What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 2, 2015

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Gets One Right (The 10 Commandments Monument in Connellsville)

Gotta give credit where credit is due.

Today, the braintrust's collective brain is working:
Whether a tree falling in a forest makes a sound if no one is around to hear it is a metaphysical conundrum. But a federal court ruling that says a Ten Commandments monument on school property in Fayette County violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, but doesn't order the monument's removal because the objecting family doesn't frequent the school anymore, is a constitutional non sequitur.
And at the end of the editorial:
Having ruled the monument unconstitutional, McVerry should have, as a matter of law, ordered the monument's removal. Case law provides ample basis for doing so. Instead, McVerry left the matter unnecessarily unsettled — with each side able to claim victory and district taxpayers exposed to further costly litigation if the monument remains.
Yes, costly litigation that Fayette County tax payers will have to pay for.  And they'll still loose.

As an aside, I DO have a solution to the braintrust's "metaphysical conundrum."  (Actually it's not metaphysical at all - but epistemological, but that's even further beside the point).

Here's my solution to the the question "if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one around to hear it, how do you know it made a sound?" - it depends on the definition of sound.

If you define "sound" as the vibration of some sort of medium (in this case air), then yes the falling tree made a sound.  If it's a tree, then it's in a place where there's air and gravity and so on and so by virtue of the act of falling (or even just moving) the air will be displaced, causing a sound.

If you define "sound" as a perception of that vibration, then no with no one there to perceive the air vibration then there's no "sound."

And there's nothing metaphysical about it.

But good for the Trib editorial board for calling for the removal of the Connellsville slab.

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