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Old 2015-07-29, 23:02   #1519
Zeta-Flux
 
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Originally Posted by only_human View Post
I see potential progress on a contentious discussion and I primarily hold back my own thoughts except for one thing:

To me "civil unions" reads like "colored only" water fountains. At no point in the discussion is any suggestion that it would be desirable to anyone who likes its secular nature or for any other reason; it is a "colored only" trough.
I believe your line of thought is one reason why the ERA nearly passed.

The "colored only" water fountains were a farse, designed to circumvent equality for all.

For me, this issue is different, because I openly propose that the two types of unions should not be treated the same. They serve different social purposes. Similarly, men and women are not fungible, and while they should be treated the same in many things, they shouldn't be treated the same in all things.

Last fiddled with by Zeta-Flux on 2015-07-29 at 23:03
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Old 2015-07-29, 23:13   #1520
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Indeed. That's a good point, and not one I'd considered so far. AFAICT, your two proposals are not equivalent but complementary so, in that respect, are equally {dis,}advantageous to each group.

My personal view is that society is more likely in the short and medium term to discourage additional procreation rather than to encourage it. Certainly, the evidence of the last couple of centuries supports my claim in that as infant mortality has fallen and women's economic status has risen the number of children created by women has fallen --- to below replacement rates in some societies. Society, as opposed to legal codes, appears to have made (its largely unconscious) decision.
Right. Sometimes not so unconscious, as is the case in China.

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If my personal view is wrong I see no reason why civil partners should not bear children by gamete donation (FF only right now. MM is technically possible but, at present, the risks to father and child are so great as to be ethically unacceptable) or by surrogacy (which is available already to both FF and MM couples).
Again, there is the issue that children created by these means apparently don't fare as well as those raised by their genetic, undivorced parents, so you must weight the rights of children in this as well.

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Such as? One of them is the subject of the PM I sent to Brian-E.
If I were to guess, I'd say your PM probably has to do with the fact that same-sex couples don't have nearly the same issues with respect to incest that opposite-sex couples do.

Some other differences are:
  • in countries where all men are drafted into military service, some additional protection would need to be made if a gay couple had adopted children
  • in countries where homosexual acts are illegal, civil unions could help give benefits otherwise unavailable
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Old 2015-07-29, 23:20   #1521
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Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
I believe your line of thought is one reason why the ERA nearly passed.

The "colored only" water fountains were a farse, designed to circumvent equality for all.

For me, this issue is different, because I openly propose that the two types of unions should not be treated the same. They serve different social purposes. Similarly, men and women are not fungible, and while they should be treated the same in many things, they shouldn't be treated the same in all things.
The way I see it, if I want a secular commitment I go to city hall and get a marriage license. If I want a religious commitment I additionally add on a religious ceremony. My needs are addressed. Why would we need a separate secular commitment only for gay people?
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Old 2015-07-30, 02:20   #1522
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The way I see it, if I want a secular commitment I go to city hall and get a marriage license. If I want a religious commitment I additionally add on a religious ceremony. My needs are addressed. Why would we need a separate secular commitment only for gay people?
Because marriage, as a social institution, isn't only about the commitment of two people. If it were, there would be no need to differentiate.

Try the following thought experiment. Assume that suddenly everyone that was straight turned homosexual and vice versa. Suppose those who were previously married were now in same-sex marriages, and vice versa. In other words, assume for the sake of argument, that there really is no difference between the two types of unions.

Would this have no impact on society? Would these new couples be contributing to society is exactly the same way they were before?
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Old 2015-07-30, 02:29   #1523
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Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
Because marriage, as a social institution, isn't only about the commitment of two people. If it were, there would be no need to differentiate.

Try the following thought experiment. Assume that suddenly everyone that was straight turned homosexual and vice versa. Suppose those who were previously married were now in same-sex marriages, and vice versa. In other words, assume for the sake of argument, that there really is no difference between the two types of unions.

Would this have no impact on society? Would these new couples be contributing to society is exactly the same way they were before?
In both cases I'd go to city hall for my wedding license. I do not want a religious ceremony. My goals and actions would remain the same. If I was in a relationship that couldn't have children and I desired otherwise, I would seek adoption. Again my actions would remain the same.
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Old 2015-07-30, 04:20   #1524
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Originally Posted by only_human View Post
In both cases I'd go to city hall for my wedding license. I do not want a religious ceremony. My goals and actions would remain the same. If I was in a relationship that couldn't have children and I desired otherwise, I would seek adoption. Again my actions would remain the same.
First, I didn't ask what affect the change would have on you personally. I asked what affect the change would have on society. Do the two unions serve the same social purpose?

Second, we can switch your "if I was in a relationship that couldn't have children" from being an a priori hypothesis to being part of your personal choice, by backing-up-in-time to the wedding event.
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Old 2015-07-30, 06:01   #1525
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Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
First, I didn't ask what affect the change would have on you personally. I asked what affect the change would have on society. Do the two unions serve the same social purpose?

Second, we can switch your "if I was in a relationship that couldn't have children" from being an a priori hypothesis to being part of your personal choice, by backing-up-in-time to the wedding event.
For this first question I honestly believe in society writ large if somehow everyone were in relationships with different biological consequences the net result would be the same. People get their licenses from city hall and additionally apply religious ceremonies if desired. So these actions are the same.

The tacit assumption that there would be less or more child bearing couples has less to do with facts of biology and more with social and scientific institutions abilities to allow pathways foreward when exigencies balk particular couples abilities to progress with their desires for child rearing.

I do not believe that the statistical consequences are significant other then a constructed bias in viable couples established by the hypothesis.

As for backing up circumstances to the wedding event, this a generalization and a forcasting problem best described by applying emotional affective forecasting to emotional feelings about child rearing.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2015-07-30 at 07:06 Reason: verb problem, changed to subjunctive. s/apply additional/additionally apply/
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Old 2015-07-30, 07:46   #1526
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Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
If I were to guess, I'd say your PM probably has to do with the fact that same-sex couples don't have nearly the same issues with respect to incest that opposite-sex couples do.
You guess correctly. Well done!

Here's the text of my PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
I just posted
Quote:
I can think of at least one specific example but I won't reveal it until you've had a good opportunity to present your position on this matter.

To establish priority and head-off any suggestion that I'm quite dogmatic on the issue of marriage, I'll PM Brian-E with my example. Either he or I can reveal it when the time is right in our independent judgement.
My example concerns the legal definition of incest. I could make an argument on the grounds of genetics that marriage be forbidden to a husband and wife of too close consanguinity --- those sharing at least 1/4 of a genome inherited within the last three generations for instance. I could also make an argument, on the same grounds, that civil partnerships could be permitted between siblings, between a parent and a child, and so forth.

This example nicely meets ZF's "accidental pregancy" condition. It's tough on post-menopausal women and their grandsons, I suppose, but as women of that age are already becoming pregnant perhaps it's a flaw with which we will have to live for some time.
Note that from your point of view of deleterious effects on accidentally conceived children there's no particularly good reason why genetically related but mutually infertile couples should not be married to each other.
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Old 2015-07-30, 13:30   #1527
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only_human,

Emphasis added.

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Originally Posted by only_human View Post
For this first question I honestly believe in society writ large if somehow everyone were in relationships with different biological consequences the net result would be the same.
I agree with you that whether or not people decide to have a religious ceremony or not would be the same. But even you noticed a significant difference--biological consequences.

Quote:
The tacit assumption that there would be less or more child bearing couples has less to do with facts of biology and more with social and scientific institutions abilities to allow pathways foreward when exigencies balk particular couples abilities to progress with their desires for child rearing.
If I'm understanding you correctly, you seem to be positing that the only difference would be the rate of child bearing. And that this wouldn't even be present if we changed society and had difference scientific techniques.

But this very answer reveals important differences. One being a need to change to society so it wouldn't balk at the creation of children without a mother (or without a father)-- which would again be a difference (at least in the eyes of the children thus created) from how things are now. Second, the need, on a massive level, for technology rather than biology to reproduce.

Quote:
As for backing up circumstances to the wedding event, this a generalization and a forcasting problem best described by applying emotional affective forecasting to emotional feelings about child rearing.
Only_human, no affective forecasting is necessary. You can keep comparing apples to apples.

--------------

First suppose two individuals are healthy, and there are no known issues with respect to virility.

If they are an opposite sex couple, then they should discuss with each other before marriage whether they will use birth-control, how many natural children they want to have, if they want to adopt or use other means to try and overcome any infertility issues should they arise, etc... As their marriage progresses, they may find that they are infertile, which (for many) is an emotionally difficult discovery. In any case, their plans may change as children come and they realize they want more or less children, or enjoy adopting, and so forth. Their relations also have the strong possibility of creating children at unexpected times.

If they are a same sex couple, birth control is irrelevant, and if they want children they either must adopt, use surrogacy for half the genetics, or wait for further scientific breakthroughs (and discuss what effects this might have on the children--if homosexuality is genetic, there are other issues here as well). If they find out they are infertile, this has little affect on their relations with one another. Their plans could of course also change over time. No children will ever come at unexpected times.

---------------

Second suppose one of the two individuals before the marriage date is known to be infertile.

If they are an opposite sex couple, then when the infertile one reveals this fact, it could be a deal-breaker. Or the partner may make the conscious choice to marry knowing they will never product a genetic child. If the infertile one doesn't reveal his/her infertility, before the advent of the easy divorce, this put such a spouse at fault for defrauding the other one.

If they are a same sex couple, a revelation of infertility is much less relevant to whether or not to go through with the union. If the infertile one doesn't reveal the infertility, the other may never know.

----------------

So to say there is no difference, even on a personal level much less a societal level, doesn't seem to hold up when we consider some of the most basic things couples talk about and then accomplish during their unions.
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Old 2015-07-30, 13:35   #1528
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Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Note that from your point of view of deleterious effects on accidentally conceived children there's no particularly good reason why genetically related but mutually infertile couples should not be married to each other.
First, to be clear I didn't say that accidentally conceiving children was necessarily deleterious. Indeed, I'm sure you've seen movies where a couple discovers the wife is pregnant, to their great joy.

Second, I disagree that there is no "particularly good reason" to allow genetically related but mutually infertile couples to marry.

1. I don't want government involved in the business of testing fertility, as a prerequisite for marriages.

2. There is a strong social component to the examples we set for each other. If Joe and Shelly could get married, it can set a precedent for others to experiment (even if they don't marry).

3. Infertility is a difficult thing to test for, much less guarantee it will not correct itself.

etc....
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Old 2015-07-30, 16:36   #1529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
only_human,

Emphasis added.

I agree with you that whether or not people decide to have a religious ceremony or not would be the same. But even you noticed a significant difference--biological consequences.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you seem to be positing that the only difference would be the rate of child bearing. And that this wouldn't even be present if we changed society and had difference scientific techniques.
No, I mean that fertility has no bearing on two people who love each other getting married. If they for whatever known or unknown reasons want children but for other known or unknown reasons do not produce children themselves, they have the entire system of options already existing in society. Some of those options emphasize their own genetics including the option of raising children of relatives.
Quote:
But this very answer reveals important differences. One being a need to change to society so it wouldn't balk at the creation of children without a mother (or without a father)-- which would again be a difference (at least in the eyes of the children thus created) from how things are now. Second, the need, on a massive level, for technology rather than biology to reproduce.
I'm positing no disruptions. I'm saying the number of couples that exist will continue to exist other than difficulties in childbearing introduced by your thought experiment.
Quote:
Only_human, no affective forecasting is necessary. You can keep comparing apples to apples.
Your hypothesis is that all apples are suddenly oranges.
Quote:
--------------

First suppose two individuals are healthy, and there are no known issues with respect to virility.

If they are an opposite sex couple, then they should discuss with each other before marriage whether they will use birth-control, how many natural children they want to have, if they want to adopt or use other means to try and overcome any infertility issues should they arise, etc... As their marriage progresses, they may find that they are infertile, which (for many) is an emotionally difficult discovery. In any case, their plans may change as children come and they realize they want more or less children, or enjoy adopting, and so forth. Their relations also have the strong possibility of creating children at unexpected times.

If they are a same sex couple, birth control is irrelevant, and if they want children they either must adopt, use surrogacy for half the genetics, or wait for further scientific breakthroughs (and discuss what effects this might have on the children--if homosexuality is genetic, there are other issues here as well). If they find out they are infertile, this has little affect on their relations with one another. Their plans could of course also change over time. No children will ever come at unexpected times.
Children often arrive unexpectedly regardless of planning. I see no reason to deliberately introduce barriers to keep people who do not expect children from getting married. Nor do I see any reason to make it easier for people who do expect children to get married.
Quote:
---------------

Second suppose one of the two individuals before the marriage date is known to be infertile.

If they are an opposite sex couple, then when the infertile one reveals this fact, it could be a deal-breaker. Or the partner may make the conscious choice to marry knowing they will never product a genetic child. If the infertile one doesn't reveal his/her infertility, before the advent of the easy divorce, this put such a spouse at fault for defrauding the other one.

If they are a same sex couple, a revelation of infertility is much less relevant to whether or not to go through with the union. If the infertile one doesn't reveal the infertility, the other may never know.
So you are concerned that some people may unnecessarily employ birth control or that in other cases people who want children may take a long time waiting for a child to arrive before seeking medical help or adoption mechanisms.
Quote:
----------------

So to say there is no difference, even on a personal level much less a societal level, doesn't seem to hold up when we consider some of the most basic things couples talk about and then accomplish during their unions.
I'm saying that restricting allowable marriage to enhance or decrease foreseeable pregnancies seems to be unnecessary.
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