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Unformatted text preview: Current Moral Problems Lecture January 25 Same-Sex Marriage Should it be Legally Recognized? Maggie Gallagher: What Marriage is For: Children Need Mothers and Fathers; and Jonathan Rauch: For Better or Worse? The Case for Gay (and Straight) Marriage Reasons for not Legally Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage Ethical: homosexuality is unethical. Conventionalism (the Hayekian argument): homosexual marriage is contrary to marriage conventions, and conventions generally should not be tampered with. Conceptual analysis: marriage by definition is a union of a man and a woman. Consequentialist: Limiting marriage to heterosexuals is necessary to promote an important social objective (what marriage is for). The Ethical Reason Does Gallagher use this reason? If homosexuality is unethical, is that a good reason for opposing the legal recognition of same- sex marriage? Is homosexuality unethical? Conventionalism: the Hayekian Argument Rauch names the argument after F.A. Hayek, a famous libertarian economist. It is based on an analogy with prices in a free market economy: Prices are set by impersonal forces and they may appear arbitrary. However, they have an internal logic and comprise the best measure of the value of various goods and services. Similarly, the fact that marriage conventions have evolved and withstood the test of time suggests an underlying value or purpose to them. Tampering may destabilize marriage and other important social institutions, with potentially...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 130 taught by Professor Ernanimaghalhaes during the Fall '08 term at WVU.
- Fall '08