March 7, 2014 § 21 Comments
Cane Caldo had an excellent post on the proper attitude toward authority a while back entitled You Bowed Up When You Should Have Bowed Down, where he addressed the right posture someone under human authority should have when that human authority inevitably, because human, exhibits flaws.
We know that there are always due limits to the authority of men because of the nature of authority: because authority produces moral obligations, and it is literally impossible to produce or voluntarily take on a moral obligation to do evil. ”Moral obligation to do evil” is self-contradictory.
So how we navigate the moral waters of our lives is first and foremost bound by deontological limits: by the objective reality of the moral rocks upon which we will shipwreck if we choose to point our rudder at the rocks. The rocks form “bright lines” that we cannot cross, behaviors which we cannot choose, without transgression.
But the lower limit of avoiding intrinsically immoral behaviours is just the beginning of morality:
On the other hand, the fact that only the negative commandments oblige always and under all circumstances does not mean that in the moral life prohibitions are more important than the obligation to do good indicated by the positive commandments. The reason is this: the commandment of love of God and neighbour does not have in its dynamic any higher limit, but it does have a lower limit, beneath which the commandment is broken. Furthermore, what must be done in any given situation depends on the circumstances, not all of which can be foreseen; on the other hand there are kinds of behaviour which can never, in any situation, be a proper response — a response which is in conformity with the dignity of the person. Finally, it is always possible that man, as the result of coercion or other circumstances, can be hindered from doing certain good actions; but he can never be hindered from not doing certain actions, especially if he is prepared to die rather than to do evil.
So the fact that many moral questions do not have bright line boundaries that apply in all circumstances doesn’t mean that as long as we don’t crash upon the rocks we are free to do what we will. In the comment thread below ChesterPoe says:
The one aspect of modernity with which I frequently observe even self-proclaimed anti-modernists/anti-liberals/reactionaries/traditionalists/etc… make compromises is the sexual revolution. That’s the heart of the beast. It’s what divides the old left from the new left. All of us are guilty of indulging in it at some point, whether it was premarital sex or viewing pornography, but the difference is about rationalizing it. Those who seek compromise do so for the simple fact, not of the conviction that synthesis is best, but rather that they cannot muster the will power or moral fortitude to overcome their indulgence in sexual depravity. You can hear this in the words of gamers/puas or those sympathetic to them. They exclaim, “They’re just taking advantage of this bad situation. It’s not great, but what else is left for them?” That is cowardice and surrender. That’s saying, “I hate the depravity, believe me, but I need my little piece of it.” As Christians, sin is indefensible, unjustifiable. And to make compromises with it is the equivalent of compromising with the devil.
Chastity is a positive virtue, so it doesn’t have a “bright line” moral boundary. It isn’t that it is difficult to draw the line: it is that the line does not exist. So when we encounter the authority of chastity – the virtues are authorities over us because it is their nature to generate moral obligations – it is important to bow down, not up. If we are trying to do everything we can to come as close to torturing the prisoner as possible without actually crossing the line and torturing the prisoner, we have misunderstood the moral nature of the situation. There is no line.
Sure there are acts, certain intrinsically immoral behaviours, which clearly offend against chastity and are always morally wrong under all circumstances. But those acts are hardly the only offenses against the virtue of chastity. Chastity is not a virtue that lends itself to realpolitik and compromise, any more than wifely submission is something that lends itself to selective rebellion: compromised chastity just is inchastity. The slutty Christian woman may rationalize the escalation of her hemline (as long as she doesn’t actually fornicate or commit adultery, thereby achieving the Minimum Adult Daily Requirement of chastity) as a kind of realpolitik adaptation to practical realities; and since society is being deliberately (though futilely) reconstructed by liberalism to be ever more androgynous this traditionally difficult area for women has become more difficult for men also, as one of the fruits of equality.
But if your idea of chastity is that it is something that can be adapted – at the level of personal engagement with the virtue of chastity – to modern “SMP” or “MMP” realities through some sort of realpolitik, I would suggest that you don’t yet grasp what chastity is.
February 28, 2014 § 213 Comments
That’s the message that comes through loud and clear from all of the ad hominem defenses of Game, e.g.
- You are just a “natural alpha” so you don’t understand, therefore Game is morally neutral ‘tools’ and unproblemmatic
- You have no empathy, therefore Game is morally neutral ‘tools’ and unproblemmatic
- You got yours and you are just trying to stop me from getting mine, therefore Game is morally neutral ‘tools’ and unproblemmatic
- You are too old to understand, therefore Game is morally neutral ‘tools’ and unproblemmatic
- You aren’t out there teaching men how to attract women, therefore Game is morally neutral ‘tools’ and unproblemmatic
- You wouldn’t act like a simpering wimp toward your own wife, therefore Game is morally neutral ‘tools’ and unproblemmatic
That this is emotive and not rational is obvious. But that it comes from men who insist that learning Game has made them more manly – now that is irony.
February 27, 2014 § 23 Comments
Real hierarchy with real authority isn’t allowed by liberalism. A modern corporation, for example, is not a real hierarchy. The relationship between employer and employee is at least formally one of mutual convenience, severable at any time by either party. That isn’t hierarchy: it is equality, hierarchy’s opposite.
Human beings are naturally hierarchical creatures, but because liberalism defines what is socially acceptable the only real hierarchy that emerges is sociopathic. Folks who don’t understand why sociopathic rock stars are sexy to women but respectable Bill Gates isn’t, when men determine the hierarchy that in significant part drives who women find attractive, have not grasped the nature of the situation.
That leads me to another common phenomenon, which is that many men seem to deliberately seek out and choose basket case women with lots of problems. You know you have seen it too: the girl with daddy issues and a troubled past, and the white knight who rides in to the rescue. Why do men do this when they must know that they are asking for trouble?
The short answer is that many men find themselves attracted to fabulous disasters for the same reason that many women find themselves attracted to sociopathic bad boys. Because feminine vulnerability is not socially acceptable under liberalism, the only real vulnerability that exists is sociopathic vulnerability.
February 25, 2014 § 30 Comments
A couple of possibilities:
1. Suppose there really are innate differences between men and women, so that most men are now and always will be better suited for the traditional male role and most women for the traditional female role. Now suppose a society abolished the traditional female role and provided that the functions formerly performed by wives and mothers would be carried out by functionally rational hierarchical organizations of the sort men tend to act through. (For example, childcare would be provided by daycare centers rather than by Mom, who would be a fulltime paid worker like everyone else.) Then it would make sense to say that the society is unfair to women because of their sex, because the roles established by the society don’t give most women the opportunity to make use of their special capacities. (Compare Plato’s _Republic_, in which male and female Guardians had the same role — war, government and philosophy — but the men were usually better at it; contrast the matrilineal societies Loren Petrich recently mentioned, in which women are more prominent than in most societies because there is very little need for the activities belonging to the public sphere.)
2. Suppose most men and most women would be happiest in a society that had appropriately-defined sex roles, but some would not. Then a society with no sex roles would be unfair to the majority with respect to sex roles, because it would sacrifice the interests of the majority in favor of that of a minority.
Feminism is simply another strand of the subjectivism which characterises all modern philosophies and which was so roundly condemned in the Encyclical Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII in August 1950. It is of the character of all modern philosophy to deny that we can know natures and to assert that there are only collections of individuals which are similar. The only unity it will allow is a nominal one [nominalism]. In its efforts to force the populace to accept its so called “inclusive” language, feminism seeks to demonstrate that there is no such thing as the nature of man: there are only men; there are only women.
In the same way is feminism a false philosophy and its terminology a false terminology. And it is important that we should make a point of declining to use this false terminology because of the false presuppositions contained in it. The aphorism that Cardinal Mindszenty used against the Communists is appropriate here: “If you use their words, you will end up thinking their thoughts.” Therefore the correct answer to make to those who accuse us of being “sexist” or “paternalistic” or of “practising sex discrimination” is to say to them that their expressions are meaningless to anyone except those who accept their theories and that they contain no valid criticisms.
February 24, 2014 § 5 Comments
Better that patients should die than that medical science cop to ignorance:
The dangers of assigning a psychosomatic diagnosis are shown in a March 2013 article by Alice Philipson in the Telegraph of London. The title is: Professor Dies of Lung Cancer After Doctors Dismiss Illness as ‘Purely Psychological.’ If the DSM-5 SSD category is widely used in its present form, this patient fatality could be joined by many more. Rare disorders and chronic pain patients are already frequently dismissed or marginalized as “head cases.” DSM-5 will only make this problem worse.
At least when the Aztecs sacrificed you to their gods you got to visit a nice ziggurat. Modernity’s gods are so much more clinical.
February 22, 2014 § 103 Comments
I’m an essentialist, which means that in my understanding things are what they are and can’t be changed into something else via language games, assertions of the will, analogies, or other rhetorical shenanigans. All that those language games accomplish is to butcher our capacity to communicate with each other about reality: as the tower of babel is built toward the Heavens to try to be like little Gods, what actually happens is we just lose our ability to talk to each other. People can express varying loyalties to independently existent things like liberalism or game; but the thing remains what it is independent of their personal loyalties or limitations in their own understanding of the object of their loyalty.
So understanding what game really is in essence involves observing it as a social reality. I can’t just make it into what I want it to be by assertion of labels. I can’t “steal it” and repurpose it toward good ends if it isn’t already a good thing. I have to observe what it is and make as objectively honest an assessment of it as I can, independent of whatever implications may follow from accepting reality as it actually is rather than as I might like it to be. I can’t change the reality of what game actually is by shuffling around labels: calling a duck a tiger doesn’t put a bill and webbed feet on Tony.
A good definition can’t capture everything about a thing, but it will point us toward the essence of a thing; a bad definition will obfuscate essential aspects of what it purports to define.
Given that background, I’ve concluded for myself that the following are good definitions:
game (n): the male behavioral expression of inchastity
sluttiness (n) : the female behavioral expression of inchastity
February 17, 2014 § 24 Comments
I’ve spoken before about positivism: about how the enlightened modern insists that everything meaningful about a given part of reality can be formally codified into communicable knowledge; and the postmodern, suspecting (correctly) that the modern project of banishing all mystery and codifying all meaningful knowledge in any sufficiently interesting domain is impossible, leaps to the conclusion that he definitely knows that no definite knowledge is possible and people who say such things are tyrants. The one thing moderns and postmoderns agree upon is that if we cannot in principle become omniscient like God, then a pox on reality.
To the modern knowledge is like a sphere, the acquisition and codification of knowledge fills in the empty spaces in the sphere, and the remaining “gaps” in knowledge are closing all the time. Benighted superstitious Christians fill in those “gaps” in knowledge with their “God”, and because those gaps are now filled in with “God” the Christian is inherently against acquiring more knowledge and specifically against Science[tm]. Acquiring more knowledge would, to the positivist, squeeze out any epistemic “room” left for God. Har har har you superstitious Christians, once the sphere of knowledge is complete your God will disappear.
I’ve also discussed before that God is God of both the gaps and the non-gaps, and that in any case this picture of the relationship between knowledge and mystery is incoherent and irrational. I won’t explain why in detail, but if you don’t understand why positivism (and its reflection in the mirror, postmodernism) is crap you should keep on exploring reality until you do.
That is all just preliminary background to the subject of the post.
I recently visited one of the top medical facilities in the world and spoke to some of the smartest doctors on the planet. What I found interesting is that whenever a particular discipline is forced to look at a particular case and say “I don’t know what is going on”, the immediate (and appropriate) response is to refer to other disciplines. That’s great as far as it goes. But what is pertinent here is that medical science as a whole is very, very reluctant to admit when it has run out of explanations. The neurology clinic at this facility sees many patients who present with the physiologic symptoms of seizures, for example. Of these, one doctor estimated that a third do not have epilepsy; that the cause is unknown to neurology. These are classified as “pseudoseizures” and are referred to … drum roll please … psychiatrists/psychologists. He explained that the mind is much more complex than the brain and that, here is the punch line, because we know it isn’t caused by the brain it must be in the mind.
Got that? We don’t know what caused it, so the cause must not be physiological.
Evolution makes the contrary assertion: we don’t know what caused it, but the cause must be physiological.
Watch those “gaps” close between the scylla of evolution and the charybdis of psychology, ladies and gentlemen, and make sure you remember to take your antidepressants!
Is it any wonder that the great last stop on the modern explanatory railway, the telos of modernity-as-religion, is evolutionary psychology?