Cenk Uygur, NoelPlum, voices of sanity in Shermer, PZ Myers dispute

NoelPlum99 has presented one of the most salient analyses of the anonymous — OK fine, anonymous to us — rape allegation against Michael Shermer that I have seen thus far. In this video, he imagines a scenario in which PZ Myers and Michael Shermer sit down together for a drink, similarly to the story the anonymous woman wrote about Shermer’s alleged wine glass-tipping tactics:

What if Shermer continued coercing Myers to have just one more drink over a good conversation, say, and by the end of the night, Myers was drunk and attempted to drive home with Shermer in the passenger seat. While on the road, Myers runs over and kills a person.

Who would be responsible in this scenario: Myers or Shermer? We and the law would hold PZ Myers responsible for choosing to continue to drink past what he knew to be the legal limit, for getting on the road, endangering other people’s lives and failing to call a cab instead. It would be absurd to imagine that Shermer would be responsible for a person’s actions simply by encouraging them to have more drinks, unless, Shermer, as I pointed out here and as NoelPlum duly noted, poured the alcohol down his throat or otherwise physically forced Myers to keep tipping them back.

But in the second case that Myers presented, the incident that “tells you exactly what kind of behavior to watch out for with him (Shermer),” according to Myers, the woman presumably could have a) stopped drinking and b) could have told Shermer that she was tired and wanted to end the conversation and go home. Yet, she continued to drink willingly; again, there’s no indication from the information we have that Shermer physically forced her to continue imbibing.

The issue here is whether a person is still responsible for their actions after becoming inebriated, and the answer is yes, unless of course, the victim is physically forced to imbibe to the point of delirium or if the person has reached a point that she is too drunk to know what’s happening. Hundreds, if not thousands of Americans, have sex after a few drinks every day in this nation, and further, scores of people each day have a one night stand after drinks and live to regret their actions the next day. Drunk sex isn’t rape. Forced drunk sex is rape. Thanks to Cenk Uygur for bringing some sanity to this discussion:

About the Author

Jeremy Styron
Jeremy Styron
I am a newspaper editor, op-ed columnist and reporter working in the greater Knoxville area. This is a personal blog. Views expressed here are mine and mine alone.

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