Saturday, April 11, 2009

George on SSM and body-self dualism

Robert George responds to our conversation on same-sex marriage as follows:

I profoundly agree that [the SSM question] is not so simple or, at least, it is not simple in the way that people on the two sides seem to think it is simple. I say this for a particular reason. The debate is "simple" in this sense: If one, whether formally or merely implicitly, believes that persons are (whatever else we are) our bodies, and that we are not non-bodily persons (minds, consciousnesses, spirits) who inhabit and use nonpersonal bodies as extrinsic instruments, then one is likely to agree that the sexual intercourse of man and woman, inasmuch as it fulfills the behavioral conditions of procreation (whether or not the non-behavioral conditions happen to obtain), is capable of uniting them interpersonally and that bodily union, qua personal, is the indispensable foundation and matrix of the comprehensive (bioloogical, emotional, dispositional, rational, spiritual) union that marriage is. In other words, one will affirm marriage as a one-flesh union. (And the Biblical teaching that in marriage a man and woman become one flesh will make sense to you. And the law's historic concern with consummation as an essential element of marriage will also make sense to you.)

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