Try to see this from another angle. It's 1970 and you've donated to an organization that advocates equal rights to blacks. As a consequence, when you rise through the ranks at your company and have the opportunity to be considered for CEO, your board of directors rejects you on the basis of that contribution.
What you're saying is it's ok to deprive a man of his livelihood based on the current state of public opinion, which shifts by the decade. Tell me you see how wrong that is.
Um, it's wrong, but only because of the particulars of this example, in that the board is probably racist. And to close the loop on your example, it would be open season on the board once public opinion caught up with them.
I think you're presupposing that principles are interchangeable and I don't accept that. I believe in some inherent human rights, and the merits of this particular issue are incredibly relevant. The gentleman in question made a substantial monetary contribution aimed at denying a collection of people a set of privileges.
The reasons for why society ought to privilege views like his over the rights of other people are flimsy at best; it's just a lousy idea given that the basis is wholly religious. Substitute something interracial marriage if you prefer. The fact is that some views are not just immoral in the face of society's avowed principles but unsound as well.
So you're arguing my general argument is invalid because in the specific example I use, you claim the board is racist. You then go on to claim that social principles aren't interchangeable and public opinion would eventually obliterate them. My question is, if public opinion has always been and always will be anti-racist, how did so many racists get on the board of not just a single company, but the majority of companies in the 70's? Not to put too fine a point on it, but your belief that principles aren't "interchangeable" (I think you meant "changeable" or "subject to change"?) is provably wrong.
> I think you're presupposing that principles are interchangeable and I don't accept that.
This is essentially saying "my (current) religion is the only true one". Look at history. Principles are interchangeable, there's no reasonable way to deny that.
> I believe in some inherent human rights, and the merits of this particular issue are incredibly relevant. The gentleman in question made a substantial monetary contribution aimed at denying a collection of people a set of privileges.
So you don't believe in religious freedom then ? Or rather, if you are offended by this, just how offended are you by, say islam, which openly advocates beheading homosexuals inside America, and practices it in parts of the world. It even advocates beheading victims of homosexual rape (yes, really, they actually mention that).
The majority of humans currently alive are in favor of killing all homosexuals (not just muslims). Do you believe in democracy ?
All these things are in conflict, making reality way more complex than you suppose here.
Or are you merely having this opinion because you have a good chance of imposing it on this particular "witch" ?