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Marriage and Divorce Entitlements

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That sounds like an attempt at describing the historical role of marriages, and doesn't really address my question. I'm interested in discussing the proper role of marriage in a capitalist society. Tell me what you think marriage should be, with concrete examples that differentiate married couples with children from non-married couples with children. In such a society children are not property, BTW.

Not that this speaks to my question, but you perpetuate a particularly eggregious falsehood; that today all those "benefits" can be legally obtained by means other than marriage. In fact, they cannot. You should learn more about this issue and re-evaluate your conclusions. Try starting at Mother of Exiles, where you can learn about how non-objective marriage law (including defining marriage to be between a man and a woman) combines with non-objective imigration law to violate the rights of homosexuals.

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Marriages sure are similar to other types of contracts, like wills. The governments role in marriage should be to enforce such contracts and create certainty regarding legal interpretation. So it make

Fixed. The opposite would be, "Gay people can practice Objectivism, but they can't be called Objectivists."

Because it has no bearing on the concept of marriage - Sexual organs, nor any other random part of physical appearance like height, weight, or skin color, has any effect on it. It is unessential, and

I touched on this earlier, and again Eioul may have a better historical perspective to offer, but essentially marriage is intended to sanction the creation of families.

Intended by who? And why does anybody require "sanction" to "create families"? Whose sanction? Yours?

You keep offering your interpretations as to the history of marriage... but why should I care about the history of marriage? I don't use the history of citizenship to determine what citizenship ought to be, here and now. I don't rely upon the history of human rights to determine what rights actually are, or ought to be. You speak of "tradition" and quote a "traditional ceremony." What exactly is that "tradition" worth, and to whom, and why should any honest thinker give a damn?

The presumption of course, is that the future husband and wife will produce and raise children, thus providing future members of their community, who in turn will provide future members to their community.

Presumed by who?

Marriage, for me and my wife, was about our commitment to each other. We were not agreeing to "provide future

members to [our] community."

Politically, marriage combines individual rights into family rights (of husband and wife) to govern the raising of their children (as their property until they become adults). For the most part, traditional marriage is about the ownership and transfer of property (don't cringe Eiuol, *snicker*).

Homosexual couples have the same interests as heterosexual couples do with respect to raising children and transferring property.

Your point re: children is what? That a homosexual couple cannot create biological offspring between each other? So what? You've already mentioned adoption, and there are other options as well, such as sperm donation or surrogacy (or even children from previous relations).

Who should care that a homosexual couple has their three month old through a surrogate, or have adopted him? What in the world should that matter to anything?

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You keep offering your interpretations as to the history of marriage... but why should I care about the history of marriage? I don't use the history of citizenship to determine what citizenship ought to be, here and now. I don't rely upon the history of human rights to determine what rights actually are, or ought to be. You speak of "tradition" and quote a "traditional ceremony." What exactly is that "tradition" worth, and to whom, and why should any honest thinker give a damn?

I think it's worth understanding what something actually is, prior to turning it into something you want it to be.

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When we talk about the man-made, particularly conceptual creations like mores and customs, we are talking about teleology. That means we actually need to understand what we want, before we evaluate if what we have serves that purpose. Then we redesign as appropriate.

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I'm on a phone so excuse any typos, but I wanted to add a quick response:

-Marriage was created for religious/social reasons: it was seen as immoral to have sex with a person without first being married to him. Now obviously that is not inherently immoral, and Objectivism explicitly says so.

-Legal marriage is not "expressly for long term, monogamous relationships that create children." See point 3 in post 90, or look at your states prerequisites for legally getting married. (Of course there are provisions in the contract if you do decide to have children- but that doesn't make it a necessity- kind of like how there are provisions in the contract for divorce.)

"...there's no question that it isn't legally structured to accommodate the biological offspring of same sex relationships."

It would be nice to do a comparison of the legal structure of gay marriage (I think it existed in California for a short time) vs. marriage, to see if/what the major differences are in regards to childbearing and childrearing as a couple.

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It's not very difficult to understand one particular point that Devil is making. Equal rights for women doesn't require redefining terms. A man is a man. A woman is a woman. Calling females women instead of men doesn't violate rights. It merely identifies a particular category of human beings by their sex. If the concept marriage identifies the long term monogamous male/female union likely to produce offspring then leave it be. The rights of same sex couples are not affected by such identification.

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That whole description sounds like an attempt at describing the historical role of marriages, and doesn't really address my question. I'm interested in discussing the proper role of marriage is in a capitalist society. Tell me what you think marriage should be, with concrete examples that differentiate married couples with children from non-married couples with children. In such a society children are not property, BTW.

I believe the concept of marriage is worth maintaining as is, and I've given enough examples to support my position. And let's not play semantics with the term "property"; if you believe children aren't legally recognized as belonging to their biological parents, then it doesn't really matter what you think the proper role of marriage is in a capitalist (or any other) society.

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It's not very difficult to understand one particular point that Devil is making. Equal rights for women doesn't require redefining terms. A man is a man. A woman is a woman. Calling females women instead of men doesn't violate rights. It merely identifies a particular category of human beings by their sex. If the concept marriage identifies the long term monogamous male/female union likely to produce offspring then leave it be. The rights of same sex couples are not affected by such identification.

Thank you, yes that is a fair summary of my position.

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If the concept marriage identifies the long term monogamous male/female union likely to produce offspring then leave it be. The rights of same sex couples are not affected by such identification.

So why don't we have a separate word for what happens when women or black men vote? It doesn't affect the rights of women or black men to uphold the stale old definition of voting.

The reason is that we now know that the old customs were silly, at best. Since voting and marriage are created to satisfy our needs, we change them as our needs change. These are not natural things that, "to be commanded, must be obeyed." They are teleological concepts. We change them at will, and it is appropriate to do so. I suggest you and Devi's advocate cry me a river and forget about your outdated definition of marriage, because it no longer serves a purpose. In fact, it is getting in the way of those who want to protect individual rights.

Edited by FeatherFall
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It would be nice to do a comparison of the legal structure of gay marriage (I think it existed in California for a short time) vs. marriage, to see if/what the major differences are in regards to childbearing and childrearing as a couple.

Regarding this, the inherent difference between creating children and acquiring them is key. Whereas marriage legally recognizes the biological offspring of marital spouses as belonging to each other, the legal venue for becoming parents of someone else's child remains adoption (married or not). Marriage cannot be reformed to subsume adoption without violating the rights of biological parents external to the marital contract. To presume that the obvious difference between creating children (which marriage addresses) and acquiring children (which marriage doesn't address) isn't relevant to the issue of marriage is absurd.

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Devil's Advocate, if you're going to use tough questions as an excuse to escape this conversation and thus a re-evaluation of your conclusions, fine. But don't pretend that you've offered a good case for your conclusions.

I can go on rephrasing and adding comments to what I've already stated, but I doubt I can make my position any clearer on this issue. If your "tough" question is, "what do I think marriage ought to be in a capitalist society", my response has been, and remains, conceptually the same as it is today. Government regulation of a marriage contract is better addressed as government regulation of any contract in a capitalist society.

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In today's society, custody is, by default, granted via biology alone, not marriage. You have yet to explain how marriage changes this situation. You may be confused because the husband is often assumed to be the biological father, and marriage is often used by the courts as a substitute for a proper declaration of paternity (something I signed when my daughter was born). But if a married woman has an affair with me, I can petition for a paternity test. I do the same if an unwed mother declared some other man to be the father via a declaration of paternity. Marriage doesn't change this situation. If you think it does, please tether your floating concepts for me with concrete examples. We can then discuss whether that's appropriate, and finally we can discuss whether that's enough to meaningfully differentiate homosexual marriages from heterosexual marriages.

By the way, have you read the piece at Mother of Exiles, and are you willing to concede that civil unions do not currently achieve the same things as marriage?

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They are teleological concepts. We change them at will, and it is appropriate to do so.

It's appropriate to change teleological concepts at will... that doesn't make sense to me. Is it appropriate to change the concept of altruism at will? Is it appropriate to finagle the concept altruism so it fits with egoism because it fails to fulfill my needs if defined as putting others above self as a moral necessity?

-Marriage was created for religious/social reasons:

Not really, it was created for establishing bonds between families as a means of exchanging property and creating potential for offspring, thereby helping to consolidate wealth by growing the family. Royal families are a fine example of this in action, while even less-wealthy families used marriage to at least have some semblance of wealth ( I can look up more examples later). I have no reason to suspect marriage *refers* to anything else except property exchange and offspring. That is the objective of marriage. Marriage is for *that* need, and if you don't want *that* need, then you don't need marriage.

but why should I care about the history of marriage? I don't use the history of citizenship to determine what citizenship ought to be, here and now.

Because that's how concepts come about, especially ones that are teleological in nature. Capitalism is like that to. Historically, as most people refer to it, capitalism refers to the type of activity going on in the industrial revolution. A big part of that is trade and wealth creation. Labor is part of that as well, since goods have to be made. Trading of capital is important, too. The purpose generally was about creating more capital. I don't think even Marx referred to capitalism as anything different. Then you look at what happened as a result of the industrial revolution, seeing what aspects are due to capitalism, or other factors besides capitalism. I'm not going to induce everything I know right now, but eventually we get to the point where it's clear that capital helps lead to wealth, and thus self-interest. You would need the history of rights, too, to establish what rights are good for, and why someone came up with the concept.

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In today's society, custody is, by default, granted via biology alone, not marriage.

OK, so you're using today's standard to argue against the historical record... Marriage establishes legitimacy to offspring that doesn't exist to singles of the same sex, or otherwise. The significance has to do with the rights of a family heir. If a child suddenly appears in the home of a same sex couple, there is an obvious question as to who the biological parents are; but that same child appearing in a heterosexual home, while it may be challenged on suspicion of infidelity, is presumed to be the biological child of its married parents. If you want to pretend that marriage doesn't imply the biological legitimacy of offspring today, the same as it did centuries ago, then we'll just have to disagree on this issue.

By the way, have you read the piece at Mother of Exiles...

I generally consider a rebuttal that includes additional reading assignments to be evasive; why should I have to read your homework, if you can't clearly express it yourself? However, as you're a Moderator I followed your lead far enough to determine that this particular article points to legal inequities between heterosexual married couples and everybody else... OK, I agree, but I'm not contesting that issue, for the following reason (that I stated previously)....

... and are you willing to concede that civil unions do not currently achieve the same things as marriage?

... again *sigh*

I'm not claiming that marriages and civil unions represent "separate but equal" romantic legalities... Marriage vows speak to heterosexual relationships, identified by Eioul as: "longterm/monogamous/heterosexual". Why? Because the reality is that a heterosexual relationship produces children (intentionally or by accident), and homosexual relationships don't.

I agree with you that the law ought to treat all individuals equally, however I don't believe that marriage is an individual right; no one has the right to take a spouse against their will or seek restitution if their proposal for marriage is turned down, and no one is deprived life or liberty by not getting married... and as far as living happily ever after, forget about it!

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Because that's how concepts come about, especially ones that are teleological in nature. Capitalism is like that to. Historically, as most people refer to it, capitalism refers to the type of activity going on in the industrial revolution. A big part of that is trade and wealth creation. Labor is part of that as well, since goods have to be made. Trading of capital is important, too. The purpose generally was about creating more capital. I don't think even Marx referred to capitalism as anything different. Then you look at what happened as a result of the industrial revolution, seeing what aspects are due to capitalism, or other factors besides capitalism. I'm not going to induce everything I know right now, but eventually we get to the point where it's clear that capital helps lead to wealth, and thus self-interest. You would need the history of rights, too, to establish what rights are good for, and why someone came up with the concept.

Have you ever had a "conversation" with a socialist about capitalism? If so, I imagine it proceeded much like this conversation with Devil's Advocate re: marriage. You'll hear lots of "history" about the awful things that supposed capitalists have done, and how governments have intervened (and continue to intervene) on behalf of industrialists, and etc.

You'll say something about how capitalism is the economic system that exists in a state where individual rights are protected, and how none of that is actually capitalism properly understood, or so forth, and your socialist partner will say, "hey, I'm just talking about the history of capitalism, which you must understand to know the true nature of capitalism."

What stone age folks did for marriage, or Edwardian England, or etc., does not matter to what marriage is currently, or what it ought to be. You don't have to go back too far in US history to find anti-miscegenation laws, and such. It was all very traditional.

But tradition is a poor excuse to act in this manner, because it is discriminatory and does not speak to the role or function of marriage in modern society. The reasons I had to marry my wife, any gay man or woman might have for their partner. And thus they should have access to the same institution. If you think that "history" somehow demands otherwise, then "we the living" must simply disagree with you.

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But tradition is a poor excuse to act in this manner, because it is discriminatory and does not speak to the role or function of marriage in modern society. The reasons I had to marry my wife, any gay man or woman might have for their partner. And thus they should have access to the same institution. If you think that "history" somehow demands otherwise, then "we the living" must simply disagree with you.

If you believe that the history of marriage is out of step with the role or function of marriage in modern society, then simply expanding the number of participants hardly addresses your concern, does it?

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If you believe that the history of marriage is out of step with the role or function of marriage in modern society, then simply expanding the number of participants hardly addresses your concern, does it?

As I have said before, I am not in favor of the government's role in education.

But while the government does run schools, they must not discriminate for race, sexual orientation, etc.

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As I have said before, I am not in favor of the government's role in education.

But while the government does run schools, they must not discriminate for race, sexual orientation, etc.

I have to question the efficacy of this approach... does it not just encourage the government to run more schools? I can understand a position (like Eiuol's) that says marriage is no longer relevant so don't choose to participate, but for atheists to go to church in order to gain access to what gets passed around in the collection plates seems disingenuous.

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I have to question the efficacy of this approach... does it not just encourage the government to run more schools? I can understand a position (like Eiuol's) that says marriage is no longer relevant so don't choose to participate, but for atheists to go to church in order to gain access to what gets passed around in the collection plates seems disingenuous.

What "approach" are you talking about? What do you mean "encourage the government"? Church?? What does any of this mean?

You are against allowing homosexuals to marry. I understand. I think it's somewhat like those who were against miscegenation, or against racial integration of schools, or etc. They had a lot of "history and tradition," after all, on their side.

I'm not keen on the government sanctioning relationships (which typically implies that some are not allowed, like polygamous relationships) or running schools, and would like to see both practices stop, but in the interim I'm glad for the ending of officially sanctioned racial discrimination. Do you mean to say that if we were having this discussion in the 1950s, but about racial integration, that you would be chastising me for arguing against segregation on the grounds that I would somehow be "encouraging the government"? (And who specifically am I meant to be encouraging at the moment, and by what means? Go ahead and explain; I'm eager to hear your rationale.)

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You are against allowing homosexuals to marry. I understand....

No, you don't. My position has nothing to do with civil rights. As Craig24 said, equal rights don't require redefining terms. A custom stands or falls on its own merits, and if marriage is inherently discriminatory and abusive, if it's the social equivalent of slavery endorsed by bigots, then fight to abolish it. Don't claim, "I hate what it's doing to society, but as long as we can all go to hell in the same hand basket, marriage is OK.

Since I'm becoming the straw man in this argument, I'll withdraw for the weekend.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Since I'm becoming the straw man in this argument, I'll withdraw for a bit.

I imagine you might. That should be easier than attempting to answer the questions I'd asked, or for you to provide any sensible rationale for your attempt at ad hominem.

Marriage is not "inherently discriminatory and abusive," but your conception of marriage and advocacy is absolutely discriminatory.

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Marriage is not "inherently discriminatory and abusive," but your conception of marriage and advocacy is absolutely discriminatory.

Good, so we agree and can continue our discussion once you clarify how my advocacy of something that's not "inherently discriminatory and abusive" is in fact "absolutely discriminatory".

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Good, so we agree and can continue our discussion once you clarify how my advocacy of something that's not "inherently discriminatory and abusive" is in fact "absolutely discriminatory".

If I have a school, that is not of itself discriminatory.

If I hang a sign on my school that says "no homosexuals" it is.

If you offer marriage, that is not of itself discriminatory.

If you insist on "no homosexuals" it is.

But obviously I must have misunderstood you. You are, in fact, arguing that homosexual couples should be allowed to marry. So there is nothing discriminatory about your position.

Edited by DonAthos
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But obviously I must have misunderstood you. You are, in fact, arguing that homosexual couples should be allowed to marry. So there is nothing discriminatory about your position.

I appreciate your sarcasm, so I'll simply reply that my advocacy only supports the concept of marriage as a long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship which isn't "inherently discriminatory and abusive"...

Are we still in agreement, or are you backpedaling now?

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