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76  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: LA judge upholds state SSM ban on: September 08, 2014, 08:22:14 pm
Why did marriage in Anglo-American historical times exclude gay couples?  That's the question you need to answer. 

Why is that the question?  Wouldn't the larger question be, "Why has marriage been a predominantly opposite-sex institution throughout history until very recently, both in historical contexts where homosexuality has been condemned as well as those where it has been tolerated"?
77  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: LA judge upholds state SSM ban on: September 08, 2014, 02:02:06 pm
The fundamental question here is - might there wisdom in what we have inherited that may be obscured in the myopia of the ideology and politics of the present moment?  The fact that the reasons for something may not be obvious or can be reduced to a simple legal formula does not mean it arises from ignorance or animous.   I see no reason to assume guilt of bigotry until proven innocence when it comes to those who have created and attempted to preserve an valuable institution, even if we come to the conclusion that a transformation of it may be necessary.

Here's the thing: if you think there is some fundamental wisdom in the state of affairs we inherited, you should be able to actually articulate that wisdom, right? But you haven't. Not only haven't you articulated it, you haven't even come close! Even if it's complicated, or non-intuitive, it would be instructive to hear your interpretation of the "wisdom in what we have inherited". But you've refused to give it, which makes it seem as though you're really trying to muddy the waters more than anything.

There truthfully isn't any reason why I would necessarily be clever enough to articulate it in any simplistic and comprehensive way, as much wisdom and experience is inarticulated. In the words of Michael Polyani, "we know more than we can tell," and  the knowledge that is transmitted from one generation to the next relies fundamentally on that which is unspoken.

Quote from: Michael Polyani, Duke Lectures: Thought in Society
Think of the amazing development of the infant mind. It is stirred on by a veritable blaze of confidence, surmising the hidden meaning of speech and other adult behaviour. And this holds for all subsequent stages of learning. . .We may never be able to identify any of the premises of a culture in which we are growing up, any more than we are tacitly applying in using our senses and our body. At each step we accept, and must accept, unidentifiable grounds, trusting that the practice based on them is sound and the ideas conveyed by them true.
link

The fact that something is not fully articulated does not mean it cannot be explored. The wisdom that is embedded in the history and structure of marriage as an institution related to sexual difference contains an indefinite number of aspects, but two stand out for me at the moment:

(1) Marriage has existed for the protection and provision of women and children. We might like to think this sort of thing is no longer necessary, but the number of unmarried mothers and children in poverty, among other things, suggests otherwise. This is something that should not be neglected. I do believe, contra many traditionalists, this function is ultimately compatible with extending marriage to same-sex couples (even if it is incompatible with the logic of many arguments presented in favor of same-sex marriage).
(2) Marriage may recognize and value a sexual complementarity present in human nature.
This obviously is an idea many people find offensive at the present time, but it's one that is unavoidable when looking at the human cultural experience. This claim might be called religious - though not in any narrow sense of the term - and in a pluralistic, open society it makes sense that the enactment of it would not fall to the civil authority. Obviously someone who believes government should play a stronger role in upholding social bonds might take a different view.

Given this, I see good reasons why marriage has been an opposite-gender institutions. At the same time I don't conclude from this that it must be such, at least in the civil sphere, and extending the institution to gay couples may even have strengthening effects on those couples as well as the institution and society in general.  On the other hand, I can appreciate the concern of what might be a fundamental change within an ancient and critical institution because I understand that we can't be fully aware of the implications of what we are leaving behind.  Proceeding as though we know it all, and that all those who went before and did things differently were simply so much more mean and foolish than we are, is responsible neither to the past nor to the future.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Partisan history of every US Senate seat on: September 08, 2014, 12:05:19 pm
nice, but I wish they did more than just R, D, and "Other."
79  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Candidate Declaration Thread on: September 08, 2014, 11:45:41 am
I will be a candidate for Lt Gov in the Mideast on a ticket with MadmanMotley.
80  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Are deliberately unemployed people a drain on society? on: September 08, 2014, 12:17:31 am
There are lots of ways to contribute. I don't know how one would measure if someone is being a drain on society. Maybe most people are net drains on society and its just a few people carrying the weight - but then society wouldn't even exist without everyone else.  If someone isn't working, does that mean there is a position available for someone else that wouldn't be otherwise?  I guess that depends on what sort of value would be created by the work that the person would be doing. --And then, if someone works enough to get Social Security, the likelihood is they will be getting more than they paid in, so maybe that is a greater drain on the next generation than if a person works not quite enough to qualify.

What I do think is that defining folks primarily by their livelihood or lack thereof is itself a drain on society. It certainly doesn't seem healthy psychologically.
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: CAUTION on: September 07, 2014, 11:58:02 pm
was purplepeopleeater87 tasty?   
82  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: GOP Primaries: Your Predicted Top Three Only on: September 07, 2014, 11:47:28 pm


Mike Pence
Scott Walker
Rand Paul
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: people you miss on: September 07, 2014, 09:34:34 pm
anvi, Lewis, wormyguy, belgiansocialist.   Scott if he doesn't come back.  I sort of miss drj just because cats.

Franknburger needs to come back.
I hadn't really realized he'd left, but him too.

84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The t_host1 Institute of Comedy on: September 07, 2014, 08:28:57 pm
I'm fairly sure Gen. Stuart would've agreed with the spray painted phrase.
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: LA judge upholds state SSM ban on: September 06, 2014, 04:47:14 pm
The assumption you are making, as I understand it, is that all social institutions must be organized according to principles of deductive reasoning in order to be valid, and that tradition is no guide to how things should be. That simply isn't something that a conservative is going to agree with. Deductive reasoning only takes you so far.  Consider the fact that we are debating whether something is Constitutional, which itself is a tradition.  There is no analytic proof that says we should follow the Constitution, is there?  We attempt to adhere to it because of what the tradition has brought us. Marriage is like that, except it is a much more ancient and universal tradition, with its origins in the most remote past of human history, and with a much more unfathomable history and depth of social ramifications. As we look across cultures, marriage has a gender specific aspect to it, and I don't find it absurd to consider that gender may be significant to marriage not in a single absolute way, but in a panoply of ways which together might be significant. There is the issue of the relation of marriage to procreation, there is the idea of male and female complementarity as basic social and cosmological concepts in the human cultural experience. I support legal recognition of gay unions, and I even support calling them marriages, but to say that a union between two people of the same gender and those of different genders are fundamentally the same in all important respects is not something I feel can be claimed with any confidence.  This is an issue of Chesterton's fence.  The fundamental question here is - might there wisdom in what we have inherited that may be obscured in the myopia of the ideology and politics of the present moment?  The fact that the reasons for something may not be obvious or can be reduced to a simple legal formula does not mean it arises from ignorance or animous.   I see no reason to assume guilt of bigotry until proven innocence when it comes to those who have created and attempted to preserve an valuable institution, even if we come to the conclusion that a transformation of it may be necessary.

That's a monumentally stupid argument.  If you're actually going to maintain that we need not use reason or principle or law or ethics to guide our behavior, what's the point of discussing anything?  If you think that, "well, I don't believe in reasoning" is a good argument, that's sort of the end of the line.  I disagree with you.  What are we supposed to do now?  Throw down in a cage match or something? 

Honestly, that sort of thinking is as bad as bigotry, it's basically nihilism with a twist of conservatism.  But, it's funny that you accept that type of nonsense when it hurts gay people, but what about other issues?  Someone could use your identical logic, "well, maybe logic is BS and maybe tradition something something" to justify Jim Crow or the Taliban's Islamic law or any of the worst barbarism.  That's what your argument is, barbarism.  Give me a break.  If that's the best you conservatives can do, in the immortal words of Big Daddy Kane, "put a quarter in your ass cause you played yourself."

Okay, you've amply demonstrated that you consider any worldview you aren't interested in taking the effort to understand to be stupid. You don't need to resort to profanity.
86  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Kennedy do poorly in Ohio? on: September 06, 2014, 03:45:13 pm
Anti-Catholic sentiment + the state was traditionally Republican at the time

I doubt whatever anti-Catholic sentiment there was in Ohio was greater than in the nation as a whole given the long history of Catholics in the state (typically of the middle class German Republican variety).  It is true that the politics of Ohio were fairly Republican and conservative then.  If you compare the difference between the national and state margin, it's not far off from what it had been in 56.
87  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: MadmanMotley for Mideast Governor on: September 05, 2014, 11:23:37 pm
cool beans.
88  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mechaman for Mideast Assembly on: September 05, 2014, 11:22:49 pm
Mechaman for Mideast?! wowza! Cheesy

 This campaign is the most exciting thing to happen to the region since . . . something I can't remember right now.
89  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: September 05, 2014, 11:11:22 pm
The barn so far



While they were cleaning out my grandfather's house, they found this.


wow, that's really sweet. I'm sure it means a lot to them to have that from him.
90  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Democratic Congressional Candidate: Republicans Are Worse Than ISIS on: September 05, 2014, 11:01:50 pm
Nothing inherently wrong with the statement.

Sure, it's completely correct - so long as you completely disregard the lives and cultures of the people of the Middle East being massacred and oppressed.
91  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: LA judge upholds state SSM ban on: September 05, 2014, 10:57:19 pm
I didn't say anything about the effect of these views on their legal bearing. The only thing I have been trying to say is that it is possible to not support same-sex marriage without being a bigot. Perhaps you equate opposition to same-sex marriage with bigotry; but you seemed to readily make all sorts of assumptions about my character earlier that were not true. Surely you can acknowledge there mere possibility that there are some people who do not support same-sex marriage without being homophobes, bigots, fundamentalists, and so forth?

Yes, they could be ignorant or stupid, however so often that's coterminous with fundamentalism or homophobia.

Honestly, I have never heard a single coherent argument that addresses the point I made earlier, why distinguish a man-woman relationship from a man-man woman-woman relationship? (except arguments that relied on fundamentalism or homophobia, which are coherent, but wrong-headed and horrible)  I'm open to hearing a coherent argument that meets my criteria.  But, I don't think it exists.  This has been argued by people smarter than you and I in the Federal Courts.  The anti-SSM marriage side has failed to find one rational basis reason for banning SSM.  Maybe you can help them and think of one, but I seriously doubt it.

It might be considered that opposition to gay marriage comes out of a somewhat different intellectual tradition than which modern "rational basis" legal arguments rest upon, and that diverse intellectual traditions can hold coherence or at least not be "stupid."

Your criteria is seems to be that any concept of marriage related to gender qua gender is bigoted by definition, is that right?

I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean.  If the argument is that marriage means one man and one woman, because that's what it means, that's circular and therefore fundamentally flawed.  To say, gay people can't get married because marriage is between one man and one woman, that's no type of argument.  The premise for the conclusion can't just be the restatement of the conclusion in different words.

And, my point isn't even really about what is and is not bigoted.  It would help if we allowed ourselves to be fairly politically incorrect and frank about our opinions.  But, my point is that there is a lack of an actual honest to goodness, principled argument on the anti-SSM side.  An argument that lays out a coherent principle that differentiates between homosexual and heterosexual couples AND ALSO explains why that distinction matters in a relevant way.  So, just saying gay people like showtunes too much or gay people are gay, that's not going to cut it. 

The assumption you are making, as I understand it, is that all social institutions must be organized according to principles of deductive reasoning in order to be valid, and that tradition is no guide to how things should be. That simply isn't something that a conservative is going to agree with. Deductive reasoning only takes you so far.  Consider the fact that we are debating whether something is Constitutional, which itself is a tradition.  There is no analytic proof that says we should follow the Constitution, is there?  We attempt to adhere to it because of what the tradition has brought us. Marriage is like that, except it is a much more ancient and universal tradition, with its origins in the most remote past of human history, and with a much more unfathomable history and depth of social ramifications. As we look across cultures, marriage has a gender specific aspect to it, and I don't find it absurd to consider that gender may be significant to marriage not in a single absolute way, but in a panoply of ways which together might be significant. There is the issue of the relation of marriage to procreation, there is the idea of male and female complementarity as basic social and cosmological concepts in the human cultural experience. I support legal recognition of gay unions, and I even support calling them marriages, but to say that a union between two people of the same gender and those of different genders are fundamentally the same in all important respects is not something I feel can be claimed with any confidence.  This is an issue of Chesterton's fence.  The fundamental question here is - might there wisdom in what we have inherited that may be obscured in the myopia of the ideology and politics of the present moment?  The fact that the reasons for something may not be obvious or can be reduced to a simple legal formula does not mean it arises from ignorance or animous.   I see no reason to assume guilt of bigotry until proven innocence when it comes to those who have created and attempted to preserve an valuable institution, even if we come to the conclusion that a transformation of it may be necessary.
92  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: 1952: Kefauver vs Taft, a battle of the runner-ups on: September 05, 2014, 10:02:07 pm
Sen. Kefauver's puts forward as VP former Ambassador and Commerce Secretary W. A. Harriman, for foreign policy and anti-Communist credibility and to make nice with Truman.  Kefauver's populist campaign strikes a moderate, vague tone on civil rights, and manages to avoid a significant segregationist Democrat desertion thanks to Kefauver being generally considered one of their own by Southerners - though Harriman is more outspoken on the issue.  The Republican's pick for VP is New Jersey Governor Alfred E. Driscoll, a man with a strong reputation for independence and a liberal in many ways, though something of a conservative on issues of federalism. Senator Taft as the nominee represents a strong contrast to the interventionist foreign and domestic policies of an unpopular administration.



Sen. Robert Taft (R-OH) / Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll (R-NJ) 310 51.3%
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) / Fmr. Sec. of Commerce W. A. Harriman (D-NY) 221 47.9%
93  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: LA judge upholds state SSM ban on: September 05, 2014, 08:32:00 pm
I didn't say anything about the effect of these views on their legal bearing. The only thing I have been trying to say is that it is possible to not support same-sex marriage without being a bigot. Perhaps you equate opposition to same-sex marriage with bigotry; but you seemed to readily make all sorts of assumptions about my character earlier that were not true. Surely you can acknowledge there mere possibility that there are some people who do not support same-sex marriage without being homophobes, bigots, fundamentalists, and so forth?

Yes, they could be ignorant or stupid, however so often that's coterminous with fundamentalism or homophobia.

Honestly, I have never heard a single coherent argument that addresses the point I made earlier, why distinguish a man-woman relationship from a man-man woman-woman relationship? (except arguments that relied on fundamentalism or homophobia, which are coherent, but wrong-headed and horrible)  I'm open to hearing a coherent argument that meets my criteria.  But, I don't think it exists.  This has been argued by people smarter than you and I in the Federal Courts.  The anti-SSM marriage side has failed to find one rational basis reason for banning SSM.  Maybe you can help them and think of one, but I seriously doubt it.

It might be considered that opposition to gay marriage comes out of a somewhat different intellectual tradition than which modern "rational basis" legal arguments rest upon, and that diverse intellectual traditions can hold coherence or at least not be "stupid."

Your criteria is seems to be that any concept of marriage related to gender qua gender is bigoted by definition, is that right?
94  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Religious fundamentalist calls for non-believers to convert or be killed on: September 05, 2014, 07:50:03 pm
Indy, do you think all people who think it might be a good idea to kill ISIS are just as bad as they are, or is this limited to those who are religious?

I happen to think killing ISIS members is a wonderful idea. I only wish the functioning governments of the Middle East would do so without expecting us to do the job for them.

But suggesting that they should be converted to Christianity in lieu of being killed implies Pastor Phil is more offended by their Mohammedanism than by the egregious war crimes and human rights violations they've committed. It's also a rather inconvenient parroting of ISIS' own message to its victims - convert or be killed.

So believing that the violence of ISIS is related to a specific form of religious ideology, and that a mass conversion of members of ISIS would make a difference to the situation, is what you consider ISIS-like?

Personally I'd like to see half of them convert to Christianity, and the other half become Yahzidis.
95  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Religious fundamentalist calls for non-believers to convert or be killed on: September 05, 2014, 07:19:05 pm
Indy, do you think all people who think it might be a good idea to kill ISIS are just as bad as they are, or is this limited to those who are religious?
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Forum County Map? on: September 05, 2014, 03:46:07 pm
Chesapeake VA
97  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: 1844: Tyler (D) vs. Clay (W) on: September 05, 2014, 12:19:40 pm

Clay/Frelinghuysen  209  50.4%
Tyler/Polk   66   46.8%
Birney/Morris      2.7%
98  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Sen. Gillibrand: I was sexually harassed by men in Congress on: September 05, 2014, 11:28:57 am
Come on, Kirsten. Names. We want names.

Since she isn't saying, anyone want to speculate on who they are?

Robert Byrd is who comes to mind first.

Oh sure, blame the dead guy.
99  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: McDonnells found guilty on: September 05, 2014, 12:14:13 am

Of course. I hate to see this. He was generally a good governor and I liked him a lot. He's less likeable now than he used to be of course, and it's quite possible this was the right verdict under the law, but anyway it's sad. 
100  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Religious cleric calls for non-believers to convert or be killed on: September 05, 2014, 12:02:57 am
It isn't apologism to claim that its bizarre to talk about converting an enemy under the pain of genocide.  Then again maybe ISIS must be annihilated but we have never  annihilated anyone that are not Native Americans yet. If that's not enough, they brought  conversion in as a sole condition of surrender. Maybe it would be cool if we were governed by Octavian or Richard II. But this isn't 1205 AD or 5 AD.

This. And "convert them or kill them" implies that the problem isn't their violence, but that they believe in the wrong god.

Yeah, this was the most disturbing part of his statement. Apparently if you can convert some ISIS militants to Christianity they're suddenly good people. Roll Eyes

They would at least not be ISIS militants anymore, which is something.
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