Light is Right Joe Campbell

Light is Right Joe Campbell

“Yes,” Dingwall said, “I’m speaking out. I’ve reached the point where I can remain silent no longer.” I was taken aback. Dingwall is the last person I would have accused of not speaking out.

“To preserve my sanity,” he said, “I have no choice but to admit that I’m abused.”

“Abused?” I repeated, startled.

“Not verbally, emotionally, psychologically, physically or sexually. I’m abused intellectually. Individuals and groups assault me with more fallacies and sophistries than anyone should have to bear.”

“I had no idea,” I said, blaming myself for not noticing. “How can I help?”

“You can’t,” he said. “My only recourse is to refute the faulty arguments and set my mind at ease.”

“Based on your studies in ancient and modern philosophy, I presume.”

“I’m particularly agitated over arguments by analogy,” he said.

“Analogy? Did he live before or after Aristotle?”

 “If two or more conditions are analogous, you can’t assume they’re subject to the same principles.”

“You can’t?”

“Although the conditions may be alike superficially, they could differ essentially.”

“Like death and sleep,” I suggested, recalling that poets often write about one in terms of the other.

“Arguing by analogy,” Dingwall lamented, “some of my abusers equate sexual orientation with race and ethnicity.”

“I’m not much good at equations, Dingwall,” I said. “Mathematics was my worst subject.”

“Let’s conduct a thought experiment.”

“Is that legal?”

“Suppose we all turned purple and went global. Viola! No racial or ethnic differences to exploit.”

“And no ethnic jokes to enjoy. I love Irish, Jewish, and aboriginal humour. It’s self-deprecating.”

“But if we became one race and culture, as we once were, the change would risk no fundamental human goods.”

“Fundamental human goods?”

“You know, life, truth, community, creativity—“

“I know now.”

“The reason no such goods would be at risk,” he continued, “is that race and ethnicity don’t incline us toward distinctive acts that affect them.”

“I’m inclined to agree.”

“Sexual orientation, on the other hand, is by definition an inclination toward distinctive acts that affect them.”

“Which goods?”

“Life, to begin with,” he said. “By using procreative organs in a context that is open to life, heterosexual intercourse acts for it. By using them in a context that is closed to life, homosexual intercourse acts against it. But to act against a fundamental human good is evil.”

“Now let me get this straight, Dingwall.”

“Straight is the norm,” he declared.

“If we all turned exclusively black, Irish or any other race or ethnicity, life would go on. But if we all turned exclusively homosexual, it wouldn’t.”

“Too bad our leaders didn’t get it straight.”

“Our leaders?”

“Judges and politicians. First, they abused us intellectually by legalizing the fallacy that sexual orientation and race are analogous grounds for prohibiting discrimination. Then, they compounded the abuse by ruling that same-and opposite-sex marriages are equivalent.”

“I’d offer to straighten them out, Dingwall, but judges and politicians tend to ignore me.”

“Their arguments don’t just fail,” he said. “They fail dismally, as arguments by analogy usually do.”

“Analogy has caused as much trouble as Protagoras, Spinoza and Sartre,” I conceded. “He sure has a lot to answer for.”

“Death by euphemism,” Dingwall declared.

“If so, he got off easy,” I said. “Socrates died by poisoning.”

“Abortion is death by euphemism.”

“Are we still talking about fallacies and sophistries?”

“To describe abortion as terminating a pregnancy is like describing capital punishment as ending a residency.”

“That sounds like an argument by Analogy?”

“It’s not an argument,” he said. “It’s an illustration. It illustrates that euphemism also is intellectually abusive. Consider reproductive rights.” I paused to consider them.

“When I first heard the term,” he said, “I thought it meant the right to reproduce. It doesn’t. It means the right to kill unborn children by dismembering them.”

“On second thought,” I said, “I’d opt for poisoning over euphemism if I had a choice.”

“Pro-choice means no choice for the unborn.”

“Pro-choice has to be the ultimate euphemism,” I said.

“Either that or equality. Equality means inequality in the womb.”

“Isn’t that discrimination?”

“Placial discrimination,” Dingwall said. “In one place, the womb, no rights; in another place, inches away, rights galore.”

“But, Dingwall, millions of people say homosexual activity and abortion are good, not evil.”

“Maybe good is the ultimate euphemism,” he said.