Colbert on Whether Being Gay is a Choice

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Marta Layton

    What surprises me about all of this most was the way the people on the View acted like being gay is a choice no one would make. It’s one thing to say no one chooses to be gay because well, IT’S NOT A CHOICE; but do we really think (say) the African-American community would be okay if we asked who in their right mind would choose to be African-American? Yes, there is discrimination (for both groups) but there is also unique value in that identity (again, for both groups).

    On Cain’s statement telling us to show him the evidence, that actually is a step forward for Republicans in that it opens the door to falsification. It’s also a truly crappy methodology since, having acknowledged the possibility, Cain is happy to make his fact-free proclamation without looking for the evidence or even looking to see if someone has already found it. It’s a bit sad that this counts as an improvement, actually!

    • Camels With Hammers

      Yeah, I was a bit taken aback by how vociferously they were implying “no one would ever choose such a thing” until they explained “because of all the stigmas attached” and that made it more reasonable. I use that argument a lot myself.

    • Beth

      Do you consider your atheism a choice? If so, why make it when there is so much stigma attached to that choice.

      Or is it an acknowledgement of who you truly are and how your brain functions? Can you choose to believe differently?

      These are not rhetorical questions. While a particular belief may be based primarily on where/how you were raised, I’m not so certain that whether or not an individual holds such a belief is more of a choice than sexual orientation.

      It seems to me that both are somewhat malleable and somewhat difficult to change without major costs elsewhere in one’s life/psyche. The cost to being openly gay/atheist is dependent on how strong the individuals nature/nurture inclinations are in that direction as well as how much of a burden of stigma their society applies to it.

    • Camels With Hammers

      I think it’s a confused sense of the word “choice” in both cases. But that’s an article I have been struggling to figure out how to write clearly for a while. Some day I will.

    • shripathikamath


      “I don’t know how to respond to that”? Seriously, is this the first time they have encountered that position?

      How about “so when did you make your choice that you were not going to be tempted by a hirsute male?” for starters.

      “Do you make that choice every single day, and is it hard for you to not give in to temptation?”

      When he deflected it to “show me the science”, someone should point out that he rejects science, so what would be the point in showing it to him?

      It is almost as if all the opinion-show hosts do not know how to follow up a leading question.

      They ask “Do you believe in evolution?” and stop.

  • Aratina Cage

    do we really think (say) the African-American community would be okay if we asked who in their right mind would choose to be African-American?

    Exactly. Thank you Marta Layton for making that point.

  • Kurt1

    If it is a choice, why are there so many gay bashing republicans looking for rentboys on craigslist?

  • Aliasalpha

    If there’s one that that certainly IS a choice, its regionally restricting video content and the people hosting that clip have made the WRONG CHOICE DAMNIT!

  • Ramel

    If you’re using firefox then the “modify headers” add-on lets you get around it, not sure what works for other browsers but there’s probably something.

    Instructions here:

  • The Vicar

    Speaking of choices related to video, I hope this was just an oversight and you will choose, in the future, not to put video which starts playing automatically “above the fold”, so that those of us reading your posts via aggregators don’t have to frantically scan the page trying to figure out where the noise is coming from. :P

    • Camels With Hammers

      I see, I didn’t know the video would start automatically. Are you saying this does not happen when it’s “below the fold” even though, for example, in google reader I’m pretty sure our above and below the fold distinction is obliterated?