Rebutting the rebuttal

I have an interlocutor! His name is not Thrasymachus or Gorgias, but fear not, Plato fans; his logical method is little different from that of Socrates’ antagonists from the Agora. A paragraph-by-paragraph reply, perchance?

Paragraph 1: To follow the author’s own formula, if a person has to begin his argument with the ad hominem fallacy, the odds are he is a poor logician. Whether or not one considers me a bigot has no bearing on the validity of my arguments. I make no suppositions about the author’s character or views. I prefer to interpret and respond to argument with logic and rationality, and name-calling just isn’t very nice, is it?

Paragraph 2: While the author does not provide sources for his claim that these statutes result in few prosecutions, I am willing to believe them. However, I find it a curious point for the defense; if few prosecutions are filed, why are the statutes of such necessity?

Paragraph 3: The lengthy argument about “showing a prima facie case” rings very hollow, to borrow a trite phrase. What does “making a prima facie case” consist of, in this instance, aside from simply making the accusation? The fact that the burden of proof is shifted to the defendant is not affected at all by the prosecution’s having “presented a prima facie case.”

Paragraph 4: Ad hom sinks low yet again. Yes, I am a white, Christian, conservative, celibate male, for which I am subject on each count to daily mockery and execration from the author’s side without legal redress – and I’m fine with that. I must have made my point with insufficient clarity. It isn’t just the LGBT protection statutes to which I object, it’s all statutes which grant special legal perquisites to members of certain favored groups. They amount to a new form of legal segregation, and just because one happens to like the groups the segregation now favors makes it no less egregious.

I am only capable of caring for individuals. I don’t even like most groups to which I belong very well.

Paragraph 5: If the author cared more about proofreading, the last sentence might have been in English.

Paragraph 6: To continue the train metaphor of which the author is so fond, I must respectfully decline the kind invitation to join him on the Inter-City Services Progress Special. One will never find me, suitcase in hand, waiting eagerly on Platform 5. All I ask is a quiet corner where I may not be disturbed by the rumbling of the tracks.

J. Matthew Hale

Parkersburg

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