Talk:Appeal to nature

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon logic.svg

This Logic related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement.

This article is of MID importance to the wiki.

See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Copperbrain.png

Contents

[edit] Is this the naturalistic fallacy?

Sometimes I've encountered arguments of the type "X is the natural behaviour of Y, therefore Y should do X" (for example, vegans claiming that humans are herbivores by nature). Another type of argument stops at the first clause: "X is a natural trait of Y" (essentialism?). Are these forms of the naturalistic fallacy? Anyway, the article needs expansion.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:52, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

It turns out that we have an article on Essentialism that sent me to Biological determinism.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:58, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Disagree with the definition

We say:

  • The naturalistic fallacy uses the description of how the world "is" to infer how it "ought" to be. Essentially, an argument whose premises merely describe the way that the world is, but whose conclusion describes the way that the world ought to be, introduces a new term in the conclusion, a logical fallacy.

I think this is a bad definition. It would be more accurate to say:

  • The naturalistic fallacy uses the description of how the world "WAS" to infer how it "ought" to be.

But I don't even like that one very much either. Would it not be better to say something like:

  • The naturalistic fallacy maintains that anything which has been produced by the humanly untouched environment to be "good" and anything which has been processed in some way by humanity to be bad.

I would change it myself but as it re-thrusts the article substantially I thought it better to comment first.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 20:37, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Works for me. ТyrannisPlead 20:45, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm better with your choice #2. I was trying to fix the definition since it's also widely known as the is/ought fallacy. Whatever we write, we should have a redirect from something like "is/ought argument". I think if you look up any description of this fallacy, is/ought is part of the argument. What say everyone? This isn't Wikipedia (thank the fucking FSM), so I defer to expertise. I am linking to many of these arguments to my website which has a Logical Fallacy FAQ! I prefer accuracy in description then my lame changes. :) SkepticalRaptor® 20:50, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually #3 is an Appeal to nature. SkepticalRaptor® 20:52, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Are they not more-or-less the same thing? I would suggest that our current definition confuses things with the "is–ought fallacy".--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 21:04, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Although the WP article speaks of both.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 21:06, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
(ecx3)The "is-ought" wording is imported from Hume's law. The naturalistic fallacy was once associated with Moore's arguments about the definition of "good" but today it's pretty much used synonymously with the is-ought problem. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:07, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
It seems though (and somewhat to my surprise) that the Naturalistic fallacy s now associated with both. I suppose we should go the WP route and list both on this page. Interestingly, their talk page has a sort of similar discussion. --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 21:13, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I have always known them to be completely different. It's like the Fallacy of Division and composition, they are related but mirror images of each other. SkepticalRaptor® 23:06, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I have also always thought them to be completely different. But my understanding was a mirror image of yours.  :-) --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 10:18, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

I've seen some sources (the Wikipedia article being one of them) that say the naturalistic fallacy is something markedly different from what is described in this article. What this article describes seems to be synonymous with a fallacious appeal to nature (or phrased without using the word "nature", the is-ought problem). 84.198.53.190 (talk) 05:54, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Post-move improvement

The article needs more improvement. One area of improvement that I see is making the "pothole" links explicit - at the moment, a lot of the argument can be understood only if you read the code of the page, or if you try to follow or hover over every link. Another is adding real-life examples (cited, of course :)), noting that it's not limited to alt-med ("being gay is unnatural") and generally limit the reflexive altie-bashing.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Increased confusion

There are two different ideas that sometimes go under the same name.

  1. Naturalistic fallacy - what ever is natural is good and healthy. Chemicals are evil.
  2. Naturalistic fallacy - however the world is the way the world is supposed to be is preordained and therefore morally good.

I had tried to clarify the article to separate these concepts but they have become confused again by this move. We need to clearly explain both concepts.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 11:26, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

This article is about 1. The term "naturalistic fallacy" and its other meaning are explained in the section with the same name, which links to the is-ought problem article (and this arrangement is almost identical to your disambiguation effort). If you wish to further elaborate on 2, expand the "naturalistic fallacy" page (and move there the link to the philosophical encyclopedia).--ZooGuard (talk) 11:34, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
No. You should have gone to the talk page before making the change where you will see the point is already under debate. It's all yours now.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 11:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
It was under debate - 8 months ago. The last time I "went to the talk page" to propose a change, my suggestion stood alone and unnoticed for a month. So yeah, change is effected by those who take the initiative. Given the current activity of User:Krej, and the general lack of philosophical inclination of the userbase, it was really unlikely that the discussion of the term in philosophy would expand beyond disambiguation any time soon.
So, what exactly makes the current article more confusing, according to you? The name change itself (naturalistic fallacy -> appeal to nature)? My changes to the lead? The "naturalistic fallacy" section? Have you read the Fallacy Files page I added to the External Links?--ZooGuard (talk) 11:54, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Does this sound like a shoehorned jab at religion to anyone else?

Various beliefs in good old days, and in particular the Christian idea of original sin also give credence to this fallacy by contextualizing the development of civilization as a process of decay, rather than a process of progress. Was this written by Proxima Centauri? It's got a half-point to it, but it seems to be a case of truthiness. Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 14:30, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

It was our resident nukie.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:51, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Evolutionary stable strategies

You can't claim that man is a product of Evolution and, in the same breath, deny that the natural stuff man has been optimized for is most probably better than any novel alternative. 84.241.208.12 (talk) 01:29, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Hunting and gathering, dying of typhus, cutting your feet on rocks and getting eaten by hippos is superior to modern life in what way exactly?
An aside: hippos, though very dangerous to people and are capable of killing them, they can't eat people. They are herbivores and have the wrong type of teeth for meat eating. Bongolian (talk) 18:05, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
That's an excellent point, although recently hippos have been observed eating their own dead (source National Geographic) so who knows what terrifying future the Hippos hold in store for mankind? 81.145.153.190 (talk) 09:37, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Interesting, it was a badly decayed hippo they were eating; only the second time hippo cannibalism was documented.[1] Bongolian (talk) 17:30, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
What we have been optimised for is strife, pain, and the constant warfare of the natural world, same as all animals. Comfort and peace are, by most metrics, better.
Also "claim" haha. Can you 'claim' a statement of fact, or is that just called 'stating'? 81.145.153.190 (talk) 13:08, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Misleading paragraph about NOW investigating raspberry ketones

Article says:

  • Alternative medicine's obsession with "naturalness" can lead to some amusing incidents. One herb company chemically tested synthetic and natural raspberry ketones to determine whether it was possible to distinguish between the two.[1] They couldn't find any difference. Rather than conclude the synthetic and natural molecules were exactly the same, they decided not to sell the product at all, because chemicals.[1]

That sounds like "The only reason they decided not to sell it was because of chemicals" which is really misleading. Citation from the source:

  • Our team found that of the few natural sources available, none actually are derived from Raspberries! Yes, that’s right – Raspberry Ketones don’t come from Raspberries! Shockingly, Raspberry Ketones can be naturally derived from anise seeds, and after processing smell and taste just like raspberries.'That was the final straw for our search as we didn’t feel good about selling a product that had minimal research and a deceptive name/source.

The article earlier mentiones that there is no research that would support claims about its weight loss properties. So the decision was definitely not based solely on 'chemicals'.

It makes the whole paragraph irrelevant to "Appeal to nature" - I would just delete it.

Raspberry Ketone article here mentiones this source as well but manages to not make any exaggerated (or just false) claims. — Unsigned, by: 188.164.245.42 / talk / contribs

The sentence is a bit awkward but you misread it. It's about the difference between raspberry and synthetic ketones. The raspberry was "better", and natural retailers decided to sell the "natural one", even though it was identical to the synthetic product because "chemicals". Not that people decided not to sell the raspberry version which is still readily available at Walgreens, Costco, online... Pfft, no alt med copmpany would stop selling something that made money if it didn't work.  :-p -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:37, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
PLEASE please read the source article. There is a difference between "the decided not to sell because chemicals" and "they decided not to sell because they didn't find supporting research and name is misleading". There is the exact citation for this above - if you can find a better one, please paste it here, I'm more than willing to see some good arguments, but let they be based on the source. Arguing without any reference is pointless.
The point is they didnt sell it because "It wasnt raspberries!" even though it was virtually indistinguishable from raspberries, therefore it is an appeal to nature, the pragraph should stand as is Bubba41102The place where you can scream at me 14:35, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
Do you have any citation or reference that woulde prove your point?
Well, look, their reasons for not selling raspberry ketone are that: 1) it is not possible to determine if it's natural, 2) even when naturally extracted, it's not sourced from raspberries. The first reason seems to indicate that non-natural ketone must be "bad", and this is the relevant part for this article. As for the name being "deceptive", that could easily be negated by simply explaining in the product description that raspberry ketones are not derived from raspberries. They also say that "In the case of Raspberry Ketones, our new product search ran into several red flags. [...] There never has been any human clinical studies on Raspberry Ketones for weight loss. This was a big concern, so we planned to add thermogenic Green Tea extract in significant potencies in order to make the product effective with or without Raspberry Ketones. So far, so good." What's with the "So far so good"? If there are no clinical studies showing efficacy, that's fine, but if it's not derived from raspberries, that's unacceptable? If anything, that should be the deal-breaker, not whether or not it's sourced this way or that way. But the point is, they stopped selling raspberry ketones not only due to concerns of non-raspberry origin, but also in order to avoid selling a "synthetic" product. So the statement that they discontinued raspberry ketones because they didn't want to sell "chemicals" seems accurate to me.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 10:06, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
You have some good points, I have to admit that - citing the source is also really helpful. At the same time I still think you are exagerrating with reasons: "1) it is not possible to determine if it's natural, 2) even when naturally extracted, it's not sourced from raspberries.".
That's just not true as far as you can tell from the article. They clearly say 'we didn’t feel good about selling a product that had minimal research and a deceptive name/source.' So your points are valid (although they could be summed in 'deceptive name/source' but 'minimal research' is missing.
I agree - if they have issue with ketones source they could just describe it on a label. So yes, you can call that "Appeal to nature". But I still oppose calling it the only reason.
I see that now article looks a bit different: One herb company chemically tested synthetic and natural raspberry ketones to determine whether it was possible to distinguish between the two.[7] They couldn't find any difference. Rather than conclude the synthetic and natural molecules were exactly the same, they decided not to sell the product at all, just in case.[7]
That sounds better than previous version, but still ommits the fact that they decided not to sell it NOT ONLY for that one reason. The other reason was lack of proper research. It's simple: there were two reasons, article mentions one and call it a day.
After all I agree that it could be example of 'Appeal to nature', but there is no need to exaggerate already valid point. There were both appealing to nature AND lacking of research.
When they note they couldn't find any supporting research demonstrating raspberry ketone's efficacy, they say they decided to bundle it with something that (in their opinion) did work, and conclude, "So far so good." They say they "didn't feel good about selling a product that had minimal research", but at the same time it doesn't seem like that was a deciding factor. The "last straw" was that raspberry ketone did not come from raspberries; it therefore seems that if raspberry ketone were of raspberry origin, they would have just said, "So far so good" and left it at that. The part about lack of research seems to be more of an added, "by the way" point to the main reason of raspberry ketone not being natural.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 12:56, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Footnotes

[edit] Just a bit long

Does anybody else think that the initial "Deconstruction" section is somewhat over-long?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:44, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

No. It's not somewhat over-long, it's really over-long. Some section headers here and there would be useful.--JorisEnter (talk) 13:56, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
support
Community
Tools