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Old 07-13-2007, 06:54 AM   #201
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Not to mention the fact that even if sexual orientation were 100% voluntary it still isn't anybody else's damned business...
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:41 AM   #202
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Originally posted by AEON
That being said, doesn't a self-proclaimed recovered homosexual, whether you like him or not, qualify as someone that can offer an opinion that the behavior is in fact - a choice? Doesn't the fact that he even wrote such an article prove there is a debate?
No. And I'll tell you why. I can go on the internet today and find detailed essays on why the Holocaust never existed, and that it's just a Jewish conspiracy to extort money and sympathy from the West. I can go on the internet today and find an essay proclaiming that we never landed on the moon in 1969, and they will outline detailed "evidence" as to why this never happened.

In other words, the source of this "debate" means everything. Why is it that only neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust, while the entire scientific and historical community wholeheartedly agree that it did, in fact, exist? Why is it, when it comes to insisting that homosexuality is "a choice" that it always originates from religious groups with a pre-existing hatred of it, while the entire scientific community agrees that it's not?

This comes back to what I said earlier in this thread:

Conservative Christians do not get to set the rules.

You can find stories of "self-proclaimed recovered homosexuals" on extremist Christian websites just like you can find stories of converted Jews to Islam, who then confess that, before their conversion, they did, in fact, kill and drink the blood of Muslim infants on extremist Muslim websites. These sites don't exist for homosexuals or Jews; they exist for one reason: to dehumanize and to reinforce misunderstanding and hatred of a traditional enemy at any and all costs. Then these conservative Christians and Muslims can march through life passing off all their problems on other people, never once realizing that they need to change themselves. Gosh...all these unwed mothers and divorces in this country? It must be caused by homosexuals....yes, that must be it. Gosh...I'm living in a country with 50% unemployment run by an autocratic despot who has left our country impoverished. It must be caused by the Jews...yes, that must be it.

That's why there's no debate.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:04 AM   #203
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:32 AM   #204
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Originally posted by yolland

I'd still like to hear an answer to this, from anyone who responds to the case for equal rights by saying that homosexual behavior is immoral. Not what are your foundations for holding that belief, not why do you believe that being gay is merely a choice...just, why is it that you're OK with all the anguish and loss and vulnerability that results from the legal applications of that belief--losing your job or your home, not being able to be with your dying partner in the hospital, no joint parenting rights to their biological children whom you love and are helping to raise, no right of inheritance to property you've shared together for decades, no right to have your partner whom you met and fell in love with while living abroad immigrate here to join you, etc., etc., etc. Because where no protected means of access (anti-discrimination laws, marriage) to those things exists, there can be no redress when they're denied. And there's no reasoning beyond "It's immoral" holding this state of affairs in place, no other reason why politicians need fear for their careers should they seek to change it. What quantifiable harm have gay people done to others that they deserve such vulnerability?
Well, I certainly don't advocate denying apartments or jobs to gays. I don't personally know of anyone who would agree with this. If it is still on the books, these laws should be removed.

As far rights pertaining to married couples - I think the whole system is out of whack. From the "marriage penalty" in the tax system to the debate on who can legally marry. Personally, I advocate more of a divide between marriage and state. Leave marriage up to the churches and other institutions. Everything else should be a simple, legal note that people voluntarily sign.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:36 AM   #205
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Originally posted by AEON
If it is still on the books, these laws should be removed.
Make sure to let your legislators know how you feel.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:38 AM   #206
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Originally posted by Ormus


Why is it, when it comes to insisting that homosexuality is "a choice" that it always originates from religious groups with a pre-existing hatred of it, while the entire scientific community agrees that it's not?

I thought the scientific community is still debating the causes/origins of homosexuality.

Also, if it is not a "choice" - are you then insisting that it is a birth defect? A genetic mutation?
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:51 AM   #207
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Originally posted by AEON
I thought the scientific community is still debating the causes/origins of homosexuality.

Also, if it is not a "choice" - are you then insisting that it is a birth defect? A genetic mutation?
There's a difference on debating the fine details and debating whether something exists or not.

The Theory of Evolution is still heavily debated in science, but there's no question that it exists. There's far too much scientific evidence to support it, but, as you'd expect from academics, they are busy bickering over the fine details. The Theory of Gravity is under far more debate than you'd first imagine; but it's not a question of whether gravity exists, but how it exists.

The same goes for the origin of sexuality--I say this, because researchers don't even know the specific genetic triggers that cause heterosexuality (presuming that it's all about testicles/ovaries, XY/XX chromosomes, and testosterone/estrogen is overly simplistic and doesn't explain it at all). But while they're debating the "how" question, there's certain things that they know for sure:

It's not a choice.

This conclusion is now over 30 years old, and further evidence has only supported this conclusion. Now as for why it's not a choice? That's where researchers are busy. They know the answer to the equation; it's a question of understanding the reasoning behind it.

As for whether it's a genetic mutation (remembering that "mutation" is, in scientific terms, value-neutral; each person has, on average, at least eight mutations at birth), the evidence seems to be pointing that its genetic basis is related to questions of why left-handed people exist, etc. But these are certainly the kinds of questions that science wishes to resolve, and once they are able to understand how and why something like this exists, we will most certainly benefit from a greater understanding of what makes us human, as a whole.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:00 AM   #208
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Originally posted by AEON

While Irvine and Ormus/Melon have certainly opened my heart to their beliefs on this matter, they have not yet changed my mind as to whether or not homosexual behavior is immoral.


Achtung!

is having sex before you're married, Stephen, immoral?
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:04 AM   #209
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Originally posted by AEON
Also, if it is not a "choice" - are you then insisting that it is a birth defect? A genetic mutation?


if we could determine, based on genetics, which babies would turn out to be gay or not, would you abort your potentially gay baby?

(and this sums up a whole lot -- being gay = being defective; that's a world of Christian compassion for you)
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:09 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus


There's a difference on debating the fine details and debating whether something exists or not.

The Theory of Evolution is still heavily debated in science, but there's no question that it exists. There's far too much scientific evidence to support it, but, as you'd expect from academics, they are busy bickering over the fine details. The Theory of Gravity is under far more debate than you'd first imagine; but it's not a question of whether gravity exists, but how it exists.

The same goes for the origin of sexuality--I say this, because researchers don't even know the specific genetic triggers that cause heterosexuality (presuming that it's all about testicles/ovaries, XY/XX chromosomes, and testosterone/estrogen is overly simplistic and doesn't explain it at all). But while they're debating the "how" question, there's certain things that they know for sure:

It's not a choice.

This conclusion is now over 30 years old, and further evidence has only supported this conclusion. Now as for why it's not a choice? That's where researchers are busy. They know the answer to the equation; it's a question of understanding the reasoning behind it.

As for whether it's a genetic mutation (remembering that "mutation" is, in scientific terms, value-neutral; each person has, on average, at least eight mutations at birth), the evidence seems to be pointing that its genetic basis is related to questions of why left-handed people exist, etc. But these are certainly the kinds of questions that science wishes to resolve, and once they are able to understand how and why something like this exists, we will most certainly benefit from a greater understanding of what makes us human, as a whole.
Understanding the cause is still important. If the cause is purely psychological - then it would be possible for people to address it and "cure" it there. If it is purely genetic, then I suppose it opens up the debate of Natural Selection. Meaning, it is a decisively genetic disadvantage to be a homosexual and that the societies and cultures inherently understand this and perhaps that is why they tend to react negatively toward it.

Natural Selection Requires...

For natural selection to occur, two requirements are essential:

1.There must be heritable variation for some trait. Examples: beak size, color pattern, thickness of skin, fleetness.

2.There must be differential survival and reproduction associated with the possession of that trait.

Unless both these requirements are met, adaptation by natural selection cannot occur.

SOURCE: Natural Selection
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:17 AM   #211
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AEON: it's 100% involuntary. it is not chosen. the phrase "if the causes is purely psychological" is complete garbage. no one but the precious Dr. Nicolosi and people like James Dobson contend this. why am i gay but my brother is straight? we grew up in the same household, same parents, same parenting values, and we share a whole lot in common. but not this.

ignoring the wild leap you're making to something like "natural selection," how is it a "disadvantage" to be a homosexual? it has existed since the beginning of time, in all cultures and societies throughout history.

this "natural selection" -- though nice to see you using science instead of prejudice and a Bible -- has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

people are homosexual. people are left-handed. there's no advantage or disadvantage to being left-handed. everyone in my family, grandparents included, are right-handed. but my brother is left-handed. everyone in my family, grandparents included, are heterosexual. but i am homosexual. my father has one cousin who was a lesbian. and my mother's cousin's son is gay.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:22 AM   #212
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Didn't being a lefty used to signify some satanic influence or something? I swear I remember that from history class...back in the pilgrim/Puritan days, and I think they used to try to "make" them righty (tie the left hand to the chair, or beat them, or whatever).

Maybe Glatze is the gay equivalent of a lefty with his left hand tied?
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:29 AM   #213
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It was common practice to re-educate left handed people until the 1960-somethings in some countries, such as Germany.

I'm left-handed, and who knows, maybe Satan lives inside me.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:30 AM   #214
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Originally posted by CTU2fan
Didn't being a lefty used to signify some satanic influence or something? I swear I remember that from history class...back in the pilgrim/Puritan days, and I think they used to try to "make" them righty (tie the left hand to the chair, or beat them, or whatever).
When my grandmother was a child in the 1920s, she was forced to write with her right hand or she'd get hit by a stick. In art class, if she picked up a brush to paint with, they'd smack her. So she learned to write with her right hand, but she did everything else with her left. She cut meat with her left hand, ate with her left hand, reached for things with her left hand, potted plants with her left hand, etc. And her handwriting was pretty awful.

She said when her oldest daughter (born in 1950) started reaching for things with her left hand, my grandmother always gave her toys, bottles, etc into her right hand because while she didn't care that the baby was left-handed, she didn't want her to be humiliated in school like she was.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:32 AM   #215
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finally, let's talk a bit about what a homosexual is "for." AEON seems to think that homosexuals are useless from a biological standpoint. we can't naturally reproduce, and are therefore a disadvantage for the species.

let's stop for a moment and first understand that there's no difference bewteen a homosexual and a heterosexual who is infertile from AEONs fierce "natural selection" standpoint.

however, does society have a place for childless adults? does soceity produce more children than it can care for? can a homosexual devote more time to his/her given profession -- which is often teaching or coaching or mentoring, for example -- and that this devotion to profession or craft, something a heterosexual might not be able to do due to familiar responsibilities, is an objectively good thing? do we not all benefit from this? what about the clear evidence of homosexual men, in particular, excelling in the arts? is our world not more colorful, more interesting, more vibrant, because of homosexual men and their often unique creative capabilities? (i would argue that it's the exclusion by society at a young age pushing him into the role of observer/critic that augments a gay man's keenly discerning eye)

is difference among humans to be encouraged or discouraged? do we not all benefit by different viewpoints, different ideas, different understandings, different people in general? is human diversity an inherently good thing? what would be lost if we were all the same? if we all spoke the same language? if we all ate the same food? if we all had the same religion? would the world not only be less interesting but would we also lose a part of our humanness as well?

AEON what you've well exposed is your negative attitude towards homosexuality. you see it as a bad thing.

but ask yourself why. and ask yourself if what you've been taught is due to a superficial, aesthetic prejudice -- the way that, 50 years ago, a white southern man would have reacted to the thought of a black man having sex with a white woman -- and nothing else? that if you genuinely examine the lives and contributions of homosexuals, if you value the unique contributions offered by homosexuals due to the slightly different place in society they occupy, perhaps you'll start to see that homosexuals are a benefit to you and, yes, to your children.

perhaps your child will have an inspirational music teacher, and perhaps this teacher is so good because he is gay -- because he was exluded as a youngster and found solace in music, and he is determined to share this joy with the world, and it is his lack of children at home that enables him to channel all of his parental instincts into his students. perhaps a lesbian couple adopts a child who might have spent more years in foster care, bouncing from home to home and winding up in jail or worse. perhaps a woman in an unhappy marriage can look at the genuine equality that is achieved by same-sex couples as a model to strive to, that simply because of her gender, she isn't automatically subservient to her husband, that there's another way for a couple to function

and finally, let's get to sexuality. i think most heterosexuals agree that there is more to sex than simple reproduction. and it's the removal of the possibility of reproduction that can help us unpack the magic and mystery of the sex act, of what it does for people in loving relationships and how it helps them bond, and connect, and strengthen the bonds -- intellectual, emotional, and physical -- that hold them together.

the existence of homosexuals, in some way, lets us know that, yes, we are more than animals. that we have a point beyond the continuation of our genes. that there is logic in disorder, and magic in mystery.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:39 AM   #216
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Originally posted by Irvine511

ignoring the wild leap you're making to something like "natural selection," how is it a "disadvantage" to be a homosexual? it has existed since the beginning of time, in all cultures and societies throughout history.
The evolutionary disadvantage is explained by the very definition of natural selection - as posted. (the validity of natural selection would perhaps be another discussion).

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
though nice to see you using science instead of prejudice and a Bible
I don't see science and the Bible as mutually exclusive. In most cases, I think they support each other.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:42 AM   #217
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The evolutionary disadvantage is explained by the very definition of natural selection - as posted. (to validity of natural selection would perhaps be another discussion).

what's the disadvantage? that's where your prejudice begins, right there, in that assumption.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:56 AM   #218
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Originally posted by Irvine511
finally, let's talk a bit about what a homosexual is "for." AEON seems to think that homosexuals are useless from a biological standpoint. we can't naturally reproduce, and are therefore a disadvantage for the species.

let's stop for a moment and first understand that there's no difference bewteen a homosexual and a heterosexual who is infertile from AEONs fierce "natural selection" standpoint.

however, does society have a place for childless adults? does soceity produce more children than it can care for? can a homosexual devote more time to his/her given profession -- which is often teaching or coaching or mentoring, for example -- and that this devotion to profession or craft, something a heterosexual might not be able to do due to familiar responsibilities, is an objectively good thing? do we not all benefit from this? what about the clear evidence of homosexual men, in particular, excelling in the arts? is our world not more colorful, more interesting, more vibrant, because of homosexual men and their often unique creative capabilities? (i would argue that it's the exclusion by society at a young age pushing him into the role of observer/critic that augments a gay man's keenly discerning eye)

is difference among humans to be encouraged or discouraged? do we not all benefit by different viewpoints, different ideas, different understandings, different people in general? is human diversity an inherently good thing? what would be lost if we were all the same? if we all spoke the same language? if we all ate the same food? if we all had the same religion? would the world not only be less interesting but would we also lose a part of our humanness as well?

AEON what you've well exposed is your negative attitude towards homosexuality. you see it as a bad thing.

but ask yourself why. and ask yourself if what you've been taught is due to a superficial, aesthetic prejudice -- the way that, 50 years ago, a white southern man would have reacted to the thought of a black man having sex with a white woman -- and nothing else? that if you genuinely examine the lives and contributions of homosexuals, if you value the unique contributions offered by homosexuals due to the slightly different place in society they occupy, perhaps you'll start to see that homosexuals are a benefit to you and, yes, to your children.

perhaps your child will have an inspirational music teacher, and perhaps this teacher is so good because he is gay -- because he was exluded as a youngster and found solace in music, and he is determined to share this joy with the world, and it is his lack of children at home that enables him to channel all of his parental instincts into his students. perhaps a lesbian couple adopts a child who might have spent more years in foster care, bouncing from home to home and winding up in jail or worse. perhaps a woman in an unhappy marriage can look at the genuine equality that is achieved by same-sex couples as a model to strive to, that simply because of her gender, she isn't automatically subservient to her husband, that there's another way for a couple to function

and finally, let's get to sexuality. i think most heterosexuals agree that there is more to sex than simple reproduction. and it's the removal of the possibility of reproduction that can help us unpack the magic and mystery of the sex act, of what it does for people in loving relationships and how it helps them bond, and connect, and strengthen the bonds -- intellectual, emotional, and physical -- that hold them together.

the existence of homosexuals, in some way, lets us know that, yes, we are more than animals. that we have a point beyond the continuation of our genes. that there is logic in disorder, and magic in mystery.
You certainly make many excellent points in this post. At the personal level, I am thankful for the diversity. I am thankful for you and the insights you have given me.

But I am also someone who tries to understand the cause and sources of societal attitudes (even prejudices). I want to know why God forbids it (yes, even if it is only Male Temple Prostitution or Male on Male Rape as Ormus would argue. Why is this immoral? How does this hurt society?). I want to know why a group of heterosexual men will stand around and make fun of feminine qualities. Is this bad? Good? Neutral? Necessary at some level? Is such a behavior completely wrong or is there a evolutionary need for humans to have a percentage of men built that way? Is part of the diversity you speak of include men and women who see homosexuality as bad because they think universally (meaning - if everyone was gay...etc)? These are just some questions. I don't claim to have all of the answers.

However, why should we dismiss entire groups of people as simply bigoted? Do you like to be dismissed simply because you are a liberal? Don't you post here because you think there is value in what you say?

I am not some ignorant automaton. Like you, I am a well read, educated, thoughtful, and (believe it or not) compassionate person. Perhaps there is something you can learn from me - as I have learned from you.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:05 AM   #219
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However, why should we dismiss entire groups of people as simply bigoted?
How would we deal with a group of people who maintains that blacks are an inferior race? Who support it with research re: IQ levels or earning potential tables? Who believe that segregation is necessary because it is immoral and disadvantageous to our society to have blacks and whites mixing blood? Who wonder whether there is a necessity or social benefit to white men standing around, making fun of nappy hair?

Would you not say this group of people is bigoted?
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:08 AM   #220
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why would a group of white people sit around and make fun of black people? why would a group of heterosexual men sit around and make fun of women? is this bad? good? neutral? necessary at some level?

would we not dismiss these people as racist and sexist?

i believe you are an educated, thoughtful, and compassionate person. but i also think that you're subjected to the same prejudices as everyone else, and i also think that you use religion to justify some of these prejudices, and then try to make science buttress the existing prejudice.

i guess i don't know why i have to explain myself when a black person or a woman would never have to "explain" in the same manner.

but i am happy to do so. because i have to.
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