The Instigator
Kandrake
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Contradiction
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Legitimate reasons why gays should not be allowed to have equal marriage rights

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Contradiction
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,400 times Debate No: 16203
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (4)

 

Kandrake

Con

Marriage in this case will be seen in the context of civil marriage as it pertains to the regulations of the American Government.

There are no logical, or rational state interests that make it imperative for civil marriage to only be allowed between persons of the opposite sex. And all of the arguments used to supposedly provide rational arguments for why same sex couples should not be allowed to get married, either base its foundation on fallacies, or contradicts its own assertions.

1st round - Opening statements

2nd round- Responses

3rd round- Conclusion
Contradiction

Pro

I will be reproducing a past argument of mine, as it is also applicable to this debate. I will be defending the proposition that marriage is exclusively heterosexual, and that the state should legislate according to this principle. Let me say from the begining that my arguments will be based entirely on non-religious premises. Thus, the argument rests on very few controversial premises.

The Argument

I will be defending the following argument, as formulated by philosopher Jim Spiegel:

1. Heterosexual union is the indispensable means by which humans come into existence and therefore has special social value (indeed, the greatest possible social value because it is the first precondition for society).

2. The indispensable means by which something of special social value can occur itself has special value.

3. What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction.

4. Civil ordinances which recognize gay marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage constitute a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions.

5. To deny the special social value of what has special social value is unjust.

6. Therefore, gay marriage is unjust. [1]

Marriage is an institution whose prime focus is to ensure a healthy environment in which future citizens can be produced. It is for this reason that the state confers legal and economic benefits upon married couples, for it recognizes that child-rearing is a hard task. Since procreation and child-rearing are essential to the advancement of society, the state has a vested interest in protecting a stable relationship under which this can take place. The state, therefore, ought to give special recognition to heterosexual unions, for they function as a precondition to a flourishing society. Relationships which do not have procreation as their core do not deserve such recognition, for they are not foundational to society. The recognition of homosexual unions as marriages would therefore be unjustly denying the special social value of heterosexual unions.

Ask yourself this: "Why is the state so concerned about regulating marriage to begin with?" Why doesn't the state, for instance, regulate friendships as well? Well, the state is not concerned with regulating friendships because there is no compelling reason to do so. On the other hand, the very reason that marriage law exists is because the state recognizes that marriage is about more than just love or attraction, a key part of its nature is centered toward the production of future citizens. It is for this reason why the state has a compelling interest in regulating marriages, but not other types of relationships (Such as friendships, aquaintanceships, etc...). This is also what sets apart a marriage from a mere friendship.

Some Objections Considered

I will now respond to several common objections against the traditional marriage position in hopes of preempting them in Con's opening argument.

1. Traditional marriage discriminates against homosexual couples

A popular argument amongst proponents of same-sex marriage is that the traditional conception of marriage unjustly discriminates against homosexual couples by way of some moral or legal principle, such as the 14th Amendment. This, however, is mistaken.

First, before we can claim that the traditional conception of marriage would discriminate against homosexual couples, we must first ask “What is marriage?” The charge of discrimination cannot be answered without first conducting an inquiry into what marriage actually is – for if the nature of marriage is such that homosexual relationships cannot qualify as marriages to begin with, then no discrimination would be taking place. As Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson point out:

Any legal system that distinguishes marriage from other, nonmarital forms of association, romantic or not, will justly exclude some kinds of union from recognition. So before we can conclude that some marriage policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, or any other moral or constitutional principle, we have to determine what marriage actually is and why it should be recognized legally in the first place. [Emphasis mine] That will establish which criteria (like kinship status) are relevant, and which (like race) are irrelevant to a policy that aims to recognize real marriages. So it will establish when, if ever, it is a marriage that is being denied legal recognition, and when it is something else that is being excluded. [2]

It makes no sense to argue, for example, that fatherhood unjustly discriminates against women, for fatherhood is properly understood to be a role that is intrinsic to males. Since women cannot be fathers in principle, there is no discrimination taking place. Thus, when one argues that a specific institution discriminates against certain persons, they presuppose that said persons have a right to partake in said institution. But, unless we have settled the prior question as to what this institution actually is, then to use the discrimination argument as supporting evidence for a particular view that institution is to beg the question, since the argument presupposes what it sets out to prove.

2. Sterile couples are excluded

It may be objected that such reasoning prevents sterile heterosexual couples from marrying due to the fact that they are unable to procreate. But this objection fails to understand the argument. Marriage is not based on the ability of the individual couple to procreate, but on a type of relationship in which procreation is inherently possible to begin with. Males are meant for coupling with females, even if it does not result in procreation all of the time. By contrast, homosexual relationships are such that procreation is impossible in principle. Thus, such relationships cannot qualify as marriages. What matters is thus that an act is procreative in type, not whether it is procreative in effect. [3]

3. Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage is the same thing as antimiscegenation

The analogy falsely assumes that there is no essential difference between race and gender. While race is irrelevant to the purpose of marriage, gender most certainly isn’t. Since race is irrelevant to whether or not procreation is possible, the state is unjustified in passing antimiscegenation legislation. However, since gender is relevant to whether or not procreation is possible, the state is justified in limiting marriages to only between members of the opposite sex. Therefore, the state has a principled reason to exclude couples from entering into marital relationships on the basis of their gender.

4. Marriage is a Social Construction

If marriage is a social construction, then there cannot be said that there are rights associated with it. This actually undercuts the proponent's own argument. If my opponent affirms that homosexuals have a basic right to marry each other, then they cannot view marriage as a social construction. This is because social constructions have no normative structure to them, they are simply constructs that may be redefined at one's own whim. One therefore cannot be unjust in denying homosexuals the "right" to marry.

Conclusion

Based on the arguments presented, it is reasonable to suggest that marriage is exclusively heterosexual. The state therefore should not recognize same-sex "marriages." I now turn it over to my opponent.

___________

Sources

1. http://wisdomandfollyblog.com...

2. Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, “What is Marriage?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy34, no. 1 (Winter 2010): 251

3. Robert P. George, "Same-Sex Marriage and Moral Neutrality", in Francis J. Beckwith (ed), Do the Right Thing: Readings in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy (Wadsworth 2002) p.646-656

Debate Round No. 1
Kandrake

Con

1. Heterosexual union is the indispensable means by which humans come into existence and therefore has special social value (indeed, the greatest possible social value because it is the first precondition for society).


Heterosexual ‘sex' is the means by which ‘most' humans come into existence. Heterosexual sex is a separate entity than marriage. Why? Because marriage doesn't procreate. Marriage doesn't sexually reproduce offspring. Sex does. One does not have to be married to have heterosexual sex, or to propagate children. And consequently, just because a fertile heterosexual couple gets married, doesn't mean that they will have children. A lot of heterosexual couples purposely opt NOT to have children. Some people use artificial insemination. And even though you still need a sperm and an egg for the procedure to work, you don't need heterosexual sex, or ‘marriage' for artificial insemination to be successful.

So if biologically giving birth to children is not based, nor dependent upon a couple being married, then how can the natural ability of a couple to sexually reproduce offspring, and the qualifications of marriage, be mutually inseparable when it comes to establishing a rational guideline that decides who can and cannot get married? If heterosexual sex (which causes sexual reproduction), and marriage (which has nothing to do with the biological process of reproduction) are not symbiotic, then what ‘social value' is society meant to give to heterosexual unions, and not homosexual unions? What about homosexuals who biologically give birth to children (either through surrogacy or IVF)? Do they also get this special social value because they have brought new human life into the world?




2. The indispensable means by which something of special social value can occur itself has special value.


Your definition of ‘special social value' in this case, is the ability to biologically produce children. As I've shown above, reproduction is mutually exclusive and non-dependent upon marriage. And this debate is about what makes it imperative to keep marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, because marriage is independent of propagating children, what does your claims of ‘the special social value' of sexual reproduction, have to do with civil marriage?




3. What has special value to human society deserves special social recognition and sanction.


So you're saying that because fertile heterosexual couples can propagate children through sexual reproduction that they deserve to get special social recognition and sanctions for their opposite gender sexual acts? You make it seem as though heterosexuals are out having sex to valiantly fulfill their duty to mankind, when in all actuality they're probably just trying to ‘get laid' (which is a natural human need). If you really think about it, heterosexuals aren't doing anything special. They're simply having sex for the sole reasons of pleasure (most of the time), in which the female's body may conceive a child. There's nothing wrong with adhering to your nature, but what's the purpose of gloating about it, and having a pretentious attitude about an act that is a direct result from ‘your' natural inclinations? Are gays to forever be ridiculed and seen as inferior because they didn't happen to develop heterosexual hormones? I digress.

Again, marriage can neither be the special social recognition or sanction, because marriage is mutually exclusive from sexual reproduction. So that's the only logical conclusion that can be interpreted from your statement # 3. Also, if homosexual couples biologically give birth to children (through surrogacy or IVF), would that not also give them a ‘special social recognition and sanction' as well? After all, your argument is based on having the ability to bring new life into this world, and any fertile person can do that with either another human being through sex, or with another human being through science. Since the outcome is the same, why would the means be a point of contention?




4. Civil ordinances which recognize gay marriage as comparable to heterosexual marriage constitute a rejection of the special value of heterosexual unions.


So what you're saying is that allowing same sex couples to partake in civil marriage would be wrong, because then heterosexual couples would no longer be able to enjoy the sense of relationship superiority towards homosexual couples? A ‘superiority' which is inadvertently validated by the law through its non-compliance to same sex equality? That's the only conclusion I can come to because you haven't proven to me that allowing gays to get married will physically or legally impact the marriage of heterosexuals in any way. Forgetting for a second the fact that special marriage privileges should not be given to people based on reasons that have nothing to do with marriage: Barring same sex couples from being able to get married, simply so heterosexual couples can maintain a haughty attitude towards ‘lesser couples', is definitely not a rationally viable reason as to why marriage should stay between only a man and a woman.




5. To deny the special social value of what has special social value is unjust.


You mean like denying the fact that same sex couples also biologically give birth to children (just through different means), which makes them candidates for ‘special social value' according to your logic? Also do you feel that those who are capable of ‘adopting' the children that have been thrown away by their (presumably) heterosexual parents are also qualified for special social value? Or is it only special to give birth (regardless of whether a parent takes care of their child or not), while completely ignoring those who adopt and take care of other people's children?


6. Therefore, gay marriage is unjust.

But as I have shown repeatedly above, there is no correlation between the qualifications of marriage and the ‘special social value' of being able to propagate children through sexual reproduction. Not only because of the things that I've listed above, but because not even the state regulates heterosexual marriage based on whether they have children or not. Think about it. When fertile heterosexual couples choose not to have children, the government doesn't annul their marriage. And the government most certainly does not make sure that heterosexual couples are able to conceive offspring before they are allowed to acquire a marriage license. And even if you say that it doesn't matter if heterosexual couples have children or not because they still have sexual organs that were made for reproduction with each other (unlike homosexual couples), that doesn't change the fact that if the government really promoted marriage on the basis of biologically producing children, that their laws would seek to prohibit and forcefully divorce all heterosexual couples who couldn't have children, and or couples who refuse to reproduce while married. Your claims about the purpose of marriage, differs from the government's actual regulation policies towards it.

Conclusion

My opponent would have you believe that the perks of feeling sexually superior, is in fact a logical justification for keeping the definition of marriage as that between a man and a woman. Even though they have presented absolutely no proof that the inclusion of same sex couples within marriage, will in any way negatively or physically affect heterosexual marriages, their sexual reproductive capabilities, or their special value in society. I ask you, if the state doesn’t regulate marriage based on reproductive capabilities for heterosexuals, then on what rational grounds, should homosexuals be held to such standards? With the lack of marital procreation requirements and deadlines from the state, what else are we to conclude, but that the state doesn't actually regulate marriage for the sole or primary purpose of providing a safe environment, for the propagation and rearing of children?





Contradiction

Pro

I thank Con for her reply.

Her counter-argument seems to rely on one major contention which she invokes in each of her responses to me. To summarize in here own words: "[t]here is no correlation between the qualifications of marriage and the ‘special social value' of being able to propagate children through sexual reproduction." Another focal point of her argument is that, "just because a fertile heterosexual couple gets married, doesn't mean that they will have children" or some variant thereof.

We first need to note that the argument I am presenting against same-sex marriage is not based on notions of intent or desire. Rather, the argument is based on the nature of marriage, irrespective of what an individual's desire or intent to get married may be. For example, the purpose of a car is transportation, and it remains so even if everyone intends to use his car as a moving bomb or as a plow to mow down pedestrians. Moreover, it is still true even if transportation is logically distinguishable from cars. So, simply because people may get married for reasons other than procreation has no bearing on what marriage actually is for. Frank Beckwith writes:

"[T]he argument against same-sex marriage is based on the nature of human persons as beings with a gender who have a purpose derived from that nature... This argument is not based on a human persons's function, ability, or desire, which could each be inconsistent with how human persons ought to be by nature." [Emphasis mine] [1]

Consequently, Con's points about individuals getting married for reasons other than procreation are wholly irrelevant to this debate and are thus red herrings.

Con also misunderstands the connection between heterosexual sex and marriage. The argument I am presenting is that the state should afford special protection to the traditional conception of marriage because it is based on the idea of heterosexual union. Since the only way new citizens can be produced is by heterosexual means (ie: Sperm and an egg), a relationship which incorporates this understanding into its core ought to be protected by the state.

The difference between a marriage and say, a boyfriend/girlfriend having sex is that the former is a contractural agreement to the welfare of both partners and any children that may arise as a result of the relationship. The state does not regard the latter as a marriage because there are no contractural obligations involved. So the state bases its marriage law on more than just heterosexual union simpliciter. Since traditional marriage provides the environment necessary for both the production and raising of the state's future citizens, it should be afforded protection under the law. The fact that heterosexual sex is logically distinguishable from marriage by no means dampens this argument.

So it's not clear what Con's distinction between heterosexual sex and marriage as two different concepts is supposed to prove. I readily accept it, but there are no substantive implications to be drawn from this. After all, simply because murder is logically distinguishable from an unjustified shooting spree does not mean that the state does not have warrant to legislate against the former. What's relevant here is that traditional marriage should be protected because it incorporates into its definition the sole means through which society can flourish. The fact that there exist procedures such a IVF are more of less irrelevant due to the fact that they too rely on heterosexual reproduction.

Now, most of Con's response relies on that argument, so let I get repetititive, let me move on to some other points.

Elsewhere, she argues:

"Also, if homosexual couples biologically give birth to children (through surrogacy or IVF), would that not also give them a ‘special social recognition and sanction' as well?"

This completely misses the point of the argument. Artificial insemination is only possible due to the prior fact that male-female complementarity is required for procreation. As David Orland writes, "[h]omosexual 'families' of whatever type are always and necessarily parasitic [Emphasis mine] on heterosexual ones." [2] Far from constituting an argument against my position, this actually hurts Con's argument, for the act of procreation is always heterosexual in type. This notion is what Spiegel's argument is based on, as he writes:

"As for your point about the 'many' ways of making a child, all of the examples you give (and all that can be given) are heterosexual in nature. [Emphasis mine] In-vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, etc. all involve a male sperm fertilizing a female egg. This is sexual reproduction, and it is essentially heterosexual. The phrase “homosexual reproduction,” in fact, is a contradiction in terms." [Emphasis mine] [3]

Homosexuals can never reproduce because it is impossible by nature. Remember, the argument is about the means through which new citizens can be produced. What matters therefore is that the act is reproductive in type, not whether it is reproductive in effect.

Con writes,

"So what you're saying is that allowing same sex couples to partake in civil marriage would be wrong, because then heterosexual couples would no longer be able to enjoy the sense of relationship superiority towards homosexual couples?"

No, and that is a rather disegenious way of phrasing it. Rather, what I am saying is that it would be wrong to allow same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals because it would be detracting from its special social value as being based on the sole means through which society brings into existence and rears its future citizens. There is no "haughty attitude" present here. Con just seems to be making pejorative attacks toward the traditionalist position.

Con argues:

"Think about it. When fertile heterosexual couples choose not to have children, the government doesn't annul their marriage. And the government most certainly does not make sure that heterosexual couples are able to conceive offspring before they are allowed to acquire a marriage license."

This argument, and her subsequent response to an anticipated objection, are both off point. First, as I have already argued, marriage is based on acts that are reproductive in type, not acts that are reproductive in effect. The relevant principle, then, is based on the nature of the relationship, not the intent of those involved. As I noted in response to the sterility objection:

It may be objected that such reasoning prevents sterile heterosexual couples from marrying due to the fact that they are unable to procreate. But this objection fails to understand the argument. Marriage is not based on the ability of the individual couple to procreate, but on a type of relationship in which procreation is inherently possible to begin with. Males are meant for coupling with females, even if it does not result in procreation all of the time. By contrast, homosexual relationships are such that procreation is impossible in principle. Thus, such relationships cannot qualify as marriages. What matters is thus that an act is procreative in type, not whether it is procreative in effect.

Conclusion

Con's argues that because marriage is distinguishable from heterosexual sex that therefore traditional marriage does not have special social status. She also argues that individuals get married for a myriad of reasons other than procreation. As my responses demonstrate, however, these arguments fail to stand up to rational scrutiny. The state is accordingly justified in passing legislation to protect traditional marriage.

I now turn it over to my opponent.

Sources

1. Koukl and Beckwith, Relativism, p.123
2. http://www.boundless.org...
3. http://wisdomandfollyblog.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Kandrake

Con

My opponent would have you believe that the very nature of marriage has one primary function that is universally defined and understood, making it immune to change or redefinition. He says: “Rather, the argument is based on the nature of marriage, irrespective of what an individual's desire or intent to get married may be. For example, the purpose of a car is transportation, and it remains so even if everyone intends to use his car as a moving bomb or as a plow to mow down pedestrians.”

While at face value this comparison appears to make sense, it is actually based on a logical fallacy (of which is comparing apples and oranges). Why you ask? Because cars were created for the purpose of transportation, and its purpose is neither based on assumptions or conjectures, but rather the function of the car itself. Unlike with marriage whose definition and purpose is NOT defined by its function, because its function and purpose changes with each culture and time period that it resides in. For example, for some cultures, marriage is only between one man and one woman. However, for other cultures, marriage can be between any two consenting adults regardless of gender, or between one person and several other people. Some cultures promote marriage as a way for husbands to legally have access to ownership over their wife (or wives)/concubines, so that his children will ‘legitimately’ belong to him (think more of an Ancient type society, or modern tribal Muslim territories).

So the existence of different types of legal marriages negates the theory that there is one primary purpose, or function in which marriage can logically be defined by. Unlike with a car whose purpose can clearly, and empirically be defined by it’s primary function of transportation, marriage’s primary purpose and function solely depends upon the social constructs of the specific culture, and time period in which it exists. Rendering any definition, primary function, or purpose bestowed upon it as relative.

This argument is not based on a human persons's function, ability, or desire, which could each be inconsistent with how human persons ought to be by nature.

That’s the funny thing about nature; it IS how it ought to be. Human sexual orientation and its variants (heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, etc) exists how nature has determined it ought to exist. To assume that we can determine how human sexual orientation ought to be by nature, simply based on what type of sex organs a person has (and how it relates to sexual reproduction), is a gross misinterpretation and ignorance of the actual realistic properties of nature. We can look at nature, to see the realistic supply of diverse sexual orientations. Because we find homosexual orientated organisms in nature, we can then come to the conclusion that regardless of sex organs, or male/female dynamics, the natural existence of sexual orientation variants is something in itself dictated by nature as how it’s supposed to be. This doesn’t mean that just because something is in nature, that it automatically makes it natural for all species. But because of the existence of a homosexual inclination within human AND non-human mammal populations alike (in which homosexuality has been shown not to be a choice), it shows a logical and realistic application of the intentions of how human sexuality ought to be and how it was meant to be, as dictated by nature.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Consequently, Con's points about individuals getting married for reasons other than procreation are wholly irrelevant to this debate and are thus red herrings.

Pro claims that my arguments about there existing people who get married for other reasons besides procreation, and some even choosing not to have children (one of my central arguments that Pro neglected to mention), is irrelevant to this debate. He then goes on to say: “The argument I am presenting is that the state should afford special protection to the traditional conception of marriage because it is based on the idea of heterosexual union. Since the only way new citizens can be produced is by heterosexual means (ie: Sperm and an egg), a relationship which incorporates this understanding into its core ought to be protected by the state.”

If my opponent is saying that heterosexual marriages should be given special privilege because through their union children can be reproduced, then how can the counterpoint argument that there are not only heterosexual unions that CANNOT sexually reproduce children, but that WILL NOT sexually reproduce children, be irrelevant, when these childless and anti-children unions would also receive special privileges according to Pros argument? The truth is, it’s completely relevant, and it just so happens to contradict Pro’s illegitimate reasons against same sex marriage. Also, IVF and surrogacy is not characterized by a heterosexual ‘relationship’, and thus is not a logical reason for elevating heterosexual unions above all others in the eyes of the law. What Pro fails to understand is that no one is asking for the state not to protect heterosexual marriages. But there is no legitimate reason as to why homosexual marriages cannot also be equally protected by the State. A parent does not choose to protect one child more than the other. A parent protects all of their children equally. Likewise, the state does not need to choose to protect one group of its citizens more than the other, but can protect both equally (as our constitution calls for within the bounds of reason).

The difference between a marriage and say, a boyfriend/girlfriend having sex is that the former is a contractural agreement to the welfare of both partners and any children that may arise as a result of the relationship.

Let us pretend that we are in a court of law, and you are presenting this argument to the judge. Naturally, because you are making the claims the burden of proof is on you. If the Judge asks you “Based on what federal or state law that pertains to marital affairs, is a marriage license determined to be a contract whose purpose is to specifically protect the welfare of two partners, and any children that may arise from the relationship? And if marriage is the contractual agreement that protects the welfare of two partners and any children that may arise, then on what grounds should homosexual partners be denied from this contract, and denied their protection as a couple, and any protection of the children that may arise as a result of their relationship? And if gays should be denied this contract because they do not possess the predisposition to sexually reproduce with their partner of the same sex, based on what federal or state law, or even scientific law, does a couple need to have the core ability to procreate with their partner, in order for their marriage to be ‘legally’ validated?”


Since traditional marriage provides the environment necessary for both the production and raising of the state's future citizens, it should be afforded protection under the law.

The existence of different types of marriages throughout U.S history, and world history, negates the very notion of ‘traditional’ marriage. Marriage that consist of only one man and one woman, can never be traditional marriage if such practices as same sex marriage and polygamous marriage have existed for just as long. I agree that heterosexual marriage provides an environment for both reproduction and raising future citizens. However, I also agree that homosexual marriage provides an environment for both reproduction (through surrogacy and IVF) and raising future citizens. So logically if gay couples propagate/raise children, they should have access to full marriage rights.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.well.com...;(earliest same sex marriage practices in literature)


Vote Con today!

Contradiction

Pro

My thanks to Kandrake for participating in this debate. In closing, I want to ask the voters to vote based on their reading of the entire debate and the arguments given, and not on their perceived notions on how the debate must have gone. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Responses to Final Arguments

Con argues that the parallel I draw between the nature of marriage as procreation and the nature of cars as transportation fails because the purpose of the former is defined by its function, whereas the latter is a social construction that changes over time. Unfortunately, Con simply assumes that marriage is a social construction, without providing any argument that it is.

She argues "But look at the different views on marriage held by all sorts of cultures!" The perceptions of various cultures in regards to marriage may have changed over time, but one cannot conclude from that that therefore marriage itself lacks any rigid nature. After all, what people think of something has no bearing on what that something is. Throughout history, cultures have had different views of science, math, history, ethics, philosophy, etc... but the mere fact that the have differing views does not mean that therefore they have no fixed nature. Consequently, Con needs an actual argument to establish that marriage is a social construction.

Moreover, even if we assume for the sake of argument that marriage IS a social construction, then Con's argument STILL fails. Presumably, Con is defending the position that homosexuals have a right to marry. But rights are only based upon things which have an unchanging nature. For instance, the right to life becomes vacous if the term "life" is something that is constructed. Jason Dulle writes,

"One cannot have a fundamental right to some X if that X does not have an objective, fixed meaning. We have a fundamental right to life, but only because “life” has an objective meaning that cannot be changed. If the definition of “life” was always changing, we would be bereft of anything fundamental to which we could attach a right, yet alone a fundamental right. Likewise, for the right to marriage to be fundamental, marriage must be something fundamentally particular in nature. And if marriage is something fundamentally particular in nature, then it cannot be redefined to fit the desires of those who want to lay claim to the name and benefits of marriage, but are not willing to meet the requirements for marriage." [1]

So it is clear from the above points that (1) Con has not given an argument as to why marriage is a social construction, and that (2) even if marriage is a social construction, Con's argument still fails. It is thus a lose-lose scenario.

Con's Second Argument

Con's second argument ("That’s the funny thing about nature; it IS how it ought to be") is a gross and flagant example of the naturalistic fallacy. This fallacy is a very common mistake in ethical reasoning, and it is commited when someone bases an ethical conclusion from what is apparent in nature ("It's natural, therefore it must be moral").

Con argues that since homosexuality has been observed in nature, that therefore it is permissible. However, this conclusion does not follow. We cannot conclude from the fact that simply because something IS a certain way, that it OUGHT to be a certain way. Prescriptive permises cannot be inferred from merely descriptive premises. Otherwise, I might as well argue on the same lines that it is permissible for us to murder/lie/steal because that is natural amongst humans, or that we can eat our young because that is natural in the animal world.

Clearly, "natural" carries with it no moral significance. Simply because something is natural or unnatural has no bearing on its moral permissibility. But what then of my argument, doesn't it rest on the same fallacious reasoning?

No, for my argument rests on the notion of proper function, that is, what a thing is oriented to as its end goal. So we can infer that because hearts pump blood, that they ought to pump blood because that is their express purpose. A heat which pumps blood would thus be "good," while a malfunctioning heart would be "bad." Applied to sexuality, it becomes clear that acts which are reproductive in type are "good," while acts that are not reproductive in type are "bad."

Con then insists that her previous argument in regards to IVF and surrogacy is applicable. However, she doesn't respond to my counterarguments -- she only engages in hand-waving.

Once again, it doesn't matter whether or not all heterosexual marriages are procreative in effect, only that they are procreative in type. The charge regarding couples who will not and cannot procreate also neglect the fact that the argument is based on how marriage ought to be, and not on an individual's desire, intent, or function -- all of which may be contrary to how they should be by nature. Con's responses to the former point have all been found to be lacking (See above).

Of course, Con argues that homosexual couples can reproduce too by virtue of IVF/surrogacy. Unfortunately, she completely fails to respond to the point that these processes all work through heterosexual reproduction (The union of a sperm with an egg). Her response only dismissess this by mere assertion. Additionally, if we're going to grant homosexual couples the right to marriage based on artificial reproduction, then why not grant polygamous homosexual couples and incestious couples marriage rights based on the fact that they can reproduce artificially? There would be no need for genetic inference for incestious couples because the donors would be coming from outside of their immediate gene poll. So this argument, taken to its logical conclusions, can allow any type of union to marry. So it is therefore inadequate.

On Legal Precedent

Notice that Con's third argument fails to engage with my point. Rather, she just asks a battery of questions without making any positive claim of her own. She asks, "Based on what federal or state law that pertains to marital affairs, is a marriage license determined to be a contract whose purpose is to specifically protect the welfare of two partners, and any children that may arise from the relationship?"

The proper answer to this question is not found in law, but in judicial rulings on the meaning of marriage. So, Con seems to state that legal rulings should be based on stare decisis. In that case, my point is overwhelmingly proven, here are just a few legal cases:

Singer v. Hara: “marriage exists as a protected legal institution primarily because of societal values associated with the
propagation of the human race.”
Adams v. Howerton: “the state has a compelling interest in encouraging and fostering procreation."
Dean v. District of Columbia: procreation, the “central purpose...provides the kind of rational basis....permitting
limitation of marriage to heterosexual couples"
Zoglio v. Zoglio: “One of the primary purposes of matrimony is procreation."
Lyon v. Barney:
“[T]he procreating of the human species is regarded... as the primary purpose of
marriage."
Frost v. Frost: "
discussing one of the primary purposes of marriage, to wit, the procreation of the human species."
Grover v. Zook: “One of the most important functions of wedlock is the procreation of children"

I can name a dozen more, but I rest my case. Con then asks several other questions, to which my responses can be found in the previous paragraphs. On key point to remember is that the case for traditional marriage is based on acts that are procreative in type, even if they are not procreative in effect. Con continually neglects that important notino.

Conclusion

Con has marshalled an impressive argument for same-sex marriage. However, for reasons I have pointed out in my arguments, they are most certainly mistaken. Most importantly, Con ignores the fact that the argument is based on acts that are reproductive in type, not whether they are reproductive in effect.

Sources

1. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustaWriter 6 years ago
JustaWriter
I've not been here long but I must say, these are the most civil debates I've ever seen. It's a breath of fresh air! I'm going to have to make the adjustment from supporting my views to reviewing the skills of the debaters. The structure used here is perfect for fostering independent, critical thought on matters making it easier to see another's point of view.
Posted by BruteApologia 6 years ago
BruteApologia
socialpinko, why do people like you think that saying something is bigoted is a rational argument? It is nothing more than an ad hominem and if you had at least some respect for constructive criticism then you would at the least point to areas that you thought Con was stronger on.

@Kandrake

I have to say, you provided an impressive argument. Not to mention that it is surprising to see a competent YT debator because they are rare to come by there. If I were to note your strengths, I would point to the fact that you attempted to distinguish between marriage, sex and procreation. On the other hand, I think you could've condensed your argument. I think you should've chose some more readable text and avoid quoting your opponent on each point if possible. It's not necessary since you didn't seem to be flisking but it could give you some more characters.

I personally think that Pro provided a decisive self-refuting trap for you at the end. In some sense I am biased because I am friends with Pro and agree with his arguments. Nonetheless, I thought this was a good debate and I wish it was longer.
Posted by Kandrake 6 years ago
Kandrake
socialpinko, this was my first debate on this website. I'm normally used to debating on youtube, which is why my format was a bit 'amateur'. Thanks for the comments and constructive criticism though.
Posted by Contradiction 6 years ago
Contradiction
No problem. Though I think 8,000 is the max for this website.
Posted by Kandrake 6 years ago
Kandrake
Contradiction, thanks for the debate. I apologize for the limited length of word characters though. I'm not sure if you can go beyond 8,000 characters, but next time I set up a debate, I'll make sure to deepen the length.
Posted by Contradiction 6 years ago
Contradiction
.......

Okay then, I have no idea how you could have reached that conclusion. Though, mind telling me what exactly is wrong about them instead of saying "I feel that they're wrong"?
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
And I saw your responses, I just think they were weak and unconvincing from an argumentative standpoint.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
Legal precedent means nothing. This was not a policy debate, but an LD style debate.
Posted by Contradiction 6 years ago
Contradiction
What about my responses to that? I argued that Con had confused the argument, which takes into account (1) the nature of marriage, not how individuals desire it to be, (2) acts that are reproductive in type, not effect, and (3) the contractual nature of marriage.

Not to mention the fact that I cited overwhelming legal precedent.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
His refutations of points 1, 5 and 6 I think were the best. Though I think really any debater could take them down.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made very good arguments for a hard position to argue for such as making a well thought out procreation argument. He also posted sources to back up his claims. Also Con began writing too small and then too big which strained my eyes, it annoyed me. I also don't think socialpinko voted fairly as he listed no specific reason why he voted other than he thought Pro's arguments were bigoted. Whether or not Pro argued for a bigoted position is irrelevant, he argued better than Con.
Vote Placed by KnowItAll 6 years ago
KnowItAll
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Reasons for voting decision: Have to agree with Con in this debate. Pro's argument equtes to the theoligical argument of God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Just because married people can procreate and choose not to makes the relationship superior? I don't buy the line of reasoning.
Vote Placed by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
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Reasons for voting decision: Why do people choose to dress up bigoted Votes as something ethical? Beyond that the pro-creation argument won me over. Since Homosexual couples are not able to achieve all that heterosexual couples can, their marriages cannot be equal. Con also loses conduct points for the huge text in the final round, I don't need the text to be so big to get the point.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
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Reasons for voting decision: Why do people choose to dress up bigoted arguments as something rational?