An email to Tara about what's "natural".read more
You asked me today about whether I thought long term monogomy was "natural". Just now, I reconnected with some old thoughts of mine which led me to think less about the answer and more about the question: ultimately, I don't think we can say that anything is unnatural; that is to say, I think that everything is natural. Now let me develop my thoughts below so that my statement doesn't seem so outrageous.
To think that we are capable of something unnatural seems to imply to me that we are to some extent unnatural ourselves. This is because I feel like nothing unnatural can come from something natural.
I think that the implicit idea that humans are to some extent "unnatural" is revealed in the fallaciously believed notion that humans aren't animals (and therefore separate from or even above nature) which is in turn revealed when people say "humans are different from animals" in place of the more T.C.* "humans are different from the other animals".
*taxonomically correct (a term I just made up, with the intent of being humorous)
As for the whole "only natural can come from natural":
I think in even applies to medicine: we created medicine which can change our physiology, yeah, but the creation of that medicine came from a combination of our sociology (which enabled the development of a body of knowledge, science, which allowed for the creation of such a drug) and psychology (our individual creativity and innovative ability), and I can't see anyone labeling our sociology and psychology as being unnatural.
Same with agriculture: yeah, prior to this revolution, all species on earth were nomadic, and long term shelters had probably never been built before, but it'd be a stretch to say that planting seeds in the ground is unnatural. Or would it? I'm kind of fuzzy on that one; I could see it being called both.
An ant, individually, is natural, right? And it seems acceptable (in effect, nobody would argue against it) to label their creation of intricate colonies as natural. But I feel like people would say the cities we create are unnatural, right? But what the hell? How are our cities any different from theirs?
I feel like you could make such an argument for anything that came about from a collective human society or an individual human (religion, monogamy, genocide, pharmacology, Republicans, and much more).