Thursday, October 09, 2008

Determinism, Homosexuality and Murder

The above is a link to a very interesting article about determinism, free will and moral responsibility, with a particularly illuminating section which discusses the infamous case of Leopold and Loeb, in which attorney Clarence Darrow (the ACLU member who also defended John T. Scopes for teaching evolution) was able to prevent the defendants from getting the death sentence by arguing, speciously, that their circumstances deprived them of free will and therefore relieved them of the need to be held accountable for their actions.

Wikipedia says, "Darrow based his argument on the claim that his clients weren't completely responsible for their actions, but were the products of the environment they grew up in, and that they could not be held responsible for basing their desire for murder in the proto-existentialist philosophy of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche."

Darrow's argument was a variant of determinism, which (in its genetic form) is also the premise upon which the most commonly accepted defense of homosexuality is based.

It seems to me that if Leopold and Loeb weren't responsible for their actions, the same could be said for those who murdered millions of Jews becaused they based their desire for murder on the philosophies of Adolf Hitler.


Maturity means accepting responsibility for one's actions, whether one chooses to commit murder or to have sex with people of one's own gender. We are influenced by a wide variety of factors, including genetics, the economy, the political climate, our family upbringing and on and on. But none of those things can negate morality or excuse us for choosing to commit morally abominable acts. Philosophical arguments which have the effect of excusing people for committing such acts are a destructive force in our culture.

It would be inappropriate to respond to such specious arguments with censorship or oppression, but that doesn't mean that we ought not to respond at all. Our response should be to teach and preach the simple but profound truth: People who reject God and God's values are enslaved to sin, but they can be liberated from their sinful natures by submitting to the moral will of God, which is expressed in the Bible.

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