when you say that science (natural philosophy) shows us that all men are equal before nature?
Consider a child born with severe mental and physical defects. If you're looking to nature and scientific observation to derive a notion of natural rights, in what sense is this child "equal before nature" with other children who have the usual prospects of growing up to fend for themselves, have their own children, etc.?
In nature, the severely handicapped child doesn't survive. They're not "equal before nature" because they can't survive in nature. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that what we consider virtuous in such cases is *un*natural? We aspire to *transcend* what is natural.
I've got some questions about where you go with this, but I wanted to start by trying to understand the sense in which you are using the word "natural."
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