Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama Finally Tells the Truth

Well I suppose I ought to address the "big news" today. Isn't it just something that this White House is so concerned with social issues? Wasn't it just a few months ago they, and their ever complicit media, calling for a focus on the economy and not these silly and inconsequential moral issues? PTOOIE!

Anyway, here's a quick rundown of why what people are calling "gay marriage" shouldn't be endorsed by the state.

Marriage, properly defined, only consists of one man and one woman.

Any other concept one tries applies the word to is unwarranted.

The state has a vested interest in fostering and promoting real marriage (procreation and a strong social unit). As a result of the sexual relationship the state fosters and promotes in real marriage, the state fosters the creation of new taxpayers and new additions to society.

The state has no reason to promote two dudes' or two chicks' sexual relationship, because they gain nothing from it. In fact, the state, in fostering and promoting the sexual relationship of homosexuals, would be promoting a perversion. But clearly the state shouldn't promote perversions. Nor should it promote activities that are extreme health risks, as homosexual activities are.

Heterosexuals have no more rights than homosexuals. They all have access to the institution of marriage. Both of them can marry:
  • only one person 
  • of the opposite sex
  • of the same species
  • of proper age (or receiving parents' permission)
Anyone with any proclivity toward any strange sexual perversion has this access. Just because someone suddenly becomes infatuated with some strange sexual preference doesn't mean the government, or anyone else, then has a reason to endorse said strange perversion.

What homosexuals are doing is attempting to have an extra benefit bestowed upon them for no good reason. The state, if it acquiesces, shows how utterly dumb it is.

85 comments:

Whateverman said...

Marriage, properly defined, only consists of one man and one woman.

According to whom? Please support your assertion with source quotes. Thanks in advance.

sanscredo said...

The state has no reason to promote two dudes' or two chicks' sexual relationship, because they gain nothing from it.

Actually, with the "marriage penalty" of our current income tax system, getting gay couples to file jointly will increase federal income tax revenue.

Nor should it promote activities that are extreme health risks, as homosexual activities are.

If gay couples are anything like straight couples, the amount of sex that's happening plummets after marriage.

Ana said...

Whateverman,

"According to whom? Please support your assertion with source quotes. Thanks in advance."

I'll support it with a secular source that you will (perhaps) be more than happy to embrace: the opinion of the court delivered by Chief Justice Warren in Loving v. Virginia

"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival."(emphasis mine)

The definition that Brennon provided is implict in the above statement.

Consider:
"[Heterosexual] Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival."

vs

"[Same-sex] Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival."

Whateverman said...

Thanks for attempting to source Bossman's opinions for him. I take it seriously however, which means I need to explain why I don't think the source is valid.

First and foremost, the quote says nothing about marriage being "properly defined" as being between a man and a woman. I wanted something specific, and while I wont exclude things merely on semantic grounds, the Justice's opinion (as you quoted it) doesn't get close enough.

Second, it'd be silly to imagine that heterosexual marriage is fundamental to our existence and survival. People can have sex and children out of wedlock. While I concede having a nuclear family is probably going to be better (on the average) for the children, I know plenty of kids of single parents who seem to have grown up as well as I have (with parents who were married my entire life). Marriage is not a requirement for producing successful, happy and productive kids.

In short, your quote doesn't say what Bossmanham said. I do sincerely thank you for trying, however.

bossmanham said...

Whateverman,

The concept is what we're talking about and worried about. We apply words to concepts to make it convenient to talk about them. Marriage has always referred to the concept I laid out until recently. The concept and institution itself was developed by God.

Ana is correct in her assertion that the CONCEPT is implicit when one uses the word. Ant that's especially evident in that that specific case was adjudicated in 1967, a time when this nonsense wasn't even thought of. Homosexuality was seen for the disorder of the mind it was. Historical revisionism is a no-no.

In terms of the western institution and whether it should be fundamentally altered at a civic level, the burden of proof rests on those who would alter it, and to do that you must argue against what I've laid forth here (among other things).

Rhology said...

The proper definition comes from God. It is how God made humanity. Man-on-man coitus is...problematic. Not how it was designed. We can know that not only by seeing the major problems that gay coitus causes but more importantly by reading His communication to humanity.

bossmanham said...

sanscredo,

Your boys at MSN would disagree with you.

But even if there were some grave penalty for being married, or even if the government would presently get a little bit from homosexuals being in this position, you're missing the point. It's about fostering and promoting something that in the long run the state gets nothing out of. The whole reason the state has an interest in promoting and fostering the SEXUAL relationship of real married couples is because that sexual relationship, and only that sexual relationship, leads to entirely new taxpayers and contributors to society. Homosexual sexual relationships, if fostered and promoted to the norm, would drain resources and kill procreation.

If gay couples are anything like straight couples, the amount of sex that's happening plummets after marriage.

Not in my experience, but gay couples aren't anything like straight couples. Read the statistics.

Whateverman said...

The concept and institution itself was developed by God.

But... this is what I was asking for "evidence" of (proof is for math and bourbon). Can you show me where this concept/institution from God has been laid out for us?

bossmanham said...

You know the gideons give away free Bibles, right?

Whateverman said...

I guess I was aware of that, yes. How is that germane to my question?

Rhology said...

Because it's laid out in the Bible.

bossmanham said...

I didn't think I'd have to hold your hand through the reasoning process.

Whateverman said...

I didn't think I'd have to hold your hand through the reasoning process

If that's how you'd like to refer to it, be my guest. Hold my hand and show me where God's standard of marriage is laid out - in the Bible, I'm guessing.

Rhology said...

Well, you don't have to guess; we just told you.
See how God created woman for man? Called it not good that man be alone.
Jesus reiterated this in His public teaching. The Apostle Paul and the book of Hebrews did too.
Everywhere homosexuality is addressed, it's abomination, horrible sin.

Whateverman said...

See how God created woman for man?

Ok, good place to start, but what does this have to do with marriage? I'm being told here that God established the definition of the term (loosely worded)

Rhology said...

Yes, when He created the woman, immediately they were married, becoming one flesh. Read Genesis 2, please.

bossmanham said...

The reliability of the Bible is addressed in a large number of places all over.

The fact that the Gospels are reliable biographies of Jesus of Nazareth's ministry and early life, that the evidence for the resurrection (which confirms this man's claims) is strong, and that He is recorded as extolling the scriptures (the Old Testament) as unbreakable, is your evidence, since you needed a guided tour.

Whateverman said...

I'm only talking about "marriage, properly defined".

Where in the Bible can I find the proper definition of marriage?

Rhology said...

Genesis 2.

sanscredo said...

The whole reason the state has an interest in promoting and fostering the SEXUAL relationship of real married couples is because that sexual relationship, and only that sexual relationship, leads to entirely new taxpayers and contributors to society.

I totally agree. Postmenopausal women should be banned from getting married because they won't create any new taxpayers.

sanscredo said...

arguingequality.org said it better than I could:

The benefit of a marital “partner,” for both the individual and society, is to help guarantee that one will not have to rely on the government during times of need. As Jonathan Rauch notes: “If marriage has any meaning at all, it is that when you collapse from a stroke, there will be at least one other person whose ‘job’ is to drop everything and come to your aid.

From a purely economic perspective, marriage serves as a form of social insurance. Its participants are provided with a reliable partner “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.” It is for this reason that elderly and sterile couples are permitted, indeed encouraged, to marry – not because they will bear children, but rather because marriage promotes individual and societal stability.

bossmanham said...

I totally agree. Postmenopausal women should be banned from getting married because they won't create any new taxpayers.

Of course the in principle definition of marriage would apply here (ie an apple is an apple even if there's a worm in it). Furthermore, the government doesn't have the time, nor the reason to check the fertility of every couple that wants to get married. But the government DOES have the ability to look at gender at a glance and see that only one combination leads to taxpayers. Then I'll point you to all the other points made.

Family can be there for someone injured. Friends can be there for someone who is injured. A gay partner can be there for his injured gay partner without being called "married." Gays can also sign over their estates to their gay partner. This is a baffling argument. One person who we are to call one's spouse should be there, therefore let's as a society give these tax benefits and moral approval to a perverted sex act? Really?

The possibility of injury is not a good reason to justify fundamentally redefining a societal institution. Furthermore, the small amount the government might save in medical costs (how this works is beyond me since insurance can be had by individuals, and individuals can pay medical bills) does not create entirely new taxpayers that will provide upwards of 60 years of tax revenue.

In the civic sense, marriage is about the sexual relationship and what it gives to the government. Period.

Try again.

Whateverman said...

Genesis 2.

There's no mention of marriage in Genesis 2, Rhology.

Seriously, where does God properly define marriage?

bossmanham said...

That's pretty cute. You think you're being clever.

Whateverman said...

That's pretty cute. You think you're being clever.

I'm sincerely asking you to support the implication that God properly defined marriage. If that's "cute", then your OP is similarly so.

Rhology said...

Genesis 2: 18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

23The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Whateverman said...

Perfect. Thank you Rhology. I had read Genesis 2 here, but had missed use of the word "wife" at the very end.

Take note that "marriage" still hasn't been defined in Genesis 2. For example, there's nothing that suggests "One man - one woman"

You must understand, too, that any inconsistency in adopting God's definition of marriage, either on your part or upon those who insist on the Biblical definition of marriage, is troublesome.

I don't know any Christian husband who considers his wife as a "helper".

---

So, if we can chastise Obama for turning his nose up at the "Biblical definition of marriage", surely it'd be proper to turn our noses up at any Christian husband who considers his wife as anything other than a vessel for his children. Right?

Rhology said...

For example, there's nothing that suggests "One man - one woman"

Yes there is.
24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

You must understand, too, that any inconsistency in adopting God's definition of marriage, either on your part or upon those who insist on the Biblical definition of marriage, is troublesome.

Agreed. That's why I'm a conservative Baptist.


I don't know any Christian husband who considers his wife as a "helper".

Now you know two.


surely it'd be proper to turn our noses up at any Christian husband who considers his wife as anything other than a vessel for his children. Right?

No, you've neglected the rest of the biblical teaching on marriage.
I'm getting the distinct impression you're not interested in learning. I can recommend you some good books so you won't ask such ignorant questions.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

The biblical definition of marriage is irrelevant in a discussion of what is to be legal with respect to civil and/or secular marriage. In the case of what the secular state calls "marriage", the Bible is as relevant as the Koran. And I assume that you don’t want to follow the Koran’s definition of marriage.

If you are going to argue that the state's sole interest in marriage is baby-making, then you can’t ignore the obvious conclusions. By this rationale, post-menopausal women should not be granted marriage licenses, in fact, no one who is sterile should be allowed to marry, period. Marriages that fail to produce children should be dissolved. No babies, no marriage.

To say “the government doesn't have the time, nor the reason to check the fertility of every couple that wants to get married” is to ignore your own argument about the state’s interest in baby-making. It’s special pleading designed to save you from the logical conclusions of your statements about secular or civil marriage. If the state encourages marriage as a means of creating children, if it’s about the children that it gives the government, then the state has both the time and reason to check on fertility. The state really, really should find the time to check the fertility of every couple that wants to get married. If baby-making is soooo incredibly important to the state’s decision to approve marriage, if this is the fundamental basis of the state’s willingness to grant the rights and privileges associated with a marriage license, then fertility must be proven prior to the marriage.

Besides, this “fertility check” is often trivially easy. In the case of the post-menopausal women, all the state has to do is check the woman’s birth certificate, an simple act that the state performs in such matters as the granting of driver’s licenses. That is, there are numerous examples in which the granting of rights and privilege depends on proof of age.

Oddly, by your rationale, the state has a greater interest in promoting the marriage to two thirty-year old women than it does in promoting the marriage of old women and those otherwise sterile. There’s an excellent chance that the two women will produce children who will be raised in a two parent household (assuming you allow them to marry). But by the standard that you are upholding, old women are utterly unproductive, and therefore, do not deserve the right to marry.

So, your definition is irrelevant and you ignore the logical conclusions of your rationale for limiting secular and civil marriage to heterosexuals. If sterile heterosexuals have the right to marry, then gays have the right to marry.

Ana said...

"If you are going to argue that the state's sole interest in marriage is baby-making, then you can’t ignore the obvious conclusions. By this rationale, post-menopausal women should not be granted marriage licenses, in fact, no one who is sterile should be allowed to marry, period. Marriages that fail to produce children should be dissolved. No babies, no marriage."

If the state is going to meddle in the institution of marriage at all-- an utter novelty, as marriage was a religious and social institution before it was ever a political one -- then its best interest is to prescribe a definition of marriage according to the type of pair-bonding that renders a new generation of citizens. That pair- bonding consists of a man and a woman.

It is incidentally the case that a certain heterosexual couple cannot procreate due to one or both partners being infertile or sterile. None of these negate the principle that children are conceived through the sexual union of a male and female.

It is not incidentally the case that a same-sex couple is incapable of procreating -- this is true for all same-sex couples as a matter of principle.

A genderless re-definition of marriage is as good as a speciesless re-definition of marriage -- it effectively strips marriage of its objective bio-social function. It makes marriage out to have only a subjectively meaningful function (e.g. personal gain, happiness, self-fulfillment) rather than an objectively meaningful function (for the common good).

bossmanham said...

The biblical definition of marriage is irrelevant in a discussion of what is to be legal with respect to civil and/or secular marriage

Definitions are never irrelevant. In fact they're essential if we're going to talk about anything. Whether the state decides to support a certain concept by providing benefits to those that practice it is another issue. But when one speaks of the union of a man and woman in holy matrimony, they're speaking of marriage.

If you are going to argue that the state's sole interest in marriage is baby-making, then you can’t ignore the obvious conclusions. By this rationale, post-menopausal women should not be granted marriage licenses, in fact, no one who is sterile should be allowed to marry, period.

I already addressed this.

To say “the government doesn't have the time, nor the reason to check the fertility of every couple that wants to get married” is to ignore your own argument about the state’s interest in baby-making.

No it's not. I very carefully laid out where the interest lies. I can cite the article from which I adopted some of my argumentation if you like:

"A small minority of married couples are infertile. However, excluding sterile couples from marriage, in all but the most obvious cases such as those of blood relatives, would be costly. Few people who are sterile know it, and fertility tests are too expensive and burdensome to mandate. One might argue that the exclusion of blood relatives from marriage is only necessary to prevent the conception of genetically defective children, but blood relatives cannot marry even if they undergo sterilization. Some couples who marry plan not to have children, but without mind-reading technology, excluding them is impossible. Elderly couples can marry, but such cases are so rare that it is simply not worth the effort to restrict them. The marriage laws, therefore, ensure, albeit imperfectly, that the vast majority of couples who do get the benefits of marriage are those who bear children." (link

So let's dispense with attacking points that have already been dealt with.

In the case of the post-menopausal women, all the state has to do is check the woman’s birth certificate, an simple act that the state performs in such matters as the granting of driver’s licenses.

Apparently you don't know that all women don't go through menopause at exaclty the same time...

Oddly, by your rationale, the state has a greater interest in promoting the marriage to two thirty-year old women than it does in promoting the marriage of old women and those otherwise sterile.

This makes no sense at all. My rational supports neither because neither give the state anything to support.

There’s an excellent chance that the two women will produce children who will be raised in a two parent household

So you think that, as a result of their sexual relationship, two women can have a child.....?

Okay....

Rhology said...

There’s an excellent chance that the two women will produce children who will be raised in a two parent household

And all this time, I thought atheists prided themselves on knowing science. This kind of statement is just too funny.

bossmanham said...

If the state is going to meddle in the institution of marriage at all-- an utter novelty, as marriage was a religious and social institution before it was ever a political one

This is correct. Any state support of any institution is because the state is supposed to get something out of it. IE the state profits in some way and has a vested self interest in getting in the middle of something.

The traditional nuclear family is good for the state in many ways that a homosexual coupling is not. The state has no reason whatsoever to foster and promote a sexual relationship in which it receives nothing at all.

If the state is retarded and wants to act against its own self interest and promote a sexual perversion that it gains nothing from, the state has to decide that. But let's not argue that they should because of some stupid contortion of what civil rights are supposedly in liberal fantasy land.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Ana,

“Its best interest is to prescribe a definition of marriage according to the type of pair-bonding that renders a new generation of citizens.”

Gay couples can have kids, too. Pair-bonded gays often want to have kids. Who cares if they need a cell from someone else to have kids? Heterosexual couples with fertility problems also may go “outside of the marriage” to get the cells they need to have kids. Does this mean that the kids produced in this manner are not a part of the next generation? Don’t these kids count, too? Isn’t every life precious?

“It is incidentally the case that a certain heterosexual couple cannot procreate due to one or both partners being infertile or sterile.”

This misses the point. The state supports marriage because it makes babies. If the marriage does not or cannot make babies, it’s of no interest to the state. The marriage is “wasteful” and “unproductive”, and should not be supported by the state.

“A genderless re-definition of marriage is as good as a speciesless re-definition of marriage -- it effectively strips marriage of its objective bio-social function. It makes marriage out to have only a subjectively meaningful function (e.g. personal gain, happiness, self-fulfillment) rather than an objectively meaningful function (for the common good).”

Now you are imposing your personal opinion about the function of a marriage. My marriage is childless. Does this mean that it has no bio-social function and is only “subjectively meaningful”? Should I have been denied a marriage license? I'm tired of people telling me that the only marriages that are of value are those marriages that make babies.

Rhology said...

Gay couples can have kids, too.

No they can't.


Pair-bonded gays often want to have kids.

And the majority of the population wants to win the lottery.
Sorry, it's impossible.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Brennon,

“Definitions are never irrelevant.“

So, should we adopt the Koran’s definition of marriage?


“I already addressed this.”

Yes, you engaged in special pleading.


“However, excluding sterile couples from marriage, in all but the most obvious cases such as those of blood relatives, would be costly, etc.”

This misses the point. Cost is irrelevant. More special pleading.

To state again, if the state encourages marriage as a means of creating children, if it’s about the children that it gives the government, then the state has both the time and reason to check on fertility. You can’t argue that the state’s interest in marriage is all about baby-making and then suggest that the state abdicate it’s responsibility to only certify marriages with a potential to produce children. If marriage is about making babies, then only the fertile should be allowed to marry. If you're worried about costs, the cost can be borne by those who wish to marry and gain rights and privileges.


“Elderly couples can marry, but such cases are so rare that it is simply not worth the effort to restrict them.”

Gay marriage is rare, and so it’s simply not worth the effort to restrict it.


“Apparently you don't know that all women don't go through menopause at exaclty the same time...”

You think that a 65 year-old woman can get pregnant?


"So you think that, as a result of their sexual relationship, two women can have a child.....?"

See my answer to Ana. If the marriage encourages baby-making and the rearing of the children in a two parent home, then the state has an interest in the marriage. Right? If one of the needed cells comes from a third party, does this negate the child? A kid is still born into a two parent family, right? Or don't these kids count as real human children?


“The state has no reason whatsoever to foster and promote a sexual relationship in which it receives nothing at all.”

So you are saying that there is absolutely, positively no benefit at all if two men or two women marry? None? At all? I see that you're blinded by your phobias.


"If the state is retarded and wants to act against its own self interest and promote a sexual perversion that it gains nothing from, the state has to decide that. But let's not argue that they should because of some stupid contortion of what civil rights are supposedly in liberal fantasy land."

Ah, now this is an intelligent argument! And this is what is really comes down to, right? You wish to deny people their civil rights on the basis of your views about “sexual perversion”. The rest is just hand-waving.

bossmanham said...

RSW,

How old are you? Did your parents not tell you about the birds and the bees? And if not, it's hard to believe you didn't hear about it in school...

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Alan,

“And all this time, I thought atheists prided themselves on knowing science. This kind of statement is just too funny.”

Sigh. See my answer to Ana and Brennon. And...

Two woman marry. They are committed to each other and wish to have children. The two woman have sex. During the sex act, one woman takes sperm from a donor and inserts it into the vagina of the other. A human life is created. A child is born. The state’s actions have encouraged the creation of child, and the child is reared in a two parent home.

Or is this not a human child? Maybe this child should be discarded because "gay couples can't have kids".

bossmanham said...

So, should we adopt the Koran’s definition of marriage?

No, because it isn't actually the concept being discussed.

Yes, you engaged in special pleading.

No I'm not and I explained why.

Cost is irrelevant

It's actually extremely relevant when discussing what reasons the state has to support something. It's almost the only thing under consideration (aside from social order and a good society).

You can’t argue that the state’s interest in marriage is all about baby-making and then suggest that the state abdicate it’s responsibility to only certify marriages with a potential to produce children



Yes I can, because there is only one scenario that has even the possibility of creating children. The incidental issues that that situation could run across don't strip away that principle. By principle, NO gay couple's sexual relationship gives us anything.

So you are saying that there is absolutely, positively no benefit at all if two men or two women marry? None? At all? I see that you're blinded by your phobias

Ad hominem, ergo it elicits no response (beyond this one).

You wish to deny people their civil rights on the basis of your views about “sexual perversion”. The rest is just hand-waving.

I never said anything about denying gays from doing their disgusting act in private. I don't want the government fostering and promoting such an act; just like I don't want them fostering or promoting other sexual deviancies. Incest, bestiality, rape, etc. Are you for those things too? Cause if you strip away the concept we're discussing, you need to give some non question begging reason why we shouldn't consider those valid relationships as well.

Rhology said...

one woman takes sperm from a donor and inserts it into the vagina of the other.

Which means a third party has to be involved. Which means that you're agreeing with what I said.
Thanks!


the child is reared in a two parent home.

Only one of the parents is present in that home. Are you even listening to yourself?


Or is this not a human child?

So bizarre. I have no idea what you're talking about.

bossmanham said...

During the sex act, one woman takes sperm from a donor and inserts it into the vagina of the other

So...where is this due to the sexual relationship between the two women again? Because it seems the donor is necessary.....or did you not think this far?

bossmanham said...

Missed one.

Gay marriage is rare, and so it’s simply not worth the effort to restrict it

No one's working to restrict it. It simply isn't considered marriage, nor is it in the interest of the state to foster and support it. Things like that shouldn't be promoted by the government or legislated into existence.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Alan,

"Which means a third party has to be involved".

So what? Third parties are often involved when heterosexual couples have problems with infertility. Are you going to tell them that there is something wrong with them or that "only one of the parents is present in that home"?

I don't suppose that you could open your mind up just a tiny crack?

And what does this have to do with the state's interest? The state's interest in marriage is that the state wants babies created and raised in two parent households. The state's goal has been achieved.


Brennon,

"How old are you? Did your parents not tell you about the birds and the bees? And if not, it's hard to believe you didn't hear about it in school..."


Sigh. I think that you understand my point. In the past, I've wasted too much time reiterating my points. If you'll pardon the cliche, you are on the wrong side of history, so there's little need for me to repeat myself. I see no arguments here that are sufficient to justify the denial of rights.


I've had my chance to make my points, and so I'll move on for now. Life is short, and the bias is too thick to fight. If you truly believe that there is absolutely, positively no benefit at all if two men or two women marry, then this is pointless.


Maybe I'll stop by to respond to some future post.

bossmanham said...

Sigh. I think that you understand my point. In the past, I've wasted too much time reiterating my points

If you mean the points we've shown to be fallacious or wrong in some way, yeah you've made those points...

If you'll pardon the cliche, you are on the wrong side of history, so there's little need for me to repeat myself

If the wrong side of history happens to be the right side of morality, the interest of my nation, and, most importantly, God's will, so? What a dumb pendulum to aspire to. The whims of history. Lol. Have fun with that, just don't go to a Nazi Germany type of history.

I see no arguments here that are sufficient to justify the denial of rights.

Me either. The wonderful thing about my position (and Alan's and Ana's) are that we aren't arguing for the denial of rights! Wowee!!!

Whateverman said...

In regards to scriptural definitions of marriage, I wrote: there's nothing that suggests "One man - one woman"

Rhology responded 24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

You're talking about women being made for men, great; it's a fringe opinion, but I honestly respect your having/holding/advocating it.

What does this have to do with marriage? The Biblical definition of marriage is what I'm looking for - so far, Rho (insofar as he defends Brennon's opinion on the subject) has only pointed to notions of procreation and companionship.

---

If this is all you've got, there seems to be no Biblical definition of marriage (beyond reading subjective opinions into Scripture)

bossmanham said...

Pretty lame, Whatev...

Ana said...

"Gay couples can have kids, too. Pair-bonded gays often want to have kids. Who cares if they need a cell from someone else to have kids? Heterosexual couples with fertility problems also may go “outside of the marriage” to get the cells they need to have kids. Does this mean that the kids produced in this manner are not a part of the next generation? Don’t these kids count, too? Isn’t every life precious?"

Yes, every life is precious. The value of a human being is independent of conditions under which he or she was conceived.

Unfortunately, children who were artifically reproduced were done a grave injustice, having been essentially purchased into existence, like a product, like a commodity, and having been the fruit of impersonal technological procedures, rather than the fruit of the love between a husband in wife expressed in sexual union.

I mention this lest silence on the morality of in vitro fertilization or artifical insemination, be construed as me approving of its use. I don't approve.

Your counter-argument should not depend upon the fact that recourse to artifical reproduction exists for couples. The reason being, that artifical reproduction is a modern invention. If your argument is well-founded, it should stand indepently of artificial reproduction. In other words, what would your counter-argument be prior to the advent of artifical reproductive technology?

A same-sex couple cannot, in principle, reproduce between themselves. They cannot fulfill the historical, social functioning of marriage.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Ana,

I'm curious about something that is independent of the question of gay marriage.

If a married heterosexual couple cannot conceive because one of the partners is sterile, if they then turn to a sperm donor, egg donor, surrogate, etc., then you would say...

These children are artifically reproduced and have been done a grave injustice, having been essentially purchased into existence, like a product, like a commodity, and having been the fruit of impersonal technological procedures, rather than the fruit of the love between a husband in wife expressed in sexual union.

Is this correct?

Are you saying that such couples should never resort to such "artificial" means of producing children? Are you saying that all "artificial" forms of reproduction are wrong and/or sinful? Are the children produced by "artificial" means always the product of a sinful act?


Based on everything else that you've said, I'm pretty sure that the answer is "yes", but I don't want to assume. And if the answer is "yes", then why is the answer "yes"?

Ana said...

"Are you saying that such [infertility-stricken] couples should never resort to such "artificial" means of producing children"

Yes. I am opposed to artificial reproduction in-and-of-itself, for the reason stated earlier (it involves divorcing sex from the act of conception and effectively commercializes procreation), regardless of the person or couple (married/unmarried/heterosexual/same-sex) that procures it.

Consider this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIb4z9JJLz4&list=FLmitdUjSjp8DJXDDNJ_tQ2Q&index=17&feature=plpp_video

Having clarified, I'd like to bring the discussion back to the subject of the OP. I explained my position on artificial reproduction in the interest of full disclosure, because it might otherwise be taken for granted that I support its use by heterosexual married couples.

bossmanham said...

Not to speak for Ana, but I think I know her response as it would most likely mirror mine.

If a married heterosexual couple cannot conceive because one of the partners is sterile, if they then turn to a sperm donor, egg donor, surrogate, etc., then you would say...

They should not, for multiple reasons. Not the least of which is the multiple human lives destroyed in artificial insemination. In having a sperm donor (if the husband is infertile) or an egg donor (if the wife is) you are introducing a third party into your sexual relationship.

A much better, and much needed, approach, is for the couple to adopt a child. If every family only adopted one child, it would do away with the need for state run orphanages. People need to worry about that, not about finding new ways to pervert the system God has put in place; playing god themselves.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Thank you for the clarification.

Interesting. This is something of new area for me.

Again, more out of curiosity than anything else…

Does God say conception must be tied to the specific act of married penises penetrating married vaginas? That is, does God specifically say that conception is only moral when in it specifically and solely results from married penises penetrating married vaginas? Does God specifically say that any and all alternative means of conception marriage are immoral? (I’m talking about means in which third party penises and vaginas do not come in direct contact with either married partner.)

Does God specifically prohibit the commercialization of procreation and/or prohibit the introduction of genetic material from a third party when married couples wish to have children? I simply don’t recall any rules against either commercialization or the introduction of third party genetic material. I’m not talking about having sex with third parties, just using the genes from third parties. Perhaps these are not ideal alternatives, but are they truly prohibited on grounds of sin and immorality?

May I ask if small pox is a part of the system that God “put in place”? I promise that it’s quite relevant to the discussion and to the arguments that you are presenting.

Rhology said...

Smallpox and like diseases are results of the Fall, not of the original creation.

bossmanham said...

Does God say it explicitly? Perhaps not. Does God say it in how He has designed the natural process? Certainly.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

“Smallpox and like diseases are results of the Fall, not of the original creation”

Interesting. So did the unique sequence of nucleotides known as the variola major genome exist before the fall?

And more to the point, is sterility and infertility also a result of the Fall?

"Does God say it explicitly? Perhaps not."

Well, there you go then. That's what I thought. Glad to see that I didn’t miss anything in the Bible.

“Does God say it in how He has designed the natural process? Certainly.”

What is the reasoning behind the conclusion of “certainly”?

What is “natural”? What are your views on small pox?

Rhology said...

So did the unique sequence of nucleotides known as the variola major genome exist before the fall?

There's no way to know, any more than we can know much of anything about genomic info from more than a few hundred years ago for anything.

is sterility and infertility also a result of the Fall?

It's hard to say for sure, but I would say probably yes.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

There's no way to know, any more than we can know much of anything about genomic info from more than a few hundred years ago for anything.

Perhaps you meant “a few thousand years ago”. I assume that you are aware that we've been able to sequence DNA that everyone would agree is at least a few thousand years old (I’m talking about sources of DNA that even YEC ers would agree is a few thousand years old).

So, what do we know? What can we agree on?

We know that when the unique sequence of nucleotides known as the variola major genome enters human cells, then humans die.

We know that humans didn't die before the Fall.

Does this help us to answer the question… did the unique sequence of nucleotides known as the variola major genome exist before the Fall?


It's hard to say for sure (about sterility and infertility), but I would say probably yes.

Ok, so both small pox and sterility are (probably) the result of the Fall.

So, can we conclude that neither was "designed" by God, that is, neither is a part of “God’s design”?

Rhology said...

If it's a few thousand, it makes not much difference for my argument, but just b/c one can sequence a few solitary examples of DNA that are some hundreds of years old, that doesn't tell us much. It's not even close to a statistically significant sample size.


We know that when the unique sequence of nucleotides known as the variola major genome enters human cells, then humans die.

Here is what I would agree to:
We know that when the unique sequence of nucleotides known as the variola major genome (which we know exists now but we don't know existED back then) enters human cells, then modern humans die.

True, humans didn't die before the Fall. It's probably problematic to say that the potential for death and killing existed pre-Fall in that way. My educated guess would be that the genome existed but post-Fall mutated slightly to become a killer.


can we conclude that neither was "designed" by God, that is, neither is a part of “God’s design”?

I'm much more confident in saying that smallpox as such was not directly designed by God but was rather something that God created which became twisted after the Fall.
I'm less confident about sterility. I don't really have enough information to say either way, sorry.

bossmanham said...

And enough with this rabbit trail. How did we get off on smallpox?

River Sprite Worshiper said...

My educated guess would be that the genome existed but post-Fall mutated slightly to become a killer.

After the proposed mutation, small pox did extremely well for itself. So, can we conclude that mutations can be beneficial?


I'm less confident about sterility. I don't really have enough information to say either way, sorry.

You don’t have enough information? You think that sterility could be a part of God’s Perfect Design? Sterility?!

Rhology said...

can we conclude that mutations can be beneficial?

Someone needs to define "beneficial" before I could agree to that.


You don’t have enough information? You think that sterility could be a part of God’s Perfect Design? Sterility?!

Yeah, you're probably right. So OK, I'll affirm that sterility is not part of God's design.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

And enough with this rabbit trail. How did we get off on smallpox?

Rabbit trails? I thought that you philosophical-theological types loved rabbit trails.

I believe that you’ve been arguing that we should not find new ways to “pervert the system God has put in place”, because to do so would be to “play god”. You seem to be saying that you can claim that something if immoral and sinful if we fail to follow…or if we act against…the “natural process” that God has designed…even if the action is question is not directly and specifically prohibited by God in the Bible.

Well, then, in order to decide if something is sinful or immoral, it seems to me that we now need to figure out what is and isn’t a part of the system that God has put in place. What exactly is the system that God has put in place? What is or isn’t a part of the “natural process” is designed by God. We have to know, because we don’t want to pervert God’s system, play god, and/or go against the natural process designed by God, right?

So, as a test example, is small pox designed by God and a part of the natural process? Is it a product of the Fall?

bossmanham said...

Rabbit trails? I thought that you philosophical-theological types loved rabbit trails.

I suppose we do, but we also like not straying too far from the purpose of the original post. Getting into something regarding genetic mutations and natural selection is kinda far off, don't you think?

Well, then, in order to decide if something is sinful or immoral, it seems to me that we now need to figure out what is and isn’t a part of the system that God has put in place

We've already pointed to where God describes His design. We have the principle. It's plain to see that deviating from that design is, by definition, going outside of the principle design. We don't need a biology lesson to do that.

So, as a test example, is small pox designed by God and a part of the natural process? Is it a product of the Fall?

Even after your little explanation, you've still failed to show how this would be relevant.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Alan,

Someone needs to define "beneficial" before I could agree to that.

A mutation is beneficial if it increases the probability that the organism will pass on copies of its genes. The post-Fall mutated small pox was wildly successful, killing millions every century and passing on gazillions of copies of its genes. So, by this measure, the mutation could only be described as beneficial.


Brennon,

We've already pointed to where God describes His design. We have the principle. It's plain to see that deviating from that design is, by definition, going outside of the principle design. We don't need a biology lesson to do that.

Your friend Alan has established the fact that sterility is not a part of God’s Perfect Design. It’s not a part of the system the God has put in place. It is not a part of the “natural process” , and it’s not a part of the “principle design” created by God. Therefore, appeals to “where God describes His design” or to the “principle design” are irrelevant to the question of what we can morally do about sterility. You can’t deviate against something that isn’t a part of the design in the first place.

The Bible does not expressly prohibit the use of third party genes. Use of third party genes cannot be “going outside of the principle design”, because sterility is not a part of the principle design to begin with. No explicit prohibition, appeals to design are irrelevant…so use of third party genes by married couples as a means of addressing sterility is good to go.



Even after your little explanation, you've still failed to show how this would be relevant.

The relevance is demonstrated by your inability or unwillingness to answer the question.

In the absence of explicit biblical prohibitions, you’ve proposed that we use an ethic based on “God’s design” and/or on “not playing god” and/or on not going outside of or against “the system that God has put in place”. But what does this really mean in practice? In practice, this standard or rationale is worthless. What does playing god even mean, especially in cases in which you can't even tell me if something is a part of the The Plan or not?

When we eradicated small pox, we were “playing god”. Certainly the eradication of small pox was an “unnatural” act. Was this a moral act or not? Did this go against the system that God put in place? You’ve been unable to answer my question about the “nature” of small pox, so who knows? However, by your moral system, it appears to me that eradication was “unnatural”, and against the system that God put in place, and going against God’s principle design…so it was immoral to eradicate small pox. Right?

The same problem crops up in countless other examples. When we invent any number of technologies to address the problem of infertility, how can you tell when we are playing god and when we are not? What is natural and what is unnatural? What is and is not a part of God’s principle design? It’s always tempting to condemn something as “playing god”, but it’s a hollow argument.

Here’s your basic problem. The Bible is an ancient text. It’s outdated. It can't always address countless new moral questions, because it’s frozen in a time and place in which these questions didn’t exist. New technologies have created new questions that were beyond the imaginations of the biblical writers. The Bible simply hasn’t kept up with the technology, so with respect to these moral questions, we’re on our own.

Ana said...

"Does God say conception must be tied to the specific act of married penises penetrating married vaginas? [...]Does God specifically prohibit the commercialization of procreation and/or prohibit the introduction of genetic material from a third party when married couples wish to have children?"

If you are asking for an express prohibition in Scripture, no.

However, it should be helpful to point out Christ's indignation at the sight of the Temple being used as a marketplace (John 2:13-17), and St. Paul's teaching that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:18-20), which, interestingly enough, is within a passage exhorting Christians to flee from sexual immorality.

Also, not all moral truths are communicated by God in writing as an explicit "though shalt not...".

We are a rational species, that has the capacity of knowing moral truths through the exercise of reason informed by the way in which the universe is ordered.

One need not look far to find examples of how rebelling against that order (i.e. committing morally disordered acts), opens a can of worms and leads people into trouble.

E.g.

Court: Husband must pay childcare for twins conceived after couple's separation

British man 'fathered 600 children' at own fertility clinic

bossmanham said...

Your friend Alan has established the fact that sterility is not a part of God’s Perfect Design. It’s not a part of the system the God has put in place. It is not a part of the “natural process”

Right. Punishment and consequence.

God. Therefore, appeals to “where God describes His design” or to the “principle design” are irrelevant to the question of what we can morally do about sterility

Not where the act of sexual intercourse comes in. If there were some way to get the bodies of said individuals to function properly again, say, then you'd be restoring natural function and then that married couple could again perform the act that God designed. The artificial means are....artificial. Outside of God's design and plan. You're apparently missing what's been designed...

The Bible does not expressly prohibit the use of third party genes.

But it does describe what a proper sexual relationship is in principle, as does natural law.

The relevance is demonstrated by your inability or unwillingness to answer the question.\

What question? About smallpox? It has nothing to do with what we're talking about.

But what does this really mean in practice?

Read Aquinas. Natural law ethics has been around a long time.

When we eradicated small pox, we were “playing god”

No...we erradicated a deviation of the natural order using our minds as designed by God....

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Right. Punishment and consequence.

So when something is not a part of God’s Perfect Plan, then it is to be seen as punishment and consequence. Specifically, sterility is a punishment and consequence? Do I understand this correctly?


Not where the act of sexual intercourse comes in.

Special pleading. You always want to make exceptions as it suits you. There’s no sexual intercourse in the scenario under discussion. God doesn’t say that conception must be and can only be by insertion of penis into vagina.


If there were some way to get the bodies of said individuals to function properly again, say, then you'd be restoring natural function and then that married couple could again perform the act that God designed. The artificial means are....artificial. Outside of God's design and plan. You're apparently missing what's been designed...

Again, what is natural and what is not?

What is “artificial” and what is not? When is a human action “natural” and when is it “artificial”? Sterility results from natural processes, so sterility, like small pox, is a natural thing. If sterility is natural, then restoring fertility is the thing that is unnatural and artificial.

Or is the loss of fertility to be considered “unnatural” and/or something that is “not a part of the system the God has put in place”? Well, in this case, the loss of fertility is a punishment, right? So if we do something to get the bodies of said individuals to function properly again, then we are resisting the punishment of God. It was God’s intent that the individual be sterile, and to challenge this is to commit a sin.

So, any effort to restore the natural function of an “unnatural” body would be both artificial and evil. We must live with sterility, just as we should have lived with small pox. You must accept the will of God, Brennon.


But it does describe what a proper sexual relationship is in principle, as does natural law.

But there’s no sex involved here, right? No third party penises and/or vaginas will touch the penises or vaginas of the married couple. No intercourse outside of marriage.

You’ve acknowledged that there is nothing here that is expressly prohibited by the Bible. There just isn’t. Again, I suspect that this is because the writers of the Bible simply could not imagine the current technology. They had no divine insight into the future, so the Bible doesn’t saying anything about specimen cups, turkey basters and third party genes.

As far as “natural law” goes, you’ll have to explain it to me.


No...we erradicated a deviation of the natural order using our minds as designed by God....

Why is small pox a deviation of the natural order?

Are you sure that we were not playing god when we eradicated small pox? The punishment for sin is death. Small pox is an agent of death. It may be a “deviation’, but it serves God by killing sinners. By eradicating small pox, we are preventing death from small pox, and thus, we are playing god and thwarting God’s will. In fact, any time we do something to prevent death, we are thwarting the punishment of God. So, why bother eradicating small pox?

There is no consistency here. All we have here is a lot of special pleading. Sometimes altering or fixing or eradicating “deviations” is considered playing god or artificial or unnatural and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s “natural” when we use the technological products of our minds (small pox) and sometimes it’s “artificial” (turkey baster baby). In the absence of an explicit directive from God, then it’s all just your opinion. If you personally approve of something, it’s not playing god. If you personally disapprove of something, then it is playing god. And even if it’s not playing god, it’s thwarting the punishment of God.

See the problem with the appeal to “playing god” and arguments based on “natural order” yet?

bossmanham said...

Special pleading. You always want to make exceptions as it suits you. There’s no sexual intercourse in the scenario under discussion

I don't think you know what this word means. It's not special pleading, it's talking about the very same thing. God designed ONE end with ONE means to meet that end.

God doesn’t say that conception must be and can only be by insertion of penis into vagina.

He does in His design. Artificial means always pervert the principle in some way; ie they require another party to become involved in someone else's sexual life.

Again, what is natural and what is not?

What corresponds to God's design. Is this just going in one eye and out the other? And what happened to you being done with the conversation?

Sterility results from natural processes

This is actually antithetical to a natural process.

So, any effort to restore the natural function of an “unnatural” body would be both artificial and evil.

This is nonsensical in this context.

But there’s no sex involved here, right?

Which is partially the point.

No third party penises and/or vaginas will touch the penises or vaginas of the married couple

Don't act like you're this dense. Third party biological components will be involved.

You’ve acknowledged that there is nothing here that is expressly prohibited by the Bible

Because the Bible lays out principles even if it doesn't always explicitly state something. The Bible never says not to burn down an entire rainforest and mercilessly and needlessly slaughter all the animals therein, but we know due to the principle of being a good steward that this would be morally wrong. Come now, you're not this dense and we all know it. Don't be a troll.

Why is small pox a deviation of the natural order?

Alan already explained this to you.

There is no consistency here.

Just because you can't (or refuse) to understand something doesn't entail there's no consistency.

Sometimes altering or fixing or eradicating “deviations” is considered playing god or artificial or unnatural and sometimes it’s not

That's actually never been the case. Try again.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

He does in His design.

But this conclusion goes beyond the Bible. The Bible doesn’t say “draw conclusions from biological structures”. It just doesn’t. It may say that some given act is a sin, but there’s nothing in the Bible about drawing your own conclusions from biology. This is your insertion.

They require another party to become involved in someone else's sexual life.

And again, the third party in question is not having sex with the married couple.


Q: What is natural and what is not? A: What corresponds to God’s design.

And here we reach the crux of the matter. You’ve answered one unanswerable question with undefined terms with another unanswerable question with undefined terms.

You see, now we must ask, what corresponds to God’s design and what doesn’t? That’s a very tricky question, don’t you think? How do you know that is God’s design and what is not? To quote Paul Simon, the information’s unavailable to the mortal man.

However, let’s pretend that we can know what corresponds to God’s design. Let’s say that it was God’s design that all species would be fertile. If I recall correctly, it was also a part of the design that all species would never die. So, according to the design, there would only be additions to populations, but no subtractions. See the problem here? (Won’t be long before there’s no room in the inn.)

Of course, infertility, sterility and death were a part of the design all along. The original plan, created before The Creation, stated that if a single human sinned, all living things would suffer horribly while alive, and all living things would die. (This never made sense to me, but that’s another story.) That is, infertility, sterility and death are also a part of the plan and a part of the design. This wasn’t an idea that popped into God’s head after the apple incident; it was a part of the design since before time began.

Since the Fall, all designed organism must suffer and must die. It's the new "natural". Death is now, in fact, a literal part of the design (see telomeres). So, any effort at all to prevent or reverse these things would be artificial and sinful. Any effort to prevent or reverse is against the will of God.


This is actually antithetical to a natural process.

Er, no, sterility really does result from natural processes. It really, really does. That’s a biological fact.


This is nonsensical in this context.

It’s not nonsensical at all. You’re ducking the implications of your own statements and beliefs. If you conclude that sterility is unnatural because it doesn’t correspond to God’s design, then you have to ask the question…why does sterility exist? Why do we see this “deviation” in God’s design?

Well, it exists as a punishment for sin, right? And you must accept the judgment of God, right? So, any effort to restore the natural function is an effort to thwart God’s will and is evil and sinful. This is not nonsensical; you just don’t want to accept the conclusions derived from your own beliefs.


Q: But there’s no sex involved here, right? A: Which is partially the point.

Again, does the Bible say that sex must be involved in conception?


Because the Bible lays out principles even if it doesn't always explicitly state something.

Has it laid out a “principle” that prohibits turkey baster babies? Where? Maybe this is just your own personal interpretation and prejudices speaking. I suspect that other faithful, intelligent, knowledgeable Christians might reach different conclusions.

This is the problem with somewhat outdated documents. When something new comes along, all we can do is offer up flawed personal guesses and interpretations. Too bad the biblical writers lack insight into future developments. Would have made this conversation a much shorter one.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Q: Why is small pox a deviation of the natural order? A: Alan already explained this to you.

Scenario One:

Say that small pox is a deviation. It's also a death-dealing agent. It plays a role in God's judgement of sinners. It's deviant, but still part of God's plan.

To repeat, all humans must die for their sins, and any effort to prevent death from any cause, including small pox, is an effort to thwart God’s plan. How dare you try to stop God's efforts to kill your children in horrible and painful ways!

Scenario two:

Alan is wrong about the origin of small pox. Your hero Michael Behe says so. Behe says that only God can turn a benign microbe into a pathogen or create a microbe that’s a pathogen to begin with. Pathogenicity depends on virulence factor genes, and you can’t generate these genes without divine intervention. That is, pathogens must be created by God as pathogens, either from benign microbes or from scratch. To his credit, Behe clearly acknowledges that his position on the limits of mutation means that existing pathogens were, in fact, created by God. They are not the product of evolution or of Alan’s mythical post-Fall mutations.

All things scabbed and ulcerous,
All pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
The Lord God made them all.

So, in the beginning, God created small pox. God designed small pox. Small pox is a part of the God-created natural system.


To act against the God-created natural order is to act in a perverted and artificial way. It is to play god. This is what we did when we eradicated small pox. In eradicating small pox, we have sinned against God. How dare we eradicate small pox! How dare we play god!

See the problem yet? Does small pox correspond to God’s design or not? Who knows? It’s easy enough to argue it both ways, and so how can you draw conclusions about the morality of our actions with respect to small pox?


That's actually never been the case. Try again.

I’m not sure that I follow what you’re saying here. Never been the case? Are you saying that fixing deviations is never considered to be playing god?
Well, good. Then the use of artificial insemination isn’t playing god after all. Glad that’s settled.

bossmanham said...

But this conclusion goes beyond the Bible

?? So?

The Bible doesn’t say “draw conclusions from biological structures”.

Sigh. Why don't you just deal with what's being presented? Theologians have always accepted that there is special revelation and natural revelation. In fact the Bible says there is (Romans 1:20).

You’ve answered one unanswerable question with undefined terms with another unanswerable question with undefined terms.

I answered it, so clearly it's not unanswerable...And why on earth did you ask it if you thought it was unanswerable? Are you prone to pursuing futile endeavors?

You see, now we must ask, what corresponds to God’s design and what doesn’t? That’s a very tricky question, don’t you think?

Perhaps sometimes, but the epistemological issues one may have in discerning what proper function is doesn't eliminate the reality that there is proper function and then there is improper function. I think it's plainly clear the principle means by which procreation happens is without special revelation. It just so happens that God lays out the principle for us in Gen 2. Your point is moot.

To quote Paul Simon, the information’s unavailable to the mortal man.

Well it takes something to quote Paul Simon in a discussion about meta ethics and their proper application (and may partly explain your failure to grasp the issue).

If I recall correctly, it was also a part of the design that all species would never die

That's not really clear at all...

If I recall correctly, it was also a part of the design that all species would never die. So, according to the design, there would only be additions to populations, but no subtractions. See the problem here?

Rather simplistic...but this is irrelevant to the discussion and we're not derailing the issue any further.

The original plan, created before The Creation, stated that if a single human sinned, all living things would suffer horribly while alive, and all living things would die.

The plan of punishment is not one and the same with the initial plan. To equate the two is fallacious. A != B.

Er, no, sterility really does result from natural processes. It really, really does. That’s a biological fact

You're equivocating. First off, it's unnatural for someone to be sterile, even on this tendentious definition (which I assume is what happens most of the time sans human intervention). That's why we try to cure it. Second, on the definition I laid out, according to God's design, it's certainly not. God designed humans initially to be fruitful and multiply. Sterility is an aberration.

It’s not nonsensical at all. You’re ducking the implications of your own statements and beliefs

No, I'm answering your questions. There was nothing to answer there.

why does sterility exist? Why do we see this “deviation” in God’s design?

Alan already explained this to you. You act like you've got all this Biblical knowledge. Surely you've read the first few chapters of Genesis...

Well, it exists as a punishment for sin, right? And you must accept the judgment of God, right? So, any effort to restore the natural function is an effort to thwart God’s will and is evil and sinful

No. A general curse on creation doesn't abdicate 1) God's love for that creation. 2) His desire for that creation to prosper. 3)His commands to us to help each other. 4) The abilities of the mind He gave us.

Just because things are harder now doesn't mean we can't try to make them better within that context at all. It's ungracious and simplistic to present it as some sort of unbreakable barrier. If He'd wanted it to be that way, He'd have just wiped us out.

bossmanham said...

Again, does the Bible say that sex must be involved in conception?

The principle laid out does in both special and natural revelation.

Has it laid out a “principle” that prohibits turkey baster babies? Where?

I'll repeat this only once more: in the natural design.

To repeat, all humans must die for their sins, and any effort to prevent death from any cause, including small pox, is an effort to thwart God’s plan

No it isn't. It's already been explained what God's plan was. God's judgment doesn't negate His original design. We messed up, but that doesn't negate the original purpose.

For instance. The state (normally) wants its citizens to be successful and make money so that they can pay taxes and make new taxpayers. But occasionally, the citizens break the laws of the state. The state has to then impose a punishment on the citizen to deter that behavior. Say this punishment is a large fine. Then it become much harder for that citizen to succeed. They have less money to do so now. So, said citizen now has a new context in which he has to try to fulfill the state's original purpose; specifically far less money to do it with. He can still do it, and the state still wants him to, it's just harder.

Since you seem to be having issues figuring this out, I'll guide you through it. God is the state. We're the citizen. We broke God's law. He imposed a fine (the general curse). He still loves us and wants us to do well (according to His original design) yet we now have a different context in which to do it in. A universe where we get sick, suffer, have diseases to deal with. They're there to make it harder, but they're deviations from the initial design and so therefore it's not wrong to try to overcome them. We obviously can't fully overcome them, but we can stem the flow.

If you can't get that, then you're just hand waving.

Your hero Michael Behe says so. Behe says that only God can turn a benign microbe into a pathogen or create a microbe that’s a pathogen to begin with.

Yawn. No he doesn't.

And you have a very very simplistic view of what Christians believe re Biology...

Rhology said...

To quote Paul Simon, the information’s unavailable to the mortal man.

The Bible is quite long, and deals with these issues in some detail. It's hardly unavailable. It's that men don't want to listen to i t.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Theologians have always accepted that there is special revelation and natural revelation.

Or it could be that theologians just fill in the blanks as they wish. As stated previously, different theologians will look at the question of artificial insemination, look at “natural revelation”, and come to different conclusions. Your principle is too vague and squishy.


It just so happens that God lays out the principle for us in Gen 2. Your point is moot.

Genesis 2 discusses turkey baster babies? I don’t think so. It may (vaguely) discuss what we now call marriage (maybe), but there is nothing here at all about procreation or third party genes. There just isn’t. You’re adding words and conclusions that are not here. (By the way, adoption involves third AND fourth party genes, so I guess that’s out, too.)


Q: If I recall correctly, it was also a part of the design that all species would never die. A: That's not really clear at all...

Are you sure about this? I’ve seen a lot of young earth theologican make this claim. I’m not making this up. Are they wrong? Is your friend Alan wrong?


Rather simplistic...but this is irrelevant to the discussion and we're not derailing the issue any further.

It’s quite relevant. You see, you want to introduce a “natural revelation” solution to the problem created by a lack of instruction about new technologies, and that includes appealing to that which “corresponds to God’s design”. But what was “God’s original design”? Could this design have worked?

If it doesn’t, then maybe you’re just plain wrong about “God’s original design”. Maybe you don’t understand it or it never existed as you imagined it to exist. Either way, you can’t very well appeal to something that doesn’t work or doesn’t exist or that you don’t understand.


The plan of punishment is not one and the same with the initial plan. To equate the two is fallacious. A != B.

Are you arguing that the plan of punishment was something invented by God AFTER the Fall? Was punishment a solution invented after the apple eating? Well, then I guess the whole “Jesus as Savior” plan was also a later addition to The Plan, too, because the savior thing is only needed or makes sense as a solution to a post-Creation problem. Either the punishment is a part of the original plan or Jesus is not.


You're equivocating.

Well, that’s the problem with the “corresponds to God’s design” approach, isn’t it? One can often argue it either way. A given biological phenomenon can be seen as “natural” or as “deviant”, depending on the needs of those who are making the argument. That’s my point.


First off, it's unnatural for someone to be sterile

I think that we have some confusion here over the word “natural”. I use natural to mean something that results from a natural process, that is, a process that does not require or involve the direct action or intervention of a supernatural agent (i.e. God).

River Sprite Worshiper said...

No. A general curse on creation doesn't abdicate…(followed by four points and speculation)

Now you’re the one who is equivocating. Or perhaps the problem here is simply that the Bible clearly and unquestionably contradicts itself.

You sin. You are sterile as a result (or you suffer from some other horrible problem due to the “curse”). The sterility is a direct consequence of your sin and the subsequent punishment of that sin by God. The sterility is the will of God. God put a curse on creation for the sin of humankind, that curse includes your sterility. You deserve to be sterile, and your sterility is a punishment for your sins. You must follow the will of God or you will compound your sin. To attempt to alter your condition is a sin.

How can you argue that it’s ok to thwart the will of God? All you’ve accomplished with your Points 1 through 4 is to show that Bible contradicts itself. God punishes us, we're to accept the will and judgment of God, but we’re also supposed to try to thwart the punishment? Doesn't really make sense, does it?


No it isn't. It's already been explained what God's plan was. God's judgment doesn't negate His original design. We messed up, but that doesn't negate the original purpose.

As discussed above, the punishment for sin WAS in the original plan. If it wasn’t, then “Jesus as Savior” was also absent from the original plan.

Regardless of the timing, now that we’ve messed up, The Plan says that we are to die. That’s The Plan, that’s The Design under which we are currently operating, and that’s God’s will. To try to prevent death is to act against God’s will.


For instance….(followed by a creative analogy)

Your elaborate analogy fails on several levels.

God doesn’t impose a punishment “to deter”. The punishment is a just retribution for evil acts. The punishment is for what you have already done. It’s an act after the fact. It’s not about preventing you from doing sinful things in the first place. It’s act that you must accept because you deserved to be punished. To try to wriggle out of God’s judgment, and God’s clear plan, is to sin.

The punishment of biological death is also, well, terminal. After biological death, there is no second biological act. After you are dead, it’s over, as far as this life is concerned. Once you’ve been killed by small pox, there’s no “new context” in which you have to try to fulfill “the state’s” original purpose. You’re just toast. Death is not the same thing as a fine.

And that’s the short list of reasons why your analogy fails. (God is like the U.S. government? Really?)


Yawn. No he doesn't.

Yeah, he does. The whole point of the Edge of Evolution: The Search for the LIMITS of Darwinism was that the rate of mutation is too slow to create the complex, gene-based traits that we see around us. Pathogenicity depends on numerous, specific gene-based virulence factors. Behe says that such things cannot evolve. It takes too many random mutations. There isn’t enough time.

And I quote Behe:

“Here's something to ponder long and hard: Malaria was intentionally designed. The molecular machinery with which the parasite invades red blood cells is an exquisitely purposeful arrangement of parts. C-Eve's children died in her arms because an intelligent agent deliberately made malaria, or at least something very similar to it.”

What is true for malaria is true for small pox.

Rhology said...

The Bible says "thou shalt listen to Behe all the time" or something equivalent...where?

Rhology said...

There isn’t enough time.

Assumes uniformitarianism.
You need to read my blog more.

River Sprite Worshiper said...

Alan…

The Bible is quite long, and deals with these issues in some detail. It's hardly unavailable. It's that men don't want to listen to it.

So, now you claim to know the mind of God? Mighty arrogant of you.

And for all it’s “length”, men still can’t agree about what it says. Looks like the information is unavailable to me.


The Bible says "thou shalt listen to Behe all the time" or something equivalent...where?

No, Brennon says thou shalt listen to Behe. I'm just citing an authority that Brennon respects.



To conclude...

Ok, I admit that I’m repeating myself again and wasting too much time on this. This time, I really, really need to walk away.

So, let’s sum up my points. What have we learned?

There’s no explicit prohibition against turkey baster babies. Appeals to “natural revelation” will lead us into squishy areas and generate endless disputes among theologians.

If we try to use “natural revelation” and go down the “corresponds to God’s design” rabbit trail, we must be able to decide just what that design actually is. And not just in the case of one specific problem such as sterility, because almost everything in modern medicine can be seen as “playing god”. If we’re going to decide what we can morally do about anything we must know what God did and did not design. Tricky, tricky. For example, did God design small pox or not?

Assuming that we can somehow achieve the impossible and answer the above question, we’re left with two possibilities. If something is deemed “natural”, we can’t touch it, because that would be artificial and unnatural and contrary to God’s plan. If something is deemed “deviant”, then we can’t change that either, because the deviance is a part of the just punishment of God. To argue that the Bible says that we can act to avoid, alter, prevent or otherwise wriggle out of the punishment is to show that the Bible contradicts itself.

Rhology said...

now you claim to know the mind of God? Mighty arrogant of you.

Naked assertion.
If God has said sthg, it is instead arrogant to refuse to believe it. YOU'RE arrogant.


And for all it’s “length”, men still can’t agree about what it says

That's b/c men are sinful.


Looks like the information is unavailable to me.

Naked assertion. You need to give us a reason to think this is correct.


Brennon says thou shalt listen to Behe.

Unlike apparently you, I take the time to learn about bossmanham's position with more breadth than you've shown any willingness to. You don't think he'd say that Behe is not omniscient, that he's wrong about some things?
How shallow and petty of you. You were doing well, too, but you are on the descent.


For example, did God design small pox or not?

Already been over that. For a "conclusion", you're acting remarkably as if the conversation had never occurred.


If something is deemed “deviant”, then we can’t change that either, because the deviance is a part of the just punishment of God.

This is an extremely ignorant statement, showing that you have no idea what the BIble says.
Your problem is not that men disagree about the BIble. Your problem is that you haven't even read it with basic understanding. I recommend you get on that.

bossmanham said...

Or it could be that theologians just fill in the blanks as they wish

Argue, don't assert.

As stated previously, different theologians will look at the question of artificial insemination, look at “natural revelation”, and come to different conclusions.

So?

Your principle is too vague and squishy.

That would be your understanding. But this is what it comes to when you've been proven wrong and you're at a loss.

Genesis 2 discusses turkey baster babies?

Do you not know what the word "principle" means?

Are you sure about this? I’ve seen a lot of young earth theologican make this claim. I’m not making this up. Are they wrong? Is your friend Alan wrong?

It's quite possible. That's why I said it's not clear. I personally am undecided on the issue. It's not a big one with regard to theology. Both sides present interesting issues to hash out, as does materialistic naturalism (it's just that materialistic naturalism is untenable).

It’s quite relevant. You see, you want to introduce a “natural revelation” solution to the problem created by a lack of instruction about new technologies, and that includes appealing to that which “corresponds to God’s design”. But what was “God’s original design”? Could this design have worked?

What God's design is IS relevant. What would have happened if nothing ever died isn't. Whether it was God's original design that death not happen IS relevant. The seemingly weird issues associated with that aren't. Learn to think without going off on 15 irrelevant tangents.

Are you arguing that the plan of punishment was something invented by God AFTER the Fall?

No, I'm arguing it's a separate plan. It was in response to the fall, but the temporal location of the conception of the plan is irrelevant.

think that we have some confusion here over the word “natural”.

There shouldn't be, as I've defined what I mean by that several times.

I use natural to mean something that results from a natural process

Then you're arguing a straw man. I think natural processes (in the sense you're defining) can lead to entirely unnatural effects (in the sense they're not effects wanted by God).

Now you’re the one who is equivocating

Nope.

The sterility is a direct consequence of your sin and the subsequent punishment of that sin by God. The sterility is the will of God. God put a curse on creation for the sin of humankind, that curse includes your sterility. You deserve to be sterile, and your sterility is a punishment for your sins. You must follow the will of God or you will compound your sin. To attempt to alter your condition is a sin.

I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you've shown yourself to either be a very simplistic thinker, or a troll.

God doesn’t impose a punishment “to deter”.

Irrelevant. An analogy is an analogy. The state also punishes for just retribution.

The punishment of biological death is also, well, terminal. After biological death, there is no second biological act.

As if eventual physical death is the only result of the curse.

he whole point of the Edge of Evolution: The Search for the LIMITS of Darwinism was that the rate of mutation is too slow to create the complex, gene-based traits that we see around us.

Yes, that doesn't mean there aren't mutations within a kind. Not that I have an issue with God having designed certain diseases as part of the curse. That doesn't undo the mind He gave us and the desire for us to better our situation within that context.

River Sprite Worshiper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
River Sprite Worshiper said...

Can’t help but mention that I found another problem with your analogy. (The flesh is weak.)

In attempting to reverse sterility (or prevent death or fix any other “deviation”), you’re attempting to reverse, negate, overturn, annul and repeal that which is a punishment for your sins. In trying to return to the “original design”, you are trying to get back into Eden. If you like analogies, God has imposed a much justified fine on your sorry bee-hind, and now you have the audacity to want your money back (the same money you paid when you paid the fine).

Sterility is the fine to be paid. You have to live with it, just as you must live with the loss of money due to the fine. No backsies. Reversing it is the equivalent of demanding your money back.

You know, the problem with analogies is that they’re just analogies. They’re not the actual concept under discussion. So, you can make them say whatever you want them to or come out however you want them to.

Anyway, it’s be entertaining and enlightening. God’s will be done. TTFN.

Rhology said...

you’re attempting to reverse, negate, overturn, annul and repeal that which is a punishment for your sins

Yes, b/c God told us to go about doing good.
ALL suffering is the result of the Fall and God has commanded us and enabled us to alleviate suffering, preach the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified and risen again, love people, etc.



If you like analogies, God has imposed a much justified fine on your sorry bee-hind, and now you have the audacity to want your money back (the same money you paid when you paid the fine).

A poor analogy. It bears virtually no resemblance to the biblical narrative.

Rhology said...

Sterility is the fine to be paid. You have to live with it, just as you must live with the loss of money due to the fine. No backsies. Reversing it is the equivalent of demanding your money back.

You've conjured up this faux-biblical worldview out of your own imagination. It has nothing to do with our position.

bossmanham said...

FYI, the reason I haven't said anything further is 1) I'd just be repeating myself and 2) Rho has sufficiently summed up anything else that needs be said.

May Christ be glorified, and I'll be praying for the conversion of the atheists who were kind enough to discuss here. I sincerely do appreciate it.

bossmanham said...

One thing: the direct punishment for sins was the curse on creation. Things that curse led to (ie sterility) are side effects of that curse; not the direct punishment itself.

QED from Rho's statements.