It’s A Comment Of The Day Weekend! First Up…Comment Of The Day (3): “An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay…” AND, In Related News, Another Bakery Gets Slammed In Oregon

I’m not exaggerating: I have at least four Comments of the Day stacked up on the Ethics alarms runway after this one, and there are usually COTDs arriving on Saturdays. I can’t promise to get all of them up today, especially since I’m hacking away at the 2017 Ethics Alarms Awards, and this is a long working weekend at ProEthics. Still, I will get a lot of them to you, and it’s a provocative group, as you will soon see.

But first, a prelude and some context.

An Oregon appellate court this week upheld a ruling against the owners of the since-closed Sweetcakes by Melissa,  Aaron and Melissa Klein, forcing them to pay emotional-distress damages of $135,000 to Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, a lesbian couple for whom they refused to design and sell a wedding cake almost five years ago. The Klein’s argued that state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian violated state and federal laws and their rights as artists to free speech, their rights to religious freedom and their rights as defendants to  due process.

The Oregon court ruled that the Kleins’ argument that their cakes entail an artistic expression is “entitled to be taken seriously,” but it’s not enough for the couple to assert their cakes are pieces of art:

“Although we accept that the Kleins imbue each wedding cake with their own aesthetic choices, they have made no showing that other people will necessarily experience any wedding cake that the Kleins create predominantly as ‘expression’ rather than as food.”

This mess commenced  when Rachel Bowman-Cryer went to the suburban Portland bakery with her mother in January of 2013. When Aaron Klein was told that the wedding did not involve a male partner,  he said that the bakery did not make cakes for same-sex weddings. They left, but soon the mother returned to argue with Klein as Rachel sat in the car, weeping. her mother went in to speak with Klein. The mother told Klein she had once thought like him, but having two gay children forced her to see the error of her ways.  Klein retorted with Leviticus: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

The complaint and action by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries followed. You can read the opinion here.

Ugh.

This case is even worse than the one currently before the Supreme Court, discussed here.

I can’t imagine that if Colorado baker Jack Phillips wins the SCOTUS case it won’t throw the Oregon Appeals ruling here into limbo. Yet there are significant and, I would say, material differences. This one might need its own review, and like the Colorado case, it all could have been avoided if the parties weren’t determined to be Golden Rule-defying jerks.

Citing Leviticus as an appeal to authority dodge, for that is what it is ultimately, demands contempt and rejection. Religious practices, faith and belief are all worthy of respect. Citing a section of the Torah/Old Testament completed over 2500 years ago by author or authors unknown (no, it was not Moses) should not and cannot be sufficient to override laws, equal protection, societal standards and common decency. 2500 years ago! The authors had a tiny fraction of the knowledge we have now, and 2500 years less experience. Why would anyone ever cite such pronouncements in a modern context? Well, I know why, but government and law cannot carve out exceptions for people who want to be silly, stubborn, or ignorant to the detriment of society. Has Klein researched scholarship about his source, or is it just a handy-dandy excuse to be gratuitously cruel?

Then there is the inconvenient fact that the passage cited doesn’t apply to the couple involved. “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” does not render a judgment about women at all. I know: “scholars” have determined that God, speaking from the authors, was speaking about lesbians too; no really—they are sure of it. Sorry: God knows everything, and he should be held to at least the same standards of precision as human legislators. The Oregon bakers had no persuasive authority for their objection to same-sex female weddings at all. We can’t permit public accommodation laws to be vetoed by fanciful extrapolation, even if we could accept that Leviticus had any validity in 2017.

The court’s argument about art, however, is incompetent and embarrassing. Art isn’t art unless others consider it art?  So much for Jackson Pollack, hip-hop, James Patterson and Adam Sandler, I guess. That reasoning shouldn’t last 30 seconds in the next appeal.

But the damages! $135,000 for emotional distress due to a conversation in a bakery?  That borders on cruel and unusual punishment. File the complaint, have the bigoted bakers fined and get another cake. If this kind of conflict justifies six-figure damages, any verbal cruelty does.

The couple, the bakers, and the State of Oregon are all unethical here, irresponsible and incompetent.

And with this in mind, here is the Comment of the Day by Alizia for perspective and reflection. (There is one section omitted that has no relevance to the rest).

How does it relate to the post under which it appeared, An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay Advocating Limits On Speech…?

Well, for one thing, it is the kind of speech Noah Berlatsky thinks we should be able to ban. A lot of Alizia’s comments are. (I’ll be back at the end)…

By God’s Grace we will act in this present to reverse the damage your generation has brought as it pertains to the perversions of homosexuality and deviant sexuality and the collusion between Hollywood, government and media activists in a social engineering project to make homosexuality seem normal and good and to ‘install’ it in people’s minds and in culture.

Homosexuals and homosexuality have always existed and will always exist, but they have not always been so visible and allowed to be so influential. And this is what will be reversed. It was put in motion over time and with the assent of people’s conscience, and it will be reversed through the same means.

I will not tire in repeating: there is a movement which has begun in all the English speaking countries, in all the countries of Europe to establish an idea-base and idea-activism to turn back the perversions of America and ‘the Americanopolis.’ The world-movement to make homosexuality seem a normal and even a desirable option began in the US and it was carried out by homosexual activists in PR and in Hollywood.

Through similar activism, and through the indolence and pervasiveness of your generation, having come about through nescience and, I guess, your own sexual confusion, pornography and bizarre sexuality have become a feature of the present, as easily obtainable as gumdrops. In this way you have directly contributed to the open perversion of your children and the world’s children. By God’s Grace your own perversions will be brought out into the light of day and branded as such. How to begin? By talking about it. By opening the topic up for conversation. By going into the spiritual and the metaphysical dimension of the question.

…I am of the young generation and know of dozens of people in my group who not only think as I do but are devoting their lives and time and resources to reversing the trends of perversion *you* have allowed to be put in motion.

I’m back.

I am not picking on Alizia, who is, amazingly enough, far from the only intelligent, serious, well-read person to express these views. This deserves to be a Comment of the Day for this very reason: somehow she, the bigoted bakers and a lot of Americans persist in a belief and position that does real damage to innocent people justified by nothing but obstinacy and denial. Alizia provides a useful example of the fallacies brought into the argument by anti-gay zealots. There isn’t a single substantive data point in sight.

Gay people have always been powerful, influential and major contributors to society. They just have only recently been able to reveal that they are gay. The US has had one gay President (at least); Great Britain had at least two gay kings; Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were gay (and more than one other Roman Emperor); Sweden’s Queen Christina, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Socrates, Aristotle and Plato; Ralph Waldo Emerson (while we’re on the topic of philosophers) James Baldwin, Walt Whitman,  Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, J.M. Barrie, George Bernard Shaw, Noel Coward, Larry Hart, and Cole Porter;  E.M. Forster, Tennessee Williams, Marcel Proust, Henry James, and Oscar Wilde; Eleanor Roosevelt and Sir Francis Bacon, J. Edgar Hoover, Alan Turing (who was essential to winning World War II, as well as launching the age of computers), George Washington Carver; Tchaikovsky! Beethoven! Handel! Saint-Saens! Chopin! Schubert! Benjamin Britten,  and Aaron Copeland;  John Maynard Keynes, and probably a majority of actors and male ballet dancers. Those are just some of the influential gays through history we know about: I think it’s fair to say the world would be very, very different, and much worse, without their influence.

On the other side, the vital ways in which gays are harmful to society and others, we have nothing. Nothing! How people express themselves sexually has no impact of strangers or anyone not in the bedroom. The conduct is not unethical, or any more “perverted” than any other sexual activity between consenting adults. Nor can something that has been part of human behavior for eons be called “unnatural.”

The opposition to allowing gays to be respected citizens like any other law abiding human beings is, and has always been, based on the ick factor and attendant ignorance. People once believed you could catch homosexuality, like a cold. It was a perversion because the people calling it a perversion found it repulsive, and, by extension, proof of bad character. Eating raw oysters and enjoying Lawrence Welk is a perversion by the same standards. Alizia’s position—a common one— is built on marshmallow,  quicksand–and air. No science, no experience, no history, no common sense, no evidence nor objective and informed observations. 

All there is left to fall back on is…Leviticus.

Come on.

 

271 thoughts on “It’s A Comment Of The Day Weekend! First Up…Comment Of The Day (3): “An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay…” AND, In Related News, Another Bakery Gets Slammed In Oregon

  1. I did post a comment a while ago which was intended to put this type of comment into perspective, but even as a Christian, I can’t believe people take this particular position. It’s rude, anti-golden rule, and very un-Christ-like.

    I am concerned with the way the current LGBT is using their power to oppress others, but you’re right it doesn’t justify their treatment by Christians.

      • You’re getting this message in all of your comments on this post:

        You’re so bigoted and ignorant on this topic it hurts.

        You don’t get to participate in this thread, or this topic. You have nothing to contribute, and it’s not worth my time to have to correct you. It’s definitely pointless to argue with someone with your vile orientation.

  2. People having sex with children has gone on for eons so it can’t be unnatural then. Your first two named examples are pederasts.

    • “Unnatural” is a terrible standard anyway. Anything that any animal does is “natural.” Bifocals are unnatural. We can’t effectively judge ethics this way.

      I know when people say “unnatural” they’re referring to the outdated an illogical concept of “Natural Law,” which relies on appeals to magic to patch its holes and inconsistencies. But the holes and inconsistencies in that framework’s objections to homosexuality can’t be ignored by logical people.

      • Cleophus is a bigot, a deceiver and a fool, and he’s banned from this thread. The post specified harmless, common, eons old human sexual conduct as natural, which it is by definition. Sex with children is not harmless, in not common, and nobody condemns it because it’s “unnatural,” but because it is assulat, battery, rape and criminal.

        Cleophus’s cheat are typical of the arguments of anti-gay bigots: intellectually dishonest and emotional rather than logical. I have no patience for it.

        In a bit I’ll take care of Alizia’s response.

      • Using the words “natural” and “unnatural” in arguments of this type can easily lead to the informal fallacy of equivocation–calling two different things by the same name. A thing is “unnatural” if it does not exist in nature. But a thing is also “unnatural” if it is contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal. Equivocation leads to statements like, “instances of conjoined twins have occurred for eons so conjoined twins can’t be unnatural then.” Clearly a thing can exist in nature yet be unnatural (abnormal). Whether something exists in nature or not is unrelated to the goodness or badness of that thing. That is a decision that must be made on other grounds.

        • . But a thing is also “unnatural” if it is contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal.

          Does “contrary to the course of nature” really have meaning outside a religious context, though?

          • It is the natural course of nature for gay human beings to seek intimate companionship with their own gender, and unnatural for them to do otherwise.

            I can’t believe this even needs explaining.

          • I believe it does. Take the example of a two-headed animal. Anyone at all familiar with animals, regardless of their religion or lack of religion, would identify a two-headed animal as not being the result of the ordinary course of nature. Those with a religious system might use that system to try to explain why it happened but everyone would consider it abnormal because there is no one who would look at a two-headed goat and say “yep, that looks like the way things usually work to me”.

            We have to be careful because “nature” has two different meanings and the one that I believe applies in the phrase “contrary to the course of nature” is: “the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.” So when we use this phrase we cannot be using it in arguments related to humans. I think when people use the “natural” “unnatural” argument regarding homosexuality they are tacitly using the other definition of nature: “the basic or inherent features of something, especially when seen as characteristic of it” which leads to talking about human nature. If this definition is used, then it pretty much mandates philosophical or religious arguments. The first definition applies to the physical world the second to philosophy.

        • This is uncharacteristically incoherent. Things that exist in nature are not good or bad, ethical or unethical. If it exists routinely, it serves a purpose, even if that purpose is its own existence. The issue was only brooked because of the specious argument that homosexuality was ‘unnatural.” It’s not unnatural; it’s not uncommon; it’s not lethal; it’s not harmful.

    • You’re so bigoted and ignorant on this topic it hurts.

      You don’t get to participate in this thread, or this topic. You have nothing to contribute, and it’s not worth my time to have to correct you. It’s definitely pointless to argue with someone with your vile orientation.

  3. Jack, All there is left??? A bit ranty there. The appeal to Leviticus, while appearing to be only a shallow moral objection, is probably rooted in Genesis and the definition of mankind to be found in the pattern of Adam and Eve. This is hardly insignificant to someone’s conscience and obligation to participate in society. Am I reading to far ahead in my own imagination that Ethics would strip religion from religion? Do I misunderstand your starting point for ethics being based on something like “no harm = probably ethical, so permissible and therefore no place for material expressed objection”?

    How is their starting point of Genesis so much more absurd than the absence of harm being the arbitrary starting point for acceptable behavior?

    • Jack, All there is left??? A bit ranty there. The appeal to Leviticus, while appearing to be only a shallow moral objection, is probably rooted in Genesis and the definition of mankind to be found in the pattern of Adam and Eve. This is hardly insignificant to someone’s conscience and obligation to participate in society. Am I reading to far ahead in my own imagination that Ethics would strip religion from religion?

      I don’t understand what any of this means. “Definition of mankind?” Are you saying gays fall outside that definition? Even if one takes Genesis as fact rather than metaphor—a foolish thing to do even for the religious—under what logical framework does it follow from the premise that God created a man and a woman for the purpose of procreating and populating the earth that everyone today must either be part of an opposite sex couple or remain single forever? This is just a gussied up “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” argument, which is rightly mocked for having absolutely no bearing on how each individual should structure their relationships today.

      How is their starting point of Genesis so much more absurd than the absence of harm being the arbitrary starting point for acceptable behavior?

      You’re kidding. The former is arbitrary; the latter is not. “Harm” is the only reasonable starting point. If an action doesn’t cause harm, then it isn’t unethical, and if God calls harmless activities unethical, then God is arbitrary.

      Of course Alizia argues that homosexuality is harmful to society, but she has no more basis for this argument then she does for her expressed beliefs that race-mixing, Judaism and democracy are harmful to society, so her ideas of “harm” bear absolutely zero weight.

      • On further thought, I am only questioning the supremacy of what is obviously and measurably harmful over a specification for which is contrary to what we see people even if not apparently harmful… Is there at least one unethical behavior that does no harm but is nonetheless unethical?

        I would bet you a fancy cake that bakers believe that Genesis provides a definition of humanity and from that they bear in their consciences a small degree of responsibility to society to refrain personal participation as they see it… Which, though I disagree with the appearance of their course of action as reported, is not as absurd as I am reading of Jack’s rant.

        • On further thought, I am only questioning the supremacy of what is obviously and measurably harmful over a specification for which is contrary to what we see people even if not apparently harmful… Is there at least one unethical behavior that does no harm but is nonetheless unethical?

          I’ve read this three times and I think I understand the question in the first sentence now…you’re asking why it’s better to base an ethical framework on avoiding that which is obviously and measurably harmful than to base it on avoiding that which is just…uncommon, but not obviously and measurably harmful? The answer seems obvious to me. Evidence matters. If there’s no evidence that an uncommon activity is harmful, then there is no reason to condemn it as unethical.

          As to the second question, I’m sure Jack can answer it better than I can. The best example I can think of at the moment is a secret affair between a married person and their lover, but even that causes harm to the relationship of the former even if their spouse never finds out. And of course, there’s the danger that the spouse may find out, in which case they would likely be hurt. But if a couple has an open relationship, and can manage their relationship without any harm to either partner? That would not be unethical.

          I would bet you a fancy cake that bakers believe that Genesis provides a definition of humanity and from that they bear in their consciences a small degree of responsibility to society to refrain personal participation as they see it… Which, though I disagree with the appearance of their course of action as reported, is not as absurd as I am reading of Jack’s rant.

          I’m still not getting what you mean by “definition of humanity.” Can you explain?

      • Chris writes: “Of course Alizia argues that homosexuality is harmful to society, but she has no more basis for this argument then she does for her expressed beliefs that race-mixing, Judaism and democracy are harmful to society, so her ideas of “harm” bear absolutely zero weight.”.

        You have an underhanded habit of rephrasing and restating. I present my argument in the larger context of aberrant sexuality, or the abuse of sexuality, which I see as a very definite problem. I place some part of homosexual culture, or homosexual practice, within that problem. But I also say that homosexuality is constantly present in society and therefor must be tolerated. I propose a way for it to be tolerated.

        I say that I do not think homosexuality should be encouraged. And I explain how I think it has been encouraged, and ‘sold’, through a specific reference to 2 homosexual activists who literally wrote the book. (The larger problem here is that of ‘The Marketing of Evil’ and this title, I admit, did influence me).

        Race-mixing, or socially-engineered multiculturalism projects, when artificially promoted, in some sense against people’s will, or against ‘organic cultural processes’, is what I have objections to and these objections have been articulated, and are being articulated. I am a definte advocate for ‘white identity’ and see nothing at all wrong with it.

        Judaism, post-emancipation, becomes problematic in my view to the degree that it tends to be expressed through a revolutionary spirit. My critique is based in this area.

        Democracy is always problematic if and when any average and uninformed person is called to decide or arbitrate important issues. Democracy indeed becomes problematic when a socially hysterial mass empowers representatives to enact democratic will. The democratic will is problematic when they trample things they do not understand.

        You are completely free to say that my ideas have zero weight if you think it helps your position, whatever that position is. But you are really out of your depth, Chris. These are ideas you have never encountered before and you have (obviously) never really thought these things through.

        You think in formulas, in pre-established opinion-units. All you do is to emote your opinions and to shame.

        You are thereefor commanded to go to bed without gruel. You naughty social justice warrior. But I will grant you a little TeeVee time. An American without TeeVee is like a Christian without the Resurrection.

        [https://youtu.be/_f5ojDWMpV8]

    • Nothing ranty about pointing out that anyone relying on the analysis of a complex anthropological phenomenon from a 2500 year old metaphorical document is being lazy, foolish and gullible. Genesis or Leviticus, it doesn’t matter. Since those ill-informed assessments, we have acquired behavioral science, genetics, biochemistry, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and thousands of years of experience. The condemantion of homosexuality wasn’t the pronouncement of a god, and doesn’t sound like it—it’s too simple-minded and fearful. It sounds like what it was—the verdict of uneducated tribal sages who thought those guys going off behind trees were weird and robbing some woman of kids and a husband.

      Using Genesis, a self-evident metaphor and fable, as any authority on the rights of gays is such a stretch that it doesn’t warrant rebuttal. Understand: I have no problem with people reading anything they want into allegory and symbolic texts, as long as they don’t use their theories to hurt others and rob them of the unalienable right to enjoy life.

      • The doctrines of the Church, of Catholicism, and of the strains of different ideas that inform these systems, are part of a European paideia. The argument(s) against sexual misuse have been presented by Plato: irrgularities in the psycho-physical being for example. The Catholic argument, it has seemed to me, is really more Greek-philosophical in structure than it is Judaic. Many of the philosophers argued, sometimes very strongly, against abberant sexual practice. The classic arguments of this sort are Stoic.

        • And of course, Plato was right about everything, and no philosopher, ethicist or scientist since has made any discoveries since his time.

          (Given that Alizia is a fascist who believes in a strict hierarchal society—her words—she may actually believe this.)

        • They are ancient, is what they are, like the belief that the sun goes around the Earth. Plato was wrong about astronomy too. And believed in bunch of gods living on a mountain. Plato was good at abstract thought. Life, however, is not abstract, and gays are not abstractions. Appealing to authority is lazy. Appealing to ancient authority is lazy and insulting. On this topic, Plato didn’t know beans. His world was too narrow.

          • Plato is still relevant insofar as his ideas strike chords in people and speak to wisdom. You have a very reductionist way of speaking about things that are more complex and require more careful exposition. In your area of strength you are often without rival. Here, you are very weak indeed.

            It is not an appeal to authority to refer to European paideia. It was not intended as such. Plato described a process by which a person could structure their mind so that they could receive what he describes in the Seventh Epistle more or less as ‘revelation’. It is a very important idea that has had a tremendous effect on our culture. It requires a prepared mind therefor to approach revelation, and thus ‘god’ (in Platonic terms). What that preparation is has been the topic of a great deal of investigation.

            I made a point and you have either completely avoided seeing it, intentionally, or cannot see it though you could try.

            But this is how it turns out in trying to communicate with people who have an atheistic viewpoint. They cannot and they will not hear, for all they have ears.

            Similarly, on the other side, those who orient themselves or who are innerly structured more toward metaphysical understandings cannot be beaten out of their understandings.

            It is an impasse, as I said.

      • I suppose that what rubs sand in my swimsuit is that, for someone whose consistency I greatly enjoy, incompleteness would seem to beg a more muted assessment from you of people like the bakers- lazy, foolish, gullible. Those seem to be dependent on your own bias of nongodism or some such, either bias or a hell of whopper of an education in behavioral science, genetics, biochemistry, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and thousands of years of experience.

        • Nope. I am very consistent on the principle that assertions of “that’s just the way it is” used to harm others are per se unethical.I don’t ask much, just coherent, substantive, logical arguments. “Leviticus says so is,” in fact, lazy and ignorant. What would you call it? “Here’s why Leviticus was right:….” OK, then there’s a basis for an ethical argument. But “I’ve decided that I can’t treat you like a human being with all of my rights because of what science-free primitives believed 2500 years ago” is not, and that’s all the Klein’s had. What’s your argument?

          If it isn’t better than “because someone else said so,” then don’t bother.

  4. Beethoven was as gay as he was black. So not at all.

    But look who you did leave off your list of light in the loafers luminaries, Ernst Rohm, Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy.

    And when you read some of these artistes’ accounts of their sexual awakenings, like Samuel Delaney or George Takei, they knew they were gay when an older man performed sex acts on them when they were children. Seems as if they weren’t really born that way but were sucked into it.

    • You’re so bigoted and ignorant on this topic it hurts.

      You don’t get to participate in this thread, or this topic. You have nothing to contribute, and it’s not worth my time to have to correct you. It’s definitely pointless to argue with someone with your vile orientation.

      • Though I disagree with his overall attitude, I think he raises a couple of good points in this particular post. How do we know each of the people on this list were undoubtedly gay, especially the ones from the BC side of history?

        Also, what ABOUT those who seem to have been “sucked into it”? I’m sure that’s not the case with every LGBTQ person, but for those whose first sexual experience was being taken advantage of at a young age, is it really fair for the LGBTQ community to say “you don’t have ‘straight’ attractions, so you’re automatically one of us?”

        • 1. That’s not a good point, that’s a logical fallacy. The list was represented as incomplete, and to counter the absurd contention that gays have more influence now than they have in the past. Sure, some of them were bi- and maybe the consensus on some is wrong, but for every one that might not be gay, there are thousands of important gay men and women who we never learned about. If only Leonardo, Michaelangelo, and Turing were on my list, that would have sufficiently rebutted Alizia’s point. That was the Texas Sharpshooter in action.

          2. Thoroughly debunked, and an ancient slur on gays as child predators. And when has “the gay community” ever said that or thought it? I have worked with gay men and women since I was 18. I can’t tell you how ridiculous it sounds to me when I hear gays talked about like they are from another dimension.

          • Certainly some children are preyed upon and taken advantage of by members of the opposite sex and then grow up to be straight, but that has never been used as a reason to argue that their heterosexual orientation is unnatural or wrong. Using the same type of experience to cast doubt on the legitimacy of same-sec attraction strikes me as fallacious.

          • Your opinions are so fixed, and you are so certain of them, that by your own statement there are no possible arguments that can be brought forward. You will shoot them down. What is the point of ‘arguing’ here if that is the way it is?

            I am completely certain that in many ways, some open, some subtle, that homosexuality has been advocated for as a valid social choice. It is presented as the same as and equal to the traditional union. The way this was undertaken is written about, openly, clearly and in detail, by two homosexual activists named Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. They declared that it would be done and how.

            • Your opinions are so fixed, and you are so certain of them, that by your own statement there are no possible arguments that can be brought forward. You will shoot them down. What is the point of ‘arguing’ here if that is the way it is?

              How would you know if you won’t present an actual argument?

              I shot down your procreation argument a while back because it was illogical. I demonstrated how, even though it’s self-evident. My future wife and I cannot have children. Our marriage is worth no less than a procreative marriage. It follows then that procreation can NOT be a logical reason to oppose same-sex relationships.

              Try another one. I find it unlikely that you will find one that is persuasive to me, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. But this is your common tactic: to assert that you just can’t *possibly* present a coherent argument to support your backwards positions, because “this isn’t the place”/“we don’t share the same foundations”/“you are not familiar with this obscure European academic who thinks Hitler had some good ideas.” And yet despite the fact that you spend half your time here talking about how you can’t communicate with the rest of us because of all this, you never. Stop. Writing.

              So put up or shut up.

              I am completely certain that in many ways, some open, some subtle, that homosexuality has been advocated for as a valid social choice. It is presented as the same as and equal to the traditional union.

              Yes, because it is. I know people in gay marriages. There is nothing about them that is less valid than any straight marriage. Nothing.

            • Your opinions are so fixed, and you are so certain of them, that by your own statement there are no possible arguments that can be brought forward. You will shoot them down. What is the point of ‘arguing’ here if that is the way it is?

              My opinions evolve and change constantly, but that process requires evidence and logic, not declarations and definitely not myths and convenient taking points.

              I am completely certain that in many ways, some open, some subtle, that homosexuality has been advocated for as a valid social choice.

              GONG! Homesexuality is not a choice. This is a persistent point of ignorance and myth for anti-gay bigots. Yes, a gay man can choose to be celibate, or to only engage in heterosexual relations, but both are UNnatural for such an individual. A breach of integrity born of fear and self-loathing. And perverse.

              It is presented as the same as and equal to the traditional union.

              It isn’t presented at ALL. Diabetes isn’t “presented.” Baldness isn’t “presented.” You are gay, you are encouraged to not hate yourself for it, and to live the way you want to.

              The way this was undertaken is written about, openly, clearly and in detail, by two homosexual activists named Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. They declared that it would be done and how.

              You are too smart to resort to the distortion of “After the Ball.” The two described how a group that is irrationally feared as “the other” deotherizes as a minority. Since straight people don’t get turned gay, your representation makes as much sense as if the argument that African Americans need to appear responsible, lower their crime rate, and not have kids out of marriage is a plot to turn whites black. All Kirk and Madsen were saying was that it was dumb for gays to highlight their differences, when what mattered more was that they were mostly like everyone else. And they are.

  5. Good post. Small correction: You refer to “Alicia” a lot, but it’s “Alizia.”

    The court’s argument about art, however, is incompetent and embarrassing. Art isn’t art unless others consider it art? So much for Jackson Pollack, hip-hop, James Patterson and Adam Sandler, I guess. That reasoning shouldn’t last 30 seconds in the next appeal.

    Hm. I found the part you quoted convincing; they’re saying that no one would take the cake as a message endorsing homosexuality. In which case I’d have to agree. No one assumes that any bakery approves of whatever specific relationship they’re making a cake for.

  6. What a terrible honor you have given me, Jack! It is a COTD that is really your Badge of Shame. You are the Devil himself. 😉

    My position is really a pretty fair one, taken on the whole. I say that we must all accept that homosexuality exists —- we will have to whether we like it or not and that is just a fact —- but what I object to, and what I will militate against (in word and in monetary contribution) is to the use of PR and Hollywood propaganda, or various forms of marketing or activism, to sell, or purvey, or inculcate, and yes to ‘normalize’ homosexuality as an option. It should not be seen as such.

    It is true that the core of my spiritual philosophy is that of traditional Catholicism, and that traditional Catholicism notices that ‘liberalism’ (this is a specific term used in an Papal Encyclical and is different from what we normally understand as liberalism: the liberalism Pius X (1917) refers to is a movement withinin theology that nullifies supernaturalism), that liberalism has become excessively powerful and as such is revolutionary, destructive to traditional values, and as I often say in my writing is an ‘acid’ and one of many different acids that is in operation, with increasing intensity, in our societies and in our idea-realm.

    To understand the Catholic perspective on sexuality and on sexual abuses, one has to make a concerted effort to study them. I admit that they are demanding and difficult, but so is living as a traditional Catholic! and I also note that many moderrns desire to break down most and perhaps all of the restraints in behavior that have been established by traditional culture, including theological definitions, and that this is part of a large process that is on-going in our societies. And as everyone knows one of the principle areas where revolution has been and is conducted pertains to sexuality and sexual practice.

    I only would point out that Catholic doctrine is strict in this area (and in many areas) and that, having researched the topic, I tend to agree with the Catholic position in principle. I definitely believe that unrestrained sexuality, and unrestrained practice of sex, once it breaks out of restraint, will continue the breaking of restraints. It will go on and on and will lead to the loss of many important things. Sexual restraint and the ‘appropriate’ channeling of sexuality, is a core and necessary value.

    However to understand this position, and then to grasp why I hold to some other of the opinions I do, you must understand that I see the reining in of sexual licence among all people, all partners, and in all relationships, as being necessary, male and female as well, but I am speaking about a certain moral stance which cannot merely be imposed but must be understood. To understand it means that it must be taught. To teach it means that people capable of purveying the values must exist.

    Perhaps the best way to understand the ‘why’ of this position can be found in St Paul. I accept those admonitions, and because of that I accept the traditions of the Catholic Church starting from the early days: through the definitions of the Apostolic Fathers. ‘You cannot simultaneously pray to God and masturbate’ is a crude but direct way to express a truth that I feel is important. Well, I am certain it is important but I have no power to impose it, only to attempt to describe it.

    So, here I have made a general reference to the topic of sexual ethics and morality of the religious variety, and that which informs traditional Catholicism. It is a highly rational, indeed it is an intellectual position. But in order to understand it fully, and this of course Pius X explained in his Encyclical (which had nothing to do with sexuality, just with ‘modernism’ and revolution), one has to be versed in scholasticism. That mean to be familar with the metaphysical tenets at the core of the Catholic structure-of-view.

    Now, what I have said is in many ways a far more permissive posture. What I say is simple. I say that homosexuality should not be advocated for. Various times over the last 2-1/2 years I had mentioned a certain book: ‘After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear & Hatred of Gays in the 90s’ as a reference text for the extended public relations campaign that, over some decades, has brought homosexuality not only out of the closet but into the marketplace, into the schools, into the movies, and well into the culture. In this sense, and like many other things, it has been ‘marketed’ and ‘sold’. And it is this I am opposed to. I will also mention —- and I have mentioned it before —- that its imposition on culture came about through ‘social engineering’. I also have come to see that sexuality has become a tool in the hands of private industry and also of government and that sexuality is an excellent tool of social manipulation. Therefor, I advocte for awareness primarily; resistance to and exposure of social engineering; and then for a renewal of consideration about the fundamental category of sexual expression.

    Since I do —- conceptually at least —- grasp that there is such a thing as Sacraments, and that marriage is such a sacrament, I would definely argue that only the male-female relationship can be, and should be, sacramentally validated. I understand that someone might wish to see any loving couple as having all the requirements to be enabled by a sacramental bond, here I disagree, and is forceful terms. The reasons are quite simple at least in my conception (though the Catholic argument is more vigorous I reckon). I say that only the fruitful man-woman union should be sacramentalized in formal, that is, in Church ceremony. I could go on to explain my reasoning here but the essence of it is that only this union can produce a family, and the family is and indeed must be the nucleus of society. But ‘fruitfulness’ is just one factor, though a large on, and is not the only one.

    In my view therefor I oppose ‘gay marriage’ so called. As I have said, it is ‘metaphysically unsound’ and ‘theologically unsound’, but I do understand that to see this requires a certain idea-foundation. So, I relent insofar as I cannot oppose the union of two people of the same sex. Who can? No one can. But the sacrament of marriage should not be extended to homosexual couples. I also believe that ‘people of conscience’, including homosexual people, should not advocate for increasing awareness of gay options, or ‘advertising’ gayness, or shouting it from the rooftops. It seems to me a question of discretion really. But I also recognize that many homosexuals see themselves, and their sexual practices, and simply therir existence and carrying-on as ‘normal’. I cannot oppose them.

    I understand Christian opposition to Gay Marriage. But those who oppose gay marriage, very often, do not really understand the reasons for opposing it. That is, they do not understand the Scholastic philosophy. And this is most often the case among Protestants. The Protestant opposition I would describe as semi-ideological but more emotional. They feel that they are losing ground in society generally and gay marriage is just one more bit of evidence of the decline of Christianity as a guiding influence. I respect them though.

    In fine, my position, if you went to the very core of it, is one that seeks to define and redefine ‘traditionalism at the metaphysical level. Really, as a sort of revival within the Occident. My views on sexual deviency are not solely brought out against homosexuals (though that sort of union does break all bonds of traditional structure and thus can become adversarial to traditional values and culture); but definitely against general perversion in our present. I maintain that this deviancy is an ailment and a sickness and comes about through man’s debasement and, in essence, falling away from the valuation of supernatural principles.

    The movement that I feel a part of, a movement that while not headed by youth is gaining ground among youth internationally, seeks to rein-in deviancy and liberal excesses. And it seeks to rediscover and reanimate traditional values. We see ourselves as having a larger, and an important, historical role in the protection of Europe.

    I do not see any ethical failing in the position I just described. I see it as ethically sound and really quite decent.

    • “and yes to ‘normalize’ homosexuality as an option”.

      My middle child, my oldest son is left handed. Had he been born a generation or two ago, he would have been forced to use his right hand – to be “normalized”.

      My youngest child, my second son, is gay. His “gayness” is as a part of him as his older brother is being left handed. Neither are an “option” for either child.

      Might either of them be tied to a chair and forced to be who they are not, to behave in ways that are “unnatural” for them. In your world, yes. But thank god they don’t live in your world. Thank god no child does.

        • Who do you ‘treasure’ the most, Chris? Or of those you ‘treasure’ are you an equal opportunity treasurer? 😉

          I am sure that you treasure-me-not and yet I cry-not-much about this.

          I laugh-a-great-deal at your transparent antics.

          Now, wipe your nose!

      • La Sylphide writes: “Might either of them be tied to a chair and forced to be who they are not, to behave in ways that are “unnatural” for them. In your world, yes. But thank god they don’t live in your world. Thank god no child does.”

        You present an emotion-based argument, taken on the whole. I am always a bit puzzled how to proceed when dealing with emotional arguments.

        Homosexuality exists and, it seems, has always existed. Because that is so I reckon it must be tolerated. Yet the ‘sexual revolution’ has brought out different forms of homosexual expression, and has, in my view, promoted it. In movies, on TV, down main street, and then as it trickles down into the educational institutions to susceptible youngsters. Malleable youngsters. I believe that it should not be promoted. It should not be encouraged. I have not made any statement as to what that must mean. I am not sure.

        So, as much as you may wish that I carry forward your rehearsal as demon, I am afraid to inform you that I already have a lifetime role I am playing for my beloved Chris. It doesn’t pay much yet costs a great deal. If I get released fom my contract I’ll let you know. Do you cuss as well? 😉

        Mrs Q has written an interesting piece which presents some different angles to see into this question. I have to read it again but some parts ot it if they don’t support my position, may shed some light on it. I mention this only because I think this thread interesting and the more the conversation is expanded, the better.

        • “susceptible youngsters. Malleable youngsters.”

          You are so right. My son was susceptible to being left handed. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…. he was so so malleable. I should have caught it in his high chair the first time he reached for a cheerio with his left hand and I said “Oh Jesus Christ, he’s left handed….. off to we synagogue we go! Maybe they can save him!”

          Seriously, Alizia?

          • La Sylphide, do you have some good Jewish humor still intact? OK, so I have some suggestions:

            Don’t tie that kid to a chair. Say “Look, you, either you turn straight or I will have you circumcised!”

            He will do some serious thinking as he looks up at you like the Passover Lamb. .

            Then when he says “OK, I’m going straight, Ma! I want to get married to the girl next door!”

            You answer: “Not in your uncircumsized state you aren’t!”

            It is a Jewish double-bind! Similar to a ‘Mexican Standoff’ perhaps.

            (On a serious note I suggest that you read what I write more carefully and reflect more on it.)

              • You assert I have ‘no leg to stand on’ and thus you must conclude that anything I say is ‘deflection’. It is a circular pattern. And it is transparent.

                I have asserted that homosexual culture, and homosexual advocacy, and the ‘selling’ of homosexuality, as an option to youth (as one clear example) is a real thing. And it is a thing I oppose, philosophically. I will give at least some indications of what this can look like in Part Two.

                Alicia’s (if I remember her name right and I have at least one good reason to assume I do) argument has to do with her son and her understanding that he originated homosexual. I have no argument against that and no reason to. It is not my concern or really much of my philosophical interest to even ask what he should do or not do about his state.

                I am aware, however, that there exist homosexuals, of both genders, who have confronted their sexuality and, for one reason or another, opted to (for example) resist their impulses. They have written books, they give talks, their perspective is there, considerable. But this is not my area of interest nor the area that concerns me. I mention it because you assume your conclusions about homosexuality (as a ‘problem’) are absolute and self-evident. They are not. Yet they are your opinions and I respect them.

                The area I am concerned about is the one that I write about, and did write about, in my initial essay. My position is clear, rational, has integrity and is ethical.

                Now, with that said did you hear the one about the Jewish St Bernard? So this guy had a St Bernard with the little keg and he goes to Temple one day but the beedle stops him. ‘You can’t go in with a dog!’

                “Oh but this is a really special dog, watch!”

                He gives a little gesture and the dog slips off the keg, opens it, takes out a kippah and tellifin, puts them on, and stands on his hindlegs with his tongue out looking up at the beedle, smiling dog-like. .

                “Man! That is something else!” says the beedle. “You know, you could take that dog to Vegas and make a fortune with him!”

                “Yeah, I thought that too” he says a little sadly. “But he tells me he wants to be a dentist!”

    • Let’s begin with this: to argue that conduct is wrong, as in unethical, one must be able to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened. Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical. For example, it is easy to argue why “Don’t kill people” is a valid principle without having to resort to “because God says so.”

      Now:

      What a terrible honor you have given me, Jack! It is a COTD that is really your Badge of Shame. You are the Devil himself. 😉

      Everything is good publicity as long as they spell your name right. Oh. Right…

      My position is really a pretty fair one, taken on the whole. I say that we must all accept that homosexuality exists —- we will have to whether we like it or not and that is just a fact —- but what I object to, and what I will militate against (in word and in monetary contribution) is to the use of PR and Hollywood propaganda, or various forms of marketing or activism, to sell, or purvey, or inculcate, and yes to ‘normalize’ homosexuality as an option. It should not be seen as such.

      FOUL It is not an “option.” People are gay, or not. Being short isn’t an option. Being old isn’t an option. This is an old myth/canard/libel, that people choose to be gay. They do not. The research is very clear, and I have had enough conversation with gay friends to be secure in this.

      It is true that the core of my spiritual philosophy is that of traditional Catholicism, and that traditional Catholicism notices that ‘liberalism’ (this is a specific term used in an Papal Encyclical and is different from what we normally understand as liberalism: the liberalism Pius X (1917) refers to is a movement within theology that nullifies supernaturalism), that liberalism has become excessively powerful and as such is revolutionary, destructive to traditional values, and as I often say in my writing is an ‘acid’ and one of many different acids that is in operation, with increasing intensity, in our societies and in our idea-realm.

      Gibberish. People are people. Accepting how people are is ethical. All this abstract jargon is just a way to gild the garbage. I don’t care about doctrine, movements, or any of that: they are irrelevant to the ethical issue. Do gays have the same rights as anyone else? Yes. Is there ant reason to deny them? No.
      Easy.

      To understand the Catholic perspective on sexuality and on sexual abuses, one has to make a concerted effort to study them. I admit that they are demanding and difficult, but so is living as a traditional Catholic! and I also note that many moderns desire to break down most and perhaps all of the restraints in behavior that have been established by traditional culture, including theological definitions, and that this is part of a large process that is on-going in our societies. And as everyone knows one of the principle areas where revolution has been and is conducted pertains to sexuality and sexual practice.

      The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t even believe in its own alleged principles. This isn’t just an appeal to authority, it’s an appeal to a corrupt authority.

      I only would point out that Catholic doctrine is strict in this area (and in many areas) and that, having researched the topic, I tend to agree with the Catholic position in principle. I definitely believe that unrestrained sexuality, and unrestrained practice of sex, once it breaks out of restraint, will continue the breaking of restraints. It will go on and on and will lead to the loss of many important things. Sexual restraint and the ‘appropriate’ channeling of sexuality, is a core and necessary value.

      More blather and fantasy. Gays no more engage in “unrestrained sexuality” than straights. Like straights, married committed gays engage in far less “unrestrained sexuality’ than unmarried gays. By that measure, the Church should support gay marriage. But that would make sense. All of this is abstraction. Useless in real world problems.

      However to understand this position, and then to grasp why I hold to some other of the opinions I do, you must understand that I see the reining in of sexual license among all people, all partners, and in all relationships, as being necessary, male and female as well, but I am speaking about a certain moral stance which cannot merely be imposed but must be understood. To understand it means that it must be taught. To teach it means that people capable of purveying the values must exist.

      Still waiting for an actual argument. This is like a filibuster. WHY is reining in of sexual license among all people, all partners, and in all relationships “necessary”? Why is it any of your business?

      Perhaps the best way to understand the ‘why’ of this position can be found in St Paul. I accept those admonitions, and because of that I accept the traditions of the Catholic Church starting from the early days: through the definitions of the Apostolic Fathers. ‘You cannot simultaneously pray to God and masturbate’ is a crude but direct way to express a truth that I feel is important. Well, I am certain it is important but I have no power to impose it, only to attempt to describe it.

      There is no reason or data here, Alizia. “Paul said so” means nothing, and has no value. He was from a different time and culture, and thought the world was flat. I wouldn’t let him teach third grade today. What you “feel” is also no argument.

      So, here I have made a general reference to the topic of sexual ethics and morality of the religious variety, and that which informs traditional Catholicism. It is a highly rational, indeed it is an intellectual position. But in order to understand it fully, and this of course Pius X explained in his Encyclical (which had nothing to do with sexuality, just with ‘modernism’ and revolution), one has to be versed in scholasticism. That mean to be familar with the metaphysical tenets at the core of the Catholic structure-of-view.

      How is a position devoid of analysis, reality, data, research and real world comparisons and balancing “intellectual”? This is a dodge.

      Now, what I have said is in many ways a far more permissive posture. What I say is simple. I say that homosexuality should not be advocated for.

      Nobody is advocating FOR homosexuality. Gays, as human beings, deserve the same rights as human beings. The burden of proof is on those who would have otherwise.

      Various times over the last 2-1/2 years I had mentioned a certain book: ‘After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear & Hatred of Gays in the 90s’ as a reference text for the extended public relations campaign that, over some decades, has brought homosexuality not only out of the closet but into the marketplace, into the schools, into the movies, and well into the culture. In this sense, and like many other things, it has been ‘marketed’ and ‘sold’.

      Nonsense. I read it, long ago. It is a straightforward explanation of who a group that has been unjustly otherized makes people, realize that they are like everyone else.

      And it is this I am opposed to. I will also mention —- and I have mentioned it before —- that its imposition on culture came about through ‘social engineering’. I also have come to see that sexuality has become a tool in the hands of private industry and also of government and that sexuality is an excellent tool of social manipulation. Therefor, I advocte for awareness primarily; resistance to and exposure of social engineering; and then for a renewal of consideration about the fundamental category of sexual expression.

      Conspiracy theory gibberish and double talk. Still waiting: what’s wrong with being gay. Who is harmed? Why should society care?

      Since I do —- conceptually at least —- grasp that there is such a thing as Sacraments, and that marriage is such a sacrament, I would definely argue that only the male-female relationship can be, and should be, sacramentally validated.

      Religions can define marriage however they like. The government can’t. Constitution, you know. This is shifting the goalposts. Fine religions that won’t allow gays to marry will lose them to other churches. Don’t care. Irrelevant to the ethics of gay marriage.

      I understand that someone might wish to see any loving couple as having all the requirements to be enabled by a sacramental bond, here I disagree, and is forceful terms. The reasons are quite simple at least in my conception (though the Catholic argument is more vigorous I reckon). I say that only the fruitful man-woman union should be sacramentalized in formal, that is, in Church ceremony. I could go on to explain my reasoning here but the essence of it is that only this union can produce a family, and the family is and indeed must be the nucleus of society. But ‘fruitfulness’ is just one factor, though a large on, and is not the only one.

      Again, I don’t care. The idea that marriage is only valid if the objective is to have children is demonstrably a straw man, and phony.

      In my view therefor I oppose ‘gay marriage’ so called. As I have said, it is ‘metaphysically unsound’ and ‘theologically unsound’, but I do understand that to see this requires a certain idea-foundation.

      Self parody. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOUR OBJECTIONs IN REAL, CONCRETE ETHICAL TERMS?

      So, I relent insofar as I cannot oppose the union of two people of the same sex. Who can? No one can. But the sacrament of marriage should not be extended to homosexual couples.

      See above. The baker wasn’t talking about sacraments, he was saying that gay couples were bad. Why are they bad?

      I also believe that ‘people of conscience’, including homosexual people, should not advocate for increasing awareness of gay options, or ‘advertising’ gayness, or shouting it from the rooftops. It seems to me a question of discretion really. But I also recognize that many homosexuals see themselves, and their sexual practices, and simply therir existence and carrying-on as ‘normal’. I cannot oppose them.

      De ja vu. Still waiting for a reason to oppose gays other than “Paul said so.”

      I understand Christian opposition to Gay Marriage. But those who oppose gay marriage, very often, do not really understand the reasons for opposing it. That is, they do not understand the Scholastic philosophy. And this is most often the case among Protestants. The Protestant opposition I would describe as semi-ideological but more emotional. They feel that they are losing ground in society generally and gay marriage is just one more bit of evidence of the decline of Christianity as a guiding influence. I respect them though.

      Huminahuminahumina…

      In fine, my position, if you went to the very core of it, is one that seeks to define and redefine ‘traditionalism at the metaphysical level. Really, as a sort of revival within the Occident. My views on sexual deviency are not solely brought out against homosexuals (though that sort of union does break all bonds of traditional structure and thus can become adversarial to traditional values and culture); but definitely against general perversion in our present. I maintain that this deviancy is an ailment and a sickness and comes about through man’s debasement and, in essence, falling away from the valuation of supernatural principles.

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Huh? What? Did I miss anything?

      The movement that I feel a part of, a movement that while not headed by youth is gaining ground among youth internationally, seeks to rein-in deviancy and liberal excesses.

      Irrelevant. “deviency” and “liberal excess” are pejorative terms without substance. Undefined, they are just agitprop.

      And it seeks to rediscover and reanimate traditional values.

      “Traditional values” are more such vague terms. I can list ethical values. Go back far enough, and pick the right religion, and “traditional values” can mean “beat your kids” and “make sure your wife doesn’t work.”

      We see ourselves as having a larger, and an important, historical role in the protection of Europe.

      You can see yourself as aardvark, for all I care. You still haven’t articulated an ethical argument

      I do not see any ethical failing in the position I just described. I see it as ethically sound and really quite decent.

      To the contrary, it has no ethical content at all. No balancing, no reason, no data. You whiffed. You were smoked. You got nothin’.

      • Beautiful takedown, Jack.

        It really is amazing how content-free Alizia’s posts are. They certainly are long, but they rarely contain any real ethical principles or full, reasoned arguments. It’s all dancing around the issue, all the time. Most here can say more in three sentences than she can in three pages. For that she resents us.

      • Jack. I don’t think you acknowledge the underlying position sufficiently, or at least the only position that holds any sense ( not that it holds much for me any more, but we can never fully escape our upbringings.) // Here goes: We can easily fall into debauchery and moral failing. We owe it to our children to set a good example and keep them clear of bad influences. Just one try at drugs and it is a slippery path to addiction. One try at male /male sex and you might be lost forever. We need to strive always to avoid and protect our children from depravity – gambling, drinking, drugs, inappropriate sex etc. Temptation is all around us, along with those who will try to seduce us away from decent, God fearing ways. For males, cold showers, vigorous exercise, prayer and bible reading are the best defences. Our willpower and character are under constant assault. Sexual desire is always dangerous and can only be properly accommodated in male /female married relationships, and perhaps even then only in the missionary position with a view to making children.

        I had no difficulty being fully supportive of our recent move (in Australia) to legitamise same sex marriages. This made a lot of people very happy, and to my mind it would have been massively mean to stand in their way. It had no impact for me or my immediate family.

        But (perhaps with my bias amitted above) you might understand my wariness when some suggest my 7 year old grandson should be encouraged (at school) to consider whether he wants to be a ‘he’ or a ‘she’; and whether he might in due course form a life long family building relationship with a man or a woman.

        I think this is in part what Alizia means when she talks against ‘promoting homosexuality’ (but who am I to claim to understand her.). If so, I have some sympathy with her (over this, but nothing else!)

  7. Mark Putnam writes: “Am I reading to far ahead in my own imagination that Ethics would strip religion from religion? Do I misunderstand your starting point for ethics being based on something like “no harm = probably ethical, so permissible and therefore no place for material expressed objection”?

    I have come to understand that Jack’s ethics has stepped absolutely beyond any anterior definitions, and also any validation of religious morality or ‘revelation’ upon which to onstruct an ethical system, and therefor an ethical society. I do fairly well understand that his background is jurisprudence and ethics, and therefor if an ethic is going to be posited it has to be explainable just as a point of law must be explained.

    A religious command is not really an ethical choice. In order to make an ethical choice one has to arrive at a decision by grappling with it intellectually, rationally, discursively.

    I cannot argue with that position as no other position could function within an ethics forum. If it became a religious-ethics forum it would I think become a little nutty.

    I see Jack’s position as being ‘authentically American’ insofar as the Founding Fathers had more of his orientation than that of religious zealots. In any case, this is what I have come to understand of Jack’s orientation.

    • Yet you mostly seem to be arguing from a religious perspective, which isn’t going to sway anyone who doesn’t already share your religion.

      So what then are the best NON-religious objections to promoting homosexuality?

        • Alizia shares the same definition of “promoting homosexuality” as the Russian government.

          Federal laws passed on 29 June 2013 ban the distribution of “propaganda” to minors which promotes “non-traditional sexual relationships”.[64] Critics contend the law makes illegal holding any sort of public demonstration in favour of gay rights, speak in defence of LGBT rights, and distribute material related to LGBT culture, or to state that same-sex relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.[65][66][67][68] Additionally the laws have received international condemnation from human rights campaigners, and media outlets that even displays of LGBT symbols, such as the rainbow flag, have resulted in arrests, and incited homophobic violence, like is documented in the Channel 4 documentary Hunted which followed anti-gay groups as they lured young gay men into traps where they were humiliated, with the footage later posted online.[6]

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Russia#Propaganda_bans

          In other words: advocating that LGBT people should have rights is “promoting homosexuality.” This post is promoting homosexuality by that definition, Jack.

        • No, it really isn’t. But anyone who makes the assertion will be labled a ‘crazy’ and this becomes circular.

          I think it requires a spiritual and a religious argument, which is an existential-metaphysical argument, to oppose deviant sexuality (and other deviancies). But I also think that you completely and absolutely reject these views. They are unreal for you, inconsiderable. And you are certainly not alone!

          You and many many other people who operate from your preferred viewpoint and its predicates see anyone who has different ones as ‘crazies’. There will likely come a day when a religious orientation, and the ‘belief’ that it entails, will be understood as a symptom of mental illness.

          And thus your word ‘crazy’ takes on added dimension.

          But I argue —- and I will get better and better at it —- that the viewstructure in which atheists live is s symptom of decadence and a result of an intellectual fault, a reasoning problem. The cure is to go back through the theological arguments, Thomism-style.

          So this is how it often goes: The Christian or Catholic (or other religious) looks at modern man and sees him losing his grip, ‘falling’ as it were, and labels it a result of a spiritual illness.

          The atheists see all religious impulse as a sign of mental illness, which is to say a physiological-mental disorder. Likely there is some drug that can inhibit its manifestation!

          It is a curious impasse.

          • Alizia, paraphrased: ‘I can’t explain my position without appealing to magic.’

            Also Alizia, paraphrased: ‘Anyone who doesn’t understand this has a reasoning problem.’

            • I fully grasp that the Greco-Christian understanding of the descent of the salvific opportunity into this manifestation is comprehended as ‘magic’, that is, as hallucination. I understand why this view is becoming common, and also militant.

              Since this is a fundamental tenet of my definitions about life and being, yes, I am certainly dependent on ‘magic’.

              And when I notice, as I have begun to notice, that people can no longer understand the ideational pathway (that is, the scholastic-Aristotelian intellectual processes) to be able to understand how God is conceived, and when I notice that in that absense they seem to become sickish, yes, I am operating within the structure of a specific viewing-system. This I can see and I admit it.

              It is one that is quite foundational to Europe and highly relevant to European culture. Indeed, the magnificent Shakespeare in every sense is a product of and speak out of this metaphysics. What we call ‘meaning’ and ‘value’ in this world has been defined by men who followed these lines of reasoning.

              And along comes ‘Chris’ who has seen through all this mishegoss. Who sees ‘correctly’ and ‘truly’ and is part of an intellectual vanguard to repair incorrect view.

              Yes indeed, those who cannot or who will not understand the inner dimensions of these issues suffer, in my view, from a reasoning problem. And that is why I always say: I’m here to help.

              Oh goody! At Joe Arpaio’s Reeducation Center we have a new title just in! You’re going to feel so privelaged!

              [https://youtu.be/JWzjn0N9g4g]

              • No one tell Alizia that Shakespeare was probably gay.

                That Aristotelian forms of thought are foundational to Europe does not mean they always produced correct conclusions, or that we haven’t discovered superior arguments since. You do know that, right?

                Freud was foundational to psychology; that doesn’t mean psychologists should still tell their male patients that their every problem is rooted in wanting to have sex with their mother.

                  • Oh sure, just because he dressed up men in pretty pretty dresses and had them kiss other men suddenly that’s gay?

                    A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted,
                    Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
                    A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
                    With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion:
                    An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
                    Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
                    A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
                    Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
                    And for a woman wert thou first created;
                    Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
                    And by addition me of thee defeated,
                    By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
                    But since she prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure,
                    Mine be thy love and thy love’s use their treasure.

                • Your obstinacy could try a Prophet, indeed it is trying a Prophetess.

                  You always miss the larger idea and divert into an irrelevancy. It does not matter at all to my point if Shakespeare is or is not a homosexual. And I have no reason to take anything away from any homosexual person, as person. I clearly wrote out how I conceive the question.

                  The point here is not that any part of this is going to be settled with a zinger. The point is to see the larger structres in operation and attempt to understand them.

                  That said, I have secured for you not the best room in Dungeon A6. Sunlight must be pumped in I am sad to say. But on the up-site there is lots of vermin and the extra protein may be considered a positive trade-off.

            • Here is the argument against homosexuality.

              http://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.culture.israel/Sw_trqGo3k8/jsSpaoArDgAJ

              So, we the Rabbis of Orthodox Judaism took a concerning look at the effects of the LGBTQ on the congregations of the Jews. We could see the lessening of morals and unjustified justification of sodomy and various other behavior that reduces civilizations for termination. Now judgement has come on mankind and we pray HaShem spares his people the Jews.

              I pray for the Judenvolk as well.

      • I think ultimately my perspective is based on principles that are foundational to a specific religion and perhaps others. In this sense I see the structure that informs me as religio-philosophical. Platonic, neoplatonic. I guess you would have no way except to see Catholicism as expressing a ‘religious viewpoint’. I see it somewhat differently. I see it as being a formulation of Greek paideia. Thereofr, I prefer the term ‘existential platform’ or existential-metaphysical platform’.

        These are the structures of view that are foundational to Occidental consciousness.

        I am less trying to influence anyone as I am attempting to clarify my own values and views. That is why I came to this forum in the first place. This forum is an excellent place for that! This Blog gives so many excellent examples of American liberalism in motion, and so much to batle against, that one could wear our one’s club striking at them.

        One could probably dig up some non-metaphysical and non-religious arguments against homosexuality and possibly against abberant sexuality, but it is more point-of-fact that in the absense of a metaphysical structure, anything goes.

        It is the ‘anything goes’ part that will jump back and bite, sooner or later. Within this liberalized ethical structure the revolution will continue and the most unreal and outrageous practices will become normalized. And day-by-day the ethical system will be modified to accommodate

        One requires a metaphysical base in my view.

  8. It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules on the Colorado case. Whether a wedding cake is affirmed to be an artistic expression remains to be seen. However, I am trouble by the use of the term bigot to describe anyone that opposes gay marriage. Marriage has been traditionally defined as between a man and a woman. I think anyone who opposes civil unions between gays would qualify as a bigot. Not so sure about those who oppose marriage being redefined as including gay couples on religious grounds.
    Quoting scripture to a gay or any other person is obnoxious and makes me puke!

    • I don’t and have never said that opposing gay marriage is necessarily based on bigotry. Using Leviticus to so justify opposing it, however, is the act of a bigot. So is writing about gays the way Alizia did.

        • Alizia Tyler wrote, “No Jack. Not bigoted. Different from how you think and see.”

          False. Just because you don’t “think” you are bigoted doesn’t mean that you aren’t bigot.

          Bigot: A person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

          Everyone is bigoted Alizia, not everyone allows their bigotries to control their thoughts and actions.

          You Alizia are a bigot and you allow your bigotries to control your thoughts, once you accept that fact you can then learn to not allow your bigotries to control your thoughts and actions.

          • The word is not the appropriate one. It is too charged with judgment. I am opposed to a range of behaviors (I have written a good deal about this) and my base argument is religious and philosophical.

            It is true that I would (and we who think in this way would) be required to present a list of reasons why I think homosexuality is destructive and non-desirable. It is also true that I have not presented such a list. But that I have the opinion that I do (about abberant sexuality) is not because I am a ‘bigot’.

            The reason I am as adamant about my opinion, or to extend it: the reason some religious people are as adamant as they are, and the validity of their belief and reasoning, is definitely up for debate.

            But it is not because of bigotry. That is, if one looks into the question.

            As I have so amazingly painfully and patiently been attempting to explain, plaintively, imploringly, in one and then another post, self sacrificingly, generously, in pure good-faith, is that these convictions turn upon metaphysical questions and fundamental definitions about value.

            To then say that I am a bigot because I ‘allow’ my convictions to determine my moral and ethical ideas and opinions, is innaccurate.

            • It is true that I would (and we who think in this way would) be required to present a list of reasons why I think homosexuality is destructive and non-desirable. It is also true that I have not presented such a list. But that I have the opinion that I do (about abberant sexuality) is not because I am a ‘bigot’.

              Then prove it. Present the list. What are you waiting for?

              • Chris asked me: “What are you waiting for? (To provide some reasons to oppose or discourage homosexuality).

                A sign from the heavens?

                I think homosexuality should be discouraged, not encouraged. Carried on discreetly in all cases. Not ‘taught’ in schools as an option or presented as such. My partial list would include:

                1) Homosexuality results in a genetic dead-end. It is non-sustainable in this sense. Men who opt not to marry and have a family (priests for example) also do not pass themselves on genetically. I know this. But it is simply a fact about homosexual unions. Homosexuality is ‘maladaptive’.

                2) You are already aware of my non-fertile argument. (And nothing you said successfully countered it). No homosexual union can of itself produce children. Men would have to adopt, or hire a surrogate. While any fertile woman can have a child, it is not the child of that union. I can see many reasons why it should be higher valued that a man-woman relationship produces offspring in which both partners are generically and in other senses invested. I do no discount that a homosexual couple can successfully raise a child, I gather that many do. But since I am speaking in terms of discouragement, and offering reasons in support of that, I feel that for a group of reasons the male-female family is a ‘better’ one. But this does not mean that I cannot recognize a very poor hterosexual family and a far better homosexual one. I think this argument arises in ‘traditional notions of the familly’. The strength of the argument can be argued secularly, but as you know my orietation is toward the religious and metaphysical argument. Obviously, I do not accept the pure and simple material-pragmatic worldpicture and, certainly, I recognize other dimensions.

                3) I think male homosexual relationships will always be tainted with the facts and also the aesthetics of sodomy. No matter how it is looked at it is a vile, non-aesthetic practice. It is simply disgusting in and of itself. It does not matter to me that some men and women practice it. They too are practicing something truly ‘unnatural’. The male organ, with its fructifying function, when directed to the rectum and the elimination-area and process is unnatural, unhealthy and as I have said before ‘metaphysically unsound’. But to say this I would have to reveal the metaphysical reasons. They have to do with the improperness of the act, and then the sheer fruitlessness, coupled with aesthtic and health concerns.

                4) The Gay Movement, as the feminism movement, because it is counter-natural to the basic, biological human relationship, has tended to align itself with other revolutionary or perhaps the word is socially counter-cultural animus. There is something undermining in it. I know that some part of the reaction of gays to their ‘oppression’ causes them, when the conditions arise, to come together in political unions to show themselves, to carry on, to parade around (and to exhibit what I and many other consider disgusting and vulgar behavior in public), and perhap there are far more discreet homosexuals who have no need for that. But as I see things the gay ‘life-style’ is by its very nature subversive to conventional family. I have seen people attempt to knock that argument down but as I have thought about it, and as I say, there is always something subversive and undermining —- even threatening in either a mild or a srong sense —- about the possibility that gays have of disassociating from ‘normalcy’.

                5) The health argument is compelling. Sodomy results (from what I have read) of damage to that part of the anatomy which does not and cannot serve the function. If what I have read is true there are many health-related factors (cuts, lesions, and then infections, even cancers) which weigh in against sodomy practices.

                6) I am of the opinion that homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ in more than just the obvious sense. I think it is intuitively and also viscerally recognized as something not to be accepted, and then in some cultures to be definitely excluded. Thus, it has a long history of being unaccepted. I am inclined not to see that as arising from backwardness, or as we might say today intolerance, but rather because it really is and really should be discouraged. It happens, this I recognize. It will always happen, this I too recognize. I have merely said that it should be discouraged, not played-up. I have already spoken about this. The rise of a homosexual culture, in the specific present with its specific features, is certainly a newish phenomenon. In this sense it is dependent on this present and on many of the present’s predicates. These are (as anyone who reads what I write will know) ephemeral occurances. I do not think they can be sustained. I think that it will naturally happen that many of the tenets of hyper-liberalism (liberalism-gone-wild) will be reversed. Therefor, the very age we live in, with its predicates and allowences, will shift. In this shift I think that deviant sexuality will be reined in and along with it permissiveness, or ‘excessive permissiveness’, of homosexuality.

                7) A homosexual family is a family that imitates a normal family. It is a strange form of parody in my view. It seems to desire to have all the elements that a heterosexual family will have, and yet it can only gain these artificially. I cannot say I blame someone who would want that, but I can merely note that it looks false and artificial.

                8) Homosexuals and their unions always remain attached to the heterosexual culture that produces them. So do we all. But they cannot ever go off as explorers and found a colony, unless they resort to all sort of technological innovations and mediation. Who knows, it could happen. But just in this there is, in my view, a suspect, or perhaps a tragic element. To be born a homosexual, if indeed that happens (I accept that it does), seems not really a blessing but a curse of sorts. One can never really be free in it nor with it. Society has to rise up and adapt itself to helping the maladapted homosexual to live a generally safe, happy and productive life. Thus the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ is oddly parasitical. I do not mean this in the sense of verminous.

                There are my basic reasons. I could likely come up with others.

                I have not really touched the religious or the Christian argument since, it appears, no one wants to hear of it. Yet I think it has to be considered. And then because the Church, and some Protestant groups, taje a moral stand against it it then becomes an objective to weaken or destroy that which seems to suppress one, or oppress one. That would entail a part of my argument too. But since I think that materialistic, pragmatic, and scientistic society is actively working to undermine classical metaphysics (what else could it do given its epistemology and predicates) that the homosexual movement, in combination with other revolutiionary movements, has actively militated against religious institutions but moreover the underlying metaphysics. (This would be another area of my opposition).

                One two three: Let the tearing to shreds begin! 😉 Insult, bark, bite, snarl, nip, curse!

                • Correction to No 2: “While any fertile homosexual woman can have a child, it is not the child of that union. I can see many reasons why it should not be more higher valued than that of a man-woman relationship which produces offspring in which both partners are generically and in other senses invested. ”

                • Edit in final paragraph:

                  I wrote: “And then because the Church, and some Protestant groups, taje a moral stand against it it then becomes an objective to weaken or destroy that which seems to suppress one, or oppress one. That would entail a part of my argument too.”

                  I mean: “Because the Churches take a moral stand against homosexuality, it then becomes the object of homosexual activists to undermine the authority of the churches. And in this way gay culture participates in a general undermining of religion. In this way gay culture, along with other rebellious movements, acts as an acid in culture.”

                • Alizia,

                  Thank you for finally providing your list of reasons for why you believe homosexual activity should be discouraged. I am not sure why you made us wade through dozens of other comments before presenting an argument that could be addressed, but I’m glad you finally did.

                  That said, each of your arguments is shallow and shows little evidence of critical thinking.

                  Points 1 and 2 are exactly the same: Gay couples don’t produce children. I have already shown why this argument is irrelevant to whether we should discourage gay couples earlier in this thread, and you had no rebuttal to the obvious counter-argument: Our society does not discourage non-procreative straight couples from having sex, marrying, or raising children together, so why on earth should we discourage homosexuals from doing the same?

                  You have not addressed this. Should straight people be “discouraged” from having relationships with members of the opposite sex whom they cannot have children with? Keep in mind that this would mean many of them would be discouraged from getting married and having romantic relationships at all; I know you are willing to place that burden on gay people, but are you just as willing to place that burden on straight people? It is the exact same reasoning. Either the ability to produce a child matters to society’s decision to bless a union, or it does not.

                  I got engaged on New Year’s Eve; the woman I proposed to cannot have children. The reasoning you provided here for why homosexual unions should be discouraged applies with equal force to our union. Why have I never heard your argument applied to a union like ours?

                  My theory is because your argument is a smokescreen; a post-hoc rationalization meant to find something that most straight couples can do but that no gay couples can do, to justify your opposition to homosexual activity. But the smokescreen falls apart the moment you recognize some non-procreative straight couples exist. Why does your logic not apply to them? Why ignore the many other benefits of marriage, to insist that procreation is the number one reason our society blesses marriage, when there are so many other reasons to encourage it?

                  Do you have a rebuttal to this that does not involve “metaphysics?” The most common rebuttal I’ve seen appeals to Natural Law, which essentially says “Well, yes, but men and women can *naturally* have children, and two men or two women *naturally* can’t, so…it’s different.” But that’s a cheat. It appeals to some “higher plane” which we have absolutely no evidence exists, while ignoring the practicality of real human lives. I hope your rebuttal isn’t based on this principle.

                  Point 3 is terrible. Aesthetics are subjective. That you find sodomy icky is absolutely irrelevant to whether it should be discouraged. You even acknowledge that some straight people practice it but then say that does not matter, with no explanation of why it doesn’t matter. That’s not a rebuttal. Not all gay couples practice anal sex; many straight couples do. Therefore, discouraging gay unions on the basis of anal sex is arbitrary and unfair. (I don’t know if you’re including oral sex in your definition of “sodomy,” but good lord, that’s even more common among straight couples than anal sex. If gay marriage should be discouraged for this reason than most straight marriages should also be discouraged.

                  4 is bad in addition to being completely counter-productive. The faults of a movement that promotes a certain activity have little bearing on whether that specific activity is actually unethical. Your stance is counter-productive because driving the practice back into the closet would only align it further with “subversive” movements. Letting it into the light and allowing gays to marry only aligns them further with you’re so-called “normal” (ugh) people and straight marriage.

                  On 5, again, your opposition to sodomy is irrelevant even if the health consequences are exactly as you describe, for the reasons I stated above.

                  6 is a terrible appeal to tradition, which is a logical fallacy.

                  7 is just bigotry. It looks unnatural to you because you’re unfamiliar with it, and because you refuse to accept it. It looks less unnatural to the current generation of American kids, and will look even less unnatural to the next generation. This is inevitable.

                  8 is meaningless other than as an extension of 1 and 2: that gays can’t have kids. This was already the easiest point to refute.

                  I have not really touched the religious or the Christian argument since, it appears, no one wants to hear of it. Yet I think it has to be considered.

                  I think all of your other arguments are a smokescreen for the Christian argument, which is probably why they were all so easy to refute. It took only a few seconds of critical thinking to knock down each and every reason you have for discouraging same-sex unions and homosexual activity. It also explains why you took so long to provide a list of basic reasons for your position; your position is illogical. If you can’t defend the Christian or “metaphysical” argument using logical and rational arguments, then you need to start considering the possibility that your argument is wrong.

                    • No, Jack. No. All he did was to repeat a group of conventions about the quesion. You yourself have no understanding nor appreciation for the aspects of the issue that I bring out. And that renders all that I have expressed as meaningless and non-considerable. And in accord with strict legal and quotidian legal arguments. You buttress Chris’ ‘argument simply because … it is your own.

                      However, the main bulk of what I am speaking about and referring to are not issues of law, but moral questions. How one looks at them, and what one decides about them, depend on delicate and intricate questions of value.

                      You and Chris and people who share your views do indeed and will continue to influence cultural developments. It is what *you* have done over the course of the last 50-60 years in this and many categories. The liberalism that you stood behind has morphed though and become a perverse hyper-liberalism.

                    • I “buttress” it because it’s accurate. There is no moral question regarding the equality of all human beings and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those are our cultural values. No argument for defying those values is ethical, and not really moral—just left over flawed and mistaken believes from a dead culture and dead people.

                      HEY EVERYBODY! NOW I’M A HYPER-LIBERAL!

                    • No, Jack. No. All he did was to repeat a group of conventions about the quesion.

                      I don’t even know what this means.

                      However, the main bulk of what I am speaking about and referring to are not issues of law, but moral questions.

                      Then go to a “morals” blog. This is an ethics blog. You contribute nothing here.

                    • HEY EVERYBODY! NOW I’M A HYPER-LIBERAL!

                      I’ll have my people mail the George Soros check to your people.

                    • I “buttress” it because it’s accurate. There is no moral question regarding the equality of all human beings and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those are our cultural values. No argument for defying those values is ethical, and not really moral—just left over flawed and mistaken believes from a dead culture and dead people.

                      Naw, if it were that self-evident and ‘accurate’ there would be no Culture Wars. There would be no disagreement. As in mathematics it would all be ‘easily demostrable’. And that certainly is not the case.

                      Your argument is transparent in its way: those that do not think as you do are of a ‘dead culture’ and are ‘dead people’. You claim then to be alive, nay to define ‘life’ and to say who is and who is not alive. And you ensconse that within your rational/materialist/pragamatic determining structure, which I notice to be a unique metaphysics.

                      You then absolutize the values of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ which, in your case and that of others, and certainly the general culture, enables the removal of certain kinds of brakes and restrains which had been normal and natural in people. You do not take into consideration what I have noted as ‘social engineering projects’, nor will you acknowledge what I have referred to a few times ‘libido dominandi’.

                      When people notice that the ‘brakes’ that are needed and necessary have been conveniently removed, I suppose that you can really have nothing to say about it. You can have no other choice but to stand back and let what happens, happen. In this sense you very much are an exponent of liberalism. And a liberalism that has become ‘hyper-liberalism’.

                      I would argue that i the long run, and to achieve ‘life liberty and happiness’, one is best off reestablishing what I term ‘brakes’ inside of onself. That is the first order of activity, the first field. And when one has done this, and shown others that it must be done and that it can be done, a ‘truly conservative’ social movement can begin. It is a question of recovering the sense of the meaning. It corrsponds to Constitutional originalism I suppose.

                      Seen in this light, and in respect to this question, you are definiely an Americal Liberal in the true sense of the word. That is certainly not a negative label in itself. A hyper-liberal is one who has, for various reasons, taken it numerous steps further. (But please feel free to make fun of my term.).

                    • ”Good job, Chris. Saved me the trouble, and I had vowed not to bother since all my efforts to extract actual arguments were unanswered for so long.”

                      A small added note. Since you already know the basic arguments used by ‘my side’ to militate against homosexuality and gay marriage it would have been useless to just repeat them. You already are skilled at the public ritual (as it were) of shooting them down.

                      In the face of someone like you —- an accomplished debator and a person of defined opinion —- the only avenue available, that I see, is to get behind the arguments, to get into the understructure of them, and situate them in the epistemological conflicts of the day.

                      While I do not think you desire to do that —- in your world you have applied ethics all worked out and ‘speculative philosophy’ is anathema to you, and you have of course all the ‘ologies’ at your beck and call —- I see it as the only way to get clear about the nature of the Cutural Wars.

                      Long before the wind of Fate blew me to your blog I had been working in the arena of trying to define conservatism. It is really an involved process.

                      I am differently situated in relation to the ethics question not inimical to it.

                  • As I said to you once before: heterosexual relationships are the only ones that can produce children, though some do not. No homosexual union will ever product children. In your specific instance, and in other instances like it or similar, it still stands as possible that a child might come. I cited before what is part of Christian understanding: an unfertile relationship can, through unusual circumstances, suddenly produce a child.

                    Straight couples should not be discouraged because there is always a chance. If you wish to cite a case of a couple for whom it is completely impossible that they conceive, such as if she had a hysterectomy, I can only say that that is a very rare case. It does not affect the basic core of the argument.

                    This point I think refutes your argument. It is not founded in or dependent on metaphysics. Though as you know I do not discount metaphysical arguments.

                    The arguments in 1 and in 2 are not the same, they encompass related areas of concern.

                    You merely offer an opinion that these reasons are ‘shallow’. And what is shallow and what is profound, as with aesthetics, is obviously determined by subjective factors.

                    Yet I will still argue that sodomy in and of itself betrays all aesthitic laws. Therefor, it is likely universally understood to be ugly. I stand by that assertion. Though I admit there is likely some disturned sould who finds beauty in it!

                    Since my basic position is that sexual activity needs to be restrained, and since in our present it has gotten out of control, I am obviously pointing to a very difficult problem. I am aware of this. The more that one becomes aware of how this came about —- in the post-Sixties, into the Seventies and beyond —- the better one will be equipped to make assessments and also judgments. I suggest that doing so is crucial. Certainly for oneself, and then because one has, ultimately, the reponsibility to communicate one’s views and ideas. A moral and ethical imperative. Your perspective and my perspective battle each other. This is as it should be. You attempt to ‘argue’ mine away by rendering it ridiculous, or shallow, or moralistic, or aesthetic, or what-have-you. I assert that it is far more than that, and far more important in all the domains of human concern.

                    And these aspects would have to be communicated and understood. Thus, the conversation extends beyond a specifc debate-format into a far larger conversation having to do with essential definitions about value and meaning. You say that my list is shallow. Fine. I say that your range of concerns and your capacity to understand larger questions and their import is seriously afflicted. How will this be settled? Between you and I, it will not be settled. I will not come to any agreements with you. Yet I do not ask that you do so with me, either. These are battles that have to do with the Culture Wars. I seek to help those on ‘my side’ get more clear about meaning and value. I assume you do the same. It is an impasse.

                    Restraining excessive sexual licence —- and I am speaking of homosexuality in a larger context —- should not involve suppression or self-denial. It has been understood that sexual impulse is real, just as Eros is recognized as the power that moves the world. The question, obviously, has to do with higher values and higher meanings. When ‘brute’ sexual impulses are channeled into higher activities, then Eros is nicely employed. When a culture sinks into perverse, public and orgiastic display, or when it becomes infected with the heat and obsession of pornography, it leads to a social contagion that has implications and ramifications.

                    To rein it in obviously starts within the individual. The individual has to realize things. This is a psychic or as I might say a ‘spiritual’ question. But I do understand that these arguments, these observations, are no part of your ‘constitutional’ concerns. Constitutionally, you have all the weights on your side. But mine is an educational project, and a moral and ethical one.

                    I can see why from your perspective yo believe that these arguments and reasonings are ‘easy to refute’. It is because you do not accept, nor perhaps undertand, on what they are based. But that I knew from the beginning!

                    I have attempted to shed some light only on understanding why the baker and people like them (that is, Christians) have the views that they do. I make an effort to ‘explain’ them. And I also have it as my project to further perfect my arguments and my ability to express them because, ultimately, my goal is education.

                    Finally, and though it is even more irrelevant to you, I endeavor to get clear about the Catholic arguments which, despite the fact that they are demanding and rigorous, are in my view essentially sound. But I do grasp that very few —- even among Catholics! —- understand them or desire to practice them.

                    • As I said to you once before: heterosexual relationships are the only ones that can produce children, though some do not. No homosexual union will ever product children. In your specific instance, and in other instances like it or similar, it still stands as possible that a child might come. I cited before what is part of Christian understanding: an unfertile relationship can, through unusual circumstances, suddenly produce a child.

                      Straight couples should not be discouraged because there is always a chance. If you wish to cite a case of a couple for whom it is completely impossible that they conceive, such as if she had a hysterectomy, I can only say that that is a very rare case. It does not affect the basic core of the argument.

                      Unbelievably wrong.

                      Approximately 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy.

                      https://www.nwhn.org/hysterectomy/

                      According to Gallup, about 10 million Americans identify as LGBT.

                      There is no rational basis to claim that women who have had hysterectomies represent some sort of “rare case” that we don’t have to worry about when it comes to whether or not we should encourage their marriages, while gays and lesbians are worth discriminating against, when the number of women who’ve had hysterectomies is twice as much as the total number of LGBT people.

                      If you were actually opposed to non-procreative people getting married, you’d be preaching against women who’ve had hysterectomies marrying. But you’re not opposed to that at all. You simply pretend to be in order to justify your real opposition to homosexual activity. Your opposition is clearly not based on procreative potential at all. That is a smokescreen. It is transparent to anyone who gives it two seconds thought.

                      The fact is that Western society has never made procreative ability necessary or sufficient to marriage. This is revisionist history by the Christian right. We encourage relationships that cannot or will not produce children all the time. That’s because we recognize that committed romantic relationships give other values to society besides children. Married couples are more likely to contribute to society and less likely to need social welfare. They live longer while also being less of a drain on healthcare resources. People in married couples are less likely to commit crimes and go to prison. They are more likely to adopt children and raise those children in stable environments. All of this is true even when the couple has no intention or no ability of having biological children.

                      Your notion that we should only encourage unions that may produce children is simply ridiculous, and has no basis in Western culture at all.

                      You merely offer an opinion that these reasons are ‘shallow’. And what is shallow and what is profound, as with aesthetics, is obviously determined by subjective factors.

                      No. I showed you the logical failings of your arguments. That’s why they’re shallow.

                      Yet I will still argue that sodomy in and of itself betrays all aesthitic laws. Therefor, it is likely universally understood to be ugly. I stand by that assertion. Though I admit there is likely some disturned sould who finds beauty in it!

                      It is an unsupportable assertion. Stand by it all you want.

                      Since my basic position is that sexual activity needs to be restrained, and since in our present it has gotten out of control, I am obviously pointing to a very difficult problem. I am aware of this. The more that one becomes aware of how this came about —- in the post-Sixties, into the Seventies and beyond —- the better one will be equipped to make assessments and also judgments. I suggest that doing so is crucial. Certainly for oneself, and then because one has, ultimately, the reponsibility to communicate one’s views and ideas. A moral and ethical imperative. Your perspective and my perspective battle each other. This is as it should be. You attempt to ‘argue’ mine away by rendering it ridiculous, or shallow, or moralistic, or aesthetic, or what-have-you. I assert that it is far more than that, and far more important in all the domains of human concern.

                      Assert whatever you want. You can’t support any of this, or you would have already.

                      Restraining excessive sexual licence —- and I am speaking of homosexuality in a larger context —- should not involve suppression or self-denial. It has been understood that sexual impulse is real, just as Eros is recognized as the power that moves the world. The question, obviously, has to do with higher values and higher meanings. When ‘brute’ sexual impulses are channeled into higher activities, then Eros is nicely employed. When a culture sinks into perverse, public and orgiastic display, or when it becomes infected with the heat and obsession of pornography, it leads to a social contagion that has implications and ramifications.

                      And this is an argument against gay marriage because…?

                    • There is no rational basis to claim that women who have had hysterectomies represent some sort of “rare case” that we don’t have to worry about when it comes to whether or not we should encourage their marriages, while gays and lesbians are worth discriminating against, when the number of women who’ve had hysterectomies is twice as much as the total number of LGBT people.

                      You missed the essential point. That point is that marriage, according to my way of understanding it and that of others who understand and accept the same tenets that inform me, has been and is the foundation of cultural life. The institution of marriage, and the marriage rite, in all cultures I am aware of, has always been celebrated by some rite that celebrated fructification. In Christian marriage, and Catholic marriage (the base of Western cultural forms) the essential purpose is recognized as related to fertility, the family, the family at the core of the social structure, and much more.

                      The point is a larger one, not how many women today may have had to have an hysterectomy! Maybe 100 years ago it was ‘quite rare’ and today it is only a little rare. None of this is the point. The point has to do with the essential and shall I say ‘time-honored’ institute of the relation of man and woman. You can perform triple backward flips, untie and tie your lace in the air, and bring out any argument against this basic notion that you want. And you can also succeed in convincing 10% or 40% or 90% of the demos that your position is the sound one. It does not affect the core of the argument I present. You only need to say that you do not now and will not ever recognize the logic in it.

                      I think the interesting aspect is just that. You attempt to settle the argument and the question through ‘logic’. But logic is an operation within a given equation. In oter words, according to your materialistic and pragmatic argument, which also has a legal dimension, you arrange all your facts, exclude the ones that you deem irrelavant, and then perform a public logic operation or rehearsal and, voilà: conclusion. You can then assemble those who share your facts and their arrangement and advocate for what you desire.

                      What I am trying to point out is that, for us, for the side I attempt to defend and explain, we include other facts. But more than that, since ‘fact’ is such a trute word, we deal on other values and also meanings.

                      At the end of your presentation you will, inevitably, shout ‘Idiot!’ at those who do not accept your logical process.

                      If you were actually opposed to non-procreative people getting married, you’d be preaching against women who’ve had hysterectomies marrying. But you’re not opposed to that at all. You simply pretend to be in order to justify your real opposition to homosexual activity. Your opposition is clearly not based on procreative potential at all. That is a smokescreen. It is transparent to anyone who gives it two seconds thought.

                      That is an attempt to reframe what I say to accord with what you wish me to be saying. It is very typical of your style.

                      My issue has to do with a general paradigm and certain basic tenets which operate together as an organic whole. Each element supports another element. I have said that I think homosexuality should be voluntarily suppressed and this should come about through a universal moral and ethical decision. The base of the argument employs the fertility question, but that issue is located within a larger general issue, as I explained. Certainly I am and those who think like me are opposed to homosexual activity. Some more and some less than others. But remember: I grant that it exists and will exist and only recommend that it be discreetly down-played.

                      Your assertion that ‘anyone who gives it two seconds of thought’ will see what you see is where your ‘argument’ will begin to tranaform itself into insult. From insult it will move to more serious actions. And when you get state power it may, as I suggest it likely will, become an issue of law. And those who don’t accept what you desire to accept will be punished, fined, etc. I know that you don’t recommend that. But I sense that this is where it will go.

                      People who are thoughtful and concerned have indeed given it two seconds of thought and much more and argue more in favor of what I am arguing. Thus: it is really an impasse that hinges on values and meaning.

                      The fact is that Western society has never made procreative ability necessary or sufficient to marriage. This is revisionist history by the Christian right. We encourage relationships that cannot or will not produce children all the time. That’s because we recognize that committed romantic relationships give other values to society besides children. Married couples are more likely to contribute to society and less likely to need social welfare. They live longer while also being less of a drain on healthcare resources. People in married couples are less likely to commit crimes and go to prison. They are more likely to adopt children and raise those children in stable environments. All of this is true even when the couple has no intention or no ability of having biological children.

                      I’d like to hear more of this. It is my understanding that for about 1500 years the Christian and Catholic concept of what marraige is (that is, as a Sacrament) has informed the West right up until the very recent present. Only now, and with the rise of a certain radicalism, or new interpretive modes, or social movements, is there militancy to redefine what a marriage is or should be.

                      Wehn you use the ‘we; and the ‘us’, and especially when you seem to take on the role of spokescalifornian for the entire blog, I have to admit I find this a little irritating.

                      I do not disagree that a committed romantic relationhip has merit. I can recognize that merit. But I do not go in for the utilitarian argument, taken on the whole. Those can be factors though. But since I grant that such relationships exist now, and people can live as they wish, and am only claiming that I think homosexuality should not be encouraged (and I define through what means), I do not feel you are making much of an influential case.

                      I see you as not only a defender of homosexual rights and activity but also as a promotor. And this is the aspect that concerns me. I feel I have observed what the homosexual explosion, within the sexual revolution, has brought to the culture and it has not, in any sense that I am aware, been good or desirable. I think the question then is larger, is sociological, and requires a historical analysis. But here we will, I assume, get right back into the Culture Wars. The Sexual Revolution, the Gay Liberation Movement, and a whole group of decadent processes would need to be considered. So, all these issues are part of a larger whole. You seek to win your ‘argument’ within a narrowly limited question. I think the issue is much larger, far more complex. Harder to decide.

                      Alicia: Yet I will still argue that sodomy in and of itself betrays all aesthitic laws. Therefor, it is likely universally understood to be ugly. I stand by that assertion. Though I admit there is likely some disturned sould who finds beauty in it!

                      Chris: It is an unsupportable assertion. Stand by it all you want.

                      Thank you, I think I will.

                      Assert whatever you want. You can’t support any of this, or you would have already.

                      You say that and you will keep saying it ‘until the one who left us here returns for us at last’ (sorry, that is a line from that famous Sixties song). I will never be able to ‘support’, to you, what you have determined never to support Chris. This is so simple even a thild could work it out on his grubby fingers!

                      And this is an argument against gay marriage because…?

                      Gays can, I believe, already solemnize their unions. They can live together if they want. I suppose if that is the case that they should be granted some civil rights that mimic, if you will, what is offered to married couples. You know, tax benefits, etc.

                      I can only argue, at least right now, against the marriage of two homosexuals as a Sacrament. But that argument really is a religious argument.

                      I am only attempting to explain why I think homosexuality should be discouraged. I am speaking of renovating a social ethic. Nothing you have said has caused me to consider my position any differently.

                    • You missed the essential point. That point is that marriage, according to my way of understanding it and that of others who understand and accept the same tenets that inform me, has been and is the foundation of cultural life. The institution of marriage, and the marriage rite, in all cultures I am aware of, has always been celebrated by some rite that celebrated fructification. In Christian marriage, and Catholic marriage (the base of Western cultural forms) the essential purpose is recognized as related to fertility, the family, the family at the core of the social structure, and much more.

                      And yet marriage in all cultures I am aware of has always been extended to straight couples who cannot or will not have children. That defeats your argument. It demolishes it. Even if marriage is understood to be primarily about procreation–and there is no argument to be made that this is still the case in 2018–the fact remains that it is not only about procreation, and that the institution has always accepted couples who cannot, will not and do not procreate. No one looks at childless couples in their eighties and says, “Well, I guess they were never really married after all.” Their union has exact equal worth to a marriage that produces seventeen children; no more, no less.

                      And the same is true of gay marriages.

                      The point is a larger one, not how many women today may have had to have an hysterectomy! Maybe 100 years ago it was ‘quite rare’ and today it is only a little rare. None of this is the point. The point has to do with the essential and shall I say ‘time-honored’ institute of the relation of man and woman.

                      By “essential,” you are appealing to essentialism. Natural law. You know: bullshit. There is nothing “essential” about my future marriage to my fiance that means we can produce children. There is no evidence of a higher plane in which we could do that. And yet we will be married, and there isn’t a damn thing you or anyone else can do that can stop that, or make our marriage worth any less.

                      The same is true of gay couples.

                      That is an attempt to reframe what I say to accord with what you wish me to be saying. It is very typical of your style.

                      No, it’s an attempt to show what your argument would be if it actually followed its own internal logic. It does not.

                      Where was the movement to stop women who’ve had hysterectomies from getting married? It did not exist, even though there are twice as many Americans who’ve had hysterectomies as there are LGBT Americans. That’s because it was never about “procreation” at all. The procreation argument is and always has been a smokescreen for anti-gay bigotry. It does not matter to anti-gay bigots whether a couple can procreate…as long as they’re straight, they get to be married. How can you not see how circular your argument is? “Only procreative couples should be allowed to marry, which is why gay couples shouldn’t marry. But non-procreative straight couples should still be encouraged to marry, because they aren’t gay.” This is your argument. This is not a “reframing” of your argument. This is what you’re saying. I understand your argument better than you do, which is why I can see that it’s irrational and you can’t.

                      My issue has to do with a general paradigm and certain basic tenets which operate together as an organic whole. Each element supports another element. I have said that I think homosexuality should be voluntarily suppressed and this should come about through a universal moral and ethical decision. The base of the argument employs the fertility question, but that issue is located within a larger general issue, as I explained. Certainly I am and those who think like me are opposed to homosexual activity. Some more and some less than others. But remember: I grant that it exists and will exist and only recommend that it be discreetly down-played.

                      Gibberish.

                      I’d like to hear more of this. It is my understanding that for about 1500 years the Christian and Catholic concept of what marraige is (that is, as a Sacrament) has informed the West right up until the very recent present. Only now, and with the rise of a certain radicalism, or new interpretive modes, or social movements, is there militancy to redefine what a marriage is or should be.

                      It’s called separation of church and state. This isn’t some new “radicalism.” This is a fulfillment of what the Founders promised nearly 250 years ago. I know you don’t believe in that promise, or the Constitution, or the Enlightenment, but that’s your problem. I’m not sure why you think anyone here should care.

                      Wehn you use the ‘we; and the ‘us’, and especially when you seem to take on the role of spokescalifornian for the entire blog, I have to admit I find this a little irritating.

                      I’m speaking for those who believe in the Constitution, rationality, and Enlightenment values. If that covers nearly everyone here but you, tough.

                      Nothing you have said has caused me to consider my position any differently.

                      And nothing ever would, because you cannot reason someone out of a position they haven’t reasoned themselves into.

                    • You are bringing in another essentially rhetirical munition: that I am opposed to the Constitution and the values of upstanding men. And you have ensconsed it within reason’ in much the same manner as was done in the French Revolution. I am surprised I still have a head!

                      Enlightenment values are ones to be deeply considered. I do not wish you to succeed in applying your devious designations to me. You do this all the time. You rephrase me back to myself. It is coercive and manipulative. I do not think I do this. I actually work to see you.

                      You say —- of course you say! —- that I think as I do because I do not reason. You are trying so very hard to rescue me! But what you do not understand is as I say: I once thought quite as you do. I’d have argued quite similarly.

                      My understandings have progressed! And it has a great deal to do with both reason and … other means of determining truth. You may wish to isolate me, like some psychiatric patient or a bug in a match-box, but there are many many people who think more closely to the way I do. I mean, important historians, philosophers, essayists.

                      Can I go now? 😉

                    • Chris wrote, “I wish you’d have gone away long ago.”

                      I always find it interesting how the winds of change blow.

                      I wonder if it’s possible that even someone like Chris might find some understand regarding the utter frustration that others have had reading the crap that “he” puts in “his” comments.

                      Chris needs to climb down from his rhetorical perch before he falls off and hurts himself. Objectively observe thyself Chris, render equal judgement upon thyself Chris, and fix thyself Chris before you open your mouth and and show off your double standards.

                    • ”I wish you’d have gone away long ago.”

                      Nice way to round out this ‘conversation’!

                      Here’s the thing, Chris. I and people who think like me will not go away. Though you wish that we would. You see it necessary that we go away, you also see it as inevitable, as if it is destiny, a destiny you mediate. It has all been revealed, point by point, in what you write. Here, Jack is included to. This is what interests me so much about this question. Because I am forced to work to understand *how you see things*.

                      You and your various ‘-ologies’, a scientistic perspective on life and existence which determines and controls how Life is seen and interpreted, are part-and-parcel of a rationalistic general philiosophy which claims the political space as its own. Because it cannot see anything but what is ‘immediately under its nose’, and because it is self-assured, bold and cocky, it asserts its view while it simultaneously disinvalidates any other view, any other way of seeing and defining Life.

                      But no matter: the more it self-enthuses, the more it self-validates. It establishes itself in a general self-righteous mood and communicates this mood to others. As a group they militate. And part of their militancy is to destroy the conceptual pathways that allow for an understanding of meaning and value understood through metaphysical vision or definition, and in this way to modes of understanding that have been part of the human consciousness eternally. This is an aspect of the destructive work of ‘modernism’ described by Catholic theology (naturally completely irrelevant to you in any sense and so wacky to you that the reference is a sign of a sort of madness!).

                      Your ‘constitutionalism’ or your American ethical pragmatism, or whatever it is, is informed by and informs an entire existential perspective which, full of itself, and unrestrained, allows for the destruction of ‘subtle value’ and the value that is brought into the human field by encounters with the supernatural, the metaphysical, the invisible. These terms though refer to impossibilities for you. They are inconceivable to you. Mention of them has no effect. And yet all things that we could name, outside perhaps of the strict material sciences, everything of supernal beauty, everything that is fine and that deals of subtle quintessences that have stood at the center of Occidental creativity and value-definition: these you necessarily trample like a pack of wild pigs. You charge into The Present with your crass certainties and, without realizing what you do, destroy the work of ages of men. And you don’t care.

                      This has been described, and I have attempted to describe it, as a necessary concommitamant to ‘Americanism’ and ‘The Americanopolis’. It is an existential program which spreads itself horizontally as it destroys vertical understandings.

                      I am sure I have lost you here….

                      But the thing is, you see, we see you. We notice what you do. We have made an historical analysis and we have come to critique your activities as we arrive at the definitions of what you do and why you do it. And as I have been pointoing out for over two years: we are part of a movement that is gaining ground, in Europe, in the English speaking countries, in America and in Canada.

                      Right now you have a great deal of power. You can bully in stating your bold opinions, in cursing, in insulting, in disrupting, in deplatforming, in driving out of the social sphere, even in doing economic harm to people who think and see differently. ‘You’ and your factions have social and material power. In many instances you have state power and all the resources of the state. But this will, slowly I admit, begin to change. It really has already changed a great deal! Day by day we are more present, more articulate, and we influence others to understand intellectually what we are talking about.

                      Get used to our presence.

          • ‘Bigot’ as an accusation gets thrown around a lot here. It would be good to keep its meaning as ‘intolerant of different opinions’. An opinion that 2+2=5 isn’t part of bigotry just because It is wrong. ‘Bigotry’ is displayed through intolerance of other opinions, eg. that the answer is ‘4’ or even ‘3’. I often don’t agree with Aliza and many others here. But it is only those who respond only with ‘jerk’, ‘idiot’ or similar anger who are are displaying true bigotry. Or such is my opinion but you are of course entitled to think differently.

            • That’s an overly restrictive definition. Under that definition, someone who hates all black people isn’t a “bigot,” because being black isn’t an opinion. That’s obviously not how the word has been commonly understood for decades.

              Thinking that all Jews should be wiped out is an opinion, and I’m intolerant of that opinion—it should be legal to express, but it isn’t bigoted to think anyone who holds that opinion is a monstrous idiot. Bigotry is better understood as being an irrational intolerance of people because of a status they can’t control or which is harmless, like being black, gay, Jewish, a white male, etc. Opinions can be changed; some are objectively awful, some are stupid, some becone actively harmful when expressed and spread.

              I think it’s fair to say intolerance of some opinions could be bigotry. If one thinks that everyone who wants a lower corporate tax rate is an evil monster, then their intolerance is irrational, and thus bigoted. But it isn’t irrational to refuse to engage with the opinion that gay people are demonic, or that segregation leads to a better society, or that men are smarter than women. These debates have been had, and the people who believed them—who really *were* bigots—lost. Epically. Hilariously. Dismissing bigoted opinions out of hand isn’t bigoted, it’s just good time management.

              • You can of course use words (like’bigot’) any way you want to (Alice’s Red Queen and Humpty Dumpty come to mind) and it may be that common (mis)usage has migrated meaning just as you say. But sticking to the formal definition, ‘bigotry’ doesn’t (or didn’t used to) relate to your opinion (like hating Jews or Christadelphians) but to your tolerance (or not) of other opinions. Many haters are ‘bigots’, and view those who don’t share their hatreds as corrupt or mentally retarded.

                • Prescriptivism is out. Words mean what a majority of people in a culture take them to mean; that’s the entire purpose of words. To think otherwise is to give in to Alizia’s outdated notion that there is some higher plane where concepts like words and “aesthetics” have some perfect form.

              • When teaching eighth grad students it is best to deal with simple, black and white divisions. Though smart and sensitive they are still young and subteties in argument, just as subtle comprehension of life’s complexities, may be still beyond them. But when we get a bit older, and to the degree that we make a conscious and concerted effort to do so, we are obligated to resist simple reductions and thus we must not only see beyond reductionsism but must all speak in terms that reveal that we are not adolescent thinkers.

                I suggest that your argument, just above, is simplistic and ‘black and white’ and therefor will lead not to more understanding of the questions, but away from understanding.

                It is part-and-parcel of a reductionist mind-set that those who think in racialist terms, those who say ‘race is real, race matters’, and even those who might desire to segregate; be they black people who want to be among their own, or American Indians, or white people, or those from a specific religious community, or what-have-you; it is an unfortunate feature of this style of thinking that they see such a desire to segregate as a sign of ‘bigotry’ and label it as such. It should be obvious that the term ‘bigot’ and ‘bigoted’ are used as attack and shaming words. Like ‘racist sexist homophobe’ and a dozen such terms. They are not really terms of discourse, they are terms used to end discourse; to stop discourse from going on; and they are terms of coercive manipuation, used by an ‘eighth grade mind’ to browbeat the opponent. It is a term of polemics not of fair and upstanding conversation.

                Today, and of course among those of the American and European New Right, some people are devoting time to deeper thought about certain cateogies which have been, so to speak, ‘under the ideological control’ of the political and social Left. Everyone knows them: immigaration, race & culture, nationalism, gender questions, cultural identity, etc. It is though the entire range of ‘liberal thought’. It must be noted that the ‘liberal left establishment’, when it notices these ideological encroachments, resorts first to what is a powerful tool: shaming and blaming and, of course, describing their opponents as ‘Nazis’. But the term Nazi is allied to other terms they freely emply: racist, bigot, fascist, et cetera et cetera. It is a kind of lexicon-circus and, if you have not guessed by now, I am going to link this to a eighth-grade mind, to an immature kind of thinker and thinking.

                Critical thinking about questions related to race and culture, and to preservation of one’s own race and culture, are not necessarily indications of personal or perceptual error, nor are they indicative of moral or ethical failing. Even the hypothetical ‘idiot’ will understand that some people do indeed ‘hate’ and hate blindly and simply because hate motivates them, lives in them. One might say though, and it would be fair, that even among those who, say, ‘hate Protestants’, that if one examines the issue one will notice that there is an argument offered. Though the ‘hater’ may not avail themself of it, it is there. The same is true of those who ‘hate’ Catholics. It may be a good or a bad argument, but it exists. Is it bigotry then that a Protestant will have issues with a Catholic? Or vice-versa? Can the ideological differences be reduced to being described as bigorty? I do not think so. And this is true in many many different areas where people have differences.

                Critical thinking about race differences falls into this category. On one hand it is simply not allowed and thus is a question that cannot be developed and spoken of freely. It is heavily ‘patrolled’ by the Left and the SJW and, obviously, they bring out their shame-arsenal when it suits them, when they can gain ground through its use.

                The same is true when it comes to an open and free conversation about Judaism, Jewish influence (or presence), the effect of Jews in hisotry, the polcies of Israel, and the issue of influence within a given state and polity, such for example in the United States, seen perhaps in the light of 20-25 years of wars fomented in the Middle East. If one wants to one certainly can demolish the possibility of any open and rational conversation from even occurring by implying anti-Semitism. And everyone knows how this works. No need to explain further. But this tactic is used when the antagonist wishes to shut down a conversation and keep it from happening at all. It is really a very powerful and useful tool because it works.

                I suggest moving out of limiting conversational terms and that, whether it is in a California eighth grade child, or in the teacher of that child, or any thinking person anywhere, we need to clarify the terms of debate and of fair and honest conversation. We need to open up conversation, any and all conversations, not shut them down with coercive, manipulative tactics.

                • No amount of critical thinking could lead to the idea that racial segregation is the right thing to do, Alizia. There is no biological basis for race. I’m sure you could produce a list of reasons why you believe in segregation—maybe after another hundred or so comments—but I won’t read them, as I have no reason to think they will be any more logical or show any more evidence of critical thinking than your list of reasons to oppose homosexuality, which I’ll get to in a moment.

                  • Your error is there. It is an arbitrary position, and one that has been determined by choice and decision, not by accuracy of fact. And many of your ‘positions’ are situated in similar assertions.

                    You reason within limied, ideologically determined ‘facts’. These facts are not really facts but tendentious arrangements of selected facts. You start from an a priori and then assempbe your ‘facts’ to support your ‘case’. Your case is bourne out of social justice ideologies and these are not so much reasoned (or reasonable) as enforced. Thus the whole idea of the ‘politically correct’ enters in!

                    The truth though —- about life, about people, about the genders, about the races and so many other things —- is deliviously and also disconcertingly more complex.

                    Within your ‘certaintly’, yes, I can easily understand why you need to close your eyes, stop your ears, and turn your head away from the page.

                    You do this and I will also assume, in one way or another, you teach your Eighth graders to do the same. Whe people like you, ideologues of social justice, get into the Academy they are like an infection of the intellect!

                    [Be it noted that I only desired to make it clear that ‘bigot’ is not the right word to use. It is ideological].

  9. Around 400 Augustine argued with Julian of Eclanum, an Italian aristocrat who took the Pelagian stance that all sex is healthy. Augustine instead believed sex even with the goal of reproduction should be “without the ardor of lust.” If you were raised Catholic like I was, the battle between Original Sin and normal healthy sexuality is practically written on and in the body.

    Living in Oregon I was privy to the Sweet Cakes battle. The liberal Catholic church my wife and I attended at the time was a hub for Portland’s Christians for Marriage Equality. What we heard there left us cold and we immediately left the group and church.

    In a discussion, the leaders spent a good 20 minutes laughing vengefully at the bakers business shutting down. It was as if the sweet Christian faces I saw in the pews became clown masks of cruelty. Regardless of how wrong the bakery may or may not have been, rejoicing in loss of business and livelihood is the opposite of “love equals love.” Love and forgiveness is what we Christians are asked to extend to those who “trespass against us.”

    It was at this time I began to research the LGBT+ movement and thusly separate myself from it. To be clear, I don’t direct my criticism at gays/lesbians/bi/trans people but those who claim to speak for those of us who at this time fit into such designations.

    It started with a book about the Matthew Sheppard case that some call revisionist. The author pointed out that a certain viewpoint was promoted in especially gay/liberal media. That Sheppard was an innocent victim of seething homophobes. Yet there is evidence drugs may have been at the core of the sad situation. This was my official rabbit hole moment. What other narratives put forth by big moneyed Super PAC donors and beneficiaries were driving the gay rights movement? And most importantly, how long have all kinds of interlopers been promoting, yes promoting, all things LGBT+?

    Harvey Milk for example is right up there with Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacy but he’s currently still a gay folk hero, promoted by Hollywood and gay rights groups.

    Worse the so called movement has begun to ask us to sign off on 3 year olds taking body altering hormones because their parents *feel* the child is expressing a different gender (including the transgirl who tried to have genital reconstruction surgery but didn’t have enough flesh because of the hormones). I began to wonder how many gay kids were going to be fooled into believing they’re in the wrong body when they’re simply gay.

    Now a slow but growing trend of people are identifying as trans-black or trans-robot or even a trans-cat. Why is it pre-transhumanism had made its home in the areas of socio-political gender/orientation identity? Who knows but ask the worried parents at the blog 4th Wave Now because they are seeing their kids go from happy to indoctrinated into a movement that has evolved from equal rights to quasi cult.

    Why would two people who simply want to be legally married be interested in such ideas? We don’t but don’t tell the LGBT+ lobby that because if you’re queer and you question the elites in the movement, and/or you leave the reservation you will be shunned for your disobedience. Just ask Milo Yiannopolous or any gay who questions the dominant queer politic.

    Today being gay nearly requires a signed declaration of being “woke.” Now we’re seeing Jewish lesbians excluded from dyke marches for being pro-Zionist. We’re seeing transdykes threatening lesbians for not wanting to have sex with someone born male. The LGBT+ movement has merged with the Resistance and to have any opinion other than “let’s all just have a big f*ck fest because if I feel like it it must be ok” is to be an apostate to the cause.

    Check out the Saye Bennett blog to see how many “lesbian” feminist academics used lesbianism as a jumping off point for all kinds of issues that had nothing to do with most lesbians lives.

    Let’s not even get started on the Free Love movement and how it rose right before the larger gay liberation movement.

    So back to Augustine…a man who had an ecstatic spiritual climax with his mother, had a child out of wedlock, and whose dad made fun of his erection at a bathhouse. He believed it would be great if babies were conceived not of sex but something without sin. Alizia may not be completely off point about the promotion or at least continued and constant attention drawn to all things gay/trans. But what’s even more clear is that for the faithful, the styles of sexual sin will continue to be debated. Those who wrestle with it are no less spared because of sex of their partners.

    • Thanks for your perspective, Mrs. Q. I’ve always figured that if the LGBTQ really just wanted to be left alone to do their thing, they could achieve that, but this constant pushiness for not just “tolerance”, but “acceptance-or-else”, prompts more push-back than they would get otherwise.

    • ______________________
      No. I don’t understand it. Why must it be like this why must it always be like this? Why must love be the troll’s gold that on the morrow turns to withered leaves filth, or beery indulgence? Does not all that side of our culture not directly designed to still hunger, or defend us against our enemies, spring from mankind’s longing for love? Our love of beauty knows no other source. All art, all poetry, all music has drunk at it. The most insipid modern historical painting, every bit as much as Raphael’s madonnas and Steinlen’s little Parisian working girls; ‘The Angel of Death’ as the Song of Songs ; and Das Buch der Lieder, the Chorale  and the Viennese waltz, yes, every plaster ornament on this dreary house I live in, every figure on the wallpaper, the form of the china vase over there, the pattern on my scarf, everything made to delight or embellish — no  matter whether successful or unsuccessful springs from this origin, albeit often by the longest and most circuitous of routes. Nor is this a brainwave of mine. born of the night, but something proven a hundred times over.

      But that source’s name isn’t love. It’s the dream of love.

      And then, on the other side everything to do with this dream’s fulfillment. Instinctual satisfaction, and all that follows therefrom. To our deepest instincts it appears as something ugly, indecent. This can’t be proved. It’s only a feeling; my feeling, and, I believe, everybody’s. People always treat each other’s love affairs as something low or comic, often not even making exception for their own. And the consequences… A pregnant woman is a frightful object. A newborn child is loathsome. A deathbed rarely makes so horrible an impression as childbirth, that terrible symphony of screams and filth and blood.

      But first and last, the act itself. I shall never forget as a child under the great chestnut trees in the schoolyard hearing a schoolmate explain ‘what happens’. I refused to believe it. Several more boys had to come over, laughing at my stupidity, and confirm it. Even then I hardly believed them, but ran away, beside myself with fury. Had Father and Mother done that? And would I do the same, when I grew up? Was there no escape?

      Always I had felt a profound scorn for the bad boys who scribbled dirty words on walls and hoardings. But at that moment it seemed to me as if God Himself had scribbled something filthy across the blue spring sky and I believe it was then I first began to wonder whether God really existed.

      Even today I’ve hardly recovered from my astonishment. Why must the life of our species be preserved and our longing stilled by means of an organ we use several times a day as a drain for impurities; why couldn’t it be done by means of some act composed of dignity and beauty, as well as of the highest voluptuousness? An action which could be carried out in church, before the eyes of all, just as well as in darkness and solitude? Or in a temple of roses, in the eye of the sun, to the chanting of choirs and a dance of wedding guests?

      — Doctor Glas, by Hjalmar Soderberg
      _________________

      • Beautifully rendered passage and astute observation. Thank you.

        And if I haven’t said it before I think you’re more intelligent and aware than some here give you credit for. Indeed our society is highly influenced or “nudged” and knowing what it looks like & how we respond to it is key in discussing perception. Social engineering is a fact but alas it’s a subject too scary to broach for many. I’m pretty sure that’s no coincidence either.

  10. The comment mentioned – and the nasty stuff Cleophus is saying – are two used by folks like the aforementioned Noah Berlatsky to call for bans on hate speech, but for two different reasons.

    Cleophus is the type of person who Noah (and most other people on the Left) THINK represents all opponents of the LGBT agenda. Noah, in his own way, looks down on Cleophus and thinks of him as stupid, and in need of being ruled. Best for folks like Cleophus to be put in their place – and pounded until they submit to their betters (who are also bigots, but they are implementing “social justice,” so they use Rationalization 2A, mixed with 13, 14, 28 (in terms of the Sexual Revolution), 29A, and 56.

    Alizia, though, gets on Noah’s list for a very different reason. She has counter-argument that can’t just be called hate speech and dismissed. The Roman Catholic Church has been a pillar of Western civilization for centuries – and while in recent years there have been some very horrific abuses and cover-ups involving people at some of the highest levels, the institution as a whole has still tried to live up to its ideal. Indeed, that ideal even runs through a number of other Christian denominations (with the LDS church and its spinoffs claiming to be the restored church) to some extent or another.

    When it came down to same-sex marriage, Alizia’s view, or something akin to it, prevailed among the people in 31 state elections (32, if you count the voters of Iowa tossing out three of the four Iowa Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage in that state) on the issue.

    It was only after a sustained harassment of supporters of Prop 8 and an illegal leak of the National Organization for Marriage’s Form 990 that same-sex marriage proponents won referendums on the issue. But even then, they needed the courts to force it nation-wide.

    Why did Roy Moore almost become a Senator? Why did Donald Trump become President Trump? The simple reason is because the Left is becoming increasingly totalitarian.

    The Left is showing an increased willingness to discard some of the basic concepts underpinning the Republic:
    * They don’t exactly respect the wishes of the people when the democratic process produces results they don’t like.
    * They are far more willing to suppress contrary opinions, either through mob action OR the use of governmental power.
    * They have become so convinced of their righteousness that they view anyone who disagrees with them as somehow being sub-human.

    What has happened to the Kleins, Jack Phillips, Elaine Huguenin, and other vendors is responsible for the vast majority of my opposition to the LGBT community’s political agenda.

    What sort of insecurity can cause someone to feel the need to use the power of the government to hijack a person’s creative talent to create art (and if you read this brief from cake artists who are NOT taking a side in this case – http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/16-111_ac_cake_artists.pdf – it is pretty clear that they are seeking a work of art)?

    Furthermore, even if Colorado prevails in this case… do you really think the other side of this argument will just go away? Abortion as an issue hasn’t – and we are nearing 45 years after Roe v. Wade. The issue has become more toxic as the pro-life movement is making its case and Planned Parenthood now is using the power of the government to force pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion in California. To me, that is a sign that the pro-choice case is collapsing, at least among the public. If they had a good argument, they wouldn’t need a (figurative) government gun to make pro-life volunteers promote abortion.

    Here’s the thing, Jack: If the case for same-sex marriage is as strong as you think it is, then really, it should not bother you if Phillips is free to decline to make a cake. Let him, the Kleins, and those like them have the ability to decline to use their talents for a same-sex wedding – and have the hopeful illusion they can convince the rest of the country with their arguments.

    Using the power of the government to suppress a view is NOT going to kill it. Have Germany’s laws against Nazi expression stopped neo-Nazis?

    Just think that over.

    • Abortion and same-sex marriages are not rational comparison. A human life is killed in an abortion, and society has to consider that, and balance it. Nobody is being harmed is a same sex marriage, but people are harmed if it is forbidden or condemned.

      “Here’s the thing, Jack: If the case for same-sex marriage is as strong as you think it is, then really, it should not bother you if Phillips is free to decline to make a cake. Let him, the Kleins, and those like them have the ability to decline to use their talents for a same-sex wedding – and have the hopeful illusion they can convince the rest of the country with their arguments.”

      You should know me better than that. I object to people gratuitously interfering with other people’s lives and right to happiness when it doesn’t effect the interfering parties in any real way. Because that’s unethical. Now, if we decide that making cake is an expressive art, then I object to bakers being forced to perform it, no matter what the justification is. And I always object to either side trying to bend others to their will if the same objectives can be accomplished with less harm.

      I am not certain the Constitution guarantees abortions. I am certain that it guarantees gay marriages, unless the government gets out of the marriage business.

      • I am not certain the Constitution guarantees abortions. I am certain that it guarantees gay marriages, unless the government gets out of the marriage business.

        Which is exactly why IQ’s appeal to “the will of the people” regarding votes on the same-sex marriage issue is nonsense. The courts ensuring equal protection is not “totalitarianism.” The will of the people, in this case, violated the constitution.

      • I object to people gratuitously interfering with other people’s lives and right to happiness when it doesn’t effect the interfering parties in any real way. Because that’s unethical… I am not certain the Constitution guarantees abortions. I am certain that it guarantees gay marriages…

        I have been catching up after the Holidays and a bout of Flu that made reading difficult, as concentrating made the headache worse. So I am late to this party. I apologize in advance, as I have only read to this line in this fascinating debate, and may be redundant.

        No snark implied: does this same argument imply that marriage to an animal is also a Constitutionally protected right? How about to a child (okay, that objectively causes harm to the child, yet I have seen advocates that endorse this policy)?

        It seems to me that all the same arguments can apply to such a union. Who are we to judge in a morality free world? Who is hurt by such a situation?

        Indeed, once we go emotional and down the ‘my rights trump everything’ path, marriage to a child becomes a valid possibility. After all, the child can ‘ask’ and ‘desire’ such a union, even if such concepts are coerced or manipulated on a defenseless child.

        Not saying it is right, just saying ‘how could we stop it?’

        • No snark implied: does this same argument imply that marriage to an animal is also a Constitutionally protected right? How about to a child (okay, that objectively causes harm to the child, yet I have seen advocates that endorse this policy)?

          What do you think a marriage contract entails?

          How would an animal or child satisfy the requirements of a marriage contract?

            • Given I am not a lawyer, and asked the question outright, how about a substantive answer? (This is at Chris as well)

              I asked to be enlightened, and only got what looks like sea lioning

              • 1) What’s sea lioning?

                2) I assumed your question was rhetorical, since the answer is obvious. Neither a child not an animal can legally consent, thus legal marriage between consenting parties, like legal sex, is impossible.

                • “Sea-Lioning is an Internet slang term referring to intrusive attempts at engaging an unwilling debate opponent by feigning civility and incessantly requesting evidence to back up their claims.” -knowyourmeme

                  So that gives me a legal definition of a marriage contract (thank you, btw)

                  Now, laws can be changed. My point is that your arguments could be used to change those laws under Constitutionality (is that a term?) such that such a union would be possible. Such attempts have already been made, after all.

                  Legalized animan/human marriages examples:
                  https://thewatchdogweb.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/norway-the-marriage-between-humans-and-animals-is-been-legalised/

                  http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/woman-married-dog-8-years-perfect-for-her-marriage-animal-wilhelmina-morgan-callaghan-northern-a7994626.html

                  Child marriage is actually legally practiced in many nations even today, and has been legal here before (Mormons in Utah, and others during the early days of our country)

                  My point is that there is no way to stop this from becoming lawful, given your argument about gay marriages being constitutional.

                  Not saying it WILL happen, just that the logic allows that use.

                  • Child marriage is actually legally practiced in many nations even today, and has been legal here before (Mormons in Utah, and others during the early days of our country)

                    What nations legally allow both child marriage and gay marriage?

                    Was gay marriage allowed in the U.S. at the same time and place as child marriage?

                    If the answers to these questions are “None” and “No,” doesn’t that suggest that there is no connection between gay marriage and child marriage?

                    My point is that there is no way to stop this from becoming lawful, given your argument about gay marriages being constitutional.

                    Gay marriage is constitutional because of the equal protection and due process clauses of the fourteenth amendment.

                    I am unaware of any part of either clause that says people have the right to rape children and animals. Can you point to that part of either clause?

                    The fact is that men used to be allowed to marry children because children, like women, were seen as property, and marriage was viewed as a property arrangement. Gay marriage is allowed because we now see men and women as equals. In no way does that imply that people should be allowed to marry children and animals, who cannot consent.

                    By the way, the articles you shared are fake news. This is halfway down the Independent article:

                    It’s not legal to marry a pet in the UK, so the “marriage” is a spiritual one, although Callaghan takes it seriously and has a certificate too.

                    In other words, this isn’t a story, the headline is sensationalism, and you were wrong to claim that link showed a “legalized animal/human marriage.”

                    The site about animal/human marriage in Norway has all the hallmarks of a fake news website; I’m surprised you couldn’t identify them. Please provide a reliable source showing that human/animal marriage has been legalized in Norway, or concede that you were fooled by this example as well.

                    • What nations legally allow both child marriage and gay marriage?

                      What has that got to do with the price of tea in China? Correlation does not imply causation.

                      I am unaware of any part of either clause that says people have the right to rape children and animals. Can you point to that part of either clause?

                      Fair enough. THIS was what I was asking for: a reason why this could not be used to advance either situation.

                      Thank you.

                      The rest was intended to show WHY I was concerned, not intended to push a viewpoint. As such, it does not matter.

                      BTW: I appreciate that you actually read the articles: I added the second one and did not change the verbage.

                    • What has that got to do with the price of tea in China? Correlation does not imply causation.

                      My point was that there is no correlation. If cultures which tolerated child marriage were still intolerant of gay marriage, it stands to reason that gay marriage won’t lead to child marriage.

                      I’m not sure what you mean when you say you added the second article.

  11. I find Alizia provocative ( where I understand her) and frequently incomprehensible. But I read this blog to be challenged by views and ideas I find disagreeable so that is ok. I appreciate her continuing civility, even though at times (never for long Alizia) I wonder whether she could be certifiably insane. So thank you Alizia, at least for trying.

    I hear from Alizia (amongst other things – some for me quite repulsive) a warning that ‘progress’ is not always good, and old habits and traditions are not necessarily ‘bad’.

    For me, that is useful. I will continue to hold that ‘progress’ has been very good (99%) for me ( pain free, safe, well off, family, great country etc.), but there have been setbacks. In particular, some of those wonderfully heady ideas from the 60s about ‘freedom’ (sex, drugs and rock and roll etc.) might have been a touch oversold? And just maybe, living on the hillside in ‘little boxes made of ticky-tacky’ isn’t so bad ….. and being so sanctimoniously judgmental was always awful? And the ‘care and share’ idea is still right, but clearly needs much more work on the detail (particularly for healthcare).

    I continue to be optimistic. Yes, there are very big challenges ahead, most of which will hit my children and grandchildren rather than me. Unlike my generation they shouldn’t have to fear nuclear annihilation or polio – which must be good. Working global governance without the use of high explosives will continue to be testing. And they will need to be ever vigilant against those who will seek to cheat them.

    • Thanks much Andrew for reading what I write. I am still waiting for your response over on the Memphis statue page!

      “For me, that is useful. I will continue to hold that ‘progress’ has been very good (99%) for me ( pain free, safe, well off, family, great country etc.), but there have been setbacks. In particular, some of those wonderfully heady ideas from the 60s about ‘freedom’ (sex, drugs and rock and roll etc.) might have been a touch oversold? And just maybe, living on the hillside in ‘little boxes made of ticky-tacky’ isn’t so bad ….. and being so sanctimoniously judgmental was always awful? And the ‘care and share’ idea is still right, but clearly needs much more work on the detail (particularly for healthcare).

      If you are interested in the issue and problem of Occidental decadence, and if you are interested in gaining a better sense of the critical thought that delves into it, one source is Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age’ by Tomislav Sunic. I think he is the one who said ‘Communism rots the body but Liberalism rots the soul’.

      • Imagine my shock at Googling Tomislav Sunil and finding this:

        Sunić has been critical of post-World War II legislative changes in Europe, regarding non-white immigration and restrictions on freedom of speech. He has attended and spoken at some conferences organized and attended by historical revisionists. In August 2003, He gave a lecture in German, alongside the far-rightist ex-lawyer Horst Mahler, currently serving a prison sentence in Germany for Holocaust denial, at a conference sponsored by Germany’s neo-Nazi party, the National Democratic Party.

        Your sources are garbage, Alizia.

        • You are a most amazing creature! Just try to imagine for a moment if you were the one who had to do a write-up on Fräulein Alizia. You would apply all your devious tricks, all your mal-intentioned rephrasings, so to present me in the worst light possible.

          The important thing for you to realize (though you really should realize that this is a bad tactic to use on a blog and in all communication) is that it is this sort of deviousness that goes on all over the place. In the public sphere, in journalism, and in other important media. It is a form of maliciousness. In Hebrew it is called ‘lashon hara’ (wicked tongue).

          It should not surprise you that when Googling a controversial figure you can easily pull up prejudiced blurbs like that. Their function is to instill a bias and a prejudice and to keep anyone from approaching their work and ideas.

          Among your set —- SJWs, the ‘progressives’ —- you consider this work of maligning to be a noble task. It is related to ‘shutting down free speech’ because you deem it ‘fascist’ or what have you.

          All the figures who are writing on the New Right —- Alain de Benoit, Guillaume Faye, Jonathan Bowden, Jared Taylor, Sam Francis, Greg Johnson, to name just a few —- will have been given these prejudiced descriptions just so that people will form a skewed idea before they read what they write themselves.

          You demonstrate ‘self-censorship’ of the Orwellian variety. For this reason I find you an interesting subject.

          • “Prejudiced description.” You idiot, it’s a factual description. If most people react to the fact that a certain speaker has appeared alongside Holocaust deniers by no longer wanting anything to do with that speaker or their ideas, that’s a perfectly legitimate bias. And yes, most people would react to any honest write-up of your own positions with the same disgust. That’s because you are disgusting.

            • No, it isn’t. But you could only know that —- or anything at all about the author —- if you had read his work yourself.

              What ‘most people’ believe or think is not sufficient to prove that what they think is true, fair or accurate.

              You have performed a typical hack-job on Sunic. You know nothing of any of his positions, nor even if he is or is not a ‘Holocaust denier’ or revisionist. You have launched a slander solely for the purpose of discrediting him. That’s really all there is to it.

              It is true that many people might, and some indeed do, react to my ideas negatively. But that is not what tried to draw to your attention. An honest and a fair person would not add in slanders and deliberately embellish.

              You have quoted from a source that employs such tactics and they are common ones. And you yourself are deeply involved in the same.

  12. Trying to post one…more…time…

    “…No science, no experience, no history, no common sense, no evidence nor objective and informed observations…All there is left to fall back on is…Leviticus.”

    AIDS. The spread of AIDS. (Ohhh, but no harm done by anyone.)

    I just HAD to see those two paragraphs above, adjacent to one another.

    Obstinacy and denial knock the innocence out of every one of us.

    So, what are we left with? 2500 years (and more) of obstinacy and denial (and more!) about human nature, human sexuality, and the impacts of so many sexual behaviors. But also, wedding cakes demanded by same-sex couples, ordered from bakers who don’t want to make such cakes.

    Now, look: I’m not some control freak, advocating any particular limits on freedom of association – unless, say, it’s some question about certain murderous prisoners enjoying “general population time.” I am even less interested in having any influence over any person’s preferred sex behaviors. I am distrustful of a government of any kind – totalitarian, democratic, anarchist-vigilante, you-name-it – wielding power to control, influence, incentivize, or disincentivize any individual’s preferred sexual behaviors. I am more trusting of a truly freely associating “general public” to have sufficient good sense to make clear, through free association, which sex behaviors are OK (and not OK), and how OK (and not OK) particular sex behaviors are, in a relative sense. Problem: Heavy-handed, illiberal religions and governments alike are threats to free association; in their illiberalism, both eventually try their hands at social engineering, which is a frontal assault on freedom of association.

    The pathological pettiness of both cake-orderers and cake-bakers frustrates me to the point where I wish a judge could order the opposing parties to switch their places in the contested transactions for a month or two. Perhaps the loving couple would like having no choice but to make this cake to the baker’s specifications: a scale-model multi-story building, with a flagpole on the roof, flying the ISIS flag, with a bearded guy wearing a turban and toting an AK-47 rifle pushing two naked hand-holders of the same sex off the roof to their deaths. Maybe the walls of the building could be adorned with Arabic and English versions of “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Here’s Another Version of Equal Justice.”

    I do generally agree with Jack, that no matter who “wins” in the current, high-profile cake-baking-refusal court cases, the reality is that there will be no winners, only losers. SORE losers. (I anticipate being a sore loser about government engineering of freedom of association.)

    I haven’t done the research yet (I won’t be surprised at all, at whatever I find – and DON’T find), but for starters, I’m going to look for serious, documented thought about “the inherent misogyny of same-sex male coupling” – just to check the current trends of political correctness.

    Also, my anniversary is coming up soon, so I might seek out the business of an Islamic baker to make a celebratory cake for wifey and me – while we watch, to make sure the baker applies frosting with FRESH bacon bits. I’ll even offer to cook the bacon myself, and bring the bits to the baker to add to the frosting. Hey: no “art” for me – just cake, the way I want it.

    Happy New Year to all!

    • Poor logic. Before it was treatable, you could have used the same argument to claim heterosexuals were dangerous because of syphilis. Eating is immoral because of obesity and heart attacks. Gathering in public because of the flu.

      Unforeseen plagues and illnesses are moral luck. Using AIDS to impugn homosexuality is the worst kind of consequentialism.

      • My turn, to say, “Come on.”

        Surely you aren’t going to deny that promiscuity of male homosexual behavior was sufficient to bring about the harm that was the AIDS epidemic. That promiscuity, not the “naturalness” or “normalcy” of homosexuality itself, is what I am “impugning,” if your accusation that I am impugning anything at all has any validity.

        So…fear of potential for public health problems that are a result of certain behaviors is “poor logic?” Suddenly (or even, gradually), magically, treatability of certain health problems makes fear of behaviors linked to causation of those problems “illogical?”

        COME ON!

    • The pathological pettiness of both cake-orderers and cake-bakers frustrates me to the point where I wish a judge could order the opposing parties to switch their places in the contested transactions for a month or two. Perhaps the loving couple would like having no choice but to make this cake to the baker’s specifications: a scale-model multi-story building, with a flagpole on the roof, flying the ISIS flag, with a bearded guy wearing a turban and toting an AK-47 rifle pushing two naked hand-holders of the same sex off the roof to their deaths. Maybe the walls of the building could be adorned with Arabic and English versions of “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Here’s Another Version of Equal Justice.”

      …Also, my anniversary is coming up soon, so I might seek out the business of an Islamic baker to make a celebratory cake for wifey and me – while we watch, to make sure the baker applies frosting with FRESH bacon bits. I’ll even offer to cook the bacon myself, and bring the bits to the baker to add to the frosting. Hey: no “art” for me – just cake, the way I want it.

      The bankruptcy of this type of analogy has been elucidated so many times here that I can’t believe you’ve missed it. It is also obvious. You are conflating a requirement that bakers provide the same service to everyone, regardless of class, with a requirement that bakers perform a service for a specific customer that they have never and would never perform for anyone else. If a baker has a habit of making cakes like the ones you describe, then he must make them for everyone. If the baker not make cakes like the one you describe, no court in the US has held or would hold that they must do so if a customer asked. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

  13. PART ONE

    You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.
    ___________________________

    Jack writes: “Let’s begin with this: to argue that conduct is wrong, as in unethical, one must be able to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened. Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical. For example, it is easy to argue why “Don’t kill people” is a valid principle without having to resort to “because God says so.”

    First things first: my object is now and has always been to learn. I do not have a fixed position, despite appearances. This is both a strength and also a weakness. I am in this sense a classic postmodern soul. What I take this to mean is one who can see various different points-of-view and understand the sense in them but who then, Hamlet-like, can’t make up her mind. I have come to see Hamlet’s paradox as being highly relevant to an understanding of our selves. Perhaps I am putting too much stress on this, and perhaps I just love to enjoy and express the relationship I feel to Shakesepeare, yet I do not think so. I know that you have background in Shakespeare and I remember that you wrote about Lear that ‘it seems to come from another planet or dimension’ (I paraphrase), and so I think you can understand what it means to be in a postmodernd swamp; to be stuck in and strung between two competing, inimical, metaphysical systems.

    Andrew Wakeling thinks I may be ‘certifiably insane’ (no, I am Venezueli-ane), and you think I am a ‘bigot’ (no, I am a spigot!), but I wish to lay stress on this interesting fact of ‘competing metaphysics’. I try to explain what I mean and, it seems , no one understands. The reason is because I am (attempting to) deal in metaphysics and this is not an easy topic. In ‘The Seventeenth Century Background’ by Basil Willey, Chap. 1 ‘The Rejection of Scholasticism’, he begins:

    “To give a ‘philosophical account of matters which had formerly been explained ‘unscientifically’, ‘popularly’, or ‘figuratively’ —- this, it would probably be agreed, has been the main intellectual concern for the last three hundred years. In a sense, no doubt, the separation of the ‘true’ from the ‘false, the ‘real’ from the ‘illusory, has been the task of thought at all times. But this winnowing process seems to have been carried on much more actively and consciously at certain times than at others. For us in the West two such periods are of especial importance, the period of Greek philosophy and the centuries following the Renaissance. It was in the seventeenth century that modern European thought seems to have assumed, once more, that its appointed task was La Recherche de la Vérité, the discovery and declaration, according to its lights, of the True Nature of Things. It is in that century that we meet once again the exhilaration which inspired Lucretius in his address to Epicurus —- the sense of emancipation from inadequate notions, of new contact with reality. It was then, too, that the concept of ‘truth, ‘reality’, ‘explanation’ and the rest were being formed, which have moulded all subsequent thinking. There is some reason, then, for supposing that it may be worth while to watch these concepts in process of formation.”

    As I did try to explain to Andrew (on another thread now sunk into the depth of temps perdu), My personal area of research, but more of my life and where I locate myself, is as an amphibian of sorts, living in two worlds simultaneously. I suppose this must sound like ridiculous, or worse, as vain chatter, but I assure you that it is not. What I mean to say is that though I may be a chatterbox I can assure you that my existential and philosophical concerns are highly relevant to our present. They help to make sense of so many things. Of the general chaos in which we find ourselves.

    So, what I do here, and what I do in relation to your various ‘declarations’ (this is a word from my lexicon and it refers to statements that are made which are filled with absolute certainty and a peculiar tone of authority, as if no other alternative is possible…), such as the first paragraph in your bolded word-club, is to attempt to see where you stand; where you ‘locate yourself’: (location being another important term from my lexicon that refers to the set of predicates, usually understood axiomatically, and absorbed semi-consciously, that underpin our perception-structure). Now, you may ask Why would you do that? Why attempt to ‘locate me’? I answer: It is imperative that we locate ourselves and that we locate others if we are going to approach understanding of them; and if we are to understand what they are trying to say as ‘the abstract and brief chronicles of the time’. You, to me, are completely a case in point.

    You will grow impatient certainly that I hesitate and dawdle over these points and you will, perhaps, thik that I am no cooperating with your enquiry (as you attempt to definitively nail me in this Show Trial you have set up!) But this is not the case at all. I promise to cooperate, and I will cooperate (Your Honor).

    You have presented here in the quoted paragraph, above, a pithy, charged and complex statement that must be unpacked before I can even begin to ‘answer’ the charges you have brought against me.

    Jack writes: “Let’s begin with this: to argue that conduct is wrong, as in unethical, one must be able to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened. Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical. For example, it is easy to argue why “Don’t kill people” is a valid principle without having to resort to “because God says so.”

    Thi is a condensation of what I imagine to be your entire valuation-system. You seem to be a pragmatist and I reckon you then an American Pragmatist. As I said in another place you do not function and operate, in any sense at all, within any sort of religious-metaphysical perspective and for this reason they simply make no sense to you. I think that you are similar to the Founders in this. Deism is another way of ‘explaining away’ divinity while still allowing to ‘exist’, sort of, in a non-consequential plane far, far away. Because this is your basic position —- your metaphysical position I will add because it is a metaphysics —- I do not think you have any way at all, neither conceptually and certainly not experientially, to understand how people who locate themselves within a faith-position, a belief-position and one of such understanding, I do not think you have any way to grasp how they work to decide ethical and moral questions. In any case, their ‘methods’ and processes mean nothing to you. You want facts and ‘concrete examples’ and your base-criteria are in ‘what we know will make society better, healtier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened’.

    Good Lord! I know the guillotine awaits me!

    ‘Don’t wait to be hunted to hide, that was always my motto…’

    I will sing though in the time left me! I am fairly sure you will ask me to stand in the chilly wind and to recite an ‘Ecclesiastical Oath’. I tend to pretention when I write, I freely admit this, but there is some good reason why I bring up issues related to the French Revolution: it is that your Americanism and your American pragmatism, and of course your notion of ‘enlightenment’, arises from this movement in ideas: revolutionary, irreverant, cocksure, bold and rather arrogant in its way. Also undermining, acidic, destructive, overturning.

    In order to arrive at ‘better healthier freer safer more prosperous more productive more enlightened’ —- according to me —- you will need to understand the Real Presence. Just as you are asking (that is to say, demanding) that I enter into and accept your predicates and their inevitable metaphysical tenets, so too I will ask the same of you. You will have to come to understand the Transubstantiation and in this way the reality of the existence of the Divine. I am using this (Real Presence) as a general symbol. I can do this and it is fair to do so because the symbol and what it connotes is just as real and in many demonstrable instances more real and more influential than your revolutionary ideals. (But in no sense would I dismiss the categories that you hold dear; this is not my object. My object is to understand how different metaphysical platforms determine viewpoints, worldpictures, and of course ethical choices).

    You say: “Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical”. There is a problem with this statement since, according to you and what I understand of your position, you have no way of understanding the ‘inner dimension’ or the ‘experiential reality’ of the spiritual and the religious orientation. Sure, you will ask (demand) that it demonstrate its immediate validity and authority in some specific instance, yet in fact the larger question you sort of (and sort of don’t) ask is not an easy one to reference. That is, one has to refer to 1500 years of European experience and, pushing on my example, 1500 years of the Real Presence as a real thing and a real influence, there, at the center of social organization. I am using symbols to illustrate (important) points. But I am also attempting to speak to ‘real things’. Obviously, you would and I imagine that in your own life you have, done away with any concept of a Real Presence as being at all and in any way considerable. Doing so, you cannot understand Europe and in this sense you cannot understand a very important aspect of man and certainly Occidental man.

    I hope that you will forgive me and if possible bless me for taking this particular tack in relation to your Inquisition. I am jung and afreud and tentativeI have to do this in parts. So here, I hope, I have laid some of the ground. I will make my best, my honest effort, to respond to other important elements within this your first compact, marrowy and declarative paragraph.

    [Chris, hold your spit and your invective for now!]

    • PART ONE
      You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.
      ___________________________


      If there are more terrifying two words than “PART ONE” before a comment you author, I cannot at this moment conceive of them

      Jack writes: “Let’s begin with this: to argue that conduct is wrong, as in unethical, one must be able to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened. Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical. For example, it is easy to argue why “Don’t kill people” is a valid principle without having to resort to “because God says so.”
      First things first: my object is now and has always been to learn. I do not have a fixed position, despite appearances.

      Denial, stalling and backtracking. In other words, trying to argue with you is like tackling jello. This intellectually dishonest. Take a position, defend it, be accountable for it’s failings. “Well, I don’t necessarily BELIEVE this” means you’re wasting everyone’s time..

      This is both a strength and also a weakness. I am in this sense a classic postmodern soul. What I take this to mean is one who can see various different points-of-view and understand the sense in them but who then, Hamlet-like, can’t make up her mind.

      There are coherent ways of expressing this in a discussion. Like “I see your point, and I need to think about it.”

      I have come to see Hamlet’s paradox as being highly relevant to an understanding of our selves. Perhaps I am putting too much stress on this, and perhaps I just love to enjoy and express the relationship I feel to Shakesepeare, yet I do not think so. I know that you have background in Shakespeare and I remember that you wrote about Lear that ‘it seems to come from another planet or dimension’ (I paraphrase), and so I think you can understand what it means to be in a postmodern swamp; to be stuck in and strung between two competing, inimical, metaphysical systems.

      See, this doesn’t help. There are topics and issues, and this is a tangent. It doesn’t focus the discussion, it diffuses it. And when someone debates this way, I conclude that they really don’t want to deal with reality, just hear themselves blather. Hamlet and Lear have zilch to do with gay rights.

      Andrew Wakeling thinks I may be ‘certifiably insane’ (no, I am Venezueli-ane), and you think I am a ‘bigot’ (no, I am a spigot!), but I wish to lay stress on this interesting fact of ‘competing metaphysics’. I try to explain what I mean and, it seems , no one understands. The reason is because I am (attempting to) deal in metaphysics and this is not an easy topic. In ‘The Seventeenth Century Background’ by Basil Willey, Chap. 1 ‘The Rejection of Scholasticism’, he begins:
      “To give a ‘philosophical account of matters which had formerly been explained ‘unscientifically’, ‘popularly’, or ‘figuratively’ —- this, it would probably be agreed, has been the main intellectual concern for the last three hundred years. In a sense, no doubt, the separation of the ‘true’ from the ‘false, the ‘real’ from the ‘illusory, has been the task of thought at all times. But this winnowing process seems to have been carried on much more actively and consciously at certain times than at others. For us in the West two such periods are of especial importance, the period of Greek philosophy and the centuries following the Renaissance. It was in the seventeenth century that modern European thought seems to have assumed, once more, that its appointed task was La Recherche de la Vérité, the discovery and declaration, according to its lights, of the True Nature of Things. It is in that century that we meet once again the exhilaration which inspired Lucretius in his address to Epicurus —- the sense of emancipation from inadequate notions, of new contact with reality. It was then, too, that the concept of ‘truth, ‘reality’, ‘explanation’ and the rest were being formed, which have moulded all subsequent thinking. There is some reason, then, for supposing that it may be worth while to watch these concepts in process of formation.”

      I’m sorry. Alizia, but this is total static. It doesn’t help. It certainly doesn’t rebut anything I wrote. Abstract philosophy doesn’t interest or engage me at all. It is why ethics is a vast desert in US culture: nobody connects this with real life. We don’t need Plato, Epicurus or Lucretius to come to an ethical conclusion about gays in America, a culture none of those men could have conceived of.

      As I did try to explain to Andrew (on another thread now sunk into the depth of temps perdu), My personal area of research, but more of my life and where I locate myself, is as an amphibian of sorts, living in two worlds simultaneously. I suppose this must sound like ridiculous, or worse, as vain chatter, but I assure you that it is not. What I mean to say is that though I may be a chatterbox I can assure you that my existential and philosophical concerns are highly relevant to our present. They help to make sense of so many things. Of the general chaos in which we find ourselves.

      Fine. We all live in multiple worlds and cultures. However, difficult or controversial issues cannot be addressed by complicating them beyond all hope. In ethics, we return to core, bedrock principles. Otherwise no one will be able to agree on anything.

      So, what I do here, and what I do in relation to your various ‘declarations’ (this is a word from my lexicon and it refers to statements that are made which are filled with absolute certainty and a peculiar tone of authority, as if no other alternative is possible…), such as the first paragraph in your bolded word-club, is to attempt to see where you stand;

      You are slipping into “your truth/my truth” territory. I won’t have that. You can’t play chess if one player moves a bishop like a rook and the other moves it like a knight. That bold section is a fair and accurate description of how ethical analysis proceeds, and what the tools are. It is not a club nor a declaration. It is fact. Stating facts is not a “stand.” It is a starting point that is non-negotiable, unless other, equally valid facts are presented.

      ..where you ‘locate yourself’: (location being another important term from my lexicon that refers to the set of predicates, usually understood axiomatically, and absorbed semi-consciously, that underpin our perception-structure). Now, you may ask Why would you do that? Why attempt to ‘locate me’? I answer: It is imperative that we locate ourselves and that we locate others if we are going to approach understanding of them; and if we are to understand what they are trying to say as ‘the abstract and brief chronicles of the time’. You, to me, are completely a case in point.

      Nope. I am not being abstract. I am talking about reality, real people, real problems, real and established societal values. We begin at the beginning. That’s the only location necessary. Obsessing about individuals just encourages ad hominem attacks. It should make what I argue or what you argue has as much or as little validity whether it comes from me, you, the Pope, or Jo-Jo the Fish Boy.

      You will grow impatient certainly that I hesitate and dawdle over these points

      You got that right!

      and you will, perhaps, think that I am no cooperating with your inquiry (as you attempt to definitively nail me in this Show Trial you have set up!) But this is not the case at all. I promise to cooperate, and I will cooperate (Your Honor).

      You cooperate when you get to the point, and start presenting evidence. In court, speaking of Your Honor, an advocate like you would be stopped mid-sentence, and eventually held in contempt. And rightly so.

      You have presented here in the quoted paragraph, above, a pithy, charged and complex statement that must be unpacked before I can even begin to ‘answer’ the charges you have brought against me.
      Jack writes: “Let’s begin with this: to argue that conduct is wrong, as in unethical, one must be able to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened. Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical. For example, it is easy to argue why “Don’t kill people” is a valid principle without having to resort to “because God says so.”

      Let me interject: you just took 1000 words to circle back to my first sentence.

      I have to take a break now. I’ll be back after a few stiff drinks. For the love of God, don’t write anything else…

      • No, Jack, the preamble is required. This is not a court of law and even when I recognize that I am speaking to an ethicist and a lawyer with a very specific, and very useful and valuable method, the issues that are being dealt with —- that I deal with in any case —- are issues that touch on metaphysics, spirituality, history, theology and European culture. Your world is very narrow and your style is legalistic and sharp and in their domain these are highly to their credit. But the sorts of ideas that I seek to bring forward are in a different category, and require a slower, more careful expostulation.

        This to you is ‘arguing against jello’. But this is really your starting point in any such conversation with any person who does not see things, and the world, and existence, as you do. It is all jibber-jabber and gobbledeegook. This is why I observe that I think I can see you —- your position and your ‘location’ —- rather clearly. And I do not conceal that, in my way, embryonic though it is, I am very interested in your position because I can think of no one who better demonstrates what American Liberalism is, what its tenets are, and how it functions and operates. As I have said: because I am attempting to define a *true* conservative position to be attacked abd buffetted by people who hold the ideas you do is very useful to me. Excuse me for desiring to gain all that I can!

        I am going to develop —- I am developing —- a coherant position and the ways-and-means to explain my ideas and beliefs. For me, this takes time. I do not have it all worked out.

        I did not say that I don’t necessarily believe things, I referred to a much larger issue and problem: the postmodern problem. I certainly do ‘take a position’: I describe it and put it out there. But you interpret this tendentiously, as you often do.

        I cannot and I will not be pushed to make ‘irrational statements’ about very difficult questions. I choose to move slowly through the entire question, and through all present social issues and problems, and in my historical and philosophical analysis. It is, really it is, the only and the best way to proceed.

        I wrote a great deal and you have not been able to hear any part of it! You have in what you have written here failed to grasp what I am talking about, or to note the importance. You are totally mistaken if you refer to the paragraph of Basil Willey as ‘abstract philosophy’. If there is going to be any serious dicussion where God or the ‘idea of God’ is spoken of, one has to establish a context through which it can be spoken.

        You quite simply reject a vast realm within an important category and you work, through beligerant assertion, to command your sense of things to be just as you say. You say “I’ll have not of that!” and I will repeat the phrase back.

        I will not be corralled by you to adopt your methods or the way you see the world, how absurd is that!

        Conversation is a cooperative affair, or it is not really conversation. You are not conversing with me, you are dictating terms.

        I think you should be more patient.

        • Didn’t I ask that you not write anymore? Jello is bad enough—expanding jello is impossible.

          I’m “dictating” necessary guidelines for any discussion. Would I be dictating to ask that we write in English? I’m requiring coherence, organization, relevance, evidence and focus. That’s completely reasonable, and in fact, essential.

          • I can’t imagine how full of oneself one must be to come here and write the way Alizia does. It is simple rudeness at this point.

            I would like to see Alizia try to express a full, coherent argument, starting with a firm ethical principle, in three five-sentence paragraphs. I truly don’t think she can do it.

          • You don’t accept my coherance, organization, relevance, evidence nor focus. The only thing you will accept is if I accept your opinions and conclusions. It is really that simple.

            You are really similar to Chris in this sense. No matter what I say, no matter how I say it, he does not accept and will never accept the ideas that are presented. And it is not just you two. It is a very wide group of people, certainly in the country, and definitely in the world.

            That is why I continually say that these interchanges, despite your-plural lack of interest, is frustrating, I admit, yet helpful.

            Now, I will continue with the much anticipated PART TWO. (No pay-wall planned as yet).

            • No, Alizia. You have no coherence, organization, relevance, evidence nor focus. I am not the only one who has pointed this out; almost everyone has, There are geniuses, like ee cummings and James Joyce, who (arguably) forged original ways of communicating that varied violently from the norm. I knew James Joyce; James Joyce drove me crazy, but you’re no James Joyce. You are bound by the same rules of rhetoric, logic, advocacy and relevance as the rest of us.

              • No, some have. Just some. And they are like you insofar as they do not desire to see and recognize the categories that have importance to me.

                It is fairly clear to me that you are thoroughly committed to your particular position and not interested in hearing about or discovering how other people —- say for example people who have religious-philosophical perspectives —- frame their ideas.

                You tell me what others have pointed out. I could say the same about you. Still, I take your hardness and demandingness in the best light that I can. Your approach is undeniably a strength within your domain of concern.

                And I do accept what you say as a challenge to do better. I have never attempted to describe these things. But I will get better at it.

      • OK, I’m back….

        This is a condensation of what I imagine to be your entire valuation-system. You seem to be a pragmatist and I reckon you then an American Pragmatist.

        Ethics divorced from pragmatism are not ethics. The idea behind ethical conduct is to make things better, or keep them good. Theory divorced from reality is interesting, but a cheat. Yes, anyone who is serious about applied ethics, and that’s my field, is a pragmatist within a set of ideals.

        As I said in another place you do not function and operate, in any sense at all, within any sort of religious-metaphysical perspective and for this reason they simply make no sense to you.

        That’s because faith has nothing to do with sense, of course. Religion to the extent that it is a source of enlightenment and values-based reasoning is an asset to ethical problem solving. To the extent that allows people like you to bypass legitimate argument and say, “It’s true because X says so,” It’s a serious impediment.

        I think that you are similar to the Founders in this. Deism is another way of ‘explaining away’ divinity while still allowing to ‘exist’, sort of, in a non-consequential plane far, far away. Because this is your basic position —- your metaphysical position I will add because it is a metaphysics —- I do not think you have any way at all, neither conceptually and certainly not experientially, to understand how people who locate themselves within a faith-position, a belief-position and one of such understanding, I do not think you have any way to grasp how they work to decide ethical and moral questions.

        I usually don’t care HOW or anyone arrives at solutions to ethical problems, if their method is based on ethical reasoning and not superstition, rumor, or convenient falsehoods. All ethical systems can work in the right situations. No ethical system works every time. Morality, however, isn’t problem solving. Or ethics. It’s compliance.

        In any case, their ‘methods’ and processes mean nothing to you. You want facts and ‘concrete examples’ and your base-criteria are in ‘what we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened’.

        Yes, because that’s what ethical conduct is. You are playing Humpty Dumpty. Words and concepts have meaning.

        Good Lord! I know the guillotine awaits me! ‘Don’t wait to be hunted to hide, that was always my motto…’I will sing though in the time left me! I am fairly sure you will ask me to stand in the chilly wind and to recite an ‘Ecclesiastical Oath’. I tend to pretention when I write, I freely admit this, but there is some good reason why I bring up issues related to the French Revolution: it is that your Americanism and your American pragmatism, and of course your notion of ‘enlightenment’, arises from this movement in ideas: revolutionary, irreverant, cocksure, bold and rather arrogant in its way. Also undermining, acidic, destructive, overturning.

        You haven’t yet addressed the topic of the exchange. This is just pointless characterization and gratuitous name-calling.

        In order to arrive at ‘better healthier freer safer more prosperous more productive more enlightened’ —- according to me —- you will need to understand the Real Presence. Just as you are asking (that is to say, demanding) that I enter into and accept your predicates and their inevitable metaphysical tenets, so too I will ask the same of you. You will have to come to understand the Transubstantiation and in this way the reality of the existence of the Divine.

        I’m sorry—I passed out when I read “Transubstantiation.”

        I am using this (Real Presence) as a general symbol. I can do this and it is fair to do so because the symbol and what it connotes is just as real and in many demonstrable instances more real and more influential than your revolutionary ideals. (But in no sense would I dismiss the categories that you hold dear; this is not my object. My object is to understand how different metaphysical platforms determine viewpoints, worldpictures, and of course ethical choices).

        That’s nice. I don’t care about that at all. This is the appropriate anecdote, George S. Kaufmann’s description of his interest in crooner Eddie Fisher’s love life:

        “Mr. Fisher, on Mount Wilson there is a telescope that can magnify the most distant stars to twenty-four times the magnification of any previous telescope. This remarkable instrument was unsurpassed in the world of astronomy until the development and construction of the Mount Palomar telescope.The Mount Palomar telescope is an even more remarkable instrument of magnification. Owing to advances and improvements in optical technology, it is capable of magnifying the stars to four times the magnification and resolution of the Mount Wilson telescope.Mr. Fisher, if you could somehow put the Mount Wilson telescope inside the Mount Palomar telescope, you still wouldn’t be able to see my interest in your problem.”

        You say: “Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical”. There is a problem with this statement since, according to you and what I understand of your position, you have no way of understanding the ‘inner dimension’ or the ‘experiential reality’ of the spiritual and the religious orientation.

        It’s irrelevant. It works and makes sense, or it doesn’t.

        Sure, you will ask (demand) that it demonstrate its immediate validity and authority in some specific instance, yet in fact the larger question you sort of (and sort of don’t) ask is not an easy one to reference. That is, one has to refer to 1500 years of European experience and, pushing on my example, 1500 years of the Real Presence as a real thing and a real influence, there, at the center of social organization. I am using symbols to illustrate (important) points. But I am also attempting to speak to ‘real things’. Obviously, you would and I imagine that in your own life you have, done away with any concept of a Real Presence as being at all and in any way considerable. Doing so, you cannot understand Europe and in this sense you cannot understand a very important aspect of man and certainly Occidental man.

        Double talk. Academic jargon. I used to run into people who talked like this during campus demonstrations. I regarded it then as a kind of con to avoid real discussions. Still do. Sorry.

        I hope that you will forgive me and if possible bless me for taking this particular tack in relation to your Inquisition. I am jung and afreud and tentativeI have to do this in parts. So here, I hope, I have laid some of the ground. I will make my best, my honest effort, to respond to other important elements within this your first compact, marrowy and declarative paragraph.

        Thanks for the warning. THAT was ethical.

        • Good Morning Jack. And Happy New Year. I appreciated this response more than the other.

          I am now beginning to get worried. Because if my mere words, or some reference I make, can cause you to pass out, I wonder if you are taking appropriate precautions. Do you have a large stock of blankets, quilts and other such bed coverings stored up over the years? Might it not be a good idea to array them around your computer area, along with cushions from couches, so that in case you topple over you land on soft surfaces? I did envision some arrangement with bungee chords tied to strategic doorknobs and other anchors fastened to your person, but this will likely involved unnecessary expense. 🙂

          I also have to admit that I imagined you falling into a swoon and then having a Dickens-like vision of a ghostly visitor who takes you on a soul-journey much like that of George Baily, into a sort of Christmas Future where you see the ‘fallen world’ and have to process it all like George and Scrooge.

          Then in the vision, of course, you are led to a little chapel and are met by none other than Pius X! who leads you right up to the tabernacle, glowing luminously with spiritual light. You reach up to open the golden door but are woken out of the dream by the darned telephone!

          You get up and answer it irritated, “What!!”

          “Hello there Jack, it’s me, Alizia…”

          __________________

          I hope that you can see that your position is super-interesting to me. I read carefully what you write and I promise you that I make serious efforts to take it in.

          At the same time I regard you as a different species of mind. You will be of course happy (but please, no jumping up and clicking your heels like the leprechaun) to hear me admit that our minds are structured differently. Go ahead, make fun of what I said.

          What I am really trying to say, and what I did try to say with a reference to Basil Willey and that interesting excerpt, is that I am noting the presence of radically different metaphysical structures in how people (literally) orient themselves within Reality. This is not a minor thing. But I do recognize, and accept, that it is valueless and meaningless as an observation.

          I have to study tou and work to grasp your orientation in order to better understand America. Really, I am not kidding. You are the best example, the most clearcut example, of American Liberalism that I have ever encountered. Do you think that I am fair in saying this? I mean, given your background and your studies of American presidents and your pragmatic ethical focus (applied ethics), you are really a sort of quintessential American and give the best insight into the basic American philosophy.

  14. Jack, you have said all you say here before in both blogs and in response to those who have replied to them, but the discourse came in fragments, pertinent (as is usual and correct, in fact ethically “fair” if I can put it that way) to other, larger subjects in hand. Finally, it gets to be said all together, in a cogent, coherent and unusually persuasive argument that will be of estimable value to a great many people in the future. I am grateful for it personally. And I have already begun to share it — it is my New Year’s message of hope.

  15. “Let’s begin with this: to argue that conduct is wrong, as in unethical, one must be able to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened. Morality or religion’s role in this is only relevant when moral dictates and religious tenets can objectively be demonstrated to also be practical and ethical. For example, it is easy to argue why “Don’t kill people” is a valid principle without having to resort to “because God says so.”

    I have argued against the promotion of homosexuality. You say that it cannot be promoted. I say that you are wrong. I do not like to refer to other posters who, in some way, have indicated support for aspects of my opinions. The reason is because I do not like the forum team-up games. But I notice that Mrs Q, who certainly is in a good position to know about such things, and should be trusted to report accurately, has given some assent to the notion of ‘promotion of homosexuality’. To insist on this point, when you adamantly refuse even the suggestion that it is possible, is a waste of time. But there are many sources that I could refer to. You would shoot every one of them down, I am sure of it.

    “FOUL It is not an “option.” People are gay, or not. Being short isn’t an option. Being old isn’t an option. This is an old myth/canard/libel, that people choose to be gay. They do not. The research is very clear, and I have had enough conversation with gay friends to be secure in this.”

    You are very very wrong here. I recognize and all should recognize innate homosexuality. But I have known, and still know, girls who chose to become lesbians and who then later opted out of it. I have seen and known many young kids, middle and late teens, very impressionable, very uncertain of themselves, become influenced by group pressures to act gayish, engage in gay sex, and more or less experiment with gayness as an ‘option’, in exactly the way that I described. Perhaps you focus uniquely on your experience in the theatre world. I am speaking of direct experience among young people. But how could I prove this to you? How could it be proved? All that I can do is to share the perspective I have picked up. Even where I live now (in a semi-regional part of Colombia) I notice all the time kids experimenting with gay posturing. I think that you are not grapsing that a good deal of human behavior is picked up through social influences. For this reason I speak of ‘selling’ or ‘purveying’ gay sexual activity. The mechanisms by which it is purveyed are many.

    “Gibberish. People are people. Accepting how people are is ethical. All this abstract jargon is just a way to gild the garbage. I don’t care about doctrine, movements, or any of that: they are irrelevant to the ethical issue. Do gays have the same rights as anyone else? Yes. Is there ant reason to deny them? No. Easy.”

    I have said, and I say again, that homosexual people exist and will always exist. I have said that they must be tolerated. That means accepted. Therefor, I am not violating the ethic that you speak about. I am saying something different though, and so your ‘people are people’ argument falls flat. People pick up all sorts of behaviors from their environment; they imitate TV stars and movie stars. They come under the influence of cultural trends, both positive and negative. It is a simple idea I am working with.

    I said that Madsen & Co in the book I mentioned described a plan for ‘selling’ the idea of homosexuality to the culture at large. They used this term: “to make choosing homosexuality the same as choosing vanilla ice cream over chocolate”. Just a choice about ‘flavor’. An insignificant choice.

    But I say that this choice is one that has reprecussions. As all choices to. And surely those that turn on such fundamental issues. I do get that you do not think it has any bearing or relevance at all. I acknowledge your opinion. But it is an opinion, not a settled fact.

    Therefor, if I am to describe why I think it is a negaive choice, taken on the whole, and why I think that it should not be encouraged, or to put it another way why I think it is best to suppress it, I have to refer to my own spiritual and religious views, or those that I describe as existential-metaphysical. But I am acutely aware that you (and many others) accept no part of this. You will not listen to nor entertain, in any way, those arguments.

    At that point I have to back away from this conversation in the sense of standing back from it and try to explain, as I understand it, why these two world-pictures are in collision. In what I wrote to you previously (Part One) I tried, in good faith and honestly, to draw your attention to the issue of shifting metaphysics. You clearly indicated that you would have none of that, and you did this, and likely will still do it, in dismissive and brusque terms. This surpises me I must admit. I did not expect that sort of reaction. You seem very closed within these particular areas. But it seems to me that someone in your position would be better off not to be closed. You would gain more from being open. That is, if you wish to understand what is going on in the present with greater depth.

    “The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t even believe in its own alleged principles. This isn’t just an appeal to authority, it’s an appeal to a corrupt authority.”

    That is an unfair tactic of argument. What do you know about the Roman Church? What do you care? What ‘the Church’ thinks or believes, today in any case, is not what interests and concerns me. I referred to Catholic doctrine, and Catholic theology, and also to the presence of Catholicism as a living and vital historical tradition within Europe. I attempted to ‘draw to your attention’ something, or to provide insight that could be interesting or important, as indeed I think it is. You enage in underhanded argument. The issue is not if the Church is corrupt at this time. The issue has to do with specifics of Catholic doctrine, and also of Christian doctrine as it pertains to sexuality and sexual ethics. It is not right to say that I am ‘appealing to authority’, I am appealing to established social doctrine which, in my view and that of others, has a sound base.

    “More blather and fantasy. Gays no more engage in “unrestrained sexuality” than straights. Like straights, married committed gays engage in far less “unrestrained sexuality’ than unmarried gays. By that measure, the Church should support gay marriage. But that would make sense. All of this is abstraction. Useless in real world problems.”

    I think you are ‘out of touch’ as the saying goes. You seem to have no idea what goes on in the bar scene, for example in the Bay Area. You are speaking about a crowd that you know, and perhaps idealize, and perhaps a class of person who is of a different order or cultural level (I really have no idea). But yo have very little idea of what is going on ‘out there’. I am enbarrassed to talk about it, and so I won’t. But when I speak of ‘unrestrained sexuality’ I am speaking to a real thing. I know it to be real. I have done my research.

    You use confusing, perhaps lawyerly, tactics to throw an argument off base. It is insulting to say ‘blather and fantasy’. My observations are not ‘blather’ and they are not ‘fantasies’. You come across as bombastic. It is part of your style and has its place, but my lord.

    Additionally, since I have spoken of a cultural climate of ‘unrestrained sexuality’ —- as for example an epidemic of pornography; of kids being exposed to hardcore porn at impressionable ages, and the negative effects of this unrestrained sexual expression which has been noticed by many thoughtful persons, some religiously oriented, some not —- I did not exlude heterosexuals. I am noticing cultural and social trends. And I have looked into the issue. I have read numerous titles on the porn epidemic. And one particular book on the effect of porn on young girls. With this, I say that I am concerned about ‘real world problems’ and I am wondering how in the heck you support such affronting ways of speaking!

    “Still waiting for an actual argument. This is like a filibuster. WHY is reining in of sexual license among all people, all partners, and in all relationships “necessary”? Why is it any of your business?”

    I do not think you really want an argument. You want capitulation! 😉 If you wish to explore that complex question it can be done. But not in a single paragraph. It is a complex topic and requires establishing a bse for such a conversation to take place. But your style is to hammer your opinion as if it is settled fact and to show no interest in hearing the other.

    I cannot tell you, in one paragraph, why unrestrained sexual licence is a dangerous, negative development. I am surprised that you do not have more of a sense why this is. But if you really want me to develop my thoughts on this question, I will. I admit that I take it as a given. As an example, I take it as a given that a pornography epidemic, and por addiction, and encouragement to engage in bizaree and risky behaviors, and to be introduced to brutal sexual imagery at a very tender age, is a negative.

    “There is no reason or data here, Alizia. “Paul said so” means nothing, and has no value. He was from a different time and culture, and thought the world was flat. I wouldn’t let him teach third grade today. What you “feel” is also no argument.”

    You are not familiar with St Paul’s writing on sexual questions, I’d guess. It is a question here of what was at one time basic literacy. You are just shutting out data that has bearing on understanding how Christians think, as well as information that has influenced the culture, the Occident, for a very long time. Sexual ethics have arisen out of Christian philosophy. I did not say ‘Paul said so’. That is a derisive mistatement. I referred to Pauline teachings on the topic. I do not accept what I think your argument is against other times and cultures. You cannot simply dismiss these things with an imperious gesture of your hand. They are part and parcel of ‘our culture’. To understand the inner dimensio of opposition to certain forms of sexual licence among Christians one has to consider the material important to them. I mean, in the best of circumstances.

    You are very narrow sometimes, Jack!

    “To the contrary, it has no ethical content at all. No balancing, no reason, no data. You whiffed. You were smoked. You got nothin’.”

    Not so. Not by any stretch. Actually in many ways you have demonstrated your own limitations. But still I do accept that I will have to work better at communicating my ideas. I will.

    Finally, I am really interested in:

    “…to show how it breaches an ethical value, all of which involve conduct that we know will make society better, healthier, freer, safer, more prosperous, more productive, and more enlightened.”

    What I can say is that I have been devoting a great deal of time to looking into this. I don’t think that you would appreciate the areas that I do these investigations. Still working!

    • I spent more time on PART 1 than it was worth, so I’ll be concise here:

      1. Nobody promotes homosexuality
      2. Lesbians are still not understood, and female homosexuality doesn’t follow the genetic or brain chemistry markers of males.
      3. Yes, some heterosexual women experiment with same sex relationships, and may not be in fact be gay. Women don’t do anything to each other than men wouldn’t do. Homosexuality among women was only recently recognized—British laws against homosexuality didn’t include women, for example.
      4. YOU are estopped from citing lesbians as your evidence, because none of your sources wrote about or considered lesbians. Plato, Paul, none of them. I framed my argument based on that: I was speaking of male homosexuality only. And no, nobody promotes that, and no, straight men do not get “lured” into it.
      5. For men, it is not a choice. For some women, a gay lifestyle is.
      6.” I said that Madsen & Co in the book I mentioned described a plan for ‘selling’ the idea of homosexuality to the culture at large. They used this term: “to make choosing homosexuality the same as choosing vanilla ice cream over chocolate”. Just a choice about ‘flavor’. An insignificant choice.”

      You are obsessed with a single book. It was a PR strategy piece regarding how a group could overcome a bad image built over centuries out of fear and ignorance. So what? Their “flavor” analogy was for image purposes (and was wrong.) It’s one book, one tactic, one solution proposed for a problem.

      7. “At that point I have to back away from this conversation in the sense of standing back … if you wish to understand what is going on in the present with greater depth.” Ignoring this. It is worthless, and says nothing. I don’t know why you go on like this.

      8. I have known more gays of both sexes in my lifetime, been close with them, observed them, spoken frankly with them, than you could imagine. You just make stuff up, like all anti-gay zealots. I’m out of touch?

      9. I know all about “the bar scene” regarding both sexes. There is no more ” ‘unrestrained sexuality’ with one side than the other. I’ve directed over 200 theatrical productions with straights and gays. The relationships that form are no different at all.—and gays performers are very typical gays, if anything more outgoing.

      10. You have done no research that explains why gay sexuality, unrestrained or not, is the business of anyone but the people involved.

      11. Pornography. Seriously? You keep moving the goalposts, This isn’t specific to same sex relationships. You are obviously grasping at straws.

      12. I asked a direct question, and your response is,

      “I do not think you really want an argument. You want capitulation! 😉 If you wish to explore that complex question it can be done. But not in a single paragraph. It is a complex topic and requires establishing a bse for such a conversation to take place. But your style is to hammer your opinion as if it is settled fact and to show no interest in hearing the other.”

      Got it. You can’t answer the question. You’re posturing and grandstanding.

      13. St, Paul is irrelevant to the rights and social treatment of gays in 2017. That fact, not opinion.

      14. You can’t have it both ways with the Catholic Church. You cannot recite its “doctrine” and ignore the fact that the organization setting that doctrine is corrupt and hypocritical. Te Church is not newly corrupt, it has always been corrupt. Selling absolution from sins is signature significance for a corrupt institution, to cite just one example. The Church’s enabling of the Holocaust is another. Protecting predator priests yet another. I would as soon take moral guidance from the Mafia.

      Well, you still haven’t given a single argument why gays are in any way harmful to society. You had your chance. I wasted my time.

      I won’t be wasting any more.

      • Re “1. Nobody promotes homosexuality”

        I’m not clear why this is such an important point for you Jack. You have repeated it a number of times and quite aggressively. We (homo sapiens) are such an intensly social animal. We ‘promote’ our own ways, and follow ‘role models’ of others all the time. Particularly when young, many of us can be dreadfully lonely, confused and insecure. The lure of the camp fire, and to be accepted around it, are powerful drivers.

        Alizia has readily conceded what she calls ‘inate homosexuality’. There are other men ( I know very little about women) however who are influenced by the conditions around them to form physical relations of varying intensity with other men. (Possibly extreme and controversial examples : prisons, armed forces and the Catholic church’s priesthood.) I don’t have any concerns about this. Nor do I take issue with the idea that groups around their campfires ( be they gays, Christians, or philatelists) are (consciously or not) ‘promoting’ their ways of life.

        If Alizia has argued that anyone should be locked up or castrated then I missed it. (She does write a lot.) All I hear her saying is that the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality should be toned down. Within our established freedoms I don’t think this is practical, even if desirable. But at least for me, it is not a crazy proposition.

        • Because, Andrew, the myth that “homos” lure young men to indoctrinate them into a “queer” lifestyle has been part of the slander against gays for centuries, and it just isn’t true. You are talking about heterosexual men in environments without women who resort to sex with each other–prisons, ships, monasteries. That’s not “promotion.” This is the best alizia can up with to justify discriminating against gays—they are trying to turn us all as gay as they are. It’s idiotic, it has no basis in fact, and it perpetuates the claim that being gay is a volitional sin that anyone can and should avoid by force of will.

          That’s why.

      • “5. For men, it is not a choice. For some women, a gay lifestyle is.”

        I agree with a lot of what you said but this is a bit questionable. I understand that the information you’ve gathered is from your personal experiences but to say that one sex has a choice and the other sometimes has a choice is a bit nonsensical don’t you think? Can’t there exist some cases where men choose to engage in a homosexual lifestyle? Although I think there are very few cases, I think that Alizia’s argument about social influence may hold some merit. Why is it believable that some women choose to engage in a gay lifestyle but no men do? Again, I understand you’re speaking from personal experience but you must account for experiences that you have not be privy to.

        • Based on the science, behavioral and biochemical, it seems that male homosexuality has different mechanisms and causes than at least some female homosexuality. Why is that hard to believe? Men constitute most serial killers. Men and women form romantic attachments differently. They are aroused by different things. Women get lupus more often; men get gout more. the two sexes brain chemistry is very different. What’s so nonsensical?

          The bottom line is that we know more about gay men than gay women, and assuming they are just the reverses of each other is unwarranted. Here’s a typical story on the subject:

          A study carried out at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that gay women’s response to female hormones was somewhat similar to that of straight men.

          However, the research showed that lesbians’ reactions to female hormones were not as strong as gay mens’ reactions to male hormones, which the same team reported last year were similar to the reactions of heterosexual women.

          “It is very possible that there is a difference between male and female homosexuality,” said Ivanka Savic-Berglund, who led the research team at the Stockholm Brain Institute.

          Genes have a much larger role in sexual orientation in men than in women, Savic -Berglund argues. She points to verbal reasoning and mental tests which show that gay men and straight women have similar results, whereas gay women perform similarly to women in general.

          However, the new research supports the idea that homosexuality in women has a physical basis.

          “Unfortunately, homosexuality in women is under-researched. This shows that many more studies are needed,” Savic-Berglund said.

          That was written 9 years ago, and it doesn’t look like a lot has been learned since. Here’s one scholarly paper that covers some of the topic, from 2011. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07448481.1984.10392810?journalCode=vach20

          • Thanks for providing this article. It was definitely an interesting read. I think your argument is a bit nonsensical because I believe you’re taking a hard stance on the development of homosexuality based on gender with very little empirical research to support such a claim. You said that men don’t choose to be gay and that some women choose to be gay while some do not.

            Either:
            A. Men and women are born gay.
            B. Men and women choose to be gay. OR
            C. Some men and women are born gay while some choose to be gay.

            I don’t think you can say, with certainty, that men are born gay and some women are born gay while other women choose to be gay. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes, women get lupus more often but that doesn’t mean that men can’t and don’t suffer from the same illness. If your assertion is that, more often than not, homosexuality is not a choice for men then that’s fine. But to make the assertion that it’s not a choice for any man is a bit of a reach. Even if, for example, it were true that 98% of men do not choose to be gay there’s still 2% of men who do choose. We can’t just write off that 2% as negligible and assert that “for men, it is not a choice.”

            I often misread and misinterpret things but I think the article you shared actually disproves your point about women choosing to be gay.

            “It is interesting that Saghir and Robins, Bell and Weinberg, and Marmor all report similar findings of women behaving heterosexually into adulthood, regardless of eventual preference and all three deny that these findings indicate changing sexual orientation in women. All three assume that the women whom they studied as lesbians always were lesbians, but behaved otherwise.”

            There is a young man who has always found young men sexually attractive. He has had no heterosexual interaction at all in his life and at age 17 announces that he is gay. We would say that he was born gay and that he did not choose to be gay.

            There is a young woman who has always found young women sexually attractive. She has had several heterosexual interactions in her life but and at age 20 announces that she is gay. Would you say that she made a choice to be gay because of her past heterosexual relationships?

            • 1. There is strong evidence that homosexuality is genetically based in men. There is no such evidence in women.
              2.male-male homosexual relationships have been onserved among animals. No female-female sexual relationships have.
              3. Gay men cannot choose not to “be gay.” They can choose to live as heterosexuals, and many do. They are still gay.
              4. There is evidence that some straight women choose, for various reasons, to have same sex partners.
              5. There is anecdotal evidence that non-gay women are more likely to choose to be bisexual than men. Actress Anne Heche, who was widely publicized as the first wife of Ellen de Generis, later married a man, and many have speculated that her relationship with de Generis was a cynical career move. There is no corresponding example of such behavior by a man.
              6. “It is interesting that Saghir and Robins, Bell and Weinberg, and Marmor all report similar findings of women behaving heterosexually into adulthood, regardless of eventual preference and all three deny that these findings indicate changing sexual orientation in women. All three assume that the women whom they studied as lesbians always were lesbians, but behaved otherwise.” The key word here is “assumed.” That’s just bad science. We have hard evidence that gay men are born gay. We do not have evidence that gay women are born gay.
              7. Based on what I have read, studied, and observed, I would guess that your A-C are all wrong, and that the real situation is D. All gay men are born gay; no straight men “choose” to “be gay; some gay women are born gay; some women become gay from environmental influences; straight women sometimes form same sex romantic relationships but that does not mean they are “gay.”
              8. That is speculation on my part regarding women. There is not sufficient evidence on the topic.

              I don’t know why the fact that women are different from men confounds you. It makes perfect sense not to use lesbian behavior to assume the same behavior or orientation by men.

              None of which justifies negative attitudes toward gays.

              • “I don’t know why the fact that women are different from men confounds you.”

                This is actually pretty funny. I understand that men are different from women. I only argue that men too can be become gay from environmental influences but it seems that I need to educate myself on the literature disproving this belief. Perhaps we can continue this conversation later on down the line when I’ve read more on the subject.

                “None of which justifies negative attitudes toward gays.”

                Agreed. None of what I stated in this post was meant in any way to justify the mistreatment of gay people.

                • Most of the anti-homosexual marriage positions, and then also those that advocate against toleration/acceptance (or promotion) of homosexuality, are religious at their foundation.

                  There is an interesting article by Robert H. Knight published by ‘Concerned Women of America’ which definitely takes a position against the core of Jack’s argument. However, these are all American Christian evangelicals. And for some that means that their position is dismissible without further consideration. (I have to admit that this was my position for a long time. I don’t always agree with Evangelicals but I certainly understand their metaphysics).

                  A Google search with the term ‘Non-religious positions against homosexuality’ brings up many other opposing arguments. There is one by someone named Robert Gagnon titled ‘How to Make a Valid Secular Case Against Cultural Endorsement of Homosexual Behavior’.

                  What I notice here is that the Christian argument, along with the Christian metaphysical position, has been unravelling for quite some time. Some centuries. That is one reason why I referred to Basil Willey and his ‘Seventeenth Century Background’. To understand the profound changes we witness in our present, that is if one desires to or feels the need, one has to understand a literal sea-change in metaphysical orientation. It moves from a conceptual system (basically this is Scholasticism) to one where Scholasticism is overturned as a model for the ordering of perception and thus of understanding of life.

                  Numerous important philosophers have written on this. Basil Willey is not well known but his books are very good. EMW Tillyard wrote ‘The Elizabethan World Picture’ which is simply amazing.

                  Basil Willey’s book: https://archive.org/details/seventeenthcentuwill

                  I have said, and will keep saying, that in order to understand how we see things now, one has to understand how things were seen then. But more importantly what is replacing and displacing these former world-pictures. It is really as Jack says: it is a set of scientific fact-sets that are replacing the philosophical and religious/metaphysical way-of-seeing.

                  And it works just as Jack demonstrates it working: It overpowers all the ‘garnered wisdom’ and the philospohical framework of mind that has informed our societies for a long long time. It is a ‘philosophy’ of scientistic reductionism and extremely militant. I would say that this is one facet of American Liberalism. I definitely see it as intimately tied to Americanism and American civil religiosity.

                  I try to communicate to people —- more often than not unsuccessfully as it would seem! —- that to understand the figure who has been most influential in the ‘invention of the human’ and has opened up entire worlds of perception, and ways to grasp and value *meaning* —- W. Shakespeare —- one must understand the previous metaphysics. Closing down that previous ‘world’, closes down the mind that can perceive in those ways (that is my view).

                  Yes, these metaphysics are being superceded, and (no offense Jack) it is headed up by bold and determined intellects who are absolutely sure they are right! (Hello Chris!) and who charge forth with their militant zealousness, bashing down what they cannot *see* and value.

                  This must be seen from a height. It does not have to be condemned necessarily, just seen, recognized, understood.

                  Here, consider this for a moment, it illustrates a part of my point, it is pretty amazing (Blake):

                  This life’s dim windows of the soul
                  Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
                  And leads you to believe a lie
                  When you see with, not through, the eye.

                  So, I interpose myself in these issues and debates because I feel there is a tremendously important thing to be defended. And as a warning about what can be, and what I say is, being lost.

                  • Science and reason are better methods of determining ethics than religion. This is not controversial.

                    If you can’t agree to this basic premise, no conversation can be had.

                    But you’ll keep talking anyway.

                    • Sounds good (“Science and reason are better methods of determining ethics than religion”) but plenty of room for controversy in that idea. I can’t through pure ‘science and reason’ work out fully why (after truly rational consideration of possible risks and rewards) I shouldn’t steal. I don’t steal ( well not often anyway and I haven’t been caught yet.). I am vaguely conscious of being in a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ type game with a conflict of interest between my direct individual interests, and the interests of the group (homo sapiens, my community and family etc) that I am part of. The nearest I can get with reasoning (as to why I don’t steal) is that evolution (survival best of those in groups that can cooperate) has programmed me with various hangups. Those potentially irrational ‘hangups’, like trying to be ‘good’ ( ie not just selfish and self centred), have been developed and propogated through the culture I have been raised in. And for me ‘religion’ and ‘God’ are potentially useful words for pondering over all of that.

                      I was always uncomfortable when my very bright kids asked me ‘why?’ (is it wrong to steal etc.). Thankfully they don’t torture me like that any more. And I can now watch them as parents struggling with their own very bright offspring – my much loved grandchildren. Thankfully none of them have yet resorted to ‘Because I, or God, or your grandfather say so’.

                    • Blending of two seemingly different ‘epistemes’ would be more the way I would describe what is needed. Scholasticism is a science and is certainly as rigorous as a science intellectually. But its domain-of-interest is the non-physical world and the intangible world. Thus ‘metaphysical’, ‘supernatural’. It is Aristotelian however. Very much so.

                      The book I linked to, just the first opening chapter, would be so useful to understanding this conflict between two competing metaphysical systems. If one wishes to understand the huge on-going conflict between scientific rationalism and Christian metaphysics one will have to make that effort.

                      If one does not one will be in a worse position, not a better one.

    • Hi Alizia,

      “I have said that they must be tolerated. That means accepted.”

      Can’t you concede that tolerating someone and accepting them are two completely different things? My understanding of “tolerate” is to endure or allow the existence of something in spite of it being seen as objectionable. To accept something is to embrace it wholeheartedly as valid. This may be a matter of semantics but I don’t think that this distinction is unimportant. I could be misunderstanding your posts but it seems that you feel gay people should be tolerated but not necessarily accepted. For there would be no need for this conversation, or this post for that matter, if they were truly accepted. Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that you feel like any movement toward accepting or including gay people is, in fact, the promotion or selling of homosexuality and homosexual behavior when, if fact, it’s just being civil.

      Is it your stance that we shouldn’t acknowledge homosexuality at all? Sequester it back into the closet where it could exist in secret? How does this further your desired goal of reversing the influence of homosexuality if it sill exists?

      “Homosexuals and homosexuality have always existed and will always exist, but they have not always been so visible and allowed to be so influential.”

      I think Jack did a great job of providing some examples of gay people who were pretty influential. So are you speaking of gay people being influential or is it what you might see as the “gay agenda” as the thing that’s influential?

      • Hello there Carter. The reason I wrote that ambiguous phrase is because I have an ambiguous position. You are certainly right that toleration is more often taken to mean merely ‘to be put up with’ and acceptation is more inclusive.

        And yes, since I propose that homosexuality should be discouraged, perhaps in the ‘ideal’ circumstances that I envision, this will mean less acceptance in general. I propose a rearming with a more critical attitude.

        I consider the ‘promotion’ assertion I made to be real. We live in a society that is intensely mediated by the public relations industry. The US is said to be the most heavily PR-mediated country in the world. Therefor, it stands to reason simply in conceptual terms that the homosexual agenda (as it is called) could be marketed as many things have been marketed. In our present culture huge masses of people get enthused by mass-phenomena and take it in.

        (I would mention the example of the popular TV fantasy/mild porn series The Game of Thrones. I watched the series (this was a number of years ago now) and I concluded this was, largely, a degenerate production. Without going into detail I suggest —- more than that: I assert —- that these productions need to be looked at very carefully, and with a critical eye, and their ‘intentions’ need to be dissected and exposed. But this implies an analyst: the one who undertakes the critical analysis. Who shall undertake it? And what will be their moral and ethical position? This obviously points to the difficulty of the project. It brings up the issue of ‘culture wars’ and competing viewpoints and world-pictures).

        My observation is that in the period following the Second WW that society was heavily propagandized though ‘social engineering’, by government, by government and intelligence, by business interests, and by private entities with an interest in changing culture and society or modifying it.

        My present idea is that homosexuality and many other behavior choices were intensely promoted through PR machinations. I mean PR in the widest sense: film, advertising, cultural and intellectual discourse, literature, and then of course business interests. My position is that in order to understand what is happening now, one must gain perspective about what happened, and how.

        I am not only concerned about homosexuality and what I call ‘deviant sexuality’ (a term that I can defend if needed), but with the whole process that occurred in this postwar era. I admit that I notice that some part of this has come about through falling away from a sound Christian metaphysical position. To see it is not easy, to talk about it is difficult. It is also difficult to talk about if one happens to find oneself in an environment of people who do not wish to consider the premises, or who can’t, or who won’t, consider them.

        In my writing —- which many people say is not enough focused for my points to be communicated (and I accept the criticism) —- I am approaching things from a ‘meta’ perspective. I am attempting to get clear about large trends, about on-going social processes, and I am of the opinion that our society is in a degenerating phase.

        My endeavor is to get more clear about what ‘degeneration’ is. In order to do that, I have found, I have to do a great deal of inner work and introspection. I am my own subject for the study of how ‘degeneracy’ has affected me. And I am my own subject when it coes to attempting to correct it.

        (And my essential orientation is within a Christian metaphysical outlook and I never hid this and I am still very up-front about it. I have to say that the Christian perspective, and the Christian metaphysic, is very certainly under attack. Some of this is because it itself cannot explain itself. My endeavor is to be one who succeeds in explaining!).

        At the same time and in order to understand degeneration one must ‘make a study of it’ and this I have certainly done. Some of my sources have been Richard Weaver, Christopher Dawson, FM Cornford, WR Inge, RW Livingstone and numerous others. (I mention these sources because I assert that I am not inventing or as Jack says ‘fantasizing’ about this issue of degeneracy. To me it is a real thing but I can only talk about it philosophically.

        I am not alone in noticing sexual decadence as a ‘symptom’ of degeneracy and the connection of sexuality to degeneration processes. Though she is a strange source, and I often do not know what to think of her, Camille Paglia has written a great deal on the theme. I mention this not as a specific lawyerly argument taking place in a legal battle in a courtroom, but anecdotally.

        My idea is that people, many people, notice that ‘the world is falling apart’ (there are many who write on this blog who bemoan the state of things) and each one (I must include myself to be fair) has some theory as to why this is happening. For someone like Chris it is because of ‘the Nazis’. For Zoltar it is ‘dumbing down’. The point is that in our confusing and chaotic and also dangerous present we are forced (if we are thinking people) to cogitate on the question.

        Jack has asked me for ‘specific evidence!’ and ‘clear examples!’ and ‘structured logical argument!’ (the exclamation points indicate Marshallian adamancy!) as to why I hold that homosexuality should not be encouraged. Well, I have a sense but what I don’t have is a great deal of experience in making my case. And all the back-blow (as I think it is called) that I have received I welcome. I long ago came to understand that the best help one can get is criticism. It is hard on the ego I admit.

        I hope that I have not offended you by writing out in more detail my ‘answer’ to your question. I just reread it and I cannot find anything ‘wrong’ with it. I am attempting to explain my position by describing my relationship to the issue. If you have some criticism either of what I say or the way I say it, please let me know.

        (I beg you not to call it a ‘word-cloud’ as I do not wish to get depressed on the first day of the New Year) 😉

        • I’ll admit that your replies are often difficult to follow but I’d actually encourage you to keep the same long-form writing style (at least in your replies to me). I enjoy debating and hearing different viewpoints so it helps to not only receive a reply but to understand the thought process behind the reply which, from what little I’ve seen thus far, you provide. And although I may not agree with you I appreciate the sincerity in your posts. I understand that you’re not writing with the purposeful intention of trolling; that what you write are your actual thoughts and feelings and I’ll do my best to respect that. With that being said…

          “Therefore, it stands to reason simply in conceptual terms that the homosexual agenda (as it is called) could be marketed as many things have been marketed.”

          I agree with you here and I’d actually take one step further and say that the “homosexual agenda” is marketed like many other agendas, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. Here is where you and I may disagree; what you might call “promotion” I would call “exposure”. And again, much like my tolerance vs. acceptance argument above, I don’t believe this distinction is unimportant. In a society that attempts to advance and become more inclusive, it is important that we begin to address issues, situations, and people that we’ve historically ignored. The quickest way to address any misconceptions about gay people or the “depravity of homosexuality” would be to expose oneself to gay people, correct? I see the “marketing of the homosexual agenda” through PR (film, advertising, cultural and intellectual discourse, literature) as exposing a citizenship to thoughts, ideas, and a people that have had lived in solitude for far too long and I see no evidence to support the idea that this will somehow contribute to the proliferation of homosexuality.

          Homosexuality isn’t a new phenomenon. As you stated in some of your earlier posts, homosexuals exist, have always existed, and will always exist so why not include them? I think you’d agree that ignoring them and pushing them back into the closet won’t make them any less gay and it certainly won’t stop people from being gay in the future.

          “I assert —- that these productions need to be looked at very carefully, and with a critical eye, and their ‘intentions’ need to be dissected and exposed.”

          And what scheme do you suppose we’d find? That the optimal goal is the proliferation of degeneration and homosexuality throughout the US? Am I missing the nefarious master plan in the inclusivity of gay people? (I apologize if this last section sounds a bit condescending and disingenuous but they’re real questions.)

          P.S. – Calling Game of Thrones a degenerate production has landed you a spot, albeit very low, on my shit list. Happy New Year!

          • A quick question: When you say that I am difficult to follow, can you please tell me (in the above) just what you mean? Is it the concept or the way the concepts are expressed? You will do me a great service if you take a minute to explain yourself!

            • It’s definitely the latter. I’m more familiar with people offering a defense (or directly answering a question) and then providing evidence to support that defense or answer. For example, take Jack’s response that starts, “Based on the science, behavioral and biochemical, it seems that male homosexuality has different mechanisms and causes than at least some female homosexuality.” He offers a defense and provides support by pointing to specific research articles. For me, it’s pretty linear and concise. For me, your posts tend to weave in and out and it can be a little difficult to make a connection between the topic and whatever else you feel is tangentially related to the topic.

              I had to read your post a few times before I had a grasp of what you were saying. I asked you a few direct questions. “Is it your stance that we shouldn’t acknowledge homosexuality at all? How does this further your desired goal of reversing the influence of homosexuality if it still exists?”
              You replied with Game of Thrones, WWII, and US media. Or maybe you really did answer the questions and I missed it. I honestly don’t know.

              If I completely condense my post it would read something like, ‘How is the inclusivity of gay people in our society a bad thing and how does this harm us?’

              If I completely condensed your response (as I understood it) it would read something like, ‘I’m a Christian, gays are gross, and media propaganda forces us to acknowledge that they exist.’ I understood your argument but I still didn’t understand the support for making the argument.

              I could be way off base and it may just be that I’m unfamiliar with the way you express your concepts (which is 100% my issue, not yours).

              • Carter writes: Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that you feel like any movement toward accepting or including gay people is, in fact, the promotion or selling of homosexuality and homosexual behavior when, if fact, it’s just being civil.

                It seems obvious, to me anyway, that accepting homosexuality as it is occurring today also involves promotion of it. So, yes, in my view it would be best to accept it less.

                Is it your stance that we shouldn’t acknowledge homosexuality at all? Sequester it back into the closet where it could exist in secret? How does this further your desired goal of reversing the influence of homosexuality if it sill exists?

                I would not say that it ‘should not be acknowledged at all’, and I would say that the only hope to reverse some of the advances made in the normalization of it will be in seeing it more critically. And seeing it as connected to a wider group of liberalizations. This involves a mental, spirtual and philosophical work. Because sexual decadence and liberalization are connected to general liberal processes and policies, these very definitely need to be seen and challenged.

                I have at various times said that ‘homosexuality should be driven back into the closet’, but more for effect I guess. But in my view that would be connected with a general movement toward a ‘genuine conservatism’. On this forum (this blog) I have written about my interest and support of European conservative groups and national movements. For example Poland recently. I am interested in and I support counter-liberal movements that define more structured, and certainly more conservative, social postures. But I cannot conceive, in isolation, solely a movement against homosexuals. But I can envision a genuine and a thorough return to more traditional social foundations. Again, I would use Poland as an example.

                If it were up to me, and it is not, I would wish that there would never be a Gay Parade in any city in the world. I used to live in Sacramento Cailiforna and I know the Bay Area fairly well. In my ‘ideal world’ there would be no ‘gay district’ and so much of the visible culture. Yes, the ‘culture’ should be driven underground. But it should be driven underground because people cease tolerating it. It would be the antithesis of the present therefor. Instead of being ‘celebrated’ (:::barf:::) it would be actively non-appreciated.

                I think Jack did a great job of providing some examples of gay people who were pretty influential. So are you speaking of gay people being influential or is it what you might see as the “gay agenda” as the thing that’s influential?

                It is a mixing of categories. These people were not geniuses because they were homosexuals, they were geniuses who happened to be homosexuals. Genius does not depend on homosexuality. Therefor, as before, they would do what they do, contribute what they contribute.

                The real issue, in my view, is the degree of exposure as I think you said. I do not think they should be given such exposure.

                So, as you see I am attempting to define a ‘true conservative posture’. I resist the psuedo-conservative posture which is non-different from the liberal one.

                [Oh dear, I fell I might have over-extended myself! I feel … weak. That really took every ounce of strength I have just to write that!. I am going to lie down now.]

                Thanks for your critique in your last post. I realize that I assume that certain things simply do not need to be said, because they are obvious.

                I am not sure what you mean by ‘support for making the argument’. Perhaps you mean to ask how I would support, and why I would support, a more conservative culture generally? As in What is to be gained by it?

                See, I think I have been speaking to that but perhaps, as you say, in a non-direct manner. Again (I am noticing) I assume certain things are simply understood and don’t require explanation. I see the processes of excessive and out-of-control liberalism as being destructive to the soul. The better things, and all the best things I can think of in life, have come through sacrifices. Through service to the non-physical, to the upper dimensions, to the intellect. The high achievements of our culture, and our culture’s heritage —- our historical achievements — have come to us through this focused idealism.

                In our modern culture there is a resergence of what has been described as ‘paganism’. It seems to me a democratic, unthinking, vulgar, misdirected turn toward the sensual and the immediate. This is how it has been described by people I admire: Christopher Dawson does it admirably in The Historic Reality of Christian Culture. We are what we are because of what we were. I assert that the misdirection of sexual energy is one of the principle methods or routes by which the ‘higher dimensions’ are sacrificed to the transient, mutable and basically valueless dimension of immediate, sensual existence.

                Our present culture, directed (or misdirected) by business interests, government interests, avarice and desire, destroy those things that preserve the possibility for the creation —- the conception of —- beautiful things. On so many different levels.

                Conservatism, for me, means rediscovering them. Giving them power. Giving them the position they deserve. And breaking ransk with everything that contributes to their disvaluation. .

                • Beautiful. This was excellent (in the sense that I understood clearly). I think you’re right about assuming certain things are obvious and need no explanation. I’m not as well read as you so I’ve yet to encounter some of the concepts that you seem to be familiar with so any explanation is much appreciated. I’m really glad I could help and I hope you’ll return the favor if ever you feel my posts are lacking in any way.

              • I see better what you are asking, and I also am gaining some clarity as to why I answer less-then-directly.

                You paraphrased me as (possibly) saying: “I’m a Christian, gays are gross, and media propaganda forces us to acknowledge that they exist.”.

                One of my endeavors, as a Caholic and Christian, is to come to undertand what the ‘demonic’ is. I am more familiar with the Bhagavad-Gita and the Sixteenth Chapter: ‘The Divine and the Demonic Natures Defined’ and the definitions that are offered. If you, and the rest of the readership here, were familiar with the metaphysics of the Vedas, you would simultaneously have a much better insight into metaphysics of the Christian religion. And you would have a way of understanding why Catholicism places such emphasis on ‘purity’.

                I am completely certain, because I read older material generally, that it was a common conception even a few years ago that our activities, our desires, will drive us either down toward a demonic existence, or up toward an angelic existence. Just as it is clearly (and nicely) explained in the Bhagavad-Gita so to it is explained, with more difficulty, in Scholastic philosophy.

                We are a zone, a place, a juncture, between *upper* and *lower* worlds. And it is up to us to choose the higher world. What I am describing here has been an operational ethic, a moral base, in Occidtnal culture for 1500 years. It should not need to be explained.

                This is the ‘metaphysical platform’ of Christianity.

                I am speaking of the homosexual revolution in the context of a larger revolution, the sexual revolution and the radicalism of the Sixties. And I am definitely saying, because I understand it to be true, that it is through sexuality, as a primary tool, that we fall into demonic impulse and lose the ‘higher dimension’. I do not need to explain this. It is evident in literature, in art, in religion and in philosophy. These are primary catefgories of Occidental thought.

                We who seek to define, if you will permit me, a ‘true conservatism’ are forced to get down the the real depth of the questions and to *see* and also make decisions that touch on behavior, activity, aspiration and all the rest. The stuff that is the highest dimension of what has been and can be conceived by man.

                These things are being destroyed, decimated, because of the influx of lower-level impulses. What is ‘evil’ in this is when government, intelligence and business, along with those who should know better, purposefully but nesciently direct ‘the masses’ into destructive channels.

                By doing so, as I understand things, they direct human consciousness to the demoniac. And it is this ‘spiritual war’ that defines our age and our time.

                The cure is to come to understand that there is a conscious higher dimension, and a destructive lower diemsnion, and to make a conscious choice to orient oneself in all areas in relation to and in service to the higher dimension.

                How the homosexual question fits into this is, in my view, some part of the issue, but the issue is far larger.

              • CONCUPISCENCE

                Definition

                Insubordination of man’s desires to the dictates of reason, and the propensity of human nature to sin as a result of original sin. More commonly, it refers to the spontaneous movement of the sensitive appetites toward whatever the imagination portrays as pleasant and away from whatever it portrays as painful. However, concupiscence also includes the unruly desires of the will, such as pride, ambition, and envy. (Etym. Latin con-, thoroughly + cupere, to desire: concupiscentia, desire, greed, cupidity.)
                ______________

                In its widest acceptation, concupiscence is any yearning of the soul for good; in its strict and specific acceptation, a desire of the lower appetite contrary to reason. To understand how the sensuous and the rational appetite can be opposed, it should be borne in mind that their natural objects are altogether different. The object of the former is the gratification of the senses; the object of the latter is the good of the entire human nature and consists in the subordination of reason to God, its supreme good and ultimate end. But the lower appetite is of itself unrestrained, so as to pursue sensuous gratifications independently of the understanding and without regard to the good of the higher faculties. Hence desires contrary to the real good and order of reason may, and often do, rise in it, previous to the attention of the mind, and once risen, dispose the bodily organs to the pursuit and solicit the will to consent, while they more or less hinder reason from considering their lawfulness or unlawfulness. This is concupiscence in its strict and specific sense. As long, however, as deliberation is not completely impeded, the rational will is able to resist such desires and withhold consent, though it be not capable of crushing the effects they produce in the body, and though its freedom and dominion be to some extent diminished. If, in fact, the will resists, a struggle ensues, the sensuous appetite rebelliously demanding its gratification, reason, on the contrary, clinging to its own spiritual interests and asserting it control. “The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.”

                http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04208a.htm

              • Carter Cartier wrote, “I could be way off base and it may just be that I’m unfamiliar with the way you express your concepts (which is 100% my issue, not yours).”

                Carter it’s not you.

                “Any… issue can be blurred and muddied by piling on generalities, tangents, cosmic puzzles, dancing angels and navel-gazing exercises.” Jack Marshall, July 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm.

          • Game of Thrones was, even before the writing got lazy, vastly inferior to the song of ice and fire books.

            Where does that land me?

            • I’m a big fan of the show but an even bigger fan of the books. I can’t think of a list in direct contrast to the shit list so I guess I just won’t add you to the shit list..? Sorry, that’s the best I can do.

  16. I know I bear some responsibility for kicking the Alizia hive and provoking her swarm of words, but let me gently remind everyone of the quote that is the topic of the post:

    “By God’s Grace we will act in this present to reverse the damage your generation has brought as it pertains to the perversions of homosexuality and deviant sexuality and the collusion between Hollywood, government and media activists in a social engineering project to make homosexuality seem normal and good and to ‘install’ it in people’s minds and in culture.”

    She doesn’t talk about “promoting” gays. She calls gays perverts and deviants,and claims damage, which even after, what, 10,000 words here, 20,000, she cannot explain. Meanwhile, she has diverted discussion to side issues like whether a book that says, “Gays need to present themselves as hiuman beings like everyone else (because they ARE human beings like everyone else) is “promoting homosexuality”—you know, like saying that epopel who have unpopular ideas deserve First Amendment protection because they are citizens like everyone else “promotes” their views.

    That was not a benign quote, though the word cloud Alizia has been blowing is designed to obscure it. It’s hate and bigotry, because she still has no factual basis for those contentions. Just the opinions of ancient, ignorant philosophers, and the doctrines regarding sex and morality championed by the religious institution that knowingly allowed priests to rape hundreds of thousands of little boys on five continents.. Don’t get distracted by the double talk. Focus.

    • I want to add this, as upset as it may make some people. Citing Catholic Church dogma, tenets, teachings or anything else Catholic regarding sexual morality is offensive, not to mention unpersuasive. The film Spotlight ends with these four screens…

      All of these were facilitated and engineered with full knowledge and participation of a single organization: the Roman Catholic Church.

      Any other business organization that facilitated child rape on this scale world-wide would be regarded, quite correctly, as a criminal enterprise.

      Anyone citing the alleged beliefs of such a criminal enterprise as authority on an ethics blog would be, quite correctly, as insane.

      The line “You can’t handle the truth!” comes to mind.

      • Where does that line “You can’t handle the truth!” come from? One of my favorite vloggers uses the audio in his intro.

        Here’s the thing, Jack. Right now, there is a movement in Catholicism that has been gaining ground recently. It is a movement which takes issue with the radical changes that were instituted through the Vatican ll processes. This movement regards these changes as part of a radical movement which ‘infected’ the Church.

        Vatican ll was a Sixties phenomenon though there was a great deal of activism that led to these radical, and incredibly destructive, liturgical reforms and to radical changes in Catholic practice and outlook. While I am not an expert on the position of the traditional Catholic opposition to Vatican ll and the destructive changes in the Church, I have listened to a number of talks and read material by those who describe how it came to be that so many homosexuals were admitted into the Church and how it came to pass that so many priests commited the crimes they did. The Church became infected with sexual licence just as society was becoming similarly infected. The contagion of the Sixties, which brought out an unleashing of sexual force, also tore through the Church itself.

        You are attempting to say that the doctrines of the Church are corrupt because it is an corrupt institution and that corruption has crept into it. And ‘traditional Catholics’ and those who really know the Church’s doctrines, and respect them and try to live by them, are as concerned and dismayed as you are and other people are with the perversions within the Church. They want the pedophiles thrown out of the church and made to stand trial. They want there to be a thorough reform in this area and in many other areas. They want to old liturgy to be reestablished and even the traditional (Tridentine) Mass to be brought back or at least encouraged.

        There is a movement of reformists who are as vitally concerned about this and many other problems as you are.

        You are making a mistake when you conflate the condition of the Church today, and certainly in the last 100 years (and yes I am aware of the other phrases of history and the corruptions as are all Catholic historians) with the social doctrines of the Church as an historical institution. You say that because there is corruption and perversity among the clergy now that this must mean that the doctrines of the Church are therefor corrupt and to be dismissed.

        This is a mistake of reasoning. It seems to me that you should be able to see this. I have been actively studying the historical Church as well as Catholic doctrines (only of the pre-Vatican ll material) and find it rich, upstanding, beautiful and wholesome.

        I have listened to many talks by Michael Davies and I always like what he says. He is radically critical of the present establishment.

        [https://youtu.be/QJT2F83-rO8]

        • A really great movie that investigates several conflicting forces in society. The central thesis being the argument taken to an extreme situation between “promoting strength” and “protecting the weak”, where in this instance one of the weak are to be protected in a position where he is expected to be strong…and the institution that promotes strength in order to protect the weak, ended up harming the weak in it’s efforts.

          • The flipside resolution to this conflict, where the institution doesn’t fail in protecting the weak, but fails in promoting strength would be a situation in which the weak individual did something abjectly bone-headed on the “wall” and let the enemy through.

            The movie would then have to investigate how the institution failed in promoting strength while pursuing protection of the weak.

      • I find Alizia’s idea that homosexuality is being promoted more convincing than you do. The problem is that she has yet to explain why promoting homosexuality is any worse than promoting heterosexuality, something that is and always has been done to a far greater degree. I can believe her when she says some young people are “lured” into the “gay lifestyle,” and that this is a problem because it interferes with those individual’s authentic selves. But since she has no concern for the far greater number of gay people who have been pressured to deny their authentic selves by pretending to be straight—and in fact, believes that this is what *should* be done—-it’s clear that she isn’t basing her opposition to the “promotion of homosexuality” on the clear ethical principle that “It’s wrong to pressure someone to deny their true sexuality,” but on “Gays are icky,” which is not an ethical principle at all.

        She has been asked numerous times to support her opposition with an ethical principle, and literally the best she has been able to do is to argue “Gays are demonic.” Seriously. That’s her argument.

        Never, ever let Alizia fool you into believing she is an intellectual. She does not think. This is not what thinking looks like.

        • That is not my argument! That is your rephrasing of it. That is what you do best. I am concerned about behaviors and that is why I referred to the 16th chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita. It also pertains to heterosexuals and to all people. But I am equally concerned, indeed I must be concerned, for improper use of military power, and other forms of injustice and error. I am attempting to speak from a Catholic perspective and in relation to Catholic social doctrine. (I am not qualified of course but I make mention of it).

          • Do you have any idea how often you use the word “I?”

            What you are “concerned” with is irrelevant. What you are “interested” in is irrelevant. What you have read is irrelevant. No one cares. We have asked for a logical argument based on an ethical principle demonstrating that homosexual activity is wrong. You have provided none. You resorted to claiming, based on no evidence provided, that acceptance of homosexuality leads to a “demonic existence,” an absolutely meaningless phrase on an ethics blog.

            You have nothing to contribute here.

        • Chris writes: “I find Alizia’s idea that homosexuality is being promoted more convincing than you do. The problem is that she has yet to explain why promoting homosexuality is any worse than promoting heterosexuality, something that is and always has been done to a far greater degree. I can believe her when she says some young people are “lured” into the “gay lifestyle,” and that this is a problem because it interferes with those individual’s authentic selves.

          Well, there can be certainly nothing wrong with ‘promoting heterosexuality’, and certainly not in a liturgical and social environment. The family has been and I think always will be a fundamental group. It is obvious to me why a sanctifying rite has been established for married heterosexual couples. It hardly needs explanation. (Yet perhaps for some it does!).

          You ask certainly a fair and a necessary question: Why should not homosexuality be promoted, allowed, encouraged? Why should it not?

          Because I do not have much experience expressing my ideas on this topic, and also because in some part my notions are ‘intuitive’, and also because I have been indoctrinated by modernist, hyper-liberal doctrines as I believe we all have, I just have not yet worked out my presentation.

          • Well, there can be certainly nothing wrong with ‘promoting heterosexuality’, and certainly not in a liturgical and social environment.

            Read better. It’s wrong when it leads to indoctrinating people into a lifestyle that is contrary to who they are. Which is what you said the promotion of homosexuality does.

            We do not encourage romantic love and sexual activity between opposite sex people *only* because it leads to the creation of a family. We encourage all this in opposite sex couples even when they cannot or intentionally will not have children. There are clearly other reasons we encourage this in infertile or child-free opposite sex couples, and all those reasons clearly apply to gay couples.

            You ask certainly a fair and a necessary question: Why should not homosexuality be promoted, allowed, encouraged? Why should it not?

            Because I do not have much experience expressing my ideas on this topic, and also because in some part my notions are ‘intuitive’, and also because I have been indoctrinated by modernist, hyper-liberal doctrines as I believe we all have, I just have not yet worked out my presentation.

            The proper thing to do when you hold a belief that you admit you are unprepared to defend rationally is to rethink that belief and hold off evangelizing about it until you know how to support it. Instead you have arrogantly presented your belief as unambiguously true and spent thousands of words ranting about it without ever once articulating a solid argument. Not only is this rude and inconsiderate, it makes both you and your belief look stupid. Why on *earth* would you think behaving this way would have any other effect?

            • No, my conviction is pretty solid, and it is this I have written about. And so far I would not retract anything I have written. I stand by it all.

              It is the totality of the presentation that I am getting worked out, here in the company of other citizens, on a discussion blog. It is the perfect place for it!

              • Your conviction may be solid, in that you have no doubt that it is true, but given that you have been attempting to defend that conviction for three days and thousands of words and have produced not one coherent argument that traces a logical sequence from premise to conclusion, the fact that you still have no doubts is a strike against you. It means your conviction is not based on logic. You believe it because you want to. Oh, you’ve read a lot, and you feel it in your soul, but that’s neither logic nor intellect. You’re unable to construct a basic argument. You would fail eighth grade.

                I’m going to tell you what I tell my eighth graders: No one cares if you have a conviction if you can’t support that conviction with logic and evidence. If you can’t do that, it’s best to hold off on expressing that conviction in mixed company until you can, otherwise you are going to look like a fool.

    • “By God’s Grace we will act in this present to reverse the damage your generation has brought as it pertains to the perversions of homosexuality and deviant sexuality and the collusion between Hollywood, government and media activists in a social engineering project to make homosexuality seem normal and good and to ‘install’ it in people’s minds and in culture.”

      I stand by it.

      I came across this statement on a site which attemps a secular argument against permitting homosexuality. I am interested in what will happen when the ideas an opinions I hole will be made illegal, either more or less:

      “The intolerance of the homosexual agenda. Caving into the homosexual agenda will lead to the radical marginalization of those who oppose homosexual practice and, ultimately, the criminalization of opposition to homosexual behavior. Homosexual activism represents the greatest threat to civil and religious liberties for our children. At stake are such things as: mandatory indoctrination of our children in all school systems, public and accredited private, from kindergarten on, through convocations, skits, videos, workshops, and teacher instruction; loss of one’s job if one does not sign a statement saying that one “values sexual orientation differences”; mandatory workplace attendance of “Gay Pride” events and “Coming Out” celebrations; fines and even imprisonment for speaking out against homosexual practice, even in church services; having one’s children taken out of one’s own home for teaching “homophobic” ideas or, if one’s child professes a homoerotic proclivity, for “child abuse”; loss of accreditation of all Christian colleges and even seminaries that cannot prove “non-discrimination” in the hiring practices towards “gays and lesbians” or that permit any faculty to speak or publish in a manner critical of homosexual behavior per se; and refusal of colleges and universities to admit any students who do not sign statements affirming the value of homoerotic relationships. For documentation of these matters, see the book by Alan Sears and Craig Osten, The Homosexual Agenda. See also my documentation on pages 10-18 of my critique of David Balch.”

        • Mrs. Q builds further on this point up above, and it seems that Alizia and I are the only ones that seem to have noticed her comment.

          From what I see, the attempt to normalize and sanction same-sex unions is seems largely to come from the same people who have set themselves in opposition to family values in other even more blatant ways. When us conservatives look at the damage caused by abortion-on-demand, divorce-on-demand, the explosion of pornography, the increasing number of single-parent households, and have the same people pushing same-sex marriage, saying “don’t worry, it’ll be fine”, pardon us for being skeptical. To be fair, I have seen people argue for same-sex marriage from a more traditional point view, (“we’ll still keep our activities within the bonds of matrimony”), but it strikes me as too little, too late.

          As for any societal drawbacks resulting from normalizing same-sex unions, I’m aware that, reproduction-wise, it’s the same as heterosexual couples being unable or unwilling to have children, but even that poses certain risks to society in the long term. I’ve been reading in the book “The Accidental Superpower” that certain cultures are coming close to demographic collapse because they don’t have a population sustaining birthrate. This doesn’t mean I’m for criminalizing homosexuality or banning birth control, but I believe it’s something to think about when we decide what behaviors we want our culture to encourage.

          • Its called the Constitution and Equal Access to the Law, GR. This is a giant straw man to avoid the issue. Once government began conferring benefits based on married status, government could not discriminate regarding which couples had access to that status. There is literally nothing to think about, and that was clear from the Mass. case so finding. Everything else has been screaming at the sky, needlessly and cruelly impugning law abiding people, and trying to rationalize stigmatizing and marginalizing. Can’t be done, shouldn’t be done. Founding documents. Simple as that. Battle lost.

            Good.

      • Laughable.

        Even if the insane idea that expressing opposition to homosexuality is going to be criminalized held any rational weight—it does not—it would not logically follow that opposition to homosexuality is in and of itself rational. Even you are smart enough to know this. “Homosexuality is wrong because it may some day be illegal to believe homosexuality is wrong” is one of the dumbest arguments you’ve presented so far, and that’s saying a lot.

        Really, at some point you need to admit to yourself that if this is the best you can do, then your argument isn’t worth defending.

        • Just note that you have called opposition ‘insane’ and in your case, dear one, that is an alarming statement. And seen in the light of the quote I presented, above.

          Since my position is that homosexuality is best understood as having always been around, I have made it clear that what concerns me is its prmotion, and I stand by every statement that I made about it in that sense. I see it as having allied itself with what is described in a general way as ‘Cultural Marxism’ and it seems that it is used as a political tool or wedge.

          If I am uncertain how to describe it, or if my attempt is tentative, I am quite fine with that.

          I think actually that your own activism in respect to this particular issue, and your stance as a self-described social justice warrior, if everything is going to be put out on the table here, needs to be focussed on.

          I personally think that this question, for you, is used as a wedge in your argumentation. In this sense the general agenda of the social justice warrior type, as exponents of (my term) hyper-liberalism, needs to be spoken about.

          Based on what I notice of your character and your tactics —- tending to distort, defame, rephrase what people say —- I cannot say that you as a person and *you* as an example of a class of activist inspires in me any confidence. And when you begin to designate sanilty and insanity with your characteristic zealousness, I fear what you are capable of.

          • Just note that you have called opposition ‘insane’ and in your case, dear one, that is an alarming statement. And seen in the light of the quote I presented, above.

            No, you illiterate moron, I called the delusion that opposition to homosexuality will be criminalized insane, because it is. You may as well say the government will ban Christmas, or that there’s a white genocide going on. Oh, wait—that last one is also an article of faith in your circles. Because you’re insane.

            Since my position is that homosexuality is best understood as having always been around, I have made it clear that what concerns me is its prmotion, and I stand by every statement that I made about it in that sense. I see it as having allied itself with what is described in a general way as ‘Cultural Marxism’ and it seems that it is used as a political tool or wedge.

            This is not an argument against the practice of homosexuality or the idea that it should be accepted as equal to heterosexuality, which is what has been asked of you.

            If I am uncertain how to describe it, or if my attempt is tentative, I am quite fine with that.

            I think actually that your own activism in respect to this particular issue, and your stance as a self-described social justice warrior, if everything is going to be put out on the table here, needs to be focussed on.

            No, let’s continue focusing on your argument against the practice of homosexuality and the idea that it should be accepted as equal to heterosexuality. Do you have one?

            I personally think that this question, for you, is used as a wedge in your argumentation. In this sense the general agenda of the social justice warrior type, as exponents of (my term) hyper-liberalism, needs to be spoken about.

            All you do is speak about this. You speak circles around it. At no point do you engage in actual argument.

            Based on what I notice of your character and your tactics —- tending to distort, defame, rephrase what people say —- I cannot say that you as a person and *you* as an example of a class of activist inspires in me any confidence. And when you begin to designate sanilty and insanity with your characteristic zealousness, I fear what you are capable of.

            Funny, as I have absolutely no fear of what you are capable of, since you couldn’t formulate a coherent argument to save your life.

            • Chris, I have ideals and certain rules about how peoples should speak to one another even when they have opposing viewpoint, and even when their differences may have very real real-life consequences.

              I think that it is not hard to see that, really sometime back, you have opted to violate conventional etiquette. You curse, insult and swear a little too often for my personal taste. I understand why you allow yourself this privelage because you state it openly. You give yourself the right with people whose ideas you are sure deserve it, those you desire to hold in contempt.

              I never would make an attempt to control what you think or write, and I won’t here. But by crossing the line of what seems to me decent style on such a forum as this it is approaching the moment to cease to communicate with you.

              What I have revealed about my position about homosexuality. And any other topic is, at present, what my position on it is. I have made many statements so far. The level of my conviction, or the sort of conviction I have, is not your affair and I can tell you for very certain that your attempts to direct or force my revelation of my ideas simply will not fly. If it works with others, so be it.

              Deal with what I have said so far if you wish to. If you have a specific and honest question about something, ask it. Your attack-mode has begun to tire. I know that you have no genuine interest at all in what I think and that for you it is all invalid and erroneous, if also ‘evil.. Because that is really where you stand, and in regard to all the controversial topics I bring out, your ‘enquiry’ and desire to know what I think is a sham.

              Tone it down or I will tune you out.

              • Hilarious. You have been asked by multiple people, including the blogmaster, to change your style of writing. You have been informed that it is rude and inconsiderate. You have changed nothing. Now you come at me for “violating conventional etiquette?” You think I care whether you “tune me out” when you have nothing to say? Awesome.

  17. Jack writes: “I know I bear some responsibility for kicking the Alizia hive and provoking her swarm of words, but let me gently remind everyone of the quote that is the topic of the post:

    “By God’s Grace we will act in this present to reverse the damage your generation has brought as it pertains to the perversions of homosexuality and deviant sexuality and the collusion between Hollywood, government and media activists in a social engineering project to make homosexuality seem normal and good and to ‘install’ it in people’s minds and in culture.”

    Well, what you did was to grant me what is normally a privilege of recognition, the COTD, but your purpose was really to set me up for an attack and to affix a desired Badge of Shame. I think that the person who you most energized for this project was Chris who has certainly followed your lead, sycophantically as is his general style, embarrassing though it is to say.

    Since my thinking is a ‘hive of bees’ to you, and my words a poisonous swawm of them, I think you have nicely established what you would like to see ‘taken down’, to quote Chris’ term.

    As I said just above: I stand by my comment and I have made efforts to explain why I hold this idea. That is exactly my commitment. My effort is to see and understand how ‘your generation’ has allowed these things to develop into virulencies. I also have attempted to write about the larger context of this problem. Instead of dealing with what is sensibly presented or what has been articulated successfully, you dismiss the content in absolute terms, and then bring out attacks against the way things have been expressed. Fair enough as far as that goes. As I say: I will get better at this and I will do better.

    She doesn’t talk about “promoting” gays. She calls gays perverts and deviants,and claims damage, which even after, what, 10,000 words here, 20,000, she cannot explain. Meanwhile, she has diverted discussion to side issues like whether a book that says, “Gays need to present themselves as hiuman beings like everyone else (because they ARE human beings like everyone else) is “promoting homosexuality”—you know, like saying that epopel who have unpopular ideas deserve First Amendment protection because they are citizens like everyone else “promotes” their views.

    I am working with the idea that sexuality can become deviant and that when it does so it becomes genuinely perverse. And I have been doing research into the trends of deviant sexuality and sexual practice in our present culture. It is a serious and dangerous contagion. I am also inclined (that is, open to considering now and further) that sexuality is a powerful tool to manipulate people for political and for other reasons. Therefor, I have referred to the Augustinian notion of ‘libido dominandi’. Augustine, and Aquinas, and other Christian philosophers, for you, have been dismissed as having any intellectual or social validity or any bearing on large existential questions. You are entirely free to jettison them, and all the ideation that has sprung out of those thinkers and philosophers who deal in these terms if you so choose. But you cannot wipe those ideas from off the planet, and you cannot simply dismiss all consideration of them within the public sphere of conversation and debate of ideas, of history, of culture, nor of morality and ethics. This is a simple statement of fact.

    But this is not the most interesting nor the most important part of this conflictive issue, this disharmony between ‘worldpictures’. In my humble opinion it is better to get both sides of this larger conflict of worldpictures out in the open, to be *seen* and then to be understood and appreciated. Just as it is completely necessary to understand where your rationalistic and scientistic philosophy and metaphysics originate, and what it reacted against, so it is wise to better understand the system of thinking and locating oneself within existence which is the Christian outlook: a compendium of European paideia.

    So it would appear to me that my ‘swarm of words’, though you may not like my ideas about deviant sexuality or my opinion about spreading homosexuality and my sense that it should be discreetly limited (limited by discreet choice), is not as venomous as you portray it. Although I have a position that you do not like, and which you are committed to attacking and disinvalidating to 100%, what I desire to communicate and the content of my speech is not ‘hate and bigotry’ as you claim, but is part of a larger, thoughtful, important and valid group of concerns.

    Therefor, and even though in many ways I differ from the garden-variety Christian activist, I have been forced to investigate the inernal working of the belief system, the existential system of understanding, and I have decided that I stand with it. Therefor, when I do finally draw together all my impression, and when I do feel qualified to articulate a specific position and some sort of ‘general condemnation of homosexuality’ that lists, under numbers and bullets, the reasons I consider important and valid, I think I will do it as a religious person and not solely through secular arguments. As I explained to Chris: my conviction is very real, but the conviction I have tried to explain, whether diffuse or pointed, whether successful or no and not the rephrasing of it by those who need to twist it to their own purposes and to make me seem evil, this conviction as a Statement to be pinned on the door of modernity, this I have not yet completely worked out. And no one of you will force me, through badgering, to make a statement I am not ready to make.

    That was not a benign quote, though the word cloud Alizia has been blowing is designed to obscure it. It’s hate and bigotry, because she still has no factual basis for those contentions. Just the opinions of ancient, ignorant philosophers, and the doctrines regarding sex and morality championed by the religious institution that knowingly allowed priests to rape hundreds of thousands of little boys on five continents.. Don’t get distracted by the double talk. Focus.

    It was not intended to be a ‘benign’ quote and, according to my way of understanding, benignity is far less than what is required to battle the outcomes of choices that have led to the spread of destructive activities in our present, in our world. I frame my project (if you will) within a definite adamancy of opposition. I know what I am opposed to in this sense, but I am somewhat less certain how to define and label it. (As I explained above your conflating the crimes of perverse priests with the social and theological doctrines of the Church is a mistake in argument, so there is no need to repeat that again. Within the rhetorical structure of that paragraph it certainly has a purpose but I suggest it is a transparent one).

    So, I stand and I remain in more or less the same position I started from. My approach has integrity. My ideas and concerns have integrity. Nothing has changed in my sense of the importance of my project. And you have done nothing at all to shift my concerns or to modify my commitment to them.

    My larger project is to work to get to the core of the liberalism that I understand to inform your ideological position. It is a slow and tentative process for me. This Blog has been and still is invaluable to me for this purpose. Liberalism and ‘modernism’ In the sense defined by Pius X) are complex and very persistent and powerful trends within Late Modernism. I am one who is defining a position of opposition to them at the core level, at the metaphysical level (and I mean this quite exactly). And what European Christianity needs —- requires —- in my view is a sort of revision of itself, a reclarification of ‘what it means to say’ and what it means to achieve. It is within a certain ‘chaos of ideas’ that I locate my project of clarification.

    Whether you or anyone else likes it or not! (And I say this, all this, in pure and sincere friendliness).

    • Eighth graders in California are taught that when they use the word “I” in a piece of argumentative writing, it weakens their argument.

      Alizia used the word “I” 39 times in that one comment.

      I’d love to give her the argumentative writing outline I give my students. It would stump her.

    • Alizia, rather smugly, challenged me to read more carefully what she writes and to reflect upon it.

      I have done so and here’s my take: she perhaps might be an autistic savant. Instead of being able to tell you what day of the week was May 2, 1819, or being able to play Mahler’s 5th upon first hearing it, she is able to read tomes on white, heterosexual, anti gay, anti a whole lotta shit, Catholic superiority and recite it back, ad nauseam, in a blathering, incoherent and ineffectual way. No matter how many times commenters here have taken pity and tried to direct her in the social mores of this blog, she digs in deeper and writes more blather; much like my autistic nephew who stands in the middle of the kitchen and simply yells, at the top of his lungs, completely irrelevant nonsense because that is where his focus is at the moment. He is simply unable to “read” the room.

        • Here’s the thing Alizia. I don’t not like you. I think you have something to offer – precisely because I find your postings repugnant and ugly. What is mind numbingly annoying is that you are unable to express your views in a succinct and efficient manner.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be in love with the written word – much like my dad, who can write out his own thoughts for pages at a time. Where normally such thoughts would be best expressed in a few sentences, you and he take pages to do so – because that is where your joy is, your passion, it’s what fires you – to write ad nauseam and bathe in everything you’ve read and inhaled in pursuit of……something.

          In this medium – an internet blog – succinct and and focused writing is your best weapon. You have not mastered that.

          I wish you would.

              • You are not as academic, and worldly, and erudite as you think you are. You just blather, incoherently and without meaning. And then when you think others have not kept up with you, you are rude and condescending.

                Once again, Alizia, I would suggest you pay attention to the way people communicate here. I am by no means a debater, a lawyer, a scholar. I am an accountant/stay-at-home-mom who stumbled upon this blog. It changed the way I approach issues. It made me confront my own biases. It has been a learning curve for me and I’m grateful to everyone who participates here because they have all, in some way, contributed to my education.

                I would suggest you set your ego aside and listen to the advice that has been given to you; time and time again.

                Were you to change the way you write, I might find you comprehensible. I might not agree with you, but you’d at least be readable.

            • Spoken like a sophomore student who cracked open the books for juniors and seniors… spreading what she thinks is dangerous knowledge to someone else who has actually lived life.

              • Strange coincidence: that the Bingo game was first played on 2 May of 1819.

                The more important part though: Mahler’s 5th starts off in the key of C sharp minor, but it moves into and ends in D major. Among my detractors, I am interpreted to be playing only in a minor key. This is sort of a projection of self-deception. You have colored me with the colors of your minds.

                More is to be gained by encouraging free speech, fearlessness in testing ideas, the taking of risks, and the expansion of idea-limits, than in attempting to place limits, and then doing it as a ‘group project’.

                My comment was selected for COTD but it really was to point out what Jack and others feel is my bigotry. So, it is not really much of an award if you really think about it. If ever you get awarded in a similar way you may feel it necessary to defend yourself.

                I have chosen to explore the forbidden territories of manyissues that, in our liberalized PC environment, borders in the illegal: thoughtcrime. I am of the opinion that some people focus on the way I write and simultaneously avoice the content.

                You and La Sylphide would gain more, and contribute more to the thread and to the Blog if you make the choice to do that. Meantime, I leave you with Handel’s Violin Sonata in D Major which is in affettuoso, best translated as ‘tenderly’. I am not a tempo but rather a mood.

                You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

            • The odd coincidence here is that the game of ‘Bingo’ was first played on May 2, 1819!

              But here is the more important part: Mahler’s 5th begins in the key of C sharp minor, but it moves into and ends in D major. Similarly, among my detractors, I am interpreted to be playing only in a minor key. But this, while not a ‘lie’, is sort of a projection of self-deception. You have colored me with the colors of your minds, or so I find.

              There is much more to be gained by encouraging free speech, fearlessness in testing ideas, the taking of risks, and the expansion of idea-limits, than in attempting to place limits, and then doing it as a ‘group project’.

              I was selected, under dubious circumstances, for the COTD but it really was to point out what Jack and others feel is my bigotry. So, it is not really much of an award if you really think about it. And I clearly have chosen to explore the forbidden territories of so many issues that, in our liberalized PC environment, is material that borders on the illegal: thoughtcrime. I am of the opinion that some people focus on the way I write, or perhaps some of the chaos of the plethora of ideas, when they could just as easily select some part that had been clearly expressed and comment on it.

              Both you and La Sylphide would gain more, and contribute more to the thread and to the Blog if you make the choice to do that. Meantime, I leave you with Handel’s Violin Sonata in D Major which is in affettuoso, best translated as ‘tenderly’. I am not a tempo but rather a mood.

              You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

      • La Sylphide, you pose a problem that I do not know how to approach.

        While I think your comparison to your autistic nephew is silly, in some way I suppose you are right: I am speaking within a setting of people who have a very hard time understanding what I am trying to say, and why. It is true that my English is less-than-perfect, and I may commit other errors, I grant this.

        But there is another part to this and it is that you have literally not encountered the ideas I am talking about. The ‘tomes’ I mention are mostly from philosophers and writers who wrote prior to WW2. I deliberately choose to read this material and to limit my reading of later authors because, in my view, the Sixties destroyed intellectualism. I could provide examples yet I am sure that you have no interest in hearing, nor do you likely care much about thiese things.

        The only comment of relevance that you have made on this thread was the anecdote about your gay son. That is fine and good as far as it goes and certainly fits in with ‘applied ethics’. But there is really a great deal more here as well. There are larger issues. It is true that I have read a good deal among authors that you and others would classify as ‘anti-‘ and also bad-evil (etc.). I have read some of Mein Kampf for example. Most of David Duke’s autobiography, works by Guillaume Faye, Alain de Benoit, Jared Taylor, Sam Francis, Houston Chamberlain and a whole group of naughty ones. But I also have read Noam Chomsky, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis, Ghandi, George Orwell, and many writers very much from the non-anti pole. Your characterization is unfair.

        I again suggest to you though I do not wish to cause wear & tear to your ego, which seems to be getting piqued, that you have very limited comprehension of the nature of the issues that are to be faced in the present. And you make dismissals of what you think to be ‘blather’ that you should make a greater effort to understand. You could do this by slecting some part of what I have written, or someone else has written, and write out some of your thoughts and ideas.

        Haranguing me is really a waste of time. In my humble view. You pile on with others in this, I think, because *they* give you permission to do this. But it serves no real function.

        I asked for your thoughts on what you think is ugly and repugnant and then why. I’d like to hear more of your ideas.

        • But there is another part to this and it is that you have literally not encountered the ideas I am talking about. The ‘tomes’ I mention are mostly from philosophers and writers who wrote prior to WW2. I deliberately choose to read this material and to limit my reading of later authors because, in my view, the Sixties destroyed intellectualism. I could provide examples yet I am sure that you have no interest in hearing, nor do you likely care much about thiese things.

          This should not matter. Whether your audience has read the same academics as you should have precisely nothing to do with your ability to a) coherently articulate your own ideas or b) coherently summarize the arguments of others. If you can’t do this, then you’re not engaging in intellectual activity at all; you’re simply regurgitating, and badly.

          • Chris wrote, “Whether your audience has read the same academics as you should have precisely nothing to do with your ability to… b) coherently summarize the arguments of others. If you can’t do this, then you’re not engaging in intellectual activity at all; you’re simply regurgitating, and badly.”

            Chris,
            Aside from Alizia’s obvious failings which I actually agree with; you’ve got a lot of nerve criticizing anyone about “coherently summarize the arguments of others” when you’ve constantly misrepresented arguments presented by others.

            Hypocrite.

            P.S. Alizia is a rather long winded and bigoted troll.

          • With all due respect, though I always read and consider the posts people write, I am going to jump out of any conversations about what people write, how they write it, how successful they are, or not, at communicating their ideas. It is a complete waste of time and does not further the focus of the Blog.

            If you are one who critiques my style or content and you post a comment and get no response, you’ll know why! 😉

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