Question modern authority by looking anew at ancient authority

Mencius Moldbug, whose alliterative naming style this author ruthlessly ripped, proposes online trial-like debates in which at least one side would take a view opposed to the modern mass media consensus. This is a very good idea, one that can be further greatly enhanced by creative but careful choice of debate topics.

Moldbug opines that we should choose serious topics, such as “Roe v. Wade”, rather than unserious ones like his example gleaned from the new blogging debate engines, “Who is the badest Celebertiy?” But for the purposes of those interested in questioning our era’s authorities these are both very bad topics and for the same reason: they are debates that normal contemporaries never tire of, that you can find conducted in hundreds of places daily on the net, and if you start up such debates mundane moderns and pablum progressives is who you’ll attract.

To weed out the hopelessly modern I instead suggest topics that were once of great importance but that moderns have forgotten about or would deem hopelessly reactionary. My examples come from family issues, but you can find similarly “outrageous” topics to debate from many other areas of politics as well. Here are my proposed debate topics, for starters:

* Should we revive the death penalty for adultery? If so, should it apply just to wives and those who seduce wives?

* Should family law judges be required, like Catholic family law judges of old, to be celibate?

* Should white dresses at weddings be restricted to virgins by law, and if so can we come up with a biological test that is less intrusive and more accurate than the traditional test?

Whether from family issues or otherwise, good debate topics produce the following incentives: not only will only the staunchest and must genuine reactionaries have any desire to take a serious “pro” side on the issue, but only people who take ancient institutions seriously will even want to bother to take the “anti” side. Good issues are debates of historical importance that are not being seriously conducted anywhere else on the net and that are guarunteed to produce high degrees of either outrage or dismissiveness from progressives, or indeed from anyone who genuflects to modern taboos. These debates will move the ball down the field by refusing to tarry in the modern media’s territory of debate — by, like any good American football halfback, running around instead of into the opponent’s defense.

You may, indeed, find these and similarly “outrageous” topics being discussed on this blog in the future. If you don’t think they are fit topics for serious debate, have fun watching your Lifetime or Playboy Channel, and good riddance to you.

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