Sunday, December 8, 2013

Natural Law, Natural Goodness, and Evolution

A fun fact(?) that some people like to point out is that that Thomas Aquinas envisioned the concept of "evolution" long ago. From the Summa Theologica:
Objection 3: Further, nothing is said to be complete to which many things are added, unless they are merely superfluous, for a thing is called perfect to which nothing is wanting that it ought to possess. But many things were made after the seventh day, as the production of many individual beings, and even of certain new species that are frequently appearing, especially in the case of animals generated from putrefaction. Also, God creates daily new souls. Again, the work of the Incarnation was a new work, of which it is said (Jer. 31:22): "The Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth." Miracles also are new works, of which it is said (Eccles. 36:6): "Renew thy signs, and work new miracles." Moreover, all things will be made new when the Saints are glorified, according to Apoc. 21:5: "And He that sat on the throne said: Behold I make all things new." Therefore the completion of the Divine works ought not to be attributed to the seventh day.
Reply to Objection 3: Nothing entirely new was afterwards made by God, but all things subsequently made had in a sense been made before in the work of the six days. Some things, indeed, had a previous experience materially, as the rib from the side of Adam out of which God formed Eve; whilst others existed not only in matter but also in their causes, as those individual creatures that are now generated existed in the first of their kind. Species, also, that are new, if any such appear, existed beforehand in various active powers; so that animals, and perhaps even new species of animals, are produced by putrefaction by the power which the stars and elements received at the beginning. Again, animals of new kinds arise occasionally from the connection of individuals belonging to different species, as the mule is the offspring of an ass and a mare; but even these existed previously in their causes, in the works of the six days. Some also existed beforehand by way of similitude, as the souls now created. And the work of the Incarnation itself was thus foreshadowed, for as we read (Phil. 2:7), The Son of God "was made in the likeness of men." And again, the glory that is spiritual was anticipated in the angels by way of similitude; and that of the body in the heaven, especially the empyrean. Hence it is written (Eccles. 1:10), "Nothing under the sun is new, for it hath already gone before, in the ages that were before us." (Emphasis mine).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Only Excellence

I have recently discovered Whit Stillman movies. I know, I know, what kind of gay Catholic doesn't know about Whit Stillman? Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that Metropolitan is a masterpiece. It may be one of the best movies of the modern age. I've watched it almost a dozen times now. It's great. Maybe I will write about it soon. You have to have a certain type of temperament to like it, I think. Namely, you can't be a liberal, but I recommend it to everyone. It's on Netflix, check it out. But this scene, so fantastic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CwnfathXhU

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hi Again, I Passed the Bar?!

Hi guys,

A sincere apology for my absence. My life over the past few months, which still isn't in order, has been all over the place. I have not lived in a single place for any significant period of time since May. From studying to the bar to taking the bar to moving...twice, I've just not been able to really write at all. I'm actually at my new office right now, sitting on a couch, writing this. I did get a pretty neat new laptop though, so it's not so bad.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Prudishness and Chastity

I apologize for such sparse posting. I've been busy transitioning into the whole being an adult thing. And honestly, I've been a little depressed. A lot of that, I imagine, has to do with the transitioning. (Incidentally, every time I hear the word "transitioning," I think of some transgender person saying something like, "I'm transitioning right now" or something. As if it's some sort of separate state of being.) It's weird how one always gets depressed during life changes. Even good life changes. There's always something sad about changing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Love and Marriage

As I mentioned in my last post, I went on a week long trip for a friend's wedding. I decided to drive (to California, which is not close to where I live) because the groom's brother (also the best man) doesn't like flying, so I thought we could make a road trip thing out of it. There's two things I want to point out about the experience. One, that I had no idea California had such nice weather in the summer. Seriously, you people are spoiled. And two, that marriage is weird.

Monday, August 5, 2013

This Was Going To Be A Much Longer Post

I finished the bar. I would not wish the bar exam on my worst enemy. Or I would. I don't know. Whichever way makes the most sense. But it was awful. I've never been more stressed out in my entire life. I still don't think I've recovered. But I am sitting here with my dogs, who are thrilled to see me again. So that's something.

I was going to write a post on prudishness, and I got a pretty good start on it, but I'm just too worn out. Unfortunately I'm going on a week long trip for a friend's wedding on Wednesday too, but I'll try to get something done tomorrow if I can. I just wanted to check in. There's always this crazy up after you finish something difficult. The freedom of relief. But then there's sort of a down. What idiot thought it was a good idea to try to become a lawyer.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ashley Madison

I'm sure most people have heard of this Ashley Madison site. If you haven't, the site claims that it's a place for married people to go to have discreet affairs. As I'm sure you can imagine, I think the site is truly awful and aids in gravely immoral acts. But this should sort of go without saying, so why even bring it up? Well, recently, I came across this article written by some woman who went undercover on the Ashley Madison site, pretending to be an adulterous woman looking for a relationship. What was most fascinating about the article is how the men justified their adultery. That is, what was most interesting is that I found myself understanding their reasoning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sex With Dogs

I'm very busy studying (and will be for the next three weeks), but I came across this interview while driving in the car listening to Sirius. I try not to make it a habit to listen to Howard Stern (a significantly large portion of the Howard Stern show is worthless and downright immoral), but he sometimes has decent interviews. This is not one of those interviews (Stern is particularly clueless here), but the topic itself is interesting. I'm not sure when this took place, but Artie Lange is there, so it must have been at least the 2000's, before Lange tried to kill himself in early 2010.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two Competing Views of Marriage

What I thought was rather nice about Alito's dissent is that he was able to properly identify actually what is at issue. That is, he identifies that the debate is merely over competing views of what marriage is, a purely philosophical question. I thought I'd copy/paste from the opinion:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gay Marriage

I was incredibly and enormously sick yesterday and last night. Like, the sickest I've been in a long, long time. It's weird being that sick. You feel completely helpless, shaking in front of a bathroom mirror, waiting to throw up. Anyway, I'm feeling a bit better now, and since I am avoiding my bar study partner (to avoid infecting him with whatever death I currently possess), I have a little bit of time to write this up. I spent most of this morning lying in bed reading the new gay marriage opinions, and I thought it would be nice to both summarize the gist of them and pull out my favorite quotes. Scalia's dissent on the DOMA opinion may be one of the best he's ever written. If you like clever, passive-aggressive (and often just aggressive-aggressive) argument, take a look at that opinion! Anyway, here goes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

NFP

I've never liked contraception. Even as a kid, I thought it was kind of weird. I think this probably came from my general unhappiness and discomfort with sexuality. A lot of my reasons for thinking that contraception was immoral were flawed (like that sex can only be "selfless" if it creates life), but the general dislike of contraception was there. As such, learning that natural law condemns contraception was not strange or shocking to me. I remember honestly thinking condoms, the first time I found out what they were, were the goofiest and least advanced thing I could ever imagine. "You just wrap it up so you don't ejaculate in the girl? Really? That's where technology has gotten us?" 

For many people, though, the idea that contraception is immoral is absolutely crazy. This comes, I guess, from the general idea that people should having sex whenever they want to, and further, that saying contraception is immoral will lead, necessarily, to more illegitimate children, poverty, etc. etc. (People cannot even conceive of a world where chastity is practiced.) Further, and more to the point, when people hear that natural law (or at least Catholicism) says that "Natural Family Planning" or some sort of "rhythm method" is okay, they lose it. "WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!" they'll yell. In fact, even bringing up NFP at all in casual, non-Catholic conversation is basically social suicide. You will get ridiculed out of the room. And because it's so hard to explain without a decent philosophical background, most people think it's best to avoid bringing it up altogether.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Life

Things that have happened over the last couple weeks:
  • I took, and hopefully did not fail (final grades aren't in yet), my final law school final (Wills really was that bad)
  • I graduated from law school (you can call me Dr. Joe K. from now on (please never do this))
  • I spent a lot of time with my relatives who were in town for my graduation and my nephew's baptism
  • I became my nephew's godfather
  • I was told, multiple times by relatives noticing that there was no godmother, that I "need to get married soon"
  • I moved out of my rental house
  • I moved into my brother's house
  • I began my bar review classes (which are so boringly miserable)
  • I finished the new Arrested Development season using a free Netflix trial (why in the world did they allow free trials right when a highly-anticipated, exclusive series came out?)
  • I watched (am finishing) this really weird gay Italian film that is kinda not bad on Netflix
  • I got annoyed that you can't delete history on Netflix
And I think that's pretty much it. In other words, I've been sort of busy. I haven't forgotten about this blog though. I have two pretty important posts I want to do soon, but I wanted to do some research on them before I publish. The first is a direct treatment of "Natural Family Planning" (since this is a big topic for many people) and the second (the more complex one) is an analysis of what evolution means for natural law. I'm not sure when I'll finish them both up, as I have bar review classes and studying all day, every day, until I take the bar, but I can usually sneak in some reading and writing while the instructor is going on and on about spendthrift trusts.

I hope everyone is well, and I'll be back as soon as I can. Oh, one final thing I forgot to mention. A girl I know fell in love with me. I'm still completely unsure how I'm going to handle that.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Does Philosophy Matter?

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IS RIGHT OR WRONG

Apparently one of the Boston bombers, the Dzhokhar one, wrote a note in (on?) the boat he was hiding in before he was caught. In the note, he wrote that the victims of the bombing(s) were "collateral damage" in the same way Muslims are "collateral damage" from American wars. What did he mean, really? And if thousands of innocent Muslims die as a result of American foreign policy, does he have a point at all?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sex and the First Amendment

Sheesh! I have the night free before the next final. If people don't know how law school works, you get one grade per class: the final exam. So if you screw that up, you're done for. That's why it's necessary to just disappear and study. Anyway, because it's on my mind, and because I have a couple minutes to say some things, I want to quote something from Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the not-that-but-sort-of-famous violent video games case. In determining whether the sale of violent video games can be proscribed, the Court says:
Our cases have been clear that the obscenity exception to the First Amendment does not cover whatever a legislature finds shocking, but only depictions of “sexual conduct."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Some Updates

Posting has been and will be light for a little bit here. I am buckling down for finals and, hopefully, graduation?! My family is coming into town, and I have to move by the end of the month. Then I have to immediately start studying for the bar. I'm also secretly a little bit down that I didn't win this writing award thing I was gunning for. I spent all last year on that thing. I would link it for everyone here, but that would kind of destroy the anonymity thing...

As far as future posts are concerned, I am doing some studying and research on some mind/body (and maybe some hylomorphic dualism stuff) and how it applies to the homosexual condition. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with it, but I have some ideas. I'm definitely not as proficient in this area, especially considering what I'm trying to do with it, so it's taking me a bit longer to formulate my thoughts. I'll let you all know when I do!

Anyway, I apologize for some of the light postings. I'm being stretched in a lot of directions, and it's difficult getting substantive stuff out there. I hope everyone is well.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Indifference and Love

There are two common ways by which people deal with those who say that homosexual behavior is "wrong," "bad," a "sin," or something similar. As I noted in my last post, I often get as annoyed by fair-weather "traditionalists" as much as I get annoyed by pro-gay folk, but that doesn't really change the focus of this post. That is, regardless of how unsophisticated a suburban soccer mom's convictions may be, I think her underlying desires are important to analyze. I'll explain what I mean.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Futile Struggle

Being in law school, about to graduate, I have become incredibly discouraged with the state of the modern world, especially the legal world. Not because of the laws themselves necessarily, but how people approach issues. Especially moral issues. People rarely approach these issues critically. Worse, they rarely approach them with any understanding of foundational principles. The things that really matter are just assumed true, and people beg the question all over the place without even realizing it. Law probably represents a sort of quintessential example of this. Can't come to a philosophically consistent position? Doesn't matter. Just call a previously clueless position "precedent" and rely on it like it justifies your absurdities.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Conversion Therapy, Sex, and Women

Crude wrote something in the comments of the last post that I want to address; he said:
But I wonder about a therapy for expanding someone's sexual attraction being more feasible - such that, eliminating some man's attraction to men (or some man's attraction to women for that matter) may not be realistic. But what about a therapy that doesn't affect that, but does make women sexual attractive to that man?
I don't think there's anything wrong with what he says here. I just want to expand on it a little bit. And I want to do so with a story.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Place for the Cure?

I've been putting writing this post off for some reason. Mostly because I've been busy, but also because it's been a little difficult to write. Because I know talking about sex and gender and all that is touchy but also because I'm working with a lot of unknowns. There's no such thing as a cure to homosexuality. In fact, with homosexuality, most people don't even know what's wrong, much less how to treat it. There are obviously a lot of things we think we know, but something like a "cure" is almost science fiction. (I will be doing a post on "conversion therapy" soon.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter and Christian Love

I'll start with an awkward story. I am terrible at confession. Truly terrible. When I go in there I sound so stupid. It is honestly the most uncomfortable thing I do in my life. And the priests are always really great. They try really hard to make it comfortable, so it makes me feel even worse. What I find most interesting is that you can tell they expect me to confess masturbation or some other sexual sin. When I don't (and say, like, that I should be more careful on the internet in general), they think I'm skirting around saying it. I don't blame them for this, obviously. I imagine it is the most common confession that they get. At least from men.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

LGBT 5: Discrimination

Because it's sort of a hot topic right now, I thought I'd mention it. That is, gay marriage and "discrimination" against homosexuals in denying them their right to marry. First of all, this post is not supposed to be some big argument as to why gay marriage is wrong or unconstitutional or whatever. I'm simply using gay marriage as an example of this very popular appeal. Marriage is an enormous topic, and I haven't spent a lot of time developing arguments about marriage on this blog, though I've hinted at them. I will try to get to them later. I was just talking to my friend about this today, and I wanted to get it out there, as I think a lot of the conflict over the current gay marriage debates stem from a misunderstanding here. (For the friend who is perhaps reading this (and I have no idea if he knows this blog exists, though I have a feeling), I mean not to plagiarize any of your points if they come out.) A lot of people have said the following better than I have, but I think it should be said here anyway.

Monday, March 25, 2013

X-Men and A Cure

I'm not an X-Men expert (X-Pert?) by any means. I loved the 90's cartoon as a kid (as any decent child did), but I am not a reader of the comics or anything. I mention this in case I say something in this post about the storyline or some theme that is just not true or is not nuanced enough. Comic book fans are intense people, and I certainly don't like to be on the wrong side of that. (I don't say this jokingly; I am an intense fan of other stuff, and I will surely correct you (or at least roll my eyes) if you get something wrong with the canon.) I will say, though, that I always liked X-Men. That is, I liked the idea of people with cool super powers fighting one another. It's something I still quite like. (See, I'm not so gay after all!) The thing I didn't like about X-Men is that which made it culturally relevant: the idea of a subclass of people being discriminated against, and the struggle of that subclass to rise above that discrimination. You can imagine why I didn't like this, but I want to explore it a little more fully as I discuss the concept of a "cure" for homosexuality.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Update

This has easily been one of the busiest weeks I've had in a long time. And I'm still not done with it; I have an appellate brief to finish up by tonight! A rains/pours sort of thing. I just wanted to say hello in case anyone was concerned that I'd disappeared forever. I'm going to try to do a follow-up to my (somewhat contentious) last post by Monday. I can't make any promises, but I'll do my best.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What Makes a Homosexual Gay?

This post is meant to discuss a couple things. One is tied to the other. First of all, the post will briefly discuss the question of homosexuality's origin. That is, the "why are people gay?" question. It won't answer this question necessarily; it will just discuss it. From there, I will make the, perhaps more controversial, argument that homosexuality is a complex condition that carries with it certain traits that are unrelated to sexual attraction: some beneficial, some innocuous, and some harmful. I am certain that this argument (at least the tail end of it) is going to annoy some people. I will make some broad claims like "homosexuals usually have these traits in common" or "women usually have these traits in common," which are surely taboo. I also know there will be response like, "well, my cousin is gay, and he really likes football, so your theory doesn't work!" Etc. etc. I'll try to allay these concerns as best I can by noting that one, I am not making a hard-and-fast argument here; I am simply bringing up an issue and discussing it, two, I am well aware of the exceptions, and three, I am speaking solely from my personal (and perhaps specialized) experience. With that out of the way, onward.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We Have a Pope

I read this article online, and it was like, "Bergoglio falls in line with the other orthodox cardinals who elected him, many of whom were appointed by the conservative Benedict, so it's unlikely that the Church will change its position on abortion, contraception, and gay marriage." Sometimes I feel like the news (or just popular culture in general) is absolutely incapable of seeing things outside of some weird (usually quasi-Marxist) political lens. It's like, they really think circumstance and politics (not philosophy and truth) are the only things keeping the Church from endorsing abortion and homosexual sex. It's a really crazy way to view the world. I'm sure someone could write (or has written) an interesting piece about this. 

Anyway, pray for him. And a couple of (I think) interesting posts upcoming. Check back soon.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hate Speech and Philosophy

I thought I'd maybe add my own angle to the Hart debate going on over at Feser's blog. I don't intend to address the controversy head on, and I think Feser and the comboxers are doing a fine job of that. What I want to do is focus in on a particular point he made in his most recent post. While identifying the reasons why a natural law defense should be attempted in the public sphere, Feser writes:
"The second reason is that the liberal, who claims to favor intellectual pluralism in the public sphere, needs constantly to be forced to put his money where his mouth is. If you press against him natural law arguments against abortion, “same-sex marriage,” etc., then you thereby compel him either seriously to engage with those who object to his social liberalism, or to reveal himself as a hypocrite. But if you fail to press such arguments, you cannot blame him if he dismisses opposition to the liberal social agenda as without a rational foundation -- and if he is also able to convince the fence-sitters that it lacks one."
I think this is actually a pretty interesting thing to talk about, and I want to do so within the context of Canada's most recent (apparently not) controversial Supreme Court decision.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sex, Marriage, and Eyes Wide Shut

Because I'm crazy sick, I thought I'd do something a little different with this post. I wanted to do a review, or an analysis, or whatever this might be called, of one of my favorite movies, Eyes Wide Shut. I'm not sure the direction this will take, but it's at least partially relevant to the theme of the blog, and it'll be a little relaxing. There are, of course, spoilers below, as I think a thorough explanation of the plot is necessary to the points I'd like to make.

I know that this movie is not very popular. I think most of the time it's seen as sort of a quasi-porno at worst and a confusing mess at best (maybe "worst" and "best" should be swapped there?). I understand these criticisms. I think they're unjustified (and I hope this analysis will show at least in part why this is so), but I understand them. Before I get to any of that, though, I want to point out how extraordinarily beautiful this movie actually is. I would even go as far as to say that it's the most beautiful movie I've ever seen. The key to its beauty, I think, is the lighting (the same, I think, goes for Barry Lyndon, another less-than-popular Kubrick film). It is almost exclusively lit with Christmas or twinkle lights. This has a truly remarkable effect; the entire film glows. I've never seen anything like it. See below for some examples, and try to deal with the fact that the pictures hang off the side:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blah

Tried to finish up a post, but I am very sick. Back soon.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Parents of the Year

I was trying to finish a post before I left, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'll be out of town for the weekend, so it'll be pretty quiet around here. I thought I'd link an article I came across on the Yahoo! News feed while not paying attention in class this morning: (Six-Year-Old) Transgender Girl's Parents Lobby for Her Right to Use the Bathroom.

I apologize for my old-fashioned, sexist, heteronormative attitudes here, but I think that these parents might be bad parents. My favorite comment: "When my kid was 6 he thought he was a train." The usual disclaimers: in no way do I think that the plight of sexually disabled people isn't important or that such things should just be poked fun at and ignored (this is sort of the point of the whole blog); I just think it might be a better idea to wait until the kid is at least an adult (in every sense of the word) before parading him (there, I said it) around the news circuit.

Incidentally, I think if you want to see the effects of philosophical movements that endorse the mind-body split, transgenderism is the perfect place to look. Take a look at a couple of these quotes:
"Gender is who you believe yourself to be and your sexuality is who you want to bounce it off of." (Emphasis mine)
"There was never a question in my mind. This is who I am."
The basic assumption being that what you think or what you feel is who you really are, what counts as true. I very much pity transgender people, often more than homosexuals, who have way more ability to live happy, productive lives despite their sexuality; I just think this entire worldview is built on a mistake. It's also sort of interesting how there's this really strong materialist element there too, where people will say things like, "well, my physical brain is like a woman's brain, so I'm a woman!"---assuming that the entire rest of their body is the defective thing, not the brain itself. Really interesting stuff.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Should Homosexuals Marry People of the Opposite Sex? PART TWO

As I noted in PART ONE of this series, this issue is especially important to me. As I near my 30's and all my siblings and friends are married with children (hopefully not like the show), I am well aware that I'm going to have to make a decisions about this pretty soon. What I really want to do in this part of the series is get down to the question itself, though, both from a natural law and a personal perspective. That is, whether a homosexual person should consider marrying a person of the opposite sex.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chastity: PART FOUR (Friends)

The virtue of chastity more often has to do with the things we do before we are sexually tempted. One practices chastity when he prepares for highly sexual situations, and one practices chastity when he avoids imprudent sexual temptation. He violates chastity when he purposely ignores the things he should prepare for (not making sure there's a separate hotel room for his secretary), or when he actively seeks things that arouse his passions (pornography). Most people understand this pretty well. We always tell married men to avoid close relationships with females, and everyone knows (or at least says) that "guys and girls can't just be friends." I think there's a lot to this saying, even if it's a little cliche. It is very difficult to not fall in love with (or at least lust after) the people around us given a certain amount of time. There's other implications to this saying, like that men are only driven by sex, which I think are ridiculous, so I won't spend much time with them. But I do want to focus on what this principle means for homosexuals, especially ones interested in being chaste.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chastity: PART THREE (Lent and Vice)

The unthinkable!
I meant to get this post out yesterday for Ash Wednesday, but it didn't happen. This'll be a shorter post, but I do want to discuss something I think is important, especially considering my last post (which I encourage you to read before this one): how people view fasting, lent, and masturbation.

When I was in high school, by far the most commonly talked about Lenten sacrifice was giving up masturbation. This was sort of the "ultimate" sacrifice, and everyone joked about it (I didn't go to a Catholic school or anything; it just always came up). I can remember these kids who I knew made pacts to quit for the 40 days, etc. A few of them wore bracelets as reminders. I think only a couple succeeded, and a few, I'm pretty sure, lied about succeeding. I imagine that this is still a very popular topic and practice today. At the time, this whole no-masturbation-for-Lent thing annoyed me to no end. I didn't know why, and I wasn't really religious then so I didn't really have anything I could bring up when they talked about it, but it really bugged me. I can think of a few reasons now. One, it made Lent feel like some weird adolescent competition. Sort of just like this childish game that kids can laugh about. It made something that was supposed to be special, divine even, into lockerroom jokes. Two, I was jealous and annoyed that I couldn't do something like that (something I doubt I'd admit at the time). And three, it absolutely misses the point of  (and perverts) the Lenten sacrifice. I want to spend the most time on three.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chastity: PART TWO (How I Stopped)

A patent for some sort of
anti-masturbation device
This has been a difficult post to write. For a couple of reasons. One, it's sort of an awkward topic. And two, I've had difficulty trying to determine what it is that helped me. But I want to get this out because it ties in with the next post, which I want to get finished by Ash Wednesday. As the title indicates, the purpose of this post is to help people stop the masturbation and pornography habit. The number of people (especially men (though I hear the number of women is incredibly high too)) who look at pornography and/or masturbate daily (give or take) is not negligible. (50 points to the first person who can tell me where I got the "not negligible" language.) If it had to make a wager, I would say it represents the vast majority of the post-pubescent population in the country. At any rate, there may be some "too much information" details here, but I'll only include them if I think they're necessary.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sorry guys. I was trying to finish up this post for tonight because I want to put up a follow-up one by Ash Wednesday, but it didn't get done. It should be up (with the follow-up close behind) tomorrow. I will take this time, though, to say goodbye to The Holy Father. I liked Benedict a lot. And I will miss him.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Should Homosexuals Marry People of the Opposite Sex? PART ONE

I've brought this question up in other contexts, and it never goes very well. For most, a mixed-orientation marriage is incredibly pathetic. For others, it's just plain wrong. Even for the religious, even for people who absolutely affirm that homosexual activity is immoral, it's treated with some serious suspicion. I want to discuss why this is. Note that I did not title this "Should Gay Men Marry Women?" I did this on purpose. I've noticed that the idea of gay men marrying women is pretty much categorically disliked, while people are much more receptive to the idea of gay women marrying men. Also, such lesbian-man marriages seem (though I don't have any stats on this) to be much more popular. This will be discussed at least in some detail. This series will probably be two (maybe three) parts long. For this first part, I want to discuss why a gay person (especially a gay man) would even consider marriage to someone of the opposite sex. The second part will focus more on answering the question at issue.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Update

Xάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη,

It's been some time since the last post. I hate blogs that don't update. So here's an update. I've been both busy and lazy (super busy yesterday, lazy today), but I think the next post (which should be up tomorrow) touches on some interesting stuff. I was trying to have that finished by tonight, but I failed, and it's now very late. And I have class early in the morning. Also, I forgot to put the trash out. Hopefully I remember to do that in the morning!

Have a wonderful tomorrow.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

LGBT 4: Emotions

Crude wrote a couple of things on my last post that I want to comment on (and add to, with some examples, perhaps). First, he writes: 
"That's one reason I think that arguments only work so much in with this topic: as near as I can tell, the cultural shift on the question of LGBT behavior had next to nothing to do with arguments or intellectual reflection, and a lot - an incredible amount - to do with emotion, PR, and mere rhetoric/framing. Not to mention general ineptitude on the anti-LGBT side, including hypocrisy. And not just the Ted Haggard variety, but a too-often unwillingness to address the problems in the non-LGBT community as well, not to mention the problems with modern 'hetero' marriage."
To support what he says here, I want you to take a look at this video about a homosexual kid who was raised Catholic. The video is kind sad (And incredibly low quality? Were things really this bad in '08?). You really feel for that kid, at least at first. Or I do anyway. But you have to really pay attention as to what's going on here. The whole video's around 4 minutes (which, as far as internet is concerned, is like 3 and half minutes too long), but I want you to take a look anyway, paying close attention to how the son frames the issue and the last thing the father says at the end:

Friday, February 1, 2013

LGBT 3: Inclusiveness

I don't really want to do it, but I guess I should address some Boy Scout stuff. I honestly don't know that much about the Boy Scouts, and truth be told, they were always really lame to me when I was a kid. This may have been my dad's influence, but they always, always looked goofy to me. They were also kind of touchy-feely Christian when I came across them. Not a real big fan of that. But this post isn't really about what I thought about the Boy Scouts as a little kid. It's about the Boy Scouts considering changing its policy on homosexual membership. More than that, though, it's about the concept of "inclusiveness" and how that concept is a means of subversion. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chastity: PART ONE (Masturbation and the Virtues)

What I've been trying to do so far with this blog is show what good is. That is, I've been trying to present a very basic background of traditional morality so that readers can have a starting point. This is a major part of the blog, and I think it's incredibly important. What I think is equally important though is showing how to be good. This sounds like a pretty lofty, and perhaps even arrogant, goal, but I don't mean in that way. I mean, assuming you are a person who either already accepts what I've been arguing here, or you're a person who thinks traditional moralists are on to something and don't like the way things are going, you're probably going to want to change or fix what you think isn't right. What I want this series to focus on specifically is sexual purity. More specifically, if pornography and masturbation are actually bad, and one wants to be good, how can he escape these things, which are an enormous part of his life? A disclaimer: some things in here could be graphic, but anything that may seem inappropriate in this post or this series, I think, is necessary to the points I'm trying to make.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

LGBT 2: Gay is the New Black

I covered a lot of this in my first LGBT post, but there's a couple of things I wanted to add. I see this enormously bad argument made all the time: that opposing gay marriage is equivalent to opposing interracial marriage. And it bugs me. I plan on doing a post (or a series of posts) on gay marriage (and marriage in general---probably marriage in general first), but I just wanted to throw this out here while it's on my mind.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and the Homosexual: OBJECTIONS (Born This Way)

First things first. The picture to the left, the Lady Gaga album cover, is absolutely hilarious. The first time I saw it, I think I was in a Starbucks, and I couldn't stop laughing to myself. Almost to the point of people looking at me. She's like, "Guyyyys, I'm a motorcycle, stop discriminating against me! I was born this way!" I still can't look at that picture without at least snickering. Anyway, this objection isn't really as much of an objection as it is its own (bad) argument, but because it runs directly contrary to most natural law principles and because it's so popular, it's worth addressing. Also, it's a place where I can address where I think homosexuality, as a condition, comes from.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gay Film and Living a Lie

This is a pretty difficult topic to discuss actually. Because if I discuss it, people will think that I'm like a huge hypocrite who watches gay movies for the sex. (I can hear grumblings right now: "I thought he was supposed to be celibate and Catholic...") But that's not why I watch them. At least, I try to make sure that's not why I'm watching them. It's a tough thing being a single adult male. You're constantly concerned that maybe you shouldn't be watching what you're watching. "Should I watch this?" And in a way that question is embarrassing. Because it's like, you're a man. Man up and deal with sexual things; don't be a prude. But at the same time, you are well aware what happens when you watch something you shouldn't. You watch more. And more. And then it's too late. (I'll discuss this in much more detail in an upcoming post on how to fight the pornography/masturbation habit.) Anyway, I am sure to be careful whenever I watch a gay film. If it's clearly a movie that exists solely for the gratuitous sex scenes (which are a good percentage of them), I turn it off. It's a difficult balance sometimes determining when something has value and when it's just about sex, but it's doable. Anyway, this post will actually get interesting, even if right now you're thinking, "this is gonna be gross...." Hang in there.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Homosexual: PART THREE (Natural Law and the Perverted Faculty)

This is by far the most difficult of the posts to write because it comes with so many automatic objections. At any rate, what I'm going to try to do is lay out the main arguments here and answer the obvious objections in later posts. Again, please see PART ONE and PART TWO first before moving on to this part.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

LGBT

As I finish up PART THREE in the series (it should be up tomorrow or the next day), I thought I'd mention something I came across. I feel like I get way too much information from Yahoo! (I, for some reason, find it hilarious that I was compelled to include the exclamation point) News. But I saw this on there: Link. In it, a kid, during some sort of awards ceremony, comes out to the whole (or a big portion of) the school (or some thing). It is, in my opinion, a pretty underwhelming video, but that may be because the crowd seems to be made up of a bunch of loud idiots. I bring this to the readers' attention  not because I want to make fun of the audience or stupid audiences in general; there's something about it I want to discuss. Namely, the refocusing of the moral question as it applies to sexuality. Here, I'll paste his speech for easy reference:

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Homosexual: PART TWO (Goodness, Being, and Life)

I think this part of the argument is actually the most controversial (and perhaps complex), so I'll do my best with it. Here I will make the step from the underlying metaphysics to moral claims. Please see my previous post on the underlying metaphysics before reading this post. It is positively vital to understanding this.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anonymous

As I finish up part two of the natural law series (part ZERO and part ONE here) (it looks like it's gonna be more parts than I initially thought), I thought I'd throw in a more personal post. I imagine different readers like different things, and sometimes I just want to talk. So, this post is about, what I guess can be called, "coming out," but it's also about sexual anonymity in general. Here goes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Homosexual: PART ONE (Introduction to Metaphysics)

You see, approaching this has been a bit difficult. On one hand, I don't want to make it too technical and full of jargon, otherwise it won't appeal to a large portion of readers. On the other hand (I used to tutor non-English-speaking Asian students in English, and "on the other hand" was one of the hardest idioms to explain to them for some reason; they thought it just meant the next thing on the list, not an alternative), if I make it simple, people will jump all over it because there looks like gaps in the argument that would have been addressed had I teased everything out. This, I think, is a problem with philosophy in general. But I'll do my best to include things I think absolutely necessary while avoiding things that I think will just confuse or belabor the point I'm trying to make. Let me know if I fail miserably.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Homosexual: PART ZERO (Why This Approach?)

Part Zero? The anticipation must be killing you. No, I decided, as I work on the other sections, to provide a little preface here. I want to explain why I'm going about tackling this issue this way; that is, with a focus on philosophy and a skepticism toward religious doctrine and theology. I think it's an important question to answer before I jump in. Furthermore, I want to limit a number of criticisms up front.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Homosexual: An Overview

As this will surely be my most comprehensive collection of posts, I have decided to split it into multiple sections. I figure that it will feel less overwhelming if I do it this way. In this running series, I will be discussing the philosophy behind natural law as it applies to human sexuality. Many of the ideas I present here will not be my own and will merely be helpful summaries of other great thinkers. I do hope that I am able to add meaningful content, though, and I think, considering my somewhat unique position, I will be able to. Most importantly, what I'll be trying to do is collect and explain as best I can the underlying philosophy of traditional sexual morality. I have found very few places that provide both the initial argument and rigorous defenses against criticisms of the position. This is supposed to be just that.

A Little Bit About Myself

I was going to include all of this in the first post, but it's probably better to separate it out. Because I am just that interesting of a person. No, but that first post was getting a little long. As I said, I am interested in anonymity (a post on why later), so I doubt I will revealing much about my life that would be recognizable to friends and family. At the same time, I'll include any detail I think necessary (and answer anything I left out in the comments).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Greetings

I suppose it best to begin this project with an introduction. I am a gay, celibate Catholic man. I have been encouraged to start this blog because people have appreciated some of the things I have written in the past on other websites (and somewhat in the comments here). I have been hesitant to start for a couple of reasons, though. One, I prefer anonymity, especially as it concerns this topic. Two, I am going to be discussing philosophical issues, and such discussions often lead to a number of difficult complications that take a significant amount of time to work through. But I have decided that these concerns should not stop me from trying, especially considering the fact that there is nothing out there (as far as I can tell) that approaches these issues how I plan to here.