29 January 2014

Errors Compounded

For this reason, those in Christian homeschooling circles often and wisely recommend the use of Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English language. Here is that definition of seduction:
1. The act of seducing or of enticing from the path of duty.

1. Merry; airy; jovial; sportive; frolicksome. It denotes more life and animation than cheerful.
2. Fine; showy; as a gay dress.
3. Inflamed or merry with liquor; intoxicated; a vulgar use of the word in America.

Clearly, this is how everyone uses the word "gay" in 2014.  Oh wait, the meaning and the use of the word have changed since 1828.  Could it also be the case that other words have changed meanings, connotations and usage?  Probably not, since English is a static language, which is why scientists and physicians are so fond of choosing English words when they need words that have static, unchanging definitions…

My bad, I accidentally confused English with Koine Greek and Latin.  Turns out English is actually a rather dynamic language which is precisely why people in professions that need static definitions tend to turn to dead languages for their jargon’s neologisms.

More to the point this again speaks to Cane’s newly acquired bad habit of defeating straw men.  My point in citing a dictionary definition wasn’t a lengthy discourse on etymology (since the very definition of etymology is studying how words have changed meanings throughout the history of their usage) but rather to point out that most people who discuss seduction on this corner of the web, particularly the Christian Game writers, generally view seduction as an amoral tool/process.  This general understanding of amorality is reflected in the definition I cited.  Tracing the history of the word is quite irrelevant because this isn’t the past.

Furthermore, if one is going to rebut an argument or assertion, as Cane ineptly tried to do with Vox, one’s rebuttal has to use the terms of the affirmative. (If this sentence makes no sense, it’s probably wise to take some time to study formal logic and formal debating.)  Cane clearly did not use the terms of the affirmative because he added words that were not found in the original definition provided by Vox.  In the colloquial terminology of formal debate, this is known as building a straw man.  Every argument that proceeds from a straw man assertion is invalid because it is irrelevant.  Quibbling over words and arguing etymology in rebuttal is likewise irrelevant, from the standpoint of formal logic, because the definitions (i.e. terms) are already provided.

If Cane wishes to rebut the assertion that, “Game–in it’s [sic] broadest sense–is about looking at men who have found success in the world, calling that worldly success good, and then imitating it to the point that these habits of worldly success are internalized and then realized,” he must first find someone who makes that assertion.  Thus far I can only think of one person that has made that assertion, and that is Cane himself.  Thus, Cane is really only arguing with himself.

27 January 2014

Don’t Trust Statistics

The joke’s on a generation of human-sexuality researchers: Adolescent “pranksters” responding to the widely cited National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the mid-1990s may have faked “nonheterosexuality.”
Preliminary results from the landmark study – known as “Add Health” – stunned researchers, parents and educators alike, recalls Cornell’s Ritch C. Savin-Williams, professor of human development: “How could it be that 5 to 7 percent of our youth were homosexual or bisexual!” Previous estimates of homosexuality and bisexuality among high schoolers had been around 1 percent.
So imagine the surprise and confusion when subsequent revisits to the same research subjects found more than 70 percent of the self-reported adolescent nonheterosexuals had somehow gone “straight” as older teens and young adults.
“We should have known something was amiss,” says Savin-Williams.  “One clue was that most of the kids who first claimed to have artificial limbs (in the physical-health assessment) miraculously regrew arms and legs when researchers came back to interview them.”

Self-reporting on sex is clearly faulty.  Self-reporting on drugs probably isn’t much more reliable.  I’m speaking from experience on this one, as I recall being given a drug questionnaire to fill out when I was a junior in high school.  According to the survey I filled out, I was a daily habitual user of all narcotics except for marijuana, which I was allergic to.  Of course, I never did any drugs in high school (I was so much of a square that I didn’t even give tobacco a try until I was nearly twenty, and I didn’t start drinking until last year), but that didn’t stop me from skewing results in the most hilarious ways I could think of.  Most of the other guys in my class filled their forms out like I did.  The only guys who didn’t claim massive drug use were, ironically, the actual drug addicts, as they thought the government would track them down based on their results.

At any rate, any statistics based on self-reported surveys is probably suspect, if said survey is asking questions about sex, drugs, or any other subject ripe for humor.

The Errors Among Cane

I like Cane Caldo; he always makes for an interesting read.  He also provides a lot of blog fodder, which is also a bonus, and brings us to this post:

Recently I’ve been told again that I have an improper understanding of Game; that my definition is not great because I put a great deal of focus both on the word and on the concept of seduction; which is enticement towards evil. It is stated, implied, and assumed that therefore I don’t understand what Game means, or what it is; that if I actually understood Game, or if I actually understood its application that I’d be able to–as a Christian–understand that it’s a matter of seducing the right woman into marriage. Not convincing (that’s something losers do), but getting a woman to like a man so much that she wants to have his babies, and that continuance of this seduction will lead to a happy wife happy life (enjoying her life, and happy do his bidding) scenario.

Let’s start with consulting the dictionary.  Merriam-Webster’s defines seduction as, “the act of seducing; especially:  the enticement of a person to sexual intercourse; something that seduces; something that attracts or charms.”  Astute readers will note that this definition of seduction makes absolutely no assertion towards the morality of its ends.  Seducing a woman for sex can be good (like getting your wife into bed) or it can be bad (like getting someone else’s wife into bed), but there is nothing intrinsic to seduction that makes it good or bad.  So, Cane’s understanding of seduction is not great because he apparently doesn’t even know what the word “seduction” even means.

To be fair: Pro-Game folks hate that phrase. They’d much rather turn it around and say that Game stops  a wife from being unhappy and from the man having an unhappy life. Damned if I can see the difference.

Since Paul says, at least regarding sex, that, “the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does…” and that husbands and wives should, “not deprive one another except with consent for a time…” perhaps it might be wise to step back and consider whether men can use Game as a tool to make sure their wives are happy (if you know what I and the apostle Paul mean).  What women find sexually satisfying is different from what men find sexually satisfying.  Game, as a tool of seduction, helps to illuminate the differences and explain how to make a woman happy in bed.  Since men are commanded to not deprive their wives, and since wives have authority over their husband’s body when it comes to sex, men have a God-mandated obligation to do their best to satisfy their wives sexually.  If Game (or seduction) is necessary to that end, so be it.  Also, get over yourself.

It’s also said–particularly by those of the Vox Day Alpha Game Plan persuasion–that an understanding of Game unlocks the secrets of a contented existence; not just in marital or sexual relations but across the human experience. In other words, it would open one’s eyes to the various things that the Neoreactionary and Dark Enlightenment folks have been going on about. With that in mind, let’s look at his definition of Game; written in response to my very first post in the Men’s Sphere, and hosted by my friend Dalrock.
Vox Day: A much better definition of Game is this: the conscious attempt to observe and understand successful natural behaviors and attitudes in order to artificially simulate them.
So, Game–in it’s broadest sense–is about looking at men who have found success in the world, calling that worldly success good, and then imitating it to the point that these habits of worldly success are internalized and then realized. [Minor formatting changes for clarity—ed.]

As Vox points out, Cane’s assertion is false.  Vox, and most others who write on the subject, view Game as amoral.  While Vox notes that Game is successful to achieving its ends, he never has claimed that Game is intrinsically good. In logic, this is known as building a straw man.  In the Old Testament, this would be called bearing false witness.  Cane is simply being dishonest, and conclusions drawn from this dishonesty are invalid.

Now the first thing to accept if we accept Vox’s idea is that Christ failed at this. He was literally born in a barn (the very phrase we throw at those who have no civilization whatsoever) and slept where animals eat; symbolically, He was food for the stupidest animals, and not only animals, but the animals who are too stupid to remain wild. This all happens under suspicious circumstances, born to probably a teenage mother and a father who was not His biological father; without schooling, without wealth; indeed without ANY of the trappings that we consider worldly success. When He grew up He quit His job, and took up bumming around to tell a tiny beat-down nation of sell-outs, sheepherders, ragamuffins, and whores who cut on their sons’ genitals about a God they did not know.
At first, He got some followers; quite a lot of them. Then those throngs dwindled down to a mere 72, and then to 12 disciples; salt of the earth crackpots the lot of them. Eventually, each of those 12 would desert Him, and Jesus would be hung on the cross for (a whole lot of) something He didn’t do. After his death, the only one’s who gave a hoot about Him was a handful of spinsters. Pathetic.

This is some really impressive argumentation as it is both unsound and invalid, and quite irrelevant to boot.  In the first place, Cane’s recounting of Christ’s life is simply wrong on a host of details.  The assertion about Mary’s age is unprovable and speculation is unjustified.  There is no indication that he was unschooled; rather, his ability to read from the law would prove that he had some education.  His lack of massive wealth was deliberate, but even with that he and his apostles were still given money.  He also didn’t “bum around,” as he was on a mission.  As for his followers, he was pretty much able to attract a large crowd.  During his last week on earth, his arrival to the capital city of his nation was greeted with massive crowds praising his name (for the numerically-challenged Cane, “multitude” is greater than 12).  Jesus hung on a cross because the political leaders of his day were afraid he would usurp them. Immediately after his death, his tomb was visited by not only some spinsters, but a few of his apostles as well.  Forty days after his death, at least three thousand souls were baptized in his name and became his disciples.  Trying to pretend that Christ was some unsuccessful schmuck who just stumbled through life only to have his name lost in the annals of history is simply such a dishonest portrait of the man that perhaps only Satan himself would be brazen enough to tell such a lie.

Quite simply, Christ had and has a following that every man seeking power would kill for.  Christ was successful at getting people following him, even in the two millennia after his death, that corrupt power-seeking men have found it easier to corrupt Christianity instead of combatting it.  Christ’s kingdom is global and transcend ethnicity, sex, status, nationality, and a host of other divisive markers.  People only continue to attack it precisely because it is such a massive and successful kingdom.  People only continue to try to corrupt it precisely because it is so massive and successful.  Even the most intractable atheist, when pressed, will concede that CHRISTiantity is the most successful human movement in all of history.  So, when Cane says that Christ failed at being successful, even on the world’s terms, he is simply full of shit.  Christ is the most successful man to ever live, on his own terms, on God’s terms, and even on the world’s terms.

Clearly, the premises of Cane’s arguments are wrong, making his argument unsound.  Since, however, his argument is predicated on a false assertion, his argument is also irrelevant.  Thus, Cane fails to defeat a straw man of his own making.  That’s some logical ineptitude right there.

I’m not the first to see this contrast between the story of Christ and the stories of worldly success, but I just wanted to lay it out very clear. Should any of my readers have the bad habit of thinking of themselves as conservative, reactionary, neoreactionary, traditionalist, etc. this old Chesterton chestnut should be right up your alley:
If the Jews had answered that question wrongly they might have lost all their after influence in human history. They might have sunk even down to the level of modern well educated society. For when once people have begun to believe that prosperity is the reward of virtue their next calamity is obvious. If prosperity is regarded as the reward of virtue it will be regarded as the symptom of virtue. Men will leave off the heavy task of making good men successful. They will adopt the easier task of making out successful men good. This, which has happened throughout modern commerce and journalism, is the ultimate Nemesis of the wicked optimism of the comforters of Job. If the Jews could be saved from it, the Book of Job saved them. The Book of Job is chiefly remarkable, as I have insisted throughout, for the fact that it does not end in a way that is conventionally satisfactory. Job is not told that his misfortunes were due to his sins or a part of any plan for his improvement.
But in the prologue we see Job tormented not because he was the worst of men, but because he was the best. It is the lesson of the whole work that man is most comforted by paradoxes. Here is the very darkest and strangest of the paradoxes; and it is by all human testimony the most reassuring. I need not suggest what a high and strange history awaited this paradox of the best man in the worst fortune. I need not say that in the freest and most philosophical sense there is one Old Testament figure who is truly a type; or say what is prefigured in the wounds of Job. [Formatting changed for clarity—ed.]

I like Chesterton, but quoting him is simply an appeal to authority.  Since Chesterton was not infallible (though he was wise), it behooves readers to take this appeal with a grain of salt, especially since there’s a reason why people equate success with virtue.

Next time you’re chuckling at Heartiste’s Beta of the Month entry: Chew on that. Whom did God imitate–what kind of man did God assume–when He came to Earth, and what does that tell you about what He believes success to be, and who should be called good?

I don’t exactly what kind of man God assumed when he came to earth, but I doubt it bore a strong resemblance to John Scalzi.  Or to the dude celebrating his divorce (which God kind of hates, you know).  Enough with the question-begging.

If God is the god who made families, and if the Bible tells us about how both are ordered: Why isn’t courtship and marriage the topic of discussion for family formation? Why are we instead discussing how to seduce properly; how to seduce the right woman? Why are we encouraging and women to marry the men to whom they have the most exciting physical response? Even if they try to mitigate it by looking for good provider traits–what the Hell kind of temptation is that to set? The whole idea of checking for sexual response first is perverse, and not in keeping with the tradition or what is assumed in the Bible.

This is all simply begging the question.  Where in the bible is courtship commanded for family formation?  Where does the Bible forbid any and all forms seduction?  Who, exactly, is encouraging women to marry men to whom they have the most exciting physical response?

Also, the assertion that, “The whole idea of checking for sexual response first is perverse, and not in keeping with the tradition or what is assumed in the Bible” is dubious.  The reason why men and women check for sexual response first is because this is the easiest thing to check for.  The costs of knowledge acquisition are lower for attraction than for character.

I’m intent on marrying a woman is good, submissive and pretty.  These three traits are non-negotiable, and prettiness is the easy to check for.  I’m not going to marry someone who is good, submissive and ugly, so if I see an ugly chick, I’m not going to spend any more time trying to find out if she’s submissive or good because she’s already disqualified.  Now, this doesn’t mean that looks are the most important concern of the three (they aren’t), nor does this mean that a woman’s submissiveness and goodness are of no concern (they aren’t), it simply means that it’s easier to qualify looks than character.  This isn’t wrong or unholy, it’s simply reality and bitching bout it won’t change it or make it wrong.

Furthermore, neither traditions nor assumptions are a valid basis for morality.  This doesn’t mean that one should ignore them, but it also doesn’t mean that they are correct or infallible.  Another logic fail.

None of this has anything to do with those things a man will, should, and can do with his bride once he has one. Can you slap her on the butt? Yes. Can you tease her? Can it be good for her to have some dread instilled in her by someone who loves her? Yes. What we’ve lost is the archaic definition of the word husbandry; as in the craft of husbands, and we lost the definition when we laid aside the wisdom. Gentile (non-Christian) wisdom for getting laid is not the way to go about getting it back.

So, Cane logic leads to this conclusion:  Game is only useful once you acquire wife, but not a moment before.  Or, to state it more simply, Cane logic is bullshit.

The Language of Seduction

I’ll just go ahead and throw this out there now, but the next link in the chain back is: Why did we stop using matchmakers, betrothal, etc.? This is part of the breakdown; the wrongness. Yet if you say it you’re a quack. By and large, one cannot get Christians to repent back to mere courtship; much less step back to arrangements.
Yet, the Bible generally presents a man choosing his spouse as the thing he does that brings trouble down on his head: Jacob (with Rachel), David, Solomon, Sampson, Pharoah [sic] (with Sarai)…I can’t think of an example of a man picking his spouse and it going well.

Let’s work backwards on this one.

I can’t think of an example of a man picking his spouse and it going well.

From a logical perspective, this is simply an admission of ignorance.  All it proves is that Cane doesn’t know something, which is hardly a surprise.  It naturally begs the question of whether Cane’s ignorance is conclusive of an assertion because of his masterful knowledge or whether it merely speaks to his general ignorance.  Ignorance is usually a safe bet.

Yet, the Bible generally presents a man choosing his spouse as the thing he does that brings trouble down on his head: Jacob (with Rachel), David, Solomon, Sampson, Pharoah (with Sarai)…

And the Bible also presents arranged marriages as bringing down trouble on men’s heads.    David’s marriage with Michal was arranged (or partially arranged, depending on your perspective), and that marriage ended with Michal being banished from David and left alone and childless for criticizing the king.  Isaac’s marriage was arranged, and that led to Rebekah betraying Isaac’s trust and leading to Jacob deceiving his brother and running away from home.  Let’s also not forget the very first arranged marriage (way back in Genesis 2, remember that one, where God designs the perfect helpmeet for Adam and then presents her to him?), which ends with the man and woman being kicked out of the garden.  No trouble there, huh Cane?

If there’s any general tend the Bible presents regarding marriage, it’s that women are often troublesome and generally exploit the weaknesses of man.  Cherry-picking a small selection of anecdotes from the Bible and calling it a trend is a bit of a stretch.  Yes, examples are written for moral instruction, but looking at, say, Samson’s life and concluding that arranged marriages are the bomb is a bit like looking at a car wreck and concluding that riding a horse is safer.  It may be true that horses are a safer form of transportation, but it doesn’t follow that automobiles are absolutely unsafe, and it also ignores the intrinsic tradeoffs that come from choosing one form of transportation over the other.  So, while choosing one’s own wife may often lead to trouble, it doesn’t follow that other forms of wife selection are trouble-free, nor it does it follow that the tradeoffs aren’t worth it, since choices often reflect subjective preferences instead of absolutes.

By and large, one cannot get Christians to repent back to mere courtship; much less step back to arrangements.

Likewise, one cannot get Christians to repent back to riding in horse-drawn wagons, much less to step back to simply walking everywhere.  Again, this is simply comparing subjective preferences for mate selection.  Courtship makes more sense when the one you’re potentially marrying is extremely likely to be a virgin and stay married to you out of fear of facing social ostracism.  You can’t expect anyone to be that serious about courtship and marriage if no one is going to be that concerned about sexual purity and divorce.  The only denominations that have any success with intentional courtship usually tend to be hyper-conservative fundamentalist denominations (e.g. Baptists and Church-Of-Christers) that make a big deal out of fornication, divorce, and adultery.  Trying to go back to courtship without saying a damn thing about divorce is simply intellectual frivolity, and simply has no place in this sort of debate.

In keeping with the above, if most Christians aren’t serious about divorce or fornication, just why the fuck would anyone trust any of them to pick a spouse for them?  An unfortunate number of Christians are fools or worse (as evidenced by the state of their marriages), so why would anyone even begin to assert that they should have any say over someone else’s marriages?  Is compounded foolishness really that desirable?

On a personal note, I would never want my parents to arrange a marriage for me.  Why?  Because I’ve seen their marriage and do not wish to replicate it.  My parents are nice folks and all, and have done a pretty good job raising me (I hope).  However, my dad is a complete nice guy who worships the ground my mom walks on, which has led to an unfortunately large amount of familial friction (in particular, I happened to get disowned as a direct result of my dad being completely pussy-whipped, though this was rescinded once my mom regretted having my dad disown me).  Now, given how backwards their marriage is, what hope could I possibly have that they won’t select a girl who is exactly like my mom, and what hope do I have that they won’t pressure me to do whatever I can to make her happy (i.e. submit to her)?  So, how can it possibly be surprising that most Christians don’t favor courtship or arranged marriages in light of the fact that most Christians are equipped for neither?

I’ll just go ahead and throw this out there now, but the next link in the chain back is: Why did we stop using matchmakers, betrothal, etc.? This is part of the breakdown; the wrongness. Yet if you say it you’re a quack.

Why did we stop using all that?  Probably because, ultimately, it doesn’t matter that much anyway.  If God himself can’t arrange a marriage that doesn’t eventually lead to major trouble (like getting kicked out of the garden), then what hope do mere mortals have?  Perhaps it might be wise to consider the wisdom of Solomon.  Who can find a virtuous wife?  Time and chance happen to them all.”  Perhaps it simply the case that most women aren’t virtuous, and that simple odds suggest that most men won’t be able to snag a virtuous wife.

Now, this doesn’t mean that men can’t marry a woman and mold her into a more virtuous wife, but that is not the same as finding a woman who is already virtuous.  To this end, Game is a very effective tool in making a woman more submissive and obedient to her husband.  A virtuous man might even find a way to make his wife more virtuous by using the tools of dominance and leadership provided by Game.

Unfortunately, Game is nothing but an intrinsically sinful crutch that pussy-ass Christians use because they are too seduced by Satan to know better.  At least that’s the impression I get from reading Cane.  So, if Cane is trying to take the crutch of Game away from those whom he perceives to be as weaker in the faith, how is this materially different from the atheists who wish to strip those who they perceive as weaker humans of their faith in God?

20 January 2014

Category Error

This will probably sound radical, but hear me out: a wife is a wife.  I know that sounds a little strange as a standalone assertion, so let me clarify:  A wife is not a maid.  Also, a wife is not a prostitute.  Now, a wife will have sex with her husband, and she will generally attend to domestic duties, but this doesn’t make her a prostitute or a maid, even though she receives some form of provision from her husband, generally speaking.

This seems rather obvious, I know, but I think it might help to clarify things a little bit further:  You marry a wife; you don’t hire one.  In contrast, you hire a prostitute but you don’t marry one.  You hire a maid but you don’t marry one.

The point I’m trying to make is that any man who is contemplating marriage would do well to first figure out what, exactly, it is he wants from the opposite sex.  If you want a prostitute, hire one.  If you want a maid, hire one.  If you want a wife, marry one.  Don’t treat a wife like a prostitute or maid.  Don’t treat a maid like a prostitute or wife.  Don’t treat a prostitute like a maid or wife.  In short, don’t make a category error.

So, for example, if you marry a woman and she doesn’t have sex with you as often as you’d like and your complaint is that, “I’m paying the bills, the least she can do is have sex with me once in a while,” then I’m sad to report that you’ve unwittingly married a prostitute.  Exchanging sex for resources is the essence of prostitution.  What you’ve implicitly done is shelled out a whole bunch of money for a lifelong contract of sexual exclusivity.  If you promised to treat her like a wife, though, somewhere along the line you’ve committed fraud.  If you were upfront about exchanging resources for sex, though, you have a breach of contract and the initial contract is rendered null and void.  The important thing is that both parties properly understand the contract.

The husband-wife relationship is more complex than the employer-maid relationship, or the john-prostitute relationship.  The husband-wife relationship is about more than sex and service.  Do not forget that when choosing between marrying a woman and merely employing her.

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

The problem with Hymowitz's argument, however, is not one that behavioral economics can solve. Rather, it is an error in applying the H. economicus model. She substitutes for "self-interest" her own normative ideas about male aspiration--for instance, that "a life of shelf stocking" is unworthy.
The real revelation comes in the first paragraph, wherein Hymowitz laments nonelite boys' diminishing "chances . . . of becoming reliable husbands and fathers." To be sure, this columnist is acquainted with any number of men who fit that description, and by and large they report that family life is a source of great happiness. But we can't recall ever hearing such a man describe himself, nor can we imagine one describing himself proudly, as a "reliable" husband or father.
Hymowitz would like men to organize their lives around maximizing their usefulness to women and children. Hey, what woman wouldn't? But in invoking H. economicus, she ends up equating the goal of serving others with individual self-interest--an outright inversion of the latter concept.

Helen Smith states the issue more clearly:

There’s a chapter in Hymowitz’s book about Child-Man in the Promised Land and it’s looking at how men just have so many options and this is why they’re doing what they’re doing. My point in my book is that men are not going to participate in a society that is not going to reward them for that behavior. In other words: if you’re a good father, a good husband, and you do all of the things you’re supposed to do, society still will go after you if you step out of line in any particular way. [Emphasis added.]

Incentives matter.  I don’t dispute that.  Frankly, I favor government policies that give greater familial power to fathers, and I would definitely prefer a family court system that favors fathers over mothers.  I’d like to end no-fault divorce, and I’d like a social system that is generally more pro-male.  I think that best policies for long-term social growth and stability are those that favor men having more control over their families.

That said, I think it helpful to remember what Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. [Matthew 6:2, emphasis added.]
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. [Matthew 6:5, emphasis added.]
Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. [Matthew 6:16, emphasis added.]

When you do what is right and good for the sake of material reward, whatever material reward you receive from your actions is the entirety of your actions.  Furthermore, if your good behavior is solely or predominately predicated on receiving some sort of material reward for your behavior, you are not a good man.  You are instead simply a mercenary.

A good man does what is good and what is right regardless of the incentives.  Obedience to God is not something that God promised would be easy, nor did he say that it would be fashionable or free of negative earthly consequences.  On the contrary, God said that those who would desire to live Godly would suffer persecution, that their path would be difficult, and that they would often face harm.  Clearly, there is often little in the way of material reward for being and doing good.  As such, being good often appears to be an irrational decision because there is little in the way of reward.  Therefore, good men often have to do what is right and good knowing that there is no earthly reward for doing so.  So, while it would be wise to pursue social policies that encourage men to be leaders in their homes and take care of their wives and children—in short, policies that support the traditional family—let’s not delude ourselves that men who will only act good if it is profitable to do so are good men.  They are rational, to be sure, but don’t mistake being rational for being good.

In The Beginning

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” –Genesis 1:27, 28
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” –Genesis 2:15-17
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. –Genesis 2:24

Now, I’m not a trained theologian, but it sounds like God’s basic purpose for man consists of leaving mom and dad, getting married, having children, and working.  It’s too bad MRAs weren’t around back them to explain to God that he just wanted men to “man up” and that this was nothing more than feminism couched in shaming language.  Perhaps God would have gotten it right had he been advised by MRAs, and consequently told Adam to live with his parents, remain single, and live in a virtual reality world instead of working.  That would have prevented an untold number of problems.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”  So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.  And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”  Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” –Genesis 3:9-11
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life…” –Genesis 3:17

Again, I’m not a trained theologian, but it sure does seem like Adam’s sin was shirking his duty as the head of his wife.  It also sounds like God isn’t pleased with Adam heeding his wife.  And it also sounds like Adam is trying to blame his failure on the woman.  Some things just don’t change, do they?

The Manosphere, Then And Now

It used to be, way back in the day, that the manosphere was a place of generally intelligent and insightful commentary on how the world generally works.  I remember a lot of bloggers and commenters talking about the manosphere, and Men’s rights, being a movement. Some of the more grandiose seemed to think that it would take over the world, though I suspect most everyone viewed this particular notion as mere rhetoric.  However, there was a sense in which a lot of bloggers and commenters thought that their movement would eventually have to pick up steam because it was truth.

Now, the manosphere has grown and the movement has picked up steam.  People are flocking towards to truth in droves.  The problem, though, is that a lot of the insightful and intelligent commentary has gone away, and its place are a lot of remarkably stupid pissing contests (just look at the comments sections in the more popular manosphere blogs, especially the Christian ones).  Now the bloggers and commenters are complaining that the movement is turning stupid.

Of course, it was only ever going to happen this way.  A small minority of intelligent men laid the groundwork for an intellectual revolution.  The problem was, though, that if a revolution were to happen, it could only happen if the movement grew in number.  And since the movement was started by an intelligent minority, expansion meant the movement would grow dumber as it grew larger.  It was simply a matter of probability since the moderately intelligent, the average, and the stupid collectively outnumber the highly intelligent.

Thus, there are only two paths forward:  the intelligent regain the leadership, or the stupid continue to take ahold of it.  If the intelligent are to regain the leadership, this will entail demonstrating dominance over the stupid.  To this end, silencing fools by eliminating their forum is more effective than reasoning with them, what with them being fools and all.  Leftists aren’t bright, but they do know how to silence dissent.  It might be wise to take a page out of their books.  If reason doesn’t work, violence—or its closest approximation—will.  Fools are more apt to respond to violence than reason, though reasoned rhetoric can be effective.  While the more intellectual among the ‘sphere are hesitant to use slogans in lieu of reasoned arguments, this is actually fairly effective in dealing with the masses.  Only nerds carry on long arguments, and nerds are nowhere close to high status.*  For proof, watch every election cycle in the last sixteen years.  The debates are jokes, slogans almost exclusively take the place of reasoned arguments, and incisive rhetoric wins more points than long discourses on highly technical policy prescriptions. It’s better to humiliate your opponent with an insightful quip than to try to respond with a long, well-reasoned argument.

If the original leaders are as beta (or, if you prefer, nerdy/loserish) as I suspect most of them are, the stupid will eventually take over the movement and run it mostly into the ground, or at least water down the message to such an extent that the movement can never recover its momentum or popularity.  All the stupid really have to do is show up on the blogs and forums and comment, and be willing to make a spectacle of themselves in the media at some point.  The stupid enjoy being made a spectacle of because they understand how status works in a far more practical way than most of the bloggers who write about it.

I have no dog in this fight, though I do find the fight amusing.  It would, however, be so deliciously ironic—perhaps even fitting—that most of those original bloggers who started writing because they were simply trying to understand women end up getting run out of the movement they started because, in spite of all their intellectual masturbation, they never actually got around to having any practical understanding of human nature in spite of staring it in the face for so long.

The Privilege of Educators

A fascinating story:

A poster asking some Kansas middle school students a sexually provocative question has at least one parent up in arms.
“How do people express their sexual feelings,” the poster asks, before listing “touching each other’s genitals,” “anal sex” and “vaginal intercourse,” among other things.
After seeing the material posted at Hocker Grove Middle School in Shawnee, Kan., Mark Ellis thought it was likely posted by pranksters, WDAF-TV reported. He couldn’t believe school officials would actually expose his 13-year-old daughter to such a question.
However, after calling the school, Ellis learned the poster was teaching material and part of a health and science curriculum.

If most people were to pose these sort of questions to any random thirteen-year-old, they would be arrested on some sort of charge, probably propositioning a minor, maybe soliciting, possibly sexual assault.*  If you’re a teacher, however, and especially a sex-ed teacher, asking these sort of questions of thirteen-year-olds is simply doing your job.  Now, not all teachers or school systems are like this, and this is very much an anecdote.  That said, I think that it’s about time to stop spreading the fairy tale that teachers are wonderful human beings that just wish to help The Children™ realize their full potential in life.

Keep in mind that I was homeschooled and attended public school for the last two years of high school, and keep in mind that my mom, my dad, and my sister work in elementary education, and one of my uncles teaches high school, as does one of my aunts.  I’ve seen both sides of the fence as a student, and I know of the high status and general snobbery that comes from being a teacher; I’ve witnessed it all personally.

What I’ve observed is that there are a good number of honest, hard-working, dedicated teachers.  There are also a lot of completely shitty teachers whose only purpose for teaching is to grind it out for couple of decades and retire with a pension.  There are also a decent number of mediocre teachers who put forth some effort, but ultimately view teaching as more of a job than a career.  What I’ve also observed is that none of these teachers were as effective at teaching me anything as my mother was.  None of them cared as much as her, none of them catered their teaching to me as much as she did, none of them pushed me as much as she did, and none of them gave me as much intellectual freedom as she did.**  This is not a knock against the teachers as much as it is a complaint about the system.  There was simply no way that any teacher could, even if they were so inclined, care as much about me as mom, and do as much for me as mom.  The kicker is that my mom wasn’t really that great at homeschooling.  Somehow, though, she was a damned sight better than any of the teachers I ever had.

Given that most teachers aren’t really that wonderful, and given that they operate in a very terrible system, commending them for their bravery and dedication, for their concern and nobleness, and for their passion and love of teaching (often in spite of their general inability to actually teach) seems downright ludicrous.  A lot of teachers are lazy and some don’t even know what they’re talking about (especially the subs).  Most are not passionate about their jobs.  All my parents and sister ever do is complain about their jobs, which they really hate.  Now that at least one teacher is behaving like a pedophile, maybe we should just call bullshit on this whole charade.

We have many public school teachers, most of whom are completely incompetent (in fairness, a lot of incompetence is more systemic than individual), attempting to teach a very large number of diverse children (who, it must be noted, cannot at all be sorted by cognitive function and ability, thanks to No Child Left Behind), many of whom are only in school because parents view public school more as a free daycare than an institution of learning.  Teachers are glorified babysitters.  Sadly, this state of affairs happens because feminists and their Satanic allies spent years mocking mothers and motherhood, denigrating the second-most important job in the world, turning it into a marker of low status.  Consequently, feminists and their leftists allies have had to try to make education into a high-status career because teachers are effectively substitutes for mothers, and quite poor substitutes at that.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how backward the modern world has become.  The good of motherhood has been labeled as evil and the incompetence of modern schooling has been labeled as good. Perhaps it’s time that we all start mocking the emperor for having no clothes.

* Believe it or not, the legal definition of assault does not necessarily include causing harm.  Rather, it pertains to threatening bodily harm.  In keeping with this, sexual assault can simply mean threatening unwanted sex.  Thus, threatening to rape is assault, while rape is rape, or possibly sexual battery, depending on jurisdiction.

** Going to public school after ten years of being home schooled felt like going to jail to be put in a straitjacket.

18 January 2014

“Well, Police States Are Tough on Crime…”

America has 5 percent of the world’s population but one-fourth of its prisoners. Nearly one-third of Americans are under correctional facilities’ control at a yearly cost of $60 billion. Imprisonment has grown 400 percent over the past twenty years, the great majority for non-violent crimes. And two-thirds of criminals are back in jail for similar crimes three years after they are released.

Well, what else did anyone expect?  When you have a highly advanced culture allowing a considerable number of essentially barbaric cultures, as well as some not-yet-developed cultures, to live within the borders of their country, you have to think that there will be some sort of cultural clash.  Just going from observable reality, how blacks behave is different from how whites behave, and how Asians behave is different from how Hispanics behave.  Toss in some historically violent cultures, like the Somalian culture or the Chechen culture, and you can’t be surprised when mosques and marathons get bombed.

Tyranny is the price of diversity.  One of the main ways to prevent culture clash is to violently stop it in its tracks.  Arresting and imprisoning violent minorities helps keep society somewhat trusting and thus functional.  America is a police state, but that’s really the only way for America to function.  The problem, though, is that a lot of fools want to let a lot of stupid and generally violent people out on the streets because “drug laws violate rights.”  Well, that’s true.  What goes unnoticed is that drug laws are generally easier to prosecute than other laws, and this generally makes it easier to keep the dumb and violent in line.  It’s easier to jail someone for possession with intent than it is to jail someone for assault when the one who is assaulted is too afraid to testify.  Since drug dealers (especially minority dealers) tend to be violent, scary people, the drug war is basically a cheat code for keeping the general peace.

The reason, then, why most white and Asian drug dealers are left unprosecuted is because they aren’t much of a violent threat.  They just want to sell to bored white teenagers and housewives, they probably won’t shoot up a city block to make a point.  Their behavior doesn’t generally erode social trust, which is why they are rarely targets.  The main reason why minorities are nailed with drug crimes is because cops and prosecutors want to nail them with more serious charges but can’t make a case stick.

Now, this is not to say that the system is perfect or above reproach.  However, it is foolish to think that America would be a better place if a lot of dumb, violent people were suddenly free to roam around.  One can say that America is supposed to be the land of the free, and that everyone should have their rights respected.  I agree.  But from a practical standpoint, it is simply ludicrous to think that inviting a large number of uncivilized and not-yet-civilized people to participate in a highly advanced civilization that is based on some rather abstract and arcane philosophies is going to go smoothly.  Thus, if you don’t want tyranny, it would be best to first get rid of diversity.

Give Us A King

“I’ve got a pen,” said President Obama early this week. ”I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions … that move the ball forward.”
“When I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so,” the president added Wednesday at North Carolina State.
Thus did Obama signal that he will bypass Congress and use his executive powers to advance his agenda of national transformation.
This dismissal of Congress has gone almost unprotested. In an earlier age it might have evoked talk of impeachment. But not now.

The cruelest punishment God ever exacted on the Israelites was to give in when they demanded a king.  It was the perfect punishment, really, for the king was generally a reflection of the people.  They blamed him for their problems and praised him for their success.  In reality, there was precious little he actually had control over.  His obedience to God was a blessing; his disobedience a curse, but it was God who blessed and cursed, not the king.  The people and King marched in tandem.  When the king was good, so were the people; when the king was bad, so were the people; when the king was an idolater, so were the people. The king was a reflection of the people and the people were a reflection of the king.

Now America is finally beginning to get its own king.  Perhaps this king will step down at the end of his term and America will elect another king in his stead.  Perhaps he will rule indefinitely.  This king, too, is a reflection of his people.  He has no respect for the rule of law or legal tradition.  He does not respect the republican political process established by the founders; if he cannot get what he wants by the proper process, he will simply force his will on others.  He is selfish, narcissistic, corrupt, dishonest, and a fraud.  In other words, he is America’s most perfect representative.

Give us a king.

The Flawed Brilliance of the Founders

It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials’ accountability.

So what can be done?

A better ameliorative measure would be to reduce the risks of ignorance by reducing government’s consequences — its complexity, centralization and intrusiveness. In the 19th century, voters’ information burdens were much lighter because important federal issues — the expansion of slavery, the disposition of public lands, tariffs, banking, infrastructure spending — were much fewer.

Unfortunately, the system was too clever by half.  While it was wise to assume that minimizing the effects of the voters’ collective ignorance could be accomplished by limiting the size and scope of the federal government, it was foolish to assume that this system could be maintained by the ignorant. If you don’t care about government policy, how are you going to prevent government corruption?  Since corruption generally starts small and builds up over time, if you don’t pay attention at the start and nip it in the bud.

Ultimately, no political system can last forever because man is corrupt, and no system can completely guard against human corruption.  The best way to prevent corruption is not by cleverly devising a political system, but by having loving fathers and mothers raising their children to be honest and good, and passing on these values to each successive generation.  No political system can withstand a corrupt culture, and no political system can cure a corrupt culture.  Corruption starts and stops and at home.

Lying Is A Sin Too

What’s particularly ironic to me in this culture war is that there are many Bible-believing Christian who think homosexuality is a (perverse) choice caused by difficult life events, and acting on this worldview they wag their fingers at gay people and say, “You are violating God’s laws, you’re going to hell.” But this is absurd, since according to their own perspective this will just make things worse, by amplifying feelings of guilt, shame, and fear of social condemnation.
No, the proper thing to do is point out that all of us are violating God’s laws; there is nothing special about gay people in this respect. We are all in desperate need of a Savior, who loves us just as we are and can offer us peace and feelings of acceptance and self-worth that no group of peers or neighbors can possibly provide.

One of the reasons why I’ve ceased to care about the homosexual movement in recent years is simply due to realizing that there are bigger spiritual problems in America.  Now, I don’t approve of homosexual or homosexuality, nor do I think that God’s going to say, “well done” to any of them, but at the same time I don’t think gay marriage will do much damage at all because a) government marital certificates do not a marriage make and b) divorce has done the bulk of the damage already.  At any rate, I think the biggest spiritual problem in America is not homosexuality or even sexual perversions in general, but dishonesty.

Dishonesty is everywhere.  The denial of reality is fundamental in American discourse.  No one will deny equality or feminism in polite company, and few will point out that the American political system is mostly bullshit.  Everyone pays lip service to leftism and the morally devoid philosophy that reigns supreme in this modern age.  Many people claim that don’t believe in any leftist lies, but lip service to them often enough and you just might begin to believe them.  Or justify them as mostly harmless and well-intentioned.

It should come as no surprise that the list of those going to hell, in Revelation 21:8, includes both the sexually immoral and liars.  Condemning one but not the other is wrong and inconsistent with God’s word.  But Christians will only condemn the homos because the homos aren’t in the church, and condemning liars means condemning themselves, since they pay lip service to the lies of this age.

New Wine in Old Wineskins

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins. –Mark 2:22

The awkward Christian man’s sources of information for attracting a wife without game are few unknowns who have plucked the pearls from the vast library of information the degenerates put out and have tried to apply it, but haven’t even found a wife for themselves. [Emphasis added.]

I do believe the phrase “awkward Christian man” is an oxymoron.  A more accurate way of capturing reality would be “awkward churchian male.”  Why?  Because, “God has not given us a spirit of fear.”

Remember Christ’s exhortation to, “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul[, b]ut rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  If Christ tells those who are his followers to not be afraid of death, then just why the fuck should any of them be afraid to talk to women?  Why should they be afraid to be honest with women (or anyone, for that matter)?  If you see a girl at church, think she’s pretty, and want to go out with her, why are you too much of a coward to simply tell her that you think she’s pretty and you want to take her out?  You’re not supposed to fear death, so why would you fear a girl?  Even if she is a succubus, you still shouldn’t fear her.

The early apostles were abused, persecuted, killed, left for dead, tortured, mistreated, slandered, falsely accused, mocked, jailed, and tormented.  Do you think that any of them would piss their robes at the prospect of talking to a grown woman?

The problem that a lot of churchian males have is that they aren’t Christian Men.  They are still ruled by fear because they haven’t yet successfully given themselves over to Christ.  They are trying to put the new wine of fearless Christianity into the old wineskin of fearful living, and unsurprisingly, that formula just doesn’t work.  Something will inevitably have to give.  But once you submit to Christ and decide that you will no longer be ruled by a spirit of fear, talking to girls seems trivially easy.

Now, this is not to say that one doesn’t need to understand tact.  Not all people or situations are the same, and even Christ treated all people as distinct individuals.  How he treated the Samaritan woman was quite different from how he generally treated the Pharisees.  How Paul treated John Mark was different from how he treated Timothy, since the two men were different.  Being fearless doesn’t mean being socially autistic.

That said, it seems the biggest problem that a lot of Church-going males have is that they are still quite ruled by fear.  They can’t look people in the eyes and speak directly to them. They may eventually need to learn some social tact, but for now the bigger problem is fear.

They need to put new wine in a new wineskin.  If they are going to be a Christian, they can’t continue to be cowards.  Once they get rid of their fear, then they can worry about social tact.

13 January 2014

Submission and Faith

This is a post I’ve been contemplating for about eight months.  There’s been a lot for me to think over, and I’ve found it helpful to think about the subject in concrete terms.  To state it more clearly, this work was originally an attempt to understand how Man is supposed to submit to God, but it became easier as time progressed to think in terms of how Woman is supposed to submit to Man.  Submission is submissions, at least in a spiritual sense, so in many ways it simply does not matter whether we are thinking in terms of Man submitting to God or Woman submitting to Man since the nature of submission doesn’t really change from scenario to the other.

I suppose when it comes to thinking about submission and faith or, if you will, obedience and faith, it is first important to distinguish among the two.  It is possible to be faithful and disobedient at the same time, although it should be noted that faithfulness and disobedience, though not the same, do tend to correlate with one another.

To illustrate my assertion, consider the difference between an unfaithful wife and a disobedient wife.  An unfaithful wife has betrayed her vow of fidelity to her husband, whereas a disobedient wife has simply failed to comply with her husband’s commands.  Virtually all women will disobey their husbands at some point, but not all of them will be unfaithful to their husbands.  That is the difference between submission and faith.  However, as noted before, obedience and faithfulness tend to correlate, so it is often the case that an unfaithful wife often tends to be a disobedient wife.

Since submission and faithfulness are not the same, it is important to note the subtle difference between the two.  Submission is simply adherence to an authority.  Submission entails doing what one is told.  Motivation is irrelevant to submission because submission is action oriented.  Submission is obedience, rebellion is disobedience.

Faithfulness is a little trickier.  While actions are important in determining faithfulness, the true test of faith is one’s motivations.  Is one motivated by a complete trust in the authority one is under?  If you are a wife, how much do you trust your husband?  If you are a citizen, how much do you trust your rulers?  If you are an employee, how much do you trust your boss?  If you are a slave, how much do you trust your master?  While submission is binary (either you are submissive or your aren’t), faith is continuous (how much trust do you have?).  As such, it can be tricky to determine whether one has enough faith in someone for a proper relationship. A woman contemplating marriage might thus ask herself if she has enough faith to be a man’s wife, and a sinner contemplating salvation might ask himself whether he has enough faith to be a child of God.

Since faith and submission are two distinct states, and since they tend to intertwine (given that obedience is usually an expression of trust while disobedience is an expression of distrust), it should make sense that there are four distinct states of faith and submission.  In the first case, you have submission in good faith.  You also have submission in bad faith, disobedience in good faith, and disobedience in bad faith.  Let’s consider each in turn.

Submission in Good Faith

Submission in good faith is fairly straightforward, as it describes the state of being when one complies with an authority because one completely trusts that authority to act in their best interest.  A soldier who marches into battle because he trusts his leader to be victorious is submitting in good faith.  A wife who does what her husband tells her because she trusts that he’s doing what is best for the family is acting in good faith.  A man who submits to church leaders because he trusts that they are acting in the best interest of the flock is acting in good faith.

There are a lot of important points to be made at this juncture, and the main one is that anyone trusted with authority is responsible for those under his authority.  A man who tells his wife to inflict pain on their children is responsible for her actions if she acts in good faith.  If he is trying to discipline the children in order to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, all is well and good.  If he is merely being sadistic, he will have to answer for it.

Another point that is important is that motives matter.  A lot.  As will be clearer, motives matter because it is important to know whether someone actually believes in the one to whom they are submitting, or whether they are simply acting in their own interest, which merely happens to coincide with the authority to whom they are submitting’s.

Furthermore, compliance in good faith is no guarantee of good results.  A man may tell his wife that he wants his three-year-old son to take a nap so that he is not cranky in the evening.  His wife may comply with the command, trusting that her husband is acting in the child’s best interest, and still find that putting the child down for a nap does nothing to prevent the child from being cranky in the evening.  Sometimes a command issued in good faith and obeyed in good faith simply does not pan out.

Submission in Bad Faith

Submission in bad faith is hard to discern from submission in good faith because the motives aren’t always easy to discern in real time.  This form of submission occurs when one does enough to comply with an authority but still hopes that their compliance proves the authority wrong.  This sort of submission generally occurs when there is a conflict between an authority and one under the authority.  What usually happens is that the authority gives a command and the one under authority thinks that the command will backfire in some way.  Convinced of this, the one under the authority will usually do enough to be seen as complying with the command while secretly hoping that their compliance ends up backfiring.

An example of this might be when a boss tells an employee to be more assertive in talking to customers on the sales floor, in the hopes of improving customer service and increasing sales.  The employee might think that a lot of customers will think that this assertiveness will be perceived as pushiness, causing the customers to view the sales associates as annoying, thus leading to a decline in sales.  Instead of voicing his concerns to his employer, the employee instead decides that he will completely comply with his boss’s commands, and so proceeds to be the most annoyingly helpful sales associate that he can possibly be.  Consequently, customers are annoyed and sales decline, leading the employee to conclude that his beliefs were correct, even though he never really tried to properly obey his boss.  In this case, submission can be a type of unfaithfulness since the compliance is purely superficial and intended to undermine the authority in question.

What makes this type of unfaithfulness difficult to discern is the fact that it appears that one is actually complying.  Complicating things further is the fact that, as noted above, submission in good faith is no guarantee of results.  Thus, it is often hard to tell a) whether the submission is actually genuine and b) whether submission in good faith would have achieved the desired results.  Given how difficult it is to discern whether submission is in bad faith, it is usually best not to worry about it unless one under your authority has been rebellious.

Disobedience in Good Faith

Disobedience in good faith is when someone doesn’t technically obey an authority, but acts in the spirit of the command given.  This probably sounds worse than it is, since many commands that are given are usually given with an implicit set of assumptions.  As such, there can often be a considerable difference between what an authority assumes will be the case and what is actually the case.  Alternatively, a general command may be given that generally assumes ideal conditions for compliance.

A general that tells his men to secure a bunker by flanking from the right is probably operating under the assumption that this is the optimal way of securing said bunker.  However, the boots on the ground may find that the right side is heavily fortified, and the bunker may be more likely to give way to a frontal assault.  Diverting from the original order in order to attack directly is technically disobedience, but since the soldiers are acting to secure the bunker (which is the principle of the order), there disobedience is not likely to lead to a court-martial.

By way of another example, a husband may expect his wife to have dinner on the table every night when he comes home from work.  However, he may come home one day to discover that his pregnant wife spent the whole morning being sick and the whole afternoon disciplining their three children for being unruly, and thus is a little late in getting dinner on the table.  In this event, he will likely have plenty of grace to forgive her for not having dinner fixed like he expected since compliance would be rather difficult under these suboptimal conditions.  In this case, the disobedience was not caused by malice, but by a combination of disruptive factors.

There are instances in which disobedience can be in good faith but the main ones are disobedience in the form of attaining the goal through tactics other than those specified and disobedience that stems from being hindered by factors beyond one’s control.  Sometimes a command may simply be impossible to carry out, as sometimes commands are given thoughtlessly, or at least with less thought than would otherwise be warranted.

Disobedience in Bad Faith

Like obedience in good faith, this is pretty straightforward. This is rebellion, pure and simple.  Disobedience in bad faith is when one either hates or doesn’t trust an authority and does everything possible to hurt it and undermine it.

A wife who doesn’t trust her husband and seeks to escape him by being with another man is disobeying in bad faith.  A soldier who doesn’t trust his commander and thus deserts when commanded to fight is disobeying in bad faith.  Any form of rebellion stemming from hate or distrust is disobedience in bad faith.

Emotions and Submission

One thing that makes the matter of submission and faith more complicated is emotions.  It can often be the case that one is commanded to do something and then immediately thinks, “I don’t feel like doing that.” This tends to trip people up because they often feel, perhaps correctly, that not feeling like complying is a form of disobedience.  However, emotions aren’t the litmus test for either submission or faith, though emotions often undergird one’s willingness to trust and obey.

Consider what Christ said in Matthew 21:

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to Him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

While words and emotions do have meaning and significance, the crucial component of submission is not emotion but will.  In Christ’s parable, the first son didn’t feel like working but he eventually brought his will in subjection to his father.  The second son simply paid lip service to his father but never brought his will in subjection to his father.

This passage of scripture provides immense comfort because it tells us that it really doesn’t matter what we feel as long as we bring our will into subjection to those in authority over us. This doesn’t mean that bringing our will in subjection will be fun or easy, or free of emotional drama, but it does mean that how we feel when we are first given a command is not taken as the true measure of our trust.  Thus, a wife who doesn’t feel at first like obeying her husband but ultimately brings her will in subjection to his, trusting that he is doing what is best for her is, in fact, submitting in good faith.  A soldier who feels fear when told to charge an enemy line is not being rebellious if he ultimately quiets his fears and trusts his commander and charges the line.  So, while emotions may make submission easier or more difficult in certain instances, ultimately they do not determine whether one is being submissive and faithful.

The Scalability of Submission

It is easy to understand submission through the lens of human hierarchy.  It is easy to understand what it means to trust the person in authority over you and submit in good faith.  It’s also easy to understand that perfect obedience isn’t always possible, even when you have faith in the those in authority.  Events sometimes conspire against you, and time and chance both make life harder than it needs to be on occasion.  Sometimes strict adherence to a command actually undermines the command itself, since commands are not meant to harm but to help.  Fortunately, our understanding of submission in concrete physical terms can scale up to an understanding of submission in more abstract, spiritual terms.

Submission to God works the exact same way as submission to an earthly authority.  Trusting God doesn’t mean that you always feel like submitting to him.  God doesn’t hold your emotions against you if you bring your will in subjection to his.  God’s expectation is that you do your best to obey him, and his grace exists to cover those times when life gets in the way of your best intentions.  God wants you to obey him, but he also understands that there are times when you have to discard the technical aspects of a command in order to fulfill the principle upon which the command is based; God’s commands aren’t given to hurt man but to help man.

Ultimately, submission to God doesn’t consist solely of strict, robotic  adherence to God’s commands, but rather consists of trusting God to do what is best for you and applying the principles of Godly living in a manner that best suits the situation at hand.