Unnatural Affections?

Straight To hell

The unknown and the different have always evoked strong reactions from people. Perhaps there is an evolutionary imperative in being wary of all that is alien. Of all the “strange” socio-cultural phenomenons to create waves in the past 30-40 years, nothing matches the gay rights movement in its perseverance and success. Yet, inspite of all the success of the movement across the world, there is perhaps no group so hated and misunderstood. Part of the reason is that in most cultures sex is taboo, and talking about “unnatural”sex is further taboo. Lies mis-conceptions and false information passed on from mouth to mouth end in a grossly misrepresented image or reality.This series will look at the most common  objections and misunderstandings about homosexuality.

That homosexuality is “unnatural” and against the “order of nature” is perhaps the most commonly used argument, heard the loudest and so pervasive as to be even in our constitution till this year.
What is Natural?

Any discussion about the unnatural must begin with understanding what natural is. Explanations and definitions abound and for this discussion I choose to define natural as that which adheres to natural laws.Natural laws are laws that govern what we observe in nature; eg. gravity, electromagnetism etc. but as far as we know, there is no universal law of sexuality and even if there was one, the very fact that homoxesulaity defied the law would mean it was not really a law. It’s not that I have chosen a definition to suit my views, taking any other definition, save those that have a religious origin, there is no scientific reason to call homosexuality unnatural.
Take for example the belief that only human beings have homosexual behaviour, and therefore it is a deviation from the natural norms. Contrary to this belief, there are hundreds of species of animals that exhibit homosexual behaviour. Following is a quote from a popular magazine. The science of the article is accurate, if a bit dramatic.

Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.

Click here for the original Article

The Moralistic Argument

However, often statements about the unnaturalness of homosexuality stem from religious or moralistic beliefs. Of the world’s dominant religions, all monotheistic religions have clear cut objections to homosexuality and one can find a wide range of personal beliefs about it, from believing homosexuals to be “lost souls” to “perverts going to hell”.

Most religions believe that there is a clear and fixed natural order, a guideline of how nature and people are supposed to behave. The problem with this outlook is that this presumes that religions know all there is to know about nature and its working. But if religions indeed are right about such an order why do their moralistic and natural standards change with time? Natural and unnatural vary across religions and sometimes even across sects within religions, it is unnatural for a man to be clean shaven if he is Amish and unnatural for him to sport a beard if he is a Quaker. Oral sex was deemed unnatural by all Christian sects till just a hundred years ago, yet now many an evangelical preacher is heard supporting it from posh progressive pulpits. So the natural-unnatural divide as proposed by religions is like writing in sand, with no sound and timeless principles behind them about the natural world and therefore cannot be accepted as a valid one.

Reproduction or Evolution Argument

There are many pseudo-scientific arguments hovering around the theory of evolution, usually propounded by religious groups to lend credibility to their moralistic arguments. The typical argument is that sex was evolved for reproduction and since homosexuality does not lead to reproduction, it is unnatural/wrong/evil. To begin with, it is quiet a big assumption to say that the only purpose of sex is reproduction, and if it were true, any sexual behavior that does not directly or indirectly lead to conception should also be deemed unnatural.

Such reductionist thinking does not keep in mind that the evolutionalry scientists themselves are at times not sure about the evolutionary significance of many human traits. One such example is the female orgasm, if the only purpose of sex is reproduction, then (sorry ladies) the female orgasm is rather useless. In fact for a long time it was not even accepted as normal for a woman to have an orgasm.

In conclusion, there is no good scieintific reason to think homosexuality is an abnormal deviation, or unnatural form of sexual preference. Hopefully with advances in science we will know better about the physiology, psychology and genetics involved.

The next part of this series will talk about the medical aspects of homosexuality, adressing questions like “Arent all gay people HIV positive?” And isnt homosexuality a disease?

34 thoughts on “Unnatural Affections?”

  1. First, those who argue against homosexuality giving reasons such as god’s laws must understand that the very concept of god and his laws are in fact farcical notions that are untenable before scientifically debated subjects.

    Homosexuality, as Anand rightly pointed out, is not a human exclusive behaviour. For the penis fencing bonobo, neither god, nor his prophets and whatever they have preached or said are of any consequence.

    Therefore, if he being a ‘lesser life form’ can give a damn and follow his inclinations without any inhibitions, why on earth we as humans can’t do the same?

    The homophobic god’s ‘naturalists’ should first be able to explain what is natural and what is unnatural if they fancy themselves to be accepted into a debate between intellectuals.

  2. Dear AP I dont have an unshakable presumption saying that HS relationships are hedonistic. But just use ur reasoning and principles of elimination. Why do humans have sex? 1) pleasure 2) reproduction 3) the form of expression of love between 2 humans.
    Now HS cant reproduce. Its expression of love well i dunno but from what iv heard abt gays is that they are purely attracted towards men sexually and that seems to be the deciding factor in them being gay ( which is kind of axiomatic- u would not be HS unless u were sexually attracted to men). So somehow whatever i read abt the interviews abt gay relationships the love factor was kinda relegated to the background . SO that leaves pleasure as the sole reason. Now what is the sole pursuit of pleasure if not hedonism. Im not saying there is no emotion but is that why men become gay? because they are emotionally attracted? No they are attracted sexually.

    As for ur article on animals. Sorry but which one were u exactly referring to? And if i did rad them maybe i missed the finer print and need to reread it again. Can u just resend the links?

  3. Why are most ani­mal oppo­site gen­der rela­tion­ships lim­ited to only cetain time peri­ods nad that too sex?

    dude!! the articles I quote list scores of animals who have sex for fun, purely for fun.

    HS takes only the plea­sure of sex and detaches it from the repro­duc­tive effects of it thus mak­ing it totally hedo­nis­tic

    I will be addressing this assumption in the next article, contrary to what you seem to think, HS relationships are not purely hedonistic, not even in sex.

    If you make an unshakable presumption before you go looking evidnece, chances are what you will find will be a result of confirmation bias.

  4. Dear AP as to ur point abt pleasure and sex in animals. SUre , i was aware that pigs had orgasms. In fact one of my blockmates had got a report which showed that pigs orgasms lasted for 30 mins with a statement below written by him saying ” in my next life i want to be a pig”. But then why do they have sex only when in heat and otherwise dont even look at their opposite gender. Why are most animal opposite gender relationships limited to only cetain time periods nad that too sex? the reason i ask this is becasue i want to demonstrate the danger in humans in relationship to sex. That is unlike animals- humans donot have sexual desires only during a particular season and are totally devoid of it later. SO that means i need to see all ur links regarding animals and sexual pleasure because i want to know if they have sex just for the heck of it- for pleasure or are even orgasms in them associated with increased chances of fertility. If that is the case then ur whole argument that abt sex in animals and pleasure may not be valid here. Because in humans pleasure during sex can be totally detached from reproductive value. Hence the need for families and marriage in non Christian societies. Due to the prolonged fecundity in human females. Or else there the hedonistic nature of our forefathers would have further overpopulated the earht than what it is today. NO im not digressing. What im saying is that again i come to the conclusion that somehow HS takes only the pleasure of sex and detaches it from the reproductive effects of it thus making it totally hedonistic. And as i mentioned earlier it is unable to overcome the law regarding procreation yet continues to flourish thus giving it a very hedonistic feel. Now is it wrong just because it is hedonistic? YES and NO. NO because pure pleasure cant be a basis for deeming something wrong. YES because now it perverts sex into being the main focus and relegates everything in the background. And the defence for this statement is the fact that he is willing to place his sexual preferences at such a high premium that he is willing to sacrifice a family and reproductive potential just so that he can have sex with a man.

    Get back to me with ur rebuttal .

  5. 1.IF so, then why would there be ANY animal Homosexual activity? if in animals sex was only for reproduction, there would be no HS activity right? Why do something that is not fun, has no instinctive compulsion and no reproductive advantage? More so, if, as you say animals cannot resist instincts, then animal homosexuality is an instinct right? an unnatural instinct you say?

    The reason why animals indulge in HS according to the very article u quoted is for male social bonding in complex groups. Its their version of football or golf ( sorry guys could not resist that) . And even if animals and humans both showed it, I dont think it is justification. There are many other activities that animals do which if a human does demands a strict punishment. So I think ur argument regarding animals can only be limited to using/stating it as a fact that it is common in animals and humans. It CANNOT be used to justify human HS behavior.

    1. Its not a justification, its an example. If a 600 foot figure of Jesus were to appear in the middle of an atheist convention, while a many would be converted, most will go looking for hidden projectors and take biopsies of the figure.

      Science cannot make value judgments too easily, so in defense of the perfect naturalness of human homosexuality, to point out other animals doing the same is great evidence, not justification.

  6. Dear AP here are my replies to ur questions and hopefully a rebuttal to inch closer to the questions plaguing each one of us. Ur quotes will be in quotes to prevent confusion like last time.I still dont know how to use italics on copied stuff.

    Because it does not follow the law that male and females are physically, mentally and emotionally complementary.
    Who discovered this law? is this a scientific law? Clearly not. My contention is that natural and unnatural must not be defined based on religious or moral premises, as they are fluctuant and not always rationally defensible.

    Ur right. And what makes scientific laws so infallible?As docs we know that scientific laws are just as frequently changing as other laws. SO we come to the question- what laws are there which are unchanging and irrefutable? Suppose im not a Christian I would say – the law of nature. And that I dont just mean scientific interpretation but, also its ramifications on society and its role in human behaviour. ( now i never said this is infallible- its just that if i was an athiest/agnost (which i am not)who had come to disillusionment with science – which i have – then this would be my second last resort. The last being trying to devote my life to find the irrefutable law.

    Natural laws are laws that govern what we observe in nature; eg. gravity, electromagnetism etc. but as far as we know, there is no universal law of sexuality and even if there was one, the very fact that homosexuality defied the law would mean it was not really a law.

    this is a statement in ur original argument.

    Shalom, when a bird flies, does it not have gravity affecting it? in fact its flight is made possible by gravity, or it would have drifted into space. You must differentiate between negating a law and seemingly or temporarily defying its power. Clubbing this with your first concluding point

    1) Defying laws does not mean laws dont exist

    Agreed, but defying a law is not the same as negating a law. Just because you can create zero gravity atmosphere does not mean gravity does not exist. The law of gravity ceases to exist only if it is demonstrated that every body in the universe DOES NOT attract every other body in the universe with a force that is inversely proportional to the distance between them.

    There is a law of universal sexual behaviour. “And it says that u can only procreate with a mate of the opposite sex”. “That only their genitals are complementary for the act of sexual intercourse”. Yes men can, or women can, but those organs are not meant for it in the main place. And yes now u will throw the question as to how anal and oral sex between a man and woman is natural but between man and woman is deemed natural . I dont know dude, but I think that the act of penetration in man and man is unnatural because there is no physical complementarity . Come on the anus is not even considered to be a genital/ sex organ.
    And the act in men / women in HS relationship cannot procreate. This is one of the main reasons to have intercourse. IN humans the ramifications can be important. Isnt that reason to have a little aversion to this relationship . Then you move onto the realm of family. This can lead to the breakdown of family. families with no mothers or no fathers at all producing dysfunctional children. Hence , I think it has been deemed unnatural. And thus I would say the act of not procreating would put it inth ecategory of something that can defy a law but cant overcome it- ala that it is proven true n every human and that even a HS cant finally defy it. He cant impregnate a man .

    A universal law of sex would say that sex can be had only between opposite genders, it is an OBSERVATION not a LAW in the Old testament style.

    Yes AP but arent laws based on observations? Newtons famous law was based on apple falling on his head only na?

    Do you mean to say there are no emotional or mental aspects to homosexual relationships? that its all about the sex? J Homosex. 2003;45(1):23-43. Pubmed abstract . Results supported previous findings that satisfaction and stability in gay and lesbian relationships are related to similar emotional qualities as in heterosexual relationships.

    Agreed AP ( though i would love to see the methodology of the study) , but SO WHAT ? It does not have the complementarity in the emotional and mental aspects. What i mean to say is that the reason a man and woman should stay together is not just for physical reasons, but because their mental and emotional makeup is different leading to a more balanced outlook. So a marriage/ heterosexual union consists of not just sexual but also mental and emotional complementary.The combo of 2 different minds which is supposed to lead to a different perspective n life and enhance ones understanding of it. I think we all agree one thing that enriches and improves ur understanding of life is perspective. This may sound like a lot of gas but i do believe its valid. Also even if u had the perfect HS couple they wouldnot have the emotional and mental complementarity to raise a child. There would be no balance. Yes thats the word balance. There needs to be a balance in the two extremes of male and female behavior which hetro relationships aim to achieve but fails flat in HS relationships.If u think this a weak point read Mere Christianity for the passage where CS Lewis describes the different ways in which a man and woman would respond to their son being hurt by their neighbor’s son in school.

    1. Problem is Shalom, you are speaking from a very clearly biblical perspective, in that your basic argument against HS is that sex, and gender roles in sex are for a particular reason, and any deviation from those is abnormal. I ask you, who says that is so? you can only say that it is the distilled wisdom of centuries of human society and common sense. I say that an openness to change centuries of wisdom is needed, and of course that one can find umpteen areas, even within sexuality and family, where the wisdom of centuries have been shown to be stupid.

      There needs to be a bal­ance in the two extremes of male and female behav­ior which hetro rela­tion­ships aim to achieve but fails flat in HS relationships.

      This is where science helps us, yo see, we can, to some extent measure the outcomes of homosexual relationships and observe over periods of time whether there is any measurable difference in the quality of life of children of gay parents. From the evidence we have now, there is no such difference.

      We have a habit of glorifying the past, and tradition. The panacea that was a typical family, with a strong father as the head, is more of an illusion than anything else. Truth is, sure, we need father figures, but millions of kids do fine without them, and there is not much of distance between a strong father figure and a weak mother figure.

  7. Dear AP I was going to ask u the question that I think uncle partially answered. I havent answered ur post for that reason. What kind of answer are u looking for? its obviously not the fact whether Bible condemns HS. Is it to ask the question whether the rest of the evidence is in favor of it? Or is it to ask whether we can look for external confirmation of biblical principles? ( i dont think so). SO what exactly are u trying to answer? If u can answer that then maybe this query can be approached correctly. the reason is that i felt that u were trying to question biblical principles and then using those same to support ur argument. Such circular stuff can be difficult to answer. Tell us what exactly you seek and the beating around the bush may stop.

    1. I dont think one can defend the biblical position from outside it, and I definitely do not wish to do that. The post really has nothing to do with any religion in particular. It so happens that those who commented brought up the bible.

      SO, I seek the truth, not scriptural, and in this post, i seek argument, to understand better.

  8. I enjoyed reading both your posts that you have done so far. Yes, I gather that these are basically technical articles and that you expect them to be handled at the technical level rather than at a moralist or religious level.

    I would be happy to do that — eventually, I mean.

    Many of those who posted comments could, I believe, have given more solid answers if they had tried to approach the answer at the same level at which you wrote the posts.

    write on! It does inspire people — I mean it does inspire people like me to show purely on the basis of technical thought that your presentation is incomplete and that you also need to take “the other side” into consideration.

    Johnson C. Philip
    http://www.TrinityTheology.org

  9. @joe, great comment!!

    The philosophy of science is a vast field and different views enrich us.
    You rightly say that there is a bell curve of “normalcy” and those beyond that are terms abnormal.

    It is difficult to statistically quantify homosexuality, and i will have to do some digging, but i assure you, it is way more common than you think, and has way more implications than we realize.

    While i disagree that morality is the exclusive prerogative of religion or that science has not role in defining morality, i agree totally that just because something is natural or normal does not mean it is “right” or acceptable.

    But, the problem as i pointed out is, that no religion has in known history maintained a steady moral code beyond some very few core beliefs, for long periods. And so as far as deciding how people should be treated by the law and in the society, religion cannot, by track record and philosophy claim too much role. unless the society is a religious one, as in muslim countries.

    What is right and what is wrong cannot be decided by lab tests, but science has come a long way in understanding what is good in the long term for people and what is not, social psychology and behaviour sciences are still in their infancy so the recommendations can change, but they do have good science about what is good and what is not, in many areas.

    Alcoholism, for example and childhood sexual abuse have shown to have clear and long term detrimental effects, and so, they are “wrong”. thats not the only reason, of course, but just to say that morality is not a religious invention.

    Sorry this post is not a very coherent one,

  10. @shalom, sorry for having mixed that up, didnt think they were yours but thought you were supporting. Science is not the answer to everything, and such is not my claim.
    Awaiting other clarification

  11. Hmm.. pretty interesting.. wish to wonder what the point of this article and all the arguments are about.. looks like we’re stuck at the definitions.. scientifically there are two ways of describing something natural (my understanding of science).. quantification and qualification.. by quantification i refer to all the statistics that are involved in science, i.e. 95% (mean+-2SD) of the sample size has this feature and therefore this feature is natural.. majority calculation.. the other way is qualification.. that is by describing wat is seen to happen.. this may not be the thing that is most commonly seen but nevertheless is seen to happen in nature.. I see a man 2 metres tall.. that’s new to me and definitely not the majority of the people are 2 meters tall.. nevertheless he’s seen in the very context i am living in.. may be there are 100’s of them living all over the world and may not be the majority feature of human race, but since they do exist, they are also part of the natural realm..

    no homosexuality, in this light, fits in the second category.. it may not be what all (or 95%) animals all over the world are doing but definitely it is seen to happen (as AP quotes) and therefore, in that sense, nothing wrong in calling homosexuality as a natural phenomenon.. usually dogs hate cats.. but there may be many houses where dogs and cats cohabit as pets without seemingly uncomfortable.. neither can be discarded as unnatural as they both occur in nature.. but if u r the one following the majority group, probably u’d call the second category as unnatural, and u’re probably right..

    so now AP, science does assume uniformity in nature.. that’s y v generalize observations as laws.. And usually science goes by the majority.. the laws of gravity, electromagnetics came from numerous observations and experimentations which at the end of analysis showed that there is something constant occuring in nature.. they were things that were statistically measured and analysed, and expressed in numbers.. they were quantified and the proposition that described the majority of the events were termed as laws.. Is it the same with your homosexuality argument..?? Is it the majority of what is happening in nature..?? I’m not sure if the quantified laws of gravity etc. can be comparable to ur qualitative observations about homosexuality.. May be there’s no universal law of sexuality (probably coz no one studied it), but homosexuality doesn’t seem to be the majority even according to what u’ve quoted from the article.. U may have at the best demonstrated that homosexuality is seen to occur in nature albeit in a minority group.. That is definitely “not” strong scientific reasoning..!!

    Now, granted that homosexuality is natural.. SO WHAT if it’s natural?? Even let’s assume it was the majority.. SO WHAT?? That says nothing about whether it’s right or wrong.. It has been observed in some tribes that men eat men.. So let’s all start eating fellow human beings and form a cannibalistic organiztion?? Let’s fight for their rights..?? and acceptance..!! It’s seen to occur in nature dude..!! It’s natural!! U might say homosexuality doesn’t hurt anyone but cannibalism does.. but what does it mean to be hurt..?? If i feel nauseated when i hear about a homosexual incident, and i start to vomit, has it hurt me..?? And if i get a vasovagal shock and die when i hear that the supreme court has legalised homosexuality, has it hurt me..?? wud u remove the law for me or wud u chuck me out as an exception and do nothing abt it..?? So if somebody dies when he hears the supreme court’s verdict on homosexuality, it has happened in nature and therefore natural (according to you).. if it is natural for a man to die on hearing the verdict, then how about scrapping it.. ?? The verdict is hurting people dude.. Am i sounding like you..??!!

    Just like how u say that religious texts has no role in defining what is natural, similarly, science has no role in defining morality.. Science may be at a better place to observe about what’s happening about nature when compared to the religious texts.. coz religious texts talk of a lot of things than those that are only natural.. But it (science) can never define morality.. it’s simply not within it’s limits.. Hope i’ve tried my best not to bring in any theology in this non-theological debate..!!

  12. dude AP the words of Roughgarden which u have attributed to me are actually not mine but a summary of hers form the article u quoted.I dont agree with that view at all and after the syntheses whatever stuff iv written is my rebuttal for her statements.
    This is a good time to ask u. How do u get italics for the other authors quotes? Rest all shall come later.
    As for slavery. It was justified on the basis of Paul and Peter’ s admonition to slaves. It was used by the imperialists as an excuse to condone slavery. And the reason they didnt figure out is my answer to ur second law- why moralistic grounds are not admissible for repression of homos. Thats where the cultural and temporal – what John Stott calls blind spots were- present in the churches then. And as our understanding of the Bible got better we realized the sin of keeping slaves.
    You are right that bible finds homos unacceptable- thats why I think in this case we are not progressing/growing as in the case of regards to slvery but regressing.SO what is the difference in these two movements? Cant we argue and say that just like our eyes opened to slavery our blind spot to homos being takenout now? NO
    2 reasons : 1) Homosexuality is explicitly forbidden. No doubts.
    2) The abolition of slavery started after realizing the immorality of it on a biblical basis and it was spearheaded by studying the bible and finding it wrong. It was not a compromise to the cultural ideas of the time but it was against the ideas of that time. ON the other hand the churches have let their hand be forced into culture dictating the terms here. Rest later man. Been typing stuff all day.

    But for rebuttal to ur arguments as to scientific articles being a reliable indicator to comment on HS refer to my ideas on science as the ultimate source of knowledge as a comment on Gupta’s wall on FB.

  13. @shalom, dunno if i want to reply to that hermeneutics problem, yo see, if you say that slavery was acceptable till 300 years ago, that means for 1700 years no one had figured out what, according to you, is plain and clear in the scripture. Going by the same argument, what is to say that the acceptability of homosexuality is not something similar?

    Let me point out that i dont think homosexuality can be defended as acceptable on biblical grounds, but slavery can be.

  14. Shalom

    In fact, Roughgarden even argues that homosexuality is a defining feature of advanced animal communities, which require communal bonds in order to function

    does that mean you believe we evolved from lower vertebrates? because this explanation makes sense only if you presume evolution.

    Also due to a much more complex social and emotional structure

    if your source is to be belived then homosexuality in humans is also a sign of sophistication, and complexity.

  15. I have a few more questions to ask, but i will post it sometime later in details and i would gladly explain the first para then.
    Just want to float a question before that, If the laws of nature are for everybody and in the NATURAL setting, why can’t everybody have a inclination to Homosexuality, Why is it not for everybody and only a few?
    ” How can it be Natural but for a few and not for everybody?”
    I am not looking for a biblical answer, but on the lines of science and naturalistic POV?

  16. Hi shalom, thanks for the lengthy replies, loved reading them, we started with different presuppositions and different sources, so there is bound to be disagreement and hopefully learning, which is the point of a discussion eh? 😉 Your presupposition number 1. is that there is a natural law that should govern behavior, alas, i disagree, sure there are standards and guidelines, but nothing written in stone.

    Here are the detailed counters/queries:

    Because it does not follow the law that male and females are physically, mentally and emotionally complementary.

    Who discovered this law? is this a scientific law? Clearly not. My contention is that natural and unnatural must not be defined based on religious or moral premises, as they are fluctuant and not always rationally defensible.

    Then as birds fly in the air, we should never have believed in gravity in the first place. Or just because man is not a an aquatic animal, building ships or swimming does not mean that laws of hydrodynamics dont exist.Or just because sharks swim so fast should not lead us tosay that oceans are unnatural or there are no laws of hydrostatics in them. There is something that has broken the rule ,but the rule exists.

    Shalom, when a bird flies, does it not have gravity affecting it? in fact its flight is made possible by gravity, or it would have drifted into space. You must differentiate between negating a law and seemingly or temporarily defying its power. Clubbing this with your first concluding point

    1) Defying laws does not mean laws dont exist

    Agreed, but defying a law is not the same as negating a law. Just because you can create zero gravity atmosphere does not mean gravity does not exist. The law of gravity ceases to exist only if it is demonstrated that every body in the universe DOES NOT attract every other body in the universe with a force that is inversely proportional to the distance between them.

    A universal law of sex would say that sex can be had only between opposite genders, it is an OBSERVATION not a LAW in the Old testament style.

    as humans it does not provide the complementary emotional and mental aspect to a relationship it is unnatural in that way

    Do you mean to say there are no emotional or mental aspects to homosexual relationships? that its all about the sex? J Homosex. 2003;45(1):23-43. Pubmed abstract . Results supported previous findings that satisfaction and stability in gay and lesbian relationships are related to similar emotional qualities as in heterosexual relationships.

    thats as animals its even if they practice homo sex, do they reproduce with their male mates?

    No they dont, they cant, if they could, who knows? Human Homosexual couples dont reproduce either. It is not the existence of gay animals that justifies gay humans, i am merely pointing out that it is not a human specific behavior.

    in animals sex is more of a bodily function than a pleasure. The reason is its seasonal and functional. If sex was associated with their pleasure center, dogs would not look so bored in life and would be on the hunt every time

    1.IF so, then why would there be ANY animal Homosexual activity? if in animals sex was only for reproduction, there would be no HS activity right? Why do something that is not fun, has no instinctive compulsion and no reproductive advantage? More so, if, as you say animals cannot resist instincts, then animal homosexuality is an instinct right? an unnatural instinct you say?

    2. Journal of Sexual Medicine Volume 1 Issue 3, Pages 237 – 253 and MANY other peer reviewed papers clearly demonstrate that pleasure is associated with animal sexual activity. In fact, pig farmers are instructed to stimulate sows to orgasm to ensure good fertility. not kidding, can send you a very disturbing video link 🙂

    So when pleasure takes precedence and becomes the sole purpose it becomes unhealthy and unnatural

    I agree totally, remember that CS lewis quote about lusting after food, in “Mere Christianity”? pure genius. But you see, your average homosexual is not a nymph, he or she have NORMAL inclinations towards pleasure, just that they are not towards the usual gender.

  17. @jones, I am unable to understand the point you are making in your initial paragraphs, so clarify a bit. As for the last paragraph, I agree, looking at it from a Christian POV, the unnatural is the true nature of the fallen man, and i do not dispute that the bible teaches that.

    1.

    our dimensions are not accustomed with the law nature,

    are you saying that man is free of physical laws? man can stop himself from rolling down a mountain, sure, doesnt mean the law of gravity does not apply to him, more about this in the reply to shalom.

    2. what law of nature is there against cutting down trees?? I am saying exactly that, there are no such laws, but those that humans invent, for social or religious reasons, or for sanity’s sake.

    Let me say this again, Natural laws as i mean are physical ones, those that COMPEL natural objects to act according to them. Natural laws defined by religions are not binding and inviolable.

    2. are you talking about spiritual laws here? My contention here is not about what the bible teaches, calling something unnatural from a rational-scientific POV is different from doing that from a religious POV,

  18. @ Raji chechi, this is not a theological discussion, so cant really rely on the bible 🙂
    @rosh, good point, in fact moral relativism does mess up our hopes of having the world in black and white, I cannot defend it too well, so will not do that now, but will post something later.
    @rahul, thanks, but unfortunately we all have to point at others and say this is right and this is wrong, that is how life works. I wholeheartedly agree that religious texts are subject to interpretation, but they are also the standards by with millions live by so ignoring them is impossible, as is refusing to face what they teach. I haven’t examined what the bible teaches about homosexuality because it very clearly opposes it and this article is not meant to be a theological one.

  19. Next I would like to counter the moralistic argument.
    Now I think i can talk more as a bible believer here. Religion involves trying to get to know the Omnipotent and All knowing and all encompassing God and we cannot know Him well or completely. What we can do is like Newton stand on the shoulders of giants and peer forwards. Like roshine said on the basis of the right reference if ur interpretation is refined i think it is perfectly fine. Homosexuality is not allowed in churches because a new interpretation ( mind you not revelation) has emerged of the bible, but because nobody has even bothered looking at the bible.

    2 illustrations to make my point.
    1) Slavery/ imperialism: There was a time when the church advocated slavery, but as time passed by, few reformers like Wilberforce went back and had a look at the Biblical evidence and countered it. That for me is perfectly acceptable. That shoes that as humans our understanding is skewed due to sin, but God does reveal Himself to the believing and humble heart. Also fortunately or unfortunately, C’tians donot live in a vacuum but in a culture and society that is sinful and affects us as we are also sinful. SO the Imperialist attitude among their fellows gave the missionaries also an air of superiority and further worsened the cause of the Gospel. It also colours ur interpretation as I shall illustrate. AP read a book called “LAst MUghal” by dalrymple, in that he quotes a Presbyterian priest preaching to a bunch of blood thirsty British soldiers from Psalms and other OT books abt Gods vengeance. That attitude was due to misinterpretation and also an air of superiority brought abt due to the prevailing cutural attiudes. Gotta go now. SHall complete this post later. PLEASE RELY PEOPLE. THIS DISCUSSION IS A TRUE LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ME AND I HOPE FOR ALL OF U AS WELL

  20. Dear AP you say “Natural laws are laws that govern what we observe in nature; eg. gravity, electromagnetism etc. but as far as we know, there is no universal law of sexuality and even if there was one, the very fact that homosexuality defied the law would mean it was not really a law. It’s not that I have chosen a definition to suit my views, taking any other definition, save those that have a religious origin, there is no scientific reason to call homosexuality unnatural.
    Take for example the belief that only human beings have homosexual behavior, and therefore it is a deviation from the natural norms. Contrary to this belief, there are hundreds of species of animals that exhibit homosexual behavior. Following is a quote from a popular magazine. The science of the article is accurate, if a bit dramatic.”

    1)Now let me counter this. Why is homosexuality unnatural? Because it does not follow the law that male and females are physically, mentally and emotionally complementary. And since we are talking more of the physical aspect, they are physically complementary as well.

    2) You say that “Natural laws are laws that govern what we observe in nature; eg. gravity, electromagnetism etc. but as far as we know, there is no universal law of sexuality and even if there was one, the very fact that homosexuality defied the law would mean it was not really a law.” Really? Then as birds fly in the air, we should never have believed in gravity in the first place. Or just because man is not a an aquatic animal, building ships or swimming does not mean that laws of hydrodynamics dont exist.Or just because sharks swim so fast should not lead us tosay that oceans are unnatural or there are no laws of hydrostatics in them. There is something that has broken the rule ,but the rule exists. Since when did the exception prove to be the proof for non existence? in fact it should be the further proof of the law. Let me illustrate. The fact that homosexuals cant reproduce- one of the main purposes though not only of sexual act should reiterate rather that counter that law. Also the fact that as humans it does not provide the complementary emotional and mental aspect to a relationship it is unnatural in that way

    Now u quote animals as performing similar acts top again say it may be a natural act after all. well to counter this argument i would like to quote the original and counter it from her, though i dont think my defence will be great as the author and i have totally different presuppositions. But before i do that I would like to ask you, thats as animals its even if they practice homo sex, do they reproduce with their male mates? WHy do they go through the elaborate courtship just for females and not for males. ANd in animals sex is more of a bodily function than a pleasure. The reason is its seasonal and functional. If sex was associated with their pleasure center, dogs would not look so bored in life and would be on the hunt every time. I even wonder if they would be domesticated.
    The hedonistic nature in which sex can overtake the human mind is not seen in animals. Now what do i mean by that. Animals when they dot what they do , do it because they have an instincts and they are subject to them totally. But man is not a subject to that.If it was so we would be on the roads indulging in scandalous activities. But for us sex is a matter of pleasure and function both, with obvious emotional ramifications- which does not occur in animals as they can just mate and move on in life- something that cannot happen in humans without disastrous consequences. So when pleasure takes precedence and becomes the sole purpose it becomes unhealthy and unnatural. Thats my defence for the unnatural argument. To summarize:
    1) Defying laws does not mean laws dont exist
    2) Animal models cannot be used to justify human behavior, even though i see them mostly reiterating our claims rather than refuting them
    3) The reason that sex between man and woman is natural is mainly due to complementarity and reproductive aspects
    4) In humans, unlike animals, hedonistic tendencies may totally pervert nad distort and thus cause damage due to the complex emotional make up of humans.

    {According to Roughgarden, gayness is a necessary side effect of getting along. Homosexuality evolved in tandem with vertebrate societies, in which a motley group of individuals has to either live together or die alone. In fact, Roughgarden even argues that homosexuality is a defining feature of advanced animal communities, which require communal bonds in order to function. “The more complex and sophisticated a social system is,” she writes, “the more likely it is to have homosexuality intermixed with heterosexuality.”} Here we are talking of animals who are trying to build social contacts with members of the same sex.Again as iv mentioned earlier sexuality in humans is not as it is in animals due to 1) functional and 2) pleasure aspect. Also due to a much more complex social and emotional structure, sex i has its hassles so we have other strategies involved to improve male or female bonding. Why would that be now?Cant that be because of the damage that a sexual relationship when had casually can do.

    Now most of my arguments will fall weak, because the argument is between an evolutionist (Roughgarden) and a creationist, so unless we resolve that the arguments will be like beating around the bush. I dont know how convincing I am AP but please get back to me abt what ur counters to this are. Would love to hear from u

  21. “Natural laws are laws that govern what we observe in nature; eg. gravity, electromagnetism etc”

    Now the biggest problem is that you just compared human nature with laws of gravity and electromagnetism etc. You see when you roll down a stone of a cliff the laws of gravity can come into being, The ” stone” in every case will roll down, it doesn’t have the ability to stop itself, Whereas we humans have that ability to stop ourselves, our dimensions are not accustomed with the law nature. There are shades of pantheistic philosophy that seem to emerge wherein you are trying mix human nature with the laws of nature. How does the law of nature allow us to cut down trees if we are governed by it. To rationalize us to just atoms and molecules and dawkins theory of “dancing to our DNA” is preposterous
    The comparison with animals is an overkill especially for a genius like you. For them they have no opinion or moral ground on which their based on. Nobody is going to tell them whether they are right or wrong. Do you think animals are going to be worried if one of their own betrays them.
    Sexual behaviour is part of the human nature, which was given not only given for reproduction(where I totally agree with you) but to enjoy it with the sanctity and the holiness that comes along with it. Now the laws of the fallen man divulge something like this.
    I want to say homosexuality is as equivalent to telling a lie in the sight of God. Now anand’s point can be noted that for a man governed by the laws of sin that this nature is truly natural. For some telling a lie is natural, for some watching porn, for some gambling, for some Homosexuality, for some drugs. Not everybody has the same weakness as the others. Only God in his grace can change somebody’s heart and mind. It is always natural for man to sin when governed by the laws of sin

  22. u know…ten years from now..perhaps bestiality would be called natural…why not…like u said, preferences keep changing in soceity…why is that? coz there is no more any absolute reference point from which behaviours are labeled natural and unnatural. Why is homosexuality the ‘in thing’ right now and not 50 years earlier..coz we have changed our reference point ? maybe u shud right an essay on why we do that…seriously.

  23. Very Well written Anand, you’ve made some very interesting and valid arguments. I for one agree with a lot of what you have to say. i personally do not think homosexuality is a sin or for the lost ones or whatever religious groups may call to it.
    I was watching a debate on NDTV the other day, around the time when the Court Verdict had just come out, and there were people there arguing that they were opposed to the new rule because now people would have an excuse to be homosexuals. In that moment i wished i could reach through the television and slap the ignorance out of those literate but uneducated idiots.
    Homosexuality is not something that you can pick up at the corner store, its not something you can do to be the cool crowd. Its a part of you, it is you, i for one feel that homosexuals should have the same rights as anyone else.

    The whole argument about the bible and other religious texts makes me upset, because these are mostly books with interpretations that are fed to us by others. The same statements can be used and misused and abused to mean anything in various different contexts. Dont get me wrong i’m not a religion basher, but i really feel that this is not something that should be decided by religious rules. Cause time has shown again and again how religion has modified itself to the needs of the society and its only a matter of time before religion adapts again.
    Think about it, we’re all human. We all have our choices to make. Who are we to point to others and say that they’re wrong we’re right.

  24. From genesis to revelation, bible clearly teaches that, by our very nature we are inherently sinful. So by that standards, I do not believe that, homosexuality, which is an abomination to God, is an “acquired” sin!

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