CAN WE TALK?
One of the big words we need to get familiar with is “pluralism.” The word is used to suggest that there are a lot of diversity in American culture and no one group has the prerogative of imposing their beliefs on another. There are highly organized forces pushing at every boundary of legal rights. Pornographers claim free speech. Marijuana users press for legal access. Same sex marriage has already made its inroads.
THE PROBLEM OF MORAL PLURALISM
Should there be any limits? On what grounds can a community justify the imposition of limitations? What compelling reasons would be acceptable to all for establishing what is acceptable and what is not?
In 1874 Brigham Youngs private secretary George Reynolds was brought to court for polygamy. He had more than one wife. The Supreme Court delivered a verdict after appeal that said in essence that laws of the country could not interfere with religious beliefs but could with practices. What if a community believed in human sacrifice? Would it be seriously contended that the government could not interfere?
…Regarding polygamy the court said: “to permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of a religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to let every citizen become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.”
This was in a day when the general consent of the governed was largely influenced by the moral values of Jewish and Christian world views. With that world view eroding we are driven back to the question…On what grounds can any limits ever be justified on peoples behavior?
The collision of values between the extreme progressives and those with traditional values is such that it can never be worked out by conversation. Acquiescence to demands will only embolden more and more breakdown of self restraint and result in greater more bizarre expressions of lawlessness and quests for rights.
How would you solve this?