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For a review of how likely a thoughtful response from Erik Christensen on this matter is, I refer interested parties to this thread. Speaking of that thread...

I have already stated quite simply and clearly my answers to these queries, if one is unable to grasp their meaning then that is not my issue. I do not wish to engage in a never ending exchange of saying the same thing over and over ad nauseum. As for now, I am finished posting on this subject.

Are you now ready to admit that you haven't adequately addressed the litany of relavent questions you ignored in that thread? If so, invite you address them now.

On a lighter note, there's this:

while the traditional romantic narrative has left out same-sex relationships, it has also left out many kinds of healthy, happy opposite-sex relationships that work differently.

Thank you, Kat. I was going to say it if you didn't.

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Ayn Rand has stated explicitly that homosexuality was not normal homo sapien behavior. I support that view. It appears as though, in terms of morality, too many proclaimed Objectivists of this generat

If homosexuality is permissible then why not relations with animals?-or machines?-or plastic yard flamingos? Ayn Rand was against the moral anarchy of anything goes relationships. She understood that

Except that each person's highest value is his or her own life. Attempting to claim that the highest value is some abstract "life" and therefore homosexuality, because it does not result in children,

Sexual attraction is problematic. Even heterosexual men do not agree on what is sexually attractive. One often sees some of the oddest couples. I've seen guys that weight 300 pounds with beautiful young women who weigh 100 pounds. Or very tall guys with petite girls. Who can explain the attraction?

In my view, most women are bi-sexual. Women do things that "straight men" would be very reluctant to do, like kissing, holding hands, sleeping in the same bed, trying on each others clothes and shoes, etc. Women consider this touchy-feely stuff to be normal, and many experiment with doing lots more. At the same time, many men who are in declared heterosexual relationships are messing around with gay men, and even gay prostitutes. Sexuality, like most behaviors, falls along a continuum. I think that there are blatant male homosexuals that one can identify as they walk by and who are open about their lifestyle, while others are more subtle. My tennis partner is gay, but not blantantly so, and I have had meals with his partner and his friends some of whom are real screamers. I wondered what the gay guys were thinking about me being the only straight guy at the table. I don't think that it is valid to generalize about lifestyles and roles. I don't have firsthand knowledge of what gays do, and I'm not in the least bit curious about it either. I also don't go to clubs and pick up women because night life doesn't appeal to me, and I don't drink alcohol. Different strokes for different folks.

If the act of male homosexual behavior is perverted, why then are so many men and women into anal sex? They are doing what male homosexuals are doing, just with different gender partners. Homeosexuality: what is it? Is anyone who ever had a same sex experience a homosexual or a latent one? Personally, I think that if one experiments that way one is bi-sexual, and I wouldn't even think that that might be something interesting to try. I also wouldn't climb a mountain or visit underdeveloped countries. Those experiences do not appeal to me. So, who is the normal one? Most people like to go to the beach. I don't. Most people drink alcohol. I don't. Most people wants kids and pets. Not me. So, do we say that the norm is just a statistic? The answers are not readily evident.

Edited by Steve Weiss
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It seemed to me that Rand, in her statement about homosexuality, was not making an off-the-cuff or uninformed statement but a statement made in light of what knowledge existed on the topic at the time.

It is telling that Rand stated only two thing on the issue:

1) that to restrict or inhibit the rights of homosexuals was inexcusable because as consenting adults they had every right to their choices.

2) that she personally found homosexuality to be disgusting and immoral.

There can be no mistaking her meaning in the first issue. Regardless of how one feels on the matter or what judgement one makes she stated on no uncertain terms that homosexuals had a right to live as they saw fit and that it was not for society to put punitive or restrictive measures on them.

On the second statement that needs to be seperated into two parts.

a) She finds it personally repulsive. That's a matter of taste. This is definitely a case of one man's meat is another man's poison. Anyone of any orientation is bound to come across information of some sexual activity done by consenting adults that makes one's skin crawl a bit. That's not confined to sexual orientation. Most (obviously not all) sex acts can be performed by any different pairing of genders.

b ) Immoral. It is wise to consider what the scope of knowledge on the matter was at the time. Homosexuality was still deemed an illness in medical journals. To the best of her knowledge on the topic a homosexual was someone who was deliberately choosing to continue to be sick.

Point b ) can be argued of course. Some people will, no matter how much evidence is offered to the contrary, insist that homosexuality is an illness. What need this serves in their lives, I cannot say.

If one chooses still to condemn homosexuality based on a brief remark from Rand made half a century ago then the question needs to be asked of those who do so: doesn't the fact of her actions in that her best friend throughout most of her adult life was a homosexual speak louder than the words of that one statement?

Edited by SapereAude
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Ayn Rand has stated explicitly that homosexuality was not normal homo sapien behavior. I support that view.

She also supported legalized abortion, which you oppose, and unlike her pronouncements on homosexuality she considered abortion a central issue in Objectivism, going so far as to urge her readers to vote against Reagan in 1976 because he opposed abortion: "I urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. I urge you not to work for or advocate his nomination, and not to vote for him...This description ["a conservative in the worst sense of that word"] applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the rights of the individual. Mr. Reagan does not: he opposes the right to abortion."

This line of reasoning is simply not in line with the philosophy of Objectivism that that Ayn Rand created...

Neither are your views on abortion.

Will the defenders of Rand's work and beliefs please stand up?

You disagree with Ayn Rand on abortion yet consider yourself a defender of her work and beliefs. You should extend the same courtesy to those who disagree with you about homosexuality.

[Edited to add link.]

Edited by Adrian Hester
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Erik Christensen is not an Objectivist. He is a conservative. I don't really understand why folks even waste their effort on him at this point. His record on this board speaks for itself.

Also:

Thank you, Kat. I was going to say it if you didn't.

Hehe, no problem FF. I am one of those women for whom a "traditional" relationship would hold no appeal. It's true that I am strangely traditional in my way - I love one man exclusively, and I expect this to continue for the duration of our lives. But other than that there isn't much to being a little wifey that appeals to me. In fact, I'm just plain AWFUL at it...thank Galt I live in a time and place I'm free enough to pursue a career and be the breadwinner, something I'm much more suited to than cooking and cleaning.

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Curious about this, I followed the link. The person whose post you linked to is "EC" or Eric Clayton, not Erik Christensen. Same person?

Of course not. That guy may have been wrong on abortion, but he was courteous, coherent, and determined to defend his position with considered arguments.

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Don't get discouraged...there are objectivist-anarchists which is just f***ing stupid.

Kidding aside, Rand herself thought homosexuality was "disgusting"...personally, I'm not a fan of my own sex (sexually). But objectivism isn't supposed to be about adopting Rand's beliefs and holding them as inviolate...it's about using reason to guide your life as an individual. You have preferences, you have habits, you have customs, you have thoughts, you have reason...make the most of it and achieve your happiness by your own effort. F**k the rest, right?

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Of course not. That guy may have been wrong on abortion, but he was courteous, coherent, and determined to defend his position with considered arguments.

This is old and I don't know who this was taking a shot at but that thread and some linked to papers corrected any contradictions I had on abortion. As for this subject, I won't touch it because people can't argue it rationally and they immediately jump to disparaging someone with an opposing views character and label them a "homophobe".

There's a huge difference between someone arguing that people are born tabula rasa and that sexuality must therefore be a choice, choice being open to moral judgement all within the context of their being proper roles for the masculine and feminine, and someone supposedly hating a certain group of people irrationally (homophobia).

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There's a huge difference between someone arguing that people are born tabula rasa and that sexuality must therefore be a choice, choice being open to moral judgement all within the context of their being proper roles for the masculine and feminine, and someone supposedly hating a certain group of people irrationally (homophobia).

They are only different in the way that they are wrong. The first (your position) is wrong in claiming that because we are born without any pre-existing knowledge ("tabula rasa"), that therefore our choices as infants/toddlers/children are capable of being judged morally, when in fact such judgment requires that the one making the choice had the capacity for reason. Just as a dog cannot be judged morally for its actions, neither can a pre-rational child, whose early experiences influence a later preference for food, music, sexuality, career choice, etc. You also fail to demonstrate that sexual preference can even be judged morally.

And we're back to 2006 now. :rolleyes:

Edited by brian0918
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They are only different in the way that they are wrong. The first (your position) is wrong in claiming that because we are born without any pre-existing knowledge ("tabula rasa"), that therefore our choices as infants/toddlers/children are capable of being judged morally, when in fact such judgment requires that the one making the choice had the capacity for reason. Just as a dog cannot be judged morally for its actions, neither can a pre-rational child, whose early experiences influence a later preference for food, music, sexuality, career choice, etc. You also fail to demonstrate that sexual preference can even be judged morally.

And we're back to 2006 now. :rolleyes:

I won't be pulled into this, but I said nothing of judging children. There are no gay children, at least for as long as it takes for them to form the implicit premises that leads eventually to any form of sexuality there is not.

Edited by EC
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There are no gay children, at least for as long as it takes for them to form the implicit premises that leads eventually to any form of sexuality there is not.

There aren't straight children either, as far as I've heard.

Even if you are right that sexuality can be morally judged (I tend to agree on this, because my current knowledge suggests that sexuality is implicitly chosen later on in life), I never have seen a reason to say there is any negative quality to any sexuality.

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There aren't straight children either, as far as I've heard.

Agreed.

Even if you are right that sexuality can be morally judged (I tend to agree on this, because my current knowledge suggests that sexuality is implicitly chosen later on in life), I never have seen a reason to say there is any negative quality to any sexuality.

The negative quality is a personal one for them. They have chose to live there life with a contradiction regarding the obvious metaphysical and resulting psychological differences between the masculine and feminine at the level of their very core.

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So much for not getting pulled into this again, eh EC?

Even if homosexuality is a choice, and I believe it is, and I'm also homosexual, you have not proven your reasoning behind the idea that this choice should be judged as morally wrong.

Further, this thread has gone entirely off topic from its origin, as these threads normally do. To the OP, I would like to say welcome to OO.net. Objectivism and homosexuality are mutually compatible, there are many gay Objectivists. If you have any questions about the philosophy as you continue to learn please don't hesitate to ask, I'm sure someone will answer.

I would like to point out, Superman123, it would probably behoove you to approach learning Objectivism from the perspective of learning the principles and reasoning of the philosophy. I noticed that your post and your original opinion seemed to focus on what "Objectivists" think about homosexuality, christianity, capitalism, etc. What Objectivists think should be totally irrelevant to your study of Objectivism, which is a philosophy, not a religion. It is much better to learn what you can about the actual philosophy and then judge for yourself whether the Objectivists you come across are applying it appropriately.

Regards,

Tom

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They have chose to live there life with a contradiction regarding the obvious metaphysical and resulting psychological differences between the masculine and feminine at the level of their very core.

No point in discussing any supposed contradiction unless you can provide robust and complete definitions of your terms. Then, you must prove completely your application of those terms, or concede that your knowledge is not complete. Then, you can say whether that application lines up with Rand's philosophic principles.

So, for example, what is masculine and feminine? Is it a sliding scale or something definite you can point to and measure? How does a homosexual's (mis?)incarnation of masc/fem (metaphysically given? Chosen? Something else?) characteristics "contradict" metaphysical reality? What specifically is contradicted? What is the moral judgement of that (non?)contradiction, either way?

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No point in discussing any supposed contradiction unless you can provide robust and complete definitions of your terms. Then, you must prove completely your application of those terms, or concede that your knowledge is not complete. Then, you can say whether that application lines up with Rand's philosophic principles.

So, for example, what is masculine and feminine? Is it a sliding scale or something definite you can point to and measure? How does a homosexual's (mis?)incarnation of masc/fem (metaphysically given? Chosen? Something else?) characteristics "contradict" metaphysical reality? What specifically is contradicted? What is the moral judgement of that (non?)contradiction, either way?

This is a rough draft of what I have so far.

Let’s take a journey then through Objectivism on this issue defining our terms, and quoting the relevant issues as we go.

A good place to start is with the definition of sex.

“Sex is a physical capacity, but its exercise is determined by man’s mind—by his choice of values, held consciously or subconsciously. To a rational man, sex is an expression of self-esteem—a celebration of himself and of existence. “

“Of Living Death,”

The Voice of Reason, 54

Bold Mine.

So the most important issue involved with sex is values. So let’s explore values first.

“Value” is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. “The Objectivist Ethics,”

The Virtue of Selfishness, 15

“Value” presupposes a standard, a purpose and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative. Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.

Galt’s Speech,

For the New Intellectual, 121

It is only an ultimate goal, an end in itself, that makes the existence of values possible. Metaphysically, life is the only phenomenon that is an end in itself: a value gained and kept by a constant process of action. Epistemologically, the concept of “value” is genetically dependent upon and derived from the antecedent concept of “life.” To speak of “value” as apart from “life” is worse than a contradiction in terms. “It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept of ‘Value’ possible.”

In answer to those philosophers who claim that no relation can be established between ultimate ends or values and the facts of reality, let me stress that the fact that living entities exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate value which for any given living entity is its own life. Thus the validation of value judgments is to be achieved by reference to the facts of reality. The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do. So much for the issue of the relation between “is” and “ought.”

Now in what manner does a human being discover the concept of “value”? By what means does he first become aware of the issue of “good or evil” in its simplest form? By means of the physical sensations of pleasure or pain. Just as sensations are the first step of the development of a human consciousness in the realm of cognition, so they are its first step in the realm of evaluation.

The capacity to experience pleasure or pain is innate in a man’s body; it is part of his nature, part of the kind of entity he is. He has no choice about it, and he has no choice about the standard that determines what will make him experience the physical sensation of pleasure or of pain. What is that standard? His life. “The Objectivist Ethics,”

The Virtue of Selfishness, 17

So we’ve discovered sex is a result of value judgments, and that value judgments are achieved in relation to the facts of reality. And most importantly and an issue that we will explore in detail later, what a living entity is determines what it ought to do. Also we have determined that his life is the standard by which these value judgments are to be made.

Let’s prove that according to Objectivism that sex is a result of value judgments and not just take Miss Rand’s quote as a primary.

“Sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually. A sexual relationship is proper only on the ground of the highest values one can find in a human being. Sex must not be anything other than a response to values.” Playboy Interview: Ayn Rand

Playboy, March 1964

“Values are the motivating power of man’s actions and a necessity of his survival, psychologically as well as physically.

Man’s values control his subconscious emotional mechanism that functions like a computer adding up his desires, his experiences, his fulfillments and frustrations—like a sensitive guardian watching and constantly assessing his relationship to reality. The key question which this computer is programmed to answer, is: What is possible to me?”

“Our Cultural Value-Deprivation,”

The Voice of Reason, 102–103

“The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds rational selfishness—which means: the values required for man’s survival qua man—which means: the values required for human survival…”

“The Objectivist Ethics,”

The Virtue of Selfishness, 31

“A definition must identify the nature of the units, i.e., the essential characteristics without which the units would not be the kind of existents they are.” “Definitions,”

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 42

“For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero-worship—the desire to look up to man. “To look up” does not mean dependence, obedience or anything implying inferiority. It means an intense kind of admiration; and admiration is an emotion that can be experienced only by a person of strong character and independent value-judgments.[snip] Hero-worship is a demanding virtue: a woman has to be worthy of it and of the hero she worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, she has to be his equal; then the object of her worship is specifically his masculinity, not any human virtue she might lack. [snip]Her worship is an abstract emotion for the metaphysical concept of masculinity as such—which she experiences fully and concretely only for the man she loves, but which colors her attitude toward all men”

“An Answer to Readers (About a Woman President),”

The Objectivist, Dec. 1968, 1

“The man-worshipers, in my sense of the term, are those who see man’s highest potential and strive to actualize it. . . . [Man-worshipers are] those dedicated to the exaltation of man’s self-esteem and the sacredness of his happiness on earth.”

“Introduction to The Fountainhead,”

The Objectivist, March 1968, 4

All bold above mine.

*So via implication we can assume that the essence of masculinity of man qua man is to be a hero with all that entails in the proper sense of man-worship.*

“To the extent that a man is guided by his rational judgment, he acts in accordance with the requirements of his nature and, to that extent, succeeds in achieving a human form of survival and well-being; to the extent that he acts irrationally, he acts as his own destroyer.” “What Is Capitalism?”

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 21

Bold Mine.

“Since man has no automatic knowledge, he can have no automatic values; since he has no innate ideas, he can have no innate value judgments.

Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with a cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are “tabula rasa.” It is man’s cognitive faculty, his mind, that determines the content of both.” “The Objectivist Ethics,”

The Virtue of Selfishness, 28

Bold Mine

*And the main moral issue as a result.*

“The New Intellectual . . . will discard . . . the soul-body dichotomy. He will discard its irrational conflicts and contradictions, such as: mind versus heart, thought versus action, reality versus desire, the practical versus the moral. He will be an integrated man, that is: a thinker who is a man of action. He will know that ideas divorced from consequent action are fraudulent, and that action divorced from ideas is suicidal. He will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology—the volitional level of reason and thought—is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue. He will know that men need philosophy for the purpose of living on earth.” “For the New Intellectual,”

For the New Intellectual, 51

Bold mine.

*The moral charge against homosexuality is that it is a version of the soul-body dichotomy. In other words that a man can act against his metaphysical nature in regards to the values that sex requires via his nature. He is only relying on his mind and not the integration of mind and body. What effects does this have? An inner conflict between reality and his desires. How deep does this affect him? Who knows but him, but he can never be perfectly happy or contradiction free in his life as a result.*

Let’s define and explore the necessity of moral judgment.

Justice—being an aspect of the principle that every cognition demands an evaluation—requires moral judgment of men and their works across-the-board, with no areas of life excepted or exempted. ..

How does one reach a moral evaluation of a person? “A man’s moral character,” Miss Rand writes in “The Psychology of Psychologizing,” “must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions...”

Now let us consider what is involved in judging a man’s actions morally. Two crucial, related aspects must be borne in mind: existence and consciousness, or effect and cause. Existentially, an action of man (as of sunlight) is good or bad according to its effects: its effects, positive or negative, on man’s life.

Both these aspects, I repeat, are essential to moral judgment. An action without effects on man’s life (there are none such) would be outside the realm of evaluation—there would be no standard of value by which to assess it. An action not deriving from ideas, i.e., from the cognitive/evaluative products of a volitional mental process, would be the reflex of a deterministic puppet or of an animal; it could not be subject to moral judgment.

The existential issue here is: what kind of effects—pro-life or anti-life—will this idea have by its very nature, if and when men start to act on it?

There is only one basic issue in philosophy and in all judgment, cognitive and evaluative alike: does a man conform to reality or not? Whether an idea is true or false is one aspect of this question—which immediately implies the other aspects I mentioned: the relation to reality of the mental processes involved and of the actions that will result.

FOR DECADES, onetime advocates of Objectivism who have turned into champions of “tolerance” (or “kindness” or “compassion”) have leveled a specific accusation against Ayn Rand and against anyone else who pronounces moral judgment.

But now I understand the basic cause; I see the attacks’ philosophic meaning. In the minds of the “tolerance”-people, there are only two possibilities in regard to moral judgment: moralizing or emotionalism, dogma or whim, i.e., intrinsicism or subjectivism.

Such people literally have no concept of “objectivity” in regard to values.

The absence or rejection of the concept of “objectivity” on this profound a level means the rejection not only of Ayn Rand’s ethics, but also of her epistemology: it is the rejection of her view of truth, of her theory of concepts, of her fundamental position on the proper relationship between a volitional consciousness and existence.

The most eloquent badge of the authentic Objectivist, who does understand Ayn Rand’s philosophy, is his attitude toward values (which follows from his acceptance of reason). An Objectivist is not primarily an academician or a political activist (though he may well devote his professional life to either or both pursuits). In his soul, he is essentially a moralist—or, in broader terms, what Ayn Rand herself called “a valuer.”

Bold mine

All the above is from the essay Fact and Value, by Dr. Peikoff

*The moral judgment as a result is that it is proper do deem someone who purposefully maintains a contradiction that separates his desires from his metaphysical identity as a man with regards to one of the highest values for a man’s life as immoral.*

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No point in discussing any supposed contradiction unless you can provide robust and complete definitions of your terms. Then, you must prove completely your application of those terms, or concede that your knowledge is not complete. Then, you can say whether that application lines up with Rand's philosophic principles. So, for example, what is masculine and feminine? Is it a sliding scale or something definite you can point to and measure? How does a homosexual's (mis?)incarnation of masc/fem (metaphysically given? Chosen? Something else?) characteristics "contradict" metaphysical reality? What specifically is contradicted? What is the moral judgement of that (non?)contradiction, either way?

JASKN,

i gather your questions are rhetorical. I would however appreciate your answers, since I - and several here - may be lacking in knowledge on the topic.

Not to anticipate you, but I've long been of the understanding that AR had insufficient information concerning homosexuality - understandably, given her era.

Choice, or not choice? A predisposition towards something, anything, can naturally *appear* as though one made a conscious choice for it, I find.

But I'm guessing. In all justice, can we make an effort to clear this up, once and for all?

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