[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 21, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 21, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 21, No Sanction: 0
Post 20

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 2:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'm not sure whether it would be possible for me to care less that homosexuality may or may not be "natural". Since when does "natural" equal desirable? Is air-conditioning natural? How about monogamy? Saltwater swimming pools? Strap-on dildos? I can think of a thousand or more things that I think are abso-fucking-lutely fabulous that aren't at all natural. Part of the beauty of being human is that we have risen far above our natural state.




Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 21

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 2:55pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ashley,

I care about understanding. Another part of the beauty of being human is the ability to understand nature. Whether or not natural is desirable, ignorance is certainly not desirable.

Sarah



Post 22

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 3:07pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hello Sarah. A philosophical system that denies man has a definitive nature permits all sorts of contradictions and absurdities: that man is passive responder to forces external to consciousness and that this "fact" can be "proven"; that man can be molded and reinvented by society thereby making any collective "choice" attainable; and that man's sexual nature is simple rather than complex, in the sense that one's genetic makeup "determines" sexual attraction.

Man is psychologically complex in ways that could account for the emergence of deeply ingrained sexual confusion. This complexity extends from the fact that man is the only creature with volitional consciousness, a condition that creates profoundly important psychological needs common to all people. I think homosexuality and bi-sexuality extend from unresolved psychological issues that are difficult to resolve, especially in a culture that either demonizes this condition, or applauds it as normal. Studies of homosexual men find that their sexual encounters are likely to be numerous, often anonymous, and dysfunctional in the sense that gay culture promotes the use of aphrodisiacs to accommodate frenzied sexual activity. Am I claiming that homosexuals are bad people? Emphatically, no. But with no disrespect or meanness intended, my impression is that some or even many of them may be tormented people, just as many people are tormented by nonsexual psychological issues. It isn't difficult to understand why a child could reach false conclusions about his or her sexual identity in response to trauma--conclusions that he or she might reinforce through subsequent choices.

Thank you for your link concerning the observations of homosexual behavior among chimps. I'll read it and think about it. I don't understand the subject of genetics, nor do I understand what it might mean to be "influenced" by a gene. Does one have choice in this matter? Perhaps homosexual attraction will be proven to flow from some physiological cause. But I doubt that it has been proven, and I suspect the answer is more complex than the model of man as passively reacting to genetic "causes".

I also doubt the commitment to truth of many of the crusaders who have latched onto this cause, just as I doubt the veracity of "scientists" who promote the hypothesis of global warming.    




Post 23

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 3:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark said at the beginning of post #22:
A philosophical system that denies man has a definitive nature permits all sorts of contradictions and absurdities:
Then, later on he said:
... nor do I understand what it might mean to be "influenced" by a gene.
Isn't it obvious that to have a definitive nature is to be influenced by genes?  If not, then what is the source of our nature?

Thanks,
Glenn




Post 24

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 3:59pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark,

I was saying that you were contradicting yourself, not that the nature-denying system was contradictory, although it is.

I think you're looking at this through the too-narrow window of your own culture. There are many examples of other cultures that are perfectly accepting of, but not necessarily promoting, homosexuality and other "alternative lifestyles."

Why not try reading up on the subject a bit before submitting your own personal hypotheses.

And I second Glenn's comments on genes.

Sarah



Post 25

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 5:14pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
To be influenced does NOT mean one HAS to go the direction of the influence, only that one has the propensity or tendency to going that direction...



Post 26

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 5:19pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
To Sarah: Is it not just possible that it is you who is looking at all of this through the "too narrow window of your cultural experience"? 

To Glenn: In the sense that genes play a role (that I am largely ignorant of) in determining the nature and form of human life, everything we are or do could be described as the product of genetic makeup. That "explanation" leaves a great deal unexplained, however. As Nathaniel Branden wrote about in the Psychology of Self Esteem, a distraught mother rushes to the doctor's office exclaiming: "Doctor, Doctor, my infant baby refuses to nurse; she won't take my milk! What's wrong with her?" To which the wise Doctor responds, after an appropriate pause to properly consider the matter: "Well, Ma'am, she's just not a milk-drinking baby." Gentic makeup, you see.




Post 27

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 5:23pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark,

Possible? Yes. However, you offer no evidence that this is so and have presented nothing more than armchair biology/psychology.

Sarah



Sanction: 20, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 20, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 20, No Sanction: 0
Post 28

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 4:11pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Well written article.  Whatever our social/political/"moral" thoughts are, it makes most sense that we DO legalize gay marriage.  Yes, I do agree that, to some extent, marriage does divide individuals and couples into separate and somewhat unfair brackets.  That IS NOT the issue we are re-shaping when addressing gay marriage.  In our current American society (smile, spit, or just stare at the reality--it ISN'T the issue), hetero couples who co-habitate and choose to implement a legal marriage contract DO get tax breaks and penalties that their gay counterparts do not have the option of seeking.  Additionally, they also have inherent rights that are only granted to hetero couples...and not gay couples, neighbors, room mates, co-workers, or anyone other interacting pair: hospital directive control, child visitation, estate control.  As the author points out, gay couples today have many opportunities that they did not in the past.  Technology has enabled the creation of children while the hard work of the gay community has worked on social policy changes to aid in access to services and attainment of property for its members.  Many, but not all, discrimination policies include gay people today.

Whether or not American society's tax code and set of laws agrees or disagrees with objectivist ideals/values, it is our obligation to view this issue in the context of equality for everyone.  More and more gay couples today are living in what seems to be the heterosexual paradigm: co-habitating, sharing mortgage/rent payments, and joining together in the task of raising children.  So, shouldn't they fit into the married tax bracket?  Shouldn't they have the same implied rights of married people?

I, as a heterosexual female, would like to see everyone held to the same standard when applying for government programs (that should or should not exist).  I would like to know that my fellow humans have the security that their partners are safe, and that their children are treated just like every other child on the block. 

I am not saying that individuals should not have these very same rights and responsibilities (I think, in fact, that they should), but that is not the issue that we are addressing in this article.  Lets move our bricks before trying to transport the entire building.




Post 29

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 6:40pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The reason 'natural' comes into the debate because Objectivists understand that A is A, and a thing is what it is and is no other. So, if you can label homosexuality as 'unnatural' then you can argue that homosexual conduct is action which ignores or flies in the face os man's fundamental nature--ie. is MIS-use.

Anecdotally, I believe that homosexuality has a strong genetic component. But whether it is natural or not, it is a choice of man, like any other, and each of our lives are our own, to enrich to our tastes and enjoy as we see fit, unless it is harming someone. Homosexual activity is no more inherently harmful than any other or a laundry list of other actions which are definitely more harmful-like smoking, drinking, and having heterosexual sex with a stranger.

Thankfully, I don't smoke!



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 30

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 7:12pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Gay marriage is...well, gay.



Post 31

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yes allowing people in loving relationships to share the legal benefits of an officially defined romantic contract across the board is a very happy or "gay" thing.

---Landon




Post 32

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 8:16pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'm looking forward to the celebrity divorces.

Peter




Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 33

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 8:47pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
James Kilbourne -  Thanks for the article.  It is too bad that more people do not understand that government's role should only be to provide a legal contract (civil union) for those who wish to share property and form a long-term partnership with obligations to care for one another.  Marriage should be private, since what converts a civil union into a marriage is a sharing of spiritual values.  Those values are a matter of individual consciousness and we should want to protect our freedom of conscience from state interference.  In effect, marriage is too important to be delegated to the state.  Of course, any two people should be able to take out a civil union contract.  In fact, I believe any 3 or 4 should also be able to do so.

Mark Humphrey - I do not see how a person being genetically influenced or determined to be aroused by one of one's own sex rather than one of the other sex makes a difference in reducing the complexity of people and of their sexuality.  There is still just as much individuality in choosing sexual partners; they are just chosen from the other half of the population.  One could say that homosexuality actually enhances the complexity of man!  In fact, it very probably does confer some advantages to mankind in evolution which are a result of an added complexity due to a greater variety of attributes in mankind.  This added complexity makes our individuality all the more apparent.  Such individuality has always been a challenge to government and to the tribe.  I find this challenge a delightful thing and I am amazed when other individualists do not share my appreciation for such individuality!

I certainly do not see how whether one is heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual causes one individual to not have a nature.  Apparently, you are upset that it means that mankind as a collective concept does not have one sexual nature.  If this bothers you so much, why does it not bother you that there are males and females?  Or why does it not bother you that there are introverts and extraverts?  Or how about those who love science and those who do not?  Despite many important differences, which enrich our lives, we still retain some very important common characteristics.




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 34

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 10:19pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Perhaps the most reasonable view to hold of this question is, who gives a damn? Even if you tend to have a host of reasons why gay marriage should not be institutionalized, let's put it in pespective. I care about taxes; it is hard to avoid or evade them and they affect me greatly. I care about a conscription law; it could get me, or my son, murdered. I even care about drug laws, even though I am not a user, because it severely hampers my liberty and especially the liberty of those who want to use narcotics, and it also wastes my money and increases crime.

Abortion laws--well, look, even if I believe in the right to abort, if it's outlawed, how much of a hassle is it? I can avoid the need to abort by using birth control; and if I do need to abort, worst case, I fly to Canada. Or have teh baby and give it up for adoption. Unlike taxes, this can be worked around.

Finally, gay marriage laws--why would any married hetero even care enough to have an opinion? Don't people have enough on their hands just living their own lives, without worrying about what other people are doing?



Post 35

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 1:37amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I care to have an opinion because it affects all of us.

Contrary to M. Anderson, the government should not be CREATING contracts, it should be enforcing legal ones. To that end, I agree, which is why legislative acts like Issue 1 here in Ohio are particularly disgusting, because they attempt to invalidate private contracts that "simulate" marriage. However, gays should not be allowed to marry in the governmental sense. This would allow a larger group of individuals to make welfare-state claims to the detriment of singles. And while I normally find slippery-slope arguments from the right on this issue noxious, it is true that allowing this type of welfare-expansion in the realm of marriage would allow all types, in the sense that I should be allowed to marry three people and get all the tax benefits thereof. Marriage, in the governmental sense, should be restricted as much as possible until it can be eliminated, the same as welfare.



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 36

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 2:30amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Halina,

Your starting to post here is a milestone. I'm very happy for you!

Love you,

Your dad




(Edited by Adam Reed
on 7/20, 2:31am)




Post 37

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 3:19amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Only individuals have rights, and they deal with each other on mutually agreed upon terms.  The roll of government is to protect individual rights.  Anything beyond that would be superfluous or in direct violation of individual rights.  [snip] To discuss willing your child to an abstract concept seems more than farcical.


On group rights; i agree that my example was poor, it is not rights belonging to the abstract concept of a group, but rights belonging to the individuals making up that group, individuals having a unifying relationship.

Family is one such group, and it's individual members are granted certain rights by belonging to that group. I see marriage as a contract, granting members from outside the family group, the possibility to share the rights of the family - that right should not be limited by gender combinations or number.

If people marry for the sake of romance, they can seek divine-, governmental-, parental-, self- or whatever else sanction serving as the symbolic thing they feel they need. If happiness is found in other than principle, let happiness be the guide for their choice. Those that oppose the governments role in the romantic or spiritual aspects of marriage must be those that give that role to the government, i at least, fail to see it as an intrinsic part of a civil union.

On the topic of being genetically disposed to be homosexual, besides opposing the inherently condemning nature of the question, i think it a strange obsession that we, in complex matters, seem to always seek one grand solution - the missing link will stay missing if we keep looking for one link only. I see no reason why the diversity of reasons making men and women fall in love, shouldn't be similar to the diversity of reasons making people of the same sex fall in love; sex hormones influencing the pre-natal child will change the volume of the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, deciding if men feel like women or women like men, that doesn't rule out that the majority of gay people just fall for members of the same sex based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests, and it doesn't rule out that some in uncertainty has a need to break limits to 'find themselves' and it doesn't rule out any of the hundreds of other reasons making it sound like a disease. Everything that is, is natural - everything that is done by a large number of people is normal. Searching for a reason why gay people fall in love, sounds to me as silly as searching for a reason why austrian people fall in love.

We classify people on first impressions, we apply a whole set of generic characteristics to people we have just met, and we refine or change those presumptions as we get to know these people better, as they fill in the blanks. When we meet heterosexual couples, we don't think of them as heterosexuals, we don't classify them based on whatever we think might be going on in their bedrooms - though at times the thought is appealing - we judge them on appearance, language, profession, what they are wearing and so forth... if we meet someone in full-body latex suit breathing through a little rubber tube, what they do for a living will still be high on our list of character defining factors whereas homosexuals seem to be judged predominantly on the fact they are homosexuals.



(Edited by Søren Olin
on 7/20, 5:10am)




Post 38

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 5:56amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"However, gays should not be allowed to marry in the governmental sense. This would allow a larger group of individuals to make welfare-state claims to the detriment of singles."

What sort of welfare-state claims? How is the desire to gain a tax advantage equivalent to state welfare? And how does it negatively affect singletons for me to keep more of my own money? If you are primarily concerned about people avoiding paying their taxes, don't come after us, man. There are much bigger targets.

For all of you so vehemently opposed on principle to interference where it doesn't belong, I am curious as to whether you take advantage of the deduction for married filers if you are eligible... I think I saw someone note that they were married but filed separately. In fact, on that note, do you refuse to send your children to public schools?



Post 39

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 6:40amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Gay marriage would generate net revenue. There’re some detailed reports out there about this, but here’re some general reasons as to why.

 

(1) marriage costs money. The more marriages, the more money spent, the more revenue generated.

 

(2) Marriage reduces transaction costs. Marriage brings together a bundle of rights in one contract, which is more efficient (i.e., it costs less) than having to bargain for each right separately. Efficiency is integral to improving an economy.

 

(3) Despite the marital tax bonus, there’s also a marital tax penalty. The IRS will lose money off the bonus but will make money off the penalty. It evens out.

 

(4) In a marriage, one couple has increased opportunities to share insurance (including property and health insurance). This probably reduces welfare because the spouse takes over the government’s job as welfare benefactor. Insurance rates won’t go up for other folks because (a) ya gotta believe the insurance company will adjust the rates to keep this from happening (remember that they compete and will likely lose customers if they jack up the price), and (b) the more money the insurance company gets, the lower the rate it can offer its customers.

 

There’re several other reasons why gay marriage is a boon rather than a bane, but I’ll stop there.

 

Jordan




Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]