Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The debate whimpers on

Dear Toby,

you wrote

Well, I would like to see your survey data, because I certainly don't believe it. Since that seems to be what you were originally talking about, maybe you can ignore the rest of this. But since it's about something important to me, I'll say it anyway.


I've done what digging I could, and I'm annoyed at myself having slightly shifted the axes of the survey in my thinking; I don't expect you'll find much to enjoy in it, yourself, though. The refference is note 36 here

My original focus on taxes comes from the setting in the first half of the video clip, so I won't harp on that. But I'll still focus on legal issues. That is, I disagree with you that sex is most fun between one man and one woman, who ought to be married, without trying to avoid begetting. But since that sort of thing only affects the people involved, it doesn't matter much if we disagree about that.


Well, if one does successfully avoid begetting, that certainly reduces the number of people involved. Success is arguably tricky, though. What's more, much of what follows is in fact supposing other people are involved, potentially adopted children in particular.

I also think here you're transplanting my use of the word "fun" beyond the scope I intended for it. And I don't see how it's a legal issue?

What does matter, and affects many people, is the attitude of the government towards this. And yes, it is a matter of the government's attitude towards individuals, not just couples. The government says that X and Y may marry but X and Z may not; that is discrimination between the individuals Y and Z.


See, that's very sneaky of you to suppress the "X"; the government makes a statement about the pair (X,Y) and an oposite statement about the pair (X,Z). It's worth noting that we can then infer which statement the government would make about the pair (Y,Z), or (Y,Y) for that matter. Or, how about, following your example, suppress the second in the pair: X may marry, but X may not marry? Surely we're not discriminating against X on the basis of sex in this case, because we admit both possibilities even though X's sex doesn't change?

The current laws that don't recognise marriage between two individuals of the same sex discriminate based on sex just as much as past laws that didn't recognise marriage between two individuals of different races discriminated based on race

There's an important difference, though. Laws ignoring marriage between two individuals of different race are fundamentally motivated by a desire to prevent procreation arising from "different" races, so-called "miscegenation". This in turn was necessary to establish as fact in Law what was a lie in Nature, that distinct races were and ought to be sundered species. On the other hand, the heretofore universal understanding that a marriage involves one man and one woman arises from similarly heretofore-universally understood connection between marriage and the foundation of a new family potentially including new people (new voters, new soldiers, new workers! Who doesn't want these?).

(where in both cases, 'sex' and 'race' are further defined by the government, sometimes with and sometimes without fidelity to an
underlying facet of human nature).

"Sometimes with", eh? With fidelity in the case of "sex" perhaps, and without it in the case of "race"? Or have you suggestions of a facet of human nature faithfully classified by "race"? Let me be even clearer: Sex is a real difference. Ask any doctor whether the sex of his patient is relevant to the care thereof. Race is a much fuzzier and mutable thing; it may be a relevant notion for insurance companies, but a surgeon usually doesn't need to know his subject came from the East Caucasus mountains in order to find his way around.

I certainly can't accept the government's doing this for such a flimsy reason as that an opposite-sex couple (healthily and happily married) will raise a child better than a same-sex couple (also healthily and happily married).


I simply can't agree that a single-sex pair can be healthily married. And that's not a matter of on-average tendencies...

That may or may not be true on average, but it's certainly not true in every case. Given that a couple is raising a child together, the child should have a stable home with the customary legal protections, and it's quite perverse for the government to say that their family won't get the same status as the family next door because it might have been better for the child to be raised by somebody else all along, rather than the healthy, happy parents that they have.


This is getting the notion of "someone else" backwards altogether! For a child to be potentially placed in the care of a single-sex couple, it necessarily follows that neither of them conceived nor bore this child OR one of the couple has been unfaithful. The child belonged with different people in the first place; the single-sex pair are "someone else". Again, I'm not saying that a pair of men is inherently incapable of meeting the material needs of a growing child; I do say that the example they give includes a priori a fundamental defficiency, and a child shouldn't be kept in their long-term care any more than it should be raised by a convent or monastery.

I don't know that either you or I will tell the other anything that we haven't already heard. I don't like it when the government tries to tell people what to do,


I'm not sure what you mean here; the government no longer asks people to avoid sodomy, for instance. I believe the various states still restrict sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors, whether said minors, the salespeople, or their respective parents feel otherwise?

and I don't like discrimination on the basis of sex; much less do I like discrimination on the basis of sex in order to encourage people to do things differently.


Again, I'm not sure what differently-done-things you think government is encouraging by discriminating on the basis of half a pair's sex.

You seem to have different values from mine, and apparently you have statistics to show that the government is telling people what to do and discriminating against them in a way that will do more good than harm in the end.


Different values? Almost certainly; but why not ask me what I value?

No, that's not my meaning in claiming statistics, and neither do I think this is a case of the government permitting some harm so that more good may result: it really is an assertion that one specific kind of harm should NOT occur, that of children being raised under an a-priori bad example of human sexual expression; rather, children should be raised such that they mature understanding what children's AND parents' roles are in a family, whether they then go on to establish families of their own or not. I don't pretend that all extant families are healthy or happy; but we don't need to add to the list of possible reasons a family can be unhealthy!

10 comments:

Toby Bartels said...

>The refference is note 36 here

I didn't read the reference, but I read the paragraph in which it was cited. That doesn't surprise me; I already know that religious people tend to be happier. It doesn't seem to justify any conclusions about one man and one woman; I suppose that heterosexuality is probably correlated with religiousness, but this is now a tenuous link. And I expect that the survey included only legally married couples —I'd be delighted to learn otherwise— and so was biased against inclusion of same-sex couples. (I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't include any.) So it's quite possible (although I doubt it) that same-sex couples have happier marriages (or whatever you want to call their marriage-like long-term commitments) than opposite-sex couples, on average.

Not to mention that many people find sex more fun *outside* of marriage, which this doesn't even attempt to address.

>successfully avoid begetting […] is arguably tricky, though.

It can be surprisingly tricky, yes. Considering that the desire for sex evolved to promote begetting, that shouldn't be surprising. (^_^) But it's not very hard if you know how.

>And I don't see how it's a legal issue?

It isn't. The purpose of that paragraph is to draw a contrast, between the issue of fun that doesn't really matter, to the legal issues that do matter. I'm not sure that I wrote it very clearly.

>See, that's very sneaky of you to suppress the "X"

I didn't suppress the "X"; it's there for you to see.

Now, here:

>X may marry, but X may not marry?

Here, you are suppressing something, which is why it doesn't work.

>the government makes a statement about the pair (X,Y) and an oposite statement about the pair (X,Z)

And therefore it discriminates between Y and Z. Do you claim that antimiscegenation laws did *not* discriminate against individuals on the basis of race (but were wrong for some other reason)? Did Jim Crow segregation laws discriminate against individuals on the basis of race? That is the standard view, including the view eventually taken by U.S. courts, but all that they said was that there must be separate facilities for two (fairly large) sets of people. (The common practice of making one facility worse than the other was extralegal.) How about a law that bans co-educational schools? All of these are bad laws, but where they really bother *me* —because I am an individualist— is where they impact individuals, and say ‘No, you can't do this.’ to one. (This individualist motivation is why I worry so much about what is largely a semantic issue: whether the discrimination is about individuals or only couples. I'm against it either way.)

[Apparently this comment is too long, so I'm somewhat arbitrarily chopping it here.]

Toby Bartels said...

[… continuing]

>Laws ignoring marriage between two individuals of different race [were] necessary to establish as fact in Law what was a lie in Nature, that distinct races were and ought to be sundered species.

That is a lie, certainly. But this paragraph was about whether this is about the government's attitude towards individuals. Just because one act of discrimination is motivated by a biological fact and the other is not (although I don't concede this entirely; see below), while it may be relevant to whether the act is justified, doesn't change the fact that it's an act of discrimination.

>the heretofore universal understanding that a marriage involves one man and one woman

The slogan ‘one man and one woman’ is used today to rhetorically link same-sex marriage with polygamy, and of course the idea that that is wrong has never been even close to universally understood, as I'm sure you know. It's true that Leah and Rachel were not married to each other, while Jacob was in two marriages, each of this form. However, they were part of the same household, and legally treated together in that way (much as they had been earlier, with a 7-year gap when they were in different households), which is what matters. So we distinguish ‘marriage’ and ‘family’ here; similarly, you can distinguish ‘marriage’ from some other term to denote a marriage-like long-term commitment between people of the same sex (or gender, or legal sex/gender classification).

One reason that people want to use the term ‘marriage’ here is that that is the term that is used in law, and they want the same legal benefits. I would be perfectly happy if governments didn't recognise a ‘marriage’ at all, but only a ‘civil union’, or better yet a ‘family’ or ‘household’. Unfortunately, that would take a far more radical change in the law that allowing same-sex ‘marriage’.

Of course, another reason that people want to use the term ‘marriage’ here is that the relationships are just like opposite-sex ones in every other way. Perhaps you see it as a degredation of the institution of marriage that even opposite-sex couples blithely get married with no intention of procreating. Myself, I see it as a strength that it can adapt to a society where overpouplation is a problem and one no longer needs children to survive, a society where more people naturally will not want to have children. Similarly, it is a sign of strength that, one generation after the rioters at Stonewall denounced marriage as the sort of conservative bourgeois institution that they were rebelling against, it is now something that queers aspire to.

In any case, however we use the terminology, you're wrong to say ‘heretofore universal understanding’. See the the section with the *subheading* ‘Same-Sex Marriage in History’ at http://www.enotalone.com/article/4358.html for a list (admittedly small) of exceptions (and read the book, obviously, for more details on them).

[continued …]

Toby Bartels said...

[… continuing]

>>where in both cases, 'sex' and 'race' are further defined by the government, sometimes with and sometimes without fidelity to an underlying facet of human nature

>With fidelity in the case of "sex" perhaps, and without it in the case of "race"?

No, both mixed.

>a surgeon usually doesn't need to know his subject came from the East Caucasus mountains in order to find his way around.

A surgeon usually doesn't need to know the subject's sex either, although it matters more often than the race.

You apparently believe that sex is perfectly determined by biology, while race is entirely a social invention; apologies if I'm exaggerating. But neither of these is correct.

Race as it appeared in antimiscegenation laws was, of course, very much a social invention. But it was an honest best attempt to reflect biological reality. And while the idea that humans can be neatly classified into about 5 different racial groups is wrong, there are genetic variations within overlapping groups separated by clines. Even a surgeon may find it helpful to know the race of a subject sometimes, such as for organ transplant (although precise matching would be better). I certainly agree that there is no purpose to be served in trying to legally classify people into discrete races, but the idea didn't come out of thin air.

In particular, sometimes the legal classification of race indicated the continent in which a person's ancestors lived in 1500, while sometimes it did not; this (and things like it) were what I was thinking of. Of course, there is no justification for forbidding marriage on the basis of the origin of one's ancestors; it's just that that's the sort of thing that they were trying to do.

On the other hand, sex is not a perfect classification either. Here, at least, nearly everybody is definitely either a man or a woman. But there are exceptions, even down to the genetic level. The most extreme case is mixed-sex chimerism, very rare of course. Then there are many cases where the DNA and the gonads are both clear but don't match the other; which are we trying to classify? Probably the gonads, but if they are not clear, then it's hard to justify falling back on DNA testing. About 1 in 1000 live births are intersex, where the external genitals aren't clear; in the past, the usual procedure was to cut off anything that stuck out and call the child a girl, while now we can try to check the gonads or the DNA … but often the intersex condition comes about because these are not clear!

And of course, there are transgender people that either trick the state or get officially reclassified by the state; in either case, any connection between the state's classification and anything biological is (literally) superficial. Of course, the transgender person in question is liable to argue that their presented gender *does* match something fundamental in their own brain, mind, or soul; but if you accept that, then this calls into question all of the classifications that, while physiologically definite, don't match the person's gender identity.

So sometimes the legal classification of sex or gender does not match the nature of the human in question either.

In my opinion, we would be better off if the state didn't attempt to classify people by either sex or race, letting the surgeons decide for themselves in those cases where it matters. At best, I would draw a legal distinction between father and mother, because this is based on a clear distinction in the origins of the child, but only for birth (not adoption).

[continued…]

Toby Bartels said...

[… continuing]

>I simply can't agree that a single-sex pair can be healthily married. And that's not a matter of on-average tendencies...

This strikes me as simply bigoted. Assuming that you're not playing a semantic game with ‘married’ (and if you are, then I ask whether a single-sex pair can be healthily in a marriage-like long-term commitment). I know same-sex married couples. They seem healthy to me. They're certainly at less risk of STDs and unintended pregnancies than promiscuous heterosexuals that haven't learned how to use condoms properly. In fact, now that I think about, I don't know *any* same-sex couples in an unhealthy long-term relationship, whereas I *do* know opposite-sex couples (some legally married) in that situation … but this is not statistically significant.

Don't you know any same-sex couples in a marriage-like long-term commitment?

>For a child to be potentially placed in the care of a single-sex couple, it necessarily follows that neither of them conceived nor bore this child OR one of the couple has been unfaithful.

No, not necessarily! Here are some other possibilities:
* The couple has an open marriage. (You probably think that this would be harmful for the child as well. I don't, and I certainly don't think that it's the government's business. In any case, we can suppose that the marriage has now been closed if you like.)
* The child was conceived by one of two mothers (using ‘mother’ in the sense of an adoptive parent, although one will also be a biological mother and so will not have to go through a legal adoption) using artificial insemination from sperm provided commercially by an anonymous donor. (I know that you don't like this, but it hardly falls under unfaithfulness.)
* The child was conceived by one of two mothers using artificial insemination from sperm provided gratis by a mutual friend (who will now probably be a special uncle but should not have any legal rights in the situation).
* The child was conceived by a mutual friend using artificial insemination from one of two fathers. (This is the only difficult case, since you can expect the surrogate mother to develop a strong emotional bond to the child during pregnancy. For this reason, I don't like surrogate motherhood either, and more generally I think that surrogate mothers should have legal rights. However, if the adults are satisfied with the arrangement, then it won't cause any problems for the child, and then the government certainly should not interfere.)
* The child's biological father died or left after the conception and before the mothers married (or formed a marriage-like long-term commitment).
* The child's biological mother died or left shortly after birth and before the fathers married. (I can hardly say that this is a *good* situation, in which a mother leaves her child an orphan. But it happens, and it is certainly a good thing when an orphaned child has a loving couple to raise it!)

And here are some possibilities which do fit the situation that you described but in a way that doesn't indicate any harm to the child:
* One of two mothers was unfaithful once, but the other has forgiven her, and their tearful reconciliation leaves the relationship stronger and the partners more committed.
* The child's parents died or were unfit to raise a child, so another relative (and partner) took care of the child. (Again, it's not good when a child is orphaned, but very good when an orphan finds new parents.)
* The child's parents died or were unfit to raise a child, so the child went up for adoption and was taken by this couple.
* The child's parents decided that they (or she, if the father has left) don't want to or should not raise a child, so the child went up for adoption and was taken by this couple.

In all of these situations, the sex of the current parents is irrelevant and should not matter to the law.

[continued …]

Toby Bartels said...

[… continuing]

I'm sure that you can think of circumstances in which a child comes into the care of a same-sex couple in ways that *are* harmful to the child, even in ways that the government should step in to prevent. Perhaps you even think that some of the examples above are like this (try the open marriage example if you want). But (take this as a challenge, if you like) all of those are circumstances that could equally well occur in which the child comes into the care of an opposite-sex couple.

My point is simply this: However the child ended up in a couple's care, the sex of the couple should not make any legal difference. Perhaps the circumstances that led to their care for the child should make a difference, but still the law should not take their sex into consideration.

>I'm not saying that a pair of men is inherently incapable of meeting the material needs of a growing child; I do say that the example they give includes a priori a fundamental defficiency, and a child shouldn't be kept in their long-term care any more than it should be raised by a convent or monastery.

I don't agree with this about a ‘fundamental deficiency’; if you mean that they give an example of an unhealthy relationship, then I ceratainly disagree. (They might or they might not, and it might even be true that on average same-sex relationships are less healthy, but I know from the examples around me that the health of relationships varies a great deal, and the relative sex of the people involved cannot predict it.) If instead you mean what you said before about having examples of men (for a boy) or women (for a girl) to aspire to, well, that's what uncles and aunts are for.

But let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a deficiency. Should the government step in and take a child away from a single parent or a same-sex couple for that reason? It seems clear to me that breaking up a family will cause more problems than any deficiency of this sort. Or should the goverment refuse to recognise the parental rights of a single parent or of a parent in a same-sex couple or (and this is only part that is actually up for debate in the current political climate; my side has pretty much won on the others) recognise the rights of only one of two parents in a same-sex couple? This will just cause a legal hassle that won't ameliorate the deficiency in any way.

Again, this may come down to values. Assuming that you have the factual evidence to back up your belief that there's a deficiency, you want the government to tell people that their arrangements are invalid for the purpose of disincentivising those arrangements, regardless of the short-term harm to the child. (Am I right?) Whereas, even if you convince me about that deficiency, I don't think that the government should try to control people's behaviour in this way; it's enough if the government just tries to protect people's rights.

[continued …]

Toby Bartels said...

[… completing]

>I'm not sure what you mean here; the government no longer asks people to avoid sodomy, for instance.

That's a pretty recent development (2006) in the U.S.. (Some laws still discriminate, actually, but only in cases where opposite-sex behaviour is also prohibited on the grounds of inability to consent.) It is largely the same people that supported such laws that now support discrimination in adoption and marriage. But if you don't support such laws, then I won't hold that against you.

>I believe the various states still restrict sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors, whether said minors, the salespeople, or their respective parents feel otherwise?

I admit, I am pretty libertarian, and I don't like those laws either. But at least ingesting alcohol and tobacco does harm the user, and at least the restriction ends at majority (or slightly after in the case of alcohol in the U.S.).

>I'm not sure what differently-done-things you think government is encouraging by discriminating on the basis of half a pair's sex.

You're the one who said that laws should ‘encourage responsibile behaviour’. Whatever behaviour you support discriminatory adoption and marriage laws for encouraging, that is what I'm talking about here. If that comment wasn't relevant to these laws, then why again do you support them? Or do you?

>Different values? Almost certainly; but why not ask me what I value?

I apologise. What do you value? (Particularly with reference to adoption and marriage laws that discriminate on the basis of relative sex.)

>neither do I think this is a case of the government permitting some harm so that more good may result: it really is an assertion that one specific kind of harm should NOT occur, that of children being raised under an a-priori bad example of human sexual expression

Sure, that's your motivation, but the remedy provided by discriminatory laws to prevent this harm causes its own harm: preventing the child from receiving the full legal protection of the parental authority of both of the people that are raising the child, or (worse, but potentially doing even more good if your motivation is valid) breaking up a family and removing a child from the parents that have been raising them, possibly for years. I can understand the claim that this would do more good than harm (even though I don't agree with it), but it seems simply disingenuous to claim that it does no harm at all.


Well, that's a lot written on a subject that I feel strongly about. You're right, that blog comments aren't really a good forum for this. But it is an interesting discussion for me, and I hope for you too.

/dev/null said...

I don't suppose you've access to a server good for hosting a debate wiki? I'm thinking an index of topics and options among parallel/interleaved/single view of positions on each topic.

You did ask about my values, and I think this will aid a simpler statement of my position. First, some definitions:

By "woman" is hereafter meant a human person who is by form naturally capable of conceiving and birthing a child. By "man" is meant a human person [''''] capable of begetting a child of a woman. I don't care whether these are mutually exclusive, nor whether they classify all human individuals. I'm pretty sure we can agreeably finesse "form" such that developmental impediments don't complicate the definitions. There's the further benefit that these definitions are, I expect, quite amenable to observation.

By "marriage" I shall mean a union by mutual consent of human persons ordered towards the begetting and raising of children; of necessity there is a man and a woman involved. I'm sure these will be distinct people; we gladly discriminate on the basis of consanguinity! You are correct that this understanding hasn't been "universal" accross time or cultures or even individuals within a culture; however, it is by long and continuous tradition recognised and prefered in that culture ("Christendom") from which most European legal systems eventually arose.

This is emphatically not what I meant earlier in saying a single-sex couple cannot be healthily married: the emphasis there is on health. I really do believe that two men playing at being man and woman (which fits language I've heard used), are entertaining a mutual delusion wherein sense pleasure is detrimentally distracting. I was not playing a semantic game with that assertion. I'm not myself offended by anyone's wanting to indulge their senses; I'm keenly aware of the attraction that sense pleasure holds over people. While I don't think drunkenness or the thrill of driving at ludicrous speed on an empty highway are good attractions to indulge, either, I trust that doesn't constitute bigotry on my part.

To values: in fact, Truth is my first value. I believe these definitions reflect a true aspect of human nature. On the subject at hand, I believe life -- each individual life -- is intrinsically of value, human lives being of most value to me. As a corollary, the generation of new life, and protecting both that generation and new life itself are among my values too. I believe that the best venue for new life is within a marriage contracted in reasonable prudence and maintained in charity and affection. I believe that this charity requires exclusivity, and an attitude to sexual union precluding all manner of use, whether for gratification OR begetting.(!) In further service to Truth and honoring human reason, I believe it is necessary that children should consciously learn these values and truths, which they cannot learn from the example of a single-sex couple; to leave a child in the permanent care of such a couple is, in short, to teach them a lie.

On the necessity of charity and affection, I'm afraid such things as open marriage, artificial insemination etc. all incorporate unacceptable use of human bodies, whence I can't approve them as means for a couple to procure a child; never mind that, being human persons, children aren't things to be procured, anyways.

I am aware that marriage has been treated as license to indulge the senses, usually including a public declaration of mutual right thereto; the concept of "open" marriage I suppose falls into this category, but otherwise seems completely foreign to me. I cannot agree with such a position; neither do I see why anyone would want a legal institution protecting it.

I won't insist on having last word on my own blog; but if, Toby, you could keep any reply concise, it'd help me greatly judging whether I've at least been clear. And do let me know if wiki is a silly idea or not. Yes, it's been an interesting discussion for me, too!

Toby Bartels said...

>I'm pretty sure we can agreeably finesse "form" such that developmental impediments don't complicate the definitions.

OK, but there will be unclear cases. The variety of intersex forms gives a gradation between male and female, and you either have to introduce an arbitrary cut-off or have some individuals whose status is uncertain. (Even if you allow for individuals who are neither, this goes for the boundary between either and neither.) Nevertheless, I'll accept that we can finesse it so that 99.9% (and probably more) are either man or woman (and not both). If there is a good reason for making a legal distinction between man and woman, then we can do it and deal with the exceptions when they arise.

>By "marriage" […]

OK, it's your definition, but I don't think that there are very many marriages then. I mean, obviously, there are a lot, but my guess is only a small portion of the relationships called ‘marriage’ in Christendom today. (But I would like to find statistics! A quick Google search did not help.) There are quite a lot of people, including most of the young couples that I know, who get hitched for their own reasons, either without the intention of begetting and raising children, or with the idea that they might but that this is a decision for later. And then there are those people who get ‘married’ in order to raise children that one of them has already helped to beget; do you really mean to suggest that Maria and Georg von Trapp were not married?

>of necessity there is a man and a woman involved.

I'm not sure about this; I could imagine a pair of women who decide to procure sperm from a bank and bear a child, whom they will then raise. The non-bearing woman will probably be *more* involved in the begetting than the sperm donor! (I would never speak of ‘procuring’ a child, at least not in this context, but I do speak of ‘procuring’ sperm. Sperm is a lot more like a thing than a human being, if you ask me; a potentially important thing, somewhat like a kidney.) Of course, you can tighten your definition to insist that the two people involved beget the child in the normal way, and I'll assume that you meant do this, but then even more of the opposite-sex relationships that everybody else agrees are unambiguously ‘marriage’ slip through your net.

>I believe these definitions reflect a true aspect of human nature.

There I must disagree about marriage. That is, I don't think that your definition bears much relationship to anything inherent in human nature. In particular, I think that marriage is more about raising a child than begetting one. Of course, normally people raise the children that they beget, so it's hard to tell the difference. But adoption has long been accepted (in Christendom and elsewhere), and Maria von Trapp is seen as a hero rather than a usurper.

Although you didn't address this, it would take a thorough revision of the legal basis of marriage to enforce your definition; besides same-sex couples, this keeps out post-menopausal women and individuals otherwise known to be sterile, and any couple that marries without the intention of begetting will be committing as much of a fraud (tax fraud, immigration fraud, etc) as a couple that marries without the intention of cohabiting. (A definition focussed only on raising children would be almost as thorough a revision.) That's really not how society views marriage today; allowing same-sex couples is a far smaller change.

As for human nature … I think that what you're missing is a view of the wide VARIETY of human nature. You use words like ‘requires’, ‘procludes’, and ‘necessary’, when I think ‹But I *know* exceptions to that!›. Yes, this sounds like bigotry; you declare impossible something that is rare but that I have observed myself. You value truth, but you are ignorant of some truths. (For the record, I value freedom.)

Toby Bartels said...

What is a good discussion forum? Well, we could obviously do this by email, but perhaps you want a public record, or the opportunity for your friends and followers to join in? Probably there are public fora dedicated to this topic, and just as probably they are infested by rude and argumentative people; it would be nice to learn otherwise. We could start a wiki, some place quick and easy like PBWiki (or maybe not, they look very different now from what I remember); the original Wiki has a long tradition of refactoring argumentative discussions into clear statements of points of view, and we could rediscover that process. Or we could continue here, and I could learn to be consise. (^_^)

Amy Bergeron said...

Bravo Mr Dev!

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