Posted: Jun 20, 2015 6:19 pm
by tolman
Matthew Shute wrote:Sure, for all I know some people have an innate, visceral sense of repulsion to seeing two men kissing or whatever. I've never had that reaction, but it doesn't mean that others do not. Perhaps the same could be said for some arachnophobia, too. I had a bad case of arachnophobia, still have some remnants of it, but I mostly overcame it. Supposing you were an arachnophobe, why wouldn't you want to overcome that phobia, irrespective of the cause(s) or origin?
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But IF someone's homophobia is causing that person a lot of discomfort, and especially IF it's making life unnecessarily difficult for others around him/her, that person has to realise that he/she is the one with the problem. No one else is obliged to structure society around the neuroses or other aversions of someone who reacts badly to what others take in their stride. Just as my arachnophobic former self couldn't expect reality to conform to my dislike of spiders, by having all spiders disappear, a homophobe can hardly expect not to occasionally encounter a gay couple holding hands and kissing. If that possibility is simply too much to bear, like someone with claustrophobia having to lie in a coffin, well, you could lock yourself in a room and never turn on the TV... or you could try to gradually overcome the aversion.

And when it comes to arachnophobia, presumably if someone with a deep-seated aversion to spiders kept going out of their way to talk about how horrible they were, and to keep imagining them doing their nasty spidery things at the slightest provocation, we'd not only think they were suffering from a phobia but an unhealthy obsession, and hope that they'd see some kind of specialist to deal with both issues.