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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:10 am 
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Amore wrote:
(From another thread...)
Brad,
I was thinking about you and your perspective today as I was on a path up the canyon. Normally, unspoken rules in America are you travel on the right... (snip)...

I believe the unspoken rule for hiking is that when opposing hikers meet, the hiker headed uphill has the right of way.

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:06 am 
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Amore wrote:

You've got to look at the big picture, Brad. Not just one guy getting bullied. I've gotten bullied - at some point, most of us have gotten bullied, in one way or another. So, what? Does that mean, we get special rights - just for being bullied? Life is NOT fair. To think it should be 100% fair 24-7 is a cognitive distortion that creates anger, sadness & frustration. For one thing, by the fact that we're educated and have the resources to communicate online shows how unfair in our favor, things are... The fact that most of us usually have filled stomachs is another such testament of the lack of fairness, with 1,000,000,000 people chronically hungry (according to the World Health Organization).


Amore,

I've read your posts down thread. I can't tell whether they were directed at me, as they don't seem to respond to the things I've discussed in response to your post on Saturday. If they were, would you please let me know? My response may be a little slow, as I still haven't finished discussing the many issues raised in your post of Saturday. This morning, I'd like to talk a little about the above paragraph.

So let's talk about fairness and the big picture. I agree that life is not fair. That's an "is" statement. But what follows from that? Is unfairness a "good" thing just because that's the state of the world? What justification is there for turning how the world is into a model for how it should be? That's a logical fallacy closely related to the naturalistic fallacy -- the appeal to nature. For example, as you have observed, kids get bullied. Does that really imply that kids ought to get bullied. The fact that you stepped into prevent a fellow human from getting bullied indicates to me that understand that how the world is right now does not tell us how we should act. Arguing that we should be unfair to gay folk because "life is unfair" is a logical fallacy.

Next, since you've used the term "special rights," I think we should talk about that term. I've noted in other discussions here that people have asked to you explain what you mean by "special rights." I haven't seen you reply. I hope you will do me the courtesy of explaining to me what you mean, because I have no idea. In fact, it seems to me like you are using the term exactly backwards.

Here's an analogy I thought of. In my state, citizens have the legal right to open carry handguns. I don't own a handgun. Does that mean that open carry is a special right granted only to handgun owners? I don't think so. Anyone who chooses to open carry can do so. That I don't choose to open carry, or even own a handgun, doesn't mean I don't have the right. So, I would say "open carry" is not a "special right."

Similarly, in my state, people have the legal right to enter into marriage regardless of sex. I can choose to marry someone of the opposite sex or the same sex. The fact that I may choose to marry someone of the opposite sex doesn't mean that I don't have the right to marry someone of the same sex. Thus, just as in the case of open carry -- the right to marry is a general right in my state.

In other states, however, the legal right to marry is restricted to people of the opposite sex. It's not that people simply choose not to marry someone of the same sex -- they have no legal right to do so. So, marriage is not a general right in those states -- it is a special right that confers legal benefits and advantages to some, but not all, people in the state.

That's why it seems to me your use of "special rights" is backwards. With my explanation as context, can you explain to me why permitting same sex couples to marry is a special right?

The next thing I'd like to talk about is a logical fallacy called the straw man fallacy. I think that's an important thing to discuss in the context of message board discussions, where it can be very easy to misunderstand someone else's argument. The straw man fallacy basically occurs when someone unfairly mischaracterizes someone else's argument and then attempts to refute their own unfair characterization.

So, let's look at this sentence: "Does that mean, we get special rights - just for being bullied?"

I think that is a classic straw man fallacy. First, as I explained above, I'm not arguing for special rights. I'm arguing for a general right of marriage that extends to all couples regardless of sex. Second, I'm not arguing that marriage should be extended to same-sex couples because gay folks are bullied. To the extent my plea to you involved the making of arguments, the argument was that the manner in which you have chosen to post in this forum, as well as on other on-line forums, about same-sex marriage actively contributes to the conditions that both permit and encourage children of God to bully, persecute, beat, and even kill, other children of God. That's different from the argument I would make for including same-sex couples in marriage. So far, I've simply been responding to your arguments. Because the next paragraph of Saturday's post discusses laws, and what we are really talking about when we discuss same-sex marriage is what the law ought to be, I'll lay that argument out in my next post.

Now, let's look at this sentence: "To think it should be 100% fair 24-7 is a cognitive distortion that creates anger, sadness & frustration."

This, again, is a straw man. I'm not arguing that the world should be 100% fair 24-7. I agree with you that the world is not fair. I also agree that it would be impossible to make the world 100% fair 24-7. But neither the fact that world is not fair and that it would be impossible to make the world fair 24-7 lead us to any logical conclusion about whether same-sex couples should be permitted to marry. Again, that puts is squarely in the realm of the appeal to nature and the naturalistic fallacy. It also seems to imply that if we can't do something perfectly, we shouldn't do it at all. In other words, if we can't feel all the starving children, we shouldn't feed any of them. Should we make perfect the enemy of the good? If you think so, would you please explain to me why you think that?

You've used the term "cognitive distortion" here and in other threads. What does that mean and why do you think it is important to the discussion of same-sex marriage?

Brad

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:10 am 
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Amore wrote:
I have little interest or time for people repeatedly ignoring statistical and medical facts.


Should we similarly prevent black folks from marrying because of their increased risk of producing children with sickle-cell anemia?


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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Amore wrote:
1. Try your hardest to logically and ethically explain why society should legally promote any sexual substitutes, and why homosexual substitutes over all the other sexual substitutes.


I don't think most people would consider allowing gay marriages as promoting gay marriage, and certainly not promoting it over heterosexual marriage. While you may always have a few extremists, I don't see the gay community trying to convert people to being gay, nor do I see allowing them to marry each other as likely to increase the gay population. Many gays live in the closet. Less then decades ago because we are more tolerant of them. If we want to promote successful marriages, getting gay people to marry strait people is going to make things worse. Just talk to those straight people who find out their spouse is gay later on and only married them to fit in with their community.

Quote:
2. Try to logically prove that homosexual behavior is healthy enough to legally encourage, while acknowledging US CDC overwhelming homosexual reports of STDs, HIV/AIDS and mental illness... as well as doctor warning of anal sex (anal fissures, anal cancer, colon rupture and bacterial infection).


Again, it's not really about promoting gay sex, and you have already been shown multiple times here that anal sex is not something a large groups of gays do, while many heterosexual people do anal sex. It ends up not being relevant to whether they should be able to get legally married to each other.

Quote:
3. Attempt to prove (without emotional reasoning) that mothers or fathers are useless.


?????????????????? No one saying there are. Why would you even suggest something that obviously no one is saying?

Quote:
That 2 mothers... or 2 fathers are sufficient in raising future generations - in and by themselves without outside help.


I believe Brad has already linked to studies showing that they do well in this area. Your comments suggest a real lack of understanding of the complexities of raising children, their needs, and the real world. If a single parent can successfully raise a kid I don't see why two capable adults cannot as well. Many people of the same sex do raise children together even though they may not be gay. The important factors are not so much gender as they are the parents themselves as well as others involved in a child's life.

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Bazooka wrote:
But you just don't have those studies to hand right now?


No, that's accurate. Well, partially accurate. Amore consistently is taking demographic trends among gay males as representative of homosexuals as a whole even though that is inaccurate. Homosexual females tend to be unfaithful at rates that are more comparable to heterosexual males, but more frequent than heterosexual females. Generational repression of homosexual relationships and denial of legally recognized marriage almost certainly contributes to this difference in behavior, though it is not clear to what extent among the multiple causes.

Likewise, anal sex is quite uncommon among homosexual females for what should be obvious reasons. Of course, complaints about anal sex is not a criticism of homosexuality. It is a criticism of a sex act. Gay males engage in anal sex more frequently than heterosexual couples, though not every gay male has anal sex and not ever straight couple refrains from it. Anal sex is actually a fairly common sex practice among straights, but it is uncommon among lesbians. So that doesn't seem like a significant concern for her female cousin she is making this about. Seems like she'd be more at risk of having anal sex if she was in a relationship with a man.

That said, the idea that that only the safest sex practices possible are what people ought to be engaged in and we should discourage people from being in relationships where the risk of less safe practices is greater through denial of marriage is offensively authoritarian. People should be free to have anal sex if they so choose even if there is a little increased risk associated with it. Health does not have to be the supreme value in every personal decision a person makes and respecting liberty means allowing people to make more complicated risk/benefit decisions for themselves. Amore's husband might choose to marry a repressed prude, but that seems like an inappropriate requisite for marriage.

For instance, suppose there was a racial group among which anal sex was very popular. This is not unrealistic. The state should not support banning people from marrying members of that race. One, because it is unethical to discriminate against individuals on the basis of demographic stereotype, and two because the state has no moral right to use the rights and responsibilities associated with civil marriage as a bully stick to discourage a somewhat more risky sex practice. I doubt Amore would support such a move by the state, because this isn't about anal sex. It's about using anal sex as a sham justification to discriminate against gays.


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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:51 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
I doubt Amore would support such a move by the state, because this isn't about anal sex. It's about using anal sex as a sham justification to discriminate against gays.

Obviously and exactly so.

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:04 am 
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Themis wrote:
I believe Brad has already linked to studies showing that they do well in this area.

actually that one study (not studies) admits that there is not sufficient data to draw the conclusion you are hoping for here.
But hey, your willingness to experiment and gamble with the health and well being of children in order to prove a political point is admirable.

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:08 am 
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subgenius wrote:
Themis wrote:
I believe Brad has already linked to studies showing that they do well in this area.

actually that one study (not studies) admits that there is not sufficient data to draw the conclusion you are hoping for here.
But hey, your willingness to experiment and gamble with the health and well being of children in order to prove a political point is admirable.


Like Amore, you are trying to confuse the issue by equating s/s marriage to s/s couples acting as parents (through adoption, etc.).

If your issue is that s/s marriages should never harbor children, then you need to own that argument separately, and work on supporting legislation that bans s/s couples from ever harboring or adopting children, based on (fill in the blank).

Otherwise, the issue of s/s couples becoming parents is not the same as if s/s couples can have a legal marriage status extended to their union.


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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:59 am 
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The articles I linked to discussed more than one study. There are additional studies not discussed in the articles. The literature isn't hard to find: 1. Go to Google Scholar; 2. Search "gay lesbian adoption" What you won't find is any reason to ban same sex-parents from raising children.

Sub's argument that:

1. Letting any man and woman who can manage to put a penis in a vagina raise a child, even if they didn't want to become parents: okie dokey
2. Letting two men who want to raise a child and who have been screened by an adoption agency raise a child: dangerous experiment

is a good illustration of how irrational the arguments against same sex-marriage really are.

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:46 am 
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Amore wrote:
Laws are not necessarily about fairness. Maybe someone feels that they should get to be married - that it's not fair that others get to be married and they don't... That's life - not fair! Laws ideally, are for the common good - overall good of society. One overall good to look after is future society - which always come through heterosexual unions. This is why laws, for centuries, have legally supported such unions. The existence of ALL of us depended on heterosexual unions - and children need a mother AND father to be raised best. To suggest that mothers are useless, that 2 dads are fine... or that fathers are useless, that 2 moms are fine - is not only narcissistically inconsiderate of children's needs, but also dishonoring of the means which each of us owe our existence to.
To legally support sexual substitutes - homosexual practices - that prove to be harmful to individuals and to society is not only illogical, but also harmful.


Amore,

As discussed above, to argue that life is unfair, therefore laws should be unfair commits the naturalistic fallacy and is a fallacious appeal to nature. As EAllusion has pointed out in this thread and the Challenge thread, no matter which philosophical perspective one starts at, there is general agreement that the state should not be permitted to favor one group as opposed to another when it comes to conferring benefits or detriments without some justification for doing so. That's a general principle of fairness that is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution in the due process and equal protection under the laws. As a result, any person or group who proposes that the government distribute benefits to one group of citizens and not another has the burden of showing some good reason for the discriminatory treatment.

Marriage laws confer benefits on the people who choose to marry. However, same sex couples are legal prohibited access to those benefits. Unless opponents of same sex marriage can demonstrate some good reason to discriminate between the two groups, the basic fairness that underlies our system of laws holds that the benefits should apply to all couples regardless of sex.

There is another piece to this argument that I believe is important, but not necessary, to the argument that equal treatment under the law requires extending marriage to same sex couples: the reasons advanced to support discrimination by the state in conferring benefits should be approached with significant skepticism when the group being disadvantaged is a marginalized group within the larger society. I think this is important for two reasons. First, members of marginalized groups are the least likely to be able to protect themselves from what's been described as the tyranny of the majority. Second, there is an increased likelihood that the reasons offered by proponents of the discriminatory treatment are in fact pretexts for simple prejudice against the marginalized group. Therefore, when dealing with a marginalized group like gay folks, it is important to critically examine the reasons offered to justify the discrimination.

Let's assume you are correct that laws exist to maximize the overall good of society. That raises a multitude of questions: what is the overall good of society? How do we measure it? How do we pick a set of laws that will maximize the overall good of society? I would argue that, all other things being equal, to allow the state to pass laws that arbitrarily favor the majority at the expense of the minority would reduce the overall good of society. Individual well-being is a component of the overall good, and arbitrarily excluding a group from benefits extended to others reduces the well-being of that group.

Future society is something I think we should consider. But it comes with its own raft of questions. How much should present society have to sacrifice to benefit future society? If killing half of the earth's population would benefit the next generation through reduction of the demand for scarce resources, should we hold lottery and kill half of our present population? And which future generation should we consider? What might be beneficial to the next generation could be detrimental 100 years in the future.

You've raised two basic arguments about same-sex marriage and future generations: STDs and child raising. As I've shown above, we have no reason to believe that permitting same sex couples to marry would increase the incidence of STDs and every reason to believe that it would reduce the incidence of STDs by encouraging monogamy, reducing the number of sexual partners and, through reducing the stigma against gay folk, encouraging them to see their doctors. Thus, when it comes to STDs, we should reasonably expect that extending marriage to same sex couples would benefit future society.

When it comes to raising children, the available evidence gives us no reason to believe that being raised by two married same sex parents is somehow bad for children. Opponents of same-sex marriage rely on studies that compare apples to oranges: heterosexual couples raising children that have never been through divorce to homosexual couples that have been through divorce. There are, however, numerous studies that do provide an apples to apples comparison: studies of children adopted by same sex and opposite sex couples. You can find the literature by going to google scholar and searching for "gay lesbian adoption." Those studies find no difference in outcomes between children raised by same sex parents and opposite sex parents. What these and other studies consistently show is that it is the quality of the relationship between the parents and between parent and child that makes the difference -- not who the parents are.

Based on this evidence, there is no reason to believe that allowing couples of the same sex to parent will be harmful to future society. In fact, the opposite is true. Taking children out of the foster care system and giving them a stable home with two loving parents is a benefit to society. In addition, if marriage promotes family stability, then permitting same sex couples who choose to raise children to marry promotes the well being of their children. Therefore, permitting same-sex marriage benefits future society.

But there is a more fundamental argument that I don't want to ignore. We don't impose any requirements related to good child rearing practices on heterosexual couples before they have children. Anyone who can manage to connect a penis and vagina is permitted to be a parent and raise children. We don't legally prohibit them from raising children until they abuse or neglect them. Same sex couples should be treated in the same manner -- legally permitted to raise children until they demonstrate unfitness as parents. That's what equal protection under the law should require. And it indicates that the child rearing justification for denying marriage to same sex couples is a mere pretense for discriminating against them.

The rest of the arguments you present in these paragraphs are simply not logical. Moreover, they use emotionally loaded language, which is generally a sign of a substantively weak argument. To argue that same sex=couples should not be permitted to raise children because most of us were born to a heterosexual couple is a non-sequitur. There is nothing about the biological requirements to create a child that tells us about the best way to raise a child. That lots of children are physically and sexually abused by their biological parents shows there is no necessary connection between being a biological parent and effective child raising.

Your claim that allowing same sex couples to raise children makes mothers or fathers "useless" is also a non-sequitur. Recognizing that how one parents is more important than who the parent is does not diminish the importance of anyone who chooses to be a parent.

If we stick to the evidence, what the evidence shows is that there is no reason to expect that permitting same-sex couples to marry will be detrimental to current society, future society, disease transmission, or child-raising. Careful scrutiny of the arguments to the contrary shows that they are either based on bad evidence or invalid arguments. That is the reason why you see so many legal opinions reviewing the evidence and concluding that there is no "rational basis" for denying the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.

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 Post subject: Re: Brad and Amore discussing in a tree... d-i-s-c-u-s-s
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:02 pm 
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And yet, despite well reasoned and well supported arguments like the above, opponents of same sex marriage try their darnedest to get away with accusing proponents of granting same sex couples the right to marry of being the irrational and emotional ones. Failing that, they then turn around and criticize the proponents of same sex marriage for being overly clinical and/or intellectual and too detached from subjective, emotional and spiritual considerations and feelings.

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