The revisionist position of marriage is worthy of state recognition.
Debate Rounds (4)
This is a debate revolving around the Same-Sex marriage issue.
The purpose of this debate is for me to demostrate the abusurdity of the Revisioinist position. I will be arguing that a Revisionist ideology regarding marriage--that is, a marriage based around love and intimacy strictly between a monogamous couple--is not worthy of state recognition. These are some filters that my opponent must accept, so that we can eliminate strawmen and fallicious argument alike and get down to the real issue:
1. For the government to recognize a marriage, it has to spend some money. So before the government acts, it should justify it's actions to prevent wasting taxpayer capitol.
2. While it is true that each individual has a right to personal autonomy, extending this right so far as to take money from the tax payers in order to pay for simple recognition violates that whole idea of personal autonomy. Marriage cannot be a natural right.
3. If the Revisionist position wishes to be legislated, there must be some inherant reason preventing a slipery slope, to make sure polyamorous or incestual marriages will not occur once society declines further.
4. If a different ideology is preferable--such as the traditional position of marriage which I will present shortly--then it is more reasonable to recognize that ideology instead of the Revisionist position.
PLEASE NOTE, the burden of proof is entirely on Pro. For him to win this debate, he needs to (a) Justify the Revisionist position of marriage and (b) show how the traditional position of marriage is less-preferable. If he is unable to perform both of these criteria, he will have lost the debate. Since this debate is about ideologies, sources will be given to whoever has the better arguments, not who has better sources. My opponent may present his case in Round 1.
The traditional position of marriage revolves around procreation. The purpose of recognizing this type of relationship will revolve around acknowledging the special social value of a relationship where procreation is inherantly possible. Considering an obvious factor, that a society that does not reproduce dies, recognition of a procreative relationship is beneficial to society.
I won't assume my opponents counter-arguments for now, so all that is left is to turn over to him. Thank you for accepting, and good luck.
I would like to thank my opponent for instigating this debate. I will argue that the revisionist position is more reasonable than the traditional position of what sort of marriages should be recognised.
My opponent began by setting four "ground rules" for this debate. Naturally I accept them, however, I would like to add a fifth. This is not - and cannot be - a debate about whose moral view of marriage or sexuality is superior. Just as I need to show tangible benefits, my opponent needs to show tangible harms, not just appeal to a moral code. This is a debate about whose ideology provides better future outcomes for everybody, not whose morality is right or wrong (which we can both never prove anyway).
My opponent's case is that since procreation is necessary for the survival of society, people who are in a relationship where they can procreate should be given special social benefits. Let us put that logic to the test.
Is a relationship necessary for procreation? No. I can go out, have a one-night stand and still get a girl pregnant. I could rape a girl and still get her pregnant. I can donate to a sperm bank and impregnate a girl I have never seen before.
Secondly, can everybody who marries procreate? No. Celibate priests marry yet cannot procreate. People with medical problems may not be able to procreate. In the middle ages, knights rarely had procreative marriages because they were at war all the time, but they still married.
Thirdly, can procreation only happen between a man and a woman? That depends on how narrowly you view "procreation." I suppose my opponent would define procreation as just having a baby. I would argue procreation is not only giving birth, but also raising and caring for the child until it can fend for itself. Same-sex couples, in particular, frequently fulfil the "raising and caring for" part, for instance in the cases of adoption or death of the child's parents. Furthermore, with new technology such as artificial insemination, many lesbian couples are actually giving birth to children. They might not be theirs, but they are helping society procreate.
These are but a few of the holes in the theory that marrying is just about having kids. People don't marry because they want to have kids with somebody (well, maybe a few do, but that's not the point). People mostly marry because they want to recognise their love for somebody. This is what, I think, will be the key area of clash in this debate - is marriage about love? I argue it is. It's not just about sex as my opponent would have you believe. Therefore marriage is not assigning social benefits for procreation, but assigning social status to signify that one is in a legal, loving relationship.
To meet my burden of proof, I must show that the revisionist view of marriage has better outcomes for society, while meeting all five criteria we have set down. If I am successful in this, I win the debate.
Let us presume that we do not allow same-sex couples marriage. What will the effect on society be? Would it be unreasonable to expect them to feel disenfranchised, as second-class citizens, because they have fewer rights? History teaches us that in situations where people have fewer rights, they tend to be disruptive. They tend to fight for those rights, for equality under the law. They tend to shift their productivity from working for their people to working against them. That's a real, tangible harm. Estimates vary, but one in ten people being gay seems to be a fair guess, with an even larger number being at least partly bisexual. That's a very large population to disenfranchise, which has all manner of economic and political harms (which I will expand on in later rounds if this is contested). The longer the situation continues, the more it escalates.
How can this situation be avoided? By simply officially recognising their marriages.
Let's see how well that meets the five criteria. The first is the ridiculously high cost of adding some extra names to a list and sending them certificates of marriage. While it is true taxpayer capital should not be wasted, this cost is not particularly high, and is much cheaper than the alternative of policing every marriage to ensure neither partner is transgender or otherwise trying to get around the law.
The second is that is breaches the autonomy of all those taxpayers since it is only for recognition. A gay person might be tempted to invert that line of thinking, because it is their autonomy that is likewise being breached under the status quo. However, my proposal is not for the simple recognition but to prevent a tangible harm, in the same way that defence spending is not a breach of autonomy.
The third is that there must not be a slippery slope. Under my proposal this is not the case, because almost all of the deviant sexualities not covered by the revisionist theory (incest, necrophilia, pedophilia etc) are illegal and would therefore not be recognised. There is a significant difference between assigning social status for something illegal and something legal. Besides, even if all the pedophiles of the world were to protest, governments have already accepted that they will lock them up because they are pedophiles. The sole exception is polygamy, which is legal in many parts of the world and therefore is up to the jurisdiction. However, to my knowledge, every jurisdiction where polygamy is legal also recognises polyamorous relationships with marriage under the status quo, so those are not affected.
The fourth is that my opponent's view must not be preferable. I have already proven why this is not the case.
The fifth is that it must not appeal to a moral truth. As you can see, my argument does not - it appeals to a historical one.
With that, I conclude my case and wish my opponent all the best and very good luck for his coming rounds.
I would like to thank larztheloser for accepting my debate. I hope that the both of us can achieve a better understanding of this rapidly-growing issue and put our speech and voting power to a more wise use. Your 5th rule is fine by me; I promise to remain non-secular.
On Traditional Marriage
Regardless if a marriage is required for procreative in-type acts to occur, the government's interest in the institution is anything but curbed. Comprehensively, marriage is not about restricting procreative behavior, but rather encouraging it.
Let us note; traditional marriage is about the relationship where procreation is inherently possible. That is, a relationship where procreative in-type actions occur, but not necessarily actions procreative in-effect. Just because a specific union is incidentally incapable of procreation, or even unwilling to enter sexual intercourse, does not mean the couple is incapable of existing within a relationship where procreation is possible, and therefore they are not justly excluded from the union. By contrast, homosexual couples are not only incidentally incapable of procreation, they are incapable of procreation in-principle, and are therefore justly barred from entering the traditional marriage contract.
My opponent argues that because homosexuals are capable of IVF surgery or are capable of adopting orphan children, they fall within the criteria of entering a traditional marital union. But this is ignoring the points made, and discrediting the strict definition of marriage I have provided; marriage is about the relationship where procreation is inherently possible. While it is true that individual homosexuals may be capable of procreation, the couple is not. Adoption is irrelevant to this debate.
Regarding my opponents final objection, we are debating what the law -- more specifically marriage -- should be perceived as, not what current perceptions are. None of my opponents objections have survived my scrutiny.
On Revisionist Marriage: Addressing the criteria
Before larz addresses the criteria, he first posts a paragraph justifying his position. In this paragraph, he determines that the cost of excluding homosexuals from marriage is not worth emotional repercussions that homosexuals place on themselves and all of society. But this is totally irrelevant to the debate. What my opponent is arguing for is, "that the revisionist position is more reasonable than the traditional position of what sort of marriages should be recognised." Nothing in my introduction did I mention homosexuals, with the exception of a very vague first sentence. The paragraph preceding my opponents justification for his criteria is totally irrelevant.
Now, I will refute my opponents justification for the Revisionist case.
1. My opponents justification here is not on-topic at all. Indeed, why should we add any names to the list of who can wed under the revisionist standpoint? Why should the government recognize a revisionist marriage anyways? This is what we are debating, and my opponent has either ignored this or forgot. 1 is therefore unjustified.
2. This wasn't exactly a criteria to be met, but rather a ground rule to exclude obnoxious arguments, such as the circular "marriage is a right because it is a right" argument.
3. Larz excludes most of these unions because they are inherently bad, such as heterosexual incest, necrophilia, and pedophilia. But what about marriages with homosexual incestuous couples, animals, inanimate objects, or oneself? These do not implicitly do harm on anybody, and presumably do not meet the Revisionist requirement of marriage. Yet, they all revolve around love and intimacy. 3 is therefore unjustified.
4. While my opponent may believe that he has thwarted the Traditional position (which he has not), I do strongly suggest that he battles the ideologies of the two, just in case. I, for one, understand that an effort on the part of the government to preserve the population in society is more worthy of recognition than an effort to simply comfort members of society by declaring their love publicly. Why should I, or anyone, disagree with my observation? 4 is therefore unjustified.
Once again, I would like to thank larztheloser for accepting this debate. It seems as though he has quite a round ahead of him, and I, again, wish him the best of luck.
I thank my opponent for his criticisms of my argument. I do, in fact, have quite a round ahead of me, so here goes...
In my previous rebuttal, I showed that there are some grey areas when it comes to marriage and reproduction. I continue to maintain that marriage is not about sex and is about love.
Firstly, I claimed that marriage is not necessary for reproduction. My opponent's counter-argument was that marriage somehow encourages reproduction. That was it. No further explaination was given, no causal links were explained, and no analysis was to be heard. The fact that some random person is now married makes them no more or less likely to want to have children. Even if it did, however, surely they would still feel that same marginal desire to procreate under a revisional marriage as under a traditional marriage? I find it hard to believe that, upon being given a revisional marriage certificate, couples are going to exclaim "Oh no, this is the same sort of marriage certificate as that held by a gay couple, now we definitely can't have children!"
Secondly, I explained that marriage does not enable reproduction. My opponent's counter-argument is that states should look to the principle of whether or not the genders represented in the union are able to procreate, not whether or not procreation actually happens (or is even capable of happening). What he does not explain is why this should be the case. Why must people be defined by what they are, not who they are? Why does my opponent accept the principle that a lesbian who loves a transgendered male can be married, but does not accept the principle that a lesbian who loves a female can be married? Not only is that as absurd as it sounds, it also shows dogmatism taking precedence over "encouraging procreation," which my opponent was ever so keen on only one argument ago. Let's face the facts - marriage is not actually linked to procreation at all. The fact that two partners are not able to concieve children does not affect traditional marriages, all that affects them is the genders of the participants - but gender is by no means the only precondition for conception. If a single attribute necessary for conception is all that is required to make a marriage valid, you might as well legalise revisionist marriages because both participants are human.
Thirdly, I explained that procreation is more than just giving birth. As I expected, my opponent's counter argument is that procreation is just giving birth. However, what value is giving birth if the child dies one month later? What value is giving birth if the child is abandoned, unwanted, unloved, and unable to fend for itself? Obviously it is of no value - such children are a tragedy, a cost, something society should strive to avoid. Therefore there is no value in defining procreation as narrowly as just keeping the hospital wards busy - it's about everything from the moment of conception to when the child is old enough to move out of home. Until then, they still need support, which is inherantly part of the process of procreation. Therefore I contest that my less restrictive definition of procreation is, in fact, more accurate and socially advantageous. Therefore, adoption is not irrelevant (because what happens after birth is part of the process of procreation), and IVF etc are not irrelevant (because pregnancy is also part of the process of procreation).
When you marry, it is a requirement that you love your partner. You usually need to swear to love them until you die. Marriage indubitably both encourages and rewards love, under either of our positions. There is no requirement, no special test or examination, no oath 'til death do you part, no encouragement and no reward in marriage for procreation. Marriage is for love, not because society now thinks it, but because that's what marriage is.
Let me begin by reviewing my model. The harm is that some couples feel disenfranchised under the traditional model, leading to riots etc in the long run. The solution is to accept revisionist marriages. I also showed how revisionist marriages solve the problem with the traditional position.
My opponent's sole objection to my model is that same-sex marriages are not the direct subject of the motion. This is true, however, this does not undermine my model, the subject of which was also not same-sex marriages, but the tangible harms of not accepting the revisionist position (which just so happen to be partly caused by couples unable to have same-sex marriages). With the states solely recognising the traditional view of marriage, the harm I identify exists, by recognising marriages allowed by the revisionist position, the harm does not exist. My opponent is yet to rebut the harm elimination, so essentially conceeds that (in this way at least) things are better under the revisionist model.
My opponent also contests whether my model meets three of our five criteria (he conceeds numbers 2 and 5). I will examine these in greater detail.
First, I had to prove the cost was justifiable. I justified it in two ways - the cost of accepting only traditional marriages being even higher (ensuring that no state-recognised marriages are secretly revisionist in nature being more expensive than just sending them a piece of paper saying "You are now officially married"), and the extra costs of accepting the revisionist position being neglible anyway (because it's not like the world faces a marriage-certificate shortage or anything). Both of these were ignored by my opponent. Instead he reminded voters that we are debating whether the government should recognise a revisionist marriage. I outlined the reason why in my model, and therefore my opponent is making a circular argument. In dealing with the first criteria, all I had to do was justify any marginal cost.
Third, I had to explain why a slippery slope will not happen. I explained that the government only needs to recognise marriages between couples who are legally allowed to be in a relationship under the revisionist position, so illegal activities will not be counted. I further explained that the reasoning behind this is that even if pedophiles or any other illegal sexual deviants were to feel disenfranchised, the harm my model addresses would not accrue because they'd be behind bars. In response, my opponent totally misconstrues my argument, claiming it was based on inherant badness of some sexual acts. This is not true. It is based on the illegality of some relationships. All I argue is that if you're in a legal relationship, the relationship should have legal recognition. Incest and so on are not legal relationships and are therefore beyond the scope of my model.
Fourth, my opponent claims that I have not done enough to battle the ideologies of the traditional and revisionist position. Allow me to first turn to my burden of proof, which is simply to show that there are more tangible harms to society for states following the traditional compared to the revisionist position, while meeting the five criteria. Once I have proven this, there is nothing more in the debate I need to do. Nonetheless I will answer his observation.
My opponent believes that governments should value preservation of life above making couples happy. Firstly, that's a moral call, because government recognition of the preservation of life is not causally connected to the preservation of life. In other words, anarchy is not a contraceptive. Therefore any government values with respect to preservation of life are moral values, not ones with tangible consequences. Secondly, it ignores all of the points I made in the section labelled "Rebuttal."
With that, I conclude my case and look forward to another good round.
My opponents initial rebuttal is apparently filled with rebuttals more obvious I had initially taken them to be. I will explain further in the following sections.
My opponent argues that some casual links I have taken for granted are unjust. While I, and I believe many others take my assertions as obvious, I will delve into them now.
For instance, take the association of government recognition and the normative. In the traditionalist position, the government intervenes into our lives with the purpose of recognizing our intimate, monogamous, opposite sex relationships to create a more apt environment for procreation to occur. My opponent believes that assuming recognition leads to a normative (or procreation) is a fallacy. But does my opponent believe non-recognized relationships are equal to recognized ones? If no, then my point is sound. If yes, then why debate gay marriage? Belief that the government doesn't alter our opinions is an absurd belief in the SSM debate. Therefore, since the government recognizes procreative relationships, it can be said this action's purpose is to encourage such relationships. And as a general idea, sex usually occurs when two people are attracted to each other and spend a lot of time together.
By contrast, let us apply the same scrutiny to the Revisionist position. Can people love each other outside of marriage? Yes! But what exactly is this trying to prove? My opponent will surely contend that it proves nothing. If my opponent wishes to continue this contention, he will have to do so carefully as to not compromise his own position as well as my own, if it actually is a sound contention. (Which it is not)
Next, my opponent attacks the infertile argument, sort of. He starts off by quoting the argument, and then sort of goes off to rant about love and supposed rights of trans gendered males and lesbians. But I am arguing that only couples who are inherently capable of procreation fit the criteria to be married. Being in love, while it is preferred, is not a necessary criteria for a traditional marriage. Whatever it is my opponent thinks is evident, and whatever the "facts" he are referring to are, I am obviously contending them if they compromise my position. He hasn't really shown any evidence that I have conceded to, and is now making baseless claims, and making my position a misnomer. Traditional marriage is about procreation, because it is a legitimate government interest. More on this later.
Finally, my opponent argues that a more broad definition of procreation would be more advantageous than a restrictive one. But I am not arguing for a restrictive one, I am arguing that unless a couple meets all the criteria and aspects of procreation, from child-rearing to child-raising, then they don't qualify for a traditional marriage. Gay couples cannot rear children. IVF's are not couples rearing children, but rather individuals. While it is advantageous that love and commitment are favorable in a marriage, I argue that none of them qualify for government recognition independent of actual procreation. In the traditionalist position, it is not a requirement that you love your partner. And we move on.
One of the key points in determining if a revisionist marriage is worthy of government recognition lies within the interest. My opponent is required to demonstrate why a revisionist marriage in and of itself is worthy of government recognition. The argument "Traditional marriage emotionally harms same sex couples, therefore revisionist marriage is worthy of government recognition" is absurd. To fulfill the first criteria, my opponent needs to demonstrate why the Revisionist position of marriage would invoke government action as if no institution of marriage already exists. Until then, the first criteria remains unmet.
My opponent believes that the simply legality of certain acts protects the Revisionist position of a slippery slope. However, in the previous round I listed several relationships which are not currently illegal. ("homosexual incestuous couples, animals, inanimate objects, or oneself") But this 'legality' idea totally undermines the whole revisionist position. Seeing as though homosexuals are not allowed to marry in a majority of states currently, based on what can you argue that such laws are unjust? It is illegal, so following your same logic we would arrive at the point that the revisionist position isn't worthy of government recognition simply because it is not already law. What if homosexual acts were illegal, as they were in Texas not 30 years ago? Then the whole gay debate becomes void, following your ideals. Ironically, your ideals lead you to another slippery slope that you have to deal with. So I argue that the third criteria remains unmet.
Finally, for my opponents last criteria, he needs to demonstrate why the Revisionist position of marriage is superior to the traditionalist position, or demonstrate why the traditionalist position is flawed. (Which he hasn't) He argues two points, one of which is that the traditionalist position causes tangible harms upon society, more specifically on the homosexual community. But this is equivalent of people demanding money from the government. Is the government entitled to give them money? No. Do the employed meet the criteria for unemployment checks? No. So how is it that this harm is unjust, when homosexual couples do not qualify for traditional marriage? It is not.
Secondly, my opponent accuses my "preservation of life" argument to be a moral call, violating his fifth criteria. But it is far from a moral call. The state would recognize a traditional marriage out of self interest, because without a new generation of citizens the society the government protects would die, and soon the government would follow it. So to ensure the survival of our society, the government would recognize relationships where procreation inherently occurs. By contrast, the revisionist position would have the government recognize marriage solely to... do what? My opponent needs to argue his point, or else he does not meet his fourth criteria.
I apologize for the late response, I typed this out 2 days ago and the power went out, and I had to redo it from scratch. I leave it now to Pro.
I, too, apologise for the delay. Fitting this into 8000 chars was very hard.
At long last, my opponent has attempted to explain how marriage encourages reproduction. First he says that having a marriage certificate provides a more "apt" environment for procreation. I suppose that's slightly subjective, but in all honesty you can have a baby just as easily when you're not married. If my opponent thinks otherwise, let him justify it.
He then asked whether I believe being married under a traditionalist marriage encourages me to have sex more than under a revisionalist marriage, and as I argued last round, my answer is no. Then my opponent continues "if no, my point is sound" (no further explanations or details as to why). So let me recap: my opponent's reasoning for why traditional marriage is better is that I'm always wrong (apparently). Nice.
Next my opponent applies that same scrutiny to the revisionist position. Wait, no he doesn't. Actually he just asks me what I'm trying to prove. If he had applied the same scrutiny to the revisionist position, he would have seen that revisional marriages are exactly the same as traditional marriages with respect to procreation, because marriage is about love not sex. That’s also exactly what I'm trying to prove.
Okay, moving on to how marriage does not enable reproduction. My point here was that traditional marriages allow lots of people to marry who, for various reasons, will never have children. In round two I explained why looking at gender is a bad criterion for distinguishing procreative marriages, for instance because of gender identity issues. I also argued that a single precondition for procreation is not enough. In response to all this analysis, my opponent said my arguments were a "rant." And that's it! None of these claims was given the smallest look-in.
What he did say, however, is that love is not a criterion of marriage. No further explanations or justifications. Actually, it is a criterion. I'm fairly clueless about US legislation, but I know that over here the purpose of the Marriage Act is to provide some legal recognition not to people having sex, but to people in love, which is why a vow of love is required before signing the register. But there is no vow in any major religion or secular marriage to procreate. Huh, looks like I already made this argument last round and my opponent neglected to respond to it.
Next he argues that restricting marriage to only those that can go through all the steps of procreation is not more restrictive than not restricting marriage along the lines of procreation. But if procreation is so desirable, then why only empower some of the contributors? Sure, gay people can't do all the steps, but they inevitably end up doing a lot of them. If it were not for them, then much less procreation would be going on. So my opponent's apparently-less-restrictive restriction is to allow only those people who can complete the shortest, least expensive and least tiresome part of the process (reproductive sex) to marry. Gay couples often make a much greater sacrifice to ensure human survival than straight couples. But my opponent keeps on insisting that the couple must be able to complete all the steps of procreation to marry, without actually engaging with my argument at all. Why? In round one he told you that marriage is for procreation, and what better way to aid that than to avoid those unwanted, unloved babies I talked about last round? Gay people help solve the problem, gay people help us survive, and gay people only ask for the same titles as everyone else in return. Being married is not a symbol of procreation, but even if it was, that's no reason to bar same-sex marriage.
Apparently it's now my job to justify why a revisionist marriage is, in and of itself, worthy of state recognition, as if no marriage institution already exists. First of all, I don't buy that premise. Marriage does exist, so it's no use arguing as if it didn't. It's because marriage exists that my harm accrues, and the avoidance of a big harm is far more important than justifying a model under unrealistic, hypothetical conditions. Nevertheless, recognising love is of clear advantage to states. Firstly, it makes their job much easier and less expensive in complicated legal situations, such as when a person dies without leaving a will. In places where illegal, it is an effective counter-measure to things like polygamy. But most importantly, as a general principle, love is a great thing for states to encourage. Love is the bringer of peace and prosperity; it orders society and makes people happy. Contrast that to procreation. When considering re-election, do people look more to fertility rates under a governments term, or do they look to things like prosperity when the government was in power? How often is conception discussed in political newspapers, compared with things like war and violence (and other opposites of love)?
On the slippery slope, my opponent believes incest is currently legal. But as Wikipedia says, "In the United States, every state and the District of Columbia have some form of codified incest prohibition" (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Almost all states also outlaw bestiality. However, if states have already accepted the principle that these kinds of relationships are okay, then why deny them recognition? It's not a slippery slope so long as there is a limit, and I have established the limit pretty firmly.
Con further contends that since revisionist marriages are not legal, states should not recognise them for the same reason. Firstly, revisionist marriages are not illegal. They're just not officially recognised by the states. Gay couples are free to go ahead and do whatever ceremony they desire, and the government won't care. Secondly, even if they were illegal, the reason I would legalise them is to prevent a tangible harm. There is no tangible harm to not legalising incest or necrophilia (as I’ve already shown).
Con further contends that homosexuality was illegal until very recently in many parts of the world. Firstly, this is not a historical debate. Secondly, that's a different topic. We're not arguing if x relationships should be legal, we're arguing if people in x relationships should have their marriages recognised by the state. Gay rights were granted for completely different reasons. Now that we have gay rights, there is good reason to institute gay marriage.
On the fourth point, con contends that I haven't pointed out the flaw in the traditional position. The flaw is that it disenfranchises certain couples in legal relationships, which causes all manner of tangible harms. He then says, under this point, that the government is not entitled to give people everything they desire. That's true, but this isn't about just giving people something - this is about treating all legal relationships equally at the government level. The perception of fairness and justice is vital for any government to maintain. Then he says there is some kind of fair basis for making the exclusion, in the manner of being poor. No there isn't, and my opponent hasn't shown them.
Finally con states that it's in the government's self-interest because the encouragement of self-preservation is important. To make this point, you need to prove the causal connection between government policy and humanity dying out. Like I said, even if there was no government and no state-recognised marriage, that would not stop children from being born, and therefore there is no causal connection. The revisionist position would recognise marriage to prevent a harm with the traditional position. The traditional position would recognise marriage to recognise love, not sex or self-preservation. And it so happens that I've been arguing this point for three rounds now, so restating continuously that I need to argue this point is poor rebuttal.
I thank my opponent again and look forward to the final round.
Thank you Larz for this debate. My debating skills are evidently more unpolished than I had initially take them to be, and your criticisms demonstrate this, but I still believe this final round will be enough to salvage most of the arguments I have made. I hope that we have both learned something through this debate, and will now procede to conclude.
Traditional Marriage: The Finale
It seems that my opponent and I have been dancing with a strawman for the past 3 rounds. It turns out, that whether or not recognition of marriage encourages procreation is wholly irrelevant to my argument. The purpose of traditional marriage, as I had defined it in my opening, was "acknowledging the special social value of a relationship where procreation is inherantly possible." However, my opponents initial objection becomes reopened, that marriage is not required for procreation. But this is also irrelevant. Marriage is the means in which society recognizes the special social value that heterosexual union has from a societal point of view.
Larz has also misconstrued my argument. I asked him whether or not he thought that legally bound relationships have the same value of non-legally bound relationships. If my opponent doesn't, then my point is indeed sound, that recognizing a relationship is a means to give social value to it. If he did agree, why would my opponent argue that limiting marriage to procreation is unjust? It does not matter to him at all whether or not some relationships are legally bound.
My opponents next objection, that marriage doesn't enable procreation, is also irrelevant. By arguing this, my opponent understands my argument to be that marriage is directly about procreation, instead of "acknowledging the special social value of a relationship where procreation is inherantly possible." So let me directly respond to my opponents objection: Do infertile/unwilling inherantly possess the qualities required for procreation to occur? Yes! Because the basis of procreation is the coupling of males with females. Do transvestite males and lesbians possess this quality? That is up to how specifically you are looking to define male and female. But, this is, again, irrelevant! Gay people do not possess the qualities for being in a relationship where procreation can occur, unless you define marriage as something so broadly that the makeup of the participants becomes irrelevant. But this is precisely what I am arguing against.
My opponent also contends that certain laws have passed that prove marriage is about love. But nowhere in this debate have I conceded that marriage as we see it today is the traditional position. It doesn't matter to me what your countries marriage laws state. We are battling ideologies, not factual examples.
Finally, Larz's last contention states that limiting marriage to unions which are capable of all aspects of procreation is unjust. But such a stance equates that two equal men, one with two arms and one with one arm, are of equal value. This is obviously not the case. Let me clarify; I am not arguing that Same-sex unions have no potential for extrinsic value, but rather because heterosexual unions possess the potential for maximum extrinsic value, they in themselves deserve special social recognition. The state could, if it wanted to, extend certain legal benefits to same-sex unions, like civil unions. But marriage is indeed about "acknowledging the special social value of a relationship where procreation is inherantly possible" and therefore demands social recognition. We could allow homosexuals to participate in marriage, but this would warrant the creation of a new institution that is exclusively for heterosexual couples, and we end up back at square one with new vocabulary.
Rebuting the Case for Revision
If my opponent doesn't provide a reason why marriage should be recognize, he violates the second criteria. He would have assumed that marriage exists by default, and therefore assumed that changing the purpose of marriage does not alter the value of marriage. He does eventually argue that because love is an inherant good, a counter-measure to polygamy, and settles court disputes over things like inherited estates, it deserves legal recognition. But this is all fallicious. He has assumed that love is an inherant good and brings prosperity--something I personally disagree with--, does not explain how marriage based around love is a counter-measure to polygamy, and substitutes the purpoise of settling court disputes with his own position, that love is the purpose of marriage. While there is a correlation between love and personal desire for where your assets go, this argument does not require such correlation. I could marry my Son if the sole purpose of so was to make sure my assets went to him when I died.
In regards to the slippery slope, my opponents position is simply "because it is illegal, it is unrecognized." But this is a situational argument. If it were to happen that some alternative forms of relationships were to become legalized, then we would immediately have to recognize them because they do fit the criteria of marriage. This also is a logical fallacy, because it is an appeal to authority. We are in a decisive debate where we are contrasting logical ideologies. By pulling real world facts and basing your logic off of them, you are begging the question. Furthermore, Larz has not demonstrated why in the few states where beastiality is legal it would be illegal to enter the union of marriage. His intial case based off the real world is extremely weak, and doesn't even cover a lot of real world aspects. While I'm sure some might disagree, I do not agree that this argument is valid.
Finally, we get down to the very last point: Which union is to be preferred; the Revisionist or Traditional. Pro's main assertion here is that all relationships are entitled to equal recognition under the law. But this is assumed. I do not believe the value of a man with two arms to be the same with one arm, at least not extrinsicly. Larz has not demonstrated otherwise.
As this final round has finally made clear, the purpose of the traditional marriage is that of which I have stated in the first round: "acknowledging the special social value of a relationship where procreation is inherantly possible." It is because heterosexual union is the sole reason humanity has not died out is why it deserves special recognition under the law. Marriage is the supplement in which the value of the union is displayed, as I have tried to explain in former rounds and arguments.
As I have stated before, Pro has not established any fundamental purpose for marriage. His main reasoning is to prevent a certain group from being emotionally harmed. But they are not being directly being harmed. By establishing a certain mindset in which they are being denied something entitled to them, they are damaging themselves emotionally. By arguing that this is enough to warrant recognition, you are legitimately saying it is unjust to deny a girl ice cream who is holding her breath till she supposedly suffocates. Homosexuals aren't going to dissapear forever because we don't allow them to marry, just like how the girl won't die. Traditional marriage, by contrast, is a means to warrant the special recognition that heterosexual unions deserve, for being the basis of all society and government.
It has been quite the debate. Again, thank you Larz. It has been a learning experience. I hope we might be able to debate this issue again in the future.
To voters, remember, my opponent has the extraordinary burden of proof here. He needed to have demonstrated why Revisionist marriage warrants government recognition, explain why the Revisionist position will retain to homosapian monogamy, and demonstrate why such a position is preferable over traditional marriage. Because I do not believe my opponent has accomplished all this, I urge a vote to CON!
I thank my opponent for all his responses and conclusion. This debate certainly has been interesting and very enjoyable. In this round I will review all the arguments and conclude the debate.
Sex vs love
That's all the my rebuttal was - marriage is not about sex. My opponent has established no other "special social value" to heterosexual union than that their sex can lead to kids. Thus, if I prove that marriage does not recognise sex or the inherent possibility thereof, my opponent's entire case is void. That's exactly what all my rebuttal points concluded - and that's why they aren't strawmen.
First, I proved that marriage is not a requirement for procreation. Con first said that marriage encourages reproduction, and I rebutted that successfully in rounds 2 and 3. In this round con changes tack and tells you that marriage recognises the value of the relationship, not the actual procreation. But the only value con has established is procreation! My opponent never justifies why long-term relationships have greater social value than one-night stands, since both are equally procreative, but only one will ever result in a marriage. Therefore my opponent's conception of marriage must be flawed. My opponent also argued that his point is sound that marriage assigns special social value. And I don't disagree - in fact, my harm depends on it. What I've been arguing all along is that the value that it recognises is not the value of sex but the value of love. Despite my opponent's continued assertions, the fact that I agree with one of his premises does not make his entire point "sound".
Second, I proved many marry without being inherently able to procreate. There's nothing inherently procreative about marrying a celibate priest, for instance. Therefore, the relationship is also not inherently procreative, because the partners are not inherently procreative. Finally in round 4, my opponent bothers to respond to my case. He argues that my "because the basis of procreation is the coupling of males with females," all marriages with males and females should be allowed. But as I questioned in round 2, why this particular basis as opposed to some other? My opponent does not say. There is no value in recognising procreative relationships if the relationship is not procreative, so marriage must be recognising something else.
Third, I proved procreation is more than just conception. In response my opponent claims that "two equal men" are not "of equal value." I must admit I don't see the relevance of that one, nor does it make much sense to me (how can something equal be unequal?). He also claims that he agrees same-sex couples can have an important part to play in procreation. In that case, he still needs to explain why encouraging conception is of higher social value to him than encouraging every member of society to do their part for procreation, regardless of their sexuality. Looks like it's a little too late now.
My alternative view is that marriage is about love. In response my opponent simply said that it isn't a precondition, whereupon I answered that this is factually false. Regardless of how theoretical this debate is, the institution of marriage is not a theory and needs to be looked at objectively. The fact is that marriage is about love - objectively, because the facts prove the ideology. At best, there is still a lot of reasonable doubt that marriage recognises sex instead of love. My opponent has therefore not established his case, the crux of which was that marriage is about sex. On this basis alone, con has lost the debate. Besides that, he never proved a tangible harm of the revisionist position or a tangible benefit of the traditional position that I have not shown to also accrue with the revisionist position, thereby violating the fifth criteria. On that basis, he also loses the debate.
The part that actually matters
The whole discussion about traditional marriages can be safely ignored by lazy voters anyway. I have the burden of proof, and I met it by providing a harm so compelling that my opponent has been completely unable to rebut it since round one. If I meet that burden of proof, I win the debate. However, in doing so I had to not violate any of the five criteria we agreed upon. This is the only part of my case that con actually contends - and even here, he admits I have satisfied the fifth of the five criteria, and does not appear to contest the first any more.
The second criteria was that marriage cannot be a natural right, so there must be some reason for it to be given so as not to break taxpayer autonomy. My model prevented a tangible harm, so revisionist marriage does not simply recognise marriage as a natural right. Of course, that's different from assuming marriage exists by default, which was never a part of the criteria. I can assume that marriages exist precisely as under the status quo all I want, and nothing in the agreed-upon rule prevents me from doing so. My opponent is clearly trying to change the rules in the middle of the debate, which is both unfair and not qualifying of me having broken the second criteria.
The third criteria is that there must be no slippery slope. I proved that illegal relationships would never be given marriages. Of course this is jurisdiction-dependant, but just because some states have different marriage laws does not mean a slippery slope automatically happens. My opponent has never proved why my situational case leads to a slippery slope just because it is situational. He claims this is an appeal to authority, but my conclusion that we should appeal to authorities in this case is not based on any appeals to authority at all. An appeal to authority is not a logical step, but it also isn't an illogical conclusion unlike my opponent's assertion. Not that this has anything to do with a slippery slope of course. He finally attacks me for using real world facts. But my facts do not form my argument. My argument is simply that revisional marriages do not open the floodgates to marrying anything and everything. The only "fact" this relies on is that some relationships are illegal, which doesn't at all "beg the question" as my opponent said but refused to justify. Finally he claims I have not demonstrated why bestiality would remain illegal in marriage where it is legal in law. That's because it wouldn't remain illegal in marriage. That's not a slippery slope, though, because a limit exists.
The fourth criteria states my opponent's ideology must not be preferable. I've demonstrated this pretty clearly in my rebuttal points, plus my opponent never showed any tangible benefits of his position. He claimed that I didn't show what the harm was in the traditional position, and when I restated it, he says I did not show why homosexuals deserve equal treatment - if you look back to round three, you'll see that I justified equal treatment pretty clearly. I said that without it governments lose the perception of fairness and justice, without which they cannot govern.
As you can see, all the criteria are met.
My opponent finishes with the analogy of a girl holding her breath for ice-cream. I love that analogy. Imagine if the ice-creams were given out freely to all the boys, simply on the basis that boys were capable of running faster than girls. In the same way, marriages are handed out on a basis not connected with the institution, a basis entirely unwarranted, and a basis that will probably result in big harms in the future. Con says the girl won't die if she doesn't breathe. Maybe it's supergirl, I don't know. But while the economy won't die and government won't collapse if disenfranchisement occurs, it sure won't be a pretty sight. Since the ice-creams are free anyway, I say let the girl have an ice-cream, regardless of her gender. For all we know, she could well be the fastest girl in the world.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by darceem 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con presented an irrelevant argument, and when Pro combated it expertly, proceeded to say "Oh that's irrelevant! Why are you arguing irrelevant points!" to Pro response to Con's original argument.
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