Friday, December 09, 2016

Do Christian views discriminate against gay people?

Are the religious views on homosexuality straightforwardly discriminatory? It is not clear to me that they are. Being a same-sex attracted person is no problem for many of them, it is just that, on their view, it is wrong for such persons to pursue intimate relationships. One celibate gay man is a leading biblical studies professor at a conservative Christian college.

Some people, it seems, can't help being attracted, and only attracted to little boys. They shouldn't be discriminated against if they are this way, unless, of course, they pursue intimate relationships in accordance with their orientation. But the pursuit is an action, not a fact about them that cannot be changed.

17 comments:

jdhuey said...

"Being a same-sex attracted person is no problem for many of them, it is just that, on their view, it is wrong for such persons to pursue intimate relationships."

This is, of course, a religious viewpoint, and if people within that religion want to adopt it then that is their right. However, it is wrong for anyone to impose their religious viewpoint on anyone that does not share that religion. There is no good secular reason to restrict the intimate relationships of consenting adults.

"Some people, it seems, can't help being attracted, and only attracted to little boys."

This is, of course, a red herring. It is not a comparable situation because we are not dealing with just consenting adults.

If you happen to believe that same sex relations are wrong, then fine, don't engage in same sex relations but leave people who believe same sex relations are just fine alone. You have no more right to disparage their sex life than they do to disparage yours.

Victor Reppert said...

The case of little boys is comparable in the following sense, that we our sexual proclivities, whatever they may be, do not provide us with a guarantee that they can be acted out in a morally acceptable way. Maybe they can, and maybe they can't. If I lived in a society that had a great deal to fear from underpopulation, then to pursue homosexual relationships at the expense of straight ones would be socially irresponsible, even from a utilitarian perspective.

Are you suggesting that we have no right to criticize other people's relationships? Why? It seems to me that we ought to be allowed to criticize anything we want to criticize. Atheists criticize Christian religious beliefs? The same argument could be used against that that you are using against gay activities. You don't dare criticize people for their religious views, they are just being who they are, so shut up already.

I do think gay people deserve to be protected from a lot of things. Criticism is not one of them. They don't need "safe zones" any more than Christians need "safe zones" to protect them from Richard Dawkins.

Andrew Wachter said...

"There is no good secular reason to restrict the intimate relationships of consenting adults."

Secular societies have been restricting conjugal relationships for millennia. That is what marriage is. It is a man and a women making babies. Civil Society has a compelling interest in regulating the welfare of children.

jdhuey said...

Exercising moral responsibility is part and parcel of all sexual relations - for that matter, it is part and parcel of ALL human relations. Picking out pedophilia to contrast with same sex relations is to suggest that they are somehow the same or related.

I don't think we need to worry about underpopulation anytime soon.

No, I'm not suggesting we have no right to criticize other peoples relationships (it is rather impolite but it is our right); however, your religious beliefs in no way gives you the right to try to restrict someone elses pursuit of happiness.

SteveK said...

"There is no good secular reason to restrict the intimate relationships of consenting adults"

It is wrong for anyone to impose their non-religious viewpoint on anyone that does not share that non-religion.

SteveK said...

jdhuey,
If you happen to believe that sexual relations with children are wrong, then fine, don't engage in sexual relations with children but leave people who believe sexual relations with children are just fine alone. You have no more right to disparage their sex life than they do to disparage yours.

The lesson here is that when you have no objective moral grounding, you have no moral argument - period.

jdhuey said...

The real lesson is that nobody has "objective" moral groundings, so called objective moral groundings are just morals borrowed from some source claiming false authority.

Again, the parallel that you are attempting to draw between sexual relations between consenting adults versus adults pursuing sexual relations with children fails. The asymmetry of age, power, authority, capability, etc. precludes those relationships from being truly consenting. As such, they are perforce exploitative and harmful.

jdhuey said...

"It is wrong for anyone to impose their non-religious viewpoint on anyone that does not share that non-religion."

I thought that was the purpose of democracy.

SteveK said...

You're not telling me anything new. You don't have to engage in it, jdhuey, just leave others alone. That's your logic staring you in the face.

"I thought that was the purpose of democracy."

Perhaps it was, but progress marches onward.

B. Prokop said...

"There is no good secular reason to restrict the intimate relationships of consenting adults."

Oh, yeah? What about polygamy, or incest?

SteveK said...

What about them? He's said his morality is subjective so all you're gonna get is one man's opinion dressed up to look as if it's objective reality.

Victor Reppert said...

If morality is subjective, then what is called homophobia, or even sexism or racism, is only subjectively wrong, and the Doctrine of Human Equality is just a subjective preference some people have, but others need not. After all, no one can argue that all men are evolved equal, and were endowed by evolution with certain inalienable rights. To get to a position like that, you need, well, creationism, which is exactly what Jefferson appealed to when he penned those words in the first place.

SteveK said...

"We hold these scientific truths to be self-evident, that all men are evolved unequally, that they are endowed by evolution with no unalienable rights, not even the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

Science! Reason! Evidence!

Victor Reppert said...

My obligation not to restrict someone's pursuit of happiness comes from where? Evolution? GMAB. From our compassion for others? What if we don't feel any?

I think secularists are hard put to find a foundation for basic human rights. The fact is, unless there is a source of moral facts that is not part of the natural, physical world, then human rights exist if the people with the biggest guns want them to. Otherwise, they don't. They get upset when Christians assert their moral standards in the face of those who don't accept them, but then bring sanctions down on shopowners who don't want to participate in same-sex marriage celebrations, because that interferes with those gay people's inalienable right to pursue happiness. We can disapprove if we want, but it considered at best bad manners, and at worst hate speech, if we express this in a way that inflicts a microaggression on a gay person.

jdhuey said...

"My obligation not to restrict someone's pursuit of happiness comes from where?"

From the same place as the obligation to let your chess opponent make his move before you make your next move. The obligation to take turns is require in order for the game to be fun and enjoyable. Failure to oblige would have bad results - most likely, your opponent would just refuse to play with you anymore. So, call it enlightened self-interest.

Yes, in some sense, it does come from evolution. We are a social species but with a great deal of individual autonomy. Most of what we call morality is those rules that permit those two facts to function. Some rules work better than other rules.

The world is full of societies that do not respect the individuals right to pursue their own happiness: Russia, China, Iran, etc. We don't tend to like those places.

jdhuey said...

Imagine that you are sitting someplace eating a ham sandwich and a person walks up and says to you that you are violating God's commandments about eating pork and that you are being immoral. I think that I would be rather irritated and think that that person had stepped outside the bounds of politeness.

If those same people tried to institute laws and social institutions to restrict pork based on their religious conviction that pork was immoral I would state that they were in the wrong for trying to impose their religious views on people that did not hold those religious views.

oozzielionel said...

Imagine that you are sitting someplace eating a lion sandwich...