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Author Topic: Homosexuality, Morality, and AIDS
Wayward Son
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Here is my logic on why the morality of homosexuality and AIDS are unrelated.

Regardless of the arguments, there are only three ways that AIDS (or any disease) can relate to morality:

1. Having the disease is immoral.
2. Having the disease is moral.
3. Having the disease is amoral—it neither indicates morality or immorality.

Now, I have never heard anyone try to argue the second statement (although I would be curious to see someone try ), so we can ignore that.

If the prevalence of AIDS indicates that homosexuality is immoral, it would conversely indicate that heterosexuality is more moral, since there is less of a prevalence of AIDS in that community. It is a simple correlation: more disease, more immoral; less disease, less immoral.

The problem is that all of homosexuality is lumped together in this argument. Yet all homosexuality is not the same. There is male homosexuals and female, and there is a difference in AIDS prevalence between the two groups.

Although male homosexuals, as a group, have a higher incidence of AIDS than heterosexuals in general, I believe that female homosexuals have a lower incidence than either group. This is because AIDS does not spread as readily as through female homosexual acts as through male homosexual acts or through heterosexual acts.

Thus, if one takes the stance that the prevalence of AIDS indicates relative morality, then it leads to the conclusion that female homosexuality is more moral than heterosexuality.

What seems more logical to me is the third statement, that AIDS does not indicate anything about morality. The act that gave someone the disease—whether it was a sexual act, needle-sharing, or using tainted blood—may be either moral or immoral, but the presence of AIDS does not indicate either. It simply indicates that certain acts are vectors for spreading the disease. Morality is independent of those acts.

Admittedly, this is quite simple logic, and I look forward to seeing someone poke some holes in it. But until someone does show me how this is not logical, I would ask anyone who states that AIDS shows that homosexuality is immoral to qualify their statement with the fact that AIDS shows that lesbianism is more moral than heterosexuality, too.


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Baldar
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You make the mistake from you first assumption. Having a disease is not immoral, so the rest kind of falls apart.
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Wayward Son
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That is precisely the point, Baldar. Yet some still presist in using AIDS as an indicator of immorality. Just review the recent homosexuality threads.
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Baldar
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I think you are mistaking the irresponsible process of spreading AIDS with the disease itself.
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Wayward Son
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No, I am pointing out that some mistake the irresponsible process of spreading AIDS with homosexuality itself.
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Baldar
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While you ignore the fact that (per scientific americaa) nine AIDS cases develop in the homosexual community for every single case that develops in the straight community. That is irresponsible and indicative of irresponsibility that is not reviewed by the leadership of the gay community. The same way African-American leaders often refuse to address racism within their communities.
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Baldar
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To be gay is not irresponsible, but to be gay does entail an additional responsibility for a disease that devestates your community. I don't know anyone here who has ever said being gay, is of itself an irresponsible act.
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Everard
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*Walks away muttering*
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Locus
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Hahahahaha...


Ok ..After I found myself taking these immoral disease discussions too seriously I took a couple days off ...and now I have my sense of humour back.

If engaging in irresponsible behavior which possibly spreads a fatal disease makes you immoral/evil/satanic/a very not nice person, we're all looking at very uncomfortable spots reserved for us in your afterlife of choice.

The "common cold" in its various incarnations kills more people than any other disease I can think of yet we all insist on breaking quarantine, are sloppy hand washers, and sneeze all over the place on a whim. What a crappy evil race we're members of


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Baldar
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Locus I suggest you learn the question of degrees in your answer. Not all illnesses kill and not all actions that spread an illness like the cold kills others.

I think that those who practice unsafe sex in the heterosexual community are also evil for their actions because they could potentially kill others.

Spreading a cold has a much less likely chance of killing someone than a cold. I think you know that, try to factor that in with your responses, it will make your position (whatever it is) more solidly based. You will have to also show me how the common cold kills more people than AIDS, especially given the fact that AIDS has a higher kill rate for those who catch it than the common cold. If AIDS were to become airborne then your position would be correct.

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited October 14, 2002).]


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TomDavidson
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So, can we all agree that two unafflicted homosexual men in a monogamous relationship are NOT doing anything immoral?

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Locus
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Score:

Influenza 63,730

HIV 14,802


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Baldar
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I wonder what the kill rate of a flu compared to AIDS is? Or in other words, if the same number of people who caught the flu developed full blown AIDs, what percentage would die?

You interpetations of the numbers is really an illusion.

Tom:

If two monogamous gay men engage in a long term relationship, I believe for religious reasons it is immoral, however, I also believe that immorality is responsibly acted upon. You might say live and let live, they are not hurting anyone by it (including themselves).


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msquared
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Eddie,

I do not think Baldar has said much about people who accidentally spread AIDS(HIV). If a person got a blood transfusion back in the 80's and then spread the virus becuase he did not know he was infected from the transfusion, I would not call that evil. If a person is infected and knows it but still sleeps around and does not tell his/her partners that they are HIV positive, then that person could be considered evil.

Flu kills a lower percentage of it victims but is much more contagious, so more people die from it. Also, it kills less people in places with a higher standard of living since these places tend to have a higher level of health.

msquared


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Baldar
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What MS said is correct, I do not count accidental spreading of the disease as being irresponsible. The operative word is responsibility, being cognitive, knowing that what you are doing will most likely kill someone else or in the very least give them a disease which will debilitate them for life.

Trying to stretch cognitive action to cover accidents is false.


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Baldar
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No one claims leadership of those who are flue suceptible. I can name a number of groups that claim to speak for the gay community though.

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited October 15, 2002).]


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Locus
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Accidental transmissions are irrelevant. My argument stands on the assumption that both disease vectors were intentional irresponsibility.

"I wonder what the kill rate of a flu compared to AIDS is."

Your biases are bleeding through all over the page. If could give someone HIV during sex and due to some strange miracle they never contract it ..does that make the act less evil? If you give someone syphillis but they don't die from it because it's caught and they're cured...does that absolve you from guilt? If you practice safe sex but HIV is contracted anyway ..does that make it evil?

The numbers are an illusion? If I were looking to hide behind obfuscation I would have pointed out that HIV is rarely if ever fatal.

I indicated a disease which kills more people than HIV and is spread thoughtlessly by virtually everyone in society. The difference between the two is the cold doesn't need a consenting partner to recieve it. That makes spreading Influenza even worse...you give it to people who have no say in the matter. The HIV equivalent would be raping someone to give them the disease(or injecting them with your bodily fluids).


From my end of the discussion it appears that you're letting the sexual element of the disease cloud your reasoning. The actions of the Red Cross spread the disease around to COUNTLESS people. Does that make their organization evil ? Maybe it's blood transfusions that are wrong ..*grin* here we get back to religious beliefs again ..

If you get the blood of an "evil homosexual" during an operation ...what part evil does that make you?

I'm glad these are conundrums I don't have to deal with in my everyday life(aside from when Jehovah's witness recruiters appear on my doorstep). Morals are so subjective. Do you think Hitler thought of killing Jews as immoral?

So many threads on this forum seem to be trying to nail down morality as a constant. Why? Is it to open a gateway to religious discussion?

Back to that irresponsibility thing. Plenty of homosexuals (both HIV positive and negative) travel the country lecturing on safe sex practices. Most of the "gay community leaders" are the most vocal part of our society for safe sex practices.

On a different note..a week ago I got a virus in my email. It bounced off harmlessly of course...but ...in this line of questioning ..wouldn't that make the majority (Microsoft users) immoral for continuing to use a virus plagued OS and such security vulnerable software..thus perpetuating the spread of computer "diseases" around the net?


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Baldar
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Wrong again. HIV was extremely fatal in the beginning, and without the present cocktails it will again be fatal, even with the present level of medical help available in the US, it appears AIDS is adapting to the newer drugs and more resistant to treatment. No, that would a worthless statement to say that AIDS is rarely fatal, and a very false one at that. You will find the incidence of those who contracted AIDS to die much more often as a percentage of exposure that those exposed to the flu. Check your facts.

quote:
I indicated a disease which kills more people than HIV and is spread thoughtlessly by virtually everyone in society. The difference between the two is the cold doesn't need a consenting partner to recieve it. That makes spreading Influenza even worse...you give it to people who have no say in the matter. The HIV equivalent would be raping someone to give them the disease(or injecting them with your bodily fluids).

Take a statistics class, it will help you. As a percentage of exposure, AIDS is exponentially more dangerous than the flu. Or are you suggesting that perhaps the flu is more dangerous than AIDS? I might suggest a number of doctors who disagree with you. I don't believe you will find much support for our position in the medical community.

quote:
From my end of the discussion it appears that you're letting the sexual element of the disease cloud your reasoning. The actions of the Red Cross spread the disease around to COUNTLESS people. Does that make their organization evil ? Maybe it's blood transfusions that are wrong ..*grin* here we get back to religious beliefs again ..

You seem to blithely forget the cognitive aspect I mentioned to Eddie. The Red cross by accident did contribute to the spread, but when it realized its error corrected the action (the same is presently being done with hepetitus). A counter example is France where the French medical leadership knowingly spread the AIDS virus through blood transfusions knowing what would happen. These leaders were all given lengthy (for France) prison terms.

You seem intent of labeling homosexuals as evil, or attempting to frame me in that light. Both are erroneous. While I view homosexuality as immoral, I do not view homosexuals as evil since immorality and evil are not always the same. I do view knowingly acting in such a way as to put someone else's life at risk, someone who has chosen to be intimate with another person, and hence, placing thier trust in that person, that truly is evil. I can't see how you can misunderstand that.

quote:
Morals are so subjective. Do you think Hitler thought of killing Jews as immoral?

If you believe in objective truth yes. But you seem to be a moral relativist. So your answer of course would be no.

quote:
Plenty of homosexuals (both HIV positive and negative) travel the country lecturing on safe sex practices. Most of the "gay community leaders" are the most vocal part of our society for safe sex practices.

I suggest you read some of the earlier threads, specifically "back to the subject at hand" in which many papers (like the LA Times) have spoken about the lack of leadership in the gay community, condemning the unsafer practices that have increased dramatically.

Your last paragraph is a somewhat tired attempt of bypassing responsibilty versus an accidental infection.


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Locus
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Baldar ...you really don't READ my posts do you? As a matter of fact HIV is NOT usually fatal. Almost everyone who has died as a result of it in fact died of something else.

In the context I wrote it I was not even offering it up as an argument ..I was offering it up in the context of a useless example.

You appear to be trying everything you can to point out the failings of the homosexual community when your own house is in disarray.

HIV is less dangerous than the Flu. I have the complete support of the medical community on that. HIV is a disease so impossible to get that you need to exchange body fluids to contract it.

Again ..intentionally(though "intentional irresponsibility") spreading fatal disease is evil ...how do you answer the Flu argument? Real world....it kills far more people than HIV ..that's the fact ...no fancy stastics...no bending the numbers.


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Baldar
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You really don't know your medicine if you are trying that old snake oil trick that HIV does not kill.

Look here Bio department of university of Indianan

quote:
A brief intro to HIV

* In general, viruses use other cells to replicate their own DNA or RNA - they are essentially parasitic
* HIV parasitizes lymphocytes (white blood cells) called helper T cells
* bind to a protein called CD4
* inject reverse transciptase and some regulators that catalyze the synthesis of viral DNA from an RNA template in the host cell
* viral DNA enters the nucleaus of the cell and causes the nucleas to transcribe the viral genome
* proteins are produced, virion assembled, and they burst out into the bloodstream killing the cell

The human immune system attacks HIV, and essentially kills itself:


macrophages attack the HIV virions, and display an epitope env, which is a part of the HIV genome

helper T cells recognize this specific protein and bind, signalling

1) Killer T cells to attack the env epitope, which causes them to kill all infected helper T cells or

2) B cells bind to env epitope on free virions and produce antibodies; the antibodies bind to free virions, which marke them for destruction by macrophages leading back to 1)


Can you show me a doctor that will tell the world that being HIV+ is preferable and less dangerous than the flu? Are you serious?


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msquared
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Locus,

The fact that HIV does not kill people directly is correct. It lowers the ability of the immune system to fight off other diseases which kills the victim. So some one with HIV/AIDS is more likely, in advance cases, to die of flu than some one with out it. That is true of most of the flu deaths. Very few healthy people die from flu. Most of the deaths from flu are in the demographic of those with weaker immune systems, namely the young, the elderly and those with AIDS.

Again look at the number of people who get the flu in a year and the percentage that die from it. Also look at how easy it is to contract.

msquared


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Baldar
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I think you are dancing on a pin trying to get out of a corral, if I might mix up my analogies a bit. We know HIV is "the precursor" to AIDS and that when you are HIV + and have unsafe sex, you knowingly risk the lives around you. The gay community has recently seen an onset of unsafe sexual practices and an increase in AIDS. AIDS does not happen without being HIV+ so please do not insult us with this position.

If the flu were as dangerous and as often the precursor (as in all the time) of AIDS or another disease that kills, then you can bet people in generally would act responsibly. An example was the polio epidemic. Swimming pools were closed because of the possibility of spreading the disease in public pools. The opposite as I mentioned before, was the way in which the French ministry allowed the spread of HIV+ blood amongst the general populous for use. This is evil.

I suggest you give it more thought.


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Baldar
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quote:
Although twelve years have passed since the identification of HIV as the cause of AIDS, we do not yet know how HIV kills its target, the CD4+ T cell, nor how this killing cripples the immune system. Prominent theories include direct killing of infected CD4+ T cells by the action or accumulation of cytopathic viral DNA, transcripts or proteins, or by virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and indirect killing of uninfected CD4+ T cells (and other immune cells) by autoimmune mechanisms, cytokines, superantigens, or apoptosis. In the past year, studies have provided tantalizing clues as to why infected cells may not die and how these infected cells kill innocent bystander cells.

From

quote:
Indirect mechanisms of HIV pathogenesis: how does HIV kill T cells?

Curr Opin Immunol. 1994 Aug;6(4):605-15. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE MED/95032864
Finkel TH; Banda NK; Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Center for Immunology; and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80206.



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TomDavidson
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Okay, look, you're both either misunderstanding each other or DELIBERATING ignoring each other's points. I'll restate the salient facts for both sides:

1) HIV is more fatal than the flu to those who contract it.

2) The flu is contracted more often than HIV.

3) Deaths due to flu and flu-related complications greatly outnumber deaths due to AIDS, thanks to #2.

4) Consequently, by the logic that suggests homosexual relationships are "evil" because they could possibly and accidentally spread HIV, the Red Cross is at least equally "evil" because it has been known to accidentally spread the flu (and HIV) through blood transfusions.

5) Given that and blood transfusions in general are not inherently evil, it seems unusual to claim that any activity not intended to spread disease (but which has a small but significant chance of spreading disease accidentally) is inherently evil.

6) On that basis, arguing that homosexual males are engaging in "evil" behavior because of their potential as a disease vector would seem to imply that many more serious disease vectors -- like, say, eating in restaurants -- should also be discouraged in society. Logically, too, homosexual FEMALE relationships should be lauded for their reduced vulnerability to disease.

8) That said, deliberately giving anyone a disease -- especially a fatal one -- is immorally sadistic (or psychopathic, depending on motivation).

So, again, let's sum up: opposing homosexuality based on the assumption that one half of its practicioners are more likely to spread a serious disease is not a particularly sound position.


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Falken224
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Okay . . . if we're going to have this discusssion, let's do it right. Let's go by degrees.

Judge whether our person is evil or not in the following scenarios.

1) Person has sex with nobody . . . ever.
2) Person has sex with one partner. No consequences.
3) Person has safe sex with multiple partners . . . no consequences.
4) Person has risky sex with multiple partners . . . no consequences.
5) Person has safe sex with multiple partners, contracts the disease and hides it but through safe sexual practices does not spread it.
6) Person has safe sex w/multi becomes HIV+ has safe sex and accidentally spreads it.
7) Person has safe sex w/multi becomes HIV+ but doesn't know it and accidentally spreads it.
8) Person has risky sex w/many, HIV+, informs partners, engages in safe sex with informed consent, does not spread it.
9) Person has risky sex w/many, HIV+, informs partners, engages in safe sex with informed consent, accidentally spreads it.
10) Risky sex w/many, HIV+, knows it, engages in safe sex without informing partners, does not spread it.
11) Risky sex w/many, HIV+, knows it, engages in safe sex without informing partners, spreads it.
12) Risky sex w/many, HIV+, knows it, engages in uninformed risky sex, does not spread it.
13) Risky sex w/many, HIV+, knows it, engages in uninformed risky sex, spreads it.

Many varying degrees. Anybody who answers all these quesions correctly (i.e. either moral or immoral . . . no in between ground) should reveal rather conclusively the position they're taking.

I suspect people on this thread are misrepresenting their positions whether deliberately or not.

-Nate


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Baldar
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My position is not the following:

Homosexuals are evil
Homosexuals should not have sex

My position is the following:

Irresponsible sex in the homosexual community in particular is evil (by irresponsible I mean that you knowingly are spreading the disease or having unprotected sex with people likely to spread the disease.

While homosexuality is itself immoral, that does not make it evil. Unprotected sex in the homosexual community is evil because it is a key factor in devestating that community.

As a side note, unprotected sex among known drug users, or those who practice "orgies" is also evil regardless of sexual orientation.

I would like to thank Tom for clarifying the issue for me.


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Everard
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"Irresponsible sex in the homosexual community in particular is evil"

What makes it more evil then irresponsible sex in the heterosexual community?


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Baldar
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Irresponsible sex in the gay community is not more evil. It is particularly evil, because it kills more of the gay population per capita. Its like a hate crime in that you have a targeted group.
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Everard
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I'm failing to see the distinction you are making. Perhaps you can try to clear it up for me?
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Baldar
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Particular, as in specific evil.
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Baldar
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Wrong, stop trying to score points (you look ridiculous), and read with understanding.
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Locus
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"Irresponsible sex in the homosexual community in particular is evil (by irresponsible I mean that you knowingly are spreading the disease or having unprotected sex with people likely to spread the disease."

What do people "likely to spread the disease" look like?


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Grant Morgan
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Eddie--

Two screen scrolls after Baldar said "My position is the following: Irresponsible sex in the homosexual community in particular is evil (by irresponsible I mean that you KNOWINGLY are spreading the disease or having unprotected sex with people likely to spread the disease."

you said, "So ACCIDENTALLY spreading AIDS is a hate crime, if it's done by a homosexual."

I can think of only two explanations. Either you're not reading the thread, or you're trying to start another flame war with Baldar .

So which is it?


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msquared
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Grant,

I agee with you. Baldar said that knowingly spreading the disease by any one is evil, accidentally spreading it is not. It does not matter the orientation of the person. However, some one in the homosexual community, which is at greater risk of having the disease present, does, I believe, have a greater responsibility for finding out or telling a prospective partner.

msquared


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TomDavidson
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So, granted that some forms of homosexuality are more risky than others, can we agree that this is a good reason for homosexuals to be more responsible but NOT a good reason to condemn all homosexual behavior?

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Baldar
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Tom:

No, generally for personal moral reasons, one can condemn the action, but allow it to exist. Just as Islam or Judaism condemns the eating of pork, but allows it.


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TomDavidson
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That wasn't my question, Baldar.

I have no argument for people who condemn homosexuality because God tells them it's wrong. There's really no way to argue with people who believe they've heard or otherwise understood the Word of God, as far as I'm concerned.

However, I'd like to point out that this thread has pretty positively established that condemning homosexuality for moral reasons related to its status as a disease vector IS ridiculous, and almost impossible to justify.

Ergo, people who wish to condemn and/or censure homosexuality should find other arguments that are not directly related to AIDS.

Are we agreed on this?


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Baldar
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No I do not condemn homosexuality for the disease (which affects more non homosexuals world wide than homosexuals). I find the practice immoral, but the disease is not "God's punishment" for evil. I don't believe anyone here ever advocated that, actually most of those hostile to my position have attempted to push me into that sphere, making it easier to hate me.

I also believe any and all condemnation I have seen on this thread has been more related to the irresponsiblity of many homosexuals and their leadership in practicing unsafe sex, not homosexuality itself. So your conclusion, while I agree with it, is irrelevant to the conversation since no one has brought such a position up.


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ender wiggin
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It's not irrelevant, he is simply trying to find common ground.
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Everard
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Actually, Baldar, thats untrue. Tigger, for example, has advocated the position that homosexuality is immoral, at least in part, because of AIDS threats.
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