When you know you’ve butthurt the right people


It’s when they add you to their “Bigotry Map,” that’s when.

It is a well-understood and even tiresome habit of bigots and bullies that they adopt the language of those they oppress in order to make themselves seem righteous in thought and deed. Heck, even old Adolf got into the act with his famous justification for the “racial purity” platform that ultimately killed millions. “By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord!” (Emphasis added, because why be subtle?)

Screaming baby Hitler

It’s not really Godwinning when it’s accurate, is it?

So this is how a noted and infamous hate group of hateful bigots, the American “Family” Association, can convince themselves that those who criticize them and who stand for equality and against discrimination are the true bigots. Because when self-righteousness takes up residence in very tiny brains, it must drag self-awareness into the trash to free up disc space.

And so you get the comical spectacle of the AFA condemning the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling “Christian organizations who support the Biblical definition of marriage as ‘hate’ groups and falsely disseminat[ing] this information to liberal news media,” and they post that right next to a panel proving just what a hate group they really are (by describing LGBT marriage equality as forcing poor put-upon Christians to embrace “sexual perversion”). It would be a lot funnier if folks like this really weren’t so dedicated to hurting actual people.

Check out central Texas, and you’ll find the Atheist Community of Austin on their map, for which we are enormously proud. When the kind of people who call hate “love” and love “perversion” decide you’re the bad guy, you know you’re really on the side of the angels.

Oh…and which “Biblical definition of marriage” are they using again? Because that can get a bit confusing, you know.

Comments

  1. Narf says

    Wait, so the Southern Poverty Law Center is now a hate group? Did someone finally teach the fundies what irony means, and they’re taking it out for a test drive?

  2. Randomfactor says

    I wish someone could remake the over-used “Hitler in the bunker” movie scene and replace his battle map with the AFA’s map, detailing their failure to win the two-front war against the Gays and the Seculars.

  3. Randomfactor says

    Hell, BAKERSFIELD has both an atheist group and a chapter of Americans United. They’ve lost the western front stronghold.

  4. says

    So, they’ve decided to give people a handy guide to all the atheist groups out there?

    Next time someone calls in to say “I don’t know of any atheist groups near me”, point them to this handy resource!

  5. mond says

    All us atheists hate god and christians therefore we must be a hate group.
    How do you like them logics?

  6. Narf says

    @5 – mond
    That’s a thing, apparently, yeah. Trying to stop bigots from oppressing minorities is bigotry against the bigots. Gotta love the way they think …

  7. mikeedwards says

    A slight aside, on the subject of the picture caption, I’m finding that Godwin’s law, as useful as it was, is becoming as trite as the comparisons it was formulated to defeat. I often see it used as a sort of inverted othering, to deny the capacity of ordinary people to get suckered into bigoted and hateful ideologies.

  8. Monocle Smile says

    @mikeedwards,
    Martin wasn’t actually Godwinning here…the Hitler quote was entirely relevant and perhaps the best one available to illustrate the point. A rare case, but there you have it.

  9. Narf says

    @8&9

    Godwin’s law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one’s opponent) with Nazis – often referred to as “playing the Hitler card”. The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics, or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies, if that was the explicit topic of conversation, because a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate, in effect committing the fallacist’s fallacy. Whether it applies to humorous use or references to oneself is open to interpretation, because this would not be a fallacious attack against a debate opponent.

    Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply, no.

  10. Stephen says

    @Narf
    Godwin’s Law is an Internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”.

    This is an online discussion, and someone was compared to Hitler. Godwin applies. Godwin’s Law does not say anything about whether the comparison is appropriate, or ends the discussion, or who loses. All that was added later, by other people.

  11. says

    Technically true. But to the people who think invoking Godwin’s Law is and must always be a cheap shot, I think I’m pretty well in the clear on that one.

  12. Narf says

    Uhhhh, Shephen, I specifically put the applicable exemption in bold and italics. What more do you want me to do to indicate it?

  13. Narf says

    Godwin’s Law does not say anything about whether the comparison is appropriate, or ends the discussion, or who loses. All that was added later, by other people.

    Some of it was added by Godwin himself … and I hate to tell you this, but all social memes are adjusted later, by other people, for usage and appropriateness. Why are you attempting to exempt Godwin’s Law from this otherwise more-or-less universal process?

    I don’t care exactly what Godwin meant when he started tossing the joke around back in the 90’s. I care about how we use it, now.

  14. StonedRanger says

    In Valens name. Get a grip willya? Im against the bigots of the AFA, how do I get on their map?

  15. oldoligarch says

    Are those of you who are for the ‘freedom to marry’ in favor of polygamous marriages?What about incestuous marriages between consenting adults?

    If not, are you “haters”?

    Are you,yourselves guilty of allowing “self-righteousness” to take up “residence in very tiny brains”?

  16. frankgturner says

    I tend to use the Hitler / Nazi card for two reasons.
    #1: Many National Socialists (like even KKK members) were elected into power. It demonstrates that just because something is popular does not mean that it is right.
    .
    #2: Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda minister) said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Hitler repeated that many times and though it is about lies, it is true to some degree. As skeptics we don’t as succumb to it as much as many others, but it still influences us.
    .
    Martin, you said once on the show (some years ago) how some people who are in the majority group (often conservatives) will try to convince you of there ideas being correct because they are in the majority (one fallacy)., Of course when that same group is in the minority they will turn around and claim that they are trying to do the right thing and are being persecuted because they are in the minority (the opposite fallacy).
    .
    It is basically an argument of “I can’t be wrong” regardless of the facts. Of course, if one can’t be wrong, how can one be right? I basically see that as a coward’s move, standing up for what you believe in but being unwilling to admit defeat if you are beaten in the process. It is like playing at a sport where you win no matter what the outcome. What is the point of the game then?

  17. Narf says

    Of course when that same group is in the minority they will turn around and claim that they are trying to do the right thing and are being persecuted because they are in the minority (the opposite fallacy).

    Since when have conservatives had to be in the minority, in order to cry about being a persecuted minority?

  18. says

    #17: Oh look, a prat who thinks he’s caught us in a “gotcha” moment. This won’t take long.

    I would not be opposed to polygamous marriages provided all people entering the contract were consenting adults. However, the problem with polygamy at present is that it is predominately practiced by fringe religious groups, like the FLDS, and the women in those unions are generally not consenting, but have been raised from childhood to be what are basically the sex slaves of male cult leaders. Adult males in those groups will “marry” — and force sex upon — girls as young as 12. So if you want to see how polygamy goes wrong, look to believers, not atheists.

    I do not see any kind of public push for incestuous marriage, and it is unlikely to enter the mainstream as close relatives do not, in the vast majority of instances, develop sexual desire for one another (hypotheses like the Westermarck Effect have come about from studying this). But it’s funny you mention incestuous marriages, because there are several states in which first-cousin marriages are currently legal. And many of those states are Christian conservative states that have yet to legalize LGBT marriage (you know, between non-related consenting adults).

    If there’s any more education we can provide you here, do let us know.

  19. Narf says

    @20
    More or less my thoughts. Polygamous/polyandrous marriages present a bit of a cluster-fuck from a legal perspective, and there will have to be a lot of work done before we can have anything approaching a standardized system for dealing with polygamous marriages. Maybe that would just have to be something we leave up to the individual polygamous unions. I dunno. Either way, we should get that shit sorted out.

    In principle, I could see legalizing incestuous marriages. It’s just the reality of the situation that is a major issue. The power differential between siblings or between parents and children (or aunts/uncles and nephews/nieces) can be a major problem. It isn’t that it should be absolutely illegal for some reason, as much that in reality it’s an indicator that there’s probably something else dodgy going on in that scenario. It’s a reason for caution.

    My own siblings and I could probably manage a healthy marriage (which sibling? why not all of them, for a polygamous, incestuous marriage?), since we don’t have any of the power-differential crap going on in my family, at least not to a measurable degree. But part of that could be that we have a healthy separation between all of us, for most of the year. Of course, I don’t want to marry one of my siblings, because … eww. Westermarck to the rescue.

  20. frankgturner says

    @Narf # 19

    Since when have conservatives had to be in the minority, in order to cry about being a persecuted minority?

    .
    Good point, conservatives play the we are the persecuted minority card regardless of whether they actually are or not and play the “well we are in the majority so democratically things should go our way” card when they actually are.
    .
    The point was, why set up a game in which you can’t loose, but then you can’t really win either. What’s the point of standing up for what you believe in if you are just going to change the game to suit your beliefs when you loose out?
    .
    There was this episode of Star Trek TNG in which Ta

  21. frankgturner says

    Sorry got cut off there, this future version of Tasha Yar has gone back in time to fight against the Romulans for the sake of a group of Klingons. It is on a damaged ship and they are sure to loose (and do), having basically gone into the battle with no hope of winning. The act is symbolic though and does a lot for the politics between the Klingons and humanity.
    .
    If there was no possibility of loosing when you stand up for what you believe in, the symbolism gets lost. If you fight for what you believe in because when you are the persecuted minority you think that you are doing something right despite what the majority says, then standing up to the majority means something. If you are going to play that car regardless fo whether you are the persecuted minority or not, and you may even play the opposing card of “majority makes right” at the same time, it is basically saying that you refuse to loose either way. You’re no longer a ship going into a hopeless, but symbolic battle.

  22. oldoligarch says

    @20;The reason most polygamous marriages are in fringe groups is due to social norms which our laws reflect.People have generally believed society had a right to define and regulate marriage.
    If those of you who support the ‘right to marry’ were consistent you would be advocating a change in norms and laws regarding polygamous marriages as well as incestous marriages.
    .It may turn out very few people are interested in such relationship,after all serial monogamy is so easy,but it’s the principle that matters.Right.No one stigmatized ,no one discriminated against or getting their feelings hurt,no one feeling invalidated.

    As far as consensual incestuous relationships ,I suspect they are far more common than homosexual relationships,for a couple of reasons.1)members of the opposite sex ,regardless of degree of relatedness, possess the primary and secondary sexual characteristics we have been selected to be stimulated by ,and 2)incestuous unions only occasionally result in birth defects and the healthy offspring of such unions might pass on whatever gene(s) that resulted in such attraction so it would increase in the population,while the absolutely sterile”sexual”unions of homosexuals can’t pass on that gene(s) so it would become less common.

    So legalizing incestuous marriages would probably bring happiness and validation to even more people than homosexual marriage.

    So come on Lefties throw the dichotomies of normal/abnormal,adaptive/maladaptive,healthy/unhealthy out
    and raise the banner for true marriage equality!

  23. Narf says

    The point was, why set up a game in which you can’t loose, but then you can’t really win either. What’s the point of standing up for what you believe in if you are just going to change the game to suit your beliefs when you loose out?

    Well, they don’t understand the concept of falsifiability within a scientific context. Trying to apply that concept to other areas must be so far beyond them.

    Didn’t that alternate-timeline episode have Tasha going back to fight against the Romulans? Isn’t that how we got her half-Romulan daughter showing up a few seasons later?

  24. Narf says

    If those of you who support the ‘right to marry’ were consistent you would be advocating a change in norms and laws regarding polygamous marriages as well as incestous marriages.

    We are consistent, and we do support those who would like to legalize polygamous/polyandrous marriage.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll see see a push for that, once we get all of the bullshit sorted out with gay marriage.

    As far as consensual incestuous relationships ,I suspect they are far more common than homosexual relationships,for a couple of reasons.1)members of the opposite sex ,regardless of degree of relatedness, possess the primary and secondary sexual characteristics we have been selected to be stimulated by ,and 2)incestuous unions only occasionally result in birth defects and the healthy offspring of such unions might pass on whatever gene(s) that resulted in such attraction so it would increase in the population,while the absolutely sterile”sexual”unions of homosexuals can’t pass on that gene(s) so it would become less common.

    I find your understanding of genetics to be a little bit suspect.  Your argument is also badly weighted, in general.  You utterly ignored our reference to the Westermarck Effect.  You said in your first point, “regardless of degree of relatedness,” which is bullshit.  If you’re going to set up a hypothetical with a complete disregard for the degree of relatedness, then you’ve moved us well outside the bounds of reality, since the Westermarck Effect is a thing.  And you’ll have to address the problems we’ve brought up with the power-dynamic imbalance that you usually encounter within family relationships, if you want us to take you seriously.

    Your point #2 is also grossly flawed. Okay, so incestuous unions only occasionally result in birth defects, yet they result in a vastly increased incidence of birth defects, relative to more distantly-related unions. We’ve already run this experiment, with the royal families of Europe, a few centuries ago. The results were pretty bad.

    Your understanding of the genetic component of homosexuality is also wrong in many ways.

  25. oldoligarch says

    @26:”You utterly ignored our reference to the Westermarck Effect.”

    Read the Wikipedia article on the Westermarck effect.
    It appears it’s more a result of societies norms than a genetic predisposition.
    So the kind of ‘thing” it is ,is a cultural “thing”, a norm which federal judges can assault as well as they have the norm against homosexual relationships.They only need Lefties to take to the streets in protest.

    As far as the inter-family power dynamics ,unless we have reason to suspect otherwise, shouldn’t we assume that two adults who say they wish to marry actually wish to.

    Power relationships exist in all human relationships. Should we stigmatize incestuous couples and treat them differently?If there is no obvious reason to do so?Come on, Narf,can you say that you would be for legalizing incestuous marriages for consenting adults?Come on Narf, lead the charge!

    Or is your ‘yuck’ factor kicking in,causing an emotional revulsion response,which you’re attempting to find a reason to justify?

    As far as my understanding of genetics is concerned I understand this,heterosexual couples can reproduce, even when closely related,and homosexual couples can’t.
    To the extent there is a genetic component in sexual attraction(and there obviously is)any genetic component causing behavior which can produce viable offspring will be more common than those which can’t,eg zoophilia,necrophilia,homosexuality and other paraphilias.

  26. says

    24: Um, God was pretty cool with incest when he had Lot’s daughters get him drunk and fuck him, and bear incestuous offspring from that little party.

    So you know, oldoligarch, if you think you’re causing us awkwardness and embarrassment by beating the incest drum, it’s not working.

    No one really cares what you “suspect” about anything. Find some data to back up whatever point it is you’re trying to make or GTFO.

  27. Narf says

    As far as my understanding of genetics is concerned I understand this,heterosexual couples can reproduce, even when closely related,and homosexual couples can’t.

    Then as I said, you have a very simplistic understanding of genetics. It isn’t that simple. There are genetic markers that show an increased disposition to being gay, but there aren’t any genes that I’m aware of which directly make someone gay. Genetics is rarely that simple, nor is neurology. A single gene often has multiple noticeable effects, since genes fundamentally affect protein formation. What if the “gay genes” cause an increase in survivability in those who have them but don’t end up being gay? The genes sure as hell aren’t going to weed themselves out of the gene pool, then.

    There’s a lot of evidence that being gay is partially a result of the climate in utero, during gestation. The hormonal balance that the mother provides can have an impact, apparently.

    Then there’s the fact that the genes that might cause an increase in gay men are not the same ones that cause an increase in gay women. The gay male genes could cause reproductively advantageous effects in women.

    And as I freaking said from the beginning, I’m not even against incestuous marriages, in principle. The situation just needs some serious scrutiny. Give us a test case to push through the legal system. Give us a social/political movement to coalesce around. I’ve never seen anything of the sort.

    I have to tell you, between your usage of the term ‘lefties’ and your anti-gay misunderstandings, you really sound like a conservative troll who’s just fucking with us, anyway. Tone down the ballistic attitude and try to have an actual discussion, or I’m going to just tune you out.

  28. Monocle Smile says

    @oldoligarch

    Come on, Narf,can you say that you would be for legalizing incestuous marriages for consenting adults?Come on Narf, lead the charge!

    Firstly, it’s extremely obvious that you expected the denizens here to hold a specific position (“incestuous marriage is yucky and shouldn’t be legalized!”), and then when we didn’t hold that position at all, you decided to pretend that we did anyway. Textbook straw man.

    Secondly, do you shit on AIDS charities because they don’t “lead the charge” against cancer? A failure to pick up on this analogy would not surprise me.

  29. Narf says

    @30 – MS
    Heh, yeah, I didn’t even address that particular ludicrous demand of his. Why the hell should I lead the charge? I don’t give a damn whether or not it’s legal, from a personal perspective. Show me that there are a whole bunch of couples who are being discriminated against in this manner, and I might care a little more.

    Hell, show me one couple who are willing to be a test case. Until you have that, why should I even care?

  30. StonedRanger says

    OldOligarch sounds like he could be a friend of Jerry. They don’t have a good argument against gay marriage, so they figure they can be stupid and suggest every other kind of marriage they can think of. I am kind of surprised he didn’t bring out the ‘will I be able to marry my dog?’ argument.

    Mister Oligarch sir, please, if you don’t want to be a part of gay marriage, then by all means, don’t marry any gay people. But when you step up to the plate to marry your sister, I will proudly stand beside you as the best man.

  31. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @oldoligarch

    Are those of you who are for the ‘freedom to marry’ in favor of polygamous marriages?
    What about incestuous marriages between consenting adults?

    If those of you who support the ‘right to marry’ were consistent you would be advocating a change in norms and laws regarding polygamous marriages as well as incestous marriages.

    Honestly? Gay marriage is not my thing. If asked, I say I support it. If asked to vote directly on it, I’ll vote in favor of gay marriage (like I did regarding prop 8 in California). When asked to vote between two candidates with no difference except gay marriage, I’ll vote for the guy in favor of gay marriage. But I am a finite human being with finite time, and I set my particular pet goals and issues particularly.

    For very similar reasons, I generally don’t spend much time arguing in favor of incestuous marriages, although if one of the above situations came up, I would generally vote in favor of incestuous marriage – subject to all of the necessary precautions that it’s not allowed in situations of potential child abuse.

    Polygamy is harder. Marriage implies a lot of tax benefits and other money benefits. For that reason, I think it’s quite all right to be against legal polygamy marriage but be for gay marriage. The thing with outlawing gay marriage in particular is that it is clearly a form of basic gender sexism IMO. It’s the creation of special government benefits based on the genders of the two people entering into the contract. Try to imagine similar government-enforced gender discrimination in other contexts. For example, imagine a government law which made it illegal for a male cars salesperson to sell cars to males, and illegal for female cars salespersons to sell cars to females. It’s absurd on its face because of our constitutional protections for gender. On that reason alone, outlawing gay marriage is farcical.

    PS: Of course, if 3 or more people want to live together and say they are married without gaining the tax benefits of government marriage, I have no problem with that.

    Read the Wikipedia article on the Westermarck effect.
    It appears it’s more a result of societies norms than a genetic predisposition.

    It’s not merely learned social norms. It is an instinctual behavior, and it is the result of genetics like all instinctual behaviors. It is not an instinctual behavior against sex with closely genetically-related relatives. However, it is an instinctual behavior against sex with people you grew up with, especially before age 5 IIRC, and that acts as a good proxy for closely genetically-related relatives. Instinctual behaviors that evolution can produce cannot check the genetics of other people to see “yes, closely related”, and so it evolved to use a proxy instead.

    As far as the inter-family power dynamics ,unless we have reason to suspect otherwise, shouldn’t we assume that two adults who say they wish to marry actually wish to.

    Why should we do that? I’m not a libertarian. I don’t see why the default assumption should be that someone is consenting – especially for minors. I see nothing wrong with thorough checks to assure that informed consent was actually given. If the evidence is that informed consent is absent in 99% of cases, I see nothing terribly wrong with a default rule assuming no consent.

    However, if both people are over the usual age of consent, say 18 or 21, then I do agree that the reasonable default is to assume informed consent. But marriage laws allow marriage for much younger people, and we answered in the context of the allowed ages of current marriage laws.

    @Narf

    Okay, so incestuous unions only occasionally result in birth defects, yet they result in a vastly increased incidence of birth defects, relative to more distantly-related unions. We’ve already run this experiment, with the royal families of Europe, a few centuries ago. The results were pretty bad.

    But really, oldoligarch is right on this issue. It takes many generations of in-breeding before the statistics become apparent without controlled trials. A one-off is generally fine IIRC. Again, IIRC.

  32. Narf says

    Mister Oligarch sir, please, if you don’t want to be a part of gay marriage, then by all means, don’t marry any gay people.

    Can I marry a lesbian?

  33. Narf says

    PS: Of course, if 3 or more people want to live together and say they are married without gaining the tax benefits of government marriage, I have no problem with that.

    Why not give them the tax benefits of marriage? It’s not like a married few would come out ahead of a married couple. If you had two members of the few working, they would almost always end up coming out ahead filing separately, anyway. Filing as a couple is only really advantageous if you have one member of the family making more than 2/3rds of the money, I think. Something like that, anyway.

    The non-tax elements of a marriage are the more important bits anyway, and are why the fight for gay marriage is as important as it is.

    But really, oldoligarch is right on this issue. It takes many generations of in-breeding before the statistics become apparent without controlled trials. A one-off is generally fine IIRC. Again, IIRC.

    With proper genetic testing, this would become a non-issue. This could be one of those situations in which we let them go ahead with it and just make sure they know what they could possibly be getting into. It’s not as if we can keep them from having sex and potentially having children together.

    It just seems like it would be a good idea to add in genetic counseling before we make it a state-sanctioned thing. That’s what governmental regulation should be for, anyway: making people jump through a few hoops that are a good idea anyway, before they can get the benefits of state approval.

  34. oldoligarch says

    @28 Martin Don’t bring religion into this .I’m not a Jew, as you’re reference to the Torah story of Lot seems to suggest you believe. I’m an Agnostic.
    @29 Narf, you at least appear to be consistent.I suppose that with you almost anything sexually goes as long as it is consensual .
    In many ways I agree with you on this.If two individuals are involved in a consensual sexual relationship, whether normal or abnormal we should permit it.That is we shouldn’t arrest,imprison or commit them.

    However there is a distinction between permitting(tolerating) a behavior and endorsing it.

    Marriage constitutes an endorsement.It implicitly makes the statement that the types of relationships recognized in marriage are equally normal and healthy, and thus (according to right to marry proponents) should be equal under the law.

    I reject the proposition that all sexual behaviors and relationsips are equally normal and healthy.Thus I reject the proposition they should all be equal under the law.

    The propositions I wish to defend are::
    1)Homosexuality is evidence of a psychosexual disorder,a mental illness.

    2)If we allow homosexual marriage, in spite of it being such, then we LOGICALLY can’t deny the right to marry to most other paraphiles.

    and
    3)Societies, as far as possible, without violating an individuals “rights”, should promote,endorse,and encourage normal,and thus healthy behaviors.

    First homosexuality is abnormal behavior ,the reason for this is obvious, it’s maladaptive. It decreases Darwinian fitness,
    because it is characterized by sexual attraction to a reproductively incompatible object. This is true of all paraphilias.
    It is what distinguishes them from heterosexuality..

    I’ll have to try to finish this later.

  35. says

    The propositions I wish to defend are::
    1)Homosexuality is evidence of a psychosexual disorder,a mental illness.

    Well, if you insist on living in the glorious past, don’t let us stop you. But no reputable mental health professional will agree with you, and homosexuality hasn’t been classified as a mental illness since it was removed from the DSM in the early 1970’s. And personally, I see no difference in how healthy and normal gay relationships are in comparison to straight ones, and based solely on my own friends and acquaintances (including our show’s own Jen and Don, each of whom is in a fantastically happy and fulfilling marriage with their respective partners), I might actually give an edge to gay couples in that department. If straight relationships were naturally so much healthier and more stable, it seems we’d have far fewer battered women’s shelters.

    So reject all the propositions you please, but don’t expect reality to feel obligated to conform to how you feel about it.

  36. toska says

    Oldoligarch,
    Holy mother of god, where to start? So, even if I accept your first premise (which I certainly do not. Studies suggest children who grow up with same sex parents do just as well as children with hetero parents, which suggests healthy relationships), your points are still ridiculous.
    *
    So, your reason for denying same sex marriage is what, to discourage people from being gay because you think it’s unhealthy? How does that work? Is homosexuality a choice or a “disorder” that people have no control over? And how has that worked over the centuries? Has the absence of legalized same sex marriage effectively eliminated homosexuality? And would you suggest that a gay person entering into a relationship with someone they aren’t attracted to would be a healthier relationship? Really?
    *
    And since it’s apparently the govt’s job, in your opinion, to determine which sexual relationships between consenting adults are normal and healthy, let’s not stop with homosexuality, incest, or polyamory! What about my own hetero marriage? My partner and I don’t follow assigned gender roles, and many in our conservative government would most definitely consider that unhealthy. On top of that, we’re childless by choice, so the government should definitely revoke our marriage rights. The government should track the sales of contraceptive devices and medications, so they can deny marriage to all of those hetero couples going against the natural order.
    *
    In fact, let’s get the government back in our bedrooms! Which sexual behaviors are acceptable? Don’t worry about it; just let your congressmen decide! Are you straying from the government-endorsed missionary position? No marriage for you! God forbid you’re into any kind of kink or role playing. I’m sure our congress would find those activities quite abnormal and unhealthy. Can’t allow those types to get married, amiright?

  37. oldoligarch says

    As I was saying,First homosexuality is abnormal behavior ,the reason for this is obvious, it’s maladaptive. It decreases Darwinian fitness,because it is characterized by sexual attraction to a reproductively incompatible object. This is true of all paraphilias.
    It is what distinguishes them from heterosexuality.

    Secondly homosexuality is a disease because it is a condition or state of an organ,system or organism which impairs normal functioning.It impairs the normal functioning of the reproductive organs,which is to reproduce.

    Now undoubtedly objections will be made that the sexual organs of homosexuals generally function fine.Males get erections and females get lubricated ,but this limits the reproductive system to just those cutaway illustrations we see in encyclopedias and textbooks,and ignores the brain and sensory apparatus of the nervous system,which clearly play the major role in identifying potential mates and distinguishing them from reproductively incompatible objects in the environment.

    Any organism which was sexually excited by every object in its environment would exhaust itself wasting its reproductive material in the process.Or meet an early death,imagine an impala turned on by a lion.

    So there has to evolve means by which 1)Mates can be recognized and 2) a means of bringing the reproductive material of males and females together.

    Paraphiles, to include homosexuals,have a problem with the first of these,so the second can’t happen regardless of whether the other organs of reproduction are working are not.

    Paraphiles are attracted to those characteristics which clearly indicate reproductive incompatibility.

    This is evidence of improper functioning of the organism ,an illness.

    More later,maybe.

  38. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @oldoligarch

    However there is a distinction between permitting(tolerating) a behavior and endorsing it.

    Marriage constitutes an endorsement.

    There is also the difference of a bigot who uses the force of law to enforce his bigoted views with legal discrimination, and a bigot who merely expresses his displeasure with speech.

    It implicitly makes the statement that the types of relationships recognized in marriage are equally normal and healthy, and thus (according to right to marry proponents) should be equal under the law.

    I reject the proposition that all sexual behaviors and relationsips are equally normal and healthy.Thus I reject the proposition they should all be equal under the law.

    That is not your determination to make. We liberals and good people are actually small government in cases like this. (As least, my kind of liberal. I’m sure you’ll find exceptions.) It is not the role of the government to tell me how to live my life, nor my neighbor. “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” – Thomas Jefferson.

    3)Societies, as far as possible, without violating an individuals “rights”, should promote,endorse,and encourage normal,and thus healthy behaviors.

    To some extent, yes. Maybe. However, such promotion should be limited to mere education, speech, etc., and never the force of legal discrimination. It violates the most “sacred” principle of the Enlightenment – JS Mills’s Harm Principle. “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”, and thus I am completely unjustified in using legal discrimination or any other kind of violence against them.

    That’s the difference between a bigot and a non-bigot. Are you for using violence – such as legal discrimination – against people who just wish their lives in peace and quiet, and do not hurt other people? Then you are a bigot.

    First homosexuality is abnormal behavior ,the reason for this is obvious, it’s maladaptive.

    That’s called the appeal to nature fallacy. Death is natural – doesn’t make it good. What is natural often has little to no correlation to what is good. Oftentimes, we are acting against the natural order when promoting the good. It is good to act against nature to reverse aging effects, or genetic diseases, etc. Whether a behavior offers evolutionary fitness has no relation to whether it makes people happy, promotes freedom and self determination, promotes material prosperty, etc. It is simply a non-sequitir whether homosexuality has an evolutionary advantage. Who the fuck cares?

    Secondly homosexuality is a disease because it is a condition or state of an organ,system or organism which impairs normal functioning.It impairs the normal functioning of the reproductive organs,which is to reproduce.

    Again, who cares? Why should I care if you want to call it a “disease”? Does it impact their quality of life? Does it make them unhappy? Does it reduce thei freedom or self determination? The answer is “no”, and thus I give no fucks if you want to call it a “disease”, and you shouldn’t either. You should care about their happiness, not whether they count as “diseased” under some esoteric definition.

  39. Narf says

    @36 – oldoligarch

    1)Homosexuality is evidence of a psychosexual disorder,a mental illness.

    … and then you immediately went completely insane, off the bat-shit end of the pier.

    I’m going to let the rest of you guys field this nut-job. I’m about funned out for the week, after Jerry.

    @29 – me

    I have to tell you, between your usage of the term ‘lefties’ and your anti-gay misunderstandings, you really sound like a conservative troll who’s just fucking with us, anyway. Tone down the ballistic attitude and try to have an actual discussion, or I’m going to just tune you out.

    Ooh, ooh, who called it? 😀

  40. says

    #40: In addition to his whole argument being a naturalistic fallacy, I’m pretty sure his “Darwinian” argument that homosexuality is “maladaptive” is off the rails as well, because it would only be maladaptive in the manner described if a significant majority of a population group were engaging in non-reproductive sex to the genetic detriment of the species as a whole. And as the human race is expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, there’s no real risk that homosexuality is about to create a damaging population collapse of any kind, as people are still punching out kids. A far more persuasive argument can be made that, as homosexuality is on average the orientation of about 10% of the population (setting aside for the moment the widely accepted idea that human sexuality is not even binary but exists along a spectrum), it’s anything but maladaptive, because having a certain portion of non-breeding, non-heterosexual members of a population group can reduce the risk of overbreeding.

    So yeah, all oldoligarch is doing is what bigots have always done: seek a moral and intellectual justification for his bigotry by going “SCIIIENCE!”

  41. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Martin Wagner
    I’ll agree that his evolutionary reasoning is off.

    However, I think yours is too. Specifically:

    it’s anything but maladaptive, because having a certain portion of non-breeding, non-heterosexual members of a population group can reduce the risk of overbreeding.

    This is just not how evolution works. I suggest you review Dawkins’ forest of friendship example.

    Because gayness is so prevalant, we do need an evolutionary explanation. IMHO, here are some of my favorite ideas:

    1- Kin selection. Gay people don’t themselves reproduce, but they confer additional fitness to nieces and nephews. Etc.

    2- Misfiring. Gayness might be the (partial) result of misfiring genes, genes which in other cases might confer a selective advantage, but which misfire about 10% of the time. And perhaps the facts of the genetics are that it’s in a cul-de-sac, a dead end, and there is no way to get rid of the 10% maladaptive without getting rid of the 90% adaptive. In that case, the 90% success rate of the gene may offer a sufficiently high competitive advantage to offset for the 10% negative case. Remember that selection happens at the level of the individual, and evolution happens at the level of the gene (approximate).

    Or some other plausible hypotheses. Honesty? I don’t care that much. Doesn’t matter to me.

  42. Narf says

    @43 – Martin

    … as people are still punching out kids.

    People shouldn’t hit their kids like that. Definitely not hard enough to knock them unconscious.

  43. says

    Thanks for the info, EL; will read up. Of course, you know people like oldoligarch will glom onto your “misfiring genes” concept as confirmation of “SEE! ABNORMAL! MADNESS!”

  44. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Of course, you know people like oldoligarch will glom onto your “misfiring genes” concept as confirmation of “SEE! ABNORMAL! MADNESS!”

    Sadly yes.

  45. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Why not give them the tax benefits of marriage? It’s not like a married few would come out ahead of a married couple. If you had two members of the few working, they would almost always end up coming out ahead filing separately, anyway. Filing as a couple is only really advantageous if you have one member of the family making more than 2/3rds of the money, I think. Something like that, anyway.

    The non-tax elements of a marriage are the more important bits anyway, and are why the fight for gay marriage is as important as it is.

    I’m merely noting that there are non-bigoted reasons why we might be against granting legal subsidies to an arbitrary number of poly-married people. It could be IMHO non-bigoted and constitutional to grant benefits to couples, e.g. marriages of 2 people, and deny benefits to groups of 3 or more to want to get legally poly-married.

    At some level, I don’t quite understand why we grant subsidies to married people to begin with, gay or straight, and I’m not especially eager to expand it.

    As for some degree of socialism and wealth redistribution to support kids, such as tax breaks based on number of kids, I guess that makes more sense. We can even have a conversation about guaranteed minimum income schemes. I still don’t see why we the government should effectively pay people to get married.

  46. Narf says

    That’s something like what I was trying to express, when I was talking about genetic markers, rather than genes always directly causing something. It seems to often be the case that a gene will be just one weighting factor, combined with an assortment of other genes, combined with environmental factors, combined with others things that I’m not even thinking of right now.

    Hell, I warned Oligarch, a couple dozen comments back, that his understanding of evolution seems to be at a high school level, at best. I’d say that it’s no better than a creationist’s grasp of the subject, but Oligarch probably doesn’t have as many deliberate lies mixed into his understanding. He just seems to be working off of the vague, surface treatment of the subject that I received in middle school.

    If William Lane Craig has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t base key components of your arguments upon a subject about which you only have an outdated, dumbed-down understanding.

    Oh, and when the core of your argument is a blatant logical fallacy, as Martin pointed out, you’re probably in trouble, too.

  47. Narf says

    @50 – EL

    I’m merely noting that there are non-bigoted reasons why we might be against granting legal subsidies to an arbitrary number of poly-married people. It could be IMHO non-bigoted and constitutional to grant benefits to couples, e.g. marriages of 2 people, and deny benefits to groups of 3 or more to want to get legally poly-married.

    That is one of the big problems with putting together a movement to legalize polygamy, yes. I can see the argument from a moral perspective, that if you have three or more people living together as a family, in the same way that a married couple does, they should be granted the same legal rights and privileges in regards to each other that two people by themselves are granted (and strangely, I’m not in favor of prohibiting groups of people from living together and all having sex with each other). I’m just not sure that the same constitutional argument is there.

    I think I did a poor job of explaining what I meant, before. Okay, so we have two percentage-tier scales for taxes, one for single people and one for married people. Allowing a polygamous couple to file taxes as a unit would actually result in them paying more taxes, as a result. You can pile as many people as you want into that pool of income and pay on the married percentage-tier scale. Adding a third person’s income to the marriage pool will just mean that that income is taxed at a higher percentage than that person would be paying if he/she filed separately.

    There’s no tax benefit, so there’s no governmental subsidy.

    A non-working, third marriage-member would of course be counted as a dependent, for tax purposes, as would any children that the person fathered or gave birth to. That doesn’t represent a change in taxation, though. A non-working mistress (what’s the male equivalent?) can be deducted as a dependent, now, as can her children that the married couple is also supporting.

  48. Narf says

    @50 (the other part) – EL

    At some level, I don’t quite understand why we grant subsidies to married people to begin with, gay or straight, and I’m not especially eager to expand it.
    As for some degree of socialism and wealth redistribution to support kids, such as tax breaks based on number of kids, I guess that makes more sense. We can even have a conversation about guaranteed minimum income schemes. I still don’t see why we the government should effectively pay people to get married.

    Here’s the thing, as I understand it. It isn’t really a subsidy, and we’re not effectively paying people to get married.

    When two people get married, and one is working while the other stays at home, in effect, you have two people working together towards the first person’s job. The homemaker is picking up the slack at home, allowing the working spouse to focus more on the wage-earning/business-owning portion of the couple’s life. In effect, taxing the wage-earning/business-owning member of the couple as an individual would penalize the homemaking member of the couple by taxing all of his/her efforts at the highest tier that the couple’s income reaches. This would be very unfair to married couples and would effectively be penalizing homemakers.

    The system works pretty well, when you consider married couples in which both people work. There’s a reason that “married but filing separately” is a thing. If both members of a marriage are making even close to the same amount of income, there’s no tax benefit to being married. The way that the tiers are spaced on the single and married scales are designed to accomplish this sort of effect.

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    I mean no offense with the following comparisons and terminology. It’s just the easiest things that come to mind…

    So, let’s see if I understand your argument. Again, apologies for taking this from a legaleze standpoint.

    Perhaps you mean that the stay-at-home partner is an employee of the usual W2 partner. It’s like a professional hired housekeeper. However, unlike a professional hired housekeeper, the stay-at-home partner legally isn’t paid for their services, and thus doesn’t have to file an income tax report, and thus isn’t taxed on their effective income. Whereas, a hired housekeeper in the same situation is legally paid and would have to file an income tax report and pay income taxes. So, we already have a subsidy here, an under-the-table arrangement where one person hires another person and pays them with room and board, and with frequent gifts, as a means to avoid the homemaker having to report income and avoiding being taxed on that income. This is even before the tax benefits of legal marriage, which just add even more benefits. So, in terms of pure personal greed, I have to wonder why I would be penalizing in hiring a housekeeper, but married couples seem to basically do tax evasion by failing to report the income of the homemaker, paid to the homemaker by the other partner to homemake.

    Now, the other way I might understand this is that when a normal W2 employer hires one person in the marriage, the argument goes that they are effectively hiring both. You argued that the nominally hired partner is a more effective employee because the stay-at-home partner does home-work, allowing the nominally hired partner to be more effective. In which case, it seems very similar to my above analysis. I’m not married, and I don’t gain any special funds with which to hire a housekeeper, but a married person does get specially earmarked funds to hire the effective equivalent of a housekeeper.

    Of course, I in no way see a mutually loving monogamous relationship in terms of “housekeepers”. However, I’m not discussing that. I’m discussing the legal incentives offered by our government.

    Is it tax fraud to come to a mutual arrangement to live together, one works at a W2 job, and the other takes care of the house, without marriage? Suppose it’s two clinically detached people, who do it formally, and even specify an “allowance”. I doubt anyone would get prosecuted for this in the real world, but this does quite strongly resemble tax evasion IMHO. However, as soon as there is an actual (verbal) contract for an “allowance”, this probably is illegal tax evasion. Isn’t it? I really have no idea.

    I think I still have to go with my original position that current government marriage is a monetary incentive to get married, and to encourage activities which in other circumstances might be considered tax fraud (having a housekeeper who does not report income to the IRS), and to offer additional tax benefits on top of that (smaller income taxes on the W2 partner).

  50. Narf says

    It’s a very versatile and often-appropriate term, yes. I’m a fan of expanding its usage, particularly within the legal and governmental arena, in which it’s so often appropriate. 😀

  51. Narf says

    @54 – EL

    Again, apologies for taking this from a legaleze standpoint.

    Not at all. It’s an economic matter, so taking it from an appropriate perspective works pretty well. Besides, I’m sure that a few couples role-play those business relationships in the bedroom, anyway, making the comparison fairly apt.

    The way I look at it could fall under the first categorization potentially, but I think the second one is a little more appropriate. For one thing, think of it as a business write-off-able expense, more like a social coordinator (as the wives of wealthy businessmen often serve) or personal assistant. In business, personal assistants often handle personal matters (as the title implies) for the executive, so the executive is more free to deal with the higher-level decisions and functions.

    In that sort of business relationship, the write-off comes out at the highest tier percentage, of course — or gets disregarded entirely, if the assistant is provided by the company. The resultant taxes paid by the personal assistant will be far lower than what the executive would have paid on that money, before the write-off.

    There’s probably as much sex going on between executives and personal assistants as between husbands and wives, too, so I kind of like that categorization.

    So, we’re talking about housekeeping duties here, too, but far more than that, in reality.

    Looked at yet another way, you could have both spouses working part-time, paying the lower tax percentages from each of their earnings. All you’re doing by turning one spouse into a homemaker is shifting all of one type of work to one person and shifting the other type of work to the other. This would create a gross inequality between that couple and a couple with two part-time W2 workers, if you didn’t adjust the percentage tiers.

  52. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf

    Looked at yet another way, you could have both spouses working part-time, paying the lower tax percentages from each of their earnings. All you’re doing by turning one spouse into a homemaker is shifting all of one type of work to one person and shifting the other type of work to the other. This would create a gross inequality between that couple and a couple with two part-time W2 workers, if you didn’t adjust the percentage tiers.

    In this extremely morbid analysis which is probably horrifying to anyone else reading it, you’re making some sense. If we consider the W2 employer as employing the W2 employee and in principle directly employing the housekeeper, then it makes some sense. However, that option is still not available to me as a single person if I hire a mere professional housekeeper. The housekeeper and I will end up paying more taxes because my income will be taxed, some of which goes to the housekeeper as income which is taxed again. Whereas, if we married, then we would pay less taxes. Thus, the housekeeper and I find ourselves in a situation where it is economically advantageous to get married.

    So, I think we can agree that it’s economically advantageous to get married because of the tax benefits, right? I don’t think there was disagreement. I’m just making sure.

    So, again, why should married people get these tax benefits when me and my hypothetical housekeeper cannot (unless we also get married)? That’s my core objection.

    Offhand, I might suspect that this arrangement actually penalizes women. Let me explain my reasoning. Women feel pressure by the culture to be housekeeper and not the W2 employee. Thus, in order to pay less taxes and earn more money, women find it necessary to enter into a marriage with a man, but on paper the man is the one getting all of the money, job experience, stuff you can put on a resume, etc. It’s the man who is hireable. Whereas, this situation looks exceedingly bad for the woman. She’s at the mercy of the guy. If instead she contracted herself as a professional housekeeper, this would look much better on a resume. She would become more independent. She would have more direct control over her income money, rather than being at the mercy of the man.

    I have no idea if my above analysis there is correct. I have a very small sneaking suspicion that it is, and that these tax incentives are actually bad for women. I really don’t know though. I’m thinking “Yes the current situation is bad, but would removing the tax breaks for marriage actually help women – comparatively speaking? No idea”.

  53. oldoligarch says

    Narf @13 Regardless of the cause(s) of a paraphilia,they are abnormal.Statistically and clinically.
    To the extent their is a genetic component involved it will be selected against.

    I’m not committing the naturalistc fallacy.I’m discussing what IS,not what OUGHT to be.

    If classifying homosexuality as abnormal commits the naturalistic fallacy, then so does classifying Down’s syndrome as abnormal.
    In both cases we assume that what the normal is,is what ought to be.

  54. says

    So gay people are comparable to people with Downs Syndrome now? Well, here’s a little wrinkle for you then: We don’t have laws prohibiting people with Downs Syndrome from marrying. Come to that, we don’t have laws prohibiting paranoid schizophrenics or bipolar people from marrying either. And this is why your attempts to justify opposing LGBT marriage on the grounds that being gay is a “mental illness” won’t fly. Because they’d still be getting treated unequally.

    I think I’m just going to sit back, drink some hot soup, and see how far oldoligarch is willing to go with these desperate arguments.

  55. Narf says

    Oligarch, you’re saying that we should legislate based upon your screwed up understanding of natural selection. You’ve included an explicit ought in your argument. You’re making a perfect, textbook naturalistic-fallacy here.

    And your understanding of natural selection is simplistic and wrong in so many ways. We’ve already been over this. I and the rest of the adults here have been discussing the details of your misunderstanding, and I see that you completely ignored that and just charged straight ahead with your gross ignorance untarnished.

    I don’t really expect you to listen to anyone with a better understanding of the subject than you do, of course. If you let go of your simplistic conception of biological evolution, you would have to admit that your entire argument is bullshit, even without the naturalistic fallacy. I realize that you’re just attempting a post hoc rationalization of your bigotry, so I don’t expect any different from you.

  56. Narf says

    … plus what Martin said. Every new layer of your argument is just as full of shit as what you’re piling the new shit upon, Oligarch.

  57. Narf says

    You know, though, Martin, I almost have to give Oligarch a point for creativity, for this bit of insanity:

    Secondly homosexuality is a disease because it is a condition or state of an organ,system or organism which impairs normal functioning.It impairs the normal functioning of the reproductive organs,which is to reproduce.

    I don’t recall hearing that approach before. Alas, he’s using his creativity for evil, so he gets no point.

    So, menopause is a disease now, I guess? And we run into the same problem here that we do with all reproduction-based arguments. If we followed through completely, with this nut-job’s argument, we would have to prevent sterile people from marrying. For that matter, we would have to refuse marriage to anyone who wasn’t going to have children, if you followed through that line of thinking.

    Okay, so you have your disorder/disease that prevents your penis from reproducing, if you’re into torturing metaphors. How do you get from that to preventing people from marrying because they have that disease? You praised me for my consistency, Oligarch. Time to show some of your own.

  58. Narf says

    @58 – EL
    Okay, so if you strip away enough functions of a homemaker, you can make the role seem like just a housekeeper. I’m sure if you stripped away enough characteristics of a nonprophetprofit, you could challenge its status as a nonprofit, too. You’re ignoring every other comparison that I made and stuck to the one-dimensional one.

    You also didn’t address my point about the two-part-time versus one-full-time comparison. The whole point of marriage is that it’s a social indicator that two (or more) people are treating themselves as a social unit. When you have that kind of relationship with your housekeeper, yet still pay her and treat her as your housekeeper, we’ll talk.

    So, I think we can agree that it’s economically advantageous to get married because of the tax benefits, right? I don’t think there was disagreement. I’m just making sure.

    Nope. No agreement there, at least not as a global statement. If my girlfriend and I got married, there would be absolutely no tax benefit. We would be filing separately, since we’d pay less in taxes that way. Anyone else who makes a similar yearly income as their spouse will be in the same boat.

    So, again, why should married people get these tax benefits when me and my hypothetical housekeeper cannot (unless we also get married)? That’s my core objection.

    Are you sleeping with your housekeeper? Do you think of her as your social other-half (additional third/quarter, whatever)?

    Offhand, I might suspect that this arrangement actually penalizes women. Let me explain my reasoning. Women feel pressure by the culture to be housekeeper and not the W2 employee.

    And in traditional polygamous households, there was massive pressure on 12 and 13 year-old girls to marry some 50 or 60 year-old pervert. What does social history have to do with anything? It’s a point to be wary about, but it isn’t a good reason to ditch the tax status of something. I know two male homemakers, so it’s turning around.

    Besides, what do you think alimony is for? Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that a divorced, homemaking woman will get a job much more easily than a man with a similar gap in his professional resume. “I was raising kids and supporting my husband’s career, but then the bastard cheated on me, and we got divorced,” is a pretty good explanation for the gap.

  59. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Are you sleeping with your housekeeper? Do you think of her as your social other-half (additional third/quarter, whatever)?

    Why should that matter? Why should the government grant employment tax benefits on the basis of whom I’ve having sex with? Why should married couples get that benefit but me and my hypothetical housekeeper cannot?

    “I was raising kids and supporting my husband’s career, but then the bastard cheated on me, and we got divorced,” is a pretty good explanation for the gap.

    Purely anecdotal, but a very similar situation happened with my own mother, who then went to school, graduated at the top of her class from a respected university and she cannot get a job in the field. Probably a combination of factors – being 40+ with no work experience for over 20 years, being female, stuff like that.

    I think you grossly underestimate the difficulty that women have in the (formal) workplace after being removed from it for 20 years.

  60. Narf says

    Why should that matter? Why should the government grant employment tax benefits on the basis of whom I’ve having sex with? Why should married couples get that benefit but me and my hypothetical housekeeper cannot?

    You ignored the more important one, of those two questions that you quoted.

  61. Narf says

    I’m all for simplifying propositions to look at things more clearly, EL, but you’re simplifying a collection of at least half a dozen or a dozen different characteristics of a relationship down to someone who cleans your house and maybe does a little cooking. A marriage is a hell of a lot more than that, assuming you aren’t abusing the legal designation for the sake of getting US residency, or some other reason for conning the system.

  62. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    As I understood it, the justification you gave was entirely in terms of housekeeping services. I don’t mean to imply willful maliciousness, but it appears as though you’re slightly shifting the goalposts here.

    I’m still not understanding why the government should be providing special tax benefits benefits to marriage and not to professional housekeepers. You say that marriage is different. I agree it’s different. However, what are the differences which make marriage different enough from a professional housekeeping relationship that it warrants special tax benefits? Because it has sex? Because it has love? I’m not seeing it.

    In other words, do you think society is better off because we provide tax benefits to married people but not to housekeepers? Why? I’m not asserting that you’re wrong. I’m merely noting that I remain unconvinced, and I might be very slightly leaning towards the position that you’re wrong. I’ll honestly admit that I still don’t feel comfortable in making a strong statement, despite taking some time to try and think about it. It’s hard to try and separate arbitrary cultural standards in this case from what would actually make society better. Meh.

  63. Narf says

    @68 – EL
    You missed a whole bunch of my comments then, man. I mentioned a whole range of roles that a spouse could fulfill, many of which are tax deductible. The only thing you’ve addressed is the housekeeper role, which was the least of the roles I mentioned.

    Then there’s the possibility of shifting one spouse to working full time, instead of both working part time, and how they should be treated as a unit, from a tax perspective, since they’re helping each other out in a shared pool of social and personal responsibilities. You completely ignored that.

    Honestly, I don’t even give a damn about this subject. The tax codes aren’t going to change in regards to marriage. You took us off down this tangent, since you seem to think that sticking three people into a grouped, married tax-pool is going to work out to their benefit, in some way, when in reality, they’d end up paying more, if three working people all pooled together, instead of just two of them.

  64. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    I am trying to understand your position.

    Then there’s the possibility of shifting one spouse to working full time, instead of both working part time, and how they should be treated as a unit, from a tax perspective, since they’re helping each other out in a shared pool of social and personal responsibilities. You completely ignored that.

    No, I didn’t ignore it. My question is “why?”.

    Specifically, this bit:

    they should be treated as a unit, from a tax perspective, since they’re helping each other out in a shared pool of social and personal responsibilities.

    Why? Can you fill in that argument for me? I don’t see the connection. What sort of implicit premises are you using to complete that argument? Would those premises apply to me hypothetically hiring a professional housekeeper? Would those premises apply to a hypothetical college frat? I mean the guys of a college frat living in the same building might arguably meet your criteria, depending on what your criteria is. By this same reasoning, it’s not fair to tax the guy in the frat with a job at the full rate when his fratmate is doing lots of stuff to help out in the relationship, such as cleaning up the frat house, providing moral support, etc.

    Why should we allow a legal status of treating two married people as one person? I get the whole “spiritual” aspect and “spiritual” meaning of “two flesh as one”, but I don’t see why this metaphor should be extended to the tax code in order to gain tax benefits.

    Is the goal to reward cooperation? The tax benefits of marriage are not narrowly tailored to accomplish that goal, and I don’t buy that as an applicable reason. Plenty of marriage don’t involve the kind of cooperation you’re talking about, and plenty of non-marriage relationships do involve the kind of cooperation you’re talking about.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems that tax breaks to married couples is just an artifact of tradition. Worse, it seems specifically to be an artifact of the view that women are not full human beings, and women are the mere property of their husbands. Worse still, it seems that this kind of legal code might actually help propagate the culture where women are viewed as mere legal extensions of their husbands instead of fully independent legal entities.

  65. oldoligarch says

    @61) Narf,For the moment I’ve been trying to establish why I believe homosexuality should be considered a disorder.
    I’ve not yet moved to the marriage issue.

    My point that,”If classifying homosexuality as abnormal commits the naturalistic fallacy, then so does classifying Down’s syndrome as abnormal.
    In both cases we assume that what the normal is,is what ought to be.” is valid.

    @61)”And your understanding of natural selection is simplistic and wrong in so many ways. We’ve already been over this. I and the rest of the adults here have been discussing the details of your misunderstanding, and I see that you completely ignored that and just charged straight ahead with your gross ignorance untarnished.”

    Narf I realize that many factors might contribute to homosexuality:genetic,environmental,biochemical.
    I also realize that the genes that contribute to homosexuality under some conditions might not under a different set of environmental or biochemical conditions

    Indeed,under those conditions they might enhance fitness.

    The sickle-cell trait comes to mind as an example of a trait that enhances fitness in some instances(when it’s heterozygous), but reduces fitness in another instance(when it’s homozygous).

    Of course the same could be said of those genes that make someone a pedophile.

    So what we’re talking about here is an abnormal phenotype.

  66. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @oldoligarch
    Again: If you want to say that gay people have a mental disease just like Down’s syndrome people have a mental disease – so what? Our objection is not here (mostly). Our objection is when you next try to say that we should create laws discriminating against gay people. That’s wrong. Similarly, it would be wrong to create laws discriminating against Down’s syndrome people just because they have Down’s.

  67. Narf says

    Narf,For the moment I’ve been trying to establish why I believe homosexuality should be considered a disorder.
    I’ve not yet moved to the marriage issue.

    The point is that we don’t care if you adjust the meaning of the term “disorder” to include homosexuality, unless you’re going to then go on and apply a standard for marriage that treats all “disorders” exactly the same, within the context of marriage. I’m going to go ahead and take a wild guess that you aren’t going to do so, in the next part of your argument.

    That then renders this entire line of argumentation meaningless.

    My point that,”If classifying homosexuality as abnormal commits the naturalistic fallacy, then so does classifying Down’s syndrome as abnormal.
    In both cases we assume that what the normal is,is what ought to be.” is valid.

    I wasn’t talking about the classification being a naturalistic fallacy, in my last comment in which I mentioned it. I said that any attempt to then apply that classification to legislation is a naturalistic fallacy.

    But then you went on from there to say one of the most insane things that I’ve heard in a while. “In both cases we assume that what the normal is,is what ought to be, is valid.”
    Dude, that IS the naturalist fallacy, flat-out. And it’s bullshit. That’s why it’s called a fallacy.

    So what we’re talking about here is an abnormal phenotype.

    You’re using very sloppy language, which once again exposes your gross ignorance of genetics and biological evolution. Sickle Cell Anemia has survival advantages within certain environments with a high instance of malaria. Being redheaded with super-pale skin would be abnormal in equatorial Africa, according to your usage of the term, since that person would likely be dead fairly quickly, thus weeding out the genes or at least hiding them away into recessivity.

    “Abnormal” can have no useful meaning within genetics, for something as prevalent as homosexuality.

    Dude, seriously. Drop the evolutionary argument, when it’s so obvious to everyone here that you have no freaking clue what you’re talking about.

  68. Narf says

    Why? Can you fill in that argument for me? I don’t see the connection. What sort of implicit premises are you using to complete that argument? Would those premises apply to me hypothetically hiring a professional housekeeper?

    At the simplest level, it’s because you haven’t declared a legal/social coupling with your housekeeper personal assistant or social coordinator. When you’re willing to do so, the two (three?) of you will gain many legal and social associations and privileges that are a product of that declaration of legal/social coupling. The acceptance of those associations and privileges is the indicator that you should be treated as a single entity for tax purposes as well.

    If you aren’t willing to create that kind of bond with your social coordinator or personal assistant then you don’t get to deduct his/her pay as a business expense … except …
    Hey, wait a minute, you do get to deduct that person’s income as a business expense.

    Seriously, man, drop the housekeeper thing. I don’t care how many nondeductible analogues you can draw with the many functions of a stay-at-home spouse. The fact that there are deductible analogues is justification for classifying the spouse as such. If you want, you could compare the spouse to a freaking babysitter … except if you have to hire a babysitter in order to attend a business function, you can deduct what you pay her, as well.

    On that subject, do you have any freaking clue how expensive childcare is? In the event of children (sounds like a bad weather event, doesn’t it?) the stay-at-home spouse’s contribution is freaking huge … all of that deductible.

  69. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Not answering the question.

    When you’re willing to do so, the two (three?) of you will gain many legal and social associations and privileges that are a product of that declaration of legal/social coupling.

    Why should we give privileges to people with a declaration of a social/legal coupling?

    As for childcare, I noted that already up-thread. Tax benefits for those with children make some sense to me. It makes sense in light of the idea that the state is a kind of guardian of children, plus the idea of a minimum guaranteed income scheme / welfare. I still don’t understand the purpose of tax benefits for mere marriage.

  70. oldoligarch says

    @73) Narf, my point was:
    If classifying homosexuality as a disorder involves the naturalistic fallacy then ALL classifications of a condition or state as a disorder,disease,abnormal is fallacious. And I doubted you believed that was the case.
    And apparently you don’t.

    @73)”Sickle Cell Anemia has survival advantages within certain environments with a high instance of malaria.”

    I don’t see how anything I said would make you think I didn’t know that.

    @73″Being redheaded with super-pale skin would be abnormal in equatorial Africa, according to your usage of the term, …”

    @73 ““Abnormal” can have no useful meaning within genetics, for something as prevalent as homosexuality.”

    For a trait to be part of the normal variation of a species it must be 1)adaptive in at least some of its natural environments,and 2)have the potential under the right conditions of being the only variation of that trait.

    Being redheaded with super pale skin meets both these conditions.
    Homosexuality meets neither.

  71. Narf says

    If classifying homosexuality as a disorder involves the naturalistic fallacy then ALL classifications of a condition or state as a disorder,disease,abnormal is fallacious. And I doubted you believed that was the case.
    And apparently you don’t.

    What’s funny as hell, though, is that you managed to commit the naturalistic fallacy in your attempted restatement of your point. You’re correct in that you can categorize something as a disorder without committing the naturalistic fallacy, even if you seem incapable of doing so. 😀

    ”Sickle Cell Anemia has survival advantages within certain environments with a high instance of malaria.”
    I don’t see how anything I said would make you think I didn’t know that.

    I never said that you didn’t know that. I was demonstrating why the definition of a disorder that you’re using is useless.

    For a trait to be part of the normal variation of a species it must be 1)adaptive in at least some of its natural environments,and 2)have the potential under the right conditions of being the only variation of that trait.

    The fuck it does. Point me to one person, who has any idea what he/she is speaking about, who uses that definition of a normal variation. For that matter, explain to me what ‘normal variation’ means within a scientific context, and explain to me what use it has. You’re making this shit up as you go.

    We already explained why homosexuality meets your first point, anyway. The genes that increase the incidence of men being gay could have completely different effects in women. For that matter, the genes could provide survival benefits in all men, both straight and gay, and those who have the gene but don’t end up gay could derive a net reproductive advantage from the genes. We also explained how kin selection can increase the survivability of the gene by providing extra adult protection for relatives who might carry the gene but don’t express it.

    The potential for intermittent gene expression also deals with your second point. The genes that contribute to homosexuality potentially meet both of your points, so this argument is stupid and useless. You have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

    If you’re going to make shit up to try to rationalize your bigotry, you should try doing a better job of it.

    But let’s ignore all of this. Please explain to us how you use this shit to justify legal discrimination against homosexuals, as if it hadn’t completely fallen apart.

  72. oldoligarch says

    @77)”What’s funny as hell, though, is that you managed to commit the naturalistic fallacy in your attempted restatement of your point.”

    When I said, ” In both cases we assume that what the normal is,is what ought to be” ,the ‘ We’ to whom I was referring is society,doctors,scientist.

    When they classify something as a disorder their comparing it to a condition that isn’t a disorder.It is chosen as the standard, the norm and presumably the ‘desired’ condition.After all we try to prevent or cure disorders.
    A value judgement is implicit in doing this,but we all do it, by the very act of classifying a physical or psychological condition.
    We can classify strictly statistically without a value judgement of whether a condition is good or bad.
    But when done for medical purposes it’s difficult to avoid thinking: Normal= healthy=good and abnormal=unhealthy=bad.
    So use of the term abnormal can carry implications of ethical judgement when none is intended.

    @77) I was demonstrating why the definition of a disorder that you’re using is useless.

    If you intended to do that you failed.The condition of being homozygous for sickle cell trait is a phenotype just like homosexuality The genes that cause both might be advantageous under certain natural conditions,but the phenotype isn’t under any natural conditions.

    @77)The fuck it does. Point me to one person, who has any idea what he/she is speaking about, who uses that definition of a normal variation. For that matter, explain to me what ‘normal variation’ means within a scientific context, and explain to me what use it has. You’re making this shit up as you go.

    Don’t confuse natural variation with normal variation.
    Given enough time natural selection will go through every genotype and consequently every phenotype possible.
    Only some of these will work well enough to become the normal.

    So natural variation in a species will include all variation, normal and abnormal.

    Can you show me one population of organisms where my description of normal variation does not apply?

    @77)We already explained why homosexuality meets your first point, anyway.

    The homosexual PHENOTYPE isn”t adaptive in any natural human environment, even if the genes that contribute to that disposition might be adaptive in heterosexual individuals.

  73. says

    So use of the term abnormal can carry implications of ethical judgement when none is intended.

    Translation: “I’m not (racist/sexist/homophobic), but…”

    Have you not, this whole thread, been attempting to argue that being gay is a mental illness and for this reason gay marriage should be banned? How is there no ethical judgment implicit in that?

  74. oldoligarch says

    @77)But let’s ignore all of this. Please explain to us how you use this shit to justify legal discrimination against homosexuals, as if it hadn’t completely fallen apart.

    Marriage is a social institution a convention.It’s created and defined by society.

    You may have a ‘natural right’ to sleep with any or as many consenting adults as you like.You can even cohabitate with them.
    But you have no ‘natural right’ to society recognizing or endorsing your relationship(s).
    Marriage is not a ‘natural right’

    More later ,maybe.

  75. oldoligarch says

    79) Translation: “I’m not (racist/sexist/homophobic), but…”

    Actually I’m probably All those things by your definition.

    What I mean though is that classifying a condition as a mental illness should no more concern ethics than diagnosing a physical disease.Psychology is a branch of biology not ethics.

    But we see disease,disorders as bad things,not in an ethical sense, since the affected individuals did not choose this, but rather as an undesired condition.

    Now when we pass to the subject of legalizing homosexual marriage ethics necessarily becomes involved.

  76. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @oldoligarch
    Why are you being dishonest and evasive? Do you want to legally discriminate against gay people? Do you want gay marriage not legally recognized? Why? I for one am not going to play your little game where you dance around the issue for a dozen posts.

  77. says

    But you have no ‘natural right’ to society recognizing or endorsing your relationship(s).

    Then wouldn’t the logical conclusion from this statement, which I see no reason to think wouldn’t apply equally to straights and gays, be that marriage should not exist as a legally sanctioned practice at all? If there is no natural right to marriage, then marriage, if it’s to be a thing in any sense, is strictly a cultural construct based on what society at large considers acceptable. Thus it’s impossible to deny marriage rights to gays based on arguments that appeal to nature (which you’ve been trying to do rather zealously before torpedoing yourself with the above single sentence) without also denying it to straights. And with a majority of people in our society now on board with marriage equality, there appear to be no sound arguments for continuing to deny it.

  78. Narf says

    @82 – EL
    Right there with you, man.

    Oligarch, you have one more comment to get to your punchline, and then I’m tuning you out. You’re grossly ignorant of anything beyond the basic summary of biological evolution, and you keep repeating the same inane shit over and over again. I don’t care enough to try to un-fuck your head. If your final argument has anything to do with biological evolution, you fail.

  79. oldoligarch says

    @84)’You’re grossly ignorant of anything beyond the basic summary of biological evolution,…”

    If true,then the natural world should reflect the fact that my contention that “the homosexual phenotype is abnormal because maladaptive” is wrong.

    If that’s the case, then why isn’t there any population of organisms in which homosexuality is the norm?

  80. Narf says

    Okay, that’s apparently how you wanted to use the last comment of yours that I’m paying any attention to. Seems a silly choice, but whatever.

    If you can’t get to the point of your argument within half a dozen comments, your point must be pretty damned stupid. I’m out. Good luck with getting Martin or EL to continue giving a damn about what you have to say.

  81. oldoligarch says

    @82) @oldoligarch
    Why are you being dishonest and evasive?

    I haven’t been trying to be either.

    I hoped to show that homosexuality is a paraphilia and should be so classified,and I haven’t read a reply that causes me to question that.

    Further I wanted to show that we can’t ,logically treat homosexualty different from other abnormal sexual relationships(by recognizing homosexual marriage), without being entailed by logic ,if not by law ,to do the same for the others.

    On this you guys seem to agree with me.

    Finally I wanted to show that society should promote behaviors that are healthy(admittedly a value judgement but one I believe is widely shared).

    Since in Darwinian terms what is healthiest will be identical to what most enhances fitness it will become the normal.
    So normal is healthy
    Society should promote normal sexual relationships because their healthy,but not necessarily prohibit abnormal ones.

    Refusing to recognize homosexual marriage while not criminalizing the behavior seems to me the best way to do this.

    But you EL and Martin,have made some good points and raised some questions I had not considered, and which might be logically entailed if we deny homosexual marriage on the bases of my premise.

    So I will have to give my position on homosexual marriage more thought.

  82. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Finally I wanted to show that society should promote behaviors that are healthy(admittedly a value judgement but one I believe is widely shared).

    Oh, so we should outlaw smoking and outlaw drinking alcohol? Oh wait… I doubt you hold that position.

    Why is homosexuality unhealthy? While I might agree to your esoteric definitions of abnormal and maladaptive, what does that have to do with health?

    Since in Darwinian terms what is healthiest will be identical to what most enhances fitness it will become the normal.

    Why should we use Darwinian fitness to measure health instead of human happiness and human well-being? Why should we elevate Darwinian fitness over human happiness? Are you a guy who promotes eugenics? Are you like a Nazi or something?

  83. Narf says

    I hoped to show that homosexuality is a paraphilia and should be so classified,and I haven’t read a reply that causes me to question that.

    You haven’t done any such thing. You’ve asserted that homosexuality is a paraphilia. It hasn’t been considered a paraphilia for years, as we’ve told you repeatedly. Your incomprehension of evolution hasn’t done a thing to change that.

    Further I wanted to show that we can’t ,logically treat homosexualty different from other abnormal sexual relationships …

    Your criteria of exclusion is complete bullshit. So, anyone with a paraphilia should be prevented from marrying someone who meets the focus of the paraphilia? Are you going to ban people with an amputee fetish from marrying someone with an amputated limb? The vast majority of the things on the list of paraphilias are things done between two consenting adults. If you aren’t also going to try to ban everything on that list, your argument is complete crap.

    That’s the other thing: you’re trying to generate a criterion for EXCLUDING homosexuals from getting married to people of the same sex, when they’re granted that right based upon other criteria. If you’re not going to exclude everyone for every reason that fits your criterion, you’re a hypocrite.

    This paraphilia thing, even if it was true, is complete crap. We aren’t granting them the right to marry because they have a paraphilia — if it was one, which it isn’t — so there’s absolutely no reason to grant any other person with a paraphilia the right to marry the focus of their paraphilia, on those grounds alone. Your argument is both invalidly structured and unsound, on about half a dozen of your premises.

    Refusing to recognize homosexual marriage while not criminalizing the behavior seems to me the best way to do this.

    This is also stupid. If a behavior is unhealthy, but you aren’t going to criminalize it, what grounds do you have for banning the union of those people to their sexual partner? You’re going to allow people to go around having gay sex (the supposedly unhealthy part), but you’re going to prevent recognition of the socially-constructive, healthy part, forming a social union. You’re solution is the absolute worst possible result.

  84. Narf says

    @88 – EL

    Why should we elevate Darwinian fitness over human happiness?

    Because he doesn’t understand what the naturalistic fallacy is, causing him to commit it over and over and over and over …

  85. Monocle Smile says

    @EL

    Why should we give privileges to people with a declaration of a social/legal coupling?

    In my opinion, it’s rather banal…legally married couples are good for the economy. They invest more and spend much more on consumer durables like long-lasting appliances, vehicles, and real estate.

  86. Narf says

    *sigh* Let me take one more try at this, because I seem to be a bit of a masochist, in this respect.

    Your thinking is wrong at almost every level. Even your one comment about the nature of this argument is wrongheaded:

    I hoped to show that homosexuality is a paraphilia and should be so classified,and I haven’t read a reply that causes me to question that.

    I really don’t care if anything we’ve said has convinced you. You have failed to convince us. The rest of us can see that you’re desperately flailing around, trying to find a rational justification for your bigotry.

    You came here with the argument. It’s your job to convince us.

    That said, your core problem has to do with terminology. You keep pulling out all of these terms, some of them apparently made up, and you use them in ways that are utterly inappropriate. You still haven’t justified your use of the term “normal variation” or why we should give a damn about it. We aren’t creationists who can be impressed with some sciencey-sounding words thrown at them by someone who claims authority.

    Your understanding of paraphilias is exceptionally poor, for example. You have this bizarre concept that paraphilias have anything to do with evolutionarily-advantageous behaviors. There’s no connection between the two. Many sexual kinks classified as paraphilias are evolutionarily disadvantageous, yes, but others could actually be advantageous in many settings. It probably isn’t a zero-sum game, but we don’t care if paraphilias are disadvantageous, on average. The existence of evolutionarily-advantageous paraphilias completely destroys this argument at the base.

    That’s why, despite completely disagreeing with you on your classification of homosexuality as a paraphilia, I don’t give enough of a fuck to convince you otherwise, because you argument still fails at 4 or 5 other points.

    Then there’s this evolutionarily-advantageous = good concept of yours. That is the naturalistic fallacy … straight up. There are many things that are advantageous, from an individual-reproductive basis, which we consider to be morally abhorrent, now. There are actions that are medically unhealthy which are evolutionarily advantageous, sacrificing your own health to increase the survivability of your offspring. These actions have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, if it’s even a matter for the state to get involved and pass judgement, one way or the other.

    Bottom line, tying homosexuality to evolution in any way gets you nowhere. This entire line of argumentation is garbage.

  87. oldoligarch says

    WOW, you guys think you smell blood and WHAM!

    @88)Oh, so we should outlaw smoking and outlaw drinking alcohol? Oh wait… I doubt you hold that position.

    Outlaw? no. Not promote? yes.
    Smoking and drinking make people happy,but aren’t really healthy.The same is true of paraphilias.

    Health seems to be intrinsic to true happiness and human well-being.
    Besides natural selection is ultimately the only objective “judge” of whether or not a behavior or phenotype is “good” or bad”.

    @86) …”the last comment of yours that I’m paying any attention to…”
    Well so much for that.

    @88)Why should we use Darwinian fitness to measure health instead of human happiness and human well-being?

    @90) Because he doesn’t understand what the naturalistic fallacy is, causing him to commit it over and over and over and over

    We should use Darwinian fitness to measure health because that’s what we do when speaking of physiological health, I see no reason to treat psychological conditions differently.

    Now when I say we use Darwinian fitness to measure health I mean we take the range of normal variation that exist in nature and has been selected for by nature and use it as our standard for determining what constitutes an abnormal variation.
    We have to appeal to nature to get the empirical facts.

    How do we know a body temperature of 104 degrees F,is abnormal for humans except by appealing to nature?
    After all there is a range of normal variation.A range that is known by observing nature.
    Average body temperature can vary, but only within limits.Natural selection has set those limits.

    So diagnosing any condition or state, physical or psychological, as a disease,disorder, etc. involves an appeal to nature for the facts of the case. For what IS not what OUGHT to be.

    Curiously, in health issues there seems to be a correllation between what IS the normal range of a trait and what we think that trait OUGHT to be.
    Or maybe not so curiously for one who understands the connection between natural selection,darwinian fitness and health.

    I’ve got news for you guys, outside human minds there is no OUGHT!
    Spooky isn’t it!

    @89)You haven’t done any such thing. You’ve asserted that homosexuality is a paraphilia. It hasn’t been considered a paraphilia for years, as we’ve told you repeatedly. Your incomprehension of evolution hasn’t done a thing to change that.

    All paraphilias, such as necrophilia,zoophiliia are characterized by sexual attraction to a reproductively incompatible object.
    This is true of homosexuality as well.So it should be classified as a paraphilia.Period.

    In any sexually reproducing species certain species specific stimuli elicit a sexually attraction response in the opposite sex.
    That response, even in paraphiles, is gender specific and has been selected for to facilitate copulation with a member of the same species but opposite sex,because it enhances the chances of reproduction.

    The ultimate cause of the sequence of events,1)stimuli recognition of a potential mate(a psychological action) ,2)sexual arousal response( a pschophysical action) and 3)copulation ( a physical action), is that it enhances the survival of the genes in that organism.

    Any condition that interferes with this normal sequence is a disease/disorder.

    In all paraphilias, including homosexuals, regardless of what their ultimate cause(s) may be,there is clearly a problem in the first step.

    When a man has erectile dysfunction,there is a failure in the second step.We consider it a disorder and we try to help correct it.
    If calling homosexuality a disorder is the naturalistic fallacy then so is calling ED a disorder.
    @92) “That said, your core problem has to do with terminology. You keep pulling out all of these terms, some of them apparently made up, and you use them in ways that are utterly inappropriate. You still haven’t justified your use of the term “normal variation” or why we should give a damn about it. We aren’t creationists who can be impressed with some sciencey-sounding words thrown at them by someone who claims authority”

    Normal variation is a subset of natural variation in the way I’m using it.
    Diseases,disorders,etc. occur in any population of organisms such conditions are part of the natural variation,but,they’re not usually considered normal variation are they?

    Do you see the difference?Are do you need somebody at the American Medical Association to hold your hand and walk you through this.?

    @92)”Your understanding of paraphilias is exceptionally poor, for example. You have this bizarre concept that paraphilias have anything to do with evolutionarily-advantageous behaviors.”
    REALLY,you’re kidding right?Do you mean to say the guy with the hots for a dog isn’t at an evolutionary disadvantage compared to a heterosexual guy? I mean, I can see that a homosexual man has no evolutionary advantage, but a straight guy?.PLEASE!

    @92″There’s no connection between the two. Many sexual kinks classified as paraphilias are evolutionarily disadvantageous, yes, but others could actually be advantageous in many settings.”

    Got an example are or you just blowing smoke out your ass?
    @92)” It probably isn’t a zero-sum game, but we don’t care if paraphilias are disadvantageous, on average.

    PROBABLY? you mean you don’t know?And you probably don’t care if cardiovascular disorders are disadvantageous, on average.

    @92) The existence of evolutionarily-advantageous paraphilias completely destroys this argument at the base.”

    I’ll wait for you to get me theevidence of a paraphilia that is evolutionarily-advantageous, that is aparaphilia that enhances survival AND REPRODUCTIVE FITNESS.

    I mean I can see how being homosexual in prison might enhance survival,but reproductive fitness?
    NO,don’t think so.

  88. Narf says

    All paraphilias, such as necrophilia,zoophiliia are characterized by sexual attraction to a reproductively incompatible object.
    This is true of homosexuality as well.So it should be classified as a paraphilia.Period.

    REALLY,you’re kidding right?Do you mean to say the guy with the hots for a dog isn’t at an evolutionary disadvantage compared to a heterosexual guy? I mean, I can see that a homosexual man has no evolutionary advantage, but a straight guy?.PLEASE!

    I’ll wait for you to get me theevidence of a paraphilia that is evolutionarily-advantageous, that is aparaphilia that enhances survival AND REPRODUCTIVE FITNESS.

    Go read the list I linked. I love how the only paraphilias that you listed are necrophilia and zoophilia. Try one of the dozen others on the list that would involve a perfectly compatible person.

    Christ, you’re dishonest.

  89. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @oldoligarch

    Besides natural selection is ultimately the only objective “judge” of whether or not a behavior or phenotype is “good” or bad”.

    What the fuck?

    Ok, now I think you’re just trolling us.

    In case you aren’t – which is worse? Having straight vaginal sex with a stranger with a condom, and thereby greatly reducing your evolutionary fitness? Or having straight vaginal sex with a stranger without a condom, which brings the chance of offspring, but which also risks your health, such as by risking an AIDS infection?

    I assume you’re male. Why aren’t you trying to rape a female stranger right now to increase your offspring count? That would increase the offspring of both of you, and that’s what counts, right? Evolutionary fitness, right? Why is rape a crime? PS: This is meant as a ridiculous example. This is meant to show you how you are wrong. It’s a reductio ad absurdum. Please don’t do this.

  90. robertwilson says

    I know Narf has mentioned the naturalistic fallacy, but it still baffles me that oligarch thinks homosexuality reduces someone’s reproductive fitness when it has nothing to do with reproduction, only attraction.

    It feels silly to have to state that, but then again he still hasn’t figured it out. In societies where they are forced into the closet homosexuals marry opposite gender partners and reproduce. If same-sex marriage is legalized homosexuals will continue to reproduce weather by surrogate or any other method available their homosexuality will continue to not affect their reproductive fitness.

    TLDR: oligarch is giving attraction far too great a role in reproductive fitness. Something that I would think you would realize if you stopped to think for one minute about what you are saying rather than continuing to rationalize what you believe.

  91. Narf says

    I know Narf has mentioned the naturalistic fallacy, but it still baffles me that oligarch thinks homosexuality reduces someone’s reproductive fitness when it has nothing to do with reproduction, only attraction.

    I tried to lay out roughly the first half of the many issues with Oligarch’s argument, in #89 and #92. I see no evidence in his responses that he actually read half of what I wrote. I don’t see why I should bother any further. He kept repeating the same bullshit, even after I showed him how stupid what he’s saying is.

  92. says

    Considering that one of my best friends in the world is in a lesbian marriage and her wife just had a healthy and happy baby via in vitro, pretty much everything oldoligarch has to say about homosexuality reducing reproductive fitness can be taken about as seriously as creationists who say DNA proves a creator because it’s code!

  93. Narf says

    @98 – Martin
    Heh, there’s that, too. One of the things I meant to bring up, but never did, has to do with his ‘normal variation’ bullshit. He seems to think that evolution is dealing with absolute fitness, in some incomprehensible way. Biological evolution is only ever environment-dependent.

    Factor in a little bit of technology, and suddenly the reproductive landscape is completely changed.

    Oh well. There’s so much fucked with his argument that you can’t hit everything, without a 10 or 20 page paper. When almost every piece of his argument is broken, in and of itself, and the link between each part of the argument and the next is also wrongheaded at almost every step, where do you begin? This is the sort of thing that the term fractally wrong was coined for.

  94. says

    Wow, I’m just catching up on this thread. I just wanted to address this one:

    I’ll wait for you to get me theevidence of a paraphilia that is evolutionarily-advantageous, that is aparaphilia that enhances survival AND REPRODUCTIVE FITNESS.

    I think you have it backward, I think paraphilia is much more likely to be an effect of having genes that help the human population to be as reproductively prolific as it is, than it is to be a cause or driver of any genetic change (good or bad or however you’d like to put it). It’s mere existence in humanity today is evidence that it’s not detrimental to survival of our species. You can try to paint everything with your teleological brush as either beneficial or detrimental to survival, but that doesn’t mean reality has to comply with the boxes you’ve constructed in your head.

    Also, I have no clue what any of this has to do with denying some pairs of people a legal option we extending it to other pairs of people.

  95. Narf says

    @100 – changerofbits
    Yeah, there was so much wrong with every freaking part of his argument. Another point that I never brought up is that most paraphilias do not have a genetic component, unless you want to argue that the ability to form paraphilias has a genetic component, as just about everything in our brain formation does. The selection of the actual focus of paraphilias usually happens during puberty or prepubescence.

    I can track one of my own back to about the age of 6 or 7, and it isn’t something that could possibly be genetically linked, because the focus of the paraphilia has only been around for about 100 years or so. No, you don’t want details … not that it’s particularly disgusting or anything, just weird.

    His argument is almost disappointingly easy to disassemble. Finding a critical failure point in the argument is easy, because it’s what you’d call a target-rich environment. If I wanted to count up argument-demolishing flaws, I’m sure I would come out with well over a dozen … probably over two dozen.