Friday, 11 September 2009

The sins of the father

Following a petition, the British government has apologised for the way in which Alan Turing, WWII code breaker and father of modern computer science, was treated for being gay.

When will this self-flagellist, PC fascination with the warped Christian doctrine of ‘the sins of the fathers being visited unto the children of the third and fourth generation’ cease?

I would never dream of apologising for something my grandfather, or even father did, as there is no causal link. Similarly we should not judge the actions of yesteryear by the modes, morals and ethics of today. If we did, we’d be doing nothing but apologising for things from the past over which we had absolutely no control, nor involvement in, whatsoever. We move forward – that’s what evolution is all about.

Where does the blame stop? Where the causal link stops, that’s where. Much as I support gay rights, I don’t support idiocy and propaganda on the part of the gay rights movement.

Just realised while writing this that it's 9/11 (in the American vernacular).


  1. It is odd, but there is a difference between you apologising for something that your grandfather did, which is obviously nonsense and society apologising for what society did. The society we have now is an evolved version of the same society that did for Alan Turing and so, and hopefully, an apology makes it a little less likely for anything like this to happen again.

    Then again - working on your premise - what do you think be the time frame that an apology is valid for. The political life of the Prime Minister at the time? The Life of the Monarch - as head of state? The life of the law - in this case Gross Indecency? When do you think that an "official" apology became invalid and idiocy?

    Richard x x

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  3. Richard,

    The apology sits with the causal link. If there was an unbroken government since the 50s, then perhaps there would be a semi-legitimate claim for the government to apologise, but then governments of today have very little in terms of a link with those of the past, there is no causal link.

    The mere fact that the law has changed shows that the need for change has been recognised. Apology is merely PC.

    Also you cannot judge your parent's morals against a changing mindset.

  4. I agree that "practically" this is a pointless exercise, but as a statement of where our moral compass points today I think it's useful. Anything that rubs it into the noses of the irrational hoards that promote these kinds of prejudices is OK in my book.

    I told a bloke in our office about this today, his response was "who was Alan Turing", now he knows.

  5. As usual I agree with your rantings about pointless political correctness. However, I reserve the right to be hypocritical and inconsistent. Alan Turing was one of the greatest British thinkers of the twentieth century and he deserves an apology even if it were 500 years after the event. I know that you weren't doubting the status of Turing, merely questioning pointless apologies, but I am an Englishman and a follower of Chairman Bill and therefore I have the right to be inconsistent.

  6. I'd just like to apologise for my ancestor who persuaded Adam to eat the apple and caused all this trouble in the first place. Silly bitch.

  7. I agree. We have had the whole "Sorry" thing here with the aborigines. I acknowledge that some of them were treated badly, though with good intentions at the time, and I am sorry that happened. But I had no part in it.

  8. I don't know about the Alan Turing case, but I can think of many situations where a heartfelt apology, even by the innocent people/government of a later date, may help the people concerned to deal with the injustice done to (one of) them.

    To know that people are aware of what has been wrong in the past and that there is every intention to not let it happen again can be comforting and reassuring. Don't you think?

  9. Steve: I still see it as pointless when the person offering the apology is guilty of nothing.

    Alan: Yes - but from those of the time at the time.

    Kapgaf: Precisely.

    Lee: My sentiments too.

    Carolina: No I don't. The fact that the law has changed says it all for me. Woe betide anyone who flouts the law.

  10. I did see this and was genuinely shocked about what happened to this poor man. Perhaps when something is so shocking there is a need that someone should apologise, even if that person is not at fault. A bit pointless I agree.

  11. Kerrie: Turing is dead. Those who ordered his chemical castration are dead. There is no-one to apologise to anyone - except to those who feel offended as a profession. I refuse to apologise for something I didn't do to someone who is dead.

  12. I understand what your saying but on this occasion I don't agree. I think this kind of apology is just recognition of a wrong and that is a good thing.

  13. Kerrie: Why? Define what an apology is and who should give it!