• Kip M

    > …unless someone has been indicted of a criminal act, the public has no right to know anything about any potential political candidate.

    If by “right” you mean “legal right”, then that’s true. If by “right” you mean “moral right”, then I’m not so sure. The original question on the Faith Blog is regarding the “moral right”. I think it’s pretty clear that the American people have many strong reasons to use social tools to persuade the women who were harassed to tell their story. Of course, those women have the legal right to remain silent.

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    In this case, I would argue that the legal right and moral right are identical. The reason is that I value a society in which an individual’s privacy is respected more than I value a society in which we can learn private details about a person’s life without their consent, even if that person is running for office.

  • Kip M

    The right to privacy is not a right to have wrong–doings remain unseen or unscrutinized. That’s antithetical to every moral and legal precept.

    The question here though, was not if Herman Cain has or doesn’t have a certain legal or moral right… the question was if the women who were sexually (allegedly) harassed have a moral obligation to speak about it. They do (assuming they are relatively safe in doing so).

    Also, not that it matters to my argument, but Herman Cain’s alleged sexual harassments are not solely his to keep private. They (allegedly) affected other people who have the right to free speech, and the right to speak about their experiences. Hopefully you don’t think Herman Cain’s (supposed) right to keep his wrong–doings private is more important than the right of those whom he wronged to speak about it.

    P.S. I think “MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism” on the Faith Blog had the right response.

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    I think I made it clear in the original post that if a person had committed a criminal act (or that there was enough evidence for a grand jury to indict them of such an act), then the right to privacy is superseded.

    I think I also made it clear that the women who are associated with these charges have the right to disclose any information they wish. But they are under no obligation to do so, unless it can be shown that Cain’s actions were sufficiently harmful to society to be regarded as criminal.

  • Kip M

    “Wrong–doings” are not just criminal “wrong–doings”. If someone is a racist, for instance, even though that is not illegal, it is immoral. If they have harassed racial minorities in the past, and are now running for public office, we the public have many reasons to have those who were harassed to speak up about their experiences with the candidate. The candidate does not have a moral right to privacy regarding their immoral actions. The same is true for sexist immoral actions alleged against Herman Cain.

    I will add that the public have reasons to know about these immoral actions whether they realize it or not. I will also add that I could be wrong, but I don’t think so (obviously).

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    Criminal wrong-doings are those that are damaging to society; as such, I consider those to be the moral threshold past which other rights (such as the right to privacy) would be superseded.

  • Kip M

    > Criminal wrong-doings are those that are damaging to society

    Do you think that racism, sexism, and homophobia are 1) non–criminal & not damaging to society, or 2) criminal and damaging to society?

    You seem to be saying that there are not non–criminal wrong–doings which are damaging to society. I think that’s very wrong.

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    You seem to be presuming that holding a particular opinion can be a “wrong-doing.” I disagree.

  • Kip M

    Okay, then just “wrong”, then. Do you think it’s wrong to be racist, sexist, or homophobic?

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    I think that any arguments I’ve heard in favor of racism, sexism, or homophobia are either logically inconsistent or otherwise unpersuasive.

  • Kip M

    You didn’t answer the question that I think you know I’m asking. I’ll rephrase again. Do you think racism, sexism, or homophobia are immoral desires for someone to have?

  • http://drzach.net Zachary Moore

    Those aren’t desires, those are opinions.

  • Kip M

    Whatever. I’ll ask someone else.