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Spirituality for the Skeptic




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NATURAL LAW REVISITED

WHAT IS "NATURAL"? 

Underwater view of ocean floor
Nature is not a;ways what it seems.

Religion often condemns
what it calls un-natural
acts.  But we must be
careful of that definition.
 
The 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 having
nothing to do with the alcohol and drugs
introduced into our own decadent civilization
However, the findings of naturalists today
reveal something quite different.  Surprisingly
mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and fish
are found self-administering  nature's 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 privileges of rank
in their group's hierarchy. 
 
Prostitution among humans is the oldest
profession indeed.  There is evidence that
Neanderthal females lived apart from the
males and received meat from thehunt 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
appease 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 engagedin sex with no stigma
attached.  Both men and women,when long deprived
of the opposite sex, will often become attracted
to those of their own gender (e.g. when confined
in prison).  These are just facts, with my own
moral judgment for now set aside.
 
ABORTION:
 
Nature itself is the greatest abortionist
and population controller of all.  When a
species breaks nature's balance by over-
populating: 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 committed infanticide
under extremely impoverished conditions. 
Plagues have always spread quickly under more
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.
 

BIBLICAL ABORTION

THE BOOK OF THOMAS THE DOUBTER

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