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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A scientist beats up PZ

As if the Fowl Atheist didn't have enough trouble with all the religious people methodically exposing his rank idiocy whenever he opens his mouth, now even atheist scientists are calling him out on his clueless nonsense. David Sloan Wilson points out the obvious, which is that PZ Myers doesn't act or think in a scientific manner where religion is concerned.
In the spirit of science as a process of constructive disagreement, Evolution: This View of Life is pleased to feature a critique of my previous article "The New Atheism and Evolutionary Religious Studies: Clarifying Their Relationship" by evolutionist and prolific blogger PZ Myers, titled "You Want Evidence that Religion is Bad for Our Species? OPEN YOUR EYES." Unfortunately, Myer's critique raises the issue of whether he is functioning as a scientist at all on the subject of religion.

Imagine Myers teaching a class on his academic specialty -- evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) -- and telling his students that all they must do to understand the topic is to open their eyes. This would be absurd. The whole point of science is to understand topics that are too complex to be self-evident. I have written about the problem of scientists who use their reputation in one topic area to hold forth on other topic areas without doing the same homework that a good science journalist would do, and even without functioning as a scientist in any way at all. PZ Myers has a fine reputation as an evolutionary developmental biologist, but on the topic of religion he is defrocked.
As longtime readers here know, it's not just the subject of religion concerning which PZ is hapless, but pretty much every subject he attempts to address outside of his own professional specialty. He's equally incompetent with regards to philosophy, politics, and economics, just to name three more. And even with regards to his scientific specialty, he hasn't mastered it sufficiently to be confident of winning a debate on evolution by natural selection with me. But for the purposes of both amusement and edification, consider PZ's inept response to Wilson, especially the specific questions he poses:

Rather than condescendingly telling us about evolutionary dynamics, I’d like Wilson to get specific.

1. How does depriving girls of an education benefit women?

2. How does raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children benefit women?

3. How does throwing acid in their faces when they demand independence from men benefit women?

4. How do honor killings benefit women?

5. How does stoning rape victims benefit women?

6. How does female genital mutilation benefit women?

7. How does letting women die rather than giving them an abortion benefit women?


What is amusing here is the way that PZ throws out these questions as if they are at all difficult to answer, as if he is making some sort of cogent point simply by asking them. Now, I'm sure Wilson would come up with some different answers, but as will be seen by the answers I provide, by asking some of them, Myers is doing little more than demonstrating the very unscientific attitude of which he is accused! It's important to understand that one need not find these answers to be absolutely conclusive or even convincing to recognize that they are scientifically valid answers, which is to say that they can be used to generate hypotheses and then subsequently put to the scientific test, at least to the extent that social science can reasonably be considered science.

1. Because educating women is strongly correlated with reducing their disposition and ability to reproduce themselves. Educating them tends to make them evolutionary dead ends. "Germany now has the highest number of childless women in the world. This trend has been going on since at least the 90s. What we also know is that the higher the level of education, the more likely a woman is to remain childless." -Professor Norbert Schneider, Mainz University. 40% of German women with college degrees are childless. Does PZ seriously wish to claim that not reproducing is intrinsically beneficial to women? Does he really find it hard to understand how not reproducing is evolutionary disadvantageous?

2. Because raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children allows them to pursue marriage at the age of their peak fertility, increase the wage rates of their prospective marital partners, and live in stable, low-crime, homogenous societies that are not demographically dying. It also grants them privileged status, as they alone are able to ensure the continued survival of the society and the species alike. Women are not needed in any profession or occupation except that of child-bearer and child-rearer, and even in the case of the latter, they are only superior, they are not absolutely required.

3. Because female independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability. If PZ has turned against utilitarianism or the concept of the collective welfare trumping the interests of the individual, I should be fascinated to hear it.

4. Because female promiscuity and divorce are strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills, from low birth and marriage rates to high levels of illegitimacy.

5. I don't see how this benefits women in any way. The effect in dramatically reducing the number of false rape accusations would, of course, benefit men, but since there is no reliable penalty for false rape accusations in modern society, reducing it would be of little benefit to them.

6. By reducing female promiscuity, which is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills, from low birth and marriage rates to high levels of illegitimacy. But it may not even do so, in which case there wouldn't appear to be any case for it, since female genital mutilation tends to make health matters worse, unlike male genital mutilation, which appears to improve health matters somewhat.

7. Because far more women are aborted than die as a result of their pregnancies going awry. The very idea that letting a few women die is worse than killing literally millions of unborn women shows that PZ not only isn't thinking like a scientist, he's quite clearly not thinking rationally at all. If PZ is going to be intellectually consistent here, then he should be quite willing to support the abortion of all black fetuses, since blacks disproportionately commit murder and 17x more people could be saved by aborting black fetuses than permitting the use of abortion to save the life of a mother. 466 American women die in pregnancy every year whereas 8,012 people died at the hands of black murderers in 2010.

The scientific attitude would be to develop a hypothesis and test it as best one is able. But it's quite clear that PZ doesn't want to consider the possibility of anything beyond his philosophical commitment to the unicorn of so-called "equality". Wilson is right to observe that PZ's behavior with regards to these matters is entirely unscientific, indeed, one might even surmise that it is outright anti-scientific.

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175 Comments:

Blogger Nate June 05, 2012 7:59 AM  

But... but... I see a pack of hunters! Hunters!!! dangerous... fat... pastey... hunters?

Anonymous Josh June 05, 2012 8:04 AM  

pz is the ultimate gamma white knight

Anonymous The Great Martini June 05, 2012 8:27 AM  

Many of your points really beg the question or are non sequitur. By analogy, how does not attempting a prison break benefit lifers? Because prison breaks might spur the prison to provide poor meals, and so prison breaks are not beneficial to lifers. However, those who break prison and escape really might gain a much better life. Similarly, those women who seek education might follow a much more satisfying life than just a stay at home mom, or a mom whose psyche has been damaged by oppression or sexual mutilation. Your points are only objective and scientific from the vantage of your own values and ones that PZ Myers would either disagree with or find insane. If you take PZ's vantage, there is little benefit to women from any of them, and for most of them, a great deal of harm.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 June 05, 2012 8:31 AM  

What I find amusing about most of PZ's questions is that they mostly apply to Muslims, where as atheists like PZ tend to target primarily Christians. As far as I know, Christians have never done half the things on the list.

Anonymous The Gray Man June 05, 2012 8:31 AM  

I think this is my favorite PZ smackdown yet.

Anonymous Hildebrandt June 05, 2012 8:32 AM  

I agree to those answers in such degree that I am astonished with myself.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 8:40 AM  

Many of your points really beg the question or are non sequitur.

No, they don't. And you haven't shown that in any way.

Similarly, those women who seek education might follow a much more satisfying life than just a stay at home mom, or a mom whose psyche has been damaged by oppression or sexual mutilation..

And yet, every survey shows that the more educated, more childless women today are less happy than their more "oppressed" predecessors living in a less equalitarian society 40 years ago. Answering a hypothesis with a "might" isn't a rebuttal, it's an alternative hypothesis. In either case, testing and observation is in order.

Your points are only objective and scientific from the vantage of your own values and ones that PZ Myers would either disagree with or find insane.

No, they are objective and scientific regardless. Science doesn't concern values; you're simply revealing your own PZ-like inability to understand the limits of science.

Anonymous Koanic June 05, 2012 8:41 AM  

The crowd roars as an arterial spray spatters the front stands.

If God didn't enjoy bloodsport, why did he create r's?

Anonymous Pablo June 05, 2012 8:48 AM  

It's just so satisfying to have PZ be given a beatdown by a fellow atheistic scientist, not to mention Vox, and this with the use of his own words! It's like in a movie when the bad guy chokes on his own poison. It's just so satisfying and right.
PZ meet petard. Petard, PZ.

Anonymous MendoScot June 05, 2012 8:48 AM  

The hunters quote was hysterical. He had a post a while ago about his own "near-death experience" - he was put on an excercise bike and made to pedal until he nearly fainted! I couldn't help but think of Piggy from Lord of the Flies.

Anonymous Vidad June 05, 2012 8:59 AM  

Ah... good way to start the day.

"The best part of wakin' up... tellin' PZ to shut up..."

Anonymous The Great Martini June 05, 2012 9:05 AM  


No, they are objective and scientific regardless. Science doesn't concern values; you're simply revealing your own PZ-like inability to understand the limits of science.


PZ isn't responding scientifically. That's the point to his snide reference to calculation. Wilson is the one who wants to keep Myers in the scientific box, but I think Myers' answer is quite in line with your admonition not to always argue from science. Some things are simply plain from their statement, which is why your entire exercise is a bit futile (but still hopelessly relative to your own specific values). You should actually be in agreement with Myers here, unless you really do think genital mutilation, etc. are objectively good.

Anonymous Wendy June 05, 2012 9:15 AM  

Wait, suddenly PZ differentiates between primates and humans?

One can learn a lot from the critique of others. Too bad PZ seems incapable of learning.

Anonymous Wendy June 05, 2012 9:17 AM  

(but still hopelessly relative to your own specific values)

You speak as if you don't have your own specific values?

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 9:21 AM  

"By analogy, how does not attempting a prison break benefit lifers?"

Every once in a while, I like to kid myself that gee whiz, most people Aren't Really THAT Stupid. It just can't be, right? Then I stumble across a comment like this, and it's back to dreary reality.

* * *

"The Mongols are coming! The Mongols are coming! Every man to his post!"

"Actually, I don't feel like fighting Mongols today, I don't think I'm 'ready' for it. I need to take a few years away from the Perimeter Defense, and study race and gender differences, cultural criticism... find out who I really am."

"Yeah, me too! / Me too! / Screw this whole fighting-the-Mongols sh#t! / 'Mongols' are just a social construct, anyway!" etc etc etc

SMASH CUT TO: ONE DAY LATER

"Wow, this whole thing of being either dead or slaves-of-the-Mongols isn't really too cool..."

Anonymous VryeDenker June 05, 2012 9:22 AM  

That was some satisfying reading right there.

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 9:29 AM  

In answer (1) you replaced benefiting by evolutionary advantageous. This is an obvious example of straw man. In answer (7) you speak as if we could either allow all abortions or none, this is a false alternative and a straw man.

In answer (2), you claim "Because raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children ... ... increase the wage rates of their prospective marital partner...". This is highly doubtful. Their education and professional life will suffer. The more educated a women is, the best are her chances to find a husband with a good job. If the woman work at a well-paid job, the expectation of the wage of her husband raises even more, since she might meet him at her workplace. In the same way, a well educated women will have more chance to "live in stable, low-crime, homogenous societies" by having the possibility to choose her husband, her wife or her house more carefully.

"It also grants them privileged status, as they alone are able to ensure the continued survival of the society and the species alike."
And to say that I thought men were required for reproduction!

"Women are not needed in any profession or occupation"
Neither are men. Women proved they could mostly replace us during wars.

I could continue with each answer in turn, but there is too much to say.

Anonymous Josh June 05, 2012 9:36 AM  

Neither are men. Women proved they could mostly replace us during wars.

I forget that women invented the atom bomb, radar, sonar, jet engines, and rockets...

the vital work that men do is invent things that increase the standard of living for the entire planet...women do not...

Anonymous Josh June 05, 2012 9:39 AM  

The more educated a women is, the best are her chances to find a husband with a good job. If the woman work at a well-paid job, the expectation of the wage of her husband raises even more, since she might meet him at her workplace.

and yet, as more women become more educated, the pool of men that they desire to marry shrinks, leaving an increasing number of women with naught but their cats, vibrators, and twilight fan fiction...

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 9:40 AM  

In answer (1) you replaced benefiting by evolutionary advantageous. This is an obvious example of straw man.

You are wrong. The question was how "women" benefit. Not "a woman". Not just "women existing right now". The next generation of women benefit significantly from being born versus not existing at all.

In answer (7) you speak as if we could either allow all abortions or none, this is a false alternative and a straw man.

No, the logic remains even if we only contemplate women with at-risk pregnancies. If half the children carried by at-risk mothers are female, then more than half the women with at-risk pregnancies would have to die for it to be worthwhile to permit aborting at-risk pregnancies from the utilitarian perspective.

In answer (2), you claim "Because raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children ... ... increase the wage rates of their prospective marital partner...". This is highly doubtful.

No, it is basic economics 101. Wage rates are lower than in 1973 thanks to the influx of additional women into the labor force. This creates the vicious cycle of women working because their husbands don't earn enough, so they go to work, etc.

I could continue with each answer in turn, but there is too much to say.

And let's not forget that you've gotten all the previous ones wrong.

Anonymous Josh June 05, 2012 9:43 AM  

And let's not forget that you've gotten all the previous ones wrong.

I don't think that's going to stop him.

Anonymous Wendy June 05, 2012 9:44 AM  

Their education and professional life will suffer.

So what? Having an education and professional life has little impact on success in life. There are plenty of very successful college dropouts. You may see ones job as the most important thing in life, but I don't. I see it as a means to an end in providing an income.

The more educated a women is, the best are her chances to find a husband with a good job.

Prove it. I don't think you can, but by all means, try. Society isn't that stratified and guys don't value amount of education when looking for a wife.

Blogger Hermit June 05, 2012 9:44 AM  

"Their education and professional life will suffer."

Thank you, you just made my day.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 05, 2012 9:47 AM  

swiftfoxmark2 June 05, 2012 8:31 AM

What I find amusing about most of PZ's questions is that they mostly apply to Muslims, where as atheists like PZ tend to target primarily Christians. As far as I know, Christians have never done half the things on the list.


Indeed.
It seems to be a common Atheist tactic nowadays - trying to blame Christianity for all the things done by followers of "Islam".
Lumping them both together under one label of "religion".

I wonder if this is conscious dishonestly, or a genuine intellectual defect? Are they unable to distinguish between two things if they can be called by a common label?

Blogger Kentucky Packrat June 05, 2012 9:49 AM  

PZ is so wrapped up in building straw men that he's too busy to see reality.

All but 2 and 7 are straw men constructed by liberals as "natural consequences" to religion, when they only occur in morally deficient societies in the first place. It was the rise of Christianity that stopped habits like this, and it was the fall or lack of Christianity that allowed societies to start thinking they were a good idea.

2 is much more interesting. I will pose stronger language: Women's number 2 job is to have kids. Men's number 2 job is to feed and raise those kids. (Both have the Number 1 job of doing God's will, but that's out of scope for this discussion.) If that doesn't happen, then there are no more kids and no more society. The spreadsheet I'm coloring in right now is only a means to job number 2; humanity won't end if I don't get it done.

7 is a full-scale strawman. I know two women who had to have hysterectomies while pregnant to (really) save their lives. Both had said hysterectomies, while Kentucky still banned abortions. The number of "lives saved through abortion" are vastly inflated by people who claim mental health issues or "suicide prevention". Abortions kill more women with complications than they save through health issues.

I take abortion personally. My mother probably would have been aborted had the option been available. Hearing rich girls and gamma men whine about the "need to choose", when they mean "the need to maintain my convenience", nauseates me.

The scientific nihilists seem happiest when they can oppose the very existence of man; that's why they desire abortion despite its very contradiction to the fitness of the species (both in theory and in current application). I see this as Satanic, not enlightened.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 05, 2012 9:52 AM  

Someone might already have answered this, but:


2. How does raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children benefit women?


If PZ truly believed in Evolution by means of Natural Selection then he would know about reproductive success. He would also understand that if you raise girls to resist bearing children then their reproductive success, and that of their mothers and fathers is going to take a hit. (Reproductive success is one of the central concepts of Evolution.)

However, thinking like that is not what a good little Gouldian foot-soldier is supposed to do.

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. June 05, 2012 9:58 AM  

OOpps. hypertext didnt transfer. OT: click here for a sneak preview of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTN6Du3MCgI

Anonymous Stilicho June 05, 2012 10:03 AM  

The more educated a women is, the best are her chances to find a husband with a good job.

Nonsense. The reality is that, the more attractive a woman is, the better her chances of finding a husband with a good job.

Anonymous The other skeptic June 05, 2012 10:07 AM  



In answer (2), you claim "Because raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children ... ... increase the wage rates of their prospective marital partner...". This is highly doubtful.

No, it is basic economics 101. Wage rates are lower than in 1973 thanks to the influx of additional women into the labor force. This creates the vicious cycle of women working because their husbands don't earn enough, so they go to work, etc.


This is, of course, true.

However, it seems to me that it needs to be analyzed in the context of the struggle within the political class to find and buy votes. Once the secret ballot was introduced, the political class had to find new ways to remain in power, so they introduced the concept of Universal Suffrage (although notions of universal male suffrage were introduced before the secret ballot).

See, for example: How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?

Next step? Suffrage for non-citizens all over the world? (Ie, no need to slip across the border to vote for your favorite slime mold.)

Anonymous No_Limit_Bubba™ June 05, 2012 10:17 AM  

"Without men, civilization would last until the oil needed changing."
--Fred Reed

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 10:19 AM  

@Vox
"The next generation of women benefit significantly from being born versus not existing at all." This is a classical logical error, treating existence as a property or a state. If you don't exist, you don't benefit, but you don't lose anything either. Maybe they exist by the are born later... ;)

"No, the logic remains even if we only contemplate women with at-risk pregnancies." You don't read PZ sentence carefully, he speaks of letting a woman die instead of allowing abortion, this means a higher probability that 50% of dying.

"No, it is basic economics 101. Wage rates are lower than in 1973 thanks to the influx of additional women into the labor force."
I admire your trust in your macroeconomic theorising. The decrease in wage is compensated by an identical decrease in the cost of production that will decrease the price of goods, so that the purchasing power increases. People care about the purchasing power, not the wage.
Even if you don't like my economics, you are still not addressing the error in your answer since you were speaking of the husbands of the specific girls we choose to push toward breeding or education, not of the average man.

@Wendy
"So what? Having an education and professional life has little impact on success in life. There are plenty of very successful college dropouts. You may see ones job as the most important thing in life, but I don't. I see it as a means to an end in providing an income."

I agree, but success in life was not my point, I just used that "Their education and professional life will suffer." as an intermediate step to show something else.

"Prove it. I don't think you can, but by all means, try."
Does Vox prove all he says? I'll just be happy to give arguments that are far more plausible than his. That a woman has more chance to find a husband among people she meets is extremely plausible. That she meets more people with good job if she has one is pretty obvious.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 05, 2012 10:23 AM  

Abortion due to medical emergency is usually legal, even in countries that ban elective abortion.

Simplistic all-or-nothing thinking seems to assume something must either be totally illegal under any circumstance whatsoever, or be allowed at anyone's whim.

Anonymous Carlotta June 05, 2012 10:28 AM  

It is posts like this, and your vaccine articles, that make the Bible come alive for me. When the Bible talks about each of us having our own gifts, it is true. I think you are a clanging bell, waking people the hell up.

Thank you for it. It has benefitted me immensely.

I also thank you for making it common sense to refute such stupidity. Far to many Christians are terrified of getting into these types of conversations. The think they must be loving,or that scientist are right and we must take the Bible on faith.

Quite clearly it simply takes a sound, trained mind and we could all do much better at those attempting to prove how stupid and ignorant Christians are.

Anonymous Carlotta June 05, 2012 10:29 AM  

Apologies for the typos, my comment box is locking up quite a bit on me here.....

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 10:30 AM  

This is a classical logical error, treating existence as a property or a state. If you don't exist, you don't benefit, but you don't lose anything either. Maybe they exist by the are born later...

It's nothing of the kind, you inept charlatan. Furthermore, we're dealing with a comparative. No wonder your sort is always ends up occupying itself with mass-killing if it thinks existence is no more beneficial than non-existence.

You don't read PZ sentence carefully, he speaks of letting a woman die instead of allowing abortion, this means a higher probability that 50% of dying.

No, because he can't know that and he provided no specific details.

I admire your trust in your macroeconomic theorising. The decrease in wage is compensated by an identical decrease in the cost of production that will decrease the price of goods, so that the purchasing power increases.

You're wrong. And you're a complete idiot. First, it's not macroeconomic theory, it is straightforward supply and demand. Second, by your logic, cutting all wages to zero would increase purchasing power. Since labor is only one factor in the price of goods, and a small one at that, there is no net increase in purchasing power and the reduced cost of goods are even less affordable than before.

I'll just be happy to give arguments that are far more plausible than his.

It is quite clear that you won't. You're far too stupid to have any chance of doing so.

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 10:33 AM  

@Stilicho
"Nonsense. The reality is that, the more attractive a woman is, the better her chances of finding a husband with a good job."
I agree, but this does not contradict anything I said.

Anonymous Carlotta June 05, 2012 10:34 AM  

Reading this PZ guys work is...well...hysterical. Hunter indeed! The point is not that we are not sheep, but who our Sheperd is!

Second, a bunch of pigs prowling around my sheep fold making oinking noises at me is simply a good show.

Third, his questions and writings make me ponder why the clueless in life are often the most productive and persistant.

Anonymous Josh June 05, 2012 10:35 AM  

The decrease in wage is compensated by an identical decrease in the cost of production that will decrease the price of goods, so that the purchasing power increases.

provide numbers or shut up

Anonymous Randy M June 05, 2012 10:36 AM  

[b]It seems to be a common Atheist tactic nowadays - trying to blame Christianity for all the things done by followers of "Islam".[/b]
It's funny, they'll demand to have the category of atheist split off from communist but lump Christians, Muslims, and pagans together.

Anonymous formerly no name June 05, 2012 10:39 AM  

The Spenglerian Yockey understood where things were heading in 1948:
Liberalism
(...)
A moment's reflection shows that Liberalism is entirely negative. It is not a formative force, but always and only a disintegrating force. It wishes to depose the twin authorities of Church and State, substituting for them economic freedom and social ethics. It happens that organic realities do not permit of more than the two alternatives: the organism can be true to itself, or it becomes sick and distorted, a prey for other organisms. Thus the natural polarity of leaders and led cannot be abolished without annihilating the organism. Liberalism was never entirely successful in its fight against the State, despite the fact that it engaged in political activity throughout the 19th century in alliance with every other type of Stated-disintegrating force. Thus there were National-Liberals, Social-Liberals, Free-Conservatives, Liberal-Catholics. They allied themselves with democracy, which is not Liberal, but irresistibly authoritarian in success. They sympathized with Anarchists when the forces of Authority sought to defend themselves against them. In the 20th century, Liberalism joined Bolshevism in Spain, and European and American Liberals sympathized with Russian Bolsheviks.

Liberalism can only be defined negatively. It is a mere critique, not a living idea. Its great word "freedom" is a negative — it means in fact, freedom from authority, i.e., disintegration of the organism. In its last stages it produces social atomism in which not only the authority of the State is combated, but even the authority of society and the family. Divorce takes equal rank with marriage, children with parents.

(...)
Thus Liberalism in action was just as political as any State ever was. It obeyed organic necessity by its political alliances with non-Liberal groups and ideas. Despite its theory of individualism, which of course would preclude the possibility that one man or group could call upon another man or group for the sacrifice or risk of life, it supported "unfree" ideas like Democracy, Socialism, Bolshevism, Anarchism, all of which demand life- sacrifice.
(...)
Liberalism is an escape from hardness into softness, from masculinity into femininity, from History into herd-grazing, from reality into herbivorous dreams, from Destiny into Happiness. Nietzsche, in his last and greatest work, designated the 18th century as the century of feminism, and immediately mentioned Rousseau, the leader of the mass-escape from Reality. Feminism itself — what is it but a means of feminizing man? If it makes women man-like, it does so only by transforming man first into a creature whose only concern is with his personal economics and his relation to "society," ie. a woman. "Society" is the element of woman, it is static and formal, its contests are purely personal, and are free from the possibility of heroism and violence. Conversation, not action; formality, not deeds. How different is the idea of rank used in connection with a social affair, from when it is applied on a battlefield! In the field, it is fate-laden; in the salon it is vain and pompous. A war is fought for control; social contests are inspired by feminine vanity and jealousy to show that one is "better" than someone else.

And yet what does Liberalism do ultimately to woman: it puts a uniform on her and calls her a "soldier."' This ridiculous performance but illustrates the eternal fact that History is masculine, that its stern demands cannot be evaded, that the fundamental realities cannot be renounced, even, by the most elaborate make-believe. Liberalistic tampering with sexual polarity only wreaks havoc on the souls of individuals, confusing and distorting them, but the man-woman and the woman-man it creates are both subject to the higher Destiny of History.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 10:40 AM  

"The more educated a women is, the best are her chances to find a husband with a good job. [btw... ?? k]

Nonsense. The reality is that, the more attractive a woman is, the better her chances of finding a husband with a good job."

Some of us with good jobs simply squared that ol' circle, and selected women who were both educated AND attractive. Such a deal.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 10:44 AM  

That she meets more people with good job if she has one is pretty obvious.

Irrelevant. She may meet more people, but she is still statistically less likely to marry any of them.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 10:49 AM  

"but she is still statistically less likely to marry any of them."

Or better: given the sort of creature she's been turned into by buying this particular bill of goods, maybe men are statistically less likely to marry HER.

Anonymous Znort June 05, 2012 10:51 AM  

Genital mutilation suggests to me that God made mistakes in the design of the human body.

The idea of hacking off parts of an innocent infants body just so as to modify its behavior or insure conformity is repugnant and the essence of tyranny.

Perhaps stripping the taste buds from an infants tongue will insure freedom from gluttony.

Anonymous Randy M June 05, 2012 10:52 AM  

Education can only provide a comparitive advantage to mating for women (since the same men exist to the group as a whole) so women in general can't benefit relationally by educational level unless you want to assume that there are men who will marry no woman if they aren't educated, and this is dubious.
The only way that educating women would benefit women is is it provided some nebulous quality of life benefit that made them happier (palusible but not in evident) or if those educated women were better able to advance all of society by putting that knowledge to work providing better goods and services.

Now, assuming all higher education is societially useful (please, stiffle you laughter), this is still not going to work.
Since many well educated women drop out of the work force to birth and raise children, women having higher education is actually taking work-hours of education out of the available labor pool, i.e., if those medical school slots had gone to men, all of society including women would have more benefit from them.

Educating women in primary education (ie, basic literacy and numeracy) could certainly be said to improve the good of all women and society in a variety of ways. However, lets please note that private religious and reliously motivated home-schooling is nearly universally superior to educating both girls and boys, things that presumably PZ would eliminate.

Anonymous Randy M June 05, 2012 10:53 AM  

superior to educating in secular public schools, I meant to add.

Anonymous TLM June 05, 2012 11:08 AM  

On #4, you failed to mention that female promiscuity also leads to an astronomical increase in the number of obese women. As can be witnessed at any fast food restaurant across America. In the 70's & 80's you had the slut, since the 90's we have been saddled, pun intended, with the fat slut. A truly hideous beast.

And any guy that would come up with those questions is clearly a candidate for mangina of the year.

Anonymous Wendy June 05, 2012 11:10 AM  

Some of us with good jobs simply squared that ol' circle, and selected women who were both educated AND attractive. Such a deal.

Wouldn't you prefer intelligent and attractive over educated and attractive? After all, educated and intelligent don't always equate.

Anonymous formerly no name June 05, 2012 11:12 AM  

Can't say we weren't warned:
Proclamation of London
"The message of hollywood is the total significance of the isolated individual, stateless and rootless, outside of society and family, whose life is simply the pursuit of money and erotic pleasure. It is not the healthy love of man and wife bound together by many children that Hollywood preaches, but a diseased erotic-for-its-own sake, the sexual love of two grains of human sand, superficial and impermanent. Before this highest of all Hollywood's values, everything else must stand aside; marriage, honour, duty, patriotism, sterness, dedication of self to higher aims.
...
From the standpoint of race, the results of this technique of degeneration is the attenuating, and the finally dying out, of racial instincts. The disintegrated victims, shorn of organic connections with the great superpersonal content of Life, become unfruitful, lose their will-to-power, and soon lack the ability to believe in or to follow anything onward and upward. They become cynical, give up all inner discipline, seek a life of ease and pleasure, and sneer at all seriousness and honour. all intense feelings depart, for they might involve risk and sacrifice. Love of fatherland gives way to money-madness and erotomania."

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 11:13 AM  

Do you claim that claiming that existence is a property is not a logical error or that you didn't commit it?

"No wonder your sort is always ends up occupying itself with mass-killing if it thinks existence is no more beneficial than non-existence."

I only excuse massing-killing of people who do not exist... And each of them would heartily agree, that being murdered, they didn't lose much. ;)


"No, because he can't know that and he provided no specific details."

He specifies the situation. You speak about another irrelevant situation. He doesn't need to know anything. Claiming that the situation he describes does not occur often would have been a good argument, do you wish you had made it?

"First, it's not macroeconomic theory, it is straightforward supply and demand."

Supply and demand are concepts useful at both the micro scale and the macro scale. If you look at aggregated indicators, it is macroeconomic. We clearly weren't looking at a specific market, but at the whole society. It is clearly macro.

"Second, by your logic, cutting all wages to zero would increase purchasing power."
If people continue working, which is the case in the situation we are speaking about, average purchasing power will augment, but of course it's not the workers who will benefit.
"Since labor is only one factor in the price of goods, and a small one at that, there is no net increase in purchasing power and the reduced cost of goods are even less affordable than before."
More labor => more goods => more purchase. So where is the error in your reasoning? Labor is a small factor for an individual firm, but not for the whole economy.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 11:19 AM  

As I said, loveIRS, you're an idiot. Among other things, the law of supply and demand is not "macroeconomic theory". I've already demonstrated that you have no idea what you're talking about and therefore have no further need to do so. All you're doing is digging yourself in deeper here.

I also note, with some amusement, that you haven't even attempted to defend PZ from any of Wilson's charges.

Anonymous bix nood June 05, 2012 11:27 AM  

Neither are men. Women proved they could mostly replace us during wars.

aaaahaha.
ahahaha.
ahaahahha.
ahaahhaahahahhaaha.
ahaha.

Maybe they replaced men like you.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 11:32 AM  

1) "... a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages"

I do hope that VD and other supporters of this proposition would be content to enter their own daughters in this lottery. Can't make the omelette without breaking the eggs, right?

2) In the world as it exists today, any woman, married or not, would be a fool not to control the means to her own economic well-being. At the very least, we should prohibit marriage (or cohabitation) without a prenuptial contract that ensures financial compensation for raising kids and putting aside potential career opportunities. Possibly a good practice would be that at marriage there should be legally required joint control over all finances and property, and then all control should pass to the wife as soon as children are born. I'm sure others here can imagine refinements to these arrangements, so as to accommodate both evolution and economics.

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 11:35 AM  

@Randy M
Completely agree with what you said, but Vox was speaking about the girls encouraged to breed having better chances for high wage husband. So a comparative advantage is enough for me to make my point.

@Vox
"Irrelevant. She may meet more people, but she is still statistically less likely to marry any of them." I am certainly gaining the plausibility battle on this one since you don't even point out why she would be statistically less likely to marry any one of them in a measure sufficient to counter-balance the fact that she meets more high wage men.

If we look at the stats, you are dead wrong: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/marriage-and-women-over-40/
Nowadays, education as little influence over marriage chances.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 11:37 AM  

I do hope that VD and other supporters of this proposition would be content to enter their own daughters in this lottery. Can't make the omelette without breaking the eggs, right?

Who said anything about supporting the proposition. PZ was asking for an answer to a question, not a personal opinion. In case it has previously escaped you, I'm not a secular atheist utilitarian.

At the very least, we should prohibit marriage (or cohabitation) without a prenuptial contract that ensures financial compensation for raising kids and putting aside potential career opportunities.

What is your basis for this? Do you really think women are all fools and children who are incapable of making decisions for themselves? If you're concerned about the children, simply make them the husband's post-divorce responsibility by default rather than the wife's.

The wife merits no childcare compensation in the present system, as she already has the perfectly equitable option of working and paying for half the daycare cost. If she doesn't choose that option, it's not anyone else's fault.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 11:47 AM  

I am certainly gaining the plausibility battle on this one since you don't even point out why she would be statistically less likely to marry any one of them in a measure sufficient to counter-balance the fact that she meets more high wage men. If we look at the stats, you are dead wrong: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/marriage-and-women-over-40/ Nowadays, education as little influence over marriage chances.

No, you've only managed to completely destroy what little plausibility you had. You really are a complete moron and you were talking about jobs, not education, dimwit. You wrote: "That she meets more people with good job if she has one is pretty obvious."

To which I responded: "Irrelevant. She may meet more people, but she is still statistically less likely to marry any of them."

And I am, of course correct. "For white women, higher earnings, more hours of employment and higher wages while single all reduce the chances of marriage." See “Marriage, Divorce and the Work and Earnings Careers of Spouses,” Lee A. Lillard, Linda J. Waite, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center, Working Papers, April, 2000.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 11:48 AM  

"financial compensation for raising kids and putting aside potential career opportunities"

Raising kids IS a career; and the compensation for said career is not paid in cash, it is paid in living in a functioning household and family. Every human being in history prior to the last three generations or so, has instinctively understood this.

If I choose to become a dentist, should I be compensated for putting aside my other career plan, which was to become an airline pilot?

Blogger Ken June 05, 2012 11:49 AM  

loveIRS,

you don't even point out why

As if not including the "why" somehow negates the "what". But the simple answer is hypergamy.

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 11:51 AM  

"Among other things, the law of supply and demand is not "macroeconomic theory"."

If you read carefully what I wrote, you'd know I never claimed that. I said it is useful in both domains, macro and micro.

"I also note, with some amusement, that you haven't even attempted to defend PZ from any of Wilson's charges."

I don't like PZ's arguments either, but I enjoy a little sparing and how could I get that by criticising him here? Beside your arguments are really easy targets and sometimes its hard to resist...

Anonymous Daniel June 05, 2012 11:51 AM  

loveIRS
If we look at the stats, you are dead wrong: link

Read those stats again. Compare them to the statement. I think you fundamentally misunderstand the basic definition of both "dead" and "wrong."

As appealing as it must be, you might want to know that it isn't really a proper game of "gotcha!" when all you do is grab your own dangly bits and then yelp in surprise.

Blogger Ken June 05, 2012 11:54 AM  

loveIRS,

If you read carefully what I wrote, you'd know I never claimed that.

What you actually said: "I admire your trust in your macroeconomic theorising."

This was in response to Vox's statement "No, it is basic economics 101. Wage rates are lower than in 1973 thanks to the influx of additional women into the labor force."

So reading carefully, you are clearly saying that supply and demand are "macroeconomic theories".

Blogger Joshua_D June 05, 2012 11:59 AM  

$10 says loveIRS is civilServant's alter (although somewhat related) ego.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 12:02 PM  

If you read carefully what I wrote, you'd know I never claimed that.

Yes, you did. As Ken pointed out. And this isn't sparring. This is you failing to realize that you already got your skull bashed in. Seeing you not only attempt to argue, but actually conclude you're winning is like a live explanation of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 12:07 PM  

""For white women, higher earnings, more hours of employment and higher wages while single all reduce the chances of marriage." See “Marriage, Divorce and the Work and Earnings Careers of Spouses,” Lee A. Lillard, Linda J. Waite, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center, Working Papers, April, 2000."

We were speaking about all women, not just the white ones, and marriage with men earning high wages not all marriages.
Nice double straw man! The studies is actually on my side, it says that for all women together there is a much smaller influence of wages and employment on marriages than for men. For your position to be defensible, it would need to be huge, since, again, we are not speaking of any marriages but marriages to high wages men.

"you were talking about jobs, not education"
First, I spoke about both (just a little earlier), second I was speaking about good jobs and they are really correlated with education.

Blogger JohnG June 05, 2012 12:10 PM  

Well, since he's talking about Muslims primarily (goodness, seven straw men!):

1. They aren't allowed to work in many places, kept home and used for domestic purposes and breeding stock - wouldn't do much with that degree anyway.

2. How does raising children help women? Could easily ask how men making children helps men.

3 - 6. Talking about a society that has no respect for women and a disdain for life in general. Not all of it has to do with Islam, the Arabs did this prior to Mohammed, as did I think most primitive tribal societies. I think the mutilation goes too far, we used to shame women into (mostly) behaving in a modest and responsible behavior prior to the 60's.

7. Dumb. How often do women die in child birth here in the US (vs. how many people die from an alergic reaction to over the counter medication?) and when was there ever a point in modern history where a legitimate dangerous pregnancy wasn't dealt with medically?

However, if you understand the tribalism (Islam just carries on a preexisting tradition), the sharp response to social/morale infractions make sense - in these societies, deflowering somebody's daughter or banging somebody else's wife can lead to a war between tribes (Troy?) with dozens or hundreds killed. Nipping that kind of thing in the bud, harshly (as a deterrent), no doubt saves lives.

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 12:14 PM  

We were speaking about all women, not just the white ones, and marriage with men earning high wages not all marriages.
Nice double straw man! The studies is actually on my side, it says that for all women together there is a much smaller influence of wages and employment on marriages than for men. For your position to be defensible, it would need to be huge, since, again, we are not speaking of any marriages but marriages to high wages men.


Seriously, just stop. You're an idiot. We get that. You don't need to keep proving that to us.

Blogger Nate June 05, 2012 12:22 PM  

Honestly... I'm trying to decide who's worse... LoveIRS... or Jerry...

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 12:24 PM  

I'd go with the former. At least Jerry doesn't shoot himself directly in the forehead, then cry "you missed me".

Anonymous Stilicho June 05, 2012 12:26 PM  

@Stilicho
"Nonsense. The reality is that, the more attractive a woman is, the better her chances of finding a husband with a good job."
I agree, but this does not contradict anything I said.


It was not meant to contradict per se, it was meant to highlight the fact that your proposed female qualification for finding a good husband is pure and utter nonsense by 1) unequivocally pointing out that it is nonsense just in case you were confused about the point I was making; and 2) highlighting the the primary female qualification that increases a woman's chances of obtaining a good husband. Attractive beats educated by a very wide margin. But perhaps you've been hanging out in social groups where "look at the degrees on her" is a common expression of male approval?

Anonymous Kriston June 05, 2012 12:26 PM  

We were speaking about all women, not just the white ones, and marriage with men earning high wages not all marriages.

Most of the high wages would be in the larger corporations (at least if you mean where women would likely meet co-workers). You might actually be able to believe your nonsense if you never worked for a large company.

The Sexual Harassment Guidelines are so strict in most of them that if you ask a woman for a date and she says no you may find yourself out of a job. Even if she says yes, an uninterested third party could file against you for making them uncomfortable at work.

Women in these jobs are much less likely to marry a co-worker.

Anonymous Stilicho June 05, 2012 12:34 PM  

Honestly... I'm trying to decide who's worse... LoveIRS... or Jerry...

Like I always say: Ignorance can be cured, but stupid is forever.

Blogger Joshua_D June 05, 2012 12:36 PM  

Kriston June 05, 2012 12:26 PM

Women in these jobs are much less likely to marry a co-worker.


Also, if you have to factor in nepotism policies. Even if a woman was able to meet, date, and marry a co-worker male (unlikely), then one of them may lose their job (more likely).

Anonymous loveIRS June 05, 2012 12:36 PM  

@Ken and Vox

You apparently don't like subtle distinctions! The law of supply and demand is not a part of macroeconomics, but it is used while doing macroeconomics. Speaking about the aggregate wage rate is doing macroeconomics and so my characterisation of what Vox was doing is accurate. And by the way, this is irrelevant to the core of the discussion, just an ad hominem attack by Vox.

"This is you failing to realize that you already got your skull bashed in."
What you tell me three times is true. I wish all skull bashings were as much fun.

Blogger Vox June 05, 2012 12:43 PM  

Sure, that's your problem, LoveIRS. It's not that you're stupid. It's that you're too subtle.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I do believe we have our latest euphemism!

Anonymous Stilicho June 05, 2012 12:46 PM  

The law of supply and demand is not a part of macroeconomics, but it is used while doing macroeconomics.

Arithmetic is used while doing calculus, but that doesn't mean you should refer to multiplication as calculus.

Blogger Joshua_D June 05, 2012 12:46 PM  

loveIRS, I'm glad you're still posting. Keep 'em coming.

Blogger Joshua_D June 05, 2012 12:47 PM  

Stilicho June 05, 2012 12:46 PM
Arithmetic is used while doing calculus, but that doesn't mean you should refer to multiplication as calculus.


In The Wonderful Land of Subtle, multiplication is known and PreCalculative Formulations.

Blogger Spacebunny June 05, 2012 12:59 PM  

Honestly... I'm trying to decide who's worse... LoveIRS... or Jerry...

No contest IRS. I would say he's painfully stupid, but it's actually fairly entertaining. Good old Jerry is just knee-jerking around because someone said something about his sacred cow he didn't like (see Papapete for details on any thread where doctors are criticized). Willful obtuseness is not stupidity, it's extremely annoying and childish though.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 1:18 PM  

VD: "What is your basis for this? Do you really think women are all fools and children who are incapable of making decisions for themselves? If you're concerned about the children, simply make them the husband's post-divorce responsibility by default rather than the wife's."

Excellent suggestion about giving the kids to dad by default.

But your other primary point (please correct any error) is that women ought to earn (?) their "privileged status" by foregoing education and income in order to give themselves over to childbirth and (possibly) child-raising. Precisely because they are not fools and because they need to make responsible decisions, they should be certain that were they to be left in the lurch at, say, age 45 by hubby's hankering for his 22-year-old "executive assistant," they and their children will be well provided for. In case you had not heard, one of the best current predictors for poverty in women is divorce. So, the smart bride will equip herself for a less-rosy future.

VD: "The wife merits no childcare compensation in the present system, as she already has the perfectly equitable option of working and paying for half the daycare cost. If she doesn't choose that option, it's not anyone else's fault."

I can't even guess at any reason you could object, in "the present system," to her making the rational choice to better her options—especially in a world in which current laws and courts are less likely to provide longterm alimony and in which many men apparently shirk their legal responsibilities, hide assets, etc. Your comment about childcare compensation apparently reflects an economic marriage model, so how is it unreasonable for her to secure compensation for employment opportunities which have been injured by foregoing 18 or more years of building a career? And since divorce often brings economic costs to the polity, it seems reasonable for the polity (which also has interests in marriage and its progeny) to enact laws to mitigate the adverse societal effects of divorce (and, not accidentally, to make it an unattractive choice).

Blogger IM2L844 June 05, 2012 1:19 PM  

Sure, that's your problem, LoveIRS. It's not that you're stupid. It's that you're too subtle.

ROFL.

Cognitive Anosognosia is a terrible thing to waste.

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 1:23 PM  

But your other primary point (please correct any error) is that women ought to earn (?) their "privileged status" by foregoing education and income in order to give themselves over to childbirth and (possibly) child-raising.

Please point to where he's argued that specifically, because I must have missed it. As a general rule, Vox has been careful to point out that women have been working from the beginning, and has not said that he thinks clueless dullards are the epitome of motherhood.

Anonymous JCclimber June 05, 2012 1:25 PM  

Amusing anecdote from last night. My wife dropped by a fund-raising party with some fancy Japanese desserts she made at home from scratch. One of the mothers there, who is a successful dentist and is married to a successful doctor, asked her how she found the time to make them. That mother rattled off a list of the various things she knew my wife did during the week, and asked how she did all that stuff and held a job. She then pointed out that my wife looked so happy and stress-free, all the time.

My wife pointed out that she didn't have a job beyond being a mother. The other women (plural), who live in huge beautiful houses in an expensive neighborhood, could not hide their envy of this difference in happiness.

What is really odd is that these other women are pretty happy themselves, committed Christian women, happy marriages, well-behaved and happy and accomplished children, etc.... Yet even then they noticed the orders of magnitude difference with my wife (who doesn't live her life 100% happy and stress-free herself).

Anonymous WaterBoy June 05, 2012 1:26 PM  

Vox: "And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I do believe we have our latest euphemism!"

And its accompanying acronym: MPAS (Most People Are Subtle).

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 1:37 PM  

@ Scoobius dubious
"If I choose to become a dentist, should I be compensated for putting aside my other career plan, which was to become an airline pilot?"

Your obligation in marriage was to financial support of your spouse and children. Your choice of how you did that is irrelevant and, in any case, when the marriage dissolves your career as a dentist is unaffected and your ability to earn is unchanged. In short, you retain the basic ability to live independently.

In the instance of a spouse who functions as a housewife and mother, in consequence of her agreement to take on these tasks, while she contributed work of substantial financial value during the marriage, she also has damaged her potential ability to find employment later in life and so injured her ability to survive independently. Why should that damage not be taken into consideration?

Anonymous Gen. Kong June 05, 2012 1:42 PM  

@Formerly No Name: Thanks for the Yockey links. I knew nothing of him. It's almost like a prophecy that he saw this far into the essence of liberalism back in 1948. It's one of the great things about the ilk here.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 1:44 PM  

Why should that damage not be taken into consideration?

Because she did it to herself. No one owes it to her. And also because she already received considerable financial support for her services rendered. Housing, food, transportation, and insurance are more expensive than daycare and nannies.

A man who has given up 20 years of his girl-chasing peak is not in the same condition to pick up and have sex with women when he is 45. Why should that damage not be taken into consideration too?

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 1:56 PM  

@Scintan

Scintan wishes to see where I got the impression that VD claims that "women ought to earn (?) their "privileged status" by foregoing education and income in order to give themselves over to childbirth and (possibly) child-raising. "

VD claims that "raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children" carries with it various desirable consequences and "grants them privileged status, as they alone are able to ensure the continued survival of the society and the species…"
Since that privileged status is apparently contingent on their actually fulfilling this role, it would seem that they ought to forego education, as it "is strongly correlated with reducing their disposition and ability to reproduce themselves." And they should forego income because a) they need "to pursue marriage at the age of their peak fertility" and b) "Women are not needed in any profession or occupation except that of child-bearer and child-rearer." The latter contention is modified to say that with regard to rearing, "they are only superior, they are not absolutely required."

I hope that makes things clear.

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 2:06 PM  

Since that privileged status is apparently contingent on their actually fulfilling this role, it would seem that they ought to forego education, as it "is strongly correlated with reducing their disposition and ability to reproduce themselves." And they should forego income because a) they need "to pursue marriage at the age of their peak fertility" and b) "Women are not needed in any profession or occupation except that of child-bearer and child-rearer." The latter contention is modified to say that with regard to rearing, "they are only superior, they are not absolutely required."

I hope that makes things clear.


Given that we can, obviously, assume that not all education is at issue here, and that only a specific type(s)/degree(s) of education is in question here, please try again, because your argument is a remarkably poor one. After all, it would be foolish of you to attempt to argue that Vox's point is that women should go through life learning absolutely nothing.

Blogger Nate June 05, 2012 2:12 PM  

" I would say he's painfully stupid, but it's actually fairly entertaining. Good old Jerry is just knee-jerking around because someone said something about his sacred cow he didn't like (see Papapete for details on any thread where doctors are criticized). Willful obtuseness is not stupidity, it's extremely annoying and childish though."

I find myself defending doctors as well. Though I don't have any problem saying most of them are idiots... and whole specialties are counter-productive.

Where the criticism is coming from matters a bit to me... like the idiot left claiming doctors make to much money is something that is likely to get a response... or some moron academic thinking his beloved PhD was just as hard to get as an MD.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 2:18 PM  

@VD

You argue that "Because she did it [i.e., traditional marriage] to herself. No one owes it [consideration for damage to earning potential] to her. And also because she already received considerable financial support for her services rendered. Housing, food, transportation, and insurance are more expensive than daycare and nannies."

It's odd to see you arguing on strictly economic grounds, yet to deny one party to this supposed 'bargain' the right to negotiate to improve her position.

"A man who has given up 20 years of his girl-chasing peak is not in the same condition to pick up and have sex with women when he is 45. Why should that damage not be taken into consideration too?"

First, because being 45, or 75, is not in and of itself an economic condition and, in fact, economic health is a well-known substitute for physical attraction—or have you not heard about the effect of a Lamborghini on potential bed partners? Since the male breadwinner retains an ability to provide for himself, he has the potential to attract (or straightforwardly pay for) sexual partners.

However, if you insist, just as there is the value of room and board to put against paid child-rearing services that could be taken into account in this economic association, so also shall we imply an economic benefit to getting laid at home without having to expend either energy or additional funds for wining and dining? Do you really want to chase down this particular rabbit hole?

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 2:29 PM  

It's odd to see you arguing on strictly economic grounds, yet to deny one party to this supposed 'bargain' the right to negotiate to improve her position.

Your thinking is incredibly sloppy. You're the only one denying anyone the "right to negotiate". Have you forgotten that you proposed "laws to mitigate the adverse societal effects of divorce". I'm simply have not argued what you think I have in any way, shape, or form.

This is a consistent problem with you, as we can see in your inept attempt to summarize my position, signaled by the weasel word "apparently". "Since that privileged status is apparently contingent on their actually fulfilling this role...."

Since women naturally want to fulfill that role, all that is necessary is to remove the artificial barriers to it. To reverse the current social inertia, my policy recommendation would be to not tax the economic activity of married women with children, and perhaps that of married women without children under the age of 23. Women love shopping bargains, after all.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 2:30 PM  

@Scintan

"it would be foolish of you to attempt to argue that Vox's point is that women should go through life learning absolutely nothing."

It would. As it would be foolish of you to assume that I took it to mean learning absolutely nothing. You just might reread my sentence, which included VD's reference to the period of "peak fertility." However, let me specify "education" in current context to be anything from college on, and my point still stands.

Blogger Nate June 05, 2012 2:33 PM  

"To reverse the current social inertia, my policy recommendation would be to not tax the economic activity of married women with children, and perhaps that of married women without children under the age of 23. Women love shopping bargains, after all."

HA

Nice.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 2:33 PM  

First, because being 45, or 75, is not in and of itself an economic condition and, in fact, economic health is a well-known substitute for physical attraction—or have you not heard about the effect of a Lamborghini on potential bed partners? Since the male breadwinner retains an ability to provide for himself, he has the potential to attract (or straightforwardly pay for) sexual partners.

It is as much of an economic condition as not having worked for 20 years. You chose the game, now play it. And you missed the point. Your previous point was relative. Like the woman who has been out of the labor force, the male breadwinner is now worse off than he was before and therefore, by your metric, deserves compensation.

However, if you insist, just as there is the value of room and board to put against paid child-rearing services that could be taken into account in this economic association, so also shall we imply an economic benefit to getting laid at home without having to expend either energy or additional funds for wining and dining? Do you really want to chase down this particular rabbit hole?

Sure, why not. But you have to factor in his sexual services provided to her too. Which should precisely balance out hers.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 2:36 PM  

However, let me specify "education" in current context to be anything from college on, and my point still stands.

No, it doesn't, for the reasons already pointed out. That being said, there is absolutely no need for women to go to college. They have contributed virtually nothing except to help erode intellectual standards since they began attending en masse.

Anonymous Suomynona June 05, 2012 2:42 PM  

the male breadwinner is now worse off than he was before and therefore, by your metric, deserves compensation.

20 years would have passed regardless of the man's marital status. Are you saying the man should be compensated for being 20 years older? The woman is also 20 years older. Everyone in the whole world is 20 years older.

I don't understand this logic, Vox.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 2:44 PM  

I don't understand this logic, Vox.

That's because it is stupid regardless of whether it is applied to women's reduced ability to find work or men's reduced ability to attract the opposite sex.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 2:46 PM  

"it would be foolish of you to attempt to argue..."

"You just might reread my sentence..."

I'm sort of a newcomer around here, so feel free to throw cream pies at me if you feel like it, but I have to say --- I think there's lots of smart people making interesting points from all directions on these threads, but there's a tendency for a lot of people to get kind of persnickety and literal-minded, which is not the most fun way to have a conversation.

Granted it's the internet, and since people aren't F2F there's a natural tendency to unconsciously slide into snark (yeah, I do it too, I know) but it's a temptation that ought to be resisted when possible. (Some people of course are so dense that you just forego the discipline and let 'em have it, but that should be done sparingly.)

I know people are trying to be clear about their points of argumentation, but too much of this "learn to read!" back-and-forth type of stuff is sorta humorless, and drains the pleasure from a salon environment. It's quite clear that most of the people who post here are smarter (and indeed better) than that.

Besides, literalism has its shortcomings; oftentimes people are making arguments that have layers of association, different dimensions, inner and outer limits. A good argument can be more like a yo-yo than like a paper airplane. Everything doesn't have to be reduced to "see paragraph three, subsection B". People can be partly right and partly wrong, or wrong in one sense and right in another, etc. A little generosity can help you to see more clearly.

/scolding

[ducks as incoming cream pies approach from all directions]

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 2:46 PM  

Just to be clear, there is absolutely no reason for around 75-85 percent of men to go to college either. It is a complete waste for most. I certainly didn't need it; not dropping out after my sophomore year is one of my biggest regrets in life and cost me dearly.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 2:50 PM  

I know people are trying to be clear about their points of argumentation, but too much of this "learn to read!" back-and-forth type of stuff is sorta humorless, and drains the pleasure from a salon environment. It's quite clear that most of the people who post here are smarter (and indeed better) than that.

The problem is when people attempt to provide false and inaccurate summaries in an attempt to attack something that is other than what the person clearly said. Or utilize incorrect logic to claim that the person is arguing a conclusion that a) doesn't actually follow, and b) was never claimed in the first place.

I don't mind if people simply want to make their own points. That's fine. But I will come down brutally hard on people who invent nonexistent errors in my own statements, provide false summaries of what I've written, or impute incorrect conclusions to me. Let them speak for themselves, no one speaks for me.

Blogger Joshua_D June 05, 2012 2:56 PM  

scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 2:46 PM

/scolding

[ducks as incoming cream pies approach from all directions]


Hi there. I'm Joshua_D

[smashes cream pie in face of scoobius]

Welcome.

Anonymous Suomynona June 05, 2012 2:58 PM  

That's because it is stupid regardless of whether it is applied to women's reduced ability to find work or men's reduced ability to attract the opposite sex.

I'm not following you. It appears to me that you're saying that the ability to support oneself, that is, survive, is equally as important the ability to get laid. Is this what you're really saying here?

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 3:02 PM  

It appears to me that you're saying that the ability to support oneself, that is, survive, is equally as important the ability to get laid. Is this what you're really saying here?

No, I'm saying that if we're going to compensate people for what subsequently turn out to be viewed as their sub-optimal choices, there is no end to the limit of compensation that can be justifiably demanded on that basis.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 3:06 PM  

@ Joshua_D

Man, I didn't think it was possible to be unfunny while throwing a cream pie, but you sure proved me wrong!

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 3:10 PM  

I'm sort of a newcomer around here, so feel free to throw cream pies at me if you feel like it, but I have to say --- I think there's lots of smart people making interesting points from all directions on these threads, but there's a tendency for a lot of people to get kind of persnickety and literal-minded, which is not the most fun way to have a conversation.

This is not just a bunch of friends sitting around the living room and shooting the breeze. This is a debate. That means that exact meaning takes on more importance. One way that the likes of hmi and loveIRS like to debate is to take things that aren't said and to claim that they were either said or meant. The result is that people need to be precise in their wording and vigilant against the attempts to slant their meaning.

hmi, in fact, just offered a good example of this. First he began by stating

VD claims that "raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children" carries with it various desirable consequences and "grants them privileged status, as they alone are able to ensure the continued survival of the society and the species…"
Since that privileged status is apparently contingent on their actually fulfilling this role, it would seem that they ought to forego education, as it "is strongly correlated with reducing their disposition and ability to reproduce themselves."


Then, when called out on this as being too broad and asked to explain himself, he seeks refuge in a later statement which does not, in fact, change the initial issue:

And they should forego income because a) they need "to pursue marriage at the age of their peak fertility" and b) "Women are not needed in any profession or occupation except that of child-bearer and child-rearer."

Notice how the "peak fertility" is used in his followup as an attempted justification for his earlier, overly-broad, categorization of Vox's argument, when it's clear that his initial phrasing did not lend itself to a discussion solely of a college/higher level of education being obtained in "peak fertility" years.

This sort of deliberate shading of an argument has to be dealt with, or the initial argument becomes justified in the eyes of someone like hmi.

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 3:11 PM  

I should have been a bit more clear in my above (3:10) post. By "later statement", I meant later in that same post, not as a follow up post.

Blogger Nate June 05, 2012 3:11 PM  

Just so we're clear... we're not going by the urban dictionary definition of cream pie right?

I mean... the soccer post is down there \/

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 3:21 PM  

@ Nate

Well if one of those "educated, attractive college girls" would like to throw some custard pie at me, I believe I won't object.

btw, Scintan, Vox, points taken. I suppose it's a question of putting the proper English on the ball, but yeah, you're right. Whaddaya gonna do.

Blogger wrf3 June 05, 2012 3:28 PM  

Vox wrote: Let them speak for themselves, no one speaks for me.

SpaceBunny, is he right? ;-)

Anonymous Spicey June 05, 2012 3:47 PM  

So there is no difference between a lack of getting laid and being plunged into poverty?

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 4:05 PM  

This response is in two parts because I get an error message when I attempt to post it as one.

VD: "Your thinking is incredibly sloppy. You're the only one denying anyone the "right to negotiate". Have you forgotten that you proposed "laws to mitigate the adverse societal effects of divorce". I'm simply have not argued what you think I have in any way, shape, or form."

I see you prefer vitriol to coherence. Doughy cornetto again at breakfast?
But let me help you out. I argued, consistently, for both contractual and legal provisions. I guess you ignored the former because you have nothing to put against it. Or, possibly, you just go for cheap debater tricks—hard to say. As for legal provisions, they will not spring full-blown out of Venus's ass, but will certainly represent the efforts of women negotiating legislatively for what they want. Forgive me for assuming you might understand that without dotted "i"s.

VD: "your inept attempt to summarize my position, signaled by the weasel word "apparently".

Not ineptitude. Or, not mine, anyway. Your original sentence (the second sentence of point #2) is unclear whether this status is simply attributed to all women, Gloria Steinem included, or whether it is contingent on acceptance of a certain role. The "It' with which the sentence begins is a compositional infelicity that grammarians refer to as an indefinite antecedent. I hope that was helpful to you.

VD: "Since women naturally want to fulfill that role…"

Ah—we've moved from economics to nature. This would need work to support. A natural role ought not be confused with any desire to fulfill that role and, in any case, says nothing about human beings, whose actions are praised and blamed in relation to choice, not nature. I daresay that might is more natural than right, but I scarcely think of laws of property ownership as artificial barriers that need to be removed as an impediment to the operation of the natural. Some women do wish to fulfill that role—some don't. Nature may provide some guidance in this regard, but that would be Aristotle's teleological nature, not Newton's or Einstein's physics, and I've heard there are some problems with that approach.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 4:12 PM  

cont.
VD: "You chose the game, now play it."

Let's. The game is apples-and-oranges. Apple = financial issues. Oranges = sexual appeal.
A woman trades work in the home for work outside the home. By doing so, she also disables herself from making a living should the marriage fail. This is entirely an economic conceit. Apples.
The husband works for 20 years during the marriage and at its dissolution is still financially capable. This, too, is purely economic. More apples.
During those 20 years, the husband's looks deteriorate and so, physically, he is a less-desireable sex toy. During the same 2 decades, the wife's physical charms also fade. These are physical concerns relative to sexual attraction. Oranges.
So, at the end of 20 years the wife is SOL both financially and physically, while the husband is only physically worse off—to claim that his is "as much of an economic condition as not having worked for 20 years" is to confuse apples and oranges. And, as you didn't dispute, hubby can substitute cold cash (as well as professional status as the leading orthodontist in Grand Rapids) for his faded physical charm. Why, he could parlay that into acquisition of yet another helpmeet, thus wildly improving his financial and sexual position both!

VD: "But you have to factor in his sexual services provided to her too. Which should precisely balance out hers."

Alas, no. You may have heard that there is a lucrative market in sex services provided by women to men whose high price is based on tightly controlled supply and extreme desirability. Sex services by men for women—not so much. In a nutshell, women have little need for "game." But hope you enjoyed this one.

VD: "there is absolutely no need for women to go to college. They have contributed virtually nothing except to help erode intellectual standards since they began attending en masse."

Again, I can agree entirely, yet my point still stands. Women may forego educational opportunities which could pay off if ever they were forced to stand on their own financially. The fact that you believe this to be bad for society at large, for humankind itself, says nothing about its utility to them.

VD: "too much of this "learn to read!" back-and-forth type of stuff is sorta humorless, and drains the pleasure from a salon environment."

Really? But, "Your thinking is incredibly sloppy," "your inept attempt to summarize my position," "You really are a complete moron... dimwit"—these are part of the genteel pleasures of a salon environment? Just checking.

Anonymous cherub's revenge June 05, 2012 4:18 PM  

In case you had not heard, one of the best current predictors for poverty in women is divorce.

Then women should stop being the initiators of 75% of divorces.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 4:30 PM  

@Scintan
"This sort of deliberate shading of an argument has to be dealt with"

Perhaps you could get someone in capable of doing that, as subtlety in reading isn't your forte. You asked how I came to a conclusion, which I explained, sticking entirely to the original post for support. I'm sorry you don't have much of a handle on context. In any case, I would hope you now understand your odd error in imagining that I accused VD of championing complete ignorance for women.

Anonymous Clay June 05, 2012 4:40 PM  

As per hmi:

"VD: "too much of this "learn to read!" back-and-forth type of stuff is sorta humorless, and drains the pleasure from a salon environment."

I don't think it was VD that originally said this...I believe it was scoobius dubious.

I think Vox minds ripping you throat out and shoving it up your genteel salon-type boohole.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 4:47 PM  

Clay—
You're right. My browser has been doing strange things with type today, and the bolding didn't come through until after a system reboot. My apology for the misattribution.

Blogger Syllabus June 05, 2012 4:55 PM  

If he's speaking of Islam, as seems to be the case by the specific situations offered, it's still incorrect to lump that together with "religion". Whatever one may think of Islam and its practitioners, the misogyny or whatever you want to call it expressed in those points is more a result of the specific cultural type in those areas (Northern and immediately sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, I would assume) than of Islam as a whole. Not that that religion has much in the way of checks and balances when it comes to relations between the genders, but still. A good case can be made that while Islam may contribute towards these things, it's far from the only factor, let alone causal factor, involved. If you're going to say that religion is to blame because a specific element of that set contributes towards mistreatment of women or whatever, you might as well indite geology because metallurgy contributes towards the genital mutilations. The two arguments are just about logically equivalent.

Anonymous Kriston June 05, 2012 4:56 PM  

hmiBut let me help you out. I argued, consistently, for both contractual and legal provisions.

No, you didn't. You argued for the state to decide what kind of contract that would be acceptable to itself.

At the very least, we should prohibit marriage (or cohabitation) without a prenuptial contract that ensures financial compensation for raising kids and putting aside potential career opportunities.

This is an argument for legal provision only. It is also very one sided (kind of like we have today) in that is doesn't say anything about the woman's obligations. She is probably being dumped for a younger woman simply because she is not doing her part. You can't know that. And the contract idea would reinforce the idea that some women have that she doesn't need to contribute to be owed.

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 5:09 PM  

@Scintan
"This sort of deliberate shading of an argument has to be dealt with"

Perhaps you could get someone in capable of doing that, as subtlety in reading isn't your forte. You asked how I came to a conclusion, which I explained, sticking entirely to the original post for support. I'm sorry you don't have much of a handle on context. In any case, I would hope you now understand your odd error in imagining that I accused VD of championing complete ignorance for women.


Actually, I nailed your position, and this response of yours demonstrates exactly what I was talking about in my response to scoobius dubious, so thanks for demonstrating my point. Here, let me note my words again:

Given that we can, obviously, assume that not all education is at issue here, and that only a specific type(s)/degree(s) of education is in question here, please try again, because your argument is a remarkably poor one. After all, it would be foolish of you to attempt to argue that Vox's point is that women should go through life learning absolutely nothing.

You'll see that my "assumption" is precisely the opposite of what you're claiming I was saying.

Or, to put in more in line with the words Scoobius was talking about.....

Learn to read.

Blogger Nate June 05, 2012 5:10 PM  

"Perhaps you could get someone in capable of doing that, as subtlety in reading isn't your forte."

Subtle is the new nuance!

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 5:28 PM  

"So there is no difference between a lack of getting laid and being plunged into poverty?"

A lack of getting laid is a very special, and very dire, form of poverty.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 5:42 PM  

"A good case can be made that while Islam may contribute towards these things, it's far from the only factor, let alone causal factor, involved. If you're going to say that religion is to blame because a specific element of that set contributes towards mistreatment of women or whatever, you might as well indite geology because metallurgy contributes towards the genital mutilations. The two arguments are just about logically equivalent."

I wouldn't say they're logically equivalent, I'd merely say that a family resemblance can be detected if one wishes to look closely.

Islam may not be the "only" factor, but very often it is the strong one or the leading one. I've read on several occasions that Islamist proselytizers in Africa, for instance, quite often emphasize the whole, "You can have _four_ wives in Islam!! And plus, you can hit them if you feel like it!!!11! Yowza!" thing, and that this does indeed attract converts. Contrast a Catholic or Protestant missionary, who would have to teach, "You can only marry one wife, and in some sects you can't divorce her, and plus you have to respect her and treat her well, for husband and wife are of one flesh."

I'd say that one approach is more conducive to properly humane treatment of women than the other, so it isn't "religion" that is the problem, it's certain flavors.

Anonymous Spicey June 05, 2012 5:45 PM  

Easier, way easier, for a somewhat successful, middle aged guy anywhere on the attractiveness scale to get laid then for the same type of women to find a sucessful way to support herself after devoting her life to her family.

Blogger Joshua_D June 05, 2012 6:05 PM  

It sounds like a lot of the complaining boils down to "Men are better than women, and that's not fair."

If it's easier for men to get a job, support a family, survive a divorce, get another wife, get another job, make more money, etc., then why are women trying so hard to do that which they are disadvantaged to do from the start?

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 6:06 PM  

But let me help you out. I argued, consistently, for both contractual and legal provisions. I guess you ignored the former because you have nothing to put against it. Or, possibly, you just go for cheap debater tricks—hard to say. As for legal provisions, they will not spring full-blown out of Venus's ass, but will certainly represent the efforts of women negotiating legislatively for what they want.

Help me out? Seriously? You're both inept and dishonest. Of course I ignored the contractual provisions since pre-nuptual contracts are mostly invalid and ignored in the USA these days AND because they don't bear discussion. If a couple wants to make a contract and somehow can find a court to honor it, what is that to me, you, or anyone? Fine.

But law is not negotiation and it is shamelessly dishonest to claim that it is, still more to claim that in opposing any such law, I would be denying anyone the "right to negotiate". As I already pointed out,you are the only one who has recommended denying the right to negotiate here because the laws you are recommending would trump any private "contractual provisions" made.

I seldom bother wasting my time on intellectual snakes, particularly those who aren't even any good at it, and I'm certainly not sufficiently interested in your thoughts to bother with them.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 6:08 PM  

VD: "too much of this "learn to read!" back-and-forth type of stuff is sorta humorless, and drains the pleasure from a salon environment."

Really? But, "Your thinking is incredibly sloppy," "your inept attempt to summarize my position," "You really are a complete moron... dimwit"—these are part of the genteel pleasures of a salon environment? Just checking.


I didn't write that, you complete moron. Learn to bloody read.

Anonymous Clamps June 05, 2012 6:14 PM  

You pompous stuck-up snot-nosed expatriate giant twerp scumbag fuckface dickhead asshole.

Anonymous hmi June 05, 2012 6:19 PM  

"Help me out? Seriously? You're both inept and dishonest. "

Already apologized above. Learn to read your own blog.

"I seldom bother wasting my time on intellectual snakes,"

Ah. Only interested in your own snake oil. Ya know, you talk a good game, and you certainly are wildly impressed with yourself. But when all is said and done, I guess I've learned you're just not all that smart. I shall no longer disturb your dreams of competence. Ciao, fesso mio.

Anonymous Scintan June 05, 2012 6:28 PM  

Ah. Only interested in your own snake oil. Ya know, you talk a good game, and you certainly are wildly impressed with yourself. But when all is said and done, I guess I've learned you're just not all that smart. I shall no longer disturb your dreams of competence. Ciao, fesso mio.

You got your ass kicked at every stage of the debate/discussion, Mr. Black Knight.

But I'm sure it's just a flesh wound.

Blogger Giraffe June 05, 2012 6:34 PM  

But I'm sure it's just a flesh wound.

Took his head clean off, but yep, a just flesh wound.

Blogger Syllabus June 05, 2012 6:34 PM  

"You pompous stuck-up snot-nosed expatriate giant twerp scumbag fuckface dickhead asshole."

There's a lot of big words in there, miss. We're naught but humble pirates.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 6:58 PM  

Ah. Only interested in your own snake oil. Ya know, you talk a good game, and you certainly are wildly impressed with yourself. But when all is said and done, I guess I've learned you're just not all that smart. I shall no longer disturb your dreams of competence. Ciao, fesso mio.

No, I don't sell or buy snake oil, that's the point. The fact that you either claim to think I'm playing the same game you are, or worse, actually believe it only shows that you don't belong in these discussions. Vaffa, tarzanello.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 7:00 PM  

I'm not sure I even know what the debate here is about any more; I think maybe it's morphed into something about different types of imaginary divorce laws which will never actually be made in this country (if it even remains a "country", which I'm really beginning to doubt), since things like divorce law are made by an entirely different sort of people than the types who come here to have good-faith intellectual discussions.

More and more I'm starting to think that laws and mores concerning marriage, family, and divorce, as with laws and mores on so many other aspects of life (or really, pretty much all aspects of life), can really only be justly conceived, implemented, and lived with, by and among a people with an overwhelming element of racial and religious homogeneity. I'm beginning to think that common blood, common belief and common mores are going to be the only real guarantors of anything resembling a "just" way of living, whether it's with respect to marriage and divorce, or to anything else. There will be outliers (viz., non-homogeneous types capable of harmony) to be sure, as there always are; but in human affairs, scale matters.

Anybody got any experience of what this sort of thing looks like in say South Korea? It's a country with an extraordinarily high level of racial and cultural homogeneity, and Christianity has a strong foothold there, too. (Not sure what % of the pop. is Christian yet, though.) I mention Korea rather than Japan because a) Korean Christians seem to take religion seriously in a way that the Japanese do not, and b) Korea, although it has an American military presence, was never roundly eviscerated and defeated by America the way Japan was, and so I'd expect their cultural attitude towards the West to be more arm's-length than the weird love-hate thing we see in Japan. So Korea might be an interesting little test case for what we see about a "just disposition" for things like marriage or divorce, but I know next to nothing about the place. Anyone got any thoughts?

Anonymous canty June 05, 2012 7:00 PM  

Good old Poz Myers is using a parade of horribles to make his argument. In law and policy, this device should be expected to be conceal a fallacy. It's basically the "CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER" of arguments.

Poz doesn't seem to have read the original article closely, which is a shame, because it's interesting. In it, DSW wrote:

"The question is, when Dawkins was asked to comment on religion as a product of evolution, how well did his answer reflect what is currently known, based on the hard work of Dawkins’ evolutionist colleagues? Is it indeed the current state of knowledge that religion is like a moth to flame and results primarily in silly counterproductive behaviors? Or did Dawkins distort what is currently known about religion as a product of evolution, either knowingly or unknowingly?"

It doesn't matter if you're religious or not - religion as a sociological phenomenon can, at least in principle, be studied from an evolutionary perspective. Presumably there's some reason it exists - after all, even some very unpleasant creatures and behaviors follow sound evolutionary logic.

Poz's criticism is thus not responsive. Pointing out that religious people have, at various times, done awful things doesn't do a thing to help make sense of religion's functions, origins, or meaning. It's as if someone had written a piece about the evolutionary origins and functions of war and Poz had responded "WAR IS BAD, MMKAY?"

~canty

Blogger Syllabus June 05, 2012 7:06 PM  

"I wouldn't say they're logically equivalent, I'd merely say that a family resemblance can be detected if one wishes to look closely."

Yeah, that might be one way of putting it. What I meant was this: both argument follow a certain logical pattern. Looks something like this: thing T is evil. Object O facilitates the performance of thing t. Object O is a member of set S. Therefore, set S is evil and should be eliminated. Substitute whichever terms you wish for T, O or S. Any argument using that pattern of logic is, not to put too fine a point on it, criminally moronic. At least on the whole.

Anonymous VD June 05, 2012 7:37 PM  

A good case can be made that while Islam may contribute towards these things, it's far from the only factor, let alone causal factor, involved.

Especially when, as you noted, it is not occurring in a pan-Islamic manner. If it is only occurring among Muslims from certain ethnic or national groups, and not Indonesian or Libyan Muslims, then Islam likely has nothing to do with it. You might as reasonably blame it on melanin-rich skin.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 7:40 PM  

"Any argument using that pattern of logic is, not to put too fine a point on it, criminally moronic."

Agreed. The problem I always have with these "equivalent" types of deployments is, I get uncomfortable when people compare a process in human affairs with a process in say physics or chemistry or something else subject to laws more immutable than the ones which govern human behavior.

Human behavior can often be accurately generalized, but it has loads of quirks and quarks and quorums that make it vary and which are very different from how, say, the rings of Saturn behave. Human behavior can be personal or impersonal, personally motivated or impersonally motivated, fickle or predictable, depending on scale and lots of other factors. The rings of Saturn are just going to keep on doing what they do, one century after another, and they aren't going to stop doing it unless something really extraordinary happens. That's all I meant.

Anonymous scoobius dubious June 05, 2012 7:48 PM  

"Islam likely has nothing to do with it. You might as reasonably blame it on melanin-rich skin."

A reasonable man would blame it on both, and call it a day.

Blogger Syllabus June 05, 2012 8:26 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Syllabus June 05, 2012 8:30 PM  

"Especially when, as you noted, it is not occurring in a pan-Islamic manner."

I think the problem is that, in the minds of most people, Islam=Middle Eastern. While Islam and the culture it grew out of are closely intertwined, they aren't identical. Much the same problem happens with regard to Christianity. The average Christian, statistically speaking, is non-Caucasian and lives in what we might consider the "East". However, ask the man on the street what the average Christian looks like and they'll probably give an answer that is essentially indistinguishable from a description of a middle-class American. I'd be willing to be that much the same mental sleight-of-hand has occurred to the conception most people have in their heads about what the average Muslim looks like, in ways physical and non-physical. What the culture as a whole dislikes about the "Muslim" world is, I'd wager, more of a reference to the cultural milieu - namely, Middle and Near Eastern - that they associate with Islam than to the religion itself. When you look at Malaysia or Indonesia, it's a completely different story. Most people are astounded when I mention that to them.

"Human behavior can often be accurately generalized, but it has loads of quirks and quarks and quorums that make it vary and which are very different from how, say, the rings of Saturn behave. Human behavior can be personal or impersonal, personally motivated or impersonally motivated, fickle or predictable, depending on scale and lots of other factors. The rings of Saturn are just going to keep on doing what they do, one century after another, and they aren't going to stop doing it unless something really extraordinary happens. That's all I meant."

Well, human nature on the small scale might be, to some extent, unpredictable. Once you start to talk about groups of humans, however, things suddenly become eminently more predictable. Generalizations are more easily performed on cultures than on people.

Anonymous Toby Temple June 06, 2012 1:53 AM  

ok. first question: who is Jerry?

second question: did we just found a new recipient of the beezle award?

Anonymous eezybeezy June 06, 2012 7:46 AM  

"second question: did we just found a new recipient of the beezle award?"

Third question: Is he actually smart enough to rise to the level of beez?

Anonymous Anonymous June 06, 2012 4:15 PM  

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Anonymous Anonymous June 06, 2012 7:01 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous June 06, 2012 8:01 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous June 06, 2012 8:14 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous June 06, 2012 10:10 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous June 06, 2012 11:00 PM  

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Anonymous yukonyon June 07, 2012 12:14 AM  

Anonymous, post your name, so we can keep the arguments straight. Simply select the name/url option, and leave url blank.

Blogger Total Bastard June 07, 2012 1:51 AM  

Looking at that initial post, I can see how it can all be turned around to basically suggest that we have no need of men. With the exception of the role of sperm donor, there is nothing that a man does that a woman couldn't... and thanks to the miracles of modern science that too could be taken over by women in lab-coats.

Perhaps you should worry more about keeping men relevant in this developing world, as supporting violence against women and archaic patriarchal mindsets is just helping the case that were becoming obsolete.

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2012 3:11 AM  

I just want to let you know that the shit I flushed this mourning could make a more intelligent and better reasoned argument than Vox Day or any of the other fucktards on this page, there is no point in reasoning with this kind of nonsense, it is the wailing of the pathetic losers who can't cope with modernity and throw silly little hissy fits to overcome their failings in life because it easier to externalize blame than it is to except it, and for all of ypur pretentious machismo why is that all you manosphere losers spend all your time sucking each others tiny cocks

Blogger Spacebunny June 07, 2012 3:56 AM  

I was going to delete the most recent comment by anonymous as per the rules of the blog, but this is just too special and indicative of the intellect of his ilk not to leave it there in all of it's glory.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 07, 2012 4:44 AM  

Hey Anonymous - have you considered seeing a doctor about that intestinal parasite infection?
What are they, flatworms?

Anonymous The Great Martini June 07, 2012 5:00 AM  

In case anyone is wondering, this post has found its way to Pharyngula and manboobz.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 07, 2012 5:14 AM  

Total Bastard June 07, 2012 1:51 AM

Looking at that initial post, I can see how it can all be turned around to basically suggest that we have no need of men. With the exception of the role of sperm donor, there is nothing that a man does that a woman couldn't... and thanks to the miracles of modern science that too could be taken over by women in lab-coats.

Perhaps you should worry more about keeping men relevant in this developing world, as supporting violence against women and archaic patriarchal mindsets is just helping the case that were becoming obsolete.


Take the science a bit further, and its women who become "obsolete", not men.
Specifically - in vitro gestation.

Anonymous Luke June 07, 2012 7:33 AM  

Anyone who takes the position that men can be replaced by women knows nothing about intelligence distribution -- or war.

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2012 8:31 AM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Luke June 07, 2012 8:50 AM  

So, AboutToBeDeleted (for not posting a name), you don't think that eliminating 90-95% of geniuses wouldn't have held back civilizational development to, oh, pre-metallurgy?

Anonymous Ric June 07, 2012 9:29 AM  

Vox Day, you are a sick fucker. Maybe you could do us all a favor and crawl under some rock and stay there.

Anonymous Anonymous June 07, 2012 9:54 AM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous FrankNorman June 07, 2012 10:12 AM  

Are you the same Nonny-mouse as the bloke with the intestinal fauna that are collectively smarter than Vox Day?

Anonymous jerry June 07, 2012 8:31 PM  

Toby Temple: "ok. first question: who is Jerry?"

I am your teacher, Toby Temple.

Anonymous Toby Temple June 08, 2012 2:52 AM  

I am your teacher, Toby Temple.

It is too early for you fantasize about being anything to me, Jerry.

Anonymous Castaigne June 08, 2012 4:35 AM  

Som Mr Vox, if I consider your assumptions to be true, I would be better off married to an uneducated breeder woman rather than an educated working woman? I just can't see the sense of it myself, being permanently tied to a moo-cow with whom my life-long conversation will consist of "Make me dinner.", "Bend over.", and "Clean up this place." [1] Nor can I see how losing half my income is going to help me. [2] AS for pumping out children, no thanks, no how. My brother did that (Quiverfull) and he's as poor as a church mouse. I guess his genes'll survive...so long as his kids don't die of kwashiorkor first. When a kid costs $100,000 over the first 18 years of their life, that's too high a price to pay. That's why it's snip-snip for me. I want to actually pay to have servants take care of me in my declining years, instead getting stuck in an old folk's home like I'm going to have to do with my parents. [3]

I dunno, as a fiscal conservative, I'm just failing to see the appeal of being ball-and-chained to a moo-cow that pushes out litters.

[1] And that would be my conversation with her. She's uneducated, presumably having at best high-school education. So when I read the paper and want to discuss politics, or science, or high-brow literature, or any high culture (like opera), she's not going to understand a thing a say. Pointless to talk about it. And what's she going to talk to me about? The day-time soaps? Her relationship with Jesus? (That's between her and her pastor and none of my business, nor do I care to hear what the uneducated have to say on theology. She sure won't have read the Summa Theologica in the original Latin.)

[2] And no, even if all women were immediately barred from the workplace tomorrow, I wouldn't get paid a dime more than I get now. Nor would any other man I know. That's corporate work for you when you're in the Fortune 500.

[3] Had to spend all their money on myself and my two siblings. Dad never could get ahead for retirement. Morons. They should have just had me and they would be doing fine on a Caribbean beach, but nooooo, they just had to have two more. Not MY problem; I was out of the house and on my own at 18.

Blogger Spacebunny June 08, 2012 6:18 AM  

They should have just had me..

Actually, by your metric they should have stopped before you. But you are demonstrably to narcissistic and dimwitted to have caught the hypocrisy of your statements.

Anonymous Patricia Kayden June 08, 2012 4:29 PM  

Vox/Day

So where is the post where you claim that aborting Blacks would be good for White Americans? What percentage of Whites are murdered by their own kind?

And a few acid burned faces are okay for what? For the victims? Or for your male-dominated fantasy world?

You're a misogynist and racist. You can't touch PZ.

Blogger David B Marshall June 09, 2012 12:39 PM  

I was author of one of the first rebuttals of Dawkins & Co, The Truth Behind the New Atheism. As it happens, I e-mailed the same challenge to PZ after he made those comments about Christianity and women: let's debate!

PZ responded to Vox Day, and not myself, because he needed a red flag to wave in front of his disciples, and Vox Day furnished one (or at least, Vox Day read second-hand furnished one).

I've just explained the game on both sides, as best I understand it, in a post called "Why PZ Myers won't debate," at christthetao.blogspot.com.

Mr. Beale: I criticize you, as well, and you're welcome to straighten me out, if you like. It may be that I misread your motives, not having read that much of your stuff, to date. Of course I also criticize your style, but I think I follow your point better than PZ does.

OpenID nroberts666 June 09, 2012 3:20 PM  

Every time I think I've seen the worse that the human race has to offer, someone says something so wicked and callous that I once again have to remember that there really isn't any bottom to that pit.

I suppose I should thank you for being the person that reminded me of this fact today. Until now it had never even dawned on me that someone might argue that stoning rape victims creates less false rape accusations and is therefor good. I stand corrected and thoroughly shocked.

I'd also thought myself incapable of dismay regarding the future and soul of the human race. I did not think myself capable any longer of feeling melancholy or being depressed about how disgusting human beings are. You sir have reintroduced me to this feeling and I'll probably spend the rest of the day thinking about the fact that the universe could very well be better off if a black hole simply swept through our system and swallowed our entire planet.

If the universe was just you'd find yourself at the mercy of people as disconnected from humanity as you are. I don't know if I should feel good about the fact that it is not. While I do feel some small amount of forgiveness and mercy in my heart, another part of me feels that the resources available for living human beings are dwindling such that we should expect a human being to actually give society something worth a damn to justify their continued existence. I doubt very much that you could survive such a policy.

Blogger Stasi June 10, 2012 12:30 AM  

And here I thought that by having a 4 year college degree, living by myself since 18, having a 60 hr a week manager position, owning my own home, and staying happy and single at my current age of 25 was a good thing! I had previously believed in showed motivation, independence, a strong work ethic and a love of freedom.
Why is it that by being free I qualify for having acid scar my face?
I'd truly like to know, please.

Anonymous Anonymous June 11, 2012 8:20 AM  

Did you seriously type all those answers with 100% sincerity?

Do you not comprehend that maybe, just maybe, not every woman on earth is happy with being treated as a mentally deficient second class citizen?

Anonymous Anonymous June 11, 2012 11:34 AM  

"1. Because educating women is strongly correlated with reducing their disposition and ability to reproduce themselves. Educating them tends to make them evolutionary dead ends."

This comment is based upon the assumption that human reproduction is the only way to propagate our species. Anyone who works in some way to create a stable, economically viable society creates a more stable and safer environment for families and children which makes our species productive whether these people chose to procreate or not. However, last time I checked there were over 7 billion of us on the planet so I don't think we have to worry about our species becoming a "deadend."

"2. Because raising girls with the expectation that their purpose in life is to bear children allows them to pursue marriage at the age of their peak fertility..."

Human women remain fertile into their 40's or 50's. This leaves them a huge window with which to decide if they wish to procreate or not. Perhaps "peak fertility" is something we would need to be concerned about if we faced under-population as a species, but we obviously don't.

"3. Because female independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability..."

I took a bit more of this quote because the depths of bigotry and hatred sort of speak for themselves. And even if this was correct and acid scarring women did lead to a more stable society (which is doesn't) the ends still don't justify the means. But in your "utilitarian" diatribe you are also wrong. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens: the only known cure for poverty IS the empowerment of women and their freedom and emancipation from societal bigotry and hatred. America saw a huge economic boom in the 40's and 50's largely due to the explosion of women workers. A society which denies working rights to women handicaps itself by denying half of it's work-force.

"4. Because female promiscuity and divorce are strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills, from low birth and marriage rates to high levels of illegitimacy."
Aside from some sort of source to back up this wildly speculative claim I would argue that in a species with a population of over seven billion that low birth rates is not one of our problems.

Blogger tomgerlick June 11, 2012 11:35 AM  

con't
"5. The effect in dramatically reducing the number of false rape accusations would, of course, benefit men, but since there is no reliable penalty for false rape accusations in modern society, reducing it would be of little benefit to them."

Any false rape charges proven in court would be subject to slander charges as far as I can tell. Also, false rape accusations are rare. Rape is still a vastly under-reported crime both for males and females.

"6. By reducing female promiscuity, which is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills, from low birth and marriage rates to high levels of illegitimacy."

[citation needed]

"7. Because far more women are aborted than die as a result of their pregnancies going awry. The very idea that letting a few women die is worse than killing literally millions of unborn women shows that PZ not only isn't thinking like a scientist, he's quite clearly not thinking rationally at all. If PZ is going to be intellectually consistent here, then he should be quite willing to support the abortion of all black fetuses, since blacks disproportionately commit murder and 17x more people could be saved by aborting black fetuses than permitting the use of abortion to save the life of a mother. 466 American women die in pregnancy every year whereas 8,012 people died at the hands of black murderers in 2010."

[citation needed]

Look, I have no delusions about my comments, hastily put together to have any real impact on this circle of closed-minds. But it's an argument that I had to make. This diatribe of ignorance, hatred and psuedo-science in disguise is pretty deplorable. And argue with me all you want, but it won't do much good as a I doubt my eyes will ever grace this den of hate again. I know I won't reach this blogger as his mind is firmly set, but you fellow commenters and those who found this article by chance and think perhaps you see a new truth to this man's words please read mine and consider them a more even-minded counterpoint. Because if I can persuade one person from the dark and hurtful things said in this article then I feel it will have justified by time in reading this swill.

Anonymous RattusNorvegicus June 11, 2012 2:05 PM  

Keeping women uneducated and subdued is -apparently- beneficial to women because we've created a society structured around the subjection of women. Meaning that our civilization is designed to make life more difficult for women who try to escape from being kept uneducated and subdued.

Almost every aspect of maintaining the home and family have been designated 'women's work' and despite being just as important as 'men's work'(wage-earning), treated with disdain and lack of respect. This is incorporated into the general idea that women are less intelligent and less important than men.

Were our society not so strictly divided into men's and women's work/roles, both sexes would invest equally into the care of their home, their children, and their income. One form of work would not be seen as having less worth than the other, nor would forms of work be tied to genders.

Both men and women would be able to pursue education and employment, as well as parenthood, if they choose to.

Instead of a single breadwinner working 40 hour weeks, both parents could work 20 hours and spend half their week at home at domestic upkeep, given the opportunity to bond with their children, and have an understanding and appreciation for the value of both domestic and wage work.

Parents would need to be eligible for full-time benefits at 20 hours, but it'd actually be better for the economy to keep both parents working.

Blogger Floating June 14, 2012 6:27 PM  

Actually, I think it would be better if we lived in a society where men were sperm cows, and women could pick and choose sperm to impregnate themselves with (because of the huge time and energy commitment by women to raise children and how MRAs seem to think the whole of a man's contribution is child support). You see, you like to point out that the atom bomb and machines of war were created by men, but don't you realize that men are simply aggressive and mindless enough to spend their time creating this technology? A matriarchal society would be peaceful, with little conflict. In short--civil. After all, think about who has started more wars--when women were in control or men?

I propose that we ensure that men remain uneducated, while educating women. Since men are better at labor due to higher testosterone levels, this would fit perfectly, since more laborious jobs require little higher cognitive skills. It may even help to lobotomize those who refuse to submit. A few lobotomized male brains is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability. Chemical castration is also a lasting option to weed out overly confrontational male individuals.

Women tend to be less aggressive. This attribute makes them perfect for higher level management activities. They are, in fact, not inferior on an intelligence scale, if you look at population distributions of various cognitive tests. Due to their calmer demeanor and capable hands, our society would be greatly enhanced without the mindless, animal bloodlust of men and with the composed, quiet intuition of women. Our species would move forward for once, without destroying each other.

~~~~

Because Vox is a crazy ass motherfucker who's about as scientific as a dog licking its asshole to see what it tastes like. Read some evolutionary biology for God's sake (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22690911)

Anonymous Anonymous September 01, 2012 8:22 PM  

This is crazy.

Do you think we should also repeal laws allowing self-defense to be used as a defense against charges of murder?

Otherwise you are essentially granting fetuses a greater right to life than everybody else.

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