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Thread: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    OK, the idea that "it is 'natural,' therefore it is good" is so easy to dispell with common examples in pretty much everybody's experience (poison ivy? Natural, but not good. Arsenic? Natural, but not good.) that it is surprising to see the "appeal to nature" fallacy trotted out every time somebody thinks they can get some milage out of it.

    Here's an entertaining explanation of the fallacy, in the interests of public education in the interests of the public good:

    Natural, shmatural: Mother Nature might be lovely, but moral she is not. She doesn’t love us or want what’s best for us

    From the article:

    ... Soon enough, Eve is examining the bread, turning it in her long, calloused fingers. Her inner goddess whispers that something is not right. But it is so like ‘real’ food! Curiosity overcomes her and she takes that first bite and, as she does so, her DNA unravels, then tangles and sproings up like when you run a scissor blade over a Christmas ribbon to make it super sproingy. Her animal friends run away; they no longer recognise her as one of them. She looks no different yet she is changed deep inside. Her cycles no longer sync with the Moon, Gaia will not return her calls, and she’s pretty sure she has a peanut allergy.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    "Natural" and "chemical" are misused all the time. It is amusing, but also infuriating because people get so wound up over things that they don't understand clearly. And there are some very good points to be made about food additives, large corporations monopolizing the food supply, and so forth. So I'm all in favor of promoting local foods, sustainable farming practices that support healthy soil, etc. It is just that they are often overwhelmed by misinformation.

    Also, you could get me ranting about "Algebra doesn't apply to real life", But you probably don't want to.

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    Fundamentalist Dumuzi's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    Yep, and it works the other way round, too.

    "I don't use medications because it's not natural so it's bad for you"

    Putting aside the debate about what is natural and what's not, I hear the above argument way too often!
    Do they not, then, ponder about the Qur‘an? Had it been from someone other than Allah, they would have found in it much discrepancy. [4:82]

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    Silver Member iris's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    Oh this one can get me quite worked up because it's often a case of lazy or wilful ignorance... the whole 'natural is best argument dies the second you think about it. Nuts will kill me, but they are perfectly natural ^^ as are rattlesnakes and tornados....
    You remind me of the babe
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    You do!
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    Remind me of the babe!

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    Quote Originally Posted by Dumuzi View Post
    Yep, and it works the other way round, too.

    "I don't use medications because it's not natural so it's bad for you"

    Putting aside the debate about what is natural and what's not, I hear the above argument way too often!
    LOL - being dead is natural, and, for many of us, we'd be long dead if it weren't for that unnatural medicine.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    Many modern Medicines are "Refined" natural things. Aspirin is from a natural source,but refined down to JUST the actual part with the helpful chemical aspects.
    Natural is good,but the derived medical use will not have side effects from all the other parts of the natural source.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    I just say SMALLPOX!

    and leave it at that.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    The Scythians were great archers and masters of poison, using only 'natural' ingredients. Your chances of surviving a wound from one of their arrows was pretty slim...
    www.thewolfenhowlepress.com


    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

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    Sr. Member Chessa's Avatar
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    Re: Fallacy: Appeal to nature, nicely explained

    I love that you brought up arsenic; I trot that one out when people say something has fewer chemicals and is therefore better. Your organic, non-gmo kale has several chemical compounds, while arsenic only has one

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