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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Let's hand wave the magical Vertigo_One fairy wand and follow the Savage principle of rejecting reality and substituting your own and say that it isn't recorded: 

If it's not recorded in the annals of history, what does it matter to the claim?   The belief doesn't have to be old to be correct. 

If it's not recorded in the annals of history, what does it matter to the claim?   The belief doesn't have to be old to be correct.

 


No, but it strikes me that had this been something that was fundamental to people's existence for so long, more would have been recorded of it. However, the fact that it is not more widely recorded, and alongside the fact that alternative models have been demonstrated to exist, therefore proves that there is the strong possibility that this is a cultural, transient affair, rather than a fundamental one.

Could also be the result that is the first society which has put limits on homosexual relationships while not also sentencing them to death. 

That still leaves my point intact. Namely, that the idea that any sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic, rather than something  more fluid, is a reaction to external events, rather than something fundamental.

Then surely we should dismiss all evidence from modern day neuroscience and psychology that the brain exerts centralized control over the body as a cultural whim as well, for had this idea been something fundamental to people's existence for so long, surely more would have been recorded of it. However, the fact is that it is not more widely recorded, and alongside the fact that alternative models have been demonstrated to exist, therefore proves that there is the strong possibility that this is a cultural, transient affair, rather than a fundamental one.

The mention that other models exist doesn't prove anything since there are many alternative models regarding the function of the brain. The only thing that this proves is that there are multiple possible explanations, yet their credibility lies in the contents of those models instead of their mere existence. If we were to adopt this way of thinking then a lot of evidence would have to be disregarded as cultural and transient affairs instead of fundamental.

Then again I've never argued that human sexual orientation is something rigid. I think the main argument from your (vertigo's) opponents is more in seeing sexual orientation as part of an identity, and not so much about whether or not this identity can be subject to change over one's lifetime.

You clearly adopt a strict behaviourist viewpoint to back your arguments. Behaviourism has been something useful for a long time, since until quite recently there were no real means to peer inside one's brain and to open the proverbial black box. That black box is shrinking with each passing day as we learn more about neurobiological functions. Pavlov's dogs don't salivate upon hearing the bell because they were conditioned to do so. Instead they have learned that the bell is a predictor for a food reward and use this to ready themselves for receiving that food. There's a fundamental difference between these two explanations, because the first only looks at observed behaviour of salivation upon hearing the bell while the second incorporates reward prediction and looks at the underlying mechanisms for salivation.

Similarly your arguments are based upon the observance of sexual behaviour and ignores underlying mechanisms related to this behaviour. Sexual orientation identity is something that goes way beyond mere behaviourism and relies on more than simply the sexual activity one engages in. In ancient Greece one's role in sexual activity had to do with one's social status and accompanying accepted patterns of behaviour, although it has been shown that this was not rigid in itself and that there were exceptions as well as regional variation. Similarly there is variation in the modern viewpoints regarding rigidity of sexual orientation over one's lifetime; the focus has shifted from social status, free men versus women and male slaves in ancient Greece, to the gender of the respective partners in modern times.

Then surely we should dismiss all evidence from modern day neuroscience and psychology that the brain exerts centralized control over the body as a cultural whim as well


No, because there you have evidence. Ideas about whether sexuality is a central part of an identity can ultimately, only be based upon personal testimony.

Your both correct and incorrect.

NactElf is correct in asserting that behaviorism is now recognised as insufficient for biological explanations.  Vertigo is correct in asserting that identity is part of the equation.

Fact is, biology codes the basics of sexuality, like it does height parameters, hair colour and that sort of thing.  In that respect, our orientation is not a choice. What is a choice is the culture, and the culture we're in is basically giving rigid categorical boxes for that something that is biologically fluid (overall people, not neccessarily the individual).  So we say oh, we're female, we're male, we're gay, we're straight.  Well not really.

We'll have these biological directions - tendencies - then culture - largely explainable through behaviorist concepts shapes those tendencies into what becomes the person and their manifest identity and behavior.  The culture can't make people who are encoded to be 'same sex' or 'opposite sex' attracted  switch 'teams' anymore than culture can change your skin colour.  But it can shape how that is expressed, whether that trait is given more weight socially than other traits, what it means for that person in the greater context of being live, and by virtue of brain plasticity - the brain itself.

So you can get a straight man to call himself a gay woman all you want, and even program most of uhm his/her brain to respond socially as such but, unless you splice the appropriate genes, replace particulars of the hypothalamus, the hormones and several other facts all set in motion in utero - it'll just be an act.

Assuming it's between consenting adults.  Obviously.  That was implied by your statement. Just pointing it out.

Dude, I'm right with ya. Nothing wrong with being gay

@Vertigo_One

No, that is what you call nature. It is not what the Catholics call nature. To them, in this context, nature is what should be, not what is.

Well… the definition I provided still exists, so I can still talk about nature in context of the natural world. It is, after all, the commonly accepted definition. And there is a difference between the observable, provable "nature" and what Christians believe their God intended. Basically, there is a difference between the way things are and the way some people things should be. And I'm really only interested in the first of these. Let every religion make up whatever definition of nature they please. I don't see how it applies to anyone else except those who believe it.

If you follow your logic through, murder and rape are "natural" because they both exist in nature.


That's somewhat debatable. It comes to the point where you ask, "Do you define human actions as "natural" or are we separate from nature?" If it is the first, then yes, they are. They are not right, and I never argued anything is right by virtue of being natural. If it is the second choice, they are not natural at all

The survival instinct is also natural.  The easiest means to do that has been reproduction.  But in humans it is also natural for us to survive through non reproduction means.  Such as through creating art or leaving a cultural legacy for other people's children. Thus we can all survive, in that way there are are people who are thousands of years old who walk amongst us today, inside our heads and in our cultures.

Some cultural legacies are not right for our current situation though.  Massive amounts of reproduction are one those.  But also is over consumption.   So I agree what is natural and what is right are not always the same thing.  We need to go with the times and understand our current context.

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