Thursday, November 13, 2008

My upcoming multiple marriages

Over at the recently-revived possummomma's blog, I've been stirring up some trouble on the issue of same-sex marriage (SSM) and simultaneously challenging her readers' reading comprehension levels. I don't really think they're following the argument, but I have more confidence in my readers. I had fun writing this; I hope you have at least half as much fun reading it.


So as not to extend this unnecessarily, I'll just say this up front about the vitriol hurled my way.
1) I challenge anyone to quote me insulting anyone. OTOH, how many times have I been insulted? Not that I care, but the atheists here act like they have taken and hold the high ground of courtesy. It's laughable.
2) It is not poisoning the well to point out ad hominems when I was the one accused of ad hominems. Please. Rather, the one who engages in ad hominem risks poisoning her own well before the reader.
3) To Hugo, I thought that since you were from Belgium you might speak French. I speak French. You do well enough, it appears, but I don't know why you reacted the way you did. Did you ever consider actually answering my question, or is it just easier to rip me?

Berlzebub said:
You can't seem to comprehend that there are people different than you who might just want the same happiness.

Lots of people are in unhappy marriages.
Possummomma said just above the following: "Marriage is no guarantee for a moral life."
It's no guarantee for a happy life either. My marriage is happy, but many are not. Why even bring it up?

You've continuously refused to entertain the concept that homosexuality is not a choice. It even seems to be central to your argument.

You don't read very closely, I'm sorry to say.
Homosexual BEHAVIOR is a choice.
And it's not central to my argument at all. I grant it in the argument based on the deconstruction of the 4 points of the institution of marriage.
The 4 points are as follow:

A homosexual can marry anyone of the following qualifications.
1) One person.
2) Of the opposite sex.
3) Of marriageable age.
4) Who gives consent.
I have the right to marry someone who fulfills the 4 qualifications; so does any homosexual. This is the definition of the institution of marriage.

Moving on, there is a misapprehension about my 4 points. They describe the marriage institution as it is in reality, not as I wish it to be or as I wish to define it. That's the way it is. Deal with it. If you can't, you forfeit the argument.

As for the defenses of the other 3 points, you're in part missing the thrust of my argument. If we change point #2 of the institution, what is the reasonable response to anyone who wants to marry these disparate things and ages and numbers of people and things? It's not a slippery-slope argument, per se. I'm just asking why your same arguments don't lead to the conclusions I'm drawing.
Plus, remember that I feel very strongly about these marriages. My vision of marriage extends far beyond the possibility of anatomical compatible for sexual relations, just like the SSM advocate does. This is my preferred behavior, and these are my preferred relationship partners. Who are you to deny me my rights? I don't have the same rights as you do! I can't marry whom or what I want to marry!

Perpetual Beginner said:
#1 - we'd have to reinvent marriage and marriage law almost from scratch

1) Be honest with me. Would you accept this argument from a conservative, to deny SSM? No.
2) We have to revamp it anyway. This is pretty much begging the question. We ARE CHANGING the institution of marriage (since we are removing #2) to allow SSM. WHY NOT change other parts of it?

#3 - The first is the potential for serious power differentials.

Surely you're aware that serious power differentials exist in all sorts of adult relationships. Friendships, hetero marriages, homosexual relationships...
So why would this be an argument against my proposed marital relationships? Just another imperfect relationship in a world of imperfect relationships.

4) Who gives consent.
This is the one where I keep thinking people have to be kidding, but they never are.

You are such a bigot. How dare you make fun and make light of my choices for the marital bond. I LOVE these people and things and want to be married to them!

Consent is important because if consent isn't involved you're violating the rights and personhood of the other person involved. Marriage without consent would be kidnapping and rape.

So, you're saying that if we remove one of the points of marriage, it's no longer marriage? Be careful - what happens when you start to consistently apply the same standard to the other 3 points, such as #2? It's no longer marriage, is it?
Besides, the donkey, the grapefruits, and the tree are not persons at all. So what? Speciesism - discrimination on the basis of your species. You're a bigot indeed.
On top of that, you're engaging in age discrimination - why do YOU get to modify marriage, but I don't, just b/c I happen to love and be attracted to people that are a little younger than the people YOU'RE attracted to? No one is asking you to be attracted to them. I'm just asking that my own rights be recognised!

at makes all the slippery slope arguments about SSM simply silly. Every time someone starts going on about people marrying golden retrievers and trees I want to smack them upside the head.

What a bigoted thing to say. I hope you don't criticise, then, Westboro Baptist Church when they advocate violence against homosexuals! Sounds like you're advocating violence against people of my persuasion.

somehow we never get confused and let them form companies, buy houses, or join the army

Question-begging - 1) you're not arguing for SHOULD anymore. You're just saying what IS, but what should be is the very question at hand.
2) Homosexuals don't get to join the army. Your analogy fails.

possummomma said:
By equating human love to the love you have for a donkey and a grapefruit, I question your understanding of the concep

I'm not equating love at all. I'm just telling you that I want to marry them. Love is irrelevant; people don't just get married for love, you know.

If your concept of homosexuality is akin to pedophelia (sic), then I think my accusation of bigotry is completely and totally justified as you clearly do not understand that which you wish to prohibit.

I'm engaging in a whole lot of argument ad absurdum. I have made no statement one way or the other on that count.

The institution of marriage is a cultural concept, not a Biblical or biological one.

It actually IS biblical; it's there from the first chapter of the Bible. The Bible is pretty old, you know.

Allow me to ask you why you think your "institution" is more moral than any other married couple?

1) My argument here has been independent of the "more moral" question, actually.
2) It's more moral b/c God says it is. God's character defines morality.
3) I seriously doubt that you as an atheist have any non-arbitrary, objective basis for your own code of morality. You might surprise me, but I haven't met one yet, and I've talked to quite a few atheists. I've had "empathy is the basis" thrown at me, and that fails utterly. Go ahead, knock me out. Prove your morality doesn't come down to just "I like it/I don't like it". Hugo already declined the invitation. Make it into another post if you like - that might be a better way to go. I'll be watching for it.

Berlzebub commented on the 4 points:
while Donkey's are well suited for pulling things, they're not so well suited for matrimony.

A conservative could say the same thing about homosexual relationships - they're not well-suited for matrimony.
Double-edged sword arguments are not the best weapons.

you or the donkey won't spread some mutated disease through the rest of your respective species.

1) Again you ape the conservative. That argument is (correctly and often) made against the SSM position.
2) FYI, I wasn't planning on having sex with the donkey. It's strictly a platonic relationship. Since when did sex become an integral part of the marital bonds? Who died and made you God?

there's the problem of alimony if either or all of your spouses were to decide the marriage wasn't working.

1) Alimony is already a complicated catastrophe of a social and legal problem.
2) I, like many of my fellow freedom-fighters on the SSM side, do not intend to split up. This is a lifetime commitment.

I would also suggest a life insurance policy, and Saran Wrap or Tupperware, with the grapefruit.

I made the same argument above about employers and insurance policies and was ridiculed for it. Try to be consistent with your own side, OK?


NAL said...

A homosexual can marry anyone of the following qualifications.
1) One person.
2) Of the opposite sex.
3) Of marriageable age.
4) Who gives consent.
5) Of the same race.
I have the right to marry someone who fulfills the 5 qualifications; so does any homosexual.

That is the problem with the "same rights" argument.

Rhology said...

Wrt to your #5, that's neither how marriage has been most of the time historically nor how it is today.
I fail to see how it's relevant; I'm talking about REMOVING points, not adding them.

NAL said...

Wrt to your #5, that's neither how marriage has been most of the time historically ...

That's just not factual. Loving v. Virginia was decided in 1967.

Anti-miscegenation laws
In North America, laws against interracial marriage and interracial sex existed and were enforced in the Thirteen Colonies from the late seventeenth century onwards, and subsequently in several US states and US territories until 1967.

I'm talking about REMOVING points, not adding them.

#5 was REMOVED. By an activist Court.

Dr Funkenstein said...

...3) Of marriageable age...

I have the right to marry someone who fulfills the 4 qualifications; so does any homosexual. This is the definition of the institution of marriage.

I'm not sure this is really part of the definition, since the age of marriage differs quite a lot from country to country (18 in the States? I know it is 16 back home in the UK, and I think some other European countries have it even lower than that). I'd have to check, but I would be willing to bet there are countries that don't have any specified legal age for marriage.

#4 (consent) is also a bit of a grey area as far as defining marriage goes, since many cultures past and present have had different takes on what rights an individual has/had to agree or to refuse marriage offers

Your definition of marriage seems to be roughly along the lines of the modern day US understanding of it (which is not surprising since that's where you are from), whereas many people now and through history would probably define it very differently

Rhology said...


That's why I said "most of the time". Do try to read my comment, please, before responding to what you wish I'd said.

Dr Funk,

#3 - Come now, I doubt there are very many societies that are cool with you marrying a 3-yr old. A few, maybe, and most of those are simply arranged marriages for the future, not right-now marriages.

#4 - tell that to the people over at possummomma's place. The barrier to my marrying the donkey, children, and grapefruit is even less onerous now. Praise Mamma Nature!

Dr Funkenstein said...

Wiki has a list of the worldwide legal ages for marriage:

As far as I could see from quickly scanning through the list, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen allow marriage at the youngest age (as low as 9 in some instances), while countries in the South East Asia region have the highest at 21, with other countries falling somewhere along the spectrum in between.

So there's quite a difference in the definition of marriage in different cultures for at least one of your criteria there.

Dr Funkenstein said...


just noticed that China seems to be the highest at age 22 for males

evenshine said...

So THAT's what you've been up to. We didn't quite degenerate into fruits and veggies, but it got just as cumbersome.
Congrats on the upcoming nuptials! I'll send a fruit basket.

Rhology said...

Sweet, maybe I'll marry a couple of the fruits in the basket for good measure. Got Gavin Newsome's cell number?