Prop 8: A Moral Stand

Shared morality is the rich foundation from which people can obtain the wisdom and discussion required to moderate what is called the tyranny of the majority. However, any moral society will eventually exclude those who operate outside of its standards. There’s no getting around it except to lower society’s standards. But, in order to keep this shared morality consistent, it must be a part of the basic institutions that provide a foundation for healthy life. I’m speaking of marriage and family. When marriage is redefined so that it means whatever anyone wants it to mean, it ceases to be a source of consistent morality, or any stable foundation. Concurrently, when the whims of individuals add, subtract, or replace whatever they want in the family unit, moral stability is lost. When these are redefined, society is redefined. Our society declines as it loses its attachment to religion: the main informer of morality to these basic institutions. Even though our government has a constitution; its concepts, especially liberty and equality, are interpreted today in ways the founders did not intend. Why? The words just don’t mean the same thing anymore because we don’t have the same morality. The previous restraints to liberty and equality enforced by the basic institutions, have been corrupted, and as a consequence, so have the original intents. Liberty and equality taken to the extreme will produce either a tyranny of the individual or a tyranny of the government. Self-restraint is taboo in this culture of radical individualism. Censorship is not even mentioned. Yet, if we are to preserve our way of life, at some point we must stop liberty from going too far, and restrain equality from infiltrating things it should not. To give them free reign is to watch our society be destroyed. Those who continually create new rights and new equalities which are mainly people living outside of the morality of the society, fail to provide a moral framework for their actions. They just complain about discrimination. All law is discriminatory in nature. They need more than this argument to back up their behavior. However, when their rights and equalities are made legal, this lack of morality is forced on the majority. I applaud those who passed proposition 8 for taking a stand for their corporate morality. I applaud them for trying to preserve the institutions that are the backbone of this country. We lose them, we lose ourselves. We just can’t react in defeat every time someone cries about rights. Some rights aren’t rights at all. They’re bondage.

I find then a principle: When I strive for self-actualization, I decay; but when I restrain myself, I gain liberty.

4 thoughts on “Prop 8: A Moral Stand

  1. Look, Daniel, when people make claims my first concern is always about whether or not something is probably true or probably accurate or probably right based on the reasons used to inform the claims. This entails looking at how we can determine these whether or not these reasons are better or worse than others. A claim backed up by good reasons has a much higher probability of being true, accurate, and right than a claim that has been built upon reasons that are poor or nonexistent.

    My preference is to take more seriously those claims built upon better reasons… along with a willingness to change my opinions if better claims have better reasons for them. So when I read your post, I ask myself if what you claim actually has good or better reasons than the ones that back up my contrary opinions.

    Take your first sentence, for example. You claim that in order to be able to moderate the discussion about the tyranny of the majority, we need to recognize the wisdom of our shared morality. Well, this begs the question if what is actually under discussion is the whether or not this shared morality and its codification into law is, in fact, wrong.

    You assume – incorrectly in my opinion – that law is meant to be an expression of popular morality. I think law is a set of rules about conduct that must be based on something equivalent for all people all the time and not for some of the people some of the time. When you introduce this notion of majority rule as if that in itself is a justification, you omit a central notion of a set of fundamental rules beneficial and applicable to all. This is why and where equality matters. It’s okay for a state to pass laws that are discriminatory if there is larger benefit to all through which everyone must be equally accountable: for example, establishing a minimum voting age does discriminate but is applied equally to all, and so on. But this is not a moral issue and I think you confuse yourself when you look at law through this self-imposed perspective.

    If you can show harm that a behaviour instigates, then we can talk. You makes various claims about the negative effects of gay marriage. My question is are your claims probably true? On what basis – what collection of good reasons – are you basing these claims? I don’t see any. I see typical anti-gay rhetoric but I don’t see anything to substantiate your claims… no information that that shows how gay marriage causes or is co-relational to harm done to families, no details about how gay marriage negatively affects the marriages of others, and so on… except under this very fuzzy notion of what you call morality.

    Why is homosexual behaviour immoral? Well, because of a belief that it must be. And what is that belief based on? The only thing I can find is religious references. And what are those references based on? Illiterate Iron age goat herders as far as I can tell. Why should I consider these references to be better informed about the immoral effects of sexual congress between similar gonads than today’s studies which fail to show any negative affects that are statistically significant beyond the immoral effects of sexual congress between different gonads. In other words, the details and evidence of your negative claims don’t exist in fact. That is a significant reason not grant your position any merit because it isn’t backed up by anything real.

    You then make a series of deductions and further claims based on this faulty foundation and wax on about some supposed wider collapse of morality. Again, where is the causal evidence? Where are the details to link gay marriage to collapsing morality? I don’t see any. Yet you insist that others need to back up their arguments against yours. But you’ve not done your work. If you want to legally discriminate, you are the one who needs to show cause. Your continued failure to do so reveals to me that you cannot. Your position has no good reasons to back it up, so your opinion about the moral failure of others due to the legalization of gay marriage is without merit. And an argument that attempts to deny people equality under the law without merit is the very definition of bigotry in action.

  2. The question of whether this shared morality is right or wrong should be decided before anyone comes to the democratic table for discussion.

    Basing law on equivalency is no foundation, or at least very little, since no one really knows what that kind of talk means. It’s not even a philosophy, just a loose mood.

    Some people say to the homosexual, “Why aren’t you satisfied with a civil union if you get the same rights and privileges?” The usual answer is, “It just doesn’t mean the same thing.” They are right. It doesn’t. The components of a marriage are different, and things can be done in a marriage that can’t be done elsewhere. In fact, if homosexuals are in a “marriage”, it is a farce, a facsimile, an impostor of the authentic components that make up marriage. People can say it is the same, that it is “equal”, but it is not. And the only motivation for saying so is envy.

    When you start talking about a set of fundamental rules beneficial and applicable to all, you sound exactly like religious people when they talk about their fundamental rules. The difference is that I know what the religious source is, but I do not know your source. And any set of rules that you compose will look much like the believers in the New Testament when they “held all things in common”. I dare to say that your set of rules would be a facsimile as well, a lofty set of ideals meant to replace the principles that are already a part of the “body of Christ” (believers). Your rules must be forced upon the people by an outside entity. The real freedom comes from people who choose to live this way themselves because it is part of who they are. However, it will never last in this world. All it takes is one person to say he doesn’t want to do it anymore, and the dissent evolves from there. No matter how far we progress in culture, man still has the feeling that he is his own property and can do with himself what he will.

    For now, we must accept inequalities in order to avoid governmental tyranny. Substance given away is charity. Substance taken away is slavery, and the culprit is envy. Equivalency, when exalted above other values, is tyranny.

  3. You write The difference is that I know what the religious source is. No you don’t. You haven’t a clue. You choose to believe that the source of your morality is god, but it looks exactly like it is biologically driven. Check out the trolley studies. They are very revealing.

    You write Your rules must be forced upon the people by an outside entity. The real freedom comes from people who choose to live this way themselves because it is part of who they are. However, it will never last in this world.

    Well that is the issue, isn’t it? I’m surprised you never had to study the meaning of the last bit of the Gettysburg Address:

    that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. What you support is government of the people by some theocratic standard to which the majority agrees. That is not what Lincoln was talking about, Daniel.

    1. But what we have now is a government of elites, by the majority, for a certain class or classes.

      The government is no longer in a role of promoting “general welfare” but rather pandering to the “welfare” of certain special groups while stomping on the welfare of others. In fact, the government steals from Peter to give to Paul.

      I think this has very little to do with the need for theocracy and more for the need of a moral people who believe in taking care of their own rather than forcing their neighbors to do it through the IRS.

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