Are there positions you have that are not conservative?

For instance I support same-sex marriage, legalized prostitution and the legalization of marijuana (but not other drugs) even though I would never touch the stuff myself if they legalized it tomorrow.

Although as a conservative I wouldn't use the courts to force their legalization.

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I said marriage doesn't affect people being gay so it's an erroneous argument to say that legalizing gay marriage will further hurt population growth.

As far as your last question, it's hard to be 100% conservative for most atheists because so much of social conservatism is based on Christian morality and very little else. Personally, I have a mixed bag of political opinions - some conservative, some liberal, and some libertarian.  I would assume that there are probably a lot of people on here for the same reason I am, that is, to expose themselves to to different ideologies.  I'd rather discuss conservatism with a conservative than watch some biased news program.

You do seem to be rather adversarial though Eric.  Just letting you know you're coming off that way if you weren't aware.

OK, you're on a little firmer ground, here. The idea that sweeping changes in social policy should be tested before being broadly implemented does make sense.  One could argue that we should have tried something like Prohibition on a small scale first, and see how it worked, before putting it into action universally.

Of course, it's hard to say exactly how big an experiment you need to be able to extrapolate accurately to the whole population.  And of course, the general populace isn't noted for being particularly cautious about drawing correct conclusions, anyway.

Hi, Eric;

I'm on your side; I don't support gay marriage either, (for entirely different reasons) but I think you might want to consider some other arguments against it.  Arguing that it reduces the birth rate isn't something that can be supported by the facts.

Gays in the US and Canada constitute just about 1% of the population. (1.6% of men and 0.6% of women, to be precise.) Naturally, the gay lobby insists that the figures are much higher than that, but repeated studies contradict them.  That percentage has remained pretty steady for the last 40 years or so. (Just what you'd expect, since gays tend to reproduce at a rate well below the replacement value.)

Consequently, the decline in birthrate cannot legitimately be attributed to the actions of just 1% of the population.  In fact, studies have clearly shown that it's much more closely correlated with things such as urban living, the rising costs associated with raising a child, the wide availability of birth control, rising education rates and so on. It's a  much larger segment of the population that doesn't have kids simply by choice, than the one that doesn't have them due to being gay.

On top of that, forbidding gay marriage isn't going to force gays to have kids. They'll simply remain childless anyway, married or no.

There are some excellent arguments for not wanting to promote so-called gay marriage, but being concerned about the birth rate simply isn't one of them.

Best,

Michael 

Are you willing to share the excellent reasons for not wanting to promote gay marriage, Michael? Just curious.

Hi, Frances.

I can, but from prior experience, I know that to make an airtight case will require lots of explaining... and much lengthy typing-out of reasoning, with many citations & footnotes. I'm not usually willing to devote that much effort to something unless I feel it's really important (and possible) to convince somebody.

If you're willing to accept the extremely-abbreviated version, without making me argue every point in detail, then I can do so.  But from previous discussions (here and elsewhere) I've found that this is a topic that tends to incite the verbal equivalent of knock-down, drag-out fights, and I'm just not up for that.

Michael

I just can't imagine what non-religious reasons there could be for opposing gay marriage. Maybe you could post me a link to one of the previous discussions on this site?

Michael,

Thank you.  However, I think you are making assumptions.  You assume that as same-sex marriage becomes more widely accepted, that the prevalence will not increase.  You also assume that only gay people will marry.  I haven't even mentioned gay people.  I don't think we can safely assume that same-sex marriage will be limited to gay people.  And lastly, I think you have supported one of my main arguments, it is societal suicide.  Your own argument supports the theory that specific segments of society will disappear over time.  What if it is only 1% that disappears...that might be the 1% that discovers the cure for cancer or starts a colony on Mars, etc.  I am not willing to write off any part of American society.  I want all Americans to contribute to the next generation for thousands of years.  The recipe I'm seeing argued here does not seem to get us there.

Thanks again to everyone.  Take care.

I don't think same-sex marriage will have any affect on the population at all. Just a couple percent of the population is gay and 99% of the people that will marry someone of their own gender once SSM is legal nationwide will be gay.

There are already 300 million people in the country. I don't see a way this could cause any problem even if it could affect the population, which it couldn't. People are already having kids out of wedlock. And it won't convince anyone to be gay, it's not a choice. I know I didn't choose to be straight.

Having said all this I want this to be a decision made by the people, not the courts. Changing marriage to include same-sex couples is a fundamental redefinition of the institution and we should acknowledge that. But I don't think that change will harm marriage at all.

Andrew, is that blind faith you are following?  Should I trust the future of my species and my society to your opinion?  If the 1% disappear who will miss them?  Extinction is permanent.  How can you guarantee that 50 to 500 years from now a larger percentage of our population won't enter into SSM?  Or is your concern more short-sighted?  If you're so confident in your math, you should be able to tell me where the tipping point is for population decline.  Is it 3%, 5%, 10%.  I don't think it would take much to wipe a society off the planet.  As I mentioned above, the Japanese are already in decline, so if 1% of Japanese joined a SSM, that would cause a greater decline and a faster extinction.  Maybe you don't care that all Japanese will become extinct, but I do.  Furthermore, I think it could happen to my culture, or yours, or someone else's.  Lastly, for better or worse and until we nontheists can get our act together, the Christian culture and population is our best protection against the slavery of some other cultures.  Those other cultures are growing at astounding rates, and ours is not.  Are you prepared to be out-birthed by those other cultures so that our children's children will be forced into religion?  Isn't that what is happening in Europe?  Isn't that what is happening in parts of the US?

If you can't answer all these questions, then I choose not to follow your blind faith.

Thank you and take care.

Uh, sorry Eric, but this is getting a little weird. What on earth does SSM have to do with whether people procreate or not? There are so many unsupported assumptions in your post that it's hard even to know where to begin.
1 What reason do you have for thinking that availability of marriage will make any difference to someone's choice of sexual partner?
2 Even if it were true that for some bizarre reason people who were not gay decided to enter into SSM, what reason do you have for thinking that this would stop them procreating?
3 Do you have any research that links population decline with SSM? If you don't, then you are the one showing blind faith, or rather blind prejudice.

Thank you Frances, you voiced my exact thoughts.

The End of Gays: Gay Marriage and the Decline of the Homosexual Pop...

Bottom line:  more research needs to be done, but SSM policy is taking a huge risk.

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