Thursday, November 3, 2011

Being punished for thought crime IS absurd

Contrary to Ray Comfort's belief, as demonstrated in his latest blog post "Being Punished for Thought Crime Isn't Absurd," I strongly feel it is ridiculous to be punished JUST for thinking something. I first heard the phrase "thought crime" from Christopher Hitchens, and I would have sworn it would be in a Christian's defensive nature to defend against the idea of thought crime. But no, this does not apply to Ray Comfort.

In his blog post, he straight up says it's cool to be punished for thought crime. He goes on and gives a few examples of punishable thought crime in action, which of course, are fallacious, misleading, or just flat out wrong. For instance:

"If a man beat up a heterosexual, for example, he would deserve one sentence. But beating up a homosexual, if it could be proved that he once expressed a negative attitude toward homosexuals, would get him a substantially increased sentence. "

Uh.. Ray? No.. In his own blog post, he is specifically talking about thought crime. Yet he is mentioning a physical crime. Additionally, "if it could be proved that he once expressed a negative attitude towards homosexuals," then unless the authorities are psychic, there would be no way of knowing that for sure unless that thought somehow escaped his mind and manifested itself in an understandable way, for instance, through telling someone, writing it, posting it, etc. If that is the case, it is no longer thought crime because he's not getting in trouble for what he merely thinks.

"Also, students who mention wishing for the death of a teacher or fellow student are taken seriously and punished. They could merely mention it on Facebook or in texting, for instance, and immediately be in trouble—because it shows the intent of the heart, even if they are not actively planning it."

That is not thought crime. That's just being careful and taking precautious measures because the authorities would now have reason to believe that a teacher or a student is in danger. That's it. Also, if you post it on Facebook, it's no longer merely a thought now is it? No, it's now concrete. It may not be true, and there may be consequences for posting something on Facebook or saying something inappropriately, but it's the action that gets punished. Not the thought (the action in this sense is the act of posting it on Facebook).

Judging by Ray Comfort's logic, it is not even a crime to think a bad thought. It is only a crime if you do something about it. This makes total sense... which is shocking because Ray Comfort has a tendency to leave common sense out of his arguments (along with logic, reason, and knowledge). However, he gets right back on track when he mentions at the end, despite inadvertently not proving his point, he closes his post with:

"He [God] requires perfection in thought, word, and deed. If we burn with unlawful sexual thoughts toward another human being, God sees that as adultery (see Matt. 5:27,28). And if we have a seething hatred in our heart for another person, God sees that as murder (see Matt. 5:22; 1 John 3:15)."

Where he continues with saying that it's fine to be punished for thought crime. Consistency? Nah, who needs it.

No comments:

Post a Comment