Dec 23, 2011

Posted by in Fallacy of the Week | 1 Comment

Fallacy of the Week – Naturalistic Fallacy

Naturalistic Fallacy _ the position that since something is a particular way, it is morally acceptable for it to be that way.

Examples:

  • “Might makes right. After all, it’s a jungle out there!”
  • “All natural is more healthy.”
  • “I can’t help it, It’s my nature.”

This fallacy really hangs on the ambiguous definition of what is normal, regular or natural. To further compound the problem, the assumption is that normal or natural is qualitatively better than otherwise. Arguments about the supposed supremacy of “more evolved” or advanced cultures has lead to a philosophical justification for the oppression or elimination of the “lesser” groups.

Advertisers use the premise that since their products or methods are “All natural”, that they are superior to “artificial” ones. What really defines natural and artificial? What is normal and why is it good or better?

You have to define the terms you’re working with: normal, natural, better, worse etc. Realize that in systems of dialectic consensus, that the terms and definitions are constantly changing within the confines of the group. They seek to use the size of the group to impose their definitions upon the rest. If you are “outside”, most likely your definitions are at odds with theirs.

 

 

  1. Bill Bowen says:

    John, when people try to use the “it’s all natural” argument on me my retort to them is “so is hemlock”.

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