Quote# 65854

On a recent apology by the British Government for Alan Turing's treatment (and other homosexual men of the time) who were either imprisoned or given oestrogen injections because of their sexual oreintation:

"1. Turing knowingly engages in criminal behavior.

2. He's caught.

3. He's punished.

4. He doesn't like being punished so he kills himself.

5. The British government owes him an apology.

It's the jump to (5) that I don't follow"

Tim of Angle, new scientist website 71 Comments [9/28/2009 6:28:26 AM]
Fundie Index: 77

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This isn't fundie at all, as technically he's right, homosexuality being a crime was pretty horrible, but Alan Turing knew that it was a crime, so he chose to take the risk.
Why is it that this issue causes people to superimpose the moral values of today upon years past? Yes, we all agree that being gay shouldn't be illegal, and it isn't, where is the fucking problem?

9/28/2009 6:40:30 AM

Doubting Thomas

Wha? The government drives him to suicide and you can't figure out why they should apologize?

9/28/2009 6:40:49 AM


Yeah let's apologize to him now, I'm sure he'll be really happy.

9/28/2009 6:43:54 AM

Mister Spak

Replace homosexuality in England in 1950 with race mixing in America in 1950 and maybe the light will dawn. Or maybe not, you fundies are pretty dim.

9/28/2009 6:44:30 AM


"It's the jump to (5) that I don't follow"

Really? Because to me it was the whole violation of basic human rights that I didn't get.

9/28/2009 7:11:21 AM


It's a mere apology for the missteps HM's government did back then.

9/28/2009 7:11:22 AM



I guess Rosa Parks deserved to be imprisoned and driven to suicide. After all, she knew sitting there was a crime and she chose to take that risk.

I mean you can't impose the moral values of today upon years past.

9/28/2009 7:15:56 AM

Nathan the Wise

George Washington? Should have been shot like the treasonous rebel he was.

9/28/2009 7:20:52 AM

Doctor Whom

1. Christians knowingly engage in criminal behavior.

2. They're caught.

3. They're thrown to the lions.

4. Later Christians don't like the fact that earlier Christians were punished so they call them martyrs.

5. The Roman government owes them an apology.

It's the jump to (5) that I don't follow

9/28/2009 7:26:26 AM

Alan Turing was one of the greatest minds of his time. He also helped to win WWII. He was chemically castrated, humiliated, and lost his security clearance (and therefore his work) because he disobeyed an unreasonable and unjust law.
The British government essentially killed him before he killed himself. For something he did in private. It's not just that the law was unjust, it's also the lack of appreciation for who is essentially the founder of computer science.
The British government damn well owed him and others who were treated the same an apology.

9/28/2009 7:32:11 AM


Actually I would say they owe a lot more to Alan Turing, and also to the world. Their actions led to his suicide, and we really cannot imagine what else he would have developed in the computer science field if he had lived past the age of 41.

So on behalf of computer geeks and codermonkeys everywhere on earth, Fuck off

9/28/2009 7:35:28 AM



This is not a statement from the past, this a statement being made now and as such it is definitly fundie.

Damn, I'm getting quite irate with the 'this not fundy' crowd, no matter how stupid or ignorant the original quote, there seems to be always one person who can't supress the urge to chime in with a 'not fundy'.

9/28/2009 7:36:00 AM

Mrs. Antichrist

Anon, the point is that these kinds of laws never should have existed in the first place.

9/28/2009 7:37:36 AM


Quite right, the law shouldn't have existed in the first place, but then it's easy to say that now!
This is what's called progress, attitudes and even laws change over time, it's nice of the British Government to apologise for what they did to Alan Turing, but they aren't required to, after all, many of the current Government weren't born when it took place and they certainly wouldn't advocate such a law now!
Regardless of that though, Alan Turing broke the law and was punished for it, it sometimes takes examples like that for society to evaluate their attitudes, and to get laws like that one overturned, but you simply cannot blame the Government as an institution for upholding a law, no matter how hideous it looks now, especially when the law was repealed decades ago!

9/28/2009 7:51:39 AM


"you simply cannot blame the Government as an institution for upholding a law, no matter how hideous it looks now, especially when the law was repealed decades ago"

I agree, at least they have made sure it will not happen again. But that doesn't mean we should just forget that that kind of law ever existed. By examining the mistakes of our past we help prevent the same type of thing happening again.

9/28/2009 7:57:03 AM

Doubting Thomas

The trouble is that the people who say "It was a law back then and he knowingly broke the law" tend to wish that homosexuality was still criminalized or would be recriminalized.

9/28/2009 8:00:57 AM

For not treating him as a human being?

9/28/2009 8:32:00 AM



1) Turing knowingly engages in behavior that is bizarrely regarded as criminal.

2) He is arrested for this.

3) He is subjected to a humiliating punishment he doesn't deserve.

4) He kills himself due to psychological trauma.

5) The British government damn right owes him an apology.

9/28/2009 8:39:01 AM


Get over it already.

9/28/2009 9:05:56 AM


i think the important point is, that you accept there was a mistake in the past and not just wait 500 or 1000 years to finally accept it like... the vatican or so.

9/28/2009 9:12:24 AM


"...either imprisoned or given oestrogen injections because of their sexual oreintation..."

Maybe I'm just reading this wrong, but... they wanted to make the gay men more gay?

9/28/2009 9:36:16 AM


What's worse is that the British government knew he was gay, but looked the other way during the war.

9/28/2009 9:46:07 AM


Fine, Tim. Switch off your computer and never use it again. Refuse the use of any electronic devices made after the 1950's.

That would show them.

9/28/2009 9:49:49 AM


so lets say a christian would practice christianity in an islamist country where this is forbidden (and either gets death penalty for this, or gets punished and afterwards kills himself)
Would you use the steps 1-4 for this person as well? ;=)

9/28/2009 10:02:35 AM


This isn't the only historically unjust law for which governments have been known to apologize. Need we remind you that slavery was once legal?

9/28/2009 10:20:19 AM

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