Poetry competition questions meanings of 'natural' and 'unnatural'

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If something is unnatural, does that make it bad or wrong? What does natural mean anyway? The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is launching a poetry competition in collaboration with spoken word organisation Apples and Snakes aimed at exploring ideas about naturalness, and is looking for poems of up to 250 words that explore, delve into and reveal the meaning of the words natural, unnatural, nature and similar words in the context of debates about science, technology and medicine. The winner will receive at least one paid performance of their poem at a public event on naturalness organised by Apples and Snakes and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics; a professionally-filmed video of this performance to be published on the organisers’ websites; and a one-to-one advice session with Apples and Snakes. The deadline is 1 November. More details 

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 28th Aug 2015 15:51

"Natural" and "unnatural" are terms that have been used
to achieve a means of condemning behaviour. It can be
argued with justification that anything that is possible
within the realm of "nature" is natural. As a species,
we have been busily usurping the words "normal" and "usual" with the more sinister connotations contained in natural and unnatural so as to control behaviour we
consider beyond our own personally perceived codes of conduct. A powerful example of how the misuse of words
is intended to aid and abet tyranny in social interaction.

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