Sunday, November 27, 2016

Are religious arguments against gay marriage bad because they are religious?

No, according to George Van Pelt Campbell. 

6 comments:

John Moore said...

The problem with a purely religious argument is that it can't apply to people of other religions. You have to believe in it or else it doesn't work.

Ilíon said...

"The problem with a purely religious argument is that it can't apply to people of other religions. You have to believe in it or else it doesn't work."

The problem with a purely [secularist] argument is that it can't apply to people of other religions. You have to believe in [the religion of secularism (*)] or else it doesn't work.

There is no such thing as moral neutrality, nor religious neutrality -- there is *always* a god of the system. The question is, which god will rule: the Creator of men, or a creation of men?

(*) which, because we're Westerners, means anti-Christianity

John Moore said...

Instead of religious arguments, you need to argue based on practical things that all people more or less agree about. Is that a banana peel? Don't slip on it. That kind of thing.

It's not a "religion" to believe in not tripping over things you see right in front of you.

Ilíon said...

^ Look at this fellow!

He's making a moral assertion, which is to say, a worldview assertion, which is to say, a religious assertion -- not an argument, mind you, but a bare assertion ... even as he denies that the openly religious have the same right to make political arguments, which is to say, moral arguments, based on *their* religion, as he does based on *his*.

John Moore said...

For example, everyone thinks it's important for children to grow up healthy and strong, with good character and education so they can thrive in the future. You could argue that homosexual marriage hinders children from this good growth. That would be a practical, testable argument that homosexuals themselves would have to take seriously, because homosexuals (like everyone else) believe in giving children a good future.

On the other hand, you could make a biblical argument: The Garden of Eden had Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, so that's why we can't allow homosexual marriage. Most homosexual people could dismiss this argument out of hand and not take it seriously. They could just say they don't believe in the Garden of Eden story at all. End of discussion.

So the question is whether you want to persuade or coerce. To persuade, you need arguments that resonate with your opponent. To coerce, you just need a good enough excuse.

oozzielionel said...

Religious arguments come in different flavors from the direct appeal to authority to natural theology that could appeal to human flourishing. Even when a religious argument may appear to be too much an appeal to religious tenets, it could actually be an effective argument for those who are not seriously religious but may still respond to the values. This could be frustrating to someone who rejects any argument that even sounds religious based on their own world view. Arguments that "shouldn't" work, often do.