Greg Mankiw, Mark Perry, and the Naturalistic Fallacy

G. E. Moore’s Principia Ethica noted a tendency by some to equate what occurs naturally to be something that is inherently good or right. Gabriel notes this fallacy after reading something Greg Mankiw posted. Greg was challenging something from Mark Perry:

the pattern of income distribution in the NFL is strikingly similar to the income inequality of the general population, and is actually slightly greater in the NFL … perhaps this pattern of income distribution is a natural and expected outcome of any extremely competitive environment where talent is scare, valuable and highly paid, whether it’s the NFL or the overall economy

As Gabriel notes:

Something being “natural” is no argument in favor of its continuous existence. Malaria and hepatitis and diabetes are all very natural and we have no problem fighting them. No one in their right mind will argue that we should let children die because fever is natural … I hope we’re not losing The Mankiw to the Dark Side! The Dark Side is the set of people who’s say anything to advance their political cause, come what may.

Hat tip to Mark Thoma who also did not get the point of what Greg and Mark Perry posted either.