Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote 2008, Part Two: California Proposition 8

I believe that deeply personal, "subjectively moral" beliefs (as opposed to more "objectively moral" stuff like murder and theft) should be transmitted by example and not by political force. While religions and some private institutions should have some degree of the right to discriminate ("we have the truth" or "this is right and this is wrong" but not "we'll kill you or steal from you"), the government should not have that power to take away important civil rights from anyone. Due to the language of Proposition 8, as well as my beliefs mentioned above, I will vote against Prop 8.

In the eyes of the government, a "marriage" should be a taxable, non-business, family unit between two persons: A human male and a human female, two humans of the same sex, two heterosexual reptilian humanoids, two homosexual reptilian humanoids, a human and a reptilian humanoid of opposite sexes, and a homosexual relationship between a human and a reptilian humanoid. All that, as well as those who do not fit neatly in the "male" and "female" genders, humans and reptilian humanoids alike. I bring in the concept of "reptilian humanoids" for the following reasons: (1) I'm a tinfoil hat wearin' kook, (2) to address the slippery slope, bestiality argument, and (3) it's funny and slightly nauseating to imagine the logistics of...I will say no more.

(1) and (3) aside, there might be a time in the future of the planet Earth for openly non-human persons to want to marry humans. The problem is defining personhood. If the non-human person is an interstellar traveler who can learn a human language, then there's a good chance the alien is a person. Being more or less anthropomorphic would be a definite plus, especially when it comes to interpersonal attraction, but the chances for that are up in the air. On the other hand, sapient robots and "highly evolved" non-human Earthlings might have a tougher time proving their personhood. Then again, if they are sentient enough to hire a good lawyer - guess what - they're probably a person, too.

Until that shining moment in history, when all non-human persons have equal protection under the law as humans, the reptilian humanoids (as well as sapient aliens, sapient robots, and other sapient Earthlings) among us must keep using their powers of illusion to "pass" as human.

Back to the here and now: Religions should be able to define their version of marriage. If there's room for polygamy in a religion - as long as it does not become abuse (tricky language for tricky times, I suppose) - the State shouldn't get in the way of that. However, if this plural marriage tries to save on taxes by filing jointly (and jointly again), that should be against the law. It's tax fraud. The loophole around this (listen up, polygamists) would be to register your harem as a business, but then again, there could be some fraud involved. Consult your lawyer and your financial adviser, I guess.

Anyway, that's my two exaggerated cents about Prop 8. I'm voting no. As for you, vote your conscience and vote your research and vote your philosophy. Just vote.

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