The Ethical Atheist’s Ten Commandments.

Behold! I give ye Ten Commandments for Ethical Atheists!

  1. Thou SHALT NOT believe all thou art told.
  2. Thou SHALT seek knowledge and truth constantly.
  3. Thou SHALT educate thy fellow man in the Laws of Science.
  4. Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of god.
  5. Thou SHALT leave valuable contributions for future generations.
  6. Thou SHALT live in peace with thy fellow man.
  7. Thou SHALT live this one life thou hast to its fullest.
  8. Thou SHALT follow a Personal Code of Ethics.
  9. Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation between Church and State.
  10. Thou SHALT support those who follow these commandments.

The site itself contains brief explanations for each of the various commandment as well to help clarify. Good reading.

Found, oddly enough, through ***Dave’s Blog who points out that he’d be very happy if more than just atheists followed those commandments, thusly reconfirming my oft-stated belief that the world could use a few more Christians like him.

86 comments

  1. Well, hopefully not *too* oddly.

    Really, honest, truly, I don’t find anything in that list that I find violates my personal Christianity or even what I would consider mainstream Christian thought. 

    I think many Christians would consider these insufficient by themselves, but, then, the original Decalogue themselves are insufficient in Christian thought.

    The only thing I might amend would be #4, to read , “Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of a purported good or noble cause.”  Because any sort of ideology or ideals, from tribalism to religion to politics to nationalism, can lead to atrocities.  (It can also lead to good things, too, but at the very least a cautionary note is required.)

  2. i like the one about living this one life to the fullest, not worrying about some “afterlife”, and letting it affect the life you are living now. and do not believe eveything you are told.

  3. They should definitely rewrite this for “All Human Beings” rather than just atheists.  I think it would make the world a better place.  And I like Dave’s idea for the change to number 4.

  4. If we could get more people to live for the joy of living and follow what seems like common sense, things would be a shit-ton better.  Rock on for this!

  5. Here, let me piss in your pocket—er, demur just slightly.

    “Common sense” usually (as Heinlein put it) isn’t.  If it were, it would be a lot more common.  Hence #1-2 … not just accepting what you’ve been told and seeking to figure out the “sense” yourself.

    “Living for the joy of living” sounds pretty keen—but can also be pretty selfish.  In some ways, it stands opposite “the common good.”  I do believe that living in constant fear of (or even desire for) the Afterlife is misguided at best.  But #7 in a vacuum isn’t a good thing.  (Most of the above in a vacuum aren’t.)

    “Desire for the common good” (on the flip side) also sounds nice—but has been used as an excuse for any number of authoritarian schemes.  If you accept their sincerity (a big if, to be certain), even Robertson and Falwell are seeking the common good by imposition of their religious beliefs.

    I actually tend to go back to the “Greatest Commandments”—to love God with all one’s being and to love one’s neighbor as onesself.  The former can certainly lead to bad things, depending on the deity (or ideals or ideologies) one chooses to worship, but the latter (and its reexpression as the Golden Rule) provides an immediate, localized guideline that would, indeed, make life a lot better for everyone.

  6. someone once told me we should have atheists on one side of the world, and christians on the other, so we both get to live the way we want without bothering each other, but i just thought, then we would probably have a world war, that would not work either i guess. maybe we should live on separate planets, or separate universes, now im dreaming.

  7. Problem is, I’m not convinced that, even if you kept the groups apart, All Atheists could live together in peace; certainly All Christians seem to have been unable to.

    Plus, of course, that leave about a bunch of other Theists.

  8. Well, last week’s and tonight’s South Park episodes show us a world of atheists, and for an as yet undisclosed reason they fight and kill each other a good bit, and sentient sea otters too.

  9. i guess your right, people still have many flaws besides what they beleive in. then you would still have other problems people would never agree on.

  10. I’d switch #4 to ‘In the name of ideology’, to get it a bit broader, but apart that, fine work.

  11. I can’t help but feel that the other nine Commandments are undermined by #8. Although I classify myself as an atheist and hopefully an ethical one at that, ethical behaviour relies fundamentally on the desires and judgment of the individual as opposed the collective. Allowing the individual to judge what is fundamentally good, opens a jumbo sized can of worms. What my idea of a Personal Code of Ethics is and what is your’s may well be opposites. Unlikely I know; but possible.

  12. I also think number 8 is a bit of an Achilles heel.  I’m probably an atheist by most definitions of God, but I suspect that there is an assumption by many entering this debate that science is the foundation of their atheism, and that there is a continuous boundary where science is pushing against religion and defeating it.  While, when science does meet and conflict with religion, it wins, I think there is a vast no-man’s land of assumptions that both sides are also constantly trying to lay claim to, neither admitting they are unsuccessful.  Religious people should take heart that at the core of science is a rule about humility, that science allows that it may overturn itself completeley given its own evidence.  I think the reason I think I’m an atheist is that most religions pushed at me assume that God is a conscious being.  I think consciousness is one of those concepts that alot is assumed about, and lies smack in the middle of the no-man’s land neither side can reach.  It is also the core assumption you think about in the Golden Rule.  I think when science finds a way to circumvent “objectivity” and finds some way of even beginning to look at conscousness, the science of consciousness will alter science itself, and whatever that theory looks like could easily have the potential to explain the Golden Rule, thus subsuming theism and atheism into one theory.  But all we have now is these two very different animals: science is unfortunately the study of reality, and religion is the historical vessel that holds the collective code of ethics.  If atheists strive to take that code of ethics away from the religious, they need to come up with something more scientific than “whatever you personally want” along with some good mechanics for generational transmission (i.e. a curriculum) to replace it with.  Science may not yet be up to that task, and so naturally families go with the traditions they know.  Atheists take heart, the current selection of religions (as well as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy) do a great job of teaching our kids to question authoritiy.

  13. Didi, nicely said.
    I too have a ‘problem’ with consciousness because, as you say, it “lies smack in the middle of the no-man’s land” between science and religion.
    What is it and when, how and why did it evolve?
    I suppose the ‘why’ doesn’t really matter as it infers there’s another raison d’être for human life other than just to continue the species.
    The ‘when’ also matters little … just trivia. Do we agree it was more than 6000 years ago.  LOL
    I suppose the ‘how’ could be just as easily explained as the 1 and 0 in computer language.
    It was once switched off and then something caused it to be switched on.
    I wonder if all living creatures have the capacity for consciousness.
    So the ‘what is consciousness?’ is what we are left with.
    I suppose one day it’ll be as easy to explain as electricity, magnetism and gravity. wink

  14. That group’s moderators at “Ethical Atheist” will all but lead a public stoning of you should you express reservations with homosexual marriage.  I dropped a total of 567 posts there until it became all too clear what an intellectually bereft mosh pit of whorish political fagotry underlined their so called “ethics.”  Never in my life have I seen such grotesque behavior by anyone who would presume to operate under the pretence of claiming intellectual high ground. To simply put up a site boasting itself as “ethical”, without even an iota of sincere intent toward meeting anything close to the standard seems, in this context, as a fraud against the minds and emotions of travelers.

    Like vultures in waiting for pray they would sulk at having no fundies to feed on as a kind of joke. Then, when some “bible thumper” came in they would fain kindness for a time and then swoop on whatever deeply held believe or vulnerability they could exploit. I would watch and even take part in the gangland style feeding frenzies when some poor unsuspecting “fundy” would stumble into the trap, only to be besieged with low-grade insults and attacks.  I soon grew bored with this, however. I decided I wanted to debate with them, instead. Inevitably, they could only pounce in classic passive/aggressive form by use of something personal I had entrusted them with. All they could muster was that. All they were ever capable of was ganging up on fundies. There was no one to engage with in civil debate.

    What some people consider ethical might very well be hideous to those with normal instincts. It’s no wonder that over the course of my time there I came to the realization that while I was no theist, neither could I claim atheism and particularly not these atheists.

    Let me just sketch out the grist of this in brief: COMMANDMENT #9
    When moderator ‘S’ insisted that there was not one possible secular reason to deny homosexual marriage, I took it as a challenge to find at least one and I found many. Then I found the smoking gun to their position. They’re pro-homosexual marriage stance was/is clearly in direct conflict with COMMANDMENT #9

    “Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation of church and state.”

    As I see it homosexuals rejection of “civil unions” and demand for “marriage” was, in effect, squandering an opportunity to foster better separation of church and state, since, “Alan Dershowitz and others have suggested reserving the word “marriage” for religious contexts as part of privatizing marriage, and in civil and legal contexts using a uniform concept of civil unions, in part to strengthen the separation between church and state.” Thus, it became clear to me that “Ethical Atheist” total and unconditional support for homosexual ‘marriage’ was in conflict with the keeping of their 9th commandment.

    Some might say that would be tantamount to approaching fundy like levels of hypocrisy.

    They neither had the desire to examine the issue nor capacity to mount a counter argument, so; instead, they (the moderators) simply, resorted to the nastiest personal attacks and name calling which continued at my back even after I walked out of that place.

    I think the measure of “ethical” should be to at least try.  This group represents naught but a total obfuscation of its name sake; for the sole purpose of luring prey, manipulating its membership and advancing its homosexual political agenda, at all cost(even to children), and all driven by hatred of religious fundamentalists. 
    Cool huh?

  15. Or at least it’s not a wholly religious institution. It’s as much secular as it is religious and it’s the secular interpretation that most supporters of marriage equality are concerned with.

  16. advancing its homosexual political agenda, at all cost(even to children),

    This. Think of the children?

    Really? That’s what you came up with?

    :D

  17. Or at least it’s not a wholly religious institution. It’s as much secular as it is religious and it’s the secular interpretation that most supporters of marriage equality are concerned with.

    I don’t think that marriage equality folks would object to an all-secular “civil union” that the state recognized, leaving marriage and the rules of who could marry, religiously, to the individual churches.  In theory, that would be the most equitable and sensible arrangement.

    But since we’re not likely to see the state stop recognizing “marriage” (we already have howls that Teh Gayz are out to Destroy Marriage) then it’s essential that committed be treated equally under the law, including by name.

  18. I don’t think that marriage equality folks would object to an all-secular “civil union” that the state recognized, leaving marriage and the rules of who could marry, religiously, to the individual churches.  In theory, that would be the most equitable and sensible arrangement.

    Under that system, would civil ceremonies constitute marriage? Would churches with memberships under 5 people be able to perform marriages?

    Individual churches already have the right to decide for whom they will and will not perform marriages. AFAIK the marriage equality supporters are not trying to take that right away from them.

    The religious bigots do not seem to have a problem using the word “marriage” for heterosexual couples, even if said marriage is a civil ceremony, or performed by some non-mainstream (read kooky) religion. They only object if the couple involved have the same dangly bits. So when they say they want “marriage” to apply only to religious ceremonies, they are clearly lying.

  19. Under that system, would civil ceremonies constitute marriage?

    Since we’re talking about civil ceremonies (akin to civil marriage now), that would be what constitutes “marriage” for civil purposes.  Get a license, get the status.  Again, just like civil marriages now.

    Would churches with memberships under 5 people be able to perform marriages?

    Since it would be up to each faith—be it one person or a million strong—to determine what considers “marriage,” holy matrimony in the eyes of its followers and deity, the same as each group can determine what constitutes “baptism” or a proper holy burial or forgiveness of sins or communion (just to use Christian examples).

    None of those institutions are (in this country) regulated or controlled based on religious dogma.  To my mind, it’s not clear why “holy matrimony” ought to be.

  20. I’m not impressed that marriage “is” a religious institution, at all. I’m suggesting that if homosexuals want civil rights equal to marriage then they would have done better to make the argument against the religious right about defining marriage as a civil right under whatever name. They could have enlisted more support from the godless sector that way.  Marriage should not imply a church wedding, first and foremost, and civil ceremony second. Separation of church and state would be better served were there separate terms to designate religious based marriages (eternal matrimony) from civil based marriages (a marriage contract for a life term).  Homosexual’s rejection of “civil union” and insistence upon the designation of “marriage” is what marshaled the forces of the religious right against them; to insert traditional definitive language into the California state constitution.  The strategy or lack thereof, by the homosexual lobby in perusing their aim, in effect, ignored an opportunity to insert other language; that could have lessened the blur between separation of church and state. Marriage could have been first and fundamentally been defined as a domestic partnership and/or a civil union, for instance. Or homosexuals could have just let the religious have the term marriage and pursued their rights under the designation of domestic partnerships and/or civil unions. The world might have evolved where when a person states single or married status it would also designate them as secular, or not, since the current usage of “marriage” blurs such distinction and by extension, blurs separation of church and state.

    As for children; I don’t see a future world where masses of in vitro produced children, raised in single sexed homes as being good for children or society. Children need a MOTHER & FATHER to best learn how to navigate life with both sexes through the course of their lives (but this strays from topic and I will not discuss further here).

  21. Homosexual’s rejection of “civil union” and insistence upon the designation of “marriage” is what marshaled the forces of the religious right against them

    The bigotry and hatred inheirent in the religious right is what marshals their forces against anything.

    Sounds to me like you were unsuccessfull trolling the Ethical Atheist fora and are now posting contradictory stuff here

    Separation of church and state would be better served were there separate terms to designate religious based marriages (eternal matrimony) from civil based marriages (a marriage contract for a life term).

    Bullshit. Separation of church and state means that the state does not have any term for religious based marriages. When the state talks about marriage, it always refers to the civil aspect of it. If a person performing a religious marriage is also lisenced to perform civil marriages then both aspects can be covered at once. But the state only recognises the civil aspect of it.

    Homosexuals and equal rights activists are not trying to interfere in the religious aspect of marriage at all.

  22. Ragu:  They could have enlisted more support from the godless sector that way.

    With all due respect to the “godless sector,” that’s not a lot of voters at the moment (and most are already inclined, I have the impression, toward this cause).

    Homosexual’s rejection of “civil union” and insistence upon the designation of “marriage” is what marshaled the forces of the religious right against them; to insert traditional definitive language into the California state constitution.

    The Religious Right has fought “marriage,” it has fought “civil unions,” and it has fought the decriminalization of homosexual acts. 

    More accurately, it’s probably fair to say that for the (narrow) majority of Californians, the “M” word was a swaying point (and was hammered home by Religious Right adverts).  But that popluation is not the Religious Right.

    The problem is that it’s easier to adopt the forms already present than redefine them.  If one were redesigning the system from scratch, drawing a bright line differentiating civil unions from religious matrimony would make perfect sense.  But the system we have is the system we have, and it’s more straightforward (and, arguably, no more contentious with the RR) to simply argue, for the moment, that marriage, from a civil stance, should include gay couples, rather than do a massive rewriting of the law to change all references to marriage to civil union.

    The third course, having a system where you have “civil unions” and “marriages” (depending on the plumbing combination of the participants) is certainly better than nothing, but even if you make them legally synonymous (both difficult to write and subject to the same protests from the RR as “gay marriage”) you are still setting up a “separate but equal” arrangement, which is legally unadvisable, if not repugnant.

  23. As for children; I don’t see a future world where masses of in vitro produced children, raised in single sexed homes as being good for children or society. Children need a MOTHER & FATHER to best learn how to navigate life with both sexes through the course of their lives (but this strays from topic and I will not discuss further here).

    That’s cute that you don’t believe that’s up for debate, and that you’ve got some notion that supporting homosexual marriage would necessarily supplant heterosexual marriage to the point where the only children born were in vats.

    Again, that’s your argument? Test tube babies?

    I mean, I support gay marriage and all that, but that doesn’t mean I’m rushing out to marry one just to prove a point. Furthermore, do you know any children of single sex parents? I do. They’re not any more or less screwed up than any other kid is today. How single sex parents are somehow inherently worse than revolving marriages, being raised in a strictly conservative religious environment, or being raised by a single parent is beyond me. How precluding the institution of marriage from homosexuals should somehow prevent them from having children is beyond me. How precluding them that institution with the explicit protections and privileges it grants to parents should protect the children of such relationships is beyond me.

    Again, it’s cute that you’ve decided that you’re not going to say anything more about the issue – if these were the issues and points you brought up somewhere else it’s no wonder your argument was systematically demolished. Or should I say SYSTEMATICALLY DEMOLISHED? What’s with the caps? Do you think that shouting something makes the debate point better?

  24. Dave: With all due respect to the “godless sector,” that’s not a lot of voters at the moment (and most are already inclined, I have the impression, toward this cause).

    I’ve seen repots of polls that put secular and/or those who don’t claim any religious affiliation ranging from 11 – 21%. There is even a godless lobby in DC now.  Some would say that, if better organized, that the secular vote could hold significant sway in public policy.

    Considering the thought you put into the above post, relating to possible redistricting of territories; Matrimony; Marriage; Domestic Partnership, Civil Union, Church & Sate, so to speak; do you have an understanding as to what Alan Dershowitz is talking about when he suggests “reserving the word “marriage” for religious contexts as part of privatizing marriage, and in civil and legal contexts using a uniform concept of civil unions, in part to strengthen the separation between church and state.”

    Do you understand why one might surmise a conflict of interest between seperation C/S and the aproach taken by the gay marriage proponants? I was in process of developing a discussion that was subsequently blocked from public view. That thread was “Gay Marriage vs., Separation of Church and State.“ I should think the idea would, at least, be discussable and open to exploration in an atheist forum.

  25. Jullian, the trolling accusation is unfair. I was a member there for almost 2 years and engaged in many discussions that were not particularly contentious. The end came when it became clear that a sacred cow was in the room. I am generally in favor of equal rights and protections for homosexuals.

    Also, with all due respect, I don’t recognize the term “bigotry” as a valid or particularly meaningful usage when employed so liberally by the homosexual community.  I’ve stood for their rights my whole life and been called a bigot for the slightest disagreement with them.

    As per your other comment: Since the state only recognizes the civil union part of marriage and that is what homosexuals want then perhaps they should have inserted language into the constitution to the effect that “In California, Civil Union and domestic partnership will be recoconised to have the same meaning and force as marriage.

  26. I’ve seen repots of polls that put secular and/or those who don’t claim any religious affiliation ranging from 11 – 21%. There is even a godless lobby in DC now.  Some would say that, if better organized, that the secular vote could hold significant sway in public policy.

    By definition, we’re not talking about a group that starts from an organized root, or are defined by more than what they are not.  Plus, lacking weekly (or more) gatherings, they’re not likely to be as organized any time soon as any individual religious sect.

    I also think the term “godless lobby” is amusing, as a lot of folks feel lobbyists are generally godless anyway, and not in a good way.

    Considering the thought you put into the above post, relating to possible redistricting of territories; Matrimony; Marriage; Domestic Partnership, Civil Union, Church & Sate, so to speak; do you have an understanding as to what Alan Dershowitz is talking about when he suggests “reserving the word “marriage” for religious contexts as part of privatizing marriage, and in civil and legal contexts using a uniform concept of civil unions, in part to strengthen the separation between church and state.”

    I believe I do.  I think I’ve also addressed why that’s not a terribly practical idea at the moment.

    I do think it’s a worthwhile discussion, though.  But I thought that’s what we’re having.

  27. As per your other comment: Since the state only recognizes the civil union part of marriage and that is what homosexuals want then perhaps they should have inserted language into the constitution to the effect that “In California, Civil Union and domestic partnership will be recoconised to have the same meaning and force as marriage.

    “Separate but Equal” is not necessarily what people want.  Plus it’s not clear that it would apply across state lines (under the Full Faith clause) or to the federal government (assuming DOMA were not in the way).

  28. MisterMook,
    Out of respect to this board and its participants I will keep as close to topic as I can; being COMMANDMENT#9. If you want to discuss my position on children in same sex households, kindly direct me to an appropriate thread and I will be glad to discuss it. Thanks.

  29. Jullian, the trolling accusation is unfair. I was a member there for almost 2 years and engaged in many discussions that were not particularly contentious. The end came when it became clear that a sacred cow was in the room.

    Let’s see: you post on an atheist site using terms like fagotry, holy cow, vultures, “faining kindness”, you “take it as a challange” to kind what you call secular arguments for your bigotry, and then you come to another site with a high percentage of atheist members and try the same tactics. Sounds like trolling to me.

    I don’t recognize the term “bigotry” as a valid or particularly meaningful usage when employed so liberally by the homosexual community.

    I employed the term and I’m not a member of the “homosexual community” as you call it.

    Since the state only recognizes the civil union part of marriage and that is what homosexuals want then perhaps they should have inserted language into the constitution to the effect that “In California, Civil Union and domestic partnership will be recoconised to have the same meaning and force as marriage.

    More of your bigotry. I suppose you honestly dont realise how repugnant that argument is. Denying any rights to any section of people is bigotry pure and simple.

  30. MisterMook,
    Out of respect to this board and its participants I will keep as close to topic as I can; being COMMANDMENT#9. If you want to discuss my position on children in same sex households, kindly direct me to an appropriate thread and I will be glad to discuss it. Thanks.

    You already pulled a three year old thread out of the archives to try to make your point, and one that wasn’t particularly active either. Then you make reference to some other board’s house rules as rationalizations for not continuing your debate in an effort to channel discussion of said debate, even though you’re clearly not above discussing the issue when it suits you?

    I’m sorry, buddy. That’s not particularly valid. Your post accuses the posters of Ethical Atheists website of being unfair to your argument against same-sex marriage and then details your argument as if discussion would clearly vindicate your argument. Therefore any discussion on the warranty of your treatment at EA’s is predicated on the discussion of the validity of your argument. In fact you can’t discuss the posters of the Ethical Atheist’s website in the context of your post without discussing the initial debate.

    To suggest otherwise is disingenuous: How should we discuss these unknown persons’ ethics, as you suggest, without returning to the ethics of the accuser, yourself? Without pulling another site’s discussion wholesale into the discussion we only have your side and whatever discussion we can drum up inside our heads to discuss the supposed ethical arrangement you assert as positive at Ethical Atheist. But you proclaim to not want to talk about it, even though you already have.

    I call shenanigans. You don’t have a valid argument for debate. You’re a Proclaimer, as in: “There is a God.” The rational response to any such proclamation is always “prove it.” Your refusal of discussion is an indication of lack of substance. I assume that the posters over at Ethical Atheism also eventually also saw through your thin veil of lack of substance and pegged you for it. This isn’t an ethical debate at all. It’s simply a matter of you having a poor argument.

    If your lack of substance eventually provoked a less than polite response? That’s just a function of the Internet. There’s a lot going on. I think you’re pretty aggravating too, because you’re wasting everyone’s time. If you weren’t trolling then, you’re almost certainly trolling now.

  31. Julian wrote:

    More of your bigotry. I suppose you honestly don’t realise how repugnant that argument is. Denying any rights to any section of people is bigotry pure and simple.

    For what it’s worth (and it’s not worth much) here is a dictionary definition for ya.
    Bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot

    You are as much of a blow hard as any I’ve come across in the gay community. After years of supporting them on every issue, they will throw anyone under the bus who does not support their every aim.

  32. Dave wrote:

    “Separate but Equal” is not necessarily what people want.  Plus it’s not clear that it would apply across state lines (under the Full Faith clause) or to the federal government (assuming DOMA were not in the way).

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand “Separate but Equal”, it comes out of the struggle of race, as in. You can ride the bus, but must sin in back or you can drink from the water fountain marked black but not the one marked white.

    I’m not so sure that this analogy applies because it implies that homosexual relations are equivalent to heterosexual relations and as politically incorrect as it sounds; I do not quite agree with this notion that all things are equal. For example; the state’s primary imperative is to advance the common good. This, over all other considerations; like individual rights, for example: Some believe, myself included, that it is in the common good to provide incentives to homes where children have the benefit of both sexes as primary role models, to best prepare them for navigating through a life of dealing with men and women. To grant equivalent rights and benefits to homes where test tube babies are raised by same sex couples incentivized these couples in such a way that deprives children. While the state can’t guarantee two parents to every kid they can at least provide the right incentives. This, I believe is in the common good and such a conviction for children’s interest does not make me a bigot, particularly since I harbor no hatred or intolerance for homosexuals. I just have priorities and have a right to express them.

  33. If you can’t see how that’s intolerant and makes you bigoted then you’re only fooling yourself. Your whole argument hinges on the idea that gays can’t love children in the same way that heterosexual couples do. Les posts article after article about presumably heterosexual religious people killing their kids and doing all sort of batshit crazy insane stuff, and somehow, somehow you’ve convinced yourself that a homosexual (oh no, not a homosexual) can’t at least do the job as well as those guys with the same implicit rights? No wonder they hammered you.

    There’s a subtext to your argument: Homosexuals can’t love children as well as all of those people who kill and abuse children. “Those heterosexual couples who do horrible things aren’t OK, but if I let homosexuals try it I know implicitly they’ll do a worse job.”

    It’s like the guy who says he’s not racist but will wait on another elevator rather than get on one with a black man. “Oh, no, I’m not a bigot!”

    Sure you are.

  34. MisterMook wrote:

    If you can’t see how that’s intolerant and makes you bigoted then you’re only fooling yourself. Your whole argument hinges on the idea that gays can’t love children in the same way that heterosexual couples do.

    No, that’s what you are saying. I am saying that I don’t care about this or that isolated success story. I’m saying that nature has already taken care of who should be around when a child is born to look after it and we need not experiment with that standard. Also, I don’t care, as a tax payer to subsidize such an experiment.

    Do you subscribe to evolution?
    Here is a *devil’s advocate proposition to your last post. Then I will try and answer some of your other charges after.

    Could natural born same sex attractions be nature way of tell you not to continue your line?

    Homosexual relations constitute a non-child producing evolutionary cul de sacs. Now, assuming that you are a proponent of evolution; how can you reconcile asking the people to subsidise and incentivize homosexuals to do precisely what evolution is asking them not to do, through In vitro fertilization,  for example (which we know they do) once they have all the same benefits as evolution’s chosen ones? (See what an asshole a stanch evolutionist can be?)

    Why would an evolutionist encourage what evolution clearly denies? why should the people risk the common good on an experiment that flies in the face of evolution?

    I’m sure I’ll be getting more of the “b” word for that, but be my guest. I’m starting to careless with each new assualt.

  35. MisterMook wrote:

    Your post accuses the posters of Ethical Atheists website of being unfair to your argument against same-sex marriage and then details your argument as if discussion would clearly vindicate your argument.

    In fact you can’t discuss the posters of the Ethical Atheist’s website in the context of your post without discussing the initial debate.

    I’ve articulated my reasoning with regards to children and I am from a single parent family myself. It’s not a matter of the quantity of all manner of ways to screw up people in childhood; it’s about institutionalizing the quality of how it’s done; to make a standard of single sexed parental exposure. I don’t agree with it. I don’t feel it is in the common good.

    My comments relating to the poor ethics of joking about lying in wait for fundies in order to gang pounce and pretend otherwise comes from my direct experience.  If you don’t believe me go join and talk about fresh meat for lions and the like. Hey I’m not perfect myself, but I don’t walk around with an “ethical” sign around my neck either. I don’t presume to lay out commandments for other to follow either.

  36. MisterMook wrote:

    Your post accuses the posters of Ethical Atheists website of being unfair to your argument against same-sex marriage and then details your argument as if discussion would clearly vindicate your argument….In fact you can’t discuss the posters of the Ethical Atheist’s website in the context of your post without discussing the initial debate.

    MisterMook,

    I lost some text. In brief:
    You misunderstand. My post accuses the moderators (not posters) of “Ethical Atheist” of being unfair and biased; leading personal attacks and engadgeing in childish name calling rather than in moderating what could have been a potentially interesting discussion about “Gay Marriage vs. Separation of Church and State in relation to their 9th commandment (not same sex marriage).  The prospect of that discussion was swept under the rug by removal from public access (Forum Election 2008). That would be the initial debate and has been more developed here then over there, because they were not inclined too kindly towards the idea. It did degenerate into a gay marriage debate.  There were three threads in all where animosities developed. Such is life in contentious times.

  37. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand “Separate but Equal”, it comes out of the struggle of race, as in. You can ride the bus, but must sin in back or you can drink from the water fountain marked black but not the one marked white.

    Roughly correct.  The concept of Separate but Equal was that you could have equal treatment under the law (as the Constitution dictates) but still keep things separate.  So you could have segregated schools so long as both blacks and whites (as we’re talking here about racial civil rights) were allowed to go to school.  Ditto drinking fountains, sections of restaurants, etc.

    The problem being, of course, that the “but equal” portion of the argument rarely held true. It was more difficult to argue, though, and a thousand excuses could be made.  The Supreme Court eventually declared (Brown v Board of Ed, I believe) that Separate but Equal could not stand, since separation was per se unequal, and de facto so as well.

    I’m not so sure that this analogy applies because it implies that homosexual relations are equivalent to heterosexual relations and as politically incorrect as it sounds; I do not quite agree with this notion that all things are equal.

    A is in a committed emotional, personal, and/or financial relationship with B.  A and B want the state to recognize that relationship, and apply the benefits, and responsibilities, that come from that relationship.  But if A and B are of the same gender their relationship is called a “civil union,” while if they are of different genders it’s called a “marriage.” 

    Unless the argument is that marriage is solely or primarily about sex, the difference in the gender combinations seems secondary.  By treating the relationships as something different, separate, though ostensibly (but not fully) equal, I think you are, in fact, looking at “separate but equal.”

    For example; the state’s primary imperative is to advance the common good. This, over all other considerations; like individual rights, for example: Some believe, myself included, that it is in the common good to provide incentives to homes where children have the benefit of both sexes as primary role models, to best prepare them for navigating through a life of dealing with men and women.

    But there are plenty of homes where there are married mixed-gender couples, but where one or the other parent is often missing or uninvolved in child-rearing.  Should the state step in and declare the marriage null and void in that case?

    If a marriage between a man and a woman does not (let alone cannot) have any offspring, should the state declare it merely a civil union?

    While I’m inclined to agree that kids most likely benefit from having both genders of parents in the household, it’s not a prerequisite for marriage so far as I can see.

    To grant equivalent rights and benefits to homes where test tube babies are raised by same sex couples incentivized these couples in such a way that deprives children.

    I think you will find that the majority of the “test tube babies” are born to heterosexual couples.  If so, why raise it here?  If not, are straight marriages where children are conceived through some fashion other than intercourse somehow lesser or not at all marriages?

    If gay couples adopt (or are allowed to adopt) parentless children, does that mean they can get married?

    While the state can’t guarantee two parents to every kid they can at least provide the right incentives.

    So marriage is really about incentives?  And we can grant, or deny, marriage to folks based on who we want to incent to do what?

    Married couples, arguably, are better able to care for each other, emotionally and financially, increasing life span and reducing public assistance.  Isn’t that something we want to incent?

    Don’t we want to incent people to enter into stable, preferably monogamous relationships?  Doesn’t that reduce the social costs of promiscuous sex, spread of disease, etc.?

    This, I believe is in the common good and such a conviction for children’s interest does not make me a bigot, particularly since I harbor no hatred or intolerance for homosexuals. I just have priorities and have a right to express them.

    You certainly have a right to express your priorities.  I think there are holes in your reasoning, though.  And that you “harbor no hatred or intolerance for homosexuals” may well be so, but your implication that their relationships are of less value because they do not spawn children is certainly rather denegrating.

  38. Homosexual relations constitute a non-child producing evolutionary cul de sacs. Now, assuming that you are a proponent of evolution; how can you reconcile asking the people to subsidise and incentivize homosexuals to do precisely what evolution is asking them not to do, through In vitro fertilization,  for example (which we know they do) once they have all the same benefits as evolution’s chosen ones? (See what an asshole a stanch evolutionist can be?)

    You presume that evolution has a conscious “purpose.”  Evolution is a result, not a cause.  Creatures adapt to changing circumstances; that’s what evolution is about.  Use of IVF to reproduce is no more counter-evolutionary than use of antibiotics or vaccinations or, for that matter, use of IVF for mixed-gender couples who have fertility problems.

    I have very poor eyesight, which would make me a dubious hunter or gatherer in a state of nature.  I had scarlet fever as a child, which once would have killed me.  I have gotten diseases that would have kept me from surviving to a breeding age.  Am I therefore an evolutionary cul-de-sac whose marriage shouldn’t be recognized as such?

  39. Homosexual relations constitute a non-child producing evolutionary cul de sacs. Now, assuming that you are a proponent of evolution; how can you reconcile asking the people to subsidise and incentivize homosexuals to do precisely what evolution is asking them not to do, through In vitro fertilization,  for example (which we know they do) once they have all the same benefits as evolution’s chosen ones? (See what an asshole a stanch evolutionist can be?)

    No, but I’m seeing what someone who doesn’t really understand evolution or any other of the topics he’s chosen to grapple with the masses about can manage. “Chosen ones?” Is that supposed to be sort of like evolution’s Jews or something?

    I fail to see how marriage is suddenly declared solely about “subsidizing children” just on your say so. I also fail to understand your fixation with artificial insemination.

    Could natural born same sex attractions be nature way of tell you not to continue your line?

    No, it can’t. Evolution doesn’t “speak.” It doesn’t have a purpose. Is gravity nature’s way of telling people not to jump or climb trees? Is the sun telling plants to grow by providing sunlight for photosynthesis?

    Hopefully you see the fault of logic in your argument. Evolution is a descriptive process. We’re not at the top of the food chain because evolution drives us to be, evolution is merely the scientific description of how a creature changes over time. That’s all. It’s not evolution that makes a mule sterile, it’s genetics. Evolution would be if over thousands or millions of years enough mules were bred that they eventually mutated to bred true.

    I’m saying that nature has already taken care of who should be around when a child is born to look after it and we need not experiment with that standard.

    Well then by your own admission nature fucked it up for your childhood then, didn’t they. Say, do you get a flu shot or vaccinated, or are plagues and illnesses nature’s anthropomorphic way of culling the weak that we shouldn’t screw around with too? Fire’s pretty problematic too, hard freezes could be nature’s way of telling people to stay in Africa and the tropics. Watch out for that tap water! You’re messing with nature’s intent to infect you with spores and parasites, and to have you drink bear feces.

    I don’t feel it is in the common good.

    That’s fine. I feel vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream.

    Without a good argument to back up your opinion though, then you’re back in the lands where religious arguments arise. You’ve got lots of holes in your definition of marriage as something to subsidize children. You got a poorly articulated or poorly formed idea of what evolution does or is.

    Again, regardless of your assertion that you’ve been treated unethically I’m failing to understand how anyone could treat your poorly formed argument in a manner inconsistent with how you’ve described it. If someone demonstrates that you’re incorrect about something and you can’t reply with a clear, fully formed response in the contrary other than “No, I’m right” or falling back on other readily debatable elements of discussion then ethical or not the discussion quickly becomes tedious and/or pointless.

    That’s usually one of the key duties of any forum moderation team at some point, and leaving the forum in a huff to complain about it elsewhere because of your perception that you came in on the losing side of the forum moderation is childish and petty.

  40. Dave,
    Thanks for fleshing out the implications of separate but equal.  So, now I’m better understanding why it’s problematical. Wound not problems, approached incrementally; sometimes impart well considered benefits to orderly change?  Take Vermont. They had civil union first and had some years to adjust, fine tune, accept and eventually come to arrive a same sex marriage. In California, gays, as much as thumbed their noses at domestic partnerships. They protested and pushed. Now they risk a longer delay. Perhaps it would have been best for all concerned to take a slow but sure path to this in California like they had in Vermont.

    But there are plenty of homes where there are married mixed-gender couples, but where one or the other parent is often missing or uninvolved in child-rearing.  Should the state step in and declare the marriage null and void in that case?

    Consider this:  You know how time flows for a child. Even a moment is a big impression. Even if a father goes off to a long war, the child has something, if even only an impression in the mind. The love is there, even over great distance. I had a step farther from age 5 to 10. He paid child support up to my 18th birthday. It wasn’t much but it was a taste of what it means to be a man and to be virtuous.  Now most of the time I had one mother, three sisters and one effeminate brother; a very female dominated household, really.  What I’m trying to say is that it isn’t all about quantity.  There’s a quality of experience where I can relate to a potential in my own life by having had a father figure, who came home to us every night, for five years, which seemed like a life time, then, but was all too short. It’s only my personal experience, but that’s what makes this so real an issue for me. I needed to know how to be a man and I got some of it, but not all of it. And no; making a marriage null and void would only reduce what little of an absent parent a child can hold on to.

    If a marriage between a man and a woman does not (let alone cannot) have any offspring, should the state declare it merely a civil union?

    That would suggest that the only state justification for marriage is offspring and even if it were so, as has been argued elsewhere, it would not be economical monitoring and enforcing so many particulars. This is why, when I use that argument I add the term ‘potential’ before offspring. I would suggest that the state is justified in relegating marriage to those with the potential (meaning male& female) for procreation because it has an interest in regenerating itself.  I think arguments that go to questions of fertility and old age or intent not to reproduce don’t fully appreciate the economy aspect. It’s a rough cut.

    I think you will find that the majority of the “test tube babies” are born to heterosexual couples.  If so, why raise it here?  If not, are straight marriages where children are conceived through some fashion other than intercourse somehow lesser or not at all marriages?

    That may be the case now, but it’s a good bet that in vitro fertilizations to gay households would, very likely, increase under gay marriage.  I raise it for two reasons; 1) more kids missing a dad or mom (totally) coupled with the evolutionary cul de sac reasoning which made the prospect of so many experiments somewhat risky.  Straight marriages no, for reasons of two gendered parents and at least they wanted to mate; to continue the species. Homosexuals don’t mate for offspring, so why should we infer they have intent or instincts which extend to raising them, in the way that children might be best raised by those who possess such intent and instincts?

    If gay couples adopt (or are allowed to adopt) parentless children, does that mean they can get married?

    I thought gay couples should start off as domestic partners (2 singles in a contract) and once they adopt kids their status then becomes one of a civil union (a legal family unit).  This is pretty much how it stands in the UK, from my modest underrating of it. This was explained to me, in the other place by one “Sinless Heathen” a quite courteous and intelligent fellow who was helping to advance the initial conversation. He should be over in this group, instead of that group.  Wait a sec … I’m confused. The evil stupid evil bastards belong here and the ethical ones over there… sorry.

    So marriage is really about incentives?  And we can grant, or deny, marriage to folks based on who we want to incent to do what?

    This is part state self reproduction and part economy.  I suppose the incentives should go, first, to duo-gendered parental units, rather than to incent mono-gendered joined singles (joined in a domestic partnership). They could be taxed accordingly. Civil unions (family units of domestic partners + adopted children) could be taxed at same rates to any hetro-couple with children. This incentive scheme encourages hetro-procreations and homo-adoptions. Yet this is complicated and the economy aspect; questionable. So perhaps not. Or perhaps (we shall see in California). Homosexuals in long term commitments deserve the same financial security and health care benefits as heterosexuals.

    Married couples, arguably, are better able to care for each other, emotionally and financially, increasing life span and reducing public assistance.  Isn’t that something we want to incent?
    Don’t we want to incent people to enter into stable, preferably monogamous relationships?  Doesn’t that reduce the social costs of promiscuous sex, spread of disease, etc.?

    Yes and yes again.

    You certainly have a right to express your priorities.  I think there are holes in your reasoning, though.  And that you “harbor no hatred or intolerance for homosexuals” may well be so, but your implication that their relationships are of less value because they do not spawn children is certainly rather denigrating.

    Thanks. There may be some holes, which is why I want to discuss it. I don’t and the implication around values goes to arguments of the state’s need to repopulate its subjects. It’s not my personal view.

    You presume that evolution has a conscious “purpose.”  Evolution is a result, not a cause.  Creatures adapt to changing circumstances; that’s what evolution is about.  Use of IVF to reproduce is no more counter-evolutionary than use of antibiotics or vaccinations or, for that matter, use of IVF for mixed-gender couples who have fertility problems.

    You certainly knocked that one out of the park. Still, I’ wondering what possible evolutionally result would cause some to attract to non-reproductive relationships, if not to avoid reproduction. Do you glean some survival benefit that homosexuals possess? Perhaps in vetro will become the norm to avoid ever more virulent STDs.
    I have considered homosexuality as a collective mechanism to counter over population, but then who hasn’t…

    I have very poor eyesight, which would make me a dubious hunter or gatherer in a state of nature.  I had scarlet fever as a child, which once would have killed me.  I have gotten diseases that would have kept me from surviving to a breeding age.  Am I therefore an evolutionary cul-de-sac whose marriage shouldn’t be recognized as such?

    No. Are you kidding? I am a freak of nature myself and question whether I will holdout another day.  I’m married (late), we didn’t have kids. I’m an evolutionary cul de sac, myself, probably because I could never come to terms with my hair loss. I thought the noble thing to do was to have my line die out in order to help rid the world to baldness. My vanity is only exceeded by my self-loathing, but that’s on a bad day. Today, I’m caring less enough about the world to inflict myself upon it, and you, of course.

  41. (Would) not problems, approached incrementally; sometimes impart well considered benefits to orderly change?  Take Vermont. They had civil union first and had some years to adjust, fine tune, accept and eventually come to arrive a same sex marriage. In California, gays, as much as thumbed their noses at domestic partnerships. They protested and pushed. Now they risk a longer delay. Perhaps it would have been best for all concerned to take a slow but sure path to this in California like they had in Vermont.

    You could certainly argue that—the advantage of a slow change to acclimate folks to the situation, “one in the hand is worth two in the bush” and all that.

    On the other hand, it’s difficult to argue that people should accept a compromise in a relationship that strikes so close to hand.  Should a group that hasn’t been allowed freedom of speech accept a compromise, even for a time, that says they can have it on odd-numbered days?  Or that, for the time being, they can speak freely but not on every subject?  Or that they can have it, but it will be called “official license to express” for that group, versus “freedom of speech” for others, and may or may not be applicable to all the same downstream laws?

    I’m a cautious guy.  I would probably advise the conservative approach.  But, then, I’m already have my marriage recognized fully, by name, by the states and federal government.

    That would suggest that the only state justification for marriage is offspring and even if it were so, as has been argued elsewhere, it would not be economical monitoring and enforcing so many particulars. This is why, when I use that argument I add the term ‘potential’ before offspring. I would suggest that the state is justified in relegating marriage to those with the potential (meaning male& female) for procreation because it has an interest in regenerating itself.  I think arguments that go to questions of fertility and old age or intent not to reproduce don’t fully appreciate the economy aspect. It’s a rough cut.

    I don’t think you can disarm the argument by talking about the potential for offspring.  You are still making the same argument—if kids *might* be involved, then the state should maximize their care and feeding. 

    But, as noted, there are plenty of couples who cannot or are determined not to have children—are they really married, or should they be left out of marriage as “freeloaders”?  There are are many single-parent children; should the state remove their children to give to Official Marriages?  If parents don’t pass a series of official examinations of their parenting skills, are they no longer officially married?

    I concur that there are societal reasons to incent stable families through recognition.  But our current recognition of that is so shotgun, applies in so many cases where it needed, and is not recognied in so many cases where it could, it’s hardly a reasonable argument to stick with the status quo.

    That may be the case now, but it’s a good bet that in vitro fertilizations to gay households would, very likely, increase under gay marriage.  I raise it for two reasons; 1) more kids missing a dad or mom (totally) coupled with the evolutionary cul de sac reasoning which made the prospect of so many experiments somewhat risky.  Straight marriages no, for reasons of two gendered parents and at least they wanted to mate; to continue the species. Homosexuals don’t mate for offspring, so why should we infer they have intent or instincts which extend to raising them, in the way that children might be best raised by those who possess such intent and instincts?

    *If* the state recognizes and nurtures the relationships between gays, I concur that the number of IVFs will likely increase.  Not sure the problem there—it indicates an interest in reproduction (which you seem to suggest is what marriage is primarily about, or what the state shoud be encouraging. Indeed, given the cost and effort, and the fact that it is *intentional* rather than accidental, one would think that would be considered a more pro-survival impulse.

    This is not just an agricultural program to encourage farmers to raise more wheat this year.  This is fundamental personal relationships we’re talking about, which should require much more clear reasons to *disincent* if undesirable than narrowing the grounds under which we incent them.

    I thought gay couples should start off as domestic partners (2 singles in a contract) and once they adopt kids their status then becomes one of a civil union (a legal family unit).

    Wow.  Well, if the straight couples labor under the same limitation, I guess that would be fine.

    the implication around values goes to arguments of the state’s need to repopulate its subjects

    If our nation were actually in danger of depoplulation, I can see incenting reproduction.

    But that can be done much more simply and straighforwardly than by restricting marriage.  It woudl be easy to give special privileges to those who have children, the more the better.  (Some say society, if not the state, already do that.)  Then we could be clear about our priorities, and not deal with it indirectly in the present.

    Homosexuals in long term commitments deserve the same financial security and health care benefits as heterosexuals.

    I concur.

    Still, I’ wondering what possible evolutionally result would cause some to attract to non-reproductive relationships, if not to avoid reproduction. Do you glean some survival benefit that homosexuals possess? Perhaps in vetro will become the norm to avoid ever more virulent STDs.

    Not all traits are cleanly designed for a single purpose.  In general, traits that do not lead to carrying on of genes die out, those which do live on.  But clearly there are traits that do not which have not yet fully died out, or which provide some other advantage in other cases that may not be clear. 

    To take a totally fanciful (and, hopefully, inoffensive) example, let us say that gay men have an innate talent of dressing more attractively to women than those who have no gay genes.  In fully gay men, this would not be a reproductive advantage (assuming gay men never bred for other reasons).  In partially gay men, it may be that it would facilitate their breeding (“wow, you are dressed somewhat fabulously—I want to have kids by you!”), leaving the trait to continue on, only succeeding when not reinforced to the “lethal” point.

    Again, it’s a bullshit example, but a simple one to demonstrate how a trait that is not, when fully expressed, pro-survival, can still survived.

    But beyond that, while not be attracted to a cross-fertile partner is counter-survival (speaking solely about gene survival here), the desire to reproduce is still clearly there, and if IVF can help, it doesn’t seem to be a problem.  And, for that matter, I think part of the impulse to reproduce today is the reproduction of memes as much as genes, and adoptive homosexual parents can do much the same thing.

    No. Are you kidding? I am a freak of nature myself and question whether I will holdout another day.  I’m married (late), we didn’t have kids. I’m an evolutionary cul de sac, myself, probably because I could never come to terms with my hair loss. I thought the noble thing to do was to have my line die out in order to help rid the world to baldness. My vanity is only exceeded by my self-loathing, but that’s on a bad day. Today, I’m caring less enough about the world to inflict myself upon it, and you, of course.

    So by your thinking, the state has little primary interest in recognizing your marriage.  Why should it recognize it, but not recognize that of a gay couple?

  42. The state marriage contract is not for reproduction to serve the state’s best interest. Nothing in the contract about procreation. The contract is to develop a relationship that benefits the state by providing a spouse to handle financial and health details that otherwise would have to be handled by the state. The Catholic Church, and others, would benefit by gaining more members when children are produced. THAT’S the benefit for the Church. Ever see the Monte Python skit, “Every Sperm is Sacred?”

  43. Certainly I don’t recall anything on the license indicating that the purpose of marriage is procreation.  The body of law around marriage centers on mutual responsibility and care for each other and any children that issue (though much of that law applies even when there are kids and no marriage).

    On the other hand, for my first marriage, which was Catholic, we basically had to sign off that, yup, it was all about the procreation.  But that’s the Church’s view, and ostensibly that of its followers.

  44. MisterMook,
    I didn’t intend to over look your last post. I am new to the format here. I’d like to offer an overall response to your last post, here.

    I will concede that my understanding of evolution is not what it should be and that, within that context, it is not inconceivable that I had blundered in my premise; having presented a jumble of disparate ideas towards a hasty conclusion.  I stand corrected.

    As regards my statement pertaining to the “Ethical Atheist” forum; may deem me all wrong and they, all right, but I would suggest that it is more likely that both sides were both right and wrong. Who is more so, is arguable, but this point is moot, in and of itself. I will try and cut to the quick of the underlying dynamic.

    I address this commentary to you and Dave and anyone else of interest.

    A member (let’s call him Wise Elder or ‘WE’ for short), well liked, but relatively unfamiliar to me, only proceeds to post his political positions with regards to the California H8 ballot initiative; launching pro gay marriage diatribes, yammering of bigotry and essentially using the forum for the purpose of advocating a political position as if only his view was a given in an ethical atheist group, implying that only a bigot could possibly take exception to gay marriage. The moderators were in agreement it is they who define who is the troll and who set the limits and apparently decide who gets to say what.

    I was under the naive misimpression that on an atheist site; rejection of theism was the given and the rest was subject to discussion. Imagine my surprise to discover that homosexuals having fled the closets of Christendom had found so secure a place in the opposite camp, that they could openly advance themselves and objectives uninhibited by any prospect of challenge to their views. This came as a shock and total surprise to me. Isn’t this rather like a secret society? Or perhaps it might more accurately be described as simply intellectually dishonest political faggotry, in a similar sense as to which Christopher Hitchens had intended by coining the term.

    I confess; I am at a loss to determine which is the worse; religious politics or gay politics. At least with the former we can perceive intellectual dishonesty being partially the result of ignorance and programming, if not outright brain washing. No one seems to question the level of highly questionable self conflicting facts advanced through the gay politic. Why does a group equate themselves as a race; insisting to be “gay from birth” whilst suggesting that no one would ever choose to be faced with such miserable complex challenges and then to run out, the following day parading for others to make the same ‘choice’ to come out, come out, where ever you are.  What is choice but a word, unless defined by process? If sex genes, like any other genes are subject to becoming activated by environmental co-factors, then such steps leading to such activations can be argued to have resulted from choices, conscious or otherwise. What is a choice; to go left or right; whether influenced or not the being is more than fate, more than predestination. The gay position looks evermore like religiosity. What theories of science they have developed where we have come to recognize homo, hetro, lesbian, bi, TG, CD, IS; a proverbial 39 flavors of sexual preference (not choices, mind you) all in born of genetics that we have no control over. See what proof we find by observations of the animal kingdom. When a dog humps your leg, it’s genetically programmed to respond to the sweat glands in the human leg and see that female Yorky Terrier wearing a male Yorky’s sweater! Proof positive! So come out, come out, where ever you are. We will accept you for you who are (even if you don’t know who or what you are, we will tell you). 

    If we allow for gay marriage, how much longer must we suffer all these gay pride parades? We’ve all been to them cheering out support. Will absolute equality finally satisfy their lust for pride? I goggled gay pride parades in every place where gay marriage is legal and they are still taking place. If they want to be considered normal why don’t they keep their bedroom manners at home? We don’t have heterosexual pride parades. We all know sex is important, but there are other aspects of life too. Could it be that they must continue to wage their campaigns of indoctrination of new members in order to feel secure in their so called inborn sexuality? At a point I begin to discern too many inconsistencies and self conflicting statements and I lose my patience. It’s not that I oppose gay marriage for being a bigot. I oppose it for being disingenuous and for its founding in intellectual dishonesty. I personally hold the conviction that fate and freewill are both portative everywhere. We are born with vast potentials, many of which are locked in our genes, but we are each the captains of our living vessels.  In ancient Rome they didn’t bother about such justifications. If you were an aristocrat with slaves you might take a male one day; a female the next. It was a matter of choice then and it still is today.

    I’m all for a good argument, but I am only human and, perhaps all too mutable with my surroundings. Indeed a good argument must be more then, “I’m right and you’re just a” stupid”, “bigoted”, “jerk-off”, “sociopathic”, psychopathic”, “arrogant”, “little”, “prick”! 
    Is it so much to ask for more in an ethical discussion?  If so, then I am all wrong on all counts.

    I came here for the contrast that this placed holds out from the last; in that, at least, I knew what to expect from the sign on the door.  The blog format encourages more reading and less talking, which is probably a good thing for me, at this time.

    Note: To Dave, I will respond to your last after a rest bit, thanks.

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