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Author Topic: Orson Scott Card Joins NOM Board
adenam
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quote:
Ahh, now that's a different question. Not the one you originally asked, I might add. Speaking for myself, no, I don't think it's appropriate for religion to interfere in secular practices such as SSM.
Does that mean a religious person is supposed to deny the core of their being when forming an opinion about "secular practices"?
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rivka
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Welcome to Hatrack, Adena. [Razz]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Does that mean a religious person is supposed to deny the core of their being when forming an opinion about "secular practices"?
Does the core of your being tell you what to legislate for other people?
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Puppy
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My only point, really, was that Tara's descriptions of the "real motivations" that she thinks her opponents ought to find within themselves seem very, very wrong from the perspective of the actual people she's talking about.

It's easy, when you don't understand your opposition, to presume a whole lot of "secret motivations" that allow you to explain them away without questioning your own assumptions. Suggesting that opponents of same-sex marriage are ashamed of their secretly-shammy marriages, or that they are afraid of things that are different and new (evoking images of primitive cavemen freaking out about fire), or that they take the most simplistic possible view of scripture ... that's easy to do when you're alone or surrounded by likeminded people, and none of those opponents are present to tell you how ridiculous and insulting your assumptions are.

It's also much easier than asking yourself, "If thoughtful, intelligent people can have this opinion ... what motivations might they actually have?" Asking yourself THIS question isn't as easy a shortcut to feeling superior to your opponents. But it could bring you one step closer to actually understanding them, and perhaps as a result, working out a solution that you both can live with.

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Puppy
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quote:
Does the core of your being tell you what to legislate for other people?
Doesn't yours? [Smile] Whatever opinion you have about the law and how it applies to other people, it eventually comes down to what you feel, in your gut, is the right approach. There aren't any provable standards for "right" and "wrong" beyond "what humans feel strongly ought to be the case".
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Puppy
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Back to the original question, though:

quote:
Does that mean a religious person is supposed to deny the core of their being when forming an opinion about "secular practices"?
I'm not the person you were actually asking this question of, but here's MY answer.

One thing I like about America (at or around the core of my being) is that it is a pluralistic society where people from many vastly different cultures can live together under a shared set of ideals. I think there is room for Americans to disagree about subjects like this, and live in very different ways, while still living under a common set of laws and practices.

Personally, I'll be a little annoyed if EITHER side in this argument wins a crushing victory, because either way, I think it will mean the loss of something worth holding onto.

So while, at the core of my being, I believe in a religion into which SSM clearly does not fit (and for much better reasons than Tara cites), I don't feel particularly threatened by the idea of living alongside a subculture where same-sex marriage is considered normal — provided that both cultures are afforded all the tools required to perpetuate themselves, without having to "knuckle under" to the other.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:

Personally, I'll be a little annoyed if EITHER side in this argument wins a crushing victory, because either way, I think it will mean the loss of something worth holding onto.

Shame, regret, self-hatred, enmity... what exactly?

I never get where you're coming from with this line of reasoning puppy. You come into it going "hey man, God bless America where we can all disagree and live together in harmony except gays shouldn't get to marry, haha ok we're best friends." It strikes a false note with me.


I feel the need to point out also that what you hope for in your last post would demand that you be politically in favor of SSM being a recognized right, in the same way that your religion is a recognized right. The law affords that protection to you, and as long as it fails to afford equal protection to others, they will never live beside you in any kind of lasting peace.

I don't believe that parents should indoctrinate their children into religion. But I want to live peacefully with those who do- so I support their right to do so. If I spent my time lobbying to have the establishment clause abolished, I think you could forgive my neighbors for not liking me- and working in the opposite direction is no different. Your religious views should not impinge the rights of others.

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Samprimary
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quote:
One thing I like about America (at or around the core of my being) is that it is a pluralistic society where people from many vastly different cultures can live together under a shared set of ideals. I think there is room for Americans to disagree about subjects like this, and live in very different ways, while still living under a common set of laws and practices.
This, though, is logic that should be tortured. Disagreement is fine, living in different ways is fine, but many on the anti-ssm side would consider a conclusion where we are 'still living under a common set of laws and practices' to be A Crushing Victory for the other side, if that common set of laws includes the availability of gay marriage across the States.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
would demand that you be politically in favor of SSM being a recognized right

I could be misremembering, but I thought that was Geoff's stance?
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kmbboots
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Rakeesh, I think it is perfectly fine to apologize for expressing something you believe while still believing it. There are plenty of things that I am right to think but that would be unkind to write.

Puppy, I think that the impulse to find hidden or subconscious motivations for people who oppose SSM is because, even after many years of hashing over and over the arguments with thoughtful, intelligent people, their arguments still fail to make any sense. We look at these otherwise thoughtful intelligent people and can't understand how they would take such an unreasonable stance unless there was something else going on.

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Puppy
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quote:
I never get where you're coming from with this line of reasoning puppy. You come into it going "hey man, God bless America where we can all disagree and live together in harmony except gays shouldn't get to marry, haha ok we're best friends." It strikes a false note with me.
Perhaps the reason you don't get where I'm coming from is related to the fact that you're not reading my posts [Smile]

I thought the one I just wrote was pretty clear that I have no problem with gay couples being allowed all the same legal rights and privileges as straight couples. I just think that the word "marriage" ought to be taken out of the equation, so that both cultures can define it as they see fit, and use it to perpetuate their traditions, without the laws of the land giving one side a trump card over the other.

It seems like a small thing, but honestly, if this were all that same-sex couples were going for, I think they would get it very easily. There are SSM opponents who really are in it to obstruct gay relationships as much as they can because they see it as a sin that needs to be stamped out at all costs — but those people don't add up to a majority of the country. Not even close.

I think most opponents of same-sex marriage are simply concerned that the traditions that they believe in and care about are going to be redefined and wiped away within the next generation. Gay marriage isn't the only factor in this, by any means, but it's a very visible and important one. If people could be reassured that the continuation of their way of life is up to them, and that the government isn't undermining them by redefining the terms that they use to pass on their beliefs, then I think the opposition to SSM would slacken, and the law could change.

It's the insistence on a crushing victory that is turning this into a war of attrition, and I'm sick of it. I come out in defense of SSM opponents (or the "pro-family" camp, if that's the PC term) because they're bearing the brunt of the ill will in this fight, and very few of you seem at all willing to understand them. Much easier to demonize them, lump them in with the Big Bad guys of the past, and treat them like inhuman enemies. It's stupid, it hurts us all in the end, and it turns your noble quest for justice into little more than bullying.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It seems like a small thing, but honestly, if this were all that same-sex couples were going for, I think they would get it very easily.
Here's the problem: how would you, as a SSM-advocate, sell the removal of the word "marriage" from the law without opening yourself up to accusations that you want to destroy marriage?

Bear in mind that I, too, think the word "marriage" should be removed from the law. I just have no idea how anyone would sell that to the opposition.

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kmbboots
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But, Puppy, how can you not see that wanting to "be reassured that the continuation of their way of life is up to them" is exactly the same motivation that people had to oppose civil rights for blacks. Those people, most of them, weren't evil Klansman burning crosses; they were normal people who cherished their traditions and didn't want the government "undermining them by redefining the terms that they use[d] to pass on their beliefs".

And they were right. Their way of life did change. Their cherished traditions were destroyed - wiped away. They no longer had the privilege of special recognition under the law. And some good things were lost.

But it was a way of life that, although cherished by many, was ultimately unjust.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
I think most opponents of same-sex marriage are simply concerned that the traditions that they believe in and care about are going to be redefined and wiped away within the next generation.
I think that is an unrealistically optimistic assessment. There's a lot of bad stuff in the anti-ssm crowd.

I think one of the reasons that the anti-ssm crowd as a whole is and in the future will be regarded as so bad is because they refuse to acknowledge this pretty obvious bad stuff and, in a lot of cases, seem to consciously ally themselves with it (I mean, come on, we're on a thread talking about NOM).

Without the bigots, gay baiters, fear mongers, etc., I don't think the anti-ssm crowd would have been able to accomplish many of their goals. The anti-ssm crowd is going to lose in a generation or two at most, likely sooner. They way they are behaving now, they are going to go down as typified by these nasty groups that they excuse and ally with. You are going to look like the anti-interracial marriage people whose arguments you so often recapitulate.

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Puppy
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kmb, Remember what I said about "lumping them in with the Big Bad guys of the past"? You're practically Godwinning the argument by behaving this way, and making the chance of a successful resolution much, much smaller. Nice job.

If your goal is to obliterate any culture or religion into which gay marriage does not fit, then you're waging a cruel and destructive war, and you're the aggressor.

If your goal (like mine) is to obtain equal rights for all, then you're doing it wrong, and inadvertently causing more harm than good.

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Puppy
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quote:
Without the bigots, gay baiters, fear mongers, etc., I don't think the anti-ssm crowd would have been able to accomplish many of their goals.
Face it, bigots are the big guns on both sides. Usually are, in arguments like this. I'm saying that reasonable people should frame a compromise that a majority can live with, make it work, and shut the bigots up.

In any case, "Hey, you've got some bigots over there!" isn't a compelling argument against a position in a debate.

[ May 19, 2009, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: Puppy ]

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MrSquicky
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quote:
If your goal is to obliterate any culture or religion into which gay marriage does not fit, then you're waging a cruel and destructive war, and you're the aggressor.
If you're not willing to turn against the bad people on the anti-ssm side and make the distinction between you and them, why should your opponents?
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Puppy
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What are you talking about? Can you name a "bad person" in this thread that I can oppose for you, to "prove" I make that distinction? Or can we discuss this in good faith, and avoid unfair generalizations altogether?

(You'd think that officially endorsing legal same-sex unions might have counted in that regard.)

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MrSquicky
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Geoff,
The major organizations (Focus on the Family, for example, or hey the National Organization for Marriage) on the anti-ssm side are, at least to me, clearly full of bigots and hate mongers. The push led by LDS members in California was dishonest fear mongering.

Without this sort of stuff, the anti-ssm people don't win.

I don't accept your description of the anti-ssm people as mostly simply concerned that the traditions that they believe in and care about are going to be redefined and wiped away within the next generation. That may be how you really see it, but, to me at least, it is exceedingly obvious that this is not the case.

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kmbboots
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Puppy, I don't think that most of the people who opposed civil rights in the 1960s were "Big Bad guys". I tried to make that clear in my post. A generation later, most of us recognize that they were wrong, but at the time I think they were just people who were afraid.

If you don't agree, tell me where they differ.

I do want to obliterate a culture where one group gets to deny their special privileges to others because of their sexual orientation.

And how is calling me an aggressor in a cruel and destructive war an example of the gentle words you recommend?

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MrSquicky
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Geoff,
Do you believe that acceptance of ssm is, unless things change drastically, pretty much inevitable?

---

edit:
To me, it looks that way and the main reason for this is that upcoming generations look to have far fewer anti-gay bigots in them. The big change is coming when the bigots die off.

If that's the case, why should the pro-ssm people be the ones who should be looking for a compromise. Because, and maybe I'm just not seeing this, I don't see anything like this coming from the big anti-ssm groups. I don't see the big anti-ssm groups (or even a large number of anti-ssm individuals) disassociating themselves from the bigots and fear mongers. The only time I see these people becoming willing to compromise is when they realize that they're on the verge of losing.

edit 2:
I'm disappointed in how most of the pro-ssm people seem to be taking a more antagonistic bent then I think they need to. I think this style delays their achievement of their goals while increasingly the likelihood of a more crushing defeat of their opponents in terms of many people's opinion of them. And while I think that those who turn a blind eye to the many, many "bad" people on the anti-ssm side and even more so to those who consciously ally with them deserve some negative regard, I don't think what I see coming for them is justified.

There's good people on both sides and there is bad people on both sides. It might not be fair that the good people on the losing side are going to be seen by many to be the same as the bad people on that side while the bad people on the winning side are going mix in with the good people, but that's how I see it happening.

But, ultimately, I think that the view that many have and will come to have of them and their cultures and religions and institutions is most strongly influenced by their own behavior.

[ May 19, 2009, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Puppy
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Squick, when you're opposed to something, it's easy to see all its members in the worst possible light. I actually know and associate with a lot of these people. In my experience, some have bigoted attitudes, but more of them are in it to protect something they value, not to hurt something they fear. That's a very different motivation, and it's unfair to characterize the members of an entire movement based on the attitudes of some.

In any case, at the moment, the pro-SSM side doesn't think it can win without demonizing decent people and hurling accusations of bigotry. Dishonest fear mongering, in other words. I think they're wrong, and that they can win this peacefully. But it's very hard to pull people away from a behavior as cathartic as smacking down people they don't understand.

kmb, if you aren't aware that "bigot" and "racist" are pretty much the worst things that can be said about a person in modern America — somewhere between "mobster" and "child molestor" — then I'm not sure where you're living [Smile] However forgiving you might suddenly be towards 1960's racists, you can't pretend that you don't know what you're saying when you point in their direction and say to people, "You're just like them!"

quote:
I do want to obliterate a culture where one group gets to deny their special privileges to others because of their sexual orientation.
When you declare war on a culture, and state as your goal that they should be, not lived with and tolerated, but utterly wiped out, then you need to expect decent people to lash back in self-defense. People will go to any lengths to defend something that they consider vital to their identity, as long as they are under that kind of threat.

If your goal was not obliteration, but simply fairness, then you wouldn't draw that kind of backlash.

But that doesn't really serve your purposes, does it? Drawing people out into a bitter war, where their self-defense can be cast as aggression allows you to destroy them all the more thoroughly in the end.

I don't treat either side in the debate this way. My friends who favor SSM, and my friends who oppose it, are all my friends, and they won't hear harsh words from me.

It's people who behave like you, on both sides, who draw my ire. You are the enemy to everyone involved, whether they understand it or not. If this is your attitude, and your goals, then you don't deserve any more "gentle words" than Fred Phelps, and you're silly to ask for them.

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Puppy
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Squick, I do think SSM is inevitable, and I'd like to get there without destroying something valuable in the process. For some, this debate looks like an opportunity to cause as much destruction as possible to religion and conservativism on the way to the inevitable acceptance of SSM, and I think that is despicable.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
I do think SSM is inevitable
Why? Do you disagree with my assessment above?
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Puppy
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I don't follow you.
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MrSquicky
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Why do you think acceptance of SSM is inevitable? I said above (in an edit, so maybe you didn't see it) that I believed that it primarily because the bigots would be dying off and were not going to be replaced by upcoming generations.
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Synesthesia
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The problem is, marriage isn't going to be destroyed, society won't fall apart. None of that stuff will really happen. Marriage, family, the roles of men and women have changed for ages, that's how society goes. It's a good thing for things to change and evolve and attitudes to change. But I don't buy that marriage will crumble and fall apart if gays are allowed to, well, call their marriages marriage.
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Dante
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I have little to add except that 1) I neither support nor oppose SSM and 2) I agree with nearly everything Geoff has said about posturing, stances, motivations, bigotry, etc.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
In any case, at the moment, the pro-SSM side doesn't think it can win without demonizing decent people and hurling accusations of bigotry. Dishonest fear mongering, in other words.
In all fairness, I think the dishonest fear mongering and demonization is a favored tactic of pretty much everyone involved.

That said, I'd still like an answer to my question: how should a pro-SSM person suggest removing the word "marriage" from the law without being accused of wanting to destroy marriage?

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kmbboots
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Puppy, I did not use the words "bigot" or "racist". In fact, I used your words to describe them. That those same words can be used to describe the motivations of people who resisted another kind of change (something you have yet to refute) does not mean I am demonizing them.

The only thing I am interested in "obliterating" is the unfairness of denying some people the preferential treatment under the law that the majority enjoys. If that unfairness is a vital part of their identity, that is where the problem lies.

And, my goodness, are you really equating me to Fred Phelps now?

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Puppy
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Sorry I didn't answer you at first, Tom. Triage [Smile] Here's an approximation of what I would say:

"Marriage is a sacred institution that should be protected and reserved for individual faiths to define and perform as they see fit. While the government absolutely must provide equal privileges to all its citizens, it has no desire to redefine anyone's closely-held beliefs and traditions. Therefore, the legal contracts involved with joining a couple into a single unit will hereafter be called 'civil unions', and will be available to blah blah blah ..."

I think it can be done.

kmb, I may have misread your intentions. If you want to obliterate the LEGAL practice of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples, that's not nearly as worrisome to me as if you wanted to obliterate, for example, a religion with esoteric beliefs about the eternal significance of gender which make performing same-sex marriage within that religion impossible.

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Puppy
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quote:
Why do you think acceptance of SSM is inevitable? I said above (in an edit, so maybe you didn't see it) that I believed that it primarily because the bigots would be dying off and were not going to be replaced by upcoming generations.
While I certainly wouldn't use the terms you did, I have observed, like you, that acceptance of homosexual couples does vary inversely with age. And it's just not in the character of America to clamp down and restrict something after it has started to become legal and accepted. At least, such measures never last for very long, and never really have the intended effects (see Prohibition). With individual states already popping up in favor of SSM here and there, I just don't see a future where it doesn't become universally legal, without some serious cataclysmic change happening first to prevent it. And I don't really like cataclysms, so I prefer to discard those branches of the future timeline [Smile]
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kmbboots
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Puppy, that is all I am talking about. I think that religious discrimination against gays and SSM is wrong, but I will take that up with my own religion. As long as it isn't spilling over into legal discrimination, I have no business trying to change your religion.*

*Though discussing it can be fun.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
would demand that you be politically in favor of SSM being a recognized right

I could be misremembering, but I thought that was Geoff's stance?
I apologize if I conflate his view with his father's view. If so, that is clearly unfair- but merely an assumption I held.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
quote:
I never get where you're coming from with this line of reasoning puppy. You come into it going "hey man, God bless America where we can all disagree and live together in harmony except gays shouldn't get to marry, haha ok we're best friends." It strikes a false note with me.
Perhaps the reason you don't get where I'm coming from is related to the fact that you're not reading my posts [Smile]

Point of fact, I DO read your posts. You did not specifically talk about legal recognition, and even your idea of legal recognition is not satisfactory to me. What I said above holds for me.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:

kmb, I may have misread your intentions. If you want to obliterate the LEGAL practice of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples, that's not nearly as worrisome to me as if you wanted to obliterate, for example, a religion with esoteric beliefs about the eternal significance of gender which make performing same-sex marriage within that religion impossible.

One of these things is against the establishment clause. The other is not. Problem solved.
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Puppy
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kmb, do you think that a distinction can be made between a religion that discriminates against gays for reasons of prejudice, and a religion that simply cannot perform gay marriages because they believe that gender distinctions hold some eternal significance that is important to the ritual and practice of marriage within their faith?

Basically, I guess I'm wondering if you personally think it's okay for a religion's doctrine to address and assign meaning to gender, or if doing so is inherently wrong?

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kmbboots
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Yes, I think there is a distinction. I do not think that distinction is relevant when it comes to advocating a position of legal discrimination beyond their co-religionists.

Puppy, it depends on what you mean by "wrong". If you are asking if I agree with the doctrine, I do not. Good thing I am not Mormon. If you are asking if I think you have the right to believe it - as long as you don't try to push that doctrine outside of the sphere of your religion, of course you do. It isn't any of my business what consenting adults believe within their own churches.

Goodness knows, there is enough silliness in my own Church to deal with.

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Destineer
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quote:
Basically, I guess I'm wondering if you personally think it's okay for a religion's doctrine to address and assign meaning to gender, or if doing so is inherently wrong?
This is an interesting question in general.

It's tough, and obviously I'd never want to force anyone to go along with me, but I do think it's morally mistaken for religions to teach that the distinction between male and female is something "correct" or intended by God, rather than a contingent accident of evolution. It might be a very beneficial accident of evolution that it would be fun or helpful to hold onto, but the idea that it's intrinsically good to hold onto the male/female distinction seems wrong to me.

I mean that biologically as well as culturally. I think a LeGuin-style civilization where people physically switch sex could be just as worthwhile as ours.

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Orincoro
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I think the fact that she states that it is wrong clearly demonstrates her belief that it is wrong. Is it unacceptable to you that others believe your religion is harming society? Because I do. But I also believe that the tools your religion needs to damage society's institutions would only be available if those institutions became too closely involved in your practices. I have also concluded that your beliefs are a natural outcome of human society, and though I do not share them, they are unavoidably attractive to many. I am not of the opinion that this will ever change, or that humans are capable of existing within one belief system at all. (Unless you consider that we currently live within one belief system consisting of all the creeds and religions and philosophies on Earth, that only appear to be different to those involved).

The inherent problem in the world's major religions is the insistence upon an objective morality they are left completely unable to account for, or live up to, let alone define.

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
kmb, do you think that a distinction can be made between a religion that discriminates against gays for reasons of prejudice, and a religion that simply cannot perform gay marriages because they believe that gender distinctions hold some eternal significance that is important to the ritual and practice of marriage within their faith?

Basically, I guess I'm wondering if you personally think it's okay for a religion's doctrine to address and assign meaning to gender, or if doing so is inherently wrong?

What does that even mean?
Suppose an individual is born into a certain religion and doesn't fit into the religious idea of their gender role due to their personality, then what do they do?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
"Marriage is a sacred institution that should be protected and reserved for individual faiths to define and perform as they see fit. While the government absolutely must provide equal privileges to all its citizens, it has no desire to redefine anyone's closely-held beliefs and traditions. Therefore, the legal contracts involved with joining a couple into a single unit will hereafter be called 'civil unions', and will be available to blah blah blah ..."

This makes sense because the law can't hold the word 'marriage' to a religious test. If the defense of keeping marriage for heterosexuals is strictly that law should protect and reserve the word because of its sacred status, it does not fly.

As a result, the removal of marriage from law is actually the best result that the current anti-ssm side could ever hope for, but what we will probably get is marriage for hets and homos alike, because it is not something they know to compromise for now.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
kmb, do you think that a distinction can be made between a religion that discriminates against gays for reasons of prejudice, and a religion that simply cannot perform gay marriages because they believe that gender distinctions hold some eternal significance that is important to the ritual and practice of marriage within their faith?

Basically, I guess I'm wondering if you personally think it's okay for a religion's doctrine to address and assign meaning to gender, or if doing so is inherently wrong?

What does that even mean?
Suppose an individual is born into a certain religion and doesn't fit into the religious idea of their gender role due to their personality, then what do they do?

I assume it means they either have to come to some personal accomodation with the doctrine, challenge the doctrine, or leave the religion.

In any case, assuming they are adults and have chosen this religion and aren't trying to make anyone else live by it, it is their business.

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Puppy
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Orincoro:

quote:
Is it unacceptable to you that others believe your religion is harming society? Because I do.
Go ahead and believe what you want. I'm just hoping we can devise a legal system that doesn't let either of us punish the other one for their beliefs.

*

Destineer, I'm glad you liked the question [Smile] I think that this is actually one of the core disagreements underlying this debate, but it rarely actually comes up in any discussions.

There is a philosophy that holds that men and women ought to be treated as though they are precisely similar in every way — and certainly, from a legal perspective, for most situations, I agree with it.

(There are times when physical differences force the law's hand — such as when the question of pregnancy or paternity comes up. In those cases, there is a real difference between what is going on with the mother, and what is going on with the father, and those have to be taken into account. And there are some inherent unfairnesses that are difficult to navigate. But speaking for most cases, precise equality is the only way to go.)

But I think this philosophy can be taken too far, and forcefit into situations where it doesn't work. The idea, for instance, that all psychological gender distinctions are socialized, and never inherent, and that boys can be socialized into girls, and vice versa — I think it strains credulity. What, we're the ONLY mammal in the world that doesn't have gender-distinctive instincts? What made us so special? This is a case where I think idealism causes people to forcefit their philosophy onto a situation where the facts don't line up.

(I DO believe that the differences between individual humans tend to be greater than the differences between broad classes of humans — such that you can't apply broad generalizations to individuals. IE, you can't say that "Suzy is a girl, and girls love dolls, and therefore, Suzy will love dolls." The broad classes still exist, and you can still make observations about them — as long as you recognize that those observations are only useful at a certain scale.)

Anyway, because I believe that men and women ARE actually different, on a broad scale, I think that it's perfectly legitimate for a religion or a culture to assign meaning to those differences, so long as they're ready to account for and support outliers (like doll-hating Suzy). I'd actually think it strange if they DIDN'T do so — it would be hard, I imagine, for such a society to come about without seeming very forced and awkward.

Gender is a very important part of an individual's identity, and I think people want to find meaning in, and expand upon, that aspect of their identity. Some turn to religion for those kinds of answers, and I think it's perfectly legitimate for religion to provide them.

It's typically a bad thing when the law comes in and tries to make those distinctions, but someone needs to. They matter to people. Culture and religion, in my mind, are the places where people ought to be able to turn for that sort of thing.

Anyway. Not going anywhere in particular with this. Just thought I'd explain my point of view because you explained yours [Smile]

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Puppy
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By the way, kmb, I hope there are no hard feelings about the fact that I pretty much opened a can on you back there [Smile] I think I read your intentions differently than you meant them, and though I was surprised by what I read, I had a lot of built-up frustration to express [Smile]

I presume that we still disagree, of course, but in a friendlier sort of way.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
The inherent problem in the world's major religions is the insistence upon an objective morality they are left completely unable to account for, or live up to, let alone define.
You're missing three important 'to me' qualifiers here.

Normally I wouldn't point that out, because the 'IMO' is implicit in most everything on HR, but here it's important, because you're factually incorrect. Believers in those religions are able to account for, live up to, and define their 'objective moralities'.

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Threads
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I think the "account for" part is debatable. Neither of you have elaborated on your positions so the following is preemptive, but perhaps you two are using different definitions? I suspect that what Orincoro meant by "account for" was not just that religions have a source for their morality but that the validity of that source has been established. That's not the only way the phrase can be used but I think it's reasonable.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The inherent problem in the world's major religions is the insistence upon an objective morality they are left completely unable to account for, or live up to, let alone define.
You're missing three important 'to me' qualifiers here.

Normally I wouldn't point that out, because the 'IMO' is implicit in most everything on HR, but here it's important, because you're factually incorrect. Believers in those religions are able to account for, live up to, and define their 'objective moralities'.

I see no evidence of that. But then, I suppose I wouldn't.
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Rakeesh
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You see no evidence of any of those three things?

I can certainly see someone not seeing the part about being unable to account for it. I mean, that's a given-if you felt they could account for it, you'd belong to their religion, right?

But you can't see evidence that they can define or live up to their own objective moralities? That just doesn't follow at all, especially the first one. Obviously they can define them-helps keep religious bookstores in business, after all. And live up to them? Well, I suppose if you define 'live up to them' as 'perfect adherence', you'd be right-but I can't think of a single religion and certainly none we're talking about here that demands that level of compliance in order to be a member.

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Puppy
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I guess technically, you could say that there is no "objective morality", because even assuming the existence of God, you could simply say that, in your opinion, He is wrong. Poof, it's subjective [Smile]

In the end, with morality, I think you always end up having to say, "Yes, this is subjective, but what else can I do? I think this is right, and I hope I can persuade you." No matter what the source of your beliefs.

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