An example for why it’s often argument rather than debate, gun control edition

Herschel Smith takes apart a proposition that Self Defense Is A Shaky Basis For Gun Ownership Rights as argued by “David DeGrazia who is a professor of philosophy at George Washington University.”

DeGrazia takes the idea of self defense as his theme: “There is no absolute right to self-defense; the right is qualified or limited. When the limits to this right are in view, the ground beneath gun ownership rights appears shakier.” Smith deconstructs this argument but the title of his piece also indicates that there is another right at play as well. It is the right of property ownership. On the matter of the right of self defense, Smith says “Regular readers know the true foundation of the Western principle of self defense, and it extends beyond mere self defense. The basis for this principle is found in the Decalogue.” That means the Ten Commandments and, specifically, the implications in the “shall not murder”

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless. “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.” I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries. Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them. God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse. He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.

This goes deep into philosophy which might be appropriate in response to a professor of philosophy. On another level, though, one only has to consider the matter of intellectual integrity. DeGrazia starts out with a proposition concerning an “absolute right.” That means a complex issue of self defense with many factors has been converted to a binary argument. That is a logical fallacy as the basis for the position.

The philosophy can be educational when properly founded and Smith illustrates just what properly founded means in a philosophical discussion. The matter of integrity can be a less laborious means to determine quality of argument and that is something you can use to determine who has the upper hand here.

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