The Instigator
HermanGomez95
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Marriage Equality: There is no sufficient argument to deny homosexuals the right to marry.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 606 times Debate No: 76869
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
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HermanGomez95

Pro

Thanks to KeytarHero for allowing us to restart this debate with a greater clarification of rules and characters.
This debate will analyze reasons for and against homosexuals and their right to marry. The argument is structured with the understanding that there are no sufficient reasons to deny homosexuals the right to marry. (This means con had the BoP) There will be 5 Rounds with Round 1 being used for definition and rule clarifications.

Round 1: Challenge Acceptance and Clarifications
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Rebuttal
Round 5: Final Rebuttal and Closing Statements.

LET"S KEEP THIS CIVIL, BUT IMPASSIONED.

Definitions
Marriage: A monogamous union between two consenting individuals that is recognized under constitutional law.
Constitutional Law: rights afforded to every American Citizen in the Constitution and all it"s amendments.

Rules:
No forfeiting
No profanity or hate speech
No hearsay arguments
Any sources quoted must be sited.

If my opponent agrees to these terms, we shall begin our opening arguments in Round 2.
KeytarHero

Con

I agree to the terms of the rules. However, I would like to contest Pro's definition of marriage.

The definition of marriage I will be arguing for is known as the conjugal view of marriage, which is that marriage is a comprehensive union between husband and wife with a special link to children. [1]

Part of my argument will show how Pro's definition for marriage is inadequate and my definition is to be preferred.

A couple more definitions to parse out.

Revisionist View: This is how I will describe Pro's definition of marriage. There is a modern attempt to re-define the traditional understanding of marriage, which is the definition I will be defending. I do not mean "revisionist" in a pejorative sense, just in the sense that Pro is arguing for a position that the definition of marriage is malleable and we can change it at will or when society decides we ought to change it.

Natural Marriage: I will be arguing that marriage has an actual definition. I do not mean "natural" in the sense that it occurs in nature, but that marriage does have certain necessary features by its nature (in the same way that human beings have a nature).

moral/right: There are at least two different senses of the terms "right" and "moral": the legal sense and the moral sense. What is legal is not always moral (e.g. slavery), and what is moral is not always legal (e.g. feeding the homeless in certain parts of our country). Same-sex marriage is obviously legal now in most places in our country, which means it is currently a legal right in those places. It would be fallacious to argue that because of this fact, it is moral. However, throughout the course of this debate, when I speak of whether or not we have a right to do something, I am speaking exclusively in the moral sense, unless otherwise stated.

That should be everything. I await Pro's opening argument.

[1] This is the definition that Ryan T. Anderson, Robert P. George, and Christopher Tollefsen use in their book What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.
Debate Round No. 1
HermanGomez95

Pro

I've agreed to allow my opponent's definition of marriage under the assumption that I can refute them with other sources in my arguments. I've also agreed to all other definitions posted in his first argument.
With all formalities aside, let's enjoy a nice, intellectual debate!

Debate Introduction:
With the forthcoming decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the debate over marriage equality has never been more pertinent. However, upon reviewing the transcripts of the oral arguments, I came to the conclusion that not only did the defendants fail to address the questions asked in the brief, they also failed to provide a sufficient reason explaining why homosexuals should not have the right to marry.

It is my intention to challenge any argument submitted against marriage equality, proving there is no sufficient reason for the government (and the Supreme Court) to deny the national legalization of gay marriage.

Since my opponent has the burden of proof, I shall waive any arguments I have for this round with the understanding that my opponent will waive his final rebuttal. In effect, the way the arguments will be structured are as followed:

Round 1: (Already completed)
Round 2: Pro (Me): Waives argument. Con (KeytarHero): Opening Arguments
Round 3: Pro: Opening Arguments. Con: Rebuttal
Round 4: Pro: Rebuttal. Con: Final Rebuttal and Closing Arguments
Round 5: Pro: Final Rebuttal and Closing Arguments. Con: Waives argument.

If my opponent finds this satisfactory, let him make his opening argument.
KeytarHero

Con

Thank you to Pro for creating this debate.

The marriage debate isn't really about equality at all. Without same-sex marriage legal, homosexuals have the same rights everyone else does -- the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Homosexuals are not discriminated against. A homosexual man can marry a homosexual woman. But in order to determine whether or not homosexuals can rightfully marry someone of the same sex, we have to first answer the question: what is marriage?

I will first respond to Pro's definition, to show that it is inadequate, then present my own definition.

Pro's Definition

1) Pro defines marriage as "a monogamous union between two consenting adults that is recognized under constitutional law." However, whether something is recognized by constitutional law or not does not determine whether it is right. Americans once had the legal right to own slaves, but they did not have the moral right. Since the debate is about whether or not constitutional law ought to recognize same-sex relationships, his definition is ultimately circular. It would be like me describing a circus performer as someone who performs at the circus.

However, his definition is unsatisfactory for a few other reasons.

If marriage is something malleable, whose definition is up to the people, then there is no reason to accept Pro's definition. I will argue below that marriage is about children. If marriage is not about children, then:

2) There is no principled reason why marriage ought to be monogamous, and one can certainly have a monogamous relationship without the marriage license.

3) There is no principled reason why plural marriages or incestuous marriages should not be allowed.

4) Also, Pro's definition leaves open the possibility that nonsexual unions could count as marriages. If a man and woman in a platonic relationship wants to get married, what is stopping them?

Pro's definition of marriage could apply to a number of different things. However, his definition doesn't explain what it is about marriage that makes it a unique relationship. Only the conjugal view of marriage can do that. Pro's definition of marriage should be rejected for the four reasons outlined above.

The Conjugal View of marriage

What is Marriage?
1) In order to discover who can be married, we have to discover what marriage is. Marriage is not something malleable, that we can change. Marriage is an objective thing with a true definition. Marriage is a comprehensive union between man and wife with a special link to children. Throughout all of human history, even in homosexuality-celebrating cultures, marriage has *always* been seen as being about the natural possibility of children. The only relationship that produces children is this relationship. Indeed, this is the only relationship in which having children actually *enhances*, rather than hindering, the relationship.

Why is marriage a comprehensive union? In their book, What is Marriage?, Girgis, Anderson, and George give us at least three reasons what it means that the marriage relationship is comprehensive:

1) It unites the couple in both mind and body. Unlike friendship, marriage unites two people in all their basic dimensions.

2) It unites them with respect to family life, procreation, and its broad domestic sharing.

3) It unites them permanently and exclusively. [1]

Sex unites the couple comprehensively because their two bodies become like one, united in the act of procreation, as all of the organs of your body are united to work together for the good of your body. The difference between your bodily organs and procreation is that you can't procreate alone; you need a second person of the opposite sex to complete the act.

2) Society has no vested interest in promoting same-sex marriage. It does have an interest in promoting opposite-sex marriage because these are the relationships that produce children, and a low-stress marriage with a mother and father is the best situation in which children can be raised to be productive members of society, replacing those who are too old to work or dying off.

3) The only reason that marriage should be seen as permanent and exclusive (monogamous) is because of this possibility for the production of children, which is only present when the man and woman engage in sex.
I was once on the fence about same-sex marriage. My reason for opposing it now is because I discovered that the revisionists have no argument for why we should allow same-sex marriage. The only people with an argument are those supporting natural marriage. The same-sex marriage supporters rely on demonizing the opposition to support their case. The conjugal view of marriage should be accepted for the reasons I outlined above.

[1] Girgis, Anderson, and George, What is Marriage?, chapter two.
Debate Round No. 2
HermanGomez95

Pro


In my opponents opening arguments, he made several false declarations, including:


1. Marriage is not malleable


2. Marriage is a comprehensive union between man and wife with a special link to children.


3. Society has no vested interest in promoting same-sex marriage.


4. The only reason that marriage should be seen as permanent and exclusive (monogamous) is because of the possibility for the production of children, which is only present when the man and woman engage in sex.


There are more irrational statements, but for the sake of characters I shall face them after I take down the big four.


1.) Marriage is not malleable. This is inherently false because not only has society’s viewpoints of marriage changed, but because the legal standards for marriage have changed as well.


Firstly, there’s the original, misogynistic perspective of marriage as a union between a dominant man and a submissive female. However, for many years it was the standard viewpoint for marriage. In some countries, it is still the viewpoint for marriage, and this outrages us, as a nation. This viewpoint is now largely frowned upon and considered sexist and prejudicial. Justice Ginsburg once said, “Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition. Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female. That ended as a result of this court's decision in 1982, when Louisiana's Head and Master Rule was struck down. Would that be a choice that state should be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?"


Secondly, there’s the expansion of marriage standards with the legalization of interracial marriage. At one point, in the United States, it was considered just as unusual and just as futile for a man and woman of different races to be wed. Now, America is often describes as a melting pot for diversity, which includes a grand union of thousands upon thousands of interracial marriages. I, myself, come from an interracial marriage.


Sources supporting my assertion that marriage is, indeed, malleable including the staff from TheWeek.com, who state, “Actually, the institution has been in a process of constant evolution. Pair-bonding began in the Stone Age as a way of organizing and controlling sexual conduct and providing a stable structure for child-rearing and the tasks of daily life. But that basic concept has taken many forms across different cultures and eras.” They go on to quote Steven Mintz, a history professor at Columbia University, “Whenever people talk about traditional marriage or traditional families, historians throw up their hands.” [1]


2.) Marriage is a comprehensive union between man and wife with a special link to children.


This is where my opponent leaves himself open for the usual rebuttal: Infertility. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov), "About 6% of married women 15-44 years of age in the United States are unable to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex". [2]


If marriage is constructed based on the ability to procreate, it should only be available to fertile couples. Having read a similar argument in the Obergefell v. Hodges transcripts, I can't resist quoting Justice Ginsburg"s question: "Suppose a couple, 70-year-old couple, comes in and they want to get married? You don't have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children." Furthermore, my opponent has failed to address the series of couples who do not wish to have children. Due to carrier aspirations and personal beliefs in their own paternal status, several married couples have conceded they shan’t have children. Should their marriages be revoked because they are not fulfilling my opponents idea of marriage.


Using one source to support his case for marriages “true” definition, my opponent has proven that his definition is opinionative and NOT factual. This leaves me open to the assertion that my definition is also opinionative and not factual. This is true. As with my opponent, I can find several justifications supporting my definition, including an article in the Huffington Post which states, “The meaning of sexual reproduction among higher organisms therefore through mutual desire and love brings into being a greater range of meaning and significance than the singular, instinctual purpose of propagation, but rather the same mystery that unites Christ to his bride, the Church, which is LOVE.” [3]


However, I will argue that my definition of marriage is far closer to the definition of marriage found in Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which is:


- The relationship that exists between a husband and a wife


- A similar relationship between people of the same sex


- A ceremony in which TWO people are married to each other [4]


Nowhere does it mention the necessity of children.


3.) Society has no vested interest in promoting same-sex marriage. Another false assertion.


1. Firstly, the denial of marriage equality is MORALLY wrong. As mentioned in my own opinion piece, The Homosexual Agenda, “It’s important to understand that anyone who condones any violations of someone’s basic human rights is condoning bigotry.” [5] Supporting my assertion is GayMarriage.ProCon.org, which openly states, “Denying some people the option to marry is discriminatory and creates a second class of citizens.” [6] Beyond articles, there’s the mere fact that 37 states have had their marriage bans struck down with the ruling that they are discriminatory.


My opponent argues that homosexuals are not discriminated against only because he will never be a target of that discrimination. His argument, as per usual, is opinionative.


However, in this case, his opinion is nowhere need popular. Consider the massive backlash when Indiana passed their religious freedom protection laws. Countless people, including celebrities, politicians, and the common American Citizen, viewed this as discrimination. So, when my opponent asserts that homosexuals are not discriminated against, he is actually fighting a losing battle.


2. Morality aside, Gay Marriage does benefit society in an economic sense. According to GayMarriage.ProCon.org, "Gay marriages can bring financial gain to federal, state, and local governments. Government revenue from marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes in some circumstances and decreases in costs for state benefit programs."


Using additional sources, the site goes on to further state:


“In July 2012 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that gay marriage had contributed $259 million to the city's economy since the practice became legal there in July 2011. In 2012, the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) found that in the first five years after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, same-sex wedding expenditures (such as venue rental, wedding cakes, etc.) added $111 million to the state's economy.” [6]


4.) The only reason that marriage should be seen as permanent and exclusive (monogamous) is because of the possibility for the production of children, which is only present when the man and woman engage in sex.


The absence of logic in this assertion astounds me. Firstly, the assertion of permanence and exclusivity is refuted by the concepts of divorce and adultery. Secondly, my opponent has only mentioned one of the many ways modern couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, can procure a child. With adoption and artificial insemination, it is very possible for homosexual couples to have children and reap in the “permanency and exclusivity” of it. In addition, the infertility argument still stands against my opponent.


Lastly, I’d like to quickly refute a few comments my opponent erroneously made.


1. “The marriage debate isn't really about equality at all.” FALSE. Until my opponent experiences discrimination in the form of his love for his partner being denied to be legally recognized under constitutional law, my opponent cannot say equality has nothing to do with it.


2. “There is no principled reason why marriage ought to be monogamous, and one can certainly have a monogamous relationship without the marriage license.” This is still happens when marriage is recognized as the sole focus of children. A man with multiple wives still has the recourses to procreate.


3. “There is no principled reason why plural marriages or incestuous marriages should not be allowed.” FALSE. Unlike gay marriage, incestuous and plural marriages are not supported or condoned by the majority of the nation’s citizens. Also, again, incestuous and plural marriages still have the recourses to procreate.


4. “Indeed, this is the only relationship in which having children actually *enhances*, rather than hindering, the relationship.” Where is the logic in this assertion? Not only does my opponent have no evidence that homosexual’s having children hinders their relationship, he cannot possibly believe that every heterosexual couple who have children enhance their marriage. With divorce and postpartum depression, there is no sufficient evidence that having children does not hinder a couple’s relationship.


5. “Sex unites the couple comprehensively because their two bodies become like one, united in the act of procreation…” While poetic, this assertion makes the mistake of assuming that sexual congress between married couples is always carried out with the intent of procreation. My earlier argument about couples who do not want children refutes this.


While I have much more to say, characters forbid me to continue.


Citations:


[1] http://theweek.com...


[2] http://www.cdc.gov...


[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...


[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


[5] http://hermangomez.weebly.com...


[6] http://gaymarriage.procon.org...


KeytarHero

Con

Pro made a false accusation regarding my statements, that they are irrational. I gave supporting reasons for my arguments, so they are not irrational. Let's have a little intellectual integrity, please. Additionally, as Pro made numerous logical fallacies in his arguments, I don't feel he's qualified to talk about my alleged "lack of logic."

Pro did not respond to my argument about his definition being circular and therefore useless, so I push that argument forward into the next round.

Pro's Argument

1) Pro tries to assert that marriage is malleable, but he certainly hasn't proven this. Society's viewpoints on marriage haven't change, and Pro hasn't shown how they have. How is pair bonding in any sense like marriage? Pro didn't tell us. We are social creatures. One can pair bond with an animal as well as with a human. Bonding with someone doesn't make them married.

His argument regaridng dominant male/submissive female misses the point. This type of marriage was still between a man and a woman. Regarding one as dominant and the other submissive is not an alternative view of marriage.

His argument regarding interracial marriage likewise misses the point. Interracial marriages were still seen as marriages, because they were between a man and a woman. Interracial marriages were forbidden for racist reasons, because they didn't want the races to mix. [1]

2) Pro's response to the monogamy objection is not a response at all. The reason that we require monogamy and permanence is because there are children involved. If a couple cannot reproduce children, there is absolutely no reason to expect monogamy and permanence in the relationship. The fact that some couples aren't monogamous or permanent is not a refutation of this argument. If anything, it's an argument that those couples (save those who divorce for legitimate reasons) are not performing their duties as parents/spouses.

3) Pro's response to the plural/incestuous marriage argument is logically fallacious: the argument from popular opinion. It was popular opinion in Nazi, Germany that Jews should be killed. That obviously didn't make it correct. The majority could be wrong.

To sum up: Pro ignored one of my arguments (that his definition is circular), and his response to my other three arguments against his definition don't succeed. They either miss the point of the argument entirely or are logically fallacious.

My argument:

1) Regarding marriage being a comprehensive union with a special link to children: Infertility is the usual response to this kind of argument, but again, it misses the point. Having children is not a necessary condition for marriage. A couple that has sex but doesn't procreate is not avoiding their responsibilities as a married couple, because the potential for procreation is the necessary condition for a marriage (there is no point to a marriage if there is not the potential for children).

The difference between an infertile couple and a homosexual couple is that the homosexual couple cannot reproduce by the very nature of their relationship. Conversely, the infertile couple's relationship is still of the procreative type -- the problem is that their procreative capacity is blocked by an external issue. We recognize infertility as a deprivation of the sexual union, which is why scientists are trying to develop fertility drugs and reproductive technologies to get around this issue. Human beings are the kind of entities that have two legs, but a human who loses one or both legs doesn't cease being human. Similarly, a heterosexual couple who is infertile is still of the procreative type, even if they can't presently exercise their procreative capacity. And as Maggie Gallagher points out, for hundreds of years in common law, infertility has never been seen as reasons to nullify a marriage, but lack of ability to perform coitus (the male-female sexual act) has. [2]

Pro chides me for only using one source, but this raises a question: how many sources must I cite before a fact becomes true? It may have been one book, but it was written by three legal scholars. Additionally, if he wishes another source, my definition of marriage (that it has always been seen as intrinsically linked to procreation through all of human history) was not lost on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that recently upheld a same-sex marriage ban, which stated: "A dose of humility makes us hesitant to condemn as unconstitutionally irrational a view of marriage shared not long ago by every society in the world, shared by most, if not all, of our ancestors, and shared still today by a significant number of the states." [3]

So my definition is not merely opinionative, but it is normative, shared by virtually all societies through human history. Pro's definition is merely opinionative, and I see no reason to accept it (especially since it is a circular definition). It is interesting that Pro brings up the mystery of Christ's love. You'll notice that Pro was the one who brought religion into the discussion, even though my position is usually dismissed as the religious one. However, it is also significant that same-sex marriage is not supported in Scripture, and whenever marriage analogies are used for Christ, it is always in a heterosexual context: Christ is the bridegroom, and the Church is the bride.

Pro's reference to the dictionary is not convincing at all. Language evolves. The reason that children would not be in the modern dictionary's definition of marriage is because this is the way people are using these terms now. However, just because language evolves, it doesn't follow that the concept of marriage evolves (which makes a non sequitur).

2) Regarding society's vested interest: No one is denying a homosexual's basic right to marry. They have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex and will not be discriminated against. However, no one has the right to marry just anyone they fall in love with, and this includes someone of the same sex. Calling it bigotry is just a meaningless ad hominem attack, since I have used reason to support my arguments. So this argument should be dismissed.

His claim that my argument doesn't discriminate against homosexuals is opinionative should also be dismissed as a useless argument. All of our arguments are opinionative. The difference is I have supported my arguments, so my opinions should be accepted. His argument that I am fighting a losing battle should also be dismissed, as it is another logically fallacious appeal to popular opinion.

In Pro's argument that same-sex marriages can benefit societies financially, this is simply a question-begging argument. All Pro has done is shown why marriages are a benefit to society. He has not shown why allowing same-sex marriages, specifically, are a benefit to society. Pro's argument works equally well to show why plural marriages and incestuous marriages can benefit society, but from the sound of Pro's argument he would not argue that those types of marriages should be supported.

3) Regarding my argument for the reasons marriage is permanent and exclusive: Divorce and adultery do not refute my argument. In fact, I believe that both of these are wrong and that no-fault divorce has done much to damage to institution already. But the solution is to fix the problem, not make it worse by allowing same-sex marriage.

Pro's argument from reproductive technologies again misses the point. First, there are moral issues regarding many reproductive technologies that are outside the scope of this debate to discuss. Secondly, homosexual couples by nature cannot reproduce; heterosexual couples can and usually do. This is why marriage is necessary, because the sexual act needs to be regulated due to this possibility for producing children by the nature of the sexual act. There is nothing wrong with sex, but the fact that sex produces children means that there needs to be a stable environment in place for which to raise any children that come about.

4) Pro's response to the debate not being about equality is simply question-begging. I have faced discrimination before. Not all discrimination is bad. If one cannot rightly marry someone of the same sex, then it is not bad discrimination not to allow them to marry. It's just the reality of the situation.

5) Pro's response regarding having children enhancing a relationship has missed the point. There are many types of relationships: friendship, marriage, immediate family, car dealer/buyer, etc. In only one relationship does having children enhance, and no hinder, a relationship. That's in the context of marriage.

6) Pro's argument regarding the comprehensiveness of marriage also misses the point. In the same way all of the organs of your body work together comprehensively toward the good of your body to keep it running, healthy, alive, etc., so the sex act makes the man and woman literally one body in the act of procreation. This is not mere poetics: it is the biological reality that two people are needed in the procreative act. A person cannot procreate by him-/herself.

To sum up, Pro's responses to my argument do not succeed because they are either logically fallacious or miss the point of the argument.

[1] This is from a liberal source: http://www.slate.com...
[2] John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher, Debating Same-Sex Marriage, p. 257, n. 3.
[3] http://winteryknight.com...
Debate Round No. 3
HermanGomez95

Pro


Apologies to Con if my irrationality comments offended. That was never the intention. I tend to get quite passionate when dealing with issues I hold in high esteem. I’ll try to be less aggressive this round. Secondly, thanks to Con for a very well-structured rebuttal. You’re certainly making me work for this.


I’ll concede that I did not respond to the allegations that my argument is circular. Due to characters swiftly running out, I had to choose my battles. But, now I will address it: My definition was formulated under the understanding that I did not have the BoP. Remember, the argument is not about whether or not constitutional law ought to recognize same-sex relationships. That would be shared BoP. The argument is there is no sufficient argument to deny homosexuals the right to marry. Making it my opponent’s job to provide evidence that the assertion is false. My definition of marriage asserts that marriage, in America, is a constitutional right. Since we are not arguing whether constitutional law ought to recognize same-sex relationships, my argument is not circular.


1.) In response to con’s assertion that I failed in proving that society’s viewpoints on marriage have change, I refer to my two arguments of dominant/submissively and interracial marriage. While Con argues that these arguments are wrong because the marriages are still between male and female, I will quote Con in saying he, too, missed the point. The fact is, at one point, society viewed marriage as the man in charge of the woman. Now it doesn’t. At another point, society viewed marriage as a union between a male and female of the same race. Now it doesn’t. Furthermore, if Con is arguing that society’s viewpoints of marriage have not changed, then why is it that more people condone same-sex marriage now than ever before? Con will undoubtedly argue that I’m committing argumentum ad populum, but I’d like to assert that he is inadvertently doing the same thing in his rebuttal, stating that society’s viewpoints have not changed. Furthermore, if we’re both committing this fallacy, at lease I managed to provide evidence to support my opinion in this case. (I will address the other fallacy claims later) Where is his proof that society still views marriage as a union linked to procreation?


Addressing his pair bonding, I’ll concede that my quote from the sauce was misguiding. Had Con actually read the full article, he’d have seen comments including the following:


“The idea of marriage as a sexually exclusive, romantic union between one man and one woman is a relatively recent development. Until two centuries ago, said Harvard historian Nancy Cott, "monogamous households were a tiny, tiny portion" of the world population, found in "just Western Europe and little settlements in North America."


Which makes far more sense than the pair bonding quotation I placed earlier. So, apologies for the confusion.


2.) Responding to Con’s comments on my monogamy objection, I ask that Con, owning the BoP, provide evidence for his assertion: If a couple cannot reproduce children, there is absolutely no reason to expect monogamy and permanence in the relationship. Show me why we shouldn’t expect permanence. Furthermore, Con has missed the point of the argument, which is that men with multiple wives can still produce and raise children. Therefore, his link to children requiring monogamy and permanence is mistaken. He goes on to state, “If anything, it's an argument that those couples (save those who divorce for legitimate reasons) are not performing their duties as parents/spouses.” I’d argue that he is also committing the argumentum ad populum by relying on popular opinion to define parenteral/spousal duties.


3.) I concede to Con’s logically fallacious allegations. However, con failed, yet again, to address the fact that incestuous marriages can still occur with his definition of marriage.


Now to respond to Con’s secondary arguments:


1.) I’d like to reassert the argument about a 70 year old couple. Secondly, I’d like to use one of Con’s sources as evidence against his definition of marriage. In Con’s first source provided in the previous round, William Saletan states the following:


“The procreation argument focuses too much on sex and too little on love and commitment.”


“The argument has plenty of problems. We let old people marry. We let infertile people marry. We don’t insist that married couples produce kids. We welcome adoption and stepfamilies. Gay couples can have kids using donated eggs or sperm. Many gay people are already raising children, and doing it just as well as straight people.” [1]


“Pro chides me for only using one source, but this raises a question: how many sources must I cite before a fact becomes true”. I apologize for doing so. I was merely pointing out that one source written by three scholars is not necessarily sufficient evidence supporting your claim, of which you’ve responded to.


“So my definition is not merely opinionative, but it is normative, shared by virtually all societies through human history.” argumentum ad populum. However, I’ll concede that my earlier refutation was also argumentum ad populum. I’d also like to comment that my “Christ’s love” quotation had nothing to do with the Bible’s support (or lack thereof) for marriage equality. It was using the Bible to refute the assertion that the definition of marriage is linked to children. So Con has missed the point.


“Just because language evolves, it doesn't follow that the concept of marriage evolves (which makes a non sequitur).” My reference to the dictionary continues to assert the fact that the VIEWPOINT of marriage HAS evolved!


2.) “However, no one has the right to marry just anyone they fall in love with, and this includes someone of the same sex.” This is a question and not an attack: Are you implying that love does not have to do with marriage. Procreation can occur outside of love. So if procreation is the means for marriage, what’s to stop two opposite sex people, who share not feelings of love for each other, from getting married. Refer back to my earlier quote about the argument being too focused on sex.


My opponent is correct in stating that all are arguments are opinionative. And, to provide evidence for my discrimination assertion, let me return to Con’s fascinating article, which quotes the following:


“From the discriminator’s standpoint, opposing same-sex marriage is more defensible. At the same time, from the target’s standpoint, it’s more oppressive.’


“Why not consider the perspective of the person targeted by the discrimination? From the perspective of a would-be spouse, being denied the right to same-sex marriage can be, in some ways, worse. If you’re attracted to someone of another race, and the law won’t let you marry anyone of that race, you can find someone of your own race to marry. You shouldn’t have to do that, but you can. But if you’re exclusively attracted to people of your own sex, and the law forbids you to marry such a person, then everything conservatives praise about marriage—the sharing, the happiness, the fulfillment, the solemnity, the respect—is denied to you.”



3.) For reasons of civility and morality, I won’t address my opponents “But the solution is to fix the problem, not make it worse by allowing same-sex marriage.”


“First, there are moral issues regarding many reproductive technologies that are outside the scope of this debate to discuss.” If my opponent is taking this stance, I ask that he do so in full and not only to the and recant his later statement about: “scientists are trying to develop fertility drugs and reproductive technologies to get around this issue.”


4.) “I have faced discrimination before. Not all discrimination is bad.” This argument should be dismissed because it’s hearsay and makes the formal anecdotal fallacy. Secondly, for moral reasons, I ask Con to give me examples of good discrimination.


5.) “In only one relationship does having children enhance, and no (I think he means not) hinder, a relationship. That's in the context of marriage.” If that is so, then the augment can be used in favor of homosexual parents. Since this rebuttal does not include the necessity that the child’s parents be his biological ones.


6.) Once more I’d like to assert that Con’s argument, in my opinion, diminishes the understanding of marriage by constantly neglecting love in favor of the mere concept of sex.


To sum up, Con’s rebuttal accuses me of making numerous fallacies. While I’ll concede to making argumentum ad populum, I’d like to assert that Con has also made numerous fallacies, including the formal anecdotal fallacy.


Thanks to my opponent for some strong arguments! This is becoming quite fun. I’d like to remind my opponent that the next round is his last rebuttal round and that he should conclude with his final statements.


[1]http://www.slate.com...


KeytarHero

Con

Thanks again to Pro for institute this debate. I hope those reading and voting have found it as interesting as we have. I understand that this can be a contentious issue, and it's certainly not my intention to insult Pro or anyone reading. But discussing these issues in the marketplace of ideas can be difficult, and it can often make us seem cold and distant. That's the difficulty with philosophical debate.

I would like to point out that as this is my final chance to argue, if Pro brings up any new arguments next round, they should be ignored since I won't have a chance to respond (especially since I have the BoP). Pro should use the next round only to respond to what I say in this round.

Pro's argument:

I understand that Pro does not have the BoP here. As such, then, we should ignore his definition and use mine. As I am the one with the BoP, I should be the one to define marriage so that I'm not stuck trying to argue for a definition of marriage that I don't accept.

1) Once again, I'll point out that dominant/submissive and interracial marriage don't show that society's viewpoints on marriage have changed. Society (ours and others) have always seen marriage as between a man and a woman. Dom/sub and interracial marriages don't disprove this point. Marriages also used to be arranged. The concept of marrying for love is a relatively new concept. But again, this doesn't show that society's view of what marriage is has changed. People used to barter for food with services; now we use money. This doesn't mean our concept of food has changed, only that our method of obtaining it has changed. Pro's question of my proof regarding society still viewing marriage as a union linked to procreation is an illegitimate question. Whether or not society recognizes marriage, that's irrelevant to what marriage actually is. If society doesn't recognize marriage for what it is, then society is in error. However, I gave quotes from a book and the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to show how marriage has always been understood. Contrary to Pro's assertion, I am not making an appeal to popular opinion fallacy. My argument is not that marriage is between a man and a woman because society has always seen it that way. My argument is that this is not a new definition of marriage because society has always seen it that way. This is not a conservative re-definition of marriage. I gave supporting arguments for my definition apart from how societies have traditionally understood marriage.

2) I apologize for not reading the article. I would just like to point out that the portion Pro quoted was what is important. The source is only to back up what Pro argued. If Pro wanted to use a different portion in his argument, he should have quoted it. Again, one can pair bond with an animal, and I would assume Pro doesn't believe marriage should be between a man and an animal. So I don't think the pair bonding argument does the work Pro wants it to. Plus, it may be true that monogamous relationships were a rarity (I don't know enough to respond to this point), what should be pointed out is the plural marriages have certainly been around for a long time (even King Solomon in the Bible had 700 wives and 300 concubines). However, this is still not an argument against my definition and only goes to show that if my definition succeeds, the majority in this case was wrong. This doesn't show that societies have seen marriage as anything other than the union of a man and a woman.

3) The reason we should expect permanence in a marriage is because marriage is supposed to create a stable environment in which to raise children. Divorce adversely affects children in horrible ways. [1] Permanence and monogamy are expected because the rights and needs of children are at stake. If there are no children that can be produced from the sexual union, there is no reason to expect permanence or monogamy in the relationship. I don't know how to else to support this point except to say that Pro hasn't given one reason to show why, in lieu of children, a same-sex marriage should require permanence and/or monogamy. I haven't commited the popular appeal fallacy in my answer here, since I wasn't arguing from popular opinion to make my case.

Also, regarding incestuous marriages: The part that is being overlooked is that marriage has a special link to children. Incestuous relationships carry with it a high rate of birth defects. Incestuous relationships are not safe for any children produced and therefore should not be supported by society. [2]

My argument:

1) Regarding the 70-year-old couple, my argument also incorporates them. Like the infertile couple, the elderly couple is still of the procreative type; their capacity for procreation is blocked by an external factor, namely, age. Now, it's true that my source gave arguments against natural marriage. However, it's an illegitimate use of my source for Pro to use it against me. My purpose for using the source (and I admitted this came from a liberal source) is that even a liberal thinker agreed with my position. This wasn't just a conservative talking point; it's a true fact that even liberals agree with. That was my purpose for giving a liberal source to support my point. It would only be legitimate to use my source against me if the source actually argued against the point I was sourcing, not for it. All of the information Pro quoted from my source are irrelevant because they don't argue against my points. It's irrelevant that gay people can adopt because they can't produce children naturally, which is why we have marriage.

2) I haven't missed the point of the example from Christ's love, especially since I quite obviously responded to the allegation of the Bible supporting same-sex marriage last round. I refer you back to it. Recall also that the very first commandment given to Adam and Eve (the first married couple) was to "be fruitful and multiply."

3) Pro was just restating his argument regarding the dictionary. Yes, viewpoints on marriage have changed (though not with everyone, since there are still a large number of people who believe in natural marriage). However, even if the viewpoint has changed, it doesn't follow that marriage, itself, has changed or evolved. If you call a dog's tail a leg, it doesn't change the reality that dogs have four legs.

4) The concept of love being necessary for marriage is a relatively new one. [3] So no, love is not a necessary condition for marriage. This is a new idea. It is also an idea that has led to the rampaging of no-fault divorce, because once "the fire goes out," the couple decides to divorce, which is detrimental to the well-being of children. The marriage bond is stronger than that. Even if the flame goes out, the married couple has a responsibility to each other (to uphold their vows) and to their children.

5) There is nothing contradictory about my statements regarding reproductive technologies. It is simply beyond the scope of this debate to give a full treatment of the ethical issues involved.

6) Pro asks for examples of discrimination which are acceptable. If a man refuses to date a woman based on the fact she has red hair and he prefers blondes, I doubt anyone will think he did something immoral. Other example: If an atheist group refuses to let me lead their group based on the fact I am a Christian. If a fire station or police station refuses to hire me because I don't meet their standards of health and fitness. These are all morally acceptable forms of discrimination.

7) My argument from enhancing relationships is not an argument for same-sex marriage. It is not an argument for natural marriage, per se. It is simply an argument for what sets marriage apart from other relationships. However, any definition for same-sex marriage doesn't show what makes same-sex marriage different from any other type of relationship.

To sum up: My argument for natural marriage, that marriage is a comprehensive union between man and woman with a special link to children, succeeds as the proper definition of marriage. Pro has failed to show why my definition fails, he has failed to show why same-sex marriage should be accepted, and he has failed to adequately rebut my points. For those reasons, I urge you to vote Con. Thanks again to Pro for the debate.

[1] http://worldcongress.org...;
[2] Wolf, Arthur P.; Durham, William H. (2004). Inbreeding, Incest, and the Incest Taboo: The State of Knowledge at the Turn of the Century. Stanford University Press. p. 3.ISBN 0-8047-5141-2.
[3] Again, this is from a liberal wegpage. Pro will probably try and quote some other things from the page that I won't be able to respond to. We just don't have the number of rounds to get to it. http://www.livescience.com...;
Debate Round No. 4
HermanGomez95

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for a very entertaining and enlightening debate! I’d like to reassert something my opponent said, “discussing these issues in the marketplace of ideas can be difficult, and it can often make us seem cold and distant.” This couldn’t be more truthful. Throughout this debate, both of us have responded to each other’s arguments with fervor. We do so because we strongly believe in what we are arguing. There was and is no intention to insult anyone.
Now, for my final rebuttal. (I shall be relatively brief)
1.) “I understand that Pro does not have the BoP here. As such, then, we should ignore his definition and use mine.” I completely concur and agree with this statement. I thought this was agreed upon earlier, that was until Con brought up my definition.
2.) “The concept of marrying for love is a relatively new concept. But again, this doesn't show that society's view of what marriage is has changed. People used to barter for food with services; now we use money. This doesn't mean our concept of food has changed, only that our method of obtaining it has changed.” I’d like to reassert the fact, whether it be fallacious or not, that the large percentile of society now views marriage not as a union between two people of the opposite sex, linked to procreation, but as a legal union between two people who are in love.
3.) “The source is only to back up what Pro argued. If Pro wanted to use a different portion in his argument, he should have quoted it.” Once again, I concede to this statement that I used an isufficent quotation in my argument. Con is absolutely right on this. This is why I placed more appropriate quotes in my rebuttal.
4.) Con continues to assert that marriage is supposed to create an environment in which to raise children, yet continues to dismiss the fact that many marriages intentionally do not lead to children. If the sole purpose of marriage is to create a stable environment in which to raise children, I yet again assert that fact that anyone – I repeat ANYONE – who is unable to have children should not be allowed to marry.
5.) “However, it's an illegitimate use of my source for Pro to use it against me.” It is not an illegitimate use of the source because it was used in a separate argument. Regardless of where the source came from, any reasonable man would have used the source as evidence supporting the fact that the ban on same-sex marriage was discriminatory.
6.) “Yes, viewpoints on marriage have changed.” Here Con asserts that viewpoints of marriage have changed, yet he consistently asserted the opposite in his earlier arguments.
7.) I’ll concede that the concept of love being necessary for marriage is new. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that this supports my argument that societies viewpoint on marriage continues to change.
8.) Con’s examples of discrimination are fair, but it does not support the idea that an entire class of people being denied a constitutional right by the government is good discrimination.

Throughout this debate, me and my opponent have both been at odds with each other, asserting that both of us failed in our arguments. Therefore, I leave it up to you, dear voters, to choose who did not fail. If you believe that Con provided sufficient arguments that support the right for the government to deny marriage to same-sex couples. By all means vote for him. But, if you found his arguments lacking in logic and morality, please vote Pro.
To conclude my arguments and this debate, I’d like to quote Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion of today’s Supreme Court Decision.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Justice Kennedy said of the couples challenging state bans on same-sex marriage. “Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Once again, I’d like to thank my opponent for a very well fought debate. The verdict aside, I’ve seldom fought with such a worthy, intelligent, and well composed opponent – especially in a case so controversial.
I wish my opponent all the best luck as the voting process begins.
KeytarHero

Con

As per the rules of the debate, I will not post an argument this round. Thank you again to Pro for remaining civil in this debate, as it can often lead to yelling and name calling. Pro did an excellent job in the debate, and I wish him luck as we move to the voting round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by HermanGomez95 1 year ago
HermanGomez95
My apologies. For other, less serious debates, I use the select a winner system of voting. I must've forgotten to change it.
Posted by KroneckerDelta 1 year ago
KroneckerDelta
I would like to vote on this debate, but unfortunately both sides didn't do a good job at organizing their arguments. I see too much of scattered rebuttals that don't succinctly summarize the other's arguments and then attack them. There's WAY too much "flowery" language on both sides that makes the debate too long and then loses me. I'm pretty sure that PRO won, but since neither PRO nor CON really summed up the debate, I cannot make a coherent judgement, i.e. PRO won on argument x and y but CON won on argument z and, perhaps, I find argument z less important than arguments x and y. I don't know how to make that clear enough to render a vote however.
Posted by KeytarHero 1 year ago
KeytarHero
Has voting changed? It's just asking who you believe won the debate now.
Posted by KeytarHero 1 year ago
KeytarHero
Yeah, I haven't really been active much. Real life has gotten in the way, but I came back because I kind of missed debating.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 1 year ago
xXCryptoXx
I was referring to your overall lack of activity in the past year.
Posted by HermanGomez95 1 year ago
HermanGomez95
Are we sure he's referring to you?

He might be targeting the Liberal!
Posted by KeytarHero 1 year ago
KeytarHero
I'm not sure what to make of that comment. I've done plenty of debates.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 1 year ago
xXCryptoXx
Lol, look at Clinton doing a debate.
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