh to lump hers and others’ outrage under a category of “offending reactionaries” shows just how little empathy he has.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I dislike the arrogance and stupidity of MRAs like JS who pretend we haven’t had this ill-thought-out philosophical wankery thrown at us prior to them showing up. I learned nothing new from his spewing of idiocy. I did my thinking earlier. No new thoughts were presented by JS. There was nothing to learn or to think about.
    It doesn’t matter if it is a thought experiment, there are wrong answers. Saying all answers are right is a lie, and telegraphs the MRA agenda. Any answer that makes any portion of humanity less than fully human is a wrong answer. And always will be.

  36. says

    Joshua Shaffer

    nope, naming specific names to kill are death threats. good try death threat apologists.

    So, you made a rape threat against your own mother, right?

    just something to participate in. Because why not? Because some people might be insulted or offended?

    Because people are actually harmed?
    Because reproductive coercion is happening right now?
    But I guess you will no longer complain about people fantasizing doing anything horrible to you, right? Because why not? Just because you might be offended?

    If you can establish that a thought experiment is capable of being harmful

    Continued dehumanising of certain groups
    Triggering PTSD in rape victims
    Shifting the overton window by declaring human rights to be up for debate

    Extinction, I.E. NO MORE PEOPLE, what could possibly be anywhere close to as frightening as that for a normal person?
    Rape, something we generally agree to be absolutely impermissible under any circumstance.

    I happily declare myself to be abnormal. Really, frightening? I admit that death is a tad frightening, but I’m going to die anyway, so it doesn’t make a difference between me dying in the end and me and everybody else dying.
    Suffering, that would be bad. Slow, painful death. But if the alternative to me suffering would be for me to make other people suffering it would be immoral of me to make them suffer.

    But that doesn’t mean those who disagree should be considered rapists.

    No, you’re right. Rape apologist and wanna-be rapist is sufficient.

    I’ll condemn any misogynistic responses with far greater disdain than the reactionary ones, as reactionary responses are valid and understandable.

    Problem is that you are a misogynist extraordinaire as evidenced by your admission that you would rape women if only you can find a justifiable loophole.

    Sexual violence, specifically rape, overwhelmingly seems to be less permissible than mass murder, or non-sexual torture.

    There’s no ranking.

    For a species to allow itself to go extinct due to its adherence to a concept that it itself is the only species capable of is clearly the most emotional of the two.

    Here’s how you do logic:
    Premise 1: Doing A is immoral under all circumstances
    Premise 2: Unless we do A, we go extinct
    Premise 3: Going extinct is morally neutral
    Conclusion: Let’s go extinct!
    You have not shown any argument why “going extinct” is such a bad thing.

    What you went through is inexcusable, and everyone involved in any manner deserves justice.

    Except, you know, if the rapist thought they had a really good reason. And if extinction was at stake you’d do it yourself

    My empathy is with you.

    Stop lying at least. You happily and gleefully inflicted that pain on them.

    Objectively, preventing our extinction as a member of our species is highly favorable.

    You know, just because you write the word “objectively” in front of a statement does not make it so. You have presented no evidence to support this. In fact you’re the one who’s having a knee-jerk reaction at the idea of extinction.


    Can’t you be less emotional about this? Nobody is actually going to kill you. It’s just a thought experiment.

    Especially since “being raped” is a fucking frequent occurence while “being preemptively killed because they might rape in the future” is virtually nonexistent.

    Also, anybody else getting “Handmaid’s Tale” vibes?
    Oh, wait, that’s literature, written by somebody who’s a woman…

    Ormond Otvos<

    Joshua, I sympathize. I too have tried to pose questions that cause people to rethink their axioms and processes,

    Yeah, women are human beings with human rights. Really an axiom we need to reconsider carefully. Oh, wait, it’s being done constantly. And then you guys get all huffy and puffy when those possibly human beings have the gall to tell you that you’re complete assholes. Thank you for playing.

    Political correctness is driving the vast majority of comments.

    Yeah, don’t question the humanity of people, don’t deny their human rights, don’t try to justify horrible crimes against them. Political correctness gone mad, I tell you!

    Humans aren’t the only species that engage in non-consensual sex. Ducks, lions, parasites, monkeys.

    Perhaps these ideas of consensuality, informed consent, the collective (species) good, the drives of Life itself need to be brought into the discussion as more than veiled references, since they’re central to the discussion.

    Well, of course there are also species where the males are harvested and then eaten. There are others where the female reproduce asexually and the males have gone extinct. And there’s always snails. So, your point is?

    ends DO justify the means, and death of the species trumps all.

    You and Joshua combined have raised zero points to support that premise. Right now there are millions of people choosing not to reproduce because they don’t think it’s a good idea.


    I’m certain that every possible conclusion happened in these pockets — not giving a shit, “well that’s a pity”, rape and eventual extinction anyway, or a permanent culture of rape.

    Why do you assume that fucking and reproducing consensually wasn’t an option?

  37. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    “But what if Mary had aborted Jesus?’
    “But what if a baby a woman is forced to carry to term against her will grows up to cure cancer?”
    “But what if her husband has to masturbate if he can’t rape his wife?”
    “What if consent is hard to get and my dick is dry?”
    “What if the 14 yr old is mature beyond her years?”

    There is always an excuse for men to have dominion over my body. Always.

    Then there are these similar gems:

    “What if everyone turns gay and humanity dies out?”
    “What if the white race is bred out because of all the black babies and babies with one drop of non-white blood?”
    “What if allowing poor people not to starve in the street means no one can get filthy rich?”
    “What if diversity means diluting all that fine white male talent?”
    “What if Americans stop speaking English?”
    “What if helping learning disabled kids hold the “normal ones back?”

    Always an excuse to keep the oppressed oppressed. Always.

  38. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Here’s more:
    “What if that jungle music leads white girls to have sex with black boys?”
    “What if teaching US American kids history makes them less than patriotic?”
    “What if all the war protests make us stop bombing civilians and we lose the war/wars?”

  39. Dunc says

    The physical and psychological trauma of rape complicates pregnancy and childbirth, leading to a vastly increased risk of prematurity and congenital abnormalities.

    While we’re on that topic…

    Good news: Hundreds of women and girls have been rescued from Boko Haram.
    Bad news: They’ve been subjected to appalling levels of rape and sexual abuse, and many of them are pregnant as a result.
    News that will make you think the extinction of the human race might be a step in the right direction: Thanks to the decades-old Helms Amendment, any aid organisation which provides or even discusses abortion risks losing all US foreign aid. As a result, the aid agencies which are trying to provide medical care for these women and girls are hamstrung, and they will probably end up having to bear the children of their terrorist rapist torturers, even at the cost of their own lives. Because “pro-life”!

  40. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Y’all, our way of life in this shitshow of a country could be threatened! We must keep the lesser humans from taking away our pretend picket fences!

    If women have control of their own bodies no matter what fire will rain from the skies and society as we know it will fall. Surely there is some reason for men to control them body and mind? Wizards? Depopulation? My cock is lonely?

    *Prepares wrecking ball*
    *Adjusts safety goggles*
    *Swings for the fence*

  41. anteprepro says

    God fucking dammit this thread is depressing. If anyone comes in and reads the thread backwards, seeing my comment first: Heads up, everything should have a trigger warning. Just…fuck.

  42. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    When someone tells me to think of all the poor babies that won’t be born because women cannot be forced to birth them I counter with:
    “What about all the babies that are never conceived because women cannot be forcefully impregnated?”

    Joshua beat me to the punch there and seems to think both are a great idea. That’s not controversial. Men all over the world rape women and girls and force them to birth their offspring every single day. Woman is still the slave to the slave. There is nothing lower than a female human according to most of the world’s men. We’re livestock, bought, sold and controlled from the cradle to the grave. Sexual and reproductive slavery is standard practice and has been throughout most of human history. In the places I have a small piece of ground I can freely stand on men like Joshua fantasize about taking that ground away and they make those fantasies a reality whenever they can. It’s in the news daily. It’s in our laws. It’s in the culture of rape I will never live to see completely eroded. Josh and men like him are not dealing in hypotheticals and they know it.
    I do too. The whole Horde knows. Never forget that. Never let them get away with pretending anything else. When they holler “Freeze Peach!”, “Satire!”, “Evopsych!” and “Thought experiment!”, keep letting them know you don’t buy it.

  43. drst says

    “If a tree falls in the forest, then bounces back up as a joke, do the squirrels freak out?”

    — a more genuine “thought experiment” than Josh’s crapfest?

    (Credit where it’s due, I originally saw that quote on a greeting card.)

  44. Saad says

    Joshua Shaffer: “Tried this in another atheist group, got banned LOL.”

    Becoming somewhat of a motto for our little rapist, isn’t it?

  45. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    If a tree falls in the woods, would the other trees laugh at it?

  46. savant says

    anteprepro @ 43 pg 2

    Also, he certainly didn’t take the opportunity to think from this. And the only resolves that were strengthened were his, in stubbornly defending his abject idiocy, and everyone else, in their opposition to his inane, odious ramblings.

    The fact that they go around places trying to teach instead of learn is pretty much the biggest reason I feel safe in ignoring what they say (nevermind the fact that what they say tends to be horrible). Anyone who enters a discussion with the thought that “I’m right, these people need to be educated” is at the least hopelessly arrogant and is certainly not going to be someone capable of changing their mind. Safely put into the “not worth listening to” box.

    It’s sad just how many of those people claim to be *skeptics*.

  47. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Fell in the woods.
    FFS. I need an editor for my internet comments.

  48. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    It’s sad just how many of those people claim to be *skeptics*.

    Sadly, “skeptic” has become redefined these days as “privileged asshole who thinks he’s smarter than everybody else.”

  49. anteprepro says

    Someone explains on the FB thread, regarding someone having a negative response to Joshua’s hypothetical bullshit:

    Yeah, Kate definitely was having a panic attack or some other extremely strong emotional reaction to the discussion. She participated minimally, was clearly a rape survivor, and because she said that in the hypothetical scenario she’d kill Josh, Josh gets to say “Welp, no need to feel empathy for her!”

    Because PTSD is to be scorned, not understood and dealt with, I suppose.

    Joshua on FB sez, in regards to someone asking if someone had a panic attack:

    According to Douggy, i suppose.

    100% optional to participate in, why would you choose to participate in something that causes you to have a panic attack?

    Whatever the opposite of empathy is, Joshua is a fucking fountain of it.

  50. numerobis says

    Giliell @46: I skipped the step of assuming, as the asshat does, that there’s no consent. If there’s consent, everybody is happy, so there’s no conflict to talk about. I was going on the angle of if there’s no consent, what have populations done historically? My guess is “every possible thing.” And I backed that up with the sordid tale of an isolated population that decided the answer was to set up a culture where women were raped as a matter of course starting at age 12.

  51. numerobis says

    But on further reflection I’m going to ditch the concept that procreation was actually the determining factor there. I have no reason to believe that it is.

  52. thelastholdout says

    anteprepro 62:

    That person doing the explaining is me. I shouldn’t keep engaging the piece of shit, but it’s hard to stop myself. He’s just too disgusting to not try to scrub him from the Internet.

  53. azhael says

    It’s interesting, and by that i mean disgusting, that to this empathy starved idiot, the idea of the continued survival of humans is so overwhelmingly important that it’s worth the actual well-being and humanity of the living individuals. The abstract is what matters…the actual suffering of human beings is nothing…

    Christ…i’m so sick of these intellectual babies that think they are being profound and challenging people’s axioms and shit….They only think their vacuous bullshit is challenging because their depth of thought is meassured in nanometers. The pathetic part is that they think they are true intellectuals and they meet in dark corners of the internet to pat each other in the back for their bravery and willingness to challenge and provoke others….Jesus fucking christ…if they could see how fucking ridiculous they look…
    And to think there was a time when i might have thought similarly (and no, i wasn’t 8 years old, i was an adult)….:S Brrrrrrrr……it gives me shivers.

  54. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    100% optional to participate in, why would you choose to participate in something that causes you to have a panic attack?

    Nothing new there. Rape victims are constantly told they are “too emotional” to speak “objectively” about rape. That conveniently allows rapists and their apologists to dominate every single discussion of rape. It’s silencing tactic. It’s the equivalent of “Why are you hitting yourself?”.

    I’ve heard that one since I was a kid. “If you’d toughen up it wouldn’t hurt when I bully you.”
    “If you’d stay home or learn Judo and carry an Uzi you wouldn’t have to be afraid to walk the streets at night.”
    Same shit. Different day. It never ends.

  55. Saad says

    anteprepro, #62

    Joshua Shaffer on Facebook: “100% optional to participate in, why would you choose to participate in something that causes you to have a panic attack?”

    Yeah, 100% optional to participate in. Just like sexual intercourse.

    What a joke.

  56. drst says

    Jackie @ 60 – I think you were okay verb-tense wise.

    I hope the trees wouldn’t laugh at some other tree for falling down, but I tend to anthropomorphize heavily.

  57. anteprepro says

    thelastholdout: Good to know, just didn’t want to name the innocent :P

    Very valiant effort you are putting into it there. I wish I had some advice about how much effort was too much to put into dealing with an obtuse and repugnant troll. I have no clue, honestly. Just good luck with fighting as long as you deign appropriate.

  58. drst says

    Josh’s goalpost moving on what was “objective” reminded me of this quote I saw on Tumblr recently:

    The most dangerous thing society teaches boys and men, especially white boys and men, is that their emotions are objective logic and reason and that anyone who disagrees is being irrational. Source.

  59. thelastholdout says

    anteprepro: I appreciate the support. At this point the shitstain is doubling down on his insistence that he’d even rape his own mother to continue the human species. I think that’s as good a point as any to bow out of the discussion. But who knows, maybe I’ll be dragged back in for another installment in the franchise.

  60. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says


    If a woman says:
    “If you sexually harass me I will pepper spray the eyes right out of your face”
    “If you grab me, grope me or threaten me in a way that makes me think I might be raped, beaten or killed, I will slice you up like a salami before you can blink.”

    …and you think this is a threat meant for you, it is. Because the only people threatened by those remarks are a clear and present danger to the woman making those statements. If a man hears the words, “I would kill my rapist three times.” and he takes that as a threat, he’s a fucking rapist.

    If a man says, “I’d rape you if I thought it was a good idea” then a woman can say, “I’d kill the dog shit out of you if you tried to rape me”. That’s self defense not murder.

  61. anteprepro says

    Regarding “optional to participate”: Plenty of people saw his horrible hypothetical without participating. Same with those reading these threads. This is the equivalent of saying “just scroll past” or of saying that people who think you are saying horrible things should just stop listening to you. It is an entitled and insensitive Freeze Peach absolutism, characterizing all objections as irrational and overly emotional “offense”, and focusing entirely on how you have The Right to say whatever you want instead of at all caring about whether you should, and how it affects people. Essentially, Joshua wants a place where he can freely masturbate in public, and anyone that is disgusted by it or did not want to see Joshua performing sexual acts in the middle of the street, should have just gone elsewhere and looked elsewhere.

    The metaphor is appropriate considering he uses a nipple as his avatar and links to dick pics. The man does not understand boundaries at all. He does not respect other people. And yet he wants us to believe that he is a philosopher instead of a random, idiotic asshole trying to justify rape.

  62. thelastholdout says

    “Essentially, Joshua wants a place where he can freely masturbate in public, and anyone that is disgusted by it or did not want to see Joshua performing sexual acts in the middle of the street, should have just gone elsewhere and looked elsewhere.”

    It’s funny you mention that, because I got Josh to admit in his original thread that he thinks kids should see adults naked all the time.

  63. says

    At this point the shitstain is doubling down on his insistence that he’d even rape his own mother to continue the human species.

    Somebody please forward it to his mother. It’s one of the circumstance where I’d approve of disowning your kid.

  64. Nick Gotts says

    As animals, our ultimate goal is the continuation of our species – Joshua Shaffer@219

    I know others have already commented on both the ethical repugnance of using this claim to justify rape, and its scientific illiteracy, but it’s still remarkable that the self-proclaimed fearless champions of rationality and realism – Shaffer and Otvos – are so abysmally ignorant about both evolutionary biology (evolution is not driven by individuals striving for “the continuation of the species”), and meta-ethics (even if it were, it would not follow that it is ethical to violate individuals’ bodily autonomy to promote that end).

  65. anteprepro says

    thelastholdout: Out of the blue, out of context, I would not consider that statement inherently problematic. It’s just nudism. But, considering what we know about Joshua, I am not going to be anywhere near that charitable. All signs point to Creepy Fucker for him.

  66. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    These proponents of “grey areas” do not want to hear any of that because if a woman is hurt when a man “misunderstands” consent, that’s fine by them. But if a man fails to acknowledge and respect a woman’s bodily autonomy and a man get’s hurt trying to hurt her, that’s just the absolute worst thing that could happen ever. How dare she? What if she’s lying? What if she did it for the attention?
    As if there is no motivation for the rapist to rape or lie about it after the fact.

    If an atheist man at a conference got punched for biting a leg or groping a breast, they’d call the cops and cry about the injustice for years. They’d be supported by the same people supporting them right now.
    “Guys, don’t do that” got death and rape threats. The harassment is ongoing today. If the next person Shermer tries to rape on the JREFs time manages to break his arm or knock out his front teeth, that victim of assault will have to fear for his or her life in perpetuity.
    Why? Because the only reason these apologists don’t rape is because they haven’t had the opportunity or they fear retribution as mild as people having a poor opinion of them, not because they think it’s wrong. They want silence. They want compliance. They want their excuses and lies to be accepted at face value. They want absolution from their community. They do not want to hear of women fighting back, be it with words or with actions. Violence toward women is something abusers want to ensure they get away with. Even a victim refusing to keep her rapist’s secrets alarms them. Women being raped? Well, that just happens like weather and it’s most likely her fault.

    Women fear fighting back because what our abusers do to us has nothing on what other abusers will do to protect them.
    “Charity” can go fuck itself. There is no confusion. There are people who don’t think rape is OK and people who do.

    I don’t dig around trying to find the details of the pitter’s lives. They do that to people who stick up for rape victims though. They’ll threaten you, your family and everyone who supports you. They’ll try to trigger you until you can;t fight back. They did it to Oggie and they’d do it to every one of us. That’s terrorism. Yet, they will read this thread and make much of the idea that I’d be happier to hear of a rapist getting his comeuppance than another woman being raped. Up will be down. Black will be white and I’ll be the bad guy.
    *straightens black hat*
    *Rides into the sunset, cackling all the way*

  67. says

    Amused @ 42, you are spot on, with everything, and every word highlights the idiocy of the ‘would rape be okay if” scenario.

  68. freemage says

    I watched a movie not long ago. It’s called “After the Fall”, on Netflix.

    It’s not a good movie. I’d even say it’s a bad one. It’s full of logic fail, science fail, ethics fail, and so on. So I don’t feel bad for spoiling it here. It’s a college classroom, last day of class, some sort of high-level philosophy class in some sort of tropical paradise. Anyway, the professor announces that last-day exercise is going to be a thought-experiment. 20 people, facing an Armageddon event, have to decide who gets to stay in the bunker for one year, and who has to wait outside and be burned to death by radiation (that somehow is going to be completely gone in one year, because I said the science is bad, right?).

    And the professor keeps adding stipulations and new conditions and rules. And at one point, ‘We need to set aside space for procreation’ becomes ‘We will only be allowed to merge with other bunkers if we have at least one viable child’ and finally ‘Our current, consensual couples aren’t succeeding at breeding, so we’ll have to mix it up and all the women will need to accept all the men taking turns with them.’

    So why am I mentioning this? Because even this really bad, shitty movie, takes the right position here–it’s made utterly clear that a humanity that decides a rape-protocol is acceptable is a humanity that deserves to die, and that only a narcissistic douchebag would come up with the scenario (it turns out that the professor is only doing all of this because he’s trying to ‘punish’, psychologically, the student he’d been sleeping with until recently, and the student that she started sleeping with instead of him). In every one of the three ‘run-throughs’, the students reject the professor, forcing him to show that he’s just a manipulative fuckhead who can’t believe they can reject him. Sounds a bit like Our Josh, actually.

  69. says

    Joshua Shafer has a big problem.

    Humans have senses for the detection and analysis of social threats. They are reasonable instincts and emotions and they get to be used. When these instincts and emotions are applied to behavior that relates to significant social problems (like the very real rape problem) scanning for socially threatening behavior gets be benefit of the doubt. JS could actually be honest in his intent to have a discussion involving serious things without hurting anyone, but that intent is completely and utterly meaningless in a real-world context.

    A reasonable person must be able to tell the difference between:
    *A social predator engaging in aggression and dominance behaviors meant to strengthen or weaken specific social behaviors and feelings about behaviors
    *Someone being genuine but inept about an emotionally sensitive subject.

    JS is taking a role here that puts them into a position that makes it hard to tell the difference between a social predator weakening attempts to fight social behaviors and perceptions that allow rape, and a socially inept philosopher. That is precisely the sort of place that a social predator would hide in. As a person who has to watch his own social aggression instincts, I smell my own kind of human here. Few things are more satisfying to a person like me than finding a morally and ethically valid way of doing some social combat of my own. So I’m going to have a little fun with JS even though I am late to the party.

    Social dominance and a predatory context.
    So what does social aggression do in a really general neutral sense that attacks both behaviors that could be good or bad? It causes pain over and over with repeated dominance displays arranged in a specific social context in order to shape the behavior around them to their benefit and/or the benefit of others.

    You see it in other animals and you see it in humans as well. One version of this is an adult application of the “I’m not touching you!” dominance game that children play where one comes really close to touching the other child and makes a big deal about what they are doing verbally and physically. It inflicts a feeling of social pain and helplessness, and possibly triggers a corresponding dominance display in the socially challenged person.

    A social predator threatened by the sensitivity to the issue of rape displayed by those of us who want to end rape would need to find a way to inflict pain over and over in a social context. These features of the dominance displays are relevant to how Joshua Shafer looks to me:
    1) The pain infliction would be disguised in a manner that makes it possible that the person was not really trying to inflict pain. Dominance behaviors have to be in some socially acceptable and recognizable form to socially receptive peers* and must pass some sort of standard to be something that could be used over and over with some social plausibility.
    A “socially receptive peer” here could be an unrepentant admitted rapist, a rapist who does not want to believe that what they do is rape, a social peer or family member that does not want to believe that the person they care about could rape and other similar people.

    2) The pain infliction would take the form of social role-modeling. A social predator does not only want to put their target in their “proper place”, they want to see their actions get repeated by peers who are socially receptive. Number 1 is the emotional “hook” that allows the motivated reasoning that hides this behavior. They must transform what they do into a “good thing” that hides the bad.

    3) The repeated pain shows the person affected by rape that they can do nothing and are socially powerless. The pain is meant to exhaust individuals or socially vulnerable groups through the sheer number of times that persons experience it and are unable to effectively counter it.

    4) If the person socially attacked in such a manner or one of their allies fights back, numbers 1 and 2 give an emotional hook that allows the predator to try to make the reasonable counterattack look unreasonable to socially receptive people. They will take every effort to incite outrage over the reasonable counterattack.

    5) A social predator invoking a concept in a harmful manner will be vague or specific depending on strategic needs. Staying in the non-specific philosophical realms can allow the predator to have an excuse for just about any challenge as they can invoke just about any potential counter example. It’s the casual and callous use of the general concept that is relevant to JS.

    6) A social predator must avoid attacks. So they will engage in behavior that makes their defenses stronger and their attacks more effective.

    Let’s look at some of JS’s comments and see how they measure up. I’ll just focus on the first ones but I have looked at all of them. It’s quite revealing stuff.

    In their first comment in #36 with some connections to other comments,

    OP, here. Nobody was forced to participate in the thought experiment. Just because you find the topic reprehensible doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed.

    This ignores the pain inflicted on people affected by rape by seeing a terrible thing turned into something good and treated casually. It presents the situation in an unreal fashion because a reaction to something in perception is not forced. The strategy is to ignore the pain and characterize the reasonable counterattack as unreasonable.

    The question was left intentionally vague, like any good philosophical thought experiment, so that the answerer could make up the details for themself and be as creative as they want to be.

    This is frankly, utter bullshit. Many of JS’s comments are rationally and logically contaminated by this textual fecal matter and it’s precisely the sort of thing involved in Dawkins’s behavior.
    While it is possible for there to be random philosophical thought experiments that are not and cannot be anchored to reality, the value of a thought experiment is entirely in what the results can do for people. Useful things are used, useless things are discarded. So I have to ask, what is the usefulness of this thought experiment?
    JS admitted that this was not an experiment that was to be tied to reality (see his comment in #49 and related discussion), and the question itself is pretty clearly harmful to people affected by rape. So right from the start this was not meant to do anything positive for people suffering because of rape. If not solving suffering what is the use of this thought experiment?
    ALL human behavior has a reason. The original post made it clear that JS was motivated by the emotional reactions of groups of atheists that encounter his question and attempts to use it.

    “Tried this in another atheist group, got banned LOL.”

    JS meets resistance that amuses them and they proceed to repetitively force the useless (beyond JS’s predatory amusement) thought experiment in what is a dominance display. No matter what other things JS might bring up, this is a primary motivating factor.

    Since this is what a rapist that seeks to dominate people hurt by rape would do it is reasonable for people criticize JS for enabling rapists by being part of a culture that makes rape worse. I have no reason to believe JS in #398. I see no evidence of empathy from him. Empathy is not something that just comes automatically in every situation. It’s mostly automatic for your psychological in-group. But for out-groups you must actually create empathy to remove the bias from our conflict-related mindware. That effort is part of how you show you are not a social predator.


    Fascinating to see anyone who claims to value free thought attempt to silence people by calling them rape apologists.

    This is a transparent means of twisting the best case scenario perception of his predatory behavior (enabling rape culture) into a strawman. Freethought does not mean and never meant all ideas are valid, useful or acceptable. This is an appeal to a standard does not exist because using a vague symbolic name. Symbols are always somewhat vague so they have an obligation to explain their use of this symbol.

    I understand the emotional responses, and they are valid given the highly controversial nature of the question, But attempting to silence others from participating is cowardly and unbecoming of anyone who claims to value intellectual discourse.

    Deep down JS and every other person displaying dominance behavior knows that repeated criticism and harassment (which are often the same) results in changed behavior. These people survive politically by muddying the waters around actions that do have a valid social use. I for one have no problem criticizing dominance behavior that makes social problems worse using insulting characterizations.

    Simple hypocrisy demonstrates the problem, JS has no problem repeatedly presenting an unwelcome, offensive, and useless (beyond dominance behavior) thought experiment. That dominance behavior is meant to make people affected by rape stop resisting offensive and useless behavior related to rape and what causes it. But repeated criticism of a level emotionally proportional to the outrage at his experiment, intent, and effects in a real-world context are somehow “silencing”.

    JS should grow a spine and some introspection at the minimum. They role-play a pretty good rapist acting socially to defend what they do at best, and at worst are a rapist. Given the real-world nature of the rape problem people are allowed to make a decision which of these JS is for themselves. After all it is JS’s fault for portraying himself this way.

  70. anteprepro says

    And Ormond Otvos is back, to troll and evade and evade and troll! Oh frabjous day! Or will they actually dare to pin themselves down, and answer actual questions, such as those posed on this page at 22, 24, and 46? Or, heaven forbid, will they attempt to refute arguments?

    Since they haven’t said much of substance so far, I won’t be holding my breath. But one can dare to dream.

  71. says

    @Ormond Otvos 85
    How adorable. The pup thinks they are somehow effective beyond the primate social version of pissing on a tree.

    Brony: “ALL human behavior has a reason.”

    And I’m the one to Jesuitsplain it to you.

    Since you took a little tiny snip from my post and gave your abstracted emotional characterization of the rest with absolutely no reasoning and logic whatsoever, you are functionally name-calling and thus ignorable. I happen to be a person so familiar with insults and insulting characterizations that you leave me amused at the simplistic nature.

    Like all people who desire to win at the expense of being correct about reality what you see as an insulting characterization is empty fluff to anyone appreciating the conflict. You either expect other people to simply accept your insulting characterization (which is the social purpose of the form of your comment), or you are simply getting off on the emotions of your little dominance peck. Such things are only effective in large numbers that can’t be reasonably dealt with.

  72. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And I’m the one to Jesuitsplain it to you.

    Not based on your ignorant and deranged bloviating opinion prior to this. Try and I will laugh at you, as it will be funny and bad.

  73. Menyambal says

    I found JS to be too triggering to deal with, and I know that I am nowhere near the most traumatized person around. Brony and everyone else, thank you.

  74. says

    No, thank you Menyambal.

    What I tried to do with my comments should be a social obligation, if it were not for the fact that society is not so good at showing people who are more influenced by their more aggressive instincts how they can express them best. I’m happy that I have managed to do that to at least some extent.

  75. says

    Adding to my previous comment…

    In fact what PZ has done here can be a good social use of socially aggressive instincts. Ideally this post managed to be a sample of the behavior that creates rape culture. No one forced JS to be here and there were people present who were willing and able to explain why he and his behavior were a problem. Was it a worthwhile exercise and teaching moment? Only if any harm that allowing their presence here created is prepared for and outweighed by the value created for people harmed by rape and rape culture by those of us who are able to create that value and set a situation up to minimize harm.

    The dissection of JS’s textual corpse can be a satisfying and useful affair but only if those of us who can, do.

  76. savant says

    Rawnaeris @ 92,

    Given Brony’s excellent insights above, I’d have to say it was another dominance display. “I can be offensive and you can’t do anything about it.” Same with the picture he posted.

  77. Goblinman says

    Now that JS is gone, I’ll actually bother making a serious post.

    It’s pretty simple: If JS’s ‘hypothetical’ were to come up in a work of post-apocalyptic fiction, the person or persons suggesting rape would be the villains, and they would end up dead by the end story. Just like any would-be tyrant character–to hell with whatever dystopian ‘perfect society’ he’s created. If you’re trying to save people by oppressing them you’re the bad guy.

    This is not hard to figure out when it comes to other forms of oppression, but apparently JS and his buddies get confused when sex is involved.

  78. David Marjanović says

    I can’t read 594 comments without staying up all night, but a few quick searches indicate that this hasn’t been posted yet.

    Sure, that’s no proof; Longwood, FL, does have less than 14,000 inhabitants, though, or so I read.

  79. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Does that mean that brive was tangentially supporting a sex offender? Naaaaah.

  80. zenlike says

    David Marjanović,

    Online white pages lists 10 Joshua Schaffer‘s living in Florida (and some additional variations on the name).

    One of them lists the address of your sex offender. Another lists an address of Longwood, the city listed on ‘our’ Joshua’s FB page. So seems at first glance to be coincidence.

    Now don’t get me wrong, Joshua has admitted himself he is a potential rapist, so I pretty much think he is vile scum. But linking him to a convicted criminal demands a bit more proof.

  81. anat says

    The proponents of the original scenario for some reason think that people with consequence-based moralities should set aside all considerations in the face of species extinction, and seem not to understand why secular people are unimpressed.

    I think they don’t understand what good consequence-based moralities are about. My morality is primarily about reducing suffering and harm. For a consequence to be undesirable there has to be someone with capacity to suffer who is being hurt. Extinction of the species per se isn’t such a case. If all people decide voluntarily not to reproduce and live comfortably to their last day – no harm has been done. On the other hand, if all humans are killed by the detonation of a nuclear device there is tremendous harm – not because the species goes extinct but because people die who would have rather lived and because people suffer terribly as they die. Species can’t suffer. Neither can abstract ideas such as ‘morality’. Individual humans can. People who weren’t born can’t suffer either.

    And here is where morality regarding concern for future generations (as in for example considering environmental issues) fits in: if we had reason to believe that there will not be a future generation of humans then maybe it would be reasonable to do everything to improve the immediate comfort of people of the current generation, use up resources with no regard to externalities. (There is likely a limit where the partying ends up harming the people still around, as well as causes suffering to non-human beings.)

    But if with all likelihood people are going to keep getting born we need to limit our impact on the environment in order to avoid forcing said future humans to live in suffering. This is different from the argument from species survival. this is saying that given that there will be future humans we need to avoid causing them unnecessary suffering.

    Do we have a responsibility to ensure future humans exist? No. (Even without considering extremely harmful means to make this happen.) Though those of us who choose to reproduce can do so. What we do have is a responsibility to ensure, to the best of our ability, good lives to humans who exist and to humans we can reasonably expect to exist. And that includes protection from violation of said people’s persons.

    I don’t see how this is hard.

  82. Tethys says

    I think Ormond is also a slymey who went by the nym abear, he was banned by Chris Clark for rape apologetics.

  83. says

    Ormond Otvos @85:

    And I’m the one to Jesuitsplain it to you.

    Couldn’t come up with a substantial rebuttal to any of Brony’s points, so you opted for a vapid response, eh?

  84. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think Ormond is also a slymey who went by the nym abear, he was banned by Chris Clark for rape apologetics.

    While I can’t comment comment on the ‘nym, I did know Ormond was a Slymey™ from their first post. Hence, nothing they said with evidence in triplicate would be listened to. And their unevidenced views? Dismissed immediately.

  85. says

    What bothers me is that the original scenario is beyond wrong. If humans were facing extinction, there would be numerous ongoing catastrophic events, regardless of a mass die off of humans. Right now, even if there were a mass die off of humans, we’d hardly be facing extinction, given our current population.

    The only purpose of any “would rape be okay if…” scenario is to get people to say “yes, that would be an acceptable exception.” It’s both ridiculous and useless to take any such scenario seriously.

  86. says

    What bothers me is that the original scenario is beyond wrong. If humans were facing extinction, there would be numerous ongoing catastrophic events, regardless of a mass die off of humans. Right now, even if there were a mass die off of humans, we’d hardly be facing extinction, given our current population.

    The only purpose of any “would rape be okay if…” scenario is to get people to say “yes, that would be an acceptable exception.” It’s both ridiculous and useless to take any such scenario seriously.

  87. says

    I’ve been thinking, and what JS’s argument reminds me of is a small child teasing someone, only much nastier.

    “I’m not touching you yet!”, while getting closer and closer. ” Well, is this rape? Is this? How about this? What if X? How about Y? Well? Well? Why are you so upset? I was just asking!”. Bad, bad stuff.

    Thanks to all of you who have been fighting the good fight, here and in all the other threads.

  88. says

    That dick pick situation is just begging for a look when I can later. I can’t tell if I would rule it conscious or not as I have not looked at the screen shots of the Facebook page yet, but I can think of so many ramifications of forcing your junk on someone or naturally coming up with a psychologically pleasing justification of the act depending on one’s back ground.

  89. eggmoidal says

    Apparently, to Joshua and his ilk, the elders of the post-apocalyptic Topeka had an acceptable solution to their problem of all sterile underground males – strap any captured fertile male who looks like Don Johnson into a gurney and milk him for 35 “brides”, then kill him. According to Josh, the rapes are OK since they are for the excellent cause of preventing human extinction in Topeka. I’m sure after some similar “thought experiments” (like, cannot allow more than 35 “brides” or the gene pool gets too shallow) they can justify the killing too.

  90. bassmike says

    I agree whole-heartedly with everything that people have pointed out is so wrong with the ‘thought experiment’. But one other thing that struck me is that the claim is the survival of the human race is paramount. But in the scenario 50% of the people necessary for continuing the human race are obviously not of this opinion or force would not be necessary. Therefore shouldn’t the views of half the people concerned be taken into account?

    Note that I have not made reference to the respective genders of the parties involved. But we all know why one of the people’s views is irrelevant!

  91. carlie says

    What bothers me is that the original scenario is beyond wrong. If humans were facing extinction, there would be numerous ongoing catastrophic events, regardless of a mass die off of humans. Right now, even if there were a mass die off of humans, we’d hardly be facing extinction, given our current population.

    That, and it’s worded in such a way to make you think they’re talking about a single case. In order to stave off extinction, you need a large gene pool, therefore many dozens of pairings with at least a few hundred individuals, and it would need to continue full-pace for many generations. When you rephrase it as “raping hundreds of people over several generations” it sounds a bit worse, doesn’t it?

    You want your “thought experiment” about extinction, you still have to contend with the realities of extinction.

  92. vaiyt says

    Thought experiment: what if the only way to save the world was for me to get what I want at the expense of your suffering?

    Protip: that’s not a “thought experiment” as much as it is a “masturbatory fantasy”, and don’t be surprised when other people don’t indulge you.

  93. says

    Also, let’s not forget that in out little Apocalypse a large proportion of the remaining population has decided that not reproducing is the ethical thing to do. Maybe because no more obestetrics. No more paediactrics. Return of infectous diseases…
    But clearly, mass rape, reproductive slavery of women, massive childbed death, massive neonatal death, high infant mortality, no price too high to pay…

  94. Pteryxx says

    Dana Hunter bringing the hammer: #CancelTheDuggars – Replace it with this, #TLC

    If there was any justice in the world, your network would be DOA after this. But alas, you’re not going away. Wretched cesspools of scum and evil that love to doll up far-right nonsense and call it good while ignoring the criminal elements within make more than enough money to survive – just look at Fox “News.” But maybe somebody there at TLC has a conscience. And maybe they’d like to somehow make this right, but they’ve gotta do it while making their evil overlords their filthy lucre. So here’s what you do:

    Start a series exposing the dark underbelly of the Christianist movements.

    Give the victims a voice.

    There are thousands of them, you know. There are young women who were turned into virtual sex slaves by their employers (Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, and Steve Gothard, for a start). There are children denied their very identity as US citizens, unable to function as bona fide adults because their parents are so fucking paranoid or controlling, abusive assholes that they never got them birth certificates or any other documentation, or withheld those documents when their kids tried to leave. There are countless sexual abuse victims, some of whom are probably strong enough to get in front of a camera and tell their stories. There are horrific stories of physical abuse, and children disciplined to death, using the same horrific child-rearing book the Duggars promote, and used behind your backs. There are so many stories that need telling. So many evils to expose.

    Much more at the link.

    She’s currently doing a read-along of Carolyn Jessop’s story “Escape”. That would be a great start.

  95. anteprepro says

    I still can’t get over someone arguing that we must rape in order to continue the human species, because otherwise Good wouldn’t exist anymore. It may be the most potent combination of evil and idiocy I have ever seen.

  96. twincats says

    Why would rape even be necessary? That’s what I don’t get.

    Has all of the medical equipment in the world been destroyed in his scenario? What about all of the turkey basters? Eye droppers? Drinking straws?? No one has to touch anyone else in order for the reproducin’ to happen, the way I see it, anyway. Not that undergoing any of the above against one’s will is in any way okay, either. That’s just rape by proxy.

    Aaaand I just answered my own question, didn’t I?

    I guess I just wanted to take the fun out of it for the rape apologists. If they’re so concerned for the survival of the human species, they should be okay with wanking in a separate room from their intended victims, right? Right??

    This is, of course, also ignoring all of the very good posts of others who made great points about what humans actually need to perpetuate themselves besides sperm and ova meeting. My point just makes me believe even more that JS is a HUGE rape apologist wanker who wants to harm people.

  97. microraptor says

    @twincats- I thought it was pretty obvious that JS was just trying to figure out some sort of way to rape someone without suffering any negative consequences. Especially once he started with the cries of “death threat!” after other posters said that they’d respond to that situation by killing the would-be rapist in self defense.

  98. twincats says

    Oh, it’s very obvious. I just thought his little “thought experiment” failed on a whole ‘nother level. I might have been wrong there; he and others might be just fine with tormenting women with unwanted procedures and pregnancies without any actual contact.

    In the name of saving our obviously necessary species, of course. /eyeroll

  99. hyrax, Social Justice Blood Mage says

    I see I’ve missed the main event, but here’s what’s been bothering me ever since JS popped up to explain his “thought experiment.”

    Rape, something we generally agree to be absolutely impermissible under any circumstance

    But that’s the thing! There are people out there who don’t agree. I have met at least one of them, and he raped me. For him, the answer to the question “Is it ok to rape someone if it prevents the extinction of the species” is already answered– in fact, so is the question “is it ok to rape someone if i really want to but they say no.” For a non-negligible number of people, the answer to that question is non-hypothetically YES. Not in some fantasy, in our real world. People (overwhelmingly male) sexually assault other people (overwhelmingly female) already. Every. Fucking. Day.

    And that what makes your hypothetical a non-starter, Joshua. 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. There are ALREADY people out there who’ve decided it’s ok to rape. Wanking on and on about when you, personally, think it’s ok does nothing to challenge the rapists already out there, and only pisses off anti-rape advocates.

  100. =8)-DX says

    #592 @Rawnaeris, Knight of the Order of the Glittery Hoo Ha

    “Why is his [JS’s] avatar a [male] nipple? Is he trying to say he’s equally useless?”

    Presumably, Joshua uses a dark-haired nipple avatar in order to better support the veracity of his penis photograph, because of the high probability that someone in a thread he starts concerning the rapocalypse is offended by his experiment at thinky, and proceeds to make fun of the how small his idea was (no response), how small his intelligence is (some response), or how small his penis must be (explosive, emotional response, followed by posting of said photograph and “see, it’s gorgeous!”).

    I’m rather surprised PZ left this on for so long – and without a trigger warning at the top.

    Because Joshua is an obvious, complete and self-admitted troll:
    tl;dr; checklist:
     [✓]  Posts offensive material for his entertainment at getting an outraged response. (OP)
     [✓]  Is intentionally vague on premises (#36, #62, #87, #94, #162, #215, #284) while stubbornly convinced of his conclusions (#107, #254, #284, #359, #466).
     [✓]  Being disgusted at what he says is your fault (#36, #55, #174, #265, #338), saying he’s disgusting is silencing or threats (#40, #171, #185, #228, #242, #338).
     [✓]  Claims to be ultimately logical (#174) while committing basic errors in logic (#49, #61, #107, #104, #168, #188, #255, #233, #264, #369, #395, #403).
     [✓]  Pretends to be gender-blind while discussing a strongly-gendered issue (#50, #75, #197, #226, #311).
     [✓]  Everyone is emotional, he is rational (#325, #384).
     [✓]  Pretends complete innocence, naivity and good intent (#241, #287, #301, #323, #356, #398).
     [✓]  Posts pictures of genitals to prove his worth (#82, #174, reposted by Paloma #182 dick pic).

    It’s a textbook troll of the 90s variety. Complete with “but this is an internet discussion, it’s not *real*”, the mentality of inexperienced netizens on chatrooms where “pretending to be a cat wizard and laughing at noobs” was the norm (I was there).

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m rather surprised PZ left this on for so long – and without a trigger warning at the top.

    This happened while PZ was returning from Europe, with most of it while flying from Chicago to Minneapolis, then driving home to Morris, where he collapsed into bed from his posting times.

  102. A. Noyd says

    azhael (#66) [#566]

    It’s interesting, and by that i mean disgusting, that to this empathy starved idiot, the idea of the continued survival of humans is so overwhelmingly important that it’s worth the actual well-being and humanity of the living individuals. The abstract is what matters…the actual suffering of human beings is nothing…

    It’s required to be an abstract because if it were more specific about things like, say, what counts as a “human being,” Joshua might have to acknowledge that he’s begging the question that the results of his thoughtless non-experiment would actually be a preservation of what came before. However, humanity could not go through a severe genetic bottleneck and a total change to the functioning of our society and not come out something different. Just sticking the label “human being” to both doesn’t make them the same.

  103. Tethys says

    There is one point that has been niggling away at me. Now that the slyme has been disinfected , I will attempt to put it into words, and perhaps others who are so good at this type of deconstruction will chime in. PZ touched on it in the OP. It seems a perfectly innocuous sentence, but it strikes me as one of the ways in which rape culture is embedded and invisible.

    very close to the personal justification of rapists right now — they’d never get any sex if they didn’t just take it, so their own gratification is warrant enough to cause others pain and misery.

    The literal conflation of rape as a type of sex, is a monstrous category error. One would never discuss murder as if it was a normal aspect of life. Whenever people discuss rape however, the term is often used interchangeably with the word sex. The language itself contains the same unexamined assumption/motivation behind every single dude who has whined that harassment policies will interfere with flirting/ leg biting/ casual consensual sex. If you think like JS, your internal model of the entire area of human sexuality is a male sports competition with winners and losers and rankings and scores where rape is just some unwanted sex, or an abstract triviality, so unimportant/mundane as to be not worth discussing. It is the metastasizing cancer at the base of our cultural brainstem. The dominion of man over all of ‘creation’ is so normalized within our cultures that many atheists do not see that they are fighting tooth and nail to uphold a religious ideal. (happily they keep losing, but damn it I am so tired of MRA a-holes who attempt to shame atheists for refusing to validate their pet horror show criminal mental complex dick pics with all due attention. I left that shit behind with my religious faith.)

  104. petrander says

    Hmmm… My comment is gone or has never arrived. I apologize, but this is merely a test.

  105. says

    Tethys @123:

    There is one point that has been niggling away at me. Now that the slyme has been disinfected , I will attempt to put it into words, and perhaps others who are so good at this type of deconstruction will chime in. PZ touched on it in the OP.

    I think you did a fine job of that yourself.

    The dominion of man over all of ‘creation’ is so normalized within our cultures that many atheists do not see that they are fighting tooth and nail to uphold a religious ideal.

    Hmmm…read in light of the above, Joshua Shaffer’s “thought experiment” reads like entitlement mentality married to a violent sexual fantasy married to a male power fantasy (saving all of humanity).

    I think I need the puke bucket again.

  106. says

    petrander @124:

    Hmmm… My comment is gone or has never arrived. I apologize, but this is merely a test.

    It’s possible your comment contained a word that tripped PZ’s filter. That would put it into moderation until he fishes it out.