fine. i'll comment. we'll see what you can do to assuage my queasy twaddle. good luck!
historically, fecundity was a matter of national security, since it was important to get lots of children to fill your battle lines, factories, voting booths, and to provide social security for the elderly.
It was actually even more important than that. Until not too long ago (a few tens of thousands of years) fecundity was vital not just to the survival of nations (because there weren't any) but to the survival of the entire species. That is why we have instincts hard-wired into our brains that drive humans -- even gay ones (I'll get to that in a moment) -- to reproduce. Our not-so-distant ancestors who lacked these drives didn't leave many offspring. Halting reproduction is not an idea that reproduces well.
But, to understate the case considerably, times change. The human species has in a very short span of time (a few thousand years) gone from being just another contender in the game of life to being its undisputed champion. The survival of our species is no longer under serious threat from any quarter except ourselves. To the contrary, we have been so successful that we are the predominant threat to the survival of nearly every other species on earth. And indeed, increasing our numbers beyond the carrying capacity of the planet is a very real possibility (some think we're already there).
So reproduction need not be attended to with the same urgency as it once was. Unfortunately, we are still left with the instincts, intuitions and social norms that evolved back in the day.
But even leaving that aside, your next assertion:
gay marriage takes two families out of the pool.
is simply not true. First, gay people can and do reproduce. Gay women can do so through artificial insemination, and gay men can do so through surrogacy, both of which are widely accepted means of heterosexual reproduction in cases of infertility. But this misses a much more important point: producing a baby is only the first (and arguably the easiest) step in a much longer and more difficult process. Human babies require years of care before they are able to survive on their own. That's the reason marriage is supposed to be a long-term commitment. It has nothing to do with making babies; it has everything to do with raising them. And gays are just as capable (in my experience often more so) of raising children as straight people. So the truth is the exact opposite of what you say: the shortage of resources is not babies; we've got babies aplenty. What there is a shortage of is couples who are ready, willing and able to raise those babies to adulthood. So it is not gay marriage that "takes families out of the pool", is is the prohibition on gay marriage that has this effect!
By the way, if you really believe that reproduction is such an urgent societal imperative that it should override people's right to marry whom they love, then it follows that having children ought to be required of all married couples. But this is obviously a political non-starter, which proves that virtually no one really takes this argument seriously.
i understand that japanese, europeans, and israelis worry about their demographics all the time, and in some sense, they're a forecast for our future. our country currently has the benefit of imported labor, but how much of the financial burden for our elderly will they be willing to bear? the pyramid scheme we call Social Security is already scheduled to blow up. in your previous post you said "Both are slowly but surely dying, and good riddance." (emphasis mine). surely you do not intend to propose that as a solution to the health care questions i'm raising. as a very wealthy man in a very wealthy country who has no concerns about your future, have you considered that you're committing "selection bias?"
Absolutely. But this is a separate issue. As I've already pointed out, when the topic at hand is gay marriage, reproduction is a red herring. I've actually been meaning to write about this. Maybe this will motivate me to finally do it. (It's a very complicated topic.)
here's what I'm queasy about. nobody's figured out a (sustainable) way to draw more money out of a pool than you put into it, no matter how big or complicated that pool is.
That's not true either. Economics is not a zero-sum game. If I have something that you want and I don't, and you have something that I want and you don't, and we make an exchange, then we have magically created value out of thin air. Likewise, technology can create more value than the sum of the parts that went into it.
this is why many gov'ts provide incentives to encourage the production of children of their own, because migrant workers are maybe not going to be willing to foot the bill. i'm not sure that it's fair to allow gay people to get those incentives, or to gain full access to social security if they've been unwilling to contribute as much as others through the hard work of raising children. it makes me suspect that gay marriage is fundamentally a selfish act. it's double jeopardy; they won't have children to bear some of the direct responsibilities so their care will cost more, and they won't have children paying into the system as a part of their indirect responsibilities.
Here again, if you really want to make this argument, you have to take into account the fact that many gay couples raise children and many straight couples (my wife and me included) don't. In any case, the remedy for this is not to make gay marriage illegal, but to change the rules about who is eligible for social security (and I think you'll find that's a political non-starter as well).
so will gay marriage raise my taxes to pay for elderly gays who draw more from the system than they put in?
No more than straight marriage raises your taxes for elderly straights who draw more from the system than they put in. Being gay has nothing to do with it.
the other historical purpose for marriage was to provide protection for women; financial, legal, and physical. our individualistic society has, it seems, obviated the need for this to some extent. but is it gone and will it stay away? i'm not sure, but i don't know enough to comment more on this.
I think that's wise ;-)
i'm worried that this whole issue is merely foolish populist rage at a time when scientists are prohibited from objectively studying and producing facts about the long term effects of this on society. so we do agree that there is "no demonstrable harm in allowing gays to marry" because the one thing activist groups accomplish for sure is to eliminate objectivity.
Now you're sounding like a conspiracy theorist. You acknowledge that there is no evidence that gay marriage harms society, but attribute this to unknown dark forces that prevent scientists from studying the matter and uncovering the diabolical truth. If there were a diabolical truth to be discovered there is nothing preventing the Mormon church from taking the hundreds of millions of dollars it puts into political campaigns and instead funding scientific studies to uncover it.
thank God we have bigots who stand in the way when crowd mentality takes over! i WANT the law to move at a glacial pace.
Are you familiar with Martin Luther King's famous letter from the Birmingham jail? I'll quote the relevant part for you:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was "well timed," according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almost always meant "never." We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
finally, i don't understand why people think it's so important for the gov't to play a regulatory role in their interpersonal relationships. what's the point in demanding the right to give up your rights? let gay couples sign contracts to accomplish the same thing! maybe you're not worried about what i just wrote, and you don't believe the gov't has a stake in the institution of marriage. if you believe that the historical motivations for marriage are obsolete, then shouldn't we pull the gov't out of it all together?
I'd personally be all for abolishing government recognition of marriage altogether and just having civil unions for everyone, but that's yet another political non-starter.
thanks for giving me the opportunity to solidify some of my thinking on this issue.
My pleasure. Thanks for having the courage to stand up for your beliefs.