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Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix

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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,

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?

Sure.

Concerning Rand, I haven't looked into her infamous-ish homo views in a while, but I seem to remember Harry Binswanger describing somewhere on the 'net how Rand significantly changed her opinion of gays later in her life, around when he was spending a lot of time with her. I'm not going to try to dig it up again now, because I don't see much relevance for this reason: thanks to Rand's other great ideas, we can evaluate by ourselves whether her original comments hold any merit. In fact, this is what we should be doing all along.

Contrast that to EC's rationalist approach, where instead of deducing from reality, he deduces from deductions -- even more confusing when he uses Rand's own deductions, since part of what we're trying to do is see if reality holds up to Rand's deductions! This approach is confounding even for discussing metaphysics (the more easily checked against reality of the philosophic branches), much less ethics and human sexuality, which are complicated even when you're sure of all the variables.

Now to the homo ideas themselves. My own ideas are a mix of anecdotes and common sense. I don't know a lot of science behind the human mind, but in this case it doesn't bother me much. As a homo myself, I can more easily check whether an idea about homosexuality is true or false by honestly checking it against my own personal experience. Of course, if I'm severely psychologically damaged, that would skew the check -- but, I judge myself not to be, obviously.

I think masculinity/femininity is a mix of physiological influence and cultural influence, and essentially boils down to personality style. It isn't part of a rational faculty, but it will influence rational thought, as any part of a person which influences his values will do. Part of it is either set more-or-less permanently before a child fully develops his ability to reason (just like personality), whether inherent in his genes or just deeply ingrained, and part of it changes as a person changes, influenced by the factors of the world, just like the rest of his person.

I do think sex involves evaluating your partner, but I think that evaluation is flexible person-to-person, scenario-to-scenario. I don't think there is anything mysterious about it, and I do not buy into this "hero-worship" nonsense -- although the concept may apply in certain instances, which just means a different kind of sex. If you value more about your sexual partner, the sex you have with them will include this evaluation in the back of your mind ("hero-worship" included). I think there is a base-level evaluation that must be made before sexual lust is even possible, such as, "This is a reasonably-adjusted person who is physically attractive to me, who is without disease, etc., etc." Beyond that, it's all relative to what you expect out of the relationship, which is itself is also influenced by your evaluation.

When considering the ethics of sexuality, both the metaphysically-given and his choices based upon that, in relation to the rest of his life, must all be considered. Granting that a child doesn't really choose his sexuality in any normal sense as by using his conscious, rational faculty, sexuality as such isn't part of ethics. So, what must be judged ethically is the kinds of partners he chooses, why he makes those choices, if he is achieving the values he aims for, and whether those values are good for him. Is he having short flings but expecting them to be lasting relationships? Is he in a "lasting relationship" but longing for short flings? Does he have sex while willfully ignoring the basic criteria of "safe sex"? And so on.

When considering the ethics of masculinity and femininity, similar judgements are made based on similar assumptions. I don't think the sex of the person matters after the person is an adult, as it was just another factor in molding a person's sexuality pre-rational faculty.

I'm sure science will refine knowledge on this subject as time goes by. In the meantime, everything I've said is consistent with my own experience. It really irks me when Objectivists try to use Rand's own words to warp the correct method of reaching conclusions: observe then figure out. NOT figure out then observe (that is, try to rationalize pre-conceived notions into fitting with actual reality).

Edited by JASKN
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We are living in that interesting time when a (historically) recently deceased "prophet" begins the transformation towards immortality.

By that I mean that some people are now still alive when Ayn Rand was writing her last novel and have read Objectivism during its historical context.

Most people from "now" on will be reading Objectivism in a very different World. That is one of the reasons why homosexuality is so relevant to O'ists and Ayn Rand fans; gender roles seems to be the first issue that is beginning to be re-thought in the following manner

thanks to Rand's other great ideas, we can evaluate by ourselves whether her original comments hold any merit. In fact, this is what we should be doing all along.

amen to that

Edited by volco
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Sure. Concerning Rand, I haven't looked into her infamous-ish homo views in a while...

...science will refine knowledge on this subject as time goes by. In the meantime, everything I've said is consistent with my own experience. It really irks me when Objectivists try to use Rand's own words to warp the correct method of reaching conclusions: observe then figure out. NOT figure out then observe (that is, try to rationalize pre-conceived notions into fitting with actual reality).

James,

Though you haven't reduced many gaps in my knowledge, this honest, introspective and rational post is more valuable than information.

A selective array of rationalistic argumentation, aimed at a moralistic conclusion, is never going to match it.

Your last sentence alone is a terrifically important reminder to us.

Thanks.

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I do think sex involves evaluating your partner, but I think that evaluation is flexible person-to-person, scenario-to-scenario. I don't think there is anything mysterious about it, and I do not buy into this "hero-worship" nonsense --

As to the charge of rationalism, it is not rationalism to show something is consistent with a philosophy via deduction if the issue you are examining is not directly covered in the philosophy as such, and the only way to put an argument together is to show it from the other statements that when put together imply the same point. If you want something that is metaphysically evident. Males and females are unquestionably different physically, mentally, and psychologically and naturally compliment one another. That is the metaphysical issue.

A male is a male, and a female is a female. Every is implies an ought. If there was no ought implied in this case then humans would only have one sex.

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A male is a male, and a female is a female. Every is implies an ought. If there was no ought implied in this case then humans would only have one sex.

There is more than one sex because that tends to work for a species to produce offspring. Perhaps your point is that you think that is the reason there are differences in the sexes, but that doesn't mean other behaviors are inappropriate or harmful. Every is indeed implies an ought, but every is does not imply an ought not. There has to be some evidence that there is a kind of harm involved in having homosexual relations. I have no idea where Rand got her ideas on masculinity and femininity from, so your quote bomb on the previous page helps nothing in a discussion. Why are those concepts valid? And even if they are valid, why aren't there other equally good relationship dynamics and other modes of behavior? Couldn't some dynamics actually be better?

Edited by Eiuol
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A male is a male, and a female is a female. Every is implies an ought. If there was no ought implied in this case then humans would only have one sex.

Sorry, but there is no "thou shalt" that comes with having a penis or a vagina.

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Sorry, but there is no "thou shalt" that comes with having a penis or a vagina.

No but there is an ought. And it's much more than the simple sexual mechanics. It's the mind/body taken as a whole and the way two different sexes compliment one another metaphysically and phycho-epistemologically. Same sex relationships do neither.

Edited by EC
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Someone really ought to share this with the male mallard ducks that frolick in the lake, sometimes in front of the females.

We are talking about the combo of metaphysical and phycho-epistemological differences between human beings not non-rational animals.

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It is directly observable that there are physical differences between human males and females, my argument is that at an early age for whatever reason homosexuals choose premises that lead to a physcho-epistemology that is at war with this directly observable fact. Does it cause loads of harm? Maybe not, but it is a contradiction.

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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.

It's not because they made the choice as a child, it's because as adults they don't question that the choice was incorrect. If a child believes in Santa Claus that's fine. If he maintains that assertion as an adult in the face of no evidence, that's a whole different story.

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I'm done with this for now. This isn't something that matters much to me, and I don't unlimited time to defend things indefinitely that I think are perceptually obvious facts.

As a side note, I personally have no ill will and definitely no hate towards homosexuals. I don't think there rights should be abridged or anything, and I have no problem associating with them at least on specific terms. I.e., I would never hang out at a gay bar or something with them, but I no problems working with them, etc. I just think they maintain a fundamental contradiction as I have stated.

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We are talking about the combo of metaphysical and phycho-epistemological differences between human beings not non-rational animals.

Heaven forbid that observations from nature of non-rational animals should provide any data that could be used to make the distinction between metaphysical and psycho-epistemological behavior.

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Heaven forbid that observations from nature of non-rational animals should provide any data that could be used to make the distinction between metaphysical and psycho-epistemological behavior.

You can't make deductions from non-rational animals in regards to an issue that involves reason in the rational animal and expect it to be valid

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It's not because they made the choice as a child, it's because as adults they don't question that the choice was incorrect. If a child believes in Santa Claus that's fine. If he maintains that assertion as an adult in the face of no evidence, that's a whole different story.

I respect that you don't have unlimited time to discuss this topic. Neither do I. I do want to question the above, however, and if you're unable to respond, I'll understand.

You suggest that an adult homosexual should re-examine his choice to be homosexual. All right. But what choice is he supposed to have made originally?

For what it's worth as context to my comments, I'm heterosexual. I first considered myself to be "in love" when I was seven. To my knowledge, I never sat down (at any age) and asked myself "what gender ought I find attractive?" I do believe that we are born "tabula rasa," and that my sexuality stems from certain early-life experiences/choices, but I can't imagine that any of those experiences/choices were explicitly sexual in nature. Hell, when I had my crush on little Sarah, I didn't even know the specifics of our biological differences or what sex was. I didn't have it on my mind to reproduce. I didn't, to my knowledge, hold any particular views on the issues of masculinity or femininity -- concepts that I continue to find at least questionable.

And so, if I wanted to "question my choice" at this stage in my life, and since I don't strictly even know the origin of my original "decision," how would I do that exactly?

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No but there is an ought. And it's much more than the simple sexual mechanics. It's the mind/body taken as a whole and the way two different sexes compliment one another metaphysically and phycho-epistemologically. Same sex relationships do neither.

If this is based solely on Ayn Rand's comments on feminine/masculine, then your last statement is unsupported. You understand that people have no obligation to reproduce, fine. But there is nothing about gender differences alone that hinder any compliments.

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Males and females are unquestionably different physically, mentally, and psychologically and naturally compliment one another. That is the metaphysical issue.

A male is a male, and a female is a female. Every is implies an ought. If there was no ought implied in this case then humans would only have one sex.

Empirical evidence suggests that physical, mental and psychological differences are bigger between individuals than between groups. Differences in genetics, exposure to varying levels of hormones during gestation, and even diet after birth are biological factors that influence the emotional centers of the brain. These factors affect psychology in ways we are only beginning to understand. Dispite our lack of knowledge it is fair to assume that these factors will influence the conscious/unconscious mechanisms that determine sexuality. A male is a male only in so much as he has an XY chromosomal pair.

Please consider a man who's had an abnormally large exposure to estrogen (I'm no expert, my example is probably laughable, but it illustrates my point just fine). This man was awash in estrogen while in the womb and drank soy milk as a child (his parents were vegan). His emotional responses were feminized because of this, and as a result he internalized some premises that lead him to be excited by wangs instead of vajayjays. This situation has implications for the "is" which necessarily change the "ought." Wouldn't it be immoral for him not to pursue wildly satisfying sexual encounters with guys like Alcide from True Blood?

Your position drops individual context. Your decision to recoil from this widely understood context looks a lot like rationalization: You conclude men ought to chase women. You tailor your is by cutting away context, creating the flawed premise that all men and all women are the same, respectively. The unhappy result is that you use an ought statement to reach moral conclusions about real (untailored) is's. It appears that Rand may have been unaware of the endocrine system's role in human psychology - no context dropping there, just a best guess with the knowledge at hand. What's your excuse?

Edited by FeatherFall
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We are talking about the combo of metaphysical and phycho-epistemological differences between human beings not non-rational animals.

I had not really looked at the ducks psycho-epistemologically, but they do seem to be pretty metaphysically grounded. As non-rational animals, the basis for their activity is pretty difficult to explain from a psycho-epistemological level.

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No but there is an ought. And it's much more than the simple sexual mechanics. It's the mind/body taken as a whole and the way two different sexes compliment one another metaphysically and phycho-epistemologically. Same sex relationships do neither.

No, your personal "ought" IS the same thing as a "thou shalt". Whereas you are stating that a homosexual is denying the body side (if you have a penis you must be masculine) of the mind/body issue, what you are doing is denying the mind side (a homosexual finds more fulfilling values with a same sex partner) of the mind/body issue. The difference between your position and mine is that I actually view people as individuals who are not slaves to a preconceived notion of how their sex organs should be used.

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