The topsy-turvy world of moral relativism and PC judgment came home to roost this week. The disengagement of common sense and the absurdity of minority opinion dominating public debate was on display for all to see.
From an abundance of material, there are two notable examples that illustrate just how far we have come from applying common sense to most situations.
The first involved two Olympic athletes who had the temerity to have a photograph holding guns. No, they weren’t part of the Olympic shooting team. Their great crime was to be members of the Australian swimming team who, during some down time, went to visit a gun store and took a couple of snaps with the legal weaponry.
When the photos appeared on Facebook, the ‘outrage’ began. They were condemned by sections of the media and the usual suspects who seem to loathe anything that doesn’t involve lentils, left-wing politics and chanting Kumbayah.
The AOC were swift to respond with the two ‘gun lovers’ to be banished from the Olympic village immediately after their events are completed. I wonder if the officials considered for a moment that maybe the range practice endorsed by Swimming Australia in the name of team bonding might have given these lads a taste for more of the cool feel of blue steel.
Some levelled their criticism at the ‘gangster’ poses of the two rebel athletes. Frankly, I think the poses they struck were consistent with what many other young men faced with the same circumstances would have struck. They were having fun and not hurting anyone.
Unless you count someone having a different view from you as ‘hurt’.
You see, the relativists will defend to the death freedom of choice, as long as it conforms to their opinion.
You can criticise religion - as long as it’s not Islam.
You can have freedom of the press - as long as it only publishes agreeable material.
You can have freedom of speech - as long as people are not offended by what you have to say.
You can even defend the right to life, as long as you don’t want it to apply to the unborn.
Actually, that last statement is somewhat wrong. It is no longer only unborn children that the great lefty thinkers think it is okay to kill. Some of them are happy for the recently born to be despatched in the name of humanity.
As worrying as this is, remarkably, the chief proponent of such thought was awarded our nation’s highest honour this week. Philosopher Peter Singer was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.
Mr Singer may well be an intellectual but I find much of what he ‘intellectualises’ about morally repugnant. He supports the infanticide of children who are born with disabilities that the parent doesn’t think they can cope with.
This stance gets even creepier when you consider that he is a leading animal rights activist pressing for human rights for great apes.
Am I the only one who wonders how someone can simultaneously press for the right to life for monkeys and the right to kill children and still be taken seriously?
But Singer’s advocacy doesn’t end there. He has been involved with a philosophical assessment of beasteality, writing a foreward for a book on the joys of animal love.
In what marked a hitherto low point of the ABCs Q & A program, he actually defended consensual pleasure between a woman and her pet dog.
In his post-award interview, Singer acknowledged his ideas were somewhat controversial but noted the award was indicative of the open and tolerant nature of Australian society.
Unfortunately, openness and tolerance of diverse opinions only seems to go one way.
One could argue that there are many other Australians who have shaped public debate in this country for a much more positive outcome than the likes of Peter Singer.
Perhaps we should celebrate those that first maintained encouraging people smugglers with weak border protection programs would result in many deaths at sea.
If they had been listened to, many lives would have been saved.
Perhaps we should congratulate the brave defenders of women’s equality prepared to stand in the path of the sexism of Islamic doctrine.
Or give awards to those that refused to indulge the totalitarianism of the communist bloc by engaging in the appeasement policy heralded by so many on the left.
All would be worthy in my opinion. Instead, we ignore the defenders of our social and ethical mores and fete the radicals who seek to re-engineer our world.
Perhaps both are worthy of recognition. I’m actually pretty sure they are, if only as a celebration of the battle of ideas.
However, to afford the Peter Singers of the world public accolades whilst condemning two young athletes who had a photo taken holding some guns, suggests just how unbalanced our public discourse has become.