Simon Grey–a favorite and friend of mine–takes me to task for what he sees as a host of errors in my recent posts about Game. Most of his accusations miss the mark because they are cascaded from his unwillingness to acknowledge that word seduction has a negative connotation; that seduction is a negative connotation. He writes:
Let’s start with consulting the dictionary. Merriam-Webster’s defines seduction as, “the act of seducing; especially: the enticement of a person to sexual intercourse; something that seduces; something that attracts or charms.” Astute readers will note that this definition of seduction makes absolutely no assertion towards the morality of its ends. Seducing a woman for sex can be good (like getting your wife into bed) or it can be bad (like getting someone else’s wife into bed), but there is nothing intrinsic to seduction that makes it good or bad. So, Cane’s understanding of seduction is not great because he apparently doesn’t even know what the word “seduction” even means.
Let me fix that bolded sentence for Simon: “Mildly astute readers will make a half-assed effort and then congratulate themselves to note that this particular definition of seduction makes absolutely no assertion towards the morality of its ends.”
We can know this a few ways.
1. The etymology of the word means “to lead astray”.
2. The KJV, ESV, NASB, and NKJV only and always use the word seduction or seduce in the sense of “lead astray”. It is not without reason that we are taught that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”; rather than, say, “Believe in yourself to have the right answer.”
3. Most damningly, his own provided definition for seduction starts with: “the act of seducing”. Clicking to the definition of seducing returns the definition of seduce, as we would imagine. Please do look, and notice that there is a blue blurb box that gives you an incomplete definition of seduce; a sort of Twitter version of the definition. Below that, in the white box, it reads:
Full Definition of SEDUCE1: to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty2: to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises3: to carry out the physical seduction of : entice to sexual intercourse
4: attract— se·duc·er noun
Ska-doosh. The important part of seduction is not the part about attraction or persuasion, but about disobedience, disloyalty, and leading astray. If we want to talk about attraction or persuasion, then we use the words…attraction and persuasion.
Someone who instead picks the word seduction wants to
entangle harness a particular meaning. Just so: Someone who wants us to choose the word seduction wants to harness entangle us to be lead astray. Some of those people went to college. Some of those people even teach at college. Some of those people write dictionaries.
For this reason, those in Christian homeschooling circles often and wisely recommend the use of Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English language. Here is that definition of seduction:
1. The act of seducing or of enticing from the path of duty.
We ought not be the sort of people who can’t distinguish between harnessing, and entangling.