Hypothetical Question for People Who Vote Dem: Heterosexual Pill

Heck, I can see the potential for abuses, too, mostly in the form of parents forcing it onto their children during the window between the onset of puberty and the age of 18, and that’s the mildest form. What Saudi Arabia (or Utah, for that matter) would do with it, for example, I can only speculate.

That said, I’m still not opposed to the development of such a pill, because I dislike putting prior restraints on science. In either case, it strikes me as an absurdly inefficient line of research to solve the alleged problem of helping gay people reproduce. As described in other posts, the methods to do so are well-established and (heh) straightforward.

Only if we research the gay pill at the same time so we can win the space race.

That won’t happen. There’s no chance at all that it won’t be used coercively. Almost certainly, it would be used on more unwilling people than it would be on the willing. And I have no idea what you are trying to claim when you talk about “facts that only exist several decades after the fact”.

The very idea is a little scary. What if there was a “Christian Pill” or an “Atheist Pill?” Or a Liberal or Conservative pill?

I believe – and fear – that people would start giving them to children, to guarantee their adherence to their parents’ creeds.

How about a “Mind Your Own Business” pill?

We have that already - it’s called “weed”.

Theoretically, there’s no problem with this idea. The idea of someone being able to freely choose their orientation is perfectly laudable. If it were possible to make such an easy switch treatment, it’d be just as easy to have one that goes the other way. Want to try out being gay for a day? Knock yourself out.

Heck, I’ll even go further. My ideal sci-fi future would have every aspect of one’s body fully configurable at a whim. Inhabit whatever avatar you feel like; then and only then will it actually mean much of anything, because it’s a conscious decision.

However, given the realities of current day societal pressures, I would be very leery of anyone who promotes such a pill. Odds are very good that they’re interested in curtailing personal freedom rather than increasing it, and it’s almost certain that the actual result, once the pill has made it around the world, would be to manipulate people’s sexuality rather than liberate it.

I don’t have a moral problem with it in the abstract, but in any scenario remotely resembling the real world I think that – regardless of his intentions – our philanthropist’s decision to invest in “hetero pill” research would end up doing more harm than good. I’m having a hard time imagining how such a pill could even be developed without involving experiments on young children or fetuses.

The best plausible outcome I can see is that the research would go nowhere, which would mean the philanthropist would have wasted a bunch of money that could have been better spent elsewhere.

It seems your friend’s perceptions are miscalibrated. Put it this way. I’m a centrist by European standards. That puts me on the far left fringe of the American political spectrum. And I still would oppose research restrictions on such a pill. That said, I would insist on the usual FDA approval process (same for any other drug), and I would guess that the pill would more often than not be used without the informed consent of the patient. In practice, if not according to law. I could be wrong: this is an odd hypothetical after all.

I would certainly have a moral problem with people developing such a pill but I also wouldn’t want the government forbidding development of the pill.

Just because something is morally questionable doesn’t mean it should be illegal.

So, no gay people have ever been pressured into becoming straight? What a wonderful world we live in!

I’d only be comfortable with this pill if there were also a gay pill to let people turn back. Be a lot safer that way.

I kind of figure two things:

The people who use it will most likely be pressured (or tricked) into doing so by their family or by society’s bigotry towards homosexuals.

The people who actually need it will most likely not take it because they’re in complete denial of their homosexuality.

It’s not a bad question, but I’ve heard a better one, and it’s a lot more plausible:

If there is a gay gene, and it can be detected before birth, you’ll be able to add sex orientation selective abortion to sex selective abortion as legitimate options for couples.

That’ll throw a mudball into the debate when it becomes possible.

I think the people most likely to see a gay gene as a defect are the same ones that are the most anti abortion, so I think you’re right.

I’m for people being what they want to be. If they’re gay and want to take a straight pill or vice versa, it’s fine with me.

Theoretically speaking, If you support a woman’s absolute right to choose, then you have to accept that abuses like this will occasionally occur even if you find them ethically reprehensible. In future, should engineering truly reach a point where “designer babies” are available, we might have to place some reasonable limits on such technology, but this scenario is quite different. In the former, the couple is directly engineering the selection of traits. In the latter, our couple is terminating an existing, natural combination of traits for whatever reason.

Yeah; if someone’s genuinely unhappy about some aspect of theirself, and sincerely wants to change it, and the fairly safe means to do so exists then I think that would be OK - Gender reassignment surgery is no less drastic a thing, IMO (Not saying it’s the same - just that it seems more or less equally serious an action).

Coercion and abuse is a really serious risk, but I’m not sure how we would weigh that against the possible wrongs of doing nothing.

And there’s a possibly slightly slippery slope (in fact, maybe we’re already on it). If someone is unhappy about, say, having arms (and I understand that there are such cases in the real world), why or why not would that be different, and why would we treat it differently (or not)?

The difference is, not having your arms is objectively inferior to having them, and not wanting them is irrational and self destructive.

In my view, it just doesn’t matter. Women have the right to choose and the fetus is not a person. If people who claim to be pro-choice want to put limits on this type of selection, then they are placing group rights over individual rights, which makes no sense.

That depends on what objective standards you use. One might, for example, take an evolutionary standard: Passing on your genes to a greater degree is superior to passing them on to a lesser degree, or not at all. By this standard, any impediment to reproduction would be objectively inferior, and homosexuality is an impediment to reproduction (not an absolute impediment, obviously, but then, neither is a lack of arms). OK, so maybe the evolutionary standard isn’t the one we should be using for objective judgments of superiority, but can you think of some other standard that works better here? One by which no sexual orientation is superior to any other, but by which arms are superior to armlessness?

Considering it’s found in multiple species and not really all that rare, homosexuality doesn’t appear to be a problem in evolutionary terms.

Functionality. The human body is built to function using two arms, and is much less capable without them. People function just fine being homosexual; their orientation-related problems are externally imposed by bigots. The only arguably superior orientation would be bisexuality, since it combines the possibilities of both of the others.