Is Evolutionary Psychology Immoral?

1Stephen Lindsay quotes, in an email, from a book by Edward Dutton:

“In 1800, half of all those born died as children; two centuries later, almost none did. More and more people who would not have survived in the old times walked among us. They were mistakes made flesh. They no longer uplifted the established rules; they endlessly criticized and undermined them, like the witches of yore. Unwell in body and mind, they were, at best, selfish and impulsive; at worst, they promoted depression and despair.”

Lindsay responds to Dutton, writing:

“This is horrendous dehumanizing language, very much immoral, and decidedly not pure fact or Truth. I will look over the book to see where he goes with his ideas, and get back to you, but I am thoroughly repulsed right from the start.

As a Christian, I know that each individual human is a child of God with a divine spark and divine potential. With that upbringing this kind of rhetoric has no appeal to me. I can’t help but see this kind of argument as just as much a symptom (on the right) of declining religiosity as is Marxism and woke-ism on the left.”

Lindsay points to a dilemma and an issue about which I have been trying to make up my mind. It could perhaps be described as “the way of the world,” versus “the way of heaven.” Or, “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and render unto God that which is owed to God.” The purpose of human history is unknown. It definitely does not entail some kind of progress or earthly telos. The Indian notion of circular history ending with the Kali Yuga, before a new and hopeful beginning, seems to conform to reality. The way of the world values earthly success; high status, and thus socioeconomic achievement, good looks, fertility, and perhaps fair renown. The way of heaven does not and cannot depend on chance elements of genetic mutation, unless, I suppose, one embraces Calvinist predestination. Why would God create the existence of spiteful mutants? Perhaps, as the cross they bear. Gay men have a purpose; to have their sexuality repressed and redirected in a prosocial direction. Psychopaths can be employed in the military and perhaps spying. Geniuses have psychopathic traits and they are good to have. But, the child hating witch, embodied in Andrea Dworkin, who rejects the patriarchy and thus the social order and encourages others in an antisocial direction; what are we to make of her?

2

A similar conundrum confronts the adherent of René Girard. Scapegoating is evil, but produced human culture. It has saved societies from destruction. It has appeared as a good thing in terms of the way of the world. But, God has condemned it and sent his only Son to reveal its immorality. The question Girard asked was, can social existence survive the death of scapegoating? If it cannot, so much the worse for the social. JMSmith writes: “the imitation of Christ would be justified even if it burns the world down.” It seems hard to let burn the world down with yourself, and all you love, sons and daughters, and everyone in it, and all human accomplishment, perishing. On the other hand, what does it get you to gain the world but lose your soul? Ironically, given the decline of Christianity, we need not worry about this possibility. Scapegoating strides the earth as a Goliath, and all of Western Civilization and the white men who created it are its target. So, the end of scapegoating is nowhere in sight. In its current incarnation, the scapegoat mechanism, far from unifying, is tearing us apart, thanks to identity politics. Scapegoating white men in order to supplant them could be compared to capturing a city to enjoy the spoils of war, but it turns out that what made the city desirable was connected to the productivity and wisdom of its inhabitants, all of whom you have killed or thrown out, leaving you with nothing. This happens all the time, where a productive minority is vilified and becomes the focus of resentment, such as the white farmers of Zimbabwe, only to leave their persecutors holding worthless dust. South Africans depend almost entirely on the productive white minority, three million out of fifty million, who they tax to support the unemployed majority. But, they would clearly love to get rid of them if they could. In 1972, Idi Amin gave the Indian minority of Uganda ninety days to leave the country. They took a significant portion of Uganda’s productivity with them when they left. Most of the them, starting from scratch, rebuilt their finances and success in the UK.

Is scapegoating prosocial or antisocial? Morally, it is irrelevant. It is evil. Bearing that in mind, the question can still be answered. It seems both. Ethnocentrism is prosocial. Any society that fails to care about its members and to act to repel hostile invaders is doomed to dissolve. Attacking the innocent scapegoat can have prosocial benefits. However, knowing that anyone at any time can be attacked to solve social problems will have negative social consequences. The most prosocial thing then would be to return to the state of affairs before Christ’s crucifixion. However, God has rejected this by sending his only Son. And, morality cannot be replaced by cost/benefit analyses. Sometimes, morality conflicts with the good for an individual, and even for the good of the group. Sometimes morality will be prosocial, sometimes antisocial.

If societies have a life cycle; birth, growth, decline, and death, perhaps striving to stave off the inevitable is like the grotesque old people who want to stay alive at any cost. The gift of life must be returned; it must be reciprocated. Holding on to it for grim life is ugly. Perhaps, social decline and death should be accepted while doing our level best to hold on to Christian values to mitigate the suffering. I know of two people who died from cancer who had zero acceptance of their situation and had to be figuratively dragged feet first off this mortal coil as they clawed the ground. Perhaps I would react in the same way, but I hope not. One absolutely failed to put his multinational and complicated affairs in order, leaving his widow with years of strife.

So, the question of the worldly consequences of eradicating scapegoating remains hypothetical. But, the existence of spiteful maladaptive mutants, sick in mind, body, and soul, is not at all a mere postulate. What makes our response to them morally problematic is the genetic component. It has deterministic implications. Ed Dutton claims to be a determinist, like all materialists, while simply ignoring the performative contradictions involved and the moral nihilism that determinism entails. There is no moral good or bad if freedom does not exist.

3

Personality is 0.4 or 0.5 inheritable. Neuroticism is not something anyone chooses. If we regard people as moral agents then the maladaptive must be asked to suppress their inclinations. Their personalities are going to push them to strive to attain power in a hopeless quest to control the frightening world around them. They must refrain. Their hatred of children and the patriarchy that makes the two-parent nurturing of children possible must be kept to themselves, and certainly not proselytized to the young and impressionable. The trouble is that part of their inherited personality is antisocial, nonagreeableness, nonconscientiousness, and so they are going to be very hard to convince to shut up in the name of the interests of the group. Criminals too are, on average, low IQ and low agreeableness. We have no choice but to hold them accountable for their actions and choices. The trouble is that impulse control goes down as people become more stupid. Nonetheless, the pro-human, Christian thing to do would be to treat them as morally responsible individuals. The alternative is determinism which is completely antihuman and only arises anyway out of a rejection of God. We can take Dutton’s observations about bad genes as reason to soften our moral judgments of antisocial neurotics while fighting them tooth and nail, and insisting that they abide by moral norms.

Thanks to prosperity, the human animal gets sicker and sicker until society dissolves and only the prosocial, pro-baby remain. Of course, the delinquent low IQ who have babies willy nilly will continue to breed for a while, but as the general level of prosperity sinks, they will die out with no welfare state to support them.

As a science, evolutionary psychology is amoral and empirical. There are no immoral facts. The only statement in the Dutton quotation that goes beyond neutral description is “they were mistakes made flesh.” However, this statement is then amply supported by the descriptive passages that follow.

4

There is no question that what Dutton describes has become extremely prominent in what remains of Western civilization. “They no longer uplifted the established rules; they endlessly criticized and undermined them, like the witches of yore.” This antinomian[1] impulse has become the norm. As Dutton comments, as few as twenty percent of the population belligerently adopting and enforcing an ideology can flip a culture to reflect this minority of people. I wrote a short piece called The End of Normal which argues that the only acceptable thing to be, according to the antinomian is abnormal. Any sign of conforming to healthy, prosocial, adaptive norms such as being heterosexual, married, and having children in wedlock, is seen as abhorrent. The libertine is actually extremely judgmental and puritanical. Promising unrestricted freedom, they condemn the healthy. Anti-natalism is the most obvious and unarguably bad pathology being promoted. They have lost the will to live and pass on their genes which is fine as far as it goes, but the fact that they have managed to infect otherwise healthy people with their nihilism is intolerable. The sickest will eventually die childless, and the normal will reassert itself, but only after the sick have destroyed and ruined society.

Perhaps the situation can be compared with being at literal war. The soldiers on the other side are made in the image of God like you. They have value and divine worth, but they are also trying to gas you or put a bullet in your skull, your children’s skulls, your wife’s and your friends. Yes, they are human. But, we also have a right to self-defense. Notice that Dutton is not condemning people for having poor genes, but for being selfish, impulsive, depressive and despairing. The prosocial are forced to fight the antisocial. High IQ people know on what side their bread is buttered. At the moment, antisocial, antipatriarchy rules. So, the majority of them simply adopt the attitudes of someone who is a genetic mess, despite being moderately healthy themselves. In a social climate where conservatism dominates, then this is what they emulate. Women in certain decades of the twentieth century were more conservative than men. Being more neurotic and fearful, and also more agreeable, women are particularly prone to following the dominant ethos. They now follow and create this ethos to a large degree, killing us all in a surge of ersatz “compassion.”

Bruce Charlton writes: “Psychology can help analyze a person’s ability to stick to the moral values being inculcated by society – so that more intelligent and conscientious people are much more obedient to social morality, and better able to stick to rules. But when the social rules are evil – as they are now – this makes the intelligent/ conscientious (‘Head Girl’ types, as I once dubbed them) the worst, most harmful, most evil of all classes of people.” The spiteful mutants introduce a sick and wrong pseudo-morality, and the Head Girl agreeable conformist knocks it out of the park in promoting it, helping her career in the process. All her healthy genes become irrelevant as she acts in the service of immorality.

5

What Dutton describes as happening now, has happened before. The biologically weak and maladaptive flourish in a context of plenty where there is an opportunity to support with food those who are unable to provide it for themselves. This laudable Christian-style compassion ends up destroying the circumstances that made this compassion possible – namely, the surpluses. Communism does the same thing. As Margaret Thatcher commented, the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. Perhaps this is indeed the genuinely Christian thing to do. In which case, we must simply accept the life cycle of civilizations.

A significant portion of the maladaptive among us simply detest the adaptive and wish them gone, explicitly. The Romans distributed grain to the poor who survived when they otherwise would have died, and this group then had lots of babies since they were not smart enough to use the many contraceptive methods the Romans had available to them, and they were impulsive and not future oriented since they were low IQ and so had sex regardless of the consequences, i.e., even though they were in no position to support those children via their own exertions. The mutational load thus increases among those having children, supported by dysgenic policies. Due to highly effective contraceptive methods, high IQ upper classes and elites stopped having children in high numbers. This was coupled with the rise of feminism, mass migration into Rome, “transgender” confusion and all the other things we are seeing now in the West. Times of plenty are associated with reduced mortality salience and mortality salience is connected to increased religiosity and also fertility. Being highly aware of death, since one is constantly confronted with it, prompts people to have children and fear God. People think more about eternal values and thus the future and they realize the future needs babies and they care about this fact. South Korea has now reached a natality rate of 0.8. 2.1 is needed for population maintenance. The quickness of South Koreans exiting the gene pool is astonishing.

This biological aspect of the decline of civilization means that what we are experiencing is only partly the result of ideology. The pathological ideology is itself the product of genetic decline and increasing mutational load and these last two things express themselves in all sorts of death and extinction directed and maladaptive ideas, such as the idea that having babies will ruin your life. We know that religious people are, on average, happier, healthier mentally and physically, better looking, and pro-natalist. The opposite of those things will mean an early death, chronic poor health, and no children. That is no good for them or society.

Certainly, being happy, healthy, good-looking, religious, and pro-natalist all sounds great to me. There necessarily is a genetic component to those things. David Hume, that repulsive person, contended that 6reason is the slave of the passions. That is of course a performative contradiction because presumably Hume deduced that fact through his reason, not his passions, thus overriding his passions. Nonetheless, there does seem to be a certain degree of truth to this. We certainly do have “intuitions” and they have a genetic component. Religious belief is inheritable, as shown in twin studies where twins are reared apart. My intuition tells me that God exists. My mother has the opposite sense. Among my siblings, two sisters are atheists, and two of us theists. It does not seem like this state of affairs was the product of argumentation or reason. One of them is mordantly aware of the nihilistic implications of her metaphysical assumptions but seems to regretfully feel like they are not up to her to change, and perhaps they are not. So, falling away from healthy religious pro-natalism looks like it involves factors not within one’s control. We do not choose our most fundamental intuitions. They choose us. If God exists, then He has his reasons for this. Perhaps, he intends there to be varied states of being and life experience as part of a larger plan of which we are unaware. Some go through life aware of His existence. Some do not. The Christian believes in redemption and conversion, so these things must not be set in stone.

7All science looks for physical causes. A better more well-rounded approach might be the Four Quadrants, which factors in cultural and personal/interior contributions to beliefs. Empirically, pathological ideas like anti-natalism are associated with times of plenty; death by abundance. And times of plenty, coupled with modern medicine, mean that the selection for adaptive fitness is reduced. Since we are exactly following Roman decline, the whole thing seems to be unstoppable. The way of the world asserts itself. But, the interior individual domain is up to you to choose.

By identifying genetic contributions to hateful ideologies, such as the notion that Western culture is uniquely evil and deserves to die, we can recognize that some people are pushed in this direction by forces outside their control; their “passions.” But, lest we end up denying their humanity, we must continue to hold them morally responsible for their words and actions. Tomás de Torquemada points to the Bible verse: And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” –Jesus (Luke 17:1-2) Ironically, it is more Christian to condemn spiteful mutants, than to hold them blameless as effectively mindless products of deterministic forces. On the side of the prosocial, it is extraordinarily hard to “love your enemies” when they are the enemies of all human beings. Anti-natalism is anti-human. When the psychopath is skinning you alive for his enjoyment how likely are we to say, “Oh, well. He can’t help it. It’s in his nature.” The right of self-defense remains.

JMSmith writes: “I think every normal person has felt Stephen Lindsay’s revulsion, but reality is what it is no matter what anyone feels. It is true that God created the humans that have the makings to be spiteful mutants, but no less true that he created them in a world that would send them back to him in infancy. The present plethora of adult spiteful mutants is a purely human creation, and humans created it because they thought they were smarter and more moral than God. God created a world that ejected or rejected spiteful mutants before they could do much harm. It is Man in his supposed wisdom who has created a world that succors spiteful mutants, and permits them to grow into robust and destructive adults. I have no idea why God did not make all humans fit to survive in the world that he also made, but I must accept that all the evidence shows that this is precisely what God did.”

When young and idealistic, I wanted to be a pacifist. I wrote my MA thesis, a short book, exploring the topic. Part way through I realized that pacifism was immoral. Heavenly perfection was not compatible with earthly morality. To fail to use violence to defend the helpless is evil, not a virtue. In fighting the enemy, perhaps it is inevitable that in order to do this successfully, a little dehumanizing is needed.

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Stephen Lindsay, the person quoted at the beginning, claims evolutionary psychology consists only of unfalsifiable claims and then proceeds to try to falsify them here.  As a liberal Christian, he is sure that “It was not post-Industrial Revolution witches who crushed the patriarchy, but Jesus Christ and his early Christian followers” which would be news to Christians, feminists, and historians alike. The future is now. He also rejects dysgenics. Given who are having the most children, and who has largely stopped having children (very educated high IQ women) dysgenics could only not be occurring if IQ were not inheritable. It’s 0.8 inheritable. (80%)

[1] Antinomianism is any view which rejects laws or legalism and argues against moral, religious or social norms.

37 thoughts on “Is Evolutionary Psychology Immoral?

  1. I think every normal person has felt Stephen Lindsay’s revulsion, but reality is what it is no matter what anyone feels. It is true that God created the humans that have the makings to be spiteful mutants, but no less true that he created them in a world that would send them back to him in infancy. The present plethora of adult spiteful mutants is a purely human creation, and humans created it because they thought they were smarter and more moral than God. God created a world that ejected or rejected spiteful mutants before they could do much harm. It is Man in his supposed wisdom who has created a world that succors spiteful mutants, and permits them to grow into robust and destructive adults. I have no idea why God did not make all humans fit to survive in the world that he also made, but I must accept that all the evidence shows that this is precisely what God did.

    • Respect! I will see what I can do to incorporate your insights into the article. I might just quote the whole thing! Dutton, being in fact a normal person, finds it difficult to face the brutal math of a 50% death rate in 1800. Even improvements in sanitation had a big effect in saving the unhealthy.

      • Sounds like JMS is a Calvinist.

        In truth, despite my Orthodoxy, when I look at the TULIP (total depravity, unconditional election, irresistible grace, perseverance of the saints) doctrine, I don’t really see much it gets wrong.

  2. Take a look at “BioHistory: the Decline and Fall of the West” by Australian Jim Penman. He expertly skirts the frontier of determinism and moral responsibility in evolutionary psychology by focusing instead on “temperament”, and looking at the conditions – genetic, climatic, cultural, etc – which lend themselves to the prosperity or poverty of peoples.

  3. Is that first quote supposed to represent evolutionary psychology? Because I don’t think it does. It represents a growing realization people are having since 2020 of where the NPCs and atheists came from. These are people who died in infancy prior to modern medicine and the world was better off for it.

    • @really: It represents the views of Ed Dutton the evolutionary psychologist. I think he has been aware of the genetic origins of NPCs and atheists for quite some time. Likewise, with Bruce Charlton who has since resigned from the realm of science.

      • I agree with atheism correlating positively with evolutionary dis-advantageous things E.G. weak immune system.

        However, we should be careful not to slide into excessive pride when stating as such.

        The majority of *every* political or religious movement are NPCs. Nick Fuentes has even said such very openly on his show.

        Moreover, NPC is more a spectrum than a binary. Everyone (even me) is an NPC to some extent. Its like the difference between Arnold S and the liquid-metal Terminator in T2. Both are robots, but the cop model is much more advanced.

        One big difference would be: the generic NPC is only able to follow the programming of the mainstream media, perceived popular consensus, etc, meanwhile for the more advanced NPCs, like us, we still have our own programming, we just have the ability to “hack our systems” and re-program ourselves to some extent.

        Rather than being slaves to the GloboHomo system, we can discipline ourselves to be slaves to God’s Will.

  4. “And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”
    –Jesus (Luke 17:1-2)

    Help me out here if I’m wrong, but it sounds like Jesus is saying some people would be better off dead.

  5. I’m not hating on high IQ folks. I have no reason to; I am in that pool. However, I have seen enough to know that it doesn’t impute inherent higher moral or cultural value.

    It is not lost on me that the elites, academics, and “brightest of the bright” are the ones actively subverting natural law, moral order, and reality.

    So whenever I read about how the low IQ are why we can’t have nice things, I wonder if it’s lost on the author that most of those benighted cretins are being actively steered away from the true, good, and beautiful by the smarties.

    • Yes. The elites are happy to go where the wind blows and are busy shepherding us to hell.. Leftist hegemony is indistinguishable from idiocy. They use the outgroup to batter the ingroup to fight for position.

      It’s more about maladaptive traits in general than just IQ. Hating children and being anti-natalist starts with the spiteful mutant who is not necessarily dumb, and then spreads mimetically. The elites continue to get married and have children, though not in high numbers, but tell the rest of us that marriage is a nasty patriarchal institution. In that, they are maximally morally culpable.

  6. Hi Richard. I enjoyed reading your post. I think you treated the subject fairly, even if I have some concerns about your conclusion. I didn’t have as much time as I thought over the weekend, but I’ll try to finish my post tonight.

    • Hi Stephen,
      I’m glad you found it reasonable. I enjoy responding to thoughtful questions and you tapped into a question I had been unsuccessfully trying to answer for myself.

  7. “They were mistakes made flesh.”

    I covet having been the originator of that phrase.

    “But, the child hating witch, embodied in Andrea Dworkin, who rejects the patriarchy and thus the social order and encourages others in an antisocial direction; what are we to make of her?”

    Intense, agonizing abdominal pain serves an important purpose — it’s a sign that something is wrong and that drastic action must be taken. Prepare the medicine; call the surgeon.

  8. The problem with using Ev Psych to do moral analysis is that – from a Christian point of view – the well-being of the group is Not a moral value – even less a moral imperative.

    Only a religion can support morality – and to try and use a science for moral values is therefore intrinsically immoral. But the same applies to any other ‘functional’ system like economics, law, medicine… all are evil if used as the basis for morality.

    Psychology can help analyze a person’s ability to stick to the moral values being inculcated by society – so that more intelligent and conscientious people are much more obedient to social morality, and better able to stick to rules. But when the social rules are evil – as they are now – this makes the intelligent/ conscientious (‘Head Girl’ types, as I once dubbed them) the worst, most harmful, most evil of all classes of people.

    Speaking as Ed’s loyal collaborator and supporter – I would say it is a problem and limitation for him that he does not himself believe/ adhere to any transcendental or religious system. Being broadly-sympathetic or supportive to Christianity as a means to good ends (which, I would say, is Ed’s stance) is not at all the same thing as being a Christian – as I know from my own experience as an atheist until late middle age.

    A Christian reading Ed Dutton’s books needs to bring his religion to the work – as a Christian does with any and all writing from a secular point of view. So long as we do this – then secular-based literature or science can be used and interpreted to sustain real morality.

    • I agree that Christianity should not be justified by its social utility, since the imitation of Christ would is justified even if it burns the world down. Christ said as much in more than one place. I also agree that the well-being of the group is not an ultimate moral value, since individuals are saved, not peoples. It does seem, however, that certain sociological, political and economic arrangements are favorable to faith, and others are not. As you say, the “Head Girl” types will conform to the standards of their milieu, and will therefore be good or evil according to circumstances. With that said, the disposition to conformity is relative and there is at least a little bit of the “Head Girl” in all of us. So when circumstances are beyond saving one has no choice but to retire to a cave, whether real or metaphorical.

      • “Christianity should not be justified by its social utility since the imitation of Christ would be justified even if it burns the world down.”

        Christianity cannot be justified by its social utility, but morality might take social utility into account to a degree. Consequences are one consideration among many – particularly when moral goods conflict. Kant becomes a fanatic in the last instance because he refuses to break the moral law and lie to save a life. In doing so, he privileges an abstraction over the person. Attempting heavenly perfection, such as pacifists attempt to do, is presumably NOT what it means to imitate Christ. One of the slings and arrows of earthly existence is this feeling of being forced into moral imperfection no matter what you do. As spiritual creatures, we have an intuition of perfect justice and find ourselves unable to implement it. We need creativity and transcendence to figure out what to do at times.

    • Thank you, Bruce. Maybe I should warn commenters that I am prone to using comments to improve a post. I’ll quote you. I like your third paragraph about head girls in particular. That’s an interesting way of putting it. What you do there is really what I am trying to do – examine EP to see how it relates to morality, if at all. I’m not trying to base morality on EP but to see if it has any moral implications.

      I agree that Christianity being useful is not the same as it being true. Even more incoherent is the idea that morality is good because it is a useful fiction which is the position of some biologists. Of course, you are using morality (the good) to judge and approve of morality. Ed is in a philosophically unsustainable position. In particular, determinism.

      So, for instance, EP indicates that genes play a role in being conscientious and following the moral rules as you write. I’m 89 on the conscientiousness scale, but in my case it mitigates against following the social rules and instead trying to follow the moral rules. That might be helped by my being fairly nonagreeable. There is a tension there, as there is with all science, with deterministic causal factors and the freedom that morality requires. But, since we have a soul, these vaguely deterministic seeming things are not overriding.

    • When Ed says that, on average, the religious person is happier, and healthier, mentally and physically and more prosocial, it is inherently thought-provoking. And when he says that the religious are less intelligent than the atheists, one cannot help but think, Hmmm.

      I have argued that being religious may be pro-health and happiness because it accords with reality. God and heaven are real. It would be strange if our mental and physical health depended on a fiction and a divergence from reality, which includes physical and spiritual dimensions.

      However, at this point in time, being openly Christian is positively bad for your social health, or at least your career prospects and it invites persecution. You, I, and JMSmith can all agree – too bad for social health then! Gaining the good graces of the Head Girl turned evil SJW is abhorrent (I’m looking at you, Dean [name withheld]).

  9. “We certainly do have ‘intuitions’ and they have a genetic component. Religious belief is inheritable, as shown in twin studies where twins are reared apart. My intuition tells me that God exists. My mother has the opposite sense.”

    Intuitions can be tested. It’s not just a matter of hoping for the best. Some of this testing must refer to the world outside your mind. Some people don’t want to test intuitions, but in this age of universally self-discrediting authorities it is more important than ever for people of good will to test their intuitions so as not be misled.

    Bruce Charlton also regards intuition as foundational to knowing, but he apparently does not grant that intuitions can be tested. I say “apparently” because I have told him my thesis directly but not received either clear agreement or disagreement.

    • The definition of an intuition is an ability or knowledge that you have but are unable to explain. If you could test them they would stop being intuitions and just be explainable items of knowledge. I know what people are feeling by looking at their faces, but I don’t know how I do it. I can test whether that one is right by asking for confirmation, not that I need to, assuming the person does not choose to lie. The existence of God cannot be similarly tested.

      • “The definition of an intuition is an ability or knowledge that you have but are unable to explain. If you could test them they would stop being intuitions and just be explainable items of knowledge.”

        I don’t think that’s quite correct. We have intuitions about some things that can partly be tested, such as the existence of God. God’s existence need not be taken entirely “by faith,” as there are facts that support the truth of His existence.

        And sometimes we have intuitions regarding things that can be tested in the sense that we wait and see what happens. For example, we may intuit that a person is not trustworthy (or the reverse), and later experience either confirms or disconfirms the intuition.

        We also have moral intuitions that can be tested by our gaining maturity, or learning an ethical system that backs up our intuition by God’s Law and/or moral reasoning.

        Intuitions about the most important things are especially in need of testing because we may be mistaken, because mankind has means of reasoning about them, and the consequences of believing the wrong intuitions are the most catastrophic. For example, the contemporary notion of equality is an intuition: it is not believed because of the data, but because it feels right to a certain sector of people.

        I call them intuitions because at first they are not tested, but rather we grasp them immediately, without conscious reasoning. Despite this, though, they can still be subjected to scrutiny if we want to do so.

  10. Pingback: A Simpler, Shorter Version of “Is Evolutionary Psychology Immoral?” – The Orthosphere

  11. Four related points:

    (1) The parts going into determinism actually reminded me of a phone exchange I had with a friend a month or two ago. He’s been looking for a “based woman” I.E., one who agrees with all his views on the vax, the NWO, etc, and when he found one, complained that she was “totally insane”. I had to walk him through why its not really possible to have the views we do, especially if female (they’re hardwired to go along with the crowd) and *not* be “insane”. Totally blew his mind, remarked that my thesis was very simple, but explaind a lot.

    (2) > “…The libertine is actually extremely judgmental and puritanical…”

    Bronze Age Pervert talks about this in his book. He doesn’t make exactly the same statement, but calls the modern SJW left the secular equivalent of the “Protestant Schoolmarm” archetype. Going as far as to state “they are moral absolutists, there’s not a drop of relativism in them” and that the types who claim to be relativists will always try to sneak in the moralism and absolutism when you’re not looking. Real moral relativists behave like like a Hitler or Stalin, not a finger pointing schoolmarm.

    (3) > “We certainly do have ‘intuitions’ and they have a genetic component. Religious belief is inheritable, as shown in twin studies where twins are reared apart. My intuition tells me that God exists.”

    This is IMO my favorite arguement for Christianity, or at least theism in general. It totally sidesteps and renders irrelevent discussions about the actual existence of God or divine providence or what-have-you.

    It basically goes something like: it doesn’t matter if god exists, or if what’s written in the Bible or recorded in Church Tradition is true or not. Most people would say that its better to be “authentic” than “fake”. Ergo, adhering to a religion (fasting rules, prayer rules, etc) and believing in “crazy, made up stuff” E.G. walking on water, literal resurrection, etc, even if its not true, is necessary to believe to be authentically true to who and what we are.

    Its a big reason why I prefer Orthodoxy to Catholicism. The latter lacks confidence in its faith and, since the Middle Ages, with the rise of Scholasticism (bad, bad, bad!), has attempted to remedy this confidence with making use of various non-Christian rationalist and even European pagan philosophers. E.G., Catholicism requires you to get super into pedantic theories like trans-substantiation (which I actually agree with) to defend or justify the faith, whereas Orthodoxy basically just says “it turns into the blood and body of Christ because we say it does”. Very inherently honest.

    Catholicism says “we can use reason to supplement our faith, here’s how we do it” but that de-facto leads to “we can’t have faith unless it can be proved rationally. Whereas Orthodoxy is very honest when it flat out says: “Reason is only a good insofar as it strengthens the case for Orthodoxy. In all other circumstances its a product of Satan and should be disregarded”. Internally, its very consistent and honest, even if it is self-referential

    • That’s funny about 1). Ed Dutton has an exactly parallel story of meeting a very beautiful woman at a conference who was based and seemed perfect until he realized she was completely insane. In her case, insanely jealous. I wonder if Alex Kaschuta from The Subversive podcast could possibly be an exception?

      2) I’ve written about the fact that the Left’s relativism was a sham as revealed by their new found explicit absolutism combined with omniscience. It is one thing to believe in moral realism, and another to claim perfect knowledge of good and evil. The fact that they change their minds all the time proves they do not – not to mention the abomination that they call morality.

      3) It matters to me that God actually exists, but I also think that you might as well live your life as though He does exist regardless since the alternative is nihilism. See https://voegelinview.com/is-life-worth-living/

      • A long running fantasy of mine is to meet a beautiful woman and we’ll solve all of each others problems and basically become ubermensch. LOL

        Re #3, I think that if we’re gonna be authentic, we have to be realistic about ourselves and our motivations. Like, I can’t deny that I’ve always had edgelord tendencies and have romanticized views of cults. I like the idea of being a part of a small tight-knit group that believes in all kinds of things that run in the face of mainstream society.

        Its very telling that “culture” comes from the root “cult” or the Roman “cultus”.

        Who knows, maybe I would’ve been a communist if I were alive in 1917 Russia. It’s not fun to think about, but it could very well’ve been the case. Lots of people were hoodwinked. That brings up a lot of questions about the nature of salvation, such as: if it was much easier to live a moral life even circa the 1950s, and ergo much easier to be saved, and we know that God can look into people’s hearts, would a perfectly pious man who died in the 50s, but would’ve gotten into a very degenerate lifestyle were he alive in 2022, would he ultimately be condemned despite all his faith and works? Vice versa as well.

        It makes you ask: “Did God really create the vast bulk of people who’re alive today specifically to condemn them?” From a rational POV, it certainly satisfies Occam’s razor.

        I imagine that its God’s will to bring different types of people with different psychological inclinations into his fold via different recruiting methods

      • That’s an interesting thought about the 1950s man vs the 2022. In terms of rationality, creating people in order to condemn them seems pointless, and thus irrational.

  12. One way to solve the problem would be to embrace St Origin’s idea of the soul pre-existing the body. Basically, all the souls that will ever be born were created, along with everything else, in Genesis. God just chooses when you incarnate.

    Maybe the 1950s man was pre-determined to be saved, ergo God put him in a time where-in being saved was much easier. Maybe for most of the people alive today, its the opposite.

    Not sure if you’d call that Compatibilism, but it has sort-of the same smell.

  13. I’ve never understood how God could create a world in which morality conflicts with pro-social attitudes. It makes Christianity, along with all other religions, just a crude psychological synthesis of pro-social habits and ideas – crude enough to get it wrong in many cases.

    In the Bible it says you can’t serve God and money because we can only serve one master. We’ll end up hating the other. So which is it? Did God create us with the end of knowing him, with our natural emotions bearing the imprint of his divine love and our sinful impulses destructive both spiritually and physically? Or did he create us with the end of surviving, often at the cost of what we now preach to be moral?

    You seem to (though I know this is not the case) be the only person who fully recognizes this dissonance and still calls himself a Christian.

    • Hi, theeverunknown: I’m quoting from a comment JMSmith wrote with regard to the article itself. So, you will find it below where the article stops. One of the nice things about online publishing is that I can incorporate feedback in the form of comments into the article itself or fix mistakes if someone finds one.

  14. The difference between Jesus Christ and Mohammad became all too clear after 40 years of terrorism curing years of innocence. One turns water into wine while the other delivers its enemies into itty bitty body bags! Teaching the victims and their families what you can achieve as a lifetime scholar of the Koran! Fifteen years as an Imam is not enough to remedy the belief that violence is the supreme road to power and control. How I laughed… the religious art accompanying the article is wonderful!

    I’m presuming the original message is the victim of Google translate it. The above was my guess as to what it was supposed to say.

    The difference between JC and Mohammed is 40 years of rolling into knowledge post watching the world aim at innocence …centred walker sat deflected in the balance as aiming is malevolence water into wine and delivering your enemies into itty bitty body bags! Teaching them and their families what you can achieve as a lifetime scholar! 15 years in as guardian they are being wrapped by the presumption their is no power and control above violance! how i laugh… the infinity art is wonderful!

  15. Just noticed your end note.
    >Stephen Lindsay, … As a liberal Christian, he is sure that “It was not post-Industrial Revolution witches who crushed the patriarchy, but Jesus Christ and his early Christian followers” which would be news to Christians, feminists, and historians alike.>

    I think Christians, feminists, and historians alike would do well to read Larry Siedentop’s “Inventing the Individual”. The ancient world was run on patriarchal and hierarchical intuitions in which the father/citizen had a higher moral place in law and common understanding of the world. Christianity replaced this hierarchical rationality with a new view in which each individual has a personal relationship with God our Father, and an egalitarian understanding of each of us as spiritual brothers and sisters, children of God. Siedentop traces the progress through Western history as these new intuitions seep into law and culture. The book is a bit dry as it goes through the centuries, but it changed how I look at the world.

    Of course, more recently the originally Christian idea of the individual has been corrupted by the likes of Rousseau, Nietzchke, Marx, and Freud and is now beyond hope in our society. Carl R Trueman tells this story effectively in “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.” I think you would enjoy this book although it might not be news to you.

    • It seems the “render unto Caesar” idea might be relevant here. Religiously and spiritually we are all creatures of God, made in the image of God and of supreme value, sociologically, not so much. Hierarchy and order are coextensive. Parents are above children, teachers above students, employers above employees, humans above pets. Any push to eliminate hierarchies means a descent into chaos and murder. Legitimate hierarchies based on competence are absolutely necessary. I, for instance, am simply the wrong person to fly a plane, do plumbing, solve complicated equations, or run a soup kitchen. The pilot, plumber, mathematician, etc are my superiors in those fields. Their opinion must take precedence.

      God, however, has no preference for the pilot or the plumber. They are his children and he loves them equally.

      There is no need for patriarchy in fast life strategy situations because fathers are not expected to look after their offspring. Women are thus free to do what they want and who they sleep with is their business. In harsher climates that require planning and high investment in children, then fathers need to be reasonably sure their children are their own – not something a woman has to worry about. And thus women’s sexuality must be tightly constrained, necessitating the patriarchy. Again, if the father is not expected to worry about offspring, there is no need for that at all.

      When it comes to voting and running organizations like colleges, when womanly compassion and concern for the lost lamb gets too overwhelming the egalitarian impulses you seem to favor destroy the country and the organizations. Colleges are now more concerned with avoiding hurting anyone’s feelings (other than white men) than truth, subverting the entire point of their existence. A balance between the push for excellence and compassion has been lost as men have become dispirited and withdrawn. Colleges are now 60% female, on average and HR departments terrorize the employees, run exclusively by women, with very few exceptions. So, “egalitarianism” leads to fear and loathing and the subversion of competency hierarchies.

  16. Pingback: Recruits for the Misfit Army: Wise Words from Gustave Le Bon – The Orthosphere

  17. “Thanks to prosperity, the human animal gets sicker and sicker until society dissolves and only the prosocial, pro-baby remain.”

    This is what gives me hope. Back when Israel was formed, the haredim were 5% of the population. Now they are 30%. If the West survives another two generations, the problems largely fix themselves.

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