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Old 2nd February 2019, 05:33 AM   #1
Robin
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Richard Swinburne's argument that homosexuality is a disability

This argument caused a bit of a ruckus not so long ago.

Swinburne, as part of a lecture on Christian moral teaching, wonders why God prohibits homosexuality. He says:

Originally Posted by Richard Swinburne
So I pass to consider what reason God would have for prohibiting such acts; and I suggest that the same kind of consideration applies to the prohibition of homosexual acts as to the prohibition of divorce or extra-marital intercourse. Having homosexual orientation is a disability – for a homosexual cannot beget children through a loving act with a person to whom they have a unique lifelong commitment.
It seems an interesting take on what constitutes a disability.

Suppose for the moment that we would accept that this is a "disabiility", notice that a bisexual does not have this disability..

So if this was God's reason for prohibiting homosexual acts then it would imply that there is no prohibition on homosexual acts by a bisexual. I don't think that this consequence would suit him or other Christian conservatives.

Come to think of it, the premise is incorrect in any case. Swinburne is assuming that having loving sex with someone requires sexual attraction both ways. Not so. You can love someone without being sexually attracted to them and you can have loving sex without being sexually attracted. Indeed there have been many lifelong committed relationships not based on sexual attraction.

Granted it is not what most gays or lesbians would choose, not what most would consider a path to fulfillment, but there is no "cannot" about it, therefore not a "disability".

And of course there are many happy gay and lesbian couples bringing up their happy well-adjusted children, although this is something he denies.

Richard Swinburne is adamant not only that homosexuality is a disability but that it must be cured, and prevented. He makes it clear he does not mean cure in any sort of spiritual way, but in a medical way:
Quote:
Medicine has made great strides in recent years. Diseases of mind or body hitherto believed incurable have proved curable; it would be odd if sexual orientation was the only incurable condition.
He is also interested in prevention and opines that making homosexuality socially unacceptable would prevent most young people from developing homosexuality:
Quote:
So if there was a general recognition in society of an obligation to abstain from homosexual acts, that would prevent homosexual behaviour being presented as an option for young people of equal value to the heterosexual one which makes possible procreative marriage. That would deter the young from wondering whether they are really homosexual when previously it would not have occurred to them, in consequence experimenting with homosexual sexual acts, getting accustomed to such behaviour and so developing a homosexual orientation. Such a climate of opinion that homosexual acts are wrong,would encourage those who have begun to develop such an orientation to go no further; and it would encourage research into how the orientation can be cured.
He gives no indication of being aware that social acceptability of gay and lesbian relationships is a fairly recent occurrence and one still limited to western countries and not all of them either.

So we have no indication of why he thinks that something that has been tried for centuries in most parts of the world and is the case in many countries today and has not had the effect he desires, would work.

He also shows the way for the gay community to help stamp out this "disability":
Quote:
Yet if older and incurable homosexuals abstained from homosexual acts that would have a great influence on young and curable ones; and the older ones would be doing a great service to others, and one which would help to make them themselves saints.
Anyway, you can read it for yourselves:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~orie0087/pdf_...20teaching.pdf

(NB, I did a quick search for a previous thread on this and could not find one. I may have missed it though, and if so, sorry for the doubling up)
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Last edited by Robin; 2nd February 2019 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 06:37 AM   #2
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I wonder what this deep thinker’s opinion is about the general acceptance of homosexuality in cultures not afflicted with the Abrahamic religions?

Seems to be carrying on the old notion that sex is for procreation... Period.

I have no idea of the man’s sexuality, but all too often the most virulent anti-gay folks prove to be so themselves.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 06:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
...Christian moral teaching...
I actually chuckled.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 07:48 AM   #4
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That would deter the young from wondering whether they are really homosexual when previously it would not have occurred to them, in consequence experimenting with homosexual sexual acts, getting accustomed to such behaviour and so developing a homosexual orientation.
This is probably one of the most ignorant, moronic statements I've ever read. It's 2019. There is no excuse for this.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 08:04 AM   #5
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Nothing new or insightful there. He simply posits out of thin air that the only purpose for sex, sexual behavior, or sexual attraction can be procreation. He ignores any and all evidence to the contrary from science, and even from the more enlightened religions. Then -- further misusing science -- he argues that since it runs contrary to his religious dogma, it must therefore also be a secular infirmity. His curability argument falls flat when we see that the more medical science understands homosexuality, the less willing it is to do anything about it. Even here in Utah, the blessed promised land of homophobia, the legislature is poised to actually outlaw attempts to change sexual orientation.

No, I agree with sylvan8798. There's nothing brilliant or new or profound to Swinburne. It's high time we left such pathetic homophobia on the ash heap of regrettable history, where it belongs.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 09:01 AM   #6
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I'm not entirely sure why this whole thing is not simply dismissed not only as baloney. but as actual poverty of thought. Apart from everything else, including the ridiculous presumption that some god or other actually explicitly says anything about the issues at hand, it seems blindingly stupid to throw out the old and deficient argument that homosexuality is wrong because it prevents procreation when it clearly does not, and then to lump it with premarital sex and divorce, which anyone but an abject fool must realize do not.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 09:38 AM   #7
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His comments suggest to me that adhering to Fundamentalism is a disability, not a crutch, but a hammer to the shins.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 09:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
His comments suggest to me that adhering to Fundamentalism is a disability, not a crutch, but a hammer to the shins.
And to the gonads
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Old 2nd February 2019, 10:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It seems an interesting take on what constitutes a disability.

No, it's twisted contortions to reverse engineer an argument to justify bigotry. It really should not be described as an "interesting take".
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Old 2nd February 2019, 03:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
This is probably one of the most ignorant, moronic statements I've ever read. It's 2019. There is no excuse for this.
I agree. And this man is a senior philosopher with one of the most highly regarded Universities in the world.

This is the conservative Christians strongest case against LGBT rights.

This is the best they have.

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Old 2nd February 2019, 05:54 PM   #11
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I was being sarcastic there. My bad that it came across any other way.

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Old 2nd February 2019, 06:55 PM   #12
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I read an interesting article recently where a pastor argued this anti homosexuality stance is actually a misinterpretation of the Bible. I will have to go through my notes and find it to link here, but he essentially said the prohibition was against temple prostitution or other practices that worshipped outside the judaic faith. I will try to find the article tomorrow.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 07:18 PM   #13
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Feel the Love!

Originally Posted by Robin View Post
He is also interested in prevention and opines that making homosexuality socially unacceptable would prevent most young people from developing homosexuality:

Quote:
So if there was a general recognition in society of an obligation to abstain from homosexual acts, that would prevent homosexual behaviour being presented as an option for young people of equal value to the heterosexual one which makes possible procreative marriage. That would deter the young from wondering whether they are really homosexual when previously it would not have occurred to them, in consequence experimenting with homosexual sexual acts, getting accustomed to such behaviour and so developing a homosexual orientation. Such a climate of opinion that homosexual acts are wrong, would encourage those who have begun to develop such an orientation to go no further; and it would encourage research into how the orientation can be cured.
He gives no indication of being aware that social acceptability of gay and lesbian relationships is a fairly recent occurrence and one still limited to western countries and not all of them either.
Wow another so-called Christian actually calling for the lives of certain people to be made miserable and unpleasant and of course to operate has a coercive effort to force people to conform. I strongly suspect behind his desire to create a climate of opinion in society in general that Homosexual acts and it appears orientation is wrong is the desire to criminalize such behavior and enforce compulsory "cures". But of course he dares not say so openly lest it brand him has an obvious bigot, not that he isn't an obvious bigot anyway.

But it is so interesting to read that this "Christian" has no problem in creating a hell on earth for certain people. How loving!!??
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Old 2nd February 2019, 07:26 PM   #14
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My great aunt received electroshock therapy to "cure" her of being a lesbian. Then she was forcibly married to the only man who would take her. He beat her for not being womanly enough and turned her kids against her when she finally left him.

Homosexuality is a norm expression of the human range of gender and sex expressions and trying to "cure" someone of it is just downright evil.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 10:06 PM   #15
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Now I happen to agree entirely with the above, but as a sort of thought experiment, I wonder why, even if homosexuality were considered an illness or a deviation, it should follow that such persons must be cured by or for those who have no business intruding.

If one were to step over to the slippery slope, why does the lamely brain-dead procreation argument, or the supposed need for an enforced cure, differ from, say, arm restraints to prevent masturbation, forced eugenic marriage, mandatory procreation quotas, penalties for religious nonconformity, weight loss, correction of physical characteristics deemed ugly, on and on. Even if one were to accept the first premise that homosexuality is an illness, the procreative argument and the call for a cure are, I think, dangerously stupid by themselves. Their only virtue seems to be consistency, as when you have a pile of **** you might as well pile more **** on top of it rather than waste ice cream.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 11:10 PM   #16
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My whole problem with the religious argument against homosexuality is that it's logical conclusion shouldn't be the prevention/punishment/suppression of homosexuality. It should be that if a person sins, God will take care of it. I've never understood why men have been so quick to impose God's law on others. The guy is a god. If he has problems with someone, let him deal with it.

Nothing about anybody else's sexuality is interfering with my relationship with my god.* And if it's interfering with their relationship with their god, that's their own problem.


*I don't have a relationship with God. I mean, we nod when we pass each other in the hallway, but that's about it.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 11:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Magrat View Post
I read an interesting article recently where a pastor argued this anti homosexuality stance is actually a misinterpretation of the Bible. I will have to go through my notes and find it to link here, but he essentially said the prohibition was against temple prostitution or other practices that worshipped outside the judaic faith. I will try to find the article tomorrow.
I have seen this argument (not sure where), but itís a pathetic omnipotent god who didnít foresee the confusion and dissent these passages would create among the faithful. So yeah, no excuses.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 11:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
My whole problem with the religious argument against homosexuality is that it's logical conclusion shouldn't be the prevention/punishment/suppression of homosexuality. It should be that if a person sins, God will take care of it. I've never understood why men have been so quick to impose God's law on others. The guy is a god. If he has problems with someone, let him deal with it.

Nothing about anybody else's sexuality is interfering with my relationship with my god.* And if it's interfering with their relationship with their god, that's their own problem.


*I don't have a relationship with God. I mean, we nod when we pass each other in the hallway, but that's about it.
Two points, as I understand it: (1) Everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed (good, bad, unborn) because the people TOLERATED the gay. Not everyone was gay, but they didnít stone the gays like they were told to. Naughty, naughty. (2) obviously, if someoneís sexual interests pose a potential or real harm to others (children for example) we have an interest in protecting the vulnerable. Hey, youíd think god could have mentioned the abomination of molesting children, like in passing, whatcha think?
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Old 4th February 2019, 08:13 AM   #19
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Until christian employers start letting employees call out of work gay I don't see where this is going.
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
Two points, as I understand it: (1) Everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed (good, bad, unborn) because the people TOLERATED the gay. Not everyone was gay, but they didnít stone the gays like they were told to. Naughty, naughty. (2) obviously, if someoneís sexual interests pose a potential or real harm to others (children for example) we have an interest in protecting the vulnerable. Hey, youíd think god could have mentioned the abomination of molesting children, like in passing, whatcha think?
The bible scholars i have read state the the sin was not guy-on-guy sex but rather inhospitality. When travelling through dangerous and harsh places you relied on the kindness of local people you encountered. If they raped you instead of offering you sanctuary and food, then no one would be able to travel.

That's why Lot (the only righteous man in the city) offered his daughters to the crowd. Surrendering loved family members was less of a sin than surrendering the travelling strangers.

.....

As for the opening post, i'll cite the old adage

When searching for a religion, know you have found the right one when God hates the same people you do.
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:34 AM   #21
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10 bucks says this guy would also somehow find a problem with gay people adopting, using surrogates, or other non-traditional means of having children.
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I wonder what this deep thinkerís opinion is about the general acceptance of homosexuality in cultures not afflicted with the Abrahamic religions?

Seems to be carrying on the old notion that sex is for procreation... Period.

I have no idea of the manís sexuality, but all too often the most virulent anti-gay folks prove to be so themselves.
The argument that homosexuality is immoral because it can't result in procreation always raises the question in my mind, is a heterosexual relationship in which the woman is post-menopausal or one or both people is sterile also immoral? If not, why not?
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
The argument that homosexuality is immoral because it can't result in procreation always raises the question in my mind, is a heterosexual relationship in which the woman is post-menopausal or one or both people is sterile also immoral? If not, why not?
My wife had to have an emergency hysterectomy a few years back. Every time this topic comes up I ask people if our marriage is now immoral.

I've gotten nothing but silence or a blustering "well that's different."
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
My wife had to have an emergency hysterectomy a few years back. Every time this topic comes up I ask people if our marriage is now immoral.

I've gotten nothing but silence or a blustering "well that's different."
The "appropriate" response is that god can do anything, so your wife could still get pregnant if god wanted her to. Ergo, no problemo. Ditto the sterile and post-menopausal. After all, Sarah had Isaac at 90. In a self-contradicting statement, god can't make men pregnant.

ETA: also in a self-contradictory statement, it's wrong to use birth control because god can't just work around that. No uterus = no problem.
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I have no idea of the manís sexuality, but all too often the most virulent anti-gay folks prove to be so themselves.
I keep hearing that, but do we have numbers to back that up?
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
10 bucks says this guy would also somehow find a problem with gay people adopting, using surrogates, or other non-traditional means of having children.
Or, presumably,, traditional ones. Plenty of gay or bisexual people have had kids the old fashioned way, just not enjoying the initial process as much as some of us do. My ex wife came out after she had her share of kids. If you use a procreation argument, it means that a childless couple sins more greatly than, for example, a famously gay relative of my family, a minister who was expelled, as I recall, for molesting a choir boy, but was married and had two kids. His wife later said she thought there'd been something missing as the two kids were the result of two couplings. But hey, he procreated. He's all straight with god.
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Old 5th July 2019, 10:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Robin
Suppose for the moment that we would accept that this is a "disabiility", notice that a bisexual does not have this disability
False. Read what Swinburne says again:

Originally Posted by Swinburne
Having homosexual orientation is a disability Ė for a homosexual cannot beget children through a loving act with a person to whom they have a unique lifelong commitment.
The "cannot" in this case must be understood in terms of a contrary inclination to entering into a unique lifelong commitment with a person with whom they can in principle (is biologically possible for them to) beget children.

While it's true that bisexuals do not have an a contrary inclination to the extent to homosexuals; however, they still do have a contrary inclination.

We can see how bisexuality would still be a disability by analogy. There is a mental disability known as "pica" where the person has a desire to eat nonfood substances (such as dirt, rocks, or some other nonfood chemical substances). It would still be a disorder whether they also had a desire to eat food substances as well.

So you're simply incorrect here. You did not comprehend the argument or you're intentionally or accidentally giving an uncharitable reading of the argument. Because of that you proferred erroneus objections.

For example, you state:

Originally Posted by Robin
Come to think of it, the premise is incorrect in any case. Swinburne is assuming that having loving sex with someone requires sexual attraction both ways. Not so. You can love someone without being sexually attracted to them and you can have loving sex without being sexually attracted. Indeed there have been many lifelong committed relationships not based on sexual attraction.
So a person can enter into a unique lifelong commitment with a person with whom they can in principle (is biologically possible for them to) beget children without being sexually attracted to do so. OK, that's true. The right kind of sexual orientation is not necessary for it. And homosexuals, it is possible, could do that. However, the very issue is that homosexuals and bisexuals have contrary inclinations to doing that. A person with pica might have other reasons to eat food rather than satisfying their natural appetites. But how is that at all relevant to their condition being a disability or not? They would still have contrary inclinations to eating foodstuff in virtue of their inclinations to eat nonfood substances like rocks, dirt, or nonfood chemical substances.

Originally Posted by Robin
So we have no indication of why he thinks that something that has been tried for centuries in most parts of the world and is the case in many countries today and has not had the effect he desires, would work.
Swinburne gives a plausible theory of how society can deter homosexuality in the young and impressionable. You give no indication here how the empirical evidence you hand-wave toward is suppose to contradict his plausible theory of how society can deter the young and impressionable from developing disordered homosexual/bisexual orientation.

In short, Pica is a disability for similar reasons that bestiality is a disability for similar reasons that homosexuality/bisexuality is a disability. They stand or fall together=. There's absolutely no way to make sense of pica and bestiality as disabilities without also considering homosexuality/bisexuality a disability.

You might think you can get around this problem by giving an account of disability which is interest-relative. But that's on its face implausible. Because it may be in the pica-afflicted person's interest to eat nonfood. Then you're forced to give an "idealized interest" account of disability such that the pica-afficlited have a disability because if their ideal interests (their interests corrected for factual errors and preference inconsistencies) would show that they really are interested in not eating nonfood substances. But then there's the problem of determining the relevant interests to be "fixed up." Maybe the pica-afficlited ideal desires are to nonfood substances because they desire the sickly feeling they get as a result. Then you might say if they were truly "fixed up" then they wouldn't desire that sickly feeling. By what criterion do we determine which desires are the relevant desires? We simply can't give an interest-relative account of disability.

The simplest explanation for what makes for a disability is that it's objectively bad for the person who has the condition. And by objectively bad I mean a badness for the person that is not relative to their interests but relative to their nature. It doesn't matter if somemone prefers being deaf, deafness is a disability because we known it's human nature to be able to hear. A cat with three-legs has a disability because we know the cats nature is to have four legs. It doesn't matter what we think or prefer or what the cat thinks or prefers.

I also notice in your profile description you state that you're a "philosopher." I am curious if you are a philosopher in a professional capacity. I wonder this because you seem to either accidentally or intentionally give an uncharitable interpretation of the arguments and that seems like a very amateur mistake which suggests to me that you're not a philosopher in any professional capacity.
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Old 5th July 2019, 11:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by semantical View Post
since in Latvian pizza is written pica, all I think of now is a lovely pizza with double cheese. that's all that your lengthy argument did to me...
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Old 5th July 2019, 11:43 AM   #29
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Pica actually causes quantifiable harm, though, while there is no reason to believe that the harm of homosexuality is anything but social. And society can adapt without requiring homosexuals to adapt. A person who refrains from pica refrains from eating poison and foregoes a momentary pleasure for his own long term benefit. Not everyone wants kids, and those who do find ways to have them. The idea that it is a disability not to want both a rewarding relationship and kids at the same time is a social construct that, among other things, suggests that childless heterosexuals or those who choose not to marry at all are more disabled than homosexuals who have children and raise them in a loving household, as many do. If you adopt as a premise that it's a handicap not to have both love and sex at the same time, you would be disqualifying a large number of heterosexual relationships throughout history. The notion that love and sex are necessarily companions is a relatively recent notion in many societies. Procreation has had more to do with property than with romance throughout a good part of Western history. The "contrary indication" of a nobleman to make love to a courtesan rather than to his wife really differs in no material way from the contrary indication of a homosexual to make love with some person other than her or his spouse. The whole premise is based on a presumption that homosexuality is, in some way, inherently harmful or unnatural and thus needs to be deterred. Whether we can deter it or not is an empty argument. Once upon a time left-handedness was deterred with considerable success, but that does not mean that the practice was good. It was quite the opposite: it was wrong and stupid.

If we presume that what is "natural" is what nature actually does, the argument falls apart. To compare orientation with the natural handicap of missing a leg or a sense is artificial, depending on an arbitrary and religiously loaded presumption of what "nature" requires. In nature, not only in human beings but in other animals as well, homosexuality exists. It's a handicap only insofar as a species is harmed by a dearth of breeders, which is not a problem for humanity.

It may be true that you can't reliabley give an "interest related" account of disability, but the only substitute I see is a made up one instead. If you can't point to interest or result as a reason for something, then you're left with an abstract idea, and all you need for a complete disagreement is to say "I disagree." Which I do.
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Old 5th July 2019, 12:17 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
The "appropriate" response is that god can do anything, so your wife could still get pregnant if god wanted her to. Ergo, no problemo. Ditto the sterile and post-menopausal. After all, Sarah had Isaac at 90. In a self-contradicting statement, god can't make men pregnant.

ETA: also in a self-contradictory statement, it's wrong to use birth control because god can't just work around that. No uterus = no problem.
Which also works against the naughty homosexuals because they can't procreate argument, do they mean their God is incapable of miracles?
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Old 5th July 2019, 01:04 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by bruto
Pica actually causes quantifiable harm, though, while there is no reason to believe that the harm of homosexuality is anything but social.
I don't see why a harm has to be "quantifiable." So pica is a disability because we can quantify the harm it does to the body by measuring the reduction of vitamins or whatever?

What's bad about homosexuality is that it's a contrary inclination against entering into a loving with a person that you can have a child with. Having a child consists in bringing up a new person who shares you and your loved ones good and bad biology as well as raising them with you and your loved ones values. This is a good thing and it's bad for a homosexual to have the condition of homosexuality because it's a contrary inclination. That's not a harm that is caused by societal oppression or marginalization.

Originally Posted by bruto
The idea that it is a disability not to want both a rewarding relationship and kids at the same time is a social construct that, among other things, suggests that childless heterosexuals or those who choose not to marry at all are more disabled than homosexuals who have children and raise them in a loving household, as many do.
I don't know what you mean by it's a "social construct." Are you suggesting it's a social construct that entering into a loving union with a person with whom you can have children with is a good? In that it must also be a socially constructed good that you should eats your fruits and vegetables. No, obviously not. It's not a "socially constructed" good.

And I didn't say anything about someone being "more disabled" than someone else. Childless heterosexuals are obviously not disabled. They would be disabled if they have absolutely no desire to have sex or have no desire to have sex with a member of a class of persons they can't in principle mate with. That would be a disability.

Normal, healthy people with appropriate orientations can make conscious decisions to not have children.

I also never said homosexuals can't raise children in a loving household. There are plenty of disabled parents that have adopted and are raising children.

Originally Posted by bruto
If you adopt as a premise that it's a handicap not to have both love and sex at the same time, you would be disqualifying a large number of heterosexual relationships throughout history.
It's a handicap to not have the desire to enter into a loving relationship with a person that you can in principle mate with. This doesn't rely on the premise that it's a handicap to not have both love and sex at the same time.

Originally Posted by bruto
The "contrary indication" of a nobleman to make love to a courtesan rather than to his wife really differs in no material way from the contrary indication of a homosexual to make love with some person other than her or his spouse. The whole premise is based on a presumption that homosexuality is, in some way, inherently harmful or unnatural and thus needs to be deterred.
The homosexual cannot enter into a loving union with a person they can in principle mate with because the object of their sexual desire is with a member of a class they cannot in principle do that with. So it's in that way that it differs.

The presumption is not what you seem to think it is. The presumption is that it's good to enter into a loving union with a person whom you can mate with and bring children up with. And if that's good then if someone has a contrary inclination to that, whether biological, psychological or socialized into them then it's bad for them to be in that condition. It's bad for them, it can in principle be cured or treated by medicinal means, and it is not the result of socioeconomic oppression or marginalization. It meets all the criteria for a disability.

Originally Posted by bruto
If we presume that what is "natural" is what nature actually does, the argument falls apart.
This is not relevant to the argument.

Originally Posted by bruto
If you can't point to interest or result as a reason for something, then you're left with an abstract idea, and all you need for a complete disagreement is to say "I disagree." Which I do.
Either we retain the concept of "disability" or we don't. The argument is that you can't give an interest-relative account of disability. And there clearly are disabilities. And by the criteria we can infer from salient, paradigm examples of disabilities (e.g., pica) we can demonstrate that homosexuality also fits that criteria.

So the argument in syllogistic form is like so:

If homosexuality is not a disability, then neither is pica (and other paradigm examples of disability)
pica (and other piaradigm examples of disability) are disabilities
Therefore, homosexuality is a disability

That's a valid modus tollens and I've substantiated each premise already and I've explained why your objections fail.

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Old 5th July 2019, 02:19 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by semantical View Post
I don't see why a harm has to be "quantifiable." So pica is a disability because we can quantify the harm it does to the body by measuring the reduction of vitamins or whatever?
Yes. If a harm is not quantifiable how is it defined, except by arbitrarily labeling it a harm, or by trusting some spiritual or religious definition that defines harm?
Quote:

What's bad about homosexuality is that it's a contrary inclination against entering into a loving with a person that you can have a child with. Having a child consists in bringing up a new person who shares you and your loved ones good and bad biology as well as raising them with you and your loved ones values. This is a good thing and it's bad for a homosexual to have the condition of homosexuality because it's a contrary inclination. That's not a harm that is caused by societal oppression or marginalization.
But it's an obvious and common fact that homosexual couples can raise children, and can impart good values to them, even if the values they impart are not yours. Your idea is loaded with presumption and black and white values that have little to do with the real world. "Having a child" consists just in that. Other value judgments are separate. Homosexuality may be contrary to some ideal of biologically parenting a child, but it is not contrary to raising a child. If you disqualify all the possible variations of bisexual and homosexual families that actually exist and actually manage to parent children, how do you not disqualify heterosexual philandering, non-procreative sex, the lives and loves of those who have not children, or no marriages at all?
Quote:



I don't know what you mean by it's a "social construct." Are you suggesting it's a social construct that entering into a loving union with a person with whom you can have children with is a good? In that it must also be a socially constructed good that you should eats your fruits and vegetables. No, obviously not. It's not a "socially constructed" good.
I do mean exactly that it's a social construct. Marriage is a social institution. Nature does not require it. Procreation does not require love. It may be good, as one might judge many social constructs good, not only for the society we live in, but for our own set of beliefs about what is good, but that does not mean it isnt what it is. Nature concerns itself with the survivability and viability of a species. Some creatures enjoy sex and love, some just do it because they have to. Some eat their mates when it's over. There is no "good" in nature. We, social beings that we are, decide what is good.
Quote:

And I didn't say anything about someone being "more disabled" than someone else. Childless heterosexuals are obviously not disabled. They would be disabled if they have absolutely no desire to have sex or have no desire to have sex with a member of a class of persons they can't in principle mate with. That would be a disability.
That sounds very Catholic - on a par with the idea that birth control is more wrong than sex after menopause or after a hysterectomy because it shows some desire to avoid miracles. If a person who lives a completely celibate life and dies without issue is less handicapped than a person who cares little for sex but has kids is, then the idea of a handicap is abstract and made up.
Quote:
Normal, healthy people with appropriate orientations can make conscious decisions to not have children.
So can anyone who is fertile, and so can never anyone, whatever their inclinations, who is not.
Quote:

I also never said homosexuals can't raise children in a loving household. There are plenty of disabled parents that have adopted and are raising children.



It's a handicap to not have the desire to enter into a loving relationship with a person that you can in principle mate with. This doesn't rely on the premise that it's a handicap to not have both love and sex at the same time.
Then what does it rely on, other than a religious or quasi-religious idea that you can "in principle" mate procreatively with your partner? [/quote]



The homosexual cannot enter into a loving union with a person they can in principle mate with because the object of their sexual desire is with a member of a class they cannot in principle do that with. So it's in that way that it differs.[/quote] That works only if one presumes that principle has some power over reality. A heterosexual union in which one or more of the partners is known to be unable to have children is fertile only in a principle that is unrealistic and arbitrary.
Quote:

The presumption is not what you seem to think it is. The presumption is that it's good to enter into a loving union with a person whom you can mate with and bring children up with. And if that's good then if someone has a contrary inclination to that, whether biological, psychological or socialized into them then it's bad for them to be in that condition. It's bad for them, it can in principle be cured or treated by medicinal means, and it is not the result of socioeconomic oppression or marginalization. It meets all the criteria for a disability.



This is not relevant to the argument.



Either we retain the concept of "disability" or we don't. The argument is that you can't give an interest-relative account of disability. And there clearly are disabilities. And by the criteria we can infer from salient, paradigm examples of disabilities (e.g., pica) we can demonstrate that homosexuality also fits that criteria.

So the argument in syllogistic form is like so:

If homosexuality is not a disability, then neither is pica (and other paradigm examples of disability)
pica (and other piaradigm examples of disability) are disabilities
Therefore, homosexuality is a disability

That's a valid modus tollens and I've substantiated each premise already and I've explained why your objections fail.
Obviously we will continue to disagree on what constitutes a disability then. I would suggest that a disability, by its very definition, is something contrary to an ability. For a disability to be a disability, it would help to find something the sufferer of that disability is not able to do. So far it seems all you have come up with is an abstract and entirely spiritual disinclination which cannot be pinned down and depends, largely, on an a priori definition. Of course if you define A as good, not-A is not good, but little has really been said. I think your syllogism is faulty, because it depends on an unproven equality of homosexuality and pica.

I would question whether there is really any useful parallel between homosexuality and pica. Aside from the fact that practice of pica can and often does result in actual physical harm and death (remembering that one of the principal forms it takes is a taste for lead paint), the parallel depends on the presumption, quite presumptuous indeed, that a person suffering from pica does not fully enjoy anything but non-food ingestion. I see no evidence of that. A person with pica who does not practice it might, as far as I know, and at least as far as you have demonstrated, love to eat eggs or ice cream, maybe even more than he likes to eat paint. A person who lives in a satisfying and loving heterosexual relationship might well occasionally wish to perform lewd and inappropriate acts, which for moral or practical reasons he does not. The whole argument hinges on a shallow and tendentious presumption of what constitutes sufficient enjoyment, and what role a certain species of enjoyment plays in a person's life and fulfilment and the usefulness of his relationships.
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Old 7th July 2019, 05:19 AM   #33
Robin
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Originally Posted by semantical
The "cannot" in this case must be understood in terms of a contrary inclination to entering into a unique lifelong commitment with a person with whom they can in principle (is biologically possible for them to) beget children.
So you are going to arbitrarily change the meaning of 'cannot' to 'sometimes chooses not to' in order to try and make this hopeless argument work? Any other words you want to change while you are at it?
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Old 7th July 2019, 05:48 AM   #34
Robin
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Originally Posted by semantical View Post
That's a valid modus tollens and I've substantiated each premise already and I've explained why your objections fail.
You have not substantiated those premises, not by a long shot.

If you think that being gay is analogous to pica then you have a lot to learn about human relationships.
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Old 7th July 2019, 08:15 AM   #35
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The analogy between eating and human relationships is also a non-starter.

It implies that the only 'sustenance' available from human relationships is the production of offspring.

As though our relationships came down to bonking, making babies and nothing else.

It leaves out all the value, meaning, joy and fulfilment that can be derived from loving and being loved.

But in the end it is not my burden to refute his premises, but his to support them. I only point out what an uphill task that will be.
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