“Aside from the flaw of believing that this behavior is human nature: who cares if they are addicted to drugs, or — God forbid — they have a mental health issue that’s out of their control? Drum’s belief that it’s natural to have a “reflexive disgust” of people who do a lot of drugs, drink too much, or have a mental health issue is based on the premise that the current year is 1986. It is not.”
I have mental health problems. Yes, it IS normal to have a level of reflexive disgust. A person who is foul-smelling, can’t focus on you, and constantly drifts conversations in an unnatural manner is a rather disturbing person to be around. That’s part of human psychology. A person covered in excrement lying on the ground is disgusting. Drugs and alcohol cause people to behave in ways that trip our “This person isn’t right” instinct, no matter what year it is.
Have to acknowledge this reflexive disgust, because by acknowledging it, we acknowledge that it’s WRONG. Acknowledging that a feeling of disgust is normal and natural is the first step to acknowledging that acting on that isn’t. I don’t want to put an end to the anti-homeless laws in my town because I find the homeless population here to be pleasant to be around. I want to put an end to them because my desire to not have someone who smells bad trying to explain to me how she’s going to defend us from demons does not override that person’s right to life, and constantly shuttling them out so I don’t SEE the problem doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who are suffering and who need help.
Acknowledging that it’s normal to be disgusted by something, is the only way to see that you’re doing things MOTIVATED by that disgust, and that if you really value people like you say you do, then you want to change your actions.