bookmark_borderAquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 7: Definitions of “Sexual Activity”

In Part 6 of this series, I argued that the phrase “sexual activity” is unclear, and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
I used examples and information about the use of this phrase in the medical and health arena.  I plan to also look at some information about the use of the phrase “sexual activity” in the legal and criminal justice arena.  But before I move on to discussing the meaning of this phrase in the legal arena, I want to dig a bit deeper into some definitions and interpretations of this phrase in the medical and health arena.
DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF “SEXUAL ACTIVITY” IN THE MEDICAL AND HEALTH ARENA
Let’s start off with the definition of “sexual activity” that is provided by Vocabulary.com:

DEFINITION 1:   

X is a sexual activity IF AND ONLY IF:

(a) X is an activity, and

(b) X is associated with sexual intercourse.

The Encyclopedia Britannica has an article on sexual activity by an expert on sex, and the article provides a definition of “sexual activity”:

DEFINITION 2: 

X is a sexual activity IF AND ONLY IF:

(a) X is an activity, and

(b) X induces sexual arousal.

 
A third definition of “sexual activity” can be inferred from an article presenting scientific research about the frequency of sexual activity:

 
DEFINITION 3:

X is a sexual activity IF AND ONLY IF:

(a) X is an activity, and

(b) a person P engaging in X on an occasion O constitutes P having sex on occasion O.

These three definitions of “sexual activity” are clearly different definitions.  It seems, at least at first glance, that they are NOT equivalent to each other, and that they have different implications.  If this is so, then there are at least three different possible definitions for the phrase “sexual activity” in relation to the medical and health arena.
Let’s put these definitions to work, in order to see if they are in fact different definitions that have different implications.
Suppose that John kisses Susan passionately on the lips for a minute or two, and suppose that Susan is not completely passive but also engages in passionate kissing of John on the lips at the same time.  Is John involved in sexual activity here?  Is Susan involved in sexual activity here?
If we try to apply DEFINITION 1, we run into some problems.  First of all, is the activity here the generic one of “kissing someone on the lips”?  or is it “kissing someone passionately on the lips”?  or is it “John kissing Susan on the lips”? or “John kissing Susan passionately on the lips”? or is it “John kissing Susan passionately on the lips on this particular occasion”?
Kissing someone on the lips can be done without any sexual desire or any intention to ever engage in sexual intercourse with the person being kissed.  Kissing someone passionately on the lips implies some degree of sexual desire or intention to arouse sexual desire.  However, sometimes people become sexually aroused or intend to arouse sexual desire in another person while having no intention to proceed on to having sexual intercourse with that person.
In fact, two people who are attracted to each other may have an explicit plan to AVOID engaging in sexual intercourse, while sometimes engaging in passionate kissing.  Perhaps John and Susan are just such a pair of people.  In that case, is this passionate kissing activity “associated with sexual intercourse”?  It is very difficult to say.  Kissing in general is remotely associated with sexual intercourse, because people often kiss each other as a prelude to engaging in sexual intercourse.  But it is also the case that people often kiss without there being any sexual desire or intention to ever have sexual intercourse with each other.
Although John and Susan apparently have some sexual desire for each other, they may be perfectly capable of controlling their sexual desires and behavior and be able to passionately kiss each other on the lips without then proceeding to have sexual intercourse.  It is simply UNCLEAR whether this activity constitutes a “sexual activity” according to DEFINITION 1.
But if both John and Susan are engaged in passionate kissing for a minute or two, then it seems clear that this activity “induces sexual desire” in John and in Susan, and thus would clearly count as a “sexual activity” according to DEFINITION 2.
Kissing on the lips, even passionate kissing on the lips, does NOT constitute “having sex” with another person, so this activity is clearly NOT an instance of “sexual activity” according to DEFINITION 3.
We can already see that these three definitions are three DIFFERENT definitions, with different implications.  DEFINITION 1 leaves us unclear as to whether the passionate kissing between John and Susan counts as a “sexual activity”.  DEFINITION 2 clearly implies that the passionate kissing between John and Susan counts as a “sexual activity”, and DEFINITION 3 clearly implies that this passionate kissing between John and Susan does NOT count as a “sexual activity.”
We have examined three definitions of “sexual activity” and discovered that they are three different definitions, and that at least in some cases they have conflicting implications.  Therefore, these three different definitions of “sexual activity” represent three different conflicting interpretations of that phrase.  I did not have to look very long to find these three definitions, so if I took more time, I’m sure I could come up with at least two or three more alternative definitions.  This is strong evidence that the phrase “sexual activity” as used in the medical and health arena is UNCLEAR, and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
 
DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF “SEXUAL ACTIVITY” IN THE LEGAL AND CRIMINAL ARENA
A commenter who rejected my criticism of Hsiao’s core “argument” in PFA, claimed that the meaning of the phrase “sexual activity” was self-explanatory:

Apparently, 90Lew90 believes that the phrase “sexual activity” is “completely unambiguous” and that the meaning of this phrase is OBVIOUS to most people.  We have seen above that this phrase is clearly NOT “completely unambiguous” and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
90Lew90 goes on to point out that this phrase is “also a term of law”.  Although it is true that this phrase is a term used in our laws and our legal system, concerning sex crimes, what 90Lew90 failed to realize is that our laws provide powerful evidence that the phrase “sexual activity” is AMBIGUOUS and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
90Lew90 apparently forgot that our laws (in the USA) against sex crimes are, primarily, STATE LAWS.  Thus, we have 50 different sets of STATE LAWS that define various sex crimes.  The assumption that all 50 states would define “sexual activity” in the same way is very implausible, and extremely unlikely.  In any case, a few seconds of searching on the internet reveals this assumption to be not only FALSE, but to be as WRONG as it could possibly be.
Here are just a few of the dozens of different definitions of “sexual activity” provided by different laws about sex crimes:

 

For many more definitions, see this website: https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/sexual-activity
I have examined a few of these definitions.  Some are very general and abstract, others contain lots of details and specifics.  The ones that contain specifics differ from each other on what specifics they include or exclude in the definitions.  The general and abstract definitions also do NOT all agree with each other.  So, although some of these definitions are very similar to others, some are unique, and some are different from, and disagree with, other definitions.
In pointing to the use of the phrase “sexual activity” in the legal and criminal arena 90Lew90 FAILS to establish his views about the meaning of this phrase, and instead points us to information that clearly proves his claims to be FALSE.  The phrase “sexual activity” is NOT clear; the meaning of this phrase is NOT “completely unambiguous”; the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
Rather, the meaning of the phrase “sexual activity” is UNCLEAR and AMBIGUOUS, and it is in need of definition or clarification.

bookmark_borderAquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 6: Sexual Activity

HSIAO’S FAUX ARGUMENT
Sometimes, Christian philosophers put forward pieces of crap that they pretend to be philosophical arguments, but that are just word salads that are posing as philosophical arguments.  The core “argument” in Tim Hsiao’s article “A Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument against Homosexual Sex” (hereafter: PFA) appears to me to be one such faux argument.  Hsiao fails to define or to clarify ANY of the basic terms and phrases in his core “argument”, making it a string of words that cannot be rationally evaluated.
Here is the core “argument” in PFA:

4. All sexual activity that is not open to the creation of new life is immoral.

A. All homosexual activity is sexual activity that is not open to the creation of new life.

THEREFORE:

7A. All homosexual activity is immoral.

This is NOT an actual argument, because every key term in the argument is UNCLEAR, making it impossible to rationally evaluate any of the three statements that make up this core “argument”.
 
HSIAO’S RESPONSE
Here is Hsiao’s response to my criticism of his core “argument”:
 

In short, his response is that “There’s no need to define the obvious.”  The unstated assumption in this response is that the meanings of all of the key words and phrases in his core “argument” are OBVIOUS.  This response leads me to the following conclusion:  The reason why the core “argument” in Hsiao’s article is a steaming pile of crap is that Hsiao is intellectually incapable of constructing and evaluating philosophical arguments.
It seems self-evident to me that all of the key terms in his core “argument” are UNCLEAR, VAGUE, and/or AMBIGUOUS.  If Hsiao cannot discern that there is a problem of CLARITY in these key terms even after I point to those key terms and object to their UNCLARITY, then he is not intellectually capable of producing an intelligent, logical, and clear philosophical argument.
 
A DEFENDER OF HSIAO’S “ARGUMENT”
One commenter on the post in which I stated my main objections against Hsiao’s core “argument” agreed with me that Hsiao’s article was crap, and yet did NOT agree with my objections against Hsiao’s core “argument”:


90Lew90 replies to my objections in pretty much the same way that Hsiao replied to my objections.  According to 90Lew90 at least three of the key terms in Hsiao’s “argument” have meanings that are “self-explanatory”.  (The whole IDEA of a term that is “self-explanatory” strikes me as absurd.)  Whatever the hell it means for a word or phrase to be “self-explanatory,” the main point appears to be that the meanings of these words and phrases are OBVIOUS.  This is implied when 90Lew90 states that my failure to agree that the phrase “sexual activity” is self-explanatory shows that I am “the one with the problem here.”
Given that 90Lew90 FAILS to discern that  that there is a problem of CLARITY in these key terms even after I point to those key terms and object to their UNCLARITY, I am forced to conclude that just like Hsiao 90Lew90 is not intellectually capable of producing an intelligent, logical, clear philosophical argument, or of rationally evaluating philosophical arguments.
 
ARE THE KEY TERMS IN THE CORE “ARGUMENT” OF PFA UNCLEAR?
Because it seems self-evident to me that ALL of the key terms in Hsiao’s core “argument” in PFA are UNCLEAR, it seems to me that I should NOT have to argue for my objections.  However, Hsiao cannot see the problem, and 90Lew90 cannot see the problem.  So, perhaps the UNCLARITY of these words and phrases is for many people NOT self-evident.
This, however, suggests that I’m incorrect in thinking that the UNCLARITY of these terms is self-evident, given that many (perhaps most) human beings would FAIL to notice the UNCLARITY of these terms, even after I point this out to them.  If I give up my assumption that the UNCLARITY of these terms is self-evident, then I have an obligation to provide REASONS and EVIDENCE to support my view that these terms are in fact UNCLEAR.
I have previously provided some evidence that the term “homosexual activity” is UNCLEAR.  One commenter provided a definition of this term which came from a well-known Catholic bishop and a respected moral theologian (Saint Alphonsus Ligouri).  I examined that proposed definition and found a number of significant problems with the definition, and I pointed those problems out in Post #5 of this series.  The fact that a definition put forward by a well-known Catholic bishop and respected moral theologian contains several obvious and significant problems is evidence that the term “homosexual activity” is UNCLEAR, and this is evidence that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious, since a well-known Catholic bishop and respected moral theologian defined this term in a way that is mistaken and inaccurate.
 
FUCK UP BY WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION EXPERTS ON SEX
90Lew90 cannot see any problem with the CLARITY of the phrase “sexual activity”.  So, I am going to provide him and Hsiao (and anyone who bothers to read my posts on this topic) with evidence that this phrase is UNCLEAR, and evidence that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
First, a short story.  In 1975 the World Health Organization (hereafter: WHO) produced a ground-breaking report concerning “sexual health”: One important thing that this report did was to provide a DEFINITION of the term “sexual health” that has significantly influenced thinking and investigations about this subject for the past four decades:

Although this 1975 WHO report had significant impact on the development of thinking and investigations about sexual health, there was a significant problem with this report, as is pointed out in a 2002 WHO publication (Defining sexual health: Report of a technical consultation on sexual health, 28–31 January 2002, Geneva, p.4):

The doctors and sex experts who wrote the 1975 Report fucked up.  They FAILED to clearly define the most basic terms they were using, such as “sex” and “sexuality” and “sexual activity”.
Hsiao and 90Lew90 would not see any problem with the 1975 WHO report, since their view is that the meanings of terms like “sex” and “sexuality” and “sexual activity” are CLEAR and OBVIOUS. But as the authors of the 2002 WHO report note:

…there has been no subsequent international agreement on definitions for these terms.  

In other words, these terms are UNCLEAR, and the meanings of these terms are NOT obvious, so these basic terms are in NEED of a clear definition, which the 1975 WHO report FAILED to provide.
 
A COMMON MEDICAL QUESTION
Here is another bit of evidence that supports my view that the phrase “sexual activity” is UNCLEAR, and that the meaning of the phrase is NOT obvious.  A common medical question that doctors ask their patients involves a phrase that is very close to the phrase at issue here:

Are you sexually active?

Many people find this question to be problematic.  This in itself is evidence for my view that the phrase “sexual activity” is UNCLEAR and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
But because many people find this question to be problematic, they ask experts about the MEANING of this question.  They ask health experts at Planned Parenthood, for example, and they ask other medical experts.  The response of experts generally begins with the admission that this question is somewhat UNCLEAR.  Furthermore, when these experts provide “clarification” of this question, they end up contradicting each other, by giving different and conflicting interpretations of the question.  This provides even more evidence supporting my view that the phrase “sexual activity” is UNCLEAR and in need of definition.
Here is a response to a request to a medical expert to clarify this common question:

Note that this medical expert admits that

…this question is somehow vague. 

According to this expert, if you engage in sexual activities that involve penetration of the penis into the vagina or penetration of the penis into the anus, then you are “sexually active” but if you do NOT engage in one or the other of these two types of sexual activities, then you are, according to this medical expert, NOT “sexually active”.  This seems fairly clear, but other experts understand this phrase as having a different meaning.
Here is the answer that health experts from Planned Parenthood give to people who ask for clarification of the common question “Are you sexually active?”:

According to health experts at Planned Parenthood:

…there’s sometimes confusion over what ‘sexually active’ actually means.

In other words, this phrase is somewhat UNCLEAR, and the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.  They point out that some people think this phrase “just refers to vaginal intercourse”.  But in the view of Planned Parenthood health experts, this expression, in this context, should be understood as referring to vaginal intercourse plus various “other forms of sex”, including : anal sex and oral sex.
So far, we have seen that there are at least three different interpretations of the phrase “sexually active”:

  • the person has engaged in vaginal sex
  • the person has engaged in activity involving either (a) penetration of the penis into the vagina or (b) penetration of the penis into the anus
  • the person has engaged in either: (a) vaginal sex, or (b) anal sex, or (c) oral sex

But other medical experts provide yet another possible interpretation of the phrase “sexually active”.  Here is the clarification offered by health experts at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center:

Note that, once again, the health experts admit that:

The phrase sexually active is a bit vague…

They provide a fourth possible meaning for this phrase:

  • the person has engaged in either: (a) penis-in-vagina sex, or (b) oral sex, or (c) anal sex, or (d) manual sex.

NONE of the previous clarifications/definitions mentioned “manual sex”.
So, not only do MANY people find the meaning of the phrase “sexually active” to be problematic, but health experts often AGREE that this phrase is vague or UNCLEAR.  Furthermore, different health experts provide different and conflicting interpretations of what this phrase means.  NO WONDER patients are confused about the meaning of the question “Are you sexually active?”, because medical and health experts DON’T AGREE WITH EACH OTHER about what this question means!
But the phrase “sexually active” is very closely related to the phrase “sexual activity”.  The latter phrase could easily be used in place of the former:

Do you engage in sexual activity?

Given the UNCLARITY of the phrase “sexually active” it is likely that the phrase “sexual activity” is also UNCLEAR.  Given that the meaning of the phrase “sexually active” is NOT obvious, it is likely that the phrase “sexual activity” is also NOT obvious.
 
CONCLUSION
In view of the fact that a careful definition of “homosexual activity” put forward by a well-known Catholic bishop and well-respected moral theologian has several significant problems, and thus fails to be a clear and accurate definition of that phrase, this is evidence that the phrase “homosexual activity” is an UNCLEAR phrase, and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.
In view of the fact that the 1975 WHO report on sexual health FAILED to clarify or define some of the most basic terms used by health and sex experts, such as “sex”, “sexuality”, and “sexual activity”, and given that this is now understood by health and sex experts to be a significant problem with that historical and influential report, and given that there was no consensus on the meanings of those important basic terms among health and sex experts for decades after the 1975 WHO report, there is good reason to believe that these basic terms are somewhat UNCLEAR, in need of DEFINITION, and that the meanings of these terms are NOT obvious.
In view of the fact that the common medical question “Are you sexually active?” is confusing and problematic for many patients, and given that medical and health experts provide different and conflicting accounts about what that question means, it is clear that the phrase “sexually active” is UNCLEAR and that the meaning of this phrase is NOT obvious.  Since the phrase “sexual activity” is closely related to the phrase “sexually active”, it is likely that the phrase “sexual activity” is also an UNCLEAR phrase, and likely that the meaning of the phrase “sexual activity” is also NOT obvious.
In the next post, I will present evidence concerning the UNCLARITY of the phrase “sexual activity” in the LEGAL arena, where the focus is on sex crimes.

bookmark_borderOFF TOPIC: Fallon’s Fallacy

I wrote and published a post recently in which I argued there is a good chance that someone (including possibly Donald Trump) will attempt to shoot, kill, or seriously harm Donald Trump in the next year or two. I also commented that I would NOT mourn such an event but would instead CELEBRATE such an event by popping open a bottle of champagne.  (Note: I have no plan or intention to shoot, kill, or physically harm Donald Trump.)
This upset a die-hard Trump supporter who, along with millions of other IDIOTS, bought Donald Trump’s BIG LIE that Trump actually won the November 2020 presidential election.
Along with various other rantings, Cheryl Fallon offered an ARGUMENT for her clearly mistaken belief:

To NOBODY’S surprise, Fallon’s argument contains a basic logical fallacy, a fallacy that we see frequently here at The Secular Outpost in arguments for the existence of God: the fallacy of EQUIVOCATION.  Because of this fallacy, her argument FAILS.
Here is the core of Fallon’s crappy little argument:

1. President Trump received 74 million votes in the 2020 presidential election.

2. 142.5 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election.

THEREFORE:

3. Joseph Biden received no more than 68.5 million votes in the 2020 presidential election.

This core argument is UNSOUND, because premise (2) is FALSE.
But Fallon supports premise (2) with the following sub-argument:

4. There were 216 million Americans who were registered to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

5. 66% voted in the 2020 presidential election.

THEREFORE:

2. 142.5 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election.

Fallon provided ZERO EVIDENCE in support of the factual claims made by premises (4) and (5).  So, she FAILED to provide a good reason to believe that premise (2) was in fact true.
According to The Washington Post (and other sources as well) the TURNOUT for the 2020 presidential election was 66.3%:

So, it appears, at first glance, that premise (5) is TRUE.  But this is NOT the case.  Statistics on voter TURNOUT are usually given in relation to the number of people who were ELIGIBLE to vote, and what that means is the number of people who were of voting age at the time of the election.  In other words, TURNOUT statistics are usually NOT based on the number of people who were registered to vote.
Premise (5) is stated in an UNCLEAR way.  It has at least two different possible meanings:

5A. 66% of the people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote, voted in the 2020 presidential election.

5B. 66% of the people who were REGISTERED to vote, voted in the 2020 presidential election.

Claim (5A) is TRUE, but claim (5B) is FALSE.  Statistics for TURNOUT (such as the 66.3% figure in the Washington Post) are relative to the number of people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote at the time of the 2020 presidential election.  There were MANY MILLIONS MORE people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote than there were people who were REGISTERED to vote in the 2020 presidential election.  This is because many people who are OLD ENOUGH to vote were not REGISTERED to vote (duh!).
If we interpret premise (5) to mean the claim made in (5A), then that premise would be TRUE, but the argument would FAIL because there would be a logical disconnect between premise (4), which talks about the number of REGISTERED voters, and premise (5A), which talks about people who are OLD ENOUGH to vote.  So Fallon’s sub-argument for premise (2) would be logically INVALID.
On the other hand, if we interpret premise (5) to mean the claim made in (5B), then that premise would be FALSE, because the percentage of REGISTERED voters who actually voted in the 2020 presidential election was significantly higher than the percentage of people who were OLD ENOUGH to vote who actually voted, and thus was significantly higher than 66%.   So, if we interpret (5) to mean (5B), then Fallon’s argument is UNSOUND because it rests upon a FALSE premise.
Therefore, on either interpretation of premise (5), Fallon’s argument FAILS.  It fails because it commits the fallacy of EQUIVOCATION, based on the UNCLEAR and AMBIGUOUS meaning of premise (5) of her argument.
Trump did NOT win the 2020 presidential election, except in the confused minds of the fools who were gullible enough to believe the constant lies and bullshit pouring out of the mouth of Donald Trump.
 

bookmark_borderOFF TOPIC: Farewell Donald Trump (UPDATED 9pm)

The past four years have been a time of division and anger and finger pointing.  It is now time to set aside our differences, and to come together in love and harmony and to once again become the UNITED States of America!
Excuse me, I just threw up a bit in my mouth.
Now that Trump’s fat orange ass is out of the White House, I have just a couple of things to get off of my chest:
1. There are 3 guns circulating in this country for every American.
This gives me great hope, because surely one of the million or so Americans who lost a loved one to COVID-19 will realize that the death of their loved one probably could have been avoided except for the fact that we had a shithead narcissitic con artist as our president this past year, and thus some grieving person who lost a loved one to COVID-19 might decide to pick up a gun and go put a bullet through the head of Donald J. Trump.  Note that I am NOT advocating that anyone do this.  I am merely pointing out that there is a good chance that someone will in fact attempt to kill Donald Trump in the next year or two.
2. Donald Trump is mentally ill and cannot stand being a loser.
This also gives me significant hope, because Trump is just now realizing that he is a BIG FUCKING LOSER, and as criminal cases and lawsuits pile up against him, he might well start to see that his future is one of poverty, imprisonment, and disgrace.  If so, there is a significant chance that Trump will become seriously depressed in the next year or two and pick up a handgun, put the barrel into his mouth, and pull the trigger, splattering his brain matter on the wall behind him.
I have NO plan or intention to shoot or kill or to physically harm Donald Trump in any way.
However, if somebody else does shoot or kill or seriously harm Trump, or if Trump becomes deeply depressed and shoots, kills, or seriously harms himself, I will NOT feel sad or sorry for him; rather, I will pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate the occasion.
TODAY IS A TRULY HAPPY AND WONDERFUL DAY!!!

bookmark_borderAquinas and Homosexual Sex – Part 5: From Fake to Real

WHAT I REALLY HATE
I really, really, really fucking hate it when Christian philosophers put forward pieces of crap that they pretend to be philosophical arguments, but that are just word salads that are posing as philosophical arguments.  I really, really, really fucking hate having to dig through their bronzed turds to try to make something of intellectual value out of their lazy, sloppy, unclear faux arguments.
The core “argument” in Tim Hsiao’s article “A Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument against Homosexual Sex” (hereafter: PFA) appears to me to be one such faux argument.  He fails to define or to clarify ANY of the basic terms and phrases in his core “argument”, making it a string of words that cannot be rationally evaluated as it stands.  I was happy that Hsiao responded to my objections, because I was hoping that he would shed some light on his pathetic “argument” by defining or clarifying some of the key words or phrases in his core “argument”.  But he has failed to provide any such clarification in comments, so his “argument” remains a faux argument; it was Dead On Arrival.
However, I would like to have something intelligent to say in response to this sort of Thomist argument, because this Thomist shit about homosexual sex, abortion, contraception, etc. is not going away anytime soon.  Although I really, really, really fucking hate doing this, I am going to make an attempt to turn the faux argument by Hsiao into a REAL ARGUMENT, something that has actual intellectual content, something I can sink my teeth into.
Here is the core “argument” in PFA:

4. All sexual activity that is not open to the creation of new life is immoral.

A. All homosexual activity is sexual activity that is not open to the creation of new life.

THEREFORE:

7A. All homosexual activity is immoral.

The first task we need to perform, in order to turn this FAKE argument into a REAL argument, is to spell out what the conclusion (7A) means.  We cannot rationally evaluate an argument that we do not understand.  And we do not understand an argument unless we understand the point of the argument, and that requires that we understand the MEANING of the conclusion of the argument.  The conclusion of this “argument” is a categorical claim, namely a universal generalization of the following form:

ALL Xs are Ys.

We can clarify (7A) by putting it more explicitly into the form of a universal categorical generalization:

7B. ALL instances of homosexual activity ARE instances of immoral actions.

This is a simple, straightforward logical structure, so we don’t need to spend any more time on the logical structure of the conclusion.
But we do need to understand the terms or categories that this claim uses.  What does “homosexual activity” mean?  and what does “immoral actions” mean? Until we have clear and reasonable answers to those two questions, we do not understand the conclusion of this argument, and thus we do not understand the argument.
 
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF “HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY”?
Jesus H Christ, you would think that a philosopher who is putting forward an argument against “homosexual activity” in a journal of philosophy would define or explain what the HELL it was that he was arguing against!  But that is apparently too great a burden for Hsiao to bear.  I suspect that he is intellectually incapable of providing such a definition or clarification, otherwise he would have provided it in PFA, or he would have provided it in his comments on my post #3 where I argue that his argument is a faux argument because it is so thoroughly UNCLEAR.
Although Hsiao completely FAILED to provide clarification of the key term “homosexual activity”, one of the comments by someone else in response to my objections proposes a definition of this phrase:

According to this comment by Jonathan Schwartzbauer, we should define “homosexual activity” like this:

Person A engages in homosexual activity IF AND ONLY IF:

1. two people are engaged in sexual relations, and

2. those two people are of the same sex, and

3. person A is one of those two people.

This is certainly clearer than anything suggested by Hsiao, but that is mainly because Hsiao has not suggested ANY definition or clarification of this phrase.
I see a few problems with this definition right off the bat.  However, these problems might not be deadly.  Perhaps this definition could be refined to avoid the problems that I am now going to point out.
FIRST, what about when THREE or FOUR or FIVE or SIX people engage in “sexual relations” together?  This definition appears to rule out GROUP SEX by specifying that “two people” must be “engaged in sexual relations”.  But what if man A is thrusting his penis into the anus of man B while man B is thrusting his penis into the anus of man C while man C is thrusting his penis into the anus of man D while man D is thrusting his penis into the anus of man A?
In this scenario FOUR MEN are engaged in “sexual relations” with each other, not just TWO people: 
I have never tried this myself, so perhaps this is physically unrealistic.  Maybe you would need to have six or more men in order to form a simultaneous circle of anal sex (although just four men could engage in circular anal sex, if they took turns penetrating their partner, going around the circle).  But this group sex activity seems to be a clear case of “homosexual activity”, so the definition proposed above seems to be incorrect in specifying that there must be only TWO people who are engaged in “sexual relations” in order for “homosexual activity” to occur.
SECOND, the phrase “sexual relations” is unclear.  Most American adults, even those who don’t care about politics, current affairs, or American history, are probably familiar with the following English sentence:

I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

This sentence was uttered by President Bill Clinton on January 26, 1998.  The woman he referred to is Monica Lewinsky.
If this sentence is unfamiliar, then you should check out this video:

Although this sentence uttered by Bill Clinton was intended to mislead and deceive the public, various lawyers wrangled over how to define the phrase “sexual relations”, and the definition blessed by the judge in Clinton’s trial was such that the sentence uttered by Bill Clinton was TRUE, at least if you understand the phrase “sexual relations” according to the definition used in his trial, even though Monica Lewinsky had sucked on Clinton’s cock until he experienced an orgasm and ejaculated semen into her mouth and/or onto her dress.
Of course, most people would take this to be a clear-cut case of Clinton having “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky.  But the precise definition adopted in his trial does not fully and accurately capture the ordinary meaning of “sexual relations” and thus provided a legal loophole for Clinton to use, making this claim by Clinton true, in that context, based on that precise definition.
This historical event suggests two lessons that are relevant to our discussion here.  First, the phrase “sexual relations” is somewhat UNCLEAR and in need of definition or clarification.  Second, it is somewhat CHALLENGING to produce a definition of the phrase “sexual relations” that fully and accurately captures the ordinary meaning of this phrase.
THIRD, the phrase “the same sex” in condition (2) of the definition is problematic.  The concepts of “sex” and “gender” are no longer as clear as they once seemed to be.  Nowadays, some people who are born with a penis decide to “become” a female or a woman.  Some people who are born with a vagina decide to become a male or a man.  Also, there are some people who do not identify as either a male or a female, and there are some people who want to be partly male and partly female.  There are many options and alternatives these days.  Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and conservative Catholics who are upset by these new options and alternatives want to establish a clear-cut criterion for determining the sex of a person, a criterion that is based on biology or on our physical bodies.  So, the temptation is to define a “male” as someone who was born with a penis (for example):

The sex of person A is male IF AND ONLY IF:

person A was born with a penis.

The sex of person A is female IF AND ONLY IF: 

person A is NOT a male.

On these definitions, every person would be either male or female, and no one would be both male and female, and no one would be partly male or partly female.  Furthermore, based on this “conservative” definition, it would not be possible for a male to “become” a female, nor for a female to “become” a male, even though it is possible for a person born with a penis to (through surgery) get rid of the penis and obtain a vagina, and even though it is possible for a person born with a vagina to (through surgery) get rid of the vagina and obtain a penis.   However, such definitions, as comforting as they may be to Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and conservative Catholics, might still be problematic when applied to our current issue.
What if a person who was born with a vagina decides to become a person who identifies as a male and that person also has surgery performed to get rid of the vagina and surgery to obtain a penis?

If this person, who now has a penis, has anal sex with a man – with someone who was born with a penis – by thrusting his/her penis into the anus of the male sexual partner, then this would NOT count as “homosexual activity” based on the above definition of what it means to be a MALE and based on the proposed definition of “homosexual activity”.  Although the sexual activity here looks just like clear-cut cases of “homosexual activity” it would NOT count as such, because these two people would NOT be “of the same sex”.  The person thrusting the penis into the man’s anus would be considered to be a FEMALE (on the “conservative” definition), because that person was not born with a penis.
In short, before we can reasonably settle on a definition of the phrase “homosexual activity”, we must first settle on a definition of what it means for two people to be “of the same sex”, and in order to settle on a definition of that phrase, we need to first determine what it means to be a MALE,  and what it means to be a FEMALE.  This is no longer a simple and easy task to accomplish, especially in this context of discussing homosexuality and other alternatives to traditional ideas and practices about sex and gender.
FOURTH, because we are dealing with moral evaluations, the concept of “intention” is important to keep in mind.  What if a man (in this case a person who was born with a penis, still has a penis, and identifies as a male) has sex with a person who appears to have a vagina, and the man does so by thrusting his penis into the “vagina” of the other person, whom he believes to be a female, but the man is mistaken (according to the “conservative” definition of MALE above) because although his sexual partner has no penis now, and has what appears to be a vagina, that other person was actually born with a penis, and then later underwent sex-change surgeries to obtain a more feminine body.
Although this sexual activity looks just like ordinary heterosexual intercourse, it would count as “homosexual activity” based on the above proposed definition.  These two people would be “of the same sex” (based on the “conservative” definition of what it means to be MALE), and they are clearly engaging in “sexual relations” (that look just like ordinary heterosexual intercourse), so this would count as “homosexual activity” and the moral condemnation of this activity would fall upon the unsuspecting man, specifically on the man who was born with a penis, still had a penis, and who identified as a male.  This man would be morally condemned for engaging in “homosexual sex” even though his intention was to engage in heterosexual intercourse and his sexual activity looks just like ordinary heterosexual intercourse to most observers (e.g. if the activity was video taped and viewed later by intelligent sexually-experienced adults).  This seems very UNFAIR and UNREASONABLE.
Intentions are also significant because RAPE and BEING RAPED, it seems to me, still counts as a sub-set of engaging in sexual relations.  If one man rapes another man by forcing the other man to bend over and have his anus penetrated by the first man’s penis, the first man is clearly doing something immoral, but that is because he is FORCING the other man to “engage in sexual relations” against his will.  The second man is NOT doing anything wrong!  He is a victim.  But the definition of “homosexual activity” that is proposed above makes no mention about the intentions of the people who are “engaged in sexual relations”, so it would count this as an instance of “homosexual activity” by BOTH men involved, and thus the victim of RAPE here would be morally condemned when he has clearly done nothing wrong.
I see at least four problems with the proposed definition of “homosexual activity”.  It might be the case that all four problems can be resolved by making some revisions to the proposed definition.  However, it might also be the case that revisions to this definition that are required to resolve these problems will themselves involve resolution of controversial issues about gender, sex, and sexual morality.  So, there might not be a quick and easy fix for the various significant problems with this proposed definition.

bookmark_borderTHE FBI REQUESTS YOUR HELP

HELP THE FBI HUNT DOWN THE BASKET OF DEPLORABLES
The FBI is hunting down several of Donald Trump’s basket of deplorables who were involved in the INSURRECTION against our democracy.  You can help them by reviewing photos published by the FBI to see if you recognize anyone in the photos, and contacting the FBI with information you have about anyone you recognize in these photos:

MORE PHOTOS OF INSURRECTIONISTS FROM THE FBI
Please also review these other photos, to see if you can help the FBI to identify these people:

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/capitol-violence