Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Attitude to extra-marital sex: a single Litmus Test to distinguish the Religious-Right, the Left and Neo-Reactionaries

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1. The Religious Right believe that sex should be confined to marriage.

2. The Left believe that sex should not be confined to marriage.

3. Neo-Reactionaries believe that sex should be confined to marriage for women; but not for men.

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19 comments:

  1. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    I'd add that many feminists feel that sex should be confined to marriage for men, but not for women. I think part of the neo-reactionary movement is a reaction to feminism.

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  2. One of the things which always strikes me in terms of extra-marital sex, (and especially adultery), is that while many on the religious right condemn it, some not insignificant percentage of them also indulge in this guilty pleasure, (if there is a positive correlation between adultery and divorce.)

    While I have not found a credible study, (after a brief search), that tracks adultery between the Religious Right and others, I did find one that looks at divorce. (Assuming a positive correlation between adultery and divorce, one can probably reasonably infer that the divorce stats will be fairly representative of adultery stats.)

    see http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

    The results may surprise.

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  3. I think one of the hardest things for men is the simple fact that their own virginity is a turn off to women. Yes, if you are otherwise very desirable its not a problem. Tim Tebow can be a virgin. However, if you are kind of a marginal average guy being a virgin isn't really a selling point. This perhaps wasn't a problem when people married young, but when the average religious person isn't marrying until their mid to late 20s its a problem.

    A common thing you will see in the church is that the women feel they should like the men who kept their virginity, but just aren't turned on by them. They might not want a straight up player, I feel they are generally better on that front, but they want someone with a little experience.

    So a lot of men, even if they want marriage and family, will feel pressured to get sexual experience. This is the opposite of the incentive structure for women. It's one of the reasons I find marriage and family an insufficient motivation to maintain virginity, as it was my main motivation as a secular and I still slept around figuring it was the best path to marriage. You need to actually believe your virginity is part of keeping your vow to Christ, even if it might hinder your efforts to start a family.

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  4. @NF - the results may surprise - but they are wrong, aren't they. Obviously! Surely you know this?

    Just because somebody (of unknown competence and honesty) says they have done a poll which they say shows something does not mean there is any obligation to believe them: almost all research is either incompetent or dishonest. I am under no obligation to waste my time in unearthing in what way this bunch of clowns have messed-up or manipulated the data.

    As I say all research must be regarded as false unless proven otherwise - that is how science has always worked - real science, I mean.

    The *only* research that matters to me is the small amount done by people who I judge to be honest and competent - and that research shows that among people with strong traditional Jewish/ Christian/ Mormon beliefs - marriage age, marriage rates, family size, marriage stability etc is in exactly the direction you would expect from the religious ideals - and the more devout the group, the bigger the difference from average.

    But bad things are still much too high (as would be expected in our society).

    And of course there are repented lapses, and there is hypocrisy - but hypocrisy is much, much better than openly arguing and propagandizing and changing rules and laws and lying to promote sin; then saying that sin isn't really sin after all but actually admirable - and the *real* sin is 'intolerance', judgmentalism and hypocrisy...

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  5. @asdf - We live in a corrupt society with perverse incentives - the worst in this respect that ever has been - what can I say?

    Obviously the sexual situation is *never*, in any respect, *symmetrical* between men and women - we are different, so how could it be?

    For an average man to remain a virgin is not difficult, and having sex requires some effort; whereas a woman only has to say yes. So being a male virgin is not an achievement in and of itself, in the same way that being a female virgin is.

    As part of the human condition, men have to prove themselves: as Robert Graves said: Man does. Woman is.

    But none of these are serious problems - this isn't rocket science; monogamous marriage is something that almost everybody who wanted it managed to do only a couple of generations ago. A tremendous amount of effort from the ruling elites over many decades has gone into destroying marriage - and they have been very successful indeed.

    But lets keep things in perspective - a society based on marriage isn't some kind of wild futuristic highly-improbable speculation IF society is organized properly (which requires a society based on religion, obviously).

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  6. "monogamous marriage is something that almost everybody who wanted it managed to do only a couple of generations ago."

    A couple of generations ago was a very different world.

    My main point is simply that if you make marriage the overriding point of life this can be in contradiction of the vow of virginity. It does not take much to think of a scenario where losing your virginity would make you more likely to get married. If marriage is the whole point, if not getting married makes you lesser, then you are going to give into that pressure.

    It should be obvious that God doesn't designate us all for marriage. If you make it the overriding good, such that not getting married is seen as a failure, then the vow of virginity is going to be difficult for men. There needs to be a dignity it maintaining the vow of virginity even if it doesn't lead to marriage.

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  7. @asdf

    I don't get what you are driving at.

    " the vow of virginity is going to be difficult for men."

    No, it is more difficult for women.

    But maybe you are talking about some kind of monasticism? I think this would be a good idea - but if people wait for church leaders to organize it, they will die waiting - it would have to be 'bottom-up':

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/protestant-monks-christian-communal.html

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  8. *I think one of the hardest things for men is the simple fact that their own virginity is a turn off to women.*

    In a functioning social setting, the women don't *know* which men are virgins until they have reached the 'true confessions' stage of their relationship, by which time it probably doesn't matter anyhow. Because confessing to unchastity is too shameful to be done casually.

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  9. I see your point that all a woman has to do is say “yes” so virginity is more difficult for them in this regard. But at the same time, men have much stronger sex drives. So in some ways, virginity is more difficult for men.

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  10. @BB - It is a very modern concept of 'difficult' to say that men have more difficulty remaining virgins!

    The reason men have stronger sex drives is precisely because it is so much more likely that they will never have sex.

    In most societies it is only men who are virgins. And there are always a higher proportion of unmarried men than women over the long run - except in our modern lunatic asylum.

    In some agrarian societies there are quite a large number of men who never have sex with a woman; not usually by choice but because no woman will have anything to do with them, and they cannot afford to buy sex - George Orwell remarked that this was the usual situation for tramps (in Down and Out in Paris and London) - except perhaps for the same kind of substituted homosexual acts which may emerge in all male prison, ships at sea, boarding schools etc.

    The point is that in a traditional Christian system it is an advantage - in terms of marriage - for a man to be a virgin, but not as important as it is for the woman. Indeed, a woman 'merely' needs to be young, healthy and a virgin to be desirable.

    But a man is in a status competition with his own sex, and the men of highest status will be the most marriageable.

    Also, don't forget that in almost all societies, the woman's parents have a significant role in choosing the man.

    In other words, human sexual preferences evolved in the setting of arranged marriage - where parents chose their daughters' husbands - to a significant degree, at least.

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/parental-choice-determines-mating.html

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  11. One of the few benefits of advancing age is the luxury of having sex not matter any more. How pleasant to prefer sushi over chasing women and all their attendant neuroses.
    Still, the species does not consist purely of superannuated specimens, and so the age-old problems continue.
    I can say, though, that having those problems be somebody else's problems, suits me just fine.

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  12. One of the things which always strikes me in terms of extra-marital sex, (and especially adultery), is that while many on the religious right condemn it, some not insignificant percentage of them also indulge in this guilty pleasure,

    One of the things that always strikes me is how foolish it is that atheists think this is some kind of important or surprising revelation. The "hypocrisy" criticism is basically the least convincing argument ever. The entire point of Christianity is that everyone sins - of *course* we should expect to see that Christians sin too.

    And then you have the fact that of *course* Satan wants specifically to target the believers; of *course* sins of the flesh are (for some people) easy to fall prey to if one has a spent a lifetime fighting them and finally can't take it anymore...

    It all adds up to evidence in Christianity's favour as far as I'm concerned.

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  13. The third position is of course incoherent, since every time a man has sex with a woman he's not married to, a woman also has sex with a man she's not married to.

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  14. @WmJas - Yes it is incoherent. Nonetheless, I infer that is what they believe.

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  15. Healthy sexual relations being the essential root of life -> family -> community -> civilization, it must be attacked in every way possible. It is root of the tree, and evil has been gnawing away for a while. Like stated previously, there is no compromise. There is either a healthy behavior or not. The reactionary right promoting unproductive sexual relationships is unhealthy and leftist, not a compromise, or even part-way to a good situation.

    So now all young girls (11 years old), regardless of family situation, are required by law in many US states to receive HPV vaccines with known side-effects, like auto-immune disorders and death, so that society can continue to promote harmful behavior to pre-pubescent girls. I guess so we can enable "equality" because it's not fair that some women who act whore-like have higher incidents of cervical cancer, while women who do not act whore-like get to avoid disease and damage.

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  16. Nicholas Fulford has left a new comment on your post "Attitude to extra-marital sex: a single Litmus Tes...":

    One of the things which always strikes me in terms of extra-marital sex, (and especially adultery), is that while many on the religious right condemn it, some not insignificant percentage of them also indulge in this guilty pleasure, - NF

    To which Samson J replied:
    One of the things that always strikes me is how foolish it is that atheists think this is some kind of important or surprising revelation. The "hypocrisy" criticism is basically the least convincing argument ever. The entire point of Christianity is that everyone sins - of *course* we should expect to see that Christians sin too.

    My statement is that if the act of being against extra-marital sex has any value, it should result in a lower incidence of it amongst the group espousing it.

    I can be for or against a lot of things, but the proof is shown by whether it changes behaviour, and the statistics (from the Barna Research Group), don't bear out the assertion. Feel free to look for national census statistics or other credible sources if you don't like this groups results.

    Samson J went on to say:
    And then you have the fact that of *course* Satan wants specifically to target the believers; of *course* sins of the flesh are (for some people) easy to fall prey to if one has a spent a lifetime fighting them and finally can't take it anymore...

    That is a bit of a Straw Man argument, and a Red Herring. First the assumption has to be made that Satan exists, and that Satan targets believers more than non-believers in the matter of "sins of the flesh".

    Both are assumptions, neither proven.

    My argument is simply that the attitude towards extra-marital sex should be reflected in such things as lower divorce rates amongst the religious. In a repressive society ... there would very likely be a positive correlation, because of the extreme penalties that are applied to people who engage in extra-marital sexual relations.

    My question of course is: Would you want to live in a society that so strenuously dealt with the issues of fornication and adultery? Do you think such strong social sanction is a good thing? (And maybe phrasing the question that way would be a litmus test.) I for one am very happy to live in a tolerant society, as my pink-monkey hide would have been stoned or burned at the stake a long time ago in a place with [repressive] social norms...

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  17. @G - "Like stated previously, there is no compromise."

    That is the thing. It seems that there is no stable ground between running things on the basis of sex within traditional marriage, and a slippery slope running down to evil exploitative chaos enforced as law by the state.

    This is one of those tough decisions, with no cheery compromise (although of course mercy and compassion should accompany all enforcement - qualities lacking from Leftist politically correct enforcement for the sexual revolution - one taboo breaking non-PC phrase can spell utter ruin for anyone from the top to the bottom).

    The neo-reactionaries speak about traditional marriage as if that is what they wanted - but what I *hear* is men who want to take advantage of the sexual revolution; and would not give it up for a social system based on sex only within one faithful monogamous marriage.

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  18. First the assumption has to be made that Satan exists

    If you don't see Satan's handiwork all around you, you gotta open up your eyes. You're otherwise uninteresting, son.

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  19. What neo-reactionaries want is the double-standard that you see in most traditional but pagan societies. I wouldn't be surprised if this really does reflect something of human nature. But our nature is fallen and we can't use it to ground our moral reasoning.

    There is probably some truth in what you say about traditional agrarian societies, at least in some parts of the world. But I want to point out that, while we often treat Christian and traditional as synonymous terms, and while from the point of view of the modern West that is accurate, nevertheless in many important ways Christianity is anti-traditional, if we give tradition a broader meaning. From the point of view of pagan tradition in Greece and Rome, for example, Christianity was revolutionary, not traditional. It taught, for example, that pre-marital chastity was necessary for both sexes, and that homosexuality was immoral. Both of these were strange and new ideas to the Greeks.

    The Leftist and the Christian views, as you outline them, are both reactions against the natural order: the Left wants to make man even lower than he is by nature, and the Church wants to raise him up from it.

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