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Stephen Fry: "only humans are homophobic"

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#136    Mr Walker

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:14 AM

View PostFurthurBB, on 16 October 2012 - 01:53 PM, said:

Again, it is wishful thinking and egocentrism that leads people to believe we are somehow special in the animal kingdom just because we have been ultra successful in our niche.

NO it is not.  It is a factual realisation of our uniqueness and thus specialness. While each animal type may be special and unique, humanity has certain characteristics which distinguish it clealry nd physically from all oher types, at this time. The single most powerful point of separation is our combined ability to speak and to think in complex symbolic forms, using symbols and mental constructs atached to labels via language, to facilitate communication. If you understand human neurology and the way our brains work, to establish first memory then language and sophisticated thought forms and understandings, you will know that no other animal approaches us in this area. They are probalby 100000 years behind us in evolutionary terms.

We are NOT niche animals we do not SPECIALISE in adaptations to a niche nvironment, rather, our language and sapience makes us non- specialist adpators. We adapt ourselves to every environment on earth, through imagination, desire, and technology and adapt environments to our own needs through technology.

Ps  on the other handyou are a

The technology comes from our sapience, but more importantly comes the abilty ot see how it cna be used and applied and the consequences of doing so. We cna plan, create, build and alter, everything around us and even our selves.
It is dangerous not to understand  and apppreciate this, and  to think of us as "just another animal because of the ability a power we have to create and destroy. We became separate from the rest of the animal kingdom when we reached present human levels of sapient self awareness, probably  up to 100000 years ago, and certainly in homosapiens, cromagnon, neandertal, and similar times.

On the other hand, you are absolutley right about morals and ethics Children are not born good or bad, because there is no absolute good or bad, only what  a society determines. Children, because of the attributes dicussed above, have a unique potential to learn/ be taught, values ethics and beliefs

They learn these from birth (and possibly earlier, as they learn language and how to think and process. There are no absolute human values. ALL of these are cultural. But because the human brain is a biological entity not influenced by culture, all humans tend towards similar conclusions given similar inputs.  SO some ethics moralities appear more univeral than others, but that is a qualit y of the commonality of the human brain, more than anything we are born knowing.

  It is impossible for  child to be born good or evil loving hating empathetic or selfish  because ALL those qualities abilities are learned (they are actually mental constructs and behaviours,) as our brains physically develop and as our language is learned. We have to learn be taught how to love, for example. No human intrinsically knows how to do this or even understands the nature of human love. It is not a biological force like the natural biological bonds of mother and baby, for example.

Edited by Mr Walker, 18 October 2012 - 11:31 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#137    FurthurBB

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:56 PM

View PostLeft-Field, on 17 October 2012 - 06:44 PM, said:


"Humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgement, and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone."

- Paul Bloom, Yale Psychology Professor


The Moral Life Of Babies

Psychologists Say Babies Know Right From Wrong Even At Six Months

The Babies Brain: Children Born Knowing Right From Wrong?

Children Are Born To Know Right From Wrong New Research Shows

Sense Of Fairness, Altruism Observed In Infants As Young As 15 Months Old


It is a fact that the human mind is far superior to that of any animal. This is not a matter of opinion. And there is no wishful thinking or egocentrism involved in the matter.

If you feel your mind isn't superior to and far more capable of things than even the smartest of animals then you must be lacking a great deal of intelligence and/or knowledge about such things.

I understand that it is hard to analyze studies when you have no formal training, but you posted links that are all about the same study in which the researchers determined that children "LEARN" right from wrong much earlier than previously thought.  The study does not prove your premise, though as demonstrated by your links, you are not the only person to misunderstand the conclusions of that study.

Everything you are saying about the human brain or mind is just wrong and in the wrong context entirely.  Our brain is superior for our species to be successful in the niche that we occupy.  That niche requires a large brain and complex thought processes.  Our mind is not far superior to any other animal.  Bacteria are more successful in their niche than we could ever dream of being.  Would you say bacteria are superior to humans?  Also, do you know that infant chimps respond the same way to similar studies as the one that showed children learn right from wrong earlier than previously thought?  I wll just ignore the childish insult.


#138    FurthurBB

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:01 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 18 October 2012 - 11:14 AM, said:

NO it is not.  It is a factual realisation of our uniqueness and thus specialness. While each animal type may be special and unique, humanity has certain characteristics which distinguish it clealry nd physically from all oher types, at this time. The single most powerful point of separation is our combined ability to speak and to think in complex symbolic forms, using symbols and mental constructs atached to labels via language, to facilitate communication. If you understand human neurology and the way our brains work, to establish first memory then language and sophisticated thought forms and understandings, you will know that no other animal approaches us in this area. They are probalby 100000 years behind us in evolutionary terms.

We are NOT niche animals we do not SPECIALISE in adaptations to a niche nvironment, rather, our language and sapience makes us non- specialist adpators. We adapt ourselves to every environment on earth, through imagination, desire, and technology and adapt environments to our own needs through technology.

Ps  on the other handyou are a

The technology comes from our sapience, but more importantly comes the abilty ot see how it cna be used and applied and the consequences of doing so. We cna plan, create, build and alter, everything around us and even our selves.
It is dangerous not to understand  and apppreciate this, and  to think of us as "just another animal because of the ability a power we have to create and destroy. We became separate from the rest of the animal kingdom when we reached present human levels of sapient self awareness, probably  up to 100000 years ago, and certainly in homosapiens, cromagnon, neandertal, and similar times.

On the other hand, you are absolutley right about morals and ethics Children are not born good or bad, because there is no absolute good or bad, only what  a society determines. Children, because of the attributes dicussed above, have a unique potential to learn/ be taught, values ethics and beliefs

They learn these from birth (and possibly earlier, as they learn language and how to think and process. There are no absolute human values. ALL of these are cultural. But because the human brain is a biological entity not influenced by culture, all humans tend towards similar conclusions given similar inputs.  SO some ethics moralities appear more univeral than others, but that is a qualit y of the commonality of the human brain, more than anything we are born knowing.

  It is impossible for  child to be born good or evil loving hating empathetic or selfish  because ALL those qualities abilities are learned (they are actually mental constructs and behaviours,) as our brains physically develop and as our language is learned. We have to learn be taught how to love, for example. No human intrinsically knows how to do this or even understands the nature of human love. It is not a biological force like the natural biological bonds of mother and baby, for example.

Of course we are unique, so are rabbits.  We have evolved to be successful in our unique niche, so have E. coli.  You can write all the big long posts you want, it will not change my mind because it is all meaningless to any understanding about thought or learning or life.


#139    Toadie

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:16 PM

Our brains are more complex then any other animal species


#140    Left-Field

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:52 PM

View PostFurthurBB, on 18 October 2012 - 02:56 PM, said:

I understand that it is hard to analyze studies when you have no formal training, but you posted links that are all about the same study in which the researchers determined that children "LEARN" right from wrong much earlier than previously thought.  The study does not prove your premise, though as demonstrated by your links, you are not the only person to misunderstand the conclusions of that study.

You're wrong. Read again. LEARN.

Some of the links are referring to the same study, not all of them are, however.

Furthermore, you are the one misunderstanding the conclusions of the overall studies.

The quote I'm about to give, which I already gave, sums it up quite nicely. How you can read it and then argue that the man who gave it (which is the man who did the study you are referring to) doesn't understand his own study is simply stubborness on your part to accept the conclusion he arrived at which differs from what you desire to believe is true.

"Humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgement, and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone."


- Paul Bloom, Yale Psychology Professor



"From The Very Start Of Life" ..... or in other words from the very moment they are born (or perhaps even conceived, but certainly no later than the moment of birth). This means prior to any dealings with human beings or any other species. It means they are born into this world with a moral sense of right from wrong.

"Bred In The Bone" ..... again, this means humans are born knowing good from evil. We do not need such things to be taught to us. It is present within us (bred in the bone in other words), from the very start. We are born already knowing what is right (good) and what is wrong (evil).

This flies directly against your statement that the study simply concluded that "children learn right from wrong much earlier than previously thought."

Children learn what is "considered" right from wrong from the moment they are born and all throughout the remainder of their lives. That means if they are born into a culture where it's acceptable to treat woman woman like they are not equal counterparts to men then they grow up understanding they can behave in such a manner and not expect to be ridiculed by most of the people within their culture because their culture finds such treatment of woman acceptable.

It does not mean that if the child weren't wrongly influenced by their culture into thinking in such a way that they wouldn't grow up knowing it is wrong to treat anyone as an unequal regardless of their sex, race, or nationality, etc.

Culture heavily influences such things. I am well aware of that. It doesn't mean children are solely dependant upon culture, however, to know what is right and what is wrong. They know such things because we are born with a sense of moral judgement. That is part of what the study concluded whether you accept it or not.

View PostFurthurBB, on 18 October 2012 - 02:56 PM, said:

Everything you are saying about the human brain or mind is just wrong and in the wrong context entirely.

No, it really isn't. Our minds are superior to those of the animal kingdom or any other known species that exists. To contend otherwise is pure ignorance.

Name me one other species capable of dominating the world like humans do. Not one little segment of the world, or part of the world, but the entire world.

Name one other species cable of the immense realm of thought the human mind is capable of. Name one other species capable of the incredible architecture human beings accomplish. Name one other species that understands such a broad range of emotions as humans. Name one species that understand the concept of forgivesness.

The list goes on and on.

And then when you're done giving examples of each one seperately, name me one species (aside from humans) capable of doing all these types of things combined.

No such species outside of human beings can do so.

Edited by Left-Field, 18 October 2012 - 07:48 PM.


#141    FurthurBB

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 01:12 AM

View PostLeft-Field, on 18 October 2012 - 06:52 PM, said:

You're wrong. Read again. LEARN.

Some of the links are referring to the same study, not all of them are, however.

Furthermore, you are the one misunderstanding the conclusions of the overall studies.

The quote I'm about to give, which I already gave, sums it up quite nicely. How you can read it and then argue that the man who gave it (which is the man who did the study you are referring to) doesn't understand his own study is simply stubborness on your part to accept the conclusion he arrived at which differs from what you desire to believe is true.

"Humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgement, and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone."


- Paul Bloom, Yale Psychology Professor



"From The Very Start Of Life" ..... or in other words from the very moment they are born (or perhaps even conceived, but certainly no later than the moment of birth). This means prior to any dealings with human beings or any other species. It means they are born into this world with a moral sense of right from wrong.

"Bred In The Bone" ..... again, this means humans are born knowing good from evil. We do not need such things to be taught to us. It is present within us (bred in the bone in other words), from the very start. We are born already knowing what is right (good) and what is wrong (evil).

This flies directly against your statement that the study simply concluded that "children learn right from wrong much earlier than previously thought."

Children learn what is "considered" right from wrong from the moment they are born and all throughout the remainder of their lives. That means if they are born into a culture where it's acceptable to treat woman woman like they are not equal counterparts to men then they grow up understanding they can behave in such a manner and not expect to be ridiculed by most of the people within their culture because their culture finds such treatment of woman acceptable.

It does not mean that if the child weren't wrongly influenced by their culture into thinking in such a way that they wouldn't grow up knowing it is wrong to treat anyone as an unequal regardless of their sex, race, or nationality, etc.

Culture heavily influences such things. I am well aware of that. It doesn't mean children are solely dependant upon culture, however, to know what is right and what is wrong. They know such things because we are born with a sense of moral judgement. That is part of what the study concluded whether you accept it or not.


No, it really isn't. Our minds are superior to those of the animal kingdom or any other known species that exists. To contend otherwise is pure ignorance.

Name me one other species capable of dominating the world like humans do. Not one little segment of the world, or part of the world, but the entire world.

Name one other species cable of the immense realm of thought the human mind is capable of. Name one other species capable of the incredible architecture human beings accomplish. Name one other species that understands such a broad range of emotions as humans. Name one species that understand the concept of forgivesness.

The list goes on and on.

And then when you're done giving examples of each one seperately, name me one species (aside from humans) capable of doing all these types of things combined.

No such species outside of human beings can do so.


This is the last time I will answer you if you keep on with the extraneous passive-agressive insults.  I have not insulted you, I have been calm and respectful and I expect the same from you.

The quote you are refering to is from one of the researchers feelings, not the conclusion of the study.  He never even makes that claim.  Humans have more brain development in the first five years of life than all the years remaining.  Why would it be unusual that knowing right and wrong would be a very early learned trait?  It seems pretty important for humans to be successful, like language development.  The study does not have the power to say that it was there from birth, just that it develops very early.  You would need a completely different type of study to look at that issue.  Also, the articles are about the same study.  I looked a second time to make sure.

As far as the last part goes, I am actually glad you worded it this way because it shows me that I was right to think you were not thinking about things in the right context.  Human brains have much larger frontal lobes than any other animal.  The frontal lobes are thought to be associated with reasoning, planning, abstract thinking and self-control.  Therefore humans, by nature, are going to have a better concept of time (planning), be more creative (abstract thinking and self-control), have long term projects which lead to technological advances (reasoning, planning, abstract thinking, and self-control), so pretty much everything that sets us apart from all other animals.  See, we have these abilities not because we are special, but because the components are in our genetic toolbox and is important for success in the niche we occupy.  Also, another thing you are not thinking about is that there are many animals alive right now who would have little problem occupying our niche if we abandoned it.  Though, since they do not have the genetic abilities we have evolved in the many years we have occupied this niche, they would have to start from the beginning.  There is no selective pressure for a successful species to move to an occupied niche and in our case an overly occupied niche.

Edited by FurthurBB, 19 October 2012 - 01:14 AM.


#142    Left-Field

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:43 AM

View PostFurthurBB, on 19 October 2012 - 01:12 AM, said:

This is the last time I will answer you if you keep on with the extraneous passive-agressive insults.  I have not insulted you, I have been calm and respectful and I expect the same from you.

I'll respond to the rest later, but I have not done any of the above to you. In my last post I don't even know how you could mistake anything I said as any of the above - especially when you consider how I could mistake comments you made to me in your response previous to this one in the same manner you have apparently taken mine.

I'd bring up which ones, but that type of back and forth nitpicking about who did what won't accomplish anything for either of us.


#143    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:12 AM

View PostFurthurBB, on 18 October 2012 - 03:01 PM, said:

Of course we are unique, so are rabbits.  We have evolved to be successful in our unique niche, so have E. coli.  You can write all the big long posts you want, it will not change my mind because it is all meaningless to any understanding about thought or learning or life.
Doesnt matter if the posts are long or short. We have NOT evolved into a niche, for about the last 50000-100000 years. That is the prime biological differnce between other animals and man. The rest of the post expalined why this is so.

Either you and i have a completely different understanding in what we are speaking about (eg what constitutes specialisation and niches) or you may just want to believe that humans are essentially just another animal. We are animals but our self aware sapience determines what we are, not our biological heritage. We are no longer constrained by biological or even genetic heritage  to fit into a niche or niches, nor by the imperatives of those forces.  At present we are unique, but eventually other animals and artificial intelligences will evolve/be built which will have the same qualities as humans .

Your world view is  perhaps a reaction to the overly humano- centric view which evolved in the last century where humans  tended to see animals as having human characteristics.   This was countered by the view that, rather humans are simply animals,  albeit intelligent animals.  The truth is different again.

Humans evolved, along with other animals to a certain point,but when they evolved sapient self awareness and particularly language and symbolic thought at a certain level, they began changing themsleves;  sometimes quite deliberately and consciously,  at other times in response to perceived abilities and advantages Humans can remake themsleves as they imagine themsleves to be. They can reshape the earth as they desire it to be. No other animal can do that, or even contemplate doing so.

Thuis should not be seen as an excuse to dominate the world or do as we wish, rather it confers an obligation and responsibility on us as a part of gaea, to care for our planet (and later our solar system, galaxy and potentially  universe)  so we can remain an constructive integrated part of it, rather than a destructive parasite living off it.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#144    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

View PostFurthurBB, on 18 October 2012 - 03:01 PM, said:

You can write all the big long posts you want, it will not change my mind

I rarely will read a long post.. I see no point..If the first few lines bore me.. I skip it.. I might tackle a point made, but the long winded drones... never get me to take interest...

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 20 October 2012 - 09:22 AM.

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#145    libstaK

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

Honestly, the thing that really makes humans different from animals is language - we can understand each other but have not yet learned to understand anything any other animal may possibly be barking, meowing, mooing or tweeting to each other.

Therefore, whether they even have a "developed concept" of homosexuality versus heterosexuality is a complete unknown imo.  It seems more likely they would learn behaviours that will allow them to dominate, instill fear or bond with others for the sake of survival rather than develop "phobias" as we do.

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#146    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 20 October 2012 - 09:21 AM, said:

I rarely will read a long post.. I see no point..If the first few lines bore me.. I skip it.. I might tackle a point made, but the long winded drones... never get me to take interest...
There are a lot of kids like that at school. Unfortunately all complex issues require  some length and complexity to communicate.   Language is how we communicate ideas which would otherwise exist only in our head. How any one can find it boring to learn anything  is beyond me.
But then i am "lucky". I speed read and it only takes me a second or two to read a page of text.For some children, reading is so challenging that it is painful, and they never read anything..

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#147    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:57 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 October 2012 - 12:41 PM, said:

There are a lot of kids like that at school.

Someone who likes to post about themselves  all the time.. can bore many people.. School educational material differs..If a teacher cannot get a kid to read educational material.. that teacher is not that good

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 20 October 2012 - 12:59 PM.

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#148    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:06 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 20 October 2012 - 12:57 PM, said:

Someone who likes to post about themselves  all the time.. can bore many people.. School educational material differs..If a teacher cannot get a kid to read educational material.. that teacher is not that good

Boredom is a state of mind induced by  the  reader, not the writer or the speaker. Again i cant understand how anyone can find any  ideas or information boring.  Not personally relevant perhaps, but how can anyone ever be bored with life, or any part of life, is beyond me. Humans have minds. In some respects the whole of our existence is based around using those minds, otherwise we are no different to any other animal. If you use your mind to its biological potential, it is not possible to be bored. There is always something fully occupying it .

However, as i said, I am lucky. I read every post on the threads i read, but i can read them as quickly as i can scroll the cursor down the page without blurring the text That means i do not have to discriminate in what i read, which might be necessary if i was a slower reader. I also enjoy  every word i read. I learn a lot,  even when i disagree with a poster.

As to getting kids to read, some just do not, some can't, and some find it too hard to be worth their while. The kids i teach are 13 plus and while i can significantly improve reading and comprehension skills, it is very late to try and teach someone who cant read, to do so by then.

A child should be reading, well before they go to schoo,l when their brain is most plastic and learns/assimilates most easily. You can teach a child to read and speak several languages fluently by the age of two, but i know how hard it is to try and teach chinese to an english speaking teenager.

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 October 2012 - 01:20 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#149    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:26 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 October 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

Boredom is a state of mind induced by  the  reader, not the writer or the speaker.

Yes boredom is a state of mind, but it doesn't help when the writer or speaker is a boring twonk

Quote

Again i cant understand how anyone can find any  ideas or information boring.   
No one said anything about ANY information...  It depends on the subject / topic at hand.   For example - I would rather sit and listen to a two hour lecture on the history of the moon landing, rather than a two hour lecture on the  life cycle of a potato.....Nor could I listen to someone who craved attention and droned on about themselves ..I cannot find that educational or interesting . well unless the person is a well known scientist  or someone who wrote many books and done something that has made a change in the world......It will always depend on the topic.

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 20 October 2012 - 01:40 PM.

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#150    darkmoonlady

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

Humans are animals, that being said, we don't have THE most complex minds, we have more complex brains than most creatures on earth but there are others with just complex (might even me more) brains like dolphins and gorillas. The difference is culture and culture only that makes homosexuality an issue with humans. Animals may even in some cases have rudimenary cultural structures but they no not have complex cultural rules. Humans have evolved their cultural rules over a short time (evolutionarily speaking). We are not far removed from as comedian Patton Oswalt calls it "having rape for dinner". Those cultural rules are sometimes arbitrary in nature, in that they serve to build a society. IF we lived in a time where were say short on humans then a taboo on homosexuality would possibly make sense. However in this day and age, humans are overpopulating the earth, so the only cultural reason to have a taboo on homosexuality is moot.

Edited by darkmoonlady, 20 October 2012 - 03:42 PM.

“The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance …or change... logic can be happily tossed out the window. Religious mania is one of the few infallible ways of responding to the worlds vagaries, because it totally eliminates pure accident. To the true religious maniac, it’s ALL on purpose” – Stephen King, The Stand




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