Settled or not settled

There’s a sub-conversation about “double standards” in the comments on A matter of simple semantics. That’s a conversation that’s basically going on all the time, with just about anyone who has moral or political views on things. The putative double standard boils down to: You think Question X is settled, while you think Question Y is not. You think there is room for discussion on Y but not on X. You think anyone who denies or disputes X is reprehensible, while you don’t think that of people who deny or dispute Y.

Well, yes. I do think some Question Xs are settled, or should be treated as settled.

Consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for example. That’s a charter for establishing certain basic Xs as settled, for everyone.

I consider genocide a settled question. Slavery; forced “marriage”; judicial punishment for “blasphemy”; murder; rape; child abuse. I could go on.

It’s not surprising or shocking to consider some things more contentious than others. It would be strange to think of all things as exactly equally contentious.

Or to put it another way, this is the old “yes or no” issue again. Some questions can easily be answered with a yes or no, and others can’t. That too is not surprising or shocking.

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