Monthly Archives: February 2014
I recently came across this interesting article on the famous atheist and Darwinian advocate, Richard Dawkins: http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/9/7/the-world-according-to-richard-dawkins-the-times
This is the same Dawkins who teaches that we are the bearer and product of “selfish genes,” whose only concern is replication and survival. In his words, “We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.”
With that in mind, it was interesting to see him say this in the article regarding childhood bullying:
“I cannot even begin to imagine how human beings could be so cruel, but to a greater or lesser extent we were, if only through failing to stop it. How could we be so devoid of empathy?”
One of the chief tactics in the advocacy of same-sex marriage legalization is to point out the supposed parallel with interracial marriage bans. I recently had two separate exchanges on the topic and this argument was the centerpiece of the discussion. The argument is basically that discriminating based upon racial preference is really no different than discriminating based upon gender preference, and since we all now agree that interracial marriage is morally acceptable and should be legal, then there is really no moral or legal precedent for denying same-sex marriage.
Perhaps the argument has merit, but it depends upon the premise that race and gender are categorically the same – that two people of the same sex are socially and functionally the same as a man and woman of different races. I’d like to show now that this is a false premise, and that the parallel between race and gender is only superficial and ignores the profound categorical difference between the two.
The late Professor James Rachels was a secular philosopher who dealt with moral issues like animal rights, euthanasia, and Darwinian ethics. I once challenged someone to give me his best arguments in favor of homosexuality and he chose for me a collection of quotes from Rachels. Here are those quotes, along with my replies.
Is homosexuality a threat to society? No. “Apart from the nature of their sexual relationships, there is no difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals in their moral characters or in their contributions to society. The idea that homosexuals are somehow sinister characters proves to be a myth similar to the myth that black people are lazy or that Jews are avaricious.”
In a discussion comparing interracial marriage to same-sex marriage I was challenged with this question:
Please provide a rationale to explain why we should allow bi-racial couples to marry but not same-sex couples.
It is not in the interest of the State to grant privileges, special protections, or legitimacy to same-sex unions any more than for roommates or two sisters living together in retirement. The State only cares about marriage at all because family and reproduction are the foundation upon which the State continues to exist. Heterosexual, bi-racial couples are, by design, intrinsically able to participate in these thing. But same-sex unions are on the periphery of this institution, and cannot even counterfeit it unless they succeed in conscripting the services of the opposite sex (or the product of a heterosexual union). This is not to say that same-sex couples cannot form their own unions apart from the sanctioning of the state, or that they cannot lobby for whatever legal privileges they find attractive.
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Since I seem to be having trouble getting my comments past the moderator, I’ll try posting them here instead.
The following is a reply to this post by Ken Jansen:
“Love the Sinner”…um…Yeah, Don’t Give Me That Crap
I appreciate that this phrase is seen as an annoying cliche (though any suggestion that homosexuality is not to be celebrated turns out to be a source of annoyance), but it actually does express something rational and meaningful to those who use it.
Your illustration of the color red fails to capture something very important to this discussion. Red is not a thing that has properties; red *is* a property. So, if you hate red, then that’s it, there’s nothing else about it to love. A somewhat better analogy would be a red shirt. One might say they love the shirt (its fabric, pattern, quality, etc.) but hate its red color — they like the thing, but dislike something about it.
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