The Instigator
MuKen
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Double_R
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Marriage should not be a legal concept

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Double_R
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,321 times Debate No: 17552
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

MuKen

Pro

It is my contention that marriage should not exist as a legal concept (nor should "civil unions"). In its place, we should have a simple "union", which confers all of the legal rights and status of marriage, but is not by design in any way dependent on the nature of the relationship between the participants. For example, if I have a completely platonic friend whom I trust to work with throughout life, I should be able to have a "union" with him/her, thus allowing us to file taxes jointly, be considered defaults for medical decisions in the case of incapacitation, etc. This is based on two claims: firstly that by having such a concept, the government shows bias against those who remain single. And secondly, that by being involved in personal relationships, the government obligates itself to make decisions which inevitably trample on the rights of individuals.

The first point is clear: being married gives obvious and practical legal and financial advantages. As the government is a being who derives its power by gathering it from the people as a whole, giving more advantages to those who are married comes at the cost of those who are not. This is thus a form of enforced, unjustified payment by single individuals to married ones.

The second point can be best illustrated by an ongoing example: the gay marriage debate. By taking on the role of allowing or disallowing "marriage" to couples, government has assumed a social responsibility it has no business managing. Religions, social circles, and political organizations all have their own definitions of marriage, and can and should be able to individually choose what they do or do not recognize as marriage. By assuming the role of "marriage certifier", and further coupling its own certification with very real societal advantages, government has erred both in unifying a concept which should not be unified, and in trampling individual rights by the very claim that any of the legitimacy of their personal relationships can be defined by the state.

A gay couple should be able to get a "union" the same as any other group of people, which does not innately carry any implications as to their relationship. They can then have whatever ceremony and recognition is appropriate for those they consider their peers. Those circles opposed to recognizing this union should be able to continue not doing so. None of this need involve the government.
Double_R

Con

Thanks Pro four initiating this debate.


Resolution


The resolution states that marriage should not be recognized as a legal concept, however Pro states in his first contention that marriage should be replaced by a “union which confers all of the legal rights and status of marriage, but is not in any way dependent on the nature of the relationship between the participants”.


I find this to be not only inconsistent with Pros resolution, but also contradictory to his next two points as the legal rights of married couples seem to be the basis of his arguments. Also, the only place in marriage law I can find where the nature of the relationship plays any role is adultery, which is a legal cause for divorce(1). For the law to conform to Pros opening contention, apparently all we would have to do is remove adultery as a legal cause for divorce which is clearly not what this debate is about and not what Pro continues to argue for with his next two points.


This debate is clearly intended to be about weather marriage (including civil unions) should be recognized as a legal concept. Pros resolution clearly states that they should not be, my intent is to show that they should. I am unclear as to what Pro is suggesting with his first contention, so I will refute his next two points and then leave it to Pro to clarify his contentions in round two before offering a counter argument.


Rebuttals


1. Being married gives obvious and practical legal and financial advantages


Pro states that the financial advantages of being married constitute a form of enforced, unjustified payment by single individuals to married ones. Taxes are payments by Americans to support programs that the government decides to implement. When the government gives tax breaks to certain groups of Americans it comes at the expense of government programs, not other Americans. It is easy to draw a connection by saying that if one group would pay more then another could pay less but such reasoning has no logical basis as to who is entitled to the hypothetical benefit of. Pro is simply choosing the viewpoint that benefits his argument.


2. The gay marriage debate


Pro states that the government’s involvement in defining the legitimacy of personal relationships somehow tramples individual rights, apparently this is because it offers societal advantages. I do not understand what Pro is trying to say with this argument. Individual rights have nothing to do with advantages of married couples. If a person does not want these advantages then they should not get married.


Pro also states that a gay couple should be able to get a “union” as any other couple. He also states that “none of this need government”. This again contradicts his own point. If the government should not be involved then how would the couple be able to gain recognition as a union in the first place?


Conclusion


Pros argument does not support his resolution and his points at times seem contradictory. I will leave it for Pro to clarify what he is arguing for so that I can understand exactly what I should be negating. I assume that Pros round 2 argument will be consistent with his resolution that marriage should not be recognized as a legal concept. With that said I turn it over to pro and wish him good luck.


(1) http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

Debate Round No. 1
MuKen

Pro



I would like to begin by thanking Con for accepting this debate with me, I look forward to our discussion.

It would appear that Con has misunderstood my resolution; if this is because I was unclear in my description, I must apologize. My resolution is not that there should be no legal equivalent to what marriage does now, only that the relationship component of what exists should be separated and removed. As such, this is not in contradiction to my supporting points. While Con appears to consider this difference a minor one if not even an academic one, this is far from true. The fact that the legal concept of "marriage" is intended to represent a certain designation of personal relationships mirroring what has been called "marriage" by prior institutions (the church, other governments, etc.) has many real impacts on how it is implemented.

First, the fact that there are restrictions at all on who can get these types of unions is because of that terminology and intent. People have ideas about what genders, what quantities of people, and what ages of people can get "married". This interferes with who is allowed to get a simple legal union. What I am proposing is that the ability to unify assets, rights, and legal status in the way that marriage does (and thus gain all the conveniences and benefits that come with it) should be possible regardless of what your relationship is to your other(s). And thus the fact that some group is uncomfortable with the idea of two men having a relationship with each other should be entirely irrelevant as a point of discussion in regards to legal unions.

Second, the fact that government considers these unions to be a matter of personal relationship often becomes an issue when initiating or dissolving them (as Con pointed out). For example, courts may seek to block or allow a divorce depending on the relationship issues that instigate it, i.e. whether or not there was an adultery, whether the partners are still living together, etc.[1] It is my contention that this should not be the business of the government or the courts, and if two people choose to enter or leave a legal union that should be entirely up to them. Or for example, when a foreigner wishes to marry a national, the UCSIS is then in their rights to question them as to their personal interactions [2], another practice which is highly invasive and violates individual's right to privacy. These issues all arise because we associate government-defined marriage with personal relationships.

Now on with the points of debate:

1. Unfair advantages of marriage

Saying the cost comes from other government programs does not disprove that it comes at the cost of other Americans. As Con himself states, "taxes are payments by Americans to support programs" (the implication being because they want the benefit of those programs). Thus if a program supports only one subset, does nothing to help those outside of that subset, and comes at the cost of other programs that might benefit everyone, then that benefit comes at the cost of those outside that subset of citizens.

2. Government's infringement on invidividual rights

Con has misunderstood my argument; I was not claiming that rights are infringed because of the societal advantages of marriage. My point was that by being involved in this decision, Government cannot help but trample on someone's rights. Government has claimed the responsibility of deciding who can be "married", which carries with it a social recognition. Thus if they decide gay marriage should be banned, they are speaking as a representative of all of the citizenry and saying that the relationship between a gay couple does not have the same recognition as one between a straight couple. This violates that couple and their peers' right to recognize what they wish to recognize as marriage. On the other hand, if they decide it should be allowed, they again are saying that as a representative of the citizenry, this marriage must be recognized by all, violating the anti-gay-marriage groups' right not to recognize a marriage they deem to be invalid.

My statement that "none of this need government" was in reference to people deciding what they recognize as marriage, not in reference to the legal certification of a union which I advocate have nothing to do with marriage.

In conclusion, I have presented numerous downsides to government involvement in personal relationships through the institution of marriage, and challenge Con to show what benefits there are to balance them.

[1]http://www.divorceroom.com...;

[2]http://immigration.findlaw.com...;
Double_R

Con

The resolution states that marriage should not be recognized as a legal concept. Pros support for this resolution is to introduce a new concept of “legal unions” in its place, which is essentially a marriage without any regard to the personal relationship of the couple being granted this union. Therefore my position is to show why this new concept is inferior to the current one.

Before we can get to any comparisons we must define the difference. First, we should recognize that this is a question about the legal concept, therefore only legal differences apply. As Pro states we must separate and remove the relationship component of what exists now. When looking at the legal elements of marriage that have any affect on relationship status I can find 5 elements(1):

- Kinship restrictions (restricts family members from marrying)
- Monogamy (allows adultery to be a legal reason for divorce)
- Polygamy (marrying more then one person at a time)
- Gender restrictions (not valid in all states)
- Separation

These are the only differences I am aware of and will proceed based on this understanding. If Pro is aware of any additional differences, as instigator it is his responsibility to show them. For the remainder of this debate Pros concept will simply be referred to as “legal unions”(unless Pro as the author decides to name it something else).

Rebuttal

1.
Unfair advantages of marriage

While I have much to say about Pros rebuttal to this point, it is entirely irrelevant as this is consistent in both concepts. Legal unions would simply offer the benefits to more people but still not everyone will take advantage of it, leaving it to be just as unfair as it was before.

2.
Governments infringement on individual rights

Pro still asserts that marriage tramples on individuals rights because of the government taking a role in the recognition of it. Recognition is nothing more then a subjective point of view, which everyone has a right to. The government is not taking that right away. The government is simply choosing to recognize married couples legally as being married, and offer benefits that come along with it. If Pro wishes to support his claim he must show what rights are being taken away, rather then just asserting that the government recognizing something somehow takes away another persons right to recognize it.

Pro also listed the UCSIS’s right to question a couple’s personal interaction as a violation of an individual right to privacy. The UCSIS has this right because of the need of this country to control immigration and prevent people from essentially being “smuggled” into it. This has little to do with marriage and in fact would only create a bigger problem if legal unions were to replace marriage.

Counter Argument

Marriage has a special social value in our society, which is why it is recognized in the first place. Pros legal union concept completely denies that value and essentially renders the entire purpose of recognizing a couples status as pointless. I will demonstrate that social value using the 5 elements which separate the two concepts being debated:

1.
Kinship

While sadly there are many brothers and sisters, cousins etc… that wish to get married current laws do not allow that. This is to provide additional discouragement of incest. Currently society discourages this quite adamantly but government has an additional interest in not allowing this in marriage to help prevent birth defections.

2.
Monogamy

This is another obvious concept that has social value. Love and commitment are what define marriage and make it special. It is something that I think even Pro would agree should be valued in our society.

3.
Polygamy

Although some disagree, this is mostly considered to be negative in our society as it is simply the opposite of monogamy and thus denies its special value.

4.
Gender Restrictions

Highly debated and does not apply in all states.

5.
Separation.

Perhaps the most valuable. This encourages stability in our society and in households which increases the quality of family life. It is highly accepted that children benefit from being raised in a stable household where both parents or guardians live together, and can be easily accepted that people living with a significant other are typically more mentally healthy, and less likely to be involved in illegal activity. Marriage helps to encourage all of these benefits among many others.

Conclusion

While my counter argument was brief, it is more then sufficient to negate the resolution by showing that marriage currently has a special value on society and should be recognized as a legal concept. Pros concept of a legal union which essentially deprives that special value holds no benefits.
Debate Round No. 2
MuKen

Pro

Response to rebuttals:

1. Legal unions are just as unfair as marriage.

The advantages of unions can be divided into two subsets: those which are inherent to the concept, and those that the government chooses to give additionally. Those which are inherent include things like the convenience of having a default for medical decisions, the convenience of considering legal and financial assets together, etc. These are inherent abilities which anyone might want to have, and it clearly more "fair" for anyone who wants to to be able to get them. Thus this point is not irrelevant at all as Con claims.

In regards to advantages which the Government chooses to give to married couples (such as additional financial concessions), I would contend firstly that if there are to be such concessions, clearly it is more fair to open them up to as many people as possible, but alternatively that I would agree these things should be removed altogether. However, that is a matter for an entirely different discussion. The presence of innate advantages to legal unions is sufficient to say that these abilities should be fairly given to all who desire them.


2. Government recognition does not override individual recognition

As the government is a representative of the people, I would say this is entirely untrue, and strikes at a core principle: the government should absolutely avoid speaking on behalf of societal recognition of anything except where absolutely necessary. If the government says "this is what marriage is", then that does detract from those who disagree. Moreso when the government then assigns practical advantages to its own concept. Furthermore, Con's own arguments are based on his assertion that "Marriage has a special social value in our society". If it is of value, then inappropriately denying some people access to this value is an infringement of individual rights.

As to the UCSIS's right to question individuals, I do agree they need to keep undesirable people from being "smuggled" into the country. However I challenge Con to show how confirming that an immigrant has sexual and romantic relations with a citizen does this. It is a waste of resources spent investigating something which has no relation to the matter at hand, and at least partially takes the place of more appropriate investigations.



Rebuttals:

1) Government should control marriage to prevent incest

Firstly, incest can and does occur outside of marriage. Secondly, it is not appropriate for Government to sacrifice individual rights and fairness to discourage activities it believes to be bad for society as a whole. What is best for society has always been secondary to what is fair and just. If a single citizen could sacrifice his life to save ten, but chose not to, would it be appropriate for government to force him to? Claiming an (unmeasured) decrease in the rate of birth defects does not justify restricting individual rights. Would Con support a Government ban on marriages where one or both partners has a genetic defect?


2-3) Monogamy has social value over polygamy

Contrary to Con's assertion, Pro does not take it at face value that monogamy has inherent value to our society. Many polygamous societies have functioned successfully in the past.[1] To my knowledge there has been no study showing a conclusive advantage to a society enforcing monogamy, and in the absence of such proof, I would contend that government has no right to restrict polygamous relationships. I would argue even further, as with my first point, that even if there were such proof, the benefit of society does not outweigh the rights of the individual.


4) Gender restrictions

I agree these are highly debated, part of my original point was that this debate should not have involved government for many aforementioned reasons.


5) Marriage encourages stability and moral behavior, and thus government should involve itself in preventing its dissolution.

In regards to the first point: is this not all the more reason for government not to do anything that restricts who can be married?

In regards to the second, I again reiterate my point that government cannot enforce union between two people in the interests of the whole, that is a violation of personal rights. Secondly, if the fact that the government is forcing them two is the only thing causing two people to stay together, I highly doubt this constitutes a "stable household". And if they choose to live apart in spite of their government marriage, than government is not accomplishing anything by insisting they are still legally married anyway.


[1]http://www.ilaam.net...
Double_R

Con

A major premise that Pros entire argument falls on is the notion that marriage somehow infringes on individuals rights. I will begin by showing why this basic premise is false.

Individual Rights Concerning Marriage

1.
Everyone has the same right to get married

Pro paints marriage restrictions as “unfair”, but this is simply not true because the same rules apply to everyone. Brothers, sisters, and individuals in polygamous relationships can all get married just like anyone else, just not to each other so their rights are no different.

2.
The government offers recognition and benefits for a reason

When the government offers recognition and benefits it does so to encourage what it believes is good for society. If people had a right to these benefits regardless of weather they meet the government’s criteria or not then there would be no point in offering them in the first place.


3.
Individuals do not have the right to assert their own rules of marriage

The only reason marriage restrictions are viewed by some as a rights violation is because of the desire some people have to marry each other. However, the government does not recognize someone simply because they want to be recognized for it. If I want the government to recognize me as a war veteran then I must fight in a war, if I want to be recognized as a lawyer I must pass the Bar exam. A persons desire to be recognized as something, does not give them a right to be recognized for it.

4.
Marriage does not restrict anything

Pro makes many assertions of what people should be allowed to do. People are allowed to do anything they want to within the law, marriage does not restrict anything in that law. Marriage simply offers recognition and benefits to couples who meet the criteria to get married, and do not offer that recognition or benefits to those who do not meet the legal criteria.

With these four basic contentions in mind, let’s continue…

Rebuttals

1.
“Legal unions are just as unfair as marriages”

Pro begins by making a point that people should be allowed to the “convenience of having a default for medical decisions, the convenience of considering legal and financial assets together, etc.” First of all everyone does have this right, its called marriage. Secondly for those who don’t want to get married we have plenty of other ways to handle this. Medical decisions can be made by health proxies, which can be designated to anyone. Financial assets can be handled by a power of attorney which can also be granted to anyone, bank accounts can have co-signers, etc. The only thing I am aware of that people can not do without marriage is file taxes together. There is no reason the government would allow two “buddies” to file taxes together, it serves no purpose to them or to society. All it would do is allow people to take advantage of the tax system.

2.
“Government recognition does not overrule individual recognition”

Pro begins with his assertion that government should “avoid speaking on behalf of societal recognition”. This brings us back to the question: what is the role of the government? This is a simple answer: the role of the government is to look out for the best interest of society. The best interest of society is decided by representatives chosen by the people, in logical discussions such as this one. If offering incentives to encourage marriage in society is beneficial, then marriage should be recognized as a legal concept. Pros anarchist argument on this issue is not a valid reason to deny society of something which is determined to be beneficial.

Pro makes a comment saying that denying people the special social value of marriage somehow denies their rights. The special social value of marriage is defined by what it contributes to society. Pros legal unions do not contribute socially in any way therefore it does not have social value. The government can not take away what was never their to begin with.

The USCIC argument is irrelevant at this point but I will simply state the fact that a couple is supposed to have an intimate relationship to be legally married gives the USCIC a starting point in determining if a particular marriage is likely a scam. Pros legal union’s concept makes this harder because it does not matter what the relationship is, so illegal immigration scams will be nearly impossible to detect and therefore impossible stop.

Marriage Has Value in Society

1.
Kinship

Pros argument against kinship restrictions again goes back to individual rights. Brothers and sisters can do whatever they want, so their rights are not taken away but the government has no reason to encourage it. Unless Pro would like to explain how a sudden increase in family members getting married benefits society.

2.
Monogamy

Pro does not take it at face value that Monogamy has value in our society. Monogamy is about love and commitment. Does Pro think this should not be valued? Does Pro feel society would benefit from married couples being denied a divorce after one of the spouse cheats on the other? Does Pro encourage cheating in relationships? Does Pro not value relationships? Please explain.

3.
Polygamy

Pro states that many polygamous societies have functioned successfully in the past. Indeed they have. Pros source references cultures where men had many wives like they did back in the days of the King. These societies may have functioned successfully, but is this the lifestyle Pro is advocating for? While it may seem attractive to me as a male, I think it is clearly beneficial for our society to encourage that everyone have a partner who is devoted to them and that they are not simply 1 out of 5 “wives” serving their spouse.

4.
Gender restrictions

Irrelevant to this debate

5.
Separation

Pro gives two points here that contradict themselves. He asserts that the benefits of discouraging separation are reason to expand marriage to all who wish for a legal union, but then shows how it “violates individual rights” and has no effect. If it has no effect then why would Pro want it expanded to all? He has essentially argued both for and against himself so I will just extend my argument here and hope he presents a valid response.

Conclusion

The premise that Pro bases his argument on is false. Marriage does not take away anyone’s rights and are in no way unfair. Pro has also failed to show why my social value argument is not a reason to recognize marriage as a legal concept, and certainly does not shown how his legal union’s concept is beneficial to society.

1 more round to go, back to you Pro
Debate Round No. 3
MuKen

Pro

Rebuttals

1. Marriage gives everyone equal individual rights because everyone has the same ability to get married.

Firstly, my claims about individual rights were not concerning this issue, but rather about an individual's right to decide what is a marriage to them, without government deciding on behalf of all society.

However, concerning the matter of fairness, equality of group rights is just as important as individual rights. People should be able to form groups that have same rights as all other groups regardless of their constituents. A group of two gay men should have the same rights as one gay man and one straight woman. Offering a group a marriage license contingent on their gender makeup is akin to offering a business the right to incorporate contingent on the balance of their racial makeup. If it is wrong to discriminate against an individual based on gender, it is just as wrong to discriminate against a group based on gender makeup.

2. Involvement in marriage is for the benefit of society.

As I stated before, government should not sacrifice fairness or individual rights for the greater good of society. It is precisely this principle that prevents us from forming governments according to utilitarian principles that would allow things like sacrificing a medical patient against his will to harvest his organs and save five others.

3. A person's desire to be recognized as something does not give them a right to be recognized for it.

This sidesteps my argument, the claim was not that people have a right to BE recognized for things, it is that they have the right to decide what THEY recognize. Government is a societal representative, by taking using that role to define marriage on society's behalf, they take this right out of the hands of the citizens. Not only is this unfair to some group no matter which way they decide, it is unreasonable to unify the concept at all. Different organizations, religions, and groups have different ideas about marriage. They should not be forced to agree.

4. Marriage is not a restriction, it merely gives benefits to a subset of people

Irrelevant, it is not about restriction. It is about fairness: government's resources come from the entirety of the citizenry. If they use them to benefit a subset, then that is taking away from the remainder.

5. Rights of marriage can be gotten through other means, aside from tax filing which would allow people to exploit the system.

There are countless rights and advantages that come with the title "married" throughout law. It is not at all a simple manner to unify a pair piece by piece as Con claims. Since my point he was referring to was about gaining the convenience, claiming you can do the same thing with far more work is not valid (and convenience in legal matters is NOT a trivial thing, legal fees and the possibility of making mistakes have very real and practical impact). Being able to obtain this unity with a single legal status change is something that would only be fair if any pair can do it.

In regards to filing taxes, Con only claims this is "taking advantage" because it is currently outside the law to gain these advantages. As we are debating precisely whether or not that law should change, this is irrelevant.

6. The role of government is to look out for society's best interests

As I have stated repeatedly now, society's best interests come second to fairness and the rights of the individual. The role of the government is first to protect individual rights, second to ensure equality, and lastly to do everything it can to benefit the whole within those confines.

Con asserts that UCSIS verifying an intimate relationship is an important first step in determining if a marriage is a scam. As it was my assertion that determining whether or not their personal relation exists is not helpful to determining whether ot not undesirable people are being let into the country, this was a completely irrelevant statement. Con does not address my assertion that spending time finding out whether or not they are in a relationship detracts from time and resources that could be spent determining whether the foreigner is someone who should be a citizen.

7. Marriage has value in society

A. Kinship

Con again makes an argument regarding the benefits to society, which I still contend is secondary to fairness and individual rights. It is not fair to this brother and sister to be unable to partake of benefits that others can, which comes partially from their tax money and participation in government.

B. Monogamy vs Polygamy

Con contends that monogamy (and by implication, only monogamy) involves love. And furthermore that a polygamous relationship necessitates servitude. This is wholly inaccurate, there are and have been polygamous relationships involving love (as an aside, I know of one such from amongst my personal acquaintances between a man and two bisexual women who all love each other equally). This in fact exemplifies one of my earlier points: Con is of one group who cannot conceive of the types of relationships another group has being equal to the ones he is familiar with. Government should not have tried to unify their conceptions, but rather should have left them to themselves.

Regarding divorce, Con argues that government should not deny a divorce after cheating. This supports my argument: that they should have only a legal union to worry about, that they can form or dissolve at their own will without government's involvement. It is, in fact, only because of the concept of marriage, that government ever does deny such a divorce.

C. Separation

Con has misrepresented both of my points, I do not contend that unions should be expanded to discourage separation. He is referring to my statement which pointed out that his own arguments at the time indicated that unions encourage stability, and hence I would argue that that then means it is not beneficial to deny them to anyone. This had nothing to do with separations.

I also do not ever claim that marriage has no effect, clearly it has many effects I disagree with and have enumerated throughout this debate. I claimed that it does not have the effect he argued it does: to create stability where there was none. If a couple are not functional, forcing them to stay married will not bring stability to them.

Both of these points refer to the fact that people should be in charge of their own unions, and government involving itself, whether it be to forbid two people from forming a union, or to forbid a union from dissolving itself, is rarely helpful.

Conclusion

A major theme throughout Con's arguments is the benefit to society. He frequently challenges me to show how legal unions benefit society more than marriage. I have stated repeatedly that benefit to society is secondary to fairness and individual rights, making such a challenge irrelevant. Con has made several arguments in regards to individual rights, which I have rebutted. But although this point has been in contention from round two, he has not responded to issue of fairness. Every time the issue of whether it is fair for one couple (and I use this word in the numeric, not the romantic sense) to be granted benefits and rights that another is not, he cites societal benefit, sidestepping the issue that societal benefit is secondary to fairness.

Government should not take from one person to benefit another. Government should not unilaterally force people to recognize what they do not wish to recognize. And most importantly of all, government should not try to control any aspect of people's personal relationships. I urge you all to vote Pro.
Double_R

Con

This debate is about marriage


In the last round I made a comment that Pros anarchist views were not a valid reason to deny society of something that is determined to be beneficial. Con responds by giving even more arguments based on his anarchist views, suggesting that government should not have control to make these types of decisions. Here are some of his last rounds quotes:


"Government is a societal representative, by taking using that role to define marriage on society's behalf, they take this right out of the hands of the citizens.”


“my claims about individual rights were not concerning this issue, but rather about an individual's right to decide what is a marriage to them, without government deciding on behalf of all society.”


“Government should not unilaterally force people to recognize what they do not wish to recognize.”


Pro has clearly shown that a major premise in his arguments is the notion that government should not have the power to decide what is good for society. However, this is a democracy. Laws are made by representatives elected by society. If people are unhappy with them they can simply vote them out. The concept that government in a democracy is somehow a separate entity from society, is completely and utterly false.


The resolution states that marriage should not be recognized as a legal concept, so this debate is clearly about marriage, not about the government. Yet Pro bases his contentions on the premise that government should not have certain rights. The only reasonable assumption one can make is that when initiating a debate about a legal concept, the arguments should fall within the confines of the governmental system currently in place. To accept Pros arguments to this point, one would have to accept that this debate should not fall within those confines. As much as I would love to debate what the role of government should be, this debate is about marriage. With this in mind, I will continue to show why pros arguments fail according to the principles of our actual government.


Rebuttals


Since Pro has made many claims of me misinterpreting his arguments I will continue by using his own quotes to support the premise of my rebuttals. Since his points were numbered, this will make it easier for anyone to verify that I am correctly interpreting his argument. In some cases Pro may have made more then one point, so I took the strongest point to stay in line with character limits.


1. “my claims about individual rights were not concerning this issue, but rather about an individual's right to decide what is a marriage to them, without government deciding on behalf of all society”


Individuals have always had the right to decide what marriage is to them. What individuals do not have the right to do is decide on their own, what the government should accept as marriage. Issues like this is why we have elections.


2. “government should not sacrifice fairness or individual rights for the greater good of society.”


This statement is completely illogical. Fairness and individual rights are not a separate concept to what is most beneficial to society, they are part of it. If a law really did take away our rights, it would not be beneficial to society.


3. “Different organizations, religions, and groups have different ideas about marriage. They should not be forced to agree.”


Why does Pro keep asserting that marriage requires everyone to change their opinions? People may agree or disagree with anything they like. If they disagree with the government’s interpretation about marriage then they should not get married by the government. No one is being forced to do anything. There will always be disagreement about what the law should be. Again, this is why we have elections.


4. Irrelevant to this debate.


5. “Being able to obtain this unity with a single legal status change is something that would only be fair if any pair can do it.”


This statement is completely false. Every individual has the same exact rights to get married. There is no such thing as being more fair then that.


6. “The role of the government is first to protect individual rights, second to ensure equality, and lastly to do everything it can to benefit the whole within those confines.”


This appears to come from Pros made up government concept. In a real government such as ours (in theUS) laws must fall within the confines of theUSconstitution which marriage certainly does. Beyond that the deciding factor is weather it is good for society. Again, rights and equality are part of that decision.


“Con does not address my assertion that spending time finding out whether or not they are in a relationship detracts from time and resources that could be spent determining whether the foreigner is someone who should be a citizen.”


This is completely made up. Besides it being complete irrelevant, no where in this debate has Pro made any assertion about his argument having anything to do with who should be a citizen.


7a. “It is not fair to this brother and sister to be unable to partake of benefits that others can, which comes partially from their tax money and participation in government.”


Once again, this hypothetical brother and sister couple can partake in the same benefits that others can, but instead they decide to be involved with each other. That is their choice. The government can not deny them that, but they have no reason to encourage it.


7b “Government should not have tried to unify their (relationship) conceptions, but rather should have left them to themselves.”


Here is the question… why should the government offer marriage or legal unions in the first place? Pro has not even attempted to answer this question throughout the debate. If we wiped out marriage and civil unions completely, why on earth would we offer “legal unions”? I have shown good reason why the government should recognize marriage, Pro has not even tried to show how society benefits from offering legal unions.


7c “If a couple are not functional, forcing them to stay married will not bring stability to them.”


If couples were being forced to stay married then there would be no such thing as divorce. But the fact that divorce is unpleasant and generally discouraged in society gives couples an added incentive to try to stay together. Anyone who has ever been in a long term relationship knows that maintaining that relationship requires hard work and sacrifice, but the rewards are often well worth it. People are lazy by nature and need incentive to work hard at anything. That is why many of us have personal trainers for example, sometimes we need that extra push. For many couples, marriage (which is about commitment) is that extra push, which is why it is valued. That “extra push” is entirely their decision.


Most importantly (Pros conclusion)…


He frequently challenges me to show how legal unions benefit society more than marriage. I have stated repeatedly that benefit to society is secondary to fairness and individual rights, making such a challenge irrelevant.


Once again, fairness and rights are part what is beneficial, not separate from it. The fact that Pro acknowledges that he has not shown why his legal union’s concept is most beneficial to society is alone enough to negate the resolution… according to the way our government actually works anyway.


Conclusion


Pros resolution stated clearly that this debate was about marriage. When initiating a debate about a legal concept one can only assume that the premise falls in accordance with the current active form of government. And even if you agree with his government arguments I remind you that he never supported those contentions, he simply asserted them. In reality however this debate was about his legal union concept vs. marriage according to the principles of democracy. A resolution which he never made a valid case for. Meanwhile I have given good reason that marriage should be recognized as a legal concept.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MuKen 6 years ago
MuKen
Comments weirdman? We kind of do this primarily to get feedback...
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
ApostateAbe, never mind. I think I misread your RFD but I see what you are talking about. I definitely think it was a contradiction, but I did not explain it thoroughly enough.
Posted by MuKen 6 years ago
MuKen
Oh, I see
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
ApostateAbe, I am really curious to know what you meant when you stated that I took his clarification as a contradiction. Was that about round 1 or round 4? I am not looking to go back and fourth, just an understanding. Might help next time.
Posted by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
"counter" as in "counterattack." Cobo was countering Seabiscuit's vote bomb.
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
A counter is when you (Cobo) vote to wipe out somebody else's vote (Seabiscuit), because their vote was not based on the debate. Seabiscuit votes against people he doesn't like. Since I called him out for his votebomb in this debate (read the comments)...
http://www.debate.org...
he is trying to get back at me. He is very childish. Cobo wiped out his vote so this debate can be decided fairly.
Posted by MuKen 6 years ago
MuKen
I'm a little new to this site, what does "counter" mean?
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
Thanks Cobo for leveling Seabiscuits votebomb.
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
Thank you Muken. I wish you all the same.
Posted by MuKen 6 years ago
MuKen
Its been a fun debate! I'd like to thank DoubleR for an excellent exchange and say good luck to you sir.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by wierdman 6 years ago
wierdman
MuKenDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: .
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
MuKenDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: Con badly took a clarification to the resolution as a contradiction to the resolution. But, he rebounded with better arguments and more relevant sources.
Vote Placed by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
MuKenDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter
Vote Placed by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
MuKenDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO uses more sources. CON fails to demonstrate why utilitarianism is a superior ethical system then fairness and equality. CON does not address PRO's counterexample of why utilitarianism is wrong. PRO pretty much rebuts all of CON's claims.
Vote Placed by Seabiscuit 6 years ago
Seabiscuit
MuKenDouble_RTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Double R talks about perspective yet the entire time he obssesses with protective a strictly monogomous marriage irrespective of any diversity. All seven points to the winner.