I thought this might make an interesting discussion since I've encountered it 3 times now in discussion with Pristinegirl, just me, and Flavus Aquila. Teleology is basically the philosophy that argues that there is an inherent purpose for all that exists. The key to teleology is it is purpose driven. Normally nature is defined as the essential qualities or characteristics by which something is recognized. For example, a dog who has four feet is natural, whereas a dog who has fins would not be considered natural. However, when teleology is applied to nature, it produces a different definition of natural, in which organisms are recognized by the inherent purpose they serve. By this definition it could be argued that it is "natural" for a dog to be loyal and best friend to its master. No longer is the dog recognized by essential qualities or characteristics, now it is recognized by a certain inherent purpose it is expected to serve. A dog who acts deviant to this expected purpose, for example biting his master, would be seen as "unnatural". Therefore, any deviance from the expected purpose of an organism is considered 'unnatural". This has come into discussion 3 times with the aforementioned members in discussions about homosexuality. Pristinegirl argued that homosexual couples (who are inherently incapable of reproducing on their own) must be incapable of accomplishing the purpose of raising children as adequately as heterosexual couples (who can inherently reproduce on their own). This wasn't based on reality, where it is shown that gay couples can raise children just as well as straight couples, but on the belief that heteroseuxals are the ones who best adequately serve the purpose of raising children because they are capable of reproduction and that homosexual couples, who are a deviation from that design, could not possibly serve it as well. (This was not Pristinegirl's position, but simply an argument she was making.) However, JM (just me) took this rational a step further and argued that homosexual couples would cause children great pain if they tried to raise them. He extended it to the conception of gender roles, which argue that there is an inherent purpose for men and an inherent purpose for women when it comes to raising children. Two men or two women would thus fail at raising a child because the child would be missing half of the equation. Once again, this is not based on reality, where it is shown that gays can raise children just as well as straight couples can, but on the conceptions of "inherent purposes". Flavus Aquila argued that homosexual couples would find less happiness or satisfaction than heterosexual couples. He based this argument on the belief that the ultimate purpose of humans was to beget offspring, and any deviation from that could be considered unnatural. He argued that those whose purpose is not to beget offspring will not accomplish the purpose of forming a family, and thus they will not find much satisfaction. Thus heterosexual couples inherently have the most satsifaction, followed by homosexual couples, and finally single people would inherently have the least satisfaction. This is despite the reality that there are very unhappy and discontent heterosexual couples and that there are incredibly happy and content single people. And of course, all the variations in between. So it seems to me that this form of reasoning leads people to dismiss reality for an inherent belief, or in other words, to embrace a delusion. Thoughts on teleology?