So today in the discussion forum in class, the topic of nature vs nurture came up(I'm a psych major so this was going to happen ANYWAY). Well one of the students, I'll name him Mark Christian, ranted on and on about choice, and then said this gem:

 

"In the continuum I lean more toward Environmental explanations for our behavior. The choice to pursue a change in gender for example, rests on a decision by us to do that, and may come from overly being associated with a female All our life without a Male figure to model ones self after. Biologically/Gender we are NOT born gay, but in order to deny responsibility for our decision we will blame God for making us that way."

 

I started seeing white. I responded(like a dummy) and said:

 

I disagree with you on the idea of the enviroment shaping one's sexuality. That arguement states that someone like my mother, if around Lesbians enough, would become a lesbian. She's not a spring chicken, and like many many Americans(read: ALL), her sexual orientation was innate. I don't know what age she began seeing boys as "hot", but it did happen. In order for your argument to be true, the various experiments done by various scientists and doctors would be invalid. Such as the twin study(A link of one www.jstor.org/pss/3813571 ) and the study of homosexual men who were born to women who had a large amount of male children( www.pnas.org/content/103/28/10771.long.)

The only way enviroment plays on sexual expression would be inf a person were to stay closeted or not. In an enviroment that is oppressive, you would have more sneaking around, more secreative meetings, and overall it would appear that everyone is hetrosexual.

 So again, I disagree with your opinion. Mostly because of the opinion that I hold that a person is attracted to who or what they are attracted to. This belief, however is ONLY relegated to those over 17 and in their right mind. A man who is sexually attracted to children, I do not see his proviclivities as a legitamate mode of expression. Children cannot consent. Neither can mentally deficient adults. That is why rape, child porn/molestation/rape, and all forms of sexual battery are seen as heinius crimes. Not two adult men(or women) who wish to spend the rest of their lives together.

Now, in that idea, the emotion or feeling of revulsion that many people who see homosexuality as a enviromental or choice bent is a choice. Or  more likely, a viseral repsonse. To some, it causes rage, or even disgust. But are these responses nature or nurture? I believe that it is nurture given the enviroment that some people are raised in. In fact, this very enviroment is why we have such an upswing of bullies, school murders, and people who are just unkind.

 

 

I know it was kinda bitchy, but dear sweet Mary...I was about to punch my fist through the screen of the computer. It took everything within me not to rant on about the difference between consent and being manipulated....

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Comment by roland707 on October 31, 2011 at 9:17am
Monica, I had this exact conversation with a female coworker Friday! Dejavu
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 29, 2011 at 7:37am

So maybe evolution is the development of the cortex to awareness of its trap.

Randomized parts is new understanding, at least from what my string remembers. Used to think you were insane, now just slightly off!

Comment by John Camilli on October 29, 2011 at 1:53am

None. It's not even my choice whether or not I respond to this. The energy that moves my fingers across the keyboard has existed for billions of years. I cannot stop it from moving them as it does. Parts of the interactions that resulted in my current action may have been randomized, but I cannot claim responsibility for those parts anymore than I can claim the actions that were determined.

 

Not that I can prove any of that, but it's the only conclusion I'v ever come across which does not contradict itself. "Choice" contradicts causality, because there certainly has to be a component of understanding involved in something that could be called a "choice," but any understanding is invalidated by contradicting causality because it is one of the key assumption of epistemology, and thus logic and rationality. One cannot use logic to contradict causality as that would be using logic to defy logic, so it would be impossible to have a scientific theory that affirms the existence of choice.

 

Anyone who believes in choice cannot believe in science.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 29, 2011 at 12:36am

John,

Did not you learn your lesson?

Choice is not free. It is dependent. It describes a relationship between entities. Or something along those lines.

You might be correct. But you have to live the lie or else you become mush. Then again what choice do you have when your segment of string is aware?

Comment by John Camilli on October 29, 2011 at 12:14am

You are both wrong. Humans do not possess the mythical ability called "choice." Think about it: to "choose" is to introduce or re-direct some impetus required for action, where previously there was none (or to absorb and be unmoved by some impetus that was). Humans would have to be Gods, able to create something from nothing or nothing from something, in order for "choice" to exist.

 

What we have instead is an intellect that is excedingly capable of predicting the future as it happens. We are so good at it that many of us come to believe our thoughts CAUSE our actions, but this very simply and obviously contradicts every principal on which science is based. Science springs from the philosophy of epistemology (the study of knowledge and its limits), which is itself based on three assumptions - causality, locality and identity. Epistemology basically asserts that effects are the results of causes, that the universe is full of distinguishable parts, and that those parts interract according to natural laws (which Uncertainty says we can never come to understand completely). Every scientific theory is a subset of those three assumptions. "Choice," on the other hand, would mean an interruption of natural laws by some agent not controled by those laws, or the uncaused introduction/ destruction of some otherwise natural - ideas that are logically impossible in science. So if you beleive in choice, then you CANNOT believe in science, unless you don't understand one or both and are only convinced that you believe in both (a JTB, Gettier problem).

 

The simpler explanation, which does not contradict those theories, is that all human action (and inaction) is the result of prior causes; of conserved energies, present long before they congealed into the thing you call "your self," which arrogantly claims responsibility for everything it does while "living."

 

We are puppets of existence, my friends. We control nothing.  We only think we control the actions of which we become aware before they occur, but it is not so.

Comment by AtheistTech on October 28, 2011 at 9:51pm
I believe that if heterosexuality would be studied as intensely homosexuality, humanity would benefit immensely. To study homosexuality exclusively is to set homosexuality as deviant and something that needs to be corrected. I don't like that perspective.

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