Logical and Spiritual REFLECTIONS
Book 6.No to Sodom
Chapter 9.It is freely chosen
I say: fine. This latest approach is actually a good development, because it takes us full circle and acknowledges what the religious traditions originally implied: namely, that homosexuality is freely chosen conduct. That is, homosexuals are not forced into it by any physical or mental force beyond their power to resist; they could choose otherwise. They freely choose to be what they are and do what they do, and are therefore morally responsible for their condition and their behavior.
The claims to mental or physical sickness or anomaly have all effectively been swept aside, and we are back to square one, with only a single change: now, the current ethical and political “authorities” support homosexuality, whereas their predecessors opposed it. Before, homosexuals were regarded as free agents who chose a wrong path; now, they are regarded a free agents who choose a neutral (if not a positively recommended) path. The evaluation differs; but all agree on the fact of free choice.
The good thing is that the various transitional lies and excuses in defense of homosexuality, which we have reviewed above, have at last been abandoned, and the “ethical position” of the apologists is now clearly and honestly displayed. Now, having brushed aside a host of logically irrelevant issues, we can all return to the central issue, which is: is this behavior, which all admit is freely chosen,moral, immoral or amoral?
Now, morality is not a matter of decree, whether by religious authorities, moral philosophers, physicians, psychiatrists, sexologists, journalists, or legislators. It cannot be arbitrarily imposed, but has to be argued for convincingly.
In this light, it should immediately be noted that the posture adopted by the proponents of homosexuality is logicallyarbitrary– they have no arguments (that I have heard of, anyway) that rationally demonstrate that homosexuality is moral or at least not immoral. Their only argument is a relativistic, even nihilistic, one – a claim that there is no such thing as morality, or that no such thing is knowable through reason. They say, effectively: mind your own business – these are consenting adults!
But anipse dixitobjection to their anti-moralistic discourse is logically inevitable. By condemning moral judgment as such, they engage in an act of moral judgment. Another weakness of their dismissive argument is that they apply itvery selectively, as convenient to their own ends. They certainly consider their political and media defense of homosexuals as moral, since they react with a semblance of “righteous indignation” when anyone (like the present author, in the present essay) doubts or opposes their theoretical and practical initiatives in this regard.
Their position is thus internally inconsistent; it is formally self-contradictory.
Moreover, there are many other fields of human activity where these same people readily recognize the power of reason to decide pros and cons with regard to human behavior – only in this exceptional case (viz. homosexuality), and perhaps a few more cases with similar revolutionary tendencies, is reason considered (by them) as incapable of judging and advising, and all discussion or doubt is verboten (i.e. immoral in their view). This is just attempted intimidation and intellectual thuggery on their part.
The critics of homosexuality, on the other hand, appeal to people’s intelligence and good sense. We have above already presented some arguments against homosexuality, which may be characterized as ethical, namely the analysis of the biological role and justification of sex, which hopefully carried considerable conviction. Two more sets of argument still need to be highlighted: one set based on more psychological and spiritual considerations, and another set based on more social and political considerations.
An important aspect of free choice to note here is the following. To say that something is freely chosen is to mean that, however strong the internal and external forces and temptations impinging on the person concerned, he or she has the volitional power to resist them. Will cannot be both free and causally determined; negative influences make the task of positive will more difficult, but they cannot literally overwhelm it.
Moreover, if a personbelieveshe or she has no power of resistance to some impulse, his or her power of resistance is proportionately diminished. To act decisively, one has to believe the action concerned to be possible or useful. The beliefs one hasinfluenceone’s will to act; one’s beliefs are among the forces that affect (though do not determine) one’s course of action.
It follows that the philosophers, psychologists and other advocates, who (in one way or another) tell homosexuals they cannot resist their homosexual impulses or change their ways (this is of course untrue – a lie), are in fact influencing them to yield to these impulses and continue in their ways. That is, they are making it more difficult for people with homosexual tendencies to remain straight or for homosexuals to overcome their current preferences.
Thus, the proponents of homosexuality are effectivelyincitingpeople to homosexuality; they exacerbate their problems. Inversely, the opponents of homosexuality are helping actual or potential homosexuals to make considered choices, by reminding them that – as human beings graced with freewill – they are potential masters or mistresses of their own sexual conduct. Ask yourself: which of the two is really kinder to you – someone who pushes you to weakness or someone who gives you strength?
Speaking of consenting adults, consider the following sordid story gleaned on TV news (I think I have the details right). Some months ago, in Germany, a man was tried and convicted for cannibalism. He had met another man on the Internet, and they mutually agreed that, after some homosexual sex, he would kill and eat the other man, which is exactly what happened, apparently in good conscience. The fact of consent obviously does not make an act ethically justifiable.
“Mind your own business” has the logical form of an ethical imperative – while claiming to be over and above all ethical imperatives.
Regarding influences on volition, see my earlier bookVolition and Allied Causal Concepts, chapters 5-6.