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Dialogues with The Elder
On Obligations and Morality -

Dialogue 4: Homosexuality



By Feng Xin-Ming, 2014

跟長者的對話 - 倫理、道德



對話四:同性戀



馮欣明著,2014年

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

到“對話一:生兒女”
到“對話二:養育兒女、婚姻”
到“對話三: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...
長者說:

生兒育女,天經地義,我們都有義務和責任生孩子和養育孩子。同時,兩個生理上的父母都應該結婚,一起來養育他們生理上的孩子。多代大家庭是人類道德的一個重大成就。具有同性戀性傾向的人跟具有異性戀性傾向的人一樣,都應該踐行這些義務和責任;具有不同的性傾向並不意味具有不同的義務和責任。。。
(Cont'd from previous: "Dialogues-3"...)

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?

(續上篇:“對話三”...

:好吧,好吧,大家庭很好很重要。但是,如果一個人的性傾向是同性戀的話,怎麼辦呢?可以跟同性的伴侶結婚然後養育孩子嗎?

長者:不可以,因為這樣做將會剝奪了孩子,不讓他享有他父母的其中一位。如果是一對男伴侶,就會從孩子剝奪去他的母親,如果是一對女伴侶,就會從孩子剝奪去他的父親。試想一想,儘管父親或母親是監獄里的罪犯,長期遺失掉的孩子都要尋找他認他為父母,那麼我們的權力從那裡得來,可以把他們父母之一終生剝奪去啊?

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.

:但多項研究不是證明了,在同性戀家庭中長大的孩子跟其他孩子一樣心理調整良好,一樣健康嗎?

長者:我不是談後果,我是談孩子道義上的權利,獲得兩個生理父母養育的這個權利和獲得這個應該屬於他的遺產的權利。我是談把孩子父母其中之一剝奪去這個道德上的錯犯。

順便說,我並不承認這樣被剝奪了、在同性戀家庭長大的孩子,“一樣良好地”成長。不,好像我已經說過那樣,一對獨特的生理父母,也有獨特的、配合他們獨特混合基因的混合文化和養育,應該傳遞給生理子女。所以我認為,如果沒有把他們父母其中之一剝奪去的話,這些同性戀家庭長大的孩子可能會成長得更良好。

而且,很多所謂“具同性戀性傾向”的人們,其實只是因好奇而試驗的年輕人,有時進入了某個群體而被導入了某種慣性的行為,但完全是能變的,可以跟異性性交的。這些人的同性戀性傾向其實並不是極端的、固執的,那只是自己對自己的一個誤會。這些人完全沒有必要拋棄跟異性生子女和共同養育子女的義務和責任。

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 along with 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,如果真的是有同性戀的性傾向時怎麼辦?怎能跟異性結婚?怎能愛異性的人?

長者:具有同性戀性傾向的人跟具有異性戀性傾向的人一樣,都應該踐行同樣的義務和責任;具有不同的性傾向並不意味具有不同的義務和責任。性交不過是生活的一部分,對一些人來說只是小的一部分,不應該把性交當作生活中壓倒一切的首要因素,或當作決定一個人生命中所應該負起的責任和義務的首要因素。人倫,即取決於倫常關係的責任和義務,才應該是規範我們生命中壓倒一切的首要因素,而不是性滿足或性慾。

把性和性傾向放到最高位置,排除其他一切的這種迷戀執著,只是在現代的西方起源的。是的,有一部分原因是對西方承傳下來的摩西宗教傳統的反彈,因為這個宗教傳統歷史上把同性戀看為刑事犯罪,同性戀是可判死刑的,《聖經舊約》的神就因此毀滅了兩個城市,男女老幼都全部處死。相反,在沒有摩西宗教傳統的文化里,例如傳統的中國,同性戀得到包容,除了被它迷上而阻礙跟妻子性交生孩子的個別案例之外。一些帝皇時代的中國小說把同性戀理所當然地、中性地提及,而表示不贊同則只是在阻礙生子女的情況之下。但是在今天的西方,過著一種把生孩子和養育孩子等重大責任和義務隸屬於性傾向之下的生活,不但被認為是正確的和許可的,而且不這樣做就被認為是極端錯誤的,可恥的。這是錯誤的。具有不同的性傾向並不意味具有不同的義務和責任或需要過完全不同的生活。

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,有了同性戀的性傾向,怎能愛異性的配偶呢?

長者:這就是說,不能愛一個跟你終生一起建設共同生活的人?為甚麼?為甚麼必須有某種性傾向才能愛異性的人?為甚麼性這麼重要,處於一切之上?重複一下:人與人之間的倫常關係所定義的責任和義務即人倫,才應該處於一切之上來規範我們的生活,而不是性的滿足或性慾。

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.

:那麼,是不是要求具有同性戀傾向的人們把性傾向壓抑,誤導不知情的異性,跟她結婚?而這都是為了生孩子和養育孩子?

長者:當然不是。如果具有強烈的同性戀傾向,就應該婚前誠實地把性傾向告知配偶對象,使其能夠作出取捨決定。欺騙和詭計都遲早會對各方變為卑鄙的失敗和極端的悲痛。

此外,只有在承傳摩西傳統那種宗教上對性極為執著的文化,具同性戀性傾向的人們才在近年代之前生活於羞恥和驚恐之中,對配偶把性傾向隱瞞。

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.

:但如果對方知道你有同性戀的性傾向,又怎會跟你結婚呢?

長者:啊,不在乎的人就會。再說一遍:性不是生命中的一切。很多人可能會喜歡你其他的方面,想跟你建設一個共同的生命。當然,另一個可能性就是找一位亦具同性戀傾向的、亦想生孩子、亦不想把孩子父母其中之一剝奪去來養育孩子的異性人士。那麼就對兩個人都很公平了。

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.

:但問題仍然是,有強烈同性戀性傾向的人,怎樣滿足性需求啊?是不是要被判一輩子都不獲得滿足嗎?

長者:不,完全不是。今天的科技讓一對合作的配偶能夠以很多方法互相滿足性需求。

而且,正如我剛才說過那樣,很多所謂“具同性戀性傾向”的人們,其實只是因好奇而試驗的年輕人,有時進入了某個群體而被導入了某種慣性的行為,但完全是能變的,一旦習慣異性性交後就完全沒事的。

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.

:但如果真的是有強烈的同性戀性傾向而無論異性的配偶如何合作,仍然不能夠滿足呢?可以出去找些夥伴來滿足需求嗎?

長者:不,因為正如我們在上一次對話中所說,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,性交必須排他地在婚姻內進行,仍然需要貞操。需要把性交限制在具永久性的婚姻範圍內。

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.

:那麼,可以這樣嗎:一個人同時擁有男的和女的配偶,那麼既可以跟同性的配偶進行性交來滿足性慾,亦可以跟異性的配偶生孩子和養育孩子?

長者:這樣不道德,因為同性的配偶便不能跟異性結婚來生下和養育自己的孩子。

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.

:那麼,一個具有強烈同性戀傾向、需要同性性夥伴才能滿足的人,應該怎麼辦呢?

長者:如果這真的是個大問題的話,也許可以不是兩個人結婚,而是四個人。兩個男人和兩個女人結婚,兩個男人是同性戀夥伴而兩個女人也是同性戀夥伴。但同時,其中一個男人和一個女人結為一對來生孩子和養育孩子,而其中另外一個男人和另外一個女人也同樣地結為一對。這就滿足了生孩子、父母一起養育孩子、和把性交限制於排他的和永久性的婚姻範圍內等各個道德要求。這可能是一個符合道德的創新,有這種問題的人們也許應該考慮。

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... 但那不會很複雜嗎?找一個配偶已經很難了,現在是要找三個配偶啊...

長者:對,比找一個配偶更複雜,這是真的。但是,如果擺脫西方的愛至上意識形態所支配的求偶形式,並不是那麼難的。

好吧,我就順便在這裡批評一下西方這種求偶方式吧。以下的話,對異性戀性傾向的人一樣適合。

只是在西化了的社會裡,找配偶才是最複雜最難的。這是因為根據西方的愛至上意識形態,兩個人必須先瘋狂地互相戀愛,然後才能結婚。另外,根據西化的流行文化,這兩人還應該只通過自己的行動找到對方,而不是經過甚麼朋友的介紹等等,亦必須有一種神秘的“化學”催化感情,雙方都要有!而且,所有這些都不經過個人或家庭背景檢查!其實這都是一個西方神話,不是很多時有結果或有好結果的。人們需要媒人和朋友們的安排,現在很多人通過約會媒介,很多時是網絡上的,可以把期待的條件和不可接受的狀況列上,而有聲譽的約會媒介就會檢查人們聲稱的自我狀況。實際上,在例如印度和中國農村和內陸等傳統文化里,婚姻是由父母安排的,充當媒人的父母朋友世交或專業的媒人,提供不可或缺的對象尋覓和個人及家庭背景檢查。我認為,我們將會漸漸重回那種更為理性、更少風險、更少令人焦慮的求偶方式,而不是那個從小童時就被西方文學和西化的流行文化不斷錘打進我們腦海的神話。

尋找伴侶時重要的是,必須認識,對婚姻具決定性的,並不是“互相適合性”,因為互相適合性是需要終生不斷通過對話和妥協來達到的。對婚姻具決定性的,其實是格守諾言,各方必須格守“無論好歹終生一起”這個諾言。正如任何婚姻一樣,找到具適合條件的對方之後,所需要的就是各分承諾終生一起建設共同生活和對這個承諾的格守。

既然“四人結合”是新事物,為甚麼還要遵循那個陳腐的西方神話呢?更為理性的和更多的尋找合適終生夥伴途徑將會使過程更為容易。

I:   Ha ha, 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,也許這個真的行得通!

長者:對,也許行得通。也許會有人做出來。依我看來,對真的有那些問題的人來說,這樣做好像符合道德。

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)

:長者,我們的對話真精彩。無論我提出甚麼質疑都有理性的回答。

長者:啊,對,這種對話很重要,這樣才能保證我們一直都走在符合道德的道路上。

( ... 對話完)



Back to Essays Page 回到論文頁 To "Dialogues-3" 到“對話三”

 
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