“Mere concepts of morality have no business being law”

In another Ian Malcolm Moment for CAEI, Germans are embracing bestiality as a “lifestyle choice”.

I particularly enjoy the Big Lie that morality has no business being law when, of course, law is nothing but legislated morality.

More of the fruits of a civilization where Consent is the Sole Criterion of the Good.

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  • Hermann o

    Please!! I´m german and I read of this for the first time here! No, “Germans” are not “embracing bestiality as a “lifestyle choice””
    Some Germans are perverts, but these come ion all sorts of shapes and sizes – and nationalities!

    • introvert_prof

      I sympathize, Hermann, but if it’s true (and given that it appeared in the Daily Mail, it may not be true) that Germany has legalized “erotic zoos,” what else are we supposed to think?

      • kenofken

        Germans don’t do anything halfway, whether it is piety, war, industry, banking OR kink! I don’t think it’s accurate to say Germans have “embraced” bestiality. It’s a very low-level niche phenomenon since humans have been around. The existence of these “zoos” is proof only that supply always fills demand. It’s also not evidence that consent is a problematic yardstick for sexual or inter-personal relations. Animals cannot give consent in the way humans can. This feels like an oblique and tired rehash of the slippery slope argument :”Look where the gays are going to lead us.”

  • The Deuce

    Furthermore, “Mere concepts of morality have no business being law” is itself merely a (false) moral claim.

  • faithandfamilyfirst

    Regarding your comment that the “law is nothing but legalized morality,” I cannot begin to tell you how true this is. And yet, I also hear so many times from otherwise intelligent people that “you can’t legislate morality.” Speed limits are moral judgments. Prohibitions on spitting on the sidewalk are moral judgments. The law is nothing more than one big moral code. Thanks for pointing this out. It is so obvious, but obviously so few get it.

    • kenofken

      It’s more productive and accurate to say “you can’t legislate personal morality.” The only laws that have any legitimacy are those necessary to protect YOUR rights from the excessive or unintentional effects of other people exercising their freedoms. Yes, the things we legislate all have a moral dimension, but also utilitarian ones. Not all matters of morality should be legislated. It is everyone’s business how you or I drive on the roadways. It is nobody’s business what goes on in our bedrooms IF it involves other freely consenting adults. BTW, laws against spitting on the sidewalk did not originate as moral codes about how we all ought to behave in public. They were largely grounded in concerns about spreading tuberculosis and other epidemic diseases.

      • chezami

        There is no other kind of morality than personal morality since morality concerns the actions of persons, not automatons. I think you are confusing “personal” with “esoteric” or “idiosyncratic” or “individualistic”.

        • faithandfamilyfirst

          Exactly. It is fun watching people contort themselves into pretzels trying to justify some “moral” law while trying to prohibit others. And, by the way, ken, laws against spitting on the sidewalk were passed for a variety of reasons, ranging from the ones you stated to the fact that some people found it just plain disgusting. Either way, it is a moral choice. In other words, society has made a moral judgment that it is wrong to allow someone with a contagious disease to possibly spread that disease by spitting on the sidewalk. Society has also decided that it is wrong to permit someone to expel a bodily substance on the public roadways because it is gross.
          Ken’s distinction is unhelpful and dangerous. He limits the legitimacy of a law to its potential impact on the good of society, claiming that a law is illegitimate if it infringes on the “rights” of two consenting adults. The problem is that what goes on in your bedroom is of my concern (and society’s) if it involves something illegal that could harm someone. For example, if you and a friend consent to produce meth in your bedroom, that is my (and society’s) business. You may be saying, “Wait, I’m talking about sexual acts in the bedroom.” If so, then the same reasoning applies. Psychologists are now making the argument that children can and should be “loved” sexually by adults. It is only a matter of time before the “experts” assure us that children can indeed consent to such acts. In that case, ken, you would have to say that what is now called child rape is no one’s business but the 35-year-old lover (I’ll call him the pervert) and his 12-year-old friend (er, victim).
          The point is that there is no law that impacts just two consenting adults, for our actions touch not just our own lives, but those of others. I am reminded of the point (I think Mark has made this before) that conservatives/libertines basically accept the Catholic concept of Subsidiarity, while liberals stress the Catholic doctrine of Solidarity. A proper, well-ordered, peaceful society would embrace both. Sadly, we are nowhere near that yet.

  • Ryan Hite

    I don’t think that the state should have say over what they perceive to be moral, especially since church and state are separate in most parts of the world. The state should allow people to practice their views of morality without interference of other groups and the government.

    • chezami

      All law is legislated moraility. If you don’t know that, you don’t know the first thing about law.

      • Ryan Hite

        I understand that. What people need to know is that law has a different purpose in the context of a secular state. The state in this case should not tell us what to and what not to do. It should allow for minimal interference and open access for all people to freely practice their interpretation of law.

        • kenofken

          More than that, law within a secular state has different purposes, and it is not always the best tool to address a problem. My read of this is that Germany didn’t “legalize” bestiality as part of some libertine abandon. They probably let it fall out of the statute books because it seemed a non-issue at the time. I am told there are not many laws against cannabalism for the same reason. Absinthe was never outlawed in the UK or Eastern Europe because it was never a phenomenon there back in the Belle Epoch.

          I don’t think there is any more bestiality happening than there was in 1969, it’s just that everything is much more open and social media and the internet allow anybody to link with and market to a “community” of any conceivable niche interest. Historically, bestiality was almost entirely a rural phenomenon for obvious reasons. It probably seemed fairly well extinct by 1969 in industrialized nations. The linked article provides no evidence that Germans as a whole are defending it as a “lifestyle.” It said “people” were saying that? What people? How many? The general momentum seems to be moving toward formally banning the practice.

  • B-Rob

    How are laws against jay-walking or speeding derived from morality when they are simply necessary for functionality? Morality deals with virtue and there are laws and regulations that appear to me to be neutral in that regard.
    Would you care to expand on this?