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Logic and lesbianism

Published: 25 August 2012 (GMT+10)

K.G. from Australia writes in response to our article Did CMI use a bad argument against homosexuality? With some questions about the logic of our rebuttals of homosexuality and whether health arguments against homosexuality also apply to lesbianism specifically. Dr Don Batten responds:

Hi just wondering if you could clarify a few things for me?

Firstly the point you make about how homosexuals DO cause harm to other people through the transmission of HIV. This is true in the case of gay men, but what about gay women? I cannot find studies that say that this is true in the case of lesbians.

Also the bible only ever mentions that sodomy is a sin and that relations between men is a sin. Homosexual women do not engage in sodomy?

These arguments are only relevant to half of the gay population?

Also the argument of

All things biologically inherent are moral.
Homosexuality is biologically inherent.
Homosexuality is moral.

You argue that premise 2 is incorrect so the premise is incorrect. I have read many peer reviewed academic articles that say there is scientific evidence that homosexuality is biological and that it may be a behavioural adaptation in relation to an over growing population.

So this would make the conclusion true, since both premises are true?

Unless you feel premise 1 is untrue and that all things biologically inherent are NOT moral.

If you do, then there would also be a conflict in the following argument.

All things biologically inherent are NOT moral
Homosexuality is biologically inherent
Homosexuality is NOT logical

That sounds fine until you apply the same rule to …

All things biologically inherent are NOT moral
Heterosexuality is biologically inherent
Heterosexuality is NOT moral

Well, that confuses things?

It seems morality and formal logic can clash somewhat?

Don Batten responded:

The Bible is clear that lesbian relationships are also part of the sinfulness of people in rebellion against God, along with male homosexual practices (and sexual promiscuity among heterosexuals):

Romans 1:21–28

For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (26) For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; (27) and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. [emphasis added]

The Bible calls male homosexual behaviour an ‘abomination’ (e.g. Leviticus 20:13). Bible commentators recognize that this simply refers to something that is against the created natural order. Clearly, two women were never meant to be partners as this cannot lead to procreation; it is against the created order (Adam and Eve, not Genevieve and Eve), so it is also an ‘abomination’.

The health consequences do seem to be less severe (as comparing verses 26 and 27 above might suggest also), but the other marks against it are similar.

“I have read many peer reviewed academic articles that say there is scientific evidence that homosexuality is biological and that it may be a behavioural adaptation in relation to an over growing population.”

There were some early papers, inspired by researchers who also happened to be homosexual activists, which argued that there was a ‘gay gene’, but these studies were later debunked. If there was any genetic basis to homosexual behaviour, the gene would die out of the population due to lack of procreation (you have to breed to pass on genes to the next generation). Homosexual activists were once keen to have homosexual behaviour declared as having a genetic basis, because it was seen as a way of legitimizing the behaviour (‘they can’t help it, they were born that way’, etc.). The early fallacious studies were reported widely and became part of the social mythology that ‘they were born that way’. However, many activists today are not so keen on the idea because if there is a ‘gay gene’, potential parents could use genetic screening to eliminate the ‘gay gene’ (ironically, many of those supporting ‘gay rights’ also support free-and-easy abortion, which makes genetic screening doable). Furthermore, many activists want to be seen as making free choices, not driven by some animal instinct. And that many have changed their sexual orientation, when they wanted to, illustrates that it is a choice, albeit affected by social circumstances unlike one’s race or sex.

If this was a behavioural adaptation due to overpopulation, then there would be a clear correlation between population density and the level of homosexual behaviour; I am not aware of any such correlation suggesting causality. Furthermore, this is a soul-destroying idea that dehumanizes homosexuals, making them into nothing more than animals driven by instinct.

Your ‘logic’ fails at a fundamental level, that’s why it became confusing. The antithesis of the premise “All things biologically inherent are moral” is not “All things biologically inherent are NOT moral” but “Not all things biologically inherent are moral”, which I demonstrated is true by a reductio ad absurdum argument.

There is no clash between sound formal logic and morality.

K.G. responded again:


Thank you for your feedback. Some more questions.

This argument

Premise 1: Behaviours that are biologically based are moral.
Premise 2: Homosexuality has a biological basis.
Conclusion: Therefore homosexual behaviour is moral.

And this counter argument?

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.

Do Kleptomania and Cannibalism have a biological basis? I was not aware that they did. If they didn’t, would that be a flaw in the counter argument?

Are there any other actual human biologically based examples that are not moral?

Also this comment, “this is a soul-destroying idea that dehumanizes homosexuals, making them into nothing more than animals driven by instinct.” I don’t think that is dehumanising.

It is no less dehumanising then saying, heterosexuals sleep with the opposite sex to populate. It is an instinct that heterosexuals follow.

Also in regards to this comment on the topic of lesbians and HIV/AIDS ‘The health consequences do seem to be far less severe (as comparing verses 26 and 27 above would suggest also), but the other marks against it are similar.” What are these marks? Since you agree with the health argument though. Does that make it a weak argument to use against homosexuals due to the fact it only applies to half of the homosexual population?

These are running arguments amongst a group of people, that I would like answers to.

Thank you again.

Don Batten responds:

The reductio ad absurdum argument does not depend on the premises being true (reducing the argument to an absurd example to show that it is unsound). It just illustrates that something having a biological basis does not establish that it is necessarily a moral thing to do by proposing a behaviour that could have a biological basis that is clearly not moral. However, some people have such a deep-seated tendency to steal that such kleptomania, for example, could well have a biological basis (at least a gene for stealing could conceivably help an individual survive to reproduce and the gene would then be passed on, unlike a putative homosexual gene).

But it is a somewhat moot point anyway because there is no convincing evidence that homosexual behaviour has a genetic basis. You wrote:

Also this comment, “this is a soul-destroying idea that dehumanizes homosexuals, making them into nothing more than animals driven by instinct.” I don’t think that is dehumanising.

It is dehumanizing because it suggests that people supposedly so affected cannot help their actions; there is something that forces them to be involved in same-sex sexual relations.

It is no less dehumanising then saying, heterosexuals sleep with the opposite sex to populate. It is an instinct that heterosexuals follow.

It is not just an instinct, like animals getting together. It is also a decision of the human will. People can decide not to marry and/or procreate; animals can’t make such a decision.

Also in regards to this comment on the topic of lesbians and HIV/AIDS “The health consequences do seem to be far less severe (as comparing verses 26 and 27 above would suggest also), but the other marks against it are similar.”

What are these marks? Since you agree with the health argument though. Does that make it a weak argument to use against homosexuals due to the fact it only applies to half of the homosexual population?

There are half as many lesbians as male homosexuals, so it does apply to ~67% of the homosexual population, so it is an argument against the majority of homosexual behaviour. Please read the article again for the ‘other marks’ against homosexual behaviour that also apply to lesbian relationships. The only argument that might not apply to lesbians strongly is the HIV argument, although there are other debilitating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are prevalent amongst lesbians. Even women identifying as lesbian who have never had sex with men (only about 7% according to one clinic serving women who have sex with women) have been found to have HPV, trichomoniasis and anogenital warts (Kathleen M. Morrow, et al., Sexual Risk in Lesbians and Bisexual Women, Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association 4(4):159–165, p. 159, 2000). The following short article from the American College of Pediatricians undoes the myth that lesbians are not vulnerable to a substantially elevated risk of STDs:

These are running arguments amongst a group of people, that I would like answers to.

Thank you again.

I hope this helps. In short, you would not want anyone you cared for to be caught up in a lesbian lifestyle.

Kind regards,

Don Batten

PS. All promiscuity is against God’s standards, not just homosexual behaviour. This includes heterosexuals sleeping around, before or after marriage (fornication/adultery). God invented sex and if everyone followed His standards regarding its proper enjoyment (that is, no sex outside of marriage), practically no-one would suffer from sexually transmitted diseases. God loves us and wants what is best for us but when we reject Him to do our own thing, things can go very wrong. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

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Readers’ comments

Dan W.
I agree with the writer when he said that we need to simply accept that God said it is wrong and so it is. There is no law given by God that is not for our own good. Even the command to worship HIM alone is for our good. Worshipping someone else eventually brings us to ruin.

If we accept that the God who created us has the right to tell us what to do, it seems to be a given that homosexual behavior, and all other forms of immorality, are wrong. He said so and that is that.

On the other hand, those that accept evolution as their philosophy of origins should also see homosexuality as wrong. In its pure form, at least, it will not perpetuate the species. It has too many ills that go with it to make it a positive force. Not only are there various medical issues, there are emotional issues as well. I have no recent statistics on it, but traditionally homosexuals had a high rate of suicide.

If we think purely in terms of hedonism, still homosexual behavior does not seem to make sense. There is too much unhappiness associated with it. This again is evidenced by the suicide rates.

God did not say "NO" to spoil our fun. He said "NO!" because he loves us. We are like disobedient children who constantly think we know more than our loving parents.

Denis W.
Adding to my own comments on homosexual relationships, I recenly became involved with a group of gays protesting outside our local MP's office, who had come out in the press declaring his intension to vote down any legislation to change the marriage act.
Having voiced my biblical views on the matter, I was hit with the usual slurs of bigot and homophobia. this prompted me to seek a dictionary definition of homophobia, but was not able to find one.
It is probably a newer word concoted to fit today language . I did however find Homo .. latin for human beings and phobia .. fear .. horror or aversion ( a turning away from ) I may well fear some human beings, but I did not fear a group of gays and have worked alongside of some and been looked after by some , as in fed. As to the aversion part , I do indeed ''turn away from ''.
On the statistic side of things, which people seem to pull out of a hat at any given time, the leader of this group who is the father of one of the gays who had to ''rethink'' his position on gays once having his son come out, told me 99% of my church would be in favour. Sadly he does not know my church, I believe he would be hard pressed to find one.
Unsubstantiated statistic seem to rule supreme in this age, and unfortunatly it would also appear if same sex marriage is ever passed, it will be by legislation and not popular vote.
Brian H.
In the argument that biological actions are moral, and homosexuality is biological, therefore moral, substitute sex with a cow/horse/sheep/wolf etc for homosexuality, and present the statement to people straight or gay. Many if not all would not agree that sex with a cow is OK. They would not agree that sex with an animal is biologically inherent. 75 years ago, the very large majority of the population would have disagreed with Katie's statement because it was generally accepted that homosexuality was wrong. Most everyone now agrees that sex with animals is wrong, so would not say, "All things biologically inherent are moral.
Sex with my cow is biologically inherent.
Therefore sex with my cow is moral. One can only make the statement "Homosexuality is biologically inherent" today, because there have been so many people lobby to have homosexuality accepted, that it is now accepted enough to be able to make the statement. 75 or 100 years ago, that statement would not have worked for most people and society in general. It would not have been accepted. So, there is no basis for the statement "Homosexuality is biologically inherent" other than public opinion. And as we know that changes. God says it is wrong - both same sex partners, and animal partners. So, it is wrong. Katie, let's not argue semantics because society is trying to disagree with God. We should agree with God. Follow his commandments, and see ho society would become better. Society needs a basis for morals, laws, actions etc. Well, right now we base our morals and actions on the leading opinion of the time. And that will change soon. Someone will come along, and suggest that we should reduce the age of statutory rape, or that sex with their daughter or son is OK, and that will slowly creep into societal thinking. Then it will be OK with a horse, then where do go. You may be reeling right now, saying I am sick or perverted. I am not sick - I have a healthy relationship with my wife, and only my wife. I just see it as a trend. A path I don't want to see followed, but I fear it may be on it's way. Sex outside of marriage is the first step, homosexuality the next. What is the next step, and how far do we go before we cannot climb back up the slippery slope.
I have have several male friends that I love. I will even hug, or put an arm around. I have several female friends that I love and hug. I love my dog, and he likes to sit on my lap. But, I do not have sex with them. Our love and relationship is kept within the limits that God set, and they all work. Katie, base your thinking on God's law, don't try to twist God into worldly thinking. It just hurts your head.
Denis W.
I'm often puzzled by statistics that say things like 75% of the population think same sex marriage is Ok, when I know personly of no one. Since my life revolves around Christians I could be biased, but it seems anyone in the entertainment or media industries deem it a must to go with the flow.
Even Christian hosts on TV say things like, "not that there's anything wrong it .. or loverly .. two people in love should have the same rights, etc", but they can not know how much such an aborant act of sodomy between two males is in fact despised by males.
It is an act that females, no matter how wrong lesbianism is, they cannot perform on each other. Is by very nature unhealthy at the least and extremly dangerous at worst, both producing STD'S and spreading them. I haven't even mentioned what God thinks of it, as you have done an excelent job of that already.
Thank you for your comprehensive responces.
Don Batten
Whether a given behaviour offends our sensibilities or not is a moot point; that can be due to social conditioning. It is what God says about it that is of paramount importance.
BTW, I am not aware of any properly conducted survey that shows that 75% are in favour of same-sex 'marriage' in Australia. Most surveys that I have seen show about 50-50 (which is bad enough).
I share your shagrin at the media's obsession with this issue, with so many 'jocks' falling over themselves to be 'cool'. Consider that homosexuals comprise less than 2% of the population and of that 2% probably less than 1% would ever want to be 'married', meaning less than 0.02% of the population, why does this issue get such airplay? And why are politicians falling over themselves to redefine marriage, the bedrock of a stable and just society? And why does almost every sitcom have a token 'gay', giving the false impression that more than 10% of the population are so inclined? I believe it is all about thumbing noses at God.
P. G.
Thank you Dr. Batten for such patience and faithfulness as demonstrated in the article. Your example is a great encouragement! Jesus is coming for us soon and has crowns of life for those faithful to the end.
Lester V.
In my view, God would never condemn (as sin) any behavior that is genetically driven/unavoidable. That would be like God declaring that everyone with brown eyes is a sinner, and is condemned to hell. Since idolatry, theft, blasphemy, sexual immorality, etc, are declared to be sins in the Bible, they cannot be genetically based, or "I couldn't help myself" behaviors.
tony B.
You quote Leviticus to justify your stance against homosexuality, but do you also obey the other rules such as not owning (or prsumably eating) cross bred animals, growing only one food crop in your garden, not wearing clothes made of mixed fibres, not cutting your hair or beard? Or do you simply select the passages which suit your prejudice?
I have a gay friend who was told about 40 years ago to quit the village in Ireland where he was living by the priest. Do you approve of this? Incidentally my friend has a sister who is lesbian and a cousin who is gay; fairly strong evidence for a familial connection I would say.
Don Batten
No, I quoted from Leviticus to reinforce the point already made from the New Testament. You also need to get your facts straight about what Leviticus states (e.g., no commandments about not cutting hair; you are confusing this with the voluntary Nazarite vow). Growing two crops mixed together (e.g. wheat and barley) would be just plain dumb, even today (how would you separate the different grains at harvest?). There was no prohibition on growing (say) beans and kale in the same garden.
Christians are under the Law of Christ, so if we love Him, we should obey His commandments (John 14:15, 21, 15:10). Murder, theft, and sexual immorality, which includes homosexual behaviour, were wrong both before, during and after the Law of Moses (Leviticus). God condemned non-Jewish nations (such as the Canaanites and Nineveh) for their immorality (according to the Noahic Law, which includes sexual immorality).
The Mosaic law included the Noahic law, but added laws regarding mixed fibres in clothing or forbidden foods. These were about the separation of the Israelites as God's chosen people through whom the messiah would come (that is, they were specifically for the Jews). Messiah has now come and the 'wall of separation' is now removed (Ephesians 2:14,15) and so those laws are no longer in effect. It's all pretty clear.
Our stand has nothing to do with prejudice; if God approved of sexual immorality, we would too.
We do not approve of persecution of people behaving in a homosexual manner. We endeavour to form our attitudes according to the example of our Lord and Saviour who hated sin but loved the sinner.
Familial connection? Proper genetic studies (e.g. of many identical twins) do not show any clear genetic basis for homosexual behaviour, so your example is either just a coincidence or possibly due partly to a similar social environment. If your friend had a sister who was a murderer and a cousin also, would you conclude that there must be a genetic cause?
Andrew H.
Quote: "Your ‘logic’ fails at a fundamental level, that’s why it became confusing. The antithesis of the premise 'All things biologically inherent are moral' is not 'All things biologically inherent are NOT moral' but 'Not all things biologically inherent are moral', which I demonstrated is true by a reductio ad absurdum argument." Unquote.
Interesting how logic can be distorted when truth is being suppressed. As you mention, heterosexuality is biologically inherent but not all of its expressions in behaviour are moral.
Melki H.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart rely not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path's straight."
God said that homosexuality is forbidden. One may not know why, but its God's design so just be a sheep. It's not like we're obeying an imperfect human being, He is God obeying Him is the smartest thing and the most free position you can take. Homosexuality might bring you to all sorts of desire that can't be fulfilled, therefore the freedom of choice (of being a homosexual) would equal to the freedom to set yourself unfree.
Christianity might have rules, but the rules are wise, they always corresponds positively to the truth. It's like restricting yourself to keep on inclining to keep on being alive.
Abandon sin and follow Jesus!
Nick D.
It would appear from Romans 1:18-20 that disbelief in God as Creator as a first step away from God, brings with it all manner of evils, principally homosexual behaviours as the consequence/punishment on society. Honour God as Creator, people, and life will be far better than the alternative; as the last 150 years since Darwin has shown. Homosexuality and lesbianism have a disregard for natural procreation and therefore a profound disrespect for life and the Life-Giver. Once there, murder is ok on every level and the Creator of Life is forcibly excluded from every area of human endeavour.
Chandrasekaran M.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
It is Jesus who created sex and He laid down rules for our benefits.

If one rejects the yoke of Jesus and chooses the yoke of same sex relationship, there are three choices for the person which are:
a) the person does not care about the opinions of heterosexuals, the majority, about the same sex relationship
b) using science and formal logical arguments the person tries to convince heterosexuals that same sex relationship is moral
c) the person imposes on heterosexuals to approve the same sex relationship

Jesus yoke is really light and pleasant compared to all other yokes that the fallen world could offer.

Jesus longs to give abundant life to every single soul who is sick and tired of all other yokes.
Errol B.
Gay marriage has been a hot topic in our city with the mantra 'small minded' aimed at conservative Christians, so here's a little story I wrote, sorry if it's too long but I hope it gets the point across.
Once upon a time there was a population of colours; they consisted of Mr Blues and Miss Yellows. The Mr Blues liked to mix with the Miss Yellows and the Miss Yellows liked to mix with the Mr Blues, this was a ceremonial act that had the ability to create something new. The ruler of Colour Land recognised this union of Blues and Yellows as ‘Greening’. As time passed, the population grew and some Mr Blues became ‘different’ and decided they only liked to mix with other Mr Blues while some ‘different’ Miss Yellows only liked to mix with other Miss Yellows. This never created anything new but that didn’t matter to most, they were happy mixing with colours that were the same colour as themselves and just appreciated being accepted. Some ‘straight’ colours disapproved of these ‘different’ colours because they believed in a mythical humanoid artist and his booklet full of guiding advice, but the rest of the colours were intellectuals and they were much too clever to believe in the existence of mythical humans. This obviously non-existent artist was rumoured to have said that mixing with colours the same as yourselves won’t get you anywhere. Regardless, they continued mixing with colours that were the same as themselves and almost everyone knows that such behaviour cannot make Green, but some of these ‘different’ Blues and Yellows desperately wanted to make Green, but no matter how hard they tried, they just couldn’t make green so they lobbied the ruler of Colour Land to legislate that Yellow mixed with Yellow be called Green and Blue mixed with Blue be called Green, this made perfect sense and almost everyone wondered why no one had thought of it before. Anyone who disagreed with this brilliant concept was labelled ‘small minded’ and ‘old fashioned’. This wonderful new legislation made all the difference and all the different Blues and Yellows no longer felt like they were missing out, and everyone lived happily ever after, except for those silly colours that refused to accept that Blue mixed with Blue, or Yellow mixed with Yellow made green, they were rightly ridiculed for their silly mythological beliefs. The wise ruler of Colour Land was very proud.
Just like the ruler of Colour Land, the government can legislate that ‘chimps be given legal human rights’ or ‘a VW be allowed to be called a Ferrari’ but does that make it true? Just how powerful are governments?

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