Sunday, December 28, 2008

You Can't Hide Your Hate...Or Can You?? Part 2

Earlier this month I responded to a blog site which was posted after the passing of Proposition 8 in the state of California. The blog is entitled "You Can't Hide Your Hate" and lists the names of those who contributed financially to the "Yes on 8" campaign. If you have not read my response you can do so by clicking here and scrolling down. After posting my arguments I contacted the author of the "You Can't Hide Your Hate" site and let him know where he could read them. Raphael, the site's contributor, responded as follows:

"Thanks for sharing, Aaron.I don't really think your arguments make any sense, but I'll let our readers decide for themselves. I'm not going to get into a point-by-point discussion about it, because we have a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes "hate". In my view, support for Prop 8 is an act of hatred--and you clearly disagree. I don't think we'll be persuading each other on this issue."

Needless to say, I was very disappointed with this response. Attempting to dialogue on the issue of same-sex marriage can often end in frustration, perhaps because this is such an emotional issue and many individuals on both sides of the debate have not reflected long enough on the issues and arguments. However, I would contend that the most common arguments put forth in the public square to support same-sex marriage are intellectually unsound. Despite Raphael's comments above, I would like to respond to what he said:

"Thanks for sharing, Aaron. I don't really think your arguments make any sense, but I'll let our readers decide for themselves."

Raphael, I have had quite a few people read my previous post and so far you seem to be the only one who has thought my arguments do not make sense. I am assuming you read my entire post, so to simply say that my arguments don't "make any sense" does not make sense to me! I think it is important to read material that argues against our personal point of view, wouldn't you agree? Just to recap, the points I made in my previous post were as follows:
  1. My first point showed that your assertion "Proposition 8 eliminates marriage rights" is false. Proposition 8 does no such thing. It upholds the natural definition of marriage which homosexuals are completely free to participate in if they so choose.
  2. My second and third points showed that same-sex couples in California already have equal rights, especially under California Family Code 297.5. It's just not called "marriage." Even without the family code there is no unequal protection under the law. These two points alone completely undermine your entire position, so your lack of response here is glaring.
  3. My fourth point showed that the government has no vested interest or good reason to elevate same-sex marriage to the level of natural marriage because the two relationships will never be equal: same-sex couples cannot procreate.
  4. My fifth point specifically addressed your website and the fact that you are engaging in an ad hominem fallacy by assuming supporters of Proposition 8 are "hateful." Absent from your site is any argumentation, logic, or reasoning to support your position.
  5. My sixth point brought out your assumption of the natural moral law when you say that "hate" is wrong. I would like to know where you derive your sense of right and wrong and why you are not applying the natural moral law to homosexual behavior.
  6. My seventh point demonstrated the inconsistency on your site regarding boycotts. You say you do not advocate boycotts but then you encourage your readers to tell you if they were able to start a boycott. This seems blatantly contradictory.
  7. My eighth point questioned whether your motivation was really to start a dialogue. And to be honest Raphael, from your response it seems my initial assumption was correct. You are not really interested in starting a dialogue because that is what I am attempting to do here and in my previous response to your site.
  8. Finally, I pointed out the irony of your site in your attempts to label those who oppose you as intolerant and hateful. This is not very tolerant and loving of you.
I certainly hope we can all take the time to read these posts and make our decisions based on truth and reason, setting emotion and rhetoric aside.

"I'm not going to get into a point-by-point discussion about it..."

This is disappointing to say the least. Especially after you say on your sight that we need to work on beginning a dialogue. How are you going to accomplish that if you are not willing to engage the ideas?? If you have truth on your side Raphael you should be more than willing to engage those who oppose you. If you expect to be persuasive you are going to have to do more than play the hate card. You are going to have to argue, debate, and reason.

"...because we have a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes 'hate.'"

How about we just look up "hate" in the dictionary? Webster's defines it as "to have strong dislike or ill will for; loathe; despise." Can we agree on this?

"In my view, support for Prop 8 is an act of hatred--and you clearly disagree."

Yes, we clearly disagree. But rather than stating the obvious, why don't you give me some good reasons as to exactly why support for Prop 8 should be considered an "act of hatred." Once again, it seems to me you are simply engaging in name-calling rather than addressing the arguments. I don't hate homosexuals. I do not dislike, loathe, or despise them. But it does seem that you "loathe; despise" those who supported the "Yes on 8" campaign. Hence your blog site.

Also, if support for Prop 8, or not supporting same-sex marriage, is considered "hate" on your view, what do you do with liberal democrats and homosexuals themselves who do not support same-sex marriage? Let me give you just one example: Elton John. Elton John came out publicly and said he supported Proposition 8, which you can read about here. So, on your view Raphael, does Elton John "hate" himself because he does not support same-sex marriage??

"I don't think we'll be persuading each other on this issue."

Why not? I am always open to being persuaded because I am open-minded. To say you are not open to being persuaded is a close-minded position. But we should be interested in truth. So if you are right and you can support your beliefs with good reasons and argumentation I am more than willing to listen. But maybe this comment is more about you than me. Maybe you are the one who is not open to being persuaded. And if that is the case, I have to ask "why not?" Are you afraid of what it might mean? Are you interested in truth? Or are you merely interested in confirming your own bias and ignoring any legitimate opposition?

Looking forward to your response Raphael.

4 comments:

Kristine said...

Good points, Aaron. I hope he considers them and responds to you.

Raphael said...

I stand by my assertion that your arguments are so deeply grounded in religious--not legal--theory that they have absoluetly no relevance to the debate about Proposition 8.

The debate about this issue has made it clear that people are capable of hateful acts without the slightest awareness of the hatred in their hearts. The architects of Jim Crow did not see their behavior as acts of hatred--only a defense of tradition. Prop 8 backers are similarly blind.

Dan Grossenbach said...

It's good to see you continue the discussion. That's an interesting response you left. Where did Aaron mention anything about religion in his recent post? If it is a "religious theory" does that make his logic less valid?

Aaron said...

Raphael,

I want to thank you for posting my comments on your own blog site. This is not something you had to do and I appreciate you being open to at least reading what I have written and allowing the readers of your own site to do the same.

Also, thank you for your comments here. I would like to say a few things in response.

First, I hate to keep saying this, but you still have not specifically addressed any of the arguments that I presented.

Second, an assertion is not an argument. While you have made several assertions, you need to provide some good justification as to why your assertions are true. Until then, you haven't given us any reason to take them seriously.

Third, as Dan pointed out above, the arguments I gave had nothing to do with religion. In fact, contrary to what you said, they WERE based in law. Remember I argued that there is no unequal protection under the law and that California Family Code 297.5 already ensures that same-sex couples have equal rights, benefits, and protections. Therefore, I think what I have said is completely relevant.

Fourth, even if my arguments are religiously motivated, to ignore and dismiss them based solely on those grounds would be to commit a logical fallacy known as a "genetic" fallacy. Arguments must be accepted or rejected based on their merit and not on their source or origin. And again, as Dan pointed out, this is irrelevant to the validity of my logic.

Fifth, I think your reference to Jim Crow is a faulty one. Jim Crow laws were wrong because they discriminated based on a morally irrelevant factor: skin color. Marriage laws, on the other hand, are based on completely relevant moral factors when it comes to marriage. These factors include number, gender, age, and whether or not the participants are both homo sapiens and non-blood relatives. Furthermore, laws are designed to discriminate against BEHAVIOR, not people (this is another reason why the Jim Crow laws were bad). The issue of same-sex marriage has to do with behavior(and whether or not the government should endorse that behavior by calling it marriage), not individual persons since homosexuals already have equal rights. Remember, this is about redefining marriage. Marriage laws therefore are completely warranted.

Finally, by not addressing the arguments and instead referring to Prop 8 backers as blind you are again engaging in an ad-hominem fallacy: name-calling.