Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

I just became aware of another referendum related to same-sex partnerships, this one in Washington State.  In May 2009 Washington’s legislature approved a bill that expanded the rights of domestic partners to include all the same rights as married couples, lacking only the name “marriage.”  Again, this was put to the voters as a referendum, and the citizens said, “Yes.”  The final vote was 51% to 49%. 

I find it interesting that those who supported the referendum to expand domestic partnership rights, raised nearly 1.1 million dollars for their efforts.  Those who opposed the referendum, however, only raised $60,000.  And yet still, the vote was within 2% points.

Once again, when the question of same-sex marriage is put to the voters, the voters say “No” (the 31st time).  Last spring, Maine’s legislature passed a law making same-sex marriage legal in that state.  The law was stayed, however, until the people had a chance to vote on it yesterday.  And they said no, but not by much (53%).

Very cool.  Use the scroll button beneath the picture to zoom in.


HT: William Dembski

It’s common to hear people say Christians are biased, not objective.  How can we respond to this charge?  J.P. Moreland makes a distinction that I find helpful.  He notes that there are two ways to be objective: (1) psychological objectivity: the absence of bias (2) rational objectivity: the ability to tell the difference between good and bad reasons for a belief, whether or not you accept that belief.[1]

Humans are psychologically objective (50/50) only in areas we know nothing, or care nothing about.  Once we come to know something about a topic we typically go from being psychologically objective to psychologically biased, even if the degree of our bias is minimal.  Such bias is to be expected, and is good.  After all, what would be the use of studying out an issue/topic if after having studied it you could not draw a conclusion?  We should expect informed people to be psychologically biased.

But does the presence of psychological bias eliminate the possibility of being rationally objective?  Are we locked into our own culturally relevant way of viewing the world?  Is reason and argumentation useless for the person who is no longer psychologically objective?  No.  We all know this to be true because we have all had experiences in which we changed our beliefs on an issue because they were challenged by good arguments.  It should be clear, then, that our psychological bias (lack of psychological objectivity) does not eliminate our ability to be rationally objective.  Postmodernists understand this.  That’s why they try to reason with the modernists to change their worldview, while at the same time denying the validity of reason and argumentation!

[1]J.P. Moreland, “Truth, Contemporary Philosophy, and the Postmodern Turn,” a paper presented at the November 2004 Evangelical Theological Society meeting in San Antonio, TX.