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Religious Attitudes To Homosexuality


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#18 JMJones0424

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:05 PM

How can you be sure that homosexuality is not a choice?


Because evidence, a mountain of which, exists that shows that sexual preference is not a choice. That evidence is compelling and is valid whether you choose to believe it or not. I am not aware of any evidence that homophobia is an adaptive trait, and you have provided no such evidence.

http://scholar.googl...rch&as_sdt=1,44

Take your pick, there are literally thousands of studies on the subject. Ignoring established science for no reason other than that it does not conform to your world view is not rational. Playing devil's advocate by refusing to consider the evidence is not a worthy endeavor. This site does not exist to confirm your beliefs or to justify your feelings.

#19 Moontanman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:06 PM

I don't understand your argument. How can you be sure that homosexuality is not a choice? Because animals do it? How can you be sure that animals do it for the same reasons that humans do? Birds sing; do you think Beethoven composed his symphonies to attract members of the opposite sex? (mind you, it didn't work for him :lol: )

You are not playing the game by your own rules.


My argument is that people are irrational when it comes to this subject. And the evidence is here:


I think this is as laughable, and just as unfounded, as the idea that homophobia may be a hereditary trait. How come everyone balks at one (rightfully so) but takes the other at face value? I can only think they do that because one position is "evil" and the other is "good". Nothing to do with rational thought.


You have a choice not to be prejudiced against homosexuals, homosexuals do not have a choice as to who they are attracted to. Bigotry is learned, you soak it up from society at large, lesbians are not ostracized in the same way male homosexuals are, it's totally a cultural thing. There are cultures where homosexuals are not considered an abomination but are just part of society. In our society the fear or hatred of homosexuals in deeply rooted in the Bible.

BTW, you are almost certainly committing an abomination as you type this, wearing cloth made of different threads is an abomination, bigotry toward gays is learned behavior and it can be unlearned as well.

If you have evidence to the contrary please enlighten us....

#20 pamela

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

Why not? Isn't the fear of being eaten by lions inherited?

Again, notice that I'm just playing the devil's advocate here. I'm trying to show that there is no rational basis to argue for one position or another. This can perhaps explain why religious people act the way they do, that they are not being evil, that their problem is not that they are religious but that they are not religious enough.

hey i am trying to figure out where you are coming from. Do you mean the fight/flight response?

The fight-or-flight response, also called the acute stress response, was first described by Walter Cannon in 1927. His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms

fight/flight

#21 bravox

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

hey i am trying to figure out where you are coming from. Do you mean the fight/flight response?

I mean the fight/flight response gone wrong. Without the fear of lions we wouldn't be afraid of, say, ghosts or cockroaches. People have irrational fears because they have fear in general. Who was it that said "you shall not fear anything but fear itself". Fear is behind most ills in our society, yet it is something fundamental to our survival.

In our society the fear or hatred of homosexuals in deeply rooted in the Bible

- You shall have no other gods before Me: but we can worship saints as if they were gods?
- You shall not make any likeness of anything that is in heaven above: except Catholics?
- You shall not take the name of God in vain: Oh my God!
- Remember the Sabbath: Christians don't go to malls on weekends?
- Honor your father and your mother: no Christians in dysfunctional families?
- You shall not murder: no Christians in prison?
- You shall not commit adultery: no comment...
- You shall not steal: see comment above about prisons.
- You shall not bear false witness: no Christian lawyers?
- You shall not covet anything that is your neighbour's: Christians don't try to keep up with the Joneses?

So, the fear of hatred of homosexuals is deeply rooted in the Bible. Right. Well, thanks to the Bible we live in a perfectly harmonious society, without thieves, murderers, dysfunctional families, jealous neighbours. I say homophobia, if it comes from the Bible like all those wonderful things, is a small price to pay to live in such a wonderful society.

Enough said. See you folks in other threads. It's been fun.

Edited by bravox, 29 February 2012 - 03:53 PM.


#22 Moontanman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:19 PM

I mean the fight/flight response gone wrong. Without the fear of lions we wouldn't be afraid of, say, ghosts or cockroaches. People have irrational fears because they have fear in general. Who was it that said "you shall not fear anything but fear itself". Fear is behind most ills in our society, yet it is something fundamental to our survival.


- You shall have no other gods before Me: but we can worship saints as if they were gods?
- You shall not make any likeness of anything that is in heaven above: except Catholics?
- You shall not take the name of God in vain: Oh my God!
- Remember the Sabbath: Christians don't go to malls on weekends?
- Honor your father and your mother: no Christians in dysfunctional families?
- You shall not murder: no Christians in prison?
- You shall not commit adultery: no comment...
- You shall not steal: see comment above about prisons.
- You shall not bear false witness: no Christian lawyers?
- You shall not covet anything that is your neighbour's: Christians don't try to keep up with the Joneses?

So, the fear of hatred of homosexuals is deeply rooted in the Bible. Right. Well, thanks to the Bible we live in a perfectly harmonious society, without thieves, murderers, dysfunctional families, jealous neighbours. I say homophobia, if it comes from the Bible like all those wonderful things, is a small price to pay to live in such a wonderful society.

Enough said. See you folks in other threads. It's been fun.



There is quite a bit more to the bible than the ten commandments, what point are you trying to make with this? Here are some examples but remember that just wearing a cloth of different threads is also an abomination.

http://skepticsannot...om/gay/long.htm

Edited by Moontanman, 29 February 2012 - 04:32 PM.


#23 bravox

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

There is quite a bit more to the bible than the ten commandments, what point re you trying to make with this?

(I promised myself to stay away from the forum as I have work to do but, anyway)

I can't fathom why you don't understand my point. You think people hate homosexuals "because the bible says so", and you can't explain why they don't obey the ten commandments. Anyone can clearly see that people for the most part don't care what the bible says, but often point to it as an excuse for their stupid behaviour. And if they didn't have the bible they would resort to something else.

Your argument is bogus. Idiots hate homosexuals because hating is the business of idiots, and there is no shortage of idiots around. Yesterday it was jews and blacks, today it's gays and muslims, who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Edited by bravox, 29 February 2012 - 04:50 PM.


#24 Moontanman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:06 PM

(I promised myself to stay away from the forum as I have work to do but, anyway)

I can't fathom why you don't understand my point. You think people hate homosexuals "because the bible says so", and you can't explain why they don't obey the ten commandments. Anyone can clearly see that people for the most part don't care what the bible says, but often point to it as an excuse for their stupid behaviour. And if they didn't have the bible they would resort to something else.

Your argument is bogus. Idiots hate homosexuals because hating is the business of idiots, and there is no shortage of idiots around. Yesterday it was jews and blacks, today it's gays and muslims, who knows what tomorrow will bring?



Homosexuals have not always been a hated persecuted group, the Ancient Greeks celebrated the act of physical love between men and so did other cultures, the main source of this hatred is the Abrahamic religions, the ten commandments doesn't tell the whole truth about the bible and it's influences. Did you even bother to read my link? haters can come up with anything to justify hating things they don't understand but i see you have provided no evidence what so ever to support your assertion that homophobia is a natural reaction to homosexuality. Your assertions need to be backed up with something other than your assertions...

#25 bravox

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:10 PM

you have provided no evidence what so ever to support your assertion that homophobia is a natural reaction to homosexuality.

That is because I don't believe it, I just presented it to see what counter-arguments could be raised. I've seen them now. No more to say.

(PS: apparently some people felt offended by my posts. No harm was intended but it's probably too late to apologize :( )

#26 pamela

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

Fear and hatred come from all sources from militant atheism to religiosity......

#27 bravox

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:37 PM

Fear and hatred come from all sources from militant atheism to religiosity......

Brava signorina Pamela!

#28 CraigD

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:32 PM

The argument that, biologically,
In the case of H.Sapiens and many other large animals, there’re many sensible explanations of how homosexuality can be beneficial to the species’ reproduction, most related to the social, rather than the reproductive, functions of sexuality.

I think this is as laughable, and just as unfounded, as the idea that homophobia may be a hereditary trait. How come everyone balks at one (rightfully so) but takes the other at face value? I can only think they do that because one position is "evil" and the other is "good". Nothing to do with rational thought.

I think you’d better not laugh at the idea that homosexual preference may have evolutionary benefits. Though not as “hard” an evolutionary biological conclusion as, say, that the genes for thriving on high grain and milk diets, or reduced brain size and nutritional requirements have been beneficial, it’s well within the scientific mainstream, and worthy of study and understanding. A web search such as google for “evolutionary benefits of homosexuality” gives may links to material on the subject, such as the top 2, 2008 New Scientist: Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality, 2008 ScienceDaily: Male Homosexuality Can Be Explained Through A Specific Model Of Darwinian Evolution, Study Shows, and further down the first results page, one I remember liking, 2009 Scientific American: Do Gay Animals Change Evolution?

I’d like now to get away from biology and back to Paige’s original thesis that, (rephrasing in my own words) intolerance of gays is contrary to the essential moral tenets of the major religions. I think most of us agree with this, at least in as much as agreeing that nearly all religious authorities preach compassion for gays, though some believe that if a homosexual refuses to consider his or her sexual orientation sinful and repent of it, they will suffer damnation and eternal torment in hell after death. Others, especially in the UCC, believe that homosexuality is not in and of itself a sin, so a gay can get into heaven without repenting of it. A few pastors, such as Fred Phelps of the Westburo Baptist Church, appear to condemn even compassion for gays, but I think they’re on the fringe of religious thinking, not representative of its main stream.

I think Tormod’s old Rules for the theology forum bears quoting:


This is not a forum for preaching the word of God (regardless of which one you may subscribe to). It is a forum for rational discussion of religious thought, and varieties thereof. How does science and religion interact? How does religion impact society? What is the role of religion in education? Why are wars fought over religious ideas? These are examples of topics we hope to see here.

This guidance leads me to wonder why so many religions consider homosexuality bad. The best explanation I’ve encountered is that it stems mostly from efforts, first by bronze age Jews, and later by 1st century Christians, to differentiate their religions from ones competing with them for adherents. As some of these religions were openly accepting and even encouraging of homosexuality, Judaism, and its descendent religions, Christianity and Islam, opposed them.

In short, these religious condemnations of homosexuality were originally more political than theological.

I’ve read many good writings in support of this conclusion. WikiAnswer’s Will homosexuals go to hell? is a good, short one.

#29 bravox

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

I think you’d better not laugh at the idea that homosexual preference may have evolutionary benefits. […] it’s well within the scientific mainstream, and worthy of study and understanding.

So is social darwinism, and the reason people don't take social darwinism seriously these days has little to do with whether the idea has intellectual merit or not. But I think this thread is not about biology so let's drop it.

intolerance of gays is contrary to the essential moral tenets of the major religions

I have been thinking about this discussion, and it seems that someone made the very valid point that religious people do not consistently follow the teachings of their religion. So they choose to harass homosexuals supposedly based on what the bible says, but completely ignore the bible when it comes to, say, their choice of clothing. That is, indeed, a very strange behaviour.

An answer to this is difficult to find, I can only relate it to my experience as a Catholic. To pick one example, Catholics are not supposed to use contraception, yet the majority of them do. To the best of my knowledge, the reason we use contraception is the same reason we don't respect speed limits: because it makes no sense. And when I think of every decision in my life, I find that I'm not guided by my religion at all, it's only that there is a lot of overlap between what I believe and what my religion teaches. If one day too much dissonance develops, you can be sure I will drop the religion rather than change my beliefs. Isn't that in fact what we see happening all the time?

So back to the issue of homosexuality, in light of what I said above the answer seems to be that a lot of people just don't tolerate homosexuality, religion having nothing to do with it. The overlap is purely coincidental.

This guidance leads me to wonder why so many religions consider homosexuality bad

I was a bit disappointed that no one paid attention to my comment regarding sex between female teachers and male students, which is not harmful to any party yet strongly forbidden nonetheless. The secular society is just as pruddish about sexual behaviour as any church, only they pick different battles. I can also think of sex with minors, poligamy, interbreeding, pornography, even the completely innocent exposure of female breasts in public can arouse violent opposition.

Let's face it, we are obsessed with sex. When we are not doing it, we are thinking about it. Just look at this thread. If we don't control our obsession it will turn our civilization in an endless orgy. The problem is, we haven't come to a consensus as to what and how to control.

#30 The Polymath

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:26 PM


I think you’d better not laugh at the idea that homosexual preference may have evolutionary benefits. […] it’s well within the scientific mainstream, and worthy of study and understanding.


So is social darwinism, and the reason people don't take social darwinism seriously these days has little to do with whether the idea has intellectual merit or not.


...Except that it isn't. Social Darwinism is, in fact, very far from the scientific mainstream, as (at least, to the best of my understanding) it is not a scientific theory. Instead, it is a personal philosophy that holds (again, to the best of my knowledge) that certain demographics are "better" than others, then continuing on to advocate for bias and discrimination.


intolerance of gays is contrary to the essential moral tenets of the major religions

I have been thinking about this discussion, and it seems that someone made the very valid point that religious people do not consistently follow the teachings of their religion. So they choose to harass homosexuals supposedly based on what the bible says, but completely ignore the bible when it comes to, say, their choice of clothing. That is, indeed, a very strange behaviour.

An answer to this is difficult to find, I can only relate it to my experience as a Catholic. To pick one example, Catholics are not supposed to use contraception, yet the majority of them do. To the best of my knowledge, the reason we use contraception is the same reason we don't respect speed limits: because it makes no sense. And when I think of every decision in my life, I find that I'm not guided by my religion at all, it's only that there is a lot of overlap between what I believe and what my religion teaches. If one day too much dissonance develops, you can be sure I will drop the religion rather than change my beliefs. Isn't that in fact what we see happening all the time?

So back to the issue of homosexuality, in light of what I said above the answer seems to be that a lot of people just don't tolerate homosexuality, religion having nothing to do with it. The overlap is purely coincidental.


While I agree with the first two paragraphs here, I am doubtful of your last sentence/paragraph. From what I have seen, most of the ones who don't tolerate homosexuality, when questioned, respond to the effect of "Because it is wrong/immoral." Upon further inquiry, this belief almost invariably has a predominantly religious origin.


This guidance leads me to wonder why so many religions consider homosexuality bad

I was a bit disappointed that no one paid attention to my comment regarding sex between female teachers and male students, which is not harmful to any party yet strongly forbidden nonetheless. The secular society is just as pruddish about sexual behaviour as any church, only they pick different battles. I can also think of sex with minors, poligamy, interbreeding, pornography, even the completely innocent exposure of female breasts in public can arouse violent opposition.


The problem is that most (although probably not all, as almost nothing has a single cause) opposition to these things comes from a moral standpoint. The problem with using morals to decide issues is that morals are usually not founded on logical grounds, and are often heavily influenced by one's religion. Thus, while the decision-making process may be secular, the decision itself may not be.


One more thing (not in reply to the post): "homophobia" is (technically) a misnomer. A quick Google brings up:

pho·bi·a/ˈfōbēə/
Noun:
An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something: "he had a phobia about being under water"; "a phobia of germs"; "a snake phobia".


"An extreme or irrational fear of homosexuality" is a far cry from "Intolerant of homosexuality", which is what is (usually) meant when "homophobia" is used. Just a minor point of accuracy, but a point of accuracy nonetheless.

#31 sigurdV

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:39 PM

The only thing I'm asking, the only thing I wanted to know, is why people view homosexuality in one way and so-called homophobia in another way.

Perhaps they are two different things?

And there is no unique way of handling different things?

#32 bravox

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:26 PM

The problem with using morals to decide issues is that morals are usually not founded on logical grounds, and are often heavily influenced by one's religion. Thus, while the decision-making process may be secular, the decision itself may not be.

But there seems to be a consensus on what is right and wrong. It seems obvious to anyone that killing is wrong, and whenever we have the impulse to kill we need to paint it in a positive way to ourselves. "Doing the work for God", "defending our country", "bringing democrary to poor people", and so on. I have never seen anyone kill and say "I did it because I'm evil".

Perhaps they are two different things?

Whether they are two different things or not depends on our point of view. We choose a point of view which makes them seem different. Other points of view exist which make they seem the same. What I presented in my first posts was not well thought out, but I'm sure what I just said about points of view is true. Just look at nazi philosophy.

We choose points of view according to what we want to believe. It's perfectly valid. It's just not rational so there is no point criticizing other points of view for being irrational. They are just plain wrong, and simply because we say so.

Edited by bravox, 01 March 2012 - 03:31 PM.