Is Coupling Natural? — 12 Comments

  1. I see what you are saying about fallacious arguments, though it seemed to me like you were trying to debunk the premise by concluding the argument was fallacious. I do not agree that the arguments are fallacious in this case as when you have something that is true, all arguments that support it have validity and show evidences and further truths surrounding the issue. Isn’t is also true that almost every argument defending a false premise can be found to be fallacious as there isn’t a single argument that can stand rigorous cross examination when dealing with a falsehood? Maybe I am still missing exactly what a fallacy is, but I think that my point is understandable. I would think that the arguments you make against natural coupling are fallacious because they center on lack of proof which we know isn’t proof of lack. If science cannot conclude a thing one way or the other, how can one conclude it false based on a lack of proof? The evidences that you point out do not conclude any answer, nor do they take anything besides animals into consideration. We KNOW that there are natural constructs for coupling (life long and other) in animals. This cannot be denied. I think that the confusion concerning this comes in (when speaking about humans)when we try and reconcile the spiritual and emotional aspects of coupling as possibly being part of a natural construct. Morality is part of a natural construct who’s roots are in pleasure and pain, fight or flight and then ultimately wisdom and experience, good and evil, love and hate. Some moral issues are subjective, but there is a root of objective morality that is universal for mankind that hinges on our very physical make up and the necessities of survival. These things go hand in hand with coupling. Gender IS a natural construct and IS part of a natural coupling construct in all creatures that have gender and mate for survival. There is also an objective moral code associated with coupling. Multiple partners and disease/ spreading disease for instance. Multiple non participating fathers for one female and the effects upon her offspring is another. Our prisons are full of fatherless children. Humans also have a jealousy factor. Men and women claim rights to one another after sexual bonding on a subconscious level. This is part of the human coupling construct. The spiritual and emotional issues cannot be separated out of this issue because we are spiritual and emotional creatures. The issue is very complex and even more so to those who refuse to entertain the spiritual and/or an objective morality.

    I would also like to point out that using science to explain love will result in words like “chemical reactions,” but a scientific explanation for love cannot express what love truly is and it’s value to individuals and society. Science dissects and closes the scope of perception. If you base your beliefs on what science says, you have been spiritually and emotionally hobbled and truly disillusioned as toward any meaning or purpose to life because these are things that science cannot touch. Explain music scientifically and you get words like “frequency” and “syncopation,” “patterns of vibration…” You lose the song. You lose the soul, and the reality of music.

    As with all other creatures that mate, there is a natural construct for coupling in humans. This cannot be denied or ignored. It is preposterous to conclude otherwise in reality. This construct is also rooted in objective morality and it is naturally written within all of us. When we depart from it, we as individuals and as a society receive consequences. -Here is an oracle to those who have no knowledge of the spiritual: True marriage is not chosen intellectually. It is a spiritual bonding or imprinting so deep that it is life long. It is not by promises, but by divine order. It is not general, but individually specific. Not any two people can bond in this way. Without this bond humans should not mate. Following the natural construct means that no human being mates unless they have bonded lifelong (not by promises or laws). Doing this eliminates the consequences of disease, broken families, much crime, maladjusted children etc.. It causes healthy, responsible and productive societies. It greatly contributes to the survival of the species through population management and disease management and in a host of other ways.

    • Mike: The assumption/premise that “coupling is natural because it’s everywhere” is fallacious and unscientific (because the way you hold onto it, it becomes unfalsifiable). My post takes a closer look at why that is. Anything else that I could add would simply either repeat my post or my other comments to you… You seem to be either unwilling or unable to even entertain the possibility that your assumption is wrong.

      • I think that what we recognize as a natural construct and possibly our definitions of what qualifies as a natural construct are vastly different. I think that most things dealing with survival and progress have an underlying natural construct behind them. I can see the construct within morality just as one can see a natural construct at work with mathematics. Amazing how mathematics which may be thought to be a human invention is actually something that predates life on earth and is at work in our universe through everything. Pi…. The code of life

        • Uhm. I think your understanding of mathematics as “the code of life” points to the confounding in your argument: Just because something can be described a certain way, i.e., mathematically, does not make it so, i.e., mathematics. Just because we say that the sky is blue doesn’t make it blue…

    • And a premise cannot be debunked by showing that the argument is fallacious. It can, however, be debunked by showing contrary evidence, which is what I do above.

  2. Rachel, It seems to me that you are trying to find reasons why coupling is not natural. You can find evidence to support almost any claim if you are willing to lie to yourself and cherry pick evidences. For one thing, you open your blog talking about fallacies and claiming that the arguments behind coupling as a natural institution are fallacious. They are not. In fact most fallacies are only actually fallacious when they are arguing something that is actually incorrect, but when you take a supposed fallacy and apply it to something that is correct, it is a perfectly useful and apt argument. So the aissue itself cannot be deemed false because of an argument style.

    Lifelong coupling does not always happen in humans but for most humans it is the best thing for the couple and for their children’s development which may be over many many years with several children. Also in old age couples do much better than those all alone.

    Every species on earth has some kind of coupling construct. Those natural constructs vary from species to species but many many of them are monogamous, and life long. Human beings are one of those species who DO mate for life and there is a natural construct at work here within the bonding of love and sex and the drive for it. Humans do not always stay together though and often times there are others who help care for the children besides a mother or father. This does not show that there is no natural construct of monogamy, it shows that people have the ability to choose constructively or destructively. We unlike animals can override our instincts. We can even teach generations of people how to ignore certain drives and/or to point our drives in unnatural directions Weather that be for the good of society or for the bad.

    I don’t have to prove that there is a natural construct in human coupling to make their be one. You are searching to disprove it to yourself in order to justify something you want to believe. In fact I don’t need to prove or justify anything I say at all. It is all simply observable and already a given. It is already known by you whether you choose to believe it and honor it or not.

    • Mike: Thank you for taking the time to comment, although it seems to me that you are mostly responding to the question I raise, rather than the arguments I present. Maybe the reason I present the case against coupling as natural so forceful is because so many people make the claims you make: Coupling is all over the place in nature. You are simply repeating the misinterpreted evidence: Both the claim of monogamy all over the “animal kingdom” (see, for example, the two books I cite above) and that coupling is best for the children have been questioned (e.g., Sarah Hrdy’s work). (And while I am at it, two sexes aren’t “all over the place” either… See Joan Roughgarden’s work).

      Regarding fallacies: Fallacies have not much to do with correct or incorrectness. You are talking about an incorrect premise. Fallacies happen when our reasoning is unsound. Like claiming that coupling is an observable fact because you observe it by ignoring evidence to the contrary (or exactly doing what you’re accusing me of doing…). And even if monogamy is “all over the place,” claiming that is leads to ought is a naturalistic fallacy, as I pointed out in my post.

    • One more thing about your claim that fallacies “are only actually fallacious when they are arguing something that is actually incorrect”: A logical argument starts with a premise (that thing that you call incorrect or correct). An argument can be valid, i.e., sound or non-fallacious, even when the premise is incorrect (see #11 here).

  3. Well, I won’t say that life long relationship is something wrong, but only when the two persons are naturally inclined toward it, which is very, very unlikely. Often with marriage many things come as an imposition. With marriage comes a bundle of expectations, commitment, faithfulness etc. etc.. all of which only matters in human society. It’s for the human ego. Natural forces don’t give rise to these things. In that way marriage (meaning, a life-long thing) is created for the human ego.

  4. Do you have any back-up for your claim that marriage is against nature (at least the life-long version)? I do, I am just wondering what your arguments are…

  5. Marriage is a human, i.e. social construct. While it’s logically pertinent about coupling to say that it’s natural, but that is, just as you have mentioned in the article, required until the offspring is grown enough to live independently. Marriage, as a life-long organization is insanity – and a cause of many, many other problems. Because, it’s against Nature.

  6. Hi Rachel,
    Your blog showed up on my Google Alert. Having read your post, I think you’ll enjoy our book, as the questions that most interest you are precisely those we set out to answer in Sex at Dawn. I won’t assume you’ll agree with our answers, but at least we’re fascinated by the same issues. Looking forward to your thoughts on the book.


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