Pre-marital sex immoral, no religion allows it: court

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A Delhi court has acquitted a man accused of entering into a sexual relationship with a woman on the “false promise” of marrying her, saying pre-marital sex is “immoral” and against the “tenets of every religion”.

In his ruling, additional sessions judge Virender Bhat also said every act of sexual intercourse between two adults on the promise of marriage did not become rape.

“When a grown up, educated and office going woman subjects herself to sexual intercourse with a friend or colleague on the latter’s promise that he would marry her, she does so at her own peril.”

The judge further held in his ruling a fortnight ago, “She must be taken to understand the consequences of her act and must know that there is no guarantee that the boy would fulfil his promise. He may or may not do so. She must understand that she is engaging in an act which not only is immoral but also against the tenets of every religion. No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex.”

Written By: Hindustan Times
continue to source article at hindustantimes.com

29 COMMENTS

  1. “No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex.”

    The assertion of a universal negative not easily susceptible of disproof? One counter-example would overturn it.

    The inability of religions to adapt moral codes to a changed world illustrates well their fundamental ethical failure. It rests upon two assumptions ; the naturalistic fallacy, that what ‘is’ is what ‘should be’ and the adoption of spurious universality. They all fear David Hume.

    “She must understand that she is engaging in an act which not only is immoral but also against the tenets of every religion.”

    NB not “He must…”

    and though the judge separates morality and religions (in some unspecified way) he clearly thinks religion ‘reinforces’ morality, as if morality was incapable of evolving; something the history of the growth of civilisation categorically refutes.

    Ethics are not, and never have been, the study or practice of religion. It is incapable of ethical behaviour not antithetical to its fundamental tenets. Religion cannot be moral.

    • In reply to #3 by Geoff 21:

      They all fear David Hume.

      Unfortunately most atheists don’t even know who Hume was let alone theists fearing him but I disagree with your point. Hume’s dictum is about trying to find an ultimate human rational justification for religion. I think religion (if true, a big if) would provide such a justification.

      Hume’s point is you can’t jump from Is to Ought. But what a religion does is provide the ultimate Ought foundation. It provides you with one axiom you have to believe on faith: God created the universe and what is moral is to do God’s will. Now that in itself you are right can’t be proven with reason even if we assume religion, but that isn’t the way religion works. Religion (unlike science) is fine with saying “we can accept this as true just because it’s true and we know it so shut up”. In a math proof they call that an axiom.

      I actually think that is one of the under appreciated facts about religion from a philosophical standpoint, that religion provides a way out of the Is Ought problem that rationalism can’t, at least not yet.

      BTW, that doesn’t mean I think religion is good or true, there have always been questions that religion provided an “answer” for that science didn’t, before Darwin how human life came about for example was such a question.

      • In reply to #5 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #3 by Geoff 21:

        They all fear David Hume.

        Unfortunately most atheists don’t even know who Hume was let alone theists fearing him but I disagree with your point. Hume’s dictum is about trying to find an ultimate human rational justification for religion. I think religion (if true, a big…

        “before Darwin how human life came about for example was such a question”

        Long after Darwin, the same question stands.

        • In reply to #6 by Fritz:

          In reply to #5 by Red Dog:
          “before Darwin how human life came about for example was such a question”
          Long after Darwin, the same question stands

          If you are saying that even after Darwin and even now there are still countless questions we don’t have the answers to, e.g., how did life itself start or how did consciousness evolve, was it one or many adaptations, etc. I agree. That is the way science works, you answer one question and it raises ten more.

          My point was just that before Darwin creationism was a rational intellectual position because there was no way to understand how such apparent design could emerge without a designer. Darwin answered that question.

    • In reply to #3 by Geoff 21:

      “No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex.”

      The assertion of a universal negative not easily susceptible of disproof? One counter-example would overturn it.

      The inability of religions to adapt moral codes to a changed world illustrates well their fundamental ethical failure. It rests upon t…

      Raelians. There is your counterexample. (plus a whole bunch of other weird cults.)

  2. Sex outside of marriage is as good as sex inside it. The most unnatural position to take is no sex at all and the 2nd most unnatural position is to think sex can only be legitimised by some hocus pocus. What morals have to do with it I’m not sure. Not so long ago women who had children outside of marriage where considered moral delinquents and locked up in lunatic asylums with all the syphilitics. In Ireland they enslaved them in laundries. So what is moral about that? Nothing at all but then religious ‘morals’ are not about making people happy they are about making people feel guilty.

  3. It is the general goal of human societies that children be provided for by their families. In the past that has taken the form of getting girls married off as soon as they were able to start having children. All that changed with the development of effective family planning.

  4. Well leaving aside his religious observations, which are irrelevant, it can hardly be the basis of a legal action in a sane society for a woman to say “but I thought if I slept with him he’d marry me”.

    Where would it end…?

  5. “Hume’s dictum is about trying to find an ultimate human rational justification for religion. I think religion (if true, a big if) would provide such a justification.”

    Rational justification, right.

    “Now that in itself you are right can’t be proven with reason even if we assume religion, but that isn’t the way religion works. Religion (unlike science) is fine with saying “we can accept this as true just because it’s true and we know it so shut up”. In a math proof they call that an axiom.”

    Maths is by nature tautological. The shape of your argument for the axiomatic nature of religious justification is asymmetrical. Religion is not true by virtue of its form in a comparable way. Any attempt to distill truth from a solitary axiom needs a definition which tells us its properties clearly and unambiguously. Since when has religion been capable of (or indeed, motivated to provide) this?

    “what is moral is to do God’s will”

    …an incoherent axiom and leading question. Answers need have nothing to do with truth and a bayesian approach would be inappropriate here. I see what you mean about paradigm change with Darwin but am not convinced that the apparent design argument was ever scientific in the sense that, for instance, Kuhn uses it in ‘The structure of scientific revolutions’. There was no body of previous research about ‘creation’, just mounting discrepancies between evidence based science and the original flawed assumption.

    Going back to the judge, he suffers from a legal education… where justification relies upon precedent; looking backwards whilst travelling forward; blindness to the present… in moral terms a bit like a politician.

    • In reply to #11 by Geoff 21:

      “Hume’s dictum is about trying to find an ultimate human rational justification for religion. I think religion (if true, a big if) would provide such a justification.” Rational justification, right.

      This is why it’s almost impossible to have an intelligent discussion on this site. There is so much hatred for religion, if anything you say can in any way be (mis)interpreted as saying something positive about religion in any sense the Dawkiban will jump all over you for being an atheist apostate.

      You misinterpreted what I said and you changed my words. I never said that “”Hume’s dictum is about trying to find an ultimate human rational justification for religion” I said he was trying to find a rational justification for morality.

      And my point was that IF religion was true, if you accept as true the axiom that morality means doing God’s will then you have a rational basis for morality. Saying that doesn’t mean it’s a good or true basis for morality. I of course think it’s false, there is no God nor any evidence for Her so you are correct in that sense the idea of doing God’s will isn’t very coherent as a justification for morality.

      But it’s not because the idea itself is inherently illogical. Nothing you said supports that. It’s because it’s based on a flawed premise, that there is a God in the first place.

      • In reply to #15 by Red Dog:

        This is why it’s almost impossible to have an intelligent discussion on this site.

        This is why it’s almost impossible to have an intelligent discussion [on religion] … Almost but not impossible unless someone says…

  6. E-mails exchanged between the two were placed before the court as defence evidence. The mails, he added, showed it was the woman who insisted upon having sexual intercourse with the accused despite no assurance from him on marriage.

    and

    The 29-year-old accused from Punjab was arrested by police a month after the woman lodged a rape case against him in May 2011. She then did a secretarial and administrative job at a private company here.

    It seems He is the victim of a lying gold digger. He is well rid of her.

  7. In a similar case, a man who married a woman on the basis of her being a virgin, has no case, as he should have known every act of marriage between two adults on the promise of virginity did not become fraud.

    “When a grown up, educated and office going man subjects himself to marriage with a friend or colleague on the latter’s promise that she was a virgin, he does so at his own peril.”

  8. Alan4

    'No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex.'
    

    “Who cares??? (Unless you include RCC priests.)”

    Who cares? Many unmarried people all over the world oppressed by religious law care. Part of sorting out potential future partners is sex and being locked into a relationship forever without that rather important compatibility shows the value religion accords unnecessary suffering.

    old-toy-boy

    “It seems He is the victim of a lying gold digger. He is well rid of her.”

    Just couldn’t suspend judgement any longer, eh?

    • In reply to #17 by Geoff 21:
      >

      ‘No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex.’

      Alan4 – “Who cares??? (Unless you include RCC priests.)”

      Who cares? – Many unmarried people all over the world oppressed by religious law care. Part of sorting out potential future partners is sex and being locked into a relationship forever without that rather important compatibility shows the value religion accords unnecessary suffering.

      I think we should differentiate between not caring about what religions says, and having to care about what the religiously deluded do to others.

  9. The judgement talks about other religions as if implying that they all have something in common. Its interesting (perplexing?) that some religions regard other different religions as aligned with themselves in some way, closer than a neutral stance, such as Atheism. In reality other religions represent antithetical concepts of deities and blasphemous accounts of the cosmos, differences that often lead to war and persecution (Sunnis versus Shiites, Catholics versus everyone else (the Inquisition), there’s a long list of examples, unfortunately). Atheism, with its lack of contradictory religious belief (non-belief), you would think would be seen as the buddy to all. But I guess believing in the existence of a mythical super being is a fairly crazy concept in the first place.

  10. Sorry if I misunderstood you Red Dog, that is however what you wrote, and quote.

    The points I make are applicable to morality (rather than religion) also. Your ‘axiom’ is not irreducable and therefore unaxiomatic. It is not a syllogism. Further, it calls for assumptions about the nature of god, how that is known and why doing his will is necessarily moral.

    I know and respect your position on many points but was motivated here by the word ‘rational’ about which we might agree. What I was trying to say was not how wrong is religion but that an incoherent assertion “morality means doing God’s will” cannot form the structural basis of any rationale.

    • In reply to #21 by Geoff 21:

      The points I make are applicable to morality (rather than religion) also. Your ‘axiom’ is not irreducable and therefore unaxiomatic.

      In some logical systems that may be a requirement but not in logic as I know it. I thought in modern logic an axiom was simply a statement taken as a given. In any case I wasn’t making some claim about how religion solves all moral or even any moral problems. I was stating a hypothetical, IF you think it’s true that doing the will of God is the ultimate test of morality then you have an escape from the Is Ought problem. The justification is of course useless if your premise (that good equals the will of God) is false as I think is certainly true.

      It is not a syllogism. Further, it calls for assumptions about the nature of god, how that is known and why doing his will is necessarily moral.

      I know and respect your position on many points but was motivated here by the word ‘rational’ about which we might agree. What I was trying to say was not how wrong is religion but that an incoherent assertion “morality means doing God’s will” cannot form the structural basis of any rationale.

      Any statement can be part of a logical system. That’s just basic logic and set theory, the whole point of the system is that you abstract from the ambiguity of natural language and have a rigorous system. You can program an automatic theorem prover to reason about unicorns and sphagetti monsters and it will spit out valid logical inferences that are all conditional on the premises being true.

      In classical logic I know there was some idea that your axioms were “obviously true” or just true by definition or whatever but that’s not modern logic. In modern logic an axiom is just a statement you assume to be true. I double checked by dusting off my copy of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy and looking it up (on the off chance you have a copy it’s under Logical Terms, Glossary of) and it says

      Axiom: A basic proposition in a formal system which is asserted without proof and together with the other such propositions all other theorems are derived according to the rules of inference of the system.

  11. Since the beginning of humanity, men have been lying to women to get in their pants and women have been and are still falling for it. The wrongdoing was not the premarital sex but the lying. However, while lying is wrong, it’s not illegal. The very fact that a case such as this one was taken up in a court of law is pathetic. It’s indicative of a primitive, backward legal system.

    • In reply to #22 by NearlyNakedApe:

      The wrongdoing was not the premarital sex but the lying. However, while lying is wrong, it’s not illegal. The very fact that a case such as this one was taken up in a court of law is pathetic. It’s indicative of a primitive, backward legal system.

      Unfortunately as she accused him of rape, the court was probably obliged to run the case, which although the judge gave a ridiculous judgement he did give the right decision. Still you would think it shouldn’t have gotten as far as a trial before she was told it is not against the law to have pre-martial sex (if indeed it is in India). However I did jury service in a modern Western country and I have first hand seen cases that should have never gotten to a court case. I’d say we likely all live under primitive legal systems.

  12. Early settlers in australia would often take a common law wife or husband because in isolated places it could be months or even years before a minister or magistrate would visit. Would that be pre marital sex?

  13. In fact its Just as well humans did the opposite of this assertion and had sex when they were ready to for thousands of years …the human race would not have reached 6000 years ago if people had needed to be married to have offspring….Its only after religion begins 3000 years ago that marriage suddenly becomes essential and sex becomes taboo and mysterious ???
    All tribal systems are different – its whatever works for your group….marriage is sometimes no more than sexual slavery for the woman….and contractual agreements to raise offspring though marriage is not essential for that either…
    People are capable of committing to each other and their offspring and a legal document does not make a difference if the intent to work together and perhaps some love is not there….

  14. rod the farmer I wish I could give you a big fat kiss! Amen my friend.

    It truly works both ways!

    Both these people seem better off without the other. Too bad they didn’t end up married though. Now, they’ll go off and marry and 4 people will be miserable instead of just 2.

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