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Utilitarianism Vs. Pride
On Queer Social Responsibility
I’ve become an outspoken critic of utilitarian consequentialism for one important reason: I seriously doubt that man can ever justify evidently immoral means to achieve ends that are necessarily uncertain. This doesn’t mean utilitarian analysis is useless. What makes it useless is our inherent tendency to moralize our own self-interest. Indeed, this tendency governs the musings of nearly all self-styled advocates for social justice.
The Egalitarian Perversion
Egalitarianism incubates certain ideas that contrast sharply with reality. While there may be some deep truth that we are all equal in some cosmic sense, such as in the eyes of God, in most ways we are all very different. This simple acknowledgment is required if we’re to deal with reality as it is. It may always be tempting to ignore gifts bestowed upon ourselves and others to stave off unpleasant emotions like jealousy, but how can such gifts be used towards advancing social harmony and human flourishing if we can’t even acknowledge them appropriately?
The Queer Gift
The word ‘queer’ started its linguistic life as a pejorative for homosexual. Fortunately it has been appropriated by self-proclaimed queers that feel traditional LGBT categories fail to adequately describe them, unfortunately it isn’t defined rigorously enough to be useful. In considering the term it is apparent that there are no specific behaviors required to be considered queer, it is rather an internal disposition. Even though it isn’t the common usage, I think it is fair to consider any internal disposition that deviates substantially from social norms to be queer. Because of this, queers can be expected to have valuable insights to share with normies. In a sense, this is a great gift, and with this gift comes social responsibility.
As it turns out, I’m not alone in making this observation. There is, in fact, an entire magazine dedicated to providing queer perspectives on social issues while rejecting the illiberal and counterproductive Critical Social Justice perspective called Queer Majority which I found thanks to an article written by biologist. I appreciate their mission and feel they are doing their part to fulfill the appropriate role of deviants in civil society. To nitpick their mission statement, they indicate that the norms queers violate are ‘arbitrary’ which I don’t think can be said with any degree of certainty.1 In any case, I’m sure this is the kind of nuanced discussion these types would be open to. My utilitarian argument is that there is some degree of social responsibility that queers of all stripes have to normies.2 Humans are highly normative, and normies follow this most of all, hence their namesake. Violating norms in the presence of normies causes distress and social strife. It only follows that if one is interested in promoting social cohesion and unity that queers avoid ostentatious displays of their deviance from norms, especially in public spaces.3
Pride is Anti-Social
Ostentatious displays of norm violating beliefs and behaviors in public and professional spaces are inherently anti-social. Perhaps such displays make normies uncomfortable. How can this be justified? Because it makes some queers more comfortable? They’re the minority, how is that a morally acceptable trade-off? What if the reason such displays make normies uncomfortable isn’t arbitrary? Is there some argument I’m missing as to why it is reasonable to tear down Chesterton’s fence in exchange for an immediate and obvious increase in social strife?
Humility is Pro-Social
By humility here I not only mean to imply as a contrast to pride, but also the way Kruptos outlines here:
Any real liberal who desires to ‘liberalize’ society into being more accepting of queers should focus on humility over pride. Know yourself as you are. Is your deviance from norms the result of an immature reaction against civil society, or do you have to depart from established norms in order to fulfill your ultimate purpose? If you have some immutable characteristics that prevent you from fitting in or being understood in a particular capacity it will take true humility to recognize this. With this humility and maturity will come the recognition that people may come to respect your particular disposition and values if you can demonstrate that you understand and respect norms that don’t take anything out of your hide. This is the line between classically liberal queers and maxcissists.
Another Inversion of Nature
Expecting people to accept and celebrate you for being different from them is an inversion of our nature. People naturally like those who are like them. This is also known as the affinity bias. Pride is just another example of megalomaniacal ignoramuses demanding the wholesale repudiation of an immutable nature they don’t understand. Find common ground, build rapport, and don’t talk about your differences unless it is pertinent and necessary. When is it really pertinent or necessary to discuss or display your sexual predilections?
I’m thinking of Chesterton’s fence here https://fs.blog/chestertons-fence/
Deviant might be a better word than queer here, because queer has sexual connotations and what I’m getting at really applies to any behavior or ideological disposition that contrasts with social norms, but I’ll just use queer because its my article.
Public property and public sector jobs present an omnipresent moral hazard. Deviating from norms is the prerogative of free individuals in a liberal society, but in public spaces utilitarian arguments that adhering to norms is essential carry weight.