Coffee’s up!! Evolutionary psychology now gives us its latest: The EP romance series

(targeting customers of the more familiar bodice-ripper and cherry-chomp brands)

David Brooks, who used to know tripe when he saw it, now gives us this, praising pop evolutionary psychology:

Brain science helps fill the hole left by the atrophy of theology and philosophy

A core finding of this work is that we are not primarily the products of our conscious thinking. The conscious mind gives us one way of making sense of our environment. But the unconscious mind gives us other, more supple ways. The cognitive revolution of the past thirty years provides a different perspective on our lives, one that emphasizes the relative importance of emotion over pure reason, social connections over individual choice, moral intuition over abstract logic, perceptiveness over I.Q. It allows us to tell a different sort of success story, an inner story to go along with the conventional surface one.

Yes. There is a name for that: fascism

Fascism, at heart, is a belief that surrendering to an emotion engendered by an idea can bring about an earthly utopia. In politics, the idea is usually appears as a messianic leader, but in current psychology, anyone with some neuroscience training can generate these visions using machines, drugs, or narratives that get published as research on human subjects.

And it is always very difficult, at best, to explain to people that, on Earth, utopia is the trade name for hell.

Anyway, Brooks unintentionally outlines the problem better than any detractor could by retailing this loathsome love story:

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Confused in Kentucky

Dear Mick,

Angry soldier I'm genuinely confused. You've drawn my attention to this article, If He Can Fight for His Country, Why Should He Have to Fight for a Job in Kentucky?. Despite the title, though, the article has nothing to do with anyone fighting for his country. It has to do with attitudes about homosexuality in Kentucky. It begins,

Yes, yes, yes! You might not immediately think of gay rights when you think of Kentucky, but a recent survey found that over 83% of Kentuckians favor anti-discrimination laws protecting gays and lesbians in the workplace. Booya!

The poll, conducted by the Fairness Coalition – composed of groups like the ACLU, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and The Fairness Campaign – polled 600 Kentucky residents.

The author of the post, identified as "KFarrell in Politiko," quotes the Courier-Journal, which reports,

Coalition leaders said they hoped the results would prod state lawmakers to approve — or at least debate — two General Assembly bills that would add legal protections for gay and transgender people by amending the state’s civil rights laws.

and concludes,

Wow! We’re completely surprised by these statistics. The Blue Grass State has flown under the radar as a bastion of gay rights, as far as the voting public is concerned. It’s time for the state legislature to reflect what Kentuckians already know – Gays and lesbians deserve the very same rights as their straight peers.

It appears from the results of the poll that, despite vitriolic rhetoric to the contrary, Kentuckians don't hate gays. A large majority of them actually agree with KFarrell – Gays and lesbians deserve the very same rights as their straight peers.

So here's what puzzles me. If 83% of Kentuckians look upon discrimination against gays with disfavor, can't it be reasonably assumed that they won't discriminate against gays? What then, is the purpose of the push for legislation requiring them to do what they're willing to do voluntarily?

Sincerely,

Confused in Kentucky

 

Sexualizing Britain’s Youth

Earlier this month, BBC Panorama ran a program titled “Too much too young.” The program explored whether Britain’s children are being encouraged to become prematurely sexualized.
 
Although the program tended to downplay the seriousness of the issue, there has been a string of reports in the newspapers recently highlighting the urgency of the matter. Music videos, displays in High Street shops, lap-dancing kits, padded bras for primary school girls, playboy-branded pencil cases and features in teen magazines are merely some of the tools which are helping to sexualize Britain’s youth at alarmingly young ages.
 
There have even been reports in the newspapers about a pajama set aimed at ten year olds with “Porn Star” written on it.
 
But it is not just parents who have been concerned. Government has weighed in with five initiatives in three years in an attempt to respond to the issue. Their latest plan, according to a BBC news report, is “to explore whether rules should prevent the marketing of items such as ‘Porn star’ T-shirts or padded bras…. A code of conduct on ‘age appropriate’ marketing and a new watchdog are among plans being considered by the review.”
 
Prime Minister David Cameron, himself a father of three, has made this issue a personal concern after discovering beds marketed towards six-year-olds with a “Lolita” branding (Lolita is a novel about a paedophile).
 
So far the debate over the sexualisation of children has centred primarily on quantitative questions. Are our young people being exposed to too much sex? Does this exposure happen at too young of an age?
 
Now certainly questions like these are important, especially when we ask who profits from the sexualisation of a 13 or 14 year-olds. I think few would doubt that the beneficiaries include the growing network of pedophiles in Britain.
 
What I find interesting, however, is that by framing the debate solely in terms of the above questions, the discussion has excluded crucial qualitative distinctions we need to be making. In an article I recently wrote for the Telegraph website, I have used the Panorama program as a springboard to explore what some of these qualitative distinctions are. I suggest that instead of being worried about our youth being sexualized too early, we should give attention to the way they are being sexualized, and in particular the way that they are being subtly influence to adopt a particular narrative about sex.
 
Click here to read more.

A fundamental human right?

The Center for Reproductive Rights has stated that its mission is to advance the cause of “reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.”

But we should ask what the Center means by “Reproductive Freedom”?

According to their website, the “fundamental human right” of “reproductive freedom” includes both access to birth control and safe abortion.

Now this is just the thing to get a fellow wondering. We may well ask at what point in human history abortion and birth control suddenly became a fundamental human right. Suppose we say they became a fundamental human right as soon as the technology made them possible. But this is problematic, because in that case, their existence as ‘rights’ is not absolute but contingent – contingent on technology.

But what about other contingencies? Suppose access to abortion and birth control was so expensive that it would bankrupt the entire world to provide these ‘services’ for even a single individual? In that case, would it still be a universal right?

It should be clear that these, so called, ‘rights’ are not free-standing, absolutes, but contingent on factors that may or may not exist. Now here’s the rub: can ethics be one of those factors as well?

I merely raise the question.

Oversexed or undersexed

Stacy MacDonald has some insightful comments about my recent blog series on gender, morality and modesty. She acutely observes that "Ironically, as our senses are dulled, rather than being oversexed, we become undersexed. Not that sexual activity decreases, but the satisfaction of it does. In addition, sexuality must become more and more shocking to invoke a reaction, which introduces perversions of all sorts.”

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Cognitive Disconnect Awareness Project

by Terrell Clemmons

The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) is a traveling photo-mural exhibit, a project of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. It visits university campuses around the country to show as many students as possible what abortion does to unborn children and to challenge them to think about abortion in a broader historical context.

Engaging students is the primary goal, but professors get in on the action too. Recently, CBR staff member Seth Drayer engaged in an illuminating conversation with Dr. Susan Dwyer, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland. In the span of ten minutes, while students watched and listened, Seth and the professor of philosophy discuss such questions as,

  • What does it mean to be human?
  • What is the value of a human life?
  • Where does that value come from?

It quickly becomes apparent that the professor’s philosophy is wholly lacking in grounding. She appears to have no problem calling a Southern style lynching or the Nazi Holocaust “wrong.” However it is with difficulty that she also acknowledges there’s at least something wrong with abortion too. But she can’t answer the question, Why? “I don’t know the answer to that question,” she says. “I haven’t got a clue,” although she does go on to say that we need to think more deeply about these kinds of questions.

Watch Seth as he respectfully and compassionately engages with her. And behold moral relativism – the reigning moral paradigm in contemporary American academia – exposed for the empty philosophy of meaning that it is.

I warn you, the images are disturbing. If there’s an abortion in your past, whether you’re the father or mother of an aborted child or you’ve participated in one in some indirect way, visit The Elliot Institute for comprehensive post-abortion healing resources. But listen to this discussion, without looking at the pictures if necessary. Listen, wrestle with it, and think more deeply until you can give a reason grounded in reality for what’s wrong with this picture.