BY Tim - Nov 18, 2011
Let’s start with the most common – marriage is between a man and a woman.
The argument in a nutshell
When arguing for changing the definition of something, you can just repeat the existing definition over and over again.
What they’re really trying to say
Gay love is gross. It says so in the bible.
This has to be one of the most juvenile, illogical, anti-intellectual and downright idiotic arguments I have ever seen… for anything… ever. It’s exactly the sort of thing Lionel Hutz would say:
Mr. Hutz, we’ve been in here for four hours. Do you have any evidence at all?
Well, your Honor, we’ve got plenty of hearsay and conjecture, those are kinds of evidence…
Sure, lots of things have definitions that we don’t really want to change. For example, if I ask you to pass me the salt, I want to know that you and I have the same definition of “salt”. I mean, let’s face it, dinner would be really awkward if you’ve defined “salt” as your penis. Social constructs just aren’t like that. We invent them, we can change them.
To give you an idea of just how stupid this argument is, let’s go back in time, and see if it would have worked against the changing of some other socially-determined definition.
We want the vote!
Haha, that’s funny!
Umm… why is that funny?
Because only men can vote!
Yeah we know, that’s what we’re trying to change.
You can’t change it, silly! Look… I have the law right here. See? Right there… “Only men may vote in elections”.
You’re not getting it. That’s what we want to change. We want to vote, too.
But you can’t – only men can vote!
Need some more examples? How about these:
We want to be counted as citizens!
Sorry, but only white people can be citizens.
Equal pay for equal work!
Sorry, but we get paid more than you.
- African Americans:
We don’t want to be slaves!
Sorry, but you are.
How do those arguments all sound? Stupid. Incredibly stupid.
Arguing against change by simply acknowledging the existence of an arbitrary status quo is one of the dumbest things you can do. If the “Marriage is between a man and a woman” argument is sound, then we may as well just go back to being cavemen, because it renders invalid every single social advancement our species has ever made.
But perhaps that’s exactly what the opponents of same-sex marriage are after.