Homosexuality

Intro to Philospohical Ethics

MWF 12:00

Herbert Liles and Devon Smith

Topic:  Homosexuality

 

Summary: We are going to present several common arguments used in the discussion of homosexuality from both the pro and con side. After we present these arguments we will teach the audience how to put an argument into logically valid form. Next we will ask the audience if the arguments lead to the conclusions. Then we will ask the audience if the premises and conclusion are true making the argument sound. Next we will ask the audience to give me a few arguments they have for or against abortion, and then as a group we will go through the same process of putting the arguments in logically valid form, and deciding whether the argument is sound.

 

Basic Template for deciding whether or not an argument is a strong argument

  1. First the argument has to be logically valid, meaning that the premises true or not but lead to the conclusion
  2. A strong argument has true premises that lead to a true conclusion.
  3. A strong argument shouldn’t be shut down with counterexamples

 

 

P1: Homosexuality is wrong because it’s not natural T

P2: All things that are unnatural are wrong F

C: Therefore, homosexuality is wrong F

 

The argument above is logically valid, but is not sound. For this example we are using “not common and not normal” as the definition for unnatural, thus homosexuality is unnatural because it isn’t common. However many things that are unnatural are not deemed wrong. For example it’s unnatural to say hello to every person you see, but if someone were to do that most people wouldn’t consider it wrong.

 

P1: Homosexuality is dangerous F

P2: All things dangerous are wrong F

C: Therefore, homosexuality is wrong F

 

The argument above is in logically valid form, but it cannot be classed as sound. Above, the argument states that homosexuality is dangerous. For this argument, “dangerous” shall be defined as anything capable of bringing harm or injury. If the operative understanding of homosexuality is understood strictly as a being hood or orientation, that is, not accounting for any actions that homosexuals might engage in – homosexual sex, for example – the argument is unfounded. If one is homosexual – meaning their sexual desires are only for persons of the same gender that they find attractive – one would be hard pressed to find any danger in this circumstance. Furthermore, if the major premise stood to reason, that would not account for why homosexuality is wrong. There are many things – skydiving, cooking with knives, undergoing open-heart surgery – that are dangerous, but not wrong, at least not to any sensible observer.

 

P1: Homosexuality is against some religions T

P2: All things that are against a religion are wrong F

C: Therefore, Homosexuality is wrong F

 

The argument above is logically valid, but is not sound. The initial premise is true some religions are against homosexuality. However the following premise certainly isn’t true. Some religions think you should throw your babies off a building into a bed sheet down below in order for the baby to have good luck in its future. However most of the world doesn’t participate in this practice, and wouldn’t consider it wrong if you didn’t want to throw your baby off of a building.

 

 

P1: Homosexual sex can’t and won’t reproduce T

P2: All sex that can’t and won’t reproduce is wrong F              

C: Therefore, homosexual sex is wrong.  F

 

This argument is logically valid, but not sound. The major premise is true, yet the minor premise is not. Thus, neither is the conclusion. Not all sex will result in reproduction. This does not make it wrong. In some instances, a heterosexual couple looking to reproduce will need multiple sexual encounters before resulting in a successful pregnancy. While other heterosexual couples have the ability to reproduce through sex but choose to have sex while avoiding impregnation. What is more, a heterosexual couple wherein the woman is infertile would likely not come under moral condemnation for having sex despite their biological inability to reproduce. As the logic holds, all consensual sex that cannot and will not reproduce cannot be classed as wrong.

 

P1: Homosexuality is a choice F

P2: All choices are wrong F

C: Therefore, homosexuality is wrong. F

 

This argument is logically valid, but not sound. The initial premise, following premise and conclusion are all false. Choices are not wrong. Some choices, however, may be better than others. Yet, all choices depend upon the person and circumstance. What is the better choice for you may not be for me. For example, someone with a family may not be able to quit their job to pursue other careers. While another person with less obligations can.

 

Audience members: Phillip Johnson, Ernesto Graham, Joshau Hazlett, Jade Steele, and Crystal Cowman.

 

P1: Homosexuality makes people happy T

P2: All things that make people happy are not wrong F

C: Therefore, homosexuality is not wrong T

 

This argument is logically valid but is not sound. There are many things that make people happy but are also wrong. For example, it might make a serial killer happy to kill people but that doesn’t make it morally permissible.

 

P1: Homosexuality isn’t meant to harm anyone T

P2: All things that aren’t meant to harm someone are not wrong T

C: Therefore, Homosexuality is not wrong T

 

This argument is logically valid and sound. When someone is homosexual they aren’t trying to harm anyone, and if an action isn’t meant to be harmful than it’s not wrong.

 

P1: Homosexuality makes it harder to get a job T

P2: All things that make it harder to get a job are wrong F

C: Therefore, Homosexuality is wrong F

 

This argument is logically valid, but is not sound. Sadly it is probably true that being homosexual makes it more difficult to get a job, but things that make it more difficult for a person to get a job aren’t wrong. For example having a tattoo may make it more difficult for you to get a job but that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.

 

In conclusion, this activity was a good way to recap what we have learned in this course. The process of making arguments logically valid really helped not only us but also the our friends look at whether or not something is sound. Our audience that engaged in this exercise with was really easy to work with. After the first example we presented to them they had a decent grasp on the concept. One of the few problems we had was that there was an argument over whether homosexuality makes it harder to get a job or easier, but after much debate we decided it makes it more difficult.

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