Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The War on Nature

Do not let social engineering determine your reality. From Crisis:
In support of such views, proponents say that “natural” has no intrinsic meaning, since all events are equally real, and there’s no point claiming some of them are more in accord with the way the world is constituted than others. On such a view, the distinction between natural and unnatural becomes a matter of social expectations. Expectations differ and change, so giving some of them authority because they are natural is really a matter of enforcing the expectations of the older and more powerful members of whatever groups are socially dominant. Others are likely to see that as oppressive: why should they be subject to the views of straight white male bitter clingers who fear change and hate those who differ?

For that reason, it’s thought that conceptions of what is natural should have no effect on public policy. That view seems plausible to many people today, so that references to unnatural acts or the natural family have come to seem downright bigoted, but in the long run is hard to take seriously. It’s impossible to do without a conception of natural functioning when we deal with immensely complicated adaptive systems like living organisms and human societies. We can’t discuss them the way we’d discuss a machine, because we can’t design them or understand fully how they work. Instead, we understand them by reference to the normal configuration and functioning of systems of that nature. Biology and medicine rely on such considerations when they speak of health. (Read more.)

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