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A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Slippery Slope? What Slippery Slope?

Because the Late Modern world has concluded that the End justifies the Means, provided only that the End is approved of by all right-thinking people (i.e., that it involves personal pleasure), we lately pay little attention to the form of the argument made in favor of the End.  The conclusion, after all, is predetermined, so the argument is typically ad hoc rationalization. 



For example, TOF has seen made on the self-same blog by the self-same commenters arguments made against free will "because" everything is strictly determined by the laws of physics AND arguments against teleology "because" everything is based on the random spontaneity of quantum mechanics.  

In addition to mutually contradictory arguments, the Late Modern failure to insist on good arguments leads inexorably to the co-option of arguments in favor of X for arguments in favor of Y, leaving pro-X, anti-Y folks either flummoxed or seduced into tacit support of Y.  Either that, or they deny the validity of their own argument when it is used by someone else. 
For example, a certain group of people insist on Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) as authority for Christian belief.  If it's "not in the Book," then it's not a valid belief.  The problem is that Sola Scriptura is itself nowhere in the Scripture.  
All of which brings us to today's observation on the Untergang der Abendlandes.  Previously, we have seen people "marrying" dogs, inanimate objects, and even themselves, as well as arguments that the arguer has no free will (and thus is as unable to make an argument as his reader is to be swayed by it), that the DSM entry on pedophilia should be moderated to be less provocative, and that babies may be killed after birth

Scientists™ have already worried that men having sex with animals are at higher risk for penile cancer and recommend, not that men should not have sex with animals (how judgmental!) but that they should wear a condom when they do.  

Now we have a straightforward advocacy of copulation with animals
Now Beck believes he and other members of this minority sexual orientation, who often call themselves "zoos," can follow the same path as the gay rights movement. Most researchers believe 2 to 8 percent of the population harbors forbidden desires toward animals, and Beck hopes this minority group can begin appealing to the open-minded for acceptance.
But if those like Beck are to make the same gains as gays, it's apparent they will have to do so without the help of gay rights groups, which so far want nothing to do with a zoophile movement. What's more, they will have to wage battle with well-funded and politically connected animal-protection activists.
 It is with a certain sense of Schadenfreud that observers of the Untergang note the sudden transformation of animal-rights folks into a well-funded, Establishment juggernaut, and the gay rights folks into staunch conservatives barring the bedroom door (or perhaps the hamster cage door) against those dangerous radicals.  But this is what happens when arguments are deployed without consideration of what other ends those self-same arguments might be lent. 


1 comment:

  1. "Slippery Slope fallacy" - the modern term for the act of correctly identifying the logical implications of a proposition

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