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The Flaw In Equating Survival And Happiness

3307 words - 14 pages

James Williams

The Flaw in Equating Survival and Happiness
In Why Homosexuality is Abnormal, the author Michael Levin concludes that the misuse of body parts concerning homosexuality will eventually lead to unhappiness. Unhappiness; as defined by Levin in homosexuality terms is based on the use of body parts, so the lack of such rightful usage of one’s own body parts will lead to one’s own unhappiness. He also states that one of the rewards of the heterosexuals is natural descendants. Another one of Levin’s premises is that even if society starts to accept homosexuality he states that homosexuals will still be unhappy, and that there would still be self-punishment for homosexuals and ...view middle of the document...

There are many ways one can show the right usage of the Theory of Natural Selection such as the mockingbird example.
So for an example, if we have a mockingbird, which in fact is happy or as happy as, a bird can be, in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are isolated from other land masses due to plate movements, the mockingbird, obviously is isolated from its relatives, and can populate freely with the other mockingbirds on the island; which can potentially induce happiness. The Theory of Natural Selection is applied when the first arrival of the mockingbird had the trouble of opening up a certain nut; which probably induced unhappiness.
The mockingbird obviously had a beak that had a function for picking berries. Since the mockingbird did not have a “fitted” trait, its offspring started to have mutations to their beaks because of not being able to open nuts. The nuts are a major source of nutrition; this will probably lead to happiness because they will be able to open the nuts. Now these mutations happened over generation’s worth of time. So this concludes the practical application of the Theory of Natural Selection, and how Levin tries to equate happiness with it, but I believe it will be interesting to see the view point of a person that states that there might be a chance where using a body part; for other than its initial function, could possibly benefit an individual.
The author John Corvino also states that Levin tries to argue based on an evolutionary theory. He sums up Levin’s argument by saying, “. . . an organ is for some function if and only if that function explains its existences through evolution”(Ethics in Practice, 302). Corvino has it right. He even goes on to say Levin argues that human beings have penises and vaginas because our ancestors had them or that they put their vaginas around penises; which resulted in reproduction and that these genitalia would be used in this fashion, and that any other use would be abnormal. But Corvino counter argues that by saying that we use many different body parts in ways that do not lead to reproduction or even for their initial intended use.
He uses the example of how humans wear glasses. Our noses were used for smelling and were not made to support as a bridge for glasses, but glasses helped humans to survive by correcting their vision. Another example would be clothes. We do not need clothes necessarily and our bodies were not made for the purpose of a clothes hanger, but the cover of clothes has helped humans to stay warm in colder environments.
Levin uses part of the Theory of Natural Selection concerning how body parts are used. The Theory of Natural Selection also includes, not just the use of a body part, but also how it “mutates” because of its ineffectiveness for the individual’s survival. Levin totally eludes this in his argument because “if” the Theory of Natural Selection was applied correctly “then” homosexual’s penises would fall off or mutate because of...

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