Homophobia and Carniphobia
One of the purposes of this weblog, as of the mother site, is to resist the debasement of language and thought, and to recruit a few others to this worthy cause. The term ‘homophobia’ is an excellent example of such debasement. Worse than a question-begging epithet, it is a question-burying epithet. That is, its aim is to obliterate or at least occlude the very question of the morality of homosexual practices. For the term implies that any opposition to such practices can only arise from an irrational fear, which is what a phobia is. It implies that there can be no rationally-based opposition to homosexual practices.
My point is not that homosexual practices are immoral, or the opposite. My point is one that should strike any rational person as entirely uncontroversial, namely, that there is a genuine moral issue here, an issue that no one has the right to legislate out of existence by a merely verbal maneuver.
Suppose a bunch of meat-eaters band together to advance their cause. Instead of mustering whatever arguments they can for the moral permissibility of meat-eating, or rebutting the arguments against its moral permissibility, they hurl the epithet ‘carniphobe’ at their vegetarian opponents. Then they try to get laws passed banning ‘carniphobia.’ Clearly, their aim is to obliterate the very question of the morality of meat-eating and to suggest that there cannot be any rationally-based opposition to it. My point is not that meat-eating is immoral, or the opposite. My point is that there is a genuine moral issue here, just as there is a genuine moral issue regarding homosexual practices.
But how many who can be convinced that ‘carniphobia’ is a term to be resisted, are clear-headed and honest enough to see that the same goes for ‘homophobia’?