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Dialogues with The Elder
On Obligations and Morality -

Dialogue 4: Homosexuality



By Feng Xin-Ming, 2014

跟长者的对话 - 伦理、道德



对话四:同性恋



冯欣明著,2014年

(To "Dialogue 1: Having Children")
(To "Dialogue 2: Raising Children, Marriage")
(To "Dialogue 3: The Multigenerational Extended Family")

到“对话一:生儿女”
到“对话二:养育儿女、婚姻”
到“对话三:多代大家庭”
The Elder said:

Having and raising children is the natural morality of the universe; we are all obligated to have and to raise children. And both biological parents should marry to raise their biological children together. The multigeneration extended family is a great achievement in human morality. Persons with homosexual sexual orientations, just like persons with heterosexual sexual orientations, should also fulfill these same obligations - having different sexual orientations doesn’t mean one has different obligations...
长者说:

生儿育女,天经地义,我们都有义务和责任生孩子和养育孩子。同时,两个生理上的父母都应该结婚,一起来养育他们生理上的孩子。多代大家庭是人类道德的一个重大成就。具有同性恋性倾向的人跟具有异性恋性倾向的人一样,都应该践行这些义务和责任;具有不同的性倾向并不意味具有不同的义务和责任。。。
(Cont'd from previous...)

I:   Fine, fine, the extended family is good and important. But what if one's sexual orientation is homosexual? Can't one just get married to a member of the same sex and raise one's children then?

Elder:   No, because you would be depriving the child of one of his parents. If it's a male couple, you would be depriving the child of his mother. If it's a female couple, you would be depriving the child of his father. Just think: even when the father or mother is a criminal in jail, the long-lost child will still seek him or her out and recognize him or her as the parent; so where do we get the right to deprive a child for life of one of his parents?

(续上篇...)

:好吧,好吧,大家庭很好很重要。但是,如果一个人的性倾向是同性恋的话,怎么办呢?可以跟同性的伴侣结婚然后养育孩子吗?

长者:不可以,因为这样做将会剥夺了孩子,不让他享有他父母的其中一位。如果是一对男伴侣,就会从孩子剥夺去他的母亲,如果是一对女伴侣,就会从孩子剥夺去他的父亲。试想一想,尽管父亲或母亲是监狱里的罪犯,长期遗失掉的孩子都要寻找他认他为父母,那么我们的权力从那里得来,可以把他们父母之一终生剥夺去啊?

I:   But haven't studies shown that children raised in homosexual families are just as well adjusted and healthy?

Elder:   I am not talking about the results; I am talking about the moral right of the child to being raised by both of his biological parents, to his rightful inheritence of being raised by both of his biological parents. I am talking about the moral wrong of depriving him of one of his parents.

By the way, I am not conceding that being so deprived and raised in homosexual families result in children that are brought up "just as well". No, as I have said earlier, there is a unique match of the combined culture and nurture from a unique set of biological parents to the unique set of combination of genes from those parents, and this uniquely matching culture and nurture should be transmitted to the biological offspring. Therefore I feel that if these children who had grown up in homosexual families hadn't been deprived of one of their parents, they might have grown up even better.

Beides, a lot of people with so called "homosexual sexual orientation" are just young people who experiment out of curiosity and who sometimes get led into a certain pattern of behavior by joining a certain group. Their sexual orientation may be completely malleable and they can actually have heterosexual sex. These people's homosexual sexual orientation is actually not extreme, not stubborn; it's only their misunderstanding of their own sexuality. There is absolutely no need for such people to give up their obligations to have and raise children with a member of the opposite sex.

:但多项研究不是证明了,在同性恋家庭中长大的孩子跟其他孩子一样心理调整良好,一样健康吗?

长者:我不是谈后果,我是谈孩子道义上的权利:获得两个生理父母养育的这个权利和获得这个应该属于他的遗产的权利。我是谈把孩子父母其中之一剥夺去这个道德上的错犯。

顺便说,我并不承认这样被剥夺了、在同性恋家庭长大的孩子,“一样良好地”成长。不,好像我已经说过那样,一对独特的生理父母,也有独特的、配合他们独特混合基因的混合文化和养育,应该传递给生理子女。所以我认为,如果没有把他们父母其中之一剥夺去的话,这些同性恋家庭长大的孩子可能会成长得更良好。

而且,很多所谓“具同性恋性倾向”的人们,其实只是因好奇而试验的年轻人,有时进入了某个群体而被导入了某种惯性的行为,但完全是能变的,可以跟异性性交的。这些人的同性恋性倾向其实并不是极端的、固执的,那只是自己对自己的一个误会。这些人完全没有必要抛弃跟异性生子女和共同养育子女的义务和责任。

I:   Alright, fine, but what to do if one truly has homosexual orientation? How can one get married to a member of the opposite sex then? How can one love a member of the opposite sex?

Elder:   Persons with homosexual sexual orientations, just like persons with heterosexual sexual orientations, should also fulfill the same obligations - having different sexual orientations doesn’t mean one has different obligations. Sex is just a part of a person's life and to some even a small part; it is wrong to make sex the over-riding determinant of one's life, and the over-riding determinant of one's obligations in life. Relationship-defined obligations are what should be the over-riding determinant in governing our lives, not feelings of sexual satisfaction or sexual desire.

It is only in the modern West that this overriding obsession with sex and sexual orientation to the exclusion of everything else has arisen. To be sure, part of this is a reaction against the historical criminalization of homosexuality by the Moses religious tradition that the West has inherited, a tradition where homosexuality is punishable by death, and where two cities were destroyed by God and their entire populations executed, men, women and children, in the Old Testament. In contrast, in cultures like traditional China where there hasn't been a Moses religious tradition, homosexuality is tolerated, except where, in individual cases, obsessiion with it interferes with sexual intercourse with the wives and hence with the begatting of children. Various Chinese novels from Imperial days mention homosexuality in a matter-of-fact, neutral manner, and on occasions where there is disapproval expressed it's only when the begatting of children is obstructed. Today in the West, however, it is not only considered right and permissible to live a life where major obligations like having and raising children are subordinate to one's sexual orientation, where sexual orientation is placed above all else in life, but also considered extremely wrong and shameful to do anything else. This is wrong. Having different sexual orientations doesn’t mean that one has different obligations or that one has to live entirely different lives.

:好吧,好吧,但是,如果真的是有同性恋的性倾向时怎么办?怎能跟异性结婚?怎能爱异性的人?

长者:具有同性恋性倾向的人跟具有异性恋性倾向的人一样,都应该践行同样的义务和责任;具有不同的性倾向并不意味具有不同的义务和责任。性交不过是生活的一部分,对一些人来说只是小的一部分,不应该把性交当作生活中压倒一切的首要因素,或当作决定一个人生命中所应该负起的责任和义务的首要因素。人伦,即取决于伦常关系的责任和义务,才应该是规范我们生命中压倒一切的首要因素,而不是性满足或性欲。

把性和性倾向放到最高位置,排除其他一切的这种迷恋执着,只是在现代的西方起源的。是的,有一部分原因是对西方承传下来的摩西宗教传统的反弹,因为这个宗教传统历史上把同性恋看为刑事犯罪,同性恋是可判死刑的,《圣经旧约》的神就因此毁灭了两个城市,男女老幼都全部处死。相反,在没有摩西宗教传统的文化里,例如传统的中国,同性恋得到包容,除了被它迷上而阻碍跟妻子性交生孩子的个别案例之外。一些帝皇时代的中国小说把同性恋理所当然地、中性地提及,而表示不赞同则只是在阻碍生子女的情况之下。但是在今天的西方,过着一种把生孩子和养育孩子等重大责任和义务隶属于性倾向之下的生活,不但被认为是正确的和许可的,而且不这样做就被认为是极端错误的,可耻的。这是错误的。具有不同的性倾向并不意味具有不同的义务和责任或需要过完全不同的生活。

I:   But if one has homosexual sexual orientation, how can one love a member of the opposite sex as a spouse?

Elder:   You mean you can't love someone with whom you build a life together? Why not? Why do you have to have a certain sexual preference to love someone of the opposite sex? Why is sex that over-ridingly important? Again, relationship-defined obligations are what should be supreme in governing our lives, not feelings of sexual satisfaction or sexual desire.

:但是,有了同性恋的性倾向,怎能爱异性的配偶呢?

长者:这就是说,不能爱一个跟你终生一起建设共同生活的人?为什么?为什么必须有某种性倾向才能爱异性的人?为什么性这么重要,处于一切之上?重复一下:人与人之间的伦常关系所定义的责任和义务即人伦,才应该处于一切之上来规范我们的生活,而不是性的满足或性欲。

I:   Well then, are you advocating that persons with homosexual sexual orientation suppress and hide their sexual orientation, mislead some unsuspecting member of the opposite sex and get married? All for the sake of having and raising children?

Elder:   Of course not. One should be honest if one really has a strong homosexual orientation and disclose one's sexual orientation to one's would be spouse before marriage to enable a choice of taking you or leaving you; dishonesty and trickery always end in despicable failure and extreme unhappiness for all concerned sooner or later.

Again, it is only in cultures with the Moses' tradition of religious obsessions over sex that people with homosexual orientations have in the past lived in shame and fear and hid their sexual orientations from their spouses.

:那么,是不是要求具有同性恋倾向的人们把性倾向压抑,误导不知情的异性,跟她结婚?而这都是为了生孩子和养育孩子?

长者:当然不是。如果具有强烈的同性恋倾向,就应该婚前诚实地把性倾向告知配偶对象,使其能够作出取舍决定。欺骗和诡计都迟早会对各方变为卑鄙的失败和极端的悲痛。

此外,只有在承传摩西传统那种宗教上对性极为执着的文化,具同性恋性倾向的人们才在近年代之前生活于羞耻和惊恐之中,对配偶把性倾向隐瞒。

I:   But then if the other person knows you have a homosexual orientation, who's going to marry you?

Elder:   Ah, someone who doesn't mind. Let me say this again: sex isn't everything in life. A lot of people might like you for other qualities and want to build a life together with you. One possibility, of course, is to find another person of the opposite sex who also has a homosexual orientation and also wants to have and raise children without depriving them of one of their parents. Then it will be very fair for the both of you.

:但如果对方知道你有同性恋的性倾向,又怎会跟你结婚呢?

长者:啊,不在乎的人就会。再说一遍:性不是生命中的一切。很多人可能会喜欢你其他的方面,想跟你建设一个共同的生命。当然,另一个可能性就是找一位亦具同性恋倾向的、亦想生孩子、亦不想把孩子父母其中之一剥夺去来养育孩子的异性人士。那么就对两个人都很公平了。

I:   Still, what then is one to do with one's sexual needs if one has strong homosexual sexual orientation? Is he condemned to a life of dissatisfaction?

Elder:   No, not at all. With today's technology, there are many ways that a cooperating couple can satisfy each other's sexual needs.

Also, as I said before, a lot of people with so-called homosexual sexual orientation are just curious young people who experiment out of curiosity, who sometimes get into a a certain group and is led into a certain behavioral routine, and are totally malleable, totally fine with heterosexual sex once they get used to it.

:但问题仍然是,有强烈同性恋性倾向的人,怎样满足性需求啊?是不是要被判一辈子都不获得满足吗?

长者:不,完全不是。今天的科技让一对合作的配偶能够以很多方法互相满足性需求。

而且,正如我刚才说过那样,很多所谓“具同性恋性倾向”的人们,其实只是因好奇而试验的年轻人,有时进入了某个群体而被导入了某种惯性的行为,但完全是能变的,一旦习惯异性性交后就完全没事的。

I:   But what if one truly has strong homosexual sexual orientation and is still not satisfied no matter how much the spouse of the opposite sex cooperates, could one go out and find partners to fulfil one's needs?

Elder:   No, as we've discussed in our previous dialogue, sex is a very intense, emotional, mutually interacting experience so it should be used to strengthen bonds between the husband and wife. If done with outsiders it weakens the emotional marital bond and leads to mutual resentment, and we need the emotional marital bond to be as strong as possible so as to have better cooperation and to be permanent. Therefore we need sex to be exclusive to the marriage and we still need chastity. We need to keep sex within the permanent bounds of marriage.

:但如果真的是有强烈的同性恋性倾向而无论异性的配偶如何合作,仍然不能够满足呢?可以出去找些伙伴来满足需求吗?

长者:不,因为正如我们在上一次对话中所说,性交是一個感情上很強烈的共同互動身受經歷,應該用來增強丈夫和妻子之間的連結。如果跟外人進行會弱化婚姻的感情連結,會引致互相怨恨,而婚姻的感情連結需要越強越好,才能有更好的合作和有永久性。所以,性交必须排他地在婚姻内进行,仍然需要贞操。需要把性交限制在具永久性的婚姻范围内。

I:   Well, how about a person having both a male and a female spouse; then one can have homosexual sex with the spouse who is of the same sex to satisfy one's homosexual orientation, and still have and raise children with the spouse of the opposite sex?

Elder:   That would not be moral, because the spouse of the same sex would not have a marriage with someone of the opposite sex to have and raise children of his or her own.

:那么,可以这样吗:一个人同时拥有男的和女的配偶,那么既可以跟同性的配偶进行性交来满足性欲,亦可以跟异性的配偶生孩子和养育孩子?

长者:这样不道德,因为同性的配偶便不能跟异性结婚来生下和养育自己的孩子。

I:   What is a person with strong homosexual orientation who needs sexual satisfaction from a same sex partner to do then?

Elder:   Well, perhaps one way to get around this, if this indeed is a big issue, is to have, instead of a couple in marriage, a quartet. Two men and two women marry, where the two men are homosexual partners for each other and the two women are also homosexual partners for each other. One of the men and one of the women, however, pair off to have and raise children, while the other one of the men and the other one of the women also pair off in a similar way. This satisfies the moral requirements of having children, raising children by both parents, and keeping sex within the exclusive and permanent bounds of marriage. This may be a moral innovation worth considering for those who have such issues.

:那么,一个具有强烈同性恋倾向、需要同性性伙伴才能满足的人,应该怎么办呢?

长者:如果这真的是个大问题的话,也许可以不是两个人结婚,而是四个人。两个男人和两个女人结婚,两个男人是同性恋伙伴而两个女人也是同性恋伙伴。但同时,其中一个男人和一个女人结为一对来生孩子和养育孩子,而其中另外一个男人和另外一个女人也同样地结为一对。这就满足了生孩子、父母一起养育孩子、和把性交限制于排他的和永久性的婚姻范围内等各个道德要求。这可能是一个符合道德的创新,有这种问题的人们也许应该考虑。

I:   Hmmm, interesting... But isn't that going to be a bit complicated? I mean, it's hard enough to find one spouse, now you are talking about finding 3 other spouses...

Elder:   Well, it's a bit more complicated than finding one spouse, that's for sure. If, however, we free ourselves from the form of courtship that conforms with the West's ideology of the supremacy of love, then it wouldn't be so difficult.

Well, let me take this opportunity to critique the West's form of courtship. What follows also applies to those with a heterosexual orientation.

It is in Westernized cultures where we find the most complexity and difficulty with finding spouses. That's because according to the Western ideology of the supremacy of love, two persons are supposed to fall madly in love with each other first and only then do they get married. Moreover, according to Westernized popular culture, the two are supposed to find each other somehow, through their own efforts and not through introduction by some friend etc., and some mysterious "chemistry" is supposed to take place - in both persons! And all this is without any checking of personal or family background! This is all actually a Western myth that doesn't turn out or doesn't turn out well very often. People need go-betweens and arrangements by friends, and now many people meet through dating services, often online, where they each state the qualities they are looking for and what would be "deal-breakers", and reputable dating services do check out the claims. Indeed, in traditional cultures like India and inland or rural China, marriages are arranged by the parents, and go-betweens whether in the form of friends of the family or of professional match makers provide indispensible help in finding and checking out the prospects as well as their families. I think we will be gravitating back towards that kind of more rational and less risky, anxiety-provoking spouse-finding, as opposed to the Western myth drummed into our minds since childhood by Western literature and by Westernized popular culture.

What is important in finding a mate is that one must realize that the deciding thing in marriage isn't "compatibility", since compatibility is something people have to constantly throughout life maintain dialogue and compromises in order to achieve. The deciding factor is commitment; the people involved must commit for life, for better or for worse. As in any marriage, after finding a person with the right qualifications, commitment to build a life together is what is necessary.

Since the "quartet" is a new thing, why hew to the hackneyed Western myth? More rational searching and more means of searching for qualified life partners will make the process far easier.

:嗯,有意思... 但那不会很复杂吗?找一个配偶已经很难了,现在是要找三个配偶啊...

长者:对,比找一个配偶更复杂,这是真的。但是,如果摆脱西方的爱至上意识形态所支配的求偶形式,并不是那么难的。

好吧,我就顺便在这里批评一下西方这种求偶方式吧。以下的话,对异性恋性倾向的人一样适合。

只是在西化了的社会里,找配偶才是最复杂最难的。这是因为根据西方的爱至上意识形态,两个人必须先疯狂地互相恋爱,然后才能结婚。另外,根据西化的流行文化,这两人还应该只通过自己的行动找到对方,而不是经过什么朋友的介绍等等,亦必须有一种神秘的“化学”催化感情,双方都要有!而且,所有这些都不经过个人或家庭背景检查!其实这都是一个西方神话,不是很多时有结果或有好结果的。人们需要媒人和朋友们的安排,现在很多人通过约会媒介,很多时是网络上的,可以把期待的条件和不可接受的状况列上,而有声誉的约会媒介就会检查人们声称的自我状况。实际上,在例如印度和中国农村和内陆等传统文化里,婚姻是由父母安排的,充当媒人的父母朋友世交或专业的媒人,提供不可或缺的对象寻觅和个人及家庭背景检查。我认为,我们将会渐渐重回那种更为理性、更少风险、更少令人焦虑的求偶方式,而不是那个从小童时就被西方文学和西化的流行文化不断锤打进我们脑海的神话。

寻找伴侣时重要的是,必须认识,对婚姻具决定性的,并不是“互相适合性”,因为互相适合性是需要终生不断通过对话和妥协来达到的。对婚姻具决定性的,其实是格守诺言,各方必须格守“无论好歹终生一起”这个诺言。正如任何婚姻一样,找到具有适合条件的对方之后,所需要的就是各方承诺终生一起建设共同生活和对这个承诺的格守。

既然“四人结合”是新事物,为什么还要遵循那个陈腐的西方神话呢?更为理性的和更多的寻找合适终生伙伴途径将会使过程更为容易。

I:   Ha ha, well then maybe that is indeed workable!

Elder:   Yes, might be workable. Someone might do it. For people who truly have those issues, this seems the moral way forward to me.

:哈哈,那么也许这个真的可以行得通!

长者:对,也许行得通。也许会有人做出来。依我看来,对真的有那些问题的人来说,这样做好像符合道德。

I:   Well, Elder, it's really stimulating to talk to you. No matter how I challenge your assertions, you always have a rational answer.

Elder:   Ah yes, it is very important to have such dialogues to ensure that we stay on moral paths.

(... End of Dialogue)

:长者,我们的对话真精彩。无论我提出什么质疑都有理性的回答。

长者:啊,对,这种对话很重要,这样才能保证我们一直都走在符合道德的道路上。

( ... 对话完)



← Back to Essays Page 回到论文页 ← To "Dialogue 3" 到“对话三”

 
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