Inspired by Brad Richert’s recent post.
The American people need to learn the difference between choosing for themselves and choosing for others. When voting, the options are mutually exclusive, so we must empower the former by treating the latter liberally.
Freedom is having the right to do whatever it is you want to do as long as it doesn’t violate anyone else’s freedom. Laws are made precisely to enforce that principle. But what I see when I watch other Americans decide how they’re going to vote on an issue is a narrow-minded considering of their own personal beliefs. Voting on what you believe is right for yourself and your preferred way of life is not a vote for freedom.
Same-sex marriage again serves as an appropriate example. Allowing gay couples to marry in no way affects the marriages of heterosexual couples. No one’s rights are being infringed.
People can disagree. They can voice their opinions, criticize, complain, or march down the streets in opposition. But the moment they vote to deny gay couples to marry, they are impeding freedom by selfishly forcing their opinions on others.
[to be continued]
Sanctity of marriage
Opponents often mention the ‘sanctity of marriage’ argument. I hear that preserving only heterosexual marriage is “a victory for marriage.” But marriage is not something that exists by itself; there’s no lonely marriage archetype or anything of the sort. [I may be wrong here, see notes on social scripting below] Only actual marriages exist (emphasis on plurality). The degree of ‘sanctity’ of any marriage depends on the bond between the individuals within that marriage and is entirely unaffected by anyone else’s marriage, gay or straight.
John and Betty are married. Their marriage is sacred. Here come Bill and Bob. They get married. Let’s return to John and Betty. What’s this? Their marriage is still sacred! It’s magic!
Can someone please explain the sanctity of marriage argument to me, since I’m obviously not getting it?
I might have an inkling here. It seems certain kinds of people depend on a ‘script’ for living. You’re supposed to go to school, get married to someone of the opposite gender, and raise children. Same-sex marriage violates that script.
Some people prefer having social (and legal) norms to dictate how one should live. In other words, they prefer not to have freedom! Eureka!
This reminds me of a discussion during one of my classes in art school. Some students preferred fine art, which means having complete freedom. Others couldn’t operate that way at all. They needed rules to follow. They needed external guidance.
My major was fine art. So you know where I stand. I doubt it’s any coincidence that my social views are so similar.
In a sociological context, such ‘scripting’ can be reduced to one word: meme. A meme can be understood metaphorically as a cultural gene. And like a gene, the bodies which the meme indwell fight for its survival through self-preservation and procreation. Thus, the battle of ideas.
From the branches to the roots
It seems that arguing isolated civil rights issues will bear little fruit. The underlying matter is arrogance. The solution involves humbling the arrogant so they can see that their points of view are relatively true, not absolutely true. This country needs a primer of existentialism. “Because we make choices based on our experiences, beliefs, and biases, those choices are unique to us — and made without an objective form of truth.”
And back to religion
How can someone be so arrogant as to believe that they’re absolutely right on moral issues? Ah, when they think they have God on their side. Again, religious and cultural diversity seems the only way for people to learn to accept ideas that conflict with their own. On average, all systems grow towards complexity (i.e. diversity). So no worries. It’s only a matter of time.