Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Definitive Answer to the Questions Surrounding What Marriage is and Why it is Needed

This is a must-read paper on marriage. I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone. The attacks on marriage continue to mount and we must be armed with a good response. This one, in my opinion, is the best one put to paper so far. Note that it is not written from a Christian perspective, but uses reason and evidence to make the points needed.
What is Marriage?

Sherif Girgis - Princeton University Department of Philosophy
Robert George - Princeton University - Department of Politics
Ryan T. Anderson - University of Notre Dame Department of Political Science

Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 34.1 (Winter 2010): 245-287

In the article, we argue that as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction. We further argue that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.

Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy.
Here is the table of contents:

A. Equality, Justice, and the Heart of the Debate

B. Real Marriage Is-And Is Only-The Union of Husband and Wife
1. Comprehensive Union
2. Special Link to Children
3. Marital Norms

C. How Would Gay Civil Marriage Affect You or Your Marriage?
1. Weakening Marriage
2. Obscuring the Value of Opposite-Sex Parenting As an Ideal
3. Threatening Moral and Religious Freedom

D. If Not Same-Sex Couples, Why Infertile Ones?
1. Still Real Marriages
2. Still in the Public Interest

E. Challenges for Revisionists
1. The State Has an Interest in Regulating Some Relationships?
2. Only if They Are Romantic?
3. Only if They Are Monogamous?

F. Isn't Marriage Just Whatever We Say It Is?


A. Why Not Spread Traditional Norms to the Gay Community?

B. What About Partners' Concrete Needs?

C. Doesn't the Conjugal Conception of Marriage Sacrifice Some People's Fulfillment for Others'?

D. Isn't It Only Natural?

E. Doesn't Traditional Marriage Law Impose Controversial Moral and Religious Views on Everyone?

Please share with others. This needs to be the basis of the argument for traditional marriage for all who are concerned with the state of our culture.

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