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.
Being gay is something that is, fundamentally, a modern invention.
I take issue with the term "invention." All of a sudden, our culture has began encouraging people to choose homosexuality as their identity? Because it's modern, it's less legitimate? I don't agree.
No, they don't. Those sentiments are those sentiments. People may move on from them to persecute, but they themselves do not encourage persecution.
Again, it depends. Persecution: the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. It all boils down to whether or not you think denying homosexuals the right to marry is mistreatment or fair treatment.
1. Chrisitianity did none of these things. Christians from the past did.
Not just Christians from the past. The Catholic Church, the same one which still exists as the Vatican, sanctioned and participated in this activities.
2. The Crusades were started by Muslims who cut the holy land off from European Christians making pilgrimages
I really don't want to get into a "he started it/she started it" debate over the Crusades, but just want to point out: a) It was their territory. Saudi Arabia denies non-Muslims entrance to Mecca. Does that justify another crusade? and b) Christians had been, and continued to, persecute Muslims for centuries before and after this. They were not so innocent.
3. The gay community has its fair share of evil. Death threats, intimidation by viloence and even murders have been done in the gay community's name. So don't throw around the past as if it is some kind of universal tool.
False equivalency. Most modern-day gay rights groups do not condone violence, and these are isolated incidents. Meanwhile, the Crusades, Inquisition, etc. were all done by the Catholic Church, an organization actually representing Catholics, systematically, for centuries.
Let me ask you this. If morality is not something absolute, but is only "in the eye of the beholder" as you put it, upon what basis do you claim that you have any right to declare the past deeds of many Christians as being "speckled"? Your own perception of morality? Fine, but again, if morality is so in the eye of the beholder, how is your morality any better than those who did these horrible things (who clearly thought it was okay). In your version of reality, it isn't any better. You have no right to criticise anyone because you can't make an objective claim to a morality that actually exists. All you have are views of various beholders, and since your view has no more validity than any other, upon what basis do you criticise me, the past Christians, or anyone else?
I cannot speak for anyone else, but I do have a system of morality, (i.e. at the end of the day, does this action harm anyone? Who and how?) But even basic Christian morality (let he who has not sinned throw the first stone, love thy enemy, the Golden rule, etc) proves that the Catholic Church's past actions were wrong. This is just silly.
The negative affect is, as I have said, further dissociating marriage from procreation
How is this negative? I have not seen a collapse of these countries, either.
Then you have misunderstood. The point about incestuous marriage is that the fact we do not permit it, even when both partners are sterile, demonstrates that we do not grant marriage on the basis of love etc, but on the basis of procreation.
It is currently granted on the basis of two partners wishing to have their relationship recognized by the state. This I do not seek to change. However, this standard is discriminated upon based on gender of the participants, which I believe is wrong. Thus, it is not a redefinition of marriage, but an elimination of discrimination.
Also Paul is neither Jesus or God he is human and therefore fallible.
Considering if you turn to a random page in the Old Testament to see which act of genocide YHWH has commanded or committed, I think it's fair to say that none of the listed are infallible.
Basic principle: Why would religious affiliation be able to influence public policy?
As a very religious person in terms of the church of all that is sane, I believe that duckface pictures are a crime against humanity, and the social repercussions of duckface are arguably much worse than gay marriage.
I know most people don't choose to be gay. I might be a christian and believe in the basic ideas of the bible but it also says things about putting people who don't worship God into a furnace to burn to death and selling your children into slavery. Therefore I think the details of the Bible are very outdated. I have a theory that most of the human population is at least a little bisexual, most people are just too ignorant or scared to admit it and it never gets the chance to show itself. In my mind, there is always at least one person of the same gender as you, that you would fall in love with if you met them and allowed yourself to think that way. You don't just love somebody for whatever genitals they have, you just have a preference and though this may be over-simplifying it, I think this is really what it boils down to.
I might be a christian and believe in the basic ideas of the bible but it also says things about putting people who don't worship God into a furnace to burn to death and selling your children into slavery.
1. Please quote the furnace passage. I suspect it will be found in the OT and therefore superceeded by Jesus when he said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
2. Please do some research on slavery in the Bible. Nowhere is slavery encouraged, rather it is described as a problem that may have to occur in certian circumstances. BUT nowhere is it anything like the slavery of the Atlantic slave trade.
I don't believe that it's a choice. I didn't come out of the womb and tick a little box saying I was going to like men; my best friend didn't come out of the womb and tick the other box saying she was going to like women.
But having said that, I don't think the question of whether it is a choice has any actual relevance at all. It doesn't matter. Maybe people are innately gay, or innately straight, and that's cool. Maybe at some point in their lives people make a choice, consciously or unconsciously - and that's cool too. We are allowed to choose the kind of people we want to be!
So yeah. I don't think it is a choice, but I also think there would be nothing wrong with it if it were.
Whenever someone says that being gay is a choice, I ask them when they decided to be straight. I suppose people are gay because it's natural to them. Until we climb into someone else's skin and walk around in it, we will never understand others' ways of life.
A test of first rate intelligence is holding two opposing ideas in one's head at the same time and understanding the world by both principles. If people would look at homosexuality this way, we might have have some intelligent thoughts on this issue.
Whenever someone says that being gay is a choice, I ask them when they decided to be straight.
I'm quoting Abero on this one. Suffice to say, your argument is invalid
Nothing against homosexuality but I hate that response and when I imagine the people who are asking it beaming at their computer screens with their self satisfied smiles thrusting the corner of their egotistical lips skyward I get a little bit annoyed.
It doesn't prove anything. You don't have to consciously make a choice to have made that choice. I am alive. Every time I walk past a bottle of pills begging me with their desperate tears to swallow them I, in a sense, make the choice to continue living just by not shoving them all down my throat in an instant and then sprinting out into traffic just to make sure the job gets done. However, despite arguably making the choice to continue living every second of my life I can't really point to a time where I decided that suicide wasn't in my self-interest. I'm sure at this stage in my life it isn't but I never really decided that. In fact, the only time I think about suicide is when I start to think it might be in my self-interest. When I become happier I don't decide I was wrong, I just stop thinking about it.
On another note I also wear clothes everyday because thats what I was taught to do. I don't even think about it, I just put my clothes on before stepping outside. On some level I must be making the choice every single day but I don't even realize it because thats the way I was raised. Its so normal to wear clothes I never consciously consider the other option.
I'm not saying homosexuality is a choice, I'm saying that the stupid rhetorical question you asked is sitting in the corner smacking its head against the walls and vomiting it's horrible rainbow colored bile all over itself for a reason.
The thing is that it isn't a rhetorical question.
If I see a girl and get attracted, it's a choice on my behalf to act on that attraction. If I see a girl and I'm not attracted, it is not my choice to not be attracted to her. So if a man does not find women attractive, it is not his choice.
In order to partake in sexual acts it takes choice (ideally). But the question pertains to "When did you choose to have heterosexual attractions" which are not a choice.
To respond to Abero's red herring, if he had past considerations of suicide, then he has had suicidal thoughts. If he had homosexual attraction, then he has had homosexual attraction. Choosing to act on either is a choice, but when it gets down to it, he did not decide to have those suicidal thoughts. Just as a non-suicidal person did not will themselves to not think of suicide, the thoughts simply didn't arise when they looked at a casing of pills or a pair of scissors.
Red herrings are never in season, they should always be tossed back in.
So if a man does not find women attractive, it is not his choice.
Subconscious choice is as much choice as is a conscious choice.
Congratulations on crossing the line to the unfalsifiable.
We know that subconscious choices exist. There is no reason to think this is not an example of one. Especially given the physiological implications, IE the fact that heterosexual attraction is subconsciously linked to reproduction. There is no reason to believe that homosexual attraction does not have its own subconscious connections.
We know that subconscious choices exist.
That is a much bolder statement than I would believe that any psychologist would make.
The only research I can find about subconscious "choice" is from Benjamin Libet on readiness potential and subconscious factors influencing choice.
That said, it's been criticized by at least Daniel Dennet.
CD has a much finer grasp of psychology than I do. So maybe I'll wait for someone to confirm or contradict a claim with such a high modality.