Gay Rights in through the Singularity
by phil on Wednesday Aug 6, 2003 8:13 AM
Idea Archive, Singularity, marriage, religion_old
There's a MSNBC article summarizing the major strides that the gay community has made recently in America: the first gay Episcopalian bishop was elected yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws a month ago, and it seems likely that at least civil unions between same-sex couples will obtain some recognition.
If this is a genuine, permanent paradigm shift, then these events are big from a social evolution standpoint. Let's consider the opposite: homophobic societies. Obviously they exist to promote reproduction so that these societies can persist; societies that carry anti-gay, pro-reproduction memes tend to survive.
So, when a society comes out of the closet, what does it mean? It could mean that that society is on its decline. Michael Savage apparently agrees, slamming gays as "sodomites"--which would be a reference to Sodom and Gamora of Babylon, a civilization that crumbled possibly because of too much Hedonism and sodomy.
Now, I'm no crack-pot religionist, but is this wholly untrue? It would be too hard to prove or disprove. But the ultimate question is: does social population growth matter? Have societies withered away simply because they stopped having babies? I can't think of many that jump to my mind. But Europe may be in danger of having this happen to her.
But, there could be something unique about our time period where the society construct is losing its weight and therefore its monopoly on memes. Globalization breaks down the walls between societies so that could be one possible source to look at.
Also, this could be a prelude to the Singularity. Gays, self-involved Hedonists, and those who participate in unmarriage could all foreshadow a future where we don't need coitus to generate better information processors (children) in order to help the species persist.
I haven't heard a good counter-argument to the notion that homosexuality could lead to the declining population of a country.
However, I think homosexual acceptance is an inevitable result of societies that sponsor freedom and the rapid exchange of ideas. A closed society can easily shut down homosexuality without too much resistance from its citizens if the citizens are kept in the dark about homosexuality's acceptance elsewhere or if the standard for freedom is low there.
-- well, maybe not shut "homosexuality down" but still force people to have sex with the opposite sex, even if it is not their orientation.
So from another perspective, this could be a test for societies that know how to actively encourage population growth. Traditional methods for curbing the gay tide are losing their steam. Religious arguments are becoming mute as there is a wealth of other sources of information than your local parish (and if they support a Gay bishop, there goes Church's force in keeping the gayman down. Open scientific debate and the free movement of education has also shown that there is nothing physically dangerous about being homosexuality except the increased possibility of getting AIDS if you don't use protection. And also, urban legends and myths your parents used to feed you, have also lost their weight due to the free exchange of information.
What's my personal stance? I'm a firm believer in the Singularity's imminent arrival, so I don't care too much about population decline, as the consequences won't be felt.
If the Singularity doesn't happen though, would totalitarian societies be more favored then, by forcing certain ideas on its people? Or can a society allow freedom to float freely while managing to enforce policies that ensure its survival?
Which leads to another issue I will get to later: The importance of freedom and its relationship to survival.