I’ve listened to some of the pundits and whatnot in recent days expound on why same sex marriage is a bad thing, and once you wade through vague notions like “family values” and “defense of marriage,” it seems to boil down to the idea that it’s just the way God wants it.
I don’t want to debate that – I’m just wondering if there’s an argument against same sex marriage that DOESN’T rely on the existence of God. Are atheist (or agnostic) social conservatives against same sex marriage? Why?
Atheists aren’t immune to homophobia and I’ve seen some who claim to be against SSM. These tend to be anti-social types in general, though, and I haven’t heard them articulate much of a reason other than they don’t like queers.
I’ve seen atheists defend this position on the grounds that it’s contrary to evolution. Living creatures are “supposed” to reproduce, therefore, homosexuality is “unnatural.” Needless to say, these people have some pretty fundamental misunderstandings about exactly what evolution is and how it works. We also have one poster here who has argued against gay marriage on the grounds that he didn’t want to have to pay extra taxes. I’m not entirely certain what the logic behind that argument was.
Now, given that she’s an ATHEIST, I have no idea what the hell item #2 is supposed to mean. Sacred to what??
Item 1…? Yeah, well I’m betting that you would still allow a male/female couple who only had sex where the female used a strap-on to bugger the man, to marry. That’s by far less “natural” than gay sex. And of course, given that non-natural is bad–I guess we had better give up cars, clothes, medicine, houses…
I hate that term because it’s just so inaccurate. There is no “marraige penalty tax”. Some married couple pay more filing as married couples than they would filing as single people; but more than half of married couples pay less. The higher tax burden comes into play when couples have similar pay.
And…I fall into this group…so, sorry if you don’t like the term I used for it, but I think it is ridiculous. And something tells me that more gay couples would fall under the “similar pay” umbrella than not, so I would love to have that many more people in that situation who might be motivated to try to get it changed.
I’d love to know how atheists that say that homosexuality is contrary to evolution think that homosexuality evolved and has persevered. The only other way to explain it other than it being not harmful evolutionarily would be either to consider it a mental disorder or a frequently recurring mutation.
Or perhaps they just don’t put much thought into it at all, and just go with the “Ew, homosexuality is icky” argument.
Previous and semi-related thread. I found it interesting that though the former poster known as Liberal said it was “disingenuous and myopic to say that no anti-SSM argument has any rational merit”, he couldn’t when challenged actually produce a counter-example.
In any case, I’m an atheist who sees marriage as a legal status, which third parties are obliged to recognize. I have (I feel) sound reasons for restricting it exactly two adult persons, but I’m indifferent as to gender.
I don’t know how gay marriage would affect taxation, but it seems to me that it would increase premiums on group health insurance plans, since it would potentially create coverage for an entire class of not-previously-recognized spouses. More people covered by a given plan means more claims against the insurer and therefore higher premiums.
(Not that I’m opposed to gay marriage, but this is a side-effect which might trouble some on non-religious grounds.)
Some libertarians (some of whom are atheists) are opposed to SSM, on the grounds that marriage is a private matter, and the government shouldn’t be endorsing (or permitting) ***any ***marriage, regardless of gender.
Actually, there are some aspects of evolutionary theory that are quite compatible with homosexuality, such as the “maiden aunt/batchelor uncle” concept of familial altruism, in which more adults producing food to support fewer children places less burden on the social group, leading to healthier children with better chances of survival. It is also not true that homosexuality prevents people from breeding.
So homosexuality could be passed genetically by having clusters of recessive genes (since there is no “gay” gene) passed by their “straight” siblings to future generations. It could also be passed by homosexuals who have chosen to breed while conforming to social obligations (arranged marriages and so forth).
And those libertarians piss me off, because as long as the society does recognize marriage, there isn’t a good liberatarian argument that it ought to discriminate.
But not very well accepted evolutionary theory, I don’t believe. The “altruistic” relative hypothesis applies fairly well to non-breeding (though not homosexual) individuals in a group such as in a wolf pack, but not to humans. We’ve had this discussion in lots of threads about why homsexuality presists in human populations, but I don’t think that hypothesis is much more than unsupported musings that don’t hold up under close scrutiny. In particular, we should be able to observe that type of behavior is some primitive hunter/gather societies, but I’ve never seen any documented evidence for it. This “babysitter” hypothesis probably grew out of a similar hypthesis about the value of grandmothers who have lived passed their ability to reproduce.
Or, as some scietists hypothesize, that the genetic component of homosexuality (if there is one) is linked to other evolutionarily advantageous traits, so that even though certain allele pairings might result in a few individuals with a reduce desire to reproduce, other allee pairings result in an increased ability to do so, an increased desire to do so, or simply a better all-round ability to form social bonds.
Atheism is arguably contrary to evolution too. For various reasons people who believe in a supernatural God tend to have stronger survival rates than athiests, which is why most people believe in religion.