-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Michael LaBossiere, a philosophy professor at Florida A&M University, has written a short Kindle book entitled For Better or Worse Reasoning: A Philosophical Look at Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage. In this book, LaBossiere reviews the “arguments” against same-sex marriage and points out the fallacious reasoning behind them. I would like to highlight a couple of the fallacious arguments, but for a complete treatment I suggest you download his book which is only $0.99.
In one of LaBossiere’s early examples, he uses a recent blog post by Bristol Palin in which she commented on Obama’s support of same-sex marriage by saying:
While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage.
This common argument from same-sex marriage opponents is an Appeal to Tradition, a logical fallacy. The fallacy occurs when something is assumed better or correct simply because it has been around for a long time. In reality, the “tradition” of marriage has evolved since ancient times. As Jay Michaelson points out:
Abraham had two wives, … King Solomon had 700 wives, … Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives.
So, everybody has the right to be happy? So, if you’re not happy unless you’re married to five other people, is that OK?
Santorum used the fallacy known as the Slippery Slope where the legalization of polygamy inevitably follows from the legalization of same-sex marriage with no argument for the inevitability. The reasoning is fallacious because there is no reason to believe the inevitability. Ironically, polygamy has been a “traditional” form of marriage for thousands of years.
Santorum’s slippery slope could also be used to argue against opposite-sex marriages: “if we allow different-sex people to marry, the next thing you know, same-sex couples will get married and then people will be marrying flying fish.”
With regard to consenting adults, LaBossiere writes:
I regard homosexuality the same as I regard heterosexuality, namely as being morally neuter: neither good, no bad.