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Out of pure self-interest, she decides not to eat them again, and tells her friends the same.Also out of self-interest, they decide not to eat them; those who think they can get away with eating them anyway are quickly disabused of the notion. Any claim that cultural evolution argues against gay marriage because it’s bad for the actual gay-married person must face the fact that actually gay-married people seem totally okay with it, and in fact are urging their friends to do it, the exact opposite of the red berry situation.The taboo against eating red berries quickly spreads throughout the culture. If one person decides not to marry in the usual way, it doesn’t necessarily hurt that person. So I interpret it as a different claim: a culture that allows gay marriage will, for various reasons, become weak and unsuccessful.Then it will be crushed by other cultures, either militarily, economically, or in a sort of marketplace of ideas where people convert to or assimilate into the other culture because it’s more attractive and successful.
It would seem that all of the other differences between Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian culture – theology, non-sexual mores, geography, technology, philosophy – had a lot more effect than the sexual mores.
This form of cultural evolution seems to work something like so: our culture, and indeed most cultures, used to have a certain conception of marriage.
That conception of marriage outcompeted other conceptions of marriage from the distant past all the way to the present.
Note that THIS IS REALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST TYPE OF CULTURAL EVOLUTION. For example, gay sex may be lots of fun – and as people figure this out and tell their friends, it will be positively selected through the first type of cultural evolution.
But it might weaken a culture’s Moral Fabric – in which case it will be negatively selected through the second type of cultural evolution.
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In the same way, it’s plausible that cultures might evolve strong internal defenses against actions that are fun but Weaken Moral Fabric, and sure enough we find that everything halfway enjoyable comes with a lecture from our elders about Why We Shouldn’t Do It.