The purpose of this post and the next is to clarify where I stand on the morality of male homosexuality; on both the morality of the acts and the morality of the character of those who practice those acts. In blog posts I will present arguments to support various facets of the traditional sexual morality for which I argue in my book. I want to avoid having my arguments gain any extra appeal because readers are unclear where I stand. I am assuming that morally condemning homosexuality is unpopular. So, being coy about whether or not I think homosexuality is immoral might lead some to view my arguments more favorably. I do not want to mislead anyone.
In this post I will specify why I judge the acts and the men to be immoral. In the next post, I will assess the significance of making these negative moral judgments. In my book Confronting Sexual Nihihlism I argue for
The Paternal Principle,
A male may intentionally attain a sexual climax only in sexual intercourse with a consenting woman to whom he is bound by a life-long monogamous socially recognized union for procreation,
In addition he should:
(1) intend to cooperate with his spouse to protect and promote the lifelong natural development of any conception resulting from this intercourse and
(2) strive to appreciate with his spouse the natural value of their sexual satisfactions and cooperate with her to enhance those satisfactions.
Moral condemnation of homosexual acts is an immediate consequence of the paternal principle. In the book I develop what I call “character morality.” In character morality, a man has a moral flaw if he has a principle for satisfying an inclination in conflict with the fundamental principle on how that inclination ought to be satisfied. So active homosexuals have a moral character flaw.
Of course, here the moral judgment against homosexual acts and homosexual men is derived from the Paternal Principle. The fundamental argument is that of the book wherein I argue for the Paternal Principle.
My next post assess the significance of these moral judgments.
What is the significance of making these judgments?
These judgments tell men with same sex attractions acts which they should try not to commit and styles of life which they should try to improve. They are instructions on how to become better men. More on this in the next post.
What is the significance of my judgments that homosexual acts are immoral and active homosexuals are immoral?
First and foremost, these judgments express my firm belief that I would be performing an immoral act if I performed a homosexual act and that I would have an immoral character trait as long as I lacked a firm purpose of avoiding such acts.
This belief is not a mere thought that I would be immoral. The thought in the belief is mixed with a sense of the wrongness of the acts and way of life. The sense of wrongness is hard to describe. I usually characterize it as a sense of being under the control of a power with no concern for right or wrong – only for its satisfaction. Lust is a good label for that driving power I dread.
Secondly it tells men with same sex attractions about acts which they should try not to commit and styles of life which they should try to eliminate. They are instructions on how to become better men. The sense of wrongness accompanying the thought of the wrongness of the others’ acts comes from counterfactual thinking. To have a sense of the wrongness of other peoples’ acts I have to think how I would feel if I did what they are doing but having my thought of the wrongness.
When I do not try to think of what it would be like to be the active homosexual with my thought of the wrongness of homosexual acts my typical sense is pity. I am gratefull that I do not have their sexual inclinations.
I have explicitly written that I do not want to gain support for my arguments because people are unclear about my moral disapproval of homosexuality. However, I do not want people to become illogically hostile to my arguments on other issues because they think that I have some judgments about homosexuality which go way beyond judging homosexuality to be immoral.
First note that my judgments about the immorality of homosexuality does not require any definite judgments about how legal systems should deal with homosexuality. In fact, I tend to be rather Libertarian about legal control of sexuality. In regard to social control of homosexuality, I strongly favor a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” This is based on Golden Rule thinking. If I were afflicted with same sex attraction I would like my friends and family help me “keep it in the closet.”
Note finally that from the perspective of the Paternal Principle habitual masturbators, adulterers, fornicators etc., are all sexually immoral in both their acts and life-style.
For instance with regard to sexual morality, a young man, with heterosexual attractions, who regularly goes to bars to pick up women for one night stands is as morally corrupt as a young man, with homosexual attactions, who regularly goes to gay bars to pick up another man.