Morality, Intolerance, and Political Correctness


I’ve become increasingly aware of a trend within our society to classify moral stances as intolerant. I guess I should correct that and say that these moral stances are classified as intolerant at best, and as bigotry at the worst. In our rapidly expanding culture of ethical relativism, clearly drawing a line in the sand to say unequivocally that something is wrong draws the ire of those who worship at the altar of political correctness. And why should this be? Surely someone who claims to embrace the idea that all philosophies are roughly equal can wrap their brain around the fact that someone might not share their lack of conviction.

I’m tired of being accused of bigotry by saying that homosexuality is wrong. It’s not just because of my admittedly Judeo-Christian background; there are sound reasons, based on the principles of the development of our species, that lead me to believe that  homosexuality a dead-end for humanity as a whole. Our evolutionary imperative is to reproduce and expand to the limit of our resources. Anything that directly counteracts this biological manifest destiny is counter-productive. At least with heterosexual relationships, whether they bear children or not, you aren’t violating millions of years of development that have placed humankind at the pinnacle of the animal kingdom on Earth. These relationships also have the potential to benefit the species as a whole with future offspring. I could also make the argument biblically, traditionally, or morally, but most of the people reading this blog don’t recognize the authority of such arguments. I’ll stick with a strictly Darwinian approach.

Having global warming shoved down my throat by make-believe scientists more interested in grant dollars and prestige than in actual science certainly doesn’t give credibility to the notion that most environmentally aware people are open-minded. Quite the contrary–anyone who disagrees with the junk science is automatically labeled as a big-business mouthpiece. Never mind that there are scientists around the world calling into question the very assumptions that have led to the conclusion that the Earth is in a warming phase. This movement has taken on the flavor of a moral demand on the population of the world without the wealth of hard facts needed to make it universally applicable. Suddenly, when I, as a trained scientist, call into question the data that I see, I am ignorant and foolish. My own analysis of the available data is dismissed because it doesn’t meet with the politically correct stance that dominates public discourse.

These examples lead me to the point of this rant: Why are people who take a stance on a moral or factual basis labeled as bigots? I can condemn an activity without making any statement whatsoever about an individual. In fact, my condemnation of an activity means that I care enough about the people involved to point out behavior that is self-destructive to themselves or to the race as a whole. My stance is not one of hate, but one of polite rebuke and love. My goal is to support people while helping them to break out of whatever situation they find themselves in, just as Christ himself treated those in his care.

Let’s be abundantly clear: Saying that something is wrong does not make someone an automatic bigot. For example, anti-war protesters annoy me to a great degree. Despite this, I don’t call them anti-soldier or anti-war bigots. I understand that their moral code dictates that they protest against the loss of life that comes with any war. I may take satisfaction in the irony that it was an entire series of wars in our nation’s history that give them the peace and the freedom to protest, but at least I give them the benefit of appreciating their position.

I would ask that those who claim to be open-minded truly strive for this, understanding that there are those in the world who would rather fight for what they think is right, rather than passively sitting back and letting relativism unravel the fabric of society. Smugly beating your chest and telling everyone how awesome you are for considering other viewpoints is the quickest way for me to pigeonhole you into the idiot box. Most often, these are the people who are the most obnoxious about their viewpoints and the least open to discussion.

21 Responses to Morality, Intolerance, and Political Correctness

  1. GK says:

    “Please consider the environment before printing this document.”

  2. Kate says:

    I can understand your frustration with people who are at best hypocrites, yet there were a few things in this rant that I must address.

    You can argue evolutionary basis as one of your points against homosexuality, but until you can show me the propagation of the species is in immediate danger, your statements are moot. If anything population control will be needed in a matter of decades as opposed to centuries, and I would not be surprised should we find ourselves in a scenario as mentioned in Forever War.

    Therefore, you base your beliefs in your religious upbringing, since your traditionalist argument holds no ground with me either. Homosexuality is not a new disease of the 21st century. As long as we’ve been aware of our sexuality, it has been in existence. Until you have irrefutable proof it is a disease of which that can be cured, or it is a choice, there are far worse things in this world to worry about than who loves whom.

    There are those individuals out there who preach about the evils of two men engaging in love, and yet cheer when it happens to be two women. I guess there is something to be said about equal opportunity hate. That does seem to scream hypocrisy doesn’t it? I may be proved wrong, but I would argue that for some, the fear of homosexuality is rooted in acts one may deem uneasy and uncomfortable. For some it is not natural, but the key point here is, for some, it is. I will never throw around words of hate to those who wish to live their lives in peace and love and respect for their fellow humans. Make no mistake, I will also do as Christ teaches and will love my neighbor no matter what his/her preference may be.

    Your definition of open-minded does intrigue me, as well. When I think of the term, it is based in respect of other people’s beliefs and lifestyle choices. Fighting for what you believe in, if it impedes the beliefs of another, goes against what I’ve come to understand as an acceptance of people for who they are, not for who you wish them to be, because of what you’ve been taught, how you’ve been raised, or how you wish to see the world.

    Oh I dread the day when humanity is the dough for the same cookie cutter. Our uniqueness is what makes us celebrated,intelligent and open minded. It’s just a shame some people are scared of things different from themselves.

  3. Kate says:

    P.S. As far as global warming is concerned…

    I am all about being conscientious when it comes to Mother Earth. Recycling, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and seeking cleaner technologies can only help this planet in the long run.

    Seeking change by fear mongering will never make headway and neither will profiteering from making people feel guilty about how much carbon they emit.

    It is easy being green, just not when you have a knife to your throat forcing you to do so.

  4. Dez says:

    To be fair to Pete, I don’t believe he is implying homosexuality is a disease. Apart from Judeo-Christian morality, it would appear that he views the practice as not pragmatic concerning the propagation of the race. You need not believe in evolutionary theory, or argue from such a view, to grasp the idea that it is biologically impractical; hence the “dead end.” In this sense, any and all impractical practices pose a danger to the propagation of the species… it need not be immediate. The loose morality of the sixties and seventies, what we hail as the “sexual revolution”, made the spread of HIV almost too easy, plaguing heterosexual and homosexual alike. Who, without hindsight, saw this threat coming until it had already killed thousands here in the US and millions worldwide?

    I know that it was not Kate’s intent, but I would take care with how I throw around the term “population control.” In the extreme, the term conjures up Eugenics, with its programs of forced sterility and euthanasia. Germany was killing off thousands of children, and later adults, labeled as “life unworthy of life” in its Action 4 program (long before the “Final Solution” for the Jews was state policy). This was first used on the mentally retarded, but soon was applied to the crippled, political prisoners, Slavs, Gypsies, Poles, Negroes, Jews, and anyone else who didn’t meet the criteria for state approved life. And for those who think it (Eugenics) an isolated movement, check and see how Eugenics was and still is employed in the home of the free and the land of the brave. The thought of this future world of population control frightens me. Who gets to choose who lives and who gets “controlled”? How will rights be defined, and will we have any at all? If you talk to some in the UN we are already too populous. Would you be amazed to discover that their magic number for humanity hovers around 300 million (total… for the whole planet). Bringing this home with the hypocrisy theme… guess what percentage of the UN delegates believe they are to take part in that 300 million?

    Pete is struggling with a fundamental (and flawed) nature of man that has been around for all time. Hypocrisy exists wherever man exists. Wasn’t it hypocrisy (of the Athenian Elders) that pushed the cup of hemlock into the hand of Socrates? Consider yourself in good company, Pete. Which is nobler, to vent your spleen from the comfortable anonymity of the herd, stating only the sterilized and acceptable party line, eh comrade? or to stand alone, or in small company, facing the storm? It was the hypocrisy of the Spartan elders, and the sheer numbers of the Persians, that made the defiance and final stand at Thermopylae (sp) so very heroic and meaningful for Western civilization. Or take a more recent look at the Civil Rights movement. Adversity and resistance can sometimes be the best judge that you’re doing what’s right… and because it’s right you should expect that resistance from the very bowels of hypocrisy. You’re right to be frustrated, and the closer you dig at the truth…

    Is open-mindedness really being able to consider other viewpoints? If it is, it doesn’t seem to fit what passes as open-mindedness today. Situational ethics and moral relativism are the rule of this day. Today’s open-mindedness seems to be a thinly veiled attempt to justify one’s failures as brave and tolerant victories… a modern spin on Aesop’s sour grapes. I am not so much frustrated by relativism as I am amazed that such passes for intelligence and civility.

    But preach, Pete, preach… why should you give a damn what other people think or accuse? When you let public opinion drive your actions, or thoughts, you’ll turn into a man-pleasing political tool, an ideological whore, a ship tossed by every wind.

  5. Kate says:

    Dez,

    When I first brought up population control, eugenics never crossed my mind. I was actually referring to the ideas mentioned in Haldeman’s “Forever War”. Everyone is made to be homosexual through genetic manipulation in order to limit growth of the human race due to severe lack of resources. I find what the German’s did to be reprehensible and hope those involved rot in hell for their actions.

    What we mustn’t forget is that even on a biological level, humans have evolved both mentally and technologically that should 100 percent of men and women decide that they like their own gender, we still have scientific advances that make propagation viable. In-Vitro fertilization and normal procreation is still available. Just because you’re gay, it doesn’t mean the plumbing has stopped working.

    As far as turning into a “man-pleasing political tool, an ideological whore, a ship tossed by every wind”; my statements are made from what I feel from the depths of my soul. I will concern my business with the bigger evils in this world, like murder, crime, standing up to government which abuses my rights as a free citizen and I will continue to love people despite their preferences as we should all have a fundamental right to love whom we wish.

    So yes, Pete. Grab your stave and stand against the coming storm. Preach from your soap box that the world is condemned by homosexuals when you could be fighting against real and morally reprehensible injustices, like murder, repression, and crime. Stagnate the betterment of society while you peer behind private keyholes into matters that should not concern how you live your life. Preach hate and intolerance of a different kind of love, while people starve and are murdered for littlest of infractions.

    I guess we all need something to bitch about.

    Sincerely,

    Your friendly neighborhood ideological whore.

  6. Mr. Chris says:

    Homosexuality aside, I’d like to talk about being open-minded about moral issues.

    Are ethics something we invent (like the television and computers) or something we discover (like mathematics and new planets)? The former are things man made. If ethics are man-made and have no ties to anything universal and unmovable then maybe we ought to respect ethical differences much like artistic differences. We could not condemn Nazi morality, nor drunk-driving, nor press charges against thieves or murderers.

    Things like mathematics and planets are things that exist without (and in spite of) anything man does. 6 x 7 = 42, no matter how passionately and earnestly my son is convinced the product is 32. If he doesn’t conform to this universal truth, his life makes less sense. If our ethics are working to describe something universal and unmovable (like math), then we have an obligation to judge one ethical system as better or worse than another. Make no mistake though: I’m talking debate, not hate. (Ooh, how poetic!)

    …but if our modern day morals don’t tolerate intolerant views like Pete’s, doesn’t that moral system imply that “tolerance” is a universal, unmovable value we ought to all respect? To that I would ask, “why?” or “by what authority?”

  7. Pete says:

    Kate makes my point for me.

    I make no statements about the people involved in homosexual activity, only that I find the activity to lack a true biological justification. Kate is not open to the fact that I can take a moral stand, even when I base it on a truly secular viewpoint. Her vaunted open-mindedness is simply the ability to stand with the majority and condemn an attitude that strikes against the mirror of hedonism. A truly empathetic viewpoint would be to understand that there are those of who will stand up for whatever is right and whatever is good. This stance is not one of hate–it is one of quiet resolve to preserve the fabric of our society against the forces which would eventually unravel it. The condemnation of such activities is an opportunity to show love and regard for our fellow man by providing a workable frame for our children’s future.

    And lest we forget, I do fight against injustices in many posts on this site. I am often promoting the cause of freedom, even at the expense of security. I speak against big business leveraging their economic position to litigate future profits (the RIAA and the MPAA). I argue in favor of military intervention in genocidal wars around the globe to prevent millions from dying of neglect, hunger, and evil. For my trouble, I am told that security is better than freedom, that my complaints against the predations of large companies legitimizes piracy, and that my stance on our role in the globe as the light of democracy and freedom is war-mongering.

    I glory in the title of Pariah. At least in this role, I have learned to think for myself by carefully considering all viewpoints and drawing my own conclusions. I don’t blindly swallow the culture as it is fed to us by our increasingly socialist government or our media.

    I’d rather be a sheepdog than a sheep.

  8. Kate says:

    Actually, Dez. Pete does claim it’s a disease.

    “I would prefer a method to cure the disease rather than isolating the symptoms.”

    Taken from a mailbag post, linked here.

    Another beautiful gem taken from the same post:

    Wow! I’ve made you so angry that you completely forget to attack the issue. *zing* Come closer and let me see if my gaydar goes off.

    You will also see that I’ve made these points before in this post.

    You are absolutely right to feel the way you do! No one can change that, least of all me. However, by throwing an educated tantrum and taking all your toys and going home, shows that you are ultimately dismissing any differing opinions that your original post was yearning to stimulate. Perhaps the next time you’d like to make a hard and fast statement to which everyone must adhere, you should close your commenting section.

    Yah, that one is from me.

    I have never disrespected anyone here for their religious beliefs, and furthermore, I have never tried to change any one’s mind when it comes to their faith. So before you start throwing out insults about my inability to see things the way you do, and therefore making me evil and approving of hedonism and sin, well, I think you better look at your definitions of each, because it is quite clear that our meanings of the same words are vastly different.

    Pete’s Beliefs minus Kate’s Beliefs does not equal Kate being evil, or an ideological whore, or sheep in the face what you deem to be wrong.

  9. Mr. Chris says:

    Here is a post regarding a conversation between my daughter and I. It is the portrait of a sheep. Compare it to Kate’s posts on homosexuality and tolerance. Look it how they both justify their positions. Kate isn’t a sheep.

    ..oh wait. This is the portrait of a sheep.

  10. Shawn Powers says:

    Bear with me for a brief interlude:

    My wife and I recently got a puppy. This puppy is cute, but not terribly bright. Either that, or it’s very bright, and I’m not giving it enough credit. This dog is HORRIBLE to housebreak. It doesn’t want to go outside to relieve itself. It’s cold outside. (I’m suspicious that it’s dumb, because it rather enjoy’s playing outside). So, we have a puppy that goes to the bathroom in the house. This is WRONG.

    I’m ashamed to admit, that during the housebreaking process, we tried the, “rub the nose it it” thing, and even swatted his bottom a few times because he’s just so dumb. I’m sure you can imagine the success we haven’t had. And there’s my point.

    I’m morally against pooping on the carpet. I’m in fact, vehemently morally against it. And don’t get me started on wet spots and yellow sock stains. BUT, if I really want to make a difference in the world, I need to show my puppy that going to the bathroom outside is better than going inside. Sure, screaming at it enough might stop it from going in my sight, but that will only force it to piddle behind the couch. (This actually happened… ugh) If, however, I show it how much better life will be while housebroken, including all the perks that go along with that (treats, happy owners, being allowed in the bedroom at night), it’s much more likely the dog will housebreak.

    And here’s the ultimate point, the dog must WANT to be housebroken for it to really make a difference. I don’t want the dog to go to the bathroom outside because he’s afraid of me, but rather I want him to go to the bathroom outside to impress me. And improve his life.

    I think tolerance and patience are all too often lumped together. They are very, VERY different.

    (Note: Please don’t take this as a smack down, it wasn’t intended as such.)

  11. Pete says:

    Chris,

    The current philosophies of ethics say that, like mathematics, they are intellectual constructs that provide a frame of reference for our relationship with our physical and social environments. Societies that form under different pressures produce different sorts of ethics. These are usually appropriate to the society’s position, level of technology, and demographic make-up. For example, the ethics of a tribe of stone-age primitives in the Amazon differs from that of an industrialized society. There are different rules for familial obligations, modes of behavior, etc. This set of anthropological observations has led many to assume that ethics are first of all relative to the culture, and second of all, evolutionary to a great degree. Does that make sense?

    The problem with this is that if this brand of ethical empiricism is true, then there is little room for religion to contain truth that transcends the human experience. Our religions may provide comfort, but they lack any relevance to our lives beyond the warm feelings we get through ritual and ceremony. I prefer to believe that there are certain absolutes that make the doctrine of experiential ethics questionable. You could argue that these absolutes are discovered through our experience, i.e. it is much better to treat someone fairly than it is to cheat them, but I would strongly urge others to consider that there is another source for these absolutes. Perhaps it comes from the soul/spirit, or perhaps it comes from the physiological process that makes consciousness possible. It depends on how you take your religion.

    Kate,

    You’ve done a lovely job of taking comments out of context. I do claim that homosexuality is a disease, but only a social one. I am not convinced of a biological underpinning for this type of behavior (again, please allow an appeal to my authority as a scientist). This is a disease that, like I previously referenced in the post you so graciously linked, runs the risk of contributing to the destruction of the nuclear family unit. Furthermore, this is a symptom of our culture becoming more Epicurean. Historically, societies that are in this state have entered the stage where they show signs of rot. Consider Athens, consider the Roman Republic, and then consider the Byzantine Empire. All of these societies became more concerned with pleasure than with the work needed to maintain a society. They fell either to themselves or to outside invaders.

    Also, as you know from our discussions on promoting the site, the mailbags were initially intended to be snarky for the amusement of others. It was only at the request of people who emailed (who wished their comments to remain private) that I stopped that segment on the site.

    I haven’t labeled you as evil, although I do think you are behaving in a remarkably sheep-like fashion. Your comfortable pluralilsm contributes to our society’s slide into the abyss; the real crime of this (or the real evil of it) is that you are blissfully unaware of how your actions are contributing to the future that your children are going to inherit. You lack the perspectives of history to make value judgements about your close-minded tolerance. I know from previous discussions with you involving religion that there is nothing like a religious discussion that will make you defensive and clam up tighter than a…clam. If that isn’t the very definition of being close-minded, I don’t know what is.

    The problem with people in your position is that you are motivated by fear. You are afraid to take a stand simply because the act of taking a stand sets people against you. By taking no stand, you can’t irritate anyone. Everyone can peacefully co-exist in their quest for what feels good. The problem with this is that we can all peacefully co-exist on our road to ruin. This attitude is framed as being selfless by the implication that you are willing to live and let live. In reality, this attitude is the very height of selfishness, because this philosophy allows the personal pursuit of pleasure to the exclusion of all else. If everyone seeks their own definition of what feels good, who trumps whom? What happens when as a society, we lose the drive to grow, expand, and become better? I think we’re beginning to reap the fruit of this with inflation, voter apathy, and declining performance in schools and universities.

    If you want to know the real reason why we’re destined for a dark dystopian future, you have only to look in the mirror to find out. I see the same tendencies in my own reflection, which is why I have committed myself to fighting for what I can from the small soapbox that I have. It will probably never be enough to stem the tide, but at least I can go to sleep at night knowing that I tried. That’s what makes me a sheepdog and not a sheep.

  12. Kate says:

    Well served, Pete.

  13. Dez says:

    This is, quite possibly, the best topic yet. Thanks, Pete!

    Kate, I stand somewhat corrected concerning the disease comment. I believed Pete to be using a metaphor, hence my response. But since Pete is using the term to illustrate social function, not biological, it still is a metaphor, and the remainder of my commentary in that paragraph stands.

    My comment concerning ideological whoredom was not directed at you, so please don’t get your hackles up. I was merely warning Pete not to go with the flow. When one starts to look to the mob for approval, one eventually sells out… either to please the mob, appease it, or avoid pain. I essentially placed myself on the same level. Why should Pete look to my words or support? My opinions (or anyone else’s) won’t legitimize Pete’s stance. The numbers of one’s supporters don’t legitimize a cause, else Nazism would be considered legitimate from the weight of the millions that followed it (and still do). By my statements I was telling Pete to expect to stand alone, not tearing you down. In sincerity and humbleness, I had no design to attack your feelings or anyone else’s. Your voice is valuable to be heard, even if I don’t agree with it. (I have no right to say so, but I think Pete would agree with that.) The problem is, that “tolerant” and ethically relativistic people will never give me the same courtesy. They crush any opposition that does not hold to their “party line”… and not by debate, or a free exchange of ideas, but by character assassination (“bigot”, “racist”, “homophobe”, etc.)

    Concerning Eugenics, this is how I started my paragraph:

    I know that it was not Kate’s intent, but I would take care with how I throw around the term “population control.”

    Yes, I said it was not Kate’s intent. Though I am ignorant of the literature you referred to, I was aware that you were borrowing imagery. But since not everyone has read this work, and has knowledge of the framework from which you drew, I sought to nip a problematic phrase, not your opinions. But with your brief illustration of the work, I see the same spirit in this book as in the eugenics program Action 4… forced changes to meet the ideological goals of the state, all in the name of doing what is best for the human race. I don’t accept the Star Trek mantra of “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” The needs of the many are often self-serving and self-destructive. The needs of the many are too often the needs of the mob.

    Social or political change that comes about from mob mentality never seeks a high standard. It seeks the momentary satisfaction of the mob. Such is not evolutionary thought or ethics, but devolutionary. The best (with a mob) that can be hoped for is status-quo (equilibrium). The vaunted “French revolution” taught us that the mob is an equal opportunity murderer of life, liberty, and thought. Indeed, it took a military dictatorship (ironic) to restore order out of years of violent blood-baths perpetrated in the name of “the people” and claiming the lofty goals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Liberty, equality, and fraternity were available only if you held the party line (and even then they were illusory, for to fearfully sublimate yourself to the whims of the party in power refutes that such rights ever existed).

    So this subject, that Pete has drawn us to, of relative morality, political correctness, and intolerance is quite important. Those who hold to the notion that truth, justice, ethics, etc. are subjective are in power once again. They have the numbers, and the attitude of a bully. How long before the bully becomes a butcher? What would history tell you?

  14. Dez says:

    Not to contradict Pete, as I enjoy the historical picture he was drawing when he referred to Epicurean philosophy, but…

    Epicurus did consider that the physical world is the only reality (completely denying anything spiritual). He did propose embracing sensual delights. However, as Hedonists went to the extreme, Epicurus argued that in the quest for happiness and pleasure, one needed to embrace goodness and justice. I agree, in part, to Pete’s opinion concerning our culture becoming more Epicurean. Where I disagree is that I believe it to be Hedonism that is being pursued. There seems to be no sense of seeking goodness or justice without ulterior motive or an immediate personal benefit. Counter-balance this with the arch-foes of the Epicureans in ancient Athens, the Stoics… who taught high moral standards, devotion to duty, and an all pervasive spiritual “Logos” (reason, intelligence, spoken forth) that animated the universe. Though I am not an atheist (like the Epicurean) or a pantheist (like the Stoic) the philosophical battle-lines are (though simplistically presented here) astonishingly similar.

  15. Kate says:

    Damn Dez, if we ever form a debate team, I want you and Pete on it. :)

  16. Dez says:

    I consider that a great compliment, Kate. Thank you. :) In response, if I need to light a fire of passion under someone, I’ll call you… but not Pete… he has cooties.

  17. Catalyst22 says:

    Man I wish I had more time to get in on this discussion by writting, proof reading, and posting my thoughts. I don’t, so please forgive any gramatical errors.

    Homosexuality is a perversion that some say draws its roots from genetics. The same people who draw this conclusion also feal they have isolated the gene for Alcoholism.

    I fear the possibility that my children or my children’s children may end up with both genes and be flaming alcoholics and I’d have to understand that “they can’t help it”.

    A scientificaly proven “natural urge” toward something doesn’t mean that it is ok to give into that urge even when we feal that it isn’t effecting others… sadly everything we do effects others.

    Homosexuality is a crime against humanity.

  18. Dez says:

    Speaking of lighting a fire… Catalyst, you are incendiary!

  19. catalyst22 says:

    I’m also impotent, thats why I dress impotent.

  20. Pete says:

    I think you mean “important.”

  21. catalyst22 says:

    No, I CAN have kids…dumbass…

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