Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Carnal Lite.

 
My interest in the Christian relationship with Eros is based upon the notion that this dysfunctional relationship provides the key to the understanding of our current socio-sexual dysfunction. As I've said previously, I'm broadly in agreement with Nietzsche and his claim that Christianity gave Eros poison to drink and it degenerated into vice.

Sexual perversion was rife in ancient times and from my perspective, it appears that the Christian pushback left a legacy of hostility towards it. Over the long run Christianity was able to  effectively "de-carnalise" it, transforming it into a "fleshy-lite" version of its former self.  It was this new understanding of Eros that manifest itself in a variety of ways into Christian culture and became a mainstream understanding.  Part of the reason why Trads are so hostile to Game is because Game's understanding of erotic love is explicitly carnal in nature and thus opposed to the traditional understanding. For the Gamesters, it's all about carnality/biomechanics,.... spirituality.........eh?

Christian masculinity and the Christian romantic tradition were in many ways shaped by the "carnal-lite" understanding of Eros. The good Christian male was quiet, meek, industrious and would "turn the other cheek". With regard to women, he would having nothing but the "best intentions".
The system worked well for both society and the man, when the woman's choices were limited. There was a social pressure on women to marry and the alternative to not doing so was rather bleak for the average women.

Economic and political emancipation changed all this. Having financial independence and social freedom to be single freed women of a lot of the pressure to marry. Social changes, particularly sexual license, and the elevation of the importance of romance, meant that the externalities which forced marriage onto women were gone. Women were free to choose the partner they wanted and experiment a bit. Hypergamic affirmative action was effectively shut down.

Serious Christian males were sideswiped completely by the phenomenon. They did everything they were told to do only to find that they were relatively unattractive to women. Trying to understand this phenomenon, they posited that women who failed to find them attractive were in some ways flawed. i.e. that they were skanks or sluts, or that they were psychologically unwell, or that they were being "manipulated" by the man. How many nice beta males have stood, mournfully perplexed, at their love interest who spurned them for a loser thug? How many women, recognising that they made a bad impulsive choice, were able to rely on these old chestnuts to abdicate themselves from any responsibility?  The trads still argue along these lines.

One of the stock standard arguments of the traditionalists is that the world has gone mad. But it is also the same argument of a schizophrenic. When you start thinking that everyone else is mad, perhaps it is you that has the problem. It never occurs to the Trads that maybe their understanding of Eros is flawed and that Nietzsche, despite his faults, was maybe onto something.

Take, example this understanding of "Bad boy" by Zippy;
Define “bad boy” = “men who make poor fathers”.
Fatherhood has nothing to do with being a "bad boy". A computer geek can be an objectively a bad father yet he is not a bad boy. An dorky engineer can be a good father and yet he is not a bad boy.
A bad boy is a man with erotic capital. His potential fatherhood status is irrelevant.This continual conflation of moral and sexual attraction is something that is continually present in the trad crowd.
Initially, when you read comments like this you feel that the commentator is dense, but, since the same error gets repeated over and over again, the impression forms that perhaps this is systemic error of Traditional Christianity and not an individual failing.

The continual conflation of physiological sexual attraction with moral parameters (either positive of negative) seems to be a problem of Christianity when it comes to an analysis of sexuality.  Good Christian men can't understand why they are not sexually attractive, despite living according to God's law.  Living in the hope that God will send them a good woman who will not be like the "others". This deficiency in the understanding of the biological dimension of sexuality means that no practical advice is given on how to improve the success rate with the ladies, apart from pray. Most of the other advice is next to useless.  On the other hand, due to this hostility to the "flesh" men and women who are sexually attractive are deemed to be morally bad. Amongst weaker minds there almost appears to be an associative incompatibility between being "hot" and being "Christian".  Drab women and grey men.

The Trads seem to be unable to recognise that he attraction a woman feels for a man is involuntary, i.e. it is morally neutral. How she chooses to act on the attraction gives her actions a moral dimension. But they continually conflate the two. The fact that Jessica is attracted to Bill, the bad boy, does not mean she will be attracted to dweeby Ben, who is also morally bad but lacks erotic capital. Morals have nothing to do with the issue, attraction is decided by the flesh.

This tradition of conflation in my opinion stems of Christianity's aversion to "flesh". The overtly erotic was simply seen as the express route the Hell and Christianity did all it could to suppress it. As a result, Christianity developed a good tradition of fighting the flesh and neglected to develop an understanding of it or accord it any legitimacy. The result has been that Christianity can't evaluate sexuality on the biomechanical level and insists to continually evaluate it on the moral on. The resistance to this common sense understanding is perplexing.  It's as if the Trads do not want to acknowledge a carnal nature to our sexual desires and instead continue with their understanding of human sexuality as if the mechanics of sexual attraction did not matter, only its moral evaluation; still, which they nearly always view in the negative.

This historical position has had practical real world sequelae. Admittedly, Christianity is not responsible for the excesses but it provided for a a cultural fault line which was waiting to be exploited.
  1.  For good or ill, the Church was the dominant cultural force in the West till about the end of the 19th Century, it's suppression of the erotic, not procreative, component of sexuality, meant that as the Church lost power, the pendulum swung the other way. Nature abhors a vacuum and in the absence of any theology of desire the world developed it's own. Predictably it was stupid. Today's sluttery is due to yesterdays prudery.
  2.  It has made a meaningful discussion on sexual polarity difficult since the spirit was more important that the flesh. Yet our sexual polarity is intrinsically tied to our carnal bodies. Gender equality/interchangeability is easy when the flesh is irrelevant. Cue feminism.
  3. It has conditioned people towards evil by making sexual evil fun and virtue boring.
  4. It has encouraged physical ugliness by neglecting or erotic complementarity. Desire is supercharged in bodily perfection and diminished in dysmorphia. The Fat acceptance movement is based on the idea that we shouldn't be so "superficial" and judge people on appearances.
I get a lot of heat for taking this position, but here is an interesting question I'll wish you to ponder: Why has "bad boy" become synonymous with sexual attraction and "good boy" with sexual repulsion? Perhaps it's because contemporary Christianity lacks the capability to be sexy and good. The flipside to this is the notion that the erotic and good are incompatible. See what I'm getting at?

Finally, I want to say something about the Neoreactionary Canon. While I'm chuffed to have some of my posts there I think it was a grave error to leave Roissy out. The errors of Modernism are cross-cultural, affecting nearly every facet of life. Human sexual dynamics is one such area and the supreme Neo-reactionary warrior has been Roissy. Don't get me wrong, there's lots of things he says that I disagree with, but when it comes to the red pill reality as pertains to Eros, he is the prime expositor.
 
Furthermore, any Neoreactionary neophyte is better starting off with his writings than those of Moldbug or myself. His turgid style and my shitty blogging are liable to put people off. At his best, he is an unbelievably good writer who is able to shove the red pill down your throat. Nothing hooks a man more to neoreaction than sexual success is the presence of what seems a never ending drought. Roissy is able to co-opt primal force in the pursuit of truth. It's an unbeatable combination.

40 comments:

MK said...

Good post. I think most red pill leaning men acknowledge what you say that attraction is biological but choices are potentially based on moral actions. Which is why the libertarian minded among us don't want to pay for others choices and prefer they have to deal with the consequences of them (good and bad).

Johnycomelately said...

"It's suppression of the erotic. "

Female sexuality wasn't curtailed for the purposes of suppressing natural female proclivities, it was curtailed to repress 'male excesses'.

It's not the females they were worried about but the males.

As for now men have by and large played by the rules but when they break from the shackles of social norms we are in for a shit storm.

When the 'Black Knights' take center stage we are in for a world of pain. They won't simply sexify themselves for sexual gain, they will murder, pillage and plunder for sexual gains.

The ancients weren't fools, they very well knew the score. Liberate female sexuality and destructive male behaviour will quickly follow suit.

David Foster said...

"A bad boy is a man with erotic capital."

But the term is specifically BAD boy, not "hot guy" or "good-looking guy" or "suave and debonair self-confident man."

Hard to argue that the term Bad is morally neutral in the way that a woman's physical attractiveness is morally neutral.

novaseeker said...

While I have agreed with many of your recent posts re the failings of men and so on, I have to take issue with this approach for a few reasons.

1 One is that the eros, unlike other forms of love, is discriminatory in nature, which stands in sharp contrast to the rest of Christian virtue.
In other words, for example, caritas is not discriminatory – it is love for others in a selfless way, regardless of whether one is “attracted” to them, or what they “do for you”. It’s a selfless act of self-giving regardless of what one gets in return. That’s the essence of Christian virtue – selflessness. Self-sacrifice. Imitation of Christ and so on.

Eros, by contrast, is discriminatory. We are not attracted to everyone, and not equally attracted to those to whom we are attracted. It’s a biological desire. Of course, it is not sinful when directed towards a spouse, because in that context the discriminatory love is fundamentally appropriate. But that’s the only appropriate context for it. As such, while it is important to cultivate eros in a marriage, outside the context of a marriage, the norm is caritas, which is on a much higher level, in terms of virtue, than mere eros is. This is what Paul was getting at in saying it is better not to marry, because marriage tends to draw one towards the things of the world (including eros). Of course, he did say that people could still marry if they burned with desire (better to have that sated in a marriage than to burn in lust outside of one and be tempted to sexual sin as a result), but he also clearly stated that this kind of thing is inferior to the life without eros which is focused instead on caritas (specifically saying it is better). So we need to be careful before we really highlight eros in a way that is similar to caritas – it’s inferior, and is a concession to human lust --> something which it would be better if we could overcome, as Paul says, but if we can’t, we can satisfy it in marriage through eros.

2 Eros is based on lust/desire, which is a biological thing. The approach of the church to biological desires has historically been that they are, of course, not intrinsically evil, but that nevertheless they must be controlled/limited lest they overwhelm us. Such has been the approach with respect to food, drink, as well as sex. The tradition of fasting, for example, which has regrettably fallen into some disuse in the West, emphasizes the goodness of such things, but that they also must be controlled, limited, and subjected to the control of one’s spirit – in many ways, fasting is about helping an individual develop control over the passions so that the passions do not control the person --> i.e., to help the person overcome temptation to sin in general, not just to gluttony or drunkenness or sexual license.

It’s therefore correct to state that sexual desire is itself morally neutral. But, as is the case with food and drink (and other things), it is an area in which, because the drive/desire is strong and visceral, the opportunities for sin abound. As such, it’s an area where as a practical matter virtually everything one does is a moral question. It’s not really very helpful, seen in this context, to drive a wedge between sexuality as such and its moral implications, particularly in a culture which is drenched in sexual license currently, both inside and outside the churches. As a practical matter, all sexual questions are moral ones in this culture. That doesn’t mean that being attracted to someone is bad, or that being attractive is bad, but rather to remind one that one is standing rather very close to the fire and that therefore one must take care rather than simply play with the fire. It is a fire which must be controlled/disciplined and be made subject to the will of one’s spirit – if not, one’s spirit will be made subject to it, rather easily.

novaseeker said...

3 It is not sinful to be attractive as such. Just as it is not sinful to be successful in life. However, we must be careful before we turn attractiveness into a virtue (just as we must be careful not to turn financial success into a virtue, as some misguided Christians have done). Unlike real virtues, attractiveness is, to a very definite degree, determined by factors beyond one’s control. An individual can tweak one’s attractiveness upward to be certain, but there are hard caps on that for every individual. Some people are just plain and will never be very attractive, even if height/weight proportional, successful otherwise in life and so on – this is not a lack of virtue and should not be seen as a failing, morally or otherwise. This of course is not an excuse for sloth (already a deadly sin anyway, by the way) or gluttony – but the church has those covered as sins. If the church is not emphasizing them enough, then she should do that by all means – but should do so regardless of whether the individual is “attractive” and simply because the individual is slothful, gluttonous or drunk. In other words, one’s virtue is based on one’s actions or inactions (slothful, glutonous, prideful, selfish, etc.), not whether one is attractive or not as a result. The church doesn’t care whether you are sexually attractive, it cares whether you are morally virtuous – and this should remain the case. Attractiveness should not be baptized as a virtue any more than financial success should be.

novaseeker said...

4 Finally, it’s also problematic to essentially buy into the contemporary idiom of hedonic marriage, and seek to baptize it as well. The concept of hedonic marriage (i.e., marriages based on the happiness of the spouses which is largely determined by sustaining the twin hedonic poles of emotional limerance and physical sexual attraction) is at odds with the church’s concept of marriage as sacrament, as self-sacrifice, as something fundamentally different from other relationships that are not marital. Christian marriage does not exist to please you or your spouse – that isn’t its basis. Now, of course, there is nothing sinful about being in a happy marriage as such, or about trying to ensure that your marriage is a happy one, provided, however, that the entire frame of marriage not be transformed into a hedonic one, but instead remain a Christian one. Therefore, for the church to emphasize elements of marriage which are hedonic, in a culture which is already swimming in hedonic marriage memes (many of which are responsible for divorces, if we are honest) would be terribly counterproductive.

I understand that the goal you have is to encourage marriages and reduce divorces by making people more attractive to each other and maintain that throughout the marriage. But the problem is that when you do that, you also kind of give license (even of the soft variety) for people to get their exit visas from the marriage if/when it doesn’t hit their hedonic lights of emotional limerance and sexual attraction any longer. By basing a marriage in subjective happiness as judged by emotional limerance and sexual attraction, one is really building it on a foundation of sand, because neither of these things is exclusive to one person in one’s lifetime, and one may very well experience stronger limerance AND attraction to a person other than one’s spouse, perhaps multiple times, during one’s lifetime. It’s a very shaky basis to serve as the foundation of a marriage. Rather, the foundation of a marriage has to remain commitment, which is very specific to one person only, rather than limerance/attraction, which are really not one-person specific. Again, this doesn’t mean that people are entitled to get married if no-one finds them attractive enough to marry – there have always been the “left outs” in the marriage and reproduction game, and to be honest the church needs to go back to doing with them what it always did – channel them into religious life so that they can reap the benefits mentioned by Paul to begin with. What it does mean, however, is that treating emotional limerance and sexual attraction as a base foundation of marriage is extremely dangerous, and really unnecessary for Christian marriage. In a Christian marriage, it’s great to remain attractive to your spouse (and you certainly shouldn’t be acting selfishly in that regard or engaging in sloth or gluttony and so on), but the foundation of the marriage isn’t attraction, it’s commitment, whether you are subjectively happy or not. Christian marriage doesn’t exist to make you subjectively happy – if it does, that’s great, but it isn’t its raison d’etre. Its raison d’etre is found in the sacramental nature of marriage, and in the self-sacrificing aspects of it that have much in common with caritas and selflessness, while also providing a non-sinful outlet for eros.

Anonymous said...

The tradcons like Zippy continue on their quixotic mission to shame cads, which won't work as Dalrock has shown.

Zippy's suggested route of remedying this problem is doomed to fail. You can shame cads and players until you're blue in the face and it won't make a damn bit of difference. You won't stop women who want to sleep with the remaining cads from doing just that.

deti

Puzzle Pirate said...

"One of the stock standard arguments of the traditionalists is that the world has gone mad. But it is also the same argument of a schizophrenic. When you start thing that everyone else is mad perhaps it is you that has the problem."

It's also possible you're living in Weimar Germany.

No but seriously I don't think they are too far off when they say the world has "gone mad". The "bad boys" a lot of women are attracted to really have nothing going for them. Although I generally agree with Game this is one part I have a real problem with.

My own experiences is that most of the "bad boys" were not only useless as human beings but frankly they were quite ugly as well. If I has spent my teens and 20's losing out to men who were charismatic and looked like George Clooney I would have understood why. But that's not who I was losing to. I was losing to men who had no real future, not uncommon for them to end up in rehab, and often had facial features that looked like human rats.

Part of the problem trad-cons won't acknowledge is that evolution is true and didn't stop at the neck. Single mommies, their feral kids, and deadbeat dads are all behaviors that are heritable. They are the products of dysgenic breeding, in other words they were born that way and are irredeemable. A eugenics program would have solved the problem but the West is too weak for that. Trad-cons can't accept that some people are not only too far gone but that they were BORN with a greater level of evil in them and that makes them irredeemable. Well, evil if you want to maintain a first world civilization anyway.

dalrock said...

Outstanding post SP.

Economic and political emancipation changed all this. Having financial independence and social freedom to be single freed women of a lot of the pressure to marry. Social changes, particularly sexual license, and the elevation of the importance of romance, meant that the externalities which forced marriage onto women were gone. Women were free to choose the partner they wanted and experiment a bit. Hypergamic affirmative action was effectively shut down.

The pressure to marry was delayed, not removed. Women's intrasexual status competition moved from competing for the status of wife (or wife to be) early on to competing for alpha attention first and then after a decade or so on the carousel switching to competing for the status of wife. Tingles are a powerful force, but they aren't the only force.

The continual conflation of physiological sexual attraction with moral parameters (either positive of negative) seems to be a problem of Christianity when it comes to an analysis of sexuality.

This is one of our greatest problems, and tied in is the false separation of attraction and romantic love. This leads to the present state where physical attraction is deemed suspect at best, but romantic love is seen as a devine moral compass. The surefire sign of a good man is he generates feelings of romantic love (really tingles) in a woman, and the sign of a bad man is his failure to do so.

Dystopia Max said...

Obviously, in a functional society, cads shouldn't be shamed. They should be executed, along with the last woman they ruined. The only effective and lasting penalty for adultery in a society is the execution of both parties. Shamelessness is not the same as fearlessness, it's merely a corruption of courage common in lawless times, and its power will evaporate when men find the will to kill for a law or a cause again.

I take this post as evidence of Mr. Pathologist's partial repentance from any previous nostalgic tradconnery, now I invite him to step fully into understanding:

There is no understanding of monarchy unless every man is a king in his home.

There is no understanding of democracy or collective responsibility unless every man has a common experience of married life to draw on.

Unless you kill those who traffic in lies and engage in constant low-level terroristic warfare against functional communities, (just enough fear to assert authority, never enough presence to take responsibility) and those who protect them out of fear, love, or duty, lies will be the coin of the realm and the agents of terror your rulers.

Female passions are inextricably tied up in social opportunism indistinguishable from a man's passion for economic opportunism, and are just as destructive if not at least recognized at the very beginning. A woman's love may only be recognized as true if she does not lord it over her female friends on the day following coitus, just as a man's actual contribution to science, understanding, or humanity can be most easily measured by how little he cares if it puts him at the top of the dollar heap among his associates.

When death for evil deeds returns, so will civilizational life. Until then, the multiplication of laws and lawless enforcers will continue.

For to speak idle imprecations against the average man without acknowledging his ability and willingness to kill for what he believes in is a very grave error that anyone with a traditional view on life should be the last to make.

samhuih said...

Extremely perceptive post. Your right about,"...Sexual perversion was rife in ancient times..." but not at all time periods. In early Roman times the Husband owned the Wife and children. I believe he could even kill them if he had a good enough reason. Later in the Empire decadence rose. No fault divorce became legal and we know the ending to that.

In England per "A Farewell to Alms" if you didn't take care of your children, off the work house they went.

We're breeding "Idiocracy". There's probably nothing that can be done about it. If Women had to PAY for all choices they make they would probably start making better ones but they've managed to foist the cost onto others. It will only change when they pay themselves. Then they will truly be liberated and so will Men. Roissy has the right idea I'm afraid. Enjoy it while you can.

The Church is not responsible for the change in society that makes Women financially unresponsible for their choices. They were probably not very helpful though.

asdf said...

You'll never get it SP.

Bad boy means the girl is turned on by the fact that the man is a bad person. That if he saw an opportunity to kill, lie, cheat, injure, etc he would do it. Yes, this adds an element of risk (he could do it to her) but it also means his moral flexibility will allow him to acquire more resources (perhaps for her) and to survive and spread his seed (sexy sons).

Bad boy isn't a morally neutral term. I've watched women get turned on by immorality itself. Not just strength, but actual evil itself. A strong but good man is always limited in what he can take from this world.

Once you've seen this Roissy side of women you definitely blame women. If you believe in what Roissy is selling you should never marry and never love. Not just because of his worldview, but because if what he rights about women is true there is no way you could love such a creature.

Anonymous said...

"Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth forever." I John 2:15-17. Is it any surprise that most of the world prefers to be filthy & bestial? Our Lord has told us that most go by the broad way which leads to destruction, we should not follow their lamentable example but rather pray that they would be converted before it is too late. The modern world is for the most part nothing more than one great mass of raw sewage, best to stay as far away from it as possible.

Anonymous said...

Those who embrace carnality are generally utterly worthless, imagine what would have happened if Charles Martel's army had been comprised of the same sort of disgusting libertines as we see round about us now. The Mahometans would have crushed them in an hour, that is if they could have torn themselves away fro fornicating to show up in the first place, & the greatest civilization to have ever existed would never have been. If a man can not even resist his own urges how can he resist a mighty external foe? Why is Islam attaining such power in Europe now? Is it not because the European races have opted for the flesh, for a life of carnal delights & are now contracepting & aborting themselves out of existence? This is why, unless God intervenes, they will be subjugated by the more disciplined peoples of the East who still follow the natural law somewhat. In a rightly ordered society the whims of foolish women would be shown the utter disregard that they deserve. Those who run things have deliberately given the women the ability to divorce because they knew it would result in the break-down of the family, a long-held Communist goal. They have succeeded, it's over. Communist tyranny is all that awaits us. As Kelly said before they hanged him "Oh well, I suppose it had to come to this....such is life."

Anonymous said...

asdf:

I'm as trad as they come and I completely believe the Roissy side of things. Even the most pure, most chaste, virginal woman, will melt within 40 hours of finding the man who makes her tingle. She will lie there and let you unclothe her and become putty in your hands, casting her outward virtue quickly aside for the fleeting seconds promised by the bodily tingling to her brain. I've seen it with my own two eyes.

If the question is why pursue any woman when the "best" of them will act like the worst, the answer is to ask what kind of man does not want his own woman who will "love, honor, and obey" him, and "be bonny and buxom in bed and board" so as to provide them children? To not want this as amn, is to ultimately want earthly lonliness and solitariness. But "it is not good for man to be alone."

If you read Roissy closely, you will realize the challenge is not getting a woman sexually. That is no challenge at all once you know what you are doing. No, the challenege is in getting and keeping a woman with outward virtue for yourself, "forsaking all others". You have to break her mind and will with regards to hypergamy and retrain them on your own person. Quite simply in my mind, if you are not up to taking on this challenge, you are not much of a man. Any feral animal is perfectly capable of inserting and pleasuring themselves in any willing and available wet hole. This is not manly at all. Even the effeminate fags do it, and frankly much of what PUA's pien for according to their internet output is various forms of sodomy that are indistinguishable from homosexual acts other than the gender of the body to which is attached the orrifice.

Look at what the traditional Catholic wedding ring blessing says: "Bless + O Lord, this ring, which we are blessing + in Thy name, so that she who wears it, keeping faith with her husband in unbroken loyalty, may ever remain at peace with Thee, obedient to Thy will, and may live with him always in mutual love."

Who needed help?

And then the nuptial blessing itself: "graciously look upon this Thy handmaid, who, about to be joined in wedlock, seeks Thy defense and protection. May it be to her a yoke of love and peace: faithful and chaste, may she be wedded in Christ, and let her ever be the imitator of holy women: let her be dear to her husband, like Rachel: wise, like Rebecca: long-lived and faithful like Sara. Let not the author of deceit work any of his evil deeds in her. May she continue, clinging to the faith and to the commandments. Bound in one union, let her shun all unlawful contact. Let her protect her weakness by the strength of discipline; let her be grave in behavior, respected for modesty, well-instructed in heavenly doctrine. Let her be fruitful in offspring; be approved and innocent; and come to the repose of the blessed and the kingdom of heaven."

The ancient Church certainly knew which way is up, and who exactly needed the structure and protection of the yoke of marriage for their own earthly and salvific good.

As a man, you must ask youself, are you up to this task? Humanity's future demands men who are. So, Be. That. Man.

That is all.

Jason said...

Yeah, a good essay doctor. I think what Novaseeker wrote is good too, although unlike him I think his thoughts complement – and do not oppose – what you say. Choosing between both of your viewpoints is like choosing one blade of a scissors, which would be silly, of course: a good man needs both. Still, I can see where Novaseeker is coming from, even though I no longer believe (although I’m still influenced by my earlier devotion). If you buy too much into Game or Manosphere ideas or whatever – if you allow it to become not a servant but a master – then you’re just going to become insufferable after a while, a prig who looks at others simply through the prism of the Self, expecting others to meet endless criteria and conditions. You’ll make perfection become the enemy of the good, and just become utterly narcissistic and lack perspective, self-awareness. (Hence the rage and anger of MGTOW, for example, or on the other side certain good Christian women who are unwilling to make any modifications to their hypergamy and chose to be alone rather than accept a man who would not provide everything they “must have.”)

MarcusD said...

The https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semmelweis_reflex comes into play.

asdf said...

anymouse,

Your entire rebuttal amounts to, "a true alpha would be so alpha that no woman would ever disobey him. Man up."

This is silly, and it doesn't address the question. I've had women obsessed with me. Willing to leave good men and families for me. You know what, whether a woman is leaving you or leaving another man she's equally worthless. Being in the alpha position doesn't make love any easier then the beta position. It's worse, you can't even think you can fix the problem by getting more alpha. Once you realize that the problem isn't you being alpha enough, but the fallen sexuality of women it becomes very difficult to love.

The Social Pathologist said...

@ Johnnycomelately,

Female sexuality wasn't curtailed for the purposes of suppressing natural female proclivities, it was curtailed to repress 'male excesses'.

This is not about gender sexual control, rather the Church's understanding of the morality of desire.

@David Foster and Asdf.

Hard to argue that the term Bad is morally neutral Is it a moral badness they're attracted to or a goodness that has been characterised as bad.

True there are some women who are attracted to blatant moral evil, but, for example, are muscularity, just assertiveness and swagger evil?
Is meekness sexually attractive?

@Nova

Thanks for the considered response but, boy, there's a lot there!

That’s the essence of Christian virtue – selflessness. Self-sacrifice. Imitation of Christ and so on.

MMMMMM.....not really sure about this. I think there is a bit of a conflation error going on here. Sacrifice may refer to the "strength" of the love, but not to its essential nature. Good people, in comfort and joy can be actuators for great acts of Caritas however the true test of it's expression is when great force is aligned against its expression.

So we need to be careful before we really highlight eros in a way that is similar to caritas – it’s inferior, and is a concession to human lust

Once again, I dunno. I think one of the problems of Augustinian Eros+Agape=Caritas approach is that it dilutes the essence of both. I'm more of thing eros as subordinate to Caritas in expression but not in nature. Caritas doesn't transform Eros rather it 'channels" it in good direction. Let lust thrive in marriage but not outside it.


in many ways, fasting is about helping an individual develop control over the passions so that the passions do not control the person

Yeah, but in the Christian tradition we have both feasting and fasting:one balances the other.What is the equivalent of feasting with regard to Eros in the Christian tradition?

t is not sinful to be attractive as such. Just as it is not sinful to be successful in life. However, we must be careful before we turn attractiveness into a virtue

Careful distinction here: Attractiveness and Wealth are positive qualities and their cultivation is a virtue. I think it is important to make this distinction. Whilst everyone may have natural limits to how attractive that can be, would not cultivating that attractiveness (within the limits of prudence) be considered a virtue? It's one thing to be vain but another not to be concerned at all about your appearance. I think we have a moral duty to make the best of what we've got within the limits of our powers. I think that we all can agree that the deliberate desecration of beauty is evil but so is its slovenly neglect.

If the church is not emphasizing them enough, then she should do that by all means

Lots of stuff on social justice and denial, very little on the other stuff. Why the bias?

The concept of hedonic marriage ....... is at odds with the church’s concept of marriage as sacrament, as self-sacrifice, as something fundamentally different from other relationships that are not marital.

Why are the two in opposition and not in synchronicity? Is the idea of Christian marriage really, at it's core, a passionless drudge?

How about reframing marriage as a sacrament which is also meant to have a hedonic (Eros) component. Therefore sins against the marriage can occur on two different levels. Letting yourself go should be a sin in marriage.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Marcus D + Deti

Thanks for bringing up Simmelweiss.

I think about him............a lot.

Poor bastard was destroyed for doing the right thing. It's a cautionary warning for all who are concerned with the truth.

May his soul rest in God's Peace.

I think the Simmelweiss reflex is ever present when dealing with the Trads.

@ Dalrock.

Thanks.

This leads to the present state where physical attraction is deemed suspect at best, but romantic love is seen as a devine moral compass. The surefire sign of a good man is he generates feelings of romantic love (really tingles) in a woman, and the sign of a bad man is his failure to do so.

It's worse than that. This understanding of human relations leads to poor advice when the marriage is on the rocks. What we end up doing by "helping" in this context is pouring fuel on the fire and making the marriage more likely to fail. I know lots of couples where the marriage went worse after counseling.

PuzzlePirate

I was losing to men who had no real future, not uncommon for them to end up in rehab, and often had facial features that looked like human rats.

What did they have that made them attractive to you, or, what did you lack that made you need them?
BTW, I'm not a fan of Eugenics.

@asdf

Once you've seen this Roissy side of women you definitely blame women.

Deal with enough people and you'll see that shit and glory are to be found in both sexes. The men who are most bitter are the "romantics" those who live in a world of illusion about female nature.

@Dystopia Max

When death for evil deeds returns, so will civilizational life.

It hasn't worked in Afghanistan for the Muslims it won't work here. You can't simply double down. There has to be both carrots and sticks.

@Jason

If you buy too much into Game or Manosphere ideas or whatever – if you allow it to become not a servant but a master

Agree. Nova makes several good points. The PUA's are the prime example of Eros without Caritas or Agape. On the other hand, the Churchianity types are a prime example of Agape without Eros or Caritas. In my mind the brothel keepers ( PUA's) are going to Hell but they're closer to God. Those who claim to know better have the greater fault.

8to12 said...

@David Foster said...But the term is specifically BAD boy, not "hot guy" or "good-looking guy" or "suave and debonair self-confident man."

Hard to argue that the term Bad is morally neutral in the way that a woman's physical attractiveness is morally neutral.


The therm "bad" in this instance indicates someone who can flaunt the rules. And who can afford to flaunt the rules? Only the powerful and dominant. So "bad" in this instance is actually a synonym for "powerful and dominant."

Consider President Obama. He holds the most POWERFUL position in the country. He is using executive orders to extend the power of the presidency in a way no president in the past has done, because he has a DOMINANT personality. He is willing the push the envelope, and unless someone pushes back--hard--he will continue to push the envelope and expand his power.

President Obama is a "bad boy."

Am I saying President Obama is evil or immoral? No. What I am saying is that he is a POWERFUL and DOMINANT person, and he displays that power and dominance by a willingness to bend or ignore the rules to his advantage.

Women are not attracted to evil men. They are attracted to powerful and dominant men. It just so happens that in our culture we tend to label overtly powerful and dominant men "bad" (as opposed to the nice, plays-by-the-rules "good guy").

David Foster said...

Someone could do an interesting PhD thesis on the linguistic connotations of the word "bad" and how these have changed over time.

Would a muscular man (goes to the gym a lot or maybe just works a very physical job) with a kind & gentle personality be referred to as "bad?" I doubt it.

How about a very self-confident, swagger-y, but basically decent man? Maybe.

A bank robber who keeps all the money for himself? Probably.

A bank robber who sends the money to starving people in Africa? Not sure.

David Foster said...

There is a very interesting vignette in Hans Fallada's novel "Little Man, What Now?", the protagonists of which are a young couple, Sonny and Lammchen, in late-Weimar German. They don't have much money, and it is only thanks to the generosity of a friend that they are able to go see a movie, in which the following play-within-a-play action transpires:

A young bank clerk has a wife he loves very much, who is always pressing him for more money, which was very scarce in that time and place. He begins to get the idea of embezzling from the bank, and his hand actually moves to grasp the money, but he can't bring himself to do it. He is observed by his friend the management trainee, who is son of a bank director. The friend begins helping the clerk out by giving him money.

The clerk can't bear to let his wife know that he's accepting charity, and lets her *think* that he's stolen the money. She is thrilled--"you did that for me?", and their relationship becomes much more passionate.

The management-trainee friend falls in love with the wife, "but she only had eyes for her husband, that brave, reckless man, who would do anything for her."

Jealous, the friend tells the wife the *real* story. Now, she laughs contemptuously at her husband the charity-accepting clerk, and clearly is planning to ditch him for the management trainee.

When the movie ends, Sonny is devastated, seeing too close a parallel between the couple in the movie and his own life with Lammchen. But he need not have worried, for Lammchen (who seems to be the image of the author's almost-ideal woman) remains totally loyal to him through everything.

For the wife in the movie, the husband who is a thief is much more attractive than the husband who is an honest bank clerk, and overwhelmingly more attractive than the husband who is recipient of charity.

Novaseeker said...

Slumlord --

Yes, I've thought quite a bit about marriage over the years, for unfortunately necessary reasons, so I have a tendency to oversay on this topic.

Yeah, but in the Christian tradition we have both feasting and fasting:one balances the other.What is the equivalent of feasting with regard to Eros in the Christian tradition?

It’s there. In the East, for example, we have fasting every Wednesday and Friday and then also during four fasting seasons, of which Lent is the longest. Sex is included in things that are fasted from for the married. However, outside of fasting days/seasons, eating the foods that are taken away during fasting, and having sex, is highly encouraged. Lots of sex taking place on Easter sunday morning after the paschal fast is broken in the middle of the night (typically), for example. There isn’t really an anti-sex mentality (other than for priests on the night before serving a divine liturgy). Perhaps a root of this is that most of our clergy are married in the East, and are clearly having sex regularly with their wives, siring children and so on. In the West, I think that the Catholics have come pretty far along in the past few decades, with JPII’s theology of the body and the recognition that marital sex has both unitive (i.e., intimacy-generating and maintaining) and procreative aspects, both of which are equally legitimate. More in this direction would probably be a good thing, without explicitly endorsing lust.

With the physical appetites, a key is to recognize that these things are good and are gifts from God but yet are not to be overly emphasized or overly indulged — lest they become enslaving. This is also the case with respect to sex. So a sex-centric view of marriage seems to be removed from this — while, of course, admitting that sex is important in marriage, something which has its roots in the NT itself. It’s a fine line to walk there, I think, between recognizing the importance of something, on the one hand, while also cautioning against becoming enslaved by it, on the other (even in the context of a marriage, which is the only licit context for sexuality in any case).

Careful distinction here: Attractiveness and Wealth are positive qualities and their cultivation is a virtue. I think it is important to make this distinction. Whilst everyone may have natural limits to how attractive that can be, would not cultivating that attractiveness (within the limits of prudence) be considered a virtue? It's one thing to be vain but another not to be concerned at all about your appearance. I think we have a moral duty to make the best of what we've got within the limits of our powers. I think that we all can agree that the deliberate desecration of beauty is evil but so is its slovenly neglect.

But we already have sins for this — sloth, gluttony. I really am very, very skeptical of adding new ones that make it, in effect, sinful to be unattractive sexually in some way even if one is not slothful or gluttonous. That’s turning things on their head. There will always be unattractive persons and always be poor persons — they deserve compassion, not to be told that they aren’t trying hard enough to be attractive or rich and are therefore lacking in virtue. If they are indeed slothful, gluttonous, drunk and so on, then call that out — but new sins around ones lack of success in worldly things like wealth and attraction seem quite inappropriate to me and dangerous.

Lots of stuff on social justice and denial, very little on the other stuff. Why the bias?

Not quite sure which bias you mean here.

Novaseeker said...

Why are the two in opposition and not in synchronicity? Is the idea of Christian marriage really, at it's core, a passionless drudge?

How about reframing marriage as a sacrament which is also meant to have a hedonic (Eros) component. Therefore sins against the marriage can occur on two different levels. Letting yourself go should be a sin in marriage.


Again I am skeptical of adding new sins around sexual attractiveness such that becoming sexually unattractive is a sin in and of itself — a status-based sin. That seems wrong to me. Also superfluous. If someone is “letting themselves go” in a marriage doesn’t that always result from either the sin of sloth or the sin of gluttony, or both? It seems like we are covered here, in terms of sins. Again, if the church needs to emphasize the importance of not being slothful or gluttonous, that would be fine — also in the context of marriages (but not only there, of course, because the problems are not only there), perhaps adding that in a marital context these are also sins due to the lack of love and consideration shown to the spouse when engaging in them. But we don’t need new sins around attraction status.

More fundamentally, I am very skeptical of the idea of making cultivating happiness a moral imperative -- inside marriages or otherwise. Notice that this doesn’t mean that the converse is acceptable — actively cultivating unhappiness. But if one were doing the latter, one would also be guilty of the sin of not acting in a loving way towards one's spouse, which again is already covered. That loving, however, may not always create hedonic bliss in a marriage. The church has never emphasized subjective feelings of happiness, per se, in ay context really, in favor of emphasizing joy — something which may coincide with happiness at times, but is really fundamentally different because it may also coincide with times of extreme subjective unhappiness — the joy being rooted in the reality of the resurrection in Christ, and the Christian hope of such.

If we make generating or maintaining feelings of subjective happiness a moral imperative in marriage, we're placing an emphasis on something which is subject to the whimsical nature of life from the subjective perspective — and this runs counter to the fact that the church has always taught us that life will be filled with sacrifice and suffering, again based on what the NT says, but we are to find our joy (not happiness) in Christ.

Note as I said in my earlier comments that there is nothing wrong with cultivating happiness in a marriage if done in a way that is consonant with the fundamental frame of sacramental marriage (that is, not because it is a per se moral imperative or a foundation of marriage from a moral or theological perspective, but simply done as an act of love). Marriage is not mandated to be a passionless drudge. But it is mandated to be marriage even if there is not happiness, and not passion, and not sex (for various reasons) — because it is not based on these things. That’s the difference.

The Social Pathologist said...

@ 8to12 and David Foster.

It just so happens that in our culture we tend to label overtly powerful and dominant men "bad" (as opposed to the nice, plays-by-the-rules "good guy").

and

Someone could do an interesting PhD thesis on the linguistic connotations of the word "bad" and how these have changed over time.

I was pretty tired last night when I sent out my response so I kept it brief and did not elaborate on the "angle" that 8to12 raised.

If we consider "badness" from a dual process theory approach, you'll see that it means different things to different types of thinkers.

For System 1 thinkers badness is an amalgam of associations, usually associated with perceptions of disgust and pleasure.

On the other hand, a System 2 thinker understands "badness" dispassionately and objectively. Their evaluation of badness is pleasure independent.

So when System one women talk about a bad boy they're talking about a man with pleasurable sexual characteristics irrespective of the objective moral nature of their character.

Now the really interesting question is why has "badness" been associated with sexual pleasure and goodness with sexual aridity. This is the cultural question that needs to be explored.

Lammchen comes from a different time, a time where people were expected to control their feelings and live according to reason. But that does not take away from the fact that she did have feelings for the bank clerk. The question then is, does the biologically based attraction to such men signify anything about the nature of masculinity?

The Social Pathologist said...

@ Nova

I have a tendency to oversay on this topic.

No problem. What you say is always considered.

I think that the Catholics have come pretty far ......marital sex has both unitive (i.e., intimacy-generating and maintaining) and procreative aspects,

I agree, but why were we in such a retarded position in the first place? The Unitive aspect seems a recent development. Trads may argue that there were always theologians who argued for this perspective but "in house" debates don't matter as much as official policy.

without explicitly endorsing lust.

Agreed. But one man's desire is another's lust. The problem is where to draw the line.

There will always be unattractive persons and always be poor persons — they deserve compassion

The issue here is the recognition that physical beauty is a positive quality and that cultivation of it (within prudential limits) is a virtue. This idea extends well beyond the idea of erotic beauty but includes things like architecture and art. Neglect of the beautiful in my mind is sort of sin.

You see the way I see this, is one of the reasons we have such an ugly world is because we don't recognise that cultivating beauty is a virtue and its negation a vice.

Once again, I understand that there are certain limits you can achieve, I don't have the genetic potential to look like Ryan Gosling, but that doesn't mean I deserve pity for failing to keep myself in some sort of shape.

that is, not because it is a per se moral imperative or a foundation of marriage from a moral or theological perspective, but simply done as an act of love)

You see, I take the position that caritas seeks happy marriages and that given our biological nature that caritas upon the biological dimension of marriage would be to "remove it of any physcical privations" If we are designed to be happy in the presence of beauty Caritas will work in the marriage to perfect it along those lines, in addition to the aspects of it.

I think Christians have to be very careful not to make suffering a fetish. There are times where we are going to have to suffer for the good, but other times were we bask in God's approval whilst we play.

The Social Pathologist said...

Sorry Nova,

You see, I take the position that caritas seeks happy marriages and that given our biological nature that caritas upon the biological dimension of marriage would be to "remove it of any physcical privations" If we are designed to be happy in the presence of beauty Caritas will work in the marriage to perfect it along those lines, in addition to the aspects of it.

Should be

You see, I take the position that Caritas seeks happy marriages and given our biological nature, that the effect of Caritas upon the biological dimension of marriage would be to "remove it of any physcical privations". If we are designed to be happy in the presence of beauty, Caritas will work in the marriage to perfect it along those lines, in addition to the other aspects of it.

David Foster said...

SP...I may not have explained the excerpt from "Little Man, What Now?" properly. Lammchen is a different person from the wife in the movie; she and her husband Sonny are merely *watching* the movie. The contrast that Fallada (implicitly) draws is that the wife in the movie loses all attraction to her husband when she finds out that he is merely a charity recipient rather than a thief, Lammchen remains loyal to her husband even when (later in the book) he is unemployed and she is the family's sole support.

I suspect that if we could crank up a time machine and ask Fallada which type of woman was more common in his era, he would have said it was wife in the movie (who was never given a name) rather than the idealized Lammchen.

David Foster said...

Another Fallada book, "Wolf Among Wolves," also has passages that are relevant here. Violet, a 15-year old, has a strong attraction to The Lieutenant, who is involved with a shadowy group of men who are planning a putsch against the Weimar government:

Violet's thoughts:

"He was quite different from all the men she had yet known. Even if he were an officer, he in no way resembled the officers of the Reichswehr who had asked her to dance at the balls in Ostade and Frankfurt. The latter had always treated her with extreme courtesy; she was always the "young lady" with whom they chatted airily and politely of hunting, horses, and perhaps of the harvest. In Lieutenant Fritz she had as yet discovered no politeness. He had dawdled through the woods with her, chatting away as if she were some ordinary girl; he had taken her arm and held it, and had let it go again, as if this had been no favor...Just because he thought so little of her, because his visits were so short and irregular, just because all his promises were so unreliable...just because he was never polite to her, she had succumbed to him almost without resistance. He was so different. Mystery and adventure hovered around him...Infinite fire, mysterious adventure, a wonderful darkness, in which one may be naked without shame! Poor Mamma, who has never known this! Poor Papa--so old with your white temples! For me ever new paths, ever different adventures!"

Novaseeker said...

I agree, but why were we in such a retarded position in the first place? The Unitive aspect seems a recent development. Trads may argue that there were always theologians who argued for this perspective but "in house" debates don't matter as much as official policy.

Well, I think it’s important also to remember that different versions (national/cultural) of Catholicism are pretty different about “material things”. There is a fairly substantial difference between the way Italian Catholics approach some of these things, culturally at least, and the way Irish Catholics do (probably the sternest, most anti-material Catholics on the planet). I wonder if the Irish Catholics have a position, in terms of historical influence, of dominance in Australian Catholicism as they do in the US. Catholicism in Latin America and the Philippines is also quite different than Irish Catholicism not in “rules” but in cultural praxis and feel.

The East has struggled a bit less with this perhaps because of the married clergy providing a counterweight to the celibate bishops and monks. The priests actually teaching the people and advising them and so on are mostly married, and they know the score, for the most part, due to firsthand experience with the issues that come up themselves. I’d say also that among all Christians living in the West, including Orthodox, the influence of Protestantism has been strong, and Protestantism, which for the most part is not sacramental (at least the parts of it that have “energy” and large cultural influence in the US) and tends towards a kind of dualism between textual/intellectual religion and spiritualism, rather than a holistic spirituality which includes the physical. A re-integration of the physical aspects of spirituality is very key, I think.

You see, I take the position that Caritas seeks happy marriages and given our biological nature, that the effect of Caritas upon the biological dimension of marriage would be to "remove it of any physcical privations". If we are designed to be happy in the presence of beauty, Caritas will work in the marriage to perfect it along those lines, in addition to the other aspects of it.

This is an interesting idea which I will have to give further thought.

Höllenhund said...

Let's suppose there's a husband who is guilty of neither sloth nor gluttony, he is faithful to his wife, and as far as he's concerned, he loves her. However, he isn't actively doing anything more to improve his sexual attractiveness - he isn't going to the gym, he doesn't cultivate some fancy hairstyle, he isn't spending money on fancy clothes, shoes, he isn't learning Game etc.

Is that a sin, factually speaking? What's your answer, Slumlord?

By the way, it'd be nice if you, ar any of your regular readers, answered my questions here. It'd be well to finally get to the bottom of these issues:

socialpathology.blogspot.hu/2014/01/fops.html?showComment=1390827570796#c647472407861715136

Mike T said...

This tradcon argument made me laugh a little...

Those who embrace carnality are generally utterly worthless, imagine what would have happened if Charles Martel's army had been comprised of the same sort of disgusting libertines as we see round about us now.

You clearly know next to nothing about military history if you can make an argument that debauchery and soldiering very often don't go hand-in-hand.

Puzzle Pirate said...

"I was losing to men who had no real future, not uncommon for them to end up in rehab, and often had facial features that looked like human rats."

[i]What did they have that made them attractive to you, or, what did you lack that made you need them?[/i]

I guess I wasn't clear. When I said "I was losing to men with no real future" I mean "I was losing *women* to men who had no real future..."

If better men were swooping and snatching up the women I would have understood.

I know most people who are game aware would like to think these men were masculine or some-such but the truth is a lot of women are just natural reprobates and are attracted to their male equivalents. Which is why we need sterilizations all round.

thefacts said...

The fact is that being "good", even if you grant that to mean a strong assertive Christian(tm) type isn't going to be attractive because it doesn't have any interesting potential. A "bad boy" takes risks, mixes with other people who do the same, which leads to adventure. Risk taking is by it's nature emotional which is why it's attractive.

There is so much bullshit going around about Strong Assertive Men. A strong assertive man who doesn't do anything interesting isn't going to be attractive once the Strong Silent Type mystery wears off. The rat faced bad boys get the girls because they live in an exciting world full of ups and downs, winning and losing and adventure.

There is no adventure in going to church every Sunday and thumping your Bible every evening dreaming about a suburban life and bible study meetings where you get to serve herbal tea to your docile khaki wearing neighbors with their fake smiles and stupid looking haircuts. That's what being "good" leads to these days. No one in their right mind is excited by that.

Anonymous said...

Well Mike T, the point wasn't that pillage & rapine never occurred, but rather that it wasn't the object of worship as it is today, it wasn't considered the be all & end all of human existence. As Pope Leo XIII wrote in Humanum Genus "For since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty & clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened & broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the freemasons some who have plainly determined & proposed that, artfully & of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power & authority for any acts of daring." Ponder this the next time you find yourself wondering why the general public takes so tamely some new government outrage.

Anonymous said...

The loss of the ascetical spirit of the early ages of the Church & the embracing of pleasure & worldliness are what led to the apostasy of the west. The animal nature of man should be treated like a wild beast, that is to say beaten & starved into submission to his superior spiritual nature by penance & mortification. As far as the consequences of this turning away from God so that the unrestrained satisfaction of bestial urges could go on unimpeded by the voice of conscience are concerned, let's say a war were to break out between two countries, one of these had a national religion of pleasure & money worship, let's call it mammonolatry. This country also glorified & protected sodomites & perverts of all kinds whilst seeking to persecute God's Holy Church for not co-operating in sins that cry out to God for vengeance. Public blasphemy was a commonplace, "free speech" don't you know, the youth didn't like books & learning & that sort of thing, how would knowing how to read help them fornicate or get better dope anyway? Contrast all this to the other country which had a leader who publicly assisted at Mass, albeit a schismatic Mass. A leader who imprisoned blasphemers & sodomites & who led a people who valued learning & while far from perfect had a great deal of the natural virtues, who were courageous & disciplined, inured to suffering, a people who will not weep if they cannot have a hot shower, a big mac & a video game every day. Who would win that war I wonder, the pleasure-worshippers? Ha ha ha ha ha! Don't make me laugh! The disciplined peoples of the east will crush the sickening degenerate western "democracies" like the vile cockroaches that they are as the righteous punishment of God for their apostasy. May God & His Most Holy Mother protect the remnant of the faithful that remain in these modern babylons.

Denise said...

I think the way we talk about "good guys" is just as much a part of the issue as how we talk about "bad boys." A "good guy" seems to be fairly synonymous with a "nice guy," and niceness is neither sexually attractive nor a virtue. Virtue however, in the classical sense, does have great potential to be sexually attractive (to women at least) insofar as we are considering qualities beyond the physical. (Aristotle's magnanimity) There are plenty of nice Christian people who have deemed themselves "good", but who nevertheless are not particularly virtuous. Many Christians have a sense of entitlement based on a perception of their own goodness (niceness) that they have thought makes them deserving of any number of things. But God never told anyone to be nice or appeasing or boring.

And the thing about trading virtue for niceness is that virtue actually carries within it the power to accomplish, achieve, and just generally *do* that niceness lacks. By neglecting natural virtue, Christians sacrifice the power to obtain good things in this life. This seems to be related at least tangentially to the question of whether attractiveness is a virtue. I strongly agree that beauty in all its forms is a good that ought to be pursued. To not do so would be slothful. (A fun quote by Helena Rubenstein: 'There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.) There are those intentionally renounce many temporal goods for spiritual purposes, and for the sake of the Kingdom; but that is a vocational choice, not the normal state of affairs.

Those who pursue those things which are good (beauty and classical virtues), come into possession of them and receive all the other goods that come along with it, or which are attracted by it, or accomplished thereby. Those who say, "my cup is full enough", will make themselves content with whatever measure of good they have. But it's not God who is one for half measures.


Question for The Social Pathologist: Have you written any books? Are you going to write any?

RobertW said...

I think much of the anti-eros came from a misunderstanding of Paul's intent. He was surrounded by lots of hot blooded Greeks, Romans, etc. He did not say don't have sex - he said there is a place for it. I can't imagine he would have said to all those hot blooded husbands and wives "and make sure not to enjoy it too much." It seems to me that many traditionalists are saying "no sex before marriage.. and very little after, if you please."

Collin said...

Modernity is not the problem. On the contrary, modernity is heading toward a solution. Christian prudery, even Christianity itself, is crumbling under the realization that there are so many other ways of viewing the world. And the establishment of a consent-based "non-rape" culture is providing a balance between the moral and physical aspects of sex.

This "Cathedral" your club is so afraid of is simply the formalization of the same goals you're advocating. You're shooting yourself in the foot.