The Gay Marriage Challenge

This is the page where all you people that claim same-sex marriage will destroy traditional marriages can explain exactly how that would work.

Rules:

1. Show your work You must show all stages in logical progression, no if a then not b without stating how not b is caused by a. That kind of argument is why this page exists in the first place.

2. Show links If you cite a “study” or use the word “studies” you must find a link to that study or a credible source that algamates those studies. Conservapedia is not a credible source, Wikipedia is a credible source if the backing sources are also linked. For Wiki the backing sources are in a place at the bottom of the article.

3. Keep it clean All arguments must be based in facts, with no attacking of other posters. You can only reference other posters with factual rebuttals to their arguments.

And to quote Go Get a Roomie “Fuck, yeah! Gaybies!”

14 responses to “The Gay Marriage Challenge

  1. Deborah Lassiter

    I came to check out your place Opus after reading your challenge on the VP message board. I hope you get some replies, they would be interesting to read. I was privileged to attend First Unitarian Church in Toronto in 2001-2003 when our minister, Mark Morrison-Reed was instrumental in supporting the legalization of same sex marriage through his advocacy & affidavits. I also enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments on the VP article on the new barricades to bikes at the light rail entrances. Thanks for creating a wonderful blog & for your thoughtful comments on the VP message board.
    debral29391

    • And we have our first contestant! Sorry but “i hate gays” is not a well-reasoned argument in why same-sex couples getting married is damaging to mixed-sex marriages.

  2. Same-sex couples getting married is damaging to mixed-sex marriages, because: seeing happy gay couples, will make heterosexual couples unhappy.

    Unhappy heterosexual couples will feel less comfort, have a lesser feeling of well-being, and will have less happy marriages, less happy lives, slack off, will forget to brush their teeth, will stink when they go to work, will loose their jobs, will get divorced and may become homeless and weird and start wearing tin foil hats.

    Ofcourse there are exceptions: some heterosexual couples actually do like seeing happy same sex couples. This needs to be studied further: is there something wrong with these hetero couples? Are they in denial? Is it repressed homophobia? These couples need to be helped and supported, so they can finally come out as homophobes and be out and proud about it. Even though this may result in wearing tin foil hats.

    • Opus the Poet

      I was hoping you would drop by the place :) But under the rules you still didn’t win because you failed to cite sources! ;)

  3. Yippee! I’m so happy I failed! :-D

  4. I love this idea! Love it! No arguments here!

  5. Okay, so…I’m actually going to make an honest argument, so I feel the need to first be clear that I bear no one any ill will. Please, *please*, don’t think this means I have anything against anyone due to their sexual orientation. Yes, I am going to argue that gay sex/marriage is bad; this is not out of any ill will to anyone. Even if you have tons and tons of gay sex/marriage, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person–it’s only if *you* think that gay sex/marriage is bad, and don’t care, and keep it up, that I’d consider you a bad person. And even then, only in that one light, which more likely than not is not all there is to you as a person. No person could be that single-dimensional without an effort so gigantic that it would them to have more to them in order to even pull off the very appearance of such.

    That said: I do think there’s a logical argument against gay sex/marriage. Actually, it’s more of an argument against most sex/marriage, gay or otherwise. One more warning: I’ve already written a lot, and as you’ll see, the argument is much longer. If you don’t read it all, that’s fine! Just…don’t assume you know what I think if you don’t read it all. So here it is:

    1) People aim to be happy.
    This is gonna have to be taken as a given; if not, then you don’t need to read on, because the argument fails. I can’t figure out a way to try and prove this; it’s something I see as self-evident.

    2) Your values determine what makes you happy.
    So for instance, if I decide that good feelings are what make me happy, then any time I trigger my endorphins, I’ll be happy. It’s going to be pretty important that I differentiate happiness and pleasure. To my way of thinking, I can be happy despite being in pain, and unhappy despite experiencing pleasure. It’s kind of like how some people enjoy sweet things and some enjoy sour. What kind of feelings you like determines what makes you happy, and it’s you who determines what kind of feelings you like.

    Another important point to make here is that what causes certain feelings in you doesn’t seem very much under anyone’s control. I find that ice cream causes pleasant feelings in me. Some people find that kicking puppies works for them. Most examples, clearly, aren’t this extreme, and don’t have any moral element to them. What makes us feel pleasure/pain will vary between people, and nobody (to my knowledge, which I already may have proven to be greatly comprised of misinformation) can choose which things result in which sensations.

    3) You can’t simultaneously be made happy by two opposite things.
    We’re getting close to my main point now. What I mean here is that if I decide that impulsivity is bad, I can’t–while still holding that position–decide that it’s good. That much is logical fact. Following from #2–if you agree with it–my happiness depends on my values. So, I can’t be simultaneously made happy by impulsivity, and made sad by it, assuming my earlier assertions are true.

    4) The greatest happiness lies in great self consistency
    This is related pretty strongly to #3. Again assuming that my previous points are correct, if we can’t be happy with two things that play into opposite values, we can’t be happy with two things that in any way play into contradictory values. So, I can’t be fully happy both with dieting and with shopping sprees, because the idea of trying to be wise and frugal with my resources–be they health or wealth–is something I can’t both espouse and reject all at once. However, I can totally limit myself to specific principles–I like dieting, not for any deeper reason like that it’s good for me, but simply because dieting is something I happen to like. I also happen to like shopping sprees. Then, I’m not contradicting myself. But I’m also not holding to any larger set of values, any overarching character. Which for whatever reason, seems to reduce the depth of happiness I can feel. If I were to guess why this is, I’d say that it seems that there’s just more power in weaving together a set of interrelated principles, such that each action seems to fulfill many values which reinforce each other. It really seems that the more values you’re satisfying, the happier you are. And again, if you disagree, then you may be right, and my argument would just fail. But if you see my point and it seems true, then read on.

    Actually, one more caveat. If there’s a point in this argument where I go off the rails, it’s about to be here. I’m about to basically argue against pleasure, particularly sex. If you’re worried that you’re wasting your time on the rantings of a complete weirdo, I’m probably about to prove you right, so if you don’t care to waste any more time, or if you feel cheated of a reasonable argument by someone who decided to go teetotaler at the last minute, my apologies, and please, don’t waste your attention for my sake. But if that position’s one you wouldn’t necessarily write off as stupid or worthless, at least until I’ve argued stupidly or worthlessly for it, then I’ll continue.

    5) Pleasure (or pain) aren’t consistent.
    Here’s my central point. If the most important thing is happiness, and the most happiness comes from a consistent character, there’s only one question left, which is how to determine which character to have. There are pretty much infinite self-consistent value sets to have, after all. Mass murderers are just as consistent as saints–only, in opposite manners. So here’s my answer.

    To me, the central fact of being human is that we have to maintain our lives or else die. So, either life is part of our value system, or else we just go ahead and off ourselves. Assuming you choose life–because otherwise, you’re no longer reading this, not to mention that you no longer have the opportunity to feel happiness anyway–then how it fits into our values is still to be determined. To skip a long, albeit better reasoned, essay, I’ll say that what I’ve found is that choosing a value set which 1) gives the most possible happiness and 2) includes life as something that’s valued results in choosing creativity as one’s primary value. I don’t mean in the high school sense, where a teacher saying you were creative meant that you were artistic–rather, I mean it in the sense of what hippies called positive energy. That which creates, which adds to the world: the creation of life, the addition of health, etc. etc.

    But here’s the rub. Pleasure itself is really a nonentity in this value set. Insofar as it helps other things to happen, like motivation, it can be useful–but even then, having one’s motivation rely on the availability of things secondary to one’s actual purpose is a real problem, and a problem which only grows when it’s fed into. (If you happen to be a masochist, the same argument can be extended towards pain.) So, any activity which is done solely for the sake of pleasure is, for a value set dedicated to wise spending of all resources (including time), undesirable.

    6) Homosexual sex can only be had for pleasure.
    I’m taking a line in arguing this particular point that most people would really disagree with. It assumes that intimacy and sex are divisible categories, which is at least very controversial. But I do believe it’s true, and here’s why.

    I love my parents. I know this because I would do anything that would benefit them. They love me, and I know because they’ve shown their willingness to do the same for me. But obviously, I’m never going to be sexually attracted to my parents. Yet the love we share manifests in shared intimacy, even sometimes of a physical sort. I hug my parents, and while I was a kid I would cuddle with them and kiss them. This hasn’t happened much since I moved out, but honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever be to old to snuggle with my parents. If that sounds weird, I assert that it’s because our culture assumes that any physical contact between adults is sexual, and any sexual contact between family members is abhorrent. While the second part is, I think, true, I can at least point to centuries of the first part being thought of as stupid, if even thought of. Hell, I know for a fact that the Rule of St. Benedict–which pretty much started monasteries as we know them–actually *required* that the monks sleep together in one big huddle, so as to bond fraternally. Intimacy, even physical intimacy, is just a genuine component of caring for someone. This is another point I’ve got to hold to without much other support.

    And yet, sexuality isn’t–and shouldn’t be, I don’t think–considered part of intimacy itself. For me, sex is the liquor to the coffee that is intimacy. Coffee is warm, soothing, and satisfying–to me, anyway. But many people prefer it with a shot of whiskey. It makes it more potent, and complements it, for their tastes, and they see nothing wrong with alcohol.
    But they’re not the same drink–just two drinks that complement each other. That is, assuming you’re of age.

    Just so with sex and intimacy. For me, intimacy is the thing that heals the soul, that allows us to mature, to open up to the world and the people around us, to accept help on life’s difficulties. Whereas sex is an act which, to be fully enjoyable, requires intimacy–but is not the same thing, and returns a rather different product. Sex delivers passion, excitement, and the satisfaction of a deep yearning–that is, if we care enough about sex to let our instinctive predilection towards it blossom into full-blown yearning. But none of those things actually help us mature as people–it’s the intimacy that does that. Sex is, to my way of thinking, an optional part…with one key exception. Sex is also the biological mechanism of making babies. And if you’re having sex to make a baby, then I think there is value in the act. But otherwise, any sex had–regardless of whether it’s hetero or homo sex–is just as worthless as desserts. Yes, it feels great in the moment, but all it really is is a tempting slice of unhealthiness. And your decision to value it keeps you immature, just as any feeling that it’s an indispensable part of the main course will simply lead to undervaluing intimacy, making its value contingent on how satisfying the sexual portion was.

    Since homosexual sex can’t be had to make babies–yet–I thus think that it’s a bad thing. So far.

    7) Marriage is about sex.
    This might actually be pretty uncontroversial, especially given what I’ve said up to this point. But yeah–the only reason marriage is different than any other bond is that it’s a commitment of sexual fidelity. Yes, it brings along with it the supposition of love and intimacy, but as I’ve said, I don’t think those are things that require or are even truly enhanced by sex. Instead, those things are prerequisites for what marriage is, a bond of sex. Now, in a heterosexual marriage, so long as both of the partners are healthy, the sex can produce children; and accordingly, marriage and families have always been seen to go hand in hand. Even in homosexual marriages, it’s often the case that both partners consider adoption a large part of the desirability of the matrimonial bond. So I think it’s fair to say marriage is about sex, either as a route to kids or for the deep pleasure it affords.

    The problem is, homosexual sex doesn’t produce children. That’s pretty much its defining characteristic. And even heterosexual sex, when had with either protection or during periods of time when fertility is impossible, like…well, periods, can’t produce kids. I think those two things are equally bad. Any sex had for anything but procreation has no possible good purpose. It just keeps us hungry when we could be full, and using that energy, time, and focus for doing things that are good and loving, as opposed to immature and fixative. (I think I just made up that word. A fixation is something that stops us from growing; to be fixative would then mean to play into a fixation. If I didn’t make the word up, so much the better.)

    8) So, marriage is only good insofar as it’s to have kids; and thus homosexual marriage is out.
    I think this follows clearly from what I’ve said so far, so I’m not going to repeat myself here. I’ll just address two remaining points:

    i) Hetero marriages without procreation
    But what of barren couples, or couples past procreative age? Well, they shouldn’t have sex. I don’t think a barren couple should actually marry; but if they’re already married, there is precedent for a chaste marriage. Still, it’s no longer really a marriage, and I think it should probably be annulled, with the spouses living together as dear family, as opposed to as potential parents. As for older couples, I think it’s fairly well known that most–not all, especially not in the age of viagra, but most–elderly couples focus less and less on sex, and more and more on that same sort of combination of familial and friendship love that characterizes deep friendships between persons not sexually attracted to each other.

    ii) Parenting children without sex
    Both heterosexual and homosexual partners adopt children. I honestly do not think this makes a marriage. They are parents, no doubt, and the honor and joy of that role should never be denied them by anyone. But again, I think that marriage is unique in that it involves creating children through sex. That’s what its point is, in the calculus I’ve been advancing. Simply put, anyone–of any orientation–who parents children without having sexually formed them is rightly designated their parent, but not all co-parents are or ought be spouses.

    Now, I’ve given my argument, long and odd as it is. I hope that it’s been worth your time, and I welcome any constructive feedback–even if it’s to say that I ought to take down this post, because it’s an affront to marriage or logic or human freedom or something. But I’ve given it, and I hope that’s a good thing.

    • Opus the Poet

      And we have here an example of the “marriage is to have kids” fallacy, that the author was so kind as to debunk right in the post. Sorry, but the task was to why gay marriage will affect straight marriage for the worse, not why the current system of marriage to incorporate property and reduce taxes is wrong and not “traditional” enough.

  6. Opus the Poet

    And we have here an example of the “marriage is to have kids” fallacy, that the author was so kind as to debunk right in the post. Sorry, but the task was to why gay marriage will affect straight marriage for the worse, not why the current system of marriage to incorporate property and reduce taxes is wrong and not “traditional” enough.

  7. i beleive in marriage. Call it gay or straight or whatever I believe in it on the grounds that it is like the duffferage acts on voting – everyone has the right to suffer as much as I did i Opus!Hi ! Gaybies forever – (Jos Reyn from GGaR comments)
    And i am bookmarking this!
    Possibly, so I can balckmail me later?

  8. Why will gay marriage destroy traditional marriage? Why, surely it’s obvious? Gay marriage is all about equality, love, and emotional freedom. Marriage is, traditionally, about making sure that your offspring are yours and your partner literally belongs to you as chattel.
    Gay marriage, being about equality and love, destroys traditional marriage by not having one partner own the other. Fuck yeah. Down with traditional marriage!

    I would cite sources, but I’m feeling far too lazy, and don’t want any more of a reminder of how fucking horrible the concept of marriage traditionally was.

  9. If gays destroy the marriage institution… they are doing a great job. Nobody should get married because it places both of you in a cage. But that’s only my humble opinion.

  10. Because gays are… icky. And they smell funny.

    Seriously, though… I did offer my view on same-sex marriage about a year ago, I dunno if you saw it, but it’s here: http://thomasoverbeck.livejournal.com/91455.html

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