Why change the word "marriage"s meaning?
Debate Rounds (3)
The issue with my opponent's case - ignoring any factual deviances about the claim the Church created marriage - is that he seems to think the meaning of words are static, and change only when we make a deliberate effort to do so. The fact of the matter is, words meanings change all the time. Freedom in the 11th century meant a state being free from dominion by a foreign power (like Scotland's freedom when controlled by England, or the French vassals controlled by France). Freedom in the 15th century meant the state not being subjected by foreign powers, like italian city-states being free from France. In the 17th century, the word began to mean the freedom of individuals - that is, the freedom of individuals to follow whatever religion they wish (as long as it is Christian). In the 19th century, it finally got near the modern meaning of the word - freedom from coercion of the state. But later into the 20th century, it returned to a Stoic meaning of self-mastery. And post-World War 2, we got postcolonial definitions of freedom, the freedom from the imperialist nations and right to redefine a nation's borders. This is ignoring all the heterodox definitions of freedom prevalent at the time as well, and the socialist meanings of freedom, and the meaning of freedom outside of the Western World.
Similarly, marriage's meaning has changed over time. Originally, it had nothing to do with love but the binding of families and the joining of property. This is why women came with dowrys, and the idea of marrying for love did not exist. Muhammad is the clearest example of marrying many times, not for love, but to secure political alliances. This indeed was common - Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and other literature all note how marriage was the joining of houses, and not love. Indeed, the concept of love only began around the 10th century in the West, when romantic poetry spread across Europe. The idea of monogomous marriages is also a peculiarly Western notion of marriage, which did not exist in the Greek or Roman or Eastern views of marriage. The concept of 'wedding rings' began at the beginning of the twentieth century; the white wedding dress began in the 19th century, and the tradition was secured as late as the 1950s! Marriage, and all the implications of it, change repeatedly and often, depending on the time and place we live in.
Words themselves change repeatedly. The associations with the words change often too. The concept of marriage has changed so drastically from the union of houses in a political sense to the romantic sense of love we have today. The meaning of the words will change often, and we do not have the power to stop how people see marriage. So in that sense the question is a misnomer: no-one can 'change' the meaning of marriage purposefully. It simply reflects how our values in society have changed, and how we are now more tolerant and open. Churches are even supporting en masse the legalisation of marriage - my country, Great Britain, has now the official Church, the Church of England, recognising and supporting gay marriages. This is not forced upon churches, but simply a reflection of how everyone is embracing our understanding of marriage. So for that reason I support the resolution - the meaning of the word has changed, and there is little we can do to stop it.
Lourencosmind forfeited this round.
Well...this is somewhat disappointing. Vote PRO.
Lourencosmind forfeited this round.
Sorry this debate did not turn out the way it should.
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