Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Michael Novak calls our attention to this attempt by Richard Dawkins to transvalue values. In Dawkins’s world, "sexual jealousy" is reprehensible, while infidelity (and lying about it) isn’t.

My question: Does Dawkins think that people who regard infidelity as a sign of a character flaw should be permitted to vote?

Discussions - 4 Comments

How in the heck is this Darwinian? Should we should praise behavior that results in gene spreading and young raising and all that. From a Darwinian view, the free spirits who negate biological necessity should be marginalized for the good the species. And those free spirits used to be okay with their marginalization...

Questions like these always turn out to be difficult from the perspective of a thorough-going Darwinism since we're supposed to be the product of evolution but also somehow umiquely differentiated from all other species that have preceded us. This means they're caught between a seriously reductionist evolutionary account which maintains theoretical consistency but is simply wrong or the acknowledgment of some human transcendence which seems more intuitive but also liberates us from evolutionary explanation. It never even seems to occur to Dawkins that the psychology behind human jealousy makes a lot of moral sense, with or without reference to biblical sin.

What I found interesting was his admission that while jealousy is natural, i.e., programmed by natural selection, as is the greater male tendency to want more mates, that what is human is to "rise above" this. So, we are to rise above jealousy, which Dawkins knows will unleash the male appetite for variety more than the female, but we are also (I assume) to rise above rigid gender roles and inequality. I would add, that eros as a whole is a "rising above the animal," and that it becomes nonsensical the more it is spread about indiscriminately. That is, Wilt Chamberlin didn't love very many of the 10,000 or whatever number it was he copulated with as distinct persons. I'm guessing he probably didn't have much of a problem with jealousy about most of those either. He loved WOMEN, through womanly beauty, and I would add, he loved VARIETY/FREEDOM. In loving WOMEN without letting himself also feel his naturaly-selected (says Dawkins) desire to have children, know which ones are his, and provide for them, he rose above the natural. Hooray! But he would have also rose above the natural had he married one of them, and been very jealous about her. You see, Dawkins is at the ABC level. He can say nothing about whether it's better to be Wilt Chamberlain, a romantic, a one-woman's man, a celibate ascetic (who could be non-religious, you know), a homo or bi-sexual, since ALL of these rise above the most nature-conforming (again, says Dawkins) example for the male of the polygamous big daddy, who truly loves and is intensely jealous about, each of his three to a couple of dozen wives. He has no basis to say that feminist-influenced "rising above" is better than Wilt Chamberlain "rising above." Those who know tell me his ideas about memes and so forth are very smart in their way, but this is pretty moronic stuff.

This is why Im afraid to send my children off to college. You never know who you'll get...

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