Sunday, October 21, 2007

Orson Scott Card and intolerance

I'm not much of a science fiction reader, but I have gotten into some of it through cyberpunk, and one of my favorite sci-fi novels is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Unfortunately, the sensitive and humane values Card exhibits in the Ender books has a dark side. Or, to put it another way, the other fictional pursuit Card is engaged in is Mormonism, and he seems to be a particularly distasteful adherent of its tenets.

P.Z. Myers has a great post exposing some of what Card had to say recently, and if you haven't been to Pharyngula already it's a good introduction to his site.

The argument by the hypocrites of homosexuality that homosexual tendencies are genetically ingrained in some individuals is almost laughably irrelevant. We are all genetically predisposed toward some sin or another; we are all expected to control those genetic predispositions when it is possible. It is for God to judge which individuals are tempted beyond their ability to bear or beyond their ability to resist. But it is the responsibility of the Church and the Saints never to lose sight of the goal of perfect obedience to laws designed for our happiness.

Yeah, he goes on from there:

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.

Mitt Romney for President, anybody?


Anonymous Infidel753 said...

The problem, of course, is that there's no objective way of deciding what's a "sin" and what isn't -- every religion has a somewhat different list of sins, and even within the same religion, different groups can't agree on which of the countless forbidden acts are really sins and which ones among those are serious enough to be concerned about.

Since sin can't be objectively defined, it can't serve as a basis for civil law. Since the West emerged from theocracy, we've been moving towards the idea that civil law should prohibit only actions which harm other people or otherwise threaten society in some way. In most cases homosexuality doesn't do that.

Card really should tread carefully here. If he wants to establish the principle that the law can be used to declare people less than equal citizens for things the majority just happens to disapprove of, well, there are areas of the country where Mormonism would be a likely target of such laws.

October 21, 2007 2:39 PM  
Blogger Adam Pearce McCullough said...

Say it aint so Card

October 27, 2007 1:08 PM  
Blogger Jack McCullough said...

"Yes, I'm afraid it is, kid."
Shoeless Joe Jackson to a young fan outside the grand jury hearing.

October 27, 2007 1:20 PM  

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