Wednesday, May 6, 2009

4 Argument's You Can't Use Against Gay Marriage.

Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

Definitions are not rules. They aren't laws. A definition is a description of what a word means at the time the description is written. It is in and of itself amoral. It is the consensus of what speakers of the language mean when they use the word. Therefore unless we clarify what type of definition we're referring to (legal, scientific, etc.) the definition changes as quickly as our usage. So what the word is documented as meaning cannot be an argument against change. The fact that the definition would have to change is not persuasive in any way since they'll print a new edition of the dictionary next year if the definition of marriage evolves or not.

Secondly, we only disallow marriages based on gender. Any other infraction of the definition of marriage in society today does not lead to a politically required banning of or end to a marriage.

Adultery does not affect an immediate divorce in any state... the partner must file for it. If two people define their marriage as open (meaning they are free to be sexually active outside the marriage) then we still allow them to marry. Even though a monogamous homosexual relationship is probably much closer to the traditional definition of marriage.

If we say gay marriage is acceptable, then next we'll say that (enter awful sounding sexual act usually involving childern or animals) is ok.

This argument is wrong for two reasons. First its an argument based on the slippery slope fallacy. Simply, that one action without a doubt will lead to a secondary action which in turn will lead to another. In its purest form the fallacy is called the Armageddon argument, where whatever action someone is arguing against will without fail lead to the end of the world, whether literally or figuratively. For an argument to retain any validity it must make a direct causal connection between the primary action and the caused effect. The argument that gay marriage will lead to inter species marriage is my personal favorite. Heterosexual marriage has been around for some time, but a man marrying a female horse I'm fairly sure is still illegal. The point is this. The only place there is a similarity between gay marriage and these deplorable actions that opponents bring up is their own distaste for the actions themselves. There is no logical reason why gay marriage would lead to any other type of contract that doesn't specifically have to do with homosexuality.

Secondly, this argument sometimes finds an audience because of a general misunderstanding of homosexuality. There is no direct tie between homosexuality and actions that we would consider unacceptable or sexually deviant. Pedophilia is as horrifying to the homosexual as it is to the heterosexual. The basic core of homosexual or heterosexual marriage is love, commitment, and consent between two people.

The Bible says that its wrong.

If people don't believe in the Bible then this is just a stupid argument. You're presupposing that something gives you credibility that doesn't and it just makes you look dumb. Even if you can completely prove that the whole Bible undeniably condemns homosexuality (which is doubtful) then all you've proven is that your opponent disagrees with the Bible and thwarted your own ability to use that text as a source of wisdom or inspiration on any other subject. Think of it this way... If you think the Bible is a moral compass and I argue that something is wrong because the Koran says so, is that really helpful?

The Happy Argument

Version 1 Gay marriages aren't happy. I know of one that is... argument over.

Version 2 Most Gay marriages aren't happy. Most heterosexual marriages aren't happy... next?


Faithful said...

Can you please explain your argument against the "Armageddon argument" your statements lead me to believe that "cause and effect" are of no relevance in Homosexual unions? The case that Heterosexual and Homosexuals alike find Pedophilia "horrifying" is parallel to the case of Heterosexuals finding the act of Homosexuality "horrifying". So, how does this not lead one to come to the hypothesis that a possibility of a "slippery slope" of morality is in effect here?

Pastoral Urbanite said...

Actually the opposite. The reason that slippery slope fallacies are fallacies is because there is no reasonable cause and effect relationship between the issues. Slippery slope is and never should be considered an actual reason to believe anything. It is by definition a flawed argument. In the case of homosexual marriage leading to other sexual or moral changes in the country, one would have to prove that the effect of interspecies dating (my example, but any argument would suffice) for example would have no choice but to be legalized if homosexual marriage was legalized. This is simply not true. Think of it this way... If I argue that A will lead to G, I must prove that B, C, D, E, and F are unavoidable effects of A. There can be no chance of any other actions or my argument becomes a slipperly slope fallacy. Generally what you find is that D or E may in fact cause G but A has no real effect on the situation. Back within our subject, the major flaw with arguing that homosexual marriage will lead to deviant unions is that all the examples of what would follow are categorically different from homosexuality in one major way: Consent. Homosexual marriage is between two consenting adults. Every example I've seen given of what must follow if we legalize Gay marriage are between an individual and a being that is by law unable to give consent. Therefore... Homosexual marriage cannot lead directly too them, because an entire society's definition of consent would also have to be rethought, accepted, and legislated.

The reference to pedophilia is wholly different. My point is that only extremely religious conservatives view homosexuality between consenting monogamous individuals as deviant. Modern psychology and American Law do not and American society certainly doesn't. So when conservative's use arguments that lump homosexual couples in with sexually deviant groups they miss the mark entirely.

Andrea said...

Thanks for this post. It is nice to see someone sees the same fallacies in our so-called Christian "arguments." Without saying whether I am for or against gay marriage (which I do not know if I can even define that) I will add that I really did enjoy hearing the quote a few weeks ago "So we're afraid that the gays will ruin the institution of marriage. It seems that we're doing a fine job of that ourselves."

Reuben said...

In response to your comment about Homosexual marriage not leading to pedophillia "because an entire society's definition of consent would also have to be rethought, accepted, and legislated", I ask haven't certain definitions and concepts regarding sexual issues already been rethought, accepted and legislated? Homosexuals who marry may not later engage in these acts, but the progress made will encourage those who want to practice such behavior to try to change society's thinking on these issues.

Pastoral Urbanite said...

And I answer, certainly they have. Most assuredly sexual beliefs and customs have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. And they should. And the laws of the country should mimic that change in belief. Change will certainly encourage all those who desire more change. However, the possibility that change might motivate those who desire evil is not a justification for continuing to hold a minority unequal before the law. Secondly, your question still assumes that homosexuality and abnormal sexual desires are on the same scale, which they are not. The progress made in legalizing homosexual marriages will do more for rectifying the tax, legal, and social inequality faced by homosexuals than it would ever do to promote sexual perversions, such as pedophilia.

Faithful said...

That depends on your definition of "evil" and "abnormal" since homosexuality was largely grouped into those words 50 years ago. So according to you laws should eventually change to those who perform pedophilia when it becomes popular?

Pastoral Urbanite said...

Popularity is not at issue. Laws should change to produce the greatest amount of freedom possible without trampling on the rights of others in the process. Homosexuality isn't "ok" now that people accept it. It was always a choice individuals should have had but society wasn't prepared to deal with it. Just like civil rights were not created by the Emancipation Proclamation.
Pedophilia is categorically different as it takes advantage of individuals that are unable to give consent and by definition would violate the rights of another person.

Faithful said...

Popular was not the word I was meaning... Actually I really agree with your statement "Laws should change to produce the greatest amount of freedom possible without trampling on the rights of others in the process." Although morally I am against the act of homosexuality, those who perform it should have equal rights under law. Personally I would prefer to see government set a flat tax and remove any benefit for married couples (Heterosexual or Homosexual) since that is unequal to singles.