The Nuremberg Defence and Homosexuality

As a response to my post, “Standing for the Truth on Gay Marriage” a correspondent who calls himself MyAtheistLife made an interesting argument.  He argued that my post was equivalent to the Nuremberg Defence made by accused Nazi war criminals.  “You are defending your Nazi warcrime of disapproving of homosexuality”, he is essentially saying, “by saying that it is okay because God told you to do it.”  Aside from the obvious problems of comparing calling homosexuality a sin to a Nazi warcrime, there are a few other issues that I wanted to point out about this deeply flawed argument.

First of all,  his argument calls his reading comprehension into serious question.  I was not arguing that homosexuality is wrong because God said so (though this is clearly the truth and I certainly agree with that statement), I was arguing that God’s plan to teach mankind how to love one another requires sexual purity even if we don’t understand why this is necessary.  I know this is a difficult concept and some of the details of what I meant were in linked posts that he did not read, but I think I made this point fairly clear.

Secondly, his argument demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of what happened at Nuremberg.  At Nuremberg, Allied prosecutors sought to apply “natural law” that they argued superseded national laws arrived at by German consensus.  In other words, the German war criminals were arguing that “we Germans determined that this behaviour was acceptable” and the Allied prosecutors countered that argument by saying that there was an absolute moral law which was higher than the law formed by German consensus.  In the argument on gay marriage, those in the opposition are arguing that the universal consensus of mankind has always been that marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of human societies and that homosexuality violates natural law.  Those supporting gay marriage are arguing for the modern consensus of liberal Americans.  MyAtheistLife is saying that I am in the position of the defendants at Nuremberg, when actually my position is far closer philosophically to the prosecutors at Nuremberg.

The bottom line here is that this is a philosophical disagreement.  Since I believe that sex, marriage and the nuclear family are foundational to God’s plan to teach human beings to love one another, I believe that homosexuality and any other deviance from the sexual purity commanded by God is a sin.  I cannot agree with proponents of gay marriage that heterosexual marriage is not part of the divine purpose because to do so means that there is no such thing as divine purpose and that everything is meaningless.  If the closest, most intimate and most vulnerable relationships in our lives don’t have any meaning or natural order, then what in human life does have meaning or natural order?  The position that nothing has meaning or natural order is philosophical nihilism and this is why I could never agree that homosexuality is okay.  Support of homosexuality is a close cousin to nihilism in that it removes meaning and purpose from the most important aspect of human life.  I cannot and will not support gay marriage because I am not a nihilist and I do not agree that human life has no purpose or meaning.  MyAtheistLife accuses me of a Nazi warcrime because I take this stand, but this only demonstrates the deep confusion of his thinking.

About Robert V

Former atheist currently living in Toronto.
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3 Responses to The Nuremberg Defence and Homosexuality

  1. Nice straw man. I’m not accusing you of war crimes or being a Nazi or that being against LGBT is like killing millions of Jews.

    The Nuremberg Defense refers to a legal strategy employed by many of the defendants at the Nuremberg war crimes trials seeking to convict Nazi perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War. Many of those defendants claimed that they were not guilty of the charges against them as they were “only following orders.”

    I’d really like to see you back this next statement up with evidence:

    “those in the opposition are arguing that the universal consensus of mankind has always been that marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of human societies and that homosexuality violates natural law. ”

    There is no universal consensus of mankind on marriage. Never has there been universal consensus. Marriage being only between one man and one woman is a very recent twist to society. Homosexuality does not violate a natural law. The list of animals that exhibit homosexual behaviors ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior ) indicates that a certain percentage of all mammal species populations will be gay and further that this is natural. That is unless you think your god made animals gay so it would fool us or something.

    Monotheists persecuting this small percentage of the population throughout history is as wrong as slavery was, and isn’t it convenient that they are guilty of that too. There seems to be a trend indicated here. Flat earth, Flood, young earth (for some), and we could go on but this seems to be a strong trend: monotheism is wrong and has to be forced to admit it over and over again… that is unless you think the earth is flat or that we should all be allowed to have slaves. What about stoning adulterers? Should we do that? I have some great rocks in my garden. Where do we meet for this? Should it be on church grounds or perhaps at the courthouse?

    You are talking without knowing what you’re talking about. Attacking me is fine. It’s almost funny. Do try to read up on stuff when people call you out instead of simply spouting more wrongness.

    Now, let’s see if you will actually publish this

    • Robert V says:

      Mal,

      “Nice straw man. I’m not accusing you of war crimes or being a Nazi or that being against LGBT is like killing millions of Jews.”

      When you use the word Nuremberg half a dozen times in as many sentences, you are clearly using a favourite tactic of the propagandist called “guilt by association”. If I was to write a comment on your blog and mention pornography a dozen times when talking about you, people would read my comment and say, “I wonder why Mal is so heavily into porn?” even if I never actually accused you of it and didn’t provide any evidence. Now you can say, “Rob I am ignorant of this tactic and wasn’t using it” but I don’t believe it for a moment.

      “There is no universal consensus of mankind on marriage. Never has there been universal consensus. Marriage being only between one man and one woman is a very recent twist to society.”

      There are many law codes and cultures known and yet I know of none which included homosexual marriage. Aside from the U.S. and Ireland in the last few years, can you name one? If not this seems pretty universal to me. Yes there have been cultures where women outnumbered men where polygamy was acceptable, so one man/one woman marriage isn’t quite a universal standard and I should probably have made that clearer. Even if there were a few cultures that had homosexual marriage, a universal standard of morality such as the one applied at Nuremberg does not require unanimous consensus. There are, after all, more than a few cultures that find cannibalism acceptable though the near universal consensus is that it is very wrong.

      rob

      • Rob,
        What you ‘know’ of law codes and cultures is easily contrasted by a quick trip to the Internet:
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/06/29/the-countries-where-gay-marriage-is-legal-map/ and then there is a historical view of same sex unions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_unions

        Near universal consensus and universal consensus are quite different things. You’re still missing my point regarding the Nuremberg Defence. I’m rather confused as to why.

        The gist of your argument is that you’re just following orders of your god. That is the same defence – just following orders. Just as at the trials, I find that defence lacking. Your moral judgement should tell you if you should follow an order or not. I’m sure you don’t stone adulterers to death, avoid wearing clothes of mixed material, avoid pork etc. So your personal subjective moral judgement is used in other related matters. To sit back and say that same sex unions are wrong because your god says so is lame.

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