Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Establishing reasonable standards for moral monstrosity

Josh Rosenau, our friend over at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) takes exception to my recent post, "Keep the murder of abortionists safe and legal." Of course he didn't like my title. Not one bit.

Rosenau is the proprietor of the "Thoughts from Kansas" blog who accused me several weeks ago of speaking too well of a Holocaust denier. Now he is accusing me speaking too ill of a holocaust practioner.

Wish he'd make up his mind.

In fact, his post title is "Moral Monsterism." Surely this post must be about George Tiller, the recently murdered Kansas abortion doctor who performed thousands of late-term abortions at $5,000 a pop. But, alas, it was not so. Instead, Rosenau was talking about Ann Coulter.

So a newspaper columnist who writes some pretty over-the-top polemic pieces is more morally monstrous than an a doctor who made a living by dismembering late-term babies in utero?

Now let me check something here, hang on ...

... Yes, indeed, up is still up, and down is still down--at least in my moral universe.

The thing that upset Rosenau about my title, "Keep the Murder of Abortionists Safe and Legal" was that he thought I was joking. Why he thinks I was joking is unclear. In fact, I was deadly serious. I was, of course, using the exact same logic advocates of abortion use to defend the morally monstrous behavior of abortionists (which I condemn) to defend the murder of abortionists (which I also condemn).

My whole point was the absurdity of this kind of reasoning. But Rosenau apparently missed the point altogether--either that, or he fully understands the point and wants to pretend he doesn't understand it in order to score rhetorical points.

Does he really not understand the difference between irony, which I was obviously using, and humor, which I was obviously not using?

If so, let me explain: a joke is a funny story; an irony is an incongruity between what you expect and what actually occurs. And then, sometimes, there is a funny irony, such as when someone writes a blog post titled "Moral Monsterism" in which ascerbic newspaper columnists are treated with more derision than people who kill babies for a living.

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