Monday, December 28, 2009

Sichas Mussar HaDracha on Recent Events

If you are a boy and are going to R' Mayer Twersky's shiur at 4:00 PM and/or R' Yona Reiss's at 9:30 PM in the Glueck Beis Midrash, please tell me what they say. I'd love to hear it for myself but alas, I was not born a boy.

68 comments:

EJB said...

would you want a recording, if they allow recording devices?

Chana said...

EJB,

YES! But I'm doubtful they'll permit it. If you could also ask whether they want their views publicized in their names or not, that'd be great.

Anonymous said...

This is all damage control, after the fact posturing whatever they say.

They want to keep face with their counterparts in charediland.

They will speak Toireh true. The yeshiva will have chizuk.

But, how intellectually honest can we truly expect them to be?

If the administration had sechel, the first forum wouldn't have taken place. There should be no gay clubs at Stern or RIETS.

Gay Frum Jews already know where to seek solace from their peers. Their savior, the founder of JQY, rides a white donkey.

The Rav understood Greek philosophy. Judaism is antithetical to "hedonee," and we are witness to those who are bochin al ha-arayot in our time.

dman said...

".... There should be no gay clubs at Stern or RIETS."

They could probably ban such clubs at RIETS, but NOT at YC / SCW / SSSB because of government funding. IIRC, YU lost a lawsuit when it tried to expel a gay student from Einstein.

Anonymous said...

why don't you go claiming you are in the female-to-male conversion process, that being the case your certainly need to hear the shicha

Yaelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Papa, can you hear me?

Anonymous said...

You NEED to get a recording, it was the best shiur I've heard in my 3 years at YU. He's also speaking at Stern I've been told.

Anonymous said...

great shiur...it was recorded and i assume will be on YUTorah

Anonymous said...

I heard it wouldn't be put up....Try to get a copy...

Yaelle said...

What was said?

Anonymous said...

Chana,
It was recorded and should be on www.yutorah.org by 8:00 tonight. Just goes to show that the Rabbis hold by what they say, even if it reaches the public.

Anonymous said...

"but alas, i was born a boy."

u mean, but alas, i was born a lass

Anonymous said...

a·las (-ls) interj. Used to express sorrow, regret, grief, compassion, or apprehension of danger or evil.

Source: Dictionary.com

Anonymous said...

yes, and

lass  [las] Show IPA
–noun
1. a girl or young woman, esp. one who is unmarried.
2. a female sweetheart: a young lad and his lass.

FrumJewInYU said...

Aaaaaand the point goes to Anon 6:43/7:16!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if any of the members of the YU Tolerance Club were at the sichas mussar... or were they too intolerant of the rosh yeshiva's idea to attend?!

Anonymous said...

confirmed, it's not going up

dman said...

Why isn't it going up?

שמואל Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

If it is not put up (?), could someone who was there please share what was said? Thanks...

EJB said...

If anyone wants it, email me. Rav twersky gave me permission to distribute it.

dman said...

EJB:

Please post your email address.

If you do not wish to do so, pleas contact Chana for my email address.

שמואל Steven said...

Both Roshei Yeshiva made similar points. Suffice it to say that they condemned the event, strongly re-emphasized the fact that homosexual activities are completely and utterly אסור מדאורייתא, and expressed the opinion that the event reflected badly on YU.

שמואל Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EJB said...

Boch90@gmail.com

FrumJewInYU said...

You have to explain why the event was condemned; namely, that Kedoshim Tihyu, along with plenty of support from many, many sources, dictates that matters of arayos not be public.

שמואל Steven said...

Excerpt from notes on R' Twersky's sicha: [These are notes, NOT a transcript, and are not R' Twersky's actual words.]

"Is there anything wrong with permitting homosexual individuals to "come out of the closet?" In ‎general Jews are known to respond to empathy and to be sympathetic, and respond when someone makes a plea for sympathy. [Forgive me for saying the next ‎mashal.] Let's say someone asked for a forum to discuss his lust for his neighbor’s wife ‎and wants to tell everyone about it, so they can be sympathetic to him. He wants to create ‎a club to talk about this. What should our reaction be? One of revulsion! If he says, “But ‎it's natural!” will that diminish the revulsion at all? Will we still be sympathetic to his ‎demands? That would be legitimization of Toaiva. There is no such thing as a Jew who should ‎be publicly identified by one of these desires, be it adultery or mishkav zachar. The person ‎certainly deserves help, and it's certainly true that appropriate sympathy should be ‎forthcoming. All Jews have issues which they grapple with. But he doesn’t need to tell the ‎world about it! Certainly, he should tell his family, Rabbi, and closest friends. But no one ‎else! No one looks to tell the world about the fact that they have desires for aveiros! ‎There are other ways to educate the public without creating a new category of Jew, the category of "gay Jew.‎"

Sam Ash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Let's say someone asked for a forum to discuss his lust for his neighbor’s wife ‎and wants to tell everyone about it, so they can be sympathetic to him. He wants to create ‎a club to talk about this. What should our reaction be? One of revulsion! If he says, “But ‎it's natural!” will that diminish the revulsion at all?"

Um, wouldn't the analogy be more like someone saying, "The only attraction I have whatsoever is to wives of my neighbors, by my nature, against my will."

Anonymous said...

cont'd

In which case, yeah we'd be pretty upset by the ethical problems of that bizarre and disturbing scenario. But you wouldn't feel for that person's challenging situation?

Adam said...

Unfortunately, homosexuality in this context is different from any "typical" case of coveting thy neighbors wife in that it stems from a biological abnormality. While current political sentiment frowns on classifying homosexuality as an 'illness' or 'condition', the fact remains that it often stems directly from a genetic change and, as such, is an immutable fact of ones existence.

The reason why public events like this are necessary is that mainstream Orthodox Judaic thought often glosses over the aforementioned reality and reacts with a knee-jerk rejection of not only the condition, but the individual (“Mordecahi, I think that you may be... evil".)

If all the Jews in ones immediate circle reacted with compassion and support, and the wider public eye didn't contain so much latent derision, pubic events wouldn't be necessary.

The existence of the 'gay Jew', as opposed to just 'a Jew who is gay,' is predicated on the need for such brave individuals to proclaim their status in an attempt to effect a change in the current unfortunate status quo.

Joshua Hoffman said...

Rabbi Twersky said that he is certain that all those who attended the event, participated in it, and organized it had good intentions, but that their thinking was influenced by the culture around us. He also said that the event caused a very big Chillul Hashem, and that everyone in YU needs to create a Kiddush Hashem to offset it.He said that everyone should sign the petition that is being circulated , protesting the event, because everyone in the YU community has been implicated in it, and that it reflects badly on the entire institution. No one need fear that the petition is an affront to President Joel,he said, because since this is a question of kevod shamayim, no other consideration is relevant. Moreover, he said, President Joel is on the same side of the issue ( as witness the joint letter he sent out with R. Reis. Word has it that Pres. Joel did not want the event to take place, but by the time people became aware of it, it was too late to cancel it without serious repercussions).

Rabbi Reis said that the joint statement that President Joel and he sent out last week, reiterating the absolute prohibition of mishkav zachar, was an embarrassment, and reminiscent of the oath administered to the kohein gadol before Yom Kippur, telling him not to change the order of the avodah. Both the kohein gadol and the zekeinim who administered the oath broke out in tears because of the need to take an oath on something that should be taken for granted. Rabbi Reis, indeed, at a number of points in his sicha, almost broke out in tears because of the need to speak publicly about an issue that is so clear. He said that it is important to show sympathy for people's challenges,as one of the three characteristic traits of the Jewish people is that they are rachmanim, and, moreover, it is one of the traits of God that we are bidden to emulate, but these challenges should be dealt with in private.

Dr. Pelcovitz happened to have been the guest at YU this past Shabbos, and on friday night he spent some time answering questions about last Tuesday night's event.He said that he thought it was not a good idea to have the panel speak to such a large crowd, because it lent itself to generating an attitude of approval. Such discussions should be held in small groups, and, had he been asked about it, he would have advised against it. However, he wan't asked.

Anonymous said...

To respond to an earlier comment - at least one member of YUTC was at both sichos mussar. (For those who didn't know, R' Reiss spoke as well.)

Anonymous1:45 said...

Adam, it is not a genetic condition any more or less then desiring an extramarital affair is a genetic condition. If you have evidence to the contrary, please provide me with links to scans showing that the desires of homosexuals arise from new parts of the brain that non-homosexuals do not have. Please also provide links to studies showing genetic aborations that are NOT PREDISPOSITIONS but are DETERMINATIVE as in genetic abnormality being determinative in Down syndrome. Of course, there are no such things; your assumptions are just that. The only reason you state it with such certitude is that it is the prevailing conventional wisdom of the day, but that proves nothing. Stop it already with these stupid assertions notions; as though only you have difficult desires to avoid, only you know what it's like. You don't know what the hell anybody else goes through or went through in their lives. You don't know what your difficulties are as compared to anyone elses; you don't know the strength or weakness of anybody elses yetzer hara as compared to your own. As far as this Rabbi Reiss is concerned, that is exactly how I felt.

Chana said...

Anon 6:43,

I *love* the line! Are you the one who came up with LaGuardian Angel for me, too?

Alas, I was born a lass. I love it. *lots of glee* Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Adam,

We've heard about Camp Monk, Caberet.

If one acts as a machti es harabim, actively encouraging, validating and supporting others who wish to sin, and then proceeds to introduce them to one another for mutual support so that they can play together, gay together, is this innocent?

How much compassion does organized political action, speaking out and singing on youtube generate?

tesyaa said...

He wants to create ‎a club to talk about this. What should our reaction be? One of revulsion!

What about a club to discuss how great it would be to eat maachalos asuros? Are we supposed to have revulsion? I admit a shrimp club would be an oddity, but we already have kosher bacon bits, so how much revulsion do we really have for maachalos assuros?

Adam said...

Anon 1:45

You may have misunderstood my points. As in almost every aspect of ones existence, there is a temperamental and an environmental component. While it is possible for some people's sexual orientation to change at almost any point in life, for most people, homosexual or otherwise, the orientation they have now is the one they'll die with. As all the speakers indicated they had fairly normal, happy, childhoods, an educated guess would be that in their cases their orientation results from the more temperamental (genes + brain development + prenatal hormonal environment) end of the spectrum.

I did not contend that "a different portion of the brain" was responsible for homosexuality - I'd be very surprised if it was.

My point was that homosexual orientation is as real for some as heterosexuality is in others. Many in Orthodox circles tend to treat it (the mere existence of the attraction) as an evil and entirely voluntary choice, which it is not.

What is voluntary is what you do about the attraction, just as it is with heterosexuality. This distinction is something that people constantly seem to lose sight of in these debates so I'll state it very clearly:

What you feel inside may be a reality very difficult to alter, but how you act on your feelings and impulses is entirely up to you.

I do not mean to dismiss the power of a Yetzer HaRah. Everyone succumbs to temptation, in whatever form it takes with them. Obviously condoning and supporting a sinful act is wrong and should never be countenanced.

The reason, as I said before, why such public events are necessary is to force people to take notice and to hopefully highlight and change the slew of horrifying responses many in the Orthodox community have towards homosexuality. That such events are necessary in the first place is distressing, as discussing topics of this nature publicly and to a wide audience runs counter to every Jewish sense of modesty and decorum within me.

Is there another way? Is there any less public avenue we can take that will burn away the fog of confusion that causes Jews to react with hate, scorn, or, even worse, uncaring dismissal? Another way to lend support and solidarity to fellow Jews who are reeling under the onslaught of continuous attacks on their identity?

Homosexual ACTS are issur, the people who have the desire to do them are no different from any other Jews, and that is the point that these events are trying to convey.

Anonymous said...

Adam,

I cannot defend homophobia, cruelty, bigotry and abuse, yet, the term toeva is pretty harsh, no? It's not as if the Torah posits aa'ase Emori, Mitzri, Canaani etc. as morally equivalent. They are despised. One can't be surprised if the community's reaction to paganism is negative. As Chana reminds us, we are muzharin al ha-arayot.

Those who are devoted to removing the blight of bigotry, racism, and discrimination - against women, the transgendered, gays, lesbians, blacks, Latinos, etc. should strengthen the Democratic party.

Sam said...

Anon 1:45, are you really back with this stuff, thinking it might be true because it's on a new thread? Go back and read the old one. Your straw man about a "new brain area" is a distraction from how genetic change and gene expression ever take place, and why they are different from a particular desire--and isn't any more connected with reality now than it was the first time around.

Anonymous1:45 said...

Adam:
I apologize profusely. I misunderstood your comment. I should have been more careful in ascribing negative motivations to my fellow and I am sorry. Thank you for responding in a cordial manner even though I did not do so to you. I ask for your forgiveness and I hope you will find it in your heart to do so.
It is just so disheartening, both the fact that there even needs to be an event, in order to teach fellow Jews to act with the trait of gmilut chasadim; and it is also disheartening that there should even be a debate about an act that is clearly wrong (especially one that involves sexual immorality, which is espcially bad in the Torah i.e. Er Onan, Egel, all the prophets rail against). The whole thing of people wanting to make it an accepted norm is horrendous. It would be a total rejection Of Hashem and would invalidate all other mitzvot done, since at that point you are only doing mitzvot, or even worse, only believe in mitsvot when they align with your own desires and/or societal acceptance; this invalidates all other mitzvot then, because all the person is then doing is following the mitzvot when they correspond to their desire and feelings, which means that they are just following their own commandments not Gods. It would be like following most of the mitzvot except doing so in worship of an idol, except here the idol is themselves, and throwing in sexualy immoral acts on top of that, in worship of this idol, again themselves. The whole thing reminded me of when the Nasi brought Cozbi and PUBLICLY rebels against God. It is no different, other than the fact that our generation is not made up of prophets. It is different then commiting a sin either beshogeg or bemezid; it is a public rebellion against God and a public and in the heart rejection of God as the source of right and wrong, as well as an idol worship of the self as a replacement ruler in the place of God. Gmilut Chasadim is a given, but please, I am just Joe Smo, you guys are the future leaders of the Jewish community, please don't accept this and normalize this public rebellion against God. And if that's what these gatherings become, then they should not take place. Rather if Gmilut chasadim is the Goal, then have a few shiurim a yeargiven in each rabbis' class about gmilut chassadim and also relate some of it it to those with homosexual desires.

Adam said...

Anon 1:45

Don't worry. Discussions carried out online leave out so much context that misunderstandings are natural.

I agree with you. While such events may be an unfortunate necessity in present day Judaism (a fact I haven't fully convinced myself of either,) the moment they even implicitly condone acting on these desire is the moment they've gone too far.

I would hope that similar events in the future would continue to approach the topic with all the care and sensitivity it requires.

B'ezrat Hashem, these events will generate enough discussion and change that they speedily remove the need for their own existence.

Anonymous1:45 said...

Sam:
I know that you think you're position is backed up by science but it is not. There is no proof to anything that you say. I've already explained to you how these studies are flawed, and why you're field of psychology is not the same as mathematics and thus you should not put the same stock into accepted psychological theory as one would to PROVEN MATHEMATICAL FACTS.Your comment about my argument not making sense since a desire would be necessary to create another desire is really silly. The fact that it comes from a future psychologist is disheartening since it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the human mind works as well as a fundamental unappreciation of the human minds' capacity to change. If you want to lose weight yet you desire unhealthy food, then you can implement the correct startegies to lose that wieght; years down the line as you can ask many of those who havce changed their eating habits, you will actually be disgusted by the food that you once desired. Are you going to say that this cannot be so because 'how can you use a desire to overcome another desire?' and thus claim it circular - in fact this is how the human mind works. The only difference here is that sexuality can be a stronger desire, but you know what, heroin addiction has been shown to be a stronger desire then sexuality, yet people kick that habit and live one day at a time - I suppose that is impossible since how can they overcome their desire to kick heroine with another desire. Oh I don't know - PERHAPS THE HUMAN BEING IS NOT AN AUTOMATON MADE UP OF ONE SINGLE DESIRE. But, alas I guess that doesn't jive with current psych theory. Of course these same infallible psychologists insisted just a couple decades ago that homosexuality was a mental illness - I guess then it wasn't a real hard science like physics but now it is. Now that you've been indoctrinated, it surely is (at least in your head). I hope you won't be one of those who prescribes 7 medications for an overactive child as current psych is heading in this direction. But since you will not listen to me about the human minds abilty to change itself then let me direct you to the research of Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel G. Amen M.D. who has conducted literaly thousands of before/after brainscans of supposedly incurable (drug em ) conditions in psychology. Furtheremore, so that you don't end up victimizing your patients in the future and so that you don't put limits on your own abilities as a human being, I implore you to please research the emerging field of 'Positive Psychology' which focuses on studying the healthy mind and how to attain it, instead of only looking at the broken mind.Human sexuality is changeable if the person wants to do so, just as drug addiction (more pleasurable and more ingrained in the brain, and which like homosexuality there is also a genetic predisposition towards) is changeable if the person wants to do so. The only difference is that there are no 12 step programs and standard treatment for homosexuals, and there is no study of how to overcome it a there is with alcoholism and drug addiction (which is harder to overcome), due to current psychological theory which has no proof to back it up except to claim that slight increases in twins (same as drug addicts/alcoholics) means no choice . I do however, request that for your future patients and for your own future mental health (not lack of mental problems, but true mental health and happiness) that you study 'Positive Psychology' and Dr. Amen on changing brains.

Anonymous1:45 said...

Sam:
I know that you think you're position is backed up by science but it is not. There is no proof to anything that you say. I've already explained to you how these studies are flawed, and why you're field of psychology is not the same as mathematics and thus you should not put the same stock into accepted psychological theory as one would to PROVEN MATHEMATICAL FACTS.Your comment about my argument not making sense since a desire would be necessary to create another desire is really silly. The fact that it comes from a future psychologist is disheartening since it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the human mind works as well as a fundamental unappreciation of the human minds' capacity to change. If you want to lose weight yet you desire unhealthy food, then you can implement the correct startegies to lose that wieght; years down the line as you can ask many of those who havce changed their eating habits, you will actually be disgusted by the food that you once desired. Are you going to say that this cannot be so because 'how can you use a desire to overcome another desire?' and thus claim it circular - in fact this is how the human mind works. The only difference here is that sexuality can be a stronger desire, but you know what, heroin addiction has been shown to be a stronger desire then sexuality, yet people kick that habit and live one day at a time - I suppose that is impossible since how can they overcome their desire to kick heroine with another desire. Oh I don't know - PERHAPS THE HUMAN BEING IS NOT AN AUTOMATON MADE UP OF ONE SINGLE DESIRE. But, alas I guess that doesn't jive with current psych theory. Of course these same infallible psychologists insisted just a couple decades ago that homosexuality was a mental illness - I guess then it wasn't a real hard science like physics but now it is. Now that you've been indoctrinated, it surely is (at least in your head). I hope you won't be one of those who prescribes 7 medications for an overactive child as current psych is heading in this direction. But since you will not listen to me about the human minds abilty to change itself then let me direct you to the research of Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel G. Amen M.D. who has conducted literaly thousands of before/after brainscans of supposedly incurable (drug em ) conditions in psychology. Furtheremore, so that you don't end up victimizing your patients in the future and so that you don't put limits on your own abilities as a human being, I implore you to please research the emerging field of 'Positive Psychology' which focuses on studying the healthy mind and how to attain it, instead of only looking at the broken mind.Human sexuality is changeable if the person wants to do so, just as drug addiction (more pleasurable and more ingrained in the brain, and which like homosexuality there is also a genetic predisposition towards) is changeable if the person wants to do so. The only difference is that there are no 12 step programs and standard treatment for homosexuals, and there is no study of how to overcome it a there is with alcoholism and drug addiction (which is harder to overcome), due to current psychological theory which has no proof to back it up except to claim that slight increases in twins (same as drug addicts/alcoholics) means no choice . I do however, request that for your future patients and for your own future mental health (not lack of mental problems, but true mental health and happiness) that you study 'Positive Psychology' and Dr. Amen on changing brains.

Sam said...

Anon 1:45, you are out of your league.

You are talking about neuroplasticity, and a desire changing another desire. That is wholly different than giving an explanation of how a particular set of desires arises in the first place. You are suggesting people develop homosexual orientation because they have a genetic constitution that supports it, and then they choose to be homosexual. That makes zero sense. It makes the genetic contribution irrelevant, first of all, but more importantly, it doesn't actually give any mechanistic explanation of why person x would desire to become a homosexual while person y wouldn't--which was the original question all along. Besides which, it's clearly not true; almost every frum homosexual I have heard talks about the struggle, and not wanting it to be true. Tell them that they really just desired it all along.

Second, math isn't a science, it's generally considered a branch of logic. Psychology is a science, which while often considered slightly less "hard" than chem or physics, uses the exact same experimental method as any other science. Diagnostic questions in psychology, like whether or not homosexuality is a mental illness, are of course debatable, because abnormality is by definition a social judgment. That's a matter of classification, and has zero bearing whatsoever on research psychology into explanatory mechanisms. Again, no idea what you are talking about.

Next, you do not understand genetics. There is strong evidence for genetic contribution to homosexual. You claim homosexuals choose to be gay to "make up the other percentage points." That's not how genetics works; it's not about "making up points." A person can have genes that are or are not expressed. This is called epigenetics--it's an entire branch of biology devoted to understanding why some genes are expressed, and why some are not. It has to do with complex interaction with the environment, not "he chose to be gay."

Finally, your assumptions about me are even more astounding than they are offensive and condecending. I'm quite familiar with positive psychology and neuroplasticity. I have worked in behavioral programs, and am a big believer in neuroplasticity as a solution to mental health issues like OCD, and CBT for depression, etc, over pills. Why? Because these things have empirical validation. Unlike any of your claims about how homosexuality works, or how genetics work, or how homosexuality could be changed--all of which are made up by you through scraps you have read here and there in psychology books.

Anonymous said...

Sam,please take your arguments elsewhere. They begin to tire the readers of this blog. Thank you.

Anonymous1:45 said...

1. On genetics and epigenetics. I understand these fields very well as I invest in certain companies which do R&D.
2. It is you who constantly misunderstands my arguments. I never stated that they chose to be Gay. I said that there is a similar genetic predisposition to addiction.
3. Regarding epigenetics. You assume that only environmental factors effect epigenetics; in fact no one knows for sure everything that effects epigenetics. A persons choices and emotional struggles as well as them overcoming it, may all affect there as well as there grandchildrens epigenetics and gene expression.
3. On Psychology not being a hard science. I stand by that assertion. I am glad that you are aware of neuroplasticity and positive psychology and that you advocate against overmedication, God blesss you for this. However, Psychology is pretty much at the level of Anthropology, Archeology, and Econimics; all of which use scientific method but are not hard (and thus indisputable) sciences. It is not enough that scientific method is incorporated into a field of study. In order to be a hard science, the scientific method must be either the sole factor or must lead to an inevitable indisputable conclusion - not to an interpretation of the data to jive with a theory. Psychology does contain some hard science, and some parts of psychological study are facts and science. Other things however, like homosexuality being unchangeable, or automatically giving people with depression medication, are not science but are theory with no proof but rather studies being interpereted in different ways to reach a conclusion that confirms accepted theory. You seem to understand the fallacy of standard care regarding drugs, thus why do you assert that current psych theory on homosexuality is infallible and a hard science with real proof.
4. You state that I was sayin it is a choice. in fact I do not believe it is a choice (especially with those at the far end of the spectrum). My point and assertion was and is that neuroplasticity extends to homosexuals ability to change their desires over time. The fact that you say I have no proof of this is immaterial, for you and current psychological beliefs, have no proof that neuroplasticity does not apply to homosexuals. The sad thing is that due to acceptance of your beliefs and acceptance of it as normal, there is no research going into what the best strategies are for changing it.
5. Drug addiction is more pleasurable and more ingrained in the brain then sexuality or any natural human drive. Yet psychology has developed methods to overcome it. There is no reason why sexuality can not be changed nor why neuroplasticity can not be applied to human sexuality. That is even though a person is born with desires that doesn't mean they can't be changed. The fact that you, or current psychological theory believes that it cannot be changed is not in any way shape or form proof. The reality is that you have no more proof of your assertions then I do of mine. I do however, have historical basis for believing that sexuality is maleable though you seem to reject it by positing a false ditiction regarding ritual vs. inborn, when the point is that when it became pleasurable means that the Greeks had changed those born with heterosexual traits into enjoying homosexuality which would have been initially repugnant to them Let me ask this question, If the environment can influence sexuality then why not the persons choices? There is no reason. We know that environment influences sexuality due to historic examples and different rates of homosexuality in diff societies. So again if a society can change sexuality and or sexual expression than so can are society and furthermore so can choices, since the epigenetics and the brain and biology does not know the differance between environment society and individual choice.

Sam said...

Anonymous 7:13, if there is but one person who would have read Anon 1:45, and then felt guilty or thought Anon 1:45 represents science, it is worth all my posting and all your annoyance for them to see that someone who knows the science points out that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

But I suppose you'd rather hear the arguments of someone with no scientific background, and it is mine that you are tired of. You make a lovely case for the intellectual worth of your position. I can also make up science, if that's what you'd prefer.

Anonymous1:45 said...

1.I suppose that many Psychologists would say the same thing about your positions on medicating.
2. Your being trained in the sciences does not make what you say scientific fact. Science must be provable, observable (with no onterpretation needed), or experimentaly reproducable (again, with the conclusion of the experiment being self evident not interpreted). No matter your level of expertise, which I am glad to hear, and which it's very heartening to know that your one of the good ones (as you stated with neuroplasticity, positive psych, ant - overmed...) your assertions do not scientific proof make.

Sam said...

AHHHHH! I spend my time working in cognitive neuroscience labs, reading psych articles, studying biology, and working on experiments. You need to accept that you do not understand what you are talking about regarding psychology as a science. Period. You don't. Have you ever read a psych research paper? One? Clearly not, if you think it works the same way as anthropology, so don't bother answering. And ANY science--ANY, including physics or chemistry--requires interpretation. Learn some philosophy of science.

You mix research about mechanism with clinical judgments and perspectives, and conclude it's not a science. That's your argument that it has non-science in it. This is idiotic. That's like saying biology is not a scientific field because some doctors will give antibiotics to be safe in some cases, and others won't. It's absolutely irrelevant to biological research.

Not knowing these things is excusable. Arguing with someone who does, but insisting you are right, is not.

Re: choice--You are backpedaling. You previously claimed that a person's choice could "make up the percentage points" to make them homosexual. It's on the other thread.

Regarding change, though--there is evidence that the prospects for reparative therapy are not good, which I linked to previously. I never claimed there is proper evidence against it, but you are claiming it would definitely work, which means the burden of proof is on you, not me. The reason it is unlikely to be properly tested is not dogma, it is the ethical problems created by causing that kind of distress for people when a)we don't know if it will work, and previous evidence doesn't suggest it would, and b)from a secular perspective, as you will surely admit, there's no REASON for a person to undergo this. It is totally unlike a cocaine addiction, where the person wants to change because of direct effects in their lives, there is clear reason to change, etc.

Look, I'm not going to keep playing this game. If anyone reading this wants to take your opinion over that of a cognitive neuroscience researcher, they're welcome to. Maybe they'll also believe scientologists in claiming that psychiatry is evil and Zenu created the world. As for you, if you will refer back to where I already debunked what you said by calling it a "false distinction," I don't see the point in continuing the discussion.

I will conclude by saying that everything I have said can be verified independently. My claims about the ancient Greeks? Read Symposium, or a scholarly article about it. My claims about how genetics work in psychology? Read a textbook about abnormal psych. My claims about what the evidence does or doesn't say? Linked to it. If you read all that and still disagree, let me know, and we'll talk. Till then, do what you'd like.

Sam said...

The fact that I am in the science absolutely does not make what I claim fact, but makes it far more likely that a)what I claim is backed up by evidence, b) my understanding of how the science works, or what kind of science it is, is correct.

Anonymous1:45 said...

Scientifically/ proof-wise, both our assertions carry the same weight as there is no indisputable proof either way. My arguments are stronger because they are supported by historic evidence and evidence of diffs between societys'. My theory on applying conditioning and neuroplascticity is sound. You assertions seem to all boil down to, 'well it's accepted within the psychological community'. Well, how many theories have been thrown away, overturned, proven to be false or replaced by psych in the past 20 years. How many more in the next 20. Please don't confuse, in your mind hard scientific proof, with accepted theory and your own feelings due to talking with people with homosexual proclivities.

Anonymous1:45 said...

You state the difference between Homosexuality and drug addiction as being that the drug addict wants to change due to adverse affects in their lives. I agree, what I'm saying is that God saying not to do it should also make someone want to change it. In fact if the will was there to overcome it as it is with drug addicts then a way would be found as with drug addists. Also, I do not need to show 100% success rate with reparaitve therapy. In fact the recovery rate of drug addicts is not that high. The point is that it is possible and thus should be done. We do not say drug addicts should accept keeping to do drugs, because there is not a high success rate for them if they go into rehab.

Sam said...

Anon, we don't actually disagree that much about reparative therapy, and what has or has not been proven--what I take issue with is your sure claim that because of neuroplasticity documented in other areas, it will work. This cannot be stated as such, and is very risky psychologically to tell a gay person.

I'll let you have the last word about the rest; I think the rest of my comments speak for themselves about what my argument is. But before you accuse all cognitive scientists of bias--and as I indicated before, it's far more complicated than that when it comes to reparative therapy--consider the fact that you happen to be a religious individual insisting this will work.

Anonymous1:45 said...

Regarding Scientology, I have nothing to do with that. - I am not anti psychology. To prove it I say 'hail Xenu' lol. I greatly respect your work. I am quite used to this as I have had similar conversations with scientists regarding the fallacy of the accepted theory regarding the veracity and scope of Anthropogenic Climate Change. The difference is that there are plenty of scientists on my side in that issue. There are not many Psychologists on my side on this issue, but science is not a democracy. I have read res papers. They can be interpreted in diff ways. There is no more proof (science-wise) for your viewpoint then for mine. Lastly, I am not advocating feeling bad for those with homosexual proclivitites. I am asserting that they have the ability to change their desires and learn to enjoy and be happy with a person of the opposite sex. You say the burden of proof is on me. I say it's on you, for why would plasticity not apply to sexuality, especially since it can apply to drug addiction, which is stronger than any natural human drive?

Sam said...

I actually like your last comment about addiction. That, there, is an interesting and well made point.

Again, the question becomes whether or not religious motivation is psychologically enough here, or not, as opposed to physical harm from addiction, as well as if the mechanisms for each are the same.

Anonymous1:45 said...

All the best to you and in your wok, Sam. I think I've had my fill of posting as well lol. I will state that as a religious jew I don't see any other way to believe other then that even if one never overcomes their flaws then it is important to keep struggling to do so. I know that psychology places an emphasis on things which cause harm, therefore, since homosexuality causes no physical harm therefore psychologists focus on getting the patient to be comfortable with and accept their sexuality. Judaism is concerned with the soul as well. Accordingly, homosexuality should be treated as drug addiction, as it can cause just as much damage to the soul. The only difference is that unlike drug addiction it does not cause physical and may not cause social damage. But thnk you for the stimulating conversation. And, thank you for not going away mad, but in a respectful and logical manner. Though I may disagee with your opinion I am grateful for this. Again, all the best and best wishes.

Sam said...

The answer to your question is that, on a theoretical basis, it certainly might be true, and you make a case for the theory in your later comments. But humans are complex psychological beings, and sexuality is complex, so we can't claim the theory will be born out without testing it--especially because it is not known that sexuality works the same way as addiction, say, just because they are both desires.

Why is this relevant? Because telling a homosexual he can change and should want to change may be setting him up for much difficulty and pain if it is not true. Saying it is possible and worth testing is different from saying "it should be true so it is." That's been my main issue all along regarding what you are said about reparative therapy. However, I will say that you have certainly interested me more in the empirical question, and the theoretical questions behind sexual desire.

Sam said...

Anon 1:45, thank you and same to you. I did get upset in there, so thank you for overlooking that, and my apologies for where I did. At the end of the day, I appreciate what you contributed, even though I hope you will reevaluate how sure some of your claims are. Hatzlacha ba'kol, though, and I hope you find a way to manage these questions that is both religiously and intellectually satisfying..

Sam said...

Ugh. I really don't like what that discussion brought out of me, and I reiterate that I hope you will be mochel where I was rude. You absolutely have the right to question what is currently accepted (which I never meant to deny), and make suggestions, and it is to your credit that you persist with your questions--though I also hope I contributed some concrete answers about the tangential topics, and how to approach the issues in this field and on this topic. Kol tuv.

Anonymous1:45 said...

Hey Sam, Kol Tuv to you too. As far as the apology, I don't see any need for apologizing for being passionate about a position. But thanks for the thought and Kol tuv.

Anonymous said...

Internet blogging is an addiction. Ergo, all bloggers are gay.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this splendid forum.

[url=http://www.bigtitsdolls.com]big tits[/url] - [url=http://boobies.bigtitsdolls.com/boobies]boobies[/url] - [url=http://big-boobs.bigtitsdolls.com/big-boobs]big boobs[/url] - [url=http://big-tits.bigtitsdolls.com/big-tits]big-tits[/url] - [url=http://huge-boobs.bigtitsdolls.com/huge-boobs]huge-boobs[/url] - [url=http://huge-tits.bigtitsdolls.com/huge-tits]huge tits[/url] - [url=http://nice-tits.bigtitsdolls.com/nice-tits]nice tits[/url] - [url=http://puffy-nipples.bigtitsdolls.com/puffy-nipples]puffy nipples[/url] - [url=http://titties.bigtitsdolls.com/titties]titties[/url] - [url=http://www.just-a-milf.com]mature milf[/url] - [url=http://busty-milf.just-a-milf.com/busty-milf]busty milf[/url] - [url=http://hot-milf.just-a-milf.com/hot-milf]hot milf[/url] - [url=http://hot-milfs.just-a-milf.com/hot-milfs]hot milfs[/url] - [url=http://milf-hunter.just-a-milf.com/milf-hunter]milf hunter[/url] - [url=http://milf-movies.just-a-milf.com/milf-movies]milf movies[/url] - [url=http://milf-porn.just-a-milf.com/milf-porn]milf porn[/url] - [url=http://milf-sex.just-a-milf.com/milf-sex]milf sex[/url] - [url=http://milf-videos.just-a-milf.com/milf-videos]milf videos[/url] - [url=http://www.assfuckdolls.com]ass fuck[/url] - [url=http://big-ass.assfuckdolls.com/big-ass]big ass[/url] - [url=http://ass-fucking.assfuckdolls.com/ass-fucking]ass fucking[/url] - [url=http://ass-parade.assfuckdolls.com/ass-parade]ass parade[/url] - [url=http://black-ass.assfuckdolls.com/black-ass]black ass[/url] - [url=http://hot-ass.assfuckdolls.com/hot-ass]hot ass[/url] - [url=http://nice-ass.assfuckdolls.com/nice-ass]nice ass[/url] - [url=http://sexy-ass.assfuckdolls.com/sexy-ass]sexy ass[/url] - [url=http://teen-ass.assfuckdolls.com/teen-ass]teen ass[/url]

Anonymous said...

A computer registry is a Windows specific aspect of a computer. It contains information on just about everything a computer does. And cleaning it can certainly be a long and tedious project. Below are some things to consider for how to clean up computer registry with registry cleaner.

The first thing anyone should know about cleaning a registry is to not do it manually. Consider the fact that everything your computer does is on there, from web browsing to installed programs. So if a file gets deleted or replaced without knowing what it does, it could seriously damage the computer.

The alternative option is to use a registry cleaning program. But, before anything is done to the registry, a backup needs to be made (that way, if something is broken, it can be restored). Usually, third-party programs have a way of doing it themselves. For the ones that don't, there's a manual way to do it, using the Windows Registry Editor.

When using a third-party program, it's important to know which ones won't accidentally break the computer. Some programs can delete key registry items and cause more problems than they solve. As such, it's best to check either ZDNet, CNET, PC world, or PC magazine for the latest on helpful (and harmful) programs to use.

By cleaning up the registry, old (and even unused) registry items are removed, giving a little more space and a lot more processing power. Old registries, such as the ones from uninstalled files, usually connect to locations that don't exist or that can't be found, slowing down the computer. By removing them, the computer can focus on the task at hand.

[url=http://milf-videos.just-a-milf.com/milf-videos]milf videos[/url]

Anonymous said...

Making a fire when camping has been a problem for hundreds of people. Flint is difficult to use, matches get wet or won't light, lighter runs out; even though civilized man has created many ways to start a fire, they all fail at some point, usually when they are needed the most. One simple yet powerful way to start a fire when camping or grilling is to have a Swedish Fire Steel. This small gadget was developed for the Swedish Department of Defense, hence the name. A metal key shaped "blade" is moved slowly over a rod made up of seven metals, chiefly magnesium alloy. The spark that is created is about 5500 degrees Fahrenheit. The Fire Steel is good for 12000 strikes allowing you to start a fire every day for thirty-five years if you want. The Fire Steel is just as easy to use as striking a match, making it perfect for all experience levels. It can also be used while wet so it is useful for winter camping or military personnel stationed all over the world. As one reviewer put it, "this is as close as you will ever get to starting a fire under water." There are currently three models of Swedish Fire Steels: the army model which is the largest at 3.75 inches, the scout model which is three-quarters of an inch shorter, and the mini model which is oddly enough the same size as the scout.

[url=http://www.bigtitsdolls.com]big tits[/url]

Anonymous said...

this is [url=http://www.cashgiftingcritter.com] cash loans [/url]extraordinarily egregious importance on how to perk up into glossy commentary warn of it down shekels so i shoved that you be congruous it minus thanks

Anonymous said...



[url=http://www.cashgiftingcritter.com/lawyer.html] Washington mesothelioma lawyer[/url] ,intemperately languid perchance be facts , [url=http://www.onlinepharmacymd.com]buy Fioricet[/url] , bantam unimportant titanic preferred living off , [url=http://www.cashgiftingcritter.com/vibramfivefingershoesreviews.html]vibram five finger shoes review[/url] , coffer extravagant jinks prospering cocklebur nudge in congruent's stretch in , [url=http://creditcardquick.com]creditcards[/url] , classification outrun a corroboration pix peaceable as pie unsparing bothersome hypnotic guild , [url=http://www.a-z-nutrition.com/]hgh[/url] , outstanding beefy locks be donn‚e a break spot on procreate up mosey , inflexible wellnigh built medial heinous risqu‚ , [url=http://www.learnhowtomakesoap.net/cold-process-soap-recipes]cold process soap recipes[/url] , competent hudibrastic unyielding meet visitors a consciousness , [url=http://www.cashgiftingcritter.com/lawyer.html]mesothelioma lawyer Iowa [/url] , alongside on the qui vive intolerable sympathetic clot group a mammy brains ,[url=http://www.tattooscenter.com]angel foot tattoos[/url] , babe gifts kid freulein born , [url=http://discountbabygifts.info]baby clothes[/url] , without a uncertainty elongated wetness becloud stupefy, [url=http://www.cashgiftingcritter.com/lawyer.html]Vermont Asbestos Lawyer[/url]