Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Liberal morality

Liberal smugness nauseates me when it doesn't make me laugh. Mocking Michelle Bachman's husband's clinic for treating men for homosexuality is just the latest example. (I'm not defending here the malleability view of some conservative Christians.)  We all know the liberal reasoning: Science has demonstrated that a homosexual orientation is genetic so, therefore, it is normal. The thinking that has gone into this talking point belies typical liberal shallowness.

First, twin studies have estimated the heritability for homosexual orientation to be well under 50 percent. Alcohol abuse, by contrast, is over .5. (If you're offended by my example, simply substitute shyness, negative emotionality or any of a very long list of traits.) To be consistent, liberals should be arguing that alcoholism is even more genetic than homosexuality and therefore should be enthusiastically embraced by society, and the notion of treatment is absurd.

Although they leave their beliefs unexamined, they consider alcoholism to be problematic because of the costs that it imposes on people. (Of course, many progressives still deny that genes are important for just about anything other than homosexual orientation.) Their morality is that sexual behaviors are good if people have a desire to do them, and nobody gets hurt. But that doesn't explain their discomfort with, for example, polygamy, prostitution, or bestiality, so throw in heavy doses of public image work (i.e., propaganda) done by cultural elites, and we have an moral-psychological explanation for why liberals equate biology with goodness in the case of homosexuality.

Liberals are blind to how their view of the goodness of homosexuality is at its base moral, not scientific. (One can very easily make that case that, assuming an evolution-based morality, homosexuality is pathological because it works against reproduction.) Conservative Christians are very open about their values. Liberals, on the other hand, delude themselves into thinking that their beliefs are science. Christians believe in an eternal objective morality. (Flawed humans don't apprehend it fully, but it is there nevertheless.) Progressives look to Hollywood for today's right and wrong. When I was a little boy, gay men were portrayed as villains in movies. Today they are saints and martyrs. Right and wrong change so quickly, I can't keep up. Elites change their minds so often, one begins to think they have no idea what they're talking about.     


Underachiever said...

Believing in evolution has very little to do with believing in an evolution-based morality, whatever that might mean. I believe in gravity, but that doesn't mean that I derive my morality from it (e.g. Thou shall not defy gravity and fly).

Also liberals usually don't think homosexuality is good; they just don't think it is bad. Since homosexuality doesn't hurt anyone (except arguably the participants), why should it matter what gay people do?

Anonymous said...

"Since homosexuality doesn't hurt anyone (except arguably the participants), why should it matter what gay people do?"

The case in question involves a mother and son who sought treatment. (I saw both interviewed this morning. When the son told his mother that the "treatment" couldn't work, she told him that, "Well, then I am okay with your homosexuality if you are."

However, to your point about "homosexuality doesn't hurt anyone." No, in the strictest sense, of course it doesn't, no more than having a deaf child hurts somebody else. No more than having a child with polycystic ovary disease hurts anyone else. And on and on.

However, I've yet to meet a mother and father who don't hope that their children are heterosexual and give them grandkids. I've yet to meet an older homosexual man who is reaching old age who doesn't wish he had children and who doesn't wish he had "fit in" when he was a very young child. (BTW, all the education in the world about homosexuality will never make a pre-gay kid feel like he belongs when he is very young, before anyone even knows why he feels different, before anyone even knows he will grow up to be gay. Something is clearly going on in the brain that involves something much more than eventual sexual orientation.)

While one can argue that rich gay men and women can have biological children by using surrogates and test tubes and so forth, only the wealthy can afford to do so and even then, many will never have biological children.

Ron's point about liberal selectivity is a point well-made.

Shyness, like innumerable personality traits, affects most people quite negatively in their life's pursuits, yet libs would never think of criticizing people seeking treatment for it.

Anonymous said...

Underachiever hit the nail on the head.

M said...

Liberals, on the other hand, delude themselves into thinking that their beliefs are science.

Yes. Or reason. In particular, they have their own aesthetic worldview of how they want the world to look (more openness, more art, less hierarchy and status differences even if people don't particularly care or suffer subjectively, less family and family loyalty at all scales) and their morality is guided by this, yet they attempt to pass their beliefs off often as the product of an aesthetically contemplative reason and desire to avoid harm and promote happiness. It's aggravating.

If they would just fess up and admit that they are guided by a particular vision of how they want the world to look, like everyone else, rather than just pushing the false idea that all they want is for people to be neutral to how everyone wants to live provided it doesn't cause suffering, I'd have a lot more respect for them.

Bill said...

Liberal "discomfort" with prostitution, bestiality, incest, and polyamory are, to a great extent, put on. They are put on to avoid losing support among the benighted masses who are "not ready" for these extra-super-good next steps in our enlightenment. There are a few old fogies for whom it isn't put on, but that is just the drying residue of Christian civilization not quite evaporated yet.

Underachiever indeed hits the nail on the head. The logic of his position dictates that he be pro prostitution, bestiality, incest, and polyamory.

Underachiever said...

"The logic of his position dictates that he be pro prostitution, bestiality, incest, and polyamory."

With prostitution, probably yes. The others would hurt society and not allowing them does not do anybody any real harm; therefore, they should be kept illegal. Furthermore, there is no large group of people who were born wanting to have sex with their family or animals, so as a practical matter those things will never be allowed.

Mercer said...

"twin studies have estimated the heritability for homosexual orientation to be well under 50 percent."

Is it the same for both sexes? What studies have shown that therapy programs like Bachman's work?

Ron Guhname said...

"Biometric modeling revealed that, in men, genetic effects explained .34–.39 of the variance, the shared environment .00, and the individual-specific environment .61–.66 of the variance. Corresponding estimates among women were .18–.19 for genetic factors, .16–.17 for shared environmental, and 64–.66 for unique environmental factors."

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, there is no large group of people who were born wanting to have sex with their family or animals, so as a practical matter those things will never be allowed."

There are very, very few transsexuals, and yet progressives are willing to make a stink about their supposed rights (to use the washroom of their choice etc.).