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7/13/2015 10:29 pm  #1


What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Can anyone here give an analysis of opposing an organ's natural function? Thank you! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


One might think that, to oppose an organ's natural function is to act such that the organ does not carry out its natural function. But this doesn't seem right - would it oppose the eye's natural function to close your eyes? It doesn't seem so. If this is right, then how do we analyze the notion?

Last edited by musiclover (7/13/2015 10:39 pm)

 

7/14/2015 7:49 am  #2


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

I don't think about ethics in this manner, because I think it's easy to get mislead in this direction, but closing one's eye is not opposed to the function of the eye in the relevant manner. I'll be direct since you don't want to be: masturbating or using contraceptive takes the obvious reproductive function of the penis, thwarts it, and twists the organ into a contra-natural use for mere pleasure. 


Fighting to the death "the noonday demon" of Acedia.
My Books
It is precisely “values” that are the powerless and threadbare mask of the objectification of beings, an objectification that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values.
~Martin Heidegger
 

7/14/2015 9:01 am  #3


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

masturbating or using contraceptive takes the obvious reproductive function of the penis, thwarts it, and twists the organ into a contra-natural use for mere pleasure. 

But again, back to musiclover's question, how do you know that this is the function? Clearly reproduction is a function of the reproductive organ, but how do you know this is the only function?

 

7/14/2015 9:06 am  #4


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

musiclover wrote:

Can anyone here give an analysis of opposing an organ's natural function?

May I ask why? The ethical issue you presumably have in mind here involves perversion or frustration of natural faculties, not "organs."

 

7/14/2015 9:24 am  #5


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Scott - What I'm unclear about is what it means to oppose X's natural function (whether X is an organ or faculty), in contrast to doing something with X that is other than its natural function.

For example, there's presumably a relevant difference between using one's leg as support for a table vs. using contraception - the difference supposedly being that the former involves using X for a function other than its natural function, while the latter involves using X for a function opposed to its natural function. 

But this distinction isn't clear to me, which is why I'm asking about it http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

     Thread Starter
 

7/14/2015 9:28 am  #6


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Mark wrote:

masturbating or using contraceptive takes the obvious reproductive function of the penis, thwarts it, and twists the organ into a contra-natural use for mere pleasure. 

But again, back to musiclover's question, how do you know that this is the function? Clearly reproduction is a function of the reproductive organ, but how do you know this is the only function?

Scott makes the important distinction. I took OP's language directly but the key thing with a faculty is that in apprehending the faculty you know its function.


Fighting to the death "the noonday demon" of Acedia.
My Books
It is precisely “values” that are the powerless and threadbare mask of the objectification of beings, an objectification that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values.
~Martin Heidegger
 

7/14/2015 12:54 pm  #7


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Still fairly busy today so just time for a brief reply:

musiclover wrote:

For example, there's presumably a relevant difference between using one's leg as support for a table vs. using contraception - the difference supposedly being that the former involves using X for a function other than its natural function, while the latter involves using X for a function opposed to its natural function.

It's a small (or seemingly so, anyway) point, but we're better off talking about the natural ends of faculties than about the natural functions of (faculties or organs, we don't care which).

In those terms, your question is about the difference between (a) temporarily using an organ that is ordinarily used in the exercise of the faculty of locomotion, for another purpose and in a way that doesn't reduce its usefulness for locomotion, and (b) temporarily using one's reproductive faculty in a way that deliberately and positively frustrates its (obviously natural) end of reproduction.

Put that way, I hope, the question all but answers itself.

Last edited by Scott (7/14/2015 12:55 pm)

 

7/14/2015 7:20 pm  #8


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Scott - But what does it mean to 'positively frustrate' its natural end? After all, in a sense, using your leg as support for a table also positively frustrates your leg's natural end, in that while you are using it that way, you cannot also use it for locomotion. Other examples could be given: closing your eyes, holding your breath, walking with your hands, etc.

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7/17/2015 12:25 am  #9


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Bump

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7/18/2015 1:23 am  #10


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

musiclover wrote:

Scott - But what does it mean to 'positively frustrate' its natural end? After all, in a sense, using your leg as support for a table also positively frustrates your leg's natural end, in that while you are using it that way, you cannot also use it for locomotion. Other examples could be given: closing your eyes, holding your breath, walking with your hands, etc.

Closed eyes still see: if you could somehow twist or subvert the faculty of sight in its employment, your case would be genuine. Held breath is still breathing. If you could hold your breath until death or dysfunction of the faculty, then you would have a genuine case. Walking on one's hands is merely an extended highly refined use of the total faculty which your arms and upper body constitute. Masturbation, however, is, again, clearly a subversion of the reproductive faculty. To claim otherwise, you would have to argue that there is some separate mere sexual pleasure faculty apart from the total reproductive faculty, but there is not.

Last edited by iwpoe (7/18/2015 2:05 am)


Fighting to the death "the noonday demon" of Acedia.
My Books
It is precisely “values” that are the powerless and threadbare mask of the objectification of beings, an objectification that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values.
~Martin Heidegger
 

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