Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Rise of the Religious Left

A few months ago, a student protest at Claremont McKenna College in California got out of hand. The protestors shut down a scheduled lecture and question-and-answer session titled The War on Police by Heather Mac Donald, a prominent critic of the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to journalists covering the event, protestors blocked the entrances, ordered white male students observing the protest to leave, threatened journalists, and yelled ‘fuck the police’ at campus security officers. To add to all of this, a group of white protestors were observed pushing an elderly white professor while screaming ‘fuck white supremacy’.

Immediately following the protest, College Vice President Peter Uvin issued a statement declaring its methods unacceptable. This was followed by a similar statement by College President Hiram Chodosh. Claremont McKenna later disciplined seven students for their actions.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Why I'm an Amoralist

This is my most recent attempt at an article on morality. My views are still developing.

Introduction: The Transition from Theism to Atheism Was a Framework Transition
Theism was central to human thought from the very beginning of recorded history. From our earliest texts, it’s evident that humans viewed the world through a framework of powerful persons shaping nature to their purposes and requesting specified behaviour in return. Not until the 18th century did this framework begin to come under serious challenge, as a mounting body of scientific evidence offered a plausible alternative for the first time. Since then, theism has gradually declined in popularity in favour of an atheistic framework where nature is described entirely through impersonal physical regularities.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Update

I realised I needed to clarify and substantiate my thoughts. I've been putting my energy into that, rather than writing blog posts.

I've also just started a twitter account: https://twitter.com/safeortrue

Monday, 19 December 2016

Personal Story: How I Came to Have a Problem with Contemporary Morality

This is an article where I recall my experiences realising something was wrong with the culture (my 'red pill' moment).

By the time I realised something was wrong, it was clear to me that it had been building for a while. I had no recollection of feeling anything unusual as a teenager, or even as late as my mid-twenties, so it must have begun sometime after that. Probably soon after, as I had recently turned thirty and it had clearly been building for some time. That was as much as I could narrow it down.
But what was it? Looking back, I could roughly identify four stages of development.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Where Does Leftism Lead?

This is an article I wrote grappling with the underlying foundation of leftism. My views have developed since. Please see a newer and more elaborate article on the subject here: The Rise of the Religious Left.

Leftism holds enormous influence over Western society. Most of our central institutions, from academia to the media to the entertainment industry, are dominated by people who identify as leftist (or an equivalent label such as liberal or progressive). To take one example, a recent US study shows that left-leaning academic psychologists outnumber their right-leaning colleagues by a ratio of 12:1, and that an explosion has occurred over the past 25 years which shows no sign of slowing down.

Given their influence, and since activism seems to be an integral part of leftism, meaning that leftists are typically interested in changing society, this raises an important question: what do they want to change society into?

Saturday, 3 December 2016

We Need to Change Social Science

Here’s a (spaced out for easier reading) passage from my article The Amoral Society, where I say something about how I believe leftism pervades the social sciences:

There are four basic ways in which this takes place.

Morality is neither an external object nor a personal preference, it’s a simplifying framework

I originally posted this on philpapers.org on 27 October. It provides a brief overview of my view on morality.

The central question in meta-ethics, and arguably all of ethics, is the question of what moral statements refer to. Several candidates have been proposed, including Platonic objects, natural objects, commands, and personal preferences. The answer, I suggest, is that it is none of these. Rather, morality is a framework. We see this by looking at common moral terms: ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘justice’, ‘guilt’, ‘responsibility’, ‘blame’, and ‘rights’. These terms all have something in common: they are legal terms. Since morality dates to prehistoric times, it’s easy to see where this could have come from: prehistoric societies observed nature acting in a ‘court-like’ way – for example punishing them for overhunting – and inferred that this was a larger version of their own tribunal processes. Thus, we can define morality as an anthropomorphic framework based on the analogy of a human court, applied to human behaviour and its relation to nature. The framework persisted through human religious history, with various gods being the lawmaker and judge.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Amoral Society

This is a long article I wrote on morality, also put up on philpapers.org. My views have developed a bit since.

Introduction
In the early 1990s a new cultural narrative emerged. It started out in cult movies such as Léon and Nikita, made its way into blockbusters like Kill Bill and Sin City, and then spread to television, music, and even advertising. What distinguishes this narrative is that it centres around men being physically harmed and humiliated by women. As the narrative has evolved, the depiction of physical harm and humiliation has become increasingly celebratory and graphically detailed. Typically, it occurs through the following plot device: The villains are men with well-defined masculine traits, both physical and behavioural, often exaggerated for effect. The heroes are women with well-defined feminine traits. The men start out by harming the women, brutally and unjustifiably, after which the women regroup and set out to revenge themselves, ending with the men being beaten up and humiliated in graphic detail. The plot is typically supported by overt symbolism, alongside music and imagery intended to provoke intense emotional reactions, bordering on overstimulation. The most interesting thing, though, is not the narrative itself, but its producers and viewers. They are almost exclusively men. Why?