Thinky cap on.
So I’ve got a philosophy of religion exam tomorrow, and in preparation, instead of actually preparing the actual essay questions that will be on the exam, I’ve got Don Cupitt and Stephen Law in my head, telling me what they think about God. Which mostly consists of Non-Realism, which states that God doesn’t exist outside of our human faith and understanding of him. So humans pre-date God.
Religious realism, where God is literally sitting on a throne in the sky with Jesus on his physical right hand, is an outdated notion according to Cupitt.
Good stuff for thinking.
But what really got this post started was an excerpt from Stephen Law’s The Philosophy Gym, the chapter titled “What’s wrong with gay sex?” in which Stephen Law takes Plato’s device of using mock discussions between various characters to illuminate certain aspects to a stance against homosexuality. In the course of arguing against an overly simplistic defense of “homosexuality is just wrong” , Law covers the appeal to the Bible; its unnatural, dirty, and unhealthy nature; corruption of young; promiscuity; and family values. And in its own simplistic way, the chapter manages to put up some defenses. But that got me started on a train of thought I’ve had before, namely, the instinctive feeling of wrongness that people associate with certain kinds of sexuality and sexual relationships.
I’m an avid proponent of gay rights and equality of rights for all LGBT citizens of America. Until recently, though, I’ve attempted to keep my support on the down low when I’m at home because my parents were freaked out enough that I had gay friends. If I “came out” to them as a supporter of the LGBT movement, they’d both have cows and then attempt to use those cows to sell me off to the most hetero-aggressive Korean traditionalist male Roman Catholic groom as soon as possible.
Well, chalk it up to a late phase of teenage rebellion or just immature perversity but lately I have been attempting to engage my parents, especially my father in dialogues involving a comparison of their feelings and mine on homosexuality. We never really got anywhere in terms of convincing either my father or myself that we were wrong but it certainly got me thinking about how my father could feel so strongly that homosexuality was unnatural without any logical support to back him up. He didn’t even have the defenses that Law enumerated in his book. He simply and consistently insisted that homosexuality felt completely wrong and unnatural, and that it always would. Which got me thinking about what I would consider unequivocally wrong in respect to a relationship or sexual orientation.
I then thought of the nature of incest. When I think of an incestuous relationship between a parent and child, my immediate reaction is disgust and horror. I tried to think of a situation where I would be comfortable with a mother and child or father and child engaging in a sexual or romantic realtionship, and I really couldn’t. I can’t help but think that this instinctive and immediate reaction is similar to my father’s reaction to homosexuality.
So, unfortunately, this is the point at which my logic fails me because to be truthful, I have no logical defense for why I feel this way. I could tell you it’s because I subconsciously understand that any reproduction from a relationship of that sort is fraught with genetic peril or that it can be seen as an abuse of authority or some other reason but even if none of those reasons applied, I would still feel somewhere in my illogical and inexplicable little soul that incestuous relationships are wrong.
I’m not sure which side I would come down on if incestuous couples were to look for legitimization and civil equality in the eyes of civilization and the law. I like to think I’d be logical about it, or at least open to discussion but as I just laid out, this isn’t a topic that I’m logical about.
To be fair, I don’t seem to be quite as squicked about relationships between first cousins. I’ve done my fair share of hillbilly jokes and West VA ridicule but I’ve never had the instinctively horrified reaction to cousin relationships that I’ve had towards parent child relationships. I don’t know if that’s because I live in a world where that particular relationship is still prevalent in various societies or if it’s tied to my personal view of various family members. But it bears reflecting upon.