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THE DOUBTER'S GUIDE: SPIRITUALITY FOR THE SKEPTICAL MIND
NATURAL LAW REVISITED













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WHAT IS "NATURAL"? 
















Catholicism  bases some of its allowances and prohibitions on what it deems "natural law".  However, that concept of natural law unfortunately remains medieval and therefore needs some updating.  So let us now update our concepts of intoxication, prostitution, homosexuality, and abortion respectively in the light of current knowledge.
 
INTOXICATION:
 
We might say that in a purely natural setting the animals and even the noble savage will partake of natural nourishment that has nothing to do with the alcohol and drugs introduced into our own decadent civilization
However, the findings of naturalists today reveal something quite different.  Supprisingly mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and fish are found self-administering  natrues own intoxicating drugs.
 
For example bees are known to taste the nectar of opium flowers  and drop stuporous to the ground, then go back for more.  Birds, bats, butterflies, elephants, and primates alike seek out rotting, fruits containing nature's own fermented alcohol.  Certain monkeys eat hallucinogenic mushrooms, then assume a reflective pose with head on hands.
 
Shamans and primitive peoples have always engaged in ritual intoxication.  Many of today's religious rituals, symbols, and themes find their source in the induced visions of shamans before written history.  Archeologists find evidence of wine and beer-making in the ruins of the most ancient cultures.
 
Perhaps this natural propensity is why our alcoholic prohibition era failed so miserably.  For the same reason our current prohibition on drugs will continue its failure today.
 
PROSTITUTION:
 
Sexual favors for personal gain can be observed among social animals.  For instance female wolves and apes will present themselves sexually to the alpha male to establish the privlages of rank in their group's hierarchy. 
 
Prostitution among humans is the oldest profession indeed.  There is evidence that Neandertal females lived apart from the males and received meat from the hunt when the males desired sex.  The most ancient cultures (though not the Hebrews)  featured temple prostitutes to help bring in the bounty of temple offerings.
 
HOMOSEXUALITY:
 
In wolf packs and simian societies, lower males may present themselves sexually to apease an angry alpha male, who may mount them briefly to show his dominance.  Female mammals in heat will sometimes mount each other.  For instance cows will do so when deprived of a bull.  The hyper-sexual bonobo chimps (our closest primate relatives) were observed in homosexual activities up to half the time.
 
Primitive peoples have often made special allowances for feminine males. For instance certain "squaw-men" were assigned work among the women in native American tribes.  Ancient Greek men and boys engaged in sex with no stigma attatched.  Both men and women, when long deprived of the opposite sex, will often become attracted to those of their own gender (i.e. when confined in prison).
 
ABORTION:
 
Nature itself is the greatest abortionist and population controler of all.  When a species breaks nature's balance by overpopulating, food becomes scarce and starvation ensues, sometimes accelerated by famine.  Under such conditions not only do young animals perish, but the adults produce far fewer births.
 
Primitive peoples have commited infantacide under extremely impovershed conditions.  Plagues have always spread quickly under more "advanced" crowded city conditions.  As our world becomes progressively overpopulated with people, wars become more numerous and deadly.  In the long run the doom-sayer, Malthus, may still be proven correct.
 
















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