Tuesday, April 14, 2009

‘The Cracked Crystal Ball’ revisited (and as foggy as ever): MgS on S.G.M. &c. (yes, all those initials mean something)

MgS is up to her old tricks again, folks. I paid her my first visit in several months and left a few comments, and at first she seemed open to discussion, but now she has shut the discussion down and blocked one of my comments. Here is that comment (the topic was a slanderous comparison that MgS made between H.H. The Pope and the leaders of a religious sect some of whose members allegedly starved a boy to death):


"Two religious leaders make statements and decisions which ultimately will lead to the death of others."
I already addressed this, beginning in the sixth line of the fourth paragraph of my previous comment, but here it is again: the Holy Father has not advised anyone to have sex with H.I.V.-positive without using a condom; he advises them simply not to have sex with H.I.V.-positive people at all. If people reject his advice then he can hardly be held responsible for this; abuse does not detract from use. And, importantly, if they reject his advice and have sex with H.I.V.-positive people, then given that the lesser evil is condomised sex in that situation, that's the course of action that they should take if they want to sin but sin relatively little. But obviously His Holiness never will--and nor should he--advise people to do evil in order that good may come of it (regardless of whether the evil is the lesser of two evils--being the lesser evil doesn't make it good), and you will not hear him advise murderers to make sure that they kill their victims as swiftly and painlessly as possible; he'll just exhort them to observe the Fifth Commandment.

So if that's the cornerstone of your analogy then the analogy doesn't just limp (as all analogies do), it's crippled.


Now here’s a comment that I might have made, had MgS not disabled further comments (the topic was the similarity between what MgS calls ‘S.G.M.’--‘same-gender marriage’, since ‘same-sex marriage’ is apparently not politically correct enough—and polygamy, and in the combox I took upon myself the role of Devil’s advocate, arguing for legal recognition of polygamous relationships, in order to show the inconsistency between MgS’s support for ‘S.G.M.’ and her opposition to polygamy):


“Once again, you're busy putting words in my mouth.”

Funny how you say this often, yet I’m scrupulously careful to make sure that my extrapolations are strict logical inferences from the principles that you espouse (and which I’m always happy to demonstrate in greater detail, which I would if you didn’t keep blocking me).

“Equality is a legally enshrined in rights law”

To what extent? Canada’s laws forbid people freely to enter into contracts in which they agree to submit to the authority figure, do they? Are, say, firms forbidden to have hierarchical management structures?

“The statement about reproduction as a function of marriage is not enshrined in the legal definition of marriage - anywhere that I am familiar with.”
I didn’t say it was, and it doesn’t need to be. In your other post discussing this topic you cited “social norms”, not just laws, as being a reason for your objection to polygamy.

“Since we are discussing the legal construct of SGM and the legal construct of polygamy, you are comparing apples and oranges.”
No, it’s certainly apples and apples (or maybe that should be lemons and lemons—I reject them both, of course). Presumably S.G.M.s would be able to have a submissive ‘partner’ and a dominant ‘partner’—see, for instance, this amusing quotation (from a page on ‘myths and facts’) from an Australian pro-‘gay rights’ organisation’s anti-domestic-violence website:

Fact: BDSM is a negotiated sexual activity that may involve hitting, slapping, pain, coercion, or dominance. Some people may adopt long term roles of dominance or submission. These are conscious and consensualactivities where all parties agree to their roles as well as the time and place for a particular scene. In a domestic violence situation the abused partner does not consent to the abusive activities.
(my emphasis,
If a two-spouse marriage can have a submissive spouse and a dominant spouse, then why not a three-, four- or five-spouse ‘marriage’? You see what I’m saying? By your lights, two-spouse and three-plus-spouse ‘marriages’ differ in degree, not in kind, so it is perfectly legitimate to compare the two directly and ask why you are inconsistent and reject the latter but not the former.

So you reject polygamous relationship recognition, but are all in favour of so-called S.G.M., despite the fact that I have shown (and you have failed to refute) that they have the same logical foundation. You say that you reject polygamous relationship recognition partly because they might involve a spouse or spouses playing a submissive role, but do not reject monogamous relationships, whether opposite- or same-sex, that involve the same roles. You also reject them because they violate ‘social norms and laws’, but are all in favour of changes to laws and social norms in other areas when it suits your own tastes and preferences. So you remain, MgS, as ever, a mass of contradictions and inconsistencies. (I mustn’t single you out though, MgS; it’s to be expected from all those who embrace the absurd liberal tenet that truth and error should have equal rights.)


And here’s another comment I might have made, if not for the disabling of further comments (the topic here is the condom controversy again):


“(1) I cannot find a citation for Green's comments outside of opinion pieces …”

Surely it occurred to you check Harvard Uni’s website first? It took me a couple of minutes to find his contact details. His e-mail address is


I seriously encourage you to e-mail him; say something like ‘I’m skeptical of your comments and would appreciate it if you could cite some peer-reviewed, journal-published articles that back them up’. (I’d do it myself but I don’t have easy access to scholarly journals, so there’d be no point.) But really, MgS, do you think a Harvard professor and senior research scientist would put his career and reputation on the line in order to be a mouthpiece for the Pope?

“(2) With respect to the use of condoms, remember that it is not uncommon for people infected with HIV to not be aware of their infection …”
Naturally. But since the safe presumption is that anyone whose sexual history one cannot verify has H.I.V., this doesn’t change the reasoning involved; the reasoning for deciding whether or not to have sex with an H.I.V.-positive person is the same as for deciding whether or not to have sex with a presumably H.I.V.-positive person.

“(3) I continue to hold that the church's position on condom use is deeply flawed, in part because it leads the church to prohibit even talking about them …”
People can talk about it all they like but the natural law isn’t going to change; it’s always going to be a bad idea to have sex with H.I.V.-positive people. (And what about the irony of you complaining about the silencing of discussion … and then silencing this discussion by disabling comments!)

“4) Lastly, as much as you can jump up and down, demanding that everybody be ideally celibate before marriage and entirely faithful within marriage, that is dogma, not reality …”
For the umpteenth time: abuse does not detract from use. Consider the following:

‘Lastly, as much as you can jump up and down, demanding that everybody use condoms when having sex with strangers, that is dogma, not reality—people don’t particularly like using condoms.’

Sound familiar? Same logic, same logical fallacy, which you would be quick to pounce on if I had put it forward as my own opinion.


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Tuesday in Easter Week, A.D. 2009

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