Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cross that bridge when we come to it

Brief exchange I had on Facebook:

How do you answer French's alternate challenge: If a lone judge can defy the federal judiciary, how is anything enforceable, ever again? Why can California not just tell SCOTUS to drop dead and ban guns, round up Christians who misgender anyone, and outlaw gas stations? What's stopping them, if it's every local judge for himself? 

The problem is that it's trivially easy to postulate worst-cases scenarios for both sides of the issue. And these may be realistic scenarios. My problem is that French pretends (for the moment) that there's only one worst-case scenario.

We could do reverse "what ifs" with reverse worst-case scenarios. That point/counterpoint quickly stalemates.

I'm not advocating a position. I'm asking where yours leads. If you can't answer some simple questions without pointing to the other side and saying, "what about them?" then frankly your beliefs aren't worth adopting. You haven't earned the right to have anyone adopt them.

There's no good answer because we're discussing different hypothetical scenarios, and every one of them could end in a train wreck. 

You act like there ought to be clear-cut answers to hypothetical questions, but these can lead to different worst-case scenarios. That's not a deficiency for my belief. Rather, that's just the nature of unbridled thought-experiments. 

Ultimately, it's a question of whether God permits current trends and conflicts to follow their natural course into one or another worse-case scenarios. And, if so, which hypothetical worst-case scenario will be actualized. 

And I don't need to "earn the right" to have Shane adopt my position. I'm not your subordinate.

You do have to earn the right to have someone adopt your view. It's called giving an answer. It's called being able to defend your assertions. It's one of the key differences between children and adults.

There's no one-sided burden of proof. And I already explained to you how you've oversimplified the issue of giving answers. Try to engage the argument.

In situations where the outcome is unpredictable, sometimes you gotta roll a hard six. Or sometimes you should focus on the short-term and see what happens next. 

1 comment:

  1. One could just as easily switch it around: What if a federal court hands down an "interpretation" that allows or even requires confiscating all guns and rounding up the Christians? In that case the only hope for freedom is that lower-level officials will defy those higher-level orders, right?

    There is no reason to slide the slippery slope in such a direction that independent interpretation and application of Constitutional law on the part of lower level officials is assumed to be bad for goodness and freedom while lawlessness and crazy interpretation at higher-court levels is assumed to be good for stability and freedom. The abuse of power can and does happen at every level. If a higher court ruled that a manifestly good and innocent person must be handed over for execution would it be *better* if the lower officials and everybody in the chain of command robotically obeyed? Why can't we bring up *that* nightmare scenario rather than assuming that the abuses are going to occur where lower-level officials defy higher-level rulings?