“Organizations that seek to curtail the rights of any demographic should be disbanded, ridiculed or lose their tax-exemption status.
“I believe that the right of people to live in a manner of their choosing, self-evidently excludes any right to prevent others from living how they choose.”
For those of you who still do not see the problem, it may help to reverse the order of the sentences and offer some brief commentary.
(1) “I believe that the right of people to live in a manner of their choosing, self-evidently excludes any right to prevent others from living how they choose.”
The author contends that anyone who believes they have the right to prevent others from living how they choose should have that right curtailed.
(2) “Organizations that seek to curtail the rights of any demographic should be disbanded, ridiculed or lose their tax-exemption status.”
But, of course, this is precisely what the author did in his other sentence; i.e., sought to curtail the rights of a demographic. Therefore, if we are to take these two statements seriously, the author is asking us to ridicule him!
Now I do not condone ridicule as a method of argumentation (it commits the ad hominem fallacy), but I simply point out that these two statements cannot both be consistently held. One disqualifies the other. They fail the coherence theory of truth. In fact, statement (1) by itself collapses under its own weight because the author is attempting to prevent others from living how they choose all the while claiming that preventing others from living how they choose is wrong. As Greg Koukl is fond to observe, a worldview based upon statements such as these commits intellectual suicide.
The simple truth is that there are certain manners of living that are legitimately curtailed. Few would suggest, for example, that Jeffrey Dahmer’s murderous and cannibalistic lifestyle should have been permitted to continue unimpeded.
Some life decisions are properly curtailed. Others, for the sake of freedom, are not. Freedom has value, but it also has limits. The real question is whether a particular personal decision falls under one category or the other. This simple logical truth appears to elude many people who would rather make their argument based upon broad, noble sounding platitudes without contemplating the logical implications of their positions.
There are plenty of other logical errors and flat out factual misstatements in this article, and if time permits I will address them in future posts. But for now, I will have to settle for this lesson in the basic logic of coherence.