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Category Archives: Marriage

Marriage is about …

A common argument against same-sex marriage is that marriage is “about” children. Or that the purpose of marriage is the raising of children. Or some similar claim. Conservative philosopher Keith Burgess-Jackson rebuts a certain class of arguments against the claim that marriage is “about” children here. But the claim he defends–that marriage is about children–strips marriage […]

SL’s Australian visit – 2nd ALS Friedman Conference (and other goodies)

As some of you already know, due to the kind sponsorship of Thought Broker, I shall be travelling to Australia for the 2nd Australian Libertarian Society Friedman Conference (speaker schedule here) and shall also be sharing a platform with new Freedom Commissioner Tim Wilson at one of Thought Broker’s in-house events (details here). Thought Broker […]

The solution to the problem of outcasting is not more outcasting

So, the new (since March) CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich made a $1000 private donation in 2008 to the Proposition 8 cause. So, he is–or at least was in 2008–against equal protection of the law for (some) of his fellow citizens. A somewhat problematic proposition; one of a series of such propositions with a long […]

That word, it does not mean what you think it means

In US states such as Kansas, Idaho and Arizona a new legislative push is on to create a religious entitlement to treat (a specific group of) fellow American citizens like crap. What’s more, it is being paraded as a defence of religious liberty. The process kicked off in Kansas, where the lower House passed House Bill […]

Marriage, procreation and the triumph of rhetoric and rationalisation over evidence

Arguments against same sex marriage (such as here and here) typically get marriage and procreation the wrong way round.  It is not that marriage is supported because it produces children — the only common defining feature of marriage across cultures is that it connects kin groups, it creates in-laws. It is that a public commitment which binds two people together […]

Saturday chit-chat: ELECTION FREE!

The average height of men has risen by almost 11cm since the mid-19th century, experts have found. Data was collected on hundreds of thousands of men from 15 European countries. For British men, the average height at age 21 rose from 167.05cm (5ft 5in) in 1871-75 to 177.37cm (5ft 10in) in 1971-75. A public health expert […]

Social bully politics

I have previously articulated what I call the paradox of politics (or the paradox of rulership)–we need the state to protect us from social predators but the state itself is the most dangerous social predator. The paradox can never be solved, merely managed more or less well. The guardian delusion The delusion that one can solve […]

SCOTUS misreading history

While I am talking about the recent Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, United States v. Windsor, I am not going to presume to tell the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) how to do US constitutional law. History is another matter. In the majority decision, written by Kennedy J, the following (pdf) appears: It […]

Against free markets

The term that is. There seem to be few usages that are a greater barrier to clear thought and debate than free markets. Whether used as a term of sneering abuse to create straw-person arguments or as a slogan of the right and proper, it is ready-made to close minds and abstract away from the issues […]

Human societies as studies in relative scarcity: the price of children, the cost of capital

That modernising societies experience a “demographic transition“–a change from high fertility and high death rates to low fertility and low death rates with an intermediate period of high fertility and low death rates–is well known. The likely reason is lags in adjusting to changes in death rates. The price of children Having children is a […]