A posting on issues which arouse passion and disagreement.
I have been listening this morning to the views of the Scottish cardinal on abortion. You might be surprised I agree with him to a large extent. I think abortion is appalling, an abomination.
Next month the ban on smoking in public places comes into force. I have never smoked and hate smoke; I love pubs, but the stink on my clothes and hair the next morning is horrible.
I dislike fox hunting intensely. To me, it arouses a nasty bloodlust and is just wrong.
What unites these issues in my mind, is that I am very strongly against all of them – abortion, fox-hunting, and smoking in pubs. But I don’t believe that, just because I am against them, they should be illegal. I don’t even think if a majority were against them, they should be illegal. This is an attitude that seems to have gone out of fashion – the idea that you don’t have to impose your views on everybody else by force.
Legislating on taste and personal morality is assumed. Authoritarianism is the default setting. The anti-foxhunters and anti-smokers have got the strength to impose their will, the anti-abortionists not, at least in the UK. But why do we have to seek to impose our will by force, not reason?