J O N at H a N H a I D T

Abstract

T hese are indignant times. Reading news- papers, talking to friends or coworkers, we seem often to live in a state of perpetual moral outrage.The targets of our indignation depend on the particular group, religion, and political party we are associated with. If the Terry Schiavo case does not convince of you of this, take the issue of same-sex marriage. Conservatives are furious over the prospect of gays and lesbians marrying, and liberals are furious that conservatives are furious. But has anyone on either side subjected their views to serious scrutiny? What’s the response, for example, when conservatives are asked exactly why gays and lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to marry? “It threatens the institution of marriage.” OK. How? “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” (Democ- rats give this answer as well.) Right, but why? “It’s unnatu- ral.” Isn’t that true of marriage in general? “Well… look… I..

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