1. Civil rights, human
rights, discrimination, including via sexual preference: no existential issue;
solely matters of form; therefore, at least in theory, resolvable.
Given equality, we should all have the right to live our lives as we please (within
reasonable ethical constraints), and also the ability to fulfill our various needs.
However, as was described earlier, a right is nothing if it is not won. The motivations
to deny rights and equality are many, and must constantly be combatted.
The issues that are under consideration here reflect the problems that arise when
the choices of the majority (or of those people in power, especially with media
power), conflict with those of a minority or of individuals. For instance, some
people have suggested that the society that yields the greatest happiness to the
greatest number of people is the best. This is the so-called greatest good
argument, and we can see clearly that it uses the end as the sole measuring stick.
There is no consideration of the means, and it therefore supports a society that
in achieving happiness for the many also yields great unhappiness, through oppression
and even slavery, for the few. But this is not justice, or equality. Indeed, if
the system is unjust, any individual has the right to rebel against it. The will
of the majority, even a majority equal to the entire population less one, becomes
a tyranny, if it is directed at forcing that one person to act in a way which
deprives them of their rights or which causes them injury. You have a right to
oppose that which you do not support, including fighting in a war, or the use
of your taxes for such an effort, even to paying taxes at all, or to being a national
or a citizen.
The one thing that doesnt abide by majority rule is a persons
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
For the members of groups that are the subject of discrimination, if to have their
identity, to be black, or gay, or of an above average size, is not the end of
their world, then why should it be the end of yours? Give them, and yourself,
a break. Learn to see them as people, as individuals.
I would also comment here on the social consequences of sexual discrimination.
Men have the power, but this is the power over our social institutions. Even though
women have been forced to accept (for the time being) an inferior role in this
regard, this does not mean that they are powerless. They recognize their subjugation,
and use their will to fight back. In many societies women have the final say over
the choice of a mate, and this is great power indeed. And, in relationships (heterosexual
relationships) where men consciously or unconsciously subordinate their partners
(or ignore them), women fight this as well. Their desire for equal status is the
main factor behind the prevalence of power conflicts in these relationships. But
in general they are not to blame for such conflicts. They simply refuse to be
victims, and use their will to fight against it.
One could also say, because of this imbalance, which is so common, that as a species
we are only just beginning to learn how to love.
In addition, one can make the case that men seek adventure to a greater extent
than women, and that women want children more than men. Furthermore, the widespread
production of children leads to a settled society. Our society is settled. Hence,
women do have power, and they have exercised it, and through this gotten some
of what they need.
For discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex, age, etc., this is the end of
the story, but additional complications, and forms, arise with obesity and homosexuality.
For the first, the question must be asked: what does the fact that so many people
in developed societies are seriously obese (or addicted to drugs or gambling or
status) signify? What this represents is a lack of individual and social development.
We are stagnating. We can feed ourselves; now what? The answer: eat more! We are
not finding real ways to grow. Our focus on success rather than on knowledge has
left us at a dead end.
Regarding homosexuality, it is a special case because it is viewed as a non-traditional
or non-standard minority trait (compared to race, ethnicity, etc.).
Because of this, different people react to it, and seek to explain it, and exploit
it, in different ways. For example, some people, including many adherents of Christianity
and Islam, view it as an aberration which must be cured
(or at a minimum not tolerated). To them, homosexuality is a determined form,
with genetic or environmental links. They do not allow for the possibility of
will, i.e., that individuals could choose to be gay or, in those cases where it
is a genetically or even environmentally based trait, that they would willingly
accept this as part of their nature. These people are seeking to impose their
form, their judgment, for whatever reasons, and this must be resisted. It is important
to note that many societies around the world accept homosexuality openly, without
any bias at all, and that this does not degrade their balance or the values of
family. Also, if such people are successful in their attempts to manipulate us,
to get us to view homosexuality as a disease which must be cured,
by whatever means, this opens the way to labeling any personal characteristic
as a problem, with a similar demand for its elimination.
(I would say, though, that the possibility of a link between the dumping of estrogen-like
chemicals into the environment and the prevalence of homosexuality, and not only
in our species, is deserving of serious study.)