Somewhat moved

Hey, just wanted to let it be known to those who don't already watch Friendly Atheist that I've moved operations over there. Many thanks to Hemant Mehta for the opportunity.

I'll see you next mission.



Well, darn

I seem to have lost or misplaced my tablet's stylus, so while the backlog of interesting things to satirize builds I'll be buying a replacement. Soon as I can afford one.

I'll be back shortly.


Command morality

From: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theism/divine.html
The divine command theory (DCT) of ethics holds that an act is either moral or immoral solely because God either commands us to do it or prohibits us from doing it, respectively. On DCT the only thing that makes an act morally wrong is that God prohibits doing it, and all that it means to say that torture is wrong is that God prohibits torture. DCT is wildly implausible for reasons best illustrated by the Euthyphro dilemma, which is based on a discussion of what it means for an act to be holy in Plato's Euthyphro. Substituting "moral wrongness" for "holiness" raises the dilemma: Is torture wrong because God prohibits it, or does God prohibit torture because it is already wrong?

Further reading:




Breaking gender rules

Another gem from the Home Griddle, this time dealing with gender roles in society: http://www.homegriddle.com/2011/10/should-boy-be-princess-on-halloween-and.html

Luc Villeneuve wants to be a princess for Halloween. His two mothers Anna and Louisa Villeneuve want to encourage him to be whoever he wants, and yet, they don’t want his tender feelings hurt if people respond with confusion or negativity if he goes trick-or-treating in a gown and tiara[...]

[...]What to wear for Halloween is a minor issue. The big lesson Luc needs to learn is how to be a boy and how to develop into a man. Who is going to teach him that when he has two mothers but no father?
Traditional gender roles need to be diminished in our new, emerging global culture. The portion of society that the writer(s) of Home Griddle can't understand, or won't accept, have very interesting things to teach us about gender roles.

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/10/health/10well.html

A growing body of evidence shows that same-sex couples have a great deal to teach everyone else about marriage and relationships. Most studies show surprisingly few differences between committed gay couples and committed straight couples, but the differences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of conflicts that can endanger heterosexual relationships.
From: http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_with_lesbian_gay_bisexual_and_transgender_parents

Sometimes people are concerned that children being raised by a gay parent will need extra emotional support or face unique social stressors.Current research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults. It is important for parents to understand that it is the the quality of the parent/child relationship and not the parent’s sexual orientation that has an effect on a child’s development. Research has shown that in contrast to common beliefs, children of lesbian, gay, or transgender parents:

  • Are not more likely to be gay than children with heterosexual parents.
  • Are not more likely to be sexually abused.
  • Do not show differences in whether they think of themselves as male or female (gender identity).
  • Do not show differences in their male and female behaviors (gender role behavior).

From: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91552750

[...]Some of these roles might flow from other factors, such as who desires more change in the relationship. And in a lot of heterosexual relationships, you see that the wife is in a position where she might want more change across a number of domains and acts in these nagging or demanding ways, whereas the husband, in some ways, is in a one-up position.

I'll go to my housework example. If the wife wants the husband to do more housework, he actually, by withdrawing, maintains the status quo. And that can be a kind of a winning scenario, if you will, and partners can get entrenched in these behaviors. But it's not that there's something essential or fundamental about being a man or a woman that's leading them to these positions, as you see from watching gay and lesbian couples fall into exactly the same types of pattern[...]

From: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121135904.htm

In their analysis, the researchers found no evidence of gender-based parenting abilities, with the "partial exception of lactation," noting that very little about the gender of the parent has significance for children's psychological adjustment and social success.

As the researchers write: "The social science research that is routinely cited does not actually speak to the questions of whether or not children need both a mother and a father at home. Instead proponents generally cite research that compares [heterosexual two-parent] families with single parents, thus conflating the number with the gender of parents."

Indeed, there are far more similarities than differences among children of lesbian and heterosexual parents, according to the study. On average, two mothers tended to play with their children more, were less likely to use physical discipline, and were less likely to raise children with chauvinistic attitudes.


Let's not call it what it is

It amuses me sometimes how much people will twist themselves into illogical positions just to defend some trite point of ideology. Case in point, opponents of gay marriage, and the call to redefine "gay marriage" as "gender-segregated marriage".

From: http://www.homegriddle.com/2011/10/twelve-reasons-to-stop-calling-it-gay.html

1. “Gay marriage” is misleading

No, gender-segregated marriage is misleading, and purposely misleading at that. There's a big difference between redefining something to make your position clearer, and redefining something to deliberately change the issue.

2. Everyone can marry

If we're going for semantics, sure, everyone can marry; the kicker is, can those same people marry for reasons other than those put forward? If straight people, specifically men and women couples, can marry merely because they have an attraction to one another, why can men who feel attracted to other men, in the same kind of relationship that can be defined the same way except with no "woman", why can they not get married?

The problem is further exacerbated in the same point:

In six states, two men can marry each other for legal benefits even if they are straight. So why call it gay marriage?

So, everyone can marry, but only in one way, according to one set of the population, and only because they don't like gays. Why call it gay marriage, is the question. The answer is because it is gay marriage, and the fact that we have to distinguish it means there is a problem with equality here.

3. “Same-sex marriage” is not the same sex

They contradict themselves in point five, but they don't mean it. Needless to say, sex is sex, and all sex is the same. What's the definition of sex, anyway? The act, of course, not the specific biological reproductive role of an individual in a species.

According to: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sex

1. either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated with reference to the reproductive functions.

2. the sum of the structural and functional differences by which the male and female are distinguished, or the phenomena or behavior dependent on these differences.

3. the instinct or attraction drawing one sex toward another, or its manifestation in life and conduct.

4. coitus.

5. genitalia.

verb (used with object)
6. to ascertain the sex of, especially of newly-hatched chicks.

Verb phrase
7. sex up, Informal.
a. to arouse sexually: The only intent of that show was to sex up the audience.
b. to increase the appeal of; to make more interesting, attractive, or exciting: We've decided to sex up the movie with some battle scenes.

8. to have sex, to engage in sexual intercourse.

Yep, looks like they're still grasping at the anti-gay straws, and running out of them, too.

5. The term gender-segregated marriage is scientific and accurate

The reasons given for this particular piece of tripe are amazing. I'll refrain from adding in [gay marriage] in place of "gender-segregated marriage".

Our sex is determined before birth, long before any orientation or attraction is developed. We are born male and female, and then we develop sexually and express our sexuality with our gendered bodies.

And the people born with both genitalia are pretty fucked aren't they? What about those that feel the need to switch genders? Gender studies is obviously completely irrelevant to the discussion if there's only male and female genders, and there's nothing else; I wonder where, then, the fact that we do have confusion amongst genders fits into this anti-gay polemic.

A crucial problem with [gay marriage] is the exclusion of the other gender.

It's only really a problem if you don't want two men or women, or otherwise two humans, who love each other to get married and have the same legal protections and benefits that straight couples have now -- to the exclusion of all other consenting groupings. Men who want to love and live with other men don't really see a need for the opposite gender in an intimate relationship, so why bother?

Besides which, there really is no point to forcing gays to marry the opposite sex just to have some form of legal benefit, unless you don't want gays to marry. It's that simple.

Regardless of whether they have same-sex attraction or not, the problem with two men marrying each other is that any children they adopt will grow up lacking a mother.

Ah, I see now, it's all about the children. There are studies out there that have shown that gay couples have no problems raising children. Children do not need mothers (if in a male/male household) or fathers (if in a female/female); what they do need are parents that care. It's really that simple, unless you hate gays and don't like reading that they have no problems raising children.

The corollary to that is that a lot of straight couples may have children they don't want or planned on having, one of the couple may leave, and you're still in the same boat. But wait, they're not gay. Problem solved.

6. [Allowing gay marriage] is analogous to racial segregation

Ridiculous when you put it that way, isn't it.

The term “gender-segregated marriage” is also beneficial since traditional or natural marriage could then be called gender-diverse marriage (or gender-integrated or gender-inclusive marriage.)

Marriage isn't natural. It's a human-made contractual pairing (if it's only two people like we seem to think it is today, unlike in the past). And calling it "gender-diverse" only works if everyone, no matter their gender, can marry; only straight males and females legally allowed to marry only other straight males and females is gender segregation.

Gender-segregated marriage denies the beauty, power, and importance of gender diversity.

The irony.

Currently young Americans are trending in favor of homosexual rights.

Reason is forbidden, apparently. I like how this is put, too, like it's a big bad thing for them to be in favor of "homosexual rights". I don't really want to call back to the movement to allow "interracial marriages", but once upon a time "traditional marriage" didn't allow such things, either, and once again we as a species found it -- traditional marriage -- to be holding us back from progress, so the logical thing to do was change it in light of the new evidence.

What was that evidence? Oh, there was nothing wrong with "interracial marriages", except that some people didn't like them, for ridiculous reasons.

The term gender-segregation is kid-friendly.

If you don't want to go into the history of segregation, sure, dumb it down "for the children!" I for one would trust that children would naturally be curious about the real reasons behind not wanting gays to marry. That is, bigotry. Which naturally leads to other interesting discussions, that we really shouldn't be afraid of in the least. Knowledge is power after all.

10. Favored minority

As opposed to the privileged majority.

We are born male and female.

And sometimes with both genitalia. And sometimes with no gender identity except what our parents and society impose. And sometimes in the wrong body.

When two men “marry,” it is [marriage] and when a man and woman marry, it’s [still marriage].

I do have one point of agreement: I think it is a bit silly to call it gay marriage, when it's all said and done. But the point of calling it gay marriage is that, until recently, modern forms of marriage only allowed for straight couples to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage -- because it's a legal, binding contract, after all, and is unnatural to boot. Seriously, who marries for love, anyway?

It raises the question of why add legal benefits to such contracts at all if they're only going to be given to a certain set of people that only perform certain ways. Now that is segregation. Not diversity.

In conversation and online comments, use accurate terms.

I agree. Call it gay marriage until everyone is equally allowed to marry. Then we can just call it marriage.

The next time someone asks your opinion about gay marriage, ask him how he feels about gender-segregated marriage.

"The next time someone asks your opinion about gay marriage, ask him how he feels about [gay marriage]" is how it should remain. Don't let the issue be confused.

Via: http://foreverinhell.com/wordpress/?p=2474