Saturday, May 24, 2008

Marriage and the Secular Conscience

On the Hullabaloo blog, wishing to give Austin Dacey's ideas about secular conscience their due, tristero puzzles over what might constitute a conversation about gay marriage, but comes up empty-handed:

In short, it is hard to have a national fundamental conversation about objections to gay marriage for the same reason it's hard to have a national conversation about the validity of "intelligent design" creationism: There is no there there. That is, there are no good rational arguments, period, for a gay marriage ban or for knowingly teaching lies as science. And given that lack of rational arguments, how is it possible to have a fundamental conversation?
Well, yes. The insistence on a rational, reality-based conversation is the insistence that bullshit arguments based on gut-level urges and uninterrogated prejudices be exposed for what they are. That parties to the discussion can't give good reasons for their policy preferences should be noticed, and it should mean that their argument is the losing one. Bad, baseless, empty ideas make for bad, baseless, empty arguments; and such arguments make for rotten public policy.

Tristero can stop looking -- this is the discussion.

That said, in an open society, the door remains open for the presentation of better arguments against gay marriage.

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