Religion Prof: The Blog of James F. McGrath
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
OUTSTANDING! Very Clever.
“Marriage equality” is really a loaded term though, isn’t it, and it begs the question (thus as the summation phrase of an argument, it commits a logical fallacy).
Then lets call it gay marriage or same-sex marriage. Does it change the point of the joke above? It it then somehow the job of the govt to discriminate against certain citizens because of their sexual preference? Straight people can get married, but gay people cannot?
It is not a logical fallacy, but rather rhetoric with which you disagree.
you yourself have supported the idea that more than two persons cannot ‘get married.’ on what are you basing your definition of marriage? for generations we in the western world have taken our definition off of the new testament. what will be we using now? and then by what basis should we limit marriage to two people, or to two unrelated people, or any other permutation that might be imagined? you are heavily entrenched in your opinion, i am not expecting you to waiver on it, but it is certainly anti-biblical. and if you’re going to cite variations on marriage in the old testament, please start with an example involving same-gender partners.
Marriage in the Bible simply reflects the practice of ancient Near Eastern patriarchal societies. To treat that as binding would be to treat the cultural context of assumptions of the Biblical authors as though they were divine revelations, which is obviously inappropriate.
But none of that is relevant. In societies with religious freedom, if a definition of marriage is based on the Bible, it would obviously be inappropriate to impose it on those who do not adhere to the Christian faith, or do not understand that faith as you do.
Please don’t use the bible to argue the point. Numbers 25. If you are involved (ok, not specifically marriage, but what the heck, Moses was married to a Medianite woman) with a woman from another religion, God has you speared together by Aaron’s grandson, in front of Moses. Then Aaron’s descendants are rewarded with the priesthood, to slaughter animals 24 hours a day, to honor God. Please, bible logic makes no sense whatsoever. Unless you are a sadist.
Yes, since gay marriage is what’s being called for, why not just call it that? Precision is always to be preferred to rhetoric. “Marriage equality” is for placards only.
For the same reason that we don’t say black rights instead of civil rights. No one is asking for “special treatment” or “new rights”. We only want all citizens to have the same opportunities.
Calling it “gay marriage” does not imply asking for special treatment. It’s a question of choosing precision over rhetoric. Of course, gay marriage would indeed be a new right as it’s one we haven’t had before.
Sorry Just Sayin’, Marriage Equality is a ship that has sailed. We will only move forward from here.
Then why are we having this discussion?
There is so much wrong with your statement it’s hard to know where to start.
Let’s start with the fact that no-one ever chooses the name of a movement or cause on the basis of accuracy rather than rhetoric. That’s because rhetoric matters. No-one’s going to stick a bumper-sticker saying ‘ban a long-standing industry and lose jobs in order to reduce the deaths of cetaceans’, because no-one will know what they’re talking about, and few will even read to the end of the bumper-sticker. Instead they use ‘save the whales’ (which whales? from what?).
So one reason is that you want short, catchy statements because accuracy is long-winded and boring.
But there’s also the fact that you want to emphasize certain aspects of your position. And this isn’t necessarily inaccurate: it tells people what you think is important about it. So it’s ‘pro-life’ not ‘pro-forcing pregnant women to carry to term regardless of risks and impacts, therefore resulting in more backstreet abortions, oh sorry ‘backstreet’ is a bit cas, I mean “non-state sanctioned therefore likely to be of lower quality abortions” ‘
Because while outlawing abortion would certainly increase risks and impacts on women and also result in more unregulated, dangerous abortions, that’s not the goal or the principle here. The principle is saving human lives. (‘pro-life’, of course, begs the question dreadfully, far more than ‘marriage equality’ does). And of course people who hold that position want to emphasize the principle.
And that’s what’s happening here. ‘Marriage equality’ has been chosen because that’s what the principle is. The proponents of this cause want to emphasize that this isn’t about special treatment for gay people, it’s about getting the same treatment for gay people as straight people have. If no-one was permitted to marry, there wouldn’t be a ‘gay marriage’ movement to get marriage just for gay people. It wouldn’t be acceptable to the movement to say “OK, you can have your gay marriage, but it comes with none of the perks of existing marriages”.
And for those reasons, it’s actually accurate in a way ‘gay marriage’ isn’t.
Both description, like any description, foreground certain things and push other things in the background.
Well, rhetoric matters to you maybe. I prefer precision, and I expect it to matter to academics too. As for your bumper sticker example, “Gay marriage” is actually shorter than “Marriage equality.” Just another reason to use it!
It matters for the people who coin the terms for the movement.
You can’t get accuracy in two words.
Above you complain that it doesn’t work as a summation of the argument, as it begs the question. But it doesn’t beg the question: it’s really more in the nature of a premise. Gay marriage is the conclusion. As everyone knows the proponents of ‘marriage equality’ clearly are fighting for gay marriage, the use of the term makes a premise of the argument clearer to people who have only known the conclusion.
Therefore it’s actually a better summary of the argument than ‘gay marriage’, and a better communicative tool. To the extent a two-word descriptor can be a summary of anything, of course.
The question is really why you’re insisting on a description that suppresses the reasons and values that lie behind the position, and the fact that we’re only after the same rights for gays that straight people have, in favour of a description that only tells people what they already know and stresses the fact that gay people are now getting something different.
And also why you want to pretend this is more accurate.
You can’t get accuracy in two words? Why not? ‘Gay marriage’ sums up the aims precisely. ‘Marriage equality’ doesn’t. That’s why I prefer the former.
‘Gay marriage’ sums up the aims but says nothing about why that aim is desirable.
‘Marriage equality’ sums up the reasoning and the values.
It doesn’t show what the aim is, but everyone who’s not living under a rock already knows the aim.
Why are you preferring a form which communicates less and jettisons the reasoning and value?
“‘Gay marriage’ sums up the aims but says nothing about why that aim is desirable.”
Well, that’s where arguments (as in reasoning, not disputation) comes in. One has to do the same for the less precise “Marriage equality.” One can’t just say equality and expect people to accept “Argument over.” One has to lay out what equality (only a very specific equality i.e. gay marriage is being sought), and why this equality rather than any other (e.g. polygamy, child brides, marrying my sister, marrying my mother, marrying my dog, etc.). The phrase “Marriage equality” is simply rhetoric, as Dr. Cargill conceded. I prefer precision to slogans.
No, of course not. As I said to start with, you always have to jettison information to summarize an argument into two words.
You’ve jettisoned the entire argument, and left the goal, so you’re only telling people what they already know.
I don’t accept that that’s more precise.
‘Marriage equality’ is a better summary of the argument, as you seem to concede. You might have a point if there was currently a major political movement to get incest laws struck down, but there’s not, so there’s no possibility for confusion.
If we’re just going to make up stuff that the movement could possibily get confused with, ‘gay marriage’ has the same problem. We could imagine people who want to ban heterosexual marriage and only have gay marriage, or people who want to force gays to marry, or maybe even only gays should officiate at marriages. How does ‘gay marriage’ tell us which of these goals is being sort?
Each way you throw out information, as you must do to get a very short phrase to summarize the position. ‘Marriage equality’ throws away what people already know, i.e. the goal, but keeps a summary of the argument. That seems to be more communicative than keeping what everyone knows and throwing away the argument completely.
Why are you insisting on the less communicative form?
“Stating the goal” is precisely why ‘gay marriage’ is to be preferred over ‘marriage equality’.
Well, I could ask ‘why is that?’, but we seem to be getting nowhere fast. You’re just repeating your assertion that it’s better because it’s better, without responding to any of my points.
I don’t really care what you call it, but if you’re going to say ‘everyone do it my way’, it’d be better if you could actually demonstrate it’s superiority when pressed with reasons why it’s not superior.
Academics are also supposed to respond to criticism, you know :]
I’m saying call a spade a spade, be precise (especially academics) and forgo the cheap placard-wielders’ rhetoric. Only a very specific marriage equality is being sought, so why the reluctance to say so?
Because there are still bigoted people in this country. They’re becoming outnumbered (which is why the ship has sailed), but still numerous enough for their hatred to oppress and hurt people.
Each time the bible was deciphered. It was decipher by the next person with their OWN AGENDA. The true WORD never had a chance. That word is LOVE, period. With no acceptations. Positive energy in every way.
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