Ten Commonly Used Fallacies Against LGBT Rights Activists

Logical debate is a necessary part of every activist’s life. But before engaging in a debate, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I know the subject? – For seasoned activists, this should be a given. But for newbies, it is normal to romanticize passion and equate it with victory. If you don’t think you can pull it off, leave it to the experts. If you think you can, make sure you have information handy.

2. Are my objectives realistic? – If you are about to argue with a religious fundamentalist with the intent of convincing the person to turn against faith, you might as well argue with a 10-foot tall slab of concrete. As a personal policy, I never engage in debate to win. I engage to educate and to learn.

3. Are we both clear on the parameters? – At the onset, make sure both of you know the rules. I generally do not engage if I know that Bible verses will be used against me. It defeats the purpose of a logical debate. But for some people, that is perfectly fine. So know what parameters work best for you.

4. Can I document the whole discussion? – If you can’t document the discussion, then be prepared for a lot of moving goalposts (discussed later). Documenting the discussion ensures that both of you have a way of getting back on track. It’s also a nifty way of catching contradictions.

5. Will this do more good than harm? – Sometimes, winning an argument will actually put you in a worse position or result in more damage to your cause. Be selective. Choose your battles.

 

 

If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then I present to you ten commonly used fallacies and what to do when they are used against you in logical debate (actual quotes from actual debates are found here):

 

Fallacy #1: Appeal to Nature – “This is the fallacy of assuming that whatever is “natural” or consistent with “nature” (somehow defined) is good, or that whatever conflicts with nature is bad”

Example:

“Marriage is only between a man and a woman because that is the natural law of things”

What you can do: Aside from explicitly calling out that this is a fallacy called “Appeal to Nature,” you can also point out that it is in our nature to get sick and eventually die. This means that preventing death and sickness from happening is unnatural. And yet we don’t consider modern medicine and doctors as “bad.”

 

Fallacy #2: Appeal to Popularity – “The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim.”

Example:

“I am against same-sex marriage because a majority of the population is against it.”

What you can do: As with the first fallacy and all the succeeding fallacies, it is a must that you call out what kind of fallacy the person is using. And then point out that in the past, a majority of the population also believed that the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. Both arguments turned out to be false. If you are in the US, you can also point out that last April, same-sex marriage supporters outnumbered the opposition for the first time. Unfortunately, we have no such survey in the Philippines yet.

 

Fallacy #3: Appeal to Tradition – “Appeal to Tradition is a fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that something is better or correct simply because it is older, traditional, or “always has been done.”

Example:

“Marriage is reserved for heterosexuals because that’s how marriage has been defined for 2000 years”

What you can do: State that slavery was also acceptable for more than 2000 years but that does not make it right. Also state that the 2000 year old definition of marriage has already been redefined a decade ago when same-sex marriage was made legal in the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden.

 

Fallacy #4: Cherry Picking – “Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.”

Example: 

PERSON A: “Laws are based on natural moral standards”

PERSON B: “Then why did the Supreme Court disallow Comelec to use morality in denying Ladlad accreditation?”

PERSON A: “The Supreme Court respected Ladlad’s right to freedom of expression.”

*It is true that the Supreme Court cited the right to freedom of expression. But what PERSON A conveniently left out was that the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Comelec also included “Public Morals” as an invalid ground for blocking Ladlad, thereby disproving PERSON A’s original claim.

What you can do: Refute the claim by presenting the rest of the facts that the person left out. The complete and original text of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Ladlad vs Comelec case is available online. But put simply, the Supreme Court disallowed the Comelec to use Public Morals and Religious Belief to deny Ladlad accreditation. This is important jurisprudence because it tells the public that the use of morality and religion in deciding state affairs is unconstitutional.

 

Fallacy #5: False Analogy – “A false analogy is a rhetorical fallacy that uses an analogy (comparing objects or ideas with similar characteristics) to support an argument, but the conclusion made by it is not supported by the analogy due to the differences between the two objects.”

Example:

“Marriage is not for everyone. For example, minors can’t marry. Mentally handicapped people can’t marry. Humans can’t marry their pets”

What you can do: Explain why the analogies presented are not similar to the original argument. In this case, the family code of the Philippines requires legal consent from both parties, which minors, the mentally handicapped, and pets cannot provide. And then avoid analogies entirely because if they are not used smartly, they have the tendency to backfire.

 

Fallacy #6: Moving The Goalpost – “The “Moving the Goalpost” logical fallacy is another one that has a fairly descriptive name. It is the case when Person A makes a claim, Person B refutes it, and Person A moves on to a new or revised claim, generally without acknowledging or responding to Person B’s refutation. Hence, the goalpost of the claim has been shifted or moved in order to keep the claim alive.”

Example:

PERSON A: “Moral relativism causes same-sex marriage!”

PERSON B: “But earlier, you said same-sex marriage causes moral relativism, not the other way around.”

PERSON A: “No, what I meant was same-sex marriage reinforces moral relativism. I admit that is was poorly constructed because I was in a hurry.”

What you can do: Keep track of how many times the person moves goalposts. If the person does this often enough, faulty logic will soon expose itself. The key here is documenting the entire conversation.

 

Fallacy #7: Presenting Opinion as Fact – “In casual use, the term opinion may be the result of a person’s perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs.”

Example: 

“Laws are based on natural moral standards”

*when what the person really meant to say was “Laws should be based on natural moral standards”

What you can do: Assert that in the absence of facts, all you have is opinion. But be cautious, too, because not all facts are from credible sources. Prefer facts over stats because stats can be manipulated depending on who is doing the study.

 

Fallacy #8: Red Herring – “A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic”

Example:

PERSON A: “It is not true that homosexuals were not allowed to run for public office”

PERSON B: “Ladlad was barred by Comelec”

PERSON A: “The Comelec didn’t just bar Ladlad because of homosexuality because that is oversimplifying the position. Just look at gay pride marches. It is embarrassing. But I’m not saying that just because homosexuals behave that way, they can be discriminated against. I don’t understand why people assume that just because I think homosexuality is disordered that I automatically want to bully homosexuals. That’s pretty immature.”

What you can do: Acknowledge the new information presented. But make sure that your acknowledgement is not taken as agreement. State the exact same question for emphasis before the red herring was thrown at you. Again, this is why documentation is key.

 

Fallacy #9: Slippery Slope – “The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question.”

Example:

“Same-sex marriage will cause population implosion.”

What you can do: Ask “how” and ask for facts just a few repetitions short of ad nauseam. Let them ramble and eventually, they will run into self-contradictions. In which case, be ready for more moving goalposts and more red herrings.

 

Fallacy #10: Spotlight Fallacy – “The Spotlight fallacy is committed when a person uncritically assumes that all members or cases of a certain class or type are like those that receive the most attention or coverage in the media.”

Example:

“Gays are not oppressed because that’s not what we see in the media”

What you can do: State factual evidence to the contrary. From an international perspective, the United Nations recently released its first report on LGBT rights. You can also download the Philippine LGBT Coalition report (which I co-authored Ü) to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. It is a good resource for citing actual documented discrimination against LGBT people in the Philippines.

 

These are just some of the common fallacies I’ve encountered recently. If you know of more or have found other effective ways of handling them, help our readers and post your experience here.

 

Happy debating!

 

“Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world: all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.” – Albert Einstein, 1954″

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119 comments

  1. I applaud everyone's patience in responding to fallacious comments, particularly Twin Skies. You are a saint (see what I did there, hehehe).

    Although I have to say I am somewhat getting bored with replying to some of the comments, as these are rehashed arguments found in previous posts. So forgive me if I resort to base humor…

    People (not just Christians, to be fair) often invoke the adage: hate the sin, not the sinner (or something to that effect). I would like to hear the LGBT's opinions on this, but for me, gay behavior, gay SEX, is a part of being… gay, because sex is part of being human.

    To condemn sex (not just gay sex) is to infringe on one's right to engage in something that they have the right to engage in, something that is private, something that is none of our fucking business. Irregardless of whether the sex has a procreative function. Or even if it is outside the bonds of "marriage".

    LGBT's must naturally take issue when sanctimonious prudes try to tell them that expressing your sexual desire is something to be condemned, even as they claim to "love the sinner". LGBT's are fighting for the right to marry, the right to be protected against discrimination, and the right to consensually fuck whoever they want in any way they want, just like we straights do.

    • mental, Ron De Vera deserves more creds than I do – he's been debating dboncan far longer regarding this issue, and he's handled it with grace and civility.

  2. This website has become Vit C for me, I need to have one everyday if it should protect me from hypocrisy. To Ron de Vera and the rest of the freethinkers in this site, you guys (gays) are unstoppable geniuses. Thank you. <3

  3. But I would have to agree with Pecier Decierdo when he stated that: // Now, how will you expect us to take your "moral order" seriously if you are not willing to put it to the test of science? //
    Notice how these freethinkers rely on observable fact, evidence, and concrete proof in order to justify a claim, and the words "morality" or "natural order" only stop at lip service when nothing MEASURABLE can support them, hence, the challenge of presenting empirical data with UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE results. But to someone who finds comfort in citing religious dogma or biblical teachings, I noticed that they are threatened by any attempts made for scientific scrutiny, resorting instead to brand a freethinker as arrogant or ungodly. And then the logical fallacies go on. And on. Indeed, how can this commenter expect to be treated with utmost sincerity? The last I checked, Stephen Hawking favored science over religion because science works, providing the world with solutions. You be the judge.

  4. ONE THING I'VE NOTICED: moralizing readers with the use of dogma is irked by FilipinoFreethinkers.

    I want to highlight the fact that although moralizing has been accepted, it has only reached a certain level of tolerance in this website, and every crack that spills an ounce of Catholic dogma is countered by reason. The interplay of words and the colossal amount of references that back one's argument is sometimes entertaining, but it never falls short of being informative. Thank you Mr. Ron de Vera, for providing these guidelines on how to establish a meaningful debate, and for Mr. Pecier Decierdo for elaborating your point. But let's not forget dboncan for giving us the yin to our yang, the antimatter to our matter, and for his staunch defense of what he believes in. Truly, the statements made here are not for everyone, certainly not for idiots, and I appreciate the fact that I can now find out for myself where one commenter's argument has become so faulty that it twists the mind of a reader, either for the purpose of confusing us or escaping a topic as a whole: CHERRY PICKING, MOVING GOALPOSTS, and RED HERRING to name a few of that commenter's tactics.

  5. "Fallacy #2: Appeal to Popularity – “The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim.”

    The problem with this alleged fallacious argument is that the argument for popularity is never used as an argument by those knowledgable about the issues of same-sex marriage. The term "popular" in the context of consensus is indeed a fallacious argument because consensus is a matter of subjective fad and trend. The non-acceptance of same-sex unions is not because of the numbers, rather it's widespread non-acceptance RESULTS in the numbers. The argument is really that the opposition against homosexual marriage is founded on the natural moral order of things and people from time immemorial have known this and have passed it on from generation to generation in every culture resulting in and not as a result of, large numbers accepting it.

    In fact if there is anywhere the fallacy of popularity is being used is in the innovation of accepting same-sex marriage. No longer is it's acceptance or denial based on a moral order but by the show of hands in legislature as a result of popular activism.

    • "The argument is really that the opposition against homosexual marriage is founded on the natural moral order of things…"

      This is another example of fallacy #1: Appeal to Nature – “This is the fallacy of assuming that whatever is “natural” or consistent with “nature” (somehow defined) is good, or that whatever conflicts with nature is bad”

      "…and people from time immemorial have known this and have passed it on from generation to generation…"

      And this is another example of fallacy #3: Appeal to Tradition – “Appeal to Tradition is a fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that something is better or correct simply because it is older, traditional, or “always has been done.”

  6. "Fallacy #2: Appeal to Popularity – “The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim.”
    Example:
    “I am against same-sex marriage because a majority of the population is against it.”
    What you can do: As with the first fallacy and all the succeeding fallacies, it is a must that you call out what kind of fallacy the person is using. And then point out that in the past, a majority of the population also believed that the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. Both arguments turned out to be false. If you are in the US, you can also point out that last April, same-sex marriage supporters outnumbered the opposition for the first time. Unfortunately, we have no such survey in the Philippines yet."

    The problem with this alleged fallacy is that the argument for popularity was never an argument. The term popular in the context of consensus is indeed a fallacious argument because consensus is a matter of subjective fad and trend. The non-acceptance of same-sex unions is not because of the numbers, rather it's non-acceptance results in the numbers. The argument is really that the opposition against homosexual marriage is founded on the natural moral order of things and people from time immemorial have known this and have passed it on from generation to generation in every culture resulting, not as a result of, large numbers.
    In fact if there is any where the fallacy of popularity is being used is in the innovation of accepting same-sex marriage. No longer is it's acceptance or denial based on a moral order but by the show of hands in legislature.

  7. //1. Just because something cannot be proved empirically does't mean it does not exist. i.e., freedom , love, bravery etc…//

    FYI, Love can be detected by studying the various chemical and electrical functions that occur in the human brain.

  8. De vera: "What you can do: Aside from explicitly calling out that this is a fallacy called “Appeal to Nature,” you can also point out that it is in our nature to get sick and eventually die. This means that preventing death and sickness from happening is unnatural. And yet we don’t consider modern medicine and doctors as “bad.”

    False analogy/false comparison:
    1. It is in our nature to get sick and it is in our nature to die BUT it is also in our nature to do good and to do good means to maintain health. So to cure illness in no way goes against our nature which is made to cause good. To prematurely cause someone's illness or death or to artificially stain ones's life when he is considered to be clinically and un-recoverably dead is wrong. NOT PREVENTING ILLNESS nor DEATH. Because illness is merely the privation of health and health is also a part of the natural order of things.

    2. It is not an appeal to nature per se but an appeal to the natural (moral order) law. The ones who appeal to "nature" are the ones who say that homosexual behavior happens in animals too…. that is the fallacy! Appealing to natural law means to appeal to that which GOVERNS the nature of things.

    The nature of things and especially of Marriage can bee seen in it's final cause which is to unite and pro-create, both of which can only be fulfilled naturally by heterosexual unions.

    More to follow…

    • Your item (1) merely reminds us why it is fallacious to appeal to what is 'natural'. Your pointing out the flaw in the death-and-sickness analogy, therefore, merely reinforces Ron's attack on the Fallacy of Appeal to Nature.

      Your item (2) has already been answered by Ron and by other freethinkers in previous comments. Let me take a different route in my attack of this "natural law" of yours. Let me first state, not as an Appeal to Nature but simply as a statement of fact, that homosexuality has been observed in non-human animals. Now, how does this observation sit squarely with your claim that your issue with homosexuality is its going against "that which GOVERNS the nature of things?" If "that which GOVERNS the nature of things" has in its immutable laws the primacy of heterosexual unions, why is homosexuality observed in animals that do not have the "free will" to choose between being gay and being straight?

      You see, the problem with this "natural law" of yours is it does not offer itself to empirical scrutiny. Notice how your church has placed the source of this "natural (moral order) law" in the most unnatural ivory tower of metaphysics to protect it from any form of scientific critique. Now, how will you expect us to take your "moral order" seriously if you are not willing to put it to the test of science?

      [The nature of things and especially of Marriage can bee seen in it's final cause which is to unite and pro-create, both of which can only be fulfilled naturally by heterosexual unions.]

      In all honesty, a lot of your "arguments" and "justifications" are nothing but a bunch of words put together. You see, it is the whole of your moral system that is at issue here. The aspect of this moral system that is vehemently anti-LGBT is merely a part of it, albeit it is the part that is highlighted now. We freethinkers, however, are against a large portion of this moral edifice. To begin with, we question its very source — orthodox Catholic dogma. Therefore, you must not expect us to react positively to such empty formulations as your last sentence.

      Let me end this comment by sharing my view of morality. For a moral system to be able to properly govern human behavior, it must be grounded on the true nature of the human animal. In short, a true morality must be scientific and worldly. The morality you force on us and on the LGBT, on the other hand, is a morality that is insensitive to our animal nature; in a phrase, it is a cruel morality.

      • “Your item (1) merely reminds us why it is fallacious to appeal to what is 'natural'; appealing to nature leads nowhere. Your pointing out the flaw in the death-and-sickness analogy, therefore, merely reinforces Ron's attack on the Fallacy of Appeal to Nature. “”Let me take a different route in my attack of this “natural law” of yours. Let me first state, not as an Appeal to Nature but simply as a statement of fact, that homosexuality has been observed in non-human animals. Now, how does this observation sit squarely with your claim that your issue with homosexuality is its going against “that which GOVERNS the nature of things?” If “that which GOVERNS the nature of things” has in its law the primacy of heterosexual unions, why is homosexuality observed in animals that do not have the “free will” to choose between being gay and being straight? “I am afraid your facts themselves are erroneous:1. Homosexual behavior in humans include the abstract (not empirically provable) feeling of love or attraction among other things and cannot in any way be used to mean the same in animals. In other words, by definition, the behavior found in animals is not truly homosexual behavior and must be something else related to their evolutionary survival instinct… therefor…2. …that which governs animals without any rational behavior cannot be equated to behavior in humans and must mean something else. In the case of this unusual same-sex behaviors, many theories have been put forward including dominance and mating confusion.3. Once you put that “observation” into a syllogism, you are essentially appealing to the natural order of things. That observation is only as good as if it is used to draw a conclusion. Inevitably you must make that jump or not get to try to prove anything.”You see, the problem with this “natural law” of yours is it does not offer itself to empirical scrutiny. Notice how your church has placed the source of this “natural (moral order) law” in the most unnatural ivory tower of metaphysics to protect it from any form of scientific critique. How will you expect us to take your “moral order” seriously if you are not willing to put it to the test of science? “1. Just because something cannot be proved empirically does't mean it does not exist. i.e., freedom , love, bravery etc…2. The statement “this “natural law” of yours is it does not offer itself to empirical scrutiny” cannot be itself subjected to scientific scrutiny so how are we to know that what you are essentially saying, that for something to be taken seriously it must be proved scientifically, can be taken seriously. Your requirement for all things to be taken seriously only if they can be proved empirically falls into a perpetual self-contradiction.Unfortunately, there is confusion on your part as to what constitutes natural law. What you're pointing out is the fallacy of naturalism, the fallacy that anything natural is good. That is not what the argument for natural law is. There are natural physical laws and natural moral laws, i.e. the order of things, it's essence and their ends. A male and a female, their ends as male and female, their biology, their capacity to be in union and bear a family, their capacity to love, commit etc… It is dishonest to deny that this observed behavior and practice (empirically observable) has been around since time immemorial. Experience is data too you know. Take gravity for example, can you see it, measure its dimensions, color, taste, smell, NO you can't. What you observe about gravity is by experience because of it's influence on matter. Just the same that moral law has it's influence on how people behave and have behaved, what people ought to and ought not to do. The presence of conscience is perhaps the strongest evidence for moral law… are we not taught to obey ones conscience no matter what? If so, then why does conscience deserve to be treated like a god if it is merely a result of neuronal interconnection? As I have pointed out to De Vera, the UN document on Human Rights itself appeals to conscience.”In all honesty, a lot of your “arguments” and “justifications” are nothing but a bunch of words put together. You see, it is the whole of your moral system that is at issue here. The aspect of this moral system that is vehemently anti-LGBT is merely a part of it, albeit it is the part that is highlighted now. We freethinkers, however, are against a large portion of this moral edifice. To begin with, we question its very source — orthodox Catholic dogma. Therefore, you must not expect us to react positively to such empty formulations as your last sentence. I mean no offense but to me, much of your comment is empty babble. “I have never brought up Catholic teaching in any of my arguments. So in all honesty, I have argued on the basis of the nature of things. The moral system you find as babble applies to you too. In fact you use it everyday when it involves you. The mere act of arguing for the LGBT rights is in itself an appeal to the moral order on the right to be free from harassment. The appeal to give justice is also an non-emprically testable thing but you use it. It seems that the same babble you accuse me of is one that you use too.

        • @ your first paragraph: Moving the goal post again? You cannot redefine homosexuality to exclude the behavioral part of it because for one, you cannot generalize regarding the internal states of mind that homosexuality engenders in homosexual human beings. While it is true that homosexuality in humans is not confined to sexual behavior alone, homosexuality, in both the biological and the sociological sense, must still be defined in terms of behavior. After all, the LGBT are discriminated against primarily not because of what is going on in the privacy of their minds but because of what they do — because of their behavior. Adding to this is the fact that the LGBT are demanding rights that will protect not their internal mental states but their way of life — once again, their behavior.

          @ second paragraph, (1): Freedom, love and bravery are not objective standards by which we measure human behavior and neither are they laws that supposedly govern human behavior. The said concepts are states of mind — which are, by the way, empirically observable — and are as such not comparable to your "natural law" which purportedly exists independent of human observation. Freedom, love and bravery have a subjective existence in human minds, whereas you claim that your "natural law" has an objective existence independent of the human mind. You therefore require empirical justification for your "natural law" in the way that you do not need such a justification for the said states of mind.

          @ second paragraph, (2): First, I never claimed that only empirically provable statements are to be taken seriously; don't read Hume into my comment. Your attempt to volley my cannonball back to me will not be effective because my statement is not a truth claim regarding an observable state of affairs but a critique of such a truth claim. Your claim regarding the "natural law", on the other hand, is a claim regarding an observable state of affairs. As such, I have the right to demand an empirical justification from you.

          • “@ your first paragraph: Moving the goal post again? You cannot redefine homosexuality to exclude the behavioral part of it because for one, you cannot generalize regarding the internal states of mind that homosexuality engenders in homosexual human beings. While it is true that homosexuality in humans is not confined to sexual behavior alone, you cannot divorce it from the sexual behavior because it is the sexual behavior that is observable. “I did not redefine homosexual to exclude behavior, in fact I said that the term homosexual cannot be used for animals as it is used in humans because in humans it includes behaviors that are not applicable to animals. So to say “homosexual behavior” in animals seems to imply that they are the same as those in humans. A more appropriate term would be unusual same-sex behavior knowing that animals do not fall in love nor are prone to lust. For example, we cannot use the term “murder” in animals because there is not intent in the act of killing between animals. Unless of course you are willing to concede that the term “homosexual” as used in animals means unusual same-sex behavior.”@ second paragraph, (1): Freedom, love and bravery, among other things, are not laws by which we measure human behavior. They are states of mind — which are, by the way, empirically observable — and are as such not comparable to your “natural law” which purportedly exists independent of human observation. You therefore require empirical justification for your “natural law” in the way that you do not need such a justification for a state of mind. “Erroneous terminology on my part, I had meant “proved scientifically' not empirically.Natural law is empirically observable. human rights like freedom, for example falls, within the purview of ethics which comes from the natural moral law. It is not a state of mind because if it were just that, then it is not binding, however, we have established laws around freedom and for these laws to be binding they cannot be subject to mere mood or whim, which is what a state of mind is. We cannot bind people to comply with laws if these laws are in the first place not derived from an objective code that governs our nature.Another is conscience. AS I have said previously, it is empirically observable. We use it all the time to direct us to how we ought to behave. Laws are built around this too. The UN uses it in their document. We cannot prove it scientifically but it is empirically observable nonetheless.”@ second paragraph, (2): First, I never claimed that only empirically provable statements are to be taken seriously; don't read Hume into my comment. Your attempt to volley my cannonball back to me will not be effective because my statement is not a truth claim regarding an observable state of affairs but a critique of such a truth claim. Your claim regarding the “natural law”, on the other hand, is a claim regarding an observable state of affairs. As such, I have the right to demand an empirical justification from you. “This is a strange statement because you seem to use empirical and scientific interchangeably. “By saying this, “How will you expect us to take your \”moral order\” seriously if you are not willing to put it to the test of science? \”, you were making an implied truth-claim that only that which can be proved by science is to be taken seriously. As I have shown above, we can empirically show the existence of a moral law/order by it's observable effects on how we establish binding laws that govern us as a society and that govern us (as a mater of personal conscience) as individuals and how these binding laws cannot possibly be binding if they only existed in the state of mind of people who make them up. A state of mind being a temporary mood, whim or idea that changes from time to time.

          • //Erroneous terminology on my part, I had meant "proved scientifically' not empirically.//

            Dickie, scientific data is derived from empirical evidence. Somebody's been sleeping in on bio class 😉

          • I think you should follow the exchange because you are reading my post out of context. To say something is empirically observable does not necessarily mean it can also proved by the scientific method. I merely corrected myself in reference to a previous post of mine.

          • I don't think this branch will yield anything fruitful to the discussion of LGBT rights, particularly to the discussion of the rights to marriage and adoption. So I will let this be my closing words on this branch and let me go to the second, more important branch tomorrow.

            [A more appropriate term would be unusual same-sex behavior knowing that animals do not fall in love nor are prone to lust.]

            You are claiming something about non-human animals here without substantiating it.

            [Unless of course you are willing to concede that the term "homosexual" as used in animals means unusual same-sex behavior.]

            Yes, I concede this point. After all, if you are against the LGBT lifestyle and not against the people with "disoriented" sexuality, then you are not against the mental states that accompany homosexuality but against the behavior. And since I fight for LGBT rights, what I am fighting for is the right to practice a certain lifestyle — I fight for same-sex behavior. But notice that all this has nothing to do with the fact that your death-and-sickness example merely reinforces what Ron has already said about Appeal to Nature. All this adds nothing new to the discussion.

            [Erroneous terminology on my part, I had meant "proved scientifically' not empirically.]

            First of all, we must be clear that one does not "prove" anything in science. Proof is an exercise in philosophy, logic or mathematics. In science, one provides evidences for or against hypotheses, theories or laws. Second, to provide scientific justifications for a certain hypothesis is merely to provide empirical justifications of a very rigorous kind. Since science is at its root an empirical study of the nature of the physical universe, all scientific justifications are also empirical justifications.

            [Natural law is empirically observable….]

            That there are certain regularities governing human social affairs throughout the ages is not in question here. There is a repertoire of behaviors and proclivities that is universal to the human species, cutting across boundaries of culture, religion, ethnicity and time. Among these behaviors is the taboo against mother-son incest and the revulsion against patricide. The taboo against homosexuality and same-sex behavior is not among these. In other words, what I question is not the existence of the sociological universals (what can be called a natural law governing human behavior) but the existence of your particular brand of "natural law" (hence the ever-present quotation marks).

            [This is a strange statement because you seem to use empirical and scientific interchangeably.]

            In many instances, and particularly in the instances under discussion, they can indeed be used interchangeably. For more information on this, read more on the philosophy of science.

            […you were making an implied truth-claim that only that which can be proved by science is to be taken seriously.]

            None of my statements imply logical positivism or empiricism. Kindly refrain from reading other people's ideas into my comments.

            Now, you claimed (in quite nebulous language) that there is this "natural law" that justifies denying gay people various rights (including but not limited to marriage and adoption). This is the type of claim that requires empirical evidence, something that you are yet to supply. Again, not all truth claims are burdened with the requirement of verification, but yours is.

        • @ third paragraph: When an observation is found to disagree with a law of the physical sciences, that law is bound to be either modified or replaced. To use your example of gravity, the law that used to describe the workings of this invisible force is Newton's Inverse Square Law of Gravitation. However, due to many observations that disagree with its predictions (most famous among these is the precession of Mercury's orbit), this law was usurped by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

          Now, your "natural law" can be, if you only state it with greater clarity, treated as a hypothesis on "how people behave and have behaved." Since this is a hypothesis regarding an observable state of affairs, I urge you to show evidences that your "natural law" indeed governs "how people behave and have behaved" in the same way that any law of the physical universe governs how the universe behaves and has behaved.

          As it stands, my understanding of this "natural law" of yours tells me that it disagrees with observation and should therefore be replaced by something superior. To me, this something superior is no other than secular humanism.

          @ last paragraph: Yes, I agree that my argument for LGBT rights is an argument for a certain moral order, one that is opposed to the one you are espousing — hence my last paragraph to which you are yet to make a reply.

          Again, nowhere did I claim that empirical testability is the basis for meaningfulness. You are once again reading either Hume or the logical positivists into my comment; well, they are not to be found there. I demanded empirical evidence from you because of the nature of your truth claim. Recall your claim being that your "natural law" is the law that governs human behavior; this is a truth claim regarding an observable state of affairs. Had your claim been of another kind — had it been a logical truth claim, for example — I would not have demanded empirical evidence from you. Having said this, I urge you to stop changing our debate regarding LGBT rights to a debate regarding verificationism and empiricism.

          • \”In all honesty, a lot of your \”arguments\” and \”justifications\” are nothing but a bunch of words put together. You see, it is the whole of your moral system that is at issue here. The aspect of this moral system that is vehemently anti-LGBT is merely a part of it, albeit it is the part that is highlighted now. We freethinkers, however, are against a large portion of this moral edifice. To begin with, we question its very source — orthodox Catholic dogma. Therefore, you must not expect us to react positively to such empty formulations as your last sentence. I mean no offense but to me, much of your comment is empty babble. \””@ last paragraph: Yes, I agree that my argument for LGBT rights is an argument for a certain moral order, one that is opposed to the one you are espousing — hence my last paragraph to which you are yet to make a reply. “So you too appeal to what you define as a non-scientifically provable position, right? I am not sure what you mean by opposed to the one I am espousing.I think we need to clarify something. Being against the LGBT lifestyle is neither being against these persons who have a disordered orientation nor their rights to be free from violence or employment or equal treatment under law. I do not understand why people here insist that the Catholic church reserves a separate moral edifice from which to categorize homosexual acts, we don't, there is none. Every person has the right to equal protection under law. I am for their being given their inalienable rights and rights appropriate to their position in life like everyone else… suffrage, employment, education etc… Equal protection however does not mean that everyone must be treated uniformly.I dichotomize between acts and persons. These persons are not what they do but who they are. Catholic doctrine on the matter is loving the person and hating the lifestyle. It goes the same for heterosexuals who also engage in the same kind of behavior, i.e. adultery, fornication etc… just so you know we have no double standards or that we single out LGBT's. Besides, you cannot legislate morality… to give you an example, we have anti-adultery laws in our country. Does anyone really get prosecuted with this?My questions to you are: what in fact do you mean by LGBT rights? Is marriage a basic human right? Is marriage a right to be uniformly given to everyone?I ask this because there is one issue that DE vera and I have jousted with, it is the issue of marriage as a right nothing else.

          • //Catholic doctrine on the matter is loving the person and hating the lifestyle. It goes the same for heterosexuals who also engage in the same kind of behavior, i.e. adultery, fornication etc… just so you know we have no double standards or that we single out LGBT's. Besides, you cannot legislate morality… to give you an example, we have anti-adultery laws in our country. Does anyone really get prosecuted with this?//

            We both agree that rampant fornication and adultery are morally repugnant.

            However, what you've failed to explain in any sense is what exactly it is about gay marriage that makes it as "immoral" as adultery. Studies have shown that gay couples are just as likely to divorce as straight couples, so you can't use the argument that their relationship is any less stable.

            Gay couples have also been shown by more than one study to be perfectly capable of raising children into emotionally well-adjusted individuals. Nor has gay marriage been linked to a decline in straight marriages, or the "moral breakdown" of the traditional family.

            On the contrary, I'd go further and note that the largest incidences of divorces and teen pregnancies occur in Bible Belt states. So much for Christian morality at work.

            So unless you start explaining yourself beyond equating gay marriage to adultery, your argument doesn't hold much water.

            //Is marriage a basic human right? Is marriage a right to be uniformly given to everyone?//

            Between two sane, consenting adults, I'd say yes.

          • “Gay couples have also been shown by more than one study to be perfectly capable of raising children into emotionally well-adjusted individuals. Nor has gay marriage been linked to a decline in straight marriages, or the “moral breakdown” of the traditional family. “But we have gone through this already and I cited the FRC study here: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02 an <a href="http://dhttp://catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0086.htmldhttp://catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0086.html<br />with government stats which conclusively shows otherwise.”So unless you start explaining yourself beyond equating gay marriage to adultery, your argument doesn't hold much water. “Sodomy, Fornication and adultery… are morally repugnant. I do not make any distinction as to whether it is hetero or homosexual act. A morally repugnant deed is a morally repugnant deed.Same-sex Marriage on the other hand has to do with rights and whether the conferring of rights to same-sex couples is in keeping with the nature of what marriage is.”Between two sane, consenting adults, I'd say yes”It is not a basic human right. It is a right but it is not inalienable.On what basis do you appeal to in giving those restrictions, i.e. sane, consenting, adults?

          • //But we have gone through this already and I cited the FRC study here: //

            And we've already noted that the Family Research Council is a known anti-gay think tank that has a longstanding reputation for distorting facts and lying.

            Let's look at their previous escapades, shall we? And since citing the SPLC (PRO-GAY AGENDA!!!) seems to make you break into a hissy fit, I've taken the liberty of citing several other sources:
            http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.co
            http://www.techszone.com/alvin-mcewen-family-research-co...
            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/04/1033259/

            And really, demanding the criminalization of gays? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35224225/ http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/

            And let's not forget Dr. Gary Remafedi, who was not very happy when FRC and its affiliates hijacked his research and distorted it. http://www.citypages.com/2010-05-26/news/universi

          • Except for the say-so of one group that is also tainted. The FRC has the support of some senators and a district attorney. Dispute the data not the presenter!

          • //Dispute the data not the presenter! //

            And it becomes obvious that you did not read the case of Gary Remafedi, whose work into homosexual research was distorted by groups like the FRC.

            It's hard to take the presenter seriously when the very source of their data does not hold them as a credible organization.

          • //Dispute the data not the presenter! //

            Likewise – prove that each and every one of these charges raised by these sources are false. Then maybe I'll take whatever codswallop you spit out seriously.

          • //Except for the say-so of one group that is also tainted. //

            Kettle, meet Pot.

            //The FRC has the support of some senators and a district attorney.//

            Argument from authority. By your logic, we should keep racial segregation laws because they were supported by SOME senators and A district attorney.

            So does that mean that EVERYBODY ELSE thinks the FRC is full of shit? Now that I can believe 😉

          • You never answered my question: WHERE DOES THE U.S. GOVERNMENT LEGAL SYSTEM CLASSIFY FRC AS A AHTE GROUP THE SAME WAY AS THE NAZIS? IS THERE A COURT RULING THAT HAS IDENTIFIED FRC AS A HATE GROUP? WHAT COURT RULING HAS EVER PENALIZED THE FRC FOR HARBORING HATE?In fact it seems that anyone who is opposed to the gay agenda is labelled as a hate-group or a bigot or homophobe but anyone who hits the Catholic Church is merely expressing themselves… sorry but until you provide evidence that the FRC is indeed a hate-group other than the say-so of a law firm whose main cash-cow is capitalizing on issues like these and even being criticized by it's own former employees.

          • //WHERE DOES THE U.S. GOVERNMENT LEGAL SYSTEM CLASSIFY FRC AS A AHTE GROUP THE SAME WAY AS THE NAZIS? IS THERE A COURT RULING THAT HAS IDENTIFIED FRC AS A HATE GROUP? WHAT COURT RULING HAS EVER PENALIZED THE FRC FOR HARBORING HATE?//

            Speaking in all-caps now are we? How old are you, dickie? Have you had your nappie-time yet?

            And take note that not once did I ever cite the SPLC in my prior comment – I humored your ramblings, and used several other sources.

            You don't need a fucking court ruling identifying the FRC as a hate group when there is plenty of evidence of their prior escapades from other sources that confirm they promote anti-gay hate and lies.

            //In fact it seems that anyone who is opposed to the gay agenda is labelled as a hate-group or a bigot or homophobe but anyone who hits the Catholic Church is merely expressing themselves… sorry but until you provide evidence that the FRC is indeed a hate-group other than the say-so of a law firm whose main cash-cow is capitalizing on issues like these and even being criticized by it's own former employees. //

            If it were just a matter of the Catholic Church voicing its opinion, it would have been a simple "fuck you" from us, and that would be the end of it.

            The problem is that it's gone beyond that – the RCC is using its members and lawmakers to push for legislation that expressly target the rights of gays, with Proposition 8 being one classic example.

            I've already cited reports of this incident and several more earlier, which you've conveniently ignored.

          • caps so that for once you will address the question which you still have not. Just answer the question to prove your allegation otherwise we have nothing to talk about… I think you forgot to use Ajax again this morning.yappin and yappin and yet where where where is the evidence????????????????????Back to the RCC ad hominems again. This is tiring. Get back to me when you have something to back up your claims.

          • //caps so that for once you will address the question which you still have not.//

            Obvious red herring is obvious. You don't need the SPLC or a court ruling to tell that the FRC promotes hate and bigotry.

            //Get back to me when you have something to back up your claims. //

            Already piled on the links earlier, dickie. Not my fault if you're too lazy to read.

          • Root word for his organization Fideism:
            : reliance on faith rather than reason in pursuit of religious truth.

            naturally he will reject any empirical data and rely on the not-so-Good Book and the celibate virgins in the West.

          • Let's look at some of the people who support the FRC then …

            Senator Rick Perry, who gained widespread internet fame for his bigoted "Strong" campaign video. It takes a special kind of evil to out-hate Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black 😉
            http://youtu.be/0PAJNntoRgA

            Jim DeMint, another notorious anti-gay GOP member who was famous for saying that single women (why no men) and gays should not be allowed to be teachers.
            http://www.goupstate.com/article/20101002/ARTICLE

            Congresswoman Michelle "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann, who's bad enough a liar that even CNN's caught up with her: http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=87236

          • So it's character assassination to point out that the FRC managed to garner the support of the GOP's biggest (and proven) crackpots and bigots?

            Just stating the facts, my friend. Not my problem if you can't handle it.

          • //that your best character assassination? Typical…//

            – Even a third-grader can single-handedly point this as another attempt to move goalposts. Looks like those facts mentioned above had its disturbing effects on your logic. Threatened, much?

          • //Sodomy, Fornication and adultery… are morally repugnant. I do not make any distinction as to whether it is hetero or homosexual act. A morally repugnant deed is a morally repugnant deed.//

            Child rape is morally repugnant, but your church did shit against that. And don't get me started on its stance on Mussolini, or Hitler. And besides, you did not answer my question: What part of gay marriage makes it as "morally repugnant" as adultery?

          • //have you no capacity to think straight and remain focused?
            //

            And is your only valid response to questions more ad hominems and misdirections?

            Let me repeat the question: How is gay marriage as "morally repugnant" as adultery?

            Cite empirical evidence please.

          • Said same sex marriage is wrong… not morally repugnant. don't know where you get this from. homosexual ACTS, i.e. SODOMY is morally repugnant in the same way as adultery, and fornication… all are sexual sins. That's it maybe now you can understand me.

          • //homosexual ACTS, i.e. SODOMY is morally repugnant in the same way as adultery, and fornication… all are sexual sins. //

            I said empirical evidence, bitch, not circular reasoning.

          • Empirical evidence that homosexual acts are immoral? What planet do you come from? Is the homosexual act like adultery and fornication openly accepted norms in society or is it merely tolerated as a deviant behavior? I do observe that the general non-acceptance of same-sex marriage is empirical evidence that it is at least considered to be a morally deviant behavior. Having legal recognition is not accepting that something is morally right, just like abortion.

          • //Is the homosexual act like adultery and fornication openly accepted norms in society or is it merely tolerated as a deviant behavior?//

            Define "deviant" behavior.

            //I do observe that the general non-acceptance of same-sex marriage is empirical evidence that it is at least considered to be a morally deviant behavior. //

            An argument from tradition again? Just because a behavior is considered deviant doesn't necessarily mean that it's detrimental society.

            If I were to accept your logic, I can just as easily say that racial desegregation should be dissolved, because it's "deviant" behavior in context with the tradition of black slavery, which was considered the norm in society for hundreds of years.

            //Having legal recognition is not accepting that something is morally right, just like abortion. //

            Or gay discrimination, as your people have tried to do repeatedly in the US. DADT ring a bell?

          • Your a smart guy you can figure that outRicardo BoncanSuite 119 MAB St. Luke Medical Center phone 632 72310716065 Palma St. Makati City phone 632 8966914Sent from my iPod

          • //Said same sex marriage is wrong… not morally repugnant. don't know where you get this from. homosexual ACTS, i.e. SODOMY is morally repugnant in the same way as adultery, and fornication… all are sexual sins. That's it maybe now you can understand me. //

            – Taken from a Roman Catholic point of view, eh? Sadly, their dogma isn't universally applicable to every human being on this planet, so moralizing (AGAIN AND AGAIN) won't work. Save it for the pulpit.

          • I suppose you should refrain from using vague words like "wrong" next time, and be more specific in "what kind of wrong" you want to paint same-sex marriage as. For the discussion to be more understandable…

            Because to extrapolate from the tone and content of your comments, what you deem as "morally repugnant" might well be an equivalent or subset of "wrong".

            However, we are all relieved to know that same sex marriage, for you, is just "wrong", but not "morally repugnant". What a relief! 😛

            Can I ask why sodomy is morally repugnant for you? I do know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I have to remind you that it's not solely a homosexual act. Heteros are in to it too!

          • If you don't find anything wrong with using a tube meant to expell crap as a sexual organ then I guess there is nothing to talk aboutSent from my iPod

          • //If you don't find anything wrong with using a tube meant to expell crap as a sexual organ then I guess there is nothing to talk about//

            Your priests who had their altar boys take it up the tailpipe or down their throat didn't seem to think it was wrong 😉

            //Saint from my iPod//
            I'll let my homie, Neil deGrasse Tyson, address this:
            http://d37nnnqwv9amwr.cloudfront.net/photos/image

          • Hi dboncan. If I may ask, what exactly do you mean by sodomy? Because as a pretty archaic term, it defines other things in addition to anal sex, as you seem to imply here. Apparently it can also pertain to oral sex, copulation with the same sex, and bestiality. Not counting the last definition (as animals aren't sexually mature, consenting adults), what basis do you have for deeming anal sex (and/or oral sex, male-to-male/female-to-female copulation) "immoral"? Setting aside Christian dogma, of course, which I assume you are capable of.

          • //Sodomy, Fornication and adultery… are morally repugnant. //

            And yet why do priests do them? And instead of punishing these priests, why does your church go through so much trouble to protect the offenders? Doesn't seem very "wrong" if your own higher-ups aren't laying down the hammer on its own men of the cloth.

          • //Catholic doctrine on the matter is loving the person and hating the lifestyle. It goes the same for heterosexuals who also engage in the same kind of behavior, i.e. adultery, fornication etc… just so you know we have no double standards or that we single out LGBT's.//

            And yet again you're full of shit.

            Citing the case of Chicago as an example, the RCC there opted instead to close down its foster home services for children after Illinois passed their Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act, which forbade any state-funded organizations (such as the RCC's foster homes) from discriminating against gay couples.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/catholic

            In short, your church chose its own "morality" over ensuring that the children it keeps are provided with a loving home.

            Let's not also forget the RCC's attempts pushing for Proposition 8.
            http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-11-10/news/171260

            And recently, there's Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, who wrote a prayer intended for Mass, calling for parishioners to actively vote in favor of an ammendment that would legalize gay marriage.
            http://www.archspm.org/news-events/news-detail.phhttp://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2011/12/20993/

            Dickie, no matter how much you deny it, your church is actively curtailing gay rights. You're just either too bloody stupid, or willfully ignorant of their actions.

          • This is proof of what? that the church is against same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior… of course. What part of what I said don't you understand? This in no way means that they do not care for the persons themselves. The church does not condone adulterous behavior and divorce either, does that mean it is against heterosexuals? If tomorrow there is an amendment allowing polygamy, the church would be the first to protest too. What kind of skewed logic do you have?

          • //that the church is against same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior… of course. What part of what I said don't you understand? //

            And now you're shifting goalposts. My reply was to your declaration that the RCC does not single out gays in its activities:

            //just so you know we have no double standards or that we single out LGBT's.//

            And yet we have several case examples of the RCC specifically targeting the gay community, whether to deny them the right to adopt children, or to marry.

            Where was that fervor when it was being lambasted for its incompetence in dealing with its own child molesters, or corrupt politicos whose only saving grace is that they're willing to tow their bishop's ideology?

          • your mind is really clouded. the reason for the firm response to the so-called gay community is because of the gay community's militant aggression against the church. if any, it'sthe gay community that is singling out the church. for example, prop 8's biggest advocates were the Mormons and the Hispanic community but again the RCC is the painted target I wonder why?

          • //the reason for the firm response to the so-called gay community is because of the gay community's militant aggression against the church.//

            So we're in agreement that the valid response to people demanding fair treatment under secular law is to arrest them.

            Way to play the prosecution card, Dickie.

            //for example, prop 8's biggest advocates were the Mormons and the Hispanic community but again the RCC is the painted target I wonder why? //

            Because we're discussing the Catholic church's involvement in legal actions that curtail gay activities, duh. The same activities that you deny to have ever happened.

            That doesn't mean that I don't consider the Mormons to be lesser hypocritical douchebags, but I'll save that for a different discussion.

          • This is why debating with you is unproductive, you have no focus and you introduce other things that are not even part of the article above. So you won't get anymore replies from me until you clear your mind and sober up.

          • And you're trying to evade my answer when I pointed out the specific quote of yours I was addressing. Afraid the evidence is hitting too close to home?

          • From what I'm seeing, YOU ARE THE ONE who twists the flow of conversation and move goalpoasts faster than the speed of light. This ability of yours is not confined on this article alone, but permeates on other write-ups as well. Thankfully, this nasty tactic of yours appears to be child's play to the freethinkers.

            I kept track on your array of arguments and seems to me, the freethinkers are doing an excellent job on bringing you back on point. I wonder where you get the mental stamina of evading facts. Volleying arguments from your opponent proves to be your greatest talent.

          • //This is why debating with you is unproductive, you have no focus and you introduce other things that are not even part of the article above. //

            This from the man who denies that he's citing Catholic teaching, than proceeds to admit that he does. Make up your mind.

          • Boy your mind really is clouded. I never denied CAtholic teaching, I said I have never quoted nor lifted my arguments from any of the sources of Catholic church. What is it that isn't clear with that?

          • [So you too appeal to what you define as a non-scientifically provable position, right?]

            Yes. The moral system I embrace is science-based, but it is not a science. Hence, although it is grounded on sound biology, anthropology, sociology and psychology, not all of its statements are scientific in nature. To give just one example, "Gays must have the right to marry and adopt children legally" is not a scientific statement but I accept is as true. Again, nowhere did I say that scientific justifiability or empirical verifiability is the only criterion for truth or meaningfulness.

            Your claim that there exists a "natural law" that is the source of your opposition to gay marriage, on the other hand, is a claim for the existence of something (in other words, it's an ontological claim). This is why you have the burden of suppling an empirical justification.

            [ I am not sure what you mean by opposed to the one I am espousing.]

            You are espousing a moral system in which it is perfectly okay to deny gays their right to marry. I, on the other hand, espouse a moral system in which denying homosexuals the right to marry is immoral. This is the reason why my moral system is opposed to yours.

            [Being against the LGBT lifestyle is neither being against these persons who have a disordered orientation nor their rights to be free from violence or employment or equal treatment under law.]

            First, you have to clarify the basis of your judgement of homosexuality being a 'disorientation'. Second, it is precisely an "equal treatment under law" that the LGBT are fighting for. Imagine consenting adults A and B desiring to marry. However, the law will prevent them from doing so unless one is female and the other male. How does such preferential treatment show an "equal treatment under law"?

            [I dichotomize between acts and persons. These persons are not what they do but who they are. Catholic doctrine on the matter is loving the person and hating the lifestyle.]

            Preventing a person from doing what his nature tells him to do is preventing him from being who he is. A person is what he does and what he wants to do. Desiring, consciousness of the act of desiring, reflection on the act of desiring and acting upon a desire are essential elements of personhood. Remove them from a person and you are removing a very basic part of the person.

            To further the above argument, imagine yourself living in a country where religious practices are expressly forbidden. In this hypothetical country, people who profess religious beliefs are tolerated and protected under law, but they are nonetheless prevented from practicing their religion. Can you be a complete Catholic in such a country? Do you think than none of your fundamental rights are being disregarded in such a country?

            Such a hypothetical country exists, except that, instead of forbidding religious practices, such a country forbids homosexual practices. In fact, nearly all the countries of the world are such countries.

            [Besides, you cannot legislate morality…]

            Then why is our Constitution preventing abortion and gay marriage?

            [My questions to you are: what in fact do you mean by LGBT rights?]

            Given the harsh discrimination against homosexuals in our country, it is sad to say that we still need laws to remind everyone that many basic rights ("the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness") must shared by everyone regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The rights secured by such laws comprise the first and basic component of LGBT rights.

            The second component comprises the rights that all consenting adults, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, must have. Such rights include marriage and adoption.

            [Is marriage a basic human right? Is marriage a right to be uniformly given to everyone?]

            No, marriage is not a right to be uniformly given to everyone. However, every couple composed of two consenting adults must be given the right to marry since no one was able to supply a solid, secular justification for defining marriage as "a union between a man and a woman." The only justifications so far given are religious in nature. But we all know that in a secular country, you cannot legislate in favor of a particular religious dogma. In contrast, many solid justifications have been given over the decades to support the definition of marriage as "a union between two consenting adults." The fight for gay marriage is the fight to correctly define marriage.

          • “Yes. The moral system I embrace is science-based, but it is not a science. Hence, although it is grounded on sound biology, anthropology, sociology and psychology, not all of its statements are scientific in nature. “Let me point out the flaws of your science-based morality or conscience:1. A morality based on science can never be universally binding and applied because science changes and data changes over time.2. Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology are soft sciences and are therefor highly subjective and to base a morality on these makes your morality highly subjective3. The only groups that have used science to try and “prove” their morality are the follwoing: a. Nazis- They exterminated undesirables based on the above sciences, Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology by trying to show, scientifically, that jews were sub-human. b. Abortion advocates- By trying to scientifically prove that embryos and fetuses are not humans based on appearance, function or stage of development, they have justified the killing of human fetuses and babies. c. Euthanasia Advocates- appeal to the the fact that terminally sick and severely disabled humans can be put to death because they are suffering, again an appeal to psychology.For a morality to be universal and binding, it must be be objective:Basing morality on the nature of what a thing is, is the most objective way of getting at this. a. Humans have certain inalienable rights, not because these rights can be scientifically proved but because they are human (nature). b. Males have certain characteristics that show their male-ness regardless of their features, capabilities or orientation. The same goes for females c. Marriage by nature is the commitment between a male and female because by nature the purpose (its end) is for the: i.The innate procreative abilities between men and women. No such ability exists in same sex sexual activity. This point alone makes it very clear that sexual activity between a man and a woman is not equal to sexual activity between people of the same sex ii.“Presumption of paternity.” This is an important and historical legal doctrine that assumes the biological connection of the father to the children, due to the husband and wife’s exclusive sexual activity, and legally attaches the woman’s husband to any children she bears in their marriage.”Your claim that there exists a “natural law” that is the source of your opposition to gay marriage, on the other hand, is a claim for the existence of something (in other words, it's an ontological claim). This is why you have the burden of suppling an empirical justification.”Empirical justification: You just admit to using conscience as a basis of morality. I use it too. Everyone uses it as a basis of deciding what one ought and ought not to do. If you can't observe the fact the marriage has always been between a man and a woman and see the positive effects it has in building society then I don;t know what other empirical data you need.”Preventing a person from doing what his nature tells him to do is preventing him from being who he is.”Wrong again: You mean preventing him from doing what he wants. What a person does (have homosexual sex) is not what he is, it is not what his being is. His/her being is human male or female. My main problem with advocates of same-sex marriage is that they unknowingly denigrate homosexuals and reduce them to what they do not who they are. I believe that any rights given to homosexuals must be based on who they are… human beings who are members of society. That is why I have always maintained that homosexuals must be given their due rights, i.e.: suffrage, education, employment, expression, protection. Marriage is not different from other rights in that it has natural parameters in its application. For example, suffrage has requirements like age and citizenship. Marriage does too like sex, age and mental capacity. Do we mean to say that we should remove all these parameters of application? If so, why not remove age restriction as well?Laws are enacted for the greater good of society. Marriage laws are there because marriage is good for society but it can only be good for society if it is fruitful, physically and mentally. Homosexual marriages may be mentally fruitful but it can never build societies because it is sterile.

          • @ your attack of science-based morals:
            1. Data does not change over time, theories that reconcile new data with the old do. And even if theories change, aren't scientific facts and explanations objective and universally binding? Or are you implying that scientific facts are subjective just because scientific theories change over time?
            2. These soft sciences are fast improving. And even in their soft state, they are far from being subjective. Pick up the latest issue of any reputable psychology journal to see how objective modern psychology is.
            3.
            a. The Nazis did not have a science-based morality. Their morality was based on pseudoscience. After all, people with science-based morality, as you have pointed out, do not have the luxury of absolute moral certainty. But recall that the worst crimes in history have been committed by people with absolute moral certainty. See: Inquisition, St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, Witch Trials, Killing of Jews by European Catholics, slavery, ect.
            b. Let me speak for myself and myself only: I am pro-choice. A fetus is not a person and therefore should not be afforded the same rights as an adult human being. (See my philosophy of personhood below.)
            c. Same disclaimer as above: I am also for some forms of euthanasia.

            [If you can't observe the fact the marriage has always been between a man and a woman and see the positive effects it has in building society then I don;t know what other empirical data you need.]

            Now I have the feeling you were indeed sleeping in science class. Have you ever heard of experimental set-ups? How about the control group in an experiment? How can you say that strict heterosexual marriage had positive effects to society when you do not want to test the effects of marriage equality?

            If you want to empirically establish that A is better than B, then you should compare the effects of both. Therefore, if you want to show that heterosexual martial unions are superior to homosexual ones, then you conduct a study comparing them. Wait, haven't such studies been conducted already? And haven't such studies show that there is no significant difference between heterosexual couples and homosexual ones? Ok, no I know your judgements are based on your ignorance.

            [ What a person does (have homosexual sex) is not what he is, it is not what his being is…]

            Your philosophy of personhood is fundamentally flawed. If a person is not what he does and what he wants to do, then what is he? A soul without desires and intentions? What a very outdated conception of personhood.

            Since you avoided the challenge the first time around, let me pose it again:

            Imagine yourself living in a country where religious practices are expressly forbidden. In this hypothetical country, people who profess religious beliefs are tolerated and protected under law, but they are nonetheless prevented from practicing their religion. Can you be a complete Catholic in such a country? Do you think than none of your fundamental rights are being disregarded in such a country?

            Is your personhood complete in such a society? Can you be who you are if you cannot do want you want to do?

            [Marriage does too like sex, age and mental capacity. Do we mean to say that we should remove all these parameters of application? If so, why not remove age restriction as well?]

            Recycling fallacies, are we? What I ask is that only the sex restriction be removed since there is no solid secular justification for its being in place. But there is a solid, secular justification for there being an age and mental capacity restriction, so it should remain. Kuha mo?

            [Homosexual marriages may be mentally fruitful but it can never build societies because it is sterile.]

            I don't think heterosexual marriages will ever go out of fashion. At the risk of offending my LGBT allies, I will hazard the hypothesis that even if enact marriage equality, heterosexual marriages will always be the norm. Society will never run out of actively reproducing citizens. The fear that humans will go extinct once marriage equality is enacted is an empty fear.

          • “Now I have the feeling you were indeed sleeping in science class. Have you ever heard of experimental set-ups? How about the control group in an experiment? How can you say that strict heterosexual marriage had positive effects to society when you do not want to test the effects of marriage equality?If you want to empirically establish that A is better than B, then you should compare the effects of both. Therefore, if you want to show that heterosexual martial unions are superior to homosexual ones, then you conduct a study comparing them. Wait, haven't such studies been conducted already? And haven't such studies show that there is no significant difference between heterosexual couples and homosexual ones? Ok, no I know your judgements are based on your ignorance.”Please my friend, without pulling credentials regarding research, you cannot compare heterosexual and homosexual marriages directly because they are not subject to the same variables or criteria. One is a union between two members of the opposite sex while the other is of the same sex, one can be biological parents and hence be a basic social unit of society while the other cannot, heterosexuals have very different psychological profiles than homosexuals, they have different practices, etc… I mentioned also the fact of paternity and all the other issues of stability that go with a heterosexual marriage like the exposure and upbringing of the children with father and mother roles that are true to their biological make up. Before you lecture me on research protocols, remove your biases and then you will see that what you want to compare are apples and oranges. It's like comparing whether men are better than women… it's an erroneous comparison.The most you can do is to do a survey of either and compare the surveys as to outcome but you cannot draw conclusions of one being superior than then other. I merely pointed out one main issue, the building of a societal unit which is a family. The same family all you who are members of the FFT came from. Anybody from the FFT whose parents are homosexuals, raise your hands… hmmmm, Anybody from the FFT was a product of homosexual adoption or in-vitro fertilization raise your hands… hmmmmm. Anyone, anyone??”Your philosophy of personhood is fundamentally flawed. If a person is not what he does and what he wants to do, then what is he? A soul without desires and intentions? What a very outdated conception of personhood.”Show me how it is outdated? Also, you miss the point that I am arguing for a person's dignity as part of his nature you are arguing for his dignity as part of his desires which is merely a subset of his nature. As I said if we base dignity on desire and intention we go up a slippery slope of subjectivism.”Imagine yourself living in a country where religious practices are expressly forbidden. In this hypothetical country, people who profess religious beliefs are tolerated and protected under law, but they are nonetheless prevented from practicing their religion. Can you be a complete Catholic in such a country? Do you think than none of your fundamental rights are being disregarded in such a country?”There is a flaw in your comparison: Being Catholic is who I am, not what I do. As long as I am living my faith internally, even if I am prevented to do so in public, I still am a complete person. I may feel persecuted but I am persecuted externally. This is precisely what I am saying that you are reducing a homosexual to what they do, not who they are. AS I said before, I know of homosexuals who do not engage in homosexual acts. They struggle with it the same way I struggle with sexual sins and they struggle with it using their faith as their guide, so they come out strong. You on the other hand say that a homosexuals are only complete if they can have sex… that's pretty shallow.”Recycling fallacies, are we? What I ask is that only the sex restriction be removed since there is no solid secular justification for its being in place. But there is a solid, secular justification for there being an age and mental capacity restriction, so it should remain. Kuha mo? “So in terms of age what would be the secular justification for that given that in the past we have more instances of marriage between minors and adults than now whereas we have no instances of marriage between two members of the opposite sex. I am not talking minor as in 9 years old, let say 16? The justification for marriage as being between a man and a woman is that only a man and woman can build a societal unit from their own… literally, biologically, naturally. How much more secular justification do you need?”I don't think heterosexual marriages will ever go out of fashion. At the risk of offending my LGBT allies, I will hazard the hypothesis that even if enact marriage equality, heterosexual marriages will always be the norm. Society will never run out of actively reproducing citizens. The fear that humans will go extinct once marriage equality is enacted is an empty fear. “The fear of not reproducing is not the issue, there are many peripheral issues:1. A marriage that is by nature sterile is pretentious. It says that it is, what it isn't to society.2. It relativizes objective truths about our human nature and the natures of man and woman3. It relativizes marriage itself and opens it up to other unnatural forms of unions, like “open” marriages, like what some of your friends at FFT are advocating.

          • […what you want to compare are apples and oranges.]

            If you can't compare them, then how where do you base your judgment that one kind has the right to marriage while the other has none?

            [The same family all you who are members of the FFT came from. Anybody from the FFT whose parents are homosexuals, raise your hands… hmmmm, Anybody from the FFT was a product of homosexual adoption or in-vitro fertilization raise your hands… hmmmmm. Anyone, anyone??]

            If you asked this same question to a bunch of Spanish freethinkers, or Swedish freethinkers, or even German Protestants, then you will see quite a show of hands. The fact that few if any members of FF were raised by homosexual parents merely shows that LGBT rights still has a long way to go here in the Philippines, but it does nothing to prove your point.

            [As I said if we base dignity on desire and intention we go up a slippery slope of subjectivism.]

            You don't have any basis for saying this. If human dignity is not based on desire, intention and action, then should we not afford John Wayne Gacy, Jr. the same dignity as Abraham Lincoln?

            [There is a flaw in your comparison: Being Catholic is who I am, not what I do.]

            There is no flaw in my comparison. What's flawed is your theory of identity. I was one a Protestant, but now I am an atheist. But wait, can I really say that if you are right? If I am an atheist now and if an atheist is who I am, then that means that if a person is not an atheist, then that person cannot be me. This means that my past, Protestant self is not me. That means whatever crimes my Protestant "self" committed cannot be pinned on my atheist self. QED.

            See what I did there? It's called reductio ad absurdum: I just followed your flawed theory of identity just down to its absurd conclusion.

            [I may feel persecuted but I am persecuted externally.]

            When you are persecuted, a fundamental part of your personality is being trampled upon. To realize the full potential of your personality, you must be able to act on your desires and wishes. Persecution is what the LGBT face in our country, and a way out of that persecution is what they strive for.

            [So in terms of age what would be the secular justification for that given that in the past we have more instances of marriage between minors…]

            The answer to this "challenge" is so obvious I'm getting the feeling that you're just pulling at straws so that you'll have something to reply to me. Minors are obviously not mature enough to know what's good for them and for their partner, that's why law does not and should not allow them to marry. The age of 18 (or 21, as the case may be) is just a number arbitrarily set by law to ensure that immature individuals cannot marry.

            "The justification for marriage as being between a man and a woman is that only a man and woman can build a societal unit from their own… literally, biologically, naturally."

            Notice that by your reasoning, infertile individuals, even if heterosexual, must not be allowed to marry. Reductio ad absurdum again.

            Who are you to say that just because a couple cannot have their own child means that they cannot build a strong family of their own? Think of the millions of lovingly married heterosexual couples in the world who cannot bear their children. Think of the millions of couples throughout the world who adopt in order to build a family.

            [The fear of not reproducing is not the issue, there are many peripheral issues…]

            Point (1) is not even an argument but merely a statement of your opinion. There is nothing "pretentious" about homosexual marriage.

            Point (2) is similarly just your opinion on the "nature" of male and female human beings. Human beings have very diverse sexual identities; do not impose your personal, subjective standards of "manliness" and "womanliness" on everyone else.

            As for point (3), I do not find anything "unnatural" with open marriages. Wait, aren't you committing Fallacy # 1 above again? Oh, when will you ever learn? And by the way, I am also for open marriages.

          • //1. A morality based on science can never be universally binding and applied because science changes and data changes over time.//

            dickie, even religious-based moralities change over time. The bible condones slavery – I don't see you practicing that anymore.

          • //Preventing a person from doing what his nature tells him to do is preventing him from being who he is. A person is what he does and what he wants to do. Desiring, consciousness of the act of desiring, reflection on the act of desiring and acting upon a desire are essential elements of personhood. Remove them from a person and you are removing a very basic part of the person. //

            – Very well said…. But the bottom line of the arguments lies in the Church's attitude towards sex, and to argue with someone who quotes from the Humanae Vitae verbatim, is futile. As unbending as the Church is towards modernity and secularism, dboncan's argument will remain outside the bounds of practicality. His mind is confined within the theological realm.

        • //I have never brought up Catholic teaching in any of my arguments. //

          Bullshit. You stated this earlier:

          "The nature of things and especially of Marriage can bee seen in it's final cause which is to unite and pro-create, both of which can only be fulfilled naturally by heterosexual unions."

          A quick search indicates that you're copying – almost word-for-word – the writings of Humanae Vitae.
          http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encycli

          "Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare."

          • Hey Twin Skies, you never cease to amaze me.

            Your careful attention to detail is worthy of recognition such as when you picked on this note: //I have never brought up Catholic teaching in any of my arguments. //

            – and then providing hardcore data regarding dboncan's alleged source, which is the Humanae Vitae after all. Your wits are razor-sharp, and indeed, dboncan's outright denial of citing Catholic sources in spite of that link only PUTS HIM TO SHAME.

          • Perhaps this will serve as a defining moment for dboncan.

            You said that you never sewed Catholic doctrine in the fabric of your arguments, yet the link provided by Twin_Skies negates your statement. And you accused the freethinkers of being unproductive in the skill of debating.

            How will you redeem yourself now?

          • I don't have to redeem myself to you nor anyone in this group. It's not my problem if you would rather insinuate that I am advocating church teaching rather than arguing the real issues. For heavens sake can I help it if the greatest thinkers in Philosophy and Morality are Catholic/Christian thinkers whom the church uses as well? Why, is there anything original that any of you guys are using in your posts and comments? I have never used any church document or bible quote in my arguments and if they have similarities, it is only because we have the same idea on the matter.

          • Then why don't you use these church documents/bible quotes in the arguments you make? Your arguments on morality don't hold merit if you don't have facts to back you up…I assume you consider the Bible as factual, why not use it? It is really frustrating when you define your own version of morality then claiming them as "defined by nature"…….without any significant facts to back you up. (You are making a really big claim here, so we expect solid evidence, not wordplays).

            I see you have a problem with what homosexuals do, but homosexual sex is one of the conditions that make them homosexual. To attempt to remove something that defines a person, for me, is inhumane and simply just not right. The LGBT community will not harm the society if their rights are accepted; I don't know about you but the people here know that and the Government should know better. It's just that your Church's teachings do not agree with the reality of the situation. (For the record, lesbianism is not mentioned as wrong in the Bible, so at the very least they should give consideration).

            So my question to you sir is why are you so vehemently against with what homosexuals do? Is it the "natural" morality (if so, please give solid evidence, a scientific study that explicitly supports your claim) or is it because the Church taught you so or a different reason altogether?

          • Homosexuality is an orientation. Sodomy is but one thing some of them do. I know homosexuals who practice chastity and struggle with that. You demean homosexual person by reducing them to merely what they do.

          • Demean? Homosexuals more or less practice homosexual sex, where is the demeaning in that?

            On the other hand, you did not answer my questions:"why don't you use these church documents/bible quotes in the arguments you make? Your arguments on morality don't hold merit if you don't have facts to back you up…I assume you consider the Bible as factual, why not use it?" and "Why are you so vehemently against with what homosexuals do? Is it the "natural" morality (if so, please give solid evidence, a scientific study that explicitly supports your claim) or is it because the Church taught you so or a different reason altogether?"

            If you are still clouded on your reasons why, just say so, don't deflect. It will make our conversation a lot faster.

          • "You demean homosexual person by reducing them to merely what they do."

            Actually, our argument is homosexuals are BOTH of the following:

            (1) WHO they are AND
            (2) WHAT they do

            I repeat, BOTH of the above. So stop insisting that we are limiting the definition to number 2 alone. It has always been both 1 and 2. Meanwhile, you keep harping that you accept number 1 but then you deny number 2 when clearly, number 2 is also part of a person's totality along with number 1. So if anyone here is doing the demeaning and reducing, that person is you.

          • If you argue who they are, then you would stop insisting on the laws that affect what they do, their sexual practices…it literally boils down to that, wanting society and the legal system to accept homosexual acts as a norm equal to heterosexual acts and marriage is the best way in which this advocacy can show this and yet it is a flawed argument. The laws may be lacking or not being implemented properly in terms of equal protection under law and the other inalienable rights that are due to them but the core of the advocacy is the sexual act as being accepted as a norm in a union.

          • "If you argue who they are, then you would stop insisting on the laws that affect what they do" – No, we will not stop "insisting on the laws that affect what they do" because our definition is BOTH (1) WHO they are AND (2) WHAT they do. It is not one or the other, it is BOTH. Somehow that message is not getting through.

            "the core of the advocacy is the sexual act as being accepted as a norm in a union." – You got it! 🙂

          • “No, we will not stop stop “insisting on the laws that affect what they do” because our definition is BOTH (1) WHO they are AND (2) WHAT they do. It is not one or the other, it is BOTH. Somehow that message is not getting through. “Well it doesn't matter if you stop the fact is, based on how you have argued so far, I find it demeaning to value a person not solely on his dignity as a human person but based mainly on what he or she does.What laws affect what they do? Sodomy? there are no laws against sodomy that I know of. Marriage? within the parameters set forth, people have the right to marry. It is not an absolute right as I have shown; Male and female, age of majority and mental capacity. The laws on marriage are so, not because of sodomy per se, but because it goes against what a marriage is, as defined by the essence of marriage. You want the definition of the institution of marriage to be redefined for a persons sexual orientation. I find it troubling to try and redefine an institution that is in itself defined by nature of the persons it tries to solemnize, man and woman, by adding a third choice, homosexual, to it. The laws on marriage serve the purpose of society. Marriage is supposed to unite a couple and be productive resulting in the building (growth) of society via the basic family unit (the basic social unit of society) given that laws are made for the greater good of society, then marriage must be good for society. But it is only good for society if it can build society and homosexual unions fail to comply with this because it is sterile.

          • "Well it doesn't matter if you stop the fact is, based on how you have argued so far, I find it demeaning to value a person not solely on his dignity as a human person but based mainly on what he or she does."

            You are the only one who thinks this discussion is "mainly on what he or she does." I will repeat what I said:

            "our definition is BOTH (1) WHO they are AND (2) WHAT they do. It is not one or the other, it is BOTH. Somehow that message is not getting through."

            It is but natural for our discussion to gravitate towards (2) WHAT they do because both of us already agree on (1) WHO they are so there is no point in arguing about that. We never said that we are ignoring (1). What we are saying is (2) is as equally important as (1) And again, because you only accept (1) and deny (2), then you are the one demeaning the value of a person, not us.

            But somehow that message is not getting through. That message is not getting through. It's not getting through.

            The rest of your comment falls under fallacy #1.

          • “It is but natural for our discussion to gravitate towards (2) WHAT they do because both of us already agree on (1) WHO they are so there is no point in arguing about that. We never said that we are ignoring (1). What we are saying is (2) is as equally important as (1) And again, because you only accept (1) and deny (2), then you are the one demeaning the value of a person, not us. “But what they do isn't all about sex. I have homosexual friends who are brilliant doctors, managers etc… If there is a fight to preserve their rights in society it is because they are productive persons in society. It seems that you are concentrating your efforts on marriage because it is obstacle to accepting homosexual acts as a norm of marriage. That is the point that I am driving at which is demeaning, with this advocacy concentrating on the way they act out their sexuality, it is becoming that; they are what they do!

          • Oh dear. There is a lot you need to know and understand before making these misinformed claims.

            1. "But what they do isn't all about sex. I have homosexual friends who are brilliant doctors, managers etc… If there is a fight to preserve their rights in society it is because they are productive persons in society."

            – Exactly. Our advocacy covers this too but we have not discussed this thus far because there is no point in discussing something we already agree on. The anti-discrimination bill will protect your friends who are doctors and managers because of both who they are and what they do "because they are productive persons in society." ( http://bit.ly/adb-hb1483 )

            2. "It seems that you are concentrating your efforts on marriage because it is obstacle to accepting homosexual acts as a norm of marriage."

            – This is only your misinformed perception. You don't know everything about the LGBT movement enough to make this claim. You don't even know how many LGBT activists are for or against same-sex marriage. Yup, not all LGBT activists promote same-sex marriage so please drop the generalization. In fact, the anti-discrimination bill has nothing about same-sex marriage.

            3. "That is the point that I am driving at which is demeaning, with this advocacy concentrating on the way they act out their sexuality, it is becoming that; they are what they do!"

            – Again, this is only your misinformed perception. It is incorrect. The reality is that this advocacy is not only about "concentrating on the way they act out their sexuality." It is also about preserving their "rights in society" "because they are productive persons in society." The platform of Ladlad has nothing on same-sex marriage, it is about livelihood, microfinancing, and health among others. ( http://www.ladlad.org/ )

            So I request that you stop insisting that we are focused on (2) WHAT they do. That is YOUR fixation and a perception that YOU need to change. The reality that you either are not yet aware of or deliberately reject is we equally value BOTH (1) WHO they are AND (2) WHAT they do. Whereas you embrace (1) but reject (2), LGBT activism values both (1) and (2). So by accepting just one of the two, you are the one demeaning our totality as people.

            But somehow that message is not getting through.

          • "I find it demeaning to value a person not solely on his dignity as a human person but based mainly on what he or she does." So what acts exactly do heterosexual people do differently from the LGBTQI that exclude the latter from marriage?

            "… with this advocacy concentrating on the way they act out their sexuality, it is becoming that; they are what they do!"
            But with your implication that marriage is only for two members of the opposite sex because only heterosexual sex acts can result in reproduction, aren't you also debasing the marriage of heterosexual people to just "what they do" i.e. reproduce?

            Really, I just think this idea of "who they are" vs "what they do" is shaky at best.

          • //I find it troubling to try and redefine an institution that is in itself defined by nature of the persons it tries to solemnize, man and woman, by adding a third choice, homosexual, to it. //

            Well, nobody's trying to make you marry another guy, so there. Mind your own fucking marriage.

          • //Marriage is "only good for society if it can build society and homosexual unions fail to comply with this because it is sterile."? //

            Tell that to New York.

            By contrast, you'll find that the religious;y conservative states in the US tend to have the highest incidences of STDs, teen births, and divorces.

            There are a lot of things in that can destroy society, dickie. And the facts show that gay marriage is not one of them. Being a religious fucktard, however, is 😉

          • Marriage is "only good for society if it can build society and homosexual unions fail to comply with this because it is sterile."?

            Wow! Nice way of demeaning marriages to what they do! Your arguments contradict themselves, you should rethink about your position now…cause you are really looking like a hypocrite

          • [Actually, our argument is homosexuals are BOTH of the following:

            (1) WHO they are AND
            (2) WHAT they do]

            Very well said, Ron!

            Dick and I have been debating on this for three days now, but the fellow simply won't give up his flawed theory of personal identity. It even seems that your very succinct formulation did not get to him. I am quite surprised that a person can be so impervious to reason.

          • I guess it is either (1) he already gets the point but would not admit it because it means he would have to recant his claim or (2) he really does not understand it, in which case there is a gap in his comprehension or a gap in my articulation.

            In fact, this is actually the second article where he has attempted to claim that we put less value on (1) WHO they are and put more premium on (2) WHAT they do. (see https://filipinofreethinkers.org/2011/12/12/13-com… ) To wit:

            dboncan:

            "I have a question: Why is it that homosexuals seem to associate themselves so much with what they do rather than who they are?"

            rondevera:

            "A person's totality is not limited to who a person is. It includes what a person does. A doctor's title means nothing if the doctor is not allowed to practice. A priest's title means nothing if the priest is not allowed to preach…"

            dboncan:

            "De vera, if totality is what your after, then even you are wrong because you only account for what a person does, even your analogy was erroneous! Now since you brought up totality, a person's totality is what a person is… i.e. his nature as a human being. With that alone, he is valuable. You're trying to wrangle your way out of the predicament you dug yourself into by saying that what a person does defines him, it does not. A doctor who loses his job or a priest who loses his ministerial faculties may no longer be able to practice or preach but his dignity as human being, a person remains. A homosexual is not defined by what he does but by what he is, a person! Being something does not mean totality. Precisely because a person can be a doctor, priest etc… is because he is a person first.That is the core of his being. Defending gay rights reduces a core of a persons being to what he does."

            rondevera:

            "When did I do this? : "you only account for what a person does"

            When did I say this? : "what a person does defines him"

            Your question was "Why is it that homosexuals seem to associate themselves so much with what they do rather than who they are?"

            My answer was "A person's totality is NOT LIMITED to who a person is. It INCLUDES what a person does."

            I answered your question directly. I don't see a predicament here.

            dboncan:

            "Then you have an even bigger error because what a person does is only a part of what a person is! You are defending a person for what he does, your examples are very telling. Doctor-practice, priest-preaching. So my question is gay homosexual- sodomist… is that your analogy, you never answered it."

            Clearly, he insists that I have chosen one over the other ("You are defending a person for what he does") when what I was doing was putting value in BOTH ("A person's totality is NOT LIMITED to who a person is. It INCLUDES what a person does.")

            Notice that he also claims existence of a predicament on my part. ("You're trying to wrangle your way out of the predicament you dug yourself into by saying that what a person does defines him, it does not") How can there be a predicament when what he claims I'm saying is not even what I'm actually saying?

            "You're trying to wrangle your way out of the predicament you dug yourself into by saying that WHAT A PERSON DOES DEFINES HIM, it does not." [emphasis added]

            IS NOT THE SAME AS:

            "A person's totality is NOT LIMITED to who a person is. It INCLUDES what a person does."

            I don't know why he's not getting this. Do you think there's something I'm missing here, something I need to reword, simplify, present from a different angle?

          • Let's see if this works:

            Let A = Who they are
            Let B = What they do

            rondevera's acceptance = A AND B ( A plus B )
            dboncan's acceptance = A only ( A )

            ( A plus B )>( A )

            Therefore:

            rondevera's acceptance>dboncan's acceptance

            So who's doing the demeaning and the reducing in this equation?

          • //I know homosexuals who practice chastity and struggle with that.//

            My sympathies to them then – they're struggling because of the bullshit morality people like you have brainwashed them to believe.

          • So what? The vatican document has always been explicit in defending natural moral law and yet, I have never quoted from any Catholic document in my defense. Could it be that maybe natural moral law, especially marriage, mean one thing that is why the church also knows it to be so?

          • //So what? The vatican document has always been explicit in defending natural moral law and yet, I have never quoted from any Catholic document in my defense. Could it be that maybe natural moral law, especially marriage, mean one thing that is why the church also knows it to be so? //

            So you admit that you did bring up Catholic teachings in your argument. Ergo, you lied.

            ////I have never brought up Catholic teaching in any of my arguments. // ///

          • I didn't use any sources from Catholic Church documents or teaching as from the documents you show. I never once quoted the Church on a specific matter. I never quoted scripture. If my sources have similar information with what the Church teaches then so be it. I am beginning to think that there is something wrong with your brain. At any rate,if you want to force the issue, then so be it. It really goes to show that when one can no longer defend their position, they resort to peripheral attacks that are not even at issue. How typical of you!

          • Let's look at the evidence, shall we?

            Exhibit A: YOu're a founding member of Defensores Fidei, a group that identifies itself as defender of the RCC by using apologetics.

            Exhibit B: The entries on your personal make constant citations to Catholic doctrine and philosophy

            Exhibit C: You've admitted, quite vocally I might ad, that you are a devout Catholic:

            "Being Catholic is who I am, not what I do. As long as I am living my faith internally, even if I am prevented to do so in public, I still am a complete person. I may feel persecuted but I am persecuted externally."

            As the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

    • //Appealing to natural law means to appeal to that which GOVERNS the nature of things. //

      Are you referring to the matter of the "soul," or genetics? Because the former has yet to proven by empirical evidence to exist, while the latter has already been proven to be true: While there isn't a literal gay gene, our genes do play a part in influencing our sexuality.

      //The nature of things and especially of Marriage can bee seen in it's final cause which is to unite and pro-create, both of which can only be fulfilled naturally by heterosexual unions. //

      So says the church, and yet there are so many people out there today who will marry out of love, which doesn't necessarily mean having kids. Who died and made you the fucking authority on why people should marry?

    • //It is in our nature to get sick and it is in our nature to die BUT it is also in our nature to do good and to do good means to maintain health. So to cure illness in no way goes against our nature which is made to cause good. To prematurely cause someone's illness or death or to artificially stain ones's life when he is considered to be clinically and un-recoverably dead is wrong. NOT PREVENTING ILLNESS nor DEATH. Because illness is merely the privation of health and health is also a part of the natural order of things. //

      I love your logic.

      By following it, I can conclude that freeing somebody from religion protects their health, since it's been found that the more religious among us suffer from greater hippocampal atrophy.
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=

      Since you argue that's it's in our nature to maintain good health, and religion has been found to decrease brain mass (which is unlealthy), why not follow your own reasoning, and join us heathens? )

    • //NOT PREVENTING ILLNESS nor DEATH. Because illness is merely the privation of health and health is also a part of the natural order of things. //

      So why are you advocating "gay therapy," when it's been found by the medical community to be harmful?

      • I beg your pardon for not addressing your comments as I would prefer to address De Vera's article point by point and thus far you're comments are not germane to my responses yet. If you want to have an exchange, as a matter of policy, mine, stop using any vulgarities or ad hominems as has been your common practice. Thank you.

        • Dickie, cupcake, it's only an ad hominem if it has no bearing on the discussion.

          You've proven in your prior exchanges you will stoop to using fraudulent sources such as the CBCP, FRC, and NARTH to push your lopsided views on homosexuality. Calling you a fucking bigot is not ad hominem – it's calling a spade a spade. Or a liar a liar.

          //I beg your pardon for not addressing your comments as I would prefer to address De Vera's article point by point and thus far you're comments are not germane to my responses yet.//

          You can always ignore me, cockbreath.

          //If you want to have an exchange, as a matter of policy, mine, stop using any vulgarities or ad hominems as has been your common practice.//

          I'll stop being rude to your face when you stop being a deluded, bible-thumping, self-righteous twat. Or is that too much to ask of you?

          • I am not sure why you think you're being witty by using my nickname or trying to get cozy and personal maybe you need some attention but what part of what I said didn't you understand?

        • //I beg your pardon for not addressing your comments as I would prefer to address De Vera's article point by point and thus far you're comments are not germane to my responses yet.//

          In short, you don't even have the balls to confront your previous bullshitting.

    • "1. It is in our nature to get sick and it is in our nature to die BUT it is also in our nature to do good and to do good means to maintain health."

      You can attack the analogy all you want but your means of attack is yet another example of the very fallacy that I presented in the first place.

      "2. It is not an appeal to nature per se but an appeal to the natural (moral order) law"

      Cal it what you want but the essence of the fallacy survives through the semantics so albeit under a different terminology, it is still the same fallacy.

      • So why not show directly how my argument below is false?”Cal it what you want but the essence of the fallacy survives through the semantics so albeit under a different terminology, it is still the same fallacy.”Nope sorry, a fallacious appeal to nature is an appeal to naturalism. Naturalism and the natural laws are two different things. In fact the very example you use of “homosexuality” being found in nature is the one that false and is within the purview of a false appeal to nature.

        • "So why not show directly how my argument below is false?" – Because in logical debate, you use logic. You cannot invoke things like "appeal to nature," "appeal to naturalism," "natural laws," and whatever other permutation of what you're trying to do. This is not a matter of my opinion or your definitions. This is how logical debate works. Here are some primers to help you understand what I'm trying to say:
          http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html#Natuhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature

          And by the way, I never said this so you need to recant it:

          "In fact the very example you use of "homosexuality" being found in nature is the one that false and is within the purview of a false appeal to nature."

  9. Though laying out these common fallacies is helpful, it is very disheartening to acknowledge that it is still quite necessary even in this age. What is even more shocking and discouraging is that one often finds a confluence of all these excursions from reason all in one person.

    • Marriage is not for everyone. For example, minors can’t marry. Mentally handicapped people can’t marry. Humans can’t marry their dogs. YOLO 🙂

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