Flutterby™! : Chess on Scalia

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Chess on Scalia

2005-05-18 16:47:05.965482+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

I've been wanting to say something about Topspin's comment about why we don't respect Scalia in the thread about Eric Berndt's question of Justice Scalia, but haven't had the time to sit down and formulate the response that this really deserves. David Chess has been exploring the topic, yesterday he looked at what it means for Scalia to call himself an "originalist", today he points out some of the historical revisionism necessary to reconcile such a stance with Scalia's opinions.

[ related topics: Politics moron Law ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-20 14:42:11.004841+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

Scalia and Thomas don't play well in California I suppose... But they represent the only thing stopping us from going off the deep end for the things that I value highest in the short term.

On the one hand we have those two advocating a return to traditional law. On the other hand we have the rest of the supremes advocating a 'changing constitution' and following the courts of other countries.

It looks to me from Flutterbys view that the right to all forms of sex and marriage are very important, and these two are against that. I agree with Flutterbarians on this issue.

The other side of the problem are the continual intrusion of the government into our lives financially, and into our heads. The 'Patriot Act' and its precursers, the 'Bank Secrecy Act' are forms of facism. The limitations on freedom of speech, from campaign finance laws to the 'hate speech' laws are designed to stop our thoughts.

The rest of the Supremes have allowed all these laws to pass. The two agree from time to time as well it appears.

My feeling is that the two are less dangerous than the rest of the Supremes because they at least are trying to follow the orginal constitution and the common law. These foundations do provide a basis for the protection of individual rights. Of course originally they also allowed the government to control marriage and consenting sex, which was an error.

By casting our laws free from the limitations on government that the constitution provides (by calling it a changing document) we set the stage long run for the complete oblideration of all that America stood for. We can see the results already in the Supremes allowing the Patriot act and the campaign finance reform laws to stand.

We are entering an age of facism.

To me we have an emergency. We veer right and have our freedoms but they control our sex life. We veer left and they control our minds and our money.

The easier choice for me is to veer right. I can have sex anyway I want anyway. I can marry or not. Sometime I wish I could have multiple wives but then I remember Mark Twain who commented that we would be wise to think that over first! But it should be my right.

So it seems easy for me. Veer right to save the country. Later I'll argue about abortion and multiple partners.

Of course the two supremes can't see the issues clearly as they are imbued with that twisted view of life, Christianity. They think they are saving the culture by restricting group marriage.

The rest of the Supremes think they are guiding us to a new enlightenment, when they do not realize they are allowing fascism to seep in.

If things keep going we may have civil war. Currently only the government has guns; the people are disarmed. How that will play out is unknown.

Sigh - if only Objectivism was taught in the school instead of liberals and conservatives taking over. Everyone would do their own thing, and we would 'ask' not 'tell' others what we want. We would appeal to peoples highest values, not force people to comply.

Read Atlas Shrugged - again. From Galts speech:

"Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. Yes, you are bearing punishment for your evil. But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will take the blame. It is your moral code that's through this time. Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality - you who have never known any - but to discover it.

"'You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social'. You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door - but not to serve your life or pleasure. Your pleasure, you have been taught, is to be found in immorality, your interests would best be served by evil, and any moral code must be designed not for you, but against you, not to further your life, but to drain it.

"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbours - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live by it.

"Both sides agreed that morality demands the surrender of your self-interest and of your mind, that the moral and the practical are opposites, that morality is not the province of reason, but the province of faith and force. Both sides agreed that no rational morality is possible, that there is no right or wrong in reason - that in reason there's no reason to be moral.

"Whatever else they fought about, it was against man's mind that all your moralists have stood united. It was man's mind that all their schemes and systems were intended to despoil and destroy. Now choose to perish or to learn that the anti-mind is the anti-life. "


#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-20 14:59:40.937319+00 by: Dan Lyke

While I respect Thomas, I get the impression even when I disagree with him that he's thought things through, I dislike Scalia because he seems to base his belief system on the notion that rights are something granted by the government to us, rather than vice-versa. To me that's absolutely the attitude that Galt rails about in that passage you quoted.

Scalia believes that rights are a matter of whim and God's law, and that morality flows from a supernatural deity. And it shows in his decisions.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-20 15:32:12.04433+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

'Belief system'; I find that a strange notion - but it's used everywhere. It should really be a 'knowledge system'.

The term 'belief system' flows from religion, which admits you have to 'believe' in spite of reason to agree with it.

The root issue here is epistemology which is 'how we know what we know' -- and the basis is 'faith' versus 'reason'.

By using the term 'belief' they supersede the real argument, and imply thats the only valid way to learn. Go to a college bookstore - find the religion and philosphy texts - they are under a sign that says 'Belief Systems'.

They think this makes them objective and above it all, but what it really does is point out how flawed the entire educational curriculum is; they teach all flavors of 'beliefs' from religion to non sensical philosophies which argue that no knowledge is possible or that reason is impotent.

This view then filters up to the supreme court where we can see they are either mystics of the mind (Christians etc.) or mystics of muscle (Liberals) and we wind up with fascism either way.

So the answer is teaching correct epistemology from the start. In this way we would not so blythly assume the term 'belief system' is benign. We would see it as the root of all the errors (like supreme court decisions) that spawn from it.


#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-20 15:42:18.154563+00 by: Dan Lyke

Perhaps it should be "knowledge system", but Scalia has made it quite clear that his is a belief system. He's quite comfortable pointing out that he's a Catholic first.

No arguments on teaching epistemology from the start, except that there's far too much invested in all cultures in teaching belief systems to make that change in anything ohter than one individual at a time.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-20 15:44:26.270318+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

I agree, but what about the rest of the Supremes?