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  1. #111
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    To Kiddo: A major difference between the women's suffrage movement and the gay marriage movement (aside from the fact than winning the equal capacity to pursue any and all rights is much more important than any one right, in the long run) is that being either male or female is essentially a major human attribute-there are hermaphrodites etc., but they qualify as either deformities or mutations. There is no objective moral relevance to such a deformity/mutation, just like there is no objective moral relevance to being gay, being color-blind or deaf, having OCD, or what have you (yes, I realize sexuality and mental health are much more complicated than biological determinism), but due to this, gay marriage cannot be considered a fundamental human right. For this reason, gay marriage is a matter of individual liberty and fulfilling the spirit of equality under the law, not a milestone on the caliber of women's suffrage.
    "Major human attribute"? I don't know, I consider a person's sexual orientation to be a pretty big human attribute. Obviously religious groups consider it a pretty big deal since they want to deny rights on the basis of it. "Objective moral relevance"? That statement depends on the belief of a God or a rational universe. Which paradigm are you coming from? And how can you can compare being deaf or blind or some mental illness to sexual orientation? There simply isn't any comparison. If you want to argue that the women's suffrage movement isn't the same as the gay rights movement because voting is more of a fundamental right than marriage, then that is fine, but you have gone way off tangent if that was your goal.

    In fact, I translate what you just said to...

    "I believe that sex is of more relevance than sexual orientation when it comes to determining rights."

    Can you make an argument on that basis without clearly trying to diminish sexual orientation as a deformity or mental defect?

    In fact, I find it so disconcerting that you would compare sexual orientation only to mental illnesses and deformities, even while acknowledging that they aren't the same, that I feel compelled to provide a different comparison.

    Let's compare sexual orientation to hand dominance. If you think about it, they have a lot of similarities. For one, within any population there is a certain percentage of people who are right handed, a certain percentage of people who are ambidextrous, and a certain percentage that are left handed. That is due in part to the fact that some genetics come into play in determining hand dominance. No one gene determines whether someone is left or right handed. Similarly there is a certain percentage of people who are straight, bisexual, and gay within any population, which demonstrates that there are also also genetics that come into play when it comes to sexual orientation, and there is also no one gene which contributes to it. (In fact, in sheep, approximately 8% of any given population of rams will only seek other rams for sexual purposes.)

    A certain degree of socialization also comes into play when determining hand dominance. Consider back in the day when many religious groups considered the left hand to be the hand of the devil and as a result if a child showed preference for that hand, they would try to alter that child's hand dominance, usually by means like sticking it into burning sand or whacking it with a ruler whenever they tried to use it. Similarly there are socialization factors involved when it comes to sexual orientation as is evident by the fraternal birth order studies which show someone who has an older brother who is gay is 33% more likely to be gay themselves. And of course, religious groups have historically tried to change sexual orientation.

    Now lets consider something. You can choose which hand you use. Right now you have the free agency to pick up a pencil with your non dominant hand and try to write your name. Of course if you do so, you will probably find it unnatural, strange, and difficult. The same is true with sexual orientation. You have the free agency to choose who you sleep with. Of course if you are straight and you choose to sleep with someone of the same sex, then you might find it a little unnatural, strange, and difficult to do so. The same is true of being gay and trying to sleep with someone of the opposite sex.

    Now it has been found that trying to change someone's hand dominance can result in lasting psychological damage to that person. As a result, virtually no psychologist would ever attempt to change a person's hand dominance. Even if such a person came into their office feeling really guilty and ashamed of using what their culture considered the wrong hand. However, some psychologists have no problem trying to change a person's sexual orientation despite evidence doing so could be harmful and result in lasting psychological damage. That is the position of such organizations as the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers.

    Now obviously hand dominance is not exactly the same as sexual orientation. Human sexuality is far more complex than that, but it certainly is a far fairer comparison than comparing sexual orientation to deformities and mental defects. Primarily because being gay doesn't diminish your ability to function. You might argue procreation, but gays do have kids, either from adoption, surrogate, or marriages where they have tried to pass as straight. And many straight people simply choose not to have kids. So there really is no justification for the comparisons you made.

    And at the matter at hand, it would make no sense to deny people who are left handed the right to marry. Probably not anymore so that denying people who are gay the right to marry. Arbitrary facts of life, such as your hand dominance, sexual orientation, and even sex should be treated as just that, arbitrary. People have more in common by just being human beings, than they are different as a result of things like sex and sexual orientation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    In terms of marriage; we have already seen the destructive influence of excessive individualism in terms of the breakdown of the family as the basic unit of society; and a divorce rate of almost 50%, among other factors.

    Granting gay marriage would certainly be another step in that direction, since its justification is directly built upon its assumptions.
    That sounds more like an argument in favor of greater state restrictions on individual freedoms. Even if we agree on that point (which we don't), the burden must be spread out in a fair and consistent way. You can't just cherry pick the segment of the population you want to oppress.

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    That goes contrary to the basic rules of logic; where the burden is on those who seek to make the analogy, they have to be able to show that it's a valid analogy.

    Nobody has bothered to come forward to show why that analogy is appropriate.
    Segregation
    Blacks are not allowed to go to the same schools as whites. They are put into "their own" school system, which do not present the same benefits. The basis for the discrimination is race. Race is not a relevant criteria for judging a person's value to society.

    Marriage vs Civil Union
    Marriage, with all it's benefits are given to hetero couples. Gays are only allowed civil unions, with a limited set of benefits. The basis for the discrimination is sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is not a relevant criteria for judging a person's value to society.


    In both cases, the discrimination is based on an irrelevant trait.

  4. #114
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    "Objective moral relevance"? That statement depends on the belief of a God or a rational universe. Which paradigm are you coming from?

    Edit: Me
    Rational universe in support of a rights-based paradigm, keeping in mind utilitarian consequences; I'm very specifically rejecting religious dogma or subjective attitudes (i.e. what intuitively "feels" right) as arbiters of morality. Granted, the entire rights-based paradigm is based in large part on Christian underpinnings, and rests on certain assumptions that cannot be disproven, but I value its effectively utilitarian and universalist nature highly enough to base my opinions, even my very life, on that foundation. Anyway, as you have pointed out, there is little to no evidence that gay marriage would lead to objectively measured negative consequences, nor that it would infringe on the rights of others.
    Edit: end

    And how can you can compare being deaf or blind or some mental illness to sexual orientation? There simply isn't any comparison.

    Edit: me
    The entire evolutionary purpose of human sexuality and sexual differentiation is reproduction, just as the evolutionary purpose of having all five senses and brain chemistry within a normal range is to aid survival. With all of these things, deviation from the norm (by which I mean something like 90%+ of the population of every human society under all inhabitable environmental conditions) represents either an evolutionary handicap or a benign mutation that might eventually become the norm (both phenomena are interrelated; what is good for the versatility of the human species can be a real pain in the ass for unlucky individuals). Being left-handed or right-handed is more along the lines of favoring chocolate over vanilla or the color blue over the color green.
    Edit:end

    P.S. I apologize for the format of my reply; are we supposed to multi-quote when we only quote one post? Let me know if you have any other questions, or wish to verify whether I said what you think I said. I have to go right now.
    My replies are contained in the quote above.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 12-14-2008 at 07:15 PM. Reason: more clarification

  5. #115
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Which in effect means that any questioning of your premise is thus rendered a "practical impossibility", even though technically it remains a theoretical possibility.
    No. I just wanted to kind of get the better hand and have the satisfaction of knowing my side would be winning in the end, making debate a lot less relevant. Kind of a, "Well, in the end I win anyway, so what's the point of arguing? " But it's kind of a moot point. Neither of us can predict. Only time will tell.

    Parallels Between Miscegenation and Gay Marriage

    This was brought up earlier. I think there are some definite parallels between the arguments made against interracial marriage and the arguments against gay marriage. In my senior year of high school, we had a debate in class about gay marriage. It was a world issues class, and debate was the structure of the class.

    When we had this debate, I was shocked to see that the class was literally divided straight down the middle, willingly, into two separate groups: those for gay marriage and those against it. I guess we were a pretty accurate reflection of the nation at large. I was pretty pissed off at those on the other side, especially those whom I'd thought had higher ethical standards (I'm just being honest; looking back, I don't see it that way anymore, I guess, but maybe I would).

    Now I suppose I'm mostly talking for those on my side, those who think gays should be able to wed, because nobody on the other side is going to see any merit or substantiating evidence for my side in what I'm about to write, but those on my side will see it; they've probably seen a lot of it before.

    Basically, I never forgot this quote, or the absurdity of it, ever. I came across it in my research on the parallels between interracial marriage and gay marriage - more specifically, the parallels in the arguments used against each, today and yesterday:

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    (Source: Virginia trial judge upholding conviction of Mildred and Richard Loving for interracial marriage, quoted in Loving v. Virginia, 1967.)

    "The fact that he put us on separate continents means he emphatically did not intend for us to mix." Lolz.

    When I was religious, and when I was exploring why homosexuality was wrong (because I had made friends online who were homosexual and had become embroiled in that culture, and needed to know why it was considered wrong by my family, parish, and by anyone Catholic), I asked my mother why homosexuality was wrong. I remember her vaguely saying, "It's in such and such book in the Bible; I don't remember exactly what it says. Look it up," or something. And I did, quite willingly. I don't remember what I found exactly, but I remember coming to the conclusion that it was wrong in the eyes of our religion because God had created sex as some sort of sacred act between man and woman, and therefore sex between a man and a man or a woman and a woman was a violation of God's will and a violation of the sacredness of the act of sex. Or something like that. Not being religious anymore, I no longer believe this.

    To continue with bringing up the parallels, a lot of the same crappy arguments are being used now as were then:

    Gay:

    "Same-sex marriage would precipitate the breakdown of society. (Source: Vermont House and Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearings, 1/25/00, 2/1/00)

    Black and white:

    “Civilized society has the power of self-preservation, and, marriage being the foundation of such society, most of the states in which the Negro forms an element of any note have enacted laws inhibiting intermarriage between the white and black races.”

    "Interracial marriages would be a 'calamity full of the saddest and gloomiest portent' to the generations that are to come after us.”

    As we can see, allowing blacks and whites to marry did not lead to the downfall of society, but people claimed it would. It's just bullocks. Anybody who makes this argument with regard to gay marriage need only refresh their memory as to the arguments made against miscegenation.

    As Oberon said, we do discriminate against certain types of marriage: incest is not allowed, nor marriage between a minor and an adult, nor polygamy, nor the marriage between man and beast. Those who make no distinction between these four kinds of morally debased and destructive marriages and gay marriage, in my mind, are making as laughably ridiculous a mistake as those who didn't see a distinction between interracial marriage and all forms of moral corruption.

    The thing is, gay marriage is not harmful to society and is not morally wrong, and it does not set in motion a "domino effect" or a "snowballing effect," wherein you're sliding down a slippery slope to complete depravity and the corruption of society. But back in "the day," when people were fighting for blacks and whites to be able to wed, these same exact arguments were used. The SAME EXACT arguments.

    Two homosexual people having sex, if they both are consenting adults, is completely harmless and their right as human beings. I truly believe that, and will never change my mind as long as I live.

    Gay:

    "If we allow 'gay marriage,' then the next thing you know we'll have brothers and sisters wanting to marry each other, or demands for legalization of polygamous marriages." (Source: Vermont House and Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearings, 1/25/00, 2/1/00).

    Black and white:

    "[If interracial couples have a right to marry], all our marriage acts forbidding intermarriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity are void."

    "The underlying factors that constitute justification for laws against miscegenation closely parallel those which sustain the validity of prohibitions against incest and incestuous marriages."

    Mhmm.

    "Allowing same-sex couples to marry would degrade 'traditional' heterosexual marriages. (Source: Vermont House and Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearings, 1/25/00, 2/1/00)

    "Allowing interracial marriages 'necessarily involves the degradation' of conventional marriage, an institution that 'deserves admiration rather than execration.'"
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  6. #116
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    My replies are contained in the quote above.
    Ah, a rationalist. I come from a much more positivist/social constructivism paradigm, so it would probably be difficult if not impossible for us to discuss this at the philosophical level.

    However, I disagree with your assessment that the entire evolutionary purpose of human sexuality is reproduction. Sex, in and of itself, exists as a means of reproducing, but social mammals have further evolved the purposes that sex plays in mammalian life. Sex serves as a social bonding agent between social mammals, as well as a means of establishing a social hierarchy. This greatly contributes to the formation of tribes and family groups, which provide an advantage for survival. Hence, why homosexuality is readily observable among hundreds of species of social mammals. At one level, it serves to help establish the hierarchy of the group, and on another level, it provide binding intimacy between various members of the group. The latter is how homosexuality was often described in ancient cultures like Greece, as a means by which same sex members of a group formed intimate bonds and also how it has been observed and described among primates.

    I'm going off into a lecture here, so please forgive me...

    Looking at homosexuality in nature (primates), recessive males who do not reproduce tend to help raise the offspring of their relatives. Therefore, the traits that lead to their behavior are ecologically reinforced through the process of kinship since they help ensure the survival of fellow family members even if they themselves are not reproducing. The benefit of homosexuality is therefore, family which does not needlessly add to the population.

    Now if you consider the statistically enforced theory that with each male birth a mother has, the chances her next male child will be gay increases, then you can see how this observation makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective. It limits population and improves quality of life while at the same time preserving the genetics. In essence, the traits that lead to homosexuality (at least among males) may exist in every single mother to varying degrees.

    I believe if you combine the fetal hormone theory, the fraternal birth order effect studies, the neurological studies that show gay men's brains are similar to heterosexual women's brains, and the study about sisters of gay men reproducing at a higher rate, then homosexuality does appear to be a mechanism to produce what equates to recessive males. By recessive males, I mean those males who do not reproduce but who help care for and protect the offspring of the rest of their family. In doing so, male homosexuality may have been naturally selected through the siblings of gay men as an ecological advantage since more offspring of the gay men's siblings may have survived as a result of having more caregivers. In other words, homosexuality may be nature's way of producing babysitters.

    So contrary to your opinion, the studies I have looked at suggest to me that homosexuality is an evolutionary advantage.

    Being left-handed or right-handed is more along the lines of favoring chocolate over vanilla or the color blue over the color green.
    And I think that is precisely how arbitrary sexual orientation should be treated by the law. No one would argue that someone who likes chocolate icecream is any less deserving of marriage than someone who likes vanilla icecream.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  7. #117
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    [youtube=H6p_aESYqtg]Louis CK on gay marriage[/youtube]

  8. #118
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Gay marriage is made an issue because there are gay people who want to marry, and they aren't allowed to do so.

    I imagine that if they were allowed to do so, they would have to stop complaining.

    The thing is, if people want something, and they think they have a chance to get it without endangering themselves too much, they'll push as hard as they can to get it. I think people who promote any cause or demand anything are like that.

  9. #119
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    The issue is some people think gays have the right to marriage, while others do not. Those who are pro gay marriage see laws against it as discriminatory, like not being able to vote. Others contest that gay marriage is wrong because marriage is by definition between man and woman, a building block of society that must at some point be open to natural procreation. No it's not a no brainer because anyone who has an idea of marriage as a sacred covenant sees gay marriage as debasing the value that marriage holds for them. It's up to homosexuals to prove that anyone has the right to a same sex marriage. To me though, openness to natural procreation is an essential aspect of marriage, as it is a great element of total self-giving.

  10. #120
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    To me though, openness to natural procreation is an essential aspect of marriage, as it is a great element of total self-giving.
    Okay. So why aren't you campaigning to have it required that couples wanting to wed have to pass fertility checks? Since it seems you think a requirement of marriage is at least the "openness," i.e. possibility, to reproduce, this would exclude sterile men and barren women as well as older couples wanting to wed. What would you say to them? And what about people who don't want kids?
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