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#903483 - 02/23/05 09:31 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
Jeffrey:

You might try being a more careful reader: \:\)

To wit:"(opposing gay marriage and scapegoating gays as a cause of "evil" in the world)." The Pope did not say this. He said that "It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if" the political movement toward legitimizing homosexual unions "is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man". That is indeed a legitimate question to ask in the public forum, whether you think so or not, and is in no way an indication of "hatred" or "bigotry". His book is, after all a reflection on the problem of evil. Maybe you think that evil does not exist, in which case the question might seem superfluous. I am not certain what you do or not believe -- and I think that you do not understand what I believe. I think that we have YET to see the other's thoughts reflected in what we assume the other to think. \:\(

Yes, the Church teaches that homosexuality is disordered -- so are a lot of things: failings against temperance, prudence, justice, fortitude, etc. The Church teaches that the person is ordered toward certain ends. You disagree, fine. If I were a materialist I would as well-- it is a logical extension of a mechanical world view wherein a certain species gained self-reflectivity and interiority and could assess movements of the will.

There is, however, no conclusive (or even truly indicative) evidence that homosexuality is a natural state. No evidence (yet) for a gay gene.

Quite to the contrary, all the homosexuals that I've talked to (Christian or not, celibate or not) were at some point "initiated" into the life style -- at a (pre or post) pubescent adolescent age. I am not claiming anything more than anecdotal evidence, but this from talking to many friends, colleagues, and family members. The admixture of guilt-shame-pleasure-vulnerability-ego is a powerful thing to deal with: hence the extremes in behavior that one finds in the Castro, for instance. Hyper-masculinity - hyper-femininity - androgynous expression, etc. Hence too the politicization. All revolutions begin in the soul, and it is easier to try to change the universe than to try to change your own soul.

You are quite mistaken in thinking that I or the Pope hate gays or are bigots. I have many friends and family members who are active or celibate homosexuals-- people that I love, respect, admire, and hold in deep affection.

As I said before, we disagree on first principles so we will disagree on conclusions. That does not bother me, in fact it can be quite rewarding and challenging. However, I would prefer that you make efforts to be less abrasive if you want me to have any pleasure in this discourse... \:\)

Yours,
Steve
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903484 - 02/23/05 09:43 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903485 - 02/23/05 10:37 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
The issue of sexuality in the Catholic Church is one of great debate among leading Catholic theologians. Many are arguing that the Church's theology of sex, for both heterosexuals and homosexuals, must be rethought and reconsidered. In fact, the theologians, who are the research and development arm of the Church, have joined the debate.

If the Catholic Church is going to change its position on homosexual activity and homosexual marriage, which I believe it will when it focuses on sexuality and love rather than physical sex and orgasmic relief, it can only do so if there is a vigorous and at times acrimonious debate.

The Pope's new book, postulating such an extreme position as to wonder whether gay marriage is part of an evil force in the world, is a boon to gay liberation. Because it is in a book of the Pope's personal thoughts, it is not Catholic teaching, but it remains an utterance from the leader of the Catholic Church.

This, then, allows his thoughts to be openly and widely challenged, both within the Church and outside of it. It raises the debate to an even higher level -- and without the debate becoming even more intense, there can be no change.

If I were the Holy Spirit leading the Church to change, the Pope's comments would have been one of the arrows in my quiver. The complete irrationality that a committed loving relationship could be evil (as opposed to simply saying it is not a Sacramental marriage) is so easily refuted that it makes the Pope's comments almost a straw man to be knocked down.

The debate within the Church has now intensfied. This is a good. It is the only way that the change will come.

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#903486 - 02/23/05 11:27 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3290
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by RZ:
The debate within the Church has now intensfied. This is a good. It is the only way that the change will come. [/b]
Yup - and now maybe they'll stop talking about those pesky pedophile priests.
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#903487 - 02/23/05 11:32 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
Hi RZ:

Before going any further, I would appreciate knowing what if any your relationship with the Catholic Church is. I respect your opinions and your prudential style, but we seem have misread each other's posts in the past, and I want to do justice your concerns.

 Quote:
Originally posted by RZ:
The issue of sexuality in the Catholic Church is one of great debate among leading Catholic theologians. Many are arguing that the Church's theology of sex, for both heterosexuals and homosexuals, must be rethought and reconsidered. In fact, the theologians, who are the research and development arm of the Church, have joined the debate.
[/b]
Indeed, many theologians do debate the question -- I am not sure what you mean by the R&D statement if it means something other than finding meaningful contemporaneous expressions for the "same timeless Gospel". I suspect that you think dissenting theologians are the Holy Spirit's vanguard, but I do not want to put words into your mouth.

Karol Wojtyla was certainly part of the Church's rethinking of the issues of sexuality and marriage. He is, by all standards, quite progressive for a pope. In fact, at his election, he was seen as a progressive by those who now detract him for being conservative.

 Quote:


If the Catholic Church is going to change its position on homosexual activity and homosexual marriage, which I believe it will when it focuses on sexuality and love rather than physical sex and orgasmic relief, it can only do so if there is a vigorous and at times acrimonious debate. [/b]
I some how doubt that the Church will change its position -- the models for heterosexual marriage are deeply entrenched in OT and NT revelation as metaphors for understanding humanity's nuptial relationship with God. The bride and the bride groom, the wedding feast of the Lamb, the mystery of love that brings forth the mystery of life, etc. Marriage is a rather primal metaphor -- as primal as embodiment (the Body of Christ), shelter (the Tent/ Temple), and organized society (the Heavenly City) -- that is used to explain God's relationship to humanity.
 Quote:

The complete irrationality that a committed loving relationship could be evil (as opposed to simply saying it is not a Sacramental marriage) is so easily refuted that it makes the Pope's comments almost a straw man to be knocked down.

The debate within the Church has now intensfied. This is a good. It is the only way that the change will come. [/b]
It is not "complete irrationality" as you charge -- but perhaps you are not familiar with the Church's definition of evil (the privation of good). Certainly there is a limited good in the nature of all love relationships -- but this is needs to be understood (in Catholic teaching) in the light of what love is ultimately. Marital love is ordered toward union and procreation (even on the natural level), and toward the sanctification and salvation of the spouses (on the sacramental level).

It is not bigotry to say that homosexuals cannot "marry" in that marriage is a natural institution ordered toward the procreation and education of children (among other things). Two persons of the same sex cannot "marry" in that sense. There might be other reasons that society might allow civil unions among homosexuals -- inheritance, health benefits, etc -- but this is already widely achieved in the west and is not the subject of the pope's concern.

yours,

Steve
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903488 - 02/24/05 06:19 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Miller:
 Quote:
Originally posted by RZ:
The debate within the Church has now intensfied. This is a good. It is the only way that the change will come. [/b]
Yup - and now maybe they'll stop talking about those pesky pedophile priests. [/b]
I pray it does not; nor is there any indication they are going to.

Sin is sin; whether committed by a lay person, a Bishop or by the Pope.

The Church's response to the pedophile priests and their victims is a shameful episode in the modern Church; it must be recognized and it must be corrected.

While the Church, particularly in the US, has taken some significant steps to correct the problem, I do not believe it has fully repented nor taken sufficient actions to show a firm purpose of amendment, required for true forgiveness from God.

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#903489 - 02/24/05 07:09 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by ivorythumper:
There is, however, no conclusive (or even truly indicative) evidence that homosexuality is a natural state. No evidence (yet) for a gay gene.

Quite to the contrary, all the homosexuals that I've talked to (Christian or not, celibate or not) were at some point "initiated" into the life style -- at a (pre or post) pubescent adolescent age. [/b]
Not sure what sort of logical constructs you would require before you defined something as "indicative" of homosexuality as a natural state. But the presence of homosexual behavior in animals is not uncommon. I would define that as somewhat "indicative."

I also doubt whether the animals "were initiated into the gay lifestyle." Sounds like some X-rated Gary Larson cartoon.

Homosexuality in the animal kingdom

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#903490 - 02/24/05 07:20 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by ivorythumper:

Before going any further, I would appreciate knowing what if any your relationship with the Catholic Church is. I respect your opinions and your prudential style, but we seem have misread each other's posts in the past, and I want to do justice your concerns.[/b]
I am a faithful and loving son of the Church. (And please, call me Rick)

 Quote:
Indeed, many theologians do debate the question -- I am not sure what you mean by the R&D statement if it means something other than finding meaningful contemporaneous expressions for the "same timeless Gospel". I suspect that you think dissenting theologians are the Holy Spirit's vanguard, but I do not want to put words into your mouth..[/QB]
Catholic theologians have a moral and spiritual responsibility to assist the Vatican in understanding how to apply the "timeless Gospel" to the society in which the Church finds itself.

Because of this serious obligation they have, they must provide prudential scrutiny of current Church doctrine and, if they find it wanting, provide a theological basis, keeping with the dogma of the Church, for alternative expressions of the Church's values and beliefs. Those who do not find it wanting, have the same serious obligation to join the debate.

From the time of the debate between Peter and Paul at the Council of Jerusalem about the need for Gentiles to follow Jewish prescriptions in order to be Christian, it is through such theological debate that the Church has developed its theology.

I see the same thing occurring today as the Church grapples with the issues of sex, sexuality, the purpose of marriage, the nature of loving relationships and the place of sexual expression within those relationships as they have come to be understood in modern Western culture.

The Pope's comments in his book simply add to this debate as it deals with homosexuality and its proper place in human relations.

 Quote:
Karol Wojtyla was certainly part of the Church's rethinking of the issues of sexuality and marriage. He is, by all standards, quite progressive for a pope. In fact, at his election, he was seen as a progressive by those who now detract him for being conservative.[/b]
John Paul is, in many respects, a very progressive Pope. He has moved this Church's doctrine very far in some extremely important areas.

I do not believe, however, he is considered a progressive Pope in terms of moral theology, especially as it relates to marriage and sex. Indeed, I know of no one who has studied his Pontificate, who would argue he is.

 Quote:
I some how doubt that the Church will change its position -- the models for heterosexual marriage are deeply entrenched in OT and NT revelation as metaphors for understanding humanity's nuptial relationship with God. The bride and the bride groom, the wedding feast of the Lamb, the mystery of love that brings forth the mystery of life, etc. Marriage is a rather primal metaphor -- as primal as embodiment (the Body of Christ), shelter (the Tent/ Temple), and organized society (the Heavenly City) -- that is used to explain God's relationship to humanity.[/b]
It's a matter of first principles, Steve.

Up until the Vatican Council, the Church held that the primary purpose of sex was the procreation of children. This leads to an entire theology dealing with sex, the primary tenet of which is that the sex act must always be open to procreation. Using this concept, the Church has based its teaching on birth control, sex outside of marriage, homosexual sex, etc.

In the 1960's, this was changed to a doctrine in which there are two co-equal primary purposes of sex; the procreation of children as well as the fulfillment of the the partners. While the official teaching of the Church on many practical issues may not have changed because of the change of this first principle, the practice and beliefs of the Church, the people of the Church, has in fact changed.

There is strong evidence that the "sense of the faithful" is again leading the Church's teaching inasmuch as the Catholic faithful, at least in the Western world, are developing their own moral theology as it deals with birth control, the purpose of sex in marriage and even the acceptance of gay unions, even as the faithful currently rejects the concept of gay marriage ina sacramental sense.

The Church's own doctrine dealing with the development of doctrine, and indeed the identification of dogma, fully supports the sense of the faithful as a legitimate source of understanding revelation.

Many theologians now speak of the primary purpose of sex as the expression of love and the fulfillment of the relationship and procreation being a secondary purpose. This does seem to be the sense of the faithful in Western society, or at least the direction in which it is moving.

If and when this becomes the primary doctrine of the Church, it too will lead to a host of logical doctrines; not the least of which will be that the possibility of procreation need not exst in any loving relationship in order to sanctify that relationship.

If this change occurs in the modern Church's teaching about sexuality and loving relationships, the Church need only go back in its own theological history to find a basis for accepting and blessing homosexual unions. I commend to you the honored relationship between Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Sts. Sergius and Bacchus and of St Valentine and his love, physically expressed (before the requirement of celbacy) for the Bishop he served so faithfully. The Church also need only dust off the para-liturgical ceremonies that at one time were conducted by the Church to bless committed homosexual relationships.

So, the doctrine of the Church as it deals with homosexuality, is likely to hinge on the logical development of the Church's teachings about the primary purpose of sex -- which is currently undergoing intense theological debate and has already begun to change.

 Quote:
It is not "complete irrationality" as you charge -- but perhaps you are not familiar with the Church's definition of evil (the privation of good). Certainly there is a limited good in the nature of all love relationships -- but this is needs to be understood (in Catholic teaching) in the light of what love is ultimately. Marital love is ordered toward union and procreation (even on the natural level), and toward the sanctification and salvation of the spouses (on the sacramental level).

It is not bigotry to say that homosexuals cannot "marry" in that marriage is a natural institution ordered toward the procreation and education of children (among other things). Two persons of the same sex cannot "marry" in that sense. There might be other reasons that society might allow civil unions among homosexuals -- inheritance, health benefits, etc -- but this is already widely achieved in the west and is not the subject of the pope's concern.[/b]
I am not charging that the Pope's statement is irrational, I am simply saying it is. It is the use of the term "evil" that is irrational.

The Church's own doctrine clearly states that man is called to a committed and loving relationship with a spouse and through that love man expresses and lives out the love God has for mankind and for His Church.

The problem the Pope has with his statement is that he fails to recognize that in speaking of gay marriage, he is not speaking of promiscuous sex. Rather, he is speaking about men and women who are truly in love with each other, who wish to commit for a lifetime to the other and who seek to express that love physically.

If the Pope wanted to question the validity of providing Sacramental approbation for homosexual relationships, there are any number of words he could have used and any number of arguments he could have made. To define, however, the sincere expression of love as "evil" is irrational.

To recognize the irratinality of it, one need only consider the fact the Pope has lumped gay marriage together with abortion as examples of such evil. The Church's teachings on abortion as evil are well known and are based on its view of the sanctity and dignity of all human life. The Church views abortion as an attack on human life and indeed the destruction of human life, which the Church argues only God has the right to do.

To place the legitimate aspirations of homosexuals for a lifetime of committed love in the same category as abortion is irrational.

As I said in my first post, I believe the Pope's statement is a welcome volley in the ongoing debate and is likely to raise it up a notch. The debate must take place and the Church must continue to develop its doctrine as it deals with sex and sexuality to reflect current understanding of the role of sex in modern marriage. As this debate continues, the debate over homosexual relationships will be a very important part of it.

While John Paul may think he has helped to quell the discussion, his inopportune and misguided use of the term evil undermines the ability of many to accept his view on this matter.

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#903491 - 02/24/05 07:26 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
ivory: "Quite to the contrary, all the homosexuals that I've talked to (Christian or not, celibate or not) were at some point "initiated" into the life style -- at a (pre or post) pubescent adolescent age. I am not claiming anything more than anecdotal evidence,"

Ah, now we get down to it. The homosexual "agenda" recruiting impressionable teens into the gay "lifestyle." While sexuality is somewhat flexible, most homosexuals (at least male ones) regard their sexual preferences as strong and fixed from an early age, just as you or I regard our heterosexual drives. There is unlikely to ever be a "gay gene" since almost no complex aspect of human behavior is controlled by a single "gene".

Some men and perhaps a slightly greater number of women are bisexual or flexible in this regard, but most regard it as a fixed fact of their desire, not a "lifestyle" they were recruited into. You are simply ignorant of the facts, and lack the desire to find out the truth. Also, as Nina points out homosexual activity is common among other animals, including other primates.

Steve, if you really want to know why I regard all your (and the pope's) fancy philosophical footwork and long winded theology on this topic as meaningless and diversionary, it's because when you strip it all away, underneath are the same old stereotypes, bigotry, and lack of knowledge one would expect of a homophobe.

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#903492 - 02/24/05 07:31 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
RZ: "To place the legitimate aspirations of homosexuals for a lifetime of committed love in the same category as abortion is irrational."

It is not irrational, it is a logical and clear expression of the bigotry and hatred of Catholic thought on this topic, as expressed for thousands of years. The pope has good historical backing for his views. Also, there is nothing wrong with abortion, but that is another topic.

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#903493 - 02/24/05 08:10 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
and lack of knowledge one would expect of a homophobe. [/b]
Jeffrey: if there is one thing I am not, it is a homophobe. I have NO fear of others who are the same as me. \:\) (and for the record I have no fear of others who are different).
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903494 - 02/24/05 05:19 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
ivory: "I have NO fear of others who are the same as me. (and for the record I have no fear of others who are different)."

Unsurprising that you would make light of the harm your views, when backed up by large social institutions of society, cause to others.

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#903495 - 02/24/05 05:23 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
 Quote:
Unsurprising that you would make light of the harm your views, when backed up by large social institutions of society, cause to others.
I've thought the exact same thing, with regard to some of your posts.
_________________________
Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

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#903496 - 02/24/05 06:11 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Posted by ivorythumper:

 Quote:
There is, however, no conclusive (or even truly indicative) evidence that homosexuality is a natural state. No evidence (yet) for a gay gene.
No conclusive evidence for a gay gene and I for one am not surprised. There is, however, plenty of evidence that suggests that the effect of homones in the developing fetus and/or newly born infant can have a profound effect, not only outwardly (in some rarer cases), but inwardly (in some more frequent cases such as homosexuality). I can elaborate more on this if anyone wants.


 Quote:
Quite to the contrary, all the homosexuals that I've talked to (Christian or not, celibate or not) were at some point "initiated" into the life style -- at a (pre or post) pubescent adolescent age. I am not claiming anything more than anecdotal evidence, but this from talking to many friends, colleagues, and family members.
I wasn't. Nor were most of my homosexual friends, and believe you me I have plenty of them. You're right--what you have there is nothing more than anecdotal.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#903497 - 02/24/05 06:30 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bernard:
I wasn't. Nor were most of my homosexual friends, and believe you me I have plenty of them. You're right--what you have there is nothing more than anecdotal. [/b]
And then of course, there were all those boys that were traumatically "initiated", but didnt become gay. Seems if there was even the faintest connection there, studies would have readily discovered it.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#903498 - 02/24/05 07:05 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
ivory: "I have NO fear of others who are the same as me. (and for the record I have no fear of others who are different)."

Unsurprising that you would make light of the harm your views, when backed up by large social institutions of society, cause to others. [/b]
Gosh, Jeff, all that money and you still can't afford a sense of humor or graciousness!

I am not making light of anything but your silly attempts do demonize me with a really silly neologism.

Oh well, I've asked you to be more entertaining and civil in our conversation -- perhaps you are structurally incapable of it. But I still have hope! \:\)
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903499 - 02/24/05 07:28 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
Hi Bernard:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bernard:
Posted by ivorythumper:

 Quote:
There is, however, no conclusive (or even truly indicative) evidence that homosexuality is a natural state. No evidence (yet) for a gay gene.
No conclusive evidence for a gay gene and I for one am not surprised. There is, however, plenty of evidence that suggests that the effect of homones in the developing fetus and/or newly born infant can have a profound effect, not only outwardly (in some rarer cases), but inwardly (in some more frequent cases such as homosexuality). I can elaborate more on this if anyone wants.
[/b]

I do know about the testosterone washes (I am sure there is a more specific medical term), and that might well be contributory. I find it interesting that a large number of homosexual activists develop personae of either hyper masculinity or hyper femininity (e.g., Queer Nation, ACT-UP). I am sure there are a lot of entirely mainstream homosexuals as well, but I do find it interesting that in the hetero population there does not seem to be such pronounced (and really exaggerated) differences (or are there, and I just have my hetero blinders on?) \:\) Any thoughts on that?

 Quote:
Quite to the contrary, all the homosexuals that I've talked to (Christian or not, celibate or not) were at some point "initiated" into the life style -- at a (pre or post) pubescent adolescent age. I am not claiming anything more than anecdotal evidence, but this from talking to many friends, colleagues, and family members.
 Quote:
I wasn't. Nor were most of my homosexual friends, and believe you me I have plenty of them. You're right--what you have there is nothing more than anecdotal. [/b]
Yes, it is. And upon reflection, I have to retract that. One dear friend in particular was not active until in his 20s, but in his teens (in the 1950s) was ostracized and picked on, liked to go the American Bandstand and dance, etc. He told me he found acceptance in the gay world in the 1960s, and found a forum for his relational needs.

Three other friends --including a close family member --were homosexually raped in their early teen years by predators; and several other friends were more "benignly" introduced through pornography and mutual masturbation by older peers. But I suppose every one has their own story.
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903500 - 02/24/05 08:00 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
ivory: "Three other friends --including a close family member --were homosexually raped in their early teen years by predators"

Why would such an unpleasant experience make one a homosexual? Do you think that girls raped in their early teens become heterosexual as a result of that experience? If anything, I would think it might turn them the other way ...

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#903501 - 02/25/05 08:18 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
bump

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#903502 - 02/25/05 09:12 AM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
bump [/b]
I assume that you bumped to get my attention?

My simple answer is that the human person is not the advanced biological electro-chemical machine that some think it is. You don't pull a lever (oops, bad analogy) and get a predictable response.

The soul (if you will allow me this) is more complex. Shame, guilt, pleasure, self image, vulnerability, violation, etc all play into the mix. I have heard that women who are raped sometimes have to deal with added guilt from the "pleasure" that they experienced, even quite unwillingly. Furthermore, there are many many cases of people taking the same patterns as those who have perpetrated sexual crimes against them -- there has been a singificant amount of evidence that paedophiles are frequently child-victims themselves.

There is also evidence that young girls who are raped can develop nymphomania -- perhaps ever seeking to resolve a psychic dislocation.

So in a purely mechanical and analytical world one might simply think that "If anything, I would think it might turn them the other way ... " but there is more to the human person than can be measured (YET!).

Yours,

Steve
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903503 - 02/25/05 02:07 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
ivory: I very much doubt that many if any people become homosexual as a result of teenage homosexual rape. If this were true, than the victims of pedophile priests would be gay - instead we see most of them are married family-type guys who were raped as teens. Question: do you think that non-human primates who engage in same sex relations must have arrived at them via a similar aetiology?

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#903504 - 02/25/05 04:40 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Question: do you think that non-human primates who engage in same sex relations must have arrived at them via a similar aetiology? [/b]
There is no real consensus in what is actually going in animal behavior, is there?

Besides, I see the human person as qualitatively different from lower animals because of intellection, volition, more complex emotional processes, interiority, language, ideation, etc. So any 'evidence' from lower animals is only by way of analogy.

Can not an argument be made that homosexual behavior in lower primates is actually a bad trait that homo sapiens sapiens has begun to evolve out of? Sort of like the way we no longer accept infanticide though the lions still kill the pride of the vanquished? Again, the same information can be interpreted in different ways.

But, for the sake of argument, I would have to say 'no' to your question because of the lack of (perceptible) ego in lower animals. If there is no self-reflectivity, then there is no sense of violation, shame, guilt, necessarily causal connection between pain/pleasure and the event, etc. Now, I do know that dogs for instance seem to act guilty (for instance when they poop on the carpet). I am not convinced that such behavior requires self awareness to explain -- it could easily be happening on the level of the imaginarium and emotional complexes in the animal. I think it is in our human nature to anthropomorphisize animal behavior beyond what is really there.

Do you have any evidence or material in particular about primate behavior that would indicate otherwise?

Yours,

Steve
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903505 - 02/25/05 06:30 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Steve - "I would have to say 'no' to your question because of the lack of (perceptible) ego in lower animals. If there is no self-reflectivity, then there is no sense of violation, shame, guilt, necessarily causal connection between pain/pleasure and the event, etc."

"Do you have any evidence or material in particular about primate behavior that would indicate otherwise?"


Yes. (1) Observation for many hours of higher primates in large zoo environments. (2) Extensive primate studies by Hrdy, Goodhall and others.

The social behavior is quite complex and clearly involves awareness, social rules, the ability to anticipate others' reactions (indicating self-awareness and the ability to analogize to others's self awareness), altruism, play beyond that necessary for survival, etc.

Perhaps you will say nothing can be "proven" by these means, but then in a certain sense one can never be *certain* that another person really exists (how do I know *for certain* that you are not a computer program?) I know that *you* are another person with self-awareness etc. only by analogy and observation. The same evidence leads to the belief that higher primates (and maybe dolphins) are self-aware and social and capable of altruism.

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#903506 - 02/25/05 07:18 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hellooooo!

Posted a few days ago:


Originally posted by ivorythumper:
There is, however, no conclusive (or even truly indicative) evidence that homosexuality is a natural state. No evidence (yet) for a gay gene.

Quite to the contrary, all the homosexuals that I've talked to (Christian or not, celibate or not) were at some point "initiated" into the life style -- at a (pre or post) pubescent adolescent age.
[/b]

Not sure what sort of logical constructs you would require before you defined something as "indicative" of homosexuality as a natural state. But the presence of homosexual behavior in animals is not uncommon. I would define that as somewhat "indicative of a natural state."

I also doubt whether the animals "were initiated into the gay lifestyle." Sounds like some X-rated Gary Larson cartoon.

Homosexuality in the animal kingdom

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#903507 - 02/25/05 07:59 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Nina: Good repost. I assumed ivory read this before, but maybe not. Here is a sample: "The bonobo, an African ape closely related to humans, has an even bigger sexual appetite. Studies suggest 75 percent of bonobo sex is nonreproductive and that nearly all bonobos are bisexual. Frans de Waal, author of Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, calls the species a "make love, not war" primate. He believes bonobos use sex to resolve conflicts between individuals."

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#903508 - 02/25/05 08:07 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Frans de Waal, author of Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, calls the species a "make love, not war" primate. He believes bonobos use sex to resolve conflicts between individuals." [/b]
Oh, the avenues for great ribald jokes this opens up! I will, however, refrain. ;\)
_________________________
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens

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#903509 - 02/25/05 08:14 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Matt: "Oh, the avenues for great ribald jokes this opens up! I will, however, refrain"

Oh, please don't refrain. I need some good jokes (I am home with the flu now.) \:\(

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#903510 - 02/25/05 08:19 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:

[quote]

Yes. (1) Observation for many hours of higher primates in large zoo environments.
[/b]
And the parallel of utilitarian homosexuality in prison does not occur to you? \:\)

 Quote:

The social behavior is quite complex and clearly involves awareness, social rules, the ability to anticipate others' reactions (indicating self-awareness and the ability to analogize to others's self awareness), altruism, play beyond that necessary for survival, etc.
[/b]
Complex it may well be -- obviously a lot is going on which makes it more of an interesting study than that of clams or garden snails.

My questions back to you are:
(1) how do you know that this is what is really going on? (the problem of anthropomorphizing);
and (2)what is going on here that cannot be explained through a classical rat-psych understanding of the powers of the imagination and emotions, quite short of interiority, self reflection, volition and intellection?

It would seem that by wielding Oakham's razor, if these can be explained through a more simple schema of non-rational, non self aware brain functions, as relatively highly developed as they are, then the extrapolation to accord these primates or dolphins powers of self-awareness is not only unnecessary, but unduly complicated. I've seen film footage of dolphins "counting" and "spelling" and "looking at themselves in mirrors" -- all interesting stuff, but nothing that requires faculties capable of ideation or interiority. In rat-psych all this occurs on the level of the imaginarium (which accounts for pattern recognition and phantasms), not the rational mind.
 Quote:

Perhaps you will say nothing can be "proven" by these means, but then in a certain sense one can never be *certain* that another person really exists (how do I know *for certain* that you are not a computer program?) I know that *you* are another person with self-awareness etc. only by analogy and observation. The same evidence leads to the belief that higher primates (and maybe dolphins) are self-aware and social and capable of altruism. [/b]
No need for an epistemological crisis, Jeff. Our primary sense data, conjoined in the common sensorium can let you *know* that your wife and child really do exist quite independent of you. You do not really *know* these things through analogy and (detached) observation but through the immediacy of participation. You only know the *ideas* of them through analogy. So while I can agree with you that they may lead you to a " belief[/b] that higher primates (and maybe dolphins) are self-aware and social and capable of altruism", these ideas are by way of analogy with other information that you hold to be valid and may not at all correspond with fact.
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903511 - 02/25/05 08:24 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Nina: Good repost. I assumed ivory read this before, but maybe not. Here is a sample: "The bonobo, an African ape closely related to humans, has an even bigger sexual appetite. Studies suggest 75 percent of bonobo sex is nonreproductive and that nearly all bonobos are bisexual. Frans de Waal, author of Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, calls the species a "make love, not war" primate. He believes bonobos use sex to resolve conflicts between individuals." [/b]
Again (for the sake of argument) how would you answer the charge that
bi-sexual/ homosexual behavior in lower primates is actually a bad trait--an aberrant phase in evolution-- that homo sapiens sapiens has begun to evolve out of? Sort of like the way we no longer accept infanticide though the lions still kill the pride of the vanquished? Why privilege a certain interpretation?

I hope your flu clears up -- I have a great recipe for "Theraflu hot buttered rum" that works for me!
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#903512 - 02/25/05 08:57 PM Re: Bush's Sex Scandal
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Jeffrey et al:

Regarding The Forgotten Ape, how were you able to overlook the paragraph just above it? \:D

Matthew Grober, biology professor at Georgia State University, agrees, saying, "If [sex] wasn't fun, we wouldn't have any kids around. So I think that maybe Japanese macaques have taken the fun aspect of sex and really run with it."

Absolutely NO puns on the word "macaque" are allowed! \:\) \:D

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