Posts Tagged ‘ethics’
I don’t mind that History Channel has given up on history. If you’re just flipping through channels Pawn Stars is probably the best thing on. But I do fault History Channel for stripping ancient people of their achievements like cheap sci-fi grave robbers and encouraging people to believe what’s fun rather than what has evidence. The whole premise of the show is “Humans are too stupid to build anything of value”, but the only good argument for this is made unintentionally, through the existence of the show itself.
In the one episode I watched, a plumbing company’s CEO uses a fake name to attempt entry-level work at his own company. After realizing how difficult life is for his underlings, he grants a few of them privileges (healthcare for one employee’s autistic son, a promise not to outsource his factory’s workers) that in a decent society would be entitlements. This program teaches that cross-class understanding, historically the least effective means of obtaining justice, is the only way.
(I’m also uncomfortable with A Christmas Carol.)
America’s Funniest Home Videos
If you were a dictator who wanted to deaden the empathy of your subjects, can you imagine a better show than AFHV? This man is hurt! Look! Laugh! You are not him!
What’s with all the enthusiasm for finding a living Anastasia? Do people look at Russia and think, “What they need is more autocracy” ?
Here’s the thing about monarchy: it’s hereditary. If you’re trying to destroy a monarchy, you kill the kids. Is it fucked up? Sure. But it wouldn’t happen if Russia were using elections or sortition or some kind of not-completely-stupid way to choose rulers.
The slogan “Join the right side of history!” assumes at least one of the following:
1) That opponents of same-sex marriage actually know deep down that same-sex marriage should be legal, and just need a bit of prompting.
2) Opponents care more about the judgment of future people than for their current peers, consciences, or God.
3) All historical trends should be supported because the future is always better in every way.
Today one of my senators, Bill Nelson, announced his support for same-sex marriage. But why now? Isn’t it suspicious that he’s only changed his opinions once his old stance became unpopular? Is his change of heart authentic?
I don’t give a shit. What goes on in Bill Nelson’s brain is of no consequence to me until it effects his public behavior. Now, if he had announced his support years earlier, it might have nudged public opinion on the acceptability of same-sex marriage, and that would have been preferable. But a Bill Nelson who just changed his mind is identical to a Bill Nelson who has been secretly supportive for years but too afraid to speak, if what you care about is not a politician’s soul but an increase in freedom and joy.
Social conservatives are naturally inclined to portray evolution as revolution, but they’re substantially correct about same-sex marriage. Rhetoric like “It doesn’t effect your marriage” suggests gay marriage is just a minor legal tweak, when it’s more like one victory in an ongoing gender revolution. I broadly agree with NRO’s Dennis Prager in his response to Republican Jon Huntsman’s recent endorsement of marriage equality:
I believe that the ultimate aim of the LGBT movement and the rest of the cultural Left is nothing less than to end gender distinctions.
It’s obviously a generalization that ignores a lot of gay/trans/feminist infighting, but yes, leftists generally do think most gender distinctions are pointless and poisonous. But these intuitions are so deep that we’re baffled when conservatives say things like:
…the consequences of redefining marriage — asking children if they hope to marry a boy or a girl when they get older, banning religious adoption agencies from placing children first with a married man and woman, denying the importance of both sexes in making families, choosing boys to be high-school prom queens and girls to be high-school prom kings, and much more…
we think, “Do they realize how ridiculous that sounds?” And the answer is no, they don’t, because it isn’t ridiculous to them. Any major change in marriage–and officially declaring that gender is irrelevant is a major change–is a potential threat to the institution. As Jennifer Thieme at the Christian Post puts it:
Gay marriage does not exist as a stand-alone policy issue. Nor is it a conservative issue, because it requires the natural family to be dismantled at the level of public policy. True conservatives support limited government, and they understand that there are other institutions which serve to limit government power. Two of these institutions are the natural family and religion.
There’s truth here. Families, churches, and the state provide overlapping economic goods: healthcare, food, housing and job training. That means a larger state can make traditional family roles less important.
I think gender-role-based nuclear families unfairly task husbands with being sole “providers”and make wives into dependent unpaid laborers, and I’d feel more economically secure getting welfare from a legally accountable bureaucracy that doesn’t get frustrated if I don’t want to have sex or go to church. Same-sex marriage to me is the culmination of decades of feminist work to build relationships on joy rather than economic obligation. But if you like the old model, it’s a nightmare.
When I was in elementary school, we had Valentine’s Day celebrations. And we had to give Valentine’s Day cards to everyone else in the class. The reasoning seems to be: What eight year olds need is a holiday celebrating romantic love! This is weird enough on its own. But then teachers realize: Romantic love often brings a great deal of pain that even many adults cannot handle. At this point, they have three options:
1) Drop it. Realize your passing fancy wasn’t a spark of genius and ignore Valentine’s entirely.
2) “Build character”. This is the philosophy that life is pain, so you might as well pile it on while kids are young. If weird kids don’t realize they’re unloveable at age eight, they might be happy, and that’s liberal PC bullshit.
3) Gut the holiday. Remove the romance and exclusivity but keep the trappings, yielding a hollow shell of forced platonic friendship and inefficient candy distribution. Every one of my elementary school teachers decided this was a good idea.
School is a prison of the surreal.
1) I don’t want to live in a shitbag world of murder, terrorism, and arbitrarily stunted lives. Misogyny is an antihuman malignancy to which feminism is the cure.
2) The feminist critique of masculinity frees me to express the full range of human emotions without fear.
3) Feminism doubles the number of my potential friends and allies. Women are not an alien race I lust after but contemn; they’re people. This makes the world a lot less frightening.