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Brutal Antipathy is a pseudonym for a blogger and forum debate enthusiast whose views often rest well outside of social baseline. A self confirmed atheist, misanthropist, and sadist, his commentary ranges from parched textbook facts to satire and sarcasm. He is a proponent of free speech and individual liberty even when these are taken to excess. His political views shift between lower case libertarian and enlightened despotism depending on the level of contempt he is feeling for his fellow humans at any given moment. His reading interests include history, general science, archaeology, comparative religion, psychology, & sociology. Other interests and hobbies include practicing various crafts, torturing his slave, blogging, playing with his dogs, collecting antiques, role playing & tactical simulation games, renaissance fairs, and cheerfully making other people miserable by holding up a mirror of their shortcomings and repeatedly bashing them in the face with it. L is the owned slave of BA. She basically has the same interests and views as her owner except in music.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An Open Letter Concerning RockingMrE

Originally posted on my blog SkepTex on 12/13/12

Recently I began commenting on YouTube videos. I have found a small number of them which I find entertaining and informative, and wish to interact with other like minded people. This is one of those videos. The vlogger is known as RockingMrE, and I encourage everyone to watch it and others of his. The subject matter is same sex marriage, and MrE constructs an argument against it. It is a compelling argument, and one which I agree with on almost every point. My single point of disagreement is a weakness in his argument which will be used against anyone attempting to use his argument. I attempted to point this flaw in reasoning to him and others commenting there.

Instead of responding to constructive criticism by way of reasoned debate, I was accused by MrE of being a left wing socialist  called a moron, and had various ideological positions pinned on me such as attempting to impose a hegemony.  This tone was immediate and hostile. I addressed his accusations both publicly and privately, but such was his irrational conviction to some ideology that he was unreasonable, reading political and ideological motive into the arguments of myself and others. The people who pointed out his error were never rude to the best of my knowledge. They were all met with baseless paranoid accusations, insults, and open hostility by MrE. This is hardly behavior becoming someone claiming to apply logic to his arguments. Blocking people who offer reasonable argument is not logical, it is immature and close minded.

I will explain the flaw in his argument. A small portion of MrE's argument is that marriage exists for the biological purpose of producing children. As homosexuals are disinclined to produce children naturally, marriage does not apply to them. By default, this argument implies that opposite sex married couples who adopt are not really married, nor are couples who marry but do not produce children.

There are several immediately obvious problems with this portion of his argument.

1. From the point of history, most marriages were socio-political strategies for increasing wealth and status. Agrarian families did need to produce children as a source of free labor, but a considerable number of marriages were calculated to provide advantages for one or both families. Merchants and craftsmen sought to increase the market value of their wares or expand trade into other areas in part by placing a member of their family into another which could open up new potentials. Royal and noble marriages were of a similar nature, though on a grander scale. Historically, marriage has been about alliance and advantage far more than about reproduction.

2. Marriage is a non-essential component to reproduction. The ducks in the pond are not married, but they manage to reproduce without the ceremony. The same is true for the squirrels and rabbits in the park, the dogs roaming the streets, the fish in the ocean, and a sizable chunk of the human race. Were marriage primarily about having children, then bastard children need to be explained.

3. Contemporary society as a whole does not use marriage for the purpose indicated by MrE, According to the Center for disease Control statistics on birth rates, 40.8% of births were to unmarried women in 2010. According to a relationships survey, the top 3 reasons given for getting married were love, companionship, and to signify a life-long commitment. Security for children was #4.  People themselves are saying that children are not the primary reason they are getting married. Unless all of those people are lying, MrE is mistaken and had locked himself into a delusion. There are dozens of reasons that people get married.  Children is one of them, but not even 1 of the top 3 reasons.

4. Some people get married with absolutely no intention of having children. A group that loosely call themselves Child Free speak in great detail as to why they are not having children. These groups have began to dissolve in more urban areas, not from lack of interest, but because they have found so many other married couples who have decided to not have children that their meetups are no longer  needed.

MrE, I informed you in private message that I was mostly in agreement with you, and that I was not your enemy. This was after you had grossly misrepresented my message, twisting everything I wrote into some strange ideology which in your imagination was in opposition to your own. Even when I pointed out to you that you were reading things that were not implied into my writing, you continued to do this. I attempted to reasonably, logically, and politely point out a minor flaw in your reasoning. Others did the same. In each case, you reacted with grossly inappropriate viciousness. Not once did you address the points made. You met them with hostile denialism.

I am not your enemy, MrE. I do not know if you have any enemies outside your imagination. If by chance you do, those enemies will rip to shreds anyone so foolish as to use your argument in its unmodified and erroneous form.

I am saddened for you. I have watched other of your vlogs, and your logic is usually precise, with your message being spot on. To see someone of your caliber reduce himself to infantile posturing and accusation flinging in the face of constructive criticism is tragic. I hope that you come to your senses soon and become more reasonable. I also hope that the people who will undoubtedly use your argument will not face too much shame and humiliation as they are made to look ignorant by those who will point to this gaping hole in your logic which you currently refuse to acknowledge, let alone patch. Any cause which you are attempting to support will doubtless suffer ridicule and be discounted as illogical buffoons so long as they associate such poor logic to their cause.

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