Christianity and the Appeal to Nature

Often times, people assume something to be good because it’s natural and bad because it’s unnatural. This is what is commonly known as the appeal to nature. People use this argument for a variety of different reasons. Take food, for example. Why do you think companies can get away with charging twice as much for a product that has been labeled “all natural”? You see that label and think, “Oh! It must be healthy!” The reality is, sure, an organic banana is a better choice than cheese curls. BUT, organic cheese curls aren’t exactly health food.

People use the appeal to nature to justify sin. The argument goes something like this: “Well, animals in nature (fill in the blank), so obviously, it’s natural. Its okay if I, too, (fill in the blank). This argument is most commonly used for sexual sin. Since many animals have multiple mates throughout their life, obviously it’s okay for humans to do the same. It’s only natural…

There are a few things wrong with the appeal to nature argument. For starters, you can find just about anything in nature. You can find animals that have multiple mates. You can find animals that mate for life. You can find animals that reproduce asexually. There are animals that eat their mates. There are animals that will mate with their young. Just because there are animals that have multiple mates or will have same-sex sex, that doesn’t make it good for humans.

See, not everything that is natural is good, not everything unnatural is bad. Poison ivy is perfectly natural, but please don’t eat it. OR touch it. There are plenty of medicines that are man-made that have saved lives. What happens in nature, truly, doesn’t have anything to do with God’s commands for us.

Ultimately, the commands we find in the Bible are for humans. They aren’t for bats or dolphins or monkeys. We are not to behave as the animals behave. We would find it quite bizarre to suggest that a bird should live in the sea with the fish. I mean, obviously, the sea is a perfectly natural environment, why can’t birds live there too? Well, yes, the sea IS a natural environment…for fish. What is natural for a dog or a cat or a hamster, says nothing about what humans should do.

Here’s what this all boils down to. Every plant, animal, fungus, and bacteria in nature behaves exactly that way God wants it to. God has told us how He wants us to behave. So, we should just stick to the Word of God and quite worry about what other critters are doing.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s