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It sounds like some of the folks here are saying that discrimination is bad except for when it’s not. While I agree, I don’t know that this tells us anything about whether or not discriminating in favor of man-woman pairing is a rights or religious issue. If you won same-sex marriage you’d still be discriminating against multiple-person groupings or people that choose to stay single. Would that be a religious or rights issue?

Saying that there is no harm to recognizing other kinds of marriage tells us nothing. There is no harm in doing a lot of stuff that the government doesn’t subsidize. What needs to be determined is whether or not all of the perceived advantages to society of man-woman pairing exist in other unions.

If and when same-sex marriage is recognized it will not be for any of these reasons you all are arguing for. It’ll simply be because one belief system won out over another. All the talk about separation of church and state, discrimination, rights violations, and comparisons to women’s and minority rights is the overlay for the underplay. The actual discrimination against homosexual individuals that was mentioned early on in the discussion (e.g. housing, military, etc) is a different issue altogether.

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Archmagus Micael,

From a Christian perspective, marriage is the union of man and woman as husband and wife according to the standard set by God. It is instituted, authorized, and established by him. The basic purpose is for the expansion of the human race through procreation. It was to be a permanent bond in which the man and woman would be mutually helpful to one another and live together in love.

That initial intent got somewhat sidetracked, but marriage still can serve for providing a secure environment for procreation. It also allows for full and confident expression of romantic and sexual feelings for the fulfillment and happiness of husband and wife. The primary reason why those in my faith register marriages with secular authorities is because our God, Jehovah, requires that we be subject to them.

As to why people spend boatloads of dough I can’t exactly say. My wife and I didn’t. Here’s a thought. The Bible describes the first wedding being performed by God in Genesis 1-3. It occurs in the garden planted by God himself that is described as having beautiful and lush vegetation and food. Surrounding the man and woman are the animals that are the subjects of their dominion. And when God brings Eve to Adam he is so moved that he breaks out into poetry. It’s been said that the ceremony, colors, poetic vows, etc are an attempt to mimic the beauty of that event. Make what you will of it.

quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust:

I question your mental state if you are doing said things to a plant
*gasp* You bigot! How dare you think sexual preference is connected to mental health!
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

It sounds like some of the folks here are saying that discrimination is bad except for when it’s not. While I agree, I don’t know that this tells us anything about whether or not discriminating in favor of man-woman pairing is a rights or religious issue. If you won same-sex marriage you’d still be discriminating against multiple-person groupings or people that choose to stay single. Would that be a religious or rights issue?
I don't know how you reached this kind of summary, but it's really nothing more than plain rhetoric. Discrimination is bad. Period. All that's been said is that there might be circumstances where it can become neccessary to discriminate against someone for the better of a vast majority. Nevertheless, it remains bad.

In a multiple-person grouping situation we would still have to ensure consenting partners. Other than that, you're absolutely right. It's discriminating and that's bad. However, same-sex marriage would be a good first step in order to tackle the latter problem.

In a secular state this absolutely cannot be a religious issue, at least not outside your personal church or place of worship or choose-your-poison.

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Saying that there is no harm to recognizing other kinds of marriage tells us nothing. There is no harm in doing a lot of stuff that the government doesn’t subsidize. What needs to be determined is whether or not all of the perceived advantages to society of man-woman pairing exist in other unions.

If and when same-sex marriage is recognized it will not be for any of these reasons you all are arguing for. It’ll simply be because one belief system won out over another. All the talk about separation of church and state, discrimination, rights violations, and comparisons to women’s and minority rights is the overlay for the underplay. The actual discrimination against homosexual individuals that was mentioned early on in the discussion (e.g. housing, military, etc) is a different issue altogether.

As before, you keep reciting and repeating only what you've been saying all along. It's an inconclusive string of claims, and by no means a summary of the argument, let alone sensible.

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Always be true to yourself - unless you suck
Posts: 183 | Registered: Sunday, March 19 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Locmaar:

Discrimination is bad. Period.
Bald assertion.
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The "bald assertion" has been asserted with hair (explanation) previously in this thread. Locmaar was just arguing with your recap of it.

But let me ask two simple questions:

1. Do you think that discrimination is bad?

2. Do you agree with Student of Trinity's explanation of how limiting benefits to heterosexual pairings is an inequality?


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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
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quote:
Originally written by Archmagus Micael:

quote:
But that's besides the point. Marriage is not about children.
If not, then let me ask a very seemingly naive question, one which I don't think we've covered enough: What IS marriage?

I agree that we are missing something relevant with this question. I'd like to suggest that we further divide it into three open questions:

1) What have the functions of marriage been, in the past?

2) To what degree can marriage continue to fulfill that role?

3) Should any remaining functions be filled in other ways, or should they be ignored? If they should be filled, how do we fill them?

One of the main reasons this topic has become such a political issue, I think, is that religious conservatives, naturally concerned with the social and psychological significance of marriage, are keenly aware of the divide between question 1 and question 2. They assume that the only answer is to restore marriage to its past significance, which is probably impossible to do in the tides of moving history. Social progressives are more aware of this but are more interested in debuffing marriage -- in question 2 -- than they are in solving the problem.

I think the reality is that we have to look at the ways marriage has played a positive role in human civilization and, where marriage is no longer adequate, find other ways to fill those needs. Until we do that, some people will always decry a shift in importance from marriage to civil union: not because they really want to discriminate -- that's a red herring -- but because they see something legitimately lacking in the marriage alternative.

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 06:52: Message edited by: Fernication ]

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
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quote:
Originally written by Fernication:

One of the main reasons this topic has become such a political issue, I think, is that religious conservatives, naturally concerned with the social and psychological significance of marriage, are keenly aware of the divide between question 1 and question 2. They assume that the only answer is to restore marriage to its past significance, which is probably impossible to do in the tides of moving history. Social progressives are more aware of this but are more interested in debuffing marriage -- in question 2 -- than they are in solving the problem.
I hang with a number of religious conservatives for arbitrary reasons, and have to say that the primary cited reason for being against ANY secularly recognized relationship between any people other than a male/female pairing is that it devalues their personal relationship. Yes, that's right. The second that two gay men tie the knot and receive spousal benefits, my friend "B" will believe his relationship with his wife has been denigrated.
Now the funny thing is, in that Alanis sort of way, he comes from and maintains a family guided by scripture. Not to the extent of "do unto others," but more like "search and ye will find" a passage which illustrates any particular point which is under discussion.
So, I find that in practice, whether or not it is admitted publicly, that restriction of those benefits I listed earlier to only male/female registered pairings, is a heinous and ultimately shameful expression of religious conservatism trumping our secular government. Applied as such, that is discriminatory, and while it doesn't explore the nature or pervasiveness of discrimination within the Federal Code, one does not have to study all the birds on the planet to determine conclusively that penguins can not fly. Sorry Opus.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

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quote:
Originally written by Fernication:

The "bald assertion" has been asserted with hair (explanation) previously in this thread. Locmaar was just arguing with your recap of it.

But let me ask two simple questions:

1. Do you think that discrimination is bad?

2. Do you agree with Student of Trinity's explanation of how limiting benefits to heterosexual pairings is an inequality?

It’s been explained that discrimination is bad? That’s ridiculous. Handicapped parking spots are bad? Empowerment zones are bad? Me liking sweet potato pie more than pumpkin pie is bad? You can find discrimination in just about everything. Society is not homogeneous.

1. No. That’s like asking if hammers are bad. Not discriminating is bad sometimes.
2. Sure. All of the different possibilities of uniting people are unequal by nature, though. I don’t expect that unequal things will be treated equally. In some cases justice would require they should, but not all. A policeman directing traffic should allow more time for a severely disabled person crossing the street than for an able-bodied person. A judge should treat them the same when they appear as opponents before him. The policeman discriminates in the name of justice. The judge does not.
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[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 07:49: Message edited by: Fernication ]

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

It’s been explained that discrimination is bad? That’s ridiculous. Handicapped parking spots are bad? Empowerment zones are bad? Me liking sweet potato pie more than pumpkin pie is bad?
1) Wouldn't it be better if there were enough parking spaces for everybody to park as close to where they need to be as handicapped people can? Better still, wouldn't it be preferable if people lived close enough to everywhere they want to go that they never needed to drive anywhere in the first place?
2) Some people benefit from urban development, and others are harmed by it. Again, it's not an unqualified good.
3) You'd have more opportunities for happiness if you liked pumpkin pie just as much as you like sweet potato pie.

Discrimination may be necessary, but it's never ideal: it is only justified when the good it does outweighs the harm and better alternatives are impossible to implement. A necessary evil is still evil; it's just less evil than everything else you could do.

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 08:27: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Me liking sweet potato pie more than pumpkin pie is bad?
3) You'd have more opportunities for happiness if you liked pumpkin pie just as much as you like sweet potato pie.

No, he has a good point there. Sweet potato pie is pretty amazing.

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Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

It’s been explained that discrimination is bad?

That’s ridiculous.

Handicapped parking spots are bad? Empowerment zones are bad?

Me liking sweet potato pie more than pumpkin pie is bad?

You can find discrimination in just about everything.

Society is not homogeneous.

It has.

It's not.

Handicapped parking spots aren't bad. They're supposedly to make up for the handicap, sort of balancing certain factors properly in order not to discriminate.

You liking sweet potatoe pie better than pumpkin pie is not only bad but evil. Some could consider it taste, be it bad or good.

Finding discrimination even in your taste buds and everywhere else is feeble and certainly on the verge of paranoia. It's not the sense of the word we are talking about anyway.

It's a case of making up definitions to prove your point, something you've done before. You aren't willing to talk about how same-sex marriage is discrimination, because you have already decided that it can't be. I can only guess why, but it would seem to be a clear case. Your choice anyway.

Society is not homogeneous? That's right. And good. But beside the point.

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 13:54: Message edited by: Locmaar ]

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I think part of the confusion stems from different uses of "discrimination" -- it can be used just to indicate making a rational distinction between two different things, or it can be used to indicate making an irrational, prejudiced decision based on a personal quality. Choosing the dessert you prefer falls under the first definition, but not the second. Denying women or blacks the ability to vote falls under the second definition.

It sounds like everyone is in general agreement about the following statements, though we are wording it very differently:

- The first type of discrimination is typically good
- The second type of discrimination is typically bad
- In practice, either type of discrimination could have net good or net bad effects

The disagreement is whether discrimination in availability of marriage-related government benefits is a bad thing (argued by myself and others), or whether it is neither good nor bad and doesn't matter (argued by Stillness).

Does this summary sound accurate to others?

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 09:02: Message edited by: Fernication ]

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
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Sounds plenty accurate to me. Well done.

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Always be true to yourself - unless you suck
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For further clarification, who are hermaphrodites/transgenders allowed to marry?

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Archmagus Micael:

Sure, they can claim certain benefits,
As far as the government is concerned, that's what marriage actually is. Nothing more, nothing less.

quote:
it makes both people property of one-another,
No, you're confusing it with another, possibly related, institution: slavery. In no way is a wife the property of her husband, nor is a husband in any way property of his wife. They have certain obligations to each other, for sure. But this is different.

quote:
and gets their names down on some church role somewhere as being technically "together".
Uh, no, it doesn't do that. People can be married completely independently of a church. Head down to city hall. Get married by a justice of the peace or something. No church required.
quote:
Originally written by Fernication:

I think part of the confusion stems from different uses of "discrimination" -- it can be used just to indicate making a rational distinction between two different things, or it can be used to indicate making an irrational, prejudiced decision based on a personal quality.
I've been using the word "discrimination" in its broader, literal sense, but confining it to the legal arena. In that regard, discrimination in the first sense on the basis of anything not strictly necessary becomes discrimination in the second sense. That is, unnecessary discrimination is unjust. (I take that as an axiom, by the way; Stillness has yet to respond to its role in the argument: unnecessary discrimination is unjust. Marriage discrimination against homosexual people is unnecessary. Therefore, marriage discrimination against homosexual people is unjust.)

Also, Thuryl might not agree with your summary.
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:
Saying that there is no harm to recognizing other kinds of marriage tells us nothing.
On the contrary, it tells us everything. When discriminating causes harm and not discriminating does not, the preference should always be for not discriminating.

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 09:35: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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quote:
Originally written by Fernication:

[1] making a rational distinction between two different things…
[2] making an irrational, prejudiced decision based on a personal quality.

I agree that 2 is wrong. 1 is neutral. Handicapped parking spaces, although they show favor to a group and are not available to everyone, is not 2, because we have determined that the condition of the handicapped merits special treatment. It does discriminate (1) against everyone without a disability, but that does not make it wrong.

Let’s say you have a baby and you feel that people with small children should be able to use handicapped spots. Saying handicapped spots are like racism or sexism; or because the Bible says the handicapped should be treated specially, making it a church-state issue is misleading. It makes your case look weak because you have to equivocate and appeal to emotion. If you have a real case, it would look like this:

People with disabilities are given special parking because of X. Because people with small children also X they should have the same special parking.

Or simply

People with small children have X. This merits special parking.

I guess if you don’t have a real case and just want to use handicapped spots you could be like Thuryl said and stir up emotion, twist meanings, and do whatever else you have to do to get your way. Sometimes that’s quicker and more effective even if you do have a case. It’s still dirty pool though.

quote:
The disagreement is whether discrimination in availability of marriage-related government benefits is a bad thing (argued by myself and others), or whether it is neither good nor bad and doesn't matter (argued by Stillness).
LOL. No, my argument is that it’s not like racism or sexism and to say it is, is equivocation and appeal to emotion. If you’re pro same sex marriage make a case for what it adds to society so that it merits special priviledge. Many people think opposite sex pairings benefit society in a way that nothing else does (whether you think it does or not is irrelevant). Showing that homosexual unions do the same thing, something equivalently good, or even just very good is the way to make a real case.

quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

unnecessary discrimination is unjust. Marriage discrimination against homosexual people is unnecessary. Therefore, marriage discrimination against homosexual people is unjust
I disagree with premise 1. I don’t think handicapped spots are necessary for the survival of the disabled, but I don’t think they’re unjust. If the government sees society as better of with more marriages it’s not unjust to encourage and protect it even though it may not be absolutely necessary.

quote:
When discriminating causes harm and not discriminating does not, the preference should always be for not discriminating.
Does less tax revenue count as harm? And I’m no economist, but wouldn’t insurance costs increase?

I’m not the most conservative businessman, but if somebody tells me to make a decision because it won’t hurt me that’s not very encouraging. To make a change, which always involves cost and risk no matter how much you’re assured it doesn’t, there needs to be benefit. So when the government made the decision to recognize marriage there was perceived advantage in doing so. I don’t know what that was for sure, but if homosexual marriage has it and there are no serious drawbacks, it would seem the best secular decision to recognize it.
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I disagree with premise 1. I don’t think handicapped spots are necessary for the survival of the disabled, but I don’t think they’re unjust.
A fair objection. Perhaps the word should be "beneficial," not "necessary."

I wonder if perhaps the analogy to handicapped parking spaces (or left-handed scissors, or...) functions differently than the analogy to racism or sexism. Both are appropriate, but in different ways. The latter is discrimination on the basis of who you were born as, whereas the former is discrimination on the basis of what you are capable of doing. Both apply to homosexuality, but in different ways. Society is well-accustomed to making accomodations on the basis of different abilities (hence, left-handed scissors), and we are now becoming adjusted to neglecting that some people are demographically different in unimportant ways.

Well, come to think of it, issues regarding maternity leave cut across both categories.

But perhaps one might say that discrimination is not justified unless 1) it is done to accomodate differently-abled people, one way or another, or 2) it can be shown to be significantly beneficial or prevent serious harm. I think that about covers it. Handicapped parking spaces fit under the first condition. Polygamy fits under the second. Gay marriage doesn't fit under either.

[quote]
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Your “interfere” argument is just semantics as far as I can tell.
When one is talking about what the letter of the law permits and what it does not, semantics are all-important. Dismissing a legal argument as "just semantics" is like referring to the heart as "just a pump". So it is, but without it you'd be dead.

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What's the deal with the forums lately? It's never been this bad before. I can barely post at all sometimes.

EDIT: Aaand when I finally get my post through, it breaks the topic. Whoops!

[ Wednesday, December 26, 2007 07:10: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

The discrimination is not against gay marriage any more than handicapped parking spots discriminate against parents with toddlers. It is discrimination in favor of paired man-woman marriage.
Discriminating in favor of one thing is discriminating against everything else. Discrimination in favor of opposite-sex marriage is discrimination against same sex marriage.

As Thuryl and Diki pointed out, your "advantages" are benefits of couple-hood over being single, not benefits of opposite-sex marriage over same-sex marriage. If anything, they support the notion that same-sex marriage should be permitted.

[ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 21:19: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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To re-cap.
1. Same sex marriage has benefits to society (per Stillness)
2. Federal gov't currently does not recognize same-sex marriage. (per Fed Code)
3. Federal gov't currently does recognize opposite sex marriage. (per Fed Code)
4. Federal gov't currently awards benefits to opposite sex couples that are married. (per Wiki via me)
Ergo, Federal gov't is discriminating against same sex couples in favor of opposite sex couples.

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Even if opposite-sex marriages are better than same-sex marriages, it seems quite plausible that same-sex marriages are better than non-marriage for families. Since those inclined to marry someone of the same sex are largely disinclined ever to marry someone of the opposite sex, isn't it making the best of a bad situation for the government to legalize same-sex marriage anyway?

—Alorael, who doesn't actually believe same-sex marriage conveys fewer benefits than opposite-sex marriage. He's just saying that even if that were the case it would make very little difference as long as same-sex marriage provides some significant benefits, which it does.
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:


quote:
Originally written by Locmaar:

For what it's worth: over here (Germany) there usually are allocated parking spots for mothers(!) with small children right next to those for the handicapped (the parking spots aren't handicapped as I've come to realize).
You’re kidding?! Man, I just made that up. I should be some kind of social engineer or something. :)

Take something :P

These parking spots have been around for more than 8 years now. But I guess not too many people care about what's happening in Ye Olde Europe much.

As far as the study is concerned, it doesn't seem to discern between motivating factors for marriage in the first place. How could it? But there is a difference.

Say you got married after high school to your then sweetheart. A couple of children and experiences later both of you begin to realize that, knowing then what you know now, you probably wouldn't have bonded, because when you think about it, you don't really like one another a lot. I'm not convinced that this is a good environment for children to grow up in, just because their parents are married.

While statistics can be a good first indicator that something is amiss/wrong you will have to look at a lot of case studies to really get to the core of this. And then again: since there cannot be a significant number of same-sex marriages to be studies in the first place, we can't really conclude anything significant regarding the (now) topic of this conversation.

Dikiyoba: Well said!

Where is the love, dudes?

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Everyone agrees that prohibiting gay marriage is technically unequal and discriminatory. Everyone also agrees that some inequality and discrimination is okay, while other is not. This seems to be about as far as the discussion has gotten logically, though. People need to offer reasoning why the discrimination of banning gay marriage falls into one category rather than the other.

Stillness seems to be arguing from the premise that discrimination is okay if it is 'discrimination in favor of' of a group, and wrong if it is 'discrimination against' a group. Stillness could do some work here on articulating what this 'discrimination-for' vs. 'discrimination-against' distinction means, since it isn't quite clear to me. But perhaps other people could indicate whether they recognize this premise as meaningful, and if so whether they accept or reject it.

On the other side the premise has been articulated, that discrimination is wrong unless it serves a greater good. Some work could also be done here in explaining what constitutes a greater good, and how, if a greater good is recognized, we can establish that it is being served. But Stillness could say whether or not he finds this premise meaningful, and if so, whether or not he accepts it.

For my part, I have to say that I don't yet see how the discrimination-for versus discrimination-against distinction is meaningful. It seems to me that any possible discrimination is always both at once. I suspect 'for-against' may turn out to be a will-o-the-wisp, looking nice from afar but always eluding clear definition.

I guess I do accept the premise that discrimination is wrong by default but can be justifiable. But I am concerned that 'greater good' may be a will-o-the-wisp as well.

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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

I guess I do accept the premise that discrimination is wrong by default but can be justifiable. But I am concerned that 'greater good' may be a will-o-the-wisp as well.
I suggest reading 'The Greater Common Good' to illustrate this point. Indeed, the greater good is usually defined by someone and often does not withstand closer scrutiny.

I am convinced that discrimination is always wrong, yet it happens. Justification is hard and always wispy.

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