Thursday, August 2, 2012

Marriage and the word "bigot"

As an African American a non-white American, Hemant Mehta knows something about bigotry. He puts it better than I can:

You can’t say I love my black friends, but I don’t think they should be allowed to marry white people… without simultaneously being a racist.

Read the whole thing here.


  1. You can't make the case Natural Law Theory can be used to deny that white people of the opposite gender can marry black people of the opposite gender anymore than you can make the case people with brown eyes like moi can't marry their hazel eyed girlfriend like moi did.

    But Natural Law theory can be used to show you cannot objectively have a marriage between two white men & or two black men or two white women & or two black women and or a black and a white person of the same gender.

    Prof you will never persuade me with cheap emotional appeals.

    Never as I am too rational for that.

    You need to learn some philosophy of nature to even get your foot in the door.

  2. I can't help but notice some of the Atheists in the combox of the blog you linked too have defined marriage as a "social construct".

    I don't see how that helps since that philosophical claim must be argued for and the utilitarian philosophy behind it must be justified in the face of the competing philosophy.

    Plus if marriage is a social construct then who is too say the union of affection between two people of the same gender has the same essence as a union of affection between persons of different genders?

    Finally equating racism with denying that gay unions of affection are marriages pretty much cuts off debate & renders you as dogmatic as any religious person you disagree with.

  3. >You can’t say I love my black friends, but I don’t think they should be allowed to marry white people… without simultaneously being a racist.

    Does this apply to "self-marriage"? What if you want a marriage license issued to you so you can marry yourself?

    Should we issue marriage licenses so people can marry themselves? If not then why not(warning answering this question will require philosophy which can be turned against you at a later date of my choosing)?

    Are we bigots if we are against "self-marriage" and or the issuing of licenses to people to marry themselves?

  4. I'm pretty sure he's not an African American. I think his parents are from India, and he was raised Hindu. I could be wrong but I recall him saying that.

  5. Ben, of course there is an emotional appeal there, and you are right to point it out. I think if you look at the history of, say, slavery, you will find that emotional appeals (like Harriet Beecher Stowe's) had far more effect on the debate than logical/philosophical arguments.

    The logical point being made is the parallel between same-sex marriage and interracial marriage. This is ground we've been over already.

    You think natural law philosophy provides a relevant distinction. But why should anyone accept natural law philosophy? The vast majority of philosophers do not accept the Aristotelian-Thomian approach. Why should ordinary mortals like me give it any weight?

    As we have seen, there were plenty of people who argued that interracial marriage was "against nature." (The Roman Catholic theologians, to their credit, were not among them - at least from my very limited knowledge.)

    Your self-marriage objection is nothing more than a slippery-slope argument. It is not even relevant to the current debate, which is about whether TWO individuals who wish to do so may marry. (Polygamy is irrelevant for the same reason.)

    And you still haven't answered my question about slippery-slope arguments: if you think they are valid arguments against same-sex marriage, do you also think they are valid arguments against interracial marriage? If not, why not?