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What exactly IS marriage anyway?

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~DreamChild~
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400 posted 01-19-2005 06:31 PM       View Profile for ~DreamChild~   Email ~DreamChild~   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ~DreamChild~

Ron,

" Marriage isn't about love, either, DreamChild. It's about commitment. And if you and your bud wanted to spend the rest of your lives taking care of each other, marriage is one of the few ways to remove the legal obstacles that would otherwise prevent you from doing so. "

What kinda legal obstacles would keep me from being with my bud forever, anyway?

"And, of course, if one believe something is immoral, the answer is fairly simple. Don't do it."

Are you suggesting that morality is based on an individuals own philosophies? Well,  is murder ok?, if it's for a good cause? Or is it ok for people to have sex with children if they consent? You know adultery is still illegal, and anal sex too, that's sodomy.

"By all means, choose for yourself. Let others do the same. And both will reap the consequences of their choices. Isn't THAT what God intended?"

I think it's a little deeper than that.

"You want to deny someone their rights for no other reason than you don't like them, you don't understand them, and you are afraid of some nebulous "might-be" no one has been able to demonstrate."

  I know several gay people that are really great people, even friends, and i have no dislike for any gay person just because of their sexual preferences. Indeed I don't understand that preference, but I am not afraid of homosexuality, or even it's ever growing acceptance in society. I just don't agree with it.

"Marriage isn't about sex. Marriage isn't about procreation. Marriage isn't necessarily even about love."

Marriage is about all of these things, not just commitment. The commitment is just the individuals decision to not relent, and that can be so without being married.

There's a thing called truth, and no matter whether you can prove it or not, it still is. People may have no concience anymore, but with a society like ours, that allows such things as same sex marriages, and abortion, who can blame them.

Stephanos
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401 posted 01-20-2005 02:26 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Marriage isn't about sex. Marriage isn't about procreation. Marriage isn't necessarily even about love.



Then your answer proves the point of my starting this thread.  If you can't find a "point" to marriage (at least your arguments have been without one), then it will not endure as anything other than an insipid civil contract between parties, without boundaries or really purpose.  


Even all your reasons earlier about "caring" and "commitment" are only examples of traditional views.  


Your constant reliance upon ambiguity (the universal solvent) to always establish your view, will nix your assumptions too if you're not careful.  There's no container (or meaningful framework) that is able to store it.


Since all eleven states that just recently voted on the legalization of gay marriage, voted AGAINST it, how do you conclude that I'm "forcing my feelings on others"?  


Stephen
Stephanos
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402 posted 01-20-2005 03:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
It doesn't matter if marriage is the most widely accepted view



Oh, in a democratic society it doesn't?  hmmm...  You're right if and only if it violates the rights of someone.  


quote:
it doesn't matter if it is a moral issue (that especially doesn't matter)



I guess you just barred yourself from using the "rights" argument then.  Yes, barring someone's rights IS a moral issue, only according to your own standards it especially doesn't matter.


quote:
and it doesn't matter if it was a foundational aspect of civilization


Really?  Tell us why such a weight of history should not be considered.  And repeating over and over that old wrongs have been done is not enough ... for many things have endured by value rather than by treachery and oppression.  My point is that if historical precedence alone cannot be used alone to defend traditional marriage, then much less can historical abuses alone be used to change that definition.  There has to be more discussion about why we should automatically think that the present views on traditional marriage, (and those of hundreds and hundreds of years) are due to bigotry and cruelty.  You make this claim, but I don't see much to support it.
  
quote:
Each of those points have been equally true of any number of wrongs that have been righted in the past five thousand years



So?  They have also been true of any number of good and right things as well.  You've brought up a number of these "wrongs" before.  And yet I've shown that the defense of Geo-centrism, Slavery, and Segregation, are all very different from the present question of marriage.

quote:
You want to deny someone their rights for no other reason than you don't like them, you don't understand them, and you are afraid of some nebulous "might-be" no one has been able to demonstrate.


This has nothing to do with I like.  There are many things which I dislike, which I do not disapprove.


And as I've said before, history has demonstrated the harm of a cultural / legal recognition of homosexual relations as legitimate.  Unless you think Sodom was fictive.  Then there's the historian Gibbon's views of homosexuality and the decline of Rome.  


And rights DO matter to me, by the way.  It's just that I am prepared to argue that maintaining traditional marriage is not really violating someone's rights.  You haven't established why anyone should have the right to marry the same gender.  If this is an issue about rights (as you say it is) then you are begging the question as well.  

Watch the circle ...
quote:
The question:  Why should homosexuals have the legal rights to marry the same gender?


Ron's answer:  because if we don't allow them, we are violating their rights.

Stephen
  
Ron
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403 posted 01-20-2005 04:12 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What kinda legal obstacles would keep me from being with my bud forever, anyway?

Read the rest of the thread, DreamChild. There are about 1,100 legal benefits to marriage that you and your bud have to forsake, and more than a few social ones. Hell, you probably won't even be able to visit him in the hospital should he get seriously ill. You're not immediate family, you see.

quote:
I think it's a little deeper than that.

Which is exactly the kind of vague non-answer I keep hearing.

quote:
There's a thing called truth, and no matter whether you can prove it or not, it still is.

Bull. That's not truth, it's superstition. And vague. And when you use superstition against other people, it's dangerous.

quote:
Then your answer proves the point of my starting this thread.  If you can't find a "point" to marriage (at least your arguments have been without one), then it will not endure as anything other than an insipid civil contract between parties, without boundaries or really purpose.

The point of marriage, Stephen, like the point of so many social relationships, is individually determined. All of your attempts to mold it into your own image continue to fail because WE are not in your image.

quote:
I guess you just barred yourself from using the "rights" argument then.  Yes, barring someone's rights IS a moral issue, only according to your own standards it especially doesn't matter.

Stephen, I don't think you understand what a moral issue is. If you refrain from punching your neighbor in the nose only because the Bible tells you it would be bad, you have made a moral choice. If you refrain because you don't want to be punched back, morality is NOT an issue, no matter what the Bible has to say about punching. Protecting your own nose or your own rights are pragmatic social issues.

quote:
Tell us why such a weight of history should not be considered.

How about 'cause history is a poor authority, with an abysmal batting average?

quote:
And yet I've shown that the defense of Geo-centrism, Slavery, and Segregation, are all very different from the present question of marriage.

You've shown no such thing, nor can you, because the differences are minute compared to the similarities. Bigotry follows the same path in each instance.

quote:
And as I've said before, history has demonstrated the harm of a cultural / legal recognition of homosexual relations as legitimate.

Your historical evidence, in every instance, is purely speculative and circumstantial. You might as well claim the colonists were able to successfully break away because there were known, practicing homosexuals in Mother England. There's no cause and effect. Worse, I think you're demonstrating your biases when you equate homosexuality to debauchery, which is more likely the true ill. News flash, Stephen. Heterosexuals can debauch with the best of them.

quote:
The question:  Why should homosexuals have the legal rights to marry the same gender?
Ron's answer:  because if we don't allow them, we are violating their rights.

The real question Why should homosexuals have the legal right to marry whom they wish.

Ron's answer Because you do.
~DreamChild~
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404 posted 01-20-2005 05:22 PM       View Profile for ~DreamChild~   Email ~DreamChild~   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ~DreamChild~

" The point of marriage, Stephen, like the point of so many social relationships, is individually determined. "

Well, no wonder so many replies are vague, Ron
but i thought you earlier stated that marriage was about commitment? And will you not reply to the question and statements made concerning morals being determined by the individual?

Ron
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405 posted 01-20-2005 06:22 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... but i thought you earlier stated that marriage was about commitment?

Commitment is the common element to most, if not all, reasons. Even that, however, can't be a criteria for marriage, not so long as we allow divorces and annulments.

Bottom line is, any rule you use to define marriage or preclude marriage between two people has to be applied to ALL groups of people equally. Otherwise, by definition, it's discrimination.

quote:
And will you not reply to the question and statements made concerning morals being determined by the individual?

Is it relevant? If you'd like to discuss the origins of morality, it should probably be in another thread.
hush
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406 posted 01-20-2005 11:33 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Okay, good news everybody! I totally have the answer to this dillemma. We'll keep the traditional view of marriage!

You see, my father is going to pay my boyfriend to marry me, or vice versa, depending on where and when I live! Actually, he's probably just going to pick one of his buddies who's twice my age, but that's cool too. If my new husband-to-be isn't careful though, some other man might steal me... that's right! physically steal me, right then and there! Man, I better be careful. I also better be sure to submit to my husband and obey him too, or I might be subject to some corporal punishment (rule of thumb in mind, of course...). I better be a virgin at my marriage, which incidentally occured eight years ago when I was thirteen... and I'm gonna bear plenty of children, however many he wants, despite high mortality rates both for myself and my infants. I will keep a clean house and I won't have a career.

The only problem with this scenario (besides the fact that I'm being treated like garbage) is that there are probably a dozen cultures and time periods represented in it. Traditional marriage? From when? You guys want fathers to pick out husbands for their daughters? You ladies want to "obey" your husbands?

Why was it okay to change all that, but not this one other thing? What makes it okay?

Probably because there are less gays in the world then their are women- naturally, we get to treat them like crap for longer.

You don't like gays? You think it's a sin? Easy solution- don't get into bed with someone of your same sex!!! Don't sin!!! But let ye amongst you cast the first stone... because I don't think any of you should dare tell me what I can do in my bed and who I can call husband, or wife in this case. And even if you think you have the moral authority- this government should have neither the moral, or (for obvious reasons) the religious authority to tell me not to do something because it's sinful.

This topic disgusts me... look in a mirror and ask yourself why you're so scared of people being happy in a different way than you're happy.

Oh, wait, it's not about fear... sorry, I forgot.
Stephanos
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407 posted 01-20-2005 11:51 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The point of marriage, Stephen, like the point of so many social relationships, is individually determined.



It is just as much societally determined.  Your hyper-indivualism that you depend on here for your case, is a caricature of the way it really is.


quote:
choice. If you refrain because you don't want to be punched back, morality is NOT an issue, no matter what the Bible has to say about punching. Protecting your own nose or your own rights are pragmatic social issues.



Sure.  But that's not ALL they are.  Social issues always have moral implications.


Rarely does any one choose not to punch their neighbor JUST because they are afraid of getting punched back.  If that's the only reason then they've got a problem.  Rarely is it either/ or, morality or practical consequence.  It's usually a mixture of both.  


Neither do the makers of public policy only protect others because they are concerned what happens to the "system", or to themselves.  


So, yes, morality IS an issue.  You attempt to morally sterilize all of the decisions of civil government, and out of some arbitrary philosophizing of your own, say that every decision is, or must be, born of pure egoism.  


I  simply don't believe you.  


For that artificial dichotomy doesn't make sense.  It's based upon a modern philosophical stance, not the testimony of many many people who would say otherwise.  It's also very counter-intuitive to what we all know and feel.  You yourself are opposing this based upon a moral stance ... the violation of rights.  Since neither you nor I have seen the actual results of this decision in American Culture, to argue from pragmatism is IMPOSSIBLE.  Surely you can see that you are not arguing from pragmatism?


Governments are no more able to shed the moral question when it comes to legislation, than you are able to shake it when you greet your family every morning.  Morality is an intractable part of life, not a separate compartment.      


quote:
How about 'cause history is a poor authority, with an abysmal batting average?


Then what are you basing your pragmatic arguments upon, the future?  Where's that crystal ball of yours Ron?


quote:
You've shown no such thing, nor can you, because the differences are minute compared to the similarities.



Alright.  Let's hear it.  How then is the stance of Geo-centrism by the Church so similar to this issue?  Remember that Geo-centrism (based on Aristotelian cosmology) is NOT taught in the Bible, and that it was refuted by pretty solid objective scientific findings.   That much alone makes it miles apart from this issue.


quote:
Bigotry follows the same path in each instance.



I'll concede bigotry where it can be shown.  But to take bigotry from the past, ascertained from entirely distinct issues, and simply project it onto those who disagree with you in the present is nothing but ad hominem.  


And remember that abysmally poor batting average?  What's that Louisville slugger from the 1600s doing in your hand again?           


quote:
Worse, I think you're demonstrating your biases when you equate homosexuality to debauchery, which is more likely the true ill. News flash, Stephen. Heterosexuals can debauch with the best of them.



Well Ron, are you only allowing something to be fit for argument when you can use it to your purpose?  Don't draw the line of debauchery so confidently after you've basically said that it is too ambiguous for humans to try and express (remember the pornography thread where you didn't even think the word should have a definition?)  


Homosexuality is a form of debauchery.


quote:
The real question:  Why should homosexuals have the legal right to marry whom they wish.

Ron's answer:  Because you do.

I've never had the right to marry "whom I wish".  It all depends upon what my wishes are doesn't it?  If I wished to marry my wife AND another lady, that would be bigamy or polygamy.  Doesn't matter if the women consent or not.   If I want to marry my brother, I am denied, even if he and I both consent.


Sometimes it is best for "wishes" to conform to social norms, and if not, to be left unmet or unrealized.  


using wishes and desires as the foundation for your argument, really isn't an argument.


Stephen.


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-21-2005 12:01 AM).]

Stephanos
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408 posted 01-21-2005 12:16 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush,

The only problem with your rant ... er, I mean argument,       is that you want to take every particular surrounding marriage through the centuries, and say ... "If we didn't retain these other aspects, why should we have to retain this one?"  Not willing to concede any differences.  Or at least not willing discuss whether or not there even IS a fundamental to what defines marriage.


I believe that the relations between male and female, represent something foundational and irreducible in marriage.  And you know that's my view.


But I would ask you,  what's the fundamental for you?  Anything? ...  Nothing?  Ultimately what IS marriage anyway?  Oh yeah, that's the title of this thread isn't it?  


See I can easily explain some reasons why I think some of the other things you mentioned are not fundamentals,  (though perhaps important, and perhaps good advice, perhaps not) like the question of gender relations.  But can you answer for me, what the decisive stopping point will be in this push to challenge every previous view of what marriage really is?  Don't you see what's happening?  Even in this thread, it's gone farther than expected.  Ron began by putting forth committment and caring as fundamentals, and just recently recanted that.  Once the banana peal of relativistic thinking takes hold, there is no stopping.    


I think the same will be true in the public arena.
Therefore, What IS marriage?


When you eliminate the necessity of male / female reciprocity, you eliminate something fundamental.  Whatever is left, ain't marriage.


Stephen.    
hush
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409 posted 01-21-2005 12:36 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Well, Stephen, I do think marriage is a relative thing. What about married couples who also swing? Is their marriage not a marriage because it defies monogamy?

I honestly feel that if a man wants to marry two women- I have no moral qualm, as long as they all agree. I think a cap would ahve to be put on number of partners to be legally recognized, sheerly for finincial purposes- ie- it's hard enough to get one person approved for Medicaid, let alone five.

We've been over why adult's can't marry kids or animals- no legal consent. They are not capable of entering into the binding contract- at least not legally.

So, once again, is there a sound practical reason not to legally acknowledge these marriage? There's God says it's wrong, It's unnatural, it's bad for the kids (which is arguable, subjective, and unproved either way)- but no good reason to object... just God, god, and more God.

And yes, it was a rant, because I'm tired, and it's just so incomprehensible to me that anyone would actually care if the kids down the street have two moms. It's so incomprehensible that you think it's any of your business, and that you think it's okay to call the shots on who can marry who. You talk about this being foisted on the majority- nothing is being foisted besides a simple right. Nobody is making anybody attend, consecrate (religiously) or like gay marriage. Just to accept it the way the majority was forced to accept black kids in the same classroom as white kids. That's all, and I just don't see what's so hard about it.
Stephanos
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410 posted 01-21-2005 01:10 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush:
quote:
Well, Stephen, I do think marriage is a relative thing. What about married couples who also swing? Is their marriage not a marriage because it defies monogamy?



No of course not.  But their marriage is still their marriage, and their swinging is their swinging.  Swinging is "extra curricular" so to speak.  Just like flirting would be unhealthy to my marriage, but it is not central to it.  Unless you want to say that the "swingers" are actually entering legal / marital contract with other partners?  Gender reciprocity however is central to what marriage is.


quote:
I honestly feel that if a man wants to marry two women- I have no moral qualm, as long as they all agree. I think a cap would ahve to be put on number of partners to be legally recognized, sheerly for finincial purposes- ie- it's hard enough to get one person approved for Medicaid, let alone five.



regardless of your financial limit ... if it is percieved as a "right" then the financial plan will need to be adjusted, not the marital limitation.  That is, after all, (I'm speaking facetiously) infringing on someone's rights.


quote:
They are not capable of entering into the binding contract- at least not legally



Well homosexuals cannot enter a marriage contract legally.  The question is about what the laws should be, not what they currently are.  Why shouldn't intelligent children be able to marry?  Pederasty (homosexual relations between men and boys) was honored and recognized culturally in Roman society.  


I agree with you about children by the way.  My point is, more will be challenged and overturned than you think.  And current law apparantly means little, as an argument, or I would have already won my position.      
  
quote:
So, once again, is there a sound practical reason not to legally acknowledge these marriage? There's God says it's wrong, It's unnatural, it's bad for the kids (which is arguable, subjective, and unproved either way)



Gee, I'll bet your reasons against child marriage would be similar to these.  I guess everything is subjective, if you want to insist on it.  See my point?
  

quote:
and it's just so incomprehensible to me that anyone would actually care if the kids down the street have two moms. It's so incomprehensible that you think it's any of your business, and that you think it's okay to call the shots on who can marry who. You talk about this being foisted on the majority- nothing is being foisted besides a simple right. Nobody is making anybody attend, consecrate (religiously) or like gay marriage. Just to accept it the way the majority was forced to accept black kids in the same classroom as white kids. That's all, and I just don't see what's so hard about it.



Oh thanks Hush.  I guess I hadn't thought about it.  

(is your sarcasm rubbing off on me??     )


No really, you can't imagine that it is that simple, that changing the societal definition of marriage would not have wide wide implications, for myself, my family and my children.  The entire educational system will no doubt be revamped to teach homosex as normative, and NOT based upon scientific reasons or research, but on the bare assertion that the courts once deemed it a "right".  Any teaching or portrayal of traditional marriage as the ideal (in art, literature, or otherwise) will be repealed from the public square, as bigoted intolerant, and "backward".   Publicly schooled children (perhaps mine or my neighbors) will be encouraged perhaps to consider for the first time the possibilty of alternate lifestyles.  Church pastors will probably be tried for "hate speech" when they teach traditional male/female marriage as the ideal.


These are big issues which don't cease to be large, just because you say, "Stephen why can't you just live and let live".  And if some of what I say seems far fetched, look at Canada.  These trends are increasing there.



Stephen.    

Ron
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411 posted 01-21-2005 01:51 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Social issues always have moral implications.

Whose moral implications, Stephen? You see, that's the whole problem with using morality to guide society. We are all part of the latter, but no one, is some five thousand years, has ever quite managed to agree upon the former.

You want to define marriage according to morality? Cool. But let's use one that is NOT Christian and see how happy you are then. What you really want, but don't have the courage to admit even to yourself, is that everyone conform to YOUR morality.

quote:
Then what are you basing your pragmatic arguments upon, the future? Where's that crystal ball of yours Ron?

I didn't say history should be ignored, Stephen. I just said it isn't an authority on what is right and wrong. It is, however, a really good indication of what does and doesn't work.

quote:
How then is the stance of Geo-centrism by the Church so similar to this issue?  Remember that Geo-centrism (based on Aristotelian cosmology) is NOT taught in the Bible, and that it was refuted by pretty solid objective scientific findings.

Hate and homophobia isn't taught in the Bible, either, Stephen. And like Geo-centrism, hate and homophobia will also one day be recognized as human failings, not divine inspiration.

I find it interesting you chose Geo-centrism, Stephen, glossing over slavery and segregation, which are clearly much more closely aligned with homosexual discrimination.

quote:
I'll concede bigotry where it can be shown.

And I'll concede the lack of bigotry when the bigots can give ONE good reason for denying others the same rights they enjoy. I'll even take a bad reason if it's based on something besides a long history of hate and prejudice.

quote:
I've never had the right to marry "whom I wish".

You probably shouldn't tell that to your wife, Stephen. Chances are, she thought you did marry who you wished.

quote:
Sometimes it is best for "wishes" to conform to social norms, and if not, to be left unmet or unrealized.

Sometimes? I'd say, very often. I would not, however, say always.

When a person's wishes hurt absolutely no other person, society must conform, not the individual. Else there is no individual and society is but a sham.

quote:
When you eliminate the necessity of male / female reciprocity, you eliminate something fundamental. Whatever is left, ain't marriage.

So, then, don't eliminate it, Stephen. No one is going to force you to redefine your marriage or even your idea of marriage. You and your wife can define it any way you like, as can you and your church, and hell, even you and your neighborhood. YOU DO THAT ALREADY. Everybody does. There is not, and never has been, just one set definition of marriage. Even your own definition will likely change and evolve over the years to come.

What you can't do is force your own definition on the rest of the world. You can't take away another's right to choose, Stephen, because you didn't give them that right. He did.
Ron
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412 posted 01-21-2005 02:01 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Publicly schooled children (perhaps mine or my neighbors) will be encouraged perhaps to consider for the first time the possibilty of alternate lifestyles.

Your fear is showing again, Stephen. Next you'll be afraid your children will be exposed to alternate religions?

You seem to have a fixation on controlling others, Stephen. Why are you are so very afraid that even your own children will be given choices to make? What is WRONG with considering the possibility of alternate lifestyles? Do you really prefer ignorance over free will?
~DreamChild~
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413 posted 01-21-2005 07:20 PM       View Profile for ~DreamChild~   Email ~DreamChild~   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ~DreamChild~

Ron, you have a point concerning rights. But Stephen has a good point concerning polygomy. How can same sex marriages be allowed, but not polygomy? Is it tradition? Is it morals? What is wrong with polygomy,
if there's nothing wrong with same sex marriages?
Ron
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414 posted 01-21-2005 07:42 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What is wrong with polygomy?

You tell me, DC. If it's between consenting adults and harms no one else, what IS wrong with polygamy?
Stephanos
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415 posted 01-22-2005 12:51 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Whose moral implications, Stephen? You see, that's the whole problem with using morality to guide society. We are all part of the latter, but no one, is some five thousand years, has ever quite managed to agree upon the former.


I was trying to show you that your concern about "rights" is a moral one too.  And therefore your soapbox about the incompatibility of morality and social / legal issues just caved in.  You're contradicting your own standards.


If you really feel that we should throw morality out of public life because no one has agreed upon it with unanimity, then we should just as easily throw out your "rights" argument, since no one has ever agreed on just who should have what "rights" either.  And no one has ever agreed on what constitutes harm either, so there goes your "no harm no foul" argument.


I mean if you want unanimity to be the standard, you've made it impossible for yourself.  


It's that nuclear strength relativism again, that always destroys your opponents arguments well enough (not really), but always destroys your own as well.  


quote:
You want to define marriage according to morality? Cool. But let's use one that is NOT Christian and see how happy you are then. What you really want, but don't have the courage to admit even to yourself, is that everyone conform to YOUR morality.



Well, morality is not the sole determiner of what marriage is.  So is biology.   So is psychology.  So is divine decree.  So is a fairly consistent societal consensus.  And neither is morality the only source of concerns, about what ill effects such a radical change will bring.  But let's pretend for a moment that your right ...  It still would make little difference as to whether the morality is "Christian" or not, as ALL of the major religions of the world are rejecting homosexual marriage as illegitimate.  The moral systems which you always claim differ so much (that's not really true, only a kind of rhetorical assertion)  actually tend to agree at least on this issue of homosexual marriage.


quote:
I didn't say history should be ignored, Stephen. I just said it isn't an authority on what is right and wrong. It is, however, a really good indication of what does and doesn't work.



Well Ron, you're the one making the distinction between what is "right and wrong" and what "works and doesn't work".  That distinction is not one that I'm inclined to believe often, if ever, exists.  If you prefer to use the morally divested terminology to fit your semi-egoistic views, I too can use that language.  It wouldn't be in our "long term self interest", for us or our children.  If that past can't show us this for certain, it at least has strong suggestions that it "hasn't worked well" before now.  


quote:
Hate and homophobia isn't taught in the Bible, either, Stephen.



Well hate is something you are inferring from my view.  I deny it.  Resorting to ad hominem slurs has become too common for you lately.  


If you're not prepared to argue from the Bible, that the Bible doesn't teach that widespread acceptance of homosexuality is both wrong AND bad for society, then why bring it up?  We can certainly go to the scriptures again.  But you will then just say that the writers were "biased", or try to say that's not what they really meant.  But you never have defended your views textually.  Can you explain why sometimes you say "The bible doesn't teach that", and then other times, "We don't have to accept that part of the Bible"??  Whichever one happens to suit you at the moment, I guess.
  

quote:
I find it interesting you chose Geo-centrism, Stephen, glossing over slavery and segregation, which are clearly much more closely aligned with homosexual discrimination.



No doubt as clearly as the Sun once seemed to rotate around the Earth?            

My glossing over was not a glossing at all.  It was an abbreviated response since we've already covered much of this.   And I merely chose the first example you ever raised in this thread (Geocentrism) I think.  But I am quite prepared to explain (again) how this issue differs immensely from slavery and segregation.  Lead and I'll follow.


quote:
And I'll concede the lack of bigotry when the bigots can give ONE good reason for denying others the same rights they enjoy.



I've never had the right to marry another man, Ron.  


Nor have you ever had the right for your Health insurance company to pay for a Pap Smear.


Again, rights must be established before they can be assumed.  And if there's ANY doubt as to the social results of such a radical, heedless, anti-democratic push to change the fundamental institution of marriage, then I think it's reasonable to oppose it.


quote:
I'll even take a bad reason if it's based on something besides a long history of hate and prejudice.



So we're just to automatically assume that the precedence of male / female marriage is the result of hate and prejudice, because you say it is?


quote:
You probably shouldn't tell that to your wife, Stephen. Chances are, she thought you did marry who you wished.



You either left the second part off as a joke, or as an insult, but you surely didn't think that's what I meant.

Let's see the whole context again:

"I've never had the right to marry 'whom I wish'.  It all depends upon what my wishes are doesn't it?"


quote:
Sometimes? I'd say, very often. I would not, however, say always.



Neither would I Ron.  I, and others who oppose homosexual marriage are not out to blast others wishes.  But mere wishing cannot be an argument for rights.
  

quote:
When a person's wishes hurt absolutely no other person, society must conform, not the individual.



But it seems like the only thing you would ever accept as proof of "harm", would be an itemized hospital bill or something like that.  I don't accept that convenient and narrow view of harm.  Sociological problems don't manifest quite that neatly and quickly.  They never have.  But they are real nonetheless.


quote:
What you can't do is force your own definition on the rest of the world. You can't take away another's right to choose, Stephen, because you didn't give them that right. He did.



Who do you refer to by "He"?  God?  God gave pedophiles the right to choose too, and theives, and murderers, and bigamists, and shop owners, and ballet dancers, and head hunters, and canibals, and accordian players, and vegetarians.  

Puzzled at my wide array of free choice?  You can't use "Choice given by divinity" as some kind of metaphysical argument for whatever social policy you want.  It's too broad, and lets in too many things even you would vehemently oppose.


Stephen.
Stephanos
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416 posted 01-22-2005 01:29 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Your fear is showing again, Stephen.



Ron, if you want to call it fear, I've never tried to hide it.


I think it's easy to make someone look weak by slurring them with "fear".  But fear and prudence, dread and discretion, are not always easily separated in someone else.


There is a healthy fear, the opposite of which may be called recklessness, haste, even blindness.


Many who have spoken out against Trojan Horses, have seemed overly "fearful" in the eyes of those who disagree.  But Troy would have fared better in listening to them.  


Stephen.  
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417 posted 01-22-2005 10:41 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Homosexuality is a form of debauchery."

Stephenos,

Heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally capable of being debaucherous or not debaucherous.  Gender differences or combinations don't configure or lock people into decency or indecency.
People within and among their differences in nature and choice, now wield their own wills in response, and do their own deeds.  Gender and sexuality don't.
Speak against people and what they do when they express ill will and do ill deeds, but when they simply are different for nature or for choice, if you call them wrong, YOU are doing wrong because that is misspeaking and defamation.  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (01-22-2005 12:39 PM).]

Ron
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quote:
I was trying to show you that your concern about "rights" is a moral one too

You can't, because it isn't. It has absolutely nothing to do with morality, Stephen. I make no claims as to what is morally right or wrong, and I certainly don't depend on a call to God as an authority. I simply defend my rights and the rights of my children from those whom would wish to restrict them.

quote:
If you really feel that we should throw morality out of public life because no one has agreed upon it with unanimity, then we should just as easily throw out your "rights" argument, since no one has ever agreed on just who should have what "rights" either.

Sure we have, Stephen. A bit over two hundred years ago. One of them was a freedom from having your religious views legally imposed on us.

quote:
It still would make little difference as to whether the morality is "Christian" or not, as ALL of the major religions of the world are rejecting homosexual marriage as illegitimate.

And several of them, I suspect, would probably make your own marriage illegitimate. At the very least, some would change the definition of it, as you might be forced to share your wife with leaders and family members. Your morality, Stephen, isn't the only one out there.

quote:
Well Ron, you're the one making the distinction between what is "right and wrong" and what "works and doesn't work".  That distinction is not one that I'm inclined to believe often, if ever, exists.

Stephen, there no "immoral" way to wire a new outlet into your house. The outlet either works or it doesn't work, and in neither case will you go to hell for it. There is a whole world out there that has absolutely nothing to do with your morality.

quote:
It wouldn't be in our "long term self interest", for us or our children.  If that past can't show us this for certain, it at least has strong suggestions that it "hasn't worked well" before now.

Sure it would, Stephen. Especially if one or more of your children happen to be gay.

As to the past and your dire suggestions, you're still looking at the wrong thing. We're not legalizing homosexuality, Stephen, so any historical reference to homosexuality is irrelevant. We not legalizing debauchery, which is what you're really referencing, so those are out, too. We're talking about marriage. Show me something in history where letting people get married brought about irreparable harm to society and we've got something to talk about again?

quote:
Well hate is something you are inferring from my view.  I deny it.  Resorting to ad hominem slurs has become too common for you lately. If you're not prepared to argue from the Bible, that the Bible doesn't teach that widespread acceptance of homosexuality is both wrong AND bad for society, then why bring it up?

Check again, Stephen. My comment that hate isn't taught in the Bible was in direct response to yours that Geo-centrism wasn't taught in the Bible. I didn't bring up the Bible; you did. Again.

quote:
And if there's ANY doubt as to the social results of such a radical, heedless, anti-democratic push to change the fundamental institution of marriage, then I think it's reasonable to oppose it.

Stephen, there is always room for doubt. If nothing was ever done in the face of doubt, nothing would ever be done. Southern states in America were making exactly the same kinds of prediction you are making when faced with the reality of inter-racial marriages. Their doubts were, like yours, without foundation.

quote:
So we're just to automatically assume that the precedence of male / female marriage is the result of hate and prejudice, because you say it is?

We're not talking about the precedence of male/female marriage, Stephen. We're talking the acceptance of alternatives to the precedence. And, yea, when those alternatives are denied for no logical reasons, the only reasons remaining are emotional ones.

quote:
"I've never had the right to marry 'whom I wish'.  It all depends upon what my wishes are doesn't it?"

I thought wishes didn't count?      

What you're really saying, of course, is that only your wishes count. You don't want to marry someone of the same gender, so that particular wish doesn't count. If we passed a law permitting men to only marry brunettes, you'd not have a problem with that either so long as your wife was blonde? Unless a restriction makes some logical sense, it shouldn't exist, and it certainly shouldn't exist for some and not others.

quote:
But it seems like the only thing you would ever accept as proof of "harm", would be an itemized hospital bill or something like that.  I don't accept that convenient and narrow view of harm.  Sociological problems don't manifest quite that neatly and quickly.  They never have.  But they are real nonetheless.

I don't need an itemized hospital bill, Stephen. I do need something a little stronger than, "Because God told me so." Even if I didn't think you weren't listening very closely to Him, I wouldn't agree with any social structure that tried to enforce a moral edict.

quote:
There is a healthy fear, the opposite of which may be called recklessness, haste, even blindness.

A healthy fear, Stephen, is one founded in reality. When you're afraid and can't tell anyone what it is you fear, it's rarely healthy.

I can tell a child a thousand times there is nothing in his dark room that is going to hurt him. I can root through his closet five times a night, and the monsters will always return as soon as I leave. He has never been hurt by anything in the dark before, but that doesn't matter, because his fear is not founded in reality, is not rational or even coherent.

I can tell, without any reservation, that letting a few hundred, or a few thousand, or even a few million, people live without the danger of having their lives and choices disrupted by unreasonable barriers is never going to hurt you. But, like the child, you won't believe me until you discover your own truths. Twenty years from now you may be no more accepting of alternatives than you are today, but eventually even you will realize that what doesn't harm you really doesn't harm you and need not be feared just because it's different.
Stephanos
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419 posted 01-22-2005 11:29 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
You can't, because it isn't. It has absolutely nothing to do with morality, Stephen. I make no claims as to what is morally right or wrong, and I certainly don't depend on a call to God as an authority. I simply defend my rights and the rights of my children from those whom would wish to restrict them.



Ron, tell me why then when you address this strictly pragmatic concern of "rights", you use words like "hate"?  


hmmm.... that's a morally charged word, and you can't get around that no matter how much sophism you employ.  Can hatred be legislated against?    


Don't get me wrong.  I have no qualms with you bringing "hate" and "bigotry" into the argument, because I haven't divorced morality from public life.


But get real ... words like "hate" and "bigot" belie your "amoralistic" stance.


quote:
Stephen, there no "immoral" way to wire a new outlet into your house. The outlet either works or it doesn't work, and in neither case will you go to hell for it.



Unless you consider a house fire, or an electric shock hellish.  Some people do.  


quote:
Show me something in history where letting people get married brought about irreparable harm to society and we've got something to talk about again?


Whoa.  We have to agree on what marriage IS first.  We haven't even got that far.  I don't think letting people "get married" has ever brought harm.  But the public sanctioning of homosexual relationships HAS caused harm in the past, as sanctioning debauchery and unnatural relationships (as Roman society did with Pederasty) always will.


quote:
Stephen, there is always room for doubt. If nothing was ever done in the face of doubt, nothing would ever be done.



That's certainly not true of all situations.  Presumption is no less of a mistake than base fear.  And while courageous liberalism against a wrong status quo is an honorable thing, not every rabid push for change is right, especially one born of such haste and anti-democratic fervor as this one.


quote:
I thought wishes didn't count?      
What you're really saying, of course, is that only your wishes count. You don't want to marry someone of the same gender, so that particular wish doesn't count.



Let me clarify then.  Wishes are not the primary consideration when it comes to law and public policy ...  they are not the basis of rights.  You were at least arguing as if you thought they were, and expected me to concede your point based upon "wishes" alone.


quote:
I don't need an itemized hospital bill, Stephen. I do need something a little stronger than, "Because God told me so."


I don't know what "a little stronger" for you would mean.  I've given reasons, and you don't accept them.  But then again, your reasons for the acceptance of gay marriage, to me,  suffer from the same weakness you describe.  Ultimately it's your moral conviction that gay people should have the right to marry.  That's really all you've said.  


Science, and research on this are inconclusive.  History is not valid fuel for argument (according to you).  And predicting (you've already said) is way out of court.   Since this has never been approached in quite the same way before (historically), you are lacking any argument concerning "What works".    


In short, apply your own standards to your own argument.  Ron thinks it's immoral to deny homosexuals the permission to alter the definition of marriage.


Where is the pragmatic "PROOF",  (that concept you're always demanding of others, but not offering any yourself), that you boast of, if you are not arguing a naked conception of moral rights?  


And of that "proof" don't forget your own caveats.  Don't use History with it's abysmally poor batting average.  And don't predict out of fear of the "bigotry" and "hatred" and "narrow-mindedness" that will abound if Government actually resists the relativistic tide on a few things.  


Stephen.
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420 posted 01-22-2005 11:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Speak against people and what they do when they express ill will and do ill deeds, but when they simply are different for nature or for choice, if you call them wrong, YOU are doing wrong because that is misspeaking and defamation.  



But Essorant, (let me share this again, as you didn't respond to it the first time) ...


You yourself in past threads have told us that certain sexual acts and attitudes (many of which are consensual) are "wrong".


But aren't they, too,  just being different in "nature or choice"?


Do you feel that porcelain keepsake-cake lacerating your gums yet?


Do understand, I'm in agreement with you that sexual perversion can be a reality (even when between consenting adults).  But until you can express to me how your views on sexual perversion are essentially different than mine, I don't really want to bother about this point any more.


Stephen.  
  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-23-2005 12:00 AM).]

Essorant
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421 posted 01-23-2005 03:04 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I already expressed it Stephenos.  Ill will and ill deeds are wrongs.  Not gender or sexuality.



Stephanos
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422 posted 01-23-2005 09:22 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

But Essorant, all things you consider to be examples of sexual perversion, are not easily demonstrable as "ill will or deeds".   After all, many of them are done by consenting adults.  Yet you still call them wrong and perverse.


Explain how you can call them perverse, by the standard you are now using.

(And I've never said that "gender" was wrong, whatever that means.  And "sexuality" is too broad of a statement for you to use.  If you were against ANY sexual practice at all, I could use your method on you and say that you are discriminating against "sexuality")


Stephen.


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423 posted 01-23-2005 09:44 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Yes, Stephen, my sarcasm probably is rubbing off on you. Don't take it personally, it's just my way.

'Swinging is "extra curricular" so to speak.  Just like flirting would be unhealthy to my marriage, but it is not central to it.'

Don't you see, Stephen? Gender is not central to a homosexual relationship- their love (or sex, or whatever they've based this relationship on) is central to it. The fact that two of them are of the same gender is "extra-curricular"- it is this society that puts that in the limelight and makes it the focus.

'regardless of your financial limit ... if it is percieved as a "right" then the financial plan will need to be adjusted, not the marital limitation.  That is, after all, (I'm speaking facetiously) infringing on someone's rights.'

I don't know how true or untrue this is, but I guess in the end it doesn't matter to me because I think everyone should be entitled to health coverage, regardless of whther they are married or poor or whatever.

'Well homosexuals cannot enter a marriage contract legally.  The question is about what the laws should be, not what they currently are.  Why shouldn't intelligent children be able to marry?'

For the same reason that intelligent children can't vote. We have set an age of adulthood, and that's across the board, not just for marriage. Explain how changing marriage will change this widely accepted and enforced standard.

Once again, there's a good reason to have a set age of adulthood- it creates a milestone, and ensures that children who are still under their parents' care are still (at least somewhat) under their authority.

'Gee, I'll bet your reasons against child marriage would be similar to these.'

My reasons against children getting married would be that it would be harmful to the child. Sure, there are exceptions to that rule, but by and large kids getting married is a bad idea- hell, I'm 21 and I'm not mature enough for it... and I sure as hell wasn't when I was 16, I can tell you that.

'No really, you can't imagine that it is that simple'

Stephen, believe it or not, I do think it's just that simple, the same way ending segregation was that simple. The only reason it isn't simple is because there is such resistance to it.

Look, you ahve every right to raise your kids the way you want, just as I have the right to raise mine the way I want. But if your big argument against gay marriage is that it might put sinful notions in you kids' heads and expose them to an impure world, then you ahve a reality check coming. Do you know we had girls with pregnancy scares in my sixth grade class? Do you know I learned how to get high in junior high? Those things have nothing to do with gays... and guess what, no matter how hard you try to shield your kids, they are gonna come in contact with it, just as someday, they're gonna meet gay people. The best you can do, Stephen, is instill them with the values you feel are important and hope that they value your values enough to heed them. But you can't expect the rest of society to be like "Dude, we can't do this- we're setting a bad example for all the Christian kids."


It is a matter of live and let live. The first time I saw a preacher getting in trouble for what he preaches in his own church, I'd jump up to stand with him and say that it is his religious freedom to believe this. But you better believe the first time a kid of mine tells me a teacher at school said gays are going to hell, or that they are sick, or whatever, I would be on the phone to bitch so fast- because there is no place for religious ideaology in a public school.

I'm sorry if that seems extreme to you Stephen.
Ron
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424 posted 01-23-2005 08:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I don't think letting people "get married" has ever brought harm.

Thank you.

quote:
But the public sanctioning of homosexual relationships HAS caused harm in the past, as sanctioning debauchery and unnatural relationships (as Roman society did with Pederasty) always will.

Look more closely, Stephen.

Let's assume you're right. You haven't shown cause and effect, and Rome had a whole lot of other problems upon which to lay the blame, but let's nonetheless assume you're right for just a minute. The conclusion we could actually reach is that sanctioning ANY sexual activity outside of marriage, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual, leads to a deterioration in social values.

Well, guess what? I agree. Sex without commitment usually results in people getting hurt.

It makes little sense, then, to put legal barriers in the way of commitment.

quote:
Where is the pragmatic "PROOF",  (that concept you're always demanding of others, but not offering any yourself), that you boast of, if you are not arguing a naked conception of moral rights?

One doesn't need to prove that something is beneficial, or even harmless, in order to do it. If something isn't expressly forbidden by society, then it is implicitly allowed. You, on the other hand, can't stop someone from doing something without proof of harm. It's called burden of proof.

 
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