Thursday, July 28, 2005

Definition of Homophobia

The word "homophobia" has been thrown around a lot lately, especially at Notre Dame. What, exactly, does it mean? Well, the word itself can be broken down into two parts: "homo" (meaning "one") and "phobia"(meaning "fear of"). In the context of today's society, this word "homophobia" refers to an irrational fear of homosexuals.

Now, contrast that definition with the one put forth HERE. This organization states blatently that "homophobia" is simply thinking that homosexual acts are immoral. So according to this group, if I think the homosexual lifestyle is immoral (which I do), I suddenly have an irrational fear of homosexuals themselves??? Or am I missing something? Because I do not fear homosexuals and I do not fear homosexuality. I have friends who are homosexuals and I love them. I can tell you that I have as much fear of a homosexual couple living a homosexual lifestyle as I do a heterosexual couple that fornicates...which is, in a word - NONE. In fact, I don't know any people who have "homophobia."

Just what we need, more confusion about the words we carelessly throw around.


At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's just part and parcel of the rhetoric of all these culture issues- all pro-choice people are "baby killers" and anyone who has a problem with the morality of homosexual relationships is homophobic. There's no room for nuanced positions anymore. It's very sad

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous a2 said...

Everyone these days is assumed to be either a liberal hippie or a bible-banging zealot. I see a difference between taking your stance on homosexuality and being "homophobic," but it would appear the rest of the world can't have it that way.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not the word itself or even its meaning (which you conveniently found a friendlier definition to support your point)but its the use of the word. Although, people do tend to attack the things that they fear, thus perhaps justifying the word's use.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous ASH - first one to say my name gets a shiny dime ! said...

There's a billboard in Atlanta with two attractive - you know, hollywood grade "perfect" male models, like who doesn't have chest hair ? - standing next to one another affectionately. It says = "come together.".

I have no problem with the sign other than one of the uber models has his shirt unbuttoned and his chest blazing out all "I'm too sexy for my shirt" like. Is this supposed to be a positive image ? Am I supposed to be come more "tolerant" by stereotyping gays as well-oiled male models about two seconds from making out ?

I was just thinking that the sign might get the message across a lot clearer if it just showed two normal human beings - not Francois Evian III and Piotr Espresso - standing side by side. I know seeing Chris and Paul would probably move my heart a bit faster.


At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you go to It's an online dating service of sorts, so I think the sign is probably appropriate for it's cause. I don't think it's seeking the public's endorsement of homosexuality...

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Anon, isn't solely a dating service. There are links on it to gay dating services, but it is basically a news agency with the latest on gay issues.

I would say that it was definitely seeking the public's endorsement of homosexuality - in the same way that Will and Grace seeks it. Make it normal, make it good, make it the same as male-female attraction. Make it so that at the end of the season, a conservative grandma says, "Oh, I just wish that Will would find a nice man to marry."

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous mt. dew said...

And what exactly is wrong with that, Becky? If you are certain that it is wrong, then you don't have to endorse it anymore than I would have to endorse everything you post here, right?

I'm not sure what the billboard was trying to "say." I mean, I didn't see the thing and I can only base any opinion on Andrew's description (where's my dime, A?). Maybe showing "normal" guys could have gotten the point across better, I don't know, but it's interesting that we seem to find no problem with showing atypically skinny, yet full-breasted, women on ads for heterosexual dating sites, etc.

In fact, it sounds like it was excellent marketing... I mean they were able to get everyone here to visit the site, right?

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous becky said...

If heterosexual dating services are advertising by showing scantily clad women and men, then I have a problem with it.

You're right - we probably don't know what the advertisement was trying to "say" except that it's associated with a website that promotes homosexual behavior, something that is immoral. I think we can all figure out that this type of sign is meant to normalize homosexual "dating."

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok i really must know- with all this talk about the true distinctions between male and female and how gay people are really just confused about their true natures, what is the role of hermaphodites or people who are truly biologically ambiguous (yes they do exist where doctors are not quite sure whether they are male or female). Are they just God's little mistakes. It just seems like yes there are distinctions between men and women but it gets elevated to a place that it doesn't need to be. It is every bit as "natural" an occurrance as being straight except less statistically probable.

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also- i know all the arguments about gays and how it's a behavior they should just avoid etc. I really am most curious about biologically gender-ambiguous people- where do they fit in God's great male/female plan?

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous a2 said...

Haha anonymous... I'm going to guess the official Church ruling on that one:

We should still love and respect the person who is gender-ambiguous, we just condemn any gender-ambiguous actions.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous mt. dew said...

So why the problem with homosexual dating (Note: "dating" is not in quotations because, well... I can't think of a good reason why I should put the term in quotes). Homosexuals aren't necessarily participating in homosexual behaviors by dating (just what is officially under the blanket term of "homosexual behavior?" - honestly, I'm not sure about that one).

I'd like to know why Catholics believe homosexual behavior is immoral, Becky.

I think we can all figure out that this type of response is meant to imply that the reasons are based on objective "truth."

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous A to the izzo, H to the izzayeh said...

Wow, it was so quiet here for so long. Ok, I have the dime, but I lack the knowledge of who to give it to, and I refuse to mail it, because that would actually be a gift of 47 cents total.

I was wondering later on whether the poster was actually for a dating site, which in that case the rampant Abercrombism is understandable, but no less lamentable as the hetro cites, which, incidentally, I do have a problem with insofar as they too degrade dating to the airs of an animal husbandry market. (in re cmt on "we seem to have no problem with showing atypically skinny, yet full-breasted, women . . .").

I think it's fair to say the poster had slightly more than a dating purpose though, as the two ubermodels stood in front of a dramatically waving American flag.

--- new "thought" -----
in re cmt on Church's position on stuff: Some laugh, but what sort of moral rules would you craft or divine if your fundamental tenet of faith equated judging human actions with impermissibly judging persons ?

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't need to equate them. But when you take something as fundamental as human sexuality and as basic as wanting to seek companionship I think it takes a lot to say that people who are born with certain preferences are supposed to entirely ignore this fundamental part of human existence. I understnad that judging the behavior is separate from judging the person, but I also think its awfully convenient for you to tell someone that participating in such a basic part of human life is off limits for them entirely unless they just pretend to be other than what they are. It's in this way that I think homosexuality is very different from alcoholism and the other disorders I've heard it compared to (not even getting into the issue of whether it actually does cause discernible harm like true "disorders"). Plus I too am interested in how people who are truly genetically ambiguous gender wise fit in the the whole male/female dichotomy. That is not behavior but in fact TRULY how they are made. Basically when the dichotomy gets emphasized so much there is no room left for those who don't fit in to the categories. If as you say everything is defined by male and female gifts then what is the proper role for someone who truly has no clear sex category?

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Becky said...

I don't have time to answer all the questions in the last few posts, but I'll try at the most basic and important ones.

The preliminary analyis: all people are called to chastity. In the Catholic Church, this means that sex is only proper to a male and a female in a lifelong commitment (marriage). Those who have an ambiguous sex are called to chastity as well, and so may not marry, as marriage is exclusive to a male and female. I am assuming that the Church teaches that these persons who have ambiguous organ developments, etc. may not marry, and therefore, may not have sex.

Is it tragic? Yes. But are they, as one commenter stated, "God's little mistakes?" NO. No one is a mistake. They are persons, they are loved, they are precious.

This is just a start, but I have a feeling it's going to generate more comments. Please keep it cordial.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous a2 said...

No they are not God's little mistakes, but they are cast aside because they don't fit inside the Catholic Box. Hahahahahahaha... you people make me laugh.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Becky said...

How in the world do you think that they would be cast aside? They are not. Homosexuals aren't either. The doctrines apply to everyone equally, no matter what your sexual orientation or sex, or lack thereof.

Laugh - yes. The world has been laughing at Christianity for 2000 years. Its loss.

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, more like 4000 years for Judiasm, so its your loss as well.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, long time lurker, new poster. I have a question. How long can you hide your hate behind terms such as 'objectively disordered' and 'love the sinner hate the sin'? First, you are basing everything on whether or not the Catholic Church is fallible.
Just because it has been around for 2000 years doesn't mean it is infallible. It means it is very good at being self-selective and self-serving. The Roman Empire was around for about 400 years (in various forms, one could say up to 700). That did not make it infallible. In fact, the Roman Empire really sucked. In fact, it sucked so bad, that the Romans (contrary to Mel's depiction) killed Jesus. So, until you can prove to me that the Pope and the Church are infallible w/o citing Aquinas or some self-serving Church Convention, your arguments all crumble above the foundation of infallibility. The Pope is just one white guy chosen by a bunch of other white guys who are all completely out of touch with the needs of the people. Kind of like Bush.

As such, Becky, I challenge you to make your arguments as if there was no Church doctrine against gays. As if the pope came out tomorrow and said, "It's all been a sick joke, after going over vatican documents, it turns out, we are not infallible, in fact, St. Peter was really an insurance salesman. Oh by the way, everything in Deutoronomy and Leviticus was just a joke written by Moses to make fun of his gay brother Aaron."
How do you argue against homosexuality now? What is it about them that makes you react so vehemently against them? As opposed to other people who violate Church laws, like the Bush regime whose actions have led to the slaughter of more than 100K innocent Iraqis. That was against what the Pope said. But you didn't seem to mind.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, "cast aside" because they do not fit within the Catholic Box. I know the the doctrines apply to me too. As a heterosexual I am not allowed to perform homosexual acts. Great! That's easy, what's next? I guess I'm lucky that it wasn't heterosexual acts that are inherently evil! Excellent!

Quite unfair, don't you think? Catholicism speaks of generousity to the people and respecting your fellow human, yet it's quite elitist at the same time.. kind of.. doesn't make sense does it?

If it is tragic that ambiguously-gendered individuals can't marry, then shouldn't we do something about that? Does it not fit into God's plan for us all? And moreover, if you believe that God has a plan for us all, then where does free will come in?

So many unanswered questions. So many. I know you will have all of the answers to them, because "Crazy Catholics" ALWAYS have the answer. Well, news flash people: the only one with all of the answers is God, and... I don't think he posts regularly on this blog.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Andrew's Uninvited Passion Rant said...

sorry for the tangent, but how tired and ignorant is ripping on the Passion two years post ? Do any of these critics actually WATCH the movie ?

In almost every major scene, wherever there are Jews persecuting Christ, there are Jews, not only would-be "Christians", showing mercy. When Jesus is being interrogated in front of the Sanhedran (sp) approximately three Chief Priests/Elders protest to the point of being thrown out. We see Simon, an uninterested bystander at first, with no apparent knowledge of who Jesus is, come to serve him out of pure human kindness. Similarly, an unnamed woman braves the thuggish Roman march to comfort Jesus. One of the other crucified does the same. Even Caiphus shows signs of self-reflection and concern throughout, especially at the end.

Throughout all this, the "white" Romans are practically foaming at the mouth during their indifferent participation. Just watch the scourging scene, how many Jews are depicted LAUGHING at the stricken Christ ? None.

Whose hand is shown putting the first nail in Christ's hand ? Yeah, your own derided Gibson.

True, IDIOTIC Christians have cultivated a history in earlier centuries (and marginally today) inflating Judaism qua Judaisim's culpable role in the crucifixtion. Anyone with half an open mind, who approached the movie without being conditioned, immersed, breast-fed on anti-religious hatred and mistrust, would pick up on the above scenes that contradict the old assumptions and stereotypes.

For my part, as a Catholic, I find not one iota blame in my heart for any group (on account of their group identity) for the events in the film. To say Christ's life (and legacy) and ministry was (and our faith is) "enriched" by His Jewish heritage would be a colossal understatement (I am at a loss for the appropriate word), and it would be hard for me to not go Wolverine on a Christian who would tell their Jewish cousin that they "killed Christ." It makes me want to scream right now.

This isn't a topic on the Passion, so please email me ( some actual facts based on the content of the film to support the to-date baseless slander nonchalantly aired in the earlier post. Show me how the persecution of Christ as depicted could not have been transposed to another stage in history another context, another culture. (How about a metaphorical documentary of how people crucify Christ's "Passion", but let Barrabasas' "Dogma", "Stigmata" et al go free?) I would like to know why Gibson's film is not a picture about HUMAN failures, sprititual and political conflict and struggles GENERALLY, and is instead an ethnically-targeted portrait of exclusive culpability.

I've had some fun this summer on this blog and taken a few stabs that were maybe more appropriate for a Celebrity Roast than an intellectual discussion among friends. As we head back to school, I apologize for feelings I've hurt or anger I've incensed. Still, I hope the occasional sting has made you wonder at the infintesimal possibility that some of you might be as closed (or narrow) minded and "extreme" as your oft opponents. You can, I think, imagine how it feels to have the faith-inspired love you struggle to maintain and inform and develop, transmuted to hate by unsupported (but tragically unchallenged)and unceasing distortion.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Wow. Amazing. Most of my arguments about why we should not support same-sex marriage are from the natural law, things that we can all understand without reference to religion. Any time I just happen to mention the Catechism or Scripture, I'm addressing Catholics only, so chill out.

I actually prefer to argue against homosexual behavior from a purely athiestic standpoint - it's more effective because not everyone understands theology from the perspective of faith.

There is no proof that the Church is infallible. That's the point. Catholicism is an act of faith, of obedience. In my faith, I have never been more sure of anything. But proof? Proof is not required. Jesus in His Church asks for obedience to something that transcends our human weakness. It is beyond proof.

That said, when I use the teachings of the Church I'm addressing Catholics. Catholics are required by their very profession of faith to obey the doctrines of the Church. If you're not Catholic, kindly refrain screaming "proof!" for the infallibility of the Church. I'm not trying to "prove" anything. I'm simply stating to Catholics what the Church teaches and what they are required to obey if they want to call themselves Catholics.

To another anonymous: many people have a call on their lives to be celibate. They may not want it to be that way, but they choose obedience to God's law by living their lives chastely. If it is not God's will that I have a spouse in this life, I too will live my life as a celibate. If that is my calling, it will be beautiful. If that is the call of the homosexual, that too will be beautiful. They too, have a choice. Obey or don't obey. I choose obedience, no matter what the cross, celibate or not celibate, physical martyrdom or spiritual martyrdom, little suffering or great suffering. Difficult? Yes. Beautiful? Even more so.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is anonymous from 10:30. ahiller, the passion thing was tangential. Besides, I was talking about when Jesus first met the Sanhedrin and they told the thugs to beat the crap out of him. Plus when the Jews delivered Jesus to Pilate and told him he had to kill him. Care to discuss the main themes of my post?

Becky, how do you know to have faith if there is no proof? As such, how can you expect others to live under your code if you can't even prove it to yourself? Furthermore, how can you justify changing american laws to fit your code which as you acknowledge, is not provable? How does that differentiate you from the Ayatollah who did the exact same thing as you advocate: changing the laws to meet your conception of what you think God wants?

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Whenever I argue for the changing of laws, I justify it using only secular, natural principals that people can understand. My objection to abortion, permissive divorce laws, same-sex marriage, euthenasia, etc. can all be defended quite handily without the additional use of religion. When discussing these issues at law school, I use arguments from the Church only when discussing with fellow Catholics.

I do not ask the laws to be changed to fit my faith. I ask the laws to fit a natural order that does not violate basic human goods. Like John Finnis, one can argue for certain moral truths without turning to theological principles.

Therefore, there are two different conversations going on here. When I speak about laws, I am able to PROVE my point using my reason. When I'm talking about Catholicism, I use Church doctrines from an entity that can't be proved infallible through human reason alone. That's when I'm speaking to Catholics.

It just so happens that Catholicism adopts the natural law, and so all of the doctrines coincide with the truths that can be known using our reason exclusively. But just because natural law arguments are in accordance with Catholic Church teaching does not mean that I'm trying to "force my conception of what God wants" on the law or other people who are not Christian.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Hey, just stopped in to make some comments here.

Andrew: Extremely tangental? Yep. Do I mind? Not at all (I'm awful tangental myself). I haven't seen the movie, but I'm guessing most of the claims are sort of blown out of proportion. Mel Gibson I have seen in interviews though, and he's a bit... oh what's the word?... Hollywoodized? (known to some as something synonymous with "crazy").

Becky and the 2:43pm Anonymous: Anon, I'm not sure if Becky needs proof because, as she says, faith does not require proof. That's sort of the idea from what I gather. At the same time, it becomes really difficult to understand that leap when evidence is flying in your face to the contrary (not really applicable here, but as a general rule this should be true, I think).

However, I should say that you need to be careful, Becky when Catholics proceed to try to change the laws of a country (US in this case). This relates to the post by anonymous (2:43pm), where I believe your question regards the concern you (and I) have with the Catholic Church essentially getting involved in politics of the situation. This relates to homosexual marriage (as is sort of relevant to the original posting). It becomes really difficult to offer proof there, because in order to make/change laws, the government requires more than faith. Maybe they shouldn't, but since the US is supposed to be a country where religion and the government are separate, faith has no place in law-making.

Bottom line: The Church is founded upon faith, the Government is founded upon reason... this is where they clash, no? That's not to say faith is bad - don't get me wrong - but it doesn't seem to have a place in the US Gov't to me.

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous brian said...

I see, I think you posted as I was writing that one...

Becky, you are essentially making the same point I was trying to make there, so I'm glad to see we can agree on the place of faith and reason in the two situations.

I'm not sure I agree with your approach to the reason side of things though. "Natural law" is really not just the writings of Finnis, right? I know that NDLS's jurisprudence class spends almost the entire time on Finnis, but even though I am not a law student, I know there are a lot more than just Finnis out there advocating natural law. Finnis's ideas do probably coincide the best with Catholicism though, I'll give you that.

What I guess I need to say here is that you are still approaching reason in the same way you approach your faith - that there are objective truths that have been already figured out (the scripture for the faith part, and Finnis and his natural law concepts for the reason part). I would argue that reason has come to many different conclusions other than natural law concepts. They can do this without using faith-based principles, as you have stated.

I guess I don't really see the separation of reason and faith there too clearly for you.

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous wonderbrian said...

By the way, brian and wondertwin are the same.. if you can't guess

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Becky said...


I see what you're saying, and I definitely think there are others out there besides Finnis. But I do have to say that the point of natural law is that there is "right reason." That is, we can get the right answer and we can know that it's right, without using theological principles. The point of studying Finnis in that jurisprudence class is that he's the only one that advocates for "self-evident" truths. Truths that can't be denied, and if you try to deny them there will be a logical inconsistency.

The point of Finnis is to say that yes, there are objective truths, and all other theories fail because they try to deny that and still put forth a valid concept of law. Finnis' point is that you actually can't deny the self-evident truths without either being contradictory (i.e. legal positivism) or coming up with a lousy theory that asserts objective truths but doesn't explain where they come from (i.e. Dworkin's theory of rights)

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Oh, and just to defend my jurisprudence professor: the jurisprudence course was divided into thirds - 1/3 Hart, 1/3 Dworkin, 1/3 Finnis. Although my professor agrees with Finnis, he was very fair in presenting all the different viewpoints and allowing long discussions and criticisms of each in class.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry- just to pipe in on the Passion... and maybe this is a criticism of Mel for not explaining this in a blurb at the end or something but... and correct me if I'm wrong, but all Christian churges, not just the Catholic church, teach that Jesus died for the sins of every person. Every single human being, by our human nature and inherent sinfulness, killed Jesus. It wasn't the Jews or the Romans, but all of us.
And as for the movie's extreme violence- I think that made it more historically accurate. The Romans used to crucify people all the time, and they were pretty schooled in the art of torture. The violence in the movie was not gratuitous or designed to garner more sympathy for anti-Jewish or anti-roman sentiments. It was to rejuvinate the understanding of believers of what Jesus actually went through- physically, in graphic detail. The bigger picture about the movie that may get missed- by Christians and non-Christians alike, is the horrible influence that power, greed, fear, etc. have on society. It shows the suffering of one person in such graphic detail in order to show what can happen when the world goes crazy and those preaching love can become a target of a culture that places power and control above all else.
Obviously the movie can be interpreted to be anti-Jewish, and perhaps Mel would have been well-advised to insert a disclaimer at the end explaining the theology behind the Passion. But anyone who would use the movie in such a fashion is most likely already an anti-Semite.

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

I'll keep posting as "wondertwin" here, since I've grown pretty fond of the name.

Well I have to be honest Becky, as I have said before I am not a law student and haven't taken any classes on jurisprudence or really have seen much other than a few blurbs on Finnis's stuff (I've heard of Dworkin and Hart, but forget the differences and whatnot). So I think I'm out of my league in any discussions about their philosophy.

With that said, from what I do remember about Finnis, what I have been told/read seems quite logical and, indeed, sometimes "self-evident." What I have not really seen is the implementation of those "self-evident truths."

(I'm sorry for being very vague here, but as I already stated, I'm really not schooled in the theory of law and justice.) Basically, when you apply those truths to writing or interpreting laws, sometimes the information might imply that different truths be applied to the same situation. This is sort of where I am coming from here. Two people can come to different conclusions using the same core principles (truths), by applying different truths to a single situation/problem.

This would seem to indicate that even two students of Finnis could still disagree on an issue by this method (applying different truths to the same situation). Catholicism essential teaches what truths apply to any given situation, but if Catholicism is not the only belief-structure involved (US Gov't), there might be different conclusions drawn here, and Catholic teachings and Gov't laws wouldn't always coincide.

Again, sorry for the vagueness and generality there, but I hope you can still get my drift. If it wasn't clear, I'm sorry - I've been working at this computer too long today.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


that's exactly the problem I always have with Finnis as well. I think what you're saying is that the basic "goods" that Finnis talks about may indeed be self-evident, but when you move on from there there are infinite possibilities in the application of those goods to your actions. I believe Finnis himself acknowledges this. So basically there are these truths or goods, and we should never act directly against them (even to fulfill another) but beyond that things get a little more subjective. Thus what I have a problem with is the claim that there is some kind of detailed objective truth for every situation based on a few self-evident natural goods.

At 8:33 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Yep anon, that's what I was trying to say, although my ramblings took a bit longer and were not so concise as your explanation of it all. That's probably why I'm not a lawyer!

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha- i'm not a lawyer either wondertwin- just a lowly grad student. We're probably both in over our heads with these lawyers.

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Just quickly because I don't have time, but I wanted to say that when people holding to Finnis' theory say objective truth, they're not saying that in every situation there is an objectively right answer. In fact, Finnis acknowledges that after the self-evident goods, diversity of application occurs. Even farther, Finnis asserts that if you DENY that there is a diversity of human application and carrying out of the goods, you have denied the theory itself. I hope that makes sense. What you're saying is a problem with the theory isn't a part of the theory at all.

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Yeah, I didn't really label that as a problem with his theory. It's good that he included the "diversity of human application and carrying out of the goods" within his theory (that I did not know about), so maybe he was on to something there.

However this still does differ from the Church's positions that are heralded as objectively "right" answers. So I think the Church's positions could be considered basically one application of Finnis's theory, right?

That's not to say that other applications that differ from the Church's position are wrong (or right), but just how I see Finnis's theories fitting into Catholicism as you have pointed out earlier.

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Most of the things that the Church hails as "objective truths" have to do with the self-evident goods. Most of the pleas are pleas to not act "directly against" the universal common good (or the self-evident goods). One of those goods is "life" according to Finnis. He says that any time there is an action directly against the good of "life" this is impermissible. The Church says the same thing concerning abortion, euthenasia, embryonic stem-cell research, etc. So many of these stances don't fall under the "diversity" part of the equation. Although there are many ways to PROMOTE the goods, acting directly against any of them is not permitted because it violates the universal common good. Does that make sense?

Finnis only lays out 7 self-evident goods in his initial theory. I forget what they are (*sheepish grin*), but you may want to do some critical study on your own. I recommend "Natural Law and Natural Rights," where he posits a human rights theory based on these self-evident goods.

At 10:39 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Yeah, it makes sense I think. Thanks.

I still think that you can apply different truths to the same issue (I'm not going to bring up any thorns in your side here - this thread is already pretty long), but that might be fodder for another post I think.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right- I guess I should have been more clear. I agree with a lot of what Finnis has to say, but aside from not acting against the objective goods I feel like there is very little content to natural law. Certainly not enough to come to the sort of situation specific conclusions that are often reached. For example- how are homosexual acts against the natural goods. It's not acting against life because though homosexuals can't naturally have children, they also won't have children remaining celibate either. And they certainly are not taking life. I also forget the other goods (*sheepish grin here too*- i know there is knowledge and play and life and well....that's all i have at the moment). But I just don't understand how saying homosexual acts are ok leads to some sort of act against a self-evident/natural good. I'd be interested to hear your response. I understand your arguments from the religious perspecitve that we are all called to celibacy. But I don't understand the "natural law" argument.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger JoetheAstronaut said...

Hey, I posted as anonymous earlier. Now I can be found on the blog: BeckyAustenRules because, well, it is true!

Becky, I have two questions:
1. Can you repost your natural law argument against homosexual behavior (just copy and paste it bc there are 40 comments and I can't find the one on point)
2. One time I heard someone ask you who determines what the natural law is. You said it was the Catholic Church. Please elaborate.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Becky said...

Just quickly again: I don't think I ever said that the Catholic Church determines the natural law. If I did -my error. Human reason perceives the natural law. It is written on our hearts. The Catholic Church merely adopts the natural law as "right reason." I hope that clarifies. More later.


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