Thursday, October 23, 2008

Super duper rights

I had two really good thoughts yesterday related to the issue of homosexual marraige, but I forgot one of them, so here are some appetizers until I can find it. It's probably rolling around under my carseat...

Anonymous has been taking me to task in the super rights thread for not agreeing that it's OK to grant extraordinary rights to people whose only difference from 'normal society' is that they like to behave differently. I mean, take that everywhere you want it to go! The mileage that idea will give you is staggering.

Here are a few highlights.

I said:
To equate the struggle for civil rights for persons of a different ethnicity to the struggle for civil rights for people who choose to behave a certain way is to degrade the former to an unbelievable extent. You probably didn't even realise you were doing it, but you have, and that's a serious shame.

I said:
(Y)ou already have the exact same rights related to marriage as I do. Why should the law change just to accommodate your harmful and disgusting behavior?

I asked: why not change it to include animals, children, plants, vehicles...?
Anon responded: Because of the lack of consent involved.
I asked: Why does consent matter?
Anon responded: Because that's a defining characteristic of human relationships, particularly in legal terms
I responded: You mean, it has been up to now. I'm simply proposing that we change that.
It's the exact same as what you're proposing, just introducing the variable in a different spot.
YOU: Yes, heterosexuality has been a defining characteristic in most human-marriage relationships up to now, but let's change that.
ME: Yes, consent has been a defining characteristic in most human relationships (excepting the numerous occasions throughout human history of rape, incest, murder, slavery, etc) up to now, but let's change that.
To say "But those were BAD relationships!" is to beg the question.


Most recently, Anon said:
1st, why did you get married, Rhology? I'm assuming it's because you were in love with your partner and wanted to make a lifetime public commitment, If you had other reasons, I'd love to hear them; if not, then we want to get married for exactly the same reasons.

2nd, my point is that I would like the law to change to view my marriage - my lifetime commitment, made in public - the same as your marriage. Marrying people of a different race used to be against the law, so the argument "you don't get to" is wholly specious.

3rd, until the law changes, then I absolutely don't have the same rights as you do - for example, my partner isn't covered by my insurance plan. What is harmful and disgusting about wanting to make a lifetime commitment in public, exactly?

I respond:

1) No, you're partially right. The other, and overriding, reason was that I want to picture the love between Christ and the church in my life and my marriage to my wife. See Ephesians 5. Christ marrying Christ or the church marrying the church, well, doesn't work.
2) I already asked you to provide evidence that marrying to another ethnicity was against the law. Prove it before you make this assertion again.
3) Yes you do.
My rights: To marry someone of the opposite sex.
Your rights: To marry someone of the opposite sex.

I embrace those rights while you reject them. That's hardly my fault, or the law's. Sounds like it's your fault.
Insurance plan - feel free to lobby them to change that. But you're not married. Can I ask them to cover my good friend under my insurance plan? If not, why not?

What is harmful and disgusting is your BEHAVIOR. We've covered that.

I thought of a couple more, BTW.

4) If we change the law for you, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry:
-a grapefruit
-a dead person
-a 3-yr old
-a parakeet
-a tree


You'll say "Uh HUH! Consent!"
I've already rebutted that, and I've seen nothing since.

5) If we change the law for you, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry 4 people at once. All consenting adults. Maybe we should change the law for that, too, huh? What would be your argument for why, since we changed it to give YOU a super-right, why we shouldn't change it for anyone else? Couldn't that just be discriminatory of some other group? We certainly wouldn't want that!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your staunch defense of the civil rights movement in the face of my hideous and unforgivable analogy is... comic is probably the best word. Fraudulent? Pompous? Idiotic? It's all those things and more. Your misunderstanding of the position of consent in legal terms, on the other hand, is merely tragic. We press on!

1) No, you're partially right. The other, and overriding, reason was that I want to picture the love between Christ and the church in my life and my marriage to my wife.

Somehow you manage to make something that should be truly beautiful sound both ridiculous and tragic. However we're not talking about marriage as a religious institution but as a social and legal institution, so it's not that relevant.

2) I already asked you to provide evidence that marrying to another ethnicity was against the law. Prove it before you make this assertion again.

Loving vs Virginia 1967.

What is harmful and disgusting is your BEHAVIOR. We've covered that.

I don't have anal sex with my partner. Hey presto! Your objection to my marriage has magically disappeared. Got anything else?

4) If we change the law for you, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry

Feel free to explain how all of those can take part in a wedding ceremony. Possibly at your wedding your wife didn't say anything or sign anything - usually that's considered pretty essential to the process.

I'm still waiting for a reason why my marriage shouldn't be treated exactly the same as yours in legal terms. You don't actually have one, do you?

Dr Funkenstein said...

I already asked you to provide evidence that marrying to another ethnicity was against the law. Prove it before you make this assertion again.

the state of Alabama definitely had this law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pace_v._Alabama

A quick glance over the introduction to the article makes it clear it was far from the only state as well, and that various courts had ruled that the idea was protected by the constitution.

Rhology said...

Your staunch defense of the civil rights movement in the face of my hideous and unforgivable analogy is... comic

Then you have either misunderstood or just thought it of no importance. Either way is tragic, the latter more than the former.
WHY is it fraudulent, etc? How are the two movements strongly analogous?

Your misunderstanding of the position of consent in legal terms, on the other hand, is merely tragic.

You keep asserting it, and you never argue for it. That's a big glaring blank in your gun. Might want to check your talking points for sthg substantive.


something that should be truly beautiful

1) If you're a naturalist, beauty is nothing less than 100% in the eye of the beholder. Why even make such a statement?
2) If you're not a naturalist, please explain why gay marriage is beautiful and not hideous.
3) Why should anyone care what you think about Christ and the church? Also, I'd be interested in knowing why God painfully sacrificing Himself to rescue people who didn't care about Him and and didn't deserve it and give them eternal joy is ridiculous and tragic. One fears to hear what you think is beautiful...


Loving vs Virginia 1967., Pace vs Alabama

Fair enough.
See, however, my point about the civil rights movement of the 60s, which you have mocked but not rebutted.
Also, the question of objective right and wrong does play into law, and there's no reason to think that interethnic marriages are morally wrong. Such is not so for homosexual marriage.
Of course, if you're a naturalist, there is no objective right nor wrong in ANYthing, so that might prove to be a barrier in our discussion.


I don't have anal sex with my partner.

1) That's only part of it, though it is true that sex between men that doesn't include anal sex is less harmful. No less disgusting, though (but that's just me and a bunch of other people).
2) That said, I seriously doubt that there are many male homosexual relationships that don't practice that. Feel free to make stuff up to support your position (it seems to give the Flying Spaghetti Monster people their jollies), but it has little bearing on the real world.


Feel free to explain how all of those can take part in a wedding ceremony.

1) Why does that matter? Since we're removing stuff from the current state of marriage, I just remove that part of it too. No problem, right?
2) Besides, it's easy. If it's a grapefruit, I bring the grapefruit to the altar, dressed up in a white dress. If a tree, we hold the ceremony under its, I mean HIS, loving branches. Etc.


Possibly at your wedding your wife didn't say anything or sign anything - usually that's considered pretty essential to the process.

Now you're missing the point badly. We're CHANGING THE INSTITUTION, remember? Why not remove that part too? We'll just keep all the rest, though, as much as we can so as to keep all my preferences intact.
(Which is exactly what you're doing with your argument. You're apparently too thick to see it as yet.)

Athanasius said...

However we're not talking about marriage as a religious institution but as a social and legal institution, so it's not that relevant.

Marriage itself is instituted by God, and is therefore by its very nature religious. Furthermore, it follows that as marriage has been established as between one man and one woman, as a divine picture of the blessed and eternal union of Christ and His Church, that marriage itself cannot be changed. Rather, it is our duty as a society to recognize marriage for what it is, and conform our practices, laws, and regulations to accord with the unchangeable heavenly realities. If we change marriage into something different than what it is, it ceases to be marriage, no matter what name we choose to call it. Dung by any other name would still smell as putrid.

However, I am confident that anonymous will not accept this definition of marriage as just set forth. The problem reduces to a fundamental issue: what is marriage essentially? If the answer to the question is that marriage is from God, then society has every right and obligation to conform to the heavenly reality in the earthly administration of this institution. To do otherwise would be to incur divine judgment upon itself.

On the other hand, if marriage is not from God, or if God doesn't even exist, then what is it? Where does it come from? By what means does one even know what it is? Marriage, as it has been defined throughout history, is the prima facie case of what the institution should be. The burden of proof is on the one who would redefine marriage to present sufficient cause as to why the institution, which has served humanity so well for so many years, should suddenly now be redefined. The onus is upon the challenger to say why the human race has gotten the institution wrong over the last 3000 years of recorded history, and why an enlightened few have only just now awakened to their senses.

But, regarding the original post itself, I agree with Rhology, that to change the marriage laws as they are is to redefine what marriage is. And if marriage is to be redefined, why should it only be redefined in a certain way? What prevents it from being redefined to mean a whole number of different things? So far, I haven't seen a satisfactory answer to this question.

Athanasius said...

Err, sorry, in the previous post, I should have written "6000 years", not "3000 years".

ERT said...

Regarding marriage as a civil institution, what is so important about marriage that it continue to be between one man and one woman? A thought that I have had is the issue of children. One man and one woman can pro-create naturally. One father and one mother is the institution recognized by the government as the environment to adequately raise the next generation of the human race. This is also established by God in the beginning of creation, recorded in Genesis, and even evidenced by our complete differences in physical make-up between a man and a woman. So, marriage is the religious and civil institution, first given by God, and also established by the government, in which our future generation of adults in this nation, and therefore the health and direction of our nation is determined.

In our "fallen" world, we see many circumstances where children do not have a father and a mother, and the negative statistical results on their development as responsible adults. Especially in the areas of crime, suicide, domination by/of the opposite sex, divorce, abortion, and others.

To summarize a quote from a speaker I recently heard, "in light of the statistical evidence regarding child development without a father and/or a mother, it would be CHILD ABUSE for the government to condone same sex marriage, which would then allow children to be placed in 'families' that would significantly hinder their development as responsible adults". For the government to allow same sex marriage would be a crime against these children, and the future of our nation.

Personally, I think that having children in homes where the union is between two people of the same sex, is one of the most selfish decisions that can be made by those two people. Given the statistical evidence, they do not care at all for the child they are "adopting". Serving that child for the necessary care and development of that child. They care mainly for themselves, and meeting their own desires.

Anonymous said...

Then you have either misunderstood or just thought it of no importance.

No, I think it could be a fair point - the two movements are analogous but not identical. What I find comic is your attempt to paint yourself as a staunch defender of civil rights and myself as... well, I'm not quite sure what effect you were going for, but comic was the result.

Also, the question of objective right and wrong does play into law, and there's no reason to think that interethnic marriages are morally wrong. Such is not so for homosexual marriage.

The point being, of course, that people did previously believe that mixed-race marriages were morally wrong, including numerous Christians. I'm sure you'll be happy to point out to me that they were wrong, that they had a poor understanding of the Bible; so how do I know that your understanding of the Bible is not similarly flawed?

2) That said, I seriously doubt that there are many male homosexual relationships that don't practice that.

There is at least one, which is all it took to undermine your entire argument.

Now you're missing the point badly. We're CHANGING THE INSTITUTION, remember? Why not remove that part too? We'll just keep all the rest, though, as much as we can so as to keep all my preferences intact.

As I have pointed out previously we're *not* changing the institution, we're changing the coverage of the institution. When universal suffrage was introduced, it wasn't changing the institution of voting, or undermining the right to vote (although people like you made exactly that argument) - it was changing the coverage of the right to vote, and extending the institution of voting to those who had - for hundreds of years - been denied it.

Anonymous said...

However, I am confident that anonymous will not accept this definition of marriage as just set forth.

You must be psychic.

On the other hand, if marriage is not from God, or if God doesn't even exist, then what is it?

It's a range of social and economic institutions, some of which have been translated into modern legal forms.

The onus is upon the challenger to say why the human race has gotten the institution wrong over the last 3000 years of recorded history, and why an enlightened few have only just now awakened to their senses.

The human race hasn't "gotten the institution wrong" - quite the contrary. The human race has experimented with a range of different marriage forms depending on the circumstances it has found itself in, and proved extremely flexible in adapting that institution to meet changing needs.

But, regarding the original post itself, I agree with Rhology, that to change the marriage laws as they are is to redefine what marriage is. And if marriage is to be redefined, why should it only be redefined in a certain way?

There's absolutely no reason why it should *only* be redefined in that way. If there are other ways in which you wish it to be redefined, then you are free to lobby the government to make those changes.

Rhology said...

the two movements are analogous but not identical.

But DISanalogous where it counts. The 60s civil rights mvmt was about equal rights for people to whom equal rights had been denied them on the basis of a way they ARE - a different ethnicity. Which has zero bearing on their personhood.
The homosexual mvmt of today desires super-rights for people to whom super-rights have been denied them based on their BEHAVIOR.
They are so different they are hardly worth even comparing, let alone citing for support for the latter position.


What I find comic is your attempt to paint yourself as a staunch defender of civil rights and myself as... well, I'm not quite sure what effect you were going for, but comic was the result.

And...the argument?


that people did previously believe that mixed-race marriages were morally wrong, including numerous Christians.

Incorrectly believed it, yes.
You know, just b/c unjust laws have existed in the past does not mean that we should support unjust laws now.


so how do I know that your understanding of the Bible is not similarly flawed?

It's just like anything else, as long as you're not too intellectually lazy to do a little reading.
You have to weigh the arguments for and against.
It's a bit surprising that I even have to say that to you.


As I have pointed out previously we're *not* changing the institution

From "one woman + one man for life" to "one man + one man".
Do you not know or recognise the difference between a man and a woman? If not, why even argue for gay marriage? It's all the same to you.


There's absolutely no reason why it should *only* be redefined in that way

Yet you have argued precisely that.
I support the removal of consent and the necessity of humanity on the part of one or both of the parties.
That is redefining it, no less than you are doing. We have the same justification for our actions, which is why your position is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I notice that you decided to avoid the substance of my argument. I will repeat it again in the vain hope that some good might come of it. I also note that a large part of your argument depends on your belief that homosexuality is merely a lifestyle choice rather than a state of being. On this we clearly disagree, but your position seems incredibly weak given the existence of homosexuality in such a wide variety of human cultures across known history, as well as the existence of homosexuality in non-human animals (unless you think black swans make "lifestyle choices").

As I have pointed out previously we're *not* changing the institution of marriage, we're changing the coverage of the institution. When universal suffrage was introduced, it wasn't changing the institution of voting, or undermining the right to vote (although people like you made exactly that argument) - it was changing the coverage of the right to vote, and extending the institution of voting to those who had - for hundreds of years - been denied it.

Rhology said...

I also note that a large part of your argument depends on your belief that homosexuality is merely a lifestyle choice

Wow, speaking of avoidance!
It's no "belief" - one either does homosexual acts or one does not perform them. One can choose to do them or not to do them.
As opposed to one's ethnicity - one does not choose it. One IS one's ethnicity. Thus you do a great disservice to the memory of the civil rights mvmt of the 60s and ongoing.


On this we clearly disagree

So one cannot choose to engage in homosexual acts or not?
Now you're a determinist, and you apparently believe homosexuals are less human than other people - they are, apparently according to you, automata and utter slaves to their sexual drive and orientation. When they see a nice piece of, well, beefcake, they're GOING TO TAKE IT.
Unlike apparently you do, I believe that homosexuals are real people with more to them than just the way their genitalia drive them.
It's sad the way you start off with the desire to help, but end up talking down the very people you're trying to raise up. Unrealistic worldviews can bite in more ways than one.


we're *not* changing the institution of marriage, we're changing the coverage of the institution.

Then I simply insist that we extend the coverage of the institution to include grapefruits, trees, 3-yr-olds, and multiple people of different genders at the same time.
Two can change the language, you know. The point is transparent; I'm in awe of your willful blindness at this point.
You either want to be open to change, or you don't. Either concede the point or go ahead and grant me my desired extensions (and thereby lose all credibility for your position). The choice is yours.