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Natural Law Q&A

Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 2:10:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hello all,

A few individuals have asked that I return to address some comments made about me and the natural law theory which I defend. Based on a few threads I've read (Some with not so nice comments), I've decided to hold a general Q&A for a few days. I'd love to stay longer, but I have more important commitments (I'm a full time student taking a 21 hour courseload consisting of upper-level undergraduate and graduate level classes, in addition to extra-curricular commitments).

There are just a few ground rules I want to mention.

1. Ask only one question at a time (Any more will be ignored).
2. Questions can be about anything on natural law (Though I'm sure you're all itching to grill me on homosexuality and same-sex marriage!)
3. I reserve the right to ignore questions I deem beligerent.
4. You may ask follow-ups, but I will primarilly give my attention to new comments.

Once the Q&A is done, they will be archived on a blog I've made specially for this purpose: http://naturallawblog.wordpress.com...

You can ask me questions via email (email address TBA) once the Q&A has finished, but there is no guarantee I will reply. If I elect to respond, response times can take anywhere from an hour, to a day, to a month, depending on my commitments.

Those wondering why I left to begin with can see my first sentence.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/26/2013 2:25:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So you just pick up and leave and don't even call ? but enough about Jesus, welcome back Mr Contradiction even if its only for a few days of denying consenting adults being able to marry each other cause they both are female or male.

No but seriously welcome back :)
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
GarretKadeDupre
Posts: 2,023
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1/26/2013 9:24:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If sodomy is unnatural because its a misuse of the genitals, why arent handstands unnatural?
Proof that people witnessed living dinosaurs:
http://www.debate.org...
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 1:57:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 9:24:02 AM, GarretKadeDupre wrote:
Question: If sodomy is unnatural because its a misuse of the genitals, why arent handstands unnatural?

Answer: It's hard to see what power of the hands is being misused. Not all bodily faculties admit of definite functions. The hands, feet, and communicative faculties especially seem to fit into this category. Similar to a multi-tool, their purpose is to be used generally in various ways conducive to the good of our other faculties and to our person as a whole. The sexual organs, however, do not seem to fit into this category. There is nothing in their structure which suggests a broad range of proper uses.
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 1:59:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 11:54:01 AM, drafterman wrote:
Question: Who do I have to write to repeal a natural law?

Answer: Natural laws cannot be repealed in the sense of simply doing way with them. They are inherent to our nature and are binding upon anyone who has that nature.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/26/2013 2:05:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 1:59:55 PM, Contradiction wrote:
At 1/26/2013 11:54:01 AM, drafterman wrote:
Question: Who do I have to write to repeal a natural law?

Answer: Natural laws cannot be repealed in the sense of simply doing way with them. They are inherent to our nature and are binding upon anyone who has that nature.

Binding in what way?
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 2:08:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 2:05:02 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/26/2013 1:59:55 PM, Contradiction wrote:
At 1/26/2013 11:54:01 AM, drafterman wrote:
Question: Who do I have to write to repeal a natural law?

Answer: Natural laws cannot be repealed in the sense of simply doing way with them. They are inherent to our nature and are binding upon anyone who has that nature.

Binding in what way?

Binding in the sense that they generate obligations for us to obey and respect them.
tmar19652
Posts: 727
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1/26/2013 2:34:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 2:26:03 PM, drafterman wrote:
You mention "proper uses" for organs. How are the proper uses for organs determined?









Cut your losses contradiction, at some point you will have to use a religious argument or concede. He is going to win through logic, and persistence.
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." -Ronald Reagan

"The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain ex<x>pressions even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship." -George H.W. Bush
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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1/26/2013 2:50:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 2:26:03 PM, drafterman wrote:
You mention "proper uses" for organs. How are the proper uses for organs determined?

Contradiction can answer this better than I can, but the proper use for any organ is directing that organ towards its natural end or else not directing it toward a contrary end.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 3:06:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 2:26:03 PM, drafterman wrote:
You mention "proper uses" for organs. How are the proper uses for organs determined?

There are several ways you could go about answering this. A theist who grounds the natural law in the eternal law of God could answer that a substance's functions are grounded in its nature, which itself is sustained by God's continual creative activity. A non-theist could ground the natures of things by simply pointing out that a substance has to have a certain function because that function is proper to a certain natural kind. The question of why a substance is the type of substance it is would simply be a brute fact capable of no further explanation. This answer is not incompatible with theism.

Either way, there is no direct connection between formal causes and God. That a heart has the function of pumping blood is true by virtue of the material substance it is. Anything else simply wouldn't be a heart. This would be true regardless of whether or not God exists. A theistic picture would give a more comprehensive and unified account of things, to be sure, but it's not directly entailed.
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 3:12:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
To add a bit more to what I said: While it is true that the proper functioning of artifacts can be traced to the intentions of a creative agent(s), biological substances are not artifacts. The proper operations of biological substances are inherent to themselves and cannot be amended by subjective inclinations, whereas artifacts derive their proper operations from an extrinsic source.

The chief difference between artifacts and biological substances is that artifacts have their function and teleology imposed from outside of them, whereas the operations of biological substances are inherent to their kind. I have a nice chart that outlines the differences between the two which I'll post on the blog site on Tuesday.

A good survey on the different types of teleology can be found here: http://www.epsociety.org...(Teleology)(1).pdf
GarretKadeDupre
Posts: 2,023
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1/26/2013 3:17:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:12:31 PM, Contradiction wrote:
To add a bit more to what I said: While it is true that the proper functioning of artifacts can be traced to the intentions of a creative agent(s), biological substances are not artifacts. The proper operations of biological substances are inherent to themselves and cannot be amended by subjective inclinations, whereas artifacts derive their proper operations from an extrinsic source.

The chief difference between artifacts and biological substances is that artifacts have their function and teleology imposed from outside of them, whereas the operations of biological substances are inherent to their kind. I have a nice chart that outlines the differences between the two which I'll post on the blog site on Tuesday.

A good survey on the different types of teleology can be found here: http://www.epsociety.org...(Teleology)(1).pdf

Can you fix the link? Thanks.
Proof that people witnessed living dinosaurs:
http://www.debate.org...
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 3:20:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:13:37 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Could you not answer Danielle's counterarguments instead of this?

I'm here to address questions that anyone has, not just Danielle's points in particular. I'll be happy to answer anything provided it's asked here. She's welcome to post her thoughts (I prefer they be broken down to individual points).
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 3:22:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:17:06 PM, GarretKadeDupre wrote:
At 1/26/2013 3:12:31 PM, Contradiction wrote:
To add a bit more to what I said: While it is true that the proper functioning of artifacts can be traced to the intentions of a creative agent(s), biological substances are not artifacts. The proper operations of biological substances are inherent to themselves and cannot be amended by subjective inclinations, whereas artifacts derive their proper operations from an extrinsic source.

The chief difference between artifacts and biological substances is that artifacts have their function and teleology imposed from outside of them, whereas the operations of biological substances are inherent to their kind. I have a nice chart that outlines the differences between the two which I'll post on the blog site on Tuesday.

A good survey on the different types of teleology can be found here: http://www.epsociety.org...(Teleology)(1).pdf

Can you fix the link? Thanks.

This should work: http://tinyurl.com...

I'm heading off to Sam's Club now, so I won't be back for at least 2 hours.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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1/26/2013 3:22:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:12:31 PM, Contradiction wrote:
The chief difference between artifacts and biological substances is that artifacts have their function and teleology imposed from outside of them, whereas the operations of biological substances are inherent to their kind.

No, the difference is that things that arise through mindless processes have no teleology whatsoever. It makes no sense to say that the "purpose" of a rock is to scratch somebody's back just because the movements of a river made it useful for that purpose. The "function" is entirely imposed on it by human minds.

If unguided evolution is true, penis' are just a very complicated version of the rock that ends up useful for backscratching. There's no relevant difference between them. Since the rock obviously doesn't have an intrinsic teleological function, the penis doesn't either.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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1/26/2013 3:25:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:20:17 PM, Contradiction wrote:
I'm here to address questions that anyone has, not just Danielle's points in particular. I'll be happy to answer anything provided it's asked here. She's welcome to post her thoughts (I prefer they be broken down to individual points).

Danielle is in fact a member of the set "anyone". I can't believe you've returned presumably because of Danielle's thread, but you aren't going to answer her. She wrote an entire longass post just for your arguments.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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1/26/2013 3:27:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Assuming we agree that people are at least partially determined by their upbringing, geography, human body, etc., what is the demarcating factor between different natures of beings? For example, is there a nature of a person, or a nature of an artist, or a nature of a avant-garde artist, or a nature of a theatre-of-cruelty artist (a type of avant-garde), etc.?
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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1/26/2013 3:27:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:25:56 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/26/2013 3:20:17 PM, Contradiction wrote:
I'm here to address questions that anyone has, not just Danielle's points in particular. I'll be happy to answer anything provided it's asked here. She's welcome to post her thoughts (I prefer they be broken down to individual points).

Danielle is in fact a member of the set "anyone". I can't believe you've returned presumably because of Danielle's thread, but you aren't going to answer her. She wrote an entire longass post just for your arguments.

Assume make an arse out of you and me.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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1/26/2013 3:29:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:22:18 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/26/2013 3:12:31 PM, Contradiction wrote:
The chief difference between artifacts and biological substances is that artifacts have their function and teleology imposed from outside of them, whereas the operations of biological substances are inherent to their kind.

No, the difference is that things that arise through mindless processes have no teleology whatsoever. It makes no sense to say that the "purpose" of a rock is to scratch somebody's back just because the movements of a river made it useful for that purpose. The "function" is entirely imposed on it by human minds.

If unguided evolution is true, penis' are just a very complicated version of the rock that ends up useful for backscratching. There's no relevant difference between them. Since the rock obviously doesn't have an intrinsic teleological function, the penis doesn't either.

Very quickly: That just begs the question against an Aristotelian philosophy of nature. Certain inorganic substances (e.g. rocks, grains of sand) might not have any purpose, but you cannot extrapolate this to a claim about all organic and inorganic substances whatsoever. There are many processes in nature which exhibit a natural teleology apart from any mind. See, for example, the rock and water cycles. Teleology and essentialism aren't incompatible with evolution -- at least, this isn't directly entailed by evolution. See: https://docs.google.com...

A second confusion here is that you're blurring the distinction between different types of teleology. Of course evolution is incompatible with an external view of teleology in which functions are imposed from above, but that isn't the only kind of teleology out there. See the article I linked.

If required, I'll post something more detailed when I get back.
GarretKadeDupre
Posts: 2,023
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1/26/2013 3:42:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Contradiction, do you believe in evolution? Do you believe that humans have some microbe as a distant ancestor?
Proof that people witnessed living dinosaurs:
http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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1/26/2013 3:50:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Do I get a response? It'd be good to know whether I am waiting for one or being denied one (for lack of a better way of putting it)
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
YYW
Posts: 36,364
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1/26/2013 3:55:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:27:04 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Assuming we agree that people are at least partially determined by their upbringing, geography, human body, etc., what is the demarcating factor between different natures of beings? For example, is there a nature of a person, or a nature of an artist, or a nature of a avant-garde artist, or a nature of a theatre-of-cruelty artist (a type of avant-garde), etc.?

I'd be rather interested in a response to this query as well. But I also have one of my own:

On what do you base your presumption/faith/belief/whatever of natural law? This is, I know, a big question, but one which I think must first be addressed, before one can use natural law to delineate right from wrong.
Tsar of DDO
pozessed
Posts: 1,034
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1/26/2013 4:04:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If humanity slowly became more and more homosexuality driven, wouldn't evolution kick in due to a need to adapt and survive?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/26/2013 5:11:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:06:41 PM, Contradiction wrote:
At 1/26/2013 2:26:03 PM, drafterman wrote:
You mention "proper uses" for organs. How are the proper uses for organs determined?

There are several ways you could go about answering this. A theist who grounds the natural law in the eternal law of God could answer that a substance's functions are grounded in its nature, which itself is sustained by God's continual creative activity. A non-theist could ground the natures of things by simply pointing out that a substance has to have a certain function because that function is proper to a certain natural kind. The question of why a substance is the type of substance it is would simply be a brute fact capable of no further explanation. This answer is not incompatible with theism.

Either way, there is no direct connection between formal causes and God. That a heart has the function of pumping blood is true by virtue of the material substance it is. Anything else simply wouldn't be a heart. This would be true regardless of whether or not God exists. A theistic picture would give a more comprehensive and unified account of things, to be sure, but it's not directly entailed.

Ok, but what is lacking here is a methodology (from the non-theist POV, obviously). How did we determine that the proper functioning of a heart is the pumping of blood?