Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 25th Oct 2008 19:26 UTC, submitted by SK8T
In the News In a rather unusual move, both Google and Apple have publicly backed the fight against "Proposition 8", both by words as well as by donation. Proposition 8 is an initiative measure in the state of California that would ban same-sex marriages in California by amending the Constitution of the state to include that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California". Both companies gave out their reasoning for supporting the fight against 'Prop 8'.
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RE[5]: Applause
by null_pointer_us on Sun 26th Oct 2008 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Applause"
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Wow, what a rant!

It wasn't a rant, but whatever.

OK, I repeat, sexuality (like all biological things) exists in gradients. Would you for example decide that it is not natural for left handed people to exist if you saw an ambidextrous person switch from writing with the right hand, to writing with their left? Would you also be surprised if a very left-handed person found it near impossible to write with their right hand? Can you see how both of these scenarios can exist?

And that is neither here nor there, because you yourself are stating that there are some people for whom a homosexual lifestyle is necessary for their happiness. We can talk about gradients and rainbows and pretty little flowers all day long, but if a few simplified categories happen to cover the relevant cases, then you're just splitting hairs to demand additional complexity. What effect do your "gradients" have on the discussion? What does it change?

The right hand vs. left hand analogy is flawed because neither is actually better than the other, which, as I already pointed out, doesn't correspond to the differences between homosexuality and heterosexuality. If we're going to make an argument by analogy (which is itself a fallacy), then it would be more correct to look at homosexuality as a case of someone wanting to believe that their right foot is actually a middle hand, and then demanding that everyone else accept them as three-handed/one-footed people.

In the case of a drug addicts, the victims are the drug users themselves. Easy. And public indecency laws? The unfortunate viewing public.

But here you seem to be in favor of using the law to impose your cultural limitations on others. So if you go to another country and see nudity in public, will you cry foul and act like a victim, or will you come here and demand that our laws should be changed because there's nothing wrong with showing the human body in public? And if you go to another country and find that such drug use is considered a legitimate part of their culture, will you cry foul and point out the victims, or will you come here and demand that our laws be changed because adults should have the right to use such substances in moderation? So, assuming you don't oversimplify the situation, what part of your disagreement with these things doesn't fall under an "it's just wrong/unnatural" or a "God says it's bad" type of argument?

With regards to incest and homosexuality, "normal" is defined purely by your culture. For example Maori people have always accepted homosexuals as perfectly normal. Similarly, Indians have always accepted marriage between cousins, and Muslim nations accept marriage between an uncle and niece as "normal".

No, "normal" is not defined by culture. That's a descriptive viewpoint that allows virtually anything that won't outright destroy a society, when what's needed here is a prescriptive viewpoint on a moral issue. Specifically, is it unethical to require people to treat homosexuality as inequal to heterosexuality, or is it unethical to require people to treat homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality?

I say, in answer to the real question underlying this discussion, that what is to be (<-- future tense, as in a decision to be made) considered "normal" needs to be defined by the inherent properties of our humanity (e.g. how we reproduce, what requirements and consequences are implied, etc.). We have social constructs for reasons, not just for the sake of tradition or to give jewelers some extra business. What are those reasons? Marriage exists as a social construct to provide some structure to pregnancy and the relationships between the mother, father, children, and extended family.

We could come up with a hypothetical culture in which family members are encouraged to share sexual experiences on a daily basis, without doing it in a way resulting in pregnancy, but it wouldn't be any less wrong. You keep dodging the topic of victimless incest by skirting around the issue. Society has a right and an obligation to enforce some minimum standards about sexual conduct, not just to protect easily identifiable victims.

Give me an argument that doesn't run along the lines of: "It's just wrong/unnatural OK?" or "God says it's wrong OK?".

You're saying, "It's just equal OK, so just think of it in the same terms," and I'm pointing out that, as a matter of fact, it's not equal, and using the law or stereotypes or insults to make other people act as if it's equal is wrong. Absent from your posts is any discussion of why we should use the same terms to apply to homosexual unions as we do to apply to marriages. What makes them equal and interchangeable? If you really know why you believe what you believe, then that should be a very simple question for you to answer.

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