Contra Mozilla

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

On Slippery Slopes--Does A Lead to B C and D?

The first problem which I mentioned is the difficulty of decisively projecting forward from A (e.g. "gay marriage") to B, C, and D (e.g. its unintended consequences, bad results, etc.) In some ways, this is the most serious objection to the slippery slope argument; it is at least the objection which makes sense wen discussing the issue with somebody who is neutral as concerns A but is opposed to B, C, and D. There's always a way to rationalize that A won't necessarily lead to B, C, or D. "Gay marriage" won't lead to legal recognition of incest, polygamy, or even pedophilia as "legitimate expressions of sexuality," we are told. It is a risible claim, we are told; perhaps as risible as appeared the idea that "gay marriage" would be legal in the US from the vantage point of 15 years ago, or even 10*.

And, in some cases, a few counter-arguments are in fact presented. Just because we accept that there is nothing significant about a difference in sex between the to partners doesn't mean we can no longer accept that there is something significance about the number 2 (how many spouses), or 2 (steps removes for consanguinity), or 18 (age of adult consent in most states). It's not like there's historical or cultural precedent for removing these restrictions or anything. Ahem.

This does, of curse, disregard the fact that "gay marriage" was itself another step along a slippery slope of sorts. Sometimes the slippery slope arguments are actually prophetic, and they do in fact come to pass. Ideas have consequences, they do not merely exist in a vacuum. It is true that there is not always a direct and tangible link from A to B, C, and D: but we don't always act in a direct and logical manner, either as individuals or as a society.

Case in point, one of the bad effects predicted for the "A" of "gay marriage" was a "B" of churches losing their tax-exempt status and the "C" of limiting religious freedoms, then a "D" of outright persecution. Within a day or two of the Supreme Curt's decision, there were issued some calls to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they refused to perform "gay weddings;" this is itself a rather blatant violation of  religious freedom as it basically means tat the state will now be privileging some churches over others on the basis of a single longstanding religious belief. There have been other calls in a similar time frame, and within a week the social media sphere is abuzz with calls to revoke tax-exempt status or otherwise curtail religious freedoms of those churches who won't go along with this decision. The next front in the culture wars looks like it may be over whether or not people actually can practice their religions, including the moral aspects of their religious beliefs; and whether they can speak of those beliefs in public (including within the confines of their own churches).
The only condition in which "no" is not an acceptable answer.

And as for persecution, well, the soft-persecution has long since begun (just ask any Christian photographer, baker, etc. whether he has the right to not provide services to a "gay marriage" celebration). Indeed, in one case the bakers in questions have been told that they can no longer speak out about their case, in which they lost their business and then were fined $135000 for "emotional damages" because they refused to provide a cake to a pair of lesbians for their "wedding reception."

*I did have one conservative friend, a fellow student at the university, who predicted this would come to pass. He made this prediction in writing around the year 2004 or 2005.

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