Did CMI use a bad argument against homosexuality?
Published: 5 May 2012 (GMT+10)
CMI’s Dr Don Batten responds to Thomas M. from the United States, who writes:
Greetings and blessings to all those at CMI. I read with interest Dr. Batten’s article, Hermaphrodites and homosexuality. It occurred to me that there is a flaw. Dr. Batten states: “Say a person was born with a gene that made them a kleptomaniac. Would that mean that we should legalize / legitimize stealing? Hardly … Just because someone has a natural bent to do something does not mean that society should accept their behaviour.” Dr. Batten naturally presupposes that homosexuality is a sin (that translates to a crime in his examples), which is a presupposition he does not share explicitly share with his “opponent”. The opposition would justifiably respond (given they don’t believe homosexuality is a sin): “Well people are born with a gene for heterosexuality or blue eyes and neither of those are considered morally wrong or illegal. They don’t need to be rehabilitated or “fixed”. Why homosexuality? In your examples an actual material crime is committed where there’s a victim, whereas consensual sex between two adults is victimless and actually beneficial from the perspective of the participants. So I don’t see how your example about a gene that causes manifest criminal behavior that harms society has any thing to do with a gene that causes eye color, height, gender or sexual orientation, for that matter.” Do you see? Dr. Batten’s argument requires that the opposition accepts as true that homosexuality is as much a sin and crime as robbery, rape or murder. If his experience is anything like mine, I don’t think he’ll get that concession even if his opponent is harboring that belief privately. As far as this argument’s utility in debate, I think it needs to be tightened or else not used. With kindest regards, Tom
CMI’s Dr Don Batten responds:
Thanks for your comment, but I think that you have misunderstood or misstated the argument, which only deals with the claim that if homosexuality has a biological basis then it must be considered morally acceptable.
The question of stealing being legal/illegal or hurts someone else or doesn’t is irrelevant. The point is that merely because some behaviour might be ‘innate’ (have some organic basis) does not make it morally acceptable. That is, morality is not determined by a person’s predilection for a particular behaviour.
Let’s put the argument into a formal syllogism:
Premise 1: Behaviours that are biologically based are moral.
Premise 2: Homosexuality has a biological basis.
Conclusion: Therefore homosexual behaviour is moral.
Now if both premises are true, this is a sound argument. Of course premise 2 has not been proven to be true (and finding a genetic basis is hardly likely because natural selection would select against such a trait, tending to eliminate it). But is premise 1 true? We can take the approach of reductio ad absurdum to show that premise 1 is false:
Premise 1: Behaviours that are biologically based are moral
Premise 2: Kleptomania (or cannibalism, or …) has a biological basis
Conclusion: Therefore kleptomania (or cannibalism, or …) is moral.
Note that whether it hurts anyone, or is illegal, has nothing to do with this argument.
However, the notion that homosexual behaviour does not hurt anyone is very questionable. Need I mention the lives cut short by AIDS? Or the debilitation caused by other sexually transmitted diseases and bodily traumas that are common amongst homosexuals? I personally know of young men whose lives have been nearly ruined by homosexual men preying on them. Yes, they ‘consented’, so by the homosexual activists’ criteria, it was all OK? Not at all! One ended up on drugs to try to numb the emotional pain. Thankfully he has now come out of it and is now married with kids, but it has left a black hole in his life that he sorely regrets. Suicide of homosexual men is a huge issue, largely because they live in a society that has lied to them about the true nature of homosexuality (‘you were born like this so there is no way out, even if you want out’). This destroys any hope of a different life.
Furthermore, the social acceptance of ‘gay marriage’, following the radical homosexual agenda, is resulting in the persecution of Christians and others who do not accept this behaviour (a loving African husband and wife couple in the UK had their long-term fostering of needy children terminated because they would not endorse the gay agenda). This has deprived children in need of loving parental care from having that care. What about children being born into homosexual arrangements (by IVF, etc.)? This denies a child the right to a mum and dad (sociological research is unanimous that children do by far the best with a mum and a dad). And what about the parents of a child caught up in homosexuality? What of the emotional pain they will suffer, often blaming themselves for something that they might have done to cause their child’s behaviour? And they will never have the joy of grandchildren. Victimless? Homosexual behaviour is destructive to a just and caring society (it is not just what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms, even if that was ‘OK’).
The other issue is ‘what is sin?’ God clearly says that homosexual behaviour is unacceptable, in both the Old and New Testaments (as is all promiscuity; that is, sex outside of the marriage of a man and a woman; Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, Matthew 5:28, 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; Ephesians 5:3, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Deuteronomy 23:17). If we are to reject God’s standards, in the end there will be no standards at all (see Medical ethicists promote infanticide, for example). That is what we are increasingly seeing. Someone might want to define morals according to whether it hurts someone else (as you relate). But on what basis is it ‘wrong’ to hurt someone else? ‘Who said?’ Sadists don’t think it is wrong. Sociopaths have no compunction about hurting others if it furthers their own agenda. If we are just a compilation of atoms banging around, where do such moral judgments come from? It’s all up for grabs.