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Post 20

Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 8:13pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

You are beginning to annoy me, Luke. Here I have everything figured out and you come along with all these ideas and questions that make me question my cherished assumptions.

You know, of course, that is exactly what I like, and I know you are just playing up to my weaknesses, but I forgive you, because its the "altruistic" thing to do. I also forgive you because I once said something that annoyed you and I think convinced you I was nothing more than a rude putz (which description Barbara should appreciate).

All of this nonsense is in reference to this:

"For these reasons, I find myself reluctant to discard the term subconscious wholesale.  As with other words like capitalism and selfishness, I think this key term has salvageable value and utility." (...and all the "reasons" you included in your post.)

I understand your reluctance completely. The ideas are not without merit, but "subconsciousness," is not the best term for any of them. The term is the invention of the Freuds and cannot be divorced from the "mysticism" of the concept originally intended by their use of the term. "Subconscious," means something we are not conscious of which nevertheless determines some aspects of our behavior. There is nothing that determines any aspect of human behavior because we are volitional beings, and all our behavior is determined by conscious choice. Except for those involuntary actions, (reflex and the behavior of the autonomic nervous system) all human behavior is chosen. We cannot choose anything we are not conscious of.

The modern idea of the "subconscious" usually refers to the fact we may sometimes have desires or feelings we do not know the cause of. To have a desire or feeling, however, we must be conscious of that desire or feeling. The fact that we do not know the cause of a feeling or desire is not some mysterious "subconsciousness," it is either just ignorance (of the nature of the endocrine system which can cause all sorts of inexplicable "feelings" and "desires," for example) or poor memory of how we developed that desire or emotional reaction.

I do not mean to refute anything you said by this, only to suggest why I do not like the term "subconscious." I do appreciate your viewpoint, however.

Regi




Post 21

Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 10:55pmSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Lindsay Perigo on 9/11, 10:57pm)




Post 22

Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 10:56pmSanction this postReply
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One fact - one concrete, empirical fact - is all that's necessary to cut through Regi's verbiage. That is - one's sexuality is a given. Innate. As much an irreducible primary as the colour of one's eyes. It's the fact that it exists in other species that's the give-away. (Homosexual rams are fortunate that they are not able to have the equivalent of kill-joy party-poopers like Regi amongst them, hectoring them about the immorality of their leanings!)

Thus, for a homosexual to act in accordance with *his* nature, he should seek out sexual and romantic fulfilment with those of his own gender to whom he is attracted and who are attracted to him. To do otherwise - for instance, to seek sex and romantic love with people of the opposite gender to whom he is *not* attracted, even if they are attracted to him - would be profoundly *immoral*, destructive of himself and of the unfortunate object of his deceit. Moreover, to act against his nature in this way simply because Regi Firehammer *says* he should, when poor old Regi has no idea what he's talking about, would be not only immoral but deeply stupid.

Regi's view amounts to a secular mysticism with Nature substituting for God. More on that to come in tonight's rebuttals from Chris Sciabarra & Barbara Branden.


Linz



Post 23

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 7:39amSanction this postReply
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Regi,

 You wrote: "I am familiar with Dr. Hurd, and Dr. Thomas Szasz, of course, but not Dr. Ellen Kenner."

Ellen's web site is http://www.drkenner.com/. I'm fortunate to know her personally & she's a wonderful individual. In fact, it was through her efforts that I was persuaded to study objectivism. I had read Atlas Shrugged but didn't understand the philosophy on first reading. She heard of my interest in Ayn Rand's writings (our children attended school together) and introduced me to some of her objectivist friends. I found the intellectual stimulation invigorating and, subsequently, began my study of objectivism.




Post 24

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 8:06amSanction this postReply
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But for someone to intentionally choose that which is contrary to their nature (like attempting to live as a parasite rather than a creator) is immoral. The same principle applies to any choice. If one knows something is contrary to the requirements of their nature, no matter what their desires are, and they choose to do it, that is immoral.


So, if it could be shown scientifically that there exists a “homosexual gene” such as Mr. Kilbourne suggested, and that this gene serves a valid purpose in human evolution (for example, as an evolutionary mechanism to slow down the growth of a large population), would you then be willing to grant to homosexuality the status of morality?



Post 25

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 10:22amSanction this postReply
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Nature,

So, if it could be shown scientifically that there exists a “homosexual gene” such as Mr. Kilbourne suggested, and that this gene serves a valid purpose in human evolution (for example, as an evolutionary mechanism to slow down the growth of a large population), would you then be willing to grant to homosexuality the status of morality?
 
The fact is, we are either volitional beings or we are not. No human behavior is determined by genes, or anything else, if we are volitional beings. If anything determines our behavior other than our conscious choice we are not volitional beings, and moral questions do not come up.

With regard to morality and homosexuality, the morality is entirely an individual thing. It is not a "social" immorality, and is nobody else's business. All immorality is harmful to the individual, that is the only aspect of homosexuality that is immoral, and then only if the individual understand themselves it is a wrong choice, and is still able to make a different one.

Regi




Post 26

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 10:40amSanction this postReply
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Regi:

so what precisely is the harm that emerges from being homosexual? we can talk about failure to properly live according to human nature all that we want, but unless you can point to some actual damage that this behavior causes, it's not very convincing. If homosexuality is contrary to the nature of the homosexual, a proposition Linz's post seems to refute, you should be able to note some harm, either certain or potential, that will come from it. to not produce such would be to say that human nature is such that homosexuality does not harm it. I am sure you do not want to say this.



Post 27

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 10:54amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Perigo,

There is no such thing as, "sexuality," as you use the term. Biologically, with the exception of physical abnormalities, like hermaphrodites, one is either a male or a female.

There are sexual practices, like homosexual practices, but practices are all chosen. If what we did was determined at birth, we would not be volitional beings.

There are desires and passions (leanings), some of which we have from birth, but most are developed and learned. There is no such thing as an "immoral" leaning or desire. Only choices and actions may be judged moral or immoral.

One's desires and feelings do not determine what they are. If a person desires to steal but choose not to, they are not a thief, they are honest. If someone desire to strike someone, but "represses" that desire and chooses to live peaceably, they are not violent. Only those who let feelings and desires determine their behavior, and steal or commit acts of aggression, for example, are immoral.

Some principles that seem to have escaped you.

Regi




Post 28

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 11:09amSanction this postReply
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Robert,

You could have read the article, but, for a beginning:

Dr. Sciabarra thinks I am "obsessed with telling us 'What’s Wrong with Homosexuality.'" I am interested enough to give a chapter in my book that name. But Dr. Sciabarra is not pleased with what I say in that chapter. He claims my "arguments ... are a string of unproven assertions." And he names them: He writes, "His indictment of promiscuity and unsafe sex is not an indictment of homosexuality, however; it is an indictment of promiscuity and unsafe sex." From my book: "Michigan's statewide 'gay' newspaper, Between the Lines, reports the risk of anal cancer 'soars' by nearly 4,000% for men who have sex with men" and "admits there's no such thing as 'safe sex' to prevent this 'soaring' cancer risk."

Dr. Sciabarra adds, "Male homosexuality, as such, is not “physically detrimental to those who practice it.”

From my book: "... even when AIDS was not a factor, gay men had a significantly shorter lifespan than married heterosexual men - shorter by about three decades! ... anal sex typically causes damage ... resulting in, "acute rectal trauma, rectal incontinence, and anal cancer.... Infections such as hepatitis B, shigellosis, and Giadia lamblia infections are much more common in homosexual males.

Dr. Sciabarra asserts, "... lesbians are at no greater risk for certain diseases than are heterosexual women who don’t bear children; it is not women’s lesbianism as such that causes any heightened risks."

From my book: "Another study found bacterial vaginosis occurring in 33% of lesbians but only in 13% of heterosexual women, and found that: "Cervical cytology abnormalities were uncommon but only found in the lesbians."

Dr. Sciabarra concludes, "Moreover, homosexuality as such is not the cause of psychological dysfunction; such dysfunction is often the by-product of the fear, pain, guilt, and shame...."

Of course my whole point is that homosexuality, itself, is a psychological dysfunction.

Dr. Sciabarra says, "Firehammer considers none of these facts." But, obviously, I did.

Regi




Post 29

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 11:11amSanction this postReply
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Bob,

Thank you so much for the link to Ellen's web site and your interesting comments. I will certainly check this out.

Regi




Post 30

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 5:28pmSanction this postReply
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The “soaring” anal cancer rate for men who have sex with men is not a function of homosexuality. It’s a function of anal sex: an act not exclusive to homosexuals or mandatory for homosexual sex.

 

With regard to lesbians, whatever activity is causing cervical cytology abnormalities cannot be exclusive to lesbians nor need it be mandatory for lesbian sex. What else could it be? An internal admission of, “Hey! I’m a lesbian!” and suddenly it’s possible to develop cervical cytology abnormalities? Or ,“Hey! I’m straight!” and the possibility is switched off?




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Post 31

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 8:32pmSanction this postReply
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Ha!  I got a good laugh at the responses! 

Just so nobody thinks I didn't notice, I see that the two people who were outraged that SOLO was becoming a "single-issue site" are now happy as can be that SOLO is running more on the same topic.  Maybe they've been convinced that we aren't a single issue site?

Or maybe...just maybe...they were really just upset that all the talk about homosexuality was a bit too positive before.  But now that they see an article by someone who's against it homosexuality, they're as happy as can be.

It almost makes me think that the "single issue site" wasn't the real problem for these guys.  Hmmm....




Post 32

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 9:10amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Rowlands,

Those were cheap shots, and a disingenuous comment you made. Both Sam and I were primarily concerned over the overall crassness that some were exhibiting on the theme, and the manner/frequency in which it was being discussed in general. I stated before, that Mr. Kilbourne’s article on the subject was praised by me on his thread, and Mr. Sciabarra’s article on the subject is scholarly and has my admiration. As to “single issue site”, OK fine - you win, a poor choice of words (and overly dramatic) – better stated; ‘an over-emphasis on sexual themes with an unusually high number of crass comments’.

Racy comments and sexual overtones are one thing ( I make them myself), but there is a line that crosses over into the degraded. Perhaps I am guilty of being overly prudish or ‘square’, as you wish. But, there was no need for you to bring it up again. It was unnecessary for you to post those comments in the general forum, the issue was over and done with for me, but you seem to enjoy a quick dig.

Your statements that imply the real problem for these guys, "was something else", is easy to discern- no need to play word games, just call us ‘homophobes’ and be done with it. I cannot speak for Sam, but only for myself. I can only say, that whatever your personal interpretations may be, my comments were made to you in private and without the sarcasm of your post.

My ‘problem’ is with crassness in general, and any overall degradation of discourse. The degraded manner in which this subject was being discussed (with frequent crass comments on sodomy, spin off topics on s&m, back and forth banter on ‘converting’ others, homophobes ect…) was in my opinion a degradation of the discourse on an objectivist web site. And yes, the natural aversion that the majority of males have for homosexual acts is a factor in my response. An aversion to homosexual practices is a natural and very common factor (which I bet that YOU share as well) among the overwhelming majority of heterosexual males. As Regi said, ‘aversion’ and ‘phobia’ are not the same thing. I make no apologies for my statements – their intent was no more than to state that if it becomes commonly believed that Solo is strongly or overly focused on gay themes (or any other sexual theme), especially in a non-intellectual manner of discourse – that that would hurt the site.

As I stated to you in private, I was not ever going to bother you again. Perhaps after you respond to my comments, and articulately comment on my; racism, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, lack of self-esteem, intrinsicism, evasion, big nose, and my in-grown toenail – perhaps then we can BOTH leave it alone permanently.

Sincerely,

George W. Cordero

 

 

(Edited by George W. Cordero on 9/13, 7:29pm)




Post 33

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 6:52pmSanction this postReply
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George: You expressed my feelings about this whole issue probably better than I could have myself. My only further thought is that the topic of homosexuality has reached an even further degree of prominence on this site due to these recent articles by both Firehammer and Sciabarra, and their discussions.

I stand by my previous warning that SOLOHQ, and thus the promotion of Objectivism, is in peril if it encourages such preoccupation with this subject. (Please don't say that I'm adding to this by posting this message) (And I haven't given anyone justification for considering me a homophobe.)

Homosexuality is, at best, a peripheral issue within Objectivism.

Sam




Post 34

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 8:51pmSanction this postReply
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Alright, Sam.  It's a peripheral subject.  But so is the kind of food we eat.  No one's complaining that gastronomy is becoming too prevalant on SOLOHQ.  The same with music.  That's a side-issue as well.  The fact is, while homosexuality is a side-issue, it's analysis has bene sorely lacking by Objectivism as a whole.  I think it's preferable to explore these discussions to their conclusions--whatever they may be--so that Objectivism gains at least a better understanding of it.  It's the same with all the little peripheral subjects philosophy helps explain.  Though, I would rate one's sexual habits as higher on the scale of what's what within Objectivism than, say, music or food.  I'd rather not pretend Objectivism's (the philosophy as it is, and as it has been explained by one person or another) lack of explanation with regard to homosexuality didn't exist.  I'd rather the topic was explored, concluded upon, and put aside.  Once and for all, if that's possible.  (I think it is.)



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Post 35

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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conclusions?

homosexuality stems from faulty premises.

which premises?

....

how do we find out which premises?

not psychology! after all, it's just psychobable.

ok, um.. which premises does heterosexuality stem from?

it doesn't. heterosexuality is clearly the way things are supposed to work.

supposed?

nature designed us this way.

did it? design?

it's normal for humans to have heterosexual sex, because it is our means of reproduction.

is that the standard of the normal then? whatever leads to reproduction?

you can do abnormal things, like eat nails, but I wouldn't advise it.

so what's normal for a sterile person? suicide?


Jeremy, i can't conclude anything from the discussions so far, except that the anti-gay objectivist-minded, or whatever they would call themselves, have no real argument for homosexuality being harmful to oneself.

except that is has physiological risks, but regi asked me:

"Are "health risks," only physiological?"



Post 36

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 9:52pmSanction this postReply
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Jeremy, and others: When SOLOHQ becomes widely regarded, as it certainly will at this rate, as inordinately concerned with homosexual issues,  what effect do you think that this will have on this site and on Objectivism as a movement? Many people regard the Libertarian Party as one which is a gathering point for druggies and homosexuals—drawn there for their own narrow purposes, and exploiting libertarian principles, all to the detriment of the party.  I suggest that a parallel to this is in store for SOLOHQ.

There have been a number of posts regarding how to promote Objectivism. Perhaps one of the best strategies would be to change the not-so-hidden agenda of the administrators.

Sam




Post 37

Monday, September 13, 2004 - 10:36pmSanction this postReply
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Sam, I would require evidence of SOLO being "inordinately concerned" with homosexuality.  I can presume from your recent involvement in the discussion that this topic does trouble you a great deal--at least as far as SOLO goes.  So, given that concern about the future of SOLO, I'd like to suggest that a method for you to prove SOLOHQ has become too involved with the ins-and-outs of homosexuality would be to compile a list of every article, on SOLOHQ and in the Free Radical, that had to do with homosexuality, and weigh the volume of that list against those that do not.  This suggestion goes for anyone who'd like to show SOLO has become a haven for fags. 

I won't presume that you have the inclination or time to do this thing, but it is called for.  Two articles within a week--one of which decries homosexuality--do not make a convincing case.  And anyone that hasn't been around longer than that may need some convincing.

To all the fags out there:  I mean that word in an endearing way, promise.  Your...uhhh...proclivity makes my skin crawl--as I'm sure mine does for you all--but goddamn do you folks know how to dress!  Ha!  (Oh my...is that a concession that I'm addressing an overwhelming audience of gays??? AHHH!!  Run for the nearest sports bar!!  Hehe...just kiddin, Sam.)

eli: Jeremy, i can't conclude anything from the discussions so far, except that the anti-gay objectivist-minded, or whatever they would call themselves, have no real argument for homosexuality being harmful to oneself.
 
You can't form any conclusions from that?  Sure you can.  You just did.  Ha!

*two points at the buzzer*









Post 38

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 9:55amSanction this postReply
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Lindsay wrote "One fact - one concrete, empirical fact - is all that's necessary to cut through Regi's verbiage. That is - one's sexuality is a given. Innate. As much an irreducible primary as the colour of one's eyes"
Lindsay, do you have access to absolute genetic evidence to back this up that I am not aware of?  If not, on what basis are you making this claim?
Cass




Post 39

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 11:03amSanction this postReply
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Jeremy, Sam,

Jeremy said: "... I would rate one's sexual habits as higher on the scale of what's what within Objectivism than, say, music or food."

I do not know exactly how to rate the importance of sex to Objectivism or philosophy, but certainly, as an aspect of life, food and eating are much more important than either sex or music.

One can, if they must, live without either sex or music, however limited such a life might be, but one cannot live without food and eating.

In my answer to Janine (http://solohq.com/Forum/ArticleDiscussions/0782.shtml#16) on another thread, I said:

"The other comparison I make is about the difference between sex and eating. It is not possible for an individual to live without eating. It is quite possible for an individual to live without having sex. In our day, people talk about sex as though it were a matter of life and death. It isn't. Many people cannot have sex of any kind and live completely successful enjoyable lives.

"Of course there is no suggestion here that this handicap is a good one. It is like any other uncritical abnormality like a missing limb, or eye, or partial paralysis. Just as they can live without sex, people can live completely successful enjoyable lives with these handicaps, which are even more serious than not being able to have sex, because arms and legs and eyes are all needed in the process of producing, and except for, "reproduction," sex only serves the purpose of the reward of pleasure, which is important for ones own enjoyment of life, but not critical, and certainly not a necessity."

Now I would like to expand on that just a little. Food and eating are both more complex, more interesting, and in the grand scheme of things, provides infinitely more pleasure than sex.

Barring any physical disabilities precluding it, food and eating can be enjoyed by people of all ages, alone or with others, as a private thing or public, and it can be enjoyed while doing almost anything else. It is a pleasure in itself, and it enhances the pleasure of other things we do as well, like enjoying others company, or discussing business, or watching television. It can be enjoyed almost anywhere, at home, the theatre, the ball-park. There is an almost endless variety of kinds of pleasure food gives us; in addition to nourishing us, it refreshes and invigorates us, a calms us when agitated, and excites when bored.

The importance of sex is greatly exaggerated. It is irrelevant, in fact, to all real human significance or achievement. There is not a single great human achievement, no great scientific discover, no important novel, no play or opera or great musical composition, no philosophy, that could not have been equally achieved by a heterosexual, a  homosexual, or a eunuch. (Works which encompass romance or sex, themselves, of course, excepted)

The production, preparation, and eating of food is not only significant to individuals, it is a major industry, perhaps in terms of human life, the most important industry there is. A major part of our life and interest is directly or indirectly related to food. Except for those who have accepted the exaggerated view of sex that dominates our day, sex is a minor issue.

Regi 





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