Thursday, March 07, 2013

Assertions, Denunciations and Accusations

One of the frustrating things about the debate over same-sex marriage is that rarely are its advocates—and those inclined to sympathize with them—willing to row back upstream and examine whether sexual complementarity is accidental or essential to marriage. Instead, they make statements that presuppose an acceptance of the current definition of marriage (i.e., they merely seek equal access to the existing institution) while, consciously or unconsciously, they work toward a contrary goal: the destruction of marriage through its ­redefinition. 

Last year I wrote an article for Salvo magazine in which I lamented the host of hidden assumptions that permeate the debate surrounding gay 'marriage.' I commented that what might be an opportunity for rigorous philosophical dialogue about the nature of reality itself descends into an endless cycle of assertions, denunciations, and accusations. Instead of spelling out their philosophical positions and putting them on the table for objective analysis, homosexual activists are usually content to construct arguments based on hidden assumptions—­assumptions that remain unexamined and insulated from critique, and that therefore can give rise to the type of mutually exclusive affirmations mentioned above. 

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