Bad Catholic: "Why I Am Not a Heterosexual"
#1
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic...exual.html

He makes some interesting points. I'm especially curious about the role of homosexual/heterosexual as identity markers today or whether this is making a problem where there doesn't need to be one (overthinking it as I often do).

As for the blog post, I think in trying to reject the quasi-Platonic construct he's made of contemporary sexual attraction categories, he's ended up in nominalism. It's very hard for me to understand the following without assuming nominalism:

Quote:The idea of an attraction to “women in general” trades the particular person for the thought-construct of “woman in general,” a thought-construct that has no existence outside of your mind, a generalized group of the objective sexual attributes that we see in particular women, abstracted into a general idea.

Wojtyla's quotation is fine because it can be understood very easily in the moderate realist position of Aristotle-Aquinas. It could also be interpreted in a quasi-Platonic way, but I suspect that would require some academic acrobatics.

The other difficulty is that he never defines "person" and seems to be using it interchangeably with an individual human with a body. So for example, when he writes, "the lie that sexual attraction should be anything but attraction to a particular person," it seems like in rejecting the Platonic construct of female/male, he's now created another one of "person," i.e. we are attracted to "persons."

Any thoughts?
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#2
(07-17-2015, 12:45 AM)richgr Wrote: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic...exual.html

He makes some interesting points. I'm especially curious about the role of homosexual/heterosexual as identity markers today or whether this is making a problem where there doesn't need to be one (overthinking it as I often do).

As for the blog post, I think in trying to reject the quasi-Platonic construct he's made of contemporary sexual attraction categories, he's ended up in nominalism. It's very hard for me to understand the following without assuming nominalism:

Quote:The idea of an attraction to “women in general” trades the particular person for the thought-construct of “woman in general,” a thought-construct that has no existence outside of your mind, a generalized group of the objective sexual attributes that we see in particular women, abstracted into a general idea.

Wojtyla's quotation is fine because it can be understood very easily in the moderate realist position of Aristotle-Aquinas. It could also be interpreted in a quasi-Platonic way, but I suspect that would require some academic acrobatics.

The other difficulty is that he never defines "person" and seems to be using it interchangeably with an individual human with a body. So for example, when he writes, "the lie that sexual attraction should be anything but attraction to a particular person," it seems like in rejecting the Platonic construct of female/male, he's now created another one of "person," i.e. we are attracted to "persons."

Any thoughts?

I think it's silliness and lacking in imagination, or an understanding of psychology. The facts are that there are men, and there are women. And that's how God designed things. Before people become attracted to an individual person, most of them -- us -- have an idea of the sort of person who attracts us in mind. That abstraction doesn't exist in real life, but it's a mental image that most people have. For ex., when I was a kid, before I went wild child when I was 16, I always thought I'd end up married to a writer, classical musician, professor, or doctor. And, of course, he'd be all that and a bag of chips when it comes to kindness, masculinity, looks, being in possession of a good sense of humor, and being kind to animals --- all that good stuff. The kind of image we construct in that way will focus on either men or women, depending on who we are and what our sexual orientations are. I never imagined myself married to a woman, for ex.; it was always a man. That's just how people work. Ask any 13-year old girl and any 16-year old boy. I'd bet that most of them have some ideal in their minds that they see as their "dream spouse."

This line of his is messed up, IMO. he says, "if we are 'attracted to the opposite sex,' then 'the opposite sex' is the ideal. The idea of 'woman' becomes the ideal object of our attraction, an ideal which particular women attempt to meet with varying success. The type guides our attraction — the person is simply an incidence of the type. If there is a difference between saying 'I am attracted to women as such' and 'I am attracted to the ideal woman,' I am not confident in it. Both are thought-constructs that mentally generalize the attributes of particular women into an single, general idea."

First, "opposite sex" is a category. I don't think anyone who says he is attracted to women means that he is attracted to all women, and few would be attracted to no "incidence of woman" but only to the Idea of woman. And of course, for him, the opposite sex is the ideal. He's attracted to women as opposed to men. It doesn't mean he's attracted to all women, that he sees individual women as not real persons, etc. If he is a heterosexual, then yes, the woman he meets, falls in love with, and wants to commit to will be "an incidence of the type -- but why he chose to put "simply" before that phrase is beyond me. If he's a mature man, he will know that that particular women is an "incidence" of "woman," but also that her name is Suzie, that she loves Christ, that she lost her Dad when she was 8, and what have you, and that she will likely never completely match his mental image of "the ideal woman," and that's how life rolls (but something wonderful about erotic love is that people fall for characteristics they never expected or thought of, and a person who is someone else's "ugly cow" is someone else's "most beautiful woman in the world." Ha, I just saw a video the other day in which a man was marrying a woman who was medically very obese and who, let's say, wouldn't have a shot at becoming a model. Her groom said of her later, when she walked down the aisle, "I thought she was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen." And I believe him.)

I've never heard anyone say that he's attracted to "women as such." I've never heard anyone say he's "attracted to the ideal woman" either, for that matter, but of course he would be attracted to a person who matches what he considers that "ideal woman." And I'm not seeing the problem with that. Is he supposed to also be attracted to men because to identify himself as someone who is attracted to women is somehow "objectifying women" or something? I mean, if asked, "are you attracted to men or to women?", is he supposed to answer, "I'm attracted to persons," thereby leading his interlocutor to think he's bisexual? (I double-dog dare him to do that in real life).

Can you imagine this sort of conversation?

"I love oranges."
"Oh, so do you want to eat this bruised one that's been run over by a car?"
"No, that particular orange doesn't appeal to me."
"Ohhh, so what you really mean is that you don't love oranges, you love incidences of orange!"

I find this sort of thought process really strange. It's like the "homosexuals don't exist!!!!" (tell that to half the population of San Fran!) or "referring to oneself as 'homosexual' is to identify with sin!!!!!" crowd.  "Heterosexual" and "homosexual" are adjectives that simply describe phenomena that exist (or they're nouns that do the same thing, in essence). This sort of thinking obfuscates rather than clarifies. It doesn't further any worthy goal that I can think of. It comes off to me as mental gyymnastics for the sake of it, or showing off how differently one thinks, or -- something that's ultimately a waste of time.

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#3
(07-17-2015, 03:11 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Can you imagine this sort of conversation?

"I love oranges."
"Oh, so do you want to eat this bruised one that's been run over by a car?"
"No, that particular orange doesn't appeal to me."
"Ohhh, so what you really mean is that you don't love oranges, you love incidences of orange!"

An apt and lovely characterization. It reminds me of this old anecdote about Russell and Moore. So much so that I suspect you may be alluding to it.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ericsw/btf/

Quote:Russell: One of the advantages of living in Great Court, Trinity I seem to recall, was the fact that one could pop across at any time of the day or night and trap the then young G. E. Moore into a logical falsehood by means of a cunning semantic subterfuge. I recall one occasion with particular vividness. I had popped across and had knocked upon his door. “Come in,” he said. I decided to wait awhile in order to test the validity of his proposition. “Come in,” he said once again. “Very well,” I replied, “if that is in fact truly what you wish.”

I opened the door accordingly and went in, and there was Moore seated by the fire with a basket upon his knees. “Moore,” I said, “do you have any apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont. I decided to try a different logical tack. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have some apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have apples in that basket?” “Yes,” he replied. And from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.
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#4
Ahahaha! Yes, those positivist analytics got so tripped up on semantics, it's just ridiculous (and they still do). It's all nominalism shot through. Of course, it makes logical sense, but as Vox points out, when we say we're attracted to a men or women, we're speaking generally.

I've noticed that there is a recurring theme in his posts about being against labeling and some confused stuff on being a subject vs. being an object (objectifying). He's read some Kierkegaard but is applying it kind of haphazardly in a nominalist way:

Quote:Labels are not concerned with the accurate description of people. In fact, they work against description by allowing us to avoid dealing with the person — who is confusing — by pointing to an abstraction — which is simple. We replace the infinite, complex man with the immediately recognizable “liberal.”

Sure, I get the point, but his reasoning to reach that conclusion is wrong. It's simply impossible to avoid labels because every conscious being must objectify its environment so as to even become aware of it and live in it. And when we speak to each other, we speak concrete elements, words (if you will), that refer to definite things or characteristics, labels if you will. He's adding this baggage that shouldn't logically be there on the one hand but is taking things much too literally on the other hand.

Here is another quotation:

Quote:You, dear reader, are the only person in existence who knows you are a subject, an I, an unique consciousness, and an individual perspective in the Cosmos. I do not know you are a subject, for to know that would be to experience your subjectivity, that is, to be you.

It's such bad reasoning! He later clarifies (kind of...) that what he means by "knows you are a subject" is "I can never be you, I can never know that you are having the same deep, personal experience of life I’m having." It's the full knowing as if I were experiencing the world AS you. Of course, this is an impossible standard and totally arbitrary and is taking existentialism a bit too far. It's also an implicit denial of our rational faculties because the precise meaning of rationality or the intelligible order is the comprehension of things as they are in their proper subjectivity. Yikes.

I just don't think he really has a grasp on realism. His problems all stem from the assumptions of nominalism vs. extreme Platonism. Either sex/gender is this Platonic form that we might coincidentally encounter but never fully since every individual will be deformed in some way from that ideal, or sex/gender are thought-constructs that remain arbitrarily disconnected from the individual persons that we form those constructs by. His solution of being attracted to individual persons isn't a solution because it's still squarely within the nominalist framework.

Of course we're attracted to individual persons, but individual persons reveal features that can be abstracted and generalized.

Yes, I agree with you, Vox, I don't think he even realizes the psychological implications of what he's saying. It's simply psychologically impossible to be attracted to someone without the use of general concepts that match with individuals.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic...-fire.html

To rant just a little bit more, he says "Passivity is the province of objects. Any object can be acted upon. A rock can be thrown. A body of water can be blown into waves" and further "Action is the province of subjects. The only being in the Cosmos we experience as not merely being acted upon, but also having the capacity to freely act, is the human subject, namely, our selves. You."

He must not have read Aristotle...or any of the medievals with comprehension when they talk about the Categories of being. Passivity is an accident that occurs only in relation to a subject. The subject is an "object" of an action, but that object is always itself a subject. Objects qua objects mean nothing outside of a relation between two subjectivities. And furthermore, a cause-effect relationship is precisely one of action-passion, and no one would argue that every cause is a human subject.

He also uses the statue of "Modesty" as some sort of example of Catholic modesty. First, it's a mistaken attribution--the statue is not at San Domenico Maggiore but in the Cappella Sansevero (currently a museum), that contains some of the best Baroque sculpture work in the world and also is full of Masonic symbols since the man who commissioned the work, the brilliant Raimondo di Sangro, and the artist of that statue, Antonio Corradini, were both Freemasons and deliberately included such symbolism in the artwork. The statue is only sometimes called modesty because of the theme of natural virtues in the chapel but is clearly subsumed into a Masonic view, and the more regular title of the statue is "Veiled Truth." It's a clear reference to the Veil of Isis and refers to initiation into secret knowledge. So, although it would have been very useful to his argument (maybe?) to have an example of a basically fully nude figure to represent modesty in a Catholic chapel (ish...), nothing matches up. Perhaps the closest thing he can get to a "scandalizing" image would be the Maria Lactans, but that was never scandalous to medieval spirituality. Nudity was always associated with the Renaissance emphasis on classical Greco-Roman art, and its first major appearance in sacred art in Michelangelo's Last Judgment caused not a little amount of controversy, at least enough so that after Trent ended, the genitalia were covered up and St. Catherine bending over in front of St. Blaise was redone a bit... But even in secular culture, nudity was always associated with the classical; when it first began showing up in art without any reference to classical principles, it was a scandal.

Yes, on the one hand, modesty is more than "just" covering up. But on the other hand, modesty really does include...covering up! For women AND for men. To point to a naked statue of "modesty" in a Masonic chapel as proof of modesty not really being about covering the body...is not a good argument.

Okay, I think I'm done with that for now.  :LOL:
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#5
I thought this article was a better path to the same conclusion in this one:
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/...osexuality
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#6
(07-17-2015, 08:43 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: I thought this article was a better path to the same conclusion in this one:
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/...osexuality

IMO:  a lotta words, a lotta words, but at the end of the day, there are people who are sexually attracted only to members of their own sex, and there are people who work in the opposite (and normal) direction. The word "homosexuality" might be a relative neologism, but the concept's been around. Back in the day, such men might have been called "fops" or "dandies" or "sissy boys" or what have you. But even if they'd been called nothing, they still existed. So we now have a more scientific-sounding label. All to the good, if you ask me. Sure beats "fop," "dandy," or "sissy boy," anyway (especially since it's often so that those stereotypes don't hold true).

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#7
I don't think we should be too quick to assume that there have always been homosexuals and heterosexuals. Even if these categories do have some rooting in biology, this does not mean that one's sexuality develops in some completely biologically deterministic way, free from the influence of one's culture. Certainly, history shows that there have been many societies in which sexual practices that we would consider strange and abhorrent have been relatively widespread. More generally, I think we ought to avoid the whiggish assumption that people have always been basically like us, even if they lacked the language necessary to express themselves in the way that moderns do. It's a rather provincial way of looking at things.
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#8

I don't think there's anything "biologically deterministic" about homosexuality at all.

I also don't think it's provincial to think that people have always been pretty much like us. I don't think human nature has changed much. What was virtuous 2 thousand years ago is virtuous now, etc.


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#9
Bad Catholic: "Why I Am Not a Heterosexual" 

It doesn't matter to me why or why not someone is who they are. What is important is that they are trying their best to live the holiness that God is calling them to live. 
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#10
  Unless of course we are being made to believe that the thought process itself was sound. The devil can effect substance, including neurons and any other brain matter. Do you ever note that this is one possibility that these afflicted never conveniently consider.? 

  That puts one hefty wrench in the works, and what's left to the person is blind trust in God.

  Devotion to the Blessed Mother and the resultant cure(no more devient attractions) proves this phenomina is just one more Polio where pill pushers want others to buy into the ruse to justify their complacency, as if Devine justice can be affected by majority consensus. The gay thing is done and a dead issue.

 
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