A feast of dust and stones

April 13, 2017 § 50 Comments

Saying that sexual desire is good in itself is like saying that hunger is good in itself. That is, it isn’t even really true at all. 

Hunger is good only inasmuch as it proposes to man the genuine goods of eating to be pursued in our fallen condition: preservation of life, growth, nutrition, and the social goods of breaking bread together or of men hunting or plowing as brothers, in honor. As a sense of depravation or craving, hunger is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of gluttony.

Sexual desire likewise is only good inasmuch as it proposes to man the real goods of marriage: of mutual love between spouses and the creation of new life from the physical expression of that love. As a sense of depravation or craving, sexual desire is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of lust.

The main difference between hunger and sexual desire is that a man can’t live without eating. Sexual desire though is not going to kill you. 

The heroes, architects, and analysts of the secular ‘morally neutral’ manosphere see the desolation wrought by modernity, and propose a great feast on stones and dust. What shall we eat, if not the stones and dust that surround us? What shall we drink if not the plentiful seawater and gasoline?

(Originally posted as a comment here.)

A paradox of modern masculinity

October 14, 2016 § 21 Comments

If you want to succeed in marrying, having children, and raising a family, you have to be prepared to judge the right time to grab a woman unexpectedly and kiss her without waiting for her explicit consent.

If you want to avoid charges of sexual assault you must never even consider grabbing a woman unexpectedly and kissing her without waiting for her explicit consent.

Weaponized ambiguity in defense of adultery

June 5, 2016 § 32 Comments

Reader GJ uses the term “weaponized ambiguity” in the comments below, as a cognate of what I have called weaponized nihilism and of what others have referred to as the motte-and-bailey strategy.  These are of course all forms of the venerable bait and switch, with the psychological feature that the person doing the arguing may be unaware of his equivocation.

Weaponized ambiguity strikes me, not without irony, as a very clarifying term.  It captures and clarifies the way in which the execrable hides behind the banal and tautological.

Examples are always helpful.

Feminism is just the acknowledgment that women are people too … when it isn’t instigating mass murder.

Murder is unjust killing, and not all killing is unjust … so pay no attention to this particular mass murder of innocents by ‘the good guys’, or this particular group of murderesses.

Game is a toolbox of techniques which empower a man to be socially dominant … so pay no attention to the fact that the reason you will only learn it from the male equivalent of sluts is that it is the male equivalent of sluttiness.

Usury is charging unjust interest on loans … pay no attention to the fact that usury is any contractual profit at all on mutuum loans, and that even unjust interest charged on non recourse loans is not usury strictly speaking.  The main thing we need to do is to avoid moral clarity.

More subtly, usury is selling what does not exist; but because there are many ways to sell what does not exist which are not usury, clarity on usury specifically can be avoided.

Contraception involves a purely subjective feeling that you want sex but do not want a baby right now. Pay no attention to the minor matter of choosing objectively mutilated sexual behaviors versus abstinence.

And adultery is sex outside of marriage.  But of course you can marry whomever or whatever you want whenever you want, and marriage lasts only as long as you want it to last.

Which is how Humanae Vitae becomes Vix Pervenit.

Life under the Big Top

April 15, 2016 § 37 Comments

Someone is pro abortion if he asserts – for whatever reason or set of reasons – that no woman should face any kind of legal sanction or punishment for deliberately choosing to have her unborn child murdered.

It is a pretty big tent. I used to think that many of the folks who literally march under the pro-life banner were well meaning but suffered from a kind of stockholm syndrome. Recent events show that I was giving them too much credit.  It turns out that they are just pro abortion after all, and have been so all along.

Magistrates managing the madness of murderous murderess mothers

April 13, 2016 § 53 Comments

Conservative writers continue to confirm that the mainstream pro-life movement views (and has for some time viewed) women who procure abortion as, categorically, innocent victims.  Mother Theresa observed that a murderess murders her conscience in addition to her victim, and the pro-life movement has perverted this act of conscience-killing into exoneration. This is a narrative you may recognize: sure the behavior she chose was objectively abhorrent, but through the magic of inscrutable subjectivity we can presume her subjective victimhood.  Because we can’t know anything about whether she is subjectively guilty or innocent in the invisible Cartesian theater of the mind we are justified in concluding that she is an innocent victim in the invisible Cartesian theater of the mind.  Christ’s admonishment not to judge the inner state of her soul translates into  a license to declare that the inner state of her soul trumps her chosen behavior.  Judging the inner states of souls is actually just fine — as long as the conclusion is that a woman who procures abortion is subjectively innocent.

Dump trucks filled with exceptional cases where murder goes unpunished are rhetorically deployed to turn special pleading into a general principle.  (Obviously, just to take one example, if abortion were treated legally like a kind of murder that would not alter the double-jeopardy exception: someone who had been tried and found innocent could not be re-tried even in the face of new evidence).

Beneath it all is – precisely as I have suggested – a belief (or, equivalently from my standpoint, actions and words perfectly consistent with the belief) that women are not fully adult and responsible moral agents when it comes to abortion.

we will treat women who go outside the law to end their pregnancies the same way we treat people who attempt to commit suicide. We might mandate that they get help, in the form of counseling — instead of leaving them to face the crushing guilt without support

One flaw in the suicide analogy is that attempted homicide is not the same as a successfully completed homicide.  But I can work with that, I suppose.

Therefore I suggest a compromise: the pro-life movement can reach consensus to treat women who procure abortion the same way we treat other severely mentally ill people who have successfully carried out homicide and remain a permanent danger to themselves and to others. Instead of life in prison, life in an asylum.

Not guilty by reason of life is hard

April 6, 2016 § 12 Comments

One of the interesting things about the intramural dynamic between left and right liberals is that it is sometimes the ‘conservatives’ or right-liberals who craft the newest, latest, most progressive innovations in the ways in which liberalism attacks and destroys the natural moral order. In order to stay respectable conservatives sometimes have to out-progress the progressives.

Back in the day the insanity defense provided a kind of compromise or unprincipled exception as a way of saving liberalism from itself.  Liberalism requires public-square neutrality, so the liberal ruling class must prescind from making moral judgments. Disease is unlike moral failure inasmuch as moral agents are culpable for their moral failures but are not (necessarily) morally culpable for contracting a disease or having some sort of defect.  Under the insanity defense heinous criminals could be defined as ‘sick’, thus avoiding making substantive moral judgments while at the same time still asserting a form of politically correct authority.

However, even this vestigial politically correct pseudoauthority is intolerable to mainstream pro-life conservatives or right-liberals when it comes to women who choose a particular kind of murder. Female emancipation means that when a woman chooses abortion she must face no consequences whatsoever.

An argument that the pro-life movement does not consider women to be moral agents

April 4, 2016 § 121 Comments

Consider the following premises:

  1. Women are moral agents.
  2. Abortion is a kind of murder.
  3. Murder either committed or procured by a moral agent should be subject to some kind of punishment.

Pro-lifers profess to believe (2).

(3) is self-evident.

The recent Donald Trump abortion kerfuffle clearly showed that the pro-life movement does not believe that women should be subject to any kind of punishment for procuring an abortion.

Therefore, the pro-life movement rejects (1).

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