Murphy in Fatwa City is in opposition to regulation of morality. From his opening statement the place he quotes a legislator’s words, “Underwear is called undies for a reason—because it is normally worn under your clothes” he appears to ridicule the supporters of a bill that was aimed at fining men and women who revealed their inner clothing. To him morality have to be self-regulating and it would be of little significance for legislators to spend much of their time on it.
I completely agree with this stance. To a great extent morality is personal, or tied to beliefs of a certain team and in most cases does not provide a universal standard. Therefore regulating morality would result into some form of discrimination which would be against the rights of such people. For example in Murphy’s essay, the underwear issue is cited to have been targeting African Americans who are largely associated with the hip hop culture. In addition, morality is more of a perception issue. What is of significance is how one relates to each case or event. While to some wearing of short skirts is considered immoral, to others its fashion. Another perfect example is the emphasis placed on linguistic etiquette. I have to agree with comedian George Carlin and Congressman Douglas Ose that some words “curve your spine and grow hair on your hands” but only due to the preconceived perception associated with them. That can be confirmed by the BMJ editor Richard Smith’s words, “The proposal to ban a word focuses attention on the many wrong assumptions, prejudices, and even evil thoughts that might be contained within a word.”
In conclusion, when Murphy implies that legislation should be renamed to “Fatwa” it is evident where his stand is. Such laws although great opinions and to some extent held by the majority would be non-binding. Thus, it is clear that all that can be done on morality is provide informed guidelines but not criminalize some of its aspects.