Further Ruminations on the Appeal to Nature

Sometime back, I wrote a post about the Appeal to Nature fallacy. It is a fallacy that bothers me quite significantly; the main reason is because its assumptions and consequences are unspoken or, in most cases, never addressed.

For those who don’t know the Appeal to Nature (ATN) usually involves a dietary and medicinal claim that natural products are, directly or otherwise, better than artificial (read: man-made) products. Anytime you read the words “Natural”, “All Natural,” “Organic,” you are reading an Appeal to Nature; specifically, to nature’s goodness–I’ve never seen arsenic used in an ATN. Notably, it tends to rear its head in relation to conditions and diseases that our current medical knowledge is unable to address—Alzheimer’s and cancer being two examples among many. (In that light, the ATN might be considered the exploitation of severe emotional distress among those at the least rational stage of their life as they face daunting, perhaps hopeless, odds to make money, but that’s just the pessimist in me talking.) The selling of natural supplements is often marked as a way to give back power and certainty that psychological wellbeing demands; subsequently relieving cognitive discomfort, albeit at exorbitant costs (in relation to their benefit that is—except for a few, genuinely exorbitant price tags such as Stanley Burzynski’s supposed cancer cure which rings in at several hundred thousand dollars). From multivitamins to gingko bilboa, the ATN is a powerful train of thought.

However, despite its popularity, it is so full of holes, contradictions and—what really gets me—unspoken assumptions and conclusions. I’m not going to bother debunking it; that has been done many times; once here on this blog, and many other—far better—denunciations on the Internet (my favourite being Kyle Hill’s Does Mother Nature Always Know What’s Best). Rather, I plan on taking the ATN through to its logical conclusion.

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Biblical Metaphors…Flipped on its Head

Invariably when I get into a biblical discussion with Christians, I go into the why for’s and the WTF’s of the supposed morality, history, logic, and contradictions inherent in the Bible. And every time I rip apart the immoral, genocidal, murderous, and misogynistic rage that makes up most of the Old Testament, and which creeps into the little nooks and cranny’s of the New Testament, I get the all-to-familiar “It’s not meant to be taken literally.” Sometimes followed by, “Well its a metaphor for >>insert nonsense here<<“.

I fail to see the metaphorical value of killing my brother, mother or father for enticing me to follow other (or any) Gods. Where is the metaphor there? Or in stoning your child to death for talking back to his parents? Yes, yes, that is a metaphor for >insert bladdy-blah here<… Nor do I see the metaphor in Jesus not wanting to start a new religion, otherwise he would have written the damn book himself.

But, seeing as how the logic works for Christians. I decided to not take the Bible literally. In the process inserting some scientific truths where the writers of the Bible inserted bobble-cock, because they possessed a third-graders worldview.

I’m not one for formalities so let’s dive right in.

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God, Emotion and Thinking

Hand or Brain

I would like to counter a certain attitude that always seems to be prevalent in the theological world; that of God, emotion and thinking.

God loves us, sometimes he can be angry, he created us for >insert reason here< and other such sentiments.

First, let us discuss what an emotion is:

“Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual’s state of mind as interacting with biochemical (internal) and environmental (external) influences”

If God exists, and is outside of this Universe, then he presumably has no environment, and no environmental influences, and we can rule out the possibility of him being biochemical, so it is safe to assume that God is incapable of emotion, and love, or hate us and anything else. If there is an external environment from whence he lives, and if he is indeed biochemical, then he cannot be omniscient or omnipotent, but simply a being.

We have physicists in our own little Universe wanting to create other Universes, so if they were to do so, and life is born in their new Universe, are they to be regarded as all-powerful and all-knowing Gods?

God and thinking. The application of thought, when considered objectively, is a weakness. The need of thinking arises out of an absence of total knowledge and information. One therefore does not have all the pieces of the puzzle in the act of thinking, and must come to a conclusion with incomplete information.

I am hungry, therefore I need food, so I need to go to the grocery store to buy some conveniently placed food. Hmm, but if I goto the farmers market farther away, I can get healthier food and be better off in the long term. Do I opt for convenience or health?

Thinking is a result of being an imperfect being, and therefore not the quality of a all-knowing, all-powerful God.

The Abrahamic God, that egomaniacal war criminal who sometimes loves us cannot be real. It defies logic, and even faith itself.

Much of what constitutes faith today, isn’t really faith but the selective understanding and slim pickings of certain parts of Holy Books that align with a persons predetermined knowledge, or ignorance. This is why most Christians don’t convert to Islam, even though logically, the Quran is an extension of the Bible, God’s sequel if you will and thus, the next logical progression of their faith, but that doesn’t happen.

I would love to hear from a Christian, on why they haven’t up-verted to Islam.

In the Old Testament, God destroys the entire human race save for Noah and his family and 2 of each animal, whom repopulated the world… hmm, incest… because he was grieved by our creation, when we didn’t turn out the way He wanted us too, yet he gave us the free will to do as we please. Hmm, that makes sense. Clearly, this being is not worthy of the title God, and if such a God were to exist, he would not love us, nor hate us, but be neutral in his outlook to all things under his dominion, and thus still not be the Abrahamic God.

If there is indeed a God, then He/Them are either imperfect being/s, much as we are, though perhaps far more advanced, or we have simply anthropomorphized the Universe, and gave it the name God. My money is on the latter, though the former cannot ruled be out

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