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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:53 pm 
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Aren't there some cases of homosexuality in animals?

Yes and no.

Homosexuality as we have it now is not the same as sodomy. What I mean is that, historically, sodomy has not been tied to an orientation. E.g the practice of pedastry in ancient Greece was not a matter of a different orientation, but a cultural decadence, and such men would marry wives, etc.

The examples in the animal world are seem to be of two sorts... Domination over other males, or out of control sexual drive (otters, dolphins, etc will rape other species and even carcasses!)

There is no analogue for homosexuality as an orientation.

In anycase, natural law is based on reason apprehending human nature. What Aquinas is driving at is not about animal behavior, but rather the inclinations of human nature that we have insofar as we are animals. Remember, he classes the inclinations that natural law is based on into three groups... What we have in common with all substances, what we have as animals, what we have proper to reason. It is still the case that procreation, education of offspring, etc are different for men than for foxes or birds or fish.


From S.Th. I-II q 94 a. 2 co
Since, however, good has the nature of an end, and evil, the nature of a contrary, hence it is that all those things to which man has a natural inclination, are naturally apprehended by reason as being good, and consequently as objects of pursuit, and their contraries as evil, and objects of avoidance. Wherefore according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order of the precepts of the natural law. Because in man there is first of all an inclination to good in accordance with the nature which he has in common with all substances: inasmuch as every substance seeks the preservation of its own being, according to its nature: and by reason of this inclination, whatever is a means of preserving human life, and of warding off its obstacles, belongs to the natural law. Secondly, there is in man an inclination to things that pertain to him more specially, according to that nature which he has in common with other animals: and in virtue of this inclination, those things are said to belong to the natural law, "which nature has taught to all animals" [Pandect. Just. I, tit. i], such as sexual intercourse, education of offspring and so forth. Thirdly, there is in man an inclination to good, according to the nature of his reason, which nature is proper to him: thus man has a natural inclination to know the truth about God, and to live in society: and in this respect, whatever pertains to this inclination belongs to the natural law; for instance, to shun ignorance, to avoid offending those among whom one has to live, and other such things regarding the above inclination.

I'm afraid I didn't understand that. Can you explain, please?

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
Aristotle didn’t make an error in reasoning about homosexual activity.

What was his reasoning?


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:43 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Peetem wrote:
Aristotle didn’t make an error in reasoning about homosexual activity.

What was his reasoning?


That the acts were unnatural.

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:16 am 
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Jack3, you will need to clarify what part you don't understand.

Peetem and Denise, can I advise actually citing Aristotle? Bekker numbers would be nice, but at least work and book. Denise's statements about Aristotle aren't without merit, but the quotes are amiss... Aside from false attribution, Aristotle is frequently misquoted. E.g the "mutilated man" quote, should raise red flags... It doesn't make much sense. The passage it resembles has some lexical issues on top of that.

If we look at the Politics Book I Aristotle states

1. Women have deliberative reason, unlike "natural slaves" who lack it or children whose reason is immature, but says it lacks authority.
2. They are "free persons"
3. He compares the rule of the husband to the rule in a polity, viz of equal over equal

As far as gestational formation, that gets messy.

But if you want a clearcut error in an area of ethics, one without the excuse of scientific ignorance (remember Aristotle founded the science of embryology, of course it had errors!), Look at book 7 of the Politics where he discusses infanticide for deformed children and procurement of abortion to control an excess of children.

Please note that his view of women as "impotent males" (Generation of Animals, book I) was eviscerated by St. Thomas, in one of the few places in his commentaries on Aristotle where he feels the need to refute him.

Aristotle doesn't address sodomy directly. Some interpret book 2 of the Politics as rejecting the later Plato's condemnation of it. Some interpret part of book vii of the Nichomachean Ethics as against it. But it is not clear on its face.

Plato, who defended it in the Symposium, but calls for its prohibition in the Laws, is easier to pin.

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:43 am 
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What I don't get is this:

Ultimately: What is the difference between 'immoral' and 'unnatural'?
Is pornography unnatural?

By sodomy do you mean homosexual acts? Are homosexual actress for dominion or uncontrollable sex drive unnatural?

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:27 am 
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Peetem can I advise actually citing Aristotle? Bekker numbers would be nice, but at least work and book.


PED - I was reading a breakdown in Feser's "The Last Superstition", so I don't have the Bekker #'s....but to be fair, it's possible I read Feser utilizing "Aristotelian type reasoning" and misunderstood the actual source. However, there are hints as you've noted in other places....

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:40 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
By that reasoning, male ejaculation is "unnatural" every time it happens except when a man is having sexual intercourse with the intention of "fertilization of the female ovum". I think that's a very peculiar definition of what's "natural" and what's "unnatural", which I don't think many people could agree with.

What matters is that a contrary intention not be manifested, and whether many people agree that non-procreative sex is unnatural or not is irrelevant.

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:08 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Peetem wrote:
Aristotle didn’t make an error in reasoning about homosexual activity.

What was his reasoning?


That the acts were unnatural.

That's not reasoning, it's just an assertion.


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:13 pm 
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Jack3, you will need to clarify what part you don't understand.

Peetem and Denise, can I advise actually citing Aristotle? Bekker numbers would be nice, but at least work and book. Denise's statements about Aristotle aren't without merit, but the quotes are amiss... Aside from false attribution, Aristotle is frequently misquoted. E.g the "mutilated man" quote, should raise red flags... It doesn't make much sense. The passage it resembles has some lexical issues on top of that.


"The female is, as it were, a mutilated male, and the catamenia are semen, only not pure; for there is only one thing they have not in them, the principle of soul."
Aristotle, De Generatione Animalium, II.3 737a28


"The relation of male to female is by nature a relation of superior to inferior and ruler to ruled."
Aristotle, Politica, I.V 1254b12-15


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:30 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
What I don't get is this:

Ultimately: What is the difference between 'immoral' and 'unnatural'?
Is pornography unnatural?

By sodomy do you mean homosexual acts? Are homosexual actress for dominion or uncontrollable sex drive unnatural?

Jack3, I can give you some advice which will save you a lot of trouble, and whether you accept that it's good advice now or you don't accept it until later, you will definitely accept it sooner or later: Stop trying to define whether anything is "natural" or "unnatural", it's a waste of your time, there is no agreed definition of "natural" or "unnatural", and it's irrelevant to whether something is moral or immoral.

Try giving a definition of "natural" and "unnatural", and you'll see how impossible it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:21 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
By that reasoning, male ejaculation is "unnatural" every time it happens except when a man is having sexual intercourse with the intention of "fertilization of the female ovum". I think that's a very peculiar definition of what's "natural" and what's "unnatural", which I don't think many people could agree with.

What matters is that a contrary intention not be manifested, and whether many people agree that non-procreative sex is unnatural or not is irrelevant.

I agree that what people think is "natural" or "unnatural" is irrelevant.


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:51 pm 
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The human sexual faculty has a natural purpose. Anything other than this natural purpose is unnatural. Animal behavior cannot be compared to human behavior since animals do not have human cognition. Sin is contrary to God's will for man and sin creates a break between God and the sinner, which requires the sacrament of Confession. And that required Jesus Christ to be born and live among us, including founding His Church.


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:23 pm 
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Amon98 wrote:
The human sexual faculty has a natural purpose. Anything other than this natural purpose is unnatural. Animal behavior cannot be compared to human behavior since animals do not have human cognition.

Amon, define or explain what you mean by "natural" and "unnatural".


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:13 am 
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The human sexual faculty has a purpose and has been designed to work, when executed per that design, towards a certain end; the creation of life. Not using that faculty as designed is contrary to that purpose; the creation of life.

Just because something can be used in a way contrary to its purpose doesn’t mean it should be used in a way contrary to its purpose.

For example, one wouldn’t use a chainsaw to cut the grass, that’s not what its designed to do. Rather, the chainsaw is designed to cut large pieces of wood. However, a chainsaw can cut grass and one could use it in that way.

Now, use whatever word one wants to use to shorten the need to write all the words, “...purpose and has been designed to work towards a certain [end]”.

So we could say, “The Chainsaw’s furbie end is to cut large pieces of wood”.

We use the word “natural” rather than “furbie”.

But heck, if you don’t like to use a word feel free to keep saying or writing, “The faculty has a purpose and has been designed to work, when executed per that design, towards a certain end.”

Otherwise asking what “natural” means isn’t getting anyone anywhere until you provide a contrarian definition to that which has been provided.

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:24 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
The human sexual faculty has a purpose and has been designed to work, when executed per that design, towards a certain end; the creation of life. Not using that faculty as designed is contrary to that purpose; the creation of life.

Just because something can be used in a way contrary to its purpose doesn’t mean it should be used in a way contrary to its purpose.

For example, one wouldn’t use a chainsaw to cut the grass, that’s not what its designed to do. Rather, the chainsaw is designed to cut large pieces of wood. However, a chainsaw can cut grass and one could use it in that way.

Now, use whatever word one wants to use to shorten the need to write all the words, “...purpose and has been designed to work towards a certain [end]”.

So we could say, “The Chainsaw’s furbie end is to cut large pieces of wood”.

We use the word “natural” rather than “furbie”.

But heck, if you don’t like to use a word feel free to keep saying or writing, “The faculty has a purpose and has been designed to work, when executed per that design, towards a certain end.”

Otherwise asking what “natural” means isn’t getting anyone anywhere until you provide a contrarian definition to that which has been provided.

Is two people sexually touching with hands and enjoying the pleasure of being sexually touched with hands “natural” or “unnatural” when there is no intention of creating life?

I think you would find it much easier to argue that it’s sinful than argue that it’s unnatural? If you think it’s unnatural, what definition of “unnatural” are you using?

Just because something can be labelled “unnatural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sinful (is medical treatment for cancer “natural”?) and just because something can be labelled as “natural” doesn’t mean it isn’t sinful (could it not be said to be “natural” for two people who are sexually attracted to each other to sexually touch each other if they both have the urge to do so?).


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:11 am 
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Please provide a definition of “natural” and “unnatural” and we can continue the discussion.

Until that time we will continue to talk past each other. And for charity’s sake that isn’t a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:06 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Is two people sexually touching with hands and enjoying the pleasure of being sexually touched with hands “natural” or “unnatural” when there is no intention of creating life?

I think you would find it much easier to argue that it’s sinful than argue that it’s unnatural? If you think it’s unnatural, what definition of “unnatural” are you using?

Just because something can be labelled “unnatural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sinful (is medical treatment for cancer “natural”?) and just because something can be labelled as “natural” doesn’t mean it isn’t sinful (could it not be said to be “natural” for two people who are sexually attracted to each other to sexually touch each other if they both have the urge to do so?).


You're not seriously equating mere pleasure or practicality with what is metaphysically "natural" are you?

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:14 pm 
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Gandalf the Grey wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Is two people sexually touching with hands and enjoying the pleasure of being sexually touched with hands “natural” or “unnatural” when there is no intention of creating life?

I think you would find it much easier to argue that it’s sinful than argue that it’s unnatural? If you think it’s unnatural, what definition of “unnatural” are you using?

Just because something can be labelled “unnatural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sinful (is medical treatment for cancer “natural”?) and just because something can be labelled as “natural” doesn’t mean it isn’t sinful (could it not be said to be “natural” for two people who are sexually attracted to each other to sexually touch each other if they both have the urge to do so?).


You're not seriously equating mere pleasure or practicality with what is metaphysically "natural" are you?

Certainly not, Gandalf! I don’t even know what ‘metaphysically "natural"’ means, never mind equate it with ‘mere pleasure or practicality’!

I’m not equating anything with anything, I’m making the point that there is no agreed definition of what is “natural” or “unnatural”, and you have just shown how true that is. It wouldn’t be difficult to find people who would say that an unmarried man and an unmarried woman consensually touching, because they are physically attracted to each other, is natural. But you don’t seem to want to agree that such common behaviour is “natural”, and that’s exactly my point. There is no definition of ‘natural’ which reasonable people could agree on.


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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:17 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Gandalf the Grey wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Is two people sexually touching with hands and enjoying the pleasure of being sexually touched with hands “natural” or “unnatural” when there is no intention of creating life?

I think you would find it much easier to argue that it’s sinful than argue that it’s unnatural? If you think it’s unnatural, what definition of “unnatural” are you using?

Just because something can be labelled “unnatural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sinful (is medical treatment for cancer “natural”?) and just because something can be labelled as “natural” doesn’t mean it isn’t sinful (could it not be said to be “natural” for two people who are sexually attracted to each other to sexually touch each other if they both have the urge to do so?).


You're not seriously equating mere pleasure or practicality with what is metaphysically "natural" are you?

Certainly not, Gandalf! I don’t even know what ‘metaphysically "natural"’ means, never mind equate it with ‘mere pleasure or practicality’!


If you don't know what natural means on metaphysical terms then based on what can you say that you're not making the comparison?


Quote:
I’m not equating anything with anything, I’m making the point that there is no agreed definition of what is “natural” or “unnatural”, and you have just shown how true that is.


No, it seems more like you're trying to rationalize a subjectivist or relativist perspective. You demonstrate this with the following comment:
Quote:
It wouldn’t be difficult to find people who would say that an unmarried man and an unmarried woman consensually touching, because they are physically attracted to each other, is natural.


What exactly do you mean by "consensually touching"? It's such a vague term that it's not even worth addressing, and it's obscure enough to serve to justify your ideological opinion instead of clarifying the issue.

Quote:
But you don’t seem to want to agree that such common behaviour is “natural”, and that’s exactly my point.


So are you seriously now equating what you call "common behavior" with what is "natural"?

Quote:
There is no definition of ‘natural’ which reasonable people could agree on.


I disagree. There's no such obstacle with regards to reason that says that people can't discover and agree with what is natural human behavior when authentic reason is involved.

The problem doesn't come from reason, it comes from a lack of reason. It comes from people who are enslaved to passions and desires and who want to rationalize "natural' to mean "that which I want based on that passion."

Peteem already presented a cogent definition of the term "natural".

You refuse to accept that definition, and as of yet refused to provide one of your own.

And if you're going to want to make any headway, you're going to have to do better than bad analogies or faulty comparisons.

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 Post subject: Re: Is all sin unnatural?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:25 pm 
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An act is natural when it is in accord with the nature of a thing. The nature of a human being is a rational animal. Rationality is what makes us distinct from other animals. An animal without reason is at the pull of its sensual desires and stimuli; it cannot ask whether a certain act is truly good for it. For humans (and other rational animals, if they exist [e.g., aliens]), we act in accord with our nature when we do what truly builds us up, even when that is unpleasant, and when we avoid what tears us down, even when that is pleasant.

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