Friday, June 26, 2009

Why should anything be illegal?

That's the question I had after reading this exceptionally thoughtless tidbit from Fred Block commenting on Mark Sanford's infidelity at the RH Reality Check blog. After setting up a litany of strawman, Block writes,
But this makes no sense. If we are all like the politicians who get caught -- frail, imperfect human beings who cannot actually live according to these Biblical rules -- then it is only logical that the laws that we construct together should reflect a compassionate recognition of that fact. This means abandoning the ancient prejudice against homosexuality. It also means that when a woman happens to follow her heart and gets pregnant, she should be able to correct the mistake through an abortion. But, of course, the conservative culture warriors cannot see this point.

What Block apparently cannot see is that if we act like people can't live according to laws and are laws should only reflect compassion for those who make mistakes, then we're left with no reasons to have any prohibitions on any actions.

Why should stealing be illegal? Why should murder be illegal?

It seems Block thinks it's logical to scrap laws simply because laws get broken. Kind of like a "Laws are meant to broken so why have them anyway" ideology. This destroys any argument for punishing anyone, including people like George Tiller's murderer, whom I'm guessing Block wouldn't want to be able to "correct his mistake." It also fails to understand some basic reasons for laws and doesn't recognize that lawmakers know that laws will be broken.

It's completely illogical to argue that we should scrap moral laws and standards merely because someone who believes in these laws and standards fails to live up to them.

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