Some theists today take the position that religious "holy" books are not meant to be books of science, even while they all do indeed make factual claims. Nevertheless, you can interpret many of these claims as symbolic parables. With Islam you generally get a more strict interpretation of the stories with in the Qur'an and this makes talking to Muslims a bit more difficult. Being that I live for debate and challenge when I come across a theist I feel is uttering nonsense, I call them out on it. One Muslim named Gareth Bryant wrote about how he thinks Western culture is turning people gay. He insists that homosexuality is a choice, and that it can be "activated" like a button from a situation like going to prison, or being taught that it is OK. His Islamic view point forces him to believe homosexuality is a choice, because if it is biological than this brings up some serious theological issues for him. He offers only personal anecdotes and one-off examples of bisexual celebrities showing their ability to switch their sexuality from hetero to homo as proof that homosexuality is a choice, and he even plays up the term "sexual preference" saying that it denotes a preference - as in preferring vanilla or chocolate.
So I challenge him on several points and even offer 7 physiological findings that show differences in gay people from the general population. He offers nothing in response as a rebuttal and from this it is obvious that his position is not scientifically based, but instead based on his own close minded ignorant religious world view. Now he doesn't represent all Muslims, and on his blog there were many Muslims who voiced opposition to his views. He does however offer a very typical conservative hard line Islamic approach to various issues on sexuality that a growing number of Muslims are moving away from.
Below is our dialog going back and forth on the issue of whether homosexuality is a choice taken from the comments section of his blog post about "Princess-Boy", a boy who's fond of wearing girl's clothing who Gareth thinks is a “Homo-In-Training”.
It could be possible that this boy has gender identity issues. There are people born who identify with another gender, and it has nothing to do with the “Devil”, it is simply just a product of hormonal/chemical imbalances and issues with DNA, just like hermaphrodites are. I don’t know of this case but as long as the child is not forced or pressured into behaving how he is, there is no problem here. Your narrow minded Islamic world view forces you to look at everything being black and white, but our world is much more complicated than that. Human sexuality comes in a variety of shades.
You seem to think that all gay people are straight and then one day wake up and decide to be gay. Where is your scientific evidence of that? You know there are bisexual people who can identify as more straight or more gay, and can go both ways. That doesn't mean being gay is a choice. How could a straight man, make his penis get hard for other men when it doesn't do so naturally?
It is comforting to know that ignorant people like you are a shrinking and disappearing minority in this country, and eventually you will be a tiny fringe group of extremists complaining to each other why the world doesn't think like you. And the reason why is because you base knowledge on a book from the 7th century while ignoring much of modern science and blasphemy.
Well, since you’re an atheist, I’m going to move right past responding to this previous comment of yours, because, the fact that you can deny the existence of a divine-creator, yet believe that Homosexuality is something scientifically/biologically natural is more serious than the current topic-at-hand.
Firstly, I've never viewed anything as “black & white” as you’ve so foolishly presumed. I’ve simply viewed this particular topic based upon right & wrong, thus dictated by Allah, the Lord of the Universe, because it is He who decides what’s right & what’s wrong, what’s pure & what’s filth. And, since Allah is responsible for everything which exists, then, yeah…I’m of the position that He has the right to tell us what to do/not to do, how to live/how not to live.
Furthermore, chemical-imbalances have absolutely nothing to do with gender, because of the term, itself, “sexual-preference” anything that we inherit, biologically, is outside of our control. But, whom we are attracted to is within our control.
And, one of the even secular proofs of this are the following: Cynthia Nixon, one of the popular character-actresses from the SexAndTheCity franchise, not too long ago, recently announced that she was no longer a Homosexual, that she no longer lives that lifestyle; she spoke out concerning her choice to be a Homosexual, and this caught monumental media-attention. In fact, to the extent that, the LGBT lobby blasted her, and tried to pressure her not to say that “being ‘Gay’ is a ‘choice’.”, and, obviously, the reason why they would try to place pressure upon one of the most famous actresses in the world, right now, from taking a position like that, is simply because it completely shoots down their falsified-propagation that Homosexuality is something biologically-natural. And, that fact that she’s a very popular celebrity, people are going to be prone to take he very seriously, regarding this issue, based upon her personal-experience with being a former Homosexual.
So you are sticking with the theory that all gay people are pretending to be gay. I just don’t see how that makes sense. How can heterosexual men and women, deny their attraction to the opposite gender, and instead only have sex with the same gender? It makes no sense. Furthermore, as I mentioned there are people who are bisexual who can self-identify as straight or gay when they like. There are people who are truly gay who are only attracted to the same sex. Bisexual people give the impression that sexuality is so fluid and can change at any moment, but most people are all about either the opposite sex or the same sex.
Me personally, I am a heterosexual male, I am aroused by women only, but a particular kind of woman. I’m attracted to fair skinned women almost exclusively, and I cannot get physically aroused by dark skinned women. I can’t say that is a “preference” because I didn’t choose to be attracted to the kind of women that I am, it’s more of an orientation. Preference means that I can simply choose what I like, but I have trouble getting aroused by dark skinned women, so it’s not my choice, it is the way my body sexually responds. That’s not my “preference”. It’s just like how if I cannot digest milk because I’m lactose intolerant, not drinking milk would not be my preference, it would be cause[d] by my nature.
Gay people are much the same way, they cannot get aroused by the opposite gender, and they did not choose to be this way. The term “preference” is inaccurate and made by people who didn’t know what they were talking about. Don’t assume someone else’s term means it is accurate, it is a misnomer. Just like how we call koala bears, as bears, even though they are not bears. Sexual orientation is the more appropriate term.
This should be good news to you, because it means you can’t make someone gay. So there won’t be a recruited gay army created to take over the world. Relax.
I’m sticking to my general-position, yes. But, you’ve mentioned something that’s very ironically interesting, I’m attracted to fair skinned women almost exclusively, and I cannot get physically aroused by dark skinned women. I can’t say that is a “preference” because I didn’t choose to be attracted to the kind of women that I am, it’s more of an orientation.”. When I had read this, the very 1st-thing that popped into my mind was self-hate. I’m gonna take a fair assumption that you’re Afro-American, like myself, or at least a person of relative, general, Afro-descent. Now, based upon my assumption, assuming that I’m even correct, concerning your ethnicity, Afro-Americans & peoples of general Afro-descent have been generationally, systematically, indoctrinate with a pathological “self-hate complex”. In other words, we’ve been taught to hate everything about ourselves, ethnically. Even on the African-Continent, itself, you have people who bleach their skin, because they’ve been so negatively affected by the onslaught of self-hate indoctrination, that they are ungrateful for Allah creating them as Africans, and they want to be just like the same people whom are responsible for all of their hardships & oppression, the European colonialists, whom have been exploiting the African-Continent, for the past 1/2-millennium, even in the Caribbean, skin-bleaching is very common among peoples of Afro-descent, it’s called “Browning” in the Caribbean. Even a popular Reggae star, Vybz Kartel, recently bleached his own skin, for the same writing-on-the-wall, silver-lining reasons why you “cannot get physically aroused by dark skinned women”. There’s also the so-called “Kinky” or “Knappy” hair complex, where Black people, particulalry & especially Black women, are indoctrinated to change the natural way that Allah has created their hair, in order to make their hair appear more Euro, just like how their former physical & current psychological oppressors hair looks-Even the wife of the current U.S. President, Michelle Robinson, has been affected by this, she still straightens & processes her hair, just like every other Black woman with a deep-rooted, ethnic, inferiority-complex.
You got it all wrong, I’m white. What is your scientific evidence that sexuality is a choice? I mean, how do you explain young children showing signs of acting like the opposite gender, when they are raised in families and cultures that do not promote that activity? How could this “act” of acting like the opposite gender be carried out, throughout a person’s entire life, if it is faked? These people would deserve Oscars for their performance. Furthermore, why would anyone want to fake this anyway, if they are just pretending? To make a point? To rebel? There are much easier ways to rebel than having sex with the same gender and acting like the opposite gender.
How do you explain the physiological findings on gay people that can’t be faked:
1. The average size of the INAH-3 in the brains of gay men is approximately the same size as INAH 3 in women, which is significantly smaller, and the cells more densely packed, than in heterosexual men’s brains.
2. Gay men’s brains respond differently to fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
3. The amygdala, a region of the brain, is more active in gay men than non-gay men when exposed to sexually arousing material
4. Finger length ratios between the index and ring fingers may be different between non-gay and lesbian women.
5. Gay men and lesbians are significantly more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than non-gay men and women; Simon LeVay argues that because “[h]and preference is observable before birth… [t]he observation of increased non-right-handness in gay people is therefore consistent with the idea that sexual orientation is influenced by prenatal processes,” perhaps heredity.
6. A study of 50 gay men found 23% had counterclockwise hair whorl, as opposed to 8% in the general population. This may correlate with left-handedness.
7. Gay men have increased ridge density in the fingerprints on their left thumbs and pinkies.
If you are a smart individual and want to back up your arguments you will be up to the challenge of finding scientific evidence to contradict what I just told you. One-off stories of Cynthia Nixon saying she likes men and then women, mean nothing. She’s bisexual, which means she can like both. She also is now married to a female partner. Even if one person can fake being gay or straight and switch around, it means nothing to the big picture. Would the finding of a faked Koran alone discredit the Islam? No. It would just be a one-off hoax perpetrated by someone. I know you are smarter than that.
If you like making large claims, back them up by large evidence, otherwise admit your position is based on faith.
Part of the fun with theists is getting to debate and throw facts into their faces. Theists can either deny scientific facts altogether that contradict their faith, or they can try to retro-engineer them onto their religion in an attempt to make it make sense. The Islamic faith requires that you disregard facts, evidence and critical thinking and believe a dogma, even if that may lead to more harm being done. For example, on another blog post Gareth and I debated the morality of consenting adult homosexuality when compared with allowing 6 year old girls to be forced into arranged marriages. Because of his strict adherence to the word of the Qur'an, he is forced to believe that homosexuality is the worst behavior of the two with no moral or scientific justification of his view.
He tries to justify this view by saying "Allah, alone has the right to determine what is moral & what is immoral, because He is the Creator & Lord of everything. And, by virtue of this, He & He alone knows what best for us, when we don’t even know what is best for ourselves." So he expects that allah knows best, like father knows best, and that we have to accept whatever father says, even if critically thinking about the consequences of these actions determines they are unnecessarily harmful. Later I respond by saying what only seems apparent given this train of thought, "Islam stops critical thinking and the logical conclusions it can lead to. That is no religion I want to be a part of, never ever ever, and it is a good thing that anti-critical thinking people like you seem to be declining in numbers. If we can’t think critically, which is one of our most important gifts as human beings, than Islam hinders the full potential of the human mind."