Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mom Made me Gay

At least going by this little report on a scientific study, my being gay might have to do with my mom's gene's acting sort of queer (pardon the pun!) Well, it seems like science is finding increasingly persuasive evidence suggesting that sexual orientation might be biological. Its implications in ethics and other spheres of our lives are quite clear: that which is beyond our choice (i.e. physiologically determined) cannot be subject to moral judgment and cannot on its basis be discriminated against. However, it's important to note that scienctists have yet to settle this issue; they have not yet firmly established homosexuality as indeed biological or entirely biological. It is not enough that homosexuality be genetically determined to innoculate it from moral scrutiny - it has to be demonstrated as being entirely and unequivocally biological, like having green-colored eyes. There are many things that have some genetic basis but are still subject to our human volitional control, and hence should conform to moral principles. For example, it has been shown that some people might have some genetic predisposition that easily accesses their emotion for anger, or sentimentality, or introversion, etc. However, the rational control or indulgence of these tendencies are possible and expected regardless of the fact that they have some genetic basis. A genetic tendency does not rule out human volition. Thus, having a gay genetic tendency would still require that gays demonstrate their rational indulgence in their sexual orientation as being fully and perfectly moral, and consistent with objective principles of morality. On the other hand, a complete genetic determination would infact rule out human volition - like skin color, muscle mass, etc. - and therefore, homosexual genetic determinism would not be a matter of moral or ethical speculation. I have always stated my position on homosexuality as such: if it is fully biological then it is morally a non-issue. End of story. If it is only partly biological, or fully non-genetic, then it can still be established beyond argument as a choice of sexuality that is completely moral. As an interesting side note: it seems to me that this rule applies in all cases - that which is biologically determined in an individual if it is elevated to a matter of volitional choice it will still remain either amoral or fully moral, but never immoral. It applies to homosexuality just as it would apply to skin color, for example. There used to be a Christian religious sect that actually believed that Blacks had dark skins as manifestations of their sins or the sins of their ancestors. We all know, I don't need to demonstrate, how terribly and horribly wrong they were - and not just wrong, those Christians were immensely evil themselves for believing and advocating such a heinous idea. Say at some point in the future, human technology permits the choice of one's skin color on a routine basis, whatever choice is made, as long as it is made selfishly without coercion, the choice itself could not be immoral.

8 Comments:

Blogger Rubicund Y. Logorrhea said...

Hmm... I dunno... my skin certainly empinkens to a degree dependant on my sins; and I notice that each time I see you your skin tone seems slightly different, no doubt corresponding neatly as an indication of your commission or expiation.

What a neat idea.

On an unrelated note, dear, I have to chastize you for posting too much. I simply cannot keep up. Do you need more work to do? Would you like to take some of my load? I suppose I could spare a bit of per-diem for a lighter burden...

2/23/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Actually, upon thinking about this further.. I know I'm wrong. I am wrong about saying that *all* genetically determined aspects of our nature, if it were to be elevated to a matter of choice would never be immoral.
I can think of atleast one example to proove me wrong: that of pedophilia. Regardless of whether it might be genetic or not, acting on pedophilic urges is fully immoral because it impinges violently upon another person who is incapable of defending or consenting.

2/26/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Aethlos said...

so what's the scoop on this 'cautiously'??? are you in the closet? are you married? are you coming on thursday??? :P

2/26/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Ha! Yea.. I'm married... with grown-up kids. That's right! Cautiously cuz, I'm not sure if that's the kinda group/event/thing I wish to be involved in... I'll most likely not have much in common with most there.... except you, I suppose... again, cautiously! ;)

2/27/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Aethlos said...

sure, some homosexuality might be psychological and bio/psy combinations, but plenty of it is PURELY BIOLOGICAL. You really need to read this book: "BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE" It's very dense zoological stuff, but it's necessary to the argument you've made here... BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE... probably on amazon.com
:)

3/07/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Aethlos said...

and how can you have grown-up kids if you're only 24? even if you had them at 14 they would only be ten! :P

3/07/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Damn! Smart guy, eh? Okay, next time I'll make it a point to say I have kids... not grown-up... just little kids.

3/07/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger GayReason said...

Dear Ergo,

A "genetically determined aspect of our nature" (which in my terms is simply a genetic manifestation like blue eyes) cannot be "elevated" to a matter of choice. It simply exists as the raw material for an action that utilises that genetic manifestion.

Blue eyes is a good example. A man who possesses and uses his blue eyes is not treating his blue eyes as a fator of volition. Yet a man who uses his blue eyes in order to attract another man or woman who is aroused by that trait, by flashing them, is indeed "elevating" this genetic aspect into the realm of volitional, moral action. (It is good moral action!)

A mutual sexual attraction between fully grown males, and between fully grown females, whether it is expressed in action or not, seems to be truly ordered by genetics, as sexual pleasure seems to be rooted and felt more in physiological areas than are other forms of happiness.

That is simply a statement that says nothing about the "volitionality" of sexuality, and leads to no moral conclusions.

The morality of sexual intercourse/behavior begins where EVERY ethical question begins: the question of, "was anyone's rights violated?"

If consent to an act, understanding of the act's nature, and understanding of the benefits of that act, are all present, then sex is moral.

My premises being stated, I do take issue with you on your statement that "acting on pedophiliac urges is fully immoral because it impinges violently upon another person who is incapable of defending or consenting." Violently? Are people in late adolescence ipso facto never capable of understanding what a sexual act might mean to them? Abstract reasoning seems to begin at a much younger age anyway. Part of the reason I bring this up is because cultural hysteria (not rational and unique thinking) over this issue seems to always influence a hastily identified use of this (hastily formed?) concept.

Thank you.

GayReason

4/03/2006 01:55:00 AM  

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