Friday, August 5, 2016

Witherspoon's pseudo-intellectual blog obsessing over what I do in bed

John Skalko
The pretentious thinker pose
John Skalko, we are told, is an adjunct professor and PhD Candidate in Philosophy at The University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX. Skalko got his BA at U. St. Thomas, MN. This young man has spent his adult life studying Catholicism in small cloistered Catholic schools. He is currently at the School for Thomistic Studies dedicating time and energy to the esoteric study of an arcane 13th century philosopher. Chances are that he will never create a job nor use his ingenuity to create anything useful. Chances are that he will become an academic passing along the same useless drivel to undergrads.

Why are these professional Catholics so concerned over what I do in bed? Is this another repressed gay man like Ryan T. Anderson? Other than irritating me and creating blog fodder, what purpose does it all serve? Why are they so desperate to demonstrate their irrelevant disapproval?

Skalko writes, for Witherspoon Institute consumption, “Homosexuality and Bad Arguments.” I do not understand how there are arguments associated with sexual orientation. Are there arguments over one's height? Eye color? The entire premise of this piece is intellectually dishonest. He writes:
Chris Meyers’ latest book, A Moral Defense of Homosexuality: Why Every Argument against Gay Rights Fails, is the latest in recent attempts to provide a robust philosophical account in favor of the modern liberal position on homosexuality. By “the modern liberal position,” I mean the view that homosexual activity between consenting adults is morally good, same-sex unions are on a par with other marriages (and ought to be considered as such), same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt, and gays ought to be allowed to serve openly in the military.
The entire polemic is a painfully verbose post and this guy needs some clues:
  1. Homosexual activity between consenting adults does not require his approval.
  2. Same-sex unions are the legal equal of opposite sex marriages. His approval is irrelevant.
  3. Same-sex couples can adopt and no one solicited his approval.
  4. Gays have served openly in the military for five years now. That too did not require his approval.
So I ask again. What is the point of all this? Does anyone really care whether or not Skalko likes gays serving openly in the military? We already know that the Catholic Church does not approve of gay people whom they consider “objectively disordered.” It is reasonable to assume that Skalko's views on almost everything mirror the teachings of the Catholic Church. This is not exactly a deep critical thinker.
Meyers’ book is long overdue. If you wish to persuade people that they ought to view same-sex unions as morally good, then you will need also to give good reasons why homosexual activity is morally good. The difficulty is that, historically, the modern liberal position has lacked any robust philosophical argument in favor of homosexual activity.
Gay sex does not require any robust philosophical arguments in support. It is just sex. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just sex. The overwhelming majority of heterosexual sex is recreational as well. Oh my, you mean it is not procreative? 99% of women age 15 to 44 have used contraceptives at one time or another. Americans spend billions of dollars each year on pills and rubbers in order to have recreational sex without risk of pregnancy. Get a grip on reality. Americans love to fornicate. Trying to compare gay couples to Ozzie & Harriet is absurd because Ozzie & Harriet no longer exists.

Some academics need robust philosophical arguments for many things in order to believe that they are doing something useful. A caddy is useful. A plumber is useful. A Catholic philosopher? Not so much.

Later on (this is too pedantic not to skip through):
According to natural law theory, the natural law is “an ordinance of reason promulgated by one who has authority for the common good of man.” Traditional natural lawyers argue that human reason can discern this natural law by reflecting on our true nature and its natural inclinations, powers, and operations. To be good, we must order ourselves to what we are for—in other words, to what perfects our nature. Just as a tomato plant is good because it does what it is for (i.e., it acts according to its nature by growing, nourishing itself, and producing fruit, etc.), so too humans are good because they act according to their nature. Just as a tomato plant that does not produce good fruit is a bad tomato plant (and so does not act in accordance with its natural ends), so too humans become bad by not acting according to their natural ends, such as reason.
Natural law theory is a masturbatory academic exercise in irrelevance. Using natural law theory Aquinas argued in favor of slavery. The 13th century is not the 21st century. The average life expectancy for a male child born between 1276 and 1300 was 31.3 years. That has a dramatic effect on perspective. Today at 31 people are just coming into their own. Due to extraordinarily high mortality rates in infants and children (compared to today) parents had far less emotional investment in their kids. Women were perpetually pregnant in order to hopefully create living heirs which made them even less participative in 13th century society. If someone got sick, they usually died. Pain relievers did not exist which meant that many, if not most, lives ended in agony. Little wonder why they placed so much emphasis on life after death. Paradise was a construction necessitated by the quality of life. We are a very different society with very different values because we are beneficiaries of modern science.
Meyers’ criticisms of natural law all hinge on equivocal senses of nature: nature as opposed to miracles, nature as opposed to the unusual, and nature as opposed to the artificial. Yet none of those senses is what traditional natural lawyers mean by saying, “x is against the natural law.” When Aquinas called homosexual activity “a sin against nature,” he did not mean “nature” in the sense of “mother nature,” what usually occurs, or what is not made by man. On the contrary, he meant that such acts are against the natural end of the use of the generative power. For more on this, I refer the reader to my published academic work.
It doesn't matter what Aquinas said about homosexuality. Nobody in the 13th century, including Aquinas, understood the continuum of sexual orientation. Aquinas understood homosexuality solely as a behavior. He did not understand that there even were gay people.
Meyers criticizes the arguments put forth by Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and Robert P. George that the nature of marriage shows that same-sex unions cannot count as real marriages. …

What Meyers has proposed, however, is a false dichotomy. Marriage has a nature in the way in which the family or language has a nature. At its core, there is something that makes a family a family; if you take that essential feature away, it ceases to be a family. You can have a family of a man and woman and their children, but you cannot have a family of rocks.…
Oh bullshit. Critical thinkers start with an hypothesis which they test for truth through experiments and observation. They are agnostic with respect to the result, content to disprove their hypothesis if that is truth. Skalkos starts with with the teachings of the Church as inerrant truth (along with the musings of Aquinas). He is willing to substitute 13th century superstition for 21st century social and medical science.

Skalkos does the opposite of critical thinkers in that he must prove that his preordained truth is valid. It is reverse engineered logic that does not allow for the fact that two men or two women and their children constitute a family. And on that note it is pointless for me to waste more keystrokes on this nonsense.

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