Slippery Slopes: Good for Emotions, Bad for Logic

From xkcd.com

[Today’s guest post by Nate Sheets is the fifth of a series. The next post in the series will arrive sometime next week.]

Slippery slope arguments allow a person to ignore the issue being presented, and to speculate about potential consequences that will arise if their opponents win or are correct. The supposed possibilities posed are meant to emotionally move people to take a stand against their opponent. This is a logical fallacy if the person making the slippery slope comment cannot provide evidence for their theory, or if the slippery slope argument ignores the point the other party is making altogether.

There is hardly a controversial issue in which slippery-slope arguments are not used. “If we allow gay marriage,” some may say, “Then soon people will be able to get married to animals!” Or, “If we label GMO foods, then soon they will be banned altogether!” 
Some slippery slope assertions may very well end up being true, but that doesn’t matter–when arguing for a position, one must use evidence, not scary speculation, to prove one’s point. 
Additionally, wondering whether or not a certain position will lead to other extreme or possible conclusions is absolutely valid. We live in a world where one cause being victorious paves the way for other, semi-related causes to have a go at it. But still, if no evidence is presented, then the slippery slope is being used fallaciously. Not to mention saying, “If we ban all abortions thousands of women will die!” does not address the argument of “Killing a fetus is analogous to killing a newborn”. This is an example of using a slippery slope to avoid addressing an argument.  
Below are some examples that I thought of that I have seen in the abortion debate. Do you have any examples of your own?
Pro-Choice Examples
Fallacy Why It’s A Fallacy
“Allowing for parental notifications will lead to a complete ban on abortion!”  Parental notification laws and abortion bans are two different things, and serve two different purposes. While there may be legitimate issues with parental notification laws, speculating that enacting one will lead to further degradation of pro-choice laws does not address the argument for parental notification laws.

Pro-Life Examples
Fallacy Why It’s A Fallacy
“If we teach teenagers about sex, then they will have more sex and abortion will increase.” This is speculation, not an argument against sex education. Even if it were true, would that mean that teenagers do not deserve to have knowledge about sexuality?

293 thoughts on “Slippery Slopes: Good for Emotions, Bad for Logic”

  1. The greatest slippery slope argument is that if abortion is allowed, babies will die. There is no proof that babies have died in abortion or that babies will die in the future from abortion. The fact is that before the legalization of abortion, there were fewer babies each year and after the legalization of abortion there has been an increase in babies nearly every year.
    So the "babies will die in abortion" argument is a slippery slope fallacy.

    Reply
  2. Prolifers – even the most extreme prolifers, those who claim they're for forcing girls and women through pregnancy and childbirth no matter what – frequently claim to be pro a "life of the mother" exemption.

    Yet when actually faced with a real life situation where they should support abortion, where the intention of abortion is clearly to save the girl or the pregnant woman's life, prolifers cannot bring themselves to say (for example) "Yes, I agree: the Galway hospital should have performed an abortion on Savita Halappanavar to save her life on Monday 21st October 2012": or "Yes, I agree: St Joseph's Hospital did the right thing when they performed an abortion on a gravely-ill woman in 2010, and thereby saved her life".

    These are specific instances of actual women, one who died because she was in a prolife country where performing an abortion means two years penal servitude, and one who lived because, even though she was in a prolife hospital where they didn't ordinarily perform abortions, they were not prolife enough to just let her die when they knew they could save her life by performing an abortion.

    If prolifers genuinely supported a "life of the mother" exemption, prolifers should support St Joseph's Hospital and be against the Galway hospital. But in practice, prolifers argue that Savita Halappanavar would have died anyway, that the woman in the St Joseph's hospital probably would have lived anyway (and if not, it didn't matter) – and yes, I think this is because prolifers think that if they ever admit that they support specific examples of abortion, they will find themselves on a slippery slope and come to admit that yes, girls and women are human and deserve better than to be treated like objects for use til broken.

    Reply
  3. Actually, Savita died of sepsis, and abortion does not cure sepsis. savitatruth.com/

    St. Joseph's hospital deliberately and flagrantly violated the ethical directives they were obligated to abide by, and performed an direct abortion instead of an indirect abortion (the former is never permissible under the ethical directives they agreed to abide by, while the latter is).

    Reply
  4. [A]bortion does not cure sepsis.
    No, but the abortion Savita was denied could have prevented sepsis from developing in the first place. In other words, yes, inducing abortion right away might well have prevented her death.

    Reply
  5. Yet when actually faced with a real life situation where they should
    support abortion, where the intention of abortion is clearly to save
    the girl or the pregnant woman's life, prolifers cannot bring themselves
    to say (for example) "Yes, I agree: the Galway hospital should have
    performed an abortion on Savita Halappanavar to save her life on Monday
    21st October 2012"

    A post on this very blog made the argument that Savita Halappanavar should have received whatever treatment she needed, even if that included abortion (either directly or by delivering a child that couldn't survive):

    blog.secularprolife.org/2012/11/what-does-savita-halappanavars-death.html

    I posted something similar at All Our Lives: allourlives.org/no-excuse-for-failing-to-treat-savita-halappanavar/

    Reply
  6. Russell, I don't know if I've seen this framed the way you are saying. Do you mean pro-lifers are saying, "If abortion is allowed, [unborn] babies will die" or "If abortion is allowed [born] babies will die"?

    Reply
  7. JoAnna, Chalkdust has already explained why the prolife denial of abortion to Savita killed her.

    Your assertion that St Joseph's Hospital "deliberately and flagrantly violated the ethical directives they were obligated to abide by" by saving the woman's life kind of proves the point that prolifers do not support life-saving abortions, doesn't it?

    The woman in question was 13 weeks pregnant and suffering from pre-eclampsia, which would shortly kill her if the pregnancy had not been terminated. There was no possibility that a 13-weeks foetus could have survived outside the uterus, and the woman had specifically requested St Joseph's because she was a Catholic and knew that any non-Catholic hospital would already be recommending termination. She wanted to wait until it was literally the point where she would die if she didn't terminate before she had an abortion.

    And the prolife response is, universally, that she should have died.

    Reply
  8. Prolife refusal to support life-saving abortions for fear that they might be led into supporting abortion for merely humane reasons of preserving a woman's health and wellbeing.

    It's is a slippery slope, evidently: prolifers fear that if they ever agree that it's OK for a woman to have an abortion if she'll die if she doesn't, they might be led into supporting abortion for other reasons.

    Reply
  9. Upthread, prolifer JoAnna Wahlund is busily disagreeing with your assertion that prolifers think Savita Halappanavar should have had an abortion. Perhaps you could raise this point with her?

    Reply
  10. For example, those who hold that gay marriage is by definition an
    oxymoron point out that the arguments used to support such can be used
    to support any sexual er…"configuration". Polygamy, bestiality, etc.
    The stop gaps proposed to block such a trend are argued to be not
    thought out all that well (I would agree with this).

    That's because the only people who oppose lifting the ban on same-sex marriage are people who have uncritically swallowed the homophobic arguments against it.

    Reply
  11. Uh no. There are a variety of philosophies that preclude a same-sex paring that are quite well reasoned. Ironically, those who label all who think same-sex marriage an impossibility as "bigots" are themselves the bigot.

    Reply
  12. "Russell, I don't know if I've seen this framed the way you are saying."

    Thanks for asking.

    { Do you mean pro-lifers are saying, "If abortion is allowed, [unborn] babies will die"}

    Pro lifers are saying that unborn babies will die if abortion is allowed. That is false. The record shows that there has been an increase in the number of babies that have been born, not a decrease. So abortion has led to an increase in babies. Of course there will be the abortion of 1.4 unwanted fetuses and another 10 wanted fetuses will die from miscarriage. But neither unwanted nor wanted fetuses are babies and it appears that wasted fetuses do not relate to number of births. Births increased with an increase in induced abortion.

    {or "If abortion is allowed [born] babies will die"?}

    The death of born babies occurs when pro lifers choose to let them die and to save fetuses instead. So pro life ideas lead to an increase in the death of born humans.

    Reply
  13. Abortion doesn't cure sepsis, but an abortion in this case might have prevented the development of sepsis, and that's why it's considered proper care in cases like Halappanavar's. The site you linked to says as much, in point #3 under "Check the facts":

    "Medical guidelines currently in place clearly state that intervention,
    including termination of pregnancy, may be proper in exceptional cases
    like Dr. Savita's."

    Reply
  14. I agree. I have never seen ANY well-reasoned arguments against SSM. The arguments I've seen revolve around "think of the children" – as if marriage was only about children. If so, why do old couples marry? And also, infertile couples. Female infertility near 10% according to CDC, putting infertile couples near 20% if male and female infertiles married in statistically independent ways, which I doubt, but we're probably looking at 15% couple infertility. So this group is a minority even bigger than gays, yet they're still allowed to marry.

    Other arguments – 1 man and 1 woman is traditional. Well, there are many cultures around the world where to this day this is not the dominant pairing. And in the bible, polygamy existed as well as rapists getting to marry their rapee after paying dad the 50 sheckles.

    And of course, the slippery slope arguments. SSM = marrying your donkey. Well, it could happen. Then again, marriage laws have always been pretty fluid, and the form of marriage has changed over the years, so this argument MAY have some validity, but as long as the pairing is between consenting adults, I don't see the problem.

    Reply
  15. The only 'reasoned' argument that I have seen is by pro-life philosopher Robert P George, and it's a naturalistic fallacy.

    Basically, he argues that yes, infertile couples and old people can still have sex, and still be married, but this is not *wrong*, because penises were made, by nature, to go into vaginas. However, two vaginas were not made to go together, and two dicks weren't made to go together, so you know, it's intrinsically wrong and therefore gay marriage must not be allowed.

    Reply
  16. The rebuttal to that is, I'm hung like a magnificent stallion, and I don't fit into *most* vaginas. Therefore, I obviously was not made for most women. Therefore horse-hung men should not be married.

    Reply
  17. >The arguments I've seen revolve around "think of the children" – as if marriage was only about children.

    From the state's perspective they primarily are. Otherwise the state has very little interest in who is pairing with who. But when children are created as a natural bond between a man and a woman. And children do have a right to a mother and a father.

    >And also, infertile couples.

    Difference in kind. Infertile couples have "broken" reproduction, not functionally impossible as same-sex pairing. Apples and oranges comparison.

    > Well, there are many cultures around the world where to this day this is not the dominant pairing.

    What is then? Besides polygamy is usually one man and one woman, then the same man and another woman. The man is married to multiple women. The women have no real relationship to one another.

    >but as long as the pairing is between consenting adults, I don't see the problem.

    Two problems:

    One: Why is consent the gold standard?

    Two: I might agree with this until children are involved/demanded. The children are either created using IVF or through adoption. In neither case their consent is addressed.

    >But they won't be able to protest them if SSM becomes legal, so SSM violates their religious liberties.

    Strawman. What is happening is that religious are getting beaten over the head with so-called anti-discrimination laws where they are forced to participate in SSM actions via providing services or face fines. A lot of people who wouldn't otherwise get involved are now forced to take the anit-SSM marriage side out of self-defense.

    Reply
  18. >> And children do have a right to a mother and a father.

    OK, then divorce takes away that right. Should divorce then be a crime?

    Also, do you believe SS couples cannot parent well? Someone else believed that they can, but that despite parenting skills, a child would be injured because the parents are not of opposite sexes. (I didn't say biological, because I presume you don't find anything wrong with heterosexual adoption). I think that is an arguable point, but from the informal sociological data that I can gather from my daily experiences seeing SS parent families, the children don't seem to be injured in any way.

    >> IVF
    IVF is not specific to Same-sex couples. Are you opposed to IVF for infertile couples as well?

    >> beaten over the head with anti-discrimination laws
    OK. The cake bakers in question have been open to baking cakes for celebrations that are also counter to their Christian beliefs, yet they didn't have a problem with those. If they also declined to do a divorce party, I'd be inclined to feel for them a bit more, but they didn't. Which makes me question their real motives.

    Also, what if my religion believed that albinos are a cursed people who deserved death, and that's why their colored weird, so out in the wild they stand out and get eaten. Aiding them would prolong their presence on earth, and would anger the gods. Should I also be allowed to refuse entry of albinos into my business establishment?

    Also, should public officials also be able to decline to "participate" in SSM, if it goes against their religions?

    Reply
  19. A lot of their arguments are about "male female compatibility". Sounds awfully lot like biological destiny to me. I honestly don't see how night porter is misrepresenting arguments. She is explaining her interpretation of what she read. In the end, not being a religious sort, none of the anti-SSM arguments sound convincing, and honestly sound like bitter, desperate tantrums. I, as a hetero father, know quite a few SS couples, some married, some not. Some good people, some not so nice people, but I don't find them that different from me, and I've never felt exposing my child to SS families+children is harmful in any way. I think you're entitled to your opinion and objections, but you are not entitled to encroach on the SS families' rights to a happy and fulfilling life. I've known a more than my share of LGBT folk in my life, and I just think its awesome for them to finally have a shot at being recognized as full members of American society, and I share in their joy of watching prejudiced people thrash around in anger, unable to do anything about it.

    Reply
  20. >Sounds awfully lot like biological destiny to me.

    Well they aren't. And if night porter (and yourself) aren't willing to explore Natural Law and what it actually is then there is no point in discussing it. Caricatures of Natural Law are all over the place. And those who find value in Natural Law are dismayed that so many jump to this fallacious conclusion. Especially since people don't even bother to find out what what it is they are criticizing.

    Reply
  21. >OK, then divorce takes away that right. Should divorce then be a crime?

    Yes save for the case when a divorce is necessary to protect spouses from physical harm.

    >Also, do you believe SS couples cannot parent well?

    It has little to do with "parenting" and everything to do with the right of a child to a father and a mother. The sexes are not "interchangable".

    >IVF is not specific to Same-sex couples. Are you opposed to IVF for infertile couples as well?

    Yes. Children should not be bought and sold on the market. We do not have a right to create children as we see fit.

    >The cake bakers in question have been open to baking cakes for celebrations that are also counter to their Christian beliefs,

    Source? It wouldn't matter anyway, since that puts us in the position of getting to decide who is sincere in their beliefs and who is not. That is judgmental in the extreme.

    This could easily be rectified by abolishing these laws.

    >Should I also be allowed to refuse entry of albinos into my business establishment?

    Yes. Your business, your right to refuse service.

    >Also, should public officials also be able to decline to "participate" in SSM, if it goes against their religions?

    No. They should resign. But the same goes for that AG in California who refused to defend Prop 8 as was her duty. If you can't faithfully

    Reply
  22. >The cake bakers in question

    >> Source?

    I included a link to an article where people called the cake bakers in question for various un-Christian ceremonies, and were given quotes.

    wweek.com/portland/article-20698-the_cake_wars.html

    Two cake makers in question, Sweet Cakes and Fleur. To be fair, Fleur was not open to do SOME of the cakes, but not all.

    Well, reading the rest of your post, you stated that IVF means buying and selling babies (huh?), and that "sexes of parents not interchangeable". Well, there does not seem to be a lot of sociological data to support this postulate. And you also believe that one should be able to refuse albinos entry into my establishment if my religion looks at them with disfavor. Hey, at least you're honest. Am I to also be wrong in inferring you think Asian Americans could be barred from a store if it was against the proprietors religious views?

    As for the public official resigning, I agree with your view, and concede that the AG should have also resigned.

    Reply
  23. There are a variety of philosophies that preclude a same-sex paring that are quite well reasoned.

    Sure! But they are all homophobic.

    Not all the people who have uncritically swallowed those arguments are homophobes, obviously: but all of the arguments are homophobic, no matter how "well-reasoned" they are.

    Ironically, it's a pretty good bigot-detector: people who claim that "those who label all who think same-sex marriage an impossibility as "bigots are the real bigots" – are invariably homophobic bigots.

    Reply
  24. >Well, reading the rest of your post, you stated that IVF means buying and selling babies (huh?)

    IVF is an artificial means by which children are created. Money is exchanged by the parents to the doctor. A child is brought into the world via a purchased means. The child is "produced" as it were. This is a huge ethical minefield, as illustrated by the story of the woman who sued for "wrongful birth" after the semen from a different donor was used.

    Let's look at the cake examples:

    >Baby Out of Wedlock

    The celebration is for the birth of the baby, not how it was conceived.

    >Divorce Party

    Protestant Christians accept divorce.

    >Stem-Cell Success

    No mention of embryonic stem cells, which is the objection.

    >Non-Kosher Barbecue

    No idea why this might be an issue.

    >Pagan Solstice Party

    The cake is for the party, not the religion.

    Really this is just petty and ill informed.

    >Well, there does not seem to be a lot of sociological data to support this postulate.

    Not true. Time and again stuides, down to how the brain functions of men and women are different come out all the time, confirming what people knew for eons before science decided it knew everything.

    >Am I to also be wrong in inferring you think Asian Americans could be barred from a store if it was against the proprietors religious views?

    Sure. And my wife is Korean. I'd never go to such a hell-hole but I'm not about to force them to do business with my wife. I wouldn't WANT to do business with someone who was forced to.

    Reply
  25. IVF is an artificial means by which children are created. Money is
    exchanged by the parents to the doctor. A child is brought into the
    world via a purchased means. The child is "produced" as it were.

    Scratch a prolifer, find someone who hates women who want to have children. Prolifers only care about force.

    Reply
  26. Aw, that's sweet. You launch an abusive attack on all women who chose (or had) to have children by IVF. You defend banning same-sex couples from marriage. And when challenged, you instantly resort to the "you're another" game. How old are you dear – six?

    Reply
  27. Well, "parental notification laws" do lead to a number of hugely unpleasant consequences for teenagers who need an abortion and who know their parents won't support them. Sometimes, those hugely unpleasant consequences include teenagers being forced through pregnancy and childbirth against their will, to bear a child they already knew they could not support. Obviously, this is a bad social consequence.

    But yes, parental notification laws are directly aimed at creating state interference in the relationship between parent and child, and have nothing to do with adults who need abortions.

    Reply
  28. No you mis-characterize my position and throw all pro-lifers under the bus. This is bigotry.

    Much like the kind of peace-protesters who are some of the most violent people I've ever met I've found those who champion "choice" and "freedom" to be the most close-minded people to come across. Sad.

    Reply
  29. No you mis-characterize my position

    In what way? Are you a supporter of lifting the ban on same-sex marriage?

    I've found those who champion "choice" and "freedom" to be the most close-minded people to come across.

    No, dearie, you haven't. You've found those who champion "choice" and "freedom" to be the least susceptible to your homophobic, misogynistic, pro-force ideology – and therefore, you call them "close-minded".

    Reply
  30. >You've found those who champion "choice" and "freedom" to be the least susceptible to your homophobic, misogynistic, pro-force ideology – and therefore, you call them "close-minded".

    What exactly do you expect to happen here? What exactly do you expect my reaction to be?

    Imagine if person A posted something and someone came in and shouted "You moron! You're a hateful, lying, manipulative, idiot!!11!!"

    How would a normal person react?

    1.Oh my, your invective and insults have completely changed my outlook.

    2.**** you.

    The only thing I've gathered on here is that you want to vent your spleen. This is the last time I'm responding since you seem incapable of following a point.

    Reply
  31. >> barbecue
    lobster and pulled-pork sandwiches
    Shellfish, sea crustaceans and pork are unclean, or something in the bible, no?

    >> divorce
    Well, I was under the impression that Sweet Cakes store owners are Catholic. Its against THEIR religion isn't it?

    >> stem cell
    as far as I know, stem cells used in research currently are all embryonic. I'm not up on all of it, but iPS cells and stuff which they get by inducing pluripotency in adult cells is still very new, and I doubt that the cake people are up on the difference.

    >> baby out of wedlock
    Isn't premarital sex a big no-no for Christians nonetheless?

    It seems like you're making excuses and trying hard to justify your position. Sorry, it is kind of fun to watch : )

    Well, you're in an interracial relationship, that MUST prove you're not racist. A lot of people are racist towards a particular race too, you know. So I don't think how that factoid proves anything, but…

    Its good that we know where you stand.

    Reply
  32. And he also says its OK to refuse service to an albino or a race you, oh I'm sorry, your religion doesn't care for. Hey, at least he's a straight shooter. I salute his candor.

    Reply
  33. >lobster and pulled-pork sandwichesShellfish, sea crustaceans and pork are unclean, or something in the bible, no?

    For Jews, sure. Not sure what that has to do with anything.

    >Well, I was under the impression that Sweet Cakes store owners are Catholic. Its against THEIR religion isn't it?

    Who knows? There is Catholic and then there are "Catholics", those who hold to some teachings and discard others. Besides the article doesn't say.

    >as far as I know, stem cells used in research currently are all embryonic

    Well no the banner of stem cells has a number of meanings in popular parlance. There is a variety of adult stem cell research out there.

    >and I doubt that the cake people are up on the difference.

    That's your assumption. Besides, the blurb in the story doesn't distinguish. so the cake makers have no basis for making the distinction.

    >Isn't premarital sex a big no-no for Christians nonetheless?

    Sure. But we don't punish the child for the sins of the parents. The cake is for the celebration of the child's birthday. There is nothing wrong about celebrating that.

    >It seems like you're making excuses and trying hard

    And I'm getting the impression that you have no idea that nuance exists in religious life.

    >Well, you're in an interracial relationship, that MUST prove you're not racist.

    It was a personal detail to highlight the fact that you chose "Asian-America" as the class of racism for . My best man is Asian-American (ish, it's an interesting story).

    My point was that despite the racism of the hypothetical store owners and my distaste for such racism I would not force them to do business with others.

    Reply
  34. >> stem cells
    a lot of research on adult stem cells, but iPS is big. Those are induced, so I don't know why you'd want to clone them when you can just make some more. Cloning to me seems to imply natural stem cells, and the big hub-bub in mainstream society is embryonic stem cells.

    >> I chose Asian-American because I am an Asian-American, and African-American is used way too often in these hypotheticals.

    I appreciate your candor in this discussion. So if you felt that its OK to bar anyone you or your religion doesn't like, and you said you'd not patronize a store that was racist, would you also not patronize a store that won't cater to a SSM?

    Reply
  35. Well, IVF is used by many infertile couples who genuinely wish to conceive. Your dismissal of IVF as buying and selling children would seem that you're attacking ALL couples who choose to conceive in this way.

    Reply
  36. > lot of research on adult stem

    cells, but iPS is big

    Sure, but without more details the story gives

    >So if you felt that its OK to bar anyone you or your religion doesn't like

    I don't think it is OK. I said I don't support forcing those who own businesses to do business with those they don't want to.

    > would you also not patronize a store that won't cater to a SSM?

    I wouldn't patronize a store who wouldn't cater to those with SSA. But it would depend on what the reason was regarding the same-sex marriage.Despite EdinburghEye's hateful spite there is a difference between distinguishing the act and the person.

    Reply
  37. OK, I'm getting a bit more about why you hold your views, and I can respect it. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know what the ultimate ramifications of these views are. I just would rather not live in a world where I need to care about the intricacies of John the Butcher's religious views are and whether or not I might be accommodated in a commercial transaction, and I also think that allowing people to act on what LOOKS like animus (whether it is religiously motivated or not) could potentially send a message that it is OK to exclude certain individuals. If only John the Butcher does it, it may not be a big deal, but if Mike the Mechanic also notices this, and also decides to bar albinos from his business, then what? Or what if someone VERY influential in town decides to bar albinos? Could not people who want to be on this person's good side also choose to bar albinos? This is the dynamic of playground bullying, and I think it is potentially very dangerous. That is why I do not support business owners to arbitrarily appeal to religious freedom and bar certain groups of people.

    Reply
  38. >I just would rather not live in a world where I need to care about the intricacies of John the Butcher's religious views are and whether or not I might be accommodated in a commercial transaction

    This treats John like a vending machine and not a person. Reducing people to what they can do for "ME" does not respect others. It dehumanizes them.

    >and I also think that allowing people to act on what LOOKS like animus (whether it is religiously motivated or not)

    But this puts us in the position of judging others. I'm uncomfortable with punishing someone simply because I think it MIGHT be motivated by something less than principled.

    >ut if Mike the Mechanic also notices this, and also decides to bar albinos from his business, then what?

    Find another mechanic?

    >Or what if someone VERY influential in town decides to bar albinos? Could not people who want to be on this person's good side also choose to bar albinos?

    Abuse of a principle does not disprove the principle. Any principle can be used in an improper manner. But the solution is not reject the principle but to clean up the abuse. All of your positions are motivated by fear and distrust. Most citizens (including religious) simply want to live their lives peacefully in the public and private square.

    Reply
  39. I agree there is a difference between abuse of a principle and the principle itself. However, in the real world where people don't behave rationally, and kids or employees will sometimes choose to gang up on another kid or employee, such fears are not unfounded.

    And in commerce, you ARE a vending machine. It is a purely financial transaction. Why would I need to know what the beliefs or the "lifestyles" of whom I'm doing business with? As long as you're not going to rob me, as long as money exchanges hands, that should be fine. In a sense dehumanize the vendor and dehumanize the buyer. That way no one gets hurt.

    Reply
  40. >And in commerce, you ARE a vending machine. It is a purely financial transaction.

    No that isn't true. A person's moral views and obligations don't end at the footstep of the shop. This is why warning labels exist.

    >Why would I need to know what the beliefs or the "lifestyles" of whom I'm doing business with?

    If they aren't flaunting it in your face I'd agree. But by doing business with another party you are enabling that party and providing material cooperation.

    >As long as you're not going to rob me, as long as money exchanges hands, that should be fine.

    So if a gun shop owner gets a customer who clearly states he's gonna shoot up a school that's cool right?

    > In a sense dehumanize the vendor and dehumanize the buyer. That way no one gets hurt.

    Quite the opposite. Dehumanizing people by nature is harmful, because we treat them as something they are not.

    Reply
  41. I'm sorry, but when I do business with someone I really just want to do business and then be on my way. I am the customer, after all. And while I have no desire to be rude, I don't need to hear about their religious beliefs and I don't particularly care to share mine. In my opinion that's getting way too personal.

    Reply
  42. So if a gun shop owner gets a customer who clearly states he's gonna shoot up a school that's cool right?

    The best thing to do in that situation would be to make some excuse to go in the back and then call the police.

    Reply
  43. Of course it is, since catholics love to use the argument that women MUST give birth, because natural law dictates that women were made to have babies, cuz 'god'

    Reply
  44. >>So if a gun shop owner gets a customer who clearly states he's gonna shoot up a school that's cool right?

    Huh? Not doing business with someone who's going to do something illegal with your goods is not remotely the same as someone not doing business with you because you happen to be an albino, an Asian American or LGBT.

    Reply
  45. There are certain situations where you can refuse to do business–if the customer is disruptive or abusive, or doing something illegal. When I was in college I worked at Pizza Hut and had to tell a woman who was belligerent and drunk that we would not be serving her any more beer. She didn't take kindly to that and luckily the police were on hand to deal with the matter. But that's different than arbitrarily refusing to serve someone because of their sexual preference, race or appearance.

    Reply
  46. >Huh? Not doing business with someone who's going to do something illegal with your goods is not remotely the same

    It fit your criteria though:

    Purple Slurpy: As long as you're not going to rob me, as long as money exchanges hands, that should be fine.

    My point is that knowing what the customer is going to do with your product can (and often should) influence your decision to do business with them. Knowing what your client is going to do with material you provide them makes you culpable in the act, both morally and in some cases legally.

    Reply
  47. The problem is for something as intimate as a wedding it IS personal. You might think that you are simply doing business and that's that. But that is your belief. Others hold that in all walks of life (business, family) we are culpable for our actions, and that includes what we provide through business.

    Reply
  48. Indeed. The question is does that difference equate to punishing people for having bad thoughts and refusing service. I say no.

    Reply
  49. Here here! Morality is found in a little religious book condoning slavery and buying the girl you raped for 50 sheckles from her dad.

    Reply
  50. 13 year olds self abort with a pencil in my state.
    dailykos.com/story/2011/03/02/951697/-13-year-old-self-aborts-using-pencil

    Reply
  51.  I said I don't support forcing those who own businesses to do business with those they don't want to.

    …rolling back the US to the era when it was totally legal to turn black people away from lunch counters.

    Scratch a prolifer, find a racist bigot.

    Reply
  52. Hi Nate,

    Good blog post. I don't think you will get much discussion about formal logic from the pro-abortion people who frequent this site. I think they are here merely to try to derail discussions.

    Reply
  53. But calling people "bigots" is supposed to shut down discussion of a topic! Unfortunately, that leads to little explanation of the kinds of philosophies you are talking about.

    I am not familiar with those. For my own edification, I would appreciate it if you would offer an example or two of those philosophies when you have a chance. Thanks!

    Reply
  54. Further evidence that the pro-abortion people are just here to disrupt discussion and are not participating here in good faith.

    Reply
  55. You're referring to Natural Law as the term is used and discussed in philosophy. What's so hard to understand about that?

    Reply
  56. Denying service to the homosexual couple would be based on their intended use of your product and service. That is different from refusing to serve someone simply because they are homosexual. In the former situation, you are protecting your religious and moral rights. In the latter, you would be denying the person service because of an (allegedly inborn and immutable) attribute of that person.

    Reply
  57. Actually, from what I've read, parental consent laws are likely to increase teenage abortions. Apparently, parents typically favor abortion over their teen carrying pregnancy 4 to 1; the most significant repercussions pregnant teens feel at home is parents pushing them to abort; and 30% of teens who abort cite parental influence in their decision to abort. Not sure if its a great slippery slope argument then…for the pro life side, anyway. (I'd copy the URL but my phone is causing problems. These are stats as interpreted by Third Way).

    Reply
  58. Colin, you entered this discussion posing the argument that "those who hold that gay marriage is by definition an
    oxymoron point out that the arguments used to support such can be used
    to support any sexual er…"configuration". Polygamy, bestiality, etc.
    The stop gaps proposed to block such a trend are argued to be not
    thought out all that well (I would agree with this)."

    I raised an eyebrow and noted, politely enough, that all of the arguments against lifting the ban on same-sex marriage are homophobic. I didn't call you a homophobe, but you reacted by calling me a bigot. How did you expect me to react to that, Colin?

    You went on to argue in another comment that everyone who uses IVF is "buying children".

    I expect, to do you justice, that you had no notion there would be anyone reading your nasty comment who either had or was close to someone who had used IVF. Because I expect that when you usually come out with offensive abuse of women who use IVF, you have an exclusively prolife audience who know that if any among them have used IVF, they need to keep quiet about it for fear of further abuse.

    Now, it seems to me, Colin, that if you're going to dish out abuse – whether at gay couples, or at people who defend the principle of equality and human rights for all, or at women who use IVF to get pregnant – you should expect to get it back. Fair?

    Instead, you appear to feel that while you get join a discussion online posting offensive abuse, any response to your abuse that isn't polite and respectful is horrifyingly unexpected.

    So I ask you as you asked me: What exactly do you expect to happen here? What exactly do you expect my reaction to be?

    When you abuse, Colin, expect an angry response. When you're offensive, expect people to be angry with you for offending them.

    Reply
  59. Adoption should be encouraged in general, we have too many people on this planet and don't need more. But that doesn't make IVF inherently wrong, and infertile couples don't need your cheap sympathy. You have a problem with IVF because you think that baby has been bought. Well, I then you should have problems with medical intervention that saves your life, extends it or cures a disease, as you're not getting that treatment for free, and you would have died without it. So anyone receiving medical treatment has in essence bought their life and health. Ergo its immoral.

    Reply
  60. If you cannot see the logic in EdinburghEye's post, please tell me precisely where she becomes 'illogical.'
    In fact you are not very well educated and you do not read well for content.
    But your disability does not prevent from wanting to be in charge of the sexual life of women you will never know.
    You are a rapist with an argument. And a poor one at that.

    Reply
  61. Colin, I would like to learn more about the philosophies to which you are referring, as well as the Natural Law points you wish to make. I want to learn more and will be respectful–and probably sympathetic–to the points you make. Thanks.

    Reply
  62. Purple, you wrote: **Your dismissal of IVF as buying and selling children would seem that you're attacking ALL couples who choose to conceive in this way.**

    Purple, you're actually handing them the argument by tacitly agreeing to their point that the 'buying and selling of children as (gasp) commodities is inherently and automatically evil.

    Reply
  63. So, I'm still waiting for all the pro-lifers who want the law to treat precious widdle zefs as 'real people for sure', but claim this won't involve police investigation of tampons – unless there is reason to be 'suspicious' because only 'suspicious deaths are investigated', to show me links to exactly which born human people, upon dying, it would be legal to simply throw their body into the trash, and not report it to the police or have a death certificate with 'cause of death' filled out.

    Reply
  64. Also, a fellow poster suggested to me that if unborn humans are ever granted personhood rights, they could potentially be charged with involuntary manslaughter should they kill the pregnant person.

    Reply
  65. Adoption is nothing if not a big business, treating children as commodities.

    reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1

    independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/profit-not-care-the-ugly-side-of-overseas-adoptions-2293198.html

    Reply
  66. Lots of very valid points. I am not totally certain exactly where I stand on the SSM issue yet. What has become somewhat clear to me, however, is that though marriage may start out from romance and love, its purpose (at least as a social good) is not to make people happy and give companionship. As a social good, I think marriage exists as a structure in which to raise children in the stability of their biological parents. Insofar as infertility is concerned, that does not invalidate the marriage of infertile couples; infertile couples have broken reproductive systems but not impossible ones. Regarding adoption, in a perfect world adopted children would not be adopted but would live with healthy biological parents (I have found this one at times hard, as I have a child that we adopted and want to think she's best off with us). A heterosexual couple best reflects the biological parents from which an adopted child comes.

    The elderly seeking marriage, well, that so far is a good sway for marriage as purposed for companionship.

    I do not have anything against IVF for infertile couples but I do for same sex couples, becauseit inherently deprives of a child of being with one biological parent. Some couples include the other birth parent in their family unit to compensate for this, but ultimately I do think such children are created with a "disability" they needn't have. I do believe same sex couples can be wonderful parents, but in my opinion it is better to adopt children rather than create them without giving them both biological parents. But that's not necessarily related to SSM.

    I guess ultimately, I believe happiness is a byproduct of a healthy marriage rather than its purpose, and where I think marriage is the best biological relationship for rearing children, I am not sure SSM fits the definition.

    I do not think this is homophobic reasoning. The viscious treatment of people for their sexual orientation is abhorrent and unacceptable. But I do not see determining marriage as one man and one woman as hateful when I don't see gay relationships as unequal or bad, just as different.

    Reply
  67. Hi aa

    Just a few more points

    7) The arguments against SSM are getting worse and worse.

    slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/08/27/listen_to_judge_richard_posner_destroy_arguments_against_gay_marriage.html

    There just isn't a good one, yet they try and try. What could possibly drive such strident effort? Considering the things anti-SSM leaders say and do, and their grassroots, I can't help but think its animus.

    Reply
  68. I couldn't listen to the radio sections, but the comments I read did not address my points. A person may answer or speak poorly but that doesn't necessarily make his conclusions incorrect. The speaker on your site clearly has not thought effectively about the issue and has poor reasoning skills. Again, not significant in determining a true conclusion.

    I guess the biggest question is, what is the overall purpose of marriage, and why should the state be interested in it? It is defining this purpose more effectively that will determine my own opinion.

    Reply
  69. Hi aa

    Thank you for the careful reply.

    So you do see the idea of marriage as companionship as at least valid for elderly couples. As for infertile ones, true, many couples do not know there is infertility until after marriage. However, many do, and are OK with it going into it. Whether its broken or aged reproductive system, the fact remains many couples DO enter into a marriage purely for companionship and a stable life, and they know it going into the marriage that is all its for. Just from that criteria, shouldn't LGBT also be accorded that? Also, many anti-SSM leaders are actively opposed to same-sex Civil Unions. Its not a "marriage" but confers many of the privileges. Why would they be against that if not for animus?

    IVF for gay couples. It might be inherently removing one of the biological parents, but I don't know if that's all that bad. Do you think that makes them immoral for doing so? If so, then parents who put a child up for adoption are also immoral by the same token. Also, not all gay couples go the IVF route to make children. They will do it the old fashioned way with lesbians and gay men. Is that unacceptable?

    I agree that not all arguments against SSM are driven purely by animus. In the same way that pro-life and pro-choice also both span a wide array of opinions. However, like the MAINSTREAM pro-life movement, which I find IS quite misogynistic, genuinely homophobic, and very religiously dogmatic, I am of the opinion the MAINSTREAM anti-SSM movement IS homophobic and a large driver of the movement is animus. Why else would so many of the leaders spread misinformation and try to demonize gay people, irrespective of the marriage issue? Why do some of its leaders mock campaigns like "It gets better", of out gay and straight adults offering encouragement and hope to gay youth who may be bullied or physically assaulted? Why do so many of them try to trivialize ACTUAL bullying in schoolyards against LGBT kids?

    Hawaii held a session for which the public could voice their opinions on SB1, the bill legalizing SSM. Listen to youtube videos of anti-SSM folks. Some are calm, but some you could feel the hate against LGBT, and not just them marrying.

    Reply
  70. I think the one that's really telling is "you have no idea who's being harmed?" This seems to be a common theme in all these court cases recently. Anti-SSM cannot come up with a good reason ever. This is why now the focus is on religious liberty. The ones who are being harmed are the objectors to SSM who are not allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples. That just says that criticism against SSM have now failed.

    Reply
  71. And finally, this has always stuck in my mind. If there is some policy X
    which hurts some group of people G, and there is historical and
    on-going persecution of that group G, there are going to obviously be
    people who will support policy X out of pure animus, right? Doesn't it
    at the very least make you somewhat of an a-hole to support policy X, by
    trying really hard to find justifications other than animus, some of
    them rather trivial and not terribly consequential? I mean how could
    someone say "gay people make good parents. but it infringes on the
    rights of the children to have a mom and a dad", especially when said
    children of gay parents are NOT the ones claiming their rights are being
    violated? Doesn't that just seem like inventing a reason to justify
    being anti-SSM?

    Reply
  72. You could look it up in any modern dictionary, you know: I just did to be able to cite you an exact quote: "Dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people."

    Reply
  73. I definitely agree with you in parts. I don't think this is about religious liberty. I think discrimination is rampant. I'm frustrated that you call me an a-hole bent on animus when you do not know me. I have discussed this with friends and family members who are gay and who would disagree with your insult. I can understand much of the reasoning for the SSM movement, and my friends also understand my questions. You, it seems, do not. What is the purpose of marriage? Without an insult, please?

    Reply
  74. If you google new York times and David blankenthorn's article "how my view on gay marriage changed", it is a good descriptor of the particular views I am friendships by. On the one hand, I do see marriage as a social good primarily about it's unique ability to offer children both biological parents. Society's prevailing view of marriage is one of " love and romance" which is one reason I think so many marriages end in divorce. I think a lot of anti SSM people are driven not by this view of marriage but by hatred or distaste for gay relationships, and this motivation I find not only wrong but sad and disgusting. I can understand the anger driven at the anti SSM side far more than anger driven at pro SSM. But that still does not get at the flaws with our understanding of marriage.

    In light of that, BTW, I am in favor of far more intensive means of keeping marriages together, with the exception of physical and emotional safety. I do think divorce is harmful to children, society, and the individual.

    Reply
  75. OK, Annie is anotheranonymous?

    I'm not calling you an a-hole. It seems that you are agreeing w/ Mr. Blankenthorn that anti-gay animus does have a prominent role in the anti-SSM movement, and you agree that at least gay couples can parent well enough. My contention is given all this, if you know being anti-SSM is unfair and can hurt the LGBT community, but are still trying very hard to find justifications for not allowing them to marry by asking rather cerebral and theoretical or abstract questions, doesn't that make you at least a bit of an a-hole? If you know that gay people also desire stability in life, a companion, hospital visitation rights etc., all practical benefits of marriage, yet you are going to nit pick and be philosophical, it makes it seem you are trying VERY VERY hard to find ways of excluding them. I didn't state you're an a-hole, I'm asking if you realize what you are doing putting their relationships to undue scrutiny, doesn't that make you seem petty, picky and at least slightly an a-hole?

    Reply
  76. Hi Annie

    I'm not calling you an a-hole bent on animus. Please read a bit more carefully. I'm saying if its not animus, yet you are trying so hard to find justification to deny SSM, doesn't that possibly qualify you to be slightly an a-hole when all previous justifications have been shown to be weak?

    What is purpose of marriage? In modern USA, I think it is an institution set up so that adults tend to form stable families. It is not purely procreative, but their is a strong procreative element. However, 10~15% of hetero couples are infertile, and elderly can marry. So I think currently marriage is an institution that allows 2 people to share their economic resources in order that they are more likely to prosper and be productive in society. With this idea, I don't see any reason to exclude LGBT. In fact, they sometimes adopt and sometimes have their own biological children. Even if adoption to LGBT is made illegal, they still are not infertile, and will likely continue making children. Recognizing these people in marriages also has the added benefits of putting those children in stable families.

    Reply
  77. I am also in favor of less divorces, but I think having children in a family where husband and wife are constantly arguing and bickering, even if no physical violence, also harms them. Divorce has ill-effects, but being in a loveless or cold home also has ill-effects. It seems like you need to stop people from marrying the wrong people.

    Also, raising children in a world where there is arbitrary animus towards any group of people I think is harmful. We need to get past imaginary barriers between us. I'm afraid religion does a great job of building and maintaining such barriers.

    Reply
  78. Thank you, points taken and I appreciate your thoughts. Sorry about the name change; I found aa as cumbersome because my automatic spell checker kept changing it.

    I do not necessarily view the basis for anti SSM as not picking. I once was ambivalent toward it (quite in favor, actually) unt reading about the purpose of marriage and considering what might be the best interest of the state. In no way am I against civil unions to same sex couples. It frustrates me that anti SSM often is. Yet then, I guess, why civil unions and not all the way to marriage? Since I don't know anything really about civil unions, I'd have to read up.

    I don't know if I'd say same sex couples who use ivf are immoral, but that it is not in the best interests of the child. Not the same as placing a child for adoption because, as I lean pro life, I think adoption is one solution to an already living person and may be better for the child than being raised by parent(s)/either ill prepared or not desiring of the child. I do think all people who are emotionally stable (larger criterion, obviously) should be encourage to adopt.

    Reply
  79. Oh, I so agree here. Seems marriage licenses should have some test or training, like driver's licences! I did know of one very interesting situation with a friend of mine who wanted to marry a particular person. They went through quite rigorous marriage counseling (and individual) counseling with a pastor who, at the end, told them she was not comfortable marrying them; he felt that, as they were, they were too immature yet and their issues far too great. They married under a JP shortly thereafter and ended up with a very messy divorce. Fortunately before kids. I did quite respect the pastor for his decision not to participate in their marriage.

    Reply
  80. That's why I asked. As I contemplate this issue, I have neither dislike of nor prejudice against homosexual people. I have questions about the purpose of marriage. An entirely different thing than antihomophibia. My friends and family who are gay respect that.

    Reply
  81. Also, I don't think such questions are theoretical or abstract. The question of the purpose of marriage should be one intensely thought out by every couple. Ma y people marry because of romantic and unrealistic notions about the marriage relationship and in considering its purpose, I began considering how our culture, includingincluding SSM perceived or practiced marriage.the And since the christian evangelical marriage and divorce statistics mirror the culture, I don't really think mainstream evangelicalism should be so loud in its dissent.

    Reply
  82. Permit me to run through this for you, as I have heard it several times before.

    "The purpose of marriage is to create a relationship in which the children of the marriage will be protected and cared for."

    I put this in quote-marks not because it's a direct quote but because it is roughly what I have heard from many other people who claim they oppose same-sex marriage only because same-sex couples "can't have children" and marriage is about children.

    But there are multiple problems with claiming this opposition to lifting the ban on same-sex marriage "isn't homophobic".

    One: It is inconsistently applied. It would seem to be an argument that that only interfertile couples should be permitted marriage: that is, that no man with a vasectomy, no woman past the menopause or with a tubal ligation, should be permitted marriage. If this is not a homophobic argument, those who advocate it should be advocating for a ban on marriage for any mixed-sex couple who "can't have children". But, they don't: hence, homophobia.

    Two: If the purpose of marriage is to provide a suitable and safe environment for children, then why is it that the people who advocate for marriage for this purpose are advocating that the children of same-sex couples shouldn't be permitted this environment? (Same-sex couples do have children – by adoption/fostering, by fertility treatments, by previous relationships, just as mixed-sex couples do.) What is the purpose of denying this "suitable and safe environment" to the children of same-sex couples, if not homophobia?

    Three: If the argument is simply that you believe that the biological mother/genetic father are the best possible parents for their child and therefore the only couple entitled to the benefits of marriage, this runs into two logical problems:

    3a: If married parents are a good thing for children, why is it you seek to deny this to children who are being parented in a way you regard as inferior (adoption, fostering, stepparent, fertility treatment)? Shouldn't all children be entitled to married parents, not just those you regard as having been produced/parented in the best possible way?

    3b: If you intend to argue that children just need a woman to be their mother and a man to be their father regardless of biological ties, this is not borne out by any research or data, academic or empirical. And again, see 3a.

    All of these arguments about the "purpose of marriage" all tend back to the same line of thinking: the belief that same-sex couples, and their children, are somehow inferior and not entitled to the same benefits and obligations of marriage as mixed-sex couples are. And that is a homophobic argument.

    And if you routinely make homophobic arguments, you don't have any gay friends; you have acquaintances who are polite to you, but who know you're no friend.

    Reply
  83. I guess ultimately, I believe happiness is a byproduct of a healthy
    marriage rather than its purpose, and where I think marriage is the best
    biological relationship for rearing children, I am not sure SSM fits
    the definition.

    Then I guess you could ask yourself:

    Supposing that you and your wife had no biological children – your adopted child was your only child.

    Logically, assuming your argument is not homophobic, that means you and your female partner wouldn't need to be married to rear her, as she isn't your biological child and so can't – you seem to be claiming – benefit from having married parents.

    Is this what you think? That mixed-sex adoptive parents who can't have children biologically theirs, should be banned from marrying just like you think same-sex adoptive parents should be?

    Reply
  84. Great point.

    I'm still posting at LAN. The antis there are delusional. There's a bunch attacking lady black. They keep talking smack about being so "moral and righteous" and its total crap. I don't know where I've whitnesses so much hostility and meanness other than at LAN.

    Reply
  85. Calvin is very insecure. And the other posters are just fucking dumb. It's sad that they don't realize how stupid they sound.

    Reply
  86. Marriage is a contractual container for treasure and progeny supported by the state. Homosexuals have treasure and progeny just like all other citizens and should be able to marry because marriage is a civil right.

    Reply
  87. Marriage is a contractual container for treasure and progeny supported by the state. Homosexuals have treasure and progeny just like all other citizens and should be able to marry because marriage is a civil right.

    Edit

    Reply

    Reply
  88. If you support killing an unborn child, you might as well support killing a newborn, as the main result is the same – a human being is denied a chance at a full and productive life. The excuses used by some women for abortion are the same they would use to kill a newborn (e.g. 'cannot afford a child'). What if the baby was born alive at 23 weeks in the abortionist office? She didn't receive a service she paid for and she still cannot afford the baby (even more so since it will require medical care). Can she kill because she 'cannot afford a child'? So you feel sorry for the woman and want it to be her 'choice'?

    Reply
  89. Your post is full of so many scientific inaccuracies and drama queen BS that I hardly know where to start in my response.

    So I will reproduce part of a blog article I wrote that speaks to some of this vomitage you are producing.

    My Mother had an abortion because of financial hardship when it was illegal. She and my Dad decided three of us was all they could handle. We were 14, 12 and 10. My Mom could have died. I know a past President of NJ NOW whose Mother died of illegal abortion when she was 9 years old.

    Mom was 37, working full time and doing IBEW work. Dad was intermittently crippled with a congenital form of arthritis. Another pregnancy would have been a serious social, financial and physical disruption for her and for our family. Most women who get an abortion already have children.

    It is despicable to compel folks to give birth to children they cannot afford and/or do not want BY LAW. It is Nazi stuff.

    If you are one of the "prolife" activists, I have questions for you.

    My body and its contents belongs to (pick one):

    1. You.
    2. the State.
    3. Me and my family.

    My children belong with and to:

    1. You.
    2. the State.
    3. Me and my family.

    I look forward to your answers. I will tell you something right now. You Republican ghouls will not turn me and my daughters into baby farmed corpses like poor Mrs. Munoz. We vote.

    ILLEGAL ABORTION and CHILDBIRTH (sepsis and hemorrhage) are the leading causes of maternal death worldwide. Fertility is serious business for women. Abortion/contraception is a human right.

    Reply
  90. Yeah, that is the difference between a religious marriage and a civil marriage. I don't think JPs have the time or authority to judge couples like that. A pastor probably has known the couple for a while, but a JP does not have that knowledge. It is bureaucratic business, and they are not couple's counselors.

    Reply
  91. >> I do not necessarily view the basis for anti SSM as not picking.
    >> purpose of marriage

    Hi aa. Maybe "nit picking" is not the right word. What I wanted to say is that when people think about "what is marriage", I think they are approaching this issue in a way that is too rigid. Obviously, "marriage" has meant different things to different people and cultures. Some cultures practice polygamy, and sometimes 1 woman + many men, even today. Aristocrats in Europe married to form familial alliances, even exchanging vows across the sea. Today, a young woman or man can marry a rich person on their deathbeds. In Asian countries, marriage is also often about taking care of elderly parents.

    To try to think of marriage from such an abstract starting point kind of misses the reality that marriage IS practiced by people for all sorts of reasons, and the government in the US doesn't really care about the exact reason people get married. In the sciences, concepts in physics, like "energy", "force", "momentum" have EXACT definitions because they are elementary concepts. In economics, concepts like "labor", "money" etc. I would venture to guess, are not so well defined, because they are concepts that have arisen in society, and are not elementary concepts in the way say "energy" in physics is. They are more "working concepts", and as such not so rigidly defined.

    In the same way, I think "marriage" is a working concept, and cannot be so rigidly or precisely defined. Trying to define "marriage" to me always inevitably leads to a definition that is very narrow, and reflects the prejudices of the person doing the defining. Marriage is not some fundamental property of nature, and trying to characterize it as such always ends up in a definition that suits the person who is defining it.

    Reply
  92. The purpose of marriage should be thought out by every couple, but inevitably the answer is going to be varied. Marriage is not a precisely defined thing like "mass", "energy", "angular momentum" are. It is a societal construct, and various cultures have different expectations for a marriage, and in the modern western world, each couple has their own reasons to get married. The government recognizes this, and doesn't require a married couple to have children, or that even the couple be capable of having children (ie. young man marrying rich old widow). It doesn't make sense to try to think of marriage in terms of a rigid definition. Such definitions inevitably are too restricted, and do not reflect the actual marriages happening in society.

    Reply
  93. Also, when you say "heterosexual marriage raising own children is the best environment", that sounds like common sense, probably born out by stories of divorced couples or out-of-wedlock children. However, that can't readily be extended uncritically to gay couples who have children, or other types of families. "Common sense" is actually not very useful in confronted with new situations. Louis Pasteur defied common sense and was thought to be insane to inject dead pathogens into healthy subjects – and thereby invented the principle of vaccination that has gone on to erradicate diseases that killed millions. Human society is an ongoing experiment. New things, telephones, TV, internet are constantly popping up that had completely unexpected consequences. We adapt and refine laws and societal understanding. Same thing for SSM. It is new, but that doesn't mean it is bad.

    Reply
  94. If you don't support mandatory blood, tissue and organ donation, you support denying dying children a chance at a full and productive life.

    Is a 5 yo with leukemia less valuable than an embryo?

    Reply
  95. HAHAHAHA. You were banned for threats and other assholish behavior. Repeating lies over and over doesn't make them true.

    Reply
  96. There is a whole conversation about that between Calvin Freakburger here – a place where he cannot censor me – and I kicked his tinkerbelle butt. It was a thing of beauty. And I LOVED IT.
    You can find it I assure you, because obviously you care. Ho hum.

    Reply
  97. No she got banned because Calvin is an overbearing misogynistic control freak that wants to punish women with forced gestation for having sex. He's a lying judgmental hypocrite.

    Reply
  98. Women aren't required to report their miscarriages to a physician, and physicians do not fill out death certificates for them. And there's no way to enforce any such regulations.

    Reply
  99. See, the thing is, no pro-choice person said the killing of newborns should be permissible. EVER. (Please note, this is not a condemnation of perinatal hospice or withholding of medical care from a hopelessly preterm and/or ill newborn. These are end of life issues no different than end of life issues at any age.) An unwanted newborn can be handed off to others. See adoption and safe haven laws, and bear in mind the rationale for safe haven laws. They keep unwanted infants out of dumpsters. One cannot hand off an unwanted pregnancy to another. The woman is limited to only two options. Lose the pregnancy or continue it. So let's not compare pregnancy to caring for a newborn. They are nothing alike.

    Reply
  100. You might want to check with out, rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/10/27/lawsuit-gay-inmates-placed-solitary-confinement-subject-discrimination/. A lot of regulars are upset with the new mod.

    Reply
  101. I've been there. I agree with all the comments, and I agree I don't want the posts of anti-choicers deleted either. Too often I wonder what they said. Unless they violate TOS they should stay.

    Reply
  102. Um, NO. Marriage in the USA is limited to TWO consenting adult persons, outside the bounds of consanguinity. That means 1) two parties, 2) both human, 3) both of age, and 4) not close relatives. Personally, I have no animus toward "big love" but the burden is upon the proponents to figure out how that works out legally, with respect to legal next-of-kin with all attendant rights and responsibilities, tax law, divorce and estate laws. Our legal system is equipped only to deal with a marriage between two people, not multiples. And since family law is gender neutral, there's no reason to restrict marriage according to gender. Beasts, children, automobiles and other property specifically lack capacity to consent to any contract, including marriage. That's not even remotely on the radar, and no, the same arguments cannot justify expanding marriage to beasts, kids or property. That's where the whole "consent" thing trips up those notions.

    Reply
  103. No, they are not themselves the bigot. I have yet to hear an objection to marriage equality that doesn't boil down to 1) procreation, 2) because "god" says so, or 3) discomfort about what strangers do with their genitals. None of those are "well-reasoned." If you've heard a new argument, I'd love to hear it.

    Reply
  104. There is no such thing as "Natural Law." Nature is brutal and lawless. Humans possess the intelligence to bend nature to our advantage.

    Reply
  105. Maybe I can help you out here. The "purpose of marriage" is whatever the two people in the marital relationship deem it to be, regardless of whether or not it meets with your approval. Legally speaking, it's a contract to bind two consenting adult humans as next-of-kin, thereby forming a new family unit with all the attendant rights and responsibilities. Anything else is mere window dressing, as varied as the individual couples themselves.

    Reply
  106. My son and his wife are both infertile, and paired together, they are their own special brand of infertile. The likelihood that they will ever have biological children is slim to none. None of that matters. All by themselves, they are a family because they are married. If they never adopt, and stick to parenting rescue dogs and cats, and my daughter-in-law's beloved tortoises, they will still be a family. They will still be next-of-kin to one another, and that's true with or without children. As an empty-nester, I now revel in my child-free (by choice) marriage that was entered into strictly for companionship, by mutual agreement. I find your comments offensive. Offensive to myself, to adoptive parents, to adoptees, to GLBT couples, and to their natural and adopted children. The nature of children makes child-centered marriage unwise. That is, they grow up and leave home and form their own families. You better have some purpose in your life other than children, and you had better be making your relationship with your spouse the priority all along, or you won't HAVE any marriage after the children leave. As they inevitably will..

    Reply
  107. My husband and I married knowing there would be no children born of this marriage. So it's true that some know in advance, and agree in advance to a child-free marriage. And there isn't anything wrong with that. Others become aware of fertility problems in one or both only when they attempt to have children and can't. And that's OK too. The husband and wife are an individual family with or without children. Marriage has never been about children.

    Reply
  108. Let's just start with the premise that children do NOT have any "right" to be raised in a marriage between their biological parents. They have a right to be loved and nurtured by someone.

    Reply
  109. You seek to define the relationships of strangers to fit inside some box of your own construction, and to define "what is best" for the children of strangers. STOP DOING THAT! I can't be any more plain than that. You are entitled to define the purpose of *your* marriage, and you are entitled to define "what is best" for *your* children. That's it. Children don't know bigotry. They only know love, and it makes little difference who provides it. A single straight or gay parent, or married straight or gay parents. Personally, I believe being married makes the job of raising kids easier, whether straight or gay. But you can't hustle people into marriage. They have to want to be married, or it won't work.

    Reply
  110. Which is another reason why no pro-lifer ever actually wants a zef or embryo ever actually treated in the same way a 'real person' would be, regardless of their babble to the contrary. The very fact that no 'real person' after birth has a right to your body in and of itself is proof that they do not want the zef treated like a 'real person'. They want it treated like some sort of special angel, with all the 'rights' born human beings have, plus several special priveleges that NO born human being has, and NONE of the responsibilities that a born human being has. And they completely refuse to discuss why any human being, anywhere, should have 'rights' when cattle should not, because doing so would blow their equivocation game (in which they attempt to squeak the zef through as a 'human') wide open.

    Reply
  111. Yes, and regarding the equivocation game, as you have rightly pointed out, every argument of theirs rests on the assumption that every zygote WILL develop into a baby someday.

    And no, but 'a zygote will be a baby in 9 months' won't cut it. Is a zygote a baby right this minute, regardless of whether or not it develops? Is a petri dish full of zygotes a crowd of people?

    The fact that they have to talk about what it WILL develop into is just proof that they don't even think that embryos are people.

    Reply
  112. This is a whole lot of preaching with no facts, and no relation to how the world actually works. "Depriving" my son of his biological father is the biggest favor I ever did for him, and I did it early enough to spare him a lot of the pain he would have had to endure. Some people do not deserve children, period. Just because they can manage to breed doesn't make them suitable.

    Reply
  113. A child *doesn't* have any right to a mother and a father. That is something you pulled out of your behind. A child has a right to love and nurture. And making divorce a crime? Don't even THINK about it.

    Reply
  114. There are stories like that everywhere, and that's sad. It would have been much better if those kids were never born.

    Reply
  115. Exactly!!

    And I have heard stories of women living in the slums in the USA, who keep having babies, then leaving those children to be molested by the current bf.

    There is more to being pro life than simply giving birth – it is protecting and nurturing that life after birth. Anti abortionists say that pro choice = pro death, yet most of the pro choice women that I know have children, and have worked hard to give those kids a good life, yet they are told by antis that they are heartless baby killers who live to torture children.

    Seriously. Where is the nuance?

    Reply
  116. It pains me to imagine what they went through. They died in the summer, in a sweltering, dark apartment that was muffled with duct tape on the doors. They died amid trash, diapers and feces, with the older sister appearing to comfort her brother in their final moments. It would've been much much better to have never been born.

    Reply
  117. ""Difference in kind. Infertile couples have "brokDifference in kind. Infertile couples have "broken" reproduction, not functionally impossible as same-sex pairing. Apples and oranges comparisen" reproduction, not functionally impossible as same-sex pairing. Apples and oranges comparison""

    Which is Robert P George's "biology = destiny" argument, and it is wholly fallacious.

    Reply
  118. The wrongful birth suit concerning the negligence of the sperm bank has absolutely NOTHING to do with IVF, and it's a solid breach of contract suit against the sperm bank's negligence in not providing the couple with the donor they selected.

    Reply
  119. Sorry Jethro, but "whites only" hospitals and lunch counters went out of fashion a long time ago. Are you Catholic, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Chinese or Jewish? It was once acceptable to ban any of those groups from service, from employment, from housing, or from holding public office as well. We're supposed to be better than that.

    Reply
  120. John is not a machine. But he is vending. I don't particularly care what his religious beliefs are. I just want to buy a roast for dinner. He wants to sell roasts. The particulars of who the customer is, what color they are, or what religious beliefs (or lack thereof) they possess is none of John's business. They have cash. All cash is green, genderless and irreligious. That's the only thing that matters in commercial transactions.

    Reply
  121. Horse hockey. There is no difference between a wedding cake and any other cake. Just bake the damn cake. You are only a vendor, not an invited guest or the officiant. There is NOTHING "intimate" about a cake.

    Reply
  122. NO. Here's how a commercial transaction works. A merchant offers a product/service (offer). A customer wants the product/service (acceptance). The two agree on the price of a product/service and what the terms of sale will be (meeting of the minds). The customer gives consideration of value (usually cash) in return for the product/service (consideration). The merchant delivers the product/service (performance). That's ALL that's involved. Both parties have an absolute right to refuse to enter any contract for ILLEGAL purposes, so that takes care of your gun vendor argument.

    Reply
  123. Yeah. You don't HAVE a "point." If you are selling cakes, it's pretty safe to assume what people are going to do with the cake is eat it. And if they're buying it for some other purpose, that's none of your business. You've been paid.

    Reply
  124. How has she mischaracterized your argument? You haven't offered any "reasoned arguments" that aren't fallacies. Pointing that out to you isn't an act of bullying.

    Reply
  125. If you're citing "natural law" like "paws come with claws, that's nature's law" as a rationale not to amputate the terminal end of your cat's phalanges, I can partially agree with that. If you're citing "natural law" in respect to marriage, which is not found in nature at all, then I must disagree. Humans invented marriage as a basis for society, and there is room there for ALL of society, or there is room for none. Anything else is nothing more noble than common bigotry.

    Reply
  126. You know, it's entirely possible, probable even, that many straight couples who request a christian vendor's services have indulged in premarital sex or are currently cohabiting outside of marriage. Or one or both parties are divorced and remarrying. Or plan on having an 'open' marriage.

    Traditionally speaking, all of these things are big no-no's, most especially the premarital sex. Shouldn't someone who refuses to cater for gay couples on the principle that it's immoral and sinful also refuse to do so for others who are currently behaving 'immorally' and doing nothing to hide it? If I were choosing to serve people based on my christian beliefs, there are many more things I'd like to know about their sin status than if they're same-sex. To be philosophically consistent, I'd have to.

    Reply
  127. Actually, there are a lot of pro-choice people who have supported infanticide. Michael Tooley, for one. Pretty easy to find a number of abortion doctors (in a very simple and quick google search) who don't have a problem with infanticide. It may be that MOST pro-choice people don't support infanticide, but it is certainly an untrue generalization that not one said it is permissible EVER.

    Reply
  128. I think we agree on a number of points. Being married does make raising kids easier, I think. No one should be hustled into marriage or forced to stay in marriage (though I think there should be more required of the couple before divorce can proceed).

    The problem comes when we all define our own "what is best for my children." A lot of abusive parents feel love for their children. And sometimes aside from episodes of abuse, may show great love to their children. May even see their "disciplinary tactics" as showing love.

    The state does play a role in defining what is best for the children "of strangers." The state has determined levels of neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as NOT best for anyone's children. If we all lived entirely our own way by our own definition in EVERY area of our life, and no one could ever speak critically into our decisions or evaluate those decisions as harmful (to ourselves or others) we would have chaos.

    I do think that the decision to legalize SSM is one that should not in ANY way be taken lightly. Primarily because, as far as I can tell, there is very little accurate and thorough research on the impact of children born into SSM relationships (or whose previously heterosexual parent(s) entered into a same-sex relationship). Part of the reason I have not yet determined where I stand on the issue is because I don't think enough research has been done to adequately demonstrate that children of same-sex relationships are as advantaged (can't think of a better word) as children of heterosexual parents.

    A few things I do know:

    Our (adopted) daughter deserves to know her biological roots and to have relationships (that are healthy and have good boundaries) with her birth parents. Children who are created in SSM relationships should have the right to know BOTH biological parents insofar as it is possible.

    My friend whose children were created by herself through a sperm donor have gone through varying stages of angst and frustration knowing they have not had the ability to meet the man who biologically fathered them.

    My role as a woman and my husband's role as a man in the lives of our children are unique because of our sex. I do believe that children thrive under the different kinds of attention from their fathers and mothers. Single parent situations (whether by choice, divorce, or death) are disadvantaged in this way, as are children in SSM famiilies. THIS IS NOT TO SAY that such a disadvantage is life or emotionally-threatening. But it is to say that such a disadvantage exists.

    If, as Purple Slurpee said, my child(ren) grew up to desire a same sex relationship, I would be supportive and loving in their choices. if they chose to adopt a child, I would love that child as my own grandchild. If they created one biologically, I would also love that child. But in both cases, I would be concerned with the absence of a parent of the opposite sex in their lives. This does not mean I view SS relationships as inferior. It means I recognize the unique abilities of fathers and mothers in the lives of their children.

    Reply
  129. 100% wrong there there are PC's who do believe that it is ok to humanely euthanize non person humans as they just don't have the same moral value as persons.

    & if it isn't a person they see no reason why they should be obligated to pass them on.

    Reply
  130. This is a very good point. I think (I'd have to read everything over again) that it's the one point that has continued to lead me to think SSM should be legalized.

    However, there is still something that troubles me. Our daughter has tremendously benefited from her father-daughter relationship with my husband, and her mother-daughter relationship with me. As she had primarily neglectful and ambivalent relationships with the women in her life prior to our adoption of her, and an absence of men in her life prior to her (now) dad, both my husband and I play significant roles in her growth and development of healthy relationships with both sexes.

    In that way, I do believe (emotionally and relationally healthy) heterosexual couples are better for a child (adopted or otherwise) than an emotionally and relationally healthy SS couple. Just as I believe it is far better for children to have same-sex parents than no parents at all.

    Reply
  131. Can I ask where you determine what is an isn't a right? Because calling it "not" a right seems also something that you "pulled out of your behind."

    Reply
  132. Huge generalization. It makes you seem unreasonable. I know a very few prolifers who hate women (many of them ARE women) and are concerned with the force inflicted on the fetus.

    I'd agree with Colin on this one. Yours was a bigotted statement.

    Reply
  133. You do a great job of erasing the woman, and seem not to give a crap about the force inflicted on her through forced gestation and birth.

    Reply
  134. I agree. But she had the choice to abort and did not, so it seems a moot point. What would have been better would have been if someone had intervened way before this had happened. It seems that the system was unable to reach either the woman or her children.

    Reply
  135. You know what upsets me the most. My Sister poisoned herself to abort. I helped her. I remember what desperate teens we were. This girl is younger than we were and just as or more desperate 45 years after the passage of Roe v Wade.

    Reply
  136. It seems sad to me that you think someone can't have friends with whom they disagree (vehemently). Such discussions allow people to think more critically and assess their points of view. Yes, I do have gay friends, one of whom is quite close to me. And she would not say that my arguments are homophobic, even as she disagrees. In fact, we have quite thoroughly enjoyed such heated discussions. I'm sorry if you cannot have frank and honest discussions with people respectfully and compassionately to the point that they do not destroy your friendship.

    Reply
  137. Your sisters life, just like this 13 yo girl, doesn't matter compared to the life of an embryo. Remember, lifers really love women, but they are concerned about the "force" that is inflicted on an innocent embryo.

    Reply
  138. The thing is, 'rights' exist for specific reasons. They don't simply descend on a golden light from heaven, for no reason, or because of sad feelies. There is no good reason for something to have 'rights' simply because it has human DNA, unless you can show that human DNA, and ONLY human DNA (not the human person that will eventually develop from the DNA) somehow behaves in some fashion differently than other DNA that justifies giving rights to human DNA.

    Nor are rights retroactive to points in the past prior to the existence of the reason for granting them. Rights that exist because of a brain are not retroactive in the past to clumps of cells simply because they will 'have a brain in 9 short months'. Claiming that is like claiming that because I have rights over my furniture, originating from my having paid for it, I can then go into a furniture store and set the furniture there on fire 'because I'm going to buy it in 9 short months'. Sorry, rights over furniture originating because I have paid for it are not retroactive to points in the past before I have paid for it.

    Reply
  139. Your linked article is nonsense. It's claiming that granting personhood to zygotes doesn't mean that periods and miscarriages will be reported to the police and investigated. Sorry, but your article is contradicting it's own premise. Either the zygote is a 'real person for sure' or it isn't. If it is a 'real person for sure', then it has to be treated IN ALL WAYS as a 'real person for sure'. There are no 'real people' who legally can have their bodies thrown in the trash, their deaths not reported, and a death certificate, including 'cause of death' not filled out. If a zygote is actually going to be legally considered a 'real person for sure' this means that periods and miscarriages MUST, legally, be reported to and investigated by the police. If, as the article claims, this is not happening, then it means that zygotes are not really being thought of or treated as 'real people for sure'. What is actually happening is that a game is being played, in which pro-lifers know fully well the zygote is not a 'real person for sure', but want it treated that way only under certain very limitted circumstances in which doing so will punish people for having sex, but not when it involves actually, really, doing what would be needed to treat it like a 'real person for sure' if it might inconvenience the lives of the pro-lifers.

    Sorry, but treating something, even treating an actual person, LIKE an actual person, only when doing so punishes other people for having sex, and otherwise treating like yesterdays garbage, is a bad idea, with no winners. If that's the game, you're better off treating that something, even an actual person, like yesterday's garbage all the time.

    Reply
  140. People still eat apples. Does that mean eating apples is wrong? Your argument is crap. The fact that people 'still engage' in some action, despite it being wrong, does not, and cannot prove, that other actions that people 'still engage' in are wrong.

    Reply
  141. **If you support killing an unborn child, you might as well support killing a newborn, as the main result is the same – a human being is denied a chance at a full and productive life**

    Same thing if you use birth control, or don't have sex at all. Is there a point to your statement, or is it just sad feelies?

    Reply
  142. It's simple reality, aa. "Rights" are inaliable. If children had a "right" to a mother and father, there would be no single parents (male or female). There would be no grandparents or aunts and uncles raising their children's children, or siblings children because the biological parents are unfit or unwilling to raise them. There would be no gay parents raising their own biological or adopted children. The reality is that children do not run the show. They are not entitled to two biological opposite sex parents who are married. What children are entitled to is love and nurture from an adult or a group of adults. In essence, you pulled it out of your behind, and you cannot show any proof of the existence of any such "right."

    Reply
  143. I do not necessarily feel same sex ivf is immoral, but not in a child's best interests. The reason for this is that the child is conceived by two parents and does not (usually) have access to one of those parents. Lady black points out that being raised by biological parents is not a right but many adopted children (and children conceived by sperm donation) would most certainly view it as a need. When same sex parents use ivf to conceive a child, without access to one parent, they are creating a child who will (likely) have one very significant unmet need. This is concerning.

    Reply
  144. Ofc one can be a legal non person human, but the way the debate is framed concerning how psychological personhood grounds full moral worth, then no you are wrong a newborn isn't technically a person.

    That is the whole point something the PC infanticide supporters are well aware of and why they support infanticide.

    Reply
  145. We aren't talking of abuse. We're talking about you deciding that the family structure of a stranger isn't "what's best for the children." Once again, you get to decide "what is best" for your OWN children. This doesn't apply to crimes against children, and I never claimed it did. There is no such damn thing as "unique abilities" that are functions of gender. That's another thing you pulled out of your bum. There's nothing a mother can do that a father can't do, and vice-versa.

    Reply
  146. I've never heard of Michael Tooley. And I doubt any pro-choicers agree with that. As I said, a newborn can be handed off. In the face of reality, who would suggest killing one?

    Reply
  147. freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2014/03/there-is-also-a-secular-argument-for-infanticide/ You can also google for PZ Meyers who is quite happy to put the boot into PL's but also supports infanticide

    Reply
  148. If you legally make it so, but we could do that for a dog -and all other similar animals – well which have higher cognitive abilities than a newborn.

    Reply
  149. You can't provide a single case of any child complaining that his rights are being violated because he doesn't have his natural parents married and living together. And even if you could… as I said, children aren't in charge of how adults choose to live.

    Reply
  150. Not a reasoned argument. This boils down to inordinate discomfort about what a stranger is doing with his genitals. #3 of the trifecta of bullshit arguments against marriage equality. I also found my vagina quite handy for keeping tampons where they belong, as well as one of a number of orifices to place a penis.

    Reply
  151. Well, SPIT IT OUT. We've been attempting to find out "what you really mean" since you keep insisting we "have it all wrong. Explain exactly what you DO mean by "Natural Law." I guarantee you it will still be a cartoonish caricature. But at least give it a try.

    Reply
  152. Illegal abortion does not prevent abortion – it kills women
    theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/29/prevent-all-abortions-eliminate-safe-abortions

    Reply
  153. If you think about it, though, every child is different. I'm quite sure your child has hugely benefited from her having you both as her mum and dad: good placement, good parents.

    But it would be wrong for you to suppose that a child placed with a same-sex couple is somehow receiving inferior parenting. Each individual child's needs should be considered when finding them adoptive parents.

    There is no evidence that same-sex couples can be sweepingly said to be inferior parents to mixed-sex parents; there is a huge amount of practical evidence (and several academic studies) that say that two women tend to make better parents for a child than a woman and a man, and that there is no difference in the quality of parenting provided by two men / a man and a woman.

    Reply
  154. The point of the article was to make it clear that a secular argument can be made for anything. It is possible to make a secular argument against vaccinations, in favour of slavery, racism, etc etc

    Reply
  155. So you didn't really mean one or the other, but you're using the opportunity to make a point on both currently?

    Anyway, I think, regarding your first point, that it's important that we clarify our premises. In fact, understanding fetal development (both sides, that is) may help us right from the start. I acknowledge that there are differences between a fetus and a born baby. However, there are also differences between a four month fetus and a 6 month fetus. Indeed, the fetus is almost constantly changing.

    Pro-lifers seem to often refuse to want to explore and discuss this–"a life is a life, now my fingers are going into my ears" and pro-choicers simply dismiss the fetus as having any rights due to bodily integrity. I don't think that with an issue like this, refusal to listen and dismissiveness are helpful.

    Reply
  156. See my response to the original comment. Clearly defined definitions are in order! But your response has nothing to do with the matter at hand, I'm afraid.

    Reply
  157. Several people have explained the purpose of marriage to you, and you have not answered them. Even Purple Slurpy is trying to patiently explain to you that marriage doesn't have a singular "purpose." It means different things to different people, but at no time are children parties in a marriage. At best they are third-party beneficiaries. At worst, they are third-party victims. I married for love and companionship, and by golly, that's good enough to have lasted for 28 years so far. As marriage is a human right, the state need not expect, and certainly isn't entitled to benefit in any way from my marriage. The actions of free people need not be state-benefit oriented.

    Reply
  158. So according to your line of reasoning, you consider SS parents who use IVF are not acting in the best interest of their children because 1 parent is always left out of the picture. You also would say that this applies to straight couples who use donated sperm or egg, as those are usually anonymous…

    And setting the question of children aside, another issue was that you believe marriage "exists as a structure in which to
    raise children in the stability of their biological parents." I and others have pointed out that people marry for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with children (elderly, infertile couples already aware they are infertile, people who marry life-time incarcerated inmates, European monarchies giving their daughters to princes and kings in distant lands, eg the Hapsburgs, young people who marry wealthy elderly. etc). By allowing marriages of these types, society recognizes marriages that are not about children. Do you consider these marriages? If you allow these marriages, shouldn't you also allow the LGBT to marry each other as well?

    Reply
  159. But I do not see determining marriage as one man and one woman as
    hateful when I don't see gay relationships as unequal or bad, just as
    different.

    Just curious: which of your civil rights should people be allowed to vote on, because they are not seen as "unequal or bad, just different"? Do you not get that this is the real slippery slope? When you want to vote away someone's right to equality under the law because you think they're icky, what happens when some group decides that *you* are icky?

    Reply
  160. Yes, apparently providing factual information that contradicts Calvin constitutes "threats and assholish behavior" on Planet Freakburger …

    Reply
  161. You know, anytime you quote something written by Randian Objectivists, you just just expect to be laughed out of the room.

    Reply
  162. Well, now you've done it.

    Myintx Strip BINGO players, I've now had to take off my jacket. Socks, shoes, earrings and gloves are all gone.

    Reply
  163. a human being is denied a chance at a full and productive life

    Mathilde, I hope you don't play poker. Ever. Your tells give you away.

    Reply
  164. The sepsis was caused by the incomplete miscarriage, you twit. The inquest *in a Catholic country* agreed unanimously that an abortion would have saved her life. belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/abortion-could-have-saved-savita-halappanavar-inquest-into-her-death-hears-29204054.html

    Reply
  165. That's ok dear I know that, but there are at least three different types of personhood relevant to the debate. Psychological, moral and legal. & babies and many infants don't meet the psychological criteria for personhood which is used by many accounts to grant moral personhood.

    Ofc you can grant any entity legal personhood by the stroke of a pen, but when SOME PC arguments base part of their justification on lack of psychological and therefore moral and legal personhood, they get themselves in a dilemma with non psychological personhood humans.

    & saying oh well its a legal person doesn't cut it as that is arbitrary and could easily be change either way. & saying ok well it doesn't matter she can just pass the care on, doesn't work as you have no moral justification -when basing moral value on moral psychological personhood- why the parent is obligated to pass on care for a non person animal.

    Reply
  166. It seems sad to me that you think someone can't have friends with whom they disagree (vehemently).

    Oh, you misunderstand. You can have straight friends with whom you disagree vehemently about lifting the ban on same-sex marriage.

    But if you think same-sex couples should be banned from marriage, you don't have any gay friends, because you think of gay people as your legal inferiors, who ought to be discriminated against by law. And therefore, they are not your friends, and no doubt they know it better than you do.

    Reply
  167. Really dear? So I take it murder and assault laws are more like societal organizational laws, -like what side of the road to drive on- rather than anything to do with what is ethical behavior? While not all law is moral and is indeed just organizational, much of basic law is based on underlying ethical principles. So from your POV why is it illegal to murder someone? Is it a legal technicality?

    Reply
  168. Actually no she is questioning why he is reaching out to conservatives when Pro-Infanticide atheists have more to offer especially when their arguments are well founded.

    "What I would ask is this: What is American Atheists doing to reach out
    to pro-infanticide atheists and bring them into the cause of organized
    secularism? Is our conception of the parameters of a “right to life” any
    less worthy of being courted than that of abortion opponents? If we’re
    really seeking to expand the tent of atheist activism, why extend it
    only in their direction, and not ours? I’d contend that if anything,
    those of us who are pro-infanticide can bring much more of value to the
    atheist movement than anti-choice conservatives would, such as our
    evidence-based approach to secular ethics. And if you think it would be
    distasteful to reach out to us, ask yourself: is it really more
    distasteful than inviting people who would legally force a person to
    give birth against their will?"

    Take time to read it again. You are not only off base but totally out of the ball park.

    Reply
  169. Murder and assault laws are *not* based on "morality." *No* laws are based on morality. They are based on the right of the *victim* to be secure in his or her *person.*

    The basis of US law is the second of Locke's "Two Treatises on Government."

    "Morals" are personal, and can vary from individual to individual and from culture to culture. That is why we do not make laws based on "morality."

    Educate yourself here: faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/american_legal_tradition.htm

    And here: patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2011/01/morality-has-no-place-in-the-law/

    Jesus wept. Are all anti-choicers this stupid?

    Reply
  170. I can see where you get confused, people often interchange morality and ethics-which I was talking about- but they aren't the same nor is ethics the same as law. But tell you what take it up with this PH.D teaching this topic and tell him Jesus is crying over his incompetence. And I know not all PC's are willfully ignorant, but you are certainly an exception.

    qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/ppecorino/CISESHV_TEXT/Chapter-3-Ethics/ch-3-Basis-for-Morality.html

    What is the relation of law to morality?
    They are NOT the same. You
    can NOT equate the two. Just
    because something is immoral does not make it illegal and just because
    something is illegal it does not make it immoral.

    What is the relation of morality to law?
    Well, when enough people think that something is immoral they will
    work to have a law that will forbid it and punish those that do it.
    When enough people think that something is moral,
    they will work to have a law that forbids it and punishes those
    that do it repealed or, in other words, if there is a law that says doing
    X is wrong and illegal and enough people no longer agree with that then
    those people will work to change that law.

    I could dig for more links that I know are out there I've posted them here before but I not going to waste any more time on you.

    Reply
  171. It has a great deal to do with the matter at hand. Your statement is bullshit, because if abortion is allowed NO 'babies' will die, because there are no 'unborn babies'. Simpering about dictionary definitions does not change biological and developmental reality no matter how much you want it to.

    Reply
  172. Scientific laws and medical fact determine when a fetus becomes a baby. The fact is that until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype at birth, there is no human life. Why, because several changes must occur in the birth process that are controlled by "DNA Expression" and if the expression does not occur, there is no human life.
    Further, most zefs do not produce human life. Most die.
    And of those that die 60 percent are not "human" enough to produce a living human.
    That would not really mean much, because a second before birth 99 percent of fetuses will be human, however, to force birth at that point one must let innocent life die.
    So there is really no sense in comparing a 4 month and 6 month fetus. To save either one must kill born life.

    Reply
  173. No, I've still got on jeans, bra and underpants. But it's getting pretty serious in here. If she says three more idiotic things (which will take all of about 10 minutes for her), I'll be in the buff … and it's getting chilly this time of year!

    Reply
  174. Ho Hum a guy with a PH.D actually teaching the subject compared to what you sent me lol. BTW when your article author talks about using liberty what category of thinking do you think that comes under? Why use liberty as a foundation? What harm or benefit hmmmm?

    & Oh wait it must be infectious "Essential Law for Counsellors and Psychotherapists"

    sagepub.com/upm-data/33602_Mitchels.pdf

    "The law is the system of rules by which international relationships, nations and
    populations are governed. Law reflects society’s prevailing moral values and
    beliefs, enforcing compliance in various ways, such as fines or imprisonment. It
    constantly changes and develops along with changes in society."

    Again law isn't morality or ethics but nor is it just a way to regulate things like what side of the road we drive on.

    Reply
  175. The term "abilities" may have been the wrong one; "role" or "influence" may have been better. I have read many studies on parenting and the roles of fathers and mothers in parenting. There is a lot of research that suggests the role fathers play is tremendously significant; a few (more recently, possibly politically minded) studies (specifically ones suggesting that fathers are pretty much unnecessary) do not negate years and years and years of psychological assessments and research. That does not mean such studies are not significant; it simply means more work needs to be done, and that said studies do not eliminate previous studies without a lot more research and evidence.

    I was discussing child abuse or disciplinary tactics as a means to an end – that of saying that the state has no business in determining our affairs (as I think it does play a role). Comparing "abuse" and "family structure" was not the point, but I do see where you came from in your post.

    Clearly this thread is upsetting to you. That was not my intent.

    I do not like to accept any ideology thrown at me (or thrown at culture) without consideration, just because someone decides that it is "good". (Although, I admit, when I first starting reading about SSM, this is what I did – or rather, I just didn't think much about it). I prefer to think things through and come to conclusions over time. This is what I am doing. Your insults are not beneficial.

    I am moving on from this thread now. I'll do more research; I'm not done determining what I think here, but I think other means of reading will be more helpful at this point.

    Reply
  176. Hi aa

    Just reading what you wrote, I am not sure whether you are researching this in earnest and reading actual scholarly journals, or whether you're getting your information from organizations like "Focus on the Family" or "National Organization for Marriage". The results of academic research of this sort is extremely difficult to interpret, even for the professional statisticians. Confounding factors are so numerous, that it makes me very suspicious when you state that these studies conclude either that "the role of fathers is TREMENDOUSLY important" or that "fathers are pretty much UNNECESARY". I'm a professional neuroscientist specializing in creating statistical models of neural activity, and know that scientists rarely speak with such strong conclusions. Even in my field, where experiments can be controlled to a much higher degree than in social science, I am fully cognizant of that many different models can account for what we see in experiment, and in my scholarly work, I always point out and outline other possible mechanisms than the ones I propose. I somehow think it is extremely unlikely that a social scientist is going to be able to confidently make such definitive statements.

    And this whole thread was about SSM, and on numerous occasions people have brought forth strong evidence that marriage in our current society is not JUST about children. I'm still curious, do you agree or not?

    Reply
  177. Discover Magazine, November 2014

    IT TOOK A VILLAGE

    Mommy groups may be a thing of the past – literally. Researchers now contend that early homo species probably collectively raised their offspring within female care networks.
    As these early Homo species evolved, mothers birthed bigger, more dependent babies. that they couldn't raise alone. By analyzing existing research, Adrian Bell of the University of Utah, Katie Hinde of Harvard, and Lesley Newson of the University of California, Davis, developed an alternative hypothesis to explain how those females managed.

    We were suspicious of the idea of mother staying home with the kid while dad brought back food because no other monogamous mammal has evolved such a parenting arrangement.

    Their cooperative mothers hypothesis suggests that parental care and nursing responsibilities shared by a group, or alloparenting, provided a highly adaptive strategy. Their study contradicts the idea that pair bonding (think Adam and Eve) represents the most primal social arrangement. Likewise, another popular origins trope, "Man the Hunter", depicts evolution as driven by an early dietary shift and a dependence on males for precious meat, implying that women mated only with males who weer successful hunters. Instead, these researchers say cooperative mother networks, along with more indirect help form males, propelled this evolution. Alloparenting also allowed mothers extra time to gather food and even hunt.

    So it seems these females played a key role in the foundation of humanity, and all by banding together. – Hillary Waterman.

    Reply
  178. "they could potentially be charged with involuntary manslaughter should they kill the pregnant person."

    Can they, though? After all, there would be *no* willing component *at all* to their actions and decisions.

    For instance, would a small child who (hypothetically) dug up a loaded gun* in the sandbox at the park be prosecuted if he or she accidentally shot and killed his or her parent(s) while trying to give this gun to his or her parent(s)?

    *For whatever reason, someone else (hypothetically) placed this loaded gun in the sandbox before this baby and his or her parent(s) arrived there.

    Reply
  179. "Yes, and regarding the equivocation game, as you have rightly pointed out, every argument of theirs rests on the assumption that every zygote WILL develop into a baby someday."

    By that rationale, viable fetuses and maybe some (already born, obviously) human infants shouldn't be considered persons either due to the fact that they currently have equal or lesser mental abilities to some/many non-human animals whom we do not consider to be persons.

    Reply
  180. "Rights that exist because of a brain"

    Rights don't exist simply because of a brain, though. After all, as far as I know, some/many non-human animals with a brain don't have any rights.

    Reply
  181. I don't play the game of pretending that human beings think with their 'specialness', otherwise animals would be as smart as us, because they have brains, too, and the size and design of the brain is irrelevent. I suppose the fact that animals with longer legs and stronger leg muscles can run faster than animals with shorter legs and weaker leg muscles is a big mystery to you, too.

    Reply
  182. I don't play the game of pretending that a brain that is functioning poorly is the same as a brain that is not functioning AT ALL, either.

    Reply
  183. So you think that all non-human animals with equal or greater mental abilities to human infants and/or human late-term fetuses should be considered persons as well?

    Reply
  184. You're the one who said that rights exist because of a brain, not me. I simply corrected you and stated that simply having a brain in itself is insufficient for rights.

    Reply
  185. I think that you missed my point here; my point is that is future abilities are irrelevant, then I don't see why exactly viable fetuses and human infants should be considered to be persons while non-human animals with equal or greater *current* mental abilities to these human infants and fetuses should not be considered to be persons.

    Reply
  186. No, I think what he is saying is there is a qualitative difference between human beings with poor brain function, and human beings with zero brain function, and that animals are not human beings at all. This is rather much like the way there is a qualitative difference between televisions that actually work, no matter if they have a 70 inch full color screen or a 2 inch B&W screen, and a pile of unsoldered spare parts. And that such things as radios, or geiger counters are not televisions at all.

    Regarding a 'mere brain' being insufficient to grant rights, that is correct, but a functioning brain of some sort, though it does not guarantee rights, is absolutely necessary to grant rights. Nor are rights retroactive to arbitrary points in the past, prior to the existence of such a brain, simply because of 'potential', or sad feelies. The comparison of a precious zef to a patient in a coma who will 'recover in 9 short months' is invalid. It is like trying to claim that because you retain rights to your furniture, after having purchased it, even if you are unfortunately trapped in some foreign country where you temporarily do not have access to you furniture for '9 short months' you then should have rights to furniture you haven't even purchased yet, because you 'potentially might buy it in 9 short months'. Sorry, but you don't have 'rights' to things you haven't bought yet, nor do you retain those rights once you have permanently thrown them away.

    Also, no human brain is sufficient to grant special 'rights' that no other human being has. The fact that forced gestationers want to deny dialysis patients the 'right' to other people's kidneys is where they screw up on this (if the actually want there to be such a 'right'). I recommend looking up a Supreme Court case, State of California vs Greenwood. The case was about a drug dealer who sued the police, because the police went through his trash to get evidence, without a warrant. The Supreme court held that this did not violate the 4th amendment, and going through the trash was not, in fact, a 'special right' of only the police, that required a warrant, but only by upholding in their decision the right of ANYONE to go through anyone else's trash. This is where the forced gestationers screw up, they want to claim there is a great, sacred 'right' of the embryo to someone else's organs, but then claim that no other human being has this 'right'. This is contrary to the principal of California vs Greenwood, where the 'right' of one group (be it police or embryos) to a particular thing (be in someone else's organs, or someone else's trash) is affirmed to exist as an actual 'right' because, and only because, EVERYONE is affirmed to have this 'right' regardless of how uncute they are, or how inconvenient and ugly this might be.

    Reply
  187. That's interesting. There are gay people who are against gay marriage. I wonder if they would consider themselves legally inferior. Somehow I doubt it.

    Reply
  188. I appreciate your arguments. You put a lot of thought into them. Poor Ann here has been dealing with bumper sticker debater Myintx, who simply repeats the same lines, verbatim, over and over. I gave up on Mathilde ages ago.

    Reply
  189. "I appreciate your arguments."

    I seriously hope that you are not being sarcastic here.

    "You put a lot of thought into them."

    Thank you. Yes, I try honestly examining things and coming to the best conclusion in regards to them; heck, I am certainly willing to change my views if I find arguments from the other side to be sufficiently persuasive (for instance, several months ago or so, I switched from being politically anti-abortion to being politically ambivalent on this issue). Also, I am certainly willing to learn new information and to be corrected whenever necessary. 🙂

    "Poor Ann here has been dealing with bumper sticker debater Myintx, who simply repeats the same lines, verbatim, over and over."

    In that case, maybe Ann should ignore myintx? After all, trolls are best left ignored, no?

    "I gave up on Mathilde ages ago."

    Is myintx's name Mathilde? If so, then how exactly do you know this? If not, then who exactly is Mathilde?

    Reply
  190. I am 100pct serious. You are intellectually honest. That is a good thing.

    Yes, myintx's real name is Mathilde, she works/volunteers at the Whiterose CPC in Texas. She's on FB.

    Reply
  191. "I am 100pct serious. You are intellectually honest. That is a good thing."

    Thank you very much for all of these compliments.

    Also, here is an intellectually honest question for you: In order to be logically consistent, wouldn't politically anti-abortion people need to support forcing or coercing parents to donate their body parts (kidneys, bone marrow, blood, et cetera) to their offspring if their offspring need a body part donation/transfusion in order to remain alive and if their offspring cannot get this body part donation/transfusion from anyone else (in time, at least)?

    Reply
  192. "Yes, myintx's real name is Mathilde, she works/volunteers at the Whiterose CPC in Texas. She's on FB."

    Thanks for this info.

    Reply
  193. Yep, they would have to, if they TRULY care about LIFE.

    Does a born child not deserve the same care as a prenate? Are they not equal in value?

    Reply
  194. Thank you very much for this response.

    I talked about this topic with some politically anti-abortion people on Facebook today and I came to the conclusion that, even from a politically anti-abortion perspective, it does *not* appear to make sense to support forcing or coercing females who got sterilized before they got pregnant to remain pregnant while opposing forcing or coercing parents to donate their body parts to their offspring in cases where their offspring cannot get these body parts from someone else (in time, at least) and where their offspring's need for a new body part has a genetic or inherited cause (as opposed to being caused by something such as these offspring injuring themselves).

    Sorry for my "long-windedness" here, but I tried stating this as best as I could (English isn't my first language, and thus, I can make mistakes). It is possible that I am missing something here, but nevertheless, I think that it might be a *very* good idea for you and other pro-choicers to bring up this topic in debates with politically anti-abortion people.

    Of course, using this or a similar argument might also lead to the conclusion (even from a politically anti-abortion perspective) that parents of both genders or at least male parents should get a *unilateral* child support opt-out if they got sterilized before a pregnancy occurred. Would you yourself support this?

    Finally, though, I seriously hope that this issue will eventually become a moot point due to technological advances over time; heck, I wonder if something such as gene therapy will eventually be used to produce contraception which is completely 100% effective/efficient for both genders/sexes? Thoughts on this?

    Reply
  195. Well, that's the thing. If you deny a dying 5yo tissue/blood/organs whatever, and you deny a prenate the same things, THEY BOTH END UP DEAD. The end result is the same – a precious life has been lost. A future has been taken.

    Now, if these pro-lifers are TRULY pro-life, and really really do care about giving everyone a future that they are entitled to, then location should not matter. I mean, I have tried to put myself into the position of a pro-lifer, and I can kind of understand the angst over abortion – it does seem rather horrible, does it not, that an *innocent* little unborn baby is denied life, right? Well, isn't it equally horrible if a 5yo is denied life because someone was too selfish to donate an organ or tissue?

    The question is, why are pro-lifers UPSET over zygotes and embryos losing their chance to have a future, but not over a 5yo losing it's chance to have a future? Why does a 5yo dying not conjure up the same amount of existential angst? Where is the empathy for the 5yo? Why do they come up with excuses like 'pregnancy is normative, but giving bone marrow to a 5yo is unnatural' 'the 5yo is diseased, and does not deserve bone marrow, whereas the embryo is doing what nature has programmed it to do'

    I mean, really.

    Can you think of any reasons why they are more worried, more disgusted, by an embryo being denied a chance at life vs a 5yo?

    Reply
  196. "Can you think of any reasons why they are more worried, more disgusted, by an embryo being denied a chance at life vs a 5yo?"

    They might say that the risk of pregnancy is greater than the risk of conceiving an offspring with a genetic defect which causes this offspring to need a body part donation in order to survive.

    Otherwise, though, I agree with you here. It isn't just about the sympathy factor, but also about taking responsibility for one's willing actions and decisions.

    Reply
  197. I've got a question for you: In a purely hypothetical scenario where someone is permanently and *irreversibly* put into a sleeping beauty-type spell from which he or she can *never* wake up, would such an individual be considered a person in your opinion?

    Reply
  198. Its because letting the 5yo die for want of an organ donation isn't related to sex. Abortion is much closer to the sex act, and the woman's sex organs, therefore the whole thing just seems more skeevey.

    Reply
  199. Yes, they are still a person, as they are not *intrinsically*, by their very nature, lacking the traits associated with personhood.

    However, since they will never wake up, there is no point in treating them as a person, since they are permanently incapable of functioning like one.

    Reply
  200. Yes, for the ones who are blase about a kid dying because a mandatory bone marrow donation is too great an inconvenience.

    Reply
  201. "Yes, they are still a person, as they are not *intrinsically*, by their very nature, lacking the traits associated with personhood."

    And exactly which traits are those?

    And Yes, such an individual would have all of the brain structures which are necessary for this individual to express the traits associated with personhood. However, why exactly should these brain structures themselves, rather than the actual ability to ever exercise these traits (which are associated with personhood), be the criteria which is used to determine personhood?

    "However, since they will never wake up, there is no point in treating them as a person, since they are permanently incapable of functioning like one."

    Do you think that someone who kills such an individual should be charged with murder or manslaughter, though? Also, do you think that this individual's parents/caretakers should be allowed to kill this individual by withholding food and/or water from him or her?

    Reply
  202. Traits = capacity for sentience, sapience, very basic stuff.

    The person under the spell of the coma has the underlying capacity for sentience and saoiebce. It physically exists, only they are prevented from using those abilities – akin to say, someone under anaesthetizia. The genes, however, have already been expressed, which is why the person has the necessary brain structures.

    However, since they will never wake up, they are in a sort of limbo, where sustaining their life would be pointless. So no murder charge. Yes, withhold food water = OK.

    Now, compare that to someone like Teri Schiavo, who was alive, but whose "self" was permanently gone, because her brain had holes in it and had degenerated into a gooey substance. She was no longer intrinsically a person, since the capacity = permanently gone.

    Some folks say that every zygote has the capacity for sentience because of h. Sapiens DNA. But this is bs, IMO, because those genes may NEVER be expressed. Anencephalic nabies,? Hydatidiform moles? Parasitic twins? The list goes on and on. If capacity for sentience merely comes down to a matter of human DNA that has potential, then you will have to include cells that can be cloned, along with the sperm and the egg.

    Reply
  203. Thank you very much for your response here (Yes, I have read all of it).

    "Traits = capacity for sentience, sapience, very basic stuff."

    Do all viable fetuses and all human infants have these traits, though?

    "But this is bs, IMO, because those genes may NEVER be expressed. Anencephalic nabies,? Hydatidiform moles? Parasitic twins?"

    But couldn't pro-lifers respond to this by saying that if there is a *possibility* that these prenates will express these traits in the future, then they should be considered persons/worthy of having rights (just like someone in a coma should be considered a person if there is a *possibility* that he or she will eventually wake up from this coma)? Also, in regards to parasitic twins, is it guaranteed that *all* of them will be unable to express these genes if they will (hypothetically) live long enough?

    "1. then you will have to include cells that can be cloned,

    2. along with the sperm and the egg."

    1. But wouldn't this require active intervention on someone's part?

    2. I don't think so due to the fact that the sperm and the egg do not appear to have this potential by themselves, but rather only when they are combined into a new entity (a zygote).

    Reply

Leave a Comment