Arguments that aren’t even arguments

This very issue has cropped up repeatedly these last few days when I have observed on debates about consanguinamory on facebook and elsewhere. I thought it was about time I wrote about it because it’s something that’s quite common in peoples lines of reasoning, if I can call it that.

Some people, despite appearing on the surface to be apparently of average intelligence, consistently not knowing the difference between making an argument, and stating their opinion, or even making a statement. Okay, let’s take a look at, in the most basic form, what apparently passes for an argument for the status quo these days.

‘EWWW, THAT’S GROSS!’

This is one very common ‘argument’ against consanguinamory, and yet it isn’t actually an argument at all, it’s an OPINION. Ok, time for a little thought experiment: Let’s imagine that instead of consanguinamory they were talking about ham and pineapple pizza, or neon blue hair dye. Would that be a valid basis for banning those two things? Obviously not, with regards to other peoples choices we tend to mind our own business and allow others to attend to theirs. Why should it be any different when it comes to peoples love and sex lives? If ‘It’s gross’ is an opinion when we’re talking about food and hair color, then surely it’s STILL an opinion when we’re talking about relationships and sexuality.

There is only ONE instance in which this ‘argument’ is in any way valid, and that is when it comes to the life of the one making the statement. If somebody doesn’t like to eat a certain pizza, then that’s a valid reason not to personally eat it. If somebody doesn’t like blue hair dye, again, it’s a valid reason for said person not to use it. And so, logic follows: If somebody doesn’t like the idea of consanguine relationships, then it’s a valid reason for that person not to date within their family. However, preventing others from doing so when they don’t share that aversion is like preventing pizza eating and blue hair dying just because one doesn’t like it. It’s arbitary, authoritarian and irrational. When you really strip the argument down to the bare bones you’ll find absolutely nothing of substance there.

‘But they’re RELATED’ or ‘because it’s INCEST’

And? Again, this isn’t an argument, it’s a statement. Expanded, it would read ‘related couples shouldn’t be allowed to be together because they’re related’. Now how silly does that sound, really? Let’s use the analogies in the previous examples to expand a little further on this. Imagine somebody saying ‘blue hair dye shouldn’t be allowed because it’s blue hair dye’ or ‘Pizza shouldn’t be allowed because it’s pizza’. This is the exact same argument applied again to hair dye and food. Hopefully by now, any idiot could see the logical flaw. Where exactly is the argument here? There just isn’t one!

‘People just don’t do that sort of thing’

While it’s an inaccurate statement, it’s another non-argument for logical reasons. Expanded, this means ‘It should be banned because people don’t do it’. Okay, let me see if I am understanding this correctly: we need a law in place to ban something that apparently nobody does? Such a law would be irrelevant, redundant and unnecessary from it’s inception were the statement actually true.

So let’s take another look from another angle, maybe they mean it less literally, like ‘not many people want to do it therefore it should be banned’ Logically, the number of people engaging in an activity should have no bearing on the legality of that activity.

Let’s go back to the pizza. If NOBODY ate pizza then making it illegal would be a stupid waste of time and energy, and if only a few people eat pizza, you’re trampling over the rights of those who eat it by making it illegal.

Same applies to consanguinamory: If there were no people in consanguine relationships, then the ban on incest would be irrelevant, and since a few people are, such laws are trampling over our fundamental rights as human beings. It’s nothing more than tyranny of the majority ‘just because’ and we deserve better than that.

‘That’s PERVERTED’

This is another opinion masquerading as a fact. In it’s expanded form, it says ‘related couples shouldn’t be allowed to be together because it’s perverted’, and yet they never explain exactly what they mean by ‘perverted’. Usually they mean ‘it’s gross’ which of course was the very first one on my list of non-arguments. However, it could also be taken to mean ‘unusual’ or ‘not the norm’ which is more akin to point three on the list. Something being (apparently) rare is not a cause for banning it. In either instance the ‘pervert’ label is irrelevant to whether or not the ban on incest should be there or not. Perversion is in the eye of the beholder anyway, it’s a word that means different things to different people.

 CONCLUSION:

Some people just don’t do any actual thinking before applying their fingers to the keyboard, if they did, such glaringly obvious flaws in their ‘reasoning’, if we can be so generous as to call it that, would be immediately apparent to them.

On another level this also serves to remind us of just how weak some of the ‘arguments’ used by our opponents actually are. This is very important, for it tells us that this battle for our rights is not only winnable, but that our win is inevitable in the long run.

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