Swinburne and Trump: from FB

The paragraphs below are revised versions of a Facebook post.  I was hoping to start a discussions, but failed to do so.  There are three things I think it may bring out.  First, the opposition to homosexuality in the RC Church is not an innocent implication of a venerable doctrine.  It is the product of a highly selective concentration on sex.  Secondly, people who think it is properly philosophical to label same-sex coupling as disordered, sick, etc, should ask if they are happy to say the same of the overweight.  Thirdly, it would be delicious to know what the average weight of the gay-shaming philosophers is.


Sex is only one of the areas in which natural law theorists think (or should think) about in terms of faculties, natural ends and well ordered desires. As I remember Elizabeth Anscombe pointing out years ago, consumption of food is another area. And here the spread of disordered desires is on open display throughout many countries.

Should we thank Trump for drawing our attention to the situation? Perhaps now we can all take some action.

Many people may protest that it is impossible to lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off. That should not mean we should continue to leave heavier than average people at the mercy of their disorder desires.

Foods with fake attractions (artificial sweeteners) are surely like sex toys. Do we really want children to see such things on shelves in stores we frequent?

The recent tendency of designers to add larger sizes is clearly making big people more comfortable.

It is time to stop the growing obesity in our populations.

National boycott and some small things philosophers can do to help

Yesterday, Shaun King at the New York Daily News announced a national boycott against “police brutality, racial violence and systemic injustice in America.” The boycott will start December 5, the anniversary of the 1955 start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Here are some of the key features of the planned boycott, from the King article linked above:

1. We will not be releasing the names of the cities, states, businesses, and institutions that we will be boycotting until Dec. 5, 2016. Between now and then, we hope that cities and states around the country will begin to enact emergency legislation and policies to prevent police brutality and racial violence. Furthermore, we do not want any potential institutions to somehow undermine our efforts.

2. We can tell you this, our boycott will be national. That means we will be boycotting:

  • Entire cities and states much like what you see being done in North Carolina right now over the anti-LGBT House Bill 2.
  • Particular brands and corporations who partner with and profit from systemic oppression.
  • Particular brands and corporations headquartered in cities and states notorious for police brutality and racial violence, which say and do little to nothing about it.
  • Particular institutions, including banks, which fund, underwrite, inform, train or otherwise support systemic oppression and brutality.

8. We do expect this boycott to last for months, or even years, not days or weeks.

It’s worth reading the whole article to learn about the background and the other details. So, here it is again.

For those of us who intend to support the boycott, some planning is in order. We won’t know which particular cities/companies/institutions are subject to boycott until the day is upon us. But we can make some reasonable conjectures.

Here are a couple of small things philosophers can do to show solidarity with the movement. It is highly plausible that Baltimore will be among the boycotted cities. The 2017 Eastern APA will be held in Baltimore in early January. Philosophers who are in a position to do so may wish to hold off on pre-registering for the APA and purchasing airline tickets to Baltimore until we know whether or not Baltimore is subject to boycott. And, if Baltimore is targeted, those philosophers who are able to skip the meeting should seriously consider doing so. Further, philosophers, especially APA members, should consider writing to the APA to inform the Association that they will be joining in the boycott and hence will miss the Baltimore meeting if Baltimore is boycotted. They should therefore urge the Association to develop both an official position and a clear plan in case Baltimore is boycotted. Finally, we should speak with our colleagues in other disciplines and urge them to take similar tacks with their professional associations, who will similarly have meetings planned in cities that are likely to be boycotted.

(h/t SE for the links)