Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It's Homosexual History Month!

At least in my town.

Before the vote, I emailed all the members of the City Council, asking them to vote nay on the motion.  Predictably, most ignored me.  One of the City Council members actually wrote me back after the vote, saying:


Thank you for taking time to write. On this issue I must disagree with you, but want you to know I did read your comments. I read all the emails I received and listened to all my messages. I know you have serious concerns.

In the process of this I heard from constituents on both sides, as well as many more from across Norman and even outside of Norman. I voted for the proclamation to have a GLBT history month. No money is being spent, no one is required to participate in any activities nor is there any change in law.

This resolution came forward from our Norman Human Rights Commission, and was a response to years of comments they received in public meetings of bullying and harassment which continues to affect GLBT citizens, young and old. The commission members decided there was a need and proposed a history month to acknowledge both contributions made and the history of trouble which has existed.

A lengthy amount of time was spent during the Tuesday meeting because many citizens wished to speak for and against the resolution. Otherwise no council time was spent and certainly no public money was--or will be--spent.

As a council member I have to make a decision. Each time, I weigh together what I have heard from constituents and other citizens, my beliefs and my knowledge. I have often heard it said that the health of any community is reflected in how we treat our weakest members. I believe all have the right to be treated decently and I believe that part of my public responsibility is to see to it that government does not hinder this.

Thank you,


My response, sent today:
Thank you for taking the time to write me and for taking the time to read my letter to you. 

I am very much aware of your vote as well as the reasoning behind Councilman Quinn's vote against the motion, citing the need to listen to his constituents.  I find it difficult to believe that, if his constituents let him know their displeasure at the motion to such an extent that he found it necessary to vote nay, a majority of your own consituent contacts did not also voice their opposition to you.  Why then did you go against their wishes and vote aye?  Why be a part of a government action favoring one sexual orientation, a course of action that is chosen (for one chooses to engage in a consensual sexual act, by definition), over another?  Is it indeed the government's job and a good stewardship of Norman's limited resources to spend four hours of City Council time on needless controversy such as this? 

Your answer as I can see it is twofold:
1) No money was spent and the proclamation is not binding on anyone; and
2) GLBT citizens experience bullying and harassment.

I object strenuously to both answers.  The meeting required significantly longer than most City Council meetings, did it not?  And was that not because of the large amount of citizens who attended in order to speak out?  While I certainly do not mind public debate and discourse about topics of morality and governance, the fact remains that time was spent (or wasted) on a "proclamation" that you yourself admit has no force for anyone. 
Further, as one of the attendees pointed out, when Norman has so many issues that actually speak to the interests of the public at large before it, why make a governmental statement on the matter? 

Secondly, I have experienced a great deal of bullying and harassment in the course of my time on this Earth, but it was not because I am a homosexual.  When do you plan to proclaim "Nerd History Month"?  Or "Bucktooth History Month"?  After all, I was born with buckteeth.  They developed naturally. I had no choice in the matter.  And I have many times been driven to tears and depression over them.  Yet, a strange thing happened - I grew up.  If someone mocks my looks now, I am sad for them and pity their shallowness.  If they verbally harass me, I walk away.  If they physically assault me, I call the police and defend myself.  Why should it be any different for GLBT citizens? 
Further, what difference do you think a non-binding "proclamation" on which the Council (thankfully) spent no money will make?  Will not those bullies who are inclined to harass GLBT people continue their malice? 

Finally, as mentioned, you have in fact acted counterproductively, as you have increased the visibility of the gay agenda's campaign for super rights.  When has the City Council (or anyone, for that matter) proclaimed "Heterosexual History Month"?  If we are to celebrate historical achievements by remarkable people, why bring up their sexual orientation at all?  What difference does one's sexual orientation make in a great invention or discovery?  Who among us speaks in the following way: "Albert Einstein, a great mind and influential scientist, who was also heterosexual, is the originator of the theory of relativity"? 

My hope is that you will reconsider that which drove you to this decision, whether poor thinking, lobbying from the NHRC, and/or political correctness.  None is commendable, and none is fit for members of a modern City Council.  I welcome any feedback, whether by email or by telephone.  I am available most anytime.

118 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you, Alan! --Lin

bossmanham said...

Do you get cake on homosexual awareness day?

Rhology said...

Only if you can prove you've had sex with a man, even once, since 1977.

thechemistscorner said...

The second to last paragraph was right on the money.

Cheers!

NAL said...

You certainly don't want others thinking of homosexuals as regular people, instead of the evil people you know they are.

Rhology said...

Actually, I do kind of prefer to see them as regular people. Which is why they get the same rights as everyone else.

NAL said...

A lot of people out there are not inclined to see them as regular people but as an evil. For example, Sally Kern (R-OK) recently said homosexuality is more of a threat to the USA than terrorism.

More evil than terrorists. Maybe something that shows they're just regular people is not uncalled for in OK.

bossmanham said...

NAL,

Are you saying that homosexualITY is the same as a homosexual? Because they're not.

magx01 said...

Hey, Rho, what's your stand on gay marriage?

I've got my fingers crossed in hopes that you're for, because as much as I like and respect you, I have to say I have zero tolerance for those who are against gay marriage.

The only position I can agree with is that churches should not be required to perform them. As a private entity, I respect their ability to marry, or not marry, whomever they decide, on whatever grounds.

But that's about it. Anyone who would look two consenting adults in the eye and tell them that their love does not merit the same pointless ceremony that the rest of us chumps are forced to endure (hehe) sickens me.

Peace.

NAL said...

BMH,

Do you believe that homosexual desires are evil?

bossmanham said...

What does that have to do with anything? Desires aren't sin until they're acted upon.

David said...

Desires aren't sin until they're acted upon.

Wait a minute, what happened to committing adultery in your heart?

bossmanham said...

Wait a minute, what happened to committing adultery in your heart?

Dang I'm psychic. I knew one of you would bring that up, which is why I said exactly what I did.

David said...

So, psychic, you have a point you want to make?

bossmanham said...

Just the one I did.

David said...

Well, I'm not psychic. So, you're reply makes no sense to me.

Do you believe that homosexual desires are evil?

Yes or no?

David said...

Correction...your reply...

Coram Deo said...

Has sodomy been so underappreciated in the past that various governmental functionaries from the local to the federal level now need to "make things right" by celebrating same-sex genital/orafice contact as publicly and frequently as possible?

I didn't realize making official public endorsements and proclamations in favor of peculiar sexual proclivities was the purview of public polity.

Why are the FLDS patriarchal polygamists being denied their "right" to multiple wives even as homosexuals receive and enjoy special rights and protections?

Why are those who consensually engage in incest still being kept in the closet and denied equal rights to marry by oppressive and outdated government regulations?

Why can't any number of men and women marry one another and not only be accepted, but be celebrated with official proclamations and protected legal status by force of the state?

After all, it seems unfair for government to offer these benefits to only certain individuals who engage in certain forms of state-sanctioned sexual intercourse while simultaneously denying these same benefits to those who sexual proclivities remain "unapproved" doesn't it?

In Christ,
CD

magx01 said...

"Why are the FLDS patriarchal polygamists being denied their "right" to multiple wives even as homosexuals receive and enjoy special rights and protections?"

Why are those who consensually engage in incest still being kept in the closet and denied equal rights to marry by oppressive and outdated government regulations?

Do you think that what you posted there is a fair equivocation?

Coram Deo said...

mag01,

Do you? Why or why not assuming the aforementioned groups are consenting adults, and based upon what principle?

Also I couldn't help noticing that you left out the third scenario, is there a reason for the omission?

In Him,
CD

NAL said...

BMH,

So you disagree with Vox Day, in a previously linked post, when he talks about "evil desires". Me too.

NAL said...

CD:

Why are the FLDS patriarchal polygamists being denied their "right" to multiple wives even as homosexuals receive and enjoy special rights and protections?

A good question. The state needs to show a compelling reason.

Why are those who consensually engage in incest still being kept in the closet and denied equal rights to marry by oppressive and outdated government regulations?

I think the risk of birth defects would be a compelling reason that the state could show. Of course you don't say what you consider to be "incest".

... in certain forms of state-sanctioned sexual intercourse ...

Just because the state does not prohibit certain forms of sexual intercourse, doesn't mean the state sanctions same.

Rhology said...

It's clear that NAL is a bigot.
NAL,
Yes, homosexuals ARE normal people. And normal ppl are sinners. Amazing you can't get that thru your head despite years spent commenting here.


magx01,
I am against same-sex marriage.
Written on it before, actually.


I have zero tolerance for those who are against gay marriage.

Are you saying you're bigoted against those who are against gay marriage?


Anyone who would look two consenting adults in the eye and tell them that their love does not merit the same pointless ceremony that the rest of us chumps are forced to endure (hehe) sickens me.

OK. Based on the other talks we've had about morality, I'm unsure what conclusion anyone else should draw from that.


Coram Deo,
Hear hear.

David said...

How does the state solve the math problem created by polygamy?

NAL said...

Rho:

Yes, homosexuals ARE normal people. And normal ppl are sinners.

Do you consider homosexual desires evil, or do you disagree with Vox?

Rhology said...

Yes, I disagree with Vox Day on a number of issues. I find him to be very shrewd on many things, but he's a lightweight on biblical theology, and a heretic to boot. More's the pity, really - I enjoy reading the guy.

NAL said...

BMH:

Are you saying that homosexualITY is the same as a homosexual? Because they're not.

Let's see what M-W has to say:

Main Entry: ho·mo·sex·u·al·i·ty
Function: noun
1: the quality or state of being homosexual

Main Entry: 1ho·mo·sex·u·al
Function: adjective
1: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex

So, if the desire is not evil, then is it your claim that having that desire is evil?

Rhology said...

Part of what I think bossmanham is trying to say is that there is a definite distinction between BEING a homosexual and PERFORMING homosexual acts.

The gay rights agenda likes to denigrate their own, claiming basically that they're animals who can't help but have sex with same sex ppl all the time. We like to uphold the homosexuals' humanity, reminding everyone that urge does not equal necessity of action. You're a homosexual, but you don't have to have gay sex. Just like you can be born with a propensity towards alcoholism, but you don't have to drink.

David said...

"Part of what I think bossmanham is trying to say is that there is a definite distinction between BEING a homosexual and PERFORMING homosexual acts."

This makes no sense. If you're a gay man, then you think about having sex with other men. How is that any different from actually having sex with a man (in terms of sinning)?

Rhology said...

B/c if you think about it, you're thinking about it. If you do it, then you're doing it.

I'm not sure how that could be confusing, but it's been awhile since I didn't know Jesus.

NAL said...

Rho:

Part of what I think bossmanham is trying to say is that there is a definite distinction between BEING a homosexual and PERFORMING homosexual acts.

The PERFORMING part was the second definition under homosexuality. As the second definition, it would be the less commonly used meaning.

The BEING part was the first definition under homosexuality. As the first definition, it would be the more commonly used meaning.

So, when BMH refers to homosexuality, he's using the less common meaning. I'm glad we got that cleared up.

David said...

"B/c if you think about it, you're thinking about it. If you do it, then you're doing it."

And Jesus said that thinking about it is the same as doing it.

Rhology said...

Did He?

Matt 5:27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Yes, IN HIS HEART. It's a sin. Its commission will result in the man being sent to Hell, unless the sin is forgiven through the shed blood of Christ on the Cross. But it's not the same.
Just b/c two sins are both sins doesn't mean they're the same sin.

David said...

"Yes, IN HIS HEART. It's a sin. Its commission will result in the man being sent to Hell, unless the sin is forgiven through the shed blood of Christ on the Cross. But it's not the same.
Just b/c two sins are both sins doesn't mean they're the same sin."

Re-read what I said...

How is that any different from actually having sex with a man (in terms of sinning)?

Note the phrase..."in terms of sinning". I didn't mean that the acts were the same or that the sins were exactly identical to each other. What I meant, simply, was that both acts are sins. Yes, I realize that these are two different acts, but if both acts are sins, then both acts (both thought and deed) are evil. Yes?

Rhology said...

Yes.

Thanks for clarifying.

David said...

"Yes. Thanks for clarifying."

Whew! Glad that's cleared up. Who knew it would take so long?

bossmanham said...

NAL,

Those are fairly odd definitions. Adding "ity" to the end of a word seems to me to denote a pattern of behavior or worldview, as Christianity would be the large worldview type of structure that relates to Christ. A Christian would be an individual with those proclivities. Now, homosexuality seems to me to denote action, whereas an homosexual would be an individual. I can detest the action and agenda while loving the individual.

As far as what lust is, it isn't a simple desire for sex (which most people naturally have) but an indulgence in the mind of that act. I think Rick Warren was unusually astute (for him) when he said something to the effect of he desires to have sex with lots of women, but he doesn't.

Sin can warp desires so that they run counter to God's, so in that sense I suppose they could be considered evil, and in that sense I agree with vox, but it isn't sin till you indulge it.

Paul C said...

You're a homosexual, but you don't have to have gay sex. Just like you can be born with a propensity towards alcoholism, but you don't have to drink.

You appear to be under the misapprehension that writing two sentences next to each other constitutes an argument.

Unfortunately it doesn't, so perhaps you could describe for us exactly how being a homosexual is "just like" being born with a propensity towards alcoholism?

The problem I foresee for you is that any argument you might make would also describe heterosexuality - but of course you don't argue that being a heterosexual is "just like" being born with a propensity towards alcoholism.

Rhology said...

If you're born with a propensity to be tempted toward alcoholism, that doesn't mean you have to drink.
If you're born with a propensity to be tempted toward homosexual sex acts, that doesn't mean you have to perform homosexual sex acts.


The problem I foresee for you is that any argument you might make would also describe heterosexuality

No, you think?
Yes, that's precisely right. And if you're born with a hetero propensity, that doesn't mean you have to perform hetero sex acts, now does it?
This says nothing about the moral content of the act, but then again I wasn't talking about that. But since you're a committed contrarian, it's going to be difficult to see clearly through the blood-red cloud over your vision.


of course you don't argue that being a heterosexual is "just like" being born with a propensity towards alcoholism.

Oh, OK. Well, thanks for telling me what I believe instead of asking me!

Paul C said...

And if you're born with a hetero propensity, that doesn't mean you have to perform hetero sex acts, now does it?

I apologise for trying to predict your argument – it appears that you do want to make the argument equally applicable to heterosexual and homosexual acts. Bravo for the spirit of equality!

So now your argument has become that “a propensity to be tempted toward alcoholism” is like “a propensity to be tempted toward sex acts” (since you apply it equally to hetero- and homosexual).

A propensity to be tempted towards sex acts is a basic condition of being human (indeed, a precondition of being human). So your argument is that being human is like being an alcoholic?

bossmanham said...

paul,

Are you saying that having a sexual orientation is identical to being human? That's ridiculous.

Rhology said...

Remember the context of my statement - The gay rights agenda likes to denigrate their own, claiming basically that they're animals who can't help but have sex with same sex ppl all the time. We like to uphold the homosexuals' humanity, reminding everyone that urge does not equal necessity of action. You're a homosexual, but you don't have to have gay sex. Just like you can be born with a propensity towards alcoholism, but you don't have to drink.


This is merely one part of my argument, and yes, to be human is to have propensities and temptations. And the gay rights agenda acts like homosexuals have no hope of controlling or resisting those propensities.

Paul C said...

Are you saying that having a sexual orientation is identical to being human?

No, I'm saying that having a propensity towards sex acts is a condition of being human - indeed, a precondition for the existence of the human race.

Paul C said...

And the gay rights agenda acts like homosexuals have no hope of controlling or resisting those propensities.

And do you control or resist your propensity towards heterosexual sex acts?

Paul C said...

And the gay rights agenda acts like homosexuals have no hope of controlling or resisting those propensities.

Also: your assumptions are showing.

Rhology said...

Yes, I certainly do. I want to have sex with pretty much every attractive girl I see. But I don't.

And I don't know what you mean by "my assumptions". I explained the argument.

David said...

"But I don't."

So, Rho, are you celibate?

Paul C said...

Yes, I certainly do. I want to have sex with pretty much every attractive girl I see. But I don't.

Sure, but why do you assume that everybody is exactly the same as you?

And I don't know what you mean by "my assumptions".

Well, your attempt to compare sex acts to alcoholism gives the game away a little bit. Presumably you see alcoholism as a negative thing; you could have compared sex acts to helping the poor, but you didn't.

Rhology said...

Celibate? No. Chaste in monogamy.

Paul,
OK, but irrelevant.

Paul C said...

Celibate? No. Chaste in monogamy.

Is that the best way to control and resist the propensity towards sex acts?

David said...

"Celibate? No. Chaste in monogamy."

So, in fact, you have sex with another human being. You are not denying yourself sex.

Mike Westfall said...

FTA: "Amy Venable, pastor at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Norman for the past three-and-a-half years, said she supported the proclamation because it hit close to home for many in her congregation."


How many wrong things can you spot in this picture?

bossmanham said...

Is that the best way to control and resist the propensity towards sex acts?

So, in fact, you have sex with another human being. You are not denying yourself sex.


My question is how anyone could think these are counterexamples to what we've been talking about here. [sarcasm]Oooh hoo hoo, Rho, you're actually following the prescripted form of proper sexual activity, and somehow, as Paul C and David have masterfully uncovered, that means you're inconsistent.[/sarcasm]

David said...

The inconsistency is that Rho is esentially saying that gays can't have any sex at all. This is not something that he is denying himself.

NAL said...

Rho:

I want to have sex with pretty much every attractive girl I see.

Just like the male of every other species. What a COINCIDENCE.

bossmanham said...

He never said that, David. He said doesn't have sex whenever and with whomever he wants. The whole Biblical marriage thing.

thechemistscorner said...

David,

Sorry, but I don't think you are following his argument here. Maybe you need flesh out where you're trying to go here.

David said...

"He said he doesn't have sex whenever and with whomever he wants."

True, but he does have sex, yes? He channels his sex, but he does not deny himself sex.

Can a homosexual man or woman ever have sex? I believe that Rho would say no. So, the case of sex, Rho is inconsistent.

thechemistscorner said...

I'm betting he says "yes, with the opposite sex in a monogamous marriage just like everyone else is supposed to." But, maybe he'll surprise me.

David said...

"I'm betting he says "yes, with the opposite sex in a monogamous marriage just like everyone else is supposed to."

So, the cow says to the cat, "you can eat all of the grass you like, but no meat for you".

thechemistscorner said...

So by your quote, you hold no restrictions against any consensual sex act? Even the partial list given by corem deo?

I went with the benefit of doubt about non-consensual sex, but please correct me if I am wrong.

Paul C said...

So by your quote, you hold no restrictions against any consensual sex act?

No.

bossmanham said...

So, paul c, you'd be just fine with your 5 year old son having sex with some 40 something year old, as long as it's consensual?

David said...

"So by your quote, you hold no restrictions against any consensual sex act? Even the partial list given by corem deo?"

Is the "your" here intend to address me or Paul C?

Paul C said...

So, paul c, you'd be just fine with your 5 year old son having sex with some 40 something year old, as long as it's consensual?

How would that be consensual?

bossmanham said...

I could give you the definition, but I won't insult your obvious intelligence. I will point out that your response reveals that you too believe in restrictions on sexual activity, they're just ones that you arbitrarily apply based on how you feel. Wonderful method that.

thechemistscorner said...

I'm sorry. "your" = "David" Don't remember Paul C's part in the conversation.

thechemistscorner said...

By that, I mean. I forget Paul was even commenting in this combox.

David said...

Ok, so I'm "your".

"So by your quote, you hold no restrictions against any consensual sex act? Even the partial list given by corem deo?"

Um, no. I should have made my analogy (or is a a metaphor?) clearer. The "grass" in question is Rho's "grass", that is, it refers to having all the sex you with a spouse of the opposite sex. But if you have no sexual interest at all in the opposite sex, then it's no sex at all for you. Rho does not deny himself self; it's restrict sex, but it's still sex. However, he says that gays get no sex at all with those that they find sexually attractive.

As far as CD's list is concerned, if the question is about what the state will allow in terms of legal contracts such as the one I have with my wife, I think the question hinges on whether or not the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting a given arrangement. I think that one can demonstrate that incest and polygamy create significant problems for the state, but for the life of me, I can't see the harm in gay marriage.

David said...

Hmm, lots of typos. Let's try again.

Um, no. I should have made my analogy (or is a a metaphor?) clearer. The "grass" in question is Rho's "grass", that is, it refers to having all the sex you want with a spouse of the opposite sex. But if you have no sexual interest at all in the opposite sex, then it's no sex at all for you. Rho does not deny himself sex; it's restricted sex, but it's still sex. However, he says that gays are to have no sex at all with those that they find sexually attractive.

Paul C said...

Bossmanham: I asked you a question - how would sex between my 5 year old son and a 40 something year old be consensual? Feel free to insult my intelligence.

Rhology said...

At the risk of Duh, if the 5yo consented then it would be consensual.

David said...

Legally, a five year old is not considered old enough to give consent.

Rhology said...

Legally in most states, gays can't marry. I guess this discussion is moot, then, isn't it?


No, clearly you want the law to change. Let's say I want the 5-yo law to change. How do you know a 5-yo can't give consent? You're not biased against age, are you? Age-ist?

thechemistscorner said...

Legally, a five year old is not considered old enough to give consent.

Aside from Rho's comments, I have two contributions:

1. In some countries the marriage laws are not 18, but considerably younger. Are those societies justified in marrying off a 12 year old to a 40 year old? Indeed, there are reports of girls as young as 8 being married to older men. Are those sexual relationships wrong? It seems if you rely on legal statutes, then in those societies there is nothing wrong with the relationships.

2. If legal statutes are a reflection of society itself, then they can be changed by the will of the people. Suppose enough people decided to change the laws in the US such that a 5 year old was old enough to grant consent. Would it then be acceptable?

thechemistscorner said...

Um, no. I should have made my analogy (or is a a metaphor?) clearer. The "grass" in question is Rho's "grass", that is, it refers to having all the sex you want with a spouse of the opposite sex. But if you have no sexual interest at all in the opposite sex, then it's no sex at all for you. Rho does not deny himself sex; it's restricted sex, but it's still sex. However, he says that gays are to have no sex at all with those that they find sexually attractive.

I don't have a problem with this. All people struggle with the passions of our flesh. Indulgence is not something that we should grant ourselves, and this is true in homosexual liasons, heterosexual fornication, adultery, theft, physical aggression and assault, what have you. If it is sin, then you should abstain from it.

David said...

"All people struggle with the passions of our flesh."

So, do you deny yourself sex? Are you celibate?

Now, five year olds.

It seems to me that the concept of consent is tied to a requirement that one be truly free to say yes or no and to the requirement that one have the mental capacity to make informed decisions and fully understand the consequences of one's decisions. This is what consent is all about.

Five year olds are not in such a position.

Five year olds are essentially totally dependent on adults, so they have no choice if an adult demands sex or marriage. If you have no choice, then the term "consent" is essentially meaningless. (This same idea is behind the idea of "informed consent" in medical experiments".) In addition, a five year old is hardly in a position to understand the consequences of consent, including what "marriage" means and including the risk of physical harm from sex.

In short, five years can't say no, don't understand what sex mean and what it can do to the body, and can't understand ideas such as "marriage". So, we legallly protect five year olds.


In any event, I'm still waiting for an explanation of why the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting two gay adults from entering into the same type of contract that I have with my wife. One can play "slippery slope" with any issue, but the slippery slope arguments that are being advanced here fail to address this question.

Rhology said...

Five year olds are not in such a position.

Right, 'cause you've studied all the 5 year olds in the world.

David said...

"Right, 'cause you've studied all the 5 year olds in the world."

Seriously, this is your best response?

Coram Deo said...

In any event, I'm still waiting for an explanation of why the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting two gay adults from entering into the same type of contract that I have with my wife. One can play "slippery slope" with any issue, but the slippery slope arguments that are being advanced here fail to address this question.

Great question!

Let's begin, shall we? Could you describe "the contract" that you have with your wife? Of what does it consist?

In Him,
CD

bossmanham said...

Apparently David has never been around a 5 year old in his life.

David said...

"Apparently David has never been around a 5 year old in his life."

Again, seriously, is this your best response?

David said...

"Let's begin, shall we? Could you describe "the contract" that you have with your wife? Of what does it consist?"

You're talking about the legal contract issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, right? We're talking about whether or not states will issue such contracts to gay couples, right?

bossmanham said...

David,

I don't know whether to feel sorry for your lack of ability to reason, or to be annoyed at your obvious contrary at all costs attitude.

Again, seriously, is this your best response?

It's the only one that's needed, because your position that 5 year olds can't consent to things is about the dumbest thing I've ever read. 5 year olds obviously can say yes to things and can refuse to do things, which often times they do. They have that ability. Your position is so inconsistent that you have to stick in these ad hoc stipulations. If it's your position that anyone should be able to have sex as long as they consent to it, then why be so inconsistent about it?

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

You're talking about the legal contract issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, right? We're talking about whether or not states will issue such contracts to gay couples, right?

I'm asking about "the contract" you said that you have with your wife, which you referred to in a prior comment.

In any event, I'm still waiting for an explanation of why the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting two gay adults from entering into the same type of contract that I have with my wife. One can play "slippery slope" with any issue, but the slippery slope arguments that are being advanced here fail to address this question.


I'd like to know what that contract is, upon what foundation it exists, and what it consists of both to you and your wife.

Presumably you and your wife share the same understanding about the nature of your contract.

In fact it might be instructive if your wife joined this dicussion - or at least read along with you - since I think its unfolding will be of particular interest and import to her as a woman.

In Christ,
CD

David said...

"It's the only one that's needed, because your position that 5 year olds can't consent to things is about the dumbest thing I've ever read."

Really? You think that we are talking about the equivalent to saying "yes" to the question "do you want a cookie"?

Ad hoc? Really? Do you believe that five year old mind is truly capbable of fully understanding the concepts of sex and adult marriage? Do you really believe that your mind is no better, no more capable and no more advanced than the mind of a five year old? Do you really believe that a five year can survive without adult assistance, that a five year is in any position to say no if an adult insisted on sex and marriage with that five year old? Are you not aware of the principle of informed consent that is derived from Nazi medical experiments on vicitims who did not have the power to say no? Are you not aware of the physical damage that results when an adult penis is inserted into a five year vagina? And you would compare all of this to the decisions made by two consenting adults? Really? Are you really that blinded by homophobia?
Ad hoc? Not a chance.

So, what do you suppose is the LEGAL basis for these laws and legal standards? Why does the LAW say that five year olds are not capable of consenting to sex and marriage? Why do we protect our children?

David said...

I'm asking about "the contract" you said that you have with your wife, which you referred to in a prior comment.

The contract that I was referring to was the legal contract provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Isn't that what we're talking about in the case of gay marriage? Aren't we talking about the right to enter into a legal contract called a "marriage contract"?

thechemistscorner said...

David,

My marital relationship is not sinful. Thus, there is no need to be celebate.

I think this ultimately illustrates your objection to restrictions on homosexual marriages. It appears that you claim we are being unfair towards the homosexuals by denying them the right to marry. I have two issues with this. (1) Fairness is not arbitrarily treating people differently. A central part of marriage is procreation. There is nothing in a homosexual union that can satisfy this requirement, thus it is not being unfair to restrict marriage to heterosexuals. Indeed, one can no more change this aspect of marriage than turn cats into dogs. All that can be done is to sow confusion as to what marriage really is to make it appear that denying homosexual marriage is unfair. (2) You are acting like fairness is something that all should understand and respond to. I see no reason on atheism to believe this. Instead, in my opinion, you are borrowing from my worldview. Under Christian theism it makes sense to assume that fairness is something ingrained in all people. It is a part of the natural law that is written on everyone's heart. However, I see no reason to assume this under atheism. Perhaps you need to make a case for why fairness as such exists in atheism and why it both is and ought to be shared by all.

Now, back to 5 year olds. I want to reiterate why this example is here. The claim was made that there should be no restrictions on any sexual act, and this entails that we should not prohibit homosexuals from marrying, presumably because it is unfair to them. The counter-example was made of a 5 year old with a 40ish man. I would have chosen an example less extreme because a 5 year old muddies the water just precisely the way it has turned out. I think the same point can be drawn out easier by considering a 14 year old with an adult. It seems to me that the teenager does have the mental capacity to consent towards sex, otherwise why would we educate them about proper condom usage, STDs, etc? Isn't the common argument that they will be having sex among their peers? Here, we do have a situation where the person can consent to sex with an adult. Should this be restricted?

I also question how much understanding a person must have to consent. To be consensual, all that is need is for both parties involved to be willing. In the example of informed consent in medicine, do you really believe that some individuals have the capacity to consent to medical treatment even when they are given full disclosure? I can certainly think of situations where the patient lacks the full understanding of what is happening but has enough of a vague grasp to proceed on. I think this is similar to what was alluded to with the pedophiles mentioned in the previous examples.

Lastly, you asked for reasons why the state should have an interest in homosexual marriages. I can think of two reasons right off the bat. (1) The state has a vested interest in promoting the common good of the citizenry. Thus, institutions that raise our society up should be reinforced while actions or institutions that degrade society should not be supported. I think the social science is clear that heterosexual marriages are far more stable than homosexual marriages, and homosexual marriages are more likely to be harmful overall. (2) Laws reflect the moral underpinnings of a society, and those morals are dependent on a worldview. I see no reason for a secular, humanistic worldview to be favored over a Christian worldview.

Cheers!

thechemistscorner said...

Oh yeah, forgot the third reason. The slippery slope that you objected to. It is a valid reason.

David said...

“My marital relationship is not sinful. Thus, there is no need to be celebate.”

Ok, so you are saying that you get to enjoy sex, but gays don’t. Got it.


“I think this ultimately illustrates your objection to restrictions on homosexual marriages. It appears that you claim we are being unfair towards the homosexuals by denying them the right to marry.”

Actually, my main objection is that I see no need or value in restricting a basic right to marry to heterosexual couples. I think that one should have very good reasons before denying someone a right enjoyed by others, and I just don’t see any good reasons here.

“A central part of marriage is procreation.”

I’ve had a vasectomy. I cannot procreate. My marriage is childless by choice. If a central part of marriage is procreation, then my marriage is pointless and invalid. Thanks for the affirmation.

“There is nothing in a homosexual union that can satisfy this requirement, thus it is not being unfair to restrict marriage to heterosexuals.”

Then it would not be unfair to deny me the right to marry either. What about post-menopausal women? Should deny them the right to marry, too?

Indeed, one can no more change this aspect of marriage than turn cats into dogs.

How are you going to turn post-menopausal women into fertile women?

“I see no reason on atheism to believe this. Instead, in my opinion, you are borrowing from my worldview.”

Irrelevant and off-topic. First, I’m not an atheist. Second, folks can work out fair arrangements by reciprocal altruism without the need to appeal to any specific or particular god.

David said...

“Now, back to 5 year olds. I want to reiterate why this example is here. The claim was made that there should be no restrictions on any sexual act…”

Wait a minute, who made the claim that there should be no restrictions on any sexual acts at any time with any individuals and without any qualifiers whatsoever, especially with respect to qualifiers related to age? This is a straw man.

In any event, I think that there has been a conflation of two issues; the question of restriction on sex acts and the question of restrictions on marriage. What one wishes to restrict or allow when it comes to sex is a different issue from the question about who should be allowed to marry whom.

The case of the 14 year old is a borderline case, but I think there are still several practical reasons to prohibit marriage at this age. So, what’s the point here?

“I also question how much understanding a person must have to consent. To be consensual, all that is need is for both parties involved to be willing.”

To be consensual only requires willing parties? Are you familiar with the concept of statutory rape?

Ok, so you are saying that five years can consent to sex and marriage, yes? If you’re not saying this, I fail to see the relevance of this to the gay marriage or to the behavior of freely consenting adults.

“I can certainly think of situations where the patient lacks the full understanding of what is happening but has enough of a vague grasp to proceed on. I think this is similar to what was alluded to with the pedophiles mentioned in the previous examples.”

Vague grasp? Again, are you arguing that five year olds are old enough to consent? What does this have to do with pedophiles? I fail to see the relevance of this.

“The state has a vested interest in promoting the common good of the citizenry. Thus, institutions that raise our society up should be reinforced while actions or institutions that degrade society should not be supported. I think the social science is clear that heterosexual marriages are far more stable than homosexual marriages, and homosexual marriages are more likely to be harmful overall.”

I’m sorry, but there is zero evidence to suggest that allowing gays to marry will have any impact whatsoever on heterosexual marriage. None. My wife and I lived next door to a gay couple for two years and …gasp!...we’re still married. How is “more harmful” if gays are married as opposed to gays not being married? Denying gays the right to marry isn’t going to turn them into heterosexuals and it’s not going to lead them to sign up for “more stable” heterosexual marriages. If you want an unstable marriage, make a gay guy marry a woman. If you’re going to deny someone certain rights, then you have to do better than speculation.

“Laws reflect the moral underpinnings of a society, and those morals are dependent on a worldview. I see no reason for a secular, humanistic worldview to be favored over a Christian worldview.”

Huh? I’m sorry, but legally, we live in a secular country. And again, there is zero evidence that permitting gay marriage is going to do any harm to our society.


“The slippery slope that you objected to. It is a valid reason.”

Err, no it’s not. As I’ve said, there are plenty of reasons to think that allowing gay marriages will not lead to forty year olds marrying five year olds. It’s not that hard to make clear distinctions between the two. This is just fear-mongering.

Coram Deo said...

The contract that I was referring to was the legal contract provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Isn't that what we're talking about in the case of gay marriage? Aren't we talking about the right to enter into a legal contract called a "marriage contract"?

That's what I'm trying to determine in your scenario, David.

Would it be fair to say that you and your wife consider yourselves to be husband and wife because the state of Pennsylvania ratified you as such by issuing you a "marriage contract"?

In other words, your "marriage" is founded upon, and exists because of, a legal document issued by the state, and in essence that's what it consists of for both you and your wife, am I understanding you correctly?

Were any obligations presupposed or inherent in the contract that are imposed upon you and your wife (such as marital fidelity/monogamy for example), or was the decision to obtain the contract more or less a strategic choice you and your then partner undertook to obtain maximum benefits from the state?

Is it just a piece of paper, or is there more to a marriage?

In Him,
CD

thechemistscorner said...

Hello again David,

A few quick responses to your comments.

1. Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, and one of the main functions of a marriage is to provide a stable environment for having and raising children. Legalizing gay marriages will legitamize those relationships and weaken the view of what is a sinful act. Your counter-examples of vasectomies and barren women, although interesting, are not equivalent to gay marriage.

2. Fine your not an atheist. Then please substantiate your claims for the universality of fairness AND the implied ought that you rely on in your arguments. Reciprocal altruism carries no ought and, as of right now, you haven't even demonstrated that it is universal. The reason this is important is that while you are (apparently) denying Christian theism, it appears that you are trying to hold on to results from that worldview to make your argument go through. Indeed, your argument from fairness requires both universality and implied ought to have any force at all. One cannot hold onto the result of a worldview while denying the worldview itself. If you are Christian theist, then I will be very surprised based on reading your comments in other comboxes (and maybe over on brennonsthoughts, though that could be a different "David").

3. Oct 9, 9:15 AM is where this started. Don't remember who first brought up the 5 year old.

In any event, I think that there has been a conflation of two issues; the question of restriction on sex acts and the question of restrictions on marriage.

Agreed. This example has bled over into two different areas and is not helping the core of the conversation at all. Although it is interesting, I think it is distracting and way to much work to try to steer it back onto track. CD, BMH or Rho might want to salvage it, but I don't have the energy right now.

4. The argument isn't that homosexual marriages will have an impact on heterosexual marriages. It is that overall the health and wellfare of society will be degraded. You are welcome to stick your head in the sand and say there are no studies demonstrating the ill consequences of homosexual relationships, but that doesn't make it so. In addition, it will legitimize sinful actions as argued above.

5. You don't have the market cornered on friends who are gay. My co-worker is gay, and guess what, I still hold to this view.

legally, we live in a secular country.

We live in a country where a state religion may not be instituted nor laws prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. I maintain that our laws should reflect Christain morals, because I believe Christianity (and as a consequence the morals derived from it) is true. Why would I want morals derived from some other worldview that I believe is false codified into public policy? What a bizzare concept. Notice that this is a far cry from mandating that all individuals be Christians. By the way, you do recognize that our country legislates morality don't you?

Cheers again and have a good evening!

Paul C said...

David has stated the case more than adequately regarding the capacity to consent of 5 year olds, but I'd just like to add that it's very bracing to find Christians arguing in favour of child rape.

Paul C said...

Chemist:

In some countries the marriage laws are not 18, but considerably younger. Are those societies justified in marrying off a 12 year old to a 40 year old?

Yes.

If legal statutes are a reflection of society itself, then they can be changed by the will of the people.

That's right. It's called democracy, but apparently you're not a fan.

Suppose enough people decided to change the laws in the US such that a 5 year old was old enough to grant consent. Would it then be acceptable?

Are you asking if society would then find it acceptable, or if I would then find it acceptable? Society would; I wouldn't.

All people struggle with the passions of our flesh. Indulgence is not something that we should grant ourselves, and this is true in homosexual liasons, heterosexual fornication, adultery, theft, physical aggression and assault, what have you. If it is sin, then you should abstain from it.

I don't think that people struggle with the passions of their flesh if they're halfway towards thinking for themselves, that indulgence is something that sometimes it's perfectly okay to grant ourselves, and that “homosexual liaison” is equivalent to “physical assault”. If I don't accept any of your assumptions, why should I accept any argument based on those assumptions?

Paul C said...

Bossmanham:

It's the only one that's needed, because your position that 5 year olds can't consent to things is about the dumbest thing I've ever read.... If it's your position that anyone should be able to have sex as long as they consent to it, then why be so inconsistent about it?

Consent in this case doesn't refer to the ability to say yes but the ability to understand the implications of saying yes. My position is that anybody who is in position to give their consent should be allowed to participate in any sexual activity they consent to, and 5-year-olds are not in a position to give their consent to participate in sexual activity.

Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, and one of the main functions of a marriage is to provide a stable environment for having and raising children.

That's your opinion, not a fact.

Legalizing gay marriages will legitamize those relationships and weaken the view of what is a sinful act.

Since I don't view homosexuality as a sinful act, this is not a counter-argument.

It is that overall the health and wellfare of society will be degraded. You are welcome to stick your head in the sand and say there are no studies demonstrating the ill consequences of homosexual relationships, but that doesn't make it so.

There are no studies demonstrating the ill consequences of homosexual relationships to the health and welfare of society because what constitutes the health and welfare of society is a matter of opinion, not of fact.

I maintain that our laws should reflect Christain morals, because I believe Christianity (and as a consequence the morals derived from it) is true. Why would I want morals derived from some other worldview that I believe is false codified into public policy?

There's no reason that you would, but you might want the law to protect the rights of individuals – including you – to pursue the life they want based on the beliefs they hold. Unfortunately that means that some people are going to pursue their lives based on beliefs you do not hold; but that's the price you pay for pursuing your life based on the beliefs you do hold.

Paul C said...
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Paul C said...

Chemist again:

A central part of marriage is procreation.

What you mean to say is that a central part of marriage should be procreation, and that's an opinion, not a fact.

Under Christian theism it makes sense to assume that fairness is something ingrained in all people.

No, it doesn't. In the Old Testament, God explicitly privileges one ethnic group over all other ethnic groups, and repeatedly privileges individuals within that group.

Perhaps you need to make a case for why fairness as such exists in atheism and why it both is and ought to be shared by all.

No need, since atheism is not the basis on which this argument is being made.

I think the same point can be drawn out easier by considering a 14 year old with an adult.

Exactly the same argument applies: we don't deem 14-year-olds capable of giving their consent to participate in sexual activity.

I also question how much understanding a person must have to consent. To be consensual, all that is need is for both parties involved to be willing.

This is false in both legal and philosophical terms.

Thus, institutions that raise our society up should be reinforced while actions or institutions that degrade society should not be supported.

Your problem here is that the question of what raises society up is a matter of opinion, not fact.

I think the social science is clear that heterosexual marriages are far more stable than homosexual marriages, and homosexual marriages are more likely to be harmful overall.

a. Heterosexual marriage may be more stable than homosexual marriage, but since homosexual marriages of the type you're talking about are extremely recent, there is not enough evidence to demonstrate this conclusively.
b. We don't (and indeed can't) have a useful measure of what level of marital instability is harmful enough to justify prohibiting marriage. For example, if heterosexual divorce rates went above 50%, would you ban heterosexual marriage? Nonsense argument.
c. “Social science” has nothing to say about whether homosexual marriages are more likely to be harmful overall *to society*, nor have you presented a convincing argument that would make this case.

The slippery slope that you objected to. It is a valid reason.

Only if you demonstrate that a slippery slope exists. For example: since all Satanists were previously Christian, Christianity is clearly a slippery slope towards Satanism. I don't find that convincing – do you?

Paul C said...
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Paul C said...
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Rhology said...

it's very bracing to find Christians arguing in favour of child rape.

1) Begging the question that it IS child rape, since we're discussing age of consent (part of the time, at least).
2) Please give me some reason to think that child rape is morally wrong.
Oh wait, let me guess - YOU think it's wrong, and you'll make fun of us if we don't agree. Right?

Rhology said...

(Deleted duplicates.)


Are you asking if society would then find it acceptable, or if I would then find it acceptable? Society would; I wouldn't.

Fine, but so what? It's called democracy, but apparently you're not a fan.


Consent in this case doesn't refer to the ability to say yes but the ability to understand the implications of saying yes.

Not if the society defines it differently. See, that's called democracy, but apparently you're not a fan.


Since I don't view homosexuality as a sinful act,

But if society does, then it is. Democracy.


ill consequences of homosexual relationships to the health and welfare of society because what constitutes the health and welfare of society is a matter of opinion, not of fact.

If the society determines it's harmful, it's harmful. Democracy. Or are you not a fan?


I see no reason on atheism to believe this.
That's because you literally do not have the first idea of what atheism actually entails.


Blah blah blah.


Under Christian theism it makes sense to assume that fairness is something ingrained in all people.
No, it doesn't. In the Old Testament, God explicitly privileges one ethnic group over all other ethnic groups, and repeatedly privileges individuals within that group.


Brilliant red herring non-response. He wasn't talking about GOD. He was talking about PEOPLE.


The claim was made that there should be no restrictions on any consensual sexual act.

And apparently society defines consensus. You know, democratically.


we don't deem 14-year-olds capable of giving their consent to participate in sexual activity.

And we don't deem homosexual acts as proper sexual acts. Presumably you won't have a problem with that. Democracy. Or are you not a fan?

Paul C said...

Just to clarify once again, Rhology: you don't have any arguments against my points, or indeed anything constructive to contribute to the discussion.

Looking forward to hearing bossmanham's and chemist's responses. I don't necessarily agree with their arguments, but at least they have arguments.

Rhology said...

Thanks for your opinion!

David said...

CD,

“Is it just a piece of paper, or is there more to a marriage?”

Yes, there is more to my marriage than just the legal document, but what is the point or your argument? I don't understand where you are going with this.

It's not all of my marriage, but the legal contract is a part of my marriage, too. It has value in and of itself, it's good to have the legal rights, protections, privleges and obligations of marriage codified in law, I’m glad I have a right to that legal contract, and I’ve yet to see an argument as to why such rights should be denied to adults who want to marry someone of the same sex.

David said...

Chemist,

“ Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman.”

Well, that’s one definition, but it’s not the only definition.

“One of the main functions of a marriage is to provide a stable environment for having and raising children. “

If this is one of the functions, then by this reasoning, there is no point to my marriage.

“Your counter-examples of vasectomies and barren women, although interesting, are not equivalent to gay marriage.”

Yes, they are equivalent IF you are going to make the “raising children” argument.



“Reciprocal altruism carries no ought .”


So what? It exists. I can understand the concept. We’re born with a certain capacity for reciprocal altruism. We can develop the idea of fairness using our brains. What does “ought” have to do with it?

"You haven't even demonstrated that it is universal. "

I don’t know what you mean here, but I do know that this is something that has been observed in many other species.

In any event, this is all a side show.

“The argument isn't that homosexual marriages will have an impact on heterosexual marriages. It is that overall the health and wellfare of society will be degraded. You are welcome to stick your head in the sand and say there are no studies demonstrating the ill consequences of homosexual relationships, but that doesn't make it so. In addition, it will legitimize sinful actions as argued above.”

Again, there is no evidence that gay marriage does anything to the health and welfare of societies. If there are “ill consequences” of homosexual relationships, these consequences are not worsened by gay marriage, because prohibiting gay marriage doesn’t turn gays into straights and it doesn’t stop gays from having sex. If anything, stabilizing gay relationships through marriage should reduce the “ill consequences”.

“You don't have the market cornered on friends who are gay. My co-worker is gay, and guess what, I still hold to this view.”

Well, that’s nice, but I wasn’t trying to corner the market on gay friends. I was just making the point that the sexuality of the neighbors had no impact on my marriage. Actually, at the moment, I don't have any gay friends, but then again, I'm sort of an anti-social bugger.


“I maintain that our laws should reflect Christain morals, ect.”

I didn’t say that there was no overlap at all between morality, in general, or Christianity morality, specifically, and U.S. civil law. However, civil laws are nevertheless secular laws designed to govern a secular society. There is a very long list of things that are legal, despite the fact that many would consider these things immoral. Point is, we often decide that thing are and can be legal, regardless of their morality. There is some overlap of morality and legality, but it’s far from a complete overlap. Now, if you prefer countries where the laws are totally derived from religion-based moral codes, if you prefer a 100% overlap, then I can pass along a few addresses.

thechemistscorner said...

David and Paul,

Sorry for the delay. I've been bogged down as of late (high teaching load the past week, wife's dissertation keeping her busy so I get the kids, etc.). I will try to type up something over the weekend. If nothing by Sunday, then let's just all move on. I am sure Rho will oblige us an opportunity to pick this up later in a future combox.

Cheers

The Chemist said...

Well, I have a few comments. There is way too much here for me to do a point by point rebuttal. I am going to concentrate on what I think are the two main issues here: the issue of fairness and the reasons why the state should not participate in gay marriages. By the way, it's nothing personal Paul C, but I will probably restrict myself to David's comments and hit on yours only peripherally.

Fairness
The concept of fairness is crucial to any conceived notion of gay marriage. I think you recognize this, but I am not sure why you think it is a side issue. My point is that fairness is both universal (applies to all people) and carries an "ought" (all must be fair) under Christianity. Now, you want to claim a similar notion of fairness all the while denying that Christianity is true. I am asking you to substantiate your sense of fairness on your own worldview. I see this as an act where you are pulling the rug out from under yourself, but it appears that you don't realize it. Now, reciprocal altruism is offered as a mechanism for fairness, but I haven't seen any argument for its universality (though that is the lesser problem) and its implicit "ought." Even if reciprocal altruism exists and is a source of some degree of fairness, I don't see how you can avoid Hume's guillotine here. Unless there is the force of "ought" behind it, then I see no reason on this view to require all people to be "fair" towards gay marriage. Indeed, it comes down to a question of opinion.

Now, if we do adopt Christianity and the implicit fairness towards all that it supports, then there is no reason to support gay marriage. There is no doubt that it is viewed as a sinful behavior. This goes back to what I said earlier about fairness not being arbitrary.

State Interests in Marriage
There are two reasons for the state should not endorse gay marriages: (1) a religious reason and (2) a secular reason. The first religious reason rests on the idea that morals are codified as laws in our country. I see no reason to prefer humanistic morals as opposed to Christian morals. The important point is that morals do ultimately rest on the way we view the world. They do not form in a vacuum.

The secular reason is partly embodied by the statements that marriage for procreating children. Let me clarify that some. The state does have a vested interest in seeing the propagation of its society to future generations. The family is the basic mechanism through which this is accomplished. Let me give you some scenarios to flesh this out.

1. Eric and Kate are a married couple. Both Eric and Kate pay taxes. Their marriage provides the state several benefits.
1a. They produce in their children the next generation of citizens.
1b. They provide a great deal of education and socialization of their children.
1c. When their children misbehave, they do much of the needed discipline to correct the behavior.
1d. They are not merely interested in their own children but their grandchildren as well. Thus, they have a vested interest in the long term prosperity of the state.

The state can do items b to d itself, but it is very expensive. Now, Eric and Kate do make sacrifices to have children (job choices, education, health expenditures, etc.). I realize that you (David) do not have children, but you will have to take my word on this. Children are expensive, and parents do make tremendous sacrifices. Because Eric and Kate make these sacrifices, the state partially compensates Eric and Kate through legal marriage.

The Chemist said...

Well, I have a few comments. There is way too much here for me to do a point by point rebuttal. I am going to concentrate on what I think are the two main issues here: the issue of fairness and the reasons why the state should not participate in gay marriages. By the way, it's nothing personal Paul C, but I will probably restrict myself to David's comments and hit on yours only peripherally.

Fairness
The concept of fairness is crucial to any conceived notion of gay marriage. I think you recognize this, but I am not sure why you think it is a side issue. My point is that fairness is both universal (applies to all people) and carries an "ought" (all must be fair) under Christianity. Now, you want to claim a similar notion of fairness all the while denying that Christianity is true. I am asking you to substantiate your sense of fairness on your own worldview. I see this as an act where you are pulling the rug out from under yourself, but it appears that you don't realize it. Now, reciprocal altruism is offered as a mechanism for fairness, but I haven't seen any argument for its universality (though that is the lesser problem) and its implicit "ought." Even if reciprocal altruism exists and is a source of some degree of fairness, I don't see how you can avoid Hume's guillotine here. Unless there is the force of "ought" behind it, then I see no reason on this view to require all people to be "fair" towards gay marriage. Indeed, it comes down to a question of opinion.

Now, if we do adopt Christianity and the implicit fairness towards all that it supports, then there is no reason to support gay marriage. There is no doubt that it is viewed as a sinful behavior. This goes back to what I said earlier about fairness not being arbitrary.

State Interests in Marriage
There are two reasons for the state should not endorse gay marriages: (1) a religious reason and (2) a secular reason. The first religious reason rests on the idea that morals are codified as laws in our country. I see no reason to prefer humanistic morals as opposed to Christian morals. The important point is that morals do ultimately rest on the way we view the world. They do not form in a vacuum.

The secular reason is partly embodied by the statements that marriage for procreating children. Let me clarify that some. The state does have a vested interest in seeing the propagation of its society to future generations. The family is the basic mechanism through which this is accomplished. Let me give you some scenarios to flesh this out.

1. Eric and Kate are a married couple. Both Eric and Kate pay taxes. Their marriage provides the state several benefits.
1a. They produce in their children the next generation of citizens.
1b. They provide a great deal of education and socialization of their children.
1c. When their children misbehave, they do much of the needed discipline to correct the behavior.
1d. They are not merely interested in their own children but their grandchildren as well. Thus, they have a vested interest in the long term prosperity of the state.

The state can do items b to d itself, but it is very expensive. Now, Eric and Kate do make sacrifices to have children (job choices, education, health expenditures, etc.). I realize that you (David) do not have children, but you will have to take my word on this. Children are expensive, and parents do make tremendous sacrifices. Because Eric and Kate make these sacrifices, the state partially compensates Eric and Kate through legal marriage.

The Chemist said...

Well, I have a few comments. There is way too much here for me to do a point by point rebuttal. I am going to concentrate on what I think are the two main issues here: the issue of fairness and the reasons why the state should not participate in gay marriages. By the way, it's nothing personal Paul C, but I will probably restrict myself to David's comments and hit on yours only peripherally.

Fairness
The concept of fairness is crucial to any conceived notion of gay marriage. I think you recognize this, but I am not sure why you think it is a side issue. My point is that fairness is both universal (applies to all people) and carries an "ought" (all must be fair) under Christianity. Now, you want to claim a similar notion of fairness all the while denying that Christianity is true. I am asking you to substantiate your sense of fairness on your own worldview. I see this as an act where you are pulling the rug out from under yourself, but it appears that you don't realize it. Now, reciprocal altruism is offered as a mechanism for fairness, but I haven't seen any argument for its universality (though that is the lesser problem) and its implicit "ought." Even if reciprocal altruism exists and is a source of some degree of fairness, I don't see how you can avoid Hume's guillotine here. Unless there is the force of "ought" behind it, then I see no reason on this view to require all people to be "fair" towards gay marriage. Indeed, it comes down to a question of opinion.

Now, if we do adopt Christianity and the implicit fairness towards all that it supports, then there is no reason to support gay marriage. There is no doubt that it is viewed as a sinful behavior. This goes back to what I said earlier about fairness not being arbitrary.

The Chemist said...

State Interests in Marriage
There are two reasons for the state should not endorse gay marriages: (1) a religious reason and (2) a secular reason. The first religious reason rests on the idea that morals are codified as laws in our country. I see no reason to prefer humanistic morals as opposed to Christian morals. The important point is that morals do ultimately rest on the way we view the world. They do not form in a vacuum.

The secular reason is partly embodied by the statements that marriage for procreating children. Let me clarify that some. The state does have a vested interest in seeing the propagation of its society to future generations. The family is the basic mechanism through which this is accomplished. Let me give you some scenarios to flesh this out.

1. Eric and Kate are a married couple. Both Eric and Kate pay taxes. Their marriage provides the state several benefits.
1a. They produce in their children the next generation of citizens.
1b. They provide a great deal of education and socialization of their children.
1c. When their children misbehave, they do much of the needed discipline to correct the behavior.
1d. They are not merely interested in their own children but their grandchildren as well. Thus, they have a vested interest in the long term prosperity of the state.

The state can do items b to d itself, but it is very expensive. Now, Eric and Kate do make sacrifices to have children (job choices, education, health expenditures, etc.). I realize that you (David) do not have children, but you will have to take my word on this. Children are expensive, and parents do make tremendous sacrifices. Because Eric and Kate make these sacrifices, the state partially compensates Eric and Kate through legal marriage.

2. Greg and Charlie graduated from college together and both have entry-level jobs in business. They are friends, and room together to cut expenses by sharing rent and utilities, and because they enjoy each other's company. Their main interests are in providing economic prosperity and security for themselves and in pursuing their own amusement. Their conjunction, in and of itself, provides no benefit whatever to the common good; each individually makes contributions as a working and tax-paying citizen, but each would make the same contribution if he lived alone.

3. Dave and Jason live in the apartment below Greg and Charlie. They graduated from college together and both have entry-level jobs in business. Their main interests are in providing economic prosperity and security for themselves and in pursuing their own amusement. Each individually makes contributions as a working and tax-paying citizen, but each would make the same contribution if he lived alone. Dave and Jason regularly have sex. The principal reason they share the domicile is to facilitate this conjunction.

What good does the conjunction of Dave and Jason provide the state that the conjunction of Greg and Charlie does not? How do we, their fellow citizens, benefit from their partnership? In what sense is their relationship productive of the common good such that the state would want to assimilate it to the marriage of Eric and Kate?

The examples and following questions are (nearly) direct quotations.

By the way, this will probably be last post on this. You are welcome to have the final comment.

The Chemist said...

State Interests in Marriage
There are two reasons for the state should not endorse gay marriages: (1) a religious reason and (2) a secular reason. The first religious reason rests on the idea that morals are codified as laws in our country. I see no reason to prefer humanistic morals as opposed to Christian morals. The important point is that morals do ultimately rest on the way we view the world. They do not form in a vacuum.

The secular reason is partly embodied by the statements that marriage for procreating children. Let me clarify that some. The state does have a vested interest in seeing the propagation of its society to future generations. The family is the basic mechanism through which this is accomplished. Let me give you some scenarios to flesh this out.

1. Eric and Kate are a married couple. Both Eric and Kate pay taxes. Their marriage provides the state several benefits.
1a. They produce in their children the next generation of citizens.
1b. They provide a great deal of education and socialization of their children.
1c. When their children misbehave, they do much of the needed discipline to correct the behavior.
1d. They are not merely interested in their own children but their grandchildren as well. Thus, they have a vested interest in the long term prosperity of the state.

The state can do items b to d itself, but it is very expensive. Now, Eric and Kate do make sacrifices to have children (job choices, education, health expenditures, etc.). I realize that you (David) do not have children, but you will have to take my word on this. Children are expensive, and parents do make tremendous sacrifices. Because Eric and Kate make these sacrifices, the state partially compensates Eric and Kate through legal marriage.

2. Greg and Charlie graduated from college together and both have entry-level jobs in business. They are friends, and room together to cut expenses by sharing rent and utilities, and because they enjoy each other's company. Their main interests are in providing economic prosperity and security for themselves and in pursuing their own amusement. Their conjunction, in and of itself, provides no benefit whatever to the common good; each individually makes contributions as a working and tax-paying citizen, but each would make the same contribution if he lived alone.

3. Dave and Jason live in the apartment below Greg and Charlie. They graduated from college together and both have entry-level jobs in business. Their main interests are in providing economic prosperity and security for themselves and in pursuing their own amusement. Each individually makes contributions as a working and tax-paying citizen, but each would make the same contribution if he lived alone. Dave and Jason regularly have sex. The principal reason they share the domicile is to facilitate this conjunction.

The Chemist said...

What good does the conjunction of Dave and Jason provide the state that the conjunction of Greg and Charlie does not? How do we, their fellow citizens, benefit from their partnership? In what sense is their relationship productive of the common good such that the state would want to assimilate it to the marriage of Eric and Kate?

The examples and following questions are (nearly) direct quotations from http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=456.

By the way, this will probably be my last post on this. You are welcome to have the final comment.

The Chemist said...

Dang you blogger!! All that fuss you gave me was for no reason. Delete away Rhology!

Paul C said...

My point is that fairness is both universal (applies to all people) and carries an "ought" (all must be fair) under Christianity. Now, you want to claim a similar notion of fairness all the while denying that Christianity is true. I am asking you to substantiate your sense of fairness on your own worldview.

First, let's call it justice rather than fairness.

Second, this is not an argument. I could claim that justice is universal and carries an “ought” under secularism, but you wouldn't accept that as an argument. Furthermore while I agree that Christianity in theory implies justice towards all, Christianity in practice does not, and that is what concerns us here in the real world when making laws.

Third, I don't have to answer questions that rely on accepting your assertion that I've stolen from your worldview, because I haven't stolen from your worldview.

Fourth, there are a number of approaches which could bring you to a just position without God: an Aristotelian virtuous position, a Rawlsian original position, a Kantian categorical position. I don't necessarily agree with the path to those positions but each of them can provide what I would regard as a just position without any reference to God, and definitely not to your specific God.

Indeed, it comes down to a question of opinion.

Yes, and that's what politics is: private opinions being negotiated in the public arena.

The first religious reason rests on the idea that morals are codified as laws in our country.

Laws are generally based on norms, not morals.

They do not form in a vacuum.

One thing I find very interesting is that you recognise this but draw exactly the opposite conclusion from it that I have!

The secular reason is partly embodied by the statements that marriage for procreating children.

Since it's been established that marriage is no longer an arrangement for procreating children, any arguments on that basis are worthless.

What good does the conjunction of Dave and Jason provide the state that the conjunction of Greg and Charlie does not?

I do not care about how Greg and Charlie's marriage benefits the state. I care about how the state benefits Greg and Charlie's marriage.

Anonymous said...

" Please give me some reason to think that child rape is morally wrong."

You sound like a fucking parrot. How mnay times must this be explained to you, retard?

Rhology said...

Troll. What are you doing? Hitting "Older Post" and commenting every time w/o reading the interaction and post? Sheesh.