February 04, 2014

La verite est en marche et rien ne l'arretera , Ctd

Fintan O’Toole wrote in The Irish Times here:
"Over time mainstream opinion comes to recognise that honest beliefs once held by decent people were reprehensible, not because the people were bad, but because the beliefs were shaped by prejudice. This will happen, probably quite soon, with beliefs about sexual orientation."
He continued:
"Sincerity is as irrelevant here as malevolence – it simply doesn’t matter why people uphold structures of discrimination. Throughout history, decent, moral people have believed with complete sincerity that slavery is a moral good, that women are lesser beings who must be protected from their weakness by being obedient to men, that Jews should be confined to ghettoes, that the Irish are incapable of rational thought, that Catholics are unfit to live in democracies and so on."
He continued:
"This is true even of very great men. Aristotle thought slavery entirely natural. Abraham Lincoln thought for most of his career that when slavery was abolished blacks should be shipped out to Africa because they couldn’t possibly live side by side with free whites. Does this make Aristotle and Lincoln bad men? No. It just makes them examples of highly moral and intelligent people who cannot escape inherited structures of discriminatory thought."
He concluded:
"The whole point of the law is that it’s not about giving people equal status because you like them. It’s about freeing people from subjection to the arbitrariness of other people’s benevolence. Gay men and lesbians shouldn’t have to care one way or the other whether the members of the Iona Institute love them or not. Just as the rest of us shouldn’t measure the rights of our fellow citizens by what they get up to in bed."
In full here.

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