The Instigator
dipnt
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
logicrules
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Fact: homosexuality is a choice not an inborn state of personhood

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
dipnt
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,131 times Debate No: 19664
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

dipnt

Pro

I will be arguing for the position that homosexuality is a choice made by individuals. As opposed to an innate or inborn personality trait. This is not an argument about whether there are people who are tempted sexually by those of their own gender. Please do not accept this debate if you intend to argue that people are tempted therefore they are gay.

The argument I am making is that there is no such "person" as a homosexual separate from a person who chooses to engage in a particular act or set of acts.

For example: "John is American because John was born in America" or "Danny is black because he was born with dark skin" or "Jack is a man because he was born with male body parts."

As opposed to: "Derrick is a doctor because he chooses to work at a hospital diagnosing illness," or "Sam is a baseball player because he chooses to play baseball," or "Junior is a homosexual because he chooses to have a boyfriend."

Logic only.

No arguments from emotion. I feel this way therefore...

Be respectful.
logicrules

Con


My opponent uses as an example "Derrick is a doctor because he chooses to work at a hospital diagnosing illness”. A person is a Medical Doctor because they attend Medical School and are inferred with a degree, what they do has nothing to do with it. Thus, my opponent fails to apply the logic he claims to be a rule.


Definitions



  • Fact…noun meaning a thing that is indisputable (Oxford Dictionaries)

  • Homosexual…of or being having an attraction to same sex, form Latin HOMO meaning person

  • Heterosexual….of or being attracted to opposite sex

  • Bisexual…..Of or being attracted to both sexes

  • Sui Generis….indigenous, of its essence; of its essence

  • Logic….the discipline governing reason and/or thought codified by Aristotle not to be confused with Boolean or Mathematics

  • All other words to be given their primary definition as commonly used in US English.


Applying the definition of fact, logic dictates that agreeing to debate establishes my opponent’s inability to accept his premise. The premise is a fact. A fact is indisputable. Indisputable cannot be debated. Asking to debate negates the fact. Thus, either my opponent acknowledges that his premise is false, based on logic or, in the alternative, has made two contradictory statements thereby violating the rule of logic which states:


When one has made two statements, both of which cannot at the same time be true, the opponent need not establish which is false to establish that said maker of the statements is disingenuous. In short, since the challenge establishes a dispute, that disputed cannot be a fact, de facto. Either it is a fact or it is debatable, cannot be both.



Thus, you have lost by your own admission.


Thank you.


Please, take the next round to make your argument that Homosexuality is not the opposite of Heterosexuality but just a choice of heterosexuals.


Debate Round No. 1
dipnt

Pro

Lets deal with the issues your raised one at a time.

I will concede that, "Derrick is a doctor because he chooses to work at a hospital diagnosing illness," should be replaced with Derrick's primary choice in becoming a doctor i.e. choosing to go to medical school, or choosing to do the work required to graduate and have a doctoral degree conferred. However any reader of the argument should have easily understood that the intent was to suggest that Derrick's status as a doctor was not an inborn trait but a description of Derrick based on choices he made.

Secondly, the use of my opponent's "super argument" that claims to do away with my argument wholesale and indeed the majority of debates on this site and in the world in general! The argument states:

"Applying the definition of fact, logic dictates that agreeing to debate establishes my opponent's inability to accept his premise. The premise is a fact. A fact is indisputable. Indisputable cannot be debated. Asking to debate negates the fact. Thus, either my opponent acknowledges that his premise is false, based on logic or, in the alternative, has made two contradictory statements thereby violating the rule of logic..."

Of course this argument could be turned around as easily as not on my opponent since, if he accepted my challenge with intellectual and general honesty, he intends to argue that the opposite (or at least a different) fact describes the nature of homosexuality.

The two statements my opponent accuses me of making are, the statement which titles the debate and the implicit statement: "I am willing to debate someone." Of course, he has implicitly made the opposite of my first statement (or some third asserted fact) and the same second statement by accepting the debate. According to my opponents logic we are at a stale mate and can discuss neither this topic nor anything else because facts lose their facthood once you subject them to argumentation. If this argument were taken to its logical conclusion any debate that included a person who was arguing that his assertions were true i.e. fact would be logically bested based simply on the fact that the debaters were willing to debate.

If you say "the car is in the garage" and your spouse says "no its not" take care lest you open your mouth a second time to debate the issue and your car suddenly disappears because facts cannot be questioned and still be facts.

If one takes a moment to look at the titles of a great number of debates on this site one will see that they assert facts. I suppose the most clever thing to do is to start debates on this site by asserting a fact and taking the con position then ambushing the poor challenger who accepts the debate in the pro position with my opponents argument telling the challenger that they are either incorrect in their argument for the fact statement or, at least intellectually disingenuous because they agreed to the debate at all.

Let's move on to the topic at hand.

My opponent asks me to argue "that [h]omosexuality is not the opposite of [h]eterosexuality but just a choice of heterosexuals." Here he appears to miss my point. My argument asserts that the word homosexual, in reference to an individual, however any dictionary defines it, should mean one who engages in homosexual acts. My opponent makes the assumption that my argument includes the assertion that all people are born heterosexual. In fact that assertion is not a necessary correlative of my statement.

There could quite easily be a scenario where every person was born without any "leaning" toward any particular behavior but even if my assertion suggested that each person was born desiring to engage in heterosexual acts it would not change the fact that homosexuality is a practice, not an inborn leaning. However, I was clear when I began the debate that I do not wish to argue against the temptation argument which is essentially the "fact" my opponent asserts by including his definition of homosexual "…of or being having an attraction to same sex, form Latin HOMO meaning person." The full definition from Oxford Dictionaries is as follows:

adjective
(of a person) sexually attracted to people of one's own sex.
involving or characterized by sexual attraction between people of the same sex:
homosexual desire

noun
a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.
http://oxforddictionaries.com...

The problem with this definition is it leaves no commonly used word to differentiate between a person who is "attracted," "desires," or is tempted and the person who engages in the object of his desire i.e. performs homosexual acts.

To make my point more clear; we don't usually have words for one who is tempted to do x. A thief is one who steals. An athlete is one who engages in athletics and a vegetarian is one who eats only vegetables. Because a person has a desire to do one of these things or an attraction to one of these things or a temptation to engage in one of these things the person does not therefore become a thief, an athlete or a vegetarian. The person must do these things to be referred to as a doer of one of these things. If the person is simply tempted, we simply say, Johnny is tempted to steal. Johnny has not become a thief by his temptation alone.

Since sex refers to an action or set of behaviors it should not be used in labels or descriptors that refer only to desires, temptations or attractions unless we use those modifiers. E.g. Johnny has a "desire" to engage in homosexuality but chooses not to do so because he believes that homosexuality is morally wrong. Johnny is not a homosexual because of his desire that he shuns any more than a person is a murderer because they were attracted to the idea of killing the man who wronged them in some horrendous way but chose not to do so because they believed it to be morally wrong.

Homosexuals are not the opposite of heterosexuals they are simply those who engage in homosexual acts. The definition should not include those who are ONLY attracted to or tempted by those acts.
logicrules

Con


Let me see if I understand:



  • I was claiming my opponent violated his rule re logic, though he did misstate.

  • My opponent wishes to debate the AMA, US LAW, and Oxford dictionaries.

  • I find this odd, at best.


First, I was using applied logic as delineated by Aristotle and accepted and used by Western Legal systems. Thus, my opponent claims to make fact that which must be inferred. This may constitute a “fact” but only after determination by the impartial determiner. Also, a degree is irrelevant to what one does except to the extent that the Law requires a particular accedemic degree prior to performance. O know many Doctors who do not practice medicine, and I was supprised when the large ethics firms were not hiring.


My opponent state the rules at the beginning, inasmuch as he does not dispute my stated definition of Logic my initial rebuttal of his intention stands.


Space and time constraints dictate that I should address his arguments ad seriatim but shall attempt to address them in their entirety by the use of Logic and accepted arguments of Law and Reason. Had my opponent left out the term fact I should not have made the argument. His choosing the term, and its inclusion in his description and/or parameters of his position made me a fool to let it pass. The further examples he lists, including the spousal example, are fallacious as to form and substance. A statement is insufficient to make a fact but for the fact of said statement having been made. Logic, your rule.


EG…I believe in God. I do not claim it a fact, nor do I claim ability to prove, by any standard, that is why I believe. Were God a fact, she should not require belief and denial would establish me a fool.


“My argument asserts that the word homosexual, in reference to an individual, however any dictionary defines it, should mean one who engages in homosexual acts.” I do not accept your authority to change the English language. Should you wish to establish you authority to redefine English, Latin, Greek, and all other Romance Languages, I shall review your bona fides. Do you reject the definition of heterosexual as well? My reading indicates you do, and I also reject that as not even a tertiary source. Seems you do accept asexual as a legitimate term, but that seems inapplicable as they have no sexual desire or instinct.


My opponent writes, “I was clear when I began the debate that I do not wish to argue against the temptation argument which is essentially the "fact" my opponent asserts by including his definition of homosexual” Essentially a fact is illogical, a violation of your rules. I have revued my post and found not the word temptation nor any reference to a supernatural being or natural occasion influencing a person to act in a way contrary to a personally held belief system or set of moral principles. Perhaps ad absurdum fallacy?


My opponent goes on to claim (after his fallacious reasoning making all that follows equally fallacious) temptation is the source of a behavior not an accepted sui generis determiner. Again fails based on Logic, fallacy of the universal. We call one who steals a thief, it is not sui generis. We call those who commit crimes criminal, it is not sui generis. We call those who drink alcoholics, it is not sui generis it is behavior. Are you arguing it is behavior and not sui generis, making those who enjoy sex ALL heterosexual as reproduction desires are sui generis?


“Homosexuals are not the opposite of heterosexuals they are simply those who engage in homosexual acts. The definition should not include those who are ONLY attracted to or tempted by those acts.” You lack the authority to make up definitions; I shall accept those you cited on the matter.


Sexual orientation is protected as sui generis by Law in the US, UK, Germany, etc. Ergo, when brought before an impartial determiner of fact it was determined in all western nations, that sexual orientation IS SUI GENERIS. I shall cite only one US Supreme Court, a Primary Source. Romer v. Evans 1996


Debate Round No. 2
dipnt

Pro

When it comes to the term sui generis, I must quote the well loved character Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Sui generis is a term that means unique. It is used in the legal field when referring to things that are unique and therefore particular analysis that might be used for other things is not applicable to the thing which is sui generis. For instance in Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005) the court found that the sniff of a dog (in this case attempting to detect the presence of drugs) is sui generis because the sniff could only detect the presence or absence of drugs which are contraband. In other words it was a type of search that was unique because the search could not have discovered anything in which a person would have a legitimate privacy interest. (e.g. a frisk [and other known methods of searching] could discover drugs and weapons, however, a toothbrush or a set of keys could also be discovered i.e. things in which an individual has a privacy interest.) You have defined the term in your first comment as follows: Sui Generis….indigenous, of its essence; of its essence. However the Oxford dictionaries define the word simply as "unique." See http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Having said that I will use my opponents definition to attempt to address his argument.

Please have the kindness to overlook the sloppy use of the word fact. Of course I meant to use the term as interchangeable with the word truth i.e. "the truth is that homosexuality is a choice made by individuals and not an innate or inborn personality trait."

If the use of the word fact is a distraction from the essence of the argument I apologize.

My opponent has appealed to authority in his most recent argument. namely the authority of the American Medical Association, U.S. Law and the Oxford Dictionaries.

His argument is essentially these people say it, therefore it is true. Unfortunately the only way the conclusion follows from the premise is if you prove a second premise i.e. what these people say is always true.

Since we know that what these people say is certainly not always true (see the history of US Law, the history of beliefs and reversals in medical knowledge and the changing nature of the use of the English language [take a dictionary from the 1800s and look up words from then and now].)

My opponents argument:

"Sexual orientation is protected as sui generis by Law in the US, UK, Germany, etc. Ergo, when brought before an impartial determiner of fact it was determined in all western nations, that sexual orientation IS SUI GENERIS. I shall cite only one US Supreme Court, a Primary Source. Romer v. Evans 1996"

There are several problems with this argument:

The primary problem is that even if the statement were true it would not prove that "all western nations" were correct. In other words my conclusion could be correct whether anyone else believed it or not and even if my opponent produced a list of the signatures of every human being on earth, all of whom believed that I was incorrect, we would be no further in determining whether my argument is in fact correct. E.g. if the Supreme court and the AMA and the Oxford Dictionaries all believed that blood letting cured disease (as their intellectual predecessors likely believed) it would not make it true.

Another problem with this argument is that all western nations do NOT protect sexual orientation as sui generis (remember my opponents definition -- indigenous, of its essence; of its essence) I will at this point assume, perhaps incorrectly, (my opponent will surely correct my error if I misstate) that my opponent means by sui generis the opposite of my contention in this debate i.e. sui generis means (to my opponent) the essence of a person. Ergo a homosexual is born a homosexual (wired to be attracted only to persons of his or her own gender).

Of course I believe I have been clear that my argument is with the definition of the term homosexual, but I will address that issue shortly.

The most notable nation in the west that does not recognize sexual orientation as protected is...you guessed it...The United States of America. My opponent has cited a US supreme Court case that does not recognize any federal protection for homosexuals. The case centered on whether the legislature in Colorado could make a law that said that no laws could be passed giving "special rights" to homosexuals. The court found that such a law was intended to discriminate specifically against a group of people and had no other purpose, the law was only passed because of "animus" toward the group singled out. Let me repeat that no legal protections were recognized for homosexuals at the federal level as a result of this decision. Assumedly the group identified could have been the rotary club and, assuming the facts were the same, the Court would have ruled the same way.

There are states who have legislated or ruled for protections for homosexuals, however the United States government has not done so and has certainly not recognized that homosexuality is an inborn trait akin to being born into a certain ethnic group.

My opponent also says that I claim...

"temptation is the source of a behavior not an accepted sui generis determiner. Again fails based on Logic, fallacy of the universal. We call one who steals a thief, it is not sui generis. We call those who commit crimes criminal, it is not sui generis. We call those who drink alcoholics, it is not sui generis it is behavior. Are you arguing it is behavior and not sui generis, making those who enjoy sex ALL heterosexual as reproduction desires are sui generis?"
(for all places where the term sui generis is used I am assuming we can substitute the word "inborn")

My opponent suggests that homosexual acts are determined by inborn traits therefore they are not temptations like stealing, drinking to excess, and committing crimes. I propose that my opponent has provided no evidence (short of his incorrect argument from authority) that this is the case.

If the thief is tempted to steal and does so what is my opponents evidence that this is not a "sui generis" (inborn) determiner. There are certainly seemingly intelligent people who have argued that such traits are inborn. If this is true, according to my opponent, such actions are not temptations but actions that are determined by inborn traits. Based on the evidence he has provided my opponent has no warrant to make a distinction concerning what is inborn and what derives from temptation regarding any of the actions of any individual. If one accepts that homosexuality is inborn, short of proving that claim scientifically, which has definitely not been done (See the results of the human genome project), one must accept the claim of any group who claims the same about a behavior they share.

If all thieves claim they were born thieves who can disprove them.



Homosexuals are those who engage in homosexual behavior. Whether or not any individual is born with the desire to engage in those behaviors or has an attraction to those behaviors is irrelevant. We do not, generally speaking, allow for such distinctions with other voluntary behaviors and my opponent has provided no reason to allow for such distinctions in this instance.

A thief is a thief when he steals. He is not a thief because he is attracted to stealing. A man is a homosexual when he commits homosexual acts. He is not a homosexual because he is attracted to commit those acts.

I do not claim authority to change definitions in the English language. I do however claim the God given right to express my dissatisfaction with the definition of the word homosexual and to argue for a change in that definition which is reasonable and consistent with the rest of the English language.

logicrules

Con


Sui Generis was defined in round one and my opponent did not refute the definition. Fact and Truth are not synonyms. My opponent confuses Appeal to Authority with definition of terms. Belief is now synonymous with truth?


My opponents entire argument is an appeal to authority because he is relying on a set of authoritative principles not shared by anyone else. “I say it is temptation, therefor it is.” No one is born a thief, a murderer, an adulterer, a rogue or even a Doctor. We are all born human.


Among educated people it has long been held that in order to understand what one is trying to say one must know the meanings of the terms used. This is the reason for a definition of terms, generally done before any reasonable discourse. To insist that a fact is truth means there is no need in the lexicon for both terms. I reject that construct and would like to state that it is difficult to respond to ones apology if one has a secret meaning known only to the writer. Hence we use definitions from reputable sources.


I know not how to respond to my opponent because, based on his own statements, what I read may not have anything to do with what he means. Ergo, I shall use the classical model of Aristotle and his terminology to assert that homosexuality is not just a behavior but is part of that which makes a person unique.


All humans share that substance which makes us human. All of us have unique accidents which make us unique within that human group. Both Substance and accidents are particular to the human and not behavior. Attraction to the same sex is indigenous to those who are homosexual.


In the alternative, Maslow’s needs puts sex as one of the most basic. Breathing, and food are also basic. Breathing is an involuntary muscle action, rather basic. Food is needed or we die. What humans eat is different, but we all eat. Sex is the same. I do not choose to like fried foods, I do as a result of my unique human characteristics. (that is not gluttony) As humans we can control our unique natures, some say, but even they know it’s part of who we are as humans.



I tried to say what I mean and mean what I say, I am sorry my opponent could not do the same.


Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
Methinks the Short Story Idiocracy may be prophetic.
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
and why should i accept your definition? it is question-begging and formatted in such a way that the word itself loses meaning.
Posted by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
to bad a cont vote Dop
Posted by Doppelgaenger 5 years ago
Doppelgaenger
Homosexuality as defined by the desire to commit acts of homosexuality applies to both straight and gay individuals. Prison inmates that rape their cellmates for the purpose of denigration and domination can be considered homosexuals because they engage in homosexual acts. gay couples that engage in homosexual acts for are also homosexuals. In this sense Pro is correct.

However there have historically existed virgin individuals who are either homosexual or heterosexual with regards to the sex they feel attraction to and either choose not to act upon their sexual impulses(priests) or choose to act upon them but are never allowed the chance (the elephant man) to perform sexual acts. Under the logic of a homosexual being defined by the choice to commit homosexual acts and a heterosexual by not doing so, these people would all be considered asexual which is absurd.
Posted by warpedfx 5 years ago
warpedfx
sexuality is more than just the acts, but what causes the acts, ie attraction.
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
"Logic only" < That means whoever takes this debate can't use evidence.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by shift4101 5 years ago
shift4101
dipntlogicrulesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Seriously? Con tried to define his way to a win. That is pathetic.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
dipntlogicrulesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I didn't understand what Pro wanted to debate until his second post. Certainly his title didn't indicate that he wanted to discuss what he _wished_ a word meant, as opposed to what it really meant. Con seemed to throw away his posts on insults, irrelevancies, and incoherence. Con was really hard to read. Pro was insulting once too, but Con bears the onus for getting there firstest and the mostest with the insults.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
dipntlogicrulesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: i felt con should have argued that homosexuality can be tied to genetics..... or used any kind of evidence to support their argument....... so i gave arguments to pro, along with conduct because con looked like he tried to use wordplay to defeat the pro in the very first round rather than actually debate the resolution....
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
dipntlogicrulesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: neither side really convinced me. I really saw no facts, only a few from each side. Only pro tried to refute them properly. Also Logicrules tried to claim things that pro said.
Vote Placed by JakeBoatman96 5 years ago
JakeBoatman96
dipntlogicrulesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I wasn't sure about this debate at first, but it has inspired me to delve into this a little more.