Sunday, May 21, 2006

Instinct

In reality we have not advanced one step. I will not insist on the point that Instinct is a name for we know not what (to say that migratory birds find their way by instinct is only to say that we do not know how migratory birds find their way), for I think it is here being used in a fairly definite sense, to mean an unreflective or spontaneous impulse widely felt by the members of a given species. In what way does Instinct, thus conceived, help us to find "real" values? Is it maintained that we must obey instinct, that we cannot do otherwise? But if so, why are the Green Books and the like written? Why this stream of exhortation to drive us where we cannot help going? Why such praise for those who have submitted to the inevitable?

C.S.Lewis,
in The Abolition of Man

I cannot understand the maxim that a person’s sexual orientation touches all parts of his life. Nor that it is so intertwined that pulling it out would spiritually eviscerate a person by removing a vital part of their being. Sexual arousal and performance are complicated physiologic phenomena of a human organism. Perhaps one might say they are instinctive. There is certainly an autonomic component in the medical sense. Were that instinct to change, would the creature cease to be himself? Does a disoriented duck, having lost the instinct to fly south, become any less a duck? Does an infant lose its humanity when it grows out of the Moro reflex? People change aspects of their personality as well as their physical nature all the time without becoming a different person. Why would this be any different?

I can only conclude that I either misunderstand or that it is easy to confuse sexual orientation with romantic love, platonic love, brotherly fellowship, and other expressions of appropriate intimacy, all of which are genuine needs that would remain were sexual orientation to evolve.

2 comments:

Chris (hurricane) said...

I'm feeling kind of like you forgot to add the words "Dear hurricane" to the top of this post.

;)

AttemptingThePath said...

once again, an amazing post.