Bnonn said “Historically, homosexual behaviour has been regarded universally as deviant and depraved”, which is a massive overstatement and demonstrably not true.
I’ll concede that. I should have said homosexuality has been universally condemned in Judeo-Christian society, which is what we have inherited. Mind you, even in societies like those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, it is my understanding that homosexuality was not nearly as widely practiced or accepted as we commonly think. But either way, I acknowledge the point. My focus is on Judeo-Christian society.
just because society has believed a certain thing in the past that does not require that we continue to believe it in the future, nor is it necessarily a good measure of whether or not those beliefs are moral.
Agreed. But it does present a prima facie case, which is generally important in establishing burden of proof. Proponents of homosexuality are quick to *assume* the moral permissibility of homosexuality, and demand that anyone who disagrees make a case for disagreeing. But I’m not inclined to play by those rules. In a case like this, the burden of proof seems to fall primarily on the one making the novel claim, which is you guys.
the writings of bronze age nomadic tribes in the middle east.
You’ll forgive me for literally laughing out loud. This is such a cliche among atheists that I am actually surprised no one has said it until now. Be that as it may:
1. This is simply a classic example of the fallacy of chronological snobbery.
2. It is also an example of the fallacy of begging the question, since it implicitly assumes that the Bible is *not* the word of God. Of course, I agree that *if* the Bible is not the word of God, then there is no special reason to listen to what it has to say on any point whatsoever. But if God does exist, as most people believe, and if he does indeed speak through the Bible, as a vast number of thoughtful, rational people have believed throughout history, then by the same token we should take its words very seriously.
3. This just continues the trend in this thread of trying to ridicule me into silence, rather than interact with my arguments. But incredulity is not a measure of truth, as anyone who loves science ought to know.
And thats what really sets Bnonn’s idea of morality and homosexuality apart from the rest of us.
Let’s just re-balance this statement by noting that “the rest of us” is a small, novel minority, and that “my” idea of morality is, broadly speaking, the one which largely produced Western civilization as we know it.
His world view is founded in a particular interpretation of the bible and what he perceives to be the word of god.
And your worldview is founded on a particular interpretation of the facts at your disposal, and what you perceive to be the truth. You make it sound as if you’re in a superior position to me somehow, but in what way? Just *implying* that there is something irrational or laughable about a position doesn’t actually do the work of *showing* it. Maybe you’re accustomed to being able to browbeat Christians into mumbling submission by loudly declaring, “Well you believe in talking snakes and donkeys!” but I’m afraid I’m not those Christians. I’ve been around this block a few times, and in the process I have tested my reasons for believing what I do and found them to be strong. I’ve also found the atheist side to be extraordinarily weak (indeed, that is what largely contributed to my conversion to Christianity).
This leaves the rest of us in an impossible position because reason, logic and evidence will not persuade him
I like how you’re carefully laying out for the audience how this is going to go. Carefully priming everyone to believe that the non-Christian side is the keeper of reason, logic, and evidence. But are you going to actually *show* this at some point?
a god that there is no evidence for
This is just silly. Whether or not you are *persuaded* by the evidence for God, it is simply delusional to claim that it doesn’t *exist*. I mean, even ignoring the historical evidence for the resurrection (which I would say is key to the evidence for Christianity specifically), there are dozens of good arguments for the existence of God. See for example http://goo.gl/YE4hwy.
Again, you don’t have to be *persuaded* by such evidence, but to simply deny it exists makes you look either grossly uninformed, or grossly prejudiced.
till it could finally be used to indoctrinate a young boy 25 years ago
Aside from the fact that this is just an example of the genetic fallacy, you’re making yourself look foolish by assuming things about me that you don’t actually know. Trying to ridicule me through a lame attempt at psycho-analysis is not nearly as convincing as actually demonstrating via argument why I am wrong. Is this how you decide the truth of something? By which side can make the other side look more ridiculous? Rhetoric, rather than logic?
homosexuals are not deserving of equality in the eyes of society or the law.
This is confused at best. Libelous at worst. I have explicitly *denied* that homosexuals should be treated as second-class humans or second-class citizens. What I have claimed is that homosexual *behavior* is immoral. And I was careful early on to distinguish between beliefs, behaviors, and people.
It’s a shame that Bnonn wants to take advantage of that freedom for himself, but is unwilling to extend it to others.
What are you talking about? Who have I been unwilling to extend freedom of expression to?
He has accused others in this thread of bigotry and intolerance to religion but I think thats just a straw-man knee-jerk reaction he has gotten used to breaking out whenever his own intolerance is questioned.
I’m sure that would fit your progressive narrative better, but the problem is that it’s demonstrably untrue. A bigot is someone who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bigot). Throughout this thread, I tried to keep the conversation on my initial, very limited critique of the OP; yet I have been continually derailed by people who insisted on talking about my beliefs about homosexuality itself. I didn’t bring those up; I was quite happy to not discuss the morality of homosexuality. I had that effectively forced on me by people who felt compelled to make that off-topic issue the talking point of the thread. I had my comments referred to as “the stupidest thing on the internet” by two separate people; I’ve had my beliefs labeled “vile”; I’ve had abuse flung at me; been told (ironically) that I am building an “us v them dynamic”; told to “back away from the internet”; told that I must have a “severe head injury”; been indicated to be not only uninterested in, but actually immune to, logic, reason and evidence; and generally mocked and ridiculed. Now there is no denying I have been a little testy with people in return, but my comments stand for themselves in documenting that I have not done *any* of these things. I have instead tried to focus on the *reasons* and the *logic*, and argue my case while testing the case of others.
But that does not mean you are free to force your point of view on others
This would be be comically ironic if it weren’t so offensive at this point. Not only have I done absolutely nothing to try to force my point of view on others, but *you* and others here have gone to great lengths to try to force your point of view on me—as documented above. You are *not* content to allow people freedom of belief when it differs from the politically correct view. You feel *compelled* to mock and ridicule and label beliefs that differ from yours. And in many parts of the world, people label such beliefs “hate speech” and fine and imprison Christians groundlessly for holding to their freedom of conscience. So again, your narrative is so skewed as to be absolutely backwards.
We might not like your homophobic point of view
I don’t grant you the right to label me homophobic. The Orwellian use of language might be SOP for you, but I’m not going to play along. You can’t label me into submission like McCarthy did with “suspected communists”. Believing that homosexual behavior is immoral is not a *phobia*. If you think otherwise, you don’t know what a phobia is.
we would not discriminate against you or treat you as unequal because of it.
Well obviously I have no idea what *you* personally would do, but as a *general* statement this is just demonstrably false, as documented by the increasing number of people in places like the US and Canada who *have* been discriminated against and treated as unequal because of it. Forced out of jobs. Fined. Made to pay for things against their conscience. Etc.
On the other hand Bnonn holds a dangerously bigoted homophobic perspective
Let’s ignore the fact that your entire comment has just been you *asserting* things about me, rather than making *any* arguments, and jump straight to the obvious question: in what way am I “dangerous”? You sound like a religious fundamentalist. An extremist. You sound like the Nazis sounded before they started rounding up Jews, or how the Communists sounded before they started shooting priests.
he also wants to force that view on the rest of society with discriminatory laws and practices that respect his point of view but not that of other people.
I am just dying to know how you know so much about me! Pray tell, which discriminatory laws and practices are you referring to? And how do you know that I want to force them on the rest of society? (Incidentally, we *all* believe that we *ought* to force discriminatory laws and practices on society. It is just a question of which ones. We all agree we should discriminate against rapists by locking them up, for example.)
I hope that over time you would come to realise that child is as deserving of you love and respect as any other person, gay or not.
It is genuinely remarkable that you think I don’t hold homosexuals to be deserving of love and respect. I mean, it’s a testament to how blinkered and prejudiced your outlook is that you have managed to read everything I’ve said in this thread, and still conclude that I must think that homosexuals are *not* deserving of love and respect. You are forcing me into a pigeon-hole of your own making. Is your narrative about the world so inflexible and narrow-minded that you can’t actually *conceive* of someone disapproving of homosexual behavior while not actually *hating* homosexuals? Does such a person just not exist, in your view? I can’t be one of them because you “just know” there isn’t anyone like that? You’re either completely pro-gay, or you’re a hateful brainwashed religious zealot?