My Brain and This Other Guy
On occasion, I’ll read comments. Dumb? Yes. But amusing in that I’ll often stumble upon ‘Old Me’, going on about something he knows. Here’s what he had to say today, followed by my brain’s responses.
We interrupt a heated debate on the topics of homosexuals, marriage, the mormon church, etc., Somebody says mormons support legislation to bar homosexuals from marrying, and for no reason than their own religious beliefs. ‘This other guy’ has been active on this thread. He sure has a lot to say…
This Other Guy: No reason except their own religious beliefs? Are you sure of that? What evidence do you have to support that?
Brain weighs in: This guy is always demanding evidence that gays should be able to get married, it doesn’t hurt anyone, etc. I wonder if he has the bulletproof evidence to support all his claims that gay marriage should be outlawed? You know, concrete evidence that can’t be disproved by anyone. Until he does, isn’t all his belief the same kind of speculation?
This Other Guy: Throughout history and across cultures, marriage has been heterosexual.
Brain: Does an appeal to how things were historically mean that things can’t or shouldn’t change? And if he makes the statement, can he back it up with concrete evidence? I see the claim, but no evidence.
This Other Guy: Indeed, the very term “matrimony” reduced to its Latin roots means “the act of mothering.” Matr = mother. Mony = act of.
Brain: That’s nice that a word means something. Words change, definitions change, everything changes. If we want the definition of a word to change, can’t we change it?
This Other Guy: So, really, what is going on here is a radical redefinition of marriage,…
Brain: Heterosexual couples are under no obligation to redefine their marriages. They can still have a marriage between a man and a woman, under god if they are so inclined. If “marriage” is the word he wants to keep, then it would have to be redefined to include all those who claim it. Note, the WORD would have to be redefined, not what it means to the couple personally. To me and my wife personally, marriage means what we have together. I imagine any couple of any orientation wants to say the same?
This Other Guy: …to orient marriage away from the family…
Brain: Wait a second Guy, please prove that all homosexuals want to marry so they can orient marriage away from the family. I just don’t see that that is what’s happening. I’m seeing them desiring marriage so their relationships can be legitimized legally. They already have families and are raising kids. I don’t see homosexuals saying that they want to do away with families. You may not agree with their lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean what they have isn’t a family.
This Other Guy: …and to define it as some sort of public contract between two individuals manifesting their shared love for each other.
Brain: Guy, are you implying that all homosexuals want is to enter into a public contract to manifest their love for one another? I’m sure that’s part of it, but they also want their families to be legitimized under the law. Currently, the piece of paper called a marriage certificate is what will allow them to do that. And I guess if they want it to be a private affair, so be it.
Also, do not heterosexual couples admit that this component of a contract to manifest their love towards one another is at least a part of their marriages too? If not, how is a heterosexual’s union defined? A private contract between two individuals to NOT show love to one another? An understanding that they’re now obligated to have kids one day, love not involved?
This Other Guy: If that is all marriage is, why on earth do we need government to “bless” two individuals’ love for each other?
Brain: I’d say we don’t, but that’s how our laws are set up at the moment.
This Other Guy: If that’s what marriage is, it is among the silliest institutions man has concocted.
Brain: Errr…how exactly is it silly?
This Other Guy: However, marriage is far more than some public recognition of some deep sexual attraction that two individuals may have for each other.
My Brain: Are you implying that the only aspect of homosexual love is sexual attraction? Really, you’re going to look them in the face and tell them that they’re only sexually attracted to one another, but don’t experience whatever “real” love you have for your spouse? You’re right, marriage is more than a public recognition of sexual attraction. It’s a recognition of love, commitment, respect, honor, etc. Gays could just have sex with each other if they were only interested in recognizing their sexual attraction toward one another, just like heterosexual couples could.
This Other Guy: Marriage signifies the complementary relationship between males and females, both physiologically and psychologically.
Brain: Perhaps this is where you’d have to agree to disagree with homosexuals. If, to you, marriage signifies one type of relationship exclusively, and you claim to right to choose which type of relationship that is, based on an historical definition, then let’s agree that you are just one person with an opinion. You don’t represent anyone else. There exist many types of relationships, based on the wants and needs of the participating parties. You don’t get to tell them what marriage is. Your, ahem, pathetic appeal to an historical definition doesn’t change the fact that there are same sex couples out there that are being denied recognition under the law. If they want their union to be called a marriage, then so be it. Your heterosexual union can be called a marriage too. Are you so hung up on a definition of a word that you feel justified in denying legal recognition to relationships different from yours? You may say that if the word is such a minor affair, why can’t the gays use another word? The answer is because they get to define their relationships however they want. If they define it using the same word as you use for yours, then of what concern is it to you?
This Other Guy: Leaving that aside, what is problematic here is that modern society has reduced its meaning to its sexual experience.
Brain: Modern society has reduced the meaning of the word “marriage” to a sexual experience? Please prove it. Marriage to me isn’t synonymous with “sexual experience”. That may be true for homosexuals as well. Are you again hinting that homosexuality is just about sex, and the gays want the word marriage to signify just their sexual experiences with each other? Should you talk to some actual homosexuals and get their take on this?
This Other Guy: What gives people their most meaning in life is with whom do they have sex.
Brain: Maybe some people believe this, but please prove that this is what all homosexuals believe.
This Other Guy: Oh how far humanity has fallen. Where Descartes once observed “I think, therefore I am” we now define our existence as “I have sex (with [fill in the blank], therefore I am.”
Brain: Who is this we? Who, specifically, thinks this? But in fairness, the Descartes quote does lend an incredible amount of credibility to Guy’s argument…
This Other Guy: In other words, we minimize what makes us fundamentally human–our capacity for thought–by defining ourselves based solely on our sexual experience.
Brain: Are you applying this to homosexuals, or people in general? Are you saying that all homosexuals minimize thier capacity for thought, in favor of sexual experience? And what, this is your justification for denying them legal recognition?? Or are you just speaking hypothetically, to make your argument sound more convincing? And give us some more René, for goodness sakes!
This Other Guy: I’d love for you to respond. Please. I dare you.
Brain: Well, he seems like a likable guy.