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Morality of Trans-genderism

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TheEgoist
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I also consider gender and sexuality issues, as such, to be outside the realm of morality. To anyone who isn't heterosexual, and to some imaginative heterosexuals, it is obvious to the point of being unquestionable that whatever forces worked toward making one's sexual preferences and gender, work exactly the same in all people. I think it is biological, but to those who think it is a result of consciousness, I ask, "Is heterosexuality then also a result of one's conscious choices?" The implication seems to be one-sided.

Morality enters the picture once one understands his own nature. "OK, I have these sexual or gender characteristics, now what?" which also plays out a lot less importantly than other aspects of life, such as one's many kinds of relationships, or one's career. I consider sexuality and gender as kinds of broad human "styles."

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Ayn Rand's views on homosexuality I feel were influenced by popular psychology at the time. Homosexuality used to be considered a mental illness. I certainly cannot agree with her ideas about the issue. I think anything anyone does to their own body is their business not mine. I think the issue with homosexuality is a simple issue of human politeness into the lives of other people, I think we should be polite and let them do what they want. It is a simple moral, behind manners.

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The term "homophobia," however, is used to describe anyone who has any objection to or distaste for, the practice whatsoever. This is my objection.

Yes, you're right - but to a point. My question still stands: what distinguishes homosexuality from other far dirtier activities? I can't see what all the fuss is about. If you want my thoughts, sure, I think homosexuality is likely a psychological or physiological error of some kind (and gender disphoria much more likely so), but if so then it is a minor one, and certainly not worth making a moral song and dance about. But I wouldn't even make that claim of homosexuality being an error with any great confidence because it is just so prevalent. Homosexuality isn't unique to humans. Equally possibly, there may be good reasons why evolution hasn't made it much rarer than it is (eg I've heard of theories about childless aunts and uncles helping their siblings raise nieces and nephews). I don't know either way and claim nothing for definite other than that those who do make a song and dance likely haven't really questioned the origins of their feelings or asked "is it really so bad?" I reiterate that the root of the fear is the dislike of being faced with ideas that threaten long-held beliefs, and that this warrants the -phobia appellation in the majority of cases.

So you're saying that when you say "Christian," that you mean Roman rather than Biblical? Could you elaborate?

I was referring to the whole culture, not just the doctrine alone, and that modern Christian culture is strongly influenced by pagan beliefs. Why should men inherently feel their masculinity is being affronted? Why are there those feelings now that did not hold in other times and places? I am thinking that it is the pagan and other religious beliefs just being passed on in the culture and that the doctrine is explicit thought keeping the cultural part more alive.

Sure, but per my post I am not talking about the highly religious here. I'm talking about the majority of men I've met who consider homosexuality offensive and who have explicitly given a masculine, non-religious explanation to me as to what bothers them. Are you telling me that they're all repressed Christians even though they don't even know it? ... the objections I refer to are those of an explicitly non-religious nature. The explanation that they really are religious without even knowing it is unsatisfying to me.

I did not say that people are religious without knowing it. What I had in mind was the continuation of the same culture, of prejudices passed down unquestioned through the ages and given force through religious association. Today, the prejudices still remain, though unmoored from their past in religious belief. Nothing positive has replaced it, and I doubt that the majority of people have deeply questioned the origin of their feelings on the matter. In that way, the challenge to masculinity is religious in origin even among people who are secular, simply because they haven't gotten around to questioning how they were brought up.

I see people getting less offended by homosexuality and feeling less that their masculinity is questioned by its existence, and as far as I can tell that can be pinned down to religion playing less of a role in people's lives. This is not just in overt terms for particular people but of how people are brought up in general to share the prevailing culture. I hold that the continued distaste is what I said it was, a holdover, kept up through sheer cultural momentum. That momentum can't and wont last without real religious belief to stop people questioning. When it is really questioned I think it will be found not worth worrying about and so people will start to shrug their shoulders at it. That, however, will take time.

The time can be shortened by others causing the questions to be asked. Consider the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. It used to be a scandal, while now it's just another event on Sydney's social calendar. Consider the religious folk that make protests by turning up and making a big show of turning their backs. They used to get lots of news, while now they hardly get any attention - I haven't heard about the Festival of Light in ages. One of the key points about the MG organisers' et al want of social change is that people's reactions are not inherent, and they are concerned that this very change is endangering the MG's financial viability. Likewise, I see that the deeply religious know too that feelings aren't inherent (I recall one Sunday School lesson where the lady there made explicit mention of the fact that belief required constant nurturing), and so want to stop the 'deviants' for that reason. I see it as no accident that Australia becoming much more secular over the last few decades has also seen a decline in the scandalous nature of the Mardi Gras (give or take particular concerns). In turn this event has done its part in making Australia more secular and accepting of homosexuality, and in a manner that has not made the standard Aussie male any the less masculine.

JJM

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Yes, you're right - but to a point.

Right; as I said, some of the really nutty people are genuinely afraid, but the label is overused.

My question still stands: what distinguishes homosexuality from other far dirtier activities?

Well, if you want that question answered, I would say: in those other activities, it isn't one's member that is inserted into the feces. But it's about more than the dirtiness of the thing, obviously, since plenty of heterosexuals engage in that kind of intercourse.

I can't see what all the fuss is about.

Well, as I said, I think it's an error in their application of masculinity to the issue.

I was referring to the whole culture, not just the doctrine alone, and that modern Christian culture is strongly influenced by pagan beliefs. Why should men inherently feel their masculinity is being affronted? Why are there those feelings now that did not hold in other times and places? I am thinking that it is the pagan and other religious beliefs just being passed on in the culture and that the doctrine is explicit thought keeping the cultural part more alive.

I did not say that people are religious without knowing it. What I had in mind was the continuation of the same culture, of prejudices passed down unquestioned through the ages and given force through religious association.

Oh, well, yes I can see that. But that is not what one is usually understood to mean when using the word "religious" so naturally I misunderstood you. It usually means "following the religious doctrine of a religion," which is not something that I see most people doing on this issue. (Luckily! Those people freak me out)

But if that's not what you meant, then yes I agree it's kind of an unquestioned cultural tradition thing, where the culture says that x is an affront to masculinity. Why? Most can't say. I mean as I said there is a grain of truth in that it certainly isn't fully compatible with masculinity - and is contrary to what a masculine man thinks regarding his sexual role and domination/submission. But that being said I don't think that the gays are saying that what they do has any bearing on what normal men are or ought to be. So there's no reason for the masculine folks (such as myself) to think that this is in any way a challenge to them. But like I said, masculinity is a floating abstraction to most people, and furthermore a besieged concept in this post-feminist culture. So few people actually take the trouble to have a reasoned position on the matter.

I do think that it mostly stems from that error, which has nothing to do with religion, unmoored or not. Either they're making that error, or they simply don't understand their own masculinity in reasoned terms, so anything that makes them think about it simply makes them uncomfortable. Which, again, isn't religious in any sense.

But yes, whether people are acting out of religious motivation or not, to people running on inertia it certainly doesn't hurt that the church is saying it's a sin or whatever. But that's more of a "majority rules" thing.

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Yes and no. Yes, in the same sense that denying one's angry personality or one's timid personality would be a denial of self. Of course, all three psychological traits can and should be evaluated along the lines of: is it rational? Ought my self be this way? Should I seek to change this aspect of myself?

Yes, and therein lies the rub. There isn't any sort of psychological technology available to change homosexuality. So regardless of one's evaluation of the rationality of the thing, there aren't so many options available to do anything about it. So the best option available may just be to shrug at the irrationality of the thing and make the most of the situation.

Plenty of things which are clearly learned behavior in humans exist automatically in animals. Saying that something exists in the animal kingdom proves exactly nothing about its status in humans as learned or inherited because humans are not the same as animals.

Alright then, how did the homosexual animals "learn" their behaviours. And how do homosexual acquire homosexual traits? Unless you can answer those questions you seem to be taking the irrational side. The most rational reasoning seems to be they are born with it.

Only if you truly wish having children is being gay irrational. Otherwise it´s just one way of satisfying your sexual needs and preventing loneliness. Your question: "Should I try to change this aspect of myself?" is only the right one if being homosexual is the reason of some unhappiness. If it isn´t an obstacle towards your well-being why should you try to change it. The ones who seem to be most upset about being homosexual seem to be so for religious reasons... not very rational at all.

So basically if you really want your own child and not some adopted one it is not really less rational as a life choice than being straight.

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Alright then, how did the homosexual animals "learn" their behaviours.

I'd say that likely they didn't. They are animals who - unlike man - function on instinct and not learning. But it doesn't matter if they learned it or not. Because they are animals and not humans, so what they do means absolutely zilch to knowing what it is we humans do.

The most rational reasoning seems to be they are born with it.

You mean the "most rational" explanation is the one which places man as a being of instinct despite the fact that we know that he has no such thing? Despite the fact that we know he is born tabula rasa? No, that would not seem to be the "most rational reasoning" given that it is 180 degrees from everything else we know about how human consciousness goes. (which is not itself a scientific statement - I'm just meeting you on your own terms. Because even on your own terms, you're incorrect)

Only if you truly wish having children is being gay irrational.

Listen, I'm not going to get into this with you here. If you are missing so much that you can't see how that isn't man's nature, then I don't care to go through the long and arduous process of explaining that to you. So let's just agree to disagree.

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I disagree that we are anywhere near that point, unless by "near" you mean 100+ years. But then again my standard for completeness in this regard is obviously much higher than yours.

100+ years? It's taken far less than a century to get as far as we have, and that's with our current technology. And by the way: what is your standard? Because to me, a woman is distinguished from a man by: a) her reproductive organs B) her hormones, how they function differently from a male's (psychology) and c) her behaviors (anywhere from peeing sitting down to getting out of a car without showing anything under your skirt).

I believe I have answered that - "Now, even given this, a transgender individual may be happier living as one of those [mutilated half-genders] than as a fully functioning member of a gender that they cannot feel. So everything that applies to homosexuality applies in this case as well. It's just more unfortunate for them."

The problem with both issues is that their psychology isn't matching up with the reality of their physical makeup. In both cases, if there is no way to treat the psychology to make it comply with reality then it is not immoral to act within that psychology. It's just that with transgender people, it involves complicated and expensive surgery which still won't fully solve their problem - so it's just more tragic.

Your answer has only assumed that sexual transformation is impossible, which I think is ignoring how far science has come in even the past couple of decades.

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And by the way: what is your standard?

Everything. Everything down to the smallest detail of DNA, hormone balance, brain structure, and every other biochemical detail that current science has yet to understand.

And by the way: NO, hormone therapy isn't even remotely close to replicating the actual body chemistry of a male in a female or vice versa.

But in any case it doesn't really matter, does it? As I said, I'm not condemning anyone who evaluates that they'd be happier with a transformation, even given current technology. It's up to each individual to decide if their psychological problem is so unsolvable as to mean that they would be happier as a mutilated half-gender. As I said, it's just unfortunate.

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You mean the "most rational" explanation is the one which places man as a being of instinct despite the fact that we know that he has no such thing? Despite the fact that we know he is born tabula rasa?
How is a sexual preference or gender identity the same as learning that 2+2 is 4? I don't think it is the same. You wouldn't say that you've learned how to sneeze, or that your heart has learned how to beat, would you? So what makes you think that sexuality and gender are directly related to one's consciousness? I'm unaware of science to back that up, and experience tells me otherwise.

Would you say that you have learned your particular kinds of sexual attractions and gender identity?

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You wouldn't say that you've learned how to sneeze, or that your heart has learned how to beat, would you? So what makes you think that sexuality and gender are directly related to one's consciousness? I'm unaware of science to back that up, and experience tells me otherwise.

As I said, I was not making a scientific statement - I was just meeting him on his own terms: i.e. seeking to provide the explanation that is most consistent with the facts we do know.

What makes me think that sexuality is directly related to one's consciousness? Because heartbeats, sneezing, et all are simple, physical reactions that don't involve thought at all. Whereas sexuality is enormously complex and is very much so a part of conscious thought. And furthermore there are many proven examples of people out there who have drastically changed their sexuality as a result of their changing thoughts. Not much in terms of deliberately and specifically changing something like homosexuality, but the point remains.

Besides, does your experience tell you otherwise? Sure, you may not have changed anything as drastic as your sexual orientation with conscious evaluation and examination, but haven't you changed plenty of your less complex emotional reactions? Knowing that these, less complex, reactions are an (eventual) product of one's conscious convictions, doesn't that mean that the simplest explanation for more deep-seated emotions is that they come from the same process?

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As I said, I was not making a scientific statement.

[...]

Sure, you may not have changed anything as drastic as your sexual orientation with conscious evaluation and examination, but haven't you changed plenty of your less complex emotional reactions? Knowing that these, less complex, reactions are an (eventual) product of one's conscious convictions, doesn't that mean that the simplest explanation for more deep-seated emotions is that they come from the same process?

I guess I thought you meant that you knew of a scientific explanation.

I am inclined to believe that sexual attraction and gender are things determined outside of my brain, and the psychological stuff follows. After all, we are born with sexual organs, separate from our brains. I have never heard of anyone changing their sexuality in little ways, like you describe. From what I can tell, people are attracted to what they are attracted to from adolescence, which is something I don't understand but seems to be universal. Personally, I can trace back almost every psychological aspect of myself to some point in my life, but everything related to sex is cemented, and has been forever.

There may be something to glean from animal "sexuality," too. Sure, our brains are different in fundamental ways, but we do have emotions, which is a different brain function from rationality, from sleeping, from memory, etc. Animals have instincts, and lack some of those other traits, sometimes to varying extents. But, we are all living, and have similar physical features. With the caveat that I am a huge science Ignorant, I don't think it's a stretch to say that there are aspects of my brain that are not determined by my thoughts or decisions... if what determines our sexual characteristics is in the brain at all.

Based on what I know so far, I am just sitting back and waiting for scientists to tell me where sexuality comes from, because I think it is still up in the air. But I think we agree on the practical and moral approach: it can't be changed, so work and deal with what you've got.

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Maybe sexuality is predetermined congenitally, but I refuse to believe that is entirely biological, rather it is the conection between one's own mind and body. That said, I think that whatever psychological development determines it, that happens before the age of 5 (before latency), and therefore it's outside morality or will.

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Personally, I can trace back almost every psychological aspect of myself to some point in my life, but everything related to sex is cemented, and has been forever.

See, that's not the case with me. I was more consciously aware of my thoughts and decisions from an early age, I think, than most people are. So I can for the most part trace even those psychological aspects of myself related to sex to when I formed them. Now, I'm not prepared to divulge specifics there, so you'll just have to take my word for it (or not). So I hear all the time from people that x, y, and z aspect of themselves (esp. as regards sex) is just some primary for them which has always existed, and frankly either they are metaphysically different from myself or just not as conscious of the inner workings of their own minds. I tend to lean toward the latter.

But I think we agree on the practical and moral approach: it can't be changed, so work and deal with what you've got.

Yes, pretty much.

Edited by Inspector
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See, that's not the case with me. I was more consciously aware of my thoughts and decisions from an early age, I think, than most people are. So I can for the most part trace even those psychological aspects of myself related to sex to when I formed them. Now, I'm not prepared to divulge specifics there, so you'll just have to take my word for it (or not). So I hear all the time from people that x, y, and z aspect of themselves (esp. as regards sex) is just some primary for them which has always existed, and frankly either they are metaphysically different from myself or just not as conscious of the inner workings of their own minds. I tend to lean toward the latter.

But from how an early age? And more importantly, do you claim to be aware of your early "subconscious" workings? I can remember blurry instances of my sexual development from when I was maybe 4 and on but that's a long shot from aknowledging or even less deciding on your own sexuallity.

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But from how an early age? And more importantly, do you claim to be aware of your early "subconscious" workings? I can remember blurry instances of my sexual development from when I was maybe 4 and on but that's a long shot from aknowledging or even less deciding on your own sexuallity.

I'm not arguing for a matter of deciding one's own sexuality, (even though I've personally chosen more of mine than Jaskn has his) I'm simply saying that I remember enough to be able to say that I witnessed large parts of the formation of my emotional mechanisms, sexual and otherwise. I may not have a 100% complete picture, but it is complete enough to be able to say: yes, these things were formed in my mind as a result of what I experienced in life and concluded from those experiences and were not inborn. Sure, many things may have been formed at the pre-conscious stage, but that nevertheless means that they were formed and not inborn.

Of course, none of this means that such things are necessarily accessible - much less readily accessible to adults. Certainly many things are because I and other people I know - as well as others here - have reformed our psychologies in major ways. And I can imagine that, ultimately, it might be possible for everything in psychology to become reformable in that way. But again, that is not to say that we just sit there and choose these things at the fully conscious stage and can un-choose them at a whim.

Edited by Inspector
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  • 3 weeks later...
Anti-homosexuality sentiment is NOT rooted in Christianity - it's rooted in Judaism.

Both, actually:

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

--1 Corinthians 6:9-10

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I am going to put my two cents (of gold) in on this because as a gay man, i think I may have a unique perspective on the matter. I agree with the people who say gay has nothing to do with transgender and I don't understand why people think it would. I also have a problem with people who think gay people are inherently pedophiles (such as references to Ancient Greece).

As far as thoe whole, "Is homosexuality a choice?" I couldn't possibly imagine how. I couldn't "choose" to be straight any more then Inspector could "choose" to be gay. Sure, he could choose to go through the motions, as I could, but there would be no meaning or enjoyment from it. To suggest it is somehow immoral to be homosexual because it is a "denial of my gender" is nonsense unless you believe that it is somehow my responsibility as a man (gay or straight) to have sex with women and have children. Unless you start with that premise, how can any other argument have a basis? To suggest that my having romantic and sexual relationships with other men is immoral would be to suggest that the inverse is moral. Then I would ask you to explain how and explain the difference.

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And furthermore there are many proven examples of people out there who have drastically changed their sexuality as a result of their changing thoughts. Not much in terms of deliberately and specifically changing something like homosexuality, but the point remains.

I am curious as to what "changes" you mean here: do you mean there is documented evidence for drastic "changes" in sexual orientation, or other kinds of "changes"? If the former, I'd be interested to see citations for these changes; if the latter, I'd be curious to hear how they relate to sexual orientation.

I echo those who are confused as to how a thread about transgendered individuals ended up so colored by a discussion of homosexuality. This seems like a discussion about apples that devolved into one about peas.

As to the discussion about the biological basis of orientation, I do have some knowledge of that, but I'll wait and see what specific questions people have instead of telling you things you already know.

Edited by Azelma
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I am curious as to what "changes" you mean here: do you mean there is documented evidence for drastic "changes" in sexual orientation, or other kinds of "changes"? If the former, I'd be interested to see citations for these changes; if the latter, I'd be curious to hear how they relate to sexual orientation.

The latter is what I meant. It relates because sexuality is not immutable and inborn. As I said, it is not necessarily within reach to access it for most people, but the point is that it is an aspect of psychology and is not inborn. As I said, however, it still doesn't make any given homosexual necessarily immoral.

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The latter is what I meant. It relates because sexuality is not immutable and inborn. As I said, it is not necessarily within reach to access it for most people, but the point is that it is an aspect of psychology and is not inborn. As I said, however, it still doesn't make any given homosexual necessarily immoral.

Hmm, in what context do you mean "not immutable and inborn"? I'm pretty sure the general scientific consensus is that it's a bit of both biological and environmental factors, but weighing heavier on the biological. It's a bit like the "anchor and adjustment" principle in psychology (to use a term you brought up :lol:), with the biological being the anchor. Environmental factors can definitely slide the scale, but there won't be a whole lot of sliding in either direction because that first big chip has already been thrown down. But if you have a different view, I'd love to hear your basis for it (although I have to say that your personal experience doesn't hold a whole lot of weight to a scientist like me, so I'm hoping you have other arguments!).

How does your last statement relate? In what ways does homosexual immorality differ from heterosexual or bisexual immorality? (I have read some of your previous statements about self denial but am not quite sure I understand -- and if I have understood, I'm not quite sure that I buy it.)

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But if you have a different view, I'd love to hear your basis for it (although I have to say that your personal experience doesn't hold a whole lot of weight to a scientist like me, so I'm hoping you have other arguments!).

Well, I've sort of gone over this a bit earlier, but here's a summary:

1) We know that other aspects of emotional response are a product of experience and free will, not inborn. We know that man is not, generally speaking, biologically determined in the contents of his consciousness or subconscious.

2) There isn't any conclusive scientific evidence or study that proves biological determinism. There are studies that show correlations, biologically, but not causation. They don't actually show that the biology preceded the psychology and not vice versa.

That's all. Not a conclusive scientific proof, but rather the default which science hasn't disproven. If someone comes up with a study conclusively proving that sexual orientation is not caused by or changeable by one's consciousness, then I would listen to that study.

How does your last statement relate? In what ways does homosexual immorality differ from heterosexual or bisexual immorality? (I have read some of your previous statements about self denial but am not quite sure I understand -- and if I have understood, I'm not quite sure that I buy it.)

It relates because I think some people are so afraid of the idea that homosexuality being not-inborn would make it immoral that they won't consider the idea. As for your second sentence, you're going to have to rephrase that as I'm afraid you've lost me - I didn't say "homosexual immorality;" I said, "it still doesn't make any given homosexual [person] necessarily immoral."

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That's all. Not a conclusive scientific proof, but rather the default which science hasn't disproven. If someone comes up with a study conclusively proving that sexual orientation is not caused by or changeable by one's consciousness, then I would listen to that study.

Isn't morality supposed to be an absolute? By your logic, something can be rendered moral or immoral based on scientific discovery.

Edited by KevinDW78
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Isn't morality supposed to be an absolute? By your logic, something can be rendered moral or immoral based on scientific discovery.

If morality consists of the choosing what is in congruence with reality, then what is or is not in fact reality is definitely important. But as I said, this is not a matter of saying that homosexuals are immoral - I am not saying that (and this is, what, the fourth time I've had to repeat that?).

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