Firstly, there is a difference between attitudes to homosexuality and gay rights. One could ‘feel’ that a homosexual act is disgusting, but still support gay rights. Just as I feel that writing books defending creationism is a waste of time, I’ll still support someone’s right to do so.
Secondly, there is no atheist majority on anything aside from the lack of belief in god. There’s no consensus on attitudes, politics, or morals in what broadly constitutes the atheist community.
Thirdly, I don’t understand what the point of free will has to do with the moral implications for homosexuality. You say that you’d assume most of us would be against gay rights because homosexuality is not a choice and is explained scientifically. But this makes no sense. What does it matter whether one ‘chooses’ to be gay or is (as it is in reality) born gay? Why should we support it if they have no choice, but not support gay rights if they, hypothetically, did choose? So to clarify. It is explained scientifically as not a choice but something innate. But this tells us nothing about what our moral responsibility is toward defending or opposing the rights of gay people. Does someone having blue eyes mean we should lock them up and prevent them marrying light-eyed people? Of course not. It’s a random and horrible conclusion to reach based on a natural property of the person – this is the same for gay people. But even hypothetically, if they chose to be gay, it still doesn’t have an impact on whether we should defend or oppose gay rights (by we, I mean anyone not specifically atheists since, as I said, there’s no consensus on politics or morals).
Fourth, you claim that homosexuality goes ‘against’ natural selection. I’m not well versed in evolution to speak on this, but I’m sure that you rather mean propagation of the species (or genes) instead of ‘natural selection’. Natural selection is simply a process that occurs in nature, where characteristics are selected, through a sequence of random mutation, environment, etc., that allows for descent with modification and therefore better-adapted offspring. I think you’re referring to spreading genes. Yet who says spreading genes is a good thing? You make a large assumption that ‘we’ invest some kind of moral obligation on this natural process. Predation, cancers and earthquakes are natural, too, but we don’t want those continuing. Everytime you wear a condom you go against your genes, against the creation process. I, for example, think it is immoral to create new offspring and, if you want to be a parent, you should adopt. Furthermore, as was pointed out, homosexuality occurs in the so-called Animal Kingdom, too. Again, this doesn’t make it right or wrong, by definition, it simply is. Furthermore, all of this can be understood as separate from whether one ought to support or oppose gay rights since this point concerns homosexuality alone.
Just to conclude, homosexuality is not a medical handicap. To have that attitude is the same as having the opinion that women are less intelligent than men. Gay people are constantly treated with disrespect, for no good reason. All the attempts at justifying homosexuality as something ‘off’ or ‘unnatural’ or ‘bad’ will fail, as you’ve seen. And furthermore, even if you DO find something about all gay people or homosexuality that makes them uniquely different to heterosexual people (aside from their sexual preferences which really shouldn’t concern you), you still need to make a case for gay rights. Defending gay rights is incredibly important, since they are normal people like me who, for no good reason, constantly find themselves oppressed for who they choose to engage with sexually – something that doesn’t concern anyone other than the gay people themselves.
Posted: November 23rd 2011
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