Can I have this fight productively?

Before you read the below: I’m writing about the difficulties of arguing online with people with whom you really disagree, so I want to mention a rule I’ve tried to adopt when I read an aggravating post. Try to read something else that person has written (preferably substantial) before you respond to the point that irked you, so you’ve got more accurate sense of their beliefs (the better to engage with productively) and your experience of them isn’t solely confined to them-as-antagonist (the bett … [Read more...]

What about other Others?

Voting for the Christian round of the Turing Test is ongoing!   Get thee there if you haven't weighed in yet.  So, back to some of my undisguised opinions for a bit, as we wait for the survey results.  There's been a lot of commenting on the Natural vs Normative thread about homosexuality.  Benjamin Baxter of Prodigal No More just brought up a common philosophical argument against homosexuality that I want to take a minute to address.  He wrote: Stripping the procreative, only lea … [Read more...]

Put Your Money Where Your Marriage Is

After New York legalized gay marriage Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler posted the following message to twitter (h/t Daylight Atheism): Now, fully 1 in 9 Americans will live in a state with legalized same-sex marriage. Our mission field is getting more complicated. Adam of Daylight Atheism offered his own gloss on this pronouncement, I’ve got a different hypothesis that requires some feedback by any opposed-to-gay marriage readers. First off, here’s what Adam wro … [Read more...]

Two Fights to Pick On Homosexuality

I've heard two major types of Christian arguments against homosexuality (or, more precisely, against acting on a homosexual orientation).  I find both unpersuasive, and I thought I'd close out this series inspired by Christiopher Yuan by explaining why I don't buy the arguments and why I think one of them is never worth making to non-Christians.It is Bad because God forbids it. God asks people to do a lot of strange things, especially in the Old Testament.  At the most horrifying end of the … [Read more...]

On Not Respecting Autonomy

This was more fun to use as an illustration of 'nudge' than Cass Sunstein's bookThis is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time)There's a (probably) apocryphal George Bernard Shaw story in which he approached an elegant woman at a party and asked, "Madam, would you go to bed with me for one hundred thousand pounds?"  She was stunned, but, after a moment's reflection said she would.  Shaw then asked her, "Madam, would you … [Read more...]

Where Yuan Went Wrong (Part 3)

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time)In this last post on problems with Christopher Yuan's rhetoric (meant as a caution to Christians or anyone else addressing a hostile audience), I want to highlight a misstep that occurred outside of the main lecture.At the beginning of the talk, some of the members of the sponsoring groups passed out index cards and told us to write down any questions we had for Yuan.  After he … [Read more...]

Ex-Gays and Debating Mores (Index Post)

On April 1st, 2011, it turned out that the advertised visit from an ex-gay, Protestant minister was no prank.  When he came to campus, controversy erupted, even though the substance of his arguments was not as offensive as I had feared.  His talk seemed like as good a lens as any to talk a little about sexual ethics and debating strategies (though, so far, not in the same post).  Both are topics I like opinionating about, so here goes: Get Up to Speed on Yale's Ex-Gay Preacher - A q … [Read more...]