The Instigator
Ahmed.M
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

Homosexual actions are immoral

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
Ahmed.M
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,798 times Debate No: 25914
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (54)
Votes (9)

 

Ahmed.M

Pro

= = = = = = = Introduction = = = = = = =

This debate is on the morality of homosexual acts with more emphasis on sodomy but not excluding other homosexual acts. I will have the burden of proof in this debate and as such, will be arguing for the affirmation of the resolution. Con must only rebut my case.

= = = = = = = Debate Guidelines = = = = = = =

1. First Round is for acceptance
2. Opening Arguments/Rebuttals
3. Rebuttals/Arguments
4. Closing statements/Rebuttals

No side can present new arguments in the last round.
By accepting, my opponent agrees to abide by all conditions and rules. Only sources may be posted in an external link with no additional commentary. This is a serious debate, no semantics. If you want any clarifications and/or extra terms that need to be defined let me know before accepting.

socialpinko

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Ahmed.M

Pro

-- Framework --

There is an important background I will try to establish in this debate in order for the resolution to be more easily affirmed and that is the etiology of homosexuality. The etiology of homosexuality is rooted in moral implications and as such is relevant to this debate. If homosexuality is not innate, environmental factors can be manipulated thus allowing complete freewill over the issue.

I will list two arguments in favour of the non-innateness of homosexuality.

Childhood Gender non-conformity (GNC)

Gender non-conformity (GNC) means that a child does not conform to regular behaviour that the gender typically does. A gender conforming child is friends with the same gender since they typically enjoy the same activities while a gender non-conforming child does not enjoy the activities his gender typically does. GNC is typically caused by a negative parental relationships:

Bell et al. comment that, in both boys and girls, a negative relationship with the same-sex parent reduces the desire to identify with that parent. Children with reduced identification are more likely to develop “gender non-conformity” [1]

Richard A. Isay writes:

The majority of gay men, unlike heterosexual men who come for treatment, report that their fathers were distant during their childhood and that they lacked any attachment to them. Reports vary from “my father was never around, he was too busy with his own job”, to “he was victimized by my mother, who was always the boss in the family”, to that of the abusive, unapproachable father. [2]

He also further goes on to say that many men who aren't his patients experience the same things. Empirical studies have shown that GNC is a huge determinant of homosexuality. The majority of homosexuals have felt gender-nonconforming when younger:

Empirical support for this analysis comes from the San Francisco study, which found that 71% of the gay men and 70% of the lesbians in the sample had felt different from their same-sex peers during childhood. When asked in what ways they had felt different, they overwhelmingly cited gender-related reasons. [3]

Retrospective studies comparing gay and heterosexual men have consistently found that gay men report having experienced greater gender nonconformity as children (Bailey & Zucker,1995). [4]

[3]


Societal Influences

If homosexuality were truly innate, we would see it very difficult to change homosexual practice but we do not. Homosexual behaviour changes fast depending on ever changing cultural norms when it should be constant or extremely rigid to change. This strongly suggests societal influences of homosexuality rather than biological:

Miron Baron writes:

Some cultures for example, the Assyrian and Graeco-Roman were very tolerant of homosexuality. The behaviour was practised openly and was highly prevalent. Sexual patterns are to some extent a product of society's expectations, but it would be difficult to envisage a change in the prevalence of a genetic trait merely in response to changing cultural norms. [5]

C1: Natural Law

When the term 'natural' is used it means the proper function for a given being. Natural law dictates morality based on what is natural for beings capable of reason and rationality. I contend that homosexual actions are immoral because they do not correspond with the proper function of the sexual organs being used.

One can see the existence of teleology when analyzing the human organs. For example, the function of the stomach is mainly digestion. A stomach digests food because that is it's primary purpose. If a stomach is functioning according to the way it should function we call this a healthy or 'good' stomach. If it is not digesting food properly and functions differently then we say this is a 'bad' stomach. What is good is something that ought to be pursued for that is the very definition of good [6]. From this we can see that the function of a being tells us how it ought to function. However, natural law doesn't apply to beings incapable of rationality but for rational beings.

The main purpose of the sexual organs is indeed to procreate because we know that they bring about procreation and their existence is explained by their purpose, conditions used to determine the purpose of a being [7]. Now when we return back to the case of homosexual actions we see that this is immoral because we are freely choosing to commit acts with our organs contrary to the way they are suppose to function. This becomes morally reprehensible and as such is immoral. Jeremy Sugarman writes:

The essence of an act and its telos are connected in such a way that an act is a good act of its kind if it attains its proper end or purpose, its telos. In this way, the end or purpose is linked with the good. To know the end is to know the particular excellence that can enable one to attain it with perfection (Guthrie 1971).[8] (pg 78)

One example of the application of natural law is in the ethics of medicine. The practice of medicine exists because there is a need to heal, cure, and check various threats to our health. These are the ends of medicine [8] (pg 78-79). Immoral medical practice is that which deviates from the ends of medicine. An example of this would be practicing medicine to maximize wealth instead of the health of the patient. A moral medical practice is one that cures the ill as best as possible (best scientific knowledge, equipment etc). A medical practitioner is thus under a moral obligation to bring about these ends. From this example, we can see a direct casual link between ends and morality, the ends of medicine shape the ethics and the morality of medicine. As Sugarman elucidates:

The ethics of medicine arises, therefore, in the nature of medicine, the definition of its ends, and in the possession, by the medical agent, of those traits of character that enable and empower the closest approach possible to those ends. [8] (pg 79)


C2: Health Repercussions


→ Sodomy is responsible for more than half (56%) of all the people in the U.S living with HIV and accounts for 61% of all new infections each year, this is very significant as it immediately indicates a huge problem with men who have sex with men (MSM) [9]


[9]


→ Sodomy facilitates the spread of infections “Anal membranes are easily damaged during sex, facilitating the spread of infection[10] which explains why the large number of people with HIV are MSM. It follows that homosexual acts are immoral because we freely choose acts which are damaging to are health.


→ It has been shown that homosexual actions cause mental illnesses. A study of about 1000 children were observed until 21 years of age. Those who labelled as homosexual were at increased risks of various mental illnesses:


The study by Fergusson et alfocused on 1007 children from New Zealand who were observed until the age of 21 years. This sample represents 80% of a birth cohort; hence, results are exceedingly unlikely to be owing to unrepresentative sampling or differential dropout. Subjects whom they classified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual were at an increased lifetime risk for suicidal ideation and behavior, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, and nicotine dependence [11]


→ Now I realize correlation =/= causation. I contend that prior negative parental relationships (established by the framework) during one's childhood, a crucial time period for cognitive development [12] added on to various infections, and a potential HIV infection is sure to cause mental issues.

- - - - -

Homosexual actions are immoral because they are contrary to our nature and are associated with physical and mental illnesses that one has control over with the establishment of the framework.

The resolution is affirmed.


Sources: http://debate.org...

socialpinko

Con

===Framework===


In regards to Pro attempting to establish homosexuality is a choice and not a matter of innate preference, I feel no need to attempt to refute it. Not because it holds any merit but because it has no relevant implications as to the morality or immorality of homosexuality. Pro may argue that his framework proves homosexuals *choose* to act contrarily to natural law and that they *choose* to engage in acts damaging to their health, but my criticism will be entirely with these points as standards of morality in themselves.


I will argue that natural law is not a sound ethical theory and that (a) that the prevalence of HIV among homosexual populations is both inconsistently argued on Pro's part while (b) also not being either a necessary precondition for homosexual acts or unique as an attribute to them. The reason I don't see the choice/natural dichotomy of homosexuality as relevant to this moral debate is because we are dealing with acts, not preferences. I may fully accept that pedophiles innately have the preferences they have but that is clearly not a good argument either for (if they are innate) or against (that they are environmental or chosen) pedophilia.


===Natural Law===


Pro's argument from natural law argues that the human body and specifically human organs have a natural teleology or purpose. He then reasons from this that acting contrary to the "intended" purpose of those organs results in immoral action. Homosexual acts like anal sex, my opponent argues, use the organs involved in a way not intended (i.e., immorally). I will have a few criticisms of this point, the first stemming from the existence of teleology or purpose in a relevant moral sense and the second from natural law failing to cross the is-ought gap.


(A) Teleology


Why does Pro believe that teleology or natural purpose exists? Well each of our body parts seem to have been brought into existence for a specific purpose. Our hands feel right for grasping things, our eyes seem right for seeing things, and likewise the male member seems right for procreation. Natural lawyers extrapolate from the fact that we use our organs for specific purposes to the idea that that purpose must be a purpose not in a descriptive sense, but in a normative sense. Herein lies a large problem with natural law. Why do we insert normativity at all?


Pro would say normativity comes in at the point where choice and rationality do. But why at all? Obviously if we presuppose that adherence to function is 'good' or 'bad' then non-choices wouldn't conform to that in a normative sense (perhaps descriptively though) while choices would. But we first have to justify good and bad as qualities in or not in adherence with function. Pro never does this. He merely generalizes based on the nature of our language in regards to certain things. For instance, the fact that we naturally think our stomach is acting "good" when it is not presenting health complications and "bad" when it is. But our language in regards to bodily health surely can't be held up as a legitimate marker since we only use the words "bad" or "good" in this regards as placeholders for either the fulfillment or disappointment of our preferences as to the functionality of our organs. Pro here is making the mistake of extrapolating merely from linguistic convention.


(B) Is-Ought Problem


This is a problem formulated by David Hume in which the extrapolation of what is good from what simply is is shown to commit an unwarranted argumentative jump. Hume explains it succinctly:


"In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds from some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establish the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of all sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. this change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained: and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it."[1]


Pro and other natural lawyers are unwarranted in their conclusions consider the argument: "Anal sex is contrary to the natural teleology of the sexual organs, therefore anal sex is immoral." The contrariety of anal sex to the sexual organ's teleology may be taken as a premise. But the premise does not by itself analytically necessitate the conclusion. In order for that to be so another premise is required to be supplanted, namely that acting according to purpose is good while not doing so is bad. Pro has failed to do so.


===Health===


(A) HIV Transmission


(i) Pro's argument is as such. A large percentage of those with HIV are gay. Therefore homosexuality has negative health repercussions. Therefore homosexuality is immoral. There are several problems with this argument though. For one, it offers a completely arbitrary cut-off point where once it has been crossed, the activity becomes immoral. If only 20% of those with HIV were homosexuals would it change anything to Pro? My opponent has left us completely in the dark as to how and why this makes homosexual acts per se immoral.


(ii) The next error in Pro's reasoning is that it fails completely to take into account female homosexuals. He even admits by hid own admission that his data "indicates a huge problem with men who have sex with men". In fact, Pro offers no evidence that either lesbian sex results in "too frequent" transmission of HIV or that lesbian sex has any unique health defects which would cause them to be immoral. Remember, the resolution surrounds homosexual acts in a general sense, not just those between men. Therefore Pro has an evidential gap by not mentioning lesbians.


(iii) The next error in this line of reasoning stems from the fact that Pro has failed to prove that homosexual acts by themselves are necessarily immoral. His argument on this point rests merely on a portion of homosexual males who have transmitted or are carriers of the disease. But since it is certainly possible that one could engage in homosexual acts and not get the disease, at best Pro's point could only apply to a homosexual if they themselves have HIV. Therefore Pro's point is non-specific to homosexuals and he is unnecessarily applying his conclusions to most of the homosexual population.


(iv) The final error in Pro's reasoning lies in the fact that the transmission of HIV is non-specific to homosexuality and theoretically could be completely eradicated. If homosexuals practiced safe sex and remained relatively monogamous, combined with further research into treatment of the disease, it would be fully within the realm of possibility that HIV would be eradicated amongst homosexuals. But since this is the case, Pro's moral case can't possibly apply to homosexuality qua homosexuality, but merely to people who engage in unsafe sex and as a result transmit the disease which includes quite a good of heterosexuals as well.


(B) Pro's last point attempts to establish a link between homosexuality and mental illness. As Pro admitted though, correlation does not necessitate causation. As such, Pro attempted to causally link between the things that he believes tend to cause homosexuality with the predisposition to certain mental illnesses. However, given that homosexuals are also at a higher risk of social ostracism and bullying[2][3] and that this leads a higher risk of the illnesses Pro mentioned[3], the link Pro highlights fails to establish a morally relevant connection.


Sources: http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Ahmed.M

Pro

-- Framework --

Con attempts to dismiss my framework by claiming that it is irrelevant to the morality of homosexual acts. I touched on the implications of the framework in the beginning, but since I didn't go in-depth I will do so right now.

I. The framework facilitates the affirmation of the resolution, because to deem immoral that which one is strongly predisposed and inclined biologically to do is somewhat immoral and harsh. To illustrate my point more clearly, consider two scenarios:

Scenario 1: A boss knowingly asks person 'A', knowing he is not tired to complete a hard and important task. Person 'A' takes a nap while working on the task.

Scenario 2: The same boss asks person 'B', knowing he is very tired to complete a hard and important task. Person 'B' also takes a nap while working on the task.

In both these scenarios, it is clear that it is much more harder or even impossible for the boss to condemn or penalize person 'B' rather than person 'A'. The boss knew that person 'B' was inclined to fall asleep or have heavy problems completing the task. Person 'A' is much easier to penalize since he was not tired and had complete control on whether to take a nap or not.

Now coming back to the framework, if homosexuality is innate there is a strong inclination to commit the act making it harder to deem immoral. If it is not innate, there is complete control of committing the act making it easier to deem immoral. I gave a case for the non-innateness of homosexuality, since my opponent didn't touch upon it, I extend the framework.

II. Con may respond by saying that if homosexuality is innate, they can still choose not to commit the act. As was explained, there is very little control to committing the act if one is predisposed to commit it. If there is very little control over committing the act, it is harder to deem it immoral. If homosexuality is not innate, it is much easier to deem the act immoral since there are no real obstacles to not committing the act.

Con claims that we are dealing with acts and not preferences. However, acts and preferences are not completely separate from each other. A strong preference heavily facilitates an act to take place. Con uses the pedophilia example because it is socially unacceptable. If pedophilia were indeed innate to some people, it would be harder to deem it immoral rather than if it was not. I have given a full justification for the implications of the framework and addressed Con's only problem with it.


C1: Natural Law

Con doesn't actually dispute the existence of teleology. Con seems to paraphrase in a poor way my argument for the existence of teleology in his first paragraph. Teleology is the simply the idea that there is a goal or purpose for an entity. In my opening statement, I gave specific conditions by which to determine whether an entity has a purpose. I said that the existence/design of the entity is explained by the purpose and it must actually bring into fruition its purpose. For example, the design of the lungs tells us they are for oxygenating blood and it actually brings this about. Con didn't dispute this at all so I extend this argument.

Con disputes whether this teleology implies an ought for the last paragraph of the teleology section and his next section which is why I included them together. I have two responses:

I. Con didn't address the argument I gave in my opening statement on the application of natural law in the ethics of medicine which makes normative statements based on the purpose of an organ etc. If it were truly impossible to derive an ought from an is, then we would not see natural law being applied in medicine but we do. Con has to address this.

II. Given my argument for teleology that Con didn't address, purpose is built into the very entity itself (intrinsic) not derived from an 'is'. The ought is essentially there from the very beginning because of the purpose of the being, it is not derived from an 'is'.

These were two arguments that I listed in my opening statement that Con didn't address which negates the is/ought problem.


C2: Health Repercussions

I. HIV and easy transmission of infection and disease

(a) Con says that my argument is vague in that it doesn't have specific guidelines as to how bad the health repercussions have to be in order to be deemed immoral to engage in. While I might not have specific guidelines, there are generalities. One guideline is the percentage of those with HIV and commit sodomy which is over 50%. This indicates a majority, heavily implying that it isn't a coincidence. This issue is also an epidemic in the homosexual community which the Center for disease control and prevention is tackling. To freely severely negatively impact your health in such a way is immoral.

(b) Con says that I haven't taken into account female homosexuals. If you read the conditions set in R1 that my opponent agreed to, I said that there would be more of an emphasis on sodomy, which are male homosexual acts. Regarding female homosexual acts, the reason why I haven't discussed them as much is because women are for the most part not stable regarding their sexual activities. They have sexual acts with both males and females skewing most results. One study states:

We found that 4.9% of the women reported same-sex partner(s) ever; 2.8% reported sex with women in the past 5 years (n=178); 85.0% of these women also reported male partner(s) in this time. [1]

85% of the women in the sample had both sex with men and women meaning that it is very hard to draw objective results regarding whether they have negative health effects or not.

(c) My argument doesn't rest only on a large portion of those who commit male homosexual acts, but on all males who commit sodomy. I not only argued that sodomy spreads HIV but other various types of infections which applies to all male homosexual acts. In fact, the high risk for obtaining a disease of any sort when committing sodomy is itself immoral because one is jeopardizing his health greatly.

(d) Con claims that the diseases that are wide spread with those who commit sodomy is not caused by sodomy. Con doesn't address my argument where I cited evidence that sodomy easily spreads infections due to the tearing of anal membranes. This is very likely cause of the spread of HIV. Con claims that theoretically that those who commit sodomy can reduce the spread of HIV and disease by practicing safe sex. This is nearly impossible, because the nature of the act was not meant to be. The anus was not meant to be penetrated but to hold fecal matter and in this case disease, condoms also break very easily.

II. Mental Illnesses

Since my opponent didn't dispute the contents of my framework, the cause of gender-nonconformity which I argued was a negative parental relationship is extended. Con says that I admitted that correlation doesn't imply causation, I did but I gave an argument as to what exactly caused the mental illnesses in homosexuals. Con didn't dispute this, I said:

I contend that prior negative parental relationships (established by the framework) during one's childhood, a crucial time period for cognitive development [12] added on to various infections, and a potential HIV infection is sure to cause mental issues.

This is what I argued caused the mental illnesses and sodomy was a part of the cause. Con claims that those who commit homosexual acts have been socially ostracized and bullied and that this leads to a higher risk of mental illnesses. I concede that this is definitely a factor to the mental illnesses, but it isn't the only factor. As such the factors I listed are still apart of them, one being sodomy. Since sodomy is factor to causing mental illnesses, it is immoral.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Con didn't address many of my arguments, the few he did were addressed in detail.


The resolution is affirmed.


Sources: http://debate.org...;

socialpinko

Con

===Framework===


As I mentioned in the last round, the reason why I dismissed the choice/innateness dichotomy as relevant is because I take issue with Pro's moral reasoning at its base. If I were to accept the existence of natural law or admit that the health repercussions of homosexuality make it immoral, then perhaps whether someone has a choice in the matter would become relevant to the debate. But since it is the base moral framework that Pro operates under that I contest, the choice/innateness dichotomy is not. Pro is reasoning ahead of himself here and I don't think he can actually get to this step yet since his moral reasoning's are dubious. If Pro is able to justify his moral standards of natural law and negative health effects as legitimate means to deem something immoral, and homosexuality specifically, then he will win the debate.


===Natural Law===


(A) Teleology


Pro is mistaken in assuming that I did not deny the existence of teleology. This may stem from the fact that when I pointed out that Pro mistook descriptive references to the "use" of an object for a normative prescription for how it ought to be used, I was in some sense implicitly admitting that objects have a natural use. This is not the case though, or it's not the case in the sense that natural lawyers seem to think. The reason why "use" exists only descriptively (in that we do use our eyes to see our hands to grasp) and not normatively (wherein we should use our eyes to see, etc.) is because purpose itself requires certain conditions.


Why do we think a blender's correct purpose is to blend or that a book's correct purpose is to be read and communicate its message effectively? We do this because blenders and books were made with that specific purpose in mind. Likewise, the same criterion applies to anything which one says possesses a legitimately normative teleology. Of course this is merely a necessary though not sufficient condition. As Pro correctly pointed out, we don't hold blenders to moral standards because they lack consciousness and free will. So along with free will, something also must have been designed for a specific purpose.


We may accept without argument the free will condition, but the design condition has yet to be fulfilled. Furthermore, unless Pro seeks to argue for an alternative conception of human creation (i.e., through some process other than unguided evolution) then he may do so. But barring the existence of a deity or some other transcendental creator of humankind, the necessary conditions to justify normative teleology remain unfulfilled. I don't wish to turn this into a theological debate, but since natural processes alone are not sufficient to design something (since there is no consciousness to do the designing), a deity would be necessary. Natural law is necessarily theistic and as of yet Pro has given no reason to accept the theistic worldview.


(B) Is-Ought Problem


Pro attempts to bypass the is-ought problem by simply saying that purpose is "built into" something. However, this fails to actually bypass the problem as Pro hasn't cited any further epistemic criterion than simple intuition. Take as an example a human hand. We can clearly see that a human hand does a lot of things. It grasps, it signs, it strikes, etc. But even if we were to catalog each and every way that one uses their hand , the frequency in which this happens, or the general well-being brought about by various hand movements, we'd still have no justification to make the epistemic jump from "the hand does this" to "the hand ought to do this".


Pro is making an ontological assumption about the human body and other entities. He's taking it as an intuitive premise that some purpose is built into the ontology of an object, but he fails completely to justify this intuition by any epistemic reasoning. How do we justify the derivation of teleology in regards purely to knowledge claims? Pro provides no reason to and thus we have another reason not to accept the existence of normative teleology.


===Health===


(A) HIV Transmission


(i) On the point of ambiguity in regards to Pro's standards for how damaging an action must be in order to be considered immoral, he rebuts by arguing simply from generalities. But this obviously cannot do, since there's no conceptual part of homosexuality or homosexual acts that necessitate an "epidemic". As I pointed out in my last rounds refutation, it is certainly conceptually possible that people would continue to engage in homosexual acts while at the same time not necessitating an HIV epidemic.


As I mentioned before, the simple use of condoms, staying relatively monotonous, and combined with progress concerning treatment, could stamp out HIV as a widespread problem. Con's only response is that condoms break "very easily" (a claim that is ludicrously false[1]) and that the "nature of the act was not meant to be" (an incredibly ambiguous claim at best).


(ii) On the health arguments utter lack of applicability to lesbians, Pro attempts to defend the exclusion by reference to the fact that this debate has an emphasis on sodomy. Regardless of this, female homosexual acts are conceptually a part of the set of homosexual actions and are thus a necessary factor to take into account when assessing the morality or immorality of homosexuality. Pro also claims that it's difficult to find statistics on whether female homosexuality has negative health effects. Now though figures are admittedly less precise concerning lesbian rates of HIV contraction, the available evidence does suggest that the rate is lower than the rate for male homosexuals or heterosexuals[2] when one focuses only on lesbians who only have sex with women[3]. At the very least, Pro's argument from "HIV epidemic" is moot in regards to an entire segment of the homosexual community (not counting the fact that they're also moot regarding homosexuals who haven't contracted HIV, see points (i) and (iii)).


(iii) On my point that Pro is applying a non-conceptual generality to a conceptual act, Pro tries to defend his point by arguing that his argument just as well applies to "all males who commit sodomy." I don't see where that point follows. Pro further argues that the spreading of HIV and other infections applies "to all male homosexual acts". Again, refer to the fact that Pro is comparing a non-necessary trend that we know can be stopped to the conceptual nature of an act.


In this debate Pro is saying homosexual acts themselves are intrinsically immoral. Since one can engage in homosexual acts without becoming infected with HIV or some other infection, Con's criticism can only logically apply to someone who engages in a homosexual act and contracts HIV. Since we can easily point to homosexuals who are not HIV-positive (yours truly being one example), Pro's point fails.


(iv) In this point, Pro again makes the point that sodomy more easily facilitates the spread of HIV. Refer to my point Ai where I refute it in full.


(B) Mental Illness


The most glaring problem with Pro's argument here is that he's mixing up the causal relationships between engaging in homosexual acts, "prior negative parental relationships", and mental illness. Now even if I concede that homosexuality is caused by the factors argued by Pro in his framework, homosexual acts themselves would still not be causally relevant to the contraction of mental illness. Since Pro argues that a negative relationship with a same-sex parent causes gender non-conforming behavior, which in turn plays a part in causing homosexuality, the contraction of mental illness would clearly be causally connected to the original negative relationship with the same-sex parent. Studies have shown that this contributes to the development of mental illness[4] whether the child turns out to be gay or not.


Sources: (http://www.debate.org...)
Debate Round No. 3
Ahmed.M

Pro

-- Framework --

Con concedes the truth framework, but disputes the relevancy and the implications of it. I spent a large portion of my R3 response outlining the implications of the framework since the truth of the framework is affirmed. I was expecting a rebuttal on the arguments for the implications of the framework in Con's R3 response, but Con has completely ignored them!


In his R3 response, Con says that I must first prove that homosexual acts are immoral then whether it is a choice or not becomes relevant. However, he completely forgets and ignores that I said that the affirmation of the framework would allow one to more easily accept the arguments for the immorality of homosexual acts. I gave an analogy and He did not respond to any of this at all. Con says that if my two contentions are sound then I win, but the framework helps facilitate the concession of the arguments. I ask the audience to please quickly look both my argument for the framework and Con's response to see how poorly he has responded to it.


C1: Natural Law


Once again Con didn't dispute the arguments I gave for the existence of teleology. I gave a criterion by which to objectively state whether an entity has a specific purpose. I stated in R3:

>>”In my opening statement, I gave specific conditions by which to determine whether an entity has a purpose. I said that the existence/design of the entity is explained by the purpose and it must actually bring into fruition its purpose. For example, the design of the lungs tells us they are for oxygenating blood and it actually brings this about.”

Con didn't touch my argument, instead he keeps on arguing from the moral implication of an entity which has a purpose. This is suppose to be discussed in the is/ought problem sub-section not in the teleology sub-section. The teleology sub-section is only for the discussion of the existence of teleology. Con also claims that I must know the specific purpose for the whole of human creation, but this is irrelevant to the resolution.

On the is/ought problem, Con ignored for the whole debate one of my arguments for natural law which was the application of it in the ethics of medicine. I stated in R2:

>> “One example of the application of natural law is in the ethics of medicine. The practice of medicine exists because there is a need to heal, cure, and check various threats to our health. These are the ends of medicine [8] (pg 78-79). Immoral medical practice is that which deviates from the ends of medicine. An example of this would be practicing medicine to maximize wealth instead of the health of the patient. A moral medical practice is one that cures the ill as best as possible (best scientific knowledge, equipment etc). A medical practitioner is thus under a moral obligation to bring about these ends. From this example, we can see a direct casual link between ends and morality, the ends of medicine shape the ethics and the morality of medicine.”

If natural law were impossible because of the impossibility of deriving an ought from an is, then we wouldn't see it being directly applied in the ethics of medicine. Con didn't address this at all. Con claims then that the hand has multiple functions and somehow thinks that this debunks natural law. Simply because a hand for example has multiple functions means that there are many ways to use it properly. The simple fact that an entity has multiple function in and of itself means nothing. Con also says that there is no epistemic justification but given the affirmation of teleology, that is the justification.


C2: Health Repercussions


I. HIV and easy transmission of infection and disease

(a) For the most part, Con has dropped this point. An epidemic is a widespread occurrence in a particular community and HIV is prevalent in the homosexual community. I stated in R2:

>> Sodomy is responsible for more than half (56%) of all the people in the U.S living with HIV and accounts for 61% of all new infections each year, this is very significant as it immediately indicates a huge problem with men who have sex with men (MSM) [9]”

This fits the definition of epidemic very well. Con didn't dispute the evidence cited at all for the entire debate, implying he has conceded it. Con claims that it is conceptually possible that there wouldn't be an HIV epidemic in the homosexual community. This doesn't prove or help anything, almost anything is conceptually possible we are disputing reality. Con claims that I said condoms break easily, which is false. I said that condoms break very easily for those engaging in sodomy so my opponents evidence is irrelevant. Con says that my other claim was ambiguous but it isn't. The design of the anus was not meant to penetrated since it tears very easily and holds disease very well. This highly increases the spread of HIV and other infections and disease.

(b) In R1, I specifically stated that this debate would have more emphasis on sodomy which are male homosexual acts. Even if I don't have arguments in my second contention for the immorality of female homosexual acts, my first contention would still address them and the lack of their coverage in this contention is made up for by the emphasis on sodomy rather than female homosexual acts. I also explained to Con that statistics on female sexual acts are less precise and Con admits this. Con's own sources to prove that female homosexuality has less HIV rates have also stated that there is a large amount of uncertainty:

Many lesbian women, however, have had sex with men in the past and may continue to have sex with men despite a self-identification as a lesbian.” [Con R3 Source 2]

Despite the absence of confirmed cases of female-to-female transmission of HIV” [Con R3 Source 3]

(c) Con claims that because one can commit a homosexual act and not become infected, then my contention is not very strong. However, I never claimed that the homosexual act is immoral only when one contracts an illness from committing the act but from the very risk of it itself. Everytime one commits the homosexual act, there is a huge risk of disease, and that risk of jeopardizing is what is immoral.

(d) Con completely drops this point

II. Mental Illness

Con has dropped my argument from R3. Even though the negative parental relationship is a factor towards the mental illness, the act of sodomy is also a factor. The fact the sodomy is a factor to contracting a mental illness makes the act immoral. Con didn't reply to this. I stated in R3:

Con claims that those who commit homosexual acts have been socially ostracized and bullied and that this leads to a higher risk of mental illnesses. I concede that this is definitely a factor to the mental illnesses, but it isn't the only factor. As such the factors I listed are still apart of them, one being sodomy. Since sodomy is factor to causing mental illnesses, it is immoral.”

Conclusions

Con hasn't responded to the many arguments I proposed to affirm the resolution. Con didn't dispute the truth of the framework, which is a concession as this is the last round. Con also didn't reply to the arguments I gave for the implications of the framework which is another concession this late in the debate. In the first contention, Con didn't reply at all to the criteria I gave for affirming the existence of teleology. Con didn't respond to the example I gave of natural law being applied in medicine. The only section in which he didn't ignore many points was the health repercussions section to which I answered all his objections in detail.

I would ask the audience to vote me on the grounds that numerous points in the framework and first contention were dropped and ignored. I strongly plead with the audience to vote Pro.

socialpinko

Con

===Framework===


First, I'd like to respond to the claim that I've ignored any parts of Pro's arguments. This is not the case. I explained very clearly in R2 and R3 why the framework was irrelevant to the morality or immorality of homosexuality. Pro claims that his framework "allow one to more easily accept the arguments for the immorality of homosexual acts". Possibly, though as I already argued in my previous refutation (and which Pro has actually not responded to), in order to accept Pro's conclusion, two conditions must be fulfilled. (Note that this is not a new argument, I elaborated in R3, Pro just never responded to it) Pro's moral standard must be justified, then homosexuality must be established as a choice.


Again, first, the moral standard by which Pro is arguing must be justified i.e., natural law and his application of health effects into consideration. I have argued from the beginning of this debate that both natural law and Pro's application of health effects are invalid in determining homosexuality to be immoral, both because natural law itself is not true, and based on the multiple mis-applications and inconsistencies in Pro's reasoning regarding health effects. Con hasn't shown any reason why the choice/innate dichotomy helps to justify natural law or Pro's flawed conceptual conclusions via generalized and non-necessary trends. To sum up, Pro needs to justify his moral base before whether homosexuality is a choice even comes into the picture. Since he hasn't done this, it remains irrelevant to the debate.


===Natural Law===


(A) Teleology


Unfortunately again, Pro falsely claims that I have ignored some part of his argument. And again, this is not the case. His argument for determining teleology was that it brings about some actual purpose and that it can be explained by that purpose. Con then mistakenly claims that this is sufficient for determining teleology. But remember, we're not speaking here of what seems to be a descriptive analysis of what the organ in question is being used for, but instead of a morally relevant design in that organ. In R3 I explained the reason why we think a blender has a purpose, because we know it was designed specifically for that purpose. Humans on the other hand have no evidence of this. Therefore, even if Pro can establish a descriptive analysis of what we use our hands or sexual organs for, he fails to establish a normative design. Con's only response is that it is irrelevant, but never explains how or why or elaborates further at all.


(B) Is-Ought Problem


Pro then attempts to bypass my is-ought problem by again falsely claiming that I ignored part of his argument and instead ignores my own. In R2 and R3 I made the point that simply seeing the way something works or how it descriptively functions does not show any epistemic reason to jump from "X does Y" to "X ought to do Y". Of course this ties somewhat into the teleology point since the only way to bypass this would be to show normative design i.e., conscious design. But since Pro has given no reason to diverge from unguided evolution as the explanation for the origination of humanity, he fails on this point. But more to the point, I never ignored Pro's medicine point. His argument was simply a re-claiming of his further mistaken epistemic jump which I already pointed out. Pro is taking a descriptive analysis of something (in this case the fact that people try to attain certain ends) and jumping off to a normative conclusion (that those ends are moral or that we ought to choose them). My analysis was aimed at Pro's argument as a whole as an unwarranted epistemic leap. His medicine point is merely a specific example of the overall fallacy I pointed out.


===Health===


(A) HIV Transmission


(i) Pro again falsely claims a drop on my part. I didn't drop his epidemic point, I refuted it by way of showing that a non-conceptual and non-necessary generality or trend does not go to show that the conceptual ontology of an act is immoral. Pro claims that this doesn't prove anything since it apparently disputes reality. But that's not the point. The point is that Pro is jumping from non-necessity to necessity. He's not making a claim about homosexual acts that result in HIV, he's making an argument about homosexuality qua homosexuality. He's arguing from the conceptual nature of homosexual acts. But nowhere in that nature is the facilitation of HIV, just as that's not included in conceptual heterosexual acts. Furthermore, Pro's counter-refutation of my condom refutation fails in that he never provided evidence of his claim that condoms break "very easily" during homosexual acts, whereas I provided evidence that they don't.


(ii) Pro has essentially forwarded no argument in favor of immorality of female homosexuality in the health point. His claim that this is made up for by the natural law point is shown to be wrong by reference to the fact that Pro has failed to justify his natural law argument. But of course I leave this to the voters to decide.


(iii) Pro's response to my refutation is that he's not claiming that one must contract HIV for homosexual acts to be considered immoral. I know this and this is a large inconsistency in Pro's arguments which I have pointed out repeatedly. It also related to point (i) where I showed that you can't use a non-conceptual trend to prove a conceptual point. Pro would be being consistent if he claimed that only acts which actually end up causing HIV are immoral (i.e., some heterosexual as well as homosexual acts). In this case there would be a leap only within the facts determined. Pro wouldn't be making an unwarranted conceptual leap as he is doing now. My point is that his leap is unwarranted and Pro's claim that homosexual acts simply increase the odds of facilitation of HIV is unwarranted because, as I showed previously, it is within the realm of conceptual possibility to eradicate this aspect. Therefore it's not a conceptual part of homosexual acts.


(iv) Again, I didn't drop this point. The point was essentially the same as those I addressed in points (i) and (iii). Therefore I referred to those points for further elaboration. Since Pro decided to purposely attempt to disguise this fact, I'll summarize and explain why the previous points were appropriate to reference to. Pro claimed in point (iv) that it is "nearly impossible" (without relevant evidence) that the transmission of HIV by way of homosexual sex could be eradicated. The reason I referred to my previous points was because the conceptual nature of homosexuality juxtaposed with a non-necessary trend among homosexual acts was the subject matter of all three of them. Therefore I didn't feel like repeating myself for a third time.


(B) Mental Illness


Pro again and for perhaps the fifth or sixth time, falsely claims that I dropped his argument. Pro claims that even if negative parental relationships are a factor in the contraction of mental illness, homosexual acts themselves are also one, therefore they're still immoral. Pro of course completely fails to respond to my point about causality (my causality point was my response to Pro's factor point, I didn't fail to respond to it) and the study I provided which showed negative parental relationships as directly causally related to mental illness, whereas homosexuality was only a factor when causally necessitated by negative parental relationships. Pro is arguing that the middle effect of the ultimate cause is just as bad as the cause itself, when in reality the cause is the only common and necessary factor. Since homosexuality doesn't require prior negative parental relationships and because one can engage in homosexual activities without having a causal relationship to the onset of mental illness, Pro's claim of homosexuality as a causally relevant factor fails.


Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by iDontGivaFucc 4 years ago
iDontGivaFucc
Straight people engage in sodomy too. If you ever got your d*ck sucked by a woman, then that's sodomy to..
Posted by BrooklynHaze 4 years ago
BrooklynHaze
It'd only immoral if the sole purpose of life was to reproduce. This has changed, being overpopulated and not having the necessitous to continue populating. Turning to love each human equally is a benefit in its own right.
Posted by chadamccain 4 years ago
chadamccain
Morality is its own realm of law and has nothing to do with Ahmed's form of "Natural Law" as presented. Morality could be more readily used in a debate about living in accord with society than one's biological functioning. That is to say, it functions to floss society, not the workings of our bodies, as evidenced by the many instances of homosexual behavior found in mammals other than humans.

Perhaps what's more interesting is that this natural law argument comes straight from religious proponents of discrimination against homosexuals. It is often used despite its lack in scientific merits, and in the case of Christian thinking, even at the expense of a responsible reading of holy text. The argument is induced into religion, though there is no foundation in holy text for those espousing Christian faith. I'm not sure about the Koran on this subject.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
I have no idea how anyone with a basic ability to logically reason would be able to accept Ahmed's "natural law" principle, as it was presented in the debate.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
First, I didn't see the STD portion of the debate relevant. Although homosexuals are at much higher risks of STD's then heterosexuals, I do not see the moral connection. Sure, their sex means they are more likely to harm others. But that argument may or may not be intrinsic. So what I see more of a secondary argument I must award to con.

The natural law portion of the debate is always fun to watch/read. It is usually brought up, and the debate usually centers on who can refute/defend the argument better. Pro, by and large, was superior in defending his position in this realm. He argued that sexual organs are used to create children--have sex, procreation, intercourse, whats the current politically correct term? Con seemed to semi-accept this, but his main objection was the is-ought problem. In round two, I thought con had pro in some type of trap/victorious argument as I would not have the skill to rebut it. Pro argued the intrinsic nature of his argument means his argument does not arise from is, and the ought is there since its creation. Overall, I failed to see con refute that premise throughout the following rounds.

This is the second best debate on the issue, contradictions debate still holds my favorite :P
Posted by mr_Debater1993 4 years ago
mr_Debater1993
good debate, i believe that homosexual acts are immoral, however con had some good points but the natural law argument is superior by far. to Con i will say this, being that you deny the existence of teleology and natural law is no ground to say that its not true. what if i should say that i deny the existence of gravity, i cant feel it, touch it, hear it or see it. but what if i should jump off a 20 story building what would happen to me? i am sure am not going to float in the air. you made a good point about a blender being compared to the hand which can have multipurpose but you have to bear in mind that the anus unlike the hand it different science can prove that the anus was not made for penetration. if homosexual is not immoral why is it not accepted on a large scale but by homosexuals themselves? if its not immoral why is it that person has being against it through history as not "the right way of life" something is moral or immoral based on how it is viewed generally, we will say that lying it immoral because it is the wrong thing to do, to penetrate the anus is the wrong thing to do. if homosexual acts were moral then there would be no reason for a diverse species would it? why is it that in every living specie we can think of there exist a male and a female? why is it that homosexuality is practiced among humans more than any other specie on earth? homosexuality is something based on choice and until i can be proven wrong i am convinced of that fact.
Posted by Clash 4 years ago
Clash
Yes, but I don't have time to explain why right now.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
@Clash, do you think Ahmed successfully by-passed my counter regarding the necessity of design in deriving teleology?
Posted by Clash 4 years ago
Clash
RFD: Pro's "Natural Law" argument was without a doubt the most reasonable argument given. What this argument is saying is that homosexual acts are immoral since they go against the proper function of our sexual organs. This argument was heavily supported by Pro's example from medicine, as well as Pro's proofs for the existence of teleology.

Indeed, one can clearly see that the main function of our sexual organs is procreation. We humans, as rational agents, are supposed to have sex in order to insure the preservation of our species. The reason as to why a male have a penis and a female a vagina, is for the male penis to implant sperm into the female"s vagina for the purpose of procreation. If the reason as to why our sexual organs at all exist isn't in order to create future humans, then what is it? Pleasure? Well, to say that would be very mistaken. Pleasure is only meant to motivate us to the ultimate goal and purpose, namely, procreation.

Now, Con's objection against this argument was the is-ought problem. Pro, however, successfully refuted this objection by noting that the "ought" is essentially there from the very beginning, so it is not derived from an "is".

Ahmed, if I was you, I would only have presented and defended the "Natural Law" argument. It's much easier to give and defend just one good argument instead of giving and defending several arguments. If you present just one good argument and are able to successfully defend it, then it would become much more easier to win. To present several arguments however, would make it more difficult to win since you would have to defend more arguments, something which will also take more research, etc. This is of course just my opinion. Great debate otherwise.
Posted by victoria_kim 4 years ago
victoria_kim
This is not a question for me whether homosexuality is natural or not. I mean abstract thought is not natural as it pertains to creatures other than humans. in particular instance I think that homosexuality is immoral for these reasons. while Being a men, when they say that a woman is the most beautiful person they've ever met and their statement of her beauty , I mean in the most general sense, is irrespective of their own. I believe that love is when no one is objectified.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: **Note, DDO, I actually have no opinion on this one way or the other** Comments
Vote Placed by Clash 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Erick, you should be banned. Stop votebombing debates.
Vote Placed by Erick 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by Chicken 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: EDIT: CVB Gone, Jacob Apologist gave real RFD
Vote Placed by Jacob_Apologist 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Good arguments. The case would have been more strong and easy if it went "Homo actions are wrong or they should be prohibited" instead of "being immoral" *(Edit- RFD in comments)
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
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