perceptions are everything...

Posted by: keymaker

perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 07:57 AM

... so there's no biological basis for homosexuality - a boy who ends up with same sex attractions does so because he doesn't have a father he can connect with or he doesn't have a father that he perceives as safe and welcoming.

km
Posted by: KateSorensen

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 08:51 AM


Well, another one of these threads! Egads!

Not sure if that is your perception or if you are just dangling bait. smile I'll offer my perception of your perception --

Balderdash! smile

I'm outta here . . .
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:06 AM

Now you're just trolling ...
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:09 AM

Posted by: MacBozo

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:10 AM

And where did this pearl of ignorance come from?

Recent experience here supports the fact that the boy who cries "wolf" is actually a "wolf."
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:38 AM

Sigh... since there's ample evidence of homosexuality among many species of mammal, the whole 'it must be to do with parenting' thing is just silly. Unless you subscribe to the fanciful theory that people are somehow exempt from being animals. Nature-nuture blah blah blah blah I'm sorry I should really just delete this and go and do something else, but it's snowing outside and my soup's not ready yet.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:41 AM

Oh, and research also points to poor parenting affecting people's sexuality, not their sexual orientation. (The distinction I'm making is between sexual orientation: who you fancy - and sexuality: how you feel about it.) there are plenty of gay men who were abused by their mothers, and plenty of lesbian women who were abused by their fathers.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:42 AM

Quote:
Now you're just trolling

Trolling? No - inviting constructive discussion on the statement instead of personal attacks.

km
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:45 AM

Originally Posted By: keymaker
Trolling? No - inviting constructive discussion on the statement instead of personal attacks.

km

Whose statement are you quoting, just so we know where we are here? Is it a statement of your opinion, or what is it if not?
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:52 AM

And plenty of gay and lesbian folks who were raised in loving, two-parent, heterosexual families. And I know this as someone who has gay cousins and life-long friends with whom I grew up, and all of whom had families that were completely ó and even this word has become a slippery slope in here ó normal!
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:58 AM

...and plenty of heterosexuals who were raised in hair-raisingly appalling absent parent situations too. It's people's emotional relationships with other people that are affected by their early experience, not their sexual orientation.

The opening statement as sieve: discuss...
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:00 AM

Trolling, indeed. What a joke, KM. Next, no doubt you'll trot out some argument out of phrenology to support more cockeyed theories.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:15 AM

For some reason, that reminds me of Groucho Marx pointing to a well-bejewelled woman in a restaurant and saying "The last time they counted her rings, she was the oldest living thing in California."

??

Oh, counting rings, reading bumps, something...
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:35 AM

Quote:
no doubt you'll trot out some argument out of phrenology...

Phrenology? It's all just common sense as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
...more cockeyed theories.

Cockeyed theories? The only thing cockeyed is you lot trying to make out that familial aberrations are normality.

km
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:40 AM

Quote:
Whose statement are you quoting...

Okay I was about to answer MacBozo on that point so this is for you both.

km
Posted by: MikeSellers

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:41 AM

Do you believe that one chooses to be homosexual?
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:45 AM

Quote:
Do you believe that one chooses to be homosexual?

Well.. we do choose our behaviours, but we do not choose our attractions or our desires...

km
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 10:58 AM

Oh, okay, so it's just something someone thinks. That's a lot clearer, thanks for the link.
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 11:00 AM

I submit that your neurotic obsession with and intolerance of homosexuality is itself an aberration.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 11:06 AM

Quote:
I submit that your neurotic obsession with and intolerance of homosexuality is itself an aberration.

Overruled. First of all I'm not neurotically obsessed with homosexuality and, secondly, I'm not intolerant of it.

km
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 11:08 AM

Quote:
just something someone thinks.

Yeah, if you like... she doesn't know what she's talking about, right?

km
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 11:26 AM

I've got a bigger question: WHO CARES why some people are gay?

If your car continually stalls in the freeway passing lane, you might care why because it's a problem. More important, it's something that might harm or even kill others. So you probably want to fix it.

If your daughter likes to shoot at the cat with a nail gun, you might want to know why because it's harmful. So you probably want to understand that behavior in order to change it.

If your brother is gay, is he harming anyone? Is his attraction to other men directly causing fatalities? Is something broken? Or is it simply his lifestyle?

I suppose we know why redheads tend to have lots of freckles. But suppose we didn't. WHO CARES????? Unless, that is, you are intolerant or somehow fearful of redheads.
Posted by: MikeSellers

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 11:41 AM

Originally Posted By: keymaker
. . . this is for you both.


I'm so glad she knows what homosexuals need vs. what they want.
Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:04 PM

I'll put it to you this way

I lost my farther when I was 2 years old - I am not gay

My daughter lost her mother when she was 1 year old - She is not gay
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:18 PM

Quote:
I lost my farther when I was 2 years old - I am not gay. My daughter lost her mother when she was 1 year old - She is not gay

Dr Harren allowed for those possibilities, of course.

km

Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:24 PM

If Dr Harren allowed for those possibilities then his theory is flawed

The DNA theory that gays are missing a certain gene makes more sense because that also would explain why I am not gay better then your Dr Harren making an allowance in his
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:37 PM

"Overruled?" LOL!

You sir, are a quackasaurus.

You know, my fine filigreed hair-splitting friend, the first step to getting help is to stop denying your neurosis.
Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:41 PM

You responding to me ? or did you hit quick reply
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:43 PM

Quote:
the first step to getting help is to stop denying your neurosis.

I wouldn't say he's neurotic - that's a little unfair.

km
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 12:55 PM

Except that "Dr." Harren is a she. blush


Unless... shocked
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:11 PM

Originally Posted By: keymaker
Quote:
just something someone thinks.

Yeah, if you like... she doesn't know what she's talking about, right?

km

Well, like so many others (including me sometimes) she's just sifting available theories and data to fit her pet theory/agenda. No big deal. It's just her opinion - sure, she knows what she's talking about. And loads of other experts know what they're talking about. And they all disagree with each other. And a load of them disagree with her. And on we go...

Steve says Who Cares? but for myself, I'm certainly curious about the manifold causes of my sexual orientation. Knowing isn't necessary, though. I'm a lot more curious as to why some sections of the society I live in still go to such lengths to ensure that I will feel bad about my sexual orientation. Now that's fascinating.

And I'm curious about why our particular culture has such an obsession with using sexual orientation as one of the prime markers of identity. As though sex is a more important part of anyone than anything else whatsoever, and so who you are is somehow defined by who you fancy? That's just so arbitrary.
Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:14 PM

Transvestite ?
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:21 PM

Quote:
Steve says Who Cares?
I'm hoping you understand in what context I say that. I'm assuming you do because this:
Quote:
And I'm curious about why our particular culture has such an obsession with using sexual orientation as one of the prime markers of identity.
is what I'm talking about.
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:25 PM

Carp, I was referring to the quivering quackasaurus from olde Blighty, not you. Apollyloggies, my friend. The Keybie got me going with his magisterial role-playing, you see. I think he keeps a gavel by his keyboard... and heaven knows what else.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:39 PM

Sure, Steve smile - I was just thinking that in the context of society's obsession with anything that's not heterosexuality being 'abnormal', there's a lot riding in people's minds on whether it's an 'oh well you were just born that way' abnormal (biological) or an 'it was due to how you were brought up' abnormal (nurture) or an 'it's all your fault you bad person' abnormal ('choice' - and of course that's no longer 'abnormal', since that word just means you're not like the general majority - it has become 'evil' instead).

And of course this matters to people who are not heterosexual, for the same reasons - we were brought up in the same society, and so we (and especially the theistically inclined) want to know if we're 'bad' or not too. what a waste of time and energy. But it's part of the deal - since we're all conditioned by what goes on around us, we non-heterosexuals and our attitudes and behaviour are to some extent a consequence of the homophobia we grow up in. People told to think they're dirt tend not to act in their own best interests all the time, and then the homophobes use that self-destructive behaviour as another stick to beat us with.

So it shouldn't matter, but because it matters to homophobes, it necessarily matters to us too. Grok? smile
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:43 PM

Well said, Padmavyuha.
Posted by: mojo_jojo

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 01:55 PM

I asked my lesbian sister why she is gay? In an nutshell she told me that it was more about love than anything else. I can't figure it out either. But I can accept her answer as honest. Live and let live. Really, the bottom line is who really cares who you love other than those involved.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 02:03 PM

It's quite a coincidence that you post this today. Just a few days ago, after trawling through quite a few searches, I found my best friend from 3rd to 7th grade on the net. I contacted him and we almost immediately started an exchange talking about old times and new. Just yesterday, one of the things I mentioned was what a great father I always thought he had; building he and his brother atree house, seeing to their needs, seeming very supportive and thoughtful. That same day, my friend replied that his Dad (and Mom for that matter) were all that they seemed and he couldn't have asked for greater parents. In the the next paragraph, in a topic shift, he admitted that he was gay. And in the next paragraph, he told me that his 3 year younger brother and only sibling was also gay. My friend (more so than his brother) wasn't that big of a surprise for me, because he had mannerisms and a way of speaking that I would later recognize as more prevalent in the gay community than outside of it (trying to sound as diplomatic as possible - and risking opening up another can of worms).

So, you're "talking point" (which I honestly don't even think that you believe, because you sound like an observant person) is not something I had really ever considered, but my friend's case (and other less direct examples) seem to me to completely discount this theory.
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 02:16 PM

Yassah. I's a-grokkin'! smile
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 02:16 PM

"And I'm curious about why our particular culture has such an obsession with using sexual orientation as one of the prime markers of identity."

This sounds like a line that plays right into km's argument against gay pride parades. With the possible counter argument that gay pride parades wouldn't be necessary if there were less obsession with this particular difference between people.

However, having said that, I still do think almost everyone does see sexual orientation as one of the prime markers of identity. And as long as people are accepted as equal regardless of their sexual identity, it's not a problem. I mean what other prime markers of identity are there that are any more "prime" than one's sexual orientation? Parent? maybe. Gender? maybe.

Anyway, I do realize, padma, that you claried your statement later in a reply to Steve, but your original post got me thinking.
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 02:54 PM




xxxxxxxxxxx




Posted by: newkojak

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 02:58 PM

You're a bigot. Deal with it.
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 03:02 PM



Quote:
. . . 'oh well you were just born that way' abnormal (biological) . . .



Change "abnormal" to "normal" and the above snip sums up gay/lesbian for me.

I never cease to be amazed by the obsession to overanalyze the obvious. Not on your part, pad, and I'm late to this conversation. And my normally acute ear for alliteration is a little off, too, but road trips leave me a little lackin' when I finally drag my sweet MacBabeness back home.





Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 03:13 PM

My original post was intended as a counter to Km's post which said "a boy who ends up with same sex attractions does so because he doesn't have a father he can connect with or he doesn't have a father that he perceives as safe and welcoming."

So I was trying to make the point that many gay men and women grew up with an absent/abusive opposite-sex parent rather than same-sex parent. This being the opposite set of conditions to those posited in the doctor's statement, that part of her theory is effectively disproved.

It is certainly the case that an absent/abusive parent will likely result in their child growing up less sure of his/her positive identity as a man/woman, but this is off to one side of sexual orientation.

Anyway... as far as pride parades go, it's not the obsession with sexual orientation that provokes the need for them, it's the obsession with thinking homosexuality is 'wrong' that provokes a need to feel like it isn't wrong, at least for one day a year.

Other prime markers of identity that are knocking around - gender, yes - and what about race, religion, class, politics, wealth, skill, talent, status, age, attractiveness, wisdom... I'm just pointing out that there are other cultures in the world that don't consider someone's sexual orientation to be their defining characteristic. Holland, for example - it's just never been the big deal over there that it is in the UK/USA, and they find it a little weird that we're so obsessed with it.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 03:20 PM

Lea, I agree - hence the quote marks first time round. non-heterosexuality is only 'abnormal' in the statistical sense, if you consider 'the norm' to be heterosexuality because more than 50% of people apparently are so.

Personally, since there has been a certain percentage of human beings (and other animals) throughout recorded history that are not heterosexual, I would call it normal and leave it at that, but we're not allowed to get away with that, because some feckin' book or other tells the devout 'tis not so.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 03:25 PM

Well, stripped down to it's barest essentials, disregarding any negative or positive feelings some people might have about it, I still think of sexual orientation as a prime identity builder. When I find out someone is gay, it is an interesting characteristic that sets them apart from others. But I don't mean this in any negative sense; I love people and I love the things that make us different. I also like it when I notice someone is left-handed for the first time as well. When I saw Obama signing his first acts with his left-hand (having not know he was gi-cho (a lefty), I smiled to notice this little deviance from the "norm".

Anyway, I do see all the points you are referring to, but I still think even in a completely unprejudiced society (an impossibility probably) sexual orientation would still be an important part of one's identity. But I could be wrong.
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 03:50 PM



If Vegas is taking bets, I my money is solid on: When the biological part of this argument is settled (and it eventually will be), we're all born bi, with predispositions ~ even tempered or hot headed, digital or analog, gay or straight. (I leave out PC or Mac, to spare a Mod the "move or not to move" conundrum .)




Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 04:05 PM

Not disagreeing here at all - of course sexual orientation is an important part of one's identity, along with all the other ones - I'm just saying it's not 'the most important'. Probably in the same way that someone in a predominantly white society wishes that people would notice something about them other than 'oh, you're black'.

I'm interested in other people's sexual orientation too, for various reasons - curiosity, caution, attraction! It's useful information in different ways. But it really doesn't tell you as much about who someone is as we've been conditioned to believe.
Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 04:57 PM

Quote:
sexual orientation would still be an important part of one's identity.


Yes most certainly
Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 05:11 PM

Quote:
But it really doesn't tell you as much about who someone is as we've been conditioned to believe.


Pre-conceptions , are hard to get away from at times . Here I was blessed and even Obama made mention that we have a huge diversity of races of different nationalities , even gays , lesbians , travistites yada yada are all living on one tiny island .

Hence I raised my daughter to view a person on their attitude , never on their color or sexual orientation <-- who cares , I don't

But your are right that a predominantly white society would not have the experience that people of a different color are really just people - Same goes with a all Black predominantly society or Asain or whatever
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 07:04 PM

Yep, yep (to carp and padma). As I have probably said before, I am a white guy in a very predominantly "yellow" society. I am seen as a white guy before anything else. It "colors" everything I do here. Ironically, there is a Japanese proverb that says, "10 people, 10 colors" but it is never applied to non-Japanese, who are too often seen as "all alike". I however, know that I catch myself harboring many prejudices and preconceptions about Japanese people (the majority) that I have to constantly remind myself are often untrue in individual cases. For the first time, I began to wonder if they are prejudices/preconceptions that gay people hold of straight people (?) I have never noticed any such "reverse" preconceptions among my gay friends, but the question intrigues me..
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 08:09 PM

I think it goes both ways, Ianovami. Prejudice is an equal-opportunity thing. I think gays hold some equally funny, lazily sterotypical and outright erroneous ideas about "breeders."

In short, I think this kind of thing is definitely 'cross platform.'
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:05 PM

Quote:
This sounds like a line that plays right into km's argument against gay pride parades. With the possible counter argument that gay pride parades wouldn't be necessary if there were less obsession with this particular difference between people.

I don't think I ever argued against gay pride parades so much as invited explanations for them. What you describe as the counter argument was in fact my argument that since a person's sexuality is an irrelevance the only obsession on parade is that of those attending them.

km
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:13 PM

The point (or at least my point) is that the obsession is on both sides for mutually influencing reasons, resulting in parades of pride etc. Anyway this has been covered.

And having already discounted (for myself at least) any theories of upbringing leading to homosexuality, I am more interested now in what are perceived preconceptions of (some) gay people in regards to straight people (beyond assuming "straights" or "breeders" as VB said are prejudiced against them.)
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:16 PM

Quote:
we're all born bi, with predispositions... gay or straight

Dr Harren effectively ruled that out when she said "the research does not show that at all".

km
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:22 PM

Quote:
You're a bigot.

Bigoted about what?

Quote:
Deal with it.

Deal with what?

km
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:25 PM

Dr. Harren effectively ruled it out for you, you mean. Thankfully the doc is but one of millions in the world and her "findings" may safely be taken with a grain of salt.

But go ahead - bang that gavel, dewd! Sounds like a Marc Bolan tune.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/06/09 09:26 PM

Whose? I have seen a lot of research that has said the opposite. And have you lived, have you met people, from childhood, who obviously were skewed one way or the other from since you knew them? Have you lived?

I still remember going to the pool every summer when I was kid, and even though I knew men and women were supposed to have this "attraction" to each other's bodies, not feeling anything of the sort. Then, one summer I went to the pool and there were all these women's bodies in swimsuits that did "something" for me that had not been there the summer before, and even then, at that age, I knew that some biological switch inside my brain had switched. Some kind lack of parenting could have led that switch one way or the other? I don't buy it.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 12:21 AM

I've always played for both teams (as my half-sister puts it). When it comes down to it, I don't 'fancy men and women', I fancy particular individuals, and they happen to be available in two styles (or a blend these days). It's been interesting for me joining a LGBT choir recently - I was curious to see how the attraction thing might rear its head. So far, I'm aware of 2 men and 3 women that I find attractive, out of around 45. Only the conductor is attractive enough to me to be distracting, and that just means my timing is impeccable!

As to prejudice/preconceptions, it's not a two-way thing, it's an every-way thing - everyone does it. In a positive sense, it's part of our survival mechanism to assess newcomers and new situations for potential threat. But it's also something to be aware of in yourself and to step beyond. Back in the late 80's and 90's when I was first 'coming out', I experienced a lot of prejudice towards bisexuals, and more so from the gay end of the spectrum than from the straight. It seems that part of having a strong sense of group identity is maintaining a strong sense of who is in the outside-group, and a lot of gay folk certainly used to find bisexuality threatening. I got told all the time I was 'sitting on the fence' and should face up to the fact I was really <insert gender/agenda HERE>.

Oh: and I, my brother, and my half-sister are all bisexual. What we have in common is our father's genes, and our father's behaviour. Take your pick.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 12:58 AM

You know in the Batman incarnation written by Frank Miller (the guy who also wrote Sin City and 300) written in the mid-80s (and called Dark Knight now that I think of it) Batman's sidekick Robin was a girl. smile.

But seriously, I appreciate your candidness. I certainly asked the right person when I wondered aloud about "reverse" prejudices.

From years ago, I had always had a pet theory about bisexuality. I have lots of pet theories, not just about sexuality, I assure you. But, anyway, this pet theory came from friends and celebrities I had observed who thought themselves to be bisexual, and certainly lived a bisexual "identity" but then eventually, at some point, went to one sex or the other exclusively. In my mind, they may have been open-minded about both sexes, but deep down inside they were truly attracted to either one or the other. The most obvious example I can think of is Elton John who was bisexual for years, but now claims, "I'm not anymore". This is of course a theory I clung to with no particular vehemence, and recently I have heard or met a number of people (yourself now included) that have shattered this theory. As you said, people, as individuals don't really fit so neatly into categories.

Well, it might be a while before we see if this thread goes anywhere else, "who's online" tells me it's just me and the Brits online right now..
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 01:59 AM

My pet theory is that sexual orientation wanders anyway. Since as people, we tend to think in terms of fixed identity for ourselves, others and, well pretty much everything else, we've got this stupid notion that if someone 'is this' one decade, and 'is that' the next decade, then it means that one or other of those identities is false. I don't believe that. I think people just change all the time - they either change in a 'becoming different' way, or they change by 'digging a deeper rut' in their current way (but that's still change).

I spent several years being only attracted to men. then I went to see an Almodovar film and got really turned on by the woman in the film, and had to reassess myself a little, and it was fine.

As I've probably said here before, I think the classifications are stupid: heterosexual - bisexual - homosexual, that's like having a colour spectrum that's just purple, green, and red; and it's just an oversimplification so people 'know what they are'. I prefer to think of myself as just sexual, since at different times and with different people, I'm much more interested in either men or women. It's bad enough dealing with homophobia within and without - I'm not going to give myself a hard time for being inconsistent too smile.

Of course, some people do get into denial of their sexual orientation and go against their nature for a while. I've known this go both ways. On the one hand, men and women who are married for years because they can't deal with being gay. On the other, a friend of mine who, in his late teens, tried to be gay for a while basically because all his best mates were gay and he wanted to fit in. I told him to drop the labels and just fancy who he fancied, people would still love him - six months later, he was living with his girlfriend smile.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 02:03 AM

"I'm not going to give myself a hard time for being inconsistent too smile."

Funny, my inconsistency in general makes me judge myself to no end, but consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds (or something like that).

And cue my sig:
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 02:12 AM

Hmm... I know what you mean, I think, but this is where words and their meanings get skittish. There's being consistent, then there's being predictable. There's being inconsistent, and then there's being spontaneous. I think the best way to try to live is in a state of what I'd call dynamic continuity - some continuity is necessary to keep things sane, but never just for its own sake.

And sometimes it's great to just jump the tracks.

Hobgoblin is a lovely word smile.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 02:15 AM

"some continuity is necessary to keep things sane, but never just for its own sake."

Words to live by.

Hmmm...I've seen the other side of the tracks. And it is us.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 02:18 AM

My words to live by (given to me by a friend years ago):

How you see yourself is just a habit, not a definition - it's all up for grabs.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 02:58 AM

Quote:
There's being consistent, then there's being predictable. There's being inconsistent, and then there's being spontaneous.

I see... so there's language, and there's speech.... there's chess, and there's a game of chess?

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFD01r6ersw[/video]

Mark the difference for me, mark it please... smile

km
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 03:12 AM

Hey, isn't that the guy from House? and...his butler! smile blush
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 04:22 AM

Language->speech - chess->game of chess - could be seen as related, could be not. Both those examples are about subsets. Mine were intended to be about subtleties of meaning within spoken/written language. But speech/language is an interesting one, in that lots of communication (and subtleties thereof) go on in speech that are nothing to do with the words - body language, pitch/tone etc.

A lot of it depends on your associations with the words - one man's consistent is another man's predictable and so on. Communication is an act of translation: from my mind to my voice/writing/whatever, to your eye/ear, to your mind. The art of good communication whether intrapersonal or interpersonal is in the art of good translation. How can I be reasonably sure that the concept you end up with in your mind is a close as possible to the one I start with in my mind?

I was in a meditation class once, and a woman talked about becoming 'spaced out' in meditation. the teacher started going on about alienation from one's experience, but the woman looked more and more puzzled. So I asked her what she meant by 'spaced out' and she said "You know, spaced... out..." moving her hands apart as she said so. He thought she meant 'stoned/absent', but she just meant 'more spacious'. So it's best to check out assumptions.

For example again, your association with the phrase 'gay pride' would be different depending on whether or not you had been forced to start from a position of 'gay shame'.
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 04:43 AM

Yes many people are not aware that Hugh Laurie was once English wink.
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 07:12 AM


OK, so I intentionally left out ~ rational and logical or blindly determined to believe anything than reinforces one's own bizarro prejudices.




Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 07:46 AM

Ever wonder if we're really just lab rats in some kind of twisted Psych 101 class project?

Is he trolling? Does he get a stiffy over seeing that little flame icon next to the antagonistic threads he starts? Some defenders say he just likes to make people think. But when he posts that same rationale himself, it tends to dilute the credibility of the remark.

Yup. "bizarro" is a pretty good bucket to put it in.
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 08:12 AM


"Ever wonder if we're really just lab rats in some kind of twisted Psych 101 class project? "

Suddenly, the whole world makes more sense.




Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 08:24 AM

So you've been reading structuralist linguistics, KM. Congratulations. There is indeed a difference between language, in the sense of the capacity for language (langage, as de Saussure terms it), and a specific language (langue in de Saussure's terminology), and then again a third category, the particular way in which an individual deploys langue, which de Saussure terms parole, and is usually Englished as utterance. And, I assume, you've also been reading either Thomas Middleton or T. S. Eliot, both of whom make "A Game at Chess" a very different experience from "chess."
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 08:43 AM

No charge. smile
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 08:44 AM

Quote:
So you've been reading structuralist linguistics...

Well, not really... just recalling a funny sketch by messrs Fry and Laurie.

km
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 09:09 AM

A good sketch - the body language was even better than the words smile.
Posted by: KateSorensen

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 12:28 PM


Sometimes I read these discussions. Sometimes I don't. I guess reading them makes me feel really lucky in a way:

When I was born and then when I was aware of life around me and able to make a decision, I made a really important one. I chose NOT to be gay. I was a real wuss and figured it would be the easier route to take. smile

I really have a lot of respect for those who chose the gay route. They've sometimes had some very difficult times in their lives, just with day to day living, . . .

wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 12:53 PM


L laugh L, Kate! Well said nailed!




Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 01:12 PM

I hear ya Kate. I chose to be short. And I really admire those that chose to be tall. Because when it rains, they get wet first! grin
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 01:14 PM

Hehhehheh ... you said "get"
Posted by: MikeSellers

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 01:55 PM

Originally Posted By: KateSorensen
I really have a lot of respect for those who chose the gay route. They've sometimes had some very difficult times in their lives, just with day to day living, . . .


But the parades more than make up for it. laugh
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 02:01 PM

Quote:
I really have a lot of respect for those who chose the gay route. They've sometimes had some very difficult times in their lives, just with day to day living, . . .

Good one! wink

km
Posted by: KateSorensen

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 07:38 PM


This had me rollin' in the isle! smile

Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/07/09 11:40 PM

Quote:
there's ample evidence of homosexuality among many species of mammal...

Examples don't all fall into the same category - which ones do you have in mind?

Quote:
'it must be to do with parenting' thing is just silly.

Too dismissive... the influence of parenting on a person's behaviour is well established.

Quote:
Unless you subscribe to the fanciful theory that people are somehow exempt from being animals.

Too simplistic - there are similarities and differences between species. Whereas animal behaviour is always natural in the sense that it's essentially instinctive human behaviour may be natural or unnatural because it is and should be influenced by morality.

km
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/09/09 05:13 AM

Great! Some constructive discussion ensues. Iím sorry i couldnít reply yesterday, my 4-hour trek through the snow for vegetables left me too knackered to get into it.

Originally Posted By: keymaker
Quote:
there's ample evidence of homosexuality among many species of mammal...
Examples don't all fall into the same category - which ones do you have in mind?
We'll get to that later...

Quote:
Quote:
'it must be to do with parenting' thing is just silly.
Too dismissive... the influence of parenting on a person's behaviour is well established.
Obviously, I was dismissing that as the sole explanation for homosexuality.

Quote:
Quote:
Unless you subscribe to the fanciful theory that people are somehow exempt from being animals.
Too simplistic - there are similarities and differences between species. Whereas animal behaviour is always natural in the sense that it's essentially instinctive human behaviour may be natural or unnatural because it is and should be influenced by morality.


Iím very interested that you brought up the subject of morality here, because it seems to be at the core of this and many other discussions on the subject of homosexuality in this forum. The problem as I see it is that morality is to a great extent a matter of convention which varies from society to society, from subculture to subculture, from religion to religion, from person to person.

Many people have been brought up to believe that the world was created by a god who has incontrovertible things to say about something this god calls Ďgoodí and Ďevilí. And many of those not explicitly brought up to believe in this have been brought up in societies whose laws were composed by people who did and do believe in those things. Largely, what is considered moral/immoral is a function of what is considered moral/immoral according to these religious beliefs.

Now: for someone who holds to this particular convention of morality:

a) it is considered immoral to act on homosexual desire, and also
b) it is considered immoral not to make the statement (a)

There are many other standards of morality available to us in this world. The one to which I adhere, for example, holds it to be:

a) immoral to do harm to living beings
b) moral to contribute to the happiness of living beings

Within this ethical framework, in a discussion of morality, homosexuality per se is completely irrelevant. One might consider the morality of sex in general, in the context of whether one is doing harm - causing physical or emotional suffering, exploiting another for oneís own gain, being dishonest in order to get what one wants, the general selfishness that sexual desire tends to stimulate, and just the fact that sex tends to stimulate craving, which causes suffering for the craver (who longs for what they donít have, and fears to lose what they do have). The genders of the people engaging in sex have no moral relevance here at all.

I would not be so bold as to assume that you hold to the view that sexual orientation is in any way a moral issue, though the fact that you brought up morality in a discussion of humans and homosexuality implies to me that you do hold this view.

If that were the case, I could see why it is difficult for us to make sense of each otherís views. Our respective morality apps would be installed under different Belief Systems (BS), and the cross-platform compatibility is quite poor. We could exchange files, but thereís no guarantee of each otherís files being rendered faithfully in the otherís BS, even using the same fonts (my version of BT Baptismal, for example, does not have the same high ascenders).

It is as impossible for me to imagine seeing homosexual activity as having inherently moral consequences as it is for somone with the other BS to imagine this not being so.

Which brings me to the humans/animals issue. Both humans and other animals engage to some extent in homosexual activity. To consider there to be a moral difference between humans and other animals with regard to homosexual activity requires a belief in a moral significance to homosexual activity per se as compared to heterosexual activity.

Given that animals do not have parent issues in the same way that humans do, it makes no sense to cite parent issues as 'the cause' of homosexuality - unless one believes in a moral significance to homosexual activity, in which case one would also necessarily be unable to consider objectively any purely biological cause that might be posited.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/10/09 08:23 AM

Quote:
I would not be so bold as to assume that you hold to the view that sexual orientation is in any way a moral issue, though the fact that you brought up morality in a discussion of humans and homosexuality implies to me that you do hold this view.

Well, no, I referenced morality only as a point of difference between man and other species so as to question the reliance you placed upon similarities of behaviour. I completely agree with your suggestion that the moral acceptability of an activity should be defined with reference to harm - either to others or to oneself so that cannibalism for example could be deemed to be acceptable in animals but unacceptable in man. The question whether homosexuality can be harmful in some way that heterosexuality is not I would say is unresolved. What I thought was interesting about what Dr Hanner had to say however was that her explanation removed any question of blame in that the primary influences take place in infancy in a manner over which the individual has not control.

km
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 08:51 AM

Originally Posted By: keymaker
The question whether homosexuality can be harmful in some way that heterosexuality is not I would say is unresolved.

It has left me pretty sad, reading that.

Quote:
What I thought was interesting about what Dr Hanner had to say however was that her explanation removed any question of blame in that the primary influences take place in infancy in a manner over which the individual has not control

...and that leaves me with a feeling of sad bafflement - "Hey, it's alright, you're off the hook! There's this woman on the internet who reckons you're not to blame for being left-handed/over 6 foot tall..."

Really, really Over and Out.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted By: keymaker
The question whether homosexuality can be harmful in some way that heterosexuality is not I would say is unresolved.

It has left me pretty sad, reading that.

Sad? The existence or otherwise of harm is only a factual question.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: keymaker
What I thought was interesting about what Dr Hanner had to say however was that her explanation removed any question of blame in that the primary influences take place in infancy in a manner over which the individual has not control

...and that leaves me with a feeling of sad bafflement - "Hey, it's alright, you're off the hook! There's this woman on the internet who reckons you're not to blame for being left-handed/over 6 foot tall..."

Hook? There isn't a hook... it's more like "there's this Doctor of Psychology who works as a therapist for persons seeking help."

km
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:40 AM

Factual. OK.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:43 AM

Quote:
Factual. OK.

What else?

km
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:45 AM

If you have to ask, I have to pass.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:47 AM

Quote:
If you have to ask, I have to pass.

Well. if you have to pass you concede the point.

km
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:52 AM

Bzzzt! Wrong answer.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:55 AM

Quote:
Wrong answer.

Noope - right answer.

km
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 10:07 AM

Once I ha a conversation with a young man suffering from Downs Syndrome. I passed with him as well. No concession beyond to the fact that argument would produce a lot of heat and smoke but no light.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 10:15 AM

Quote:
... a lot of heat and smoke but no light.

yeah, quite a few of us have noticed. whistle

km
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 11:11 AM

What are you passing? Do I need to open a window or light a match? sick
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 11:17 AM

Quote:
yeah, quite a few of us have noticed
...that if you were Chinese food, you'd be dimmer sum.

Oy, somebody hit the switch, please. crazy
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 11:23 AM

Quote:
What are you passing?

Why the existence of harm is other than a fact.

Quote:
Do I need to open a window or light a match?

Someone does... why not start off with why President Obama is homophobic?

km

Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 12:19 PM

Ah, 'scuzeme there, Mr. Smoke & Heat, but I was responding to yoyo and making a funny, and not really very interested in what he was responding to (I believe that would be you). But if you want to flog old news that you still think scored a point in your column, have at it.

Ah, the cadence of one hand clapping...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 12:48 PM

"Someone does... why not start off with why President Obama is homophobic?"

If you mean, why does Obama support your definition of marriage legally (and possibly linguistically), I think the answer is one that can't be answered definitively now. For now, he is trying to be more centrist to include people in the US (and there are a lot of them) who favor not including gays among the truly married. If there were no such people to keep happy, I don't think it is a given that Obama would support keeping gays from getting married. Politicians supporting views and legislation they are not in agreement with personally is far from rare.

I would make the same possible argument for you, km, considering your profession. But your being so stuck on this topic leads me to doubt it.

So, you oppose the use of the term marriage for gays. Do you then, oppose gays having "civil unions" not entitled "marriage" that come with all the rights and privileges of heterosexual marriages? If this question has been asked (and answered) in detail before, I apologize. And I would prefer a "straight" answer, but it is your fingers doing the typing.
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:05 PM


Dimmer sum?!?

I am sooo stealin' that one. laugh laugh laugh




Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:09 PM

I've lost count of how many times I've also asked for that same "straight" answer. I've also stopped asking. km would insist that means I concede the point. I would insist I'm just conserving energy.
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:11 PM

You are such a ganef! grin
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:28 PM


And a potzevateh, too ~ I had to look it up. laugh




Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:30 PM

Quote:
I've lost count of how many times I've also asked for that same "straight" answer.

yeah, and I've lost count of how many times I've provided it...

km
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:31 PM

Quote:
Obama... is... trying to be more centrist... to include people in the US... who favor not including gays among the truly married.

Okay, that seems to be a fair position.

Quote:
I would make the same possible argument for you, km, considering your profession. But your being so stuck on this topic leads me to doubt it.

Personally i have an open mind... but that necessarily involves asking questions rather than simply adopting a pedantic position.

As for being 'stuck' on the topic, I did actually attempt to close it down with my suggestion that the question of 'harm' was 'unresolved' which I thought was quite a generous compromise considering Dr Hanner is a therapist... but the thread was revived by padmavyuha.

Quote:
Do you then, oppose gays having "civil unions"

Why would I? The right to civil partnerships has been passed into law after much deliberation not only in England but also in France and Germany and I'm on record as supporting it precisely because it confers the kind of equal rights you mention.

km
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:34 PM

True dat. Hard to count that which isn't.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 01:45 PM

Quote:
Hard to count that which isn't.

Okay, everyone knows you're wrong but to save time cast your eyes up just one post to my answer to lanovami and record that as example #1.

km
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 02:07 PM

Saw it already, speedy. Not sure about casting my eyes up as much as rolling them. And as far as everyone "knowing" I'm wrong, well, some indeed probably do think I am. That's baseball for ya. But everyone? Maybe everyone on the jury in another of the myriad Cases In Your Head.
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 03:25 PM

Keymaker, casting aspersions yet again. For shame. You can't presume to speak for the entire forum, my fine waistcoated heffalump of a friend. You can only speak for yourself. What you might think of Steve should not be confused in your persnicketizin' noggin with what others in here might think. Come now!
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 03:46 PM


OK. Everybody who thinks KM is totally wrong on this one, raise your hand ~


xxxxxxxxxxxxx


The picture is still worth a thousand words.





Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 04:09 PM

Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 04:12 PM

Hey, now I cold use a couple of those aspersions. I've got me a wicked headache! shocked
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 06:48 PM

Well, I feel that was a pretty straight answer, km. And you have gone on record in my book supporting equal rights for gay marriages, even if you quibble over the term. I don't know why you bother quibbling over the use of the term "marriage" if that is what it is in all other respects, but quibbling over your quibbling would be more quibbling. So case closed for me.
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 06:57 PM

Quote:
case closed


Good luck with that, lan crazy
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/15/09 09:31 PM

Quote:
What you might think of Steve should not be confused in your persnicketizin' noggin with what others in here might think.

Oh what a surprise - all three of you of you got it wrong. Count this one from last December as equal rights posting # 2 --->

"Most of Europe has reached a compromise of legalising same-sex civil unions so as to remove discrimination regarding taxation and succession rights whilst not trampling on the rights of those who favour a restricted view of marriage. Those who want to shun compromise and super-elevate their own rigid prejudices are being selfish..."

Oh! Assuming you got something right that you got wrong is not an aspersion, by the way.

km
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 03:55 AM

That's the best you can come up with - paranoia, victimization, and yet more snooty persnickitizing? Say, that waistcoat - it's cinched up perhaps a tad too tight... best get that sorted.
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 04:59 AM



Vell, Mr. Keymakerrrrr. It lukes like I am not the only vun dat hass your numberrrr.

AH AH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 05:03 AM

Hey Max, Home Depot has a really nice pair of cordless hubris trimmers on sale this week. I was thinking of picking up a pair for km. Y'know, just a little gift for no particular reason. You wanna chip in?
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:36 AM

Prolly a good idea, Steve. Do me good to be a good do-bee, especially in this case. Rising above the muck and all, donchaknow.
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:49 AM

Consider it done (gee, I hope they're not sold out).
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 10:11 AM

Quote:
persnickitizing


Let me persnicketize a little . . . I'm recommending this for back formation of the year. smile
Posted by: padmavyuha

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 10:31 AM

Of course over here, you'd have to spell it with an s.
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 10:32 AM

Careful now. You risk joining The Legion of the Wrong! shocked

Welcome, sister,*




*Of course I must refer to you as "sister" because, since you are actually a brother, referring to you as sister would be, you know, wrong. Which is, of course, what The Legion is all about. Did I get that right? Oh my, I certainly hope not. confused
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 03:26 PM

I'm so confused! Or should that be confuzed?
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 03:49 PM

I... I... I don't know which one is right wrong. I mean... Oh now you've got me konfoozed. eek
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 03:50 PM

This is an exercize in madness.
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 03:58 PM

It'z certainly not right and I put the blame squarely on the maker of keyz!
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 04:01 PM

Show me one of km's threads that aren't. Why do you think they all have that little flame icon in the list? Because Gawd is screaming BURN IT! BURN IT NOW!!!!! eek laugh
Posted by: Lea

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 04:48 PM


Does anybody know what his flame-on threads were originally about?

Oh! Oh! Better ~ Does anybody even care? laugh laugh




Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 05:11 PM

I care. But remember, I only give wrong answers.
Posted by: lanovami

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 05:19 PM

I'll take km over a lot of the riff raff that's been thru here, and at least he keeps up his end by replying to criticism.
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 05:22 PM

And when KM gets over thinking that "law" describes the world, he makes for a good arguer.
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 05:31 PM

There's replying to criticism, and there's accepting it. km most certainly takes a more civil approach to contested issues, and that's more than can be said for some of us rowdier, more confrontational types.

But quite frankly, those I take most seriously are those who take themselves less seriously. I'll take that over civility eight days a week.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 06:46 PM

Originally Posted By: steveg
There's replying to criticism, and there's accepting it. km most certainly takes a more civil approach to contested issue, and that's more than can be said for some of us rowdier, more confrontational types.
He kinda grows on ya', doesn't he? And he's never once mentioned your, uh, vertical disability. smirk
Posted by: newkojak

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 07:42 PM

Just replace homosexuality with any other kind of person and you would have ban-able offenses. What would you do if someone responsively and politely argued that (insert blacks, jews, women, etc... here) were actually nonexistent in nature and shouldn't have their interests looked after in society?

A polite bigot is still a bigot.
Posted by: carp

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: yoyo52
And when KM gets over thinking that "law" describes the world, he makes for a good arguer.


Like a good ambulance chaser he can turn fact into fiction - turn Farts into a lovely smelling Rose - turns barf into a hot chicken soup - death into a Jihad - murdering is okay so long as you have a dispute .

Okay if you believe in that ?
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 08:43 PM

Quote:
What would you do if someone... argued that... blacks, jews, women... were actually nonexistent in nature... ?

Point out that he or she was several olives short of a full pizza.

Quote:
... and shouldn't have their interests looked after in society?

Call in the ladies and gentlemen in the white coats.

Quote:
A polite bigot is still a bigot.

Yeah...w... Dr Harren you mean? I don't think she's a bigot,,, she was just advancing an informed viewpoint on the causes of homosexuality.

km
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:02 PM

I think that the basic argument he usually works from, that a social system is defined by law, not by "moral response" is probably true. If you've seen The Reader, that's the premise of the law professor in the flick. But that proposition leaves a great deal to be desired. For instance, if the law says that blacks must sit in the back of the bus, then on what grounds can one challenge the law? An appeal to a moral imperative seems to me inevitable, but "moral response" is distinct from "law," and a society is not obliged to pay any attention at all to morality. So, to reprise KM's argument from a while ago, gays who want to change the law on marriage have no standing to do so, and marching to raise consciousness becomes at best a tiresome exercise and at worst an illegal assembly. Demonstrations in the South of the US to break apartheid laws were treated precisely in that way, and it was only by dint of keeping on keeping on that the moral righteousness of the Civil Rights demonstrations led to changing the law. But until the law was changed, the demonstrators were breaking the law, and "deserved" to be in jail.

Now, I recognize perfectly well the limitations that KM's perspective (if I've got it right) imposes on moral action, but at the same time I also recognize that KM is right about the legal rather than moral foundation of social practices. In fact, on what basis does one appeal to morality? What's the source of morality? How does one assert the validity of morality? Is "moral righteousness" and indignation simply self-righteousness, just a way to impose a particular point of view that lacks the sanction of law? All those are difficult questions, I think--and I suspect that KM would not be satisfied with a response modeled on the SCOTUS Justice's remark about pornography, that "it's hard to define what pornography is, but I recognize it when I see it." I recognize a moral imperative when I see it--but . . . what's the authority for it?

I guess one could work from the premise that a moral action is one that works towards an increasingly larger distribution of rights and freedoms--so not being forced to sit in the back on the bus is a moral response because it enlarges the scope of rights and liberties, whereas the apartheid laws were immoral because they limited rights and liberties. But that perspective runs smack into all sorts of religious and "traditional" practices. Now, I'm perfectly willing to live dangerously, so to speak. By that I mean that I see law as a limitation to human freedom, which may well be necessary but which needs always to be considered skeptically and, as often as possible, dismissively. I'm perfectly willing to negotiate the validity of a "moral response," knowing full well that there will be times when such a response will produce really profoundly problematic social realities. But I firmly believe that there is such a thing as social progress, and that the only path to such progress is by means of asserting a moral response rather than a legal one.

Much of what I believe to be the case derives from John Milton's "Areopagitica," by the way--one of the most resoundingly liberal assertions of liberty ever written.
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:03 PM

Informed with... what, exactly? Waistcoat truthiness, perhaps?
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:28 PM

Quote:
I think that the basic argument he usually works from, that a social system is defined by law, not by "moral response" is probably true...

Although I qualify that by acknowledging the force of natural law as a legitimate influence which necessarily takes precedence when it conflicts with positive law. Natural law requires equality for example so that no one section of society is excluded from the polls or from the front of the bus although a person who wants to vandalise the bus can and should be escorted from it altogether.

km
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:46 PM

Quote:
Informed with... what, exactly?

There's a bio <--- here.

km



Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:50 PM

Bzzzt! Insufficient answer. Next excuse!
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 09:53 PM

I guess we disagree on (for lack of a better way to put it) the moral quality of natural law, KM. The kind of radical equality in the state of nature that Hobbes envisions, for instance, seems to me a mere fiction, with absolutely no basis in paleoanthropological studies.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 10:18 PM

Quote:
Insufficient answer.

Well you'll have to make do with it because it included her email address if you want to learn more from the only person who can help with your inquiry.

Quote:
Next excuse!

I don't think she's making excuses - just explaining her work and background.

km
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/16/09 10:25 PM

Quote:
I guess we disagree on... the moral quality of natural law...

I wasn't necessarily imputing a moral quality... just observing that since men are approximately equal in terms of their attributes there a arises the need for a system of mutual forbearance.

km
Posted by: steveg

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/17/09 03:40 AM

And if he did he'd get punched in the ankle.
Posted by: VarmintBlubber

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/17/09 03:43 AM

Originally Posted By: keymaker
I don't think she's making excuses - just explaining her work and background.

km


But I was referring to you and your excuses... not the same thing at all. Although I expect you know that. You cite her as an authority merely because you agree with her findings... it's not rocket science, after all. It's your dishing it out as gospel that makes it truthy.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/17/09 05:31 AM

Quote:
But I was referring to you and your excuses...

I haven't made any 'excuses'.

km
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/17/09 10:31 AM

Originally Posted By: keymaker
Quote:
I guess we disagree on... the moral quality of natural law...

I wasn't necessarily imputing a moral quality... just observing that since men are approximately equal in terms of their attributes there a arises the need for a system of mutual forbearance.

km


Let me rephrase, then. The only "natural law" I think is sustainable is one that doesn't have a "should," stated or implied, in the law. There's no question that in a gravitational field an object of any mass will move towards the greatest concentration of mass. There's no "should" in that, or any "there arises the need for," which I hear as the equivalent of "should." What I mean by "moral quality" is what's conveyed by the "should."
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/17/09 12:24 PM

Quote:
... "there arises the need for," which I hear as the equivalent of "should." What I mean by "moral quality" is what's conveyed by the "should."

There are some if not a preponderance of thinkers who would impute a moral dimension to natural law. My position however was intended to be neutral on that point so that to say that something 'should' happen takes on the meaning that it needs to happen for the one immutable constant of human nature to be fulfilled which is the desire for survival.

As you point out one can say of an inaminate object that by nature it should, indeed, must, gravitate towards on object of greater mass for it didn't what was thought of as a law of nature would need to be revised. In human activity natural law requires that something should or must happen for the teleological objective of survival. For this aim to be realised natural law has a minimum content which Hart expressed as 'forbearances' such as the acceptance of a prohibition on the infliction of death or bodily harm, for example, and acceptance of the equality of man.

Hitler and others like him can thus be seen to have broken not positive law but natural law because whatever legal powers he assumed for himself he should have conformed to those higher prohibitions given that his failure to do so was a threat to the survival of men and indeed of man. You will appreciate that in this sense one can say what he should have done, or should not have done, without asserting a moral obloquy with regard to his behaviour, although many would do so.

km
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/17/09 02:18 PM

Any telos involves a moral element, IMHO. Obviously I'm not using "moral" in the sense of "good," just in the sense of obligation.
Posted by: keymaker

Re: perceptions are everything... - 02/19/09 09:32 AM

Quote:
Any telos involves a moral element, IMHO. Obviously I'm not using "moral" in the sense of "good," just in the sense of obligation.

Well, there's an obligation to observe positive law as long as it doesn't conflict with natural law imposing as it does a higher obligation based on survival of the species as the teleological objective. Actions that tend to fulfill the objective are good whereas actions that threaten it are bad. This is because if actions that threaten survival are allowed to prevail by law then all law breaks down and gives way to a state of anarchy which is the biggest threat to survival. This is what I was trying to explain to Blair and Dubya in language they could understand when they wanted to go around bombing Arabs for no good reason. Acts of Parliament and of Acts of Congress or any other assembly that break natural law are ultimately null and void so, speaking for myself, I'm never going to take any notice of them.

km