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Marriage and Divorce Entitlements

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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?

Your "advocacy," as stated, is the very thing which is discriminatory.

If I "only support the concept of marriage as a long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship... between people of the same race" then I haven't magicked away the fact that I'm arguing against miscegenation.

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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

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?

What I should have written was, "It's appropriate to change products of teleology at will." That better conveys my meaning, and I'll admit that "at will" isn't entirely accurate either. Altruism isn't a product of teleology; it is a kind of teleology.

Edit: On second thought, products of teleology, could be confused as well, because everything we do is a product of teleology. I am not a trained philosopher, so help me out if think you see what I'm trying to get at. I'm struggling because I don't know if there is a word that conveys my meaning. Maybe if I give some definitions followed by concrete examples you can see where I'm going with this. These definitions are my own, and thus they reflect my understanding.

Teleology: Noun. "A description of causation based on final purposes rather than prior events." Examples: Altruism, egoism, Utilitarianism, etc.

Teleological: Adjective. "Of or relating to teleology." Selfishness, selflessness, utility.

Teleological Product: Noun. "The result of teleological activity." - Basically any action that isn't mindless flailing counts.

What I'm really trying to get at is the fact that customs are constructed to fit a particular purpose, so in that sense customs are "teleological concepts." Customs are ethical concepts and will necessarily be expressed differently when we find new ethical codes. So we don't change them "at will," we just change them when we find better codes. The Objectivist brand of rational egoism is the best code, but our marriage customs are woefully out of date.

Edited by FeatherFall
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Your "advocacy," as stated, is the very thing which is discriminatory.

If I "only support the concept of marriage as a long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship... between people of the same race" then I haven't magicked away the fact that I'm arguing against miscegenation.

Whoa Don, when exactly did I throw in the "race" card??

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He's not saying you did. He's drawing a comparison between the "sexual preference" card and the race card. I think its a valid comparison, but it doesn't exactly address this "sanctioning the creation of a child" stuff you talk about. It seems to be an easy point to forget about because it does sound like the last rationalization a bigot could stick to. I believe that you're trying to make an honest point, but I do need concrete examples to understand what you're talking about. I 'm that dense, apparently. So if you can think of some, shoot. If there is a particular post you want me to re-read, post that too. But keep in mind, I'm looking for how a marriage contract changes the particulars of two couples in an ideal society. One couple is married, the other not. Concretes please.

These minute to minute responses seem to be heating up the exchange. I'm going to get some sleep and come back later. Maybe ya'll should too.

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You[Devil's Advocate] are, in fact, arguing that homosexual couples should be allowed to marry. So there is nothing discriminatory about your position.

The only reason it sounds discriminatory is because there is privilege that need not exist in marriage as granted by the government. What should be argued is that married people should get no special privileges than any joining of people aside from just classifying legal relationships differently. Compared to people who choose not to get married, or people who cohabitate, or multi-person relationships, marriage will always have some apparent superiority over every other relationship. It is implicit that marriage is "the best" type of relationship in anyone who argues for it as a special legal recognition, so preventing homosexual marriages is seen as denying someone the best possible relationship.

Is the problem actually preventing a class of people from getting married? I don't think it is. I think the real issue is that marriage is presented as this incredible thing that all people ought to strive for eventually, and without it, there's something "missing" if you can't get it (i.e. your individual rights). But I don't see marriage as any different than a legal classification of who your birth father is. It used to be that if people were illegitimate children, they had little right to property or protection from their fathers. The thing wrong with *that* is legitimate children had a needless superior classification. That superior classification doesn't exist anymore in the US. The problem wasn't fixed by removing the concept illegitimate or changing the concept legitimate, but by removing the aspects which created a superior class of people. Marriage should be treated the same way - take away the advantages of marriage that only exist because government said so. Then it wouldn't sound like heresy to say marriage is simply a legal classification of longterm/monogamous/heterosexual relationship. I do not think Devil advocates heterosexual couples to be treated *better* than anyone else.

Edited by Eiuol
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Since you're a fan of history, here's some recent stuff to chew on:

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.

So I state that you're against allowing homosexuals to marry.

No, you don't. My position has nothing to do with civil rights.

[...]

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

To which you claim that I'm creating a straw man. Fine.

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.

So then I state that you're for allowing homosexuals to marry, and that I must have misunderstood you before (because, you know, "straw man" and all).

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?

To which you gripe about sarcasm, and throw in some juvenile crap about "backpedaling."

Your "advocacy," as stated, is the very thing which is discriminatory.

If I "only support the concept of marriage as a long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship... between people of the same race" then I haven't magicked away the fact that I'm arguing against miscegenation.

When I demonstrate that your claim of "I'm not against homosexual marriage; only for heterosexual-only marriage" argument is preposterous (which I suppose isn't "backpedaling," but I don't know, because who-the-hell knows what you meant by that?)...

Whoa Don, when exactly did I throw in the "race" card??

You try to interpret it out of context so you don't have to deal with the meaning that you pretend not to understand.

Do you take any of this seriously at all? Or are you just playing a game? (Being "Devil's Advocate," I suppose.)

Then it wouldn't sound like heresy to say marriage is simply a legal classification of longterm/monogamous/heterosexual relationship. I do not think Devil advocates heterosexual couples to be treated *better* than anyone else.

There is no need for "a legal classification of longterm/monogamous/heterosexual" relationships as opposed to "longterm/monogamous/homosexual" relationships. Even if you stripped marriage down to whatever you thought it should finally contain, there would still be no purpose for the government to treat homosexual couples any differently than heterosexual couples.

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I knew I heard this arugment recently... just couldn't pinpoint it.

“I agree with 3000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. It’s unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.” Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 60

“Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage, but I’ve also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference. Americans are a tolerant, generous, and kind people. We all oppose bigotry and disparagement." Mitt Romney: 2006 interview

Oh well, I can let this one slide- at least he's anti-discrimination when it comes to the super-ultra-important Boy Scouts. Just hope he doesn't change his mind on this one.

Edited by mdegges
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When I demonstrate that your claim of "I'm not against homosexual marriage; only for heterosexual-only marriage" argument is preposterous

I'm not against homosexual civil unions; only for heterosexual-only marriage ~ my claim presented again

You try to interpret it out of context so you don't have to deal with the meaning that you pretend not to understand.

long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship ~ concept of marriage again

He's not saying you did. He's drawing a comparison between the "sexual preference" card and the race card. I think its a valid comparison, but it doesn't exactly address this "sanctioning the creation of a child" stuff you talk about. It seems to be an easy point to forget about because it does sound like the last rationalization a bigot could stick to.

There is a sexual preference element in the concept of marriage (heterosexual); where is the racial element which makes your comparison valid? Is it here??

"In the Western world certain jurisdictions have had regulations banning or restricting interracial marriage in the past, including Germany during the Nazi period, South Africa under apartheid, and many states in the United States prior to a 1967 Supreme Court decision."

http://en.wikipedia....racial_marriage

The concept of marriage, "long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship", doesn't identify a racial element, and where prohibitions have been enacted, they have been repealed as a clear violation of individual rights. How does not getting married violate the individual rights of same sex couples according to the concept of marriage? Long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships aren't inherently discriminatory to same sex couples, so either you're disputing the concept of marriage, or the legal recognition of that concept... which is it?

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The only reason it sounds discriminatory is because there is privilege that need not exist in marriage as granted by the government. What should be argued is that married people should get no special privileges than any joining of people aside from just classifying legal relationships differently.

True, and legal discrimination by classification does violate individual rights. Men are different than women, fraternities are different than sororities, and male restrooms are different than female restrooms, so sex is relevant and a certain diversity of legal recognition is justifiable, but not to the point of violating individual rights. Unless long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships are inherently discriminatory towards long term, monogamous homosexual relationships, then legally identifying these two type of relationships by different names, e.g. marriage and civil unions, is justified. However when legal recognition awards and excludes benefits by race or gender, individual rights are violated.

So the question really is, "What's in a name?" Marriage refers to one legal group, civil union refers to another legal group, a single refers to another legal group. The members of each group are entitled to equal security of their individual rights, BUT are they entitled to the name "Marriage" in order to get equal security? Or if same sex couples are subsumed by the concept marriage to secure equal rights, why not single individuals?? Certainly the number of participants doesn't justify the discrimination of individual rights...

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Unless a persuasive argument can be made that the concept of marriage is something other than a, "long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship", it follows that legal recognition of differences between civil marriage, civil unions, cohabitants and singles is justified by referring to different kinds of social relationships with diverse legal concerns. When one group's legal status prohibits anothers individual rights, a claim of discrimination is justified, otherwise the legal recognition of diversity is justified. For example, when Boy Scouts prohibit boys from membership based on sexual preference, the claim of discrimination is justified because Boy Scouts don't earn merit badges on the basis of sexual preference (at least they didn't in my day). However the legitimacy of gender exclusion in terms of sororities, fraternities and restrooms goes unchallenged (or ought to) because there are certainly objective differences between boys and girls that warrant the freedom to associate by gender. In terms of gender, marriage represents the freedom to associate one male with one female which is consistent with the context of what a marriage is.

My repeated question, "Do long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships inherently discriminate against long term, monogamous homosexual relationships?" can be expanded to, "Do long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships inherently discriminate against ANY other kind relationship, including being single?" and the tacit answer remains, "NO." Apparently the best response that can be forwarded is, "Those who recognize the conceptual difference between what marriage refers to and other kinds of relationships are bigots."

If it is the case that marriage is a civil rights issue (as those who claim bigotry and discrimination assert), i.e. that individual rights are violated by not being married, then every social relationship, being populated by righted individuals, would necessarily need to be called a "marriage", and single individuals would then be justified to claim discrimination and bigotry; that is the caboose that follows this rediculous train of thought. I'm honestly taken aback that Objectivist Moderators continue to attempt to derive miscegenation from my argument. I can understand why an opponent needs this additional element to challege my position; no ceredible challenge can be made without it. But until a more relavent rebuttal can be made, I'll pass on being continuously baited to defend claims I haven't made, and simply invite intellectually honest readers of this thread to draw thier own conclusions.

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A guy takes a camping trip up north and the thread grows in leaps and bounds. I’m going to try and reign this back in but there is a lot to cover.

Long post alert…

At core marriage is just another relationship between people although it is a very specific type of association. People associate and build relationships all the time, as they should since it is in our rational self-interest to do so and that is why Freedom of Association is a core political principle.

Certain relationships build due to personal interest between people and when it becomes deep and emotionally pleasing it can be a loving relationship. Note that this is still the broad sense of the term as love can exist as a parent for a child, two friends who share a common interest (think Francisco and Rearden), and this includes romantic love. Romantic love inters the field when this generalized category of love builds between two people and advances to a strong psychological/emotional/sexual state of valuing each other. It’s the difference between being really happy to see someone and fire works going off when you look at them.

Romatic love is the last state of the chain and in all honesty doesn’t need any other qualifiers or rules to dictate it outside of those dictated by the nature of man (i.e. value based, selfish, honest, etc.) Marriage is one institution that has developed to formalize this in a social context, not only serving as a simple identifier but more importantly it also serves a rational legal purpose in a complex economy by offering identification for business reasons (i.e. insurance) or delineating property rights when the couple does not do this themselves (chain of custody in an accident). It’s be a wide road to do this much like many things in society that were originally a product of pre-enlightenment society but that is the essentials as they boil down in an individual based society. We can see this roughly when we look at how marriage is handled today in Westernized countries versus the rest of the world.

Marriage is not necessary as a commitment but it is in your self interest as long as the laws support it (think of the old “marriage penalty” on taxes).

But more importantly, at least for me, the most selfish thing is that it is also an expression of love.

Sure, it is a construct born of tradition and serves a social context but it is also a powerful symbol of love from art as well. In affect, you get married because you want to slay the dragon and earn the hand of the fairest lady in the land, not because the tribe/God(s)/your neighbor says you should for someone else’s good. Marriage can and should (if you let it) represent a romantic love announced loud and hard and in no uncertain terms. This would be no different than opening your business out of passion and love for the work despite the name being nothing more than a legal construct in a social context. It is there for rational reason but it is not the purpose of you opening the business - The purpose is you, your life, and all the values that lead to the passion to act.

Now, as for what defines marriage, are its essentials.

1. Romantic Love. I think there is no argument about this. Classic definitions that remove this important and most critical aspect are to be laughed at for the archaic institutions that they are, just as we would any other institution mystics and skeptics have been allowed to abuse (Government, art, relationships, ethics, etc.). Marriage is romantic love, courtship (the chase), and most importantly it’s the part where you “live happily ever after”.

2. It is a relationship, therefore it follows it needs to be between two people.

3. The two people are planning for their relationship to last a long time and have interest in making it an open commitment to identify that fact for themselves (a primary) and others (secondary). Primarily it’s just to tell each other that you love each other then plan from there, see point one above. Secondarily, if someone asks my girlfriend out, he can be excused for possibly not knowing that she was in a long term committed relationship. Here the gentlemen’s agreement, first time is a compliment, is in order. If I marry my girlfriend he KNOWS that she is in a long term relationship and needs to act accordingly. Someone will take that out of context I’m sure.

4. The two people involved are planning long range and are identifying their relationship within the legal framework since it allows for property in their relationship to work smoother (by property I mean the classic definition to freely make choices in one’s life) and facilitate ownership and contracts.

As for the assertions as to what is also essential, I’ll refute those now:

1. Children. The ability to have children has no bearing on whether my wife or I decide to have a longer term romantic relationship. A potential is not a duty or an actual result, and I can say this for certain as I have been with my wife for 23 years and we have no children. Children are considered essential as a result of religious reasons (i.e. mystical nonsense with no casual link to reality) or the traditional/tribe mentality (a duty to propagate the species or support the community). I hope the obvious violation of basic egoism implicit in the later reason needs no elaboration. Also, if I were to accept the necessity of children to make a romantic relationship “more real” or to allow it to evolve to a final state of happiness, I would now have to go home and tell my wife that we are not really married since she is not pumping out babies like a broodmare. I’m getting to old to dodge flying objects so that is not happening.

2. Physical appearance. While I would allow for the idea that a romantic relationship likely functions different in some aspects based on whether it is man/women or man/man, that is like everything else, something identified and agreed to by the two people freely associating with each other and is more or less just a nuance of the nature of romantic relationships as a whole since each person is always unique to a relationship. But these subtle differences are personal and like all chosen relationships handled personally, not an essential characteristic of the definition itself. There is no essential detail in what amounts to the random organs of those in a romantic relationship that defines it or marriage itself. If my cousin marries a women or a guy, it does not change how the law deals with them or I, only how they deal with each other. Sexual organs are unessential of the points I listed above thus as a measurement it is omitted.

3. Marriage is an institution. So was slavery. Not to drop that cliché on the conversation but really, an argument from tradition is not an argument but a demand to do something based on nothing more than that is the way we have always done it. If I were to transfer this argument to an economic example I’d be shanghaied by the good folk on this forum, rightfully so, and the logic applies here. Marriage is like anything, it servers the rational self-interest of the individual. The sexual organs of those getting married are very important to each other, but of no consequence to others. I could care less what they are on my neighbor.

4. I’m force others to accept my definition. As tempting it would be to say, “Good, I’m being rational and they are not!” I’ll avoid that since it is bad form :P Besides, forcing people to think is a contradiction. The truth is they are being a touch irrational however if they think that someone getting married hurts them or forces them to do anything. It in fact forces nothing on them since they can still do what they please. They can have heterosexual marriages and condone them all day long. They simply cannot use political force to mandate others follow their belief, which is the only real force being applied. Side example, Christians demand that December 25th be about the birth of Christ and I ignore their definition since I care less what they think. It’s interesting and telling that I don’t care what they do on that day but they care what I do. This is the same thing in principle. “Traditionalists” are not forced to believe anything. They however do support laws that do force others to do something.

Edited by Spiral Architect
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That's quite a bit to respond to Spiral Architect...

First off, I don't understand how forcing someone to recognize the concept of marriage is even an issue; what you recognize as a "traditionalist" concept of marriage hasn't been forced on you any more than a "traditionalist" concept of trees has. You acknowledge the accuracy of the concept as, long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships by arguing to alter it, and to what end? Civil marriage cannot subsume all relationships without changing the context to cohabitation; and if that's the goal, why swap titles? Why misrepresent one concept (cohabitation) with another (marriage). Getting to some of your other points depends on clarifying this issue...

Welcome back, BTW

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That was my creative burst for the week. I got it out early.

Force is assumed by those who use the law to enforce the standard. Otherwise, you’re right.

I did not argue for heterosexual relationships however. I pointed out, albeit rather wordy, that it is unessential to the definition. I'm not changing anything really, just sawing off and ignoring the unnecessary extras that have been added to the definition due to tradition or religion. Thus, I’m not swapping the title but keeping it to essentials.

I don’t see how it sexual organs changes anything outside of how the two people in love deal with each other.

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I don’t see how it sexual organs changes anything outside of how the two people in love deal with each other.

You've equivocated between the terms love and marriage. I have a post ready to go for a lengthier explanation, I just need to look up a particular example.

Edited by Eiuol
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Romatic love is the last state of the chain and in all honesty doesn’t need any other qualifiers or rules to dictate it outside of those dictated by the nature of man (i.e. value based, selfish, honest, etc.) Marriage is one institution that has developed to formalize this in a social context

But, no! Marriage developed to formalize family bonding. No, it's not Christian morality that took love out of marriage - love is not an essential of marriage. In fact, the two have often seemed literally incompatible. Love was sometimes seen to taint marriage because it interfered with how marriage was an economic agreement between individuals or family in many circumstances. Many societies in fact consider love and marriage to be totally different concepts, where one does not imply the other. Marriage as a concept never arose out of the concept love. They developed separately. Plato believed that true love could only exist between males, but didn't go on to say males should get married. The word for love as we know it (but... modern English doesn't have many concepts of emotion) in China was entirely separate from marriage up until probably a hundred years ago, seen to be an illicit relationship by definition. I can't find which word it is, specifically. Why do you think there are separate concepts for love and marriage? The referents are different! While marriage can and does correlate with marriage, they are separate concepts that need not be present together. You can be in authentic love and never marry. You can marry but not love your spouse. You can marry and love your spouse.

... originally a product of pre-enlightenment society but that is the essentials as they boil down in an individual based society

I don't understand this phrase, since essentials apply to any time period. There aren't separate essentials for individual based societies. That only means you may have to reject older institutions in order to maintain an individual based society. Either the essentials also apply to all time (past, present, future), or the attributes are not essentials. I'm thinking that heterosexual might not be the essential as much as it is potential or desire to create offspring with only the people involved in the marriage. Your claims that marriage is a powerful symbol of love I can only say comes out of modern portrayals of romance. Which really do idealize marriage in fantastical ways. I can grasp arguments that marriage helps love, but you can't say marriage is about love. If you want to claim that marriage is a symbol of love, are people that are in love yet not married just not "really" in love? If you say no, then you're already conceding that marriage is not an aspect of love, just a correlation rarely pursued these days without love. If you say yes, then you're giving unnecessary superiority to marriage over all other relationships.

My main argument isn't really an argument. I'm only claiming your method of induction is incorrect. Judge the concepts as they are. Your premise just happens to be that romantic love is the essential part of romantic relationships, which is what I'm arguing against. Not only do I think your premise is wrong, I find that even if I accept your premise, it implies anyone who doesn't want to be married has an inferior kind of love (or can't truly commit, as many people say).

Classic definitions that remove this important and most critical aspect are to be laughed at for the archaic institutions that they are.

Archaic institutions indeed.

I hope the obvious violation of basic egoism implicit in the later reason needs no elaboration.

Point 1. It's not a violation of egoism because if you don't want kids, then marriage is not a needed concept for the kinds of things marriage is about. Violation would only occur if you said long-term romantic relationships means marriage is necessary for your rational self-interest. As far as I am seeing, you are saying exactly that.

I addressed point 4 in post #130. Again, to emphasize, marriage should not provide preferential treatment as awarded by the government or legal institutions. No one has said otherwise. Until that happens, anything you do with regards to marriage policy is discriminatory to someone. Better to leave it as it is and remove preferential treatment than do the opposite by giving everyone preferential treatment.

One comment about using history as inductive material:

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.

Indeed, and the only way to come to any agreement on if capitalism is good or bad is if you iron out and discuss various historical factors. You can't just say "capitalism is an economic system that [...]" and shoot down any counterargument by definition alone. In a discussion on capitalism, you need to talk about how you came to the conclusion that capitalism is in fact all those things. History is a huge part of your evidence. Discussion on marriage is the same way. Tradition is more a concept relating to specific societies or groups, but I've only been attempting to identify a particular referent to a whole class of relationship classifications that have been used and consistent throughout history (longterm, monogamous, heterosexual), with the only differences being particulars (e.g. race, income, social status, love).

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Indeed, and the only way to come to any agreement on if capitalism is good or bad is if you iron out and discuss various historical factors. You can't just say "capitalism is an economic system that [...]" and shoot down any counterargument by definition alone. In a discussion on capitalism, you need to talk about how you came to the conclusion that capitalism is in fact all those things. History is a huge part of your evidence. Discussion on marriage is the same way. Tradition is more a concept relating to specific societies or groups, but I've only been attempting to identify a particular referent to a whole class of relationship classifications that have been used and consistent throughout history (longterm, monogamous, heterosexual), with the only differences being particulars (e.g. race, income, social status, love).

So, out of curiosity... should whatever forces behind same-sex marriage prevail, if we were to revisit this argument, say, a hundred years from now... would your conceptualization of marriage have changed to embrace this new "tradition"?

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Force is assumed by those who use the law to enforce the standard. Otherwise, you’re right.

If the law enforces something that isn't inherently discriminatory, e.g. long term, monogamous heterosexual relationships, in a discriminatory way, e.g. long term, monogamous homogenous heterosexual relationships, then the law is unjust and will likely be repealed, as has happened many times in the past. This is hardly the fault of those who choose to marry according to the concept, which only refers to a man and woman choosing to live faithfully together 'till death parts them. The lesson to be learned from periodic instances of slavery, segregation, miscegenation and the like, is that efforts to regulate a concept outside the scope of what that concept refers to, ultimately lead to legal ambiguity; which is not unusual in our society.

I did not argue for heterosexual relationships however. I pointed out, albeit rather wordy, that it is unessential to the definition. I'm not changing anything really, just sawing off and ignoring the unnecessary extras that have been added to the definition due to tradition or religion. Thus, I’m not swapping the title but keeping it to essentials. I don’t see how it sexual organs changes anything outside of how the two people in love deal with each other.

I think Eiuol has addressed this fairly well, and will only add that you are in fact, transporting a title of preference to whatever relationship you perceive to be at legal odds with marriage... and the question remains, why??

So, looking again at your rebuttal points in the context of marriage as a long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship, points 1 & 2 necessarily reflect what a marriage is; 3 & 4 to what a marriage isn't. Marriage looks like something designed to produce children because that's what usually happens when boys and girls play house. That you and Mrs Architect don't have children, or have adopted children, or have extramarital affairs, or practice celibacy, or that same sex couples have long term, monogamous relationships that include children, hasn't any enduring effect* on the concept of marriage. And unless you consider the bond of marriage to be a kind of willing enslavement, issues of slavery, segregation, racism, miscegenation, eugenics, bigotry and the like, are simple distractions employed to cast a sense of guilt on those who advocate marriage according to concept; a way to beg for that which cannot be gained legitimately.

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* In researching this topic, I came across a reference to Nero "marrying" his male slave, which carried no legal recognition because Roman law recognized conubium (legal marriage) as referring to the union of one male with one female. So while the Emperor was allowed to have his way with his slave (it's always good to be the king), his "marriage" was considered eccentric, to say the least. From the same reference source:

"Furthermore, "matrimonium is an institution involving a mother, mater. The idea implicit in the word is that a man takes a woman in marriage, in matrimonium ducere, so that he may have children by her."

http://en.wikipedia....arriage#Ancient

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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So, out of curiosity... should whatever forces behind same-sex marriage prevail, if we were to revisit this argument, say, a hundred years from now... would your conceptualization of marriage have changed to embrace this new "tradition"?

Not to speak for Eiuol, but the history of marriage includes many instances of political manipulation of the concept. From our earliest records (see my reference to Nero above), various arguments have been made to subsume homosexuality, miscegenation, etc. within the concept of marriage. Legal regulation has varied, but ultimately returns to recognizing the original concept as is...

So my rebuttal to the rhetorical answer you're seeking is, "What new argument makes an altered concept of marriage more likely to endure today, than at any other point in history??"

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Definition of MATRIMONY: the union of man and woman as husband and wife : marriage

Origin of MATRIMONY: Middle English, from Anglo-French matrimoignie, from Latin matrimonium, from matr-, mater mother, matron : mother

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matrimony

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Questions, comments, observations??

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@ Eiuol

First of all, I can admit I might be inducting some of this wrong. Epistemology is something I’m still working to improve.

I know marriage has been treated as something separate from love. Historically love has been viewed as the redheaded step child of relationships and even punished in some cultures. That is why I’m trying to slam the point home that historical views of relationships should be taken for what they are – Bad. You wouldn’t accept a pre-enlightenment view of Government nor should you accept their definition of love or marriage.

If I gave the impression that marriage is superior to a romantic relationship or that your life is not “better” if you don’t get married, then that was my mistake. I have a friend who has been with his girlfriend for over a decade and I certainly do not think any less of them because they never got married. They are great people and very happy together. What I do consider important is that people in a romantic relationship would find ways to advance their relationship over time, not because of some mandate but simply because I have observed that couples that find ways to stay close and communicate well have better relationships in later years. If you can’t stay close later on then a re-evaluation is in order. It could be a union of some kind (civil or otherwise) or it could be taking a vacation every year to spend “Me Time” with each other. The more you love someone, the more your relationship evolves as you travel life together and some form of mutual expression is natural. My wife and I actually do the later every fall and that is far more important to us then the actual marriage certificate these days (which serves more of a practical role).

Marriage, however, is not to be dismissed when it can be used to do this. Like I said, make it yours.

I also know I’m romanticizing it, certainly more than the average person does, but that is the point. Again, make life yours. This is no different then how the typical Objectivist romanticizes work more than the average person too. Define your values then throw your passion at it.

I am not telling you that you have to get married to have a good relationship. What I am telling you is that there is nothing wrong with taking that route and it can serve your rational self-interests.

Essentials means stop, start over, and ask yourself what is the essential aspects of the subject you’re discussing. I could care less what is essential to some mystic or skeptic from history’s dust been, only what is essential as defined by reality witnessed through the lens of my life. If you are going to get married, doing so for love is essential but doing so for social or mystical reasons is not essential (and destructive). Marriage being a relationship has to be built on selfish values shared and appreciated, this is essential if you plan to live together for an unspecified length of time, having children is not essential since it bares no importance to that relationship. The sexual organs of the couple are certainly not essential to the definition. The only one who cares is the two people involved and that is for personal reasons.

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I think Eiuol has addressed this fairly well, and will only add that you are in fact, transporting a title of preference to whatever relationship you perceive to be at legal odds with marriage... and the question remains, why??

Huh?

So, looking again at your rebuttal points in the context of marriage as a long term, monogamous heterosexual relationship, points 1 & 2 necessarily reflect what a marriage is; 3 & 4 to what a marriage isn't. Marriage looks like something designed to produce children because that's what usually happens when boys and girls play house.

Designed? By whom?

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Huh?

Why call something that doesn't reflect the concept of marriage, e.g. civil union, cohabitation, being single, etc, a marriage??

Designed? By whom?

I'm beginning to hear ticking noises in my head... OK, did your parents ever discuss the birds and the bees with you? Civil marriage is the legal recognition of the custom of matrimony, as in:

"We are gathered here today in the face of this company, to join together (Groom's Name (hint: a guy)) and (Bride's Name (hint: a girl)) in matrimony; which is an honorable and solemn estate and therefore is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and soberly. Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any one can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" ~ customary marriage vows

"matrimonium is an institution involving a mother, mater. The idea implicit in the word is that a man takes a woman in marriage, in matrimonium ducere, so that he may have children by her."

http://en.wikipedia....arriage#Ancient

By any chance, did the future Mrs Architect have a Matron of Honor??

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Words have meaning and context is everything...

--

The origin of the word marriage comes from the Latin word mas which means male. The word maritus, which means husband, came from the word mas.

The word husband is the male counterpart to the word wife. Both words are gender specific.

The synonym of the word marriage is matrimony. Civil marriage is the legal recognition of a matrimonial ceremony.

The origin of the word matrimony is matrimonium, which is Latin for the state of being married, formed from mater, which means mother, and monium, which means state or condition.

The meaning and context of marriage is clear; a man marries a woman to be the future mother of his children. Omit the word matrimony, and the word marriage still refers to a husband, which implies a wife.

--

Now, I know from experience that trying to get an Objectivist to acknowledge any inherent weakness in their reasoning is like pulling teeth from an alligator; more trouble than its worth. But if there's any Objectivist here that can persuasively transform the actual meaning and context of marriage, along with it's dependent terms matrimony (which clearly implies the biological production of sons and daughters, aka children), groom, bride, husband, and wife, in a way that subsumes long term, monogamous homosexual relationships, I'll bow to your intellectual prowess and wither away from this argument...

... the clock's ticking.

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Words have meaning and context is everything...

Quoted, because this might be our last point of agreement.

...I'll bow to your intellectual prowess and wither away from this argument...

... the clock's ticking.

Do you have any idea how unappealing this kind of junk rhetoric is? Who the hell cares for your judgement of anyone's "intellectual prowess"? And "the clock's ticking"? What clock, exactly? The clock where, when it goes off, you'll stop acting like this is some sort of high school debate? Get off it already.

If I were to describe your "argument" about the origin of the word marriage as "sophisticated," what would you suppose I meant? Would I be referring to the common usage of today -- refined, subtle, complex? Or would I be describing you as a sophist, and accusing you of intellectual dishonesty? Or would I be going further back into the Greek meaning of wise?

And what if I told you that this is not Ancient Rome? That whatever terms for marriage we offer in this country are not bound by what Emperor Nero did, or failed to do, with his male slave? (Slave, incidentally, not necessarily referring to an individual of Slavic ethnic descent, though the etymology might lead you to argue otherwise.)

You have consistently refused to be upfront about arguing against same-sex marriage. Your claims that you're in favor of an equivalent "civil union," just that we must use a separate term for some silly reason (tradition!), are worthless, even if true. If the institutions are the same, there would then be no point in using a separate term. We have no good reason to distinguish between homosexual couples and heterosexual couples, and because "they did so in Ancient Rome" is not a good reason. Society has no value in keeping separate homosexual couples who wish to commit to each other (as in a civil union, or marriage) versus heterosexual couples who wish to do likewise. And there are good reasons, such as what I have provided (and also see: Brown vs. Board of Education) as to why we ought not endorse "separate but equal" legal institutions.

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