Monday, July 1, 2013

And yet sex isn't always a big deal

I think it's possible to take a look at my previous post and come away with the idea that I have this deep dislike of homosexuals/"sodomites" (God, we need a more modern name than that.) The fact is, that's pretty much as far from the case as you can get. Sex acts are central the moral and ethical issues, but at the same time the realization that that's the case also tends to put the real issue in context as well. Really, the homosexually active aren't doing anything that the heterosexually active aren't entirely capable of doing as well, morally speaking - and that many probably DO do, as a matter of fact. Sure, there are some specific differences, but I honestly think the individual-level similarities overwhelm those factors.

The problem is that 'homosexual' - the bare person who has same sex attraction - is now intellectually wedded to 'devoted LGBT agitator' in the public consciousness. I'm sure that's both the fault of conservatives and liberals, and it's one of the things I think needs to end. In fact I sometimes wonder if a number of gay men really wish they could liberate themselves from the LGBT movement to one degree or another. France certainly showed that there are gays for whom 'gay marriage' is offensive. How many of them are there?

(I say 'gay men' specifically because the impression I always get is that lesbians are a different thing. With rare exception, the self-described lesbian has at least some kind of political/social agitation going on to begin with.)

I suppose the short way to say what I'm saying here is that I really don't give a shit if someone is same-sex attracted. It means next to nothing. Now, the SSA person who is also sexually active and 'out and proud' and trying to make it so condemning anal sex is a hate crime that can get you fined and imprisoned? Fuck them and their rainbows, frankly. But the two are not the same thing, and I hope more and more people start to recognize that.

13 comments:

Syllabus said...

See, that's what I don't understand about some people - they assume that if I think that certain elements of their behaviour is morally wrong/objectionable/whatever, I therefore hate/loathe them (a prime example being the whole Orson Scott Card issue). Is it because they don't make a distinction between people and behaviour, or people and ideology, or what?

Crude said...

I think it's complicated. I'm sure there are some people out there who just plain dislike gays and pick on them mercilessly, just as they pick on fat people or women or men or anything else. (Often overblown and dramatized.)

On the other hand, I think there is a political *need* to imagine people who object to homosexuality as the most hateful, angry, violent bigots. If they're something less than that, they aren't scary monsters anymore. And it's harder to fight humans than scary monsters in the cultural imagination.

malcolmthecynic said...

There's another issue at play here between homosexuals and heterosexuals. Homosexuality is a disorder. It's a disorder like schizophrenia is a disorder, where having it doesn't make you sinful (of course) but does make you tend to sin more in certain situations (e.g. the Professor in "A Beautiful Mind" who had to give up teaching until he got his schizophrenia under control), among other personal issues that aren't really our problem.

Except now they are our problem, because homosexuality is no longer a disorder. It's the equivalent of the APA saying that schizophrenia is no longer a psychiatric disorder but, in fact, something that we should celebrate and make extra accommodations for lest we be bigots (instead of not letting the Professor teach until he got his schizophrenia under control it would be up to the student to prepare for learning in a class taught by a paranoid schizophrenic, and if they don't want to take the class or think that it's unfair for them to make these accommodations, they're bigots).

What homosexuals do to each other and what heterosexuals do to each other is their business. A lot of it is immoral, but it's also, generally, a type of immoral that it's not our business to know specifics about. The problem nowadays with homosexuality is the increasing acceptance of a disorder that makes you more inclined to do harmful, immoral things. It's not normal. And acting like it is is what we're talking about here.

Crude said...

It's a disorder like schizophrenia is a disorder, where having it doesn't make you sinful (of course) but does make you tend to sin more in certain situations (e.g. the Professor in "A Beautiful Mind" who had to give up teaching until he got his schizophrenia under control), among other personal issues that aren't really our problem.

I agree to a point. The problem is I think it's a disorder the way, say... gluttony, or sloth, or various other inclinations are disorders. Heterosexual sodomy too, really. Actually, I wonder if what's more disordered about homosexuality is the /lack/ of sexual interest in people of the opposite sex, in some ways.

I agree about the APA. I'm not talking about treating homosexuality as 'normal'. Hopefully I didn't give the impression that I did. I just find 'homosexual acts' and 'person with SSA' to be two different things, with obvious overlap.

ingx24 said...

The reason schizophrenia is considered a disorder is because it makes a person dangerous to himself and others, and often causes distress to the person having it. Homosexuality does neither of these things. Just because people do things that you personally find "icky" doesn't mean that they're doing something morally wrong or that their inclination to do those things is a "disorder". You'll need to establish natural law first; these appeals to intuition aren't going to work.

Crude said...

The reason schizophrenia is considered a disorder is because it makes a person dangerous to himself and others, and often causes distress to the person having it. Homosexuality does neither of these things.

That's going to come down to how danger and harm and the rest is defined.

Just because people do things that you personally find "icky" doesn't mean that they're doing something morally wrong or that their inclination to do those things is a "disorder".

Who here cited 'ickiness'?

You'll need to establish natural law first; these appeals to intuition aren't going to work.

And who appealed to intuitions?

There's a couple of other problems I have with this response.

1) I don't think it works to say 'you have to establish natural law - but the moral/metaphysical view *I* have is just assumed as right at the outset'.

2) If 'establishing' means 'prove beyond a shadow of a doubt with no remaining dissenting parties', then to hell with it - that's a terrible standard. And it's almost certainly going to be a hypocritical one.

ingx24 said...


1) I don't think it works to say 'you have to establish natural law - but the moral/metaphysical view *I* have is just assumed as right at the outset'.

2) If 'establishing' means 'prove beyond a shadow of a doubt with no remaining dissenting parties', then to hell with it - that's a terrible standard. And it's almost certainly going to be a hypocritical one.


I didn't say that. What I meant was that, if your opponent does not already accept natural law, you'll need to convince them of that first before the rest of your argument goes through. If someone doesn't already accept natural law, you're just going to end up talking past them.

Crude said...

Alright, that's fair.

The problem I have is I see variations of 1 and 2 play out repeatedly. In fact, 1 is tremendously, ridiculously common.

malcolmthecynic said...

Well, right now I'm not really engaging with you so much, ingx24. My comment was meant for people like Crude who already agree with me about same-sex acts being a sin. I'll leave the fun part to Crude (I'm already having a fun time on a writing forum engaging with some anti-Christian pseudo-historian who dismisses everything that paints Christianity in a positive light as "obviously false" and something even "real Christian scholars" object to).

Although, I'll leave you with this regarding harmful sex acts and ickiness: Say you have a brother and sister who wish to have sex. The sister has a medical issue that, short of divine intervention, makes her utterly incapable of becoming pregnant. But she can still have sex. If both parties are over 18, and both consent, is there any moral issue with them having sex?

At any rate, back to Crude: I don't think "gluttony" or "sloth" are disordered in the sense I'm thinking of (unless you're talking about the sort of gluttony that makes you five hundred pounds because you just need your big mac or something, or you were born with a medical condition making you more prone to eating food).

Same-sex attraction is at least partially a biological medical condition. Hell, gay supporters have even gone to great lengths to establish this. Now, I'm not going to debate the proper treatment options for it. If counseling or medication or something is considered the wrong way to go, then whatever, you might be right. I'm not saying there's something "wrong" with them in the sense that they're evil or something, but there's a big problem when society stops treating it like an unfortunate disorder and more like left-handedness.

I don't know, it seems pretty obvious to me that attraction to people of the same sex is a disorder. And yeah, no sexual attraction is a disorder too.

Crude said...

At any rate, back to Crude: I don't think "gluttony" or "sloth" are disordered in the sense I'm thinking of (unless you're talking about the sort of gluttony that makes you five hundred pounds because you just need your big mac or something, or you were born with a medical condition making you more prone to eating food).

I just think that having a disordered desire is actually somewhat common. Keep in mind it's the desire itself which is disordered, apart from the act. A married man with a great lust for adultery, etc, has a disordered desire even if he never acts on it.

malcolmthecynic said...

Hmmmm, is a lust for adultery an actual, physical issue? That's one of those things where (like people used to argue all the time with gay marriage) it actually IS a choice to "lust" for adultery. People may not be completely culpable for actions committed while under an addiction, but they ARE culpable for getting addicted, or knowing they're addicted and making no effort to get out of it.

If you're addicted to adultery, I can't imagine you being genetically "prone" to want to betray your wife and ruin your relationship with the woman you love.

A better example is masturbation. Virtually every young man has masturbated. This is just a fact. It's a powerful impulse that's hard to resist. And it's sinful - mortally sinful, in fact, if done with sufficient knowledge and full consent of will (a tricky thing with masturbation, IMO). Unlike homosexuality though virtually every male, and probably most females too, will do it. So even though it's sinful to do, is the desire itself disordered? I'm not sure. I certainly don't think it's a disorder in the same way homosexuality is.

Crude said...

Well, I don't know if any two disorders are going to map to each other in a 1:1 fashion. I'm likewise not sure about the 'everyone will do it' aspect - I think culture plays a pretty big role with that. Not a complete role, but a large one. Rather like hetero sodomy.

whiteroseofsummer said...

It's a disorder like schizophrenia is a disorder, where having it doesn't make you sinful (of course) but does make you tend to sin more in certain situations (e.g. the Professor in "A Beautiful Mind" who had to give up teaching until he got his schizophrenia under control), among other personal issues that aren't really our problem.

malcolmthecynic are you suggesting that people should be barred from being able to work a job if they suffer from a homosexual affliction or only if they are active homosexuals? I just want to make sure I understand you correctly.