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« This optional extra | Main | See if you can keep up »

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

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Tom

I recently had the opportunity to 'discuss' the gay marriage issue with several (probably 10) self-professing atheists who, of course said that the same sex marriage was nobody's business but the two directly involved. At first they were all reluctant to touch the 'polyamory'/polygamy angle of marriage. They danced around that one for quite a while, until one by one they all admitted that yes, they'd have to say that would be OK, too.
Their 'honesty' was refreshing, but their conclusion is frightening for the future.Deep down inside I think they realized that they were stepping off into some very, VERY deep water, but were (for pride's sake, perhaps)unable or unwilling to back down. Witness the coming chaos.

Ed

You mean to tell me polygamy is wrong even though the bible endorses it?

say it ain't so..

Rick

Ed, can you cite for us the Biblical references to which you refer? Where specifically in Scripture is polygamy 'endorsed'?

BroKen

Ed, you seem to be well-read, but have you considered this?

"Sir Arthur St. Clare, as I have already said, was a man who read his Bible. That was what was the matter with him. When will people understand that it is useless for a man to read his Bible unless he also reads everybody else's Bible? A printer reads a Bible for misprints. A Mormon reads his Bible, and finds polygamy; a Christian Scientist reads his, and finds we have no arms and legs." --Father Brown

You have read YOUR Bible and found it deficient. You seem to insist that the rest of us must read OUR Bible your way. Why is that?

P.S. If you want to know where the quote comes from, go here:

http://fiction.eserver.org/short/innocence/brokensword.html

Rick

I believe Ed to believe he's well-read... but I'm not seeing anything yet to suggest that indeed he is...

Instead, I'm seeing lots of evidence to suggest that Ed thinks superficially and shallowly...

But hey, I'll allow that I could be wrong... and hope in fact that I am...

Ed


Genesis 4:19
And Lamech took unto him two wives.
Genesis 16:1-4
Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai ... gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived.
Genesis 25:6
But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had....
Genesis 26:34
Esau ... took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
Genesis 31:17
Then Jacob rose up, and set ... his wives upon camels.
Exodus 21:10
If he take him another wife....
Deuteronomy 21:15
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated....
Judges 8:30
And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
1 Samuel 1:1-2
Elkanah ... had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah.
2 Samuel 12:7-8
Thus saith the LORD God of Israel ... I gave thee ... thy master's wives....
1 Kings 11:2-3
Solomon ... had seven hundred wives ... and three hundred concubines.
1 Chronicles 4:5
And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
2 Chronicles 11:21
Rehoboam ... took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines.
2 Chronicles 13:21
But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives....
2 Chronicles 24:3
Jehoiada took for him two wives....
Mt.25:1
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Ed

I have also heard and read countless arguments that state that it is neither condemmed nor encouraged...

And that the union between a man and a woman was in place before the fall of man.

What about these? these include Levirate Marriage (Man and brother's widow; Genesis 38:6-10

Man and woman, plus her female slaves; Genesis 16

Rapist and victim; Deuteronomy 22:28-29

Male soldier and female prisoner of war Numbers 31: 1-18, Deuteronomy 21:11-14

Arranged marriage between slaves Exodus 21:4

Care to share your Exegesis on the subject at hand? I'd enjoy reading it..I could be wrong as well..;D

Ed

oh, and I have the Catholic bible with all the Deuterocanonical books included..all 14 that the King James does not..

Rick

I'm sorry Ed... where is Scripture endorsing polygamy... I'm afraid I might be too slow to see that and I need someone like yourself, an obvious master of search and of cut and paste, to help me.

Again, you said initially:

You mean to tell me polygamy is wrong even though the bible endorses it?

Back that up please... if you can...

Ed

Well, what I wanted to say was how is it condemmed?

Rick

Wait... so you're willing to agree that the Bible does not endorse polygamy?

Ed

So by that clarity that it isn't endorsed then we can safely assume it is erroneous? so what makes any other position about marriage legitimate from that standpoint?

Ed

The bible clearly shows a tolerance for it..meaning god or what have you can tolerate it when it is one he favors. So how is it that two Christian liberal males cannot get married? that's my question, I suppose..

Rick

So we've already proven that your ability to interpret the Bible is... let's just say myopic... and now you're going to do a little song and dance in the attempt to play gotcha... which I quite frankly, won't engage you on.

If you'd like to read a Catholic perspective on these things (and much more) and do it in snippets over the coming days and weeks (and not 3 minute soundbites), I suggest you read Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body.

It is profound, enlightening, deep and frankly, not the easiest of reads but it'll shed light on what the Catholic perspective is on this and a number of other subjects.

My assumption is that you won't take the time to read it. Prove me wrong.

Ed

Your spin is quite entertaining

I may have misused the word for what I originally meant: tolerance.

I have read that, thank you, so yes you are wrong.


He is a favorite Pope of mine, fyi... Ratzinger, not so much

I suggest you read some Hawkins, Hitchens, and Harris as well as Sagan..


Since you seem to claim to have an open ended view of all things theological, porve that you can read some oppositional viewpoints.

Glad that a ten year old girl and a brother was mentioned. We have modes of decency that make us feel outrage at this, namely Scientific and Philosophical. A ten year old girl is not an adult, and while cousins can marry, two genealogically close people cannot procreate w\out significant damage to the offspring as science has proven would be disatrous.

So, aside from a theistic prejudice for gay marriage what else do you have?

And for the record, I do not agree that the church should be 'forced' to marry anyone. I feel they (churches) should leave matters of the state to the state.

Regardless of whether you get married in a Catholic church or a Buddhist temple, you still have to get a license from the state. You and others like you can define marriage between two consenting adults as you please in the confines of your church community till your messiah comes home..

Ed


My point is this:

Your plate of food makes me have an allergic reaction..

please do not force me to eat from it ;D


Ed

That last comment is for your eloquent piece that you wont let me comment on anymore

Rick

Who's forcing you to eat anything? No one.

Your logic is fallacious.

As to John Paul II and Pope Benedict... what is it that you like about one that you don't like about the other?

Be specific.

And if you've truly read Theology of the Body, then some of your questions are answered... perhaps I should've asked whether you comprehend the work.

Ed

I read it and litened to the audio tape wth Christopher West

Understanding is one thing, rejecting it is another

Ed

So then, you agree

That gay couples can get married by the state as long as they do not set foot in your church?

Or do you feel the need to make them define marriage by your theological views.

its a simple question.

and to answer your question on the Pope's Theology of the body, it's a great theological piece. But as a person of reason and science, its not appealing.

Pope Joh Paul II had a more ecumenical approach although, that still fosters anti atheist sentiments.

Ed

And beleieving in the 'mysteries' and virgin birth does not make you more logical than I, or anyone else

Lol

tnxplant

Well, it seems to me that there is a difference between endorsing a thing and permitting it.

Unlike writings from other religious traditions, the Bible is amazingly candid about the feet of clay of human beings, including the patriarchs of the Christian faith.

In Holy Scripture, God permits his people to do things that are bad for them. They are permitted to have multiple wives (polygyny). They are permitted to divorce. They are permitted to have human kings. None of those were in God's original plan when he created the man and then the woman for the man's helpmate.

Jesus reiterates God's creative purpose in speaking of a man growing up and leaving his parents' home, establishing himself and taking a wife. Paul further explains the mystery of marriage as being a type of the relationship between Christ and the church.

One may cherry pick verses from now until Kingdom Come, but the overarching truth of God's Word is clear to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.

Ed

"One may cherry pick verses from now until Kingdom Come, but the overarching truth of God's Word is clear to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see."

That is a good point; it's also a good point at people have a right to reject said word as they would anything that is unverifiable by scientific reasoning.

And if it is from a unverifiable source, why try to make it the law of the land? that is my point to this entire thread of circular logic.

I do not dislike the term reject as others do because I can embrace it for what it is: my intellectual honesty with myself.

I can reject any idea of god as comfortably as you do with any idea of Thor, Odin, Or Mithra. I simply believe in one less god than you do.

I am not trying to tell anyone what to think, just asking that people who do not think as you do be afforded that same courtesy and leave the laws of the land for everyone - theist or non theist.

Hence my reason to quip on this article when I did.

Wasn't trying to be disrespectful to any of you as you all seem to be fine people, in my humblest of opinions..

chuck aka xtnyoda

This all started around 500 years ago when for the first time a "marriage license" was dreamed up. Then it was the church that started to issue the license. (comes from the word 'licentious') Before then, in all of human history, it was the institution of the family that granted the right of marriage.

The marriage license was a usurping of the authority of the family.

Next, in America, about 150 years ago states decided that they also could grant marriage, via the license. The main purpose then was to prevent blacks and whites from marrying. Another usurping of the institution of the family, just following the example set by the church. (Oh, then in the 20th century it became, 'we just need to make sure you don't have a disease.' Now it's just pay your marriage tax.)

Pretty noble history of the marriage license. And the more we allow whatever group to usurp the family authority ... the family failure rate escalates. Any wonder?

Wikipedia has a fairly good article called "marriage license."

salvage

>who marries whom is everybody's business

No it's not you silly little man your goofy superstitions about your angry god notwithstanding.

BroKen

Wow, I haven't had so many comments in a long, long time. Thank you all.

Salvage! Glad to see you are alive and kicking (against the goads!) Did you ever pick up "The Abolition of Man" by C. S. Lewis? I would still love to hear your critique.

Ed, you believe in science and reason. Here is a reasonable arguement against homosexual behavior. I would appreciate your critique of it as well.

The purpose of sex is that two people become one. That is most obvious in the new life that they create. Since a man and a man or a woman and a woman cannot possibly become one in this way... homosexual sex is misguided. It is a sham; pretending to be something it cannot be. It may feel like two become one... but at the most fundamental level, it cannot work. Two keys or two locks cannot be one mechanism in the way that a lock and a key are one. Therefore, homosexual behavior is immoral. It is harmful to individuals and society to declare that an action does what it cannot possibly do.

There you have it. There is not a religious term in that whole paragraph. What do you think?

wrdbrn

Ken, Reverend Berggren,

I am one of those friends and we have asked you before not to use us or our conversations from another forum in your articles or sermons with out permission. Please be sure that you know it has been noted.

Jody

I find it completely ridiculous that you would use as an example a 10 year old child and an adult .. There is a HUGE difference between two consenting adults and an adult and a child! And no, it is NOT our business and certainly not YOURS! You are really twisted.. If it is a sin.. let God sort it out.. You have your own sins to worry about!

Ed

Broken:

Your analogy is academically, at best, below middle school level. You fail to ascertain the mounds of scientific evidence that states it (homosexual attraction)in nature is clearly not as black and white as you seem to consider it is.

Do I think science and reason have all the answers? of course not. We have gaps in the scientific process that we eventually fill with reasonable, empirical data that has been peer reviewed and time tested.

We do not fill that gap with god or other incredible beings. We accept that there is unexplained phenomena, we do not make assertations on 'feelings' or 'hunches'

Those days are long gone. Unfortunately for you.

Ed

Not to interject between anyone's dilemma

But in the good reverend's defense

no names nor places have been indicated in
terms of the person(s) mentioned.

it is still a country where we can practice free speech, isn't it?

Ed

Oh, and one more thing..

your analogy was almost close to a junk science statement till you threw this gem in:

"Therefore, homosexual behavior is immoral."

That would fall under the religious theme, wouldn't it? ;)

wrdbrn

Ken, Reverend Berggren, is also deleting some posts. Specifically the person who posted the original graphic.

Ed

Humm

So.. the cure to a so-called fallacious argument is suppression of ideas?

As opposed to a better argument?

I would hope the good Reverend is more ethical than that..

You know, having the authority of the 'almighty' and what have you, on his side..

Ed

I can't speak for you, kind Reverend on the above accusation, as I do not have all the facts. So I apologize for the sarcasm. I also will reiterate my point on your analogy when you return to your post.

I'll start with the first part of your statement. "The purpose of sex is that two people become one. That is most obvious in the new life that they create." Does that mean to imply that a couple who does not procreate should not be together? does a married couple abstain from sex after they have produced offspring? or abstain if they are unable to have offspring? is it logical to shun a celibate person who does not fulfill the role of procreation in society?.....doubtful.

Second part: "Two keys or two locks cannot be one mechanism in the way that a lock and a key are one." So you mean to tell me, that you can compare the inordinately complex thing that is human sexuality and just sexuality in general with a lock and key? Really? so a person fails to be a sexual being after losing their genitalia for any number of reasons? or for not using their genitals?

Third part, my favorite. "Homosexuality is immoral." Not amoral. Immoral, as in implying that it is implicitly breaking some rule set by a group, or society in general. How where those rules set? lets take some time to consider this..yes, rules put in place by folks who wholeheartedly believe in talking burning bushes and other juicy desert fables. Yup.

Last one. "It is harmful to individuals and society to declare that an action does what it cannot possibly do." Ah. We have yet more of the same opinion based thinking. Have you considered reading some ethical theories, the major ones being: Utilitarianism, the Categorical Imperative, Aristotelian virtue ethics, and Stoic virtue ethics when you dish out what you opine is harmful to either individuals and society?

This infantile mode of thinking may work for some people in your societal circles, but for those of us who go further, it. wont. work.

Ed

Oh, and Rick

Assuming you are 'plainly Catholic'

Thank you for showing the rest of us how you and those who adhere to your cult suppress ideas.

Appreciate the candor. ;D

Rick

Ed... what in hell are you talking about? Where have I suppressed any ideas?

Put the bong down and explain the idiocy...

Ed

You wont let me comment on your threads

You can't explain how I am wrong

I think your Cathlic 'mysteries' are myths,
prove me wrong.

p.s. I do not smoke :)

BroKen

Ed, first let me express my heartfelt gratitude for your defense of my free speech. It means a great deal to me. Thank you. I also appreciate the apology for your sarcastic comment about deleting posts. I assure that there has been no deleting of anything by me on this thread. So, I don't know what the poster above is referring to. But those posts of theirs do amplify and illustrate the kind of response to divergent thinking that the article describes, don't they? The guardians are at work. They tolerate no dissent.

I was going to suggest that your original response to my argument against homosexual behavior is not sound. You say my analogy is sub-middle school but you don't say why. You say that there are mounds of scientific evidence.... that says what, specifically? Sex is more complex than a lock and key? Well, duh. That is not the point.

Your later response is more detailed but it makes assumptions which are not borne out by my argument. A logician might call them "Straw man".

Now, of course, a lock and key are not as complex as human sexuality. But the fundamental principle of transmission and reception of information is essential to both. Also, a lock that doesn't work is still a lock, and a key that never opens a lock is still a key, now isn't it. Likewise for males and females. All your questions on these points are misguided.

In what you call your favorite point (of mine) you mis-quote me. I did NOT say "homosexuality is immoral." Go back and read more carefully.

This question of the source of morality is very important, Ed. In your initial response you accuse me of smuggling in religion using moral language. Do you think moral reasoning is inherently religious? Well, do you? Why else would you say, "That would fall under a religious theme, wouldn't it?" I'll just say that it might, but it doesn't have to. Why would you assume that it does? Think about that, my friend.

In your final point you get all highfalutin. So, go on. Use your utilitarianism, or catagorical imperative and refute my argument that homosexual behavior is immoral because it pretends to be something it is not. Go on, have at it big boy. But don't just trot out some big words and say those words refute the argument. Saying the argument is infantile doesn't refute it either. I put the argument out there for your critique. Critique it, my friend. All you've done so far is say that you don't like it. Tell me why. Rationally or scientifically or with moral reasoning, show me where I am wrong.

One last thing. I appreciate what you are doing when you call me "good reverend". I am not offended in the least. But don't call me "good". There is none good but God. (Now, you knew I was going to bring Him up eventually, didn't you!)

Ed

Rick

I am assuming that you are the author of some of the Catholic articles posted, some that I have tried to comment on since I had genuine questions. If you are not the author of those I admit I am mistaken.

broken

You are welcome, as I hate censorship, and my apology was sincere

How is your analogy of a lock and key even remotely useful in describing sexual thniking in human beings? You did not answer the question.

If you are going to refute the medical and scientific community for making discoveries that indeed homosexual behavior is borne in some as is ADHD and Aspergers and having Down syndrome, it could well be ascertained that it can explain how there are homosexual tendencies in people. So are we to shut them away from society based on the fact that they do not follow some 'plan' in nature that you feel is 'right?'

The word immoral was written by you, unless someone else wrote it in there, its your wording, not mine. Immoral and amoral have two distinct meanings. And yes, they have religious connotations when a society in general decides to make it 'the norm' different societies and different religions make for different norms..get the picture?

Would you agree, that to have an educated (and intellgient) mind you would be able to entertain opposing ideas before making a sound reasonable conclusion?

Based on your lack of acknowledgement that there are oppositional arguments for what you are stating, then one can safely conclude that your position is neither educated nor intelligent.

Ed

And insofar as you being a good reverrend, I am safely making that assumption, from what I read here.

And yes, as it seems to be a cornerstone of your thinking and a lens with which you view the world, I would say that, yes, you would bring 'him' up..:)

Ed

My phone has auto correct..in no way am I such a careless typist usually..

kerala houseboat

Great article, thanks for sharing.

BroKen

Ed, let me take this a bit at a time.

You say, "How is your analogy of a lock and key even remotely useful in describing sexual thniking in human beings? You did not answer the question."

But I did answer the question: "Now, of course, a lock and key are not as complex as human sexuality. But the fundamental principle of transmission and reception of information is essential to both." Look, a lock and key are two parts of one mechanism and obviously male and female are two parts of one reproductive mechanism. Are you reading my posts at all?

You say, "If you are going to refute the medical and scientific community for making discoveries that indeed homosexual behavior is borne in some..."

When did I refute any medical or scientific discoveries? I might. I might not. But I certainly haven't done any such refutation in my argument.

Then you ask, "So are we to shut them away from society based on the fact that they do not follow some 'plan' in nature that you feel is 'right?'"

I haven't advocated shutting anyone away from society. Where is this coming from? It would help me if you would respond to the argument that I have made rather than what you imagine that I think.

You say, "Immoral and amoral have two distinct meanings. And yes, they have religious connotations..."

Yes, they do. I have said homosexual behavior is immoral. Why even bring up "amoral". As to the religious connotations, would you say that prohibitions of murder are religious in nature? If not, how do you decide which morals are religious and which are not? If so, how do you expect to maintain a moral society without religion? Yes, I do get the picture. I wonder if you do, though.

You ask, "Would you agree, that to have an educated (and intellgient) mind you would be able to entertain opposing ideas before making a sound reasonable conclusion?"

If I understand you correctly, I think I would say , yes, I agree.

And finally, you say, "Based on your lack of acknowledgement that there are oppositional arguments for what you are stating, then one can safely conclude that your position is neither educated nor intelligent."

What lack of acknowledgement are you talking about? I am confident that there are arguments to counter mine out there. But I have yet to see one developed by you. Why is that? Come on, man. I am inviting you to debate. Have at it. If you can refute my argument, do it. If you can't, then deal with the ramifications.

BroKen

Oh, btw, Rick informs me that he has not done any deleting on this thread and I certainly haven't. So, I don't know what inability to comment you or others are talking about. Maybe you guys are having trouble with the spambot catcher. I don't know. Clearly the comments on this thread are open.

Ed

ok, so your wording was different...

'Homosexual behavior is immoral', as opposed to 'homosexuality is immoral'

my mistake, but it still raises the question:

Are the thoughts a person have sinful? or immoral? in your theistic view? I know some feel that

having lustful thoughts are sinful as opposed to acting out said lustful thoughts in reality. I don't know which school

of thought you adhere to particularly.

I mention 'theistic' because Religious institutions have a self proclaimed ownership to morality.

And by religions I mean particularly the big three religions, Judaism, Islam, Christianity.

Do I believe that morality is inherently religious? No. Just that it is claimed as such. There are just as many examples of immorality,

Within religion as there is in non religious settings and situations.

I did actually mention the why's and hows of my dislike for your analogy

I could well say that red hair is not the norm, but it is not considered abnormal.

I could also compare a left handed person as not being the norm, but most would agree it is not abnormal.

I feel that those are better analogies for homosexual behavior AND thoughts.


Highfalutin. Ha, I like that old word, good one.

Not just fancy words, but words that have deep meaning. I can expand on those.


1.) Utilitarianism

I understand utilitarianism as the following – 'Utilitarianism states that morality should be guided by the results of an action.

If an action maximizes good results (such as happiness) and minimizes bad results (such as pain),

Then the action is right in the sense that we ought to do it. If an action causes needless suffering, then it would be wrong to do it.

If an action would not have any bad results, then the action is not wrong.

Homosexual behavior in this context, does not lead to significant harm as far as anyone can tell.

It is true that promiscuous unprotected sex could lead to STD’s, but that is just a fact about promiscuous unprotected sex. Not homosexual behavior.


2.) Categorical Imperative:

The categorical imperative was originally stated to be, “Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time

will that it become a universal law.” I take this to mean “act only in accordance with reasons that would apply to all similar situations.”

If you think that it is permissible to take a shower because it is neither disrespectful to others nor does it hurt anyone, then you have to accept that,

other actions that are neither disrespectful nor hurtful are also permissible, such as buttoning your shirt.

Homosexual behavior appears to fit this description (it can be respectful and harmless) in at least many cases.

Consenting adults can decide to have sex for personal enjoyment without hurting anyone and without being disrespectful

whether the sexual act is between people of the same sex or not. If we accept that sexual acts in some situations are

permissible, then we have to accept that it will be permissible for the same reason in similar situations.

On the other hand an action such as stealing is disrespectful to people.

If I think I am justified to steal a car because I can make better use of it than someone else,

then I will have to accept that other people will be justified to steal it from me for the same reason.

It would be hypocritical to think I can steal from people for that reason and other people can’t.

Fortunately people don’t agree that stealing is so easily justified.

That doesn’t mean that stealing is never justified. It might be that we can agree that life and death situations

could justify stealing without being hypocritical. (As in needing to steal a car to get away from an attacker)


3.) Aristotelian Virtue Ethics:

I understand Aristotle as finding personal happiness and flourishing (a life well lived) to be the main goal of ethics, and people who know how to be happy well have a virtuous character. His main interest in ethics will be in terms of virtue and vice. He thinks that certain tendencies of character that lead to an extreme behavior will not lead to happiness. Courage is to allow fear to moderate our behavior to risk our lives, reputation, comfort, and so on, only when doing so is necessary to have greater happiness. Foolhardiness is it keep fear from moderating our behavior and leads to unnecessary risk taking, and cowardice is to allow fear to moderate our behavior too much.

Aristotle would agree that certain sexual behavior is virtuous and some is not.

If homosexuality is a defect in one’s character (a detriment to one’s happiness), then I would suspect that homosexuals would be less happy than others,

and consequentially have more mental illness than others.

However, homosexuality in and of itself has not been found to be relevant to unhappiness or mental illness:

In a review of published studies comparing homosexual and heterosexual samples on psychological tests,

Gonsiorek (1982) found that, although some differences have been observed in test results between homosexuals and heterosexuals,

both groups consistently score within the normal range.

Gonsiorek concluded that “Homosexuality in and of itself is unrelated to psychological disturbance or maladjustment.

Homosexuals as a group are not more psychologically disturbed on account of their homosexuality.” (Homosexuality and Mental Health is the source for that.)


4.) Stoic Virtue Ethics:

The Stoics agreed that our character is relevant to ethics, but they thought that the most important element of our character was our reason and beliefs.

Irrational beliefs lead to inappropriate emotions and behavior, and rational beliefs lead to appropriate emotions and character.

The Stoics thought that all forms of suffering (such as fear and anger) were caused by irrational value judgments that something bad has happened.

In the great scheme of things getting you wallet stolen is not a big deal, but stealing a wallet tends to be inappropriate (based on vicious character)

because it tends to be caused by greed rather than a rational belief that stealing the wallet is somehow the right thing to do all things considered.

For a Stoic any sexual behavior could be caused by inappropriate beliefs insofar

as we think sex is the best thing in the world and allow ourselves to lust after sex irrationally.

However, a Stoic admits that pleasure can be a rational goal when we dispassionately realize the limited importance of pleasure.

I believe homosexual behavior can be perfectly virtuous in that sense.

Do you need more?

Ed

So I suppose I need to know, in your own words,

Why is homosexual behavior and marriage

a thing that you feel straight society needs to be concerned with?

and thank you for neither spamming the others nor myself ;D

BroKen

Ed, sorry I've taken so long to respond. Life Happens! Thank you for your survey of some various styles of ethical reasoning. I do see it as an attempt to refute my argument and enter the debate, so, thank you. But it does seem more an expression of why you think homosexual behavior is permissible rather than an answer to my argument why it isn't.

Utilitarianism usually repels me because of its "ends justify the means" tenancies. But I will ask, if "It is true that promiscuous unprotected sex could lead to STD’s, but that is just a fact about promiscuous unprotected sex. Not homosexual behavior." Does homosexual behavior lead to promiscuous unprotected sex? For the sake of the argument, I'll concede that it logically does not have to. But does it in practice lead to promiscuity (I think it certainly tends to)? If it does, then the utility of homosexual behavior is suspect.

I'll let the others go for now. You ask a very good question in that last comment. Here is an answer from the facebook discussion that started this whole thing.

Imagine a confused young boy whose girlfriend just rudely dumped him and he wonders why relationships with girls are so awkward. He asks himself, "Will I ever be able to make it work and have a family?" If our society decides to celebrate homosexual relationships, what will we say to that boy? Could we give any rational warning for him to stay away from another man or boy who finds him attractive and is so very nice to him? Could we? Should we? Would we give any warning at all?

Ed

You're welcome broken.

I too have been away with my studies,
The thing that peaked my curiosity about your post initially was how simplistic it is.

Of course, many things are simple in concept, but you clearly have not touched on (for either willful or truly misunderstood reasonings) how complex certain aspects of the neuro physical realm truly are.

You still didn't answer my question on your analogy. That might help the debate.

This is your statement:

"Look, a lock and key are two parts of one mechanism and obviously male and female are two parts of one reproductive mechanism."

No refuting that statement as it is obvious in some instances in nature, depending on the creature involved.

What is not obvious to me (from you) is the implication that the union between human beings is purely biological.

Is that what you are stating? Is it purely a biological function? Nothing more? ever? or is there some gray areas there..

You also used the word 'misguided' when refering to same sex couples. You seem to use this word a lot.

If two people going into a sexual union that will not bear offspring, i. e. woman with a histerecomy, plus a man, woman with an infertile male, man and man, woman and woman,

Why would that imply that they are 'misguided' if they know beforehand they will not bear children? Please explain that to me, as you have not.

Why would they (same sex couples) not be able to bear offspring for others as surrogate parents? Or adopt a child with no parents?

I did not think you would advocate the 'shutting of people' away. But how would denying people the right to marry, or have some kind of legal union curb that union you feel is misguided on biological principles?

Is that what you advocate?

Has it stopped people before? Would it curb the pattern of behavior exhibited in the past if this was implemented? how would you propose to curb said behaviors?

I used the words immoral and amoral side by side because people confuse the two quite often,

Not implying at all that you exhibited said confusion. One, 'immoral' has implications for societal rules and norms.

These may or may not have religious undertones to them. Generally as a rule they do. It's one of many myths that people hold to be true, even by our advanced knowledge of the world and how it works.

Amorality is the absence of morals, either
for a lack of knowledge or an inability or unwillingness to recognize them in their own lives.

I am quite sure you know the difference.

What do you think would solve this lack of knowledge and inability or unwillingness
if people who are already religious seem to exhibit these lack of morals themselves?

To comment on your fb discussion/analogy:
"If our society decides to celebrate homosexual relationships, what will we say to that boy? Could we give any rational warning for him to stay away from another man or boy who finds him attractive and is so very nice to him? Could we? Should we? Would we give any warning at all?"

You would be going by the assumption that this boy already has same sex attraction,
that others will encourage him to try same sex relationships,

or that he will meet a predator.

Are any of these above stated fears reasonable expectations? sure. But to minimalize what this boy (or girl) is experiencing at the moment, without all the facts being presented to him/her, based simply on your own misgivings (homosexual pairings)

then you are just making guesses with no verifiable outcome.

I am sure you have seen or heard of parents assuring their kids who awaken from a nightmare that there is nothing in the closet to get them, as opposed to shielding them from some imaginary monster in that closet.

Or is that the route you would take?

I agree young people are not emotionally mature enough for the intensity of a physical relationship, but we are discussing rational, adult people. Not children. Are there adults (gay or straight) with the emotional development of teens? sure, younger even. But each stage of maturity is individual. Surely you understand that.

Your question,
"But does it in practice lead to promiscuity (I think it certainly tends to)? If it does, then the utility of homosexual behavior is suspect."

Well, any recurring sexual thought or desire can lead to promiscuity, along with many other factors. What makes it more so with homosexual behavior than heterosexual behavior? The answer would seem obvious to me.

What you seem to fail to acknowledge is the number of rational, healthy adults who commit to these pairings on a daily basis.

The real world is out there if you want to study it firsthand. Regardless of whether it adheres to your theological views or not. ;)

Ed

Oh, and thank you again for not being insulting or condescending as Mr Rick has been.

It shows you have a strong intellectual position in your arguments.

As well as courage. That's why I said you were 'good' earlier and I stand by that.

Not 'all good' or 'all knowing' ;)

BroKen

Glad to see you're back, Ed. I thought we had lost you. Hope your studies went well.

There is a lot to respond to here. Let me try a step at a time.

1) simple isn't simplistic. I know sex is very complex, but it is essentially simple.... like a lock and key. You say there is no refuting my statement that male and female are two parts of one mechanism. That is what I am saying. DEAL WITH IT!! Consider, why do you qualify your acceptance of this simple truth? You say, "in SOME instances in nature". No, sex is what it is in ALL instances in nature whether birds or bees or flowers or trees! Then you say, "depending on the creature involved". No, no, no! If sex is involved it is ALWAYS two parts of one mechanism. That is WHAT SEX IS! Yes, of course, sex in humans is very complex. But still, it is essentially two parts making one mechanism, because that is what SEX IS.

2)I do NOT imply that union between two humans is PURELY biological. Why would you say that? Just because I was keeping it simple? Look, I was getting to the heart of the matter, the central truth. I am convinced that the biological reality is related to the emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of sexual activity. YOU need to explain why it isn't.

3)Then you bring up sterile couples as an example. That is the analogy with homosexual couples that fails, my friend. Here is the thing. A six year old child would see their widowed, post-menopausal grandmother's marriage to "Papa Bill" as just like her parent's marriage (without any explanation of menopause necessary). The same child would look at a "marriage" between Bill and George and go, "Huh?" (The child might, of course, be indoctrinated to say, "...but there's nothing wrong with that!")

4)I would deny that marriage is a "right". I would deny marriage between a person and a rock, or a person and an animal, or a person and a close relative, like parent/child or siblings, or persons of the same sex. None of those deserve social support and some clearly deserve social objection. That is what I advocate.

5)In your discussion of "immoral" and "amoral", I'm sorry, but I just don't get your point. I don't understand your question, either.

6)Similarly, in your discussion around my hypothetical scenario, I don't get it. The point is, if we accept and celebrate homosexual relationships because there are some who "can't help what they feel" there will be no way to say others, "But don't you go there." I don't think there is any doubt that that is where we are heading with this.

7)On homosexual promiscuity. I have heard arguments to the effect that the church should champion homosexual marriage BECAUSE homosexuals are "driven" into promiscuous lifestyles BECAUSE they don't have the social support of marriage. I think the argument is spurious, but it does acknowledge the tendency of homosexual promiscuity.

8) I don't deny that there are rational homosexual adults. I am saying they are "MISGUIDED". There's that word again!

Thank you for you compliments. I may be better than some (and I don't mean Rick) but, still, I ain't very "good".

Ed

My Studies went well, thank you. I see you attempted to answer my questions, that's always good.

1) Exactly as I pointed out, the male - female part is simple, in the animal kingdom as well as the plant kingdom. I mentioned 'some instances in nature' as there is asexual reproduction (mitosis, budding, Gemmules, fragmentation, regeneration, parthenogenesis so on and so forth. So no, it does not necessarily involve two. That is a fact you must deal with as well.

Since we are mammals, there are also other couplings in nature (15,000 actually, mammal and non mammal) that do not involve hetero sexual unions, i.e black headed gulls, dwarf chimpanzee, chinstrap penguins, all of these require the union of opposite sexes to reproduce, but yet find ways to couple up in same sex situations. Deal with that.

2) What led me to assume that you feel it is biological? your statements,

"Now, of course, a lock and key are not as complex as human sexuality. But the fundamental principle of transmission and reception of information is essential to both."

" Look, a lock and key are two parts of one mechanism and obviously male and female are two parts of one reproductive mechanism."

'Reception of information' and 'reproduction' have biological references, can we agree on that much? and you seem to feel that that is the essential reason why people would be together at all.

For sexual pairings yes, but the reproduction part - may or may not be a factor at all. It is not always the reason why two people will join together. Surely that is clear to you?

3) My analogy of sterile, infertile, or childless couples (who decide for their own reasons that they do not wish to have children) is very relevant to this point as it is a key note in the debate your brethren have on homosexual pairings being 'immoral' and 'misguided' as homosexual couples cannot bear children on their own. Why else bring up reproduction in the first place?

4) Ok, we are getting to heart of the matter now. You have personal objections to people getting married as you see fit.

That's understandable, as understandable as it was in 1967 when Loving v. Virginia overturned interracial marriage bans as unconstitutional.

Pastors and politicians objected in much the same way, with as much vehemence on how the 'natural order of things' and how 'god had made the races separate' was challenged.

Thankfully, cool headed ethics cleared a path through years of bigotry and superstition. I would agree at present there are only privileges, not rights.

If people had rights there would be no discussion of who has what rights and what for. Fortunately, we live in a society where that is challenged daily and human reason, yes, and intelligence prevails. That is why we have civil rights, as I see it that is always a good thing. Gays are citizens as well, so they are entitled to full legal economical and social 'rights' of those citizens who are straight.

Your analogies of the rights of people intermarrying with persons, minerals, animals, are off point. As I have stated countless times, this is about two ADULT PERSONS.

There are no facts at present that would indicate an explosion of such incidents in countries that have same sex marriage. And I think you already know this. Whether you choose to accept is is unknown, and frankly unimportant to me.

5)No point on those two words, nor questions as I already stated what was already obvious. People use word play a lot and do not understand the meanings behind words. No matter how intelligent they are.

6)We have ethical obligations to consider, when addressing whether someone is 'born' that way or not. As much studies as there are, scientific and neuro physiological there is nothing conclusive to state that it is/is not a choice. You may be hindering someone's happiness based on an assumption, a non scientific assumption, then what?

7) It would depend on the environment the gay person lives in. If there are more gay inclusive situations, then they will have more support, societal as well as familial.

I have heard of churches who feel they must champion the rights of gays as they too, are 'children of god', and should be treated as such

since, as I stated above, there is no scientific evidence to conclusively state they are willfully 'misguided' as you like to say.

That may be the source of most bigotry against LGBT folks in modern times. It is nothing new.

I do not recall hearing of any gays who insist on churches marrying them. There may be, but i have not heard of it.

The most logical thing would be for them to circumvent the church you happen to be a pastor of and marry in a more gay friendly church. It would be a win- win situation, no?

You get to not have them in your flock, possibly poisoning young hearts and minds and they get their wedding vows in a church of their choosing.

The institution of marriage is very much a state function anyways, in that regardless of whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Wicca, you still have to get a license from the state.

8) There very well may be misguided folks who are gay. But that goes for straight people as well. Despite your own misgivings as I said, about homosexuals, you can't decide this on your own as you do not know all homosexuals. I'd be surprised if you knew of any openly ones as of this moment come to think of it. They could be in your congregation and in your own home for all you seem to know.

I don't want us to go in circles, as this will quickly become that, given the chance, but I will leave you with this quote from Miss Mildred Loving from the above case ruling,

in a statement she made on Jul 12, 2007, and it will, in my opinion, be something reflective that future generations will speak of in kind when they peruse such debatable points such as the ones we have been discussing.

"Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.
I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."

I wish you and your loved ones the best.

BroKen

Ed, I don't think going around is circles is the phrase for what's happening here. I think we are "talking past each other". I suspect that it is because "Most people understand, intuitively and from experience, that marriage is a heterosexual institution whose public good is linked to children. But they find it almost impossible to articulate that. Like most of the most important things in our lives, we don’t really have a language to speak about their value." That is from Rick's post called "Why don't we just give up on opposing same-sex marriage?" We seem to be talking different languages... I can't seem to get you to understand what I am saying.

For example, there are several instances in which you repeat or rephrase what I've said, yet you leave out important words or add other words which drastically change the meaning. This change seems lost on you.

For example, I say, "I do NOT imply that union between two humans is PURELY biological." You respond, "What led me to assume that you feel it is biological? your statements,..." Those capital letters are a clue that "PURELY" is important. Why did you cut it out? Your practice of putting words in my mouth (when did I say gays were 'willfully' misguided?) or taking them out, besides being unsanitary, is frustrating to me.

I can easily deal with asexual reproduction. It isn't human. I can easily deal with homosexual behavior in animals. They aren't human either! Of course, human beings are animals, but we are not merely or PURELY animals. Are we? If you think we are MERELY animals, then we may, sadly, have lost sufficient common ground to discuss the issue.

But let's try once more. And please, let's keep this on the level of ideas rather than make assumptions about my contact with gay persons. Any personal preference of mine or yours is irrelevant to this issue. It is certainly NOT the heart of the issue.

How about if we try to resolve our disagreement around the sterile heterosexual couple. You said, "My analogy of sterile, infertile, or childless couples (who decide for their own reasons that they do not wish to have children) is very relevant to this point as it is a key note in the debate your brethren have on homosexual pairings being 'immoral' and 'misguided' as homosexual couples cannot bear children on their own. Why else bring up reproduction in the first place?"

Again, you seem to miss the point. It is not the fact that homosexual couples can't reproduce, but WHY homosexual couples can't reproduce. Sterile heterosexual couples cannot reproduce because something is broken. But the sex act is still the act of sexual reproduction even when it doesn't 'work' to reproduce. That is why the innocent six year old sees her grandmother's marriage to "Papa Bill" as just like her parent's. It doesn't have to be explained to her and it is unlikely that she has ever heard the word 'menopause'. Homosexual sex cannot produce offspring because.... it isn't really sexual... biologically speaking. It only carries the name because it usually involves sex organs. But it isn't sexual at the most fundamental level. Calling something sexual when it isn't sexual has ramifications for individuals and society. It is 'misguided'.

We bring up reproduction because that is what sex is about... by definition. All the other complexities; emotional, social and spiritual, arise out of that fundamental nature of two becoming one in sexual reproduction. Denying or discounting that fundamental truth is a recipe for disaster, personally and socially.

I hope that helps. Best to you and yours as well.

P.S. go back and read that post of Rick's on why we oppose same sex marriage. If you think carefully about what they guy says about a "much broader matrix", trying to see where we are coming from, I think you will understand.

Ed

I cant believe I am getting myself pulled back into this

But I will make my position short and clear, I believe that it may not always be a choice.

I do not believe it will change the desire for heterosexual couples to be otherwise, any more than that pseudo scientific garbage about restorative therapy has shown time and time again to not cure the 'gay' away.

I am not denying that the 'normal' union between a man and a woman, male female, etc ect is needed to pass on information, and to avoid serious genetic maladies. I just do not see any evidence scientifically speaking to label it only as a choice or a 'misguided idea', (as it does not explain the occurrences in lower animals in nature) as the notion of free will is also nonsense to me. The neurons in your brain make subconscious commands that your self is not aware of at all when they occur.

I read the article and like many Catholic articles is flowery and well written.

But, as wonderfully poetic and full of prose as they are,

nonetheless are based on an appeal to authority, one the church will change on a whim, the stroke of a pen, the thumping of a stamp, even after hundreds of years of its practice not 'needing' to change.

For someone who does not have any empirical evidence of a god or jesus presented (ever) by believers this has no appeal to me whatsoever. It would be like you deciding to have a sit down discussion with me about why Santa will not have my presents this year due to my behavior.

I do not hate religion or the idea of gods, as I would have to believe it is real for me to have such an emotional response to it. And regardless of religion or not, people will do awful things, as well as brilliant things. Because as the top mammal, that is what we do.

I'm really done this time, promise ;)

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