The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ethics Essay On "Is Homosexuality Unnatural?"

QUESTION:  Is homosexuality unnatural?  is it perverse?  Is the only natural sex that which is potentially procreative?  Set out your position, drawing from Richard D. Mohr's article in comparison or contrast. 

I have to say that, overall I agree with many of Richard D. Mohr’s arguments. I think only on religious grounds, or on the arguments of teleology, can one show that homosexuality is unnatural. Mohr does a good job showing that many men and women throughout history have had homosexual desires and passions, even if it has been in the minority. So, one cannot really say that it is unnatural in the sense that it is something that people have not found appealing or desirable. Mohr points out that what most people believe in any given society do not determine right and wrong or morality. After all, Nazi society with its racism and mob rule were deemed as moral. As we all know, the United States enforced slavery, and many argued that blacks were less than human and did not deserve the same rights as whites.
Mohr demonstrates that just because culture may create a negative reaction or connotation to the idea of homosexuality, this does not show that homosexuality is unnatural or immoral. Examples are women breastfeeding in public or women not shaving. Though we may react negatively to this because our culture has deemed this unacceptable, in many other cultures this is the norm and to do differently would be deemed unnatural.
Mohr argues that the genitals have more than one purpose. While some say homosexuality is wrong simply because the genital organs of males and females are solely for procreation, the truth is that there is a unique pleasure, a sexual pleasure, that can only be experienced from the touching and stimulation of the sexual organs. Our body parts have many different functions, and homosexuality does not render the sexual organs inoperative of all their intended functions. After all, if there were not some kind of pleasure or happiness to be gained from homosexuality, one would not expect to find homosexuals.
Then there is natural law, or moral law, that every person is said to have. From this perspective, inanimate objects and plants are good because they follow natural laws by necessity, animals follow by their instincts, and humans follow by their wills. Mohr has doubts about whether or not there is such a thing as a natural or moral law, but he argues that even if there is, it is hard to ascertain which laws of nature apply to us. After all, there have been instances of homosexual behavior in animals, and throughout history we find examples of certain cultures where many people were homosexual or even required to be homosexual. For Mohr, natural law cannot prove or show that homosexuality is immoral or unnatural.
Next, Mohr argues that homosexuals may not be so by choice. He says this because, generally speaking, people do not choose to do something that will have detrimental effects on them. In other words, if someone says they will kill you if you walk on the left side of the rode, a person typically will not walk on the left side of the road. Yet, even though homosexuals are given less help from the government and are discriminated against in the military and by society at large, they still remain homosexual. If they could be different, they would, Mohr argues.
Finally, Mohr points out that in places in the United States where homosexuality has been more successful, nothing cataclysmic has happened there. The world has not ended; society has not fallen apart at all. Many homosexual couples love children and adopt, raising kids in a loving home and environment.
I disagree with Mohr on a few things. For instance, he makes the claim that the Bible may not be very clear on if homosexuality is a sin or not, saying that this is mentioned in the Old Testament but not very clearly in the New Testament. Nothing could be further from the truth. 1 Corinthians 6:9 says that homosexuals, along with fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit the kingdom of God because these acts are unrighteous. Then verse 11 of the same chapter says that those who have been saved and sanctified by the Spirit of God are no longer these things. Romans 1:24-27 also condemns homosexual passions and desires, not just the act but the desire itself, as being unnatural and something that God gives men and women over to for rejecting Him and His existence as revealed through the creation.
Further, I believe that reason demands absolute truth must exist. Otherwise, it is everyone’s opinion for himself and nothing could be either true or not true. But for absolute truth to exist, it must be eternal and unchanging. The Bible and God are the only things that make such a claim. I believe there is reason to believe that the Bible is indeed the inspired, inerrant Word of God, not merely the writings of men. Therefore, when God says that homosexuality is unnatural, sin, and something that men and women choose to be rather than are forced to be, I believe God.
However, God does not say that homosexuality is wrong because sex is only for procreation. It is clear that God created sex to be pleasurable and fun as well. The reason God says homosexuality is wrong is because it goes against the very purpose for which He created us. God created us to enjoy sex within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman. He says that we are to obey these confines, and that we will be happiest in these confines.
So in the final analysis, though I largely agree with Mohr’s arguments, I believe that the only natural sex is heterosexual sex, and that homosexual sex is unnatural and a perversion of the way God created us and intended us to be.

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