Can nature be our guide to sexual morality?

A reader offers some interesting further thoughts on the question of homosexuality:

In the excellent discussion, “Can traditionalists find common ground with homosexuals?”, one of your correspondents writes:

Is homosexuality then “unnatural” in that different species of animals do not behave in a homosexual manner? Is that an argument? But homosexuals have begun to assert that genetics shows homosexual patterns encoded in genes. Once again, nature does not provide an argument against homosexuality.

This usage of the word “unnatural” misses a fundamental point about the nature of Nature, and the nature of Man.

Our society seems to believe that anything that exists is natural, and anything natural is good. “I have seen phenomenon X,” a scientist will say, “in three species of wildebeest,” and immediately people will start to tell us that phenomenon X is “natural”, implying that phenomenon X is good. Of course, they only do this with phenomena they like. Only miserable people indeed would claim that “natural” implies “good” when phenomenon X is cancer or paedophilia.

Someone might argue, “but we’re not talking about cancer. We’re talking about things that exist naturally in the animal kingdom. Man should be able to live according to his kingdom’s nature.”

Such a statement utterly fails to grasp the nature of Man. “Animals do it” has never excused any man’s bad behavior. It’s Man’s nature to transcend his animal nature. A good man overcomes his “natural” propensity to lie, cheat, steal, murder, fight, grow angry, and behave selfishly.

And it’s in a man’s nature to moderate his sexual behavior, to order his sexuality to the betterment of himself and society. Regardless of his “natural” desires and proclivities, the good man practices monogamy, avoids divorce, rejects pederasty, eschews sadomasochism, shuns masturbation, and, yes, rejects homosexuality.

Thus I deny your correspondent’s argument. There are very strong arguments from nature, properly understood, against the practice and acceptance of homosexuality.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 08, 2005 03:21 PM | Send

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