Wednesday, October 09, 2013

A Slow Toxin. Natural Law and Tradition.

Atheist warning. Another religious post.

The Church's teaching on the nature of the sexual has been strongly influenced by a natural law interpretation approach to the matter. Some people object to this approach, however, I'm not one of them. I actually think that the approach has much to commend to it but what's become apparent to me is that while this approach is a valid way of looking at morality, it becomes downright toxic when it becomes incorporated into an institution which values and venerates tradition.

Natural law is basically law which can be derived by a fair minded and reasoned look at the facts. For example, people usually get very upset when you take stuff from them. A reasonable man would conclude that taking stuff from people is liable to get a lot of people angry, and running a stable society is very difficult where there are a lot of angry people, therefore taking stuff away from people, when considered rationally, is bad.  It's an approach with a fair amount of intuitive validity. As C.S. Lewis shows in his Abolition of Man, the rules of morality are rather consistent across vastly different societies and cultures. It seems proof that a rational assessment of the facts of life can lead to a common morality.

The quality of natural law formulations, however, is totally contingent on the data from which it is derived and the intellectual apparatus with which to interpret that data. A deficiency in one or the other may lead to false conceptions of what constitutes the natural order of things.  It follows then, that should we get better knowledge of the facts, or a greater understanding of their interrelation through scientific achievement, our conceptions of what constitutes the natural order may change. The state of scientific knowledge and natural law derived morality are intrinsically intertwined. The laws of nature can be only be obeyed to the degree in which they are known.

The real problem arises when an institution starts venerating tradition as a source of infallibility, especially when it comes to natural law matters. For what that institution effectively does is entrench not just prior moral opinions but the contingent scientific understandings upon which they were based.  Effectively, what that institution does is set itself against new truths gained through scientific discovery.

Paging Galileo.

Natural law derived morality has the diabolic effect of conflating facts with morals. Mix in a veneration of tradition and you're setting yourself up for failure, especially when taking on the scientific establishment.  The traditionalist moral zealot--who is intuitively opposed to change--sets out to protect the faith from moral innovations never realising that he is also defending scientific ignorance. The harder he pushes the dumber he looks and hence the faith vs science struggle is born. Playing the "teaching authority" card only makes things worse since authoritatively teaching error only undermines the authority when teaching the truth. It's a lose/lose situation.

The Devil looks on......amused.

It's not that there is anything wrong with the natural law approach its just that the conclusions of natural law change when the facts about the nature of things do. Tradition stymies the perfection of knowledge by preferring the old to the true. When HV affirmed the "constant teaching of the church" it didn't just make a statement of morality but one of outdated reproductive physiology as well.

The advocates of Humanae Vitae like to paint those who criticise it as either stupid, in that they aren't bright enough to understand natural law, or malign, in that their intentions are evil.  But perceptive minds in the 1960's could already see that the the natural law arguments were in a bit of difficulty.

Back in 1964 a certain moral theologian wrote in a letter* to his friend;
First, it is simply a fact that the theologians' teachings on conjugal intimacy during the course of the centuries have undergone very considerable development. So it is legitimate to inquire whether further development is not possible and what direction it might take. Second, in the case of usury we say that changed economic conditions gave interest a new meaning it did not have before, or gave money a new character of fruitfulness. In the case of contraception we must remember that the doctrine of the church was formed and formulated at a time when little was known about the physiology of reproduction. The physiology has not changed but our knowledge of it has. This is one of the reasons why modern theologians have come to permit rhythm, which much of the ancients would undoubtedly have rejected, and which Augustine actually did reject, in strong terms. We now know that many, perhaps most, acts of intercourse are physically incapable of resulting in conception. The difficulties which this fact causes for natural law arguments against contraception have not been satisfactorily solved yet[ED!].-Do not conclude from this that I believe the Church can change her basic teaching on contraception or that she can retreat from the positions established authoritatively by the documents of Pius Xl and Pius XII.
The letter is one of the most extraordinary contributions to the subject of contraception and the nature of coitus. Namely, because the person who wrote it was John C Ford, S.J. was one the most respected moral theologians of the 20th Century and the leader of the anti-contraception faction in Pope Paul VI's commission looking into the matter. Ford, in my opinion, was a skilled logician and intellectually thorough. Ed Feser recommends his books. But though Ford was skilled in logic, he venerated authority and tradition more than he did the truth and, thus, opposed any moral innovation when it came to matters sexual. To his credit, he was intellectually honest enough to see that there were serious difficulties with the natural law argument.

Ford's main concern is that the Church remain consistent in its teachings. As Ford logically rationalised, any contradictory inconsistency would be proof that the Church was in error and hence not guided by the Holy Spirit, therefore, it's traditions must be upheld at all costs. But here again I feel that he made a conflation error. Into the his concept of the Church's "traditions" he bundled together the Church's moral principles and their subsequent practical application; two conceptually different things. To be fair, lots of others think exactly the same way. Conflation errors are very, very dangerous.

The natural law tradition which Humanae Vitae sought to uphold was right in upholding the traditional principle that coitus should not be privated  but wrong in its understanding of what constituted a privation.  In asking men to conform to the laws of nature they were asking men to conform to the understanding of the laws of nature as understood in the medieval period, not the laws of nature as understood by modern science. The document has the remarkable distinction of being right in principle but wrong in application due to an error of fact.

*Fair use quote from the book, John Cuthbert Ford, SJ: Moral Theologian at the End of the Manualist Era. Page 80. Bits of the book can be read on Google Books.


67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Careful ...

God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the church, or
unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason. Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false. ...

Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the church; and furthermore they are absolutely bound to hold them to be errors which wear the deceptive appearance of truth. ...

Hence, too,that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding. ...

Canon 3. If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

(Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, Vatican I)

All of which is not to say that this teaching in question is a "dogma of the Church", though many might say so, but this sort of criticism is a place where one must tread most carefully, as Fr. Ford noted.

GK Chesterton said...

I'm going to agree with Anonymous here. I think you were on stronger ground with the title of your last post. That is, what are the ends of coitus? How should we understand that from what we know now? What is the inspired Tradition given to us through the Church and Scripture? What is allowed in an adjustment?

The Social Pathologist said...

@Anon
careful

but this sort of criticism is a place where one must tread most carefully,

And treading carefully is what I'm trying to do, as if walking on a very narrow path, because I'm acutely aware of the potential pitfalls and traps.

Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith,

But what about empirical data?

The supernatural truths of the faith are by their very nature empirically unverifiable, still, they must be in congruity with the physical world. I can understand how a scientist's interpretation of data can be wrong, but the data itself, provided it is accurate, bears the same relation to reality as the supernatural truths and dogmas. They can't contradict.

The proposition, that coitus is intrinsically open to the transmission of life is factually wrong during the infertile periods of the menstrual cycle. It's as much a fact as the earth rotating around the sun.

It my opinion that the church has a very long and defensible tradition on insisting that the sexual act not be privated. But when the Church says the coital act has a unitive and procreative meaning, its making a statement of empirically verifiable fact, something that is outside it's circle of competency. A bit like when it insisted that the sun rotated around the earth. It got it wrong. The Church's infallibility only extends to faith and morals, not physical facts.

BTW Ford did not think that the teaching on contraception had reached dogma level....yet. Ford clearly recognised that while perversion of the sexual act have always been condemned the understanding of the sexual act and its legitimacy has undergone significant change. Augustine would probably been horrified at the concept of NFP.

GKC.

My view of it is that Church, despite all its views on the subject of sex, has always censured perversions of the act. But the degree of prohibition was contingent on its understanding of the act. The legitimacy of the pursuit non-fecund coitus is a relatively recent development in Church doctrine which was previously condemned as a evil.

My own view is that the primary purpose of sex (or its end) is insemination. The purpose of sex is to place sperm in a position where they can find an ovum, but that does not necessarily imply that the ovum must be there. The fact that spermatozoa are "ordered" in such a way as to find an egg would seem to imply that they should be put in a position where an egg can be found.

Then there is the other way of looking at the issue. Perhaps the natural law arguments were a way of making the intuitive ban (that those infused with Grace and Charity felt) somehow more intelligible. Perhaps the ancients were right for the wrong reasons, and what was permitted was more a mark of God's approval than our understanding of why.

The fact that the Church has never banned sex during pregnancy, menopause or hysterectomy would seem to me to congruent with my line of line of reasoning.

Finally, nothing in my mind seems to go against the proposition of dual meaning than the lactation suppression of ovulation. Here, it's nature itself rendering the coital act infecund. And it's a mechanism that operates particularly with regard to the regulation of births. If God intended the act to be intrinsically fecund then why did he introduce a mechanism that negates that intention?

To quote anon

God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth

The point of this post is to show that traditional opposition to moral innovation may be more a phenomenon of factual misconception than the operation of caritas.

ElectricAngel said...

The laws of nature can be only be obeyed to the degree in which they are known.

Untrue, on the face of it. To use one of my favorite quotes, "You cannot break the Law; you can only break yourself against the Law." It wasn't possible to express the inverse-square law of gravity in the year 400, but people observed it. There isn't really a question of obedience or no.

Which leads to an interesting question. Catholics believe that, for example, "Thou shalt not murder" is Law, even if that pestilence the State has not so declared. Do you think there is an inherent punishment for violating the Law against murder, as there is for trying to violate the Law of gravity? Anything that does not contain its own punishment within it is a rule, not a Law. I can certainly see the punishments for violating the Laws against inchastity, in the case of women AND men (for men, the Don Juan punishment.)

Effectively, what that institution does is set itself against new truths gained through scientific discovery.

Paging Galileo.

That arrogant ass? I direct you to a reading assignment debunking the Galileo myth. The Church was the body defending empirical observation, a keystone of science, against dogmatic Galileo. To quote the linked article: "Galileo's other problem was that he insisted, despite the discoveries of Kepler, that the planets orbit the sun in perfect circles. The Jesuit astronomers could plainly see that this was untenable. ... And, despite the warnings of his friends in Rome, he insisted on moving the debate onto theological grounds."

As to the topic at hand, contraception. Recall that the scientist who created the birth control pill was a Catholic, who hoped that by using "natural" estrogen and progesterone that he was creating a non-artificial method of preventing pregnancy. Of course, one method by which the Pill operates is to prevent implantation of a zygote, making it an occasional abortifacent. IUDs are out for this reason, even if made from "natural" copper.

Barrier methods have an even bigger problem: they fundamentally interfere with the cocktail of chemicals that are also a part of the sexual act, and which help to bind woman to man. "women who do not use condoms during sex are less depressed and less likely to attempt suicide than are women who have sex with condoms and women who are not sexually active, leads one researcher to conclude that semen contains powerful—and potentially addictive—mood-altering chemicals.

Study author Gordon G. Gallup, Ph.D., a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also found that women who routinely had intercourse without condoms became increasingly depressed as more time elapsed since their last sexual encounter. There was no such correlation for women whose partners regularly used condoms."


The theology of the body has begun to address the idea that sex is solely for reproduction. Barriers to the free flow of fluids weaken the sacramental bond between man and wife. This updated view of the teleology of coitus is consistent with what science tells us.

Anonymous said...

SP:
But what about empirical data?

Again, I don't disagree, but the language is Casti Conubii is strongly dogmatic and has all the hallmarks of what one looks for in an infallible statement.

"56. Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin." ("quemlibet matrimonii usum, in quo exercendo, actus, de industria hominum, naturali sua vitae procreandae vi destituatur" - perhaps better translated as "any use of marriage, in which the exercise of the act, the diligence of men makes destitute of its natural procreative force")

The interpretation of the scientific data on human fertility needs to fit within this prohibition. That can begin by asking how the act is deliberately frustrated or made destitute of its natural power, as this can only occur on the handful of days per month when the woman is actually fertile. Otherwise, the act has no natural power to generate life, and therefore cannot be frustrated.

mdavid said...

A good working definition of natural law: is said cultural behavior based in truth and lead to life? That is, does it come from God, the way, the truth, and the life?

Hence, I am always amused at the angst over HV. Natural law isn't binary nor easily definable, but it's so simple even a child can understand it. Bottom line: does one treat children as a good? Is a child a blessing? If so, the whole HV discussion goes away. It's meaningless in cultures that desire to breed, where having a child is like winning the lottery.

Again, I'm amused. HV was written for European blood, who went from 25% of the world's population in the 1800 to less than 10% today and are imploding so fast they will be genetically extinct. They deserve it; God will not be mocked, nor will He allow natural law to be parsed. It's a matter of desire, not one of details nor fine arguments.

The Social Pathologist said...

@ ElectricAngel

Do you think there is an inherent punishment for violating the Law against murder, as there is for trying to violate the Law of gravity? Anything that does not contain its own punishment within it is a rule, not a Law. I can certainly see the punishments for violating the Laws against inchastity, in the case of women AND men

The Good Book is fairly clear on the consequences of breaking the law. The fact that the punishment is delayed in no way means that the effect will not happen.

The Church was the body defending empirical observation, a keystone of science, against dogmatic Galileo.

Here's JPII on the matter--In his capacity as Pope.

By virtue of her own mission, the Church has the duty to be attentive to the pastoral consequences of her teaching. Before all else, let it be clear that this teaching must correspond to the truth. But it is a question of knowing how to judge a new scientific datum when it seems to contradict the truths of faith. The pastoral judgement which the Copernican theory required was difficult to make, in so far as geocentrism seemed to be a part of scriptural teaching itself. It would have been necessary all at once to overcome habits of thought and to devise a way of teaching capable of enlightening the people of God. Let us say, in a general way, that the pastor ought to show a genuine boldness, avoiding the double trap of a hesitant attitude and of hasty judgement, both of which can cause considerable harm.

8. Another crisis, similar to the one we are speaking of, can be mentioned here. In the last century and at the beginning of our own, advances in the historical sciences made it possible to acquire a new understanding of the Bible and of the biblical world. The rationalist context in which these data were most often presented seemed to make them dangerous to the Christian faith. Certain people, in their concern to defend the faith, thought it necessary to reject firmly-based historical conclusions. That was a hasty and unhappy decision. The work of a pioneer like Fr Lagrange was able to make the necessary discernment on the basis of dependable criteria.

It is necessary to repeat here what I said above. It is a duty for theologians to keep themselves regularly informed of scientific advances in order to examine if such be necessary, whether or not there are reasons for taking them into account in their reflection or for introducing changes in their teaching.


Galileo had his faults. But in the end, when all the irrelevant polava is stripped from the argument, JPII acknowledged that the Church was wrong. (Fortunately geocentrism was not taught infallibly) Stanley Jaki was of the opinion that the Church came close to shooting itself on the matter.

Of course, one method by which the Pill operates is to prevent implantation of a zygote, making it an occasional abortifacent.

See here.

This is very serious charge. With implications well beyond issues of contraception. Since the combined pill is used for a variety of medical conditions besides contraception: Dysmenorrhea, for instance. If it can be proven, as opposed to surmised, then the combined pill is definitely off the table.

As for women's exposure to seminal fluids; it confirms what common sense has always asserted. i.e., that a sexually privated woman is an unhappy one.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Anon

I'm not sure what your theological qualifications are but until I get evidence to the contrary, John Ford's opinion is more weight than either yours or mine. He was of the opinion that it was not a dogma.

The interpretation of the scientific data on human fertility needs to fit within this prohibition. That can begin by asking how the act is deliberately frustrated or made destitute of its natural power, as this can only occur on the handful of days per month when the woman is actually fertile. Otherwise, the act has no natural power to generate life, and therefore cannot be frustrated.

That's a better approach, but once again, faith and empirical data can't contradict.


@mdavid

I've always argued that contraception stops you from having the babies that you don't want, not the babies that you do.

The source of European infecundity lays more in the cult of hedonism than an any "contraceptive mentality". You're right, people just don't want kids.

As for babies being a good, I totally agree. But projecting forward, how many people can this world sustain? Whatever number I come up with may be totally off the mark but logic tells me that the Earth has a finite carrying capacity. Exponential growth will eventual reach a limit, so even certain "goods" must be limited.

Still, the people have a point. In a modern industrial society, the amount of capital invested in a child is much greater than before. People are still putting a hell of a lot of resources into children beyond the basic subsistence needs. They're trading number for quality. Most of the mums and dads that I know would like to have more kids but can't afford them. And you'd be quite surprised just how many women find child rearing to being psychologically difficult, to the point of involuntary psychiatric disease. One of the things that "blew me away" when I starting working as a family physician is the significant toll on psychiatric health that children bring, especially to women.

electricAngel said...

As for babies being a good, I totally agree. But projecting forward, how many people can this world sustain? Whatever number I come up with may be totally off the mark but logic tells me that the Earth has a finite carrying capacity. Exponential growth will eventual reach a limit, so even certain "goods" must be limited.
I will answer other stuff later, but wanted to recommend a book on this idea, SP. I taught it to my class last week. It's not that long of a read, but it will restore environmentalism as the domain of the paleo right in your mind: The Upcycle. In brief: as a species, we seem uniquely configured to deal with Malthusian problems.

Anonymous said...

Eleictric Angel:

I will answer other stuff later, but wanted to recommend a book on this idea, SP. I taught it to my class last week. It's not that long of a read, but it will restore environmentalism as the domain of the paleo right in your mind: The Upcycle. In brief: as a species, we seem uniquely configured to deal with Malthusian problems.

Any Christian with even the most modest faith would dismiss this right away.

Only God is infinite, while we and the Earth are finite creatures.

As a finite abode, Earth must have some definite carrying capacity of finite creatures. We can argue all we want about what that limit is, and how human ingenuity may push it further out, but in the end, there is a numeric limit to human population on account of space for growth of food and living, fresh water, and most especially energy inputs.

The first command to humanity in the Bible was the same given to other creatures - "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it". One might argue whether or not we have now filled the earth, or will shortly, but it is clearly much more full than it was when Adam and Eve were created.

Because of the wording of the full command (the purpose of human fertility being to "fill" the Earth, not "overpopulate" the Earth), theologians have long observed that the obligation of fertility on each person is related to the definite needs of the place a particular person is living in. The obligation hangs heavier on a Russian in empty Siberia than on an inhabitant of Manhattan or the Ganges plain. Further, as the obligation is conditional, it is therefore not wrong for some people to devote themselves to society as celibates despite the divine command being general and applying to all. Further, there is not an obligation to multiply oneself and one's family beyond one's ability to support them so that a family sinks into destitution, begging, and poverty.

Americans, with our still wide open spaces, often seem confused on these points compared to anyone who has ever been to India, Eastern China, or the Netherlands, and Americans live under an inherently cornucopian culture that does not believe in any limit that cannot be overcome, a hubris we can properly assign as the sin of Babel.

Cane Caldo said...

Yeah, well this is the deal with the RCC, isn't it? Too often they choose to double-down on unsound traditions rather than just admit they were wrong, or (more often the case) that we're unsure. Then they turn it into a matter of strict obedience--an obedience they themselves do not obey--because they fear a loss of prestige and authority. Tragically, they lose both anyway.

Luke11:45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”

It is highly unlikely that man will ever have enough scientific knowledge to make better sense of human interactions than what has been revealed in the Bible. That's sort of the whole test, isn't it? Will you believe what you have been told is the way to live, or will you do whatever it is you'd rather do; whether it's ignore the rules, or pile up useless ones.

And you'd be quite surprised just how many women find child rearing to being psychologically difficult, to the point of involuntary psychiatric disease. One of the things that "blew me away" when I starting working as a family physician is the significant toll on psychiatric health that children bring, especially to women.

That children bring? I would say "reveal".

mdavid said...

SP, ...how many people can this world sustain?...logic tells me that the Earth has a finite carrying capacity...

Again, I'm amused. We have zero idea how many people the world can sustain or what the future will look like. All prior predictions have been grossly wrong due to changing technology. We can't even predict 10 years out, we might someday leave the planet, yet, we still hear this same old canard. And even if it were true, people would still be competing for space on this globe and the way that leads to life would still be to have as many children as you can. Sidenote: I never near this concern when people buy something they want (say a car). I hear it a lot regarding kids.


In a modern industrial society, the amount of capital invested in a child is much greater than before. People are still putting a hell of a lot of resources into children beyond the basic subsistence needs. They're trading number for quality.

Now my LOL is overshadowed by the howling of Saint Darwin (not to mention that of God, His angels, and and his Holiness Paul VI). One person takes the R strategy, another the K. We can easily see who's winning. Hint: your philosophy is getting it's genetic ass kicked so fast I gotta talk quick: it won't be around much longer to argue with. My word, how much proof does the West need? Full extinction?


Most of the mums and dads that I know would like to have more kids but can't afford them.

Let me translate: they can't live the lifestyle they've become used to and still have a natural number of children. It's a choice, and I don't decry whatever choice one makes. Just don't tell me it's not a choice; the typical woman's wealth in the West today is about 4 times that of her ancestors, who somehow managed to have 2-4x the children. Oh, the trauma! Hell, I'm not judging, just pointing out the facts. From St. Darwin's POV, Western women are checking out. The future rightfully belongs to those who have the faith to show up for it, and who value children and family more than comfort. It's how God built the world. It's His world, not mine, and I don't argue with the ref, nor grab his whistle and try to estimate the carrying capacity of the earth. I play ball.


And you'd be quite surprised just how many women find child rearing to being psychologically difficult, to the point of involuntary psychiatric disease. One of the things that "blew me away" when I starting working as a family physician is the significant toll on psychiatric health that children bring, especially to women.

I'm not surprised one bit. I've lived among this viewpoint my whole life. But St. Darwin cares not one bit about "psychiatric health". The whole idea bores him. He spends his time pondering why Africa if full of mentally healthy women and how all the rich Western women have gone collective nuts (well, all minus those Catholics who follow HV, which, to St. Darwin's chagrin, makes allowance for things like mental health. I think St. Darwin is still upset at Paul VI for that exception). But this is all moot. As the Buddhist's say, life is hard. Play ball!

mdavid said...

Cane Caldo,

Yeah, well this is the deal with the RCC, isn't it? Too often they choose to double-down on unsound traditions rather than just admit they were wrong, or (more often the case) that we're unsure.

Double-down on unsound traditions? My word, what Humanae Vitae puts into print is what Christians have always believed and lived out from the Apostles to Luther. It's embarrassing it had to be written at all. Methinks Africans (or anyone not slated for extinction) find it fairly humorous. HV short version: those who love God love God's greatest creation and are honored to be co-creators if and when possible. QED.

Anonymous said...

mdavid:

My word, what Humanae Vitae puts into print is what Christians have always believed and lived out from the Apostles to Luther.

Umm ... not really ... you do understand basic mathematics?

You seem to confuse Church teaching with human actions. If this were really true and people had 10 children every generation, there would have been consistent growth rates of 2-3% per year (as seen in Colonial America, for example), which means a doubling every 24-36 years in population. That clearly did not happen in Christian Europe from AD 500 to AD 1900. 1400 years of 2% growth (3 doublings per century) would mean the population increasing 4 billion-fold - 2 to the 42nd power. So 50-80 million Romans times 4 billion would be 200 quadrillion Europeans in 1900.

In reality, such growth rates have only occurred when humans are presented with a temporarily limitless fertile agricultural area into which they can expand, or in small subgroups like the Amish.

mdavid said...

anon 1:09, mdavid: Umm...you do understand basic mathematics?

Yes. Perfect scores on GRE math and logic sections.

You seem to confuse Church teaching with human actions. If this were really true and people had 10 children every generation...such growth rates have only occurred when humans are presented with a temporarily limitless fertile agricultural area into which they can expand, or in small subgroups like the Amish.

1. You are confusing Church teaching with human action, not me. Church teaching is moot to my point. The point is: is said Church teaching true? If so, Rome didn't invent it. Those who live out this truth find life, and those who deny it (or parse it, as is being done here) will find their linage eventually expire. Personally, I've met dozens of protestants who love God and have large families without ever having heard of HV. They merely know the truth, and live it out.


2. First, you claim humans only grow with temporarily limitless fertile agriculture, yet then somehow small subgroups like the Amish can also grow without it? This is wrong both in theory and fact. First, technology has allowed humans to grow by more efficient use of land, and second many groups that are growing have zip to do with agriculture.


3. The scientific reality is that every animal (and yes, humans are animals) always grow until they fully fill their environment. Human's aren't there yet, but if and when we do that doesn't change a thing. Then the real competition beings. The fit survive, the unfit perish, fighting for space and resources as per Darwin. The people who just throw in the towel without playing (your position) merely expire first.


4. From the Christian POV: many are called, but few are chosen. Many claim to be Christian, but few seem to wish to follow Jesus to the Cross. My Christian reference are the people who love and support families, who follow Christ to the Cross, for whatever reason or flavor. Every year that tribe has kids, and the phonies fade. It's how it's always been, with the weeds and wheat living together until harvest time.

Cane Caldo said...

@mdavid

My word, what Humanae Vitae puts into print is what Christians have always believed and lived out from the Apostles to Luther.

You're choosing to separate the traditional prescriptions and proscriptions from the traditional rationales. This is a good thing to do. Too bad the RCC leadership does not does this more.

Anonymous said...

mdavid:

Perfect scores on GRE math and logic sections.

Not perfect enough to understand exponential growth applied to time. It is mathematically obvious that most Europeans, didn't live how you think they did.

is said Church teaching true? If so, Rome didn't invent it.

That is a stupid question to a Catholic. All Church teachings are true, and Rome did not invent any of them. Those are presuppositions.

Those who live out this truth find life

Not true. Life is to know God and His Son, not to be fertile and have lots of sex. Our priests and nuns have just as much life, if not more, than my wife and I and my 5 children and no birth control.

They merely know the truth, and live it out.

Its not knowledge of truth to have lots of sex and have the children that result. Animals do, and they do not think or reason and certainly don't "know the truth."

humans only grow with temporarily limitless fertile agriculture, yet then somehow small subgroups like the Amish can also grow without it?

Humans in large groups like a country cannot grow exponentially without excess land to expand food production into. Europe in the 1600's 1700's and 1800's had the New World, Danube Basin, and Ukranian plain to expand to. Before then, the New World was not a possibility, and the Turks prevented use of the most fertile lands of Europe. Result: stagnant population and constant wars.

Small subgroups like the Amish exploit economic niches or changing economics of the host population to expand. The Amish are able to fill the retreat from rural areas left by urbanizing and economically fit in the niche of "organic" farming and small scale craft production for which wealthy people are willing to pay inordinate amounts of money. The Amish use economic advantages of their community (freedom from FICA taxes, cooperative economic production, use of child labor restricted to others, avoidance of debt) to gain monetary advantage over farmers using modern mechanized production techniques.

many groups that are growing have zip to do with agriculture.

Most have a very comical view of which groups are "growing". I suspect you are one of them.

The fit survive, the unfit perish, fighting for space and resources as per Darwin.

I don't recall that line being anywhere in the Bible.

people who just throw in the towel without playing (your position) merely expire first.

How is this my position?

Many claim to be Christian, but few seem to wish to follow Jesus to the Cross ... people who love and support families, who follow Christ to the Cross, for whatever reason or flavor.

Its a perverse point of view that you have, that having children is a form of crucifixion or a sacrifice.

Every year that tribe has kids, and the phonies fade. It's how it's always been, with the weeds and wheat living together until harvest time.

Many people have large families but end up with far fewer descendants than you think they would, as few have 10 children every generation for obvious economic reasons. A rich generation that can afford and feed 10 kids is often followed by a poor generation that barely has any (and often also a selfish generation that does not want any). This should be obvious because marriage is about more than having children, but also properly rearing them and ensuring they to can have children, which requires time, attention, and money.

Time, attention, and money don't come to a family from the mere act of having kids.

ElectricAngel said...

@SP,

The fact that the punishment is delayed in no way means that the effect will not happen.
Do you think the punishment is delayed, that murder has no immediate effects upon the murderer? I had thought so, but the concept of the 'carousel' and the penalties of a life of fornication for women (some guy writing about Germaine's daughters) made me look for other, pre-death feedback from violating the Law. I see it now, the portrait of Dorian Gray that sin writes on the living person.

Thanks for the hint to look up Jaki.

As to your very interesting link on the Pill's not being an abortifacent, I wonder if I can ask a medical opinion: if it is not, as your link seemed to indicate, how does it work when used as emergency contraception? I would have to think the emergency use would prevent implantation.

As a Jesuit-educated man, I always preferred the version of the Galileo tale that had pro-science Jesuits at war with Dominicans. Still, Galileo made the assertion that the earth revolves around the sun and in a perfect circle; when Kepler showed that orbits were ellipses, not circles, the anomaly was removed. E pur si muove is anti-Catholic propaganda from the crowd that REALLY hates science.

ElectricAngel said...

@Anon,

As a finite abode, Earth must have some definite carrying capacity of finite creatures. We can argue all we want about what that limit is, and how human ingenuity may push it further out, but in the end, there is a numeric limit to human population on account of space for growth of food and living, fresh water, and most especially energy inputs.
OH, agreed. There are limits. I recall reading in The Economist magazine in the early 90s a realistic estimate that the earth could theoretically support a population of 70 billion humans. Of course, if it tried to support everyone on earth at the resource usage level of Americans, we'd need about 11 more earths to do so. My problem is that the "limits" people are usually Malthusians, and the Malthusian carrying capacity for humans is usually in the 500MM to 1MMM range. One of the cheerier websites in this regard is dieoff.org. I mentioned the book The Upcycle (by a German and an American) as it was the first "environmentalist" book I had read that did not treat people as potential soylent green, only.

Further, there is not an obligation to multiply oneself and one's family beyond one's ability to support them so that a family sinks into destitution, begging, and poverty.
This, too, strikes me as a grave sin. As does having one's neighbors forcibly support one's children. The conunfrum you and I face: only responsible people think this way.

For an interesting counterpoint, consider Clark's A Farewell to Alms, in which he shows that the middle class was the result of the non-primogenitured sons of the upper class drifting down and replacing the lower class, so that England eventually genetically replaced its lower class with the descendants of its middle-age upper class. (I can think of one mechanism for this: wet nursing. A nursing woman's fertility is reduced so as not to take food out of her infants mouth. Hiring a poor woman to wet nurse both suppresses her fertility and increases that of the wealthy woman who hired her.) With modern welfare systems and student loan debt suppressing higher-iq fertility, we have the opposite situation.

Anonymous said...

For an interesting counterpoint, consider Clark's A Farewell to Alms, in which he shows that the middle class was the result of the non-primogenitured sons of the upper class drifting down and replacing the lower class, so that England eventually genetically replaced its lower class with the descendants of its middle-age upper class.

I agree this probably happened, but a simpler reason is that in pre-industrial times, wealthier people could afford more food and more of what medical care existed. They would also be more desirable mating material for women who were available, and would have ready access to lower class women of poor judgement who were up for affairs or working as prostitutes. The end result would be that wealthier men would tend to have more offsrping, and poorer men would tend towards few or none, resulting in the population replacement you note. I can trace my family back to the Norman invasion of Normandy from Denmark and Norway, and what I note most distinctly is both a relative prolificness and gradual decline from our status when at Hautville and and shortly after 1066 in Worcestershire. Only one son could inherit the title, but the advantages of education, health, wealth, and status spread to all and carried on for a long time.

ElectricAngel said...

Ah, so you are one of those Frenchies oppressing the Anglo-Saxons, eh? Research shows that the descendants of people who in 1858 had "rich" surnames such as Percy and Glanville, indicating they were descended from the French nobility, are still substantially wealthier in 2011 than those with traditionally "poor" or artisanal surnames. ... In addition, today the holders of "rich" surnames live three years longer than average. Life expectancy is a strong indicator of socio-economic status.
Popular names of the medieval elite who were descended from Norman families include Balliol, Baskerville, Bruce, Darcy, Glanville, Lacy, Mandeville, and Venables.
Popular artisanal names that emerged in the 14th century include Smith, Carpenter, Mason, Shepherd, Cooper and Baker

dalrock said...

mdavid said...
Bottom line: does one treat children as a good? Is a child a blessing? If so, the whole HV discussion goes away. It's meaningless in cultures that desire to breed, where having a child is like winning the lottery.

I think this is the real issue.

@Slumlord
The source of European infecundity lays more in the cult of hedonism than an any "contraceptive mentality". You're right, people just don't want kids.

...

Still, the people have a point. In a modern industrial society, the amount of capital invested in a child is much greater than before. People are still putting a hell of a lot of resources into children beyond the basic subsistence needs. They're trading number for quality. Most of the mums and dads that I know would like to have more kids but can't afford them. And you'd be quite surprised just how many women find child rearing to being psychologically difficult, to the point of involuntary psychiatric disease. One of the things that "blew me away" when I starting working as a family physician is the significant toll on psychiatric health that children bring, especially to women.


You start by arguing that the issue is generic hedonism, but then follow on to make a very solid case that it is specifically due to feminism. I think you are right in the latter explanation. The best explanation for the ever growing parental investment arms race is that this is a beneficial female instinct gone haywire. Women compete with other women to provide the best advantages for their own children. In a traditional marriage culture this creates a constant push for families to work harder and provide for their children. But combined with feminism and the threatpoint this benign instinct has gotten out of control. My wife and I watched a movie titled Joshua the other day which had me thinking about the basic topic. In the beginning of the movie a man who is a successful private equity manager tries to hold his family together as his wife constantly does the standard unhappy dance. What struck me was how common this theme is in our culture, and how absurd it was that this man was in the top 1% of providers, was trying to hold the home together, and how much he tiptoed around his nutty wife. While this is fiction, it touches on a theme in both our law and our culture. Even a superstar earner who changes all the diapers isn't good enough as a father and a husband, and he lives in fear that his wife will at any moment decide to eject him from the home.

The reality is women are continuing to set the parental expectations bar higher without a realistic check. Husbands for the most part are following along in a sort of stockholm syndrome. Unless we fix marriage, the discussion of NFP vs contraception is really just a theoretical discussion of the best way husbands should follow their wife's orders.

On the topic of women's mental health, feminism not only makes women unhappy, but it teaches them that 1) They have been cheated by society in general and men in specific and therefore are a fool if they aren't unhappy. And 2) Being unhappy (and even crazy) gives them power, which is the only source of their salvation. As I mentioned above it also hands them a detonator and encourages them to blow up the family should they feel their demands aren't being met.

Mike T said...

The down side to natural law is that often Christians are in fact using pure reason to try to understand something that can be only infallibly known through revelation. God's purpose in sex, in humans is very much an example of that. What we do know about human sexuality is that it is quite different from animal sexuality, so much so that it is nearly incomparable. One can easily note that the differences are also curiously aligned to be more conducive to maintaining a marriage than reproduction. For example, pregnant women can be both royal pains in the posterior and very often aroused. I think there is no coincidence here as the purpose of the aroused state in a pregnant woman is to make her want to constantly have sex with the father of her child which helps bolster his inner resolve to not tell her to go to hell when she's too much of a b#$%^ during pregnancy. Likewise, post menopausal sex has literally no obvious natural purpose other than to keep a reproductively dead couple together.

The argument that sex when fertility is not biologically possible can still be open to life because God may choose to intervene is, in my opinion, just a theological Deus Ex Machina. As miracles are by definition an extraordinary intervention by the divine into ordinary matters of biology and physics, premising an understanding of normal human physiology on what God might do versus having actually done is rather foolish to me.

(Disclaimer: I am a Protestant so I could care less what the Catholic Church has deemed infallible by committee)

Anonymous said...

EA:

My mother's family are Washbourne's from the West Country - Little Washbourne to be precise. My uncle had his genetic profile done and confirmed the lineage back to Scandanavia (I2 Y chromosome). So yes, confirmed Norman opressor.

Anonymous said...

EA:

Yes, we are quite well off too. Decidedly and boringly Upper Middle Class country gentry/city professionals with a streak of military and elected offices since coming to America in the 1630's.

Some of our good friends in town are from the same sort - names like Beauchamp, Pizer and the like.

The Social Pathologist said...

Yeah, well this is the deal with the RCC, isn't it? Too often they choose to double-down on unsound traditions rather than just admit they were wrong,

I think the RCC has a problem with how it resolves the conflict between tradition and modern discovery. I think the inherent cognitive biases, especially amongst conservative types results in a conflation between "old" and "true". I think this has been a particular problem recently, where there has been a strong reactionary push, especially in view of the idiocy of the positions taken by liberal Catholics.


It is highly unlikely that man will ever have enough scientific knowledge to make better sense of human interactions than what has been revealed in the Bible.

I disagree with that. Human reason has its place. As I've said many times on this blog before, faith and truth don't conflict; they are a seamless ontological garment. Science can serve to further enlighten and deepen the faith.

That children bring? I would say "reveal".

It really surprises me just how dismissive people are to the fact that many women find child-rearing psychologically difficult. It seems another unthinking conservative trope that all women are naturally suited towards motherhood. The facts suggest otherwise. There is nothing wrong with these women.


@mdavid

Double-down on unsound traditions?

Ok. The Church had a long tradition of being OK with slavery. Was its abandonment a wrong idea? Was JPII wrong calling it an evil. It's the same fallacious argument pushed by the trads: old = true. Very easy to conflate, especially to those of a conservative disposition, but logically wrong.

The Social Pathologist said...

@mdavid

One person takes the R strategy, another the K. We can easily see who's winning.

This is a digression from the topic under consideration for the moment. Children are a good, but they must be seen as one of many other competing goods. No Church leader would say that a man should have a brood large enough that he must work seven days to feed them, thereby missing out on Mass. Prudence is also required in the regulation of goods.

You are confusing Church teaching with human action, not me. Church teaching is moot to my point. The point is: is said Church teaching true?

That is correct.

The fact is that what the Church has taught has not always been true, especially when it came to the application of principle to concrete facts. Usury, for example.
That's why I provided the JPII link. Natural law approaches are particularly prone to this error.

Its a perverse point of view that you have, that having children is a form of crucifixion or a sacrifice.

Guilt trip and oversimplification of the subject matter. Children need resources, to feed, clothe, house and educate. Each child, while good in itself, does pose an obligation to the parents, as they have a duty of care towards their children. The standards of provision are set by reason and societal standards, as man--as the Church asserts--is a social animal. Therefore the capacity to have children is not solely measured by a couple's fecundity, but by their capacity to provide for the natural needs of the child as social being. A couple who are willfully having more children than they can reasonably provide for are privating their children,therefore, acting contra Caritas.

The Social Pathologist said...

@EA

I would have to think the emergency use would prevent implantation.

The Combined Oral Contraceptive pill when used as in the Yuzpe regimen works to suppress ovulation.

@Dalrock

Lots to reply to in your comment.

1) Firstly, there's no one factor which is the cause of a decline in fertility. Feminism, is one factor, hedonism another. Genetics another still.

Women tend to be strongly influenced by group expectations. Feminism's greatest anti-natal effect is in it being able to convince women that motherhood is of low social status and a position of servitude. This message is hammered everyday in the female press and other media. Interestingly, whenever an attractive Royal (like Princess Kate or Princess Mary of Denmark) "popsout a few" the pro motherhood stories start reappearing in the media. High status women influence the behaviour of lower status women and when high status women embrace motherhood, feminism is dead.

2) Whilst it's true that militant feminism has poisoned the female mind, quite apart from the effect of feminism is the effect of individual biology. Some women simply find motherhood too stressful, despite wanting to be "good' mothers. One of the biggest problems when dealing with post natal depression is getting women to admit to the fact that they are not coping. The reason why you continually here stories of women harming their little kids is because the mother has avoided going to the doctor because of percieved shame of being though "a bad mother". They don't seek help unless it is too late.

On the other hand, I've also seen militant feminists, once they've had their first child, ditch work and become baby making machines. They never expected that motherhood would be such a positive experience. Conservatives have to stop thinking that all women temperamentally suited to being stay at home mothers. Catherine Hakim did a lot of good sociological research which has debunked that myth.

3) I agree that marriage needs to be fixed up, but even here feminism is not the main culprit. The main culprit is poor theology and the romantic/utilitarian understandings of the institution of marriage. If you assume, like the Catholics do, that marriage is a sacramental bond, then it can't be broken. On the other hand, if marriage is meant to be an institution that is meant to make us haaaaaapy! Then when a marriage is unhappy the bond can be broken. It's this latter romantic/utilitarian concept of marriage which allows feminism to do its pernicious work.

The reality is women are continuing to set the parental expectations bar higher without a realistic check.

The reality is most women would be happy with their husbands if their husbands had a pair and had some personality. I'm increasingly of the opinion that in Western Society most women have become men and most men have become women! Most women's "expectations" can be managed if the man has a pair (and options), unfortunately most men are wusses.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Anon

ts a perverse point of view that you have, that having children is a form of crucifixion or a sacrifice.

Firstly, my apologies. I was a bit harsh there in my above comment but I didn't realise it was you who wrote it. You have been quite civil and made some good comments. My mistake.




Cane Caldo said...

@SP

I think the RCC has a problem with how it resolves the conflict between tradition and modern discovery.

It's not only under the effects of modern discovery that the RCC has a problem though. It's more systemic than that. The Assumption of Mary follows the same pattern.

Human reason has its place. As I've said many times on this blog before, faith and truth don't conflict; they are a seamless ontological garment. Science can serve to further enlighten and deepen the faith.

I believe you're misunderstanding me. Yes: Human reason has its place. Here it is: After you've accepted revelation, then human reason helps you make sense of what you see. You seem to want to re-order them, at least sometimes.

Again, I want to be careful here to reference that I am talking specifically about human interactions; psychology, history, etc.

It really surprises me just how dismissive people are to the fact that many women find child-rearing psychologically difficult. It seems another unthinking conservative trope that all women are naturally suited towards motherhood. The facts suggest otherwise. There is nothing wrong with these women.

Again, I think you're misunderstanding me. My position is that women should be suited towards motherhood. (We can use our human reason to extrapolate this from their wombs, etc. and how naturally motherhood comes to animals, with rare exceptions. The preponderance of exceptions among human females suggests there is often something fundamentally wrong with Western society females that should not be so; nor so common.

We might compare this to, say, the observation that western society human males seem woefully ill-equipped to deal with women, and seem unable to manage their expectations. Would we no EXPECT this of women raised to be men, SP, when the necessary goal and values must be so different? Wait: Who just said that? Oh...YOU.

How is it that you can see one, but not the other?

ElectricAngel said...

@SP,

Well, Doctor, you have earned the title by teaching me something today. I guess emergency contraception would fail if the woman has already ovulated.

Anonymous said...

Well, Doctor, you have earned the title by teaching me something today. I guess emergency contraception would fail if the woman has already ovulated.

My sister-in-law's regular contraceptive pills failed and she found herself pregnant a 4th time. Hardly an isolated case.

No birth control method is fool proof or 100% effective. As my nurse friend says to the unending stream of patients who come in saying to her "I don't understand how I got pregnant", "Well, were you having sex? That is how you got pregnant."

dalrock said...

@The Social Pathologist
Excellent discussion, as is usual for your blog.

Women tend to be strongly influenced by group expectations. Feminism's greatest anti-natal effect is in it being able to convince women that motherhood is of low social status and a position of servitude. This message is hammered everyday in the female press and other media. Interestingly, whenever an attractive Royal (like Princess Kate or Princess Mary of Denmark) "popsout a few" the pro motherhood stories start reappearing in the media. High status women influence the behaviour of lower status women and when high status women embrace motherhood, feminism is dead.

Agreed. The other factor is the status importance of children changes as women age, and I suspect in ways they find difficult to anticipate. When they are most fertile and attractive, they compete with other women for status by attracting uncommitted sexual attention from the highest status men and via career/education. Then around their late 20s the competition fairly suddenly shifts as other women marry and have children in significant numbers. Suddenly that alpha hookup, prada handbag, and HR job are trumped by a husband and a baby.

Whilst it's true that militant feminism has poisoned the female mind, quite apart from the effect of feminism is the effect of individual biology. Some women simply find motherhood too stressful, despite wanting to be "good' mothers.

No doubt this is the case for some men as well. I suggest we offer the same answer to both. Something along the lines of: Your choice, so if you choose it suck it up and put the needs of your family first. Note however how few of these women are willing to give the father custody of the children when they blow up the family, or (if they don't blow up the family) take over the primary breadwinner role and not bitch about it. If being a mother was really so bad, and working a career was so fulfilling, I would expect something different. When you boil it down, women are taught they got a raw deal, and not surprisingly, very large numbers of women are convinced they are getting a raw deal. We handle this with children (say when dividing a piece of cake between two of them) by having one cut and the other choose. But the women you are describing generally don't want either half. They want both halves, and they want sympathy for getting such a raw deal.

Continued below.

dalrock said...

Continued.

One of the biggest problems when dealing with post natal depression is getting women to admit to the fact that they are not coping. The reason why you continually here stories of women harming their little kids is because the mother has avoided going to the doctor because of percieved shame of being though "a bad mother". They don't seek help unless it is too late.

An even bigger problem is when mommy goes crazy everyone has to tiptoe around her. If she is just a little crazy, her husband hopefully can game her back to sanity. However, if she doesn't agree with him managing her craziness, she can claim abuse because “he made her feel like she is crazy” (see the Deluth Power Wheel). So the problem more closely resembles the old Twilight Zone episode “It's a good life”. She doesn't want to admit she has a problem, and no one save perhaps her parents and her doctor is in a position to bring the issue up.


The reality is most women would be happy with their husbands if their husbands had a pair and had some personality. I'm increasingly of the opinion that in Western Society most women have become men and most men have become women! Most women's "expectations" can be managed if the man has a pair (and options), unfortunately most men are wusses.

While I agree that men need to grow a pair, I disagree with the way you have framed this. It fits with the feminist Christian wife's bogus argument that “I would submit if only he were worth submitting to”, as well as the Omega and AMOG's line to wives: “It would be easy for you to submit if only you had a husband like me.” It also tends to fall in with the Trad Con sentiment that feminism would work if only weak men weren't screwing everything up.

asdf said...

The reality is most women would be happy with their husbands if their husbands had a pair and had some personality. I'm increasingly of the opinion that in Western Society most women have become men and most men have become women! Most women's "expectations" can be managed if the man has a pair (and options), unfortunately most men are wusses.

For a man to have options he must be definition be a high status male, and status is a relative good. Therefore, your proposing a solution that by definition can only work for a small portion of males.

I've watched many a good man with "a pair" get screwed over by women. Some of the most screwed over men in our society today are soldiers, which are about as "has a pair" as you can get. Certainly more then the internet warrior.

Ray Sawhill said...

Much of this is over my head (not a Catholic) ... but I'm especially curious about one thing: what do you mean by the word "privated"?

The Social Pathologist said...

@Dalrock

Agreed. The other factor is the status importance of children changes as women age, and I suspect in ways they find difficult to anticipate. When they are most fertile and attractive, they compete with other women for status by attracting uncommitted sexual attention from the highest status men and via career/education. Then around their late 20s the competition fairly suddenly shifts as other women marry and have children in significant numbers. Suddenly that alpha hookup, prada handbag, and HR job are trumped by a husband and a baby.

That's an accurate description of the life trajectory. When babies become fashionable women want babies. If there is an "feminine imperative" it is to find comfort in following in-group norms.

Note however how few of these women are willing to give the father custody of the children when they blow up the family, or (if they don't blow up the family) take over the primary breadwinner role and not bitch about it.

I there is an important distinction to be made here. It's one thing to love you children, it's another to be a good mother. Even the crappy mothers still love their children, hence, while they may be terrible at practical mothering they still don't want to let their children go.

I do not know why people (especially the mansophere) are so hostile to the notion of the fact that some women are not suited to being practical mothers. There's plenty enough anecdotal evidence to prove it. Accepting the idea should square up some of the injustices meted out to men. Currently, the courts are prejudiced in their assumption that women are the best carers for children by virtue of their sex alone. If we accept that this is not sometimes that case, then objective criteria become involved in the awarding of custody, and children don't go to the woman by default in divorce.

The conservative trope that "women are natural mothers" feeds the divorce machine which:

1) Ensures that women are given custody of the child by default. The onus is on the man to prove otherwise.

2) Ensures that in any frivolous divorce, a woman is pretty sure to get the children.

Another case of conservatives shooting themselves in the foot.

When you boil it down, women are taught they got a raw deal, and not surprisingly, very large numbers of women are convinced they are getting a raw deal..

Nothing poisons the institution of marriage more than the notion that it is an romantic arrangement. In other words, a situation of hedonic convenience. Old notions, both Protestant and Catholic, never took feelings into account once the deal was sealed. If a man or woman was unhaaaapy in their relationship.....well tough, there was no going back. Feminism was powerless against that type of institution. No fault divorce is the lever by which feminism operates. No point attacking feminism if the self destruct button remains.


An even bigger problem is when mommy goes crazy everyone has to tiptoe around her.

Once again, this is feminism co-opting a cultural "fault line" of the west. Our society simply excuses the behaviour of "sick" people. The whole trend (especially in the U.S.) is to medicalise moral faults, thereby excusing the 'victim" from any fault. I've had cancer patients be rude to me, expecting that I'd say nothing back because they had cancer. They were surprised. Being sick does not give anyone the right to be a prick, even a woman with PND. The problem is that our society censures anyone who criticises the "ill" person. Women only have to play "I was depressed card" are their behaviour is above scrutiny. Feminism saw this years ago and exploited it. The same cognitive mechanism is at play when a woman says she was raped. All standards of evidence go out the window because we "don't want to blame the victim".

The Social Pathologist said...

@Dalrock

She doesn't want to admit she has a problem, and no one save perhaps her parents and her doctor is in a position to bring the issue up.

We live in a society--the Anglosphere especially--where being nice is more important than being good. Home truths are sometimes not nice and hence people tiptoe around the obvious.


I disagree with the way you have framed this. It fits with the feminist Christian wife's bogus argument that “I would submit if only he were worth submitting to”,

The problem here is that attraction is not a choice a wife submitting to her beta husband is at war with her instincts, not by choice but by involuntary nature. This is why men need to cultivate some masculinity, to make submission easier for them. It comes naturally to them in the presence of an alpha male, so yes... a man has to "have a pair" in order to facilitate a wife's submission.

It also tends to fall in with the Trad Con sentiment that feminism would work if only weak men weren't screwing everything up.

If that's feminists are saying then they really are stupid. What they are effectively saying is that feminism is not working because there isn't a patriarchy: You gotta love the female rationalisation hamster!

TradCon advice on the subject of marriage has been pretty worthless because it tended to skirt of the issue of raw sexuality, instead framing notions of sexual polarity along "romantic lines". This, of course, frustrates the natural desires and perpetuates the problems.

The Social Pathologist said...

@asdf

Martial alpha, economic alpha, and intelligence alpha are of peripheral importance when it comes to dealing with women. Sexual alpha is what matters.

@Ray

Thanks for dropping in.

but I'm especially curious about one thing: what do you mean by the word "privated"?

Privated simply means lacking in something that should be there. For example; a man is meant to have two arms and two legs, a one armed man is privated. On a more abstract level, privated means something deficient from intended design. The deliberate privation of a thing is then said be an evil.

The Church teaches that every sexual act must have the potential for fertility, therefore if the act is done in such a way that would deprive it of its fertility, the act is said to be privated.

Just to be clear on the matter. The Church does not censure those acts which are involuntarily privated only those which are deliberatley so.

The problem is when you consider, let's say menopause, an act of coitus performed during that time has zero potential for fertility. If coitus is meant to have the potential of fertility, then menopause is a privation. This is problematic, since Catholics believe that humans were designed by God and therefore God introduced an evil into the design. You can see the problems that this causes.


BTW, I will eventually get the house building thing, but it's a work in progress and one of the reasons why I'm not blogging as much at the moment.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Cane

We might compare this to, say, the observation that western society human males seem woefully ill-equipped to deal with women, and seem unable to manage their expectations. Would we no EXPECT this of women raised to be men, SP, when the necessary goal and values must be so different? Wait: Who just said that? Oh...YOU.

How is it that you can see one, but not the other?


I honestly don't understand what your are trying to get at.

asdf said...

Martial alpha, economic alpha, and intelligence alpha are of peripheral importance when it comes to dealing with women. Sexual alpha is what matters.

What a dodgy and worthless statement. I think you're really detached from what's going on out in the real world.

The problem here is that attraction is not a choice a wife submitting to her beta husband is at war with her instincts, not by choice but by involuntary nature. This is why men need to cultivate some masculinity, to make submission easier for them. It comes naturally to them in the presence of an alpha male, so yes... a man has to "have a pair" in order to facilitate a wife's submission.

I think the problem in general is that women are making choices with their vaginas. Suck it up and do the right thing. Men don't get to dump women at 40 because they are no longer attracted to them.

You have no clue what your saying here. Being "alpha" the way lots of women want is impossible/completely unchristian. I don't think you understand how debased and frankly evil female sexual desires can be. They should be controlling them, not demanding men indulge them (which would require not being Christians). If women are not capable of controlling their libidos they are not capable of moral agency and shouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions.

I've watched far more alpha men then you get screwed by women. Alpha is no protection. And there is always someone more alpha out there then you. Serial killer bad boy and good Christian father are not mutually compatible roles, and yet any man that gets screwed by his wife because he didn't give her that level of alpha just had it coming huh. Catch 22.

Cane Caldo said...

@SP

My apologies. That paragraph was both confused and incomplete.

"Growing a pair (of balls)" is hard, and must be learned. It doesn't happen without guidance, preparation, diligence, and testing. It is, as you say about motherhood, psychologically difficult.

Since life is currently very easy; (wealthy, casual, etc.) not many men feel the need to attempt it. A few generations later, and now it's not understood where to start preparing and testing even if you wanted to. No one trains in growing a pair anymore. Not only that: Modern practices of education are fashioned to DESTROY any pairs that might spring up in the wild.

You go on to say that if men grew their respective pairs, then they would find attracting and managing women (a fundamentally psychological exercise) much easier.

However; you treat growing a pair as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and mock men for not having done what they were not trained to do, and what was conditioned out of them.

"Growing a pair (of tits)" is hard, too; in much the same way. But instead of challenging women the way you do men, you make excuse for them. You bemoan the psychological pressures of motherhood; as if it were some random force, or magical quality. No. It must be trained just like men must be trained.

Again, modern Western society and education not only does a very bad job of this, it sets out to destroy the shoots of maternal instinct that do make it through the frosts of feminism. Not only that: They're purposefully making them crazy (see The Last Psychiatrist's posts on teaching how to want), and--as nearly everyone with half of a clue is now saying--we're training men to be women and women to be men.

But some women "just aren't cut out to be mothers". Really, SP?

It is, in fact, the case that you are guilty of what you have accused me! While you charge me with thinking that all women are magically mothering, you fashion yourself as having taken up the sophisticated and nuanced stance that some mothers have the magical mother gene, and some do not.

My position is that women must be trained, and if no one has trained them then they better get on with the business of training themselves; just as I expect of men. Otherwise, they had better not be mothers. If they are already mothers: Learn how. That probably means STOP her McMansion-living, HR-empowering, fund-wasting ways, and learn to love the suck of raising degenerate ingrates like themselves.

Likewise, I have limited tolerance for men who, having discovered the truth about the nature of women, refuse to train themselves to attain and retain a wife.

You once compared me to the Taliban. The truth is you kind of need to grow a pair in your thinking about women.

dalrock said...

@Social Pathologist
I don't think nested blockquotes are an option here, so I'll provide the context more directly. In response to my point:

I disagree with the way you have framed this. It fits with the feminist Christian wife's bogus argument that “I would submit if only he were worth submitting to”,

You write:

The problem here is that attraction is not a choice a wife submitting to her beta husband is at war with her instincts, not by choice but by involuntary nature. This is why men need to cultivate some masculinity, to make submission easier for them. It comes naturally to them in the presence of an alpha male, so yes... a man has to "have a pair" in order to facilitate a wife's submission.

I agree that husbands should (in general) make it easier for their wives to submit, and that Game can help here. I have written a number of posts and even more comments making this same point.

But your larger assertion that it is unreasonable to expect a wife to submit to a husband with insufficient Game is not only bad theology, but it is bad Game. We shouldn't discard Scripture because Game seems to contradict it, but in this case there isn't even a contradiction. The Bible repeatedly instructs wives to submit to their husbands; it doesn't instruct husbands to lead (or game) their wives into submission. Wives are even instructed to submit to non believing husbands. But if that isn't enough, consider:

...it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

If Roissy did a Beta Of the Month post on husbands in the Bible, Abraham would have to be in the top three, along with Samson and perhaps King Ahab, and he would have my vote for winner. Twice he passed her off as his sister when he came into the presence of powerful men, essentially handing Sarah over for them to do what they wanted with her. There simply is no biblical case that the repeated instruction to wives to submit to their husbands is muted in any way by a lack of tingles.

The Game argument falls on its face because it isn't true that women can't submit to men (or women) they don't have the tingle for. Women do this all the time to figures of authority. What Game teaches us is that women will have the tingle for men they submit to. A wife who submits to her beta husband and calls him lord is bound to develop some tingles for him. This is especially the case if she followed the advice in 1 Cor 7 and didn't marry unless she burned with passion.

Cont...

dalrock said...

Cont.

If you want a real life example of a feminist Christian wife ritually submitting to her uber Beta husband and feeling tingles as a result, consider Sheila Gregoire. Sheila as you may recall did her masters degree in Women's studies. In her signature book she wrote about how she gives her husband Keith lists of chores (housework) and how he eagerly accepts this. In To Love Honor and Vacuum she writes:

My husband is motivated by lists.  If I just tell him I would like him to help clean up after dinner, he doesn’t know what to do.  But if there is a list of daily and weekly chores on the fridge, and he can see what is left to be done, he’s like a Tasmanian devil whirling around the house, cleaning.

Not surprisingly Sheila also fairly regularly writes about not feeling attracted to her husband (not in the mood, doesn't experience “hubba hubba”, etc.). But see the youtube video below, where Keith describes how things changed when they went ballroom dancing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3RnvhpL5lk#t=33

He was following orders, and this still created tingles. Imagine if instead of ordering him to take her ballroom dancing, Sheila decided to call him lord, submit to him as a matter of faith, and accept him as the spiritual leader of the family. Imagine if Sheila shut down her “ministry”, and instead of talking in church saved her questions for her own husband.

The Social Pathologist said...

@asdf.

How many times does it need to be explained?

@Cane

Thanks.

@Dalrock.

From a biblical perspective, I'm Catholic, so I take the totality or scripture plus reason plus tradition when I look at the concept of submission.

Firstly, it's quite clear that the Bible tells wives to submit to their husbands. But how far does this submission go?

For example, suppose a husband wanted to try swinging and the wife didn't, from a Christian perspective, should the wife submit to the husband?

Take another more mundane example, suppose the wife has accumulated savings for a rainy day, the husband is a gambler and wants to spend her savings: Should she submit to her husband?

Scripture is quite clear that the husband wears the pants in the family but its quite clear that a wife's obedience to God comes before her obedience to her husband. In other words, a wife's submission is not unconditional.

Therefore a wife has right not to submit when the husband is stupid or evil. i.e. A wife has to submit to a good husband but not a bad one.

The question then is: what constitutes a good husband? Now that opens up a whole can of worms. Feminist notions of what constitute a good husband are utter crap and therefore, a husband's "goodness" can not be determined from their criteria.

Biblical notions of good husbandry seem to imply:

1) Being a good provider.
2) Being virtuous.
3) Being religious.
4) Having some social skills.
5) Being masculine In Corinthians 6 the word for effeminate is malakos. The word used in the ancient Greek context would seem to imply a lack of "manliness".

Now, it's true that no man is perfect but grave deliberately cultivated deficiencies in any these areas would point to some fault in a man and give the wife some reasonable grounds not to submit.

What Game teaches us is that women will have the tingle for men they submit to.

Respectfully disagree Dalrock. My female colleagues see lots of women in traditional types of marriages and have zero sexual desire. They're looking for help because they want to please their husband. Ask any physician. One of my patients used to get turned on by fifty shades of grey and turned off when her husband walked into the room. Desire is contingent on externalities.

dalrock said...

@SP

From a biblical perspective, I'm Catholic, so I take the totality or scripture plus reason plus tradition when I look at the concept of submission.

I respect that Catholic theology incorporates tradition and Church teaching in addition to Scripture, but I showed where Saint Peter states that wives are to submit to their husbands, where he offers as the ultimate example for wives to emulate a wife who submitted to an incredibly beta husband. You rejected this with as best as I can tell solely an appeal to reason. I strongly doubt the RCC has contradicted Saint Peter's words in his First Epistle. And either way, if Saint Peter got this wrong, so did the Church fathers who included his Epistle in the Bible; there goes tradition. Is it truly Catholic teaching that the instruction of Saint Peter (the first Pope) can be “reasoned” away? You are making an incredible leap in arguing that wives don't have to submit to husbands who don't make them tingle, and you do so without any backing of Scripture, RCC teaching, or tradition.

You contradict St. Peter even more directly when you write that a wife doesn't need to submit to a husband who isn't religious:

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

As for:

5) Being masculine In Corinthians 6 the word for effeminate is malakos. The word used in the ancient Greek context would seem to imply a lack of "manliness".

I don't argue that Christian men should be masculine, but this word in context is often interpreted as referring to homosexuality, and either way that passage doesn't state that wives of such men don't need to submit to them. It is a weak reference to Scripture compared to the much more clear one I offered.

Now, it's true that no man is perfect but grave deliberately cultivated deficiencies in any these areas would point to some fault in a man and give the wife some reasonable grounds not to submit.

Again, this goes against Scripture, but I would at least be interested in seeing a reference to RCC teaching making this case. Also, you are denying the wife's own choice in husband. If you watch the youtube link above, I think you will agree that Sheila's husband doesn't have a great deal of alpha swagger. After all, he lets her write books about how she gives him lists of chores and he twirls around the house cleaning. I trust this is the kind of Christian husband you fault for not generating sufficient tingles. But this is the husband she chose. This is the kind of man feminist Christian women choose to marry, either because they can't attract more attractive men, or because they want a husband they can dominate (or both). I highly doubt that when Sheila married Keith he was full of alpha swagger, and after wedding against her wishes he deliberately turned incredibly passive, insisting on becoming her kitchen bitch.

My female colleagues see lots of women in traditional types of marriages and have zero sexual desire. They're looking for help because they want to please their husband. Ask any physician.

The problem is “traditional” women today are almost never really traditional. In fact, Sheila is quite popular with exactly these women, and is widely seen as traditional even by some women in the manosphere. You would be shocked at the hate mail I have received for challenging Sheila.

One of my patients used to get turned on by fifty shades of grey and turned off when her husband walked into the room. Desire is contingent on externalities.

She uses (female) bondage porn and gets aroused that way, but can't get aroused by her husband? If a man came to see you and told you that he can only get aroused by watching bondage porn and not by his real life wife, would you blame his wife?

The Social Pathologist said...

@Dalrock

You are making an incredible leap in arguing that wives don't have to submit to husbands who don't make them tingle, and you do so without any backing of Scripture, RCC teaching, or tradition. >

I'm not saying that wives don't have to submit to their husbands who don't make them tingle, I'm saying that a wife submission is not unconditional. She has rights to say no when the husband is proposing something dumb or immoral. I don't imagine that St Peter's exhortation would extend to women performing moral wrongs at the behests of their husbands.

You've got to remember that there is no "trigger" to pull in Catholic marriages. Divorce is not an option.
if the wife's husband doesn't give her the tingles but he is proposing something that is good she has to obey.

Again, this goes against Scripture, but I would at least be interested in seeing a reference to RCC teaching making this case

26. Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that "order of love," as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: "Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church."[29]

27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.

28. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact .


Casti Connubii.

Note the qualifier, "If the husband fails to perform his duty"

The Social Pathologist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Social Pathologist said...

@ Dalrock (part 2)

I trust this is the kind of Christian husband you fault for not generating sufficient tingles.

Yes.

He wears his pants too high, gesticulates too much and is gushing. He needs some gravitas. She looks tougher than he sounds. He could also do with a better haircut. Note, you don't have to be pretty. Gruff is better than dandy.

As for malakoi I think the ancient Greek usage was more akin to "pussy" or "fag" than the term for homosexuals, arsenokotai, which literally means arsef..ker.

(Great, my limited knowledge of classical Greek is largely composed of slurs)

Getting married is easy, living together is the hard part. Sheila may have married Keith for anyone of hundreds of reasons but what's clear from the video is that she hasn't got the tingles for him. Now its your assertion that she can will the tingles by simply acting if he were lord and master. I'n the same way I can't will desire for a fat chick by calling her Megan Fox. As Roissy and others have pointed out, attraction is contingent on certain qualities in the opossite sex. It's not Sheila's rebellion that is killing desire, it's his inability to put her in her place that is. Sheilas husband is your typical nice guy Christian who through romantic and ascetic traditions pedestalises his wife and subverts the natural order of things.

If a man came to see you and told you that he can only get aroused by watching bondage porn and not by his real life wife, would you blame his wife?

Not only would I blame his wife, I have blamed his wife. I am of the opinion that you have a duty not to be physically repulsive to your spouse.(This doesn't mean you have to looks like some chiseled model, but you're becoming culpable if your BMI is drifting over 30.) It's not always erectile dysfunction, sometimes its erectile discrimination.

Cane Caldo said...

@SP

I appreciate the appreciation, but what do you think about what I said?

dalrock said...

@SP
I'm not saying that wives don't have to submit to their husbands who don't make them tingle, I'm saying that a wife submission is not unconditional. She has rights to say no when the husband is proposing something dumb or immoral. I don't imagine that St Peter's exhortation would extend to women performing moral wrongs at the behests of their husbands.

Thanks for the reference to RCC teaching. I'm not sure I agree on the “dumb” part, but that would depend on the definition of dumb (and that would take us off topic). Either way, we are in agreement on the immoral exception, although as Cane Caldo recently posted there is a specific frame the wife should use when doing this. But this is different than the case you made in your previous comment, which was that if a husband is defective a wife is blanket released from submission:


Now, it's true that no man is perfect but grave deliberately cultivated deficiencies in any these areas would point to some fault in a man and give the wife some reasonable grounds not to submit.

A very limited exception on following a specific problematic direction is very different than a global negation of submission to the husband. Specific to your argument on effeminacy, while wimpy husbands are disturbing I can't readily think of an example of an effeminate decision which a wife would be justified in (specifically) declining to submit. Actually the example from St. Peter of Sarah and Abraham would seem like a reasonable example of this (a fearful husband instructing his wife to tell a powerful man that she is his sister and not his wife), except the direction from St. Peter would seem to contradict both of our reason there. You asked above how far the requirement of submission extends, and I think an honest, traditional, reading of the Scripture is far more than either of us would ever reason. The passage I referenced in 1 Peter comes after his instruction to submit to authority, even deeply flawed authority (harsh slave masters, Nero), and to be willing to suffer for this. His instruction to wives begins with “likewise”, and carries on that same theme. My reason would not lead me to what St. Peter instructs with:

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Yet this is what St. Peter instructs.

Cont...

dalrock said...

”I trust this is the kind of Christian husband you fault for not generating sufficient tingles.”

Yes.

He wears his pants too high, gesticulates too much and is gushing. He needs some gravitas. She looks tougher than he sounds. He could also do with a better haircut. Note, you don't have to be pretty. Gruff is better than dandy.


It is worth noting that he is exactly the kind of man most Christian men are taught a Christian husband should be. In fact, in the clip I linked to he is acting in the capacity of a role model for husbands, speaking at a Christian marriage conference. I think you and I share the same sense of consternation that this is the case, but it sadly is what Christian men are being taught up and down the line.

We don't disagree that men need to knock this unbiblical nonsense off and regain their manhood, but our disagreement lies in what responsibility women have for their own choices. Sheila chose Keith, and the wives in the marriage conference chose their wimpy husbands and dragged them to the conference because they approved of the “modern” marriage message. Men absolutely need to man up, but you are in denial that women are voting with their actions for both wimpy husbands and for churches which teach husbands to be wimpy. They also are doing a number of things which are all but guaranteed to kill the tingle, including refusing submission, marrying men they don't burn with passion for, completing their feminist merit badge prior to looking for a husband, and chasing alphas (real or unicorn carousel) for very often a decade or more prior to marriage. What I am saying, and what I believe Cane is arguing, is that we can't dismiss women's own culpability for this mess. Just because they are unhappy with what they demanded, doesn't make them a victim for getting what they demanded. This idea that feminism somehow didn't happen and instead we suddenly have a generation of wimpy men makes no sense. Men have certainly failed, especially the Christian men in leadership. But they failed by being too afraid to put down the feminist rebellion. This is in urgent need or repentance here, but it doesn't absolve the rebellion itself. Men need to repent for coddling the rebellion and going incredibly wimpy, but women also need to repent for their own rebellion. In fact, men's greatest sin in this mess is failing to call women to repentance for their rebellion out of a combination of fear and a perverted sense of kindness. It isn't kindness to coddle women in feminist rebellion, it is cruelty, and this coddling is at the very core of the problem.

The Social Pathologist said...

What I am saying, and what I believe Cane is arguing, is that we can't dismiss women's own culpability for this mess.

My position is that both women and men are responsible for the current mess in marriage. In criticizing men I'm not excusing women.

I don't believe in an "equality" or "matriarchal" marriage. Not because it's not biblical, not because I have an allegiance to the the manosphere,or because of misogyny but rather, because biology demands it. Women are happier in relationships where they find themselves in natural submission. The accumulating scientific evidence confirms this as well.

Now, we, as a society, could compel women to submit to their husbands but this is a sure fire way to kill the tingles since tingle generation is a biological phenomenon and not a rational one. The type of marriages produced by this type of society will to all outward appearances look stable but will be sexless and dry from the inside. People wonder why there we so many divorces after the liberalisation divorce laws in the 60's; this was one of the reasons.

Now I get the impression you think that I'm blaming men for most of the problems: I'm not but wifely submission becomes a hell of a lot easier if the man is manly instead of being a wuss.

Where I disagree with you is with regard to the notion that a man becomes more desirable to a woman by her choosing to submit to him. Submission does not generate the tingles--the tingles generate submission. The whole point of Game is to impart to a man the qualities that will generate the tingles in a woman. If you disagree with this contention I would suggest you refer to the question to Roissy or Roosh and see what they say.

With regard to Sheila and her ilk, the impression that I get from you--and correct me if I'm wrong--is that they have no cause to complain about their predicament since they freely chose their partners and therefore have to suck it up: they're better submitting to what they've got than constantly undermining the marriage in order to "improve" their husbands.

This "submit and suck it up" approach is what was done for most of history. The problem with this approach is that the marriage is only kept together by external pressure and when that pressure is off the marriage disintegrates. Cue the divorce epidemic of the 60's and 70's. It also makes for unhappy marriages for a lot of those who stay together.

(Cont..)

The Social Pathologist said...

@Dalrock

Sheila and her ilk are guilty for undermining marriage. As responsible adults, and especially as Christians, both her and her husband's life should be subordinate to the marriage itself but the problem is the we live in a cultural milieu which promotes individualism uber alles and sees marriage as a hedonic institution rather than a sacramental one. When Sheila and her ilk enter into a marriage, it's not done with a formed Christian Conscience, rather, her idea of Marriage has to align with the amalgam of philosophies which make up the mindset of contemporary woman; Feminism, utilitarianism, romanticism and feel good Christianity. Her idea of marriage is based upon a concept of a feminist Jesus who wants her to be Haaaaapy. Her Jesus never asks her to submit. It's a shame that many of Protestant denominations (and some liberal/Romantic Catholics) have swallowed this poison as well. Curiously Zippy (whom I have serious disagreements with) wrote about this today. Telling her to submit is to shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.

This is why I see Game as being something capable of being transformative of Western Culture, and I'm not being naively hyperbolic here. Game completely undercuts the feminist narrative by appeal to innate female biology. In a woman, the hamster always aligns with the tingles. There would have been no level of depravity that Andrea Dworkin would not have submitted to if Brad Pitt had only asked.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Cane

The analogy between growing a pair and motherhood is a bad one.

The problem with post natal depression is that it is involuntary response to a situation despite the best of intentions of the mother. Many of the women who suffer from PND want to be good mothers as opposed to many of the beta males who want to remain as beta males and get women to submit to them.

Dardanelles said...


TSP,

If you will pardon the question, what or from where is the statue you prominently display on your blog? It's a wonderful figure, and I wonder whether it is something from antiquity, what country and place can it be seen in--is it from a church? and what age whence it comes, and such.

dalrock said...

SP,

You are changing the boundaries of the discussion mid stream. This makes for a confusing exchange:

You've got to remember that there is no "trigger" to pull in Catholic marriages. Divorce is not an option.

I don't believe in an "equality" or "matriarchal" marriage. Not because it's not biblical, not because I have an allegiance to the the manosphere,or because of misogyny but rather, because biology demands it. Women are happier in relationships where they find themselves in natural submission. The accumulating scientific evidence confirms this as well.


However, I'm willing to switch gears and discuss this from a secular perspective and discard Christian teaching on marriage & sexual morality for the sake of discussion.

Now, we, as a society, could compel women to submit to their husbands but this is a sure fire way to kill the tingles since tingle generation is a biological phenomenon and not a rational one.

This framing all but presumes we are kidnapping women off the street and forcing them into marriages they don't want to enter into. The reality is women are fully free to choose their husband, over and over if they prefer. Given that we are in agreement that women aren't going to be happy marrying a man they aren't attracted to the obvious solution is for them not to marry such men in the first place. Women who aren't able to attract a husband they can be happy with have a moral obligation not to marry. We can't make the world safe for women to marry unsuitable men and chase around trying to fix those men. But the problem is these women don't want to do without the status and financial benefits of marriage, so they choose to game the institution confident that the grown ups will clean up the mess they leave. To the extent that we enable this destructive behavior, we are very much part of the problem.

Cont...

dalrock said...

Where I disagree with you is with regard to the notion that a man becomes more desirable to a woman by her choosing to submit to him. Submission does not generate the tingles--the tingles generate submission. The whole point of Game is to impart to a man the qualities that will generate the tingles in a woman. If you disagree with this contention I would suggest you refer to the question to Roissy or Roosh and see what they say.

Roissy and Roosh are very clear that 1) The cultural and religious adoption of feminism has made it much more difficult for women in general to be attracted to men in general. 2) Individual women tend to increase their “need” for alpha by their own participation in modern feminism. For example the feminist lawyer needs industrial strength asshole game to generate tingles, as do women who have spent time on the carousel and are still attractive. Roissy is very clear in his bewilderment that Christians have chosen to toss out things like headship and submission due to the profoundly destabilizing effect this has had on marriages, families, and our culture. Roissy very much recognizes the importance of structural reinforcement (or lack thereof) of the male leadership role. I'm surprised you haven't seen this in his writing. It is what makes his blog stand out as more than just a pickup blog.

I've also given this advice to several women and had them report back that it made a huge difference in their marriage, and my wife has had even more experience with women here. Women absolutely can choose to allow the man to lead, and while this isn't their feral state it does work at generating tingles and increasing marital satisfaction. This doesn't mean I don't advise husbands to learn Game, but if I'm talking to the wife my advice to her is to actively encourage him to lead and practice submission (although I don't always use this term), as this is the part she can impact. You should try this in your interactions with unhappy wives, as I'm confident that you will be astounded at the results they will experience if they are willing to put aside their feminist sensibilities. You will also come to appreciate that many of these women have deliberately chosen to not be lead by their husband, and would rather go without attraction to their husband than have this change. Surprisingly one of the things my wife and I have noticed is that women in positions of formal leadership are very often more willing to embrace this (one woman which comes to mind is an officer in the military).

Cont...

dalrock said...

With regard to Sheila and her ilk, the impression that I get from you--and correct me if I'm wrong--is that they have no cause to complain about their predicament since they freely chose their partners and therefore have to suck it up: they're better submitting to what they've got than constantly undermining the marriage in order to "improve" their husbands.

This "submit and suck it up" approach is what was done for most of history. The problem with this approach is that the marriage is only kept together by external pressure and when that pressure is off the marriage disintegrates. Cue the divorce epidemic of the 60's and 70's. It also makes for unhappy marriages for a lot of those who stay together.


You want to make it practical for women to marry men they aren't attracted to, and yet still have them end up in marriages where they are attracted to their husband. Why? Either women are fit to make their own choices or they are not. This isn't a case of the average husband being a smooth player until marriage and then deliberately making themselves unattractive. The men these women are marrying are tepid on the attraction scale (initially) at best, and they are becoming less attractive because they are following what the supermajority of women (including their wives) are telling them to do.

This is why I see Game as being something capable of being transformative of Western Culture, and I'm not being naively hyperbolic here. Game completely undercuts the feminist narrative by appeal to innate female biology.

But what you are proposing is to use Game to facilitate the insanity of feminism. You want to build a better beta. This won't work given your insistence on tossing out traditional/Christian roles in marriage. Even if it worked on the first generation of betas complied and used game only to better serve the aging carousellers who were ready for men to “man up” and put a ring on it, the second generation of men who learned game from their fathers would know they didn't need to marry to get laid, and (again keeping biblical sexual morality out of the discussion at your request) would choose to simply use game to get the sex they wanted without the responsibilities which come with being a husband.

When Sheila and her ilk enter into a marriage, it's not done with a formed Christian Conscience, rather, her idea of Marriage has to align with the amalgam of philosophies which make up the mindset of contemporary woman; Feminism, utilitarianism, romanticism and feel good Christianity. Her idea of marriage is based upon a concept of a feminist Jesus who wants her to be Haaaaapy. Her Jesus never asks her to submit. It's a shame that many of Protestant denominations (and some liberal/Romantic Catholics) have swallowed this poison as well.

Every time you do this I hear the now outdated sound of a phonograph needle sliding across a record in my mind. Are we back to discussing Christian sexual morality and roles of marriage? Just a few paragraphs above you were explaining that you weren't interested in this, only what science shows is good for women. Why are you switching between the two?

Many of the women who suffer from PND want to be good mothers as opposed to many of the beta males who want to remain as beta males and get women to submit to them.

There probably are a sprinkling of such men in the manosphere, but in the population at large we should be so lucky. The biggest obstacle to teaching beta husbands Game is their horror at the idea that they should “manipulate” their wives into submission. The vast majority either want to beta orbit their way into twooo wuv, or submit to their wives.

The Social Pathologist said...

Lest there be any misunderstanding by myself on the issue could you clarify the following:

But the problem is these women don't want to do without the status and financial benefits of marriage, so they choose to game the institution confident that the grown ups will clean up the mess they leave. To the extent that we enable this destructive behavior, we are very much part of the problem.

What exactly do you mean by "Gaming of the system?"

You will also come to appreciate that many of these women have deliberately chosen to not be lead by their husband, and would rather go without attraction to their husband than have this change

Are you saying here that women are deliberately choosing not to be attracted to their husbands?

You want to make it practical for women to marry men they aren't attracted to, and yet still have them end up in marriages where they are attracted to their husband.

I don't think I've made that claim. Can you point me to relevant comment/s which have led you to this conclusion?


But what you are proposing is to use Game to facilitate the insanity of feminism.


Could you elaborate on this please?

And If I may, would it be correct if I summarised you position as being that once a woman has married a man, she should submit to his authority and make the best of the situation if she is unhappy with her choice in life? She shouldn't make any attempts to change him. Correct me if I'm wrong in my understanding of your position.

BTW, I just want to make an unrelated point. If I make a critique of Protestantism it done with complete goodwill. I have a very high estimation of many facets of Protestantism and many Protestants and I hope you don't interpret my comments as being based on any ill will or sense of Catholic superiority. I'm being quite sincere here.

Peace.

Ankur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Social Pathologist said...

@Dardenelles

I lifted the picture from a book which I think was called Art Treasures of Croatia. Unfortunately, the precise details of the sculpture are in a book which I can't access at the moment because me library is in a storage facility.

dalrock said...

And If I may, would it be correct if I summarised you position as being that once a woman has married a man, she should submit to his authority and make the best of the situation if she is unhappy with her choice in life? She shouldn't make any attempts to change him. Correct me if I'm wrong in my understanding of your position.

Yes, but as I have pointed out I object to your framing of the issue. You start your analysis after the woman has already made a lifetime choice (itself the culmination of a lifetime of choices), and ask if I think she should honor that choice. The reality is whenever a woman (or man) marries they weigh a whole range of options. One option is always not to marry at all. Another is to wait a bit longer and see if something better comes along. Of course, these options come with costs of their own. If you think women are systematically making the wrong choices, and that by marrying an (in your and my mind) excessively beta man (beta in the wimpy sense, not the noble side of beta) they are setting themselves up to be unhappy, then what you should be focusing on first is convincing unmarried women not to make this choice. Since you have argued repeatedly that women are getting a raw deal in marriage (not to mention motherhood), I can only assume that your advice would be for far fewer women to marry. After all, there isn't a reservoir of attractive men who would otherwise make good husbands whom women as a whole are overlooking. So the choices for any given woman are either outcompete the other women for a more desirable husband, forgo marriage, or marry what is available to you and suck it up. This is not coincidentally the same for men; they can outcompete other men for younger, prettier, virgin brides, women who demonstrate a greater likelihood of taking their marriage vows seriously, they can forgo marriage, or they can marry what is available to them and suck it up.

So your question to me regarding women in marriage is very much like asking me if I think people who buy pick up trucks should be forced to suffer with low gas mileage, or if people who buy fuel efficient compact cars should be forced to suffer with a cramped underpowered car. I don't want anyone to suffer, so I beg you; make a good choice, one that you can be happy with, and move on. That choice might be a pickup, or a Prius, or one of the huge arrays of compromises in between. Or it might be to elect not to buy a car at all.

(since I can't do nested blockquotes I'll include your quotes of me in quotes and your replies/questions following in italics)
“But the problem is these women don't want to do without the status and financial benefits of marriage, so they choose to game the institution confident that the grown ups will clean up the mess they leave. To the extent that we enable this destructive behavior, we are very much part of the problem.”

What exactly do you mean by "Gaming of the system?"

They have the choice of marrying an attractive bad boy (if they are attractive enough for one to have them), marrying a responsible beta provider, not marrying, or improving their own attractiveness to create a better option. At some point for the ones who married a beta (the ones you feel have been so wronged), they chose between marrying a man who didn't make them tingle and doing without the other benefits of marriage (status, financial, respectability). Part of the calculation here is the knowledge that she could at the very least expect a sympathetic ear when she bitches about him later. She knows men will ride in on white horses and bemoan the fact that her beta either isn't doing what she tells him to do, or isn't gaming her sufficiently (or both). She also knows we have changed the laws/courts such that she can have her children in wedlock and then divorce him and retain the financial benefits of marriage to a respectable (but boring) man without having to be a wife to such a man.

Cont...

dalrock said...

“You will also come to appreciate that many of these women have deliberately chosen to not be lead by their husband, and would rather go without attraction to their husband than have this change”

Are you saying here that women are deliberately choosing not to be attracted to their husbands?

They want to be married to a man they are attracted to. But they want their feminism more.


“You want to make it practical for women to marry men they aren't attracted to, and yet still have them end up in marriages where they are attracted to their husband.”

I don't think I've made that claim. Can you point me to relevant comment/s which have led you to this conclusion?

Hopefully I have already explained this. They make all of their choices, which you don't want to restrict, and then you want to provide them a different outcome than their tradeoffs would create for them.


“But what you are proposing is to use Game to facilitate the insanity of feminism.”

Could you elaborate on this please?

There are two ways to present Game to men. One is within a moral framework. If you were Jewish or Muslim we might have to work harder to find common ground on what that moral framework is, but since we are both Christian I would say the question of what that moral framework should be is solved. In this frame men learn how to make themselves more attractive to women, subject to the restraints of Christian sexual morality. Christian men who want to have sex morally have to accept the role of husband (and be ready to accept the role of father), not just the constraint of only having sex with one woman for life. But if we accept that Christian men have the role of Christian husband/father (or not marry), we logically also must accept that Christian women have to accept the role of Christian wife/mother (or not marry). The other logical (but wrong) option would be to teach men Game and tell them to not worry about sexual morality (Roissy's strategy). But you are selective in your Christian sexual morality. Sometimes you are all about it, reminding me with all seriousness that marriage is for life, etc. Other times you reject it out of hand, from what I can tell exclusively when it comes to wives. You want to use Game to make men more attractive to women, and have these men still honor marriage (which Game tells them is against their best interests) while explaining that it is unreasonable to expect the women you are delivering these new improved beta husbands to have the moral obligation to submit to their husband, accept the role of mother, etc. Women keep their feminist choices, and we use a combination of Game and selective moralism to deliver the husbands they (eventually) crave.

BTW, I just want to make an unrelated point. If I make a critique of Protestantism it done with complete goodwill. I have a very high estimation of many facets of Protestantism and many Protestants and I hope you don't interpret my comments as being based on any ill will or sense of Catholic superiority. I'm being quite sincere here.

Peace.


Thank you. I feel the same way about Catholicism, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues, including at times us disagreeing, sometimes with vigor. You have an excellent blog, and I am truly grateful for what you have helped me better understand by your writing.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Dalrock

There's a lot here.

My critique of traditional marriage is not that all women were hard done by it but that some women were. It's my contention that the role definitions of the respective sexes was too restrictive for some couples and this caused real pain. When I put forward the proposition that woman should have expanded roles I'm in no way endorsing the feminist project. Expanding the liberty of women in no legitimises the feminist attempt of installing the matriarchy or the reversal of sexual polarity.

Secondly, I wish to expand the role of women only to the degree that it is compatible with the institution of marriage. I certainly don't want to give the impression that marriage is a pro-woman arrangement where the husband must bend over backwards and the wife calls the shots, this is a recipe for both the destruction of the marriage and the unhappiness of both the woman and the man. The thing is, women are happier when someone else is in charge.

You are quite correct, I do want to produce an improved beta, but not in order to satisfy the whims of feminism, this is an unintended consequence of the project but not its primary aim. I see beta-hood as a failure of masculinity itself. The beta male is privated male. If I had to describe my ideal male it would be a Christian alpha male, one who is chaste and follows the word of God but has "options" in his choice of mate. His woman doesn't choose him, he chooses his woman. What women/feminism want has nothing to do with the image of this male.

Alphahood is not defined by the whims of feminism but is "in house" to masculinity itself. The fact that most women naturally submit to the alpha male is the natural order being made right. The beta male is an aberration.

When I criticise men for being beta it's not because I want their wives to be haaaaapy, it's because there is something wrong with their conception of manhood. There is a flaw in their masculinity.

When I say that a lot of women are unhappy in their marriages today because their men are wusses, I'm not saying men have to "man up" to keep them happy. The dissatisfaction that these women are expressing are more an issue of unsatisfied biological need rather than the operation of feminist ideology. There is a masculine vacuum in their lives.

Women are unhappy, but its not my job to make them happy. It's my job to be a man.

As for women gaming the system. I no way approve it and my criticism of white knighting and pedestalisation is well known.

Dardanelles said...


SP,

Thank you. It's a great figure.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an older post. But reading

http://colvinism.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/david-daube-on-the-alleged-duty-of-procreation/

reminded me of what you wrote here. I thought it might be of interest to you.