I just uploaded this photo, that I took 22 years ago when I visited China, and made this poster. I was motivated in part by this comment that my cyberfriend Casey contributed a few days ago:

All laws either encourage or condemn a certain behavior. It's not a matter of enforcing morality or not enforcing morality. It's whose morality are we going to enforce?
Sometimes people say silly things like we should not be inflicting our 'morality' on others.. Casey is right to ask "whose morality". I think that our laws are very reflective of our 'morality'.. at one time they reflected an ignorance about the rights of women and African Americans.. today they reflect an ignorance about the rights of the unborn - just because something is legal does not mean that it is moral.


  1. You said, "just because something is legal does not mean that it is moral."
    Very well said! I totally agree with you!

  2. Bob ~ thanks you for the link to Jill ~~ what an inspiration!

  3. Asking "Who's morality are we going to enforce?" offers a false dichotomy. We need not prefer one group's set of ethical standards over another group's. There is a large set of moral beliefs shared by almost all people. It is the common set of moral beliefs that we should 'impose' or rather, agree to adhere to with the force of law. These are shared moral beliefs and belong to no single group.

    Ethical rules that belong to only one specific group should not be made law. It is when one segment of society want's their morals made law for all that the word 'impose' is properly used.

  4. Your ending sentence says it all. I agree wholeheartedly.

  5. Or to put what Sid said another way, just because you find something immoral does not mean it should be illegal.

  6. sidfaiwu,

    You said "There is a large set of moral beliefs shared by *almost all* people."

    Who do you believe determines what this list is, and who "imposes" the moral law of this list for those outside of the *almost all* category?

    It seems that by defining our own realities, we can quickly move moral boundaries wherever we want to. All we need is for the governing authroities to reach a consensus on some reality, and the moral outcome of that reality is imposed upon that governed society. Here in the West we are no longer governed by 'moral truth' because 'truth' has been declared to be undefinable. We are now morally governed by 'reality'. Modernism more or less validates reality as definable by empiracle evidence. Since there is no empiracle evidence as to when an embryo/fetus becomes a human 'being', morality can no longer be applied to abortion.

    Aren't we just so incredibly, arrogantly, self-importantly smart?

  7. Just a follow-up on Ken's comment Sid..

    Do you feel that civil rights should be determined by that "large set of moral beliefs shared by almost all people" in the early years of our republic?

  8. Bob's right. The "large set of moral beliefs shared by almost all people" changes over time. If we have no moral foundation, then we will eventually find ourselves approving all sorts of reprehensible behavior.

    Despite the overwhelming evidence for how pornography destroys society, for example, the laws are becoming more and more lenient. Eventually, as can be seen with Obama's pick for pick for deputy attorney general, there will be more and more people in positions of authority arguing for the legalization of child pornography and desensitizing the public. The lines will constantly be redrawn.


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