Thursday, December 08, 2016

Does secularism undermine the foundations of same-sex marriage?

 Ironically, I think that while religion provides most of the arguments against gay marriage, it also provides the foundation for the central argument for it. Jefferson says we were endowed BY OUR CREATOR with certain inalienable rights, which means that even if the people with the biggest guns want to deny us those rights, there is an authority above possession of the biggest guns that tells us that rights should not be violated, even if they are violated. However, if we were just spat up by evolution as opposed to created, then the idea that the people with the biggest guns should respect the rights of gay people even if they don't like them goes by the boards. Might does not make right, but might does what it wants to. Secularism undermines the religious arguments for gay marriage, but it also undermines the best argument for it, which is the doctrine of human equality.

2 comments:

Gyan said...

Jefferson was neither a Christian theologian or a Church Father.
Doctrine of human equality does not exist in Christianity.
There is a Catholic doctrine of human dignity but not of equality.
The proposition "all man are created equal" is perhaps a deist doctrine.

Jo F said...

"Doctrine of human equality does not exist in Christianity."
Have you read the Bible? I think you'll find these verses helpful:
Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Apparently the entire summation of the OT is fairly simple to Jesus. You only love God as much as you love the person you love the least.

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
Emphasis on the "no partially" part.

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Furthermore, the doctrine that mankind is inherently valuable for bearing God's image gives a strong foundation for equality.

Romans 2:12 For God does not show favoritism.

1 Timothy 2:4 "...Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

"Jefferson was neither a Christian theologian or a Church Father. "

Jefferson self-identified as a Christian, but a deistic Christian--which is almost like calling yourself an atheistic Christian. Of course, his moral philosophy was heavily influenced by Christianity and so his ideas may be contributive to theology. This statement would have only come out of Christianity's influence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "

"There is a Catholic doctrine of human dignity but not of equality. "

These are the same, if all men have the same "dignity". If all humans have the same intrinsic worth, then there is equality. Of course, without Christianity, there can be no intrinsic value in humans--after all, we have nothing but differences between us. It seems to me that our apprehension of the moral value of equality, and of human dignity, are both evidence of God's existence--without Whom these have no base.

"The proposition 'all man are created equal' is perhaps a deist doctrine."
It certainly is not exclusively deistic. Further, it's hard to see why this could even fit into the deistic paradigm at all, in light of the lack of divine revelation to mankind (and, if he is indifferent, the problem of evil). If God is impersonal, then how can one know what he values? How can human value be derived from God if the knowledge of whether or not he considers mankind as being equal is unknown(able)?