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The Animal and the Beast


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I started this topic in the religious forum because it is something both religion and atheism approach differently and both often fall short. In a symbolic sense, the animal is natural instincts, not just in terms of natural instinctive functionality, but also in terms of natural limits. The beast is a human modification of the natural animal, which through conscious or unconscious contrivance and/or learning either distorts the natural functionality and/or exceeds it.


Religion is aware of the beast and might at times restrict the natural animal to avoid the beast. The atheist is aware of the natural animal, through science, and to make sure the natural animal gains expression, does not fully consider all the aberrations of the beast.


For example, religion may call gluttony a sin to avoid the excesses of the beast. But the average Joe, not knowing what are the natural limits, may repress even the natural animal. The atheist knows eating is natural so will counter this, but it will come up with dozens reasons someone is not a beast, even if they eat outside the range natural.


If you look at gay. This may be natural in terms of functionality since many animals do this. What are the limits, which when exceeded, turn a gay animal into a beast? Religion will throw out the natural baby with the bestial bathwater, while the atheist will keep the bestial bathwater, to protect the natural baby.



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Why does acting in ways that are different from the average make an animal or person a beast? I've never met a homosexual or a glutton who was a bad person because of his homosexuality or gluttony. Or am I misunderstanding your point?

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How do you define a 'bad person'?


A person who is bad. :P Taking a moral relativist point of view, it means entirely different things for different people. From the perspective of a conservative, a homosexual is a bad person. From the perspective of many people, a glutton is also a bad person.


My wording was an attempt to understand exactly what the OP was getting at. "Defying the laws of nature," or whatever, doesn't automatically make someone bad. Being absolutely normal doesn't automatically make someone good.


I don't know. It looks like OP's abandoned his post anyway, so the discussion is, more or less, moot.

Edited by John
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