Tuesday, August 04, 2009
A question for the missionaries
The Fundamental Attribution Error happens (all them time) when people attribute poor behavior to the fundamentally bad nature of the people who are behaving poorly--when in fact, it is a matter of their choices and especially circumstances.
We know that poor behavior is significantly a function of circumstance because of evidence from trials, like the Milgram Experiments and the Stanford Prison Experiment.
As far as I'm aware, there are only two reasonable interpretations of said evidence. We can decide that virtually all people are fundamentally bad, or we can decide that virtually all people are fundamentally malleable. I believe that people are fundamentally malleable.
If we accept this premise (and you're welcome to debate it with me), we come swiftly to the conclusion that the circumstances in which people are placed, circumstances shaped by our societal institutions, are of paramount importance.
Having laid this groundwork, I now pose a question which applies to any conservative (/"conservative"?) form of Christianity. Research has shown that three greatest predictive factors for how frequently rape happens in a given society are:
-Separation of genders
-Level of power women hold
-General level of interpersonal violence.
Therefore, why would God--presuming there is a God, who desires a world where the occurrence of rape is minimized, within the constraint of preserving human agency--set up organizations and social structures in which genders are segregated and women are prohibited from holding primary power positions?