A Philosopher's Blog

For Better or Worse Reasoning

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics, Reasoning/Logic, Relationships/Dating, Religion by Michael LaBossiere on May 14, 2012

My tenth Kindle book is out, For Better or Worse Reasoning: A Philosophical Look at Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage.

It is the usual 99 cents in the US and the equivalent in dead parrot jokes in the UK. It is also available on all the Amazons(aside from the river and the women), but I am too lazy to copy-paste them all in.

As a special bonus for readers of this blog, you can get it for free from May 14 to May 18, 2012 (US dates).

This concise work is aimed at presenting a logical assessment of the stock arguments against same-sex marriage. While my position is in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, I have made every effort to present a fair and rational assessment of the stock arguments against it.

The work itself is divided into distinct sections. The first section provides some background material regarding arguments. The second section focuses on the common fallacious arguments used to argue against same-sex marriage. The third section examines standard moral arguments against same-sex marriage and this is followed by a brief look at the procreation argument. The work closes, appropriately enough, with a few modest proposals regarding marriage.


  • Arguments
  • “Argument” Defined
  • Varieties
  • General Assessment of Arguments
  • Fallacies
  • Stock Fallacious Arguments against Same-sex Marriage
  • Appeal to Tradition
  • Appeal to Belief
  • Appeal to Common Practice
  • Slippery Slope
  • Weak Analogy
  • Non-Fallacious Arguments
  • Intuitions & Definitions
  • Appeal to Intuition
  • Argument by Definition
  • The Religious Arguments
  • The Moral Arguments
  • Homosexuals are Immoral Argument
  • The Unnatural Argument/The Natural Argument
  • Appeal to Consequences
  • The Sanctity Argument
  • The Procreation Argument
  • Marriage: A Few Modest Proposals
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7 Responses

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  1. Bob Felton said, on May 14, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Why no Nook edition?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      1)The selfish reason: I’m doing an experiment with Amazon’s KDP promotion to see how it impacts the sale of my other books.
      2) The altruistic reason: this promo allows me to make the book available for free.
      Once the KDP promotion is over, I’ll probably Nook it. For every book I sell on the Nook, I usually sell about 500 on Amazon. But, I still want to make my books available for folks who prefer the Nook.

  2. FRE said, on May 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I like the “slippery slope” argument. Some people seem to think that permitting same sex marriage will cause everyone to lose interest in “traditional” opposite sex marriages and seek a same sex partner. I wonder about the sexuality of people who think like that; could they be projecting?

  3. FOOBAR said, on May 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Here’s some reasoning for you…Obama is our “first gay president”, though to anyone’s knowledge he never had sex with another man, though granted it probably wouldn’t surprise a few people if he had. However, to most everyone’s knowledge he was well-versed in Islam as a child at his school in Indonesia, yet those who would call him the first gay president tend to make strong objections and ridicule those who would even suggest he might be a closet “first muslim” president.

    Oh, yeah, and Romney is a mean bully. And further more, Carthage should be sacked.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Newsweek is just trying to sell paper. He’s no more our first gay president than Bill Clinton was out first black president.

      No doubt he did learn about Islam in school. But if he is a closet Muslim, he is perhaps the most amazing undercover Muslim in history. After all,there is actually no evidence at all that he is a Muslim.

      • FRE said, on May 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        The purpose of the media, whether it is ether waves media or print media, is not to inform the public. Rather, it is to maximize audience size by entertaining the public thereby maximizing advertising revenue . And, lurid headlines and attention-grabbing stories are entertaining and do increase audience size.

        Finding reliable and accurate information is challenging.

        • dhammett said, on May 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

          Virtually all media–except for media that are not produced by entities wealthy enough to continue distribution of information sans outside support–depend on the public to exist.

          The so-called drive by media, talk radio, “free” newspapers, public television and radio, and private publishers or broadcasters are all guilty, to a greater or lesser degree, of manipulating information. Avoiding subjectivity is virtually impossible. When a news broadcast is produced or a newspaper is published, choices are made based on what the producers of the news perceive to be the wants and needs of its audience. A reporter makes decisions about what to include in the story he submits. A cameraman decides where to locate his camera. What becomes a lead story or front page news is a subjective decision. This is all very obvious.

          But what is not so obvious is the fact that not all subjectivity is created equal. Many fall prey to the idea that just because all media are biased to one degree or another, all media are somehow biased equally. Even more are sucker-punched by the most insidious bias of all: assuming that any and all information and misinformation that fits a personal specific world view is unbiased and everything else is biased.

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