Monday, February 26, 2018

Gay marriage, the product of which 60s movement?

Is this the next step in the civil rights movement, or is it the newest stage of the sexual revolution. If you say the civil rights movement was a bad thing, this probably is not socially acceptable. If you say the sexual revolution was a bad thing, you might be called a prude, but you will get the support of a lot of people who thought the civil rights movement was a good movement.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What "gay marriage" does

To be clear, same-sex relationships existed before gay couples could be married by the government, and they have been doing may marriage ceremonies since 1969, without getting arrested. What the gay marriage government initiatives, culminating with the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage in 2015, has been government recognition of gay marriages, so that, for example, a same sex couple could check “married filing jointly” on their tax return and get some tax advantages. 

Did gay marriage permit gay people to love who they please? No. What would prevent them from loving who they please would be sodomy laws, which have been eliminated in most placed and were unenforced in many cases before they were eliminated. These laws  were declared unconstitutional in 2002, 13 years before the Obergfell decision. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Accepting people

Should a person have to accept another person’s love life in order to accept them as a person? For example, if someone sleeps around, and I don’t think they ought to be sleeping around, does that mean that I reject who they are? Many people assume that if a person does not approve of gay sexual activity, they cannot accept a gay person as a person. But why think this? 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Is marriage equality a coherent idea?

Any institution of marriage involves some kind of inequality. That is, it treats some relationships as fitting objects of religious affirmation, or government support, or what not, while others are not. It is to say that certain relationships rise above the level of mere shackups and hookups, and worthy of some form of community respect. Therefore the term “marriage equality,” strictly speaking, is an oxymoron. The very idea of marriage, gay or not, implies that some relationships are marriages and others are not. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why is country of origin relevant to DACA?

This is a question, not a polemic. I really want to know. What is confusing about Trump's "s***hole countries" comment is the fact that this came up in the context of DACA. That is people who entered the country illegally as children, who as adults have either gone to college or joined the military, and who have no criminal record. While one could argue that country of origin might be relevant to overall immigration policy, so that on a merit-based system we might limit entry from countries on the basis of how well they might contribute to our society once they arrived (those from the poorest countries are least likely to be contributors to our society, one might reason), I don't see how in the world this applies to DACA-type cases where innocent illegal immigrants have shown there ability to contribute to America.
I am not here defending or criticizing the "merit-based" viewpoint on immigration. I just fail to see the relevance of these considerations to Dreamers. What these people have done since arriving in our country dwarfs the significance of country of origin in these cases, it seems to me. And if they have done all the since coming from a s***hole, it seems even more meritorious for them to have done what they have done, and extra cruel to send them back there.
Or did I misunderstand Trump?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Pre-adolescent indicators of post-adolescent homosexuality? Evidence, anyone?

This is from Focus on the Family

As a parent, you should be aware that there are certain signs of pre-homosexuality that are fairly easy to recognize. They usually show up early in a child's life, and they generally fall under the heading of what might be called "cross-gender behavior." There are five markers to watch for in determining whether a boy or girl is a likely candidate for "gender identity disorder:"
  • A recurring desire to be, or an insistence that he or she is, the opposite sex.
  • Penchant for cross-dressing.
  • A strong and persistent preference for cross-sexual roles in make-believe play, or persistent fantasies of being the other sex.
  • An intense desire to participate in stereotypical games and pastimes of the other sex.
  • A strong preference for playmates of the opposite sex.

I've never seen any good evidence for this sort of thing. Has anyone? 

Monday, February 05, 2018

William H. (Bill) Patterson

Heinlein archivist and biographer. I knew him from our old science fiction club in the Phoenix area from the mid-1970s. He passed away in 2014.


Thursday, February 01, 2018

Was Mendel and anti-Darwinist?

According to this paper, he was, although modern evolutionary theory is a synthesis of Mendel and Darwin.