Saturday, May 30, 2009

The License


I thought this was a poignant YouTube clip. Granted, it may be a bit offensive to the religious out there, but it's still thought-provoking and the message is clear.

Anyway, in other news, there isn't much going on in my life now that I'm not going to China. The only things worth noting: I now have a roommate and almost certainly an apartment for med school. So in that respect, hurray! Oh, and my dad got me a 500GB external hard drive today (specifically this one except 500GB and not 320GB). W00t!! That's right MSTPBound, I've got a 500GB external hard drive now too. ;-)

15 comments:

James said...

Oh my... o.O

Jeremy said...

O.o @ the video

yay for the hard drive :P

naturgesetz said...

Very amusing video.

Of course, as a rational argument it fails since "traditional marriage" is not merely a Judeo-Christian-Islamic thing,nor simply a Western thing, etc. so using Leviticus, "droit du seigneur," and purchase does not address the true tradition of traditional marriage, namely the necessity of procreation for the survival of the species and the necessity of male and female for procreation. In fact, what the video unwittingly underscores is that although different societies have had different traditions surrounding marriage, what has been a constant has been that it has been for male and female.

But it is a nice piece of comedy.

Mr. HCI said...

Using Leviticus is entirely appropriate as the Bible is the biggest piece of ammunition used by the religious "right" to deny us marriage rights. It really saddens me how you consistently take the side of the bigots, ng.

If procreation was the sole reason to grant or deny marriage rights, then they should be fighting against the right of marriage for infertile couples and/or couples who do not wish to have children.

naturgesetz said...

@ Mr. HCI — Procreation is not the only reason for deciding on marriage rights (there's age and consanguinity, for example). But it (and its consequences) are the basic reason it is civil society's business.

Neither infertility nor unwillingness to have children is as readily established as the sex of the couple. Infertility may be cured by medical advances, and an unwillingness to have children can come and go. (BTW an absolute and permanent unwillingness of one or both parties to have children from the beginning of the marriage is, I believe, grounds for declaring a marriage null in the Catholic Church. If a Catholic is completely unwilling to have children, his marriage is a nullity.)

Aek said...

naturgesetz: I'm not sure your argument is completely sound. There are instances where people have been married to livestock due to some twist of traditional marriage laws.

But regardless of that, the question posed is simply this: are all aspects of "traditional" marriage worth maintaining? How should marriage as a concept and as an institution evolve to the times? What IS marriage?

In the past, a man may have many wives provided he had the means and wealth. In many cultures (and still now in some) there is no "one husband, one wife" deal. Times have changed, and that's no longer as allowed in many societies. Would not a man and a harem of women procreate and produce more offspring than a single 1:1? If procreation is the most fundamental argument for marriage, then why not polygamy which is better at that procreation goal?

To the infertility question, not all kinds of infertility are "curable." Let's take for example a married couple. The man has had bilateral testicular cancer and the woman has a mutation in the BRCA1 gene that predisposes her to breast and ovarian cancer. The man had his testicles removed due to the cancer, and the woman removes her breast and ovaries to prevent cancer. They have no children at this point. This couple is infertile and no medicine can restore that. Is their marriage null and void?

Where does divorce play into this? Adoption? If adoption is a means of "procreation," they why can't gays get married and adopt?

naturgesetz said...

"procreate … 1 to produce (young); beget (offspring) 2 to produce or bring into existence" Thus adoption is not procreation.

I haven't thought much about polygamy and so I don't have a solid secular reason why it couldn't be allowed — other than practical considerations such as potential for competition among the wives and making it more difficult for other men to find wives. I'd find it harder right now to argue that polygamy should not be allowed than same-sex marriage.

Divorce, especially "no fault" divorce is a serious degradation of another aspect of marriage, namely, its permanence. One could well argue that a marriage entered into with the idea that one is free to terminate it at will is as invalid as one where there was an absolute intent not to beget children.

Let me put it this way: globally, same-sex couples cannot procreate children, so the state is absolutely changing the meaning of marriage if it applies to word to same-sex relationships. With infertile couples, it is an individual, case by case matter, rather than something general, and something that can't be known without some sort of examination. The couple who are infertile have passed a threshold which the same-sex couple cannot, namely having the sexual differentiation which is necessary for procreation.

Mr. HCI said...

www.Merriam-Webster.com:Main Entry: marriagePronunciation: \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
Function: nounEtymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
Date:14th century
1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage < same-sex marriage > b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

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Dictionary.Reference.com:marriage  [mar-ij]

noun1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage.

Origin:
1250–1300; ME mariage < OF, equiv. to mari(er) to marry + -age -age

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The Winston Dictionary for Children, publication date unknown (had it since I was a kid)

marriage (măr'ĭj), n. 1, the act of legally uniting a man and woman in wedlock; the wedding ceremony; 2, the state of being wedded; the relation existing between husband and wife.

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You'll note that there is no mention whatsoever, in any set of definitions, of procreation or raising children.

So, who's trying to "redefine" marriage and to what ends, then?

Same-sex couples who feel they deserve equal treament under the law, as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, and who are included in the first two definition sets above?

Or people scrambling for reasons to deny equal treatment to same-sex couples by adding meaning not generally considered part-and-parcel of the definition of the word marriage?

To rephrase:

What is the impetus for allegedly "changing the meaning" of the word? To guarantee fairness and equality or to guarantee inequality and second-class citizenship?

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BTW, your "sexual differentiation" comment belies your prejudice: couples are deserving of recognition and protection by the state only if one has a penis and the other a vagina, regardless of their ability and/or desire to procreate. Therefore, procreation is immaterial.

Thus:

penis + vagina = good
penis + penis = bad
vagina + vagina = bad

Equally thus:

penis + vagina + no kids = a family
penis + penis + children = not a family
vagina + vagina + children = not a family

How anti-family can you get?

naturgesetz said...

"[W]e must … consider analytically the elements of which a polis [ancient Greek city-state] is composed." — Aristotle: "Politics" Book I Chapter I, Ernest Barker trans.
"If, accordingly, we begin at the beginning, and consider things in the process of their growth, we shall best be able, in this as in other fields, to attain scientific conclusions by the method we employ. First of all, there must necessarily be a union r pairing of those who cannot exist without one another. Male and female must unite for the reproduction of the species."
ibid., Ch. II

Mr. HCI said...

(continuing, transl. Jowett),

"(and this is a union which is formed, not of deliberate purpose, but because, in common with other animals and with plants, mankind have a natural desire to leave behind them an image of themselves)"

So, it takes a man and a woman to mate to have a baby.

Thanks, we already are aware of that.

Part III:

"Now we should begin by examining everything in its fewest possible elements; and the first and fewest possible parts of a family are master and slave, husband and wife, father and children."

If you want to use this as a definition for marriage, I think you'll find modern women will object to being placed at the same level as slaves and children in the non-partnership.

In fact, taking into account that the woman in a m/f marriage is no longer considered the property of the man, this "definition" marriage you have offered is both no longer valid and offensive.

naturgesetz said...

The point of quoting Aristotle is that it shows that the understanding of procreation and marriage as intertwined in not something newly invented as a way of keeping gays down. Nobody had to "scrambl[e] for meanings" because we can clearly see that procreation was "considered part and parcel" of what marriage is about. And if you are accusing me of having the motives you insinuate on the part of your opponents, you are both wrong and off base.

Mr. HCI said...

Frankly, I don't care what your motives are; you have repeatedly voiced support of legally enforced discrimination based on sexual orientation. I find that reprehensible, no matter what your particular orientation is.

naturgesetz said...

If you don't care about motives it made no sense to talk about motives: "ends," "impetus," and "anti-family."

And my position is not based on sexual orientation. You know as well as I do that throughout history many gay men have married women. I have never said that it should not be allowed or that such marriages are invalid. Therefore, if you can think logically, you will understand that my position is not based on the orientation of the individuals but on their sex. It is not because they are homosexual that two men can't get married, it is because they are men.

And don't, as some people have done, accuse me of recommending that gay men marry women. I've done nothing of the sort. I've merely pointed out the logical flaw behind your accusation.

tracy said...

E x e l l e n t !!!!!! i love this Aek! i don't know what else to say!

Except i wish i were brave enough to send it to my homophobic family of origin...and other ultra-conservative, religious relatives...i love them...but sometimes, i jusy wish they could open their minds just a little bit.....

tracy said...

"jusy"...?
For whatever it's worth, i'm adopted...that seemed to be spoken of alot in the various comments...ah,well...

Wht can't people just love...?

Ha, ha, ha...that is the oldest question ever, i guess...and probably the dumbest...