Scenario:  You're in a commited relationship and your partner says that s/he still loves you and still wants to be with you, but can no longer repress the desire to undergo a sex change operation.  Is it morally permissible for you to decide to leave the relationship if s/he proceeds with the sex change?


I don't believe it's morally permissible.

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I think our attractions/ revulsions are often culturally determined and I think in the case of race especially. I think this is an area it would have been more helpful to keep to yourself as unnecessarily divisive amongst atheists ... and/or perhaps do some self-examination? And you don't realise how rude/arrogant you are being.

I am sure there is a large element to culture in who we find attractive. However, there is nothing wrong with someone's taste in mates because someone else may think it could be based on an upbringing in a prejudicial culture. That is assuming a lot.

My 'extended family' has different races ... I do not believe that sexual attraction is genetic or unfixed - I'm wondering why, Ava, you said this was 'non negotiable'. I find it surprising and unfortunate that a person feels him or herself so free to be offensive to a whole race or so fixed in their opinions.

What Ava probably meant by "non-negotiable" was not that she would never find a person of a darker skinned race attractive. She probably meant that she could not negotiate herself into being attracted to a person when she was not attracted to them. I can't just talk myself into loving a person I didn't love. It is similar to that. Does being unable to romantically love another man make me a homophobe?

Perhaps you are jumping at shadows? Think on it yourself and please don't be so quick to make a final judgment.
Believe me, I have thought a lot about this and I stand by what I said. I think the phrase 'non-negotiable' cuts Ava off from the possibility of meeting someone Black/ with dark skin and finding them attractive. I never thought I'd be attracted to a blond man, for example, but I never would have said it was 'non negotiable' - that surely would have been ridiculous. (Yes, it turns out my Dear Husband is a blondie ;))
I guess it depends on how we interpret her words. Maybe she can clarify them. If she meant it how you take it, then I agree with you. But, I think she meant it the way I took it, in which case I disagree with you. C'est la vie, oui?
Is it arrogant to be hetero- or homosexual? Is it arrogant to want only one partner vs many? Is it arrogant to want a partner that has similar interests/values/beliefs?

We are allowed to like whatever we want. We shouldn't criticize what people prefer. I love artichokes, but some people don't... and it's wrong to call them arrogant or closed-minded if they don't want to try them, or have decided they don't like them.

Preferences, be they sexual or dealing with art, food, furniture, etc, are 100% personal. It's not wrong of her to voice them. The reason there is so much variety and diversity is because people have preferences! Animals have preferences! We don't want a vanilla world. There's not one thing wrong with the fact that Ava is not attracted to black men, any more than it's wrong for a homosexual to only be attracted to members of the same sex.
I think our attractions/ revulsions are often culturally determined and I think in the case of race especially.

This is your opinion; people on the other side of the "nature v. nurture" debate may differ in opinion as to the root cause of sexual attraction. Although everyone is entitled to an opinion, it is imperative that personal opinions be recognized as such and not equated with substantiated, evidenced conclusions.

I think this is an area it would have been more helpful to keep to yourself as unnecessarily divisive amongst atheists ... and/or perhaps do some self-examination? And you don't realise how rude/arrogant you are being.

I don't ever think that silence is more helpful. Or, at least, I really cannot think of an exchange of conflicting perspectives which would benefit from a decrease in communication.

In my opinion (totally personal and not substantiated in the slightest), I don't think that expressing a preference can qualify as arrogance or rudeness. A preference is inherently subjective as it depends entirely upon the tastes of the individual. Racism, on the other hand, attempts to make universal value judgments about the entirety of a person based upon skin color. To express a lack of sexual attraction for dark skin does not say anything about the person in general.

Racism involves total discrimination and degradation of an individual based upon skin color. To profess a lack of attraction for a certain skin color could only lead to discrimination in that individual's bed. I almost think that it cheapens the atrocities of true racism to label sexual attraction as such.
Different generations, though I didn't look to see how old everyone is, see it through a different lens.

Good point, Neal. As I was born in the 80s and my identity was shaped during the liberal 90s, I don't really see racial issues in quite the same way as someone who grew up closer to the 60s.
Haha, thank you for the agreement. Although my skin is pale, I'm actually Native American primarily, a minority race myself, and am attracted to both people of similar race [Native American], or other darker skinned nationalities like Mediterraneans and Asians. It's when it crosses into 'too dark' that my attraction suddenly shuts off, and unfortunately that applies to African Americans large and wide; it also extends to their general features that don't attract me, and aren't present in other races for the most part. Like I said, to me it's not offensive because it doesn't make them inferior or bad, and it doesn't affect my friendship with them, I just can't have a sexual relationship that way. In fact, on my mother's side, two of my cousins are half black.

And Nancy, you seem so dead set that I've 'offended a whole race' because I'm not sexually attracted to them. I never said I was only sexually attracted to white people. As mentioned above, I'm not even technically white. I have French skin, and that's about it. I mark 'Native American' on any papers I need to identify my race on. There's nothing offensive about sexual preference. That's like a man offending women because he's not attracted to them because he's gay, or a black man offending white women because he just prefers women of his own race (by the way, I've never seen that happen, for the record; it's only racist for a white person to say they're not attracted to blacks; people generally accept it as normal that a black person will likely date another black person and seem fine with the concept).

Let's keep in mind that I've been subject to a lot of racism my entire life when people find out I'm not actually white, so I know the difference, and I would never be offended if someone said "I'm not attracted to Native Americans by and large because their features in general just don't appeal to me." That's not offensive. That's the person expressing their preference, and everybody has them. I think you're far too sensitive. It's hard for you to argue that my attractions would be socially shaped, because I spent quite a few years of my early life in Mobile Alabama with a positive opinion of blacks, I've had a lot of black friends (in fact, every single one I've ever met), I've gotten drunk at bonfires with middle aged black men listening to stories about the war and their civil rights struggles. I have cousins who are black and family who have dated black people, but that is entirely disconnected from my sexual preferences which don't favor them, and I'm sorry, but I say it's 'non-negotiable' because it simply is. Imagine if a man had his testicles removed. To me, it's the same idea in that it's something so jarringly obvious and unattractive that I couldn't be intimate with them. It's no different than that I couldn't start dating somebody who was wheel-chair bound or morbidly obese. Am I going to offend people in wheelchairs just because I don't find them sexy? No. I'm still friends with them.

You seem to have a very warped idea about sexuality and I think it's obvious you're generally not agreed with. By the way, for me to be 'racist', I would have to imply that one race is superior to another--- and I've stated quite clearly that sexual attraction has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority and it doesn't affect my casual relations with other races or make me take their opinions or points or concerns or suffering less seriously. And you're right, it 'cuts me off' from finding somebody--- because they don't exist. I've seen thousands of black people and not found a single one even remotely attractive. I've found them smart and interesting, exciting to be around the same as anyone else, thrilling to listen to, lovely to spend time with--- but there's no sexual attraction, and as everyone said above, it's not something that can be controlled. So I would suggest you back up, take a breath, and re-examine *yourself*. I have absolutely no shame at all in what I said. Maybe it came across more bluntly than need be due to the Aspergers, but I really don't think so--- other people seem to have gotten my point and, rereading it, I think I clarified myself several times just fine. Thanks, though.
I would hope that I AM generally agreed with. Other than that, I confirm my agreement with Flower below - too old for this shit.
I'd just say "I'm too old for this shit".
Me too - too old for this shit.
Hmm....I guess I'd probably seperate I mean...if I'm married to a woman and she wants to be a man, I just don't think I could do that, just simply because of the fact I'm attracted to women. I don't see why someone should be forced to stay with someone they just aren't genetically attached to anymore. I mean it mind sound a little selfish but I think understanding from the other partner (the one who is considering) is mandatory as well. You know this reminds me of one of my bosses. He was married for like 15-18 years to a woman. He knew all his life he was gay, but just suppressed/ignored it. Eventually he just couldn't take, despite the fact he had two kids. So I asked him one day about his belief in a higher power. And then he tells "I don't think so. After all, if there was a God, why are there so many sick children and why would he make me this way and fuck up two human beings lives?" while that last bit may a little extreme, it probably is truer than I think
If my guy had a sex change, I would have to leave because the thought of his ass in a dress would send me into hysterical laughing fits every single day and I just couldn't function.


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