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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Your Face Is Absurd

Strawman ought not play with matches:

Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.

“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.

Scalia has been giving speeches around the country to promote his new book, “Reading Law,” and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at freshman Duncan Hosie’s question.

“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.

It's absurd, that much is certain, but I'm not so sure he's actually using a reductio.  More like a strawman:

A) You don't want me to have moral feelings about homosexuality.

B) So you don't want me to have moral feelings about murder!

What obviously's missing: consent in the homosexual context, harm in the murder context.  Oh, and while I will call him a narrow-minded bigot for hating on the queers, he's more than free to be an asshole, even publicly--doesn't mean human beings don't have rights to be protected under the 14th Amendment.

But never you mind, I can judge you all because I am SCALIA!


December 11, 2012 in Suffering Fools | Permalink


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There are good reasons to have moral feelings against murder.

I wonder what Scalia's good reasons are to have moral feelings against homosexuality.

Posted by: batguano | Dec 11, 2012 3:16:34 PM

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