Free to be determined…

“It is a repressive, medieval myth that homosexuality is a perversion of human nature. There is no such thing as an ‘essential human nature’. Homosexuals ought to be able to marry each other; to demand otherwise is a violation of their basic human rights. Homosexuality is as essential a part of human nature as heterosexuality is. Homosexuals are free to do whatever they like, sexually, since they are genetically determined to be gay. They are just trying to be who they are by nature.”

4 Responses

  1. If there is no essential human nature, how can homosexual behavior be homosexuals “just trying to be who they are by nature”? Genetics establish an essential nature for homosexuals, but not for the rest of the species?

    I haven’t previously run into the two parts of the argument you quote used together. Seems to me they’re more coherent (not necessarily correct, but more coherent) when used separately.


  2. First, it would be quite difficult to say that genes ‘determine’ so absolutely. And surely genetic predispositions are not the basis for ethics.

  3. Is it not the case that people are born with genetic deformities all the time…which it does not seem to follow that those deformities are part-of human nature…they may find their actuality through natural proccesses, but are they natural-for-man? (e.g., man born blind by some genetic defects, or a diease or handicap, etc.) These are obviously unfortunate genetic (supposing they are) but should we maintain they are part of human nature?

  4. Two different claims can be made here:

    First, human nature is essentially variable – there is something which does not imply normative behavior or “goodness” about human beings. I think this is rubbish.
    Second, human nature does not exist as a universal, but varies among individual cases. I think this can be shown to be wrong, in that human beings share certain characteristic functions.
    Third, there are no “natures” to anything. This denies principles of potentiality or essences in nature. Hello, Parmenides! The beach-ball universe of Being is not far afield of this comment.

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