Sunday, September 6, 2009

And by the way...

In connection with the preceding post, I'm not endorsing everything that Dr. Keyes says on a given subject. Particularly, in this case, his remarks concerning desegregation and school integration. But on this issue of Hussein's eligibility we're definitely on the same page.

5 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

Dr. Keyes does not take any position on the case, he simply uses it to illustrate the principle that simple majorities are not sufficient to overturn what the supermajority has seen fit to put into the Constitution. I would agree that Brown v. Board isn't the very best example, but he's constructing an argument, not a syllogism.

I would tend to regard Brown v. Board as having dramatically increased the establishment of monopolistic public schooling while doing nothing at all for long-term racial harmony, but I still don't feel the decision itself was therefore inconsistent with the Constitution. If the question is framed badly, you cannot get a good answer even from God.

And while God frequently exercises the privilege of telling those who speak with Him that their questions are wrong, courts do not have (and cannot be trusted with) such authority.

Terry Morris said...

Well, my take on Dr. Keyes's mention of the case in connection with this issue is that he favors the decision of the court. But it isn't simply this one instance on which I form that conclusion, it is on other instances as well. For example, his assertions concerning whether employers have the right to hire and fire empoyees based on race, or the right of a private business to deny someone a given service based on his/her race. He says no, I say yes. I'm not advocating following that principle as such, I'm simply saying that the government has no business dictating to me who I will hire or provide a service to, who I choose to rent my property to, etc., based on anything, including the person's race. And I consider any law or court ruling to the contrary illegitimate and null and void.

You wrote:

I would tend to regard Brown v. Board as having dramatically increased the establishment of monopolistic public schooling while doing nothing at all for long-term racial harmony,...

Whatever laws, court rulings, policies, treaties and so forth that fail to "establish justice," "insure domestic tranquility," "promote the general welfare,..."; whatever laws that establish injustice, insure domestic discord, and destroy the general cohesiveness of society are all illegitimate in my view. I believe that the laws made in pursuance of the Brown v. Board decision are such laws.

But in any event Dr. Keyes could have just as easily cited the Roe decision as illustrative of his principle. Why didn't he? It is as popular in some quarters as is the Brown decision. Albeit, it's not a popular decision with him.

chiu_chunling said...

I think that Dr. Keyes would probably characterize the B.B decision as "well intentioned", which no sound analysis can suggest of the Roe.Wade decision.

In other words, the court decided against a clear and ongoing injustice in the first case. In the other, it decided in favor of a horrific practice which the court believed would have eugenic utility.

You are, of course, right to be wary of good intentions where they have such destructive effects. But one must be cautious about injudicious comparison to evil intentions. The latter exist and deserve special treatment.

After all, if I may paraphrase the Founding Fathers, the Constitution is to supply the defects in natural self-government of a well intentioned people, it was never meant to prevent or restrain evil intentions.

Terry Morris said...

Okay, I can go along with that. While it certainly wasn't my intention to equate good intentions with evil effects to evil intentions for the sake of effecting evil, I do take your point. And if I may paraphrase the founders in connection to the point:

We can't always know that someone is on the right side of a question for the right reasons, and vice versa.

chiu_chunling said...

Hayek makes some very cogent points about the superior protection of liberty (even group liberties) afforded by free market solutions compared to government intervention.

Still, liberty is not the sole object of civil society, and I am not fully convinced that the Constitution really prohibits certain measures to enforce the principle of equality before the law (including contract laws governing employment). I suppose I show a tendency to view these questions a bit too academically. Even though I fully understand that a degree of liberty is essential to freedom, I'm...evil.

I love power, not freedom. Absolute power corrupts absolutely...but it rocks absolutely too. That's my basic outlook. So what if God is evil...He's still God. Yeah, I know. The perfect power of God is possible because of perfect truth and perfect freedom, therefore God defines good.

But I can't bring myself to care. about the goodness.

It's like how I didn't think much about Che one way or the other until I found out he was a freaking coward. "Don't shoot! I'm Che, I'm worth more to you alive!" I know that's the wrong way to look at it, but that's how I am. I ought to be ashamed of the fact that I basically feel more contempt for that instant of cowardice than for uncounted murders and other brutal crimes, but I'm not.

Because I'm just not goodness oriented.