Sunday, July 03, 2011

Natural Epistemology and Gay Rights

Appeals to Intuition

Let’s talk about something virtually uncontroversial to demonstrate how and why it is that we all believe what we believe. You, the reader, believe that Blacks and Whites should be treated “equally,” right?* Okay, now why do you believe that? At this point you’ve probably silently answered that question in your head with some reason or another; okay, now why do you believe the reason that you’ve just given? ...And why do you believe this second reason? ...And why do you believe this third reason? Oh, you “just know it”? What, you “just know” that they should be treated equally? So what you’re telling me is that you ultimately don’t have proof for the proposition in question here; instead, you’re claiming that you just know it or that it’s just obvious. So if we assume that the rest of your reasoning is valid and sound, this can only mean one of two things: ultimately, either you’re just assuming that Blacks and Whites should be treated equally, or you’re intuiting that Blacks and Whites should be treated equally.

And what does it mean to intuit a proposition? It means that the proposition that you claim to know in this case is known directly and without medial causes which are evidence. I grant that intuition exists, for if one were to try to prove the Laws of Logic (i.e., the Law of Identity and the Principle of Noncontradiction) he could not do so: he would end up begging the question to do so since proofs and arguments presuppose and depend on the supposed validity or trueness of the Laws of Logic. So again, if we assume that the rest of your reasoning is valid and sound then ultimately either you’re just assuming that Blacks and Whites should be treated equally, or you’re intuiting that Blacks and Whites should be treated equally.

Meanwhile, some of the correct answers to life’s tough questions may come by incorrect means, precisely because apparently some truths are difficult to prove and are likewise difficult (where not impossible) to intuit; examples can be found in doctrines of Original Sin, corporate guilt, moral responsibility à la Frankfurt counterexamples, and the Trinity. The common man, instead of relying ultimately on a solid foundation of rigorous application of logic, likely will often just assume certain things in order to fit in with his social group with its beliefs. After all, how many of us truly know or have ever stopped to reason through the idea that Blacks, Whites, and other racial and ethnic groups should be treated “equally”? Do we really know and are we really so certain that one particular group really is not cursed, as in the case of Israel immediately following Achan’s sin in Joshua, chapter seven? Is the “brotherhood of all mankind” idea really something that can account for the morality of laws against illegal immigrants and illegal immigration where not every conceivable type of group of people has the same moral right to certain types of legal protection and privileges?

Ah, but we are so certain and we really do know that one group in particular should in virtually every meaningful sense of the term “equal” be treated as “equals” of another group, right? In other words, it really is clear that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally,” right? Intuition suggests equality, one might claim. The Bible fails to disprove the idea of equality because the book is not truthful, and even if it were truthful there really is no anti-homosexuality theology in the New Testament, one might claim. So we can all be certain that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally,” right?

It would be funny to hear any rank-and-file secular Western individual claim that he knows intuitionally that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally,” because there are many of us in this world who do not intuit this proposition. Again, there is no small number of human beings on this plant who fail to intuit that the two groups should be treated “equally,” and if both groups are groups of human beings then one group should be as capable as intuiting this supposed equality as the other group, unless perhaps one group is simply too blinded by hate (as it were) to see the light. But I dare say that I for one am one individual who is perfectly accustomed to keeping an open mind to follow the evidence where it leads, even when the path it leads is a painful and inconvenient one: I still do not intuit the supposed equality of homosexuals and heterosexuals, just as many other people do not intuit this idea. Therefore, any claim that there are people who intuit that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally” can be matched with the equally plausible claim that there are people of sound mind and ability who fail to intuit the same. Therefore, none of us knows that intuition constitutes a proof that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally”: the outcome is a stalemate at best.

In the meantime, if there is no pro-equality datum and no pro-equality proposition out there that exists such that it could be intuited, then apparently people are just assuming that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally.” And it is often an irresponsible, dangerous and reckless thing to just assume things, isn’t it? What if all the world’s mechanics just assumed the proper working order of different parts to airplanes and automobiles? What if a patrol police officer, seeing that you are a Black motorist in an expensive Mercedes, just assumed you’re an auto thief and pulls you over in your own car? People who just assume that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally” have nothing to be proud of.


Appeals to Analogy

The Gay Rights movement rides on the coat tails of the Civil Rights movement, and perhaps people believe in the supposed equality of homosexuals and heterosexuals by analogy of their analysis of racial politics. “If two people differ only in skin color and maybe a few other traits, why should one have fewer legal privileges than the other?” one will think to himself. However, the analogy is flawed because counterexamples are too easy to come by: one of those two people could be a criminal, or a five-year-old child who lacks wisdom, a trained and certified anesthesiologist, or some other individual who obviously differs from other individuals in a way that causes us to remember the general rule that not everyone deserves the same legal privileges or proscriptions as another person.


Appeals to Ethics

Sadly, some people will just assume certain things until they encounter a perceived violation of the minimalist ethic: the rule which suggest that unless a certain act does readily apparent physical harm to someone else, that act is acceptable. Western secularism and liberal Christianity, as it were, are champions of the Gay Rights movement: as such, we should not expect their adherents on the basis of biblical doctrine to reject the idea that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated “equally.” Nevertheless, that does nothing to change the fact that this brand of ethics is perfectly questionable, which would explain the existence of laws against Peeping Toms and people who steal things that will not be missed.


The Tally

Add it all up, and the Gay Rights lobby with their supporters aren’t any smarter, any wiser, any more sophisticated than the so-called homophobes over which they think they can take the intellectual or moral high ground. No, the supporters of queer politics have neither the intellectual high ground nor moral high ground. If one should take a look under the hood of the Gay Rights lobby to see what kind of engine powers it, he would find a philosophical paradigm and set of arguments and premises that are no more cogent than those of some of their opponents.

Happy Independence Day all, but remember that God’s law binds everyone.
Remember also that Canada and Sweden are not free.

* Let the phrase “be treated equally” mean treated equally according to every relevant sense or meaning of the word “equal” in this case throughout this article. Men and women are said to be “equal to one another,” but this clearly is not true in absolute terms as there are undeniable psychological and physiological differences between the two; therefore, it becomes necessary to use quotation marks because no one truly believes in the absolute and unqualified equality of all groups of human beings.

1 comment:

Kwame E. said...

BTW, to the technicians who seem (?) to have fixed many of the HTML glitches on this website: Good lookin' out.