Chick Fil A Day for Orson Scott Card

I heard on the radio, as front-page news headline, that Leftists are planning a boycott of the Ender’s Game movie to punish Orson Scott Card for daring to oppose gay marriage. The news particularly mentioned that the movie has nothing to do with marriage or with sex or sexual deviance: the boycotters just want Card punished for thinking wrong thoughts.

I could not care less about this movie. I will certainly see it on opening night, paying full ticket price, rather than waiting for its release to second run theaters or on disc or streaming.

I want to reward Card only because Left wants to punish him.

I want to live in a free society rather than one where men with unpopular views are hounded down by mobs of craven zealots. I want to live in a society where those who cannot tell the difference between a sexual perversion and a civil right are shamed into silence, and their moral blindness and brutal ignorance no longer tolerated among honest men.

Come, my friends, my fellow citizens, my fellow science fiction fans. Are we to let talented writers be savaged and punished and silenced, and allow these barbarians to have their way?

Let us make the opening night of this movie one of the most successful ever.

78 Comments

  1. Comment by Sean Michael:

    Dear Mr. Wright:

    I too despise this kind of cowardly harassing of unPC thought by the Left and liberals. Maybe I should see the Ender’s Game movie even tho I’m not really much of a fan of Card’s work. To say nothing of not really being a movie goer!

    Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

  2. Comment by Aeoli Pera:

    I want to live in a free society rather than one where men with unpopular views are hounded down by mobs of craven zealots. I want to live in a society where those who cannot tell the difference between a sexual perversion and a civil right are shamed into silence, and their moral blindness and brutal ignorance no longer tolerated among honest men.

    I’ve been reading you for a few months, but I finally registered to ask about this. You put these sentences right next to each other on purpose. Which means that you think there is some crucial difference between moral shaming and this boycott. But as far as I can see, the only significant difference is that Card’s position is the morally correct one.

    Because I’m somewhat familiar with your blog, I assume you are anticipating this question, and I eagerly await your answer (if any). Is there a material difference between the exile of unpopular dissidents from society and the exclusion of perverse-minded (but otherwise tolerably civilized) men from civilization?

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      No, I did not anticipate such a question, and I am not sure I understand it. Tell me what you mean by ‘exile of unpopular dissidents’ and ‘exclusion of perverse-minded but otherwise tolerably civilized men’? Into which category are you putting me, or Mr Card, or his opponents?

      I do think there is a fundamental difference between political disputes and civilizational disputes. A political dispute takes place between two persons both of whom are loyal to civilization as such, and have an honest disagreement between different means and ends needed to defend and improve civilized life. A civilizational dispute is existential, or, to be more precise, theological, and is a dispute between those who are loyal to civilization, and wish to see it flourish, and barbarians, who yearn for its corruption, downfall, destruction. The barbarians cannot be reasoned with, but they are a cowardly and bovine lot, and so they can be overawed into silence if they realize they are not in the majority. The Leftists who are urging greater levels of sexual perversion and adultery and unchastity do not know or do not care what harm they cause by this urging, nor do they know or care whether the specter of totalitarianism is released from its genii bottle. They are doing it because they feel self-righteous. They are self-righteous for wrongness.

      The interesting thing about this boycott is that it is purportedly about Mr Card’s ‘opinions’ on homosexuality – but Card is a lifelong (and
      indeed multi-generational) devout and obedient Mormon – so these are not his opinions but rather Card’s *obedience* to his church’s teachings. Therefore this is an attack on the obedient members of all churches who oppose sexual deviance or hold marriage to be sacred: all mainstreadm Christian denominations, in other words.

      They just pick on Mormons because other Christians will not automatically close ranks with this small and unloved sect. But the cowards will not pick on Muslims, which is a Christian heresy that still abides by Church teaching in this one area.

      I am reminded of the boycott of Mel Gibson’s movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, which was denounced as racist Jew-haters for
      being antisemitic for portraying Jews as calling for the crucifixion of Christ. Unfortunately, this scene was taken word for word from the Gospel of John, so
      the boycotters were actually calling all Christians whatsoever racist Jew-haters.

      The point of going to the movie is to have the ticket sale as part of the public record, to show the orcs that the men of the West will not be cowed.

      Once the orcs realize they cannot win by scare tactics, they will panic and scatter. Have you never heard how paranoid, how frightened, they are about the Church? To them we seem like an army with banners.

      Since I am not sure what your question meant, I am not sure if this answers it. The difference between a legitimate boycott over a legitimate political dispute and a dispute about a cult who wants to impose a Thought Police regime on everyone is the difference between a respectable equal enemy and a barbarian. Barbarians cannot be reasoned with, they must be driven away.

      You are seeing an illusion of equality. They do not reason with me because they cannot or will not use reason, whereas I do not reason with them because they cannot or will not reason.

      • Comment by SMM:

        Thank you for this distinction, Mr. Wright. Enemies of civilization are barbarians. It’s too bad they cannot be reasoned with. They hold too much pride in their misguided (and minority) identity. We need to reason with their “marks” before they glibly convince them to adopt a self-same identity.

      • Comment by pdrax:

        Small contention, Mr. Wright. I have been pleasantly surprised by the boycotters overall lack of focus on OSC’s faith. Being a Mormon has also not impeded some of his contemporaries’ careers – Brandon Sanderson being a prime example.

        While the Mormon church is indeed anti gay marriage, it has also advocated for respect and consideration for homosexual people. For instance, the Mormon church has stated that it supports basic rights for the LGBT community. Every year Mormons march in the gay pride parade in Salt Lake City to show their support for the gay community. There are also prominent examples of faithful members of the LDS church who are opposed to OSCs position on this matter – John Huntsman, for example. While OSCs stance has no doubt been informed by his faith, his opinions are unquestionably his own.

        While I disagree with some of what OSC has said in the past, and more particularly the way he has said it, Ender’s Game means a great deal to me. I still have my signed copy, from when my mom took me to see him when I was just a kid. Whether or not I see this movie will depend only on my trust in the filmmakers.

      • Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

        A further distinction is that nowhere AFAIK has Mr. Card called for those who engage in homosexual sex to be deprived of their livelihood or property or discriminated against in any way because of their acts; furthermore he has in no way ever opposed the full protection of all civil rights for those who engage in homosexual sex; he does not “oppose” same sex marriage, he simply sees it as impossible – akin to saying that people cannot jump off of tall buildings and flap their arms and fly, doubters can call the result “flying” all they want but the simple truth is the great bloody splat on the ground bears no resemblance to what any sane person has ever considered “flying”.
        Thus while Mr. Card has never called for any activity which would prevent free-thinking adults from engaging in as much homosexual intercourse as they want even though he thinks it a bad idea, the boycott proposes to punish him, as well as a huge number of other actors and producers and grips and cameramen – assuredly a few of them gay, BTW – for what Mr. Card THINKS. He is to be persecuted not for anything he has done, but for his thoughts.
        Anyone who supports this travesty of social justice, and especially anyone who in any way displays a preference for differences from the social norm (e.g. anyone who prefers homosexual to heterosexual intercourse) is a fool, and a damned fool at that.

        • Comment by DaveSomething:

          In fact, he has: “This applies also to the polity, the citizens at large. Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those whoflagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

          http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-hypocrites.html

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            In fact, he has not, “laws against homosexual behavior” is not the same as “to be deprived of their livelihood or property or discriminated against in any way” if the word “discrimination” is understood in the sense in which it is used in the modern vocabulary, and if the law includes jail time, but not a fine.

            Just saying.

            The problem with portraying all opposition to sexual deviation as a product of hatred and ignorance and nothing but is that the portrayal is a make-believe, and only convinces those who agree to the make-believe.

            Having a law against adultery is not an example of bigoted hatred against adulterers, nor is it calling to see adulterers deprived of their property, and so on.

            • Comment by DaveSomething:

              I’m not sure I’m following you. Are you saying that a law which puts homosexual men in jail does not deprive them of their livelihood, and cannot be considered discrimination?

              I’ll happily grant “property”, on the assumption that the law in question does not include a fine, which may or may not be the case.

              The problem with portraying all opposition to sexual deviation as a product of hatred and ignorance and nothing but is that the portrayal is a make-believe, and only convinces those who agree to the make-believe.

              I don’t know where this came from. Are you saying that I am portraying opposition to homosexuality as a product of hatred and ignorance? I am not doing so.

              • Comment by John C Wright:

                It was you who equated retaining a law against sexual misconduct with discrimination and the deprivation of livelihood. While it is true that ‘discrimination’ if by this we mean a nicety of judgment, is needed to enforce a law, it is not true that maintaining a law against the behavior is ‘discrimination’ if by that we mean bigotry.

                If he had said the exact same thing about adulterers, would you have equated maintaining laws regulating sexual misconduct with discrimination or deprivation of livelihood?

                Are you going to support this movie, and fight against this noxious gascloud of political correctness and hellish madness that is overcoming our society? A libertarian who has no objection whatever to homosexuality should have a strong objection to this kind of mobbish strongarm tactics. For they are trying indeed to deprive him of his livelihood, something you falsely said was true of him toward them.

                I did not accuse you of anything. I was speaking in general terms. Now that you have brought it up, however, I would welcome an unambiguous statement from you saying that Mr Card is not guilty of hatred, ignorance, or bigotry, if that is indeed what you mean. A hasty reading of your words might lead one to an opposite opinion.

                • Comment by DaveSomething:

                  I still don’t understand how a law that would put homosexuals in jail is not depriving them of their livelihood. Yes, the same thing is true of laws that would put adulterers in jail.

                  Maybe there is a legal distinction that is obvious to you, a lawyer. But it seems to me that if I were in jail, I would be deprived of my livelihood. But I think that possible legal distinction is irrelevant in this case – the point was to counter Chevalier’s claim that Card has “has never called for any activity which would prevent free-thinking adults from engaging in as much homosexual intercourse as they want,” which I think you’ll agree is not the case.

                  I am absolutely going to support this movie, as I support most of Card’s work. I own most of his novels.

                  I am not a libertarian. I am a Catholic. I am as revolted as you are by the call to boycott the film. I share your hatred of political correctness.

                  I do not believe Card to be guilty of hatred, ignorance, or bigotry. I was merely pointing out that he is hardly advocating “live and let live”.

                  Another unambiguous statement: I personally support the (re?)establishment of laws against homosexual behavior. And adultery, for that matter. The law is a great teacher.

                  • Comment by John C Wright:

                    I completely agree with you. You have convinced me. I withdraw the comment.

                    • Comment by DaveSomething:

                      I am so unused to anyone on the Internet yielding gracefully, I have no idea how to reply but I feel as if a reply is called for. It’s like you handed over your sabre, and I’m all, “Thanks… um… somebody put this somewhere or something.” :-)

                      I accept your gracious withdrawal with pleasure, sir.

                      God bless.

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      I handed over my saber because, upon consideration, putting someone in jail removes his livelihood or his property. Mr Card did not specifically say that the penalty of returning to pre-Lawrence v Texas (2003) which the law should impose should be fine or jail, but I can imagine no other.

                      He was not advocating what is normally called ‘discrimination’ any more than anti-adultery laws discriminate against adultery. If you grant that laws always discriminate against whatever activity they prohibit, however, then technically Mr Card is saying precisely this. So you win the argument.

                      If you do not know, the laws against Sodomy were on the books until 2003. We are not talking about some ancient and archaic regime of law, but something less than a decade old.

  3. Comment by Nate Winchester:

    I wish I could find the Goldberg quote but it was summed up as, “I’m just so bleedin’ tired of politics IN EVERYTHING.” I think I’m most saddened that we’ve lost the purity of art – that nothing can be enjoyed for its own sake any more. :(

    Still, I have a friend looking forward to it so I might attend it with them. John, you seen Pacific Rim yet? GO SEE IT NOW! It is a movie that you can enjoy for its own sake and one that doesn’t bother with politics (after all, is gay marriage or healthcare or tax codes or anything else, really that important in the face of GIANT MONSTERS? Pure joy on the big screen, that’s what it is.)

  4. Comment by Stephen J.:

    I have to admit that I find myself torn on the topic. On the one hand, I resent and detest the efforts to compel groupthink as much as anyone who’s read 1984, and have a particular dislike for the politicized hypocrisy and dishonesty of this advocacy movement specifically; I also happen to think Ender’s Game is a great story that deserves to be seen, stipulating that the adaptation is itself good. So on one level nothing would make me happier than to see this boycott fail.

    On the other hand, I myself have certainly said of authors like Dan Brown or Philip Pullman, “They will receive not a cent of my money while their careers are based on maligning the faith and Church I hold dear.” Nor have they. If it weren’t for the sake of researching their material so as to know how to counter it, they wouldn’t have received a second of my time, either; and the movie of The Da Vinci Code is the only media property I have ever willfully pirated, again to study the opposition for the purpose of superseding their output. Likewise, as I have criticized the Left in the past for refusing to allow that “passively refusing to reward” is not the same as “actively working to punish”, I am obliged to make the same distinction myself. So condemning boycotts in principle is not a stone I myself can chuck from within this particular glass house.

    The irony is that I will probably not get to see it anyway, in the theatre at any rate, simply because my wife has no interest in the story, and we get so few movie nights out these days that if it’s not something we both want to see it doesn’t get seen. But hopefully a purchase on DVD at some time in the future will also count.

    • Comment by Foxfier:

      There’s a difference between “I know the details of this boycott, and they are true, and I will not pay a penny” and “I do not know the details of this boycott, beyond that I’ve been told the author of the work it is based on has elsewhere whitten Unclean Thoughts, and I will not pay a penny.”

      I am seriously considering buying a ticket online even though we can’t afford a babysitter, or maybe suggesting Dear Husband go and watch it with some friends.

    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

      I have to admit that I find myself torn on the topic.

      When people argue for repugnant beliefs, you may choose not to affiliate with them. But there is a difference between (1) withholding affiliation because you find affiliation with these people repugnant, and (2) withholding affiliation because you hope that these people will suffer as a result.

      The first reason is unproblematic. The second reason is problematic, because you are trying to punish people for arguing their beliefs. That is, you are trying to get people to choose what they say out of consideration of something other than whether what they are saying is true.

      Furthermore, this kind of punishment, by its nature, can only be wielded by a group that is already large or high-status. (No one cares if a small low-status group withholds its affiliation.) Thus, this tool of punishment will be used to silence the critics of the beliefs of large and high-status groups. But large and high-status groups are precisely the groups whose beliefs ought to be subjected to the most criticism, because their beliefs have the greatest consequences.

      We should therefore not want critics of such groups to be discouraged by fear of punishment or by anything else other than the weakness of their criticisms. We should therefore not use the withholding of our affiliation as a means of punishing critics.

    • Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

      You don’t appear to have engaged in a well-funded mass advertising campaign devoted to convincing other people, who don’t know decent literature from Dan Brown, from seeing his movies or reading his books. You quite rightly made up your own mind and let others make up theirs. I’m sure if a friend asks you if you’d like to go see the latest DB movie you explain to them why it’s a stupid waste of time and they should go with you to see something else instead, but you don’t take out full page ads in newspapers claiming Brown is a devil-worshipping child molester.

      A boycott is the mindless, emotionally-driven act of a mob; in contrast, a number of individuals each individually choosing not to purchase a product they don’t want is the act of free-thinking, rational human beings.

  5. Comment by momofthree:

    I plan to go , but it is a good point Stephen makes… I too refuse to pay Dan Brown one cent.

  6. Comment by robertjwizard:

    I think the point may be missed in the comments. The point is the gay agenda wants you to ignore story, or even entertainment, and judge solely on the basis of the opinions or views of the writer irrespective of the quality of the story or even whether the subject or issue is addressed in the work at all.

    It is not an issue to be torn over if the subject is in the work in question. If Dan Brown attacks the Church in his work you have no conflict at all and it is nowhere the same as the demands of the gay agenda. Because there the value or topic involved is a part of the work.

    Now, if Dan Brown wrote stories about deep sea expeditions that involved not a speck of the Church, but he made verbal attacks on the Church in his public comments or whatnot, then you may have some reason to feel torn on the topic.

    Then your objection would be to the person himself and not to the work.

    There is a difference. In the work, not in the work.

    Then there is Phillip Pullman – well – who cares.

  7. Ping from Mark your calenders: Go see Ender’s Game on November 1st | romish internet graffiti:

    […] tip to John C. Wright, who suggests we do for Orson Scott Card what many did for Chik […]

  8. Comment by bel riose:

    I want to live in a society where those who cannot tell the difference between a sexual perversion and a civil right are shamed into silence, and their moral blindness and brutal ignorance no longer tolerated among honest men.

    Dear Mr. Wright,

    I think the question of allowing someone to marry another person of the same gender is not a question about sex. Whether married homosexual couples have sex or not in the privacy of their homes is something else entirely. I would say that merely disapproving of the latter wouldn’t have granted Mr. Card the reaction that campaining so publicly against the former has.

    Leaving aside poor Mr. Card’s public shunning -which I would say is largely unmerited-, I would like to ask a question, to you and to most of your guests, who seem to have very similar views on the subject and, like you, also tend to express them very candidly: what about same gender couples who might agree with you and regard homosexuality as a perversion, decide to live in chastity and still want to get married to adopt a baby, to be able to make health-care decissions or to enjoy fiscal benefits? I am not sure I can see any important difference between such couples and sterile heterosexual couples.

    • Comment by Foxfier:

      Leaving aside poor Mr. Card’s public shunning -which I would say is largely unmerited-, I would like to ask a question, to you and to most of your guests, who seem to have very similar views on the subject and, like you, also tend to express them very candidly: what about same gender couples who might agree with you and regard homosexuality as a perversion, decide to live in chastity and still want to get married to adopt a baby, to be able to make health-care decissions or to enjoy fiscal benefits?

      It is not a marriage.

      The benefits offered to married couples are there to support marriage and the life it brings forth– the language should not be debased so couples it was not intended for can benefit.

      If you are truly unable to see the difference between a man and a woman vs a man and a man or a woman and a woman beyond “can make babies right now,” perhaps your understanding of marriage is flawed?

      • Comment by bel riose:

        I’m sorry, is that supposed to be an argument? I will take the liberty to assume you comment was incomplete before I insult your intelligence by replying to that.

        • Comment by Foxfier:

          An appeal to incredulity is not an argument, nor is your inability to understand the difference between male and female unless– and, strangely, this is a credit to your insight on this topic– it comes to an immediate ability to reproduce.

          You offer as ‘argument’ that people should be able to call an apple an orange so they can join the citrus union, that you cannot see the difference between a chaste couple who wish to call an apple an orange so they can be considered citrus growers legally and an orange tree not currently believed to be fruitful.

          You seem to make the false assumption that the opposition to homosexual marriage is only because homosexuality is a perversion of natural reproductive urges (note: language chosen for preciseness; chemical sterilization is likewise a perversion of natural reproductive urges) rather than that it is because, to paraphrase the classic, “you keep using that word– it does not mean what you think it means.”

          You can call the cast of Golden Girls a marriage, but that does not make it so.

          • Comment by bel riose:

            Call it anything you wish to call it. Pretty much everyone else is starting to use the word to reffer to gay couples anyway — maybe in a few years you actually have your own private language.

            You know, we Spaniards have a Royal Academy of Language, which dictates what every word means. Last time I checked, however, the meaning of a words in English was decided by how people actually decided to use it. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

            In any case, you are misconstruing my argument, I would risk it and say deriberately, and implying that I mean something which does not follow from what I wrote. But I don’t have the time or the patience to mantain a dialog when I am almost certain that the other side doesn’t even contemplate the possibility to revise his ideas with an open mind.

            But I will mention one particular case: in Germany, gay marriage is not called marriage but “Lebenspartnerschaften” -which could be translated as “life-partnerships”- and they are at this moment well underway to aquire complete fiscal and legal equality. I should imagine you would be totally content with such an arrangement, since your argument seems to be based on your fear of your language being “debased” (and, speaking of words, what a curious choice that one last was)

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              You know, we Spaniards have a Royal Academy of Language, which dictates what every word means. Last time I checked, however, the meaning of a words in English was decided by how people actually decided to use it. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

              When you use the word as it was meant to be used, in the fashion everyone understands, that is called honesty. When you use the word in order to deceive people into thinking straight is crooked or crooked is straight, or that there is no difference between the two, and your attempt is not to communicate but to manipulate or condition, that is called “political correctness” or, in simpler terms, is called “lying.”

              Have you actually reached the point in your thinking where you see no difference between honesty and lying? Where you regard an argument based on the axiom that one ought not to lie as a worthless argument, meriting only mockery? If so, all reason is in vain.

              • Comment by bel riose:

                I believe I am much more faithful to the meaning of the word “marriage” than you are. When I talk about marriage I talk about two people vowing to spend their lives together, I talk about the seed of a family, I talk about romantic love and about loyalty and about a sacred promise; I don’t pay special attention to the morphology of the genitalia of the spouses.

                And please, stop saying why I use this word in the way I do or why I have this opinion. Unless you can read my subconcious mind, of course.

                • Comment by Foxfier:

                  When I talk about marriage I talk about two people vowing to spend their lives together, I talk about the seed of a family, I talk about romantic love and about loyalty and about a sacred promise; I don’t pay special attention to the morphology of the genitalia of the spouses.

                  That’s a bit like saying you are more true to the meaning of “dinner” because you focus on the family togetherness but do not pay any special attention to there being food on the table.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  I believe I am much more faithful to the meaning of the word “marriage” than you are.

                  Faithful to what?

                  This is not how any dictionary defines it, how common sense defines it, how the common law defines it, how the canon law defines it, how any authority, civil or religious, has defined it in any land in the world in any era of history. Except for you, and your cult of nihilism which preoccupies the modern age.

                  Your definition mentions the non-essential things, like love and loyalty, which can exist inside as well as outside marriage, and leaves out the one essential property of marriage, which is the chastity of the union.

                  Marriage is a mating ritual designed to exclude all non-mates and all fornication, and by definition that excludes all unnatural sexual acts. You define marriage as the celebration of an unnatural sexual act, or, in other words, as a chaste form of unchastity.

                  You define marriage as anti-marriage. And then you kvetch and whine when your critics point out the dishonesty of this definition.

                  You say you do not pay attention to the morphology of the genitalia (you mean the sex) of the spouses (a word that means two persons of the opposite sex).

                  So when discussing sex, you pay attention to everything except the sex of the sexual partners involved. You talk about sex without mentioning sex. So your Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass definitions come from the dictionary of Humpty Dumpty.

                  You pay attention to the emotions, not the logic. But what we are discussing is whether the emotions are right, fit, proper, honest and logical for the object to which they are directed, or whether the emotions are wrong, unfit, false-to-facts and perverse to the object to which they are directed. In that conversation, claiming that you pay attention only to the emotions and not to the fitness of the emotions to their object merely ducks the conversion in a transparent way.

                  Do you talk this way on other topics? Do none of your friends notice or comment when you talk this way about other things, like a debt owed, or a promise not kept? Do you just say, “Well, in my definition, owing $20 IS THE SAME AS being owed $20, and I do not pay attention to who gave and who is owed, only to its amount?” — does anyone buy that logic when applied to any other topic? If not, why should I buy it from you, here, now?

            • Comment by Foxfier:

              You would take the “risk” because you are unable to make an honest argument; you cannot support what you claim to wish to discuss, so you must change the subject to people.

              I see no reason to waste my time playing games with a sophist– no matter how much you insist a dog’s tail is a leg, the dog still only has four legs.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I would like to ask a question, to you and to most of your guests, who seem to have very similar views on the subject and, like you, also tend to express them very candidly: what about same gender [sic] couples who might agree with you and regard homosexuality as a perversion, decide to live in chastity and still want to get married to adopt a baby, to be able to make health-care decissions or to enjoy fiscal benefits?

      I do not understand the question. A homosexual couple living chastely is not a homosexual couple, because then they are not performing homosexual acts. Homosexuals are not a race or subspecies of man. They are men who indulge in a certain vice, like alcoholics, or like men who have sex with their sisters.

      An unmarried pair of unrelated roommate cannot adopt a child in any state in the union of which I am aware. Anyone can identify anyone else as having their power of attorney for health care decisions. I am not sure what financial benefits you mean: there is no point in giving the tax breaks given a married couple to a pair of unrelated roommates.

      In any case, I was once firmly in the pro-gay camp, and in the pro-anything camp, provided two (or more) adults consented: they should be left alone to do their business and they would leave others alone. One of the things that drove me out of that camp was that when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offered to institute Civil Unions, which would have all the legal benefits of marriage, the highest Court of Massachusetts told the legislature that anything less than calling the Civil Unions marriage would be illegal and unconstitutional. And the Leftwing activists back this position. I heard not a single dissenting voice from that side of the argument.

      The implication was clear. The pervertarians want the perversion to be given the honors and applause the a healthy society awards to the sacrament of marriage, and the mere fact that a homosexual pair cannot, in any real sense, have sex, copulate, reproduce, form a family, form a sexual dyad, or be anything more than a kinky mockery or take-off of real marriage is brushed away by a mental act of thought-censorship worthy of Orwell.

      Even to bring up the topic of the biological impossibility to homosexuals forming the heterosexual dyad needed for marriage is greeting with screams loud enough to block out any further rational thought. This boycott against Card is part of that mechanism of screaming.

      The homosexuals I know personally do not give a Tinker’s Damn about marriage. Nearly everyone behind this movement is a heterosexual, usually happily married, but one who thinks it is wrong for perversion to be discriminated against. They want to encourage and applaud sexual perversion because and only because it is perverse. They think this serves justice and creates peace and wellbeing. They are not perverts themselves, but they are pervertarians.

      The pervertarians do not simply want to be left alone, to live and let live. They want society to pretend that perversion is normal, even though their five senses tell them that it is not. So they must block out what their senses tell them with a legal bit of make-believe.

      Anyone, like a caterer or a wedding cake decorator or a wedding photographer or a Catholic Church who does not want to play along with the mockery (and I mean that in both senses of the word) of marriage must be punished soundly, so that no one will dare bring to the awareness of the poor victims a sexual dysfunction that they are pretending something will make them happy which only leads to misery.

      And so every Leftist believes, and tells each other they all believe, that there is no difference between chastity and perversion, no difference between male and female, no difference between sane sexual drive and neurotic sexual drives, no difference between health and addiction, no difference between sanity and insanity, no difference between right and wrong.

      This is the core of nihilism, which is the belief that there are no ultimate truths, no objective truths. The belief is that by eliminating all differences between right and wrong, sane and insane, chaste and perverse, male and female, all conflict will cease and utopia will bloom.

      I am not sure I can see any important difference between such couples and sterile heterosexual couples.

      Then you have deliberately blinded yourself to the obvious.

      You are merely asserting, as a matter of your freakish cult belief, that male and female are the same, and therefor a male sexually attracted to a male is the same as a female sexually attracted to a male. This is a dogma, and it is false-to-facts.

      In effect, you are a nihilist. You do not believe in truth, or else you do not believe in loyalty to the truth requires any action on your part.

      Let me tell you what I take this matter personally.

      My stepsister’s father was homosexual who abandoned her at the age of seven to go live with his homosexual lover, a worthless boy. Never once in my hearing did I hear any criticism of him for this decision. I saw not the least hint of disapproval or discrimination or revulsion. No one called him a pervert, even though he surely knew his sex drive was misaligned, and drove him where he did not want to go.

      He committed suicide.

      I am not a mind reader, and I do not know what is in his heart, but I suspect that his pursuit of a lifestyle all the lying-ass jerks on the Left kept telling him was a good and worthy lifestyle was what killed him.

      Let me be clear: I say people like you kept telling him that it was society’s fault that he was unhappy, because everyone hated him. People like you kept telling him if he just tried a little harder to follower his sexually abnormal desires, the desires would become normal, and satisfy him with happiness.

      People like you lied and lied and lied, and so people like you killed him.

      And for what? So you could play a little game of moral superiority with yourself, and tell yourself that your inability to distinguish between male and female, right and wrong, healthy and sickness, life and death, was a sign of your broadmindedness.

      You boast that you cannot see the difference. You cannot discriminate. You cannot make judgments. You cannot face facts. You cannot think.

      Some boast. You should be ashamed.

      • Comment by bel riose:

        An unmarried pair of unrelated roommate cannot adopt a child in any state in the union of which I am aware. Anyone can identify anyone else as having their power of attorney for health care decisions. I am not sure what financial benefits you mean: there is no point in giving the tax breaks given a married couple to a pair of unrelated roommates.

        First of all, there are more countries apart from the U.S. of A.

        Second, are you really saying that a homosexual couple who do not have sex is equivalent to a couple of “unrelated roommates”? And you say that I am deliberately blinding myself to the obvious?

        You are merely asserting, as a matter of your freakish cult belief, that male and female are the same, and therefor a male sexually attracted to a male is the same as a female sexually attracted to a male. This is a dogma, and it is false-to-facts.

        In effect, you are a nihilist. You do not believe in truth, or else you do not believe in loyalty to the truth requires any action on your part.

        I was talking about important differences. Saying that there are no important or relevant differences between two things is not the same as saying there are the same thing. All the epithets following that alarmingly obvious fallacy I will simply ignore.

        The homosexuals I know personally do not give a Tinker’s Damn about marriage.

        Then you must have very few data points indeed. Do you really think such large demographic group don’t care about making a family? Well, of course, why “unrelated roommates” who indulge in freakish sexual perversions -without any of the romantic feelings that a heterosexual couple might have- would want to make a family and raise children together?

        People like you lied and lied and lied, and so people like you killed him.

        And for what? So you could play a little game of moral superiority with yourself, and tell yourself that your inability to distinguish between male and female, right and wrong, healthy and sickness, life and death, was a sign of your broadmindedness.

        Mr Wright, I have been a loyal reader for years and I have a very great deal of respect for you but I am finding it difficult to give you a respectful answer to those remarks. But I will try my best:

        I want to form a family and raise children. There is hardly anything more important for me than that. So you can imagine that I also take it personally. And I couldn’t possibly care less about how my opinions on the subject reflect on my “broadmindedness”.

        It seems to me that you suffer from a serious cognitive bias when it comes to this particular topic. I am convinced you wouldn’t allow yourself such crude reasoning mistakes such as the ones I have read today under any other circumstances.

        And with respect to the cult status of these ideas, well, what can I say. It makes me very happy indeed to see how unavoidable the change appears to be at this point. Very soon only in the fundamentalist parts of the middle east and some corners of the USA one will be able find people with such opinions.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          We were discussing sex.

          You said a sterile woman sexually attracted to a man is the same — in all important things — as a man sexually attracted to a man. But the question established nothing about the woman, nothing about her psychology or philosophy or race or religion, nothing about her soul or self. All it said was that she was female, and unable to become pregnant.

          The only way in what the sterile female is the same as the healthy male is that neither can become pregnant. A male cannot bear a child in his womb. The only way in which they differ is sex.

          This leaves me with a question, cognitively limited as I am:

          How can the sex of the desirer be unimportant when discussing sexual desire?

          Or, more simply:

          How can only unimportant thing when it comes to sex, be sex?

          • Comment by bel riose:

            I guess if I say that I can’t see any important differences between a right-handed man and a left-handed man which could justify taking the rights of left-handed people away from them you would probably ask me how can it be that the only unimportant thing when talking about rights is being right-handed — after all they are both rights.

            This is exactly what I meant. In which other topic would you fall into such obvious equivocation -in this case between two meanings of the word “sex”-? I am not trying to insult you when I say that you are biased, I am just trying to give you a small advice. If I see an otherwise brave and courageous man running away and screaming in panic after he sees a small spider, it would be unjustified to say that he suffers from arachnophobia and advice him some self-reflection, wouldn’t it?

            You said that I haven’t given any arguments. The truth is that I didn’t lay them down explicitly but I would say my initial questions carried an argument implicitly. If you had been willing to engage in an honest dialog you would have clearly understood what I meant.

            You say that you have argued unemotionally and with rigor. I just thought about your first comment: you pretended I said something I didn’t say and from there you followed that I don’t believe in truth and that I am a nihilist. Then you told a personal and tragic story to end up saying -I hope allegorically- that I was responsible of killing your sister’s step-father — and in a rather dramatic way, I might add. Now, I appreciate it, and I empathise, but you must admit, as far as arguments on the Internet go, you really couldn’t get much more emotional. Finally you talked about my twisted motives for having this opinion -no doubt by reading my mind-.

            Also, what I said about your ideas being soon to be found only in a few corners in the USA and in extremist countries of the Middle East -I probably left out quite a few pathological cases such as Cuba and NK- is not an item of my freakish cult, as you said: it is called linear regression. You only have to check the numbers of public support of gay marriage in diverse areas of the world and see where the fitted curve falls within the next 5 or 10 years. As all predictions, it might or might not become true. Although this one seems so likely that I allow myself to celebrate in advance.

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              The two meanings of the word sex are logically and operationally related. The unreality of homosexual attraction is a deviation between the emotional component of sex, the erotic attraction, and the sex of the man feeling that emotion. The emotion is directed to the wrong object, namely, members of the one sex in the universe with whom he cannot literally have sex, that is, his own sex.

              Logically, one either must say that there is no such thing as a wrong emotion, so that anything, including hatred of homosexuals, is a laudable emotion, or one must say emotions are right when they accord with a standard, and otherwise wrong. No matter what standard one selects for sexual attraction, it cannot logically, as you have said here, have nothing to do with sex.

              You have not given any arguments, nor can you. Your hint of an argument merely hints at a logical paradox, which I have pointed out. Lacking an argument, all you can do is mock and scorn those who disagree with you, which you have done, and are doing now, and is all you can do.

              I also have not given any arguments to you. All I said was that they existed, not that I told them to you. But I have them all written out for your perusal and edification. Here: http://www.scifiwright.com/2009/08/apologia-pro-opere-sui-part-i/

              But you are a dishonest man, so the arguments will make no impression on you. I criticize the dishonesty, because there is no other way to puncture the sanctimonious self-righteousness of the apologists for evil.

              You and yours are responsible for a death in my family. I do not mean this by way of analogy. You did not pull the trigger yourself, but you cheered on the philosophy which made those false promises to him. You are a bartender giving an alcoholic free drinks. I think I show remarkable self restraint and courtesy, considering.

              Did you speak even a single word of sorrow upon hearing of his death, or did you only think of how John Wright and Orson Scott Card had wounded your precious and fragile self image? Is anyone real to you but you?

              • Comment by bel riose:

                No, sir, you don’t show any hint of restraint or courtesy, much the contrary. You talk like a fanatic without any sense of proportion.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  I apologize for being impolite. I was trying to shock some sense of shame into you, which was not my place to do.

                  I choose reality and logic and humility over sentimentalism and nonsense and sanctimonious bullshit. You choose the opposite. May God have mercy on you, because reality will not.

                  • Comment by bel riose:

                    An ardent pro-homosexual convinced me that homosexual so-called marriage was reasonable when I had been convinced hitherto that it was not. That happened here on this blog in the sight of anyone idle enough to care to look.

                    I must apologize as well: it is not a trait of fanatics to be so inconsistent. But I am curious: what was the ardent argument that convinced you back then -not even a year ago, it seems-, even if only temporarily? Was it also sanctimonious bullshit?

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      Again with the insults? Have you no ability to turn off your emotions, even when they bring you shame? None? I suppose not. Demonizing your opposition rather than using reason is yet again another dogma of the Cult. And you can never question the teachings of the cult.

                      Out of courtesy, I will answer nontheless:

                      Well, his argument was full of the same self-centered sanctimony as yours, but he at least had an argument beneath his bullshit that I was able very patiently to pry out of him.

                      The argument I found persuasive was that one of the purposes of marriage was to call a halt to sexual rivalry, which often leads to violence (I have been a newspaperman and a lawyer: I know two people who committed murder over women. To me the matter is not abstract). I admitted that if violence between homosexual competing for mates (or whatever one called them) were high, and would drop if society recognized a permanent bond or alliance that sanctified sodomy, a wise magistrate would have no choice but to support such a thing, in the name of the public peace.

                      My interlocutor, who was neither a lawyer nor a newspaperman, nor had any idea what the real world was like, was shocked that I would suggest homosexuals ever commit acts of violence, and doubly shocked that marriage had any role in restricting or restraining it. So he basically withdrew the argument even while he was on the brink of convincing me.

                      Naturally, this would apply to some sort of civil union. One cannot call it marriage any more than one can call a square round.

                      I have answered your question, now please answer mine: would you be in favor of gay marriage if the price were that divorce would be strictly forbidden, and adultery punished as a serious crime? No open marriages, no fooling around. If a man marries a man, the two are bound for life, until death do them part.

                      Tell me seriously: is that what you are honestly seeking?

                      I fully realize this is a theoretical question. That is why gay marriage is not an issue with me: the heteros have already gutted marriage, abolished it in all but name, and it exists now in name only. Gay marriage only means marriage will no longer exist even in name.

                      Nonetheless, I am curious. Do you want adulterers who have vowed eternal fidelity and who break that vow and leave one lover to find another punished at law?

                  • Comment by bel riose:

                    Mr. Wright, I wrote a first comment without any hint of insult or disrespect. To this you replied with a message loaded with epithets, value judgements about my motives and intentions even an accusation of murder. You called me a boastful liar, a nihilist, an enemy of truth and honestly, you implied that my motives were none other than empty self-satisfaction. All of this in your first reply. To a comment with absolutely no trace of disrespect or insult, I repeat. You can go back and re-read it, and then maybe ask me again if I have no shame.

                    I am afraid you will have to change your attitude a very great deal if you wish to have any answer to your questions or if you have any interest whatsoever in me participating here in the future.

                    • Comment by Foxfier:

                      Mr. Wright, I wrote a first comment without any hint of insult or disrespect.

                      You then showed yourself to be thoroughly disinterested in responding honestly; sadly, it’s not a novel tactic to show up, act like a polite person genuinely interested in discussion and thus get ammunition for attacks.

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      I apologize. Let us make amends.

                    • Comment by bel riose:

                      Apology accepted. I should admit to have been ready from the beginning to accuse you of having a cognitive bias but other than that my intentions couldn’t have been further from insulting you or the anyone else here. Undoubtedly I have done it, so I apologize as well.

                      To answer your question I have to explain first that I am a free-market anarchist. Perhaps a pragmatic one, since I wouldn’t advocate for a revolution but for a long, calmed transition — but an anarchist nonetheless. I do not believe the state has anything to say about marriages. However, I would most definitely favor, for the foreseeable future at least, the kind of marriage that you propose — that is, for both, heterosexual and homosexual couples.

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      You show a manliness and dignity which shames me. I thank you deeply for your generous soul.

                      I also, at one time, before I was a father, was a libertarian, which is something very close to a free-market anarchist. So I have some sympathy with the arguments for your case. One question, however, perturbs me.

                      Suppose a man swears a mighty vow, the most binding vow he can swear, to a woman to love and honor her and worship her with his body, and suppose further that, this being a very litigiousness society, he has written all he promises to do. Let us say, to make it dramatic, he signs it in blood before nine witnesses, seven living men and two ghosts. The promises including protecting and teaching and training the young, sticking with her for better or worse, forsaking all others, until death does them part.

                      They have two children, ages five and nine. He leaves the woman to move in with someone else. The man wants to visit the children a year later, but she will not let them in the door, so he kicks it down. He grabs the boy, she grabs the girl, she flees to his new house, and, while he is absent, takes money and bond notes from his desk to help pay for the cost of educating the children as agreed. Her relatives and his relatives are outraged, and take up arms for the protection of the interest and honor of either side. She demands the return of the boy; he demands the return of the girl, or at least some right to visit his children; she demands support for the children, which is what he promised. He demands recompense for the trespass; and she claims she had a right to claim property equal to what she was owed, and so on and so on.

                      Suppose, in this anarchy, you and your buddies are able and honest men who have vowed to keep the public peace and punish wrongdoers. Would you interfere with the two families engaging in a bloody feud?

                      On what grounds? What would be your moral justification?

                      A second couple has all the same things happen to them, except that there was no vow.

                      Is there any way to settle the question WITHOUT coming to a conclusion about whether or not the vow was licit? Is not exactly such a conclusion a conclusion about family law, that is, a conclusion about whether or not the marriage is an institution to be recognized at law?

                    • Comment by bel riose:

                      Well, I believe there is a difference between a vow and a contract. A contract is an agreement, acquired within a social framework, which binds you legally. A vow is a matter of honor. A man stranded in a desert island could take a solemn vow but he would not be able to sign a contract.

                      The state -at least in its current form- should only deal with contracts and have no say about vows. It is a valid question whether society is legally allowed to interfere and settle a conflict when there is a contract that binds two parties and it is a question about law -in this case, family law-. But vows are not legal objects and it does not correspond the state to settle any matter related to them.

                      Marriage vows may or may not correspond -or partially overlap- with legal contracts, but it is my understanding they are different things.

                      Now, in a a free society based on voluntary association, the man and the woman of your hypothetical would have been free to join a society which recognizes marriage vows of certain kinds as legally binding contracts and then settling the matter would become a question of family law.

                      But this is something only partially related with our previous discussion, I would say.

                    • Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

                      No, bel riose,

                      You first wrote a passive-aggressive comment in bad faith, pretending to be seeking open-minded discussion and inquiry, when in truth it was extremely obvious that you never had any intention of the same. You have not once offered any honest argument for your own opinion, but have instead attacked others for having the simple decency to respond to the question you asked. You are a coward, a charlatan, a fake, an immature pusillanimous pissant. Rather than engage in honest, forthright argument to defend and explain your point of view from and to those who disagree with you, you have consistently maintained that there are no grounds for disagreement, that everyone disagreeing with you doesn’t merit a response other than insult – and then you have the galling temerity to claim that you have been “insulted” by simple and forthright reasoning in response to the question you asked in the first place.

                      It is you who are an insult by your very presence; you are a bully and a coward crying and sucking your thumb because you are angry and afraid that we might see you for the object of scorn and derision you are; Mr. Wright is far too kind and, well, Christian, to treat you like an object, but persists in treating you like an immature and wayward human being whose retarded intellect may be cured or improved with proper care and supervision, and this too makes you angry and afraid because you rightly fear that at some point Mr. Wright will give up on you. You pretended to be ready to engage in adult conversation, but now you cower behind the emotionally-stunted shield of your childish and immature behavior and whine like a little coward that it’s not fair that the rest of us expect you to act like an adult if you want to be treated like one.

                      Grow up.

                    • Comment by Nate Winchester:

                      Hmmm… Political correctness reduces intelligence via rewiring the brain. Interesting. Don’t know why I thought of that just now…

      • Comment by davidbrider:

        I do not understand the question. A homosexual couple living chastely is not a homosexual couple…

        Yes, they’re just as much a homosexual couple as a heterosexual couple living chastely are a heterosexual couple.

        …because then they are not performing homosexual acts.

        Homosexual people are not defined by any particular acts they may or may not perform. There are no “acts” performed by homosexual people that may not also be performed by some heterosexual, bisexual, and/or pansexual people. Neither are there any “acts” that are performed by all homosexual people, except those that are common to all people everywhere (eating, sleeping, breathing, drinking, etc…)

        Homosexuals are not a race or subspecies of man. They are men who indulge in a certain vice…

        No. Homosexuals are people who experience romantic and physical attraction to people of the same sex as themselves. There is no “vice” involved in that (unless you see “being attracted to someone” as a vice..?). Also, approximately 50% of homosexuals are women – they are not all men.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          It is difficult for a free man to speak to a slave, but, out of charity, let me at least point out to you the links that fetter your ability to reason.

          You are in the uneviable position of having to defend an neurotic abomination against chastity, sanity, self-control, and decency. The romantic sexual emotion is that which impels man to the act of sexual reproduction. It has a right use and a wrong use.

          This is a matter not of morality but of biological fact: in the same way that sucking water into the lungs defeats rather than fulfills the drive to breathe, or eating warm lumps of sewage defeats rather than fulfills the drive to consume food, attempting to form a sexual coupling with two members of the same sex defeats rather than fulfills the drive for sex.

          You can use a word-game to gloss over the fact that breathing water is not the same as breathing air, or eating sewage not the same as eating food, or sodomy not the same as coitus, but word-games do not change facts.

          Confronted by this great fact, the argument to which you have given your loyalty has no choice but to change the terms of the argument.

          So instead of arguing about the sanity and decency of the act — an argument no one can win — you must argue about the unfairness of identifying someone suffering from the neurotic and indecency homosexual desire as a sufferer. You must argue that it is unfair, indeed, it is bigotry, to identify a fact as a fact.

          Now, this is absurd on its face, so you have to pretend Homosexual conduct is not conduct, but it instead a racial characteristic of a newly discovered race, a group like the Jews or the Negroes or the Irish, who have suffered a long history of oppression and race-prejudice. And this new race is called ‘Homosexuals.’

          This argument technique requires that you assume a pose of righteous indignation in defense of a filthy abomination, and condemn normal decency in the tones of an old testament prophet.

          The argument must label those victimized by the abomination a minority and label the normal people devils and bigots and villains and heretics and demand they be burnt at the stake.

          This allows you to sound like you have some sort of argument to give, but all it is, is a blatt of emotion, and an emotion that is wrongly connected to the opposite of the ideas to which it should be connected. You are condemning chastity with the same Pharisaic righteous indignation that a Victorian matron is wont to condemn unchastity.

          It is all great fun, but anyone who does not confuse the actor for the act, or the sinner for the sin — especially someone who suffers from such sins himself — is not likely to be confused, or impressed.

          Under no conditions, not even for a moment, should you be allowed to assume that you posses the moral high ground. You are excusing and encouraging an addictive behavior that shatters families, ruins lives, and causes suicides.

          What you are doing is evil, dishonest, and vile, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

            This is a matter not of morality but of biological fact: in the same way that sucking water into the lungs defeats rather than fulfills the drive to breathe, or eating warm lumps of sewage defeats rather than fulfills the drive to consume food, attempting to form a sexual coupling with two members of the same sex defeats rather than fulfills the drive for sex.

            When you start your argument at this point, you may not be addressing the root of the disagreement.

            If your interlocutor is like me, he agrees that the sexual organs were not designed for homosexual acts, but he does not agree that the process that designed these organs has moral authority. The designer is not the law giver. That the sexual organs were not designed for homosexual acts does not alone suffice to prove that they ought not to be used for such acts.

            (You and I discussed this point in a comment thread under this post. If you want to take up the subject again, we should probably pick up where that previous conversation left off.)

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              Please forgive me if I decline to take up the argument again. It is insignificant to me. When I was young, and was a libertine along with all my fellows, the biological fact was not in question, but only the moral authority. I thought that everyone should be free to indulge his tastes, straight or perverse, vanilla or wildside, just as he saw fit, provided all concerned consented and coercion was not attempted. Nowadays the main center of the pervertarian argument is not about the moral authority, which they never address, but with the biological fact.

              The reason why I have been savaged by the Left was not because I said that homosexuals were am abomination, but only because I said homosexuality should be treated no differently than other abnormal sexual tastes, such as bestialty, incest, pederasty, necrophilia, and indeed no differently than any other unnatural appetite, such as a disordered appetite for whiskey, or for roulette, or any other disordered passion. All I suggested was a removal of the aura of sacred privilege which surrounds this particular disorder on that grounds that it is not a properly ordered appetite. That is a matter of biological fact.

              Merely stating the biological fact was enough to make me a Goldstein and subject to the two minute hate.

              So if you agree with me on that point, we have nothing further to discuss. The only reason you have not been savaged by the Left is that you have not come to the attention of their Thought Police.

              Naturally, I agree that the question of moral authority is a separate question. But I am in the position of a man who drinks who has been savaged by a drunk because the drunk will not admit that alcohol is not the same as mother’s milk but has biological consequences which follow its ingestion. I am not in a position of a teetotaler savaged by an anti-prohibitionist.

              The moral authority question is merely that one ought to be prudent. That is the moral claim being made. You may argue against it if you wish, but it may not be prudent to do so. The argument that the sexual organs are organs of sex is not open to debate.

              If you wish to examine my argument in favor of chastity, I have written it out at some length here: http://www.scifiwright.com/2009/08/apologia-pro-opere-sui-part-i/

              I would be happy to entertain any questions about that, or any debate on the topic that does not require me to restate my position.

              • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                Please forgive me if I decline to take up the argument again. It is insignificant to me.

                Since you have declared your lack of interest in this topic, I acknowledge that you have no obligation to respond … unless I can entice you to by making a significant (if wrong) claim :).

                Nowadays the main center of the pervertarian argument is not about the moral authority, which they never address, but with the biological fact. … All I suggested was a removal of the aura of sacred privilege which surrounds this particular disorder on that grounds that it is not a properly ordered appetite. That is a matter of biological fact.

                So if you agree with me on that point, we have nothing further to discuss.

                I agree that there is such a thing as an improperly ordered appetite, that an imprudent appetite is among these things, and that guaranteeing that one’s appetites are properly ordered requires far more than that “all concerned consented and coercion was not attempted”.

                Now, if “a properly ordered appetite” meant nothing other than “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs were designed by natural selection”, then, yes, what you say would be a matter of biological fact. It would be a biological fact that homosexual appetites are improper.

                And perhaps you really do use the phrase “a properly ordered appetite” to mean exactly that, with no moral connotations whatsoever. Perhaps, in every place where you use the phrase “a properly ordered appetite”, the phrase “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs were designed by natural selection” could be substituted without any loss of meaning or damage to the logical validity of your arguments. (Your saying “I agree that the question of moral authority is a separate question” lends some support to this interpretation.)

                However, the phrase “a properly ordered appetite” does not, in fact, mean just “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs were designed by natural selection”. For, if these two phrases meant the same thing, then they would continue to have the same implications even after moral considerations were brought into play. But that does not happen in this case — not without begging the question, at any rate.

                For example, an appetite that is not properly ordered ought to be corrected — made properly ordered — if a means of correcting the appetite is available and if all else is equal. On this point we agree, even though it takes us beyond bare biological fact and into the moral domain. But it does not follow that an appetite ought to be corrected just because it is at cross-purposes to the purposes instilled by natural selection. The implication does not go through, so the two phrases do not mean the same thing.

                I agree that an appetite ought to be corrected if it is imprudent. I do not agree that the appetites conducive to the purposes instilled by natural selection are necessarily the appetites that people ought to have, on pain of imprudence.

                The purposes instilled by natural selection are not necessarily proper purposes. On the contrary, appetites at cross-purposes to those of natural selection may in fact be the ones that one ought properly to have, given one’s particular circumstances.

                To remove all ambiguity about my position, I make the following claim:

                CLAIM: If, after mature reflection, one finds oneself to have homosexual appetites, but no heterosexual appetites, then the prudent thing to do is probably to find a consenting adult of the same sex with the same appetites and to settle down in a permanent monogamous sexual relationship. If the homosexual appetite is satisfied in this manner, then the appetite is properly ordered.

                Obviously, I haven’t given an argument for this claim. Among other things, I haven’t explained why the analogous claims for bestiality and pedophilia are wrong (as they are).

                I make the claim only to indicate what our respective burdens of proof are, if either of us wishes to convince the other using reason.

                If you would convince me that the claim is wrong, you need “only” show me that an appetite at cross-purposes to the purposes for which the organs were designed by natural selection is necessarily a disordered appetite. (You don’t need to convince me that one ought to combat disordered appetites and to replace them with properly ordered appetites. I already agree on that point.)

                On the other hand, if I would convince you that the claim is right, I need “only” explain what the best way to determine the propriety of an appetite is, if it isn’t by comparison with the purposes instilled by natural selection. I would then further have to convince you that this “best way” indicates that homosexual appetites are proper under the circumstances described in the claim.

                Let me admit right now that I do not know how to shoulder the burden of proof that I assign to myself above. That is, I know what considerations convince me, but I don’t know how to find enough common ground to convince you.

                However, if you are generous and interested enough to shoulder your burden of proof, then I will follow your argument to the best of my ability.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  Well, since there does actually seem to be a disagreement beyond the biological fact, it would be rude of me not to reply as courteously and thoughtfully as I can.

                  Let me ask you a question or four.

                  1. Does your argument change in any particular, if, instead of the phrase “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs were designed by natural selection”, as a definition of “properly ordered appetite” we used the phrase “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs are directed” without bothering to say by whom or by what process or even if the organs are designed? If we just take the organ as a given, without knowing anything of its past or whence it originated, and we see it is a sexual organ, is it proper to conclude that the organ is ordered toward sex?

                  2. If so, the debate is only touching the nature of prudence.

                  My claim is that it is prudent, all other things being equal, to make use of organs for the purposes for which they are ordered, and imprudent otherwise. The all other things I am assuming are equal here are the nature of the act, the nature of the goal sought by the act, and the nature of the mean employed in pursuit of that goal.

                  I assume your claim introduces something other than prudence, mostly because I cannot follow what you are saying. You said your claim was that, if suffering from an disordered desire, one should attempt to indulge it, even if it cannot be indulged, or, if indulged, cannot be satisfied? You use the word ‘monogamy’ to refer to a homosexual alliance, and I think I know what you mean by that, but I am not sure, since homosexual alliances are by definition not sexual. No copulation can take place. Sodomy can take place, and other types of masturbation or sexual stimulation that is not technically what a biologist would call sex, but which the common man certainly would call sexual, or perhaps pseudo-sexual. So I am not clear on what your claim rests upon.

                  3. Let us assume for the sake of argument that we were discussion a disorder of the appetite and not of the sexual passions. Suppose you found your younger brother had developed a taste for eating excrement. He is not doing what a biologist would call eating, that is, taking nutriment through ingestion. He putting a substance in his mouth and chewing a swallowing. Technically speaking, it is a disorder of the appetite for food, that is, the organs of nutriment are directed toward eating nutritious material and are not served by waste material.

                  Your younger brother says, “If, after mature reflection, one finds oneself to have coprophagic appetites, but no appetite for food, then the prudent thing to do is probably to find a cook willing to stew fecal matter and to settle down in a permanent diet of eating fried feces. If the coprophagic appetite is satisfied in this manner, then the appetite is properly ordered.”

                  Is there anything doubtful or illogical about his argument, or about the way he is defining his terms? Is he correct to refer to coprophagy not as a perversion of the appetite but merely as a difference of the orientation of his taste buds? Is he correct that the appetite is properly order merely based on the fact that the appetite exists?

                  On what is he based his claim that the appetite is ordered properly? That he feels it for a persistent period of time? That he feels it strongly?

                  4. There is also a definitional question here. If we define the phrase “properly ordered appetite” to mean the same thing as the word “appetite” then what meaning does the phrase “properly ordered” retain?

                  If we define “properly ordered appetite” to mean “appetite” then by definition no improperly ordered appetites can exist for the same reason that if we define “man” to mean “rational animal” then no irrational men exist, because the labels selected do not admit of that meaning.

                  What word then do we use to refer to the thing you and I both know exist, which is the appetite directed to the ends of which the organ or tool or means is not properly fitted or rational?

                  Or, on the other hand, perhaps we do not both know any such thing. Is there such a thing as order and disorder when it comes to appetites of any kind? Is there a proper or fit as opposed to improper or unfit usefulness that exists in nature, independently of any human willpower deciding what it shall select as ends and means?

                  Again, I am merely discussing the fact of the matter at this point, not the question of the nature of prudence, which is clearly a deeper question.

                  I am merely asking if there is such a thing as fitness versus unfitness, means ordered toward an end versus means disordered towards an end?

                  • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                    1. Does your argument change in any particular, if, instead of the phrase “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs were designed by natural selection”, as a definition of “properly ordered appetite” we used the phrase “an appetite ordered towards the purposes for which the organs are directed” without bothering to say by whom or by what process or even if the organs are designed?

                    No. I am claiming that a particular antecedent does not suffice to imply a particular consequent. Therefore, if my argument is valid, and you then go on to weaken the antecedent, then a fortiori the consequent still fails to follow, and so my argument still holds.

                    To elaborate on my agreement: The present structure of the sexual organs is such that they give strong evidence of being the product of something capable of producing objects optimized for particular ends. In particular, the organs give strong evidence of being optimized for the generation of offspring via heterosexual sex. I am happy with using the phrase “directed towards heterosexual sex” to indicate whatever it is about the present structure of the organs that provides this strong evidence for the natural history that they apparently have.

                    And so, having stipulated this understanding of the terms, I am happy to say that the sexual organs are directed towards heterosexual sex, regardless of whether, or by what, they were designed to be so directed.

                    Indeed, whatever the moral implications are that flow from this directedness, these implications continue to flow even if the organs do not in fact have the natural history that they appear to have — that is, even if, say, we all just popped into existence, Boltzmann-brain style.

                    I assume your claim introduces something other than prudence, mostly because I cannot follow what you are saying. You said your claim was that, if suffering from an disordered desire …

                    To clarify, I did not say “if suffering from an disordered desire …”. On the contrary, I deny that the desire is disordered.

                    (The following might not address your confusion, but I will add it in case that it does: I did describe a desire that you believe to be disordered. But, if you are right, then I am ignorant of and deny this fact. Thus, if you are right, then I have in a certain sense, said that A is not A (a disordered desire is not disordered), but not in a sense that makes me guilty of an explicit one-line logical contradiction. I would be like someone who says, sincerely but erroneously, “342 times 678 is not 231876″. I would not knowingly have said that A is not A, and I could be expected to deny having said this until I was convinced that there was a mistake in my arithmetic.)

                    So I am not clear on what your claim rests upon.

                    As I said, I gave no argument for the claim. Perhaps you are saying that you don’t understand what my claim even is, i.e., what any such argument would even be for? If so, then it’s not immediately clear to me how to rectify this. The best thing to do may just be to listen to your arguments for your own claim.

                    Your younger brother says […]

                    Is there anything doubtful or illogical about his argument, or about the way he is defining his terms? Is he correct to refer to coprophagy not as a perversion of the appetite but merely as a difference of the orientation of his taste buds? Is he correct that the appetite is properly order merely based on the fact that the appetite exists?

                    The short answer is, No, he is not correct.

                    The longer answer is this: Proper appetites are (at least) appetites such that one could want to have all the consequences of indulging them while in a state of reflective equilibrium. (That is not a sufficient condition, but it is a necessary one.) Now, suppose some man sincerely says what you describe. Then I expect with very high probability that he will eventually very much not want the consequences that will follow from feeding his appetite (namely, severe illness). He may say now that he won’t mind these consequences, or that he doesn’t believe that they will follow, but he won’t maintain this aplomb when he is actually confronting the consequences. Because this change in his attitude is virtually assured, he could not be in a state of reflective equilibrium and say what he says now. Therefore, his appetite cannot be properly ordered.

                    I believe that you have said that homosexuals similarly inevitably suffer misery that far outweighs any happy consequences of their homosexual acts. If I were convinced of this, then I would agree that homosexuality is a disordered appetite, that it ought to be surpressed and corrected wherever feasible, and so forth. But I am not convinced of this.

                    There is also a definitional question here. If we define the phrase “properly ordered appetite” to mean the same thing as the word “appetite” then what meaning does the phrase “properly ordered” retain?

                    Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that we define “properly ordered appetite” to mean the same thing as the word “appetite”. On the contrary, I am suggesting more distinctions among appetites rather than fewer.

                    On my view, there are appetites, and among these there are

                    (A) properly ordered appetites

                    and

                    (B) appetites conducive to increasing inclusive genetic fitness (which is always the ultimate purpose instilled by natural selection).

                    These two types of appetites do not exhaust all appetites — some appetites are neither type-A nor type-B. (Your coprophagia scenario gives an example.) Some appetites are both type-A and type-B. (E.g., an appetite for pure water.) Further, neither type entirely contains the other. (For example, an appetite for celibacy can be properly ordered, even though it is not conducive to increasing inclusive genetic fitness. Conversely, an appetite to conquer Eurasia and rape thousands of women can be conducive to increasing inclusive genetic fitness, even though it is not properly ordered.)

                    • Comment by DaveSomething:

                      Is potential illness (or similar such consequences) the only argument against this kind of misuse of natural appetites? Put another way, if one could eat excrement without getting sick, is there any reason not to do so?

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      Is potential illness (or similar such consequences) the only argument against this kind of misuse of natural appetites?

                      No.

                      Note that my argument isn’t really based on potential illness. Rather, the argument is based on the impossibility of approving of the appetite in oneself while in a state of reflective equilibrium.

                      Nor am I claiming that even this criterion is sufficient in general; I claim only that it is necessary. If the criterion fails, then I conclude that the appetite is improper (as I did above). But there might exist possible states of reflective equilibrium in which one approves of improper appetites (wrongly). Therefore, some other criterion would be required to establish that these other appetites are improper.

                      And, to cut to the chase, I do not know how to give a complete characterization of all and only the criteria that exactly distinguish the improper appetites from the proper ones.

                      My position is analogous to that of a mathematician of the time of Thales of Miletus. Such a mathematician might know that he finds certain mathematical arguments very compelling, others somewhat compelling, and some others clearly wrong. But he might also know that even his most compelling intuitions might prove to be wrong (e.g., that all numbers are commensurable) if he later encounters even more compelling counter-arguments that he hasn’t thought of yet.

                      In his time, he does not have a characterization for exactly which inferences are acceptable in a mathematical argument. He doesn’t even have a candidate characterization. In our own time, we at least have second-order logic, which is a candidate characterization of acceptable inferences in mathematics. But the work of developing second-order logic has not yet happened in his time.

                      Thus he needs, as a practical matter, to acknowledge the possibility that even his most dearly held mathematical beliefs will need revision in light of new arguments or evidence that he hasn’t dreamed of yet. If he doesn’t maintain this humility, then history will, as a matter of fact, prove that he was wrong about some of his mathematical beliefs.

                      Nonetheless, this humility needn’t degenerate into relativism with respect to valid mathematical argumentation. He just needs to acknowledge that the characterization of proper mathematical inferences is a problem for which he does not yet know the solution. (In our own time, we plausibly do have a solution to this problem, at least once axioms are in hand.)

                      In the mean time, he should go on being a mathematician, seeking compelling mathematical arguments, subjecting them to critique, and accepting them with high confidence when he can find no problem with the arguments.

                      Humility needn’t imply pessimism. The ancient-Greek mathematician can and should go on doing the best he can, which, history will prove, will actually turn out to be very, very well. Archimedes of Syracuse proved timelessly powerful and sublime results without the benefit of a fully worked-out theory of mathematical inference.

                      I am in a similar position with respect to moral arguments. (That is, I labor under the same limitations as the ancient mathematician. Unfortunately, my perceptive powers in the moral domain probably aren’t as great as Archimedes’s were in the mathematical domain.) I have no complete characterization of valid moral argumentation. But I do what I can, which is to seek arguments and to subject them to critique, and to accept them with high confidence when I can find no problems with them.

                      For what it is worth, the best attempt that I have seen of at least gesturing in the direction of a full characterization of morality is Eliezer Yudkowsky’s article on coherent extrapolated volition (pdf):

                      In poetic terms, our coherent extrapolated volition is our wish if we knew more, thought faster, were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together; where the extrapolation converges rather than diverges, where our wishes cohere rather than interfere; extrapolated as we wish that extrapolated, interpreted as we wish that interpreted.

                      The rest of the document attempts to unpack this definition in less “poetic” terms.

                      Just to avoid overselling that article, it doesn’t claim to give a full characterization of what morality is. Rather, it tries to indicate which procedures are probably sufficient for finding such a characterization. However, these procedures involve technology that is not available at this time.

  9. Comment by joeclark77:

    Well, I despised the story, but I’ll go see the movie anyway for the same reason as you, John. However, I would hesitate to declare that I was doing it in protest of boycotts of unpopular views. I wish to reserve to myself the right to at any time boycott views popular or unpopular. Therefore I’ll watch the movie in protest of the other things you mentioned: craven zealots, moral blindness, brutal ignorance, yada yada.

    • Comment by Robert King:

      Just curious: what did you despise about the story?

      Myself, I read it decades ago, and enjoyed it quite a lot. I tried other Card books, which didn’t do anything for me. I’m planning to re-read it before the film, mostly because I hardly remember a thing beyond the broadest strokes of the plot.

      • Comment by joeclark77:

        It has the same sort of fascistic tone of an Ayn Rand novel, i.e., the main characters are “supermen” and it is morally neutral for them to manipulate, rule over, or dispose of the ordinary or anonymous characters. This is most clear in the story line involving Ender’s siblings, which I hope the screenwriters were smart enough to cut entirely. It’s the sort of absurd fantasy that would appeal to teenage boys and college libertarians (but I repeat myself) who secretly suspect that they’re not like ordinary people and don’t deserve to be held back by such.

        From a sci-fi point of view, of course, I really liked the speculation about the Battle Room. Supposedly the book grew out of an initial thought experiment about how they’d train people for combat in space, and it was very creative. The twist at the end of course is a classic, although I will admit I kind of saw it coming.

        • Comment by lotdw:

          * HERE BE SPOILERS *

          I think that is why it initially appeals to so many teenage boys, but the novel actually clearly goes AGAINST the idea that it’s right for the superman to manipulate others (and in fact, Ender is the one who was manipulated, into a genocide which is clearly considered to be horrific, by the book). The whole point of the book is to build up that supposed superiority, to have the reader cheer with the victories of the battle group, until it’s revealed that the project was a trick (as the book was). Of course you only get the sudden shock of the realization at the end of Ender’s Game; but if you read the sequel Speaker for the Dead, which is in many ways the better book, you get the actual human consequences of that trick, as Ender realizes he needs to atone for what he did, and his superiority and triumph is a lie – in fact, he won’t even go by his own name because of the disgust generated by the books he himself wrote to explain his, and humanity’s, crimes in the Bugger War.

          And Peter is in no way morally neutral – he tortures animals, which is often the first indication of a serial killer. That he becomes Hegemon of Earth is an ironic comment on politics, not a celebration of his superiority. And there’s a reason he’s not allowed to go to the Battle School.

          • Comment by joeclark77:

            The book expresses mild distaste for Peter but it still shows him conquering the world. As a young teenager. Because he’s got a high IQ and the sheeple are just that stupid. Just like John Galt.

            The book may express mild distaste for the actions of these supermen, but at no point does it disown the eugenic concept that underlies the story. It doesn’t say to the teenage libertarian reader that you, dear reader, are mortal like everyone else. Instead it says, you the master race are being held back or tricked or forced to commit necessary crimes by the inadequacy of the ordinary people.

            • Comment by ChevalierdeJohnstone:

              You mistake a story for the author’s point of view. Ayn Rand’s novels clearly were her point of view – she said so, multiple times. Orson Scott Card’s stories clearly are not his point of view: name one character who is a member of the LDS church? There are none.

              “Ender’s Game” and its accompaniments are exercises in scifi distopianism merged with child abuse and social and political corruption and moral decay, drawing heavily from real-world history and moral philosophy replete with real examples of social and political corruption and moral decay (Demosthenes and Locke, for example.)

              If a teenager can read the work of an LDS novelist in which Earth society is almost wholly given over to artificial reduction of fertility, and think that the author is portraying this as a good thing, this is simply further proof that our society is already far along the path to the distopia about which Card writes. And no, the fact that perhaps as a teenager you didn’t know Mr. Card is LDS is immaterial – the point is that it should be blindingly obvious to any moral creature that the society in Ender’s Game is horribly corrupt, decayed, and immoral.

              At what point does it not click with a reader that the story is about children being forced to fight, maim, and torture each other? I don’t disagree that there are readers who don’t understand how horrible this is, but that is simply evidence that we are raising generations of sociopaths.

              • Comment by JoeCool:

                In the book, Ender’s mother is LDS; his father is Catholic. It briefly mentions that they argued over into which denomination to baptize Ender.

                NB: I’m not disagreeing with your point, just doing my fanboy part to point out a minor technical error. *Pushes glasses up his nose*

  10. Comment by Rolf Andreassen:

    I could not care less about this movie.

    Really? I would have thought a movie of “Ender’s Game” would interest any scifi fan, quite apart from whatever politics might be involved. Do you expect the movie to be untrue to the book? Or perhaps you disliked the book?

  11. Comment by Republican Swag:

    Interesting comment, Mr. Wright. Looking forward to the outcome.

  12. Ping from Lightning Round – 2013/07/24 | Free Northerner:

    […] Watch Ender’s Game opening weekend. […]

  13. Comment by tz:

    I want to live in a society where those who cannot tell the difference between a sexual perversion and a civil right are shamed into silence, and their moral blindness and brutal ignorance no longer tolerated among honest men.

    I see both sets as nether identical nor disjoint. Contraception is a perversion (if you read the catechism). Yet Sandra Fluke is not encouraged to seek treatment for nymphomania. Conversely, homosexuals were abused (the reason for Stonewall was that they effectively had no civil rights because they were gay – the law, or rule of law did not exist for them). Blindness and brutal-ity was tolerated among “honest” men.

    But also note when you shame the ignorant into silence, you equally prevent them from asking honest questions. Be ashamed of even asking and revealing your ignorance. That I see as a far greater danger.

    To my knowledge blindness and ignorance are not only not sins, but things which we are commanded to address via the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

    If you mean stupidity and prejudice, that is something different as it is a defect of the will – a sin.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Certainly it is not the honest question I wish deterred; but the plain fact of the matter is that society, all society, used to have a sense that reason should control emotion, including the sexual emotions, and modern society demands that emotion control reason, and it is not the sexual emotions that incline men toward marriage that are give the power to trump reason, but only perverse, distorted, and deviant sexual emotions.

      A little more honest from that quarter, or any other, would be welcomed. When is the last time you or anyone saw a sit-com where the homosexual character, or the mom who aborts her helpless baby, or the daughter who has a wild one-night stand, or the husband who has an affair, ends up suffering the lifelong miseries such ill-conceived self indulges or out-and-out inhuman cruel usually create?

      • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

        When is the last time you or anyone saw a sit-com where the homosexual character, or the mom who aborts her helpless baby, or the daughter who has a wild one-night stand, or the husband who has an affair, ends up suffering the lifelong miseries such ill-conceived self indulges or out-and-out inhuman cruel usually create?

        Do sit-coms these days show anyone suffering lifelong miseries, for any reason? I guess that I remember some “very special episode” sit-coms from the eighties where a teen mom deals with the consequences of a one-night stand. But my spotty experience with sit-coms since then leaves me with the impression that they focus pretty much just on comedy now, maybe with some bittersweet sentimentality on the side. A character in a show like Seinfeld (which is already out of date) would never suffer lifelong misery, unless that misery could be put to comedic effect.

      • Comment by tz:

        First, would you invoke the “war on drugs” with the civil forfeiture, violent “no-knock” raids, and shoot first (even if they get the address wrong) upon couples who contracept? Homosexuals engage in a pantomime. Contraception is much closer to sacrilege – going through the liturgy just to desecrate it. Should we combine the modern SWAT first with Comstockery?

        Not all sins are or should be crimes. I have no problem telling a Gay person they are committing an abomination, yet defending their basic human civil rights. Marriage is a contract, so Adultery is fraud, bearing false witness, theft as well as being a sexual sin. (Thou shall not kill, steal, bear false witness should be crimes). Contraception and fornication, and various other things are also grave sins. Yet government coercion is itself an evil (under the rule of men, but we have neither saints, nor angels to administer laws), so I would apply it as lightly as possible.

        As far a sit-coms or any of the “mainstream media”, we are now a pagan society. Under what theory do you impose Christianity upon pagans? Especially at gunpoint. As a Christian I’ve feared every expansion of Caesar/Leviathan because I know one day it will be used to persecute us. What of the “war on terror” when we are the ones declared terrorists?

        As to the MSM, a simpler or better question is if you have ever seen a sitcom where ANY major character has contracted a serious STD from their activity (as it common and happens daily). Even in “The Philadelphia Story”, the protagonist seems to have contracted HIV from a “toilet seat”. Can’t have a chain smoker get lung cancer, or a drunk get cirrhosis.

        But putting Pagans aside, somehow I find it ironic for a Christian speaker to have no problems with some strange man seeing her naked in a porn scanner and allowing herself to be masturbated (I’m using the correct term – males have had discharges) by the TSA just so she can fly across the country to speak on “modesty” and get back. Or that “it isn’t torture” if it doesn’t leave a mark, or in order to be pro-life we need to starve a million Iranian terrorist towelhead toddlers to death, lest they grow up and come over here an kill us (Albright said of Iraq, that 1/2 million was “worth it”). Or that robbing the rich to give to the poor is wrong unless done by proxy in a democracy.

        There is a difference in responsibility and accountability for those in the light v.s. those in the dark. But those in the light seem to have their eyes closed or self-imposed cataracts.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          Marriage is not a contract. Take it from a lawyer. In a contract, there is nothing wrong or immoral about, five minutes before you sign the contract with one party, changing your mind and signing with another. A contract is a memorandum of mutual exploitation, each man seeking his own benefit and nothing more. They can be dissolved at will with the consent of both parties or broken when economically rational to do so by one party.

          Compare that to marriage. If the bride found the groom coupling energetically with the bridesmaid five minutes before the wedding ceremony, the groom would have betrayed the bride. It would be an evil act. Marriage is the unreserved gift of oneself to the other, for better or worse, and to dissolve it is worse than amputation. We rightly denounce women who marry for money, or men who divorce for trophy wives.

          As for the rest, no one here is arguing in favor of the positions you are arguing against. Yours is a list of straw men. For shame, sir. Please be serious.

  14. Comment by tz:

    I should also note I did the audio version of “Speaker for the Dead” this weekend. I think it makes a very good point.

    Though I can argue Natural Law, if I do I must impose it as the “rule of law”. Not as my whim, nor pull punches when there are other sinners.

    Too often “we know not what we do”. God forgive us. There but for the grace of God go I, and I am in no position to condemn others.

  15. Comment by tz:

    I should also clarify – I agree 100% that reason should dominate emotion. I see that little in Catholics and Christians when it comes to terrorism – fear, anger, vengeance, hatred dominate. Jesus said two cardinal sins were thought-sins. Lust and Wrath. Both emotions can easily dominate reason. They feel good. Our bodies (flesh) betray us. But is the desire to kill and torture less important than the desire to copulate? If the choir is sinning they need to be preached to. Then the whole world is our mission field.

  16. Ping from The Strong Horse | Free Northerner:

    […] the social and economic consequences aren’t so bad. If, for example, the right goes to see Card’s Ender’s Game in theatres en masse, this will further rob the Jacobin’s threats of their […]

  17. Ping from I’d Probably Go See “Ender’s Game” anyway…:

    […] have an opinion at variance with the Legion only makes me want to see it twice, even if it sucks.  John C. Wright proposes a Chick Fil A moment on Card’s behalf.  It will be all the sweeter if the movie is actually good, which it promises to be, judging from […]

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