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.