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Cross posted at http://www.peaceisactive.com

General Peter Pace, the top US military officer, recently said, "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.... I do not believe that the armed forces of the United States are well served by a saying through our policies that it's OK to be immoral in any way."


Human judgements of morality have led to many poor decisions throughout history.  Burning women at the stake was the "moral" thing to do.  Invading and attacking foreign lands is often justified as the "moral" thing to do no matter who is doing the attacking.  Keeping slaves was often considered the "moral" thing to do.  I'm sure the Nazis thought they were upholding their "morality" as they slaughtered millions of Jews.

The question is who defines what "morality" is.  Humans have many ways of determining morality.  It comes from tradition, religion, culture, historical events, etc...  Sometimes morality is determined based on false information or misunderstandings.  Galileo was ruled to be immoral when he argued that the Earth was not the center of the universe.  He was punished for his immorality by the leaders of his time.


In the case of homosexuality, General Pace argues that he knows what is moral and immoral.  He has ruled that homosexuality is an immoral act.


Where does his judgement come from?  He may be making his judgement based on his background or maybe his religion or maybe from his personal experiences.  I have no idea if he thinks his God is supportive of his decision.


I would not claim to speak for God, nor would I claim to know the intentions of God.  I would, however, argue that religious judgements against homosexuality are more human than divine.


Most people consider "God" to be the creator of all living things.  If this is true, we might want to ask ourselves if animals have the ability to be immoral and if God is immoral for creating animals that are homosexual.


Here's a quote from Wikipedia: "Homosexual behavior does occur in the animal kingdom, especially in social species, particularly in marine birds and mammals, monkeys and the great apes. Homosexual behavior has been observed among 1,500 species, and in 500 of those it is well documented." http://en.wikipedia....


I don't think these animals are choosing to be homosexual.  I also don't think these animals are immoral.


There are other ways to argue for and against the "morality" of homosexuality, but I have always considered the example of animal homosexuality as being convincing.  Human judgements of homosexuality being immoral is full of cultural bias, misunderstandings, and the usual lashing out at things that are different from what we are used to.


The lesson in this story is that major decisions are made based on what is considered to be moral.  General Pace is making decisions based on his own view of morality.  In addition to making public judgements about homosexuality, he also is ordering troops to kill people he considers to be evil.  If he is wrong about the morality of homosexuality, should we trust him with deciding who to kill?  Should we agree with him that the best strategy is to put millions of people out of work and then kill them when they fight against the decisions that have led to the disintegration of their country? 

Originally posted to nathan andover on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:21 PM PDT.

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