Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fishpasta vs Doctor Professor Chris Weaver - Is Gay Sex Morally Permissible? 2010


This debate ( audio only | 1hr 46m 42s ) took place on the long since defunct Urban Philosophy site and was between Fishpasta and Doctor Professor Chris Weaver. The topic was whether gay sex was morally permissible.

5+ stars: Okay not really that many stars but this debate is just too funny to not make a post about it.

I came across this debate in a discussion with some pals about the Craig Carroll debate. Weaver reviewed Carroll's comso model and Craig cited him in his rebuttal. I was then told this debate was really funny. And it was.

The first thing to notice is that it wasn't a debate on same-sex marriage or homosexuality in general - it was about gay sex. Furthermore, this wasn't just any entry-level-defined gay sex --oh no. At the start of the debate Weaver lays out his definition gay sex that needs to be stated to fully appreciate.

By gay sex Weaver means

"Some human person X performs a conglomeration of actions Y1 through Yn which can correctly be described as gay sex when X is paired with at least one human person Z of the same gender and at least X intentionally and consensually (Z also consenting) either (a) uses his penis to penetrate the rectum of Z, in this case another male, sometimes repeatedly, until X experiences sexual climax and ejaculation; (b) uses her vagina to perform instrumental indentation on the body of Z, in this case another female, until X experiences sexual climax which incorporates a particular pleasurable series of mental states causally connected to the stimulation of the clitoris."

Already this is one of the best debates I've heard, ever.

Each speaker got 15 minute openings then 7 minutes each of cross ex followed by 10 minute rebuttals and 5 minute closings.

Fishpasta went first and sans a weirdly deliberate affirmation of logical positivism, it was a great opening.

Fish gave 11 different normative ethical frameworks, defining them and then arguing how gay sex is morally permissible on each ethical account. Some of them were rather silly frameworks like Sartes' Existentialist Ethics (any rationalizations about what is right/wrong are immoral for innately denying one's responsibility to choose as a human. Most critiques of gay sexin' are rationalizations according to this ethical system based off of cultural/religious traditions but not a person's own formulations making it immoral to claim gay sex is morally wrong). However he gave nice succinct descriptions of utilitarian, deontological, and contractarian ethical systems and argued that gay sex was totally cool in each moral framework.

Fish also mentioned empirical findings and preempted arguments from harm (gay sex is immoral because of the harm unprotected sex causes - more prone to contract HIV but soccer players are also more likely to contract HIV by playing soccer so is soccer immoral?) plus Weaver's Kantian ethical view of choice.

Weaver started out mentioning issues about gay sex, his belief that Fishpasta muddled philosophical concepts and then gave his first argument against gay sex - the Modal Ontological Argument for Theism. After this, Weaver critiqued Fishpasta's affirmation of bundle theory for some reason. Weaver ran out of time before he could give his other argument against gay sex - that Jesus rose bodily from the dead.

Herein lies the answer to the gay sex riddle.

The cross-ex was muddled for both sides. Fish attempted to ask Weaver if he felt his personal convictions supersede logical argumentation which seemed to confuse Weaver. Much of Fish's cross was Weaver wanting more clarification. Weaver decided to critique Fishpasta's position of logical positivism in a way that incidentally had nothing to do with gay sex.

Weaver then requested more time to lay out his case and it was decided that he could split his rebuttal up and then he spent 5 minutes arguing for the historical accuracy of the bible.

Fishpasta again nailed his rebuttal by noting that Weaver failed to address his arguments and only proffered arguments against things irrelevant to the topic. He also pointed out that the Modal Ontological Argument only gets us to deism and not Christian theism. He then noted that showing the historicity of the bible doesn't help his case too much because Paul wasn't an ethicist. Weaver wasted his other five minutes correcting Fish for saying his argument was analytic when it's only propositions that can be analytic - this had something to do with gay sex, I'm sure.

Both closed and it seemed like Fish was running out of steam and Weaver was trying some analytic-modal semantic presentation of the Chewbacca defense or something.

Even during the informal Q&A Weaver fixated on tackling Fishpasta's adherence to bundle theory...

Every ounce of Weaver's case was as if he wanted to parody analytic philosophy. The fact that he was serious just added to all the other funny stuff about the debate. I am surprised at the level of sophistication in the debate on both sides. Fish explained a bunch of interesting ethical frameworks and Weaver's critique of bundle theory sounded intriguing if absolutely irrelevant.

Philosophers like Kant, Anscombe, and Rawls were thrown into the mix along with a lot of philo jargon. I heard, mutatis mutandis, salva veritate, relata, a fortitori, eo ipso just to name a few terms.

Weaver warned several times that the debate shouldn't be recorded but obviously it was because I just heard it. It seems like Weaver is an intense guy and known for making similar proclamations. Since the debate happened awhile ago I'm posting a link to the recording but it might not last for long.

Concerning the definition of Gay Sex

After heated discussion with some friends several problems have been pointed out in Weaver's definition. The most striking problem is that Gay Sex is only that which features consenting participants. Why is it that non-consensual gay sex is left out?

Another issue is that it seems like loopholes can be easily exploited - there's more to gay sex than just anal or clitoral stimulation. It also makes one wonder if Weaver took the time to research all the various types of gay sex - the internet has extensive information on the issue.

Also, the causal chain for the lesbian situation could never obtain - does this mean that it's no longer gay sex? I can ask this question after each point but it could just be that Weaver is only against THIS specific type of gay sex. Now this is especially puzzling because if anything the definition describes a pretty positive type of sexin' - consensual and often climaxes obtain.

Finally, the definition is hilariously weird.


Sorry for rarely updating - I've been busy with real life AND practicing my own debatin' abilities. The latter has led to a major interest in philosophy because it seems that knowing a lot about that topic makes informal debating more effective. As a consequence, my views have changed or rather, I think my justification/strategy to support those views have shifted substantially. So if I get back into this blog expect a lot of rewording in the previous reviews, though I don't think that the scores or overall thoughts will be changed.