Briggs raised this point:
Those outside of two-person, male-female sets who want conferred upon them the status of marriage paradoxically ask to be part of tradition. That is, they want the trappings of marriage: the ceremony, the rights and, although we rarely hear about these, the responsibilities. But they also want the tradition overthrown, or abandoned. There is no solution to this paradox.Most commenters on the site were civil and anxious for "dialogue". In fact on this topic they almost rose to the level of commenters on "The Belmont Club", and imho that's quite high. But in the post and during the comments a troubling issue arose that spawned measured disagreement. Because later on he also said:
The third, and most fascinating point, is that the judge, in slaying tradition, only discovered a right for two same-sex persons. He did not (yet?) unearth a right for three, four, or more mixed-sex persons. Nor did he tell us that people and cats could be wed.The last sentence seemed to strike a dissonant chord with several commenters who deemed it illogical, labeling that topic a "slippery slope". That's one way to sweep the issue under a rug, but their problem here is that Professor Briggs is totally logical. He teaches logic. He lectures on logic. He reads long, dry books written by long-dead authors we've never heard of who wrote about logic. And the commenters who thought the point illogical did not refute this, merely chose to label and forget it, hoping it would go away. It won't, and in more than one way it might actually be an "identitative slippery slope". No matter the best of intentions, when "tradition" is thrown out the window whatever takes its place is never static. Things do change.
In my view when all is said and done - and it's not at that point yet - secular societies of the future will at some point find themselves under pressure to, in this probable order:
- "accept with approval" marriages of more than two individuals.
- "accept with approval" marriages of an adult and a child.
- "accept with approval" marriages of more than three individuals of both genders.
- "accept with approval" marriages of humans and what we currently considered to be a different animal.
All this even though currently many consider the subject to be illogical and a "slippery slope". They may be right, but they might also be wrong. It is only their opinion, not something cast in stone.
Remember rule #44, little ones. Things change. The rising ground may yet prove to be too lubricious for safe passage.