SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by richardbrucebaxter on Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:56 pm

I would say that is true, and relates more to gender equality than racial equality. However this is not how the gender equality movement is usually framed. The principle generalises and is an example of a common motivation. Moreover, it represents another interpretation of equality.
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by David H on Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:10 pm

richardbrucebaxter wrote:It relates to;

a) seeing a physical difference as normal/natural/good (while expecting this physical difference to be more than just appearance). A respective 'equality' movement suggests that the physical difference does not exist.

b) seeing a physical difference as an aberration/unnatural/bad (while expecting there to be normality). A respective 'equality' movement suggests that the physical difference is good.

I'm still not seeing the principle I'm afraid.  Race is such a subjective concept that it hardly qualifies as a physical difference. Now if you were to hypothetically equate race with skin colour for example, where albinos were on one end of the spectrum and suntanned African farmers were on the other end, then you might arguably say that the African farmer was more normal than the albino, but I don't think it would follow that he/she was more natural or more good.

Looking back at your original list, they're all problematic.
Racial equality - acknowledging similarities
Gender equality - acknowledging similarities

Age equality - acknowledging differences
Weight equality - acknowledging differences
Marriage equality - acknowledging differences
Cultural equality - acknowledging differences

Gender-- With both males and females occurring naturally on all parts of the planet and in most sexual species, how could you make an arguement for one being more normal, more natural or better than the other?

Age-- The most easily quantifiable chronologically, though not really a physical difference since individuals physically age so very differently.   It's clear that children in most societies aren't given the full rights of citizens until they reach some arbitrary age or ritual. But would you then argue that childhood was "an aberration/unnatural/bad" ? I think we've all been through childhood, and I'd never go back even if I could, but if we all were once children how can it be an aberration?

Weight-- Again easily quantifiable, but what has been defined as "ideal" weight has varied wildly over the years and is often described as a function of age, gender, and body type (whatever that means). It seem to most clearly reflect the current dieting fads than anything else I can see.  How does that become "aberration/unnatural/bad"?

Marriages and Cultures. How can those be considered a physical difference?

The more I look at your arguments, the more it appears to me as if you created two arbitrary boxes, labeled one normal/natural/good and the otheraberration/unnatural/bad , and started sorting your apples and oranges into them more or less randomly. I just can't seem to find the pattern. Shrugging

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by halfwise on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:32 pm

there's a very definite pattern, and I think he's on to something rather interesting. It would help things if you people would stop throwing abstractions at each other and stick to concrete.

I think RB said it perfectly here:

The motivation behind age, weight, sexual-orientation, cultural, and ability-independent equality is that diversity exists and is good (ie that there is no ideal). The motivation behind racial and gender equality is that a perceived diversity (such as a difference in desire and performance) does not exist (ie there is an ideal and it can be achieved regardless).

The first category says accept the continuum of abilities, the second says there is no continuum. sexual orientation should lay in the second rather than the first category, and cultural is a bit harder to classify.

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:45 pm

I dont think my example was abstract, it was a very tangible everyday example.

But I don't accept the premise.

'The motivation behind age, weight, sexual-orientation, cultural, and ability-independent equality is that diversity exists and is good.'

Now a disabled person would fall here under 'ability-independent' but I would not say it was good.
It is a fact which has to be addressed yes, but neither good nor bad.
Usually its bad, but no on can see all ends. Would Hawkins be the mind he is fully able and healthy? Maybe, maybe not. But either way ability-independent is not a factor in that persons right to be treated equally as a human being, with all the same rights and legal protection thereof. It simply has no bearing on equality and nor should it.
'Good' is the wrong word to use in this context, rather truer it seems to me to say:

'The motivation behind age, weight, sexual-orientation, cultural, and ability-independent equality is that diversity exists and is not be seen as a barrier to fairness.'

Good doesn't come into it. I don't believe differences are being presented as 'good', just not as something to fear or base a judgement, and especially not law, upon. And that's not the same thing.

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by David H on Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:35 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
Good doesn't come into it. I don't believe differences are being presented as 'good', just not as something to fear or base a judgement, and especially not law, upon. And that's not the same thing.

Agree. Good, Bad, Natural and Unnatural seem like value judgements that could be applied on a case-by-case basis if we must, but because they're subjective they weaken the overall argument when attached as labels to larger categories.

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by David H on Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:44 pm

halfwise wrote:there's a very definite pattern, and I think he's on to something rather interesting.  It would help things if you people would stop throwing abstractions at each other and stick to concrete.

I think RB said it perfectly here:

The motivation behind age, weight, sexual-orientation, cultural, and ability-independent equality is that diversity exists and is good (ie that there is no ideal). The motivation behind racial and gender equality is that a perceived diversity (such as a difference in desire and performance) does not exist (ie there is an ideal and it can be achieved regardless).

The first category says accept the continuum of abilities, the second says there is no continuum.  sexual orientation should lay in the second rather than the first category, and cultural is a bit harder to classify.

OK Halfy, that's fair. So give me some concrete examples of category 2 that demonstrate how no continuum exits. It's not obvious to me at all, especially with race. I believe I see a racial continuum around me on a daily basis.

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by richardbrucebaxter on Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:03 pm

David;
- race: perhaps one might equate darker skin types with being more conducive to farming or one might not (I have never thought about it myself). However the variation in lightness is not viewed as an aberration/unnatural/bad. The variation is viewed as normal/natural/good. Note any opinion on the issue of farming would require education or experimentation with regards to sun exposure (and would not comprise a natural reaction). One is however inclined to think that skin lightness concords deeper physical differences than appearance (even if it is only a byproduct of group association).
- gender; again no one is arguing that one sex is more normal/natural/good than another. Like race, this is an example of a).
- weight: people view variations in weight relative to their cultural norm as being aberrations/unnatural/bad (education might alleviate these prejudices/beliefs, depending on how convincing and true the arguments are).
- age: this example pertains to what is often construed as ageism, which generally refers to people's opinions on the elderly. (People naturally understand children are different). As much as we might cognitively perceive an elderly person as normal/natural/good, this does not reflect our natural reaction to it.
- marriage and culture: NB I use physical in the technical sense of observables (which includes brain functioning, development, and socialisation); or put more strictly, the ability to deny something by observation.

Halfwise:
I think sexual orientation is an extremely good example of where people are not naturally inclined to think things exist on a continuum. Therefore I classified it as b).

Petty:
These are natural reactions to normality/abnormality being discussed, not refined reflections. Basically, they refer to our natural tendency to like things that are normal relative to what we perceive as being normal (in group/out group, etc)
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by halfwise on Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:59 pm

David - building on Richard's point: people see a racial continuum, while the new assumption is it's equivalent to judging the strength of a house frame by its paint.  No continuum in fact exists if based either on paint or race.  Same with saying there are intellectual/leadership differences between the sexes.  Any teacher will tell you no intellectual differences exist, though there are cultural differences between the sexes that may effect leadership styles (not necessarily effectiveness).  Same with sexual orientation.

Physical and mental disabilities can affect some job performance, but the idea is to accept the differences, mitigate for them.  Age also can clearly affect performance based on experience, but age discrimination laws are coming on the books.    This is accepting clear performance differences as given, basically ignoring them on principle.

So yes, there are two kinds of equality movements.  I see this as a profound observation.

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by David H on Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:05 am

richardbrucebaxter wrote:One is however inclined to think that skin lightness concords deeper physical differences than appearance (even if it is only a byproduct of group association).

I won't argue there may not be a correlation between skin lightness or darkness and other factors, just as Halfy is carefully not arguing that there isn't a correlation between gender and certain learning and leadership styles. But having known several people who grew up in Nordic families, having been adopted as infants from Asia and Brazil but raised with no cultural association with their birth country, I don't think the differences are inherent. (It can be a bit awkward for a dark skinned man born in Brazil who self-identifies as Finnish-American but people persist on decoding as African-American based solely on skin colour.) And as the global gene pool continues to blend, the million shades of brown and tan seem to defy racial categories.

More interesting to me are the physical differences that correlate to diet and economic class, or the rural/urban divide. Do any of you see those factors fitting into the "equality" categories?

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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:31 am

I'm still waiting for someone to address my point that significant minorities of anti-racist and anti-misogyny activists do in fact champion and cherish the (perceived) differences between races and/or genders. Not really sure what the continuum you guys are talking about is, but the existence of, for example, black nationalism and lesbian separatism are just a few of the things that make Richard's dichotomy different from the real world.

richardbrucebaxter wrote:- race: perhaps one might equate darker skin types with being more conducive to farming or one might not (I have never thought about it myself). However the variation in lightness is not viewed as an aberration/unnatural/bad. The variation is viewed as normal/natural/good. Note any opinion on the issue of farming would require education or experimentation with regards to sun exposure (and would not comprise a natural reaction). One is however inclined to think that skin lightness concords deeper physical differences than appearance (even if it is only a byproduct of group association).
- gender; again no one is arguing that one sex is more normal/natural/good than another. Like race, this is an example of a).

A lot of the engrained problems with racism and sexism in our society come down (or are related) to the implicit assumption by many people that whiteness and maleness are the default, more normal, inherently preferable to being a minority or a woman. This crops up in all sorts of weird little cultural ways. Like how when drawing a stick figure or any other simple drawing, most people will assume the drawing is a white male unless you go out of your way to add indicators to the contrary (eg, eyelashes for a woman, shading for a person with dark skin regardless of what color background the drawing is on). Such assumptions about the sexes crop up in more actively problematic areas as well of course, such as the pay gap. These are pretty major themes in modern feminist and anti-racist thought so I'm surprised that you've completely ignored them in your arguments so far.
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:43 am

halfwise wrote:Physical and mental disabilities can affect some job performance, but the idea is to accept the differences, mitigate for them.  Age also can clearly affect performance based on experience, but age discrimination laws are coming on the books.    This is accepting clear performance differences as given, basically ignoring them on principle.

No it isn't.  There are massive exceptions built into employment discrimination laws called bona fide occupational qualifications which allow employers to discriminate against candidates on the basis of sex, religion, and age (though not race) if there is a legitimate reason why such people would not be qualified for a given job.  The ADA works similarly, although it requires the employee to prove that they are qualified for the position in the event of a lawsuit, while with BFOQs the burden of proof is on the employer.  In any event, the law does not seek to pretend (or ignore on principle) that there is nothing different about the protected groups.  I'm not aware of any meaningful social movement seeking to eliminate the BFOQs either.

So yes, there are two kinds of equality movements.  I see this as a profound observation.

I only see the sort of thing you and Richard are talking about on the far fringes of the progressive movement.  The majority even just of progressives do not argue for, say, integrating men's and women's sports, or ending healthy eating campaigns in the name of fat acceptance, or ignoring the historical and cultural differences of experience between people of different races and genders.  Actually, in that last example, it is often the equality campaigners who are highlighting the differences, while relatively more conservatives and centrists argue that we're already in a "color blind" or post-racial society.
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by richardbrucebaxter on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:00 am

When it comes to race and gender, we think things should be different (eg segregation). When it comes to age, weight, sexual orientation, culture, and basic ability, we think things should be the same (eg restoration, termination, etc). These natural prejudices/expectations direct what a corresponding 'equality' movement must overcome. Hence the demonstration of physical equivalence (error in perception) and beautification of diversity.

The distinction is a consequence of normality; race and gender being natural variations; old age, obesity, exclusive homosexuality, multiculturalism, and disability being unnatural variations. Note wishing to terminate a race on grounds of race is not a natural response; it can only occur only via propaganda or when the race is abnormal; case discussed below.

Halfwise - I think you have found another way in which to classify the equality movements; based on actual versus perceived differences in performance.

Eldorion - Perceiving a particular race as being normal (ingroup) has natural consequences. Perceiving a variation in race as being normal (ingroup) has natural consequences. These are distinct concepts. The former results in type A 'racism' - thinking your own race is better than another. The latter results in type B 'racism' - thinking one race is different than another (more than just appearance). The latter might be dependent on the former (there is evidence for such), but they remain distinct concepts. The same distinction applies to gender discrimination (unloaded). Note the latter only applies to category a) differences in the context of natural prejudices/expectations. You are correct in saying I am discarding affirmative action movements and beliefs (feminism, black superiority etc). I have previously confirmed the non-exclusive nature of the scheme proposed.
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:43 am

richardbrucebaxter wrote:The distinction is a consequence of normality; race and gender being natural variations; old age, obesity, exclusive homosexuality, multiculturalism, and disability being unnatural variations. Note wishing to terminate a race on grounds of race is not a natural response; it can only occur only via propaganda or when the race is abnormal; case discussed below.

I'm really trying to give your ideas a fair hearing but I'm struggling to understand what you mean by natural and unnatural hear.  Could you please elaborate on what your criteria for declaring something natural is?  I'm afraid I don't follow and re-reading the earlier parts of this thread is making anything clearer for me.

You are correct in saying I am discarding affirmative action movements and beliefs (feminism, black superiority etc). I have previously confirmed the non-exclusive nature of the scheme proposed.

Then what is it's point, exactly?  You initially claimed to be "trac[ing] the concept of equality", but your classification of different types of equality movements is really rather baseless if it has this many exceptions.  I still can't shake the feeling that most of what you're saying is intended to lend support to an underlying point that you're reluctant to explicitly state.
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:01 am

Speaking of those underlying points...

http://www.objectificationtheory.com/
http://www.orderagainstobjectification.com/
http://objectification.wikia.com/wiki/Objectification_Wiki
http://www.philosophyofthebody.com/

I gotta be honest, I understand significantly less about your way of thinking now than I thought I did earlier, but at least it's a lead.

EDIT:

philosophyofthebody.com wrote:(650) an experience of the objectified makes one feel that they themselves and others are unworthy to discuss anything relating to their experience (or any topic relating to their experience)
...
(657) will result in a distorted view of physical reality and its interdependency with subjective reality (for example, exclusive homosexuality, although non-existent in the animal kingdom, may be viewed as natural rather than a psychological problem)
(658) the isolation of one's body from themselves (objectification) through the tolerance of objectification encourages the formation of sexual identity independent of physical reality (eg exclusive homosexuality)

http://richardbrucebaxter.blogspot.com/2012/10/lori-ann-and-corey-cole-rogue-to.html

Have people given up trying to articulate the division which besets them? Or perhaps they are such great believers in sexual equality (as long as they can retain their fantasies) that they have dismissed all purpose in a conversation that extends to the opposite gender.

To say that people are against women or exclusively homosexually orientated individuals is absurd, and am surprised anyone has fallen for that semantic trap. And this is exclusive homosexuality albeit whose representation in the animal kingdom has yet to discovered- if indeed it is a natural phenomenon. It is interesting that republicans have the dignity to take such nonsense in their stride - rather than declare an equally absurd war on baby girls. They just don't believe that truth is democratic.

On the other hand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by richardbrucebaxter on Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:28 am

Glad to see that you are quoting me from all three articles. Was that your intention? Or were you attempting to demonstrate a contradiction of facts?

In mammals there is the ovis aries (with a reported 50% reduced oSDN) and the homo sapien. Feel free to add to the list.

For reference, I also defined old age as unnatural. As such, we are talking about a human society in the conditions in which it evolved over the last 200,000 years.
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Re: SCOTUS rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:25 pm

richardbrucebaxter wrote:Glad to see that you are quoting me from all three articles. Was that your intention? Or were you attempting to demonstrate a contradiction of facts?

I went poking around on your sites because Im trying to understand what you're really getting at with your arguments here. As I mentioned earlier, I have felt since the beginning of this discussion that I'm not getting the full picture.

In mammals there is the ovis aries (with a reported 50% reduced oSDN) and the homo sapien. Feel free to add to the list.

That was the reason for dropping the Wiki link.  At this point the scientific consensus is clear about homosexual behavior being common in the animal kingdom, and it has been for well over a decade.  You are making the extraordinary claim here, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (though any evidence would be more than what we've gotten so far).

For reference, I also defined old age as unnatural. As such, we are talking about a human society in the conditions in which it evolved over the last 200,000 years.

Yeah, that was one of the most puzzling moments for me, and a big part of the reason why I asked you to define what you mean by "natural".  Do you simply mean any conditions that did not exist (or were not common) when anatomically modern humans first evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago?  I really wish you would give a straight answer to my questions instead of forcing others to engage in guesswork about what you're trying to say.
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