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No-one Denies that "A is A". Why Is It Such a Huge Theme in Objectivism?

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Desires are not choices. Whether or not you act on a desire is a choice.

When you say "desires are the psychological manifestations of your values," are you talking about as in a rationally appraised and prioritized hierarchy of values? You have desires before you evaluate in that way, and those desires are not "psychological manifestations" of rational values, since they are not chosen.

Are you saying a person's sexual preference is entirely chosen and not genetic at all? If so, can you point me to evidence to support this claim?

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I'll just say that no causal relation between any human trait/tendency/desire and cellular properties at conception have ever been discovered (including alcoholism, addiction, sexuality: all correlations discovered are less that 99.99%).

And as an additional note, if the only choice humans have is between repression and appeasement ("Whether or not you act on a desire is a choice"), then that directly disproves Objectivism (that man is an integrated being). Of course, you can escape this conclusion by saying no impulses should be repressed/appeased. But that is just whim-worship.

Besides, I've never felt a desire I can't trace back to my values (i.e., my values and desires are always consistent, whether I feel a conscious sense of choice or not), so I think it's pointless for me to continue this discussion. Let the people who have phantom desires discuss this. Everybody keeps talking about inborn desires. I have no idea what it is.

My desires and values are consistent, and my values are chosen (inasmuch as I chose to think). What is the only conclusion you can derive from this?

Try introspecting your own psychology and try to see if there is any inconsistency.

And as many times as gay people repeat that they would never choose to be gay in a homophobic society, is there any actual inconsistency between their values and their desires? Don't they love their partners? Or are they claiming that they value their partners so little that they would ditch their partners at the slightest touch of social pressure? I don't find any inconsistency between their values and their desires. As much as they say they have no choice in the matter, I've never heard anyone say they hate who they're attracted to. They might hate the attraction, but they still value who they're attracted to. I don't see any inconsistency.

It takes a lot of introspection to see that there is no contradiction between your values and your desires, that your desires are just what you would expect given what you truly value (despite superficial protests).

Edited by human_murda

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3 hours ago, human_murda said:

I'll just say that no causal relation between any human trait/tendency/desire and cellular properties at conception have ever been discovered (including alcoholism, addiction, sexuality: all correlations discovered are less that 99.99%).

And as an additional note, if the only choice humans have is between repression and appeasement ("Whether or not you act on a desire is a choice"), then that directly disproves Objectivism (that man is an integrated being). Of course, you can escape this conclusion by saying no impulses should be repressed/appeased. But that is just whim-worship.

Besides, I've never felt a desire I can't trace back to my values (i.e., my values and desires are always consistent, whether I feel a conscious sense of choice or not), so I think it's pointless for me to continue this discussion. Let the people who have phantom desires discuss this. Everybody keeps talking about inborn desires. I have no idea what it is.

My desires and values are consistent, and my values are chosen (inasmuch as I chose to think). What is the only conclusion you can derive from this?

Try introspecting your own psychology and try to see if there is any inconsistency.

And as many times as gay people repeat that they would never choose to be gay in a homophobic society, is there any actual inconsistency between their values and their desires? Don't they love their partners? Or are they claiming that they value their partners so little that they would ditch their partners at the slightest touch of social pressure? I don't find any inconsistency between their values and their desires. As much as they say they have no choice in the matter, I've never heard anyone say they hate who they're attracted to. They might hate the attraction, but they still value who they're attracted to. I don't see any inconsistency.

It takes a lot of introspection to see that there is no contradiction between your values and your desires, that your desires are just what you would expect given what you truly value (despite superficial protests).

Your opening statement strikes me as pretentious, but I'll ignore it as non-essential, apart from pointing out that homosexuality is quite common among non-human animals. Since they lack volitional consciousness, being limited to sense-perception, how would you explain this? They obviously aren't making a choice.

I never said "the only choice." The acceptance (or abandonment) of reason is the primary choice. Are you suggesting people who evade, drift, and adopt their concepts second-hand lack desires? Granted they have failed to evaluate in the specific sense of the rational appraisal and prioritization of values, but desires are metaphysically given, not man-made. To fail to recognize that distinction is to operate on a primacy of consciousness premise.

In your next statement you correctly identify the acceptance (or abandonment) of reason as the primary choice. I agree.

Next, speaking as a heterosexual, I can find a woman visually appealing, and therefore sexually stimulating, before knowing anything else about her. If I talk to her, and she turns out to have values that are inconsistent with mine, as well as an irritating or otherwise undesirable personality traits, then the sexual stimulation diminishes. No matter how visually appealing the woman, this additional information has vetoed any possibility of intercourse (assuming she would have agreed in the first place). You don't have all of this information just by looking at a person.

Introspection has nothing to do with any of this, unless by introspection you mean my definition of evaluation (the rational appraisal and prioritization of values). The process I described above is extrospective.

That's all I have to say for now, apart from the fact that there is a recent--scientifically peer-reviewed--study identifying two chromosomes on the human genome that indicate a correlation to homosexuality. I'm not claiming the article is correct, since I'm not a biologist. You can read it and judge for yourself, if you're interested, but I really don't think it's truth or falsehood is essential to what I have already stated.

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5 hours ago, human_murda said:

Besides, I've never felt a desire I can't trace back to my values.

What differentiates the rational from the irrational isn't that their desires can be traced back to values. Everyone's desires can be traced back to values (according to Objectivism, at least).

What differentiates the rational from the irrational is THE VALUES: what they are, and how they are chosen. So why don't you continue your introspection, for a few more steps:

1. NAME the value(s) that is(are) causing you to be sexually attracted to women (just to clarify: not the values causing you to be attracted to specific women...the values that are causing you to be attracted to women rather than men; to be EVEN MORE specific, the values that are causing you to be more sexually aroused by the sight of a random naked woman you've never met, than to the most physically and spiritually beautiful man on the planet)

2. Describe WHEN AND HOW you chose that value/those values

3. Prove that it was a rational choice, and the choice of a gay or bi-sexual person to choose the opposite value(s) was irrational

Then you will have proven yourself more rational than a gay or bi-sexual person. Not before.

[note:] Just to elaborate on where I'm coming from: I'm straight, and I don't claim to have chosen to be straight. In fact, frankly, if I had the knowledge and maturity to choose my values before puberty, I would've chosen to be bi-sexual rather than straight. I just can't imagine ever consciously rejecting a beautiful partner, just because he's the wrong sex. It would be irrational. The only reason why I am rejecting such men is because it's not my choice. That ship has sailed, and there is nothing I can do about it. There never was. I was not equipped to make a well thought out, fully informed, rational choice in the matter when I became heterosexual. It's all based on me, as a child, learning my values from those around me (or, more likely: giving in to my physical nature), and I bet that it was the same for you.

Edited by Nicky

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8 hours ago, Nicky said:

1. NAME the value(s) that is(are) causing you to be sexually attracted to women (just to clarify: not the values causing you to be attracted to specific women...the values that are causing you to be attracted to women rather than men; to be EVEN MORE specific, the values that are causing you to be more sexually aroused by the sight of a random naked woman you've never met, than to the most physically and spiritually beautiful man on the planet)

2. Describe WHEN AND HOW you chose that value/those values

3. Prove that it was a rational choice, and the choice of a gay or bi-sexual person to choose the opposite value(s) was irrational

Thanks for this clarification Nicky, as it further elucidates the point I was trying to make.

Whether a person is attracted to the same gender, the opposite gender, or both genders has no relevance morally, any more than their ethnicity does. A black man can choose to act and behave like Neil Degrasse Tyson or Mike Tyson, and that will determine his moral character, but not his ethnicity. Likewise, as you rightly point out, it is not which gender you are attracted to that has moral significance, but the specific person of that gender.

Excellent post.

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human_mudra, you appear to be equating desire with value, as in the fact that someone desires x makes x a value and that desires and values are always congruent. The mere fact that someone desires something doesn't tell them whether what is desired is valuable or not, the standard being whether it promotes their life, leads to self-fulfillment, benefits rather than harms them. You said a homosexual's desire is consistent with their values by default, whether they are rational or not, at least by implication. This is untrue of everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation. If you are not interested in ethics then why are you discussing desires and values, while apparently equating the two? They aren't the same thing.

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13 hours ago, human_murda said:

@Nicky Why do I have to defend the claim that homosexuals are irrational? Why did you assume that was my position? I have little to no interest in the "morality" of gays/lesbians because of their sexual orientation.

You don't have to do anything. But it would make sense to answer people's questions, if you wish to have a conversation with them.

Edited by Nicky

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3 hours ago, human_murda said:

I'm not going to defend claims I didn't make.

I'm not asking you to defend claims you didn't make. I'm asking you to be honest.

When and how did you choose to become a heterosexual? Is that too hard a question to answer honestly?

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The question itself is wrong. Sexuality isn't decided at a single point. It involves your entire sense of life, all the decisions you made after birth, including your choice to have fantasies to develop and automatize your desires.

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5 minutes ago, human_murda said:

The question itself is wrong. Sexuality isn't decided at a single point. It involves your entire sense of life, all the decisions you made after birth, including your choice to have fantasies to develop and automatize your desires.

I didn't ask you to name the single point when you decided to become a heterosexual. I asked you to tell me when you made that decision. You're more than welcome to list a bunch of points in time, starting with the first decision you made after birth, all the way to the last one.

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Are you saying humans are fully rational after birth? I work with adults and pass people on the way to work and at the grocery store (and so on) on a daily basis who are evidently not yet fully rational. Do you differentiate between accepting reason as an exclusive cognitive method and guide to action as opposed to living second-hand as a dependent thinker on the conclusions of others (without understanding their derivation)?

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