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Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix

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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.

My bold. "Implies" is not the same as "should". If there was no ought implied in this case, it would mean that people are individuals who are not slave to particular roles determined by their sex organs.

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Philosophy decides if the science is flawed fundamentally not the other way around.

I would be interested in a comprehensive reply to FeatherFall's preceding post. This is not such a reply. It is obviously unnecessary to know the scientific basis for some specific man's observed effeminate behavior. That behavior is certainly the result of some is - i.e., the result of the environment and circumstances under which he developed. A boy is not a man - his mind and body are still growing and developing years after leaving the womb. Depending on the environment in which he grows, his behaviors, tendencies, and preferences will develop and become ingrained. It's up to you to not only show why he should want to change them, but also why he should be morally condemned for not changing them.

Edited by brian0918

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Philosophy decides if the science is flawed fundamentally not the other way around.

Yes, epistemology determines how we integrate knowledge, thus laying the foundations of science. That's important in light of what some of us have been trying to explain. Gather evidence, then make conclusions. Evidence points to a context much more complicated than, "XX or XY". Conclusions must bow to this.

Edited by FeatherFall
grammar

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This is a seriously worthwhile (and unheated) discussion.

To the is/ought question: again, Objectivism supplies the answer. Without contradiction, I think:

Is/ought begins at species level, and resolves down to individual level.

It is - as much important O'ist stuff is - hierarchical.

I was never comfortable with Ayn Rand's views on gender and homosexuality. As hetero myself, there was some identification with the dominant male role - but also, some departures. For a while, I'd ask of friends "Why should one specific man, and one specific woman, be any different?"

(Well, apart from the obvious, sure). However, I was of the unsubstantiated opinion through observation, that there were often more similarities between a given woman and a given man, than between a random two of the same gender. An independent mind, and free-will, should trump sex and upbringing, ultimately - no?

I'm glad to see FeatherFall say there is now empirical evidence for exactly this.

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I was thinking about something earlier related to all this. What are proper and moral relationship structures, anyway? Is the only proper structure monogamous, and a generally sort of dominant/submissive interaction, for instance? In what ways are homosexual relationships different than traditional/common ones out there, if at all? Does the more traditional structure necessarily preclude homosexual relationships? EC earlier was arguing along the lines that the only kind of proper relationship structure is the one I mentioned, meaning that any other kind are immoral/misguided. My response to my questions are that aside from abuse and lying, any relationship structure is perfectly moral and depends upon personal preference.

Edited by Eiuol

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I was thinking about something earlier related to all this. What are proper and moral relationship structures, anyway? Is the only proper structure monogamous, and a generally sort of dominant/submissive interaction, for instance? In what ways are homosexual relationships different than traditional/common ones out there, if at all? Does the more traditional structure necessarily preclude homosexual relationships? EC earlier was arguing along the lines that the only kind of proper relationship structure is the one I mentioned, meaning that any other kind are immoral/misguided. My response to my questions are that aside from abuse and lying, any relationship structure is perfectly moral and depends upon personal preference.

Sure. Whether one knows it or not, all relationships are 'negotiated' - on many levels.

The more conscious you are about what you are doing, the less conformist it will be, so the more rewarding.

There should be no such thing as a 'model' relationship.

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My first lover and I were together for 22 years, to his death 22 years ago today. This then is a remembrance I would like to share today. It is my eulogy for Jerry at the memorial service for him in Chicago three weeks after his death, all those summers ago. The ceremony consisted of alternations of speaking and music, and the music that followed my speaking was the Rachmoninoff Prelude Op. 23, No. 2 in B flat.

Jerry D. Crawford (11 October 1948 – 17 June 1990)

Jerry carried two striking memories from his early childhood. His earliest memory was a beautiful dragonfly. He gazed upon its iridescent wings in the sunlight. It held him in complete wonder.

In the second memory, Jerry was wearing a cape. It was a towel, tied about his neck. Again and again that day, he climbed up the steps of the porch and leaped off to make his cape billow while trying to catch a glimpse of it.

Jerry’s childhood name was Peanuts.

Jerry was a happy child, and he was a serious child. He took himself seriously. Once, as a child, he was playing a musical instrument—a trumpet, I believe—for an informal group of adults. After he finished, one of them remarked with delight “He’s going to be another Lawrence Welk.” Jerry said “No, I’m going to be the one and only Jerry Crawford.”

Jerry’s brother Joel has shown me something personal and important that Jerry wrote sometime probably in his early teens. I shall read parts of it for you. I have reservations about reading this because the mature Jerry might be embarrassed. Still, “the child is the father of the man.” I think anyway that when someone dies we may regard the different periods of his life more equally than we would were he presently alive.

I met Jerry Crawford in the fall of 1966. We were freshmen at the University of Oklahoma. We became friends. Jerry became a close friend of Michael Clement. The three of us were in the same introductory philosophy course in the second semester. Michael lives in Chicago. He remained Jerry’s close friend always.

In the fall of ’67, Jerry and I had a number of philosophical discussions, and a great many cigarettes, into the wee hours of the morning. I had discovered the writings of Ayn Rand, and for me they were the breath of life. Sometime in the following spring, Jerry began reading Rand’s masterwork Atlas Shrugged. I remember the scene exactly. I had dropped out of school temporarily and was that evening behind a desk in an office where I monitored security alarms through the night. Jerry had stopped in after classes. As he was leaving, he smiled and said “I like the character, Dagny Taggart.” That was the first time ever I saw his face. I could not know then what had been set in motion, but, as Victor Hugo would have it: “Love is always love at first sight—the rest is only the rest.”

In June of 1968, we became lovers. We were both 19 years old. It lasted a lifetime.

I remember that Jerry was taking German that summer. He was taking also a seminar titled “Classical Greek Tragic Motifs in Modern French Literature.” He had already taken several French courses. I was taking a calculus course and a physics lab. We bought Rubinstein’s recordings of the Chopin Nocturnes. I remember lying on the living room floor of our rented apartment in the evening. The little chandelier and Chopin sparkled away as I waited for Jerry to return from classes.

When Jerry had entered the University, he had majored in Mathematics. He had taken every math course possible in high school. His high school teacher had been excellent. [i should mention that Jerry finished high school with a 4.0 average, straight A’s.] He decided after a while in college, though, to change his major to Interior Design. This was a brave decision. Men who were interior designers were presumed stereotypically to be homosexual. I do not think the word gay—or, for that matter the idea that homosexual was a perfectly normal and healthy way for some people to be—had yet reached Oklahoma. Rand said that one should live by one’s own first-hand rational values. That Jerry did.

Jerry’s decision to pursue interior design was brave in another way too, although he would not have thought of it this way. Jerry could not draw. How could he even think about becoming a designer? Well, he would just have to learn to draw. This was Jerry’s attitude towards anything he wanted to do. He never said “I would like to do such-and-such, but I have no talent for it.” He did not put much stock in talent. He just went to work.

Jerry learned technical drawing and water coloring for rendering his designs. He later taught himself life drawing. His design studies included period interiors and furniture refinishing. He took several courses in art history. When Jerry worked on a project, such as a watercolor rendering for a design class or refinishing a piece of furniture just for us, he worked pretty much straight through until it was completed. He resented sleep; it was a waste of time.

Jerry and I graduated together in the spring of ’71. His degree was Interior Design; mine was Physics. We both became unemployed. We had projects, of course, but for several months, no paying job. We did eventually find work—at a late-night restaurant in Oklahoma City. Jerry washed dishes. I bussed tables. There was one night we always remembered. We were driving home, to Norman, after work, on a road through horse-raising country. It had been another grueling day. We ached. There were only Jerry and I, speeding through the sleeping moonlit country. On the car radio, Roberta Flack was singing. It was an eternal moment.

We found better work later that summer. I worked on grounds maintenance for a hotel-office complex. Jerry worked at a custom drapery shop. He learned some useful things there.

On Labor Day weekend of ’72, I put our savings of $84 dollars into my pocket and got on the train for Chicago. I had a one-way ticket, which had cost $32. I do not think we ever spoke of it, but I heard Jerry blast the car horn that night as he roared away from the station. In plain French, ne m’oublie pas. A few days later, I called him from Chicago and told him I had found work with enough pay—$2.50 an hour. He quit his job and packed.

Jerry tried to break into interior design here for several months, but with no success. During those months, we had $5 extra for spending each week. On a night in November, we sat on the stage of Orchestra Hall at a benefit piano recital. It was all Chopin. The pianist was Artur Rubinstein.

On the day before our first Thanksgiving in Chicago, Jerry went to the grocery store. I know that those of you who knew Jerry in later years find it hard to believe, but it is true. Jerry actually went into a grocery store. On his walk through the several blocks back to the apartment, he saw more snow fall than he had seen in his entire 24 years.

That apartment was a dump. We did not intend to be there long, so we did not decorate it. Jerry had a guitar. He began to acquire a voice. He could experiment during the day, while the neighbors were gone to work . . . .

In the spring, Jerry took a job in the photostat department of Leo Burnett Advertising. We moved into an apartment on the 22nd floor of a newly completed high-rise at Clark and Armitage. It was unfurnished. As a temporary measure, we bought some lawn furniture. Jerry rented a piano.

[i should mention that Jer was half Choctaw.]

Jerry had taken piano lessons from fifth grade through high school. He always said his mother had wanted him to learn piano so he could accompany her singing in church. Once he played for a Cheyenne funeral. Now the Choctaw is one thing, and the Cheyenne is another. Jerry was seated at the piano with his back to the congregation. As soon as he struck the first notes, a great wailing cry went up behind him. It scared the daylights out of him. Jerry moved on to classical music. He took a semester of piano in college. He studied in Chicago under Roger Goodman.

Our high-rise apartment became beautiful. Jerry became attracted to the law. Jerry’s design skills were to serve only Jerry and me and our guests.

Through law school, Jerry (and I) made new friends. Some were close and continued to the present. I want to mention only Linda Dougherty—what a friend.

After graduation Jerry studied for the bar exam. It was about this time, I believe, that he made some very pretty, but schizophrenic, drawings and many wonderful French pastries. In the review course for the exam, Jerry became friends with David Montague. It was largely through David’s influence that Jerry and I began to appreciate opera.

Law was right for Jerry. He wanted intellectual, but practical, employment. He wanted work that mattered. The Office for Civil Rights had the right work for Jerry.

We moved from the high-rise to the present apartment [1887 graystone] on Barry in the spring of ’81. At last Jerry was freed of the 8-foot ceiling.

In the 1980’s, Jerry continued to develop his singing. He took vocal lessons from Kip Snyder. Kip had been the vocal coach for Windy City Gay Chorus. He is director of Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. These choruses sing about many different things, but, because it is them singing, every song implicitly proclaims the emancipation of gay people. On Valentine’s Day of 1982, The Windy City Gay Chorus sang in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. The program ended. Jerry was in my arms. It was an eternal moment.

At home, during the ’80’s, Jerry sang classical, art songs, but he also sang popular songs. There is a certain kind of love song Jerry would not sing no matter how excellent the song might be. It was the kind of song which says, “my man is no good, but I love him anyway.” Jerry knew that his lover was not a jerk.

In the fall of ’83, Jerry and I were interviewed for an hour or two by a woman working on an advanced degree in something like social psychology. What a high! We talked all that time about our life together, about our relationship. When the interviewer asked Jerry why he loved Stephen, Jerry replied: “Because his is so good.” “You mean . . . ?” “Yes, I mean moral.”

There are, of course, virtues worth having and worth responding to in addition to moral virtues. At Jerry’s bedside in the hospital, when I looked up from my study or writing, I would often find him simply looking at me. He would continue to look with those wondrous brown eyes. Then he would say, “You are so good-looking.”

The 1980’s were the richest years for Jerry and me. Jerry bought a grand piano. . . .

Jerry has left notes of a few of his days that I would like to share with you. He had tried to keep a diary in 1986. He never really got it going, but here is what I have:

A few days after Jerry died, I went to Neiman’s to get a new suit. Linda was with me. We were standing at Michigan and Chicago, waiting for the light to change. The sun was shining. I carried my old suit coat in front of me, over my arm. Then it came. Round and down and round. It lighted on my coat before me. Dragonfly.

I want to make two remarks about AIDS. First: Jerry was completely innocent; he was simply blind-sided. When HIV was being communicated to and by people like Jerry, nobody even knew there was such a thing. During the earliest reports of the disease, there would have been no reason for Jerry to think it had any direct relevance to him. Other socially communicated diseases were here before AIDS; Jerry never had any of them, not even the minor ones.

When people speak of infants with AIDS, they often say something like, “surely these are the most innocent AIDS victims.” This is false. It bespeaks a negative attitude towards human sexuality and pleasure. We are not made less innocent by sexual pleasure and the enjoyment of life, notwithstanding centuries of neurotic dogma to the contrary. Jerry was innocent. He never betrayed himself, me, nor any life on this magnanimous earth.

My second remark on AIDS is brief and is addressed to my gay brothers. So many have died. More will follow. As a people though, we are going to survive. And we will be free.

On the morning I spread Jerry’s ashes, there was a very light rain. It sealed the words I spoke in this envelope.

Jerry knew that music.

Jerry knew that life.

“A moment or an eternity, . . . life, undefeated, existed and could exist.”

Edited by Boydstun

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I have some experience that may help. After I read Atlas Shrugged, but before I became an atheist (Atlas Shrugged was only the beginning of the end to my religion), I was desperate to get the two to mix because I could not reject either. Christian objectivism sounded good (Christians are practiced at picking the parts they like of something).

But then I "de-converted" and realised that the fundemental basis of Christianity (sacrifice of the most holy for the sins of the masses) is in conflict with Objectivism.

It is shocking how much a person can twist their mind to accomodate religion.

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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.

Given the existence of the prostate as a biological source of sexual stimulation, can we therefore deduce that it is immoral not only to forgo gay sex, but to forgo being the receptive partner?

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Given the existence of the prostate as a biological source of sexual stimulation, can we therefore deduce that it is immoral not only to forgo gay sex, but to forgo being the receptive partner?

Certainly not! However it might be immoral, arguably, to forgo digital manipulation of said gland by a knowledgeable female (ahem, with whom one is in a loving relationship), particularly while she’s engaged in giving a tonsil polish to the family jewels round the other side. One should not fail to actualize certain potentialities in the realm of intimacy.

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For what it's worth, at our Objectivist conference in Atlanta (note: this is in the south) we had a whole panel of Objectivist homosexuals. There were a bunch of gay guys at our conference and nobody cared one way or another. There was never anything negative that came up, to my knowledge. People were just interested to hear about topics like if they had been bullied in their life or something. There were a couple of house party social events, at the first one I recall Diana Hsieh (a prominent Objectivist person) sitting in the basement with a bunch of the gay guys and few other straight people just hanging out. At the second party, there were a bunch of people sitting outside drinking and talking, and there were a couple of guys holding hands and stuff. It was no big deal. If anything, Objectivism is very friendly to homosexuals. Anyone against homosexuality is rare and way out of the mainstream as far as Objectivism is concerned.

Oh, and as for "christian objectivists"... hell, if you are irrational enough to be a christian (or religious at all for that matter), then I don't see why claiming to be both christian AND objectivist is somehow MORE irrational. Anyways, Objectivists are very largely atheists, like 99% probably. Capitalists of all stripes, including religious capitalists, tend to be friendly to Objectivism despite that, which is actually a good thing. It goes without saying that the actual philosophy of Objectivism is strictly atheist for reasons that are very fundamental to the entire system of thought.

Edited by epistemologue

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