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Answering Michael Martin's
"Atheism, Christian Theism, and Rape"

by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith


Michael Martin is to be commended both for addressing an important issue, the ethics of rape (though he is actually responding to Christians who challenged atheism) and, more significantly, for compelling Christians to defend the standards of Mosaic law in order to defend the character of the Christian God. His is exactly the kind of argument atheists should use. If the Bible is Gods Word, then its teaching about social law, even in the Old Testament, should reflect the character of the One who revealed it. Atheists are right to pressure Christians to defend what they believe. And if the Bible is what it claims to be, Christians have nothing to fear. Indeed, as a matter of historical fact, it has often been through the pressure of those who opposed Christianity that the Church has progressed.

Martin advances three contentions. First, that Christians cannot prove that atheistic ethics is necessarily subjective. Second, that Christians themselves cannot escape “Euthyphros Dilemma.” Third, that the Biblical teaching on rape displays an attitude toward female victims that is “insensitive and chauvinistic.”


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