Justify Homosexual Relations For Me

by

One of the things people do not understand is that simply having an option available is not a reason to take it. You should only do things that are a net benefit to yourself. Even then, you should choose the most beneficial thing. Anything less is simply destructive behavior.

What do I mean by “benefit yourself?” Well, look at Mother Theresa. She sacrificed her life serving strangers, all to benefit herself. You get to define, for yourself, what is the things you most desire.

People universally desire happiness. Sometimes they think that some things will give them happiness, and then they get disappointed when they realize it does not. Hopefully, they are smart and change their perception of reality so that their goals change. If drugs and alcohol don’t make someone happy, then they should stop doing drugs and drinking alcohol, and try something else.

I think we know, as a society, what things bring real happiness and what things do not. Money does not buy happiness. A happy family does. Dedicating your life to your job does not bring you happiness. Balancing work, life, and relaxation does. And so on, and so forth.

Does sexual relationships bring happiness? I think a lot of people believe that the excitement of the interaction  is happiness. Of course, it is simply a fleeting sensation. Sexual relationships with your spouse, when both of you are committed and faithful to each other, does bring some degree of happiness, but I believe husbands and wives who love each other depend more on the happiness of serving one another than the moments of passion. In other words, to me, it is an expression of love and devotion, which love and devotion are the source of happiness, not the other way around.

And so we are left to debate the question: Why are homosexual relationships justified? Why would anyone choose to engage in such behavior? Is there any evidence that lasting happiness can be had by such a relationship? If so, is it superior to the lasting happiness of a loving family?

If homosexual relationships can at best only bring some happiness, but not as much as heterosexual marriage, then why bother with it?

Can we say, “Ahh, see, Tom over there, who devotes his life to his job, he isn’t doing what’s best in life, because he should be building a family as well. And he’ll one day wake up and realize what a waste he has been. But we shouldn’t tell him that he’s doing things wrong, because he finds a little bit of happiness in his silly pursuit.” Or do we say, “Tom, I know you think you will be happy by working so hard, but seriously, there is more to life than work. I want you to take some time, find a wife and devote yourself to your marriage, and raise a family. When you’re 80 years old and have fifteen grandchildren, you’ll be truly happy. If you’re 80 years old and only have a few million dollars, you won’t be.”

Or are sexual relationships sacrosanct, something we cannot possibly reason about?

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25 Responses to “Justify Homosexual Relations For Me”

  1. demo kid Says:

    Why? You can try to justify religion to me, and I know that it will not bring me comfort because I cannot believe in it. You can try to justify getting married and having a large family, but I will not likely take the same pleasure in it.

    The issue is not justifying something to you. Why waste the time? The relevant point for modern society is to realize that individual happiness is not achieved in the same ways for different people. Restricting or curtailing the pursuit of others’ happiness is not respecting the liberty of others or their rights to self-determination.

  2. Jonathan Gardner Says:

    Sure, I’ll justify religion.

    Religion pacifies the people, teaches them to love one another, to sacrifice their substance, time and talents to sever those who are less fortunate.

    Are these not good and noble goals? Religion, as a whole, is a net benefit to society, something we should encourage everyone to engage in.

    • demo kid Says:

      You’re confusing ethics with religion. A belief in a supernatural deity and a certain set of metaphysics does not automatically lead to an ethical lifestyle, and vice versa.

      Don’t get me wrong… believe whatever you like! However, if you’re asking me to see the benefits of religious metaphysics, you haven’t quite proven anything.

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        What is the moral foundation for ethics?

      • demo kid Says:

        Religion certainly isn’t the moral foundation for ethics, otherwise we’d still be holding slaves, murdering infidels, and treating women as chattel.

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        I don’t understand where you get the idea that religion=slavery, religion=murder, religion=misanthropy. Religion is a system of beliefs. Religion defines what is good. You can’t define good without some illogical foundation. Brilliant philosophers far smarter than I have tried and have not succeeded.

        Some religions are terrible, namely the religions you’re talking about. Other religions are better.

        It was religions that said slavery was wrong and we should fight and kill our brothers to end the practice.

        It was religions that said it is wrong to kill people for believing differently than you do, that we should let the rain fall on the just and the unjust like God does.

        It was religions that said women are people too, and deserve equal rights under the law. Do you not recall that it was the LDS religion in Wyoming that drove the women’s suffrage issue to success for the first time in our nation’s history?

        So, there were bad religions and good religions. The way to correct bad religions is with more religion.

  3. Jonathan Gardner Says:

    Oh, by the way, when I or one of my kids takes an economic action that benefits you, you’ll recognize that we are a net benefit to you.

    • demo kid Says:

      Does this mean that whenever a gay couple purchases a service from you, they’ve justified homosexual relationships to you? :)

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        I don’t understand what you mean.

      • demo kid Says:

        If a gay couple “takes an economic action that benefits you”, by your logic, they are a net benefit to you.

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        It’s fairly obvious how them entering into a voluntary economic transaction would benefit me, even if I weren’t a party to it.

        Why would someone choosing to form a homosexual relationship benefit me?

      • demo kid Says:

        By the same token, why should I care that you’ve had kids that provide an economic action that benefits me?

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        Because it benefits you? Or do you not like benefits? Would you rather die or live in a gutter or scrape by with barely enough food, shelter, and clothing to survive?

      • demo kid Says:

        So, apparently your kids benefit me in some small way and I don’t starve like a dog, but a gay couple benefits you in some way and… ?

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        You’re missing the point, or you can’t separate actions from people.

        Voluntary, informed economic transactions are always good.

        Raising children is always good—everyone is a net benefit to society, especially those who learn to be responsible and productive, which married couples are far more likely to produce than any other kind of relationship.

        What are you benefiting me by choosing to build a homosexual union rather than choosing to get married and raise a family? You’re choosing not to procreate, not to create life.

        That is a real economic cost, a real net drag.

  4. Tim Says:

    Am I to assume that to you a valid relationship is one that is solely procreative? I understand your position but I think you’re placing a value judgment on people that have chosen to take a position contrary to yours. To me, the jury is still out on whether or not homosexuality is a nature or nurture, however, that is beside the point, the point is in this country, we say we value liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I fail to see how anyone is obligated to justify their lifestyle to anyone. What consenting adults do with each other is of no concern of ours.

    You say that you’re a person of science, I’m sure you understand the distinction between things objective and things subjective also the biases related to both, your example seems very biased, condescending and paternalistic. Wouldn’t you see the bias if an atheist were to tell you, “I know you think you will be happy by working so hard, serving the lord, but seriously, there is more to life than religion. I want you to take some time, read these books and devote yourself to logic and reason. When you’re 80 years old and have no fear of eternal damnation, you’ll be truly happy. If you’re 80 years old and only have to worry about eternity, you won’t be.”

    Don’t we owe it to our fellow citizens to be respectful of their lives and choices?

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      Am I to assume that to you a valid relationship is one that is solely procreative?

      No, that would be a false assumption.

      I understand your position but I think you’re placing a value judgment on people that have chosen to take a position contrary to yours.

      Yes, I have. I have a value judgment against people who are slothful, drunks, liars, thieves, and all sorts of people who engage in practices that are not in their self-interest. Their destructive behavior is not good for them, and they must change or they cannot enjoy happiness.

      I fail to see how anyone is obligated to justify their lifestyle to anyone. What consenting adults do with each other is of no concern of ours.

      So, when two consenting adults get together, and agree to fix prices, or to oppress workers in their wages, or to dodge taxes, or to lie to a jury, or to hide atrocities from the public, you have no problem with that?

      Consent is not magical. It doesn’t take any old behavior and make it virtuous.

      We certainly don’t tolerate people who choose to murder, or rape, or steal, or do any number of things abhorrent to our morality. We make value judgments against them, and we even go so far as to revoke their rights when they are caught doing these things. Just because you choose to use your freedom to do something, and that choice involves someone else, doesn’t bless it.

      your example seems very biased, condescending and paternalistic

      I am biased; I am biased towards good and truth and light.

      “Objective” are those things which require no value judgment. “Subjective” are things which require one to define what “good” is. You cannot live an objective life, nor can you judge all things objectively. We may try to run our justice system that way, where the law is the law regardless of what people think is right. (Heck, even there, we rely on the subjective opinions of the jury to temper the objective laws of our land.) But you certainly can’t live your life that way! The moment you decide to do something because it is “good” is the moment you have made a subjective decision.

      “I know you think you will be happy by working so hard, serving the lord, but seriously, there is more to life than religion. I want you to take some time, read these books and devote yourself to logic and reason. When you’re 80 years old and have no fear of eternal damnation, you’ll be truly happy. If you’re 80 years old and only have to worry about eternity, you won’t be.”

      If the Lord were a harsh master, or non-existant, then you could convince me with such an argument. In my experience, the Lord is the most generous master that I can ever imagine. I cannot tell you the depth of his mercy towards me, the number of times I have gone to cash my humble paycheck to see him throw multiple bonuses on top simply because I don’t deserve it.

      I am a slave to logic and reason because my Lord demands it. “Come now, let us reason together,” he beckons. “To be learned is good,” he declared. “The glory of God is intelligence”, and so on. He wants me to “know” him, meaning, I have to get my brain in gear to the point where I can logically and reasonable explain all of his nature.

      When I’m 80 years old, I imagine the Lord will treat me much the same way he does now. Can you find a better master?

      When I’m 80 years old and too weak to do much of anything beyond recall things that happened a long time ago, I’ll have multiple grandchildren to talk to, children who are successful in securing for themselves the material needs and who support each other and support me. I’ll be celebrated as a wise grandfather, maybe a great-grandfather. All because, I chose, early on, that my priorities would not be found in this world.

      So, you have an awfully hard time convincing me that someone who is as real to me as anyone else isn’t real, and that the multiple blessings he’s given me don’t exist. I certainly see them with my own eyes, and the people around me see them as well.

      Don’t we owe it to our fellow citizens to be respectful of their lives and choices?

      A man saw his neighbor’s house on fire, and said, “Ahh, I think he decided he wanted to burn his house down.”

      Another man saw his neighbor’s house on fire, and said, “HOLY COW! HIS HOUSE IS ON FIRE! LET’S PUT IT OUT QUICKLY BEFORE IT SPREADS! LET’S SAVE OUR NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE!”

      When the neighbor tried to stop them from putting the fire out, the man said, “ARE YOU INSANE? YOUR LIFE IS IN THAT HOUSE! GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’LL THANK ME WHEN YOU COME TO YOUR SENSES!”

      I tell you what you’re doing wrong because I care about you. If I didn’t, I would pray, “Dear Lord, please get rid of all the people who do bad and stupid things. I don’t like them anymore and I think I’d be better off without them.” and then laugh every time something bad happened to you. But I don’t.

      • Manabu Says:

        He said: “What consenting adults do with each other is of no concern of ours.”

        You replied: “So, when two consenting adults get together, and agree to fix prices, or to oppress workers in their wages, or to dodge taxes, or to lie to a jury, or to hide atrocities from the public, you have no problem with that?

        [..]

        We certainly don’t tolerate people who choose to murder, or rape, or steal, or do any number of things abhorrent to our morality.[…] Just because you choose to use your freedom to do something, and that choice involves someone else, doesn’t bless it.”

        Your examples are not what consensual adults do to *each other* as Tim said. That is the difference between consensual sex and the rape, or between charity and steal. You mentioned the latter, but he meant the former.

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        Let me try to come up with a better example.

        Let’s say one consenting adult uses his spare time to create knick-knacks. Another consenting adult wants to trade money for the knick-knacks. So they both enter into one of their bedrooms and engage in furious and passionate acts of capitalism. Certainly government has no right whatsoever to regulate how two consenting adults interact with each other, right? And what if we add in even more consenting adults, and move the activity out into the living room, or even into a building on Wall Street where hundreds of consenting adults would engage in unprotected capitalism with each other?

        I would guess you have a problem with this, particularly if one of the consenting adults showed up with a briefcase full of cash and insisted that government has no right to regulate what they buy and how, or how much they owe in taxes on their profits.

        If government can and should regulate commerce, then government can and should regulate something far more important than how one earns money—the creation of life itself.

  5. tensor Says:

    How about you justify your claim to know that … homosexual relationships can at best only bring some happiness, but not as much as heterosexual marriage… when there will soon be many happily married gay couples with children in our state?

    Why are homosexual relationships justified?

    Why does a blog with the legend, “Let Freedom Ring!” demand that other people “justify” their uses of their freedom? How about you “justify” that contradiction?

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      Rights come with responsibilities; abuse the right irresponsibly, and you lose it.

      Were you truly rich if you spend all your money? Were you truly free if you use your freedom to enslave yourself? Were you truly alive if you choose to die?

      My evidence that homosexual relationships do not bring as much lasting happiness as married couples: Non-anecdotal observations from real life. http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4426843/k.9AFE/Heterosexual_and_Homosexual_Marriages.htm

      In math, there’s the conundrum of the set that contains all sets that don’t contain themselves. Does that set contain itself or not? And so, in order to keep logic intact, a redefinition of the set had to be made such that sets cannot include sets that contain all sets that do not contain themselves. Is this any different than saying, “Freedom is not the choice to be a slave?” If Freedom did include that choice, then it is not freedom at all.

  6. Tim Says:

    I’ve read your response and while the part of me that tends to make good decisions tells me to just let this issue be, the part of me that is bored at work demands something to fill these empty hours so I will do so by responding to your post and response. This is more of intellectual diversion for me than an appeal to your senses of reason and logic.

    I would like to start with the initial post, my first question to you is did you read the page on your site that deals with logical fallacies are you aware of the concept of cognitive bias? I would hope that you’re honestly ignorant of these concepts as opposed to knowing about them and dismissing them out of hand.

    Shall we begin?

    One of the things people do not understand is that simply having an option available is not a reason to take it. You should only do things that are a net benefit to yourself. Even then, you should choose the most beneficial thing. Anything less is simply destructive behavior.

    It appears that you start off excluding the middle, you assert that people should only do things that are of “net benefit” to themselves and that by choosing anything less than the most beneficial is “destructive”. Since your terminology isn’t operationally defined I, as a reader, have no idea what you mean by “net benefit” and “destructive”, I can assume that you’re also giving in to the mind projection fallacy, assuming that what you think of as “beneficial” and “destructive” are the “rules of the road” so to speak. We know that this cannot be true as it is obvious that people are choosing to do the “destructive” thing and are reaping what they would consider benefits.

    What do I mean by “benefit yourself?” Well, look at Mother Theresa. She sacrificed her life serving strangers, all to benefit herself. You get to define, for yourself, what is the things you most desire.

    The sentences following your first statement I’ll not deal with, as they appear to be a mishmash of randomness. I think you know, for yourself, what you were trying to say, but it wasn’t conveyed clearly.

    People universally desire happiness. Sometimes they think that some things will give them happiness, and then they get disappointed when they realize it does not. Hopefully, they are smart and change their perception of reality so that their goals change. If drugs and alcohol don’t make someone happy, then they should stop doing drugs and drinking alcohol, and try something else.

    You start with a false consensus here with the assumption that people universally desire happiness, while, I’m sure, someone could argue to the contrary, I’ll not do that here as I believe that everyone does desire their own existential form of happiness. Now excuse me while I finish this beer and joint before moving on.

    I think we know, as a society, what things bring real happiness and what things do not. Money does not buy happiness. A happy family does. Dedicating your life to your job does not bring you happiness. Balancing work, life, and relaxation does. And so on, and so forth.

    This appears to be an appeal to logic, but fails as it makes the assumption that “real happiness” is something that we as a society are all in agreement with, you argue that we are all on the same bandwagon, so to speak. It’s hard for me, the reader, to seriously take your point if it’s couched in over generalizations, presupposition, and blatant bias. I’m going to assume that you’re preaching to the converted and not trying to win converts. This is maybe an appeal to belief fallacy?

    Does sexual relationships bring happiness? I think a lot of people believe that the excitement of the interaction is happiness. Of course, it is simply a fleeting sensation. Sexual relationships with your spouse, when both of you are committed and faithful to each other, does bring some degree of happiness, but I believe husbands and wives who love each other depend more on the happiness of serving one another than the moments of passion. In other words, to me, it is an expression of love and devotion, which love and devotion are the source of happiness, not the other way around.

    I’ll not point out the glaring lack of subject-verb agreement that assaults me at the beginning of this paragraph; this is my own personal pet peeve that my children and, evidently the internet as a whole, seem bent on disabusing me of. What I find interesting here is that you imply that sexual relationships that aren’t heterosexual are by their nature unhappy. It is as if you’re covertly begging the question on the nature of certain types of sexual relationships. I do agree with you that there is a joy in partners serving each other in ways that aren’t sexual and that sex is an expression of love and devotion. I would imagine that people who are in same sex relationships have this same view and at the same time there are probably people in heterosexual relationships that would take a stand contrary to your view. Again, it is the reality of the individual persons that you are judging.

    And so we are left to debate the question: Why are homosexual relationships justified? Why would anyone choose to engage in such behavior? Is there any evidence that lasting happiness can be had by such a relationship? If so, is it superior to the lasting happiness of a loving family?

    If homosexual relationships can at best only bring some happiness, but not as much as heterosexual marriage, then why bother with it?

    Straw man, false dichotomy, question begging and presupposition, all make an appearance here.

    Can we say, “Ahh, see, Tom over there, who devotes his life to his job, he isn’t doing what’s best in life, because he should be building a family as well. And he’ll one day wake up and realize what a waste he has been. But we shouldn’t tell him that he’s doing things wrong, because he finds a little bit of happiness in his silly pursuit.” Or do we say, “Tom, I know you think you will be happy by working so hard, but seriously, there is more to life than work. I want you to take some time, find a wife and devote yourself to your marriage, and raise a family. When you’re 80 years old and have fifteen grandchildren, you’ll be truly happy. If you’re 80 years old and only have a few million dollars, you won’t be.”

    Or are sexual relationships sacrosanct, something we cannot possibly reason about?

    This analogy is false, it begs the question and doesn’t support whatever argument you’re trying to make.

    Now, to follow up on your replies to my initial posting.

    Am I to assume that to you a valid relationship is one that is solely procreative?
    No, that would be a false assumption.

    You say this is a false assumption I will take you at your word, although I imagine that if I had been more precise in my wording you would change your answer. Am I to assume that, to you, the only valid sexual relationships are the ones between a man and a woman who, if able, will engage in sexual congress in a manner that doesn’t violate any sodomy laws, that is, congress that can, given appropriate biological conditions lead to conception. More crudely, are the only sexual relationships are ones where tab “P” goes into slot “V”? If you still say this is a false assumption then what is the point of your whole exposition?

    I understand your position but I think you’re placing a value judgment on people that have chosen to take a position contrary to yours.
    Yes, I have. I have a value judgment against people who are slothful, drunks, liars, thieves, and all sorts of people who engage in practices that are not in their self-interest. Their destructive behavior is not good for them, and they must change or they cannot enjoy happiness.

    Here again you prove that you’re very good at begging the question. You start with attempting to pair homosexual behavior, which can be construed as a benign behavior, with other behaviors that can be deemed inappropriate. That is to say that right now there are folks that are engaged in homosexual conduct that doesn’t put any sort of burden on the rest of society, the local or the larger one. People who are slothful, drunks, liars, thieves etc. do place some burden on society, either their local society or society as a whole. Again you fail to show a direct link between one and the others.

    I fail to see how anyone is obligated to justify their lifestyle to anyone. What consenting adults do with each other is of no concern of ours.
    So, when two consenting adults get together, and agree to fix prices, or to oppress workers in their wages, or to dodge taxes, or to lie to a jury, or to hide atrocities from the public, you have no problem with that?

    Consent is not magical. It doesn’t take any old behavior and make it virtuous.
    We certainly don’t tolerate people who choose to murder, or rape, or steal, or do any number of things abhorrent to our morality. We make value judgments against them, and we even go so far as to revoke their rights when they are caught doing these things. Just because you choose to use your freedom to do something, and that choice involves someone else, doesn’t bless it.

    See the prior response, to your misuse of a logical argument.

    Your example seems very biased, condescending and paternalistic
    I am biased; I am biased towards good and truth and light.
    “Objective” are those things which require no value judgment. “Subjective” are things which require one to define what “good” is. You cannot live an objective life, nor can you judge all things objectively. We may try to run our justice system that way, where the law is the law regardless of what people think is right. (Heck, even there, we rely on the subjective opinions of the jury to temper the objective laws of our land.) But you certainly can’t live your life that way! The moment you decide to do something because it is “good” is the moment you have made a subjective decision.

    Here again, you’re arguing that you and those that think like you are the arbiters of morality and good. Your pulling the legal system into this discussion opens up an whole other kettle of fish that are outside the scope of this discussion. Suffice it to say that, yes, millions of people can be wrong, especially when we’re talking about social issues, see the 13th, 18th, and 19th amendments to the constitution.

    “I know you think you will be happy by working so hard, serving the lord, but seriously, there is more to life than religion. I want you to take some time, read these books and devote yourself to logic and reason. When you’re 80 years old and have no fear of eternal damnation, you’ll be truly happy. If you’re 80 years old and only have to worry about eternity, you won’t be.”
    If the Lord were a harsh master, or non-existant, then you could convince me with such an argument. In my experience, the Lord is the most generous master that I can ever imagine. I cannot tell you the depth of his mercy towards me, the number of times I have gone to cash my humble paycheck to see him throw multiple bonuses on top simply because I don’t deserve it.

    Not to malign your beliefs but you’re engaging in a post hoc fallacy here. If you want to believe that the Lord is looking out for you in that way, have at it sir and more power to you. I’ll not impose my set of beliefs on you as you’re trying to do on others.

    I am a slave to logic and reason because my Lord demands it. “Come now, let us reason together,” he beckons. “To be learned is good,” he declared. “The glory of God is intelligence”, and so on. He wants me to “know” him, meaning, I have to get my brain in gear to the point where I can logically and reasonable explain all of his nature.
    When I’m 80 years old, I imagine the Lord will treat me much the same way he does now. Can you find a better master?
    When I’m 80 years old and too weak to do much of anything beyond recall things that happened a long time ago, I’ll have multiple grandchildren to talk to, children who are successful in securing for themselves the material needs and who support each other and support me. I’ll be celebrated as a wise grandfather, maybe a great-grandfather. All because, I chose, early on, that my priorities would not be found in this world.

    I don’t think that you’ve proven your point of being a, “slave to logic and reason”, but we are all works in progress. Regarding your reference to Isaiah 1:18, you appear to be “quote mining” the bible, I encourage you to go back and read the seventeen verses ahead of this one not to mention the thirteen that follow so that you can better quote it in context. Your references to LDS teachings, make me wonder if you have a historical grasp of that organization, if you’re a part of it then it appears that you ascribe to the school of thought that wants to secure freedoms for itself to the exclusion of other marginalized groups.

    So, you have an awfully hard time convincing me that someone who is as real to me as anyone else isn’t real, and that the multiple blessings he’s given me don’t exist. I certainly see them with my own eyes, and the people around me see them as well.

    Again, more post hoc, with a dash of projection thrown in for zest. Nowhere in my post did I argue that you should abandon you faith. Maybe you protest to much?

    Don’t we owe it to our fellow citizens to be respectful of their lives and choices?
    A man saw his neighbor’s house on fire, and said, “Ahh, I think he decided he wanted to burn his house down.”
    Another man saw his neighbor’s house on fire, and said, “HOLY COW! HIS HOUSE IS ON FIRE! LET’S PUT IT OUT QUICKLY BEFORE IT SPREADS! LET’S SAVE OUR NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE!”
    When the neighbor tried to stop them from putting the fire out, the man said, “ARE YOU INSANE? YOUR LIFE IS IN THAT HOUSE! GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’LL THANK ME WHEN YOU COME TO YOUR SENSES!”

    Dichotomy, you are false! Imagine in this scenario that they burning house was infested with rats that were carrying bubonic plague and this is the 17th century.

    I tell you what you’re doing wrong because I care about you. If I didn’t, I would pray, “Dear Lord, please get rid of all the people who do bad and stupid things. I don’t like them anymore and I think I’d be better off without them.” and then laugh every time something bad happened to you. But I don’t.

    I would point out the glaring irony of this bit, however, I fear that it would be lost on you as you’re locked in to the belief that you’ve got the sole correct worldview and that you’ve somehow allowed my furthered existence because you didn’t unleash your prayers.

    Thank you for supplying me with something to fill a few hours of my otherwise terribly boring and mundane day!

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      Note to you and future posters: I encourage you to try to keep your ideas simple. I love discussing things, and I don’t mind controversy one bit. But I don’t think I’d want to crawl through a wall of text if I were a passive reader.

      One of the things people do not understand is that simply having an option available is not a reason to take it. You should only do things that are a net benefit to yourself. Even then, you should choose the most beneficial thing. Anything less is simply destructive behavior.

      I, as a reader, have no idea what you mean by “net benefit” and “destructive”.

      This is simple: “net benefit” = “more good than bad”. “Destructive” = “tending to destroy (that which is good.)”

      What is good? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that in this comment, except to say, “Only God is good.” I’ll post more on this later.

      You start with a false consensus here with the assumption that people “universally” desire happiness, while, I’m sure, someone could argue to the contrary, I’ll not do that here as I believe that everyone does desire their own existential form of happiness. Now excuse me while I finish this beer and joint before moving on.

      I don’t think the argument can be made that anyone, even the most depressed among us, doesn’t desire to be happy. If you’d like to try, then go right ahead.

      You imply that sexual relationships that aren’t heterosexual are by their nature unhappy.

      I wasn’t “implying” anything: I declare with absolute moral and logical authority.

      Let me break it down to you in a better light. Married couples do many things, among them, dating, or talking, or eating together. All of these things are nice and we all desire them, just like sexual relations. However, the dating, talking, and eating together is only a component of marriage, and cannot be considered greater than the sum of all its parts, anymore than sexual relations are more than a part of marriage.

      We could devote our time and attention to just the dating, eating, and talking, but you know what? We’ll miss out on all the other components of a happy, successful marriage, and we won’t have such a marriage.

      It is as if you’re covertly begging the question on the nature of certain types of sexual relationships.

      My point isn’t to prove that sexual relationships are superior within the bonds of marriage; my point is to prove that homosexual marriage should not be permitted by the state. So I can’t “beg the question” without assuming the conclusion.

      I do agree with you that there is a joy in partners serving each other in ways that aren’t sexual and that sex is an expression of love and devotion. I would imagine that people who are in same sex relationships have this same view and at the same time there are probably people in heterosexual relationships that would take a stand contrary to your view. Again, it is the reality of the individual persons that you are judging.

      And here is the rub: serving each other, building a happy marriage, to what end? To serve each other? That is not the point of marriage at all. The point is that through serving each other, and building a happy married couple, they will bring into the world children in the most ideal circumstances. And that by loving one another, their family will grow and multiply until they have the happiest blessing that life can ever possibly give.

      What happens if two happily “married” men or women serve each other and build a lasting, permanent relationship? Why, nothing at all, except for the part of the lasting permanent relationship. Maybe they might be expert financial managers, or be proficient in their careers, or accumulate vast sums of wealth, or maybe they spend their entire lives in charitable pursuits, but that is all rot compared to having children.

      Or will you try to argue that that which has no life is superior to that which is life?

      And so we are left to debate the question: Why are homosexual relationships justified? Why would anyone choose to engage in such behavior? Is there any evidence that lasting happiness can be had by such a relationship? If so, is it superior to the lasting happiness of a loving family?

      If homosexual relationships can at best only bring some happiness, but not as much as heterosexual marriage, then why bother with it?

      Straw man, false dichotomy, question begging and presupposition, all make an appearance here.

      Excuse me? You’re going to dismiss my arguments with some magical phrases you learned from a book?

      Let me spell out the logic more plainly:

      1. We should do that which is best in life.
      1. a. We all desire good.
      1. b. More good is better than some good.
      1. c. Choosing to do things that lead to more good are superior choices.
      2. The marriage relationship isn’t about sexual relations at all, but about building a family.
      2. a. Having children and raising them properly is the greatest good there is.
      2. b. Homosexual relationships cannot produce children.
      2. c. Heterosexual marriage with complete fidelity is superior.
      3. Therefore, we should choose to endorse only heterosexual marriage.

      You have not successfully argued against any of my points.

      1. You’ve failed to produce an example of anyone who does not desire good.

      2. You’ve only shown that some people want sexual relations with people they are not married to, but failed to show that marriage is all about the sexual relations.

      3. You’ve declared I’ve done a “straw man”, “false dichotomy”, “begging the question”, and “presupposition”.

      That’s not how you overthrow an argument.

      Can we say, “Ahh, see, Tom over there, who devotes his life to his job, he isn’t doing what’s best in life, because he should be building a family as well. And he’ll one day wake up and realize what a waste he has been. But we shouldn’t tell him that he’s doing things wrong, because he finds a little bit of happiness in his silly pursuit.” Or do we say, “Tom, I know you think you will be happy by working so hard, but seriously, there is more to life than work. I want you to take some time, find a wife and devote yourself to your marriage, and raise a family. When you’re 80 years old and have fifteen grandchildren, you’ll be truly happy. If you’re 80 years old and only have a few million dollars, you won’t be.”

      This analogy is false, it begs the question and doesn’t support whatever argument you’re trying to make.

      False analogy? If you spend your life doing something good (in this case, pursuing material wealth), but you could have done something much much better (building a family), then you have wasted your life.

      If you spend your life in a homosexual relationship, which does not build a family, rather than choosing to suppress your natural desires and choose what is best in life (building a family), then you have wasted your life. No amount of sexual ecstasy will ever replace the fact that when you could’ve found a wife, loved her more than anything in the world, and brought children in the world, and raised them properly to adulthood, you instead chose to spend your time satisfying the desires of the flesh.

      You have traded your birthright for a bowl of pottage, so to speak.

      Am I to assume that to you a valid relationship is one that is solely procreative?

      No, that would be a false assumption.

      You say this is a false assumption I will take you at your word, although I imagine that if I had been more precise in my wording you would change your answer. Am I to assume that, to you, the only valid sexual relationships are the ones between a man and a woman who, if able, will engage in sexual congress in a manner that doesn’t violate any sodomy laws, that is, congress that can, given appropriate biological conditions lead to conception. More crudely, are the only sexual relationships are ones where tab “P” goes into slot “V”? If you still say this is a false assumption then what is the point of your whole exposition?

      Let me try to answer your question clearly: Spending your time and effort pursuing anything other than to build a family is a waste of your time. It doesn’t matter if it’s video games or if it’s working out at the gym or if it’s building vast fortunes or sacrificing your life for charity or pursuing your carnal desires.

      For those who are physically incapable of reproducing, they can do their best to try. I know lots of people who thought they were barren but it turned out they weren’t. I don’t know any man who impregnated another man, or woman a woman.

      Here again you prove that you’re very good at begging the question. You start with attempting to pair homosexual behavior, which can be construed as a benign behavior, with other behaviors that can be deemed inappropriate. That is to say that right now there are folks that are engaged in homosexual conduct that doesn’t put any sort of burden on the rest of society, the local or the larger one. People who are slothful, drunks, liars, thieves etc. do place some burden on society, either their local society or society as a whole. Again you fail to show a direct link between one and the others.

      This phrase, “begging the question”, does not mean what you think it means. It’s when you assume your conclusion.

      Here I am making no moral judgment based on the type of choice, I am making a moral judgment based on its result, which is exactly the way things should be.

      Again, if you pursue anything besides building a family, you are wasting your time and effort, and you will have nothing to show of it in your old age. Just like the drunk who devotes his life to drinking, or the slothful who pursues temporary pleasure over long-term wealth, you’ve wasted your life. Seemingly harmless behavior (drinking some alcohol, wasting some time) has turned into a great evil.

      So even if you think pursuing homosexual relations is harmless at best (sloth), or even if you can argue it is good in some way (drinking alcohol may have some health benefits), you cannot argue that pursuing it over marriage is a good thing.

      I fail to see how anyone is obligated to justify their lifestyle to anyone. What consenting adults do with each other is of no concern of ours.

      So, when two consenting adults get together, and agree to fix prices, or to oppress workers in their wages, or to dodge taxes, or to lie to a jury, or to hide atrocities from the public, you have no problem with that?

      Consent is not magical. It doesn’t take any old behavior and make it virtuous.

      We certainly don’t tolerate people who choose to murder, or rape, or steal, or do any number of things abhorrent to our morality. We make value judgments against them, and we even go so far as to revoke their rights when they are caught doing these things. Just because you choose to use your freedom to do something, and that choice involves someone else, doesn’t bless it.

      See the prior response, to your misuse of a logical argument.

      I’m proving the point that consent has no relation to whether something is good or bad. I’ve produce a ton of good examples of consenting adults that do things we do not excuse.

      I fail to see the point you’re trying to make. What logical argument did I misuse? Or are you suffering from a bias that says you can only use logic to prove some things and not other things?

      Your example seems very biased, condescending and paternalistic.

      I am biased; I am biased towards good and truth and light.

      “Objective” are those things which require no value judgment. “Subjective” are things which require one to define what “good” is. You cannot live an objective life, nor can you judge all things objectively. We may try to run our justice system that way, where the law is the law regardless of what people think is right. (Heck, even there, we rely on the subjective opinions of the jury to temper the objective laws of our land.) But you certainly can’t live your life that way! The moment you decide to do something because it is “good” is the moment you have made a subjective decision.

      Here again, you’re arguing that you and those that think like you are the arbiters of morality and good. Your pulling the legal system into this discussion opens up an whole other kettle of fish that are outside the scope of this discussion. Suffice it to say that, yes, millions of people can be wrong, especially when we’re talking about social issues, see the 13th, 18th, and 19th amendments to the constitution.

      So you agree with me that being objective like the law is not the best course of action? Good. I seem to have converted at least one mind.

      Not to malign your beliefs but you’re engaging in a post hoc fallacy here…. Your references to LDS teachings, make me wonder if you have a historical grasp of that organization, if you’re a part of it then it appears that you ascribe to the school of thought that wants to secure freedoms for itself to the exclusion of other marginalized groups.

      You are maligning my belief, imposing your belief on me, and you’re being terribly offensive. I go to work, and get paid, and thank the boss for the opportunity to work, and you come along, and say “post hoc fallacy” as if you think you know anything at all about our relationship.

      You somehow claim to know more about LDS history than me, or LDS doctrines or beliefs? What ultimate egotism. Do you know what that makes you? The same sort of person who thinks they know more than a physics professor about physics, and dares to lecture them from their ignorance.

      I want no rights or privileges beyond those that others can enjoy. “I do not seek power, but to tear it down,” to quote Captain Moroni.

      In this case, I want to free the prisoners, prisoners who have come to believe their jail cell is a palace because they are told it is, prisoners who will one day, nevertheless, realize they have been lied to. Or should we simply permit people to live in their fantasy, eating rocks and dirt and calling it gourmet foor, calling slavery freedom, calling light darkness?

      Imagine in this scenario that they burning house was infested with rats that were carrying bubonic plague and this is the 17th century.

      Well, then the neighbor could explain why it was in his best interests to burn his house down, at which point the other man could say, “Rats? Huh. Well, you should’ve asked me. I would’ve told you how I keep bubonic rats out of my house. There’s no reason to burn your house down. Let’s put it out, and let’s get rid of those rats, and let’s get your house fixed up.”

      Or you don’t like the idea of neighbors trying to do what’s best for their neighbors? Are we supposed to let people harm themselves because they have the “right” to do so?

      I fear that it would be lost on you as you’re locked in to the belief that you’ve got the sole correct worldview and that you’ve somehow allowed my furthered existence because you didn’t unleash your prayers.

      The man, incapable of argument, says, “I would tell you why you are wrong, but since I can’t make a logical argument, I am going to pretend you are too stupid to understand me.”

      Try me.

  7. Tim Says:

    I’m pretty sure that this discourse will end with neither side giving any ground. This skit came to mind:

    In the final analysis, your premise does beg the question or in your words, assume a conclusion. You begin with the statement to justify the behavior, your presupposition that the behavior in question is unjustifiable. You begin with a bias and then attempt to support that bias with biases that you hold as true, sort of a confirmation of those biases. I doubt that you’ll see my point.

    My point relating to the LDS history was not to discuss LDS theology; I’m an admitted novice in that area, what I was trying to get across is that the history of the LDS community has been marked with ostracism and expulsions. The Mormon church persecution is an analogue to this discussion, a majority community persecuting a minority community based on their chosen lifestyle. I am sure you’re familiar with the 1838 Mormon War and Missouri Executive Order 44, if not it’s an interesting part of US history albeit one that isn’t widely discussed. My point is this, we don’t have to accept, endorse or champion beliefs of others that we don’t hold to but we should be bound to respect the rights of others as long as their rights don’t revoke ours, for the most part.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      I’m pretty sure that this discourse will end with neither side giving any ground.

      Funny, I’m more than willing to cede ground if you can simply show me where my logic is wrong. You aren’t focusing on my arguments, but you’re trying to distract.

      Your premise does beg the question or in your words, assume a conclusion.

      I’ve granted the opponent the assumption that maybe, just maybe, homosexual relations are not an all-out bad thing, that maybe there is some benefit somewhere to those who participate in it. That’s a huge admission, because I think extramarital sexual relations are second only to murder and denying the Holy Ghost, the two worst sins imaginable.

      The problem you’re facing is that you cannot show that homosexual relationships are superior to marriage. You cannot show this, because marriage is such a driving force for good in this world, you might as well say the two things (marriage and good) are the same.

      The case in California caused the district court to overturn Prop 8 because there is no compelling state interest. Well, I have shown you, and you have failed to overthrow, the notion that there is nothing better for anyone to do than toe get married, stay married, and raise a family in love. That is a compelling state interest. In fact, I can’t think of any more compelling state interest. In other words, the purpose of the state is, in short, to create families and protect them.

      Go ahead, tell me why I should marry a man instead of a woman, why that is a better thing than devoting my life to my family. I’d like to see anyone show a “compelling state interest” in homosexual unions.

      Your knowledge of LDS history is pathetic. Yes, it’s one of expulsion and ostracism, but we were not the ones doing it. There was a reason why Mormons stand with the blacks and other people who are discriminated against unjustly, because we know how much it hurts and how important it is to have someone on your side when everyone else is against you.

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