xXCryptoXx's 100th Debate: The Conjugal View of Marriage is Philosophically Valid
Hello all and welcome to my 100th debate! It has been a long journey in debating to get where I am on this wonderful summer day. Over the course of my debate history I have debated gay marriage a grand total of 24 times, having lost four of those debates, tying twice, and winning eighteen times. Gay marriage has been the debate topic of 24% of my debates, and through the course of just a little over a year here on DDO my arguments have evolved, progressively getting stronger and sounder. Gay marriage was my very first debate, and I laugh whenever I read that debate because it is fun to think about how much I have progressed since then. Despite laughing at my prior ignorance, I must also remember to keep my eyes set on the future, to always remember that I am as a whole ignorant and must continue in my pursuit of knowledge. In honor of my favorite debate topic, I come here today with the debate resolution The Conjugal View of Marriage is Philosophically Sound. This resolution takes a different perspective on the gay marriage debate. This resolution does not argue offensively against gay marriage and other relationships, but rather defends the conjugal view. I stand that before one can successfully attack another view with one’s own view, they must first show that their own view is sound. That is what I firmly intend to do today. With a year’s worth of knowledge and experience behind me, I truly hope to put up a good fight and have an intense intellectual debate against my opponent.
Conjugal View of Marriage – A comprehensive union with a special link to children.
Philosophically – We will be arguing philosophically, so no legal arguments, ect. will be used.
Valid - Having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent
Revisionist View – Any marital definition different from the conjugal view, usually “redefining” marriage from the conjugal view. The revisionist view generally focuses on a romantic relationship, permanence, or just social union in general. A common definition is, a contract between two consenting adults to enter into a lifelong, loving relationship. The use of “two” and “loving” may or may not apply depending on how my opponent argues. No matter though, I will show that regardless of how my opponent uses the term marriage, the conjugal view of marriage will always be especially distinct from it in relation to the common good.
*Pro will be arguing that conjugal relationships are especially distinct from any other relationship in regards to reproduction, that such difference is sufficient in degree, and that reproduction itself is a sufficient reason to distinguish conjugal relationships from any other relationship.
1. This debate is currently impossible to accept. If someone finds a way to accept this debate without my permission they will automatically forfeit this debate and all vote points will go to me.
2. Voting system will be arguments only. Only debaters with an ELO of 3000+ may vote on this debate. Please leave your bias when voting, and vote on what the resolution states and how the debaters argued, not on what you personally think.
3. Standard conduct applies. Please no cursing, generally offensive remarks, arrogance, ect. Let’s keep this debate clean.
4. PRO has the BOP to successfully defend the conjugal view as sound.
5. 10,000 character limit.
6. First round is for acceptance.
Thanks to Crypto! I am truly honored to be his choice of adversary for his 100th debate. I congratulate him on this milestone, and wish him good luck in what I know shall be a truly stimulating contest!
I shall assume, as per standard tradition, that the first round is for acceptance and clarifications.
There are a few things I wish to point out:
1. PRO does have the sole BOP. As this may be important later in the debate, I wish to reiterate it here for clarity's sake.
With these observations in mind, I gladly accept, and wait Pro's opening remarks.
A common good is something with an objective core, which inherently serves the well being and good of humanity. Common goods cannot be changed; rather they can only be distorted from their objectively good nature. For example, friendship is a common good. Let’s say that the objective core of friendship dictates that all friendships require selflessness and love between the two friends. If someone thought friendship was about using another individual in order to further their own motives, then that someone would be universally wrong. That person didn’t change the definition of friendship; rather they distorted friendship from its objective nature which inherently promotes the well being of those within the relationship.
In the same, revisionists are universally wrong when they try to distort marriage from its objective nature, from what marriage is. Revisionists often claim marriage to be something purely contractual, or about consent between two adults, but this view remains ignorant to the common good produced specifically by conjugal marriage.
In fact, the revisionist view of marriage is too broad.
Imagine a square.
This square holds the broad definition of the revisionist view. The problem with the view is that it is too general, for it neglects to see that a special relationship exists, which fits the definition provided but is also distinct from any other relationship that may also exist within the revisionist definition. Within the square is the heart of what marriage is: the conjugal view.
The conjugal view fits the broad definition that the square provided so it therefore exists within the square shape, yet the heart shape is special in itself in that it is distinct from the square shape, but still exists within the square. In the same, the conjugal view exists within the revisionist definition, yet is distinct from any other relationship that may too exist within the revisionist definition. In essence, I am arguing that the conjugal view of marriage is distinct from any other relationship in that only conjugal relationships have an inherent link to procreation. Revisionists neglect to see the distinction between conjugal relationships and other relationships and therefore neglect to see the conjugal relationship’s special link to the common good. Regardless of whether or not one calls this distinct relationship “marriage” is irrelevant, because that does not take away from the conjugal relationship’s objective nature pertaining to the common good. In the same, one could call a leg an arm, but that does not take away from the nature of what a leg is. Although the leg is a body part, the leg has a special function unlike any other body part that makes a leg, a leg. The same could be said with marriage. Although there are a plethora of many different relationships, only the conjugal relationship is especially distinct from any other relationship through its inherent link to the common good.
In order to discern the difference between the conjugal relationship and any other relationship we must first analyze what the conjugal definition entails, and then compare it to the revisionist definition.
“Marriage is a comprehensive union with a special link to children.”  “It is a private union with a public purpose. Private in that comprehensive union exemplifies the love of the spouses. Public in that their comprehensive union is directed toward a purpose beyond the love of the spouses: children.” The marital relationship is comprehensive in the sense that it is unlike any other relationship. Marriage is where the individuals within the relationship are joined together by the very aspect of their humanity. “Consider the various parts of a plane – the engines, wings, and avionics. What unites all of these parts together into a single whole is their coordination toward a common end: flight.” The unity inherent among married couples is that when they come together by nature of their sexuality, they may achieve an ends that could not have been achieved alone. This unity is the coming together in order to strive towards a common goal. This end of the means is procreation. Children produced are reflective to the union at hand. The nature of this comprehensive union is that it can only be completed by a man and a woman. No other relationship can strive towards this comprehensiveness, for there is no biological unity which strives towards an end that the individuals within the relationship could achieve on their own. Artificial reproductive technology is therefore irrelevant, because the relationship still lacks the intrinsic means to children.
Consider the following:
The conjugal relationship could mathematically be defined as so – X → Y without Z
Other relationships could be mathematically defined as so – X → Y only with Z
X in first definition is the conjugal relationship, in the second definition other relationships.
Y is procreation.
Z represents outside means in order to achieve procreation.
The arrows represent the link to procreation.
Only conjugal relationships in of themselves have a special link to procreation (the common good) through biological unity. Every other type of relationship possesses no such link, and therefore requires outside means in order to achieve the same result. These outside means could include artificial insemination, adoption, ect.
Now I foresee the objection that it is irrelevant as to whether or not outside means are required to achieve procreation, since ultimately the common good is being produced. However, no other relationship in of itself has a special link to the common good. No other relationship is especially ordered towards procreation like the conjugal relationship. This of course makes the conjugal relationship distinct from any other relationship, and this special link to the common good is what gives this relationship the title, Marriage. Ultimately though, if the value of a relationship is determined by some link to the common good even if it is not a natural link, my opponent would have to argue that companionships, fraternities, and friendships are all just as special since each one could adopt a child and raise one. Though if my opponent argued this, my opponent would be ignoring that unlike any of the other relationships mentioned and then a plethora of others, the conjugal relationship is ordered towards reproduction, and many of the time child rearing. All though other relationships could come across the result of procreation by accident and not by nature of the relationships itself, it would still be irrelevant since it lacks the intrinsic nature of being ordered towards reproduction as conjugal relationships are.
The only thing inherent among all other relationships would be love, but by nature all other relationships would still lack any intrinsic means to the common good. Let’s look at a common revisionist definition: Marriage is the lifelong union of two persons who love each other.”  Love is essential to any relationship, but it still lacks some intrinsic good. There are many kinds of social relationships that involve love. For example, friendships involve love. The only true distinction among a friendship and a relationship between two romantically involved people is just that: romantic feelings. However, romantic feelings are still essentially private since the feelings are relevant only to the people within the relationship. The conjugal relationship is held together by this romantic love, as love is essential to any relationship, but through this love, this relationship and only this relationship is ordered towards an intrinsically good end.
So what about infertile couples? Those relationships count as conjugal relationships, but they cannot achieve procreation. Doesn’t that mean that relationship is essentially private since it is only held together by love and cannot achieve procreation?
Whether or not conjugal relationships, infertile or not, have children is irrelevant. The conjugal view of marriage is about the comprehensive relationship heterosexuals pursue, and not the means to the end of that relationship. What is relevant is that even though the conclusion of the sexual act cannot be achieved, infertile couples are still ordered towards procreation through biological unity. Infertile couples are still able to engage in the sexual act that comprehensively unites them together. In this way infertile couples are still of a procreative type even if procreation cannot be achieved. Imagine a car. Cars are ordered towards driving by their very nature. This means that even if the car has no gas to drive, it is still ordered towards driving through the kind of thing it is. This means the relationship is still special in of itself, because even though it lacks the ability to achieve the conclusion of the relationship, it is still biologically ordered towards the conclusion of the relationship. This is what makes the conjugal relationship special: not that the conjugal relationship can achieve procreation (because other relationships can also achieve procreation), but that only the conjugal relationship has a special, comprehensive link to procreation through its biological nature.
 John Corvino, "The Case for Same-Sex Marriage" in Gallagher and Corvino (eds), Debating Same-Sex Marriage (OUP: 2012)
 2. Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, and Ryan T. Anderson, “What is Marriage?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34:1 (2010)
 Tim Hsiao on Gay Marriage
Thanks once again to Crypto for this debate! In this round, I shall make some framework notes, address Pro's case, and present my own.
Generic: Since Pro raises no objections to my 5 points in round one, we can extend these through the round.
Observation One: My only obligation in this round is to stop Pro from successfully affirming. In other words, I merely need to prevent Pro from showing that the Conjugal View of Marriage (CVM) is valid. I do NOT need to show that the CVM is invalid, nor do I need to present an alternative to the CVM. While I attempt to do the latter, I do not need to do so to win.
Observation Two: This is fundamentally a debate about what the definition of marriage should be. Therefore, to use definitions of marriage as support for one's argument is NOT valid or appropriate, simply because to use those definitions presupposes their legitimacy. For example, to debate "X should be defined as Y" and then to cite examples of how X is defined is the status quo is irrelevant, because the resolution is asking a "should" rather than an "is" question.
Pro is setting up a telos claim here; i.e. he is explaining what a common good is in order to argue that marriage has an intrinsic common good affixed to it. There are several problems here:
1. Pro fails to explain why a common good is sufficient justification for something. He defines it, yet fails to say why it matters. I could say, "object X has common good Y" but yet I could say X is invalid for some other reason. Let's use an analogy: ice cream has the common good of making people happy. It is inherent to what ice cream is, yet it also has the byproduct of being unhealthy. So, while ice cream has a common good, it can be invalidated for a wholly separate reason: physical wellness.
Next, Pro employs the "begging the question fallacy." When he says "revisionists are universally wrong when they try to distort marriage from its objective nature, from what marriage is," Pro is assuming the conclusion of the argument: that the CVM is correct, when he has yet to show this. Additionally, the definition and conception of marriage has changed over time, so it makes no sense to talk about what marriage "is" in any absolute sense. 
The Square Analogy
This is simply inaccurate. Let's refer back to round one, where Pro defines revisionist marriage as "Any marital definition different from the conjugal view." Therefore, the CVM does NOT fit under the umbrella idea of revisionist marriage, because they are separate ideas. But really, there is no impact to Pro's argument, so we can ignore this analogy entirely.
Pro makes the following claim: "I am arguing that the conjugal view of marriage is distinct from any other relationship in that only conjugal relationships have an inherent link to procreation." This is essentially his thesis. Basically what Pro is arguing is that because the root of marriage is to procreate, that it is distinct from all other unions. There are several clear responses here:
1. It is hard to determine the root of marriage. There is certainly heated debate about the root of marriage--some argue that love is sufficient, other argue that it's primary goal is to secure inheritance and alliances, etc. As long as other potential justifications exists, we cannot be sure of the core root of what marriage is.
But, aside from these three criticisms, let us assume (briefly) that examining what marriage is about is an appropriate course of action. I would suggest that marriage is more about romantic love than anything else. As Pro says: "marriage is where the individuals within the relationship are joined together by the very aspect of their humanity." Why does this necessarily involve kids? Pro suggests that frats and institutions could adopt kids. Therefore, unless the relationship is ordered toward procreation, the symbolic importance of marriage could be conferred upon any number of groups underserving of that title. Yet these groups are not going to engage in romantic love--perhaps they may have friendship, but that isn't the same. In the diagram below, we can clearly see that consummate love involves much more than friendships or infatuation entail:
Pro then says: "romantic feelings are still essentially private." Perhaps, but why must the good of marriage necessarily be public? I've already pointed out that Pro's analysis is lacking here. Moreover, we can point to several common goods that arise from romantic love-based marriage (RLM). RLM promotes societal order and connection in just the same way friendship does, but at a deeper level. Everyone needs love in their lives to be happy, and having this sort of unique connection fulfills that need.
Preempt: Infertile Couples
Let's say X is fertile, whereas Y is not. Under the CVM, as articulated by Pro, the justification for marriage is that it enables procreation. But, if X marries Y, their union cannot procreate. In this instance, the common good is not furthered. So, if we wanted to maximize the common good, we would naturally force X to marry someone fertile rather than Y.
Pro then essentially builds a rule utilitarian case whereby a general rule should be applied in one case even if there are exceptions to that case, because the rule itself is net beneficial. Yet, if the common good is our goal, then it makes sense to make exceptions to that rule in order to maximize the common good. One such example would be excluding infertile couples. This leads us to the following dilemma: "collapse occurs because for any given rule, in the case where breaking the rule produces more utility, the rule can be sophisticated by the addition of a sub-rule that handles cases like the exception. This process holds for all cases of exceptions, and so the 'rules' will have as many 'sub-rules' as there are exceptional cases, which, in the end, makes an agent seek out whatever outcome produces the maximum utility." 
Final point: consider that non-CVMs can still adopt or use outside help to engage in childrearing or procreation.
Let's start with the basic premise that moral worth arises from dignity. For example, the difference between a person and a chair is that a person can make choices and act for themselves. This confers upon them a certain dignity arising from their autonomy. “To be a person is to have a status and worth that is unlike that of any other kind of being: it is to be an end in itself with dignity. And the only response that is appropriate to such a being is respect. Respect is the acknowledgment in attitude and conduct of the dignity of persons as ends in themselves." 
We undermine human dignity any number of way. Some of these ways include: (1) treating people as means to an end, (2) otherizing people, and (3) treating them unfairly. The CVM does all three of these things.
(1) The CVM treats people as a means to an end. Consider the whole thrust of Pro's argument: marriage is a union ordered to the good of procreation. CVM uses people as tools of procreation, valuing them and their union more so because it produces some desired end than because they or it have value in and of themselves.
I will develop these further point further later.
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://www.ask.com...
3 - http://plato.stanford.edu...
BOP and Defending the Resolution
Since my position is a defensive position, affirming my case relies on my opponent presenting offensive arguments. In order to affirm the conjugal view as sound, my opponent must offensively attack the conjugal view and I must successfully defend it in order to fulfill my BOP. My opponent, in a sense, must show the conjugal view to be invalid, because to not do so would be to affirm my BOP that the conjugal view is valid since I have already put forth arguments defending it.
Use of “Marriage” and What I am Arguing
My opponent thinks that when I use the word marriage, I am talking about marriage in a legal sense. Perhaps he thinks of marriage as a legally recognized social union. I am not arguing for the concept of marriage in the legal sense, but in the philosophical sense. Throughout history it has been accepted that marriage is some sort of relationship that has been set apart as special. Now what that or those relationships are is what is subjective. So the question being asked is, “What relationship(s) should be set apart as special enough to be called marriage?” I argue that since conjugal relationships are especially distinct from any other relationship in regards to reproduction, that such difference is sufficient in degree, and that reproduction itself is a sufficient reason to distinguish conjugal relationships from any other relationship, then conjugal relationships are the only relationship truly deserving of the title marriage. I argued previously that it is irrelevant whether or not you call conjugal relationships marriage, because that does not take away from the objective nature of conjugal relationships.
This debate is not about how marriage is defined, or even how it should be defined. This debate is about the conjugal relationships themselves. My opponent though, has gone off track from what this debate is about, which is the conjugal relationships themselves, and not about when, who, what, where, why, defined marriage.
Look at the round 1 framework argumentation to realize that this debate is not about the concept of marriage itself, but about conjugal relationships and how they are especially distinct from any other relationship.
The Common Good
Why is the Common Good Relevant?
Whether or not something possesses a common good is used particularly when distinguishing things from one another. For example, one may say that apples are better than video games because apples make people healthier and feed them. Apples may be distinguished as overall better because it benefits the individual and even society more than video games do. In the same, I am using the concept of common goods in order to further distinguish conjugal relationships from other relationships. Since conjugal relationships have a special link to the common good unlike any other relationship, conjugal relationships are therefore especially distinguished from any other relationship. This does not degrade any other relationship, rather it notes that conjugal relationships are special in relation to the common good unlike any relationship.
Can Common Good be Not so Common?
My opponent makes the assertion that common goods are truly only common good if it impacts a large amount of people, say a society. This is false however, because common goods work just as much on an individual basis as it does a societal basis. If I eat an apple then it feeds me and makes me healthy, which are both common goods. However these common goods are working on an individual level. In essence, most common goods work on an individual level, but it is when many people work towards these common goods that the common goods make a societal impact. For example, if everyone ate an apple then society as a whole would be fed and healthy.
Can Common Goods not be so Good?
This section is overall irrelevant to conjugal relationships and their relation to the common good. If my opponent can apply this to conjugal relationships then I will give a counter argument.
The Point of the Square Analogy
The point of the square analogy is that revisionists believe that marriage is simply about love, commitment, ect. and therefore marriage is not exclusive to heterosexual couples. However, this definition ignores a more specific relationship that takes it a step further then just love and commitment. The point was to show that conjugal relationships are especially distinct from any other relationship, and therefore when revisionists try to define marriage as being about love and commitment, they ignore that there is a relationship that takes it a step further than that. This is important because the relationship that takes it a step further is especially distinct in relation to the common good, and should therefore be promoted as especially distinct. Since marriage has universally been about specially recognized social relationships, it is sensible that conjugal relationships, since they are especially distinct from other relationships would earn the title of marriage. Again though, this debate is not about who, what, when, where, defined marriage. It is about conjugal relationships themselves, and their special distinction from other relationships.
Con’s Criticisms Against CVM
Does Marriage Have an Objective Nature?
It is irrelevant whether or not you call something marriage, because that does not take away from the objective nature of what something is. So regardless of whether or not my opponent thinks marriage is strictly about love and commitment, that would not take away from my argument that conjugal relationships are still especially distinct from any other relationship. Although, I argue that this special distinction would be enough to exclusively call conjugal relationships marriage. Again though, this debate is not about who defines marriage as what, it is about conjugal relationships themselves.
Is the Purpose of Marriage to Procreate?
My opponent asserts that this is what I am arguing, but it is not. I am not arguing that marriage is for procreation, I am only arguing that conjugal relationships are especially distinct from any other relationship in regards to the common good. This common good is procreation, but the conjugal view focuses on the link to the common good, and not the common good itself.
Non-Topicality in Con’s Arguments
My opponent briefly argues about marriage itself, and that marriage should encompass romantic feelings more than anything else. However, these arguments are irrelevant to the resolution since this debate is about the conjugal view specifically, not about marriage itself and how it should be defined, but about how conjugal relationships are especially distinct from other relationships.
Even though my opponent argues that romantic feelings are enough, this would still ignore that the conjugal relationship is especially distinct from any other relationship. Even my opponent thinks marriage is about making distinctions between relationships, even in regards to the common good. Consider my opponent’s argument. He dismisses other relationships like fraternities and friendships because they lack romantic feelings. He even argues that romantic relationships have an especially distinct relation to the common good unlike fraternities and friendships. He states, “RLM promotes societal order and connection in just the same way friendship does, but at a deeper level.” If my opponent makes distinctions regarding marriage and even relation to the common good, it makes absolutely no sense why he would not accept the conjugal view considering conjugal relationships are even more distinct than romantic relationships and have a special link to a common good unlike any other relationship.
Link to Procreation
My opponent makes the assumption that CVM focuses on the achievement of the common good. This could not be further from the truth. CVM focuses not on procreation, but the link to procreation. This is why it is irrelevant whether or not fertile couples procreate. CVM wholly focuses on the conjugal relationship itself, and not on the end of the means of that relationship.
Therefore, my opponent’s argument against infertile couples falls apart because his rebuttal wholly assumes that CVM focuses on procreation and not on the relationship that has a special link to procreation. To reiterate from my round 2, “This is what makes the conjugal relationship special: not that the conjugal relationship can achieve procreation (because other relationships can also achieve procreation), but that only the conjugal relationship has a special, comprehensive link to procreation through its biological nature.”
Con’s arguments take a legal stance on the marriage issue. Since this debate is philosophical, CVM does not legally undermine any relationship. Points 2 and 3 particularly focus on the legal implications of CVM, and can therefore be dismissed.
Con argues that since CVM has a special distinction from any other relationship, it therefore undermines the value of other relationships. He states that “otherizing people” undermines dignity. However, my opponent did this himself when he otherized romantic relationships and their relationship to the common good from friendships, companionships ect.
CVM, or even the revisionist view does not undermine any relationship, rather it makes distinctions between different relationships. The conjugal view makes the distinction that conjugal relationships have a special link to the common good unlike any other relationship.
Does CVM treat people as an end of the means?
Since CVM focuses wholly on the conjugal relationship itself, and not on procreation; CVM does not treat the relationship as an end of the means and therefore does not degrade the dignity of those within the relationship. However, CVM does make the distinction between conjugal relationships and other relationships in relation to the common good.
I await your response.
I thank Crypto for a great R3! Now, I will address the framework, offer an overview, rebut Pro's case, and defend my case, in that order.
Obs. 1: Pro attempts to assert that I must prove CVM invalid. But let's look at the resolution again, keeping in mind that Pro has the sole BOP. To fulfill his BOP, Pro must show "that the Conjugal View of Marriage is philosophically valid." If Pro fails to do that, he cannot meet his BOP. Consequently, I don't actually need to show that the CVM in invalid, rather I must simply prevent Pro from showing that it is valid. The impact of this is simple. If the validity of the CVM is still in question by the end of this debate, you default Con.
Obs. 2: Really, this argument is here to avoid "begging the question" fallacies whereby Pro states, because X is defined as Q, X must be Q, regardless of the rationality of arguments to the contrary. But this hasn't been to much of an issue. However, Pro asserts that this debate is about "what relationship(s) should be set apart as special enough to be called marriage." Certainly, that is an argument about how to define marriage. If I say X is P and Q, but not B, I have made a definitional claim. Therefore, it makes no sense for Pro to remark that "this debate is not about how marriage is defined, or even how it should be defined." In fact, that is the crux of this debate.
Let's look at Pro's argument that he is not "arguing that marriage is for procreation, [he's] only arguing that conjugal relationships are especially distinct from any other relationship in regards to the common good." Yet, this sentiment seems at odds with his earlier claims.
In round two, Pro writes, "A common good is something with an objective core, which inherently serves the well being and good of humanity.
In round three, Pro writes, "Whether or not something possesses a common good is used particularly when distinguishing things from one another."
Taken together, Pro is basically claiming that conjugal relationships are special because they inherently serve the wellbeing and good of humanity. In other words, conjugal relationships are good because they uniquely benefit the community. Therefore, if I can show that this benefit is either non-unique, or the non-CVMs have inherent benefits as well, I can defeat Pro via his own framework.
The Common Good
Let's review how Pro defines "common good." He states in R2, "A common good is something with an objective core, which inherently serves the well being and good of humanity." This, as Pro seems to agree, implies and evaluation of ends, as I shall discuss later. Now, I made three responses to this idea; let's review these.
1. Pro fails to explain why a common good is sufficient justification for something
Pro responds that a "common good is used particularly when distinguishing things from one another. For example, one may say that apples are better than video games because apples make people healthier and feed them." Pro fails to justify why a "common good" should be used as a means to distinguish things. He just assumes that it should be the standard by which we delineate what should or should not be considered marriage. Perhaps some other standard, such as individual good, societal tradition, or popular demand could be used. Why specifically is the common good the best criterion for this decision? We get not warrant from Pro.
2. There is an issue with how Pro understands "good"
Pro argues that common goods function on both an individual and societal level. But, if we buy that common goods function just as much on an individual basis as a communal one, than we should also buy that good is for people as individuals, enriching their individual lives. With every life enriched, we can see impacts to the broader community. Ultimately, other forms of marriage, such as gay marriage, enrich the lives of individuals and thus contribute to a broader societal benefit--in other words, they have a common good.
3. Pro seems to view the common good as a utilitarian function
Pro essentially drops and concedes this analysis. I would assert that his apple example, which talks about achieving desirable ends (e.g. a healthier society) and his own definition of the "common good" reinforce the idea that Pro is looking at the ends over the means, reinforcing my point. This means, that if I can show that non-CVMs produce some net good, then Pro must grant that those non-CVMs are also valid, as per the overview
The Square Analogy
Most of Pro's points here revolve around the idea that romance is insufficient justification or validation for marriage, and that we need to move deeper. Why? Where is the brightline? I never see one from Pro. without a brightline, how do we know where the cut off point for marriage should be. How distinctly special should we get?
Also, I'll reaffirm the importance of romance later.
Insofar as this is a debate about how to define marriage, as already discussed, most of Pro's points fall. Also, many of Pro's remarks are simply non-responsive to my assertions. Let's take a look:
1. It is hard to determine the root of marriage.
Pro is essentially arguing that CVM is valid because of a link to procreation. But why is that the best link to make here, and why is it the only link to be made here? Pro never says. Frankly, insofar as different views of marriage could be justified by linking to other things, there is no way to say that CVM is the only valid interpretation.
2. Purpose =/= should.
Basically, even if we buy CVM is justified through some link to procreation, that does not mean couples that are unable to procreate should be denied access to "marriage."
3. Purpose is not exclusive.
Let's assume that marriage is delineated by some link to procreation. Why can it not be validated by other reasons? Basically, Pro has failed to explain why procreation should be preferred to other justifications for marriage.
This debate certainly is relevant to the topic, insofar as it justifies an alternative to the CVM perspective. Notice, than other than calling my arguments "irrelevant," Pro fails to rebut any of them. He never even addresses that "romantic relationships have an especially distinct relation to the common good unlike fraternities and friendships."
At this time, I will go more in depth as to the inherent link to the common good present in RLMs. Remember, I have already pointed out that romance is a different kind of love than is present in friendship and other relationships. The key link RLM has to the common good is that it is essential for the self-actualization process. "Relating to one another is how we connect to our true self and purpose in life. This is part of the self-actualizing process involved in relationships but more so in long-term intimate relationships. We go through trials and tribulations, but in addition, we also blossom and grow closer, through the expression of love in romance; making it crystal clear that the trials and tribulations are worthwhile."  That is why it is listed as one of our core needs in Maslow's hierarchy.  Ultimately, RLM provides a stable, self-fulfilling context in which to safely explore and develop sexual intimacy, to develop one's sense of belongingness, and to provide loving, healthy companionship.
Cross-apply my overview here. Clearly, this debate is very much focused on achievement of the common good. Insofar as this is true, infertile couples would be excluded from marriage because they don't advance that common good. This evidences the infinite exceptions argument I posited last round.
Moreover, inasmuch as infertile couples don't further the common good (don't procreate), and because they lack any biological ability to reproduce, they would be excluded, under Pro's own analysis, from marriage. This is a contradiction in his own case.
My arguments are topical because they are analyzing, philosophically, why CVM is invalid. Simply because were talking philosophically, does not mean that we ignore reality (in which philosophy is oftentimes based).
1. Means to an End
Cross-apply my overview here. Insofar as CVM seeks to maximize some greater good, it uses people as a means to an end.
Otherization is about recognizing all people as having equal worth, not about claiming all relationships have equal worth. Thus, there is no contradiction. CVM treats some people are superior, and otherizes others in the process. It's unfair and immoral.
Same as 2.
1 - http://www.psychologytoday.com...
2 - http://www.ask.com...
3 - http://family.wikinut.com...
4 - http://www.ask.com...'s_hierarchy_of_needs?o=2801&qsrc=999&ad=doubleDown&an=apn&ap=ask.com
Thank you for your response!
What I am Arguing
Since Con did not contest to the definition:
Marriage – A relationship(s) set apart as special, or a relationship(s) set apart as distinct from other relationships.
“Pro will be arguing that conjugal relationships are especially distinct from any other relationship in regards to reproduction, that such difference is sufficient in degree, and that reproduction itself is a sufficient reason to distinguish conjugal relationships from any other relationship.”
I am arguing that since marriage has universally been about relationships that are distinct, or set apart a special, and that conjugal relationships are distinct in regards to the common good, then conjugal relationships should be set apart as marriage.
There were three core points to my argument: That conjugal relationships have a special link to procreation unlike any other relationship, that the link to the common good is what distinguishes conjugal relationships from other relationships, and that CVM focuses not on the achievement of the common good, but on the link to the common good.
Flaws in Con’s Arguments
Con conceded that conjugal relationships have a special link to procreation unlike any other relationship. Con also failed to respond to my point that CVM focuses on the conjugal relationship itself, and not on procreation. He did, and still does respond to my arguments as if procreation is all that matters in CVM. I must only properly respond to his arguments regarding the common good for my arguments on CVM to be offensively valid.
I made an analysis in round 2 that showed a severe flaw in my opponent’s argument, which he didn’t even respond to in round 3. I will reiterate:
"Even my opponent thinks marriage is about making distinctions between relationships, even in regards to the common good. Consider my opponent’s argument. He dismisses other relationships like fraternities and friendships because they lack romantic feelings. He even argues that romantic relationships have an especially distinct relation to the common good unlike fraternities and friendships. He states, “RLM promotes societal order and connection in just the same way friendship does, but at a deeper level.” If my opponent makes distinctions regarding marriage and even relation to the common good, it makes absolutely no sense why he would not accept the conjugal view considering conjugal relationships are even more distinct than romantic relationships and have a special link to a common good unlike any other relationship."
In addition, my opponent’s arguments regarding the common good contradict his own arguments that RLM has its own link to the common good and should therefore be promoted as marriage. He argues that I failed to explain why the common good is justification for distinguishing between relationships, then uses the common good to distinguish RLM from other relationships.
My opponent claims that if he can show CVM’s special link to the common good of reproduction to be non-unique, or that non-CVMs have inherent benefits as well then he wins.
This is false. It is irrelevant whether other relationships also possess a common good, because CVM possesses a distinct common good, and a distinct relationship to that common good. My opponent will fail to show it is not unique, because only conjugal relationships have a special link to reproduction through their biological nature.
The Common Good
The common good is sufficient justification because it promotes the well being of the individuals and society. The common good is the best criterion because it is humanity’s goal to reduce suffering and maximize happiness (not arguing that the end justify the means). All human progress has worked towards this and it is within human nature to desire it. Even my opponent would agree with this considering he is willing to distinguish RLM from friendships since RLM focuses on the common good at a deeper level than friendships.
Why the Conjugal View
Although other relationships may too possess a common good, conjugal relationships and only conjugal relationships possess a common good distinct from any other relationship. It is not the general common good itself that should be promoted, because if it was essentially any relationship could be called marriage. It is about conjugal relationships possessing a distinct relationship to one particularly special common good, the common good of reproduction. Conjugal relationships possess the same common good romantic relationships do through nature of being a romantic relationship, but then also have a special link to a different, distinct common good: reproduction.
CVM and Achievement of the Common Good
CVM does not focus on procreation.
“This is what makes the conjugal relationship special: not that the conjugal relationship can achieve procreation (because other relationships can also achieve procreation), but that only the conjugal relationship has a special, comprehensive link to procreation through its biological nature.”
My opponent tries to justify promoting RLM over CVM by arguing that RLM could adopt, or could procreate. Then when I argue that many other relationships could do the same he argues that other relationships should be dismissed since they don’t have an inherent link to the common good RLM possesses, which is that romantic relationships exist on a deeper level than other relationships. Well RLM doesn’t have an inherent link to the common good CVM possesses. It is the link that is relevant, not on who could do what. It is important to focus on the relationship itself, and what it is inherently connected to. Only CVM has an inherent link to procreation. My opponent at no point, every successfully gave an argument that the inherent link was irrelevant. He just went on pretending the link didn’t exist and that all that mattered was procreation itself.
My opponent and I have argued that the common good is sufficient in distinguishing relationships from each other. If marriage is about distinguishing relationships from each other, then it would be logical that conjugal relationships, which are especially distinct from any other relationship, would be called marriage. It is logical to move further than romantic relationships because there is still a relationship that exists which has an inherent link to the common good unlike any other relationship.
If we were comparing friendships and romantic relationships, my opponent would argue that since romantic relationships exist on a deeper level than friendships, romantic relationships should therefore be distinguished from friendships.
The distinguishment is made through the use of the word marriage. However, as I have argued, it is irrelevant whether you call a relationship marriage or not, because the distinguishment would still objectively exist.
I am simply taking it a step further from friendships and romantic relationships, to romantic relationships and conjugal relationships.
The Root and Purpose of Marriage
Defining something as marriage isn’t giving marriage a purpose; rather it is just distinguishing a relationship(s) from other relationships. I’m not arguing that in a sense, there is a root to marriage. Rather I am arguing that conjugal relationships are distinct from any other relationship in relation to the common good. The distinguishment of conjugal relationships from any other relationships is what makes the conjugal view a marital view. The link of conjugal relationships to marriage solely relies on marriage being about making special distinctions between relationships, which my opponent did not contest. Even if my opponent did contest this though, it would be irrelevant since marriage is just a word, and the use of it does not take away from the objective nature of what something is.
My opponent goes further into explaining the common good romantic relationships are related to. However, this argument fails to defeat the conjugal view, because conjugal relationships are also romantic relationships, meaning the relationship possesses the same common good, and then has an inherent link to the common good of procreation unlike any other relationship. This is where the umbrella affect of my square analogy is proven true. All conjugal relationships are romantic, but not all romantic relationships fit into the conjugal view.
CVM does not focus on the common good itself, but on the relationship that pursues the common good. My opponent can’t just say,”Well obviously its about procreation” and successfully rebut my arguments. My opponent has just completely failed to understand that CVM focuses on the inherent link to the common good, and through my opponent’s failed understanding he also failed to successfully respond.
Read more under CVM and the Achievement of the Common Good.
CVM takes no legal stance on the issue, therefore it cannot be assumed that my view supports heterosexual unions being exclusively legally recognized.
Means to an End
Again, CVM focuses on the link to procreation, not procreation in of itself. Therefore, it does not use anyone as a tool towards an end. Rather it specifically recognizes conjugal relationships because they have an inherent link to the common good.
Otherization and Fairness
At no point have I argued this or implied this. I am making a distinction of the conjugal relationship from other relationships, not degrading the people within any relationship or any relationships themselves.
Thank you Bsh1 for participating in my 100th debate! It was a lot of fun! May the better debater win!
Just a reminder: Voters please vote strictly on the debate and the arguments presented, not on personal bias!
I thank Crypto for a fantastic debate! I hope he’s enjoyed it :) In this round, I will address the line-by-line arguments and present voting issues.
Con drops my observations.
The purpose of this overview was to assert that Pro was claiming that "conjugal relationships are good because they uniquely benefit the community." Therefore, Pro's response that "it is irrelevant whether other relationships also possess a common good" is non-responsive to the primary claim my overview was making. Pro never rebuts that his justification of CVM is inherently utilitarian. Extend my overview.
Pro then makes a variety of observations about his burden in the round. He states that "since marriage has universally been about relationships that are distinct, or set apart a special, and that conjugal relationships are distinct in regards to the common good, then conjugal relationships should be set apart as marriage."
As I pointed out last round, Pro needs to offer two things to actually show that CVM should be called marriage: (1) he needs to justify that the link to procreation is unique to CVM, and (2) he needs to offer a brightline.
The first point is straightforward enough, but the last one is also important. If I say that X is P but not Q, I need to be able to distinguish between P and Q to make that claim. So, if I say that marriage is CVM, but not RLM, I need to be able to make a non-arbitrary distinction between CVM and RLM. CVM may have an inherent link to procreation (which id dubious), but why does that matter?
RLM is distinct from most other relationships, including friendships and flings. Why is it that RLM is NOT distinct enough to be considered marriage? Pro offers us no brightline, no non-arbitrary way to say that one specially distinct relationship (CVM) matters more than another specially distinct relationship (RLM). At this point, why can't both RLM and CVM be considered marriage?
Pro responds writing, "If marriage is about distinguishing relationships from each other, then it would be logical that conjugal relationships…would be called marriage. It is logical to move further than romantic relationships because there is still a relationship that exists which has an inherent link to the common good unlike any other relationship." Firstly, just because a more exclusive layer exists does not mean we SHOULD go farther. As long as we can set RLM aside as "distinct from other relationships," which we can, then it seems as if we have a basis for marriage. Pro gives us no reason to further narrow the definition. Secondly, as I shall show, the inclusion of infertile couples as part of CVM actually means that CVM lacks an inherent link to the common good. And thirdly, we could theoretically narrow the definition beyond CVM to say that only couples capable of reproduction should marry. Pro says that this interpretation goes too far, but yet the goal—as Pro implies—is to achieve the most limited, distinct notion of marriage possible. Surely an institution that only allows for couples who are biologically capable of procreation to marry would have the strongest inherent link to the common good, more so even than CVM. In which case, CVM can still be rejected.
Remember though, as Pro conceded in R1, he must show that "the conjugal view is the ONLY valid view to take." By failing to invalidate RLM, Pro has already failed to meet his BOP.
The Common Good and Infertility
Pro states, "Conjugal relationships possess the same common good romantic relationships do through nature of being a romantic relationship, but then also have a special link to a different, distinct common good: reproduction." There are two issues here: (1) Pro never justifies why we need to get so specific. Why do we need to narrow down relationships beyond romance in order to find out what marriage is? Why can we stop at the RLM level? Really, Pro provides zero analysis here, as I have stated numerous times throughout this debate. (2) Reproduction is non-unique.
Pro claims that only CVM has an inherent link procreation "through its biological nature." But, as I pointed out last round, infertile couples "lack any biological ability to reproduce." If Y is naturally, biologically unable to reproduce, then a union between X and Y has NO inherent link to procreation through its biological nature, regardless of whether the union is heterosexual or not. This is a MASSIVE internal contradiction in Pro's case, and it causes his entire analysis to collapse.
But, secondly, the way Pro has argued his case has been less about the link to procreation, but rather about achieving the common good, as I've pointed out. Insofar as reproduction is a common good, I have provided evidence as to how non-CVMs can meet this common good as well. This evidence was never contested. Pro says that "it is the link that is relevant, not on who could do what." Unfortunately, Pro never explains why that is so; he's repeated it every round with nauseating regularity, but he has yet to justify or warrant why it is the link that matters, and why that common good of procreation matters more than the common good of love and self-actualization.
Pro concedes that RLM marriages have a link to a common good.
I am not making a claim about legal recognition, but rather moral equality. If we deny that non-CVMs are marriage, then we otherize non-heterosexuals. It's that simple. It's not a legal claim, but an ethical one that is inherent to Pro's advocacy.
1. CVM is justified because it has a link to procreation. Why would this link matter if we weren't concerned about the end result? Pro cannot simply say that he's only concerned about the link itself, and not about procreation--particularly when he talks about the common good and maximizing benefits for humanity. If he cares about linking to the common good, then he acknowledges the common good is something worth linking to and worth advancing. So, insofar as CVM uses people as a means to promote the common good, it violates human dignity.
2. Pro denies outright that CVM otherizes people. Yet, simply because he denies it does not make it false. Consider, when ONLY heterosexual unions are permitted, we exclude non-heterosexuals. We treat them as "other." This exclusion, whether intentionally or not, correctly or not, may lead society to the belief that non-heterosexuals are unworthy of participating in the institution of marriage, thus degrading them. CVM, by excluding some groups of people based on characteristics over which they have no control, otherizes those groups.
First, let’s take a minute to review what Pro had to do in order to win this round. Based on my 5-point analysis in R1, Pro needed to do three things. Keep in mind, Pro has to check the box off on every single one of them; missing just one means Pro has failed to meet his BOP.
1. Pro must show that there is a special distinction that justifiably sets CVM aside from other POVs
If Pro fails to do any one of these things, you default Con. So, now, let’s review what arguments I am winning and their impact re: Pro’s 3 burdens in this round.
1. Pro fails to explain why an inherent link to procreation is sufficient justification for a “special distinction.”Pro writes that connection to the common good reflects “humanity’s goal to reduce suffering and maximize happiness” and is therefore an adequate criterion for determining special distinctiveness. If that isn’t a utilitarian argument, I don’t know what is. At this point, if we’re focusing on maximizing happiness, why exclude gay couples who can raise children effectively, procreate (albeit with assistance), and who would have their lives enriched by the experience. Gay couples also link to the common good, so CVM isn’t as “distinct” as Pro would have us believe. This makes it hard for him to meet his 1st burden in this round.
Thanks to Crypto on a great debate! Thanks also to anyone who took the time to read this debate! Please VOTE CON!
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