Thank you for clarifying some things up. I will state now though, for this debate to continue, you must be stripped of conduct. You did not follow the rules, and made no arguments in R1. My only disagreement would be your opinion that I was referring to acts alone. This is not the case, and I will be focused on defending one being homosexual as a state of mind. In proper context, homosexuality is a mindset, and not a physical set of actions. For example, one could not say this......
"Jimmy was homosexual with Larry"
My opponent and I disagreed in the comments, that my last statement in R1, meant that stoical reasoning was a rule. He is wrong, and the only rule the debate requires, is for my opponent to post in R1. If you need to review this conversation, look at comments #1-13. Let's begin.....
I. Homosexuality is Natural
Most debates on the justification of one's homosexual nature, is whether such an act is natural or not. We are to assume that such a relationship is natural right off the bat. It is a proved status quo. People are naturally attracted to those around them. Stoical reasoning would lead me to believe this line of reasoning.....
P1: Homosexuals are generally attracted to their partner, mentally or physically.
P2: Homosexuals are often persecuted by heterosexual culture, through direct confrontation or social conformity.
P3: Heterosexuals are a minority, and are persecuted much less, if at all, by homosexual culture.
P4: A homosexual would not openly embrace persecution, if he were naturally attracted to his partner.
C1: Homosexuality is natural.
Now, just as my opponents definition states/
"Philosophy is an academic discipline that exercises reason and logic in an attempt to understand reality and answer fundamental questions about knowledge, life, morality and human nature." Ethics is "the study of right and wrong and how people should live", and is included within the umbrella of "Philosophy"
The stoic minds of republican Rome, taught in their philosophy school, that everything that is natural, can not be wrong. This should be contended as a basic truism, even by Con's own definition. I want to cite a few articles regarding the naturality of homosexuality.
Homosexuality Is Natural
September 10, 2013
It is often argued that homosexuality or bisexuality are not normal, or not natural, and that they have no place on this Earth. This, however, is just a misconception based on insufficient information or indoctrination.
In some ways we could argue that since it happens at all, that it is natural. Unless we assume there is some unnatural external force teaching or manipulating some of us, seemingly at random, that could change what we were sexually attracted to. Of course some people claim this to be the case; claiming the cause is the media or the devil, and unfortunately some naturally homosexual people believe that too, living a life in denial, or attending some conversion therapy in an attempt to ‘be normal’.
However, the truth is that homosexuality is, and has been for a very long time, natural, while the definition of normal varies from person to person, being normal does not suggest being special or unique, and could even be used as a derogatory description.
Being gay or bisexual should not be considered as immoral or criminal by itself, especially when considering the statistics of hate crimes, often violent, due to sexual-orientation bias.
Gary Gate Williams Institute reported in 2011 that an estimated 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as being gay, lesbian or bisexual, he also states that nearly 25.6 million Americans (11% of the population) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction. At what level does it become accepted as being normal?
A study at Boise State University found that in a group of heterosexual women, 60% were physically interested in other women, 45% made out with a woman in the past, and 50% had fantasies about the same sex. LiveScience reports that women may be more “hetero-flexible” or be primarily attracted to men with some same-sex attraction. The hypothesis, published in the journalEvolutionary Psychology, theorises that this allows women to raise their children with other women, for various reasons. Some people are claiming this shows that most women are largely bisexual, with a preference.
Lets analyze these statistics We have, according to the William Gates Institute, a projected 3.5% of adults openly identify as being homosexual. As I contended earlier, there are a lot of citizens who suppress gay feelings, probably do to social conformity and peer pressure. Which relates to the projected 25.6 million who share gay feelings or sympathy.
Which means, with close examination, that about 7.5% of the populous might be gay. How can there be such a high projection, if homosexuality was not natural? I reason that it is. In addition, this article cites another statistic from Boise State, which believes that 60% of women have had at least one sexual thought regarding another of the same sex.
Unless my opponent can prove these studies are false, we are to assume that attraction, whether by race, gender, or religion, will always be a natural interaction. Therefore, homosexuality must be natural.
II. What is natural is philosophically correct
I will conclude my R2 argument, by supporting contention 1. If philosophy is the study of human nature, and homosexuality is natural, then to engage or be homosexual, is 100% acceptable philosophically.
That's really all there is to say now. I strongly feel C1 is enough to support my case.
I'm not sure how I lose conduct by not posting in R1, even though it is explicitly stated that "My opponent will go next round". This was the established rule when I accepted. This implies that I should go in Round 2, rather than round 1. I shall leave it to the audience to decide.
So, our resolution is "Homosexuality is not wrong, philosophically". "Wrong" is a key component of ethics, so it seems to me that we are discussing ethics, and it's subject matter, morality (see above description of philosophy).
At a secular level, how do we determine "right" from "wrong"? There are many ethical theories available. I see Evolutionary Ethics as the most capable of explaining right and wrong. Much of what we consider "good" morally is simply that which is beneficial evolutionarily. For example, why is it considered "good" that I help people? Well, my decision is predicated on a group mentality. If I choose to help Person A, Person A may help Person B, and on and on until we reach a point that "helping people" leads to an extension of our long-term survival. Why is it morally wrong that I kill someone unnecessarily (murder them)? Because murder does not result in an extension of our survival. Let me explain.
Any Action A can be justified on the basis of it's usefulness to any group X.
So, for example, were I to travel back in time and kill Hitler, Stalin, or Mussolini, this would be "morally right" despite the fact that I have murdered, on the basis that it leads to long-term survival. More people are alive than are dead, and this can lead to any number of further, and more beneficial actions. This is essentially a mix of Consequentialism and Utilitarianism. If some action X has good results, it is useful, and due to its usefulness, it is good. This does nothing to prescribe right and wrong, but rather describes right and wrong. If some action X causes more bad than good, it necessarily becomes bad. Evolutionary Ethics takes this and applies it to the entire species.
So, let's say theivery is wrong. Can Evolutionary Ethics (with it's inherent Utilitarianism and Consequentialsim) explain why? I would say no, and i say no because theivery is an act which can lead to an increase in our long-term capacity to survive. Thus, the answer is "It depends". For example, if I choose to steal from someone to pay for food for my family, this might be legally wrong, but it is morally right all three moral theories. However, if I steal to gain for myself, this becomes wrong by all three moral theories. There are more people who are harmed by my actions than are benefited. Thus, Consequentialism says I have done wrong, as my actions have to lead to bad results, Utilitarianism says I have done wrong, as my actions are not useful to more than just me, and Evolutionary Ethics says I have done wrong, as my actions can actually diminish my species' capacity for long-term survival.
Hopefully this works as a proof, as my arguments will center upon exactly these three things.
So, is homosexuality wrong? Well, the thoughts of a person cannot be judged as wrong or right by any moral theory, as morality directly pertains to actions. How can we determine right or wrong without actions being taken? For example, would it be "wrong" if i said that I would enjoy having intercourse with Jennifer Anniston? It would be morally neutral. However, if I make the decision to have intercourse with her against her will, this can be placed in a category of "right" or "wrong". If I imagined myself murdering someone, this is morally neutral. However, should I murder them, this is morally wrong.
So, how does all of this relate to Homosexuality?
Well, we have a way to describe right and wrong. Mindsets are all natural, as thoughts are naturally occuring things. PRO seems to argue this. So, if I think about murdering someone, does that change the moral status of murder? Perhaps PRO can examine this.
So, what would make Homosexuality "wrong"? Well, per the above, if some action X is not either useful for the species or leads to bad results for the species, then that action is wrong. Theivery may be useful and beneficial for some, but for the larger group, that action is bad and unuseful. Per our (admittadly light) theory above, theivery is wrong. Regardless of the natural vs unnatural status of theivery, it is still wrong. Homosexuality, and the acts it entails, does not have any good results for the species, but rather has bad results. Homosexuality, and the acts it entails, is not, in anyway, useful. Thus, homosexuality is wrong. Homosexuality has bad results for the species.
We have examined theivery a little bit. I shall go somewhat further in-depth here. What are some of the bad result of theivery for the species? We have already examined the direct results on the involved groups. So theivery in a broad sense, if not useful for the continued existence of some group larger than that which was affect, Looking further, the necessary characteristics of a theif can be found bad for the group as well. Selfishness, divisiveness for example, are a cause and effect of theivery. Homosexuality is something which results in the divisiveness of the species. Homosexual and bisexual persons are persecuted by their homosexual counterparts, and this persecution can result in an unnecessary amount of deaths. The "status quo", so to speak, is that men and women have sex in order to reproduce, which is beneficial and useful for the human species, thus heterosexual sex is morally good. No similar results can come from acts born of homosexuality, thus, when we trace the act back to its source mindset, we see that the mindset permits morally wrong acts, and thus it becomes wrong as well, as permitting morally wrong acts is to permit unuseful and negative action.Homosexuality is not useful.
As expressed above, homosexuality, in and of itself, is not beneficial. There are no benefits which can be reaped by acts born of homosexuality. Homosexuality is this unuseful to the species, and on Utilitarianism within the Evolutionary Ethics framework, this is wrong.
So, what we have is a purely secular account of morality, which examines what is normally viewed as right and then takes the method applied and applies it to homosexuality, and the activities within it. Again, simple mindsets cannot be wrong. "I like X" or "I believe X" are morally neutral, until such a point that acts which are morally wrong are permitted. For example "Murder is ok" is a morally incorrect and morally wrong statement, as this is to permit a morally wrong act which would result in negative consequences and possesses no inherent value to us as a species.
I shall critique PRO's arguments, "syllogism", and evidence in Round 3.
I. Con's stance on what is good
Con makes the fatal mistake of assuming what's "good" is an objective term that applies to "anything that will help humanity evolve". The first thing anyone will learn in a metaphysics course, is that the ultimate goal in life, is to live as beneficially as possible. My opponent falls under the belief that "good" is helping others.
I stand to reason differently. What is "good", is what benefits you. This should be people's only objective in life. Asking themselves daily....
"Am I doing all I can to live a beneficial life?"
Which is where my opponents argument falls short. Aristotle and Plato both have confirmed what I'm saying. Let's examine the definition....that which is morally right; riotousness
You see, my opponent can not claim to know what is moral, and expect us to take that seriously. The only truism we can take out from this, is that what is natural is right. How can something unnatural, be considered wrong? It can't, and my opponent's own views on what is good, I feel are unnatural.
So, I reconfirm the words of Cicero and Xeno, and will firmly state, "good" is what benefits one's self. The word "good" has been distorted by society to imply "what you can do to help others". This is a huge misconception. Helping others may lead to benefits to yourself, but its nothing more than a inherent definition society has given.
I ask the audience to consider the metaphysical definition, before my opponents own interpretation.II. Con's analogy to thievery
My opponent, apparently makes a analogy, that homosexuals are stealing from their own breed. He continues to argue that what is "good", is what helps others. This is not accepted by any reputable Meta physician. Its a universal thought among philosophers that what is "good" benefits ones self.
Being good is not about helping others. Its about doing what is beneficial to you. He then went on a ill fated path of trying to prove that people being homosexuals robs others of their life. There is so much wrong with this argument, I'm not even sure it warrants a response.
For my opponent to affirm this contention, he must do one of the following things........
- Its immoral not to reproduce (lol)
- That homosexual pride kills people (lol)
- That homosexuals are "wrong" for valuing love over their own death (Directly relates to point 2)
Unless he can prove these points to be correct, his contention will be automatically negated. III. Con's stance that heterosexual sex is good
Like previously stated, my opponent believes that "good" is benefiting others. I doubt I need to restate why this is wrong. His entire argument has been on the base that producing more babies helps humanity, and that not producing babies is hurting humanity.
I am very opposed to this argument, and not just because its riddled in philosophical fallacies. If he continues to push this argument, I am forced to use his own reasoning against him.....
1. There are not enough jobs internationally. Therefore, hetero sex is wrong by Con's OP.
2. There is not enough food circulation to feed all of mankind. Therefore, hetero sex is wrong by Con's OP.
3. Bringing more people into the world causes more violence. Therefore, hetero sex is wrong by Con's OP.
I hope you see the double fallacies and circular logic my opponent is displaying in his arguments. I think his resolution has more than been negated. Good day, and thanks for debating me Pfalcon.
I will refrain from any defense, as PRO was not afforded any opportunity to do so.
I shall simply rebut a few of PRO's points from R1, and allow the audience to determine if PRO's rebuttals will suffice to weaken my position.
Let's re-examine the resolution. "Homosexuality is not wrong, philosophically". I presented plausible definitions for all ambiguous terms, and "wrong" is defined in it's moral sense as "'not-right'....or as a synonym for "Immoral" which is defined as "Not conforming to accepted standards of morality". So, we need a moral system and we need to explain why Homosexuality is not wrong within that moral system. I will attempt to show why PRO's arguments fail to do this.
PRO's syllogism is a non-sequitur. The conclusion does not follow from the premises. The only premise that could be considered related to the conclusion is P1, and if we introduce the premise that it is natural to be attracted to one's partner, then we have:
1. It is natural to be attracted to one's partner, either physically or mentally.
2. Homosexual person are attracted to their partners, either physically or mentally
C. Therefore....Homosexuality is natural.
Perhaps this will work better. A reformulation might allow us to make more sense of this argument.
1. If someone is attracted to another person physically or mentally, then that person's attraction is natural.
2. A homosexual person is attracted to another person physically or mentally.
C. Therefore, that homosexual person's attraction is natural.
OK, it logically follows. Does PRO give any justification for the leap from this conclusion to the conclusion that Homosexuality is not wrong? PRO simply relies upon Stoic Reasoning. This is to assume that Stoic Reasoning is correct, and that all natural things are not wrong. Again, a problem arises. The concept of murder is not man-made, although the word "murder" is man-made. Murder is a natural occurence. Per PRO's own assertion, murder is morally permissable, but, many a philosopher will disagree with this. There are several ethical theories which argue that murder is morally prohibited (Consequentialism, Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, various Deontological theories, etc).
So, there are some necessary issues with Stoic Philosophy, as here presented. How do we determine right and wrong? Is "wrong" assumed not to exist, thus nothing is wrong? PRO gives no justification for such things, and rather relies upon Arguments from Authority, despite the problems present in the philosophy that is being presented. If nothing that is natural is wrong, then we are not justified in find murder, rape, theft, torture, or slavery wrong at all. All of these things occur in the natural world. We have no way of determining right from wrong, thus all things are simply morally indeterminate. If we are debating "right" and "wrong" we are discussing morality. If we are discussing morality, then any proposed system must give us a way of determining right or wrong. For example, if I wish to argue that 2+2=5, i have to at least propose a system for us to determine what the mathematical equation "2+2" means. PRO provides no moral foundation, and arguably goes against commonly held ethics. This is not an Appeal to Popularity, rather it is to point out key flaws in PRO's arguments. We need either (A) a moral foundation or (B) an accepted system of ethics. PRO does not provide either, and in fact simply asserts that "everything that is natural, can not be wrong", because this is what the Stoics taught. There is no justification for this. How do we know that the Stoics are any more plausibly correct than the Utilitarians or Consequentialists? PRO doesn't give us any justification for believing this. There is sufficient reason to doubt PRO's arguments grounded in this way.
PRO's arguments are based in the Naturalistic Fallacy, which is to say that Since A is natural, B is therefore moral. Example: Lying is natural; there is nothing wrong with it. Can there be times when it is okay to lie? Arguably so. However, in most instances lying leads to more bad than good (this is relevant to the moral framework I have presented). There is no connection between what is natural and what is right or wrong. I "naturally" feel the urge to have intercourse with women. Does me raping a woman become morally permissible, as it is only natural? Our intuition, and many other ethical philosophies, argue no. Again, this doesn't mean that the Stoics are incorrect, but it casts doubt upon PRO's arguments.
PRO then gives way to the Burden of Proof Fallacy by asking me to disprove the studies that have been presented. Once again, PRO commits the Naturalistic Fallacy. There is no justification given for the leap from what is natural to what is morally permissible.
Conclusion for PRO?
PRO concludes R2 by saying "If philosophy is the study of human nature, and homosexuality is natural, then to engage or be homosexual, is 100% acceptable philosophically". Well, per the definitions that i provided, and that PRO accepted, this is not the case. "Wrong" has multiple meanings. It can refer to what is incorrect or mistaken, or what is unintended or undesirable, etc. PRO has not presented any case for any of these meanings, let alone the meaning for this debate in particular. "Wrong" here refers explicitly to morality; namely that which is not morally acceptable.
The question here is not "Is Homosexuality wrong?" the question is "Who presented the better case to say where Homosexuality lies on the spectrum of Morality?".
If I have presented the stronger case, Please vote CON.
If ChosenWolff presented the stronger case, Please vote PRO.
Either way you vote, I only ask that you evaluate the arguments, and not the relative position of the presenter.
Thank you, ChosenWolff, for debating this with me!