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Officer Hotpants


"Sometimes I'm compelled to evaluate the exact steps that I took to get to where I am in a given moment. Being up at 1:10 AM reading about Fluttershy shitting pudding is now one of those moments."

More Blog Posts38

Apr
19th
2016

"But it's unnatural!" · 2:09pm Apr 19th, 2016

It really bugs me when people go throwing around the term "unnatural" as if it even meant anything. As though it were some kind of unforgivable crime to not be a product of "nature" as they define it. Listening some years ago to someone discussing what "natural" even means and the inconsistencies in when and how we apply the word actually led me to reevaluate and rework my own views. To heavily paraphrase it (it's been a very long time):

Are beehives and ant beds natural? Birds' nests? Beavers' dams? Most people would say "yes" but those things didn't take shape in the absence of intent. Those bees and ants, those birds and beavers made them. So what's the difference between a bee hive and a skyscraper? The materials? That wax isn't any more "naturally" occurring or shaped than steel beams or sheets of glass. The tunnels inhabited by a colony of ants were dug out, not cut by running water. Those nests and dams didn't erect themselves any more than your house or the Hoover did. It is in our nature to build things just as it is in the nature of many other species -- especially fellow social species -- to build things. It's simply the most productive way to put that cooperative effort to use in the long run.

The fact of the matter is that there are two meanings to "natural" used by the layman due to a failure of language on our part, and one of those meanings is frankly nothing more than an expression of pride. There is that which occurs with no overseeing input beyond the laws of physics and that which is intentionally shaped by non-human flora and fauna. Pride (and we do have plenty of reasons to be proud of our species, admittedly) demands that we hold ourselves as something apart from all other life on this planet regardless of whether there's actually any grounds for doing so in a given area. These people who like to rant about things being "unnatural" are merely taking advantage of this confusion and unthinking pride as their type always do because, in the end, confusion and unthinking pride is quite often the only thing keeping their views alive.

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Comments ( 6 )

Humans are part of nature. So anything a human does (like build things, adapt to their environment, etc.) is technically natural.

We didn't just drop out of the sky. And to my knowledge we aren't from Mars. So being residents of earth, humans are part of the natural order.

3880452
Exactly. It's certainly true that we have far and away the greatest potential to impact the rest of nature by several orders of magnitude over the runners-up for our position but that just means that we have the greatest responsibility to be mindful of and control our nature where necessary.

3880487 This is very true.

It's also interesting to note that animals over the course of earth's history have actually caused other animals to go extinct long before humans had any kind of major technology that would contribute to the problem.

For example, there are documented cases of animals over-killing/ hunting a certain species to the point of extinction. Or even just killing other species because they didn't want them in their territory or competition for food.

The moral is that all animals have a sense of self-preservation built in. Humans are just one part of this built-in behavior.

steel beams

Only thing I gotta say about this is jet fuel

internet is unnatural
get off it heathen
cancer is unnatural but i still hav it

That is all. Equestria is ours.

:derpytongue2::rainbowwild:

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