Friday, February 11, 2011

Ha! 'thesaurus fallacy' (for Theo nerds only)

Paul Manata make me laugh. The last line is priceless.

I'm reposting his entire post here:

D.G. Hart says,

"I understand and have commented before on the scare word, neutral. The followers of Abraham Kuyper regard nothing as neutral; everything is either for or against Christ and so no secular or neutral realm exists. This has obvious appeal in Sunday school or at a political rally. But someone going to court, even to protest a parking ticket, is hoping that some realm of neutrality exists. If everything is partisan, then so much for impartial judgment by police, justices, reporters, or even plumbers (“Fox opines, you report”)."

Of course, I don’t hope the judge is neutral; rather, I hope he is objective. Like, I rather hope he’s partial to my video tape evidence that me and my car were 25 hours away at the exact time my car was supposedly downtown getting ticketed!

He then quotes Vos saying that there are some things that are not sinful in themselves, they are morally indifferent. Hart engages in th unfortunate thesaurus fallacy and claims that since “indifferent” has been used as a synonym for “neutral,” then neutrality is a viable category. But note well, Vos’ position isn’t a morally neutral one, it takes a moral stance. Vos brings up the category of intrinsic goods and evils and claims that the proper moral stance on piano playing is that it is not, in the abstract, intrinsically good or evil. It is morally permissible, then, to play, or to refrain from playing, the piano. This isn’t a neutral position, it is to place piano playing in the moral category of moral permissibility and not in the categories of morally impermissible or morally obligatory. Ethicists don’t consider moral permissibility a neutral category. Rather, it’s the right position to take on the matter. Some ethicists have placed things like suicide, euthanasia, and abortion in the categories of moral permissibility. I’d say Hart is against all three, and hence he should be able to see that calling something morally permissible isn’t to take a morally neutral stand on the topic.

More philosophy, less history, less conceptual muddle-headedness.

No comments:

Post a Comment