Guest Post: Dover_Beach – What is Marriage? II

Some people criticizing aspects of the argument of my last post don’t seem to appreciate the flow of the argument re marriage. Let me outline it.

Firstly, the argument begins with an attempt to distinguish marriage from other types of relationship by reference to their orientations. There are many types of relationship in any society (i.e. transactional, civil, enterprise, friendship, familial, tribal, and so on) and the process of distinguishing involves comparing and contrasting each type in order to find what orientation or set of orientations each has that differentiates each from the other. So, the argument begins but does not end with marriage as we have found it historically – thus, the argument is not from tradition. As I’ve said, marriage is distinguishable from other relationships we might find in a society by its orientation towards (a) unifying the persons and (b) the children that may arise therein from such a relationship. Again, all this does is distinguish marriage as marriage from friendship (where each is orientated toward the good of the other) as friendship, and so on.

Secondly, from this we can deduce the form of such a relationship by reference to its orientation. So, if, for example, friendship is a relationship in which each person is orientated towards the good of the other, it is a relationship between at least two persons, where the race, sex, class, etc. of the other person is irrelevant. However, the number of friends we have is limited because at some point too large a number will diminish our capacity to further the good of each friend (whether helping them move, providing advice, shooting the breeze, etc.) and this point helps us to distinguish a friend from an acquaintance. Similarly, if we apply the same mode of reasoning to a relationship that is orientated to ‘unifying the persons’ and whatever ‘children that may arise therein’, we find again that it must involve at least two persons, but the orientation towards children limits the relationship further to (c) two persons of the opposite sex. Why? Because the relationship must, considered generally, have the power of generating children. Further, we find that the race and class of the person remains irrelevant (therefore laws against inter-racial marriage are objectively wrong, as are laws forbidding marriage between classes). The orientation towards ‘unifying the persons’ suggests that it needs to be (d) permanent and (e) exclusive. Why not temporary? Because this would undermine the orientation toward unifying the persons, it also undermines the orientation towards children which not only involves their generation, but their care and custody.  Why not inclusive? Because this would undermine the unification of the original pair as well as disrupt the care and custody of the children that are generated therein. In fact, as can be seen here, (a) is implied in (b). In other words, if you look at any historical period or across any culture, look for just that relationship which involves the generation and care of children that arise therein and you will find that thing we call marriage.

Now, none of the ‘problems’ that appear in the comments to the previous thread so far actually undermine any part of this. Firstly, to claim that marriage is a ‘love-relationship’ just muddies the waters. If you deny (b) but retain (a), what distinguishes a ‘love-relationship’ from friendship, or concubinage? Further, how would denying (b) sustain the form (c) through (e)? Secondly, the fact of polygamy is partly consistent with (b), consistent with the generation of children but inconsistent in terms of their care and custody, and further, makes (a) difficult to achieve, suggests that polygamy is a deficient form of marriage at best that may be tolerated in certain circumstances but never encouraged, or at worst fundamentally inimical to marriage so understood. Thirdly, deny exclusivity, and you also deny (a) and thereby you allow the oxymoron of open ‘marriage’; the fact that there are or were open ‘marriages’ now or in past does not make this any less an oxymoron. Fourthly, the fact that people separate and/or divorce does not undermine (a) or (e); a failure can only be recognized as a failure if the relationship itself is held to be orientated towards (a) and by implication to have the form of (d) and (e); the fact that people break promises does not undermine the nature of a promise.

The most raised problem appears to be against (b) and thereby (c). Again, the criticisms fail. They fail for the same reason that describing marriage as a ‘love-relationship’ fails. Marriage becomes difficult to (i) distinguish from friendship if you drop (b) but retain a), or (ii) to maintain its form at all), not only does c) cease to be implied, but so too does (d) and (e). Or, it involves the argument that marriage is now a ‘love-relationship’ but the use of ‘now’ only conceals, and not at all well, the fallacy (of equivocation). Well, if marriage was a) and (b) ‘then’, but only (a) ‘now’ then we are back to the problem addressed firstly; vague references to ‘change’ and ‘evolve’ don’t help you here. Whereas the account I have provided of marriage can admit that marriages were in many instances ‘arranged’ and that they are largely ‘romantic’ now but still be talking about marriage as set out above given that (a) through (e) remain unchanged whether a marriage is ‘arranged’ or ‘romantic’; these aspects are simply incidental to marriage. The same, of course, can be said about marriage as an economic arrangement, now or in the past; this, again, is merely incidental, and does not contradict (a) or (b) and is consistent with the form (c) through (e). In fact, the economic aspect trades on this form and orientation. Lastly, (b) does not require every instance of marriage to actually produce a child. All that is required is that the form as constituted, generally, have such a capacity, even if individual instances that satisfy the form fail to do so for this or that reason. The ‘problem’ of infertility is not something marriage, generally, is afflicted with though some marriages, specifically, do. The same cannot be said for same-sex relationships, they are infertile, absolutely, even though the persons themselves may be fertile.

Now, to those mounting the criticisms, with what part of this do you disagree? Do you deny that marriage in general exhibits orientations (a) and (b) and is thus distinguishable from other relationships by reference to them? If so, provide your reasons. Note, saying that you know a couple that is ‘married’ who is either disinclined or unable to have children does not actually address the argument at this stage, it just begs the question, since we are here only trying to determine what marriage per se is by distinguishing it from other relationships (this mode of reasoning also helps us also to distinguish between orientations that are essential and those that are incidental to marriage or other relationships). Or do you deny that (c), (d), and (e) are implied in (a) and (b)? If so, again, provide your reasons? Note, the argument does not begin with any preconception with respect to how the form, (c) through (e), of marriage but with trying to identify what orientation or set of orientations distinguish this type of relationship from other types of relationship. From there it moves on to deducing the form that marriage must have given the orientation or set of orientations it has, and this second stage enables us to distinguish those aspects of the form that are incidental from those that are essential to marriage.

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311 Responses to Guest Post: Dover_Beach – What is Marriage? II

  1. JC

    Fisk

    Aria started this crap and this time it’s either going to end with him apologizing to everyone here for being the dickface he is, or he simply fucks off back to Bolt’s blog. The choices for the big mouth nancyboy are pretty narrow. A short while ago we were shooting the breeze on the open thread. I said something which he’s been trying to tease me with since. He’s also threatened either OCO or Jump physically and stoushed with all the long term regulars here.

    The dishonest sack of shit reckons he’s watching a movie now but he’s been glued to the cat since earlier this morning trying to keep up with the insults.

    Fuck the nancy boy. Unless he apologizes he will be forced to leave. I already own his mind.

    Hey aria, is the strong willed trannie back from work… screaming at you asking why the chores haven’t been done, you big nancy boy house husband.

    Aria, I’m home.. Have you cleaned the toilets, made the bed and cooked dinner!!!

  2. JC

    one cat&dog, two cat&dog, three cat&dog….

  3. Aristogeiton

    They just destroyed Majestyk’s melons JC. Have some respect.

    I see you called my wife a “trannie” again. Big man. Look into my eyes and try it.

    You don’t even own your own dick, let alone my mind ponce. It’s the same shit every time with you, down to the words. Sad. Saying it don’t make it so.

  4. JC

    They just destroyed Majestyk’s melons JC. Have some respect.

    Stay on subject nancy boy and no sucking up.

    I see you called my wife a “trannie” again.

    Take it like a man, nance, which in your case many be a tad too literal. If you dish is out expect worse from me.

    Big man. Look into my eyes and try it.

    Is that supposed to instill fear in me Nance? Lol. I’ll rip your fucking head off and shit down your neck you nanicfied geek. As I said if you want to get personal don’t expect to be treated with kid gloves. Now go do the chores the trannie gave you earlier today.

    You don’t even own your own dick, let alone my mind ponce.

    Is that what you learned as a tough response in IT school, scooter? Don’t make me laugh you pussified geek.

    It’s the same shit every time with you, down to the words. Sad. Saying it don’t make it so.

    Stop projecting nance.

  5. Aristogeiton

    That’s all you got? Try again…

  6. Aristogeiton

    Coming off desparate with the repetition, JC.

  7. JC

    Okay, so you’re conceding defeat. You have a choice to make. Apologize for being a dickface or fuck off back to Bolt’s blog. Alternatively you can do the chores the trannie left for you in the morning and not show up here or Bolt’s

  8. Aristogeiton

    Lol. You know, as I’ve said before, saying a thing don’t make it true. Weak, but no more than I expected.

  9. JC

    Listen to yourself, Ariel, the big IT geek threatening and abusing everyone here turns out to be a pussified little dipshit who gets screamed at by a loud mouth trannie on a daily basis. I had you pegged much earlier, but I never thought you were this much of a girlyman.

  10. Aristogeiton

    Same tune set to the same lying lyrics. Is that the extent of your bluster, big man?

  11. JC

    Same tune set to the same lying lyrics. Is that the extent of your bluster, big man?

    Projecting much Mr IT toughie? You’ve repeated the same thing several times now.

  12. Aristogeiton

    I doubt you can pass the Turing test, JC. Want to keep repeating the same tired shit ad nauseum, or do you give up yet?

  13. JC

    Has he replied, click, has he replied, click has he replied, click.

    Be a little more cool sweetheart, or didn’t they teach you that when you were learning how to swap electronic files at IT school tough guy.

  14. Aristogeiton

    I really own your feeble mind, don’t I JC? You’ve been reduced to a blubbering mess, repeating “trannie” and “nancy” over and over.

  15. Infidel tiger

    It seems off topic, but this stoush between Ari and JC is exactly how I expect same sex marriage will end up.

  16. stackja

    For some same-sex couples, breaking up is hard to do
    For lesbian and gay couples living in states where their marriages are not recognized, divorce is proving next to impossible. They married in places such as Iowa and Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal. They live in places such as Indiana and Mississippi, where it’s not.
    linky

  17. JC

    Shut up IT.

    Sorry about your thread being ruined DB. Aria has fucked up another Cat thread.

  18. Combine Dave

    It seems off topic, but this stoush between Ari and JC is exactly how I expect same sex marriage will end up.

    They do seem rather well suited for one another…

    A photo of the conclusion of their stoush; http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0128755f8089970c-450wi

  19. Aristogeiton

    Infidel tiger
    #1398361, posted on July 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm
    It seems off topic, but this stoush between Ari and JC is exactly how I expect same sex marriage will end up.

    This is not off-topic. The opposition to gay marriage is pretty implacable, and that’s why after putting my arguments, I thought it was best to allow d_b to recapitulate his position without further antagonism in response. I’d had my chance to put my view, and it was only fair that d_b was allowed to respond to it.

    Of course, this was too much for JC, who had to piss and shit all over the thread like a sick cat.

    And look where it got him. I now own his mind, and he’s been reduced to a blubbering, repetitive mess.

    It’s sad because despite my objections to d_b’s arguments, they was a darn sight better than which followed them.

  20. Aristogeiton

    s/they was a darn/they were a darn/

  21. Infidel Tiger

    Shut up IT.

    Go iron your jeans.

  22. C.L.

    So …

    Still no argument presented in favour of homosexual “marriage.”

    Not one.

    This subject is closed.

  23. candy

    This subject is closed.

    It’s not closed. The LDP senator is introducing a bill isn’t he? And forcing the issue back in Parliament in the near future (unless I’ve got the story wrong).

  24. JC

    and he’s been reduced to a blubbering, repetitive mess.

    Yea, repetition like this, you dickhead.

    Coming off desparate with the repetition, JC.

    The opposition to gay marriage is pretty implacable, and that’s why after putting my arguments, I thought it was best to allow d_b to recapitulate his position without further antagonism in response.

    The sensitive IT geek. He thought best……

    By the way Nancy, which position are you taking? This week’s or the anti-SSM of a few weeks ago?

    I’d had my chance to put my view, and it was only fair that d_b was allowed to respond to it.

    Allowed? DB, you’re being allowed to respond by Mr Ironman. It’s nice of him, yea?

    Of course, this was too much for JC, who had to piss and shit all over the thread like a sick cat.

    Naa dickface you destroyed the thread. it wasn’t me.

    It’s sad because despite my objections to d_b’s arguments, they was a darn sight better than which followed them.

    Same tune set to the same lying lyrics. Is that the extent of your bluster, big man?

    Want to keep repeating the same tired shit ad nauseum, or do you give up yet?

    I really own your feeble mind, don’t I JC? You’ve been reduced to a blubbering mess, repeating “trannie” and “nancy” over and over.

    And look where it got him. I now own his mind, and he’s been reduced to a blubbering, repetitive mess.

    Click, has he responded yet, click, has he responded yet, click…..

    Get rid of the prick, DB. He gets harassed by his loudmouth masculine “wife” and then comes here and takes it out on people.

  25. Aristogeiton

    Lol. Weak. I own your mind JC.

  26. twostix

    I do not understand.

    Up until a week ago Ari was expressely anti-Gay Marriage.

    Now he’s gone all Yobbo?

    I suggest that dear Ari is nothing but a contrarian look at me troll, one day he’s against, the next he’s for, depending on what he feels is the prevailing mood of the group on any given day.

  27. Aristogeiton

    Covered upthread fuckstain…

  28. JC

    Just repeating what I said about you, dickface. I so own yours that you repeat to me what I said about you earlier.

    Lets recap, we’ve gone from trying out your lame threats, realizing they don’t work with me while now resorting to repeating what I say. Lord, you’re a dickhead, dickface. You’re the worst Bolthead who has ever shown up here.

    And stop pretending you’re trying to get on topic as you’re the worst thread wrecker we’ve seen here since Homer Paxton.

  29. Aristogeiton

    Lol. Christ, I own your feeble mind, don’t I?

  30. JC

    I do not understand.

    That’s what I said earlier upthread and then Mr. IT Ironman tried to go all pretend Tyson on me.

    Up until a week ago Ari was expressely anti-Gay Marriage.

    Oh but he “researched” it. He researched it by reading up about what Sullivan had to say and came back a fully fledged convert. It’s actually eerily similar to Yobbo’s transmogrification into an atheist. He reckoned he spent six hours watching youtubes of Hitch railing against religion and was fully converted.

    Now he’s gone all Yobbo?

    Nancy now agrees with Yobbo while disagreeing with him. Figure that one out.

    I suggest that dear Ari is nothing but a contrarian look at me troll, one day he’s against, the next he’s for, depending on what he feels is the prevailing mood of the group on any given day.

    He’s an out of work hen pecked househusband who seems to get screamed at all the time.

  31. Gab

    In IT? I thought he said he was a lawyer?

  32. Aristogeiton

    Used to work in IT. I’ve told JC this three times, but he’s a slow learner.

  33. Aristogeiton

    Wow JC. I’m in your brain. It’s sad…

  34. JC

    Covered upthread fuckstain…

    Let him tell us again about the research he did.

    The week of reading Aristotle Onassis, Plato, Aquarius and of course Gerry Springer. He mentioned all those including Selma Hayek, as the research that inspired him to change his mind and go all Yobbo.

  35. Aristogeiton

    Sleep tight JC. I’ll be in your dreams, because I own your feeble mind…

  36. JC

    In IT? I thought he said he was a lawyer?

    Lawyer to. So he was a legal IT’er. Wow! More power to Nancy.

    So lets get it straight, Nance. I recall you telling us that you once worked in IT for a fortune 100 company and now Gab says you told others you were a lawyer.

    Which one is bullshit?

  37. JC

    Sleep tight JC. I’ll be in your dreams, because I own your feeble mind…

    No seriously Ariel. Which one is right. Is it IT or lawyer? You big fucking liar.

  38. Gab

    He mentioned all those including Selma Hayek, as the research that inspired him to change his mind and go all Yobbo.

    lol

    Funny line that.

  39. Aristogeiton

    Lol. Keep digging JC.

  40. JC

    Ari

    Come on, stop bullshitting. We’re all friends here after dark. IT or lawyer and why the lie?

  41. Aristogeiton

    Jesus, you love to change the subject, don’t you? I said at the time that I worked in the aforementioned career in “a past life”. What does that tell you?

  42. Aristogeiton

    I own your brain JC. Admit it…

  43. JC

    Jesus, you love to change the subject, don’t you? I said at the time that I worked in the aforementioned career in “a past life”. What does that tell you?

    Nothing. It tells us nothing. I distinctly recall you telling us that you worked in IT for a fortune 100, but Gab says you told others you worked as a lawyer. So which is it and why the two different calls.

  44. Aristogeiton

    Two careers JC. Understand? Christ you’re thick…

  45. twostix

    He’s an out of work hen pecked househusband who seems to get screamed at all the time.

    So….like Steve from Brisbane then.

  46. Aristogeiton

    Lol. Only fellow betas believe JC’s lies. How’s that working out for you halfstick?

  47. twostix

    Oh but he “researched” it. He researched it by reading up about what Sullivan had to say and came back a fully fledged convert. It’s actually eerily similar to Yobbo’s transmogrification into an atheist. He reckoned he spent six hours watching youtubes of Hitch railing against religion and was fully converted.

    Unfortunately history has proven that this is the intellectual depth of the average Australia “Libertarian”. If they come under prolonged fire from the left they fully capitulate in about three seconds.

  48. Gab

    He reckoned he spent six hours watching youtubes of Hitch railing against religion and was fully converted.

    IIRC, he said he watched him 48 hours straight.

  49. JC

    Two careers JC. Understand? Christ you’re thick…

    Naaa I thought that and then I realized you’re lying.

  50. Aristogeiton

    Chrisropher Hitchens is a tool. Peter Hitchens is more my styles.

  51. JC

    IIRC, he said he watched him 48 hours straight.

    Really? Wow! I liked Hitch, but 48 straight hours is an abnormality.

  52. Gab

    I think you’ve beaten Aristo well and truly, JC. He’s down to uttering only two or three words now.

  53. JC

    I think you’ve beaten Aristo well and truly, JC. He’s down to uttering only two or three words now.

    To a pulp. I doubt he’ll ever be normal again as though he ever was. And if I ever have the displeasure of meeting him, he’ll be physically smashed like a grape. Like a stomped on grape.

  54. Oh come on

    Quite a Cat fight’s been going on here!

    He’s also threatened either OCO or Jump physically

    What! Not me! No one would dare go the biffo with me. I am the toughest guy on the internet.

  55. twostix

    Dover I found it hard to follow all the pointers to a’s, b’s, c’s and e’s.

    You should lay it all out again and again and smash the dishonest lefts faces in it without the references.

    Do supporters of “gay marriage” support polygamy or not?

    If they don’t they’re just big fat hypocrites (and liars). They admit they do want the government to discriminate and how, they’re promising: “hey just let our guys into your club then we’ll all gang up on those revolting polygamists and ban them like.a.boss”.
    Not seeming to realise that if their discrimination is valid then every single argument against polygamy is also a valid argument against “gay marriage” and crushes the typical arguments the “gay marriage” crowd put out “(“consenting adults”, “no harm”, “don’t like it don’t do it” etc, etc, etc). Oh, and that it’s also perfectly OK to be a “bigot” towards some people.
    On the other hand if they do support polygamy then they’re necessarily putting to the sword the trite and oft-repeated by mental midgets “slippery slope is a fallacy” idiocy that the dimwitted left duly parrot whenever anyone mentions the word “polygamy”. They’re openly admitting that there is indeed a slippery slope and they fully intend on greasing it up as much as possible.

    This problem is why, despite framing gay marriage as “equality” and “discrimination” they don’t want to talk about three consenting adults getting married and if you bring it up you’re an evil bigot.

  56. Fisky

    Twostix, all of that is fair. The problem is that supporters of gay marriage often do not attempt to explain what the actual merits of gay marriage are. Instead, they frame it in terms of “rights” while hysterically excluding polygamy on the basis of no principle. If they simply stuck to defending gay marriage on its merits in terms of how it would improve society, even very marginally, then they might be on firmer ground. And doing so, they would be able to explain the problems with polygamy, such as that it is a feature of dysfunctional societies everywhere, and that nothing at all is gained by legalising it.

  57. Twostix, the a, b, c, etc. were just there to avoid the repetitive use of selected phrases; if I thought that they would be as confusing as some suggest I would have avoid them. But you make an excellent point, if someone supports the redefinition of marriage so that it is no longer, intrinsically, a relationship between the sexes, then they in effect are supporters of the dissolution of marriage. It’s not just polygamy, mind you, it will be polyamory as well, and more.

    Fisky, I don’t think that’s the case but even if it were it would nevertheless still beg the question. Moreover, if it were simply about the merits or the goods that might arise from such publicly recognized and acknowledged commitments, you could achieve them without having to redefine marriage simply through the means of a civil union/ domestic partnership/ whathaveyou. But the thing is this, the problems I outline with any such redefinition of marriage will apply to civil unions; if it’s a union between persons, there is no internal logic that would limit such a union to two persons, or that would require the commitment made to be permanent or exclusive. Still, it would at least quarantine the mess to the latter arrangement. Of course, civil unions might simply be limited by the public concern.

  58. Aristogeiton

    JC
    #1398566, posted on July 29, 2014 at 10:36 pm
    I think you’ve beaten Aristo well and truly, JC. He’s down to uttering only two or three words now.

    To a pulp. I doubt he’ll ever be normal again as though he ever was. And if I ever have the displeasure of meeting him, he’ll be physically smashed like a grape. Like a stomped on grape.

    Lol. You’re dreaming on all fronts little man.

  59. MT Isa Miner

    Bruce of Newcastle

    #1395767, posted on July 27, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Nope. “Marriage” is like “Christmas”. Both are religious terms which have been stolen by secular society and incorrectly included in the secular body of law.

    Either you use them in the meaning they originally were, or stop using them. Unfortunately powerful political and economic forces stand in the way of fairness and copyright.

    So on this basis the word marriage should be removed from the statutes, replaced by civil union or just union for all people.

    And Christmas should be replaced with Atheistic Gift Giving Day. :)

    Yeah, Bruce.

    I know I’m late to put my 2c in but it’s not just adults who see the sense here. One of the primary kids in my life is totally pissed off that he gets grief for going to Religious Education rather than the “oh so much cooler than being a Christian”: ethics.

    Keriiist- being bullied for being a Christian, back tot the 1940′s where you were bullied for being a Mick or a Proddy. Anyway, the primary kid reckons it’s not fair that the other kids get to slag off at Christianity and then get Christmas presents and Easter eggs ANYWAY. I reckon he has a point.

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