Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We have a consensus!

An interesting side effect of the gay "marriage" debates is that it reveals a principle that we all agree on regardless of one's viewpoint. It is both shocking and yet so simple. That consensus is that there is such a thing as objective morality.

Now one may object to this idea. Indeed it is a fact that those who advocate for same-sex "marriage" is that marriage is a fluid concept. It is defined and redefined throughout the centuries by various societies. Indeed the whole argument for same-sex "marriage" is based on the proposition that marriage can be redefined by society at will.

Yet a curious thing happens next. The same-sex marriage advocate goes on to argue that not legally recognizing same-sex "marriage" in law is "wrong." It is unfair, says the advocate, that gays are excluded from the benefits that opposite-sex pairings of people possess under the law. It is only right and just that gays be allowed to "marry."

Right and wrong, just and unjust. These words are very odd indeed. By definition they imply that there is such a thing as "objective." In order to be "right" there must be a truth that is true regardless of one's opinion. In order to be "wrong" one must be incorrect about said objective truth.

If then it is the case that marriage is subject to the whims and fancies of the populace, then any definition of marriage is acceptable. There can be no right or wrong because marriage is whatever we want it to be. Man and woman? Man and Man? Man and boy of 11 years? Man and girl of 11 years? Man and Plant? You get the idea. A definition of marriage detached from any objective meaning is simply the flavor of the month. It is certainly not worth the huge amount of resources devoted to the project.

In short a person who argues for same-sex "marriage" already acknowledges that there is such a thing as the objective definition of marriage. He has to. Otherwise arguing about marriage would be like arguing which alcoholic beverage is "the best." If any definition will suffice, why is the current one so bad?

So we should rejoice that both sides have some common ground to work from. The whole basis for an argument about the "right" definition of marriage by definition implies an objective definition of marriage. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

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