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Should same sex marriage be legal?

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It may be, but presumably the government should not legally recognize that which does not actually exist. This is why civil unions and gay marriage are fundamentally different things. The former is the government creating a new kind of contractual arrangement, while the latter is the government trying to expand recognition of something beyond its actual ontological bounds. That is akin to creating a legal category for pregnant men.

But does it not exist within the morals of some or within legal definitions? This is the question that is addressed when governments are discussing primarily emotionally fueled topics that are prevalent in society, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. And it seems very few governments have reached a consensus on the topic of said question.

 

Are ontological bounds relevant in this matter? Some see marriage as no more than what a civil union is, and if this were considered so then would the question of ontological bounds be a question anymore? And if ontological bounds are still relevant in the matter, would they be even close to the bounds of what they were previously thought to be? I'm not sure, and neither is the government.

 

Should the meaning of marriage be the dictionary's literal definition, or the connotation it has in today's society? Because those are two very different things. This is yet another question that few people are able to agree on. I cannot answer these questions, and even if I could, we need to have a majority decision on the topic before and laws can be changed. In some places, the majority has been discovered, and yet in other places there are no majorities.

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It is not actually clear that gay marriage is a possible entity

 

 

I'm actually really not fond of "possible entity" talk. I think it's a category error to treat "marriage" is a genuine entity. Marriage is defined functionally by what it "does," not what it "is."

 

In that light, the gay marriage debate ought to take place on the level of what we expect marriage practices to do for society and whether expanding the practice to gay couples is likely to achieve that function.

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In that light, the gay marriage debate ought to take place on the level of what we expect marriage practices to do for society and whether expanding the practice to gay couples is likely to achieve that function.

I think this is the important thing. I'm my reading, Alastair Roberts makes three major points:

1. Opposite sex marriage is an institution that has been and is very invested in child rearing as a common good.

2. Opposite sex marriage is being de-instutionalized in that people think less about it as promoting common good and more about it serving individual needs.

3. Same sex marriage exacerbates this de-institutionalization because it focuses on those individual needs.

I agree with 1 (in the limited way I have phrased it here), but feel that if 2 is true, then fighting 3 is the wrong response, especially from a self-proclaimed secular viewpoint. We should be using this momentum and interest in any kind of marriage to steer society toward a different institution. Trying to reverse a decades old social trend sounds like folly to me.

Opposite sex marriage as instituted (over the past few hundred years, (in the west,)) does not have a monopoly on good child rearing precepts, and I believe that it is fatally outdated in many ways, especially in gender roles, masculinity/femininity, etc. Alastair Roberts makes claims about the benefits of opposite sex marriage that are true, but are rooted in the assumption that it is the best and only solution. I don't think that he justifies that assumption.

Edited by delaMancha

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Opposite sex marriage as instituted (over the past few hundred years, (in the west,)) does not have a monopoly on good child rearing precepts

 

What alternative do you have in mind?

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I don't really have an alternative in mind or think that the institution needs to be replaced by something completely different.  When I said that the opposite sex marriage doesn't have a monopoly, I think I muddied the nuance I was trying to convey.

 

I should have said:

I don't think the underlying good ideas and practices that Alastair Roberts refers can only be found in the context of traditional opposite sex marriage.  We can change the context to something that includes same sex marriage and preserve the most important common goods.  Depending on the path we take, we might lose some positive aspects, but we ought to gain novel positive aspects as well.

 

Importantly, this context change is already well under way.  If Roberts sees a mortal societal danger in the de-institutionalization of traditional marriage, then I only see three possible responses:

1. Do nothing and let it happen

2. Fight to reverse the momentum of the change and rebuild traditional opposite sex marriage

3. Work with the change and construct a new institution that reflects the new context and preserves the larger goods from the previous institution.

 

He does not seem satisfied with 1, and I think most of the effort expended in 2 is wasted to reverse an existing trend without necessarily addressing the root cause of the change.  Working on 3 puts all of the effort into guiding an existing change, and I think is much more likely to produce a stable institution that preserves important common goods.

Edited by delaMancha

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While I'm happy to embrace change, there's a long space between recognizing gay marriage and dis-establishing monogamy for a Beyond Marriage style revolution, and that space is filled with a dozen or so different ideas of what change should look like. What policies or values are implied by "working with the change" in your specific case?

Edited by Chris-M

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My immediate interests in a marriage debate are in the legalization and normalization of same sex marriage and in an egalitarian division of marital and child rearing responsibilities.  I see those as trending in a positive and progressive direction, at least in the US, and to the extent that marriage is and continues to be an institution, I would like to see those interests represented in it. 

 

I agree with Alister Roberts that some of the traditional opposite sex marriage goals and structures are weakened by these changes.  However, I don't see that as a bad thing.  I think the changes provide an opportunity to replace and improve outdated models of behavior and rules that are no longer useful, though they might once have been.  In general, I think that the prescriptive focus on the exclusive roles of men and women is unnecessary, and feeds into damaging trends in larger society.  If we can remove this dross of gender essentialist thinking, we will be left with a more pure representation of the same important precepts that underlie the institution of opposite sex marriage.

 

I would certainly not say that monogamy, pair-bonding, or child rearing are outdated concepts that should be removed from the concept of marriage.

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My immediate interests in a marriage debate are in the legalization and normalization of same sex marriage and in an egalitarian division of marital and child rearing responsibilities.  I see those as trending in a positive and progressive direction, at least in the US, and to the extent that marriage is and continues to be an institution, I would like to see those interests represented in it. 

 

I agree with Alister Roberts that some of the traditional opposite sex marriage goals and structures are weakened by these changes.  However, I don't see that as a bad thing.  I think the changes provide an opportunity to replace and improve outdated models of behavior and rules that are no longer useful, though they might once have been.  In general, I think that the prescriptive focus on the exclusive roles of men and women is unnecessary, and feeds into damaging trends in larger society.  If we can remove this dross of gender essentialist thinking, we will be left with a more pure representation of the same important precepts that underlie the institution of opposite sex marriage.

 

I would certainly not say that monogamy, pair-bonding, or child rearing are outdated concepts that should be removed from the concept of marriage.

 

You and I seem to share similar goals and values, then. I'm just much more pessimistic than you that the family as a whole will survive the purging of gender norms or that an especially desirable replacement will emerge. The way I see it, the only people who have any serious stake in family anymore are children, and they're in no position to lobby for themselves.

Edited by Chris-M

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My immediate interests in a marriage debate are in the legalization and normalization of same sex marriage and in an egalitarian division of marital and child rearing responsibilities.  I see those as trending in a positive and progressive direction, at least in the US, and to the extent that marriage is and continues to be an institution, I would like to see those interests represented in it. 

 

I agree with Alister Roberts that some of the traditional opposite sex marriage goals and structures are weakened by these changes.  However, I don't see that as a bad thing.  I think the changes provide an opportunity to replace and improve outdated models of behavior and rules that are no longer useful, though they might once have been.  In general, I think that the prescriptive focus on the exclusive roles of men and women is unnecessary, and feeds into damaging trends in larger society.  If we can remove this dross of gender essentialist thinking, we will be left with a more pure representation of the same important precepts that underlie the institution of opposite sex marriage.

 

I would certainly not say that monogamy, pair-bonding, or child rearing are outdated concepts that should be removed from the concept of marriage.

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I'm fine with gay marriage as long as it's a gay guy and a gay women being married

That's not how it works... O.o Though, your use of "women" leads me to believe that some poly-armory is going on.

Edited by Boogles

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That's not how it works... O.o Though, your use of "women" leads me to believe that some poly-armory is going on.

Thanks, autocorrect ruined me there. I was gonna say use a example

Two lamp plugs don't fit together. But a lamp plug and the right outlet do work

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Thanks, autocorrect ruined me there. I was gonna say use a example

Two lamp plugs don't fit together. But a lamp plug and the right outlet do work

But if both parties are gay, the most they'd ever be is friends.  You said "I'd only be for gay marriage if it was a gay man and a gay woman." Which is totally illogical, because gay men and gay women would NEVER fall for each other... because they're gay. You're using some weird circular reasoning (I'm guessing you're trying to be funny?)

  Reality check: Gay men and women are just social buds, they go to coffee shops, talk politics and drink over priced organic coffee with their vegan hipster friends.*

*may or may not apply to those in rural areas.

Annnnd i'll stop, because off-topicness.

Edited by Boogles

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Y'all, please just stahpppp feeding the petty little troll.

And stop calling me a troll. That's not very...well, mature

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And stop calling me a troll. That's not very...well, mature

I could call you Love Muffin if you'd prefer.  :wub:   ;)

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And stop calling me a troll.

Then stop behaving like one.

That's not very...well, mature

Mr. Pot, please leave the man you've mistaken for Mr. Kettle alone.

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Then stop behaving like one.

Mr. Pot, please leave the man you've mistaken for Mr. Kettle alone.

I'm not being one I am stating an opinion.

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Bryce, none of that makes sense.

I know it doesn't. You gotta ha the mind of a comedian. My source for these facts come from Antigay comedian

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I know it doesn't. You gotta ha the mind of a comedian. My source for these facts come from Antigay comedian

That doesn't sound funny at all. If you're going to contribute to the debate, at least make it meaningful. 

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