She was unaware, so it wasn’t an unpleasant experience

Let’s say someone put drugs in a girls drink to make her pass out later. When the time comes, they rape her while she’s unconscious, and he uses protection for some reason. She was unaware, so it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. The rapist probably enjoyed it. There was no harm done, and the girl just wakes up. Why is that considered wrong?


    This is in response to the article, "Where does morality come from, if not God?"

    I'll try to respond to this without trivializing rape.

    Rape is harm.

    Before continuing - reading the question, it occurs to me that you may be using a more narrow definition of harm than I am ("physical injury or mental damage; hurt")[1], whereas I'm using a broader sense, "moral injury; evil; wrong" (including emotional/physical), which is also in the dictionary reference.

    That said, the idea that no physical harm was done isn't correct. There's lost time from being drugged that she'll never regain, in the only life she'll have. The drugs rendered her unconscious, which is a physical harm - like punching someone in the head, knocking them out. (Does your concept of "harm" narrowly require the assault damage to be permanent?). Sex does wear out the body, even on a minor level (think of playing any sport - the accumulative damage).

    Then there's the risks of the physical contact itself - bacteria and/or virus transfer. That's additional resources her body spent fighting anything like that off. We're risking non-STD transfers like crabs or lice, etc. The intense physical contact we're talking about here is literally "putting her in harm's way".

    It would have been obvious to her that she was drugged, didn't know where she was during that time, and why she she woke up somewhere else (did this rapist decide to place her exactly back in the chair at the bar, or wherever they were?). This would create permanent emotional trauma.

    Even your contrived scenario is a complete failure at removing the emotional and physical harm. I'm glad you're poorly practiced at coming up with them.


    We can set the above aside, though. Let's further exaggerate this increasingly unlikely exception case - suppose she wasn't proactively drugged, but simply passed out from drinking too much, and the rapist was completely clean. In addition, the before/after states of her losing consciousness were somehow identical, from her location, to the status of her clothes/belongings, etc.

    Her bodily rights were permanently harmed. Her privacy was permanently harmed.

    These aren't minor issues. These are important enough to us that the U.S. constitution implicitly protects it. Humanity regards these rights almost sacred. (Do you want to discuss the paranoia surrounding governments possibly forcefully micro-chipping their civilians, violating our bodily rights?) Sexuality is one of the most private and intimate things to humans, and we zealously want to control over our own bodies and interactions. 

    Though I believe it's bullshit, many cultures put a lot of value of virginity (which would be permanently harmed by rape). Even the Bible has the death penalty for a woman "incorrectly" losing her virginity[2].

    This response should have started with bodily rights, but apparently you - who apparently have, just now in your life, been introduced to the novel concept that rape is harm - needed to be lead down the scenic route.


    A religious moral system doesn't solve the "rape is harm" question. A system - where, what's happened to the man or woman isn't a factor - only whether some invisible person made or established a rule - is a staggeringly amoral system. It just becomes about following rules, where consequences of reality don't play a role.

    The gist of secular morality is that it's about groups of people getting along. People have boundaries, and rape is clearly a violation of one of those boundaries. 


    What I'll do is update the article and clarify the word "harm" to reduce confusion on a common word.