Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm outraged at Turing's treatment, but it seems many haven't learned from it.

Most everyone agrees that the persecution of Alan Turing (for homosexual activity) was wrong.  However, I want to point out a mindset that I consider dangerous, and which will lead to more of this kind of oppression.  In explaining the House of Lords' rejection of a posthumous pardon, Lord McNally stated on Feb 2 that:

Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence. He would have known that his offence was against the law and that he would be prosecuted.

Improper laws should not be supported.  We should not only abolish them, but also decry their creators and enforcers and declare that it was never right to support them in the first place.  Lord McNally's statement shows an opinion I see all too often: the support for laws just for the reason that they're laws.  I'm sorry, but I reject the idea that it is good to uphold oppression just to maintain order or just because it was decided by a group of so-called representatives; there is no virtue in unquestioning support of government rules.

Let's make it more popular to disobey bad laws (especially when done openly!).