Using Science And Religion To Justify Gay Rights: Part 1
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Politics and Activism

Using Science And Religion To Justify Gay Rights: Part 1

What does America's two primary sources of truth have to say about homosexuality?

Using Science And Religion To Justify Gay Rights: Part 1

Sometimes it seems like science and religion are bitter enemies. Many Christians view evolution as incompatible with the truth that the Bible puts forward about life and creation. Scientists view religious adherents as regressive and irrational when they refuse to accept scientifically deduced conclusions.

Even so, both the religious and the scientific (specifically empiricist) worldviews are widely held in American society. A minority of extremists will say that science or religion must be done away with, but the majority of people are somewhere in the middle. Though they might be more toward one side, they recognize that the other has valid points also.

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One point where science and religion actually seem to concur is on the issue of the usefulness of homosexuality. Both scientific theory and religious teaching seem to conclude that a homosexual lifestyle is non-optimal.

I know this is a controversial topic. Let me state here that this article is more of a thought experiment than an attempt to push an agenda. This is not trying to change anyone’s opinions or tell someone they or their lifestyle is wrong. My point is to make an observation of a commonality between two seemingly-contradictory worldviews.

First, let’s talk about science and homosexuality.

The dominant theory in evolutionary biology, genetics and many other scientific fields is natural selection. According to this theory, “nature” (really, the laws of probability) ensures over time, that genes beneficial for survival proliferate and genes detrimental to survival die out. The assumption is that an organism’s entire purpose is to propagate its genetic code.

I’ve come across a lot of theories trying to explain how homosexuality could somehow benefit the species. Population control, caring for nieces and nephews and other theories have been presented. Bill Nye's profound and articulate explanation is "So, uh, let's celebrate being alive everybody. I, uh, apparently it's just something that happens in nature, and look, we're all here!"

None of these really make sense in relation to pure, classical natural selection. If a gene prevents the genome from being passed on, that gene dies out. That is to say, that gene is non-optimal, less than ideal. In terms of natural selection, homosexuality is genetic suicide.

Now to religion. Again, I know there are varying beliefs on this. I will talk specifically about orthodox Christianity.

Often, people will say homosexuality is wrong “because the Bible says so,” and that’s where the discussion will end. Let’s take it a bit further.

Not unlike natural selection, a Christian worldview asserts that fecundity and proliferation of life are major parts of the human purpose. “Be fruitful and multiply,” as the phrase goes. This cannot be accomplished by homosexuality, and so, religious teaching discourages a homosexual lifestyle.

In more abstract terms, the ultimate command of Christianity is love: first God, then mankind (“your neighbor”). The essence of love is giving to the point of self-sacrifice. So, the closer to self-sacrifice that an action or a lifestyle comes, the more closely it can be said to resemble true, perfect love. Homosexuality falls short here in two different ways.

First, one way to look at homosexuality is that it is actually self-love; when a man loves a man, it is like he is loving himself because he also is a man. That is not self-sacrificial, but rather selfish, perhaps narcissistic; in contrast, a man loving a woman is loving that which man is not. This follows Jesus' logic when he says to love your enemies. To love someone just like you gains you nothing, whereas there is something to be gained from loving someone unlike you.

Second, homosexuality can never give as much as heterosexuality because biology will not allow it. Though homosexual lovers may give each other pleasure, they can never give each other children—if they want children, they must take someone else’s. When it comes to love, homosexual love is an end in itself because once the lovers die, their pleasure and love are no more. Heterosexual love is a beginning because the love of the parents is literally manifested and lives on in their child.

What both science and religion seem to assert (or at least, what they don't deny), according to the theory of natural selection and religious teaching, is that procreation and reproduction is natural, desirable, optimal, ideal.

Why, then, are Western societies embracing homosexuality? Why are they elevating it, saying it is equal to heterosexuality and taking measures to defend it?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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