Two recent articles on www.mytwocircles.com caught my attention. The more recent was on gay marriages, the elder on legalising homosexuality and prostitution in +254.
They caught my attention because of the philosophy they espouse… And though I’m no guru, I have had an old and on-going affair with philosophy… I think it’s deliciously awesome!
Those two articles caught my attention because they make similar false philosophical arguments:
1. ALL DISCRIMINATION IS WRONG
If by discrimination you mean treating different people differently, then this argument is false. …If however it means treating equal people differently then it is true.
We have to treat different people differently! If not then this logic culminates (reductio ad absurdum) in men and women sharing washrooms, my neighbour’s kids have just as much right to the food in my fridge as my own kids do etc.
Gay people are different; that’s why we give them a different label; we call them ‘gay people’. And if you deny that they are different, that would be tantamount to saying you and I are also gay since we are not different from them. I doubt you are willing to concede this latter point. So gay people are different.
If they are different, we have to treat them differently. We treat children as children – not adults; we treat mothers as mothers – not servants; we treat gay people as gay people, not as normal people. Are children and mothers and gay people not human? Yes they are. But do we treat them all the same? Certainly not. Why? Because even though they share a common ‘denominator’ (human-ness), they don’t share the same numerator. We treat different people differently; whether they be gay illiterate, drunk, sick, maimed etc. But don’t equate their gayness/illiteracy/drunkenness/sickness/maiming to normalcy. We treat illiteracy, drunkenness, sickness, maiming where we can. Such ‘discrimination’ is indispensable for right living. Ask any doctor, teacher or parent.
2. PERSONAL LIFE DOESN’T AFFECT PUBLIC LIFE/OTHERS
From individual, personal experience we know this to be wrong: you leave home pissed coz of mum or your wife or the househelp, you will generally tend to be pissed at everybody else outside home.
And here I borrow from the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis (I’m summarising here): mankind is like a fleet of ships on a voyage.
The voyage will be a success only, in the first place, if the ships do not collide and get in one another’s way; and, secondly, if each ship is seaworthy and has her engines in good order. As a matter of fact, you cannot have either of these two things without the other. If the ships keep on having collisions they will not remain seaworthy very long. On the other hand, if their steering gears are out of order they will not be able to avoid collisions.
That is, society collapses if individuals collide and get in one another’s way (public life). But individuals can’t avoid getting in one another’s way if individuals are not ‘seaworthy’ (private life).
What is the good of telling the ships how to steer so as to avoid collisions if, in fact, they are such crazy old tubs that they cannot be steered at all? What is the good of drawing up, on paper, rules for social behaviour, if we know that, in fact, our greed, cowardice, ill temper, and self-conceit are going to prevent us from keeping them?
3. THE MAJORITY IS ALWAYS RIGHT
False. Most people believed the earth was flat until Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth. Didn’t make the earth any more flat even if the majority believed it.
In class, if the majority of the students get the wrong answer to a question, doesn’t make their answer right since there was a majority consensus. Even if they did get the answer right, it is not the majority consensus that made them right. The question has its own right answer regardless of whoever else or however many other people agree with that answer. “What is right depends on what is.” Truth depends on metaphysics (the nature of things) not the other way around.
That all those celebrities (George Clooney and co.) support gays and gay marriages doesn’t make these things any more right than previously.
4. FALSE ANALOGIES
One in particular (apparently from Kanye West): likening rights of gays (to wed) to rights of blacks.
They are not the same. From my latest medical readings and from a discussion with a medical doctor on this topic, gayism has nothing genetic to it.
a) You are not born gay (as much as they would like us to believe it); you become gay. You are born black; you don’t become black.
b) You become gay by upbringing, exposure and personal concessions; you don’t become black by any of these.
c) Gayism is a psyche/soma conflict; blackhood (or is it ‘blackness’ J ) is not a conflict at all.
The two are different realities and should be treated as such.
5. THE PROBLEM OF MORAL RELATIVISM
The last defense that may spring up in your mind is the moral relativism smoke screen. In its various forms (e.g. “could be true for you, doesn’t make it true for me”) it basically boils down to “there is no objective truth”.
And here I borrow the words from Peter Kreeft since I can’t put it better myself:
But, there must be objective truth because if there is not, then it is TRUE that there is no truth. In other words, all forms of skepticism of objective truth refute themselves:
‘There is no truth’ – is THAT true?
‘Truth is not objective’ – is that truth objective?
‘Truth is not universal’ – except THAT truth?
‘No one can know the truth’ – except you, I suppose?
‘Truth is uncertain’ – is THAT uncertain?
‘All generalizations are false’ – including that one?
‘You can’t be dogmatic!’ – you say that very dogmatically.
‘Don’t impose your truth on me!’ – but you just imposed YOUR “truth” on me!
‘There are no absolutes’ – absolutely?
‘Truth is only opinion’ – so that’s only your opinion, then.
Et cetera, ad nauseam.
Let’s not allow our craving to be nice befuddle our thinking. There’s nothing nice about straying from the truth of things.
The article first appeared on a Sunday column on www.mytwocircles.com back in June.