Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prop 8

I thought it might be worthwhile to answer a couple of questions that arise out of the passage of California's Proposition 8 and the resulting violence...
1) Why are homosexuals in California behaving as terrorists?
In general, terrorists believe that the ends they desire cannot be achieved peacefully, meaning either through logical argumentation (or negotiation) or political means. In California, homosexuals were hoping to receive approval for their relationships through the political process (activist judges), but Proposition 8--which affirmed marriage as between one man and one woman--was passed by the voters of their state. This puts them between a rock and a hard place, because the other peaceful means (logic) doesn't work for them. Let me put it another way.

The question of whether a state should redefine marriage to include the union of two men or of two women is a question of morality. And when wrestling with a particular moral question, the larger question that naturally frames it is, "Where does morality come from?" or "On what do we base morality?" Homosexuals, as you might expect, reject the traditional answer, objectivism, which says that there is a transcendent Natural Law to which we seek to conform our national, state, or local laws. The reason gays and lesbians cannot appeal to that Law is that it ends up defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Despite the fact that homosexuality has been around throughout human history (and even, to varying degrees accepted as an alternate sexual preference), there has been no society that has sought to confuse it or to equate it with marriage, which has always been understood as applying to heterosexual individuals. Once accept a transcendent Moral Law (and a moral Law-Giver), and the gay agenda is doomed.

But there's another option in our postmodern society, and that's what's known as conventionalism. Conventionalism represents a denial of objective morality in favor of the view that "one ought to behave according to the dictates of one's own culture" (this view is also known as prescriptive cultural relativism). This understanding of morality has fatal logical flaws (as I discussed here), but that's beside the present point.

Here's what's happening in California... Homosexuals cannot receive the societal respect and blessing they crave through appealing to objective morality. So their only hope (for achieving that goal peacefully) was through legal means, by convincing rogue judges (those willing to go beyond interpreting the law to creating the law) to side with them. But then along comes a referendum ballot--which is quintessentially a conventionalist approach--arguing the contrary (traditional) view of marriage. As long as the vote on Prop 8 was still undecided, an appeal to convention as endorsing their untraditional view of marriage was still a live option. But Prop 8 didn't go their way, and where does that leave gays and lesbians in California?

They still cannot appeal to objective morality, because it argues against a homosexual relationship being called 'marriage.' Nor can they (now) appeal to a conventional understanding of morality, because the convention that holds in California is that marriage is heterosexual. They lose either way. I feel sorry for them (in more ways than one), at least those among them that haven't in the election aftermath resorted to terrorism.

Next post, "Why did blacks overwhelmingly vote for Prop 8?"

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