December 11, 2012

"If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

Justice Scalia is out and about, antagonizing antoninonizing — students, this time at Princeton, with "a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd.'"
Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.

Then he deadpanned: "I'm surprised you aren't persuaded."

[The student] said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia's answer. He said he believes Scalia's writings tend to "dehumanize" gays.
Actually, he's humanizing you by crediting you with the capacity to comprehend rhetoric and engage in an on-the-fly verbal interchange. But it is easier to dehumanize your adversary. Afterwards.

What do they teach you at Princeton?

ADDED: Jaltcoh has 3 thoughts about this.

AND: David Lat reminds us about what Judge Posner said about horse meat: "a state is permitted, within reason, to express disgust..."

166 comments:

Seven Years of College Down the Drain said...

Mostly what's taught at Princeton is what sad sons of b*tches they are for not having gotten into Dartmouth.

Expat(ish) said...

Most kids I see today (and college age is kids to me in some sense) have problems relating to adults in an adult fashion. I see disinterest or fawning, but rarely engagement.

It's a tough question that AS posed, especially if you come from a "value neutral" background. Didn't the previous post speak about Catholic differentialism?

-XC

veni vidi vici said...

"What do they teach you at Princeton?"

To be a sniveling twit, for $30k/year?

RichardS said...

Kids today. . . . An old lament.
But is it true that the current generation of American boys and girls have been coddled emotionally? Have the schools protected them from harsh criticism? Has that formed their character so that by the time they are on campus they have been trained to look for what is or might be offensive, rather than what might be true?

elkh1 said...

What do they teach you at Princeton?

Robotics, either make a robot in the engineering department, or be a robot to repeat talking points.

Freeman Hunt said...

Please, please, please East Coast colleges, get your acts together. Life of the mind over groupthink. You have thirteen years. Go.

Freeman Hunt said...

Robotics, either make a robot in the engineering department, or be a robot to repeat talking points.

Heh.

AF said...

If someone opposed striking down anti-miscegenation statutes on the ground that there was no way to distinguish them from anti-bestiality statutes, would it betray a lack of education to call that person racist?

Freeman Hunt said...

I think Princeton costs nearly $60k/yr now.

glenn said...

Makes you realize how stupid Child of Boomer is. Or maybe not.

Roy Lofquist said...

What do they teach at Princeton? Catechism.

Freeman Hunt said...

Actually, based on Facebook, it seems like the worst groupthink comes out of....

Well, better not to name names. But there are particular universities, many of them state schools, that seem to graduate parrots. Elite universities aren't worse than others about this, it's just much more disappointing when they do it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Sailer on the differences between the traditional English parliamentary method of debate and the new "sensitive" method of debate taught at most American colleges today.

YoungHegelian said...

What they learn is that they've bought into a brand name that's going to open doors for them throughout their lives. There are amongst their cadre men & women of true genius who will no doubt do their best to maintain the value of that brand, so that they can free ride.

Until one day, too many freeriders tarnish the brand, and, overnight, the brand collapses.

It's not going to happen anytime soon, but it'll probably happen in our lifetimes. There are already academic departments who won't touch most Ivy League graduates because they want too much & give too little.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

Sometimes here I will take a position opposite my own to challenge others to make sound and solid arguments.

Contrarianism has its benefits.

shiloh said...

False equivalency from the fool deciding what is and what isn't equal protection under the law.

The line between protected pornography and unprotected obscenity lies between appealing to a good healthy interest in sex and appealing to a depraved interest, whatever that means.

Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda though normal democratic means.
~ Scalia

>

He is the conservative bastion of the US supreme court, a favourite of President Bush, and a hunting partner of the vice-president. He has argued vociferously against abortion rights, and in favour of anti-sodomy laws.
But it turns out that there is another side to Justice Antonin Scalia: he thinks Americans ought to be having more orgies.

Challenged about his views on sexual morality, Justice Scalia surprised his audience at Harvard University, telling them: "I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.


ok, ok, deep down most cons would jump at the chance to participate in debauchery lol.

hmm, must be a fine line between provocative and thoughtful.

Pragmatist said...

You can have moral feelings against anything you want. Even against reactionary judges. You can even attempt to have your moral feelings codified into law. But you cannot have your moral feels violate the legal rights of others. If you can ban homosexuality, why cannot you ban reactionary Catholic judges?

David said...

They teach you that your moral superiority is your most precious trait, and that's you must demonstrate that superiority by typecasting those who disagree with you.

No I'm not joking. This is really what they teach, and they teach it well.

Pragmatist said...

You can have moral feelings against anything you want. Even against reactionary judges. You can even attempt to have your moral feelings codified into law. But you cannot have your moral feels violate the legal rights of others. If you can ban homosexuality, why cannot you ban reactionary Catholic judges?

Shouting Thomas said...

ok, ok, deep down most cons would jump at the chance to participate in debauchery lol.

The notion that sexual practice is much influenced by political identification is complete bullshit, shiloh.

Take it from an old whoremonger.

David said...

"If you can ban homosexuality, why cannot you ban reactionary Catholic judges?"

Check the constitution. It has actual language on freedoms of speech and religion.

Finnegan said...

first of all, nobody's talking about prohibiting moral "feelings." the question was about legal restrictions on same-sex sex.

so, pretending for the sake of interpretive charity that scalia's comment was remotely germane to the question:

(1) if we can ban murder, then we can ban selfishness.

(2) we can ban murder.

(3) therefore we can ban selfishness.

BUT

(1*) a ban on selfishness would itself be morally impermissible.

(2*) banning murder is nevertheless morally permissible.

(3*) therefore, the conditional "if we can ban murder, we can ban selfishness" is false.

Major conclusion: the conditional, "if we can ban X, we can ban Y" is not generalizably true. In particular, its truth or falsity will depend on content of 'X' and 'Y.'

Minor conclusion: Scalia is an idiot's idea of an intellectual.

William said...

Aesthetics bleed over into morality. I think most people's objection to male homosexuality is that it's icky. There are very few thoughtful people who object to homosexuality among good looking women, and it is, in fact, encouraged in some circles......Is it possible to ban any activity simply because it's ugly to look at?

shiloh said...

"The notion that sexual practice is much influenced by political identification is complete bullshit, shiloh."

Mark Foley
Mark Sanford
Larry Craig
John Ensign
David Vitter
Ted Haggard
Vito Fossella

Indeed!

But as always, not to worry as forgiveness is a virtue to con evangelicals ...

blessings

Mitchell the Bat said...

Scalia was smart to avoid the Latin.

YoungHegelian said...

@Finnegan,

No, Finnegan, you destroy the worth of your syllogism by cherry picking your over broad example (selfishness) in order to put Scalia's argument in its worst light.

You assume that homosexual behavior is nothing but a personal behavior like "selfishness**", whatever the hell that is. Scalia may not agree, and may be considering homosexuality only in its public manifestations. So, let's take another public manifestation of sexuality, e.g. prostitution. Your syllogism falls apart, and Scalia's still stands.

** It's not clear that selfishness isn't culpable under the law. Junior not sharing his toys isn't culpable, but insider trading is.

shiloh said...

"Minor conclusion: Scalia is an idiot's idea of an intellectual."

As mentioned, Scalia is a fool! ... on a good day as he continually goes out of his way "trying" to be clever.

EMD said...

Shiloh would rather take a partisan dump on the thread than actually think about what the thread is really about.

shiloh said...

This thread is about a Scalia nonsensical quote ...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I have no moral feelings about chopping off Scalia's head, shitting down his neck, and setting his corpse on fire. Hey, I guess he's right.

Darcy said...

But you cannot have your moral feels violate the legal rights of others.

Sure you can. (See: Obamacare)

Just depends on who has the power to deny your right.

Scalia's question was excellent. He wasn't attributing moral equivalence and he didn't have to. I think it is entirely reasonable to ask where people derive their basis for determining something moral or immoral.

YoungHegelian said...

@ZPS,

I have no moral feelings about chopping off Scalia's head, shitting down his neck, and setting his corpse on fire. Hey, I guess he's right.

The next time you or your friends mouth off about how awful are those nasty religious fundamentalists who think you're all going to burn in hell, just remind yourself and them of what you just said to the world, reproduced above.

You both are cut from the same cloth, ZPS.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

It's so quaint seeing one of the most powerful men in the world using a minority (who have in fact been murdered because of the thing that makes them a minority!) in a pejorative way to color up his college $peech.

Baron Zemo said...

Hey maybe they can pass some "hate-feelings" laws.

That sounds so consititutional.

YoungHegelian said...

@ZPS,

Italians & Catholics are minorities that have been murdered for being what they are, too.

Don't pull the victim card here. Yeah, gay men die, but in this country most murdered gay men die at the hands of other gay men.

You stepped over the line, ZPS. Own it.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

If we cannot have moral feelings against blacks, can we have it against murder?

Inga said...

They teach them to question authority. Doesn't mean the answer will be rational, even coming from a Supreme Court Justice. The student was taught a valuable lesson.

There will always be those with power who will err on the side of their own personal morality. I'm relieved Obama is President and two Justices may be retiring in the next four years.

Bryan C said...

Most college-age adults don't understand debate. They've been taught dogma instead of ideas and have never developed a coherent worldview. When faced with real arguments about emotionally charged topics they just can't cope.

And why bother? It's much more satisfying to freak out about how personally offended you are and immediately demand the wrongthought be punished.

Bryan C said...

"They teach them to question authority."

Modern higher education teaches a lot of things, Inga. But they don't dare teach that.

Astro said...

"You come in here, with a skull full of mush.."

... and many leave that way, apparently.

EMD said...

"They teach them to question authority."

I'd modify that to:

They teach them to question only certain pre-approved authority.

Inga said...

Universities are hotbeds of young folks questioning authority, where have you been Bryan? This has been going on for quite sometime now.

Sam L. said...

Don't know what they are teaching, but we see what's not being learned.

Baron Zemo said...

The Unversity is a hotbed of nonsense and will soon be replaced by on-line degrees.

The higher education bubble will soon burst.

Hee.

harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

The gay college student questioning Scalia asked:
why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.

why is the gay college student equating bestiality with murder? is he suggesting that bestiality should be barred? Somehow, those engaging in bestiality couldn't make the argument that they are engaging in private and consensual behavior (yes, they haven't gotten consent from animals, but animals aren't able to provide consent in any case) and are adults, and are doing stuff in the privacy of their own home. Who is this gay student to judge those who enjoy bestiality?
A pro bestiality student could rephrase "why are you equating beatiality with barring gay sex and/or murder"
And a sociopathic murderer could argue "why are you equating murder with bestiality and gay sex".
If you engage in the behavior that is restricted why then you are an aggrieved class. But that doesn't mean that society can't bar the behavior.
Can a society for example ban public nudity. Not shold they, but can they? I don't see why not. And if so, I don't see why they couldn't bar certain types of sex (though the idea that they will be able to actually enforce such laws considering most people are doing the behavior behind closed door)
In Turkey a couple was arrested for supposedly having sex in a cab. It was pointed out that we too have rules against people having sex in public.
So can we have those laws?
would a proponent of having sex in public not make the argument that gay student made to Scalia concerning his own self interest?
Te stupidest notion ever uttered by people is that you can't legislate morality. What do they think laws do? it would be as silly as arguing that society can't pass laws.
Usually the context is the question of gay marriage (or whatever interest the person making the argument is trying to make legal) but in fact if you are going to say gays should be allowed to marry you are engaging in as much legislating of morality as those who say you can't.
Similarly saying you can restrict incestual marriages is legislating morality. As is loosening the restrictions and allowing incestual marriages.
Basically what they are arguing is that they don't like Christian morality (in the question of gay marriage) and thus Christians aren't allowed to pass laws because of separation of church and sate (or some such cal). Therefore gay marriage must be allowed because you can't legislate that specific morality. But can those arguing against legislating morality, legislate their own morality? It certainly sounds like it. Why should secular morality be allowed to be legislated? Simply because secularists hold that position? Yet again, its libs thinking that their shit doesn't stink.
Actually, to go even further it he lack of self awareness suggests not only that they don't think their shit stinks, they don't think they shit at all

harrogate said...

"Actually, he's humanizing you by crediting you with the capacity to comprehend rhetoric and engage in an on-the-fly verbal interchange."

Oh come on. I know you love Scalia and it could never occur to you that a college student could legitimately call out Scalia for being wrong. Which itself is an unstated premise that underwrites everything you write about Scalia, and a premise that I appreciate for its comedic value. Honor the sage Scalia, and all that.

But it's a bridge to far to pass off the exchange you put in the post, as some sort of golden opportunity for a student to learn about rhetoric or fallacies or really to learn about anything from Mr. Scalia. If Scalia the Great Sage had somthing to teach this young man, he didn't demonstrate this wellspring of knowledge in anything that appears in your post.

The student "comprehended" Scalia's rhetoric, along with the position he takes on this issue, well enough. His remarks reflect that.

jr565 said...


[The student] said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia's answer. He said he believes Scalia's writings tend to "dehumanize" gays.

and the students question dehumanized those who practice bestiality. After all, HE equated bestiality with murder.

damikesc said...

If someone opposed striking down anti-miscegenation statutes on the ground that there was no way to distinguish them from anti-bestiality statutes, would it betray a lack of education to call that person racist?

So, noting that stopping laws simply because they focus on morality (which all laws are based on, like it or not) is the same a equating blacks and animals, eh?

Wonder why you gravitated towards that.

But you cannot have your moral feels violate the legal rights of others.

I feel your writing is morally offensive. Ergo, I can ban you from writing.

You didn't read Ann's post, did you?

Check the constitution. It has actual language on freedoms of speech and religion.

Obama is quite set on removing the Constitutional provision that only Congress can borrow on the credit of the USA.

And this is the idiocy a majority of moochers wanted.

Don't assume they won't simply do whatever they want.

first of all, nobody's talking about prohibiting moral "feelings." the question was about legal restrictions on same-sex sex.

Just because YOU aren't does not mean others aren't. The majority in that decision specifically cited morality.

And why bother? It's much more satisfying to freak out about how personally offended you are and immediately demand the wrongthought be punished.

I fear college sophomores reading "1984" and asking "What is so wrong with that?"

I'm going to influence my kids to look at trades. The schooling costs far less and you'll actually be a useful member of society.

Why do college grads now have so much insane debt?

Because they deserve it.

Universities are hotbeds of young folks questioning authority, where have you been Bryan? This has been going on for quite sometime now.

Inga, given that your college education ended a solid 40 years ago, you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Colleges are the most opposed to any semblance of debate locations on Earth. Useless institutions.

An institution dedicated to debate wouldn't disinvite speakers like Coulter because some people didn't like them.

I guess it's a good thing the Hippies didn't have to develop in the institutions as they have changed them.

Baron Zemo said...

Nobody expects the Secular Inquisition.

damikesc said...

[The student] said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia's answer. He said he believes Scalia's writings tend to "dehumanize" gays.

Whiny twats like him (sexuality be damned) aren't human. Stop giving them that level of credit. They are human wannabes. They want to wear big boy/girl pants while shitting themselves and expecting others to pay for it.

I know you love Scalia and it could never occur to you that a college student could legitimately call out Scalia for being wrong.

It didn't "call him out".

It whined and cried like a little twat.

Fuck it's "feelings". Who cares if it feels "dehumanized"?

The Unversity is a hotbed of nonsense and will soon be replaced by on-line degrees.

The higher education bubble will soon burst.


God willing. Sad when tech schools churn out more useful grads than "universities".

Baron Zemo said...

There are going to be fewer and fewer jobs out there due to the Obama economy.

A liberal arts, black/woman studies or other phony degree is not going to be worth jack shit if it ever was worth anything. You just need to check off the "college degree" box so the University of Phoenix will do nicely.

Paul Zrimsek said...

No, Finnegan, you destroy the worth of your syllogism by cherry picking your over broad example (selfishness) in order to put Scalia's argument in its worst light.

It's a good deal worse than that: the syllogism never had any worth to begin with, being unrelated to Scalia's actual argument. Which is not "It's OK to ban one thing based on moral feelings, therefore it's OK to ban anything else we have a moral feeling against", but rather "There's at least one universally accepted ban which is based on moral feelings, therefore the claim that moral feelings are never a sufficient reason to ban something, is false."

Freeman Hunt said...

There are amongst their cadre men & women of true genius who will no doubt do their best to maintain the value of that brand, so that they can free ride.

Until one day, too many freeriders tarnish the brand, and, overnight, the brand collapses.

It's not going to happen anytime soon, but it'll probably happen in our lifetimes.


I think it's been greatly accelerated by social media and will happen very soon. Through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs people are beginning to see what poor thinking goes on and gets a pass or is even encouraged because the people doing the poor thinking are posting it online.

cubanbob said...

December 11, 2012
"If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"
Justice Scalia is out and about, antagonizing — antoninonizing — students, this time at Princeton, with "a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd.'"

While I understand and concur with Scalia, sometimes taking an argument literally to the most absurd renders one's argument absurd in they eyes of whom you are making the argument to.

He should have picked a less absurd analogy. Free speech being the best of them. For example we can agree that most people do agree that racist speech is reprehensible and have moral feelings against that kind of speech, however racists do have a constitutional right to that kind of speech and we have to accept that racists are also allowed to have moral feelings in the rightness of their beliefs and speech.

Nazi's marching in Skokie being the example. Shiloh's droppings being another example. OWS protesting and demanding free this or that at someone else's expense being another.

Had he said that (free speech), it would have been most uncomfortable for the students and for the advocates of university campus speech codes among other things. If we can't have moral feelings against homosexuality does that therefore mean we can't have moral feelings against X, X being against whatever the majority view is on a given issue? Or minority view on a given issue?

Moral feeling is intertwined with law. It's inescapable and inseparable. After all what is the criminal code and the civil code (to a lesser extent) nothing but codified moral code which stems from moral feeling?

That said that is why we have a written constitution, a basic organic law to prevent the excesses of majoritarian moral feeling from being codified in to law. To use a Scalia absurdism it's OK to have a moral feeling to want to burn witches, fags and niggers at the stake but we do not have the right to do so. We have a right to have the moral feeling that capitalist pigs should be burned at the stake as along with the oppressive older white male repressive regime (pick your flavor) but we don't have the right to do so. In short we can have and are allowed to have any and all moral feelings about this or that but whether we can legally effect our feelings is another thing. Thank God we do have a constitution.

Scott M said...

But as always, not to worry as forgiveness is a virtue to con evangelicals ...

shiloh, pinned into a bullshit argument moves the bullshit goalposts from just "cons" to "con evangelicals". Convenient.

There's not much "conservative" about the fire-and-brimstone evangelicals liberals like to lambaste. I've always found odd the fact that the two groups hate each other so much when they have so, so much in common.

EMD said...

I favor antagonizing young minds.

Coddling them never works.

Michael Haz said...

I parrot what Freeman Hunt said.

EMD said...

t's a good deal worse than that: the syllogism never had any worth to begin with, being unrelated to Scalia's actual argument. Which is not "It's OK to ban one thing based on moral feelings, therefore it's OK to ban anything else we have a moral feeling against", but rather "There's at least one universally accepted ban which is based on moral feelings, therefore the claim that moral feelings are never a sufficient reason to ban something, is false."

Zrimsek, you magnificent bastard.

edutcher said...

Moral relativism is one of the Lefties' big crusades.

It's why Clint Eastwood's movies don't fly with me.

shiloh said...

The notion that sexual practice is much influenced by political identification is complete bullshit, shiloh.

Mark Foley
Mark Sanford
Larry Craig
John Ensign
David Vitter
Ted Haggard
Vito Fossella


William Jefferson Blyth III
Edward Moore Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Robert Francis Kennedy
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Christopher Dodd
Barack Hussein Obama (mmm, mmm, mmm)
Barney Frank
Gerry Studds
Hillary Rodham
Lyndon Baines Johnson
John Edwards
John Forbes Kerry

See you and raise you.

edutcher said...

PS I notice the little weasel has been in hiding again since that Koskidz poll came out saying 24% of the American people think the election was stolen.

Titus said...

Not everyone can be a Razorback or Roll Tide Freeman, as much as we all would of laughed at the thought.

East Coast Colleges bad bad bad

SEC colleges jokes, but good good good.

cubanbob said...

Inga said...
Universities are hotbeds of young folks questioning authority, where have you been Bryan? This has been going on for quite sometime now.

12/11/12 11:29 AM

If that were true the young folks would be mostly libertarians. or failing that, crass cynics admitting to wanting all kinds of free stuff as long as they aren't ultimately compelled to pay for it. But in reality they are finally going to find out how much free stuff costs when they realize they are going to stuck with the bill, that lesson will be learned in life and not taught by some tenured professor who got his or hers at the student's expense.

Freeman Hunt said...

Not everyone can be a Razorback or Roll Tide Freeman, as much as we all would of laughed at the thought.

East Coast Colleges bad bad bad

SEC colleges jokes, but good good good.


I didn't write anything along these lines.

gregq said...

What are they teaching at Princeton? That logic, reason, and facts don't matter. All that matters are you feelings.

See speech codes and rules against "giving offense."

jr565 said...

first of all, nobody's talking about prohibiting moral "feelings." the question was about legal restrictions on same-sex sex.


If this were a question about bestiality (or any other morel question frankly) what would your position be. Once we get down to the actual discussion of legal restrictions on behavior it sounds like your assertion is that society can't actually deal with legal restrictions.
Any behavior under the sun is behavior that has the potential to be restricted through law and leal restriction. Why would gay sex somehow,be an asolute right that somehow doesn't face that standard.
Again, you're trying to argue that you can't legislate morality. But that's clearly not true.

gregq said...

"If you can ban homosexuality, why cannot you ban reactionary Catholic judges?"

Because the US Constitution bans religious tests. It doesn't ban discriminating against homosexuals.

Feel free to try to get a Constitutional Amendment passed banning discrimination against homosexuals.

Feel damned to hell if you want to get 5 "Justices" to re-write the US Constitution to ban discrimination against homosexuals.

cubanbob said...

Freeman Hunt said...
There are amongst their cadre men & women of true genius who will no doubt do their best to maintain the value of that brand, so that they can free ride.

Until one day, too many freeriders tarnish the brand, and, overnight, the brand collapses.

It's not going to happen anytime soon, but it'll probably happen in our lifetimes.

I think it's been greatly accelerated by social media and will happen very soon. Through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs people are beginning to see what poor thinking goes on and gets a pass or is even encouraged because the people doing the poor thinking are posting it online.

12/11/12 12:03 PM

Speaking of the Ivy's and brand tarnishing, the last president who wasn't an Ivy was Reagan. Things been going downhill ever since. Anyone remember JFK's and LBJ's 'best and brightest'? We sure are paying now for that bunch of perceived Ivy wisdom.

Cedarford said...

The student in ultimate reduction, is saying the laws are OK when imposing restrictions based on norms he agrees with - bestiality is bad!
But not laws that disagree with his personal preferences - like a belief that society must all fall in line that homosexuality is just fabulous.

gregq said...

Finnegan babbled...
(1*) a ban on selfishness would itself be morally impermissible.

I agree it would be morally wrong. That doesn't mean the Constitution prohibits such a ban.

The question is not "what is right, what is wrong", the question is "what is allowed by the Constitution, and therefore subject to political decisions?"

Are you really so mentally deficient you can't comprehend that question?

shiloh said...

"He should have picked a less absurd analogy."

'Ya think!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roesch/voltaire said...

I have moral feelings against all sorts of things which are legal, so what's your point Tony?

shiloh said...

Yes, Althouse #1 doting, trained seal, there are sexual deviants on both sides of the aisle as I was agreeing w/Shouting T. So what's your point? Rhetorical.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth said...

EMD said...

Sometimes here I will take a position opposite my own to challenge others to make sound and solid arguments.

Contrarianism has its benefits.

12/11/12 10:38 AM


Me too. They don't seem to appreciate it as much as I think they should.

n.n said...

The point is that civilized society requires objective standards. In a culture which recognizes individual dignity, it is necessary to distinguish between individual and group behavior. We cannot avoid classifying behaviors for normalization, tolerance, or rejection. A selective standard is itself discriminatory and engenders uncertainty.

Anarchists have no standards, which is suitable for uncivilized society.

Libertarians have a non-aggression standard, which is insufficient for long-term viability.

Liberals and Progressives have a selective standard, which is designed to be exploited by special interests.

Conservatives recognize individual dignity and an intrinsic value of human life which must necessarily reconcile with the natural order.

shiloh said...

btw Althouse, when are you gonna tell your #1 doting, trained seal he is embarrassing your blog by continually sayin' the 2012 presidential election was stolen? Rhetorical.

ok, ok, cons have been embarrassing this blog since the day one.

Never mind ...

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

Yes, Althouse #1 doting, trained seal, there are sexual deviants on both sides of the aisle as I was agreeing w/Shouting T. So what's your point? Rhetorical.

Moronic, as always.

Funny how the little weasel confines his high dudgeon to the same few Republicans.

btw Althouse, when are you gonna tell your #1 doting, trained seal he is embarrassing your blog by continually sayin' the 2012 presidential election was stolen? Rhetorical.

No, tiresome.

Well, since the little weasel's own poll verifies it, what's his problem?

He has no morality, he just wants to feel superior to his intellectual and moral betters, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Unless it is the truth.

And the truth will out.

And then his Third World Messiah would be somebody's bunk muffin in Atlanta.

shiloh said...

The prosecution rests ...

Dave said...

Damikesc said..."Whiny twats like him (sexuality be damned) aren't human. Stop giving them that level of credit. They are human wannabes. They want to wear big boy/girl pants while shitting themselves and expecting others to pay for it."

In other words (grown up "big boy" words not reactionary hate speech) - the gay student could not be "dehumanized" because he is not human. And this observation is based on nothing but ignorant, prejudiced assumptions about a total stranger.

Shame on you! Denying the humanity of a fellow human being is inexcusable. In doing so you show contempt for the Abrahamic religious tradition and for our own country's founding principles. "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights" "what you do to the least of these, you do unto me" - any of that ring a bell?

At long last - have you no shame?

Aridog said...

Inga sez...

I'm relieved Obama is President and two Justices may be retiring in the next four years.

What difference will that make? Obama already has the sniveling Justice Roberts in his pocket. (:-0

jr565 said...

Dave wrote:

Shame on you! Denying the humanity of a fellow human being is inexcusable. In doing so you show contempt for the Abrahamic religious tradition and for our own country's founding principles. "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights" "what you do to the least of these, you do unto me" - any of that ring a bell?

what do you mean by "denying the humanity of a fellow human being" and what does that entail? Does that mean restricting behavior is denying humanity?
Any behavior? all behavior?
if there's one thing that's true is that if you are a human you have humanity. And engage in behavior. So to suggest that restricting behavior necessarily means you are dehumanizing people wouls essentially mean you couldn't restrict t any behavior under the sun. I'm sure murderers would appreciate your open minded ness
Tough considering we are a nation of laws, which definitionally restrict behavior, and we are living in a society and thus abiding by those laws that you don't really believe that which you speak of.

If you ever live on a deserted island all by yourself or we are in a post apocalyptic future with no laws then we can talk about how we can't dehumanized others by passing laws restricting heavier.
Only then, the natural laws of nature would apply, and you could restrict behavior simply by being the stronger party. Survival of the fittest baby!
In that world, I could kill you, steal from you, rape you, make you marry me, and enslave you simply because I was the stronger party. What inaliable rights would you e entitled to that I didn't give you or take away from you.

Meade said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...
"If we cannot have moral feelings against blacks, can we have it against murder?"

If Scalia cannot be allowed to argue in the form of reduction to the absurd, should Zachary be allowed to?

Synova said...

Can we have moral feelings against people who have moral feelings against homosexuality?

Oh and, wasn't that girl who's thoughts were too complex to write short answers from Princeton?

I once gave feed-back on a SF writing board to someone who had described their opus as set in a world that had true anarchy. There wasn't rules against anything, not even murder. So I explained why that wouldn't work, that even without laws there would be consequences and that the author was not going to be able to pull it off. The author got in a huff, more or less shouted at me, "You can't tell me what I can't do!" To that someone else commented... "Irony."

Students wouldn't blink at a guest speaker who was blasphemous when it came to religion, who postulated offensive things and then told the students to *think*.

Why should a less challenging subject than homosexuality be chosen as an example? Because the students can't think past the emotional reactions they've been trained to have? Maybe there is a good reason to chose the most emotionally sensitive example instead of the least?

Synova said...

"If someone opposed striking down anti-miscegenation statutes on the ground that there was no way to distinguish them from anti-bestiality statutes, would it betray a lack of education to call that person racist?"

You tell me, AF. Is there really no way to distinguish anti-miscegenation from anti-bestiality statues?

Is "You're a racist!" really a better answer than "Your primary premise is unsupported and unsupportable?"

Synova said...

Personally, I doubt that moral feelings should be a basis for laws, EVEN those against murder.

So, do I get emotional and call names and refuse to engage the "bad man", or do I explain my point of view rationally?

The thing is... if I did believe that morality made proper legislation except that I wanted MY morality to prevail and not that other guy's... I probably wouldn't be able to make a coherent argument and all I'd have would be moral outrage and name calling.

Shouting Thomas said...

Yes, Althouse #1 doting, trained seal, there are sexual deviants on both sides of the aisle as I was agreeing w/Shouting T. So what's your point? Rhetorical.

What are you talking about?

I am Althouse's #1 doting, trained seal!

I am a woman-pleaser!

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

The prosecution rests ...

More like flees (or, in this case, fleas), not having, as always, done a thing to rebut the argument.

BTW, you've been hiding since PPP told us 24% of the American people think the election was stolen. What do you think of that and how soon will it be before the House impeaches the Son of Saul?

Before or after the fiscal cliff?

Y'know, sooner or later, people will begin to catch on it's all one big scam.

damikesc said...

In other words (grown up "big boy" words not reactionary hate speech) - the gay student could not be "dehumanized" because he is not human. And this observation is based on nothing but ignorant, prejudiced assumptions about a total stranger.

Why feel a need to focus on who it bones? It's sexuality is the least of its issues.

It being a whiny little human wannabe is its issue. If it boned men, women, or the dead --- the core issue of it being a whiny little twat and not a human remains.

Shame on you! Denying the humanity of a fellow human being is inexcusable.

Yet I do so with happiness. Screw it. Want to be treated like a human?

Act like one.

In doing so you show contempt for the Abrahamic religious tradition and for our own country's founding principles.

Yet my life continues unabated.

Clean the sand out of your vag and make a point, would you?

At long last - have you no shame?

For calling a whiny little twat a whiny little twat?

Not really.

Ann Althouse said...

The Scalia quote begins "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality..." but what does "cannot" refer to? Obviously, people feel whatever they feel. Understanding the larger subject — from the Lawrence case — I know he's talking about whether laws can be premised on moral feelings, whether moral feelings constitute a legitimate interest for a law. (All laws must be based on a govt interest that is, at least, legitimate.)

Is moral feeling alone sufficient? Scalia said yes.

Now, moral feeling underlies our objection to murder, but it's not the ONLY interest supporting the law against murder. There's also the terrible harm to others. What's different about sodomy is that there isn't another interest to support it (or so Lawrence found).

A completely separate question is whether we're dealing with an area of heightened scrutiny, which wasn't what the Court saw in Lawrence. Lawrence used minimal scrutiny and said there was no legitimate interest, because moral feeling didn't count.

So this is the issue: Is moral feeling enough?

Moral feeling underlies many laws, and question whether we would say legislatures can't base laws on morality and whether morality should be part of what we take into account when we pass laws.

It seems to me that we often incorporate morality into our thinking about what laws we want, and it's interesting to talk about why we do this and to notice when we do this.

Quite apart from all of that is: What should our morality consist of? I don't think obstructing homosexuals is good morality, but that's what the morality argument would be about, if we were debating the law on the moral level.

Should we refrain from doing that? Should we say morality is irrelevant? Could we do that successfully?

I think some people are saying exclude morality when they only mean exclude the morality that I don't agree with.

Let's be clear and consistent about what we are doing.

Paddy O said...

I think other people's moral feelings should not be the basis of laws, but mine should.

That pretty much sums up political discourse throughout history.

It's just that the prevailing moral positions change.

Sex used to be something you did, now it's something that gives you identity and meaning. That's a huge shift in understanding of morality and the being of a human.

It's also why there's such outrage on both sides. People think that behavior can be regulated while identity is inherent to personhood.

If you are black or white, it's who you are. Genetics, identifiable characteristics not related to behavior. You don't need to be asked in order for someone to understand your status in such categories.

If you smoke, it's what you do.

Contemporary moral laws make the latter expression entirely limited nowadays. So too laws regulating food (trans-fats, supersize cokes) and packaging labels and such.

So what is our sexuality? Is who we do who we are? Or just what we happen to do?

traditionalguy said...

What is Scalia's current position on Gay's being allowed to purchase and carry fire arms? Disarming them is an absolute necessity before imprisoning them for doing sex wrong.

But the darned Second Amendment was snuck into the Constitution by Alexander Hamilton, a well known gay Manhattanite.

Which way will Scalia's brain turn?

mccullough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darcy said...

I'm not grasping how one separates some kind of moral basis from the making of a law. I'm not trying to be snarky, I really don't get how one does that.

What I'm saying is that you may not call it a moral basis, but it must be, somehow. Where am I wrong?

chickelit said...

Now, moral feeling underlies our objection to murder, but it's not the ONLY interest supporting the law against murder. There's also the terrible harm to others. What's different about sodomy is that there isn't another interest to support it (or so Lawrence found).

What about consensual bigamy, adultery, and incestuous marriage, or marriage between --"just friends," etc.; must each of these also have some compelling other reason for each and every case for exclusion from marriage?

Just trying to be clear and consistent.



Michael K said...

" shiloh said...
"Minor conclusion: Scalia is an idiot's idea of an intellectual."

As mentioned, Scalia is a fool! ... on a good day as he continually goes out of his way "trying" to be clever."

A vicious attack by the ankle biter !

mccullough said...

Darcy,

I agree with you. There is some moral judgment at bottom of all of it, even in the basic form of "this is better than that."

Since people can't always agree on what is morally best, then maybe people can agree that that when it comes to imposing moral judgments, the best (i.e. most moral) thing to do is to let the majority rule.

Sayyid said...

"BUT

(1*) a ban on selfishness would itself be morally impermissible.

(2*) banning murder is nevertheless morally permissible.

(3*) therefore, the conditional "if we can ban murder, we can ban selfishness" is false."

Except: The terms "morally impermissible" and "morally permissible" are not premises, they are conclusions of some preexisting moral code which dictates which laws are and are not permissible.

Therefore your disproof stands on the foundation of the very premise Scalia was attacking.

Sorun said...

We can all get a taste of Ivy League brilliance via classes on Coursera. I recently took a statistics course taught be a Princeton professor.

The case studies he used in lectures were mostly taken from baseball and U.S. social and political demographics (yes, he was politiking). This to an international student body. Such a brilliant idiot.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Now, moral feeling underlies our objection to murder, but it's not the ONLY interest supporting the law against murder. There's also the terrible harm to others.

With that word "terrible" underlining (slyly?) the fact that utilitarian moral feelings are just as feely as any other moral feelings.

Sayyid said...

"Therefore your disproof stands on the foundation of the very premise Scalia was attacking."

I mean asserting, not attacking. Law school finals period. Words will come out wrong.

Both Scalia's "we can ban murder and homosexuality both, if we please" and your supposed disproof of that idea both rest on the foundation of: The law is an enactment of morality.

The difference is that you have a different idea of morality from Scalia.

And that Scalia believes the way to resolve that conflict is the democratic process, not the Court.

Alex said...

The American electorate is trending pro-gay with every passing year. Keep swimming against the tide you intrepid Christian warriors!

Alex said...

I can only imagine what Chris Althouse Cohen has to say about her mom's lack of slamming Scalia.

Synova said...

"With that word "terrible" underlining (slyly?) the fact that utilitarian moral feelings are just as feely as any other moral feelings."

The word "terrible" has more than one meaning. Granted, the meaning "powerful" is no longer in general use.

I don't disagree that utilitarian arguments can also be feeling arguments in the sense that explaining why hurting another person is "wrong" depends on a judgement that it counts as "wrong" to hurt someone or "wrong" in the effects on the community. Same as theft is "wrong" if it's fellow humans taking your property or government taking your property and I can explain how insecurity in the accumulation of wealth changes economic behavior but I still have to say that the resulting condition is less desirable than the other. That promoting poverty, even an equality of poverty, is "wrong".

Synova said...

Wonderful, terrible, awful...

Gabriel Hanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel Hanna said...

It would be well to remember that state governments once had the power to allow the buying and selling of human flesh, and that was explicitly in the Constitution.

Likewise the states had the power to deny votes to half the population, and the Constitution had to be explicitly changed to remove that power from them. The 14th amendment was not sufficient to grant civil rights to women.

Scalia's point is that the Constitution is not a magic wand that dispenses justice, and that laws that impose moral standards on consenting adults are not prima facie invalid.

I like to ask young progressives--why is it that anything goes in the bedroom between consenting adults, but why is letting them decide for themselves what wage one will pay the other too perverted to allow?

Gabriel Hanna said...

Why is it moral to kill and eat an animal, but immoral to have sex with it? I ask all legal rationalists to ponder this question carefully.

Aridog said...

Alex said...

The American electorate is trending pro-gay with every passing year. Keep swimming against the tide you intrepid Christian warriors!

Curious...what do you mean here? What will gays do when their uniqueness is gone?...actually when they realize that it never was in the first place and that acceptance is based upon behavior, not preference or genetics?

I attended college, large universities, with straight and LGBT students and regularly mixed socially with them...all of them...and it was no problem. That was 50 years ago now...when exactly did the "trend" you speak of begin? Do you mean in terms of publicity or actual relationships? Was it a demand for uniqueness, as actualization, or a failure to realize normalcy?

Shouting Thomas said...

The American electorate is trending pro-gay with every passing year.

The American electorate was never anti-gay.

You're making the classic mistake of confusing agreement or disagreement with the leftist gay activist agenda with peoples' personal feelings about gays.

The great persecution of the gays never happened. It's a fable, created by martyrdom movies and TV shows.

Anthony said...

William asks: Is it possible to ban any activity simply because it's ugly to look at?

Billboards.

Aridog said...

Gabriel Hanna asked...

Why is it moral to kill and eat an animal, but immoral to have sex with it? I ask all legal rationalists to ponder this question carefully.

Nothing to ponder for me, my viewpoint is similar to that of many Native Americans. Feathered and furred predators kill to eat and survive, but frequently do not kill before eating their prey. The Human species generally kills its prey before eating or cooking, and that's a "moral" decision or choice to me.

As for sex with animals, my view is also simple...sex with anything not fecund with your species is abuse of the animal, and thus morally disapproved among the human species the same as eating live prey.

Having been both a hunter and a soldier I find no benefit is causing inordinate suffering. Eating is a survival affair, but it does not require abuse of our prey or anything not within our species.

I guess I'd call it *honor*,not morality. I choose to not dishonor myself.

Synova said...

We raised animals for food but would have never considered abusing them before slaughter. What an odd assumption to make, that ultimate slaughter justifies abuse?

It's nearly as odd as the assumption that ultimate slaughter after experiencing life is worse than preemptive extinction. (The most useful path to species survival is to be *tasty*.)

Yes, it's respect. The natural order is that we eat meat and we domesticate animals but we don't "play with" our food and we care about the conditions and care that our food experiences a nice life up to the point of slaughter.

It's what makes "free range" beef more "moral" than "feed lot" beef. And "cage free" eggs or chickens more "moral" than caged ones.

(I don't think that cattle or chickens mind being crowded together but humans think that way and we make a distinction that may be anthropomorphic, but we do make it.)

Paddy O said...

Eating is a survival affair, but it does not require abuse of our prey or anything not within our species.

Very little hunting by people in the contemporary world has to do with survival.

And I'd argue that killing something for pleasure (most reasons hunters hunt nowadays) is a strong form of abuse.

That doesn't mean I'm against hunting or eating meat.

It's just weird to say killing something for sport is somehow less abusive than having sex with it.

That I think the latter should be outlawed is a moral preference differentiating forms of abuse that relate to human identity. It's not the abuse of the animal that bothers us, it's the kind of person that would engage in that behavior.

Meanwhile, we tend to feel just the opposite about killing. Killing people for sport is immoral, but having sex with them is often fine.

Renee said...

If I oppose the death penalty, does it mean I feel less moral against murder?

AReasonableMan said...

Aridog said...
I attended college, large universities, with straight and LGBT students and regularly mixed socially with them...all of them...and it was no problem. That was 50 years ago now...when exactly did the "trend" you speak of begin? Do you mean in terms of publicity or actual relationships? Was it a demand for uniqueness, as actualization, or a failure to realize normalcy?


The people who attended large universities 50 years ago were not reflective of the general population. If you had mixed with everyone else you would have observed considerable hostility towards gays. It is not that much earlier that Alan Turing was hounded to his death for being homosexual.

Shouting Thomas said...

The people who attended large universities 50 years ago were not reflective of the general population. If you had mixed with everyone else you would have observed considerable hostility towards gays.

Not really.

Darcy said...

I see morality.

AReasonableMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

Shouting Thomas said...
Not really.


If you know any older gay men or women ask them how comfortable they would have felt 'coming out' 50 years ago.

Aridog said...

Paddy O said...

And I'd argue that killing something for pleasure (most reasons hunters hunt nowadays) is a strong form of abuse...[snip]...
It's just weird to say killing something for sport is somehow less abusive than having sex with it.


You'll get no argument from me on this point. If you are not going to eat it, don't hunt and shoot it. Period. Abusing animals for ego actualization by killing them and leaving them rot except for trophy parts is abuse every bit as much as having sex with them.

Though a very long time member of the NRA, since age 8, I suspect they'd not see it my way. That is their problem not mine. I am far more likely to aggressively mess up some "sport hunting derby" than just sit by and let fools kill for "fun."

You like abject killing so f'ing much...join the Marines or the Army Infantry and check it out when the "prey" shoots back, or first under the current ROE's..."killing" is a means to and end...it should not be the end itself.

Shouting Thomas said...

If you know any older gay men or women ask them how comfortable they would have felt 'coming out' 50 years ago.

So what?

Ask somebody who belongs to orgy clubs or has any number of fetishes and is hetero how they feel about coming out today. You can't, because they keep their business to themselves.

I think people should keep their sexual behavior to themselves.

And, having played a role in years past in producing martyrdom propaganda, I'm always very skeptical about martyrdom propaganda.

Every political movement gins up martyrdom stories. Most of them are so much bunk.

Shouting Thomas said...

The martyrdom stories have stopped working on me because gay activists continue to peddle the story that, during my adult lifetime (roughly 1965 to today), there was some sort of systemic persecution and bullying of gays.

This is pure bullshit. And, I've been well placed to observe whether this is true.

So, I have naturally grown to wonder whether the martyrdom stories of the days before I was an adult were mostly ginned up bullshit.

I suspect they were.

Synova said...

"Killing people for sport is immoral, but having sex with them is often fine."

Rape is not ever fine.

A better comparison would be... assisted suicide is immoral but sex is fine. Both, then, could (should) involve consenting adults.

Also... survival behavior is pleasurable. Both sex and hunting. Asking hunters to not enjoy hunting is like only approving sex that isn't fun.

Synova said...

But I do agree... hunting and leaving it to rot is something else.

Tangentially... I have snakes. I read articles explaining how a snake owner wasn't supposed to enjoy watching their snake kill food. No doubt if someone gets a snake and treats it like a dog-fight blood sport that's one thing, but it's *interesting* to watch a snake eat.

edutcher said...

AnUnreasonableTroll said...

The people who attended large universities 50 years ago were not reflective of the general population.

They weren't??

Are we talking the 60s, when anybody could go to a community college or get a loan for school?

Troll wants us to think WWII and the GI Bill (among other things) didn't happen.

If you had mixed with everyone else you would have observed considerable hostility towards gays.

No, just distaste. The Lefties' rap that every homosexual was beaten within an inch of his life daily didn't happen even then.

It is not that much earlier that Alan Turing was hounded to his death for being homosexual.

Homosexuality was a capital offense in Blighty until the 60s.

Shouting Thomas said...

No, just distaste. The Lefties' rap that every homosexual was beaten within an inch of his life daily didn't happen even then.

The legends about violence against gays have mistakenly fingered hetero guys as the villains.

When I lived in SF and NYC during the heydey of gay liberation, it was common for the gay guys to buff up their biceps at the gym.

They wanted to be physically attractive, but they were also worried about the potential for violence inherent in a life of promiscuous pick-up sex.

In other words, gay men mostly fear violence from other gay men, and with good reason.

Paddy O said...

Rape is not ever fine.

Synova, I actually added the word "often" because I thought of rape. Meaning, that is one way in which sex with other people isn't always fine in our culture.

Even in our immensely sexually permissive era we still say rape is wrong.

jr565 said...

Synova wrote:
Personally, I doubt that moral feelings should be a basis for laws, EVEN those against murder.

what do you think of laws that are unjust, or miscarriages of justice. Isn't the whole premise that laws are just because they are moral? Every time someone gets railroaded by the law or every time we appeal for a law to be changed or a law to be added its because we are asking for a moral outcome.
Take the law on drugs. Many libertarians keep making the argument that people are being put in jail for non violent crimes, therefor we should legalize drugs. That's an appeal to a MORAL law, and is based on your morality. Ad the fact that those in jail are facing an injustice means that you think the law is wrong. Again, a moral argument. That is true for laws against theft, murder and even things like speed limits.

Otherwise, if law werent based on morality justice would be arbitrary and in fact evil. Why would society put people in prison and deprive them of liberty if they didn't believe the laws were moral or designed to produce a moral outcome?

Synova said...

Paddy O, I pointed out rape because murder isn't consensual. Compare two non-consensual acts or two consensual acts.

I knew you didn't mean to include rape.

Paddy O said...

Aridog, thanks that that great reply.

survival behavior is pleasurable

Very few people in our country hunt for actual survival. Even if they eat what they kill, it's not like they'd starve otherwise.

But I get your point. Our survival instincts are connected to our pleasure points. But, that's precisely where morals come in, why we have laws. Most people don't voluntarily do things that are not pleasurable to them, so society sets up rules about which pleasures are allowable and why.

Not only society as far as laws. As far as community and relationships. We know to avoid immediately pleasurable acts in order to maintain order.

Having lots of sex is fun, but being married means I have to balance my pleasure with responsibility and honor.

Paddy O said...

Compare two non-consensual acts or two consensual acts.

Ah, yes!

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:
Synova, I actually added the word "often" because I thought of rape. Meaning, that is one way in which sex with other people isn't always fine in our culture.

Even in our immensely sexually permissive era we still say rape is wrong.

that about cannibalim?
You would think it would always be wrong, and yet remember that case in Germany where the cannibal put out an ad that he wanted to eat someone and he got a response from someone who consented to be eaten. And he actually killed and ate the person. (The person who was eten actually ate his own flesh befor finally dying of his wounds).
I remember at the time having an argument with libertarians how the cannibal shouldn't go to jail because it was consensual behavior!
So, don't say never when it comes to rape.

shiloh said...

"A vicious attack by the ankle biter !"

MK, apparently vicious enough to get your "attempt at sarcasm" er attention.

Michael K said...

On election day we will find out how accurate the polls were. I'm not betting on them. I would say Romney is about 3-5% above the poll numbers. This is going to be another 1980, not 2000.

10/29/12 2:17 PM


Indeed, no sarcasm needed as even Scalia would agree MK is an idiot!

blessings

Paddy O said...

So, don't say never when it comes to rape.

Yeah, that cannibal makes for tricky universal standards.

No means culturally defined agreement on resisting a practice that breaks mutually determined norms.

jr565 said...

Consent is often a nebulous idea. For example, back to the cannibals. Even if someone does consent to be eaten how valid is that consent. Can you get consent from a crazy person? If you say, kill me at some point in life, and someone takes you up on it does that absolve them of the act and does that even mean that you gave them consent? is consent retroactive. Are you held to that consenting statement even if you later decide that you have no reason to want to die it they decide to kill you. How much consent is required before killing someone is legally permissible.
There are many cases where objective morality overrides consensual behavior.
S

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

A vicious attack by the ankle biter !

MK, apparently vicious enough to get your "attempt at sarcasm" er attention.

Indeed, no sarcasm needed as even Scalia would agree MK is an idiot!


Not so much vicious as ludicrous and the idiot appears to be the little weasel, who seems to have copied down all out prognostications for future reference.

(sicko)

We all know the Demos and Dr Evil stole the election with crooked voting machines, bused in stooges, stuffed ballot boxes (99+% turnout), and destroyed absentee ballots.

The little weasel's "Resistance is futile" rap fools no one and makes only him the fool.

Or should I say idiot?

And where were you hiding after that Koskidz poll came out?

Bedpan caddy for Princess Kate?

shiloh said...

Again Althouse please, as your #1 doting, trained seal needs an intervention stat.

blessings

Synova said...

jr565,

If the argument that all judgement is moral if it's a judgement... it's a tautology at that point. No? I think that almost all traditional moral standards have a utilitarian basis... they follow natural law, like gravity.

I'll try to think of an example that is different. How about... tax the rich because it's fair and they deserve to be punished for being rich.

The tax doesn't solve any problems, and it doesn't really punish the rich all that much. So it's just a "feel good" thing. There is no utility to it, only emotional satisfaction.

But maybe emotional satisfaction is reason enough for a government policy. Pacify the masses. Make them feel like they're taken seriously, even if it's all smoke and mirrors? Maybe.

I don't think that "I don't like that thing, that thing is bad, there should be a law," is a good basis for laws.

I don't think people should decorate their bodies with tattoos.

That's a judgement statement. Should, if I attained a majority who agreed with me, tattoos be illegal? Maybe someone can argue they aren't safe... but they aren't forced on someone so am I compelled by morality to make other people safe from their own choices? Maybe someone can argue that gangs use them as identification... but should we outlaw anything used as gang identifiers? Maybe I just think they're ugly and in the same category as HOA regulations to mow your lawn or prohibitions on painting your house purple and green? Maybe my faith says that the body is the temple of the Lord.

I think there is a difference between what I think is right and wrong and what ought to be a law and for there to be a law there ought to be a specific transgression against another person or a recognizable public order component such as traffic laws or toxic waste to manage.

Of course liberty itself is a matter of morality. People who are free have no need for revolution because they have room to be. If less freedom has benefits supported by utility, the utility is short sighted. Sharing the wealth makes life better for everyone. National Healthcare solves problems of accessibility. A bigger government can help us all more.

Take away structural room for dissent and non-participation in the service of making the game more equal, more fair, and just plain better... and you lose the utilitarian argument to revolution, or at least economic dissolution and oppression.

I'm selling back a textbook on writing workplace documents that has an asinine section on "ethics" that reduces "utility" to favoring the interests of the majority, "greatest good for greatest number of people."

It also creates, whole cloth, a major area of ethics called "conservation ethics."

I'm selling back my critical thinking text too, but at least that one wasn't stooopid.

Synova said...

(Actually, I think tattoos are fine, if often ill-advised.)

Shouting Thomas said...

I told you, shiloh...

I am Althouse's #1 dating, trained seal.

I worked hard for this honor. You can't see that?

Rhetorical.

Meade said...

It's true that Shouting Thomas is #1.

But there are many trained barking seals. Althouse has a pod of seals. A colony of seals. A crash, flock, harem, bob, herd, rookery, team of trained barking clapping seals.

May God bless them all.

Justin said...

So this is the issue: Is moral feeling enough?

I think the answer to this is clearly no. It of course underpins many of our laws but moral disapproval, in and of itself, shouldn't be enough. Posner is wrong about horse meat.

Murder actually harms people. There isn't any serious argument that gay people getting married causes any real (as opposed to imaginary) harm. Same with eating horse meat.

mccullough said...

Justin,

Your moral beliefs are that if something imposes physical (or some sort of direct psychological) harm on someone else (or even an animal), then the government can ban it, but if not then it should not.

This is a very sensible position. I think it would mean the government couldn't ban masturbating in public, but a lot of people would disagree with that.

Douglas said...

1) Scalia asked a perfectly reasonable question. If you think morality, whatever its source, has no place in judging or lawmaking, how far are you prepared to go? So far, I haven't seen any of Scalia's critics here answer that question.
2) In the Texas sodomy case, Scalia's dissent claimed that holding there is a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy would inevitably lead to claims of a constitutional right to gay marriage. I recall that the liberals mocked him at the time. What a ridiculous, far-fetched, parade of horribles, they said. Well, it turns out he was exactly right and I don't see any of the liberals or gay activists who criticized him at the time apologizing now.

shiloh said...

"I am Althouse's #1 dating, trained seal."

So Meade has competition lol. As ZPS mentioned above ~ so quaint!

And ST, seriously, you can be whoever you want er claim to be. Indeed, the con er conga er lemming line is quite longgg behind Althouse.

>

"But there are many trained barking seals. Althouse has a pod of seals. A colony of seals. A crash, flock, harem, bob, herd, rookery, team of trained barking clapping seals.

May God bless them all."

And the truth shall set you free!

So many seals, so little time ...

blessings

Shouting Thomas said...

shiloh,

Since Althouse makes those big bucks, she's able to keep her trained seals in delicious fresh sardines.

All I have to do is sit up, bark and clap my flippers.

When are you going to join the pod?

Rhetorical.

Shouting Thomas said...

Pardon the Freudian typo, shiloh.

I was momentarily overtaken by my passion for sardines.

Shouting Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

"I think it would mean the government couldn't ban masturbating in public, but a lot of people would disagree with that."

I think that a good argument could be made that "public" is functionally equivalent to "in front of a small child" and that behavior "in public" that would be sexual abuse if it were in the context of "Sally, watch uncle Stan's pet snake get bigger" could be prohibited.

Synova said...

Same with those idiot nudists in San Francisco. Some citizens experience life at crotch level and deserve some consideration.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

It's true that Shouting Thomas is #1.

He is?????

I'm crushed, shattered, unable to....

Meade, Ann how could you DO this to me?

Haven't I earned my sardines?

Meade said...

Ed, you're #2. Try harder.

shiloh said...

"Ed, you're #2. Try harder."

If #2 trained seal tries any harder, Meade will have to call 911 ...

ok, ok, Althouse personal pet is harmless ie all bark, no bite er all hat, no cattle.

Death, taxes, #2's continuing Althouse obsession.

Again, it's probably keeping him out of trouble.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sayyid said...

"I think that a good argument could be made that "public" is functionally equivalent to "in front of a small child" and that behavior "in public" that would be sexual abuse if it were in the context of "Sally, watch uncle Stan's pet snake get bigger" could be prohibited. [next post] Same with those idiot nudists in San Francisco. Some citizens experience life at crotch level and deserve some consideration."

Sexual abuse assumes some sort of inherent harm. I believe there are plenty of non-western cultures which would refute both of these claims, and especially the claim regarding nudity.

But if "inherent harm" is out, then all that remains is... Morality!

And how else should we define it except through the democratic process?

Inga said...

Shouting Thomas said,

"Ask somebody who belongs to orgy clubs or has any number of fetishes and is hetero how they feel about coming out today.

I think people should keep their sexual behavior to themselves."

12/11/12 3:26 PM

LMAO, this coming from someone who brags about what a whoremonger he was and how many orgies he attended!

Althouse #1 trained seal. Edutcher has been replaced.:)

Shouting Thomas said...

Inga,

What do you mean "was!"

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

Ed, you're #2. Try harder.

If #2 trained seal tries any harder, Meade will have to call 911 ...

ok, ok, Althouse personal pet is harmless ie all bark, no bite er all hat, no cattle.


Funny, all I have to do is ask him to rebut my assertions or ask where he hides out after he gets his ass kicked, and the little weasel disappears like a short beer.

Not very harmless to him, apparently.

PS Meade, nobody tries harder than I do.

Haven't I popularized your sweet potato biscuits?

PPS Where was the little weasel hiding after the Koskidz poll came out?

Trying to learn how to sucker punch bloggers?

JRPtwo said...

"Easy cases make bad law," Bill Stuntz taught us. The idea is that in an easy case the court may reach the right answer for the wrong reason. With murder, Scalia encourages us to start with a very easy case; we should be suspicious of the reasoning we pull from it.

Scalia suggests that the rule against murder is ONLY based on morality—by which I presume he means some base level instinct or feeling. First, I’d suggest there are a lot of reasons to outlaw murder besides moral feeling. Second, in general morality alone is neither necessary nor sufficient so justify law. Morality is not sufficient to outlaw contraception or sodomy or premarital sex. Morality is not necessary to outlaw driving on the left side of the road or immigration without the proper paperwork or selling food without collecting sales tax.

Scalia’s argument fails because morality is not really an a priori feeling. It’s more like a conclusion than a reason. And since it’s so broad and unreliable, we have to uncover the reasons for the moral feeling and see if they support the legal conclusion.

jr565 said...

Jonah Goldberg linked to this today. A guy had sex witha donkey, and made the argument that he has a constitutional right to have sex with donkeys. Essentially the same argument made about gay sex by the gay dude (or anything else by the person wishing to have society forgive/legalize the behavior)
“By making sexual conduct with an animal a crime, the statute demeans individuals like Defendant (Romero) by making his private sexual conduct a crime,” the attorneys wrote.

As another possible reason for unconstitutionality, the attorneys add that the statute doesn’t require that the state prove any harm or injury to the animal “or any proof of the sexual activity being non-consensual.”

“Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright ‘disgusting,’?” they wrote.

Using religion or the overall consensus of the public that sexual activity with an animal is wrong as the basis of a law is unjustified and bars Romero’s personal liberties, the attorneys argued.

“The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties,” the attorneys wrote. “If the statute were to require sexual conduct with animals to be nonconsensual or to cause injury in order to be a crime, then perhaps the State would have a rational basis and legitimate state interest in enforcement.”
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20121211/ARTICLES/121219923/1034?p=1&tc=pg

demeans, dehumanizes. What's the diff? so for the guy who asked why Scalia was lumping gay sex in with bestiality and murder and to do so was dehumanizing gays, here is a direct counter to your position. From this persons position, YOU are demeaning him for lumping what should be constitutional behavior in with murder. Why so intolerant chum? You don't want to dehumanize people for behaving in what they consider legitimate behavior would you?
And now that this donkey lover is in court saying sex with donkeys should be legal, I guess we should, what? Legalize sex with donkeys?
Note, the EXACT same suggestion that the morality of the majority cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties. And the exact same appeal to rational basis.
Unless you want to argue that society really can't have laws against having sex with donkeys, perhaps the proponents of gay marriage might think about how false their argument in fact is (not all the arguments, but the argument that society can't proscribe behavior based on the morality of the majority). Does it apply to having sex with donkeys, in but one example? No? then its not a legitimate argument.

jr565 said...

Jonah Goldberg linked to this today. A guy had sex witha donkey, and made the argument that he has a constitutional right to have sex with donkeys. Essentially the same argument made about gay sex by the gay dude (or anything else by the person wishing to have society forgive/legalize the behavior)
“By making sexual conduct with an animal a crime, the statute demeans individuals like Defendant (Romero) by making his private sexual conduct a crime,” the attorneys wrote.

As another possible reason for unconstitutionality, the attorneys add that the statute doesn’t require that the state prove any harm or injury to the animal “or any proof of the sexual activity being non-consensual.”

“Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright ‘disgusting,’?” they wrote.

Using religion or the overall consensus of the public that sexual activity with an animal is wrong as the basis of a law is unjustified and bars Romero’s personal liberties, the attorneys argued.

“The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties,” the attorneys wrote. “If the statute were to require sexual conduct with animals to be nonconsensual or to cause injury in order to be a crime, then perhaps the State would have a rational basis and legitimate state interest in enforcement.”
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20121211/ARTICLES/121219923/1034?p=1&tc=pg

demeans, dehumanizes. What's the diff? so for the guy who asked why Scalia was lumping gay sex in with bestiality and murder and to do so was dehumanizing gays, here is a direct counter to your position. From this persons position, YOU are demeaning him for lumping what should be constitutional behavior in with murder. Why so intolerant chum? You don't want to dehumanize people for behaving in what they consider legitimate behavior would you?
And now that this donkey lover is in court saying sex with donkeys should be legal, I guess we should, what? Legalize sex with donkeys?
Note, the EXACT same suggestion that the morality of the majority cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties. And the exact same appeal to rational basis.
Unless you want to argue that society really can't have laws against having sex with donkeys, perhaps the proponents of gay marriage might think about how false their argument in fact is (not all the arguments, but the argument that society can't proscribe behavior based on the morality of the majority). Does it apply to having sex with donkeys, in but one example? No? then its not a legitimate argument.

jr565 said...

You can have moral feelings against anything you want. Even against reactionary judges. You can even attempt to have your moral feelings codified into law. But you cannot have your moral feels violate the legal rights of others. If you can ban homosexuality, why cannot you ban reactionary Catholic judges?

what re your "legal rights? Gays didn't have a right to marry, so where would you assume they had a legal right to do so, until society decides to pass laws to day they did. It seems that a lot of people assume rights that they don't in fact possess. For example, as mentioned above, the right to screw donkeys.
And, if you can have your moral feelings codified into law and that law passes, well then you can violate the rights of others, because you wouldn't have that right. Only the person railing against the law would assert that you would have the right, but legally no.
Even our most fundamental rights have exceptions. Take the right to Liberty. You are free do things, so long as they are legal (or you are smart enough to not get caught). But if you are found guilty of something you go to jail. Isn't that a violation of the fundamental right to Liberty?well, no, because liberty assumes law abiding. It doesn't assume anarchy, anything goes. If you want that then let's wait for the apocalypse. You have Liberty. S long as you do not violate the laws.
What are the laws? Codified morality of the society that passes the law.

technologist said...

Particularly depressing when your l'esprit de l'escalier as an Ivy League attendee is weak as well.

Another data point demonstrating the intellectual exhaustion of the left.