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The anti-science left and same-sex marriage

by Greg Krehbiel on 29 June 2015

The sexual relationship between a man and a woman has been molded over millennia by biological and cultural evolution. Men and women both “want” a way to ensure the survival of their own offspring. (They “want” it in the sense used by evolutionary biology — not that they consciously desire it.) Men also want to know that they’re expending their resources on their own genes and not some other guy’s. There are lots of deep-seated instincts in human males and females that have everything to do with mating and procreation.

The complicated emotions and desires we live with from day to day were formed against that background, and marriage is an attempt to codify of all those competing interests: the interests of the woman, the man, the children, and of society.

Why should we even entertain the idea that a same-sex relationship is analogous?

Men and women have deep, biological reasons for being jealous of the sexual behavior of their mates. The same simply doesn’t apply to two men or two women. Why should it? There is no evolutionary reason for a man to care much who his male lover is sleeping around with.

This fascinating perspective on the issue links to an old article on “monogamy” expectations among same-sex couples. See Many gay couples negotiate open relationships.

And why shouldn’t they?

SSM advocates are dealing with the whole issue on an incredibly superficial, trite level. For example, they think that since we allow old couples, or sterile couples to get married, that means marriage can’t be about procreation.

That’s such a trite, silly argument. A man’s attitude towards his female mate is formed by thousands of years of evolutionary pressure, all dependent on the fact that men and women have babies. The fact that any particular man or woman is sterile is basically irrelevant. It doesn’t change the underlying emotional baggage.

Another question the SSM advocates often ask is how some guy’s same-sex marriage is going to mess up real marriages (of the opposite-sex variety). Well … read this.

The problem is that since SSM “marriages” are now marriages, we’re going to start importing the radically different rules, assumptions and behaviors of their relationships into this single legal concept called “marriage.” How can it do anything but change the nature of that legal concept?

To illustrate, imagine that we extend “marriage” to include high school kids who are going steady. How could that possibly not affect the legal definition of the term?

If SSM couples are far more inclined to have “open” relationships, then that is going to affect the assumptions that go along with the legal concept of “marriage.” A consequence may be that married people will lose the ability to assert their rights when their “spouse” has cheated on them.

Sexual fidelity is an assumption that goes along with the legal concept of marriage. SSM couples are going to have to live under that regime, and they may rebel against it. Who knows where those court cases will lead us? No matter what happens, it will certainly change the legal status of “married.”

The whole stinking thing is astonishingly stupid from start to finish. Kennedy should take a page from Scalia’s dissent and spend the rest of his life with a bag over his head for the shame of imposing this monstrosity on our culture.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-29  ::  Greg Krehbiel





How “helping people” becomes a recipe for tyranny

by Greg Krehbiel on 29 June 2015

Rand Paul thinks the solution to the recent Supreme Court decision on SSM is to get government out of marriage altogether.

Like many Libertarian ideas, it sounds good in theory, but it probably won’t work in reality.

The problem is that government is always trying to “help” people, and once it gets involved it has to meddle. More and more. Deeper and deeper.

For example, they start with the premise that marriage is a good thing for individuals and society, which is true. Then government decides it should promote marriage with tax breaks and other benefits. But to do that the government has to regulate / license / record marriages, and once it does that, marriage becomes whatever the government says it is.

It reminds me of what the government has done to poor people by trying to help them. I haven’t read the book, but Please Stop Helping Us addresses how “well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back.”

Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong, but whenever the government tries to “help” people it ends of interfering, requiring, regulating, and eventually imposing the petty bureaucrat on the people who are being “helped.”

It’s tempting to say, as Sen. Paul says, just get the government out.

I don’t think that’s either possible (on a practical level) or, in the final analysis, desirable. Government does have to regulate things. That’s why we have government, after all.

Rand Paul says our grandparents didn’t get marriage licenses. Okay. They probably didn’t get driver’s licenses either, and I’m not sure we go back to that.

The problem is not government involvement per se. The problem is that we don’t have an effective means to roll back the inescapable mission creep.

I heard Carly Fiorina on some program a few weeks ago, and she mentioned that it’s simply impossible — from an organizational perspective — that every government program has to get bigger every year, and that once a department is formed, it basically lives forever. Nothing else functions like that, why do we allow government to do that?

It’s not going to do any good to have “more government all the time” from the left, and “get government out” from the right, because that pretty much guarantees the left will win — and government will just keep getting bigger and bigger and more and more intrusive.

The right needs to come up with a sensible way to keep government power in check, to eliminate programs that have outlived their usefulness, and to prevent the inevitable slide towards rule by the petty bureaucrat.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-29  ::  Greg Krehbiel





And why not?

by Greg Krehbiel on 29 June 2015

First robot wedding in Japan takes place and even ends with a kiss

Words don’t mean anything any more, so ….

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-29  ::  Greg Krehbiel





To some extent, I don’t care who’s the next president

by Greg Krehbiel on 28 June 2015

It’s Official — Bernie Sanders Has Overtaken Hillary Clinton In the Hearts and Minds of Democrats

Sanders is a nut, and I don’t want him anywhere near the White House, but … I’ve seen enough presidential campaigns now that I’ve become cynical about the whole thing. Politicians will say anything to get into office, and they never do what they promise.

The truth is that I don’t want them to do what they promise, because they promise all the wrong things. The presidential race is always a contest between who can come up with more giveaways. They promise more and more federal action. New programs. New benefits. New regulations. More control. More power.

I want the opposite. I want less federal government, and I don’t think any candidate is going to do that. Some candidates may pay lip service to the idea, but the only way to wrest power away from the federal government is to take it from them.

We need to start impeaching government officials and removing them from office. Some of them need to go to jail. And we need governors to stand up and tell the federal government to go soak its head — that they do not have the right to impose their unconstitutional policies on the states and the people.

There isn’t a presidential candidate who can reasonably accomplish any of the things I want. Washington can’t be reformed from the inside. It has to be reformed by force. Not force of arms. (Don’t be silly.) But by states and citizens who are willing to say no.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-28  ::  Greg Krehbiel





God, or the Genie of the Lamp?

by Greg Krehbiel on 28 June 2015

As regular readers know, I have a mild case of multiple personality syndrone — at least in this respect. I have lots of interlocutors running around in my brain, and I often carry on conversations with them. Some are regular visitors, and some only show up from time to time. They’re my companions when I mow the lawn, or jog, or am otherwise not using my brain.

This morning I had a conversation with Ditchkins. Or, rather, I was about to, and then a question occurred to me.

I asked Professor Ditchkins to choose between two options. On the one hand, on his way home he could find Alladin’s lamp, or catch a Leprechaun, or benefit from whichever method of getting three wishes most appeals to him. On the other hand, something could happen that would answer all his questions about the reality of the God of the Bible. Some miracle would happen, or … whatever. Anything that would resolve his doubts about the existence of the God of the Bible.

I’ll give you a moment to think about that. Which would you choose?

.

.

.

So then, what’s the point of the question?

If he were to take the three wishes, it would show that his problem with God is not only an intellectual problem. It’s a moral problem, or … something else. But not merely intellectual, because he was offered the chance to resolve all his doubts, and he didn’t take it.

Why would this matter?

It matters because people justify themselves and their own opinions. Often what we call “intellectual difficulties” are just excuses we’ve made.

This mental defect we have doesn’t only apply to God. The same thing lies behind a lot of the talk about same-sex marriage, or racism, or sexism, or other disputes. There’s an assumption that lies behind all our dialog, and that assumption is that if a person has a deep-seated desire not to believe something, they won’t believe it, and no amount of evidence will convince them. That assumption is right.

The worst part of it is that sometimes we don’t even know that we have these deep prejudices, and part of being honest with ourselves is to admit that possibility and wonder how our prejudices distort our ever-so-logical opinions about things.

I think it’s disrespectful and unfair to accuse someone who disagrees with you of believing what he does because, secretly, he’s a racist, or … otherwise harbors ill will. But at the same time, it’s certainly true that our inner dispositions have a whole lot to do with what we are willing to believe.

If you hate God, you’re not going to believe in Him. If you hate blacks, you’re going to hold racist views. Etc. The reverse is not necessarily true. A person can not believe in God without hating him, and a person could be a racist without hating any particular race.

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-28  ::  Greg Krehbiel





Is it really a mystery why men “won’t commit”?

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 June 2015

A quote from Sexual Utopia in Power: The Feminist Revolt Against Civilization

A highly successful women’s magazine editor has written a book of advice for young wives stating: “Giving, devoting, sacrificing … these are the actions of a good wife, no? No. These are the actions of a drudge, a sucker, a sap.” Instead, women are urged to emulate a wife who threw her husband’s clothes into the garden to teach him not to leave socks on the floor: “He understood I meant it.” Or another who wanted her husband to help with the laundry, and hollered at him: “Are you a f***ing retard that you don’t see me running up and down stairs? Listen to me and stop your bulls**t.” Or another who discovered this interpersonal skill: “Just stand there and start screaming. If you stand there and scream long enough, someone is going to realize that you’re standing in the middle of the room screaming [and ask] ‘Why are you screaming?’” (pp. 245-47).

What could be wrong with men these days that they refuse to commit?

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel





Are government officials being blackmailed?

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 June 2015

I saw an interesting article yesterday that asks if Chief Justice Roberts is being blackmailed. My natural reaction to such a thing is apply Hanlon’s Razor, which says …

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

It doesn’t have to be stupidity. The concept works equally well with “incompetence” or “a desire to be loved” or any number of things.

Still, even though I am inclined to disbelieve the radical explanation when a less radical explanation is ready at hand, I think it would be just as foolish to rule out the possibility that government officials are being bribed, blackmailed or otherwise pressured to do what they do.

Obama is from Chicago, after all, and people do play rough in politics.

When I was a kid there was some law related to the oil business being discussed in Congress. My dad raised the possibility of an oil exec visiting a member of Congress, telling him which way he wanted him to vote, and mentioning that, oh, by the way, there’s a van stuffed with hundred dollar bills parked outside, and here are the keys.

We don’t want to believe in such things, and we tell ourselves that there are safeguards in place to prevent them, but … given the rank incompetence we’ve seen from the government over the years, do we really believe that a clever blackmailer couldn’t have his way with most government officials?

This is yet another reason why a powerful, centralized government is a bad thing. You can’t trust people with power, because power corrupts. And it doesn’t only corrupt them. It also corrupts the people around them, who will use devious means to bend the people with power to their will.

Please don’t interpret this as a statement about any particular issue. My point is simply that we have to be honest about the problems with giving people power, but we seem to be giving people and institutions more and more power all the time. At the same time, our lame watchdogs in the media are obsessed with getting page views for “She trimmed underwear with scissors, and you won’t believe what happened next!”

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel





“The Glades” on Netflix is worth watching

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 June 2015

Last night my wife and I were watching a new show on Netflix, and it was a little disturbing. She doesn’t like to go to sleep right after watching something like that, so she wanted to watch something nice. Like The Glades.

It’s funny that we think of that show as “light.” At least one person dies in every episode of The Glades, because it’s a murder mystery thing (set in Florida). But it still manages to be somewhat light and fun.

I wonder from time to time why people are so obsessed with crime and murder shows. There are tons of them.

Anyway, Jim Longworth is the main character, and he’s obsessed, for completely unknown reasons, with this very difficult married woman named Callie. Callie’s husband is in jail, and she says she wants to divorce him, so … Jim thinks that makes it okay.

That part of the show I could do without, but the rest of it fairly interesting, and, as I said, has a somewhat light feel to it.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel





Next step: define opposition to SSM as a hate crime

by Greg Krehbiel on 26 June 2015

The experience of Canada may be illustrative.

Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada

[T]he legal and cultural effect [of legalizing SSM] was much broader. What transpired was the adoption of a new orthodoxy: that same-sex relationships are, in every way, the equivalent of traditional marriage, and that same-sex marriage must therefore be treated identically to traditional marriage in law and public life.

A corollary is that anyone who rejects the new orthodoxy must be acting on the basis of bigotry and animus toward gays and lesbians. Any statement of disagreement with same-sex civil marriage is thus considered a straightforward manifestation of hatred toward a minority sexual group. …

When one understands opposition to same-sex marriage as a manifestation of sheer bigotry and hatred, it becomes very hard to tolerate continued dissent. …

Much speech that was permitted before same-sex marriage now carries risks. Many of those who have persisted in voicing their dissent have been subjected to investigations by human rights commissions and (in some cases) proceedings before human rights tribunals.

Anyone who believes that the goal is tolerance and acceptance is incredibly naive.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-26  ::  Greg Krehbiel





A distinction liberals don’t usually understand

by Greg Krehbiel on 26 June 2015

Saying that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry is one thing. A stupid thing, but still, it’s one thing.

Saying that the constitution requires it is another thing, and completely absurd.

-- 14 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-06-26  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2015-06-26 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
How the exception proves the rule
+ 1 comment
2015-06-25 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
How SCOTUS should have ruled
+ 2 comments
2015-06-22 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
What if that was Hillary?
+ 2 comments