Arsenic and old lace

Rick Warren, MEGACHURCH Christian minister, has a lot of gay friends.  You can tell this by the respect for them oozing from his well-considered words.  In an interview with Piers Morgan of CNN, he had the following to say about the naturalness of homsexuality.

WARREN: Here’s what we know about life. I have all kinds of natural feelings in my life and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should act on every feeling. Sometimes I get angry and I feel like punching a guy in the nose. It doesn’t mean I act on it. Sometimes I feel attracted to women who are not my wife. I don’t act on it. Just because I have a feeling doesn’t make it right. Not everything natural is good for me. Arsenic is natural.

The iron manners among you will want to say that he is merely claiming that just because something is natural does not make it right.  And indeed in the very abstract such a point is a reasonable one. 

But this is actually not an abstract point.  Because the issue on the table nowadays is that Homosexuality is a natural form social interaction among humans and many other animals.  The evidence is that people and other animals lead purpose-driven, fulfilling lives as homosexuals.

Warren rejects that, however.  For him, homosexual behavior–i.e., sex–is morally wrong (because, he states elsewhere, the Bible says so).

So indeed, homosexual behavior is natural (though he says earlier in the interview that the jury is still out on this–he studies these things apparently), but it's natural like arsenic, the poison that will kill you, is natural.  Or worse, it's natural like his urges to violent reprisal. 

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4 Responses to Arsenic and old lace

  1. Ash says:

    Hello John,
    I am by no means a philosopher, nor one who has had logic classes.  I do think you are well-spoken and intelligent as well as far superior to myself in the arena of logic theory and philosophical definitions.
    That said, while I enjoy and understand most of your article's points aside from this one, I do not see the validity in your point here when expanded beyond wordplay.  As I see it, your conclusion hinges not upon proving an attribute (homosexuality) being a "natural" urge / feeling / choice, because  Rick also believes such is the case as you point out.  Instead your argument is to say that because homosexuality "is" natural (though Rick and yourself agree not all natural urges are socially or otherwise "correct") one is to conclude that a "purpose-driven, fulfilling" live carried out in 'this' natural way is socially or otherwise acceptable or correct?
    As I am not versed in logic and philosophical theory, I like to expand on an idea, look at exaggerations of a theory for a clearer function.  So to sum in up in a kind of analogy: if I have an urge I can prove is natural (let's assume that children are born with a majority not wanting to share, and they do not understand ownership… therefore they often steal from others as a natural urge aside from social / learned behavior and choice) and I can show that many grew into thieves that have lived purpose-driven and fulfilling lives, does this not offer the same proof of acceptance in larceny that you have in Rick's homosexuality debate?  I may offer a "weak analogy", but to me it seems that is all your argument was as well.
    It seemed more to me, that even aside from biblical belief, if Rick was a psychological philosopher what Rick is saying is that he believes sometimes our id, as instinctual, is something that must not always be followed.  It has instincts for things socially or otherwise unacceptable, but as a philosopher Rick believes there are things our ego and super-ego must suppress or redirect to function in a society beyond that of monkeys.
    Now I know my argument is not laid out and I didn't use any logic theory buzz-words, I also respect you as a person and an author on the site, but I would desire more clarification as how my understanding of your argument is incorrect please.
    thank you
    -ash

  2. Ash says:

    Sorry for some of the above typos, it's hard to write a wall of text here!
    To sum up my question, under the ill-conceived outline of my example above, how is your claim that monkeys and some people live purpose-driven lives proof Rick's "weak analogy" is wrong or how is your analogy anything other than another "weak analogy" in response to his?

  3. John Casey says:

    Hi Ash,

    Thanks for commenting.  I apologize for the interface; I'm working on that.

    My argument is not an analogy, Warren's is.   In particular, I challenge Pastor Warren's comparison of homosexual activity to poison or violence.  I think that's false because (1) it appears a very common activity among animals, including humans; (2) homosexuals seem to flourish as human beings, without Warren't approval.

    I hope that clarifies matters. 

  4. Pingback: Moral feelings | The Non Sequitur

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