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May 18, 2004




Your post shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Morrison's position, which leads you straight of a logical cliff. His position rests on the premise that, voluntary or not, some behavior is right and other behavior is wrong, and that society has the right not only to decide which is which, but to demand that the wrong behavior be kept behind closed doors.

You've extrapolated the wrong conclusions. To understand Morrison's position, and that of most conservative Christians, you have to come to terms with two things:

First, that there are such things as absolute right and wrong. Christianity rejects moral relativism, an easy (read: lazy) way to avoid the troublesome notion of judgement.

Second, that to proceed on the premise that because something is involuntary it therefore cannot, by definition, be sinful, is to miss completely the Christian understanding of sin. We are all sinners, and we sin by mis-using those things God gave us. As long as you fail to understand this central point - or insist on disregarding it - you will never be able accurately to characterize or refute the conservative Christian position.


Hi Greg:

Thanks for your response. You may be right or wrong about whether I've got Morrison's position pegged, but if I'm wrong, it's not for the reasons you state.

For one thing, you confuse moral relativism and liberalism. They're very different. I'm a liberal, not a relativist. A moral relativist claims there are no universal moral principles; a liberal claims that society must not be governed by any one person or group's (thick) conception of The Good, that persons must be free for self-determination and pursuing the Good, so long as they don't interfere with others' universal human rights. Some liberals combine their view with relativism, but I certainly don't, because that view is self-contradictory. I believe that human rights and liberal values such as tolerance are universally valid, and good. Liberalism as I understand it requires that society be governed by the "thinnest" possible conception of The Good. The conservative case against gay marriage is a "thick" conception of the Good (you are basically saying that your theological views can and should be shoved down the throats of others in society who vehemently disagree with you. If your views were about your own behavior, fine. Don't have a gay wedding. But you have no right to restrict my individual freedoms.) Make no mistake: I am not "avoid[ing] the troublesome notion of judgement" as you imply. I believe Morrison is objectively wrong. (Or, more precisely, that his views are relatively true as a statement at the blue meme of consciousness development, but wrong at higher levels, and seen ultimately as partially true and partially wrong.)

Greg: "because something is involuntary it therefore cannot, by definition, be sinful" I have made no such assumption... and if I did, it would be irrelevant, because you are welcome to judge behavior sinful, but in a liberal society you may not force your behavior on others if it interferes with universal rights such as marriage.

Frankly, I'm surprised that you felt that you understood my position well enough to comment on it. I wrote this post mainly with an audience in mind that is familiar with the presuppositions of Spiral Dynamics. Your post evidences that you are unfamiliar with Spiral Dynamics. while you are welcome to read, disagree, and post your comments, I feel compelled to observe that unless you take the time to understand my own presuppositions, further discussion is meaningless.

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