Laying Mr. Repzion Out on a Pulpit

This last week, I recently became acquainted with YouTube user Mr.Repzion and one of his videos defending gay marriage against this video from The National Organization for Marriage. He and I are both passionate about the subject, and I’m guessing he fancies himself a reasonable dude. So let’s duel.

00:00 – 00:21: This is an unjustified assertion. Simply positing x is not a good argument.

00:22 – 00:50: Although I’m sure this was uttered in mocking jest, it is woefully unsound. The act of divorce preventing people from killing each other within marriage is false. The conclusion also does not follow. Divorce does not directly lead to perpetuation of human beings that will lead society in the future. As for stabilization, there exists sociological research — although lay people are more than aware too — that divorce is a destructive force on families and not a stabilizer of any sort.

00:51 – 02:15: Here, you at worst beg the question in your favor, assuming that marriage only is a contract between individuals. At best, you don’t make a compelling case for such an account, citing other types of contracts like housing or cell phone contracts. This is a category error. You’re equating the natural (human sexual organs and their use) with the artificial (commercial dealings). Ironically, John Locke would say we do have natural house ownership in a similar way to how NOM’s video identifies marriage as natural.

Let me explain: In this context, “natural” refers to the biological fact that when men and women have sex, they are able to produce offspring. As Aristotle would note, the male and female body is well equipped to accomplish this task. It’s this foundational truth that gave rise to marriage. The institution is rooted in human anatomy and physiology, a subset of biology, which in turn, is a subset of the natural sciences. Yes, marriage does not appear in nature, but the proposition “marriage appears in nature” never appeared in the NOM video.

You know what isn’t natural? Strawmen.

02:16 – 02:33: Instead of refuting the NOM’s point, you unwittingly support it. Your counterexample presupposes the thesis that heterosexual relations creates children. Again, you’re guilty of attacking a strawman. Their video doesn’t claim sex within wedlock is the only possible way to conceive children. Hence, you’re drunk/knocked-up comment is silly.

02:34 – 02:43: Obviously, the answer here is same-sex marriage. The context of NOM’s video made that apparent, and I’m confident you were well aware of the writing on the wall. You were betrayed by emphatically declaring “No!” in the beginning when the video asked “Should marriage be limited to one man and one woman?”. Therefore, the listing of animals is also puerile and uncharitable.

However, it is reasonable to ask for cited sources. Admittedly, this post is not intended to go on such a tangent, but the pro-traditional marriage camp does claim that sociological data supports that traditional households are the best for child-rearing. Moreover, history shows that humanity has been able to subdue the planet, implying we had a reliable method of propagation upon which to launch our global proliferation. As the notion of same-sex marriage had not been conceived until relatively recently, and our subjugation of the earth took thousands of years, it is plausible that same-sex marriage had no role in our success as a species. Therefore, there is scant evidence to show that same-sex marriage is better, on par or even a viable option for our reproduction. Rather, human biology unequivocally shows it is impossible for such unions to spawn offspring.

02:44 – 03:01: Yes, it does protect women, and again this is confirmed by history. What do you think a dowry was for back in the day? Marriage also socially bound fathers to their children, so they couldn’t ditch the mothers, rendering them as lone parents. This defense mechanism is predicated on biology —  surprise, surprise —  as men could impregnate with little cost to themselves while women were heavily invested thanks to their maternal mammalian heritage. That’s why procreation was supposed to happen within wedlock. This isn’t sexism; in fact, it prevents it.

Once again, your “deadbeat dad” example is  a strawman. The dad’s failure to fulfill his fatherly and marital obligations is not necessarily a mark against traditional marriage. Deviation from marriage hardly implies that the institution is bankrupt, unless its theoretical underpinnings repeatedly fail to manifest in reality. History, on the contrary, shows otherwise.

Moreover, why would a gay man or woman be any less susceptible from becoming a “deadbeat” parent? The crux of the argument put forth by advocates for same-sex marriage is that gay and people and straight people are ultimately the same; therefore marriage for either group is the same. So if you were implying marriage has serious problems that cast doubt on its efficacy, then same-sex or opposite sex variations are equally dubious. Then this raises the question why even push for marriage if you are implying — erroneously so — that the institution is irreparably flawed. Or perhaps you think the sexism disappears because a woman wouldn’t be sexist to another woman or vice versa? That one partner wouldn’t leave another because of their homosexuality? This seems utterly absurd and without basis. Gay people mistreat each other within relationships just as much as straight people. And even if this wasn’t the case, would you be implying gay unions are better than ones between a man and a woman? My compatriots and I are called “bigots” for that very same notion by you and your ilk.

Welcome to the homosexual house of hypothetical horrors you opened up there with such a vague and unqualified statement…

03:02 – 03:26: …And deja vu! You err in identical fashion less than a minute later. Your counterexample is not consistent with what you’re criticizing, and therefore another strawman. A does not equal B. So taking issue with B by no means invalidates A.

Additionally yet repetitively, you reenter the same trap as in the previous section. There is no reason to assume gay parents would be any better than straight ones and wouldn’t end up living in subsidized housing as well. And if there is, wouldn’t that render you “heterophobic” by the same reasoning employed by proponents of same-sex marriage against apologists for traditional marriage?

Therefore, criticizing heterosexual individuals for failing to abide by marital norms does not render marriage itself as faulty. Marriage did not fail the individual; the individual failed marriage. Additionally, if the heterosexual parent is so awful, would that make the gay parent just as awful? They’re equal, right?

Your poor use of counterexamples in the previous two sections is tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot.

03:27 – 04:08: What you’re failing to grasp is NOM’s video is explaining the theoretical understanding behind marriage and why it is beneficial to society “as a whole.” You bring up a child being adopted by loving gay parents, and again this attack is off target. The video is working in macro terms, while your ad hoc counterexamples dwell in micro realms. Assuming your claim is true, one singular child benefiting is hardly conclusive or applicable to society “as a whole.”

Presumably, you mean children in general adopted by gay parents from foster homes is better for society. However, there appears to be little evidence to support that such households have merit in the long-term. History offers no data. In addition, the potential cost for allowing these households, granted by adoption or artificial insemination, is steep. The reasons are legion, and this article briefly explains some of the dire implications. Pay attention to the answers to 4, 5, 6, the end of 7 and 10.

04:09 – 04:29: Again, you posit your definition of marriage as “a legal contract between two people for their mutual benefit.” But this definition isn’t robust and is so generic, it is useless. By your own parameters, a lease between a landlord and a tenant is marriage. That’s patently false, especially given the sense of how you’re using the term. Two platonic male friends could cheat the system, get married, i.e. enter “a legal contract between two people for their mutual benefit,” and undeservedly receive the financial and legal benefits meant for child-rearing.  There could be more “deadbeat dads” as you weaken the financial incentive for them marrying women. They would be free to impregnate women but have no reason to accept the responsibilities of fatherhood. To qualify as marriage, a relationship must be amorous but still possesses the ability to produce progeny.

Oh, and one more thing, who mediates legal and contractual disputes? The government, and is that an authority we want to concede? Answer: We DO NOT want the government to have the power to meddle in our domestic affairs.

04:30 – 05:00: See once again section 03:27 – 04:08.

You seem to think it’s that gay households are on equate footing to traditional homes, and thanks to our American conditioning, this seems intuitively true. However, there appears to be no support for this idea. There are no substantive examples in history to lend credence that gay households produce able citizens, while on the other hand, the vast majority of history attests to the strength of traditional households.

It is more plausible that these children start at a disadvantage. They don’t have a typical male and female role models to understand how most mature adults of both sexes are. They are not exposed to how the sexes typically operate and behave around each other. In the case of artificial insemination, children are deliberately deprived of being raised by one of their biological parents. As blood ties are diminished, children are reduced to commodities or assets to be divided up by lawyers, and how you don’t see that this wouldn’t be traumatic on impressionable young minds is beyond me. It’s foreseeable that issues would be caused if three parents would have claims on a child, increasing the risk of a dysfunctional family. Think about the drama in The Kids Are All Right. In short, same-sex households and their dynamics seem to be unnecessarily complicated and volatile by their very nature compared to the relative simplicity of a traditional household of two opposite sex parents raising a child of their own making.

This is not to say gay parents can’t be loving, but that misses the point, which is instead what is best for children. Don’t children have the inalienable, objective right of being raised by their biological parents unless extraneous and extreme circumstances mandate otherwise? When have the desires to become a parent outweigh the needs of a child? Make no mistake: Every civilization’s most valuable resource is its children, and they should be treated accordingly.

Your remark about winning the Nobel Peace Prize because you avoid arguments appears to be a non-sequitur. Those are usually considered asinine. At least, it doesn’t make sense to me. You seem to be insinuating some sort of insufficiency here. My only guess is that you feel “merely validates sex partners” is a gross understatement in reference to the importance of achieving same-sex marriage in regard to gay rights. If this is your analogy, however, it is hardly comparative because Nobel Peace Prize winners engage in arguments all the time. It’s the veracity of their argumentative efforts that earn such accolades. There is a gaping lack of similarity here or you need to unpack what you mean better.

05:01 – 05:55: Fine, that is a fair criticism. Sources should be cited, but the gravy train stops here. The tangent that the video’s producers were being blatantly dishonest, lazy or inept for not permitting comments is completely unwarranted. They actually are making an argument and responding to possible objections in a civil manner. Maybe some of the premisses lack support, but it doesn’t follow that their intellectual integrity is questionable.

Then, for you to lecture them on how to conduct themselves in intellectual discourse is enormously hypocritical. You, Mr.Repzion, are not a paragon of scholarly and argumentative virtue. You have not demonstrated that you are capable of commanding such authority. You have ranted instead of reasoned. You have resorted to polemics rather than arguments. It is you who have blurted out a series of fallacies from start to finish. “Don’t just spew out things,” you ironically chide. All you have done is merely describe and indict yourself.

05:56 – 06:34: NOM’s video actually anticipates the objection of infertile couples, but you completely ignore the rejoinder. Impotent couples or marriages that decide to not have kids are circumstantial and ” the exception to the rule.” The objection is ad hoc and runs in the face of the fact, in principle, procreation is inherent in marriage. Just like a worm within an apple doesn’t change the definition of the apple, a heterosexual marriage that doesn’t produce offspring, doesn’t invalidate the definition of marriage. Infertility or abstinence from children is incidental, while it is nomologically (by the laws of nature) IMPOSSIBLE — though I would argue stronger claims of metaphysical and logical impossibility are apt, but musings on modality aside… —  for a gay couple to conceive of a child via homosexual relations.

06:35 – 07:01: It’s a debate for another time when sexual education should be introduced into the curricula of students, but I would claim that it shouldn’t be included until children undergo puberty. NOM’s video is unclear how young the students are when they study gay-friendly curricula, but I can explain why this infuriates social conservatives like myself.

It’s indoctrination of what we believe are false ideas into the minds of children. So I think the video is implying that prepubescent youngsters are being brainwashed to believe that Adam and Steve is the same thing as Adam and Eve. It incites us that such radical theories are being treated on equal footing with well confirmed facts about human existence. We cry foul as we perceive insidious motives in such moves. Simply, same-sex marriage hasn’t shown it can stand in the intellectual arena with traditional marriage. Therefore, it appears to us you circumvent this inability by attempting to condition the heads and hearts of children to be favorable to your false worldview. We are morally disgusted as this subterfuge has more in common with fascism than liberal “equality.”

And real “social studies” shows that traditional marriage definitively works well culturally and biologically, and our laws recognize this to be true.

07:02 – 09:21: Marriage once again cannot be limited to a contract between two adults. See above the section 04:09 – 04:29 to see why. Your asserted denial doesn’t impugn that sexual behavior, as influenced by our physiology, is closely associated with marriage.

You then conflate behavior or practice with persons when you cite hypothetical examples of prejudice involving police. The government’s sponsorship of police work is different from the government’s segregation against persons wanting to become police. Similarly, the government’s sponsorship of traditional marriage is different from the segregation of gay persons who want to get married.  Therefore, your criticisms amount to nothing more the category errors.

Furthermore, discrimination and segregation are not, in of themselves, wrong. Unjust discrimination is. We, as a society, discriminate all the time based on laws that are based on definitions. For example, we discriminate against convicted criminals by imprisonment. They are stripped of their freedom to live where they want, but such discriminatory action is hardly unjustified. To claim, criminals should be freed because it is discriminatory is without basis.

In the same vein, saying no to same-sex couples who want to marry is not unjust discrimination because they don’t qualify based on fundamental, obvious facts of human nature and propagation.

09:22 – 10:11: Your claim that same-sex marriage is accepted is dubious. Many people, like myself, tolerate the idea, but by no means do we agree with it. You’re declaration of victory is like saying the Confederates won the Civil War after defeating the Union at the Battle of Run. It’s premature and without justification. What is more accurate is to say that the matter is controversial.

Interestingly, this claim has no bearing on the truth of the NOM’s main thesis. It’s irrelevant and gives you no ground even if it is true. Disputing every detail does not magically somehow weaken what is being argued for in the video. I notice this is a frequent tactic within your response. You take every chance to discredit the people making this video — and create opportunities where there are none — even if it gives you no rational ammo to use in the debate. There is no strategic worth in these maneuvers. There is only rhetorical capital, i.e. sophistry.

Then why am I appearing to be overly pedantic in my criticism of you? Firstly, you give me a lot to work with. In other words, you spew tons of crap. Secondly, there also is rhetorical merit in demonstrating how inept you are at critical thinking in your video. The difference is I’m making an attempt to be rational and not solely engage in demagoguery like you do. Frankly, you did it to yourself.

10:12 – 10:34: You proclaim: “The foundation of a civilized society is respecting other people’s rights when they come into conflict with your own belief and worldview.” Ah, but where do these people come from in order for them to have rights that require said respect? You misinterpret what is meant by “natural marriage is the foundation of a civilized society.” NOM’s video is referring to marriage as more axiomatic and primal than the proposition you spouted off. It gave rise to civilization. The notion of inalienable rights came afterwards, both in chronology and ontology.

The following accusation against religion is again irrelevant. The Bible nor the doctrine of any religion was mentioned in the video’s presentation. Although, what was argued is complimentary with Biblical teachings.

10:35 – 11:42: You give a dictionary definition of biology and everything NOM’s video claims falls within the purview of your definition. In fact, the biological claims are so remedial that they were recognized and understood even before there was a scientific field of biology.

Then what follows is when you again become insufferable. You take offense at a group of individuals daring to use your beloved science and reason against you. But no! You act as if only individuals who share your worldview are given that privilege. That you have a monopoly on science and reason. The rest of us are backwards-thinking bigots clumsily trying to use toys that we aren’t allowed to play with. It is pusillanimously insulting for you claim that those against same-sex marriage are trying to justify their bigotry with science. This is special pleading to an absurd degree. There is no reason that stating the simple biological FACT that men and women create children when they have sex and basing an argument around it to defend humanity’s most cherished institution is a crime punishable by being branded homophobic, bigoted and prejudicial. We are not “exploiting science” or manipulating facts to oppress a certain group of people.

That’s you. In what I can only describe as actual malice, you have slandered these people who have made the “Marriage = Biology (Not Bigotry)” video and by proxy, anyone who believes as they do. Not only have you shown a disturbing inability to be rational, you have twisted what they said into an assault on their character. How dare you debase them as morally repugnant when you’re the one who is culpable of doing something unethical! Just because they disagree with your beliefs and the beliefs of gay people who want to get married, does not make them bigots or hateful. I know you know better: 00:54 – 01:18.

You are the worst kind of fool; people believe you.

Quod erat demonstrandum,

Modus Pownens

P.S. That’s Latin for *drops mic*.


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