The Non-religious Objection to Homosexuality Cannot be Sustained

At his blog, [Correction: A commenter says she’s a woman] in a post having nothing to do with the present topic, EvolutionistX writes

Take the most common argument against homosexuality: “God says it is a sin.” Young people are fairly atheist, believe in separation of church and state, and think a god who doesn’t like gay people is a jerk. This argument doesn’t just fail at convincing young people that gay marriage is bad; it also convinces them that God is bad.

By contrast, a simple graph showing STD rates among gay people makes a pretty persuasive argument that the “gay lifestyle” isn’t terribly healthy.

She’s not the only one to make such an observation. Radio talk show host Michael Medved has said much the same thing, that we should avoid religious arguments against homosexuality in the political arena.

Problem is, if God doesn’t oppose homosexuality then there’s ultimately nothing wrong with it.

*

For the purposes of this post, I’ll use the following idiosyncratic definition of “atheism:” Any system in which God does not oppose homosexuality, either because He does not exist, or because He does not oppose homosexuality.

Under atheism, homosexuality cannot be opposed on any grounds other than personal preference. The argument from poor health given above ultimately fails for at least two reasons. For one, it’s quite possible that advances in medicine will make the homosexual lifestyle healthy. For another, if God does not oppose homosexuality then we must respect the individual’s decision to live as a homosexual despite the risk: Actualizing your potential even in the face of danger is a respected activity within our current liberal system. And if homosexuality is good, as it is under liberalism, then we must respect it no matter what side effects it has.

Now, atheism does not necessarily say homosexuality is good, only that it’s not bad. And atheism could conceivable oppose homosexuality on purely utilitarian grounds, as indicated in EvolutionstX’s quote. But given social conditions for the foreseeable future the utilitarian argument is a non-starter. Indeed, it’s the duty of society, under liberalism, to facilitate the individual’s self-definition.

Atheism ultimately provides no reason other than personal preference to oppose the legitimization of homosexuality. And personal preferences are unreliable as a means of building a civilization or living a good life.

*

What we need is the Word of God to validate the true intuition, which I believe is present in all people but suppressed by some, that sin is bad. That intuition is a powerful clue about the true structure of reality, but it can be subverted if not validated by a Word from God and reinforced by the authorities, both religious and secular. Simply pointing to bad outcomes from the homosexual lifestyle is necessary, and will convince some of the people some of the time, but it’s not sufficient.

57 thoughts on “The Non-religious Objection to Homosexuality Cannot be Sustained

  1. Pingback: The Non-religious Objection to Homosexuality Cannot be Sustained | Neoreactive

    • Some intuitions gives us a sense of things that are true. These intuitions are valuable. But they need to be validated by other forms of knowing.

      • Alternatively, you could stop making excuses for attacks on those of homosexual orientation. Their sexuality isn’t an invitation for you to theorize. Their rights and their lives are not a theological problem for you to treat as an exercise.

      • This is a Christian site, and Christianity identifies homosexuality as sin. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read what we say.

        Also, the real issue here is the forced legitimization of homosexuality. Contemporary Western societies try to force everyone, at metaphorical gunpoint, to act as if homosexuality is good. The homosexual-rights advocates don’t just want to be left alone to do their thing. They want to force everyone to act as if their thing is good.

        A homosexual in the modern West can live as he wishes, and any real violations of his rights will be swiftly punished. He has no need, other than spite, to try to root out all disagreement.

      • There is Romans 1:26-27 and I Corinthians 6:9, for example. Also, the NT assumes the general validity of the sexual ethics of the OT.

  2. I think the correct pronoun is she, and I mean this is a very old fashion non-gender fluid way.

    I would have like to see the people who say God doesn’t like it say something like this:

    God doesn’t like it for a reason. God also likes to call Himself the God of the living on occasion, which suggests to me He might not like it because it tends to make the living get sick and die.

    A remarkably unexploited resource, putting God and biology together like that. This is the low hanging fruit we’ve been letting the secular world steal away from us, like the young couples that pair-bond in their teens that we insist on breaking up or at least trivializing in favor of a college/career track.

    Instead, we get something truly unsustainable. People who don’t have a clue who God is hearing that he just doesn’t like somebody else’s sexy fun time. Like Zeus not liking my preferred flavor of ice cream.

  3. Social health is a fairly solid secular argument against widespread homosexuality. However biological presence of homosexuals then suggests that a small number are either nonharmful or even positive to social order, or heterosexuality would have slowly bred out homosexuality in much the same way IQs are continually rising and height is generally increasing.

    But if you wanted a strong secular argument that can be sustained, then it is the one that all sexually deviant behaviour results in lower birthrates, higher STD rates, mentally damaged children, more incidents of rape and all forms of sexual assault, more widespread fetishes including physically dangerous ones, more suicide and self harm, and rampant consumerism.

      • But they can. Matters of practicality can be applied and sustained in an atheistic society. The problem is that humans are incapable of being completely unemotional and practical forever. Eventually some form of morality must surface and, without a rigorous social order, no morality can be enforced or managed, resulting in chaos and the destruction of society.

        Marxism, gnostic atheism and a lassaiz faire approach to civil engineering CAN work very well. But they WON’T because we are not robots. Pedantic, I know, but it’s a point worth making.

    • I am afraid I’ve read too much of Woodley to imagine IQs are rising.
      I also figure the presence of people with disease promoting behaviors (whether they identify as homosexual or not) most likely indicates the presence of a disease. Kind of like Toxoplasma gondii, except more stuff gets to hitch a ride. Antibiotic resistant bacteria isn’t coming from kids with the sniffles.

      I don’t know whether there is any sustainable argument. This is one of the reasons I wish we could keep basic human reactions around, like disgust. I have been hearing the sound of gunshots near my house recently, which appear to be going on regardless of the fact that I think there are many sustainable arguments against it.

  4. Some reasons why non-religious arguments against homosexuality fail:

    1. It is extremely hard to get an STD from lesbian relations. I suppose it has been done, but it’s not very common. Is lesbianism ok?

    2. It is extremely hard to get AIDS, the main life threatening STD, from even unprotected oral sex. Is male to male oral sex ok?

    3. It is extremely hard to get an STD from male to male mutual masturbation. Is that ok?

    4. In the future, it may be possible through technology to completely eliminate any health dangers associated with gay male sex. Would that make it ok?

    5. The utilitarian calculus has to weigh the harm of gay male sexual relations to gay men against the enjoyment gay men get from them. Who is to say that the latter doesn’t outweigh the former.

    • One of the few non-religious arguments that might work is that on average, homosexuals of both sexes live much shorter lives than heterosexuals do. Of course, this assumes that life is valuable for its own sake, something advanced liberals do not take for granted. Also, this argument is susceptible to derailment by accusations of homophobia: “it’s because intolerant Christians are killing us!” or some such nonsense.

      Facts and logic have little meaning to our “friends” on the left: it’s all about feelings. Unless and until someone can feel that homosexuality is wrong, he is unlikely to be swayed by reason.

      • That won’t work because the Left will respond, “Homosexual lives are shorter than heterosexual lives, and therefore we must spend BILLIONS on homosexual health problems!”

  5. I believe you are wrong in part, and correct in part.

    I don’t think a cogent defense can be made on grounds of fertility, public health, or any other empirical grounds that homosexuality has any positive social benefits for individual or collective health. After all, sociobiologists have been trying to make one, unsuccessfully, for years (if Darwin is correct, how can a socially destructive trait get passed on for generation to generation). Interesting that they don’t apply the same evolutionary reasoning to homophobia, eh? Perhaps there is a homophobia gene which locks in an anti-homosexual orientation before birth?

    Because no empirical case can be made for the healthiness of homosexuality, the axiological justification is generally based on expressive individuals, I ought to be able to be who I want to be, so long as I am not (directly) hurting others. It is similar to tobacco and drug use.

    However, when it comes to individual motivation, why should I care if my group is successful or healthy or numerous? In fact, why shouldn’t I just travel around the world having unprotected sex with anyone I can infecting them with AIDS? [Look at the allegations leveled against Foucault.] Here obviously, God comes into the picture.

    This does open up the naturalistic argument that belief in God and traditional morality is fundamentally pro-social, and so whether one believes in God or not, atheism is fundamentally anti-social to the extent that it undermines traditional morality.

    It is important to note that Faith is always spoken of within the 1st person. I believe/we believe. If you are a naturalist, there is basically no first person, everything can be rendered ultimately in terms of the 3rd person impersonal. So you are at an impasse with the naturalist, because they ultimately reject the 1st person tense. This is related to Hume’s ought/is distinction, if we start with 3rd person observation statements, they will never assume the authority of an ought. [Hume spoke of “moral sensibilities” or some such cant for human norms, they were not rooted in the natural order in any way.]

  6. Pingback: The Non-religious Objection to Homosexuality Cannot be Sustained | Reaction Times

  7. Beyond the STD risk (especially for male homosexuals), there is clear elevation of substance abuse and mental health problems in “LGBT populations”, which we “know” are a result of stigma, even if they occur very different social milieu (gays in San Francisco v. gays in rural Georgia). I haven’t found many studies looking at homosexuality and delinquency and crime rates, and I suspect these are not socially sanctioned questions for social science to ask. However, deviancy in one axis generally coincides with social deviance in other axes.

    Of course, I have yet to find any positive correlation between homosexuality and increased fertility. However, it is safe to say in a welfare state, the consequences of sterility are much more muted than say in a traditional agricultural society.

  8. The big issue of a societal attitude either pro or con about homosexuality is that it reflects societal attitudes about a moral duty to reproduce as well as attitudes about a stable, traditional family to raise children within. If you look at the fertility rates and divorce rates of groups who strongly believe homosexuality is immoral, you find high fertility and low divorce. Reversing it, you get low fertility and high divorce, meaning a few children from messed up families. So we can imagine one of the positive effects of the gay rights movement will be being able to look forward to more professional comedians, even if we will lose a swath of happy, well-adjusted adults.

  9. The most plausible cause of male homosexuality is a virus. Male homosexuality is a major hit on reproductive fitness, and almost all of those are caused by some sort of pathogen. A bacteria would likely have been accidentally wiped out by anti-biotics.

  10. It’s nice of you to be upfront that you start with a conclusion and then look for reasons to believe it. A lot of people do that, but few care to admit it.

    • I don’t “start with a conclusion.” Multiple lines of evidence identify homosexuality as a disorder. And the Bible, which is authoritative for Christians, explicitly identifies it as sin in the Old Testament, and the New Testament.

  11. Alan & Thursday: Amen. We moderns tend to get moral reasons bass-ackward. We are prone to think consequentially: that sins are bad because they tend to work out badly, so that if we could arrange to avert those bad consequences, sins would not be problematic. It is true that sins tend to work out badly, and that this is a good reason to avoid them. But it is not the reason they are bad.

    It runs the other way: the reason sins work out badly is that they are sins. They contravene the order of being. That reliably works out badly, but the badness of an act lies in its contravention of the Logos, not in the consequences of doing so.

    The Order of Being – the Logos, called these days by some of our allies on the Right the “God of Nature or Nature,” “GNoN” – is a *fundamentally religious concept,* no matter how it is dressed up in materialist or naturalist costume. The naturalist Nature has no moral authority, no power to sway the intellect other than by force. This it does indeed do, but that alone furnishes no moral oomph. There is no strictly moral reason to do what GNoN indicates that we would do better to do, so long as we conceive of GNoN as a mere tendency in things that we may disregard as we please, without blame. GNoN compels our obedience, not because disobedience is imprudent, but because it is wicked; not because righteousness is wise, but because it is right.

    • The odd modern belief that ethics of any sort is intelligible without the Divine is, in and of itself, unintelligible. That is to say, contemporary atheism cannot give a coherent account of the truth conditions of any ethical statement (or any other statement, but that’s a rant for another day.) As Guénon says in his East and West:

      Metaphysics is the knowledge of the universal principles on which all things necessarily depend, directly or indirectly; in the absence of metaphysics, any other knowledge, of whatever order it may he, is literally lacking in principle, and if by that it gains a little in independence (not as a right, but as a matter of fact), it loses much more in scope and depth.

      As Hume, of all people, showed us, you cannot get an is from an ought or an ought from an is; i.e., you cannot derive a statement of fact from a statement of value and vise versa. The only way in which an act may be judged to be objectively good or evil is if reality possess a hierarchical structure the summit of which is the transcendent unity of being and value, aka God.

      Homosexual acts then are not evil because God decided that he doesn’t like them (or as God says in the play Steam Bath, “I don’t like fag stories”) but because homosexual sins, like sins of any kind, move a man away from the Real and toward the realm of non-being, evil and darkness.

      Our atheist friends dislike hard philosophical thinking and are therefore unable to give a coherent account of our Lebenswelt. We live in a world infused with objective ethical values that is simply inexplicable on materialist presuppositions.

      A Buddhist scholastic once defined the religion of the Jains in this way: Jainism is largely stupidity. I’m afraid that my opinion of atheism remains pretty much the same: Atheism is largely stupidity.

  12. I recently watched a lecture series from the Great Courses on the history of modern Western Civilization. It began with the late Middle Ages and the rise of Christian humanism. What was really interesting was how the professor discussed the “civilizational advance” of discarding the medieval worldview, the Great Chain of Being. This is surely the defining feature of modernity. But, it was taught as liberation from oppression and the birth of freedom. The professor presented the Order of Being as a false conceptual apparatus used unjustly to control and dominate- the rationale for caste and social oppression in general. This is Tradition to the typical modern?

  13. I think your argument assumes that atheism necessarily entails naturalism, and that this leads inevitably to liberal nihilism, in which the pleasure-pain tradeoffs are calculated at the individual level. This is certainly the public doctrine of the world we live in; but there is another road. In the atheism of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, the disenchanted world resolves into Will, not things. In this world a superman could will the abolition of homosexuality as an act of pure and unbounded creativity. The obliteration of homosexuality would be an expressive act, like a stroke of paint on a canvas. Of course he could just as well will the abolition of Christianity, or the human race, or yoga pants. The beauty, truth and goodness of his act would be determined solely by its success.

    Don’t get me wrong; I agree with your basic argument. Utilitarian arguments against self-destruction fail on liberal assumptions.

    • Yes, atheism could lead anywhere, including the scenarios you present. But for the foreseeable future, atheists will mostly join the “freedom and equality” bandwagon.

  14. When we say homosexuality is a sin, we are saying that homosexuals are self-annihilators and as such should have no word on the advancement of our civilization.

  15. The basis of the opposition to any moral evil must be the axis of morality itself, God. You are right on this score. However, we may knows God’s will not only through revelation, but through observance of the natural world itself.

    1) ‘Homosexuality’ is an entirely Modern concept that did not even exist in historical societies which tolerated various forms of it, particularly pederasty. The idea that one may have an ‘identity’ bound with their decisions about where they put their genitals is bizarre, and a purposefully engineered tactic used by Leftists to engender sympathy for sinful behavior.

    2) Sodomy is a massive vector for diseases as you mention. This is due to the intrinsic design of the parts involved, which are not fit for the purposes that such people use them for. Much of the transmission of discomforting and sometimes fatal sexually transmitted diseases has to do with blood exposure during sex.

    3) Sodomy can produce no life. It is not just infertile as an action, but it is intrinsically infertile. It has thus no outcomes positive for human development, even considering the atheistic viewpoint which posits man’s sole purpose “the selfish propagation of his own DNA” (Dawkins)

    4) Sodomy is a massive vector for generalized degeneracy. You find among sodomites statistics concerning the number of sexual partners that are so high they require one to make sure they have not misread the data. You will also find high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic assault, and suicide. None of these can be put down to ‘homophobia’, as in many Western nations ‘homophobia’ carries a far worse stigma than ‘homosexuality’.

    Conclusions about the status of sodomy can only be grounded in God, but can be known outside of Revelation. Needless to say, I’m not sure why Christians are interested in ‘winning over unbelievers’ to our moral positions. The goal instead should be to simply outbreed them and retain our beliefs in our children, by any means necessary.

    • > I’m not sure why Christians are interested in ‘winning over unbelievers’ to our moral positions.

      Matthew 28:18-20. Also, I pity any Christian whose faith is reducible to a list of moral positions.

      >The goal instead should be to simply outbreed them and retain our beliefs in our children, by any means necessary.

      See above. And simply popping out Christian babies by the bushel (even indoctrinating them!) is no safeguard for future apostasy. See–the Duggar family.

      • Aerelfrith, that’s not what I asserted. The point was, as per what had been stated in the article, our moral positions at base revolve around our religious life. Thus, why try to get non-Christians to believe in our moral vision? Convert them where possible, but do not just hawk our guidelines to them as standalone set-pieces.

        Christians need to have more children. I am adamant about that.

      • Very well, just need to tackle–

        1.) Rising cost of family formation
        2.) Plummeting incomes
        3.) Overpopulation
        4.) The dating and mating “market”

        I assume you’ve worked apostasy into your business model. My aunt and uncle, who were hardcore Catholics and MD’s, have three kids–not a single one of whom is practicing.

      • “Overpopulation” is not the issue; demographic collapse is. What’s been going on for the past century or so is that due to improvements in health care, sanitation, and the like, fewer people have been dying young, and more have been living to ripe old ages. It is this that has led to our recent population explosion. However, birth rates have been falling for decades, and at current rates, the world’s population will probably peak in the middle of this century. Absent drastic increases in fertility, our children (if we have any) and grandchildren (an even iffier prospect) will witness what some are calling Demographic Winter.

        Having said that, academics haven’t determined why people aren’t having children. However, I’m pretty sure that most of us around here have figured out that murdering millions of babies in the womb every year has a negative effect on birthrates. We also understand that working women are less likely to have as many children as non-working women, and we understand the causal relationship of working women on birth rates. Finally, we have noticed that a society that devalues marriage, motherhood, fatherhood, families, and children is less likely to have replacement-level or higher fertility rates—all things that are opaque to the leftists in academia, politics, and the news media.

      • Aethelfrith. Good point about apostasy. The fact is that there are two types of religious community:
        – Open (integrated into society). Such as the Catholic Church (which I belong).
        – Closed. Such as the Amish, the orthodox Jews, etc.

        Open communities have high rates of apostasy while closed communities have not. This is why this book, written by an atheist, proves that closed religious communities shall inherit the Earth

        http://www.amazon.com/Shall-Religious-Inherit-Earth-Twenty-First/dp/1846681448/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

        Our problem, as Christians, is that most of us live in open communities. Mark Citadel is claiming that we should become a religion enclosed in closed communities if we are to survive secularization and societal collapse (he has an article about that in his blog).

        I couldn’t agree more with him and we should start preparing about that. Only the blindness of our authorities prevent us from taking the only measures that will allow us to survive.

      • Wm. Lewis–

        Trust me, Africa and Asia are more than making up for the flagging fertility rate of the developed world. These regions will (and do) use emigration as a release valve for the stresses of localized overpopulation.

        Now, understand one thing–I am all for sane (even strict) controls on immigration. I am just as annoyed at everyone else that American and Europeans are selectively lax on their own border controls. But the desperation of the migrants to find even a marginally better life combined with the West’s desperation to keep their crumbling welfare system afloat means that something has got to give.

        As for women in the workforce/double incomes–in a newly formed family, there *have* to be two incomes in order to maintain something of a comfortable standard of living in a city that’s actually habitable. Else the family must form in a remote area with few opportunities or a man must deliberately find a woman with absolutely no means of supporting herself, or he must have such a high income that he gets his pick from the wife store. Which is it? Meanwhile, in reality-land, husbands and wives accept that they have to work to earn their keep and keep the whinging to a minimum.

        To be quite honest, I have little use for the views of Mark Citadel which strike me as survival of the fittest disguised as Christianity. My background as a son of Third World immigrants also colors my view somewhat, since they had to be the cream of the crop in their country just to live as lower middle class serfs in the USA. Hearing the posturing of the Mark Citadels of the world strike me as smugly superior as the gentleman on the bottom cartoon in this post — http://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2011/08/fault-lines-part-ii.html

      • –imnobody00

        One problem with the closed religious community model is that the fastest growing religion on earth (Islam) isn’t a closed model, and as far as I can tell, explicitly forbids such a model. Another is that the reasons the Amish and Orthodox exist as they do is that society at large permits them to. Remember that the forbears of the Amish were the Anabaptists, who were persecuted to the point of death in Europe. The Orthodox Jews had to hightail it out of Europe or suffer.

        And again, this to me reeks of “survival of the fittest disguised as Christianity.” I don’t think Christ’s words to his apostles were “carve out an ecological niche and make many babies.” If it’s the latter, than all the celibate saints failed in their earthly mission.

        We can collapse into smaller and smaller ghettos until the larger totally tramples us underfoot. Or we can all accept our crowns.

      • Aethelfrith,

        I’m not a demographer, but many of the people in the video I linked are. According to them, after the global population peaks in the middle of this century, we are headed for a drastic global population decline. I recommend the video: it’s eye-opening.

        What we have with the two-income family is a vicious cycle: when women entered the workforce en masse, it drove down incomes (supply and demand at work, as always); the massive influx of immigrants, legal and illegal, has also driven down wages. As a result, real incomes have been stagnant since the 1970s, but inflation keeps ever apace. Thus, in order to live “the good life”—or even a halfway decent middle class life—it seems necessary for wives to work. However, many families have found ways to live on one income, and not necessarily a high income: having only one car; living beneath your means; buying an adequate house and not “upgrading” to a larger one; etc. It’s not easy, but it less difficult than you make it seem.

        (As a case in point, I live in one of the more expensive areas of the country, and my income, though above average, is not stellar. Nonetheless, I bought a house and otherwise provide for my family. I know others who have done the same. If you homeschool, then you don’t have to live in a good school district, just a reasonably safe one.)

      • –Aethelfrith

        “One problem with the closed religious community model is that the fastest growing religion on earth (Islam) isn’t a closed model and as far as I can tell, explicitly forbids such a model.”

        I see you don’t understand Islam or you don’t understand what I mean with “closed model”. Or maybe I haven’t explained myself.

        Islam, by definition, is a closed model. Read the Quran. They behave themselves as an isolated community that follows a different set of values than the general society. In Islamic countries, they cannot follow this model because the vast majority is Islamic. But, in Western societies, they follow the model to a T.

        I am from Spain. When I go back to my hometown (a small city), I see how things have changed. There was no Muslim 15 years ago and now there are a fair share of the population. When they first came into my town, they didn’t integrated into Western society (only practicing their religion in private, like Christian do, following open model). They started their businesses and created a small society inside the society. They follow their own rules and, while the Spanish girls act and dress like sluts, you won’t see any Muslim girl dressing like sluts, because the community control their women. They marry each other. They are very aware of the behavior of other people in the community and the social pressure to behave in an Islamic way is overwhelming.

        On Friday, if I walk on the street where the mosque is, I can see the mosque is full of young, middle-aged and old people. I am a devout Catholic and I go to Mass. I am usually the younger person in Mass. By the way, I am 45 years old. (The next youngest person in Mass is about 60 year old). So much for the open model. It is working really great.

        “Another is that the reasons the Amish and Orthodox exist as they do is that society at large permits them to. Remember that the forbears of the Amish were the Anabaptists, who were persecuted to the point of death in Europe. The Orthodox Jews had to hightail it out of Europe or suffer.”

        We are going to be persecuted. Christ told that. Don’t think that you are going to spare because you want to be nice. The persecution has begun, with fines, with laws and with threats. It will end with persecution to the point of death. Do you think that trying to be popular between progressives will spare us of the persecution? They hate everything we represent. Our children and grandchildren will have to choose: apostatize (such as your relatives) or be persecuted. In the open model, the majority of people will apostatize. Do you prefer that?

        In Spain (open model), most people have already apostatized and persecution has not been necessary (social pressure did the job). But persecution comes. Progressives say: “You will burn like in 36” (it rhymes in Spanish), referring to 1936, when communist people burned churches and killed priests and nuns. But it is the open model and it is working really great….for our enemies.

        (Meanwhile, Muslim people are confident in their belief that they will inherit Spain).

        “And again, this to me reeks of “survival of the fittest disguised as Christianity.” ”

        I don’t understand what you mean with that but you repeat this expression a lot, as a kind of mantra, as if this proved anything.

        I see it as “adapting to the times”, which every previous generation of Christians did. Being wise as serpents. Jesus said “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

        “I don’t think Christ’s words to his apostles were “carve out an ecological niche and make many babies.”

        The last time I checked the Bible, Christ didn’t give such detailed instructions but His sayings are more consistent to the closed model. Example.

        “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: *but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.*”

        Saint Paul gives rules for closed communities and Christianity thrived in closed communities until Constantine. It was the period where Christianity grew the most in history.

        “We can collapse into smaller and smaller ghettos until the larger totally tramples us underfoot.

        What Well, as I have said, the time we were in closed communities (not ghettos) were when we grew the faster. When Polish Catholicism was persecuted under Communism, it thrived. Now, that it is not, Poland is becoming pagan and absorbing all the Western culture.

        “Or we can all accept our crowns.”

        What crowns? What are you talking about? Do you have any evidence, Bible verse or data of any means? Or it is only “because I say so”?

    • The reason to convince unbelievers to be moral has to do with the common good. As an act of rational charity, we should work to civilize our culture for the good of believers and unbelievers alike. We judge a culture’s civilization by a fixed moral standard, i.e. by the first four Buddhist commandments: 1) Do not kill, 2) Do not steal, 3) Do not engage in sexual immorality, and 4) Do not lie.

      Since traditional Catholic (Roman, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox) morality is largely civilized, I see no reason not to work with Catholic friends for the establishment of a moral social order, an order that would be a temporal good for all concerned. This doesn’t mean that my Christian friends will believe that I can be saved by being a good neighbor or a moral man; insofar as they are orthodox, they will believe in my eternal damnation. In the same way, I know that my Christian friends will in all probability be consigned to Diamond Beak Hornet Hell for a period of 5.308416×1016 years.

      • When I say unbeliever, I mean non-Christians. Christians of every stripe, despite their disagreements, are pretty much on the same page with regard to the moral law.

        Unbelievers are not, and as this age continues, they will move further and further from what remnants of it there are. They only feign interest in whatever argument you have. The fact is, once they began arguing for ‘same sex marriage’ and the like, the decision had already been made. The argument was a mere formality.

      • Modern Christianity almost universally accepts and encourages certain types of sodomy (birth control) that makes any argument against homosexual sex or even bestiality unintelligible. Traditionalist Catholics and the Russian Old Believers seem to be the only Christians who have managed to uphold the sexual morality that is as old as the Church itself. Even among the “Orthodox” one is most often told to seek the council of your spiritual father to find out what kind of sodomy is allowed for married Christians.

  16. I suppose it depends on what one means by “religious”. EvolutionistX seems to mean divine command ethics. In fact, I think there are very strong ethical critiques to the homosexuality movement that don’t depend on revealed divine command. They’re unpopular, though.

    There are good arguments that marriage is inherently heterosexual, but they must involve explaining how the role of husband and wife differ; such arguments are therefore “sexist”.

    There are good arguments against recognizing same-sex marriage based on the social function marriage is supposed to perform, but these are all also arguments against recognizing divorce with remarriage.

    There are good arguments for labeling homosexual sodomy unnatural and immoral, but these all apply with equal force against contracepted heterosexual sex.

    It’s only when you start rebelling against the natural law that you have to limit your arguments to “because God says so”.

    • I’m never convinced by arguments that try to leave God out of natural law. The natural order is to be respected because it derives from the mind of God. I suppose one could argue that divine command theory makes God’s commands arbitrary, but, really, how could they be? They’re God’s.

      • No full discussion of the natural law can leave out God, but it’s not necessary to refer to His commandments in order to elucidate its principles, cf. the Nicomachean Ethics.

        The problem with Divine Command Theory isn’t that it makes God’s commands arbitrary, but because it seems to draw a distinction between the Good and God’s nature, between His commands and His Being.

      • it’s not necessary to refer to His commandments in order to elucidate its principles, cf. the Nicomachean Ethics

        It’s not necessary to refer to God when going into the details, but when discussing why this theory of morality is true and thus obligates us, you have to refer to God.

        draw a distinction between the Good and God’s nature, between His commands and His Being

        In other words, they are arbitrary.

      • when discussing why this theory of morality is true and thus obligates us, you have to refer to God.

        I specifically cited an example where that is not the case, have you read the Nicomachean Ethics?

        In other words, they are arbitrary.

        That doesn’t follow. My decisions are distinct from my being, yet (for the most part) they are not arbitrary.

      • I’m sorry, I feel like I’ve missed something. You said that in order to discuss why natural law ethics is true and why we ought to follow it, we need to refer to God (as a sidenote, I think this response distorts my original claim which said that we do not need to refer to God’s commandments in order to elucidate the principles of natural law), but on my read of the NE, Aristotle makes the both arguments without referring to God. Does that not disprove your contention, or are you claiming that I have misread Aristotle on this point?

      • Then the conclusion would naturally be . . . that Aristotle’s arguments don’t work without reference to God.

  17. @ superslaviswife

    “Marxism, gnostic atheism and a laissez faire approach to civil engineering CAN work very well. But they WON’T because we are not robots.”

    Considering that the three approaches are meant to apply to humans (“incapable of being completely unemotional and practical forever”) and that “we are not robots”, what exactly is the utility of said approaches to “civil engineering”?
    How could we defend the feasibility of an atheist position on homosexuality when we recognize a priori that it’s utterly inapplicable?
    If the not “Marxism, gnostic atheism and a laissez faire approach to civil engineering” (practicalities), then what other path do we have to reject homosexuality without invoking God?

  18. Ultimately, no amount of “technological advances” or “civil engineering” will make homosexuality healthy, since God is against it.

    The main issue with this kind of objections lies in the fact that they tend to recognize some “common ground” with the so-called opposition: as clearly mentioned on the article, utilitarianism and materialism, are the sole justification for any “moral relativism” (albeit such thing is non existent). The grossest aspects of ethics are, unavoidably, grafted unto validation by others.

  19. Pingback: Do atheist objections to homosexuality exist? | evolutionistx

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