Sex and natural law

When it comes to ordinary crime, for example mugging and burglary, natural law is obvious:

What is crime?

Crime is bad actions that are apt to be met by physical violence, socially approved physical violence.

What is law?

Law is social approval for violence against certain kinds of bad actions.

If you see a conflict between someone who is mugged, and someone who is mugging, you will naturally support the victim and oppose the aggressor, because the aggressor might aggress against you, so, natural law.  It is natural for everyone to support violence against certain kinds of acts, so those acts are naturally crimes, and violence against those acts is naturally law.

If the state goes with the grain, making illegal those things that are naturally crimes, and not making illegal those things that are not naturally crimes, order is easy.  If it runs against the grain, the state creates disorder.

However, when Catholics talk about natural law, they are generally not talking about this obvious, uncontroversial, and straightforward natural law, natural law relating to uncomplicated crime, but about sex.

And the rules on sex are a lot more socially contingent that the rules on violence.  It all depends.  Which is not to say that progressives can make up any rules they feel like and expect them to work, so in that sense, there is natural law on sex, but in that what is natural depends a lot on socially constructed circumstances, there is no natural law on sex.

What is natural is feral behavior.  Natural law is those restraints that are natural to impose on feral behavior – we are disinclined to tolerate predation on people like ourselves, or parasitism on people like ourselves.

Feral female behavior is hypergamy.  Women unrestrained by male authority will sleep with the top few percent of men, which means that those men at the top are disinclined to be fathers to their children, and the rest of the males have no children.  Such a society is dysfunctional because the males are disinclined to work, to fight in defense of their society or its women or children, or to transmit their culture to the children.  Idle hands lead to widespread criminal behavior among the males.

Such a society is indeed natural, but lacks laws on sex.

Now let us imagine a society with strong families, and little or no welfare for bastards.  Such a society is not a necessary product of natural law.  Rather it requires the patriarchs to agree together to support each other’s familial authority.  While the lack of welfare is natural, (welfare needs to be socially constructed) strong families are not natural.  Strong families need to be socially constructed.

But, given strong families, the patriarchs will wind up carrying a large party of the externalities of feral female sexual conduct.  So, naturally, they simply will not allow feral female sexual conduct.  Thus, in such a society, severe restraints on female sexual conduct and a strong guiding hand on female sexual choice (only approved suitors allowed, dads, not cads) are indeed natural – natural law, given the not all natural social construction of patriarchal familial authority.

The Roman Catholic “natural law” on sex is only natural for a society with strong families, where contraception is ugly and unpleasant, where abortion is dangerous, and, most importantly, where maternity is a matter of fact, but paternity is a matter of opinion.

The Roman Catholic Church, however, was at the forefront of undermining strong families, sawing off the branch on which they sat.  The original Roman marriage, on which Christian marriage is based, was contract between the bride, the groom, and the patriarchs of the families, wherein if the bride or the groom broke his vows, he was not only breaking his oath to his spouse, but to his father.  The Christian Church, and in particular and especially the Roman Catholic church, progressively erased the role of the family in the marriage, making it a contract between the bride, the groom, and God, with the parents of the bride and groom merely passive onlookers.  In this sense, Christianity has been leftism for a very long time.  That the heretical spawn of Christianity disowned first Jesus, then God, was a consequence of that leftism.

Successful past societies took extraordinarily drastic measures to ensure certainty of paternity.  In this sense, certainty of paternity is socially constructed, and you need paternal certainty for strong families.  Today, however, paternity is as much a matter of fact as maternity, a change that should lead to social changes more drastic than those of the contraceptive pill, but as yet, those changes are suspended, held at bay by a government hostile to fatherhood, that wants women married to the state, and married to their job, rather than married to husbands.  Routine paternity testing is socially and legally discouraged, and the law ignores actual paternity for supposed social paternity, treating paternity a matter of opinion, which legal policy is running headfirst into reality.  Males care very much about actual paternity, and if it differs from social paternity, are apt to get upset, often homicidally so.  One suppose that since paternal certainty was not available in the ancestral environment, males would only care about social paternity, but evidently humans have understood the connection between sex and reproduction for long enough to select for males who care about actual paternity – the latest technologies are a very large change in degree, but not a change in kind.

We can today have the kind of society that past people’s had without the need for as much tight control on females, because we can know who the father is without keeping wives entirely locked up and putting them in chadors.  So the natural outcome of this improved technology is return to patriarchy, where fathers are entitled to be fathers, and women are forbidden to have children by more than one father – because today it is easier to enforce a prohibition on women having children by more than one father.

Sexual behavior is apt to be subject to very strong selection effects, resulting in remarkably rapid evolution.  Condoms are the oldest form of contraception, and evidently in the short time they have existed, many males have evolved to loath them, so it probably did not take very long after humans learning the connection between sex and reproduction, for males to evolve to care about actual paternity.

And, since we now can quite reliably determine actual paternity, this really should show up in society’s laws and social expectations, but as yet, it does not.

In today’s society, there is nothing natural about Roman Catholic Natural Law.

We have, instead, the natural outcome of unrestrained female hypergamy, a mating system that is primarily lek based.   Because of technological changes, Roman Catholic natural law can never be natural again, but we nonetheless have to socially construct institutions that stop female hypergamy and artificially and unnaturally impose monogamy on females.

Obviously, women only have as much power as men permit.  The solution is to allow those males that likely have the best interests of the women at heart, husbands and fathers, to exercise that power that is the natural result of male characteristics, and require outsiders to butt out, which requires males to respect each other’s property rights in females.  Rules on chastity and fidelity are then results of the natural law of property.

The Pauline concept of marriage as contractual imposes obligations on both parties to a marriage.  From the natural law of contract, a marriage contracted for the purpose of children is necessarily durable.  Neither party can cease to perform the duties of the marriage even if they are not feeling like it.  And neither party can employ contraception or abortion or withhold reproductive sex except by the permission of the other.

Modern technology makes it possible to extend adolescence until a woman starts to run out of eggs.  This outcome is undesirable, but there is no specific identifiable individual who has an interest in stopping it, except the father, so difficult to deem it illegal if the father permits it.

Rules for the transfer of authority from fathers to husbands are necessarily socially constructed, and not particularly natural.  Obviously it is better for society and the family if a woman is under the authority of the man she is having sex with, rather than her father, so the laws should favor that first transfer of authority, and disfavor any subsequent transfer of authority.

A common eighteenth century system was transfer by elopement or patriarchal authority – the girl could transfer herself from the authority of her father to some man, or the father could transfer her.  However, marriage without female consent means we don’t get all that good Pauline natural law of marriage, for that comes from the natural law of contract.  So, a common eighteenth century system was the waltz, where a daughter was socially required by her parents to engage in sexy dancing with a parentally selected male.  Which sexy dancing was very apt to lead to sex, which was deemed consent to marriage.  So, marriage by forcefully manipulated consent.  The only way to end parental authority was though female choice – which is, on the face of it, a dangerous system, since females notoriously are apt to make bad choices.  But parents could, and did, apply a forceful thumb on the scales.

I have elsewhere argued for marriage without consent, in which fathers simply assign their daughters as seems best to them, and, in the event of the fatherless, the state acts, after the fashion of the early days in Australia.  This is probably necessary when you have a very badly behaved female population, when one is arbitrarily and artificially creating family structures in a society where they have been entirely destroyed, which was the situation that the early Australian state found itself in.  Probably the best system is that marriage by manipulated consent is normal and normative, with the possibility of backing it up by shotgun marriage in the event of demonstrated bad behavior, such as, for example, pregnancy.

159 Responses to “Sex and natural law”

  1. Mycroft Jones says:

    Well put. We need to restore the concept of property in humans. Slaves are best set free when they are ready for it, not arbitrarily.

  2. Red says:

    >Probably the best system is that marriage by manipulated consent is normal and normative, with the possibility of backing it up by shotgun marriage in the event of demonstrated bad behavior, such as, for example, pregnancy.

    I don’t agree. Every person I’ve talked who had an arranged marriage and entire threads on Reddit both indicate that arranged marriages work great when it comes to female happiness and male security. In a civilization men also benefit from having their parents picking women who have the right temperament for their boys.

    Think what a man like Steve Wozniak could have achieved if he’d been married off at an early age to a non gold digging women. He wouldn’t have had to spend his time pursing stupid high profile activities just to get his geeky ass laid, his family and children would have been the driving force in his life, and he would have spent his time building better computers so that his children would receive high status and wealth. Instead he’s wasted his remarkable talents.

  3. josh says:

    You don’t even seem to understand what the Catholic conception of Natural Law is. You seem to think its some kind of “how men and women behave ‘in a state of nature”‘ Rousseauvian silliness. It isn’t an invention of the Church. It was also the basis of Confucianism, Daoism, Dharma, Nicomachaen ethics….

    • Zippy says:

      @josh
      “You don’t even seem to understand what the Catholic conception of Natural Law is.”

      In Jim’s world, words mean whatever he says they mean. That way the polemical tautologies he builds stay inside the motte where effigies can be burnt and children can be impressed, all while remaining immune to criticism. Actual arguments from the real world outside the motte need never be addressed.

      • Dystopia Max says:

        Do you have a reply (an ‘argument’, one might call it) to the point that the Catholic Church has indeed been part of the undermining Christian marriage, just as the Protestant Church has, or are you going to spend all day engaging in unqualified ad homina against someone who has done far more than you to return to first principles, and track what causes their degeneration?

        Such as, perhaps, the lack of a general goodwill toward men, knowing what they face in life? Would your crusade against usury be more or less likely to succeed under a patriarchal order? And is it really a wise idea to represent the TradCatholic bloc as people who dismiss even their sympathizers and allies for the slightest deviation from orthodoxy, without first, you know, asking questions to find out whether you have all the details first?

        I also see from your archaic terms that you’ve been reading Slate Star Codex. Is that really the best example of an anti-neoreactionary argument?

        • Deogolwulf says:

          The term “motte-and-bailey” in reference to a debating-trick has been around since at least 2005. (See Nicholas Shackel, “The Vacuity of Postmodern Methodology”, Metaphilosophy 36 (3), April 2005.) It has nothing specifically to do with the author of the Slate Star Codex, liberal ankle-biters, or with any kind of Lesswrongist. (If the latter were ignorant of the invention of the wheel, they would call it something like the algorithmic rotation-utility device (ARUD) and credit its invention to Yudkowsky circa 2010.) Besides, are “motte” and “bailey” archaic terms? (What about “portcullis” and “moat”?) And, if so, what’s wrong with that?

          As for Jim’s misunderstanding of natural law, that has been made clear. He is in a position not dissimilar to mine some years ago when I presumed I knew what Aristotelians and Thomists meant when they talked of natural law, my interpreting it according to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century metaphysics (or exaltation of feelings and images, emotivism, irrationalism, etc) that lurk behind many a presumption today — until a philosopher took upon himself to deliver the noble service of embarrassing me.

          • jim says:

            If your definition of natural law requires people to have contact with the Catholic Church to know what natural law is, then there is something wrong with your definition.

          • Deogolwulf says:

            That’s an odd remark. I’m fairly sure that Aristotle had no contact. (And I am sure that students of natural law within the Church are aware that Aristotle was no Catholic. Nor Plato, for that matter.) I myself am not a Catholic (nor even a Christian). But as CuiPertinebit has tried to point out to you, with little success it seems (through no fault of his own), natural law “has to do with a rational perception of the causes (and ends) of things”; and the tradition of its understanding has been millennia in the making, fielding some of the sharpest and wisest minds – whether pagan, Christian, or other – to that end. Hence, of course, I do not suggest that it would not be of great benefit to be in contact with, or brought up within, an institution that officially recognises and upholds that tradition. To allude to something Zippy said on this thread, whilst it is no part of the definition of the laws of physics that one must have contact with the Max Planck Institute or the Royal Society or somesuch — the idea is bizarre, and possibly betrays some kind of relativism —, it is hardly to be doubted that contact with somesuch may be beneficial in providing teaching, knowledge, and guidance to understanding — and authority where the understanding is lacking.

            • jim says:

              Most intelligent decent people cannot give a good explanation of how they know something is good or evil, but they can intuit it correctly. If you have an account of natural law where only elite philosophers can get the right answers, and the rest of the population should listen to them, you are not talking about the same natural law as Aristotle or Thomas of Aquino was talking about.

              Philosophy that concludes that only philosophers know stuff, that only philosophers get the right answers, is always crap.

              The valid question for philosophers to ask is how do we know stuff, why is it that people are generally able to get the right answers without being able to give a good justification of how they know what they know?

              When a philosopher concludes that regular people do not know stuff, he is wrong. He should rather observe that people know stuff without being able to explain or justify what they know, and then attempt to explain and justify what everyone knows.

              And when he draws the conclusion that regular people’s knowledge is invalid while claiming to walk in the shoes of Aristotle or Thomas of Aquino, he is an arrogant nitwit.

          • deogolwulf says:

            Most people (even intelligent, decent people) cannot give a good account of logic, but almost all are capable of reasoning to some extent. People are rational animals, after all. But they are also prone to making errors. Logical fallacies, for instance, are not mere errors in reasoning; they are typical errors to which we are tempted because they feel, or intuitively seem, correct. Should we then depreciate “elite philosophers” who study logic, who point out errors, who work out the right paths, who take logic to new heights, or who plumb its mysterious depths? Of course not. Likewise in morality. People are moral animals too. Just as only rational animals can be irrational, so only moral animals can be immoral. We feel the pull of temptation away from the correct paths both in reason and morality (which are intimately linked). To intuit and err is human.

            “If you have an account of natural law where only elite philosophers can get the right answers, and the rest of the population should listen to them, you are not talking about the same natural law as Aristotle or Thomas of Aquino was talking about.

            “Philosophy that concludes that only philosophers know stuff, that only philosophers get the right answers, is always crap.”

            I have no such account or conclusion, and it is clear that you do not know what those fellows were talking about. (Aristotle, for instance, is somewhat notorious in our times for his intellectual elitism as regards the good life.) Likewise, I have no such account of mathematics. Whilst I am no mathematician, I still know the right answer to three plus three without much help. (But by intuition?) Yet there are answers to other questions that I get to know through the intelligence and labour of mathematicians (and for the answers to other, harder questions still, I defer to their authority). Mankind did not just intuit its way into mathematics (though intuition plays its part). Its edifice required reasoning and tradition, and was built by minds more intelligent and profound than yours or mine. And so it is with the understanding of natural law. If I can know the moral equivalent of three-plus-three-equals-six with little effort, it does not mean I should askance upon the man who can work out in great labour — and under a tradition of previous labours — the moral equivalent of parametric-surface equations.

            You seem to assume, however, that, unlike, say, mathematics, logic, biology, physics, and all other matters that concern the world, natural law alone should be an easy matter, one that can fruitfully and without risk — and without a tradition of intelligent thought and knowledge-discovery — be intuited unto the highest by intelligent, decent people straight off the bat.

            Happily neither Aristotle nor Aquinas was prey to such Rousseaunian poppycock.

            • jim says:

              Everyone can see a table in front of them and know it is a table. No one can explain how they do this. Thus the notorious problem of universals. That explaining how people see tables is hard, does not imply that seeing tables is hard. Indeed, the hard problem to be explained why it is easy.

              And another hard problem to be explained is why it is usually easy to recognize good and evil.

          • deogolwulf says:

            By the way, how did these “intelligent, decent people”, who, you say, can intuit good and evil, become the decent people who can, as you say, do so? Contrary to the libertarian-romantic fiction, they are decent people, i.e., they know good and evil, right from wrong, much to the extent that they do, not because they intuited it for themselves, but because they were taught these things, to the extent that they were, within a particular social and traditional circumstance from their earliest age. Yet, as Alasdair MacIntyre famously argued, that circumstance is much ruined; and we may safely say that intuition will not be doing the heavy lifting if any serious attempt is made to rebuild it.

            • jim says:

              If good and evil is known only from authority, then no such thing as natural law.

              Your arrogant and condescending explanation of natural law, is an explanation that there is no such thing as natural law, and no one ever thought that there was.

              When a child is told the story of Snow White, she recognizes the evil stepmother as evil, and thus is taught the word evil, but the child already knows, not the word evil, but the quality that the word evil refers to, that it is wise for Snow White to flee, and virtuous for the handsome prince to kill, the wicked step mother.

              And if you then ask the hard question as to how the child already easily knows this, how it is possible for the child to already know this, then you will have the question to which natural law is part of the answer.

          • Deogolwulf says:

            Your comment above quoting mine appears under my name. Moreover, you have deleted most of my comment. Why?

            I shall repost it:

            “‘If good and evil is known only from authority . . .’

            “How are you even coming to that misunderstanding of anything said here? It’s baffling. Perhaps next you will be saying that I believe that mathematical and logical truths are known only from authority. So be it. Furthermore, I have made no denial or even an inkling of a denial that there is no predisposition to rational and moral knowledge. The clues should be evident in such phrases as “rational animal” and “moral animal”.

            So, do you suggest that I believe that mathematical and logical truths are known only from authority?”

            End original comment.

            My question went unanswered. Instead, you switched from saying (falsely) that I am talking only about authority to saying (falsely) that I am talking only about teaching, which, of course, are not the same things. In that vein, you say:

            “If our only source of knowledge of good and evil is being taught these things, then no such thing as natural law.”

            Which is supposedly derived from my saying:

            “they know good and evil, right from wrong, much to the extent that they do, not because they intuited it for themselves, but because they were taught these things”

            Does the word “much” in “much to the extent that they do” not mean anything to you? I didn’t throw it in for euphony. (Also note that intuiting and reasoning are not the same things.) Have you never heard of — or met — people who were brought up without being taught right from wrong? They are typically not your decent people. Feral and vicious, we might even say, with the potential for goodness much unactualised. Similarly, a child brought up without exposure to language remains unactualised in its potential for language. For the avoidance of doubt, I also hold that people know mathematics, much to the extent that they do, because they have been taught it. If everyone had to work it all out for himself from scratch, mathematics would remain in a primitive state, its potential almost entirely unactualised. An understanding of mathematics is an edifice, a work of ages, as is that of natural law, or any other understanding of the world. But will you again perversely interpret all this to mean that I am saying that natural law, mathematics, logic, etc, are known only through authority or teaching? (How would knowledge even begin, if that were the case?)

            I would appreciate it if you let my comment stand as it is, though I anticipate it will be read by you in whatever bizarre way strikes your fancy.

            • jim says:

              Your comment above quoting mine appears under my name. Moreover, you have deleted most of my comment. Why?

              I shall repost it:

              I screwed up. I pressed the edit button when I meant to press the reply button. Peril of using the admin interface. Sorry.

            • jim says:

              Natural law tradition is that one can derive moral truths without authority, from the nature of man and the world, that one can, and people regularly and routinely do, cross the supposed gap between ought and is, though without necessarily understanding how they do this, or realizing that they are doing this.

              I make some moral claims, which I say follow from natural law, and denounce the claims of the Roman Catholic Church, which I say do not follow from natural law, except under particular circumstances that the Church itself undermined and which are no longer applicable.

              You don’t argue against those claims, except by arguing that they do not validly follow from authority.

              If my arguments are invalid, make a natural law argument for a different conclusion, an argument not based on authority. If you are not doing that, it is you, not I, that does not understand natural law. Most people do not agree with the conclusions of the Church. If they are wrong, justify the claim that they are wrong, without calling upon authority.

            • jim says:

              Fine, you say people can get ethics wrong. Well, doubtless.

              But if you want to argue that I got ethics wrong, make a natural law argument for a different conclusion. You are not arguing from natural law, but from authority.

          • jim says:

            “If good and evil is known only from authority . . .”

            How are you even coming to that misunderstanding of anything said here?

            You asked how people knew right from wrong, and declared it was because they were taught

            You said:

            they know good and evil, right from wrong, much to the extent that they do, not because they intuited it for themselves, but because they were taught these things

            If our only source of knowledge of good and evil is being taught these things, then no such thing as natural law.

          • Deogolwulf says:

            “I screwed up. . . . Sorry.”

            No worries.

            “Natural law tradition is that one can derive moral truths without authority, from the nature of man and the world, that one can, and people regularly and routinely do, cross the supposed gap between ought and is, though without necessarily understanding how they do this, or realizing that they are doing this.”

            Not much to quibble with there. But note: not knowing how one knows or understands something does not show that it was arrived at by intuition. There are many things I know that I cannot remember learning. I do not conclude that I intuited them all. From the moment of my birth, I was brought up in a certain society that taught me things, that impressed upon me its tradition (such as it is). Without tradition, and the authority that upholds it, we would all be primitives.

            I have been arguing against your intuitionism, yet you have come to the idea that I am arguing from authority or that I am claiming that the understanding of natural law is derived solely from authority. Neither is true – just as it is not true in the case of, say, logic or mathematics. Recognising that authority plays a part in teaching is not itself an argument from authority; it is recognising a fact. Whilst:

            Authority x says y, therefore, y is true or fit to be upheld

            is an argument from authority, the following:

            Authority (and, indeed, arguments from authority) play a part in human teaching and flourishing

            is a statement of fact.

            Also, to recognise that much knowledge is gained through being taught and that teaching depends upon authority, is not to say that all knowledge is gained through being taught or that all knowledge depends upon authority. To go back to the beginning, I shall repeat what CuiPertinebit said earlier: natural law “has to do with a rational perception of the causes (and ends) of things”; and like any rational endeavour, whether of logic, mathematics, physics, etc, the understanding of natural law benefits immeasurably from tradition, authority, and teaching. This seems to me a banal point, yet it also seems to me that you are overlooking it or taking it for granted (thus letting it do the real but hidden work) in your intuitionism.

            It is reason, not intuition nor feelings, that is the heart of the understanding of natural law.

            • jim says:

              Authority (and, indeed, arguments from authority) play a part in human teaching and flourishing

              is a statement of fact.

              But arguments from authority, however useful, valuable, and necessary, are not arguments from natural law.

              To conclude that my natural law conclusions are invalid, you have to argue natural law, not authority. If your criticism of my argument does not contain something like “the telos of the sexual act”, or related concept, it is not a relevant argument.

          • Deogolwulf says:

            “But arguments from authority, however useful, valuable, and necessary, are not arguments from natural law.”

            Who said they were? It was you who gratuitously decided that I or someone else was claiming that natural law must be defined by contact with the Catholic Church or must constitute some kind of argument from authority, despite it already having been stated that the millennia-long understanding of the matter of natural law is that it is grasped through rational perception.

            “To conclude that my natural law conclusions are invalid . . .”

            Do you have any natural-law conclusions? The contention is that you are in the grip of “Rousseauvian silliness”, as Josh put it, and that you clearly do not understand what is meant by natural law, as Aristotle and Aquinas, for instance, have understood it. (You made that even clearer with your quotes from Aquinas.) And, since you keep fixing on near-irrelevancies and importing assumptions that do not belong, it seems that you are determined not to understand it.

            • jim says:

              The contention is that you are in the grip of “Rousseauvian silliness”, as Josh put it, and that you clearly do not understand what is meant by natural law, as Aristotle and Aquinas,

              Well, you would have to make an argument for that contention, rather than just spitting abuse like a screaming brat in the schoolyard, and I just don’t see you have actually made any argument, for to make such an argument, would have to argue natural law, which you have not been doing. Any actual argument would have to contain some actual claim about the telos of the sexual act.

              Since no argument, I can make no reply. Other than that your mother wears army boots too.

      • Zach says:

        Not his fault.

        • Dystopia Max says:

          Perhaps not, but Zippy has the capability to know and speak better. That starts by not echoing the incredibly inane terminology of liberal anklebiters like SSC. For the record:

          1. There are no “tin” or “steelmen.” Any argument you advance against a position that never enters into actual human dialogue with the actual human propounders of the argument is good ol’ straw at its core. When you avoid human argumentation, you avoid the human motivation that convinces people to adopt the opposing arguments in the first place, and your arguments will at best only be read by those who agree with you.

          2. Why someone would use archaic long words like “motte” and “bailey” rather than well-understood short words like “bait” and “switch” is beyond me.

          NRx is about being worthy to rule when the opportunities come. No one whose faith and words waver and shift with the fashions of the day is going to be among those who bring about any improvements to the current situation.

    • jim says:

      You want to argue telos?

      Non reproductive sex is part of our nature, because we have concealed estrus. Thus, one of the ends of sex is not reproduction directly, but bonding, sexual love, between a man and a woman.

      So you cannot oppose contraception based on the telos of the sexual act, but only on the natural law of contract – that if a marriage is for children, one partner cannot unilaterally deny the other children. But if both agree to delay children, or have no further children, the Catholic conclusion is insupportable.

      • Hidden Author says:

        What if a man and a woman make a marriage contract where they agree to be childless?

        • jim says:

          People do strange things, but it does not matter.

          • Hidden Author says:

            So would that be valid or does the marriage contract have to be standardized?

            • jim says:

              On the one hand, one size does not fit all, on the other hand, hard to socially and legally enforce a non standardized marriage contract.

              So the one that gets social and legal enforcement should be standardized, and called marriage, and if people want different contracts, can call them something different.

          • Hidden Author says:

            Why would a non-standardized marriage contract be harder to enforce than a standardized marriage contract?

          • peppermint says:

            standardized contracts are easier to enforce in lots of places. When a contract differs from the standard form, the judge has to determine whether the party that accepted the contract understood how it differed. You already know this.

          • Steve Johnson says:

            Hidden Author says:

            “Why would a non-standardized marriage contract be harder to enforce than a standardized marriage contract?”

            You even have to ask this?

            A marriage contract is enforced by the entire community – why do you think everyone is invited to watch?

            How many people invite all their friends and family to the closing on their house?

          • Steve Johnson says:

            The community isn’t in the business of understanding all the nuances of everyone’s weird relationship quirks – “oh, we’re poly, so she’s allowed to have sex with other guys but not cuddle with them and he’s allowed to blah blah blah…”.

            Yeah, you’re on your own with that disaster waiting to happen.

            Community norms need to be simple and clear to work because people aren’t going to carry around a bunch of morality look up tables populated with everyone else’s specific arrangements.

      • Peppermint says:

        We *were* a hidden estrus species. Plus XII wrote in Humanae Vitae that what scientists could do to change human nature and the natural law would be to let people know. Some men have evolved noses capable of smelling female fertility, but for most of the twentieth century, women knew, and men did not.

        Today, men of the manosphere discuss how to tell if a woman is on the Pill and women know when they are fertile. Soon, there will be a google goggle app to detect fertility and detect pregnancy within the first month. Direct paternity testing, right now, costs on the order of $100, which is the same order of magnitude as a year’s supply of disposable diapers.

  4. CuiPertinebit says:

    I think the central misunderstanding involves the concept of Natural Law. Nature is not “what comes naturally,” for in that case Natural Law would legalize and impose all manner of vice and crime. Rather, it is rooted in two simultaneous understandings: 1) the cosmos has a definite nature and all the individual things in it have their congruous natures, as well; thus, “nature,” insofar as Natural Law is concerned, is discerned by moving in a rigorously reasoned way from first principles so as to correctly identify the causes (one of which is the “teleological cause,” or intended end) for which all things exist; 2) man is rational and morally free, peculiar amongst all material creatures and having only the angels(/demons) as his peers in this, which means that he is capable of observing the natural law and choosing to act in harmony with it, or contrary to it. This is why the laws of men should seek to harmonize with the Natural Law – man needs to perceive and discipline himself according to nature, since his passions “feel natural” but usually get cross-wired and only partially attain unto it.

    So, in the case of marriage, Aristotle and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church after him, would have observed that the end of man is true eudaimonia, which is obtained through virtue and often at the expense of mere ἡδονή, i.e., merely sensual pleasure. εὐδαιμόνια is not simply “pleasure” or “happiness” in a superficial sense, but the kind of profound flourishing and tranquility that comes from functioning properly as an human being in virtue; when joined to supernatural grace, this leads towards the eudaimonia of the next age, or, deification and salvation. It is easily shown that man is designed and intended to perpetuate himself in a general sense (eternal life, procreation, making lasting contributions, etc.), that the sexual function is in service to this principle, that the preservation and transmission of one generation’s natural goods, virtues, knowledge, culture, etc. to the next (a central element of the natural end of parenting and family) is dependent upon strong familial bonds and, especially, the supreme and pervasive influence of a virtuous father. It is also easily shown that promiscuity, that a lack of commitment, a lack of trust that one’s offspring is his own, a proclivity for merely recreational pleasures (especially when they abuse natural faculties contrary to their designed ends), etc., impede the realization of man’s natural good – “Natural” in the reasoned sense, not the “whatever feels right” sense.

    Hence, the reason to sympathize with a victim against an aggressor, is not because you perceive that he may become aggressive towards yourself – for, often aggression is appropriate and should not be resisted or outlawed. Rather, you perceive that it is conducive to man’s natural end that he have some type of gainful employment and trade or skill, that he be entitled to keep the fruits of his labour and so have an incentive to work, save, build, create and progress, etc., and that when a man attempts to forcibly take the fruits of others’ labour for himself, he is not only causing himself to become corrupted and unnatural, but he threatens the victim’s ability to attain his natural end through both the direct theft of his goods, and also through discouraging him from the hope that he can work, save, build, progress, etc. without fear of unreasonable and unjust loss. This can have societal ramifications, but even the private ones are reason enough to oppose him.

    So, in short: Natural Law has nothing to do with feelings, and with what feels natural. It has to do with a rational perception of the causes (and ends) of things, moving from correct, first principles to final causes, and seeing that man should act in a way that respects this order regardless of his feelings… in fact, often especially in spite of his feelings.

    As a brief post-scriptum, regarding female consent and marriage. Obedience to an authority does not necessarily negate free consent – so, in the case of a daughter, the fact that she may go against her own wishes and marry a certain man because her father commanded it, does not preclude her free consent to the contract. As an illustration: obviously, the Church looks at the universe and the history of salvation, and sees the unfolding of God’s decrees. The Church teaches that, while it is certainly good for the reason to understand what it can of these decrees, ultimately the reason why man should assent to what God has revealed and commanded is because God has the authority and the absolute right on His side, and our duty is to obey. The Church also teaches that, when she speaks in her official capacity, she speaks with this authority “on loan,” so to speak. Thus, likewise, the Church would say that it is good for me to intellectually understand the doctrines of the Church and to delight in them with my reason, and my whole being. Yet, having perceived and acknowledged the authority of the Church, my first duty is to give the assent of the will even when I do not yet understand something and to obey the authority. If I should fall away from the Faith (which may God forbid), I would have no authority to go on believing and doing as I pleased. Authority – the only authority, the ground of all authority – has decreed what is right and true, my duty as creature is to give heed and obedience; let me understand what I may, and do so gladly, but let me not yield to the insane hubris of believing that the only reason to believe a thing is because *my* reason and *my* opinion concurs with it. Thus, when the Church commands me to believe the decrees of the Council of Ferrara-Florence, even if I do not yet know every point, nor understand what is taught in each case, and even if something seems unintelligible to me initially, I gladly consent and yield, knowing that in time, with study and care, perhaps I may understand it well enough. “Fides quaerens intellectum,” as certain reputable persons have said. The fact that I accept the Church’s doctrine on authority, even if it may seem repugnant to my initial tastes, private judgments, opinions, etc., does not mean that I have not accepted it freely and truly. So it is with the daughter: she perceives that men generally have proven themselves to know better than her what she really wants and needs and, even failing that, she perceives that her father has the authority to give the command one way or the other: she obeys him even against her misgivings, and this does not mean that her will is constrained or the contract less than free. Now, if her father forced her to marry and she consciously refused free obedience and consent, perhaps only yielding out of fear or despair, that would nullify the contract. But so long as the obedience is true and free, however unhappy she is about it, this nullifies neither her freedom nor the consequent contract.

    • jim says:

      Give me credit for knowing Catholic arguments, and make the effort to understand my arguments.

      Proclaiming from on high that your opponent is ignorant is an ad hominem, which is invariably used when the person using it has a position that is entirely indefensible.

      And the Catholic position on natural law is indefensible, which is why you make no attempt to argue it, but rather assert that the argument can be made, and if you were to make it, it would be valid.

      But, since I am so ignorant, you don’t need to actually make it. If Catholic natural law follows from telos, then argue telos, rather than asserting that if you were to bother to argue telos against such an ignorant opponent, you would win the argument.

      • CuiPertinebit says:

        I’m sorry to say that I did not recognize a Catholic argument or point of view in what you wrote, though I confess that this could easily be due to my own shortcomings. I hardly think you’re ignorant; I enjoy reading your blog because I so often appreciate your point of view.

        I’ll take as an example the passage, on which you further replied:

        “If you see a conflict between someone who is mugged, and someone who is mugging, you will naturally support the victim and oppose the aggressor, because the aggressor might aggress against you, so, natural law.”

        I quote it, first so that I can remark that I was not observing precisely the same distinction between aggression and defense, which you explained in your other reply. That said, your assertion that you naturally oppose the aggressor “because the aggressor might aggress against you, so, natural law,” does not at all seem like an accurate description of Natural Law, whether of the Catholic flavour or otherwise. The possible threat to yourself is probably the last of the pertinent facts that Natural Law would consider in this case (as though we would approve of it if we were certain it would be a single, unrepeated incident!). Likewise, the immediately following statement that “it is natural for everyone to support violence against certain kinds of acts, so those acts are naturally crimes,” seemed vague. Following upon each other as they do, they immediately gave me the impression that your view predicates Natural Law upon our more or less “natural” instincts.

        As you went on to describe the Catholic Church’s view on sex and Natural Law, I continued to miss anything I would recognize as the Church’s view or argument. [As an aside: It has not been my experience that most Catholics, when talking of Natural Law, are talking about sex; rather, I usually find them thinking of the universal and non-explicitly-Christian moral code, or the distinction between Natural, Divine, Canon and Civil laws. I will grant you that society seems particularly interested in chafing at Catholic sexual mores, so we spend an inordinate amount of time going over the sexy bits of Natural Law in the public sphere. In-house, a Catholic normally understands Natural Law as nothing other than “basic morality,” across the board.]

        I said above that your view of Natural Law seemed to predicate it upon our ‘natural’ instincts. You went on to say, “What is natural is feral behaviour,” which only strengthened this impression, and then you described how “female feral behaviour is hypergamy,” leading to absent fathers, delinquent children, declining work ethics, cultural decadence and widespread criminality, concluding that “such a culture is indeed natural, but lacks laws on sex.” I don’t think I’m being unjust, then, to say that you gave ample reason for someone to conclude that you use “natural” in a sense other than most Natural Law philosophers. The use of “natural” to describe this society or the Laws designed to reduce its problems, as I tried to point out, is almost wholly opposite to its usage in Aristotle, Confucius or St. Thomas Aquinas. You also said that “what is natural depends a lot on socially constructed circumstances,” which statement seems (to me) to be diametrically opposed to the general understanding of Natural Law – almost, even, a Deconstructionist or (Social) Marxist view. When you say “let us imagine a society with strong families, and little or no welfare for bastards. Such a society is not a necessary product of natural law. Rather it requires the patriarchs to agree together to support each other’s familial authority,” the Catholic, the Confucian, the Aristotelian would be perplexed and say: “but that is precisely what Natural Law would require, and the society built on strong families, with patriarchal cooperation and a minimum of promiscuity and parasitism absolutely is a necessary product of Natural Law.” This is why I was confused, and did not recognize a Catholic view, nor even a simply Aristotelian view, anywhere in your description of Natural Law.

        In any case, it wasn’t my intent to give offense; I enjoy your blog for its lucidity and candor. I found your description of Natural Law to be uncharacteristically vague and off the mark, and I was responding to that. Hopefully my explanation here will elucidate why I don’t think I was being unjust, arrogant or uncharitable to come away with that impression.

        • jim says:

          The possible threat to yourself is probably the last of the pertinent facts that Natural Law would consider in this case (as though we would approve of it if we were certain it would be a single, unrepeated incident!)

          If we were certain it would be a single unrepeated case, we would indeed approve it, or at least tolerate it, as for example when someone steals something out of some terrible and urgent exigency, which is exigency is not his own fault, but something that happened to him out of misfortune – Ayn Rand’s “lifeboat ethics”, or “All is fair in love and war”. I need your hose to stop a wildfire which threatens to destroy my house. I break into your garage and steal your hose and steal water from your tank. You probably will not blame me, but the circumstances.

          Aquinas tells us:

          Further, the natural law abides in man always, as will be shown further on (A(6)). But man’s reason, which the law regards, does not always think about the natural law. Therefore the natural law is not an act, but a habit.

          And then justifies that claim as follows:

          to the natural law belongs those things to which a man is inclined naturally:

          A thing is said to belong to the natural law in two ways. First, because nature inclines thereto: e.g. that one should not do harm to another. Secondly, because nature did not bring in the contrary:
          thus we might say that for man to be naked is of the natural law, because nature did not give him clothes, but art invented them

          ….

          For the natural law above all has the character of law. But the natural law needs no promulgation.

          So as soon as you have a college of cardinals officially determine that the natural law is X, you are doing it wrong, because needs promulgation. Where people are not by nature spontaneously inclined to respect X in good people and enforce X upon bad people without being told to do so, you are doing it wrong, because needs promulgation. Where they need to be told from the pulpit that X is law, you are doing it wrong, because you are promulgating. Where you need some socially constructed institution such as the church or the police to get people to act as if X was law, you are doing it wrong. Where you need people to believe in Christianity for people to act as if X is natural law, you are doing it wrong.

          So, if the Church has to get together a bunch of Cardinals and generate a consensus that contraception is contrary to natural law, and then announce that consensus from the pulpit, and the congregation is not much inclined to listen, then it is not natural law.

          Property, however, is natural law, for the entire power of the state, if it attempts to prevent people from enforcing property rights, is apt to fail, as in China’s forced collectivization. They told people property rights were wrong, they executed people for upholding property rights, yet still people upheld property rights against the force of police and army.

          So, if you want chastity to be natural law, have to ask “who will enforce chastity, who will scorn the unchaste, and why will they do so?”

          So, chastity only natural law if women are, to some extent, in some sense, property, if women do not have full authority over their sexual and reproductive capacity from moment to moment, but rather, if their decision to have sex with one man, violates the rights of some other man who will be rightfully pissed off by this behavior, only then can chastity arise from natural law.

          If the church is going with the grain, giving divine and congregational sanction to moral principles that people spontaneously uphold without needing to be told, like the pissed off husband, then natural law. If it is going against the grain, if people are not naturally inclined to spontaneously uphold these principles without being told, not natural law.

          If needs promulgation, not natural law. If needs institutions, not natural law.

          I don’t think I’m being unjust, then, to say that you gave ample reason for someone to conclude that you use “natural” in a sense other than most Natural Law philosophers.

          Try Thomas of Aquino.

          You are not really starting from natural law philosophers, but from the principle that the Church is doing the right things for the right reasons. If you read this blog, you are likely to read the proposition that the Church (and the Synagogue) is in trouble because it has been doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons.

          This is not ignorance of the Church’s position, but rather familiarity. Similarly, B wants to argue that Yemeni Jews have always had emancipated women. He is wrong, but if he won’t accept that in 2008 American Orthodox Jews condemned homosexuality, even less is he going to accept that in 1940 Yemeni Jews had pretty close to old testament patriarchy.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            As to the matter of approving crime in an isolated case, my point was that we do not approve of crime in an isolated case simply because it is isolated. The examples you raise are tolerable not because they are isolated, per se, but because their extraordinary circumstances justify the action and lead to them being more or less isolated events only circumstantially.

            Aquinas’ methodology can be difficult to understand and requires extensive, prior, philosophical preparation. I truly mean no offense in pointing out what seem to me to be mistakes, because all of us, myself included, have a steep learning curve before approaching Aquinas. As a case in point, in two of the citations you gave from Aquinas, you cited his words as though they were propositions with which he concurred – apparently not realizing that you cited from the section of “objections,” which always form the first part of his examinations in the Summa, and which are points he intends to refute or disqualify as erroneous or logically irrelevant to the point at hand. Your first citation of Aquinas (ending “therefore, the Natural Law is not an act, but an habit”), was ‘objection 3,’ and is a point he immediately goes on to refute, saying “Augustine’s teaching is contrary to this,” concluding “therefore, the natural law is NOT an habit.” After stating his view and the reason for it, he gives his detailed response to objection 3: “that argument leads to the conclusion that man holds to the Natural Law by means of habit, and this we concede.” I.e., Aquinas’ teaching is that Natrual Law is NOT an habit, but he concedes that man holds to it by an habitual action.

            As you go on, citing article 5, I would say that you come to the heart of the point. Aquinas says the natural law is that, towards which nature inclines (or which nature does not oppose). This is exactly what we’re discussing. What is “nature,” insofar as man is concerned? Aquinas conceded that certain states of man – nakedness, common possession of property, etc. – could be taken as natural and a part of Natural Law, and you cited him to this effect. But I don’t know why you ignored what immediately follows, since that is what is really germane to our discussion. He continued to give examples of things pertaining to Natural Law: “now slavery, and the distinction of possessions, were not introduced by nature, but were devised by human reason for the benefit of human life.” These are also examples of Natural Law, because, though nature did not introduce them, human reason introduced them in order to facilitate man in attaining to his natural end, in a manner that was not contrary to nature. We are now getting close to what I was saying about Patriarchy and civilization, namely, how all the considerations you raise abous sex, marriage and society, are, from the Catholic (and Aristotelian) perspective, elements precisely and integrally of Natural Law. We’ve seen that Aquinas views Natural Law as involving that to which nature inclines, or to which nature has not introduced the contrary. What would Aquinas say about the morally tricky parts we’re discussing? What is “nature?” What is “natural” when it comes to sex, patriarchy, etc.? Let’s start with Aquinas’ view of the natural good of man.

            “I answer that, As stated above (LXXXV Art. 1), the good of (human) nature, that is diminished by sin, is the natural inclination to virtue, which is befitting to man from the very fact that he is a rational being; for it is due to this that he performs actions in accord with reason, which is to act virtuously. Now sin cannot entirely take away from man the fact that he is a rational being, for then he would no longer be capable of sin. Wherefore it is not possible for this good of nature to be destroyed entirely.” (LXXXV, Art.2)

            In other words, Aquinas sees the chief good of human nature to be acting viruously as a rational creature. He would agree that nature inclines towards certain ends (like seeking nourishment, procreation, safety, etc.), and would agree that pursuing these ends, which nature introduced, in a manner not contrary to nature, would be rational and virtuous. But what happens in the tricky questions? How might a man pursue these things in an unnatural way? Nature inclines man to procreate and to see to his own safety and comfort; but if man is a rational creature and this is the good of his nature, why does he seem to have a “natural” tendency to pursue these natural inclinations in ways that fall short of his natural good? Why does the Natural Law seem to go astray, here? What does the diminution of man’s natural good through evil look like, relative to Natural Law? He says:

            “I answer that, As stated above (XC, Art. 4,5), there belong to the natural law, first, certain most general precepts, that are known to all; and secondly, certain secondary and more detailed precepts, which are, as it were, conclusions following closely from first principles. As to those general principles, the natural law, in the abstract, can nowise be blotted out from men’s hearts. But it is blotted out in the case of particular actions, in so far as reason is hindered from applying the general principle to a particular point of practice, on account of concupiscence or some other passion, as stated above (Question 77, Article 2). But as to the other, i.e. the secondary precepts, the natural law can be blotted out from the human heart, either by evil persuasions, just as in speculative matters errors occur in respect of necessary conclusions; or by vicious customs and corrupt habits, as among some men, theft, and even unnatural vices, as the Apostle states (Romans 1), were not esteemed sinful.” (XC, Art. 6)

            When we examine this alongside your last point, the matter will be perfectly clear. You cite Aquinas as saying that “the Natural Law needs no promulgation,” but you were again citing from the section of errors which Aquinas intends to refute. His refutation is as follows: “Ad primum ergo dicendum quod promulgatio legis naturae est ex hoc ipso quod Deus eam mentibus hominum inseruit naturaliter cognoscendam” (“to the first argument one must say that the promulgation of the Natural Law comes from this very fact: that God placed it in the minds of men as something which they should naturally lean through diligent inquiry”). I cite the Latin, because many English translations have lazily translated the term “cognoscendam” as simply “known”, but the real meaning of this term (“something to be discovered through inquiry”) strikes to the very heart of the matter under discussion. Lewis and Short, the scholar’s standard Latin-English dictionary (alongside Oxford’s), defines cognosco as: “to become thorougly acquainted with, to learn by inquiring, to examine, investigate, perceive, see, understand, learn, to come to know.” The Natural Law is not something that man simply “knows,” especially not instinctively; Aquinas uses the verb cognosco advisedly, here, because he understands that the Natural Law is something indeed written on the heart of man, but something which man is likely to ignore or misunderstand if he simply runs on instinct without a diligent attempt to study, inquire and learn about the full implications of Natural Law in a deliberate way, with a consequent effort to hold to the Natural Law habitually through good customs, laws, virtue, etc. Indeed, the quest to do so is part of man’s natural good – defined by Aquinas, as we have seen, as “the inclination to virtue, proper to man as a rational being.”

            All of which goes to demonstrate my point: generally, Natural Law is not concerned with what “comes naturally” and instinctually, since this is often corrupted by what is unnatural – evil, concupiscence, passions, bad customs, etc. It is concerned, rather, with the rational end of man’s authentic nature, which is to act rationally and virtuously; the rational control of man’s natural inclinations, through patriarchy, law, custom, etc., is thus inherent to Natural Law. The Church does not “promulgate” Natural Law by having “the cardinals” put out some edict or other; rather, acknowledging that Natural Law must be learnt through diligent inquiry, with an effort to overcome the blinding of our reason through passions and vice, the Church applies the full power of human reason to what it can know of God’s creation, and avails herself of the infallibility on faith and morals, with which God wished to endow His Church, to give sure instruction on the Natural Law to all men, and the faithful in particular. When “the cardinals” issue an authoritative teaching on Natural Law, they are not “promulgating” it. They are simply declaring what has been discovered from the Natural Law through human reason, enlightened by grace, with more or less moral certainty. Of course people, especially when customs become corrupted and vice reigns, are going to have inclinations that incline them NOT to agree with the philosophical and moral truths of Natural Law. That doesn’t mean the Church is “doing it wrong,” when she recalls the people to them in spite of their superficially contrary consensus.

            • jim says:

              As to the matter of approving crime in an isolated case, my point was that we do not approve of crime in an isolated case simply because it is isolated.

              But why would a crime be “isolated”? Which is to say, not why would a crime not be indicative of propensity to commit similar crimes against similar people? Any circumstance you can imagine that would render a crime “isolated” will incline us to overlook the crime – standard natural law reasoning.

              The Church does not “promulgate” Natural Law by having “the cardinals” put out some edict or other; rather, acknowledging that Natural Law must be learnt through diligent inquiry, with an effort to overcome the blinding of our reason through passions and vice, the Church applies the full power of human reason to what it can know of God’s creation, and avails herself of the infallibility on faith and morals, with which God wished to endow His Church, to give sure instruction on the Natural Law to all men

              Well, if natural law is knowable by right reason, and people are apt to get it wrong, then the church can be as wrong as anyone else. You are having a bit each way. If the church knows natural law infallibly, it is indeed putting out an edict from God, which is not natural law.

              So, if you want to argue that men’s understanding of natural law on contraception is wrong (when it is so easily right on the natural law of theft and assault) let us argue natural law, rather than assuming Church authority to be true by definition, let us argue telos.

              As I said earlier, that estrus in humans is cryptic tells us that the telos of the sexual act is not only reproduction, but bonding, sexual love. Thus to apply sex for that purpose, as happens to everyone outside estrus, is in accord with the telos of sex.

              If natural law is accessible to reason, then decent people will generally get it right, without need for external authority. Conversely, if external authority generally disagrees with decent people, well, that is possible, but we need to examine the chain of reasoning that supposedly leads decent people astray, and external authority to the supposedly correct conclusion. That people, even most people can potentially get natural law wrong does not grant the church authority to proclaim anything it likes to be natural law. If based on reason, then anyone can look at that reason.

              Natural law is not divine revelation. But your chain of reasoning makes it indistinguishable from divine revelation. Thomas has a bit each way, but that does not license you to go all the way from right reason to divine revelation. Everyone has access to natural law. But as soon as you invoke infallibity, then only the Church has access. Which is not natural law.

              Your account of natural law makes it indistinguishable from divine law, effectively abolishing the category of natural law. Whatever Thomas is saying, he is not abolishing the category of natural law.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            And, lest it go unsaid, a large part of what I’m saying, is that the Church agrees with you: the rite of marriage has always acknowledged that the women are under authority (we may not say “owned,” as property, but certainly they are completely governed by their fathers/husbands, almost exactly as children). The nuptial blessing, following immediately upon the embolism in the Mass, dwells almost entirely upon the wife, emphasizing again and again that she must be loyal to her husband, must cleave only to him, must flee from illicit unions with other men, must raise up offspring to her husband, must know no other man’s bed or couch, etc., etc. The bride is given away, the consent of the father is required, every element of the service acknowledges that the woman is not in charge of herself. The Church has always upheld Patriarchy, the absolute subordination of women to the authority of the men in their lives, as essential to Natural Law and a just society.

            You say that the Church is “doing it wrong” if it needs to express teaching on contraception, with which people do not agree. Do you think everybody agrees that women should be subjected to their husbands and treated as property? If not, why would you feel that you are doing it right? Surely you acknowledge that people, and societies, can often go astray and fall from an understanding and a consent to what is right… and that moral authority must be imposed contrary, in many cases, to the superficial will of the masses?

            • jim says:

              If the church needs to express teaching on contraception, then its teaching on contraception is not natural law. It might well be divine law, but not natural law.

              And similarly, that women should be subject to their fathers, then subject to their husbands, is not natural law, but rather civilizational policy.

              If women are subject to fathers, then to husbands, then chastity and such follows from natural law. If not, then does not follow.

              The church is doing it wrong when it expresses its teaching on contraception as natural law, rather than Church policy, but this is merely a misunderstanding of natural law.

              More seriously, the church is doing it wrong when it excludes the patriarchs from marriage. The couple should not only promise each other to honor their vows, and promise god to honor their vows, but promise their parents to honor their vows.

          • Zippy says:

            “If the church needs to express teaching on contraception, then its teaching on contraception is not natural law.”

            If someone needs to be taught the laws of physics, they aren’t the laws of physics.

            • jim says:

              Even if not everyone correctly intuits natural law, due to wickedness or foolishness, it is supposed to be broadly intuited – and broadly intuited by people who have never had any contact with Christianity.

          • Zippy says:

            A baseball pitcher can intuit Newton’s laws after a fashion, but he doesn’t understand Newton’s laws as well as the collective knowledge of a community which can land men on the moon.

            Your view through the lens of radical modernist individualism leads you into a constant battle with straw men.

            • jim says:

              A baseball pitcher will hit the target better than Newton.

              Your argument requires him to consult Newton before he pitches.

              If someone claiming to be a Newtonian tells the baseball pitcher how to pitch, he is not a Newtonian, but an idiot. The job of the Newtonian is to explain the baseball pitcher, not to instruct him.

          • Zippy says:

            “A baseball pitcher will hit the target better than Newton.”

            You are changing the subject and hoping nobody will notice. The subject is the epistemic grounds of knowledge of physics and morality (natural law).

            But go ahead, burn effigies for the children.

            • jim says:

              You are not willing to argue on epistemic grounds that the Church position is correct, instead claiming higher authority that pronounces the Church correct and me wrong and ignorant without explanation or justification.

              Which is not a natural law argument. If you want to argue on epistemic grounds that the Church position is correct, rather than on grounds of authority, do so.

          • Zippy says:

            Burn, straw man, burn!

            Whether Bohr and Einstein and Newton agree, or if all of them are wrong for that matter, is just as irrelevant. Who is an expert in natural law or physics or history or math or biology is just another red herring. Whether I or the Church or Aristotle are right or wrong about natural law is a distinct issue from what kind of thing the natural law is.

            Your claim is that the natural law has to be something perspicuous to everyone or it isn’t natural law. That’s not what “natural law” actually means to the people you pretend to disagree with though (Aristotle, the Church, your own commenters, etc).

            It actually is possible to learn quantum mechanics, calculus, and natural law (among other subjects); especially when you are willing to learn from people who know what they are talking about. That a particular subject is not perspicuous to you is not a characteristic of the subject matter: it is a characteristic of you.

            • jim says:

              Whether I or the Church or Aristotle are right or wrong about natural law is a distinct issue from what kind of thing the natural law is.

              You are responding as if natural law is not natural law, but divine law. If natural law is natural law, if it is the kind of thing Aristotle says it is, you make an argument for a law, or moral truth, on natural law grounds. You would appeal to the telos of sex against contraception, as I would appeal to the telos of sex against homosexuality. If natural law is divine law, you instead challenge my authority.

              You are challenging my authority.

              Your reply, like that of Deogolwulf, is self refuting. Deogolwulf is similarly discussing who is the rightful heir to the sacred prophets of natural law, rather that what arguments are valid in what case to what conclusion, which former argument presupposes that natural law is not the kind of thing the sacred prophets of natural law said it was.

              If the issue is “does Thomas of Aquino’s definition of natural law fit Jim’s argument”, rather than “is Jim’s argument valid”, then Deogolwulf is not using Thomas of Aquino’s definition of natural law, and neither are you.

              Aristotle, etc, claim to reach moral conclusions without arguing from authority.

              You and Deogolwulf complain my argument is invalid because I am not legitimately invoking their authority.

              Aristotle, etc, claim to reach moral conclusions without arguing from authority by a method they call natural law. I claim to reach certain particular moral conclusions by a method I call natural law. And a bunch of people complain that I am not legitimately and correctly invoking the authority of Aristotle etc. Well if I was legitimately and correctly invoking the authority of Aristotle etc, I certainly would not be arguing natural law.

          • Zippy says:

            “You are responding as if natural law is not natural law, but divine law.”

            No I’m not. Your claim was that if it isn’t perspicuous, it isn’t natural law. (Perhaps you are backing down on that claim now?)

            But that is as ridiculous as saying that if it isn’t perspicuous it isn’t the laws of physics.

            The fact that you don’t properly understand the laws of physics, and that authorities like (e.g.) the physics community do, doesn’t change the nature of the laws of physics. The fact that you don’t properly understand the natural law, and that the Church does, doesn’t change the nature of the natural law. The fact that nobody can teach you the laws of physics in a combox, and that you won’t properly understand them unless you learn from authorities on the subject, doesn’t validate your epistemic question-begging.

            • jim says:

              This resembles the arguments on Global Warming. The Warmists say to the skeptics, “you don’t understand the science, you don’t understand the laws of physics, you are being anti scientific.”

              To which the skeptics reply, “if you were actually arguing science, you would argue science, not authority and consensus, you would be talking laws of physics, not consensus of authority”

              And, similarly, if you were actually arguing natural law, you would argue natural law, not right authority.

              I draw a moral conclusion. If you draw a different moral conclusion, how and why?

              If you are not inclined to explain how and why, it is you who does not understand natural law, for the central claim of natural law is not particular specifics of good and evil, but to explain how people can know good and evil without authority.

              If you say I am not doing it the way Aristotle did it, then it is you who are not doing it the way Aristotle did it, for you are using Aristotle as authority, and Aristotle claimed it could be done without authority.

          • Zippy says:

            “… for the central claim of natural law is not particular specifics of good and evil, but to explain how people can know good and evil without authority.”

            What you seem to be saying is that people should accept your authority on how people normatively learn about objective reality.

          • Zippy says:

            In summary:

            If we look around at the world with our lying eyes, we see that a great deal of what people (including ourselves) learn about objective reality we learn through the assistance of authoritative teachers. This is especially true as particular issues become more technical and/or controverted.

            Jim proposes that we disbelieve our lying eyes and take it on his authority that anything we learn through the mediation of an authority is, by that very fact about how we come to learn it, not about objective reality.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            Obviously, we disagree that the Church will be as apt as anyone else to conclude incorrectly on matters of Natural Law. I have confidence that the Church – when infallibility is engaged – has never erred and will never err on moral teaching. I believe that this is the unambiguous teaching of the Scriptures, not to mention Reason and Tradition. I would also take the opportunity to point out that, if we grant for argument’s sake that the Church could issue an infallible statement on morality, it would still not follow that the Natural Law is promulgated by an edict of God through the Church. All the Church is doing in such an edict, is acting like an infallible “Supreme Court,” knowing certainly what the Law means, but not in any way promulgating the Law itself. The Church’s teaching on a point of Natural Law does not say “to understand Divine Law, you have to be a Catholic and believe our decrees.” Rather, it says, “Reason alone is capable of approving the truthfulness of these moral positions, and other, non-Catholic societies have often embraced them; but because men naturally acknowledge their private capacity for error in reasoning, we place the Church’s full authority behind this exposition of the Natural Law so that all doubt in the matter may be removed for the faithful.”

            You mention contraception, and I think it’s a fine example. Despite not being Catholic, your intuition hits on all the points that the Fathers and Doctors discuss. Yes, estrus is cryptic and the Church has always acknowledged that the marital embrace also serves as a mutual support to the spouses (in fostering affection and bonding), and as a curb to fornication, and that these are legitimate goods of coitus. But the Church has always perceived that coitus does not so much have “three ends,” as one end to which all the composite parts are naturally tied. The unitive bond of the spouses, and their eschewing of adultery, is chiefly summated and entirely expressed in conceiving and rearing legitimate offspring – the literal fruit of union and ward of fidelity. Therefore every (natural) sex act is oriented towards this in principle, even if not every sex act leads to conception. Even traditional Buddhism and the Dalai Lama condemn contraception; it is only passion, vice and evil custom that has occluded this truth of the Natural Law in our society.

            You said, “if natural law is accessible to reason, then decent people will generally get it right.” I agree and disagree, depending upon what we mean by “decent.” My family members, with one exception, are basically “decent” people who are not aggressively left wing; yet they all approve of gay marriage, no fault divorce, abortion, “egalitarianism,” etc. They do this because their good intentions exist in a vacuum, divorced from the good habits, good laws and moral knowledge that were once commonplace in our society. But “decent” is from the Latin for “suitable, fitting appropriate.” If Natural Law is discoverable through reason and is held to by virtuous habit (as Aquinas puts it), or is apprehended by “phronesis” (prudence/practical wisdom) after acquiring knowledge and practice in the virtues (as Aristotle puts it), then “decent” people, for purposes of Natural Law, are only such people as are earnestly endeavouring to do this.

            People may have difficulty in discovering and understanding every element of the Natural Law; since a proper understanding of it comes through careful, reasoned inquiry by those practicing the virtues, we should not have the expectation that people will generally “get it right,” especially in an age where education and virtue are corrupted by vice, bad habit and wicked law as a matter of course (as at present). The Catholic Church is neither “promulgating” Natural Law, nor making it a matter of Divine Law, when She offers infallible interpretations of Natural Law to the faithful. As an aside, “Divine Law” refers to precepts contained in the deposit of revelation, and Catholic theologians admit that Christ’s direct revelation added no new, merely moral precept to the Natural Law (see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09071a.htm), though it is true that the Church’s authoritative exposition of a point of moral revelation obliges a Catholic to believe it not merely as something reasonably deduced from Natural Law, but as something “de fide divina et ecclesiastica” (“of divine and ecclesiastical faith”). I would therefore disagree, respectfully, with you assertion that an authoritative, ecclesiastical interpretation of morality makes it a matter of Divine Law. It may make it a matter of Divine (and Ecclesiastical) Faith, but the categories of law have to do with the nature of their original promulgation, not the Church’s theological certainty of individual precepts.

            Most importantly, I would point out that your objection – i.e., that if Catholics have to explain, define and decree something over the disagreement of others, it must not really be Natural Law – runs contrary to the notion of Natural Law as held by any of its authoritative expositors. In fact, it implicates you in some contradictions and views, with which I know you don’t (and can’t, all simultaenously) agree. On the one hand, you cite opposition to aggression as an example of Natural Law, since decent people generally agree to oppose it. Yet you regard some of the more complex trappings of society as not coming from Natural Law, though you seem to find it reasonably evident that promiscuity, absentee fathers, etc., create imminent threats which people should perceive and resist at least as strongly. On the one hand, you explicitly state in regards to marriage, what is implicit in the rest of your argument – i.e., that because nature doesn’t commend these things to us, forcing them without consent (or “forcefully manipulated consent”) is “the best” system; yet, on the other hand, you speak of Patiarchy and the societal trappings for controlling sex as reasonable and good… so, if you are any kind of traditional, conservative, (neo)reactionary man, I would think that you would feel that you had reason on your side in this case, and could reasonably expect to convince decent men of your view (making them a part of Natural Law). I could elaborate some more, but I think my gist is becoming clear.

            For my part, I think the sanest view, is that Natural Law is derived objectively from authentic nature, but that, due to natural limitations and unnatural defects at present, men have to make a positive effort to strive beyond vaguely correct intuitions and instincts to arrive at anything like an exact knowledge of its precepts. Patriarchy and the trappings of an advanced society are precisely the result of a more refined understanding of Natural Law, not an arbitrary situation arising from socially constructed circumstances that aim at some other end than is natural to man. We want to uphold the naturalness and the reasonableness of Patriarchy and civilization, precisely because we do expect to convince decent people of them (rather than imposing them either as our whimsy, or as the edicts of a race of demi-gods arranging the lives of the masses for them), and thus we want to affirm, clearly, that they flow from Natural Law. We want to uphold, as well, that because Natural Law deals with us at our best, it requires us to strive to be our best, if we hope to study and understand it. The apex of this ideal is attained in the Church, transcending nature with supernatural gifts of infallibility willed by God for our necessary benefit. The Church’s authoritative recognition or explanation of what is revealed, is something very different from Divine Revelation itself, and I think this is easy to see. In response to your conclusion that “whatever Thomas is doing, he is not abolishing the category of natural law,” I can only say that I agree, but that your own conception of the essence of Natural Law seems problematically vague, and is certainly different from the general understanding of it, especially by its authoritative expositors.

            • jim says:

              Rather, it says, “Reason alone is capable of approving the truthfulness of these moral positions, and other, non-Catholic societies have often embraced them; but because men naturally acknowledge their private capacity for error in reasoning, we place the Church’s full authority behind this exposition of the Natural Law so that all doubt in the matter may be removed for the faithful.”

              But, in actual practice, neither the Church, nor you, nor any of the people in this thread who object to my exposition of natural law, have issued an exposition of natural law to place the Church’s full authority behind.

              It is like Global Warming: “Physics implies that human activity will lead to Catastrophic Global warming. If you doubt this, you doubt physics, but if you want to know the details of how and why physics leads to the conclusion of catastrophic warming you are going to have to issue a Freedom of information request, which we will at first ignore, then spend fifty million dollars fighting in court, and then ignore some more.”

              You are calling it natural law, but you, and all the rest, are arguing from authority.

              But the Church has always perceived that coitus does not so much have “three ends,” as one end to which all the composite parts are naturally tied. The unitive bond of the spouses, and their eschewing of adultery, is chiefly summated and entirely expressed in conceiving and rearing legitimate offspring

              At last. A natural law argument.

              After half a dozen screens of schoolyard abuse.

              And as soon as you state it, the flaw is obvious, which is why people are so profoundly reluctant to state it. It is not an argument, not exposition, but a rationalization.

              The flaw being that a couple may unite for the purpose of producing and raising children, produce as many children as reasonable, and decide to stop having children, but, in order to be together for the continued raising of children, must continue their unitive bond, not that more children may be conceived, but to provide continuing material support, emotional support, and guidance for their existing children. Thus marital sex, in a family that both husband and wife have agreed has sufficient children, continues to function to the telos of the sexual act even if contraception is employed.

              If mum and dad stop having sex, children tend to be rightly worried when they see dad sleeping on the couch. “Am I about to lose my dad or my mum?” they wonder. “Is it something I did?” Hence, telos of the sexual act continues post reproduction. The couple don’t have an obligation to continue having children, if they both agree they have sufficient, or all they can manage, or they agree that they want to space them out a bit. But they do have an obligation to continue having sex with each other “for the sake of the children” – which is to say, for the sake of the existing and planned future children, which is to say, for both the immediate telos of the sexual act, the unitive bond, and the final telos of the sexual act, the reproduction that they united for.

              If a couple unite with the intent of conceiving and raising children, contracepted sex serves the telos of sexual act, in that they are entitled and obligated to maintain their unitive bond in order that they may successfully raise the children they conceive. Which is to say, in that case, contracepted sex can, and usually does, serve both the immediate and final telos of the sexual act.

              Which argument is substantially equivalent to the argument I made in my post above, which you denounced as not natural law.

              It is the Church’s argument that is not natural law, and as soon as you attempt to make it, it becomes obvious that my argument, made in my original post to which this is a comment, was natural law, and the Church’s position merely authority.

              yet they all approve of gay marriage, no fault divorce, abortion, “egalitarianism,” etc. They do this because their good intentions exist in a vacuum, divorced from the good habits, good laws and moral knowledge that were once commonplace in our society.

              You have this entirely backwards. They do this because they are aggressively taught wrongful morality by the Cathedral against their natural inclination and intuition. Observe the abrupt U turns on homosexuality, gay marriage, and trannies, reminiscent of Orwell’s hate week.

              Observe people vigorously struggling to repress the urge to vomit when the Cathedral thrusts trannies and gay sex upon them. We see a conflict between morality by authority, and natural law, in every person’s struggle to restrain their revulsion.

              We see in the world natural law is still a powerful force, and to the extent that the authority of Catholic Church still upholds right morality, rather than endorsing the Cathedral, the authority of the Church is an utterly insignificant force.

              If Catholics have to explain, define and decree something over the disagreement of others, it must not really be Natural Law – runs contrary to the notion of Natural Law as held by any of its authoritative expositors.

              I grant you Thomas had a bob each way, but it certainly does not run contrary to Aristotle on Natural Law.

              But, more importantly, let us look at the nature of that “explain, define and decree” The Catholics are explaining from authority, defining by authority, decreeing by authority. That is contrary to the method of Thomas and Aristotle on natural law. Look how much nagging it took to finally get you to argue the telos of the sexual act. The Catholic church shows similar reluctance. Because their position is indefensible they make no real attempt to defend it.

              And the pages of and pages of abuse in place of argument in this thread are also contrary to the method of Thomas and Aristotle on natural law.

              would therefore disagree, respectfully, with you assertion that an authoritative, ecclesiastical interpretation of morality makes it a matter of Divine Law. It may make it a matter of Divine (and Ecclesiastical) Faith, but the categories of law have to do with the nature of their original promulgation, not the Church’s theological certainty of individual precepts.

              It depends, rather, on their actual and continuing promulgation. If they say it is natural law “because we say so”, rather than providing exposition, then not natural law. The Catholic Church on natural law, and you lot on natural law, are not natural law for the same reason as Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is neither science nor physical law. You not merely are not making that exposition, you are distinctly furtive about it because you know it does not hold up.

              Until you finally addressed the telos of the sexual act in the comment to which this a reply, nothing that anything that any of you said had anything whatsoever to do with natural law.

              On the one hand, you cite opposition to aggression as an example of Natural Law, since decent people generally agree to oppose it.

              No, we don’t agree to oppose it. If we did, opposition to aggression would be socially constructed, not natural law, since we might well agree to something else, and frequently have done so. Rather, each person individually is righteously angered by aggression, and wants to oppose it if he can get away with it, even if someone else is the victim of that aggression, even if his society rather approves of that aggression, as it approves of black gangs making physical attacks on whites, he feels the same conflict as he does upon our society approving of gays and trannies.

              Yet you regard some of the more complex trappings of society as not coming from Natural Law, though you seem to find it reasonably evident that promiscuity, absentee fathers, etc., create imminent threats which people should perceive and resist at least as strongly.

              But these threats, in our society, are not threats to particular identifiable people. If the patriarch was burdened with his daughter’s bastard children, then his daughter’s slutty behavior would threaten him. In practice, it only threatens her not specifically identifiable, and quite probably nonexistent, future husband. It harms the man she would have married had she been chaste. But this is a potential person, rather than an actual person. For it to be harm to an actual person, have to give the patriarch a property right in his daughter’s virginity, that he can award to a suitably deserving man, or very strongly influence his daughter’s decision on who gets awarded it. These threats burden society as a whole, rather than particular people burdening particular people, thus, particular people do not react to these threats.

              If we socially construct a property right held first by the patriarch, then by the husband, then violations of this property right are violations of natural law. If we don’t, they are not. Which is itself the problem, because these acts are harmful whether or not we socially construct the requisite property right.

              But being harmful is not sufficient in itself to make it contrary to natural law. Harm to society as a whole does not count. Has to be harm to particular people such that people feel hard done by by particular people, or feel that they might be hard done by by another particular person.

              We would wish it was contrary to natural law, it would be nice if it was contrary to natural law, but wishing does not make it so. People just are not going to feel it in their guts, not going to intuit it. And calling it natural law is not going to make them intuit it.

              To which argument you will probably make some insulting reply along the lines of “That is not a natural law argument, you don’t know what a natural law argument is, that is Rousseauism”. But think about it. Even if patriarchy achieves all these good outcomes, and I rather think it does, you cannot make from those good outcomes a telos based argument for patriarchy. The final end, the telos of the sexual act, is children, but not just children, but children raised to successful adults. And, similarly, the final telos of the authority of parents is ultimately that their children be raised in wisdom.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            I enjoy the discussion of the more important, controversial issues, and think (Neo)Reactionary men benefit from having them. I believe I have expressed my disagreement respectfully; but if you truly feel that our conversation is nothing more than pages of “schoolyard abuse,” tell me and I’ll quit discussing it. Show me where I’ve abused you, and I’ll also give you the due apology.

            I wasn’t aware that you were waiting for me to posit an argument based on the natural end of sexual intercourse. I was arguing a completely different point. You were saying that if a point of morality requires detailed explanation, it isn’t really Natural Law; you spoke disapprovingly of “the cardinals” promulgating Natural Law “by edict,” and indicated that, because “what is natural depends a lot on socially constructed circumstances, there is no natural law on sex.” But you then went on to say, contradictorily, that “natural law is those restraints that are natural to impose on feral behavior,” while asserting that a society that placed restrictions on feral behaviour to attain “strong families, and little or no welfare for bastards” is “not a necessary product of natural law,” and that force and manipulation must constrain the “contract” of marriage, even if it nullifies the Natural Law of contract, in the interests of fidelity to kin and patriarchs… even if this whole train of reasoning has undermined any rational, moral basis for valuing such things as loyalty and duty.

            I was not attempting to furnish you with a description of Natural Law on contraception. I was taking pains to refute all this, and to demonstrate that your description of Natural Law is almost the reverse of the real philosophy of Natural Law, and is in fact quite Letist, blending elements of the Nitzschean ubermensch and the critical theory typical of Social Marxism. It breaks from the philosophy of Natural Law on the very first point (i.e., on the definition of Nature). It’s a problem I sometimes see with the more cynical, atheistic or pagan elements of Neoreaction – their philosophical premises remain those of the liberal revolution (i.e., relativism), even if they have agreed that counter-revolutionary ends are more desirable and practical for society, and hence, since every philosophy is a fiction, the ethno-patriarchal fiction is to be preferred (and the theonomic tradition more or less tolerated) as the best means to the aforementioned, merely pragmatic, counter-revolutionary ends. It is important that the religious rubes be sincere in believing their fiction, but we, the enlightened, embrace the society their folly produces from a superior vantage point – knowing that it is a lie, albeit the lie that produces a more pleasant society than the alternatives, all things considered.

            I would point out that the argument from authority is not always a logical fallacy; in fact, authority is the only rational grounds for the existence of morality, and any argument of “good” or “bad,” “ought” or “ought not,” is going to take us to the First Cause in very short order (because there are no intermediate causes in the matter). That said, my discussion of the Catholic Church’s authority was designed to show that the Catholic Church has no authority to promulgate Natural Law, and thus she advances no teaching on Natural Law as though it were true only because she has made it to be so.

            Still, if you wanted to talk about contraception, from reason rather than (mere) authority, I happily would have obliged the request. I strongly disagree with your assertion that a couple has “an obligation to continue having sex with each other ‘for the sake of the children’ – which is to say, for the sake of the existing and planned future children, which is to say, for both the immediate telos of the sexual act, the unitive bond, and the final telos of the sexual act, the reproduction that they united for.”

            When a person is taking direct, artificial steps, with the express intention of impeding a natural, biological result of intercourse, it should be obvious to any thinking person that they are hardly respecting either the “immediate telos” or the “final telos” of the sexual act. They are making a deliberate effort to prevent it! It is like saying that a man who interrupts his dinner two or three times in order to induce vomiting), so that he can make room to eat as much of his wife’s cooking as possible, is respecting the “telos” of eating dinner simply because his actions nevertheless help his wife feel appreciated for her wifely labors. The end of marriage and the end of intercourse are related, yet not the same thing, even as the end of marriage and the end of appreciatively eating your wife’s dinner are related, yet not the same thing.

            Marriage can be real, even without or before children (couples having problems conceiving), and even without sex (couples dealing with impotence or old age, or saintly couples leading the ascetic life). When sex is employed, the telos of intercourse must be observed ALONG WITH that of marriage; the telos of marriage does not justify making a deliberate effort to impede the telos of intercourse. I know that not every roll in the hay results in a conception. Neither does every hunting trip result in a catch, but this does not mean that one is entitled to kill animals in a wasteful way, simply because there are other goods of hunting (practicing skills, male bonding, etc.). In both cases, one is even free to intend one of the lesser goods primarily, provided this intent is not exclusionary of the chief good and telos of the act. It’s like I tell people when they think human rights are in conflict: if you have found conflicting rights, you can be sure that at least one of them is not really a right. If you think you’ve found a conflict between the telos of sex and the telos of marriage, such that one must be sacrificed to attain the other, you’ve made a mistake. Mankind, marriage and sex all have natural ends; nature has not set nature against itself, any more than righteousness has set rights against themselves.

            Western Civilization has been twisted by long years of relativism, solipsism, narcissism and hedonism, such that restricting the spermicides, the whips and nipple clamps, the instant gratification, etc., to marriage, seems like a great feat of morality. It is unsurprising, therefore, that people find “the Catholic Church’s” position on contraception to be outrageous and peculiar. But, go read “Beyond Dogma” by the Dalai Lama, a book which has deeply upset scores of patchouli-scented Leftists by demonstrating Buddhism’s profound agreement with the Catholic Church on many points of morality. In fact, there is a scholar in the fields of Buddhism and Bioethics named Damien Keown. In his book, “Buddhist Ethics: a Very Short Introduction,” he concludes thusly in his fourth chapter (on Buddhist sexuality): “Buddhist teachings on sexual ethics are by no means clearly formulated, but do appear to express the following ideals: 1) celibacy is preferrable to marriage; 2) for those who marry, the only legitimate forms of sexual conduct, are those that are procreative in nature. We also noted a close and unexpected resemblance between Tibetan Buddhist and traditional Christian teachings on sexual ethics. Certain of the Dalai Lama’s pronouncements could almost have been issued by the Vatican, and his views on abortion and euthanasia also closely resemble Catholic teachings.”

            The position is not one that could only stand by appeals to Catholic “authority,” and is in fact not uniquely Catholic. All the bluster about the Catholic position being “indefensible” and irrational seems itself to smack of prejudice; I find the Catholic position reasonable and eminently defensible, which is part of the reason I converted to the Catholic Church.

            • jim says:

              I believe I have expressed my disagreement respectfully; but if you truly feel that our conversation is nothing more than pages of “schoolyard abuse,” tell me and I’ll quit discussing it. Show me where I’ve abused you, and I’ll also give you the due apology.

              Argument from authority is necessarily and always insulting and offensive, and your entire argument from beginning to end is that you are smarter and more knowledgeable than me and that therefore I should accept on faith everything you tell me without the inconvenient and tedious necessity of rational argument and explanation.

              You were saying that if a point of morality requires detailed explanation, it isn’t really Natural Law; you spoke disapprovingly of “the cardinals” promulgating Natural Law “by edict,”

              It so easy to win an argument if you get to make up your opponents arguments for him. If I say the cardinals are promulgating Natural Law by edict, I deny that they are giving detailed explanation.

              Supposedly they have a detailed explanation … somewhere … possibly in the basement behind the water heater, and if it is not there, maybe we should check under the couch cushions. I expect it is kept in the same place as the detailed physics underlying the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming models.

              “what is natural depends a lot on socially constructed circumstances, there is no natural law on sex.” But you then went on to say, contradictorily, that “natural law is those restraints that are natural to impose on feral behavior,”

              Where is the contradiction?

              Unfortunately, in common circumstances, such as those that presently exist, it is not natural to impose restraints on feral sexual behavior. Such constraints can only be socially constructed.

              Which is a really bad situation, but Nature does not legislate to fix every really bad situation.

              while asserting that a society that placed restrictions on feral behavior to attain “strong families, and little or no welfare for bastards” is “not a necessary product of natural law,” and that force and manipulation must constrain the “contract” of marriage, even if it nullifies the Natural Law of contract, in the interests of fidelity to kin and patriarchs… even if this whole train of reasoning has undermined any rational, moral basis for valuing such things as loyalty and duty.

              Life is so much easier when you just spit out insulting barefaced lies about your opponent’s position. Except for the direct quotes, I don’t recognize anything I said in your rendition of what I said, and it is not obvious to me how an honest person could have constructed such arguments from the arguments that I actually presented.

              I was not attempting to furnish you with a description of Natural Law on contraception. I was taking pains to refute all this, and to demonstrate that your description of Natural Law is almost the reverse of the real philosophy of Natural Law, and is in fact quite Letist, blending elements of the Nitzschean ubermensch and the critical theory typical of Social Marxism.

              You don’t “demonstrate” anything. You fling vile disgusting shit like a monkey in a tree.

              It breaks from the philosophy of Natural Law on the very first point (i.e., on the definition of Nature).

              Did I give a definition of nature? I don’t think I did. If I did, what is my definition of nature, what is Aristotles, and how does my definition differ from Aristotles?

              For this to be actual argument, rather than childish insults slung at machine gun speed, you would need to actually tell me what my definition of nature supposedly was and in what way it logically contradicted or was incompatible with Aristotle’s definition – and I am pretty sure, going by your rendition of my arguments so far, that I would recognize neither my supposed definition of nature, nor Aristotle’s supposed definition of nature.

              It’s a problem I sometimes see with the more cynical, atheistic or pagan elements of Neoreaction – their philosophical premises remain those of the liberal revolution (i.e., relativism),

              It should be obvious that I am not proposing relativism, and this insult is completely inconsistent with your previous insults, so I guess you are just spraying insults at complete random, without even attempting consistency from one breath to the next.

              even if they have agreed that counter-revolutionary ends are more desirable and practical for society, and hence, since every philosophy is a fiction, the ethno-patriarchal fiction is to be preferred (and the theonomic tradition more or less tolerated) as the best means to the aforementioned, merely pragmatic, counter-revolutionary ends. It is important that the religious rubes be sincere in believing their fiction, but we, the enlightened, embrace the society their folly produces from a superior vantage point – knowing that it is a lie, albeit the lie that produces a more pleasant society than the alternatives, all things considered.

              Again, this is just a stream of consciousness spew of insults without the slightest pretense of an attempt to acknowledge the position of the person whom you are speaking to. It has no bearing on anything I said in my post, not the slightest acknowledgment of anything I said in my post. You are speaking to the demons in your head, not to me, nor to any person outside the confines of your own skull. You are not even pretending to talk to me, for maintain such a pretence, you need to reference some phrase of mine as a hook to hang your rants upon.

              When a person is taking direct, artificial steps, with the express intention of impeding a natural, biological result of intercourse, it should be obvious to any thinking person that they are hardly respecting either the “immediate telos” or the “final telos” of the sexual act.

              “any thinking person” Again the insults in place of argument and explanation.

              The ultimate telos of the sexual act is not merely conception, but the formation of the a family to raise the children conceived successfully, and any sexual act that, as part of building a family within which to raise children, maintains the unitive bond, serves the immediate telos of the unitive bond, and the ultimate telos of raising children to adulthood within a healthy and functional family.

              Where it otherwise, we would mate like wolves, a few times per pregancy.

              Marriage can be real, even without or before children (couples having problems conceiving), and even without sex (couples dealing with impotence or old age, or saintly couples leading the ascetic life). When sex is employed, the telos of intercourse must be observed ALONG WITH that of marriage; the telos of marriage does not justify making a deliberate effort to impede the telos of intercourse.

              This is just assertion, without explanation or justification. If we accept marriage without the intent to produce children, or knowingly lacking the capability to produce children, then we lack a principled ground to oppose gay marriage, or to oppose marrying your horse or your sister.

              If a woman who knowingly lacks a uterus gets married, we really have no legitimate basis for making marriage irrevocable, so no fault divorce on demand logicaly follows, which is mighty rough on all those men who would like to marry in order to have children.

              Marriage between knowingly infertile people is, like women priests, cosplay. We might let people cosplay if they want, if there is no harm in it, but it is not real, and we cannot reason from cosplayers to people who are genuinely getting married.

              If knowingly infertile, or no intent to have children, only playing at getting married, as a child with a doll is only playing at raising a baby.

              I know that not every roll in the hay results in a conception. Neither does every hunting trip result in a catch, but this does not mean that one is entitled to kill animals in a wasteful way, simply because there are other goods of hunting (practicing skills, male bonding, etc.).

              But killing animals wastefully produces an external harm, that other hunters will be deprived, leading to conflict between hunters. Having sex “wastefully” produces no external harm, and a considerable good, in that the more sex a woman has the less she is inclined to infidelity or just coming around to not much liking her husband. The unitive bond is the major point of the sexual act, and there is seldom sufficient done to maintain sexual love. Rare is the marriage that does not need more sex, whereas there are plenty of marriages that do not need more children.

          • Peppermint says:

            Galadriel and Celeborn only had one child, so they must have had some good contraceptives. But why were the Greek gods so cruel as to knock up the virgin mortals in one night?

            Well anyway, I think the more interesting question is whether contraception and masturbation help a man who needs a master’s degree to be able to get a house in a decent area to ignore the pairs of tits covered by a ‘kiss me I’m Irish’ t-shirts.

          • peppermint says:

            okay Jim, but your plan for human nature is still for people to be having sex all the time but instead of miscarriages and deaths in childbirth we try to shoot blanks or use NFP to give the woman the nutritional benefits of absorbing some semen.

            I understand that healthy humans want to have sex and are disappointed if they are unable to do so. Maybe we can give people drugs that make them feel like they have a cold all the time instead of drugs that make them unable to make having sex count.

            The first laws allowing contraception were to allow the pillars of society the tools that they needed to stay happy as pillars of society. There’s no real reason not to scan your drivers’ license and check if you’re married and if you’re buying more than 10 condoms a week, this is already done for sudafed anyway.

          • CuiPertinebit says:

            Well, either because we’re too far into the weeds, or because one or both of us are assholes, we seem to be miscommunicating rather fiercely. For what it’s worth, I was not trying to caricature your views; I had honestly gotten the impression that this was what you were trying to convey, and I did not mean anything insulting by my summation of your points. As to the bit about the importance of the religious rubes believing their shtick while more enlightened Neoreactionaries tolerate it for pragmatic reasons, I derived this opinion only somewhat from what you said here, but mostly from other places where you have expressed your views on religion, which include such quotes as:

            “I am a cynical materialist who values religion for utilitarian and civilization building reasons, but the Church should not be, and cannot be, cynical materialists. Fortunately hypocrisy dies out in a single generation, because the next generation does not get the joke.”

            I will admit that my “no thinking person” was somewhat abusive, as it is a back-handed compliment. It communicates the thought that “surely you must realize this, since I know you are a thinking person, and therefore I suspect that you are resorting to mere rhetoric for the sake of winning an argument.” I believe that is what you were doing, so I don’t know if it’s right to apologize for having the thought. But, certainly it is churlish to speak so indirectly: the better thing to do, would have been to either say so directly or, if I thought there was no point in doing it, to simply discontinue the argument. So, I will apologize for dealing unmanfully with you, there.

            I imagine we should just leave it at that; we’re talking past each other, at this point.

            • jim says:

              As to the bit about the importance of the religious rubes believing their shtick while more enlightened Neoreactionaries tolerate it for pragmatic reasons, I derived this opinion only somewhat from what you said here, but mostly from other places where you have expressed your views on religion, which include such quotes as:

              “I am a cynical materialist who values religion for utilitarian and civilization building reasons, but the Church should not be, and cannot be, cynical materialists. Fortunately hypocrisy dies out in a single generation, because the next generation does not get the joke.”

              Obviously I believe that Natural law is the real deal, and complain that the Church is cynically making up stuff. Your accusation, as I understood it, was that I am a relativist who cynically invokes natural law without either believing in it or understanding it.

              And, if you were quite accurately complaining about my attitude to religion, rather than my attitude to natural law, not relevant to a discussion of natural law, which is, after all, natural, and supposed to be accessible to pagans and irreligious.

              If you view my views on religion as relevant to discussion of natural law, that confirms my complaint that you are confusing divine law with natural law.

    • jim says:

      Hence, the reason to sympathize with a victim against an aggressor, is not because you perceive that he may become aggressive towards yourself – for, often aggression is appropriate and should not be resisted or outlawed.

      I said “aggression”, not violence. That aggression is inappropriate and should be resisted and outlawed is part of the definition of aggression. We have morally neutral reasons, reasons of self interest, to make the moral distinction between aggression and violence, because an aggressor is likely to threaten us, while someone using violence for good reason does not threaten us.

      Telos becomes relevant because you need to invoke telos to distinguish between violence that potentially threatens everyone (aggression) and violence that only threatens wrongdoers (defense)

      • Hidden Author says:

        But didn’t the empire-building aristocracies of old that you admire build their empires by waging wars of aggression? Or does that not count because the victims were racially inferior, if not outright subhumans?

        • jim says:

          Seemed to me that the merchant adventurers just wanted to do business, but people kept interfering with business, so they had to kill those people, throw down their fortresses, and burn their cities. They wound up ruling almost by accident.

          Typical event from the time of Raffles. The company has a representative in some Sultan’s capital, buys and sells stuff. Has an effective monopoly because all competitors suffer piracy – some of the piracy from company employees, but most of it from locals.

          A prince gets into an argument with employees of the company over a woman, massacres the men, enslaves the women, and steals the gold.

          Raffles raises an army, kills the sultan, the prince, and most of his brothers, and puts the city to the sack. After three days of looting and burning, leaves.

          Thereby ensuring that company representatives and employees are less likely to suffer piracy.

          Imperialism was a left wing program, intended to protect the natives by disempowering the colonialists.

          Although the colonialists were not imperialists, they certainly were pirates, but, hey, as Xenophon argued, everyone else was doing it, so they might as well do it more effectively. Munshi Abdullah gives a magnificent defense of colonialism and imperialism along those lines – that the sultans sucked so badly, that the colonialists had to defeat them. I recommend you read Munshi Abdullah.

          • Hidden Author says:

            So do brown and black people have the right to enter America to do business at will or does America have the right to regulate incoming people at will including businessmen?

            • jim says:

              To which argument, Munshi Abdullah has already made a reply.

              Black and brown people are mostly incapable of doing business. Nonwhite foreigners that come to America to do business are mostly chinese, with a few dot Indians. If, from time to time, our government officials randomly killed them, snatched their stuff, and raped their women, (and we are fast approaching that condition), then I would favor them doing a Raffles on our government officials.

              And in times not very distant, the Chinese probably will.

          • Peppermint says:

            The British Empire as the institutional representative of English DNA, with a mandate to preserve and extend the value of that DNA, was not an insane idea. Taking up the White man’s burden and spreading the breeding program that created the White nations of English and Swamp-germans to the lesser races, including dagos, was not an insane idea.

            What was an insane idea was choosing a crypto-Jew emperor, taking Rothschild money, and trying emancipation when the slaves weren’t even close to being ready.

          • B says:

            >The British Empire as the institutional representative of English DNA, with a mandate to preserve and extend the value of that DNA, was not an insane idea.

            Nobody ever gave the British Empire this mandate, not least because it IS an insane idea. Would Norman DNA be covered the same as Angle DNA and Saxon DNA and Welsh DNA and Danish DNA? Would the mandate extend to preserving the proportion of these DNAs? When the English took a new territory, like Ireland, would the DNA of its new Irish subject be likewise covered? What about Jamaica and India? How about selective mating and disparate reproductive success rates causing replacement of lower classes’ DNA-would the Empire be obliged to inhibit this process, or encourage it? You see where things get stupid rapidly, in the exact same way as they got stupid in the Third Reich.

          • Peppermint says:

            I mean English DNA, the result of the Church’s breeding programme, as detailed by HBDChick.

            PS http://youtube.com/watch?v=gZuO4A9U2KQ

          • Hidden Author says:

            Even if you or your family were the particular individuals who became the collateral damage…

            • jim says:

              I would be inclined, like Munshi Abdullah, to blame the lawless, corrupt, undisciplined, and violent government officials that provoked the conflict for the ensuing collateral damage.

              Because the colonialists were pirates, they tended to do a tremendous amount of collateral damage. They would drain the ocean to catch a fish. On the other hand, if they could make an honest living, they generally preferred to do business that way. Safer, quieter. But if someone was looking for trouble, they would supply what was being looked for in ample measure.

              A decadent government has a tragedy of the commons problem. Each member of the government is apt to steal to the maximum individual benefit, destroying that which is governed. If among those being governed in this manner, it treads on members of the East India Company … It then becomes in the interest of the East India to destroy that which funds and supports the decadent government. If you are one of the citizens who was reluctantly funding that decadent, violent, corrupt, oppressive, and incompetent government, and then the East India Company comes after you, you are in big trouble, but you cannot really blame the East India Company. The soldiers of the East India Company leave a desert behind them, but the government they crushed was already doing a pretty good job of creating a desert.

          • B says:

            It is doubtful to me that the Church had a breeding program, (which is not the same thing as policies that affected reproduction)) and if it did, doubtful that it extended to the Borderers, the Scots and Irish and other subjects of the Crown.

          • Hidden Author says:

            So theft, rape, murder and enslavement by rich powerful successful (preferably white) businessmen is OK even if some victims are innocent is OK but one single mother voting for the Obamaphone candidate is a grotesquely immoral case of envy? That’s what you seem to say when you support “stationary bandits” and “gentlemen pirates” while opposing single mothers on welfare…

            • jim says:

              Raffles engaged in a lot of piracy, extortion, massacre, arson, and so on and so forth. He also built civilization, raised everyone’s living standards (well, raised the survivors living standards) founded Singapore, and advanced scientific and cultural knowledge.

              Obamaphone woman, on the other hand, is only stealing a phone, but she is destroying civilization and bringing us to the next dark age.

              Raffles built civilization, advanced science, and created wealth with fire and sword. Obamaphone woman is rat eating the seed corn and crapping on it.

          • peppermint says:

            okay, so I’m imposing my understanding on their behavior. The fact remains that within 500 years some of the best breeding stock in the world had been developed into the White nations of northern Europe.

            It is also a fact that the English empire saw its task as helping the lesser races develop, as they saw themselves having developed, though they did not really see themselves as having developed in the same way as I see them as having developed.

            It is also a fact that they got bored and emancipated the lesser races after 200 years.

          • B says:

            >The fact remains that within 500 years some of the best breeding stock in the world had been developed into the White nations of northern Europe.

            Without conscious organized efforts to that end. The second that those nations started undertaking such efforts, they started declining. British Fabian hubris led to them undertaking policies to “improve” their nation, led directly to the devolution of the British into chavs and Pakis. Hitler, who was obsessed with breeding a superior German race, led directly to the death of millions of German men and the rape of millions of German women by Soviet and North African troops. In exactly the same way as someone who pursuits hedonism dedicatedly generally ends up completely miserable, national efforts to consciously improve the “genetic quality” of a nation lead to the opposite outcome.

            >It is also a fact that the English empire saw its task as helping the lesser races develop, as they saw themselves having developed, though they did not really see themselves as having developed in the same way as I see them as having developed.

            The second the English went from colonialism, where they ruled their overseas subjects for profit, to imperialism, where they ruled them to help them develop themselves for their own good, they started harming those subjects, and the more seriously they took the White Man’s Burden, the more they harmed their subjects, culminating in the Indian debacle and the leaving of the Middle East to the worst weasels to be found in the Arab world (except for us and the couple of Gulf kingdoms which they turned over to their hereditary monarchs, and maybe, possibly, Jordan.)

  5. Zach says:

    “Such a society is indeed natural, but lacks laws on sex.”

    (because of the feral behavior which is not good presumably)

    So things that are natural are now wrong if it negatively impacts society according to you. Extrapolate that onto society, and it seems as you you’ve now turned Liberal.

    Is it just this one aspect of society where you put the Obama hat on? Maybe because of how important it is relative to say, drugs, which creates addicts and so on and so forth?

    • jim says:

      Not following you. Restate your argument in different terms.

      Your argument seems to presuppose that progressive measures to create the general good do indeed promote the general good, and that the good, as defined by progressives, is indeed good.

      Or maybe you are presupposing something else. I have no idea what it is.

      • Zach says:

        It presupposes you are a libertarian of one form or another. A natural law libertarian, I would think. Yes, it was poorly stated, but I was rushed.

        You didn’t need to say “progressive measures” just merely “measures” as in, more laws, as in, I think these sorts of laws over here, though not “progressive” actually are pseudo “progressive” because hey, it’s one more law. And if you have to make that one law to hopefully foster a stronger family society, why not all the other laws that could be made as well in the same line of thinking? A slippery slope.

        I thought a lot about this post last night for some reason in bed. It makes perfect sense but it breaks my principled positions if I was a natural law libertarian, just as I think it breaks yours. Maybe something like “community shunning?” could be an alternative, like the Hmongs do?

        So I had a minute last night, I had five this morning. I hope this makes more sense now, even if still incomplete.

        The Obama thing was just a little joke in that you now want to create unnatural laws for a natural inclination for the betterment of all.

        • jim says:

          The law I am proposing is that men have property right in their women that the state and other men must respect. This is different from giving people obamaphones.

          • Zach says:

            Breach of contract cannot occur without a signed contract. To expect females to sign such a contract is to find ourselves in the same situation we find ourselves now.

  6. Adolf the anti-White says:

    Did the Roman Catholic church prohibit the Fathers of the Bride/Groom from making contracts?

    If not, then the introduction of the sacrament is not subversive. A marriage can be both a sacrament and a contract.

  7. Kgaard says:

    Jim … Your proposal isn’t going to work because the cost/benefit for marriage becomes horrific. Why get married at all under these circumstances? You’re stuck with one person for what could be 70 freaking years. And it’s not necessary because women can support themselves AND have sure-fire contraception AND have the state pay for their healthcare and retirement.

    On the male side, productivity has soared to the extent that we don’t need 100% of males to be useful and productive. If 50% become video game and porn addicts that’s still fine. In the past we would have sent them off to fight wars anyway. So there is no incentive to enact this system on the male side either.

    I do like your discussion of the implications of paternity testing. That’s a new and important point.

    • jim says:

      People want to reproduce. “Stuck” is what you need to reproduce.

      Observe that men continue to get married despite a cost benefit ratio enormously more adverse than would apply under this proposal. Women are at least as motivated to reproduce as men, probably more so.

      The reason women are not getting married is hypergamy – the men that they are fucking are not going to marry them. Shut that down with parental authority, they will get married.

      • Kgaard says:

        Yes but women 16-28 are not particularly motivated to reproduce — probably less so than men of the same age. As such, I don’t see why the women you need for this plan to work would sign up for it. The other issue is supply/demand: A 50th percentile woman at age 21 is an order of magnitude more appealing (and powerful) than a 50th percentile man at the same age.

        So you’ll have to force women to sign up for the program. And that brings us back to the core truth of lifelong monogamous marriage: It is, and always has been, a patriarchal institution foisted on women against their will. No force, no universal marriage of young women (or anything close to it).

        • jim says:

          Yes but women 16-28 are not particularly motivated to reproduce — probably less so than men of the same age.

          Sure they are, but they are hot and naive, and expect the top studs to marry them. When the hot studs don’t call back the morning after, then they start rationalizing that they are in no hurry to reproduce.

          Back when the marriage laws were far more favorable to men, and unfavorable to women, (eighteenth century) the women were husband hunting from age ten, while the men were not so keen.

          • peppermint says:

            women between 10 and 20 talk about marriage all day long. It’s after they’ve been ignored for a while that they start to act out like FEMEN, posting sexy degrading pictures of themselves hoping for sexy men to look at them, and take on the intellectual sour grapes attitude.

        • B says:

          >Yes but women 16-28 are not particularly motivated to reproduce

          Sure. That’s after they’ve spent the first 12 years of their lives playing with dolls and the rest looking for mates, right? They don’t want to reproduce like men in their age bracket don’t want to go to war and to mate.

        • CuiPertinebit says:

          Girls absolutely have a tendency to go boy- and baby-crazy in their teenage years. They are eager to have the Patriarchy plow the field and to raise up new stock, and that’s what they would do if we encouraged it. The insanity is “higher education,” where women are shipped off to slut academy, where they learn nothing useful and prepare for worthless careers we’d rather they didn’t have, precisely during the years when they would enthusiastically start nestling into domesticated life. Worse, all of this leads them to become entitled banshees with an inflated sense of accomplishment, resentfully comparing their beta hubbies to all their past lovers while feeling very proud of themselves for popping out a brat or two before menopause kicks in. And lucky Western civilization: they get to vote, too! I’m so glad they have a voice.

          Civilization is something imposed on ALL people – not just women – somewhat contrary to their short-sighted interests. I hope nobody finds it objectionable that monogamy is “foisted on (women) against their will” in Patriachy; Patriarchy also forces men to settle down and hold a steady job to provide for others, and to endure the wife’s importunity, rather than allowing them to live in peace and quiet in a little cabin by the lake, fishing and smoking and thinking and singing. Both men and women would perhaps prefer to do things differently, if they were moral midgets floating from one entitled whim to the next. What Feminists call “oppression,” sane people of the past described as “putting on your big girl pants” or “thinking of someone other than yourself” or even “laying back and thinking of England.” “Foisted on them against their will!” Who the hell cares? Get used to it, sister; such is our lot in life.

          • Adolf the anti-White says:

            >Patriarchy also forces men to settle down and hold a steady job to provide for others, and to endure the wife’s importunity, rather than allowing them to live in peace and quiet in a little cabin by the lake, fishing and smoking and thinking and singing
            This is not how men would live without Patriarchy.

            The least Patriarchal demographic of American society is lower-class blacks.

            Men pursue sex. In the black community, men used to get sex by being a good provider. Since a good provider owes half his income to the state, and single women are paid to remain single, that pathway is no longer open. Now, black men get sex by being a gangster.

          • Adolf the anti-White says:

            If a man cannot offer a woman resources, he can only be sexy. So he’s violent, charismatic, et cetera.

          • Kgaard says:

            B: Sounds points … but they don’t take into consideration opportunity cost, which is higher than in the past. A big reason young and middle-aged women have been wary of marriage over the last 40 years is that their mothers told them to be wary of it. Feminism got going in the 60s in part due to technology: There wasn’t enough for women to do all day sitting around the house. (It’s also kind of boring, especially for the smart ones.)

            The last season of Mad Men is very good on this. Betty Draper is a ball of anger and angst. She is now part of the old guard … part of a system that is dying before her eyes. She has three kids and no marketable skills and has to sit home and do nothing. The lesson she will tell her daughter is “GO TO COLLEGE, GET A JOB, HAVE OPTIONS.”

            Cui: Yes, good point on young people going boy- and girl-crazy in their teens. In the past that would have generated a lot of marriages. But here again opportunity cost is way higher. Life changes us more. People that one dates in high school are from a broader genetic pool and thus less likely to be a good long-term match.

            But on a larger level, Cui, you are arguing that men and women need to assume this heavy mantle out of some moral necessity. But … you know … did any broad group of people ever really take on a heavy load for a lifetime out of PRINCIPLE? I don’t think so. It was done out of necessity. Specifically, single moms couldn’t support themselves and western economies weren’t generating enough wealth to subsidize them. That meant parents had a strong incentive to be sure their daughters married early. Otherwise they would boomerang back on the parents for the next 20 years. Meanwhile, war was more human-capital-intensive, which meant more bodies and more men were needed.

            All these economic pressures are off the table now. And people just CHANGE so much over life now … it’s not realistic to marry off smart people at 19.

            You remember that Springsteen song, Down by the River? “Then I got Mary pregnant, and man that was all she wrote/ And for my 19th birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat.” Rest of the dude’s life is emotional deadness and misery. Ditto Mary. No thanks!

            • jim says:

              But on a larger level, Cui, you are arguing that men and women need to assume this heavy mantle out of some moral necessity

              Surely the burden would be considerably less heavy if one could not be stripped of everything one possesses, and have one children taken away, and one’s life destroyed, on a moment of craziness of one’s wife.

              Obviously the proposal is pro male. It makes marriage a far better deal for men, therefore giving them a reason to act as fathers, to work and fight, to build for the future, to invest in the future, build for posterity, to defend their society,

              So the, question is, how does it do for females? Well, yeah, it oppresses hot females. It makes marriage a better deal for women by denying them what they prefer to marriage, sex with top males. Which means they will be restricted to hanging out with guys that might possibly marry them. Which is somewhat beneficial for older females. But, on the whole, the basic core of the proposal is that women getting what they want is bad for civilization, so we should not allow it, and men getting what they want is good for civilization, so men should act together against women to facilitate it.

            • jim says:

              Feminism got going in the 60s in part due to technology: There wasn’t enough for women to do all day sitting around the house. (It’s also kind of boring, especially for the smart ones.)

              This really is not my observation. Feminism is driven by sex. They are always talking about rape and sexual harassment because they are always thinking about sex. They are not thinking about careers in engineering because they like the C language, but because the boys in engineering have a status hierarchy in which girls are at the bottom, so they want to shit test those boys by demanding equal, indeed superior, status.

              For girls, shit testing men is like men looking at girls boobs. Women want to go into engineering to shit test men. Men want to go into engineering because as little boys they loved toy trucks and video games. Girls go sex crazy at ten and stay sex crazy till menopause.

              When the boss talks to a male executive, it is about how to get production up and costs down. When the boss talks to a female executive, she demands that he inflate her self esteem, or else she is going to charge rape, sexual harassment, and discrimination. If the boss passes the shit test, puncturing her self esteem, he will get laid like a rug, but the company may be put out of business. If he fails the shit test by inflating her self esteem, gets no sex, but the company survives. Men want to become executives so that they can tell other men what to do. Women want to become executives so that they can shit test the hell out of the CEO.

              Just listen to the conversation between youngish female executives and their male superiors. It is all shit test, all the time. Work concerns cannot get in sideways. It is a romance novel with the company as boyfriend. In place of the normal transition, puberty swiftly followed by romance and marriage, puberty is instead followed by the job, but they act like the job is romance and marriage, rather than production of value. Used to be that women did not directly enter the male economy except as a producer within a family unit. They still don’t really enter the male economy, just go through the motions, but with the company playing the role of the family unit.

          • peppermint says:

            it’s funny because today’s men would kill for a union card and a wedding coat if you could clearly explain to them who to kill and why it would get them those things. I mean, just ask any White man between the ages of 25 and 35.

            Our basic challenge is to figure out how to tell them that the Jew parasite is preventing them from getting those things for his ultimately suicidal campaign of White genocide.

          • Kgaard says:

            Jim — Here’s another weakness with the proposal: You are asking women to make the most important economic decision of their lives with NO DATA. Marrying a man at 19 today is basically like buying a lottery ticket. He could be a bust (office drone, shelf-stocker, video-game pothead) or he could be a winner (successful provider with good jobs and a good career).

            In the old days, girls had a far better idea of what they were getting economically at marriage because men’s life paths were largely set by college age: farmer, tradesman, assembly-line worker, office middle-management type, college intellectual, doctor/lawyer. There would be vicissitudes, but basically if the man kept his head down and nose clean the couple should do about as well as the neighbors.

            Today economic outcomes are far more binary. Applying the law of declining marginal utility of money, it makes far more sense for women to guarantee a minimum decent existence than to buy a lottery ticket on an unknown product at 19. In other words, the safe bet is always for the woman to learn to support herself, and also to wait for the men to get a little more seasoned before hitching her cart to one.

            Applying the same logic to politics, a woman without a male provider (due to youth or bad luck marrying) will naturally tend to vote left on the theory that it’s better to socialize the earnings of the huge winners among men than to gamble that she can land one herself.

            • jim says:

              Men and women have faced the same problem through all of history. Has not stopped them. My proposal reduces the risk for both men and woman. The man could turn out to be a bum, but he cannot abandon her.

          • Hidden Author says:

            So you want people to kill “the Jew parasite”? I thought you guys insisted that such desires by you guys were a lie ginned up by Hollywood’s Holohoax propaganda.

          • Adolf the anti-White says:

            @Hidden Author
            Peppermint is a weirdo, and not representative of the neoreactionary opinion on Jews.

            (or for that matter, the neoreactionary opinion on Catholicism)

          • Steve Johnson says:

            Jews in western civilization do act parasitically.

            That doesn’t mean the answer is to kill them.

            You sound like a typical leftist who goes from “you guys think that blacks have a lower IQ therefore you are in favor of genociding them”.

            One doesn’t follow from the other.

            Is it possible that Jews will end up getting pogromed in the west? Of course it is. Is that the NR “policy”? In as much as there is an NR policy – no.

          • Hidden Author says:

            Peppermint says that people will kill the Jews if only they know the truth, then he says that it is very important that people know the truth, therefore what he wants to happen to the Jews is…

            • jim says:

              I am not Peppermint, and hard to tell to what extent Peppermint is serious. She espouses mutually inconsistent positions, for shock or humor value.

          • Peppermint’s a girl?!!

            No freakin’ way.

  8. Dr. Faust says:

    Exogenesis solves everything. When we can choose to grow children we will solve the female. Humans only commingle out of need. When that need is severed they do not seek one another out. Men would have little desire for women if sex was no longer needed. Exogenesis is the only revolution we will need.

    • jim says:

      Exogenesis is probably even further away than AI.

      • Dr. Faust says:

        Understanding how quickly we evolve to changes with sexuality imagine what this change would do. Virtually over night we would become a new species, absolve ourselves of original sin and leave the exploration of space as our new motive. Where the sex drive reigned the drive to explore would take over. I know you desire this. Every educated man I’ve ever met has wanted to explore space. Without sex and any immediate struggle to survive there will be only space.

        • CuiPertinebit says:

          It seems to me that even with exogenesis, men would still enjoy fornicating. And it seems to me that men can already fornicate as much as they like, without worrying about offspring at all, rendering the contribution of exogenesis to male freedom rather minimal in terms of his daily productivity and goals. Many men already can (and do) live without sexual or familial commitments. That being the case, the proven track record is: without Patriarchy and family commitment, most men also behave poorly and prefer to spend their days masturbating and playing Call of Duty rather than exploring space. N’est-ce pas?

        • peppermint says:

          who would put in those countless hours working on spaceship-related industries? Everyone wants to be the guy designing the rocket. No one wants to be the guy getting the tolerances just right on the part of the machine to make the part of the machine for the rocket. Without everyone working together on their assigned tasks, no rockets. To get everyone working together, order them by giving them what you think they need and disappearing anyone who says anything untowards, or give them incentives to work.

          And in your human anthill, those are the same.

          I may prefer to be sterile, but I do not want to live in a sterile world of human ants. The Chinese are a race of maggots crawling on foetid rice swamps with multiple marriages for the rich and the poor are garbage-eating garbage; just watch the videos of Chinese women humiliating their “boyfriends”. You want to be a more extreme version of the Chinese.

    • peppermint says:

      so basically, we switch from being humans, to being insects with every incentive to serve and protect Mother Tank.

      How about you study ethology before designing the next iteration of the White race?

      • Dr. Faust says:

        It’s better than the female worshipping white race you have going now Where is feminism most virulent? White nations. The white goddess reigns over all of christendom. White men are more than willing to abandon Christ but most can’t fathom abandoning the worship of their women. Mogua saw it all so clear: “Magua understands that the white man is a dog to his women.” A rare and brief moment of clarity from cinema.

        • Adolf the anti-White says:

          >Where is feminism most virulent?
          Africa. Always has been.

          Even modern White America is still more Patriarchal than native Africans.

          • Hidden Author says:

            So tribal African chieftains respect the wimmenz instead of raping them or using them to stock harems? Keep in mind the anthropologic principle that a matriLINEAL society (families traced through the women) is not necessarily a matriARCHIAL society (women-led). Also keep in mind that not all blacks are alike.

          • Adolf the anti-White says:

            “respecting women” is not the essence of feminism.

            I assume you have read Jim’s ideas on sexuality, so when you claim that “chieftains” are making women non-monogamous, you know that’s wrong.

            A matrilineal society is generally matriarchal, with some exceptions (i.e. Talmudic Judaism) for practical reasons.

          • Hidden Author says:

            Actually many matrilineal societies–at least the kind with whole clans traced through the mother–vest a lot of power in the maternal uncles. There have been matrilineal societies ruled not by queens but by kings who transfer power to their sister’s sons instead of their own sons.

            • jim says:

              kings who transfer power to their sister’s sons instead of their own sons.

              Don’t think so. Usual system in matrilineal societies is that the men predate on women, and the husband of the queen rules. And often the queen, of necessity, marries a violent foreign warrior, since matrilineal societies are usually notoriously incapable of defending themselves.

              Thus the sons of Pelops came to rule Greece. So the new King tends to be the son in law of the old King, not the nephew. And, not infrequently, the killer of the old King. Kind of like transitions of authority in a pride of lions, which seldom proceed as depicted in “The Lion King”. The new queen is the daughter of the old queen, and the new king is the foreign guy with blood all over his sword and armor.

          • Hidden Author says:

            And while women like strong men better than weak men and thus like somewhat dominant men, the point that becomes a deal-breaker–not for all women but for many women–is when their man takes another woman. But whether the woman consents or not, she tends to be subordinate when marriage is one man, many women.

          • Hidden Author says:

            Yes Jim you’re more knowledgeable than anthropologists and historians that have read the documents and in some cases visited the societies in question. Of course there are other societies, different societies that followed the template you offered up. Really there is a diversity of cultures even among the minority that are matriarchal so my description and your description have both occurred in history in some societies throughout the world. Just because people exhibit one particular cultural trait, it does not mean that they exhibit all the stereotypical characteristics associated with that trait.

            • jim says:

              We don’t actually have any historical examples that show up in regular history of Kings being succeeded by nephews rather than sons (except for civil war type situations where uncle murders the princes in the tower, or the King has no sons)

              We have historical examples that show up in regular history of the queen inheriting queenship from her mother, but actual power being exercised by her husband, who, as with the sons of Pelops, is apt to be a foreign warrior.

              Functional matrilineal societies are visible to anthropologists, but when newsmen and tourists take a look, they, unlike the anthropologists, report a terribly dysfunctional society where men do no work, predate on women and children, and women are extensively involved in sex work.

            • jim says:

              Sociobiology of patriarchy: If a man is in charge of his wife and children, it is easy to invest in and for his children, and his coefficient of relatedness to his children is half, so he has incentive to invest in them.

              If paternity uncertain, or irrelevant because father cannot protect his children from their mother’s lovers, then difficult or impossible to invest in his children, so will invest in his nieces and nephews by his sisters. But his sisters are probably only his half sisters, so his coefficient of relatedness is one eighth, so he has insignificant incentive to invest in them or protect them.

              So he does not. Instead of working, he predates on women and children, and does not defend his society from foreign patriarchal aggressors. It is the difference between a coefficient of relatedness of one half, and a coefficient of relatedness of one eighth.

              So, societies without fathers disappear from history due to failure to reproduce, poverty, technological backwardness, and foreign conquest.

          • Hidden Author says:

            1. Why don’t you research the matter further? Wikipedia is not reliable itself but can link you to sources that are reliable?

            2. Focus in particular on the Nair of India.

            3. Now it’s true that matrilineal societies have been rare historically and that matrilineal kingships have been even rarer. But the phenomenon of matrilineal men treating their sister’s sons as heirs instead of their own definitely *IS* a phenomenon of matrilineal societies.

            • jim says:

              Conveniently, the Nair no longer exist, in that they are no longer matrilineal, in that they were never a well defined group at any point of their history, assuming they even have a history rather than being a recent invention by anthropologists, and even less are they a well defined group today, nor are there any reliable historical accounts of their supposedly matrilineal customs. Therefore anthropologists are entirely free to invent wonderfully utopian accounts of them.

              Words sounding somewhat like Nair were used at various times to refer to various people and peoples. It is not particularly obvious that these are in any sense the same people, or that anyone today thinks of themselves as Nair, or that the present day people that anthropologists think are Nair have any real connection to those that were in the past called something like Nari.

              Which shows how far anthropologists have to go digging to find matrilineal groups.

          • Hidden Author says:

            But such loosely-bound, incoherent groups have existed before. If Germany and Turkey had not become more tightly-bound and coherent on their evolution into nation-states, would that have meant that their history at their time of origin did not exist either?

            • jim says:

              My claim is that people without fathers tend to disappear from history without posterity, without memory that they had ever existed, that fathers have posterity and build for posterity, creating the accumulations of capital that are visible to history and historians, that people without fathers fail to reproduce biologically or culturally and are incapable of defending themselves against their enemies. The Nair, supposing that they existed in some meaningful sense, come awfully close to having disappeared without effect, trace, or memory.

              The story of the Nair is that there were some people called Nair, and some of the people called Nair had odd marriage customs, and today there are some people that anthropologists think might in some sense be descended from people called Nair, and, quite possible, from those people called Nair who had odd marriage customs.

              If anthropologists want to go looking for people with a culture of fatherlessness, there is a plentiful supply of such people and peoples, but what anthropologists find troubling is that they are all recently descended from people with a patriarchal culture.

          • Hidden Author says:

            What about the Iroquois, the Cherokee, the Navajo and the Hopi? With the exception of the Hopi, these (originally) matrilineal Indian tribes all fought off the white man at least as effectively as a similarly situated patriarchal tribe could be expected to do. They were not defeated until vastly and overwhelmingly superior numbers were brought to bear upon them.

            • jim says:

              Cherokee were repeatedly and massively defeated over a period of twenty years, during which they repeatedly moved westward away from whites, after which they substantially absorbed the patriarchal white culture. Did they have a matriarchal or matrilineal culture before that? Maybe, but the politically correct are fond of finding matriarchies everywhere.

              Supposedly, though all Iroquois leaders were always men, they tended to be the husbands of important women – matrilineality in the female line, so that the next important man tended to be the son in law of the previous important man, which is as close to matriarchy as you are likely to get in practice. At least that is what the politically correct tell us.

              This, however, seems to be just a politically correct fairy tale. When the colonists encountered Iroquois Sachems, which title they translated as “King”, a King was a descendent in the male line of a previous King. Thus, for example, Mahomet Weyonomon was the great-grandson of Uncas. If he had an illustrious wife, no one seemed to remember her. Similarly, the King of Maguas, with the Christian name Peter Brant was the grandfather of Joseph Brant. When Iroquois kings show up in white history, they are patrilineal and patriarchal. If once upon a time, long long ago, far far away, they were matrilineal and somewhat matriarchal, that was before they tangled with the white settlers.

              The Navajo seem to have suffered total and complete military collapse on first encountering white yankee settlers, which if they were matrilineal is hardly a good advertisement for matrilineality. The US government interventions were more to limit the extent of settler predation on Navajo, than to protect the settlers.

              The Hopi seem to have successfully defended themselves from the Spanish, and cut a decent deal with the yankees. Allegedly, the women own the land and it is inherited in the female line. Other reports say the woman is the “virtual” owner of the land, which inclines me to smell a rat. Hopi legends depict male chiefs alloting land

              The dominant power in traditional hopi society were the village chieftains. Again, chieftainship was patrilineal and patriarchal. Clans were matrilineal, villages were not. The hopi had strict monogamy. It was easy for women to divorce their husbands and keep the children, which would make their culture at least somewhat matriarchal. On the other hand, village chiefs, patriarchy, had a lot of power.

          • Hidden Author says:

            BTW I as a man wouldn’t like to live in a society where women owned all the wealth especially the land, where a wife could keep the kids unconditionally through a divorce as simple as placing my goods outside the door of the house and where I would be obliged to be a foster-father to my sister’s fatherless sons (not that I have a sister). But I’m also smart enough to know that just because cultures have lifestyles completely contrary to the values of my culture and I, it doesn’t mean that they are peopled by incompetent barbarians.

            • jim says:

              it doesn’t mean that they are peopled by incompetent barbarians.

              If the men don’t work, if they predate on women and children, if the people fail to reproduce biologically or culturally, if they are ravished by outsiders, if the men are pimps for outsiders and the women are whores to outsiders, then they are peopled by incompetent barbarians.

              This is what sociobiology would lead us to expect to observe, and this is in fact what we do observe.

  9. Dave says:

    If not for sexual dimorphism, natural law could be summed up as, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Yes, Your Honor, the allegations that I walked up to several women I didn’t know and fondled their genitals are true. But I was only applying the Golden Rule!

    • Stephen W says:

      Good point I always say “never tell the golden rule to a masochist” its amazing that such an obvious flaw in the “golden rule” never gets notice and it is held in such high esteem by so many. It naively assumes people want to be treated the same way.

      I have a yearning for battle and would like more people attack me so I can test my abilities to defend myself. So if i where to apply the golden rule does that mean I should attack random innocents so they can test there defense skills instead of hypocritically only waiting for someone else to play the aggressor.

  10. […] Whores, daughters, and the patriarchy. Related: Broken hearts, broken windows. Related: Sex and natural law. […]

  11. Dave says:

    Paternity testing is no panacea. It’s nice to know that a particular child is yours, but this in no way guarantees that the mother will rely on you alone for future offspring. If you have four proven children by different women, you just can’t invest as much time and money in them as if they were all born of one woman and living under one roof.

    • jim says:

      Yes, need patriarchy to enforce upon women that they can only have children by one man. Well, we really want patriarchy to enforce upon women that they can only have sex with one man, but paternity testing makes it a whole lot easier to enforce that they only have children by one man.

      • Dave says:

        So what penalty do you propose if a wife’s third or fourth child is not her husband’s?

        While an obstetric nurse was blood-typing one of our newborns, I asked her, “What do you say when the father is A, the mother is O, and the baby is B?” Her answer: “Nothing”

        • jim says:

          Natural law penalty. Breach of contract invalidates all benefits received through the contract. The wife loses all rights to the family property, and to her husband’s children. Her husband can send her away, with or without some or all of his children. If he sends her away, then any of his children he sends away with her become bastards.

  12. Alan J. Perrick says:

    “Jim”

    Now I’m ready for you to assert that the military has been leftism for a very long time, since the military hasn’t insisted that its top general be head of state…

    Well?

    A.J.P.

    • jim says:

      Undermining patriarchy seems a lot more obviously left wing than undermining military dictatorship.

      • Alan J. Perrick says:

        What else would you call the expansion of Parliamentary authority?

        Ever since the Magna Carta, with plenty of reference points along the way, the kingship has been less of a dictatorship.

  13. Alan J. Perrick says:

    We could do the same for Techno-Commercialism.

  14. Zach says:

    Granpa, tell me bout the good ol days…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E88RUqyjts

  15. […] initial reacto-chatter — Sex and natural law (don’t miss the comment thread). Prepare for World War P. Inception politics. Battered West […]

  16. […] initial reacto-chatter — Sex and natural law (don’t miss the comment thread). Prepare for World War P. Inception politics. Battered West […]

  17. Oh my I am late to this party. (Jim you NEED a follow button!!!) Defenders of Classical Natural Law far more capable than I have already spoken.

    Where Nature ends and grace begins is sometimes hard to tell. What Jim means by “natural law” and what Aristotle and Aquinas meant by it seem to be related but not equal things. Fair enough.

    But nature sure can teach us a lot. We can agree on that.

    Sure everybody gets in line pretty easily behind Do Not Steal. But people have a habit of making exceptions/rationalizations for themselves. They OWE me, etc. Therefore the natural law against stealing must be promulgated and arbitrated.

    And everybody damn well gets in line against adultery. It’s not even terribly popular today! But again only in theory. But what if she’s not married yet? What if she only takes in the butt? What if? But, but… Etc. Therefore the natural law for sex is at once obvious, yet requires promulgation, clarification, and enforcement in law and cultural norms.

    But it is of course perfectly natural for authority structures to arise to explain what nature appears to teach us. So there’s nothing unnatural about promulgating authoritative interpretations of nature’s supposed lessons.

    The idea that a marriage contract is between a father and a husband-to-be is natural and obvious advantages. Making it contingent *additionally* upon the consent of the bride may seem to be a step down–a step toward leftism, but requiring free consent of the bride doesn’t abrogate the father’s role, and may yet somehow lead to happier marriages. It isn’t as tho’ the Christian Church demanded female emancipation. On the contrary, it seems as though the Church *assumed* a female would be under her father’s authority. In fact the iconic “giving away of the bride” lives down even to our present day in some (and all orthodox) Christian wedding rites.

    Well, under whose could she possibly be? If she were anywhere else she’d be a whore, and I suppose the pimp would give her away.

    Anyway, I think Christian practices from 350 to 1850 did a pretty darn good job at curbing the worst excesses of female sexuality. Perhaps something more draconian like the Roman law might have done better. But at least give Christianity some credit there. Christianity, classically pursued and practiced, is consonant with patriarchy and I would argue, on net, strengthens it.

    • jim says:

      I think Christian practices from 350 to 1850 did a pretty darn good job at curbing the worst excesses of female sexuality.

      Read up on the divorce of queen Caroline, and you will change the date to a fair bit earlier than 1850.

      Roman Catholics abandoned giving away the bride a very long time ago. Their position on contraception came in well after their position on patriarchy became quite hostile.

      If a patriarchal society, then, if the bride consents to anything at all rather than being traded like a sheep as in Japan before the occupation, then needs to vow to her parents and parents in law as well as to her husband and god, and in this sense the Church has been undermining the patriarchy on which it depends for a very long time.

  18. Caprizchka says:

    I *love* this. It makes so much sense to me.

    I’d gladly give up all my “rights” if all other women would do the same. Having a group of extended-adolescence individuals ruling social mores is simply “Lord of the Flies”.

    Qui Bono?

  19. […] I am inspired by a brilliant piece of writing: blog.jim.com/culture/sex-and-natural-law/ […]

  20. […] (Dammit Jim, get a follow button!) Jim pens a treatise on Sex and Natural Law. The comments alone are worth a read. I think it’s fair to say what Jim considers natural law […]

  21. […] you have it.  There are finitely many red pills and only so many times an individual can shock himself by saying the word ‘nigger‘.  The Antiversity has […]

  22. […] sexuality in check tends to result in fewer marginal babies [I remain in debt to this blog post: http://blog.jim.com/culture/sex-and-natural-law/%5D. In order to persuade little girls not to do what they want to do when in fact little girls tend […]

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