T Nation

A Gay Conundrum


#1

I'd like to preface this post by stating that I am not morally opposed to homosexual activity. Also, I don't mean for this thread to turn into a "why homosexuality is bad or okay" argument thread. I've just been having some thoughts as to the validity of some of the gay proponents' (or gay neutral) arguments on this website.

An overlying theme in the pro or neutral gay arguments on this website seem to involve an argument that goes something like this:

P1: Homosexuality is not a choice and is a biologically innate component of some humans' sexual hardwiring.

(for the sake of argument let us just accept this as fact)

C: Since homosexuality is not a choice and homosexuals are born that way, there is nothing wrong with homosexual activity.

Although I agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with homosexuality I don't think that this argument is a sound one. So what if homosexuality is not a choice? What if, for example, and to use the method of analogy, pedophiles were discovered to have an innate biological brain structure that made it impossible for them to be arroused by anything other than children. Would pedophilia then become morally neutral ? The answer, of course, is no.

Now, I don't mean to equate homosexuality with pedophilia. However, what I am stating is that it is not the presence or absence of a choice of ones sexuality that makes for the morality or immorality of homosexuality. And arguing in those terms is fallacious and needs reconsideration.

Any thoughts?


#2

Here is a piece to ponder:

Some on the religious right refuse to acknowledge that biology could play a part in the "gay brain". In other words, God does not make gay brains. Being gay is 100% choice.

However, consider hermaphrodites: people with sexual organs from both sexes. If God makes people with physically confused sexuality, why is it so hard to believe that God makes people with mentally "confused" sexuality?

I find it impossible to resolve the no-biology viewpoint when it comes to mental sexuality when there are very vivid examples of non-standard physical sexuality.

Now the issue of a pedophile. Is it possible that biology makes someone indisposed to pedophilia? I do not see why not. After all, biology makes some people more disposed to many various ailments. So is it physically natural for some people to be pedophiles? Hmm... yes, maybe it is. In the pure human-animal paradigm, there may be some people who are natural pedophiles, and this is normal.

The difference is, we protect children from these people because children are not capable of interacting with a pedophile on an equal basis. They are still young and impressionable. As one study pointed out, the brain may not fully mature until the age of 25, especially when it comes to fully weighing the consequences of actions.

So, then the question arises: should we protect people from natural homosexuals? Why would we? If both participants are adults, they are capable of interacting on an equal basis. It is not our place to make that decision for them, as long as neither of them is under-aged.

So, to address the thrust of your question: some things may be biological, but there may be very good societal reasons for prohibiting them. That does not deny the fact that they are biologically influenced behaviors and need to be addressed somehow. However, if there is not a good societal reason for prohibiting them (pedophiles, for example), then attaching stigma to them is artificial bias.

That's just my take...


#3

You started off well...

The problem with comparing pedophilia to homosexuality is that pedophilia is generally directly harmful to the younger party, as they are not quite old enough to understand the situation, or in some cases, even be sexually aroused. Whereas in gay sexual relations there is generally a consent between two adults, and no one is being harmed, psychologically or physically (let's hope).


#4

Michaelv, great post!


#5

Orbital, I agree with you. You cannot compare the two. And I didn't. I merely used the two terms to elucidate that the "homosexuality-is-not-bad-becuase-they- don't-have-a-choice" way of arguing is fallacious in the same way "pedophilia-is not-bad-because-pedophiles-don't-have-a-choice" would be.

That's all.


#6

A couple things. First, I think I showed that they are not equal, even in that context. Second, they DO have a choice, in both circumstances. Even if "biologically gay", they can choose not to act on that.

The difference is that one is wrong for an important societal reason (protecting children), and the other is "wrong" because of simple bias.

Or to take it even further... Some people have a biological disposition for red hair. Should we force these people to go through treatment to change their hair color? Yet, I don't think anyone would argue that pedophiles shouldn't go through behavioral treatment. Both are biological, but we as a society must decide that one is bad for a valid reason.

Sorry that it can't be made purely black and white. Human judgement IS involved. Why is it ok to be a red-head? Why is it ok/not ok to be gay? Why is it not ok to be a pedophile?


#7

You are correct, the absence of choice does not make someone unaccountable.

The problem with your statement is that it was taken out of context. The only reason to argue that homosexuality is not a choice is because of the people that state it is immoral -because- it is a choice. So for them once we've established whether it's a choice or not, we can determine whether it is right/wrong to practice.

But in any case, it shouldn't matter whether homosexuality is a choice or not. Any action can be determined to be right/wrong by refering to the basis for human rights. Mainly, the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. The right to property should also be in there, but that's not important here. The point is, any action needs to be compared to these rights and whether or not they violate them.

A benign example - color preference. I like green. I choose to buy clothes that are green. This action in no way harms anyone else's right to life, etc.

Homosexuality - if two consenting adults would like to get together in the privacy of their own homes and do the bad thing, what does it matter to me what sex they are or what they do. My right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness are unaffected.

Pedophilia - a person who molests/abuses a child is violating the rights of that child. Physical as well as psychological damage has been done to this child against its' will, therefore violating it's rights. Regardless of the motivation of the perpetrator (be it drugs, instinct, choice) it is against the law. The motivation will only determine the severity of the sentence (as far as I know).

When someone says that another persons' private action is violating their right to the pursuit of happiness, you must look deeper into their motivation. But regardless, if they pass a law against homosexuality - that violates the rights of the homosexuals, just as it would violate my rights if they banned the color green.

Also I would like to note the difference between "against the law", and "immoral". As it stands liking the color green and buying green items is not against the law. However, I might come from a culture in which green is a sign of the devil and thus liking/wearing green is considered immoral. Therefore I would never asscociate with the color green and would believe all those wearing green will go to hell, but it won't be against the law to wear green. Were I to get it made against the law to wear green, then the moral and the law would coincide.

Therefore, right now to say homosexuality is wrong is a moral stand, an expression of opinion. This person would choose not to associate with homosexuals. No one's rights are violated. Arguing wether homosexuality is good or bad is usually an exercise in futility - most people will be set in their ways. However, arguing wether homosexuality should be against the law is an entirely different animal. The law would need to hold up to the bill of rights.


#8

What everyone said so far. Pedophiles are hurting children. Gay people are not really hurting anyone. Obviously, there can be pain and stress to those close to them. But they're not hurting anyone in a way we as a society should care about.


#9

Good posts, all.

So what do you think, chillpzico? Still on the fence about this?


#10

I don't think chillpzico was on the fence about anything... he's pointing out a logical fallacy. Sample coversation:

Bible-thumper: "Them gays is evil! They's goin' to Hay-dees"

Bleeding-heart: "But, like, it isn't their FAULT that they're gay! Like, they're born that way, man!"

Bible-thumper: "No they's not!"

Bleeding-heart: "Yes they's are! I mean they are!"

etc.

The problem is the relation of the unstated conclusion (held by both parties in this hypothetical conversation) to the premise, ie, that one is born either gay or straight. Their unstated premise is that biology in some way explains, describes or defines morality. For the bible-thumper, this is probably coming from a theological stance. For him, God has created man for certain purposes, one of which is to have children. To state that someone is biologically gay is to imply that man is incapable of fulfilling that purpose, and also that God created man with a deadly fault. For him, biology describes morality: we are built to purpose.

For the bleeding-heart, biology removes "fault." Psychology used to be the trope, but the promise of psychology is that we can "cure" a problem. Because bleeding-hearts are interested in validating the lifestyle, they have to do you one better: biology, which is unalterable (currently). It is handy, then, for pedophiles to have a psychological problem (not their fault, but we can fix 'em!) and homosexuals to have a biological disposition (not their fault, can't be changed, and what do you mean there's something wrong with it?). For the bleeding-heart, biology trumps a human sense of morality, at least in this case, because biology prescribes, in a sense, morality.

The argument against the comparison of pedophiles to gays is similar in structure: one infringes on rights, one doesn't. Our biological imperative to protect our children clashes with your biological imperative to molest children. Nothing personal, bub. Again, the bleeding-hearts ignore the argument of the bible-thumper, who is not generally claiming that homosexuality injures the involved parties. It is rather an affront to God, just as pedophilia is.

Sometimes I feel like no one speaks the same language...


#11

Yes, I see where you're going with this. I think you might have been better off comparing homosexual relations to heterosexual relations, rather than pedophilia, since in the first two no one is generally being taken advantage of. Also while comparing them we could examine the differences and perhaps expose the reason one is held to be immoral while the other is perfectly acceptable. As it stands the only reason most people can give for the immorality of being gay stems from a 2000 year old book, and when your morals are derived from a source such as this, as most are, it is all but impossible to argue/change them.

Perhaps we could argue why one is held to be 'bad' while the other is 'good' or neutral, given the inflexibility of the terms moral and immoral.


#12

My observation of the debates on the subjects concerning (Gay) is most people seem to lose perspective on the subject. I am not opposed to the gay agenda but I am also not for it.
Some accuse you of being unintelligent or that you worry about it, or you are not minding your own business... Just because you disagree with them they get angry.


#13

Gayness is not neutral. It does have negative effects on society and the people involved, both physically and mentally.

So if gayness is organic, just like any other disfunctional genitic trait, it deserves treatment.

If it is a choice, it should not be accepted as normal and certainly not given legitimacy by allowing gay marraige.

It is very curious as most all the States that have passed gay marriage laws also probably have laws on their books against gay sex.

Just shows how much political presure this special-interrest group has in Gov.


#14

Because hetero is functional and consistent with nature and survival of the species. Gayness is no-functional and does not support these non-religious aspects of science.

So you could ask the same question of why is Hetero held as good and beastiality held as bad. The same reasons apply.


#15

Heterosexuality is key to survival of the species, but not the individual. Modern day technology however, circumvents this little glitch quite effortlessly.


#16

Please provide concrete examples. You saying so doesn't make it so.


#17

So then by this sentiment masterbation is also bad because it does not serve the purpose of reproduction? What if sex were a legitimate human need--right up there with food, drink, sleep, and to a greater and lesser extent love? The ability to have pleasure breeds the need to be pleased.

This is why I think the catholic church is a bit naive. The choice to not have sex is ultimately against human nature.


#18

Bible-thumper: "Them gays is evil! They's goin' to Hay-dees"

That is just prejudice statement.

Having christ in you does not give you the right to point out someones sin. For we all live in sin...whether we act on it or not. If someone accepts Christ as their savior because Christ live a sinless life and took all the past,present and future sin. (i.e anger, hate, adultry) on to himself and paid the price of death for us so we would not have to go to hell. The only thing you have to do is accept that christ died for your sins and rose again.

Sin is sin, as simple as telling a lie, to going on a murder spree, or sleeping with the hot t-vixen at the gym, or even same sex type stuff. In Gods eye they are all the same. The ten commandments were give to us so we know we need help.

Just like an acholic has to admit he is an acholic before he gets help, gets a support group as they try not drink any more, well a sinner has to ask for help, and get a support group to try not to sin any more. As long as you are here you will be a sinner, but you can with Chirst's help, limit the sin in your life.

Now I know I will get bashed for saying the above, so I will forgive you in advance. Please feel free to PM me if you have any quesitons, and I will try to answer.


#19

Amen, brutha.


#20

Yikes, those acholics have it tough.