I maintain that your use of natural is unhelpful, even if used in your
sense. It is frankly hard to say what human beings are designed for. Rather,
human beings appear to be the ultimate multi function device. Individual
human beings appear to be designed for different things. Mozart appeared to
be designed to make music; Einstein to do physics; Michael Jordan to play
basketball( but not apparently, baseball or golf).
>From a biologist point of view, it would be hard to define what humans are
designed for. Biologically, Homo sapiens is a hairless, bipedal ape with a
large brain that is adapted to living in open country. That is not really a
good answer to the question of what human beings are designed for. You can
say that human beings are designed for sexual reproduction, but is that the
ultimate telos or purpose of every human being? Let me give you a short list
of people who apparently did not sexually reproduce:
Francis of Assisi
Leonardo Da Vinci
Pope John Paul II
Did these people fail to achieve their purpose or telos?
The theological answer to what human beings are designed for is probably
best found in ( I think) the Westminster Confession: The purpose of Man is
to glorify God and enjoy him forever. There are many ways of glorifying God
and apparently one way for the homosexual Michelangelo to glorify God was to
paint the Sistine Chapel. Maybe in painting the Sistine Chapel he achieved
the purpose for which God made him. I would say this side of heaven we
cannot know the ultimate purpose of every ( and indeed) any human being.
BTW, I checked out the PUb. Med. website and found that male homosexuals are
at risk for certain diseases and that female homosexuals are less at risk
for certain diseases than heterosexuals. Among other things, there has never
been a case of transmission of AIDS through lesbian sex. And no medical
association says that homosexual sex is inherently unsafe (Many antigay
websites say so, however). In my view, the sexual safety argument is
unproven. There is also the matter of different sexual practices. A
monogamous gay couple who practiced only oral sex and took the proper
precautions would avoid all the sexual problems you so luridly portray. I
doubt, however, that you would then approve of their lifestyle. I will check
out your references, Kamilla. But I have a distinct feeling that you simply
looked only at the evidence that supported your position and ignored the
I would say that even beyond these arguments the question of our treatment
of homosexuals remain. For me, acceptance and prayer rather than Bible
quoting and insistence that they change is the best way to deal with gays.
Among other things, one of the big problems that gays deal with is hostility
from non gays. Studies have shown that this is the chief cause of higher
depression and suicide rates among gays. Frankly, I don't think your
attitude is at all helpful here.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
Behalf Of Kamilla Ludwig
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2002 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: What is "natural" anyway?
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 Dawsonzhu@aol.com 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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