This was an online exchange I just had on publichouse.sg, I thought it was going to be the typical endless argumentum ad hominem about bigotry and what not which later took a surprising theological and better turn. This gives me a little tiny hope for online discussions yet.
Internet Commenter: It [377A] criminalises something that has no effect on anyone except people that just want to hate on others.
Me: If it is something of no effect on others, then criminalising it would also have no effect on others since the act itself is completely inconsequential and of no effect, therefore it is of no consequence or effect to criminalise it. But if the act of criminalising something does have an effect, then that something isn’t really of no effect but has an effect, which makes the criminalisation or non-criminalisation of that something have an effect because that something does make a difference and have an effect.
IC: Wow. Obviously I went too fast for you. Let me slow down and explain in simpler terms for a simpler mind. What two adults choose to do behind closed doors, is up to them. Are they trying to rape you? Because you’re behaving as if they are banging down your doors. With a face like yours. I highly doubt it.
I wonder if your refusal to accept others is religiously motivated. My bet would be that it is!
Religion. The great divider of humanity.
Me: By the way, there is a fallacy called “argumentum ad hominem”, check it out before continuing this argument.
You can only explain something in “simpler terms” if you have explained it in the first place to now simplify it. But this is the first time you mentioned the argument of “What two adults choose to do behind closed doors, is up to them.” Therefore since it is only now you mentioned it, it is not a simplEr explanation, but an explanation. There is no prior explanation for it to be “simpler”.
I’m sorry for lowering the level of discourse, let me up it then to cope with the complexities of the issues.
IC: Cool story bro. Keep on hating on people. Great way to live your life. I love that title. Rationality of Faith. That’s just gold.
Me: There is a principle of the courts, that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It would be nice if I could have the presumption of innocence before being condemned, judged and accused of hatred. It is common courtesy and charity to not judge or condemn a friend whom you know well without determining the circumstance, how odd that you should rush to judgement of people online whom you barely know.
And by the way, so far I’ve answered your arguments with reasons and analysis while you’ve been freely tossing about fallacious argumentum ad homiens and simply refusing to engage the points. I don’t see what’s so ironic about “Rationality of Faith”.
IC: Of course you do not. How could you? You’ve been brought up indoctrinated within it! Ok. You say I judged you too quick. I ask you this. Do you think it is inherently wrong for a “Man to lie with another man as a woman”?
Me: This is precisely what I’m talking about. You know nothing of my background, my home or my family, how on earth would you know how I was brought up? Maybe you would like to ask me and get to know me first before passing all kinds of judgements and making all kinds of prejudicial assumptions about my background?
And by the way, I wasn’t brought up “indoctrinated” in any religion.
As to your question, I don’t understand what you mean by “inherently wrong”, inherent where?
IC: You have written multiple notes openly available on your FaceBook page pointing to exactly which doctrine you subscribe to. You have written notes with titles like “Ye (Somewhat) Comprehensive Guide to Marriage as a Social Institution (I): The Heterosexual Essence of the Order of Marriage” – “Does God run a Democracy? A Conversation about the Will of God and Good and Evil”. You post links tohttp://rationalityofaith.wordpress.com/. From the information there, do you expect me to think you are Muslim? And inherent within your self. I asked the question if YOU felt that it was inherently wrong. Do you?
I understand I might be coming across a little like….. An asshole. Bit I am so tired of people putting down gay couples. So tired.
Me: You didn’t ask if I was a Christian, you said and I quote, “You’ve been brought up indoctrinated within it!” And I was not brought up “indoctrinated” into the Christian faith as my family wasn’t Christian. I read and studied it on my own as a young adult, thus I wasn’t “indoctrinated”, I reasoned my way into it, thus I am not refuting your point that I am a Christian versus Muslim (not that you explicitly made that point), but the point that I was “brought up indoctrinated within it”.
I cannot answer a question which I don’t understand. What does it mean to say that something is “inherently wrong”? where does this wrongness “inhere”?
Besides, this questioning of my character is a distraction and a fallacy, as I said, look up “argumentum ad hominen”
IC: Absolutely fair. It was an assumption. And I have been proven wrong. And I apologize for jumping to the conclusion. Ok let me rephrase the question. Two men who sleep together. Would they go to hell? Or even, are they considered doing something that is wrong?
Me: *Shrug*, it is not for me to say who goes to hell. God alone judges who is saved, and obviously God does not judge based on a single contextualess act.
Who or what determines that something is “wrong”? These words only acquire a meaning within a concrete context, outside of which they exists merely as bare abstractions.
IC: Ok. “Who or what determines that something is “wrong”?” So can assume then, that sin within the Bible is not concrete? Or do are they “words only acquire a meaning within a concrete context,”
Me: Well, if you’re asking me if it is a “sin”, then yes I do believe it is. But “wrongness” and “sinfulness” isn’t the same thing. It is a sin to deny God or to refused to be baptised, etc, but that isn’t the same as to say that it is “wrong”, or at least, in many context they don’t converge. So you need to clarify what you mean by “wrong”.
In short, the word “sin” is determined by the concrete context of salvation history as witnessed by the Bible, but since I’m assuming we are not operating within that context, I am puzzled by what you mean by “wrong”.
IC: Ok. So from what you just said I can conclude that you believe it is a sin. And that you agree with the Bible’s description of it as a sin? Fair?
Me: Yup, homosexual acts is a sin, like refusing to be baptised, divorce, adultery, stealing, murder, desecrating the sacraments, etc. But again, this isn’t the same as something being “wrong”.
IC: Ok. Now you need to help me here. It is a sin. But it’ not the same as something being wrong? But are sins not wrong things to do? In the eyes of God?
Me: Well, in the context of “in the eyes of God”, obviously whatever is a sin is “wrong”, but this isn’t the same as whatever is wrong is a sin. It may not be wrong, for example, to not believe in Christ, as I think you don’t think it is wrong to not believe in Christ, while I do, but that’s because we are not using the word “wrong” in the same sense and in the same context. And since we aren’t invoking the context of “in the eyes of God”, therefore I don’t really see how would invoking the concept of “sin” be helpful in clarifying “wrongness”.
IC: Ok then. Let’s get back to the topic of homosexuality as a sin. So eating Lobster is fine. Wearing t-shirts that are not 100% cotton is fine. But homosexuality is a sin? How come other sins that most christians do everyday are not condemned half as much as being gay? Understand I’m actually asking these questions to know what you think about them. Not to shut down the conversation.
Me: All right. There is such a thing as salvation history and the development of what it means to be a people of God.
It is easy to point to the many laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and just say why don’t we do that as well. But here is commonly know example. Why don’t you ask, why don’t we continue to offer animal sacrifices and burnt offerings as commanded in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, etc? The answer here is obvious, that Christ’s sacrifice has “fulfilled” all the sacrifices of the Old Testament which is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ, and so once Christ performed his sacrifice, the OT sacrifices were abolished.
Therefore we have to understand the OT laws in their context in the development of salvation history. Now obviously many laws in those books concern the governance of Israel as a political commonwealth, regulating how the Jews dealt with the non-Jews, drawing a visible empirical boundary and distinction between those who are God’s chosen people, the Jews, and those who are not, thus the many laws regulating dietary, clothing, etc, are mean to distinguish God’s particular people from the Gentiles who ate such things.
But obviously after Christ, the barrier between Jews and Gentiles were broken down, and God’s Kingdom as a visible political nation is fulfilled in Christ as a spiritual Kingdom living within the hearts of the faithful, not as a political kingdom with visible boundaries. Thus one of the first acts of the Apostles is to abolish the food laws for the Jewish Christians.
However, certain forms of behavioour have to do with the order which God imposes upon the world in general, not merely that having to do with the governance of Israel, but which God imposes upon mankind in general, and those sexual norms are part of the order of the world in general which St Paul continues to speak about in the New Testament, etc.
IC: I find this incredible. I really do. That if need be there can be concessions made. And when it’s about a minority of people who are easily bullied. It’s a unchangeable sin. I really do. It sound’s incredibly unfair and unjust to me.
Me: I think first we need to ask ourselves the question as to what is sexual orientation and what does it mean, etc. Obviously actions are not “unchangeable”, you can do or don’t do something. A pedophile may have an “orientation” for young boys (if there is such an orientation), but he doesn’t have to act upon it.
So the pertinent question is what is this sexual orientation and what does it mean. http://rationalityofaith.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/why-all-sexual-desires-have-a-homoerotic-element-or-what-is-a-homosexual/
IC: I’m going out for awhile. I’ll be back late or tmr. We continue this then. Cheers.
Me: All right, pm me when you want to continue. 🙂
Dare I hope in the possibility of an online civil discourse sans all the name calling?