Homosexuality has been on debate for numerous years. It is mentioned in the Bible which is thousands of years old. But recently two philosophers have spoken how they feel about Homosexuality. Michael Levin and Richard Mohr's views on the subject are in conflict with one another. Levin argues that homosexuality is abnormal because it is a misuse of body parts that have evolved for use in heterosexual intercourse. Furthermore, because natural selection has made the exercise of heterosexuality rewarding to human beings, homosexuality has a high probability to unhappiness. Mohr refutes Levin's stance about homosexuality myths and stereotypes. He rejects arguments that homosexuality is immoral or unnatural.
Levin exemplifies the point that homosexuality is misuse of body parts with the case of Mr. Smith who likes to play Old MacDonald on his teeth so devoted is he to this amusement, in fact, that he never uses his teeth for chewing but instead takes nourishment intravenously. This is a clear example where Mr. Smith is misusing his teeth. In addition to misuse, Levine states that this man will have a dim future on purely physiological grounds. Since Mr. Smith isn't using his teeth for chewing, his digestive system will suffer from disuse. The result will be Mr. Smith’s deteriorating health. Levin incorporates the evolution process into this example. He states that Mr. Smith descended from creatures that enjoy the use of such parts. Creatures that do not enjoy using such parts of their bodies will tend to be selected out. In particular, human males who enjoyed inserting their penises into each other's anuses have left no descendants. Homosexuality is likely to cause unhappiness because it leaves unfulfilled an innate and innately rewarding desire.
Mohr takes a completely different stance on homosexuality. According to Mohr, homosexuality is perfectly unobjectionable. The unnaturalness charge that Levin give homosexuality carries a high emotional feeling. This feeling is usually expressing disgust and evincing queasiness. Examples of such feelings are some people's response to women who do not shave body hair. Many of the people who have a strong emotional reaction, without being able to give good reasons for them, we think of them not as operating morally, but rather as being obsessed and maniac. So the feelings of disgust that some people have to gays will hardly ground a charge of immorality.
The idea of natural is a key defense in Mohr's debate. He states that natural is that it fulfills some function in nature. According to Levin, homosexuality on this view is unnatural because it violates the function of genitals which is to produce babies. The problem with this view is that lots of bodily parts have lots of functions and just because someone activity can be fulfilled by only one organ, this activity does not condemn other functions of the organ immorality. The use of genitalia to produce children does not condemn other uses, such as achieving intimacy.
Mohr states that moral authority is needed to define proper function. Some people try to fill in this moral authority by appeal to the design or order of an organ saying that the genitals are designed for the purpose of procreation. But these people do not make it explicit who the designer and ordered is. If it is God, then we are holding others accountable for religious beliefs. In response to Levin statement that homosexuality causes unhappiness, Mohr states that Society's attitude toward a childless couple is that of pity. The couple who discovers it cannot have children is viewed as having to forgo some of the richness of life. Gays who do not have children are to be pitied rather than condemned. Mohr feels the willful preventing of people from achieving the richness of life is immoral. The immorality with the case of the gay and lesbian is the statute that prevents them from adopting families.
In reflection of the two articles read, I feel that Mohr has a stronger stance in the argument of homosexuality. He takes the Levi’s view on misuse of body parts, and shows that many body parts have multiple uses. Levis provides a strong argument about misuse and in his example it is completely accurate. When applied to the genitalia, the argument seems to be diminished by Mohr's view. Mohr introduces moral authority by bringing out the question of order and design. He states that if God is the designer and ordered than we are back to square one which others are accountable for religious beliefs. Mohr takes Levis stance on unnatural one step further by saying we should follow nature.
If this were the case, the possibilities would be endless. Who should we follow? A fish that changes gender over their lifetimes. This would make us be operative transsexuals. Orangutans live completely solitary lives. This would make us hermits. With the many models that nature gives us to follow, it is wrong to say that homosexuality is abnormal.
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