Friday, 15 April 2016

Traditional Morals

The Demise of Traditional Morals

Last week I introduced the idea that national or community moral values evolved by a trial and error process to be functional and to enable that society to function. I also put in my Christian bit that human nature was always at work corrupting everything but that as much as people would let him, God helped people make things better.

So the crunch is, as Hayek maintained: destroy its traditional morals and you destroy the society.

So let us examine my little bit of the West: the South Eastern part of Australia. What has been happening during my 67 years. In particular what has been the effect of some of the “-ism”s.

1. Feminism.

There was certainly inequality, but not on the scale today's feminists claim.

For instance my mother didn't work, but she didn't have to – my father even as a low tanking Air Force officer could support a family. Indeed middle class mothers not having to work was a cultural thing that had the good aspect of children getting lots of parent time. It is not accurate to portray it as “wicked” discrimination against women. Of course by the time the situation was changing, as it did in the '60's there were inevitable tensions between the old ways and the new which undoubtedly did include discrimination.

When my brother married – about 1966 – his wife was expected to resign her job. Just a few years later my sister became a junior partner in an established law firm – but some people did comment “how modern of them taking on a woman!”. On the other hand by the early 70's when my wife graduated as a doctor, nearly half her year were women.

I will hazard a guess that the rapid social changes in these decades were largely technology driven, and the redefinition of women's roles was more a by-product of that than feminists realise. Dare I say it, but this might even be an example of social mores evolving to adapt to a changed environment! But granted, in this evolving mileau some feminist activism may have been a necessity.

But there is a down side to modern militant feminism. They are even being denounced for it by their older sisters. It is the anti-men thing. We are all humans. That is the real dichotomy. To try to cast one gender as “bad” is pretty silly. Both contain people who are good, who are bad and who are in between.

affirmative action” is still discrimination. Feminists say women were discriminated against in male dominated workplaces. Maybe, but to nothing like the extent that men are now discriminated against in female dominated workplaces! Girls may have been disadvantaged in the way schools operated. But not to the extent the boys are now disadvantaged in the new female-friendly curriculum and assessment models.

Family life: I really feel for young couples trying to raise a family with both parents having careers. We used to heap scorn on the Soviet workers trooping off to the factory and depositing their children in the factory child care centre. We've done worse: there is no childcare at the workplace, parents have to find their own, sometimes driving a marathon circuit to childcare, kindergarten, then workplace.

But the most seriously dysfunctional side to feminism has been its promotion of abortion. Think about it: in what way is creating a social acceptance, even an expectation for women to kill their babies a “good” outcome for women?

2. Pacifism

When I was at school, it was fresh in everyone's minds that but for the bravery of out troops we would all be slaves of the Japanese. In high school I could wear my cadet uniform safely on the train and indeed get get positive comments on my community service attitude. Nowadays the opposite is true. Whether it started because of Vietnam, or just concurrently with Vietnam I do not know. What I do know is that there has been a complete reversal of attitude in the media and a big slab of the society. Service men and women are now forbidden to wear uniform on public transport – for their own protection. A whole “violence is bad” ethic has crept in.

As I write the Catholic Church is convening a conference in Rome to debate whether their 1,600 year old doctrine of a “just war” should be scrapped.

The whole movement is understandable but terminally dysfunctional

Understandable because we see that war is terrible: yes it is.
Understandable because we see criminal violence as terrible: yes it is

We live in a world where there is evil as well as good. Warmongers like Hitler and Hirohito and all their henchmen were evil when they started their respective wars. No doubt about it! That evil had to be opposed. That evil had to be stopped. There was only one way to do it: force. This is what the Allied armies did, and the world was a better place for their heroism and sacrifice.

Until Jesus returns and the world ends there will arise evil people who can only be stopped by killing them. Sure in heaven “they will beat their swords into ploughshares … and study war no more” that will be wonderful. That will be heaven. Here and now we need to love peace but be fully prepared for war.

Similarly with police action. They swear to “serve and protect”. Sometimes to protect the innocent (or even their own lives) they have to kill killers. In traditional morals that necessity was recognised. In today's “new morals” a warped view of “human life” has crept in. “all killing is evil” is the new – socially dysfunctional theme. No, killing the innocent – that is evil. Killing the evildoer to prevent them killing the innocent – that is a virtue. The Biblical teaching is clear, and enshrined in our traditional morals in the West. If we turn that moral precept on its head there will be bad social consequences.

No toy guns: Boys particularly love toy weapons, wrestling and play fighting. In the new morals we want to ban toy weapons and play because “it leads to violence”. This is a simple but incredibly naive mistake. It all starts with the error “all violence is bad”. As discussed above that is wrong: Some violence is evil; some violence is a virtue. It depends when and how the violence is used.

Boys are “hard wired” to be able to protect their families, tribe, country. Yes it's in their genes. Yes it's their “testosterone charged nature”. Feminists should not sneer. They should be thankful that those qualities saved them from the Nazi and Imperial Japanese armies! It is not boys' ability for violence that is the problem; it is the perversion of it that is the problem! If you stop to think about it, a great number of evils are the perversion of something which is in itself good and/or vital.

Boys are by nature equipped to provide and protect. By “the sweat of their brow” and by violent often dangerous action. Just two observations on this:
a) Domestic violence: where instead of using their strength to protect those they should protect, they actually act out their aggression/frustration/or whatever by hurting those people. This is downright evil. It should be treated as a contemptible crime, a total betrayal of their natural obligations (I guess in that way it is for men what abortion is for women!)
b) If young men are geared to do dangerous physical feats to defend their own, in the absence of such threat they need socially acceptable dangerous physical feats to perform. Better they are allowed “extreme sports” and accept some casualties than have them endangering others “hooning” in cars or getting into drunken brawls outside nightclubs!

More nest time

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