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Some thoughts on gay marriage

I have a few questions for those who favor legalizing gay marriages.

Question 1: On what grounds to we base our definition of marriage? In fact, what is the definition of marriage that allows for gay marriage? Currently, it is defined as “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife,” or ” the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.” If this changes, why should it change? The reason I ask this is because if the definition is arbitrary and dependent upon time and culture, then how do we prevent future changes that allow polygamy and animal marriages and such? I know it is an extreme, but so I often I hear that it should change because it should be about two people who love each other. But if that is the sole reason, how can we likewise prohibit polygamy, since they could love each other to, right? And according to the same logic used to allow gay marriages (fairness and equality), how can we deny them this “right?” The problem is that the logic that allows gay marriage is a slippery slope. If we are consistent, then we can’t deny any type of marriage, no matter what it consists of.

Question 2: In what way are gay people not treated equally in regards to the right to marry? Nobody is saying that they can’t marry. They have the same right to marriage that I do, and that is to marry someone of the opposite sex. It’s the fact that they do not like the restrictions that limits who you can marry. That right has not been taken away from anyone, so quit saying that it is. Look at it this way, you are offered a job, and you have the choice to accept it or not. But you prefer another job, but one that is not hiring. Can you really say that the situation is not fair because you want the other job but it’s not being offered to you? I understand that these are two different issues, but we all agree that the job situation is not unfair, and in the same way, you are given a right, you just want a different right because you don’t like the one that is offered.

 

Final question: What is the purpose of marriage? Current research is not conclusive either way in regards to how children brought up in same sex households are affected. If it can be shown that it affects them negatively, and be shown that both sexes involved in their lives as parents is better for them, would this sway you to think differently?

If the purpose of marriage is to allow for the nurturing and furthering of families and bringing in new life to the world, then clearly same sex couples have no part in it. They can’t bring new life themselves, and I believe that a same sex household is not the ideal way for a child to grow up. This is the same reason that I do not like single parent homes and wish it upon no one. It is not the ideal. Yes, it happens sometimes. Dad’s leave, mom’s ask for divorces, people die. It’s unavoidable. But I strongly disagree with people being allowed to adopt and have children through artificial means of any sort when they are not married to someone of the opposite sex. This is not at all to say that one who comes from any of these families is illegitimate or lesser or to put seen differently or even that they won’t turn out better for it. There are always exceptions. But just as we do not encourage people to drive without seat belts because in %1 of accidents or what have you not wearing one saved someone’s life, we should not encourage behavior that tends to be detrimental in any way. It’s sad that people could be so selfish as to potentially harm another human being, especially one such as sacred and unique as a child. For me, that is unacceptable.

 

Would love to hear thoughts on this, for or against, religious or non-religious,

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Chich-Fil-A has fantastic chicken, and good values. Quit hatin’

So a story came out that Chick-Fil-A(CFA) donated to a pro-family organization that was against gay marriage. Gay rights advocates have unleashed their wrath upon this wonderful restaurants that makes a mean chicken sandwich. They’re telling people to protest the restaurant, and it has even been suspended at certain universities around the country. I find this… I guess not surprising, but certainly frustrating.

But let’s address this issue from the bottom up. CFA is an Evangelical Christian owned company. Its founder is of such background and wanted his business to be the same. They are closed on Sundays, they ask if they can “serve” the next guest as opposed to “help,” they have passed out various Christian toys, similar to the toys in a Happy Meal, such as Veggie Tales, Christian children’s books, etc. This is something they they are adamant about, and many CFA fans know full well.

And this is not the first time that they have been in the news for a political type issue. A former employee, who was a Muslim, sued saying that his religion was the reason for his firing after he refused to partake in an employee prayer. The suit was settled outside of court on undisclosed terms.

And now this. While legal action is not being pursued, it is possible that this will be more harmful than other issues since it is more public. But I just don’t get it. What’s the big deal? I don’t know of any anti-gays that refuse to go to Starbucks because they have donated to pro-gay organizations, and I know a lot of coffee drinkers! First, its food, if you like it, eat it, if not, don’t.

But second, let’s break this down into what it really is. Pro-gays are bigots and act like they aren’t. And here’s why: When someone speaks for Christian family values, they blast them for being evil and bigoted and homophobic. Its not like this someone even had to point they’re finger at gays as people, but that is what they get in return. Rather than a heated debate on the issues, which would be somewhat pleasant to see, what they get in return is the typical political ad hominem arguments that attack the person holding the belief rather than the belief himself. This is not to say that no proponent of Christian family values has never done the same to a gay rights advocate, but merely that it is less public and seems to be more rare. So the tolerance tends to be on the side of the Christian family values, as given in my Starbucks example earlier. Even mere support for any contrary belief is taken to be a jab at gay rights and they declare homophobia and intolerance. It is important here to note that this is quite wrong. To support one idea is indeed to reject its contrary, but that does not mean that to support one idea is to reject the people that hold the contrary. But this is the way the gay advocates portray it, specifically Perez Hilton. But what is really going on is that the side claiming tolerance, the gay right supporter since it is “about equality,” is being intolerant of the actually tolerant, since they don’t want to allow the opposition to support their own beliefs that are actually more idealistic than personal attacks upon homosexuals.

I think it is a fair comparison to communism of sorts here, where a certain side wants to repress any expression of a contrary view, but this is much more…. refined. That is because in this case, it is the minority that is suppressing the majority, since this country has given so much power to the minorities as to not upset them, often with the result of ignoring the cares of the majority. That is why this story is not surprising. But that is also why this story is sad. In the country that claims to be the land of the free and home of the brave, the country who boasts free speech, yet we have this. Where a private company can’t donate to who they please without negative repercussions in the media.

So in the end, I will continue to go to Chick-Fil-A, and continue to love and respect what they do and their firm stance as a Christian company.


New Papers!

Some new papers from this Autumn quarter in Philosophy of Science added to Papers and Other Documents on the right. Check them out if you want. They are pretty good if I can say so myself. Would love some feedback as well.


Can minds have evolved?

Taking some concepts from Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN), I will attempt to show how our intelligible minds could not have evolved for two reasons.

The first reason will be more controversial I believe, and that is this. Beliefs are not entirely subject to genes, but other factors as well. If free will is true, then this is even more true. Even if not, one could argue that the setting we find ourselves in shapes our beliefs, even if genes make one more predisposed to believe something, it does not follow necessarily that they will believe that, since both/either free will and/or the environment can determine this. Given that natural selection, defined as “A process in which some individuals have genetically-based traits that improve survival or reproduction and and thus have more offspring surviving to reproductive age than other individuals, (Berkeley)” can only operate on genetically-based traits, and beliefs are not genetically-based, it therefore cannot effect them. This is not denying evolution, just evolution of the mind as we know it, that can entertain beliefs.

The second reason goes more along the lines of the EAAN, except not as radical. Let’s grant that evolution can effect beliefs. And let’s say that Plantinga is wrong that evolution may not select true beliefs. I actually am torn on this issue myself, since I find it plausible that it could select false beliefs that “promote” survival, but I can also see that somewhere along the lines, a false belief would be less beneficial than a true one. So let’s say that at least some beliefs can even be rationally thought to be guided by natural selection since they are true. But what about beliefs and concepts that don’t have any survival aspect whatsoever? People lived for thousands of years without calculus and physics, so were they promoted by natural selection? I can go two ways here. The first undercuts the idea that it could from the beginning. Natural selection cannot effect learned behavior of any sort, simply by definition. But even if we grant this, how does knowledge of the law of gravity increase my chance of survival? I don’t have to know anything about the law of gravity and it’s equation and how it works in order to know that if I step off a cliff I will fall. What about math? Does knowing 2+2=4 promote my survival? Do I live better by knowing that earth is the third planet from our sun? Do I have a better chance of living longer and producing more offspring if I know that a bachelor by definition is not married? I see no reason to think so. Based on this, natural selection cannot effect such beliefs since they have no survival value.

So what does this mean? Can we know or at least infer anything from this? I think that we can see that something else is needed to explain why we can apparently accurately detail laws of math and physics and concepts of biology, everything that we consider “intelligence,” if it doesn’t increase our chance to survive. What is this explanation? Even more, why is it that the ideas in our heads match up perfectly with actual world? Why are the laws of the world mathematically simple yet perfectly explanatory as well? Many have called this beauty, and finding beauty for these formulas seems to be an efficient way to find new laws. So what is the explanation for this? Yes, it could be chance. But what are the chances? I feel that this is simply not satisfying as an explanation at all. My proposal is that it is an extremely smart Being that did it all on purpose, for ease and beauty, and a small sign that allows us to find a small aspect of Him.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NASB


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