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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:24 am 
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jac3510 wrote:
beng wrote:
It can be argued that what pertain to natural law is self evident, hence the name "natural" (at least the first principle but not its derivatives, ie. stealing is a sin, but is recording shows from TV a sin?). Thus the proponent of gay marriage can't really argue in front of God, "I didn't know that it's a sin, God."

Hmm...

    A thing can be self-evident in either of two ways: on the one hand, self-evident in itself, though not to us; on the other, self-evident in itself, and to us. A proposition is self-evident because the predicate is included in the essence of the subject, as "Man is an animal," for animal is contained in the essence of man. If, therefore the essence of the predicate and subject be known to all, the proposition will be self-evident to all; as is clear with regard to the first principles of demonstration, the terms of which are common things that no one is ignorant of, such as being and non-being, whole and part, and such like. If, however, there are some to whom the essence of the predicate and subject is unknown, the proposition will be self-evident in itself, but not to those who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition. Therefore, it happens, as Boethius says (Hebdom., the title of which is: "Whether all that is, is good"), "that there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned, as that incorporeal substances are not in space." Therefore I say that this proposition, "God exists," of itself is self-evident, for the predicate is the same as the subject, because God is His own existence as will be hereafter shown (Q[3], A[4]). Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature---namely, by effects. (ST Ia.2.1)

So the proposition "Gay marriage is wrong" is self-evident: in which way, and to you or to all?


"Marriage is between a man and a woman" is as self-evident as "man is an animal" and "there is a God." It's self-evident to all.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:38 am 
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beng wrote:
"Marriage is between a man and a woman" is as self-evident as "man is an animal" and "there is a God." It's self-evident to all.

Aquinas explicitly denies that "there is a God" is self-evident to all. "Therefore, that God exists is not self-evident" (ST Ia.2.1).

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Did he deny that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is self-evident to all?


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:01 pm 
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beng wrote:
Did he deny that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is self-evident to all?

You are the one who said that both propositions are self-evident to all. If you are changing your mind about that, can explain what makes the proposition "marriage is between a man and a woman" self-evident to all but not the proposition "God exists"?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:33 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
beng wrote:
Did he deny that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is self-evident to all?

You are the one who said that both propositions are self-evident to all. If you are changing your mind about that, can explain what makes the proposition "marriage is between a man and a woman" self-evident to all but not the proposition "God exists"?


I change my mind about "there is a God." But not about "marriage is between a man and a woman."

I just don't see it as not self-evident to all. Is there anyone "who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition" that "marriage is between a man and a woman?" I mean, the term "marriage" is predicated by "man/woman." "man and woman" is included in "marriage."


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:37 am 
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beng wrote:
I just don't see it as not self-evident to all. Is there anyone "who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition" that "marriage is between a man and a woman?" I mean, the term "marriage" is predicated by "man/woman." "man and woman" is included in "marriage."

The nature of the debate demonstrates that there are people who do not see a natural union of man and woman as being neessarily and solely predicatd to marriage. It appears that your argument degenerates into an assertion that people are just being dishonest about what they really know to be true. But the same could be said about God's existence (and with more biblical support).

Again, can you offer a substantive difference in the propositions "God exists" and "marriage is between a man and a woman" that makes the latter self-evident but not the former? Or is this simply an assertion on your part?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:42 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
beng wrote:
I just don't see it as not self-evident to all. Is there anyone "who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition" that "marriage is between a man and a woman?" I mean, the term "marriage" is predicated by "man/woman." "man and woman" is included in "marriage."

The nature of the debate demonstrates that there are people who do not see a natural union of man and woman as being neessarily and solely predicatd to marriage. It appears that your argument degenerates into an assertion that people are just being dishonest about what they really know to be true. But the same could be said about God's existence (and with more biblical support).

Again, can you offer a substantive difference in the propositions "God exists" and "marriage is between a man and a woman" that makes the latter self-evident but not the former? Or is this simply an assertion on your part?


The existence of people who do not believe a certain self-evident truth is not by itself a prove that the truth is not self evident.

The reason that "there is a God" is not self evident is already explained by Aquinas. While the reason why "marriage is between man and woman" is self-evident I already explain, or try to explain. But if you think that it's not substantive, do give some objections. Maybe then I could perfected it.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:22 pm 
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beng wrote:
The existence of people who do not believe a certain self-evident truth is not by itself a prove that the truth is not self evident.

The reason that "there is a God" is not self evident is already explained by Aquinas. While the reason why "marriage is between man and woman" is self-evident I already explain, or try to explain. But if you think that it's not substantive, do give some objections. Maybe then I could perfected it.

I think Aquinas would disagree. To quote the same passage I've been referring to throughout:

    No one can mentally admit the opposite of what is self-evident; as the Philosopher (Metaph. iv, lect. vi) states concerning the first principles of demonstration. But the opposite of the proposition "God is" can be mentally admitted: "The fool said in his heart, There is no God" (Ps. 52:1). Therefore, that God exists is not self-evident.

Now, the opposite of the proposition "Marriage is between a man and a woman" can easily be mentally admitted, and, in fact, a very large number of people do just that! So it seems that the statement is not self-evident.

But more, perhaps I'm just having trouble understanding your position. You say you've offered an explanation. Can you clarify? You initially said that "God exists" and "Marriage is between a man and a woman" are equally self-evident. But, if we follow Aquinas, the former is obviously not. The only argument I got from you is that you don't see how someone can't see marriage is between a man and a woman. But that's not an argument. That's just a statement on your part.

Self-evident principles are those such as "Men are animals" are "two plus two is four" - in modern philosophical jargon, they are analytical propositions. They are necessarily true. It is certainly true that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I don't think you're going to be able to argue that it is necessarily true in the same since as First Principles are. I have a harder time thinking you'll show it to be more self-evident than God's own existence. A final quote from Aquinas should be sufficient (in which he is actually quoting Boethius: "there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned."

I would submit that the nature of marriage is self-evident, but following Boethius, only to the learned--certainly not to all.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:34 am 
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I have to ask. Do you think that if something is not believed by all then by that reason alone that something simply can not be a self evident truth that is supposedly known by all?


And btw, as "man" is in "animal," "union of man and woman" is also in "marriage." A marriage presuppose a union. But you can't unite what can't be united (south pole VS south Pole or north pole vs north pole in magnet). A union must be between man and woman (north vs south or vice versa).

But maybe you're right. I need to better explain that.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:48 am 
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beng wrote:
I have to ask. Do you think that if something is not believed by all then by that reason alone that something simply can not be a self evident truth that is supposedly known by all?

By all who do and are capable of seeing the definition of the words, of course. Obviously there are those who deny, for instance, the law of non-contradiction. But they use it in denying it. That's why Thomas says that you can't think the opposite of that which is self-evident. You just embrace irrationality. But gay marriage proponents do neither of those things.

Quote:
And btw, as "man" is in "animal," "union of man and woman" is also in "marriage." A marriage presuppose a union. But you can't unite what can't be united (south pole VS south Pole or north pole vs north pole in magnet). A union must be between man and woman (north vs south or vice versa).

Only to the learned. You would characterize homosexual "unions" as simply homoerotic masturbation. But many--many--object to that characterization and on genuine grounds. By genuine, I mean they don't have the necessary education to understand the charge.

To your point specifically, they think that the "union" is in terms of commitment and love. You have to argue your point with them. So going back to the original point, while they are certainly wrong about the nature of marriage, we cannot say the nature of marriage is self-evident to all. It is only self evident to the learned. From that, it follows that the unlearned can make genuine mistakes in reason with regard to marriage.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:49 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
beng wrote:
I have to ask. Do you think that if something is not believed by all then by that reason alone that something simply can not be a self evident truth that is supposedly known by all?

By all who do and are capable of seeing the definition of the words, of course. Obviously there are those who deny, for instance, the law of non-contradiction. But they use it in denying it. That's why Thomas says that you can't think the opposite of that which is self-evident. You just embrace irrationality. But gay marriage proponents do neither of those things.


The union of man and woman is in the definition of marriage. Thus it must be known to all, unless that person is deliberately obstinate or that his reason is dysfunctional.

That's why I don't see how one can rationally propose a gay marriage (which you seem to disagree).

Quote:
Quote:
And btw, as "man" is in "animal," "union of man and woman" is also in "marriage." A marriage presuppose a union. But you can't unite what can't be united (south pole VS south Pole or north pole vs north pole in magnet). A union must be between man and woman (north vs south or vice versa).

Only to the learned. You would characterize homosexual "unions" as simply homoerotic masturbation. But many--many--object to that characterization and on genuine grounds. By genuine, I mean they don't have the necessary education to understand the charge.


But this rationalization would akin to saying that "the union of the same magnet poles (south vs south, north vs north) is a union where there are space between them as wide as the magnetic field that repelled each poles." Sorry for the bad description, I do hope you understand. Now, such "union" is an oxymoron.

The union in marriage is in the sexual act (unlike any other kinds of union, eg. the labor union etc). And only opposite sex could unite.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:55 pm 
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I think you are misunderstanding me, beng. You're refuting (and well enough) arguments that gay-marriage proponents could use. But the fact seems to me that they can use those arguments to come to wrong conclusions, precisely because they have not thought deeply about them, or they have not thought about them from the right perspective.

Consider again Aquinas' own example. God's existence is not self-evident precisely because some people may not have a properly sophisticated view of what God is. To those who do, the proposition is self-evident. That is, to the learned, it is. To the unlearned, it is not.

The very fact, then, that you are having to point out the flaw in this argument for gay marriage (and it is only one of dozens, all equally flawed) is enough to convince me that the term is by definition not self-evident. It is for those who hold the right view of marriage, but that's a very small minority of people. Even conservatives don't hold the right view of marriage. I make it a habit of telling people that we lost the gay marriage debate when we legalized no-fault divorce, because the day we did that, we implicitly accepted the notion that marriage is essentially about companionship and only accidentally about children; that is, we reversed the essence and accident of the institution. It is very, very difficult to provide an argument against gay marriage on the grounds the term is now popularly used.

So I think all of my questions stand. I agree with you that "gay marriage" is an oxymoron to the learned, but on that account, so is God exists. Yet, as Aquinas exists, that means that the latter is not self-evident (to all). I hold the same with respect to marriage.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:21 pm 
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The reason why the proposition that God exists is not self-evident to some is, per Boethius [quoted by St. Thomas], "that there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned, as that incorporeal substances are not in space."

An un-observable incorporeal substance is hard for some to grasp. That is why they can not reason that God exist (God is incorporeal).

But what of marriage? Which part of it that is not self-evident?


Now, getting back to what you wrote, "But the fact seems to me that they can use those arguments to come to wrong conclusions, precisely because they have not thought deeply about them, or they have not thought about them from the right perspective." In other word, something is not self-evident because: 1) they come to the wrong conclusion and 2)they have not taught from the right perspective. The two reasons you are proposing as to why the nature of marriage is not self-evident to some.

But any self-evident truth that supposedly known to all can be dismissed because of one or both of those reasons. I know several people who would deny the principle of non-contradiction (a principle that supposedly self-evident to all).

So, if you propose that the nature of marriage is not a self-evident truth that is known to all because of those two reasons, then there's no such thing as a self-evident truth that is known by all. That "man is an animal" is not a self evident truth known by all. That "the whole is greater than its part" is not a self evident truth known by all. That "I exist" is not a self evident truth known by all (wasn't there a Chinese, or was it Greek, philosopher who suggests that we are actually some higher being's dream).



Now, although I agree that there are reasons that would disqualify something as a self evident truth known by all (just like how the in-corporeality of God disqualifies the preposition that "there is a God" as self evident truth known by all), I disagree that those two reasons would disqualify something as self evident truth known by all.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:35 pm 
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When people deny the law of non-contradiction, they are not demonstrating that it is not self-evident, for though they deny it, they are employing it. That is to say, they are using it, and thus implicitly recognizing it.

As Thomas says, the opposite of a self-evident truth cannot even be mentally admitted. It just becomes non-sense, like a square triangle.

The same is true with statements like "man is an animal." So long as you understand the definition of man as "a rational animal" it is impossible to deny the terms' self-evident nature. Something is only self-evident to all in the sense that all those who understand the meaning of the terms implicitly and necessarily recognize its truth.

I do not see how that applies to gay marriage. I see how the learned can dismiss it as rubbish, but that only at the end of rigorous philosophical reasoning.

Look at your own examples: you say you know those who deny the law of non-contradiction. But those people are recognized by all as being fundamentally irrational. Those who believe in square triangles are regarded as insane. In general, to accept non-sense is the function of a broken, insane, irrational mind. But the acceptance of homosexual marriage is not a sign of insanity. It may be a sign of moral bankruptcy. It may be a sign of ignorance.

A final point: you say that the union of a man of a woman is in marriage the same way that animal is found in man. I agree, but the difference should be obvious. The former is easily disputable (see the modern debate!). The latter is not. Likewise, subsistent existense is found in God, but is not at all obvious. We only conclude that at the end of a long, rigorous reasoning process. The road to concluding that marriage is only between a man and a woman may not be as long and as rigorous, but it is not immediately evident as is the case of the definition of man.

NOW

I don't know how to make my position any clearer. In full view of the fact that I could be wrong, I would appreciate those with more insight to weigh in: PED/SIM, Obi, etc. -- is "marriage is between a man and a woman" self-evident to all in the same sense as "man is an animal," or is it only self-evident to the learned, as in "God exists"?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:46 pm 
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I've debated for 30+ minutes with a very sane man (Pentecostal), that God could not make a square triangle. He disagreed. He argued that if He wants to, He could make a square triangle. As to how He would do that, only He knows.

I sincerely sympathize. There was a time when I believe that God COULD make a rock so heavy that He can't lift. I remember arguing that the rock would be at the same time un-lift-able and lift-able.



Me thinks that the sophists have succeeded in deceiving many that the nature of marriage is not self evident to all. They device sophist arguments to convince that it's not as obvious as one would like it to be (but they would be wrong, because the nature of marriage is very obvious, it's self evident to all).


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Maybe we should try to find a much more exhaustive explanation as to what makes something self evident to all.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:58 pm 
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beng wrote:
I've debated for 30+ minutes with a very sane man (Pentecostal), that God could not make a square triangle. He disagreed. He argued that if He wants to, He could make a square triangle. As to how He would do that, only He knows.

I sincerely sympathize. There was a time when I believe that God COULD make a rock so heavy that He can't lift. I remember arguing that the rock would be at the same time un-lift-able and lift-able.



Me thinks that the sophists have succeeded in deceiving many that the nature of marriage is not self evident to all. They device sophist arguments to convince that it's not as obvious as one would like it to be (but they would be wrong, because the nature of marriage is very obvious, it's self evident to all).

I doubt your friend believed in square triangles. He just had a misunderstanding about what the word "omnipotent" means. Moreover, he thought he was being sensible, but the words "square triangle" have about as much meaning as asdlfwen qwoe. With that said, if he sincerely believes in square triangles, then I would question his basic sanity (assuming, of course, he grasps the meaning of the words).

There have always been people to deny self-evident truths. That doesn't make them not self-evident. It does mean that they are evident and demonstrable without rigorous reasoning--they are accepted on the shear fact that they are definitionally necessary. God's existence is definitionally necessary, but only to the learned. I think that the nature of marriage as being between a man and a woman is likewise definitionally necessary, but again, only to the learned (or to those who merely accept it on faith, but that doesn't make something self-evident!).

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:05 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
I doubt your friend believed in square triangles. He just had a misunderstanding about what the word "omnipotent" means. Moreover, he thought he was being sensible, but the words "square triangle" have about as much meaning as asdlfwen qwoe. With that said, if he sincerely believes in square triangles, then I would question his basic sanity (assuming, of course, he grasps the meaning of the words).


It's not insanity, it's simply either that, 1) he comes to the wrong conclusion or 2) he has not taught from the right perspective. Or both. Go ask a muslim if he believes that "man is an animal" :). You'd have better luck getting a positive answer from a Hindu or Buddhist


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:54 am 
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    Article 2. Whether the natural law contains several precepts, or only one?


    I answer that, As stated above (Question 91, Article 3), the precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason, what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason; because both are self-evident principles. Now a thing is said to be self-evident in two ways: first, in itself; secondly, in relation to us. Any proposition is said to be self-evident in itself, if its predicate is contained in the notion of the subject: although, to one who knows not the definition of the subject, it happens that such a proposition is not self-evident. For instance, this proposition, "Man is a rational being," is, in its very nature, self-evident, since who says "man," says "a rational being": and yet to one who knows not what a man is, this proposition is not self-evident. Hence it is that, as Boethius says (De Hebdom.), certain axioms or propositions are universally self-evident to all; and such are those propositions whose terms are known to all, as, "Every whole is greater than its part," and, "Things equal to one and the same are equal to one another." But some propositions are self-evident only to the wise, who understand the meaning of the terms of such propositions: thus to one who understands that an angel is not a body, it is self-evident that an angel is not circumscriptively in a place: but this is not evident to the unlearned, for they cannot grasp it.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMYBl2uzXEw

    PONCE: Mr. Keyes, on the Channel 7 debate last Thursday night, you said, and I'm quoting you, "Where procreation is, in principle, impossible, marriage is irrelevant." You went on to say it was irrelevant, and not needed. What about marriage between people that are well beyond their child-bearing age? "Irrelevant"? "Not needed"?

    KEYES: No, it's simply a misunderstanding. The word "in principle" means, "relating to the definition of." Not, "relating to particular circumstances." So, if an apple has a worm in it, the worm is not part of the definition of the apple. It doesn't change what the apple is, in principle. So, the fact--

    PONCE: It retains its "appleness."

    KEYES: Can I--can I--

    (audience laughs)

    KEYES: It pertains, it retains--no. To act as if concepts are laughable means that you want to be irrational. Human beings are--

    PONCE: No, I'm asking you, sir. You said--

    KEYES: Excuse me. Let me finish.

    PONCE: You said, you said it was "not needed."

    KEYES: Human beings reason by means of concepts and definitions. We also make laws by means of definitions. And if you don't know how to operate with respect for those definitions, you can't make the law.

    An individual who is impotent, or another who is infertile, does not change the definition of marriage in principle, because between a man and a woman in principle, procreation is always possible, and it is that possibility which gave rise to the institution of marriage in the first place as a matter of law
    --

    PONCE: To eighty-year-olds, it's still possible, "in principle."

    KEYES: But when it is impossible in principle, as between two males or two females, you're not talking about something that's just incidentally impossible. It's impossible in principle.

    And that means that, if you say that that's a marriage, you are saying marriage can be understood, in principle, apart from procreation. You have changed its definition in such a way as, in fact, to destroy the necessity for the institution, since the only reason it has existed in human societies and civilizations was to regulate, from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.

    So, when you start playing games in this way, you are actually acting as if the institution has no basis, independent of your own arbitrary whim. And, if you don't mind my saying so, that's what we just heard.

    We heard something that wasn't based on reasoning. It wasn't based on logic. It was based on vague feelings--


I argue.... in the definition of marriage there contain the union of sexual act by man and woman. Thus it's a self evident truth known to all (SETKTA) per St. Thomas definition of what a SETKTA is. It's predicate is contain in the notion of its subject.


Those who argue for same-sex marriage are either unable to use his reason or insane.


Case closed :mrgreen:.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Journeyman
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beng wrote:
And that means that, if you say that that's a marriage, you are saying marriage can be understood, in principle, apart from procreation. You have changed its definition in such a way as, in fact, to destroy the necessity for the institution, since the only reason it has existed in human societies and civilizations was to regulate, from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.



This makes a lot of sense to me and I appreciate it very much. Exceedingly helpful.

That being said, might we be able to take a step back. It seems that the conclusion of the dialogue is "If you are for the institution of marriage then arguing for same-sex marriage is characteristic of lack of reason or insanity."

Get we go further back. Beyond the establishment of the institution...
why is homosexuality wrong outside of the institution.
The repeated reason that I am still having trouble with is that it somehow diminishes our ability to reason. I know that I am being... slow on this issue but I want to understand the whole thing so that I can defend the Church's decision.

_________________
From the beginning, Christianity has understood itself as the religion of the Logos, as the religion according to reason...It has always defined men, all men without distinction, as creatures and images of God, proclaiming for them...the same dignity: to live a faith that comes from the Logos, from creative reason, and that, because of this, is also open to all that is truly rational.


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