Nerdfighters

You already know what most people will say.

Far right: Yes. It is a difficult choice, but can be overcome. There are bad things to being gay, but some people live with it the way geeks live with ridicule because of their strangeness that they could change.

 

Far left: No. You can't choose who you fall in love with. You're just born that way. Why would someone choose to be teased, rejected and alienated by society and their loved ones?

 

Well, to be fair to the right, some people, like geeks or weirdos, don't care about being teased or bullied or rejected because of the things they like. Even straight couples are willing to be teased or rejected because of their choice of a partner, but it's for love, right? Then again, is there really such a thing as true love at all?

Maybe it's just physical. Let's be honest, being gay or straight depends mostly on sex. If you fall in love with someone online then find out their not th gender you like, you probably wouldn't want to be with them the same way you did before.

For all we know, we do choose who we fall in love with. We make decisions about how to interperet our feelings, how to react to a person's actions or thoughts, when judging something they do or believe in, those are all little choices. Bu are they really what make us fall in love with people?

 

But it's true, if you want to love someone, why make it someone you're family or friends would reject you for? Why pick someone you can't have kids with or marry?(If that's what you want)

 

In Chrsitianity, the Bible says at least three times that being gay is wrong. But the only reason it would be wrong is if it's a choice, because sin is about disobeying God's will and rejecting the truth of his law and words. You can really only go against God's law by choosing to reject or go against it, like choosing to steal or choosing to ignore Jesus once you've heard the truth, or choosing not to even try to be a better person. So how can something be a sin if you don't choose to do it? (please no religious bashing from any sides in this discussion) Many christians who don't support being gay say that it's a hard thing to overcome but can be done, but how many gay people do they know that have actually stayed celibate or gone straight?

 

Main questions wiht this issue: Is it a choice? Can you choose who you fall in love with? Why or why not?  If it is a choice, why would you choose to be gay at all?

EDIT: If you have anything directed specifically at me, the one posting this, I'm not going to read it. The discussion is mainly for other people who wanted to discuss it, and I lost track of the comments months ago anyway.

Tags: choice, christianity, debate, gay, opinion

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True, you can disconnect from that person. But there are people I've kept myself from for years and would still have feelings for.

Plus I have only been in love with people who identify as woman and i highly doubt that's coincidence. So why should i assume that it's coincidence for a gay man to only fall in love with men? Because it obviously only happened once.

I can go "I can't be in love with this person" and keep myself from them and cut them off from my life and heal. But that will not make me ever go on to love someone of the same gender. You would continue to cut yourself off from people you fall in love with and then fall in love again with someone you consider unright and go on forever like that. Eventually you settle with someone you don't love and eventually don't even like and that's awful. 

We can stop loving a person but we cannot force ourselves stop feeling love of any kind all together and keep our humanity. 

I love a lot of people. My parents, my sister, my dog, a few close friends of both genders, and so on and so forth. I'm not romantically interested in any of them. Sexuality is guided by lust. The most fulfilling marital relationship incorporates both of those attractions--mutual physical and emotional love. Homosexuality is basically a failure on our biology's part to continue the species--the desire for reproduction, but in a non-productive way. It could be compared to preferring low calorie food over high calorie food--a behavior that conflicts with the years of programming and conditioning that evolution, or at least the force that encourages the survival of the species, has created.

In both of those examples, the services are no longer necessary. The world population is becoming unsustainable given its resources: each nation can afford an approximate 10%, non-reproductive homosexual population.

As for obsession over calories, I think it's a cultural thing, and I don't find it equatable at all, but changes in the average American lifestyle at least to a sedentary one have reduced the number of calories burned daily, and thus the amount of calories required on a daily basis to function. Calorie reduction in itself isn't a solution to this problem, but the whole issue is beside the point.

Oh, I'm by no means criticizing homosexuals. Merely saying that our bodies are coded by natural selection for heterosexuality. Similarly, we're adapted to environments where every calorie counts, which is why we struggle with eating in moderation. However, humanity has adapted our environment to our own needs (rather than adapting to the environment), throwing the whole system out of balance. As you said, the conditions imposed upon us by natural selection no longer apply, and things like, "Needing to find the strongest mate," or, "Violently attacking your competitors," are obsolete. Sure, the species still needs people reproducing, and you need to eat to survive, but we've reached a state of such prosperity that being homosexual is about as harmful as still having your tonsils.

To be fair to the more orthodox members of my religion (Roman Catholicism), being a homosexual isn't a sin -- and it's also considered by the Church not to be a choice. The Church believes (though tentatively, barring any further news) that people are born gay or straight or bi. What She (the Church) also believes is that the act of sex is only fitting between couples who are capable of and open to the possibility of procreation, in a loving a mutually beneficial relationship which is only possible (so She believes) in the framework of marriage.

Now I think that's a load of horse-E.E. Cummings, but no one's going to elevate me to the papacy.

But in answer to the actual question, not getting into my pretty obvious opinion (I am bi and am totally open to having a husband in my future), if even the Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality isn't a choice, people need to start listening, because if you're more conservative than the Roman Catholic Church, you probably made a wrong turn near Albuquerque.

Interesting but rather irrelevant question, since a modern understanding of neuroscience has established, pretty soundly, that all mental functions are a result of biological processes. From a reductionist approach we have derived an answer!

I realize that this does not conclusively state how sexual orientation nor gender identity operate, yet I don't feel all that uncomfortable in using biochemical determinism to understand those phenomena.

It is important to realize that behavior is disparate, on an apples to apples level, from either orientation or identity; there is very little doubt in my mind that both of those things are biological in nature, although the exact vehicle is presently unknown.

So in summary: If by choice you mean that sexual orientation or gender identity are constructs, then no they are not. It is my interpretation of scientific findings that both orientation and identity are as biological as the person's physical sex , i.e. their sex organs. Behavior is a much more muddy subject which I would argue is extraneous to the core of the issue.

Spatial awareness centers do not exist. The posterior parietal cortex does help localize the body and objects in space, but I did find the article to which i assume you were referring and it really has nothing to do with the premise of my argument. It only states that through heavy use a very small portion of the brain that can create more neurons does so if it is used (if that is an incorrect summary please tell me, I only skimmed it).

My premise states that behavior stems from biological function, which incidentally does not place it out of the jurisdiction of the law which your argument fallaciously (reductio ad absurdum) assumes. And as for any evidence of it, you will find a wealth of research done in behavioral neuroscience on motivated behavior.

 

Sorry I use () when I am too tired to make a correctly punctuated sentence

Spatial awareness centers do not exist. The posterior parietal cortex does help localize the body and objects in space, but I did find the article to which i assume you were referring and it really has nothing to do with the premise of my argument. It only states that through heavy use a very small portion of the brain that can create more neurons does so if it is used (if that is an incorrect summary please tell me, I only skimmed it).


On the contrary, it has everything to do with your argument. You argued that homosexuality is somehow biologically determined, however I respond by pointing out that biology is not destiny, since we have the capacity to change our biology, even to the point of altering the functioning of our brains. Taxi drivers have been demonstrated to do this.


My premise states that behavior stems from biological function, which incidentally does not place it out of the jurisdiction of the law which your argument fallaciously (reductio ad absurdum) assumes. And as for any evidence of it, you will find a wealth of research done in behavioral neuroscience on motivated behavior.


Here's the problem though. If you can't describe an individual as responsible for his/her choices, instead saying that all actions are pre-programmed by the brain, and you cannot control them, how can you be held responsible for that which you cannot control?

I guess I am not communicating well. To address your second point first: I really must stress the distinction between choices, i.e. behavior, the conscious decisions we make, and the brain the those behaviors arise from. All I am postulating is that we can no more "choose" our sexual orientation than we can the color of our hair or the speed with which our metabolic processes take place.


Also the taxi drivers are not changing the function of their brain, the point was that some existing brain functions can be bolstered by repeated use. What you seem to be arguing is analogous to arguing that the muscles one gains as a result of exercise where not present before the exercise. They are most decisively not changing the function of the parietal lobe and even if they where, it would not be relevant to the issue of sexual orientation.

I really must stress the distinction between choices, i.e. behavior, the conscious decisions we make, and the brain the those behaviors arise from. All I am postulating is that we can no more "choose" our sexual orientation than we can the color of our hair or the speed with which our metabolic processes take place.


Yes, but you are oversimplifying behaviour and its causes. If you accept that behaviour is caused by choices, why do you insist that other things like orientation are not?

Behaviour is sometimes caused by subconsious triggers which themselves can be altered by choices made.

And since you have presented no evidence that homosexual orientation is in any way biologically conditioned, as is the colour of our hair etc, that leaves the objective portion if it squarely in the relm of behaviour.


Also the taxi drivers are not changing the function of their brain, the point was that some existing brain functions can be bolstered by repeated use. What you seem to be arguing is analogous to arguing that the muscles one gains as a result of exercise where not present before the exercise. They are most decisively not changing the function of the parietal lobe and even if they where, it would not be relevant to the issue of sexual orientation.

 


My point is though that you are making a claim that homosexuality is biological to the point of impossibility to change. I would argue however that since so much of our bilogy is changable, as is evidenced by the taxi driver case, unless you have more specific evidence, you cannot claim with authority that homosexuality is biologically determined.

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