I realised I needed to clarify and substantiate my thoughts, so I have been working hard on a book, which I intend to self-publish. I've been putting all 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
I wrote this while I was writing The Amoral Society (the first post on this blog) a few months ago. It’s a little too purple for that type of article, so I took it out and replaced it with a more unemotional cultural analysis. Nevertheless, it provides an insight into how I came to believe that there’s a problem with contemporary morality (i.e., leftism). It’s mostly a recollection of my experiences approximately ten years ago, so there’s a risk some of it is constructed post hoc to fit a narrative, but I think it’s mostly accurate.
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
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
My view, which I will explain in future blog posts, is that the dominant contemporary belief system, leftism, is false, and that it is being forced on contemporary Western society with potentially disastrous consequences if left unchallenged. There is urgent need for a full-blown challenge of leftism, not just of leftist extremists and their views, but of the core beliefs in leftism. This challenge, I believe, must come from science.
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
IntroductionIn 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?