Re: What is "natural" anyway?

From: Kamilla Ludwig (
Date: Thu May 16 2002 - 14:20:04 EDT

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    I have seen the tactic used too often to find it humorous any longer.
    Too many on this list are engaging in those same tactics of conflation,
    confusion and redefinition. I have been very careful to use "natural" in
    a narrow, technical sense (design, telos, function) yet correspondents on
    this list insist on tossing in red herrings and illegitimately confusing
    the discussion by using the term in a variety of senses I do not. If
    anyone still thinks the practice of sodomy is not against nature, I will
    happily help them arrange a discussion with a Gastroenterologist who has
    treated gay men for their perforated rectums, fecal incontinence, chronic
    diarrhea and rectal cancer.

    I think you may be confused on what the naturalistic fallacy is. It is
    attempting to derive an "ought" from an "is". If anyone is committing it
    in this discussion it is those defending homosexual practice. It does
    seem that some are arguing that the self-identified homosexual ought to
    be a homosexual because that will make him happier than denying his


    On Thu, 16 May 2002 12:25:50 EDT writes:
    > Kimilla Ludwig wrote:
    > > Nice try, Tim. But pregnancy isn't inherently risky - it may
    > well be for
    > > some but clearly is not so for all. It also confers certain
    > > protections, especially if a woman has her first child before the
    > age of
    > > 30. Sodomy, on the other hand, is inherently damaging to the
    > lower bowel
    > > (whether or not a condom is used, by the way).
    > Perhaps you arguing too hard and missed the humor of
    > Tim's post.
    > You do have to be very careful when you argue for ethics
    > based on what is "natural". In the academic parlance,
    > this is "natural laws". You can quickly fall down the slope
    > of what is known as the naturalist falacy in philosophy. Dawkins
    > in Co. also seems to slide in this direction I think, so you're
    > in good company with other very bright people in the world.
    > Nature (as Tim also pointed out) simple "is".

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