Plato: Against Homosexuality

The ancient Greeks have a reputation for indulging in and approving of homosexual sex. The reputation is well deserved. However, the great political theorist and philosopher Plato (born in 429 BC, Athens) was resolutely against homosexuality in ways that remind me of the strictures against the practice in the Bible and Qur’an.

Plato in his Laws wrote:

‘we must not forget that sexual pleasure is held to have been granted by nature to male and female when conjoined for the work of procreation; the crime of male with male, or female with female, is an outrage on nature and a capital surrender to lust of pleasure.’

For the text in full see here

Categories: Homosexuality, Philosophy, Plato

Tags: ,

1 reply

  1. The irony is the same people who originally decided that, first, the Bible, and then the Qur’an, were against “homosexuality,” or same-sex practices, or sex outside of marriage — these same people ultimately got the idea to say so from Plato’s Laws.
    Philo was probably one of the first to make the story of Sodom about gender-variant homosexuality as opposed to an attempted rape by “all the men of the town” (Genesis 19:4). In doing so, he was simply implementing a suggestion of Plato’s. Philo’s aim in general was to reconcile the Bible with Greek philosophy.
    As Plato advised: “When the legislator wants to tame one of the desires that dominate mankind so cruelly, it’s easy for him to see his method of attack. He must try to make everyone — slave and free, women and children, and the entire state without exception — believe that this common opinion has the backing of religion. He couldn’t put his law on a securer foundation than that.” (Laws, Penguin ediiton, transl. by Trevor Saunders, p. 337, or p. 838 in the standard numbering system for Plato’s works).

Leave a Reply