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J Motes
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Kevin Standlee wrote: "But Tom, are you not saying that fundamental rights should be subject to popular vote?" Standlee is committing a common error in argument, defined by http://begthequestion.info/ as: "'Begging the question' is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place." In this case, the initial assumption of Standlee's statement that is treated as already proven is his assertion that homosexual marriage is a fundamental right. That idea is neither supported nor proved in his comment, nor has it been accepted in the national debate, nor has it been recognized as such throughout world history. This point must be proved before it can be used as a foundation for the rest of the argument. Like many logical fallacies, "begging the question" seeks to hijack an argument by eliminating the chance that listeners will examine its foundation and discover its weakness or its falsity. No, fundamental rights should not be subject to the popular vote. (Although it happens all the time to the Second Amendment. And the First Amendment is getting a real flogging this year.) Many people around the world and throughout history do not regard homosexual marriage as a fundamental right -- indeed, homosexuality itself is considered a sin or worse in most religions, from Christianity to Islam. It's surprising that a "fundamental right" would not have been discovered until just a few years ago. Modern opinions do not a fundamental right make, however much the left is trying to force a variety of new "rights" on us. Standlee needs to establish this "fact" before basing an argument on it. The rest of his comment is irrelevant if not incompetent because his initial assumption is unproved.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2012 on Free Speech and Proposition 8 at Stromata Blog
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Oct 3, 2011