A few thoughts on rigor, precision, and reason-based discussion

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We are sharing a guest post by Rob Blair.

Let me start by saying, very clearly, I am deeply concerned by Trump’s executive orders. The ones that are purely symbolic, readying-for-legislation stuff are worrisome. The ones that have present-tense impact are (with possibly one exception) devastating. These things are not okay. And I am all for following the advice of Captain Picard:

“We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. […] Not anymore. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further.”

But I also want to raise a concern I have with how we are talking about the current situation. You’ll forgive me, I hope, for my assertive tone. Continue reading

Equality is NOT A False Ideal (Rob’s Response to Brian)

My friend and cousin, Rob Blair, posted this thoughtful rebuttal of my article on Facebook. I repost here with his permission, my response to follow soon. Thank you, Rob!

The “equality of discernment” argument is not one made by any who espouse equality as a political or philosophical value. It is, in my experience, exclusively a straw-man argument, popularized by Ayn Rand.

To say that the race justification of slavery was a secondary evil is problematic. It is that institutionalization that caused continued damage and disadvantage to members of that race. Further, debating which was more evil (the terrible treatment or the way it narrativized an entire race of people in a way that would continue to be destructive to that race in the centuries to come) is rather besides the point. There is no reason we need to choose which one is more important; they are both fundamentally wrong and both deserve attention, consideration, and resolution.

I don’t agree with your premise that equality is not an end to itself. Continue reading