Debate: Polygamy should be treated the same way as gay marriage

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by Syzygys, Jan 24, 2009.

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  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Links: [thread=90007]Proposal thread[/thread]. [thread=90047]Discussion thread[/thread]

    The idea of this debate comes from the current news:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/mormoninquiry/2009/01/case-will-test-canadian-polyga.html

    My position is that whatever arguments gays use for their case, can be used for polygamy.The only difference between the 2 institutions is the number of participants, otherwise they should be treated as equal.

    I will divide my opening statement into 2 parts:

    A./ Here I state that both institutions logically and morally are the same, thus they should be treated as same legally too. If gays allowed to marry each other, the number of participants shouldn't be a reason for not letting polygamists practicing their right, (for whatever reasons they want it).

    I don't list all the gay marriage advocate arguments here, I will let Tiassa to pick any that he thinks doesn't apply to polygamists and it makes a difference in their case.

    B./ Here I will add extra arguments, that gives polygamy even more reasons to be legal, than gay marriage.

    1. It is more natural in several ways:

    a. It can produce offsprings.
    b. It has been practiced in most of human history in most of geographic location and has been excepted way more than gay marriage. Actually, the notion of strict monogamy is rather new.
    c. Humans are by nature promiscuous, thus polygamy allows them to act more naturally than monogamy.

    2. There is very little difference between a serial monogamist (divorced several times) and a polygamist.

    A man having his 3rd wife and having 2-2 kids from each wife is almost the same as a polygamist having 3 wives and 6 kids. The monogamist (supposedly or expected) is still paying alimony and childsupport even if the former wives and their kids are not living with them. If polygamy were allowed they wouldn't neccesserily need the divorce and they could live in one big family, which could be safer for the kids, than seeing daddy once in every 2 weeks.

    3. Religious reasons.

    I am not aware that gays want to marry each other based on their religion. The state handles religion differently than other matters, (for example giving tax exempt status to churches, or allowing to smoke pot based on religious grounds) so why shouldn't it make an exemption when it comes to marriage?

    4. Health. In polygamous societies, man live 12% longer.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article...e.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news6_head_dn14564

    "After accounting for socioeconomic differences, men aged over 60 from 140 countries that practice polygamy to varying degrees lived on average 12% longer than men from 49 mostly monogamous nations, says Virpi Lummaa, an ecologist at the University of Sheffield, UK."

    5. Personal freedom. Who is to say that a person can only LOVE one another person at the same time? Putting a limit (1) on the number of allowed being loved persons at the same time limits personal freedom.

    6. Polygamy can provide social security for more people. If the individual can take care of his/her spouses, why shouldn't society let him/her, instead of having the would be spouse as a burden on society???

    7. Practical needs. In societies where the gender ratio is out of whack (China) polyandry might be the best solution against adults not being able to found a spouse.

    I think that is enough for a start...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Awaiting rebuttal

    The central proposition that "whatever arguments gays use for their case, can be used for polygamy" is easy enough to refute. Indeed, Syzygys does so in the very next sentence:

    "The only difference between the 2 institutions is the number of participants ...."​

    A short list of resources used in the argument against the proposition:

    Warren, C.J. Earl. "Opinion of the Court". Loving v. Virginia 388 U.S. 1. U.S. Supreme Court. June 12, 1967. http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0388_0001_ZS.html

    Kennedy, J. Anthony. "Opinion of the Court". Lawrence and Garner v. Texas 539 U.S. 558. U.S. Supreme Court. June 26, 2003. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZO.html

    "Equal Protection: An Overview". Cornell University Law School. Accessed January 24, 2009. http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Equal_protection

    In 1967, ruling against anti-miscegenation laws, Chief Justice Earl Warren reiterated in the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia that "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival", reiterating the Court's outlook in the 1942 decision in Skinner v. Oklahoma. In Loving, the Court held that, "the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations", and, "the freedom to marry, or not marry ... resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State."

    When the Loving decision came down, homosexual intercourse was illegal in many states, and thus marriage not a consideration, especially as sexual intercourse is a general standard of consummation of marriage.

    However, the legal landscape changed drastically in 2003 when the Supreme Court held anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas. In response, many states raced to update their statutes, to define marriage exclusively as involving only one man and one woman. Yet the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws".

    The fundamental disagreement over gay marriage pertains to the sex of the participants. Sex-based discrimination, though, is a denial of equal protection.

    Legal scholars at Cornell University Law School explain,

    Traditionally, the Court finds a state classification constitutional if it has "a rational basis" to a "legitimate state purpose." The Supreme Court, however, has applied more stringent analysis in certain cases. It will "strictly scrutinize" a distinction when it embodies a "suspect classification." In order for a classification to be subject to strict scrutiny, it must be shown that the state law or its administration is meant to discriminate. Usually, if a purpose to discriminate is found the classification will be strictly scrutinized if it is based on race, national origin, or, in some situations, non U.S. citizenship (the suspect classes). In order for a classification to be found permissible under this test it must be proven, by the state, that there is a compelling interest to the law and that the classification is necessary to further that interest. The Court will also apply a strict scrutiny test if the classification interferes with fundamental rights such as first amendment rights, the right to privacy, or the right to travel. The Supreme Court also requires states to show more than a rational basis (though it does not apply the strictly scrutiny test) for classifications based on gender or a child's status as illegitimate.


    There is no rational basis or legitimate state purpose to prohibiting gay marriage. Indeed, laws defining marriage as one man and one woman are intended to discriminate in order to exclude. Yet sex discrimination is not at this time subject to strict scrutiny. Still, though, the states must also provide more than a simple rational basis for the discrimination. Indeed, as more and more evidence emerges that homosexuality is not, as its critics suggest, merely a choice, but that it is determined by factors outside an individual's control, scrutiny of homophobic laws will become tighter.

    The argument in favor of gay marriage contends that it is discriminatory, violative of the Fourteenth Amendment, to specifically exclude gay marriage. While some heterosupremacists would claim that gays, too, have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, the right of marriage is not limited to that specific criterion. Forced marriages are illegal in the U.S. And one who seeks to use the force of the law to prevent a heterosexual marriage must provide compelling cause, including current marriage, inability of one party to consent, or some other severe reason. That one simply does not like another's chosen mate is insufficient.

    Thus, heterosexuals are allowed to marry the person they love.

    To limit the selection of people one may marry according to sex is, according to the argument in favor of gay marriage, sex discrimination. "You cannot marry this person," says the law, "because you are the wrong sex."

    Whether or not one agrees with that argument is irrelevant to the proposition at hand: There is no Constitutional standard, nor judicial precedent, establishing that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to numbers.

    Without such an application of the Fourteenth Amendment, the argument in favor of polygamy must rely on a different principle. Thus, the proposition—

    "whatever arguments gays use for their case, can be used for polygamy"​

    —is false.
     
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  5. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    My greatest fear regarding Tiassa came to be true. The first half of his response had nothing to do with difference between gay marriage and polygamy. The number difference (coming from plain definitions) was already acknowledged by me, I thought that was obvious.

    So here I am left with this:

    Just because there is no standard for it that doesn't mean there SHOULDN'T be. That is the topic of our debate.

    So so far I haven't seen anything presented against my case....

    Also, although I haven't explicitly stated (although implied by the example which was from Canada) I don't necesserily limit our geographical location to the USA. Whereever gays allowed to marry polygamy should be also legal...

    P.S.: I am generally not impresed by extensive quotations. Just use your OWN words. I can't debate old judges who are most likely dead. I can only debate YOU.

    P.S.S.: Sounds like a freaking good argument for polygamy:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    P.S.S.S.: How about gay polygamy? What's the harm in having 3 guys married to each other?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    New proposition? New terms? No argument?

    What should we think of the newly-revised proposition?

    Original: "My position is that whatever arguments gays use for their case, can be used for polygamy."

    Revised: "Just because there is no standard for it that doesn't mean there SHOULDN'T be."​

    Syzygys notes that he does not limit his consideration to the United States, yet does not seem to acknowledge that the laws of different nations are, in fact, different. In a country without an Equal Protection Clause, or a different form of the statement, different rules apply. That is, the argument in the United States is different than it would be in Mexico, Ireland, Nigeria, or Iran.

    Furthermore, it is a curious approach to reject the fundamental legal argument, since it is laws that prohibit gay marriage. Naturally, it is easier to make the argument if one dismisses the need to consider historical and legal resources.

    Presently, gay marriage is legal in six nations: Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Spain. The specific philosophies and legal pathways to these outcomes are necessarily different. If Syzygys wishes to consider these arguments and outcomes, he ought to do so.

    In the meantime, constantly revising the proposition only suggests that he has conceded the original. In lieu of an argument, Syzygys seeks to establish new terms.
     
  8. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Damn, not even in the USA?? THEN why are you quoting US legal cases???

    The whole point of the debate is not polygamy vs. marriage but the parallel between gay marriage and polygamy. So there is simply no point in referring to laws in a country where gay marriage is NOT legal. Because then polygamy shouldn't be either.

    I thought there was basicly and absolutely no point in your first response and you didn't deal with the 2nd half of my opening statement.

    ...and laws meant to be changed, constantly and continiously taylored to society's needs.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Good heavens, man, learn to ... I don't know, just learn

    You wrote:

    "My position is that whatever arguments gays use for their case, can be used for polygamy."​

    I provided you the American argument in favor of gay marriage, one that cannot be used in advocacy of polygamy. Your proposition is false.

    Then you should have written a defensible proposition.

    Interesting outlook.

    The first response dealt specifically with the proposition. The second half of your opening statement was irrelevant to the proposition.

    That would seem to be a separate discussion from your proposition.
     
  10. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Which one was that again? The numbers? That can not be because I already acknowledged that it was kind of a DUH.
    Also even if you provide one or 2, that doesn't make my position necesserily the losing one.

    I understand your inability to deal with them makes you think so, but it doesn't make it so. It proves that polygamy advocates actually have more arguments than gay right advocates.

    You basicly haven't dealt with ANY of my arguments.

    For the other 2 guys, there should be a Discussion thread where you guys can express your thoughts...
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Subtle like a shovel to the head

    Indeed, it is.

    You acknowledged that the difference exists. You did not—and, it seems, still do not—acknowledge its importance in relation to the gay rights argument and the proposition you offered for debate.

    Actually, as the proposition was worded, all it took was one example to demonstrate it false. That's your problem, not mine.

    You don't seem to understand how a formal debate works. It's not the same as just any other discussion around here. That was part of the point of having a Formal Debate subforum.

    Take this desperate declaration, for instance, from your repeatedly-updated (wasted) rebuttal:

    "Just because there is no standard for it that doesn't mean there SHOULDN'T be. That is the topic of our debate."​

    Indeed, that is a proposition unto itself, but a separate one from what we started with. Furthermore, it does not serve as a rebuttal to an assertion of fact.

    That may be true. But it's also irrelevant to your proposition. It's a separate issue.

    When your original proposition doesn't work out in a formal debate, you don't get to just change the subject. That's not how it works. As a thread in another subforum, yeah, you can flip-flop, retreat, duck, dodge, bob and weave all you want. That's part of the reason the Formal Debate subforum was created, to see if people could adhere to some sort of rules of engagement, and as you've demonstrated here, they can't always do so.

    You might as well be prosecuting someone for murder by demanding that the jury decide whether apples taste better than pears.

    Your secondary arguments (e.g., section B of your opening statement) might well pertain to the broader issue of legitimizing polygamy, but they have nothing whatsoever to do with the proposition upon which this formal debate was opened.

    Can you understand the difference? Relevance is a dynamic concept. In a broader discussion, yes, your points in section B can claim some relevance. But according to the proposition of debate in this thread, they're not. They are separate issues.

    Now, yes it is possible to write a proposition that includes all those points within the scope of debate. In fact, it's fairly easy.

    If you would, please, go back and look through the proposal thread.

    I wasn't exactly being subtle:

    • Well, it's such a limited proposal, there's not much to spend the words on. (#2148047/6)

    • I await your opening argument, and even admit to some curiosity about whether or not you will restrict it to the point you noted at the outset and reiterated above (boldface portion of quote). (#2148174/9)

    • And, for the record, if you manage to stick to your basic proposition, it shouldn't be too long a response. I doubt I'll need to renegotiate the 1,500-word cap. (ibid)

    • Really? That's all it is? (#2148188/11)

    • It might be helpful to your argument if you would at least attempt to detail the point. (ibid)

    • For my part, the standard rules are more than adequate for dealing with the proposition as it stands. (#2148428/15)

    • Because as much as you might not like long posts, the revised proposition calls for longer posts. (#2148590/17)

    • If you stick to one of your first two propositions, I probably won't even need the full 1,500. (#2148866/21)

    • ... did you really think I would pass on such a thesis? (ibid)​

    Now, here's the Question of the Day: Did it ever—ever—occur to you that I wasn't just blowing smoke?

    Seriously, Syz, if I'd come right out and smacked you upside the head with it, saying something like, "Really? You want to go forward with that idiot-simple, ill-concieved, half-wit proposition?" what would you have said? In no less than six posts I dropped hints that were not especially subtle suggesting that the proposition was simple, shallow, anemic, call it what you want.

    I mean, it's not like I didn't ask you to confirm that you were going to argue the broader revision of the proposition. (Surely enough, you came out with the narrow version for the formal debate.)

    And all I asked was that you stay relevant. But you couldn't do that, could you?

    Really, you don't seem to understand the concept of a formal debate. I had more than an inkling when you tried to avoid giving an opening statement. And, trust me, I understand; the tactical defensive and strategic offensive is often a favorable combination. By the time you completely botched the notion of the affirmative it was pretty clear that this wasn't going to be anything resembling a formal debate.

    A last couple of notes:

    • This thread will be closed shortly. I see you're online right now, so ... what, maybe fifteen minutes after this post goes up?

    • Obviously, if you have any other takers, just go ahead and start a new debate thread. Best to have a clean thread for that.​
     
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