Monday, 19 November 2012

The motivation deficit

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We live in a demotivated society.

In the world of the demotivated, the motivated man is King.

The future lies entirely in the hands of the motivated.

We know what to do, but we do not do it; however that is not the problem - the problem is that we do not even try to do it. And the reason is that we lack motivation.

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All those who are not religious but who oppose the current Leftist totalitarian state (on 'the Right') are engaged in a search for some adequate motivating factor.

They try out economic motivations (desire for more goodies, fear of losing the goodies they have) - doesn't work; they try out nationalism - doesn't work (when the Left runs the nation, nationalism merely feeds the Left); they try out schemes of sexual control of women - doesn't work (genuinely sexually motivated men just get on with their vice as unobtrusively as possible; they don't make political movements to justify it); machismo doesn't work (for similar reasons to the above).

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From the secular Right there is a great deal of analysis, plotting and scheming - but near-zero motivation is apparent.

Many calls to fight, many assurances of victory: but nobody actually fights, because they lack motivation.

Easy to prove that if they fought, then they would win; but the fact is they don't fight.

They are all waiting for somebody else to get started, to begin the job - then they intend to join-in, after things have gotten-going.

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The only groups that demonstrate real, applied, personal motivation are the traditional, 'puritanical' orthodox monotheistic religions.

You know what they are.

Get on with it: choose.

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15 comments:

  1. @d

    If Yeats is the question, I guess the answer must be:

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity."

    But I think that's wrong. The best are also full of passionate intensity - but there aren't many of 'em.

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  2. Imagining it were possible to have a real motivation for resistance without reference to God, what *can* be done.

    Real resistance is dangerous and even if non-religious people were willing to martyr themselves, it would likely have no positive practical effect unless it were part of a large coordinated movement. Any attempt to actual coordinate a movement would be crushed before it got started.

    Without divine intervention victory is impossible, so if you don't believe in divine intervention, what can you do? You send out signals that you'd be willing to join if anybody would start a coordinated movement, but the signal must be weak enough not to trip the alarm, so to speak.

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  3. "The only groups that demonstrate real, applied, personal motivation are the traditional, 'puritanical' orthodox monotheistic religions.

    You know what they are.

    Get on with it: choose."

    I think to many people on the secular right, orthodox monotheistic religion isn't a live option. It is absurd, silly, and so on.

    What would be useful would be for people who understand orthodox Christianity to articulate why getting to B is important, and then how to get from A to B.

    Then people in the secular right can actually choose. Otherwise, it is the only position that seems available to them.

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  4. @ajb - "I think to many people on the secular right, orthodox monotheistic religion isn't a live option. It is absurd, silly, and so on."

    Yes but why?

    (Given that it was and is not absurd or silly to almost everybody who ever lived (i.e. those not brought up in the the modern secular West.)

    Where the does fault lie?

    Isn't the absurd/ silly response merely self-serving?

    Remember - all that is needed is that someone honestly seeks the truth, and they will find it (but not immediately, not necessarily).

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  5. "Real resistance is dangerous and even if non-religious people were willing to martyr themselves, it would likely have no positive practical effect unless it were part of a large coordinated movement. Any attempt to actual coordinate a movement would be crushed before it got started."

    Indeed. Only believing that noble failure has existential value will cause people to endure hardship when they have no reason to believe in early victory.

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  6. post 1 of 2

    “Yes but why?

    (Given that it was and is not absurd or silly to almost everybody who ever lived (i.e. those not brought up in the the modern secular West.)

    Where the does fault lie?

    Isn't the absurd/ silly response merely self-serving?”

    Yes, it is self-serving. Which can explain much of the lack of motivation. (And I consider myself one of those people; I can sometimes talk a big game online, where I am anonymous and probably won't, in Josh's words, “trip the alarm.” But in my day-to-day reality I shamefully stay far too silent about the destruction of Good I see all around me.)

    So why then was it not absurd for those before us? One difference is that they were not given the chance to become gods. Look at all of history: if you lived back in those times you always struggled, death was always around the corner, in battles, murders, famine, disease, and so forth. All of these things still occur in the world (and contrary to the assumption of atheists, all of these things increase rather than decrease a person's belief in God). It is unlikely you would ever be famous or well-respected by the population at large; no, you would live with your family struggling to survive day-to-day and die unknown by the world and then buried and forgotten.

    But for us, well, we are very different than any other group of humans that has ever existed. Our comfort has increased to such an extent that it is almost seems obscene when you stop to think about it; I'm not sure any ancient person would have thought it could even be possible.

    Compare to ancient world to ours: the average age is now 70 to 90, vaccines make us immune to many a formerly terrifying virus, and antibiotics take care of the bacteria. I can leave my house completely unarmed yet without concern or worry of being victim to violent assault. I never worry about food, it is almost guaranteed. For four U.S. quarters (and a handful of pennies to pay Caesar) I can have a 400-plus calorie sandwich at McDonald's, complete with meat, cheese, onions, and two full slices of bread. In fact, a person who works at McDonald's can eat one sandwich an hour and still make a profit! Who starves to death in the West? If you get caught stealing food, they will feed you, by law.

    When was the last time you had to go get water from the well? For me, the last time was never. Since I was born, water has always flowed freely from faucets and fountains, most of the time at no charge to the person consuming it, and it is always clear and always clean.

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  7. post 2 of 2

    When I give my opinion on a subject, people are ordered to respect me. I have my rights, I have my say, I get my panel of peers when I stand trial, I have my Facebook where I can show myself off and have people congratulate me and give me “likes,” I can have my blog and have thousands of people read and comment on my words, I can voice my comments on another man's blog, I can have my twitter and showcase my thoughts and happenings to the people of the world as they occur. Awards and recognitions are announced online and on television to thousands of viewers and my diploma can hang on the flame-resistant well-insulated hurricane-proofed wall of my temperature-controlled, well lit, and relatively enormous house.

    When I wish to be entertained I simply point to various devices and, as if by witchcraft, they immediately turn on and respond to me. I mean, just look at a modern television sets! Tell me now of how medieval kings and queens were lavishly spoiled with special seating when they attended plays and theater and I will tell you of how even the lowest of us has over 100 plays he can choose to view at any hour of the day with a view so special that it moves in relation to the action in the play. Imagine for a moment what life was actually like for medieval royalty. They had servants to fan them on hot days, you say? Well I push a button and the entire atmosphere inside of my home changes temperature turning summer into winter, so tell me again of the excessive luxury provided to these kings sweating in their robes getting hot air wafted in their general direction by exhausted servants.

    Now I'm not saying that any of these are intrinsically bad things. Not at all! I don't want to come off as complaining of our good material fortune in the same manner that many of the very ungrateful liberals do. There is no crime in having comfort or efficiency.

    However... all good things bring with them power (power must be good, otherwise God would not be all-powerful) but all power brings temptation. Much like the Tree in the Garden of Eden, these modern comforts certainly do provide temptations that could never have been possible otherwise. It wasn't the Tree itself that was evil. I have heard it said before that God would have eventually let us eat from the Tree, when the time was right. But we thought we could stand on our own. We forgot that we are nothing without God.

    All it takes is a malicious little whisper: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.”

    You ask why people are seemingly frozen and can't act for that which they know is good. My guess is fear of loss. Why would it be harder for a rock-star to make vows of chastity than some unknown geek who can't get a girl to look at him twice? Those who are the highest hit the ground the hardest when they fall. And anyone who stands up for anything good will be thrown to the ground and forced to suffer loss. You know this- you lost your position as the head of a medical journal over it.

    And although I am extremely grateful to my God, my family, and my country for providing me with so much access to material opportunities and technological advances, I am also very aware of the fact that whenever I lack decisiveness in choosing Good over Evil, it is because I am tied to the material world and am afraid to lose it. In honesty, this is because I lack faith. I say I believe God will make me happy, and I believe it when I speak it, but when it actually comes time for me to choose God over immediate comfort, my actions betray my words. We are in desperate need for saints to give us an example and inspire courage.

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  8. Oh! I just thought of a current example:

    There is a blog that I'm sure many of you already know about: http://barnhardt.biz/

    The author, Ann Barnhardt, has decided to refuse paying taxes because she knew they would go towards funding evils such as abortion and this extremely corrupt government. She's still blogging, but I don't know for how long she will continue. Her bank accounts have recently been frozen and she has lost all of the money they held. I'm fairly certain she will eventually be arrested and imprisoned. I don't think we'll ever hear of it. More than likely, there will simply be no more blog posts and that will be the only evidence we have of her fate.

    This is what eventually happens to anyone who decides to take any decisive action against the current society. They get rid of you. All those material things you had? Gone. All those rights you tried to defend? Gone.

    And it's only going to get worse- prison will be considered a cakewalk compared to the horrors in store, if we take Soviet Communism to be the example of what people who have denied God are capable of.

    She's very brave to do what she is doing, but unfortunately she is also all alone and that's why she will eventually have to suffer for it.

    Imagine there is a war and you are a soldier. Will you be harmed if your army attacks the enemy encampment? Maybe. Maybe not. Will you be harmed if you attack the enemy encampment by yourself? Yes, you'll get shot and killed, for certain. So if you are part of an indecisive army, will you be inclined to lead the charge? What if they don't follow you?

    Star Wars trivia: first Stormtooper through the door always get blasted.

    The Christians are far too few and they're spread far too thin. To go decisively on the offensive would mean having to face the full power of the enemy's defense all on your lonesome. You'd get destroyed.

    Some people would say it was a waste, a suicide of sorts, but I disagree. I'm convinced that Ms. Barnhardt must have the Holy Spirit working for her because I don't think she could put herself in that position without having an extremely solid faith in God.

    The situation (from a purely worldly human view) is not so much of a war were one army battles another. Nor is it like the Islamic ideal, going out in a blaze of glory, taking down as much "infidels" as you can. It is much more like the Christians lining up to be martyred by Roman executioners. It's not just choosing to fight, it's choosing to fight with the knowledge that you won't win, and you will likely never be hailed as a hero by the world or even your own community. You can't do that if your concerns are material gain or a defense of some sort of ideological system you particularly like. The only way you could do it is if you firmly believed in the reality of God and His promises and you placed all of your faith and hopes on Him.

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  9. Ok, this is my fourth comment, sorry. But I just remembered another event that can be used to illustrate the situation:

    When the planes were hijacked on 9/11, the passengers knew that the planes had been violently taken over and that they were now being flown by evil people yet they did nothing. The hijackers got on the intercom and spoke a message that roughly said: “This is pilot, there is a bomb on-board, stay calm and stay in your seats and we will be landing shortly.” They didn't stay calm, but they did stay in their seats, and the planes, as we all know, hit their targets, killing everyone on board as well as many others.

    Except for the last one.

    The fourth and last plane to be hijacked was different. That plane unfortunately crashed with no survivors, but it never hit the intended target because the passengers of that flight fought back. There are cell phone calls which show that the passengers of that plane had gotten word of the previous hijackings and their grim fate.

    That day, while I watched the events unfold on the news, I asked my father why they didn't fight back if they felt they would be killed anyway. I told him I thought they were stupid for just staying in their seats (harsh, I know, but I was young and overconfident then). He just said: “No, they're not stupid. Just afraid. It's human nature. I'll bet the first thing the terrorists did was take one of the passengers or flight attendant and cut their throat in front of everyone. After seeing that, who wouldn't just stay in their seat hoping that someone else would save them?”

    And so ask yourself: why would someone choose not to act when they know that their plane has been taken over by violent hijackers? And then ask the converse of that question: why would someone choose to act in such a situation? What is different between the first three flights and the last one?

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  10. @fight "Only believing that noble failure has existential value will cause people to endure hardship when they have no reason to believe in early victory."

    Well said. In fact, people don't need to know exactly what value noble failure has - but that value must be 'existential' or transcendental - must not depend on other people, but a good act must be understood as objectively and eternally valid.

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  11. @FHL - Your description of the nature of modern prosperity hits home in a way that such descriptions seldom do. Because most such descriptions come from materialists who are arguing that this overpowering comfort and prosperity is the answer to all and every objection to modernity.

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  12. @FHL

    "The Christians are far too few and they're spread far too thin."

    From wiki:

    "Christianity has approximately 2.2 billion adherents. Christianity represents about a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. Christianity is the state religion of several countries. Among all Christians, 37.5% live in the Americas, 25.7% live in Europe..."

    Obviously, the issue is not lack of numbers but lack of internal fortitude. All your despair-talk about getting fed to the lions for a cause you can't win reflects this lack of fortitude, not the inherent hopelessness of the cause.

    "why would someone choose not to act when they know that their plane has been taken over by violent hijackers?"

    The answer was not fear but the belief, derived from countless previous hijackings, that the hijackers would eventually let everyone go unharmed if they sat still and behaved. The people on the last flight fought because they had learned, from their cell phones, that the other hijacked planes had crashed, and thus they had positive proof that the hijackers were not going to let them go unharmed. Nothing to lose by fighting in that case.

    To pursue that probably shaky analogy, today most Christians in the West believe that PC culture is going to "let them go unharmed" and thus the wise course is to behave. This belief is not yet demonstrably false enough to a sufficient number of people to provoke a "fourth flight" uprising.

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