Atheism, morality, autonomy and the logic of a “right” to sex with donkeys


Without  the  transcendent  (supernatural)  we  are  all  simply  chemical reactions  obeying  the  laws  of  physics. 

No  metaphysical  concept  of  good and  evil  or  “ought to”   could   be derived  from our  chemical  reactions  certainly  no  more  than  they  can  be  derived  from :

acid   +  base   =  salt  + water

Atheism has no explanatory  power and , certainly,   it  is  unable  to  explain why  in the context  of  a  purposeless  world  with apparent , but  not  real design,having sex with a donkey is  wrong and should not be a legal “right”.



Thursday, Dec 13, 2012 04:03 PM EST

A legal defense of donkey sex

A man accused of feeling up a farm animal argues an anti-bestiality law is unconstitutional. Does he have a point?


The prosecution of a Florida man accused of having sexual contact with a miniature donkey is unconstitutional, according to his lawyers.

In a court motion, the defense claims that the state law against bestiality deprives 32-year-old Carlos Romero of his “personal liberty and autonomy when it comes to private intimate activities.”

But it’s actually not quite as crazy a move as it might seem. The lawyers aren’t arguing that Romero necessarily has a right to sex with donkeys, or any other farm animals for that matter. They’re specifically targeting the language of Florida’s anti-bestiality law, which does not require proof that an animal has been harmed or “of the sexual activity being non-consensual,” or even of penetrative sexual contact.

The attorneys write, “Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright ‘disgusting.’” And that, they argue, is unconstitutional: “The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties.”

If, however, “the statute were to require sexual conduct with animals to be nonconsensual or to cause injury in order to be a crime, then perhaps the State would have a rational basis and legitimate state interest in enforcement,” they write.

It may be an opportunistic defense, sure, but it also brings up some interesting, if squirm-worthy, questions: Why should bestiality be illegal? Is it because it’s socially unacceptable or because it causes harm to animals? If it’s the latter, is it OK for people to have sexual contact with animals in cases where the animal isn’t harmed?

I don’t want to get too graphic here, but Romero is accused of masturbating against the donkey. Given our relationship to animals as food, definitions of harm, not to mention violation of consent, can get very complicated — and you can bet Romero’s legal team is hoping that will help their case.

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Tracy Clark-Flory Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter.

This entry was posted in Atheism, Atheist Morality, autonomy, bestiality, Design, incoherence, Objective morality, privacy rights, Richard Dawkins, Sexual rights, sodomy laws. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Atheism, morality, autonomy and the logic of a “right” to sex with donkeys

  1. You stated:
    “No metaphysical concept of good and evil or “ought to” could be derived from our chemical reactions certainly no more than they can be derived from :

    acid + base = salt + water”

    If there is a physical basis for morality, it would not be as simple as a 1+1=2 equation as you have posited. If you were to make a fair argument, the equation would have to take into consideration an astronomically large number of variables.

    Consider this argument:

    A computer could never produce an interesting interactive game because all that computers do is differentiate between a 1 or a 0.

    Well, a singular 1 or 0 may not be interesting, but given enough 1s and 0s, complexity emerges that seems to have NO RELATION to 1s and 0s, even though that is the true basis of a computer program.

  2. How could any natural process, however complex or emergent, escape from the determination
    imposed upon it by the laws of physics and chemistry ?

    • I didn’t say that. Perhaps you misread my statement.

      • For morality to be real we must have free will i.e we must be able to make choices independent of physics and chemistry which, if we are wholly material, fully determine all about us.

        How can free will and morality be coherent concepts if we are fully determined ?

      • I’m not sure I understand how the issue of free will has any conflict with morality. I don’t even think we have free will, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have morality. Can you explain why you think it would?

      • The more 1s and 0s the more complex the phenomena produced but those phenomena will be no more free or any less determined by the laws of physics and chemistry.

      • There is nothing in the laws of physics and chemistry that prevents the encoding of morality in the human genome or, in my example, in a computer program.

        01000100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01110011 01100101 01111000 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101110 01101011 01100101 01111001 00101110

        There, I have just encoded some basic morality into binary. It wasn’t that hard. I don’t see where the conflict is.

  3. You have encoded a behaviour.

    What determines whether this or any behaviour is moral ?

    What about those who are programmed to perform diametrically opposite behaviours –
    can they act otherwise ?, are they immoral ? and what is the basis for your conclusions?

  4. morality |məˈralətē; mô-|
    noun ( pl. -ties)
    principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
    • behavior as it is affected by the observation of these principles : the past few years have seen a sharp decline in morality.
    • a particular system of values and principles of conduct, esp. one held by a specified person or society : a bourgeois morality.

    ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French moralite or late Latin moralitas, from Latin moralis (see moral ).

    As regards the need for free will isn’t the essence of morality the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and the capacity to choose one over the other ?

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