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This isn’t a question of academic freedom. The law professor’s writings dehumanise many of his studentsThis week, along with other students, we started a petition to stop Professor John Finnis teaching at Oxford University. As anticipated, the petition has been criticised on the grounds that its proposals would undermine academic and – though Finnis himself says his views are “strictly philosophical” – religious freedom. We were called “snowflake” students who were simply incapable of arguing against opposing views. We believe these criticisms miss the point. Here are some of the reasons for the petition: in a 1995 paper Finnis sets out that the judgment that homosexual conduct is “evil” can be defended. He draws an analogy between the “copulation of humans with animals” and homosexuality. In a 2011 article, he laments restrictions on the discussion of “the reversibility of sexual orientation or the relation if any between sexual orientation and child-abuse”. Continue reading...