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Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


25 posted 02-26-2007 07:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Though to completely divorce morality from the arena of legislation, seems quite arbitrary on your part.  We are moral beings in all arenas of thought, to some degree.  Just a casual reading of the writings of certain leaders of the past (who were involved in changing and establishing certain laws) reveals that morality wasn't divorced from the conversation.

That's true, Stephen, only insofar as morality and logic inevitably overlap. I can abstain from killing my neighbor's kids (despite great provocation!) because God will punish me if I take a life, or I can abstain because I want my neighbor to abstain from killing me. The result is the same. And yes, in the past many leaders have appealed to morality in trying to codify logic and, sadly, many leaders have even managed to legislate morality when it never should have been.

The problem with an appeal to morality is that it's a moving target. We don't all share the same moral imperatives. We do, however, all share the same reason and, ultimately, the same desires for safety and security. Those should be the province of human law.

You don't have to eat meat on Friday, you don't have to worship a cow, you don't have to be circumcised, and you don't have to fall in love with someone of your same gender. Be glad you have those freedoms, Stephen, that someone hasn't previously legislated their morals into laws, and allow everyone else to enjoy the same freedoms.

That's not relativism, Stephen, and it's not morality. That's simple, tit-for-tat logic.

quote:
What's missing, either in fact or in the headlines, is a dialogue between interested parties that weighs the pros and cons of both proposals and seeks a mutually agreeable compromise.

Compromise is good, Jim. What say we give all the heterosexuals the benefits of legally binding contracts and give the homosexuals the benefits of existing marriage laws?

That seems only fair since the heterosexuals have already had their turn at the marriage route and seemingly not done too well by it. Look at spousal abuse. At teenage marriages. At divorce rates. At single-parent families. It's honestly hard to see how homosexual marriage could have a greater negative impact on society than heterosexual marriage has had in the past few hundred years. I think two men who love each other and want to care for each other the rest of their lives without artificial legal impediments is a lot more healthy for society than celebrities like Liz Taylor, married eight times, or Anna Nicole Smith, the 26-year-old who married a man 89 years old. Maybe the homosexual will, indeed, make a mess of it. They'll sure be in good company if they do.

quote:
Jim: He would certainly know I disapprove of his behavior ...


quote:
Stephen: There are significant difference between variances of race, and variances of behavior.

That's the whole problem in a nutshell.

You and others see homosexuality as a behavior and it's not. While homosexuality and heterosexuality can both lead to behaviors (and not dissimilar behaviors, at that) neither of them, nor race, can be described as behaviors. They are a state of being, states that were thrust upon man by God and never chosen. Jesse Jackson didn't choose to be born black, just as neither of you suddenly hit puberty and made a free will decision to be heterosexual. It's biology, not morality. It's being, not behaving.

(And, no, there's no scientific proof yet. Just as there's no scientific proof that heterosexuality is "normal." But, there's also no valid argument to treat the two states of being differently. Either both are learned responses or both are innate and natural. Logically, you can't have it both ways.

The scientific proof will eventually surface. One would hope we don't have to wait for it to do the right thing.)
rwood
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since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


26 posted 02-26-2007 10:23 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
The problem is, when the opposition of something, is automatically ascribed to fear.  It's not really a psychological diagnosis as much as it is a way to end discussion.


I appreciate the fact that you're willing to discuss homosexuality, civilly and respectfully, and I agree. When trying to discuss the topic people do get on edge, both ways, and it's not right. Nothing of any good comes when there's hateful contention and accusations that are misapplied.


quote:
What's missing, either in fact or in the headlines, is a dialogue between interested parties that weighs the pros and cons of both proposals and seeks a mutually agreeable compromise.


Again, I think proper dialogue is most important, but people don't want to listen, let alone talk very much at all about the topic of homosexuality. They either have an opinion already formed and they're stickin' to it, or they avoid the issues altogether, on both sides.

Ron had a lot of great things to say, especially about marriage. We really don't have a right to say heterosexual couples are more appropriately paired for marriage or more deserving of a holy sanctification because marriage is a holy mess in America.

And I believe Ron is also right about homosexuality being a state of being, not a behavior. Perhaps that's not all encompassing for every single person, but I've never considered my personal choice of mate a behavior. If so, I need to be severely punished for choosing wrongly and I need to be deprogrammed from ever desiring to have another male mate again. Perhaps a cattle-prod shock for every time I think of a male as interesting, smart, or too much fun to be around might do the trick. Nah. I'd still find myself appreciating them for something that I probably shouldn't.   God forbid I find them important to me!

When studying how we all got here, it's amazing the way that the presence of the SRY gene turns the embryo into a male. Timing is everything. Precision is a must. What if something goes wrong? There could be something missing/added with the other 330 genes on the Y chromosome, or the 2,062 genes of the X, and things just aren't what we think they should be, at birth? Things happen, hence hermaphrodites.

Wouldn't it be awful if science proves that a homosexuals are biologically human, created just like the rest of us? Will we feel guilty for how we've treated them? Or will we abort them because of our religious beliefs, uh oh.

I choose to treat ALL others the way I want to be treated. It's a good policy. It helps to ensure me that I won't feel like a complete idiot when smart people do their homework and produce something I never considered because I was too closed minded or too busy with my happy little life.


Edward Grim
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since 12-18-2005
Posts 1112
Greenville, South Carolina


27 posted 02-27-2007 12:04 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

"Sorry, but if Edward or anyone else wants to simply express an opinion, they should write it on a piece of paper and stick it in a desk drawer."

That's an odd thing to say in a discussion forum based entirely on people's opinions.

"This forum, however, is for discussion, and not everyone is going to agree with your opinions."

Well obviously I posted it to discuss it without hostility. Your first reply was very belittling and condescending and I found your tone contemptible. Ron, I speak the way I do, not out of laziness as you so freely classify it as, but rather because that is how I speak. I am very laid back in how I talk, that's just how it is. You need to stop thinking of yourself as so high and mighty and degrade anybody that doesn't speak with a golden tongue.

And Ron I don't want to relegate you, not in any way, shape or form. But when you treat me like that, I won't lay down like your little bi... dog and just take it. Understand? Do you understand? Probably not. Learn how to treat people man, then they might listen to what you have to say. That is advice, take it or leave it.

"Especially when you use the podium here to attack other people."

Who did I attack Ron? Actually, it is you who attacked me.

"These kind of hate crimes happen often enough that one was bound to coincide with Edward's little rant"

You have completely distorted my entire post into something hateful and ridiculous. First off, it wasn't a rant. (And even if it was a rant, this forum says to rant if desired) Second of all, where the hell did you get hate? You're twisting my words to better suit your own rant Ron, your rant. I said I don't really care one way or the other about gay people's lives, this has nothing to do with them; it is the gay rights groups that I found to be questionable. (Example, I love Germans but didn't like the Nazis) Their tactics to make people agree with them and their hostile attitudes towards anyone that doesn't "go along" with them isn’t something I agree with. Sound familiar? I'm sure it does. You have chastised me and affronted me for having an opinion different from your own and I lashed back because that's what I do. I don't take crap from anybody anymore.

"our opinions aren't really all that important"

There is where you're wrong; I mean you're wrong in a hundred other places but here especially. How can a human being say that? Guess what? My opinion does matter. My opinion is important, so is yours, so is the opinion of homeless person on the damn street! Everyone's thoughts mean something, maybe not to cynics like you but they do to me. So when you start clawing at me for my opinions then I have a problem with you. It is sad to think that someone believes  "our opinions aren't really all that important.” Maybe you should rephrase that; your opinion, in your mind is golden and correct. Everyone else can screw themselves because if they don’t match up to what you think then their opinions aren't really all that important.

"the leaders of the KKK say pretty much the same thing"

You've proved my point. Simply because I don't agree with someone's ideology you find it appropriate to compare me to the KKK. That doesn't seem right to me. In fact, that’s pretty warped in my mind.

And for the last time, you all are posting about what if my kid was gay or this person was gay and gay marriage ect. This post wasn't about gay people. It's about how the rights group conduct themselves and how they treat someone who doesn't agree with them. It's interesting how I was received when I posted this, because it’s about how one is treated for having a difference of opinion and look at how it turned out. Very interesting.

The fact is; I’m tired of this. It was fun while it lasted (well, not this post, arigato Ronnie) but this type of posting isn’t meaningful anymore. It’s petty and demeaning. I suppose it reflects the world we live in today, a world that isn’t tolerant towards individuals. Perhaps Ron, you’re right about how our opinions aren't important. I’ll just say that I’ll spend my entire life proving to myself that my opinion is as important as any “celebrity” and that every human’s opinion is important. Maybe if more people stood up for their beliefs, our country wouldn’t be in the state it is now. I do find it sad that gay people are treated poorly; I find it sad that any person is treated badly for how they think and live. It’s a sad day when freedom of thought is diluted and weakened, when just being a person isn’t enough to respect someone else. Respect is earned Ron, and you had my respect but not so much anymore. You guys say that my speech is “a wasteland of fog”, “inept, “dense” and “lazy”… well I find myself ok with that. Obviously, my mind is too cluttered to be understood on this forum; it’s all right by me, I’m fine going out as an oddity.

Danke for the sparring match, but I’ll just let the bell go off and step out of the ring. I’ll let you guys continue to punch yourselves while I’m gone.

Sayonara, peace out and all that jazz…

Head Cheese & Chicken Feet

Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
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Statesboro, GA, USA


28 posted 02-27-2007 12:51 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
We do, however, all share the same reason and, ultimately, the same desires for safety and security. Those should be the province of human law.


Again, some feel that sanctioning homosexual marriage would be detrimental to safety and security.  Which brings me back to the point you never addressed, which is the fact that the subjectivity you ascribe to morals can be just as easily applied to ideas of "security and safety".


And even underlying "security and safety" is a moral concept.  You've pretty much told me that it is a wrong thing to impose on the "rights" of others, and to deprive them of safety and security.  I just wish you would stop pretending your own ideas about law are not eaten-up with moral concern, and eulogizing them by describing them as "pure reason".  It makes you appear the detached and cooly objective logician, and others crippled by moral prejudices.  


It's still a question of whose moral stance will be legally expressed ... not which will win out, morals or reason.


quote:
You don't have to eat meat on Friday, you don't have to worship a cow, you don't have to be circumcised, and you don't have to fall in love with someone of your same gender. Be glad you have those freedoms, Stephen, that someone hasn't previously legislated their morals into laws, and allow everyone else to enjoy the same freedoms


I'm also glad that someone's moral ideas have been legislated into law, since the idea that people ought to have certain freedoms is a morally charged idea.  Sure it's a practical one too, but you're the one divorcing morality and pragmatism, not me.


The fact that homosexual marriage has not been recognized thus far IS a moral expression in the form of law.  That doesn't mean that there are no good reasons alongside the moral aspect.  They are no trifles which have led society to recognize that heterosexual marriage is sacred and uniquely beneficial to society.  The simple fact that homosexuals cannot procreate (by design) ought to give us sufficient pause, in rashly changing the laws.  The fact that many scientists and medical professionals (up until recently, though political correctness) have viewed homosexuality as aberrant and harmful, ought to give us pause.  


quote:
That's simple, tit-for-tat logic.


I grant you it's tit for tat.  I'm not so sure about the logic part.    


quote:
Compromise is good, Jim. What say we give all the heterosexuals the benefits of legally binding contracts and give the homosexuals the benefits of existing marriage laws?


You should re-read Jim's quote.  He stated what you are proposing as one of the extreme polar positions which typically don't provide compelling reasons.  Compromise means "meet in the middle", not "accept my side".


quote:
That seems only fair since the heterosexuals have already had their turn at the marriage route and seemingly not done too well by it. Look at spousal abuse. At teenage marriages. At divorce rates. At single-parent families. It's honestly hard to see how homosexual marriage could have a greater negative impact on society than heterosexual marriage has had in the past few hundred years.



The primary causes for the failure of marriages is because of greed, selfishness, or irresponsibility in one or more of the partners.  But pointing out bad examples of something, doesn't provide a sufficient reason to change it entirely.  The call should be for more education and pre-marital counselling, ... furher measures and resolve to repair what is broken.  An overall turning from Christian morality is what has caused scores of marriages disintigrate in the first place.  Adding a futher deviance and parody of marriage alongside the real thing (however ailing) will not help the situation.


quote:
That's the whole problem in a nutshell.  You and others see homosexuality as a behavior and it's not.


You'd better re-consult your nutshell on this one Ron.     I mentioned that it was a behavior, but never denied that it was much more than an action.  There are many other behavioral problems that are not simply chosen; Yet that doesn't obligate us to view them as okay.  Child molesters do not "decide" to become child molesters either ... at least not in the instantaneous fashion that we think of when we think of choices.  Murderers?  Same thing.  Rapists?  Same thing.  I'm not even bringing these up as comparisons.  I'm bringing them up to show you that your point is without validity if there is even ONE behavioral problem that is not chosen (in the popular usage of the word), and also not accepted as okay.


quote:
They are a state of being, states that were thrust upon man by God and never chosen.


I guess that could be used for any condition of being ... literally any.  And if you want to misuse the divine name to justify whatever, on the basis that he has allowed it to exist, I suppose you can, from cleptomania to overeating.  The only thing is, the theological data you tend to view as inspired, states that homosexuality is sin and a form of moral deviance.  

(Before you get upset ... You brought God into this one).  


quote:
Jesse Jackson didn't choose to be born black
  

Not only didn't he choose, but his will was completely out of the picture.  Not so with homosexuality, and a host of other behavioral issues in society.

quote:
It's biology, not morality.


To what degree (or whether) this is true has not been proven with science.

quote:
(And, no, there's no scientific proof yet ...

The scientific proof will eventually surface.


Seems more like an article of faith.

quote:
One would hope we don't have to wait for it to do the right thing.


Ah ... it's a morality thing after all.  Your concession is refreshing.



rwood:
quote:
Wouldn't it be awful if science proves that a homosexuals are biologically human, created just like the rest of us? Will we feel guilty for how we've treated them? Or will we abort them because of our religious beliefs, uh oh.


But this is conjecture.  Science has not proven it.  

quote:
I choose to treat ALL others the way I want to be treated. It's a good policy. It helps to ensure me that I won't feel like a complete idiot when smart people do their homework and produce something I never considered because I was too closed minded or too busy with my happy little life.


This has nothing to do with personal treatment of homosexuals, but whether or not legislation will change concerning the issue of marriage.  And when it comes to legislation, I doubt that you would want everyone treated the same on every issue.  Shouldn't young people be able to draw social security now?  Shouldn't adult men be able to become girl scouts?  See my point?


Stephen.
          
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


29 posted 02-27-2007 01:18 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stephen,

Have you been reading Derrida?

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


30 posted 02-27-2007 01:47 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I guess I just try to hold feet to their own "fire".

rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


31 posted 02-27-2007 08:48 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
This has nothing to do with personal treatment of homosexuals, but whether or not legislation will change concerning the issue of marriage.  And when it comes to legislation, I doubt that you would want everyone treated the same on every issue.  Shouldn't young people be able to draw social security now?  Shouldn't adult men be able to become girl scouts?  See my point?"



Laugh. Gosh Stephen, great visuals. I get your point. Regardless of ruling, I've never felt like legislature should adhere to my ideals. That's crazy. The first thing I'd enact would be mandatory Marital Boot Camp for ANYONE interested in obtaining a marriage certificate. Drop and give me 20 dollars to get my hair done! Pre-Spouse School? Joking here, but hey? Stranger things have been enacted.

Everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone deserves fair treatment, while posing whatever it is before troop leaders, Law, and God. Whether it's what's in their hearts, or what's in their futures of pursing and living the same "dream" each of us tend to value on a level that legislature can't legislate. They can only provide a basis that is fair, but not always just, and democratic but not always equal.

God isn't scientifically proven to exist either, but I FEEL there's a God and I'm trying to apply something that makes sense to me in this world.

"Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."


There are so many levels of issues it's hard to address anything for fear of seeming trivial and stupid. But there are some issues that I think deal with comfort zones and have nothing really to do with prejudice, discrimination, or bigotry. But because everyone is so on edge, these issues get tossed aside as unimportant.

Some things are landing on the table for discussion by way of exposure, for instance in high school. Teens are practicing what they feel are their freedoms, and some are upset, uncomfortable, “weirded out” when they go to the girl’s restroom and find two girls making-out. When asked if it would bother them if they accidentally found a boy/girl, they had a point. “Yes! Boys aren’t allowed in the girl’s bathroom.” They just wanted to go to the bathroom and not be exposed to ANY sexuality. But if they told? They’d be labeled as gay-bashers by the now growing population of openly gay students.

One teen went to a department store, found some jeans, wanted to try them on. The sales clerk who helped her was male. When she went to try them on, he made her feel uncomfortable by being too friendly in a female fashion. He pulled the back of the jeans away from her back and said she needed a smaller size, fetched it for her, knocked on the door to hand them to her, and she found she was embarrassed and afraid to open the door because he was there. She said, “I’m sorry, could you please get the other clerk?” --who was female. The male says to her, “It’s just us “girls” here, and I’m not giving my sale to another clerk.” She dressed and left in complete shame. She was 14 years old and had no idea how to handle herself or the situation.

An elderly woman worked in lingerie as a sales clerk in a large dept. store. A man in a dress approaches her to be sized for a bra. She handled it the best way she knew how, by sizing the man the same way she would any woman. She treated him with complete respect, but she kept trying to address him with “Yes, Ma’am, or Yes, Sir.” but wasn’t sure what to do or say and became stressed about it, wanting to get it right. He mistook her stress as being negative towards him and he threw the bra down in the floor and called her a “crotchety old woman with no sense.” She cried when he left and told me “You know he was right. Nothing makes sense anymore so I guess I’m just too old to even try.”

How does anyone feel about these examples or some of your own? We can all say what we'd do in those situations, but that doesn't erase anything for those people who are trying and struggling.



jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


32 posted 02-27-2007 12:29 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron:

quote:
You and others see homosexuality as a behavior and it's not. While homosexuality and heterosexuality can both lead to behaviors (and not dissimilar behaviors, at that) neither of them, nor race, can be described as behaviors.


Nice try, Ron, but I think I have the upper hand on this one.  Homosexual desire and acting on that desire are both "behaviors".  But I suppose there are still a few cognitive theorists out there who, against the evidence, throw "internal states" at behaviorists as if it is a victory cry.  The simple truth is that, while internal states exist, they are not observable.  Science is about the observable, right?  Any response to a stimulus that is occasioned by reinforcement(either positive or negative) is operant behavior. Thus, both homosexual desire and acting on that desire are behavior by definition.  And even desire is measurable these days.

Desire can be changed and acting on impulses can be changed (albeit, the former tends to be more challenging than the latter).  This would seem to challenge your point that homosexuality is a "state of being."  If the desire and resulting acting on that desire are extinguished, does that mean the homosexual ceases to be?  Race, in contrast, is not something that can be behaviorally modified.  I honestly don't know how you can logically connect the two.

As to your proposed compromise, I might be inclined to propose that the jurisdiction to declare a couple married be returned to religious institutions where it was until the late 1800s.  If couples want their partnership to be legally recognized, enable couples of either persuasion to seek state-recognized covenantal or contractual unions that enable them to file joint tax returns (and thus pay the "contractual union tax") and qualify for Section 125 Cafeteria Plan benefits plans for their dependents.

As for "normal," how can science give us any qualitative standards?  If science identifies genetic markers for alcohol dependency, does this make it "normal"?  These answers you are anticipating will not silence the debate about homosexuality.  They will spark new debates.

Jim
jbouder
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33 posted 02-27-2007 12:38 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

rwood:

Sorry that I missed this one.

quote:
Again, I think proper dialogue is most important, but people don't want to listen, let alone talk very much at all about the topic of homosexuality. They either have an opinion already formed and they're stickin' to it, or they avoid the issues altogether, on both sides.


I suppose it takes people who are willing to prompt people outside of their comfort zones in a way that doesn't cause them to slam the storm shutters down on you.  I believe it is possible to get most people to talk about difficult issues if it is done in the right way.

Besides that, I'm one of the most stubborn and hard-headed people I know, and my "etched in stone" views on any number of subjects has evolved over the years (yes, I am aware of the apparent tautology of "stubborn" and "hard-headed," but if you knew me better, you'd know that the repetition is far from "needless").

Jim
Brad
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34 posted 02-27-2007 06:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

To me, it still comes down to this:

quote:
Well obviously I posted it to discuss it without hostility. Your first reply was very belittling and condescending and I found your tone contemptible. Ron, I speak the way I do, not out of laziness as you so freely classify it as, but rather because that is how I speak. I am very laid back in how I talk, that's just how it is.


Replace 'I' with appropriate variations on 'as a gay person,I', hypothetical or otherwise, and what happens? For better or worse, Ed has taken Ron's specific criticisms personally and the PC police have run to defend Ed, not Ron.  Why?

We can talk all we want about what 'behavior' or 'harm' mean, we can discuss all we want what is better for society, but gayness and 'lazy' writing are tied up with a person's identity. That means, however you put it, that they are going to be hurt, that they are going to feel 'dissed' when someone criticizes, aren't they?

In retrospect, it seems clear that this was going to happen. Ed's first post should have been a clear sign that this post was never really about 'being gay' or even his feelings about being gay, but only about his feelings:

quote:
And Ron I don't want to relegate you, not in any way, shape or form. But when you treat me like that, I won't lay down like your little bi... dog and just take it. Understand? Do you understand? Probably not. Learn how to treat people man, then they might listen to what you have to say. That is advice, take it or leave it.


I didn't see it, but I should have.

Oh, and one final point:

quote:
You have completely distorted my entire post into something hateful and ridiculous. First off, it wasn't a rant. (And even if it was a rant, this forum says to rant if desired) Second of all, where the hell did you get hate? You're twisting my words to better suit your own rant Ron, your rant. I said I don't really care one way or the other about gay people's lives, this has nothing to do with them; it is the gay rights groups that I found to be questionable. (Example, I love Germans but didn't like the Nazis) Their tactics to make people agree with them and their hostile attitudes towards anyone that doesn't "go along" with them isn’t something I agree with. Sound familiar? I'm sure it does. You have chastised me and affronted me for having an opinion different from your own and I lashed back because that's what I do. I don't take crap from anybody anymore.


Whether or not this is what he initially meant is beside the point (I think, again in retrospect, that this would be a fall- back position, a safety net, though I'm not sure that that was ever consciously decided upon), it's still the position that Ron consciously stated:

You can do and think what you want unless it harms someone else.

This is our fallback position, all of us.

Anything else is an extremist position:

"the leaders of the KKK say pretty much the same thing"

"...it is the gay rights groups that I found to be questionable. (Example, I love Germans but didn't like the Nazis)"

Stephen and Jim,

You gotta problem with that?

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
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35 posted 02-27-2007 10:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Which brings me back to the point you never addressed, which is the fact that the subjectivity you ascribe to morals can be just as easily applied to ideas of "security and safety".

Perhaps everything really is somewhat subjective, Stephen, but the idea is to at least limit subjectivity even where we can't eliminate it.

Go to any country, any culture, any religion, and most people are going to have very similar ideas about what constitutes security and safety. As I said in another thread, pain is pervasive. Morality, especially when it deviates from pain, is considerably less so.

Here's, perhaps, a different way of looking at it. If it's done TO me then I have a say, either nay or aye. If it's done to yourself or another willing adult, it ain't none of my business. (And, yes, that's going to include some few things that are currently illegal in this country. As you are quick to point out, we haven't escaped morality as much as I'd like. )

quote:
The simple fact that homosexuals cannot procreate (by design) ought to give us sufficient pause, in rashly changing the laws. The fact that many scientists and medical professionals (up until recently, though political correctness) have viewed homosexuality as aberrant and harmful, ought to give us pause.

I'd say, we've been paused quite long enough, Stephen.

If you want to make procreation a stipulation of marriage then, by all means, argue that. If you want to make lack of harm a stipulation of marriage, go for it. Neither, however, are unique to a person's sexual preference and neither should be gratuitously tied to homosexuality.

quote:
The primary causes for the failure of marriages is because of greed, selfishness, or irresponsibility in one or more of the partners. But pointing out bad examples of something, doesn't provide a sufficient reason to change it entirely.

No, Stephen, it doesn't. Nor was that ever my intent.

I think it does, however, bring into question the oft claimed sanctity of civil marriage.

quote:
There are many other behavioral problems that are not simply chosen; Yet that doesn't obligate us to view them as okay. Child molesters do not "decide" to become child molesters either ... at least not in the instantaneous fashion that we think of when we think of choices. Murderers? Same thing. Rapists? Same thing.

Three quick points:

First, I would seriously question whether child molesters, murderers, or rapists are born or nurtured. Second, I would question whether any of us aren't child molesters, murders, and rapists. (And, yes, I recognize the contradiction.)

Mostly, though, I'll simply point out that we're not talking about behaviors, we're talking about innocent behaviors that in and of themselves harm no one. Eating is a behavior, too, Stephen, and one that's darn hard to eliminate. Except in rare instances (like Jeffrey Dahmer), we don't try to legislate it.

Molestation, murder and rape hurt people. Loving someone, even someone of the same gender, hurts no one.

quote:
The only thing is, the theological data you tend to view as inspired, states that homosexuality is sin and a form of moral deviance.

(Before you get upset ... You brought God into this one).

Not the way I interpret it, Stephen.

(And, of course, I'm not upset. We've had that discussion, be we can always have it again.)

quote:
Not only didn't he (Jesse Jackson) choose, but his will was completely out of the picture. Not so with homosexuality, and a host of other behavioral issues in society.

But that's exactly my contention, Stephen. Jackson didn't choose to be black, but he did choose to acknowledge his race and act accordingly. We just don't call that a behavioral issue today, though it wasn't too many years ago that many still did.

In my opinion, it's exactly the same today with homosexuality. The homosexual has no choice in his or her being, any more than you or I do as heterosexuals. We are what we are, regardless of how we choose to act. You could take a vow of chastity or even take to dating other men, but those choices aren't going to change your innate heterosexuality.

You are what you are. It is only what you choose to do with it that determines behavior.

quote:
This has nothing to do with personal treatment of homosexuals, but whether or not legislation will change concerning the issue of marriage. And when it comes to legislation, I doubt that you would want everyone treated the same on every issue. Shouldn't young people be able to draw social security now? Shouldn't adult men be able to become girl scouts? See my point?

LOL. Actually, Stephen, children DO draw Social Security.

Your other analogy is a better one, though, because the correct answer shouldn't come from either you or I. That's a decision for the Girl Scouts, not one that should be legislated by society.

More importantly, and to answer your greater question, YES, I absolutely would want everyone treated the same on every issue -- so long as it doesn't result in harm to anyone. That's the key that keeps getting dropped.

quote:
Nice try, Ron, but I think I have the upper hand on this one. Homosexual desire and acting on that desire are both "behaviors". But I suppose there are still a few cognitive theorists out there who, against the evidence, throw "internal states" at behaviorists as if it is a victory cry. The simple truth is that, while internal states exist, they are not observable. Science is about the observable, right? Any response to a stimulus that is occasioned by reinforcement (either positive or negative) is operant behavior. Thus, both homosexual desire and acting on that desire are behavior by definition. And even desire is measurable these days.

You make strong arguments, Jim. Strong, but not necessarily convincing.

quote:
This would seem to challenge your point that homosexuality is a "state of being." If the desire and resulting acting on that desire are extinguished, does that mean the homosexual ceases to be?

Two points:

First, Jim, I think you put much more faith in behavior modification than is probably warranted. Extinguished? I think there's a very good reason why you may meet a recovering alcoholic, but never a former alcoholic. You might convince a person to believe they have changed sexual preference, but in the absence of continued reinforcement that belief is going to be transitory. They -- and their behaviors -- are going to revert right back to their "state of being."

Second, all of your arguments apply just as much to heterosexuals as to homosexuals. You're essentially arguing that sexuality itself is not a state of being, but rather a learned behavior. To some extant, I think that's probably true -- which is exactly why there are so many shadows obscuring any real truth -- but it's also impossible to ignore the physical manifestations of puberty and sexuality. Personally, I think you can turn either a heterosexual or homosexual into a bisexual but the base sexuality is hard-wired into the body long before birth.

I don't believe any amount of behavior modification, or castration, or hormone injections could ever make me into something other than what I am. At best, those attempts would only change my behavior and -- not incidentally -- my well being.

quote:
As to your proposed compromise, I might be inclined to propose that the jurisdiction to declare a couple married be returned to religious institutions where it was until the late 1800s. If couples want their partnership to be legally recognized, enable couples of either persuasion to seek state-recognized covenantal or contractual unions that enable them to file joint tax returns (and thus pay the "contractual union tax") and qualify for Section 125 Cafeteria Plan benefits plans for their dependents.

Personally, I think that's a good compromise, Jim. Unfortunately, I don't think it's tenable because you're essentially saying that non-religious people can no longer get married. Language still holds power, I think, and denying people the use of words like married, wife, husband, and ball-and-chain (oops, just kidding) is never going to fly. And if you don't take away those words, you have exactly the same situation we have today -- complete confusion over what is and isn't marriage.

I think, much as you do I suspect, that a line has to be drawn between religious marriage and secular marriage. They are not and never have been the same thing, but unfortunately they often overlap, and that overlap is killing us. There are many, many different religions (including the lack of one), but there has to be only a single State. The latter cannot be made to adhere to the former. That's impossible in anything short of a theocracy, which I trust none of us are advocating.

Even within the same faith, we often don't agree. The same Bible that seemingly refuses to let two men marry also seemingly refuses to let a man and woman marry more than once in their lives. Why do we legislate one and not the other? In part, it's simple numbers. Majority rules. But also in part, I think, it's a matter of pragmatism.

Some things simply can't be stopped, so must be accepted and at least partially controlled. Love, whether between homosexual or heterosexual, seems to be one of those things.

quote:
We can talk all we want about what 'behavior' or 'harm' mean, we can discuss all we want what is better for society, but gayness and 'lazy' writing are tied up with a person's identity. That means, however you put it, that they are going to be hurt, that they are going to feel 'dissed' when someone criticizes, aren't they?

I don't think so, Brad. At least not necessarily.

Whether it's part of a person's identity or not, whether it's inherent or chosen, I suspect most people feel dissed when someone criticizes . . . anything about them. It's human nature.

I'd like to think, however, that what I said to Ed in this thread is pretty much what you and others might have said had he posted a poem of similar carelessness in Critical Analysis. I attacked what he said and how he said it, not who he is. I was probably harsher than is my wont, and almost certainly harsher than necessary, but that's in small part because Edward has made a habit of snidely attacking other Members and in large part because this post was a direct attack on a two different groups of people, the gay and the people what stand up for the gay. Carelessness while learning should be corrected and tolerated. Carelessness as a weapon must be denounced and never tolerated.

Initially, I almost pulled Edward's post as an infringement of our Guidelines. The connection was at best nebulous, however, and I thought he deserved a chance to instead learn where he has continuously gone wrong in our Discussion forums. Based on his earlier conversations with LR, Essorant and others, I'm not surprised he chose a different course.

Interestingly, and not coincidentally, Edward reminds me a little of one of our Moderators circa 1999. And my posted reactions then were much the same as now. I'll let others speculate who that might be, except to quickly add that I'm very proud and happy with all of our Moderators. There's hope for everyone.


serenity blaze
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36 posted 02-27-2007 10:51 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Such a ruckus.

I'm always amazed too. Every single time.

I'm pretty much convinced that I could um, "go" either way--but I was married yesterday, and I am still married today and more than likely, as lazy as I am, I will be married tomorrow. OH.

To a man.

It just turned out that way--I didn't plan it.

But I must confess--I am quite infatuated with another at the moment.

It matters not to me if she is a he or she is a she--
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKZFxW4pvIo

I mean, one really never knows--either way, and I don't believe I have ever envied a shark before.

and "the line forms on the right, babe"

*laughing*

I hope you all find peace, truly I do.

It's a wonderful world.
jbouder
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37 posted 02-28-2007 11:06 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron:

quote:
You make strong arguments, Jim. Strong, but not necessarily convincing.
.

Hmmm.  Maybe I need a catchy slogan like, "Behaviorists rule, cognitivists drool!"

quote:
First, Jim, I think you put much more faith in behavior modification than is probably warranted.


Maybe I do.  But then again, I think I probably practice applied behavioral science more than just about anyone "here" at this forum.  I've seen strategies based on this paradigm dramatically change behavior, encourage the acquisition of critical skills, and promote learning at a faster rate than any other psychological method I've seen.  I've also seen the newly acquired, contextually appropriate and desirable behaviors maintained over a long period of time.

quote:
think there's a very good reason why you may meet a recovering alcoholic, but never a former alcoholic.


For some, I think this is popular semantics.  My grandmother used to abuse alcohol.  My grandmother no longer abuses alcohol.  Is she recovering or recovered?  Do we define alcoholism by an immeasurable "internal state" or by one's behavior?

quote:
You might convince a person to believe they have changed sexual preference, but in the absence of continued reinforcement that belief is going to be transitory. They -- and their behaviors -- are going to revert right back to their "state of being."


In the absence of continued reinforcement, all behavior is transitory.  As far as your comment regarding their "state of being" is concerned, are you assuming that the behavior is not significantly influenced by pared reinforcement at some point in the person's life?

And of course what I've been writing applies as much to heterosexuals as it does homosexuals.  As far as changing one way or another having benefits (or not) to one's well being, I guess that depends on the person.  Heterosexuals can engage in self-destructive sexual behavior just as easily as homosexuals (and probably do more often, if based on head count).  But I'm not sure I put as much stake in biological determinism as you do.

As far as my "compromise proposal" goes, at least it's a start.

Brad:

quote:
Stephen and Jim,

You gotta problem with that?


No, Brad.  I have no problem with your artful dodge of much of the discussion. But I suppose that behavior is "tied up in you identity" ... so it must be okay.  

Jim

Ron
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quote:
My grandmother used to abuse alcohol.  My grandmother no longer abuses alcohol.  Is she recovering or recovered?  Do we define alcoholism by an immeasurable "internal state" or by one's behavior?

As coincidence would have it, Jim, my grandmother used to pass out from time to time. She started a regimen of insulin injections and stopped passing out. Was she recovering or recovered? Do we define diabetes by a NOW-but-not-always-in-the-past measurable "internal state" or by one's behavior?    

It's a shame that the gene (or genes) for sexual preference isn't on the same DNA strand as, say, eye color. If all homosexuals were born with orange eyes we probably wouldn't even be having this conversation.

[edit]

Had to come back to this post this afternoon, some five hours after posting it, to add that I really wish I hadn't said anything at all about alcoholism, either before or especially now. My earlier comments were an observation on behaviorism, not on homosexuality, and I should have kept it that way, not mixing the two. To go from alcoholism to diabetes to homosexuality is a oblique route I would rather have not traveled. My bad.

My comment on orange eyes, however, still stands.  

[/edit]
Christopher
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quote:
Interestingly, and not coincidentally, Edward reminds me a little of one of our Moderators circa 1999. And my posted reactions then were much the same as now. I'll let others speculate who that might be, except to quickly add that I'm very proud and happy with all of our Moderators. There's hope for everyone.
I have thought the very same thing several times as I've followed this thread the past few days...

Thank you Ron.
Stephanos
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40 posted 03-01-2007 12:41 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Go to any country, any culture, any religion, and most people are going to have very similar ideas about what constitutes security and safety.

As far as the world being unified on what constitutes security and safety, I think that would only be true of the very basics.  If you go far beyond that, I think you'll have to admit that various cultures have very different views about what is safe and secure, much of which you would adamantly disagree with.  And the current definition of marriage is not an issue affecting anyone's immediate security and safety.  The issues (from your perspective and mine) are more long term.  

quote:
(And, yes, that's going to include some few things that are currently illegal in this country. As you are quick to point out, we haven't escaped morality as much as I'd like.)
  

Then some can only be thankful that your philosophy of law (which is neither truly amoral, nor particularly insightful about what constitutes "harm") isn't applied across the board.  

I'll be the first to admit we should consider laws case by case, and that there are probably some mere moralisms on the books that ought not to be there.  Changing the very definition of Marriage isn't one of them.

quote:
If you want to make procreation a stipulation of marriage then, by all means, argue that. If you want to make lack of harm a stipulation of marriage, go for it. Neither, however, are unique to a person's sexual preference and neither should be gratuitously tied to homosexuality.


I want to argue neither of those things.  I'll continue to argue however that the relation of gender (male/female) is central to the definition of marriage, particular examples of infertility notwithstanding.  And procreation’s tie to the institution of marriage is anything but gratuitous, seeing that it is foundational to survival of the race.  


quote:
No, Stephen, it doesn't. Nor was that ever my intent.

I think it does, however, bring into question the oft claimed sanctity of civil marriage.

Proper Marriage wasn't given by God to only the religious, but to all.  Its sanctity (as an institution) is not called into question by particular failures or bad examples.  I don't see how a squandered gift need reflect poorly on the nature of the gift.  

But, regardless of the "sanctity" issue, you conceded my main point, which was that ill examples of marriage provide no compelling reason for such radical change.


quote:
First, I would seriously question whether child molesters, murderers, or rapists are born or nurtured.


I disagree about that, other than the power and presence of original sin (rather than poor genes).  But if you suspect this, then the cry of "inborn" or "like-race" can't be used as an argument for the propriety of homosexuality.

quote:
Second, I would question whether any of us aren't child molesters, murders, and rapists. (And, yes, I recognize the contradiction.)


good.  I'm glad you see it.

quote:
Mostly, though, I'll simply point out that we're not talking about behaviors, we're talking about innocent behaviors that in and of themselves harm no one. Eating is a behavior, too, Stephen, and one that's darn hard to eliminate. Except in rare instances (like Jeffrey Dahmer), we don't try to legislate it.


You're begging the question.  The very question we are debating is whether or not it is “innocent” or "harmful".

quote:
Molestation, murder and rape hurt people. Loving someone, even someone of the same gender, hurts no one.


We're not debating love Ron.  We're debating homosexuality.  I never denied that good things may accompany wrong things.  In fact they always do.


quote:
Not the way I interpret it, Stephen.

(And, of course, I'm not upset. We've had that discussion, be we can always have it again.)


Since when did simple denial become a valid method of interpretation?     Some things are shadowy in the Bible (and I've no doubt you're ready with those on your tongue).  But homosexuality isn't.

quote:
The homosexual has no choice in his or her being, any more than you or I do as heterosexuals. We are what we are, regardless of how we choose to act. You could take a vow of chastity or even take to dating other men, but those choices aren't going to change your innate heterosexuality.

One of the differences between race and sexual preference is that with race, the will is completely out of the picture.  And whether or not you want to call it a “choice”, the will is not absent with homosexuality (along with other behavioral issues).  

And I want to know how you’re so sure that people cannot alter their sexual preferences by experimenting and dabbling in homosex?  Sure some say that it didn’t change them, others say that it did.  I don’t know if participating in a particular form of wrong doing would generate a habit for me, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t / doesn’t happen.  

Think about it Ron, if sexual preference were as hardwired as you say it is, you shouldn't be able to add another preference, any more than you can change it.  And I need to remind you of that fact, that in some measure you still view it as a "preference" or you wouldn't call it that.  

quote:
LOL. Actually, Stephen, children DO draw Social Security.


Actually, Ron, your example proves my point much more than yours.  Not all children get to draw social security, just a few.  Discriminatory isn't it?

quote:
More importantly, and to answer your greater question, YES, I absolutely would want everyone treated the same on every issue -- so long as it doesn't result in harm to anyone. That's the key that keeps getting dropped.


It's not that the key keeps getting dropped, it's just that we disagree upon which key is which.  Your definitions of "harm" and "equal treatment" are just as arbitrary as you imagine mine to be.  


quote:
I think there's a very good reason why you may meet a recovering alcoholic, but never a former alcoholic.


I have to agree with Jim on this one... I know a former alcoholic, who does not presently struggle with alcohol at all.  If someone may be "recovering" then by definition there may be a point of having been "recovered".


quote:
It's a shame that the gene (or genes) for sexual preference isn't on the same DNA strand as, say, eye color. If all homosexuals were born with orange eyes we probably wouldn't even be having this conversation.


That's kind of like saying "It's a shame that reality doesn't present the way I say it is, then I wouldn't have to argue this way."  The most obvious thing in all of this to me is that homosexuality has not been shown to be genetic.  And don't respond with the pan-genetic theory of all human adjectives.  Then I would have to say that even your wrong opinions are hereditary, and I couldn't heckle you so much for them.  

  
And Jim,

As much as I respect your earnestness, and your desire to please all parties, I agree with Ron that such a compromise would never really work.  And yes, I'm still way short of a man-enforced Theocracy, but the present definition of Marriage ought to be retained.  

And Brad,

"The Artful Dodger", I like that.  But who is Jim, old man Fagin?  

Stephen.
Ron
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quote:
I want to argue neither of those things. ... And procreation’s tie to the institution of marriage is anything but gratuitous, seeing that it is foundational to survival of the race.

You got to watch those antecedents, Stephen. Your pronoun doesn't make it clear whether you mean marriage or procreation is foundational to survival of the race? You know, since you already admitted they aren't the same?

Again, if you want to argue procreation, please do so. When you're prepared to disallow marriage for anyone not of child bearing age, we can talk. At what age do you think your marriage should be dissolved as no longer serving any procreative purpose?

quote:
And whether or not you want to call it a “choice”, the will is not absent with homosexuality (along with other behavioral issues).

You're still confusing sexual orientation with the behaviors derived from that orientation. Following that logic, the Pope and any other religious leader sworn to celibacy can no longer be called heterosexuals. Choice can be a reflection of being, but it doesn't define being.

quote:
Think about it Ron, if sexual preference were as hardwired as you say it is, you shouldn't be able to add another preference, any more than you can change it.  And I need to remind you of that fact, that in some measure you still view it as a "preference" or you wouldn't call it that.

Okay, point taken, and it was a poor choice of words then. Sexual orientation is no different than sexual gender. You can act like a woman if you like (and some do, proving that preferences can be added), but that certainly isn't going to change your physical makeup. Both orientation and gender are hardwired; one is just more visible than the other.

quote:
The very question we are debating is whether or not it is “innocent” or "harmful".

Cool. That makes it easy. We can set aside all other issues then and you can tell everyone how the marriage of two people you don't even know is going to bring you personal harm. Not religious harm. Not moral harm. Not some vague and ill defined social harm too many years down the road to verify. Personal harm. Today.


jbouder
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42 posted 03-01-2007 08:18 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron:

I have two problems with your position at this point.

First, I think you are confusing genetic causation of physical disorders with genetic proclivities to engage in certain types of behavior (e.g., homosexual behavior, impulsivity, etc.).

Second, I think this is related to the first, I don't quite understand how you reconcile your apparent genetic essentialism with the notions of free will you champion in other threads.  Either genetically-linked behavior can be helped or it can't.  If it can't be helped, then behavior is genetically determined and, therefore, the will cannot be considered "free."  If the will cannot be free, then other problems arise regarding moral responsibility.

I think you're clever in trying to compare alcoholism and diabetes (why am I experiencing deja vu right now?), but I think you're either leading me with your inconstancy to prove a later point or you've failed to think your position through to it's end point.

Stephen:

Hmmm ... old man Fagin, huh?  Maybe a middle aged Fagin.  Maybe your comparison is not as far off as you might think.

Jim
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quote:
First, I think you are confusing genetic causation of physical disorders with genetic proclivities to engage in certain types of behavior (e.g., homosexual behavior, impulsivity, etc.).

I don't think heterosexuality is simply a proclivity, Jim. It's certainly never felt that way for me.

quote:
Second, I think this is related to the first, I don't quite understand how you reconcile your apparent genetic essentialism with the notions of free will you champion in other threads.

I don't think free will has a great deal to do with who and what we are, Jim. It has to do, rather, with choice, and of course the latter has always been shaped by the former. While I've always been free to leap buildings with a single bound, it sadly hasn't happened yet.

quote:
Either genetically-linked behavior can be helped or it can't.  If it can't be helped, then behavior is genetically determined and, therefore, the will cannot be considered "free."  If the will cannot be free, then other problems arise regarding moral responsibility.

Sorry, Jim, but I think that's prejudice speaking. Breast feeding is a genetically linked behavior similarly governed by choice, but the average woman doesn't need to be "helped" because she was never broken. There is no moral responsibly because it's a personal choice. Lactating hurts no one.

quote:
I think you're clever in trying to compare alcoholism and diabetes (why am I experiencing deja vu right now?), but I think you're either leading me with your inconstancy to prove a later point or you've failed to think your position through to it's end point.

As I said in my edit, Jim, I wish I had avoided my earlier comments on alcoholism as it relates to the limits of behaviorism. That is, perhaps, fodder for a different thread, but it only muddies the waters in this one. Comparing alcoholism and diabetes in that different thread would further muddy THAT water; I'm not even sure what it does in this one.

Nonetheless, even though it has nothing to do with this conversation, I do think alcoholism is a non-reversible state, albeit one dictated first by personal choices. In that sense it is probably more akin to virginity than to diabetes. There's a point beyond which the decision to abstain can't change the past.


rwood
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44 posted 03-01-2007 11:27 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
I'll continue to argue however that the relation of gender (male/female) is central to the definition of marriage, particular examples of infertility notwithstanding.  And procreation’s tie to the institution of marriage is anything but gratuitous, seeing that it is foundational to survival of the race.


Since religion and politics are non-static practices and unions, with which we base marital terms, then how can the definition of marriage be static? The term "gender" grammatically encompasses all (he, she, and it) but the term itself has undergone a bit of variation.

Couples have been redefining marriage for eons. The Bible gives many examples of unions that are now outlawed and our government had
miscegenation laws in effect up until 1967.

Granted: Documentation suggests most cases are male/female. Based upon what many perceive to be documentation, same sex relationships have never been favored in any written light, aside from creative pieces? Documentations make it easy to be against same sex marriage. What's hard for me to understand is how what's written is supposed to go for everyone. We're not the same. We don't even believe we got here the same way. There are no exacts, though we're being taught that there are, and we sit there in class, subjected to culled theories that nearly everyone disagrees on and probably will until the end of time.

On a side note: I've procreated twice and I would have more if my marriage had survived.
Stephanos
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45 posted 03-01-2007 11:50 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Again, if you want to argue procreation, please do so. When you're prepared to disallow marriage for anyone not of child bearing age, we can talk. At what age do you think your marriage should be dissolved as no longer serving any procreative purpose?


I'm not arguing that procreation must be present in every individual case of marriage.  That would be foolish and beyond oppressive.  But I am arguing that procreation in marriage is a clue to the propriety of marriage as it stands.  For whether or not you like it, or whether or not you think it should be, this is one of the reasons sanctioned homosexual unions have hardly been encouraged or recognized.  We ought to ask whether or not that has been due to bigotry, or if there are sociological, antropological, teleological reasons behind this "discrimination".
  

And as far as infertility goes, why should particular exceptions have any bearing on such a general consideration as the definition of marriage?  That doesn't mean that the procreative aspect shouldn't be recognized in the decision.


quote:
You're still confusing sexual orientation with the behaviors derived from that orientation. Following that logic, the Pope and any other religious leader sworn to celibacy can no longer be called heterosexuals. Choice can be a reflection of being, but it doesn't define being.


But why should homosexuality be assumed to be "like" homosexuality in that regard?  The will is usually more prominent with behavioral issues and perversions of sexual preference, helped along by ill social or environmental conditions.

quote:
You can act like a woman if you like (and some do, proving that preferences can be added), but that certainly isn't going to change your physical makeup. Both orientation and gender are hardwired; one is just more visible than the other.


So you compare sexual "preference" with acting like a woman ... but sexual "orientation" with physical being?  I would rather say that heterosexuality and gender are both bound together and basic, but some, for whatever reason, are inclined to deny both.  Yes, homosexuality is an abnormality like transvestism.  Whether wearing women's clothes, or sleeping with a man, you are not acting according to your gender.


You are only assuming the basic normalcy of homosexuality, in order to prove it ... and all the while ignoring the obvious signs that it is a distortion of gender like the other examples you bring up.  One glaring clue is that more than a few homosexuals DO participate in transvestism, making it much more likely that homosexuality is form of confusion of gender identity, rather than a basic and proper sexual orientation.

quote:
I don't think heterosexuality is simply a proclivity ... It's certainly never felt that way for me.


Nor should it ever have.  Homosexuality is not the same as heterosexuality.


quote:
Not some vague and ill defined social harm too many years down the road to verify. Personal harm. Today.


I see no reason why we should have to be that nearsighted, or to only think of today.  I'm sure much of the world's woes have come by that approach.


Stephen.    
Ron
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46 posted 03-01-2007 12:15 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And as far as infertility goes, why should particular exceptions have any bearing on such a general consideration as the definition of marriage?  That doesn't mean that the procreative aspect shouldn't be recognized in the decision.

Yea, actually Stephen, I think that's exactly what it means. The procreative aspect can't be unimportant for heterosexuals if you want to make it important for homosexuals. That's pretty much classic discrimination.

Either marriage is defined by procreation or it isn't. You can't have it both ways.

quote:
Yes, homosexuality is an abnormality like transvestism.  Whether wearing women's clothes, or sleeping with a man, you are not acting according to your gender.

Oh. Okay.

Want to explain to us how someone you don't know putting on a dress (or a cowboy hat, which is just as abnormal if you're not a cowboy) is going to bring you or anyone else personal harm?

quote:
Homosexuality is not the same as heterosexuality.

Nor are the different sides of a coin the same, Stephen. They are, however, different sides of the same coin.

There is absolutely no reason, beyond prejudice, to believe that homosexuality is going to "feel" vastly different than heterosexuality. Love and desire, much like pain, are pervasive. Even, perhaps, universal.

quote:
I see no reason why we should have to be that nearsighted, or to only think of today.

Fine. Tell me how the union of two people you don't know is going to personally hurt you tomorrow, then. Define the perceived cost any way you like. Just be specific.
rwood
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Posts 3797
Tennessee


47 posted 03-01-2007 01:29 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Either genetically-linked behavior can be helped or it can't.  If it can't be helped, then behavior is genetically determined and, therefore, the will cannot be considered "free."  If the will cannot be free, then other problems arise regarding moral responsibility.


I believe Traits are determined, but certain behaviors arise out of need to exist with those traits. Certain traits can cause one to exhaust all efforts of survival, or they can cause one to blend in, or they may just kill themselves if they can't, or a number of other things that don't define free will as as much it does fate, but quantum physics solved that mystery didn't it? More importantly to me, is how traits are born to people that don't fit into any textbook, and again, if they did, would we extinguish them?


quote:
Breast feeding is a genetically linked behavior similarly governed by choice, but the average woman doesn't need to be "helped" because she was never broken. There is no moral responsibly because it's a personal choice. Lactating hurts no one.


Sorry Ron. I've heard many people say that they were offended by a woman breast feeding her baby. The morality police even want to govern when, where, how, and for how long.

jbouder
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Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


48 posted 03-01-2007 03:15 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron:

quote:
Sorry, Jim, but I think that's prejudice speaking. Breast feeding is a genetically linked behavior similarly governed by choice, but the average woman doesn't need to be "helped" because she was never broken. There is no moral responsibly because it's a personal choice. Lactating hurts no one.


Ironically, your position that is based largely on assumptions that have no solid grounding in science is a text book example of prejudice if I've ever seen one.  But the issue of "can or cannot be helped" is not my idea, but builds off of some of Ed's initial observations.

You and the people Ed colorfully decries would seem to have us believe that a homosexual person's genetic predisposition to "gayness" makes it too hard to expect the gay person to not act on their genetically-determined urges.  If what you are saying is that no sort of environmental influence, such as training in impulse control, can modify the homosexual tendency or its behavioral manifestation, then, in order to avoid inconstancy, you would have to say the same about any genetically-influenced personality or behavioral trait (e.g., shyness, aggression, or depression).

There are people who don't want to be shy, aggressive, depressed, or gay who succeed, albeit after extraordinary effort, in modifying both the respective tendency and resultant behavior.  By positing that such "proclivities" are part of a person's essense or nature, and thus are immutable without devaluing the person, sounds almost like a form of philosophical fatalism to me.  Again, if one's attention is directed at what is observable and away from poorly grounded "we-will-eventually-find-the-missing-evidence-we-are-now-relying-on-to-support-our-position" assumptions, I think what we will find is strong evidence that your genetic deterministic views are seriously flawed.

So, what's the big deal with all of this anyway?  If you link behavior - any behavior - to our pre-determined biological nature, then you remove individual moral character from a person.  And it is precisely this moral character that has always been the source of holding a person responsible for his or her actions.

Rwood:

quote:
I believe Traits are determined, but certain behaviors arise out of need to exist with those traits.


My problem with this statement is the word "exist."  Rather than tying the traits to existence, I think it more properly belongs with our ability to act effortlessly with the tendencies that arise from such traits.

And I think choices to extinguish certain traits should rest with the person living with those traits (unless, of course, the traits risk serious bodily harm to the person or others).  As I mentioned to Ron, we should resist the fatalistic notion that genetic predisposition removes the ability of a person to, by force of will, extinguish a trait they don't desire to have and replace it with one they do.  In some ways, the fatalist is as much a tyrant as the person who forces change or modification against the will of the individual who happens to present with a certain, socially stigmatized trait.

What is the message we want to be sending here?  Is it, "You can never change, even if you really want to, so don't even bother trying" or "If you really want to change, it will take much effort and you might fail, but it just might work."

I'm a bit surprised I'm taking the "free will" side of the argument against Ron.  I'm also surprised that he doesn't see the conflict between his support of genetic determinism and his views on free will. AND I'm very surprised that he liken's changing one's seemingly natural tendencies as tantamount to leaping tall buildings with a single bound.

Jim
Stephanos
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49 posted 03-01-2007 04:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Yea, actually Stephen, I think that's exactly what it means. The procreative aspect can't be unimportant for heterosexuals if you want to make it important for homosexuals. That's pretty much classic discrimination.


But Ron, it IS important for heterosexuals... That much is obvious ... seeing that that's how children are born.  Definitions based upon such generalizations are anything but "classic discrimination".  Gender reciprocity has always been central to the definition of marriage, and the procreative element is evidence of its propriety, regardless of particular examples of infertility.

quote:
Want to explain to us how someone you don't know putting on a dress (or a cowboy hat, which is just as abnormal if you're not a cowboy) is going to bring you or anyone else personal harm?
  

If you'll kindly refer back to the context of our discussion, you'll notice that you were arguing that homosexulity is akin to one's physical gender, and thus very unlike behavioral issues such as transvestism.  My counter argument was that, like transvestism, homosexuality is a form of gender confusion.  For whether it is dressing like a woman, or sleeping with a man, it amounts to an "acting out" of a different gender than one actually possesses.  


And I was simply showing that homosexuality is very similar to the behavioral problem of transvestism.  The "harm of others" issue is irrelevant to the comparison.  Just like you used the negative example of alcoholism, to illustrate something about homosexuality, which you deem to be a healthy and positive lifestyle.  But, since you brought it up, I have to remind you that public vulgarity IS a type of harm.  And MANY forms of transvestism would fall under that category.  But that's incidental to the point I was trying to make.  


quote:
Nor are the different sides of a coin the same, Stephen. They are, however, different sides of the same coin.


Coins may also be defaced or tarnished.  Homosexuality is a distortion of human sexuality.


quote:
There is absolutely no reason, beyond prejudice, to believe that homosexuality is going to "feel" vastly different than heterosexuality. Love and desire, much like pain, are pervasive. Even, perhaps, universal.


You still lump too much in one basket.  Love and desire are universal, but neither are unconditionally good or right.  They may be expressed in unhealthy or immoral ways.  And the term "love" certainly can't be used to justify homosexuality, any more than it can be used to justify adultery.  What such terms do is create the illusion that those who disagree with homosexuality and/or homosexual marriage, are anti-love.  Nice tactic.


quote:
Fine. Tell me how the union of two people you don't know is going to personally hurt you tomorrow, then. Define the perceived cost any way you like. Just be specific.


Well first of all, if homosexuality is a pathological expression of sexuality with resultant psychological and sociological problems (and most textbook descriptions still call it that, in spite of the dogged pressure of political correctness) then the public sanctioning of it in matrimony will only help others to go that way rather than resist it.    So homosexuality will increase with the public acceptance of it.  (I know at this point you will be tempted to throw in your "hunch" that it is an inborn trait).  


Others will also be forced (through changes in curriculum) to view homosexual marriage as a normal and healthy alternative.  For many people, this amounts to indoctrination.


The preaching of scripures such as Paul's denunciation of homosexuality, and the necessity of repentance in the homosexual population will be more easily interpreted as discriminatory hate crimes, slander and libel, on equal footing with slanderous racist remarks (even though the two are quite different).  As a lay preacher of the gospel myself, I would call that a form of "harm".  


quote:
I'm a bit surprised I'm taking the "free will" side of the argument against Ron.  I'm also surprised that he doesn't see the conflict between his support of genetic determinism and his views on free will. AND I'm very surprised that he liken's changing one's seemingly natural tendencies as tantamount to leaping tall buildings with a single bound.


I'm not so surprised.  It's the nature of the pressure that political correctness sometimes exerts over honest intelligent people.  Who wants to be called a homophobe and compared to a KKK Grand Dragon?  I know how to deal with it ... we'll start calling them homophobiaphobes to offset the imbalance of public censure.    


Boy Ed sure likes to start fires and run doesn't he?


Stephen.
 
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