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Same-sex Marriage. pop quiz. Does Wedgewood argue for or against the acceptability of same-sex marriage? Summarize Wedgewood’s argument. Does Finnis argue for or against the acceptability of same-sex marriage? Summarize Finnis’s argument. the metaphysical question.

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Presentation Transcript
pop quiz
pop quiz
  • Does Wedgewood argue for or against the acceptability of same-sex marriage?
  • Summarize Wedgewood’s argument.
  • Does Finnis argue for or against the acceptability of same-sex marriage?
  • Summarize Finnis’s argument.
the metaphysical question
the metaphysical question
  • Yesterday we discussed the essential characteristics of marriage.
  • We found that as far as the nature of marriage goes, marriage is quite inclusive – it can come in a wide variety of shapes and forms.
  • This is to say that marriage is not inconsistent with those who are married possessing a vast array of properties, such as:
    • the property of being siblings,
    • the property of being of the same sex,
    • the property of being mere friends,
    • and so on.
the normative question
the normative question
  • Today we will discuss which properties those who are married should or should not possess.
  • For instance, even though it is not inconsistent with the nature of marriage that those who are married are siblings, it remains an open question whether siblings should marry.
  • Our concern is the normative question about who should be eligible for marriage (as opposed to the metaphysical question about what marriage is).
properties
properties
  • Let’s consider various properties that might be such that they should make a couple who possesses them ineligible for marriage.
  • Candidates include:

Being of different sexes

Being mere friends

Being lovers

Being strangers

Being unreliable

Being sterile

Being religious leaders

Being incarcerated

Being murderers

properties6
properties

Being dead

Being widows

Being children

Being non-human animals

Being of different species

Being of different religions

Being of different races

Being of different ages

Being of different socioeconomic statuses

Being of the same blood type

Being of the same family

Being of the same sex

slide7
Many people believe that some but not all of these properties should make a couple who possess them ineligible for marriage.
  • But why would some of these properties be such that they should make a couple who possess them ineligible for marriage while other of these properties would not?
slide8
For instance, many people believe that those who possess the property of being of the same sex should be ineligible for marriage, whereas those who possess the property of (say) being of the same blood type should be eligible for marriage.
    • (Typically they do not deny that those who possess the property of being of the same sex should be ineligible for long-term committed love relationships, but only that they should be ineligible for marriage.)
  • Such people must tell us what makes the property of being of the same sex such that it should make a couple who possesses it ineligible for marriage while the property of (say) being of the same blood type should make a couple who possesses it eligible for marriage.
  • To do this is effectively to offer an argument against same-sex marriage.
  • Let us now consider whether any such argument is successful.
question
question
  • Why is this important?
  • Perhaps we should take the “Marriage IQ Test” (from Why You Should Give a Damn About Gay Marriage).
in class activity
in-class activity
  • Construct what you take to be the best argument for the conclusion that same-sex marriage is unacceptable.
  • Construct what you take to be the best argument for the conclusion that same-sex marriage is acceptable.
  • Which of these arguments do you accept? Why? (Explain/defend your position in detail.)
the morality argument
The Morality Argument

P1) Homosexual relationships are immoral.

P2) If a relationship is immoral, then it should not be eligible for marital status.

C) Therefore, homosexual relationships should not be eligible for marital status.

the traditionalist argument
The Traditionalist Argument

P1) Marriage is acceptable only if it is capable of realizing the marital good (viz., a two-in-one union).

P2) x is capable of realizing the marital good only if x involves (i) sexual activities of the procreative-type and (ii) friendship.

P3) Homosexual marriage does not involve sexual activities of the procreative-type.

C1) Therefore, homosexual marriage is not capable of realizing the marital good.

C2) Therefore, homosexual marriage does not involve acceptable sexual activity.

C3) Therefore, homosexual marriage is not acceptable

the pib argument
The PIB Argument

P1) Homosexual marriage, polygamy, incestual marriage, and bestial marriage all possess some feature F which adult heterosexual marriage does not possess.

P2) If homosexual marriage is acceptable, then all other forms of marriage with feature F are also acceptable.

C1) Therefore, if homosexual marriage is acceptable, then polygamy, incestual marriage, and bestial marriage are also acceptable.

P3) Polygamy, incestual marriage, and bestial marriage are not acceptable.

C2) Therefore, homosexual marriage is not acceptable.

the equality argument
The Equality Argument

P1) The rights that accompany marriage are rights that everyone should be able to receive.

P2) Homosexuals could receive the rights that accompany marriage only if homosexual marriage is acceptable.

C) Therefore, homosexual marriage is acceptable.

the common good argument
The Common Good Argument

P1) For any institution Σ, Σ furthers the common good if and only if (i) Σ is indispensable for enabling people to fulfill certain serious desires that they have, (ii) Σ does not impose any serious burdens on anyone else, and (iii) Σ violates no principle of justice.

P2) The institution of exclusively heterosexual marriage imposes serious burdens on homosexual couples (viz., they are rendered incapable of having a successful marriage, since they cannot achieve sexually intimacy in a heterosexual relationship).

P3) The institution of exclusively heterosexual marriage violates a principle of justice, namely, the principle of equality.

C1) Therefore, the institution of exclusively heterosexual marriage does not further the common good. …

the common good argument cont
The Common Good Argument, cont.

P4) The institution of heterosexual or homosexual marriage is indispensable for enabling people to fulfill certain serious desires that they have (viz., the same desire for both immutable heterosexuals and immutable homosexuals, namely, the desire to have a certain sort of committed relationship).

P5) The institution of heterosexual or homosexual marriage does not impose any serious burdens on anyone else.

P6) The institution of heterosexual or homosexual marriage violates no principle of justice.

C2) Therefore, the institution of heterosexual or homosexual marriage furthers the common good.

P7) If Σ furthers the common good, then Σ is acceptable.

C3) Therefore, the institution of heterosexual or homosexual marriage is acceptable.

slide17
Can any of the above arguments for same-sex marriage be adapted to argue for other forms of marriage, such as:
    • pedophiliac marriage,
    • incestual marriage,
    • bestial marriage,
    • polygamy,
    • etc.?