Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The rage against John Finnis

Unfortunately, last week an unpleasant campaign hit Oxford University, and took aim at a professor for his academic work. John Finnis, emeritus professor of law and legal philosophy at University College, is the subject of a petition, signed (at time of writing) by over 400 people, demanding his removal. Why? Because in his previous writings he has argued against the morality of gay sex, gay adoption and mass immigration, views deemed by the petitioners as ‘hateful’ and ‘discriminatory’.

Finnis has defended his writings, telling the Oxford Student that ‘there is not a “phobic” sentence in them’. A Catholic convert, he describes his work on gay sex, the focus of the protests, as offering a ‘classical and strictly philosophical moral critique of all non-marital sex acts’.

These writings were not the work of some Bible Belt pamphleteer, they were tightly reasoned and meticulously constructed, whatever you think of the content of the views expressed. But the fact Finnis ever made these arguments at all should, according to the protesters, be enough to sack him.

These attacks are a misguided denigration of an eminent scholar. Reasoned criticism of certain sexual behaviours from a religious point of view is not the same thing as promoting hatred of the people who engage in them, nor evidence of any discriminatory attitude – if by discrimination we mean treating one person worse for no other reason than that they are different. Nor is taking a reasoned look at the effects of immigration in any sense xenophobic.



Anonymous said...

Liberals love twisted minds.

Anonymous said...

The protestors are the ones who are filled with hate.

Stan B said...

But...but...but....LOVE! See, your well reasoned, fact based arguments, regardless of how cogent, are no match for LOVE!

Now shut up, before we beat you into submission and destroy you in the name of LOVE!