I have always felt, or came to understand through debate, that an important component in Liberalism is the emotional lure of it’s arguments. By no means do I discredit experience, as it’s an important factor of understanding reality, but a political theory founded in emotional principles is weak at best.
I have engaged myself in various political debates where my proponent steeps themselves in an argument of emotion, and from this sandy foundation they try to develop a logical reasoning for their argument. I’ve found it my duty in these positions to expose that foundation in the hopes of removing the emotional presupposition and thus their designed argument.
Mind you, every liberal does not steep to this design of an argument, but the cases I’ve discovered are worth making the generalization. Again, I am not saying EVERY Liberal argues on this ground, but I would say the movement, intellectually bankrupt as it is, does.
I will use one discussion I had with a gay friend of mine to explain this point. It was on the dreadfully emotionally dangerous topic of Gay Marriage, which he wished to discuss after finding out I’m getting married and stating so was he. I will summarize the exchange with paraphrasing (just the ideas I could remember being exchanged):
Friend: Banning Gay marriage is unconstitutional. It’s like segregation, but on the grounds of sexual orientation. Are you telling me you don’t agree with the High Court’s decision in California?
Leonard O: Of course I don’t agree. Besides it being one of the most liberal courts, let me ask you something. Where in the Constitution does it say you or I have a right to get married?
Friend: I don’t know. It’s implied.
Leonard O: There is no constitutional right to marriage. As a High Court, you need to mainly see an issue in terms of it’s constitutionality. If there was an amendment to the constitution allowing gay marriage, then it would be different, but you cannot imply there is this ‘right’ when it is not written in it. The liberal court has enough problems understanding rights clearly spelled out (2nd Amendment), but they still have this terrible ability to interpret rights (Privacy). There is no right to Marriage, and as such, the People & States in the form of a legislature and the government have a right to define marriage, and it’s been defined as a Man and a Woman. The benefits are given to such so they can be in an environment that promotes children (aka future labor and tax payers). Let me ask you another question, after having explained there being no constitutional right for such. How is this like segregation?
Friend: They’re discriminating people.
Leonard O: Segregation was discrimination on race. This is not an issue of discriminating between race or gender.
Friend: Yeah, but why can’t I be able to marry? I’m discrimated on the basis of my sexual orientation.
Leonard O: You can get married. You have the same right as I do to marry a woman.
Friend: Thats not what I mean. Why can’t I marry the person I love? Why don’t I have that right, and the Benefits?
Leonard O: You can. Go to the United Church of Christ and you can have a huge ceremony and all. Occams Razor tells us “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”. Why make this situation so difficult when you can get many of those rights by merely writing wills and other options?
Friend: Yeah, but the government shouldn’t decide that only men and women can get married.
Leonard O: First, we have the same rights to marry, you just choose not to use them because of your orientation. Second, the government can define marriage. They have certain requirements for certain benefits. Not everyone is eligible for Medicaid, or Social Security benefits (we’re not being discriminated on age because we haven’t retired, but we still all have the right to those benefits when we do). Me and you have the same right to marry, you’re just asking for a ‘special right’.
Friend: What do you mean ‘special right’?
Leonard O: Well, say me and a best friend are living together. Say we apply for a marriage licence because we both want the healthcare benefits. Should the government give us marriage benefits?
Friend: No, because that’s not a loving relationship.
Leonard O: Wait, so in other words I’m being discriminated because of my sexual orientation of being straight, even though I would want to do the same thing as you and ‘marry’ another man. What you desire are ‘special rights’, bestowed on the basis of sexual orientation. In our original model, we both have a right to marry a woman (regardless of race, religion, etc). You had a problem with states & government defining marriage this way. Yet, your solution to this problem is to have government define marriage, just in the form of a loving relation? Whose to stop people, family, friends, polygamists, and others from asking of their government these benefits? Do you discriminate them? Your problem was that the government defined marriage, and your solution was for government to define marriage (just in this ‘in love’ concept). Don’t you see how this is logically problematic? How does the government discriminate one group and allow special rights to another? How does it define love? With that Occams Razor issue, why even go here when many of the things you desire can be solved through legal means (wills, etc)?
Friend: Yeah, but we should still have the right to get married.
Leonard O: Then move to a state that recognizes it, and don’t impose some ‘interpreted’ right upon society when it wishes to define it as something else. Society has the real constitutional right of a legislature and the ability to define law, as associated with marriage benefits. After recognizing there being no constitutional right to marriage, the government being able to define something that receives benefits, and the problem of the ‘special rights’ issue, you should understand why ‘gay marriage’ is problematic.
Friend: We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
Leonard O: Understandable.