Clarity: good vs evil

I’ve been on the fence about BGC & Proph’s claim that good and evil are getting more unambiguous with time, but this would seem to be a case of it:  a man cultivated and wise by any century’s standard defending the noblest truths about human nature and being confronted by a mob of what any other age would call “unimaginable depravity” but ours calls “tomorrow’s leaders”.

22 Responses

  1. Indeed…

    To clarify, I would say that good and evil are getting more unambiguous with time, yes

    – BUT there is much more evil than good, the division is far from even, there is not much good;

    and the evil is more evil than it used to be while the good is less good (no Saints, or very few – except martyrs).

    The expression about things ‘coming to a point’ mostly means that there are now fewer gray areas, very little that is neutral, fewer niches, less possibility of doing Good while in evil circumstances;

    less difference between on the one hand weakness and expediency, and one the other hand actively-serving evil.

    This notion is not original to me or to Proph, but comes from That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis:

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2011/10/blogger-benedict-seraphim-neutrality-is.html

  2. “Good and evil” and “absolute truth” are child’s fictions. I only believe in good (stuff I like) and bad (stuff I don’t like). All that matters is that one possesses enough force to make what one believes is good prevail. Everything else is window dressing and obfuscation.

    When has an important political matter ever been decided simply because one had greater “truth” on one’s side? It’s always come down to which side possesses the force necessary to impose its will.

  3. Drieu: Do you think it is a truth that “absolute truth” is a child’s fiction? If no, why do you assert it? If yes, what sort of truth? What are the gradations of truth?

    You are undercutting yourself from the first sentence.

  4. “Do you think it is a truth that “absolute truth” is a child’s fiction? If no, why do you assert it? If yes, what sort of truth? What are the gradations of truth?”

    No one could possibly answer these questions satisfactorily within the space of a single post (though the same applies to people who claim that absolute Truth exists). Philosophers have been occupied with them for centuries.

    Nevertheless, truth is contingent and most confusions regarding the subject arise from semantic problems. Appealing to “god” is merely a shortcut, often but not always to justify conclusions that one has arrived at in advance.

  5. Quoth Thrasymachus, er, Drieu:

    “No one could possibly answer these questions satisfactorily within the space of a single post (though the same applies to people who claim that absolute Truth exists).”

    In other words, nobody can know.

    And then he says:

    “Nevertheless, truth is contingent…”

    In other words, he’s certain that truth is contingent, or at least, we should take his word for it.

    Does the son of Thrasymachus have an actual argument that all truth is contingent? If so, he should show it. If not, he should withdraw his claim.

    He also said:

    “It’s always come down to which side possesses the force necessary to impose its will.”

    Both force and persuasion are necessary in every society. Even in the most dictatorial dictatorship, the big boss man uses propaganda, which is an attempt to persuade.

    Even if absolute truth does not exist, everybody acts as if it does. This fact is a clue about reality.

  6. An easier way to understand it is simply “Evil is taking fewer precautions.” Four or five generations ago, the “protestors” would have been executed in some countries. Two or three generations ago, they would’ve been regarded with revulsion and horror. Today, we are compelled to verbally fellate them in public. Tomorrow, we will have to subsidize their degeneracy.

  7. It’s a remarkable and disheartening article, from an ostensibly conservative newspaper. We’re told of some extremely boorish students who don’t grasp the concept of dispassionate academic debate, and then the article veers off into a fairly sympathetic description of Yale’s “Sex Week.” Why no comment from Esolen? Why wasn’t the president of Yale apologizing for the incivility of his students? Why print the flippant line about not throwing condoms to students in their underwear? Why no correction to the absurdly unfactual “one in four, maybe more?” You all know the answer. It’s because the sneering and sanctimonious brownshirts who staged the “Smooch In” are the face of the establishment. They are not “transgressive.” Transgressive people get punished and shunned, and their callow opinions are not published in national newspapers.

    I think that our sense that the differences are sharpening comes from the fact that, for folks like us, there is never, ever, any good news. The culture war has been lost and the victors demand unconditional surrender.

  8. “Nevertheless, truth is contingent …”

    Liar.

  9. Contingent with respect to what?

  10. Perhaps we misunderstand the “sons of Thrasymachus” when we take them to be making a truth-claim when they say there is no truth?

    Perhaps it is merely an assertion of their own will? Not an argument, but an argument-ending, table-banging snarl?

    “All that matters is that one possesses enough force to make what one believes is good prevail.” Someone who says things like that should not be mistaken for one who could be persuaded by arguments.

    The situation is the remarkably similar in the case of the students protesting at Prof. Esolen’s lecture. They’ve hardened their hearts and plugged up their ears. They’re not open to persuasion. Argument is only interesting to them when it serves as a rationalization of what they have already willed to do.

  11. Interesting, and something I’ve alluded to as the “will to disbelieve,” a component of what I’ve taken to calling spiritual autism: http://collapsetheblog.typepad.com/blog/2012/01/on-spiritual-autism.html.

    I have also previously questioned whether or not modern atheism is instrumental, whether modern man denies God not because he genuinely believes God doesn’t exist but because he *wants* to disbelieve that God doesn’t exist: http://collapsetheblog.typepad.com/blog/2012/01/modernity-and-spiritual-autism-a-question-of-chickens-and-eggs.html.

  12. Esolen was quite possibly the most radical person in the room–an irony I’m sure utterly missed by the sanctimonious protesters. Indeed the act of defending any cardinal virtue not only has all the exhiliration of a vice, but has today become positively deviant.

  13. Ever notice how women are the most enthusiastic supporters for this type of degeneracy? It sounds that way from this article. It is as though 95 % of women are invested in degeneracy and any attack on it is an attack on womanhood.

    So when are going to just put our foot down? I think our friends in Saudi Arabia have the right idea.

  14. Why is it every time Bonald tries to have an intelligent discussion you come on derailing the discussion blathering about your Nietzschean fantasies? It is about as annoying as the libertardian founder-worshippers who end each post with “Ron Paul 2012”.

  15. Proph:

    You’ve accurately identified the psychological state modern man is in, though one may not even need the qualifier spiritual in front of autism.

    But you’ve completely missed the boat on what is causing this: living in a safe, predictable, prosperous and comfortable environment which fails to dial up people’s intuitive supernaturalism.

    In general, neither belief nor unbelief in the supernatural is willed.

  16. I agree that their transgressions are never punished, and that this is proof enough that the establishment is on their side.

    The peculiar thing is, they still see themselves as transgressive, as rebels “sticking it to the man.”

    I imagine the denizens of Sodom behaved in much the same way, even though they were running the town. Mocking, flaunting, sneering, scoffing, blaspheming,…

  17. … jeering, taunting, slandering, cursing, bullying, catcalling, goading,…

    Throughout history, sinners have always behaved the same way when called to repentance.

  18. Joseph Arimatheus has a great essay up on Abortion as the Sacrificial Sacrament of the Nietzschean worshipper of the will: http://www.arimathea.org/index.php/j/p/abortion_as_a_sacrament/

  19. It is as though 95 % of women are invested in degeneracy and any attack on it is an attack on womanhood.

    No, women are followers. The women described are school marms enforcing our current norms. They’d be just as happy and just as enthusiastic to enforce traditionalist norms if we were in charge. Railing against women is a distraction.

  20. He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy.

    -Orwell, 1984

    Yes, it’s been noticed. This is a big topic, but for now suffice it to say that female morality, because solipsistic and emotional, is both more malleable and more fierce than male morality.

    I think our friends in Saudi Arabia have the right idea.

    In the event of a war with Iran (an event I consider unlikely) I would have a hard time considering us the “good guys”.

  21. I feel truly sorry that you’re not currently able to execute those who have non-Proph sanctioned sex. Your plight is touching.

  22. Welcome back fafsa,

    My rules require me to delete comments that personally insult other commenters. Nothing personal.

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