Monday, August 13, 2012

Reposted from Unequally Yoked

Was skulking around Libresco's site, doing my bit. I got into the Natural Law Theory conversation too late, but I wanted to reproduce part of a post I made there in response to a question by one of the commenters.


Yvain asked the following:
3. If a gay person is not planning to have heterosexual sex and children and procreation anyway, then assuming they practice sufficiently safe sex and aren’t going to get AIDS or anything, what exactly is the harm of him doing his not-children-having while having gay sex as opposed to while having no sex? It’s still the same amount of procreation either way.
Instead of answering this directly, I’m going to try and answer with a video, and lob some followup questions. For those of you a bit put off by explicit sexual talk, uh… you probably should skip the rest of my comment, and certainly the video. For those of you willing, have a look at the video because the rest of my comment is going to rely on it to frame the conversation.
To Yvain, and anyone else who cares to answer (pro- or anti-natural law), I ask a simple question.
Can Doug Thomas’ sexual desires rightly be called disordered?
Would it be morally right for friends and family of Doug Thomas to discourage, if only intellectually, his sexual desires, or counsel him to get over or change them?
I’m doing this for clarification to continue discussing this from a Natural Law perspective, and because I think this is the elephant in the room that both sides in this thread are dancing around. Yvain has asked “What’s the harm?” — to answer that, I have to ask Yvain and others if what Doug Thomas is engaging in can be viewed as harm, in and of itself. Or maybe, “damage”. Is there something wrong with Doug? Can we say Doug is “damaged” based on his activity and his preferences?
See, the Natural Law theorist is going to say, yes, there’s something wrong with Doug. His desires are disordered. His activity is ‘damage’. It’s not that what he’s doing ‘will lead to some damage’ – it IS damage. That’s a major disconnect between the two sides here, since opponents of Natural Law thinking seem to be waiting for NT proponents to start arguing ‘what damage will be caused by such and such sexual activity’, as if the problem with anal sex is that maybe it will lead to disaster later.
So again, I ask: is there something wrong with Doug? And keep in mind, we can get into far, far darker examples (guro, misogynist fantasies, etc) with Doug, while maintaining what I believe are the important core features that make the example relevant (the self-will, the lack of obvious and immediate harm to others, etc.) But I think the video retains the essentials in a relaxed enough way, for now. Plus I’m a John C. Reilly fan.

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