Frame Shift, Part 1: Redux

Sometimes I suspect my usual, verbose style makes it difficult to see the point I’m getting at.  Unlike Bryce and his proud auto-obscuritanism, I’m not sure this is good for my readership.  At least not all the time.

So I’m going to redo and expound upon Frame Shifts Part 1: Sexual Orientation, in very few words:

1) Americans believe discriminating based on genetically-determined characteristics is wrong.

2) Americans now believe sexual orientation is genetically-determined.

3) Therefore, Americans now believe discrimination based on sexual orientation is wrong.

So far, so good.  But I can’t help but take this to its logical conclusion, which I see thusly:

4) If all sexual orientations are genetically determined, then all sexual orientations are genetically determined.

5) Americans will want to continue outlawing many orientations, most notably pedophilia.

6) Therefore, Americans will begin to believe discrimination based on genetically-determined characteristics is acceptable.

…and in these three steps, we have come to negate our original premise, that discriminating based on genetically-determined characteristics is wrong.  Any number of discriminatory attitudes could follow.  It’s hard to predict past this point.  That would be predicting 4 steps into the future, and I am merely a 3-steps-into-the-future kind of guy.

I’m not advocating any particular position here.  I haven’t even entirely made up my own mind about how society avoids an ugly meltdown in either direction.  I just think the logical conclusion of the path we are on should be addressed by smarter people than me.


2 thoughts on “Frame Shift, Part 1: Redux

  1. The so-far worst-case scenario proposed is that pedophilia becomes lawful, for the general reasons you outlined above. I would caution that I think that is unlikely for a host of reasons. Here are a few.

    1. Too many “victims advocates” among the Cathedral would lose either victim status or victims to assist.
    2. Only certain pedophiles would be accepted: probably not heterosexual male pedophiles.
    3. The Cathedral needs enemies: pedophiles are easy targets.
    4. The Cathedral appears to be improving acceptance of mental illness. I do not think this is meant to result in less mental illness, but more. It also provides an excuse for inexcusable behavior, but such excuse may not be equally applied to all people.
    … I could continue, but why bother?

  2. You’re following my line of reasoning up to point 5, but re-read point 6. I don’t think we’re going to be legalizing pedophilia any time soon, but I *do* think that we are rapidly approaching a point in time when the sacred law against genetic discrimination is going to have to be re-examined. I also think the consequences will be ugly.

    Up until recently, our conception of humanity (and everything else) was that there is a large majority that has tiny, normal variances, and then a very small subset of “monsters,” or “deviants:”

    These monsters are treated epistemologically the same we we treat the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Scylla, Charbibdis, etc; one-off, inexplicable phenomena that arise ex nihilo, possibly due to the mechanizations of God or radiation or some other superhero origin-myth type cause. There was a clear barrier between “us” and “them.” It is the epistemology of city-states. Oregon, Maine, and Mexico City are far away from one another.

    As science expands our knowledge and places more and more things on continuums, explained by genetic variation or other observable, testable causes, our epistemology changes to that of a well-known, categorized world…to that of the nation-state. Suddenly Oregon and Maine and Mexico are neighbors…they aren’t so different! Hell, they aren’t even that far from one another, they’re just on opposite sides of the Rio Grande!

    But while people have generally bought into the totalizing classification of land, and many other things, the sacred law against genetic discrimination is so-far holding back this Progress of understanding as it relates to human traits. Significant medical research efforts continue to look for genetic causes/cures for mental states we consider to be “diseases,” such as autism, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s. Yet some form of “crimestop” prevents that research from extending into teasing apart differences among mental states we consider “normal.” The same people who would be out “raising awareness” for Alzheimer’s research would almost certainly refuse to acknowledge, let alone support, research into genetic factors of intelligence, time preference, violent tendencies, etc, along gender or ethnic divisions.

    But as things such as homosexuality, which once were considered diseases (and still are, by many) are brought across the border from the side of “deviancy” to the side of “normality,” suddenly we have imported the very train of thought we previously refused to acknowledge; that significant differences among human behavior can be explained genetically. Obviously, the behaviors allowed to cross that border are ones that are palatable to our political elite.

    But, getting back to my point, what’s going to happen when the same routine is applied to pedophilia? It will not be allowed to “cross the border,” and suddenly we must confront the fact that we *are,* in fact, willing to discriminate based on genetically-determined traits. The city-state mentality will re-emerge, and borders will be drawn to divide and segregate the previously very-inclusive “normal” side of the normal-v-deviant divide. It probably won’t be a lot of fun.

    (Somehow I envisioned this comment being really short when I started writing. Obviously, it didn’t turn out that way. Hopefully it wasn’t quite so long and winding I lost the point I intended to make.)

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