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I think many of the news media reports of sex scandals among priests often used the term, "pedophilia," which was inaccurate. Quite a few of the sex scandals seemed to involve teenage boys of varying ages, which would seem to make it more a case of homosexuality than pedophilia. The terms are not interchangeable and certainly don't mean the same things.

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I believe emotivism is clouding people's judgements over the issue at hand. So in the name of Aristotle I ask you all to be reasonable. The issue is not whether homosexuals are child molesters etc. Its over whether we can equate certain attitudes to homosexuality as we can to other things. That is, its whether not permitting same-sex marriage is discrimination. The following summary is apt enough:

Quote
But that really is beside the point in the issue of whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage. Contrary to what its advocates claim, the government wouldn't be taking any rights away by refusing to make same-sex marriages legal, because there currently IS no such right to take away. They would be granting a right that has not existed before.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that. )
However, theist gal if your final statement insinuates that homosexual marriage is not wrong then I'd have to disagree. As a philosopher I cant agree it violates natural law and as a Catholic theologian because it breaks divine law. So I'm going to confirm thats what you meant rather than accuse you of maintaing this position?


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Originally posted by Myles:
(Not that there's anything wrong with that. )
However, theist gal if your final statement insinuates that homosexual marriage is not wrong then I'd have to disagree. As a philosopher I cant agree it violates natural law and as a Catholic theologian because it breaks divine law. So I'm going to confirm thats what you meant rather than accuse you of maintaing this position? [/QUOTE]

Actually, I just added that line because it's from the classic "Seinfeld" episode, in which George and Jerry are wrongfully accused of being gay, and they keep screaming about how they're NOT gay, then they stop, realize they're not being politically correct, and say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

So I like to throw that line into the conversation whenever possible, because I'm a plaigiarist at heart. (not that there's anything wrong with that. wink )

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Myles, I have no personal stake in this. I have gotten so old that NEITHER sex has made me a decent offer in years. wink biggrin The Legislature of the State of Tennessee is debating laws banning gay couples from adopting children. I can't vote on that, but do have access to my state representative at church on Sundays, so he definitely will know what I think. The Legislature is also proposing a state constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage and prevent the state from recognizing as valid any same-sex marriages contracted in any other state. Since it's an amendment, I will get to vote on that along with all other Tennesseans. Other than that, I don't think I can do much about it in any other state. I think some of the more liberal states may actually allow same-sex marriage, but I am also expecting that federal legislation will eventually pass outlawing it nationwide.

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Dear Theist Gal,

If one were to go back into history, they would find that homosexuality was rare when it was not acceptable. To give an example: When reading the authorized biography of Lawrence of Arabia, his best friend was asked if Lawrence was a homosexual. Now his friend admitted that he himself was and that he would have loved to have had Lawrence as a partner. He said that one had to be aware of the 'times'. Homosexuality was so frowned upon, that the mere idea would have repulsed Lawrence.

Now taking this into account, we have to realize that there are certain ages when young people are very vulnerable to suggestions...so the more politically correct homosexuality becomes, the larger the percentage of homosexuals.

Zenovia

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Originally posted by Myles:
I believe emotivism is clouding people's judgements over the issue at hand.
Alasdair MacIntyre is smiling somewhere . . . wink

Myles, you da man! cool

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Scandinavian wrote:
I consider you to be an intelligent person, so I will not waste time and insult your intelligence by attemting to explain the obvious difference between homosexuality and phedophilia. I believe you already are aware of the difference, despite of your offensive rhetoric.
Scandinavian,

I made no comparison between the two. Basing itself on the Holy Scriptures the Church has always taught that these and other similar disorders are “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law” and cannot be approved under any circumstances. Those with such conditions do not choose them and life “for most of them is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” Those with such conditions are called to refrain from sexuality activity and “unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” We are to pray for those with these disorders, invite them to carry their cross next to us, and then help them to carry their cross as best we can.

But this is not the point I made and I ask that you reread what I have written.

A secular society has no moral absolutes. Right and wrong are determined by consensus of the society, not by a moral law given by God or the natural law. In such a secular society it is impossible to state that homosexual activity is morally acceptable while at the same time stating that polygamy or pedophilia (or anything else) is morally unacceptable. In a secular society one can start with a premise that society would be better off without poor people and then develop logic to justify killing them. Without a foundation in the natural law there is nothing to say that such a thing is wrong. I hope you can see the point I am making.

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"Special rights for Christians? How can you stop there? On what basis does a society then deny similar rights for Muslims who believe God commands them to kill infidels?"
Exactly. On what basis does a secular society tell a Muslim citizen that he has no right to kill his wife? There is no basis for such a secular society to do so, except general consensus. Laws prohibiting such things are merely vestiges of the time when that secular society based its morality on the natural law. Without the moral absolutes found in the natural law there is nothing wrong with murder. In parts of Europe the infirm are now routinely “euthanized”. Here in America we have a man who wishes to murder his severely handicapped wife. On what basis can a society kill its infirm and unborn and then turn to a Muslim and tell him he cannot kill his wife or an infidel?

Unless a society bases its morality upon a morality given by God or the natural law there is no basis upon which to judge anything moral or immoral. In secular societies morality is a matter of consensus.

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Originally posted by Administrator:

Unless a society bases its morality upon a morality given by God or the natural law there is no basis upon which to judge anything moral or immoral. In secular societies morality is a matter of consensus. [/QB]
I'm sorry, but you need to face reality, society IS secular! Society is multlicultural with many different religions coexisting! In modern society true Christians are a minority, so to attemt to use arguments like "It's God's Law!" in a political debate is impossible!

What is your solution exactly, to replace democracy with theocracy?

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I'm sorry, but you need to face reality, society IS secular! Society is multlicultural with many different religions coexisting! In modern society true Christians are a minority, so to attemt to use arguments like "It's God's Law!" in a political debate is impossible!

What is your solution exactly, to replace democracy with theocracy?
Yes indeed to appeal to Divine revelation in a political debate is practically impossible. However, to appeal to natural law theory based on Aristotelian logic (as I have done repeatedly throughout this debate) is not. Indeed, its just as valid as using the political philosophies of men like John Stuart Mill. Secularism is an ideology in itself and it is not unbiased inspite of what its proponents may genuinely think. There is no such thing as an unbiased government if there were no laws would be made because there is always someone who looses out.

When people frame laws for the criminal justice system they often use Aristotelian logic to determine the correct course of action. For instance, take the charges of manslaughter and murder. According to the Aristotelian Scholastics a free act is one arising from nature that where the subject has knowledge of its telos. Using this aspect of scholastic philosophy the legislators of countries across the globe have created a system of criminal law that says if a lawyer can prove the subject was not aware of where his action would lead i.e. in the case where someone dies in a fight where someone hits them so hard they crack their head. Then that person should be charged not with murder but with manslaughter.

Since the logic of the scholastics has been so important in helping legislators make laws such as this throughout history, laws that I stress often make the difference between capital punishment, life in prison and when exactly one can appeal for release. I can see no reason why, as I've already done in this thread, philosophers today cannot use Aristotelian teleogy to help determine how we should make other laws i.e. over gay marriage. I mean western political philosophy was born with the Athenians, why not appeal to the Lyceum for guidance in our legislative process?


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Dear Administrator and Myles,

The vote passed yesterday and the matter is now law.

One thing that complicates the issue is that the government sought the support of the Catholic Church here for the bill . . . and received it because the bill protects the rights of the Church against lawsuits by those who are turned away from having same sex marriage rites performed on church property etc.

There are a lot of faxes and e-mails coming in on this matter, my employer is against it, but the leader of our party is for it.

And the Catholic church supports the legislation as well.

I guess everything now is academic.\

And, Myles, I'm a great venerator of St Peter Mohyla and love studying about his time period.

Unfortunately, the Latin canonical legalism, verbose and complex as it is, didn't prevent the Church up here from putting its best foot forward . . .

Alex

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Scandinavian wrote:
I'm sorry, but you need to face reality, society IS secular! Society is multlicultural with many different religions coexisting! In modern society true Christians are a minority, so to attemt to use arguments like "It's God's Law!" in a political debate is impossible!

What is your solution exactly, to replace democracy with theocracy?
Scandinavian,

Thanks for your post.

I do not understand your comment about me needing to face reality. I never suggested that today’s Western society was anything but secular. I merely presented the main problems with a secular society, which is that without an unchanging standard of right and wrong there is no way to determine morality from immorality, except by general consensus (which is very fluid and changes over time). I also never suggested or appealed to an argument “like ‘It’s God’s Law!’”

I also do not understand your suggested solution of replacing democracy with theocracy. While the United States is fast becoming a secular society our style of government has never been a theocracy, even though it is rooted in the common elements of Judeo-Christian morality (namely, the Ten Commandments as they have developed through English Common Law). I don’t really see any support for an argument that the European democracies were really theocracies in past times when there was an automatic respect for Judeo-Christian values. Ideally I would hope that over time we could convince enough people to agree to keep (or readopt) this standard, but I know that it is unlikely as our societies progressively abandon God.

The way forward right now is to appeal to the natural law. Myles has given good arguments for using the natural law as a standard in a multi-cultural society and I won’t repeat it. I think that it would be useful for the argument for the natural law to be placed on the table for discussion in various countries. My guess is that, as secular societies deteriorate and the right to life is denied to more groups of people, some in those societies will begin to question the wisdom of an “anything goes” morality. At such a time maybe they will consider adopting the natural law as their standard of determining morality.

Ultimately, of course, the answer is to convert the whole world to Christ.

And, for those of us who are Christians, we must realize that our allegiance is to Christ and that our morality is from Him and not from the state. As we live in secular societies we may be required to tolerate all types of immorality. But we cannot allow such societal immorality to become our own moral standard or we risk losing our salvation.

I don’t have all the answers. But something tells me that Europe will be forced to address some of these difficult questions before America does. A few months back I read an article by a European who was worried about the possibility of Europe adopting the Sharia (Islamic Law). The demographics he spoke to suggested that, with the low birth rate among the traditional European peoples and the high immigration and birth rates among Muslims, in a few generations some of the countries will be predominately Muslim. A secular society that determines its morality on the basis of consensus will have no foundation from which to oppose the adoption of the Sharia since in a predominately Muslim nation the consensus will be to adopt the Islamic Law.

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Dear Administrator,

Whether you face reality or not, I don't know.

Just please never change the way you already ARE! smile smile

Alex

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Alex,

I am sorry for the result of the vote. I don’t know all the details but it appears that the Church has opted for its own protection rather than to stand for what is morally right.

As Christians we may need to tolerate the immorality of our societies. But we can never accept such things. We must always embrace Christ and adhere to the morality that He taught us. We must pray for our societies, that they may come to Christ.

I do not work in the same environment that you do, so I am not faced with such questions on a regular basis. I do, however, work with people who are openly pro-abortion as well as one who is involved in a same sex relationship. Both are politically active in supporting those evils. For the most part I find that such people mean well but just don’t know any better. That, or they do know better and are just lying to themselves about what is true. The best thing to do is to treat each individual as if he or she were Christ. Doing that will soften hearts and will lead to all kinds of opportunities to politely and quietly witness Christ. I generally don’t discuss religious / social / moral issues at work. But when office conversations demand my participation I will generally indicate that I am a Christian and state what Christ taught about the situation (without quoting Scripture) and that as a Christian I accept what He taught. That may sound simplistic but I seem to occasionally convert someone without really trying.

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Originally posted by Zenovia:
Dear Theist Gal,

If one were to go back into history, they would find that homosexuality was rare when it was not acceptable. To give an example: When reading the authorized biography of Lawrence of Arabia, his best friend was asked if Lawrence was a homosexual. Now his friend admitted that he himself was and that he would have loved to have had Lawrence as a partner. He said that one had to be aware of the 'times'. Homosexuality was so frowned upon, that the mere idea would have repulsed Lawrence.

Now taking this into account, we have to realize that there are certain ages when young people are very vulnerable to suggestions...so the more politically correct homosexuality becomes, the larger the percentage of homosexuals.

Zenovia
Okay, would everyone please stop assuming that I'm in favor of same-sex marriage, just because I recycled a joke from "Seinfeld"? Gee whillikers!! :rolleyes:

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Dear Dolly,

I also recycle jokes from "Seinfeld."

Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .

Alex

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