Things To Act
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
The "Meaning" of Marriage
The DU's lead editorial today (not online, of course), is a rather dull discussion of public policy and marriage. The most interesting quote: "In the dictionary, marriage is defined as, "closely or intimately joined; living together as husband and wife." But to many people, marriage is a chance to air their political views or to form a temporary union that will be undone by divorce in a few years. In such circumstances, marriage becomes meaningless; an act done for self-interest."

The logic here is sloppy at best. The 'meaningless' marriages decried actually fit the dictionary [which dictionary? Points off for incomplete citation] definition provided. Furthermore, simply because an act has a different meaning than one would prefer does not make the act meaningless (indeed, 'airing political views,' whatever that means, would seem to be meaningful by design). Many of the policy debates about marriage seem to revolve around a cultural consensus (or lack thereof) of what marriage means, or what it should be changed to mean. Starting discussion by saying "all other ideas of marriage are totally meaningless" seems a sure way to lose the policy debate.

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