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Old 03-08-2002, 09:02 PM   #151
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On the issue of genetics:

As you say, I made two comments that supposedly rely on simple high-school biology courses; I will address each comment on its own:

"I believe left-handedness is genetic; taken to its natural conclusion, it propagates to the next generation."

I don't see any area of contention. Let's say, for an instant (and I'm NOT SUGGESTING I ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS), that both left-handedness and homosexuality are gentic. Left-handedness, if dominant AND expressed, doesn't seriously impede the organism's efforts to procreate and ensure the survival of its genetic information. Homosexuality, if dominant and expressed, causes the person to desire the opposite sex LESS than normal. Thus, the person is less likely to have sex with a member of the opposite sex, and is less likely to create any offspring. (A similar statement can be made for infertility: if a gene causes a lower sperm count, it's not going to do very well over time.) There's nothing controversial in my statement, and as far as I know, there's NOTHING that is refuted by ANY level of biological science.

(If you know of such a refutation, go right ahead.)

My other statement was this:

"the possibility that God intentionally created the two sexes so that one from one sex would join with one from the other sex."

You attacked this comment once already, and I responded then:

"But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." - Mark 10:6-8.

I didn't use Mendel, genetics, biology, or science to back up my claim that God intentionally created the two sexes. I used the BIBLE. Now, I grant that there are deviations from the norm, but they are simply that: deviations. I'm sure that those with XXY chromosomes, etc., are really nice people, but most of them can't reproduce. That they can't pass on their genes is a pretty damn good indication that something wrong about the genes - that they do not work precisely as intended. I continue to assert that male and female are the intended states of humanity, and that we were made to join a monogomous, heterosexual union - not because of genetics, but because of the Bible.

(I also note that you don't really refute the specific Biblical passages I quote, other than the usual arguments of "Old Testament bad" and "Matthew bad.")

At any rate, I'm sure plenty of people from the Christian Coalition have tried to use simplified genetics to back up their claims that there are no such deviations - BUT I HAVEN'T. Again, you're attacking claims I simply didn't make.

...

You bring up other quotes I made about bestiality. Let's - FOR ONCE - look at them in context:

"Simple: one would fear something that might arouse you because there are things that SHOULDN'T arouse you. Examples? Your own parents, children, and animals. Sexual attraction to such things is morally abhorrent and against natural laws.

"And if one subscribes to the belief that homosexuality is morally wrong, it falls under the same category as incest, pedophilia, and bestiality.

"(Let me be the first to say that I do believe that homosexuality is against God's plan for humanity, and thus a sin. But just as murder is worse than taking the Lord's name in vain, pedophilia is far worse than homosexuality. Murder and pedophilia should CERTAINLY be illegal; swearing and homosexuality should not. If it's between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own property (and if there's no effort to INSIST that the behavior is just as normal as heterosexual monogamy), I say, live and let live.)"


What's this? I partially defend homosexuality, saying that it SHOULD be legal, AND that things like pedophilia are far worse. (For the record, bestiality is also worse, but I thought that could be left unsaid; sorry if that offended you.)

"I see no problem with homosexual couples having the same access to medical benefits and legal rights that married couples have. But marriage is an entirely different matter, because it is DEFINED to be the union of a man and a woman (usually sealed by an oath before God).

"If we're going to extend the definition to include homosexual couplings, there's no reason to NOT further extend it by including greater numbers, other species, or inanimate objects. If two men can be married, then why not five men, three women, a sheep, and a coffee table?"


And look: here I say that homosexuals SHOULD have the same medical benefits as heterosexuals. Ultimately, I was responding to the suggestion to redefine marriage from "one woman and one man" to "two adult humans." My response was that, if you can argue the opposite-sex requirement out of the definition, you could also argue out the other requirements: that the number be limited to two, the age be of consentual adults, and even the species. If you read the entire quote, you would see I'm only defending the definition of the word "marriage", not equating homosexuality and bestiality.

Any other quotes you want to take out of context?

...

Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
I am "manipulative" and "dishonest"? If I may throw some name calling around, since you chose to throw the first punch, you are an imbecile. If I misinterpret your arguments, it is because they are literally stupid and incoherent. You do not know what you are talking about half of the time, and I spend half of my time correcting you on science and history, "facts" that you easily should have learned in school--or should have researched ahead of time, before trying to delve into this argument. If you can't play with the big players in this forum, then don't even start arguing with them.
I didn't throw the first punch. You called me a Pharisee. THREE TIMES.

At any rate, you CONTINUE to take me out of context, and continue to assert that I made claims that I simply didn't make. Oh, I know what you'll say, because you've said before:

"If I take your words out of context, it is because you don't make any sense."

Well, frankly, that's bullshit. IF I don't make any sense, you would quote me in full, so all the world could see how idiotic I am. Rather, you take sentences utterly out of context and see things that simply aren't there to be seen.

Quote:
You are guilty of exactly what you are accusing me of--filled with consistent falsehoods you claim as "truth." I argue on "theory," which is all you can argue this topic on, and there are multiple theories. That may be why you mistake it as "inconsistencies." I call it honesty: there are no facts on homosexuality here to speak of, neither on my side, nor your side. I am more here to inform on the various theories, rather than do an elementary argument that has a "winner" and a "loser."
"You are guilty of exactly what you are accusing me of--filled with consistent falsehoods you claim as 'truth.'"

"I call it honesty: there are no facts on homosexuality here to speak of, neither on my side, nor your side."

So, you can't be lying because are no truths. But in addition to that, I MYSELF AM LYING.

If there are no facts, how can there be falsehoods? If there's no such thing as truth, how can I be lying?

Or is this some more of your deeply philosophical bullshit?

Quote:
"Ignoring past comments?" What are you doing with your "bestiality" comments? I explained to you the meaning of my comments, just as you explained your "bestiality" comments. And you've taken tons of my arguments out of context. You just completely ignore any of my explanations, and I doubt even if you read all of my arguments. After explaining the dubiousness of the so-called "pro-divorce" passage in Matthew, you used it again as "evidence." Poor arguing, Bubba.
What am I doing with the bestiality comments? Restoring them to their true context and explaining what I meant.

IF I took YOUR comments out of context, prove it, in the same way I defended myself.

On the issue of divorce - surprise, surprise - I already answered your objection. Your objection was this:

Quote:
Originally posted by Melon:
You are ignoring everything I've written. The Catholic Bible rightfully states that that passage is INCORRECT. An analyzation of the original language shows that the Catholic Bible is most CORRECT. By saying "except when unlawful," it is a reference to blood mixing (incest).
My reply was this:

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Either way, it still proves my point. Regardless of what exceptions it makes, it does make an exception to divorce, and that fact discounts your assertion that Christ "totally condemns it everywhere else in the gospels." A minor point, I know.
As far as I can tell, you never noticed that reply. That's not my fault.

Quote:
"Deep arguments" they are indeed, especially when stacked up to your sloppy ones I could have likely picked up from a Christian Coalition web site. Nothing you've stated, from beginning to end, is anything new to me, but you are good at writing pseudointellectual psychobabble arguments that look intelligent, but are filled with falsehoods passed off as "truth." At least I'm admitting mine are "theories," and I'm well-versed in several theories. You should work for the Catholic Church...they always need writers like that up in the Vatican.
I thought you liked Catholics, that "Luckily, my convictions are close to official Catholic stances." Or was that just another theory?

Anyway, I believe you're giving away one of your problems: the fact that you think I'm spouting off things that are exactly like a Christian Coalition website, which lets you believe all you need to do is find the reply to those sites and post it here. Hence, you believe I am EQUATING homosexuality and bestiality; hence, you think I have some grand proof that homosexuality is immoral on genetic reasons.

You THINK I say those things because I use two words (homosexuality and bestiality; homosexuality and genetics) in the same paragraph. You then cut out that paragraph, ignore the crucial explanations before it, after it, and in successive posts. You then act like I said something that I didn't, and criticize the imaginary argument as "pseudointellectual psychobabble."

I then explain myself, you then take THE EXPLANATION out of context to further "prove your point."

Melon, that's fucking insane.

And if you honestly think I'm doing the same thing to you, I invite you to prove it.

Quote:
If you want to stop arguing, then stop arguing. I will continue to correct your Limbaugh-esque manipulation of my arguments as long as I have to.
Again, I AM willing to stop this, if you could simply stop taking me out of context.

Including your most recent post, you have taken me out of context, utterly misunderstood my argument, and ignored my successive replies some SEVEN times in the past three posts. Hell, just taking me out of context ONCE a post would be an improvement.

Stop doing that; prove IN CONTEXT that I said what you think I said, or simply shut up.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 03-08-2002).]
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Old 03-08-2002, 09:33 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally posted by z edge:
People should be allowed to marry who they want, your heart being the only guiding light.

God loves us all no matter who we are or who we love, if we are good enough for the Supreme Being, then why are we not good enough for ourselves, mere humans???

Not allowing homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals, IMO is judging them as less than equal.

Judge not lest ye be judged.
It's funny how I can say MORE in 71 words than you guys can in thousands and thousands of bitter words.

Sorry Bubba, you CANNOT prove homosexuality to be wrong, and you SHOULD NOT even try. NEVER!

Refer to my above post if you wonder why.

No matter how you or anyone interprets the Bible, it's not for us to judge other people.

Remember that, from one Conservative to another.
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Old 03-09-2002, 03:14 AM   #153
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I haven't been trying to prove homosexuality wrong. I don't think you can *prove* it, any more than one can prove or disprove the existence of God Himself or the validity of the Bible - which makes sense, because my reasons for thinking it wrong have mostly to do with God and the Bible. Rather than prove my the unprovable, I've been merely putting forth why I believe homosexuality is wrong. A BIG difference.

Again, I believe that homosexuals have the right to live together in a legally binding agreement that is recognized as equivalent to marriage. But I still think that the agreement called "marriage" has been DEFINED as the God-ordained union of one man and one woman, and the definition should remain intact.

And, honestly, the "judge not" rule doesn't apply here. It applies on the personal level, in that one shouldn't point fingers at another human being and scream, "You're a sinner and you're going to hell;" you shouldn't because everyone has sinned. But it doesn't apply to what I'm doing - simply delineating what I believe is right and wrong. As another conservative, you should believe that there are such things as right and wrong - and that we are within our rights in both having an opinion on what's what AND expressing that opinion.

Finally, we AREN'T good enough for God; rather than simply ignore our behavior, He recognizes us as unworthy of his love, but He still loves us DESPITE who are.

As a Christian, I am to "hate the sin but love the sinner." Certainly, not loving the sinner is bad; it's a direct violation of Christ's commandment to us. But not hating the sin is EQUALLY unacceptable; beyond being a lie, telling a person that their behavior doesn't matter gives them the dangerous and false impression that they are just fine without salvation.
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Old 03-09-2002, 04:22 AM   #154
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:

And, honestly, the "judge not" rule doesn't apply here. It applies on the personal level, in that one shouldn't point fingers at another human being and scream, "You're a sinner and you're going to hell;" you shouldn't because everyone has sinned. But it doesn't apply to what I'm doing - simply delineating what I believe is right and wrong. As another conservative, you should believe that there are such things as right and wrong - and that we are within our rights in both having an opinion on what's what AND expressing that opinion.

.
I firmly believe in things being right and wrong, yet I choose not to tell someone they are wrong if they are BORN (and that is how it happens my friend) gay or bisexual because of all the reasons I posted earlier. I think the difference is that people are born with sexual prefrences, as far as heterosexual and homosexual, bisexuality are concerned.

I think this is where God gives us as humans a conscience, to decide what is right. I mean we should have the intellect to say that incest and rape and pedaphillia (sp?) is wrong. But that is not the same thing, which is why we have reason to go with intellect.

While we should never really "judge" other humans, there are obvious times we have to pass our "judgement". Obviously my mention of rape etc, I mean "judge" as in a court of law. And again, judge the crime and not necessarily the person, even though we may sentence the person to life. That same person may turn their life around in prison and turn their fuckup into a miracle to others. God loves us all.

Sooner or later we all need to realise that people are not all "ozzie and harriet" and we should let everyone live productively and out of the fear and that is so "comfortable" to some.


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Old 03-09-2002, 12:35 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
I don't see any area of contention. Let's say, for an instant (and I'm NOT SUGGESTING I ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS), that both left-handedness and homosexuality are gentic. Left-handedness, if dominant AND expressed, doesn't seriously impede the organism's efforts to procreate and ensure the survival of its genetic information. Homosexuality, if dominant and expressed, causes the person to desire the opposite sex LESS than normal. Thus, the person is less likely to have sex with a member of the opposite sex, and is less likely to create any offspring. (A similar statement can be made for infertility: if a gene causes a lower sperm count, it's not going to do very well over time.) There's nothing controversial in my statement, and as far as I know, there's NOTHING that is refuted by ANY level of biological science.
Okay...part of your logic in regards to scientific theory make sense here, but I don't understand why it is applicable. The Bible never states that sex is wholly for procreation. In fact, most Protestants, when I bring up the Catholic tradition that sex is just for procreation, they are quick to laugh at me.

I don't know why the infertile threaten you. We have absolutely no threat of extinction; in fact, we are greatly overpopulated. Secondly, the heavy burden of procreation is a Jewish concept, one that was eliminated in the New Testament--hence, why Jesus and St. Paul accept (and encourage) celibacy for everyone.

In regards to genetics, your argument doesn't make a lot of sense. You speak about "advantageous genes," but, again, there are *lots* of these genes that continually get passed on. Sometimes, they are a series of several genes. Let's say "5" here. One parent could contain 3 of them, and the other could contain 2. Separately, the trait doesn't express itself, but when the two parents create a child, the child could contain all 5 genes, with the trait expressing itself. If the parents have other children, they could contain just anywhere from 1-4 genes, with the trait *not* expressing itself, but if they marry someone with the other genes, they will, again, create a child with the trait. The people with these genes are *natural,* just not *normal* (with *normal* being defined as a heavily common trait expressed in nearly all people). Left-handedness is *natural,* but not *normal,* when stacked up against right-handedness. Humans *cannot* control their genes, so we have to leave it up to nature and fate.

Once again, I don't see how my left-handed / homosexuality comparison is all that wrong.

If I'm taking stuff out of context again, it is because I don't even understand your argument here. I cannot read your mind as to why this would be applicable.

Quote:
Now, I grant that there are deviations from the norm, but they are simply that: deviations. I'm sure that those with XXY chromosomes, etc., are really nice people, but most of them can't reproduce. That they can't pass on their genes is a pretty damn good indication that something wrong about the genes - that they do not work precisely as intended.
Again, you do not understand the nature of genetics. When even the most *normal* of men produce sperm, as many as 1/3 are deformed, and this isn't because of any free will activity. This is *nature* that has occurred for millennia. The creation of sperm and eggs involve a meiosis process, whereas the parent cell divides into four cells. These cells are *not* identical; if you tried to recombine the four cells back into the original cell, it will *not* be the same as the parent cell. There is a mutation process, and, as with all mutations, some are advantageous, some are harmful, and some are neither (in junk DNA).

The value of a human being should *not* be on his/her genetic content! A perfectly heterosexual, Christian couple could easily create an intersexed individual (occurs about 1 in 10,000 births). It is *not* the couple's fault. Their DNA is fine. It is *not* the child's fault, so why punish him/her?

Once again, I'm trying to give you a future wake-up call. If you have children someday, and they end up gay or an XY female or have any slew of traits that may seemingly contradict your view of the Bible, do *not* blame yourself or your wife and do *not* blame the child. Because God created all of nature, one such thing that even the Bible asserts, these *mutations* are part of God's design for life. However, as *different* as these people may seem, they are all the same, equally worthy of love and life as the *normal* people. If they *cannot* procreate, and this includes otherwise *normal* heterosexuals, that is what God intended. However, that does *not* mean that sex is *solely* for procreation. The Catholic Church may assert this, but I will continue to disagree.

Quote:
I continue to assert that male and female are the intended states of humanity, and that we were made to join a monogomous, heterosexual union - not because of genetics, but because of the Bible.
With all due respect, the Bible has a very poor grasp of what nature is. I would not use it as a guide to *everything* that God created. If that was the case, then those with pimples wouldn't be allowed to worship God, as they were "unclean."

Perhaps it is my studies of St. Thomas Aquinas coming out, but I believe that nature is the expression of God's true intentions, and, through the study of nature, with all the deviations from the *norm,* I believe that it is all *natural.* God did create a means for us to multiply, but I don't think that He meant that for everyone, and that doesn't mean that those who aren't part of the *normal* club should live a life in misery because of it. God works in mysterious ways, and I don't think we should use the Bible to limit God, when, clearly, there is a *lot* to life that the Bible never covered.

Quote:
(I also note that you don't really refute the specific Biblical passages I quote, other than the usual arguments of "Old Testament bad" and "Matthew bad.")
I read the Bible for moral guidance, not to dictate to me what science or history states. By *guidance,* however, that doesn't mean that I have to take *everything* literally. My morality is based on the Bible, but I don't think it is, nor was intended, to be the last word. Through the study of contextual knowledge, I study to see why certain passages were written, and the motivation behind why a book may have written such a passage. Nine times out of ten, it was written to cover a *different* practice than what us, as modern readers, have interpreted it to be.

You talk about free will and how God cannot control everything. Why is the Bible now immune from human imperfection? Because you and a whole mob of right-wing Christians say it to be?

Quote:
At any rate, I'm sure plenty of people from the Christian Coalition have tried to use simplified genetics to back up their claims that there are no such deviations - BUT I HAVEN'T. Again, you're attacking claims I simply didn't make.
Again, if I'm misinterpreting, it is because I do not follow your logic. You do not do a good job of explaining stuff from a personal level.

Quote:
You bring up other quotes I made about bestiality. Let's - FOR ONCE - look at them in context:

"Simple: one would fear something that might arouse you because there are things that SHOULDN'T arouse you. Examples? Your own parents, children, and animals. Sexual attraction to such things is morally abhorrent and against natural laws.

"And if one subscribes to the belief that homosexuality is morally wrong, it falls under the same category as incest, pedophilia, and bestiality.

"(Let me be the first to say that I do believe that homosexuality is against God's plan for humanity, and thus a sin. But just as murder is worse than taking the Lord's name in vain, pedophilia is far worse than homosexuality. Murder and pedophilia should CERTAINLY be illegal; swearing and homosexuality should not. If it's between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own property (and if there's no effort to INSIST that the behavior is just as normal as heterosexual monogamy), I say, live and let live.)"


What's this? I partially defend homosexuality, saying that it SHOULD be legal, AND that things like pedophilia are far worse. (For the record, bestiality is also worse, but I thought that could be left unsaid; sorry if that offended you.)
I still commend you for being able to separate morality from legality, but I still disagree with your contention that homosexuality is immoral.

As it stands, your distinction as to why this is immoral stands on two premises:

--the Bible, which I have sufficiently pointed out that it doesn't address homosexuals (only activity in the context of heterosexuals doing it in idol worship [male temple prostitutes] or in the humiliation of houseguests [Sodom and Gomorrah]), both of which are customs that are completely foreign and non-existent to us in the modern era. The homosexual act is *not* the primary emphasis of these passages. St. Paul made lots of tirades against pagan worship practices, for instance, so passages that claim to refer to "homosexuals" are likely referring to these temple prostitutes, or, at bare minimum, otherwise heterosexual individuals performing same-sex acts.

The intended *sin* in these passages was the idol worship or the act of humiliating someone's house guests, not the homosexual act. It is simply a device to create a point. You can call that "legalism," but that is what they believed back then. You can think of homosexuality as a sin; that is your right. But to think that Christians who disagree are somehow just being defiant or ignoring the Bible is simply not the truth. You cannot use the Bible to back up your assertion on this essentially, without taking it out of context. Poor translation and cultural over the centuries is much of the blame. The Bible is not immune to fads either...much of the New Testament conforms to popular Greek philosophy of the time.

However, call it human imperfection and cultural bias over the centuries, but people have missed the point. No homosexual acts are done in the context of either anymore, but if they were done, I would agree that they would be sinful. Idol worship does not love God, and the humiliation of strangers, clearly rape with these heterosexuals going against their own usual *natural* attractions to women, is obviously repugnant.

Homosexuals *nowadays* live life just as heterosexuals--some want lifelong, monogamous relationships and to adopt children and others want to sleep around. *Neither* is any different to how heterosexuals live their lives nowadays. I am personally opposed to the sleeping around, but I am opposed to it for people of any sexual orientation, gay or straight.

--your personal disgust. If we are defining morality now on personal internal disgust, you should know that gay men find heterosexual affection to be disgusting, not to mention the sight of two lesbians in affection, disgusting. Lesbians probably find the sight of two men and heterosexuals disgusting. That is just the way things work, but personal disgust is not a way to define morality for everyone...but is fine to define morality for yourself.

Quote:
"I see no problem with homosexual couples having the same access to medical benefits and legal rights that married couples have. But marriage is an entirely different matter, because it is DEFINED to be the union of a man and a woman (usually sealed by an oath before God).
Not *all* Christian religions agree with you, nor do many non-Christian religions. If a homosexual couple wanted a Christian church marriage, there are *several* denominations that will perform them. You cannot take a monopoly on the term "marriage."

Quote:
Ultimately, I was responding to the suggestion to redefine marriage from "one woman and one man" to "two adult humans." My response was that, if you can argue the opposite-sex requirement out of the definition, you could also argue out the other requirements: that the number be limited to two, the age be of consentual adults, and even the species. If you read the entire quote, you would see I'm only defending the definition of the word "marriage", not equating homosexuality and bestiality.
Thank you for *finally* putting it all together. Once again, I cannot read your mind, nor, due to the fact that this thread is so large (and takes forever to load on a 56K modem), reread this entire thread.

Again, I disagree, but you are free to disagree. Mostly, really, I was posting all my arguments to argue my case for others, not you.

Quote:
Again, I AM willing to stop this, if you could simply stop taking me out of context.
Well, now that you've put everything together, rather than resorting to name-calling, I think I understand your point finally--even though I still disagree with it. I think we've really argued this all we can argue, and I think it is best if we leave it here.

Unless you reply to this, I won't be replying again.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 03-09-2002).]
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Old 03-09-2002, 05:22 PM   #156
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If you recall what was going on when you first mentioned left-handedness, you were asserting that all human births are wholly and irrevocably part of God's will - something I dispute on the basis that humanity can affect those births. As a counterexample, I mentioned a hypothetical scenario where a mad scientist when out of his way to affect the birth.

You rejected that counterexample on the following basis: "This is so hypothetical that it doesn't even happen in real life."

That's why I originally called it "hypothetical." But, to be completely honest, it's only hypothetical in that someone probably WOULDN'T do such a thing. The actual mechanisms are well within the grasp of current technologies.

That said, if you could reject MY counterexample on the sole basis of it being hypothetical, I figured I could reject your comparison between homosexuality and lefthandedness IF I could find genuine differences between the two.

Quid pro quo.

THAT was the reason I objected to the comparison, and that's the reason I listed the key differences, including but NOT limited to the fact that homosexuality seems to hinder its own propagation.

Certainly, procreation isn't the only reason for sex (you called me a stoic before; and I rejected the ntion then). Certainly, there's no reason to reject the infertile as bad people. And certainly, human value is not based on genetic content.

But the entire theory to evolution (both micro- and macro-) is that genes that hinder propagation dwindle over time, in terms of total populations. Let's say something like infertility is caused by a combination of 5 genes. When those 5 genes are present and the trait is expressed, the infertile either CANNOT pass on those 5 genes or has a very hard time doing so. So, in terms of sheer numbers, those genes cannot compete with genes that do not decrease the sperm count, etc. Certainly, the person isn't bad for having those genes, but it could be said that those genes themselves are "bad", insofar as they impede their own long-term survival.

And I would think that IF homosexuality is caused by one's genes (granted, a very BIG "if", one that I don't necessarily believe), it is similar to infertility in that - when expressed - it significantly reduces its own chances for survival to the next generation.

And I think the fact that homosexuality hinders propagation while left-handedness doesn't is a BIG difference. If my hypothetical example is too different from the actual case, than I suggest that left-handedness is simply too different from homosexuality.

That was it: the extent of my argument.

...

Cetainly, the Bible doesn't explain what nature is, but I think it addresses WHY nature is what is, and why it even exists in the first place. The explanation of the mechanisms of the universe is certainly the domain of science, but the explanation of th MOTIVES behind the universe is beyond the scope of science and firmly in the domain of theology.

The Bible doesn't cover what makes us male and female, but it does explain why were made male and female - and, honestly, the VAST majority of humans are genuinely male or female.

Certainly, the Bible also delineated what was clean and unclean, but it loosened the same restrictions in the New Testament. I believe that God did this - set up the impossible standards then gave us a pass - as a metaphor for grace, just as burnt offerings were a precursor to the cross. God set up the standards of perfection because He is God Almighty, can and should demand perfection. It's clear that no man can conform to those demands, so He graciously lowers the restrictions (using the word "graciously" literally).

He lowered the standards most notably during the events of Acts, certainly, but Christ began the process - specifically with racial purity among other examples. While contemporary Jews considered Samaria to be a land of half-breeds, Christ told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and became a living example of kindness to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-26).

But, while Christ removed barriers of purity and perfection, he kept intact the sanctity of marriage. Certainly, I could quote the already oft-used passages in Matthew, and I could quote the restrictions of divorce (whatever exceptions were made, they CERTAINLY were supposed to be rare dissolutions of the otherwise unbreakable bonds of matrimony). But look again at the woman at the well: Christ paid no notice to her ethnicity but convicted her on her promiscuity. Clearly, Christ thought marriage was important. Even if you can make the case that homosexuals can marry (an argument that I clearly disagree with), I don't think monogamy can be overturned at all.

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I read the Bible for moral guidance, not to dictate to me what science or history states. By *guidance,* however, that doesn't mean that I have to take *everything* literally. My morality is based on the Bible, but I don't think it is, nor was intended, to be the last word. Through the study of contextual knowledge, I study to see why certain passages were written, and the motivation behind why a book may have written such a passage. Nine times out of ten, it was written to cover a *different* practice than what us, as modern readers, have interpreted it to be.

You talk about free will and how God cannot control everything. Why is the Bible now immune from human imperfection? Because you and a whole mob of right-wing Christians say it to be?
Again, it's a question of what is meant by "literal". I personally think that the Bible is more-or-less what God intended it to be. And when the Bible says Moses, David, Christ, or Paul said such-and-such, I believe that it actually historically occurred. Even so, things like the first half of Genesis and most of Revelation are probably metaphor. And while I believe Christ DID say to cast you eye, I don't think He meant it literally.

But I also believe that the Bible isn't the last word of morality - THAT falls to the Holy Spirit. However, I also believe that if the Bible was correctly interpreted, the Holy Spirit will never contradict it.

(I admit: whether a seeming contradiction is the result of a misinterpretation OR mistaking the Holy Spirit for my own selfishness - or worse spirits - is a difficult question, but my belief is what it is.)

And, yes, my belief in the near perfection of the Bible appears to be inconsistent. But, I also believe in miracles great and small (parting the sea, the Resurrection, a thousand minor miracles throughout any given day on this planet) that are also the result of direct interference from the Almighty. I believe that God has more-or-less kept His eye on the Bible: He inspired its authors to write what He wanted and its scholars to keep it from being contaminated.

But note: I believe the Bible is more-or-less perfect. I grant that the current manuscripts might just be incomplete and we should continue looking for older, more accurate texts. And I also grant that certain translations (certainly including the KJV) have seriously mistranlated a few verses. BUT I believe the Bible as a whole is generally as it should be.

In terms of human births, I certainly believe God DOES influence what happens. But I simply don't think he has complete control over the physical universe - I think he has relented some control to give our free will meaning.

He's not totally in control, but he's not totally absent. That belief allows for the Bible to more or less correct with rare exception - and it allows for births to be more or less what God intended without being *precisely* what He desired. It seems to me that my belief is internally consistent.

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As it stands, your distinction as to why this is immoral stands on two premises:

--the Bible, which I have sufficiently pointed out that it doesn't address homosexuals (only activity in the context of heterosexuals doing it in idol worship [male temple prostitutes] or in the humiliation of houseguests [Sodom and Gomorrah]), both of which are customs that are completely foreign and non-existent to us in the modern era. The homosexual act is *not* the primary emphasis of these passages. St. Paul made lots of tirades against pagan worship practices, for instance, so passages that claim to refer to "homosexuals" are likely referring to these temple prostitutes, or, at bare minimum, otherwise heterosexual individuals performing same-sex acts.

The intended *sin* in these passages was the idol worship or the act of humiliating someone's house guests, not the homosexual act. It is simply a device to create a point. You can call that "legalism," but that is what they believed back then. You can think of homosexuality as a sin; that is your right. But to think that Christians who disagree are somehow just being defiant or ignoring the Bible is simply not the truth. You cannot use the Bible to back up your assertion on this essentially, without taking it out of context. Poor translation and cultural over the centuries is much of the blame. The Bible is not immune to fads either...much of the New Testament conforms to popular Greek philosophy of the time.

However, call it human imperfection and cultural bias over the centuries, but people have missed the point. No homosexual acts are done in the context of either anymore, but if they were done, I would agree that they would be sinful. Idol worship does not love God, and the humiliation of strangers, clearly rape with these heterosexuals going against their own usual *natural* attractions to women, is obviously repugnant.

Homosexuals *nowadays* live life just as heterosexuals--some want lifelong, monogamous relationships and to adopt children and others want to sleep around. *Neither* is any different to how heterosexuals live their lives nowadays. I am personally opposed to the sleeping around, but I am opposed to it for people of any sexual orientation, gay or straight.
If I may, the Biblical position that I've defended stands on two ideas:

1) That homosexuality is explicitly prohibited.

2) That heterosexual monogamy and chastity are the only two sexual lifestyles actually sanctioned.

From the first time that I mentioned the Biblical reasons, I put forth both arguments: To support #1, I suggested Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, and Romans 1:26-27. (I'll get to their validity in a moment.) To support #2, I quoted Genesis 2:27, Matthew 19:4-6, 19:9-12, and Mark 10:6-9. I also said the following:

"That said, I do believe the message is clear: the only two sanctioned paths for humanity are a lifelong marriage (i.e., heterosexual monogamy) or chastity."

Now, I may have been utterly wrong in #1: you've defended your position well, and I grant that I may have been inadequately aware of the intended meaning and historical context.

BUT that still leaves #2, that heterosexual monogamy and chastity are the only ones Biblicall supported.

If #2 is true (and I think it is), the question then becomes this: if a lifestyle isn't Biblically covered, is it permissible or impermissible? I believe that humanity hasn't honestly changed that much in two millenia, and that those sexual lifestyles not covered are not Biblically permissable. You can believe otherwise, but you either have to indicate that the Bible allows for such exceptions (and I REALLY don't think you can find legitimate proof of that) or admit that you're bringing in your own ideas.

It seems to me that your bringing in your own ideas, that you don't use the Bible for "the last word." That's fine, but that also means that I may be right about my original assertion: that homosexuality ISN'T biblically supported.

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--your personal disgust. If we are defining morality now on personal internal disgust, you should know that gay men find heterosexual affection to be disgusting, not to mention the sight of two lesbians in affection, disgusting. Lesbians probably find the sight of two men and heterosexuals disgusting. That is just the way things work, but personal disgust is not a way to define morality for everyone...but is fine to define morality for yourself.
Honestly, I admit that as a heterosexual male, I find the idea of two men having sex a bit off-putting. But I also find surgery disgusting (necessary as it is), and I can't STAND okra (a vegetable common in the South). But I still think surger is a good thing and fried okra is morally permissable.

BUT, that's not the reason I find homosexuality immoral; I never suggested that, and I nevere offered any defense of that argument.

Further, lesbianism doesn't disgust me the way male homosexuality does, but I still suggest both are equally immoral.

This was the closest I came to the subject, near the beginning of this discussion:

"If it's between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own property (and if there's no effort to INSIST that the behavior is just as normal as heterosexual monogamy), I say, live and let live."

And...

"I should perhaps explain further:

"Homosexuals are free to be themselves (decency laws notwithstanding) publically AND privately. Moreover, if they practice their sexuality in private, you'll hear no complaints from me.

"BUT, let's say they publically suggest that the practice is as normal as heterosexual monogamy. They're still free to do so, but I will also exercise my right to disagree."


I don't think I said ANYTHING to suggest my ARGUMENTS were based on personal disgust.

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Not *all* Christian religions agree with you, nor do many non-Christian religions. If a homosexual couple wanted a Christian church marriage, there are *several* denominations that will perform them. You cannot take a monopoly on the term "marriage."
In which case, sure, the other denominations should have the right to define "marriage" according to their consciences. Mormons used to allow polygamous marriages, and I thought they were within their rights to do so. Either way, the state should grant legal protections for couples, etc., and the church should be able to define marriage as they see fit - and *I* will personally remain in a church that only recognizes heterosexual marriages.

Anyway... it appears we have now BOTH our positions across, and ended this discussion amicably. Feel free to continue to weigh in. If not, we'll cross paths in other threads.

Glad we both stuck to talking this through, and I'm glad we can agree to disagree.

Bubba
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Old 03-09-2002, 06:33 PM   #157
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Sorry to interrupt here, I was wondering if anyone wanted to comment on the notion that sexuality has some level of elasticity? I'm not necessarily talking about nature vs. nurture here either, I guess the most direct example that comes to mind is when prison inmates engage in homosexual acts, yet perhaps all their lives were repulsed by the thought of homosexual behaviour, and still, if given the choice, would much prefer engaging in heterosexual intercourse/relations/etc. What sort of theories are there regarding this phenomenon? I'm sure it will be condemned as an immoral act by immoral people (yes, they are criminals in the first place), and perhaps they are not really being intimate, but then many people having sex aren't being truly intimate either. And if sexuality is indeed elastic, does this mean sexual preference is actually a chosen behaviour (even if it's not a 'conscious' decision, i.e., learned behaviour)?

(sorry if this has been touched on before, if so, just direct me to it, I am curious about this particular aspect)

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Old 03-10-2002, 01:08 AM   #158
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Leave it to The Wanderer to bring up something so overlooked and yet so relevant. Why would a prisoner who is heterosexual and possibly even homophobic engage in homosexual activities?

I would say it could in this instance be either a "chosen" behavior or a "learned" behavior. I say chosen because if the inmates are there a long enough time their resistance to such will lessen and they will certainly be "aware" or "exposed" to other inmates engaged in sex. That would also apply to the Learned theory too, because they are used to seeing it and sooner or later they could adapt to it. Or the possibility exists that they aren't given the choice, i.e. rape.

But what about the absence of their grilfriend or wife (assuming the prisoner is a man in this case), and the absence of that intimate relationship. This could be "learned", as prisoners usually tend to divide into "cliques" and befriend others of similair background.

It is possible that the feelings they would normally have for their spouse on the outside world that is far removed could be redirected to a close inmate or even cellmate. I would say this is "elastic" as they are adapting to their fate as inmates.
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Old 03-10-2002, 02:21 AM   #159
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As already mentioned, I would say that it has a bit to do with forced sex, but I would also add that peer pressure may be a factor - and the fact that, for many, the sexual desire is very difficult to resist.

On the issue of prison rape, I believe that there are some sexual predators who prey on whatever's at hand. I'm reminded of the the exchange in The Shawshank Redemption over "The Sisters" and their infatuation with Andy (paraphrased):

"Would it I help if I told them I'm not homosexual?"

"Neither are they - they'd have to be human first."

(Not wanting to start another fight; just throwing in my two cents.)

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 03-09-2002).]
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Old 03-10-2002, 03:49 AM   #160
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Good answer Bubba.
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Old 03-10-2002, 04:45 AM   #161
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"Would it I help if I told them I'm not homosexual?"

"Neither are they - they'd have to be human first."

Here's my two cents; I think Red was referring to the fact that they're rapists, and therefore not human, not because of their homosexuality. I think you will agree that rape is just as abhorrent and evil in heterosexuality as it is in homosexuality.

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Old 03-10-2002, 05:50 AM   #162
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I hope your version of what Bubba said is the one he meant, Ant.
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Old 03-10-2002, 11:55 AM   #163
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
But the entire theory to evolution (both micro- and macro-) is that genes that hinder propagation dwindle over time, in terms of total populations. Let's say something like infertility is caused by a combination of 5 genes. When those 5 genes are present and the trait is expressed, the infertile either CANNOT pass on those 5 genes or has a very hard time doing so. So, in terms of sheer numbers, those genes cannot compete with genes that do not decrease the sperm count, etc. Certainly, the person isn't bad for having those genes, but it could be said that those genes themselves are "bad", insofar as they impede their own long-term survival.
But, Bubba, this is incorrect! Yes, the said individual with the hypothetical 5 genes will not be able to pass these on to future generations. That is true. However, these "carrier" parents contain parts of these genes. The father could have 3. The mother could have 2. Or any combination less than 5. So they create 1 child with all 5 genes, but, as you know, lots of parents have more than 1 child. These siblings, by sheer chance, may only receive 1-4 of these genes (or, potentially, none), essentially making them "carriers." If they marry someone and have children with someone with the other genes to complete the 5-gene trait, then they can have a child in the future with this expressed trait.

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And I would think that IF homosexuality is caused by one's genes (granted, a very BIG "if", one that I don't necessarily believe), it is similar to infertility in that - when expressed - it significantly reduces its own chances for survival to the next generation.
Like I said, I'm just theorizing. Scientists can't even tell you what parts of genetics makes someone "straight," let alone gay. I'm merely responding to why your logic on genetics here is incorrect. You can apply this to any number of traits, so think of it as a science lesson.

So, since I need to rehash this to you, let's say, hypothetically, that you have a gay sibling. You, yourself, while not being gay, could contain part of the genetic code for it in your genes. It is an incomplete code, so it does not express itself. You get a wife, who also contains the same incomplete genetic code. You could have a child who is gay. You have more children. None of them are gay, but, between you and your wife, you pass on incomplete pieces of that same code.

It is THIS way that a trait can indirectly pass itself on. Diseases like Nieman-Pick Disease, a congenital disease which kills all victims by age 2, is passed on the same exact way. Obviously, the victim cannot procreate, but both of the parents are carriers. Put together the two, and the trait can express itself onto their children.

THIS is why your genetic logic is incorrect.

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And I think the fact that homosexuality hinders propagation while left-handedness doesn't is a BIG difference. If my hypothetical example is too different from the actual case, than I suggest that left-handedness is simply too different from homosexuality.
Well, that is certainly your opinion, but it is far more realistic and applicable to real life than your "mad scientist" scenario.

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Cetainly, the Bible doesn't explain what nature is, but I think it addresses WHY nature is what is, and why it even exists in the first place. The explanation of the mechanisms of the universe is certainly the domain of science, but the explanation of th MOTIVES behind the universe is beyond the scope of science and firmly in the domain of theology.
What the Bible explains is that God created everything, a fact that I do not dispute. But, beyond that, we are in more of a position, through advanced science, to know what God created exactly. Science, to me, does not negate God whatsoever; and, in fact, shows more of the magnificence of His creation due to its complexity.

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The Bible doesn't cover what makes us male and female, but it does explain why were made male and female - and, honestly, the VAST majority of humans are genuinely male or female.
The "vast" majority should not negate the value of the "small" minority, which is exactly the crux of my argument. We have the technology to identify that minority of God's creation omitted from the Bible through ignorance.

Quote:
Certainly, the Bible also delineated what was clean and unclean, but it loosened the same restrictions in the New Testament. I believe that God did this - set up the impossible standards then gave us a pass - as a metaphor for grace, just as burnt offerings were a precursor to the cross. God set up the standards of perfection because He is God Almighty, can and should demand perfection. It's clear that no man can conform to those demands, so He graciously lowers the restrictions (using the word "graciously" literally).
The Dead Sea Scrolls even dispute this. These earlier texts have less legalism than the later texts that we have been using for about a millennium now.

It wasn't a surprise to me. The prefaces of the Catholic Bible adequately explain the circumstances of these c. 500 B.C. texts--right at the time that the Jewish diaspora was liberated by the Persians and the rabbis forcefully tried to regain control of their nation and the people. What a better way to do so than to say that these secular laws were "God's laws"? With a lowly educated society whose only access to these texts was through the rabbis who read them to them, who would challenge it? Then, with earlier texts lost, people began to believe that these were really "God's laws" all along, and the Jewish leaders could reassert authority unchallenged.

The Dead Sea Scrolls supported a claim I had made in this forum from the start. Even Jesus never refers to these as "God's laws." Often, He refers to them as "Moses' law." A big difference, don't you think?

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Even if you can make the case that homosexuals can marry (an argument that I clearly disagree with), I don't think monogamy can be overturned at all.
Not at all. I heavily believe that monogamy is in God's plan for both heterosexuals and homosexuals, and, equally, I think that promiscuity is wrong for both.

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In which case, sure, the other denominations should have the right to define "marriage" according to their consciences. Mormons used to allow polygamous marriages, and I thought they were within their rights to do so. Either way, the state should grant legal protections for couples, etc., and the church should be able to define marriage as they see fit - and *I* will personally remain in a church that only recognizes heterosexual marriages.
I see nothing wrong with this. Churches like that, undoubtedly, will always exist. You should belong to a denomination that you are most comfortable in.

Quote:
Anyway... it appears we have now BOTH our positions across, and ended this discussion amicably. Feel free to continue to weigh in. If not, we'll cross paths in other threads.

Glad we both stuck to talking this through, and I'm glad we can agree to disagree.
Yup...I'm glad we can agree to disagree as well. A discussion that definitely forced me to think yet again.

Melon

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Old 03-10-2002, 11:56 AM   #164
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yeah, I agree with Ant, I don't think Bubba was implying that homosexuals are un-human, and neither was the movie
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Old 03-10-2002, 12:04 PM   #165
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Originally posted by The Wanderer:
Sorry to interrupt here, I was wondering if anyone wanted to comment on the notion that sexuality has some level of elasticity?
Once again, it may look like I'm bouncing around here, but there is a lot of genetic theory, with no concrete facts. So, see this as theory, as I see it.

Going back to the 5-gene theoretical model, some traits won't express themselves without all five genes. However, other traits (skin color comes to mind) express themselves differently, depending on how many genes you have. Let's say that a completely black individual (5 genes) procreates with a completely white individual (0 genes), if they have 5 children, they could have 5 children with different levels of skin color. Most likely, that child will be right in the middle (2-3 genes), but they could, theoretically, have a child who has all the genes or none of them.

Sexuality could be the same way: a continuum that expresses itself depending on the number of genes. This is a simplistic explanation on my part, though. I have a feeling that sexuality is a combination of very obscure levels of inheritance, thus making it very difficult to pinpoint why it is the way it is.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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