When Bad Excuses Go Bad

When Bad Excuses Go Bad

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Few things are as dangerous to a society as legalizing bad excuses.

Here’s what I mean: Why Are We Surprised With the Push for ‘Pedophile Rights’?

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149 thoughts on “When Bad Excuses Go Bad

    • So you don’t know. Your first comment seemed to indicate that you thought you did.

      Let me just add that you can describe this cartoon as “vague” and I actually don’t mind. My favorite types of art, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and poetry, deals in subtleties. For what it’s worth, I try to draw cartoons in a way that requires that the viewer participate and think just a little more about the issue(s) being addressed. Otherwise, they’d be preachy spoon-feeding and no different than the any Christian cartoons and comics that already exist.

      Joshua

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  1. Otherwise, they’d be preachy spoon-feeding and no different than the any Christian cartoons and comics that already exist.

    Well, that’s a laudible goal and I can see why you are experimenting with another approach. The last thing the world needs is another Jack Chick.
    (shudder)
    It’s just that at the moment, in all honesty, I don’t know what laws you are referring to.
    It’s perhaps all too subtle.

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  2. Afterer all, we’re just “animals.”

    Animals that that cryptically refer to “legalizing bad excuses”. There are hints dealing in subtlies wrapped in poetry, inspired by the mysterious East and nestled amongst the tags somewhere.

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    • Poetry? When I mentioned Chinese / Japanese art, the idea is that unlike a lot of Western art, Eastern art deals in subtleties. That inspires me. So, I try to make points subtly in my cartoons. Sometimes with some sarcasm and satirical content. I thought the reference to “tags” would be easy to understand to a blogger. Hmmm.

      Regardless, let me be blunt: This cartoon is about the supposed inability of people to control their sexual behavior.

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  3. Regardless, let me be blunt: This cartoon is about the supposed inability of people to control their sexual behavior.

    Ok…and the legalizing bit? What law are you referring to?

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    • Well, that’s where the “viewer participation” part comes in. And it’s also not as simple as pointing to one specific law or only one issue. Surely you’re aware of the attempt to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples (2 issues: marriage and homosexuality). A homosexual person is defined as such because of their behavior (2 more issues: homosexual inclination versus homosexual behavior). Now, it is not uncommon for people in the homosexual community to insist that their sexual behavior is not their choice, they were merely born that way (2 more issues: choice versus fate in a sense). Maybe the inclination is the product of environment. Well, whatever the inclination is, a person always has a choice when it comes to sexual behavior (except in the case of rape). Yet it group A can excuse their sexual behavior (their own personal choice) by saying, “I was born this way” (that is, they have no control over it), then why can’t group B use the same bad excuse? How would you answer?

      Governments make laws in order to promote and deter specific social behaviors, usually tending to promote those that are to the general good of its citizenry. That’s why we have laws against smoking in public, traffic laws, and a whole assortment of laws. If a government redefines marriage to include people who conclude that their sexual behavior is not their own choosing, where do we draw the line?

      Joshua

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  4. Oh, your cartoon was really about “teh gay”?
    Hmm.

    Now, it is not uncommon for people in the homosexual community to insist that their sexual behavior is not their choice, they were merely born that way…

    Well, it’s the same for everybody. After all, when did you choose your sexual inclinations?

    Governments make laws in order to promote and deter specific social behaviors, usually tending to promote those that are to the general good of its citizenry.

    Sure but I don’t see what that has to do with gay people. My general good as a citizen is safe and secure.

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    • Oh, your cartoon was really about “teh gay”?

      No, it’s about the insane idea that people have no control over their sexual behavior.

      After all, when did you choose your sexual inclinations?

      Well, as you can see in the careful distinction I put between them in the last comment, sexual inclination and sexual behavior aren’t the same thing.

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  5. No, it’s about the insane idea that people have no control over their sexual behavior.

    Yeah but there’s the “legalising bad excuses” bit that you yourself put in at the bottom and the whole “dangerous to society” thing. It’s all cryptic and vague but when I asked you about it, the first horse out the gate was…”teh gay”.

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      • synapticcohesion & Josh:

        I wouldn’t hold my breath guys. If you recall, I repeatedly asked tildeb to define marriage and/or sexual behaviour in a similar fashion on an earlier thread, and he took the first bus home. And given Cedric Katesby is a fanboy of tildeb’s, and holds like-minded opinions, well… let’s just hope he answers the question. ;)

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      • And I think you both are getting to the core of the issue through your comments and questions. The answer would show that there is a point where Cedric draws the line. I got into a discussion in a different place about a related issue, gay marriage. The other person finally admitted that, yes, there is in fact a point where they draw the line. I’m sure there’s a point where Cedric draws the line at what sort of sexual behavior is acceptable, meaning that it should receive tacit (if not direct) approval through legislation that equates it with normal, monogamous, heterosexual behavior. But what if the people who fall under his ban simply use the catch-all phrase “I was born this way” (to mean “I have no control over my sexual behavior”)?

        Essentially, that’s what the cartoon is attempting to get the reader to ask themselves. The evil rapist is committing rape under the false impression (bad excuse) that his sexual behavior is beyond his control. Can he use the same excuse? Why not? (Thus having an inclination is not a right to exercise it. And if one appeals to the feelings or well-being of another person, I’d wonder where consideration for anyone else was every part of the “I was born this way” rhetoric. [That is, what is stressed is the right of an individual and their right to exercise their behavior without controversy.])

        Joshua

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  6. I’m sure there’s a point where Cedric draws the line at what sort of sexual behavior is acceptable, meaning that it should receive tacit (if not direct) approval through legislation that equates it with normal, monogamous, heterosexual behavior.

    I have no idea how you came to that conclusion. You seem to have made it up by yourself.

    But what if the people who fall under his ban simply use the catch-all phrase “I was born this way” (to mean “I have no control over my sexual behavior”)?

    Slippery slope argument. Not very good at all. Stick to reality.

    Essentially, that’s what the cartoon is attempting to get the reader to ask themselves. The evil rapist is committing rape under the false impression (bad excuse) that his sexual behavior is beyond his control.

    Yes but you also wrote at the bottom “Few things are as dangerous to a society as legalizing bad excuses.”

    When I asked you about it, you started talking about “teh gay”. You could have talked about rapists. You didn’t. You talked about “teh gay”.

    Governments make laws in order to promote and deter specific social behaviors, usually tending to promote those that are to the general good of its citizenry.

    I can see how that would apply to rapists but I don’t see what that has to do with gay people.

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    • RE: Bad Excuses Gone Bad

      I think I’ve already gone out of my way to give you and readers information about the subject of the cartoon. I’m not really sure where or why you’re having trouble with the caption “Few things are as dangerous to a society as legalizing bad excuses.” So, let me address this one final time:

      “Bad excuse” = “I was born this way” = “I have no control over my sexual behavior.”

      Legalizing gay marriage, a big topic of debate in the US, would be equal to society giving approval and acceptance to the lifestyle and all it entails, just as legalizing polygamy, polygeny, promiscuity would. Why is this dangerous? Rape, as far as I know, is illegal in most countries. It’s not a socially acceptable behavior. Sodomy is illegal in many countries around the world. It’s not a socially acceptable behavior. If people participate in homosexual behavior claim they are not able to control their sexual behavior and that society must change its laws for their tiny minority, where do we draw the line?

      I’m not saying homosexual behavior = rapist behavior. I’m not saying all homosexuals are rapist (though some are). And I’m not saying all rapists are gay (though some are). I’m just extending the logic of the born-this-way rhetoric. If gay people can use a “bad excuse” = “I was born this way” = “I have no control over my sexual behavior.”, then so can everyone else. And that’s where the relevance of SC’s question comes in.

      So, are there, in fact, any types of sexual behavior that you find socially unacceptable (that is, there should be laws to discourage them, not encourage them)? What if the people whose sexual behavior you object to say, “Well, I was born this way. Get over it”?

      Joshua

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      • “I’m not saying homosexual behavior = rapist behavior.”

        But you do seem to be saying that letting gay people marry each other is a slippery slope to men raping women, or society legalising rape.

        If so, very poor, Josh, very poor.

        “I was born this way” doesn’t equal “I have no control over my sexual behaviour”. I believe I was born straight; that doesn’t mean I have no control over my sexual behaviour. Feel free to say you have no control over your own sexual behaviour, but don’t make it on others’ behalf.

        Therefore you are making a false argument – one claim does not equal the other.

        You are also falsely assuming that “I was born this way” is an excuse or justification, and further assuming that an excuse or justification is required for being gay.

        Can you find me anyone saying “that’s my excuse/justification”? If not, your connection to rapists making the same claim is yet more spurious.

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      • Thanks for the really thoughtful reply, Andy. I mean it. You’ve got some good points.

        In response, I’d have to ask: Why do homosexual people participate in homosexual behavior?

        Well, they would claim that there is some sort of genetic predisposition that limits their options when it comes to choosing satisfactory sexual behavior. So, when they choose to act on their inclinations, the result is homosexual behavior. (They can’t force themselves into normal, heterosexual relations.) Would you agree so far?

        Now, what if laws exist against such behavior (there are sodomy laws in about 40 nations, I think). Should the homosexual participate in the behavior that has been designated as socially unacceptable and is therefore illegal? Why or why not?

        In the case of rape, there are laws that make it illegal in every country (as far as I know). Now, if a twisted mind has determined that they have a genetic predisposition that limits their options when it comes to choosing satisfactory sexual behavior (not in those words, but more like “I must do this” and “There’s nothing wrong with it”) and they then choose to act on their inclinations, the result is rape, how are we justified in condemning them for their behavior?

        Do such laws exist for monogamous, heterosexual behavior? Has there ever been a ban on monogamous, heterosexual behavior? If no, why not?

        Laws in my current country of residence makes adultery illegal. (Surprise!) Should an adulterer participate in the behavior that has been designated as socially unacceptable and is therefore illegal? If it’s two consenting adults that love each other, what’s wrong with it?

        All in all, there are some inclinations that are wrong to act on. Just because we have an inclination doesn’t mean we can or should act on it. And laws act as sort of a second conscience to remind us that we don’t live in a bubble and that our actions affect other people.

        Please remember that I use satire, sarcasm, hyperbole, caricature, and other methods in an attempt to try to get people to talk about things. I thought it was obvious. Sometimes they go to uncomfortable extremes, but such a method isn’t foreign to the comic medium. I hope you and readers will allow me some leeway. And remember that the point of this cartoon is to emphasize that people do actually have control over their sexual behavior.

        Thanks for taking the time to come back on here and respond. By the way, I’ve made the questions bold to make it easier to trace thoughts / questions in threads. (I used to use italics, but it’s too difficult to follow.)

        Joshua

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  7. So, it’s been 3 days since synapticcohesion asked Cedric Katesby a simple question:

    “OK. So how do YOU define what is acceptable sexual behavior and what is not?”

    A period during which Cedric Katesby has been posting regularly elsewhere on this site. Anyone else notice he won’t touch this question with a ten foot Darwinian tree-of-life? =D

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  8. Andrew said:

    “But you do seem to be saying that letting gay people marry each other is a slippery slope to men raping women, or society legalising rape.”

    No one “letting” gays do anything–they can already get married if they wish in private ceremonies. What Josh mentioned was the State being able to officially redefine marriage; to change its meaning. This can be a slippery slope because, when you change a definition, where do you draw the line on how far to change it? Who gets to decide this?

    Many don’t believe in evolution. Can it be “redefined” so that those who are not evolutionists can teach the subject as they see fit? Why or why not?

    Many find circumcision to be unnecessary, cruel, and barbaric. Should it be redefined as a criminal act? Why or why not?

    How do you decide what is acceptable to redefine and what is not? Personal preference? Mob rule?

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    • “Many find circumcision to be unnecessary, cruel, and barbaric. Should it be redefined as a criminal act?”

      There’s a good argument to be made to do so, yes. If you’re allowed to snip off one of the most sensitive parts of your child’s anatomy – a functioning, useful part – for no medical reason, why object to removing fingernails, or ear lobes or fingers?

      The ‘redefining’ marriage meme is a red herring. It’s about allowing more people to enjoy the right to marriage. It still means the same thing. Saying ‘gay marriage’ is not like saying ‘square circle’. It’s not like saying “I’m redefining holocaust as ‘give someone flowers’ so I can claim the holocaust didn’t happen”. It’s not like denying scientific evidence.

      “This can be a slippery slope because, when you change a definition, where do you draw the line on how far to change it?”

      You might as well say that changing the speed limit from 65 to 60kmh is a slippery slope to changing it to 5kph.

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      • ““Many find circumcision to be unnecessary, cruel, and barbaric. Should it be redefined as a criminal act?”

        There’s a good argument to be made to do so, yes. If you’re allowed to snip off one of the most sensitive parts of your child’s anatomy – a functioning, useful part – for no medical reason, why object to removing fingernails, or ear lobes or fingers?”

        Good–at least you are consistent on that point. You still did not elaborate on why some acts are acceptable to you while others are not.

        “You might as well say that changing the speed limit from 65 to 60kmh is a slippery slope to changing it to 5kph.”

        That’s a faulty assertion for obvious reasons. A speed limit that is too low would defeat the purpose of freeways and highways. A speed limit too high would make it more difficult to control your vehicle thus leading to more accidents and traffic jams. Thus the slippery slope argument cannot be applied here.

        Moral issues, on the other hand, are not as clear cut. The abortionist can argue that a baby is not really a baby in utero. Pedophiles can claim that everyone matures at different rates–some much earlier than others. Those engaging in bestiality can claim that their dog/goat/etc. enjoys it and that you are discriminating against them as humans are all also “animals.” How do YOU draw the line? Cedric avoided answering, how about you? The answer is very different according to whom you ask, it is it not?

        Unfortunately, when you start compromising moral certitudes in favor of “enlightened” permissiveness, it is indeed a slippery slope.

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    • “A speed limit that is too low would defeat the purpose of freeways and highways. A speed limit too high would make it more difficult to control your vehicle thus leading to more accidents and traffic jams. Thus the slippery slope argument cannot be applied here.”

      And the slippery slope argument doesn’t apply to allowing gay marriage for exactly the same reasons. You have highlighted perfectly why the analogy is such a good one.

      In the same way that we can look at every speed limit individually and judge it on its merits, we can judge every reason to prevent a group marrying and judge its merits. Gay marriage, Inter-racial marriage, age-gap marriage, inter-species marriage, woman/child marriage. The reasons for and against allowing any of the above stand on their own.

      If someone suggested allowing people to marry their sheep, you wouldn’t say “That would be a slippery slope to allowing gay marriage”, you’d simply offer good reasons against it for its own sake – namely, sheep can’t consent. But when people suggest gay marriage, suddenly the slippery slope arguments come out, a clear admission of failure to offer proper reasons against it on its own merit.

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  9. “Laws in my current country of residence makes adultery illegal. (Surprise!)”

    Wow! I’m sure that’s a pretty effective deterrent. What is that country’s stance on teaching evolution in schools?

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      • Well, the tragic part is that it happens all the time. Then the TV news stations talk about it for weeks, saying things like “They’re so bad. They did a wrong thing” etc. The irony is that most of the “civilized” world considers many types of behavior involving 2 (or more) people OK as long as they love each other. So, it’s kind of a strange double-standard. I mean, the people just say, “We are two consenting adults that love each other. What’s the problem?” Of course, people are still looking for the person who limited the definition to just 2 people. Come to think of it: Why on Earth is polygamy illegal? If people like the twisted Brigham Young and his 50+ wives loved each other, what’s wrong with it?

        (Note: I’m being sarcastic.)

        What do you think?

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      • True, there seems to be a glaring hypocrisy on part of the media. The Bible is pretty specific about “the two will become one flesh,” “each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband,” and “thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife (not wives). So no, I do not agree that polygamy is alright.

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    • “That’s a faulty assertion for obvious reasons. A speed limit that is too low would defeat the purpose of freeways and highways.”

      Excellent – you get the point then. So we look at each case individually, and don’t pretend there’s some kind of slippery slope where one case automatically leads to another.

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      • ““That’s a faulty assertion for obvious reasons. A speed limit that is too low would defeat the purpose of freeways and highways.”

        Excellent – you get the point then. So we look at each case individually, and don’t pretend there’s some kind of slippery slope where one case automatically leads to another.”

        Thanks for avoiding all of my questions–I know, they must be very difficult to answer.

        As I had already mentioned, on moral issues, the answer is not clear-cut as it would be in your speed limit example. Everyone’s answer will be different. Many are a lot more permissive than others and you never answered the question on how it would be decided who makes the decisions on moral issues (if we are to leave God out of it). God’s rules in which all systems of high moral standards are taken from. These moral standards did not come out of thin air out of evolution necessity; they came straight out of the Bible. If we are to throw this tried-and-true system out the window, what will we use instead? Don’t bother repeating that we will make decision individually–you know very well that some because have high moral scruples, while others have none.

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  10. Josh, as for why gays participate in gay behaviour, I’m sure you’ll get several different answers from several different gays. But it’s not really relevant, is it? Many will answer “mind your own business”. Why do you ‘participate in inter-racial sexual behaviour’? I wouldn’t generally ask you that question because it’s none of my business. Why should you even have to answer.

    “Well, they would claim that there is some sort of genetic predisposition that limits their options when it comes to choosing satisfactory sexual behavior.”

    Why does it matter either way?

    The problem/confusion here is that many anti-SSM proponents have claimed ‘being gay is unnatural’, as if that is an argument against it (is flying natural? Is wearing nylon, or taking penicillin?). Some people have pointed out that there is much evidence AGAINST the ‘it’s unnatural’ claim. That doesn’t mean anyone is trying to make an argument for being gay or for gay marriage on the basis that it’s natural. It only means that the ‘it’s unnatural’ argument may be on shaky evidential ground.

    But then the anti-SSM proponents perform a bait-and-switch, claiming that ‘it’s natural’ WAS being used as an argument, rather than a simple response/rebuttal to the ‘it’s unnatural argument’.

    My opposition to rape has nothing to do with whether it is natural or not. It’s a non-issue. We have lots of good reasons to oppose rape based on other axioms we already accept – the harm it causes others, that we accept everyone has the right to refuse sex etc. None of these are negated by someone saying ‘it’s natural’, and neither do we have to resort to a ‘rape isn’t natural’ argument to oppose rape.

    I don’t see how you can make an argument that compares allowing gay marriage to at some point allowing rape. You might as well say that not allowing gays to marry is a slippery slope to not allowing people to say not to rape.

    And comparing a same-sex attraction to an urge to rape is simply bizarre, an equivocation that suggests you’d see little difference between a relative coming out as gay and a relative being a rapist or being brutally raped. I know your reaction would NOT be the same, so why act like they’re similar or even on the same scale?

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    • Well, I’m surprised you wouldn’t be curious why people participate in a type of sexual behavior that has been pretty much universally discouraged throughout the world for centuries. (It was even considered a mental illness in many countries up until about 20 or 30 years ago.) Furthermore, when people tell me I’m wrong or intolerant or bigoted about this or that issue, the first thing I want to know is “Why?”. The reason I have been given in other areas and even by a gay friend is “I was born this way” (or it’s variant, which I haven’t mentioned yet, “I didn’t choose to be this way”), whether you like the answer or not. What does that imply?

      I urge you to re-read the caption of the cartoon “Bad Excuses Gone Bad“. It didn’t just say “Bad Excuses”. How can you protect against a deranged person who has concluded that he has no control over his/her sexual behavior? That any inclination is one that can be pursued?

      After all, as the dropping of laws outlawing homosexual behavior have prove, what is illegal in one century may not be illegal in the next.

      RE: Unnaturalness of Homosexual Behavior

      Homosexual sexual behavior isn’t natural. The design of the human sexual organs is one of complimentary parts. They work in unison (which, as a side note, is a major hurdle for people who want to imagine an entirely naturalistic origin of them). In fact, it is their design that makes the best case for monogamous, heterosexual sex being the ideal, apart from appeals to the Bible. The deliberate misuse of those sexual organs results in disease. Specifically, gay men are at an increased risk for a variety of diseases. Regarding arguments for its naturalness, well, I’ve heard people even defend / justify / excuse / permit (you choose your word) homosexual behavior because it is seen to happen in the animal world. Well, there’s a certain species of shark that does the equivalent of rape. Why don’t we imitate that, too? I suggest it is because people are not animals, regardless of the evolutionary background picture that has been painted. We still retain the freedom of will.

      RE: Point of the Cartoon

      Again, the point of the cartoon is (let me say it the fifth time): People actually have control over their sexual behavior. That’s the entire point.

      I’ll post my questions again, since you didn’t answer them. Maybe you’ll say they aren’t worth an answer. If so, just let me know. I won’t waste my time asking you any next time:

      Should the homosexual participate in the behavior that has been designated as socially unacceptable and is therefore illegal? Why or why not?

      Do such laws exist for monogamous, heterosexual behavior? Has there ever been a ban on monogamous, heterosexual behavior? If no, why not?

      Should an adulterer participate in the behavior that has been designated as socially unacceptable and is therefore illegal? If it’s two consenting adults that love each other, what’s wrong with it?

      Joshua

      PS – I never said that homosexual behavior and rape are equal. I said the opposite in a previous post; I said they are not equal. If you want to characterize the argument correctly, I compared both behaviors and inclinations, I didn’t equate them. There’s no harm in comparison and contrast, unless a person is reading comments half-cocked. Both begin as inclinations. Both have been illegal (and in some places both are still illegal). Both have social repercussions. Both are sexual behaviors.

      I hope you would admit that there is only a little distance between discovering a gay gene (which hasn’t happened yet) and resorting to a fatalistic view of homosexual sexual orientation, that it is unchangeable and should not be discouraged, but, in fact, should be encouraged and even protected through legislation. Besides, why are people looking for a gay gene in the first place? Isn’t it to explain the orientation and behavior of homosexuals? If they claim to find one, won’t it be used to justify the orientation and behavior? And since they are looking for a gay gene, shouldn’t they also look for an incest gene, a murderer gene, YEC gene? I’m exaggerating to make a point. Nobody is going to conclude that because you have a gene that excuses your behavior. You still have a choice to pursue or ignore any inclinations. And that’s the idea of the cartoon: People do really have control over their sexual behavior.

      If we want to say, well, that’s their orientation / inclination. Is there any sexual behavior that doesn’t start off as an inclination? Then there are some inclinations that should not be pursued; they should be discouraged. If homosexual behavior is the direct cause of certain diseases, then it’s enough to discourage. If homosexual behavior is illegal in a country, it’s all the more reason to not follow that inclination. If a particular behavior is or has been made illegal in the history of the world, it’s important to discuss reasons why and go from there.

      In contrast, as far as I know, monogamous, heterosexual behavior has never been made illegal.

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      • Josh, if you’re going down the root of citing “It’s been illegal/looked down upon in the past” as an argument against it, then I again have to remind you that inter-racial relationships have been both illegal in the past and and are still looked down upon by many. So what? People historically have treated the disabled badly too – does that justify in any way treating them badly now?

        Finally, you make the ‘It’s unnatural’ argument yourself, kind of backing up my point. You can look at a man born without legs and tell him that his method of walking on his hands is ‘unnatural’ given the way arms are designed, but that’s not an argument against him getting round that way, is it? One can point to lots of things humans currently do as ‘unnatural’ – innoculating against disease using anti-biotics we’ve bred ourselves. Certainly one can look at the ‘design’ of the foreskin, its many functions, and say that removing it is unnatural. You’re the one making an argument based on naturalness here, with all the logical fallacies associated with it.

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      • So, I take it you’re just going to be ignoring questions?

        By the way, I wasn’t using the argument that if something had been made illegal in the past, it should stay illegal. The dispassionate reader would have seen this sentence in my previous comment:

        If a particular behavior is or has been made illegal in the history of the world, it’s important to discuss reasons why and go from there.

        Joshua

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      • “If homosexual behavior is the direct cause of certain diseases, then it’s enough to discourage.”

        So if condom-use is highly effective way of preventing diseases, then that’s enough to encourage it? You may need to tell your fellow religious types this.

        As for ‘homosexual behavior’, many gays don’t practice anal sex and many straights do. If you’re simply against anal sex (for gays or straights), then sure – say it’s dangerous to do it without protection and I’ll agree with you. I’d put it up there with mountain climbing without safety equipment, though I’d not necessarily say either is immoral or unnatural, just dangerous and perhaps foolhardy.

        But many gays don’t like anal sex and stick to, say, hand jobs and oral sex. The latter has some risk, but not so much for monogamous couples. Either way, if consenting couples want to take the risk then I don’t see what the problem is. Where are your cartoons castigating extreme sports enthusiasts? This feels like post-hoc justification to me – reasons you come up with to justify your opinions on gays after the fact.

        “If a particular behavior is or has been made illegal in the history of the world, it’s important to discuss reasons why and go from there.”

        People have a natural inclination to attack difference – we have knee-jerk reactions against other races, the disabled. The Jews have been notoriously targeted for thousands of years. I’m sure some people like to come up with justifications for that too. I’m more interested in what reasons people have TODAY to justify discriminating against a group. That people traditionally decry paeodophiles is irrelevant to me – we can offer good reasons TODAY to explain why children should be protected, without making any historical references.

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    • J.W. Wartick:

      You make an excellent point, especially given what the director’s rationale in the above interview:

      ” ‘I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want?’ Cassavetes said. ‘If it’s your brother or sister it’s super weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody, except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.’ ”

      P.S.: Nice site you have going there too, with some very well-written articles. =)

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      • “you never answered the question on how it would be decided who makes the decisions on moral issues (if we are to leave God out of it). God’s rules in which all systems of high moral standards are taken from.”

        What country do you live in? If America, look up the Lemon Test. Clear legal precedent is that you don’t get to make laws that don’t have a secular justification. If you want a country with laws based on religious texts, take your pick of the theocracies out there.

        Even if we randomly decide to choose one holy book to base our laws on (and I’m guessing you reckon it should be yours), then you’ve still got the question of which of the 2000-3000 or so denominations’ interpretations should be chosen to base the laws on.

        Then we’ve got endless ecumenical and hermeneutic arguments about exactly what laws ‘clearly stated’ in the bible were simply ‘for those times’. Josh happily accepts that the bible clearly condones slavery, but claims that is was ok ‘just for those people at those times’. So how do you reckon which ones are still relevant now?

        Simple, we just stick to the Ten Commandments, right? Well, quite a few of them just seem to say we shouldn’t worship other Gods. How do you legislate that? What punishments do you propose for Hindus or atheists or deists? Many of the Founding Fathers themselves would fail this test.

        None of this gets you closer to showing a flaw in my ‘speed limit’ argument. And your objection that it’s different because it’s a moral issue fails too – how are speed limits not about morals?

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      • “Simple, we just stick to the Ten Commandments, right? Well, quite a few of them just seem to say we shouldn’t worship other Gods. How do you legislate that? What punishments do you propose for Hindus or atheists or deists? Many of the Founding Fathers themselves would fail this test.”

        No one’s suggesting that we force others to worship the same God. That we should deny others their religious (or non-religious) freedoms. That doesn’t mean that our system of moral standards does not benefit from Judeo-Christian values.

        “None of this gets you closer to showing a flaw in my ‘speed limit’ argument. And your objection that it’s different because it’s a moral issue fails too – how are speed limits not about morals?”

        The speed limit is not about morals. If people could handle high speeds without killing each other or themselves, what is morally wrong with it? Nothing. It would get people from place to place a lot more efficiently–including places of a greater distance.

        Moral issues, on the other hand, has something fundamentally wrong with it from the core. You may think that the consent issue is the only element missing from allowing people to marry children or their dogs, but most others using their moral compass see that it is wrong for many other reasons other than “informed consent.”

        Did you have sex education classes in school? When? For me it was in elementary school. I was about 10. Politicians were even discussing introducing sex education to even younger children in KINDERGARTEN. Why would they want to teach 4 and 5-year-olds sex education if not to prepare them for early “consent” by “informing” them
        at younger and younger ages.

        Slippery slope. No, “informed consent” is not the only issue–it’s just WRONG. Wrong to physically and psychologically harm others. Period.

        Like

  11. synapticcohesion:

    5 days already. Anyone else notice Cedric Katesby won’t touch your question with a 2-litre jug of milk?

    Turning out to be quite the exorcist now, aren’t you? ;)

    Like

  12. ” If people could handle high speeds without killing each other or themselves, what is morally wrong with it? Nothing. ”

    Fine – but the justification being offered to me on this blog for opposing gay marriage is that homosexuality is harmful. So either way, I’m being given a ‘harm’ reason, which sounds to me pretty similar to arguments against speeding. And I’ve not been given any reason for why two consenting men or women marrying each other is wrong apart from ‘it’s harmful’ or ‘it just is’. Neither of which are good reasons to prevent them marrying.

    Comparisons to incest are specious. We have a taboo against incest because children of such relationships are quite likely to suffer serious health problems – the harm thing again. Incest pretty much only occurs in one situation – when the siblings are separated at a young age, meaning they don’t develop the normal taboo and sexual turn-off you get towards your siblings (or indeed anyone else you grow up very close to). It’s a very rare occurrence that results from a particular unusual circumstance. With regards to the ‘it’s natural/not natural’ argument used for gays, incest very MUCH only arises out of an unnatural situation – siblings growing up apart then meeting as adults. There’s no comparison to homosexuality, which is relatively common.

    Like

    • With regards to the ‘it’s natural/not natural’ argument used for gays, incest very MUCH only arises out of an unnatural situation – siblings growing up apart then meeting as adults. There’s no comparison to homosexuality, which is relatively common.

      Homosexuality isn’t relatively common, unless you want to consider 1 to 2% of a population “relatively common”.

      However, it was interesting to find you struggling for reasons to oppose incest while not allowing people to use the same reasons to oppose homosexual behavior. You can use them, but we can’t. You are being reasonable when you use them, but we aren’t. Hmmm. All the talk about incest being “unnatural” or “harmful” is just empty. In fact, everything you said about the moral compass of gay people saying there’s nothing wrong with homosexual behavior, etc. could be said by people who support incest, polygamy, polygeny, and all sorts of abnormal sexual behavior. Example:

      Well if we’re all just referring to our moral compasses, then we’ve just got a bunch of people arguing about different messages they’re getting from their instincts. At the moment, an increasing number of people are being told by their moral compasses that there’s nothing wrong with [incest] and plenty wrong with opposing it.

      Or:

      Well if we’re all just referring to our moral compasses, then we’ve just got a bunch of people arguing about different messages they’re getting from their instincts. At the moment, an increasing number of people are being told by their moral compasses that there’s nothing wrong with [polygamy] and plenty wrong with opposing it.

      Of course, you are also stuck in a situation where you have no reasonable argument with which to oppose polygamy or polygeny or even homosexual relationships involving more than two individuals.

      I said / maintain that homosexual behavior is unnatural and harmful. You said the same about incest. Should I, like you, call those “ad hoc arguments” being made after the fact (you consider incest wrong and then look to find reasons for it)?

      Nevertheless, the fact that laws and rules that are being changed to allow gay marriage are also being used to allow incest and other forms of abnormal sexual behavior is a reality. Examples:

      Here Comes Incest, Just as Predicted

      A law professor attempts to use a homosexual rights ruling to defend a polygamous family in Utah.

      Challenging the illegality of consensual polygamy.

      Why Normalizing Same-Sex Parenting Inevitably Led to Triple-Parenting

      There are worse examples, but I’m not going to grime up my blog with links to them…

      Joshua

      Like

  13. ” but most others using their moral compass see that it is wrong for many other reasons other than “informed consent.””

    Well if we’re all just referring to our moral compasses, then we’ve just got a bunch of people arguing about different messages they’re getting from their instincts. At the moment, an increasing number of people are being told by their moral compasses that there’s nothing wrong with gay marriage and plenty wrong with opposing it.

    Like

  14. “Homosexuality isn’t relatively common, unless you want to consider 1 to 2% of a population “relatively common”.”

    Relative to what you keep bringing up – incest – then yes it is very common. Even your very conservative figure means 3.5m-7m gays in the US. So yes, my point stands – relatively common.

    “However, it was interesting to find you struggling for reasons to oppose incest”

    On the contrary, it was no struggle at all. See my post on it. By contrast, you’ve offered only that it ‘feels wrong’.

    “In fact, everything you said about the moral compass of gay people saying there’s nothing wrong with homosexual behavior”

    That’s not what I said. I said a growing number of PEOPLE find their moral compasses are for, not against gay marriage. That’s including straight people.

    “could be said by people who support incest, polygamy, polygeny”

    And your own reasoning – that it’s enough to have a general ‘it’s icky, my moral compass is against it’, could easily be said by people who oppose inter-racial marriage. We don’t make laws based on general icky feelings, and we do not need to rely on them to oppose incestuous marriage.

    “I said / maintain that homosexual behavior is unnatural and harmful”

    You’ve said it, but done nothing to show that it harms anyone else. I clearly argued that incestuous relationships can produce deformed children – in other words, harm for others. You’ve done nothing similar for gays. The most you can argue is that unprotected anal sex can spread disease. But that’s an argument against unprotected anal sex, not against gay marriage. In fact, if anything, it’s an argument FOR gay marriage, as monogamous couples are less likely to spread disease to others.

    “you are also stuck in a situation where you have no reasonable argument with which to oppose polygamy”

    You’ve not asked me to produce any. They can be opposed on the basis of problems for children involved, they can be opposed for purely legal grounds: if Bob is married to Carol and Alice, and Alice is married also to Ted, who is also married to Rita, Sue and Bob too, then how one earth does one resolve property rights in the event of Bob dying intestate? Where do the children go?

    None of these are inherent problems with allowing gay marriage, so no I reject that the two are related in any way.

    Like

    • Relative to what you keep bringing up – incest – then yes it is very common. Even your very conservative figure means 3.5m-7m gays in the US. So yes, my point stands – relatively common.

      You object to incest, saying it’s uncommon. So? Relative to homosexuals, heterosexuals are extremely common. But why does the commonality of a behavior have anything to do with what should receive tacit government approval via laws? This is the part of the confusing part of the vocal minority of homosexuals pushing for “marriage”. We should be required to change laws and definitions for 1 to 2% of the population?! How large does the minority have to be before we allow any vocal minority to change the laws for the bulk of the rest of us?

      As for property rights, estate handling, and so on, well, those are all good things to consider. And what if someone responded to all your criticisms as, “Well, love is love. And if two people love each other, they should be allowed to get married.” How would you respond?

      Joshua

      Like

      • ” We should be required to change laws and definitions for 1 to 2% of the population?!”

        Again, even your very conservative (ie low) percentage gives us a number of 3.5 million to 7 million Americans. I don’t consider that a small number.

        “to change the laws for the bulk of the rest of us?”

        Eh? Who is changing any law for you? Your right to marry is still exactly the same.

        ““Well, love is love. And if two people love each other, they should be allowed to get married.” How would you respond?”

        If you’re talking about polygamy then we’re not talking about two people loving each other, are we? When I hear two guys or two women telling me their story, how they can’t marry, and the problems this might create with regards to hospital access rights, or many other problems, then I can understand their pain. I can imagine how I would feel if my wife and I were being kept separate in the same way. I can only figure that anyone who can NOT sympathise just doesn’t feel the same way about their own partner, and therefore is baffled by other people’s stories of love.

        If you’re talking about someone wanting to marry a second, third or fourth person, then it doesn’t come across the same. How can number two, three or four be ‘The one’? If you’re talking about incest, then siblings already enjoys many of the same rights that a married couples do with regards to hospital access etc. And I already explained the reasons we can oppose incest out of concern for third parties.

        BTW, am doing my best here. I’m guessing I could respond to half a dozen points in every post I make, and you’ll find one thing I’ve not addressed and claim I’m dodging the point.

        I can’t remember ever taking any of your guys’ posts and moaning that you’ve not addressed every point I’ve made.

        Like

      • If you’re talking about polygamy then we’re not talking about two people loving each other, are we? When I hear two guys or two women telling me their story, how they can’t marry, and the problems this might create with regards to hospital access rights, or many other problems, then I can understand their pain. I can imagine how I would feel if my wife and I were being kept separate in the same way. I can only figure that anyone who can NOT sympathise just doesn’t feel the same way about their own partner, and therefore is baffled by other people’s stories of love.

        Well, how high the number is doesn’t really matter. If it’s over 2, then you are going to have a difficult time justifying why those people – consenting adults “in love” – can’t marry. Why limit it to two?

        Like

    • Here, I have a scenario for you. What if there’s a man who doesn’t have a preference for women or even human beings, he has a preference for fresh road kill (no living being is harmed in the process). One day, he meets a man who shares his same sexual preference and they live together as friends–even soul mates–sharing their road kill together (they use protection). One day, both men decide that they want to adopt a child because they always wanted children. But when they go to the adoption agencies, they are rejected because, well, they’re two men. Two men who are also very outspoken about their “unconventional lifestyle.” Their lawyer tells them that if they were able to be lawfully married, they would have a stronger case as they could sue the adoption agencies for “discrimination.” As a result, the two decide that they want to get married. Should they be allowed to be lawfully married (and in the process, redefine marriage)? Should they be allowed to adopt? They’re not harming anyone…

      Like

      • “Why would they want to teach 4 and 5-year-olds sex education if not to prepare them for early “consent” by “informing” them
        at younger and younger ages.”

        Sex ed starts a lot earlier in Europe than America. The result is far lower rates of teen pregnancy and far lower teen abortion rates in Europe than America. Go figure. Perhaps America is filled with kids who don’t know what sex is, but are still doing it, and then get surprised when they fall pregnant.

        Like

      • Earlier than 4 and 5?? So you are one of those who agree that children should be “informed.” Is that what you are talking about when you make an “informed consent” exception?

        Like

      • It reminds me of “Brave New World” and Huxley describing his fantasy of children engaging in “erotic play.” Only pedophiles would see “eroticism” when they see children. But in a moral relativist’s world, nothing is off limits as long as you can justify it in some way (e.g., they gave “informed” consent).

        Like

      • Am I the only one who didn’t miss the contradiction between Andrew saying children are incapable of being “informed” to be able to consent, while saying that children at even younger ages than 10 should be…informed?

        Like

      • I think you’re going to make him angry again.

        It is interesting that he seems to be promoting the idea of sex education for children. I’m around kids all the time and most already have a vague idea about it. While they don’t know or understand the mechanics, they understand that when a man and a woman get married, a baby will likely follow. In fact, they sometimes use the word “marriage” to mean “having babies”.

        I believe it’s the parents job to teach their children about sex, not the school’s. But given Andy’s commendable position against the horrors of such an evil sexual behavior, one would almost be tempted to not teach them anything so that, in fact, they would never be able to give “informed consent”. After all, as your comment points out, if they take a sex ed course at school, they’d be informed, which would have some pretty disturbing and evil implications if we suggest that is the only differences between a legal act and an illegal one.

        Joshua

        Like

      • “I think you’re going to make him angry again.”

        Again? Did I miss something? Before this issue, the last thing we conversed about was a movie. Hmm…

        Andy mentioned not leaving his “dog and children” alone with me, so I think I get to point out the disturbing flaws in his arguments without incurring his wrath. We should not get overly sensitive over things said in debates–I don’t–it’s to be expected.

        I think that if someone holds a position that “informed consent” is the only issue when concerning those that are smaller, weaker, and innocent then that’s a concern that should be called out on because that does easily open the whole “slippery slope” argument. Maybe that was just a mistake or oversight on Andy’s part or maybe not–which is why I brought it up.

        Like

      • “After all, as your comment points out, if they take a sex ed course at school, they’d be informed”

        Yes because sex education is not simply learning about the reproductive system, it is about learning about “safe sex” and birth control–something that is not relevant to 5-year-olds (or at least shouldn’t be). I agree that parents should be the ones informing their children on these issues when they are old enough.

        I heard somewhere that the DARE program (teaching kids about drugs in schools), actually lead to a statistical INCREASE in drug use because they informed children about what these illegal drugs do, how to use them, etc. Could the same be said about learning about “safe sex” and birth control in schools at very young ages–the opposite effect which is more teen pregnancies?

        Like

      • “Again? Did I miss something? Before this issue, the last thing we conversed about was a movie. Hmm…”

        Indeed. I’ve not got angry on these boards. Perplexed perhaps, disappointed yes, but not angry. Perhaps Josh meant someone else…

        “Earlier than 4 and 5??”

        Who are you quoting here? Not me.

        “while saying that children at even younger ages than 10 should be…informed?”

        You’re equivocating on ‘informed’. We teach kids younger than 18 about the political system, doesn’t mean we think they’re capable of voting.

        “Andy mentioned not leaving his “dog and children” alone with me”

        Because you professed not to value the idea of consent from animals and kids.

        “Yes because sex education is not simply learning about the reproductive system, it is about learning about “safe sex” and birth control”

        My point stands – it’s taught to European kids a lot younger than American kids, and, as I said, teen pregnancy and teen abortion is a lot lower in Europe than America.

        Like

      • “My point stands – it’s taught to European kids a lot younger than American kids, and, as I said, teen pregnancy and teen abortion is a lot lower in Europe than America.”

        That’s a very faulty correlation. There no evidence that the lower teen pregnacy rate (I’m presuming that is a true statistic) in Europe is in any way related to teaching children sex ed at younger ages. Case in point: The teen pregnancy rate was a lot lower in the US when sex ed was not taught at all in schools. So how do you tie the two?

        There’s many other reasons that are possible. Some being that in Europe families may be a lot more cohesive, they are less dependent upon and less influenced by media distractions, and countless other reasons.

        ““Andy mentioned not leaving his “dog and children” alone with me”

        Because you professed not to value the idea of consent from animals and kids.”

        I don’t because animals and children are NEVER able to give consent. Suppose scientists in the future claim that they can decipher what is consent in animals and also claim that children are also capable neurologically and biologically of consent–that would not change my position because it is fundamentally and morally WRONG. Period. Moral relativism and supposed logical/scientific justifications has no place here.

        Like

  15. “Should I, like you, call those “ad hoc arguments” being made after the fact (you consider incest wrong and then look to find reasons for it)?”

    No, because I can clearly point to the reason – children of incestuous relationships are likely to have defects. And I already gave you that reason. You however have given no examples empirical harm that gay marriage causes people outside of that marriage. I said that the BIBLICAL justifications were ad hoc – passages and interpretations cherry picked to fit your gut instincts.

    “Did you even look at the links I left”.

    Yes. And I’m baffled by how you think this helps or backs up your argument.

    An example: “[Epstein’s] attorney Matthew Galuzzo remarked, “It’s ok for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different? We have to figure out why some behavior is tolerated and some is not.”

    Right, but Epstein was convicted, wasn’t he? So allowing gay marriage did not in this case lead to incest being tolerated. In other words, how does this bolster your argument? His lawyer offered it as a rubbish defence, but seeing as no-one accepted it, so what? Lawyers offer terrible defences all the time, it’s whether they’re accepted that’s important. What if a murderer’s lawyer said “We’re allowed to kill cows, why can’t we kill people” – would that be an argument for vegetarianism?

    I was expecting to find examples of courts saying “We allow gay marriage so we have to allow brothers and sister to marry”, but I’m not seeing that in your links. Another example given was a woman having a child with her grandson. The article doesn’t say “Because of gay marriage, no-one’s complaining”. In fact, it clearly says they may face prison for what they’re doing. Again, how is that a result of allowing gay marriage? How is allowing gay marriage supposed to have increased tolerance for what they’re doing? Are you saying incest only started happening in the past decade or so?

    Like

    • Yes. And I’m baffled by how you think this helps or backs up your argument.

      C’mon now, Andy. You’re smarter than that. When has the legality of incest, multiple parents, gay marriage, and related been topics of serious, public debate? That TIME Magazine would even address the issues is evidence that there’s a slide in attitudes towards sexual morals / ethics currently in progress in our modern era. What started people questioning an institution (marriage) whose meaning was taken for granted (being 1 man and 1 woman)?

      Joshua

      Like

      • “When has the legality of incest, multiple parents, gay marriage, and related been topics of serious, public debate?”

        You’re still mixing up a lot of things together. The answer is probably different for each one. Polygamy for centuries and probably longer – Mormans allowed it and it’s well documented in the bible. Incest – you’ve not told me what debate is being had, you just gave a link giving an instance of incest. Ever heard of Oedipus? Incest has been around thousands of years, so I don’t see what you’re demonstrating by giving me a more recent example.

        I often see people saying that gays should be allowed the same marriage rights as straights. That is effectively what that lawyer idiot was arguing about incest – gays can marry, so incest should be tolerated. You take the latter as an actual argument against gay marriage. By that logic, if someone argues that gays should be allowed to marry because straights can marry, that’s an argument against normal marriage!

        So, simple question: if you saw someone arguing “If we allow straights to marry we should also allow gays to marry” would you say, “that anyone could make that argument shows that we shouldn’t allow normal straight marriage”?

        Assuming your answer is no, why is that if you saw someone arguing “If we allow gays to marry we should also tolerate incest” that you would say, “that anyone could make that argument shows that we shouldn’t allow gay marriage”?

        It’s special pleading. And I would hope, Josh, that YOU are smarter than that.

        Like

  16. Andrew Ryan:

    (I am putting up my response to your comments on another thread – https://noapologiesallowed.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/qwerky-quotes-for-the-inquisitiveavraham-sonenthal/ – here, just in case you missed my response there)

    It’s clear that – for the simple fact that I boldly chose to speak up about your dishonest online behaviour once – I seem to have gotten under your skin. For I sense a lot of anger, sarcasm and bias in your comments, comments that, sadly, aren’t at all representative of the many respectful atheists and agnostics I’ve met in discussions, and are, unfortunately, all too typical of a select group of Internet atheists.

    You know, to be honest, I had actually written a very strongly worded reply to you. But guess what? I actually prayed about it (and you) last night. And in that short period of quiet time, God instilled in my heart the kind of calm that only He could, and I found myself tossing my old reply aside and drafting an entirely new one, with a totally new approach.

    You see Andrew Ryan, there are many ways I could respond to your comments. But the question God put in my heart is this: is my response going to honour Him?

    For instance, could I respond to your claims by re-addressing the many points I brought up previously and drag you into the mud over and over with charges of dishonesty? Of course I could, but that wouldn’t be God-honouring.

    Could I respond to your mockery and condescending remarks with mockery and condescension of my own? Of course, I could, but that wouldn’t be God-honouring.

    Could I list out the numerous, insurmountable challenges your worldview faces in terms of explanatory scope and power, and laugh at any subsequent point or argument you raise without an ounce of respect for your beliefs? Of course I could, but that wouldn’t be God-honouring.

    And so, with that God-honouring filter in place, I shall respond to your post, because I feel it is worth my time. But note that this will be my last exchange on that episode, an episode that I had long put behind me (if you’d noticed, I kept my promise and NEVER took it up with you again ever since that thread, and yet, you seem to be harping on it enough to be constantly bringing it up). Let’s run through your response.

    “You’ve long passed the point where you can be taken seriously. That you still think you’ve got any credibility left after your failed hatchet job on me…”

    Of course, I recognise that it’s your frustration that’s clouding your thinking. I’d respectfully point out that Josh, synapticcohesion and many others whom I have interacted with online (atheists and agnostics alike) take me very seriously, and would flat out disagree with your ad hominem. And my world certainly isn’t made or broken on your opinion. So I’ll just sit back and let my arguments and points speak for themselves.

    “… you were left castigating me for not having debated long-deceased apologists…

    You’re conveniently omitting, though, the plain facts. For your information, I just took the trouble to personally look through the list I provided (I’ll put it up here again for your benefit – http://www.apologetics315.com/2009/06/100-christian-apologists.html) and to do a headcount on your behalf. And guess what? There are only 15 apologists who are no longer with us. Which means an OVERWHELMING majority – 85 out of that list of 100 great Christian apologists – are living (with over 40 of them philosophers by profession). And common sense would dictate I was referring to the LIVING ones in asking you to back up your till-now unsubstantiated claim that you have “debated several well-known apologists” without “a decent response”, on a philosophical topic that you yourself seemed to have trouble with. Oh well…

    “… and were reduced to quoting ggodat to bolster your argument…”

    You keep going back to ggodat, when the fact is, even leaving him aside, you have J. W. Wartick, Josh, Rhology, amongst others, calling you dishonest based on your arguments WELL BEFORE I ever did. And I’m sure you have a defence for that as well, don’t you?

    “… is laughable, which is why the only response I have for you is laughter and derision. And yes, you calling someone else ignorant is hilarious.”

    Actually, the above comment says more about you than it does about me. And here comes the interesting bit. I am not going to laugh at you. Not one bit. You certainly do not faze me, for I have nothing to fear, and yet, I will withhold from according you the same disrespect, because that certainly wouldn’t bring glory to God.

    “That someone moves on to another thread after a certain number of posts is neither here nor there. If one was obligated to remain on one thread indefinitely before moving onto another, then one never would have the time to move on. So yes, time can still be a factor. Posting on the other thread may have been one of ‘the other things’ the person had to do.”

    Again, it seems your frustration with me isn’t allowing you to look at the situation objectively. The thread in question (https://noapologiesallowed.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/when-bad-excuses-go-bad/#comments) started on 5th September and Cedric Katesby disappeared after synapticcohesion’s question on the 6th, ONE DAY LATER. That hardly qualifies as having been on the thread “indefinitely”! And yet, in the 2 weeks that followed, he wrote something like 15 posts – numerous, LENGTHY diatribes – on another thread (https://noapologiesallowed.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/qwerky-quotes-for-the-inquisitive-bill-nye/#comments), during which time I even reminded him of the question he evaded. And yet we’re to believe that he couldn’t post 2 or 3 short lines in response to synapticcohesion’s question, when he could afford over 500 lines on the other thread.

    I am sorry, but on the weight of the evidence, it’s definitely not the case that Cedric Katesby “just had other things to do.” Since we’re deadlocked on this, how about we leave your suggestion and mine on the table, for any neutrals out there to compare and decide which is more plausible, and makes sense in light of the evidence?

    I hope that I have given you plenty to think about. And as mentioned, this is the last time I am going to address that episode with you. The past does not in any way indicate that you’re incapable of honest debating in the future, and I am willing to give you the full benefit of the doubt with that. In fact, I intend to further discussion with you on other topics (some which are ongoing as well). I have long put that episode behind me. It’s time you do the same. Cheers. =)

    Like

    • “It’s clear that I seem to have gotten under your skin”

      Says the man cyberstalking me in a mass failed-ad hominem attempt… I’m afraid that’s as far as I got in your long post, as I’ve wasted enough time on you. Hope you had fun typing it though.

      Like

  17. And sorry Josh, but that the Time story you link to seems to completely back me up:

    “Prosecutors successfully argued that Lawrence said only that anti-sodomy laws bore no rational relationship to a legitimate state interest — the lowest of Constitutional barriers. Agreeing, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that state interests in preventing incest — even among adults or step-relations — were perfectly legitimate.”

    If someone wants to defend a law, such as one against incest, then they DO need to offer decent reasons for it. If defendants cannot offer decent reasons then the law doesn’t deserve to stand. And the defences given so far are exactly the ones I would give myself, and it seems like they’re standing. Yes, the system appears to be working as well as ever. If a particular low gets overturned, then it will (or at least should) be down to decent reasons not being offered to retain it – nothing to do with previous rulings allowing gay marriage or inter-racial marriage or whatever, all of which stand apart from that and each other. The reasons we have against incest remain the same as they did 30 years ago or 60 years ago. A final point – I’m pretty sure cousins marrying has been legal in several US states for a century or two.

    Like

    • That wasn’t the point, though you made a great one. The idea was that the topic of gay marriage is bringing into question marriage in general (what it means) and legal rights to marriage (who has them) in the public arena. Not too many people are discussing Oedipus on CNN. If you find them doing it, let me know.

      Joshua

      Like

      • “The idea was that the topic of gay marriage is bringing into question marriage in general”

        You’ve not demonstrated that incest has become more accepted by the general public or by the legal system, or that incest has become more wide-spread, or even that it is being more discussed now than ten or twenty years ago. All you’ve shown is that some perpetrators of incest and their lawyers have attempted to piggy back on the success of the gay rights lobby without actually putting any of the same work in to defend their case.

        So in short: criminals and their lawyers attempt to use bad arguments to get off the hook and they fail; CNN considers this newsworthy and so do you.

        Like

      • Well, I’m not going to pollute my blog with links to evidence for the expanded acceptance of abnormal, immoral sexual behaviors. You’ve got the Internet.

        But I will post an article. Read the last paragraph here and then try to maintain your position: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/020422/archive_020643.htm In fact, let me quote it here:

        Here’s an example of the terrain change. For more than 20 years, pedophile advocate Tom O’Carroll has been a stigmatized outsider. Now he has been invited to address an international sex convention in Paris on the subject of privacy rights of pedophiles and their child partners (or targets). His pro-pedophilia book is on a course list at Cambridge University. O’Carroll is surprised and delighted by his new stature and thinks the Rind study brought it about. Intellectually respectable pedophilia? What’s next?

        (Feel free to reference the Rind Study, too.)

        And here’s one more for your consideration:

        Cradle-to-grave intimacy: Some researchers openly argue that ‘everything goes’ for children

        No doubt you’ll grab the opportunity to point out that the links above are not specifically about incest. Well, they do mention it. But the idea that I’ve been trying to get you to see is that public and professional attitudes towards marriage and sexual behavior are changing, whether it’s incest, pedophilia, or any other abnormal, immoral sexual behavior.

        There’s a reason the slope is described as “slippery.” It’s slow, incremental change, not a straight drop.

        Joshua

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  18. “No doubt you’ll grab the opportunity to point out that the links above are not specifically about incest.”

    No, I’ll take the opportunity to say that – again – there’s nothing there that links with any arguments for gay marriage. The people quoted make their arguments; whether you agree with their arguments or not, they stand on their own – none of the arguments have anything to do with gay marriage, or depend on gay marriage being allowed or not allowed.

    As far as a slippery slope to earlier and earlier sexualisation of children is concerned, if anything it appears to be moving in the other direction, historically. A hundred or so years ago the legal marriageable age in many states was 12 or 13. In the 17th Century we have examples of Americans marrying at 9 or possibly younger.

    And lol at the description in that link of someone as a ‘militant homosexual’. As soon as I read that I thought “Ah, this is a religious website”. At least since the repeal of DADT ‘militant’ gays no longer have to lie about their sexuality while they’re fighting and dying to defend the same freedoms that chickens back home seek to deny them.

    I’m about done reading up on your links – none of them advance your argument, and they’re pretty much wasting my time.

    Like

    • “As far as a slippery slope to earlier and earlier sexualisation of children is concerned, if anything it appears to be moving in the other direction, historically. A hundred or so years ago the legal marriageable age in many states was 12 or 13. In the 17th Century we have examples of Americans marrying at 9 or possibly younger.”

      Lol–can you provide some documented evidence of this?

      >>Edith was probably about 18 years old. I’ve heard that the average age when people get married has increased a lot over the years. Until I did a little research I assumed that 18 probably was a fairly typical marriage age a hundred years ago.

      I was surprised to learn that in 1910 the median age at first marriage was 21.6 for females and 25.1 for males.

      The median marriage age steadily decreased until the middle of the 20th century. In 1950, it was 20.3 for females and 22.8 for males.

      The trend then reversed and by 2007, it had increased to 25.0 for females and 26.7 for males–and preliminary estimates for 2010 suggest that it has continued to climb to about 26 for females and 28 for males.<<

      http://ahundredyearsago.com/2011/03/22/hoping-for-a-wedding-invitation/

      This person actually did their research. How about you?

      Like

      • Solid points.

        I thought it was an interesting claim there that Andy made. It seems as if we’re required to provide links and evidence for our statements (I was called out earlier in the thread for not providing evidence for a claim), but the opposition feels no need for references (they don’t have any trouble accessing YouTube). (By the way, there’s a large, disproportionate ratio of links among the two sides.)

        Andy is pretty decent. Maybe he’ll give us a reference. Or he, like many others, may just say “google it”.

        Joshua

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      • Yeah I’ve seen many photos from more than 100 years ago and all of the wives and mothers look like grown women to me. In fact many look (and many probably were) older than a lot of mothers today. As your latest comic points out, there is the Big Lie that everything is getter better. Lifespans are longer than ever, we’re freer and more enlightened than ever, etc. That is all BS. Lifespans are SHORTER than ever. I’m sure we all know people who died a lot sooner than they should have–it’s all to common these days. And many children are afflicted with diseases that you only see in the middle aged and the elderly in previous generations. And this degeneration only happened in couple of generations. Thus the much longer lifespans thousands of years ago as mentioned in the Bible make sense. We are degenerating and devolving–in more ways than one.

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      • Some other forms of degeneration come from reality TV. First example is a reality show where a well-known judge “mentors” his singers for a competition. One of his singers is a 12-year-old girl who looks 9. He had her sing the song, “Satisfaction.” If remember correctly, this was a song that garnered attention because (I think it was Ed Sullivan) thought that they song was inappropriate for his show because the the song meant. Fast forward almost 50 years later, and you have a CHILD singing the song in a singing contest.

        A similarly disturbing example is another show that had children (raging from about 6 to 10) singing a Lady Gaga song. Instead of singing a song about “world peace,” they were singing a song with the following lyrics:

        “There ain’t no reason you and me should be alone tonight Yeah baby, tonight, yeah baby
        I got a reason that you
        Who should take me home tonight

        I need a man that thinks it’s right when it’s all wrong tonight Yeah baby, tonight, yeah baby
        Right on the limb is where we know
        We both belong tonight…

        …I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge
        The edge, the edge, the edge…”

        All you had to was observe the “the edge” chorus repeated over again by CHILDREN to know that something wasn’t right.

        I have to wonder sometimes in were are living in a world of such desensitized zombies that they media can get away with anything these days–and it doesn’t have to be on a subliminal level anymore.

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    • I’m about done reading up on your links – none of them advance your argument, and they’re pretty much wasting my time.

      Well, you’ve missed the point three times, so you should’ve given up sooner. Besides, I noticed you had nothing to say on the paragraph I quoted, which was evidence for my point. What was my point? That public and professional attitudes towards marriage and sexual behavior are changing (and for the worse).

      Joshua

      Like

      • “That public and professional attitudes towards marriage and sexual behavior are changing”

        You’ve not demonstrated that either. Where’s your evidence from the public, or indeed any professionals? You at best offered a few anecdotes of incest perpetrators and their lawyers, with no evidence that cases were on the up. I work in the media – sometimes there’ll be a spate of ‘Dog bites child’ stories, giving the impression that it’s dramatically on the rise. It always turns out that it’s just an increase in reporting of incidences. Where’s your data?

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  19. Nice bait and switch – I talked about how previous generations allowed girls of 12 and younger to marry, you respond with average marriage ages. So you’re fine with 12-year-olds marrying as long as there are older women marrying too to keep the average age up? Of course not – you completely avoided the point I was making, which yes, still stands.

    And yes, I did my research. Look up historical marrying ages for the US. Unless you can tell me it’s not been lower than it is now, then you’re not refuting my point.

    Like

  20. “Some other forms of degeneration come from reality TV”

    Yes, I think there’s too much sexualisation on TV, especially of kids. But I remember being perturbed over 15 years ago by a bunch of kids on TV singing a Spice Girls song with lyrics just as explicit as the Lady Gaga song. Reality TV shows are an awful recent development indeed. And I don’t even think they should involve children anyway, regardless of whether they’re being sexualised or not – it’s too much pressure for young shoulders.

    So I agree with you there. But I don’t see any connection there with allowing gays to marry. You might as well blame the sexualisation of children on OPPOSITION to gay marriage, for all the connection there is.

    Like

  21. “Yeah I’ve seen many photos from more than 100 years ago and all of the wives and mothers look like grown women to me”

    How scientific! And I’ve not seen any underage girls having sex recently, therefore pedophilia doesn’t exist!

    Sarcasm aside, I don’t see why it’s lazy to say ‘google it’. If you make a claim that I dispute, I automatically search to find evidence first rather than just claim the other person is wrong. If it IS easy to google, why not just look it up? If nothing else, you might save yourself looking silly – if it’s so easy to check whether you’re right or not, why not do so before claiming the other person is wrong?

    As it happens, it really doesn’t take long to find evidence of earlier far younger marriage ages of consent. I thought it was pretty much common knowledge actually – eg it’s well known that Shakespeare’s Juliet is supposed to be just 13 – such that I was surprised to hear you trying to score a point by denying it. And if you took the time to look up irrelevant median marriageable ages, I don’t see why you couldn’t have just looked up the actual relevant information – historical legal marriageable ages.

    Anyway, here you go:
    http://www.faqs.org/childhood/A-Ar/Age-of-Consent.html

    “When historian Magnus Hirschfeld surveyed the age of consent of some fifty countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas) at the beginning of the twentieth century, the age of consent was twelve in fifteen countries, thirteen in seven, fourteen in five, fifteen in four, and sixteen in five. In the remaining countries it remained unclear. In England and the United States, feminist agitation in the late nineteenth century called attention to the young age of consent and called for changes in the law. By the 1920s the age of consent, a state issue in the United States, was raised in every state and ranged from fourteen to eighteen, with most states settling on sixteen or eighteen.”

    Note, that as late as the 1920s the age was RAISED to the age of 14. That means it was at the very least 14 before, and quite possibly lower. And that’s less that 100 years ago, regardless of what photos Synapt thinks he’s seen, or how old he reckons they all look. And by the way “She looked older than 14!” is not a legal defence Synapt! Interesting also that ‘Feminist agitation’ is credited for the rise. Normally the apologists are blaming the feminists (or ‘feminazis’) for all sorts of terrible things.

    Anyway, looking earlier, from the same link, we find younger ages still:

    “The age of consent in both English and continental law seemed to be particularly elastic when property was involved or family alliances were at stake. For example in 1564, a three year old named John was married to a two year old named Jane in the Bishop’s Court in Chester, England. Though Shakespeare set his Romeo and Juliet in Verona, the fact that Juliet was thirteen probably reflects the reality in England. Her mother, who was twenty-six, calls her almost an old maid.

    The American colonies followed the English tradition but the law could at best be called a guide. For example in Virginia in 1689, Mary Hathaway was only nine when she was married to William Williams. We know of her case only because two years later she sued for divorce, and was released from the covenant she had made because the marriage had not been consummated. Interestingly, historian Holly Brewer, who discovered the case, speculated that if William had raped Mary, she probably would not have been given the divorce.”

    Like

    • What you showed me as evidence is still a far cry from your claim that just 100 years ago in the US, 12-year-olds were married. I knew that was false. Yes, there were a lot of arranged marriages–even between babies. But these marriages were obviously not “true” marriages until much later in life. Not only were they not consummated, the children lived at home with their parents until they were of adult age. I’m not surprised that 14 used to be the legal age in many states. Though I don’t think 14 is an adult, you are not a child at that age either.

      Let’s review what you said:

      “As far as a slippery slope to earlier and earlier sexualisation of children is concerned, if anything it appears to be moving in the other direction, historically. A hundred or so years ago the legal marriageable age in many states was 12 or 13. In the 17th Century we have examples of Americans marrying at 9 or possibly younger.”

      I think the biggest flaw in your statement is that you are treating arranged marriages (contracts) between families as being the same as non-arranged marriages. It had nothing to do with the sexualization of children–it was about preparing future familial connections ahead of time.

      Like

      • “I don’t because animals and children are NEVER able to give consent”

        Right, so you actually agree with me then. You make leading you through a chain of reasoning very hard – when I cited inability to consent as a good reason to oppose pedophilia and bestiality, you acted like this was a poor reason. It is an ESSENTIAL reason to oppose them. Now, when I pick you up on how low you seem to value consent, you admit you agree with me that they can never give consent!

        And as for your ‘I presume those stats are correct’ – you don’t have to presume, you can very easily check. Either check or simply trust me, I don’t care which. But why bother saying ‘I presume they’re correct’. I’ve got the truth on my side, I don’t need to make stuff up.

        You can come up with alternative reasons for Europe’s lower teen birth rates, but it certainly works against your hypothesis that younger sex ed is damaging to the kids – Europe is an example of younger sex ed, and the problems you predict haven’t happened. It hardly supports your theory, anyway. It’s hardly surprising that teens who understand birth control are getting pregnant less than those who don’t.

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      • “Now, when I pick you up on how low you seem to value consent, you admit you agree with me that they can never give consent!”

        Yeah don’t try to twist my words. You know I wasn’t “devaluing consent” for animals and children. I was saying that YOU were creating leeway for future pedophiles who can point towards children being “informed” in schools–if “informed consent” is all you require. That is disturbing. I believe that that is not even the issue as even if children are given “information” so that they are “informed” that is beside the issue. Why create a clause, an opening that pedophiles can take advantage of? You said “informed consent,” I didn’t. You even even went on to say that children that are 4 and 5 should be “informed” (when I was criticizing the idea) about safe sex in schools. And you say, for now, children (and animals) are off limits because–and only because–of their current lack of there being able to give INFORMED consent. Again…very disturbing.

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      • Since you cannot be honest and have to twist people’s words, let’s make it very clear:

        Andrew believes that “informed consent” it what stands between adults being able to have relations with animals and children.

        I, on the other hand, believe that “informed consent” should not even be USED to possibly JUSTIFY or rationalize the situation. The more obvious reasons that (most) people object is that it is morally wrong, abhorrent, sick, abusive, and evil. You avoid saying these words because you are a moral relativist who is open to rationalizing and accepting anything–as long as there is some sort of supposed “logic” or justification behind it. Your saying that abusing children is only objectionable because they are not “informed” or inform-able is like saying that poisoning someone’s food is only objectionable because the victim is not being “informed” and is unable to consent. NO, that misses the point–it is objectionable for much more IMPORTANT REASONS. If you cannot understand that, then you have proven my point.

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      • “In short, when did I ever imply that ‘cannot’ referred in this case to some imperment situation?”

        This sentence makes absolutely no sense. What were you trying to say? I think your translator broke down.

        And you did not simply say “consent,” you said “informed consent.” You do realize that the two are very different–one is never being able to “consent” while the latter is based on not receiving information. Something that you wish to “remedy” in the school system.

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      • And since you completely missed the point once again, let me clarify: by creating an “informed consent” requirement, you are leaving open a window of opportunity for those who can claim that if children are well “informed” (as in a school setting), they will be able to give the required “informed” consent.

        As for you links to ages of consent in history, you had provided some good sources, including an older one that can actually be considered a primary source. But I think that even back then (despite the allowable ages of consent in many states), it was taboo for most–which is why, even 100 years ago, the median ages for marriage was the early 20’s for both men and women.

        Some of the authors of sources you provided claim that ages of “consent” back then referred to sexual relations, but I disagree. I think ages of consent was specifically referring to being able to enter a marriage contract. Either way, it’s no less disturbing to see such low allowable ages listed in, for example, Medieval Europe.

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      • “Also, I’m pretty sure the evidence is against the idea that pedophilia is an engrained ‘from birth’ syndrome, rather than a pathology, unlike homosexuality and left-handed ness.”

        LOL! You call left-handedness a “pathology,” but homosexuality is “normal?” How does this work? Although I would not describe homosexuality (nor left-handedness) as a “pathology,” it is not normal, but rather a disorder. Even in nature, especially if it was observed in endangered species, this would be seen as a disorder to be concerned about–not to dismiss as “natural.” When you take your instinctual reproductive proclivities and urges create and perpetuate the species and instead choose to avoid the opposite sex (heterophobia) in favor of same-sex orifices used as a pseudo-vagina to relive your natural urges–that is clearly a disorder. Whether there are biological, psychological, or a combination of both factors behind this–it IS a disorder. To claim that this is more natural than being left-handed is simply ridiculous and you need to elaborate on that claim.

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      • And have you seen those that hung around with Michael Jackson as children? Many of them are now homosexual, so that seems to be indicative of the fact that homosexuality is not always “innate” as you claim. It can be “learned” via child abuse.

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      • “You also point out that I in fact said ‘informed consent’ rather than simply ‘consent’. You act as if this leaves more wiggle room for the hopeful pedo or bestialist.”

        It sure does. One says that they cannot give consent NO MATTER WHAT (no rationalizations or explanations required), the other claims that information/being “informed” is what stands between legitimizing such acts.

        But that’s ok–I trust you when you say that no type of consent is acceptable. :|

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      • “…you’ve asserted yourself that the purpose of marriage is procreation”

        No I didn’t. But that is the motivating factor behind why marriage was created. There are those who don’t want or cannot have children but marry in order to commit to one another. That doesn’t negate the fact of why marriages between men and women were created in the first place–and it wasn’t out of discrimination. Nor are governments providing tax incentives to married couples (due to the presumption of a continual production of future tax payers from most married couples) an example of discrimination to those who are single and/or not male-female.

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      • What do you think, Joshua? Do you think that homosexuality innate like being left-handed? And are there others alternative forms sexuality that you consider to be possibly innate?

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      • ““That doesn’t negate the fact of why marriages between men and women were created in the first place–and it wasn’t out of discrimination”

        Who claimed that it was? What difference does it make to deciding whether to allow gays to marry. You even admit that we allow straight couples to marry who cannot have kids, so how is your (undemonstrated) assertion about the original purpose of marriage even relevant?”

        You claimed it was. Anyone claiming that this is “discrimination” and a “civil rights” issue is. Marriage should not be altered, period. It should not be changed to allow those who want “open” marriages, it should not be changed to allow multiple spouses, etc.–it should retain it’s original meaning which is a sacred bond between a man and woman. People are free to make their own choices and they can have open relationships or any other type of relationships–they just don’t get married! Simple as that.

        Other sacred traditions are not redefined because it is SACRED and DISRESPECTFUL to people’s beliefs and their traditional ways of life. That is no different from a colonialist who forces the indigenous peoples to change their traditions to suit the desires and mindset of the colonialist. Have respect. Again, why is it so hard to create your OWN type of ceremonies and traditions? What’s wrong with civil unions that are already available? It is about what marriage has already been established as being–not about the arrogant stepping in and saying that they don’t like it and that it must be changed because it does not conform to their desires. Yes if you want even more dysfunction in the world, then change it.

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  22. “What you showed me as evidence is still a far cry from your claim that just 100 years ago in the US, 12-year-olds were married. I knew that was false.”

    You’ve yet to show that it’s false rather than simply assert it. I showed that in the 1920s ages were raised, and after that the LOWEST age was 14 in some states. In fact, to this DAY in New Hampshire: ” Individuals under the age of 18 may not marry in New Hampshire without parental approval and a judicial waiver. Brides must be at least 13 years of age and grooms must be at least 14 years of age before their parents can apply for a judicial waiver.”

    You’ve provided no evidence at all. All you’ve offered so far is saying you’ve seen some old photos of married women looking like adults, and some stats on median marriage ages.

    “Not only were they not consummated”

    Where’s your evidence for that?

    Let’s go back to my claim, which was, as you quote: “As far as a slippery slope to earlier and earlier sexualisation of children is concerned, if anything it appears to be moving in the other direction, historically”

    So let’s look at some historical age of consent laws, comparing 1880, 1920 and 2007. You’ll notice that the great majority move to higher ages as time progresses, and very very few move to lower ages between 1920 and 2007.
    http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/230?section=primarysources&source=24

    In the US in particular you can see it was the age of ten in most states in 1880, and no higher than 12. Delaware pegs it at SEVEN. Do you count 7, 10 and 12 as still a child?

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  23. “Did you ever consider that the Delaware age of consent number might be a typo?”

    Josh, you have both several times called into question my claims. Now you’re claiming possible typo! You are clutching at straws.

    “I’m not saying it’s absolutely the wrong number, but it could be”

    But you’ve found nothing to negate my claim that the age of consent used to be age 10-12 in the majority of states? Any closer to conceding the point then?

    First you question the facts, then, when the facts are presented, you start coming up with excuses like changing life expectancy (you didn’t offer those excuses before, you simply denied my claims). So worse past life expectancy negates my point that age of consent has historically been moving up?

    “I thought religion, especially Christianity, poisoned everything”

    Is that strawman you trying to change the subject? I guess that’s the closest you’ll going to come to conceding the point. And yeah, and I thought that those meddlesome campaigners for women’s rights were supposedly poisoning everything too.

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    • RE: Online Sources

      Andy, I merely asked a reasonable question. Where’s your skepticism? When I find many sources referring to the same, single ONLINE source for a claim, I immediately get suspicious. As I’ve mentioned to you before and you yourself know, anyone who has done a research paper knows that an online source should be referenced with extreme care (printed sources are always preferred). That is also why I attached the caveat that I wasn’t saying it was wrong. But something that we both find so objectionable should be verified first before we get into a hussy fit. Besides, people do make typos. As an editor yourself, surely you’d admit that.

      But you have done the commendable thing and provided a second verification / witness to the number, which I now accept. Thank you. (That was the goal in asking the question.)

      RE: Age of Consent

      I didn’t have any contention with that ages recorded there. Nevertheless, whether or not the law said it was 7, such a law would be unjust and wrong, in 1880 or now. But to say that because things have improved on paper means proves that things have improved in reality is a denial of reality. Lots of things have improved on paper. But there is arguable more slavery, more kidnapping, more sex slaves on Earth now than at any other time in history.

      RE: Misconstrued Questions

      Again, you really need to try to stop reading comments half-cocked and so self-assured. Usually, you ignore / don’t respond to my questions. Then this time when you read them, you misconstrue them as “excuses”. They were not. That is just your gross misinterpretation of the point of my questions. The truth be told, the reason I never asked those questions before is because I hadn’t thought of them before. And, like it or not, honest inquiry requires that we each weigh opinions / justifications / excuses for a given position — but we have to know them first.

      RE: Strawman Arguments

      Another “is that a strawman” claim, Andy? I think if I did a search in the comments sections, the thousand times “strawman” is mentioned would likely mostly be in your posts. If you’re going to use philosophical terminology, try to use it correctly and reservedly. I wasn’t trying to make an argument by mentioning the Christian organization that was behind the push to raise the age of consent. It was a side note, which is why it was in parentheses. And my point was that it was a Christian organization that was fighting for protection of young girls and women. I guess I could just refer to your “meddlesome campaigners for women’s rights” as a strawman and think that I’ve proven something?

      Joshua

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  24. And your ‘typo’ suggestion is wrong, Josh. Here’s a NY Times article from 1895 that clearly spells it out in words (as in ‘seven’).
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B01EEDC113AE533A25756C1A9669D94649ED7CF

    By the way, I can see why you hate being told to google stuff – your google-fu isn’t very good. The above contemporaneous piece of evidence did not take me long to find. You’re very keen on simply dismissing the claims of others, you’re not very conscientious in actually doing the leg-work to back it up. If you’re going to say people are wrong, it’s polite to do at least a cursory check first.

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    • As I said in my other comment, you’ve done the commendable thing and provided a second source to verify the information in the first. That’s great and I commend you.

      You can insult my Google skills if you’d like, but I know it is probably an insult from ignorance. Did you know that Google search results differ depending on the location of the user (i.e. it localizes the search results)? Here’s a quote:

      Google will always provide the results that we believe are most relevant to your search. Location is one of a number of factors that we use to provide these relevant results.

      You can verify it here: Location

      I know these facts probably won’t mean much to you, but here’s the reality: I live in the Far East so my search results likely differ from yours, maybe greatly. In fact, most of the results are in Mandarin, even if I type in English!

      So, please come down off your intellectual high horse now and join the rest of us human beings.

      Joshua

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  25. ” And you say, for now, children (and animals) are off limits because–and only because–of their current lack of there being able to give INFORMED consent. Again…very disturbing.”

    When was I creating leeway? When was I saying this may change in the future? I said they cannot give consent, you said they can never give consent – I could easily have used the same words as you. If your point rests on me saying cannot rather than never then again, you are clutching at straws. Why not just clarify and ask me if I was leaving the door open for future change. I’d have said no.

    This should not be hard to parse, though if English is not your first language then I guess that might excuse it. If someone says “You cannot build a perpetual motion machine”, would you think they know nothing about physics, because the truth is that you can NEVER build one, or would you reckon that’s actually what they meant?

    In short, when did I ever imply that ‘cannot’ referred in this case to some imperment situation? Just ask if you want to clarify my position. Especially when you’re talking about child abuse and pedophilia!

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  26. “Andrew believes… I, on the other hand, believe that “informed consent” should not even be USED to possibly JUSTIFY or rationalize the situation. ”

    You make it sound like I disagree with that proposition. My position is that informed consent CANNOT be used to justify it, as animals and children giving informed consent is impossible. It’s like claiming you found a square circle.

    You say that’s not why most people object to those practices, and instead it’s because it’s morally wrong. Again, you are baselessly implying that I do not think it’s morally wrong. I think it’s morally wrong BECAUSE they cannot (ever!) give consent. There may be other reasons too, but that is certainly a sufficient one. Now, either that’s a good reason or it isn’t, in your opinion. If it is NOT, then I’m afraid that implies ou don’t value the importance of consent – and I know you do. So I don’t know why you’re objecting.

    You then call me a moral relativist. Cite please.

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  27. ” Usually, you ignore / don’t respond to my questions”

    I keep up with them best as I can – I’ve answered dozens and when i notice one you insist you’ve asked several times, I’ll always try to address it.

    Regarding my scepticism, I don’t pull stuff out the air then search for a single web page to back it up. My consent claim was based on a book I read that included MANY references. It detailed the rise in age of consent, including the temperence group. By necessity online I can only offer online sources.

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      • Negotiating Power in Early Modern Society, edited by Michael J Braddick and John Walter
        Delinquent Daughters, by history professor Mary E Odem
        The Progressive Era’s Health Reform Movement, by Ruth C Engs.

        The latter two both confirm the Delaware age of seven.

        Further, Shaw and History, edited by Gale K Larson, points out that the US’s lower age of consent led to a traffic in teenage prostitution, since Europe had a higher age.

        I’ve got others, but that should be enough.

        Can I ask what research either of you two did before saying I was wrong?

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      • Andrea Barham’s book The Pedant’s Return is a more recent book that covers the subject.
        ISBN 1-84317-216-X
        Look from page 134 onwards.

        I think that’s enough references from me.

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  28. “What was the average life expectancy of men and women in 1880? Does it have any bearing on this discussion? Why or why not?”

    No I don’t think it does. Even if everyone died at 30, I wouldn’t expect an age of consent of ten to be seen as more acceptable. Perhaps if puberty occurred earlier it might make sense, but simply dying younger? No, I don’t see why that would follow. And after all, it wasn’t increasing longevity that changed the law. As you point out, the AofC jumped up, it didn’t creep up as longevity improved.

    As a side point, the trend appears to be for puberty to be occurring younger, not older. Kids really do seem to grow up earlier nowadays – physically anyway.

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  29. Me: ““In short, when did I ever imply that ‘cannot’ referred in this case to some imperment situation?”

    Synapt: “This sentence makes absolutely no sense. What were you trying to say? I think your translator broke down.”

    It makes perfect sense, but I’m happy to explain it in different words, since you asked so nicely [ !] . I used the word ‘cannot’ to refer to children and animals’ ability to give consent. There was nothing in what I said to suggest this was ‘impermanent’, ie a situation I was saying was true now, but might not be true later. I could easily have used the word ‘never’ rather than ‘cannot’.

    You also point out that I in fact said ‘informed consent’ rather than simply ‘consent’. You act as if this leaves more wiggle room for the hopeful pedo or bestialist. Simple logic should tell you that modifying the term here actually NARROWS the set – ‘informed consent’ is a SUB-set of ‘consent’. By modifying the term with the specification that it must be informed, I am ruling out someone counting an under-age ‘yes’ as consent.

    And no, a child cannot give informed consent – and to clarify here – not EVER*. I hold that position, and I believe you do too, so I don’t get your objection.

    *neither can my hamster, no matter how much you think it is giving you the eye.

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  30. Synaptic, you dispute that age of consent referred to sexual consent rather than marriage age. Several problems with this claim. First, you offer no evidence for this claim. Second, in an era when it was impossible to charge a husband with rape, early ages of consent left younger women very vulnerable to forced sex. Third, you’ve asserted yourself that the purpose of marriage is procreation, so it’s slippery for you to now act like an age of consent was on the one hand just about marriage but at the same time nothing to do with procreation.

    And finally, your claim that age of consent referred only to marriageable age is a little hard to square with the what I posted earlier from a book:
    “Further, Shaw and History, edited by Gale K Larson, points out that the US’s lower age of consent led to a traffic in teenage prostitution, since Europe had a higher age.”

    Regarding me originally referring to historical consent ages to counter the idea that all progress regarding our sexual laws and attitudes have been in the wrong direction, and you trying to shoot down this claim, answer me this:
    If they changed the laws tomorrow and both allowed marriage at ten and removed wives ability to charge their husbands with rape, would you claim this was a step in the wrong direction?

    I’ll take a guess that both you and Josh would say no.

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  31. “It figures that a hamster would be you “pet” of choice. ;)”

    Ha, that was a joke. I have no pets. Two kids keep me busy enough!

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  32. “I don’t consider homosexual behavior or attraction innate.”

    Do you consider heterosexual attraction to be innate? It was for me. I certainly have no choice in the matter. Perhaps those who consider it a choice are actually bisexual.

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  33. “That doesn’t negate the fact of why marriages between men and women were created in the first place–and it wasn’t out of discrimination”

    Who claimed that it was? What difference does it make to deciding whether to allow gays to marry. You even admit that we allow straight couples to marry who cannot have kids, so how is your (undemonstrated) assertion about the original purpose of marriage even relevant?

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  34. “You claimed it was. Anyone claiming that this is “discrimination” and a “civil rights” issue is.”

    Nonsense. I can say that a law discriminates without claiming “marriages between men and women were created in the first place out of discrimination””

    I can claim a law has a side effect without claiming the side-effect was the original intention.

    And if you’re happy with civil unions, you have one instead of getting married. This reminds me of “Black people are quite welcome to sit at the back of the bus”. Alternatively, you can have your traditional marriage – no-one’s stopping you. As for open marriages, I don’t really get the connection, but I don’t believe there’s any current law against married people agreeing with each other to sleep with other people. To prevent it you’d need one of those ‘changes to the law’ that you seem to hate so much.

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  35. By the way, I’m not going to scroll up the screen to find your posts any longer. Post them at the bottom if you want me to see them.

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  36. “As for open marriages, I don’t really get the connection, but I don’t believe there’s any current law against married people agreeing with each other to sleep with other people.”

    They are “discriminated against” when it comes to court cases. The courts do not favor spouses that “cheat” or sleep around–they favor the spouse making the accusations (as long as they have the evidence to back up their accusations).

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    • Which brings me to another important point: if gay males were to “marry” en masse, how would you deal with this issue in court when both spouses would likely to multiple partners? Who would “win” these cases? Wouldn’t the whole idea of favoring the spouse who keep their vows and did not sleep around have to be done away with as a result? Women are usually favored when it comes to child custody for the obvious reasons. That is not even an option for a gay male custody case. How would this affect future custody cases for everyone?

      You have children, Andy so be honest: If you were new in town and needed to hire a baby sitter, and your two options were pretty much equal in ever way except that one was a man and one was a woman, who would you choose?

      Like

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