Thursday, May 9, 2013

Prometheus Shrugged

My post Gene Pool Scum provoked some good discussion, and that was what I wanted, although no one could answer the questions I asked.

We now have at our disposal abortion, the birth control pill, condoms, easy divorce, and a society where a woman can make her way unencumbered by male patriarchy.  So why are women less happy?  Why are there still unwanted pregnancies?  Why are there more sexually transmitted diseases?  Why are women pornified and objectified?

No one could explain the explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, and also left unanswered was why in this day and age of the unchained female, young women debase themselves before hooting manboy-apes, sometimes committing suicide over what some chimp said about them on facebook.  Maybe a better question is why the behavior of men towards women has coarsened, or, if you prefer to believe that the coarse behavior always existed, why is it now out in the open?

Jersey pointed out, correctly, that abortions have gone down in recent years.

Shaw observed, correctly, that where people use birth control devices properly, unwanted pregnancies, and specifically teen pregnancies, go down.  And indeed, nation-wide, teen pregnancies are down.

Ducky mentioned the influence of advertising, and I agree with him, only I like to call it what the latin languages call it:  Propaganda.  And it doesn't just come from those evil business owners.  It comes from everywhere.  As I told Jez, everyone, everyone, Everyone! is trying to sell you something.

Jez had the most absract response, which was what I was looking for, since the evidence before us suggests concrete solutions and remedies have not had the desired effect.

Here is the first part of Jez's response:

Is increased liberty likely to result in increased happiness?
Good question.  No.  No more so than getting in a car is likely to result in you ending up where you would really like to go.

Here's the second part of his response:

If we entertain all the above, what then is your recommendation? A more authoritarian society => a more regulatory superego => we can enjoy our unhappiness without the guilt? Is happiness a better political goal than liberty?
Authoritarianism is not the answer, and we have seen the destruction at the outer limits of hedonism.  Happiness without liberty is an accident.  Here is where I am at:

I am a conservative, still relatively young, who is watching my society throw everything overboard with little reflection and almost no evaluation.  Or, as conservative thinker Russell Kirk would put it, we are tearing down fences before finding out why they were built in the first place.

I am a libertarian who is against state-enforce morality, but I am confronted with the strong correlation between economic well-being and behavior/lifestyle choice/personal morality.  It is so strong that many serious scholars take it as a given point of departure for further study and dialog.

With all of our technology, knowledge and freedoms, why is there so much child poverty, divorce, venerial disease, unwanted pregnancies, single-parent homes, depression and unhappiness?

I ponder such questions in the solitude of my mind, and the horrifying idea that... (apologies, I started this post last week, and I can't remember what I was going to say here)

We are guided by "experts."  Sometimes, mostly in the realm of hard sciences, they are undeniably right:  Personal hygiene leads to better health and less disease and sickness.  The problem comes in when we listen to "experts" who really are not, and to compound matters, they have strayed into the arena of conjecture and personal opinion.
We languish under an authoritarian collective--a crowd-sourced self-dictatorship.  I don't know how it started, I don't think anyone oversees it or maintains it.  Knowing what little I know of human nature, I imagine that it is organic and self-regulating.

With freedom comes responsibility.  I have no answers.

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