Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Nature is not's only natural

Should we accept people as they are and for what they are?
The "Yes" rationale is that people don't choose who they are. It may be nature, and it might possibly be nurture, but it is clear to some that that we are a mere product, possibly even a  victim, of genetics & society.

Being a person who enjoys the presumption of free choice as the great director in one's destiny, I reject "determinism", that being who I am has been genetically predetermined. Determinism, as a philosophy, denies us of our responsibility in life and to life. It creates a paradigm of helplessness and of being a victim.

On the other side of the political divide are those that deny the role that nature has in influencing our behaviours. This group see lifestyle choices as having been chosen, rather than inherited, and therefore all choices that are inconsistent with the norm are considered "abnormal" & "unnatural".

Whichever side of the spectrum you sit on, the basic underlying assumption is the same- "Nature is good." The only question is whether a person's behaviour is to be considered as being consistent with that nature or at odds with it.

Perhaps there is an alternative paradigm to view this issue; Nature is natural- it isn't good or bad, it is just natural.

I often find myself duped into purchasing a product purely because of the claim that it is "100% natural", only to find that it is still loaded with saturated fats and sugar- natural sugar of course. Butter is 100% natural, as is Lard/Schmaltz, as is Cannabis- but I am not convinced that any of these things are particularly good for you.

The same has to be said for human character and behaviour. There are natural reactions to various stimuli, but that doesn't make those reactions good. Anger is the natural effect of disappointment, and violence is the natural response to anger- but it isn't usually a good response.

Illness &  pain are both natural, but they are not good.

The courage to not get angry when provoked is unnatural.
The ability to not resent others when offended is unnatural.
The strength to resist temptation is unnatural.
But it is these triumphs that make us good.

Good is achieved specifically by being unnatural; by rejecting our instinctual reaction in favour of choosing our preferred destiny.

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