Member Rara Avis
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.
Sorry, Regina, but that's not morality either, and I think those people have every right to be offended if they wish. Lactating is not the same as breast feeding, any more than a full bladder is the same as urinating. One is a state of being, the other is a behavior.
I don't find a public display of breast offensive, but I respect the rights of those who do. Feed your kid and take your whizzes privately, please, without thrusting your own sensibilities onto others. If nothing else, ask first.
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.
Okay, Jim, I think I better understand the source of our miscommunication. So, I'm going to dig for yet another analogy, albeit perhaps another flimsy one.
Man is born and exists as an omnivore. He can, if he wishes, become a vegetarian. He cannot, however, ever choose to be a herbivore.
I'm making a distinction between being and behaviors, but clearly not making it very well. With that in mind, let me try to answer your implied question.
If a man (or all men) is born a murderer that is a state of being for which he holds no responsibility. There is no free will. The actions that result from that state of being, however, what you want to call behavior, are a function of free will and do entail personal responsibility. I'll even go one better and advance the possibility that everything that happens to us is a result of our own actions, that we choose every event we ever have to face. And, still, I draw a distinct line between what happens to us and what or who we are, which is the same line I draw between what we do and who we are.
Back to the quote. No, I don't claim that a homosexual's state of being makes it "too hard" to not act on their urges. My claim is that there's no reason, beyond society's prejudice, for them to try. Well, at least not in any sense that isn't equally true for heterosexuals.
Put another way, Jim, you can't cure homosexuality and there's no legitimate justification for suppressing it. It's not like murder.
It's also not like shyness, aggression, or depression, all of which can be painful and even debilitating. Yea, I'm sure there are homosexuals who want to "be helped," but only in the same sense there are women who want to get down to seven percent body fat and fit into a size three dress. I think you're trying to fix something that isn't broken, and the "help" does far more harm to the individual than good.
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.
I completely agree, Jim. Completely.
At the same time, however, I think we should work to discourage anorexia and bulimia as inappropriate "choices to extinguish certain traits." Being skinny and heterosexual, I think, are goals imposed from without, not from within.
That much is obvious ... seeing that that's how children are born.
LOL. Is this going to turn into a treatise on the birds and bees, Stephen? Sorry, my friend, but marriage is NOT how children are born.
You might just as well link procreation to having a job as to being married. After all, most people who have kids have jobs. But not all people with jobs have kids. And you don't have to have a job before having a kid. The exceptions are equally rampant and the correlations just as tenuous. I'll go even further, Stephen, and suggest that people who get married to have children usually end up not doing either one very well.
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.
You mean like a woman wearing pants, Stephen?
Sorry, I don't mean to be flip, but I'm not quite willing to define gender by behavior choices. And in any event, who does it hurt?
And I was simply showing that homosexuality is very similar to the behavioral problem of transvestism.
What a person chooses to wear -- or who a person chooses to love -- is only a "problem" for the other person, Stephen, the one unwilling to accept differences. It's not a problem for the person making the choices unless they let themselves be drawn into it.
Mind you, I'm not suggesting that gender confusion (a state of being) can't be a problem, in the same sense that any identity confusion can be painful. It shouldn't, however, be confused with cross dressing.
Coins may also be defaced or tarnished. Homosexuality is a distortion of human sexuality.
Nope. Homosexuality is a reflection of human sexuality, Stephen, not a distortion. It's simply a different reflection than what you personally see.
And the term "love" certainly can't be used to justify homosexuality, any more than it can be used to justify
Adultery, Stephen, is a behavior that harms others, very unlike homosexuality and heterosexuality, both states of being that by themselves harm no one. No, love can't be used to justify adultery, but neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality require justification.
Okay, now we get to the meat. Let's see how homosexuality harms Stephen.
Well first of all, if homosexuality is a pathological expression of sexuality with resultant psychological and sociological problems ...
I don't believe it is pathological, Stephen, and all of the psychological and sociological problems are the result of society's reactions not the state of being. In any event, however, this brings no direct harm to you.
So homosexuality will increase with the public acceptance of it.
Good! Of course, what you really mean is that more people will be willing to "come out of the closet." And, of course, that brings no harm to you, either.
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.
Forced? You mean like with a gun or similar threats?
I think you mean "encouraged." And that's a good thing, since marriage IS normal and healthy, not indoctrination, and in any event certainly brings no harm to Stephen.
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".
I'm not sure disagreeing with your morality qualifies, under our agreement, as personal harm, Stephen.
Still, from a personal perspective, I'd like to add that I wouldn't characterize scripture as discriminatory. But neither do I confuse scripture with interpretation, and I do think that many people's interpretation of scripture should indeed be viewed as discriminatory. From where I sit, if you're right that a greater acceptance of homosexuality will shine light on that discrimination, I think it's a good thing, not a harmful one.
And it appears, Stephen, that you still haven't told us how two people you don't know getting married is going to personally harm you?
And yet, it's all about free will. I honestly don't think the nature/nurture debate is relevant. Is he gay because he decided to be gay, is he gay because he or she decided to be gay based on genetic proclivities?
As long as we see it as a choice, then that's no longer an issue, the issue becomes is it harmful to society.
Brad, I think harm (not to society, which is a cop-out, but rather to individuals) is the greater concern, but I don't think it's necessarily the only concern.
What if there is no choice? What if he's gay for the same reason he has blue eyes and brown hair? I didn't "choose" to be heterosexual, it's simply what I am.
Even in the absence of harm, it's okay to disagree with a person's choices. But there is never a justification for disagreeing with a person's gender, color, or other happenstance of birth. Where there is no choice, there is no responsibility.
Geesh, guys, I think I could have written half a novel today instead ...