Friday, April 05, 2013


I have to say, I'm quite partial to the argument of the linked article:
A majority of Americans now approve of gay marriage for two fairly simple reasons. First, most Americans understand marriage as symbolic affirmation of a dissolvable commitment between consenting adults for purposes of emotional gratification. . . . If you understand marriage in this sense, which has been socially dominant for decades, there is no plausible argument for denying it to gay individuals one loves and respects. As Rob Portman has discovered, the rest is reasoning from the particular to the general.
Realistically, once contraception becoems socially acceptable, I don't think you really have the same thing for what the word marriage used to mean. So now we're arguing over language instead of substance, and while I'm a realist and not a nominalist, I'm also a realist and not an idealist. Unrelatedly, I think I'm also a dualist, not an idealist. If you can parse that sentence, I may give you a cookie.

Related is this article, linked from the first, which goes into the difference between culture, law, and a bit on how they relate. For example
Predictably, conservatives tended to ignore this inconvenient truth about the culture, persuading themselves that winning elections — and ostensibly passing conservative laws (though they did that less frequently) — were what mattered. (Or maybe it was that they convinced themselves that because they could win elections — because the American public supported their politics — it implied a "silent majority" of Americans were still traditional, salt-of-the-earth types.)
Turns out, not such a good idea.

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