Picture of the day

first-gay-marriages-lesbian-newyorkcity-ny

People use these words to justify a lot of things. Oftentimes, I think they’re misused, or warped in a fundamental, definitional way to mean exactly the opposite of what they actually mean. At a certain point, words like these just lose their meaning.

So it’s good, once in a while, to see them used appropriately.

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193 thoughts on “Picture of the day

        • In all fairness to Art Deco – if it was two dudes I would be saying yuck too. As much as I support equal rights for gays and lesbians I don’t think I will ever get over the yucky factor. I don’t think that makes me a bad person. It’s a generational thing.

          In contrast to my parents, not only am I not bothered by seeing inter-racial couples but when I see a black woman with a white man I actually cheer a little bit inside because it’s so rare. When my kids are in their adult years I don’t think they will even blink when they see a gay couple.

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          • Every couple of years, Russian coaches have to tell their athletes not to smooch on camera because Americans get all wigged out about two dudes (or two chicks) smooching.

            Apparently the culture over there allows for good friends who are celebrating to smooch. Full on the lips.

            It seems to me that a refusal to show two celebrating folks smooching indicates more of a problem on the part of the people who prefer their smooches behind closed doors than on the part of those who celebrate by smooching.

            Of course: to each his or her own.

            But smooching is a positive good that would benefit us all if there was more of it around. Except for the mono thing. Beyond mono, however, smooching is something, like music, that enriches a culture, a society, and a person who partakes in it.

            More smooching. Even between folks with similar plumbing.

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          • I expect more from regular commenters than “yuck”.

            You mean, like “Man that’s a great pic”?

            Seems to me that the issue is not AD’s comments but his/her opinion. It’s understandable to expect more of a defense from someone who’s challenging the prevailing consensus than from someone who’s supporting it, but might as well be up front about it.

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                • I would refer you to the writings of Robert George or David Blankenhorn if you want a professional job of it.

                  Homosexual affiliations are user-defined associations constructed around people’s sexual disorders. They are sterile, and are certainly of no more import than ordinary friendships between men (which no one proposes to give official recognition or a menu of privileges and obligations). There is no reason offered to grant them any official sanction accept that a mess of noisy people will be put out if you turn them down. Well, tough.

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                    • Rufus, I never found that line particularly resonant. What do you want to do, impose fertility tests? Ban post-menopausal women from marrying in the name of “fairness?”

                      Such couples already fit the extant definition of marriage. Re-defining marriage carries its own burden of argument

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                    • But Tom, those are responses to arguments for why SSM should not happen.

                      You can’t have someone say “I would like X,” be told “You can’t have X because Y” and then object to an argument against Y just because Y guy has no burden of proof.

                      Otherwise any argument for any change is moot if there is a voice speaking for status quo.

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                    • Tom, I’m trying to suggest that the extant definition of marriage isn’t what the defenders of marriage claim it to be. There simply is not the same expectation for married people to have children that there once was; nor is there an expectation for parents to be married for that matter. We can bemoan the effects of that, but if heterosexuals have redefined marriage to be what people do when they really love each other, whether or not they have any intention to have children, it’s not terribly surprising that gays want in on it.

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                    • Having trouble following you here, RTod.

                      Otherwise any argument for any change is moot if there is a voice speaking for status quo.

                      That’s sort of what happened in Judge Walker’s courtroom. If I understand the thing correctly, he put the status quo on trial under “rational basis,” and decreed there was no rational basis for the status quo.

                      This is not jurisprudence: this is legislation, or the rule of philosopher-kings. “Voice[s] speaking for status quo” were declared irrational and rendered moot—that’s how it went down.

                      I dunno if you’ve let something slip here, RTod, but

                      Otherwise any argument for any change is moot if there is a voice speaking for status quo

                      in my view, this is exactly the state of things, and you already know who I think shouts whose voices down in the American discussion.

                      Or simply declares them “irrational,” and bangs the gavel.

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                    • Rufus, as you know, love complicates things.

                      Per the man-woman definition, the redefining of which is a separate question, love has nothing essentially to do with marriage as defined and understood until recently.

                      The “evolution” you speak of was not that that the woman marry for love, it was that she have the freedom to choose her mate.

                      An essential difference, obscured by all this talk about love.

                      Per Bertrand Russell, society’s only compelling interest in sexual relations is in the kind that makes babies. Strangely enough, this supports Lawrence but weakens the case for “love” and SSM. Love the one you’re with, for all society cares, and for all the law should care.

                      Now if society wants to redefine marriage for “love” and obliterate the notion of gender, well, societies—which afterall are mere collections of conventions—can create new conventions anytime they want, if there is consensus. [Since societies are no more or less the sum of their conventions, be they the result of religion, moral sentiment, or simply trial-and-error about what works and what doesn’t.]

                      But per Russell, it’s a valid empirical argument that the state’s defense of society re marriage is in that for every marriage that raises its own children is one the state doesn’t have to.

                      The rest is abstraction, moral sentiment, even aesthetics. Which is not to say the latter are invalid either pro- or con- on any given issue, in my view anyway. It all plugs into ethos somewhere, and I am not in favor of its abolition.

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                    • Tom, society *ALREADY* redefined marriage.

                      This is something that *ALREADY* happened.

                      When procreation was divorced from marriage, marriage changed then. We saw it evolve through the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

                      As recently as the 80’s, a scene of two guys getting married was absurd comedy. “Look! Two guys! GETTING MARRIED!!!”

                      The problem is that all of the kids from the marriages where the heterosexual partners screamed at each other about not loving each other anymore and then getting a divorce?

                      They were raised to see marriage as something completely different than what you see.

                      Every single argument that I have heard in support of “traditional” marriage has come from someone for which one of the two following things is true:

                      They are from a generation older than me
                      They are divorced

                      You know how I keep harping on Koz about Republican leadership from 2002-2006?

                      I keep harping on Christians about the divorce rate of Christians from the 70’s-90’s.

                      This is why Christians aren’t trusted when it comes to their defenses of Marriage, Tom.

                      They’re Dubya Republicans on Fiscal matters.

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                    • “But per Russell, it’s a valid empirical argument that the state’s defense of society re marriage is in that for every marriage that raises its own children is one the state doesn’t have to.”

                      And this is probably the argument for keeping marriage traditional that I would most lean towards. Actually, I’m more sympathetic towards Mike’s argument that the state should get out of the business altogether, but I don’t see that happening quicker than I see the state licensing same sex marriages. (Not to mention the fact that I went to them for my marriage- the immigration advantages helped there, admittedly.) But I can see the point that the state has an interest in promoting legitimacy.

                      The problem is that most of my friends are now married and at least 1/3rd of them are married with no intention of ever having children. So far, society seems to have said to friends like Laura and Jason, “No, go ahead and be married. The point is you’re making a commitment to each other and to your relationship. That’s what marriage is all about”. I don’t know anyone who has a problem with them getting the state’s sanction for their childless marriage. Most of us don’t even think about it. That’s seemingly the current status quo with heterosexuals- they “love each other so much” that they get the imprimatur of the family, the community, and the state. Conversely, getting married “proves” they really love each other a lot.

                      So, when Dan and Steve want to get married and society says, “Wait- no. You’re not having children, so your relationship is of no import”, it rings a bit hollow. If society is going to start caring so deeply about married people having kids, they could have done so when heterosexuals started seeing childbearing as a choice, say fifty years ago.

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                    • Laura and Jason might make—create and bear—a “mistake.” Not so for Dan & Steve, back to Bertrand Russell. I wish them all well, each to their own, FWIW. Were there no such thing as children, the state would have zero compelling interest in any of it.

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                    • Hard to say. I’ve known a few couples that have gone with vasectomy since they don’t plan on having kids. We considered it. It did lead me to make this inappropriate joke, which nobody laughed at: I was worried about the risks involved with having a vasectomy, but the doctor reassured me that I’ll still be able to fuck a piano.

                      My opinion on the state and kids is shaped by living in the “teen pregnancy capital of Canada”. What’s more troubling to me than a statistically small number of gay married couples are the young straight men who see pregnancy as a compelling reason to end their relationships with the mother. I’d love to know how society can change that status quo.

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                    • I can do you one better, Rufus, I’ve actually been snipped. Yet no one questions that Mrs. Likko and I are “really” married in either a legal or a social sense. This demonstrates that the extant definition of marriage already excludes conception as a necessary, much less sufficient, element.

                      Russell’s argument is that society only cares about procreative sex; it seeks to encourage this behavior. That was the intellectual foundation for the conclusion of the Indiana Court of Appeals in Morrison v. Sadler, which is that because heterosexual sex can sometimes produce unintended children, society can rationally and legitimately offer a special kind of privilege to heterosexual couples so as to encourage them to jointly raise the children resulting from such accidental sexual encounters.

                      But if procreation is not really part of what marriage is, since marriage licenses are issued to couples who cannot possibly procreate (like Mrs. Likko and I), then why are we even talking about the fact that two men can’t concieve?

                      Prof. George, the current intellectual darling of the anti-SSM movement, attempts to square this circle by arguing that heterosexual coitus is “imitative” of procreative sex, thus morally sanctionable (unlike other kinds of sexual activity), and thus appropriate to legally favor. For all the erudition George brings to the table, his argument is ultimately fancy intellectual window dressing on the core concept that the imitation of procreative sex somehow is procreative sex. Which it isn’t.

                      Dr. George is guilty of either magical thinking (the voodoo doll somehow is the victim) or an elaborate expression of an aesthetic preference for penises in vaginas as opposed to other imaginable combinations of genetalia. Maybe Dr. Russell didn’t go so far down this rabbit hole as Dr. George (I’m confident you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, TVD) but if we do drill down to the end of that rabbit hole all we shall find are small round pellets that are neither appealing nor useful.

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                    • The joke I told my doctor when I went in for mine was “I gotta warn ya, Doc… I have three testicles.”

                      His eyes got really big and I realized that he didn’t think “that’s funny” but “I am going to get published”.

                      So he was disappointed when I told him that I was just kidding.

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                    • Mr. Likko, you’ve merely redefined the basis of marriage as the pleasure bond [or the even more amorphous “love”] by obliterating the quite real fact of gender. That is a begging of the question of course and quite a rabbit hole of its own.

                      That a society may freely [or under judicial theory] make such a redefinition is the issue, but it is a redefinition.

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                  • I didn’t ask Prof. George or Mr. Blankenhorn. I asked you. It sounds like you think that attraction to the same sex is a “sexual disorder,” which is a proposition about which we will have to disagree. It sounds as though you claim that the sterility (by which I presume you mean “childlessness”) of a relationship is causally linked to its being worthy of no more import than an ordinary friendship between men. That means you’re attacking my childless, heterosexual marriage as well as those of my gay neighbors and colleagues. Sorry if I seem snippy, but an argument based on reproductive capability is personal to me, because I happen to think my marriage is just as good as anyone else’s even if my wife and I haven’t had children.

                    I do not concede that those of us who favor the legal recognition of same-sex marriage have an obligation to offer any justification for it other than that there are people who desire to be married — as a legal proposition, the burden is on the government that offers marriage to some people but not others to justify why it treats them unequally. I do not have to offer a justification for why I engage in acts of free speech. I do not have to offer a justification for why I want to own a gun. I do not have to offer a justification for why I do not want to quarter soldiers in my own house. And so on right on down to I do not have to offer a justification for why I should be permitted to marry a would-be spouse who mutually consents to the marriage. But even if the burden were on me to offer a justification for same-sex marriage, “equal treatment before the law” would be a more than sufficient justification for it. So would a justification like “I believe that adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children.” You might want to look up who offered that opinion.

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                    • Bad move on the Blankenhorn, “Mr. Deco.” He’s such an idiot that Vaughn Walker had to disqualify him as an expert witness in that charade he was running about Prop 8.

                      You should have called with Robbie George and stood pat with yr own argument that’s reminiscent of Bertrand Russell’s.

                      Counselor Likko just ate yr lunch.

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                    • Betwixt and between eating my lunch, advocate likko offers:

                      I do not have to offer a justification for why I should be permitted to marry a would-be spouse who mutually consents to the marriage.

                      Whatever you are “permitted to do” or not, you are asking institutions of state to enforce general obligations and asking that the state, the corporation, and individuals view you a certain way and treat you a certain way. You are asking that your elective associations be sanctioned and rendered a part of social architecture. You ain’t got no rights to that.

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                    • …you are asking institutions of state to enforce general obligations…

                      What do you think I do in court all day long, if not ask an institution of the state to enforce general obligations, whether those be in the form of contracts, or deeds to real property, or [gasp] marriages?

                      …and asking that the state, the corporation, and individuals view you a certain way and treat you a certain way. You are asking that your elective associations be sanctioned and rendered a part of social architecture.

                      As to the government and corporations regulated by it, I don’t just ask that they treat my wife and I this way. I demand it. If my demands are not met, I will use the courts to compel recognition and sanction. To do so is my right as an American citizen.

                      As to individuals, at least with respect to marriage, they can do what they like. I’ve never argued that any individual has to personally or socially acknowledge my marriage or anyone else’s.

                      My marriage to a woman is no less an “elective association” than it would have been had I chosen to marry a man instead. Do I have the right to ask, to demand, and indeed to compel the state to recognize my “elective association”? Bet the house on it. And my gay neighbors should have the same right.

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    • What I find so interesting about many people who reply with “Yuck” to a photo like this is how different their response often is if the women are disrobed and going at it on their computer screen while they jerk it into a sock. They have no problem with homosexuality when getting off to lesbian porn. But suddenly when the exact same, or far tamer, imagery is used to support gay relationships, it becomes “Yucky”…

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      • We’ve no way of knowing whether Art Deco gets off on lesbian porn, nor any particular concern if he does. I’ll attack his arguments, but not him. What he does in the privacy of his own sock and what he looks at while he does it, is not at issue here nor should it be.

        I would also not call the picture in the OP pornographic.

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        • Burt-

          The picture is most assuredly not pornographic. And I was not referring to Art Deco in particular, only some people who might share his initial response. The picture is a great one. Some people might say “Yuck” to it. Those same “some people” might also masturbate or otherwise get turned on by lesbian porn. I find that interesting.

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  1. Okay, so you’ve got Lady Liberty and Lady Justice and they’re getting married. I get that. But I’m pretty damned sure that the gay-positive baby of the future there can start fires with its mind.

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  2. Can you give a couple of examples of the misuse of these words, so that we have a proper contrast?

    From my perspective, the only position with integrity is that the State should have nothing to say legislatively about marriage.

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        • If even the large majority of them belong there, then we are the most evil nation on earth.

          Or, to be blunt about it, African-Americans are the most evil ethnicity on earth.

          That’s if the prisoners mostly belong there. I’m not ready to admit that.

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          • A person belongs in prison when he:

            1. Commits crimes;
            2. Is identified, arrested, and prosecuted for said crimes;
            3. Is sentanced to imprisonment at the appendix of legal process, a sentence within the common-and-garden range of sentences for said crime and not in excess of common expectations of what sentences should be for said crimes;
            4. Has not yet been reviewed for parole or has been found to have systemically or severely disrespected the rules of the prison.

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            • Art,

              I truly understand the rule of law, and I think we have to have laws, but some laws are not just, and locking up non-violent drug users is not only unjust,. it’s a waste of money and that part of the person’s life. If the person has an addiction problem, treatment makes much more sense — but the War on Drugs has been a tragedy for many individuals and their families. Just imagine a brother or sister (it happened to my son) who gets imprisoned because of drug possession — when you can personalize it, you realize that most of these people aren’t criminals, and putting them in prison is a miscarriage of justice.

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                  • the issue here is not following the law — but rather identifying unjust laws and making changes. It’s high time we go through all our laws and start making changes to fit the 21st century — some irrational, destructive laws stay on the books for decades, and they should be removed. There’s nothing holy about laws — they are made by fallible people and can be changed when we realize they are unjust.

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                    • I have read the New York Penal Law. The provisions on sentencing options are a barnacle-laden mess and it is disconcerting (and not spelled out explicitly) how much discretion prosecutors have in the application of charges. (Indictments will be larded with redundant counts which are then negotiated down and neither the original bill nor the final charges agreed to seem to bear more than passing resemblance to the crime which occurred). There is not much in the way of archaic provisions, though there are crimes defined therein which appear to have been a play to the galleries (e.g. doing such and such ‘near school grounds’). (The prohibitions on street drugs took their current form only in 1973).

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                  • Like what? You may disagree with a law but it is still the law. If you chose to break the jail [sic] and go to jail then tough cookies.

                    Suppose the law prohibited the public practice of Christianity, as is the case in some Muslim countries.

                    Suppose you lived there.

                    Still tough cookies? Or do you appeal to justice? At what point would you appeal to justice, if ever? Or are all laws justified by virtue of being enforced? Is there no concept in your mind of justice, outside of power?

                    Do you approve of the killing of Socrates?

                    And Jesus too?

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              • It had occurred to me somewhere along the line that positive law was not precisely coterminous with justice.

                Most federal prisoners have been incarcerated on drug charges, but federal prisoners account for only about 11% of the total population of convicts (and I think you might find if you looked into it that those in federal prison are implicated in the commercial traffick in street drugs and have ties to organized crime). With regard to the sum of federal, state, and county inmates, about 21% have been sent there on drug charges. E.D. Kain’s reference (“two and a half million”) was to the total population of convicts.

                Haven’t a clue as to the proportion of those in prison on drug charges would be considered fitting clientele of the mental health trade; do not have much faith in that crew.

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                • Iworked in facilities dealing with addiction for 15 years in differnet capacities — counselor, clinical director, Out-Patient manager, etc.

                  Addiction treatment, when done by those who understand addiction treatment, is very effective — much more effective and humane than prison. I left in 1996 to start a business, and at the time Dupont, GM, Norfolk-Southern, Owens-Corning and several other large companies had done ten year studies on their EAP programs, and the results were impressive. I witnessed many amazing turn-arounds through the years. Of course, there are some bogus treatment philosophies which avoid the fundamental problems, but what we were doing at the time worked.

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  3. Guys – the crazy long discussion about Art Deco’s comment seems REALLY silly after reading through it all. He has made plenty of comments on the League that had a satisfactory amount of content. I would suspect other commentors would be forgiven for a one-word negative reply to a different post on a different topic. I think some of you are taking this way too personally. In all fairness he could have posted two paragraphs that contained no singular negative words but the overall theme could have far surpassed ‘yuck’ in potential offensiveness. This is mountain-out-of-a-molehill stuff.

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    • In all fairness he could have posted two paragraphs that contained no singular negative words but the overall theme could have far surpassed ‘yuck’ in potential offensiveness.

      Mr. Kain would have been OK with that, if I read him correctly. And “Mr. Deco” would have done his own ideas a lot more justice if he had. If you argue aesthetics unaesthetically, you’re going to reap as you sow, and boy howdy did he.

      By contrast, Mr. Kain argued his rather aesthetic point quite aesthetically, to the approval of those who share his aesthetics. If you’re still with me here.

      Something like “It’s a shame that poor kid’s going to have to grow up without a father” might have returned Mr. Kain’s aesthetic serve, which I imagine he would have seen as fair play.

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      • Of course he could have said more. I just tend to think of the League as a place where we don’t hound someone for the occasional violation of internet decorum when it’s harmless. I guess the flip side of my previous statement would be to ask how often we have seen someone posts multiple paragraphs that make little or no sense? Are we going to now be content police?

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        • Mr. Stick, “we” at the LOOG? You are expected to conduct yrself as though you’re in management’s living room, as a guest, not an equal. This is a salon, not a marketplace.

          I have an affection for this community and admit an addiction to it, but dissenting voices are not granted dachas, they are offered a one-way ticket to somewhere/anywhere else.

          ;-}

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          • Tom/Mike – I’m completely fine with dissenting opinion. In fact, I hope that we have lots and lots of it. My annoyance with Art Deco was the inflammatory nature of his remark, the fact that it added no value to the discussion, that it was neither witty nor much of anything else. It was something a troll would say.

            I am not out to censor comments. I do think that to keep these comment threads lively and honest we, as the authors of the posts, need to remind people now and then about our commenting policy, and the goal of conversation here at The League. We have rarely banned or censored anyone.

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            • The trouble is, my comments were not and are not inflammatory. You are inflamed (or wish to appear inflamed). Why that is and what that might indicate concerning the evolution of public manners is a question of some mild interest.

              I note again in this regard a post about two weeks ago the commentary upon which was chock-a-block with scurrilous attacks on a private citizen in Minnesota whose wife is a member of Congress. You seem to have had other things to do with your time, ‘Russell Saunders’ had only anodyne remarks to make about the whole rancid business, and Jason Kuznicki even got mildly creative with it. There are things that inflame you chaps, and things that do not.

              The tendency on the part of some to look at the world through distorting prisms is not my offense against public order and social peace (unless manners are to be regarded as perfectly conventional and specific to context, which appears to be the view of one of your commenters).

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            • But ED – to be clear – I think there would have been no problem with a positive comment that added nothing to the discussion. I guess I just think that if you use comment value as the criteria you have to complain about positive/neutral comments that add no value as well. And I would hate to lose Jaybird’s witty jokes.

              I also think ‘inflammatory’ is a bit of an exaggeration. As I stated way up in my first comment, I think ‘yuck’ is the response of many Americans when they see same-sex PDA. It’s an uncontrollable response that comes with our age and experience. I’m 100% pro-gay rights but if two guys kiss on TV I get a little uncomfortable. I have been known to even say ‘yuck’ myself. Does that make me prejudice or inflammatory? I hope not.

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              • Whlep, Mike, I’m not too interested in this particular rabbit hole, but I’ll note:

                Someone says something that implies a complex argument. I offer fairly content-free “I agree”. This implies that I more or less agree with the complex argument itself. There’s a lot of tacit that goes along there, transitively speaking. If someone takes issue with the argument they can start disassembling it and I’m sorta obligated to pony up a defense of the bits, or fess up I have a problem with a bit, too. I staked something out.

                Someone says something that implies a complex argument. I offer also the fairly content-free “I disagree”… but there’s nothing tacit that comes along there. I’ve staked nothing. In fact, I’ve staked less than nothing.

                Nobody knows anything about which part of the argument I have an issue; the foundational principles, the logic, the conclusion, one of the steps in-between.

                That’s not the same amount of “content-free”. There’s no real basis for discussion. I haven’t really put anything *out there* for anyone else to get their teeth into.

                If I then start talking out of my ass about individual points, it’s not clear what the hell my point is, really, except to be a wet blanket.

                Now, A.D. hasn’t done this on every thread he’s commented on, but on this particular thread his first comment was at 12:59 pm (comment #3, no less)… and the first time he said anything that resembled an actual position was at 6:02pm.

                In between there he was doing a lot of much ado about nothing, or digressing about another thread and implying that there were parallels there without even drawing some explicit lines.

                That’s not exactly trolling, but it’s close enough for government work.

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                • “Someone says something that implies a complex argument. I offer fairly content-free “I agree”. This implies that I more or less agree with the complex argument itself. “

                  But does it? If the post made one specific point and you said, “I agree,” then we could make that assumption. What if it was a post with 5 key points? Does a simple, “I agree” still really mean the same thing or is more elaboration required?

                  ED’s post doesn’t really elaborate on his opinion – it simply offers a statement. If ED makes a statement of opinion and you reply with, “I agree” are you explaining why you agree with the point? If not, then it seems a reply of “I disagree” requires no further explanation either.

                  Basically, if you offer an opinion without explaining how you arrived at it then i don’t see why someone can’t dismiss that opinion without explaining how they got there.

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                  • > But does it? If the post made one
                    > specific point and you said, “I
                    > agree,” then we could make that
                    > assumption.

                    Well, sure.

                    > What if it was a post with 5 key
                    > points? Does a simple, “I agree”
                    > still really mean the same thing
                    > or is more elaboration required?

                    I suppose it depends on how you look at it. If you offer no elaboration or qualification, then you lit the fire and put your goose on it. If you didn’t mean to cook it… that’s on you.

                    If a post has five key points, and you just toss out an “I agree”, then either you’d better agree with the five key points, or you’d better be ready to walk back yourself when someone else says, “Hey, wait a minute, key point 4 seems weak at best, you agree with that nonsense?”

                    If you’re walking back, then you have to issue a “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea minima culpa” and fess up to being lazy.

                    If you’re walking back on a bunch of points, sub in “maxima” for “minima” and we all get to make fun of you ’cause people around here don’t usually get lazy like that (although, it happens to everybody).

                    At any rate, arguments are structures. If you agree with it, you either buy the structure, or you buy most of the structure and have subbed in some bit for a part you don’t like (which you should elaborate), or you buy most of the structure and think the weak spots aren’t that weak (which you should qualify).

                    If you disagree with it, point at the part you disagree with. If it’s an implied argument (like this whole OP actually was), you might find out that you’re disagreeing with something the OP didn’t mean to imply. Hey, everybody gets to communicate and clear the air, yay!

                    If you’re not telling people which part you don’t like, then one either needs to ignore you or start playing Sherlock Holmes to try and figure out what you don’t like. That’s leaving out a foundation for a constructive conversation, IMO.

                    Alternatively, what RTod sez in the follow up post *does* have some value, so maybe this is a guideline about which I’m being overly pedantic.

                    Overly.

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    • Mike:

      There is nothing to the original post that seeks to inspire intelligent discussion. The entire purpose of the post is for E.D. to espouse SSM and then for him to criticize folks that don’t agree with him. I expect something better of the content posted here.

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      • More charitably:

        The entire purpose of the post is for E.D. to espouse advocate SSM and then for him to criticize intellectually engage folks that don’t agree with him.

        Which, as corrected, is pretty much how it has worked out.

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        • Burt:

          Sorry but I have to say BS. E.D.’s first comment after Art’s comment was “I’m confused, Art. Why is it that you comment at this blog? Is that a comment designed to “intellectually engage” someone or just shut them down for not parroting the PC party line?

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          • That’s a fair cop, Scott. His comment isn’t the original post, but I agree that comment is not calculated to intellectually engage on the subject.

            I think the overall record shows E.D. shaped up as the situation developed and maybe the sting of something that got to him on an emotional level faded. And others jumped in to flesh things out in a more intelleectual fashion too.

            I’ve been guilty of typing first and thinking later myself so I’ve got some sympathy for E.D. there. He’s only human.

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  4. I don’t have a problem with Art’s “Yuck” comment, in fact it’s not over the top at all, if one assumes the women(?) in the pic are lesbians and the viewer embraces what we might assume is a more traditional perspective on sexuality in America. Unless, of course, the management would prefer that those of us who don’t share sundry progressive ideas make ourselves scarce so the enlightened can massage their egos without fear of rebuttal or critique.

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  5. “Yuck” is neither a valid argument nor even properly speaking a proposition that might be argued.

    “Yuck” is not a valid argument because it can (and still does) justify many things we find abhorrent, while forbidding many things we find permissible. A valid argument would not yield obviously invalid results — like infanticide or female circumcision. So yuck isn’t valid as a reasoned argument. (Are any reasons valid in moral philosophy, given that there are always disagreements? Some still are, I’d say — if I had the space. But it is striking how the invokers of “yuck” so freely dismiss the very same reasoning made by others. Convenient, too.)

    Nor is yuck a claim, as I understand it. Yuck… and therefore what? This is left to the imagination. Stoning, perhaps? That seems like a valid inference from yuck. Or at least we can’t deny its longstanding popularity.

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      • Mike, you’re right. Jason, who started out house-a-fire, intellectually and now what…the oppressed editor of Cato Unbound writes from the American Gulag? I’ll give him credit, at least we didn’t have to read another rant against the evil Christians.

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      • Mike:

        Based on Jason’s attempt to hide his silly criticism in the garb of an intellectual argument, I think we can say that he isn’t “better than that.” This goes to show what length some supporters of SSM will go to in order to discredit folks that don’t agree with them.

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              • Jason:

                All he did was say “yuck”, not suggest folks be stoned which is what you miss. If you want to read other implications and hidden arguments into “yuck,” fine but don’t be surprised if some people don’t take you seriously.

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                • I am not finding hidden implications in his statement. I am showing why statements of this type, considered as a class, are unreliable guides to morality.

                  It is not a personal accusation… not, at any rate, of anything more than a probably faulty moral reasoning.

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                • I’m disgusted by inelegant or faulty thinking.

                  I’m disgusted by cheap tequila, roadkill, and week-old leftovers in the fridge.

                  I’m even disgusted by certain sex acts.

                  Do I feel an urge to harm people in order somehow to satisfy my disgust? No.

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                  • So then why do you feel it’s okay to automatically link another kind of disgust to violence? Have there been acts of violence against gays based on disgust? Absolutely. But equivocating ALL admissions of discomfort with those few that ended in violence is unfair and it seems a deliberate attempt to box someone into a corner. The goal seems to be to label benign personal discomfort as completely unacceptable and akin to the worst of human actions. It’s an unfair tactic aimed at forcing personal acceptance rather than allowing it to happen organically.

                    IMO, gay rights supporters are going to have to accept that while they may gain legal support and support from individuals at the personal level , it doesn’t mean that the public is going to become comfortable with the concept overnight, especially in a sexually-repressed country like the U.S. It’s going to take a generation or two.

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                    • The goal seems to be to label benign personal discomfort as completely unacceptable and akin to the worst of human actions. It’s an unfair tactic aimed at forcing personal acceptance rather than allowing it to happen organically.

                      Absolutely not. I am simply pointing out that disgust is an unreliable method of cognition. In you. In me. In everyone.

                      It’s really, really not personal.

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                    • I think I know you well enough to know it’s not personal Jason. But I also think that linking an expression of personal disgust/discomfort towards homosexual PDA with stoning is waaay over the top. To me it feels eerily like linking a political party to Nazis or some variation. It’s meant to label that type of feeling as mean as evil and forcibly shame the person that feels that way.

                      And to be clear, i am fine with shaming people for all manner of distasteful behaviors. But when you shame someone you should do it based on the merits of the actual act, not by linking it to bible-based violence committed by a fractional minority (especially when their personal feelings probably go way beyond ‘yuck’). So to request a little perspective, the action we are talking about is Art Deco expressing his personal discomfort with the imagery ED shared. It may be tacky – but that’s about it.

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                    • I’m not trying to shame anyone. I’m making a very simple modus tollens-type argument.

                      It runs as follows:

                      1. If an argument (here, the argument from disgust) is deductively valid, then, given true premises, it will always yield true results. (This is the definition of a valid argument, by the way.)

                      2. Aside from its other problems qua argument, the argument from disgust does not always yield true results. Sometimes it yields obviously untrue results (like — for example — stoning homosexuals).

                      3. The argument from disgust is therefore invalid.

                      This shouldn’t be so hard to understand. Really.

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                    • Jason – you are talking about the digust itself. Fine, we agree that personal disgust is a human flaw and expressions of it are bad (with bad being a vague term).

                      But what I am getting at is then taking that bad action and equivocating it with other actions that are way beyond bad and could accurately be described as evil. That is the crux of my complaint.

                      The intent of the equivocation seems to be a marginalization of undesirable expressions of digust.

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                    • There was a funny (but serious) study published a few years ago (I wrote about it at the link below) on this issue. The gist of the study’s findings is that an irrelevant disgust-inducing stimulus (in the study, fart spray – no, really) causes moral judgments to be more severe, whatever the moral judgment. It seriously undercuts rational moral judgments. Politicians take advantage of this all the time: associate a party or a candidate with either disgust-inducing behavior or a disgust-inducing position (like, say, gay marriage), and suddenly you can’t think about it rationally. My favorite example occurred in Texas. Governor Perry made the HPV vaccine part of the mandatory (with exceptions, so not really mandatory) series of vaccines at age 12. Those campaigning against this policy went straight to disgust-inducing (fallacious) implications: 12 year olds need a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease? Because 12 year olds are having sex? Yuck! After that, no amount of factual information about cervical cancer and the benefits of the vaccine was going to sway minds, because the disgust made it difficult, if not impossible for some people, to think about the issue rationally.

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            • Except that it’s not a stretch, because “yuck” signifies disgust, and as Jason notes, disgust has been used to justify all sorts of atrocities. “Yuck” as a serious reason for opposition, particularly as Bob seems to believe it to be, is quite dangerous.

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      • C’mon Jason. That is over-the-top. I realize you have more interest in this than a straight individual but you’re better than that.

        I don’t agree. One of the most salient aspects of the argument from disgust is that it leaves wide open the door to brutality, in that it does not have any necessary measure or proportionality about it. Unlike, for example, a harm and restitution approach to justice.

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        • I disagree with your disagree.

          I am grossed out but some of the clothing my daughters’ friends where – but I’m not beating anyone. I am grossed out by a significant portion of the pornography on the internet – but I’m not beating anyone. I am HORRIFIED by the thought of abortion – but I’m not beating anyone. My wife is digusted by the thought of eating sushi – but she’s not beating anyone.

          Disgust only leads to violence when someone is a flawed individual IMO. For the rest of us it is possible to be uncomfortable with a visual image or an action and not resort to violence. When you link ‘yuck’ to stoning that lumps all of us in with a tiny majority that would do real violence because of their discomfort. It’s sensationalism.

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          • Except when it comes to homosexuality, disgust has often led to violence in our society. In other cultures, the “yuck” factor at the way women or girls are dressed has led to violence as well, but “yuck” towards that carries less weight here (though I note that most of the time, “yuck” as a result of dress is “yuck” as a result of female dress).

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              • Has anyone suggested that the aforementioned yuck is going to lead to violence? Of course not, so suggesting that something may happen or could happen or that it will happen today b/c it happened in the past is a stretch or just a ploy to get sympathy.

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                • Except that no one is suggesting that this particular “yuck” is going to lead to violence, and I can’t imagine how anyone’s shooting for sympathy. The point Jason made, and that I tried to reiterate, is that as a position on homosexuality, or this picture in particular, “yuck” is irrational. If it makes you go “yuck,” that’s fine. If that’s your only response, which it seems to have been in Art’s case (hence his entire comment being “yuck”), then what you’ve got is objectively pretty shitty.

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                  • I don’t know. I find the economy of words to have been pretty powerful. Look at the visceral reaction it triggered in several commenters.

                    The only flaw I would see in it is that it wasn’t a specific ‘yuck’ and the readers had to infer their own meaning. Most of the complaints seemed to believe AD was grossed out by two girls kissing. This was probably correct. But what if his reaction was actually more like mine which is that I don’t like the use of patriotic imagery and I REALLY don’t like the addition of a minor child into the proaganda? The ‘yuck’ could have completely different context and possibly not even cause so much outrage.

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                    • I totally agree with this, Mike.

                      On the other hand, though, if you were objecting to the use of patriotism and a child, you should probably know that if you just go with the “yuck” without any explanation that most people will misread what you are trying to say.

                      Not that this is a big criticism. I don’t think there are any of us here that haven’t made a poorly worded comment that hasn’t been totally misinterpreted by everyone, and been forced to go back and say “My bad. What I meant to say was…”

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    • Whilst at Redstate (full disclosure: banned), I got into an argument with someone over God’s attitude towards the whole gay thing in relationship to the whole shellfish thing.

      He explained to me that Paul explained that it was okay to eat shellfish in the section about meat that had been offered to idols but no dispensation has ever been made about homosexuality. *BUT*, he pointed out, he didn’t think that homosexuals ought to be killed.

      Personally, I hate the phrase “mighty white of ya”.

      Despite this, I was tempted to use it.

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