39
   

Is homosexuality a bad thing?

 
 
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 10:57 am
I don't think so, but I'm never really understood why people hate it so much, so I'm wondering if anyone can justify their opinions through logic.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 39 • Views: 39,566 • Replies: 741

 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 10:59 am
moogly_bear,

Welcome to A2K!

Justify their opinions through logic? Uh, honey, that would not be me. 'm a Christian! They tell me I'm not logical. Laughing

Seriously, there will be a lot of posters that will be able to help you out with this one. I mostly just wanted to welcome you to A2K.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 11:26 am
Prejudice of any sort can never be explained by logic. That is what the hatred of homosexuality is................just another form of prejudice. Some people couch their disapproval by quoting the bible. Then again, there are many differences of opinion as to who wrote the bible, and even if it is relevent today.

There are many men who are fearful of the state of their own sexuality. Those are the ones who are the "gay bashers". Secure, mature people are not threatened by another person's lifestyle.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 01:35 pm
I believe the preponderance of historical evidence is that homosexuality has been socially accepted in most places at most times. It is largely the Judeo-Christian tradition which has a stake in gay-bashing. I could not hope to explain why, other than to note the christians probably absorbed the bigotry along with the rest of the racism, sexism and elitism of the old testament.

Julius Caesar was well known to be bi-sexual. When he was in his early twenties, he was sent to enlist the aid of Nicomedes III Philopater, the King of Bithynia, who had twice fled to Rome as an exile, and had been twice restored to his throne by the Romans. It is said that Caesar slept with Nicomedes, a homosexual who never hid his proclibities, and later christian historians would vehemently assert that this was slander against him by his political enemies. There was no legal proscription of homosexuality among the Romans, although there was some hypocritical social opprobrium attached. Bythinia and Pontus were kingdoms on the south coast of the Black Sea, and were important to trade in late Republican Rome. It is certain that the Romans, including Sulla, often went to the aid of their ally Bithynia in its wars with Pontus, and fought three wars with Pontus themselves.

Caesar was sent as an envoy, but remained for nearly three years. At the end of that time, King Nicomedes Philopater died, and bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman Republic. Many contemporaries said that this was because of Caesar's homosexual liaison with Nicomedes. Caesar did not have known political ambitions at that time, and he never denied that charge--he ignored it. His legionnaries, who greatly admired him, were known to sing ditties, the burden of which was that Caesar was "every woman's man, and every man's woman."

Alexander III of Macedon, who is uaually (and unjustifiably) known as Alexander the Great is usually considered to have been bi-sexual. However, the evidence is very good that he was in fact homosexual. That he may have had wives means nothing--the duty of Kings is to sire children upon their Queens, whose duty it is to produce an heir to the throne. Therefore, the well-known homosexual kind of England, James I, for whom the King James Version of the bible is named, produced a son by his wife, but otherwise paid little attention to her.

Richard Plantagenet, the first King of England of that name, known as Lionheart, was also homosexual. Futhermore, although this is reasonably considered to be very uncommon, he was also a pederast. His two favorite passtimes were buggering adolescent boys and hacking people to bits with a two-handed broadsword. The former got him killed when his skill with the latter failed him. He was accused of raping the adolescent nephew of a chastelain in Normandy (someone whose duty was to hold a castle for a powerful lord)--the chastelain called Richard out, and proceeded to hack him to little pieces with a broadsword.

Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Tschaikovsky--the list of well-known, and brialliant, homosexuals is quite long. My reading of history is that its only the Jews and Christians who have systematically persecuted homosexuals.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 01:51 pm
Setanta- I am nowhere as adelpt in the study of history as you are, but I have a question. Didn't Richard Plantagenet conduct one of the crusades against Islam? Would that not make him a part of the Christian tradition?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 01:57 pm
Yes, indeed he was a Christian. So? Do not both Judaism and Christianity prohibt killing? Do not adherents of both creeds kill?

My point was only to provide examples from western history of homosexuals who acheived positions of power or influence. I suppose i ought to have taken more care to separate the admonitions against homosexuality in the Judeo-Christian tradition from the historical reality, but i tend to consider hypocricy a given in religion, and have the failing that i assume others also automatically understand that.
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:02 pm
Setanta wrote:
It is largely the Judeo-Christian tradition which has a stake in gay-bashing. I could not hope to explain why, other than to note the christians probably absorbed the bigotry along with the rest of the racism, sexism and elitism of the old testament.


The Old Testament was around and probably at least mildly popular during some of the histories you recount, so I wouldn't be so quick to blame that. There are only a few lines in it that condemn homosexuality, all of which I've seen desputed as to their actual intention.

As bigotry (sexism in particular) and elitism go, both are more or less universal wherever you look. Every culture needs to differentiate between 'us' and 'them' in order to establish itself as it's own, and to discriminate between genders in some configuration to standardize a way of life. Over time, this develops into outright hatred, stereotyping, and discrimination (in the specific sense of the word).

According to this article,

Quote:
In colonial America, regulation of non-procreative sexual practices - regulation that carried harsh penalties but was rarely enforced - stemmed from Christian religious teachings and reflected the need for procreative sex to increase the population. Colonial sexual regulation included such non-procreative acts as masturbation, and sodomy laws applied equally to male-male, male-female, and human-animal sexual activity. "Sodomy" was not the equivalent of "homosexual conduct." It was understood as a particular, discrete, act, not as an indication of a person's sexuality or sexual orientation.

Not until the end of the nineteenth century did lawmakers and medical writing recognize sexual "inversion" or what we would today call homosexuality. The phrase "homosexual sodomy" would have been literally incomprehensible to the Framers of the Constitution, for the very concept of homosexuality as a discrete psychological condition and source of personal identity was not available until the late 1800s.


So it seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon, and nothing to do with the OT at all.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:09 pm
You may defend the old testament as you will--it is, nevertheless, the source upon which fundamentalist christians lean for their condemnation of homosexuality. Your discurus notwithstanding, my point is that homosexuality seems to be a constant in human history, but that the condemnation of it is only prominently noticeable among Jews and Christians. I don't care what the origin of it is, and have already said as much. But you entertain yourself however you want, and cherish your old testament to your heart's content.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:10 pm
By the way, Rufio, most Jews for most of history have been illiterate, as have been most Chrisitians. It is only within the last few centuries that literacy has become common, and that texts of the bible were readily available. Your argument about what people may have read and believed is bootless as people did not commonly read the bible for most of the history of the world.
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:20 pm
The Old Testament may be what fundamentalists use to vindicate their beliefs, but it is also what some pacifists and humanists use as well. When something is that old, it's possible to interpret it as anything. It was written thousands of years ago, and can't really be blamed for new trends like the hatred of homosexuality.

Despite the fact that people may not have read the bible, the religions themselves were based on it, and presumably the religious leaders of the times were able to read it and interpret it for the rest. If it had had anything in it they deemed condemned homosexuality, I'm sure someone would have known about it.

I only 'cherish' the Old Testament as an interesting peice of folklore and as it gives insight into Western religion and philosophy. If you choose to write it off as bigoted crap and not see it as a window to understanding these things, I suppose that is your prerogative.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:25 pm
rufio wrote:
I only 'cherish' the Old Testament as an interesting peice of folklore and as it gives insight into Western religion and philosophy. If you choose to write it off as bigoted crap and not see it as a window to understanding these things, I suppose that is your prerogative.


Strawman . . . i made no such contention--that's nothing more than a snotty accusation attempting to belittle someone who disagrees with you.

If you contend, however, that the old testament is not the source of hatred of homosexuals, how do you contend that it would provide "a window to understand these things," hmm?
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:32 pm
Quote:
Strawman . . . i made no such contention--that's nothing more than a snotty accusation attempting to belittle someone who disagrees with you.


And yet...

Quote:
I could not hope to explain why, other than to note the christians probably absorbed the bigotry along with the rest of the racism, sexism and elitism of the old testament.


Quote:
You may defend the old testament as you will--it is, nevertheless, the source upon which fundamentalist christians lean for their condemnation of homosexuality.


If you can't see how the source of both Judaism and Christianity can be used to understand the philosophy behind these religions, I'm at a loss to explain further. I personally don't think I'm disagreeing with you at all on this topic - you showed that hatred of homosexuality was not prevalent in history, and I showed that it was a recent development. I'm only diagreeing that the OT has anything to do with it.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:38 pm
rufio wrote:
Quote:
Strawman . . . i made no such contention--that's nothing more than a snotty accusation attempting to belittle someone who disagrees with you.


And yet...

Quote:
I could not hope to explain why, other than to note the christians probably absorbed the bigotry along with the rest of the racism, sexism and elitism of the old testament.


Quote:
You may defend the old testament as you will--it is, nevertheless, the source upon which fundamentalist christians lean for their condemnation of homosexuality.


If you can't see how the source of both Judaism and Christianity can be used to understand the philosophy behind these religions, I'm at a loss to explain further. I personally don't think I'm disagreeing with you at all on this topic - you showed that hatred of homosexuality was not prevalent in history, and I showed that it was a recent development. I'm only diagreeing that the OT has anything to do with it.


It is typical of your style that you used those quotes to attempt to support a contention to the effect that i: ". . . choose to write it off as bigoted crap . . ." You have no basis for that statement. To note that there is racism, sexism and elitism in the old testament does not constitute a statement that the old testament constitutes bigoted crap, nor is it evidence that i "write it off." My opinion of the old testament is that it is a breathtaking insight into the narrow-minded bigotry of a nomadic semitic people of a few millenia ago, as well as a derivative document which borrowed heavily from Akkadian and Pharsee-Medean sources at the time of the Babylonian captivity. Nothing in what i have written suggests that i have written it off, or that i consider it bigoted crap. I do consider its authors to have largely been bigots, and i know it to be a very unoriginal production.
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 02:49 pm
People are narrow-minded. There is no other way for them to be. Christians and Jews are not special in this respect.

What shows that you do not care about the information contained in the OT is that you constantly degrade it and the people who followed its teachings. You tell me that it is 'mine' - that is, that it is not 'yours' and that you wish to distance youself from it. You think that it is only about bigotry because it seems bigoted from your perspective. You are unable to see beyond this bigotry and describe the real meat of it as 'unoriginal'. This 'unoriginality' is part of what makes it interesting, since it means that parts of the legends can be traced back to other cultures and thus their evolution can be better understood.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 03:03 pm
rufio wrote:
People are narrow-minded. There is no other way for them to be. Christians and Jews are not special in this respect.


Look up the word tautology.

Quote:
What shows that you do not care about the information contained in the OT is that you constantly degrade it and the people who followed its teachings.


You do not know any of these things to be true. There is very little "information" in the old testament. Most of what it contains, which wasn't borrowed from other sources, was made up from whole cloth--you won't find any historical corroboration for the fairy tales therein. Before the Babylonian captivity, it is doubtful that it even existed in any form which we would recognize, beyond portions of what now constitutes Genesis. After the captivity, the Jews returned to Palestine with all kinds of nifty new ideas like monotheism and a world-wide flood. by and large, though, it is rather a dull docuent, with very little of much use for the student of history. It has been overemphasized because of perfervid christians writing scolastic histories, but that doesn't make it as important as you appear to want to make it out to be.

Quote:
You tell me that it is 'mine' - that is, that it is not 'yours' and that you wish to distance youself from it.


I neither distance myself from it, nor embrace it. It just another ancient text. As ancient texts go, is is pretty unreliable for any other use than to know what sort of bigotry motivated the Jews of two and half millenia ago. Apart from that, it's too unreliable for history, and too unoriginal for a source on Semitic culture.

Quote:
You think that it is only about bigotry because it seems bigoted from your perspective.


You construct strawmen again. You make this series of statements on the basis of your offended rage, not on the basis of any knowledge of me. It is certainly bigoted. It states that the Jews have a special covenant with the unique deity in the cosmos. From the American Heritage Dictionary, big·ot, n., One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. You won't find a better description of the old testament Jews than that.

Quote:
You are unable to see beyond this bigotry and describe the real meat of it as 'unoriginal'.


The "meat" of it? How very silly. Come up with some substantitve, unique contribution to the culture of humanity which it provides, and which was not borrowed from another source, and i might buy that. I guarantee you that you won't, though. I read the old testament for the first time more than forty years ago, have read it more than once, and have read teh history of the middle east, in detail, many times. You are just throwing phrases around, you have provided no substance.

Quote:
This 'unoriginality' is part of what makes it interesting, since it means that parts of the legends can be traced back to other cultures and thus their evolution can be better understood.


All that the study of derivative material will teach anyone is how the material was treated after it was derived. It teaches nothing about anything other than what the Jews thought of what they had borrowed. The only "evolution" involved is the tailoring of the borrowed material to a spurious Jewish history.

You'll have to do much better than this. You get an "F" for this tripe.
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 03:32 pm
Setanta wrote:
rufio wrote:
People are narrow-minded. There is no other way for them to be. Christians and Jews are not special in this respect.


Look up the word tautology.


Does that mean you agree with me? I see nothing innately tautological about that.

Quote:
Most of what it contains, which wasn't borrowed from other sources, was made up from whole cloth--you won't find any historical corroboration for the fairy tales therein. Before the Babylonian captivity, it is doubtful that it even existed in any form which we would recognize, beyond portions of what now constitutes Genesis.


And, actually, most of the rest of it as well. From what I've read, most of the OT is made up of short segments that were written by different people long before it was collaborated together into a single story. The collaborater added some things as well, but the majority of at least the first four books was written prior to that.

Quote:
After the captivity, the Jews returned to Palestine with all kinds of nifty new ideas like monotheism and a world-wide flood.


Monotheism was probably a new idea (and throughout the text, God is occasionally referred to in the plural), but the flood is not - it comes up in many myths worldwide.

Quote:
by and large, though, it is rather a dull docuent, with very little of much use for the student of history.


This is what I mean by you not caring about the content of it. Although I suppose if you are only interested in the facts history and not the people of history, it is of little use to you.

Quote:
I neither distance myself from it, nor embrace it.


Than it is not correct to say it is 'mine' alone. If you truly do not care, than it belongs to history, in which we all have a share. Even you.

Quote:
As ancient texts go, is is pretty unreliable for any other use than to know what sort of bigotry motivated the Jews of two and half millenia ago.


Again, you assume that bigotry was all that motivated them.

Quote:
Apart from that, it's too unreliable for history, and too unoriginal for a source on Semitic culture.


It was written by members of that culture, which makes it just as valid an artifact in its study as anything else. Cultures are not distinct entities - they interact with other cultures, religions, and with history. You can't disregard something simply because it is 'unoriginal'.

For instance, look at some of the things produced by American culture. We have millions of media dedicated to the myth of King Arthur. Original? Not really. Culturally American? Definitely. We take the original story and weave threads of American idealism into it, and when you compare it to the older versions, it becomes glaringly apparent.

Quote:
You make this series of statements on the basis of your offended rage, not on the basis of any knowledge of me.


I make my statements based on statements that you have made. I am not angry; I am just disagreeing that the OT has anything to do with the modern perception of homosexuality.

Quote:
It is certainly bigoted.


Everything human beings produce is biased because they come from a particular perspective. If all you can take out of it is that it is 'bigoted and unoriginal' you are not seeing all of it.

Quote:
From the American Heritage Dictionary, big·ot, n., One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. You won't find a better description of the old testament Jews than that.


Or of people in general.

Quote:
The "meat" of it? How very silly. Come up with some substantitve, unique contribution to the culture of humanity which it provides, and which was not borrowed from another source, and i might buy that.


All of your words were borrowed from someone else who used them in a different way, and in a different context, to say something different. Does the fact that you did not make them all up on the spot make your use of them unsubstantive?

Quote:
You are just throwing phrases around, you have provided no substance.


If you're really interested in what the OT can tell us now about ancient people, may I suggest this book? It has plenty of substance. I took a class on the OT a few semesters ago, and have other books to recommend to, if you really are interested in reading them. Somehow, though, I really doubt that.

Quote:
All that the study of derivative material will teach anyone is how the material was treated after it was derived. It teaches nothing about anything other than what the Jews thought of what they had borrowed. The only "evolution" involved is the tailoring of the borrowed material to a spurious Jewish history.


Just so. What more do you want? Information the cultures that came before, which had little to do with the Jews themselves?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 04:40 pm
You make it more an more apparent that you've taken a fascination for the old testament (no doubt the product of the course you took), and now are a perfervid defender of what you overrate as a source of history and cultural information.

You link a book by Richard Friedman, who is a world-renowned biblical scholar. It apparently doesn't occur to you that someone who has made the bible a life's study is someone whose work would tend to make the bible central to all his theses. Because Mr. Friedman is so fascinated by the bible is not evidence that the bible is not full of racism, sexism and elitism, and it not evidence that the Jews were not bigots.

You are obsessed, but that is your problem, and not mine. There is a good deal of interest in history and culture in the world which lies beyond and completely apart from the Judeo-christian tradition. Having been raised in a culture steeped in the mummery of those religions, i have long found my interest elsewhere. Too bad if you don't like it.

I assert, once again, that the Judeo-christian tradition is the only cultural tradition in the world of which i know which actively condemns homosexuality. I assert once again that i suspect that this derives from the condemnations of homosexuality in the old testament.
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 04:47 pm
I still find it absolutely fascinating that one would accept all the seeming negatives in the Bible but totally overlook the fact that there are positives contained therein.

If one presupposes the negative is true, then why not do the same with the positive?

Very curious that. :wink:
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 04:51 pm
You are projecting. I haven't been discussing theology, i've just been discussing the old testament as an historical and cultural document. In that light, it is very obviously the product of tribal bigots, with horrible and hateful values, and a comic book character god who lusts for blood and murder.

Name the positives of the old testament to which you refer, and lets see you put your money where your mouth is. Try to do it without the idiotic emoticons, and prove that you have genuine statements and arguments to offer rather than witless attempts to be cute.

But then, you could really surpise us, and actually address the topic of the thread.

You make, bar none, more stupid posts than anyone else i've ever seen here.
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 05:40 pm
Setanta wrote:
You make it more an more apparent that you've taken a fascination for the old testament (no doubt the product of the course you took)


If I had not already found it interesting before I took the course, I wouldn't have taken it.

Quote:
and now are a perfervid defender of what you overrate as a source of history and cultural information.


I am not saying that it is the absolute authority on anything. I am saying that there is more to it than bigotry.

Quote:
You link a book by Richard Friedman, who is a world-renowned biblical scholar. It apparently doesn't occur to you that someone who has made the bible a life's study is someone whose work would tend to make the bible central to all his theses.


Well, it being a book about the origins of the bible, it would, as you would expect, have the bible as a central theme, regardless of who wrote it.

Quote:
Because Mr. Friedman is so fascinated by the bible is not evidence that the bible is not full of racism, sexism and elitism, and it not evidence that the Jews were not bigots.


I never said it wasn't. I said there was more to it than that.

Quote:
You are obsessed, but that is your problem, and not mine.


Actually, I'd say you seem rather obsessed with the idea of bigotry myself, which seems odd since it is so commonplace.

Quote:
There is a good deal of interest in history and culture in the world which lies beyond and completely apart from the Judeo-christian tradition. Having been raised in a culture steeped in the mummery of those religions, i have long found my interest elsewhere. Too bad if you don't like it.


Being interested in the history of one culture is no reason why you can't feign at least passing interest in that of another. You seem to be at least slightly knowledgable about the history of the Western world; it is odd that you don't seem to know anything about it's religion. The two are virtually inseperable.

Quote:
I assert, once again, that the Judeo-christian tradition is the only cultural tradition in the world of which i know which actively condemns homosexuality. I assert once again that i suspect that this derives from the condemnations of homosexuality in the old testament.


I assert that in the first post I made on this thread I cited an article, which took five minutes to turn up on google, which cites sources to indicate that condemnation of homosexuality is a product of 19th century America.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
DOES NOTHING EXIST??? - Question by mark noble
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Is homosexuality a bad thing?
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 03/30/2017 at 06:31:29