An Aside Regarding Homosexuality

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Balerion, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    When you say 'moral' do you mean moral as in within the discipline of Ethics? If we agree that the major premise of the non-aggression axiom is a truth statement: the initiation of force against an innocent person is immoral, then it's quite clear that homosexuality (being an internal subjective experience) does not and can not violate this. So, I'd say no, homosexuality can not be immoral as it doesn't violate the major premise.

    However, what if a child is taught to believe that homosexuality is "sinful" and deserving of self-punishment. Then, a child (innocent by default) may actually commit (even unknowingly) self-harm due to stress or out right violence against their own body (suicide as an example). Further, such a child may not have feelings of being homosexual until an adult - yet their brain has been 'taught' (physically altered at the synapse level) to believe homosexuality is sinful/wrong. I think a sound argument could be made that teaching a child who was born biologically, homosexual, and later as that subjective experience manifested itself - that this act by the parent (often as part of a mainstream religious group) is itself an immoral act. It can (and many times does) violate the major premise (see examples of homosexuals committing suicide - Alan Turing comes to mind).
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Rather unlikely. Most people discover their sexuality as puberty sets in, not six or ten years later. What's more likely is that a child has homophobic parents who have (perhaps not even deliberately) spent his entire childhood teaching him that homosexuality is evil. So he (perhaps unconsciously) suppresses his own sexual urges in order to please his parents.

    In my day (the 1950s) it was hard enough for a gay kid to hide his nature from the other kids at school. Having to hide it from his parents as well was enough to drive any teenager nuts--and indeed a lot of gay teenagers were nuts. When they finally went out to start lives of their own, even in a culture that was slowly, warily and uncomfortably letting gay people out of the closet, they had a huge backlog of feelings to sort through--either still trying to convince themselves that they're straight, or trying to find out what it means to be gay.

    Well said! Religion and religious people do a lot of bad shit that is plainly immoral, because they read from a different book--one that was written at the end of the Bronze Age when practically everything was fucked up.

    They had slaves! They were constantly at war! The people in charge could do anything they wanted! We're supposed to take advice from them about morality???
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Historically the argument that anti-gays keep falling back on is that "I wouldn't mind if they didn't keep shoving it in my face!" Thus they feel they CAN see, hear and/or feel it. An excellent rebuttal to that would be "well, stop reading everything you can on gay rights demonstrations." But again, that argument works for both right-wingers reading about flamboyant gay rights parades _and_ left-wingers looking at pictures of Westboro Baptist protests.
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    After her son came out to her, her and her husband's reaction was.. well..

    First they told him they loved him no matter what, then they asked him what God thinks of his desires.. and then.. The reality of not hating someone for who they are, but determining that who they are isn't right:

    We had not seen this coming, and the emotion that overwhelmed us, kept us awake at night and, sadly, influenced all our reactions over the next six years was fear.

    We said all the things that we thought loving Christian parents who believed the Bible, the Word of God, should say:

    We love you. We will always love you. And this is hard. Really hard. But we know what God says about this, so you are going to have to make some really difficult choices.

    We love you. We couldn't love you more. But there are other men who have faced this same struggle, and God has worked in them to change their desires. We'll get you their books; you can listen to their testimonies. And we will trust God with this.

    We love you. We are so glad you are our son. But you are young, and your sexual orientation is still developing. The feelings you've had for other guys don't make you gay. So please don't tell anyone that you are gay. You don't know who you are yet. Your identity is not that you are gay; it is that you are a child of God.

    We love you. Nothing will change that. But if you are going to follow Jesus, holiness is your only option. You are going to have to choose to follow Jesus, no matter what. And since you know what the Bible says, and since you want to follow God, embracing your sexuality is not an option.

    We thought we understood the magnitude of the sacrifice that we -- and God -- were asking for. And this sacrifice, we knew, would lead to an abundant life, perfect peace and eternal rewards. Ryan had always felt intensely drawn to spiritual things; He desired to please God above all else. So, for the first six years, he tried to choose Jesus. Like so many others before him, he pleaded with God to help him be attracted to girls. He memorized Scripture, met with his youth pastor weekly, enthusiastically participated in all the church youth group events and Bible Studies and got baptized. He read all the books that claimed to know where his gay feelings came from, dove into counseling to further discover the whys of his unwanted attraction to other guys, worked through painful conflict resolution with my husband and me and built strong friendships with other guys -- straight guys -- just like the reparative therapy experts advised. He even came out to his entire youth group, giving his testimony of how God had rescued him from the traps of the enemy, and sharing, by memory, verse after verse that God had used to draw Ryan to Him.


    Basically, we told our son that he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality. We forced him to make a choice between God and being a sexual person. Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. He would never have the chance to fall in love, have his first kiss, hold hands, share intimacy and companionship or experience romance.

    And so, just before his 18th birthday, Ryan, depressed, suicidal, disillusioned and convinced that he would never be able to be loved by God, made a new choice. He decided to throw out his Bible and his faith at the same time and try searching for what he desperately wanted -- peace -- another way. And the way he chose to try first was drugs.

    We had unintentionally taught Ryan to hate his sexuality. And since sexuality cannot be separated from the self, we had taught Ryan to hate himself. So as he began to use drugs, he did so with a recklessness and a lack of caution for his own safety that was alarming to everyone who knew him.

    Suddenly our fear of Ryan someday having a boyfriend (a possibility that honestly terrified me) seemed trivial in contrast to our fear of Ryan's death, especially in light of his recent rejection of Christianity and his mounting anger at God.

    Ryan started with weed and beer, but in six short months was using cocaine, crack and heroin. He was hooked from the beginning, and his self-loathing and rage at God only fueled his addiction. Shortly thereafter, we lost contact with him. For the next year and a half, we didn't know where he was or even if he was dead or alive. And during that horrific time, God had our full attention. We stopped praying for Ryan to become straight. We started praying for him to know that God loved him. We stopped praying for him to never have a boyfriend. We started praying that someday we might actually get to know his boyfriend. We even stopped praying for him to come home to us; we only wanted him to come home to God.

    By the time our son called us, after 18 long months of silence, God had completely changed our perspective. Because Ryan had done some pretty terrible things while using drugs, the first thing he asked me was this:

    Do you think you can ever forgive me? (I told him of course, he was already forgiven. He had always been forgiven.)

    Do you think you could ever love me again? (I told him that we had never stopped loving him, not for one second. We loved him then more than we had ever loved him.)

    Do you think you could ever love me with a boyfriend? (Crying, I told him that we could love him with 15 boyfriends. We just wanted him back in our lives. We just wanted to have a relationship with him again... and with his boyfriend.)

    And a new journey was begun, one of healing, restoration, open communication and grace. Lots of grace. And God was present every step of the way, leading and guiding us, gently reminding us simply to love our son and leave the rest up to Him.

    Over the next 10 months, we learned to truly love our son. Period. No buts. No conditions. Just because he breathes. We learned to love whomever our son loved. And it was easy. What I had been so afraid of became a blessing. The journey wasn't without mistakes, but we had grace for each other, and the language of apology and forgiveness became a natural part of our relationship. As our son pursued recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, we pursued him. God taught us how to love him, to rejoice over him, to be proud of the man he was becoming. We were all healing, and most importantly, Ryan began to think that if we could forgive him and love him, then maybe God could, too.

    And then Ryan made the classic mistake of a recovering addict: He got back together with his old friends, his using friends. And one evening that was supposed to simply be a night at the movies turned out to be the first time he had shot up in 10 months -- and the last time. Ryan died on July 16, 2009. And we lost the ability to love our gay son, because we no longer had a gay son. What we had wished for, prayed for, hoped for -- that we would not have a gay son -- came true. But not at all in the way we had envisioned.

    Sadly, this is one of many of such stories.
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    What those people really want is for gays to pretend they're straight, so they aren't worth listening to.
  9. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I did not say that.
  10. Bells Staff Member

    I am dubious that gays shove anything in people's faces. What are they shoving in people's faces that heterosexuals do not shove in people's faces when it comes to their sexuality?

    Kissing in public? Holding hands? Getting married?

    The distinction between the one against the other is what makes it bigotry. While one is deemed not offensive, the other is seen as being offensive, even if it is the exact same behaviour.

    Gay pride parades are no more or less flamboyant than the Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro , for example. Would a homosexual be correct to complain that that "flamboyant" straight parade damaged and hurt them because at some point or other, some of those participating in said parade may or may not have heterosexual sex? The whole argument is a tad ridiculous.

    It is based on an expectation that they simply not be gay and those who argue as such simply show their bigotry.
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Do not get yer shorts in a wad. My reasons are not something I can write in two sentences and I do not always have the time to dedicate to lengthy posts.
  12. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    So you have a different meta-ethical stance than moral objectivism. And?
  13. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    He's correct. That quote should be attributed to everyone's favorite homophobic mopster, wellwisher.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Middle of the Roading

    The problem with this sort of both-sides equivocation is that it is inherently dysfunctional for deliberately ignoring functional reality.

    One side feels functionally oppressed because people want to fire them from their jobs, kick them out of their houses, and deny them access to the public arena, and all for aesthetics.

    The other side feels functionally oppressed if they can't fire people from their jobs, kick them out of their houses, and deny them access to the public arena, all for aesthetics.

    Functionally speaking, these are not the same. Give the one side their due under the law, and everything goes on. Give the other side their desire, and you're institutionalizing bigotry and religious supremacism.

    For instance, I have yet to hear a rational explanation of how a gay marriage in Massachusetts denigrates a heterosexual marriage in Kansas or Arizona.

    Think about Gov. Jan Brewer's position; I may not like her, but I certainly didn't envy the tough spot Arizona Republicans put her in. The advice was likely very simple:

    (1) There is no way this law will stand up in court; we'll lose.

    (2) Meanwhile, the business community is threatening to vote with its dollars and jobs.​

    It's one thing to make a principled stand. It's quite another to make a principled stand in violation of the constitution when you're going to lose, anyway, and the costs of trying will be orders of magnitude larger than just the legal bills. The decision to veto was the easy part. The hard part? Well, right.

    Those two points of logic? A sampling of what they equal:

    "CNN led full court media press to take away rights of Christians. Just the beginning. Using tolerance as weapon against us. Wake up." —John Nolte (Breitbart)

    "Not sure what the GOP stands for when it stands against religious freedom out of pure fear of political correctness." —Ben Shapiro (Breitbart, radio host)

    "Brewer veto shows that poorly informed hysteria works." —Rich Lowry (National Review)

    "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer makes Christians in her state second class citizens." —Todd Starnes (FOX News)

    Whether one likes the bill or not, Brewer's veto was her only path. That is, as executive of Arizona, part of her duty is to not destroy the economy. And risking that destruction on behalf of a law that won't even make it to the Supreme Court is not the sort of thing a responsible politician of any party would do.

    However, look at what that equals.

    Take away the rights of Christians? What right to discriminate, to superior protection under the law, is theirs exclusively? And, yes, tolerance is a weapon against bigotry.

    Against religious freedom for fear of political correctness? I'm sure that sounded better when Mr. Shapiro thought it up, but remember that functionally the religious freedom he is describing is the right to discriminate.

    Poorly informed hysteria? Kirstin Powers hit that one squarely; an excerpt:

    Conservative groups circulated a letter from a group of law professors who support SB 1062 that was supposed to prove that the Arizona law just made some piddling tweaks to the existing state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Backers of the bill pretended that these were the only legal experts in America who have a view on the law. Anyone who disagreed with their interpretation was—in the words of these professors—“egregiously misrepresenting the law.” Ross Douthat wrote in The New York Times that the media coverage of the bill was “mendacious” and “hysterical.” Linking to the professors’ letter, he claimed critics of the bill “have no familiarity with the legal issues.” Never mind that several legal groups, including the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League, have blasted the Arizona bill.

    So what exactly did the professors say? They wrote, “SB 1062 does not say that businesses can discriminate for religious reasons. The proposed amendments provided a defense for a business owner or allowed a business owner to file a lawsuit to enforce RFRA protection.” So, by their own account, the bill gives a business owner who has discriminated against someone based on religious belief a legal defense that they previously did not have. This is exactly what critics of the bill are protesting. (The professors also expressed disapproval of the Kansas right-to-discriminate bill, but conservatives seem to believe these professors are only the last word on the Arizona law. Not so for Kansas.)

    In this case, "poorly informed hysteria" means, "People informed themselves and disagreed with us."

    Second class citizens? Can someone tell me, please, how equality makes one a second-class citizen? Or explain how one is unfairly deprived by not having the right to make other people second-class citizens?

    I know there is a peacemaking temptation toward vapid both-sides equivocation, but one serves nothing good by trying to erase the actual functional aspects of a situation from consideration.


    Huffington Post. "Conservative Pundits Lose It Over Veto Of Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill". February 27, 2014. March 3, 2014.

    Powers, Kirsten. "Are Opponents of Arizona's Anti-Gay Law Eager to Deceive?" The Daily Beast. March 3, 2014. March 3, 2014.
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

    We'll see.
  16. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    You misunderstand. "Right for me" as in my own judgement of what is right (in a meta-ethical moral objectivist sense), not as some personal preference.

    Nothing necessitates moral objectivism leading to discrimination or abuse.

    No, I have already said that I knowingly judge others through the filter of what I consider right and wrong. Knowing that, I can, if I so choose, monitor how I react to others.

    And you are currently judging me by "your own personal beliefs and morals", often to the extent of seemingly demonizing me wholesale (you know, "judging in a very negative manner"). How is that any better/different? Yes, I understand you think it is right, just as I think my own moral judgement is right. And?

    So you did understand when I said "right for me" after all, huh?

    Not always equally.
    Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States. -

    So abdication of any moral judgement?

    Nope, only you in your own fiction.

    1. To characterize or brand as disgraceful or ignominious.​

    Where I have repeatedly said that one behavior being considered wrong does not infer anything about the person in general. Can you not dislike something someone does without disliking the person? I dislike heavy drinking, but I have friends who do so, but are otherwise great people with many other virtues. Where is the outrage about stigmatizing other behaviors typically condemned?

    "Less human"? Those are your words, not mine.
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nothing; that's the point.

    Comedy Central recently did a spoof on a right winger who moved to the Castro District in San Francisco. He became offended by the homosexuality "shoved in his face." (Sex stores nearby etc.) At one point the interviewer said "This man has a message for all the gays out there. He's here. He's not queer. It's not . . . really . . . clear why he's here." He could, of course, ignore things like the sex store - but he went out of his way to find it and be offended.

    Anyone can do that, whether the offending thing is the gay sex store or the Westboro Baptists. They can ignore it or they can decide to become offended.
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    There is no rational explanation. Nor is there a rational explanation how a Westboro idiot with a sign denigrates anything in your life.

    I imagine the Westboro Baptists offend you. That's fine. Your tolerance of them is necessary if you want things that are offensive to OTHER people to be tolerated. That's part of living in a society that values free speech. Doesn't mean they are right and doesn't mean they get an inch of slack if they lay a hand on a gay soldier. It does mean you have to put up with their idiotic ideas, if you choose to seek them out.
  19. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member


    What the what?

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  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Being in your face about something society says you should keep hidden and repressed and be ashamed of is simply living it out in public just as heterosexuals do everyday. Holding hands. Kissing. Talking about your soulmate. Having a pride festival and parade. Having a candlelight dinner with your lover at a restaurant. All those "offensive" things that just royally piss homophobes off.
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Seriously? People carrying signs saying I'm a beast, a faggot and that God hates me and will send me to hell doesn't denigrate me or anything in my life? Yes it does. OTOH, my wearing a gay rainbow T-shirt or marching in a gay pride parade or holding hands with my soulmate doesn't denigrate anybody. The two are in no way comparable.
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

    There are many factors which contribute to that unfortunate statistic, not the least of which being the negative stigma attached to homosexuality. In any case, it's certainly not the gayness of men that makes HIV so prevalent among their numbers.

    Not surprising that you'd choose to bring this up, of course.
  23. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member


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