I have decided that it is unpleasant being ignored.
The Catholic News Agency has an article titled, Professor who threatened desecration claims to have consecrated Host.
It contains the following:
"I'm not taking the crackers from any church. I'm not interested in attending church, nor would I misrepresent myself as a Catholic to receive it.
"It is freely handed out to people taking communion in the church. The people who are sending me crackers have received it openly," he wrote.
Myers also could not see how others could consider taking a consecrated Host to be theft. "No. This 'theft' nonsense is a rationalization people are making up to justify hysteria."
Making up rationalizations to justify hysteria?
That’s a bit harsh.
It is also, as far as arguments go, question-begging, since calling an objection 'hysteria' presumes the very irrationality on the part of a response that one actually needs to demonstrate.
I haven't actually seen an argument against the thesis that property acquired through deception is fraud, which is a type of theft - and 'deception' means any act that intends to communicate some conclusion that is not true (e.g., an intention to fully participate in the ritual of communion).
I can understand that Myers is unlikely to be reading my blog, so I sent him two emails outlining my arguments. These were not the long 1,700 word essays that I post here. These were much smaller, focusing on the main point – that an object is not 'freely given' if the person receiving it practices deception to get it.
Well, he could have missed those as well. No doubt he has obtained a great many emails in the past weeks and, per chance, he is in the habit of skimming over them looking for triggers that one might contain something worthy of a more detailed reading and, finding none, moves on to the next.
And nobody else, apparently, has made the same arguments in any way in which he has noticed.
Or, maybe, he is not listening. He has made up his mind what he wants to believe and, at this point, he has made himself immune to reason. No matter what argument one puts up, he will conceive of a reason to dismiss it – even if it means ignoring it – based on the assumption that "there can be no rational argument against my position; so, anybody who claims to be presenting one, must be wrong."
Now, I do not want what I have written to be interpreted as being hostile to Mr. Myers. I think he is making a mistake. The tendency people have to be blinded by emotion into rationalizing away the moral arguments against what one sincerely wants to do is very strong and very common. Yet, a strong human disposition to dismiss the soundness of a moral argument does not prevent it from being sound.
Is there, perhaps, an obvious whole in my reasoning that I have not blocked?