I may need some help here. I keep running into a certain argument, mostly from Catholics like Bad Catholic. The argument seems to start in a familiar way, but ends up being a discussion of universal morality, and I can’t help but feel that this is a red herring.
Bad Catholic posts a long text-heavy meme-studded image, which seems to tie atheists support of gay rights to a need for universal morality. But I think that BC is involved a different argument from the ones I’m used to seeing. Consider this segment:
BC rejects this, but I’m not so sure. I have no interest in policing the biases and mental states of my neighbors. I think it’s silly and ill-informed, but I’m not going to go so far as to say that a belief that homosexuality is sinful is itself immoral.
But there are two problems. The first is that I’ve never met someone who will say, “I just really hate gay people.” Bigots seem to feel they have a reason for their hatred, and a reason that you should share that hatred. Once these reasons come out the argument shifts from “Is hating gays immoral?” to “Is hating gays warranted?” And that is a completely different argument.
Second, what bothers me most is when this belief turns into action. I have homosexual friends, and I value them and their happiness. When someone attempts to harm them, it harms me. When someone attempts to strip them of a right or a privilege, it pains me. Therefor it is completely reasonable for me to oppose someone attempting to harm them, and doubly so when someone attempts to use the collective power of the state to do so. It quickly gets more complicated, but that’s the heart of it.
The short version is that I don’t see how this argument relates to a need for universal morality. Maybe I’m missing something?