Saturday, April 26, 2014

Service Announcement.

Just a brief note to let people know that I'm still around though radio silence is will extend for the next few weeks. Home and profession life has been busy and business is forcing me to take a trip.
I imagine I'll be up and running in the next month or so for those who care.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Purge.


I've been busy the past few weeks so posting has been very light.  This article by William Saletan which I read in Slate today (Hat tip Ray Sawhill), should give all serious Conservatives some pause for concern.


Read it and understand.

I'm a tolerant guy, what people do in their bedrooms is really up to them but I think its pretty obvious where the whole Gay "tolerance" lobby is going.  The whole gay lobby is not at all about tolerance, its about unquestioning enthusiastic endorsement: everything else is to be purged. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Brendan Eich discriminated against any gay employees, his problem was that he wasn't pursing the party line.  Brendan Eich committed thoughtcrime.

If the article is to be believed, most of the push for his firing came from that soft underbelly of masculinity, the IT crowd. In my experience, with a few exceptions, it's a collection of beta nerds and sperg's and it's no surprise that Asimov's emissaries of a Star Trek universe should be pushing so hard for sexual ambiguity. Spock had no heart, they have no balls. Enthusiastic acolytes for their own gelding.

The late Christopher Dawson, taught me a lot about tyranny. Everyone imagines the Soviet Gulags or the Nazi Concentration camps, but Dawson recognised that even tyranny has a certain cultural flavour and Anglo tyranny will be unlike anything else. There will be no slaughters or death camps (though a few notable individuals may be sacrificed as examples) rather, there will the progressive ostracism of any individual who doesn't follow the party line.  Loss of job, loss of status, exclusion from cultural institutions, forced education and so on. Imagine being a Catholic in Georgian Ireland and you'll get the picture. In Nazi Germany it was more extreme version of the same.
It quickly became clear that [Hitler] intended to imprison the Catholics, as it were, in their own churches. They could celebrate mass and retain their rituals as much as they liked, but they could have nothing at all to do with German society otherwise. Catholic schools and newspapers were closed, and a propaganda campaign against the Catholics was launched.
It's gonna get ugly, really ugly.

Conservative Protestants, for years you have pilloried, disenfranchised, persecuted and subordinated us. The smarter ones amongst you can see that now you are about the get the same.

Welcome to the family, my brothers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Slutology.*

A drop in the usual tone of this blog.

The science of Slutology continues to advance and here I present another interesting paper worth perusing.

Attractiveness and Spousal Infidelity as Predictors of Infidelity in Couples from Five Cultures.

Nothing here that's new under the sun but it's nice to see science proving what common sense asserts. Some choice quotes from the paper:
This  wide  variation  in  reports  of  frequency  of  infidelity  and  non-paternity  may reflect differences in  reporting  accuracy  regarding  these  delicate matters.  In  a  US  study, women  (but  not  men)  tended  to  underreport  their  number  of  sex  partners  unless  they believed  lying could be detected (Alexander  & Fisher, 2003). Another  study of American women  found  that  when  asked  face-to-face about  number  of sexual  intercourse  partners in  the  past  year,  1.08%  of  married  women  reported infidelity  whereas  when  the  same question  was  asked  through  a  computer  questionnaire,  6.13%  of  the  married  women reported  having sexual  intercourse with  more than  one man  (Whisman  & Snyder, 2007). [Ed: Ouch! That's almost a sixfold increase!]
Values: Smith (1994)   found  permissive  sexual   values  to   be  associated   with infidelity.   Over   three-quarters   of   Americans  who   did   not   think  extramarital   sexual relations  are  “always  wrong”  reported  engaging  in  infidelity,  whereas  those  who  said  it was  “always  wrong”  reported  a  10%  rate.  Being  politically  liberal,  highly  educated,  and sexually  permissive  before  marriage  was  related  to  casual  sexual  mores.  At  least  two studies  have discovered  that  the more  religious  people were, the less likely  they reported engaging in  extramarital sexual relations (Buss & Shackelford, 1997; Whisman  &  Snyder,  2007)
Physical attractiveness, as determined by independent raters, was not a predictor of the number of times US college women engaged in extra-pair sex [ED](Gangestad & Thornhill, 1997). In fact, women with low self-esteem tended to have had more sex partners and one-night stands (Mikach & Bailey, 1999). Similarly, adolescent girls who had had many sex partners rather than few or none tended to have lower self-esteem and more depression (Spencer et al., 2002). 
One factor that seems to affect infidelity across cultures is low paternal investment. For example, in matrilineal societies paternal investment typically is low, often giving rise to the  avunculate, and infidelity and divorce tend to be common (Daly, Wilson, 1983; van den Berghe, 1979). Similarly, where the wife is relatively independent economically of the husband, marital bonds tend to be weak (Friedl, 1975; Goode, 1993; Seccombe & Lee, 1987) and infidelity by the wife is relatively common (van den Berghe, 1979).
Nothing is certain in life and picking a good partner is hard but an attractive girl, who loves her daddy, and is from a good, stable, conservative-religous family is a pretty safe bet.

*Hat Tip to Randall Parker for the term. Though he uses tt". i.e. Sluttology

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Phenotyped.


As mentioned in my previous post, one of the facilitators for the rise of feminism and separation of sex and gender has been the predominance of Dualistic understanding of the human person.  Feminism and all the other variants of gender aberration draw their strength from this predominant Western understanding of man and thus any Christian push-back to these movements  must avoid a purely "spiritual" approach to the problem. Calls for more prayer, reflection, virtue on their own, will make matters first by unintentionally re-enforcing the Cartesian duality. The work around to this problem is by balancing the spiritual perfection of man with an insistence on his physical perfection as well. Effectively, what is needed is a muscular Christianity.

Literally Muscular.

If Christians are to be serious with regard to pushing back Cartesian dualism they need to reassert the hylomorphic model. They need to balance the prevailing culture by affirming the goodness of the flesh since according to hylomorphism bodily perfection is but is one measure of spiritual well being.

To illustrate what I mean, consider the following example. A house is an arrangement of building materials according to a plan. It's hylomorphic in the sense that the plan determines the arrangement of the material. Now, assuming that the plan is good, the goodness or the badness of the house is dependent upon how faithfully the material is arranged to the plan. A good house reproduces the plans perfectly, a bad house is one that is deficient in some way, say, in workmanship or quality of materials.

On the other hand, the materials and workmanship may be good but the plan is flawed. For example a house that is designed in such a way so that it is almost guaranteed to leak (see Frank Llyod Wright) is a bad house. It's bad because it doesn't conform with our pre-conceived conceptions of what constitutes a good house. Therefore a house may be defiecient in either workmanship, materials or design.

Keep this thought.

Now biological sex needs to be seen as the physical instantiation of gender, or in other words, the "plan" of the human being.  A man is the biological instantiation of the masculine form whilst a female is the instantiation of the feminine. Masculinity and femininity are therefore not something "tacked on" to the body but rather physical states of human being. It also needs to be understood that masculinity and femininity don't just code for the sex organs but their imprint is felt at the level of biochemical processing, neurological wiring, skeletal structure, muscular placement etc. Gender permeates the entire human being and so the dichotomy between gender and sex is false. Gender and sex are one.

A perfect woman, for instance, is one that perfectly instantiates the feminine ideal. Her body will be perfectly feminine. She will think in a feminine way, walk in a feminine way, talk in a feminine way and so on. Femininity permeates here entire being in both presentation and act.

Now, masculinity and femininity need to be seen to be seen as akin to "house plans" the proper expression of the plan may be frustrated by disease, mutilation or neglect. Shoddy workmanship or material may impinge upon the expression of gender and therefore gender deficiency needs to be seen as a privation of instantiated form. The interesting thing here is that this privation of gender assumes a moral dimension when it is deliberately chosen. In other words, deliberately making yourself less masculine or feminine, either through neglect or by choice, is an evil. Caritas imposes a moral duty to stay true to our gender type.

But how do we determine what constitute perfection in form when it comes to gender? The feminists could quite literally argue that we are simply defining form according our own conceptions of it and therefore there is no such thing as "objective form".

The feminists have a point, in that our conceptions of gender have a certain degree of subjectivity to them. But the accuracy of our subjectivity is one of degree and not of direction. In this famous image, which is a morphed average of the faces rated on "Hot or Not"

 there is a clear variation in facial morphology between the least rated and the most.  Something which would not be present unless there was some type of predetermined human response to facial beauty.* In nearly all higher order civilisations, there appears to be an extraordinary degree of congruity with regard to conceptions of masculine and feminine beauty which leads to the conclusion that there must be some kind of genetic basis to our response to beauty.* There is a certain degree of objectivity to the issue.

What is masculine or feminine, therefore, is not determined by philosophical argument, or social construct, or power relationships, but by our human response to the experience of it.What's masculine is that which is what we feel to be masculine and likewise for femininity. The summed human experience of them are therefore accurate guides to their essential natures.

The reason why we find the fat, weak, deformed or disfigured unattractive is because our biology elicits a noxious response to their presence. Our biology therefore has a strong influence with regard to our determination of  physical beauty and we are hard wired to be drawn to the beautiful. (i.e. that which has a perfect form)

But the other dimension which strongly influences our conceptions of gender polarity is that of the erotic. Now by erotic, I mean the whole series of qualities in a person of the opposite sex which draws us to them. When the average man argues that his ideal woman is combination of a Madonna, a mother and a whore he is crudely outlining his conceptions of an ideal femininity across its many dimensions. Gender polarity, in fact is most marked when considered from an erotic perspective and what's interesting when you look at it from this approach is that evaluations of masculinity and femininity are to a large degree determined by the opposite sex. What the opposite sex finds sexually attractive is what is sexually attractive. Therefore masculinity can be objectively evaluated at this level by observing the response of women to different types of men. Conceptions of masculinity/femininity which ignore this dimension are thus false and it is precisely at this level where traditional carnal-lite approach to Eros has done most harm. The war against Eros has diminished gender polarity and has facilitated the rise of androgyny.

The hylomorphic critique of feminism therefore is on two levels:
  1. Firstly Hylomorphism is opposed to Cartesian (body-spirit) approach in its understanding of the human sexuality. Sex and gender are not distinct entities but rather a intertwined physical instantiation of one.
  2. The hylomophic approach criticises feminism because it is an ideology which embraces the privation of the feminine form. It makes women literally unfeminine. It uglifies them.
The hylomorphic critique has nothing really to say on the legal status of gender except insofar as any law or legal privilege leads to a privation of form.  i.e. legislating women to be combat soldiers.
Here the critique is not that woman cannot perform the duty but rather that duty "defeminises" her and thus makes her less of a woman even though she may be a good combat soldier.

The Christian approach to feminists is thus to call them out as being less womanly than they should be. The problem with feminism and genderism of any kind, is not that it turns them into the opposite sex, it turns them into deficient human beings.

*Roissy's running a female attractiveness survey. The congruity of the ratings are proof of the relative objectivity when it comes to assessments of female beauty.

*Neoreaction needs to embrace bio-aesthetics in order to combat the crappiness of modern art and architecture.


Saturday, March 08, 2014

Cartesian Gender

Atheist warning. This is a socio-theological post.

Next, reacquaint yourself with the principle of hylomorphism.

Proceed.

One of the main contentions of this blog is that rise of modernism is a consequence of certain "structural" weaknesses  that were present in traditional society and culture.  Any conservative attempt to combat modernism therefore requires an understanding of the underlying pathologies which both gave birth to it and sustain it. I critique the Church quite a bit, not because of any malice, but because its ideas were the dominant cultural force which shaped the mindset of modern Western man and many modernist heresies are themselves mutations or adaptations of Christian thought.

As I've mentioned before, one of the areas of structural weakness concerned issues with regard to sexuality. The Catholic Church, at least in theory, has always endorsed a hylomorphic concept of man but in its war against the excesses of the flesh, the Church pushed back too hard and created a "carnal lite" version of man. This notion of man, comprised of a "good" spirit which led him to heaven and corrupting flesh which was dragging him to hell. And although the Church was officially committed to the hylomorphic vision, practically, in its day to day operations  it practiced a Cartesian duality with regard to the man's nature.  It's this Cartesian framework which sets up both the division of not only spirit and the flesh, but with a little imagination, of both gender and biological sex.

If identity and reason find their locus in the spirit, and the flesh is considered not only as something transient and temporary but hostile to spiritual perfection, it's easy to see how, when it comes to conceptions of the human person, the body is percieved to be both inferior to the spirit and hostile to it. Spiritual identity and corporeal body are thus put in opposition and though the Church did not subscribe to the dualist doctrine the take home message as understood by the faithful was Cartesian. It didn't help that the  Church in in its traditions, pushed the idealisation of the ascetic and the mortification of the flesh.  Modernism's conception of the human person is therefore an adaptation of mainstream Christian practice which saw rationality and corporeality as two separate entities.

Even Christianity's conceptions of masculinity and femininity tended to be framed along virtue centric lines and less along biological properties. To be manly, men had to possess virtues A, B, C......and so on. Women likewise had to posses virtues X, Y, Z....e.t.c. But the thing about virtues is that they are chosen behaviour: habits of deliberate choice which are not constrained by biology. When you frame gender along these lines you imply that gender is a matter of proper will and not biological nature. It's not much of a stretch to see how feminism gets its ideas of gender being both  a choice and social construct.

To illustrate what I mean, consider the following two women. Which of these is more feminine?




Now I've chosen Megan Fox for no particular reason except that she is very attractive but otherwise  morally average. Mother Teresa, on the other hand, is a moral giant but quite frankly is less attractive that Ms Fox.  How do we evaluate femininity in these two women?

There are strong strains in mainstream Christian thought which would assert that Mother Teresa is the more feminine of the two.  According to this approach, true femininity just as easily found in the obese-hirsute-fishmonger's wife as is in the Victoria's Secret model provided they live a Christian life. Likewise, traditional conceptions of masculinity tended to see masculinity as a series of character virtues. The problem with this approach is that it views femininity/masculinity as a collection of chosen moral qualities irrespective of the biological vehicle in which they are found. Thus, the Church's own position on the subject, while opposed to radical feminism,  provides unintentional support for its opponents by reinforcing in practice an underlying meta-philosophy that biology and gender are distinct. Feminist gender theory is a corruption of Christian Cartesian dualism.

On the other hand, Joe average, would clearly call Megan Fox the more feminine.  Because, for the average man, femininity is a metric of female perfection, not of moral quality and Ms Fox more closely approximates the ideal female form than Mother Theresa does. It strange to contemplate that the lecher honours hylomorphism in his sin more than the Church does in its practice, but the Devil is found where you least expect him and he's hardest to see when cloaked in apparent virtue.

The contemporary Christian problem, in its battle against gender/sex incongruity is how to fuse the two. The traditional cultural heritage, with its practical de-facto dualism, doesn't help since it effectively shares the same understanding of the human person as feminism does.  Pushing one helps the other.  Modern appeals of gender "authenticity" to biological sex are unconvincing. What exactly does "authentic" to self mean? Who defines it? The argument of every trans-sexual arguing for sex change surgery is that their bodies are not authentic to their nature's. The Christian response is that a trans-sexual's conception of their authenticity is not really authentic. It's a circular logic.

The workaround for this problem starts with a re-commitment, both in theory and practice to the doctrine of hylomorphism. Secondly, there needs to be a recognition that biological sex is the hylomorphic incarnation of gender. Thus gender is not a choice but a per-determined state of being. Thirdly, there needs to be an understanding that there may be "privations of form" with regard to gender incarnation and thus people may be born male or female and that they may be born with less than their fair share of masculinity or femininity. Fourthly, the operation of Caritas on the form of gender is to perfect it. Gender commitment is a virtue. Thus, anything which privates gender in any way, shape or form needs to be seen as an evil. Finally, the Church needs to recognise that moral virtue and gender identity are two separate things it needs to stop conflating the two. Just as a white man does not become more white by the practice of Charity neither does he become more manly by doing so. Virtue and gender are not synonymous.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Neoreactionary Theology of the Body.

Atheist warning. This is a religious post.

One of the positive developments with regard to Neoreaction has been the reassertion of the role of biology with regard to human nature. This reassertion has far deeper sociological significance than may be initially appreciated and poses as direct challenge to one of the main tenets of Liberalism, namely, the  "blank slate" theory of man. This theory is one of the pillars of Liberalism since it posits man as a being of endless potential. All it takes to shape man into whatever a social engineer wants him to be is to have control over what is written onto the slate in order to form a man of his choosing. 

The assertion of the role of biology is a direct challenge to this view and places strict limits on the ability of social engineers, hence, both the danger and potentiality of Neoreaction.  Thus wherever Liberalism's aims are thwarted by biological reality, the liberal approach will be the attack the validity of the underlying reality or deny it. So it's no surprise that when presented with mountains of evidence asserting the importance of biology, the liberal Cathedral does all that it can to discredit those who assert it. (Intelligent readers can already see the foundational tension between liberalism and science.)

It's important to understand how "blank-slatism" was able to gain widespread acceptance. Though the notion had been debated since ancient times, it was never taken seriously given the obviously manifest natural inequalities present in men to those who can see. It only gained serious traction in the West once John Locke published An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. From that point on we see it gaining gradual widespread acceptance, until now, where the concept of unlimited human potentiality is nearly universal. How did it happen?

The space offered in this blog is insufficient to do the subject full justice, but the increasing literacy of the population,  the advancement of science and the rise in democratic sentiment all were influential. However, ideas are like seeds, and in order to flourish they need a fertile "culture". It's my contention that it is Christian culture, particularly its more ascetic factions, which provided the "superfood" in which the idea could grow. Sure, history does show that Christianity fought like a tiger against the more radical ideas of the Enlightenment, but eventually it lost the battle because, unknowing to itself,  it was providing the enemy with ammunition. One of the more diabolical features of the radical enlightenment is was able co-opt various strains Christian thought to further its cause.

To understand the problem we need to visit the subject of Hylomorphism. Hylomorphism is the Aristotelian idea, further developed by Aquinas, that humans being are unified entity comprised  of matter(body) and form (soul) [Ed:this is highly simplified] and it needs to be understood that hylomorphism regards body and soul as one thing. The Catholic Church and other strains of Christianity have always advocated the idea of the unity of the soul and the flesh. Now, amongst the intellectually disciplined the unity of the body/form concept is recognised, but amongst the intellectually sloppy, which comprise the bulk of humanity, it's easy to see how the idea of body and soul could be seen as two separate entities.

It didn't help things, that despite upholding the doctrine of hylomorphism, the Church in practice worked against it. Its continual emphasis of the importance of the spirit and the denigration of the flesh meant that when it came to the average man's conception of the human being, two notions were associated in his mind. Spirit=Good, Flesh=Bad. Thus, not only was a duality was formed but so was a polarity.

Overlaid upon this were several other notions of Christianity:

1) Firstly, the idea that man was completely able to be "renewed in Christ":
2) No man was unforgivable, and thus everyman was capable of being reborn.
3) An emphasis on the flesh being a source of evil.
4) Christianity's emphasis on "getting souls to heaven" and a  "who cares" approach to the demands of the flesh.

The balanced mind could see the context and limitation of these notions, but to the average-bulk-of-humanity man, who's thought processes are more an amalgam of associations and impressions, these notions could be corrupted into ideas that the human spirit is infinitely malleable and good. The flesh on the other hand, was an impediment toward spiritual perfection. Thus ascetic Christianity, despite its intentions, drove a wedge between body and soul. Furthermore, it was traditionally thought that the mind resided in the soul so its quite easy to see how people could conflate the soul's infinite transformative potentiality in Christ with the mind's infinite transformative potentiality. Once you've reached this point its only a small step away from liberalism.   It's not very difficult to see the analogy with Liberalism's blank slate and  the soul's unlimited potentiality. And the more the Church doubled down with religious asceticism against Liberalism, the more support it gave to its enemy.

Once you can get people thinking that spirit/mind good, flesh bad, then all sorts of interesting things become possible. Biology becomes disassociated from person-hood and its seen as something that can be overcome. It's very easy to see the analogy between some desert ascetic trying to break away from the desires of flesh to become a more fully "authentic" Christian and some homosexual male wanting to become a woman but  who is "trapped by their flesh". Both men are trying to escape the realities of their biology.

Sex and gender, likewise become disassociated: the sex being the biology and the gender being the spirit. The feminist approach to sexuality, largely opposed by traditional Christianity, is nevertheless supported by by Christianity's "real world" approach to the human person. Radical feminism is enabled by a Carnal-Lite human anthropology. Being true to biology doesn't matter if you think the flesh is bad.

Finally, given the infinite potential of the human spirit. Human person-hood can be constructed in such a way that is totally divorced from reality. Masculinity and femininity no longer become identity's intimately entangled with their biology, rather, they are identities superimposed onto it by whatever is the prevailing philosophical system. The congruence with biology being incidental or haphazard.  "Authentic" sexuality thus becomes a series of competing philosophical claims with scant reference to underlying physical reality. Manhood (or womanhood) then becomes whatever you want it to be.

One of the interesting phenomenon of history is the rise of Gnosticism, a phenomenon which was relatively unknown till the rise of Christianity and which shares many of the features of liberalism. It too, emphasised  the goodness of the spirit and the badness of the flesh but took the notions to extremes. Scholars have approached the subject of Gnosticism from philosophical perspective but I think they have erred. It's my view the Gnosticism is a product of the product of the cognitive limitations of the average human, particularly his preference for  System I thought.  System I thought is "thinking" by association rather than thinking by logic and evidence. The coincidence of Gnosticism with Christian culture is easily understood as arising from a Christian culture which though, theoretically committed to the concept of hyelomorphism was practically biased against the flesh and very pro-spirit.

Gnosticism, in its various forms, will be inadvertently enabled by Christianity as long as it keeps regarding the flesh as an inferior to the spirit. In my opinion, any push back against the modern understanding of the person will only come about when the Church starts reasserting not only the goodness of the flesh but of the obligation of the spirit to conform to it insofar as it is compatible with Caritas. Biology matters.

I have a feeling that JPII sensed this. His own Theology of the Body was, in my opinion, a botched attempt at reasserting the flesh's goodness. But it was a noble effort. It falls upon a new generation of men to build a new Theology of the Body. Christian thinkers need not only to reaffirm the hylomorphic concept but to proclaim anew the goodness of the flesh.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Update on Previous Post.

Over at Aurini's blog, Roosh has made a comment stating that this passage in my previous post was "made up";
A while ago Roosh tweeted about his failed attempt to seduce a young Croatian girl who was studying to become a nun.
I made this statement in good faith, based upon a Tweet he sent whilst he was traveling in Croatia.
Unfortunately, I don't have a screen grab or anything else to back my statement up, therefore, I have to defer to his version of events as he was the primary source.

Apologies.