This House Believes That On Balance Homosexual Acts Are Immoral!
Debate Rounds (4)
This debate entitled: This House Believes That On Balance Homosexual Acts are Immoral is a re-do of one of the first debates I had from my old account. I lost miserably to kbub and I would like to see if my refined argument can now hold any ground.
Now I believe that I should clarify the rules, the order, and some principle definitions which will be referred to throughout the debate.
1. The first argumentation rounds of both parties must be positive material only, no refutations will be allowed in the first argument.
2. The first round is for rules, orders, definitions for Proposition, and kbub may only engage in pleasantries and accept the debate.
3. There may be no positive material in the last rounds of the debate.
4. The order of the debate is of 3 rounds (with the first round being for acceptance, 10, 000 characters per round, 72 hours to post a round, and an Open Voting where anyone whose Elo is above 3, 000 may Select the Winner.
5. If any party forfeits two times, they automatically lose.
6. Each side is allowed to provide references from journals, books, essays, and blog entries so long as the pagination are cited, and easy access is made available.
7. As this is a Philosophy debate all definitions should come from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Penguin Philosophy Dictionary, the Cambridge Philosophy Dictionary, or any well respected philosophy text. Some definitions have been provided:
(i)morality:The term "morality" can be used normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specific conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
(ii)immorality: will then be the opposite of morality so is can be used normatively to refer to a code of conduct , that given specif circumstances, would be opposed by all rational persons.
(iii)homosexual acts: refer to sexual acts between members of the same sex.
8. None of the parties are allowed to take help from any other party in this debate.
With that I hope we can engage in a wonderful debate, and it provides us with a productive experience. Please welcome my opponent!
Thanks Ajabi for the invitation!
I accept this debate. I'd also like to point out that, per the comments, Ajabi accepts the full Burden of Proof.
Thanks, and good luck!
I thank kbub for accepting, I accept the larger part of the burden, but kbub must prove his/her individual assertions, and s/he must use the first round for acceptance only. With that let us begin.
1. The Argument:
1. All sexual activity that is moral, is rational.
2. All sexual activity that is rational, is reproductive* in nature.
3. Ergo: All sexual activity that is moral is reproductive in nature.
4. Homosexual acts are not reproductive in nature.
5. Ergo: Homosexual acts are not moral.
*With the intent of reproduction, which should occur in reasonable circumstances.
1. all S* is R
2. all R* is N
3. Ergo: all S is N*
4. all S* is N
5. no H* is N*
6. Ergo: no H is S
The syllogisms pass the star-test and so we know that this is a logically valid argument, insofar that it makes logical sense. To know more about the star test please check this site: http://tinyurl.com...
2. The First Major Premise:
(2.1)Derivation Ex Vi Termini:
1. The first premise states that all sexual activity that is moral must be purely rational. To justify my premise I shall argue from the definition. Now I need to show that morality=rationality. Here I shall remind the voters of the agreed to definition: that "morality" can be used normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specific conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. This was accepted by kbub.
2. This entails then that morality is rational, for purely rational entities would bring about a code that is rational. This can easily be shown by logic where necessarily rational according to a modal operator directly means necessarily neccesarily rational. Which means that if A is the set of necessarily rational people, then they will necessarily come up with a neccearily rational code. Therefore according to our definition all morality is rational.
(2.2)Derivation from Causality:
1. It is a simple principle, that of causality. This principle exists in all of human kind and is fundamental in passing judgements. Now consider an action, any action, let's suppose X. Now action X is necessarily moral. So action X will be an effect, right? The effect is a moral action. Now since there is X, there would be a cause action Y. Since there is no need to believe that causality does not apply here, as it does not in Quantum Physics, one can understand that since there is a connection of causality, this can be gauged by reason. We have then, both through definition, and through causality shown that morality is in fact rational.
Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant; Of Time, pagination 57
3. The First Minor Premise:
(3.1)The Establishment of a Rational Grounding:
1. Now that we have established a link between moral and rational sexual activity, we need to create a fundamental link between rational and reproductive sexual activity. For this we will establish the 'rational grounding' or the primary reason behind sexual activity. This is the primary reason behind anything, here in sexual activity. There can not be two rational groundings, for that would betray the Law of Non-Contradiction. There cannot be two distinct rational primary groundings.
(3.2)The Rational Grounding Established Via Evolution:
1. Evolution then is the: "theory of the change of organic species over time, with different conditions." However when one studies this more clearly then one learns that evolution is the name given to thar force which changes organic species, in accordanance with enviroment, so that the "fittest may survive." To connect this with our above rational grounding argument would entail that the rational grounding of sex, viewed from an evolutionary perspective*, is reproductive in nature. This would mean that if evolution is taken as a law of science, and it entails that the rational purpose of sexual conduct is reproductive in nature then my argument is sound.
*This argument assumes that evolution is a law of science.
2. We must then before stating the argument understand the difference between instinct, and a secondary precept of nature. An instinct is innate, and therefore universal. This, although drifts from the topic, is because such an idea is not genetical, rather natural. In any case lust is an instinct because lust while may be specified on a certain object, occurs on its own. Furthermore lust transcendent of time insofar as it is a priori to exist. That is that each man/woman/child possesss lust. Then homosexuality, hetrosexuality, and bisexuality or sapiosexuality is a secondary precept of nature. Thus to show the rational grounding of sexual activity we must not limit ourselves to one particular case but to the fundamental force behind it all. This force is lust, and so we shall show the rational grounding of lust.
3. Let us then begin, lust then as already shown is an instinct. This instinct must have some rational purpose, or rational grounding as we have also already realized. This rational purpose may be understood quite easily when we realize that evolution, as the noun of a force, makes redundant any such instinct not neccessary for survival. In such evolution has not made lust redundant, as it has to other forces such as nervousness which used to be much stronger and used in battle, now it is much less feeling. Since that we understand that lust is neccessary for survival. It is important to note that lust is important for survival because lust directly causes sex, and without lust people would not have sex (see Freuds above essay). Lust is neccessary for survival only so far as it results in sec which reproduces to carry on the human race. Therefore since morality entails noramtive rationality, which may be connected the rational grounding of sex, which is further connected to lust, and lust is justified evolutionaly by reproduction then sexual activity is moral only when it is reproductive in nature.
On the Origins of Species, by Charles Darwin, On Instinct, pagination 189
The Psychology of Love, by Sigmund Freud (The entire book focuses on this, for summary see Beyond the Pleasure Principle, or the summary provided above)
(3.3) The Rational Grounding Established from Pure Theology:
1. Theology is not neccessary Chrisitian, as not am I. I find this worth mentioning in the case where I am criticized for Christian reasoning, theology seeks to establish principles, logically set, only with one conclusion: that there is a God. There are those who deny evolution and so this argument is meant to convince them, my opponent however, regardeless of his beliefs, will have to attack this argument.
2. Insofar we may set a rational grounding from Theology where we consider an infinitely just and loving God. This God endowed man/woman/child with lust, and then considers some conclusions of lust sinful. It does not matter which religion one follows because one must believe that (from a theological perspective) that God is love, and that the blasphemy of this love by embracing erotic love is displeasing to God.
3. It then leads us to conclude that a loving God would only endow man and woman with lust had it have a specific purpose, this purpose will be reproduction, that is to carry on the human race. This then concludes that the rational grounding to lust, if theology is assumed correct, is that the only way sexual activity is moral is if it is reproductive in nature (following the same links as above).
Theodicy, by Leibniz, 'On the Justness of God from a Logical Perspective', pagination 33
Critique of Practical Reason, by Immanuel Kant, 'The Existence of God as a Postulate of Pure Practical Reason', pagination 329 (The Cambridge Works of Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy)
The Metaphysics of Morals, by Immanuel Kant, 'On Defiling Oneself With Lust', and 'Marriage Right', pagination 329
The Berne Fragments by Hegel, (only 23 pagination)
On Love by Hegel, (only 6 pagination)
Now that we have realized all this all we need to understand is that homosexual sexual activity is not reproductive in any case. Seeing our previous conclusion we can realize that homosexuality is in fact immoral.
The resolution then stands.
Although I am tempted to respond to the first argument, the rules state that I cannot rebut in my first argumentation round. Therefore, please see my first rebuttal in the following round (R3).
The resolution is: "This House Believes That On Balance Homosesexual Acts Are Immoral!"
I see two possible interpretations of the resolution. Pro in the comments defined "This House" as representing "every human." Thus, the resolution could be fact-based, saying that all humans believe that homosexual acts are immoral. This is a little silly of course, and would make an easy win for me, since I am human and don't believe they are immoral.
Instead, the resolution must be normative rather than descriptive, suggesting that all humans should believe that homosexual acts are immoral. That seems a little more like a debate.
I will therefore identify two components that my opponent will have to prove to meet his Burden:
1. That all humans can believe that homosexual acts are immoral, on balance. To do this, pro must show that homosexual acts fits his definition of immoral.
2. That all humans should believe that homosexual acts are immoral. In order to do that, he ought to show that the benefits of this belief outweighs the harms, or at least that this belief is more ethical.
Meeting the definition:
Pro has a difficult Burden of Proof to meet. Not only must Pro show that homosexual acts aren't moral; he must also demonstrate that they immoral (much harder). Pro's definition of 'immoral' is very stringent:
"Will then be the opposite of morality so is [sic] can be used normatively to refer to a code of conduct, that given specif [sic] circumstances, would be opposed by all rational persons."
"All rational persons"
In order to show that homosexual acts can be considered immoral, Pro must (according to his own definition) show that "all rational persons" would "oppose" such acts. This is an extremely hard burden to meet and an easy one to disprove. There are many rational people who engage in and approve of homosexual behavior, including Sir Francis Bacon, Sonja Kovalevsky, Florence Nightengale, Leonardo da Vinci, and Alan Turing . Obviously, homosexual acts are not opposed by all rational persons, and thus one cannot justafiably make a universal claim that homosexual acts are immoral.
Furthermore, according to the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy, which Pro calls a "well respected philosophy text" and uses for his definitions, later admits that so-called "unnatural" sexual relations do not belong in a universal normative moral definition, because "it is not irrational to favor unnatural sexual activity" .
Thus, it is impossible for homosexual acts to be considered immoral from the given definition of immoral, because they are not categorically irrational.
The Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy (from which Pro derived his definitions) notes that a key feature of the normative definitions of morality is that they "...refer to guides to behavior that involve, at least in part, avoiding and preventing harm to some others" . Thus, in order to prove immorality, Pro must prove that homosexual acts categorically/universally cause harm to the self or others.
A brief history of homosexuality:
Homosexual behavior can be seen throughout ancient and modern Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia. In fact, many scholars believe that some of the oldest writing may refer to a same sex relationship between gay Egyptian royalty, in 2400 BCE . There were socially-accepted same sex relationships of the Lesotho  and Azande . Greek same sex parners were common in nobility . Many, many First Nations of the Americas, considered some persons who engage in same sex relations "two spirited," touched by the gods so to speak, and were treated with reverence . Other tribes had a less spiritual acceptance of homosexuality, such as the Aztecs 
We can obviously see a long and glorious tradition of homosexual acts being considered normal, and not immoral.
A briefer history of oppression:
The widespread considering of homosexual acts as immoral is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its roots can be seen in early Jewish texts, in which homosexual acts, like touching swine, was condemned. Homosexuality was thus primarily a religous stance, although that stance has been inconsistant. From the accusation that they were immoral, Nazi Germany imprisoned 50,000 homosexual men, with tens of thousands in concentration camps . We can see documentation of forced regulation of sexual behavior (forced heterosexuality) in first nations  and even the genocide on refusal .
Currently, we find many countries supporting harsh penalties, including jailtime, for homosexual people who are just being themselves. Whatever benefits that Pro might suggest occurs by believing homosexual acts are immoral, we can see the harms far outweight. "This House" stands for all humans, including Uganda. Should all of the world consider homosexual acts immoral? Doing so does lasting harm to homosexual people, including jailing, persecution, stigma, and even murder. We cannot assent to such injustice--the world should not believe these acts are immoral.
Benefits of homosexual acts:
In some ways, homosexual acts are more rational and beneficial than heterosexual acts. Whereas heterosexual acts may cause unwanted/accidental preganancies, homosexual acts will not. Thus, with access to sperm banks and surrogate mothers and sperm doners, having children can become a safer more rational act with same sex partners. Having a child becomes a decision, not an accident. If more people engaged in heathly homosexual acts, it is concievable that there would be fewer abortions and teen pregnancies, and yet there would continue to be happy families.
Thus, not only does homosexual acts not meet the definition of immoral, we can see that the belief in homosexual acts' morality is far preferable than immorality. Thus, we must reject the resolution and vote Con.
 http://plato.stanford.edu...;(see "Normative Definitions of Morality")
 http://www.amazon.com...;("Look inside" p 184)
 http://disciplinas.stoa.usp.br...;(see abstract for summary)
 http://www.amazon.com...;(p 84)
 http://www.udel.edu.... The Offspring of the
Now before going on to start I should note one more thing. The definition of morality and immorality were specified in the opening rounds. While kbub may take their definition and add it, without analysis to show why this new definition should be accepted, it is utterly unimportant. The definition of morality remains as it was.
Now here is the burden of proof analysis, or what it should have been. I was to show necessarily H, and to rebut this kbub had to show possibly I. However the rules asked kbub to make a positive argument for necessarily I, which I would have answered by possibly H. Now kbub never gave a positive argument, and this is upsetting. In any case lets connect this necessity with our definition. Now our definition of morality is one based on reason, as is out definition of immorality. Therefore if I can show that reason is necessarily not in favor of homosexuality, I win.
This I did with an appeal to reason (not a logical fallacy) in my original argument. Now another thing that needs clarification. Since we were clear that immorality and morality are dependent on reason, it would be foolish to assume at all that we need discuss that which is. Firstly kbub would have to prove they are a purely rational person.
Now since this bases itself on reason, this debate is not on what "is" but on what "ought" to be. I feel to clarify this point I should quote Hume, the person who came up with this law. Hume says:
'...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.'
What this means is that while we need to understand what is and is not, the relations of reason are bound by ought and ought not. There is a fundamental difference, for ought and ought not "expresses some new relation or affirmation", and therefore is different. In this debate we are debating what ought or ought not happen. Now this ought and ought not is distanced from what is. Therefore since harms relate to is, we can ignore that point too.
I need only show that reason is not in favor of homosexuality, so long as I have shown that I have shown that a fully rational person is against homosexuality. This makes sense because a rational person would be an agent, and since the key word is "rational" it means that the agency is that of reason.
It is funny since Sir Francis Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, and Alan Turing are completely rational person. Have they never done anything out of emotion? Never cried when they were children over something absurd? I could possibly go about proving that there is an objective standard for rational people, and then show categorically how each one of them is opposed to homosexuality, but that would be an absurd thing. Why go after the agent when I can use the fundamental agency. Since my argument bases itself on reason it is a logically valid argument in relation to this motion.
The rest is a history lesson on homosexuality. I accept that these people may practice homosexuality, but it would be a rather pointless thing for that does not make an argument in relation to what ought to be. I think at best kbub's argument is an ad populam.
As a last note none of kbub's links are working for me for some reason. With that I beg you to vote Proposition.
A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume; Book 3, Part 1, Section 1
Hey Ajabi! Wa alaykumu s-salam!
One of the difficulties of having a positive-argument-only first round is that now I have to defend against two of Pro's rounds at once, in addition to extending my own arguments. I will need to be concise.
Despite my having sacrificed rebuttals in R2, my opponent claims that I gave no positive material in R2, and thus cheated. This is an untrue claim. Firstly, one should keep in mind that I have the Con position, and thus even my most positive claims will necessarily seem somewhat negative. I am, after all, arguing against the resolution.
Secondly, all I did in R2 was point out that homosexual acts exist outside of the definition of immoral, and that homosexual acts should exist outside the label of immoral. There is nothing negative about either of those assertions. Additionally, I made my own independent claims in R2, never once responding negatively to Pro's claims (even though I wanted to).
Despite the disadvange against me in accepting this debate, I did my utmost to follow the rules laid out by Ajabi.
Not moral vs. immoral
Pro's (Ajabi's) entire R2 case revolved around a syllogism asserting that if all morality is rational, and if all sexuality is rational only if reproductive in nature, and if all homosexual acts are not reproductive, then homosexual acts are not moral.
Pro's entire case attempts to prove that homosexual acts are not moral. That's not the same as homosexual acts being immoral.
According to Pro's definition, immorality is the opposite of morality, NOT the lack of morality. In order to show that something is moral, one must show that it is rational for all people. Honestly, sex between a man and a woman probably couldn't meet such a high standard of morality. (For some, heterosexual sex would be rational, and for others not. There's no universal statement true for all.) However, the definition of "immoral" is just as stringent. Pro must not only show that homosexual acts are not moral, but that they are opposed by all rational people (immoral).
The purpose of the debate is for Pro to defend and I attack the assertion that "This House Believes That On Balance Homosexual Acts Are Immoral!" Pro has failed to give a single attempt at proving this. I don't even need to attack Pro's arguments, because none of them show that homosexual acts are immoral.
Immorality and reason:
Pro continues to assert that if he can show that homosexual acts are irrational, that they are therefore immoral. In fact, that's NOT what the definitions say. In order for something to be moral (according to the definition), it must be rational, yes. However, something that is irrational is not necessarily immoral. According to the definition, for something to be immoral it must be opposed by all rational people, not simply irrational.
For example, suppose I paint myself green and shout "OINK!" for an hour alone in my home. This is irrational, certainly, but it is not a moral wrong. Rational people may not decide to paint themselves green, but they may not oppose me for doing it. It is not a universal moral, but neither is it a universal immoral.
In contrast, if I start to run around and kill young children, that would be opposed by all(?) rational people, and then presumably be immoral. There is a lot of irrationality around, but that does not make it immoral (at least according to the definition). Thus, even if Pro shows that homosexual acts are irrational (good luck), that in no way indicates that they are immoral.
Honestly, it doesn't much matter to individuals why they evolved a particular set of traits. Evolution simply gives a history of how traits came to be--it does not determine future action or morality. Thus, when one says that the "rationale" of sexuality in evolutionary terms is reproduction, one simply means that "in the past, those systems that have used sexuality to reproduce survived." This "rationale" is merely a history, and quite frankly is totally different from the "rationale" of the individual making choices. (For example, my ancestors might have raped and killed and survived, but I will neither rape nor kill.)
Furthermore, Ajabi is making evolution out to be a rational, sentient being, like a god. Evolution is simply a pattern of the survival of genes (not even of individuals). Evolution is not a "law" but a theory and a collection of models. It is not a God, it doesn't have a will, and it doesn't force things to occur (it is a passive pattern of what has occurred).
Moreover, I don't have to reproduce if I don't want to. That biological story is not my story. Just as the second and third laws of thermodynamics propose that all systems approach entropy does not mean I should expedite the process by setting myself on fire. The systems of biology and physics are not the same as moral ethics. Simply because the biological trend is to reproduce does not mean that reproduction is rational or that non-reproduction is irrational from an individual's perspective. (Since evolution doesn't have beliefs, I assume this debate is about the individual perspective).
People can have a variety of reasons for doing things. This does not violate the law of non-contradiction at all. For some people, sex is pleasurable. For others, it is to feel close to another person. For others, it fights off boredom. For others, it is an escape from problems. For others, it helps them sleep. For others, it makes a baby. For others, they want to have sex with a condom so no baby is made. For others, it is a natural progression of falling in love. For others, it is to make their partner feel happy. For others, it is an act of rebellion.
Pro has managed to give one reason for sexual acts--reproduction. He did not show that it was the only one, or even the best one. Pro seems to think that there can only be one reason for lust--which is strange. Lust and sex are obviously more complicated.
Instincts sometimes have rational purposes, and sometimes not. Eating junk food is an instinct that does not carry as much of a rational purpose currently. Furthermore, what Pro calls "rational purpose" is really just happenstance. Instincts are often, but not always, functional.
Furthermore, Pro says that lust is necessary for survival. However, it is not necessary for any one person's survival, but their genes' survival. I, and many others, are not necessarily invested in our genes' survival. Not having kids will not kill us, although the reverse may be true.
Theology: A few missing pieces
Pro gives no proof of why God exists.
Even if they exist, Pro gives no proof that they are infinitely just.
Even if they are, he gives no proof that they are infintely loving, or even trustworthy.
Furthermore, Pro doesn't explain how he knows how an infinitely just God would act.
Pro also doesn't define what 'infinitely just' and 'infinitely loving' mean.
Why do we assume theology is correct?!? Pro gives no reason.
Pro says that theology concludes "that a loving God would only endow man and woman with lust had it have a specific purpose." By that token, wouldn't God have a specific purpose in creating same sex attraction? Surely the just and loving God wouldn't disproportionately accept the natural sexual practices of only some of their creation.
There is an obvious lack of proof/analysis surrounding Pro's theological argument.
Extending my Round 2 and Rebutting Pro's Round 3:
Pro dropped majority of my arguments in R3. I'll begin by addressing what he did address, and later extend dropped arguments.
Resolution analysis: Does believe, can believe and ought to believe
Pro claimed that "if I [Pro] can show that reason is necessarily not in favor of homosexuality, I win." However, that is not quite true. If Pro can prove that all rational persons oppose homosexual acts, then he shows that homosexual acts meet the definition of immoral.
However, even if he manages to prove this, he would have not yet won. He would have shown only part 1--that "This House" (everyone) can believe that homosexual acts are immoral. He would have yet to demonstrate part 2--that "This House" should believe that homosexual acts are immoral. I explained why this matters in R2. That is to say, even if homosexual acts are somehow shown to be immoral (which he doesn't), he still must prove that this is a good belief for every human to have.
Pro concedes this analysis except to emphasize that he is focusing on what "ought to be" instead of what merely is. In fact I completely agree--in R3 I emphasize that Pro must prove what This House ("everyone") ought to believe (which is only relavent, of course, if they can believe it). Thus, Pro must show that the belief is good (more beneficial than harmful) and possible (meets the definition of immoral--that is, all rational people oppose it). In fact, Pro neither shows that all rational people are opposed to homosexual acts nor that the belief of the immorality is good. He offers no scrap of evidence.
Doesn't meet definition of "immoral"
I gave a long list of names of rational people who engage in same sex. Pro must prove that they were irrational at the time, which is unlikely.
I further showed entire nations through history appreciating same sex relations. Pro must prove they were all irrational, but doesn't.
Benefits of same sex
I show that there are unique benefits to same sex relations, such as rational childbirth. Extend. Pro drops this point.
Furthermore, just because one engages in sex with the same gender doesn't stop them from having sex with the opposite gender.
Harms of belief
The history I show are demonstrations of the oppression if only a few people believe homosexuality is immoral. If everyone endorses this belief, millions more could die or face persecution. Extend.
I'll retry the links (there was an extra space):
2, 6-11 were fine.
Ajabi forfeited this round.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD see comments.
Vote Placed by TN05 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
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