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In the Name of God بسم الله
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.InshAllah.

Gay Marriage - A Philosophers Opinion

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This might sound like 'slinking ally' talk, but to the question of the purpose of things: 

 

"Indeed, he typically denies that our faculties and organs, or anything else for that matter, are really for anything.  Teleology, he claims, is an illusion." 

 

What is his response? That if our organs don't have the purpose that our common sense tells us, reason doesn't have a purpose either? 

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Like the skeptic about the external world (or the past, or other minds, or change, etc.) the “same-sex marriage” advocate typically says things he has no right to say consistent with his skeptical arguments.  For example, if “same-sex marriage” is possible, why not incestuous marriage, or group marriage, or marriage to an animal, or marriage to a robot, or marriage to oneself?  A more radical application of the “same-sex marriage” advocate’s key moves can always be deployed by a yet more radical skeptic in order to defend these proposals.  Yet “same-sex marriage” advocates typically deny that they favor such proposals.  If appeal to the natural ends or proper functions of our faculties has no moral significance, then why should anyone care about whether anyone’s arguments -- including arguments either for or against “same-sex marriage” -- are any good?  The “same-sex marriage” advocate can hardly respond “But finding and endorsing sound arguments is what reason is for!”, since he claims that what our natural faculties and organs are naturally fois irrelevant to how we might legitimately choose to use them.  Indeed, he typically denies that our faculties and organs, or anything else for that matter, are really for anything.  Teleology, he claims, is an illusion.  But then it is an illusion that reason itself is really for anything, including arriving at truth.  In which case the “same-sex marriage” advocate has no business criticizing others for giving “bigoted” or otherwise bad arguments.  (Why shouldn’t someone give bigoted arguments if reason does not have truth as its natural end?  What if someone is just born with an orientation toward giving bigoted arguments?)  If the “same-sex marriage” advocate appeals to current Western majority opinion vis-à-vis homosexuality as a ground for his condemnation of what he labels “bigotry,” then where does he get off criticizing past Western majority opinion vis-à-vis homosexuality, or current non-Western moral opinion vis-à-vis homosexuality?   Etc. etc.

 

So, the “same-sex marriage” advocate’s position is ultimately incoherent.  Pushed through consistently, it takes down everything, including itself.  But rhetorically it has the same advantages as Matrix-style skepticism.  The “same-sex marriage” advocate is playing offense, and only calling things into doubt -- albeit selectively and inconsistently -- rather than putting forward any explicit positive position of his own, so that it falsely seems that it is only his opponent who is making controversial assumptions.

 

That is an arbitrary assertion.  One does not require purpose in order to reason.  This is plainly false.  It's just that one side is reasoning via a theistic lens of morality while the other side is reasoning via secular practicality.  That's it.  The writer is employing a very cunning line of persuasion: assuming the premise prior to proving it.  

 

 

Obviously, though, the radically skeptical implications are less directin the case of “same-sex marriage” than they are in the Matrix scenario, which is why most people don’t see them.  And there is another difference.  There are lots of people who believe in “same-sex marriage,” but very few people who seriously entertain the Matrix hypothesis.  But imagine there was some kind of intense sensory pleasure associated with pretending that you were in the Matrix.  Suppose also that some people just had, for whatever reason -- environmental influences, heredity, or whatever -- a deep-seated tendency to take pleasure in the idea that they were living in a Matrix-style reality.  Then, I submit, lots of people would insist that we take the Matrix scenario seriously and some would even accuse those who scornfully rejected the idea of being insensitive bigots.  (Compare the points made in a recent post in which I discussed the special kind of irrationality people are prone to where sex is concerned, due to the intense pleasure associated with it.)

 

So, let’s add to my original scenario this further supposition -- that you are not only surrounded by people who take the Matrix theory seriously and scornfully dismiss your arguments against it, but some of them have a deep-seated tendency to take intense sensory pleasure in the idea that they live in the Matrix.  That, I submit, is the situation defenders of traditional sexual morality are in vis-à-vis the proponents of “same-sex marriage.”   Needless to say, it’s a pretty bad situation to be in.

 

But it’s actually worse even than that.  For suppose our imagined Matrix skeptic and his followers succeeded in intimidating a number of corporations into endorsing and funding their campaign to get the Matrix theory widely accepted, to propagandize for it in movies and television shows, etc.  Suppose mobs of Matrix theorists occasionally threatened to boycott or even burn down bakeries, restaurants, etc. which refused to cater the meetings of Matrix theorists.  Suppose they stopped even listening to the defenders of commonsense realism, but just shouted “Bigot!  Bigot!  Bigot!” in response to any expression of disagreement.  Suppose the Supreme Court of the United States declared that agreement with the Matrix theory is required by the Constitution, and opined that adherence to commonsense realism stems from an irrational animus against Matrix theorists. 

 

How can a thinking person read through these paragraphs and actually think that the writer made even the remotest attempt to make any legitimate, let alone strong, argument against the mentality of "same-sex" advocates? He categorically does not make an objective argument. These paragraphs could just as well apply to those of religious persuasion. 

 

 

 

 

In fact, the current position of opponents of “same-sex marriage” is worse even than that.  Consider once again your situation as you try to reason with Matrix theorists and rebut their increasingly aggressive attempts to impose their doctrine via economic and political force.  Suppose that as you look around, you notice that some of your allies are starting to slink away from the field of battle.  One of them says: “Well, you know, we have sometimes been very insulting to believers in the Matrix theory.  Who can blame them for being angry at us?  Maybe we should focus more on correcting our own attitudes and less on changing their minds.”  Another suggests: “Maybe we’ve been talking too much about this debate between the Matrix theory and commonsense realism.  We sound like we’re obsessed with it.  Maybe we should talk about something else instead, like poverty or the environment.”  A third opines: “We can natter on about philosophy all we want, but the bottom line is that scripture says that the world outside our minds is real.  The trouble is that we’ve gotten away from the Bible.  Maybe we should withdraw into our own faith communities and just try to live our biblically-based belief in external reality the best we can.”

 

Is the writer saying that religious believers may meekly arrive at the conclusion that homosexuality isn't so worthy of concern after all? Well, I don't know what the point of this particular paragraph is. It's already well known that human beings can and do reevaluate based on new ways of thinking. Perhaps the purpose of this paragraph is to exhibit an underlying fear that homosexually will eventually be accepted as a norm, wholesale, by those of faith? That's too bad for him then, isn't it.

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What is his response? That if our organs don't have the purpose that our common sense tells us, reason doesn't have a purpose either?

He's addressing people who deny teleology in nature. People who deny any teleology in nature have argued that we can use our organs in any way we like because nothing is *for* anything. Hes saying the logical outcome of this is to deny that reason is *for* anything e.g truth. Note that teleology doesnt necessarily mean conscious purpose but rather 'directedness'. Reason is directed at truth.

Others who accept teleology but allow homosexuality think there's no link between what our organs are for and how we may legitimately use them. But then they face the challenge of explaining why incest etc is wrong

Edited by .InshAllah.

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He's addressing people who deny teleology in nature. People who deny any teleology in nature have argued that we can use our organs in any way we like because nothing is *for* anything. Hes saying the logical outcome of this is to deny that reason is *for* anything e.g truth. Note that teleology doesnt necessarily mean conscious purpose but rather 'directedness'. Reason is directed at truth.

 

 

But those who argue against teleology arrive at that conclusion by use of reason. To abstract the argument in itself and apply it to the parts (i.e. method of reasoning) that make up the whole (i.e. the argument, per se) is a fallacy.

 

Others who accept teleology but allow homosexuality think there's no link between what our organs are for and how we may legitimately use them. But then they face the challenge of explaining why incest etc is wrong

 

Incest is a cultural taboo and can have associated health risk vis a vis reproduction. But with prudential safety measures there logically shouldn't be a problem with incest. 

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Incest is a cultural taboo and can have associated health risk vis a vis reproduction. But with prudential safety measures there logically shouldn't be a problem with incest. 

 

 

 

This is the general view of the Atheists on the forum I am on. It surprised me. 

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incest, homosexuality to other forms of malnourished addictions to procreation methods are what is deemed as sexual perversions. They generally stem from the psyche when the sexually repressed emotions become dysfunctional. Hence the advocates generally justify it, as they themselves are either repressed or have committed in acts which they now need to justify in order to continue the pleasurable aspect. Athiests are confused in regards to how the game of life should work, especially in regarding to social order. They follow the ideas of liberty and non government yet accept a need for it, such as a minute form of order, but with personal freedom unless encroached. But their ideas of personal freedom still negates the issues of psychos as they all believe they are sane. Rationalism has nothing to do with incest being applicable, rather the foundations of all atheistic ideas is repression and confusion.

Sane individuals will not sleep with their family members, because they know it to be abnormal, and generally all those who have be caught doing it in history to current times, have been known to suffer mental problems. Here I mean, personal gratification, obsession or keeping the lineage to one family, not allowing external genes to combine.

 

If we also follow the atheistic notions of science, then we know love is an improbability but an irrational aspect of human hormones that is expounded due to biological suggestions, and thus one cannot fall in love with their sister / brother etc, Which should hopefully indicate the above regarding the basis of it being pleasure and nothing else. If we then acknowledge that pleasure is the basic, then pedophilia falls into the same box and atheistic rationalism should allow it. But we know, that this is abuse, even if a minor consented as their is lack of intelligent maturity due to manipulation. We fall back to the above regarding insanity.

Edited by monad

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Why should it? To have an alternative opinion is logically inconsistent.

It's not logically consistent to believe in any morals and be Atheist, they should be skeptical about morals having any binding authority, yet this is not the case. So I thought for this, they would be more in line with their Fitra, but they are deviating quite a bit.

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It's not logically consistent to believe in any morals and be Atheist, they should be skeptical about morals having any binding authority, yet this is not the case. So I thought for this, they would be more in line with their Fitra, but they are deviating quite a bit.

 

The main argument in favour of homosexuality is that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want together. The only issue with applying this to heterosexual incestuous couples is the possibility of birth defects in children. Therefore, once that possibility is removed, there is no consistent basis for opposing it. As for homosexual incestuous couples, I don't think there is any valid (secular) argument that can be brought up.

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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The main argument in favour of homosexuality is that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want together. The only issue with applying this to heterosexual incestuous couples is the possibility of birth defects in children. Therefore, once that possibility is removed, there is no consistent basis for opposing it. As for homosexual incestuous couples, I don't think there is any valid (secular) argument that can be brought up.

So basically they reject Incest because of the negative consequence it has but do they really believe homosexuality has no negative consequences?

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So basically they reject Incest because of the negative consequence it has but do they really believe homosexuality has no negative consequences?

 

If they do believe homosexuality has negative consequences, then clearly they don't believe they are sufficient to outweigh the benefits, or even necessity, of it (from their point of view).

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If they do believe homosexuality has negative consequences, then clearly they don't believe they are sufficient to outweigh the benefits, or even necessity, of it (from their point of view).

This is precisely the main point here.

Homosexuality is a prevalent sexual orientation meanwhile incest takes place after an individual fell for his or her own relative. Considering both the homosexual and in the icestuous couples are made up of consenting adults, the legal approval of homosexuality becomes way more required than that of incest, as the first happens a priori, it is a prevalent orientation, meanwhile the second happens after a person feel attraction for a specific relative, and may even fall in love with that relative. The second is not a sexual orientation. Though I personally hold no firm standpoint (based on faith) on incest except for personal dislike.

As for the necessity related to homosexuality, it is basically having the closest thing to a healthy sexual life. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous from a religious or moral perspective, but not from a purely psychological one. Any straight man who lives his entire life away from women would face countless personal and psychological problems torturing him, plus the social alienation it supposes. That is why it is seen that any disadvantage of the practice of homosexuality is considerably less than the lack of it.

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It's not logically consistent to believe in any morals and be Atheist, they should be skeptical about morals having any binding authority, yet this is not the case. So I thought for this, they would be more in line with their Fitra, but they are deviating quite a bit.

 

But fitra denotes nothing but survival instincts, ultimately.

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This is precisely the main point here.

Homosexuality is a prevalent sexual orientation meanwhile incest takes place after an individual fell for his or her own relative. Considering both the homosexual and in the icestuous couples are made up of consenting adults, the legal approval of homosexuality becomes way more required than that of incest, as the first happens a priori, it is a prevalent orientation, meanwhile the second happens after a person feel attraction for a specific relative, and may even fall in love with that relative. The second is not a sexual orientation. Though I personally hold no firm standpoint (based on faith) on incest except for personal dislike.

As for the necessity related to homosexuality, it is basically having the closest thing to a healthy sexual life. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous from a religious or moral perspective, but not from a purely psychological one. Any straight man who lives his entire life away from women would face countless personal and psychological problems torturing him, plus the social alienation it supposes. That is why it is seen that any disadvantage of the practice of homosexuality is considerably less than the lack of it.

 

Ok, but the fact that it not being able to engage in homosexual activity could cause psychological problem is not in itself a reason to practice it, if someone is religious. These days paedophilia is being increasingly seen as a relatively common sexual orientation, but everyone accepts that this can't be allowed to be practiced, and that instead they should be treated in whatever ways we can find.

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And I agree with what you say as far as my knowledge allows me. Religiously speaking, the problems of celibacy are not a justification for the practice of homosexuality, but the lack of ability to find happiness, acceptance and social integration for a celibate repressed homosexual are almost inexistant.

Yet muslim gays commonly cannot find happiness, acceptance and social integration by practicing and embracing homosexuality, for their families tend to be very conservative and their inner feeling of blame is deeply rooted in their hearts due to a strong religious education throughout the years. So nost gay muslims are somewhat doomed to unhappiness. I like to believe, though, that the same way some muslims manage to overcome prejudices and reconciliate their sexuality with their faith in a healthy manner (psychologically speaking), there would also be muslims who manage to live a celibate life and find happiness in it.

I know the first case exists, I still hold my doubts about the latter case, but I would like to believe homosexuality is not a lifetime burden for those gay muslims who never approach it.

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Bakir, as we can see from human history, the majority of people with same-sex attraction are capable of living with a woman and having children. Whether or not it would be possible to remove the homosexual desires, I do believe it should be possible to get the vast majority of homosexuals to the point where they could have a somewhat normal relationship with a woman. That would then open up many avenues for happiness in life. Possibly due to the sexualisation of our culture, the impression is sometimes given that there is no possibility for happiness if someone isn't completely sexually fulfilled, when this isn't the case at all. Yes, for young people, with the hormones raging, this is more of an issue (as we see almost daily on ShiaChat), but over the course of a lifetime it's not the be all and end all. There is happiness to be found in obeying God, in knowing He is please with our actions, in having and raising children, in being a productive member of society, etc, etc.

It's not like living a homosexual lifestyle is the answer for every man with homosexual feelings either. If they aren't young and good looking (or perhaps rich), the chances of them finding a 'decent' partner are very low, and then they live a life of even more rejection and unhappiness. Even for those who are good looking, it's very rare for a homosexual couple to last very long, at least in a monogamous fashion, possibly due to the inherent difficulties of having two men in a relationship, without the stabilising influence of a woman. I know people try to explain away the obvious issues with the typical homosexual lifestyle by making it out to be due to the oppression gays face, but it seems to me that there are more fundamental issues here, and obviously from a religious perspective, I wouldn't expect that anything good could come out of a lifestyle based on sin.

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Even though I'm still far from having faith in what you said, I agree with most if not all points you presented here.

Gays can live in a heterosexual marriage, and in rare occassions they can have sexual relationships with their partner (they just face more difficulties). They will suffer from sexual frustration though, that is inevitable. The need to be intimate with a man will not be fulfilled and they will have to struggle with that need their whole lives.

I believe, though, happiness may be reached even without sexual satisfaction. One of them is precisely the point you addressed. We get a lot of self esteem and satisfaction from sex, but sex is not the only way to achieve that. Social success would probably be necessary, but given the prejudices towards homosexuality that may also be hard, even if you marry a woman.

Regarding appearance, being good looking tends to be important, I must say. I have to agree with you there.

As for couples, maybe what you say is true, but also add to that the culture we have within our own community, in which in many times sex tends to be the reason to live (as sad as it may sound). There are many gays, though, who look for a lifetime partner (I have never looked for casual encounters to be honest, but luckily I wasn't educated for that either). It is hard, anyway, to find that stability. One of the reasons, in my experience, is the bagagge many gays seem to have regarding the lifestyle they adopted. You can't have a relationship with someone who deeply inside feels it is wrong. It gets very tough after a couple of months.

I don't hold a religious perspective yet on the topic thus my opinion can't be biased in that sense, so when I agree with you is not because I'm against it at all (as I said I'm not), but because you actually stated facts. For many muslim gays, if I had to give a fully secular opinion, I would honestly advise them not to try it, because it is not worth it. Reasons:

- Self guilt and religious bagagge will make it impossible for them to live a peaceful life with a man. Let aside sex, which the first time is by itself pretty much traumatic under such circumstances.

- Physical appearance is took very much into consideration. Pretty hard to find anything decent if you aren't good looking.

- It gets easier to bear. When you are young, hormones are terrible and the attraction is terribly unbearable. When you grow older, you tend to look for love rather than sex. Sexuality is also fluid and you may also grow interest in women. Talking from experience. I don't like women physically, but they don't disgust me anymore and I like their personalities and caring nature.

- We may be "born this way", but the gay baggage we come with to the world is not as tough as the gay identity we develop throughout our early years, after the realization of our sexuality. The first may not be changed, but the identity can be changed, and it makes it way easier to decide whether or not to live with a woman or a man.

- Relationship with family may get ruined for a muslim gay. Most muslim families refuse to have a gay son. If you add to that living your sexuality, it is very possible that the relation with the family gets absolutely ruined. There are cases of gays who committed suicide after coming out to their parents.

All in all, it is important to evaluate our condition. I stated here a few reasons, but on top of that, a muslim man who believes it is a sin should know there is a greater reason apart from all those to avoid homosexuality, which is precisely that it is against his religion.

I haven't personally faced the problems I stated here, but it is a fact for most muslim gays I have met.

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It's interesting you say that... But realistically, you could put religion in the "Matrix theory" category. And anyone who refuses to cater to us is a "bigot". If you accept your argument, then you're also saying that Islamophobes have every right to be racist to us.

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