Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:37 pm UTC

Backtracking a bit:

Silknor wrote:I'm sorry but there's simply no equivalency between an objective fact such as if the Earth is pretty round or if it's flat and a moral argument for gay marriage.

Sure there is. They're both beliefs that people have that we form based on limited information. Your initial criticism of Hippo was not that he was conflating morals with facts, but that he was prematurely rejecting other opinions for which there may be evidence. This criticism can apply to factual beliefs just as well as it can apply to moral beliefs. Now, to turn to that criticism:

Silknor wrote:
Of course, I see this happen a lot more on the side of the discussion that has no standing in either realism or morality.


To me that sounds a lot like having your mind made up already, exactly the same thing you accused the Prop 8 supporters of doing. Leaving no room for error, or the possibility of legitimate other positions, it reminds me a lot of those who believe homosexuality is wrong and nothing will convince them otherwise.

To say that a position "has no standing in either realism or morality" is to say that it such standing makes a difference — that is, that the position would be considered differently if it did have such a standing. Hippo is not saying that evidence for Prop 8 should be disregarded; he's saying that it doesn't exist. That's not an unreasonable claim in light of proponents' inability to present evidence at trial.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:04 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:know for a fact that homosexuality is not an abomination


A solid ploy to keep repeating that as if I had mentioned anything related. Thus implying it's somehow relevant at all to the discussion.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I believe it's wrong to deny people equality on the basis of gender and sexual orientation. Is there a way to vote for Prop 8 without doing that?


Yes.

On sexual orientation that's easy: by believing that there's no denial of equality. Which I think you'll find a large percentage of the Prop 8 supporters believe. After all, in some legitimate phrasings of the right to marry, there's 0 discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Being gay doesn't deny you a right, the right to marry isn't based on sexual orientation, it just makes that right far less useful. But a right being more useful to some than others isn't a denial of equality.

On gender it's hard to argue that the law treats men and women the same, it clearly doesn't. But as a society we accept plenty of gender discrimination, so saying that a law discriminates on the basis of gender really isn't enough to convince most people that a law is wrong.

Nordic Einar wrote:That doesn't make their stance any less observable wrong, though. There isn't really much in the way of a reasonable rationalization of imposing restrictions on homosexuals like this.


I don't think the article I linked earlier was that bad on this point. The argument that marriage is a government subsidy to some people (and thus comes at a cost) and thus should only be given out when there's some benefits to the state/society (making reasonable exceptions where strict enforcement either violates privacy or isn't cost-beneficial, neither is true for gay marriage) is not observably wrong. It's an argument that reaches an unpopular conclusion on the basis of certain values. These values may not be widely shared, but that doesn't make them wrong.

And while you probably don't find it reasonable, some people would no doubt consider the conservative Catholic reasoning (all sex is sin, it's only acceptable when done in marriage for procreation) a valid justification for laws against gay marriage as well.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:To say that a position "has no standing in either realism or morality" is to say that it such standing makes a difference — that is, that the position would be considered differently if it did have such a standing. Hippo is not saying that evidence for Prop 8 should be disregarded; he's saying that it doesn't exist. That's not an unreasonable claim in light of proponents' inability to present evidence at trial.


But the evidence needed to convince Judge Walker that the law is constitutional and the "evidence" needed to convince an individual that the law is right are not equivalent. There need be no evidence of the first kind for someone to reasonably find "evidence" of the second time. I put it in quotes because that's really a moral opinion, not one that need be based on facts.

The idea that gay marriage is a moral wrong is not one that can be falsified, no more than Aristotle's claim of what constitutes a good life can be falsified. Saying it lacks evidence misses the point, because evidence was never in the question.

In the same way, I doubt any amount of evidence could convince any of us here that gay marriage is wrong. Say there was incontrovertible proof that gay marriage would hurt overall societal welfare, that two same-sex parents raise a child worse than a single parent, much less an opposite-sex couples, that society would suffer as a result. This would not convince me that gay marriage is wrong. I doubt it would convince anyone else here either. It's a belief that is not based on fact, but rather certain values. The same is true for those opposing gay marriage. So how can they be wrong if we can't be?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:46 am UTC

Silknor wrote:On gender it's hard to argue that the law treats men and women the same, it clearly doesn't. But as a society we accept plenty of gender discrimination, so saying that a law discriminates on the basis of gender really isn't enough to convince most people that a law is wrong.

I am not "a society" or "most people." Alongside marriage discrimination, I find a plenitude of the gender discrimination in society to be immoral.

Silknor wrote:But the evidence needed to convince Judge Walker that the law is constitutional and the "evidence" needed to convince an individual that the law is right are not equivalent.

The trial was an example. The more general claim that I made before that sentence is that it is possible for a position to lack standing in reality, and that it is not closed-minded to call a spade a spade in that respect. The flat earth analogy is again relevant: it would be closed-minded to reject a valid case for a flat earth just because I think the earth is round, but it's not my fault that such a case does not exist.

Silknor wrote:The idea that gay marriage is a moral wrong is not one that can be falsified, no more than Aristotle's claim of what constitutes a good life can be falsified. Saying it lacks evidence misses the point, because evidence was never in the question.

DON'T CROSS THE STREAMS!

The proponents of Prop 8 made various factual arguments about harm that gay marriage would cause. Evidence was clearly in the question here, and it was found wanting. It may have existed in the sense that anecdotal evidence is better than no evidence, but it was so flawed and limited as to give us no relevant information about reality, the first half of Hippo's claim.

As for morality, I can't simultaneously believe that gay marriage is morally fine but that there's a moral basis for banning it. Again, I remain open to contrary arguments, but if I find them to be invalid I'm not going to accept policies that follow from them as morally founded.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kyrn » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:57 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:As for morality, I can't simultaneously believe that gay marriage is morally fine but that there's a moral basis for banning it. Again, I remain open to contrary arguments, but if I find them to be invalid I'm not going to accept policies that follow from them as morally founded.

Sliding scale of morality. The key issue is the circumstance of said marriage. It's like saying others can drink, but I'm morally bound not to drink; I can control myself (our nation), but not others (foreigners).
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:00 am UTC

True, but that's not really relevant to this case. "Don't take away people's rights" is not the kind of belief that you limit to yourself.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:06 am UTC

Reply to Hippo's post that got deleted between when I started writing it and when I finished it (mostly about utilitarianism:

Spoiler:
On abomination: I don't think most Prop 8 supporters describe their belief as that.

Second quote: The firstpolling data I found indicated only 36 percent of Americans believe it's a choice. Even before adjusting for it being California (appropriate since the same poll found a larger percent opposed to gay marriage than supported prop 8), that implies only around half of Prop 8 supporters believe that. I'm not really talking about them.

For this justification to be at all valid, you would have to actually crunch the numbers, demonstrate the amount of money saved, and then compare that money to the human costs of denying homosexuals the legitimacy, legal sanctity, and cultural credibility of marriage


Or you would just have to believe that the numbers line up your way. I doubt you've done a calculation to support your belief, so unless you have the calculations readily available, you seem to be applying a double standard and ignoring the fact that it's their belief that's relevant to the judgment they past, not an unknowable correct answer (you can find an approximation sure, but not the exact value of each of those). Or you could easily have a value system which puts the "human" costs at or around 0, or even negative costs (benefits).

The Great Hippo wrote:Here is the only relevant moral question you need to ask: Does denying homosexuals the right to marry increase or decrease human prosperity?


My apologies. In my earlier generalization that no one here would likely switch to opposing gay marriage if incontrovertible evidence that it was bad for society was found, I forgot that we have an actual utilitarian here. For most of us here (I suspect), our support of gay marriage is not based on beliefs about the expected utility to society. For those people my point was intended.

Answer: Decrease.


Is this an assertion, or do you have actual proof? I don't disagree with the statement (though I find prosperity a strange word choice).

And more importantly, I doubt that most people's opinion of gay marriage is solely informed by it's utility to society.

Lets say you're right. Let's say (and this is my working assumption), that gay marriage is a net benefit for society. Lets say you could prove this. Do you really think all opposition to gay marriage would vanish? In the reverse case, where we can absolutely prove that gay marriage is bad for society, how many minds do you think would change?

You're acting as if everyone has accepted your system of morality and condemning everyone who hasn't by your implications. This just isn't the case.


@TGB:
I find a plenitude of the gender discrimination in society to be immoral.


Then you'll probably reach a different conclusion from many people. Nothing wrong with that, but the test might not be so simple for others as it is for you.

The more general claim that I made before that sentence is that it is possible for a position to lack standing in reality, and that it is not closed-minded to call a spade a spade in that respect.

No disagreement there. But I don't think that no case against marriage has standing in reality as you put it.

The proponents of Prop 8 made various factual arguments about harm that gay marriage would cause.

Yes. Yes they did. But this sheds no conclusive light on the reasoning of individual votes nor on the validity and soundness (in a philosophical sense) of other people's arguments against gay marriage.

As for morality, I can't simultaneously believe that gay marriage is morally fine but that there's a moral basis for banning it.


You can't? Again, if we assume gay marriage is bad for society, then we have a moral case (based on utilitarianism) against it. But we have no shortage of possible moral cases for it, even given that assumption. Just as you can find a policy reason for opposing something even if on whole you support it, I believe you can find a moral reason for opposing something even if on whole you support it.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:17 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Yes. Yes they did. But this sheds no conclusive light on the reasoning of individual votes nor on the validity and soundness (in a philosophical sense) of other people's arguments against gay marriage.

One would think that people who actively campaigned for Prop 8 and then showed up in court to defend it would have the cream of the crop of reasonings employed by mere casual voters. I find it hard to believe that there's a really good argument for Prop 8 that's somehow been suppressed, given all the time and money that's been spent on bad arguments. And I'll stick with my analogy on this point: I haven't conducted exhaustive interviews of flat-earthers, but I think it's extremely unlikely that they haven't gravitated (heh) toward the credible evidence if there is any to support their claim.

Silknor wrote:You can't? Again, if we assume gay marriage is bad for society, then we have a moral case (based on utilitarianism) against it. But we have no shortage of possible moral cases for it, even given that assumption. Just as you can find a policy reason for opposing something even if on whole you support it, I believe you can find a moral reason for opposing something even if on whole you support it.

But I don't just support gay marriage "on the whole." I specifically find a lack of moral reasons for banning it, in addition to a lack of practical reasons for banning it.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:25 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:One would think that people who actively campaigned for Prop 8 and then showed up in court to defend it would have the cream of the crop of reasonings employed by mere casual voters. I find it hard to believe that there's a really good argument for Prop 8 that's somehow been suppressed, given all the time and money that's been spent on bad arguments.


Which argument is good depends on your values and assumptions. And there is likely a large disconnect between arguments made to persuade voters (and by persuade I really mean motivate turnout among people who already agree with you), arguments made that are relevant in terms of equal protection law, and reasoned arguments. Or the Prop 8 supporters could just be bigoted idiots (which seems to be close to consensus here, so why expect that they're going to be the ones to use much reason).
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Sourire » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:26 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Supporting Prop 8 does not make you evil, or bigoted, or hateful, or ignorant, objectively wrong, or immoral. These terms may accurately be ascribed to some supporters. But to ascribe them to all supporters is just wrong.
  • Evil - That word is silly, let's agree to that much.
  • Bigoted - It's certainly easier to see ties to bigoted views (not necessarily bigoted people) in the pro-8 campaign than the anti-8 campaign.
  • Hateful/Ignorant - Put together, because I think you're either one or the other if you support proposition 8. I can agree that there is an argument that "gays can still marry an opposite sex partner", in which case I do not view them as hateful. However, I do find that reasoning ignorant, and willfully so.
  • Objectively wrong - I'm not sure I've ever seen a single law I'd say was objectively right or wrong. They tend to follow "Well, it's the best we could do." as a closer metric.
  • Immoral - You're defining the moral scales we're "allowed" to use here. Stop that.
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Silknor wrote:On gender it's hard to argue that the law treats men and women the same, it clearly doesn't. But as a society we accept plenty of gender discrimination, so saying that a law discriminates on the basis of gender really isn't enough to convince most people that a law is wrong.

I am not "a society" or "most people." Alongside marriage discrimination, I find a plenitude of the gender discrimination in society to be immoral.
Agreed, and now I'd like to take the time to point out that the US Constitution also takes issue with this, and that's why the court ruled the way it did. I fail to see the ambiguous nature of the fourteenth amendment. If society were "cool" with banning guns, I'd bet we'd see some resistance-and I doubt a judge finding in favor of the second amendment would be seen as "activist", even if a referendum revoked their right to firearms.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:28 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Which argument is good depends on your values and assumptions.

I am well aware of this, given that I am evaluating ("to determine or fix the value of; to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study") those arguments.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:43 am UTC

Deleted the post because I decided I was being a little loud about it. Still, if you absolutely insist:
Silknor wrote:Even before adjusting for it being California (appropriate since the same poll found a larger percent opposed to gay marriage than supported prop 8), that implies only around half of Prop 8 supporters believe that. I'm not really talking about them.
You're not talking about half the supporters of Prop 8? Should we just ignore them, then? Would that be more helpful for you?

I'm also just not seeing the whole "A significant number of Prop 8 supporters don't think that homosexuality is a sin--they just think it's a fiscally irresponsible policy" thing. Are there really any significant number of supporters for Prop 8 out there who don't oppose homosexuality?
Silknor wrote:Or you would just have to believe that the numbers line up your way. I doubt you've done a calculation to support your belief, so unless you have the calculations readily available, you seem to be applying a double standard and ignoring the fact that it's their belief that's relevant to the judgment they past, not an unknowable correct answer (you can find an approximation sure, but not the exact value of each of those). Or you could easily have a value system which puts the "human" costs at or around 0, or even negative costs (benefits).
I have no idea what you're even saying here. I was describing under what circumstances this would work as a justifaction. You seem to be saying I'm somehow wrong, and further adding to my description of what circumstances this would work as a justifaction (aka, agreeing with me). So, cool, I guess?
Silknor wrote:My apologies. In my earlier generalization that no one here would likely switch to opposing gay marriage if incontrovertible evidence that it was bad for society was found, I forgot that we have an actual utilitarian here. For most of us here (I suspect), our support of gay marriage is not based on beliefs about the expected utility to society. For those people my point was intended.
Yes, I would oppose homosexual marriage in a heartbeat if the end result was clearly detrimental to society. I suspect that if we existed in some sort of bizarro world where it clearly was detrimental to society as a whole, a lot of people here would oppose it too.
Silknor wrote:Is this an assertion, or do you have actual proof? I don't disagree with the statement (though I find prosperity a strange word choice).
Specifically, the prosperity of homosexuals who wish to marry would decrease. They remain unable to adopt children, denied marital rights, excised from inheritance laws, etc. Their prosperity is directly impacted (negatively).
Silknor wrote:And more importantly, I doubt that most people's opinion of gay marriage is solely informed by it's utility to society.

Lets say you're right. Let's say (and this is my working assumption), that gay marriage is a net benefit for society. Lets say you could prove this. Do you really think all opposition to gay marriage would vanish? In the reverse case, where we can absolutely prove that gay marriage is bad for society, how many minds do you think would change?
Probably none. I mean, we have pretty excellent evidence that God(s) do(es)n't exist and people still believe in Him/Her/It/Them. I don't spite people for this, mind--there's nothing wrong with believing in something for which there is no evidence. But when your belief interferes with the lives and freedoms of those around you...
Silknor wrote:You're acting as if everyone has accepted your system of morality and condemning everyone who hasn't by your implications. This just isn't the case.
Whether or not everyone has accepted my system of morality is irrelevant; what's important is that I am trying to approach morality from the perspective of a realist. I don't derive my morality from whirlwinds, magic kumquats, or Gods in the Sky; I derive it by considering how my actions will impact the people around me. This is the correct place to derive morality: From the real world. People who derive it elsewhere are wrong. As wrong as they are about God, as wrong as they are about the moon-landing, and as wrong as they are about the earth being flat. Sorry, but it's true1.


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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:02 am UTC

Sourire wrote:Agreed, and now I'd like to take the time to point out that the US Constitution also takes issue with this, and that's why the court ruled the way it did. I fail to see the ambiguous nature of the fourteenth amendment. If society were "cool" with banning guns, I'd bet we'd see some resistance-and I doubt a judge finding in favor of the second amendment would be seen as "activist", even if a referendum revoked their right to firearms.


The US Constitution takes a significantly smaller issue with gender discrimination than other forms of discrimination, eg. racial or religious discrimination. Hence gender discrimination not being subject the strict scrutiny test.

I'm not sure what you're saying about guns.

The Great Hippo wrote:You're not talking about half the supporters of Prop 8? Should we just ignore them, then? Would that be more helpful for you?


Lets see. As my argument is that it's possible to support Prop 8 without being hateful or ignorant, then yes, bringing up those that are is as responsive as bringing up 9 and 15 in response to the argument that some odds are primes.

I suspect that if we existed in some sort of bizarro world where it clearly was detrimental to society as a whole, a lot of people here would oppose it too.


I would not be one of those people. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Specifically, the prosperity of homosexuals who wish to marry would decrease.


Well it's clear then why you choose prosperity, as it lets you sidestep the actual question. Seems like it's just an assertion then. Also while marriage may be the most convenient way to achieve some of those things, it is not the only way (for some).

This is the correct place to derive morality: From the real world. People who derive it elsewhere are wrong.

Regardless of this, it's clear the utilitarianism isn't the only ethical theory you can derive from the "real world." Or are all forms of Deontology, be it Kantian, Rawlsian, etc, wrong? I wasn't saying that the only legitimate way to derive morality was from religion, I wasn't even thinking about it, only that utilitarianism is but one shard of morality and ethics, and not the only useful one.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Sourire » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:14 am UTC

Silknor wrote:
Sourire wrote:Agreed, and now I'd like to take the time to point out that the US Constitution also takes issue with this, and that's why the court ruled the way it did. I fail to see the ambiguous nature of the fourteenth amendment. If society were "cool" with banning guns, I'd bet we'd see some resistance-and I doubt a judge finding in favor of the second amendment would be seen as "activist", even if a referendum revoked their right to firearms.


The US Constitution takes a significantly smaller issue with gender discrimination than other forms of discrimination, eg. racial or religious discrimination. Hence gender discrimination not being subject the strict scrutiny test.

I'm not sure what you're saying about guns.
Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly and explicitly says that no state may deny any citizen equal protection under the law. That does not put race on some playing field above sex, or vice versa. I'm not sure where there's any evidence that a blanket statement protecting all citizens is designed to protect some more. I mean, equal protection is an absolute.

As far as the point I raised in response to guns: The judge based his ruling on the Fourteenth Amendment. My issue is that providing equal protection (allotted in the Constitution) is seen as judicial activism, because the people in a referendum vote (which cannot override the constitution) disagreed with the outcome. If this scenario were to happen with firearms, where a large collection of people* decided to collectively popular-vote-out the right to own a gun, I do not think defending the Second Amendment would be seen as judicial activism. It'd be seen as a judge doing their job, just like Walker did here.

*Large here being defined as "enough to pass referendum, not enough to pass Constitutional amendment."
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:34 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Lets see. As my argument is that it's possible to support Prop 8 without being hateful or ignorant, then yes, bringing up those that are is as responsive as bringing up 9 and 15 in response to the argument that some odds are primes.
Are we going to sidestep how many supporters of Prop 8 oppose it based on 'fiscal responsibility' rather than believing homosexuality is a sin? I'd love to hear from someone who actually supports Prop 8 on the basis of it being fiscally responsible, but would otherwise be fine with homosexual marriage. "I'm fine with the idea of gays marrying and raising kids--I'm just worried about the costs! Let's define marriage as between a man and a woman as a money-saving measure!"
Silknor wrote:I would not be one of those people. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.
I find people who believe it is moral to pursue agendas that are clearly detrimental to society as a whole somewhat mind-boggling. But I imagine this stems more from a misunderstanding about what 'clearly detrimental to society' actually means.
Silknor wrote:Well it's clear then why you choose prosperity, as it lets you sidestep the actual question. Seems like it's just an assertion then. Also while marriage may be the most convenient way to achieve some of those things, it is not the only way (for some).
And the actual question is what? And if a homosexual couple wishes to adopt a child and raise them in a loving environment where they instill their moral and cultural values on them--and are denied this right by the failure of marriage reform--has their prosperity not been clearly decreased? And there are other solutions, yes--and those solutions do work. For, as you said, some.
Silknor wrote:Regardless of this, it's clear the utilitarianism isn't the only ethical theory you can derive from the "real world." Or are all forms of Deontology, be it Kantian, Rawlsian, etc, wrong? I wasn't saying that the only legitimate way to derive morality was from religion, I wasn't even thinking about it, only that utilitarianism is but one shard of morality and ethics, and not the only useful one.
You were pointing to morality derived from religion ("Hey, check out the Catholic justification, they totally have a reason to oppose this") as if they were somehow equal to morality derived from reality. They aren't. Morality pulled from the whirlwind is always inferior to morality based on what is actual and what is real.

I'd argue that Kantian morality and Deontology morality are also not derived from what is real or measurable, but that's a whole other bag of rabid screaming screecher monkeys.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:39 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I find people who believe it is moral to pursue agendas that are clearly detrimental to society as a whole somewhat mind-boggling. But I imagine this stems more from a misunderstanding about what 'clearly detrimental to society' actually means.


It's really not an uncommon view that utilitarianism fails when it comes to protecting rights of the minority. And even more common is the cases when the people promoting equality do so for equalities sake, and couldn't care less if it helps or hurts society as a whole, which I would define as a simple society wide utility comparison, pretty straightforward.

And the actual question is what? And if a homosexual couple wishes to adopt a child and raise them in a loving environment where they instill their moral and cultural values on them--and are denied this right by the failure of marriage reform--has their prosperity not been clearly decreased?


The actual question is clear: if gay marriage is net-beneficial for the society (my intuition tells me it is, but I doubt you're actually calculated it, which is what a utilitarian should do). Prosperity lets you ignore that the negative effects on straight people (if there are any besides some people get pissed/outraged at the supposed immorality), you can lose utility without losing prosperity.

"Morality derived from reality" sounds like nothing more than a condescending way to dismiss faith-based and rights-based moral systems. Lets not pretend that Utilitarianism is any more objectively right than Objectivism.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:03 am UTC

Silknor wrote:It's really not an uncommon view that utilitarianism fails when it comes to protecting rights of the minority. And even more common is the cases when the people promoting equality do so for equalities sake, and couldn't care less if it helps or hurts society as a whole, which I would define as a simple society wide utility comparison, pretty straightforward.
I make moral decisions based on long-term and short-term impacts--the former are rarely clear, but the latter often are. Supporting gay marriage may have a positive long-term impact--it's probably not going to be negative--but it definitely has a positive short-term impact. If I were to somehow discover, without a shadow of a doubt, that the long-term impact would be disastrous--outstretching the short-term benefit--I would oppose it. And I'd call anyone who continued to support it while knowing what I know guilty of a moral transgression. Is that really so hard to grasp?
Silknor wrote:The actual question is clear: if gay marriage is net-beneficial for the society (my intuition tells me it is, but I doubt you're actually calculated it, which is what a utilitarian should do). Prosperity lets you ignore that the negative effects on straight people (if there are any besides some people get pissed/outraged at the supposed immorality), you can lose utility without losing prosperity.
You answered your own problem. "Prosperity" lets me ignore the negative effects on straight people because there are no negative effects to their prosperity. Straight people can still raise families--still fall in love--still engage in healthy, monogamous relationships, still have children, still continue to prosper. The impact is practically zero.
Silknor wrote:"Morality derived from reality" sounds like nothing more than a condescending way to dismiss faith-based and rights-based moral systems. Lets not pretend that Utilitarianism is any more objectively right than Objectivism.
Okay? I never made the claim utilitarianism is the best moral system, just that moral systems based on reality are superior to moral systems based on fantasy. Have we not yet reached a point where we can assert that, yes, moral systems based on actual facts are superior to moral systems based on things some old dudes said about what to do with your goats a thousand years ago? Is that still 'too offensive' for me to say? Do I have to wait another thousand years before pointing this out?

THIS JUST IN: Not all moral beliefs are created equal. Some of them are actually pretty fucking stupid.

Also, are we going to talk about alternative standalone reasons to support Prop 8 besides "homosexuality is wrong" at any point? Because I'm still desperately curious to hear about them.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Malice » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:25 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, are we going to talk about alternative standalone reasons to support Prop 8 besides "homosexuality is wrong" at any point? Because I'm still desperately curious to hear about them.


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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:28 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I make moral decisions based on long-term and short-term impacts--the former are rarely clear, but the latter often are. Supporting gay marriage may have a positive long-term impact--it's probably not going to be negative--but it definitely has a positive short-term impact. If I were to somehow discover, without a shadow of a doubt, that the long-term impact would be disastrous--outstretching the short-term benefit--I would oppose it. And I'd call anyone who continued to support it while knowing what I know guilty of a moral transgression. Is that really so hard to grasp?


No, it's not hard at all to grasp. I understand how to think as a utilitarian. But it need not be disastrous to be immoral for a utilitarian, only slightly worse. While it's easy for me to understand how you're thinking, I'm sure you can understand how many people would think something that promotes rights is moral even if the negative benefits slightly outweigh the positive ones overall. I'm not convinced on the definite short term impact. You seem to be ignoring the loss of utility to those who oppose gay marriage (no, I'm not saying it'll hurt their marriages, it's the same loss of utility that many on the other side felt when Prop 8 passed, even if they got no direct benefit from being able to marry those of their own sex). Now I don't know if you're actually ignoring it, assuming it to be inconsequential, or if you have some reasoned argument you're unwilling to share that proves the short term benefits are definitively positive. But your argument seems no more based on fact than faith.

"Prosperity" lets me ignore the negative effects on straight people because there are no negative effects to their prosperity. Straight people can still raise families--still fall in love--still engage in healthy, monogamous relationships, still have children, still continue to prosper. The impact is practically zero.


This seems like a nice way of saying the other sources of loss utility (anger at the decision, a feeling of disconnect from a society that disagrees with you on values you hold dear, increased acceptance of sin [for some]) don't count. But these are undeniably relevant in determining if something is net-beneficial, even if you put no to little value on them.

I never made the claim utilitarianism is the best moral system, just that moral systems based on reality are superior to moral systems based on fantasy. Have we not yet reached a point where we can assert that, yes, moral systems based on actual facts are superior to moral systems based on things some old dudes said about what to do with your goats a thousand years ago? Is that still 'too offensive' for me to say? Should I wait another thousand years before pointing this shit out?


You've just seemingly shot down every single other moral system as not based on reality (and thus inferior). If you're not making the claim that utilitarianism is the best more system or the only one based on reality, could you give an example of another more system you think meets this criteria?

Saying utilitarianism is necessarily based on actual facts isn't really true either. It's not a fact that morality is tied to if something is net beneficial. Utilitarianism uses facts yes, but the connection between societal good and morality is something you can't derive from facts alone. Some a priori assumptions are required. And that's before ignoring how utterly arbitrary some factors involved are. Like how large a community on which you need to run the utility calculations. Or the relevant timeframe. Or the weights used.

Also, are we going to talk about alternative standalone reasons to support Prop 8 besides "homosexuality is wrong" at any point? Because I'm still desperately curious to hear about them.


I gave a link earlier to an article that I think meets this. It wasn't based on homosexuality is wrong, just that there's no need for the government to subsidize gay marriages. The Catholic all sex is sin argument kinda meets this, yes it says homosexual acts (not desires) are wrong, but not out of homophobia but something closer to sexophobia. An argument for civil unions but against gay marriage could easily meet this as well, presumably reasoning on some basis of the importance of traditional values/customs (which isn't anti-gay, even if it's often used in that way).

In my own biased view (since I"m not a supporter of any of these arguments), I would say the first one is the strongest for a secular society. In theory at least it's a pragmatic way of promoting certain goals, but it does require a belief that some things people think are important in marriage (eg. most everything but the procreation and things that help raise children) are either unimportant, minimally important, or aren't legitimate areas of government concern (and can be handled by churches, privately, whatever).
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Malice » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:45 am UTC

Silknor wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:I make moral decisions based on long-term and short-term impacts--the former are rarely clear, but the latter often are. Supporting gay marriage may have a positive long-term impact--it's probably not going to be negative--but it definitely has a positive short-term impact. If I were to somehow discover, without a shadow of a doubt, that the long-term impact would be disastrous--outstretching the short-term benefit--I would oppose it. And I'd call anyone who continued to support it while knowing what I know guilty of a moral transgression. Is that really so hard to grasp?


No, it's not hard at all to grasp. I understand how to think as a utilitarian. But it need not be disastrous to be immoral for a utilitarian, only slightly worse. While it's easy for me to understand how you're thinking, I'm sure you can understand how many people would think something that promotes rights is moral even if the negative benefits slightly outweigh the positive ones overall. I'm not convinced on the definite short term impact. You seem to be ignoring the loss of utility to those who oppose gay marriage (no, I'm not saying it'll hurt their marriages, it's the same loss of utility that many on the other side felt when Prop 8 passed, even if they got no direct benefit from being able to marry those of their own sex). Now I don't know if you're actually ignoring it, assuming it to be inconsequential, or if you have some reasoned argument you're unwilling to share that proves the short term benefits are definitively positive. But your argument seems no more based on fact than faith.


Given that gay marriage is polling these days at about 50/50, can't the "we win!"/"we lose!" psychological effects of the decision be safely discarded as existing in equal measure on both sides?

Also, hurt feelings are temporary. The positive effects of lifting the marriage ban are long lasting and self-renewing.

Also, are we going to talk about alternative standalone reasons to support Prop 8 besides "homosexuality is wrong" at any point? Because I'm still desperately curious to hear about them.


I gave a link earlier to an article that I think meets this. It wasn't based on homosexuality is wrong, just that there's no need for the government to subsidize gay marriages. The Catholic all sex is sin argument kinda meets this, yes it says homosexual acts (not desires) are wrong, but not out of homophobia but something closer to sexophobia. An argument for civil unions but against gay marriage could easily meet this as well, presumably reasoning on some basis of the importance of traditional values/customs (which isn't anti-gay, even if it's often used in that way).

In my own biased view (since I"m not a supporter of any of these arguments), I would say the first one is the strongest for a secular society. In theory at least it's a pragmatic way of promoting certain goals, but it does require a belief that some things people think are important in marriage (eg. most everything but the procreation and things that help raise children) are either unimportant, minimally important, or aren't legitimate areas of government concern (and can be handled by churches, privately, whatever).


How is there no need for the government to subsidize gay marriages? Gays are for obvious reasons more likely to adopt; and we have a huge pile of children in need of adoption; and science shows that children do better when they have, you know, parents. If you're actually interested in the welfare of children, you should be for gay marriage. (General 'you'.)
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:48 am UTC

Silknor wrote:No, it's not hard at all to grasp. I understand how to think as a utilitarian. But it need not be disastrous to be immoral for a utilitarian, only slightly worse. While it's easy for me to understand how you're thinking, I'm sure you can understand how many people would think something that promotes rights is moral even if the negative benefits slightly outweigh the positive ones overall. I'm not convinced on the definite short term impact. You seem to be ignoring the loss of utility to those who oppose gay marriage (no, I'm not saying it'll hurt their marriages, it's the same loss of utility that many on the other side felt when Prop 8 passed, even if they got no direct benefit from being able to marry those of their own sex). Now I don't know if you're actually ignoring it, assuming it to be inconsequential, or if you have some reasoned argument you're unwilling to share that proves the short term benefits are definitively positive. But your argument seems no more based on fact than faith.
The utilitarian's dilemma you're proposing never comes up, because we're not omniscient beings capable of extending our visions far into the future. If we were, we'd be capable of making decisions that maximized prosperity and minimized suffering. Also: What loss of utility are you talking about?
Silknor wrote:This seems like a nice way of saying the other sources of loss utility (anger at the decision, a feeling of disconnect from a society that disagrees with you on values you hold dear, increased acceptance of sin [for some]) don't count. But these are undeniably relevant in determining if something is net-beneficial, even if you put no to little value on them.
Most moral systems--even faith-based ones--don't value inflicting anger as a noteworthy consequence when weighing moral decisions. I'd find a value system that weighed anger and frustration above prosperity to be somewhat... skewed.
Silknor wrote:You've just seemingly shot down every single other moral system as not based on reality (and thus inferior). If you're not making the claim that utilitarianism is the best more system or the only one based on reality, could you give an example of another more system you think meets this criteria?
I know a few Christians who base their moral systems on facts: "God commanded us to prosper and love each other. I shall base my moral actions on arriving at these ends, using facts as my tools." An interesting consequence that I'm particularly fond of: "As I am merely a mortal, I am ill-equipped to interpret God's will--and so it is not my place to judge homosexuality as sinful through my particular interpretation of the scriptures, but to analyze the facts around me and do what I can with those facts to help homosexuals prosper and be loved as fellow human beings." The Christians I know who espouse these beliefs are ones that I greatly admire.
Silknor wrote:I gave a link earlier to an article that I think meets this. It wasn't based on homosexuality is wrong, just that there's no need for the government to subsidize gay marriages.
Again, do you seriously think that there is any vaguely significant number of Prop 8 supporters out there who are saying "I'm fine with gay sex, gay marriage, and gays raising children, but the cost is just too high--let's define marriage as between a man and a woman as a cost-saving measure"?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:49 am UTC

Malice wrote:Given that gay marriage is polling these days at about 50/50, can't the "we win!"/"we lose!" psychological effects of the decision be safely discarded as existing in equal measure on both sides?


Maybe. I don't know. But it would be naive to think they're automatically the same. You can easily come up with reasons why it'd lean to either side (Roe v Wade is a good example of a ruling with a significant enthusiasm gap).

Also, hurt feelings are temporary. The positive effects of lifting the marriage ban are long lasting and self-renewing.


Maybe temporary, maybe not. But if you combine this with the fact that support for gay marriage has been and probably will be growing over time (as younger generations replace older ones), you can start building an argument that the best solution is to legalize gay marriage later. Also I'm sure the opponents would tell you there are lasting negative effects. You might not agree that any of these are important, but if they believe they are and they have some reason to think it, you can't condemn them for irrationality or acting only out of hatred or fear.

Also, are we going to talk about alternative standalone reasons to support Prop 8 besides "homosexuality is wrong" at any point? Because I'm still desperately curious to hear about them.


How is there no need for the government to subsidize gay marriages? Gays are for obvious reasons more likely to adopt; and we have a huge pile of children in need of adoption; and science shows that children do better when they have, you know, parents. If you're actually interested in the welfare of children, you should be for gay marriage. (General 'you'.)


Again, if the general you has some reason to think otherwise, then presumably they'll reach the opposite conclusion. If they believe, and have reason to believe, the facts are X, when they're actually Y or not X, and then reach a conclusion based on that, they're still acting rationally.

There also may be a reason why gay marriages+adoption need less subsidy than other marriages, so even if you reach the conclusion that gay adoption is good, society may not benefit by giving same sex couples all of the financial benefits as it could by giving them less. This is presuming that adoption is cheaper than bearing a child, which seems likely (IVF is more expensive, but it's not clear there's a differential between gay and opposite sex couples there or that the government ever needs to provide extra subsidies for it).

The Great Hippo wrote:Again, do you seriously think that there is any vaguely significant number of Prop 8 supporters out there who are saying "I'm fine with gay sex, gay marriage, and gays raising children, but the cost is just too high--let's define marriage as between a man and a woman as a cost-saving measure"?


That was never my argument that there are a large number of such people. Nor even does that match with the argument of the link I presented earlier, it wasn't gay marriage is bad for the deficit, it was the only legitimate reason for the government to subsidize couples at all is to promote procreation/proper child-rearing, so it's an inappropriate use of government funds to provide financial benefits to gay couples.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:58 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Maybe temporary, maybe not. But if you combine this with the fact that support for gay marriage has been and probably will be growing over time (as younger generations replace older ones), you can start building an argument that the best solution is to legalize gay marriage later. Also I'm sure the opponents would tell you there are lasting negative effects. You might not agree that any of these are important, but if they believe they are and they have some reason to think it, you can't condemn them for irrationality or acting only out of hatred or fear.
I sure as hell CAN condemn for for irrationality if their reasons are entirely irrational. Why are they magically allowed to be morally justified in subjugating a class of people just because they go against a specific and small part of holy doctrine?

Silknor wrote:That was never my argument that there are a large number of such people. Nor even does that match with the argument of the link I presented earlier, it wasn't gay marriage is bad for the deficit, it was the only legitimate reason for the government to subsidize couples at all is to promote procreation/proper child-rearing, so it's an inappropriate use of government funds to provide financial benefits to gay couples.
Already debunked:
How is there no need for the government to subsidize gay marriages? Gays are for obvious reasons more likely to adopt; and we have a huge pile of children in need of adoption; and science shows that children do better when they have, you know, parents. If you're actually interested in the welfare of children, you should be for gay marriage. (General 'you'.)
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:09 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Maybe temporary, maybe not. But if you combine this with the fact that support for gay marriage has been and probably will be growing over time (as younger generations replace older ones), you can start building an argument that the best solution is to legalize gay marriage later.
Or, you know, that growing support for gay marriage might actually be rooted in the fact that so many people are fighting for it--so if those people suddenly stopped fighting for it...

Shit like this doesn't get done by everyone sitting down quietly and waiting for it to happen. Young people support gay marriage because they see other people standing up and making some fucking noise.
Silknor wrote:Also I'm sure the opponents would tell you there are lasting negative effects. You might not agree that any of these are important, but if they believe they are and they have some reason to think it, you can't condemn them for irrationality or acting only out of hatred or fear.
Yeah, I'm not buying this whole 'we need to treat everyone's moral reasoning as valid' bullshit anymore. If a man tells me that I can't marry another man because if I do, God will be very put out with me, I will condemn the fuck out of him for being irrational. And no one's saying the supporters are motivated only by hate and fear; we're just saying that these emotions are the creamy nougat at the center of a poorly rationalized candy-bar.

It seems pretty basic: They think homosexuality is bad. They have no evidence, no justification, no valid rationalization for this belief--they just think it's bad. Therefore, yes: If that is their reasoning, they are being irrational fucks.
Silknor wrote:That was never my argument that there are a large number of such people. Nor even does that match with the argument of the link I presented earlier, it wasn't gay marriage is bad for the deficit, it was the only legitimate reason for the government to subsidize couples at all is to promote procreation/proper child-rearing, so it's an inappropriate use of government funds to provide financial benefits to gay couples.
Okay, so your paper is wholly irrelevant to the question I'm asking? I'm asking if there are any standalone reasons that people are supporting Prop 8 that don't somehow trace back to 'homosexuality is a sin'--because this is a motivation based on fear, ignorance, and hate, and your premise seems to be that there is some significant number of supporters for Prop 8 who aren't motivated by either fear, ignorance, or hate. I'm asking for reasons these supporters might have. You're presenting me with... "It would cost the government some extra dough if we didn't define marriage as between a man and a woman".

Also, just as an aside: I find the whole procreation justification hilariously repugnant. With that justification, the government should annul my marriage--I have no children and never intend to. Ought to go ahead and stop sterile couples from marrying, too. I'm sure the end result will be to maximize human prosperity.

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kyrn » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:30 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, just as an aside: I find the whole procreation justification hilariously repugnant. With that justification, the government should annul my marriage--I have no children and never intend to. Ought to go ahead and stop sterile couples from marrying, too. I'm sure the end result will be to maximize human prosperity.

As an aside, I've always thought marriage benefits should be separate from child benefits. Of course, that's probably mostly off topic, so I'll just leave it as that.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Malice » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:37 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Silknor wrote:That was never my argument that there are a large number of such people. Nor even does that match with the argument of the link I presented earlier, it wasn't gay marriage is bad for the deficit, it was the only legitimate reason for the government to subsidize couples at all is to promote procreation/proper child-rearing, so it's an inappropriate use of government funds to provide financial benefits to gay couples.
Okay, so your paper is wholly irrelevant to the question I'm asking? I'm asking if there are any standalone reasons that people are supporting Prop 8 that don't somehow trace back to 'homosexuality is a sin'--because this is a motivation based on fear, ignorance, and hate, and your premise seems to be that there is some significant number of supporters for Prop 8 who aren't motivated by either fear, ignorance, or hate. I'm asking for reasons these supporters might have. You're presenting me with... "It would cost the government some extra dough if we didn't define marriage as between a man and a woman".


C'mon, Hippo. That's not what he means. He's not saying "gay marriage would cost more," he's saying "marriage is an expense the government pays in exchange for certain social benefits, and if you narrowly construe those benefits as being solely to encourage procreation and child-rearing, and then misread some scientific studies, and then squint until the 3-D picture comes into focus, it kinda sorta maybe looks like the expense gay marriage would cost the government would not be worth it due to lack of return on investment." And then he said, "I don't think that, because that shit is crazy; but on the other hand it is a perfectly rational and secular argument against gay marriage and therefore we must respect those who hold it and by extension everybody against gay marriage." Or something like that.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

@PM: You don't seem to understand the argument you're trying to respond to. And your second point was addressed two paragraphs above what you quoted.

The Great Hippo wrote:Or, you know, that growing support for gay marriage might actually be rooted in the fact that so many people are fighting for it--so if those people suddenly stopped fighting for it...


Slightly off topic, but this seems a pretty good argument for not pursing change through the courts.

Yeah, I'm not buying this whole 'we need to treat everyone's moral reasoning as valid' bullshit anymore. If a man tells me that I can't marry another man because if I do, God will be very put out with me, I will condemn the fuck out of him for being irrational. And no one's saying the supporters are motivated only by hate and fear; we're just saying that these emotions are the creamy nougat at the center of a poorly rationalized candy-bar.


Reread what you're responding to again. I'm not talking about moral reasoning. I'm talking about legitimately held beliefs about the policy implications. These may be beliefs about implications that you don't agree with. That doesn't make them wrong. Or irrational. It's an empirical matter. Guess what. It's possible to reasonably think that gay marriage won't obviously help society. You don't have to be bigoted, or hateful, or religious to think so. You might think them wrong on the facts, but this has nothing to do with thinking homosexuality is wrong or moral reasoning, as you keep insisting.

I'm asking for reasons these supporters might have. You're presenting me with... "It would cost the government some extra dough if we didn't define marriage as between a man and a woman".


Again, you're willfully misinterpreting the author's argument. It's not about cost. He's not a deficit hawk, watching out for wasteful spending. It's about legitimate uses of government resources.

Also, just as an aside: I find the whole procreation justification hilariously repugnant. With that justification, the government should annul my marriage--I have no children and never intend to. Ought to go ahead and stop sterile couples from marrying, too. I'm sure the end result will be to maximize human prosperity.


This has been addressed. Numerous times. Tempering the policy because of practicality and privacy concerns is reasonable. Unreasonable would what you're implying: that those who believe government's interest in marriage is about procreation must think that the government should conduct medical testing for sterility and question anyone getting married to make sure they want kids.

@Malice: And you were doing so well until you said by extension. If we should respect everyone who is against gay marriage (and we should), it's not because some people against gay marriage have an argument we can respect if not agree with. It's because they're (last I checked, my apologies if cyborgs have taken over the religious right) human. And human beings should be treated with respect and dignity.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kulantan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

Silknor, while I agree that medical testing for sterility/asking if everybody wanting to get married would have kids would be overly invasive and it wouldn't be irrational to oppose a law saying that only the people who will have kids can get married. Where that argument falls down with regard to gay marriage is that no one suggests that gays who signs a clear, legally binding declaration to adopt a child in the next 3 years/have a surrogate or donor lined up could get married as well. This information would be freely volunteered and so side step the invasiveness issue. If people are actively campaigning for that then I'll accept that they are merely opposed to people who aren't going to have kid getting married rather than being douchetrucks.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:10 pm UTC

An entire truck of douche...That's big.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:22 pm UTC

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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:27 pm UTC

By legally binding what do you mean? Is the consequence the dissolution of the marriage? A fine?

I don't think that'd satisfy very many people on the pro gay marriage side either, it's an extra hoop for same sex couples and doesn't provide equality to those gay couples who don't want children. And that's before considering that one side would want equal benefits for those that get married while the other would be saying that same sex couples don't need the same level of financial support since they avoid the financial costs of pregnancy.

As a result I imagine support would be very lacking. If you can be almost positive a policy proposal won't be passed, most people won't advocate for it, even if ideologically it fits. So there's no reason to expect that people supporting it would be actively campaigning for it.

This is a decent argument though for making many of the financial benefits of marriage be benefits given for children instead of simply getting married. To some extend we do this now (child tax credits), but there's a levy of benefits for which this isn't true.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Malice » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:32 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:
Also, just as an aside: I find the whole procreation justification hilariously repugnant. With that justification, the government should annul my marriage--I have no children and never intend to. Ought to go ahead and stop sterile couples from marrying, too. I'm sure the end result will be to maximize human prosperity.


This has been addressed. Numerous times. Tempering the policy because of practicality and privacy concerns is reasonable. Unreasonable would what you're implying: that those who believe government's interest in marriage is about procreation must think that the government should conduct medical testing for sterility and question anyone getting married to make sure they want kids.


How about a simple age check? "Are you too old to have children?" isn't any more invasive than "Are you a man and a woman?" Should couples, one of whom is a post-menopausal woman, not be allowed to marry?

@Malice: And you were doing so well until you said by extension. If we should respect everyone who is against gay marriage (and we should), it's not because some people against gay marriage have an argument we can respect if not agree with. It's because they're (last I checked, my apologies if cyborgs have taken over the religious right) human. And human beings should be treated with respect and dignity.


I confess to not checking to see what this whole "no non-religious/homophobic argument against gay marriage exists"/"yes it does" thing was supposed to prove. What was it again?

Anyway, I'm fully in favor of the idea that respect is earned, usually by giving it. Those who consider me to be a second-class citizen do not deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, although I may still do so should it suit my purposes.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

People were going back and forth as to whether Prop 8 was mainly a religious stance (i.e. homosexual contact is verboten per word of their god, and therefore we should not be allowing it in American law), or if people were only ideologically opposed to it, and that it really wasn't that influenced by people's religious views.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kulantan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:39 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:Is the consequence the dissolution of the marriage?

Yes
Silknor wrote:And that's before considering that one side would want equal benefits for those that get married while the other would be saying that same sex couples don't need the same level of financial support since they avoid the financial costs of pregnancy.

Yet surrogacy and IVF cost nothing nor does adoption cost more because of behavior problem fallout? :roll:
Silknor wrote:As a result I imagine support would be very lacking. If you can be almost positive a policy proposal won't be passed, most people won't advocate for it, even if ideologically it fits. So there's no reason to expect that people supporting it would be actively campaigning for it.

No but as you say:
Silknor wrote:This is a decent argument though for making many of the financial benefits of marriage be benefits given for children instead of simply getting married. To some extend we do this now (child tax credits), but there's a levy of benefits for which this isn't true.

There are other more attractive and ideologically soothing idea that could be enacted (legalize gay marriage then do this). If the person supports this (especially if they campaign for it) then they are not douchetrucks. Also this particular solution you've suggested would imply they prop 8 is wrong because gays should be able to get married and it is a general marriage reform problem not a gay specific. Specifically, under the 14 amendment, gays should have equal access to unfair government kickbacks just like straight couples.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:49 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:
Silknor wrote:Is the consequence the dissolution of the marriage?

Yes

That really won't be easy to get support for.

Yet surrogacy and IVF cost nothing nor does adoption cost more because of behavior problem fallout? :roll:


I don't know about the adoption costs. But I do know that surrogacy and IVF are expensive, I'm just not sure that the government should be subsidizing that for anyone.

Yes, this is another policy that would have a disparate impact (on the infertile and same sex couples). But that shouldn't mean the government need subsidize some very expensive medical procedures when the money could likely be spent better elsewhere from a social welfare perspective.

Silknor wrote:As a result I imagine support would be very lacking. If you can be almost positive a policy proposal won't be passed, most people won't advocate for it, even if ideologically it fits. So there's no reason to expect that people supporting it would be actively campaigning for it.

No but as you say:
Silknor wrote:This is a decent argument though for making many of the financial benefits of marriage be benefits given for children instead of simply getting married. To some extend we do this now (child tax credits), but there's a levy of benefits for which this isn't true.

There are other more attractive and ideologically soothing idea that could be enacted (legalize gay marriage then do this). If the person supports this (especially if they campaign for it) then they are not douchetrucks. Also this particular solution you've suggested would imply they prop 8 is wrong because gays should be able to get married and it is a general marriage reform problem not a gay specific. Specifically, under the 14 amendment, gays should have equal access to unfair government kickbacks just like straight couples.[/quote]

Also this particular solution you've suggested would imply they prop 8 is wrong because gays should be able to get married and it is a general marriage reform problem not a gay specific. Specifically, under the 14 amendment, gays should have equal access to unfair government kickbacks just like straight couples.


Yes. That would be a conclusion of this line of thinking. And there's probably lots of good reasons why current marriage tax incentives are screwed up, I mean, it's part of our tax system so it's not a big leap to think that.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kulantan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:I don't know about the adoption costs. But I do know that surrogacy and IVF are expensive, I'm just not sure that the government should be subsidizing that for anyone.

Yes, extra subsidies might be excessive. However the base child/marriage benefit would be completely fair in this case because it means the government is putting in the same cost (child/marriage benefit) for the same benefit (a baby). Making this line of thinking:
Silknor wrote:the other would be saying that same sex couples don't need the same level of financial support since they avoid the financial costs of pregnancy.

fallacious and thus, yet again, bigoted and unreasonable.
Silknor wrote:Yes. That would be a conclusion of this line of thinking. And there's probably lots of good reasons why current marriage tax incentives are screwed up, I mean, it's part of our tax system so it's not a big leap to think that.

Huh, one (if I'm not wrong, the only one that you have presented) of the supposed ways that people could rationally support prop 8 (disapproving of unneeded financial incentives given to non-breeders) logical conclusion is, that prop 8 is unjustified and that other completely separate legal reform needs to happen? Or have I got that wrong?
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Silknor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:19 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote: Making this line of thinking (which I was objecting to) fallacious:
Silknor wrote:the other would be saying that same sex couples don't need the same level of financial support since they avoid the financial costs of pregnancy.


Only when the financial benefits are indeed contingent on children. Which wasn't the case for the context in which I said that.

Huh, one (if I'm not wrong, the only one that you have presented) of the supposed ways that people could rationally support prop 8 (disapproving of unneeded financial incentives given to non-breeders) logical conclusion is, that prop 8 is unjustified and that other completely separate legal reform needs to happen? Or have I got that wrong?


Not the only one. That's *a* logical conclusion. Another equally valid conclusion is that Prop 8 would be unjustified once that reform takes place, but is justified now. And your conclusion is correct only when that is the only problem with gay marriage, I've also argued that people could legitimately believe it can be bad for other reasons (such as two same sex parents being worse than two opposite sex parents, yes someone will say two gay parents is better than one parents, probably true, but it's not really responsive with data on frequency of each outcome and how that would change, and more importantly, even if it seems to be true, someone could rationally believe otherwise given different data, value, or assumptions).
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby mythago » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:36 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:Which argument is good depends on your values and assumptions. And there is likely a large disconnect between arguments made to persuade voters (and by persuade I really mean motivate turnout among people who already agree with you), arguments made that are relevant in terms of equal protection law, and reasoned arguments. Or the Prop 8 supporters could just be bigoted idiots (which seems to be close to consensus here, so why expect that they're going to be the ones to use much reason).


But we're talking about the court decision overturning Prop 8. I have yet to see anybody explain why Walker's decision was legally incorrect - that is, that he got the standard wrong, that he ruled incorrectly on evidence, or anything of the sort.

The arguments are that the result was wrong. And "I don't care about the law, I care about the ruling" is the very definition of "judicial activism". The people complaining about activist judges and judicial tyranny are, ironically, advocating activist rulings and judicial tyranny.

All the arguments about benefits and privacy and utilitarianism are a sideshow here. The question is not whether, as a philosophical matter, in some imaginary utopia, we should or shouldn't have same-sex marriage. The question is whether Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution. And, applying long-established principles of Constitutional analysis, it turns out that as to this specific law the answer is yes.

ETA: wow, that was a confusing sentence. Fixed.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Jessica » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:(such as two same sex parents being worse than two opposite sex parents, yes someone will say two gay parents is better than one parents, probably true, but it's not really responsive with data on frequency of each outcome and how that would change, and more importantly, even if it seems to be true, someone could rationally believe otherwise given different data, value, or assumptions).
But there is data proving that line of reasoning to be false, and no credible data proving it's true. Using that as a reason thus is logically wrong.

This line of reasoning that the main purpose of marriage is to produce children seems promising, and with the assumption that the main or only reason marriage should exist is for children, there are logical reasons to not allow certain couples to marry. Of course, we also have proof that producing children ISN'T the only, or even main reason people get married, today or in the past. Marriage was rarely mainly about children. It was about consolidating wealth, it was about tying families together (in the past), it's about love (now), it's about guaranteeing next of kin, visitation rights, and insurance rights. It's about creating a legal unit which out society recognizes and gives benefits to, which are specifically denied to same sex couples who are not married.

Sure, one reason is to create a family to raise children, and guarantee your lineage, and to have someone to give your stuff to when you die. Of course, raising a family and guaranteeing your lineage doesn't require biological procreation of the married couple.

There are justifications which exist which can be used by people who are ignorant of all the facts, or who willfully disregard certain facts. If it's willful then there are other problems with that person (perhaps they have believes which make them disregard the facts). If it's ignorance, it's unfortunate, but they're allowing their perception of the world guide their actions without looking at the facts.

Whatever reason they came to the conclusion, their logical reasoning is flawed. Their morality be damned, as it doesn't matter what they morally believe. There is no logical basis to come to the conclusion that homosexual partnerships should be denied the rights that heterosexual partnerships are granted.

tl;dr - they may have rationally come to the conclusion that prop 8 is correct, but their logic is flawed, when compared to the actual facts of the world we live in.
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Re: Prop. 8 Federally Overturned

Postby Kulantan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:38 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:Only when the financial benefits are indeed contingent on children. Which wasn't the case for the context in which I said that.

No, the context you said it in would have straight couples who don't have and don't intend to have children getting the benefit and yet only those gay couples who do or will have kids getting it. Cite:
Spoiler:
Kulantan wrote:Silknor, while I agree that medical testing for sterility/asking if everybody wanting to get married would have kids would be overly invasive and it wouldn't be irrational to oppose a law saying that only the people who will have kids can get married. Where that argument falls down with regard to gay marriage is that no one suggests that gays who signs a clear, legally binding declaration to adopt a child in the next 3 years/have a surrogate or donor lined up could get married as well. This information would be freely volunteered and so side step the invasiveness issue. If people are actively campaigning for that then I'll accept that they are merely opposed to people who aren't going to have kid getting married rather than being douchetrucks.
Silknor wrote:I don't think that'd satisfy very many people on the pro gay marriage side either, it's an extra hoop for same sex couples and doesn't provide equality to those gay couples who don't want children. And that's before considering that one side would want equal benefits for those that get married while the other would be saying that same sex couples don't need the same level of financial support since they avoid the financial costs of pregnancy.

So, yes it contingent on children, but only for gays. This would actually tip the cost benefit in favor of gays because the marriage benefit would be guaranteed to produce a child.
Silknor wrote:Not the only one. That's *a* logical conclusion. Another equally valid conclusion is that Prop 8 would be unjustified once that reform takes place, but is justified now.

Ok, then they should make that very clear and campaign for that not to be counted as douchetrucks. Also, as I have said, the constitutional side of things ("everybody should get unfair kickbacks") still makes mine the legally stronger of the two logically valid interpretations. Thus it should be support in favor of the legally weaker position.
Silknor wrote:And your conclusion is correct only when that is the only problem with gay marriage, I've also argued that people could legitimately believe it can be bad for other reasons (such as two same sex parents being worse than two opposite sex parents, yes someone will say two gay parents is better than one parents, probably true, but it's not really responsive with data on frequency of each outcome and how that would change, and more importantly, even if it seems to be true, someone could rationally believe otherwise given different data, value, or assumptions).

And if the Pro 8 side had provided meaningful evidence to that effect then Justice Walker wouldn't have said that they hadn't. Nor would I have never seen such stuff. Unless there is evidence to that effect, then they can't hold that belief logically. Until then, nope, still illogical and hence bigoted.
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