first round for acceptance.
I accept your challenge.
Thank you ScarletGhost for accepting this debate. I hope we can both learn something in it's process.
To begin with, I would like to further explin my position, and what being "Con" in this debate really means. I will be arguing that there are not enough, if any, compelling reasons to induct homosexual couples inside the government institution of marriage. Lets begin.
Marriage: Does it have a nature?
Take this idea into account: Marriage does not have any essential nature. That is, there is no purpose for marriage. This statement is not the equivelent of saying that marriage has no extrinsic nor intrinsic value, but instead that the value doesn't matter, and is totally subjective. It would seem strange that such an idea regarding the institution warrants itself recognition by the government. Government actions of this sort would be based on a totally totalitarian idealogy, that the government needs to regulate every aspect of our lives, including our feelings, romantic or otherwise, for the color of the plates we eat our food off of. Of course, such an idea of government is certainly not our own, nor practical. So unless it can be determined that marriage has a nature of sorts, be it affirmative action, procreation, or love, we can accept the conclusion that there is no reason at all for recognizing a purposeless institution.
It also seems, from a practical view point, that we should recognize the type of union that would best aid the government in it's purposes, the greatest of which being to protect the society in which it exists. This will be the foundation of my arguments.
Jim Spiegel's argument
Philosopher Jim Spiegel puts forth the following argument for a marriage institution revolving around procreation:
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. 
Conjunal union is the sole means in which procreation can occur. That is to say, only through such relationships can sperm and egg combine to reproduce future members of society. Without such means, we would find ourselves extinct within 120 years. Therefore, as the argument confers, it would be in the best interest of the society, or the government which protects it, to recognize such relationships to provide for the social value that the relationships inherantly demand. This way even the most simple of people within society can understand that Conjunal union is in itself a special means, even if they aren't sure why.
However, if the government declares that homosexual union is on par with conjunal union through recognition of homosexual relationships, it would deny most of the extrinsic value that exists within Conjunal marriage. Not only is this unjust, as the argument confers, it would leave the simpletons and our children mistakingly view marriage as an institution is soley intrinsic. If marriage has extrinsic value, why should we deny it?
Some may object that the infertile or those well beyond their child bearing age would not be allowed to get married. But I fail to see how this objection holds any water. If we let the infertile marry, we are not changing the definition of marriage. It is a union between two people which has an extrinsic value of procreation. Even if it is incoincidentally impossible for an individual couple to procreate, it is still a union between two people, who are still, in principle, capable of procreation. By contrast, homosexual couples are not only incoincidentally incapable of procreation, but incapable of procreation in principle. Never will a homosexual union result in procreation, even if understood in it's broadest terms.
Well thats my opening case. I now leave to let Pro provide her arguments.
Contention 1: The legalization of gay marriage aids to society.
For the following reasons, legalization of gay marriage has been beneficial to society, meaning that it has aided people at some level. The legalization of gay marriage has aided to society in the following ways:
Sub-point 1a: The supplement to tolerance of the homosexual community as a result of legalization of gay marriage has helped to reduce negative statistics in the homosexual community.
The proven evidence shows us that the negative statistics in the homosexual community, ranging from the amounts of sexually-transmitted diseases shared among homosexual patrons to the drug and alcohol abuse and suicide rates, have all been shown to be caused as a result of intolerance against the homosexual community. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention writes on homophobia and AIDS rates: " Stigma and homophobia may have a profound impact on the lives of MSM, especially their mental and sexual health. Internalized homophobia may impact men’s ability to make healthy choices, including decisions around sex and substance use. Stigma and homophobia may limit the willingness of MSM to access HIV prevention and care, isolate them from family and community support, and create cultural barriers that inhibit integration into social networks." In the Emory University study provided, the study confirms that denial of gay marriage is a form of intolerance, and with the passage of legislation denying same-sex marriage, AIDS rates among homosexuals will increase by 4 per 100,000 cases, while legalizing will reduce by 1 per 100,000 cases.
Sub-point 1b: Legalization of same-sex marriage has been beneficial to commerce.
The following evidence of economy after the passage of legalization of same-sex marriage shows us that the legalization is a great supplement to commerce because of the increase of demand for products.
Contention 2: Legalization of gay marriage establishes equality.
Aside from the aids to society, however, gay marriage at some level better establishes equality. This idea is supported by the following points:
Sub-point 2a: Same-sex marriage promotes equality.
The equality within the promotion of same-sex marriage in society lies within the balance of interests of all members of society at a moral level, including the homosexual portions of society. This is a scenario similar to the idea against the legalization of interracial marriage, where two people from two groups of people couldn't acquire a legal marriage based merely on the fact that they were members of that social group and nothing else, which is the pinnacle of what embodies prejudice and discrimination in society. The status against same-sex marriage is similar in this manner.
Sub 2b: Civil unions are not a good alternative.
Civil unions are not effective at providing parity for homosexuals because they are designed to be less than traditional marriage and does not provide equal benefit to homosexual patrons as would a normal marriage. At that point, we realize that civil unions are not equal to same-sex marriage.
Davidson, Lela. "Gay Marriage Is Good for the Economy | Business Pundit." Business Pundit. 9 July 2008. Web. 20 Dec. 2011. <" target="blank">http://www.businesspundit.com...............;.
Francis, Andrew M., and Hugo M. Mialon. "Tolerance and HIV." (2009). 3 Sept. 2009. Web. <" target="blank">http://userwww.service.emory.edu...............;.
Goldberg, Naomi G., and Michael D. Steinberger. The Williams Institute, May 2009. Web. <" target="blank">http://www.policyarchive.org...............;.
Thanks again, to ScarletGhost, and I will now move on to my rebuttals.
Contention 1 and Affirmative Action
Con's arguments for SSM are of the sort that the institution could be considered solely for Affirmative Action purposes, with a slight benefit for the economy. Her argument goes like this:
1. Evidence demonstrates that the homosexual community is suffering because of intolerance.
2. Legislation in favor of Gay marriage will reduce intolerance.
C: Therefore, Gay marriage should be legalized.
However, I offer two objections to her argument. My opponent has simply assumed that legislation in favor of Gay marriage would reduce intolerance. She has not offered any argument for this. Also, I contend this whole idea of affirmative action. I, and I'm sure many others, think that homosexuality is immoral and disgusting, and the government should not destroy the institution of marriage for the sake of helping, and thereby encouraging, homosexuality. In simpler terms: I do not like homosexuals, and it is my right not to. I won't contend the economic argument for now, being that it isn't very persuasive.
Equality SubA: Antimiscegation analogy
My opponent offers an argument for equality, using prior restrictions to interacial marriage as an example. But such a comparison falsely assumes there are no essential differences between race and gender. While race is irrelevent to procreation, same sex couples, as I have displayed, do not qualify for entering the institution of marriage, given they are not capable of procreation. Thus, this analogy fails.
Other than the interacial analogy, my opponent doesn't offer any other arguments as to why marriage policy which includes homosexuals is required for equality (as gay marriage certainly doesn't serve the best interests of my homophobic agenda). If no arguments are maintained, and are thus assumed, we are going to have to deal with a horrific slipperly slope. But I'll get on his later.
Equality SubB: Civil Unions
Given that my opinion is biased, I don't think civil unions should exist either. However, if marriage policy is based on procreation, then it isn't wholly irrational to offer sub-marriages for couples, like homosexuals and others, who still possess some extrinsic value. But I think this point is mostly irrelevent.
Pro's arguments and the slippery slope
All of the arguments presented by my opponent can be applied to any other form of relationship. For instance, polyamorous, incestual, bestial, or asexual relationships, all of which are looked odwn upon by society, can benefit from marriage policy that includes them. But if the arguments are the same as for homosexuals, how can we justly, in the name of equality, deny any of these relationships from occuring?
Conclusion: Marriage policy should always be aimed at recognizing real marriages. Now, Pro hasn't offered any alternative marriage policy, but instead argues that we should recognize SSM based on a few platonic benefits that society will receive. Given that my argument above is good, then such recognition is unjust. So I now leave to my opponent to argue.
I thank my opponent for his rebuttals, and I will move to the rebuttal of his case and the defense of my own in that order.
My opponent's burden: Basically, practicality is what my opponent is emphasizing on in his arguments and that this is the very nature of marriages grounded in the value of procreation. What I would need to prove then is that banning gay marriage is not practical in order to knock down my opponent's case. This is, of course, unless my opponent has some other burden that he would argue I have to achieve.
Spiegel argument: Basically what my opponent has done here is slap on a sylloligism in order to provide an argument, and what I need to do here is point out the flaws in this reasoning in order to knock it down. Such flaws would be in the premisis 4. What my opponent does is try to argue based on this reasoning is that homosexual unions destroy the inherent value of marriage, and thus, it is unjust. My opponent in no way explains why it destroys the inherent value of marriage or heterosexual unions in general. After all, what the first premise is saying is that heterosexual union, the actual occurrence of a man and woman coming together in order to procreate, is indispensible, but then it jumps forward to making the argument that heterosexual marriage, the actual condition of man and woman being married, has the social value. Is my opponent trying to make the argument that all heterosexual unions are heterosexual marriages? If procreation is indispensible, what part of gay marriage is threatening that? Also, if it's the actual event of procreation that's important, why is the "special value" practical at all? If you ask me, it's ensuring that procreation still remains so that the human race can live on (which gay marriage does not affect) in contrast to what my opponent is saying, where's he's just trying to protect the perception of "special value" of it. That's not practical at all, nor has it been beneficial for world conditions either. Too much procreation leads to overpopulation, which is environmentally dangerous considering that we can overuse our resources. We have heard about the world population reaching 7 billion, and some of us have heard about the problems that countries like India, Bangladesh, and China are facing with overpopulation. Procreation has it's value in maintaing the existence of the human race, but when it comes down the conditions of our planet because the overexercise of it, it's evident that procreation at some level has to be suppressed in order to maintain the quality of life of humanity in context of the environment, so this argument that my opponent makes about denying "special values" of procreation being totally unjust is flawed in the truest sense.
Infertility: Allow me to break this argument down. What my opponent is saying is that even though infertile couples have as much potential for children as homosexuals do, the infertile couples are justified simply because of the idea that it is a man and a woman coming together in order to try to reproduce. This is the epitome of a double-standard: even though my opponent tries to make the argument that marriages that don't produce children destroys the value of procreation in heterosexual unions, unions that still don't make children, but are heterosexual are justified just because it's heterosexual. That's prejudice in the purest sense.
Contention 1 Response: Not only is it evident that my opponent in no way looks toward my evidence explaining how governmental recognition of homosexuals increases the tolerance of their community in addition to reducing the rates at which they have STD rates (where governmental recognition influences the idea of justice and courteousness into the society, similar to what occurred with the ending of segregation in 1964, and the status between African Americans and whites improved significantly over time), but my opponent is just trying to prove that homosexuals deserve it based mostly on his own prejudice against homosexuals. He doesn't provide any information proving that "many others" find homosexuality immoral and disgusting, nor does he give any reasoning as to why it is immoral other than just his personal feelings against it. It's evident that my opponent is lacking in his reasoning and evidence. Since my opponent has clearly stated himself that he's not going to object to the economics argument, the judges can extend my economics arguments for the time being.
Equality Response: First and foremost, please pay attention to the emphasis that my opponent places on procreation because it is vital to my counterargument about infertility. Moving on, it is evident that my opponent clearly does not understand my sub-point 2a. What I was trying to do was explain the similarity in banning interracial and same-sex marriages based on the circular reasonings behind them that emphasized on the idea that people from Group A should not be together with Group B in marriage just because people from Group A should not be together with people of Group B. Really, what did these bans come down to? "Blacks and whites shouldn't be together in marriages because they shouldn't be together." "Men and other men shouldn't be together in marriages because they shouldn't be together." All of it is just discrimination, and at that point, where we are not recognizing same-sex marriages simply on a prejudiced premise and a way to simply devalue homosexual relationships and the group it is practiced in, this is completely against the concept of equality.
Civil unions: The civil union arguments were meant to further show the equality argument. At the point where civil unions are meant to be under marriages, it only further emphasizes on the idea that homosexual relationships are less than heterosexual ones. It's a good first step, but if equality is what we want in our society, this is not the solution.
Slippery Slope: My opponent tries to argue that polyamorous, incestual, bestial, or asexual relationships could be justified in this sense (except pedophilia considering for the reason that an adult is taking advantage of a person who is less developed and able to make choices as well as causing harm to children, which is immoral). They could. What my opponent needs to prove is that these relationships are all immoral and harmful to society, which he does not do. Furthermore, these arguments about equality in relationships can be applied to heterosexual unions as well, including interracial ones considering that they could be considered "lesser" or something. My opponent also needs to prove that these arguments cannot apply to heterosexual relationships and should not apply to homosexual ones.
Thanks Scarlet Ghost for participating in my debate. Also, I'm not homophobic at all. It is just easier to make a personal case rather than embrace how others may feel. Moving on now:
Burden of proof in the concluding round?
My opponent has tried to establish what the burden of proof is, and who has it. I don't like the way she worded it so I will rephrase it as such:
The aim of the government is to recognize real marriages. It is evident with all the types and forms of relationships out there, the government is going to have to bar some of them from entering the institution. I argue that procreation has the greatest social value, and should be the choice of how one defines marriage. So my opponent is arguing why we should make an exception for homosexual couples. She has to do this in a way to prevent other non-marital relationships from entering the institution. (More on the slippery slope later)
My opponent sets up a strawman, or poorly words her arguments. Nowhere did I argue that "homosexual unions destroy the inherent value of marriage". I argued that by recognizing homosexual unions on par with heterosexual unions, we are deminishing the value of marriage, and denying the extrinsic value that heterosexual couples deserve recognition for, by means of obscuring marriage's fundamental purpose. She also accusses the argument of interchanging the words "union" and "marriage" too casually. But this is irrelevent; marriage is indeed the means by which society confers the social recognition that heterosexual couples deserve. If we simply toss marriage out the window, we would need another institution in which to confer the recognition, where homosexual couples would be excluded anyways.
Follwing those arguments, she misunderstands the first premise. She states "If you ask me, it's ensuring that procreation still remains so that the human race can live on (which gay marriage does not affect) in contrast to what my opponent is saying, where's he's just trying to protect the perception of "special value" of it." But the argument does not state that the purpose of marriage is to maintain nor encourage procreation. It is to establish that the base of our society is indeed socially important, and because it is the foundation for collective practices, we should collectively recognize it as socially valuable. No encouraging nor ensuring involved. Overpopulation is irrelevent, and another issue altogether.
My opponent wrongly asserts that infertile heterosexual couples and homosexual couples are fundamentally the same, and therefore my contention fails. This is utterly false. The infertile, as I argued, do not disrupt what marriage is about in principle. Homosexuals, by contrast, do. Allen Keyes corrects such a misconception in the two minute video presented above.
My opponent has failed to respond to my main points. Why should society provide affirmative action to a group? Surely it is unreasonable to recognize pedophilia or bestiality in society to erase social stigma's and intolerance regarding those actions. What makes homosexuality different? My opponent seems to be begging the question. My next point was that Scarlet has failed to demonstrate exactly how recognizing homosexual marriages will curb intolerance. Her opening argument states "The supplement to tolerance of the homosexual community as a result of legalization of gay marriage has helped [the homosexual community]" She does not demonstrate this at all. Even if their are empirical examples of this occuring, correlation does not imply causation. Simply asserting that the result follows the action does not follow logically, and is entirely unconvincing. Plus, her link doesn't go to the right page.
Even if my opponents objection does stand, it will in result change what marriage is fundamentally about. As I have demonstrated, by changing what marriage is about, the value of the institution will be incredibly damaged, and will remove the purpose of the institution alltogether.
I have already dealt with the antimiscegation analogy. By allowing interacial marriages, the purpose of marriage still remains undisrupted. Such laws can be, and should be universally perceived as unjust. However, infering that there are no differences between race and sexual orientation is obviously flawed (White or black, heterosexuals can still procreate), and my position is immune to such an approach.
Civil unions should be understood as a less than to marriage. Heterosexual marriage is capable of more than homosexual marriage (procreation), so why should we recognize them as equals?
As I stated in my R2, purposeless marriage should be considered a less able alternative to one with a superb purpose. If we were indeed to let men marry frogs, what purpose would this serve? Actually, by limiting marriage strictly between heterosexual couples, we can derive incredible extrinsic social value from the institution. My opponent then challenges me to find a reason not to bar interacial couples from entering the institution. This is absurd. The extrinsic value of any heterosexual couple is the same in principle. Whatever intrinsic value is associated with different races is highly irrelevent to government purposes, and racist, and a real violation of social equality.
Perhaps polygamy is a sole alternative, but polygamy is next in line to monogamous marriage. (Imagine a society where there are 20 men and 150 women. Obviously polygamy would derive more social value than in a society where it is a 50/50 man to woman ratio.)
I have mainly argued two things: That a marriage institution revolving around procreation has more social value than any other viable concept, and there is nothing wrong with such an assertion (the infertility argument fails). My opponent, by contrast, argues that we should provide affirmative action to homosexuals, because by understanding marriage as a logical and purposeful institution, a group feels less-than. But, remember, I have demonstrated that by advancing such affirmative action, we are deminishing the value of marriage, and opening doors to a slippery slope that will make marriage seem like it has no essential nature, and is indeed a purposeless social construct.
So for the sake of protecting the social value of marriage, I urge a vote to CON.
This is the final round of the debate, so what I am going to do is provide my counterarguments and explain why I should be the winner of this debate.
Burden of the PRO: My opponent's reasoning for what my burden should be has no sort of reasoning whatsoever. I clearly explained that my burden was to prove that banning gay marriage is not practical considering that my opponent made the opening arguments and his standard is for practicality. My main objective as the contender is to contradict the instigator's main reasoning as well as prove that gay marriage is something that should be legalized considering my position as the PRO. Why do I have to do this in a way that prevents other non-marital relationships from entering the institution? What's my opponent's reasoning for this? He has none, and therefore, such a burden is totally irrelevant to the debate.
Spiegel argument: What my opponent is trying to argue is that the entire point of marriage is procreation and creates a specialized function in society, so when I argue on the point that my opponent is saying that homosexual unions would diminish the value of marriage, I mean it in the context of heterosexual unions. That is, even though that in his conclusion, he talks about wanting to protect the social value of marriage. I apologize for any misunderstandings. My opponent stated himself that marriage is not to protect procreation; it is just giving some sort of "special value" to it. At this point, there really is no practicality to anything that my opponent states about procreation because all he does is try to acknowledge that procreation is important rather than protect the actual function of procreation itself, even though he still provides no reasoning whatsoever as to why homosexual unions will somehow deviate the acknowledgement of procreation's importance; if gay marriage is legalized, there will still be procreation, and at the point where this basic institution is not harmed itself, why is it practical to uphold some "special value" to it? Why will it be detrimental to society in any way, shape, or form that this "special value" is not recognized? What is evident here is that my opponent does not uphold his own burden. If my opponent is talking about procreation, the argument about overpopulation is inherently going to come into this debate because at the point where he's making it seem like this big, foundational institution with a special value, we have to understand that this value is limited at the point of maintaining the environment and thus the milieu for human society (the very society my opponent is trying to protect with his standard of practicality).
Infertile: My opponent has pretty much gone in circles with this argument. He states that infertile couples do not violate what marriage is about in principle, but when my opponent is arguing that this principle is procreation, that procreation is what legitimizes a relationship, while at the same time not even trying to protect procreation but the idea that it's important, it's evident that my opponent is creating a double-standard because he's giving legitimacy to marital unions that cannot uphold the principle under the idea that they're practicing what kind of union procreates. At the of the day, infertile couples don't reproduce, and granting them marriages when the principle is procreation would be completely contrdictory to my opponent's own reasoning.
Contention 1: Judges, please understand that the only thing that I can do is provide evidence. I can in no way make my opponent read my evidence, and it's evident from every single argument he has made that he hasn't. First and foremost, he still doesn't give his reasoning why homosexuality is immoral for society. As I explained earlier, every single one of his arguments about homosexuality being immoral is grounded in his own personal prejudice against homosexuals while providing no evidence to back up this claim, and at the point where my opponent is not only the one who brings up the idea about pedophilia, bestiality, polygamy and whatnot being comparable to homosexuality but the idea that homosexuality shouldn't be promoted in society because it's immoral, it's my opponent's burden to explain why society should not provide affirmative action to these groups. In the context of society and improving it at a personal level, it can only be done one group at a time unless we're talking about economic concerns (which I address my case and my opponent fails to argue against it in any way, so it is completely extended across the flow). Helping homeless people will move them toward becoming established in society and reducing crime. Helping children will move them to become more successful adults. Helping homosexuals through the establishment of laws that do not discriminate them helps in the goals of public health in reducing HIV transmissions as well as suicide and violence in the community, while at the same time providing economic surpluses from the spur of activity in the context of gay marriage. If that's not upholding my opponent's burden better than he himself is, I don't know what it is. I explained to you the causation for the correlation. I explained how government enforcement of tolerance moves people toward becoming a more accepting community, as shown by policies helping African Americans. If you don't believe me, the evidence that my opponent has obviously not read in detail explains the causation.
Equality: My opponent completely fails to argue against any of my points. All he does is just iterate his previous rebuttal rather than make arguments against mine. I clearly explained that race does not equal sexuality. I clearly explained that the similarity is the premises at which these bans were enacted, and I explained that the premises were just prejudice rather than morally or pragmatically relevant functions. At that point, extend my entire rebuttal.
Civil Unions: Again, if the equality of human beings is what we want to uphold and the prevention of discrimination is the objective that we want to reach, homosexual relationships should be considered equal.
Slippery slope: Not only does my opponent fail to provide any reason why these other relationships should be barred from society and are immoral (meaning that he is actually the one begging the question because this is all running under the assumption that these relationships are bad), but he creates a strawman when I'm saying that I'm asking him to give a reason for not barring interracial couples. What I am saying is that these arguments about tolerance, benefitting from marriages, etc. can also be applied to heterosexual unions, interracial couples or marriages between Protestants and Catholics or what have you. My opponent tries to devalue my argument by saying it can be applied to these other relationships, but at the point where it can be applied to heterosexual unions, why are these arguments any less valid? My opponent creates an implicit double-standard.
Conclusion: So, reasons for voting PRO: The CON case was full of begging questions, unaddressing points, and double-standards worsened only by paucity of evidence. He made many points about the special value of marriage but doesn't explain why it's practical, and asserts that the purpose of marriage is not to promote procreation, but it holds it as a value, which makes no sense at all. He talks about how homosexual unions harm this value, but he has no reasoning nor evidence why and creates a double-standard in the case of infertile couples. His rebuttals were either misses or they didn't exist at all, especially when it comes to my evidence and arguments about economic benefits of SSM. He obviously fails to read any of my evidence, which had deeper explanations for the points that I was making. I upheld all of my points to my greatest ability and upheld my opponent's burden of practicality better than my opponent himself did, better upholding the idea that SSM should be legalized.
I urge a PRO vote.
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