TV Tropes Org

Forums

On-Topic Conversations:
LGBT Rights and Religion
search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [15,600]  1  2  3  4
5
 6  7  8  9 10 ... 624

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

Is that cake frosting?
Sounds to me like condemnation, calling it a "disordered attraction". But what is their basis for calling it "disordered" in the first place, other than "The Bible Tells Me So" (which it doesn't)?
I happen to agree with you that the reasons for this attraction to be disordered are unconvincing.

However, "disordered attraction" is not, in itself, a condemnation of the individual. The term is not used in the medical sense. Everybody has tendencies and desires which, if pursued, would lead to unacceptable behaviour; but as long as these tendencies are kept in check, there is no guilt in that — and as I said, the stronger the desires are, the more it is meritorious to be in control of them.

But as for the reasons... apart from "the Bible says so" (which I find somewhat debatable and not necessarily relevant, by the way, but we already discussed that), the main argument within the Catholic Church comes from its understanding of the purpose of sexuality and the telos of an action.

Essentially, the idea is that all tendencies in a human being have a purpose, and that an action is rightful only insofar as it is oriented to fulfilling that purpose — so, for example, eating to nourish yourself is fine, and there is clearly nothing wrong with enjoying that, but eating food with no nutritional properties whatsoever for the mere sake of the taste is a (venial) sin, and gorging yourself and endangering your health could actually be a rather serious sin.*

Now, the purpose of sex is thought to be reproduction. So, any form of non-reproductive sexuality is sinful — and this, of course, includes heterosexual non-reproductive intercourse too: for example, if I am not mistaken, heterosexual oral intercourse is considered just as "bad" as homosexual intercourse (unless if it is thought as a prelude to reproductive intercourse). Every Sperm is Sacred, after all tongue

I actually happen to agree in full with the notion of telos and the idea that actions and desires should be oriented towards their natural purposes. However, what I would disagree with is the idea that the only purpose of intercourse is reproduction. Bringing pleasure to each other and strengthening the relationship within a couple are, I think, perfectly legitimate purposes for such an act; and while homosexual couples are barred from fulfilling the reproductive aspect of intercourse, at least so far, there is nothing in principle that prevents them from fulfilling these other, perhaps even more important, aspects.

edited 11th Apr '12 10:12:42 AM by Carciofus

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

 102 pagad, Wed, 11th Apr '12 10:13:12 AM from perfidious Albion Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Sneering Imperialist
Now, the purpose of sex is thought to be reproduction. So, any form of non-reproductive sexuality is sinful and this, of course, includes heterosexual non-reproductive intercourse too: for example, if I am not mistaken, heterosexual oral intercourse is considered just as "bad" as homosexual intercourse (unless if it is thought as a prelude to reproductive intercourse). Every Sperm is Sacred, after al

This is just a sudden thought, but I would be interested if the Church has responded to any evidence that sexual activity is physiologically and psychologically beneficial (I believe there have been studies that have reached these conclusions, but my memory is fuzzy).
Is that cake frosting?
Not to my knowledge, but that's a good point.

I would even go as far as saying (but that's my personal opinion, nothing more) that when it does not interfere with any higher purpose, pleasure itself can be purpose enough to justify an action. I mean, suppose that I go to the museum and derive some pleasure from watching some nice paintings.

What is the purpose of that action? It gave me some mental stimulation, perhaps, but the real reason why I pursued that was the sheer pleasure of it. And there was nothing wrong with that, obviously.

Ultimately, I think that we were created for joy, and, therefore, that any action that can bring us joy is legitimate as long as it does not conflict with other purposes. Physical pleasure is just one form of joy, and perhaps not among the most lofty or "spiritual", but that does not make this any less true.

edited 11th Apr '12 10:21:05 AM by Carciofus

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

 104 Lawyerdude, Wed, 11th Apr '12 10:21:43 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Regarding gluttony, nearly all human beings have a natural affinity for fat, sugar and salt because our bodies need those things in order to live. We evolved an inclination to overindulge in them because they were so hard for our primitive ancestors to find. So our desire for fat, sugar and salt is a good thing. Overindulging is not because of the health risks.

But on the issue of sexuality, a great many human beings enjoy sex. Not everybody is sexually attracted to the same things. Some people even have impulses that, if acted upon, would cause harm to themselves or others. But why does religion label something that is both natural for certain people and causes no harm as badwrong?

edited 11th Apr '12 10:22:48 AM by Lawyerdude

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 105 inane 242, Wed, 11th Apr '12 10:22:59 AM from A B-Movie Bildungsroman
Anwalt der Verdammten
Because arbitrary.
Is that cake frosting?
So our desire for fat, sugar and salt is a good thing.
If kept in control by our higher faculties. Both the Church and classical philosophy teach, and here I am in complete agreement with them, that it is shameful for a human not to be in control of his or her own desires.
But why does religion label something that is both natural for certain people and causes no harm as badwrong?
My opinion is that it mostly comes down to historical reasons. Anal intercourse was pretty dangerous in the pre-condoms-and-hygiene eras; furthermore, some of the civilizations near Israel practiced male temple prostitution, and later on the Greek world had a notion of sexuality and homosexuality that was blatantly in opposition with Judeo-Christian ideas.

Add to it a tendency to see the material world and its pleasures as corrupted and the "spiritual" pleasures as nobler (that mostly comes from the incorporation of Neoplatonic and Gnostic ideas, by the way, and is — in my opinion — rather in opposition with the basic Christian framework) and centuries upon centuries of sexual frustration*, and there we are.

edited 11th Apr '12 10:37:41 AM by Carciofus

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

I want Kat's glasses!
Now, the purpose of sex is thought to be reproduction. So, any form of non-reproductive sexuality is sinful and this, of course, includes heterosexual non-reproductive intercourse too: for example, if I am not mistaken, heterosexual oral intercourse is considered just as "bad" as homosexual intercourse (unless if it is thought as a prelude to reproductive intercourse). Every Sperm is Sacred, after al
Indeed, the late pope John Paul II has spoken against condoms.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 108 Octo, Wed, 11th Apr '12 1:59:32 PM from Germany
Prince of Dorne
But as for the reasons... apart from "the Bible says so" (which I find somewhat debatable and not necessarily relevant, by the way, but we already discussed that), the main argument within the Catholic Church comes from its understanding of the purpose of sexuality and the telos of an action.

Essentially, the idea is that all tendencies in a human being have a purpose, and that an action is rightful only insofar as it is oriented to fulfilling that purpose so, for example, eating to nourish yourself is fine, and there is clearly nothing wrong with enjoying that, but eating food with no nutritional properties whatsoever for the mere sake of the taste is a (venial) sin, and gorging yourself and endangering your health could actually be a rather serious sin
So what you're saying is that the Catholic Church is basically basing its entire stance on a fallacy, the Is-ought fallacy? Well, I don't think more needs to be said. Not everything that's natural is good and vice versa; in fact there is no correlation between the two at all.

Actually, I find it puzzling that so little has been said lately about gluttony. I am not guiltless in this myself, far from it; but strictly speaking, there are many more theological and scriptural reasons to speak against it than there are to speak against homosexuality.
Well, same reason you get conservative youths who have no problem sleeping around but will still condemn homosexuality. They only uphold laws that are about others. "Beam" and "splinter" comes to mind...

I actually happen to agree in full with the notion of telos and the idea that actions and desires should be oriented towards their natural purposes.
Social fascism.
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
Is that cake frosting?
So what you're saying is that the Catholic Church is basically basing its entire stance on a fallacy, the Is-ought fallacy? Well, I don't think more needs to be said. Not everything that's natural is good and vice versa; in fact there is no correlation between the two at all.
The way in which these arguments use the term "natural" is always a source for confusion. When it is used in theological texts, it does not refer to the state of the universe right now: it refers to the state of the universe as it should be, and to what humans are meant to aim towards.

Well, same reason you get conservative youths who have no problem sleeping around but will still condemn homosexuality. They only uphold laws that are about others. "Beam" and "splinter" comes to mind...
I think that this paints this with too broad a brush. There certainly are people such as the ones that you describe; but there are also — and I'd wager that they are the majority — earnest, sincere, dedicated youths who happen to endorse a very "conservative" version of Christianity. Gluttony just seems to have fallen off the map, in some way in which greed or lust have not.

Social fascism.
You can call it how you want, but it does not make it any less (or more, obviously) true.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 110 inane 242, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:12:49 PM from A B-Movie Bildungsroman
Anwalt der Verdammten
Fascism. Fascism everywhere.
Decemberist
I actually happen to agree in full with the notion of telos and the idea that actions and desires should be oriented towards their natural purposes.

If the telos of sex is reproduction, then why are Humans and dolphins the only 2 animals that have sex for pleasure?
Dutch Lesbian
 112 Best Of, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:14:59 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
[up][up]...But not a drop to drink. Doesn't work, really, does it?

Fascism, fascism everywhere, but not a ... healthy society to ... belong to ... ?

[up]I'm not really sure if that's even true. At least there are several species of apes that masturbate from time to time, though it has been suggested that part of the reason is to get sperm production going before the real action starts.

Wait, what am I talking about here?

edited 11th Apr '12 2:16:21 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 113 Lawyerdude, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:15:27 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Well, as the great and wonderful Glenn Beck put it, advocating "Social Justice" makes you a Commie-Nazi. Actually, according to him supporting anything but what he says makes you a Commie-Nazi.

Please, let's not slap meaningless labels on things.

When it is used in theological texts, it does not refer to the state of the universe right now: it refers to the state of the universe as it should be, and to what humans are meant to aim towards.

Wow. That makes absolutely no sense. Essentially they're saying that "unnatural" means "not as we would want it"? Which would make any argument derived from that nothing more than a tautology.

edited 11th Apr '12 2:17:14 PM by Lawyerdude

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
 114 inane 242, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:17:08 PM from A B-Movie Bildungsroman
Anwalt der Verdammten
[up][up]http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/x-x-everywhere

I don't always engage people in a serious discussion, but when I do, I shoehorn memes.
 115 L Mage, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:17:31 PM from Miss Robichaux's Academy Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Evil Trickster
I feel that this and to a lesser extent this, is relevant to the "naturalness" of homosexuality.

edited 11th Apr '12 2:17:41 PM by LMage

"You are never taller then when standing up for yourself"
 116 Best Of, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:18:19 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
[up][up]I thought you were making a reference to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

[up][up][up]

edited 11th Apr '12 2:18:31 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
Decemberist
I'm not really sure if that's even true. At least there are several species of apes that masturbate from time to time, though it has been suggested that part of the reason is to get sperm production going before the real action starts.

IIRC some primates use sex as a social weapon to get to the top of the hierarchy but that just reinforces my point.

The telos of sex isn't just for reproduction.
Dutch Lesbian
Is that cake frosting?
Essentially they're saying that "unnatural" means "not as we would want it"? Which would make any argument derived from that nothing more than a tautology.
One idea which, I think, is at the heart of Abrahamic religions is that the world as it is now is not how it should be. This is what the whole myth of the Garden and the serpent is about, I think (although perhaps it is not the only thing it's about — it's a complex text).

Now, the natural question — and it is an important one — is how one should go about to find out how the world should be. There is no single or easy answer to this, I think. Scriptural evidence can help a little — for example, I heard Christian vegetarians argue that, since the myth of creation says that God originally only gave vegetables to eat to humans and only gave permission to eat meat after the deluge, attempting to become vegetarian fits well as an attempt to recover, insofar as it is possible, the "original"* state of harmony with the creation. In a way, this is the same as saying that vegetarianism would be more "natural" (in the sense which I discussed above) for human beings — and this, despite the established fact that humans evolved as omnivores.

Reflection and observation can also help: after all, the world is damaged, but not entirely. Sometimes, you can find hints. And then, finally, there are prayer and one's own conscience.

I feel that this and to a lesser extent this, is relevant to the "naturalness" of homosexuality.
Not so much, I think. Hamsters eat their youngs. More in general, it is not clear to me why we would even want to take animal behaviour as a guide for human behaviour.

Now, I think that homosexuality is indeed "natural", in the sense I discussed above. But that should be argued on other grounds.

EDIT:
The telos of sex isn't just for reproduction.
No argument from me. Although I am not sure if what monkeys and nonhuman apes do is relevant to this. We should rather, I think, examine how sexuality fits in the whole human condition, how it can be used to raise us to greater levels of excellence, and when it is instead a danger that might hold us down.

edited 11th Apr '12 2:43:00 PM by Carciofus

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

 119 inane 242, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:48:19 PM from A B-Movie Bildungsroman
Anwalt der Verdammten
If I may have one moment to discuss Telos.

If I understand this right, Aristotle used Telos to describe something's higher purpose, a sort of intrinsic quality that transcends use. Like the Telos of a peanut is to grow into a peanut plant or the Telos of Excalibur would be to belong to the rightful ruler of Great Britain.

I could totally use Excalibur as a really fancy letter opener, and then opening letters would be it's purpose BUT the Telos of Excalibur would still be belonging to the rightful ruler of Great Britain.

So, even if creatures use sex for other activities, a theological arguent could be made that the Telos of sex is still reproduction.

(*DISCLAIMER: I don't really give a flying fuck about what the Telos of sex is, I just thought y'all were using the word wrong and wanted to clear things up*)
Decemberist
I could totally use Excalibur as a really fancy letter opener, and then opening letters would be it's purpose BUT the Telos of Excalibur would still be belonging to the rightful ruler of Great Britain.

Actually, the telos of Exaclibur is to reveal who is the rightful king of the Britons which has nothing to do with Great Britain.
Dutch Lesbian
 121 inane 242, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:52:32 PM from A B-Movie Bildungsroman
Anwalt der Verdammten
Whatever, you get my point that it's Telos could be different from what I use it for.

edited 11th Apr '12 2:52:58 PM by inane242

Is that cake frosting?
And if you kept Excalibur for yourself as a fancy letter-opener while King Arthur is in need of it, you would be committing a great injustice.

If the telos of sex is reproduction, then sex achieves its true purpose only insofar it is used for reproduction. To use it for any other purpose would be an imperfection.

At least, that's how I understand it. I could be wrong, obviously — I should probably reread the sources again.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 123 inane 242, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:53:29 PM from A B-Movie Bildungsroman
Anwalt der Verdammten
Not everything needs to be perfect.
Is that cake frosting?
Everything does, I think. Or to be more precise, we must all strive to bring everything to perfection, even though that is beyond our strengths alone.

[down]I replied to that in post 118. Short answer, there is no easy or foolproof way to find something's telos. There are criteria, but they are not fail-free.

And now I should really get some sleep, g'night everybody.

edited 11th Apr '12 2:57:30 PM by Carciofus

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

 125 Lawyerdude, Wed, 11th Apr '12 2:54:52 PM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Even if one accepts the idea that everything has a Telos, that still leads to more questions. How is the Telos discovered? Who has authority to say what it is? If a religious leader says that homosexuality is unnatural and against God's design, by what authority does he claim to state that? I could claim that the Telos of sex is pleasure. What makes my claim any more or less valid than somebody else's?

edited 11th Apr '12 2:56:24 PM by Lawyerdude

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Total posts: 15,600
 1  2  3  4
5
 6  7  8  9 10 ... 624


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy