Saturday, 7 February 2009

Silly Reductionism

Swapping sensible argument for silly slogans is cute, but you can't do it consistently.

Smacking like electric fence, says NI lawyer
Smacking a child is the equivalent of using an electric fence to control an animal, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Great. And presumably imprisoning people is like keeping cows penned in with a cattle fence. Or curfews for young offenders are like keeping battery hens.

Bogus "moral equivalence" arguments are one that liberals have been using, quite effectively, over recent decades in their attempts to undermine the Christian foundations of Western society. "This" is equivalent to "that", and we all know "that" is evil, therefore "this" has got to go. This is silly reductionism. Smacking might be vaguely like using an electric fence, if you never explain to the child why it's being smacked, or explain what it should have done instead, if you never adjust or withhold the punishment appropriate to the circumstances, and if there are no other reasons why the child should know its behaviour was less than was expected of it, etcetera, etcetera. Otherwise, not. This lawyer's argument essentially would outlaw all kinds of punishment whatsoever and lead to moral anarchy.

The thing about reductionism is that people do then go on to the next stage. We've been told ad nauseum that people who want to have homosexual relationships are pursuing something that is the equivalent of marriage, and that thus the definition of marriage should be changed. If you allow the principle that governments can arbitrarily alter the definition of marriage for this cause, why not for that? If the government isn't allowed "in the bedroom" in cases of homosexuality, why not also in cases of polygamy, bestiality, or paedophilia? And hence on to the next news story:

Canada gay marriage law used to defend polygamy
A man being charged with polygamy in Canada will argue that since the law there permits gay marriage, his multiple marriages should also be allowed.

If marriage is just what people who declare they're "in love" want it to be, there's no consistent stopping place until you reach sexual anarchy.

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