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Naughty by nature?

Would xenophobia be natural in the same way that homosexuality is?

Discussions - 27 Comments

Is this really what a post-2008 election NLT site looks like?

Attacking the question. Clever dodge.

Are all Glenn Beck fans homicidal racists?

(I guess you got your answer, Matt!)

Presumably some are. I presume that many Obama fans are racists too. But how is that on point?

Xenophobia would stem from a misbegotten notion of the love of one's own. Homosexuality (as gay activism) is another type of love of one's own. Both leave out or mutilate final causes or teleology in their views of life. Neither truly respects the notion of human equality understood at its highest. Homosexuality as such does not of course exclude consideration of final causes. It would be difficult to get from xenophobia to final causes. Isn't that the problem of political philosophy in a nutshell?

Is obama a citizen? thats about the same level as saying glenn beck or alex jones inspired the guy in pittsburgh. Do you believe that liberals should take ownership for elf and other eco terrorists groups? The attempt to demonize people like jones now will only build his popularity more because people have more or less given up on the idea of Obama changing things and they are more willing than ever to look outside the mainstream. beck is more or less a guy trying to moderate the extreme views and the attempt to tie this character to jones has already been proven a fraud. The guy went on jone's website and attacked him for being a zionist stooge because jones does not go along with the jews are the cause of all problems crap. BTW, Is Obama a citizen....I don't think he ever made that birth certificate public.

One of the problems of political philosophy in a nutshell is people still believing in 'final causes' while simultaneously and unreconstructed-ly appealing to what is natural. Luckily, the numbers of those who do so are fading fast, and were never as many as we were lead to believe. They will reside one day in the hall of discarded ideas right next to new-earth creationists, and the geniuses still asking for birth certificates.

Back to Adams' question, shall we?

The apparent subjunctive mood of the question puzzles me. What is being asked? The responses only make things more confusing.

Herodotus describes Persian love of one's own dissolving the greater distance one travels from Persia. Does hatred or fear increase? Surely xenophobia is related to love of one's own.

Homosexuality is certainly love of the same--as in same sex. Hence I guess it is a kind of love of one's own. Does it also imply a fear or hatred of that which is other? Surely mom and sis and granny and auntie (for male homosexual love) are part of one's own. Are they not? Does homosexuality imply dislike of mommy or daddy depending on one's own sex?

Would [that] this question made more sense. If it were possible to understand it could perhaps be answered.

I guess I must go listen to Alex Jones--or must I examine the material, formal, efficient, and formal causes regarding xenophobia and homosexuality?

BTW what of homophobia?

That is--final cause.

Homosexuality is in all probability natural to a very small minority and psychologically/biologically possible for another very small minority; and thus, psychologically/biologically impossible (as distinct from a fleeting encounter) for the vast majority. Xenophobia, in contrast, is a human universal that a few people either don't feel, have trained themselves not to feel, or have been trained not to feel. The degree of virulence varies considerably, as in the case of homosexuality. Depending on how one defines it, xenophobia may qualify as dysfunctional. Depending on how one defines it, it sometimes qualifies as morally wrong. But xenophobia broadly defined is not only natural, but natural to the majority -- which is what, in ordinary conversation, we in fact mean by "natural." Liberal ideology, of course, grants no bonus points or extenuations for being natural. Unless it finds that ideologically helpful, as in the case of gay rights.

Why can homsexuality be in all probability natural for a few, but anti-xenophobia (I'll call it cosmopolitanism) require training not to feel xenophobia?

I suspect that it has to do with what is natural--in ordinary conversation--as what the majority says. Does this mean that the majority, in its definition of nature, can allow for exceptions with regard to homosexuality, but not with regard to cosmospolitanism?

Perhaps what is natural does not depend upon majorities. Perhaps what is even natural right does not depend on majorities--to make this case sounds suspiciously like Stephen Douglas's pop sov.

When Socrates in Book 1 of the Republic points out the limitations of justice as harming one's enemies has he been trained in this belief? Is he following liberal ideology?

(It's hard to know how to answer the question until the verb missing from it is found. There also seems to be an "if" clause absent.)

The dodge isn't meant to be clever. I just think your posts are typically lousy and not really worth talking about.

"Comment 14 by Matt


The dodge isn't meant to be clever. I just think your posts are typically lousy and not really worth talking about."



So this begs the question:
Why then do you read them and comment on them?


thedaddy

Entertainment.

Are all Glenn Beck fans homicidal racists?


No, Scanlon, that would be you.

Xenophobia would stem from a misbegotten notion of the love of one's own.

By all means, lets see you back up that assertion with some minimal effert at reasoning. You can start by convincing me that you feel no "misbegotten" affection for those people you happen to be related to - your parents, siblings, etc.

Taking homosexuality from the realm of the psychological (we're all a little gay, a la Kinsey) to the neurological (it's genetic - different brain activity) opens up the flood gates. If people are born gay, then they're also born straight. They're also born athletic, born unathletic, born obese, born skinny, born sociopaths, born socially normal, born xenophobic, born open-minded.

PS Glenn Beck might be legally retarded.

Andrew - from what I understand, aren't most "scientists" saying that people are "pre-disposed" to be a homosexual, or an alcoholic, or obese, or athletic, etc. That kind of language doesn't imply some kind of genetic necessity, but a scientific justification (which I'm not a big fan of either, but I think this distinction is important).

We agree.

There is a tribal element that all people have, I really don't know if it is so tied to race as locality. Obviously those things often go hand in hand. Sports Fandom might be a decent example of this. How can something be natural in one person and unnatural in the next? Are their unnaturaly straight people or unnaturaly gay people? Could someone be following their nature and be bisexual? One would assume that somewhere along the line a few people went against their nature...or is that possible? I think its more about what governs attraction. In the days past I think a lot of that was explained by seeking out beauty which is really just good genitics for the purpose of breading...I don't think that applies here obviously so mabye its just feremones. All of the other characteristics outside of attaction are more or less about the human desire to fit in and conform.

You can start by convincing me that you feel no "misbegotten" affection for those people you happen to be related to - your parents, siblings, etc.

I don't have affection to people simply because I am related to them. I share no DNA with my friends, or with my adoptive daughter--or with my wife, for that matter--yet I have more affection for them than I do for most of my blood relatives. I love my parents because they raised me; they are my biological parents, but their DNA is irrelevant to my feelings for them.

Are we ultimately confronted with a choice between xenophobia and a studied indifference to all humankind?

Interesting comments, Brutus.

"There is a tribal element that all people have, I really don't know if it is so tied to race as locality. Obviously those things often go hand in hand. Sports Fandom might be a decent example of this."

What's always bothered me about nearly all professional sports is how people feel some tribal tie to a team composed of so many players that come from so many different, far-flung places (although perhaps this really should be to the fans' credit). If I'm a lifelong Bostonian, why should I feel loyal to a "Boston" team composed of players from California, New York, Indiana, Florida, Japan, and Dominican Republic? [I just made up those examples, but they certainly seem plausible to me] But what do I know, I usually based my sports team loyalties on which team my favorite players tended to populate in, or even team colors [number of NLT bloggers & readers who suspect I'm gay probably just shot up about 300%! haha]

"In the days past I think a lot of that was explained by seeking out beauty which is really just good genitics for the purpose of breading..."

Yeah, like genetically-modified chicken in KFC's chicken breast sandwich, which the breading clings to so nicely! Mmmmm....breading!

John Moser, I really agree with the first part of your comments, but I don't see why you think there must be a "choice between xenophobia and a studied indifference to all humankind."

That strikes me as a false choice. Why can't one have a studied concern or care for all humankind? (This sort of talk usually enrages the Limbaugh fans!) Obviously, it must exist in the abstract to a great degree, but just because I don't limit my concern only to "my kind", however defined, this doesn't mean that I'm indifferent to my neighbor... or to some Iraqi kid picked off by some Blackwater sadist.

It IS a false choice, but one that I sense was implied in Comment 18. However, "studied indifference to all humankind" was probably the wrong way of putting it. What I was reacting against is the notion that we must either love all humankind equally and impartially, not expressing any sort of preference for those who are closest to us, or we must be xenophobes. I don't believe that the former is really possible, but that doesn't make the latter any more defensible.

The question makes little sense.

"Homosexuality" is a descriptor of erotic attraction the same gender. Pro, con, or neutral about the phenomenon, the word just tells you about it.

"Xenophobia" is a politically loaded term with a wide range of actual meanings but its primary use is to prevent people (especially Western and Caucasian people) from objecting to the presence of any kind of foreigners in their country, regardless of the reason.

It is akin to "homophobia" and just as useless, except to the partisans of progressivism, whose agenda these "phobia" and "ism" words dishonestly and effectively serve.

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