***29′,’1′,’2010-07-04 23:15:59′,’2010-07-04 23:15:59′,’

This is beautiful, both in thought as in style:

I am inclined to agree with the burden of your argument, but I recommend avoiding such personifications as “Nature has ordered.” They will seem quasi-theological, and it is not theists whom we must convince. Our task is to persuade secular (i.e., economic and “high-culture” conservatives) and moderates.

Also, nature, although it has patterns and we should emphasize these, is unconscious. “Society” too is indefinite; any association of whatever kind, the best and the worst, is a society.

But culture is both customary human ethical practice and the more conscious deliberations of the law.

We can begin our arguments in support of marriage with the rational understanding of nature, but we cannot end there.

Now, to be fair to the homophiles, there was once an ethical, or at least a societal, sanction for (male) homosexuality. This occurred in the time of those wily Greeks. In the citizen army, an older man would pair with a youth; he would protect him and teach him soldiering as they stood against the foe. Aristotle approved of these arrangements, as long as they did not interfere with the duty of a man to take a wife and to replenish the citizenry. Nobody even in Alcibiades’ Athens imagined that the males themselves could marry each other.

That stage of culture, however, has been long surpassed. We live in vast nations, not intimate cities, and we have experienced the moral refinements that came with Christianity. The insights of Augustine and Aquinas, Luther and Calvin, have changed the ethical landscape, even among those who renounce a belief in God: Marx is not Leucippus, Freud is not Epicurus.

I understand your desire to make a “biological” argument against homosexual “marriage,” and this is a first step, but I suggest that the argument cannot pause at that level. The problem with empirical observations is that they are too abundant. One can pick and choose when trying to use them to make inferences about ethical human behavior. As Freud said, causes are overdetermined. Although some of our foes will soon tire of hearing it, we must emphasize that for us humans, reason is the essence of what we are, not the contingencies of nature.

Comment by Noesis Noeseos here‘,’Philosophical thoughts against same-sex marriage’,’0′,”,’publish’,’open’,’closed’,”,’philosophical-thoughts-against-same-sex-marriage’,”,’ http://patterico.com/2009/04/03/iowa-supremes-legalize-gay-marriage/ ‘,’2010-07-04 23:16:54′,’2010-07-04 23:16:54′,”,’0′,’http://socimages.blogsome.com/2010/07/04/philosophical-thoughts-against-same-sex-marriage/’,’0′) ***30′,’1′,’2010-07-05 20:35:35′,’2010-07-05 20:35:35′,’