16 October 2007

Asking the Wrong Questions Indeed

One of the folks I read on LJ has a post titled 'People asking the wrong questions'.

One half of it has to do with the doctors and guns thing I mentioned in a previous post.

The other has to do with environmental legislation. It's an interesting way of looking at things. I mean, companies exist to make profit. If we make it impossible to make a profit in the US with environmental legislation and labor costs (including the benefits packages unions expect these days) then they go elsewhere where they have NO regulation. So the idea is to have as much environmental legistlation as you can without making it unprofitable to keep your factories in the US.

Speaking of asking the wrong question, there's another study on genetics of homosexuality.

There are some things that you will never convince me of.

1) That there are two choices, gay and straight, and all people fall into category A and B.
2) That any human behavior as complex as sexuality is governed either by a single gene or a small group of genes, or genetics at all, or environment alone, or personal choice, or any other single variable.
3) That a genetic predisposition to any behavior is an immutable destiny.
4) That I should really care one way or another whether my neighbor prefers direct or alternating current, so long as whatever he or she does, he or she does with consenting adult or adults.
5) That homosexuality is a greater threat to public morality than irresponsibly promiscuous heterosexuality.

I doubt the study is that simplistic. But the article on it is.


Anonymous auxdarastrix said...

Some thoughts...

I agree with your premise that sexuality is not black and white, gay or straight, choice or biology, or that sexual orientation can even always be defined in a meaningful way.

From a moral perspective...
Okay, look, I'm not going to get all self righteous about this. I'm not going to pretend that I'm just SHOCKED AND DISMAYED everytime I see female anatomy, that all my thoughts are chaste, and all my desires (sexual and otherwise) are always proper. I would really enjoy a moral system that was a LOT more lax on the whole sexuality thing. The only problem is I just can't square that with my Christian beliefs, and no amount of arguments I've seen to the contrary (most of them based on tossing out all the Epistles as works of pure human bigotry) has convinced me that the Christian standard for sexual intercourse is any other than that it be confined to marriage between a man and a woman. It isn't the rules I would come up with if I were to invent my own universe, but as long as I operate under the duel premise that there is a God and I'm not Him, I don't get to make up my own rules.

From this perspective, the whole "choice vs. genetics" thing is really a red herring. Yes, I've heard some really ignorant people say that homosexuals choose to be gay and can choose to not be gay. I don't consider them worth debating. I suppose the desire to find the "Gay Gene" is in large part a response to those who debate homosexuality by claiming that homosexuality is unnatural. I guess the idea is that if homosexuality is genetic, and therefore natural, it can't be immoral. However, while the Bible in a few spots does call homosexuality (or perhaps the homosexual behavior of certain groups) unnatural, it also says a great deal about controlling the natural desires of the flesh, including heterosexual urges. A biological predisposition towards homosexuality therefore would fall under the category of evidence of the fallen nature of humanity, just like the biological predisposition towards death.

However, if what, to borrow a term from the Latins, "disordered affection" is a sign of the fallen nature of man, the hypocrisy and hatred coming from both sides of the argument is further evidence, and moral conservatives have, as a group, done a piss-poor job at how they address the issue of homosexuality.

To add to your list, there are more false premises I would attack.
1) That sexual orientation equates with and mandates sexual behavior: While I don't think sexual orientation can be reasonably described as a choice, for the vast majority, sexual behavior is a choice. One can choice not to act on one's sexual desires. One can choice to act contrary to one's sexual desires.
2) That we should be in the business of condemning people (socially and/or legally) based on solely on their sexual desires.
3) That a person clearly describing people with disgust, using prerogative terms, and taking a gleeful delight in other people getting their "just deserts" (be it hell or whatever) is really "loving the sinner and hating the sin".
4) The gossip attacks the adulterer, the adulterer mocks the homosexual, the homosexual argues for rights for himself but not less fashionable sexual minorities... To many playing the Pharisee when Jesus calls us all to humility and repentance.

8:20 AM  

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