Archive for the ‘morality’ Category

Are women naturally amoral?

June 30, 2008

Mr. Zopo asked what I think of the theory that women are naturally amoral. I would put it that women are naturally more inclined towards amorality, but basically, I do think that it’s true.

The fact is that morality – the ability to stand by principles when doing so makes one’s life more difficult, or even puts that life in peril – is adaptive for men, and maladaptive for women.

Incidentally, most people’s “lizard brains” – their subconscious minds, where all the real decisions are made – are far more sexist than my frontal lobes. When I was a child, I was downright priggish. I was always pointing out to the adults around me the immorality of their behavior or theories. (As you might expect, I had a very unpleasant childhood as a result.) Also, I often refused to do things people wanted me to or that other children were doing, on moral grounds. This made other people, both children and adults, angry at me, but even more than that, they were astonished. It wasn’t until well into adulthood that I realized that they were astonished to see a female standing on principle! They would never have articulated such a thought, but they knew which sex was supposed to make a moral stand and which wasn’t.

But let’s get back to the survival value of morality. For a minute, pretend you are a cave man. You decide to kill a woolly mammoth in order to feed your tribe. But woolly mammoths are big honkin’ critters. You can’t just go up to one with your little handmade spear and kill it all by yourself. Bringing down one of these requires teamwork. So you ask two other healthy young men of the tribe, your pals Og and Ug, to help you. After they’re done switching to Geico, they agree. (Okay, it probably takes more than three guys, but that’s not important right now. Three guys or ten guys, the principle is the same.)

Now, when the three of you pick out your woolly mammoth, it’s entirely possible that one or more of you will get killed in the process of hunting it. So on the face of it, it would seem that running away and abandoning your comrades at the first sign of trouble would be adaptive, would have survival value. But let’s say the mammoth gets feisty. You and Ug run away, leaving Og behind to be trampled by the mammoth. You and Ug live through that day, but you and your tribe are less likely to survive because you don’t have mammoth steaks. Plus, if you’d killed the mammoth, the chicks in your tribe would have dug you. They might not have bartered a straightforward exchange – their sexual favors in return for a chunk of mammoth meat – but killing it would have given you and your pals status, which is excellent currency for getting laid. So you’ve just lost several opportunities for passing on your genes.

Since you, Og and Ug are most likely to succeed in killing the mammoth, staying alive throughout the hunt, and going home to a feast and sex with grateful cave women, if all three of you stick together even when the hunt is dangerous. In other words, loyalty and courage are adaptive for males, even when it imperils them. Loyalty to an ideal and courage against inquisitors who are trying to stamp your ideals out come from the exact same personality qualities. Hunting, or defending your tribe against the tribe across the river, also requires aggression, and that aggression can also be channeled into, for example, crusading against evils such as slavery or communism.

Understand, a lot of cave men are going to die trying to stick together while they attack woolly mammoths. The fact remains that the cave men who survive and reproduce will be the ones who stick together in the face of danger and succeed, not the ones who run away when the mammoth gets tetchy.

Another personality quality that morality requires is independence. This, too, is adaptive for males. Let’s say there’s a hominid tribe living in a valley. They’ve been there for generations, but lately pickings have been slim, and consequently so are the hominids.

Driven by their testosterone, a couple of young males propose leaving the valley in search of territory richer in food. The elders warn them not to. Everybody knows that outside the valley are dragons, ogres, and who knows what other monsters, ready to gobble up hominids who wander out of the valley.

But teenage boys never listen to anyone. Our two young males insist on leaving anyway. That is, they take a risk on their own independent judgment. Two things could happen. One, they could die, of starvation or of being eaten by a cave bear or any number of other things. In this case, their genes vanish and they matter not. The other possibility, however, is that they discover that a mere half a day’s walk away is a much nicer valley, with lots more fruit-bearing trees and plenty of animals just waiting to be killed and eaten. They claim it for themselves, then invite other hominids who are willing to accept their dominance to join them. As the ruling males, they get first call on poontang. Thanks to their independence, their genes are passed on.

A few thousand years later, their descendant refuses to renounce his faith even on pain of death. Let’s say this descendant is a Christian living in Rome before Constantine. He is showing his independence by following what his own heart and mind tell him is right even when everyone else he knows thinks he is wrong, just as his ancestors did when they went in search of a new valley to live in. Our Roman martyr might die himself, fed to lions in the arena, but his brave sacrifice is part of what founds the largest and most powerful force for morality in human history: Christianity.

But these ingredients of morality – loyalty, courage, aggression, and independence – are as maladaptive for females as they are adaptive for males. Any of them could cost a woman her life and her chance to reproduce.

Think about it. What constitutes reproductive success for a woman? She has to invest nine months in gestating the child without miscarrying, then take care of it for at least a decade. Carrying it, nursing it, watching it to make sure it doesn’t eat toadstools or walk right up to a cobra or simply wander off, providing it with food and basic training in human behavior. From a purely evolutionary standpoint, a man can ejaculate and die 30 seconds later and still be a reproductive success, but for a female, the investment is far larger. A female cannot afford personality qualities, such as courage, aggression, curiosity, and innovation, that might get her killed before her children reach puberty. Females who had those qualities generally didn’t live to be our ancestresses, so we didn’t get their genes. We got the genes of the meek women who pleased the men of their tribe and stayed far away from the woolly mammoths.

(I would hypothesize that these traits are sex-linked, but not perfectly so. This would explain why most women inherit the genes of their submissive ancestresses, but occasionally manifest those of their independent, aggressive ancestors. Similarly, while men will usually inherit the genes that made their fathers viable, like courage and loyalty, sometimes instead they will show the qualities of their mothers, of manipulating and befriending.)

What does a woman need in order to raise her offspring, the carriers of her genes, to adulthood? Other people to help her watch the sprog so he doesn’t run into the nearest pride of lions would be good. Other people with spears and torches to chase off hungry predators who come around hoping to snack on some juvenile Cro-Magnons. Other people to bring her some food when she’s eight months pregnant and can barely move, or when she’s got a baby in her arms and a toddler following her everywhere and she just can’t gather enough for herself because she and the baby have both come down with something. Other people to kill antelopes – she’d do it herself, but her three-year-old follows her everywhere and keeps crying and alerting the antelopes – so that she and her kids can get some of that essential protein. Other people to hold the baby for a little while so that she can climb a tree to get some fruit off the high limbs.

In short, other people. Hillary was, in a sense, correct: it does take a village. But not in the way she meant.

This means that women cannot, evolutionarily speaking, afford to be independent. An independent female would be drummed out of the tribe, and with no one to help her protect and care for her small children, she would be dead very quickly. Even if she did manage to survive, her children would have no one to mate with, being without a tribe, and her genes would die out. A woman’s survival depends upon her keeping enough of the favor of the tribe, or at least of a powerful member or two of the tribe, that they will let her stay and enjoy the protection and support of the tribe. She can’t stand up to the chief because she thinks his decisions are immoral. He would either beat her into submission or exile her, and unless she found other protectors, she would soon be dead.

A woman also cannot afford the aggression that allows men to promote moral ideals. Aggression often leads to fights, and anyone can get killed in a fight, and women are smaller and weaker than men, so their chances aren’t as good. A woman can’t afford courage. Survival rewards her for avoiding danger, and placating fellow humans who might be dangerous, including by having sex with them. If she bravely defied the males from the next tribe when they came in and took over, they would kill her, then no reproduction. The males’ courage and aggression in invading has enabled them to pass on their genes; her courage and aggression in resisting them has destroyed her chance of doing the same.

Loyalty is the same. Again, imagine you are a young cave man and you and your friends Og and Ug see a gang of cave men from a rival tribe on your territory. The three of you walk up to confront them. As you get close, Og notices that one of the other lads is much bigger and more muscular than any of you. Og might decide on the spot that casting his lot with this large stranger is his best course. He does, and you and Ug are killed by him and the other guys. Now maybe Og will get a chance to pass on his genes with the females of the rival tribe, but more likely they’ll never really trust him and he’ll never have enough status to get laid. He lives out a cave man lifespan, but his turncoat genes are unlikely to be passed on.

However, if Og sticks by you and Ug even when he sees how big and strong one of the enemies is, the three of you have a chance to prevail against the big stranger and his buddies. If you do, you’ve defended the territory and you live and you get nookie. Your loyalty to each other has survival value.

But what does loyalty mean to a female? Imagine for a moment that you are a primitive woman. You have recently been married to a nice young man from a friendly neighboring tribe. While the two of you are traveling back to your new husband’s tribe, a tough guy from yet another tribe happens along. He looks you over, likes what he sees, and kills your husband without preamble. You’re all primitive, so that’s how it’s done. He grabs you and takes you away on his horse. As you ride back to his camp, you weep for your dead husband.

But once you get to your new man’s camp, you have a choice. You could be loyal to your dead husband and reject this new man. Most likely he’ll rape you if you resist, but after that if he’s not pleased with you he might kill you, or he might just not make your offspring his heirs, minimizing their chances of reproductive success. Or you could dry your tears, make the best of a bad job, and set about making your new man happy with you so that he will make the son you will give him his heir. (Heirs get more nookie.)

This is not hypothetical. More than 800 years ago a woman named Hoelun was faced with that choice. She made the latter decision. Today, the world hosts roughly 16 million of her descendants, because the son she bore her abductor grew up to be Genghis Khan, who got a lot of nookie. Disloyalty to her first husband – ingratiating herself with his murderer – meant tremendous reproductive success for Hoelun.

I think it’s pretty clear that people who are designed by nature to be this opportunistic should not be allowed a great deal of power in a civilization.

Now, it isn’t that women are incapable of being moral. It’s just that they require massive societal (male) support for their morals. It requires a man to invent systems of morality. Whether you believe that the Torah and the Gospels and other holy books were the work of man or of God using a man as His instrument, we know for sure that they were not the work of woman. Ayn Rand was a woman and a brilliant philosopher, but she was drawing on centuries of patriarchy and grew up in a patriarchal culture – and, by the way, she was a self-described male chauvinist.

Women are not going to invent morality. When barbarians first came up with the notion of ethics, thus launching civilization, it was male barbarians who did this, not female ones. Women can practice morality, but they need to be supported by men in this: fathers, husbands, clergyMEN, policemen, the MEN who run the government of the society in question, and God the Father.

When Margaret Mitchell was a teenager, she wrote a short novel which was published in the 90’s. In it, an innocent, virtuous young girl is captured by an evil man who intends to rape her. She kills herself rather than endure the proverbial fate worse than death. She chooses death out of loyalty to her fiance rather than be unfaithful to him, because of the patriarchal ideal of chastity, and because of her strong Christian faith. In other words, she gave up the reproductive success which nature would have made her choose, because the men in her life had provided her with the artificial moral values of religion, loyalty, chastity, independence and courage. I approve of the choice – for one thing, it would discourage other evil men from kidnapping and raping women, if they know the women are likely to choose death over sex with them – but it’s one that is only possible to a woman with religion and patriarchy to back her up.

This is why I keep pointing out that secular, “liberated” feminists see no problem with encouraging terrorism and tolerating Islam. They know, at some level, that when the time comes, the Mohammedans will spare their lives, because women are more useful as living sex partners than dead. Western men will have to be killed, but feminists are okay with that; they know they’ll live. Some Western women will of course refuse to yield to the invaders. These will be chiefly the conservative Christian women, who have learned the artificial values of loyalty to their husbands, of chastity until proper (not forced or polygamous) marriage, of religion which forbids them from becoming the whores of infidels. In other words, without moral Western men to protect these moral women, the moral women will die and their genes disappear while the amoral women – feminists – will not be killed and will bear children for the terrorists.

So yes, one could say that women are naturally amoral. Women can be moral, but it is not natural to them. It requires the support of moral men.

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Feminine Morality vs. Masculine Morality

March 10, 2008

In studying the decline of morality over the past century, I have begun to see a certain pattern. Here is a chart I drew up while thinking this out. Sorry the chart isn’t perfectly aligned; life is too short.

Morals Of The Past Morals Of The Present
Abortion is murder

Euthanasia is murder

Capital punishment is just

War is a necessity

Property is sacred

Hostile foreign nations should be dealt with sternly, with force if need be

Jobs should be given to those with ability and a work ethic

Violent criminals should be locked up or possibly executed

School is of limited use in comparison to practical experience

Fathers are important

Everyone has the right to defend themselves

Judeo-Christian religion is good

Full-time motherhood is a valuable and honorable profession

Career success requires sacrifices most women are not willing to make

The police and the military are not good jobs for women

Anyone with ability who is willing to work hard can succeed

Free speech is sacred, even if it means hearing things we don’t like

Premarital sex is not a good idea

Divorce is to be avoided

Paintings should look like something

Marriage is important and beneficial

Therapy is less beneficial than hard work or religion

Abortion is great

Euthanasia is great

Capital punishment is murder

War is evil

Property should be redistributed

Hostile foreign nations must be placated and apologized to

Jobs should be given to those who need them

Violent criminals need to be understood and should be freed soon

School is wonderful and should be prolonged as long as possible

Fathers are unnecessary

People should meekly submit when they are assaulted

Judeo-Christian religion is evil

Full-time motherhood is for parasites who should have fulfilment instead

Career success should be guaranteed by laws giving women privileges

The police and the military should adjust their standards so women can do the jobs

People need special protection and help from the government

Free speech is sacred, but laws prohibiting speech we don’t like are necessary and in no way confine freedom of speech

Premarital sex is wonderful

Divorce is wonderful

Appreciating modern art proves that you are a superior person

Commitment is terrible

Therapy can solve all the world’s ills

If you compare the charts, you will notice a common thread in the moral premises of the past: most of them cannot be practiced by women. The moral premises of the present, however, are completely accessible to the weaker sex.

Few women can pick up a sword or an M-16 and fight against enemy soldiers, therefore war is immoral. Women are, however, entirely capable of murdering a baby in the womb, or removing the life support systems or feeding tubes of helpless disabled people, so abortion and euthanasia are moral. Few women can put on a blue uniform and handcuff a dangerous criminal, so putting miscreants in jail is immoral. Women can, however, be sympathetic and understanding to criminals, so sentencing criminals to therapy is moral. Few women can defend themselves against attackers, so self-defense is immoral; people have been jailed for defending themselves against intruders, and children are routinely punished for defending themselves when other children beat up on them, while the children who initiate the violence are never punished. Women are not designed to work hard, they are designed to induce others to work for them, so advancement by merit is immoral; advancement by laws granting special privileges to women and other protected groups is moral. Few women can make equal achievements in the workplace, so advancement by merit is, again, immoral; women thrive in classrooms, where results depend on the subjective feelings of the professors or teachers rather than on real-world results, so advancement by credentials is moral.

We have come to define morality by whether or not the average woman is capable of doing whatever the deed in question is.