Is rape acceptable or unacceptable in your worldview and why? What do your scriptures (if any) say?

Atheist View

The Atheist Perspective

As rape requires a lack of empathy, and at least moderate empathy is essential to human happiness, if what damages your own happiness is immoral, then rape is an expression of an immoral character, and therefore itself immoral. Pursuing rape damages a rapist's own character and his prospects for genuine personal happiness. For in the act of rape he becomes the sort of person he himself can only despise when sane (as he would despise anyone who raped him). And as women do not desire rape nor consent to it, it is in their rational interests to retaliate against rapists, with immediate violence if possible, and otherwise through prosecution, incarceration, vilification, and shunning, recruiting society to their aid. Both facts entail that rape bears a greater risk to the rapist than any shallow and fleeting benefits it could obtain.

Accordingly, any rational man who had full and correct information about how raped women feel, and what sort of person he becomes if he ignores a person's feelings and welfare, and all the actual consequences of such attitudes and behavior, both to himself and his society, would agree raping a woman is wrong and not anything he should ever consent to.

Atheism, Christian Theism, and Rape

Atheist view Christian view

Christian View

The Christian Perspective

The God of the Bible condemns rape, and therefore, so do Christians.

Beginning in the book of Genesis, we read about God's condemnation of rape:

Genesis 34:2-7 (NASB)
When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this young girl for a wife." Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; but his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob kept silent until they came in. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. Now the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved, and they were very angry because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.

We further see specific penalties attached to the act of rape in the Mosaic law:

Deuteronomy 22:25-29 (NASB)
If in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her. If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

Rape is an immoral act that goes directly against the command of God and His perfect moral law.

Having said that, God sometimes causes sinful people to do horrible and immoral things to other sinful people for His own perfect reasons. Once in a while, we know what those reasons are, and once in a while, we do not. Let's take a look at Zechariah:

Zechariah 13:8-14:3 (NKJV)
"And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.' Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle."

Here, it is clear that the Lord God will use criminal rape (among other things) to refine the people of Israel, much as He used murder and natural disaster to refine His servant Job in the book of Job. God will then fight against the rapists and invading armies, and punish them for their actions.

To many, this may sound odd, that God causes humans to perform evil deeds and then punishes them for what He caused them to do, however, it is not only clearly taught in scripture (please read the book of Romans, specifically 9:19 and the surrounding section, where the apostle Paul responds directly to this issue), but it is also logically impossible for anything else to be the case.

Like all sin, rape is an action deserving of death (Romans 6:23), however, the Bible teaches that Christ died for sinners, taking the penalty for our sin on His own shoulders, being punished in our place. If you have ever committed this horrible act, God calls on you to repent (Ezekiel 18:32; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30) and to turn to Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23, 10:9), the only One who can make you right (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) with the God who justly condemns you (Romans 1:20, 3:23, 6:23, 9:14).

God bless.

Atheist view Christian view