What does it mean for something to be "natural"?


#1

People normally think that something natural is something that has a high tendency to occur in nature, however, under this definition life is not natural. Others say that something is natural if it wasn’t created by humans, but we are also a part of creation (nature), so why is something done by us unnatural? This claim (the claim that says that everything done by nature is natural) is used to justify homosexuality.

How do we know what is natural?


#2

Many times people use words without knowing their meaning.
Others try to redefine the true meaning of words
And yet others use the newly redefined meaning of words to justify their behaviors.

So “natural” per the dictionary definition is:

*Adjective*
    1. existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.
      “carrots contain a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria”
    1. of or in agreement with the character or makeup of, or circumstances
      surrounding, someone or something.
      “sharks have no natural enemies”

Noun

    1. a person regarded as having an innate gift or talent for a particular task or activity.
      “she was a natural for the sort of television work required of her”

Music

a sign (♮) denoting a natural note when a previous sign or the key signature would otherwise demand a sharp or a flat.


#3

A natural thing may be untamed, free to be what it’s essential being causes it to be with the least resistance.

Brambles grow where they will but I restrict them and I don’t tolerate them in my garden.

As Catholics, we seek to tame our innate organic essence and subject it to our will and what we are we taught and perceive to be the will of God.


#4

Same-sex attraction is an objectively and intrinsically disordered inclination, and sodomy is an unnatural act because it is contrary to natural law, which is “the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law", according to St. Thomas Aquinas.


#5

The word “natural” as it is used in its philosophical and theological contexts, particularly when we talk about what is “natural” in the moral sense, has nothing to do with the colloquial usage, but is more restricted in meaning. In common parlance, we say “natural” to refer to things not man-made, and “nature” to mean that which occurs in the wild.

In the philosophical usage as relates to morality, “natural” describes that which is according to the nature of a thing. The “whatness” of the thing, that which makes it what it is. So what is natural to humans is that which is according to human nature. Those who look to animal homosexual activity and say “it’s natural, and thus it’s good,” are conflating the meanings of “nature/natural.” Just because something occurs in nature in that sense doesn’t mean that it’s proper to human nature as it is ordered.

-Fr ACEGC


#6

How do we know what goes in accordance to our nature? What is our nature?


#7

It’s easier to understand if one thinks of it in terms of natural events or natural occurrences. A thing acting according to it’s nature and not according to the coercion of an intellect is a natural occurrence. This by itself does not presuppose that some natures are not contingent on the existence of an intelligent creator. It just means that things are acting according to their natures and are not puppets on a string, to use analogy.

A thing being deformed or having some kind of error in it’s nature is a teleological inference. One is saying that a thing is suppose to work one way but is instead not acting according to it’s true nature, the purpose for which it was created. Only God knows for absolute certain what he intended for his creation, but we can usually identify an error, like when somebody is born without arms or legs, or when somebody is born with two sets of sexual organs.

Of course, modern philosophers would challenge that point of view. Some would say there is no such thing as being essentially disordered, and that being born without arms or legs is only considered a disability in a utilitarian sense; that is to say they are unable to function in society, but it is not true that they were suppose to in the first place. It just so happens that people have arms and legs.

My being a Catholic, i obviously disagree with that point of view since i think that things or organisms are essentially ordered towards distinct and particular ends. I think it’s in our nature to have arms and legs, and when we are unable to walk or use our arms this means that we can no-longer act according to our essential nature which usually implies a disorder or disability and that is an unnatural state. The Catholic Church concludes that this is also true of homosexual attraction because it is in our nature as men and women that we experience sexual attraction. That is to say that sexual attraction begins with and is intrinsic to our gender distinction. It is because we are male and female that we have this attraction; these things exist in relation to one-another which is further implied by our complementary natures and thus it is inferred by our gender alone that sexual intimacy or feelings of any kind between the same sex is disordered. It goes against our nature. This however does not mean that somebody who has same sex attractions is an immoral person or is not somebody who deserves our respect. Such is a heavy cross to bare in society and bullying or discriminating against such a person is just as evil as bullying and discrimination against people with disabilities.

Of course, You will have a hard time convincing somebody that you are not homophobic for holding this point of view.


#9

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