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Why Reasons Matter:

Some commenters in the public-sex-and-nudity threads expressed puzzlement that we'd even discuss what for them is such an obvious question. One obvious reason for discussing it is the possibility that the current legal rule gets it wrong; but these commenters dismiss this possibility. And perhaps they're right -- I do tend to think the current legal rule is right, though I'm not nearly as certain as some of the commenters seem to be.

Yet even if one is sure one knows what the right answer is, exploring the reasons for that answer proves to be quite important. Let me just briefly identify a few:

1. Understanding the reasons for a rule helps us understand the boundaries of the rule. Even if we agree with the core principle that sex or nudity in most public places should be outlawed, this core agreement may not extend to all the boundary cases. Should nude beaches and nudist colonies be entirely forbidden? Should female toplessness be generally allowed on many beaches, as it is in places that aren't that far from us culturally? Should near nudity (at least off beaches) be forbidden, as some have at times suggested even in the U.S.? Should nudity be forbidden on broadcast television? On cable television? The list could obviously go on.

2. Relatedly, understanding the reasons for a rule helps us evaluate analogies that people draw to the rule. Whether two situations (e.g., public nudity and smoking on public streets) are analogous requires us to understand the morally and practically salient features of each situation. If public nudity should be banned because it's immoral for a person to appear nude before strangers, this wouldn't itself carry over to smoking. If it should be banned because people are entitled to walk the street free of perceiving things they find offensive, then the question should just turn on what the majority finds offensive (even without regard to health questions). Likewise, is public nudity analogous to the display of "classical-looking" nude statues, so that we could prohibit the latter as we prohibit the former? Hard to tell without understanding why it is that we think public nudity may properly be banned.

3. Understanding the reasons for a rule may also help us understand how harshly violations of the rule should be punished, and how much effort we should invest in enforcing the rule.

4. Understanding the reasons for a rule can help us think about theories that would reach results contrary to the rule. For instance, if some libertarian theory tells us that public nudity and sex should be legal, but we're convinced that this result is wrong, then this tells us that the theory is mistaken. But how mistaken, and in what ways? Is the error of the theory a deep mistake that should lead us to jettison the whole theory? Should it lead us to recognize an exception to the theory, and if so, what sort of exception?

I understand the pragmatic impulse not to worry about problems that seem to have an obvious answer. But it seems to me that thinking hard about reasons, even for the seemingly obvious results, is potentially quite valuable, and shouldn't be lightly pooh-poohed.

Thief (mail) (www):
Prof. Volokh:

With all due respect to the academic profession, and my tongue planted firmly in its cheek, scholars in the middle ages also believed it was of great importance to settle the question of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

While it is very easy to sit around and discuss these sorts of things in an isolated context, it is very different to have to deal with things in the real world.

Would you want to have to put up with this every single day? (Yes, it shows both subject areas under debate, in their fullness. Be warned.)

Well, I don't. Like the "common law" itself, not to mention english grammar and table etiquette, there are some rules that no one knows where the heck they come from, but they are maintained by the vast majority of a society because they make human life just a little bit more pleasant.
5.5.2006 3:39pm
Taimyoboi:
"But it seems to me that thinking hard about reasons, even for the seemingly obvious results, is potentially quite valuable, and shouldn't be lightly pooh-poohed."

Could you also make a credible case that entertaining these hypothetical topics to begin with reduces our initial "yuck" reflex, making it all the more possible that the next time around we'll be less likely oppose it because it's no longer so "yucky"?
5.5.2006 3:50pm
Wintermute (mail) (www):
There is a documented "snake startle" response in chimpanzees, I think it is, that is innate and obviously valuable for survival.

I think the thrust of these law teachers is to expand readers' intelligence by challenging startle responses that are NOT necessary for physical survival.
5.5.2006 4:03pm
chrismn (mail):
As one of those dismayed by what I called the "idiocy" of the the previous threads, I nevertheless wholeheartedly agree with Prof. Volokh on this post. While I maintain it is idiotic to talk about whether public fornication should be allowed, when we all take as given that it shouldn't be allowed, it is not idiotic to discuss what the underlying principles which support this are. And Prof. Volokh gives the reasons why in his post.

But we need to note that is not what the previous nodes were about. The original poster (Prof. Somin) was seriously arguing that public fornication should be legal. The entirely proper response to such a notion, even in polite company such as this, is scorn and ridicule.

In fact, the proper use of scorn and ridicule is itself an interesting topic. Is it not the case that some notions are so preposterous that our usual notions of civility and the idea that arguments should be answered with arguments be dropped? Peter Singer has, in print, argued that we should drop the social taboo (under certain conditions) of bestiality. I assert that there is a social value in this and other ridiculous notions (such as legal public sex) being greeted with no opposing argument other than "you, sir, are a moron."
5.5.2006 4:15pm
Steve P. (mail):
Excellent post, Prof. Volokh. Intellectual exercises of this sort aren't trivial, in that they can help us understand why we think what we do, and avoid inconsistencies in our own reasoning. Approach the hypothetical with reason and logic, and then when someone asks you why you believe the way you do, you'll be able to articulate and defend your position. At least, that's the plan.
5.5.2006 4:21pm
Gil (mail) (www):
This post exemplifies why I love reading Eugene's posts.

Even when I think he's mistaken, I never think he's irrational.

I can't, unfortunately, say the same for many of the commenters.
5.5.2006 4:22pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):

The original poster (Prof. Somin) was seriously arguing that public fornication should be legal. The entirely proper response to such a notion, even in polite company such as this, is scorn and ridicule.


Why? Because you find it so disagreeable or so intuitively absurd? If so do you support this as a general rule? If a society/culture finds certain topics totally absurd and ridiculous it is perfectly fine for them to ignore and scorn the argument.

I'm sure that muslims feel exactly the same about the idea that cartoons mocking the prophet ought to be outlawed. That is just absurd and beyond the realm of consideration. 80 years ago young earth creationists would have felt the same about the idea of evolution and slave holders would have mocked the idea that we should free blacks, much less give them equal rights, as equally absurd had you asked them.

It is beyond question that many people have strongly held beliefs and assumptions that they view as so obvious that denying them is absurd. However, we know that many times these assumptions have turned out to be incorrect and sometimes even horribly harmful. Thus we can't count on the mere impression of absurdity to guarantee that something really is absurd or wrong.

The only way we can make sure we aren't being mislead by our 'obvious' assumptions is to seriously challenge and entertain those assumptions. If we challenge them and can come up with a compelling justification that defeats the attack well and good. If someone had posted a short three line argument which convincingly showed that we should ban public nudity (and appealing to yuck doesn't count) we would have all read it nodded and moved on. The only reason we are even having this disscussion is because it turns out to be really hard to justify our attitudes on public nudity and this ought to give us cause to wonder if those attitudes are as baseless as these other historical examples.

If we are going to ask muslims to consider the 'absurd' idea that criticism of the prophet ought to be allowed and ask racists to consider the 'absurd' idea that all races might be equal then we have a responsibility to give fair consideration to arguments we think are absurd.
5.5.2006 4:56pm
chrismn (mail):
logicnazi,

Other than the shouting, I appreciate your argument. In fact, you have taken up my question

In fact, the proper use of scorn and ridicule is itself an interesting topic. Is it not the case that some notions are so preposterous that our usual notions of civility and the idea that arguments should be answered with arguments be dropped?

with a definitive "no." Nothing is so preposterous that arguments shouldn't be countered with arguments.

But isn't this the same thing as denying that anything is truly preposterous or anything is truly absurd? I agree that the non-preposterous and non-absurd have been mistakenly called preposterous and absurd, but so what? That does not mean that the terms preposterous and absurd are meaningless, just that they aren't always perfectly applied.
5.5.2006 5:08pm
conchis:
chrism asks "But isn't this the same thing as denying that anything is truly preposterous or anything is truly absurd?"

The short answer to this question is "no". It's saying that if something actually is preposterous or absurd, we should be able to come up with relatively obvious reasons why it's preposterous or absurd, beyond "I think this is absurd"; and further, that if we can't come up with such reasons, then there's a good chance it's not absurd.
5.5.2006 5:22pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I'm sure that muslims feel exactly the same about the idea that cartoons mocking the prophet ought to be outlawed. That is just absurd and beyond the realm of consideration. 80 years ago young earth creationists would have felt the same about the idea of evolution and slave holders would have mocked the idea that we should free blacks, much less give them equal rights, as equally absurd had you asked them.
Wrong on at least the last two statements. Creationists engaged in a long and serious intellectual debate with evolutionists in the second half of the nineteenth century, and many ideas that even Creationists then demolished (that the "begats" of Genesis can be used to figure out the age of the Earth) are popular with young Earthers today.

Slave holders as late as 1832 Virginia were engaged in serious debate about whether slavery was too hazardous to maintain. Most defenses of slavery in the early Republic were of the form:

1. This is my property, and to deprive me of it will be very costly.

2. There's no way to free them to live within our society without creating an enormous economic and social chaos--and the costs and logistics of returning them to Africa are insurmountable.

Now, after 1832, when Virginia's legislature debated at length gradual emancipation--and decided against it--the intellectuals built up a detailed defense of slavery as a positive good, not just for whites, but for slaves as well. Reginald Horsman's Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Harvard University Press, 1981) is a good starting point to understanding this debate--and the way in which the emerging, pre-Darwinian theories of evolution were used by intellectuals to defend the institution of slavery.

These defenses were detailed, and did not consist of simply dismissing the absurdity of the idea of abolishing slavery. See George Fitzhugh's Cannibals All! (1857) for an example of a socialist defense of slavery. The parallels between his arguments and those used by defenders of the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s are absolutely uncanny--and some historians of slavery have tried to find some evidence that Karl Marx had read Fitzhugh's book. (No evidence has been found, to my knowledge.)
5.5.2006 5:23pm
chrismn (mail):
conchris,

Suppose I claim that Australia doesn't actually exist or that we didn't actually land on the moon (as some people really do or did claim). I don't think it's that easy to come up with relatively obvious reasons why these notions are preposterous or absurd. Haven't there been hoaxes in the past? Didn't we all believe wrong things before?

We can't talk about everything and the words absurd and preposterous may be useful shorthand for "this isn't worth discussing." In fact, the words themselves may mean precisely those things which we all know to be false but can't easily explain why.
5.5.2006 5:42pm
ForestGirl:
Prof. Volokh, You skipped one good reason for looking for answers to these sorts of questions: It's just plain fun. It's one of the big things I come here for anyway--thanks for an entertaining Friday afternoon...
5.5.2006 5:55pm
MikeR (mail):
The reasons Prof. Volokh gives for why it is valuable to explore the reasons behind a particular decision make sense to me.

However, comments like the following from logicnazi give me pause:

The only reason we are even having this disscussion is because it turns out to be really hard to justify our attitudes on public nudity and this ought to give us cause to wonder if those attitudes are as baseless as these other historical examples.

It seems to me to be equally hard to justify the attitude of the libertine as of the prude in an entirely satisfactory manner. Assumptions and rules we create for certain philisophical explorations (such as Libertarianism) may produce good results in certain circumstances but poor results in others. We did not in any rigorous sense prove our assumptions simply because they worked out for us previously.

All this is by way of saying that the fruits of intellectual exploration ought to be eaten cautiously, even when they appear wholesome and good. Many millions died on the poisoned fruit of Das Kapital.

When there are problems to be addressed, such as poverty, injustice or disease, or benefits to be gained, it seems perfectly sensible to bring in new ideas. When there is no apparent problem or benefit (i.e. public nudity or copulation), it seems perfectly sensible to not bring in new ideas.

Chesterton wrote that tradition is the democracy of the dead. More to the point, tradition is the democracy of the successful dead--those who have been able to pass on their ideas to future generations. Why mess with success if you don't need to?
5.5.2006 5:58pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Folks: If you think the arguments given by someone else in the discussion are wrong, by all means please explain why that's so. But don't call them idiotic -- or at least don't call them that on this blog. Erring on the side of understatement is more polite, more effective, and more likely to yield a productive discussion.
5.5.2006 10:50pm
chrismn (mail):
Professor Volokh,

In this thread, the only post with the word "idiotic" were mine, and I agree with your paragraphs below the comment sections that 1) this is your blog and you get to make the rules, and 2) that shouting matches are generally unproductive so please don't start them. But are these general rules or absolutes?

That is, is it your view that both in life and on this blog, that every argument should met with counterargument, or are some arguments (even if one has to go hypothetical in order to come up with one) worthy of only scorn or ridicule? Even if Professor Somin's view is not in your view in this class, is it really the case that nothing in this class?

Overall, however, I agree that "idiotic" is too strong a word to use, and what I really meant was "absurd" or "ridiculous". (The latter words are more a comment on the argument and the former on the arguer.) I apologize to you and Professor Somin.
5.6.2006 1:14am
Ming the Merciless Siamese Cat (mail):
I don't view this as a particularly interesting or intellectual exercise at all. It seems to me that the anwser is obvious. Banning so-called expressive public nudity and fornication (accepting for the sake of discussion that there really is such a thing) does not violate the constitution because it is a permissable content neutral 'time, place and manner' restriction.

The speaker is free to convey whatever message he wishes. However, regardless of his message, he cannot express it by striping off his kit or engaging in public copulation. Such a ban survives judicial scrutiny because it (i) serves an important objective not involving the suppression of speech (public decency, prtoection of children, asthetics, involuntary arousal, etc.); (ii) is narrowly tailored (so long as you're clothed and keep your genitalia to yourself, no problem); and still permits alternative means of communication (e.g., handbills instead of handjobs).

The only counter to that argument, it seems to me, is to claim that rules barring public nudity or fornication do not advance an important public interest. And anyone seriously trying to advance that claim -- which runs counter to what pretty much all human experience and law since Adam and Eve donned fig leaves -- should hardly be surprised at receiving hoots of derision.
5.6.2006 2:41am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
About the 'shouting' I don't mean to come off as shouting I just want to make the main points easily visible. I realize that I tend to write long fairly pedantic posts that many people may not feel like reading fully thus I try to highlight the important points so someone skimming the discussion can pick up what I'm trying to say. Of course if people find this more annoying than helpful I'm happy to cease the practice (makes it easier for me). I would really like to know if people find it annoying and especially if it makes me come off as insulting/dismissive as I intend to be anything but (feel free to email or comment if you think the bold gives this impression).

Would it be better to use italic or should I just give up the idea of highlighting the key points?

Yes I realize the real solution would be to write more concisely but I can never figure out where people are going to disagree with my analysis and when I write more concisely I just end up misunderstood.

chrismn,

conchis gave exactly the answer I would give better than I could. Basically I think you should entertain an idea/position as serious/reasonable until you have a good reason/justification to believe it is absurd. Invariably whien someone is insisting that a certain position is absurd
it isn't really absurd or they would have already given a compelling counterargument and moved on.

Clayton Cramer,

Thanks for the point about slaveholders and I may turn out to be wrong on that issue. However, the fact that some slaveholders offered complex philosophical or pragmatic justifications doesn't show that most slaveholders wouldn't just dismiss the idea as absurd. Also the objection that it would be too harmful to their way of life isn't too far from just saying that it is absurd but still your point is taken.

I really should have guessed this from what I know about history but I wasn't thinking.

However, I'm not willing to give up the point about the young earth creationists. Yes, certainly intellectuals and other rare birds may have given cogent justifications and give logical defenses but I suspect that the vast majority of believers just believed because that is what the bible said and simply rejected evolution as evil instead of meeting it with complex rebutals. In fact I bet in some small towns even now you will find large numbers of people who are just unwilling to even listen to the evolutionary case.

I mean there are almost certainly muslims that are giving complex cogent justifications as to why it is acceptable to ban criticism of the prophet but this doesn't change the fact that most of the populace simply doesn't even give the opposing idea the time of day.

Regardless of examples though my point still stands. There are certainly plenty of historical examples of people we now think believed ridiculous thing for whom it was just absurd to imagine that anything different was true. Since presumably our feeling of absurdity feels no different than their's does we are forced to either accept that they were right to reject the true idea just because it seemed absurd to them or accept that the mere feel of absurdity is not enough to dismiss an idea in the abscence of a good reason.

If my two earlier historical examples didn't work how about people who believe in a flat-earth. I bet in ancient greek times there were plenty of people who refused to listen to the evidence about ship sails at sea because it was absurd to think the earth was round.
5.6.2006 3:10am
logicnazi (mail) (www):
MikeR,

Yes, I agree that we can't prove all our assumptions and if you want to claim that that the principle that public nudity should be illegal is a fundamental moral/philosophical tenat that's fine and there is no real point discussing anymore. However, I don't think anyone really takes this a fundamental moral axiom (if you found out that repealing laws banning nudity had huge social benefits with no harm wouldn't you favor it then) and in this case a cogent challenge to our anti-nudity laws based on principles of general applicability (free speech) shifts the burden to the defender of the anti-nudity law.

As for the it's not broke don't fix it argument this really only applies to actually implementing ideas not discussing their validity. If you want to take the position that the nudity laws have no real justification but just aren't worth changing that is perfectly reasonable but that is basically just admitting that their is no principle that authorizes their exception from the first ammendment.
5.6.2006 3:23am
Tarzan (mail):
What distinguishes man from beast?

Well, men have the powers of reason and language, conceal their nudity and do not fornicate in public. Yet here we find an educated academic employing his power of reason (such as it is) to argue for constitutional protection for those who would forego language and instead try to communicate by going naked and fornicating in public.

Others then join the discussion to debate the wisdom of legal protections for public urination as well.

This, Professor Volokh's admonishment notwithstanding, is idiotic. The constitution was enacted to govern a society of men not a zoo. And that society has become beastly enough -- with legal scholars contributing more than their share to that transformation -- without us reading into the constitution the right to behave like a Chimpanzee.
5.6.2006 3:45am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Well, men have the powers of reason and language, conceal their nudity and do not fornicate in public.
Some men have the powers of reason and language. Others just screech and hoot like chimpanzees when confronted with new ideas.
5.6.2006 6:04am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I think the art idea is excellent. No ugly nudes on the street. As judged by an art comittee.

Community beautification.

This has definite possibilities.

=================================================

BTW I once saw a couple semi-discretely fornicating in public. Our kids (all under 7) took absolutely no notice. If done with a bit of discretion (skirts and button flies help) it should hardly be a distraction.
5.6.2006 6:39am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
What separates man from beast?

Pornography.

You never see beasts watching or reading porno. Only men (and some women) are into porno.

OTOH beasts have sex in public without shame. So to accentuate the difference between man and beast prohibit public sex but encourage public perusal of pornography.
5.6.2006 6:59am
conchis:
chrism,

I don't think either of your examples are analogous to the situation here, for two reasons:

(a) If someone makes a counterintuitive claim, the burden is on them to justify that claim. In your two examples, that burden has not been adequately shouldered: if it is difficult to immediately come up with counterarguments it's largely because no argument has been offered to counter. That's not the case with Professor Volokh and his colleagues.

(b) Both your examples are cases of empirical, rather than moral claims - and it might be difficult to to come up with counterarguments because one doesn't have the empirical evidence at hand, rather than because such evidence is difficult to find. That said, I can personally vouch for the existence of Australia.
5.6.2006 1:31pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
M. Simon,

Interestingly enough they have done some studies showing monkeys (or apes/whatever...I get my primates confused) like monkey pornography, well at least male monkeys do. Basically they showed male monkeys pictures of female monkeys in heat and found they would self-adminster more pictures and even give up treats to look at more pictures.

Still this argument about separating man from beast is just absurd (but only because I can easily give a good argument refuting it). I mean their are hundreds of behaviors that separate man from animals. We are, for instance, the only species that kills and tortures people for religious belief. If valid your argument would establish the need for the government to torture people for incorrect religious belief. Besides, why is it even good to distinguish ourselves from animals?

conchris,

a) With public nudity the argument has been made that generally accepted legal principles applied to nudity would make laws banning public nudity unconstitutional. Nudity is clearly a form of expression, a unique form of expression like wearing a jacket with the label 'fuck'. This would clearly be enough to make us assume any other activity should be protected so it now shifts the burden to the person trying to defend laws banning nudity.

b) If you retreat to holding that people shouldn't be nude in public as a purely moral claim you have already lost the argument. As Lawrence made clear it is not permissible for the government to regulate conduct for reasons of purely moral character like this so certainly this can't be grounds to infringe on free speech rights.

However, even with morality we can justify moral facts by appeal to more basic and widely accepted moral principles. Sure if it comes down to a disagreement on fundamental moral assumptions you really have to leave it there but the question of public nudity surely is not a fundamental moral assumption. For once most people are willing to admit that there is nothing inherently morally wrong about a culture where it is common for women to walk around topless. Even if someone does believe this certainly if we found out that societies that don't ban public nudity are happier, have less crime and are otherwise greatly better in whatever ways you can imagine they would then agree public nudity was okay.

Ultimately I think the question of public nudity is an empirical question. I understood that most of the people trying to argue against public nudity were claiming harmful consequences from allowing the practice.

As for the Australia case I can give plenty of evidence that Australia exists. Wikipedia talks about Australia, reputable maps of the world show the continent, I know people who have told me about their visits to Australia. Sure their could be a vast conspiracy but certainly claims of fact by generally reliable sources are strong evidence.

This isn't to say that if everyone agrees that public nudity is bad this is good evidence that it is bad. Rather it is to say that if everyone agreed they had seen a study showing nudity had harmful effects that would be good evidence that it is bad, i.e., we count people's claims about their observations as strong evidence for those observations we only count other people's inferences/theories if they have previously demonstrated high reliability in those areas, have reason to believe this situation takes similar skills and that they are unbiasedly applying those skills.
5.7.2006 5:49pm
conchis:
logicnazi,

was that meant to be a response to me or to chrism?
5.8.2006 12:45pm
MikeR (mail):
logicnazi,
Thanks for your response to my comments, which weren't directed against the discussion of a topic but towards the careful application of that discussion. I thought that this was a useful facet to explore because discussion of a topic causes familiarity with that topic without necessarily creating competency on that topic. One must therefore approach any implementation of new ideas with caution--one can never know if one is competent on a particular topic to fiddle with its application, but one does know that the current rule works.

Consequently where you wrote:

If you want to take the position that the nudity laws have no real justification but just aren't worth changing that is perfectly reasonable but that is basically just admitting that their is no principle that authorizes their exception from the first ammendment.

I would respond somewhat in parallel:

Nudity laws may have no justification that we can presently articulate but are worth keeping because there is no clear benefit to changing them. This statement is not an admission that there is no principle authorizing their exception from the first amendment, but rather a statement recognizing that many of the rules we successfully live by are not (and may never be) fully understood by us.

The following illustration from the engineering world may help get at what I am trying to say. The Romans built structures of incredible strength and durability without a sophisticated understanding of the theories which explain why their structures worked. We, with much more sophisticated understanding of the forces and materials involved, built a bridge over the Tacoma Narrows that shook itself to pieces. While this collapse advanced our engineering knowledge, it was expensive. At what potential cost to society do we fiddle with its underpinnings?
5.8.2006 1:19pm
MikeR (mail):
Take a look at this discussion as well.
5.8.2006 2:35pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
conchis, I think I got a bit confused about who was saying what there for a second. Somehow I managed to read your post and think it was saying the opposite of what if actually said. That will teach me not to comment on little sleep, sorry.

MikeR,

The problem with this argument is that it can be applied to any traditional social practice. We could have made the same argument about giving black people equal rights, or even more strongly with giving women the vote and equal rights. Similarly we can make this argument to justify any type of censorship that has been traditionally enforced. When the SC changed it's mind and started applying the 1st ammendment to movies the very same point about not messing with the way society works could have been made.

Besides, the fact that we can point to other societies with different standards on seeing naked people or at least topless women which don't seem to be suffering horrible effects as a result gives us pretty good reason to believe that society will not crumble if we allow naked people to walk around. Hell, berkeley seems to still get along and you don't see many naked people despite the fact that it is (at least effectively) totally legal.

Ultimately this just doesn't come to the level of a valid constitutional defense. The SC shouldn't be saying, 'ohh this speech isn't important enough to get 1st ammendment protection' as that would be undermining the 1st ammendment itsef. Nor can it avail itself of your argument without undermining every deciscion which has granted protection to expression that as traditionally been repressed. So I still don't see a good reason for treating nudity different than any other type of expression.
5.8.2006 4:01pm
MikeR (mail):
logicnazi,
You are right that my arguments are not a constitutional defense--I am trying to make a broader point about why caution with respect to the application of reason matters when it comes to changing societal rules. With regard to your examples about expanding the franchise to women and blacks, the problem of injustice is enough to overcome caution to address the problem. My argument was never one about never making any changes, and I was trying to keep my remarks general, and merely use public nudity because it was the topic at hand.

I won't now make any arguments about the constitutionality of public nudity because the topic of this post is Why Reasons Matter.
5.8.2006 5:07pm