Monday, December 21, 2009

Gay Rights and the Natural Law Farce

"By natural law reasoning, using your mouth to kiss instead of eat is unnatural and immoral, and should perhaps be illegal. Same for using your hand to shake someone else's, instead of restricting it to hunting, gathering, and feeding oneself. And so on."
- Nathaniel Frank

Nathaniel Frank writes:
There are (at least) two main problems with natural law reasoning as the basis of public policy. First is that it is utterly circular: it relies on broad agreement about what is a human good, from which natural law theorists deduce morally right action as anything that leads to that good; but how do we decide in the first place what is a moral good? Conservatives might posit that human goods include procreation or religion, while liberals might include tolerance, pleasure, or equality. That this latter good was Thomas Jefferson's top "self-evident" good when he wrote our founding natural law document, the Declaration of Independence, does not seem to convince conservatives like George that gay people should be included in the enjoyment of equality. Most of us may agree on friendship or knowledge as human goods, but the test of a good theory is whether it's applicable when the tougher stuff comes into play. Natural law fails this test, as it's totally incapable of actually answering the question of how nature or reason resolves the question of what is morally good. READ MORE