Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nature versus Nurture

For me the nature-vs-nurture debate, though theoretically interesting, is kind of a dead end.

I mean, who cares?

That women and blacks are so by nature did nothing to ensure their full equality in society for hundreds of years.

And even if homosexuality were just a free and arbitrary choice, like which brand of toothpaste to buy, who is to say I don't have the right to make that free and arbitrary choice, provided it doesn't hurt anyone? (I know, I know, a lot of people will say I have no right at all to make that choice.)

My only concern is that one day I may be forced to choose whether I want the Christian evangelicals or the Islamo-fascists to condemn me to death as either a genetic defect or a flagrant libertine--both have their appeal, but (call me perverse) I would rather go down as another Casanova than as the Elephant Man.

When I first started teaching at a college in Savannah, a colleague left an article in my mailbox questioning whether homosexuality is psychologically normal.

Later, he asked me whether I had read the article and what I thought of it, and I responded, "I have never considered normalcy a particularly high aspiration."

He smiled and took my point.

And I would say the same thing to this day.

By the way, this same colleague, an ex-hippie turned Limbaugh ditto-head, later shared an office with me and hung a poster that read, "Straight People Have Rights Too," and carried a loaded gun with him around campus--which he later used to kill himself ... so much for the psychological debate, eh? (RIP Lloyd.)

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