Thursday, March 26, 2015


"There are absolutely no absolutes"

Recently, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed into law the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" into law.  This bill essentially allows businesses to refuse to do business with people if they believe it violates their faith and conscience.  In specific: you can refuse to bake a "wedding" cake for a homosexual couple if you desire without worrying about the cops knocking no your door in Indiana.
Now, the idea that we should get to a point that people who decide they don't want to bake a cake for other people should become a legal matter that supreme courts in states are demanding take place is ridiculous to the point of insanity.  But putting aside the absurdity that this was even considered necessary, lets consider this a moment.
First off, it has always been the case that businesses are able to refuse service.  That's never been in question.  There have been times when certain kinds of refusals were brought up as legal matters, but at no point has it been a legal doctrine that businesses cannot refuse service.
Bars are, in fact, required by law to refuse to serve drinks to someone who is visibly and excessively drunk.  It is quite common for businesses to have "no shirts, no shoes, no service" type of signs which indicate that this establishment will... refuse service... to anyone who is lacking shoes and/or a shirt.  The principle that a business may reserve the right to refuse service to customers based on a certain standard is unquestioned.
The only question here is whether or not businesses ought to be able to do what they are perfectly able and have the right to do, in the specific situation of offering their services to homosexuals.  May an establishment refuse to do business with someone because they are homosexual?  May a photographer, for instance, refuse to photo a homosexual "wedding"?
The current trend of legal thought is that it is a 14th amendment violation to do so; that somehow not taking pictures of a wedding is a violation of the clause requiring equal treatment under law.  But only a homosexual wedding.  If the wedding is too far away, or the customer is too rude, or the offered payment too small, that's perfectly acceptable.  But not if they are homosexual.  This tiny group of humanity has been deemed specially protected and the law extends them particular defense.
If a group of rude people or underpayers went to the courts or called the cops, they'd be laughed at and hung up on.  If someone who lived too far away called the cops, the police would tell them to find a closer photographer.  But homosexuals, they've been deemed a special human rights group that must be protected.  Some are more equal than others.
What's interesting to me is the response of the left to this bill being signed.  "Boycott Indiana!" they cry.  I'm not really sure what they've been buying from Indiana, but now they're vowing to never visit the state, its a "no fly zone" for some.
Which I find particularly curious and even comical.  Lets put this as clearly as I can.
Because the state of Indiana has now made it legal for a business to refuse service to homosexuals because they believe the practice to be wrong... they are refusing service to Indiana, because they believe such a refusal to be a practice which is... wrong.
So they're officially doing what they are objecting to.  They are engaging in exactly the behavior they consider so reprehensible.  In fact, one of the left's favorite tools to attempt to blackmail businesses into doing what they want is the boycott: the refusal to do business with them.  Because of a moral decision.
Now I guess they would say that there's a difference because one is on the retail end and the other the customer end.  So the evil oppressor business owner must not be allowed the freedom of their conscience, but the customer must always, or something.  But in the end it comes down to my moral system vs yours.
So we come down to the same quandary that I brought up a while back with The Mirror Take; you are declaring someone who is making a moral decision to be wrong because of a moral decision on your part.  You consider their moral choice to be immoral.  And as I said in that essay:
Both sides on this issue have chosen or been led to hold a set of principles which they believe should shape life, thought, and activity.  Both sides are making their decision upon a set of moral principles.
Which is right?  Which is wrong?  How do we make that call?
In other words, why should we listen to one side and not the other?  What basis, what system do we use to decide which is correct?
And how can one side say that the other is absolutely wrong and horrible, how can you decide one so completely that you attack and try to destroy the other?  You believe you are right and they are wrong.  They believe the same thing.  Why should one side dominate the debate, culture, and legal system instead of the other?  How do you decide who wins in a fight like that?
If you have no absolute, overarching standard no objective basis for your decisions and judgments, you cannot hold others to your morality.  I'm not saying you ought not do so or that you should not.  I'm saying that you have absolutely no basis either philosophically morally, or conceptually to do so.  Because you believe morality to be simply a matter of whim.
And one man's whim is as good as another's, if that's all it is.
The whole thing is fascinating to me, watching a set of absolute moral codes develop among people who utterly reject absolutes, and swear that there is no such thing.  They're creating as rigid a system of ethical rules and blue laws as any Puritan ever did while claiming the high road of freedom and condemning their enemies as being so legalistic and tyrannical.  No hate, except the people you say are haters, then you can hate them doubleplusgood. 
The blindness is astounding.  Foolish.  Insane.

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