Sunday 28 December 2014

Once again on gay relationships and gay marriages

Just now a friend of mine spoke to me on telephone and questioned me about my views on gay relationships.

 I said that I am against penalizing or physically attacking gay people. But I certainly regard gay relationships as unnatural, and i regard this fad of regarding gay relationships as a sign of ' modernity ' as silly.

He asked me to clarify. I said that let us consider this step by step, like a mathematical theorem.

Step no. 1
 Is it, or is it not, correct that there is a law of nature that while individuals may die,the species must continue ?
He conceded that step

Step no. 2
 Is it,or is it not, correct that in fulfilling this law of nature the main role is that of the woman, because it is she who has to conceive the child, bear it in her body for 9 months, then give birth to it, and later rear it ( though in this last function the husband also plays a role ) ?
He conceded this too

Step no. 3
Since it is the woman.who plays the main role in continuing the species, does it not logically follow from step no. 2 that, leaving aside exceptions, every woman has a strong urge to have a child ?

 As regards surrogate children, this may be because the woman may have some medical problem of retaining the foetus in her womb after it is conceived. And if she cannot have a child despite medical treatment she can always adopt a child.
 My friend had some doubts about this third step, saying that some women do not want children, but when I pointed out that the third step logically flowed from the second, and that women who do not want to have children are rare exceptions, he had to agree.

Step no. 4
 To have a child, a woman has to be impregnated by a man. Surely a woman cannot impregnate another woman.
 Of course a woman may be artificially inseminated, but is that the normal way ? I have spoken to several women, and they agree that they would not want artificial insemination but in the natural way.

Step no. 5
 It follows that gay relationships are unnatural
 One of the purposes of marriage is to have children. But how can two persons have children if they belong to the same sex ?
 I,however repeat that I am not in favour of punishing gays or attacking them. i am a democrat, and in favour of freedom. So let people do whatever they wish. But I too should have the freedom of expressing my view, for which I have given reasons, without being subjected to a barrage of abuses, invective and calumny, and being called crazy, backward, a homophobe, an idiot or retarded


  1. Dear JUSTICE K.,

    Following your style of "mathematical theorems," I posit as below -

    Theorem: Recognition of gay marriage promotes the survival of the human race.

    Steps of proof:

    1. Is it ("or is it not"!) true that human beings can destroy many more lives than can be created by human reproduction in a corresponding amount of time? Preservation of human life on Earth depends on preventing large-scale calamities as much as ensuring a steady level of reproduction.
    Yes and Yes, you'd say.
    (Even G B Shaw would have issued a quote to that effect, if the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had happened earlier in his life. He would not have needed to stay alive to see the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the massacres in Rwanda.)

    2. Is it true that discord between groups of human beings can trigger calamitous destruction of human life?
    I think you would concur.
    (Witness the actions of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Osama Bin Laden and their supporters.)

    3. Is it true that human discord is driven by factors such as religious intolerance, apartheid, or the failure to recognize social needs (including sexual preferences), and that human discord is inversely proportional to human happiness?
    As a JUSTICE, you would say yes.
    (To help you answer in the affirmative, I quote GBS - "A happy family is but an earlier heaven.")

    4. Does recognition of the needs of *groups* of humans, say, by banning apartheid or by recognizing gay marriage rights, increase the Average Happy Level of the Earth?
    Yes, of course, you should say.

    Follow the logic, and you will see that we have a "Q.E.D."

    C'mon Justice, change your stance!
    Fear not, just the wrath of law that would befall you, if you go about "penalizing or physically attacking gay people." (Admit it - but for the law, at least in some countries, you'd smack those gay people upside their heads.)
    Fear the extinction of the human race.

  2. Our sciences are not exact. There are paradigm shifts. One theory gets refuted by another. At the same time, it is one thing to sit in a room and think about what is nature and not nature, a whole different thing to actually conduct empirical studies, tests and observations. Scientists are still studying non-heterosexual behaviour in animals and there is still more to do.
    That is one thing. Secondly, if I am allowed to say, I think the word "natural" has been misused and confused in a lot of stances. I think, as Socrates would have it, some of our problems are also problems of words. Let us think "what is natural?" What does “natural” mean?
    1. When we say “nature”, we have many images in our mind: the trees, the animals. So, one can say natural is that which is not forged. Buildings are unnatural, machines are unnatural.
    2. But animals do build their own homes, ants make mounds, so do humans. Then, we will have to differentiate “nature” from “natural” behavior.
    3. There is another meaning of “natural”. When we say something is “abnormal”, we say it is not “natural”. If we see a white elephant, we would say it is not “natural”. Here, we confuse, “natural” with “statistical occurrence”. So, that which is more in number is “natural”, the rest “unnatural”.
    4. At times, by “natural”, we also mean being “non-human”. If someone doesn’t behave civil or acts without rational judgement, we would say he/she is crude, natural.
    There are many problems with these connotations. The first problem obviously is that, human beings, having had the power to think, are the only ones to think about what is “natural”. Here, there is a doubt as to who can claim what is “natural”. At one time, some thought that women can’t do some of the men’s work, because it’s in their “nature” to be not able to do such work. But they have proved it wrong.
    Secondly, there are obvious problems with the meanings provided above. The tailor bird makes its unique nest; it is forged, is that artificial or “natural”? We cut down trees, and destroy our environment, to satisfy our greed. Is that artificial or “natural”? Also, that which is “natural” is not always good. Animals fight and kill each other. There is the argument of survival of the fittest. Using such arguments, Hitler annihilated 6 million Jews. Science may say what is natural, but that is not always good. It is also because science is a discipline, it needs to be improved, not believed in like a dogma.
    In that sense, population theories are also theories, they are not exact. It is true that survival of a species depends on reproduction. But a species has many other characteristics. It has led us to ask what function these might lend. For a long time, scientists didn’t know why a certain animal had a fan shaped protrusion on its neck, which was not strong enough to fight with. Then, they knew that it was meant to attract mates. Here, we also see a change in perspective, if the question is fighting, then something seems “unnatural”, but if the question is about selection, then it is very much “natural”.
    Homosexuality has lesser statistical occurrences than heterosexuality. So, it is “infrequent”, but certainly not “unnatural”, since it is found in “nature”. If our question is at all about the survival of the species, who knows, perhaps there is some function of this behavior! That we will have to find out inductively, not deductively from existing and obsolete notions of species survival.
    I appreciate your point that intellectuals have a role to play, and we do hope that to happen in all issues.

    1. I think there were similar problems even in Justice Singhavi's verdict. The definition of 'unnatural', for argument's sake, was logically acceptable when he initially defines it as a taxonomic division between the kinds of sexual acts. But towards the end, he himself confuses an "act" with the "use" of the "act", so that he ended up discussing only cases of rape. If such is the case, then, anyone could write up a similar verdict describing cases of rape and declaring heterosexual sexual activity as criminal. Also, it is clear that the law is about "acts" not "sexuality", so that quote-unquote unnatural offences impinge on all, gay or straight. I wonder why the verdict was not thoroughly discussed. Perhaps, everyone was too busy for the elections, but now that elections are over, the verdict needs to be rediscussed.

  3. Dear Sir,
    Similar to your line of reasoning based on "naturality", an opposing line of reasoning can be created. Doesn't nature come up with mutations / evolutions to control some species / phenomenon which is growing excessively. There is no doubt that our population is growing excessively.

    I don't know if any research group has substantiated this, but the bigger point is that some of these things are beyond logic and maybe current findings of science, and rather need to be looked at from humanitarian angle.