The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.
My post on the hypocrisy of Dave Rubin who has nominally deserted the progressive side whilst benefiting from gay marriage, begot an argument with a commentator who demanded to know why gay marriage is bad. The essence of his argument is that since gay marriage does not affect him then he cannot see why it is of any importance.
… how does a gay marriage (as is now allowed in NZ where I reside) harm my heterosexual marriage and our 2 sons?
Leaving aside the obvious threat to his two sons, (since one crucial aspect of gay marriage is the continuation of the normalization of homosexuality), the commenter commits a classic libertarian style error which is to assume that a choice that appears not to affect you is then taken on face value.
This is also known as Chesterton’s fence, named after the prolific writer G.K. Chesterton. The reasoning behind Chesterton’s fence is that reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood.
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.
The Wikipedia page goes on to state that history is full of negative examples that were the result of failing to understand this concept.
Human societies across the world have had negative views about and suppressed homosexuality for almost the entirety of human existence. Before the last two decades the idea of gay marriage has never been countenanced as far as I am aware. In other words there is a fence across a road which then leads us to believe that there must be a reason for its existence in the first place.
Which brings me to my final point. If such a fence exists then the onus of demonstrating why it is there is on the people who wish to remove it, not the people who wish to see it remain in place. I caught a post on Gab on this topic by The Z Man:
In other words their argument consists of insulting and demonizing their opponents for asking the reasonable question of why they wish to remove the fence. It is no argument at all. But conservatives seem to think that not only can opponents of gay marriage be attacked in this way but they then must also make the case for why it is not a good idea to remove the fence in the first place.
Instead of demanding that we make the case it would be more prescient of them to inquire of advocates of gay marriage as to why removing this fence is a good idea. But that would expose them to the firing line of progressive attacks because the very act of questioning the motive of progressives will cause the questioner to be attacked himself.
Which is why conservatives have proven very adept at preventing these mistakes from being corrected. Their intellectual cowardice makes them the useful idiots of the progressive Left. Instead they can feel noble and just as they badger those of us who wish the fence to remain in place, secure in their ignorance until the reasons for the fence’s existence are laid bare before them, by which time it will be too late.