December 08, 2003
Homosexuals (but not lesbians) are immoral. Homosexuals have penises. Therefore, penises are immoral!
Leave it to Dean and Rosemary Esmay to get another interesting debate going on homosexuality. This time, the topic is homosexuality and morality.
I did not start this debate, and obviously, I am not going to end it. I wish, however, to explore some assumptions commonly made, because much of the discussion seems to proceed without doing so.
First of all, what is morality? The blogger who provided the kernel for the latest debate defines it as involving responsibility:
Simply put: the basis of Christian morality is responsibility. The very first argument put forward by homosexuals as a group is: Homosexuality is not a choice. That is the very definition of denial of responsibility. When you start discussing the damaging consequences and correlations of homosexuality, the first responses are: any damaging consequences are soley due to a disapproving society, and HIV/AIDS is not a homosexual disease. These are also a complete denial of responsibility. Iím directing this to homosexuals of both genders, not just men.For the sake of this post, I am going to stick to Nathan's definition of morality (although I think morality is more complicated than accepting responsibility for one's actions, and there are many ways of accepting such responsibility).
First of all, let's address the "choice" crap. Homosexual conduct is to me about freedom, and choice is irrelevant. People should be free to choose or not choose it -- regardless of whether or not some feel they have no choice. In the context of definitions of morality, whether one has a choice is a bit of a red herring. Because, a thing is either bad or it is not. Whether or not someone claims it is chosen does not affect its goodness or badness. Pedophilia, for example, may or may not be chosen depending on circumstances, but most people would agree it is immoral because of the presence of unconsenting victims who, even if they claim to consent, are deemed too immature to take such decisions. Plenty of other things are chosen or not chosen; if they are bad things, we do not entertain a defense that they were caused by accidents of birth. If someone was born nearsighted, he cannot be heard to offer that as a defense to his involvement in an automobile accident, because he should have controlled his condition by wearing glasses. Note that neither condition -- pedophilia or nearsightedness -- is immoral absent the afflicted person conducting himself in such a way as to cause harm.
That of course, is the essence of what Nathan calls responsibility. I don't have much of a quarrel with it, except that I see no way to attach the label of "immoral" to those who behave responsibly because of the actions of those who do not. If I do not infect people with AIDS or other STDs, there is no logical way that I can be accused of immorality because of the actions of other people in my purported "group." Some homosexuals are celibate, some engage in faithful monogamous relationships, some do little more than masturbate with each other, and still others play phone games or cyber games. It makes no more sense to lump them all together than it does to describe all "women" as "loose women" because some women engage in prostitution.
The odd thing about all of this is that I agree that morality does involve responsibility. But so what? How we can go from there to a declaration that "homosexuals" are immoral I cannot understand. I refuse to be judged or condemned on the basis of some social engineer's actuarial statistics, and I can think of few things more inimical to freedom.
Once again, I am reminded of what the social engineers would do to my dear pet pit bull, Puff. Or what they would do to my guns.
Regardless of how many pit bull owners engage in dog fighting or sic their dogs on two year old children, I do not do that, and I refuse to be lumped with them or treated like them. Ditto for guns.
My gun is my business. It isn't to be judged by what others do with theirs.
Similarly, my penis is my business. It isn't to be judged by what others do with theirs.
Bottom line here is that I dislike having my life judged by "correlations":
the extremely high correlation between homosexuality and all sorts of unfortunate consequences makes it very clear that homosexuality is not a good choice for long-term happiness in life.You could substitute "guns," "pit bulls," "tobacco," or "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" for "homosexuality," and so what? Correlations do not equal immorality. (And I am not altogether sure that risk taking does either, but I don't feel like taking the risk of enlarging the debate right now....)
Nathan ought to be careful, because such communitarian thinking has a poor track record in history.
Of course, I can see why. Had lesbians been factored into his actuarial table, he'd have had the gay "Promise Keepers" he seems to think "we" need!
Identity politics, of course, invites this kind of debate.
Whether identity politics is immoral is still another question....
UPDATE: I was WRONG AGAIN. "Shell" is a she, not a he, although my praise is the same. (See comments below.) If only I had such a team!
posted by Eric on 12.08.03 at 07:48 PM
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Homosexuals (but not lesbians) are immoral. Homosexuals have penises. Therefore, penises are immoral!:
» Preachin' for responsible penis usage? from Tiger: Raggin' & Rantin'
Over on Classical Values, I found this little quip: . . . my penis is my business. It isn't to be judged by what others do with theirs.I kinda liked it, but thought My penis is my responsibility is not... [Read More] Tracked on December 8, 2003 10:14 PM
» http://www.ronald.idv.tw/archives/2003/12/09/.php from Who is Ronald?
Classical Values: Homosexuals (but not lesbians) are immoral. Homosexuals have penises. Therefore, penises are immoral! The discussion is interesting! I... [Read More] Tracked on December 9, 2003 12:38 AM
» Homosexual Morality from Across the Atlantic
Rosemary at Dean's World links to this article by Nathan at Brain Fertilizer. Simply put: the basis of Christian morality is responsibility. The very first argument put forward by homosexuals as a group is: Homosexuality is not a choice. That... [Read More] Tracked on December 9, 2003 9:59 AM
» Bonfire of the Vanities - Week 23 from Wizbang
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» Bonfire Of The Vanities - Week 26 from Wizbang
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» Bonfire Of The Vanities - Week 26 from Wizbang
The Bonfire Of The Vanities is now a traveling show. Next weeks edition will be at Boots And Sabers. Entries should still be sent to bonfire at wizbangblog.com. The upcoming Bonfire schedule and signup information is listed here. If you... [Read More] Tracked on December 31, 2003 1:00 AM
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