Relativism and the Mistreatment of Women

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Dear visionaries,

Susannah’s questions presuppose a foundational solidarity and allegiance between all men, based on gender alone, and a solidarity of all women, based on gender alone. But there are other factors affecting what she lists, things like suspect statistics, Hinduism, famine, wars, etc.

But when it comes to those things that really are done against women on the basis of some twisted notion of masculinity, why are all males supposed to feel a sense of responsibility for this? If some machismo guy beats up his wife and kills her, why are men generally charged with this? On what basis? When it comes to such violent crimes against women, I am entirely in favor of a judicial response involving a tall tree and a short rope. But then I will be accused of being calloused because I support the death penalty. I might be wrong in one direction or another, but I cannot inhale and exhale at the same time. It is beyond my competence to be wrong in two opposite directions simultaneously. Men who abuse women violently in this way should be given a fair trial, and, if convicted, executed on the following Tuesday. This might be a little too hard line for Quaker tastes, but in no way is it an endorsement of the mistreatment of women. So, which is it? Am I in favor of violence against women, or in favor of violence against those who are violent against women? I can’t be both.

And last, it should be noted (yet again) that all moral claims require a moral foundation. Misogyny is a sin because God hates it, and He will judge those guilty of unrepentant continuance in this sin on the Last Day, along with those guilty of other sins against His Word. But if there is no God, or no judgment, or no fixed moral standards, then everything reduces to a matter of personal preference. And if you are an enraged Hindu, whose personal preference was to have received a larger dowry, Susannah has outlined for us what happens then. True relativistic multi-culturalism will have to swallow an awful lot. Open wide!

In the meantime, Garry finds no fault with what I said, so he stoutly takes on all those positions I repudiate (but have no doubt harbored somewhere in the recesses of my heart). Thus out-maneuvered, I yield humbly and sue for peace.




“Apologetics in the Void” are repostings from an on-going electronic discussion and debate I had some time ago with members of our local community, whose names I have changed. The list serve is called Vision 20/20, and hence the name “visionaries.” Reading just these posts probably feels like listening to one half of a phone conversation, but I don’t feel at liberty to publish what others have written. But I have been editing these posts (lightly) with intelligibility in mind.


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