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Peikoff said in a podcast on homosexuality that he thinks sexuality was formed subconsciously during early childhood. Not sure of just how much of a choice then he thinks a person has in the matter.

That would make absolute sense.  That's actually what I've been thinking it is; a subconscious value-judgment, like one's sense of life. 

 

I find it immensely improbable that it would be genetic- wouldn't a "gay gene" necessarily remove itself from the gene pool?  It seems to blatantly violate the mechanics of evolution, as far as I can imagine.

On the other hand, given our culture's estimation and treatment of gays today (not to mention under Shuria law!!) I find it even more improbable that anyone would volunteer for that.

"Yes, they'll stone me to death now for my cocklust and, by Alleh, was that the wrong decision!  Ha-ha!"  Yeah; I don't buy that.

 

So a subconscious value-judgment seems like the best explanation, by far.

 

 

Thus, like the formalization of any contract, it's the state's business.

Uh-huh.

So then the antitrust laws are perfectly moral, right?  Because all that involves are formal contracts, so why shouldn't the state dictate which companies can or cannot marry each other?

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Homosexuality is a sexual preference.  If it is a choice then all sexual preferences are choices.

To say that homosexuality is a choice, but heterosexuality isn't, is just plain silly.  To say that it's a choice while other preferences (height, weight, skin color, hair color) aren't, is silly.

If being attracted to people with your own type of genitals is a choice, then so is being attracted to blondes, brunettes, biker chicks, et cetera.

So when someone says that homosexuality is a choice, just ask them why they chose THEIR preferences (or have some fun with it and try to explain the immorality of having sex with [insert their desires]).

 

I'm not gay, personally, but my wife is bi and by Galt I support that!  B)

 

It's funny, though, the number of guys nowadays who are completely gung-ho for lesbians but despise gay men.  Never have understood that.

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What Ayn Rand said, and Objectivism, are not interchangeable. Just because Ayn Rand liked cats, doesn't mean Objectivists have to like cats.

 

Well, I also 'like cats', and have rescued five of the cuties (Double, Trouble, Chaos, Kylie, and Sang [Korean for 'Twin']), who subquently 'adopted' me.

 

So, since I 'like cats', my girlfriend 'likes cats', and Rand 'likes cats', then all the Objectivists I know or know of 'like cats', which makes sence since cats are the feircly indpendent 'Objectivists' of the animal world (I remember the History Channel show 'Life After People' stating that cats are the ONLY domesticated animal that would survive unchanged if people were to vanish/die off)...

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Our best measure of Rand's scientific interest in homosexuality is a story Joan Blumenthal told to Anne Heller.  Rand was a great fan of Rudolf Nureyev, and Blumenthal remarked casually that he was gay and that everybody knew this.  Rand refused to believe her, insisting that he was too well hung to be a homosexual.

 

She must have been looking at a very old edition of the DSM.

Edited by Reidy

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So, since I 'like cats', my girlfriend 'likes cats', and Rand 'likes cats', then all the Objectivists I know or know of 'like cats', which makes sence since cats are the feircly indpendent 'Objectivists' of the animal world (I remember the History Channel show 'Life After People' stating that cats are the ONLY domesticated animal that would survive unchanged if people were to vanish/die off)...

That would actually make sense.

I'm rather fond of cats, myself.  I like any animal that can walk up to you for affection and then walk away again, without any hostility, simply to go do its own thing.

 

Still, while it does relate to the philosophy (everything ties back into philosophy) I wouldn't consider it by any means essential.

You cannot call yourself an Objectivist if you consider reason to be impotent, selfishness immoral or Capitalism unjust.  You can hate cats and still consider yourself an Objectivist (which is what I mean by non-essential).

 

Our best measure of Rand's scientific interest in homosexuality is a story Joan Blumenthal told to Anne Heller.  Rand was a great fan of Rudolf Nureyev, and Blumenthal remarked casually that he was gay and that everybody knew this.  Rand refused to believe her, insisting that he was too well hung to be a homosexual.

That would explain a lot, if it's true.

 

Because if that's the case then we can conclude that Rand saw homosexuality as a symptom of low self-esteem; i.e. "I like boys because girls don't like me."  Which wouldn't be a very farfetched hypothesis, given the time period and the information she had available.

And if someone were to choose their sexual preferences, based on a low sense of self-worth and attractiveness, then that WOULD be immoral by the standard of rational selfishness.  I think it logically follows.

 

So that premise, right there, might be the cause of her erroneous judgment therein.

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My next play that I have been writing, which is now 90% finished, I have a lesbian couple in it, which this play like my other three, are based on Greek myths, but I of course tell it in my own contemporary way.    I have it so that neither one questions their sexuality, it just is.  They don't question why they are attracted to the same-sex, just like I don't question why I am heterosexual, as I just am.

I think I do a fair treatment of the two in my play, and its making me want to look back over things that I have said over some in this thread, and others, to see if I can see this from a different perspective than I have been, especially since I have been writing the perspectives of said lesbian couple.

Edited by intellectualammo

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The title says "objectivism and homosexuality", but you keep referring to "homosexual marriage". As others have said, and as I believe as a homosexual objectivist (and follower of Rand, even knowing her personal view on the subject), homosexual marriage is a non-issue because not being able to get married affects no individual's rights. Furthermore, even I believe that "gay culture" is morally bankrupt with its collectivist "gay pride" parades and the almost-constant tendency of homosexuals to think about nothing other than "being gay" and "supporting gay 'rights'" (even though marriage couldn't possibly a "right").

 

Rand personally viewed homosexuality as immoral (although I don't think concrete evidence of this has ever been provided, only secondhand accounts), but that's Rand. She never professed to be perfect or infallible, nor did she expect every objectivist to think using her brain instead of their own.

An important point is that, in Rand's time, homosexuality viewed as a choice with no biological aspect. Modern research shows that this could very well be incorrect.

Rand wrote the following in Atlas Shrugged: "A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality."

If Rand was presented with evidence that sexual orientation is determined biologically, I think that she surely would've believed that while being homosexual had nothing to do with morality initially, attempting to live against one's own nature and happiness (i.e. if a gay man attempted to turn himself straight) would've been viciously immoral. Unfortunately, as she was never presented with this evidence, and because such evidence would've predated her time, her personal view shouldn't apply as far as the philosophy of objectivism is concerned.

If there is a biological component to homosexuality, Rand's comments on racism are very worthy of note. Just replace "racism" with "homosexuality" and it fits:
"Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors."

If there was anything relating to the topic Rand would call immoral today, it would probably be the fact that some homosexuals obsess over their collective status as "homosexuals" (i.e. branding oneself "QueerCapitalist"), rather than by simply identifying themselves, if asked or discussing the issue, as one.
 

This article gives an excellent rundown of the issue.

Edited by Axmann8

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The title says "objectivism and homosexuality", but you keep referring to "homosexual marriage". As others have said, and as I believe as a homosexual objectivist (and follower of Rand, even knowing her personal view on the subject), homosexual marriage is a non-issue because not being able to get married affects no individual's rights.

It does affect individual rights. There are all kinds of rights granted to married spouses that must be granted irrespective of sexual orientation, and because of this discrimination against gays, aren't.

For example, there's a story just recently in the news about a Kentucky legal case in which the prosecution is planning to force the partner of a gay defendant to testify against her. http://news.yahoo.com/gay-couple-seeks-spousal-privilege-protection-kentucky-murder-110705290.html

If the defendant was straight, she would likely be married and her spouse would rightfully be shielded by spousal privilege protection. It is monstrous to force someone to testify against a loved one, and a gross violation of their individual rights. And, if Kentucky law (which expressly defines marriage as between a man and a woman) is followed, that is exactly what the Court will do, and the person testifying will have no recourse to appeal, she will either have to testify or go to jail. The nearest opportunity for appeal will be after a potential conviction. That's a terrible double standard.

That's just one example that I don't think anyone brought up so far. But the list is quite long, many of the issues have already been mentioned in the thread. Gay marriage is absolutely an issue related to individual rights.

Edited by Nicky

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It does affect individual rights. There are all kinds of rights granted to married spouses that must be granted irrespective of sexual orientation, and because of this discrimination against gays, aren't.

 

This is where the mistake occurs in pro-gay marriage arguments. You confuse a benefit with a right. Because a subset of the population receives certain extra benefits IN ADDITION to the rights that every man already enjoys, you say that it's a "right", and people are being denied a "right". "Well, if that man gets it, I want it too." Being denied a privilege is not the same as being denied a right.

Say someone is awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor. Is having the Presidential Medal of Honor bestowed upon you a "right" because someone else was, and you're being denied that "right"? This argument about "being denied a right", which is not a right, is the very heart of communism: give everyone everything, no matter the reason or principles behind it.

Legal marriage has no foundation in any sort of natural right. These "benefits", at least in part, arise from the fact that mother-father child rearing is biologically natural, and tends to ultimately result in the best result for a child. Homosexuals have no ability to reproduce, so why should these benefits be bestowed them? Homosexual unions provide nothing for society, therefore these benefits provide nothing.

Do NOT read the preceding as "I don't think homosexuals should get tax benefits because this takes away from society" or "I think heterosexuals should should receive these benefits because they produce something for society". I believe neither. I do not believe in forced taxation, period. What makes a heterosexual couple different from a homosexual one? The answer is their ability to reproduce. What makes a heterosexual couple different from an individual? Its ability to reproduce. Now, what makes homosexual couples different from individuals? If your answer is the magical force known as "love" (not Randian love), then that's whim-worship and mysticism. The real answer is: nothing. “To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I'. If homosexuals couples are worthy enough to bestowed extra benefits, but I am, first and foremost, the most important end in myself, why can't I be given these benefits, simply because I love myself? What gives homosexuals more of a right than me to receive these special privileges? Am I being denied a right, too?

Let me ask you a question: should these "rights" be granted to polygamous couples as well? And what prevents people from setting up "marriage services", wherein people can sign up to get married in name solely for the purpose of these benefits? It would certainly seem to satisfy the trader principle. Is it, as before, the magical force of "love" that makes a difference? Again, that's mysticism.

Edited by Axmann8

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First I'll start off by saying that I agree with your last 2 paragraphs- I have found no good reason for the existence of marriage benefits.

 

Legal marriage has no foundation in any sort of natural right. These "benefits", at least in part, arise from the fact that mother-father child rearing is biologically natural, and tends to ultimately result in the best result for a child. Homosexuals have no ability to reproduce, so why should these benefits be bestowed them? Homosexual unions provide nothing for society, therefore these benefits provide nothing.

 

However, this is the crux of your argument, as I've read it. It's a fair line of reasoning, but you need to dig deeper. You said that "[Marriage] benefits arise from the fact that mother-father child rearing is biologically natural, and tends to ultimately result in the best result for a child. "

 

I can agree with your claim that heterosexual child rearing is (or was, 50 years ago) biologically natural (in modern society). But how do you know that this setup "ultimately results in the best result for a child"? What is your proof? Do you know of any studies that support this claim? You also don't explain why benefits are granted to heterosexual couples. (Obviously they can reproduce- but is merely having the ability and means to reproduce a good reason to grant them benefits?) You imply that marriage benefits somehow 'help' their children.. but again, is this a good reason to grant them benefits?

 

I really don't believe that the ability to reproduce, or find a monogamous partner, is grounds for any special privileges (ie: marriage benefits). But as long as these benefits exist, I don't believe they should be granted exclusively to heterosexual couples. Some heterosexual couples cannot (or choose not to) have children. Why do they still recieve marriage benefits? Some homosexual couples adopt children. Why do they not recieve marriage benefits? 

Edited by mdegges

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This is where the mistake occurs in pro-gay marriage arguments. You confuse a benefit with a right.

No, I don't. Though every conservative I ever come across recites that exact same talking point by heart, every other sentence.

If homosexuals couples are worthy enough to bestowed extra benefits, but I am, first and foremost, the most important end in myself, why can't I be given these benefits, simply because I love myself?

I cited a specific RIGHT that a gay woman is being denied in Kentucky: to not testify against the person she loves. And it is a right. But, fine, call it a whatever you want. It doesn't matter what you call it. Are you really unaware of the fact that, if you live in the United States, you do have that "benefit" relative you yourself (to not incriminate yourself), as per the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution? 

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Axman, if your argument is that marriage should amount to a mere contractual arrangement, great. But then you'll have to concede that two men or two women are in many states prevented from entering into the same kinds of contractual relationships as a man and a woman. This affects their ability to establish lines of inheritance, determine custody, secure hospital visitation, immigrate or emmigrate, etc.

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What are you asking me to say? That gay marriage is a super-important, fundamental, natural rights issue and we should have the government sanction homosexual marriages right away, lest we be unfair and hateful? I will not say it, because I do not believe it. I do not believe that it is a fundamental issue.

I want government to do less, not more. I want government to get the hell out of all relationships, and stay out.

What we SHOULD be criticizing is the fact that government impedes ANYONE's ability to enter into, and uphold contracts. Instead, we seem to be focusing on ONLY homosexuals.
What we SHOULD be criticizing is the fact that government sanctions, prevents, or has any position whatsoever on any kind of relationship people wish to enter.
What we SHOULD be criticizing is the fact that government locks people away in prison for non-violent crime, effectively removing all of their rights for no reason whatsoever.

 

But no; we're here talking about how government should sanction gay marriage and that will fix it all, right? Let's allow them into our personal lives just a tiny bit more, and then we'll have a better world, right?

"Just one more welfare program and the world will be a better place, right?"

Edited by Axmann8

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What are you asking me to say? That gay marriage is a super-important, fundamental, natural rights issue and we should have the government give privileges to homosexuals right away, lest we be unfair and hateful?

I would like you to read the example of a right I gave, and explain why it's not a right. Either that, or stop referring to it as a privilege.

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No, I don't. Though every conservative I ever come across recites that exact same talking point by heart, every other sentence.

 

Interesting, because not only am I not a conservative (and certainly not a liberal), but I came to that conclusion myself.

 

Are you really unaware of the fact that, if you live in the United States, you do have that "benefit" relative you yourself (to not incriminate yourself), as per the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution? 

Why are you asking me if I'm unaware of that? Did I give any indication I was? Testifying against one's partner is not testifying aginst oneself, so what's your point?

Edited by Axmann8

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I would like you to read the example of a right I gave, and explain why it's not a right. Either that, or stop referring to it as a privilege.

"You are never called upon to prove a negative. That's a law of logic."

—Ayn Rand

Prove that gay marriage is a right. Either that, or stop referring to it as as such.

 

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"You are never called upon to prove a negative. That's a law of logic."

—Ayn Rand

Prove that gay marriage is a right. Either that, or stop referring to it as as such.

I'm gonna take that as a no. Enjoy practicing your recitations then. Edited by Nicky

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I'm gonna take that as a no. Enjoy practicing your recitations then.

Take it however you want.

I'm giving you the same answer Rand gave to Donahue. You're trying to set up an argument on impossible terms, and that shows you're scared to have to have this discussion. Throw in some context-cannibalism, fact-twisting, and a few red herrings and we've got an first-rate intellectual over here!

Edited by Axmann8

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You imply that marriage benefits somehow 'help' their children.. but again, is this a good reason to grant them benefits?

That's not what I was referring to when I meant the "best result". I wasn't saying "help the children" in a specific sense, as in some sort of financial benefit. I was speaking in a general term, in that men and women tend to differ psychologically (though neither is superior to the other), but there are also hormones in play and such, such as oxytocin, a natural "bonding" drug possessed by the mother. Also beneficial is the father's potential role in being a "male influence" and whatnot. These subjects really delve more into psychology and sociology (the latter of which I am not a fan of). I was more positing that "these are likely the reasons ascribed to, and used to "justify", the marriage benefit.

As I said before, I'm not advocating the position that heterosexuals (or homosexuals) should have marriage benefits. In fact, I believe that neither should Government should get nowhere near relationships between individuals.

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Take it however you want.

I'm giving you the same answer Rand gave to Donahue.

Yes, you are reciting another thing verbatim. Good for you. But you're answering a different request than Rand. Donahue was asking for proof, I was asking for an explanation. Edited by Nicky

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What are you asking me to say? 

 

I'm asking you to acknowledge that the government's role in contract enforcement implies a role in marriage. The government's proper role involves all sorts of relationships, commercial and familial. A two-tiered system of enforcing contracts is unjust, and (in this case) is remedied by sanctioning gay marriages.

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As others have said, and as I believe as a homosexual objectivist (and follower of Rand, even knowing her personal view on the subject), homosexual marriage is a non-issue because not being able to get married affects no individual's rights.

Marriage is a formal contract between two (or more) individuals; as such it's nobody else's business but their own.

And no, there's nothing wrong at all with polygamy- provided everyone involved has consented to it.  As a matter of fact, polygamy may have simplified the lives of so many people so much, including Rand and Nathaniel Brandon.  But that's another matter, entirely.

 

I agree with the general point you're trying to make; that the government has no business doing anything with private contracts except enforcing them (and this includes marriage).  It's for exactly that reason that gay marriage must be legal.

 

If Rand was presented with evidence that sexual orientation is determined biologically, I think that she surely would've believed that while being homosexual had nothing to do with morality initially, attempting to live against one's own nature and happiness (i.e. if a gay man attempted to turn himself straight) would've been viciously immoral.

The biological component I find dubious.

Suppose there were some genetic cause of homosexuality.  If so then we could expect it to run in families. . .  And end them.  Environmental influences on biochemistry would be localized to certain environments, which doesn't seem to be the case, while progressively more complex biological components (microbes and brain damage) become progressively less plausible.

 

So it has to be something learned, but not consciously chosen- much like learning to group sensations into perceptions.  Like a subconscious value-judgments.

Which isn't to imply that either choice (gay, straight or both) is right or wrong; to even consider it on such terms is wrong.

 

Let me ask you a question: should these "rights" be granted to polygamous couples as well? And what prevents people from setting up "marriage services", wherein people can sign up to get married in name solely for the purpose of these benefits? It would certainly seem to satisfy the trader principle. Is it, as before, the magical force of "love" that makes a difference? Again, that's mysticism.

Your argument is entirely valid, but you seem to have drawn the wrong conclusion from it.

These rights should be extended to polygamous couples and any other group of adults who've given their consent.  If this would drain the state of funds then the solution is obvious: don't give tax breaks to married couples (or better yet don't tax).

If two men want to get married to each other, that is their right- and so too for two men and a woman, or three men and three women, or one man and nine women.  It only depends on what they, themselves, want.

 

I will not say it, because I do not believe it. I do not believe that it is a fundamental issue.

 

I agree.

The prohibition against gay marriage is immoral, arbitrary and unjust- as such it absolutely violates their rights.  But in the grand scheme of things, there are far more important things to worry about.  Like those exact same peoples' right to openly criticize Islam without having a fatwa put on their fabulous heads; I think that's slightly more important than their right to marry each other.

 

But what is wrong is wrong- even if it's only a little bit wrong.  "It isn't important" is different from saying that it's right.

 

Testifying against one's partner is not testifying against oneself, so what's your point?

The point is broader than oneself.

The right to live wouldn't be worth much if it applied to oneself- but nobody whom one truly cared about.  How much less would it be worth if one had to beg for permission not to be the one pulling the trigger?

What sort of world would we live in if husbands were forced, at gunpoint, to incriminate their wives- and wives incriminate their husbands- parents sell out their children and vice versa?  Have you read 1984?

 

The fifth amendment is not about self-preservation, as such, but one's right to SELF-DETERMINATION; one's right to choose one's own words and actions.  If it ever becomes a benefit from society, it's over.  There's nothing left to fight for beyond that point.

 

I was speaking in a general term, in that men and women tend to differ psychologically (though neither is superior to the other), but there are also hormones in play and such, such as oxytocin, a natural "bonding" drug possessed by the mother. Also beneficial is the father's potential role in being a "male influence" and whatnot.

This is a slippery premise.

If men and women inherently have different minds and different tendencies, wouldn't it stand to reason that one would be better at making decisions?  "Different but not better or worse" applies only to personal preferences and certain choices of values (such as sexual orientation).

 

We all know that men and women are anatomically different, but this poses nothing particularly troublesome to philosophy- EVERYONE is anatomically different (height, weight, age, skin color, proportions, et cetera).

But if we accept that men and women have inherently different minds then that would logically lead to collectivist conclusions. . .

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What are you asking me to say? That gay marriage is a super-important, fundamental, natural rights issue and we should have the government sanction homosexual marriages right away, lest we be unfair and hateful? I will not say it, because I do not believe it. I do not believe that it is a fundamental issue.

What's fundamental is to advocate for individual rights on principle, rather than pick and choose what we personally find important.

Yelling and screaming about economic freedom, while at the same time sanctioning religious thugs' desire to impose their morality on others through the government, is an exercise in futility. Gay marriage is just as fundamental as any other issue. Maybe more so, given the motivations and fanaticism of the people opposing gay marriage.

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