Gay Marriage in Scientific Terms Sep16


Related Posts

Share This

Gay Marriage in Scientific Terms

In previous articles I have pointed out through prose and poetry the very real and largely ignored differences between the two institutions of traditional marriage and gay unions.  Now I will try a more scientific approach.  By utilizing the sciences of diverse objects and their relations to each other, viz. logic and math, I hope to shed some more light on the profoundly important considerations that are being passed over by the courts in their analysis of the gay marriage question.

First let’s identify the issue.  The issue is whether two institutions, traditional marriage and the gay union, should receive equal treatment, and even be merged into the self-same identity of a new Marriage.

Second, let’s review some of the arguments.  Some argue that they are distinct entities and therefore should not be merged under a single Identity.  Others argue that they are not equal entities and therefore should not be treated as Equals.  Others argue that human beings are equal, and so social institutions, such as marriage, should be inclusive of everyone desiring membership in an institution, therefore, Marriage must broaden its definition to be more Inclusive.

Third, let’s apply the laws of logic and mathematical set theory to illuminate the question of whether these two institutions should share the same identity and be treated equally.

Laws of Logic and Self-Same Identity

Logic is based on three laws of thought, or, stated differently, three presumptions about how the universe works. Without these assumptions, human reasoning simply fails; hence the name “laws of thought.”  Without obedience to these laws, human reason crashes and burns.  These laws are 1) the law of identity, 2) the law of non-contradiction, and 3) the law of excluded middle.

The law of identity states that “each thing is the same with itself and different from another.”  For example, the set {1,3} is clearly different from {1,5}, where each number represents a particular attribute of that set.  Now let’s apply this law to the Marriage question.

Presently, the definition of marriage is {M, F, L}, where M means Male and F means Female and L means Loving relationship.  Also, with a high degree of probability, it can be said that where  you have {M, F, L}, you will also have {P, C}, where P means procreation and C means children.  Logic allows us to add naturally resulting and highly probable attributes to an initial definition, as part of its extensive qualities and attributes.  Thus, we may add {P, C} to {M, F, L} to create an expanded (though, at this point, arguably not essential) definition of marriage {M, F, P, C, L} which we will call “F”, which stands for Family.  It is true that {P, C} does not necessarily result from {M, F,  L} but it is also true that {P, C} naturally and probabilistically result from {M, F, L}.  A survey of the statistics regarding the number of abortions shows clearly enough that even where the set {M, F, L} does not desire {P, C}, yet it is naturally occurring enough that it is not easily prevented.

Presently, the gay union is a union represented by the set {G1, G2, L}, where G means a person of the same gender in a couple.  The extensive qualities and attributes which belong to marriage, as made highly probable by its nature, simply do not exist with the {G, G, L}. While it may be said that science and technology may still allow {H, T,} to result in {P, C}, where H means a homosexual partner and T means third party donor, it is also true that {P, C} is not a result of {H, H, L} and that it is not even a naturally occuring result of {H, T, L} which requires the interjection of {D}, where D means a doctor or other professional and modern technology.

So, applying the law of identity, we must answer the questions of whether, if we define Marriage to include both {M, F, L} and {H, H, L}, we can logically say that Marriage will be “the same with itself,”, or whether it would be more logical to say that {M, F, L} and {H, H, L} are “different from one another.”  (In other words, whether the redefinition accords with the law of identity.)  According to Aristotle, the Father of Logic, [t]wo things are called one, when the definition that states the essence of one is indivisible from the other (though in itself every definition is divisible).” [1]  Stated more simply, two things are only One if their essential attributes are the same.  However, this definition cannot be used too liberally, as Aristotle points out in his parenthetical statement:”(though in itself every definition is divisible)” — because everything in the universe shares essential attributes at ever-increasing lower contexts (i.e. atomic structure); that is, because everything is essentially the same when we go to lower contexts or broader definitions.  Thus the concept of essentiality would be rendered entirely ineffective by appealing to lower contexts or broader definitions to merely fabricate an appearance of common essentiality.  Therefore, essentiality must be viewed in a context higher than the definition itself, not lower than the definition itself.  Thus, when viewing {M, F, L} and {H, H, L}, we must ask what necessarily results from their unique attributes in the higher context, and, if there is something necessarily resulting from one that does not result from another, then they are essentially different and cannot properly be counted to be “the same with itself.”  When viewing the higher context, we see that the entire human race necessarily results from {M, F, L}, therefore, society itself is an essential attribute of {M, F, L}.  Accordingly, one must conclude that {M, F, L} is essentially different from {H, H, L}.  Thus, the two cannot logically be termed to be “the same with itself,” and society has a rational basis to distinguish between, and identify separately, these two institutions.  They are essentially different from each other.

NOTE:  Proponents of a new Marriage seek to show that these two institutions are essentially the same by reducing them to a lower context definition of {Person, Person, Love}.  But this argument fails because 1) any two things can be said to be essentially the same by broadening definitions from a lower context, and 2) in any case {Person, Person, Love} still does not equal {M, F, L}, under the law of identity or under the other two laws of thought.  In math set theory, which expresses logical relationships in the form of symbolic sets as we have done here today, two sets, one containing more attributes than the other, even when the other is identical in all existing attributes, is still considered a logically distinct set.  The argument of essential similarity between {M, F, L} and {H, H, L} is a logical fallacy and a rhetorical trick for the logically illiterate.

The law of non-contradiction states… [coming soon]

The law of excluded middle states…  [coming soon]

Equal with Each Other.

In Math, “identity” is commonly referred to as “equality”, where the term denotes an absolute likeness between two things or concepts.  We are all familiar with the prolific equal sign (“=”) which denotes that the sum or product of each side is identical.  In logic, signs are also used to represent things and concepts and their relations, just as they are used in mathematics.  The use of signs makes more complex ideas easier to understand, communicate, manipulate, and study.  Language itself is a collection of “signs” by which we classify things with unique attributes and communicate those unique concepts to others.  In language, the assignment of a label is a natural logical process so fundamental to human reason that it occurs intuitively.  In the sciences, the assignment of a label is performed more deliberately but based upon the same fundamental logical process.  Without these rules and conventions of logic, relationships such as equality could never be accurately measured.  In the sciences, the assignment of a label, sign, or symbol to a concept will only be effective for analysis if two laws are obeyed with respect to that assignment: 1) that the definition is accurate (the defined attributes comport with reality), and 2) that the definition is held constant throughout the equation.  As to the first, obviously an inaccurate or incomplete definition prevents a correct solution.  As to the second, clearly a sudden change in definitions half-way through the equation would prevent a correct solution.  These laws are fundamental to logic, math, and human reason.  How well we “define’ a thing determines the extent to which we can accurately analyze and understand it, and even communicate about it, clearly and logically.  Without obedience to these first and foundational laws, the functions of logic and math are undermined and we are left to either pretend that we are being logical or openly admit that we do not intend to be logical about the matter at all.  Among the former class (those who pretend to logic) are the great rhetorical sophists of our day, who know that if they can only manipulate definitions, they can guarantee a certain outcome, even one that appears to be well-reasoned and true, although based on false premises and false realities.  The sciences, however, pride themselves on identifying such false and erroneous behavior, by paying careful attention to classifications (definitions), premises (hypotheses), chains of inference (methods and procedure), and external coherence (agreement between the conclusion and reality) in order to guarantee an accurate outcome (as much as is humanly possible).  The courts must do the same if they would live up to their reputation of objectivity.  Indeed it is their unmistakable duty to be objective and rational in their decisions, and to not favor one side over another based purely on emotional response or by favoring a specific value system that defies rational objectivity.

The courts could gain much if they applied a more rigorous discipline of analysis similar to the sciences.  Their fidelity to the logical analysis (methodical reasoning from axiomatic premises) must be absolute, and if they deviate, they must spell out exactly why.  This is because the prestige and reputation of the courts come from their objectivity.  No one would say that the rules of logic and math are irrational, but on the contrary, very rational and objective. Courts, therefore, would do well to apply similar rules to a heavy degree.  In any science, things must be defined according to their plain attributes before they can be analyzed and manipulated in an analytical context.  Scientists use such plain attributes to classify organisms (and concepts) into groups called genus and species.  A genus is simply a group of species which share some, but not all, relevant attributes. A species is simply a group that carries a unique attribute that no other member of the larger genus group can claim.  Applying this labeling practice to Marriage, and assuming Marriage was the genus, then any construct of marriage that had unique attributes would become its own species of Marriage, and would be called “[Unique Attribute] Marriage.”  The first question to ask is whether the genus of Marriage should include something that does not have the male-female relationship.  That is arguably a difference so fundamental as to justify a whole new genus, with a whole new name.  But even assuming that Marriage as a genus can include relationships more inclusive than just a male-female relationship, yet, if we still followed convention, traditional marriage and gay marriage would still have to be given their own species, because they each have unique attributes (and important ones at that) which the other simply does not have.  In other words, in no way can traditional and gay marriage share the same species classification, without breaking all the rules of logical definition. These rules exist for a reason.  The importance of maintaining a separate species for a unique thing resides in the presumption that its uniqueness invariably carries important rational, scientific, and practical implications, the ignorance of which would compromise the accurate analysis.  In other words, to place two things in the same species is to essentially say they are perfectly identical, or, at the very least, identical in all relevant ways.  If even one important distinction can be identified, then two separate species must be created, each with its own definition. This age-old practice, engrained into human reason and society at such a fundamental level, and manifesting itself in the natural and intuitive separation of two very different institutions for thousands of years, requires of the Supreme Court some extremely persuasive arguments why it should set aside conventional logic and place two clearly different institutions into the same species and give them the same name and definition and treat them the same legally, despite obvious differences between them.  The argument should be so compelling as to require what can only be termed as “the creation of a logical/legal fiction.” In essence, the courts will be placing an equal sign where clearly no such relationship exists.  The court must explain in great detail why this fiction is necessary, if it hopes to preserve the appearance of a rationally objective of Rule of Law.  If the court does not address the logical inconsistency, and provide ample and persuasive justification for ignoring said inconsistency, then Rule of Law is being undermined.  In the context of law, the court must at least i) acknowledge the differences, and then ii) explain why the differences between the two are simply socially irrelevant.

If a scientist should define a group by only some of its attributes, without first accounting for all of its attributes, and then classify that group in the same species as a another distinctive group, who would say that this scientist is not a fraud?  Further, can there by any doubt that, if a scientist, seeking a certain outcome, changes his definitions half-way through his equation in order to obtain a predetermined outcome, is betraying the very foundation of scientific objectivity? Indeed, of such scientists it could rightly be said that they have no reverence or respect for science at all, and have no business engaging in its practice.  For such scientists, the entire experiment is just a sham, even a mere guise to give their personal views the imprimatur of science.  Such scientists clearly never intended to be objective.  The same could be said for the logical reasoning of the courts.  If the court arbitrarily ignores certain facts of the case, without providing good reason for doing so, then its holding must be called into question.  If the court changes long-standing definitions in order to make a predetermined outcome appear more reasonable, without explanation as to why such unconventional practices were called for, then the administration of justice in that case is also justifiably called a sham.  If the court ignores certain unique attributes of traditional marriage (does not even raise them in its opinion), and only names those few attributes that are shared in common between it and the gay union, then the court is perpetuating social ignorance in order to place an equal sign between two things that are patently unequal.  If the courts simply ignore the unique composition, unique fruits, and unique role in society, of traditional marriage, in their legal opinions, then where is the objectivity in their analysis?  Indeed, perhaps it is too difficult for them to acknowledge those differences in the same breath that they are concluding that traditional marriage is equal to gay marriage.  Indeed, if the courts acknowledged the unique attributes of traditional marriage first, then it could not conclude that x+y=x+x with even a pretense of objective authority.  As mathematician Tarsky said, “‘X is equal to Y‘ is only true if X is really equal to Y.”  But instead the courts appear to be ignoring the hard math of equality, so that they can come to the opposite conclusion and place gay and traditional marriage within the same species, give them the same definition, and draw up the false formula that (x+y) = (x+x).  Why?  The courts must explain the reason why, at the very least, that they are jumping to the radical, unprecedented conclusion, and then society must judge whether that “why” is sufficient to defy all objective, categorical definitions and reasoning.

My problem is that the courts skirt around the question, “Why?” As I watch the behavior of the courts, and their obvious disregard for certain major differences between the institutions of traditional marriage and gay marriage, and as I read their rhetoric that is so heavy with re-definitions and emotionally-charged, rather than rationally-appealing arguments, I am, to say the least, skeptical about their continued objectivity.  At the very least, if the unique attributes of traditional marriage are considered unimportant enough to justify a distinction between traditional marriage and gay marriage, then it devolves upon the court to raise the issue and explain the reason for their reduced importance.  But the courts do not do so.  Rather than acknowledging that the two institutions are unequal and then explaining how the inequalities are insignificant, the courts choose instead to simply argue that they are equal, to entirely ignore the question and hide behind the following circuitous reasoning:  Marriage should be redefined because gays are being “injured” by the old definition, and, An injury occurs because marriage should be redefined.  It presumes its own conclusion.  But by simply beginning their opinions with the redefinition already presumed, the circular reasoning does not reveal itself explicitly in the opinion — one must simply recognize that the presumption was already made from the beginning, as is easily inferred by someone skilled in logical argument.  It is difficult to believe that the courts are being logically candid in their opinions if they do not answer the following fundamental and absolutely critical question:  “Why it is wrong in and of itself to acknowledge the differences between traditional and gay marriage and to treat them accordingly?”  For if it is not wrong in and of itself, then the courts are determining “equality” and “injury” by how people feel and not by objective standards.  Many believe that the marriage debate is about individual rights, but individual rights have always been defined and limited by objective standards of reasonability (until now).  For a thing cannot be an ‘injury’ under the law if it is rationally justified.  The alleged injury here is merely upholding a separate definition of traditional marriage.  That definition is rational, and therefore it is justified, and therefore it cannot be a legally cognizable injury to uphold it.  A scientist would not be permitted to argue that his hypothesis is correct merely because it would make people feel bad if it was incorrect.  Neither should the gay marriage proponents or the courts be allowed to do so.  Rather, people should be expected to reconcile their feelings with the truth of the matter.  The failure of the courts to force this reconciliation undermines the very basis for Rule of Law – objective rationality.

Why would the courts do this?  I wish I could argue that it is because the courts are less disciplined than in prior generations and do not even realize their fallacious reasoning.  But I believe instead that the courts are too conscientious of shifts in popular opinion and they want to be part of the “progress.”  I personally think that most judges (and laypeople) are well aware that the true social equation is that (x+y) ≠ (x+x), but that they are unwilling to risk to their reputation on saying so in the face of changing public opinion and accusations of bigotry.  This is why a side-by-side comparison of traditional marriage and gay marriage and their respective social benefits or detriments simply does not occur — it is now socially taboo.  History shows that the courts are much more sensitive to social changes than any of us would like to admit.  For example, “the change in time to save nine” where the supreme court suddenly changed its opinion about the New Deal in the face of intense presidential and social pressure, and “the Lochner case” where the supreme court notoriously changed the constitution to fit the newly emerging philosophical paradigm of the era.  Such social pressures have caused the courts, for some time now, to read into the Constitution rights that are not readily inferred from the text. And because they primarily do so to fit in with new political and public trends, they can do so with impunity, because the people generally agree with the outcome, even if unconstitutionally achieved.  The courts long ago realized that the common public is not nearly as particular as scientists about verifying the courts’ definitions, operations, methods, and conclusions for overall coherence.  No doubt the courts know that they can get away with a little, if not a lot, of rationalizing.

Americans should demand a valid and well-reasoned explanation as to why the very real differences between the two institutions of traditional marriage and gay marriage ought to be ignored and how this can be done while preserving the integrity of the overall social and equality equation.  Until then, Americans must assume that the following is substantially the holding of the courts:  “Avoiding offense of a particular social group is more important for society than the acknowledgment of real distinctions between social institutions.”  Americans must further understand that if such is the substance of the courts’ rulings, then the overall integrity of the social equation is at stake.  Gay marriage simply is not equal to Traditional Marriage.  The crafty exchange of an unequal sign for an equal sign in the social equation cannot change that reality, and will lead to all sorts of social distortions.  A standard of equality based only on “offense” is the first distortion.  It is an arbitrary and fickle standard.  Offense, even when coined in fancy terms of “injury” or “offense to human dignity” is a random variable that could occur to any person for almost any reason, justified or not, intended or not. The proper standard is that which has been the hallmark of justice for centuries, a “rational basis.”  The “offense” standard presents a wild card to the social equation that will ultimately destroy equality and the reliable and predictable legal outcomes necessary for Rule of Law.  For now, Americans can legitimately wonder whether they still have a right to acknowledge real distinctions between social institutions, or whether the “new equality equation” makes anyone a bigot who will not join in the common deception and pretend that unequal things are equal.

 [1] See Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Book VI, Part 4 (c) – Translated by W. D. Ross.