March 27, 2013

Query for 03.27.13

Why do so many of the opponents of marriage equality dabble in social science fiction?

—TSH

8 comments:

Bill Ghrist said...

Because nothing in legitimate science supports their position.

As far as I can tell, all the non-fictional arguments against same-sex marriage boil down to two things:

1) The Bible says that same-sex relations are always wrong (not necessarily true, as you have shown, but at any rate not a legitimate basis for civil law).

2) We've always done it this way (male/female marriage)--the classic fallback when you can't come up with a legitimate reason to resist change.

Tobias Haller said...

Just so...

Brother David said...

I think that they are well aware that it is fiction but they subscribe to the axiom that if you repeat a lie often enough people begin to believe that it is the truth.

Tobias Haller said...

Bro David, the cynical side of me wants to agree with you completely, and I think that is the case to a large extent. But I do get the feeling that some of them actually believe what they say, on the order of Flat Earthers. There is, sad to say, bigotry that is more than skin deep. Being a "bigot" is being wedded to an ideology that cannot be changed by rational processes. And there are a few out there...

Daniel Weir said...

Justice Scalia appears to be wedded so firmly to a heterosexist ideology that he can't accept facts that don't support that ideology. He is, by the definition in the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, not lying when he claims there is disagreement among social scientists about whether same-sex parents are just as good as opposite-sex parents because he doesn't know that his statement wasn't true. He should know, but I think that he doesn't. And that is truly sad.

Tobias Haller said...

Indeed, Daniel, sclerosis of the brain is a sad thing to see. It is the perilous fate of diehard ideologues.

Jon said...

I'd blame a species of ignorance, actually. They know that scientific support is a very good thing, since science is so effective at what it does, and so they look around for scientific sounding arguments. Since they generally haven't studied in the relevant disciplines they can't tell the difference between a sound argument and a fallacious one in the discipline. Therefore they gravitate towards the conclusions that best fit their initial feelings and assumptions. Liberals do the same, although this gets them in trouble on topics other than same-sex marriage at the moment.

Tobias Haller said...

Likely the case, Jon. In general, I find that liberals are a bit better educated when it comes to science -- or is it that people educated in the sciences then to be more liberal? This may come from the necessary attitude of the scientific method that requires openness to evidence, and sitting lightly with hypotheses until demonstrated. "Bigotry" by definition is the inability to accept evidence that goes against one's preconceptions. So in one sense, a bigoted scientist (or liberal) is a contradiction in terms, and such a one is no true scientist (or liberal) but a species of conservative, a bigot for their cause.

That's not to say there aren't just plain ignorant people on both sides of many debates, of course; and the phenomenon of latching onto a "study" that supports one's pet cause is something truly thoughtful people will avoid.