The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
givewire
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The "indispensable means" argument is not a compelling objection to same-sex marriage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,462 times Debate No: 28310
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

socialpinko

Pro

The "indispensable means" argument was formulated by Jim Speigel (it has also been used more popularly by the user Contradiction on this site) and goes as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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


In this debate, I plan to argue that one or more (or all) of the premises of the argument are unsound and that the argument, therefore, is not compelling. Con on the other hand will be charged with defending the argument against my objections.



===Rules===


1. Drops will count as concessions.
2. Semantic or abusive arguments will not be counted.
3. New arguments brought in the last round will not be counted.
4. R1 is for acceptance/clarification. Argumentation begins in R2.
5. BoP is shared between Pro and Con.


===Sources===


[1] http://wisdomandfollyblog.com...
givewire

Con

along with this post I declare that I accept this debate challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

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


(1) Heterosexual union isn't synonymous with a man and a woman having sexual intercourse or having a child, though a popular characteristic it may be. Therefore, if we grant the rest of the argument, it doesn't justify the exclusion of same-sex marriage since gay couples are capable of carrying out the necessary union (male couples using a surrogate, female couples using in vitro fertilization) and raising a child. Homosexual couples are capable of furthering the "first precondition for society" and are thus, under the argument, legitimate objects of civil recognition.


(2) Heterosexual union isn't a universal attribute of heterosexuals themselves. Obviously there are heterosexual males and females who either don't have the ability to have children (are infertile) or have no intention of doing so. Therefore, granting those specific couples civil recognition (marriage) fails to further or recognize the first precondition (birth, raising children). So one is forced to either give up on the first premise or to give up on the arbitrary focus on homosexual/heterosexual relationships as opposed to child rearing/non-child rearing ones.


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


This point doesn't follow. The "special recognition and sanction" point doesn't appear to have any actual necessity considering that the "first precondition" would occur regardless of such sanction. At best, one could argue that civil recognition serves to foster a "better" environment in fostering child birth/raising. However, this wouldn't be unique to heterosexual relationships since gay couples are fully capable of raising children as well. Therefore, in the interest of fostering a stable environment for raising children, same-sex marriages should also be civilly recognized.


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


The argument here makes the unsupported presupposition that civil recognition of heterosexual marriage is somehow the only way to recognize it's "special social value". There are other instances however in which the supposed social value of the means by which the propagation of the species is recognized. For instance, its importance is valued on an inter-personal level (as well as on the civil level). If heterosexual marriages ceased to be recognized civilly, it wouldn't diminish the value that most people place on it. Civil recognition may further legitimize these relationships in the eyes of some but it's certainly far from the means by which people recognize the legitimacy in the first place.


===Conclusion===


The "indispensable means argument" fails on several levels. For one, it unnecessarily presupposes that civil recognition (as opposed to social recognition on an inter-personal level) is the only way to recognize the "special social value" of the first precondition of society. Furthermore, the argument makes a categorical mistake in focusing on the genders of the parties involved in marriage as opposed to the social role which those parties actually fulfill. There's nothing conceptually linking heterosexual relationships and child-rearing or necessitating that homosexual couples aren't capable of raising children.
givewire

Con

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

1.a I agree with your argument that "Heterosexual union isn't synonymous with a man and a woman having sexual intercourse of having a child", because heterosexual itself isn't only talk about activity. it talks about behaviour of human.

but what I would to say to you is, the capability of homosexual couples as you said is 'hanging' on the technology, which is still, uses different gender to show result. and it means that the fertility itself isn't go far away from its natural cause. what have changed is only the procedure.

this is based on surrogacy explanation at http://www.advancedfertility.com...



based on that I said that to reach the fertility goal as a couple, there should be a 'contact' in reference of sex between man and woman, which is naturally become a characteristic of heterosexual.
1.b about raising a child, as we know that there are two genders exist. male and female, that have different characteristic and different way to raise them. once again I am very agree with the idea that two person with same gender can raise the kid. but in fact, parents are role models for their kids.

http://www.nhcs.net...
http://www.oh-pin.org...

I don't talk about sexual behaviour. I don't talk about how they will do in their school. but, as a different gender with different behaviour, child are supposed to be taught and grown by their capabilities and condition.

There are so many cases of misbehaving children come from failure parents

I don't talk about the incapability of homosexual couple of raising kids. What I mean here is how male and female are supposed to behave as themselves, based on their condition, body.

Of course the homosexual couples would try to cover the role. but only as actor/actress. and nothing is better than natural parents.

My conclusion for first point you have told is yes, there are capability of homosexual on these precondition, BUT it is still can't be considered as precondition BECAUSE they still have to do 'heterosexual way' in order to gain them (having a child - still need surrogate and in vitro, raising a child - act as mother and father, not as themselves)

2. And obviously, as I said before, homosexual don't have the ability to have children if they don't do something like surrogate or anything else (that is obviously is heterosexual way).

Heterosexual, even if they are not capable to do so, are presumed as capable. who knows that 'hey, he is infertile, don't marry him' cause there is no one tested him before. or 'he is such a jerk, don't marry him'. Nobody who haven't tested or tried for him/her would talk something like that. Marriage is happen because of presume that the couple is eligible enough to achieve two first precondition. BECAUSE, couples that is going to be married have presume about how capable is their mate in this. no one ever say ' I would marry that jerk ' or ' he is barren. I would like to have child from him'.

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

Heterosexuality has a special value. the surrogate are based on heterosexual sex's objects - sperm and ovum which means, that it is not possible for fertilization happen without that two objects. without the fertilization, no birth. no birth, no human anymore.

Still, it counts as doing a heterosexual sex without penetration using penis.

So, we have to keep the heterosexual for mankind. we have to recognize that the heterosexuality makes us all.

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

it's unjust by judging at your argument. you forgot about how fertility works, how about parenting works, and how parents from homosexual couple still follow heterosexual way (differentiation of gender)

So you just denying it.

------------------------------------------------------Conclusion---------------------------------------------------------------

Still, humankind needs of heterosexuality is absolute, that means it a indispensable means argument. About the capability, still the capability of parents raising children is back to how well they do it, to fill the role of mother (as gender role for female) and father (as a gender role for male), which is heterosexual way.

Homosexual maybe is more liberal on sexual orientation, but they still have to behave like heterosexual way (masculine and feminine side)

Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

Before I begin I'd just like to say that I had to read Con's counter a few times before I could actually understand what he was saying and even then it wasn't always totally clear.


"Heterosexual union is the indispensable means by which......"


(1) From what I can surmise from what Con wrote (forgive me if I get it wrong), he's arguing that even though homosexual couples can fulfill the same social role as heterosexual couples, they can only do it through "heterosexual" means (i.e., sperm and egg and all that jazz). It appears Con is arguing that homosexuals aren't using "natural" methods of reproduction since that would entail heterosexual union. While this is true, I fail to see the relevancy. Heterosexual couples use artificial methods to have children all the time. But that doesn't change the fact that they're fulfilling a certain social role, a social role which the argument itself puts so much importance on. The way that a couple conceives a child isn't relevant and Con has given no reason for us to think otherwise.


(2) Con's counter here appears to be that heterosexuals are presumed capable of reproduction when marrying. While blatantly untrue (there are almost certainly contingencies in which either a heterosexual couple decided beforehand not to have kids or they knew that one or both of them were infertile), it's completely irrelevant to this debate. Furthermore, Con's attack on not allowing one to marry because of infertility, etc. is exactly the point of my argument. Marriage in practice doesn't revolve around procreation. Procreation is certainly one aspect of it but if it was the centerpiece of the reasoning for recognizing marriage, we *would* have ridiculous fertility tests and the like before marriage.


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


Con's first mistake is his assertion that "the surrogate are based on heterosexual sex's objects". This is wrong in that heterosexuality doesn't simply refer to the genitalia/sexual components of males and females. Rather it's a certain type of sexual orientation/practice. Con's failure lies in equivocating heterosexuality union (as in, a man and a woman having sex) itself with the means by which procreation is brought. On the other hand, if Con means heterosexual union to signify the union of the sperm and egg and all the other steps that come along during pregnancy, he's changed the definition to allow for the inclusion of homosexuals having children since they go through the same process to have children, just through different means.


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


Con's counter here is essentially "you're wrong, therefore you're wrong". He hasn't responded to my point arguing that civil recognition by the State isn't the sole means by which society legitimates procreation or my alternative (inter-subjective recognition on a social scale, which we already have). Since he dropped this argument completely, it counts as a concession as per rule 1 laid out in R1.
givewire

Con

givewire forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
socialpinko

Pro

Extend arguments and refutations. Also, a note to Con that new points may not be introduced in the last round.


Vote Pro.
givewire

Con

givewire forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by givewire 3 years ago
givewire
'Oh my god this is why I didn't want to debate you. I can't understand a word of your rebuttal.'

I though you didn't because I wasn't defensible enough.
Posted by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
Oh my god this is why I didn't want to debate you. I can't understand a word of your rebuttal.
Posted by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
Do you want to debate this afterward because I'd be happy to oblige?
Posted by MouthWash 3 years ago
MouthWash
I expect Con to thoroughly thrash him. Good luck, givewire (not that you need it).
Posted by givewire 3 years ago
givewire
yeah it's not about winning/losing

but high quality debater? judging by the debater post?

come on. people out there avoid to involve in debate with higher quality debater

and you here avoid to involve in debate with newbie? that means 'undeterminded quality debater'?
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
The idea that a "construct" could have special social value is laughable.
Posted by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
It's not about winning/losing (I think the Con position is more or less indefensible anyways). It's about me wanting to debate a high quality debater who I know beforehand is worth my time.
Posted by givewire 3 years ago
givewire
so was your comment means no?

oh come on, it would be a very interesting topic.

don't be afraid of lose from a newbie like me.
Posted by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
I knew I should have put a 60-debate cap on who accepts this debate. Now I have some dude who joined less than half an hour ago.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
This should be a slam dunk.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 3 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
socialpinkogivewireTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 3 years ago
DoctorDeku
socialpinkogivewireTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by emj32 3 years ago
emj32
socialpinkogivewireTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF