The Ethical Atheist’s Ten Commandments.

Behold! I give ye Ten Commandments for Ethical Atheists!

  1. Thou SHALT NOT believe all thou art told.
  2. Thou SHALT seek knowledge and truth constantly.
  3. Thou SHALT educate thy fellow man in the Laws of Science.
  4. Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of god.
  5. Thou SHALT leave valuable contributions for future generations.
  6. Thou SHALT live in peace with thy fellow man.
  7. Thou SHALT live this one life thou hast to its fullest.
  8. Thou SHALT follow a Personal Code of Ethics.
  9. Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation between Church and State.
  10. Thou SHALT support those who follow these commandments.

The site itself contains brief explanations for each of the various commandment as well to help clarify. Good reading.

Found, oddly enough, through ***Dave’s Blog who points out that he’d be very happy if more than just atheists followed those commandments, thusly reconfirming my oft-stated belief that the world could use a few more Christians like him.

86 thoughts on “The Ethical Atheist’s Ten Commandments.

  1. I can’t speak for the Ethical Atheist board, not being a member, so I won’t.

    Why does a group equate themselves as a race; insisting to be “gay from birth” whilst suggesting that no one would ever choose to be faced with such miserable complex challenges and then to run out, the following day parading for others to make the same ‘choice’ to come out, come out, where ever you are.

    Part of the “misery” of being gay is rejection, disgust, and hatred from the non-gay community and its leaders, and the loneliness from such persecution.  By encouraging folks to be honest and open about their orientation, they not only alleviate the loneliness, but the “strength through numbers” can mitigate the persecution.

    What is choice but a word, unless defined by process? If sex genes, like any other genes are subject to becoming activated by environmental co-factors, then such steps leading to such activations can be argued to have resulted from choices, conscious or otherwise. What is a choice; to go left or right; whether influenced or not the being is more than fate, more than predestination.

    Not being gay, I can’t speak directly for the degree to which being gay is a choice—though I don’t seem to have “chosen” to be straight, and have no apparently impulse to do be otherwise.

    I’ve often thought that the debate over homosexuality being a choice or not is beside the point—the question is whether it is somethign justly and reasonably discriminated against by the society and the law.

    If we allow for gay marriage, how much longer must we suffer all these gay pride parades? We’ve all been to them cheering out support. Will absolute equality finally satisfy their lust for pride? I goggled gay pride parades in every place where gay marriage is legal and they are still taking place.

    Even with legal approval, it can take a while for social approval to kick in, thus plenty to protest and/or encourage about.  Plus—well, heck, comic books have lost a lot of their stigma, but we still have comic book conventions occuring.

    If they want to be considered normal why don’t they keep their bedroom manners at home? We don’t have heterosexual pride parades. We all know sex is important, but there are other aspects of life too.

    I think you can find plenty of public expressions of straight sexuality going on, too.  Just watch TV, or observe people at a dance, or even just walking down the street.

    Ideally, it would all be a mix, and the question of whom Fred is ogling at the office picnic would be no more gossipworthy if it was Tom versus being Mary or Eloise.  That integration into society is probably a few generations away.

    I personally hold the conviction that fate and freewill are both portative everywhere. We are born with vast potentials, many of which are locked in our genes, but we are each the captains of our living vessels.  In ancient Rome they didn’t bother about such justifications. If you were an aristocrat with slaves you might take a male one day; a female the next. It was a matter of choice then and it still is today.

    I’ll note that “taking” a slave is as much a power statement as a sexual one.  Regardless, that would seem to indicate that arguments that we fall upon a sexual spectrum, rather than a binary choice, are more accurate.  (That also gets into the sensitive question of bisexuality.)

    But while sexual expression is, indeed, a choice, it is not a trivial one.  Even were there no social stigma attached, my tastes run strongly toward women, not at all toward men.  Could I, if required to do so by social convention, choose to have gay sex?  Probably—gay men, for example, have been hiding their sexuality in straight marriage forever.  But that doesn’t mean it’s a simple, pleasant, or fulfilling choice.

    Let me give another analog, though some might feel I’m trivializing the matter.  I hate raw tomatoes.  They actually provoke a gag reflex in me.  I am disgusted by their slimy innerds, to the extent that even smelling a raw tomato can put me off my feed.

    That said, through force of will and to be polite to a host or hostess, I might eat raw tomatoes.  I have, in fact. I skip them if I can, beg off if I need to make an excuse, but if cornered, yes, I can do that.

    Does that mean my aversion to raw tomatoes is just a myth, or that I’m somehow deluded, or if I only stopped complaining and chomped on raw tomatoes I might get used to it and even come to like it (but, at the very least, would stop whining about the matter)?  I don’t think so.  Nor should society require me to enjoy raw tomatoes along with everyone else, without a very strong reason behind doing so.

  2. Dave,
    We are probably as close in view as the current reality stands on the matter of slow and steady. The H-8 put the brakes on.  H-8 doesn’t affect domestic partnerships so it’s not the end of the world for homosexuals if it stands.

    You could certainly argue that—the advantage of a slow change to acclimate folks to the situation, “one in the hand is worth two in the bush” and all that.
    On the other hand, it’s difficult to argue that people should accept a compromise in a relationship that strikes so close to hand.  Should a group that hasn’t been allowed freedom of speech accept a compromise, even for a time, that says they can have it on odd-numbered days?  Or that, for the time being, they can speak freely but not on every subject?  Or that they can have it, but it will be called “official license to express” for that group, versus “freedom of speech” for others, and may or may not be applicable to all the same downstream laws?

    It’s a huge issue for couples facing the prospect of growing old without the security of health insurance and inheriting each other’s social security benefits (as 2 examples) even though these are in doubt for everyone.
    We already have freedom of speech, at least, on paper. So, I’m not so sure the free speech analogy is relative, or maybe I can’t see it. Someone else asked “Is marriage for heterosexual’s only analogies to freedom for white people only”. I’d say no. It goes to choice and my last post gives an indicator of my current perspectives on what I view as over reaching tactics and arguments on the part of the gay politic.  Regarding downstream laws; I speculate that the court would not over turn H8 on the (hidden shyster agenda) basis that the legal system could squeeze more money from the people by dealing with all the downstream legal challenges. Cynical huh?

    I don’t think you can disarm the argument by talking about the potential for offspring.  You are still making the same argument—if kids *might* be involved, then the state should maximize their care and feeding.

    You have a point. It’s one of those if-y propositions we can try and stretch. You will find some of those in THE SECULAR CASE AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE, By Adam Kolasinksi. You have to really be gung ho on collectivity or just wanting the least possible tax burden to whole heartedly buy into it. Rather like proponents of illegal alien labor, on the basis that they pay into social security, but are never able to collect it, which impresses me rather as a kind of bureaucratic corruption.
     

    If parents don’t pass a series of official examinations of their parenting skills, are they no longer officially married?

    Hey, maybe that’s not such a bad idea!

    I concur that there are societal reasons to incent stable families through recognition.  But our current recognition of that is so shotgun, applies in so many cases where it needed, and is not recognized in so many cases where it could, it’s hardly a reasonable argument to stick with the status quo.

    Well, the status quo needs work, no doubt. I will concede that my views, pertaining to children raised in homosexual-mono-sexed households, are largely influenced by my own personal experience in a mostly single parent household. I believe I can also concede that, what I don’t know from that experience is in inverse proportion to that which I do know which constitutes missing data and as such, other unknown factors might mitigate the homo/mono-sexed consideration I’ve been having.

    *If* the state recognizes and nurtures the relationships between gays, I concur that the number of IVFs will likely increase.  Not sure the problem there—it indicates an interest in reproduction (which you seem to suggest is what marriage is primarily about, or what the state should be encouraging. Indeed, given the cost and effort, and the fact that it is *intentional* rather than accidental, one would think that would be considered a more pro-survival impulse.

    Yes it would. I’m softening somewhat on the IVF issue and on children, generally, given my last 2 concessions. I’d need more data now to form a more certain opinion. Indeed, it is uncertainly of what the effect might be, of so many children raised in such homes, in ever more vast numbers which is a bit worrisome, but then the future is largely unknowable in many respects, anyhow. There is mostly the matter of the early conditioning of children and my general concerns as regards of societal imprinting of toxic programming, particularly notions of predestined inborn gene based sexuality, founded on theoretical science, for sake of political expediency.

    This is not just an agricultural program to encourage farmers to raise more wheat this year.  This is fundamental personal relationships we’re talking about, which should require much more clear reasons to *disincent* if undesirable than narrowing the grounds under which we incent them.

    How much would we like to disincent the churches by revoking their tax free status, for instance?  You may know many atheists who would love to see that in a heartbeat. I have said that to tell a child that, unless they accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior; they will burn in hell for all eternity; that this is a form of domestic terrorism and child abuse. Or, religion could never hold up without the brainwashing of the little children.  Perhaps, religion should be like cigarettes; no exposure until age 18. The status quo, indeed, needs work, right?  Why then, put into motion a whole new mechanism of brainwashing.  People are born to their sexuality. There is no choice. We are who we are.  Can you envision the implications?

    Wow.  Well, if the straight couples labor under the same limitation [starting as domestic partners and becoming a civil union- legal family unit once kids come into the picture], I guess that would be fine.

    Here you seem to be suggesting that all things must be equal and because they are not we should penalize heterosexuals. For example; Heterosexuals can simply mate to produce off spring. They need neither marry nor adopt, which involves a legal process. They are neither equal in IVF, since homosexuals must go outside the union for eggs or sperm. This is only the case for heterosexuals when there is no genetic resource in either would be parent. Why natural breeding married couples should be put through a hoop, because same sexed couples are currently demanding rights to marry and raise kids too, by legal means, is beyond my understanding. It’s their plight, after all. This 2 stage system is used in the UK and each has corresponding rights, taxes schemes and benefits.  I don’t think that existing nature can or aught be expected to conform to what challenges emerging nature must meet. In nature, not all things are equal, after all. If these two types were equal one would not be struggling for equal rights.

    To take a totally fanciful (and, hopefully, inoffensive) example, let us say that gay men have an innate talent of dressing more attractively to women than those who have no gay genes.  In fully gay men, this would not be a reproductive advantage (assuming gay men never bred for other reasons).  In partially gay men, it may be that it would facilitate their breeding (“wow, you are dressed somewhat fabulously—I want to have kids by you!”), leaving the trait to continue on, only succeeding when not reinforced to the “lethal” point.
    Again, it’s a bullshit example, but a simple one to demonstrate how a trait that is not, when fully expressed, pro-survival, can still survived.

    Bravo! My deficiency here, by comparison to yours, resides in my loathing religion first and loving Darwin second. And I agree with your conclusion about IVF on the grounds that nature finds a way, so to speak.

    So by your thinking, the state has little primary interest in recognizing your marriage.  Why should it recognize it, but not recognize that of a gay couple?

    Well, in that sense not so much by my thinking as by the previously referenced so called “Secular Case against Gay Marriage.”  The only sure reason I can give is current law, where such laws exist. Whether and how we should change these laws to recognize ‘that’ of a gay couple, under whatever name is indeed the question.
    I find my understanding and consequently my position on the issue undergoing some revisions. I don’t this as a weakness. I went from blind acceptance to neutrality to strong opposition, which I find softening now.  I think I’ve put considerable thought into the matter.  It’s highly insulting to be called a bigot, out of hand, because one cares enough to think and question.  I have been subject to very mean spirited homosexuals who have been conditioned to expect that everyone should instantly accept their political/civil objectives, unconditionally and without question.  I understand that they are driven by frustrations, but they are often poor diplomats and this does not help their cause. They are not the only ones concerned with the situation.  I’ve come further in my understanding of the issues here than I had in all the rants there (EA), which were often ill met; defensive, ill inspired and generally not moving on to reach new plateaus.  Thanks.

  3. Part of the “misery” of being gay is rejection, disgust, and hatred from the non-gay community and its leaders, and the loneliness from such persecution.  By encouraging folks to be honest and open about their orientation, they not only alleviate the loneliness, but the “strength through numbers” can mitigate the persecution.

    But in many places where gay marriage is legal they are accepted, certainly enough to have won their revolution.  I suppose I can understand that to a point. It seems like protections from discrimination in employment are a joke. A protected class walks in and they discriminate against it for some other stated reason. We should all take to the streets. Perhaps that is the answer.

    Not being gay, I can’t speak directly for the degree to which being gay is a choice—though I don’t seem to have “chosen” to be straight, and have no apparently impulse to do be otherwise.

    What choice do you have really? (Pole goes into hole) On the other hand; if you had to make one, the most obvious choice is the easiest choice. 

    I once worked on a construction site, south of San Francisco, and all the guys were gathered and each, down the line, started saying how much they liked “pussy”.  Oh, I’m always chasing pussy, one said. I can’t get enough pussy, says another. Just give me my pussy and I’m happy, says, yet another.  When it came to my turn to speak, said I, It seems like I’m always out chasing that elusive pussy, but more often the not, I wind up with dic. …  You should have seen the reaction on their faces. I thought I was going to get my assed kicked. Only one guy busted out laughing and I actually had to explain it to the dumb fucks.  But, seriously, I’m a hetro … too … at least I think so.

    I know this much. We are born male or female. The rest is theoretical. Gore Vidal said, “There are no homosexuals; only homosexual acts.”

    I’ve often thought that the debate over homosexuality being a choice or not is beside the point—the question is whether it is something justly and reasonably discriminated against by the society and the law.

    Doesn’t the question of choice bring the legal authorities eye to fall on the question of intent. If it’s a choice then these are perverts and we must forbid it. If it’s inborn than it’s natural and we will have to allow it.

    I think you can find plenty of public expressions of straight sexuality going on, too.  Just watch TV, or observe people at a dance, or even just walking down the street.

    That’s true. I hadn’t considered the need to project the tribal identity into a territory.

    I’ll note that “taking” a slave is as much a power statement as a sexual one.

     
    Yes, I suppose so, but isn’t it also true that such a power play, relative to the culture mitigates that ratio and today, by compensation we see bondage sex as if reaching back to those roots.  Historically, acceptance of homosexuality has typically thrived in aristocratic environments and today we find a standard of living where comforts abound to more common people than ever before. Accustomed to more, people want more. Excess becomes in vogue and decadence reigns supreme. Then comes some new master to quench the fires of excess. In the bible it was god, in pre-war Germany; Hitler, today, it’s HIV. Isn’t some compensation always going to spring up in response? If we legalize Gay marriage, it will still not be enough. Comes then some new oppression. Is this too metaphysical?

    Regardless, that would seem to indicate that arguments that we fall upon a sexual spectrum, rather than a binary choice, are more accurate.  (That also gets into the sensitive question of bisexuality.)

    You mean like the Kinsey Scale?

    Does that mean my aversion to raw tomatoes is just a myth, or that I’m somehow deluded, or if I only stopped complaining and chomped on raw tomatoes I might get used to it and even come to like it (but, at the very least, would stop whining about the matter)?  I don’t think so.  Nor should society require me to enjoy raw tomatoes along with everyone else, without a very strong reason behind doing so.

    I’ve considered that the only truly sane or free person is Kinsey’s rare 3 on his 1 to 6 scale; the perfect bi-sexual. That one would have no aversions at all. The rest, having aversions to same or opposite sex by degrees would constitute degrees of psychosis, because a physical aversion constitutes pathology. That would suggest homosexuals and heterosexuals to be off the mark and bi-sexual to be closer to normal. I believe it’s a hunter-gathering, baby sitting economy shared by some of our closest ape relatives. Is something like that what you mean by sensitive? I can accept being off the mark, so long as I stay out of churches.

  4. The H-8 put the brakes on.  H-8 doesn’t affect domestic partnerships so it’s not the end of the world for homosexuals if it stands.

    No more than, say, being told that your own marriage is actually invalid, but, hey, you’ll still get to file state income taxes jointly.  Not the end of the world, but a nasty slap to the face or twelve.

    We already have freedom of speech, at least, on paper. So, I’m not so sure the free speech analogy is relative, or maybe I can’t see it.

    Since homosexuals had the recognized right to marry in California, and now they don’t, I think it’s analogous.

    Someone else asked “Is marriage for heterosexual’s only analogies to freedom for white people only”. I’d say no. It goes to choice ….

    Maybe, if you feel it’s “just” a choice, then the analogy would be freedom for Christians only, not for non-Christians.  Only Christian marriages will be recognized from here on out, because we feel that the Christian family structure is best and most stable for the family.  If folks want to get married they can convert—faith is, after all, a choice.

    There is mostly the matter of the early conditioning of children and my general concerns as regards of societal imprinting of toxic programming, particularly notions of predestined inborn gene based sexuality, founded on theoretical science, for sake of political expediency.

    So your biggest concern is that we’re teaching kids that homosexuality is genetic (or congenital)?

    status quo, indeed, needs work, right?  Why then, put into motion a whole new mechanism of brainwashing.  People are born to their sexuality. There is no choice. We are who we are.  Can you envision the implications?

    The debate of nature vs. nurture in general has gone on for eons, completely outside of (and much more influentially) than the debate over gay rights.  Are kids “born bad”?  Are they fully pliant to Skinnerian manipulation?  Do people have an irrevocable destiny?  Are they totally free agents? 

    I don’t think that will go away if we don’t recognize gay marriages.

    Here you seem to be suggesting that all things must be equal and because they are not we should penalize heterosexuals. For example; Heterosexuals can simply mate to produce off spring. They need neither marry nor adopt, which involves a legal process. They are neither equal in IVF, since homosexuals must go outside the union for eggs or sperm. This is only the case for heterosexuals when there is no genetic resource in either would be parent. Why natural breeding married couples should be put through a hoop, because same sexed couples are currently demanding rights to marry and raise kids too, by legal means, is beyond my understanding.

    The basic principle of equal treatment under the law is that, unless you can draw a valid, meaningful distinction, people must be treated the same.

    Since straight married couples can go through all the same issues as gay couples must (needing IVF, having to go outside the union for some of the genetic material (or all of it, if we’re talking about adoption)), I don’t see why those straight people can be identified as “married” while the gay people cannot.

    What hoop do you see different-gender couples having to go through if same-gender couples are allow to marry?

    The only sure reason I can give is current law, where such laws exist. Whether and how we should change these laws to recognize ‘that’ of a gay couple, under whatever name is indeed the question.

    Indeed.  And while it takes a conscious, intentional act to change the law, recognizing that current laws (as were those against miscegenation) are wrong and unjust and, in fact, not in keeping with our federal constitution, is a legitimate exercise.

    find my understanding and consequently my position on the issue undergoing some revisions. I don’t this as a weakness.

    Changing your mind, if for reasons (vs. simply to get along) isn’t a bad thing.

    I have been subject to very mean spirited homosexuals who have been conditioned to expect that everyone should instantly accept their political/civil objectives, unconditionally and without question.  I understand that they are driven by frustrations, but they are often poor diplomats and this does not help their cause.

    Unfortunately, people who feel their rights are being stomped upon (rightly or wrongly, accurately or inaccurately) often react with anger and frustration, and are not the best diplomats.  That’s part of what drives at least some of the unpleasantry (from all positions) on the Internet.

  5. But in many places where gay marriage is legal they are accepted, certainly enough to have won their revolution.  I suppose I can understand that to a point. It seems like protections from discrimination in employment are a joke. A protected class walks in and they discriminate against it for some other stated reason. We should all take to the streets. Perhaps that is the answer.

    Perhaps so.

    As you note. There are still people who discriminate socially (and, when they can, economically and politically) against racial minorities, even though they have legally recognized equality.

    What choice do you have really? (Pole goes into hole) On the other hand; if you had to make one, the most obvious choice is the easiest choice.

    That doesn’t say much for one’s sex life.

    And, as the Bard said, the course of true love never ran smooth.  If we all went for the “easiest” choices in our relationships, it would be a very different world.  And not necessairly a better one.

    We are born male or female. The rest is theoretical.

    Actually, there are people born with both physical sexual characteristics.  It’s not a stretch to think that there are other, more subtle indicators, that would have an effect on desired sex partner.

    And, beyond that, so what?  I don’t see a compelling reason, theoretical differences or not, to legally discriminate between gays and straights. 

    Doesn’t the question of choice bring the legal authorities eye to fall on the question of intent. If it’s a choice then these are perverts and we must forbid it. If it’s inborn than it’s natural and we will have to allow it.

    Not at all.  There are very few acts that homosexuals “choose” to do that heterosexuals cannot and do not do.  They are all, at this point, legal.

    Further, we do not give people a pass for what is “natural” (“He was a psychopathic little boy ever since he was born—so I guess it’s okay if he kills the neighbors”).

    Historically, acceptance of homosexuality has typically thrived in aristocratic environments and today we find a standard of living where comforts abound to more common people than ever before. Accustomed to more, people want more. Excess becomes in vogue and decadence reigns supreme.

    In an aristocratic environment, it’s a matter of not having any social restraints.  Sleeping with women not your wife was generally frowned upon in Antebellum South, but taking a slave woman was considered less of an offense.  If Duke Fred decided to have sex with a male, it might be frowned on in some circles, but there were many fewer people to call him on it than if it were Fred the Peasant.

    I’ve considered that the only truly sane or free person is Kinsey’s rare 3 on his 1 to 6 scale; the perfect bi-sexual. That one would have no aversions at all. The rest, having aversions to same or opposite sex by degrees would constitute degrees of psychosis, because a physical aversion constitutes pathology.

    Certainly it’s a much less inconvenient place to be, hypothetically.  It’s like being a picky eater vs. being an eater of wide tastes.  But the only real problem comes when the picky eater decides that his particular tastes are somehow sacrosanct and nobody should be allowed to eat anything he doesn’t like.  So to speak.

  6. Julian wrote:

    Separation of church and state means that the state does not have any term for religious based marriages. When the state talks about marriage, it always refers to the civil aspect of it.

    Then the state should disallow churches to perform ‘marriages’, since, in such context ‘marriage’ is religious based.

    If a person performing a religious marriage is also licensed to perform civil marriages then both aspects can be covered at once. But the state only recognizes the civil aspect of it.

    Well, that doesn’t sound like separation of church and state to me; if the two can be covered ‘at once.’  What I’m trying to suggest is that, by separating these ceremonies and providing separate label designations for them, we enhance separation of church and state, if only because we sculpt into the common language a way of talking that, effectuates separation of Church and state in the most practical sense; everyday life conversation.  Civil/secular or religious terms that combine for those want the church option.

    He: Are you jiggle-niggled?
    She: Well, I’m just niggled, actually. We went with a simple niggling ceremony at the local court house.
    He: Oh really? So you weren’t raised in a religious family then…  I’m Catholic … engaged to a Jew.
    She: Really? … That’s dandy.  So you’ll be getting Jew Jiggled, I’d expect.
    He: Myself, I always wanted a big Catholic Jiggle wedding and her family knows a Jew Judge who will perform the niggling at city hall.
    She: Awesome. So it sounds like a good compromise for an ideal Jiggle-niggling then?
    He: Yeah, once we get the niggle paperwork out of the way; the jiggle will seal the deal for all eternity and then we will have a combined reception of family and friends.
    She: Best wishes for a long and happy Jiggle-niggling.
    He:  And I wish the same for your niggling.

    If this is something like what Alan Dershowitz had in mind I’d be happy to have a term that, in bold demarcation, proclaimed the secular nature of my union as apart from religious associations.  If we are going to redefine “marriage” and in a way contrary to the interest churches who enjoy this implied connected by way of a joint term; then why not something like this. That way, everybody changes drops the term marriage (fruit of the poisonous tree) and so the church can even get behind gay marriage because it no longer is faced implied consent by the sharing of the term.

  7. Well, that doesn’t sound like separation of church and state to me; if the two can be covered ‘at once.’

    Are you being deliberately obtuse or honestly stupid? Either way I’m done feeding the troll.

    Let’s just have a civil union for everyone and call it “marriage”. Then you religious bigots can call your own ceremony whatever you like.

  8. Actually, there are people born with both physical sexual characteristics.

    One tangent I will move in with: I’m uncertain of standards on full or partial differentiation between sexes (fertility, plus…?), but the morphology of a human fetus is fascinating to discover.

    The glans of a penis, for instance, becoming the clitoris, instead. It really depends more on where you draw the line on “male” and “female”. As you suggest, ***Dave, there is vast space for subtle differentiation. I suspect that, until rather recently, we never really stopped to consider it.

  9. Ragu: Your fear of children being deprived of a good family setting because the parents are gay or lesbian is unfounded according to a great deal of research. You can find some of this here: http://www.colage.org/resources/summary.htm
    The gist of this research is that children of gays or lesbians appear to grow up as normally as those whose parents are heterosexual.
    This is from the Colage site:

    From the standpoint of child development, there have been several studies done attempting to compare children from straight families with children from LGBT families, especially lesbian-headed families.  Researchers have concluded that sexual orientation of a parent does not have a significant impact on the mental health, coping skills, peer relationships, or general maturation process.  For a detailed summary of the research findings, with bibliography, please consult the website of the American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html.

  10. Leguru, Thanks for the link. I recently was given a link to various studies that were, basically, questionnaires asked of the gay parents, which I was not so impressed with. I’d rather see the kids interviewed themselves and other more objective approaches. I will have a deeper look at your link as soon as I am able.

  11. Julian wrote:

    Are you being deliberately obtuse or honestly stupid? Either way I’m done feeding the troll

    Neither. Honestly, I’d have to reply deliberately stupid. I speculate my preference (by this I mean choice, rather than an in born trait)) for such an approach goes to sheer speed; being for more economical then honestly obtuse, which takes the longer way.

    Let’s just have a civil union for everyone and call it “marriage”. Then you religious bigots can call your own ceremony whatever you like.

    Let’s just live together in sin and call it fucking. Then you atheist bigots will rush into churches just to oppose us.

  12. Patness wrote:

    One tangent I will move in with: I’m uncertain of standards on full or partial differentiation between sexes (fertility, plus…?), but the morphology of a human fetus is fascinating to discover.
    The glans of a penis, for instance, becoming the clitoris, instead. It really depends more on where you draw the line on “male” and “female”. As you suggest, ***Dave, there is vast space for subtle differentiation. I suspect that, until rather recently, we never really stopped to consider it.

    Just a quick injection, if I may: To me this suggests slowness in language process of adopting labels for all these subtle variations (in order to effectively discuss them).  Even as we evaluate that “vast space for subtle differentiation” by way of degrees through a process orientation; we are still faced with the post birth 2-valued assumptions.

    I’m having this argument elsewhere and one very rude (Kinsey 5-ish) bisexual has suggested that there are “more than two genders”, but didn’t elaborate further. If we add Hermorphidites to the post born; that makes for three, but I suspect that others could chime in with additional prospective genders. Perhaps he/she is more perceptive than I.

  13. Dave wrote:

    No more than, say, being told that your own marriage is actually invalid, but, hey, you’ll still get to file state income taxes jointly.  Not the end of the world, but a nasty slap to the face or twelve.

    Sure, that’s a terrible blow to have to bear.

    Since homosexuals had the recognized right to marry in California and now they don’t, I think it’s analogous.

    Ok, I see what you mean.

    Maybe, if you feel it’s “just” a choice, then the analogy would be freedom for Christians only, not for non-Christians.  Only Christian marriages will be recognized from here on out, because we feel that the Christian family structure is best and most stable for the family.  If folks want to get married they can convert—faith is, after all, a choice.

    I don’t think it’s “just” a choice. The current claim that homosexuality is genetic and inborn is verified so far as catamites are concerned. I figure choice co-factors into the equation in terms that environmental cofactors, including choices we make, might influence how genetic factors become active and expressed.

    Is faith a choice to a child who has been brainwashed into religious thinking and the accompanying Pavlovian like nervous response set?

    So your biggest concern is that we’re teaching kids that homosexuality is genetic (or congenital)?

    That would be an oversimplification. My biggest concern is a social order where intellectual dishonesty is legislated for sake of political expediency; a culture transform upon a basis of relative non-truths. By way of example take the influence of these Judo-Christian values upon so called modern thinking.  If we pull from theoretical science for political aims in order to over throw the ill begotten vestiges of faith, and such theories turn out to be found lacking, then how is the world made better?  At least with faith we had had enough time to develop defenses against it. I hear homosexuals proclaiming the “gay gene” as fact and I am reminded how the third Reich indulged in pseudo science for sake of expediency. As an atheist, I should that that you have turned away from the so called “moral majority” out of some innate recognition of bullshit and thirst for truth. I’m just concerned that some are too willing to change everything too far, too fast. Why not move this change over a few generations rather than just one? I feel a conservative approach here is justifiable.

    The debate of nature vs. nurture in general has gone on for eons, completely outside of (and much more influentially) than the debate over gay rights.  Are kids “born bad”?  Are they fully pliant to Skinnerian manipulation?  Do people have an irrevocable destiny?  Are they totally free agents?

    Well exactly and I’m a bit taken aback by the gay community’s overly convenient inconsistencies and embrace of predestination. There is no choice. We are born as we are because of the gay gene. Who would choose this? A possable cure? No Thanks!

    I don’t think that will go away if we don’t recognize gay marriages.

    It might if we do for the wrong reasons, or reasoning, I should say.

    I don’t see why those straight people can be identified as “married” while the gay people cannot.

    I don’t see why gay people must be identified as “married”.

    “This soup is a beautiful marriage of pink pepper and crème.”

    Nobody ever says a marriage of nutmeg and nutmeg.

    What hoop do you see different-gender couples having to go through if same-gender couples are allow to marry?

    I was responding to your ‘so long as’ proposition. Nice turn about there. I would gladly call my heterosexual marriage a “Niggling”, if the homosexuals would do likewise.
    Note: Hah! A made up word I took for nonsense turns out real. Niggling: 1. Preoccupied with detail 2. Irritating (also relates to nagging) … That’s funny.

    Changing your mind, if for reasons (vs. simply to get along) isn’t a bad thing.

    I wouldn’t say that a revision constitutes a change, so much as contemplates an updating of thoughts, facts or ideas. As for getting along, as in forward motion, in the sense of a group on a journey; it might depends upon whether or not we are all Bozos on this bus and whether the trip is worth the taking, and of course the nature of the getting and giving, along the way.

    That doesn’t say much for one’s sex life.

    Ouch. I was speaking figuratively, as if one should suddenly appear into existence into a room of naked individuals. Ok, busted, for overlooking her needs, but I just got here and some choices we need to have others make for us. Hah! I’m killing myself, with this one.

    And, as the Bard said, the course of true love never ran smooth.  If we all went for the “easiest” choices in our relationships, it would be a very different world.  And not necessarily a better one.

    Indeed, but what I was getting at was to try and fathom what degrees of choice might exist in ratios of choice vs. fate. A bullshit aspiration, perhaps. Is homosexuality a tougher choice, if, indeed, any choice can be said to exist, at all? Is a Kinsey scale 3 bi having more choice or no choice? Is her response to sexual attraction, either way purely reliant upon instinct? What of a Kinsey 1, 2 or 4, 5? I need to take a deeper look at that.

    Actually, there are people born with both physical sexual characteristics.  It’s not a stretch to think that there are other, more subtle indicators, which would have an effect on desired sex partner.

    No it’s not as Patness’s post might be hinting at.

    And, beyond that, so what?  I don’t see a compelling reason, theoretical differences or not, to legally discriminate between gays and straights.

    And you may be seeing it quite more clearly than most. I suppose the “devil “is in the details and there may be no devil other than the one we make. But we are all in it, some deeper than others, so hopefully no one will drown in the course of a transformation.

    There are very few acts that homosexuals “choose” to do that heterosexuals cannot and do not do.  They are all, at this point, legal.

    Pedophilia is done by both hetro and homosexuals and it is not legal. What if a gene were discovered for pedophilia that might place it into pantheon of 39 sexual flavors?  Should it then become legal?
    Curious how it has not been already been placed there, or has it? I never see it spoken about except by the religious set.  The Greeks Orthodox Catholic church is the place to watch for developments as to where we might consider placing that one.

    It’s like being a picky eater vs. being an eater of wide tastes.  But the only real problem comes when the picky eater decides that his particular tastes are somehow sacrosanct and nobody should be allowed to eat anything he doesn’t like.  So to speak.

    I was always a terribly picky eater.  To this day, I’m a vegan married to a carnivore who could all but compete on fear factor.

    I’m not out to run this discussion into the ground. It’s been helpful discussing it. I need to reflect some. This is not to say that I couldn’t get more value by continuing it and I’m not saying that I wouldn’t. I have some considerations pulling on my time availability over the next fortnight and would not presume to over burden this blog, or it’s participants by having refresh so old a thread, even if the unintended topic is timely.

    I do wonder, just how many in a given atheist group might have reservations and then who would be willing to stick their neck out to voice them…  When I first did so, my chief motivation was in examining what part the gay community might have played in the development that led to the passage of H8, if any. It was in the most constructive sense, towards the better interests of the gay community that I approached it. My thinking went to why the gay community did not more effectively form a coalition with American atheists, groups, if they had a common purpose? Perhaps they didn’t; only a common political enemy.  They may not meet weekly, but there is the internet now and if anything we need alternatives to churches. This is not altogether out of the question, in politics. Even bringing up the possibility of mistakes on the part of the gay community resulted in my coming under fire. In the end I was called arrogant, for doing so, but I’d say it was arrogant of those who wanted no more than a pissing contest and it wasn’t intended to start off that way.  I threw my hat in here, right or wrong, I have, at least, able to advance my thinking, on the topic, somewhat.  There is a selfish side to it; just as there is to marriage and to the grappling for rights. We are all not so different nor far apart in our selfishness.

  14. Ragu: It’s so nice to see someone actually considering evidence and other points of view in a civil discussion. Thank you for contributing to the blog. I, for one, am looking forward to continued dialogue.

  15. Ragu:

    To me this suggests slowness in language process of adopting labels for all these subtle variations (in order to effectively discuss them)

    This presumes that an ordered state of degrees is an accurate way of describing the variation. Can you count each number in between 0 and 1?

    I prefer one word: gradient. This is not a difficult linguistic issue. I rather suspect that the issue is that such simplicity destroys boundaries, rather than erecting them.

    Even as we evaluate that “vast space for subtle differentiation” by way of degrees through a process orientation; we are still faced with the post birth 2-valued assumptions.

    Then perhaps we have reached a catalytic point where it is worth considering that our 2-valued assumptions were incorrect.

    I’m having this argument elsewhere and one very rude (Kinsey 5-ish) bisexual has suggested that there are “more than two genders”, but didn’t elaborate further.

    I hope you have it in you to forgive them – they may see an enemy in you, as I see an enemy in so many others. I believe the distinction is in “gender”, which is often used to mean “gender role”, or the social impact of a creature’s sex. This statement, I am wholely in agreement with: sexually, I am a man. Gender-wise, I am probably more a woman than a man. I am more often a provider, nurturer, and guide than I am a bread-winner, enforcer, or authority.

    If we add Hermaphrodites to the post born; that makes for three, but I suspect that others could chime in with additional prospective genders. Perhaps he/she is more perceptive than I.

    My thinking is that in adding Hermaphrodites to the list, we are adding a “sex not otherwise specified” – an umbrella classification.

    Otherwise, how does one define a hermaphrodite that one does not encounter thousands of other sexes? It’s a matter of how much detail you want to take out of it.

  16. Let’s just live together in sin and call it fucking.

    Been there done that. Has nothing to do with the point under discussion.

    Then you atheist bigots will rush into churches just to oppose us.

    That doesn’t even make senses. To be expected from a clueless troll though.

  17. Is faith a choice to a child who has been brainwashed into religious thinking and the accompanying Pavlovian like nervous response set?

    I believe that, ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our actions and choices, regardless of whether they are genetically predisposed, or based on values and beliefs inculcated by our family.  Otherwise, nobody’s responsible for anything.

    I hear homosexuals proclaiming the “gay gene” as fact and I am reminded how the third Reich indulged in pseudo science for sake of expediency.

    (Godwin!)  So did the Bush Adminstration, for that matter.  And in cases of civil rights, pseudo-science has been used to “prove” that gays, women, blacks, Italians, etc. are all congenitally “inferior” to the group in power.

    Most research at this point does seem to indicate a genetic or congenital basis for homosexuality.  But my own favoring of marriage equality has nothing to do with that.  Rather, it has to do that there is no established, substantial reason for the discrimination, so it should fall before equal treatment under the law.

    As an atheist, I should that that you have turned away from the so called “moral majority” out of some innate recognition of bullshit and thirst for truth.

    For the record, I’m not an atheist.  Though I like to think I have “some innate recognition of bulit” and that I “thirst for truth.”

    I’m just concerned that some are too willing to change everything too far, too fast. Why not move this change over a few generations rather than just one? I feel a conservative approach here is justifiable.

    Which is fine so long as you’re not one of the folks who’s having freedom ladled out in dribs and drabs.

    For what it’s worth, the cause of gay rights has been multigenerational.  The Stonewall Riots, for example, were in 1969.  I don’t think things are (yet) progressing too fast.

    I don’t see why gay people must be identified as “married”.

    For the same reasons that straight people want to be.

    “This soup is a beautiful marriage of pink pepper and crème.”

    Nobody ever says a marriage of nutmeg and nutmeg.

    No. But I’m able to look at a gay couple and see two distinct individuals.  Considering them identical based on gender is like considering my wife and I identical based on our species; a vast oversimplification for purposes of the discussion.

    Is homosexuality a tougher choice, if, indeed, any choice can be said to exist, at all? Is a Kinsey scale 3 bi having more choice or no choice? Is her response to sexual attraction, either way purely reliant upon instinct? What of a Kinsey 1, 2 or 4, 5? I need to take a deeper look at that.

    Sexual attraction seems to have some fundamental instinctive basis; I don’t think it’s just socialization that has me much me attracted to women than to men, and attempts to “reprogram” homosexuals rarely seem to be helpful.

    Pedophilia is done by both hetro and homosexuals and it is not legal. What if a gene were discovered for pedophilia that might place it into pantheon of 39 sexual flavors?  Should it then become legal?

    Which is part of why I don’t think that arguing root causes of homosexuality is useful as a basis for permitting it or forbidding it.

  18. I hear homosexuals proclaiming the “gay gene” as fact and I am reminded how the third Reich indulged in pseudo science for sake of expediency.

    No one is saying a “gay gene” exists, but it’s more likely a set of alleles that corresponds to a certain frequency of homosexuality (yet is by no means a sure indicator of such).

    Neural correlates of sexual arousal in homosexual and heterosexual men

    Sexual orientation and its basis in brain structure and function

    PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects.

    So, no. Not a choice.

    As for pedophilia, the issue is still one of consent and harm. They ARE harmed by sexual contact at a young age.

    Who’s hurt by what gays do aside from prudish busy bodies who spend more time thinking about gay sex than gay people?

  19. I’m just concerned that some are too willing to change everything too far, too fast. Why not move this change over a few generations rather than just one? I feel a conservative approach here is justifiable.

    I must counter, here. I find this statement offensive. To quote Martin Luther King Jr., Letter From A Birmingham Jail

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was “well timed,” according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the words [sic]“Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been in your shoes plenty before, and even on this board, where others called me out on my prejudice. You deserve the same courtesy, and the same criticism. It will never be a good time to face the facts, so long as we desire to run from them. It is irresponsible to wait for those who would impede civilized progress.

  20. Patness wrote:

    This presumes that an ordered state of degrees is an accurate way of describing the variation.

    To variation; perhaps less holistically than in a linear progression of variations.

    Can you count each number in between 0 and 1?

    Yes, by way of decimals or segments on a line.

    I prefer one word: gradient. This is not a difficult linguistic issue.

    Gradient is a great way to describe the general idea. When I’m speaking to PC nerds I’ll refer to thinking in grey scale, which is less economical then gradient.  I’m often horrible with economy. I need to work on that more than just about anything.

    I rather suspect that the issue is that such simplicity destroys boundaries, rather than erecting them.

    That would seem desirable or not, depending upon whom one is conferring with.  I take your point though and agree with it, up to such point where we may pierce through the boundary, at which time we are living a process orientation. That being, not so much the static identification of what we are, but rather, where we are in an ever evolving process of relatedness and fruition. Yet, a blow hole is a mixed bag. Most ofter, less is more. 

    Then perhaps we have reached a catalytic point where it is worth considering that our 2-valued assumptions were incorrect.

    I would like to think we have, because they most certainly are incorrect, at least, for anything beyond the grossest observations.

    If a cell in the flesh of your hand could look through your whole human eyes, what it sees a gradient of unknown particulars; like if an ameba could suddenly grow eyes and look up from the floor at a room full of people. They can’t describe anything in particular; although the various paths to these sets of eyes might be describable to another cell or ameba, as steps in a process.

    I hope you have it in you to forgive them – they may see an enemy in you, as I see an enemy in so many others. I believe the distinction is in “gender”, which is often used to mean “gender role”, or the social impact of a creature’s sex.

    I do. This person didn’t care for the marriage issue and was only interested in asserting her opinion that she had no choice; that sexual attraction was not a choice. As a Kinsey 5 type who “prefers women” she is as much, simply promiscuous, as bi-sexual. 
    The difference between her and you is vast.  When you communicate, you do so meaningfully. Had I sufficient sleep, patience and the will to extend my thinking to compensate for her lack of clear communications, I might have understood her better. But why should I give attention to sentiments expressed in hostility?  I see “gender role” meaning one thing; “gender”; another.  I can forgive her personally, and even her insufficiency of thinking. But I wouldn’t cash a check drawn on insufficient funds, either. Such statements only cause me to question someone’s motives, or lack thereof. Remember, she didn’t care squat for marriage, gay or otherwise. She only desires to advance her justification for a promiscuous lifestyle.  Let’s go to this notion of a gender role.

    This statement, I am wholly in agreement with: sexually, I am a man. Gender-wise, I am probably more a woman than a man. I am more often a provider, nurturer, and guide than I am a bread-winner, enforcer, or authority.

    You and I are, actually, not so far off in our gender roles.  However, I attribute who I am to my upbringing, programming, choices, many of which were born of necessity. Whatever genetic traits I have that are active, I perceive having been awakened by the many factors that go into living a life and many of these involve environmental influences and choices. To an extreme alpha male it might that my being an artsy/musical, vegan, (currently) and homemaker ought to have me shaving my legs and wearing a skirt. I could just as well as speculate about his gender role for suggesting it. However, I don’t associate my sexuality with what I’m doing, necessarily. I have the capacity to weep at a play or watching a film and to care for a loved one. Sure, I’d say that I am awake to my feminine side, but that doesn’t necessarily go to sexuality as much as intimacy, at least in my case. I am not chained to societal expectations of what a man is or how he should be perceived.

    My thinking is that in adding Hermaphrodites to the list, we are adding a “sex not otherwise specified” – an umbrella classification.

    Yeah, but it’s a freak of nature; one that a great many would secretly love to have as a close friend, butut a freak, no less, which is fine, of course.

    Otherwise, how does one define a hermaphrodite that one does not encounter thousands of other sexes? It’s a matter of how much detail you want to take out of it.

    I’m not sure I follow here. Are we talking a physical being or a gender role? If the former, are you suggesting that there might be so many variations in the physical characteristics?

    I must counter, here. I find this statement [pertaining to the putting off of sudden change] offensive.

    My apologies; I do not wish to offend anyone.

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been in your shoes plenty before, and even on this board, where others called me out on my prejudice. You deserve the same courtesy, and the same criticism. It will never be a good time to face the facts, so long as we desire to run from them. It is irresponsible to wait for those who would impede civilized progress.

    No apology is necessary. Courteous criticism goes a long way with me. I tend to shut down to the same level when an attack becomes rude and ruthless, under the old ‘dish out what I’m served’ modality. It may, as much, result from the function of desiring to “get along” as anything. We can easily come to embody the group dynamic;  should this uplift the individual, then, so much the better.

  21. Dave wrote:

    I believe that, ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our actions and choices, regardless of whether they are genetically predisposed, or based on values and beliefs inculcated by our family.  Otherwise, nobody’s responsible for anything.

    We concur on this one. I’d just like to see a little more of this awareness expressed by the gay community politic; notwithstanding the religious frauds they are trying to convince. I realize some fast talk is in order to convince stark raving lunatics. But, I’m not that and ultimately, I don’t want anyone to be. I’d like everyone to try and bring the best out of everyone; realizing this is plain idealistic foolery.

    (Godwin!)  So did the Bush Adminstration, for that matter.  And in cases of civil rights, pseudo-science has been used to “prove” that gays, women, blacks, Italians, etc. are all congenitally “inferior” to the group in power.

    Yes, granted, but where will it end?

    Most research at this point does seem to indicate a genetic or congenital basis for homosexuality.  But my own favoring of marriage equality has nothing to do with that.  Rather, it has to do that there is no established, substantial reason for the discrimination, so it should fall before equal treatment under the law.

    In a free society it is hard to justify a continuation denying homosexuals the right to wed; particularly since a good number seem to be asking for it and coming out of the wood work to ask for it.

    For the record, I’m not an atheist.  Though I like to think I have “some innate recognition of bulit” and that I “thirst for truth.”

    Me neither. What then; a stupid evil bastard mayhap?  I am only stupid and evil in spurts. It’s the bastard part that fits 100%!

    For what it’s worth, the cause of gay rights has been multigenerational.  The Stonewall Riots, for example, were in 1969.

    I realize that. I’m only just referring to legalized gay marriage (don’t mean to be a bastard, here).

    I’m able to look at a gay couple and see two distinct individuals.  Considering them identical based on gender is like considering my wife and I identical based on our species; a vast oversimplification for purposes of the discussion.

    Well, I suppose I’m looking at the surface issues and to the parallels in dictionary definitions and how children see the world and not from a very deep or enlightened standpoint. I think that sometimes I see societies emphasis on sex as shallow and existing in compensation to puritanical repression with is also shallow and I rebel against both and when considering them; think in shallow depths.  The point you make, here is quite palpable.

    Sexual attraction seems to have some fundamental instinctive basis; I don’t think its just socialization that has me much me attracted to women than to men, and attempts to “reprogram” homosexuals rarely seem to be helpful.

    Well sure; the mating instinct. I don’t think it’s “just” anything. If, by socialization you include pornographic materials (that do not give off pheromones) and repeated rejections by females; them homosexuality might be gravitated to as an alternative and habituated to. Since no mating instinct is involved, sexual attraction might be separate in the same way that we can separate sex from procreation or from love.

    Which is part of why I don’t think that arguing root causes of homosexuality is useful as a basis for permitting it or forbidding it.

    Just the part that pertains to intellectual integrity at the basis of a profound Socio-cultural transformation, but then we have covered this. I understand and accept your reasoning as it pertains to equal treatment. I agree with it. I’d just like to see it put across more eloquently.

  22. Ragu:

    Yes, by way of decimals or segments on a line.

    This is, unfortunately, incorrect. When we do this, what we are doing is (generally, evenly) subdividing a group of numbers of infinite size. But if we start at zero, what is the next number? .01? .0001? – there is no “next” number. The placement of a degree system designates boundaries between groups as a way of progressing through them (as the integers 0, 1, 2, play over all the numbers in between). We are, however, omitting an infinitely large list of numbers with each such act.

    My concern is that, in foisting similar conditions upon the sexes, that we may be committing similar errors of omission. My next statement:

    Otherwise, how does one define a hermaphrodite that one does not encounter thousands of other sexes? It’s a matter of how much detail you want to take out of it.

    I’m not sure I follow here. Are we talking a physical being or a gender role? If the former, are you suggesting that there might be so many variations in the physical characteristics?

    … refers to the variations in physical characteristics. This is not merely a suggestion. Everyone’s a little different. I guarantee there are fertile women with clitoris’ bigger than a fertile man’s penis, as long as you get to pick your man and woman carefully enough.

    As your mention of transsexuals points out, this variation is not evenly distributed (the men and women, above, are quite improbable), and tends to crowd around the poles representing men and women (most are relatively normal).

    The problem is that, using quantitative or qualitative analysis, it is possible to create the subdivisions “or degrees” indefinitely. It just depends what qualities and what quantities you want to measure.

  23. @Ragu: In a free society it is hard to justify a continuation denying homosexuals the right to wed; particularly since a good number seem to be asking for it and coming out of the wood work to ask for it.

    Agreed.  Though not all who think it should be granted are, themselves, homosexual.

      For the record, I’m not an atheist.  Though I like to think I have “some innate recognition of bullshit” and that I “thirst for truth.”

    Me neither. What then; a stupid evil bastard mayhap?  I am only stupid and evil in spurts. It’s the bastard part that fits 100%!

    My parents would resent that, should they read it.

    I believe that Les is the SEB, not the general community here.  Though he belies at least two of those attributes by letting riff-raff like myself hang around, bumming quarters and failing to use coasters on the nice furniture.

    I’m only just referring to legalized gay marriage (don’t mean to be a bastard, here).

    But the issue is gay civil rights, of which marriage equality is just a part.  That’s like saying, “Well, you know, we’ve given African-Americans the vote, and the right to stay in hotels, and to ride in busses, but let’s hold off on letting them keep jobs until we consider in depth all the ramifications.”

    If, by socialization you include pornographic materials (that do not give off pheromones) and repeated rejections by females; them homosexuality might be gravitated to as an alternative and habituated to.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read of anyone “going gay” because they were rejected by the gender they preferred and just happened to run across some gay porn.

    While homosexuality does famously occur in enforced single-sex environments (prison, boarding schools), it’s appears to be opportunistic, not preferential (and all too often associated with power games, not actual sexual desire, let alone romance).

    In short, there is nothing in the genesis of sexual preference that distinguishes gay from straight orientation, so far as I’m aware.

    Or, looked at another way, would one expect that a gay man, rejected by other gay men, happening upon a copy of “Penthouse,” would slap himself on the forehead and say, “Wow, I guess maybe I should consider women as possible sexual partners.”

    I understand and accept your reasoning as it pertains to equal treatment. I agree with it. I’d just like to see it put across more eloquently.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  24. ■ Graham ASH-PORTER
    What have bronze age Middle Eastern tribal commandments got to do with modern 21st century morals? The first 4 commandments are about the jealous Jehovah only wanting his slaves to worship him. What are people of the other faiths/religions or even no religion in the modern world, let alone USA, going to say about that? Christian Supremacists again. Only to be surpassed by Islamic domination if that is to be allowed, with all the politically correct thinking.

    The Golden Rule (which existed thousands of years before the Abrahamic Judaism, Christianity & Islam. and is used by all Religions and civilised societies) is the only guide rule necessary.

    The first half of the 10 Commandments are about a vain, insecure, jealous, angry, despotic yet invisible God’s need to be worshipped!
    The second half of the ten Commandments are about rules for bronze age middle eastern tribes. Who are still hating each other 2000+ years later! So the Bibles morals obviously don’t work, do they?!

    5. Honour your Parents (remembering disobedient Children get stoned, I’m not impressed with such violence and biblical (so called) morals).

    6. Don’t Kill (Unless it’s for God or the State (justified or Holy War and Capital Punishment)). Incidently if America is a Christian country, then why is it still following the Jewish Eye for an eye principle instead of following Jesus Christs rule of turning the other cheek???
    Religious Wars – Seeing who’s invisible friend has the most suckers willing to die for HIM. lol.

    7. Don’t committ adultery (another stoning offence FOR THE WOMAN).

    8. Don’t Steal (Tell that to Televangelist Priests who get the poor to send money to spread ‘God’s word, impoverishing the poor even more). Tell it to the politicians who steal oil from Afghanistan & Iraq under the guise of quelling Terrorism. The terrorists lived in Saudi Arabia, but as they own half of USA, you can’t invade them…)

    9. Don’t Lie (Tell that to Priests, Politicians etc.).

    10. Dont Covet neighbours house, wife, manservant, maidservant, cattle, nor anything else of HIS (Christian America is the Greediest Nation on Earth. Coveting is what keeps the economy going!).

    If God is supposed to be all knowing then surely his rules would be all encompassing for all time.
    Nothing Unique in those Ten Commandments that hasn’t already been said by other Religions and civilised Countries throughout all History.

    Incidently the ten Commandments arn’t the only commands from God. Study ALL your Bible properly and be prepared to be shocked! Slavery condoned, Children murdered & tortured, Woman hating, Wars commanded etc.

    Whilst most modern Christians (hopefully!) wouldn’t condone most of what the wicked Bible verses say. What worries me and most rational people is that Whilst they (the wicked verses) are still left in KJV, they can be pulled forth at any time and used indiscriminately, by any nutter, church or regime (such as the Roman Catholic, Jew Hating, Adolf Hitler did). I am reminded of numerous Catholic Inquisitions, Holy Wars, Witch Hunts or todays right wing Bible belt Pious Christians!!!

    Thus, First century divisive rules are not adequate for 21st century civilised people. We are living with bronze age morals, yet with the scientific capability to eradicate the planet and all life on it.

    Incidently why are there so many different cults, sects and denominations, if the Bibles message is so clear? Each new interpretation of the Hol(e)y Bible springs forth yet another new money making venture. Also, If the love of money is the root of all evil, then why do the churches never have enough? And with all that money, why don’t they pay taxes?
    Why should I be taxed on something I don’t believe in, when schools and hospitals really need the money!

    Need a laugh? then watch the late George CARLIN on the 10 Commandments on you Tube:


    Enough of the fear and Guilt mongering religions.
    Tax them and take away their powers.
    Graham ASH-PORTER

  25. Want to stop Gay Sex then let them get married. lol

    That would be especially Jewish Gay Sex.  cheese

  26. Tell anyone who insists on putting the ten commandments outside of court houses, that it is insulting to Hindus or Taoists, or Buddhists, or Atheists

  27. Unfortunately, that’s not actually a disincentive to most of them, who either really don’t care what non-Christians think, or who think it will still be “good for them, whether they like it or not.”

  28. Christians believe they’re still able to claim persecution and martyrdom from back during the time of Rome and the when the Muslims cast them out of the Holy Lands during the Crusades. Talking to them about how they’re unfairly pushing their beliefs on other people and nearly every one will try to sell you some sob story suggesting that not allowing them to evangelize is somehow the same thing as tossing them into the lion’s den at the zoo and selling tickets.

  29. You might be a Christian Fundamentalist If:-
      You complain when Christians aren’t allowed to practice their religion in other countries. Yet you go berserk, for example, when someone tries to set up a Mosque in your neighbourhood, complaining about the Moslem call to prayer from minarets. Yet we all have to tolerate your Church Bells, Christmas Carol singing in the streets. Also door to door and on-street proselytizing, trying to convert already happy people from their current religion, or the even happier non-religious and atheists to join your Church. We don’t need your self-opinionated, patronising, religious education on myths, or want to catch your diseased, archaic delusions. Why can’t you leave us all alone and mind your own business? We are happy enough without listening to your drivel, your fear and guilt mongering and downright lies!
      Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah. But you don’t even flinch when hearing about how your ‘loving’ God, Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in Exodus and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in Joshua including women, children, and trees! The Old Testament is liberally littered with such ‘(UN) Godly’ barbarism. You can keep all your cruel God(s), Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
      You call Jesus Christ the ‘Prince of Peace’, ignoring where He commands people to take up arms. Luke 22:36-37
      You don’t object when current Political or Religious leaders say ‘God told them’ to wage war against Muslim Nations. Sounds just like the ‘holy Wars’ of the past. They too were about taking people, land and possessions, under the pretext of converting the ignorant infidel. It’s about oil this time. At least your Christian Slavery is mostly outlawed now, except for you, a paying slave to your Church! Nowadays people who say that ‘God told them’ to commit a murder or other heinous crime, are usually locked up in an insane asylum for their own protection and the public’s safety too. Why then should today’s Religious or Political Leaders be exempted and treated any differently?
      You call your Bible ‘Holy’ yet it contains filth, sexism, oppression, slavery, mayhem, murder, wars and division of peoples. What’s holy about that? This negative immoral message far out-weighs the so called ‘Good News’.
      You believe that Religion in general and Christianity in particular, is the only way for people to behave morally. Kept under control by an all-seeing, vengeful God. 2,000 years of Christianity and the world is still cruel & selfish! Study your Bible and see why. Also, most atheists are moral without the need for a God. The Golden Rule of, behaving to others as we would like to be treated by them, predates both Judaism and Christianity by thousands of years. 
      You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by religions of others, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your Christian God(s). Whether they be Atheist or of another ‘Faith’ or Religion.
      You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans and animals, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women. But you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated (read – raped a married woman) a ‘virgin’ – Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god, who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky. Which are actually all ideas copied from other, even older, religions (maybe to gain some credibility from them)! Your Christian holy days have mostly borrowed pagan dates and even make use of some of their pagan festivals and ceremonies!
      You laugh at polytheistic (many Gods) religions, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit [Ghost]). The first verse of Hebrew Bible says GODS (Elohim) created heaven and Earth.
      You consider a single prayer that was ‘answered’ during your life time as a high success rate. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works.  And you think that the remaining 99.99% failure rate of unanswered prayers was simply the will of God. Mathematical Probability would provide the same odds and success/failure rate!
      You constantly challenge the work of respected scientists who established the age of the Earth as millions if not billions of years old through sound scientific, replicable practices, but have no problem believing the word of ancient Bronze Age Jewish tribesman and later clever, curious clerics, who think it’s only numerous Biblical generations old. The 7 day creation of Genesis, then the fictional Adam, Moses through to Jesus, plus the 2,000 years since Christ.
      You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms out of necessity for survival, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that humans were created straight from dirt.
      You believe followers of every other (or even no) religion will spend an eternity in a Hell of suffering for not accepting Jesus, but still consider your religion the most just, tolerant, loving and understanding.
      You believe you must be born again, because of the sins of Adam & Eve. Too crazy & immoral to merit response.
      You believe ancient, old debunked myths, like the Devil and Witchcraft are still relevant today and will therefore avoid Harry Potter movies amongst other things, just to be safe. The Devil is in the mind of those who dwell on it, YOU!
      You feel that while modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.
      You think it quite reasonable that a man (Noah) could horde 2 or 7 of every animal on the planet, put them all in a boat, and have enough food to keep them alive for 40 days, Let alone cleaning the muck out.
      You are arrogant and vain enough to think the Earth and its (human) inhabitants are the centre of and the only (human) life in the entire universe, despite it being statistically impossible. God is only interested in you.
      You dismiss the scientifically proven explanation of any event because you don’t understand it, or it conflicts with Biblical myths, but are happy to just say “God did it” without any tangible proof.
      You think AIDS is Gods punishment for homosexuality, which you see as a reversible choice instead of genetic.
      You think earthquakes, floods and other of nature’s catastrophes are God’s punishing a disobedient people.
      You think a warm fluffy feeling is proof of God. The self-same feeling one can get from Love, friends, beautiful music, art and Natures scenes. Of course you believe Nature is God’s handiwork, so round we go in circles again.
      You deplore homosexuality, but will vigorously defend your own Pastor if and when he is caught playing with choirboys. Or he will be quietly moved on to another Parish (In the hopes he will reform)!?
      You know less than your atheist and agnostic friends do about the Bible, Christianity, and the history of your Churches – but still call yourself a Christian. If you are ever allowed to read the whole Bible with an intelligent, rational, critical eye, you will be in for a lot of shocks. Your Pastor will not be able to explain the violence and inconsistencies!
      You and your Church think anyone with an enquiring, rational, open mind has been influenced by your Devil.
      Your church is one of thousands of denominations or sects. If Christianities message is so pure and simple, why so many variable beliefs and Bibles within Christianity? So which Church and which of many Bibles holds the ‘Truth’?
      You think your Church is the only one practicing ‘true’ Christianity, whilst all the others are headed for hell. Protestants hate Catholics, Baptists hate Presbyterians, and Jehovah’s Witnesses hate you all.  And that is before you begin hating other religions – the ‘deluded Muslims’, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists etc. Not to mention the Atheists!
      Your Preacher encourages you not to rationalise, think or doubt, but accept everything he or the Bible says as being true. That’s called keeping you in ignorance. We would still be living in the dark ages if we had all done that. Along with the inquisition, its theft of property and its torture and murder at the stake for the millions who dared to question the priesthood. Both Roman Catholic and the Protestant Churches are equally guilty of such base cruelty.
      You share common points of view with the same types of people who thought the Earth was flat and the centre of the Universe. It took science to prove otherwise, but you must still accept the myths and fairy stories with faith, or incur the wrath of your Church and/or your enraged, jealous, possessive, merciless (Loving!?) God, Jehovah.
      You find it difficult or even impossible to accept ways of science and its conclusions only because they conflict with the Bible. A Bible full of errors and contradictions, whichever of the many ‘Holey’ Bibles you choose to pick up?
      You believe that the Bible is the word of God or at least inspired by Him, incapable of error. It is a motley collection from different writers, written after the event, recopied over the centuries, with mistakes. Purposely doctored to fit current beliefs of the day, bits or whole books left out, bits or whole books put in. Yet even now you claim the Bible is still inerrant!? I sincerely hope it does contain mistakes, because I couldn’t worship such a God as Jehovah as he is portrayed in your ‘Holy’ Bible. Who incidentally is every bit as evil (if not more so) as your ‘so called’ Devil.

  30. I can Email this (above) as a PDF Flyer to give to Fundies when they hand out their rubbish…

  31. Thanks, Greyhound. I copied and pasted into a MS Word doc for just such purposes. I have little confidence it will convince anyone. Most would refuse to be swayed by facts because their minds are already made up. Sad.  blank stare

  32. No TRUE Christian Fundamentalist feels this way! I’m outraged! OUTRAGED!

    smile

  33. I heard you the first time TIME!

    All the fundamentalist ones I have spoken to do DO believe all the above!

    Your average Sunday worshipper doesn’t believe the crazy stuff and realises that the Bible stories were told in an age before science.
    Clever clerics, observed nature and assumed God was punishing His people.

    Today God is getting smaller as more people realise that these stories were the best that primitive Bronze age people could imagine.

    What makes Christianities/Judaisms myth stories any more credible than any other of the hundreds of religions worldwide? When you realise why you dismiss all the other world religions, you just might understand why rational thinking people dismiss the Abrahamic Religions too.
    If only for the 2000 plus years of tribal wars, now extended worldwide in the 21st century, is enough to make people shudder.
    Man invents Gods for each age in the image of whatever he needs most. And always a control freak.
    Don’t be outraged, be grateful that someone is giving you a wake up call.

    At least atheists don’t DON’T come knocking on your door telling you that you are an unworthy sinner?

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