Monday, August 10, 2015

A Commonsensical Definition of Marriage

In the article “Liberals Don’t Want You To Read Ryan Anderson” found on The Federalist, Rachel Lu argues that Ryan Anderson, in his book “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” “is a man who knows what marriage is.  [And] this is dangerous stuff, indeed.”

In the article she states that Ryan Anderson provides this commonsensical definition of marriage:  [marriage is a] “permanent, exclusive union of husband and wife.  [It exists], to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife, as well as to be father and mother to any children their union produces.  Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.”

Marriage exists because a man and woman can forge a unique kind of relationship that no other assortment of people can duplicate.  Human love takes many forms, each with its own rewards and attendant obligations, but this is the only kind of love that gives rise to new life.  That is why we distinguish and elevate it, and also why we use legal and cultural structures to impose a substantial body of rules and expectations on the married.  Disordered procreative relationships beget social chaos, which affects a great many people who were never given the opportunity to “consent.”

What do you think?

Don’t take my word for it, read the article (and the book), don’t wait for the movie.
Have a little hope on me,

Roger

2 comments:

John Moore said...

Ryan Anderson doesn't seem to mention love, at least not in the section you quoted. I think most modern people consider love to be an essential basis for marriage. Having babies is less important than just plain loving each other.

And if we focus on love, then the question is whether you think homosexuals can really love each other in the same way a man and woman might love each other.

Chase said...

Hello John,

Thanks for contributing to the blog!

Ryan Anderson doesn't seem to mention love, at least not in the section you quoted.

You are correct, Anderson does not mention love in the section quoted. However, he does mention love a great deal. See here.

I think most modern people consider love to be an essential basis for marriage.

I think most modern people consider love to be an essential reason people get married. This is different. If love is an essential basis of marriage, then why is "proof of passion" not a requirement on the marriage license application form?

Having babies is less important than just plain loving each other.

Your statement directly above makes me think that you think that Anderson is arguing that producing babies is the purpose of marriage. Is my understanding of your statement correct?

I think he is arguing that producing and raising babies is a purpose of marriage not the purpose of marriage. However, though producing and raising babies is not the purpose of marriage, it is the reason government regulates and privileges the relationship because they have a vested interest to do so because marriages as a rule, as a group, and by nature produce the next generation.

And if we focus on love,

You have not provided any substantial reason to think that we should other than your opinion that it is the opinion of most people that love is an essential basis of marriage which I questioned above.

then the question is whether you think homosexuals can really love each other in the same way a man and woman might love each other.

I think this question is irrelevant to public policy. The question is what loving relationship is the ideal for producing and raising the next generation. Anderson makes the case for long term, monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the ideal.

Respectfully.