Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Stud Named Cindy

Just a short rib to all those who snorted at the idea when brought up during the gay marriage discussions. Rebellion against tradition and perversion 'rights' knows no limits.

I've Married a Dolphin

WACKY Sharon Tendler has married a DOLPHIN.

Clothes designer Sharon, 41, wore a white silk dress and a pink tiara for the potty ceremony in Eliat, Israel.

Her tame dolphin pal Cindy swam to the side of his enclosure accompanied by a shoal of pals.

Sharon, of Redbridge, East London, kissed Cindy and whispered “I love you” in his blow hole.

She said: “Cindy is 35 and I’ve been visiting him on holidays for 15 years. He’s lovely.”

She consecrated the marriage by diving into the water in her frock to give Cindy a hug.

11 comments:

Rob Berry said...

A number of conservavtive bloggers have claimed that Sharon Tendler's "wedding" somehow proves that gay marriage really will lead to marriage with animals, but it just ain't so. Please see my article Married Dolphins: The Next Right-Wing Bogeyman for an explanation of why the claim is flawed.

Steve said...

Rob,
Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for directing me to some reasoned arguments for your position. I am pleased that you have foregone the usual racist/homophobe/sexist bigot label as it grows comical and says more about the accuser's paucity of reason than anything else.

I would posit that the situation of which we speak is indeed one of the 'slippery slope' variety, but not in the way by which you portray it. Homosexual marriage does not initiate a slippery slope, rather it is a result of sliding down a pre-existing slippery slope.

In rejecting any ethical or moral authority over and above Man, modernism as well as postmodernism, have placed ethical/moral authority in the hands of Man. Therein lies the initial step down the 'slippery slope'. Each man becomes an authority unto himself and the result is the quest for pieces of the power pie for the many who are so inclined. Even positional authority is continually called into question. Parents, teachers, bosses, police, and others become seen as authoritative only because of leveraged power. This is the logical extension of postmodern theology. Each is his own god and seeks others of like mind, or form coalitions to form a 'trinity' of power to mold the world toward his/their own image.

Sliding further down this slope, we finally arrive to the area of our disagreement about homosexual marriage. One writer has said that the opposition to homosexual marriage comes from three basic sources; definition, tradition, and religion. By fiat you propose to change the definition. You have rejected tradition's authority and restructured it into that of your own creation. Many religions, whose verities you discount, also have designated homosexual marriage taboo. But in sliding down our slope, postmodernism has denied static definitions, the authority of tradition, and the universality of any religious truth. Ultimately, anything goes as long as its proponents can bludgeon that which is established, wielding whatever power that has been assumed.

As your 'adjustment' to the nature and tradition of marriage-- 0ne-to-one ratio, certain kind of love, legal contract, consent-- becomes accepted, we continue our momentum down the slope. The next groups down use your own postmodern system against the 'new' tradition with its definitions. Why only one-to-one? Why not lower the age limitations? Who can define this 'certain type of love'? Eureka! Consent's penumbra has revealed a new meaning! We may not have mass public support, so cannot get the votes, BUT... we have found a federal judge who supports our cause and will rule for us. Who are you to judge these people? You are a narrow-minded thesekindofpeoplephobe!

How far does the slippery slope go? All the way down, but we don't know the specific route or exactly how it will look. Marriage rights/rites to animals? Maybe, maybe not, but the 'principles' of postmodernism cannot rule it out.

Rob Berry said...

Steve, thanks for your comments. Here's my response.

I would posit that the situation of which we speak is indeed one of the ’slippery slope’ variety, but not in the way by which you portray it. Homosexual marriage does not initiate a slippery slope, rather it is a result of sliding down a pre-existing slippery slope.

Just to clarify, I didn't portray gay marriage as a slippery slope; this is a claim made by conservatives. If you think conservatives are right about the slippery slope but wrong about its precise nature, complain to them. :-)

In rejecting any ethical or moral authority over and above Man, modernism as well as postmodernism, have placed ethical/moral authority in the hands of Man. Therein lies the initial step down the ’slippery slope’. Each man becomes an authority unto himself and the result is the quest for pieces of the power pie for the many who are so inclined. Even positional authority is continually called into question. Parents, teachers, bosses, police, and others become seen as authoritative only because of leveraged power. This is the logical extension of postmodern theology. Each is his own god and seeks others of like mind, or form coalitions to form a ‘trinity’ of power to mold the world toward his/their own image.

I don't know what postmodernism or postmodern theology has to do with my article. I am neither a postmodernist nor a theologian. In fact, I'm an atheist and a pancritical rationalist, which is about as far from postmodernist theology as you can get!

Nor do I understand what "rejecting any ethical or moral authority over and above Man" has to do with the issue at hand. One can consistently accept an "ethical or moral authority over and above Man" while simultaneously advocating gay marriage, so long as one believes that the ethical or moral authority in question approves of gay marriage. One could also reject the existence of a "ethical or moral authority over and above Man" while simultaneously believing that gay marriage should be kept illegal. The two issues are orthogonal.

As for people seeking power to mold the world... well, that's been around far longer than post or even modernism. And plenty of people who accepted an "ethical or moral authority over and above Man" have had no qualms about trying to seize power. Many people, from the Pharaohs of Egypt to George W. Bush today, have even use their "ethical or moral authority over and above Man" as their justification for seizing power. So these two issues are also orthogonal.

Finally, these comments have nothing to do with my article or my arguments. In addition to being wrong, they are irrelevant.

Sliding further down this slope, we finally arrive to the area of our disagreement about homosexual marriage. One writer has said that the opposition to homosexual marriage comes from three basic sources; definition, tradition, and religion. By fiat you propose to change the definition. You have rejected tradition’s authority and restructured it into that of your own creation. Many religions, whose verities you discount, also have designated homosexual marriage taboo. But in sliding down our slope, postmodernism has denied static definitions, the authority of tradition, and the universality of any religious truth. Ultimately, anything goes as long as its proponents can bludgeon that which is established, wielding whatever power that has been assumed.

Again, I am not a postmodernist. I'm a fan of science, reason, and Alan Sokal. Your argument does not address what I am actually saying.

As your ‘adjustment’ to the nature and tradition of marriage– 0ne-to-one ratio, certain kind of love, legal contract, consent– becomes accepted, we continue our momentum down the slope. The next groups down use your own postmodern system against the ‘new’ tradition with its definitions.

Once again, I am not a postmodernist. I do not argue for gay marriage based on postmodernism, and I am not proposing that we establish any sort of postmodern society.

Why only one-to-one? Why not lower the age limitations? Who can define this ‘certain type of love’? Eureka! Consent’s penumbra has revealed a new meaning!

You might want to re-read my original article, and my responses to other people's comments on the article. The questions you've asked have already been dealt with there.

Remember that, contrary to what a postmodernist would claim, I believe that the question of which sorts of marriages ought to be legalized can and should be addressed using reason. And reason comes down on the side of gay marriage. That's why I want to see it legalized.

We may not have mass public support, so cannot get the votes, BUT... we have found a federal judge who supports our cause and will rule for us. Who are you to judge these people? You are a narrow-minded thesekindofpeoplephobe!

Do you realize that you've just described Loving v. Virginia, the case that legalized interracial marriage? Am I to understand you disapprove of that decision?

How far does the slippery slope go? All the way down, but we don’t know the specific route or exactly how it will look. Marriage rights/rites to animals? Maybe, maybe not, but the ‘principles’ of postmodernism cannot rule it out.

Well, I don't care one jot about what the principles of postmodernism can or can't rule out, because I'm not proposing that we implement postmodern principles in the realm of law or marriage, or anywhere else for that matter. A society which legalized gay marriage based on the sort of arguments I have outlined would not need to worry that marriage rights might someday be extended to animals, as my original article shows.

To sum up, you seem to have inadvertantly attacked a strawman, rather than my actual arguments. For whatever reason, you have mistakenly assumed that I am a postmodernist, and constructed a rebuttal to my arguments based on that assumption. But I am not a postmodernist, and my arguments do not utilize postmodern ideas in any way. Thus, your rebuttal never actually addresses my arguments. Now that you have a clearer picture of what it is I really believe, let me ask you: Can you offer up any sound, reasonable arguments demonstrating that gay marriage should remain illegal?

Steve said...

Hey Rob,

Hope all is well with you and your family today. I've enjoyed our exchanges. (I'm not a computer game player so this may be all we have!)

In order to continue without talking past one another, I expect that we will need to work on our definitions. Atheist I understand, but pancritical rationalism, fan of science and reason I'm having some trouble with. Let me take a stab-- scientific, rational pancritical reason concludes that George W. Bush seizes power with the same justification as the Egyptian Pharaohs. I'll give you credit for at least varying from Hitler, Chimpy, and Halliburton.

Despite your denials, I'm sticking with my proposition that you speak from a postmodernist perspective, even though of a different brand than that of which Sokal 'debunks'. The faces of postmodernism are many. As an atheist, rationalist, and man of scientific ilk, my initial definiton would be that of modernist. But when one leaps from Aristotle's particulars, facts, and worldly observables to Plato's universals, ideals, and values, he becomes a postmodernist. When scientists place value upon raw facts they have exited the realm of science. Nihilism and existentialism are the most rational choices from the modernist perspective, but even Sartre couldn't hold that position consistently.

I have trouble recognizing the legitimacy of the use of pancritical and atheist as a description of the same entity. An atheist attempts to operate within a closed universe and closes his mind to other possibilities of critical thinking. Perhaps paracritical would be a more accurate term. Now pancritical and agnostic... maybe.

In your argument, you use the commonalities of legal contracts, a vague but 'certain kind of love', and age of consent to obscure your value judgment in asserting that the definitional change in the meaning of marriage to include that between homosexuals is only a small 'tweak'. I disagree. That is like saying that the two lifestyles are close together in that both enjoy the closeness, the caressing, the feel of the other's skin, and orgasms, Or that the color red is very close to blue since they are both in the visible light spectrum and pleasant to the eyes. Superficial likenesses do not often withstand deeper scrutiny and artificially stretching a definition to include more than it originally intended only causes it to fog the spectacles.

Rob, thanks for your time and space. I'll expect to hear from you soon.

Al said...

Mr. Berry seems to be familiar with the teachings of the Stirnerians.

Rob Berry said...

Thanks again for your comments, Steve. Here's my response.

[...] I’m not a computer game player [...]

Nobody's perfect. ;-)

In order to continue without talking past one another, I expect that we will need to work on our definitions. Atheist I understand, but pancritical rationalism, fan of science and reason I’m having some trouble with.[...]

In that case, I'd be happy to clarify. At one point in your response, you stated:

I have trouble recognizing the legitimacy of the use of pancritical
and atheist as a description of the same entity.


That's because you don't understand what the words mean, as shown by your next statement:

An atheist attempts to operate within a closed universe and closes
his mind to other possibilities of critical thinking.[...]


That is not a correct definition of "atheist". An atheist is simply somebody who believes that there are no gods. Whether or not the universe is "closed" or "open" (whatever that might mean) has nothing to do with it; the issues are orthogonal. As for "closing his mind to other possibilities of critical thinking", this is also not a part of the definition of atheism. Certainly, some atheists do this-- many Marxists and Objectivists, for instance, would probably fall into this category-- but others do not. Again, the issues are orthogonal.

As for the concept of "pancritical rationalism", this is not simply a catchy phrase. It is a very specific term used to describe a particular conception of rationality that was developed by William Warren Bartley based on the work of Karl Popper. Briefly, a pancritical rationalist is somebody who rejects the notion of justifying beliefs in terms of some ultimate, unquestionable epistemological standard. Instead, a pancritical rationalist "evolves" his beliefs by making conjectures and then subjecting them to harsh criticism. Those beliefs which survive the criticism are tentatively accepted. Clearly, there's no reason an atheist couldn't be a pancritical rationalist, provided the belief "there are no gods" is held tentatively, is not shielded from criticism, and is not justified in terms of some unquestionable standard.

And that's precisely what I do. My atheism is tentative; I am willing to abandon it should I ever encounter a successful criticism of atheism. That, along with the fact that I regularly attempt to criticize my own atheism (and other beliefs, for that matter), is what allows me to be both a pancritical rationalist and an atheist at the same time.

Despite your denials, I’m sticking with my proposition that you speak from a postmodernist perspective, even though of a different brand than that of which Sokal ‘debunks’. The faces of postmodernism are many. As an atheist, rationalist, and man of scientific ilk, my initial definiton would be that of modernist. But when one leaps from Aristotle’s particulars, facts, and worldly observables to Plato’s universals, ideals, and values, he becomes a postmodernist.[...]

With all due respect, if you think Plato is a postmodernist, then you've stretched the definition of the word almost beyond recognition. Postmodernism is a 20th century development; in fact, it didn't really pick up steam until after World War II. Plato obviously lived long before that, so calling him a postmodernist is simply wrong. At best, you could say his philosophy had some things in common with postmodernism. But even that would be misleading, because there are vast differences between the philosophies of Plato and those of Derrida, Foucault, and other postmodernists.

It almost seems as though you've decided that since you disagree with postmodernism, any person or philosophy or viewpoint with which you disagree must also be postmodern. You find my views on gay marriage distasteful, so you assume that they spring from postmodernism. You don't care for Plato much, so he must be a postmodernist too. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you think Osama bin Laden is a postmodernist! But it simply doesn't work that way. The precise meaning of "postmodernism" may vary from person to person, but I'm quite confident that nobody would define it as "stuff that Steve doesn't like." :-)

In your argument, you use the commonalities of legal contracts, a vague but ‘certain kind of love’, and age of consent to obscure your value judgment in asserting that the definitional change in the meaning of marriage to include that between homosexuals is only a small ‘tweak’.

Remember not to drop the context! The paragraph you're referring to read as follows:

And since marriage is a contract, it follows that only entities which are capable of entering into contracts are capable of entering into marriage. Obviously, this rules out things like children, dead people, automobiles, and yes, dolphins. Allowing dolphin marriage would mean radically changing the entire legal foundation of marriage so that it was no longer a type of contract-- something no advocate of gay marriage is proposing. Gay people, on the other hand, are just as capable of entering into contracts as straight people. Allowing gay marriage requires only that we drop the "one man and one woman" requirement-- a minor tweak, and one that accords well with 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law.

My comment about legalizing gay marriage being a "minor tweak" referred specifically to the amount of change to existing law that would be needed in order to legalize gay marriage, as compared to the amount of change necessary to legalize (for instance) dolphin marriage. And compared to legalizing dolphin marriage, legalizing gay marriage is a minor tweak. To legalize gay marriage, you'd only need to drop the gender requirements. To legalize dolphin marriage, you'd have to either drop the notion of marriage as a contract (which would require a complete rewrite of marital laws) or else drop the notion that animals cannot enter into contracts (which would completely alter the notion of contract law.) Put simply, the amount of legal work require to legalize gay marriage is vastly less than that required to legalize dolphin marriage, and it is in this (thoroughly objective!) sense that legalizing gay marriage is a "minor tweak".

As for things like the role of love and consent (not the age of consent, which I wasn't referring to) in the Western way of marriage, that isn't even a minor tweak, because legalizing gay marraige wouldn't change those roles at all. No gay rights advocate is proposing that gay people should marry somebody they don't love once gay marriage is legalized, nor are they proposing that people should be legally forced to marry gay.

I disagree.[...]

You're free to disagree, of course. But in the context in which my statement was originally made, you are objectively wrong; it really would take less effort legalize gay marriage than dolphin marriage (or whatever.) Now, like any good little pancritical rationlist, I'm certainly open to hearing arguments to the contrary. But I must confess, I have a difficult time seeing how one would construct an argument proving that dropping the gender requirements of marriage is just as complicated as rethinking the entire role of contracts in our society. But hey, you're welcome to try!

Superficial likenesses do not often withstand deeper scrutiny and artificially stretching a definition to include more than it originally intended only causes it to fog the spectacles.[...]

I agree; that's why I objected to your calling Plato a postmodernist. :-)

Rob Berry said...

Mr. Berry seems to be familiar with the teachings of the Stirnerians.

Al, are you referring to Max Stirner? If so, I'm familiar with his work, but only slightly. I picked up a book by Max Stirner back in college, read about twenty pages of it, tossed it aside while muttering a quick whisky-tango-foxtrot under my breath, and never looked back. :-) If you're referring to some other movement, then I have no idea what you're talking about.

Steve said...

Howdy Rob,

I did play 'Pong' a couple of times when it first came out back in the stone ages-- does that count?

Context, context: "But when one leaps from Aristotle’s particulars, facts, and worldly observables to Plato’s universals, ideals, and values, he becomes a postmodernist. When scientists place value upon raw facts they have exited the realm of science." It doesn't claim Plato is a postmodernist. It claims that a scientist using Einstein's theory of relativity to conclude that truth is relative or that ethics are situational is a postmodernist.

I did indeed misapprehend your use of 'tweaking'. However, that exacerbates our difficulties. One of your defenses for support of homosexual marriage is that it would be easy, at least easier that legitimizing human/animal marriage? Poof! Dropping the 'one man and one woman' requirement out of the definition doesn't even rate the level of tweakdom?

"...one that accords well with 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law." Apparently, in the states where this issue has come up to a vote, a majority of the voters have not yet evolved into enlightened 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law. Claim all the analogies you wish about Loving v. Virginia, but that is still one man and one woman.

As far as I know, science is silent concerning issues of justice and the universe is as dumb as any box of rocks. Evolution can only say that whatever exists is right and just or that domination by the strongest defines justice. How does a pancritical rationalist deduce a definition?

Since your atheism is tentative, you may actually be categorized as an agnostic. I did write, "...pancritical and agnostic… maybe."

"...The precise meaning of “postmodernism” may vary from person to person, but I’m quite confident that nobody would define it as “stuff that Steve doesn’t like.”" Geez, Rob, you sound like my wife! Have you two been exchanging e-mails or something?
Take care, my friend.

Steve said...

Rob,

Via Jerry Scharf at Commonsense and Wonder. This is perhaps a real world example that enlightened liberal governments would not hesitate to step beyond a mere 'tweaking' action to change existing law; '...one that accords well with 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law.'

(DEAN BEEBY-Globe and Mail, Canada)

Ottawa — A new study for the federal Justice Department says Canada should get rid of its law banning polygamy, and change other legislation to help women and children living in such multiple-spouse relationships.

“Criminalization does not address the harms associated with valid foreign polygamous marriages and plural unions, in particular the harms to women,” says the report, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

“The report therefore recommends that this provision be repealed.”

The research paper is part of a controversial $150,000 polygamy project, launched a year ago and paid for by the Justice Department and Status of Women Canada.

The paper by three law professors at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., argues that Sec. 293 of the Criminal Code banning polygamy serves no useful purpose and in any case is rarely prosecuted.
Instead, Canadian laws should be changed to better accommodate the problems of women in polygamous marriages, providing them clearer spousal support and inheritance rights.
[...]
But the project was also intended to provide the Liberal government with ammunition to help defend its same-sex marriage bill last spring.

Opponents claimed the bill, now law, was a slippery slope that would open the door to polygamy and even bestiality.


I also am totally skeptical about the lead to human/animal unions even though humans seeking sexual experiences with animals is not at all rare. But, on the other hand...

Rob Berry said...

Here's my response to your earlier comment about my article.

I did play ‘Pong’ a couple of times when it first came out back in the stone ages-- does that count?

It counts, but you've just given away your age. ;-) I missed out on Pong myself, but I was around for the heyday of pinball, as well as the early video game classics-- Space Invaders, Galaxians, Missile Command, Pac Man, Donkey Kong, etc. Good times....

Context, context: "But when one leaps from Aristotle’s particulars, facts, and worldly observables to Plato’s universals, ideals, and values, he becomes a postmodernist. When scientists place value upon raw facts they have exited the realm of science." It doesn’t claim Plato is a postmodernist.

Not directly, perhaps, but the way you've phrased it certainly suggests that there is something about Plato's views that are postmodern, which is untrue under the usual definitions of postmodern. However, I think I now understand what you were getting at; see below.

It claims that a scientist using Einstein’s theory of relativity to conclude that truth is relative or that ethics are situational is a postmodernist.

Hmmm... so if I'm understanding you correctly, your statement was intended to be a metaphor, not an actual claim about Aristotle and Plato's beliefs. Is this correct? If so, that would explain why I thought you were calling Plato a postmodernist-- I was taking the metaphor too literally.

I did indeed misapprehend your use of ‘tweaking’. However, that exacerbates our difficulties. One of your defenses for support of homosexual marriage is that it would be easy, at least easier that legitimizing human/animal marriage?

Nitpick: My statement is not so much a defense of gay marriage as it is a critique of one particular argument aginst it-- namely, the "slippery slope" argument. While I do advocate legalizing gay marriage, one could accept my critique of the slippery slope argument while still opposing gay marriage in general.

Anyhoo... In the legal sense, yes, legalizing gay marriage is easier (in the sense of requiring fewer changes to the law) than legalizing marriage to animals. Legalizing gay marriage requires only that the gender requirements be dropped, but leaves all other aspects of marital law intact, and makes no changes whatsoever to contract law or its legal underpinnings. A society which legalized gay marriage would look pretty much the same as it does now. In contrast, legalizing marriage to animals would require altering the role of consent in contracts, or even removing it entirely. A society which did that would barely be recognizable when compared to its former self.

Poof! Dropping the ‘one man and one woman’ requirement out of the definition doesn’t even rate the level of tweakdom?

In the legal sense, it counts as a minor tweak (in comparison to legalizing marriage with animals), for the reasons I stated earlier. In regards to the role that love plays in marriage, it isn't even a tweak, because love plays the same role in gay marriages as it does in straight marriages. Ditto for the role of consent.

"...one that accords well with 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law." Apparently, in the states where this issue has come up to a vote, a majority of the voters have not yet evolved into enlightened 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law.

Maybe that's because the politicians, pundits, pastors, and priests that these voters look up to haven't been truthful about the nature of gay marriage and the actual consequences of legalizing it. As a result, these voters genuinely believe that gay marriage poses a threat to America and the families living in it. No wonder that they vote to ban it! But if these "trusted sources" were to start telling the truth about the matter, I think you'd see a lot fewer votes for so-called "defense of marriage" acts, and a lot more votes in favor of gay marriage.

Claim all the analogies you wish about Loving v. Virginia, but that is still one man and one woman.

Um, duh. :-) Remember, though, that in 1960s Virginia, the notion of dropping racial requirements was every bit as controversial as the notion of dropping gender requirements is now.

As far as I know, science is silent concerning issues of justice and the universe is as dumb as any box of rocks.

Not entirely. I'm a part of the universe, and I'm much smarter than a box of rocks. :-)

Evolution can only say that whatever exists is right and just or that domination by the strongest defines justice.

Um, evolution says no such thing. Evolution is a biological phenomenon, not a system of morality or justice. (To be sure, this doesn't mean that moral codes cannot be informed by scientific studies of evolution, but that's not the same as saying that evolution itself makes moral claims.)

How does a pancritical rationalist deduce a definition?

By making guesses and exposing them to criticism, then keeping those guesses that survive the criticism, then making new guesses based on those "surviving" guesses, then criticising them, lather, rinse, repeat.

To apply this to the gay marriage issue, we can start by making two opposing guesses: One guess stating that gay marriage should be legalized, and another starting that gay marriage should remain illegal. We then attempt to criticize both guesses, then criticize the criticisms, then criticize the criticisms of those criticisms, etc. The winner is the one that survives the "contest" of criticism, and is (tentatively!) adopted.

In my own case, the "contest" revealed that there are valid criticisms for the claim that gay marriage should remain illegal. But it was unable to find any valid criticisms for the opposite claim, that gay marriage should be legalized-- whenever I thought I'd found one, the criticism turned out to have a genuinely valid criticism of its own. That being the case, it follows that "gay marriage should be legalized" is the winner of the "contest", and therefore the view that I should (tentatively) adopt. (I've omitted the details of this "contest", as we're far enough off topic already. :-) Perhaps in the future I'll write a general defense of gay marriage.)

Since your atheism is tentative, you may actually be categorized as an agnostic. I did write, "...pancritical and agnostic... maybe."

This is incorrect. An atheist holds the belief, "There are no gods"; an agnostic does not. Since I do in fact believe there are no gods, I am an atheist. Now, I am willing to abandon this belief is given a good reason to do so, but that's not the same thing as saying that I don't hold the belief right now. So long as I believe that there are no gods, I am an atheist.

"...The precise meaning of 'postmodernism' may vary from person to person, but I’m quite confident that nobody would define it as 'stuff that Steve doesn’t like.'" Geez, Rob, you sound like my wife! Have you two been exchanging e-mails or something?

Well, I hope I don't sound exactly like your wife, because if I do, then your wife must also be suffering from a nasty case of bronchitis. ;-)

Rob Berry said...

Here's my response to Steve's most recent comment.

Via Jerry Scharf at Commonsense and Wonder. This is perhaps a real world example that enlightened liberal governments would not hesitate to step beyond a mere ‘tweaking’ action to change existing law; ‘...one that accords well with 21st century notions of fairness, equality, and justice before the law.’

I would recommend re-reading the article more carefully. If you do, you'll find that the logic being used to justify the legalization of plural marriages is completely different than that used to justify the legalization of gay marriage. In particular, note the parts of the article that I've emphasized:

[...] A new study for the federal Justice Department says Canada should get rid of its law banning polygamy, and change other legislation to help women and children living in such multiple-spouse relationships.

"Criminalization does not address the harms associated with valid foreign polygamous marriages and plural unions, in particular the harms to women," says the report, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.[...]

Instead, Canadian laws should be changed to better accommodate the problems of women in polygamous marriages, providing them clearer spousal support and inheritance rights.

Let me also quote a few parts from the article that you snipped out:

Currently, there's a hodgepodge of legislation across the provinces, some of which-- Ontario, for example-- give limited recognition to foreign polygamous marriages for the purposes of spousal support. Some jurisdictions provide no relief at all.

[...] Another report for the project, also led by two Queen's University professors, dismisses the slippery-slope argument, saying that allowing same-sex marriages promotes equality while polygamous marriages are generally harmful to women's interests and would therefore promote inequality.[...]

[...] Another paper for the project, by the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, urges British Columbia to proceed immediately with a prosecution in Bountiful.

"Based on the harms associated with polygamy as it is practised in Bountiful, there do not appear to be any alternatives to prosecution, however difficult it may be."[...]

See the difference? The report's arguments for legalizing polygamy are completely different from the arguments for legalizaing gay marriage. The reasoning behind legalizing gay marriage is that it "promotes equality" (as one of these reports mentioned above concluded), and is beneficial to the people involved in the marriage. With polygamy, the reasoning is that polygamy is promotes inequality, and is bad for the women and children in these marriages. By legalizing polygamy, it is hoped that these women and children will have an easier time seeking protection from abusive husbands or fathers, and will be able to more easily obtain "relief" from the problems of polygamous marriage.

Whether you agree with this argument or not, it's obvious that the argument itself is completely unlike the arguments for legalizing gay marriage. That being the case, it cannot be said that the push to legalize polygamy is the result of legalizing gay marriage, or that gay marriage created a "slippery slope" that made the discussion of legalizing polygamy possible.

(Incidentally, I've already discussed my own opinions about polygamy and plural marriages in my response to Curtis' comments above.)

I also am totally skeptical about the lead to human/animal unions even though humans seeking sexual experiences with animals is not at all rare. But, on the other hand...

I too doubt that it will ever come up. But if it does, there are solid reasons for keeping animal marriages illegal, as I've already shown. That's why I'm not worried that legalizing gay marriage will eventually lead to animal marriage, just as legalizing interracial marriages didn't eventually lead to animal marriage.