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LGBT Rights and Religion:

Discussion of religion in the context of LGBT rights is only allowed in this thread.

Discussion of religion in any other context is off topic in all of the "LGBT rights..." threads.

Attempting to bait others into bringing up religion is also not allowed.

edited 4th Oct '13 8:26:43 AM by Madrugada

 5251 shimaspawn, Wed, 28th Nov '12 11:36:10 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] Quite a few of them are based in behaviours of animals that just aren't true. The biggest argument in there against homosexuality is that it doesn't exist in animals, only it does.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 5252 Carciofus, Wed, 28th Nov '12 12:10:09 PM from Canterlot
Is that cake frosting?
[up]I don't think that that's an argument that Aquinas actually uses (but I will confess that I did not commit to mind, or even read, all of the Summa, so I may be mistaken).

Rather, he adopts a teleological stance. In brief, faculties have predetermined purposes, and to use a faculty for things other than its purpose is to pervert it. The purpose of sex is reproduction, and therefore forms of sex which have no chance whatsoever of causing reproduction are best avoided.

Consistently with this, the Catholic Church condemns heterosexual non-reproductive sex acts as well as homosexual ones: and hence, Catholics who agree with the official Catholic stance on the matter of homosexuality but disagree with it on the matter of contraception — or, let's say, fellatio and so on — are really in a contradictory position, I think.

There are some serious problems with Aquinas' perspective, I believe: but his position was rather more sophisticated than "horses don't have gay sex, therefore humans shouldn't either" (even if that were true about horses, why should it matter? Horses don't play cards either, but that does not imply that playing cards is a sin).

edited 28th Nov '12 12:13:42 PM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 5253 Ekuran, Wed, 28th Nov '12 12:27:56 PM from somewhere. Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Hi.
Except, no, sex has multiple purposes. The obvious one is reproduction. Another one is to encourage social bonding in intelligent animals, which is useful for these things called 'societies' that intelligent animals form that allows for the species to prosper.
[Insert seemingly profound or amusing phrase here.]
 5254 Jhimmibhob, Wed, 28th Nov '12 12:40:39 PM from Arm's reach of the julep machine Relationship Status: My own grandpa
[up]Aquinas is aware of that. According to Thomist reasoning, it has several other purposes—for example, the unitive function and the sacramental function (in which the marriage bond is expressed). Sex acts from which any of these other elements were conceptually absent would be equally inadmissible.
"She was the kind of dame they write similes about." —Pterodactyl Jones
 5255 shimaspawn, Wed, 28th Nov '12 12:41:30 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Yep. Biologically the purpose of sex in humans and our nearest relations is to inoculate ourselves to diseases and to bring the community together. There's a lot of evidence that indicates that indicates things like kissing and even full on sex are designed more for those purposes than reproduction. That's part of why it takes so many copulations for humans to even become pregnant. Thus once again, his argument is refuted.

By using sex only for reproductive purposes, we are perverting it by his very own words. He merely wasn't informed enough to make that declaration in his time. Even monogamy is technically perverting sex. It's purpose requires that it be used to build up herd immunity. Not doing so is what let ST Ds get such big teeth.

The book Sex at Dawn is a very good resource to turn to here.

edited 28th Nov '12 12:43:27 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 5256 Foolamancer, Wed, 28th Nov '12 12:59:59 PM from Behind the GM screen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Only Insane Man
Of course, the bigger issue with Aquinas' philosophy is that it just doesn't have any real basis in logic or evidence. It starts from the assumption that God exists, morality is objective, and so on, all the way down to its declarations regarding sexual activity requiring a unitive/marital component to be "good" (or at least their underpinnings; it's been a long time since I read Aquinas and I forget exactly what the basic assumptions he starts from are).

But then, that's the problem with most theological arguments. In essence, it's all speculation. The phrase "If the Bible (or 'religious conviction X', anyway) is correct" is implicit in all of them.

Aquinas didn't argue against homosexuality on the basis that it doesn't occur in animals for the simple reason that he's not starting with reality. He's starting with the Bible and working from there, then asserting that reality should match up.

Interesting reading, but ultimately not something to try and emulate.
"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."

- Terry Pratchett
 5257 Carciofus, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:08:07 PM from Canterlot
Is that cake frosting?
[up] Actually, Aquinas is extremely careful in distinguishing what he accepts because of Revelation and what he accepts because of Reason, as well as in pointing out which metaphysical assumptions he uses as the basis for the reasoning. Most successive philosophers — included most positivist, materialist ones I know of, by the way — are much less cautious than him about that.

Now, my personal objection to Aquinas' position is that treating "sex" as a monolithic entity is, I think, unwarranted. Yes, there are sexual acts that result in reproduction. And yes, reproduction — the creation of new human life — has a special sacred character. It is definitely something to be celebrated. But that does not mean that other acts that share some similarities with them, but do not share that character, are necessarily twisted versions of it. After all, simple kissing, or — in some circumstances — holding hands are also, in a very definite sense, sexual acts: to reduce all the sexual sphere of the human experience to penetrative sex — or reproductive penetrative sex — is to do it a grave injustice. And yet, nobody would argue that kissing is a sin because it cannot result in reproduction.

Rather than making sweeping statements about the purposes of "sexual acts" as a whole, I think that it is preferable to examine matters in more detail. Given a specific act, in a specific circumstance, shouldn't we ask which purposes it serves in the concrete? Shouldn't we ask if it respects the dignity of the participants, and what effects it has on their lives?

edited 28th Nov '12 2:14:56 PM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 5258 Foolamancer, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:12:03 PM from Behind the GM screen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Only Insane Man
[up]Well, yes. But ultimately, he still includes "revelation" in his arguments - which, ultimately, means that it's pretty much him pulling it out of thin air, and thus his arguments ultimately rest on speculation rather than logic.

Though I do agree that the "moral value" of sex, inasmuch as one can be prescribed (as I don't subscribe to the idea of objective morality), should be on a case-by-case basis.
"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."

- Terry Pratchett
 5259 Jhimmibhob, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:25:10 PM from Arm's reach of the julep machine Relationship Status: My own grandpa
[up]You positive about this "reading Aquinas" thing? So far from pulling anything out of thin air, he kills a few forests spelling out what the logical grounds would be for postulating such a thing as revelation, what data would support the supposition, and the necessary limits both of inferring it and applying it. Aquinas does a sterling job of grounding the subject ... unless, of course, one is temperamentally inclined to dismiss the notion prima facie (an extra-logical move).
"She was the kind of dame they write similes about." —Pterodactyl Jones
 5260 Carciofus, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:31:19 PM from Canterlot
Is that cake frosting?
and thus his arguments ultimately rest on speculation rather than logic.
When I hear people say that their arguments rest solely on logic, I find it convenient to assume that they mean that they rest solely on whichever unexamined assumptions sound obvious to them. You cannot do philosophy (or anything else, for that matter) without making assumptions; and if one says that they are not using any, it generally means that they did not even bother checking the foundations of their own reasoning.

Yes, if one is not Christian, there is much in the Summa that they would not felt compelled to accept. And even if one is a Christian, they may easily disagree with Aquinas on matters of interpretation, or on the Aristotelian metaphysical assumptions that he incorporated in his system, or on the solidity of some of his arguments. Thomistic theology is not even remotely the only form of Christian theology, and not all theologians and philosophers of the Thomistic tradition agree with Aquinas on everything anyway.

Still, the Summa is one of the masterworks of mindkind, easily on par with the Principia Mathematica, Plato's Republic or the Aeneid.

edited 28th Nov '12 2:33:29 PM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 5261 Foolamancer, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:33:02 PM from Behind the GM screen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Only Insane Man
[up]Quite sure. The problem with him attempting to justify his use of what he calls revelation is that he ultimately fails to show that it's anything other than pulling it out of thin air.

But we're getting off-track anyway. I'll continue this line of discussion if you guys want, but this is starting to get into full-on derail territory, as this was originally about Aquinas' views on homosexuality and not whether or not his views were ultimately valid or just speculation.

EDIT: Unless I missed something before I came in, which I might have.

edited 28th Nov '12 2:33:34 PM by Foolamancer

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."

- Terry Pratchett
 5262 Carciofus, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:34:25 PM from Canterlot
Is that cake frosting?
Agreed, let's drop it.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 5263 Haldo, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:52:45 PM from Never never land Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
Indecisive pumpkin
I don't know why some people claim that the Bible irrefutably bans homosexuality when same-sex attractions and same-sex romance are never once mentioned in it. Same-sex copulation is brought up in it, but that is the only thing related to homosexuality it ever brings up.

If you want to argue that homosexuality is a sin, you must admit that the Bible does not irrefutably back you up.
‽‽‽‽

^These are interrobangs. Love them. Learn them. Use them.
I'm an Irene!
[up] Correctly, it specifies that Homosexual Sex is a Sin. This is a world of difference, after all. Being Homosexual was never a Sin. It's clear that one of those things are happening;

  • They purposely are misreading it or changing its teachings.
  • Or the "If Homosexual Sex is a sin, then Homosexuality itself must be a Sin too!"

Either way, they're doing it wrong. Yes, to clarify, I do not believe either is a Sin at all.(and more specifically, it can be argued that it's just a taboo in the Jewish culture, but not any others)
 5265 Foolamancer, Wed, 28th Nov '12 2:58:25 PM from Behind the GM screen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Only Insane Man
[up][up]There's a lot of people who'd disagree with that.

Warning: link may be NSFW for excessive amounts of bigotry.

EDIT: Added arrows. Also, not saying I think their arguments are correct. Just that not everyone thinks that the Bible doesn't actively condemn homosexuality.

edited 28th Nov '12 3:00:01 PM by Foolamancer

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."

- Terry Pratchett
I'm an Irene!
One of those says Homosexuality, the rest say acts.

Leviticus only refers to acts, however. And he is only talking about cultural taboos anyway. So he does not believe Jewish people(males specifically) should do Homosexual acts, in the sense that's it not clean. The rest does condemn the acts, with one exception entirely.

So yeah, one condemns Homosexuality, the rest condemns the acts themselves. So... I'm going to still say it was the acts itself, and only applicable to Jewish people, and only that it's not accepted in Jewish Society. Anywhere else is irrelevant.
 5267 shimaspawn, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:04:24 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
It actually never says homosexual sex is a sin. It says you shouldn't fuck the temple's male prostitutes. That's why it's in the section with religious rituals and not in the section with sexual immorality.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 5268 Haldo, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:05:08 PM from Never never land Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
Indecisive pumpkin
[up][up][up]That's Conservapedia, dear. They were once a serious (though largely inaccurate) website, but they have since become so heavily flooded with troll editors that it is impossible to distinguish sincere content from subtle satire.

[up][up]The one that actually says "homosexual" is a corrupted translation. We know this for certain because Ancient Hebrew did not have that word. In fact, in the century that the Bible was written, no language had that word. Earlier English translations tended to translate that as "abusers of mankind with oneself".

[up]While this is true, it's kinda hard to tell if you don't know the context behind the scripture.

edited 28th Nov '12 3:09:19 PM by Haldo

‽‽‽‽

^These are interrobangs. Love them. Learn them. Use them.
 5269 Foolamancer, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:10:04 PM from Behind the GM screen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Only Insane Man
[up] I'm aware of what Conservapedia is, and what the quality of its editors is like. However, these are Bible verses that you can look up for yourself. They are there. I only linked to Conservapedia because it has a handy list of all six of the verses that are the old standbys for condemning homosexuality, and such verses can easily be verified if you don't trust that source.
"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."

- Terry Pratchett
 5270 shimaspawn, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:14:44 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
The ones quoted with specific versions are done so because they were never translated as homosexual until about the 1960's. Before the word was "effeminate" which was meant as man who let's woman top in bed.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 5271 Carciofus, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:19:37 PM from Canterlot
Is that cake frosting?
Isn't Conservapedia the group at the basis of that ridiculous "Conservative Bible" project, anyway? To rewrite the scripture to justify their ideology is what they do.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

I'm an Irene!
@Haldo: That brings further indications that it misreads what Homosexuality is in the first place. In other words, it thinks Gay people are some kind of abusers, which is false.

In other words, everything about it would not mean Homosexuality, but those of abusive men(Slave owners, for instance) instead. Interesting...
 5273 Haldo, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:30:28 PM from Never never land Relationship Status: Coming soon to theaters
Indecisive pumpkin
[up]Well, it might also be because, as Shima said, another common translation before the 1960's was "effeminate", which is often falsely conflated with homosexuality.
‽‽‽‽

^These are interrobangs. Love them. Learn them. Use them.
 5274 shimaspawn, Wed, 28th Nov '12 3:32:33 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] Yep. Either way, it's a recent thing that really only crept into Biblical translations at the same time gays started coming out of the closet. Quite the coincidence isn't it?
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
I'm an Irene!
It could be both, actually, It's been said that some of Leviticus' stuff was related to slavery or humiliation(with Anal sex) from the Romans. Albeit, that's one way to look at it.

As for being effeminate, that is more of a sexist thing, clearly. Effeminate is for females only, and masculinity is for males only. At the age, this does not seem as weird.(wrong either way, of course) And some do accuse those who are feminine males of being gay, even if they're not.
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