Escoffier on Modernity

During the discussion of Worse than fear. Worse than malice. Escoffier offered an outstanding explanation of our modern sense of moral progress.  This was worthy of a stand alone post, and Novaseeker has been kind enough to create one for it:  Escoffier on Modernity and the Embarrassment of Christians

Nearly everyone today believes in this “arc” at least in a simplified way. The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better. And the future will be inevitably more enlightened than the present.

The source of this impression is ultimately perverted or corrupted or mistaken philosophy, but one does not need to have studied philosophy at all to have been affected, even “convinced.”

This, then, is a significant source of the embarrassment. The modern Christian (modern first, Christian second) is embarrassed by the evident conflicts between his nominal faith and his actual, if unconscious, modernity. Modernity trumps. So the offending Scriptures have to be dealt with one way or another…

Follow the link above to Novaseeker’s blog for the full post and discussion.

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165 Responses to Escoffier on Modernity

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  2. jf12 says:

    Technically such effects of modernity are a feature, not a bug, of EVERY culture that has doctrine from past millennia. Every informed thinking person must have their eppur si muove moment, the same way that every such person must have their solution to the problem of evil on a cheat sheet somewhere.

  3. jf12 says:

    fwiw I cotton to the Omphalos Hypothesis for how do you solve a Problem Like Modernity.

  4. I have been searching in vain for the verse, but there is a verse in the Bible about Jesus not coming to the world earlier because the world was not yet mature enough to receive him. So I actually would disagree on the point that there isn’t an arc to history.

    That is not to say that there isn’t a danger of putting the winds of the zeitgeist over the rock of the word of God. And it is also not to say that we are not in a local downward trend at our current point in history, we most certainly are. But, over the scope of the last thousand years, or even the last couple of hundred years, there are certainly advancements that simply are not going to just disappear. For example, the 26 letter alphabet, base 10 number system, any number of rules of ecconomics, etc. These things are simply woven into our society, and are revolutionary. And it’s not just items of education. Things like our moral inclanations to protect the weak, and avoid cruelty are also woven in in ways that they simply were not in, say, the time of Rome. Even Hitler does not really compare to the atrocities of the past, except for perhaps that he worked on a larger scale than past dictators (which is in part simply because there were more people in the world at that time).

  5. jf12 says:

    Re: verse. Is it Galatians 4:4?

  6. Opus says:

    The idea of progress is Whig History (that is to say The Enlightenment) in action: the absolutely seductive notion is to conflate and confuse technological improvement and advance with a change or improvement in the human nature. This is an entirely new idea: consider any writer before about 1600 writing about the past; he writes as if the past time is no different from the present, as if those now deceased personages are his contemporaries. That is now impossible: I can no more treat Dickens as my contemporary – even though I used to pass his home twice most days – than I could wear Dickensian costumes and not expect to be stared at; I can no longer write music in the manner of Johannes Brahms – though my (Pianoforte) teacher’s teacher’s teacher (may have – the letters have been burned) been his lover – without being a plagiarist and thus placing myself well outside the sphere of musical relevance. In any event Dickens and Brahms are undoubtedly Misogynists as well as being – surely – sexist, racist and Homophobic (obviously Tchaikovsky gets a pass there to be admitted as one of the enlightened ones) and as there is nothing in the world worse than that trio of thought crimes it is clear that we are indeed marching towards a Utopia of Universal brotherhood and love – at least we would were it not (as Dalrock says) for weak men continuing to screw up Feminism. One day in the not too distant future the lion will indeed lie down with the lamb to the zoo keeper’s delight; human nature will be overcome or rather those bad things which have so far prevented universal joy will be eradicated and we will indeed march towards that rainbow world of interchangeable sexual partners, of whatever sex, or race, an entire village (but not single males, obviously) will bring up a child and Happiness will prevail for all; all that is of course except for those recalcitrant individuals (single males again) who will have to be imprisoned or eradicated.

    Having said that: material comfort does seem to facilitate political docility, so perhaps with my Occular Rift and a supply of mind-altering drugs in my gated-community Condo I really will act with peace towards all men, not that I will ever see or meet any – even the Alpha males whom I secretly envy – but at least in my Omega Blue-Pill world I will not be a lap-dog Beta Orbiter, that is until one day in a fit if despair I write a Manifesto of my Twisted World, buy three guns and in my black BMW make a video of all the nasty things I want to do to all those people who have ruined my life.

  7. Scott says:

    Opus–Awesome.

    I am going to work the phrase “rainbow world of interchangable sex partners” into my conversation today if it kills me.

  8. Joey says:

    I’d say the fact that around 50% of the nation has made butt sex, abortion, and theft of others money the centerpiece of its political philosophy is a pretty fair indicator that our moral progress is hit or miss at best, regressing at worst.

  9. Eidolon says:

    @Joey

    Right. Most moderns, and I think we all have to fight against this, can’t believe that their sins could be considered as bad as those of people in earlier eras. A modern feminist can’t imagine that future people might view abortion as an evil of similar magnitude to slavery. The fact that those of the past would surely see it that way means nothing to them.

    To quote Screwtape:

    Only the learned read old books and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so. We have done this by inculcating The Historical Point of View. The Historical Point of View, put briefly, means that when a learned man is presented with any statement in an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true. He asks who influenced the ancient writer, and how far the statement is consistent with what he said in other books, and what phase in the writer’s development, or in the general history of thought, it illustrates, and how it affected later writers, and how often it has been misunderstood (specially by the learned man’s own colleagues) and what the general course of criticism on it has been for the last ten years, and what is the “present state of the question”. To regard the ancient writer as a possible source of knowledge—to anticipate that what he said could possibly modify your thoughts or your behaviour—this would be rejected as unutterably simple-minded. And since we cannot deceive the whole human race all the time, it is most important thus to cut every generation off from all others; for where learning makes a free commerce between the ages there is always the danger that the characteristic errors of one may be corrected by the characteristic truths of another. But thanks be to our Father and the Historical Point of View, great scholars are now as little nourished by the past as the most ignorant mechanic who holds that “history is bunk…”

  10. Anonymous age 72 says:

    Yes, I realize this may be offensive, being totally off topic on this thread. But, by the time I found an opportunity to answer thoroughly the accusation that my generation was cowardly and should rot in Hell for doing nothing, two threads had matured and died. I just posted something for Opus on the previous thread as well.

    The biggest failure of the MRM today is the failure, nay, refusal, to find out the history of the men’s movement in the USA. Recently, a poster called my generation cowards for not taking action, and hoped we rotted in Hell. The obvious conclusion is he, and probably others, mistakenly assume my generation did nothing.

    I was thinking this over recently. And, decided to post some of the unknown (to new MRA’s) achievements during my lifetime, but before most of you became involved in men’s issues. Don’t even think to ask for links. I am writing from my own experience, and actually don’t give a flying (expletive deleted) if y’all believe it or not.

    When I was a young man, it was very hard for men to get child custody. I cannot tell you exactly what the laws said at the time. (In the same vein that laws today say the father shall have visitation but in practice it is simply not enforced.) But, what many judges were doing when for any reason maternal custody was not possible, first see if the maternal grandma was able. If not, then the paternal grandma. Then, sisters; aunts; sisters-in-laws; anything with a vagina; etc. This was called the tender years doctrine, that kiddies needed Mommy in their younger years. Even if Mommy was an abusive fiend.

    Most of you have no idea that paternal custody is a new concept from my generation, right? Women still get custody too often, but that 15% paternal custody is a sharp improvement.

    Note the dramatic change from the 19th Century when most people lived on farms, and it was assumed that only a man could make a living to support kids, so male custody was a rebuttable presumption in divorces. (Which meant very few divorces.) Then, the Dearies, with the aid of Manginas and White Knights changed it to the tender years doctrine which said only a dearie can take care of a baby. Well into the 80’s, a moron judge in Florida, who had a long list of child deaths caused by his refusal to give male custody in abuse cases, said he had noticed that the calf followed the cow, not the bull. Which is really cool if you are granting custody of a calf, and not a human baby. He said in plain English that he would never grant paternal custody unless directly ordered to do so by the appellate court. He was a rare hold-out, though before my generation that was normal and standard ruling.

    ###
    In the early days of the Men’s movement, when I was still rather young, IF a man did get custody, it was considered less than manly for him to receive child support from a woman, no matter how much money she had. Sort of like being a wimpy, gigolo. Again, I don’t even know that the laws said, but I know the actual practice which was to tell the man if he couldn’t support the kids, he shouldn’t have them. What with a man being a billfold, etc. Today, c/s order against a non-custodial mothers is as automatic as it is for dads.

    Don’t get me wrong. The few women who are ordered to pay C/S are deadbeats at a much higher rate than men are. And, we were told by men who had worked in CSRU that when a woman clerk found a delinquent woman’s documents in a pile of cases, she brazenly moved it to the bottom of the pile. Also, when custodial men went to the CSRU to complain about not getting C/S, the women there would tell him, “We can’t do that! She has a Baybeee.” Though the law which is vagina dependent specifically says having other children does not change your C/S obligation.

    And, when I told a friend in the US that the Bradley Amendment prohibits ever forgiving unpaid child support, he told me, “That is wrong. When my step-daughter got her kids back, the judge said she need not pay back c/s.” And, the CSRU did not push it. Some animals are more equal than others, I guess.

    But, my generation at least made it possible for women to be ordered to pay C/S. And, if they don’t pay, like for men, if they try to buy a house, it will not happen.

    ###
    Ditto for women paying alimony. It may have happened, but it was rare, no matter the circumstances. This is also an achievement of my generation of men. Any man who asked for it was condemned as a weakling and a coward. Also, of course, property settlement.

    ###
    I almost forgot to mention we invented First Refusal. This is the concept that the non-custodial father will always get first opportunity to take care of of the children when Mommy needs a baby sitter. The extreme case, which we saw, involved a man who went on grave yard shift and took care of the kids all day while Mommy was at work, then slept quick before going to work in the middle of the night. I stopped counseling in 1993, so have no idea if this still exists, but we got judges used to seeing it, and granting it when appropriate. The only catch is, if you get First Refusal, you must be ready to take care of them on short notice.

    ###
    There were more changes, I simply don’t have time to dig through them all. Things you take for granted and probably have no idea it was ever different.

    Let us now examine the major victories of the generation which would send us to rot in Hell for our cowardice.

    1. VAWA.
    2. University Tribunals, guilty until proven innocent.
    3. Jail for unemployed men.

    Of course, I am being sarcastic. Sort of. For the most part, you young guys aren’t “doing” anything at all, except type anonymously on the Internet. See below, though.**

    Men of my generation spent hundreds of thousands of man-hours trying to get laws changed, or help other men. I am not ashamed of my 10,000 hours. But, I know a man who started before I did. He made a vow that if he got custody of his little daughter, he would spend the rest of his life helping other men. He did, and he has been doing exactly that. He registered as a lobbyist for the state legislature in our state. Then, he went to a law college and hired a graduate to work for him. He taught him men’s issues in court, and paid him to be the attorney in his office. He is still at it, an estimated 60,000 hours. And,there were others like him all over the country. Yep, cowards who deserve to rot in Hell.

    The most important thing my generation learned was, public activism when lined up against women, or any woman, by men does not work. The minute you get an organization representing men against women, the leaders days are numbered! That is why I am watching the planned conference in Detroit with interest. I will be surprised if it goes any better than the fiasco some months ago in Toronto.

    AVFM has stated that they expect men not to show the slightest sign of resistance, no matter what anyone does to them. That oughta’ work real well, heh, heh. Just like it worked for the non-violent Jews in Germany, and the non-violent blacks in the USA before LBJ. And, unless those 5 cops around the clock are mostly women, you can be sure the feminists will bust up the furniture and stop any conference. Male cops are constitutionally incapable of bearing the crap out of violent women.

    No, maybe I am wrong. Perhaps black cops can do it. I have no knowledge base on this topic. We will see.

    Public activism does not work with a hostile press. Where is Glenn Sacks? And, Marc Rudov? Public activism always has visible leaders/targets and feminists go after them. They don’t last long.

    **Don’t get me wrong. MRA’s today are actually doing great, but not by public activism.

    The Red Pill, and MGTOW and similar viewpoints are raising Hell with AW and feminism. Not only is the marriage rate way down, but women over 30 are having problems even with dating. I know this because they say so.

    And, attempts to say it may be women who are backing off on marriage are precluded by the number of people, from Focus on the Family, to almost every wimpy Churchian pastor, such as Mark Driscoll, are throwing tantrums at men, because women tell them they’d like to marry and men don’t. So, pay no attention to feminist blogs which say men are so bad women don’t want to get married. That is just standard female lying, to demoralize MRA’s. “We are accomplishing nothing; might as well give it up.” We are [ast “next they fight us” and very close to “then we win.” All done one at a time, and no leaders to take out.

    Every blog and board which brings men to the horrid truth about Marriage 2.0 is a victory, even if laws get more and more negative. Every man who chooses not to marry or have children is one more man and his potential children who are rescued from a horrid life. The best thing about the very real marriage strike is that there are few or no leaders. It is a case of millions of men simply tuning out as an individual decision.

    Interestingly, as MRA’s are achieving great gains with dissemination of the Red Pill, they are taking sharp criticism from men who don’t understand that public activism and lobbying for law changes really doesn’t work, as long as AW dominate the electoral system and the MSM is hostile.

  11. Pingback: Ashamed Of The Faith | Donal Graeme

  12. James says:

    In other words, desires drive the reason, and not the other way around. They latch onto science and technological improvement in order to piggyback that rigor and pretend that it somehow applies to their own moral failings. It’s basically “I have an iPhone, and Tinder is an app on it, so it MUST be ok for me to sleep around”.

    This is an indication that morality, for so many people, is purely consequentialist. Science and technology give the appearance that we can avoid the consequences of our actions (abortion, contraception, penicillin for STDs, etc.). Since physical consequences are avoided in many instances that provides an excuse to say that “if it doesn’t hurt anyone, how could it be wrong?” We have lost the idea that ends do not justify means. The only thing that matters now are ends.

    This false conflation of moral and technological progress is really just a symptom of mankind’s fallen nature. It’s a carrot on a stick in front of our moral hamsters, ever spinning away. It is a symptom of pride and selfishness looking for justification. Society has reached a point that is found out it could collectively reinforce each other’s moral hamsters. This is why the “left”, and various other anti-christian forces, screams so loud and hard and fires everyone at something they don’t like. You are treading on their hamster wheels and shattering their worldviews by reminded them that they are wrong.

  13. Anonymous age 72 says:

    It was Screwtape who gave me the answer to why Churchianity is so screwed up.

    I had studied this issue for years, since it was 1984 when that Christian man called me and told me his pastor said it was his fault his wife had committed adultery. And, I read every line on every page looking for that, and it wasn’t there.

    In this century, I was visiting someone and needed something to read. Screwtape Letters was available.

    Screwtape says they will convince those stupid humans that doing Satan’s work was actually doing God’s work, and that they would thus be saved and go to Heaven.

    And, they would believe they were doing God’s work, but because they were actually doing Satan’s work they would also think they were saved but would not be, and would go to Hell.

    At that moment, I realized I had my answer. The Christians have the Bible, which clearly says women are to submit to their husbands, and also clearly indicates that men cannot control non-submissive women. Thus, there is no excuse for the heresy that men can control women if they will only man-up. It’s all there.

    So, at the demon’s instructions, they are attacking men at every point, helping women destroy men, thus society, and are convinced theirs is a Holy Work, But, it isn’t. So, the heretics will not be saved as they tell themselves, but will go to Hell.

  14. Jeremy says:

    Nearly everyone today believes in this “arc” at least in a simplified way. The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better. And the future will be inevitably more enlightened than the present.

    This is wrong. I would wager that significant portions of people, rational people, athiests and believers alike, know full well the potential for humanity to devolve into barbarism at basically any moment. I am one of these. Aurini is one of these for certain. The rest of his thesis has much much less bite if you allow for the fact that a lot of people see through this bullshit, and do not regard the modern age as any more “enlightened” than the time of the holocaust. Furthermore, a lot of people who actually think, are fully cognizant of the absolute irrationality of Gene Roddenberrys child-like vision for humanity’s future. We do not necessarily all believe in God, but if we’re not retarded, we absolutely believe in the non-changing and terrifying human nature.

  15. jf12 says:

    One characteristic of advances in technology is that they enable more unskilled and unlearned people to do much more complicated and effective things than ever before. A monkey can turn on an iPhone and drunk-text to someone in another country. This nearly magical ability misleads the monkey to think that he is actually doing something advancedly technological, without any comprehension of and without any desire to comprehend the requirements that went into putting the technology in his hands and the ramifications of those requirements. He is then led to believe of other complicated things that he also declines to understand, such as sexuality, he can just flip the on button and everything will be ok.

  16. desiderian says:

    Say what you will of the postmoderns (I will often agree with you), but they have no more love for this now necrotic Modernism than Escoffier. The error is passing through the body and has now reached the middle. As it continues to pass through, some unity will be needed among those now innoculated against it.

    Modernism isn’t just about progress, it is also about discarding the past in its entirely, reinventing every wheel. Its entire appeal is its newness. Once it becomes old, it is as dead as yesterday’s fad. Those committed to true progress and those who value timeless truths now have substantial common ground.

  17. en_sigma says:

    Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

  18. @ Anonymous 74:

    Excellent points. To me it seems that every generation blames their preceding generations for current crap.

    As you say, women complain that there are no good men to marry, but in reality men just don’t want to marry any more as the feminists ruined marriage.

  19. 72, not 74, sorry I aged you

  20. tz2026 says:

    How do I separate the pots and kettles, much less the sheep and goats?

    Escoffier has identified the lacuna of the “moderns”. Of course many years ago http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_19070908_pascendi-dominici-gregis_en.html
    PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS
    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X
    ON THE DOCTRINES OF THE MODERNISTS
    SEPTEMBER 8, 1907
    I’ve also pointed to Arcanum totally trashing civil DIVORCE written a few decades before that.

    I’ve already pointed out that contraception was considered a very grave sin unanimously until 1930 (when the descendants of the church founded so Henry VIII could have his divorce voted to allow it only in exceptional circumstances). Point all you want at those modern moderns over there who are accepting of women on top, but remember that you differ from Luther, Calvin, Wesley, the original Anabaptists, the Fundamentalists (late 1800s!) and the Puritans on many issues (Onanic pun intended). And Luther and Henry VIII specifically allowed for divorce – Thomas More lost his head for not recognizing his third wife (he got one annulment but the church refused to grant a second).

    I keep coming back to contraception because it demonstrates the problem most clearly and is a critical issue. The non-modern interpretation http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonid=121303195832 should have hellfire posts all over the Christian Manosphere similar to the condemnation of divorce. If it is not the identical modernism that has caused the change in teaching, what did (and maybe the problem of husbands not being able to have their wives any time during any month without consequence has influence)?

    Is the problem modernism, or which train station we’ve decided to get off at and call going further “heresy” but with no real unique argument.

    This might be a good examination of conscience – but how many things do each of us accept with the same unexamined basis as the post accuses the moderns of?

  21. Eidolon says:

    @James
    “reminded them that they are wrong”

    There’s another element, which is that according to modernist thinking, people who disagree not only are wrong but should cease to exist over time. I’ve heard gay activists say that you should be happy every time you hear an ambulance go by, because every old person who dies is one more opponent gone. Thus if people who disagree, and disagree sincerely in good faith, continue to exist, then it makes it harder to believe that moral progress is automatic and unidirectional.

    You can see this in the exasperation of the gay marriage people that anyone who opposes them should continue to exist — though only a few years ago hardly anyone would admit to being in favor of gay marriage. Their hatred for Catholicism in particular seems to be rooted in its constant insistence on being a large and lasting organization that is not what they are, refusing to change with the times (sufficiently, anyway). You see it in the media’s constant shock that each new Pope is still Catholic and doesn’t intend to change all the doctrines they see as antiquated (because We Know Better).

    The fact that those of us who hold to Christian values should continue to exist makes us a thorn in their side, because the more of us there are and the more we don’t go away when they criticize us the more it demonstrates that historicity is false. I anticipate increasingly angry and spiteful acts directed at all Christians in the near future as they try to wipe away anything that might suggest their worldview is wrong.

  22. Great Books For Men GreatBooksForMen GBFM (TM) GB4M (TM) GR8BOOKS4MEN (TM) lzozozozozlzo (TM) says:

    Dalrock writes, “This, then, is a significant source of the embarrassment. The modern Christian (modern first, Christian second) is embarrassed by the evident conflicts between his nominal faith and his actual, if unconscious, modernity.”

    This explains why Dalrock teaches that words can mean anything at any time, and that the frankfartian flock here teaches and preaches that Jesus came to Abolish the Law of Moses. The churchians here are embarrassed by Moses and Jesus who came to fulfill the Law of Moses.

    And so they must deconstruct the meaning of words, and teach that “Christians need game,” as mere Christianity embarrasses them.

  23. jf12 says:

    @Eidolon, re: progress via evolution. I’ll cartoon the evolutionary modernist position as “Now we’re getting somewhere!” As if we weren’t getting somewhere before.

    Just like every generation thinks it discovered sex, every generation thinks it discovered progress.

    The fun fact of evolution is that it doesn’t care about progress at all. It doesn’t care about people getting fitter, or more fertile, or anything.

  24. tz2026 says:

    Or put more simply, when I see someone swallowing a gnat, I check if I am consuming camels. When I see a spec in someone else’s eye, I look for planks in my own.
    Satan is the accuser. And all have sinned. We are no purer for gossiping about the faults of others. We either need better reason, or greater charity, greater virtue, especially humility, or something to show them we are right to save them from their error. Seduction is fought with chastity, intimidation with courage and fortitude, error with getting to the truth – which is often a long and difficult operation using a scalpel, and there will be blood. But there is more with the sword and without the intent to save.

  25. Opus says:

    John Stuart Mill wrote an essay in 1831 (the year of Walter Scott’s death) – just before the great Reform Act – entitled The Spirit of The Age in which he begins ‘The spirit of the age is in some measure a novel expression. I do not believe it is to be met with in any work exceeding fifty years in antiquity’. He continues ‘The idea of comparing one’s own age with former ages or with our notion of those which were yet to come, had occurred to Philosophers; but it never before was the dominant idea of any age’. By 1831 it clearly was. Dickens (again) was having his first successes and writing of the industrial poor; the clothes of the white collar workers – not that different from what we still wear – was a world away from costumes of the 18th century and then there was Cooks Tours – a sort of mass produced Grand Tour initially for the middle classes. Since James Watt in 1780, the steam engines and spinning jennies, the canals the and myriad other inventions had created the industrial revolution. Despite much sympathy from the magistracy The Swing Riots of 1930 (luddites) petered out. The world of Jane Austen (oblivious to both agricultural and industry) – as well as that of Keats and Shelley has passed – the last age in which it was readily possible to practice virtue (and probably vice – romantic poets in shirts with ruffs rushing off to Italy to get laid) – by 1850 Wordsworth (in a Sonnet) is railing against the railway coming to Windermere – a man who had hailed to French revolution.

    At the beginning of the 1800s the proportion of the population who could vote in parliamentary elections stood at little more than 2% (so much for the Patriarchy) and that 2% was made up of Yeoman farmers whose entitlement to vote was based on the rateable value of their land. The newly rich in the cities were thus excluded. Inflation (after the Napoleonic wars) increased that number to 4% – about the size of Athenian democracy and eventually by the time of The Reform Act of 1832 increased the franchise from about 5% of the population to 7.5% – an additional 200,000 adults. These two influences; the ever enlarging electoral franchise and technology – two factors which do not need further explication or example are what feeds our idea of progress.

    Some call it the zeitgeist.

  26. Opus says:

    I thought I should add some thing else (apart from correcting the date of the Swing Riots to 1830).

    Although only 2% of the population were entitled to vote in 1800 in Parliamentary Elections, it does not follow that 98% of land did not have a vote attached to it. I am guessing that – given that there were some very large landowners, then as now – that most of the land was owned by people who voted (albeit only 2% of the population). Jane Austen’s Sir Walter Elliot would presumably have had a vote though not his tenant the naval Admiral never mind lowly naval Captains risking their lives in sea battles. The majority of government expenditure was on War (the naval captains had a salary) – these landowners after all stood to lose their land were the country successfully invaded – and thus having a vested interest in the continuation of Great Britain (then largely dependant on agriculture) these land owners bore the brunt of the taxation, there being no Income Tax until 1800 – introduced only to raise additional money to fight Napoleon (and regrettably never repealed). It might be argued that the franchise was unfair to large landowners as they only received one vote despite the size of their land holding. One group of people it was not unfair to was the female sex unless Feminist Theory (sic) is now claiming that all land was owned by women.

  27. MarcusD says:

    CAF thread, again: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=888938

    BlueEyedLady being inept as usual.

    We’ve had a huge influx of anti marriage “catholics” the last few months and the posts and arguments are all the same.

    It’s rather ironic, considering that she herself is more anti-marriage than the people asking for reform of marriage (which is, obviously, not being anti-marriage). She’s very good at misrepresenting people in order to shut them down (and it gets the forum to go after that person).

    Child support is not oppressive, and women do not walk away from divorce wealthy while a man has nothing.

    A strawman argument.

    Women by and large lose more financially than men in divorce

    Well:

    In contrast, Braver et al. (2005 ; see also Braver, 1999; Braver & O’Connell, 1998) have contended that, if proper accounting is made, the post-divorce circumstances of fathers and mothers are largely equal in the short term , while in the long run, the majority of divorced mothers fare better than their ex-husbands.

    Braver, Sanford L., and Michael E. Lamb. “Marital Dissolution.” Handbook of Marriage and the Family (2013): 487-516.

    Then BEL drops this: I’m very submissive to my husband because that’s just the dynamic of our marriage (I am by no means abused or oppressed. My husband is definitely the leader in my home) and I have never run into a problem.

    What does that look like with a gynocentric, Jezebel feminist? Does she even know what that means?

    I mean, how delusional is she? She’s like a liberal automaton that’s trying out simulated free will and doesn’t see the outright contradictions of her viewpoints (and there are lots).

    EasterJoy said:

    Oh….do explain what the “house husband” crack you made about her husband was supposed to mean, since you are so against personal attacks.

    I mean, it’s an obvious conclusion from research on the topic. Because it’s not a good outcome for “househusbands” somehow it’s a personal attack? It’s the truth, and it’s rather interesting to see how they respond to it.

    EasterJoy, despite being well-educated (a lot like the woman with four degrees who couldn’t argue herself out of a paper bag (Marymary1975 – She was also cited by BEL as being an authority on a topic – I tire of idiotic credentialism)), can’t seem to argue effectively. She makes numerous (usually bad-faith) assumptions about peoples’ arguments (while the others run around with yelling ad hominems)

    BEL said:

    If I had to guess, I would say that all of the trial accounts on this thread were created specifically to cause a “controversy”, as a way to promote some guys courtship site and get more hits.

    Well, there’s your misrepresentation. She’s always trying to shut down people that way. She’s very avoidant of an actual debate, since she’ll get crushed by it.

  28. Scott says:

    MarcusD–

    Thanks for reading through that whole thing. It is exhausting, but I pretty much left.

    The thread that runs through both BEL and EasterJoys comments is a deliberate conflation of “marriage” and “biblical/sacramental marriage.”

    If I say I am against, what is usually called “marriage 2.0” around here, I am accused of being “anti-marriage.” (Regardless of how much my own personal life revolves around trying to save it)

    It’s not particularly sophisticated, but I guess muddying the water like that is effective sometimes.

  29. Tam the Bam says:

    Moderns, eh? Sod ’em.
    Before I was old enough to think, and was being inducted into the craft (NB: not the Craft hem hem ..), my old journeyman was wont to hiss malevolently in response to my gormless queries as to why a thing might be wrought in such-and-such a laborious and counter-intuitive fashion, from beyond the memory of man apparently.

    “Jist because fowk ur deid, it disny mean they wir schtupat!”

    (‘Just because people are dead, it doesn’t mean that they were stupid’, last word spat out with utter contempt. He was of course, perfectly correct, I have come to understand.
    And also now know that it was because he didn’t know the answer. It had “aye been” (‘always been that way’).
    Horrible old man, violent, and thick as pigshit, but a fantastic tradesman. Imagine a really pissed-off Sir Alex Ferguson, but tiny, and a face like a pickled walnut. Hated me probably on the grounds that I’d stayed on past 14 at school (by, I think, recently-enacted law then) and consequently had insufferable airs and graces).

  30. donalgraeme says:

    @ Scott

    Working on a post concerning the differences between what people think of marriage now. You might find it interesting.

  31. Escoffier says:

    I have been searching in vain for the verse, but there is a verse in the Bible about Jesus not coming to the world earlier because the world was not yet mature enough to receive him. So I actually would disagree on the point that there isn’t an arc to history.

    This is a very important point that I sort of alluded to in another post on that thread but didn’t develop.

    And first, before I go any further, let me just remind everyone (if anyone needs reminding) not to look to me for any great insight into the Bible. There are many people here who know Scripture far, far better than I do. What I do know something about, I think, is the attack the modern philosophers launched on the Bible (and on classical philosophy) and how that has created the world we live in.

    You are right that, in a sense, the Bible posits an arc to history. But, first, this is different from “History” in Hegel’s sense, and second, Hegel and others deliberately misinterpret it to suit their own ends.

    As to the first point, the key element is of course God. The arc of history in the Bible is completely coeval with God’s will and His creation. It’s neither random nor impersonal nor “dialectical” nor any of that. Correct me if I am wrong, but the coming of Christ to earth does not change the nature of earthly reality. The question of the Mosaic Law, debated by the early Church fathers, is separate in that (if I have this right) even those who argued that the New Covenant overrode the Mosaic Law did not argue that the very fabric of reality had been changed. Rather, God had fulfilled the Covenant with Abraham and so its particular strictures, relevant to that Old Covenant and applicable only to one people, were no longer in force under the New Covenant applicable to all.

    God certainly chose His moment to send Christ. The verse you are asking about I am not familiar with. But I don’t think it would necessarily posit an arc in the Hegelian sense. The pre-modern conception of history recognizes a waxing and waning of morality and political health, a cycle, which is not unidirectional. Conditions certainly change and God would choose the moment He thought most suited to His purposes.

    The precise origin of Historicism is probably Rousseau and specifically the way he modifies the doctrine of the “state of nature” which of course he gets from the early moderns and particularly Hobbes. But Hegel is the one who really develops the idea. And for him Christianity is an important moment of transformation in the development of “History.” But Hegel of course takes for granted that Christianity is false. His interest is in interpreting it as if were part of his grand dialectic. The end state of Hegel’s Historicism is the “universal and homogenous state” with full “recognition” and legal and political equality for all human beings. He therefore has some nice things to say about Christianity’s universalism and teaching that all men are equal before God. But of course it’s not praise for Christianity on its own terms but as a helpful myth that gets the ball moving toward the goal line.

    This the arc that I mean to deny, not any Biblical arc which leads from Eden to the fall to the Old Covenant to the New to the Second Coming. The philosophic-historical arc is the one that I believe to be manifestly not true.

    And, note that, even if one accepts the Biblical arc as outlined above, that it no way supports the thesis we were examining. Viz., if Scriptural morality is to be discarded because “times have changed,” on what is that judgment based? At least with the question of the Mosaic Law, there is the issue of the New v. Old Covenants, both of them Revelations from God. In the case of New Testament teaching on marriage, there has been NO subsequent revelation to override or modify the original. So, for those who wish not to follow it but claim they are still faithful, well, they are in a pickle, and one which asserting an arc to Biblical “history” won’t get them out of.

  32. I would have written a shorter comment if I had more time. TL;DR – Don’t be a victim of your time.

    *

    Escoffier’s comment reminded me immediately of a cult some acquaintances belonged to for some years.

    A central tenet of that cult (and any cult) is that humanity was deceived into thinking that we had “progressed” socially, especially morally, and that to get back into God’s favor they needed to “get back to the basics” or return to the “higher standards” of some point in the past. This almost always involves “returning” to a rigid authority structure led by a single powerful leader or a small “high council” sort of group.

    The implication, of course, was that whatever progress (or “arc”) of the current time was actually great sin and rebellion, and that revival was needed. While I don’t want to give away too much about this particular cult, it was heavily influenced by 1960s counter-counterculture promised a “new approach to life.”

    (This cult has steadily lost major money, real estate, and following over the last 15 years. It’s leader was recently deposed after dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct. I’m glad to say most of my acquaintances are experiencing freedom from its influence.)

    My point:

    This time is no morally better or worse than any other time.

    Technology has evolved, to be sure. The iphone 5 is clearly a better device than the original iPhone. But by no means can anyone claim that there is now more sexual promiscuity, or rebellious women, or broken relationships than at some golden paradise in the past. Look indeed to Moses—they didn’t stamp out those young people fornicating in the woods. The law was that if you do the deed, you just became our community’s newest family. Please pay the girl’s father after the ceremony.

    *

    As Jeremy noted, Escoffier’s initial premise is profoundly flawed. My own personal bias links it immediately to the victim complex of my acquaintances and their former cult. How about an easy example: at least we don’t enslave the people of other countries anymore, right? Times are better now.

    I really can’t say, but if you’re reading this on an iPhone while buying inexpensive food at a Wal*Mart while wearing nice slacks, I’d suspect that a lot of abused peasants were involved.

    *

    No, everything is not terrible now, and by no means is there some “better time” we need to return to. Do you sincerely think rebellious wives did not exist, or had no outlet for their hypergamy, until no-fault divorce permitted a slightly more public expression of such?

    If so, I’ve got a great group that my acquaintances could introduce you to.

    I don’t mean to imply that all times to live in are bad times. We simply cannot be victims of our time.

  33. Boxer says:

    I think that a lot of you guys are using this word loosely. When I think of “modernity” it conjures up a lot of cool stuff: calculus, orthodontics and diesel engines.

    The reification of modernity (i.e. making technology or its developers into a sort of idol, to be worshipped at the expense of tradition) is what I think you guys are criticising.

    Moderns, eh? Sod ‘em.

    You are another one who would like this book, Tam.

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Non_lieux.html?id=LMr8_pXJgdwC

    Though I suspect you may already be familiar with it.

    Boxer

  34. SirHamster says:

    This time is no morally better or worse than any other time.

    Technology has evolved, to be sure. The iphone 5 is clearly a better device than the original iPhone. But by no means can anyone claim that there is now more sexual promiscuity, or rebellious women, or broken relationships than at some golden paradise in the past. Look indeed to Moses—they didn’t stamp out those young people fornicating in the woods. The law was that if you do the deed, you just became our community’s newest family. Please pay the girl’s father after the ceremony.

    There is objectively more promiscuity and broken relationships now than say 50 years ago. (counting out-of-wedlock births + abortions, and divorces)

    Human nature may not have changed, and the rules needed to keep it in check may not have changed, but society’s success in keeping base human nature in check has fluctuated. That this particular decadent society is wealthy and has iPhones does not make it “equally moral”. In Biblical history, the moral failures received divine judgement – but not all times received judgement.

    How about an easy example: at least we don’t enslave the people of other countries anymore, right? Times are better now.

    Wait, didn’t you just say that we’re not better?

  35. Tam the Bam says:

    Oooh ta Boxer, anything with the evil imprimatur of the dreaded frankfart skool manchurian candidate in our midst gratefully accepted.
    Never heard of it, and it looks a bit baffling and – well, French, but .. the winters here are pretty tedious, so I’ll have a crack at it sooner or later. Don’t get your hopes up. I read a lot. Doesn’t mean I ever learn diddly. In one ear (eye?) and out the other, that’s the ticket.
    The alternative is blowing your brains out with drink by mid-Feb like everyone else. Or even literally, but luckily I’m not a farmer.

  36. jf12 says:

    “it looks a bit baffling and – well, French, but .. pretty tedious”
    Sequitur. Very sequitur.

  37. jf12 says:

    “calculus, orthodontics and diesel engines” and various combinations thereof.

  38. Earl says:

    “Modernity is like a universal acid dissolving all things, good or bad, domestic or foreign, sacred or secular. Hence the repeal of modernism is a universal prerequisite for any nation to live well.”
    ~Alan Roebuck

  39. Dalrock says:

    @Boxer

    I think that a lot of you guys are using this word loosely. When I think of “modernity” it conjures up a lot of cool stuff: calculus, orthodontics and diesel engines.

    The reification of modernity (i.e. making technology or its developers into a sort of idol, to be worshipped at the expense of tradition) is what I think you guys are criticising.

    In his full post/comment Escoffier draws a distinction between technological progress and moral progress:

    The astounding success of modern natural science and its offspring, technology, serves to “prove” to such people that “progress” is real and that the present is superior to the past. Technological progress is assumed to be coeval with moral and political progress.

  40. Gunner Q says:

    “The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better.”
    It has ever been so. The wrinkle is that, mechanically, we do know much better how things work. That makes breaking with tradition easier to justify than usual.

    James @ 10:36 am:
    “In other words, desires drive the reason, and not the other way around. They latch onto science and technological improvement in order to piggyback that rigor and pretend that it somehow applies to their own moral failings.”

    Aye. Technology removes many of the consequences of uncontrolled desires and, in the process, takes the brakes off human misconduct. Convenience replaces prudence. I can almost wish that incurable STDs stay that way, not because I enjoy human suffering but because cures would be taken as permission to play harder in the gutter… and maybe worse STDs would turn up.

    In the final analysis, though, it’s not really about our new toys. Modernity is people trying to use science as a replacement for God. I’ve said elsewhere that, if somebody were to create a perfect, mathematical proof for the existence of God then humanity would voluntarily return to the Dark Ages in protest.

  41. Dalrock says:

    @Escoffier

    And, note that, even if one accepts the Biblical arc as outlined above, that it no way supports the thesis we were examining. Viz., if Scriptural morality is to be discarded because “times have changed,” on what is that judgment based?

    Correct. The Bible tells us in multiple places that God does not change. In the specific case of wives submitting to their husbands, in 1 Pet 3 we learn that wives being submissive to their husbands is “precious in the sight of God”*. This same verse points out that it has been this way from the beginning, offering Sarah as the model. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow…

    *One could I think make a strong case that feminism is ugly to God, something which would set off a worldwide temper tantrum, and (if done right) spur tz2026 to yet another moving performance of “Shut up Protestant!”

  42. MarcusD says:

    Cf. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2008/08/16/janecrane.ART_ART_08-16-08_B1_T0B1RSR.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermesmann_v._Seyer

    @SerbCath: Post that on CAF, and see what they say about raped boys having to pay child support. We’ll see how much they support the system.

  43. jsr says:

    @ Anon Age 72
    You mentioned EFT and its successes a while back. What does that stand for?

  44. Mark says:

    @Anon72

    Awesome Post!…..Superb!

    “”my generation was cowardly and should rot in Hell for doing nothing,””

    I remember this post……I do not agree!

    “”The few women who are ordered to pay C/S are deadbeats at a much higher rate than men are.”‘

    Yes!….In Canada(Toronto)…if a man is in arrears of $20K in CS…he faces jail.I have a friend of mine who’s wife is $35K behind in CS(Court Ordered)…..has she lost her driver’s licence?….No?…Jail time?….of course not…..Pussy Pass!

    “”The minute you get an organization representing men against women, the leaders days are numbered! That is why I am watching the planned conference in Detroit with interest. I will be surprised if it goes any better than the fiasco some months ago in Toronto.””

    I am watching Detroit also.It is only a 3 1/2 drive from me.I am still thinking of attending…(a Canadian Senator is going to attend and I know her).More importantly.My family gives very generously to the U of T via our Family Foundations & Philanthropic Trusts.When the “fiasco” happened at the U of T I was so pissed off I should have been locked away for awhile.Anyways, as a Graduate of the U of T(as well as my father,bother and both sisters)….I have a say! My father sits on the “Board of Directors” of U of T.Our family contributes very heavily to the University.The U of T exists because of government handouts…and families like mine….and I happen to know the other families that contribute also(mostly Jewish).After the “fiasco” my brother and myself sent letters to the B of D that “due to the “fiasco” we are seriously considering withdrawing our financial support…..and we are VERY serious!( as well as the threat to “influence other contributors). The letters,from our attorneys,made their way to my father’s desk.He was not happy! He called a “Family Meeting”(Himself,myself & brother).I went for the jugular! He knew I was livid….our ‘gift money’ supporting this Femi-Nazi bullshit???……NO WAY!……I stood firm…as my brother did(he had no choice….I Lead…he follows!) The outcome?…..I think my father is finally starting to swallow the RED PILL!….That is a start! After much heated debate…..and giving him examples within his own family…..he is starting to digest the RED PILL! The biggest BONUS of which I insisted!…..I am PRIVY to all “Board Meetings” of the U of T(as an advisor to my father).If you think that those Femi-Nazi’s and Manginas that rule that B of D are happy with me being there?????……Think again!….I despise them more than they do me!……I play to win!…..2nd place is for shmoes!

    “”The Red Pill, and MGTOW and similar viewpoints are raising Hell with AW and feminism. Not only is the marriage rate way down, but women over 30 are having problems even with dating. I know this because they say so.””

    Yes it is!…..all I hear around the office from single women….”where are all the single men”?……I know HAWT women age 30 who could not get a date to their cat’s funeral…..so yes it is taking effect…..and it looks good on them!

    “”Men of my generation spent hundreds of thousands of man-hours trying to get laws changed, or help other men. I am not ashamed of my 10,000 hours.””

    Nor should you be!……It is “MEN”” such as yourself that have provided the pathway for guys like Dalrock,Rollo….etc…etc….to pick up after yourself…..Do not give up the good and righteous fight!…………Shalom my friend!

  45. Gunner Q says:

    If my theory is correct, jf12, our civilization will now collapse…

    “One could I think make a strong case that feminism is ugly to God”
    I’ve been thinking along those lines. The fact that pickup artists are making happier marriages than priests these days is, I believe, a deliberate insult from God to Churchians. “The thieves and prostitutes are entering heaven ahead of you.”

  46. slumlord says:

    To be fair, Escoffier’s comment was made in a combox and so therefore I’ll give him some slack, but it wasn’t “deep”.

    Moral progress is possible but not all change is moral progress. Take slavery for example. The early Church fathers were OK with it and it was only after eighteen hundred years of Christianity that it’s malignity was recognised. Was that wrong?

    “Progress” is not the problem; stupidity is. And there is a lot of stupid in both Left and Right. The metric by which all change should be measured by is the truth. Change is justified insofar as it conforms to it. Sticking to tradition where it is clearly wrong is just as stupid as changing for the sake of change.

  47. Boxer says:

    Oooh ta Boxer, anything with the evil imprimatur of the dreaded frankfart skool manchurian candidate in our midst gratefully accepted.

    Speaking of: Here’s one by Ratzinger and Habermas — the former would later become the pope, and the latter is one of the original members of the dreaded Frankfurt (frankfart?) School:

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Dialectics_of_Secularization.html?id=ERzoAPsS9usC

    The secular types who endlessly yammer about religion being obsolete are themselves religious (If Habermas can’t convince you, Mencius Moldbug probably will). They have a non-theistic feel-good religion based on capitalism, feminism, mob-rule democracy, and a vision of a shopping-mall heaven on earth, where we can all buy bottled water, and iphones, and all our needs are met.

    This is also a religious movement, and it’s silly for its adherents to deny it. It’s at least as “irrational” as Christianity or Judaism.

    Best, Boxer

  48. Mark says:

    @MarcusD

    What did you think of the Ontario Election?…….My opinion…”What a disgrace”…..A F****** lesbian leading Ontario?……WTF?

  49. jf12 says:

    Re: shopping-mall heaven. Shopping-mall heaven is a loaf of Cinnabon, a jug of Diet Coke, and matching flipflops with thou “We’re, like a team, with a uniform!”. What you’re talking about is some kind of yuppie heaven with a “loaf” of gluten-free bread substitute, a “jug” of stainless steel water bottle filled from the home purifying system, and a $250 monthly calling plan to talk to thou.

  50. Maunalani says:

    I’ve been more of a Decline and Fall kind of guy the last few years. And I would suggest the facts support me.

  51. BC says:

    at the demon’s instructions, they are attacking men at every point, helping women destroy men, thus society, and are convinced theirs is a Holy Work, But, it isn’t. So, the heretics will not be saved as they tell themselves, but will go to Hell.

    The devil tempted Eve to get Adam to knowingly and willingly fall with her.
    This is the first ‘lesson’ of the Bible – the original sin that resulted in the fall of Man.
    Thus has it always been, from the beginning; thus shall it always be.

  52. There is another take on modernity and historicism. To clarify in advance, I do not think I suffer overwhelmingly from either one so im not in defense mode.

    Like those who see wisdom increasing as time passes, those who do that are not all, but a majority, shallow thinkers to one degree or another. The other form is therefore, in my opinion, worse because those who are stuck in its frame are generally deep and big thinkers. Those are the ones who conversely think that wisdom is ONLY found in the past, and in an almost festish-like manner, select certain historical time brackets from which they draw their take, their arguments on nearly anything.

    Juuuuust sayin.

  53. Anonymous age 72 says:

    [blockquote]jsr says:
    June 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    @ Anon Age 72
    You mentioned EFT and its successes a while back. What does that stand for?
    [/blockquote]

    EFT is sort of like acupuncture without needles. You tap on certain places, which apparently relate to the same energy points used by acupuncture, while talking to yourself about what your problem is. Let me make it clear this is not spam. I have no income based on EFT.

    It sounds like Mumbo Jumbo, but it actually works, most of the time. It has cured chronic depression, if caused by bad memories. Enter EFT in Youtube search box for many videos.

    In the late 90’s, Gary Craig and his crew got invited into a Vet’s psychiatric hospital, to try it on men who had been in there over 20 years, since the VN war. They sent some of them home to stay within a week.

    I have had two great successes, personally. Once two or three years ago, I was on the local bus headed into Mexico City, and started to get car sick. I had forgotten my Dramamine, and was close to puking. I quickly started EFT tapping, and soon the nausea went away. And, I have never had it again.

    A year or two ago, I needed major dental surgery, and I am a well known dental phobic. I did tapping, and had no problem as they hacked away at the infected roots of my teeth. I have been to the dentist several times since then, and likewise no problems.

    But, the biggest victory was my local dentist, not the surgery specialist in the big city. I went in to her office for cleaning, and she looked totally stressed out. My wife and I both like Susana. She is a very sweet woman, good manners, educated. I asked her about it. She admitted she was very stressed out. She is a dentist in the government free hospital, and has to do a patient, extractions, fillings, you name it, in a very few minutes per patient. Every day,

    I downloaded the original Gary Craig manual, in Spanish and took it to her, all legal. I gave her a two or three minute explanation, and went out. I didn’t see her for some months, and when I went in, she looked totally relaxed and peaceful. She was all enthused, and said, yes, EFT had changed her life. Whatever stress was hurting her was gone. (Let me add that dentists have a very high suicide rate.)

    http://www.emofree.com/ is the current page for Gary Craig, the man who first got a lot of attention to EFT. He burned out, retired, turned it over to other people, then came back with his daughter’s help. The tutorial is free. Gary is famous for saying TRY IT ON EVERYTHING. Hang nails; stomach ache; car sickness; depression.

    Even though I have seen it work on myself, and friends, it does piss me off when Gary says you can tap on yourself as surrogate for someone else. I will be more than glad to eat crow if they prove it works, but I view it as Mumbo Jumbo. Yeah, I can see if a nutty mom taps on herself a lot of her son’s problems will go away!!!!

    Here is the page for PTSD videos. From $20 to $99 discounted from $197, but see PayPal note below. http://www.operation-emotionalfreedom.com/ I don’t think it’s related to Gary Craig.

    http://www.eftuniverse.com/ is the man, Dawson Church, who originally took it over from Gary Craig. Since a lot of the EFT success involves finding the original cause of the problem, Dawson’s zillions of articles can be very helpful once you learn the basic techniques.

    Please, if you want to read quickly for 15 minutes, and start using it, don’t. There is a lot of stuff there to know, and so follow the instructions. When it tells you to try it, then try it, but not before. About 1 out of 1000 people have a psychotic reaction when using EFT.

    If you know a Veteran with PTSD, check it out, there are practitioners who will give some free treatments to vets.

    Note that there are opportunities in EFT practitioners. though some states are trying to regulate it out of existence, since shrinks who can take your money for years with no benefits really suffer financially when EFT can cure you in a few sessions.

    Note: I started to order the $99 PTSD package, but they force you to open a PayPal account even when using a credit card. No, thanks.

    [b]Mark says:
    June 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm
    [/b]

    Thanks, man. Very interesting posting you wrote. Let me add that I am out of date. The Detroit conference has been moved to a VFW hall, and it is assumed there will be no Pussy Riot type activities because VFW controls the area.

    When people who have real connections with power get involved, things happen.

  54. Anonymous age 72 says:

    Sorry, forgot wordpress uses not [ and ] like proboards.

  55. desiderian says:

    “feminism is ugly to God”

    Ugliness is what happens when form departs from function.

  56. desiderian says:

    Gunner Q,

    “‘The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better.’
    It has ever been so. The wrinkle is that, mechanically, we do know much better how things work. That makes breaking with tradition easier to justify than usual.”

    It has not ever been so – that is a major thrust of Escoffier’s comment. Prior to the Renaissance, it was assumed that the past was inherently more enlightened.

    He himself may well be behind the times regarding his estimation of present belief. America’s wrong track number is now well over 50%. As his class charges full speed ahead (sic), fewer and fewer are following.

  57. desiderian says:

    Re: breakng with tradition.

    All ages break with tradition to some extent. Traditions themselves are merely collections of changes that have proven their worth. The distinguishing feature of Modernism is that it also breaks with the traditional means of breaking with tradition.

    Instead of improving on that which came before, it tosses it out completely. Instead of tradition being the default upon which improvements are tried, the new is the default and no trial of effectiveness is allowed, lest one “turn back the clock”.

  58. MarcusD says:

    @Mark

    There were certainly some interesting election results recently, namely Cantor’s loss and the Ontario election surprise.

    Re: Ontario: According to the NP, it’s good news for Harper, so there’s that (I mean, Wynne and Dolton have already messed up the economy so much that their balancing act will end soon). Given the Grits are being investigated for a variety of scandals, too, isn’t going to help them in 15 months. I cannot wait for Wynne to start axing public union benefits… that’ll undermine Junior on the federal level in a spectacular way.

  59. Dalrock says:

    @Slumlord

    To be fair, Escoffier’s comment was made in a combox and so therefore I’ll give him some slack, but it wasn’t “deep”.

    Moral progress is possible but not all change is moral progress. Take slavery for example. The early Church fathers were OK with it and it was only after eighteen hundred years of Christianity that it’s malignity was recognised. Was that wrong?

    “Progress” is not the problem; stupidity is. And there is a lot of stupid in both Left and Right. The metric by which all change should be measured by is the truth. Change is justified insofar as it conforms to it. Sticking to tradition where it is clearly wrong is just as stupid as changing for the sake of change.

    I’m not sure who you are arguing with here, but it can’t be Escoffier, and I don’t see anyone else arguing that tradition trumps all. There is a specific context to Escoffier’s comment (which I referenced). His point is that we suffer from an assumption of moral progress, and therefore we tend to fail to measure something by its truth.

    The slavery issue is a non sequitur. Marriage is core to the Christian faith. It is central to the story of Genesis and is the primary metaphor for our relationship to God both in the old and new testaments. It is something God created for us, and something he created us for. God didn’t create some men to be slave holders and others to be slaves, but he did create Eve to be Adam’s helpmeet. Marriage is essential for sexual morality and the raising of future generations; slavery isn’t required for either.

  60. Opus says:

    It is a brave man who would defend Slavery or at least point out it’s good points or even compare it favourably with our present system of Employment/Unemployment; or indeed point out that some forms of employment are – shall we say – slavery-lite. I am going to suggest (that if you ignore Wilberforce’s sentimentality) the reason for the abolition of slavery and its trade was that ultimately it was more expensive for businesses than the ad-hoc – unconcerned – minimum wage arrangements. Given our human nature I would have thought that the concept of Moral Progress was so much pie-in-the-sky and that the only reason we seek to observe it is to pat ourselves on the back for our superior sensibility, whilst providing bread and circuses in recompense.

  61. Luke says:

    One thought on traditional wisdom, and how it is likely to trump our “new” beliefs:
    There are what, 6 or 7 billion people alive today. An estimated 100 billion people have lived their lives out on this planet. Technology and science are ALL that is new in human experience. That means that the people alive today collectively in themselves can only represent at most 7% of human wisdom. It is any surprise that on the deepest human questions about the meaning of life, how to live, etc., that our ancestors were so often much more correct than we are? Not when you consider it that way.

  62. BradA says:

    [Gal 4:4 KJV] 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

    Is that the Scripture being asked for above? Jesus came when He was supposed to and the exact day that was predicted in prophecy years before. The Scriptures indicate that they could have received Him, but did not, so even He was not received even in the proper time.

    (I hope I haven’t missed something as I am catching up with the replies now.)

  63. BradA says:

    > “This time is no morally better or worse than any other time.”

    This statement assumes everything is in a completely steady state, with no variation. It was also violated when the same individual said that we were better now in another context. Societies get better and worse. That is the course of history.

    ========

    One thing I also find very missing in things like this is the concept that ancient man was a knuckle-dragging savage. Adam and Eve started as perfect and it was all downhill from there. They didn’t have all the technology we have, but those in the past (especially prior to the flood) had many years to figure things out.

    Look back to the pyramids as a more recent example. We have no way of doing that so accurately (from what I understand) with modern tools (at that scale), let alone with ancient tools. Some knowledge has clearly been lost.

  64. Escoffier says:

    Let me address a few points that people have raised. Some of this I addressed in follow-up comments to the original thread, others in older posts at Veritas Lounge. Sorry for any repetition but I don’t see any way around it.

    First, I’m using “modernity” in a very specific sense: a philosophic movement that began in the early 16th century and that, more or less, still governs thought to this day. Certainly Western thought and increasingly the thought of other civilizations and countries as they try to “join the club” in order to reap the material benefits of modernity. I tried to give a more extended definition a while back here:

    http://veritaslounge.com/2013/02/12/guest-post-escoffier-on-the-problem-of-modernity/

    The thought of that movement when examined turns out to be the premise or foundation for virtually every common opinion today. Most people don’t realize this—they aren’t even aware that human thought underwent a fundamental change. Most would instead say that thought has “evolved” or “progressed” and that this is simply a natural, inevitable development.

    But the very idea of “progress”—especially the way it is meant in this context—is a modern idea, alien to pre-modern thought. These people (i.e., nearly everyone) are not aware of that. To them “progress” is simply the default state of humanity, life, reality, etc.

    To the objections, then.

    A few have asserted that my claim that most people believe in this “progress” is not true; quite a large percentage of people don’t believe it. Well, I can take their word for it in their own cases, but they would be outliers in my judgment. One poster used today v. the Holocaust as evidence of “then v. now.” But of course the Holocaust occurred during modernity, within a framework of modernity. Now, of course, the Holocaust, the Gulag, the Killing Fields and the like throw a significant wrinkle into the narrative of “progress.” But true-believing moderns find various ways around that, the most common being that these were unfortunate events cause by people who either rejected or misunderstood modernity or (especially in the case of Communism, whose excesses must be excused at all costs) had the right goal but just went too far.

    In any case, the basic premise here is that especially pre-modern thought has been superseded by modernity, which is why the marriage teaching of the Bible has to go. It is “sexist” and modernity has “proved” that.

    Or, another point, it is now virtually unchallenged in the West that democracy is the only just or legitimate form of government. This was, to say the least, not true in the pre-modern world. Democracy or republicanism was virtually non-existent in the Middle Ages and democracy was regarded by the classical philosophers as a bad form of government, barely a step up from tyranny. This change in orientation is attributed to “progress.” Now that we “know” that all men are created equal, we know that monarchy and aristocracy are unjust.

    Or, another more recent point, look at the rapidly changing elite, and later public, consensus regarding homosexuality, transgenderism, and the like. Every “advance” on this score is held to be “progress” and former opinions are a source of embarrassment, or worse.

    That’s the trend. To the extent that some resist the trend great. But is resistance to the trend the norm or the exception? Does it make policy or react to policy? Does it set the agenda or object to the agenda? Does it help to form the mass mind or is it (more or less) irrelevant to that process? The answers are obvious, at least to me.

    Another objection has to do with technology, viz., that it’s somehow hypocritical or inconsistent to question modernity while typing on a computer. Now, there may be something to that, but not in the way intended; I’ll get to that in a moment. The fundamental point here is that technological and moral/political innovation are, in principle, separable. Certainly the pre-modern world invented a lot of things that made life easier for people. The problem with modernity is not so much technology (though tech is not an unmixed blessing) it’s what modernity did to moral/political thought and to philosophy. Basically, it wiped out teleology and ancient metaphysics, the idea of the good, and so on. It leads, inevitably, it would appear, to relativism and nihilism or at best a kind of shallow libertarianism which holds that everything is permitted so long as it does not (non-consensually) draw blood or pick another’s pocket (though government redistribution is not only OK, it’s required for “justice”).

    That said, there WAS a concern or warning in classical philosophy about the wisdom of unleashing scientific inquiry and technological advancement. Their concerns were many. First, technology is driven above all by “necessity” in war and if we go too far, we might really end up in a bad spot. It suffices here to mention thermonuclear SLBMs. Second, technology that “eases man’s estate” tends paradoxically toward the degradation and even animalization of man. The more “advanced” we become at satisfying our bodily needs and wants, the more we tend to sanctify the those needs/wants and lose sight of everything higher. Nietzsche’s “last man” is relevant here. Third, putting philosophy or science (thought) in the service of said needs/wants will likely corrupt thought and “dumb it down.” Hence the incredible narrowness of modern metaphysics compared with ancient and Medieval.

    All that said, despite my evident preference for classical thought over modern, I am not giving up air-conditioning. If that makes me a hypocrite, so be it.

    Now, this is long, I realize, but one more thing. Although this has been addressed it bears repeating because it is the most important point. It has been said that “progress is not the problem.”

    Well, yes and no. “Progress is not the problem” insofar as change is for the better, the true and genuine better. But KNOWING whether or that is the case is far more difficult than we moderns tend to assume. It requires knowledge of the good, which is to say, philosophical investigation—an investigation which modernity has abandoned and even condemned as impossible. For the good is now held either not to exist or else to be nothing more than a preference, and preferences vary according to the times, cultures, nations, individuals, and so on. This makes change problematic to say the least.

    Compounding the problem is the very word “progress” and the idea behind it which favors change as, in principle, good. Stasis is looked down on as stagnation and the ossification of superstition. Or nostalgia for a lost, unrecoverable “golden age” (which of course is held not to have been a golden age at all). People today simply take for granted that “times change” (which of course they do) but draw from that the non-evident conclusion that underlying reality or principles change with the times or even cause the changing of the times. The idea that there could be some good principles which are timeless is implicitly dismissed today. I made reference in the original comment to the “Living Constitution” notion; you will frequently hear people voice objection to the Constitution of 1789 on the grounds that “We living today should not be ruled by the dead.” The implicit assumption is that those ideas, simply by being old, cannot possibly be relevant for our time—that is, they cannot possibly be true for ALL time. Because no moral or political principle can.

    There is of course a root incoherence here because every vanguard that pushes “change” and “progress” does so because he thinks it is good. But he has not really reflected on the good, on what it is, on the possibility that it is unchanging. The immediate change once achieved, it’s on to the next change. “Progress” is implicitly believed to be ongoing and never-ending. There is no good simply.

    Finally (among much else that could be said), even nominal change for the better is not always truly for the better. The correction of, say, a genuine injustice is not necessarily advisable if the ancillary consequences turn out to be worse than the original injustice. This but one (other) reason why the medievals and ancients were so cautious about change.

    The only sound/wise/sensible standard is the good. Sometimes change is good, sometimes it’s not, sometimes it’s a very close call.

  65. bluedog says:

    I don’t think this discussion will be complete unless you account for Steven Pinker’s contribution:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Better-Angels-Our-Nature/dp/0143122010

    As to it – I noted this in a comment on TNR just a few weeks back, but like so many things I suspect it’s a reflection in our persons and the societies we make of the sinusoidal ways almost everything in reality tends to be when you get any perspective on it. (Google sine wave – then accuse me if using big words if you still think it’s important).

    My point at TNR was to a different side of the polarity and asking them to be reflective. It may have been necessary to turn morality “outward” for a time to update society, so to speak. The social structures we had in 1948 ossified regressive moral attitudes from 250 years ago. It is folly to think we could make it to 2014 intact if we had not directed so much energy to change these structures.

    Having said that – what I suggested at TNR is that it’s passing or past a point of diminishing returns. We are virtue and vice. Persisting in this road of changing society, rather than turning inwards and changing ourselves – cultivating personal virtue and extinguishing personal vice – added up as person after person seeks to correct perceived social evils rather than confront personal corruption – this is a force that’s taken a repressive form in an of itself. That’s a message I’d meant for liberals and the mainstream. The message here would be somewhat different, but it’s useful just the same to have the full perspective.

  66. JDG says:

    Escoffier – as near as I can tell I agree with your view and what you have written. I’m convinced that if we educate an immoral man (or woman), we haven’t cured his immorality. Instead we have simply given the immoral man (or woman) more tools with which to do evil deeds. Now instead of stealing hundreds of dollars, they can steal millions. Likewise, instead of murdering one, ten, or hundreds of people, murderers can do away with millions.

    I also think that the term “modernism” is misleading because even in ancient times people were dealing with modernism. The 1st century church had to deal with modernists who ridicule the promise of the second coming and denied the supernatural. There really is nothing new under the sun.

    The modernism of our time appears to be bound to the idea of inevitable progress through a belief in the inherent goodness of man. And this thought is tied to the idea that man can question and criticize the Bible, and even God himself. The humanistic core of this line of thinking resulted in a horrifying product that removed distinctions between the sacred and the profane, which undoubtedly led us to post-modernism. And so even from a modernist’s stand point one could say: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools,” – Romans 1:22.

    I believe the problem of modernity, and every other “ity” and “ism” is one and the same with the reason that nothing of human origin will produce anything good.

    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

    And so it follows that:
    “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.” – Psalm 36:1.

    This is why man needs God, not the other way around. Still, God saw fit to save man from himself by sending Jesus Christ, who overcame temptation, sin, and death. Jesus has made a way for sinful fallen man to be reconciled to a just and holy God, and He has shown us the way to eternal life.

  67. UK Fred says:

    @Escoffier

    I have to agree with everything you have posted. But I would also like to emphasise that the drive for modernity has also been driven by those whose aims are quite different from Christians. This is a quote from a commenter “SpeedofDark” on the UK newspaper The Telegraph which shows that some of the people we are fighting are those whom marxists would describe as useful idiots.

    “It is part of the Frankfurt School agenda which was created to aid communism spread. It was originally based in Germany but fled to the USA when Hitler came to power. From then to the early 60′s it embedded itself in the US college and University system. It was, in fact, responsible for the counter culture revoluton of the 60′s( which most of the youth at that time saw as liberating from the admittedly authoritarian, and moral governance that existed. This is not the stuff of conspiracy theories but stark fact. Marcuse was one of the leading lights of this operation and his frank and open confessions are all on the youtubel The aim was to change forever the long establshed judao-christian heritage. To give you further insight (assuming like most people you are now aware of all this) I show below the key points of the Frankfurt School agenda. Please, then, if you wish compare those leading points with the actions of the labour governments of 1997 – 2010…..a close match, indeed. But this agenda is shared by the 3 parties – we live in a 3 party, 0ne party state of cultural marxists.
    “The final aim of the Frankfurt School was to make the West so corrupt it “will stink”
    “The School included among its members the 1960s guru of the New Left Herbert Marcuse (denounced by Pope Paul VI for his theory of liberation which ‘opens the way for licence cloaked as liberty’), Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, the popular writer Erich Fromm, Leo Lowenthal, and Jurgen Habermas – possibly the School’s most influential representative.
    “Basically, the Frankfurt School believed that as long as an individual had the belief – or even the hope of belief – that his divine gift of reason could solve the problems facing society, then that society would never reach the state of hopelessness and alienation that they considered necessary to provoke socialist revolution. Their task, therefore, was as swiftly as possible to undermine the Judaeo-Christian legacy. To do this they called for the most negative destructive criticism possible of every sphere of life which would be designed to de-stabilize society and bring down what they saw as the oppressive’ order. Their policies, they hoped, would spread like a virus—‘continuing the work of the Western Marxists by other means’ as one of their members noted.
    “To further the advance of their ‘quiet’ cultural revolution – but giving us no ideas about their plans for the future – the School recommended (among other things):
    1. The creation of racism offences.
    2. Continual change to create confusion
    3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children
    4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority
    5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
    6. The promotion of excessive drinking
    7. Emptying of churches
    8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime
    9. Dependency on the state or state benefits
    10. Control and dumbing down of media
    11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family
    “One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud’s idea of ‘pansexualism’ – the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women. To further their aims they would:
    • attack the authority of the father, deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children.
    • abolish differences in the education of boys and girls
    • abolish all forms of male dominance – hence the presence of women in the armed forces
    • declare women to be an ‘oppressed class’ and men as ‘oppressors’
    “Munzenberg summed up the Frankfurt School’s long-term operation thus: ‘We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.’
    “The School believed there were two types of revolution: (a) political and (b) cultural. Cultural revolution demolishes from within. ‘Modern forms of subjection are marked by mildness’. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.”

    I do not know whether Opus and Tam the Bam would agree with me, but I believe that governments in the UK of all party labels have been following this agenda at least in part since the 1960s. I am uncertain on your side of the Pond whether it started with Kennedy, Reagan, or Clinton.

  68. Boxer says:

    Totally off topic, but happy Father’s Day to all you hardcore bros with kids, and all the men who came before. Much love!

  69. Dalrock says:

    Thank you Boxer.

  70. Opus says:

    @UKFred

    You may be right, but although I have read a vast amount of Adorno, in so far as I have understood him, nothing that I have read bears any resemblance to what you ascribe to The Frankfurt School; however the person to ask is surely Boxer, who I believe has a hot-line to Marx (Karl not Groucho).

  71. Pingback: Unfashionably True. | Dark Brightness

  72. Boxer says:

    Dear Opus:

    My hotline is to Groucho, actually.

    I find these conspiracy theories funny. For all that blather and kookranting, pages and pages long, there’s not a single citation. Much like the peeps who swear up and down that aliens are abducting them nightly, but never bothering to swipe an ashtray or bath towel on their way out of the saucer.

    I’ve been more or less a libertine until recently. I’d like to blame uncle Herbie for my questionable behavior, but as a realist, I must admit that it was more-or-less my doing.

    Happy day to your pa, by the way.

    Boxer Marcuse

  73. Escoffier says:

    The social structures we had in 1948 ossified regressive moral attitudes from 250 years ago. It is folly to think we could make it to 2014 intact if we had not directed so much energy to change these structures.

    I’m not sure what you mean. Not that I view 1948 as some golden age (though it sure does look good compared to today!) but I am wondering what was so terribly wrong with it that would have prevented us from getting to 2014 alive had we remained like that. Segregation will probably be acknowledged by most to be biggest injustice of the era. Stipulate that and, hard as it may be to accept, it doesn’t seem all that likely that the continuance of segregation alone would have brought down the nation, however much of a stain on the national character it may have inflicted.

    Beyond this, 250 years prior to 1948 was 1698, and it seems rather obvious that moral opinions and many behaviors had changed radically in those years in between. So your first claim also leaves me a bit puzzled.

    I do agree with the general point about diminishing returns. Virtue and vice are permanent human traits and in some mixture will always be with us. The better a given society is, the more virtue and less vice it will have. But persecuting certain vices out of proportion to their actual importance, when it’s impossible to stamp out all vice in any case, is folly—and often very harmful folly. This is to leave aside whether much that is today persecuted as vice (Brendan Eich? “Dongle”?) really is in fact vice.

    Somewhere Aquinas wrote that “he who bloweth his nose too hard draweth blood” to make the point that moral scolds can be worse than the moral vices they scold.

  74. JDG says:

    UK Fred – I’m pretty sure the seeds were planted over here (and over there too) long before Kennedy, but by the 1960s we began to see the fruit. I’m pretty sure that the course was set towards socialism at least by the 1930s but maybe as early as the 1852 when Massachusetts was the 1st state to make schooling compulsory. By 1917 all states had followed this example.

    John Dewey, an atheist and socialist who subscribed to a humanist philosophy, co-authored the revolutionary, anti-God, Humanist Manifesto I in 1934. Here is a quote: “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.” I’ve read that his works and beliefs were well received in Europe.

    In Humanist Manifesto II, John Dunphy wrote: “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being…The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of ‘love thy neighbor’ will finally be achieved.”

    I certain that Mr Dewey, his colleagues, and his successors laid the foundation for the future transformation of the education system in the U.S. to one of pc indoctrination and the removal of Christianity from public life and public schools.

    Once academia fell, the fall of the government was inevitable.

  75. kip says:

    Does the Frankfurt School have anything to do with the famous New School in NYC?

    “Basically, the Frankfurt School believed that as long as an individual had the belief – or even the hope of belief – that his divine gift of reason could solve the problems facing society, then that society would never reach the state of hopelessness and alienation that they considered necessary to provoke socialist revolution. Their task, therefore, was as swiftly as possible to undermine the Judaeo-Christian legacy.”

    So they were against reason and religions simultaneously? Were they atheists? If so it doesn’t follow that they would be opposed to reason as today’s atheists use reason in their “war against religion”. In fact reason is the reason for their war against religion. Were the Frankfurt men then followers of non Jewish and non Christian religions? Whats the deal there?

  76. JDG says:

    Boxer – Thank you.

  77. kip says:

    I have an old uncle that attended the New School back when it was the New School for Social Research. I always thought that was an odd name. Never thought more about it then that until reading here about the Frankfurt School. Wiki says there is in fact a major connection between the two.

    “The thought of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School: Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, et al. holds an especially strong influence on all divisions of the school. After the death of Hannah Arendt in 1975, the philosophy department revolved around Reiner Schürmann and Ágnes Heller.”

    Wiki also qoutes Marlon Brando as saying, “I attended The New School for Social Research for only a year, but what a year it was. The school and New York itself had become a sanctuary for hundreds of extraordinary European Jews who had fled Germany and other countries before and during World War II, and they were enriching the city’s intellectual life with an intensity that has probably never been equaled anywhere during a comparable period of time.”

    So if the school was a hub for European Jews and it was and still is based largely on the Frankfurt School, then it doesn’t follow that “Their task, therefore, was as swiftly as possible to undermine the Judaeo-Christian legacy.”

    Undermine the Christian legacy, perhaps. But not the Judeo one.

  78. Escoffier says:

    JDG,

    I’m a little more sanguine than that. I would agree that there are incorrigibly immoral people (“sociopaths”) whom no amount of instruction can reach. But I think that most people are potentially moral and reachable through the right kind of character education. Ideally, this would be reinforced at several levels: in the home, in schools, in churches, in civic instructions, and in the culture at large. To say the least, that last one is not on the side of the angels today and many of the others are shaky.

    Re: modernity being nothing new, again, I mean something specific when I say “modernity.” Yes, in the ancient world there were all sorts of corruptive and mistaken doctrines and many of them made arguments that are very much like many things one hears today and even much like some tenets of modernity.

    Modernism does not mean simply “the impulse to change.” It’s a very specific philosophic movement/project with specific goals. It’s change, yes, but of a very specific kind. It did not exist in the ancient world. The things you point out as disagreements in the ancient world are, for instance, second order disagreements compared with the difference between the ancients and the moderns. On all the core metaphysical concepts which the moderns attack, even the mistaken/heretical ancients would have agreed with the good ancients and disagreed with the moderns.

  79. Escoffier says:

    Marcuse, who must be counted among the worst people who ever lived, lived out his days fat and happy on the taxpayer dime at UCSD. Yeah, I’d like to get paid to loll around Torrey Pines and La Jolla. And unlike that jackass, I’d actually try to teach the kids something both true and uplifting.

  80. MarcusD says:

    @bluedog

    If I remember correctly, Pinker forgot to account for studies like this:

    Dobson, Roger. “Medical advances mask epidemic of violence by cutting murder rate.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 325.7365 (2002): 615.

  81. mustardnine says:

    UK Fred says:
    June 15, 2014 at 1:48 pm
    @Escoffier

    [ . . . many things, which I basically agree with. Ending with this paragraph : ]

    “I do not know whether Opus and Tam the Bam would agree with me, but I believe that governments in the UK of all party labels have been following this agenda at least in part since the 1960s. I am uncertain on your side of the Pond whether it started with Kennedy, Reagan, or Clinton.”

    Mustard9 comments:

    I was hearing this explicitly taught in university late 60s-early 70s, so it certainly pre-dates Reagan or Clinton. The course was titled “History of Western Intellectualism in the 20th Century.” Readings included Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Thomas Mann, Albert Camus, Oswald Spengler, and many others.

    I think that the political levers for this high-level social engineering were introduced, in an already well-developed way, in the earliest days of FDR-New-Deal. This gets us back behind the Sixties Revolution, and even behind Ike’s warning about “the military-industrial-complex” — which, he warned us, was not merely political or social, but, in his words, “even spiritual.”

    Some key ideas-philosophies-methods that were developed in the European revolutions 1848-1870 had “crossed the pond” prior to the American civil war, which makes me interested in looking back even farther in history for the roots and threads of what we are seeing today, and trying to understand, and deal with successfully.

    I think that much of what we see in the political-social-cultural sphere are effects, or symptoms, that spring from explicitly theological and spiritual pre-conditions. (And if that is the case, who among us is as theological and as spiritual as he could be, or needs to be?)

    I realize that most of this is probably “intuitively obvious to the most casual observer” who comments here; but as a history-math teacher, I have observed that many youngsters (under age 40) are only slightly aware of what has gone on before their time — before whatever decade they “came of age.” I hope this might be useful to some of the younger “lurkers” here.

  82. MarcusD says:

    @kip

    But is that the religious or cultural “Judeo-“?

  83. Escoffier says:

    Regarding the violence decline, I’ve read a little of the debate between Pinker and his critics. Take this FWIW, as it’s certainly not “scientific” or rigorous.

    What gives Pinker’s account a certainly plausibility is the experience of life in the cities. I’ve been in NY on and off for 20 years and been coming here longer than that. The sense of menace on the streets and the subways used to be palpable. The Dinkins era in particular was quite scary. I could say for sure whether the stats are being cooked or not; I would not be surprised if they were massaged at the margins but wholesale fraud would surprise me.

    I can say that NYC has “felt” materially different for a long time now. In a way that, say, certain parts of SF (Tenderloin or the Haight) don’t. Those places are scary. There is very little left in Manhattan that is scary.

  84. kip says:

    “Murder rates would be up to five times higher than they are but for medical developments over the past 40 years.

    According to new research, doctors are saving the lives of thousands of victims of attack who four decades ago would have died and become murder statistics.”

    Makes sense. I always thought the claim that “murder has been declining steadily for the past thirty years” was bogus. Now I know it is.

  85. kip says:

    “But is that the religious or cultural “Judeo-”?”

    What do you mean?

    By the way, no offense at all aimed toward Jewish people with my comment. What I take issue with is the use of “Judeo-Christian” as if its one religion. Its not. I don’t know who first created the “Judeo-Christian” portmanteau nor what their agenda was, but it doesn’t fly.

  86. Opus says:

    It is difficult to know what to make of recorded crime rates. In Great Britain the number of Homicides had been dropping throughout the Twentieth Century until by 1960 the annual murder rate (on a population of about fifty million) was 250 (yes the 1950s really were safer); by 2003, however, it had increased four-fold to just over 1000. Since then it has dropped back to 500 (though the population has risen to sixty million).

  87. Escoffier says:

    The crime decline in NYC began 10 years before 9/11.

    And, if the FBI stats are to be believed, crime nationally has been in decline over the same period. NY showed the biggest drops but it also had the farthest to fall (2,200 murders in 1990).

    I agree, the NYPD has some very capable elite units, but those units are small and don’t deal with street crime. Stuff like CompStat and the Model Block Program, all of which well pre-date 9/11, got things going here. it also helps that the sheer size of the NYPD is so large and the city relatively dense, which gives good coverage on a per-capita and per-SqM basis. Most cities can’t afford to do that.

  88. MarcusD says:

    @Kip

    Well, “Jewish” can refer to Semitic heritage/ethnicity or it can refer to the religion of Judaism.

    (Since “Judeo” means “of or relating to the Jews or Judaism”)

  89. MarcusD says:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/06/13/do-fathers-make-good-mothers-the-answer-may-surprise-you/

    I do find the notion rather tiring – are men good at being women? If not, well, “that won’t do.”

    Anyhow, this year I paid close attention to what was said both on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day at church:

    Mother’s Day: men handed out roses to mothers (in reality, most women over 30ish got them, regardless of whether they were mothers or not), sermon/homily about the high calling of motherhood, lots of “happy mother’s day,” prayer intentions for single mothers, “honor our mothers always with a spirit of profound respect,” that they may receive “many beautiful gifts today,” a few more “moms are the greatest” and “moms are under-appreciated” type intentions.

    Father’s Day: one prayer intention (first part: “for men to live up to their responsibilities” and be good fathers; second part: “for single mothers everywhere […]”). Incidentally, no “happy father’s day” was spoken.

  90. Escoffier says:

    “but the structural decline (an entirely different thing) was after 9/11.”

    I don’t know what you base this on. Again, FBI stats show a national crime decline beginning in the early 1990s nationally, with NYC declining faster to be sure, but the decline happening everywhere. That is now a 20 year trend, with a few blips but not many. (I am speaking only of the US here. The palpable difference on the streets was felt as early as (say) 1995 and was completely in place by 2000.

    Moreover the numbers do not show a steeper decline after 9/11. The largest gains were racked up early and the decline, while it kept dropping, the slope got less steep not more.

    Now, all these stats may be lies. I can’t prove they aren’t. But they are at least consistent with observable reality, rental prices, “gentrification” of former no-go areas, and so on.

  91. Martian Bachelor says:

    > If I remember correctly, Pinker forgot to account for studies like this… (MarcusD)

    Also, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    If the entire planet were to become unhinged the day after tomorrow, we could make up for lost time in a big hurry when it turns out all those people who Pinker thought you were ok with change their minds 180° and the karma then balances out (in a bad way).

    Someone is bound to point out that there is no violence in a “perfect” totalitarian prison-like society. Maybe there are lots of people who “deserve” to be murdered but this is being prevented by repression.

    In the abstract, violence is necessary because all forms resist change, and their power must be wrested from them in order to be possessed by new forms.

  92. kip says:

    “Well, “Jewish” can refer to Semitic heritage/ethnicity or it can refer to the religion of Judaism.”

    For Jews they are one and the same. Conversion rates are extremely low, and they like it that way, that’s why you have to jump through hoops to become a Jew.

    There are no “Judeo-Christian values” and there is no monolithic “Judeo-Christian legacy”. While some values overlap, as do values the world over, Jews and Christians subscribe to two entirely different worldviews, with their ultimate ontologies completely at odds with one another.

  93. bluedog says:

    Marcus, I’m not going to assume the role of Pinker-by-Proxy, I just thought it was a relevant contribution to the subject matter. As far as I’ll go with it is to say that there’s a certain kind of argument I’ve known libertarians to make that asserts that under the free market, “things have just gotten better”, and then a variety of exhibits and metrics are provided that attempt to sustain the claim.
    I think the minimum that can be said is that on a social level, a progressive (as I would define one – being someone in favor of greater individual autonomy without respect to identity) could argue that things are better today than in 1948 – and not only are they better – but had they not been improved, American society itself would have decohered in the intervening time.
    Dalrock’s artillery (at the article level, never mind where the comments sometimes go) seems trained on a social value that has shifted with these same changes.
    Generalizing for sake of argument: given a population distribution – there is going to be a solid 1/3rd of marriages where women will find themselves “trapped” under conditions that we have come, in mass, to consider intolerable to the autonomy we believe is due to women. Family law has adjusted so as to nearly never have to tolerate this – providing for essentially unbridled autonomy in marriage.
    This comes at a cost because stable families arise from marriage conditions that do not make exit such an easy matter, presumably for either party. Dalrock has two audiences in my view. One is the religious audience that has to decide what to do about this inasmuch as its own belief system is at stake in the outcome – the other is the broader audience that has to decide if his point is compelling.
    To the latter – I think a Dalrock remains relevant because as the stability of marriage proves to be a mirage, men are apt to pass, and as men pass on marriage, the degree to which marriage itself was a stabilizing factor underlying society itself – begins to express itself. Stable society provides the conditions for autonomy. While seculars and progressives are sure to reject Dalrock’s religious frame, this is a point that is still compelling to many.

    In saying as much to the secular – Dalrock is a counter force to the tide that’s taken us from 1948 to 2014. Tides change. On reversal the tide may not wash up on the same beach as it fell out from, and that’s surely a good thing, – the tide has moved, but one guesses it is also reversing again.

  94. Tam the Bam says:

    “6. The promotion of excessive drinking”
    In Blighty?
    Mission fucking accomplished, I’d say.
    Although rather like Coolidge’s demise, “how can they tell?”.
    I’m off to admire Mr Hogarth’s amusing etchings, “Gin Lane” and “Beer Street”. Might top it off with a nightcap of Naughty Nineties novelry, set during “The Great Binge” that preceded WWI.
    Old beardy Karl and menage-a-trois Fred devoted a lot of their meetups to going out and getting royally shitfaced, vandalising street furniture instead of plotting. No doubt justified by the violins inherited in the cistern, or whatever it was they used to bump their gums about.

  95. BrainyOne says:

    This is, frankly, a copout to avoid the real issues raised by modernity. It’s so easy to say, “Moderns believe in monotonically increasing progress. But: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, abortion, etc. Therefore modernity is an illusion.” No, modernity is simply a realization that things have changed over the centuries due to undeniable progress in scientific knowledge and technology and, therefore, the optimal societal configuration might need to change as well. That doesn’t mean that any particular person’s (e.g. Karl Marx’s) vision will be optimal. But that’s no excuse for thinking that the answer is just going to the way things were back in the day. Sometimes, the genie is out of the bottle and is not going back.

    With respect to the present discussion, granted, Marriage 2.0 is extremely buggy and crashes quite often. Clearly changes need to be made. What is not clear is that there will be many buyers of a downgrade to Marriage 1.0. Maybe what the community wants is Marriage 3.0. Anyway, the following definitely needs to be taken into consideration, which were not the case when Marriage 1.0 was in development:

    We now have safe, reliable, and reversible birth control. For women, certainly, and a male birth control pill is going to be developed sooner or later.

    We now have reliable DNA testing which can establish or disestablish paternity.

    And, last but not least, we have an economy of abundance. Even if on average an individual woman does not produce as much as an individual man, in many or most cases what she produces is sufficient to support herself and her baby; maybe not luxuriously, but at least enough to support the basic necessities.

    Now you anti-moderns can argue until the cows come home that all these things contribute, in total, to making society worse rather than better. It doesn’t matter. They’re here, and expecting a version of society to come about based upon these things not being here is simply unrealistic, naïve, and frankly ridiculous.

  96. Escoffier says:

    real issues raised by modernity

    Which are, in your view, what?

    therefore, the optimal societal configuration might need to change as well

    Why?

    Also, has the nature or content of justice changed because of technology or the economy of plenty? Has virtue changed? Has the good changed? If so, how?

    Beyond that, this

    “Moderns believe in monotonically increasing progress. But: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, abortion, etc. Therefore modernity is an illusion.”

    was not in fact asserted. That is, the first half was (minus the word “monotonically”), the middle sort of, the last no, and the causal link certainly not. Modernity is not an illusion. It is quite real. What was asserted, based on a philosophical analysis, is that modernity is mistaken in its claims to truth–at least to metaphysical, ontological, some epistemological, and most moral-political truth. The horrors of the 20th century are evidence but not dispositive proof. The analysis is decisive. Or more decisive. One remains free to accept modernity, which is not a wholly unreasonable position, as the case is not open-shut like 2+2=4.

    the answer is just going to the way things were back in the day

    Also not asserted. What I did assert was that, first, the Biblical (and, I would add, rational-ethical) teaching on marriage has not been superseded simply by the “changing times.” It is either true or false, subject to investigation and analysis. Dismissal based on the calendar is shallow and unserious—certainly no substitute for rational analysis.

    What I also asserted is that modernity’s metaphysical and ontological principles or teachings, especially those concerning moral and political matters, are inferior (which is to say “less true”) than those of pre-modern thought. “We can’t go back” can mean a lot of things. If all that is meant is that there are no time machines, then of course I agree, but that hardly needs to be stated. If it means that certain phenomena—whether technology or thought or something(s) else—have fundamentally transformed human existence in ways that can never be undone, that’s more questionable and would also have to be critically examined, not merely asserted or taken for granted.

    But “we can go back” in one decisive sense: we can understand the thought of the past and—at least as individuals—can live our lives according to its tenets of human virtue and excellence. Nothing in modernity precludes anyone from doing this, even though modernity certainly makes it harder.

    Finally, this:

    simply a realization that things have changed over the centuries due to undeniable progress in scientific knowledge and technology

    is merely a restatement of the main point at issue. I suppose this is what Dalrock means by “rebuilding the mound”?

  97. BrainyOne says:

    real issues raised by modernity

    Which are, in your view, what?

    therefore, the optimal societal configuration might need to change as well

    Why?

    Because, as any mathematical modeler will tell you, the optimum depends upon the constraints in the problem. The modernist position is; the constraints have changed. The optimum therefore should as well. With reliable contraception plus the ability of women to be productive in the workforce, the downside of premarital sex for women has diminished pretty much to the vanishing point. I was one in (I am sure) a quite long list of men with whom the corporate chick I met last winter had had a ONS with. Tell me, why shouldn’t she? (OK, she’s riding the carousel. So what? Why should she want a LTR with someone she’s not attracted to when she can provide just fine for herself?) Also, with reliable DNA testing, the downside of being a cuckold has, to a certain extent, diminished, depending of course on the financial condition of the father. If Donald Trump wishes to cuckold my wife and father a child, go for it. Everyone can laugh at me for being a “cuckold” while I laugh at them while enjoying my vacation on the Riviera paid for by Trump’s child support money.

    What was asserted, based on a philosophical analysis, is that modernity is mistaken in its claims to truth–at least to metaphysical, ontological, some epistemological, and most moral-political truth. The horrors of the 20th century are evidence but not dispositive proof.

    And this is what is denied. Bringing up Hitler, Stalin, and Mao is just as convincing to moderns as bringing up the Crusades and the Inquisition and antebellum slavery is to you. “It was worse then! It’s worse now! Pow! Pow! Pow!'” You can argue until the cows come home that the “essence” of water really isn’t two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule in a bipolar covalent bond – but you are still faced with the fact that there has never been a case where a substance anyone would agree is “water” isn’t, in fact, H2O. You can argue epistemology all you want – but if you deny Bayes’ Theorem you’ve gone outside the realm of reason, for Bayes’ Theorem can be known with metaphysical certainty. As far as moral-political truth, the modern position is that you have to do better than “God says so”. If God says so, it is because reason also says so, and you have to show that your position is reasonable. The modern position is that reason does, in fact, depend on constraints (cf. above), as in the claim “X is immoral because Y” no longer holds if, in fact, due to modern realities, X no longer entails Y.

    What I also asserted is that modernity’s metaphysical and ontological principles or teachings, especially those concerning moral and political matters, are inferior (which is to say “less true”) than those of pre-modern thought.

    Denied. Provide the argument please.

    But “we can go back” in one decisive sense: we can understand the thought of the past and—at least as individuals—can live our lives according to its tenets of human virtue and excellence.

    We can certainly do that, but why should we be preferring its tenets of virtue and excellence to our own? Do we think that mothers of sons in the Armed Forces should be telling them return “with your shield or on it”, as in ancient Sparta?

  98. Luke says:

    BrainyOne says:
    June 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    “the downside of premarital sex for women has diminished pretty much to the vanishing point. I was one in (I am sure) a quite long list of men with whom the corporate chick I met last winter had had a ONS with. Tell me, why shouldn’t she?”

    Perhaps because she would rather spend the majority of her adult years (starting probably after her late 20s, to be sure) married to her first and best possible husband, rather than 2-3 ever declining in desirability husbands, finally to be divorced the last time before age 45, to then live her last 40 years as a divorced women, with only rare and cruddy sex or affection at first, then ZIP for the last couple decades? Think there’s any chance she’d prefer that, if she knew that was her one of her two main choices? (Lifelong celibacy, or repeatedly divorcing and marrying ever higher are not going to happen for her.)

  99. desiderian says:

    Brainyone (sic),

    “the ability of women to be productive in the workforce”

    Exceptional women have demonstrated ability. The average woman has proven a colossal flop, greatly to the disappointment of many millions, male and female, including this writer. As bas as disappointment is, falsehood is worse, willful blindness worse still.

    “the downside of premarital sex for women has diminished pretty much to the vanishing point.”

    It impairs the capacity to effectively pair-bond, among many other downsides. Though facts are of little interest to dullwits like yourself, those with an interest in intelligence and/or wisdom cannot afford so readily to ignore them.

  100. Luke says:

    BrainyOne says:
    June 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    “we have an economy of abundance. Even if on average an individual woman does not produce as much as an individual man, in many or most cases what she produces is sufficient to support herself and her baby; maybe not luxuriously, but at least enough to support the basic necessities.

    Now you anti-moderns can argue until the cows come home that all these things contribute, in total, to making society worse rather than better. It doesn’t matter. They’re here, and expecting a version of society to come about based upon these things not being here is simply unrealistic, naïve, and frankly ridiculous.”

    Except that the U.S. economy is clearly in decline, by the vast majority of metrics. When we deindustrialized, did everyone here actually think that the rest of the world was going to just give us manufactured goods and raw materials in exchange for pieces of paper forever? And, a clear lesson of history is that empires all decline, and commonly vanish forever. (The U.S. stopped being a nation, and became an empire, sometime ago.)

  101. Escoffier says:

    Because, as any mathematical modeler will tell you, the optimum depends upon the constraints in the problem

    More modernism, or, assuming the thing under dispute to be true and the only basis for discussion.

    Mathematical modeling is assumed (by you) to be a sufficient and even superior means for judging essential human questions. I assert that it is not. On many bases, but one is on its own terms: modern numerative social science is supposed to be predictive. Is your mathematical modeling of the human soul predictive? No, it isn’t. I can’t even predict elections much political events like the seizure of Ukraine or the financial crisis. Hence it isn’t “science” even on your terms.

    I will note as an aside that you use words like “optimum” while completely dodging the question of the good. What is “optimum” and why? According to what standard?

    Tell me, why shouldn’t she?

    Because it is bad for her soul. Even if you are right that sleeping around has no material impact on her health, wealth, or material well-being, it still is likely to make her unhappy and to stunt what is higher or fully human in her and stimulate only the animalistic aspects of her.

    Donald Trump wishes to cuckold my wife and father a child, go for it. Everyone can laugh at me for being a “cuckold” while I laugh at them while enjoying my vacation on the Riviera paid for by Trump’s child support money.

    I will let others explore the many wonderful facets of this comment. They will surely have fun doing so. I will limit myself to those aspects that bear directly on the topic at hand.

    That comment, and your comment above about the negligible impact of promiscuity on women, completely assume the modern premise to be true. You appear to be concerned only with the body—health, wealth, appetites, wants, needs and so on. Sex that does not result in disease is held to be cost-free. Adultery that results in cuckoldry is OK because you make money. Etc. In other words, the needs and wants of the body—earthly satisfaction—trump all in your analysis. This presumes that there is no soul or that at most the soul is merely a calculative instrument for discerning how to maximize earthly wants.

    Your comments take this for granted—it is presumed to be true, refutation of any earlier idea is held to be unnecessary, akin to explaining to someone that the earth is not flat. I don’t expect to convince you in this thread (or at all, really) that this is mistaken. I would be very pleased if I could merely make you aware that the premise which you think is self-evident is has in fact not been established by reason and is instead subject to a number of problems, difficulties and flaws. There are alternatives which have not been refuted.

    Beyond this, I would add that, even for your analysis of cuckoldry to be true (which I do not deny in your particular case), it must also be true that you personally hold no esteem at all for personal honor, something that is certainly not true of most men even in the modern age. As much as morality is said to have “progressed” most men would still be very angry about being cuckolded, even if they were being subsidized by Donald Trump. Modernity has not managed to do away with this sense of honor in the great mass of men, even if you personally hold it to be outmoded.

    If God says so, it is because reason also says so, and you have to show that your position is reasonable.

    I concede that the paragraph in which this sentence appeared did not make sense to me. But the quoted sentence demonstrates a misunderstanding of what I am saying. My contention is that the Biblical teaching on marriage is reasonable and that even if we lost every single copy of the Bible and we all forgot what it said, a rational investigation of the family, sex, and male-female relations would conclude that traditional marriage much as we know it to be described in the Bible is superior to all practicable alternatives.

    I repeat another point, that you keep trying to impose “scientific” criteria on human moral phenomena. H2O and all that. This is a profoundly modernist instinct. If you can’t prove it mathematically, then it’s a myth! In my view, the injunction of Aristotle—that great mathematician AND ethicist—makes more sense. “It belongs to an educated person to seek out precision in each genus to the extent that the nature of the matter allows: to accept persuasive speech from a skilled mathematician appears comparable to demanding scientific proofs from a skilled rhetorician.” (NE 1094 b 24)

    This idea has been called “noetic heterogeneity.” The human and non-human things are equally natural but unequally predicable or countable. They require different modes of study. One who insists on “scientific proof” of insights into human behavior can never understand human behavior, which is too variable, complex and unpredictable to admit of scientific proof.

    Denied. Provide the argument please

    I’ve been doing that all along. But, again, to home in on the most important point: your own posts are shot through with moral language that modern metaphysics cannot sustain or support. You can’t coherently speak of “optimal” or “should” or “better” and so on unless you can give some account of the good. To the extent that you try to do that, you are not modern, at least not consistently. Or, the only way you could is if you tried to plant your flag with the early moderns—“this far and no farther”—but everything you’ve said about sexual morality makes that impossible at least on any consistent basis.

    We can certainly do that, but why should we be preferring its tenets of virtue and excellence to our own? Do we think that mothers of sons in the Armed Forces should be telling them return “with your shield or on it”, as in ancient Sparta?

    Strawman. The ancient virtue I have in mind is not Spartan moral virtue but transpolitical intellectual and moral virtue, and in particular the philosophic understanding which sees human nature in its totality, including the peaks, rather than reducing everything to narrow categories of material self-interest.

  102. BradA says:

    Desiderian,

    > “It impairs the capacity to effectively pair-bond, among many other downsides. ”

    That is one thing that can never be taken away by any pill or anything else. We were meant to “pair off for life” and anything else is going to end up less than that whether people like it or not. Some may be quite productive single, but those who try to cheat the system by fooling around significantly and then trying to settle down will never reach the goal they could have hit if they merely aimed at the latter from the start.

  103. bluedog says:

    OT but for Dalrock …
    You may be interested in a “Room for Discussion” debate going on at NY Times.

    My fav so far is a comment on the article from the most uncompromising “fathers rights = pro domestic violence” camp written by Kelly Behre:

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/06/13/fathers-rights-and-womens-equality/the-fathers-rights-movement-undermines-victims-of-domestic-violence.

    The money quote comment is this:

    Liza Case New York, NY
    “The tepidness of the feminist response to the onslaught of anti-woman, anti-mother, anti-child legislation that is running rampant in this country ensures that it will continue. Feminists need to organize around this issue and realize that if we don’t, we are soon going to find ourselves with no rights to choose when to have a child and or how to parent the children we choose to have. Last year, in a NYC family court, a female judge ordered that a pregnant woman had no right to leave the state and equated her doing so to kidnapping–this despite the fact that the child’s father had told the mother he wanted nothing to do with it and married someone else! To begin with, feminists are going to have to abandon the language of equality. Mothers and fathers are not equal. This is basic biology. At the moment a child is born, the mother has contributed substantially more to bringing the child into the world than the father. She has, in fact, risked her life to do so. She will then, likely, proceed to produce and distribute the food the child needs to live for the next year. Only when fathers provide half of carrying the child, half of delivering the child, and half of producing the milk for the child, can we have a conversation that is based on an idea of ‘equality.’ And that is impossible. This is a fundamentally unequal arena. Please see two excellent books by Mary Ann Mason: The History of Child Custody in the United States, and The Equality Trap.”

  104. bluedog says:

    Trying to follow the argument between Escoffier and Brainyone.
    In college I had some friends who went to some event in Tyler, Texas where they studied under the tutelage of one – as best as I can recall – “Vandenburg”. They spoke of him as one speaks of a holy, ascended being. Others – not privy to the wisdom of Vandenburg would say this or that thing, and those “in the know” would hear it and one would say, “But Vandenburg says …” where “…” usually included some combination of “modern”, “modernity”, “Descartes” (always disapprovingly), “Kant” (always disapprovingly) or “gnostic” and the hysterical thing was that every time, among the Tyler, Texas group present – this was taken as a closing adjudication of the point. Matter settled. No further argument needed. Vandenburg spoke – and Vandenburg’s words were so powerful – he didn’t even need to be there to speak! The rest of us philistines best learn who knows and who doesn’t.
    It turns out the principle substance behind the infallible Vandenburn was one Eric Voegelin. Over time I did impose Voegelin on myself and read what is presumably his greatest work, “The New Science of Politics”. It was over 15 years ago – but I recall it as being nearly incoherent.
    That said – there is a great piece on Voegelin in the American Conservative that I’d recommend for anyone who reads and follows Dalrock:

    “Know Your Gnostics”, Gene Callahan
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/know-your-gnostics/

    My friends had really turned me off to him, and maybe that had more effect on my reading of The New Science of Politics than the substance it contained, I can’t recall to give an account, but Gene Callahan’s reading renders Voegelin a much more sympathetic and much less dogmatic character to my blue dog sensibilities. Callahan concludes with this:

    “While it is true that Voegelin resisted being assigned to any ideological pigeonhole, there are important aspects of his thought that are conservative in nature. He rejected the notion, sometimes present in romantic conservatism, that the solution to our present troubles can lie in the recreation of some past state of affairs: he was too keenly aware that history moves ever onward, and the past is irretrievably behind us, to fall prey to what we might call ‘nostalgic utopianism.’ Nevertheless, he held that our traditions must be studied closely and adequately understood because, while it is nonsensical to try to duplicate the past, still it is only by understanding the insights achieved by our forebears that we can move forward with any hope of a happy outcome.”

  105. kip says:

    “We were meant to “pair off for life”

    I tend toward monogamy myself Brad but do you have any science to back up that claim? So far all the biological research shows the opposite.

  106. Random Angeleno says:

    A couple of points…
    I agree with Escoffier’s take on New York, having visited there at least a dozen times since the early 80’s and watching the decrease in crime over the years. Might not have noticed the change from one year to the next, but definitely noticed the differences from my first visit to 10 years later. But most of that change had already taken place by 9/11/01, no doubt about that in my mind and the data I’ve seen appears to reflect my observations as do my friends who have lived there that long.

    Regarding humanity, sure technology has changed, but to paraphrase Martin Armstrong, “things never change because the passions of man never change”. Hence I’m not convinced that we have advanced that much intellectually or politically since Roman times. Maybe governments have found a few more ways to screw us? Well they did have bachelor taxes in Rome. Understand that went well[/sarcasm].

  107. MarcusD says:

    CAF’s Castle of Freaks:

    Husband Okay with Wife Watching Porn? (The worst must always be happening…)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890070

    I can’t get over my partner’s past, but I love her with all my heart (…)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890025

    I want a bf but no guy asks me out (Not a good idea to move to Portland…)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890169

    My girlfriend slept with someone while we were broken up… (“Sleeping around and repenting is something I can be fine with [in a partner]…”)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890184

  108. MarcusD says:

    CAF’s Castle of Freaks:

    I can’t get over my partner’s past, but I love her with all my heart (…)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890025

    I want a bf but no guy asks me out (Not a good idea to move to Portland…)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890169

    My girlfriend slept with someone while we were broken up… (“Sleeping around and repenting is something I can be fine with [in a partner]…”)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890184

  109. MarcusD says:

    And:

    Husband Okay with Wife Watching Porn? (The worst must always be happening…)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890070

  110. BradA says:

    kip,

    > “I tend toward monogamy myself Brad but do you have any science to back up that claim? So far all the biological research shows the opposite.”

    God made Adam and Eve, which would be the basis for my belief. I also see many things that support that in life, but others that point to sin running rampant and messing with the intent.

    Others who don’t believe the Scriptures are sure to disagree and some clearly follow the idea that “spreading our seed far an wide” is the goal. I have found a lot of the evolutionary arguments in this area to be lacking and a lot of hand waving. Your mileage may vary.

  111. Opus says:

    I was thinking further about UKFred’s conspiracy theory of academia – the one Boxer is unaware of, well he would say that wouldn’t he, as he and his friend Herbert are obviously behind it – yet it is easy to see how it occurs.

    Consider my disagreement with my local Council as to their exhibition of Inspiring Local Women (women no one has ever heard of) at my local public Art Gallery. My letter of complaint is met by a response from the Museum Manager that the exhibition has been curated by two Professors of Psychology from the local University. Now this is neither Oxford nor Cambridge but a College of Adult Education which has been tacked onto an upgraded Poly-tech in a distant town – and so far as one can see from the courses advertised is largely attended by retired Colonel’s learning Italian or their wives doing Flower Arranging. How can I complain about the exhibition without appearing to be both Misogynist and anti-Knowledge. So the first thing I did was look these two fine wall-banging women up on the Net. Behind the posh title of Professor of Psychology are really two teachers of women studies. I draw that conclusion because one of them was embarking, so it said, into research into anti-female bias in the Courts. I ask you! – had she not noticed that over 90% of the incarcerated are male, that there is no female equivalent of the crime of Rape, that murdering ones infant with be excused with the let-off which is the crime of Infanticide [you don’t have that] and that should she ever attend open-court that (male) Judges tend to bend over backwards for both females Defendants and lady Counsel – at least that is my, obviously, Misogynist experience. Naturally, having found her academic address I wrote and posted her a hand written response pointing out the inherent Misandry in her work, but answer came there none.

  112. Opus says:

    …and here is another thing – how is it that every American – and doubtless plenty who aren’t – claim to be graduates of either Harvard or Yale – as if there are no other institutions of Tertiary education in your fifty states. The other week [here at Dalrock] it was Shaunti Feldhahn who had turned her hand to self-help books but (so they said) the two lawyers I worked alongside in D.C. claimed to be Harvard – both part of the criminal law review thing. Now, the University of Chicago (for example) is pretty distinguished but have I ever heard of anyone claiming that as their Alma Mater?

    Over here, it is different. Obviously one has to be very suspicious of anyone claiming to have attended either Eton or Harrow (I have known one from both institution though I think the second was lieing) as their secondary school but if every one whom you hear of who claims to have been S.A.S. really had belonged to that elite group of soldiers then there would be more members of the S.A.S. than men in the combined military forces of Great Britain.

    In support of this little conspiracy theory of mine let us not forget that the Iain Duncan Smith a former leader of the Tories and presently Secretary of State for Work and Pensions claimed to have been a graduate of the University of Perugia but it transpired that he had merely attended a three-week language-course at another college in the same town – one which did not have the authority in any event to grant degrees. Incidentally, one man who it is often assumed is lieing when he claims to have been at Oxford University – I of course refer to Jeffrey Archer – is unfairly maligned by those who so assert.

  113. Goodkid43 says:

    Back to the discussion on modernity in relation to Christianity, specifically to the debate between Escoffier and brainyone:
    1) ” In 1892 Maxim invented the silencer,and the press proclaimed, ‘There will be no more wars, for men will not fight if they cannot hear the explosion of a gun” Bishop Sheen from his book “Footsteps in a Darkened Forest”.
    2) “Fifty years ago [1896], when I was a boy, it seemed completely self-evident that the bad old days were over, that torture and massacre, slavery, and the persecution of heretics, were things of the past. Among people who wore top hats, traveled in trains, and took a bath every morning such horrors were simple out of the question. After all, we were living in the twentieth century. A few years later these people who took baths and went to church [churchian] in top hats were committing atrocities on a scale undreamed of by the benighted Africans and Asiatics. In the light of recent history it would be foolish to suppose that this sort of thing cannot happen again. It can and no doubt it will”
    Aldous Huxley, from a “Brave New World Revisited” written in 1946.

    Over the past twenty five years I have been drawn to the question as to why Hitler, Stalin and Mao occurred in the twentieth century. And after acquiring and reading hundreds of books written between the mid 19th century until the mid 20 century, I have arrived at the certainty of the answer.
    The promise in the faith of modernity was such that if we just got rid of religion, science and technology will save humanity. Post modernity rejected this belief but held onto the rejection of religion as a source of truth. Escoffier is correct, historically and philosophically, in that the promises of modernity did not produce what it promised but in fact was a remedy that was worse than the disease.

    Mr. Huxley, goes on to say, “In john Dewey’s words, ‘a renewal of faith in common human nature [humanism], in it potentialities in general, and in its power in particular to respond to reason and truth, is a surer bulwark against totalitarianism than a demonstration of material success or a devout worship of special legal and political forms.’ The power to respond to reason and truth exists in all of us. But so, unfortunately, does the tendency to respond to unreason and falsehood-particularly in those cases where the falsehood evokes some enjoyable emotion, or where the appeal to unreason strikes some answering chord in the primitive, subhuman depths of our being”.

  114. Goodkid43 says:

    Boxer says
    “The secular types who endlessly yammer about religion being obsolete are themselves religious…… They have a non-theistic feel-good religion based on capitalism, feminism, mob-rule democracy, and a vision of a shopping-mall heaven on earth, where we can all buy bottled water, and iphones, and all our needs are met. This is also a religious movement, and it’s silly for its adherents to deny it. It’s at least as “irrational” as Christianity or Judaism.

    As Reagan said to Carter, “There you go again”. Your religion of rational self interest justifies irrationality and religion. Whatever it takes to achieve one’s self interest is to be used. Huxley in the above statement asserted that an appeal to unreason is justified in rational self interest and is the philosophy of the day in which your religion ends. My friend Nietzsche warned me about people like you. Your hatred for feminism and most of your moral arguments are based on Christianity. Nietzsche proved that those Victorians and other continental philosophers who wanted to accept Christian ethics but reject its theology were fools. Ravi Zachariah has a youtube video titled “The incoherence of atheism” which quotes Nietzsche, an atheist, in length. Everything you find unfair or unjust is legitimized by your religion of rational self interest. According to Albert Camus, “There is only one really serious philosophical problem: and that is suicide”. This is the foundation of your religion of rational self interest.

    Again your religion of rational self interest justifies irrationality. Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do”. A “rational” justification for being irrational.

    In conclusion, your religion of rational self interest is irrational and a destroyer of humanity by undermining the foundation for the very ethics which you espouse i.e. fairness, justice etc.

    Even Napoleon stated that he the most powerful man in history up till that time will not be remembered as much as that insignificant Jewish carpenter. Where are the shrines of Socrates, Plato, Caesar, Napoleon, Descartes etc. Were are the synagogues to Einstein?

    “We do not refuse to pray; we abstain from it. We ring the hollow bell of selfishness [rational self interest] rather than absorb the stillness that surrounds the world, hovering over all the restlessness and fear of life-the secret stillness that precedes birth and succeeds our death. Futile self-indulgence brings us out of tune with the gentle song of nature’s waiting, of mankind’s striving for salvation.
    Is not listening to the pulse of wonder worth silence and abstinence from self-asserting. Why do we not set apart an hour of living for devotion to God by surrendering to the stillness?
    We dwell on the edge of mystery and ignore it, wasting our souls, risking our stake in God. We constantly pour our inner light away from Him, setting up the thick screen of self between Him and us, adding more shadows to the darkness that already hovers between Him and our wayward reason. Accepting surmises as dogmas, and prejudices as solutions, we ridicule the evidence of life for what is more than life. Our mind has ceased to be sensitive to the wonder…..
    Rushing through ecstasies of ambition, we only awake when plunged into dread or grief. In darkness, then, we grope for solace, for meaning, for prayer. ” Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man’s Quest for God, P.4-5

  115. Anonymous age 72 says:

    Yes, there is a lot of intellectual debate on simple issues. Dr. Unwin in his book SEX AND CULTURE, 1934, documented in great detail the link between female sexual liberty and the function of society.

    He showed that if you know the degree of sexual liberty women have, you can predict with great accuracy the religion and more of that society.

    And, when women have complete sexual liberty, the society winks out of existence as a society.

    So, lofty conjectures about the wonderful benefits of complete sexual liberty of women are sort of a sick joke.

    We are in the last generation of civilization in the English speaking countries. Good job, guys. Please carry on with the lofty debates.

    SEX AND CULTURE has been available on line. I bought a copy from UK, cost me nearly $200 and that was a very bad condition. A good copy runs like $750 or more.

    There is nothing to debate. He lists the other great civilizations which ceases to exist once women got complete sexual liberty.

    My view is, that it is inevitable as a society grows stronger and more prosperous that women get the vote.

    And, once women get the vote, it is inevitable that they will dominate the political system.

    And, once women dominate the political system, it is inevitable they will destroy that society with never ending demands for more and more protections (of course at the expense of the male productive workers) against everything, including their own immoral conduct and desire not to work at all.

  116. MarcusD says:

    Study finds youth groups destroy Christian faith in young people
    http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/study-finds-youth-groups-destroy-christian-faith-in-young-people/

    Comments are interesting, too.

  117. Tom C says:

    If you like Unwin’s Sex and Culture, you might also like The Garbage Generation by Daniel Amneus.

  118. Dalrock says:

    Anon 72

    SEX AND CULTURE has been available on line. I bought a copy from UK, cost me nearly $200 and that was a very bad condition. A good copy runs like $750 or more.

    It looks like the Internet Archive has this available for free reading/download now.

  119. Bee says:

    @Tom C,

    “If you like Unwin’s Sex and Culture, you might also like The Garbage Generation by Daniel Amneus.”

    Dr. Amneus here:

    http://www.fisheaters.com/garbagegeneration.html

  120. Boxer says:

    It looks like the Internet Archive has this available for free reading/download now.

    Cheers for that one. Looks like a great book!

  121. kip says:

    ” Nietzsche proved that those Victorians and other continental philosophers who wanted to accept Christian ethics but reject its theology were fools.”

    How did he prove this? Its been decades since I read Nietzsche and can’t remember much. He didn’t make any sort of impression on me. Most, maybe all, of the worlds religions share a large percentage of the same ethics so you could interchange them and it wouldn’t make a difference. The differences lie in their metaphysical ontologies. Though it is commonly thought to be reversed. Most people will say that religions differ only on the surface but dig deeper and “they are all one.” The people who say that are those who have not studied the underlying theories of each separate religion, which is most people.

    Unwin’s Sex and Culture. Other good books along similar lines are Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, and A Brief History of Everything, both by Ken Wilber.

  122. Boxer says:

    How did he prove this? Its been decades since I read Nietzsche and can’t remember much.

    “Goodkid43” is the latest sock puppet of a kook I spanked four years ago. The poor dear has never recovered from the fact that I laughed at it. It can’t do much more than babble, all butthurt, while begging for my attention. Don’t expect it to make any real points or bring up anything interesting. The word-salad rant above is about as lucid as it gets.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  123. BrainyOne says:

    @Escoffier:

    I’ve heard all these arguments before. Wonder why I’m not impressed? Episode one million of the continuing “debate” between science and philosophy.

    Mathematical modeling is assumed (by you) to be a sufficient and even superior means for judging essential human questions. I assert that it is not.

    You simply declare some questions (what you term “essential human questions”) off-limits to empirical inquiry, when empirical inquiry doesn’t give you the answer you want. (Mathematical modeling is of course only one of many techniques used in such inquiry, and admittedly on some questions we simply cannot measure variables to sufficient accuracy. On others we can.) Pre-moderns in Copernicus’ time wanted heliocentric astronomy off limits, pre-moderns in Lyell’s time wanted uniformitarian geology off limits, pre-moderns in Darwin’s time wanted evolutionary biology off limits, and now you want “essential human questions” off limits.

    The point of departure is that empirical enquiry (the “scientific method”) is the only way to learn contingent truths not available via direct observation. Most of the great philosophers in history, including Aristotle and Aquinas, have been wrong, and often ridiculously wrong, when they thought they could answer contingent questions based on philosophy. Philosophy deals with necessary truths; the scientific method with contingent ones. This is the modern position.

    On many bases, but one is on its own terms: modern numerative social science is supposed to be predictive. Is your mathematical modeling of the human soul predictive? No, it isn’t. I can’t even predict elections much political events like the seizure of Ukraine or the financial crisis. Hence it isn’t “science” even on your terms.

    Of course there’s the obligatory dig at modern science when philosophy gets that uncomfortable feeling that what it thought to be its turf is going to be encroached on yet again. But here you are flat wrong. Mathematical modeling of the human brain is in fact predictive of behavior.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3903296/

    I will note as an aside that you use words like “optimum” while completely dodging the question of the good. What is “optimum” and why?

    Ah yes. Here is the obligatory dig at science for failing to answer questions that even philosophers disagree on (“THE good”) and debate endlessly. Once you figure it out, let us know. We’ll tell you how to optimize it. We will tell you though this optimization will absolutely depend on the constraints (such as technological) in that society.

    [Even if promiscuity] has no material impact on her health, wealth, or material well-being, it still is likely to make her unhappy and to stunt what is higher or fully human in her and stimulate only the animalistic aspects of her.

    And your data for this is… well just where? Do you say the same thing about a woman marrying a rich but beta male, as Betty Friedan did, calling such a marriage a “comfortable concentration camp”? Marrying the provider beta males early is what you want women to do, and why is that not likely to make her unhappy and to stimulate only the “animalistic” (or, in this case, $$$$$) aspects of her. What is asserted without proof can be denied without proof.

    That comment, and your comment above about the negligible impact of promiscuity on women, completely assume the modern premise to be true. You appear to be concerned only with the body—health, wealth, appetites, wants, needs and so on. Sex that does not result in disease is held to be cost-free. Adultery that results in cuckoldry is OK because you make money. Etc. In other words, the needs and wants of the body—earthly satisfaction—trump all in your analysis. This presumes that there is no soul or that at most the soul is merely a calculative instrument for discerning how to maximize earthly wants.

    Like all ideologues, you categorize your opponents as such when your core belief comes under attack. (Just like, for feminists, anyone who denies the existence of patriarchy is, ipso facto, a “misogynist”; and, for six-day creationists, anyone who opposes them is an ideological “evolutionist” or “Darwinist”.) So here you are bringing up the strawman of “materialism”. Modernism != materialism (although some are of course, materialism is not entailed by modernism.)

    And then the hypocrisy starts, like the business tycoon who bemoans paying what little taxes he does and the “greed” of everyone else and how we’ve becoming a nation of entitled, spoiled, etc. You have your own “earthly wants”. You want to be able to marry a virgin and have her remain faithful and not divorce for life. This trumps all in your own analysis. Yet I’m not lecturing you on how materialistic you are and how you are presuming there is no soul and so on. And the woman who married you would be marrying for “beta bucks” (unless you’ve become a serious student of Game), but that’s perfectly fine.

    I would be very pleased if I could merely make you aware that the premise which you think is self-evident is has in fact not been established by reason and is instead subject to a number of problems, difficulties and flaws. There are alternatives which have not been refuted.

    And I would be very pleased if you would realize that my line of argumentation isn’t based on the premise you think I think is self-evident and that you are constructing a straw man to insulate your own position from scrutiny.

    Beyond this, I would add that, even for your analysis of cuckoldry to be true (which I do not deny in your particular case), it must also be true that you personally hold no esteem at all for personal honor, something that is certainly not true of most men even in the modern age. As much as morality is said to have “progressed” most men would still be very angry about being cuckolded, even if they were being subsidized by Donald Trump. Modernity has not managed to do away with this sense of honor in the great mass of men, even if you personally hold it to be outmoded.

    That’s an argumentum ad populum. Of course what you term “sense of honor” I would term “evolutionarily-based propensity towards mate-guarding”, coming about because a cuckolded man may end up stuck raising another man’s child. This is no longer a danger with modern DNA testing.

    My contention is that the Biblical teaching on marriage is reasonable and that even if we lost every single copy of the Bible and we all forgot what it said, a rational investigation of the family, sex, and male-female relations would conclude that traditional marriage much as we know it to be described in the Bible is superior to all practicable alternatives.

    I know that’s your contention. Now prove it, bearing in mind that any contingent truth you state in favor of your position is subject to disproval. Also bear in mind that “traditional marriage” as described in the Bible also includes polygamy, and forcibly taking women in conquered populations as wives, so be particular about what “biblical” marriage you mean.

    I repeat another point, that you keep trying to impose “scientific” criteria on human moral phenomena. H2O and all that. This is a profoundly modernist instinct. If you can’t prove it mathematically, then it’s a myth!

    I knew it would only be a matter of time before the “empiricist” canard would come up. But unless you are a 100% pure deontologist, empirical data absolutely enter into moral claims. Once you make a consequentialist moral conclusion, X is bad because Y, but new evidence shows X doesn’t entail Y, your claim that X is bad is empirically falsified. Now let’s be honest here: the argumentation here on this site, for the most part, is that female promiscuity is bad because 1: it leads to single motherhood or 2: it makes it difficult to find a husband later. That is a consequentialist argument.

    This idea has been called “noetic heterogeneity.” The human and non-human things are equally natural but unequally predicable or countable. They require different modes of study. One who insists on “scientific proof” of insights into human behavior can never understand human behavior, which is too variable, complex and unpredictable to admit of scientific proof.

    And this is nonsense, and shows complete ignorance of science and the scientific method. The scientific method is the only way to understand contingent truths in the world that are not obtained by direct observation, because they need to be inferred.

    But, again, to home in on the most important point: your own posts are shot through with moral language that modern metaphysics cannot sustain or support. You can’t coherently speak of “optimal” or “should” or “better” and so on unless you can give some account of the good.

    This is also blatant nonsense. Going back to the mathematical modeling metaphor, I can certainly understand the concept of “optimal” without deciding as yet which function I should optimize. Tell me what function to optimize, and we’ll happily do it. But the optimization will depend upon the constraints.

    The ancient virtue I have in mind is not Spartan moral virtue but transpolitical intellectual and moral virtue, and in particular the philosophic understanding which sees human nature in its totality, including the peaks, rather than reducing everything to narrow categories of material self-interest.

    Philosophic understanding doesn’t understand human nature in its totality, any more than it understands the rest of nature in its totality: remember geocentric universes and heavier objects falling faster than lighter ones? This is the entirety of our disagreement right there.

  124. Luke says:

    1) Anyone who thinks that all religions are the same if you dig deep down, has NOT read any Robert Spencer on Islam.

    2) Wanting to have women largely marry young as virgins, stay married til they or their husbands die, and have numerous (at least 3) children is someone who wants the species to continue, along with Western Civilization, a life expectancy of 40+, and things like electricity widely used by humans. Opposing the first things = accepting the loss of the second things down the road, no way around it.

  125. Anonymous age 72 says:

    Yes, of course, the Garbage Generation is pretty much basic reading for anything to do with marriage and divorce. I read it when it was first published, in the late 80’s. Due to the title at first I thought it was satrie, and when I realized what it really was, I had to start over at the front again.

    The Garbage Generation, using my terminology, describes maternal custody very well. And, the results of maternal custody are so bad that that is why I would ignore the possibility that my wife was many years ago having an affair. When I first wrote that, some men really freaked out. Though a few understood it. You have to decide if your kids are more important than our own ego. Mine were.

    I have not regretted it, though I have concluded once I started really thinking it over, that she did not have a physical affair, maybe an emotional one. To blow up your marriage and put your kids in maternal custody over an emotional affair would be a horrid mistake. Women who have a physical affair early in mariage do not go another 35 years without repeating.

    It is not so much that I recommend men overlook a wife’s affair to keep your kids out of maternal custody, though I certainly do recommend that. No, my real recommendation is DON’T GET MARRIED IN A SOCIETY WHERE THIS COULD HAPPEN!!!!!

    And, preferably GTHO. Expatting could well be the hardest, most frightenting thing you ever do in your life, but if you succeed, you will never look back. Most single men expats I know go back just once after a year, then announce, “Never again!”

    The biggest problem is supporting yourself in another nation. everything else is lesser.

    But, let me say, THE GARBAGE GENERATION and Sex and Culture are not competitive books. TGG tells what happens to kids in maternal custody in the USA.

    Sex and Culture examines many ancient and modern societies, and looks at what happens to the society including the possible religious beliefs of a society, all compared to the sexual freedom women have. Women; not men.

    Many people believe that the USA is done forever. But, in Greece in ancient times, I think it was Athens, the ruling people at one time were very strictly regulated fo their women’s sexual conduct, and the state was very prosperous.

    Over time the elite let their women turn into sluts, and the state dropped way down. Another class of people who regulated their women very tightly took over control of the government, and the state prospered again. When they let their women slut out, foreigners moved in and again drove the state to prosperity. And, we are talking mere centuries, not thousands of years.

    I had the book in digital form, and was trying to read it. But, it wasn’t going too well. There were too many cross references, and it was too hard digitally to find them. So, I went on Amazon and started looking. Once I had the book in hand, it became much easier to read with understanding.

  126. Goodkid43 says:

    to boxer,
    1) I have been reading Dalrock’s site for about four months
    2) Excellent tactic; if you cant attack the message, attack the messenger.
    3) You complained on a previous post about snide remarks made on this site. I guess it is unacceptable for others but acceptable for you.
    4) Again, your philosophy of rational self interest justifies woman to seek cash and prizes without out remorse and justifies the cruel treatment of your mother toward your father.
    God bless, Michael

  127. bluedog says:

    Kip and Luke – modern Catholicism and Judaism are both Aristotelian – so much so that remove the Aristotle and you have essentially erased the modern expression of each religion. Islam is decidedly anti-Aristotelian. Protestantism is fairly unclear as best as I can tell but my wager is you could disappear Aristotle and Protestantism wouldn’t change much.

    BrainyOne – I like your post on June 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm – I recall arguing in a similar vein with my Vandenburg/TylerTexas/Voegelin friends in college, being labelled a “logical positivist”, and begin declared ignorant of my own “gnosticism”. The irony.

    Without tackling it all because I’m quite happy to leave the balance between you and escoffier – there is one point you make that’s pertinent to the larger MO of this site:

    Now let’s be honest here: the argumentation here on this site, for the most part, is that female promiscuity is bad because 1: it leads to single motherhood or 2: it makes it difficult to find a husband later. That is a consequentialist argument.

    Your generalization of the focus of the commenters here is probably accurate – but I think the two negatives – which can be argued to be merely aesthetic negatives – conceal the deeper point that I attribute to this site and the people who come here to think together – which I’ll imperfectly express as this:

    Modern society – that is the current zeitgeist – not “moderns” in its use between you and escoffier – modern society both actively denigrates the role of the father in the family, while it also does not value the role of the father.

    Almost every complaint levied here can be structured – consequentially as it were – around this assertion: that whatever it is – single motherhood, late marriage, all the rest of the bill of complaints … each one is a nip to a blow against fatherhood. Taken together the cumulative beating has the appearance of a fatality.

    Take the entire body of “feminist” family law and jurisprudence and there is a picture constructed of men who are not interested in raising families – and yet these men are found everywhere, made fathers of children.

    This body of law and the culture surrounding it finds itself in marked conflict with an entirely other group of fathers – actively demanding and affirming their roles, rights and duties as parents.

    The narrative of the former and the frame of the former – is dead set on denying the existence of the latter. Law and culture default to the former. I suspect that’s what this is all about, all the rest is consequence and dismay.

  128. Luke says:

    Good companion to Dr. Amneus’s book is anything by Roger Devlin. I particularly recommend “Home Economics” and his review of Wendy Shalit’s mixed-bag “A Return To Modesty”, “The feminine sexual counter-revolution and its limitations”.

    http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/devlin_home_ec_01.htm

    http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/devlin_shalit.htm

    Anyone who doesn’t think things are dire, right now, needs to read Stephen Baskerville’s “Taken Into Custody”, along with any graph showing nonminority birth rate changes over the past 50 years. That just can’t continue any time at all without the lights going off and staying off.

  129. Goodkid43 says:

    brainyone says, “Philosophy deals with necessary truths; the scientific method with contingent ones” Your statement seems to agree with Escoffier. Are not necessary truths more important because they are necessary?
    Brainyone says, “Ah yes. Here is the obligatory dig at science for failing to answer questions that even philosophers disagree on (“THE good”) and debate endlessly. Once you figure it out, let us know.” This is quite chilling in one respect and undermines your whole argument in another. Your tone in your whole argument is one of right versus wrong i.e. science good, everything else bad or wrong but yet you claim that the universal good is presently beyond our grasp. If science is human salvation then, as one commentator stated, what of the 100 billion who have died since the beginning of human history: What of those who died in the Holocaust? They will not taste the fruits of the salvation of science. And most of the seven billion living now also will not experience these supposed fruits of science.
    “When we are grasping with despair, when the wisdom of science and the splendor of the arts fail to save us from fear and the sense of futility, the Bible offers us the only hope…..Abraham Joshua Heschel…”I asked for Wonder” page 80.

  130. Boxer says:

    Good companion to Dr. Amneus’s book is anything by Roger Devlin.

    Home Economics was one of the first things I read in the sphere. It was as though the author was answering all sorts of questions I had asked since childhood. He’s a great writer.

  131. Goodkid43 says:

    Bluedog says, “which can be argued to be merely aesthetic negatives….” To suggest that the genuine suffering of innocent men, and children can be argued as an “aesthetic negative” i.e. a matter of taste is just plain cruel and heartless. And then to add the adjective, “merely” is just too much. As I said before, I know now why Hitler, Stalin and Mao came into being.

  132. MarcusD says:

    Pre-moderns in Copernicus’ time wanted heliocentric astronomy off limits

    Are you saying all “pre-moderns”?

    Mathematical modeling of the human brain is in fact predictive of behavior.

    This is bordering on equivocation. There are literally billions of factors that feed into human behavior, and they cannot all be modeled. For example, to what degree is mathematical modelling better than random guesses?

    And your data for this is… well just where?

    Well, for example, women and men who have sex prior to marriage are less happy than those who wait for marriage:

    Else‐Quest, Nicole M., Janet Shibley Hyde, and John D. DeLamater. “Context counts: Long‐term sequelae of premarital intercourse or abstinence.” Journal of Sex Research 42.2 (2005): 102-112.

    Do you say the same thing about a woman marrying a rich but beta male, as Betty Friedan did, calling such a marriage a “comfortable concentration camp”?

    Are you relying on a single anecdote?

    coming about because a cuckolded man may end up stuck raising another man’s child. This is no longer a danger with modern DNA testing.

    And they still are often stuck raising another man’s child – regardless of whether they know it or not. (Which is to say, in general, DNA testing has given men information they cannot act on.)

    Now let’s be honest here: the argumentation here on this site, for the most part, is that female promiscuity is bad because 1: it leads to single motherhood or 2: it makes it difficult to find a husband later. That is a consequentialist argument.

    I seem to recall that it increases the likelihood of divorce, the reduction of overall health and fertility (primarily due to STDs), and an increased likelihood of infidelity.

    Beyond that, I seem to recall several Biblical arguments against promiscuity (it could be said that promiscuity is bad in and of itself, based on that).

    The scientific method is the only way to understand contingent truths in the world that are not obtained by direct observation, because they need to be inferred.

    Out of curiosity, what do you make of Max Planck’s assertion that “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve” and, in his book, Where Is Science Going? that science cannot prove anything.

  133. MarcusD says:

    Andy Warhol’s CAF:

    Husband kissed another woman
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890322

    Marrying young? (You don’t want to have to “housebreak” a guy […]*)
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=890392

    *Part 6,273,548 of “Things That Cannot Be Gender-Flipped Without Everyone Losing Their Mind”

  134. Opus says:

    F.Roger Devlin compares the sexual revolution with the French Revolution. The recent and ongoing series of prosecutions in England against the Aristocracy of Entertainment (aging Disc Jockeys and once popular singers) – on the flimsiest of anonymous evidence (with the aim of financially ruining the men as well as depriving them of their freedom) seems to me to bear out his analogy, indeed he is most prescient, as at the time he wrote his essay Sexual Utopia in Power this particular witch-hunt had not got started. Even last week a ninety-four year old (with Zimmer frame) was sentenced to prison for the events of forty years ago; effectively for him a life sentence. The quality of mercy was clearly not strained in that case, indeed the moral self-righteousness of the male Judiciary in these appalling cases is perhaps what shocks the most. One hesitates to predict what will come next for even though a large percentage of the prosecutions have failed the Home Office treat even one conviction as justification for the continued persecution but then the Home Office (and the CPS) have been infiltrated by militant Feminists and no one dare utter a word against them without being labelled Sexist and thus abusive to all women.

    The first thing to do therefore is to determine who of their number is the modern day Robespierre (or Ms Robespierre) – surely not she of the fuck-me boots, Mrs May.

  135. UK Fred says:

    kip said:
    June 16, 2014 at 1:21 am

    “We were meant to “pair off for life”

    “I tend toward monogamy myself Brad but do you have any science to back up that claim? So far all the biological research shows the opposite.”

    What about the Terman longitudinal study which identified that, after correcting for all other socio-economic factors, the child of a divorced household, irrespective of the child’s age at the time of his/her parents’ divorce, had on average a life expectancy of 5 years less than his peers? I would conclude that this negative effect on the offspring does indeed suggest that we are meant to pair up for life.

  136. Escoffier says:

    Brainy, I don’t think you’ve understood much, or any, of what I have written because you consistently mischaracterize it and get it wrong. Staring right the beginning:

    Episode one million of the continuing “debate” between science and philosophy

    That is not the debate in question. The debate is between ancient and modern philosophy. Ancient philosophy does not recognize a distinction between “philosophy” and “science.” There is in fact no ancient word for “science”; the Latin scientia, which is the root of our word “science,” means “knowledge” and is analogous to the Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistḗmē), “knowledge.” The distinction between philosophy and science is modern, both historically (it emerged in the 16th and 17th centuries) and fundamentally: it was the moderns who made an argument that such a distinction is valid and the lack of such a distinction was (but one) of the alleged shortcomings of ancient thought. Surely someone who has “heard all this before” would know that.

    Be that as it may, pre-modern thought recognizes a fundamental epistemological/noetic disconnect between the non-human natural things and the human things (which it recognizes as being a part of nature). It posits that different methods are best suited to the investigation of these different phenomena: that the methods used to study (say) planet orbits is not well suited to studying man. Moreover, even the study of animals turns out to have more in common with planet orbits than man, however much animals may on the surface have more in common with man than planets. This is because man appears to be unique among the beings we know of in having speech or reason (λόγος; logos). Man is the only being that is aware that he is part of a whole, mysterious part of a mysterious whole, and who can investigate that whole, himself, his nature, and place within the whole. Man is thus the only being capable of philosophy or science and, it would seem, compelled toward philosophy or science both by his nature and by his awareness of the mysteriousness of being. Man is moreover the only being who can even raise the question “How should I live” and whose existence compels him to raise and investigate that question and attempt to find answers.

    You can dismiss all this, as I nearly certain you will, on any number of grounds, except the historic: this IS what pre-modern though held to be true and the moderns, certainly the later moderns, deny it. Deny it if you want to; that would be just another ground of disagreement between us. But then I don’t think we disagree that you adhere to modern thought and I don’t, or at least, I have non-trivial reservations about modern thought’s ability to understand man.

    You simply declare some questions (what you term “essential human questions”) off-limits to empirical inquiry, when empirical inquiry doesn’t give you the answer you want

    Completely false. What I have said is that empirical inquiry has limits which prevent it from fully understanding human things on their own terms. People engaged in political life or wresting with moral questions do not speak as modern scientists speak. They speak rather of good and bad, just and unjust, fair and unfair, and so on, all of these being concepts about which science qua science is the first to claim that it can have nothing to say.

    Counting, trend-line analyses, and many other techniques of modern social science can be very useful in illuminating human (moral and political) issues up to a point, as Dalrock (and others) demonstrate frequently. What sets Dalrock and other wise social scientists apart is that they use these only as tools, while never losing sight of the far more fundamental moral questions that social science cannot answer.

    To put this in the simplest possible terms, the utmost that most precise enumerative equipment and methodology can do is measure something with unerring accuracy. They can’t tell you what that thing is for. Only philosophy and theology can do that.

    The rest of that paragraph, re: Copernicus and the rest, continues to avoid the question. I and others have already explicitly affirmed the “astounding success” of modern natural science in refuting the mistakes of pre-modern thought regarding the natural world, the geocentric universe, the four elements and so on. The issue here is, again, “noetic heterogeneity” or whether the study of man as a rational being should use the same “scientific method” that works so well for physics, chemistry etc.

    Your citations of Aristotle and Aquinas show that you still don’t understand this point. Yes, we now know that Aristotle’s natural science was wrong. This does not prove—it is really not even evidence—that his moral and political philosophy are wrong.

    Regarding “predictively”, astronomers can tell you right now where the planets and stars will be tomorrow, next week, next year, next century, next millennium, and so on ad infinitum without making a single mistake. Chemists can do the same with the behavior of molecules. Biologists can do much the same for the lower animals and, with somewhat less accuracy, even for the higher animals.

    Political sciences cannot right now tell you who’s going to win the 2014 elections. Sure, a few days before the vote, their polling will be much more accurate than it is now. Even then, no one will get it completely right and many will be spectacularly wrong. Beyond this, the crux here is the reason why today’s polls are functionally worthless: because no one knows what will happen between now and November. Man being a complex being possessed of reason and free will, plus a complicated mixture of motives and passions, all kinds of outcomes are possible. None of which can be measured by modern social science or the “scientific method.”

    And that’s just an election, which at least we can poll. The really big historical events that matter most—wars, depressions, founding, collapses, etc.—science doesn’t even try to predict.

    Ah yes. Here is the obligatory dig at science for failing to answer questions that even philosophers disagree on (“THE good”) and debate endlessly. Once you figure it out, let us know.

    Despite your snark, the question remains. You—like all humans—inevitable speak in language that presumes the existence of some good, even as you deny the concept as an ontological or epistemological category.

    And, it’s yet another straw man to insist that absent a definitive answer, the thing itself must not exist. Pre-modern thought emphasizes the unfinished and unfinishable nature of the philosophic quest to understand the good. It does not conclude from this that there is no good, as you have implicitly done. Whatever the true nature of “The Good” (in ancient metaphysics, absolutely the peak of philosophical investigation and therefore inherently complex and difficult), we can still tell better from worse in most if not all ordinary cases. Your own rhetoric is shot through with this assumption. For instance, you think modern science is better than ancient philosophy. Better in what sense? Because more accurate and predictive? Even if we stipulate that, why are accuracy and “predicativety” good?

    This points to another problem with the modern orientation. Science cannot itself answer the question “why science?” Why science and not something else? Divination? Astrology? Or any of the things that science dismisses as superstitions. The question “why science” is neither empirical nor based on the scientific method and so science qua science must ignore it in embarrassed silence.

    Regarding my claims on the promiscuous woman, a couple of things. First, you insist on “proof” without defining what would constitute proof or reflecting on whether “proof” is the appropriate standard in all types of inquiry. Euclid’s’ theorems are amenable to this kind of proof (and even then, only if one assumes the parallel postulate, which Euclid can’t prove, and which Lobachevski later showed to be at the very least highly questionable).

    But, OK, what is proof? Well, using the very “scientific method” that you falsely say I dismiss in toto, the question has been studied and the data indicate that promiscuity and various undesirable (there’s that “good” again) outcomes correlate highly. That’s evidence, if not “proof.” Psychologists and others who have conducted non-numerical studies report much the same (more evidence if not “proof”). Then you have the whole literary tradition which has been considering this question since Homer at least. Perhaps not evidence or proof, certainly none you in your scientific orientation would accept, but to those open to other forms of wisdom, they are powerful. Then there is simple observation and experience. We today live in extremely promiscuous times, and a huge increase is observable within the lifetimes of many still living. Some of us further conclude, based on observation and experience, that this increase has made women on average less happier and not more, plus has been bad (there’s that “good” again, can’t escape it!) for children, men, families, society, and more.

    Regarding your alleged wish to be cuckolded by Trump, you said it, not me. Now you wish to dismiss it as a joke; fair enough. It was a ridiculous thing to say, one that betrays a contemptible outlook on life. I wouldn’t want to be associated with that comment either. However, the point of the “joke” was that being cuckolded was OK if you came out materially ahead. Now you want to deny any such implication. There really is no way to weasel out that one, however. This surely doesn’t qualify:

    Of course what you term “sense of honor” I would term “evolutionarily-based propensity towards mate-guarding”, coming about because a cuckolded man may end up stuck raising another man’s child. This is no longer a danger with modern DNA testing

    Reducing the pre-modern concept of honor to a mechanistic animal reaction is not a refutation. It’s just a simplification based on the same unevident modern premise, viz., that there is no soul as the Bible and philosophy understand the soul and man is an animal no less than the other animals, no less motivated by various evolved desires that manifest themselves as brain chemistry which works to determine man’s action. You assume the falsehood of free will, logos, reason v. the passions, and all the rest. I would not, like you, ask for “proof” but I would ask for an argument that is not mere assertion.

    The assertion that there is no danger because of DNA testing betrays a profound ignorance of the behavior of family courts in response to such testing. All this has been amply covered so I need not restate it.

    The rest of your post—demands for more “proof,” further assertions that the scientific method has refuted ancient thought—just amount to more restatements of the same premise. I’ve addressed it all above (and prior) and see no need to repeat.

    Except for two final points:

    I can certainly understand the concept of “optimal” without deciding as yet which function I should optimize. Tell me what function to optimize, and we’ll happily do it.

    Ok, how are we to decide “what function to optimize”? Especially when it comes to politics and morality, there are bound to be disagreements. Here is what I think is the core difference between you and I: I believe that rational investigation can shed light on what goals for man are “optimal” (i.e., good). You apparently don’t believe that. You believe only in the utility of the method at producing a desired outcome no matter what is desired. I don’t know whether you take this in a relativistic or nihilistic or positivistic or historicist direction, because you haven’t said. But your assertion, based as it is on an implicit denial of a rationally knowable (at least in part) good, your principles must go in that direction if you are to be consistent.

    Finally, in a post shot through with strawmen, this is the worst:

    Philosophic understanding doesn’t understand human nature in its totality, any more than it understands the rest of nature in its totality: remember geocentric universes and heavier objects falling faster than lighter ones? This is the entirety of our disagreement right there

    The assertion is not that philosophy “understands” human nature in its totality. I’ve repeatedly said that pre-modern thought is characterized by a certain humility about its own ability to achieve final wisdom. Rather, the assertion is that philosophy attempt to see the outlines of the whole and to investigate the whole without ruling certain pre-philosophical or scientific concepts out of bounds, for instance, dismissing “honor” as “evolutionary evolved mate guarding.” Modern thought is reductionist. It always tries to understand the high in the light of the low. Human virtue is never examined on its own terms but rather some low, hidden motive is always assumed, the more mechanistic (in part because mechanisms are well suited to mathematical analysis) the better.

    Your closing attempt once again to take refuge in the physical sciences again demonstrates that you have not grasped the essential point: modern science is superior to ancient science in understanding the physical world, but inferior to ancient science in understanding man.

  137. kip says:

    “Out of curiosity, what do you make of Max Planck’s assertion that “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve” and, in his book, Where Is Science Going? that science cannot prove anything.”

    One of the core mistakes of early western science was setting man apart, outside and above, nature.

    “I am not alone in seeing that chance and natural selection by themselves are not enough to account for the emergence that we see in evolution. Stuart Kaufman [sic] and many others have criticized mere change and natural selection as not adequate to account for this emergence (he sees the necessity of adding self-organization). Of course I understand that natural selection is not acting on mere randomness or chance—because natural selection saves previous selections, and this reduces dramatically the probability that higher, adequate forms will emerge. But even that is not enough, in my opinion, to account for the remarkable emergence of some of the extraordinarily complex forms that nature has produced. After all, from the big bang and dirt to the poems of William Shakespeare is quite a distance, and many philosophers of science agree that mere chance and selection are just not adequate to account for these remarkable emergences. The universe is slightly tilted toward self-organizing processes, and these processes—as Prigogine was the first to elaborate—escape present-level turmoil by jumping to higher levels of self-organization, and I see that “pressure” as operating throughout the physiosphere, the biosphere, and the noosphere. And that is what I metaphorically mean when I use the example of a wing (or elsewhere, the example of an eyeball) to indicate the remarkableness of increasing emergence. But I don’t mean that as a specific model or actual example of how biological emergence works! Natural selection carries forth previous individual mutations—but again that just isn’t enough to account for creative emergence (or what Whitehead called “the creative advance into novelty,” which, according to Whitehead, is the fundamental nature of this manifest universe).”

    — Ken Wilber, “Re: Some Criticisms of My Understanding of Evolution”

    I also recommend Wilber’s books The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes: Exploring the Leading Edge of Science and Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World’s Great Physicists.

  138. Opus says:

    May I confess that science does and always has bored the pants off me. ‘Here is some blue litmus paper, and look, now it has turned blue’. Wow just wow. Do I believe: big bang theory; out of Africa; seven manned moon-landings? They seem to me as fantastical and implausible as Greek Mythology. I am a science heretic or apostate.

  139. greyghost says:

    Bee
    That imbedded video was like the guy was reading my mind and put it to words. Others especially in the black community have discovered and know of what Dr. Daniel Amneus speaks about. See Tommy soto mayor of youtube fame as a start. The blog world star hiphop will also be a way to see what the matriarchy in the African American community looks like.

  140. BradA says:

    Opus,

    Much that goes in the name of science today is definitely handwaving.

    I would have to agree with others that the fact the government pushes the story of the moon landings is the strongest argument against them. I am not sold on the idea they were faked, but I trust government so little these days that I suspect anything it claims as fact almost by default.

  141. hurting says:

    MarcusD says:
    June 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Easterjoy was one of the few regular and obviously female posters who I thought could be reached with reason when I frequented CAF, but I ultimately concluded that she is so steeped in the modernist line on marriage so as to prevent her from really seeing any other POV.

  142. Boxer says:

    I see Xanthippe is conspicuously kookfarting her anti family nonsense on every thread. Blue Eyed Lady is also there spreading feminism. She’s the sort of evangelical atheist that makes real unbelievers a tad bit embarrassed.

  143. bluedog says:

    @ Kip, re: June 17, 2014 at 10:23 am


    “Out of curiosity, what do you make of Max Planck’s assertion that “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve” and, in his book, Where Is Science Going? that science cannot prove anything.”

    Physics addresses ontology. Few other sciences do. Computer science and biology for example, have little to nothing to say about ontology, but physics has quite a lot to inform us about ontology and where physics encounters other sciences, then they may provide glimmers.

    For example – you see in 3 dimensions. Carefully consider this. When photons strike your retina they create a 2-dimension image in the back of your eye. The photons disturb neurons which send messages through the optic nerve to the optic cortex where the 2-dimensional image is interpreted.

    You are able to perceive depth, the third dimension, because the optic cortex imposes “gestalt” rules on the 2-dimensional image. For example – things that are further appear smaller, things that are closer appear larger. Closer things obscure or block further things. Your ability to perceive depth – therefore – is entirely the result of a cognitive heuristic, it has nothing at all to do with your anatomy.

    Taken as a whole – we perceive four dimensions when you include time.

    Now – think about this – all you have to do is get a spreadsheet and model the four dimensions in the spreadsheet – length, width, depth, and time. Give them each a value. Now- add a fifth dimension – call it “q”. Give it a value. i.e.: L=1, W=1, D=1, T=1, q=1. Now change the value of q, say q=5, while keeping the others constant. You have changed the location of your abstract object in 5 dimensions, even though it is in the same location in the four dimensions we perceive.

    This informs us of the possibility that our physical and cognitive limitations may conceal from us the possibility that additional dimensions of reality exist. So biology has provided a glimmer, but it is up to physics to deal with the ontology.

    Once you get there – then ideas like “wave/particle” duality make more sense conceptually. Wave/particle duality tells us that our physical/cognitive interface devices (5 senses and cognitive heuristics) either are incomplete (likely) or they effectively “err” almost as a statistician would, to one side or another – selecting the most likely of several possible perceptive interpretations. The business of physics is to try to account for a physical, ontological reality that is not limited by the physical interface faculties we have to cope with them.

    To Planck’s point my simplified answer would be this: it is the business of philosophy to inform us of what “ontology” is in the first place and to explore ontological possibilities. I would go so far as to say that math and language are largely philosophical exercises. But science provides us with information about ontology that is not otherwise available to philosophy.

    To see the dynamic at play consider Descartes’ controversial statement “I think therefore I am”. That doesn’t seem like it should be controversial, but it is because if you state “I am therefore I think” you are saying existence begets thought – so out of some existence, i.e.: some material, a mind or person arises.

    But Descartes is saying something else, “I think therefore I am” suggests that mind begets existence.

    It is a philosophical question – but just as contingencies of morality inform us on moral reasoning, contingencies of empirical study inform us on this ontological question.

  144. bluedog says:

    D@mn it – I didn’t close the italics hypertext in my last message – Dalrock I hope you can fix.

  145. Tam the Bam says:

    “the sort of evangelical atheist that makes real unbelievers a tad bit embarrassed.”
    Beg to report, sir. Are there any evangelical atheists that aren’t pants-soilingly cringeworthy? And truly, bestially thick (in all senses of the word)? [PZ Myers and his unmerry pranksters for a kickoff cough cough].
    As opposed to the other sort.

  146. Gunner Q says:

    BradA @ 11:04 am:
    “I would have to agree with others that the fact the government pushes the story of the moon landings is the strongest argument against them.”

    I can reassure you here. The reason the government keeps talking about the moon landings is because it’s a moneymaker for NASA. You do a world-changing stunt like putting men on the moon, you milk that PR for all its worth. If the moon landings were fake then some U.S. Senator would bring it up during budget season to defund NASA in favor of his own pet projects. THAT is government you can trust.

  147. MarcusD says:

    @hurting

    Yes, EasterJoy does have a few blindspots. She’s also not the most astute debater around (which I find slightly surprising – for the benefit of the doubt, perhaps she just gets emotional about the topics being discussed?). She tends also to jump to rather odd conclusions and gets distracted by trivial things.

    @Boxer

    BEL is, as I’ve said before, a caricature of a liberal (feminist) automaton. It’s secondhand embarrassment when I read her comments. Over time I’ve come to suspect that she’s a troll, and that she isn’t some sort of stereotypical liberal (I mean everything: divorced parents, drug use, multiple sexual partners, working for Planned Parenthood, big, uncritical Obama supporter, self-loathing, etc).

  148. I thought I was verbose. Some of the sentence construction around this place has gotten severely out of hand:

    “Counting, trend-line analyses, and many other techniques of modern social science can be very useful in illuminating human (moral and political issues) up to a point as Dalrock (and others) demonstrate frequently.”

    ???

    “Almost every complaint levied here can be structured – consequentially as it were – around this assertion: that whatever it is – single motherhood, late marriage, all the rest of the bill of complaints … each one is a nip to a blow against fatherhood. ”

    ????

    “You can argue until the cows come home that the “essence” of water really isn’t two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule in a bipolar covalent bond – but you are still faced with the fact that there has never been a case where a substance anyone would agree is “water” isn’t, in fact, H2O. You can argue epistemology all you want – but if you deny Bayes’ Theorem you’ve gone outside the realm of reason, for Bayes’ Theorem can be known with metaphysical certainty.”

    Yeah, okay. After deciphering some of this crap (yes I have gone to the trouble) I soon discover that the depth of thought does not match the breadth of vocabulary.

  149. Escoffier says:

    The close parens in the quoted sentence from me was supposed to follow “political”
    not “issues.” There should probably also be a comma after “point”.

    [D: I think I fixed it. Let me know if not.]

  150. bluedog says:

    @God is Laughing re: June 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm,

    About my own statement which you quote:

    “Almost every complaint levied here can be structured – consequentially as it were – around this assertion: that whatever it is – single motherhood, late marriage, all the rest of the bill of complaints … each one is a nip to a blow against fatherhood. ”

    …I am saying this:
    If this were a site where the point was a bunch of people, mostly men, who have an aesthetic displeasure with single motherhood or with female promiscuity, then this isn’t a very important site.

    But I think those the symptoms, there is an underlying, that being: all of this, taken together, is a consequence of a society that doesn’t value fatherhood, which I would add: it doesn’t value something that by rights, should be central, so the error is two-fold.

    I’m sorry that doesn’t satisfy your standards for “depth of thought”.

  151. Escoffier says:

    D, looks good, thanks.

    In the para that begins “But, OK, what is proof” could you please add the following all-cap word?

    “various undesirable (there’s that “good” again) OUTCOMES correlate highly”

    [D: Done]

  152. I wasn’t trying to offend ANY of the people I quoted.

    My dad used to tell me “Genius is better expressed through clarifying an opaque concept than complicating a simple one.”

    If you were grading those comments as term papers you would be calling bullshit yourselves. I’m just trying to call your attention to it. Take it or leave it.

  153. Also, Escoffier I didn’t have a problem with the borked punctuation it was that I was hearing “The Architect” reading your comment in my mind’s ear.

  154. Escoffier says:

    I don’t know what that is, unless you mean Howard Roark, in which case you misunderstand me quite fundamentally.

  155. No, I was thinking more Helmut Bakaitis. Sorry, my comment was equally opaque with a pop-culture reference from ‘The Matrix”.

    I can’t imagine Gary Cooper reading your comments. That would seem a little too down homey. That would be a bad casting decision (IMO).

  156. Escoffier says:

    I saw The Matrix but I don’t remember Helmut Bakaitis.

  157. Thinkn'Man says:

    @GodIsLaughing:

    “Genius is better expressed through clarifying an opaque concept than complicating a simple one.”

    Fantastic observation! Mind if I ask what your dad did for a living? Engineer?

  158. @Thinkn’Man

    He was a production welder (mostly stick) and a Quality Control technician in a heavy equipment plant. He made the engineers designs work.

  159. Thinkn'Man says:

    @GodIsLaughing:
    I have a ton of admiration for guys who make things work.
    Who translate the theoretical into the practical.
    My dad was an engineer BTW. And I am still grateful for the ruthless way he would correct my ill-conceived thought processes as a young boy.

  160. I wrote a piece on him: http://ragingvanity.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/dad/

    Now anyone who is interested (after my criticism) can nitpick my writing style if they are bored enough.

  161. cynthia says:

    Late to the party on this one, so apologies if I’m not following any of the above discussion threads.

    This concept of history moving forward, in one, mostly smooth progression towards utopian ends is indeed a product of the modern era. What’s interesting about it to me, though, is that its roots can be found in Marx’s writings. His focus on “modes of production” led to some interesting conclusions about the flow of history; every mode of production gives birth to more sophisticated modes, which then force changes on society, which is inevitably taking us all to some utopian future. His theories were taken and woven into European historiography, and thus, we see modernism emerge with his ideas the dirty little heart at center of that very sick pearl.

    Nowhere in any of this was any thought given to human nature, or the chaos of the natural world. Humans are reduced, in Marx’s worldview, to being upon which society acts, rather than the other way around. So we progress, but only if we give up our souls to the machine.

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