The High Cost of Free Love

The sexual revolution has taken its toll on an entire generation, but the biggest losers have been women. Despite all the feminist nonsense that men and women are identical, they are not. Women are as different in their sexuality as in any other area. By trying to be just like men, especially in terms of their sexuality, women have let themselves down big time.

Despite the hype and propaganda of shows like Sex and the City, women are not primarily free-wheeling sex machines. While many women may enjoy the one-night stand just as much as men, most long for something more: for relationship, for commitment, for intimacy.

(Saying all this in no way lets men off the hook. Male sexual predators are no role model, and promiscuity of any kind is to be condemned. But it does seem that women by nature are more likely to seek monogamy and committed relationships than men are. The anthropological and sociological research tends to confirm what we already know by common sense.)

Thus the sexual revolution of the sixties has unleashed untold damage on us all, but especially on women. At least that is how one former groupie and free-love addict tells it. Writing in the January 14, 2007 Sunday Times, Dawn Eden argues that morality, chastity and monogamy are far superior to casual sex, free love and unrestrained hedonism.

She begins with these thoughts: “The Sixties generation thought everything should be free. But only a few decades later the hippies were selling water at rock festivals for $5 a bottle. But for me the price of ‘free love’ was even higher. I sacrificed what should have been the best years of my life for the black lie of free love. All the sex I ever had – and I had more than my fair share – far from bringing me the lasting relationship I sought, only made marriage a more distant prospect. And I am not alone. Count me among the dissatisfied daughters of the sexual revolution, a new counterculture of women who are realising that casual sex is a con and are choosing to remain chaste instead.”

She gives a bit of biographical background: “I am 37, and like millions of other girls, was born into a world which encouraged young women to explore their sexuality. It was almost presented to us as a feminist act. In the 1960s the future Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown famously asked: Can a woman have sex like a man? Yes, she answered because ‘like a man, [a woman] is a sexual creature’. Her insight launched a million ‘100 new sex tricks’ features in women’s magazines. And then that sex-loving feminist icon Germaine Greer enthused that ‘groupies are important because they demystify sex; they accept it as physical, and they aren’t possessive about their conquests’. As a historian of pop music and daughter of the sexual revolution I embraced Greer’s call to (men’s) arms.”

She describes her life as a groupie and a “liberated woman”. But it was not all sweetness and light. “But in all that casual sex, there was one moment I learnt to dread more than any other. I dreaded it not out of fear that the sex would be bad, but out of fear that it would be good. If the sex was good, then, even if I knew in my heart that the relationship wouldn’t work, I would still feel as though the act had bonded me with my sex partner in a deeper way than we had been bonded before. It’s in the nature of sex to awaken deep emotions within us, emotions that are unwelcome when one is trying to keep it light.”

The free sex philosophy is a lie, says Eden: “Whatever Greer and her ilk might say I’ve tried their philosophy – that a woman can shag like a man – and it doesn’t work. We’re not built like that. Women are built for bonding. We are vessels and we seek to be filled. For that reason, however much we try and convince ourselves that it isn’t so, sex will always leave us feeling empty unless we are certain that we are loved, that the act is part of a bigger picture that we are loved for our whole selves not just our bodies.”

“Our culture – both in the media via programmes such as Sex and the City and in everyday interactions – relentlessly puts forth the idea that lust is a way station on the road to love. It isn’t. It left me with a brittle facade incapable of real intimacy. Occasionally a man would tell me I appeared hard, which surprised me as I thought I was so vulnerable. In truth, underneath my attempts to appear bubbly, I was hard – it was the only way I could cope with what I was doing to my self and my body.”

She continues, “The misguided, hedonistic philosophy which urges young women into this kind of behaviour harms both men and women; but it is particularly damaging to women, as it pressures them to subvert their deepest emotional desires. The champions of the sexual revolution are cynical. They know in their tin hearts that casual sex doesn’t make women happy. That’s why they feel the need continually to promote it.”

Part of her way out of the sexual wilderness was a conversion to Christianity, via the writings of G.K. Chesterton. She concludes with these words:

“One night last year I had dinner with a male friend, a charming English journalist I would have dated if he shared my faith (he didn’t) and if he were interested in getting married (ditto). He peppered me with questions about chastity, even going so far as to suggest that maybe, given that I’d been looking for so long, I might not find the man I was looking for. ‘That’s not true,’ I responded. ‘My chances are better now than they’ve ever been, because before I was chaste, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s only now that I’m truly ready for marriage and have a clear vision of the kind of man I want. I may be 37, I concluded, ‘but in husband-seeking years, I’m only 22’.”

This article is part of a new book she has just penned, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On (Thomas Nelson, 2006).,,2092-2545852,00.html

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39 Replies to “The High Cost of Free Love”

  1. Upon hitting puberty, the amount of testosterone (the libido-producing hormone) in males shoots up from being roughly three times that of females to a whopping 10 to 15 times their amount. Nuff said.

    Francis Gamba, Melbourne.

  2. That sounds great, Bill. I do hope Dawn Eden gets swept off her feet and into a wonderful marriage with a Godly man.

    However, it is too true that folks today are blinded and brainwashed by the sexual revolution, believing that sex is merely a physical event to be enjoyed like the adrenalin rush of abseiling, or the gratifying desire for eating chocolate.

    Where is the aspiration for that beautiful, intimate, secure and wonderful marriage? Is the building of a strong, powerful identity – even your own little dynasty if you like – of the family unit even desirable today?

    What are fathers doing to protect their daughters from this anti family costly ‘free love’ ideology.

    Are there no examples for today’s youth to aspire to?

    Jeremy Peet

  3. Thank you for posting this piece, Bill. I also believe the so-called free love/sexual revolution has brought men and women very little of worth and a great deal of pain. Mention STDs and you’re lectured about condoms. Mention the risk of pregnancy and you’re lectured about how abortion is every American woman’s constitutional right. Quote statistics that show those whom live together before marriage have a higher divorce rate than those who did not AND have less satisfactory sex and they blow the truth off. When I debate men who espouse the idea that prostitution should be legalized, they use arguments that make me feel like I’m debating with sexual prowlers whom have never had a genuine emotional connection to a woman, even those men I know whom are married.

    I believe the Apostle Paul had it right. It is better to marry than to burn (with lust). It should be understood that a woman’s need for sex is primarily emotional, NOT physical. Even secular material confirms the emotional connection is what makes sex fulfilling for women. For that reason, it’s not a coincidence that lesbians are far more likely to settle into long term manogamous relationships than homosexual men.

    BTW, I am quite familiar with the covers of Helen Gurly Brown’s Cosmo magazine. Every month the cover features a young beautiful model dressed in bizarre clothing that left little to the imagination along with the come ons about secret sexual tricks guaranteed to make your man “howl in bed” and keep him coming back for more. That begs the question, just how many sex secrets can there possibly be and why can they only be found in Cosmo? And why would any man desire a woman dressed in clothing that looks far more appropriate on a 4 year old child just learning how to dress herself than a mature woman…unless he had a dark side you probably don’t want to know?
    M.E. Huffmaster

  4. Bill,

    You article seems to imply that there are only two possibilities, virginity until marriage or promiscuous, casual sex at every opportunity. In my experience, few women fall into either category, and I think you and your correspondents do women a great disservice with your assertions.

    Finding an acceptable life partner is a chancy business, and marrying the first person you happen to fall in love with is a ridiculous expectation. You need to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.

    I understand that about 80% of couples now live together before marriage. It seems far more sensible to do that than to blindly enter marriage with no idea what your partner is like to live with day in and day out.

    I observe that some Christian groups teach that the man should be head over the woman and she should submit to him. Well, sorry, but very few women are prepared to accept such patronising domination. That’s one thing we have to thank the sexual revolution for.

    Bronwyn Kingsley, Brisbane.

  5. Thanks Bronwyn

    For billions of people throughout human history these indeed have been the two options, and they have not been all that difficult to maintain. It is just the secularists/leftists who appear to find them so onerous. As Santayana once put it, “the chief aim of liberalism seems to be to liberate men from their marriage vows.”

    The reason so many people reject their Christian upbringing and embrace atheism is not because of intellectual arguments, but because people want an excuse for their immorality. Jesus said it well in John 3: people refuse to come to the light because their deeds are evil, and the light exposes their darkness. That is the real heart of the issue for those who reject Christ.

    As to the problems of cohabitation, I have documented them elsewhere on this site. Just one bit of sociological evidence will suffice: Those who cohabit before marriage are 50 % more likely to then divorce than those who do not.

    And of course your last paragraph is a complete red herring, with no bearing on the discussion whatsoever.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Bronwyn said:
    “I observe that some Christian groups teach that the man should be head over the woman and she should submit to him. Well, sorry, but very few women are prepared to accept such patronising domination. That’s one thing we have to thank the sexual revolution for.”

    Whilst Bill warned that this was a red herring, I would like to take up the challenge of a response nevertheless.

    If few women are prepared to accept “patronising domination”, why do you implicitly assume that it is okay for them to exercise “matronising domination” over men?

    What is it about domination that makes it so bad? If it is purely that it is exercised “patronisingly” ie. by men, then are you not holding a view as sexist as any male chauvinist pig?

    And if not, then I hope you would use equally scornful invective to excoriate any and all dominatrices you might come across.

    John Angelico

  7. John,
    I don’t implicity assume that it is OK for women to dominate men. Where on earth did you get that idea?

    As a humanist, I think that men and women are equally responsible for the relationship, and I would reject any domination by one over the other as a recipe for marital disharmony.

    Perhaps that explains why atheists have a lower divorce rate than Christians or Jews:
    (Barna Research Group)

    Bronwyn Kingsley, Brisbane

  8. “The reason so many people reject their Christian upbringing and embrace atheism is not because of intellectual arguments, but because people want an excuse for their immorality.”

    Bill, Are you serious? Do you honestly believe that sentence? What about Buddhist’s or Hindu’s? Are they immoral as well since they reject the Christian God?
    Ben Green

  9. Thanks Ben

    In that sentence I was specifically referring to atheist bloggers on this site who have admitted to a Christian upbringing which they have since rejected. That is the context of that remark.

    As to non-Christians, I have written elsewhere that the biblical position is this: any good that humans do is derivative. We can only do good because there is a good God who has made us in his image. He extends benefits and mercies to us, even when we do not deserve them. Theologically speaking, this is the doctrine of common grace.

    Finally, every person on the planet is immoral, proud and self-centered. That is what Christians refer to as sin. Sin separates us from God. The good news is we are not left in that condition. God has made a way through his son for us to be reconciled to him, if we are willing to accept the offer. But that means laying down our arms and surrendering to his lordship. As long as we insist on being boss of the universe, we cannot receive that reconciliation.

    Or as C.S. Lewis once put it: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. Compare Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World and grandson of “Darwin’s Bulldog” T.H. Huxley, in Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff.:

    I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  11. Bill, Well I guess that includes me as well and I actually take offense to it. It is just an unfounded gross generalization even in your small context. The church does not own morality because it is relative historically and culturally. It is also evolutionary. I would dare say that there would not be many of us today that would like some of the morals portrayed in the bible to be applied to us today. As a society we are all responsible for setting and maintaining morals. The is why we have laws and elected governments. As an example, recently there has been a spate of upskirt photography going on. I am quite sure there is no reference in the bible to such actions but as a society I think we are big enough and smart enough to say this is a bad thing and will not be tolerated. Before long, I am sure governments will pass a law making it an offense to do such things. Morals are an evolutionary process and we are seeing it in action. For the church to claim they are the custodians of all that is right and good (they really do not have a very good track record in that area) is just absurd and really an insult to our own intelligence.
    Ben Green

  12. Bill

    I’m afraid I cannot too worked up about this issue.

    I agree that non-stop sexual romping probobly won’t lead to life long happiness (however enjoyable in the short term) anymore than the latest fad diet or reading Cosmo for that matter. But neither is it to be found in repression of sexuality or attaching excessive importance to it in terms of salvation.

    I’m with the Huffmeister and his quote from Paul about it being better to be married than burning with lust – because as opposed to earlier generations we know that what Paul was really saying is that its a recipe for greater happiness if lust takes place within marriage rather than outside it.

    Bronwyn is mostly right about this. My parents are typical ‘baby boomers’ and although Christians, they have always said that far too many marriages in their generation were doomed from the start because sex could only occur after you trotted down the isle. In other words thousands of young people who cared about each other, liked each other, were very sexually attracted to each but other but werent marriage material got married so they could legitimately have a tumble in the hay.

    I’m sorry Bill, but I’m serenely confident that my eternal soul isn’t going to be damaged by a bit of ‘trying before I buy’.
    Ben Carter

  13. Thanks Ben Carter

    You stated elsewhere: “The only defining crucial and defining critieria about what makes someone a Christian is whether they believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God; that he was crucified under Ponitus Pilate, suffered and was buried and one the third day rose again.”

    That may be true of the initial conversion process. But once one claims to be a disciple of Jesus, then there is more too it. A true Christian is one who lays down his arms, quits calling the shots, and submits to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Jesus becomes Lord, or boss. Thus first and foremost, a follower of Jesus is one who will obey him, and not make up the rules as he goes along. As Jesus said so clearly, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15; 15:10, etc.) Or as it is put in 1 John 2:4: “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

    From Genesis to Revelation, human sexuality is permitted by God only in marriage between one man and one woman. Any other form of sexuality is therefore out of bounds. If a person claims to be a follower of Jesus, then he or she is to abide by his rules. But if one who professes to be a Christian insists on disobeying clear biblical teaching, then one can question that person’s claim to be a disciple of Jesus.

    And one’s eternal destiny is not so much determined by “trying before I buy” as you crudely put it, but by one’s willingness to submit to the Lordship of Christ. Those who end up in a lost eternity are those who refuse to let Christ be Lord of their life.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  14. Thanks Ben Green

    You have yet to demonstrate how molecules in motion can lead to any sort of morality. Evolutionary morality is an oxymoron. How do you get notions of right and wrong out of the survival of the fittest? Unless there is an objective moral standard independent of you and me, then your morality, or mine, or Hitler’s, are all on a par, with none better than another.

    Indeed, you say societies determine morality. Well, Nazi society offered their version of morality. Do you think there was anything wrong with Nazi morality? If so, why? How can you determine if it was right or wrong, unless there are moral absolutes by which their morality can be measured against? If morality is simply determined by society, then one society’s morality is just as good as another’s.

    And my apologies, but no offense was intended. However, it is true that the Bible speaks of the offense of the cross. It is offensive to those who think that they are the centre of the universe, who deny God’s existence, and deny his assessment and remedy for sinful mankind. Human pride says any good in the world is due to human effort alone. Humility acknowledges that goodness or righteousness is not something we can come up with, but is a gift of God.

    So yes, non-believers will inevitably stumble and take offence at God’s version of events. It cuts across human pride and ego.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. Hi Bill

    Thanks as ever for your thoughtful response.

    I stand by my assertion that belief in the resurrection is the defining criteria of a Christian. If a person doesn’t believe this then why would they be involved in any discussion about obeying God’s laws?

    I agree with you that making up the rules as we go along isn’t viable and about the importance for Christians to submit to God’s authority and be guided by Jesus’ teaching. What a person believes God’s rules to be will clearly be influenced by interpretation of the Word of God.

    It seems to me that part of the continuing wonder of Jesus’ teachings is that obedience to them holds many keys for acheiving happiness. I believe that men and women are most likely to find fulfilment in marriage. I am just concerned that marriages have the best possible basis for success and I do not believe that apocolyptic warnings about pre-marital sex contribute much to this outcome.

    On a different note, you and I have both previously pointed out the unfairness exercised by the Church’s critics when they hold up negative ‘straw men’ from the past. In a discussion about the pitfalls of moral relativity isn’t Nazi Germany the ultiimate straw man?

    I believe that there are moral absolutes and that our society risks becoming irritrievably mired in a cesspit of moral relativity if gap between our ethics and our values continues to widen.

    However, I also believe that a lot of actions cannot be judged in black and white terms because so much of human life occurs in varying of grey. It seems to me that another thing that makes Jesus’ teachings so remarkable is His compassion in providing guidance for people.

    Thanks again

    Ben Carter

  16. Bill,

    Congratulations for your excellent piece.

    Every reasonable person should already know that ‘sexual liberation’ as advocated by feminism has turned out to be extremely detrimental to women. Indeed, the feminist fight for ‘sexual liberation’ has indeed come to mean ‘freedom’ of women to be used as sex objects. As Irving Kristol put it, “easy, available sex is pleasing to men and deeply debasing to women, who are used and abused in the process. Nevertheless, the agenda of a candid, casual attitude toward sex, was vigorously sponsored by feminists who mistakenly perceived it as a step toward ‘equality’. But true equality between men and women can only be achieved by a moral code that offers women some protection against male predators”.

    Dr Augusto Zimmermann

  17. In response to Ben Carter’s ‘try before you buy’ attitude it sounds more like he is saying women and sex are just commodities to be bought and sold, just like a car or a toaster. He certainly doesn’t seem to belive that men & women were made in the image of God & sex was designed by God.
    Lyle Hutchinson

  18. All the “try before you buy idea” of sexual morality will leave people, is difficulty actually enjoying the deep intimacy that God intends for them and their marriage partner.

    God understands what we need, what will enrich our lives and what will damage it and our relationships. That’s why He puts the boundaries He does around sexual activity.

    All that romping in the hay will leave anyone, is emotional itches and scratches that calamine lotion will not relieve!

    George Kokonis

  19. Bill
    I agree with what you have said about the sexual revolution and its ultimate downside. You just have to take note of some of those who are promoting free sex and promiscuity in general – Hollywood. Many of these people are in the habit of snorting cocaine, smoking pot, and in some cases are up to their third wrecked marriage. And these people expect us to take advice from them.

    I spent most of my working life in the media and interviewed many Hollywood types. I can’t think of one I’d ask to babysit my grandchildren.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Queensland

  20. For a girl of my generation (I’m 19) it is almost impossible for a virgin who wishes to remain so to date. Outside of some religious and ethnic settings it almost a social stigma to retain one’s virginity; sex is just expected, seen as a right, rather than a privilege. Pre-sexual revolution women complained that they could not have sex if they wanted to (or they would be labelled). Now it seems women can’t abstain if they want to or they are met with the same derision that the “promiscuous” women of yesterday encountered.
    Amanda Fairweather

  21. Hi Bill,

    Yes I agree with your piece about the sexual revolution and that it is not what women really need (or want, if they really contemplate it). I agree that women look for security and lasting love – and this is not because of stereotypes in the media but because that’s the way we are.

    This is not to say that women should return to old ways without equal opportunities but that we also be senstive to our differences and acknowledge them openly and honestly.

    Also in terms of Amanda’s comments it does appear that our culture is that way and it is diffucult to be other than the crowd and your friends but you won’t regret making a choice and making those types of mistakes which will haunt you later. Also you will probably find that more people agree or think like you than you think.

    Thanks everyone for your enlightening discussion anyway.
    Jane Lui

  22. As an older married woman I totally agree with Bill. The sexual revolution has been a terrible destroyer of women who do feel that sex is something that flows from feeling totally loved and if this is not the case then a woman finds that sex leaves them feeling extremely empty and degraded because they are being treated like an object which satisfies the man’s lustful desires. In fact this is true within marriage as well. The sexual revolution has also been destructive of men who no longer feel that it is necessary to curb their sexual appetite.

    Congratulations Bill on another excellent article.
    Jane Mcintosh

  23. The sexual revolution has a lot to answer for. I’ve had the same experience as Amanda and I’ve just noticed that most of the comments on this particular site have been by men. Morality/opinion has swung around so much that I as a woman have to defend my right (which from reactions of people seems to no longer by my right) not to have sex with a person. This expectation became even stronger once I was engaged with supposedly well-meaning comments like, “but how do you know if you are sexually compatible?” What used to be ‘love’ (the kind that seeks the best interest for someone else – not neccessarily a continual feeling) has now been redifined into the puruit of sexual compatibleness and rosy feelings which (shock horror) can fade. Even though it was not well accepted or understood, I could say it was because I was a Christian and so was following Jesus’ teachings. My secular friends however, had no ‘excuse’ to refuse and although most bought into the idea of ‘sexual freedom’ a few wanted to wait until marriage – most of them gave in to their boyfriends/fiance because of the pressure.

    The feminist movement has also affected my right NOT to have paid work (some can’t afford this, I know). It is so subtle, but I found myself feeling as if I was not contributing to the family (once married) as I was volunteering a little but brought in no income. Nowadays it seems like it is the act of bringing in income which shows you are contributing and acting in a marriage partnership – it forgets all the things you may be doing at home. Another friend was so ingrained in this thinking but really wanted a family so she studied pharmacy as it would pay well which meant that her future husband (she didn’t even have a boyfriend) would be okay about her staying at home to look after the kids and only work 2-3 days a week. She was effectively buying her right to stay at home!

    Catharine Carpenter

  24. I notice that Ben Green’s rather brilliant point about upskirt photography has been totally ignored. Can the Christians here point us to the particular part of the Bible which says this is a bad thing?
    Chris Mayer

  25. There is no such thing as “free love”. Never has been, never will be. For women there is an essential emotional attachment through sex, and for men there is the loss of the strength and cherishing that they are supposed to bring to a life relationship. “free love” degrades and cheapens current and future relationships for both sexes – but those who are not taught this and fall into the “try before you buy” rarely experience this so have realisation of the damage they ave done to themselves and their future relationships – there is consequence to these actions and that’s the way god does thins – there is a consequence for every action, in line with his way or out of it.

    And “try before you buy” just doesn’t cut it as a motivation – let’s call it what it is. Sexual gratification. The reality is that if you mentally and physically are attracted then, no matter what your background or knowledge, you can learn the skills and approaches necessary to make each other happy in all areas of your relationship, not just sex, though that is an important part of a marriage. but the initial heat of desire and love fades and it is the development of a much stronger bond of commitment and agape love (selflessness) toward each other that makes for not only an enduring relationship but an intensely satisfying one. Sex is only part of that.

    So my point is: you either understand the value of the wisdom provided by God when He determined sex to be within a marriage and abide by that, and subsequently reap the consequences, or you don’t and you reap the consequences of that. It has been found that religious couples who keep themselves for their spouses more satisfying relationships and have longer healthier lives – ironically just what the Bible states.

    The sexual “revolution” and the feminist movement have brought so much damage upon this generation – there is so much more family break up, child abuse, depression and suicide proportionately than ever before. So much for creating better lifestyles out of “freedom of choice”.

    Garth Penglase

  26. Thanks Chris

    But I fail to see anything brilliant about being anachronistic. You might as well berate Alexander the Great for not employing stealth bomber technology, or chide Shakespeare for not using laptop computers in his writing.

    Having said that, the Biblical worldview is quite able to deal with the issue at hand. The Scriptural principles enunciated in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, or 2 Timothy 2:22, for example, would be a great place to begin.

    At least in the biblical worldview such issues can be addressed. In your reductionist worldview you can’t even argue that such behaviours are wrong. In your refusal to embrace ethical absolutes and objective standards of morality, you have no reason to condemn this behaviour. The fellow may just have been acting out what his genes compelled him to do.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  27. Hi Bill, I can argue these views are wrong because the elected government of the day is now putting into place laws to make it a criminal offence to do upskirting. I can condemn this behavior. It is not that hard. I do not need a bible to tell me this is wrong. It is common sense.

    I would also like to reference back to your point about Hitler and the Nazi’s. Before 1948 there was no specific law against that act of genocide. After the atrocities of the Germans and Japanese during World War II, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted and came into effect in 1951. This again is an example of how society has learnt from the mistakes of others and decides that it was a heinous crime and so developed laws to punish the act.

    Now if we are going to use the bible as some sought of foundation to a moral code in this area, then can you explain to me why God was quite willing to wipe out populations with a flood and also kill many of the first born in Egypt? Seems to me God was in favor of genocide as long as the reasons were “valid”. What type of morality is that?

    You also alluded to that one societies morality is as valid as another. In some ways this is correct but it is relative to that society. There are many places in the world that treat adulterous women much harsher than they do in the west. Within those countries their society has not yet realized that what they do to their women is bad. Of course for us, it is barbaric. As a society, we must decide what is best and fair for us. Not every society is going to have the same set of morals/laws nor would I expect them to. There will always be variation as we see today. Even within different religious codes there is variation. Morality cannot be absolute or stationary.

    I also believe that morality and social order are tightly joined together. Each depends on the other. My own belief is that we do learn from out mistakes but we often forget the past which is often our biggest mistake.

    Ben green

  28. Sexual revolution – I find it hard to buy into the victimized aspect of it all. These people were making choices of their own free will (well for the vast majority). Of course there would be some that are coerced into doing things that they were not comfortable with but why should that be so earth shattering. I can understand it if they were rapped but I assume this is not the case in the majority of instances.

    We have all done stuff and thought afterwards, that was stupid. You should accept your mistakes and move on. That is apart of life and growing up. Now if I was a Thai prostitute I would have a case. What goes on there makes my stomach turn.
    Ben Green

  29. ‘Wisdom is the principle thing’ learning from the mistakes of the past generations and taking decisive, conscious and strong action against making the same mistakes is what is needed today. If you have a will to live, you will learn.

    God designed sex to be in the constitution of marriage, lest an individual suffer the same consequences (diseases and emotional/ mental/ spiritual pains), as people through out all of history.

    Every person must acknowledge the fact that we all have physical desires, and we need to all learn to discipline them. For the students and grow-ups alike, if we sow (in our minds) pornography and lusting, we will reap (in our minds and bodies) a great struggle to control our desires.
    For those who call themselves Christians (followers of Christ), and think that they can live a double life. Christ says, “Be not deceived: fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind … shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Col. 3:5-10).
    But the ‘good news’ is that God demonstrated his great love for us in that while we were yet still sinners, Christ died in our place; Taking the punishment for the many sins of the world, including the sin of fornication.

    So now there is forgiveness from the past, new life for now and hope for the future. Your response to such love is you are to repent from your sins (turn from sinning) and place your trust in Christ Jesus.

    Michael Dawson

  30. Those who advocate “try before you buy” should try that at a cafeteria and see how they get on. Of course, the manager would insist that they bought what they tried, because trying it spoils it for someone else.

    Much of this comes from the evolutionary nonsense that we are just animals who are incapable of controlling our desires. Not surprisingly, this mentality doesn’t stop at fornication.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  31. The discussion is most interestingl. Amanda, last Saturday we attended a wedding of a young couple. The groom is a clever engineer, the bride a graduate nurse, we became aware months ago that they had agreed not to even kiss before their wedding day! Hundreds of friends and family attended the service and reception.The music was bright and noisy, the whole event well organised yet relaxed. It seems there is another way, with strong prospects of a succesful marriage. Their parents have been married for around thirty years despite all the challenges. Go the way of mutual love and respect, its challenging but its exciting and rewarding.
    Graeme Rule, Melbourne

  32. Thanks Ben Green

    You offer various justifications for morality, but none seem convincing, all because your worldview does not allow for objective morality. Indeed, you say “Morality cannot be absolute or stationary”.

    You argue that it is common sense to say upskirting is wrong. But the fellow doing it obviously did not think it was wrong. How, under your system of moral relativism, can you say you are right and he is wrong on this issue?

    Many people find racism to be a matter of common sense. Even Darwin could speak of “the preservation of favoured races”. And Hitler, following suit, also thought racial superiority to be the stuff of common sense.

    Cheating on exams or fleecing the tax department also seems like common sense to many. Common sense is obviously a poor basis for universal morality.

    You imply that Nazism was somehow allowable before laws on genocide were introduced. With or without genocide laws, an entire nation or two felt that genocide was morally justifiable. Yet you even admit to moral relativism between societies, and that “as a society, we must decide what is best and fair for us”. But that is exactly what the Germans did in the 1930s.

    You still have no sound basis to condemn what Hitler did by your own understanding of how morality works. You say we learn from our mistakes, implying that we are getting better with morality. But I remind you that Germany in the 1930s was among the most civilised, sophisticated and advanced cultures of the day.

    Why do you presume that cultures are getting better? It can more accurately be argued that in many ways we seem to be getting worse. But if morality is relative, as you insist, there is simply no way to judge. We just put up with what our genes determine.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  33. Some interesting views. Many people are ignorant of Christianity, or just want to do what pleases them, or don’t know the consequences of their actions. Forty years ago, as a nominal christiian, I might have agreed with some of the views. I know one family whose children co-habited, and they are now all divorced, and the children all suffer. It is a serious form of child abuse. I have three married children, similar age to the above. All practiced abstinence and are happily married. I have spent forty years examining christianity. and I am convinced that believing and living by the teaching of Christ will always have good results, and this is supported by statistics. Christians are human, and they are free to choose who they will obey, and enjoy or suffer the cosequences.
    Tom Wise

  34. Bill, what gets me confused from reading this site is that many Christians can’t agree totally about what the correct morals are from the Bible, so who decides which are? Are you saying you know all the objective morals that there are to know?

    To move to a more concrete example of morals, lets take a womens swimming ‘costume’. Neck-to-knee, one-piece, bikini, topless, nude.

    Which of these is objectively immoral, and which is not? Have these morals aways been the same since swimming cotumes came in to fashion? If they have changed, why is that? Why do objective morals change?
    Chris Mayer

  35. Thanks Chris

    It is one thing to argue that universal moral absolutes exist, even though they of course need to be applied to specific situations. It is quite a different thing to argue for moral relativism. Important moral (and Biblical) absolutes such as ‘do not kill’ or ‘do not steal’ are basically clear, but of course nuanced applications of them must be made. Thus a Christian (as well as non-Christian thinkers) will distinguish, for example, between murder and killing, much as modern courts do (killing in self-defence being different from premeditated murder, eg.)

    But both are based on the moral absolute of the sanctity of human life, a principle of the Judeo/Christian tradition. Modern Western law is built upon such foundations. No moral system of any kind is free from such considerations (application, interpretation, and so on).

    The fact that there is not “total agreement” is of course understandable given that we are all both finite and fallen. Yet having an objective rule book helps us to escape from the morass of relativism, even though there may be some disagreement on certain applications of general moral principles.

    But such disagreement neither rules out moral absolutes, nor does it mean moral anarchy is the only remaining option. And of course there is not “total agreement” amongst neo-Darwinists either. As but one example, consider the intramural warfare between Gould and Dawkins over so many years.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  36. This discussion seems to have meandered a bit. I just want to pick up on the comment on women being in submission. Everyone wanting to knock it quotes out of context. Wives are to submit to their husbands but husbands are to love as the Lord loved the church and died for it. There is also the reference just before the passage in Ephesians which says “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
    Abuse in the name of Christianity has usually occurred when people yank verses out of context instead of trying to obey the whole lot. Those who try realize that they cannot do it on their own.
    Katherine Fishley, Wantirna

  37. Lita Cosner points out in Abortion: an indispensable right or violence against women?:

    There is no reason, under their own belief system, for evolutionists to see males and females as equals. Males and females faced different selection pressures, so natural selection is unlikely to produce sexes of equal worth (if a term like ‘worth’ can even have meaning in this belief system). In fact, many animals show huge differences between the sexes. Indeed, historically, evolutionists have seen females as the inferior sex.

    Conversely, the Bible affirms the value of women, despite the claims to the contrary (see one CMI refutation, ‘Female inferiority’ raises questions). The fact that men and women are both created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26–7) disproves a common radical feminist claim that the Bible is anti-women. Jesus’ chosen Apostle, Paul, (maligned by many feminists as being anti-women), affirms that spiritual privileges in the body of Christ come equally to both sexes (Gal. 3:26–29).

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  38. Ah the 60’s, There is an old adage that if you can only discuss it you weren’t there, it seems to me that many of the comments originate from people who are victims of the results of this age.
    To truly understand the sexual revolution it is necessary to understand what was happening prior.
    I was a young man full of tesosterone and willing to share it with any partner that I could find, so I rejoiced when women were given the OK to find gratification in sex.
    My parent’s society truly understood the value of sex and to even kiss a young woman was titillating.
    I admit that I exprimented, I was searching for willing partners and not a wife.
    The woman I am happily married to demonstrated to me that she valued the sexual act by her chastity.
    Marriage is not based on sex only, it is a pleasure that is meant to be shared by two loving people not a quick act designed to fill an immediate need.
    For a man sex is mainly external and physical whilst to a woman it is mainly internal and emotional.
    I can assure everyone that there is greater pleasure being with someone that you genuinely love and that you seek their gratification and not your own.
    Jim Sturla

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