The Instigator
EliWilliam2020
Pro (for)
The Contender
your_local_alien
Con (against)

Being Gay is Wrong and Unnatural

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 945 times Debate No: 112773
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
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EliWilliam2020

Pro

INTRODUCTION:

I suspect my work it cut out for me on this one. History hasn't been on my side of this debate, and it has me defending two separate propositions. Still, I think my perspective is unique, because I'm not religious, or conservative; and I don't come at this with the kind of dogmatic certainty of others who have debated from my position. So hopefully you can forget about all those people on "my side", and just evaluate me by my word. Because the world doesn't always look the way we think it does.

I almost didn't take this debate because because of the second half, "...and unnatural." Because the two, "moral, and "natural" don't necessarily need to go together. I'm not even sure if they usually go together. Natural things aren't good and manmade things aren't bad. Malaria is natural, aspirin isn't. But I donate to fight malaria, and I was extraordinarily thankful for aspirin when I tore the cartilage in my left knee.

Basically, while I will argue that being gay is unnatural, it is not because it serves my argument that it is wrong. They're independent propositions.

IS BEING GAY NATURAL?

It's perfectly clear that nature has homosexual sex. I've had a dog. The dog tried to have sex with another male dog. Done deal. I lose. Right? But then I did a little reading, and without any word tricks or weird premises... yeah, being gay is not natural.

My dog will have sex with another male dog, but he will also have sex with my leg, or a teddy bear, or a shoe. That doesn't make my dog gay, or teddy-sexual, or a shoe-sexual. It means he has a natural proclivity towards straight sex, but he also has sex with other things sometimes. That's something I can't say about human gay people. These people have sex with the same gender at the exclusion of other genders. My dog doesn't do that. My dog doesn't reject sex with opposite genders. And as far as I can tell no animal in the natural world is "gay" in the same sense of the word as when we use it to describe gay humans.

There's a strong evolutionary biological reason to not expect gay animals to be a thing. Gayness is terribly unfit to survive. I used to reject this argument and say, "okay fine, it's a byproduct of evolution." But I didn't fully understand how evolution works.

What did I miss? Byproducts of evolution are fine, they happen all the time, but not if they MERCILESSLY CUT AGAINST FITNESS. As far as nature is concerned, being a homosexual is no different from being sterilized. You need to understand how quickly evolution would have weeded out any inherent biological basis for homosexuality.

So why do so many gay people insist that it's fully biological? I suspect it was to fight the fundamentalists. It's not enough for gay rights people to say that the fundamentalists don't have good enough reasons. Instead they feel like they have to prove that there's no possible way it can be immoral. And if it's fully biological, then it's not a choice, only choices can be immoral, so homosexuality can't be immoral. Just like it can't be immoral to have blood type A or be a certain ethnicity.

So that makes it a politically convenient belief. What's wrong with it. Well nobody knows where they got there sexual orientation through sheer introspection. That's just not the kind of thing introspection can tell you. You don't know how you got the way you are. None of us do. Why do you think we even debate nature vs. nurture, if we can all just think to ourselves and come up with an answer? You, being you, doesn't make you an expert on how you became you.

But just because it's unnatural, that doesn't make it wrong. So onto the next part...

IS BEING GAY IMMORAL?

It is excruciatingly difficult to argue for any moral proposition without getting lost in complicated and controversial moral philosophy. I've read philosophy for many years and as far as I can tell, no comprehensive moral philosophy has been decided on. I'm also not going to construct a moral philosophy from scratch and then use it to prove being gay is wrong. I will take the premise that almost everyone else takes, moral intuitionism.

But unlike the most dogmatic of moral intuitionists, I notice a problem. This is tough to swallow for some people, but I think it's clear enough for anyone who pays attention to understand. WE DON'T HAVE THE SAME MORAL INTUITIONS. Conservatives especially, have a strong moral sense of disgust against homosexuality.

To demonstrate this, let me tell you a story.

I was walking with my conservative friend of mine. We didn't argue politics a lot, but from what I could gather he would justify his, for lack of a better word, homophobia with the bible; you know, Old Testament stuff - Man should not lay with another man - Leviticus - etc. Whatever the bible says about being gay isn't the point.

The point is that while he and I were walking, we saw a man greet another guy at Starbucks, and they kissed passionately, like they hadn't seen each other in a while. My friend couldn't help but blurt out, "ew, that's just wrong." And he knew I was with him and that I wouldn't share his feeling. But he couldn't help himself. He had an instinctive repulsion toward what he had just seen.

I found myself thinking about that a lot, and after struggling over my intellectual honesty, I had to admit some things.

First, the bible justification thing was an excuse. He started with moral feelings toward homosexuality and reverse engineered a rationale for it. I found out that psychologists call this motivated reasoning. Our intuition is in charge, and then we make up reasons for why it was right afterward.

Second, "just wrong" is a feeling we assign to many different aspects of human life. The "Just" in "just wrong" connotes that it's not normal wrong, like the kind of wrong that has to do with harming another person. Instead, just wrong irritates our moral sensitivities in other ways.

Third, I thought some things were "just wrong" too. A man sleeping with his sister is "just wrong". When I thought about that proposition, I kept catching myself rationalizing for why I'm REALLY just concerned with harm. What if the man's sister gets pregnant with a disabled baby? So I adjust the hypothetical to control for problem. Suppose he's sterile and she's infertile, NOW is it okay for a man to sleep with his sister? No matter how I changed the scenario, I could not shake this moral ickiness I associated with a man sleeping with his sister.

Or a family that eats their dead family dog for dinner.
Or any form of beastiality (so long as the animal consents)

Another voice in my head yells, "but homosexuality isn't like those things!" But that's the thing, I'm not sure it isn't. The people who have moral feelings about being gay are projecting the same kind of moral disgust that I have with other examples of "just wrong". I'm stuck arguing that my feelings are better than their feelings, which is dumb. Our moral intuitions are just different.

So how do we decide what really is wrong? Well, I think step 1 is we need to be humble and not selfishly and dogmatically shout that our moral intuitions are superior to others. Alternatively, we should think like a community about moral intuitions. Like the story of the blind men and the elephant. They each touch a different part of the elephant an interpret it as different things, but together through community and conversation, they figure out what animal they're touching.

So I think we need to realize that across the world and in time's past, the idea that homosexuality is sin has been prevalent. The prevalence of this view has lead to the unjust persecution of gay people. Please, remember that there's a vast middle ground between "unworthy of persecution" and "right". It is exactly the magnitude of homosexual oppression in history demonstrates how strong and popular anti-gay moral feelings have been.

It's like 10 blind men feel the trunk of the elephant and tell us it's a trunk, and we completely ignore them because we don't feel the same thing.

CONCLUSION:

I know I'm wordy, so I want to consolidate my argument here:

Being gay is unnatural:
- Nature means occurring in nature in contrast to being human specific.
- Homosexual acts occur among animals, but homosexuals do not. (1)
-The difference is that homosexuals perform exclusively or primarily homosexual acts.
- The suggestion that gay people know where they got their sexual orientation is not serious. You do not know how your biology works through sheer introspection
-Homosexuality is effectively the sterilization of the individual. Evolution would never let that biological trait persist for millions of years.

Being gay is wrong:
-We don't feel like being gay is wrong, but individual moral reasoning are flawed (2)
-Instead, we need to look around the world and throughout history to find which moral feelings are robust
-Around the world anti-gay moral feelings are still prevalent (3)
-History of gay persecution demonstrates how frequent and strong moral feelings against homosexuality have been common

I hope I've been clear concerning my position in this debate. I hope a serious challenger will take the other side of the debate and tell me why I'm wrong.

Good luck and have a nice day :)

1) https://books.google.ca......
2) https://www.sciencedirect.com......
3) http://www.pewglobal.org......
your_local_alien

Con

Being gay is not wrong and unnatural in any way. You are who you are and nothing will change that. If you are saying that being a homosexual/queer is wrong because of religion (let's say Catholic or Christian), well in the Bible, Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
So maybe it is not religion at all.
Maybe you are just naive. Being heterosexual is like saying you like Coca-Cola and being homosexual is you liking Pepsi, or vice-versa I don't give a sh*t. If you for some reason really just think homophobia is wrong, why are you interfering in our lives? I am bisexual, I am a female attracted to females and males and nonbinary people and other genders, and I have a beautiful, sweet, respectful, kind girlfriend.
So if you think that being gay is wrong and unnatural, then just get the hell out. Or just mind your own God damn business. Let people express themselves however they want. Go ahead, tell me every little disagreement and tell me more of your "thoughts" about this topic, and I will certainly have something to say about it.
Debate Round No. 1
EliWilliam2020

Pro

I thought maybe I was leaving myself vulnerable by posting my whole argument before the debate was accepted. I seem to be wrong.

You quoted some bible scriptures, and I understand that that's where a lot of people come from, but I'm not religious.

Is being heterosexual like saying you like coca-cola, and being homosexual like saying you like Pepsi? That's a restatement of your position, it doesn't seem to be a reason. Anyways, I acquire a taste for much of what I like to eat and drink, so it's not like environment doesn't effect your diet preferences.

If I may respond to some charges that are really beside the point:

I don't interfere in anyone's lives. I'm sure your girlfriend is awesome. I abhor bigotry of all kinds. Am I a bigot? I don't think so. I'm quite tolerant of people who believe different things from me. I don't curse at them or believe in using law against them. I don't get aggressive, shout at people or tell them to get the hell out. And I try to treat them like the thoughtful human beings they have the potential to be.

But at the same time, I don't get to believe whatever I like, so often like engaging in debate so that someone will tell me something I haven't already thought of.

There are a lot of people on my side who can be described at bigoted, or intolerant of those who have different opinions. And I've dedicated a fair chunk of my text disassociating myself from those people. There are also a lot of people who are intolerant of anti-gay beliefs. They're mean-spirited toward even the most thoughtful and meek individuals who happen to have different moral feelings. I don't think being gay gives anyone a free pass to be hateful toward others.

So...

I offered my argument in the first round, I assume it'll be responded to in the next. But for clarity's sake I'll restate the position I've taken in this debate.

Being gay is unnatural:
- Nature means occurring in nature in contrast to being human specific.
- Homosexual acts occur among animals, but homosexuals do not. (1)
-The difference is that homosexuals perform exclusively or primarily homosexual acts.
- The suggestion that gay people know where they got their sexual orientation is not serious. You do not know how your biology works through sheer introspection
-Homosexuality is effectively the sterilization of the individual. Evolution would never let that biological trait persist for millions of years.

Being gay is wrong:
-We don't feel like being gay is wrong, but individual moral reasoning are flawed (2)
-Instead, we need to look around the world and throughout history to find which moral feelings are robust
-Around the world anti-gay moral feelings are still prevalent (3)
-History of gay persecution demonstrates how frequent and strong moral feelings against homosexuality have been common

All the best,
-Eli
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by EliWilliam2020 3 years ago
EliWilliam2020
What would have been a better proposition, given what I wanted to argue?
Posted by VoiceforLaurence 3 years ago
VoiceforLaurence
Eli,in the future make a dabate where it doesn't make ppl feel some sort of way. You can get yourself into some trouble if you persist
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
"Being Gay is Wrong and Unnatural"..Yes it would be for me because I am not gay.... Being a left hand is wrong and unnatural for a right hand..
Posted by EliWilliam2020 3 years ago
EliWilliam2020
Thank you for being thoughtful.

The proposition I'm defending didn't actually originate with me. Someone else posted the proposition, and I accepted the debate because I thought it would be interesting to debate from the other side. But when they failed to respond and the debate timed out, I started a new debate with the same proposition. I could have changed it, but it was easier to cut and paste.

Your definition of natural probably would have been easier to defend. Truth be told, there's almost definitely a biological component that predisposes one to be gay, and then environment can either help or hurt that predisposition. Of course, I can't say that because the position I've taken in the debate sort of implicitly assumes 100% nature or 100% choice, and that's wrong in more than one way.

For a Christian I don't think a biological element to homosexuality should be a problem. In some sense, "God made it that way" but only in the same sense that he made some kids be born without limbs or with brain malfunctions. Natural Evil exists, and regardless of whether there's a good reason for God to create natural evil, homosexuality can just be a part of that.
Posted by Duke1990 3 years ago
Duke1990
The person has right to post a debate without be bombarded.

However Eli, maybe you should have opened up with "Is being gay wrong and/or unnatural?"
You asserted your stance in the title; not really inviting.

My opinion on this topic is all over the place. I am a Christian, we are taught not to judge others. And we are taught to not throw a stone at someone unless we ourselves are sin-less.

What constitutes as wrong is more subjective, when it comes things outside the law (western law that is- Sharia law is obviously exempt from this statement).

What constitutes as unnatural is something that deviates from the equilibrium. So your statement could be fundamentally valid on that point.
Posted by EliWilliam2020 3 years ago
EliWilliam2020
I don't argue for discrimination, so I think we're on the same page about whether personal behaviors that cause no harm to others should be left alone. Don't discriminate and legalize gay marriage. Yay.

I don't know for sure why more conservative people have such an interest in other's sexuality. I suspect it has to do with how people bond over morality. Humans like to plant their flag in a moral claim and rally around it. I mean, that's what the Tea Parties and the Occupy movements were all about, right? Shared morality.

A more generous explanation I suppose is that they want to suppress homosexuality so that it doesn't become more popular. If being gay is immoral than of course they don't want more of it for the world. In that way, they kind of have to have an interest in it.

I don't spend a lot of time on this topic. "Being gay is wrong," isn't like my cause in life. I just thought it would be interesting to debate on this side of it. And I work with several gay people and it's not like I go around condemning them. We're friends.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
Gay sex is an entirely moral activity that should not be the basis for discrimination not because there is no choice in sexual orientation, but because it is a personal behavior that causes no harm to others. The question of what causes some people to prefer their own gender might be an interesting one, but it is not a moral one. One question that never gets answered is why would someone with such repugnant feelings towards gays have such an interest in their sexuality? Why is that...............................
Posted by EliWilliam2020 3 years ago
EliWilliam2020
"Being gay is not a choice so it must occur naturally."

Nope. Those are not the only options. Environmental factors like social influence can effect whether someone is gay. The near 100% homosexual population in ancient Greece clearly demonstrates that culture matters. Biology certainly doesn't explain why all the Greeks were gay.

"Sex between consenting adults is never immoral."

What about a man and his sister? Why must it be an adult, why can't it be a child? Or a dead body? Almost everybody has moral feelings in regard to some forms of sex that don't hurt anybody. That should help you understand how conservative people feel about gay sex.

"What's very unnatural are homophobia and all those kinds of taboos that are still present in a lot of societies on our planet."

Being against rape is also unnatural, just like all moral feelings. The idea that natural means good or immutable is completely wrong!

"Homosexuality is very common in the animal kingdom and is not a threat to evolution."

It is extraordinarily hard to find homosexual activity among animals where heterosexual opportunities are available.

https://books.google.ca...).

And no it's not a threat to evolution, because evolution has about 200 more years of justification than the claim that homosexuality is natural. If we're going to throw one away, the choice is obvious. And let me say this one more time, JUST BECAUSE IT'S UNNATURAL THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT IMMORAL OR IMMUTABLE!!!
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
Homosexuality is very common in the animal kingdom and is not a threat to evolution. There is room for homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals " everything is natural. What's very unnatural are homophobia and all those kinds of taboos that are still present in a lot of societies on our planet.
http://www.patheos.com...
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
Being gay is not a choice so it must occur naturally. Sex between consenting adults is never immoral. I think your reasons are based in homophobia.................
...................https://www.scientificamerican.com...
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