Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oh and speaking of the last post

For example, this:

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.

...

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.

Yes, and here's the thing you'd think a sentient human being would understand -- when YOU make arguments claimed to be reductio ad absurdum (look at all those law school loans paying off!) YOU are the one who gets to pick the comparison, no one else.  So if it is specious and offensive it is also on YOU.

And equating being gay to murder...that's offensive...and YOU are responsible for it.


42 comments:

The Frito Pundito said...

And one would think Scalia would know he is drawing a false equivalency - in that having moral feelings about something is not the same as making it illegal. I have moral feelings about partisan hacks on the Supreme Court, but I wouldn't make it illegal (although I might have a Scalia clause).

Montag said...

Moreover, Scalia ought to be well-aware that he's arguing from a false premise, is engaging in simple sophistry.

The real questions are whether or not one person's morality (Scalia's) is sufficient to engage legal sanction, and whether or not one group's sense of morality trumps another's rights. Morality is fluid and fungible, while law is presumably absolute. The attacks on supposed witches, heretics and Jews during the Inquisition were deemed to be both a matter of morality and law, and yet, today, in this society, they are perceived not as moral, but, rather, as barbaric.

Scalia has already shown himself to be a sophist in service to religious dogma, so there's no point in belaboring yet another instance of it. If he were as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be making much better arguments.

DrDick said...

Of course Scalia frames this in terms of an amorphous "morality." The reality is, however, that the primary foundations of law (and the justification for laws against murder or robbery) rest not on morality, but on actual harm done. Unless you can demonstrate that same sex marriage inflicts harms comparable to murder or theft, then there is no legal rational for it.

Anonymous said...

At this point Scalia is basically Grandpa Simpson, cramming his personal politics and bigotries into law and making up justifications afterward. He's not even pretending any more.

pansypoo said...

i would have asked him why catholic priests thought sodomizing little boys was a-ok?

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