Jim wrote:Maybe marriage should no longer be a legal status? Just let people sign contracts and apply contract law if they like?
Interestingly, that's the stance I took when things here in Massachusetts were getting ugly on the topic of same-sex marriage. The logic I applied to it was that since it is the State that recognises marriage -- and the bases on which it is founded which are grounded in the preservation of family wealth and allocation of assets -- it should
be viewed through the lens of contract law (which the State enforces), and under what grounds can the State take into account whom an individual wishes to engage into a contract with? Does the State have the power to prevent me from selecting one plumber over another for a job that needs doing?
This came up in the context of a "litmus test" question to see what my socio-political leanings were, and when I framed my response and backed it up, everybody present admitted that they'd never looked at it in that light and that it was a valid point of view -- across all the political divisions.
moonshadow wrote: Very few hot button issues that people have "moral objections" to cause any actual harm in society.
I abandoned the notion of "moral behaviour" decades ago and decided consciously to instead exercise ethical
behaviour. This after I was increasingly becoming aware that morals are fungible and open to interpretation, where ethics is a fairly immovable construct and is not open to random interpretation -- and we don't even need to get into the realm of legality in that regard because it's an abject mess.
Jim wrote:Maybe it's no longer a "hot button issue" but I think that easy fornication, winked-at adultery, and widespread divorce have hurt the institution of marriage which has harmed society.
That certainly hasn't helped any, but the reasons that we're in the morass we're in today are legion and likely founded in the twin notions of greed and avarice.
I'd say the widespread lying of those in power have harmed society.
That is absolutely without doubt.