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Carney's Avatar Joined over 4 years ago
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Go to: How religion promotes confidence about paternity

Carney's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Carney

It's not just about culture, as in religion. It's also about genes. If you practice the double standard (preventing the women in your group from out-breeding, while encouraging the men in your group to do so), you spread your genes to other groups (and force them to expend energy and resources caring for your offspring) while preventing them from doing the same. Over time, groups that did not have a double standard would be outbred if not wiped out. Thus strong selection pressures exist for groups to limit female promiscuity and to some extent celebrate male promiscuity.

The same selective pressures exist for things like violence and chivalry. Since women can only have perhaps 20 children at the very most per lifetime while men can father thousands of children, women are the reproductive bottleneck. In a war between two groups (tribes, clans, ethnicity, whatever), if 99% of the males are lost in combat but the women are unharmed, the group's population can bounce back in one generation (albeit with some loss of genetic diversity) providing that polygamy is legitimized. But if 99% of the females are lost the blow is shattering; it will take a long time to rebuild the group's population.

Men are expendable, even disposable. That's why we're more aggressive and risk-tolerant. Women are less expendable, which is why they are not only more risk-averse, but also are usually more protected.

Now contrast a group that refrains from sending its women into combat, and goes to extra effort to protect them, and feels extra outrage and desire for retaliation if they are harmed, versus a group that ignores the comparatively greater reproductive loss if a woman is killed, and does not go out of its way to avenge and thus deter their being killed more than its men being killed. Over the long haul, the group with a chivalrous, protect the females, attitude is more likely to spread, multiply, and spread its genes.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 19:47:54 UTC | #946187

Go to: Does Religious Liberty Equal Freedom to Discriminate?

Carney's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by Carney

Sweeping denunciations of and bans on "discrimination" blur what should be a serious distinction between freedom of association in the private sector, and the obligation of the public sector to treat all citizens in an even-handed and fair manner.

If, for example, Catholic people come together to form a hospital or university to be run along Catholic lines, such as not aborting the unborn and not funding contraception, so what? Certainly you can seek to persuade them to stop such behavior of you disapprove of it, but it's inappropriate, and yes, violative of liberty to use government initiated physical force to force them to conform to your values.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 18:24:50 UTC | #946177

Go to: The Lord’s Army Comes to America’s Public Schools

Carney's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Carney

The First Amendment, with the word "Congress", restricts solely the activities of the federal government. It is utterly silent on the states, which it is clear, with the implicit structure of the rest of the Constitution, made explicit and unmistakeable with the 10th amendment, can do anything they are not explicitly forbidden to do. In fact much of the historical impetus for the establishment clause came from anti-federalists wedded strongly to states' rights and specifically to their states' established churches, such as the Congregationalist Church in MA, and fears that if the federal government officially endorsed a given denomination that would supersede and overshadow their state church. The Establishment Clause was NOT intended, written, and ratified to impose a federally enforced zealously strict secularism on all levels of government right down to the local neighborhood school - it would NEVER have been ratified were that the case.

Too many people, especially on the secular left, consistently make the fundamental error of assuming that their personally preferred public policies are constitutionally mandatory, and their disfavored policies are constitutionally forbidden. Such a delusion is enjoyable and helps rationalize an end run around the vexing and slow process of convincing fellow citizens to pass laws or amendments, straight to judge shopping for a like minded judge who will wink at you and ram through your mutually preferred policies on some spurious pseudo--legal grounds. But it has the fatal flaw of being historically, logically, legally, and morally wrong.

And that's entirely apart from whether strict secularism at all levels of government is a wise, sound, helpful public policy. It is possible to be such a policy and yet NOT BE CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATORY. It is also possible for a given policy to be unfair, destructive, foolish, and ignorant, while still being perfectly constitutional.

Do you get it now??

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 21:47:56 UTC | #934257

Go to: Locked Out: How the Church Responded to their Pastor’s Coming Out

Carney's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by Carney

Oh please. Maudlin self-pity is unbecoming and unimpressive. Cherishing and nurturing and trumpeting perceived slights wastes everyone's time.

You became an atheist. Therefore it was no longer appropriate for you to be a pastor, and no longer appropriate for you to be employed as one, and no longer appropriate for you to be given physical access to the grounds, including papers and assets which are only supposed to be accessible to the pastor or other trusted employees.

If an Obama supporter came out as a Romney supporter, you think the Obama people would let him roam around headquarters, opening drawers and cashboxes, rifling through files, accessing computers?

Countless people have been rather unceremoniously fired. It can be embarrassing and frustrating to box up your stuff as a security guard watches, then led outside never to return. It happens.

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 21:30:09 UTC | #934248

Go to: Why do people torture each other?

Carney's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by Carney

I would speculate that it's an extreme example of the prisoner's dilemma. In other words if someone defects you retaliate. Dawkins has described in the past how mathematically it makes sense for us to have evolved to be initially positive but to punish wrongdoers against us.

I think torture such as described above is usually perceived by the torturer as payback or revenge for a terrible wrong. It is viscerally enjoyed because the victims are seen as deserving such punishment - the psychological enjoyment and reward from it is a greatly amplified version of the one most of us experience when the hero in an action movie takes his revenge on those who have wronged his loved ones, or when Rocky finally lands a comeback punch after suffering a beating, etc.

Obviously it takes truly terribly wrong, real or (often) imagined or exaggerated, for normal people to be willing to inflict or condone such torture. That's why torture is often a revenge for torture that was previously inflicted on one's own group. Or a response to propaganda or narratives that utterly demonize the targets.

Thu, 06 Oct 2011 18:10:58 UTC | #878484

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