Homosexuality: Morals and Ethics Catch-All Thread

NormanTheIntern wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Fine, again, one simple question--how are people who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds any different than those who historically opposed interracial marriage on fundamentally the same grounds?

I take issue with the premise here - racial equality has historically been championed by religious groups - for example, the abolitionist movement has it's roots and foundations in religious groups and clergy members. There certainly were cases where racist groups have attempted to use religion to defend their actions, but I think it's a fair statement to call the issue social rather than religious, and it's also fair to say that religion helped frog-march society to it's current position on the issue. The same can't be said for homosexuality - while there are religious groups that are pro-homosexual, as has been noted time and time again in this thread - the primary objection to homosexuality is moral and religious in nature. So, social apples and religious oranges.

Wrong. Plain and simple, wrong. A quote from the judge in the Loving vs. Virginia case which was the landmark decision--in 1967--that decriminalized interracial marriage in Virginia:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

It's all over the place. Saying religion has largely been a force for social change is not correct; white Southern churches were largely in opposition to the civil rights movement in general, and just in the last few weeks we had a primarily white church preventing an interracial marriage within their church. Racial equality has traditionally been championed by groups who push for social change, and some of those were religious and some not. Extremely conservative churches have far from embraced pushes for racial equality over the years, and I'd challenge you to provide anything resembling evidence otherwise.

Seth wrote:

While I would claim that it was both religious groups in support of and against racial equality - which is identical to LGBT equality, btw - I think that's more a result of atheism being a pretty tiny segment of the (American) population.

The issue at hand is that some people dont see a connection. I realize the number of self-professed bigots is probably zero, but those of the Conformist's mindset are unable/unwilling to see that a term as "innocent" as "disagreeing with homosexuality" could be any more offensive than "disagreeing with curly hair."

I just saw a quote saying "so you can state your opinion and that's speech, but when I state mine, it's hate and intolerance." The US Marine Corps (or some related group) posted it on Facebook. The issue is how to convince someone their actions are harmful? I don't have an answer.

As a guy who prefers wavy or straight hair, I get that reference. But saying that people with curly hair are sinners, but that's ok because we're all sinners, and Tresemee makes great reparative therapy for those devilish locks? that's where I get lost.

I thought NSMike directly saying "Your actions harm me" was a pretty good way to do that. Evidently not though.

For me, it boils down to: If you want to tell me that something I am doing is immoral, you better be able to convince me with Reason and not tradition, superstition or personal preference.

Valmorian wrote:

For me, it boils down to: If you want to tell me that something I am doing is immoral, you better be able to convince me with Reason and not tradition, superstition or personal preference.

This. Right here. A million times.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Fine, again, one simple question--how are people who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds any different than those who historically opposed interracial marriage on fundamentally the same grounds?

I take issue with the premise here - racial equality has historically been championed by religious groups - for example, the abolitionist movement has it's roots and foundations in religious groups and clergy members. There certainly were cases where racist groups have attempted to use religion to defend their actions, but I think it's a fair statement to call the issue social rather than religious, and it's also fair to say that religion helped frog-march society to it's current position on the issue. The same can't be said for homosexuality - while there are religious groups that are pro-homosexual, as has been noted time and time again in this thread - the primary objection to homosexuality is moral and religious in nature. So, social apples and religious oranges.

I think the issue here is that while the primary objection to homosexuality *could* be moral and religious in nature, the actual opposition we are seeing in the world as it is (as opposed to a hypothetical, as in a hypothetical analysis of the question, racism could be moral/religious in nature too) is not. It's just as social as the old religious objections to interracial marriage. Your argument is valid if we were talking hypotheticals, but it's not a sound description of the world as it is. If it were moral/religious, it would look more like this development from back in 2006:

A panel of rabbis gave permission Wednesday for same-sex commitment ceremonies and ordination of gays within Conservative Judaism, a wrenching change for a movement that occupies the middle ground between orthodoxy and liberalism in Judaism...After years of discussion and two days of intense debate behind closed doors at a synagogue on Park Avenue, the law committee accepted three teshuvot, or answers, to the question of whether Jewish law allows homosexual sex. Two answers uphold the status quo, forbidding homosexuality. But a third answer allows same-sex ceremonies and ordination of gay men and lesbians, while maintaining a ban on anal sex. It argues that the verse in Leviticus saying "a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman" is unclear, but traditionally was understood to bar only one kind of sex between men. All other prohibitions were "added later on by the rabbis," Dorff told reporters.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...

I take issue with the premise here - racial equality has historically been championed by religious groups - for example, the abolitionist movement has it's roots and foundations in religious groups and clergy members. There certainly were cases where racist groups have attempted to use religion to defend their actions, but I think it's a fair statement to call the issue social rather than religious, and it's also fair to say that religion helped frog-march society to it's current position on the issue. The same can't be said for homosexuality - while there are religious groups that are pro-homosexual, as has been noted time and time again in this thread - the primary objection to homosexuality is moral and religious in nature. So, social apples and religious oranges.

The justification for slavery in the West was religious - period. The opposition to it was not just religious, but also secular, a result of the Enlightenment as well as English and French principles of personal freedom developed distinct from Christianity. Slavery was justified by religious belief, while by it's nature it was also a social issue. And yet it was opposed by Christians as well. So I'd argue that the underlying common thread was - surprise - competing interpretations of the Bible, in reaction to a more secular understanding of the worth of the individual. Religion was the main factor on both sides, even if not the only one.

The opposition to homosexuality today is, as Norman put it, based on "moral and religious" factors. The opposition to slavery was based on moral and religious factors; the support for slavery was based on moral and religious factors too. Christian morality derives entirely from Christian belief, so this is religion on both points.

Our question is this - if you take the religion out of it, what remains to object to? Because Christianity has been dead wrong on moral issues in the recent past, and the question has to be asked - what if it's wrong here too? What's left then? Because I'm finding it hard to see what that could be.

Norman, if you feel that there's something *other* than religion to cause objections, some objective harms, for God's sake, this is the time to cite them. Because the "it's religious, therefore not intolerant" argument is running dry in the face of a lack of *actual, real* harms, unfortunately.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Wrong. Plain and simple, wrong. A quote from the judge in the Loving vs. Virginia case which was the landmark decision--in 1967--that decriminalized interracial marriage in Virginia:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

Actually I'm not sure why you framed your question in terms of gay marriage since The Conformist already said he had no problem with any expressed aspect of homosexuality, simply find that he personally found it immoral.

I just see your views on homosexuality as immoral, that's all. But otherwise, you are just a great guy. I wouldn't want my daughter to marry somebody like you, but I don't wish you any harm.

Sorry, haven't had the opportunity to post. I just try my hardest to look at it one way, we are all human beings, we go through our lives and treat one another with as much kindness as possible and do our best not to hurt anyone. I try to not judge or ridicule someone for the way they live there life, and I just expect to get the same in return. In terms of answering every single question fired my way. I just don't have the time or the patience to sit and explain myself to people I'll never meet or people who just won't understand because they can't or refuse to (I've have discussions like this many of times, just trust me on this). We all have different views that make us stubborn and set in our ways, I can accept that. I'll just live my life the way I know best and believe what I feel is correct and leave it at that.

Thanks to Norman and the rest of you for being understanding.

Jayhawker wrote:

I just see your views on homosexuality as immoral, that's all. But otherwise, you are just a great guy. I wouldn't want my daughter to marry somebody like you, but I don't wish you any harm.

Hah, thanks. I can accept that That is of course if you are referring to me, or perhaps being sarcastic, either way.

The Conformist wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I just see your views on homosexuality as immoral, that's all. But otherwise, you are just a great guy. I wouldn't want my daughter to marry somebody like you, but I don't wish you any harm.

Hah, thanks. I can accept that That is of course if you are referring to me, or perhaps being sarcastic, either way. :-)

Actually, Jayhawker, I think that's the best we're gonna get.

I have sparkling wine on ice to toast this conclusion. and rye whiskey.

edit: just the wine is on ice. I'm civilized, after all.

Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?

Just caught up on the thread.

Still think this post on page one sums things up for me:

Rule of thumb on sex acts: is everyone involved consenting to what's happening? If so, there's no moral or ethical issue in play.

(Note that in other contexts we regard children and animals as being incapable of giving informed consent. That would apply here, as well.)

Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Nomad wrote:
Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Is this...is this a real post?

Nomad wrote:

Social Darwinism[/url] completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

As in somehow, you mean without souls.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Is this...is this a real post?

Social Darwinism posits that the conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones. Scapegoating religion as the total cause of slavery is disingenuous at best.

Nomad wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Is this...is this a real post?

Social Darwinism posits that the conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones. Scapegoating religion as the total cause of slavery is disingenuous at best.

Ok thanks for clarifying.

I'll just say this: Social Darwinism was not a theory until after slavery was abolished in the US. I think you have to go a little further back to find a motivator.

Edit: Spacehausered!

Nomad wrote:

Social Darwinism[/url] completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

...

Wikipedia wrote:

The name social Darwinism is a modern name given to the various theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, which, it is alleged, sought to apply biological concepts to sociology and politics

Nomad wrote:

Social Darwinism posits that the conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones. Scapegoating religion as the total cause of slavery is disingenuous at best.

I do remember a lot of talk about Darwin in the Old Testament and New Testaments.

"Slaves, be obedient to your masters, as you are part of an inferior group outcompeted by a superior group."

SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Is this...is this a real post?

Social Darwinism posits that the conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones. Scapegoating religion as the total cause of slavery is disingenuous at best.

Ok thanks for clarifying.

I'll just say this: Social Darwinism was not a theory until after slavery was abolished in the US. I think you have to go a little further back to find a motivator.

Edit: Spacehausered!

If you read a bit further down in the article, these ideas had been circling around for at least as long as 1838. Just because the concept was not labeled until the 1870's does not mean it was not prevalent.

edit: And I'm sure you'd agree, racism was not eradicated with the Emancipation Proclamation, or even the 15th Amendment of the Constitution.

Nomad wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Is this...is this a real post?

Social Darwinism posits that the conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones. Scapegoating religion as the total cause of slavery is disingenuous at best.

Ok thanks for clarifying.

I'll just say this: Social Darwinism was not a theory until after slavery was abolished in the US. I think you have to go a little further back to find a motivator.

Edit: Spacehausered!

If you read a bit further down in the article, these ideas had been circling around for at least as long as 1838. Just because the concept was not labeled until the 1870's does not mean it was not prevalent.

Seriously? An idea from 1838 is the motivator for slavery? Are you trolling with this?
Edit: After seeing your edit I don't even know what point you are making anymore.

SixteenBlue wrote:

Seriously? An idea from 1838 is the motivator for slavery? Are you trolling with this?

B.C. or A.D.?

SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Nomad wrote:
Robear wrote:
Just to re-state what I was saying, I see the more modern religious defenses of racism to be slapping a sort of veneer of religiosity on what is at it's core a social issue. And while I definitely agree that the social trends are changing with regard to homosexuality, at it's core, it's basically a religious issue.

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality. And that changed as views towards individual freedom changed. The question is, why is homosexuality not in the same boat?


Social Darwinism
completely disagrees with you Robear. While religion may have been used as a tool in the fight to keep slaves, the main tenet was often the view that blacks were somehow inferior to whites.

Is this...is this a real post?

Social Darwinism posits that the conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones. Scapegoating religion as the total cause of slavery is disingenuous at best.

Ok thanks for clarifying.

I'll just say this: Social Darwinism was not a theory until after slavery was abolished in the US. I think you have to go a little further back to find a motivator.

Edit: Spacehausered!

If you read a bit further down in the article, these ideas had been circling around for at least as long as 1838. Just because the concept was not labeled until the 1870's does not mean it was not prevalent.

Seriously? An idea from 1838 is the motivator for slavery? Are you trolling with this?

The idea that conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones, is basically a different way of saying might makes right, which has been around since the beginning of man. Might makes right = secular ethics.

Robear wrote:

Our question is this - if you take the religion out of it, what remains to object to?

Norman, if you feel that there's something *other* than religion to cause objections, some objective harms, for God's sake, this is the time to cite them. Because the "it's religious, therefore not intolerant" argument is running dry in the face of a lack of *actual, real* harms, unfortunately.

To be clear here, I do think gays have the rights to have sex with whomever they want, and deserve all the legal benefits that come with marriage, so I don't really have a dog in this fight.

It's the idea of adding a requirement for concrete harm that I find unsettling in general. I kind of alluded to this earlier in the thread, but I think we already have a bunch of laws on the books that would not meet this requirement, and frankly I feel like we lose something essential as a society if we implement a strictly utilitarian gate that must be passed. We as a society should be able to point to a particular action, say "this is wrong", and if it passes Constitutional muster... it's a law.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Robear wrote:

Our question is this - if you take the religion out of it, what remains to object to?

Norman, if you feel that there's something *other* than religion to cause objections, some objective harms, for God's sake, this is the time to cite them. Because the "it's religious, therefore not intolerant" argument is running dry in the face of a lack of *actual, real* harms, unfortunately.

To be clear here, I do think gays have the rights to have sex with whomever they want, and deserve all the legal benefits that come with marriage, so I don't really have a dog in this fight.

It's the idea of adding a requirement for concrete harm that I find unsettling in general. I kind of alluded to this earlier in the thread, but I think we already have a bunch of laws on the books that would not meet this requirement, and frankly I feel like we lose something essential as a society if we implement a strictly utilitarian gate that must be passed. We as a society should be able to point to a particular action, say "this is wrong", and if it passes Constitutional muster... it's a law.

To put it into a possibly easy to understand example, you're asking something along the lines of how we can ban people from eating dog if we're not going to ban people from eating pig.

Nomad wrote:

The idea that conflict between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups outcompete inferior ones, is basically a different way of saying might makes right, which has been around since the beginning of man. Might makes right = secular ethics.

That is actually not true at all. Social Darwinism and might makes right are simply not the same idea and might makes right is not the basis of secular ethics, as I've tried to explain already.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Robear wrote:

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality.

It was based on pure economics, actually - the agricultural society that was the pre-revolutionary south would simply fall over were it not for the ability to use slaves. Actually that was probably true of the north until it industrialized. I have no doubts that attempts were made to justify it using religion, but I think it's incorrect to say that religion was the driving factor here.

I'd dispute that--the pre-revolutionary South was moving away from using slaves, and it's the events that occurred AFTER the Revolution that created the slave economy (I think the cotton gin was invented in the same year the Constitution was ratified?). Slaves became profitable again with industrialization--if you look across the world, the Civil War isn't the end of slavery, it actually borders on the period where Europe goes out and starts building empires across the world, exploiting local labor that *technically* weren't slaves under the law but for all intents and purposes were, to extract raw materials to feed the industry at home. Northern textile mills and Southern cotton plantations were just a dress rehearsal for the relationship of, say, England to India.

/historical derail

I would point out that economics have often been the underlying factor for religious atrocities - genocide, expansion of territory under the guise of missionary-ism, etc.

...didn't I make a similar point earlier?

Robear wrote:

In the US, white racism against blacks was definitely based on Christian thought and morality.

It was based on pure economics, actually - the agricultural society that was the pre-revolutionary south would simply fall over were it not for the ability to use slaves. Actually that was probably true of the north until it industrialized. I have no doubts that attempts were made to justify it using religion, but I think it's incorrect to say that religion was the driving factor here.

Edit: I'm reminded of the way scientists and doctors used phrenology to "prove" that black people weren't really human in the 1800s. That doesn't mean that racism is "based on scientific thought" or that science is in any way to blame. People use the tools that are available to them to justify their already-established worldview. It happens.