Ethics of Homosexuality
Homosexuality has always been a controversial topic of ethical discussion - Ethics of Homosexuality introduction. The morality of the subject depends completely upon a person’s views. A person is often swayed one way or another and religion often plays a very large role on the subject. There are those who believe in the divine command theory and those who believe in the natural law theory. In order to properly understand either theory it is important to know the meaning behind each. According to , divine command theory can be used to refer to any one of a family of related ethical theories. What these theories have in common is that they take God’s will to be the foundation of ethics. According to divine command theory, things are morally good or bad, or morally obligatory, permissible, or prohibited, solely because of God’s will or commands. Both the new and old testaments argue that homosexuality is morally wrong and those who take part are an abomination. Those who follow the divine command theory often fall back on their religion as reasoning for their stance on homosexuality.
The natural law theory does not involve God’s will and instead is dictated by nature itself. According to , natural law is a law or body of laws that derives from nature and is believed to be binding upon human actions apart from or in conjunction with laws established by human authority. If it occurs in nature then humans are subject to the natural law. One theory relies on the word of God while the other relies on the natural order of nature itself. According to passages from the bible, homosexuality is morally unacceptable and is to be avoided; however, it seems that those who follow the divine command theory often choose which passages to uphold and which passages to ignore. For example, the bible states in Leviticus 20:13 that “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” . This passage is often quoted by those who are against homosexuality, yet these same people are likely still eating pork which is also to be avoided according to the bible, “The pig…is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not tough; they are unclean for you.” . It is interesting that certain verses are upheld, while others are not. When it comes to natural law, there is no God advising of moral or immoral acts, the theory simply relies on nature. If something occurs naturally in nature, then it would stand to occur naturally for a human as humans are part of the natural order of the world. Homosexuality is prevalent in the natural world, according to homosexual behavior has been observed in 1,500 animal species. Everything from mammals to crabs and worms. The actual number is of course much higher. Among some animals homosexual behavior is rare, some having sex with the same gender only a part of their life, while other animals, such as the dwarf chimpanzee, homosexuality is practiced throughout their lives. Animals that live a completely homosexual life can also be found. This occurs especially among birds that will pair with one partner for life, which is the case with geese and ducks. Four to five percent of the couples are homosexual.
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Single females will lay eggs in a homosexual pair’s nest. It has been observed that the homosexual couple are often better at raising the young than heterosexual couples. While religion is important for many to lead a meaningful and moral life, the verses cannot always be taken as they are written. John Corvino stated “We must pay attention to morally relevant cultural differences between biblical times and today” (Corvino, 2012). The bible was written long after Christ died and long before modern times and modern notions evolved, to assume the bible applies now, as it did then, could be a potential fallacy. If one is to live by the word of God, they should uphold all verses and not just those that they deem applicable. The natural law does not rely on scripture that was written hundreds of years ago, it relies on the here and now. It would be incorrect to believe something that was written in a different time and that does not apply to this day and age. Homosexuality is natural, it occurs regularly in nature and therefore is natural for the human species to engage in.
Corvino, J. (2012). Why Shouldn’t Tommy and Jim Have Sex? A Defense of Homosexuality. In R. Shafer-Landau, The Ethical Life (p. 247). New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. Hagler, F. (n.d.). What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality? 12 Bible Verses About Gay Marriage. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from PolicyMic: