John C. Wright (johncwright) wrote,
John C. Wright
johncwright

Flash Crowd! Part Two

Well, I just spent upward of six hours going though the responses left by the friendly trolls, trying to separate the ones I can answer from the ones I cannot, and I the task is beyond me: the trolls were just too numerous.

What I regret as that buried in all that noisome putrefaction, about every fifty or hundred comments or so, was a good comment, one that I either wanted to answer, or one that forced me to change my mind on one of the points brought up.

So, whoever you are out there, you know who you are. Even if I disagree with you, or even if I hurt your feelings, I respect you and I wanted to answer. The mob does not allow for it.

For about four of those hours, I was trying to write personal notes to the people who were actually trying to correct me, or ask me a real question. Too many. Livejournal (I discovered only tonight) has an upper limit for the number of messages sent. If I did not answer, I am sorry.

One thing I did discover, however, wading through the muck, is that this flash crowd was stirred up by the same folks that spent all yesterday telling my wife she was a racist because -- wait for it -- she does not approve of racism.

There is logic for you.

Being both idle and malicious, one or two was enterprising enough to go through her friends lists, and hunt around for other material to scorn. Well, they found an old post of mine where I was complaining (in intemperate language) about the spinelessness of Sci-Fi channel bowing to political correctness. Not content to flame me there, the busy busybodies spent time sending links out to places here and there on the net, trying to generate some artificial outrage.

It was the same folks. Too bad, because I thought my wife and the other lady had settled the argument, and the Mrs. apologized.

Let me answer some here:

Those of you who said that homosexuality exists in nature: interesting point, but irrelevant.

Those of you who tried to draw the distinction between incest and homosexuality, you either limited your comments to a certain type of incest (as with children) or described it as illicit due to genetic defects produced, but in no case that I saw did anyone actually answer the question asked -- but here the error is mine, no doubt I was unclear on what I was asking. If the incest is consensual, between adults, and sterile (so that there are no birth defects) on what ground can it be called illicit while homosexuality is called licit? I am not asking for a mere list of differences between the two, but only for a distinction tied into its legitimacy. (If you think incest is or should be licit between consenting adults, that raises a separate question.)

Those of you who argued that sex with a sterile woman is the same as homosexual acts: this is both irrelevant and false. You are conflating the sex act with mere stimulation of the sexual organs.

To the one guy who noticed that I hold no-fault divorce, adultery, and so on to be real wounds in the body politic, and homosexuality to be not even as bad as gambling or drunkenness -- well, at least you noticed what I said, even if your response was not to the point.

There were over a score of folk who solemnly promised never to read or buy my books. Naturally, the customer is always right, so I cannot complain, and I regret the loss of your custom, but it is not an act which tends to convince me that logic and sweet reason is on your side.

(Indeed, it smacks more of the exact type of pressure tactics that I was complaining about with the Sci-Fi Channel--which, ironically, was the point of the original post).

The main problem was that I referred to an argument that changed my mind on this point-- I used to be a card carrying sexual libertarian, who held that all acts between consenting adults were licit, but I was argued out of it -- and I did not give the argument. I mentioned sort of a precis, or sum up. Of course, when I wrote that sentence, at that time (earlier this morning) I was addressing a small circle of LJ friends, many of whom had read my previous posts on this and other topics, not a huge crowd of strangers, so at that time I did not see the need to repeat myself.

I doubt anyone is interested aside from me, but in the interest of completeness, I will in the near future write up a more rigorous form of the basic Stoic argument involved, the one that changed my mind.

To the people who called me a bigot: I am not sure if that word has meaning when talking about someone who was (reluctantly) talked into his current position, and that fairly recently in my life.

To the people who assumed that my pro-Chastity stance was a product of my religion, I mentioned several times that you had the order of events backward. No one to my knowledge noticed or acknowledged or retracted this error. My conclusion that homosexual desires are disordered is not a conclusion that came to me from Christianity: it was a conclusion I reached independently as an atheist, back when I hated Christians, and I was even more reluctant to reach that conclusion than I otherwise might have been, because of the company it put me in.

To the several people who announced that Progressivism and Free Love are the Wave of the Future, and that History and Manifest Destiny are on your side: I am not a member of your cult, whatever it is, and so I do not worship your strumpet history. I also doubt your facts. Your numbers are not only dropping, your philosophy is a Darwinian dead end, sterile if not generally self-destructive. All the more ironic if you are one of those who deduce their moral code from Darwinianism (as I do not). Also, this rhetoric sounds like things I heard during the Woodstock years, and not since. You may be living in the past.

To the guy who asked whether I had proofread my screed before posting it. Answer: of course not. It was something I tossed off in a moment of professional irritation that my science fiction fellows were being hounded by professional agitators -- much as I am being now, except in my case, you are amateurs.

Since you had to follow a link to seek out the comment, you are in much the same position as a guy who overhears a casual (albeit thoughtless) remark at a party. Made in public, to be sure, but you have to walk up to the guy to overhear it. This is what we might call "coming to the nuisance." Strangers came here looking to be outraged, craving outrage, seeking it out. No wonder I do not take the outrage all that seriously.

To the guy who said it was cowardice of me to cut off the troll avalanche. I am sorry, but I cannot take such a comment seriously. To what do you appeal? My sense of courtesy and fair play? My devotion to philosophical truth? My integrity? None of those qualities require me to welcome mere juvenile noise, and treat it with dignity. It was the fools trying to win a shouting match with me who prevented the serious and sincere comments from winning a debate.

On the other hand, I am a coward about one thing. I fear I have been too judgmental and too condescending, and I do not know how I will escape the wrath of the judge who commands me not to judge others. That aspect of this, I bitterly regret.

Along those lines:To those of you who said it was unchristian of me, or an embarrassment to the Catholic Church, to be so filled with pride and scorn -- well, I admit you have a point, and quite a telling one at that. While I do not think anyone making the comment paid close enough attention to correctly identify what I actually said or thought, no matter. The pride is clearly there, and it is also clearly the chief of sins. I will make what amends and correction I may, albeit God alone knows how.

There was one commenter whose feelings I actually hurt. His mother is a homosexual, and he was rightfully offended at the language I used to describe homosexuality. Him I apologized to privately, but I would also like to do it publicly. It is hard to tell, just from reading words, when people are being sincere, and when they are not, but I thought this one guy was sincere, and that most of the rest of you were engaged in rhetoric.

To him, wherever he is, I am sorry. I regret my words, and I regret my thoughtlessness. Please forgive me.

The rest of you, there are a few people who asked intelligent questions, or raised pertinent points. To you I owe an intelligent answer. I cannot answer each one: I tried. I hope you will be satisfied if I write a general answer at some future point.

To the trolls, my religion, which you despise, forbids me to despise you as you deserve. To you I extend the olive branch, not in any hope that it will be accepted, but so that a judge whom I fear will note on a day of judgment that I have done so. Let there be peace between us: you need never buy my books again, and I will seek not to offend you again.
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