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mormon-fertility

Audacious Epigone:

This is astounding. Are Mormons the only group in the US of significant size that breeds today like the English of centuries ago did?

This is indeed very encouraging and surprising.

The main “problem” with religious high fertility is that they are duller than average. But if reproduction trends within those groups are themselves highly eugenic, then that might cancel things out.

However, some questions we need to ask before we rush off to adopt the Theocracy civic:

1. Does this apply to apply to high-religious/high-fertility groups other than Mormons? Or is this something specific to Mormonism?

2. At what age do brighter vs. duller Mormons reproduce? Tempo effects are also important.

3. Does this apply to all Mormons, or just the older generation?

4. There is considerable outflow from the LDS Church (e.g. /r/exmormon), and they tend to be the brighter ones, like “dissidents” usually are. High IQ Mormons are a select group, considering especially that this is a very constrictive religion (no tea/coffee WTF, I’d sooner be a Salafi Muslim).

To what extent does this annul the higher fertility of high IQ Mormons?

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Eugenics, Fertility, Mormonism 
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  1. I think there was also slight eugenic trend amongst the conservatives in general, or am I mistaken?

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  2. What evidence do you have that the “brighter ones” are the dissidents? Is that just a gut feeling or is there data to support this.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Why should Mormons be an exception to the apparently universal tendency for atheism to increase with IQ?
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  3. This is based on observations/small samples, but anyway: yes, having met quite a few Mormons where I live (Seattle area), even the smart ones (college-educated, work for local software companies) marry young and have kids early. Not uncommon for couple in mid-20s to already have a couple of kids. Very often wife doesn’t work, they give up higher family income (even in an expensive area like this) to have mom stay home and raise the kids. They have support groups based in their temples to provide a safety net. With just one income per family, they are willing to struggle (relatively speaking) financially to keep their way of life. Considering how expensive this area is, even $100-150K annually doesn’t get you far, especially if you have 3 kids. So renting instead of buying a house, or buying an older home far from work and dealing with long commutes, driving old cars, etc. Yet they persist.

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  4. @Big Brutha
    What evidence do you have that the "brighter ones" are the dissidents? Is that just a gut feeling or is there data to support this.

    Why should Mormons be an exception to the apparently universal tendency for atheism to increase with IQ?

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Could be though. Someone needs to do a Kevin MacDonald style study of Mormons.
    , @AP
    This isn't surprising. The two high-profile Mormons I can think of are Romney and Huntsman - each have quite a few children. There is a Mormon family in our upper-middle class neighborhood in the USA - 5 children. When people have as many kids as they can afford, the wealthier (and thus better-educated, more intelligent) have more.

    It's cultural. Modern (western) ideology that emphasizes hedonism precludes large number of children. Anecdotally, as recently as 100 years ago, in Ukraine, the educated had many more children than the uneducated. I have peasants and nobles in my background. My peasant grandparent was one of 6 children (two of whom died in childhood). Noble grandparents - one of 6 (all of whom survived), one of 9 (one died of illness, at a boarding school outside Vienna), and third was a single child due to severe health problems in the mother, not choice. Earlier generation had 12 kids. Needless to say, they were all very religious.

    , @Halvorson
    Like their increased fertility generally, it's a legacy of polygamy. Because the Mormon Founding Fathers were so amazingly fecund (Brigham Young had 56 children) they associate large families with success and "manliness" in a way that other people don't.

    I'm not a Mormon, but this finding didn't surprise me because I know of a lot of Mormon ex pro athletes and their Twitter pages tend to look like this:

    https://twitter.com/danielrainge

    , @Big Brutha
    Not sure about IQ. I do know about education. Mormons with higher education are more observant than those without it. http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion/
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  5. @Anatoly Karlin
    Why should Mormons be an exception to the apparently universal tendency for atheism to increase with IQ?

    Could be though. Someone needs to do a Kevin MacDonald style study of Mormons.

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  6. Why many Mormons are white however? I don’t know much about them, but from the small bits I have read about them they are cuckservatives. That being the case many of those births could be from Mexicans, blacks and other non white converts. Then there is issue of the children listed in that graph include adoptions, a lot of the modern day cuck Christians like to adopt third world babies and call them their own.

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Utah elects some good politicians, Romney is not representative of all Mormons.
    , @RadicalCenter
    This may change, but almost no white Mormons have reproduced with Africans or Mexicans etc.
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  7. It would be interesting to see similar statistics for Russians. My sample is very skewed toward high intelligence, but all of the breeders I know (five or more children) are devout Orthodox Christians and especially intelligent even within my domestic sample (and throwing out samples from my scientific colleagues, who are obviously weirdos anyway).

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  8. Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison, although it would be difficult to separate stats for them out from the broader Church.

    My impression is that they are both significantly more fecund than the general population amd the rest of the Church, while also having a higher average intelligence.

    Anecdotally, I attend a Latin Mass and most of the attendees are university-educated professionals of various kinds who aim to marry young and have as many children as they can.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison
     
    You called?

    I belong to one of the most traditional Catholic parishes in the U.S. Both my wife and I are Ivy Leaguers with doctorates, and we have a large family. The parish is full of high-powered couples with 6-12 children.

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban. So the parking lot looks like a Secret Service convention.
    , @Anon
    Late on the thread, being a trad Catholic myself, I was busy with the kids! And agree.Late on the thread, being a trad Catholic myself, I was busy with the kids! And agree.
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  9. The place where the Mormons are weak in this century is on the exogamy taboos and group supremacy/purity. If you can convince your group that the other groups are dirty, then you can hold onto the high IQ tribalists, even if they know your theology is bullshit. A matrilineal orientation also helps here.

    There are some other ethnoreligious groups that do a better job with this work.

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  10. @Gladio
    Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison, although it would be difficult to separate stats for them out from the broader Church.

    My impression is that they are both significantly more fecund than the general population amd the rest of the Church, while also having a higher average intelligence.

    Anecdotally, I attend a Latin Mass and most of the attendees are university-educated professionals of various kinds who aim to marry young and have as many children as they can.

    Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison

    You called?

    I belong to one of the most traditional Catholic parishes in the U.S. Both my wife and I are Ivy Leaguers with doctorates, and we have a large family. The parish is full of high-powered couples with 6-12 children.

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban. So the parking lot looks like a Secret Service convention.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    And how many of those are white and how many are Mexicans and other non whites?
    , @Johann Ricke

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban.
     
    What's your take on the pluses and minuses of a minivan vs a Suburban for large broods?
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  11. @Anatoly Karlin
    Why should Mormons be an exception to the apparently universal tendency for atheism to increase with IQ?

    This isn’t surprising. The two high-profile Mormons I can think of are Romney and Huntsman – each have quite a few children. There is a Mormon family in our upper-middle class neighborhood in the USA – 5 children. When people have as many kids as they can afford, the wealthier (and thus better-educated, more intelligent) have more.

    It’s cultural. Modern (western) ideology that emphasizes hedonism precludes large number of children. Anecdotally, as recently as 100 years ago, in Ukraine, the educated had many more children than the uneducated. I have peasants and nobles in my background. My peasant grandparent was one of 6 children (two of whom died in childhood). Noble grandparents – one of 6 (all of whom survived), one of 9 (one died of illness, at a boarding school outside Vienna), and third was a single child due to severe health problems in the mother, not choice. Earlier generation had 12 kids. Needless to say, they were all very religious.

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  12. @Anatoly Karlin
    Why should Mormons be an exception to the apparently universal tendency for atheism to increase with IQ?

    Like their increased fertility generally, it’s a legacy of polygamy. Because the Mormon Founding Fathers were so amazingly fecund (Brigham Young had 56 children) they associate large families with success and “manliness” in a way that other people don’t.

    I’m not a Mormon, but this finding didn’t surprise me because I know of a lot of Mormon ex pro athletes and their Twitter pages tend to look like this:

    https://twitter.com/danielrainge

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Like their increased fertility generally, it’s a legacy of polygamy
     
    Colonial Massachusetts had a TFR approaching 10, and was most definitely not polygamous. Unless you count remarriages among widows and widowers.
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  13. Mormons are not a random sample of the American population. Mormons are disproportionately of British descent and disproportionately of Welsh descent. 20% of the Utah population is reckoned to be of recent Welsh descent, even higher than Pennsylvania from foundation. There has been a Mormon Church in Merthyr Tydfil since before the Mormons left New York let alone reached Ohio or Kansas City. Two of Joseph Smith’s orginal women converts in New York State returned to Wales to preach. Being a Mormon was a easy way to emigrate to the USA. It was a risk free entry path. Work and some sort of a place to live guaranteed until you were on your feet. After the US tightened immigration in the 1920′s, the best way for someone without US connections to emigrate was to become a Mormon. You would be found work and sponsors. The Osmonds are a case of emigrants with Grandparents from Merthyr Tydfil. Hughes is a Welsh surname, as in Howard. I don’t know if they were screened beforehand but conversion must have taken some effort, excluding the least organized from society if not selecting the best.

    In the 1840′s, Dan Jones, a Mississipi steamboat captain of Welsh descent (and Welsh speaking?) converted, returned to Wales to preach and may have sent over 4000 converts to the US over 10 years. That must have been a large proportion of the congregation at the time. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was originally founded by Welsh emigrants. The bigger towns in South Wales have Mormon Churches. There is a new one on my housing estate (new and still expanding) so many of my neighbours are Mormons – they cluster. Steady emigration means that there are only about 9000 of them in Wales at the moment, with 20 churches. In the UK, there is another area with a very strong history of Mormon emigration around Liverpool, a city with a bastardized Welsh accent due to heavy immigration. (The Irish came later).

    So, I suggest that the Mormon population is not random. Emigrating to Utah probably attracted teetotallers in the first place, as one screening variable in addition to the self discipline necessary for church membership.

    There was also something called “Mormonism” in 19th C Russia on the Lower Volga which resulted in the LDS targeting Saratov for missionary work. I have met their Bishops a number of times. They tend to attract the more intellectually curious, especially women. The Orthodox Church strenuously resists them. The Catholics side with the Orthodox in this.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    In the UK, there is another area with a very strong history of Mormon emigration around Liverpool, a city with a bastardized Welsh accent due to heavy immigration.
     
    So the Scouser accent is Welsh?! Would have never guessed, LOL.
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  14. @Philip Owen
    Mormons are not a random sample of the American population. Mormons are disproportionately of British descent and disproportionately of Welsh descent. 20% of the Utah population is reckoned to be of recent Welsh descent, even higher than Pennsylvania from foundation. There has been a Mormon Church in Merthyr Tydfil since before the Mormons left New York let alone reached Ohio or Kansas City. Two of Joseph Smith's orginal women converts in New York State returned to Wales to preach. Being a Mormon was a easy way to emigrate to the USA. It was a risk free entry path. Work and some sort of a place to live guaranteed until you were on your feet. After the US tightened immigration in the 1920's, the best way for someone without US connections to emigrate was to become a Mormon. You would be found work and sponsors. The Osmonds are a case of emigrants with Grandparents from Merthyr Tydfil. Hughes is a Welsh surname, as in Howard. I don't know if they were screened beforehand but conversion must have taken some effort, excluding the least organized from society if not selecting the best.

    In the 1840's, Dan Jones, a Mississipi steamboat captain of Welsh descent (and Welsh speaking?) converted, returned to Wales to preach and may have sent over 4000 converts to the US over 10 years. That must have been a large proportion of the congregation at the time. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was originally founded by Welsh emigrants. The bigger towns in South Wales have Mormon Churches. There is a new one on my housing estate (new and still expanding) so many of my neighbours are Mormons - they cluster. Steady emigration means that there are only about 9000 of them in Wales at the moment, with 20 churches. In the UK, there is another area with a very strong history of Mormon emigration around Liverpool, a city with a bastardized Welsh accent due to heavy immigration. (The Irish came later).

    So, I suggest that the Mormon population is not random. Emigrating to Utah probably attracted teetotallers in the first place, as one screening variable in addition to the self discipline necessary for church membership.

    There was also something called "Mormonism" in 19th C Russia on the Lower Volga which resulted in the LDS targeting Saratov for missionary work. I have met their Bishops a number of times. They tend to attract the more intellectually curious, especially women. The Orthodox Church strenuously resists them. The Catholics side with the Orthodox in this.

    In the UK, there is another area with a very strong history of Mormon emigration around Liverpool, a city with a bastardized Welsh accent due to heavy immigration.

    So the Scouser accent is Welsh?! Would have never guessed, LOL.

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  15. I’ll add an angle to this: I’ve known Mormons and noticed that strong pressure for them to get married and have children, even young. Among other things, we should expect to see fewer birth defects – especially Down’s Syndrome – among any population that regularly tries to have their first birth around 20 or earlier.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    We should also see more homos. In a high-marriage-pressure society, they'll have more kids than the others just to get out of the hated sex duty. In a free-love society, they won't have any at all.

    And no, this doesn't depend on the condition being hereditary, only the propensity, or susceptibility to it to be so.
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  16. @Twinkie

    Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison
     
    You called?

    I belong to one of the most traditional Catholic parishes in the U.S. Both my wife and I are Ivy Leaguers with doctorates, and we have a large family. The parish is full of high-powered couples with 6-12 children.

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban. So the parking lot looks like a Secret Service convention.

    And how many of those are white and how many are Mexicans and other non whites?

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, "Trad Catholics" fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).

    A single generation of liberal governance dropped their fertility from 3.8 to 1.4. Even a decade of incentives later on(to the tune of $8000 per child) failed to motivate any increased fertility. The death of extended families largely dooms fertility.

    Mormons do seem to have an extended family concept, which continues to support a high fertility rate.

    , @Twinkie
    Mostly white with some Asians. A couple of Hispanics (not married to each other).
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  17. However, the smartest Mormon of all, Evan McMullin, has no children at all. He still hopes to find the woman of his dreams among his cats or in the closet.

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  18. @neutral
    And how many of those are white and how many are Mexicans and other non whites?

    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, “Trad Catholics” fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).

    A single generation of liberal governance dropped their fertility from 3.8 to 1.4. Even a decade of incentives later on(to the tune of $8000 per child) failed to motivate any increased fertility. The death of extended families largely dooms fertility.

    Mormons do seem to have an extended family concept, which continues to support a high fertility rate.

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    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Daniel Chieh,

    Just a minor point of nomenclature:

    Until Vatican II almost all practicing RCC members were "traditional" in their practices. It was only in reaction to the purported VII reforms that the "Traditional Catholics" species came into being.
    , @Twinkie
    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children - aside from our obedience to the Church's teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) - is that we can afford to do so.
    , @Anon

    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, “Trad Catholics” fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).
     
    Where's your post? Do you have a blog?
    That's a lot of nuns - all Russian clergy in 1912 made just 0.5% of the population.
    http://kazak.by/images/stories/new/1/rubakin-population-sosloviya-1912.jpg
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  19. Some other religious groups where this dynamic might be at play:

    *Society of Saint Pius X and Opus Dei Catholics
    *Amish
    *Hutterites

    I am skeptical you would find eugenic fertility within many other Christian denominations, as they are generally “Churchian” (I believe Dalrock coined this term). The mainline Protestant denominations are openly liberal and deny the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the evangelical denominations do not meaningfully police sexual morality in any way other than abortion–and they’re highly prole regardless.

    White Catholic denominations are about halfway in between the mainline liberal protestants and the evangelical protestants.

    Don’t know enough about the Orthodox Church to say, but based on actual Orthodox countries the record doesn’t look good. Perhaps the Old Believers have eugenic fertility.

    In Islam one would need to weigh polygamy (not practiced in all Islamic societies either) against inbreeding and the fact that Islam permits divorce and abortion. Islam also makes alms compulsory. The record of Islamic countries looks very poor here.

    It likely does not exist within Jewry either. High IQ Jews appear to boil off into either reform Judaism or “Jewish atheism” (lol). Perhaps the Orthodox, but not ultra-Orthodox Jews? They suffer from boil off as well no doubt, but they don’t seem obviously prole like the Haredim. Take the Kushner-Trump family for instance.

    India is undergoing fertility transition, and despite the rising power of Hindu nationalism in India it’s clear that religious observation itself is being gutted. Hindus are outwardly religious, but lead “modern” lives. Premarital sex and cohabitation is growing more common, the higher classes do not appear to have many children at all (none of my Indian partners have more than two children). India is also chock full of foreign NGOs pushing liberalism. A very alarming statistic is that half of new doctors in India now are female.

    Don’t have enough knowledge about Buddhism to say.

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    • Replies: @dmitry

    Perhaps the Orthodox, but not ultra-Orthodox Jews? They suffer from boil off as well no doubt, but they don’t seem obviously prole like the Haredim. Take the Kushner-Trump family for instance.
     
    In Israel, there is a huge distinction between Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) and the National Religious (Dati Leumi - Modern Orthodox) sector.

    The National Religious sector are very similar to Mormons, while the Haredim (ultra-orthodox) come across like lumpenproletariat (although in reality their life-style is more like Amish), with a very low economic status and extreme levels of poverty.

    The National Religious sector in Israel are usually living very 'wholesome' seeming lives, although some of them are branching off into Nazi style ideologies (for example, the settler movements).

    The National Religious sector have a high economic status and they like to live in these very clean and orderly surburbs, including in places like Ra'anana which have the highest socio-economical rating in Israel.

    All forms of Orthodox Judaism are essentially cult groups, whose main goal is to trap people and stop them from leaving the cults.

    But National Religious is an extremely adaptive cult (with its members being more successful in life than the secular average), while the Haredim are the opposite (operating more like poor drop-outs on the fringe of society, and with almost hippie-like attitude to work or conventional success).

    Ivanka Trump is part of the National Religious stream of Judaism - and even a lot of her clothing style (in formal occasions) looks like she is copying how the more wealthy National Religious dress in Israel.

    That said, there is no classical 'eugenics' in National Religious sector, as they are very multi-ethnic and accept members from all ethnic backgrounds, and intermarry all the time. You will see many Ethiopian youth joining National Religious schools in Israel. They are very multi-ethnic people and when you see groups of the youth in the street - there is often a brown one, a blonde one and black, all socializing together.

    It is only in the Haredi streams, where intermarriage between different ethnic groups is more rare.

    , @YourBunnyWrote
    As for the Eastern Orthodox, I attend either a Romanian or Russian Orthodox depending on how far I feel like driving or whatever Holy day and both seem to have a good number of large families in the congregations, especially the Romanian Orthodox. Both also seem to be relatively wealthy and well educated congregations.
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  20. Mitt Romney seems like an idealized caricature of the Anglo-Saxon American dream in every way (despite, although probably also partly because of, belonging to this religious minority). The way he looks, his beliefs, his life-style, his family and his wealth – it is all like a perfect fantasy imagination of how Americans see themselves or market themselves around the world.

    The fact this kind of ‘perfect American’ capitalist baron could lose the election in 2012, seemed like a death knell of the belief in traditional American self-identity. Similar with Kerry though.

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  21. @Thorfinnsson
    Some other religious groups where this dynamic might be at play:

    *Society of Saint Pius X and Opus Dei Catholics
    *Amish
    *Hutterites

    I am skeptical you would find eugenic fertility within many other Christian denominations, as they are generally "Churchian" (I believe Dalrock coined this term). The mainline Protestant denominations are openly liberal and deny the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the evangelical denominations do not meaningfully police sexual morality in any way other than abortion--and they're highly prole regardless.

    White Catholic denominations are about halfway in between the mainline liberal protestants and the evangelical protestants.

    Don't know enough about the Orthodox Church to say, but based on actual Orthodox countries the record doesn't look good. Perhaps the Old Believers have eugenic fertility.

    In Islam one would need to weigh polygamy (not practiced in all Islamic societies either) against inbreeding and the fact that Islam permits divorce and abortion. Islam also makes alms compulsory. The record of Islamic countries looks very poor here.

    It likely does not exist within Jewry either. High IQ Jews appear to boil off into either reform Judaism or "Jewish atheism" (lol). Perhaps the Orthodox, but not ultra-Orthodox Jews? They suffer from boil off as well no doubt, but they don't seem obviously prole like the Haredim. Take the Kushner-Trump family for instance.

    India is undergoing fertility transition, and despite the rising power of Hindu nationalism in India it's clear that religious observation itself is being gutted. Hindus are outwardly religious, but lead "modern" lives. Premarital sex and cohabitation is growing more common, the higher classes do not appear to have many children at all (none of my Indian partners have more than two children). India is also chock full of foreign NGOs pushing liberalism. A very alarming statistic is that half of new doctors in India now are female.

    Don't have enough knowledge about Buddhism to say.

    Perhaps the Orthodox, but not ultra-Orthodox Jews? They suffer from boil off as well no doubt, but they don’t seem obviously prole like the Haredim. Take the Kushner-Trump family for instance.

    In Israel, there is a huge distinction between Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) and the National Religious (Dati Leumi – Modern Orthodox) sector.

    The National Religious sector are very similar to Mormons, while the Haredim (ultra-orthodox) come across like lumpenproletariat (although in reality their life-style is more like Amish), with a very low economic status and extreme levels of poverty.

    The National Religious sector in Israel are usually living very ‘wholesome’ seeming lives, although some of them are branching off into Nazi style ideologies (for example, the settler movements).

    The National Religious sector have a high economic status and they like to live in these very clean and orderly surburbs, including in places like Ra’anana which have the highest socio-economical rating in Israel.

    All forms of Orthodox Judaism are essentially cult groups, whose main goal is to trap people and stop them from leaving the cults.

    But National Religious is an extremely adaptive cult (with its members being more successful in life than the secular average), while the Haredim are the opposite (operating more like poor drop-outs on the fringe of society, and with almost hippie-like attitude to work or conventional success).

    Ivanka Trump is part of the National Religious stream of Judaism – and even a lot of her clothing style (in formal occasions) looks like she is copying how the more wealthy National Religious dress in Israel.

    That said, there is no classical ‘eugenics’ in National Religious sector, as they are very multi-ethnic and accept members from all ethnic backgrounds, and intermarry all the time. You will see many Ethiopian youth joining National Religious schools in Israel. They are very multi-ethnic people and when you see groups of the youth in the street – there is often a brown one, a blonde one and black, all socializing together.

    It is only in the Haredi streams, where intermarriage between different ethnic groups is more rare.

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  22. Do Mormons vaccinate their kids?

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  23. Mormonism is a very “elitist” religion – the basic goal is to become actual physical gods ruling over other planets.

    While this may seem like a goal that would attract only idiots, it also creates a culture that heavily favors and selects for “superiority” in any form – intelligence, accomplishment, and wealth. Unlike traditional Christianity and like Judaism, it is oriented towards the “supertior”. None of the “meek and the poor in spirit shall inherit the earth”.

    Having spent time among Mormons, I can attest that they are arrogant and materialistic.

    This makes them uniquely fitted to maintain morale in the modern environment as their mythos is basically a variant of modernity – human self-assertion.

    Traditional religion demands human humility before a force greater than ourselves, but in the modern environment of human self assertion, the more intelligent and capable tend to become secular, since it provides greater scope for the exercise of their talents and the development of their egos.

    But Mormonism provides ample scope for ego, so the rate of defection of the intelligent and talented is far lower.

    When Mormonism eventually breaks down, it will probably, like Judaism, flood the world with extremely aggressive and materialistic men, who are highly intelligent. It’s an incubator for that kind of person.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Having spent time among Mormons, I can attest that they are arrogant and materialistic.
     
    I completely disagree. I know many Mormons and, in my experience, they are modest, frugal, and chaste people who make outstanding, sweet neighbors.* And I write that as a Catholic who finds their religion to be near Satanic.

    *Though I wouldn’t want live where they are a super-majority, because they tend to go too theocratic.
    , @Anon 2
    As I posted here before, Christianity has been very adept at reinventing itself. Mormonism
    might be regarded as one example of this capacity for reinvention.

    In its very essence Christianity is relational. The concept of the triune God, or Holy Trinity,
    unique to Christianity, whether one believes it or not, emphasizes that God the Father is
    in relationship with God the Son, etc, and this is something we are supposed to emulate
    in our lives. Hence to a Christian a solitary journey (e.g., withdrawing to a cave in the
    Himalayas) makes no sense - we're relational beings and relationships are a natural way for
    us to practice the Game of Life, although we may be called to partially withdraw from the world
    for awhile.

    What I find interesting is that Modern Physics in discovering that reality itself is relational
    is reinforcing this point of view. For example, velocity is always relative to a frame of reference.
    In physics there is no such thing as "true velocity," - velocity is always observer-dependent
    (although admittedly the speed of light is an invariant). Hence, we, situated as we are at the
    origin of our frame of reference, or the center of our universe, are godlike in that we CREATE
    the specific value of velocity with reference to us. Nietzsche may have been prescient in
    claiming there is no truth, only different perspectives, just like there is no true velocity
    only different velocities dependent on the observer, i.e., local god. As an aside, Carl Jung
    claimed that the different races or nations may have a different archetypal structure of
    their collective unconscious which helps create their specific reality - "It's a white thang,
    you wouldn't understand."

    Similarly, Quantum Mechanics turns out to be relational, i.e., observer-created as well
    (Cf. the book "How the Hippies Saved Physics" ; also Rovelli's "Reality Is Not What It
    Seems"). This parallels what came out of the American Counterculture of the 1960s-'70s
    of which I was a proud member: You Create Your Own Reality (Seth Speaks) and We are As
    Gods and Might As Well Get Good At It (Stewart Brand). These two claims originated
    within the Human Potential Movement which is now morphing into
    Transhumanism, Christian Transhumanism being one of its branches.

    Now combine this with Transpersonal Psychology as exemplified by Ken Wilber
    the most translated American philosopher, who in developing his system
    followed the pioneering work of Jean Gebser (1905-73), born in Poznań and
    descended from Polish nobility and famous for the treatise The Ever-Present
    Origin. You basically have two choices in life: Expansion of the Ego (become
    superior in wealth, intelligence, fame, influence, strength, number of children, ...)
    or Expansion of Consciousness. The latter is tricky because initially it involves
    the transcendence of the ego, i.e., becoming egoless, a state in which wealth,
    fame, and power are seen as illusory goals. However, this is a temporary stage
    which when traversed successfully allows us to awaken to our true nature,
    which is godlike, i.e., we realize we are creators of our own reality, and
    as relational beings our power increases in proportion to the depth of our
    relationships ("Where two or three are gathered in my name ...). It would be
    incorrect therefore to say that this new form of Christianity (as described in, for
    example, A Course in Miracles) gives ample room to one's ego. You need to transcend
    your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always
    in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)
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  24. considering especially that this is a very constrictive religion (no tea/coffee WTF, I’d sooner be a Salafi Muslim).

    Lol – yes, life without tea or coffee (or redbull, coca cola, and nicotine gum)? I would also rather be a Muslim than live without caffeine.

    This is also surely dysgenic, as how can most modern mathematicians, scientists, engineers – or any kind of intellectuals – live without caffeine? (It’s enough to get them to flee the Mormon community and leave it to uncivilized people).

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  25. OT

    Apparently the Florida shooter was a member of a white nationalist militia. My thoughts and prayers are with the white nationalist community, who now have to live in fear of a backlash. The real victims are the moderate white nationalists.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Moderate Nazis always are hardest hit.
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  26. @reiner Tor
    OT

    Apparently the Florida shooter was a member of a white nationalist militia. My thoughts and prayers are with the white nationalist community, who now have to live in fear of a backlash. The real victims are the moderate white nationalists.

    Moderate Nazis always are hardest hit.

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  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    https://anepigone.blogspot.com/2018/02/eugenic-mormons.html?showComment=1518706144177#c2748987833000825979

    Having multiple family members that are LDS I can attest somethings:

    * The LDS has its own “relief society” intended as a substitute for government welfare programs. LDS members therefore don’t tend to rely on government subsidy of fertility.
    * Even the lower IQ LDS tend to be conscientious about their use of relief society resources hence will tend to limit their fertility to their family’s resources and not abuse the relief society resources.
    * The indoctrination of young women is that their fathers are the representative of Christ in the home. Every family has a priest and it is their father. This is a kind of soft White Sharia.
    * This is a remnant culture of pioneer America, which had very high fertility rates.
    * In historic Utah, public schools tended to be dominated by LDS faculty, hence were de facto “home schooled”. Therefore, when modern Poz hit, there was a lack of awareness in the LDS hierarchy about how toxic that environment could be to LDS kids, and the LDS hierarchy admonished members _not_ to homeschool kids, claiming something about “The Salt of the Earth”… that sending kids into toxic environments would clean those environments rather than destroying the kids. More recently the LDS hierarchy has learned that not everyone LDS families live are like Utah.

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  28. @neutral
    Why many Mormons are white however? I don't know much about them, but from the small bits I have read about them they are cuckservatives. That being the case many of those births could be from Mexicans, blacks and other non white converts. Then there is issue of the children listed in that graph include adoptions, a lot of the modern day cuck Christians like to adopt third world babies and call them their own.

    Utah elects some good politicians, Romney is not representative of all Mormons.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Utah elects some good politicians, Romney is not representative of all Mormons.

     

    For what it's worth, perhaps not much, the Latter Day Saints were the first US church to go whole-hog* for women's suffrage. The anti-suffragists used to quip, "Not every suffragist is a Mormon, but every Mormon is a suffragist."

    Utah Territory enacted suffrage in 1870, and entered the Union with it in 1896. In contrast, the German socialists of Wisconsin shot it down in a 1912 referendum. But that may have been just to protect their beer.


    *Is it still legal in the UK to say "great guns", as a Burford lass I once knew loved to?
    , @RadicalCenter
    US Senator Orrin Hatch? No. Mike Lee seemingly somewhat better.
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  29. @Twinkie

    Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison
     
    You called?

    I belong to one of the most traditional Catholic parishes in the U.S. Both my wife and I are Ivy Leaguers with doctorates, and we have a large family. The parish is full of high-powered couples with 6-12 children.

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban. So the parking lot looks like a Secret Service convention.

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban.

    What’s your take on the pluses and minuses of a minivan vs a Suburban for large broods?

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    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Minivans are good for up to 8. After that, you gotta go “Secret Service.” Minivans are far less troublesome and more reliable. It’s just that they are small.
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  30. @Thorfinnsson
    Some other religious groups where this dynamic might be at play:

    *Society of Saint Pius X and Opus Dei Catholics
    *Amish
    *Hutterites

    I am skeptical you would find eugenic fertility within many other Christian denominations, as they are generally "Churchian" (I believe Dalrock coined this term). The mainline Protestant denominations are openly liberal and deny the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the evangelical denominations do not meaningfully police sexual morality in any way other than abortion--and they're highly prole regardless.

    White Catholic denominations are about halfway in between the mainline liberal protestants and the evangelical protestants.

    Don't know enough about the Orthodox Church to say, but based on actual Orthodox countries the record doesn't look good. Perhaps the Old Believers have eugenic fertility.

    In Islam one would need to weigh polygamy (not practiced in all Islamic societies either) against inbreeding and the fact that Islam permits divorce and abortion. Islam also makes alms compulsory. The record of Islamic countries looks very poor here.

    It likely does not exist within Jewry either. High IQ Jews appear to boil off into either reform Judaism or "Jewish atheism" (lol). Perhaps the Orthodox, but not ultra-Orthodox Jews? They suffer from boil off as well no doubt, but they don't seem obviously prole like the Haredim. Take the Kushner-Trump family for instance.

    India is undergoing fertility transition, and despite the rising power of Hindu nationalism in India it's clear that religious observation itself is being gutted. Hindus are outwardly religious, but lead "modern" lives. Premarital sex and cohabitation is growing more common, the higher classes do not appear to have many children at all (none of my Indian partners have more than two children). India is also chock full of foreign NGOs pushing liberalism. A very alarming statistic is that half of new doctors in India now are female.

    Don't have enough knowledge about Buddhism to say.

    As for the Eastern Orthodox, I attend either a Romanian or Russian Orthodox depending on how far I feel like driving or whatever Holy day and both seem to have a good number of large families in the congregations, especially the Romanian Orthodox. Both also seem to be relatively wealthy and well educated congregations.

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    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    In which country?
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  31. @neutral
    And how many of those are white and how many are Mexicans and other non whites?

    Mostly white with some Asians. A couple of Hispanics (not married to each other).

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  32. @Johann Ricke

    The unofficial car of the parish is the Suburban.
     
    What's your take on the pluses and minuses of a minivan vs a Suburban for large broods?

    Minivans are good for up to 8. After that, you gotta go “Secret Service.” Minivans are far less troublesome and more reliable. It’s just that they are small.

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  33. @AaronB
    Mormonism is a very "elitist" religion - the basic goal is to become actual physical gods ruling over other planets.

    While this may seem like a goal that would attract only idiots, it also creates a culture that heavily favors and selects for "superiority" in any form - intelligence, accomplishment, and wealth. Unlike traditional Christianity and like Judaism, it is oriented towards the "supertior". None of the "meek and the poor in spirit shall inherit the earth".

    Having spent time among Mormons, I can attest that they are arrogant and materialistic.

    This makes them uniquely fitted to maintain morale in the modern environment as their mythos is basically a variant of modernity - human self-assertion.

    Traditional religion demands human humility before a force greater than ourselves, but in the modern environment of human self assertion, the more intelligent and capable tend to become secular, since it provides greater scope for the exercise of their talents and the development of their egos.

    But Mormonism provides ample scope for ego, so the rate of defection of the intelligent and talented is far lower.

    When Mormonism eventually breaks down, it will probably, like Judaism, flood the world with extremely aggressive and materialistic men, who are highly intelligent. It's an incubator for that kind of person.

    Having spent time among Mormons, I can attest that they are arrogant and materialistic.

    I completely disagree. I know many Mormons and, in my experience, they are modest, frugal, and chaste people who make outstanding, sweet neighbors.* And I write that as a Catholic who finds their religion to be near Satanic.

    *Though I wouldn’t want live where they are a super-majority, because they tend to go too theocratic.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    I said arrogant and materialistic not nasty and antisocial :)

    I'm sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority - they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon. Very similar to Jews. And they are obsessed with money - wealth is a sign of divine favor. They're knows aa Christian Jews - not for nothing.

    Of course many of them are fine people anyways. But the sect is elitist and materialistic - they think God is an actual physical being.
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  34. Check out this video on what Mormons believe, I was screaming with laughter after watching this.

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  35. @Twinkie

    Having spent time among Mormons, I can attest that they are arrogant and materialistic.
     
    I completely disagree. I know many Mormons and, in my experience, they are modest, frugal, and chaste people who make outstanding, sweet neighbors.* And I write that as a Catholic who finds their religion to be near Satanic.

    *Though I wouldn’t want live where they are a super-majority, because they tend to go too theocratic.

    I said arrogant and materialistic not nasty and antisocial :)

    I’m sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority – they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon. Very similar to Jews. And they are obsessed with money – wealth is a sign of divine favor. They’re knows aa Christian Jews – not for nothing.

    Of course many of them are fine people anyways. But the sect is elitist and materialistic – they think God is an actual physical being.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I’m sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority – they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon.
     
    Well, I think they belong to a Satanic cult that is beyond bizarre, so we're even.

    I know LOTS of Mormons - neighbors, former colleagues (they polygraph very well due to clean living), political associates (pro-marriage/pro-life, etc.). Some are even friends. I don't find them to be "arrogant and materialistic." Far from it. They all keep in good shape. Men are hardworking and straight forward and the women are chaste and frugal - even ones with money. And they have an incredible communal spirit even toward non-Mormon neighbors. I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.

    they think God is an actual physical being.
     
    God IS an actual being. In case, I wasn't clear, I am an orthodox Catholic.
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  36. @Daniel Chieh
    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, "Trad Catholics" fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).

    A single generation of liberal governance dropped their fertility from 3.8 to 1.4. Even a decade of incentives later on(to the tune of $8000 per child) failed to motivate any increased fertility. The death of extended families largely dooms fertility.

    Mormons do seem to have an extended family concept, which continues to support a high fertility rate.

    Daniel Chieh,

    Just a minor point of nomenclature:

    Until Vatican II almost all practicing RCC members were “traditional” in their practices. It was only in reaction to the purported VII reforms that the “Traditional Catholics” species came into being.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie
    "Traditional Catholic" is fine, but we obedient Catholics prefer "orthodox Catholics."
    , @Reg Cæsar
    That's called a retronym, as in "acoustic guitar", or "George HW Bush".

    Some would also say it's redundant.
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  37. Mormons have a flat tax that provides community welfare. Obviously, those with more resources can afford more children. If the welfare is distributed on moral grounds, as I suspect it is, as opposed to pure “need” (e.g. single mothers, adulteresses, addicts, criminals, etc.) then it would be all the more eugenic.

    Traditional Christianity is highly eugenic as well, but this element has been eliminated by progressives, who demand Marxist forms of redistribution that fail to take moral behavior into account.

    I live in a working class white region with lots of Mormons. Mormons are, by origin, working class whites. Their religion and social hierarchy are cleverly designed to improve the station and quality of working class people, and I’ve seen it work in real time. However, their unfortunate prohibitions and the science fiction origins of the religion are a bit of an impediment to conversion, to put it mildly.

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  38. @Halvorson
    Like their increased fertility generally, it's a legacy of polygamy. Because the Mormon Founding Fathers were so amazingly fecund (Brigham Young had 56 children) they associate large families with success and "manliness" in a way that other people don't.

    I'm not a Mormon, but this finding didn't surprise me because I know of a lot of Mormon ex pro athletes and their Twitter pages tend to look like this:

    https://twitter.com/danielrainge

    Like their increased fertility generally, it’s a legacy of polygamy

    Colonial Massachusetts had a TFR approaching 10, and was most definitely not polygamous. Unless you count remarriages among widows and widowers.

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  39. @AaronB
    I said arrogant and materialistic not nasty and antisocial :)

    I'm sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority - they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon. Very similar to Jews. And they are obsessed with money - wealth is a sign of divine favor. They're knows aa Christian Jews - not for nothing.

    Of course many of them are fine people anyways. But the sect is elitist and materialistic - they think God is an actual physical being.

    I’m sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority – they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon.

    Well, I think they belong to a Satanic cult that is beyond bizarre, so we’re even.

    I know LOTS of Mormons – neighbors, former colleagues (they polygraph very well due to clean living), political associates (pro-marriage/pro-life, etc.). Some are even friends. I don’t find them to be “arrogant and materialistic.” Far from it. They all keep in good shape. Men are hardworking and straight forward and the women are chaste and frugal – even ones with money. And they have an incredible communal spirit even toward non-Mormon neighbors. I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.

    they think God is an actual physical being.

    God IS an actual being. In case, I wasn’t clear, I am an orthodox Catholic.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Actual != material; iirc Mormons actually believe He is a physical being with a local habitation in the universe and for this among other reasons their baptisms are invalid despite using a quite traditional formula.
    , @AaronB
    You admire Mormons because you too admire "superiority" - your comments here show you're into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc. Below you practically boast of being wealthy enough to raise many children :)

    You are pretty much proving my point, Twinkie :) You too are arrogant and materialistic. Look, I'm not here concerned with passing judgement. I am merely being an anthropologist here.

    Mormons produce people with your values and that is why they have a lower rate of defection for the intelligent and capable - traditional Christianity is more hostile to the pursuit of "superiority" - the whole metaphysic is against it - and therefore experiences a higher rate of defection in our modern environment.

    Although interestingly the highly intelligent in Europe don't seem as drawn to these cultures of earthly power - Buddhism is very popular among them.

    As for God being physical, mormons believe God is not the creator of the world, but a physical human being who became superior by his own efforts and now rules from another planrt, and that all humans can do the same. It's not just highly materialistic, it's extremely flattering to the human ego, and a worthy rival to secular modernity in that respect.

    There no unfathomlable mysterious being that makes humans seem puny and that is the source of everything - there is just a human demiurge, quite like us, and there is no mysterious planes of dxistence, there is just this physical world, and our ultimate task is physical accomplishment within it, like secular modernity.

    Growing up in such a system, its silliness might not be so noticeable - and it appeals to all the emotions modernity does, perhaps on a grander and more epic scale, so why bother becoming secular?
    , @Bliss

    I think they belong to a Satanic cult.......I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.
     
    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?

    What’s “satanic” about a cult that teaches that good behavior on this planet earns its votaries the right to be god-kings of their own planets?

    They may be brainwashed by a bizarre fantasy but then so are you. And by your own acknowledgment their brainwashing results in better behavior in this world than your brainwashing. So does that not make their cult superior to your own?
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  40. @Daniel Chieh
    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, "Trad Catholics" fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).

    A single generation of liberal governance dropped their fertility from 3.8 to 1.4. Even a decade of incentives later on(to the tune of $8000 per child) failed to motivate any increased fertility. The death of extended families largely dooms fertility.

    Mormons do seem to have an extended family concept, which continues to support a high fertility rate.

    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so.

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    • Agree: dmitry
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so.
     
    If you're poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like - as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you're rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they're older, or even just have a big enough house that they don't get in your hair too much. The problem is for all of us in between (not poor and not rich), that live in apartments, and don't want our whole lives ruined by noisy and expensive children.
    , @AaronB
    That's not plausible.

    Low fertility is characteristic of an income level that could EASILY afford a large family - and practical questions are not significant if you really want children. Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don't want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.

    At best, it's culture plus money - sure, if we have to sacrifice nothing, well have kids, otherwise, can't be bothered. But it's not even that, as is shown by the upper middle classes with low fertility.

    Whatever the ex plantation is, it's not that. It may the changing demographic of the very wealthy - more Asians ?
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  41. @Daniel Chieh
    I'll add an angle to this: I've known Mormons and noticed that strong pressure for them to get married and have children, even young. Among other things, we should expect to see fewer birth defects - especially Down's Syndrome - among any population that regularly tries to have their first birth around 20 or earlier.

    We should also see more homos. In a high-marriage-pressure society, they’ll have more kids than the others just to get out of the hated sex duty. In a free-love society, they won’t have any at all.

    And no, this doesn’t depend on the condition being hereditary, only the propensity, or susceptibility to it to be so.

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  42. @Dan Hayes
    Daniel Chieh,

    Just a minor point of nomenclature:

    Until Vatican II almost all practicing RCC members were "traditional" in their practices. It was only in reaction to the purported VII reforms that the "Traditional Catholics" species came into being.

    “Traditional Catholic” is fine, but we obedient Catholics prefer “orthodox Catholics.”

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  43. @Dan Hayes
    Daniel Chieh,

    Just a minor point of nomenclature:

    Until Vatican II almost all practicing RCC members were "traditional" in their practices. It was only in reaction to the purported VII reforms that the "Traditional Catholics" species came into being.

    That’s called a retronym, as in “acoustic guitar”, or “George HW Bush”.

    Some would also say it’s redundant.

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  44. @LondonBob
    Utah elects some good politicians, Romney is not representative of all Mormons.

    Utah elects some good politicians, Romney is not representative of all Mormons.

    For what it’s worth, perhaps not much, the Latter Day Saints were the first US church to go whole-hog* for women’s suffrage. The anti-suffragists used to quip, “Not every suffragist is a Mormon, but every Mormon is a suffragist.”

    Utah Territory enacted suffrage in 1870, and entered the Union with it in 1896. In contrast, the German socialists of Wisconsin shot it down in a 1912 referendum. But that may have been just to protect their beer.

    *Is it still legal in the UK to say “great guns”, as a Burford lass I once knew loved to?

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  45. @Twinkie

    I’m sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority – they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon.
     
    Well, I think they belong to a Satanic cult that is beyond bizarre, so we're even.

    I know LOTS of Mormons - neighbors, former colleagues (they polygraph very well due to clean living), political associates (pro-marriage/pro-life, etc.). Some are even friends. I don't find them to be "arrogant and materialistic." Far from it. They all keep in good shape. Men are hardworking and straight forward and the women are chaste and frugal - even ones with money. And they have an incredible communal spirit even toward non-Mormon neighbors. I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.

    they think God is an actual physical being.
     
    God IS an actual being. In case, I wasn't clear, I am an orthodox Catholic.

    Actual != material; iirc Mormons actually believe He is a physical being with a local habitation in the universe and for this among other reasons their baptisms are invalid despite using a quite traditional formula.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    “Their baptisms are invalid”? Because we know that OUR baptisms are “valid”? This makes religion look ridiculous.
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  46. @Anatoly Karlin
    Why should Mormons be an exception to the apparently universal tendency for atheism to increase with IQ?

    Not sure about IQ. I do know about education. Mormons with higher education are more observant than those without it. http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion/

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Mormon polygamy meant that they had to constantly eject some number of men and it's very likely that this was eugenic for them since the men who left Mormonism were the less successful ones who couldn't get married. They may have cut down on the polygamy but if their culture still maintains that a provider is the standard of a desired man then high IQ men have little incentive to leave Mormonism.

    A polygamous strategy required Mormons to be embedded in a larger society that works by different rules, otherwise they'd be destabilized by excess young males with no marriage prospects. Perhaps that's why Mormons have such cuckservative tendencies - many of their strategies have relied on existing as a de facto ethnocentric group embedded in a liberal society, like a rural reinvention of the Jewish strategy.
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  47. @Big Brutha
    Not sure about IQ. I do know about education. Mormons with higher education are more observant than those without it. http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion/

    Mormon polygamy meant that they had to constantly eject some number of men and it’s very likely that this was eugenic for them since the men who left Mormonism were the less successful ones who couldn’t get married. They may have cut down on the polygamy but if their culture still maintains that a provider is the standard of a desired man then high IQ men have little incentive to leave Mormonism.

    A polygamous strategy required Mormons to be embedded in a larger society that works by different rules, otherwise they’d be destabilized by excess young males with no marriage prospects. Perhaps that’s why Mormons have such cuckservative tendencies – many of their strategies have relied on existing as a de facto ethnocentric group embedded in a liberal society, like a rural reinvention of the Jewish strategy.

    Read More
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  48. Mitt Romney is running for the Senate in Utah.

    I like some aspects of the Mormons, but occasionally I think Pax Dickinson was onto something when he proposed to carry out the Mormocaust.

    I like this topic because it reminds me of the good old days when Evan McMullin was running for President and Trump was about to win the election. And the proposal for the Mormocaust! Those were the days.

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  49. I have read that educated mormons are more religious.
    Boiling off is mostly about iq.
    I claim that groups boil off to the iq mean of 100.
    Dumb groups lose smart people. Smart groups lose dumb people.
    Anyway, I’m pretty sure mormons lose fewer smart people than other religious groups.

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  50. @Twinkie
    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children - aside from our obedience to the Church's teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) - is that we can afford to do so.

    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so.

    If you’re poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like – as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you’re rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they’re older, or even just have a big enough house that they don’t get in your hair too much. The problem is for all of us in between (not poor and not rich), that live in apartments, and don’t want our whole lives ruined by noisy and expensive children.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    If you’re poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like – as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you’re rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they’re older, or even just have a big enough house that they don’t get in your hair too much.
     
    I think that's a popular meme, but I find it untrue. Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility. The cost of children scales with the social class of its participants.

    Going through the people I know in the present day, including some people who are very highly placed in life with a significant amount of money, you still don't see them having more than one or two children. The only people I can think that break that are men who are practicing the legal version of polygamy(serial monogamy), and in that sense, Emperor Trump is an example in such: five children by three women.

    Perhaps on that note of silliness, Mr. Karlin, what is the fertility rate of oligarches, at least of acknowledged children?

    , @RadicalCenter
    If you think that your life would be ruined by “noisy, expensive children”, in an apartment or otherwise, I feel very sorry for you. Please reconsider, for your own fulfillment and the perpetuation of your family and nation.

    We live in an overcrowded apartment in Los Angeles with three young children, and it is harder and more stressful than if we had more space (and if we had immediate family nearby to help, definitely advisable if you can do it!) — but it is nonetheless the greatest joy and reward we have ever known.

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  51. @Twinkie

    I’m sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority – they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon.
     
    Well, I think they belong to a Satanic cult that is beyond bizarre, so we're even.

    I know LOTS of Mormons - neighbors, former colleagues (they polygraph very well due to clean living), political associates (pro-marriage/pro-life, etc.). Some are even friends. I don't find them to be "arrogant and materialistic." Far from it. They all keep in good shape. Men are hardworking and straight forward and the women are chaste and frugal - even ones with money. And they have an incredible communal spirit even toward non-Mormon neighbors. I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.

    they think God is an actual physical being.
     
    God IS an actual being. In case, I wasn't clear, I am an orthodox Catholic.

    You admire Mormons because you too admire “superiority” – your comments here show you’re into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc. Below you practically boast of being wealthy enough to raise many children :)

    You are pretty much proving my point, Twinkie :) You too are arrogant and materialistic. Look, I’m not here concerned with passing judgement. I am merely being an anthropologist here.

    Mormons produce people with your values and that is why they have a lower rate of defection for the intelligent and capable – traditional Christianity is more hostile to the pursuit of “superiority” – the whole metaphysic is against it – and therefore experiences a higher rate of defection in our modern environment.

    Although interestingly the highly intelligent in Europe don’t seem as drawn to these cultures of earthly power – Buddhism is very popular among them.

    As for God being physical, mormons believe God is not the creator of the world, but a physical human being who became superior by his own efforts and now rules from another planrt, and that all humans can do the same. It’s not just highly materialistic, it’s extremely flattering to the human ego, and a worthy rival to secular modernity in that respect.

    There no unfathomlable mysterious being that makes humans seem puny and that is the source of everything – there is just a human demiurge, quite like us, and there is no mysterious planes of dxistence, there is just this physical world, and our ultimate task is physical accomplishment within it, like secular modernity.

    Growing up in such a system, its silliness might not be so noticeable – and it appeals to all the emotions modernity does, perhaps on a grander and more epic scale, so why bother becoming secular?

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    You too are arrogant and materialistic.
     
    Cocky? Guilty as charged. My parish priest has been working on this for years! But, to paraphrase a once famous boxer, you’d be cocky too if you were I. But, being a religious man, I also know that I am but a speck of sand on a vast beach of humanity. That restrains my arrogance a great deal.

    Materialistic? Heck no. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I disdain money. If it weren’t for my wife and kids, I’d live in a cabin in the hill country with a couple of dogs.

    Money doesn’t give me joy. The most enjoyable time I had in the last 25 years was hunting and killing terrorists overseas with my blood-brothers. With me, it’s God, country, and family.

    You admire Mormons because you too admire “superiority” – your comments here show you’re into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc.
     
    You seem to have left out, conveniently enough in your fit of completely non-judgmental and strictly anthropological observation, my admiration for the amazing community spirit Mormons have toward their neighbors, Mormon or otherwise. They have a great deal of caritas, and that’s something I consider the most worthy trait to emulate.

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so... I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)
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  52. @Dmitry

    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so.
     
    If you're poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like - as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you're rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they're older, or even just have a big enough house that they don't get in your hair too much. The problem is for all of us in between (not poor and not rich), that live in apartments, and don't want our whole lives ruined by noisy and expensive children.

    If you’re poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like – as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you’re rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they’re older, or even just have a big enough house that they don’t get in your hair too much.

    I think that’s a popular meme, but I find it untrue. Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility. The cost of children scales with the social class of its participants.

    Going through the people I know in the present day, including some people who are very highly placed in life with a significant amount of money, you still don’t see them having more than one or two children. The only people I can think that break that are men who are practicing the legal version of polygamy(serial monogamy), and in that sense, Emperor Trump is an example in such: five children by three women.

    Perhaps on that note of silliness, Mr. Karlin, what is the fertility rate of oligarches, at least of acknowledged children?

    Read More
    • Replies: @dmitry

    I think that’s a popular meme, but I find it untrue. Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility. The cost of children scales with the social class of its participants.

    Going through the people I know in the present day, including some people who are very highly placed in life with a significant amount of money, you still don’t see them having more than one or two children. The only people I can think that break that are men who are practicing the legal version of polygamy(serial monogamy), and in that sense, Trump is an example in such: five children by three women.
     

    Sure - from a middle class woman's perspective there is even less incentive.

    And even if my salary would triple or quadruple in a decade, I still can't see an intentional reason to have more than two children.

    , @Dmitry

    Perhaps on that note of silliness, Mr. Karlin, what is the fertility rate of oligarches, at least of acknowledged children?

     

    Higher - as you can leave them with an ex-wife living in London.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2734528/Roman-Abramovichs-daughter-offers-glimpse-life-Chelsea-owner-Instagram-pics.html

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  53. @Twinkie
    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children - aside from our obedience to the Church's teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) - is that we can afford to do so.

    That’s not plausible.

    Low fertility is characteristic of an income level that could EASILY afford a large family – and practical questions are not significant if you really want children. Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don’t want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.

    At best, it’s culture plus money – sure, if we have to sacrifice nothing, well have kids, otherwise, can’t be bothered. But it’s not even that, as is shown by the upper middle classes with low fertility.

    Whatever the ex plantation is, it’s not that. It may the changing demographic of the very wealthy – more Asians ?

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don’t want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.
     
    Indeed, the fact that low-income, destitute people often have the highest fertility really questions the link between income and fertility. Cost of children scales with social status, so for individuals with low status, cost is minimal and often sentimental(and financial, unfortunately) gains exceed the cost.
    , @AP


    "In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so."

    That’s not plausible.
     
    Disagree. Googling rich people -

    Jeff Bezos - 4 children
    Bill Ford has 5 children
    Warren Buffett - 3 children
    Jay Rockefeller - 4 children
    Mark Rockefeller - 4 children
    Bill Gates - 3 children
    Jim Walton (Wal-Mart) - 4 children
    Zuckerberg - 2 children (so far - he is still 33)
    Charles Koch - 2 children
    David Koch - 3 children
    , @Twinkie
    I can’t find the article with the figures for birth rates per income level above $100-200k threshold domestically right now, but this makes the same general point using the Human Development Index (HDI) across countries: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Natur.460..741M

    our analyses show that at advanced HDI levels, further development can reverse the declining trend in fertility. The previously negative development-fertility relationship has become J-shaped, with the HDI being positively associated with fertility among highly developed countries. This reversal of fertility decline as a result of continued economic and social development has the potential to slow the rates of population ageing, thereby ameliorating the social and economic problems that have been associated with the emergence and persistence of very low fertility.
     
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  54. @Daniel Chieh

    If you’re poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like – as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you’re rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they’re older, or even just have a big enough house that they don’t get in your hair too much.
     
    I think that's a popular meme, but I find it untrue. Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility. The cost of children scales with the social class of its participants.

    Going through the people I know in the present day, including some people who are very highly placed in life with a significant amount of money, you still don't see them having more than one or two children. The only people I can think that break that are men who are practicing the legal version of polygamy(serial monogamy), and in that sense, Emperor Trump is an example in such: five children by three women.

    Perhaps on that note of silliness, Mr. Karlin, what is the fertility rate of oligarches, at least of acknowledged children?

    I think that’s a popular meme, but I find it untrue. Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility. The cost of children scales with the social class of its participants.

    Going through the people I know in the present day, including some people who are very highly placed in life with a significant amount of money, you still don’t see them having more than one or two children. The only people I can think that break that are men who are practicing the legal version of polygamy(serial monogamy), and in that sense, Trump is an example in such: five children by three women.

    Sure – from a middle class woman’s perspective there is even less incentive.

    And even if my salary would triple or quadruple in a decade, I still can’t see an intentional reason to have more than two children.

    Read More
    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
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  55. @Daniel Chieh

    If you’re poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like – as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you’re rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they’re older, or even just have a big enough house that they don’t get in your hair too much.
     
    I think that's a popular meme, but I find it untrue. Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility. The cost of children scales with the social class of its participants.

    Going through the people I know in the present day, including some people who are very highly placed in life with a significant amount of money, you still don't see them having more than one or two children. The only people I can think that break that are men who are practicing the legal version of polygamy(serial monogamy), and in that sense, Emperor Trump is an example in such: five children by three women.

    Perhaps on that note of silliness, Mr. Karlin, what is the fertility rate of oligarches, at least of acknowledged children?

    Perhaps on that note of silliness, Mr. Karlin, what is the fertility rate of oligarches, at least of acknowledged children?

    Higher – as you can leave them with an ex-wife living in London.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2734528/Roman-Abramovichs-daughter-offers-glimpse-life-Chelsea-owner-Instagram-pics.html

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  56. @neutral
    Why many Mormons are white however? I don't know much about them, but from the small bits I have read about them they are cuckservatives. That being the case many of those births could be from Mexicans, blacks and other non white converts. Then there is issue of the children listed in that graph include adoptions, a lot of the modern day cuck Christians like to adopt third world babies and call them their own.

    This may change, but almost no white Mormons have reproduced with Africans or Mexicans etc.

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  57. @LondonBob
    Utah elects some good politicians, Romney is not representative of all Mormons.

    US Senator Orrin Hatch? No. Mike Lee seemingly somewhat better.

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  58. @Anon
    Actual != material; iirc Mormons actually believe He is a physical being with a local habitation in the universe and for this among other reasons their baptisms are invalid despite using a quite traditional formula.

    “Their baptisms are invalid”? Because we know that OUR baptisms are “valid”? This makes religion look ridiculous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    If you think the basic tenets of your religion are unknown, you don't have a religion.
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  59. @Dmitry

    In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so.
     
    If you're poor enough in a welfare state, you can have as many children as you like - as the government will looks after them. And likewise if you're rich, as you can hire nannies to look after them, possibly send them to a foreign boarding school when they're older, or even just have a big enough house that they don't get in your hair too much. The problem is for all of us in between (not poor and not rich), that live in apartments, and don't want our whole lives ruined by noisy and expensive children.

    If you think that your life would be ruined by “noisy, expensive children”, in an apartment or otherwise, I feel very sorry for you. Please reconsider, for your own fulfillment and the perpetuation of your family and nation.

    We live in an overcrowded apartment in Los Angeles with three young children, and it is harder and more stressful than if we had more space (and if we had immediate family nearby to help, definitely advisable if you can do it!) — but it is nonetheless the greatest joy and reward we have ever known.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    If you think that your life would be ruined by “noisy, expensive children”, in an apartment or otherwise, I feel very sorry for you. Please reconsider, for your own fulfillment and the perpetuation of your family and nation.

    We live in an overcrowded apartment in Los Angeles with three young children, and it is harder and more stressful than if we had more space (and immediately family nearby to help!) — but it is nonetheless the greatest joy and reward we have ever known.
     

    Well good for you. Although I'm not being cynical and do not require sympathy, rather viewing my position as a representative case.

    I procrastinate/pretend to work/ and sometimes actually working hard in the office all day. And in the evening I can afford to go to restaurants, meet girls and have multi-national friends - having a pretty a good life this year. I spend a lot on travelling and I work abroad. I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.

    Not sure how children can fit into this picture without a total sacrifice of basic living standard - and I have managed to get an above average income.

    So if that's the case for me - it's pretty representative or even worse for others. A couple of my friends are getting married already, but they're worse organized people than I am.

    I'm sure children are great (if you have good woman and relationship). But it is a major sacrifice and in a case like mine (which is quite representative) would require losing many of the life-style I work hard for and which makes life worth living.

    To sum up, having children seems a form of luxury in this day and age (unless you are rich or poor). A luxury I would like to have - but not until I won't have to sacrifice so many of the other things in life.

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  60. @AaronB
    That's not plausible.

    Low fertility is characteristic of an income level that could EASILY afford a large family - and practical questions are not significant if you really want children. Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don't want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.

    At best, it's culture plus money - sure, if we have to sacrifice nothing, well have kids, otherwise, can't be bothered. But it's not even that, as is shown by the upper middle classes with low fertility.

    Whatever the ex plantation is, it's not that. It may the changing demographic of the very wealthy - more Asians ?

    Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don’t want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.

    Indeed, the fact that low-income, destitute people often have the highest fertility really questions the link between income and fertility. Cost of children scales with social status, so for individuals with low status, cost is minimal and often sentimental(and financial, unfortunately) gains exceed the cost.

    Read More
    • Agree: AaronB
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  61. @RadicalCenter
    If you think that your life would be ruined by “noisy, expensive children”, in an apartment or otherwise, I feel very sorry for you. Please reconsider, for your own fulfillment and the perpetuation of your family and nation.

    We live in an overcrowded apartment in Los Angeles with three young children, and it is harder and more stressful than if we had more space (and if we had immediate family nearby to help, definitely advisable if you can do it!) — but it is nonetheless the greatest joy and reward we have ever known.

    If you think that your life would be ruined by “noisy, expensive children”, in an apartment or otherwise, I feel very sorry for you. Please reconsider, for your own fulfillment and the perpetuation of your family and nation.

    We live in an overcrowded apartment in Los Angeles with three young children, and it is harder and more stressful than if we had more space (and immediately family nearby to help!) — but it is nonetheless the greatest joy and reward we have ever known.

    Well good for you. Although I’m not being cynical and do not require sympathy, rather viewing my position as a representative case.

    I procrastinate/pretend to work/ and sometimes actually working hard in the office all day. And in the evening I can afford to go to restaurants, meet girls and have multi-national friends – having a pretty a good life this year. I spend a lot on travelling and I work abroad. I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.

    Not sure how children can fit into this picture without a total sacrifice of basic living standard – and I have managed to get an above average income.

    So if that’s the case for me – it’s pretty representative or even worse for others. A couple of my friends are getting married already, but they’re worse organized people than I am.

    I’m sure children are great (if you have good woman and relationship). But it is a major sacrifice and in a case like mine (which is quite representative) would require losing many of the life-style I work hard for and which makes life worth living.

    To sum up, having children seems a form of luxury in this day and age (unless you are rich or poor). A luxury I would like to have – but not until I won’t have to sacrifice so many of the other things in life.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.
     
    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final "fuck you" to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson's and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun's dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

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  62. @AaronB
    That's not plausible.

    Low fertility is characteristic of an income level that could EASILY afford a large family - and practical questions are not significant if you really want children. Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don't want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.

    At best, it's culture plus money - sure, if we have to sacrifice nothing, well have kids, otherwise, can't be bothered. But it's not even that, as is shown by the upper middle classes with low fertility.

    Whatever the ex plantation is, it's not that. It may the changing demographic of the very wealthy - more Asians ?

    “In the U.S. fertility declines as income rises until a certain point of income after which it rises again. I forget what the level was but it was relatively high (mid-six figures?). A big part of the reason that my wife and I have many children – aside from our obedience to the Church’s teachings on procreation and our great love for children (we just absolutely love having them and raising them) – is that we can afford to do so.”

    That’s not plausible.

    Disagree. Googling rich people –

    Jeff Bezos – 4 children
    Bill Ford has 5 children
    Warren Buffett – 3 children
    Jay Rockefeller – 4 children
    Mark Rockefeller – 4 children
    Bill Gates – 3 children
    Jim Walton (Wal-Mart) – 4 children
    Zuckerberg – 2 children (so far – he is still 33)
    Charles Koch – 2 children
    David Koch – 3 children

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
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  63. @AaronB
    That's not plausible.

    Low fertility is characteristic of an income level that could EASILY afford a large family - and practical questions are not significant if you really want children. Even moderate to low income people can afford large families of the desire is there. But they don't want to sacrifice even moderate comforts.

    At best, it's culture plus money - sure, if we have to sacrifice nothing, well have kids, otherwise, can't be bothered. But it's not even that, as is shown by the upper middle classes with low fertility.

    Whatever the ex plantation is, it's not that. It may the changing demographic of the very wealthy - more Asians ?

    I can’t find the article with the figures for birth rates per income level above $100-200k threshold domestically right now, but this makes the same general point using the Human Development Index (HDI) across countries: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Natur.460..741M

    our analyses show that at advanced HDI levels, further development can reverse the declining trend in fertility. The previously negative development-fertility relationship has become J-shaped, with the HDI being positively associated with fertility among highly developed countries. This reversal of fertility decline as a result of continued economic and social development has the potential to slow the rates of population ageing, thereby ameliorating the social and economic problems that have been associated with the emergence and persistence of very low fertility.

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  64. @RadicalCenter
    “Their baptisms are invalid”? Because we know that OUR baptisms are “valid”? This makes religion look ridiculous.

    If you think the basic tenets of your religion are unknown, you don’t have a religion.

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  65. @Dmitry

    If you think that your life would be ruined by “noisy, expensive children”, in an apartment or otherwise, I feel very sorry for you. Please reconsider, for your own fulfillment and the perpetuation of your family and nation.

    We live in an overcrowded apartment in Los Angeles with three young children, and it is harder and more stressful than if we had more space (and immediately family nearby to help!) — but it is nonetheless the greatest joy and reward we have ever known.
     

    Well good for you. Although I'm not being cynical and do not require sympathy, rather viewing my position as a representative case.

    I procrastinate/pretend to work/ and sometimes actually working hard in the office all day. And in the evening I can afford to go to restaurants, meet girls and have multi-national friends - having a pretty a good life this year. I spend a lot on travelling and I work abroad. I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.

    Not sure how children can fit into this picture without a total sacrifice of basic living standard - and I have managed to get an above average income.

    So if that's the case for me - it's pretty representative or even worse for others. A couple of my friends are getting married already, but they're worse organized people than I am.

    I'm sure children are great (if you have good woman and relationship). But it is a major sacrifice and in a case like mine (which is quite representative) would require losing many of the life-style I work hard for and which makes life worth living.

    To sum up, having children seems a form of luxury in this day and age (unless you are rich or poor). A luxury I would like to have - but not until I won't have to sacrifice so many of the other things in life.

    I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.

    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final “fuck you” to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson’s and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun’s dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final “fuck you” to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson’s and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun’s dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.
     

    This story is unrelated to my position (sadly all my income is spent each month, with no savings left over, despite not leading any glamorous life of base jumping, drugs and mistresses).

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility - that of a man who cherishes freedom.

    , @reiner Tor
    Why did his sisters bury him? I’m happy he died. But I’d be happier if he repented on his deathbed. Or, preferably, earlier, while still having a choice to change.
    , @AaronB
    Great story!

    Paradoxically hopeful :)
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    How common is it for Chinese men to take mistresses?
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  66. @Daniel Chieh

    I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.
     
    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final "fuck you" to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson's and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun's dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final “fuck you” to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson’s and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun’s dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

    This story is unrelated to my position (sadly all my income is spent each month, with no savings left over, despite not leading any glamorous life of base jumping, drugs and mistresses).

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility – that of a man who cherishes freedom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility – that of a man who cherishes freedom.
     
    Alienation is not freedom.
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  67. @Daniel Chieh

    I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.
     
    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final "fuck you" to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson's and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun's dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

    Why did his sisters bury him? I’m happy he died. But I’d be happier if he repented on his deathbed. Or, preferably, earlier, while still having a choice to change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Because despite disapproving of his lifestyle, he was still family.
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  68. @reiner Tor
    Why did his sisters bury him? I’m happy he died. But I’d be happier if he repented on his deathbed. Or, preferably, earlier, while still having a choice to change.

    Because despite disapproving of his lifestyle, he was still family.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I can understand the sentiment, but it was more than disapproving his choices. It was also about him actively trying to harm them.
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  69. @Daniel Chieh

    I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.
     
    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final "fuck you" to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson's and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun's dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

    Great story!

    Paradoxically hopeful :)

    Read More
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  70. @YourBunnyWrote
    As for the Eastern Orthodox, I attend either a Romanian or Russian Orthodox depending on how far I feel like driving or whatever Holy day and both seem to have a good number of large families in the congregations, especially the Romanian Orthodox. Both also seem to be relatively wealthy and well educated congregations.

    In which country?

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  71. @AaronB
    You admire Mormons because you too admire "superiority" - your comments here show you're into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc. Below you practically boast of being wealthy enough to raise many children :)

    You are pretty much proving my point, Twinkie :) You too are arrogant and materialistic. Look, I'm not here concerned with passing judgement. I am merely being an anthropologist here.

    Mormons produce people with your values and that is why they have a lower rate of defection for the intelligent and capable - traditional Christianity is more hostile to the pursuit of "superiority" - the whole metaphysic is against it - and therefore experiences a higher rate of defection in our modern environment.

    Although interestingly the highly intelligent in Europe don't seem as drawn to these cultures of earthly power - Buddhism is very popular among them.

    As for God being physical, mormons believe God is not the creator of the world, but a physical human being who became superior by his own efforts and now rules from another planrt, and that all humans can do the same. It's not just highly materialistic, it's extremely flattering to the human ego, and a worthy rival to secular modernity in that respect.

    There no unfathomlable mysterious being that makes humans seem puny and that is the source of everything - there is just a human demiurge, quite like us, and there is no mysterious planes of dxistence, there is just this physical world, and our ultimate task is physical accomplishment within it, like secular modernity.

    Growing up in such a system, its silliness might not be so noticeable - and it appeals to all the emotions modernity does, perhaps on a grander and more epic scale, so why bother becoming secular?

    You too are arrogant and materialistic.

    Cocky? Guilty as charged. My parish priest has been working on this for years! But, to paraphrase a once famous boxer, you’d be cocky too if you were I. But, being a religious man, I also know that I am but a speck of sand on a vast beach of humanity. That restrains my arrogance a great deal.

    Materialistic? Heck no. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I disdain money. If it weren’t for my wife and kids, I’d live in a cabin in the hill country with a couple of dogs.

    Money doesn’t give me joy. The most enjoyable time I had in the last 25 years was hunting and killing terrorists overseas with my blood-brothers. With me, it’s God, country, and family.

    You admire Mormons because you too admire “superiority” – your comments here show you’re into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc.

    You seem to have left out, conveniently enough in your fit of completely non-judgmental and strictly anthropological observation, my admiration for the amazing community spirit Mormons have toward their neighbors, Mormon or otherwise. They have a great deal of caritas, and that’s something I consider the most worthy trait to emulate.

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so… I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    So you say - but did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family? And how did you come by this excellent income - people who care little for money tend not to earn so much of it :)

    Materialistic is a broad term - physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren't "spiritual".

    What's more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.

    I am sure that you are as multifaceted as any human and contain contradictions - no doubt there is a side of you that would love to live in a simple hut in the woods with your dogs and caring nothing for money. But you're fooling yourself if you think you don't have a serious materialistic side.

    That's a fair point - that I neglected your mention of Mormon caritas. However, I just don't think that community spirit is incompatible with arrogance or materialism. Jews can be very communal, too, and often towards non-Jews as well. It often hides a will to power.I

    The point here, however, is larger than YOU - you are just an illustration.

    The point is, Mormon culture satisfies certain emotions. Far from disproving this, your sympathy for Mormonism is an illustration of of this :)

    Obviously, I have my value preferences, and I don't hide them. But "here" I was only concerned with being an anthropologist and not injecting my personal values into it.I

    The Mormon phenomena, like the Russian personality in Karlin 's other post, is good or bad depending on your values - but first let's get an accurate description!

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so… I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)
     
    Totally fair point. I used to say the same thing myself. I believe this was the basis of Nietzsche 's critique of Christianity.

    I even think there is a kind of deeper truth to it - if you dont take pleasure in superiority, then seeing it become important socially may seem threatening to the kind of life you want to live (a society that only values productivity, for instsnce, may be hostile to leisured contemplation or bohemianism)

    But you're probably right -just as an obsession with superiority conceals feelings of inferiority, an obsession with toppling superiority may conceal feelings of inferiority, if it isn't motivated by threats to your way of life.

    Which is why I have no desire to topple superiority - I advocate for amicable coexistence between people like you and I, where your quest for superiority is given ample recognition, and my alternative lifestyle is tolerated - privately, we can both scorn each other :) But as long as we each get to live as we like, who cares?
    , @for-the-record
    The most enjoyable time I had in the last 25 years was hunting and killing terrorists overseas with my blood-brothers.

    In what country would that have been?

    It sounds pretty sick to me.
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  72. @Dmitry

    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final “fuck you” to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson’s and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun’s dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.
     

    This story is unrelated to my position (sadly all my income is spent each month, with no savings left over, despite not leading any glamorous life of base jumping, drugs and mistresses).

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility - that of a man who cherishes freedom.

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility – that of a man who cherishes freedom.

    Alienation is not freedom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB

    Alienation is not freedom.
     
    Isn't it, though? To be alienated from the world and it's ways may well be freedom.

    Isn't the freedom of Christianity to be alienated from the world and it's ways?

    Alienation means seeing through the fetters of convention and "respectsble" opinion. It is surely another word for freedom.
    , @dmitry

    Alienation is not freedom.

     

    What is to say he was alienated on the information we have? We don't know the subject of the story - who might have been alienated, or who might have been more in touch with life than you or I .

    In Daniel Chieh's entertaining story telling, his relative's commitment to base jumping, mistresses and non-violent revenge on the family that wronged him - (and killing himself when he could no longer pursue the first two, but as a way to satisfy the last) - this is all something ambiguous, but which (and this is my interpretation) could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.

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  73. @Twinkie

    You too are arrogant and materialistic.
     
    Cocky? Guilty as charged. My parish priest has been working on this for years! But, to paraphrase a once famous boxer, you’d be cocky too if you were I. But, being a religious man, I also know that I am but a speck of sand on a vast beach of humanity. That restrains my arrogance a great deal.

    Materialistic? Heck no. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I disdain money. If it weren’t for my wife and kids, I’d live in a cabin in the hill country with a couple of dogs.

    Money doesn’t give me joy. The most enjoyable time I had in the last 25 years was hunting and killing terrorists overseas with my blood-brothers. With me, it’s God, country, and family.

    You admire Mormons because you too admire “superiority” – your comments here show you’re into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc.
     
    You seem to have left out, conveniently enough in your fit of completely non-judgmental and strictly anthropological observation, my admiration for the amazing community spirit Mormons have toward their neighbors, Mormon or otherwise. They have a great deal of caritas, and that’s something I consider the most worthy trait to emulate.

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so... I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)

    So you say – but did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family? And how did you come by this excellent income – people who care little for money tend not to earn so much of it :)

    Materialistic is a broad term – physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren’t “spiritual”.

    What’s more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.

    I am sure that you are as multifaceted as any human and contain contradictions – no doubt there is a side of you that would love to live in a simple hut in the woods with your dogs and caring nothing for money. But you’re fooling yourself if you think you don’t have a serious materialistic side.

    That’s a fair point – that I neglected your mention of Mormon caritas. However, I just don’t think that community spirit is incompatible with arrogance or materialism. Jews can be very communal, too, and often towards non-Jews as well. It often hides a will to power.I

    The point here, however, is larger than YOU – you are just an illustration.

    The point is, Mormon culture satisfies certain emotions. Far from disproving this, your sympathy for Mormonism is an illustration of of this :)

    Obviously, I have my value preferences, and I don’t hide them. But “here” I was only concerned with being an anthropologist and not injecting my personal values into it.I

    The Mormon phenomena, like the Russian personality in Karlin ‘s other post, is good or bad depending on your values – but first let’s get an accurate description!

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so… I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)

    Totally fair point. I used to say the same thing myself. I believe this was the basis of Nietzsche ‘s critique of Christianity.

    I even think there is a kind of deeper truth to it – if you dont take pleasure in superiority, then seeing it become important socially may seem threatening to the kind of life you want to live (a society that only values productivity, for instsnce, may be hostile to leisured contemplation or bohemianism)

    But you’re probably right -just as an obsession with superiority conceals feelings of inferiority, an obsession with toppling superiority may conceal feelings of inferiority, if it isn’t motivated by threats to your way of life.

    Which is why I have no desire to topple superiority – I advocate for amicable coexistence between people like you and I, where your quest for superiority is given ample recognition, and my alternative lifestyle is tolerated – privately, we can both scorn each other :) But as long as we each get to live as we like, who cares?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    He copped to "cocky", so no point awarded.

    You're very quick on the trigger-- almost as if you were a victim of that inferiority complex*, or in a search for alternate forms of superiority. (But almost, because internet psychiatry is stupid. Friends don't let friends play doctor online, (or off, unless they're that kind of friend.))


    privately, we can both scorn each other
     
    I know, no-one asked me, but this is a bad idea.

    :) **

    *No point to me either.

    **Is there a tongue-out emoticon? Maybe :') ?

    , @Twinkie

    did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family?
     
    No. That was in YOUR mind.

    Materialistic is a broad term – physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren’t “spiritual”.
     
    Judo has no spirituality? Sacrificing your limbs and even life for your brothers-in-arms is materialistic? It seems to me that there is considerable - and misguided - value judgment in your remarks.

    What’s more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.
     
    You have a very bad habit of reading A LOT more into what I write than what I actually do. I never said that income was the primary variable in determining fertility. In fact, in my own example I cited my religious principles and my love of children first as reasons for having them (and having some wealth enabling me, then, to practice these preferences to the max). But, to the extent that income is a variable in fertility, I was suggesting based on some research that there was a J-curve, rather than a continuous downward slope.

    And I shouldn’t have to note with those of at least average IQ that correlations is not causation.
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  74. @Twinkie

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility – that of a man who cherishes freedom.
     
    Alienation is not freedom.

    Alienation is not freedom.

    Isn’t it, though? To be alienated from the world and it’s ways may well be freedom.

    Isn’t the freedom of Christianity to be alienated from the world and it’s ways?

    Alienation means seeing through the fetters of convention and “respectsble” opinion. It is surely another word for freedom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Alienation means seeing through the fetters of convention and “respectsble” opinion. It is surely another word for freedom.
     
    This is typical of the modern view of freedom, which confuses the severance of communal and family ties with freedom. Is someone without love really free? Is someone with caritas unfree?

    Those of us who subscribe to an ancient religion often view freedom as being able to overcome internal constraints, e.g. negative impulses which lead to self-harm and harm upon others.
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  75. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB
    So you say - but did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family? And how did you come by this excellent income - people who care little for money tend not to earn so much of it :)

    Materialistic is a broad term - physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren't "spiritual".

    What's more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.

    I am sure that you are as multifaceted as any human and contain contradictions - no doubt there is a side of you that would love to live in a simple hut in the woods with your dogs and caring nothing for money. But you're fooling yourself if you think you don't have a serious materialistic side.

    That's a fair point - that I neglected your mention of Mormon caritas. However, I just don't think that community spirit is incompatible with arrogance or materialism. Jews can be very communal, too, and often towards non-Jews as well. It often hides a will to power.I

    The point here, however, is larger than YOU - you are just an illustration.

    The point is, Mormon culture satisfies certain emotions. Far from disproving this, your sympathy for Mormonism is an illustration of of this :)

    Obviously, I have my value preferences, and I don't hide them. But "here" I was only concerned with being an anthropologist and not injecting my personal values into it.I

    The Mormon phenomena, like the Russian personality in Karlin 's other post, is good or bad depending on your values - but first let's get an accurate description!

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so… I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)
     
    Totally fair point. I used to say the same thing myself. I believe this was the basis of Nietzsche 's critique of Christianity.

    I even think there is a kind of deeper truth to it - if you dont take pleasure in superiority, then seeing it become important socially may seem threatening to the kind of life you want to live (a society that only values productivity, for instsnce, may be hostile to leisured contemplation or bohemianism)

    But you're probably right -just as an obsession with superiority conceals feelings of inferiority, an obsession with toppling superiority may conceal feelings of inferiority, if it isn't motivated by threats to your way of life.

    Which is why I have no desire to topple superiority - I advocate for amicable coexistence between people like you and I, where your quest for superiority is given ample recognition, and my alternative lifestyle is tolerated - privately, we can both scorn each other :) But as long as we each get to live as we like, who cares?

    He copped to “cocky”, so no point awarded.

    You’re very quick on the trigger– almost as if you were a victim of that inferiority complex*, or in a search for alternate forms of superiority. (But almost, because internet psychiatry is stupid. Friends don’t let friends play doctor online, (or off, unless they’re that kind of friend.))

    privately, we can both scorn each other

    I know, no-one asked me, but this is a bad idea.
    :) **

    *No point to me either.

    **Is there a tongue-out emoticon? Maybe :’) ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I'm just having some fun on a lazy friday afternoon :)

    Well, of course I have a different idea of what "superior" is - that can't be avoided .

    It's always competing versions of what's superior. It's never "superior" vs "inferior".

    Those are relative terms - give up conventional superiority to get another kind.

    As for inferiority complexes, they are meaningful relative to a specific trait - that's why someone who over-emphasizes his superiority relative to a specific trait, we may suspect he feels himself to be deficient in that trait.

    Or if someone seeks to suppress that trait in another even though it doesn't interfere with him in any way, we may suspect he feels deficient in that trait.

    But if someone is being prevented from living the lifestyle of his choice, it makes little sense to suggest resistance to that is motivated by feelings of inferiority.

    And if someone peacefully prefers different values without in any way wishing to suppress others, it makes little sense also.

    Seen from this perspective, we can get some idea of which sectors of mainstream society suffer from feelings of inferiority- those who emphasize their superiority, and seek to impose it on others.

    Whoever they are :)

    Divorced from conduct, the charge is merely rhetorical - a device to reinforce belief in your own values.

    But almost, because internet psychiatry is stupid. Friends don’t let friends play doctor online, (or off, unless they’re that kind of friend.))
     
    Never say that - it's one of lives most satisfying activities!
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  76. @AaronB
    So you say - but did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family? And how did you come by this excellent income - people who care little for money tend not to earn so much of it :)

    Materialistic is a broad term - physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren't "spiritual".

    What's more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.

    I am sure that you are as multifaceted as any human and contain contradictions - no doubt there is a side of you that would love to live in a simple hut in the woods with your dogs and caring nothing for money. But you're fooling yourself if you think you don't have a serious materialistic side.

    That's a fair point - that I neglected your mention of Mormon caritas. However, I just don't think that community spirit is incompatible with arrogance or materialism. Jews can be very communal, too, and often towards non-Jews as well. It often hides a will to power.I

    The point here, however, is larger than YOU - you are just an illustration.

    The point is, Mormon culture satisfies certain emotions. Far from disproving this, your sympathy for Mormonism is an illustration of of this :)

    Obviously, I have my value preferences, and I don't hide them. But "here" I was only concerned with being an anthropologist and not injecting my personal values into it.I

    The Mormon phenomena, like the Russian personality in Karlin 's other post, is good or bad depending on your values - but first let's get an accurate description!

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so… I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)
     
    Totally fair point. I used to say the same thing myself. I believe this was the basis of Nietzsche 's critique of Christianity.

    I even think there is a kind of deeper truth to it - if you dont take pleasure in superiority, then seeing it become important socially may seem threatening to the kind of life you want to live (a society that only values productivity, for instsnce, may be hostile to leisured contemplation or bohemianism)

    But you're probably right -just as an obsession with superiority conceals feelings of inferiority, an obsession with toppling superiority may conceal feelings of inferiority, if it isn't motivated by threats to your way of life.

    Which is why I have no desire to topple superiority - I advocate for amicable coexistence between people like you and I, where your quest for superiority is given ample recognition, and my alternative lifestyle is tolerated - privately, we can both scorn each other :) But as long as we each get to live as we like, who cares?

    did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family?

    No. That was in YOUR mind.

    Materialistic is a broad term – physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren’t “spiritual”.

    Judo has no spirituality? Sacrificing your limbs and even life for your brothers-in-arms is materialistic? It seems to me that there is considerable – and misguided – value judgment in your remarks.

    What’s more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.

    You have a very bad habit of reading A LOT more into what I write than what I actually do. I never said that income was the primary variable in determining fertility. In fact, in my own example I cited my religious principles and my love of children first as reasons for having them (and having some wealth enabling me, then, to practice these preferences to the max). But, to the extent that income is a variable in fertility, I was suggesting based on some research that there was a J-curve, rather than a continuous downward slope.

    And I shouldn’t have to note with those of at least average IQ that correlations is not causation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I don't think an interest in military things is primarily about "sacrifice" - it's about the thrill of physical aggression and skill and domination. But I think you know that :) Nice try, though.

    But yes, even war has a spiritual dimension, as has often been noted. I wouldn't deny that.

    Well, you said "a big part" of your decision to have many kids is that you can afford to, and that fertility is on a J curve with income.

    Meaning - among those with income above a certain level, affordability played a key role (the underclass, presumably, is imprudent).

    However, strictly speaking affordability cannot be an issue - as the J curve begins well after people can afford multiple kids.

    By setting the "affordability " cut off point so high, you imply a very specific set of values, both for yourself, and others.

    Nor did I mistake correlation with causality - if more money doesn't "cause" one to have kids, but only "permits" one to do so - ones idea of how much money "permits" one to have kids says something about how materialistic one is.

    It may be that I read you too hastily, and I will try to correct that in the future.

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  77. @AaronB

    Alienation is not freedom.
     
    Isn't it, though? To be alienated from the world and it's ways may well be freedom.

    Isn't the freedom of Christianity to be alienated from the world and it's ways?

    Alienation means seeing through the fetters of convention and "respectsble" opinion. It is surely another word for freedom.

    Alienation means seeing through the fetters of convention and “respectsble” opinion. It is surely another word for freedom.

    This is typical of the modern view of freedom, which confuses the severance of communal and family ties with freedom. Is someone without love really free? Is someone with caritas unfree?

    Those of us who subscribe to an ancient religion often view freedom as being able to overcome internal constraints, e.g. negative impulses which lead to self-harm and harm upon others.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Excellent points, and I agree with you. No true freedom is even possible - we are always in bondage to some desire or impulse. Freedom from one thing, means submission to another.

    I don't actually admire this man's life. But his freedom from convention and respectability liberates him for submission to something better. It's a revolt against modernity.
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  78. @Daniel Chieh
    Because despite disapproving of his lifestyle, he was still family.

    I can understand the sentiment, but it was more than disapproving his choices. It was also about him actively trying to harm them.

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  79. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Don’t know much about Mormons, but they’re clever at selling motherhood to women:

    https://www.allure.com/story/why-so-many-beauty-bloggers-are-mormon

    Behind the glamorous facade though, there’s a high level of divorce and antidepressant use (and probably those children will be messed up by moms flaunting them in front of strangers on the Internet for likes and money).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh


    Behind the glamorous facade though, there’s a high level of divorce and antidepressant use (and probably those children will be messed up by moms flaunting them in front of strangers on the Internet for likes and money).
     
    Ah, well, normal life then! But at least a few children are created in the process.

    The "trad news" link in Mr. Karlin's open thread is quite relevant to this.
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  80. @Anon
    Don't know much about Mormons, but they're clever at selling motherhood to women:
    https://www.allure.com/story/why-so-many-beauty-bloggers-are-mormon
    Behind the glamorous facade though, there's a high level of divorce and antidepressant use (and probably those children will be messed up by moms flaunting them in front of strangers on the Internet for likes and money).

    Behind the glamorous facade though, there’s a high level of divorce and antidepressant use (and probably those children will be messed up by moms flaunting them in front of strangers on the Internet for likes and money).

    Ah, well, normal life then! But at least a few children are created in the process.

    The “trad news” link in Mr. Karlin’s open thread is quite relevant to this.

    Read More
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  81. @Twinkie

    Alienation means seeing through the fetters of convention and “respectsble” opinion. It is surely another word for freedom.
     
    This is typical of the modern view of freedom, which confuses the severance of communal and family ties with freedom. Is someone without love really free? Is someone with caritas unfree?

    Those of us who subscribe to an ancient religion often view freedom as being able to overcome internal constraints, e.g. negative impulses which lead to self-harm and harm upon others.

    Excellent points, and I agree with you. No true freedom is even possible – we are always in bondage to some desire or impulse. Freedom from one thing, means submission to another.

    I don’t actually admire this man’s life. But his freedom from convention and respectability liberates him for submission to something better. It’s a revolt against modernity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    No true freedom is even possible – we are always in bondage to some desire or impulse.
     
    That’s NOT what I wrote.
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  82. @Twinkie

    did I not detect a note of triumph in the fact that you can afford a large family?
     
    No. That was in YOUR mind.

    Materialistic is a broad term – physical fitness, guns, the military, are all forms of materialism. They certainly aren’t “spiritual”.
     
    Judo has no spirituality? Sacrificing your limbs and even life for your brothers-in-arms is materialistic? It seems to me that there is considerable - and misguided - value judgment in your remarks.

    What’s more, by explaining family size as primarily a function of income, and not ideals or values, you betray a peculiarly materialistic cast of mind.
     
    You have a very bad habit of reading A LOT more into what I write than what I actually do. I never said that income was the primary variable in determining fertility. In fact, in my own example I cited my religious principles and my love of children first as reasons for having them (and having some wealth enabling me, then, to practice these preferences to the max). But, to the extent that income is a variable in fertility, I was suggesting based on some research that there was a J-curve, rather than a continuous downward slope.

    And I shouldn’t have to note with those of at least average IQ that correlations is not causation.

    I don’t think an interest in military things is primarily about “sacrifice” – it’s about the thrill of physical aggression and skill and domination. But I think you know that :) Nice try, though.

    But yes, even war has a spiritual dimension, as has often been noted. I wouldn’t deny that.

    Well, you said “a big part” of your decision to have many kids is that you can afford to, and that fertility is on a J curve with income.

    Meaning – among those with income above a certain level, affordability played a key role (the underclass, presumably, is imprudent).

    However, strictly speaking affordability cannot be an issue – as the J curve begins well after people can afford multiple kids.

    By setting the “affordability ” cut off point so high, you imply a very specific set of values, both for yourself, and others.

    Nor did I mistake correlation with causality – if more money doesn’t “cause” one to have kids, but only “permits” one to do so – ones idea of how much money “permits” one to have kids says something about how materialistic one is.

    It may be that I read you too hastily, and I will try to correct that in the future.

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  83. @Anon
    He copped to "cocky", so no point awarded.

    You're very quick on the trigger-- almost as if you were a victim of that inferiority complex*, or in a search for alternate forms of superiority. (But almost, because internet psychiatry is stupid. Friends don't let friends play doctor online, (or off, unless they're that kind of friend.))


    privately, we can both scorn each other
     
    I know, no-one asked me, but this is a bad idea.

    :) **

    *No point to me either.

    **Is there a tongue-out emoticon? Maybe :') ?

    I’m just having some fun on a lazy friday afternoon :)

    Well, of course I have a different idea of what “superior” is – that can’t be avoided .

    It’s always competing versions of what’s superior. It’s never “superior” vs “inferior”.

    Those are relative terms – give up conventional superiority to get another kind.

    As for inferiority complexes, they are meaningful relative to a specific trait – that’s why someone who over-emphasizes his superiority relative to a specific trait, we may suspect he feels himself to be deficient in that trait.

    Or if someone seeks to suppress that trait in another even though it doesn’t interfere with him in any way, we may suspect he feels deficient in that trait.

    But if someone is being prevented from living the lifestyle of his choice, it makes little sense to suggest resistance to that is motivated by feelings of inferiority.

    And if someone peacefully prefers different values without in any way wishing to suppress others, it makes little sense also.

    Seen from this perspective, we can get some idea of which sectors of mainstream society suffer from feelings of inferiority- those who emphasize their superiority, and seek to impose it on others.

    Whoever they are :)

    Divorced from conduct, the charge is merely rhetorical – a device to reinforce belief in your own values.

    But almost, because internet psychiatry is stupid. Friends don’t let friends play doctor online, (or off, unless they’re that kind of friend.))

    Never say that – it’s one of lives most satisfying activities!

    Read More
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  84. @szopen: Yes, I think that Audacious Epigone’s data shows that there is indeed a eugenic fertility trend for conservatives. In turn, what this would probably mean is that, without IQ-enhancing technology, our cognitive elite would, on average, become more and more conservative over time.

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  85. @Twinkie

    But the way you describe it, the selfishness of this character takes on a paradoxical nobility – that of a man who cherishes freedom.
     
    Alienation is not freedom.

    Alienation is not freedom.

    What is to say he was alienated on the information we have? We don’t know the subject of the story – who might have been alienated, or who might have been more in touch with life than you or I .

    In Daniel Chieh’s entertaining story telling, his relative’s commitment to base jumping, mistresses and non-violent revenge on the family that wronged him – (and killing himself when he could no longer pursue the first two, but as a way to satisfy the last) – this is all something ambiguous, but which (and this is my interpretation) could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.
     
    Ancient Romans (that is the members of the elite, obviously we're less well informed about those lower down the social scale) wanted to acquire glory in the service of their family and their country so they would be remembered as exemplars of virtue by later generations. They would have found someone like Daniel Chieh's unpleasant relative appalling.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    I think he conceptualizes, more than anything, the notion of autonomy in the rejection ultimately of any non-anonymous/interchangeable source of support and insofar as traditional virtues go, he exhibits the dignity of being willing to end his life in support of his ideals of autonomy. In his violent rejection of ever being dependent or helpless, there is a certain masculine appeal of independence.

    There's certainly much pathos to such an individual, who virtually dehumanizes himself to become a concept, a mythic quality that Ayn Rand was fond of extolling and forms the basis of much of her Objectivist philosophy. But such radical autonomy and atomization, I think, is a relatively modern concern.

    I also do not think that John Galt would, in all sanity, be a good foundation stone to build a balanced society from.

    Note to self: should write more.

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  86. @AaronB
    Excellent points, and I agree with you. No true freedom is even possible - we are always in bondage to some desire or impulse. Freedom from one thing, means submission to another.

    I don't actually admire this man's life. But his freedom from convention and respectability liberates him for submission to something better. It's a revolt against modernity.

    No true freedom is even possible – we are always in bondage to some desire or impulse.

    That’s NOT what I wrote.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I didn't say it was :)

    You don't like the way I characterize your philosophy, or tease out its implications. I understand that - we all live by stories we tell ourselves, and they do not benefit from the harsh glare of reason.

    I am sure my own self image and fond conceits could not survive scrutiny.

    Enjoy life, Twinkie.

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  87. @Twinkie

    I’m sure they do make sweet neighbors, but they have a strong sense of superiority – they privately think you are an infetior soul for not having incarnated as a Mormon.
     
    Well, I think they belong to a Satanic cult that is beyond bizarre, so we're even.

    I know LOTS of Mormons - neighbors, former colleagues (they polygraph very well due to clean living), political associates (pro-marriage/pro-life, etc.). Some are even friends. I don't find them to be "arrogant and materialistic." Far from it. They all keep in good shape. Men are hardworking and straight forward and the women are chaste and frugal - even ones with money. And they have an incredible communal spirit even toward non-Mormon neighbors. I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.

    they think God is an actual physical being.
     
    God IS an actual being. In case, I wasn't clear, I am an orthodox Catholic.

    I think they belong to a Satanic cult…….I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.

    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?

    What’s “satanic” about a cult that teaches that good behavior on this planet earns its votaries the right to be god-kings of their own planets?

    They may be brainwashed by a bizarre fantasy but then so are you. And by your own acknowledgment their brainwashing results in better behavior in this world than your brainwashing. So does that not make their cult superior to your own?

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?
     
    1. Because truth matters to one’s soul.

    2. And because there is life hereafter and I fear that their adherence to their cult will lead to their loss of heaven.

    So does that not make their cult superior to your own?
     
    Why do some people have all this “superiority” obsession?

    Yes, Mormonism appears to be “superior” at attracting or producing people with good behaviors. But, Christ didn’t build the Church to save the good and the beautiful. He came to save the lost sheep and to rescue fallen souls. I love that the Church is one of the sinful. Were it the Church of the Perfect, it’d be the Church of One. I am a wastrel son, and He is my father who welcomes me back.
    , @AaronB

    They may be brainwashed by a bizarre fantasy but then so are you. And by your own acknowledgment their brainwashing results in better behavior in this world than your brainwashing. So does that not make their cult superior to your own?
     
    It doesn't result in better behavior in this world. Under a facade of sweetness, it results in arrogance and materialism and obsession with money, anger and competition, unhappiness and ego.

    It does result, however, in providing an outlet for the ambitious and motivated, reducing the defection rate to secularism, and encouraging them to have large families.
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  88. @dmitry

    Alienation is not freedom.

     

    What is to say he was alienated on the information we have? We don't know the subject of the story - who might have been alienated, or who might have been more in touch with life than you or I .

    In Daniel Chieh's entertaining story telling, his relative's commitment to base jumping, mistresses and non-violent revenge on the family that wronged him - (and killing himself when he could no longer pursue the first two, but as a way to satisfy the last) - this is all something ambiguous, but which (and this is my interpretation) could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.

    could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.

    Ancient Romans (that is the members of the elite, obviously we’re less well informed about those lower down the social scale) wanted to acquire glory in the service of their family and their country so they would be remembered as exemplars of virtue by later generations. They would have found someone like Daniel Chieh’s unpleasant relative appalling.

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    • Replies: @dmitry

    in the service of their family

     

    Off the top of my head, this would be rather surprising news (if we take as example just look within three famous imperial dynasties) for Emperor Caracalla (who assassinated his brother Emperor Geta), Emperor Augustus (assassinated by his wife Livia), Emperor Elagabalus (assassinated by his grandmother), Emperor Claudius (assassinated by his wife), Emperor Nero (who executed his mother), and many others I must have forgotten. And of course wider Roman history is littered with dozens and dozens of examples of such familial murders and revenges endemic to their noble families. The level of intra-family revenge, plotting and brutality to relatives is one of the more exotic aspects of anyone reading Roman history.
    , @Dmitry

    They would have found someone like Daniel Chieh’s unpleasant relative appalling.
     
    And yet a man who killed his mother and wife, became - if not by contemporary historians, then at least amongst the hoi polloi - a 'beloved figure', of vast popularity in his society, which persisted in century after his death, inspiring even cultic beliefs that he would one day return.

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/Nero%20Reconsidered_0.pdf


    Not to say I condone unpleasantness to own family, let alone applaud people who murder them. But your concept of the Roman mentality, is unusual, to say the least.

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  89. @Twinkie

    No true freedom is even possible – we are always in bondage to some desire or impulse.
     
    That’s NOT what I wrote.

    I didn’t say it was :)

    You don’t like the way I characterize your philosophy, or tease out its implications. I understand that – we all live by stories we tell ourselves, and they do not benefit from the harsh glare of reason.

    I am sure my own self image and fond conceits could not survive scrutiny.

    Enjoy life, Twinkie.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    You don’t like the way I characterize your philosophy, or tease out its implications.
     
    I don’t like the way you distort what I wrote to suit your own purpose.

    I understand that – we all live by stories we tell ourselves, and they do not benefit from the harsh glare of reason.
     
    This is a passive-aggressive way to try to invalidate another point of view without actually understanding it. You seem more interested in “winning” than anything else here. Or at least not want to “lose.”

    But, then, it’s my fault for getting sucked into a conversation with someone who steered the conversation into ad hominem.
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  90. @German_reader

    could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.
     
    Ancient Romans (that is the members of the elite, obviously we're less well informed about those lower down the social scale) wanted to acquire glory in the service of their family and their country so they would be remembered as exemplars of virtue by later generations. They would have found someone like Daniel Chieh's unpleasant relative appalling.

    in the service of their family

    Off the top of my head, this would be rather surprising news (if we take as example just look within three famous imperial dynasties) for Emperor Caracalla (who assassinated his brother Emperor Geta), Emperor Augustus (assassinated by his wife Livia), Emperor Elagabalus (assassinated by his grandmother), Emperor Claudius (assassinated by his wife), Emperor Nero (who executed his mother), and many others I must have forgotten. And of course wider Roman history is littered with dozens and dozens of examples of such familial murders and revenges endemic to their noble families. The level of intra-family revenge, plotting and brutality to relatives is one of the more exotic aspects of anyone reading Roman history.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    That was in the empire, and at least many members of the senatorial elite like Tacitus regarded the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty as a sordid tale of decadence and fall from ancient virtue...later on, Caracalla was quite simply regarded as a tyrant, and Elagabalus as a decadent, perverse freak who also tried to introduce dubious foreign cults. Emperors of that kind were clearly regarded as transgressing accepted norms (at least by the elite...it's probably true that a character like Nero did have some appeal among the lower classes).
    Traditionally, Roman society placed a lot of emphasis on family tradition; during the republic the aristocratic lineages preserved wax masks (imagines) of their dead ancestors, with lists of their victories in war, their magistracies, the public works they had built etc. Bringing glory to the name of one's family certainly was a major reason for these people, and killing your relatives is unlikely to do that.
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  91. @German_reader

    could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.
     
    Ancient Romans (that is the members of the elite, obviously we're less well informed about those lower down the social scale) wanted to acquire glory in the service of their family and their country so they would be remembered as exemplars of virtue by later generations. They would have found someone like Daniel Chieh's unpleasant relative appalling.

    They would have found someone like Daniel Chieh’s unpleasant relative appalling.

    And yet a man who killed his mother and wife, became – if not by contemporary historians, then at least amongst the hoi polloi – a ‘beloved figure’, of vast popularity in his society, which persisted in century after his death, inspiring even cultic beliefs that he would one day return.

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/Nero%20Reconsidered_0.pdf

    Not to say I condone unpleasantness to own family, let alone applaud people who murder them. But your concept of the Roman mentality, is unusual, to say the least.

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  92. @dmitry

    in the service of their family

     

    Off the top of my head, this would be rather surprising news (if we take as example just look within three famous imperial dynasties) for Emperor Caracalla (who assassinated his brother Emperor Geta), Emperor Augustus (assassinated by his wife Livia), Emperor Elagabalus (assassinated by his grandmother), Emperor Claudius (assassinated by his wife), Emperor Nero (who executed his mother), and many others I must have forgotten. And of course wider Roman history is littered with dozens and dozens of examples of such familial murders and revenges endemic to their noble families. The level of intra-family revenge, plotting and brutality to relatives is one of the more exotic aspects of anyone reading Roman history.

    That was in the empire, and at least many members of the senatorial elite like Tacitus regarded the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty as a sordid tale of decadence and fall from ancient virtue…later on, Caracalla was quite simply regarded as a tyrant, and Elagabalus as a decadent, perverse freak who also tried to introduce dubious foreign cults. Emperors of that kind were clearly regarded as transgressing accepted norms (at least by the elite…it’s probably true that a character like Nero did have some appeal among the lower classes).
    Traditionally, Roman society placed a lot of emphasis on family tradition; during the republic the aristocratic lineages preserved wax masks (imagines) of their dead ancestors, with lists of their victories in war, their magistracies, the public works they had built etc. Bringing glory to the name of one’s family certainly was a major reason for these people, and killing your relatives is unlikely to do that.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Elogabalus wasn’t even Roman. He was Middle Eastern.

    In any event, this is not the first time that Dmitry’s thinking is quite a bit off to normal, non-psychopathic people. I then wrote a longer comment on it, but ultimately didn’t send. While his thinking was praised as “logical” by Talha (whose motivation is probably to show that outside of religion, people will be psychopathic) and Anatoly (that’s probably the ‘sperg unable to find a reason to explicitly reject it), it really was just psychopathic. Apparently even in history he found cautionary tales and thought they were manuals.
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  93. @German_reader
    That was in the empire, and at least many members of the senatorial elite like Tacitus regarded the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty as a sordid tale of decadence and fall from ancient virtue...later on, Caracalla was quite simply regarded as a tyrant, and Elagabalus as a decadent, perverse freak who also tried to introduce dubious foreign cults. Emperors of that kind were clearly regarded as transgressing accepted norms (at least by the elite...it's probably true that a character like Nero did have some appeal among the lower classes).
    Traditionally, Roman society placed a lot of emphasis on family tradition; during the republic the aristocratic lineages preserved wax masks (imagines) of their dead ancestors, with lists of their victories in war, their magistracies, the public works they had built etc. Bringing glory to the name of one's family certainly was a major reason for these people, and killing your relatives is unlikely to do that.

    Elogabalus wasn’t even Roman. He was Middle Eastern.

    In any event, this is not the first time that Dmitry’s thinking is quite a bit off to normal, non-psychopathic people. I then wrote a longer comment on it, but ultimately didn’t send. While his thinking was praised as “logical” by Talha (whose motivation is probably to show that outside of religion, people will be psychopathic) and Anatoly (that’s probably the ‘sperg unable to find a reason to explicitly reject it), it really was just psychopathic. Apparently even in history he found cautionary tales and thought they were manuals.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Elogabalus wasn’t even Roman. He was Middle Eastern.
     
    Well, by that time pretty much all the inhabitants of the empire were Roman citizens, and his ethnic or "racial" origins weren't the problem by themselves (most of the emperors from the early 3rd century onwards weren't of Italian "old stock" Roman origin anyway, many being soldiers from the Illyrian provinces of quite humble descent)...it was his flagrantly un-Roman behaviour, with his sexual perversions and the promotion of a Syrian cult which traditional Romans found abhorrent. Culturally he definitely was as far as one could get from mainstream Roman conceptions of virtue.
    Anyway, I wouldn't call Dmitry psychopathic, imo he just takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme. It seems a bit immature to me (in the way of clever students who think they have the world figured out, with little regard for how most people think and act), but given the harmful ideas other high-IQ people believe in (and I have no doubt Dmitry is a high-achieving high-IQ person) one probably shouldn't be too harsh on him.
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  94. @AaronB
    Mormonism is a very "elitist" religion - the basic goal is to become actual physical gods ruling over other planets.

    While this may seem like a goal that would attract only idiots, it also creates a culture that heavily favors and selects for "superiority" in any form - intelligence, accomplishment, and wealth. Unlike traditional Christianity and like Judaism, it is oriented towards the "supertior". None of the "meek and the poor in spirit shall inherit the earth".

    Having spent time among Mormons, I can attest that they are arrogant and materialistic.

    This makes them uniquely fitted to maintain morale in the modern environment as their mythos is basically a variant of modernity - human self-assertion.

    Traditional religion demands human humility before a force greater than ourselves, but in the modern environment of human self assertion, the more intelligent and capable tend to become secular, since it provides greater scope for the exercise of their talents and the development of their egos.

    But Mormonism provides ample scope for ego, so the rate of defection of the intelligent and talented is far lower.

    When Mormonism eventually breaks down, it will probably, like Judaism, flood the world with extremely aggressive and materialistic men, who are highly intelligent. It's an incubator for that kind of person.

    As I posted here before, Christianity has been very adept at reinventing itself. Mormonism
    might be regarded as one example of this capacity for reinvention.

    In its very essence Christianity is relational. The concept of the triune God, or Holy Trinity,
    unique to Christianity, whether one believes it or not, emphasizes that God the Father is
    in relationship with God the Son, etc, and this is something we are supposed to emulate
    in our lives. Hence to a Christian a solitary journey (e.g., withdrawing to a cave in the
    Himalayas) makes no sense – we’re relational beings and relationships are a natural way for
    us to practice the Game of Life, although we may be called to partially withdraw from the world
    for awhile.

    What I find interesting is that Modern Physics in discovering that reality itself is relational
    is reinforcing this point of view. For example, velocity is always relative to a frame of reference.
    In physics there is no such thing as “true velocity,” – velocity is always observer-dependent
    (although admittedly the speed of light is an invariant). Hence, we, situated as we are at the
    origin of our frame of reference, or the center of our universe, are godlike in that we CREATE
    the specific value of velocity with reference to us. Nietzsche may have been prescient in
    claiming there is no truth, only different perspectives, just like there is no true velocity
    only different velocities dependent on the observer, i.e., local god. As an aside, Carl Jung
    claimed that the different races or nations may have a different archetypal structure of
    their collective unconscious which helps create their specific reality – “It’s a white thang,
    you wouldn’t understand.”

    Similarly, Quantum Mechanics turns out to be relational, i.e., observer-created as well
    (Cf. the book “How the Hippies Saved Physics” ; also Rovelli’s “Reality Is Not What It
    Seems”). This parallels what came out of the American Counterculture of the 1960s-’70s
    of which I was a proud member: You Create Your Own Reality (Seth Speaks) and We are As
    Gods and Might As Well Get Good At It (Stewart Brand). These two claims originated
    within the Human Potential Movement which is now morphing into
    Transhumanism, Christian Transhumanism being one of its branches.

    Now combine this with Transpersonal Psychology as exemplified by Ken Wilber
    the most translated American philosopher, who in developing his system
    followed the pioneering work of Jean Gebser (1905-73), born in Poznań and
    descended from Polish nobility and famous for the treatise The Ever-Present
    Origin. You basically have two choices in life: Expansion of the Ego (become
    superior in wealth, intelligence, fame, influence, strength, number of children, …)
    or Expansion of Consciousness. The latter is tricky because initially it involves
    the transcendence of the ego, i.e., becoming egoless, a state in which wealth,
    fame, and power are seen as illusory goals. However, this is a temporary stage
    which when traversed successfully allows us to awaken to our true nature,
    which is godlike, i.e., we realize we are creators of our own reality, and
    as relational beings our power increases in proportion to the depth of our
    relationships (“Where two or three are gathered in my name …). It would be
    incorrect therefore to say that this new form of Christianity (as described in, for
    example, A Course in Miracles) gives ample room to one’s ego. You need to transcend
    your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always
    in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Thanks.

    I've read that before about Mormon theology - that you expand your consciousness but remain embedded in a web of relationships.

    Expanding your consciousness is expanding your ego. Being in a relationship requires limitation of ego.

    The two are opposites. I can understand trying to balance the two poles, but Mormon theology seems to suggest uninegated juxtaposition - an incoherent position.

    The more you expand consciousness (ego), the less you are able to remain in a relationship, and the more you stay in a relationship, the more you must place limits on your ego.

    (Expansion of consciousness in Mormonism means developing ones sense of individuality and uniqueness, ones personal power of self assertion)

    The two choices we are faced with are expanding ones ego and developing ones individuality - of which I take Mormonism to be an example - or of shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole.

    Theologies that favor shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole speak of "unknowing" and "mystery" - theologies which favor expanding the ego speak of "expanding the consciousness."

    Whatever it's claims, Mormonism is about expansion of individuality and intrinsically hostile to "relational" situations. "Unification" - the mystic goal of ego shrinking theologies, is not a Mormon value.

    Honestly, I suspect Mormonism seeks to blur the lines between ego expansion and contraction in order to capture confused people who feel the first faint stirrings of the power of giving up the ego, and redirect them towards ego expansion.

    It's a classic tactic "of course I agree with you completely that you must lower your ego, but what that really means is..." " you can have relationships without giving up any ego..."

    Agree and redirect. Bait and switch.

    Mormonism is an aggressively proselytizing religion whose founder practiced strategic deception for religious purposes. Such tactics are in line with that.

    If you can explain how this position is not incoherent, I'd be interested.

    The one semi-famous blogger who subscribes to Mormon metaphysics who've I've tried to discuss this with turned out to be a thoroughly dishonest man - pretend to answer your question while actually answering something related that you didn't ask, then shut you down. Suppress your comments. Delete already published comments leaving the impression you couldn't answer his points, and so on and do forth.

    Basically, strategic deception - tactics.

    But I'd be very impressed if you could discuss this honestly, although I don't think it's possible - being Mormon means not willing to be honest that it's about developing the ego, for strategic reasons.
    , @Bliss

    You need to transcend your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)
     
    You are confused:

    If separation is the fundamental illusion then the idea of relationship cannot even arise when the illusion is transcended. For there is no other entity separate from you to be “in relationship” with.
    , @Anon 2
    A couple of other examples of how Christianity has managed to
    reinvent itself include Christian Science of Mary Baker Eddy and
    the Unity Church of Kansas City founded by the Fillmores. Swedenborgianism
    is another example that's still popular in certain circles
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  95. @Anon 2
    As I posted here before, Christianity has been very adept at reinventing itself. Mormonism
    might be regarded as one example of this capacity for reinvention.

    In its very essence Christianity is relational. The concept of the triune God, or Holy Trinity,
    unique to Christianity, whether one believes it or not, emphasizes that God the Father is
    in relationship with God the Son, etc, and this is something we are supposed to emulate
    in our lives. Hence to a Christian a solitary journey (e.g., withdrawing to a cave in the
    Himalayas) makes no sense - we're relational beings and relationships are a natural way for
    us to practice the Game of Life, although we may be called to partially withdraw from the world
    for awhile.

    What I find interesting is that Modern Physics in discovering that reality itself is relational
    is reinforcing this point of view. For example, velocity is always relative to a frame of reference.
    In physics there is no such thing as "true velocity," - velocity is always observer-dependent
    (although admittedly the speed of light is an invariant). Hence, we, situated as we are at the
    origin of our frame of reference, or the center of our universe, are godlike in that we CREATE
    the specific value of velocity with reference to us. Nietzsche may have been prescient in
    claiming there is no truth, only different perspectives, just like there is no true velocity
    only different velocities dependent on the observer, i.e., local god. As an aside, Carl Jung
    claimed that the different races or nations may have a different archetypal structure of
    their collective unconscious which helps create their specific reality - "It's a white thang,
    you wouldn't understand."

    Similarly, Quantum Mechanics turns out to be relational, i.e., observer-created as well
    (Cf. the book "How the Hippies Saved Physics" ; also Rovelli's "Reality Is Not What It
    Seems"). This parallels what came out of the American Counterculture of the 1960s-'70s
    of which I was a proud member: You Create Your Own Reality (Seth Speaks) and We are As
    Gods and Might As Well Get Good At It (Stewart Brand). These two claims originated
    within the Human Potential Movement which is now morphing into
    Transhumanism, Christian Transhumanism being one of its branches.

    Now combine this with Transpersonal Psychology as exemplified by Ken Wilber
    the most translated American philosopher, who in developing his system
    followed the pioneering work of Jean Gebser (1905-73), born in Poznań and
    descended from Polish nobility and famous for the treatise The Ever-Present
    Origin. You basically have two choices in life: Expansion of the Ego (become
    superior in wealth, intelligence, fame, influence, strength, number of children, ...)
    or Expansion of Consciousness. The latter is tricky because initially it involves
    the transcendence of the ego, i.e., becoming egoless, a state in which wealth,
    fame, and power are seen as illusory goals. However, this is a temporary stage
    which when traversed successfully allows us to awaken to our true nature,
    which is godlike, i.e., we realize we are creators of our own reality, and
    as relational beings our power increases in proportion to the depth of our
    relationships ("Where two or three are gathered in my name ...). It would be
    incorrect therefore to say that this new form of Christianity (as described in, for
    example, A Course in Miracles) gives ample room to one's ego. You need to transcend
    your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always
    in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)

    Thanks.

    I’ve read that before about Mormon theology – that you expand your consciousness but remain embedded in a web of relationships.

    Expanding your consciousness is expanding your ego. Being in a relationship requires limitation of ego.

    The two are opposites. I can understand trying to balance the two poles, but Mormon theology seems to suggest uninegated juxtaposition – an incoherent position.

    The more you expand consciousness (ego), the less you are able to remain in a relationship, and the more you stay in a relationship, the more you must place limits on your ego.

    (Expansion of consciousness in Mormonism means developing ones sense of individuality and uniqueness, ones personal power of self assertion)

    The two choices we are faced with are expanding ones ego and developing ones individuality – of which I take Mormonism to be an example – or of shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole.

    Theologies that favor shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole speak of “unknowing” and “mystery” – theologies which favor expanding the ego speak of “expanding the consciousness.”

    Whatever it’s claims, Mormonism is about expansion of individuality and intrinsically hostile to “relational” situations. “Unification” – the mystic goal of ego shrinking theologies, is not a Mormon value.

    Honestly, I suspect Mormonism seeks to blur the lines between ego expansion and contraction in order to capture confused people who feel the first faint stirrings of the power of giving up the ego, and redirect them towards ego expansion.

    It’s a classic tactic “of course I agree with you completely that you must lower your ego, but what that really means is…” ” you can have relationships without giving up any ego…”

    Agree and redirect. Bait and switch.

    Mormonism is an aggressively proselytizing religion whose founder practiced strategic deception for religious purposes. Such tactics are in line with that.

    If you can explain how this position is not incoherent, I’d be interested.

    The one semi-famous blogger who subscribes to Mormon metaphysics who’ve I’ve tried to discuss this with turned out to be a thoroughly dishonest man – pretend to answer your question while actually answering something related that you didn’t ask, then shut you down. Suppress your comments. Delete already published comments leaving the impression you couldn’t answer his points, and so on and do forth.

    Basically, strategic deception – tactics.

    But I’d be very impressed if you could discuss this honestly, although I don’t think it’s possible – being Mormon means not willing to be honest that it’s about developing the ego, for strategic reasons.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I also want to make clear that I'm not interested here in discussing the pros and cons of either position with regard to ego.

    We are all born with a sense of radical inadequacy - we can respond by "improving" ourselves infinitely, or accepting our inadequacy as final and finding meaning only as part of a larger whole.

    Everyone has to make their choice, and reason plays little part in it.

    I am only interested in "classifying" Mormonism with regard to its position on ego.

    Although as I said, an honest classification may not serve the strategic interests of Mormons, and so they may not consent to it.
    , @Anon 2
    I'm definitely not a Mormon, and I hope I didn't leave an impression
    that I was. If I were to describe (and thus limit) my philosophy of life,
    I'd use the phrase "Christian Transhumanism." I am someone who is
    very impressed by the fact that Christianity, unlike Buddhism, is
    relational in its very essence, and that the structure of reality, as
    discovered by Modern Physics, is relational. Hence Christianity
    is in harmony with the basic structure of reality. However, my
    version of Christianity has also been influenced by the 1960s-'70s
    California Counterculture ("We are as gods" and "We create our own reality
    on a deep level"). This is definitely not traditional Christianity, not the kind
    you'll find at a typical church, Catholic or Protestant
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  96. @dmitry

    Alienation is not freedom.

     

    What is to say he was alienated on the information we have? We don't know the subject of the story - who might have been alienated, or who might have been more in touch with life than you or I .

    In Daniel Chieh's entertaining story telling, his relative's commitment to base jumping, mistresses and non-violent revenge on the family that wronged him - (and killing himself when he could no longer pursue the first two, but as a way to satisfy the last) - this is all something ambiguous, but which (and this is my interpretation) could also indicate an attitude to life and death that the Ancient Romans might once have idealized.

    I think he conceptualizes, more than anything, the notion of autonomy in the rejection ultimately of any non-anonymous/interchangeable source of support and insofar as traditional virtues go, he exhibits the dignity of being willing to end his life in support of his ideals of autonomy. In his violent rejection of ever being dependent or helpless, there is a certain masculine appeal of independence.

    There’s certainly much pathos to such an individual, who virtually dehumanizes himself to become a concept, a mythic quality that Ayn Rand was fond of extolling and forms the basis of much of her Objectivist philosophy. But such radical autonomy and atomization, I think, is a relatively modern concern.

    I also do not think that John Galt would, in all sanity, be a good foundation stone to build a balanced society from.

    Note to self: should write more.

    Read More
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  97. @AaronB
    Thanks.

    I've read that before about Mormon theology - that you expand your consciousness but remain embedded in a web of relationships.

    Expanding your consciousness is expanding your ego. Being in a relationship requires limitation of ego.

    The two are opposites. I can understand trying to balance the two poles, but Mormon theology seems to suggest uninegated juxtaposition - an incoherent position.

    The more you expand consciousness (ego), the less you are able to remain in a relationship, and the more you stay in a relationship, the more you must place limits on your ego.

    (Expansion of consciousness in Mormonism means developing ones sense of individuality and uniqueness, ones personal power of self assertion)

    The two choices we are faced with are expanding ones ego and developing ones individuality - of which I take Mormonism to be an example - or of shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole.

    Theologies that favor shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole speak of "unknowing" and "mystery" - theologies which favor expanding the ego speak of "expanding the consciousness."

    Whatever it's claims, Mormonism is about expansion of individuality and intrinsically hostile to "relational" situations. "Unification" - the mystic goal of ego shrinking theologies, is not a Mormon value.

    Honestly, I suspect Mormonism seeks to blur the lines between ego expansion and contraction in order to capture confused people who feel the first faint stirrings of the power of giving up the ego, and redirect them towards ego expansion.

    It's a classic tactic "of course I agree with you completely that you must lower your ego, but what that really means is..." " you can have relationships without giving up any ego..."

    Agree and redirect. Bait and switch.

    Mormonism is an aggressively proselytizing religion whose founder practiced strategic deception for religious purposes. Such tactics are in line with that.

    If you can explain how this position is not incoherent, I'd be interested.

    The one semi-famous blogger who subscribes to Mormon metaphysics who've I've tried to discuss this with turned out to be a thoroughly dishonest man - pretend to answer your question while actually answering something related that you didn't ask, then shut you down. Suppress your comments. Delete already published comments leaving the impression you couldn't answer his points, and so on and do forth.

    Basically, strategic deception - tactics.

    But I'd be very impressed if you could discuss this honestly, although I don't think it's possible - being Mormon means not willing to be honest that it's about developing the ego, for strategic reasons.

    I also want to make clear that I’m not interested here in discussing the pros and cons of either position with regard to ego.

    We are all born with a sense of radical inadequacy – we can respond by “improving” ourselves infinitely, or accepting our inadequacy as final and finding meaning only as part of a larger whole.

    Everyone has to make their choice, and reason plays little part in it.

    I am only interested in “classifying” Mormonism with regard to its position on ego.

    Although as I said, an honest classification may not serve the strategic interests of Mormons, and so they may not consent to it.

    Read More
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  98. @reiner Tor
    Elogabalus wasn’t even Roman. He was Middle Eastern.

    In any event, this is not the first time that Dmitry’s thinking is quite a bit off to normal, non-psychopathic people. I then wrote a longer comment on it, but ultimately didn’t send. While his thinking was praised as “logical” by Talha (whose motivation is probably to show that outside of religion, people will be psychopathic) and Anatoly (that’s probably the ‘sperg unable to find a reason to explicitly reject it), it really was just psychopathic. Apparently even in history he found cautionary tales and thought they were manuals.

    Elogabalus wasn’t even Roman. He was Middle Eastern.

    Well, by that time pretty much all the inhabitants of the empire were Roman citizens, and his ethnic or “racial” origins weren’t the problem by themselves (most of the emperors from the early 3rd century onwards weren’t of Italian “old stock” Roman origin anyway, many being soldiers from the Illyrian provinces of quite humble descent)…it was his flagrantly un-Roman behaviour, with his sexual perversions and the promotion of a Syrian cult which traditional Romans found abhorrent. Culturally he definitely was as far as one could get from mainstream Roman conceptions of virtue.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t call Dmitry psychopathic, imo he just takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme. It seems a bit immature to me (in the way of clever students who think they have the world figured out, with little regard for how most people think and act), but given the harmful ideas other high-IQ people believe in (and I have no doubt Dmitry is a high-achieving high-IQ person) one probably shouldn’t be too harsh on him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I wouldn’t call Dmitry psychopathic, imo he just takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme. It seems a bit immature to me (in the way of clever students who think they have the world figured out, with little regard for how most people think and act), but given the harmful ideas other high-IQ people believe in (and I have no doubt Dmitry is a high-achieving high-IQ person) one probably shouldn’t be too harsh on him.
     
    I didn’t call him psychopathic, in the last thread I called him a ‘sperg (or as you call it, “immature high IQ person who takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme,” “with little regard for how most people think and act”; in one word, a ‘sperg), and I still stand by that assessment. But the philosophical stance he took to an extreme is essentially an advocacy for psychopathy. It doesn’t make him psychopathic himself, but that’s what he advocates as normal.

    his ethnic or “racial” origins weren’t the problem by themselves
     
    Well, they are a problem if want to use him as an example of what Romans were like or what they admired.
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  99. @German_reader

    Elogabalus wasn’t even Roman. He was Middle Eastern.
     
    Well, by that time pretty much all the inhabitants of the empire were Roman citizens, and his ethnic or "racial" origins weren't the problem by themselves (most of the emperors from the early 3rd century onwards weren't of Italian "old stock" Roman origin anyway, many being soldiers from the Illyrian provinces of quite humble descent)...it was his flagrantly un-Roman behaviour, with his sexual perversions and the promotion of a Syrian cult which traditional Romans found abhorrent. Culturally he definitely was as far as one could get from mainstream Roman conceptions of virtue.
    Anyway, I wouldn't call Dmitry psychopathic, imo he just takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme. It seems a bit immature to me (in the way of clever students who think they have the world figured out, with little regard for how most people think and act), but given the harmful ideas other high-IQ people believe in (and I have no doubt Dmitry is a high-achieving high-IQ person) one probably shouldn't be too harsh on him.

    I wouldn’t call Dmitry psychopathic, imo he just takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme. It seems a bit immature to me (in the way of clever students who think they have the world figured out, with little regard for how most people think and act), but given the harmful ideas other high-IQ people believe in (and I have no doubt Dmitry is a high-achieving high-IQ person) one probably shouldn’t be too harsh on him.

    I didn’t call him psychopathic, in the last thread I called him a ‘sperg (or as you call it, “immature high IQ person who takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme,” “with little regard for how most people think and act”; in one word, a ‘sperg), and I still stand by that assessment. But the philosophical stance he took to an extreme is essentially an advocacy for psychopathy. It doesn’t make him psychopathic himself, but that’s what he advocates as normal.

    his ethnic or “racial” origins weren’t the problem by themselves

    Well, they are a problem if want to use him as an example of what Romans were like or what they admired.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Well, they are a problem if want to use him as an example of what Romans were like or what they admired.
     
    I agree, it's just that one can't just say that someone from the Eastern Mediterranean wasn't "Roman" per se during the later empire. "Roman" had always been a somewhat open identity, and by late antiquity many of the most fervent proponents of Romanness were in fact provincials (e.g. the important jurists Ulpian and Papinian probably came from the Eastern Mediterranean, and the last great Latin historian whose work has, in part, survived was Ammianus Marcellinus, a Greek speaker from Antiochia). But of course assimilation to Greco-Roman norms was generally expected (the Romans weren't multiculturalists in the modern sense), and Elagabalus with his weird Oriental cult and his bizarre sexual behaviour definitely failed in that regard.
    Agree with you about Dmitry's argument...it does seem very self-centered and aspergery.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. @Anon 2
    As I posted here before, Christianity has been very adept at reinventing itself. Mormonism
    might be regarded as one example of this capacity for reinvention.

    In its very essence Christianity is relational. The concept of the triune God, or Holy Trinity,
    unique to Christianity, whether one believes it or not, emphasizes that God the Father is
    in relationship with God the Son, etc, and this is something we are supposed to emulate
    in our lives. Hence to a Christian a solitary journey (e.g., withdrawing to a cave in the
    Himalayas) makes no sense - we're relational beings and relationships are a natural way for
    us to practice the Game of Life, although we may be called to partially withdraw from the world
    for awhile.

    What I find interesting is that Modern Physics in discovering that reality itself is relational
    is reinforcing this point of view. For example, velocity is always relative to a frame of reference.
    In physics there is no such thing as "true velocity," - velocity is always observer-dependent
    (although admittedly the speed of light is an invariant). Hence, we, situated as we are at the
    origin of our frame of reference, or the center of our universe, are godlike in that we CREATE
    the specific value of velocity with reference to us. Nietzsche may have been prescient in
    claiming there is no truth, only different perspectives, just like there is no true velocity
    only different velocities dependent on the observer, i.e., local god. As an aside, Carl Jung
    claimed that the different races or nations may have a different archetypal structure of
    their collective unconscious which helps create their specific reality - "It's a white thang,
    you wouldn't understand."

    Similarly, Quantum Mechanics turns out to be relational, i.e., observer-created as well
    (Cf. the book "How the Hippies Saved Physics" ; also Rovelli's "Reality Is Not What It
    Seems"). This parallels what came out of the American Counterculture of the 1960s-'70s
    of which I was a proud member: You Create Your Own Reality (Seth Speaks) and We are As
    Gods and Might As Well Get Good At It (Stewart Brand). These two claims originated
    within the Human Potential Movement which is now morphing into
    Transhumanism, Christian Transhumanism being one of its branches.

    Now combine this with Transpersonal Psychology as exemplified by Ken Wilber
    the most translated American philosopher, who in developing his system
    followed the pioneering work of Jean Gebser (1905-73), born in Poznań and
    descended from Polish nobility and famous for the treatise The Ever-Present
    Origin. You basically have two choices in life: Expansion of the Ego (become
    superior in wealth, intelligence, fame, influence, strength, number of children, ...)
    or Expansion of Consciousness. The latter is tricky because initially it involves
    the transcendence of the ego, i.e., becoming egoless, a state in which wealth,
    fame, and power are seen as illusory goals. However, this is a temporary stage
    which when traversed successfully allows us to awaken to our true nature,
    which is godlike, i.e., we realize we are creators of our own reality, and
    as relational beings our power increases in proportion to the depth of our
    relationships ("Where two or three are gathered in my name ...). It would be
    incorrect therefore to say that this new form of Christianity (as described in, for
    example, A Course in Miracles) gives ample room to one's ego. You need to transcend
    your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always
    in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)

    You need to transcend your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)

    You are confused:

    If separation is the fundamental illusion then the idea of relationship cannot even arise when the illusion is transcended. For there is no other entity separate from you to be “in relationship” with.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    It's a valid point. However, I obviously meant "physical separation,"
    i.e., just because two persons have separate bodies, it doesn't mean
    they are actually separated on a deep level. This would require
    a whole essay but it essentially boils down to the "no man is an island"
    point of view. On a deep level we mutually interpenetrate each other
    while still retaining individuality
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  101. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Even if you have the money to hire a nanny and send your kids to a boarding school, pregnancy and overall attachment is frustrating enough to women that higher income will continue to negatively impact fertility.

    Pregnancy is a genetic lottery with extreme suffering on the losing end, even with modern medicine and for someone as rich as Kate Middleton (she has the condition where a woman throws up everything she eats, and has to be put on artificial feeding in a hospital to not starve).

    According to that study, after the birth of first baby an average couple’s happiness drops lower than after divorce, loss of job, or death:

    https://www.rt.com/news/312297-first-baby-happiness-study/

    “The researchers discovered that factors predetermining the loss of happiness and influencing further decisions to have more children fall into three categories.

    Firstly, there are health-related issues, as mothers complained that physical pain and nausea reduced their desire to work, while fathers were concerned about the physical condition of their partners. Secondly, various complications during and after birth often convince parents “not to go through it again.”

    Finally, “the continuous and intense nature of child-rearing” was named as the most significant negative issue for new parenthood, with many couples reporting various kinds of stress such as “exhaustion, trouble breast-feeding, sleep deprivation, depression, domestic isolation and relationship breakdown,” alongside financial worries.”

    Read More
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  102. @AaronB
    Thanks.

    I've read that before about Mormon theology - that you expand your consciousness but remain embedded in a web of relationships.

    Expanding your consciousness is expanding your ego. Being in a relationship requires limitation of ego.

    The two are opposites. I can understand trying to balance the two poles, but Mormon theology seems to suggest uninegated juxtaposition - an incoherent position.

    The more you expand consciousness (ego), the less you are able to remain in a relationship, and the more you stay in a relationship, the more you must place limits on your ego.

    (Expansion of consciousness in Mormonism means developing ones sense of individuality and uniqueness, ones personal power of self assertion)

    The two choices we are faced with are expanding ones ego and developing ones individuality - of which I take Mormonism to be an example - or of shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole.

    Theologies that favor shrinking ones ego and merging into a larger whole speak of "unknowing" and "mystery" - theologies which favor expanding the ego speak of "expanding the consciousness."

    Whatever it's claims, Mormonism is about expansion of individuality and intrinsically hostile to "relational" situations. "Unification" - the mystic goal of ego shrinking theologies, is not a Mormon value.

    Honestly, I suspect Mormonism seeks to blur the lines between ego expansion and contraction in order to capture confused people who feel the first faint stirrings of the power of giving up the ego, and redirect them towards ego expansion.

    It's a classic tactic "of course I agree with you completely that you must lower your ego, but what that really means is..." " you can have relationships without giving up any ego..."

    Agree and redirect. Bait and switch.

    Mormonism is an aggressively proselytizing religion whose founder practiced strategic deception for religious purposes. Such tactics are in line with that.

    If you can explain how this position is not incoherent, I'd be interested.

    The one semi-famous blogger who subscribes to Mormon metaphysics who've I've tried to discuss this with turned out to be a thoroughly dishonest man - pretend to answer your question while actually answering something related that you didn't ask, then shut you down. Suppress your comments. Delete already published comments leaving the impression you couldn't answer his points, and so on and do forth.

    Basically, strategic deception - tactics.

    But I'd be very impressed if you could discuss this honestly, although I don't think it's possible - being Mormon means not willing to be honest that it's about developing the ego, for strategic reasons.

    I’m definitely not a Mormon, and I hope I didn’t leave an impression
    that I was. If I were to describe (and thus limit) my philosophy of life,
    I’d use the phrase “Christian Transhumanism.” I am someone who is
    very impressed by the fact that Christianity, unlike Buddhism, is
    relational in its very essence, and that the structure of reality, as
    discovered by Modern Physics, is relational. Hence Christianity
    is in harmony with the basic structure of reality. However, my
    version of Christianity has also been influenced by the 1960s-’70s
    California Counterculture (“We are as gods” and “We create our own reality
    on a deep level”). This is definitely not traditional Christianity, not the kind
    you’ll find at a typical church, Catholic or Protestant

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Ok, thanks for clarifying. I was hoping you were!

    "Relational" - I guess that's a halfway point between "monism" and "individualism"?

    Otherwise all religions are relational -they favor union with some greater whole, as opposed to modern atomism. Mormonism comes closest to modern atomism, tho. And Buddhism is certainly relational in this sense as well.

    You say Christianity doesn't favor retreating to a cave - the Desert Fathers? The monasteries? "Relational" can mean related to God and the absolute.
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  103. @Bliss

    You need to transcend your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)
     
    You are confused:

    If separation is the fundamental illusion then the idea of relationship cannot even arise when the illusion is transcended. For there is no other entity separate from you to be “in relationship” with.

    It’s a valid point. However, I obviously meant “physical separation,”
    i.e., just because two persons have separate bodies, it doesn’t mean
    they are actually separated on a deep level. This would require
    a whole essay but it essentially boils down to the “no man is an island”
    point of view. On a deep level we mutually interpenetrate each other
    while still retaining individuality

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    You're just describing mysticism and "unification" with a larger whole. On a deep level all is one, and individuality is only a provisional truth. You are correct, quantum mechanics is indeed revealing g this to be true.

    Most religions have this, with the partial exception of Judaism and Mormonism, and it isn't unique to Christianity - apart from quasi-heretical mystics like Eckhardt, and eccentrics like Boehme, it is generally found in a purer form in eastern religions.

    Either way, I share your enthusiasm for this attotude!
    , @Bliss

    just because two persons have separate bodies, it doesn’t mean
    they are actually separated on a deep level.....On a deep level we mutually interpenetrate each other
    while still retaining individuality
     
    If on a deep level bodies “mutually interpenetrate each other”, where does one end and the other begin?

    You cannot reconcile “separateness is an illusion” with “retaining individuality”. As long as we retain a sense of individuality, at any level, we are still in thrall of illusion.
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  104. @Anon 2
    As I posted here before, Christianity has been very adept at reinventing itself. Mormonism
    might be regarded as one example of this capacity for reinvention.

    In its very essence Christianity is relational. The concept of the triune God, or Holy Trinity,
    unique to Christianity, whether one believes it or not, emphasizes that God the Father is
    in relationship with God the Son, etc, and this is something we are supposed to emulate
    in our lives. Hence to a Christian a solitary journey (e.g., withdrawing to a cave in the
    Himalayas) makes no sense - we're relational beings and relationships are a natural way for
    us to practice the Game of Life, although we may be called to partially withdraw from the world
    for awhile.

    What I find interesting is that Modern Physics in discovering that reality itself is relational
    is reinforcing this point of view. For example, velocity is always relative to a frame of reference.
    In physics there is no such thing as "true velocity," - velocity is always observer-dependent
    (although admittedly the speed of light is an invariant). Hence, we, situated as we are at the
    origin of our frame of reference, or the center of our universe, are godlike in that we CREATE
    the specific value of velocity with reference to us. Nietzsche may have been prescient in
    claiming there is no truth, only different perspectives, just like there is no true velocity
    only different velocities dependent on the observer, i.e., local god. As an aside, Carl Jung
    claimed that the different races or nations may have a different archetypal structure of
    their collective unconscious which helps create their specific reality - "It's a white thang,
    you wouldn't understand."

    Similarly, Quantum Mechanics turns out to be relational, i.e., observer-created as well
    (Cf. the book "How the Hippies Saved Physics" ; also Rovelli's "Reality Is Not What It
    Seems"). This parallels what came out of the American Counterculture of the 1960s-'70s
    of which I was a proud member: You Create Your Own Reality (Seth Speaks) and We are As
    Gods and Might As Well Get Good At It (Stewart Brand). These two claims originated
    within the Human Potential Movement which is now morphing into
    Transhumanism, Christian Transhumanism being one of its branches.

    Now combine this with Transpersonal Psychology as exemplified by Ken Wilber
    the most translated American philosopher, who in developing his system
    followed the pioneering work of Jean Gebser (1905-73), born in Poznań and
    descended from Polish nobility and famous for the treatise The Ever-Present
    Origin. You basically have two choices in life: Expansion of the Ego (become
    superior in wealth, intelligence, fame, influence, strength, number of children, ...)
    or Expansion of Consciousness. The latter is tricky because initially it involves
    the transcendence of the ego, i.e., becoming egoless, a state in which wealth,
    fame, and power are seen as illusory goals. However, this is a temporary stage
    which when traversed successfully allows us to awaken to our true nature,
    which is godlike, i.e., we realize we are creators of our own reality, and
    as relational beings our power increases in proportion to the depth of our
    relationships ("Where two or three are gathered in my name ...). It would be
    incorrect therefore to say that this new form of Christianity (as described in, for
    example, A Course in Miracles) gives ample room to one's ego. You need to transcend
    your ego first so that you can become reborn as a god (but not solitary god but always
    in relationship, for separation is the fundamental illusion of our universe)

    A couple of other examples of how Christianity has managed to
    reinvent itself include Christian Science of Mary Baker Eddy and
    the Unity Church of Kansas City founded by the Fillmores. Swedenborgianism
    is another example that’s still popular in certain circles

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  105. @AaronB
    I didn't say it was :)

    You don't like the way I characterize your philosophy, or tease out its implications. I understand that - we all live by stories we tell ourselves, and they do not benefit from the harsh glare of reason.

    I am sure my own self image and fond conceits could not survive scrutiny.

    Enjoy life, Twinkie.

    You don’t like the way I characterize your philosophy, or tease out its implications.

    I don’t like the way you distort what I wrote to suit your own purpose.

    I understand that – we all live by stories we tell ourselves, and they do not benefit from the harsh glare of reason.

    This is a passive-aggressive way to try to invalidate another point of view without actually understanding it. You seem more interested in “winning” than anything else here. Or at least not want to “lose.”

    But, then, it’s my fault for getting sucked into a conversation with someone who steered the conversation into ad hominem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Twinkie, I included myself in that "ad hominem" as well - it was a comment on all humans.

    The whole point of my original comment was to analyze the psychological attributes that attract people to Mormonism - my very first response to you was an "ad hominem" in that sense, when you said you liked Mormons and I analyzed you!

    It's impossible to have such a conversation without "ad hominems" in a certain sense.

    The whole point is to play the "armchair psychologist".

    It's at least partly a game, and you, my friend, are taking it far too seriously.

    However, I apologize if I hurt your feelings - I did not mean to. A conversation of this sort pressupposes a certain emotional detachment, and I did not make this clear at the outset.
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  106. @Bliss

    I think they belong to a Satanic cult.......I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.
     
    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?

    What’s “satanic” about a cult that teaches that good behavior on this planet earns its votaries the right to be god-kings of their own planets?

    They may be brainwashed by a bizarre fantasy but then so are you. And by your own acknowledgment their brainwashing results in better behavior in this world than your brainwashing. So does that not make their cult superior to your own?

    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?

    1. Because truth matters to one’s soul.

    2. And because there is life hereafter and I fear that their adherence to their cult will lead to their loss of heaven.

    So does that not make their cult superior to your own?

    Why do some people have all this “superiority” obsession?

    Yes, Mormonism appears to be “superior” at attracting or producing people with good behaviors. But, Christ didn’t build the Church to save the good and the beautiful. He came to save the lost sheep and to rescue fallen souls. I love that the Church is one of the sinful. Were it the Church of the Perfect, it’d be the Church of One. I am a wastrel son, and He is my father who welcomes me back.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    Because truth matters to one’s soul.
     
    Your “truth” is that God needed the blood of an innocent scapegoat to appease his anger at mankind. And those who have not bought into this “truth”, or never heard of it, will be tortured for all eternity in the fires of Hell. On what spiritual, moral and rational basis did you accept this Bronze Age BS as the ultimate “truth”?

    Why do some people have all this “superiority” obsession?
     
    This is really funny coming from a narcissistic, status-obsessed, show off like you. How many times do you have to brag about your wealth, your education, your family, your neighborhood, your guns, your church, your martial skills and adventures etc? Which, by the way, proves that you are a fake christian:

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God”.

    “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword”

    (Jesus Christ)
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  107. @Anon 2
    I'm definitely not a Mormon, and I hope I didn't leave an impression
    that I was. If I were to describe (and thus limit) my philosophy of life,
    I'd use the phrase "Christian Transhumanism." I am someone who is
    very impressed by the fact that Christianity, unlike Buddhism, is
    relational in its very essence, and that the structure of reality, as
    discovered by Modern Physics, is relational. Hence Christianity
    is in harmony with the basic structure of reality. However, my
    version of Christianity has also been influenced by the 1960s-'70s
    California Counterculture ("We are as gods" and "We create our own reality
    on a deep level"). This is definitely not traditional Christianity, not the kind
    you'll find at a typical church, Catholic or Protestant

    Ok, thanks for clarifying. I was hoping you were!

    “Relational” – I guess that’s a halfway point between “monism” and “individualism”?

    Otherwise all religions are relational -they favor union with some greater whole, as opposed to modern atomism. Mormonism comes closest to modern atomism, tho. And Buddhism is certainly relational in this sense as well.

    You say Christianity doesn’t favor retreating to a cave – the Desert Fathers? The monasteries? “Relational” can mean related to God and the absolute.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    Unlike the Sola Scriptura Protestants, I happen to believe in
    continuing revelation. Our spiritual technology is more advanced
    than 2000 years ago. For example, our understanding of the
    altered states of consciousness and mystical states is much better
    than in the time of William James. Hence the need to withdraw
    from society in order to grow spiritually is I think not as urgent
    as it was for the Desert Fathers.

    When I say that Christianity is inherently relational what I mean
    is that it urges us to transform our relationships. I mean this
    literally. For example, how to raise romantic love to a higher
    level, a Higher Love if you will. Nobody really understands what
    Higher Love might be in practice. This topic is explored in Robert
    Perry's book "Relationships as a Spiritual Journey." A Course in
    Miracles, a book that champions a reinvented form of Christianity,
    for example, contains, among other things, 365 spiritual exercises
    that are designed to raise our relationships to a higher level. Millions
    of people around the world are now practicing these exercises as
    the Course has been translated into over 25 languages
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  108. @Twinkie

    You don’t like the way I characterize your philosophy, or tease out its implications.
     
    I don’t like the way you distort what I wrote to suit your own purpose.

    I understand that – we all live by stories we tell ourselves, and they do not benefit from the harsh glare of reason.
     
    This is a passive-aggressive way to try to invalidate another point of view without actually understanding it. You seem more interested in “winning” than anything else here. Or at least not want to “lose.”

    But, then, it’s my fault for getting sucked into a conversation with someone who steered the conversation into ad hominem.

    Twinkie, I included myself in that “ad hominem” as well – it was a comment on all humans.

    The whole point of my original comment was to analyze the psychological attributes that attract people to Mormonism – my very first response to you was an “ad hominem” in that sense, when you said you liked Mormons and I analyzed you!

    It’s impossible to have such a conversation without “ad hominems” in a certain sense.

    The whole point is to play the “armchair psychologist”.

    It’s at least partly a game, and you, my friend, are taking it far too seriously.

    However, I apologize if I hurt your feelings – I did not mean to. A conversation of this sort pressupposes a certain emotional detachment, and I did not make this clear at the outset.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    However, I apologize if I hurt your feelings
     
    You didn’t hurt my feelings. You just wasted my time.
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  109. @Bliss

    I think they belong to a Satanic cult.......I wish my fellow Catholics were more like they are.
     
    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?

    What’s “satanic” about a cult that teaches that good behavior on this planet earns its votaries the right to be god-kings of their own planets?

    They may be brainwashed by a bizarre fantasy but then so are you. And by your own acknowledgment their brainwashing results in better behavior in this world than your brainwashing. So does that not make their cult superior to your own?

    They may be brainwashed by a bizarre fantasy but then so are you. And by your own acknowledgment their brainwashing results in better behavior in this world than your brainwashing. So does that not make their cult superior to your own?

    It doesn’t result in better behavior in this world. Under a facade of sweetness, it results in arrogance and materialism and obsession with money, anger and competition, unhappiness and ego.

    It does result, however, in providing an outlet for the ambitious and motivated, reducing the defection rate to secularism, and encouraging them to have large families.

    Read More
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  110. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, "Trad Catholics" fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).

    A single generation of liberal governance dropped their fertility from 3.8 to 1.4. Even a decade of incentives later on(to the tune of $8000 per child) failed to motivate any increased fertility. The death of extended families largely dooms fertility.

    Mormons do seem to have an extended family concept, which continues to support a high fertility rate.

    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, “Trad Catholics” fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).

    Where’s your post? Do you have a blog?
    That’s a lot of nuns – all Russian clergy in 1912 made just 0.5% of the population.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    As per Wikipedia:

    The Quiet Revolution combined declericalization with the dramatic reforms of Vatican II. There was a dramatic change in the role of nuns, which previously had attracted 2–3% of Québec's young women. Many left the convent while very few young women entered. The Provincial government took over the nuns' traditional role as provider of many of Quebec's educational and social services
     

    I'll have to find the post later, its a comment in one of Mr. Karlin's posts. I don't have a blog, but I've been considering it.

    What follows is probably a dumb question, so I apologize. Was Russia known for having a lot of clergy at the time relative to other European nations?

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  111. @Anon 2
    It's a valid point. However, I obviously meant "physical separation,"
    i.e., just because two persons have separate bodies, it doesn't mean
    they are actually separated on a deep level. This would require
    a whole essay but it essentially boils down to the "no man is an island"
    point of view. On a deep level we mutually interpenetrate each other
    while still retaining individuality

    You’re just describing mysticism and “unification” with a larger whole. On a deep level all is one, and individuality is only a provisional truth. You are correct, quantum mechanics is indeed revealing g this to be true.

    Most religions have this, with the partial exception of Judaism and Mormonism, and it isn’t unique to Christianity – apart from quasi-heretical mystics like Eckhardt, and eccentrics like Boehme, it is generally found in a purer form in eastern religions.

    Either way, I share your enthusiasm for this attotude!

    Read More
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  112. @AaronB
    Twinkie, I included myself in that "ad hominem" as well - it was a comment on all humans.

    The whole point of my original comment was to analyze the psychological attributes that attract people to Mormonism - my very first response to you was an "ad hominem" in that sense, when you said you liked Mormons and I analyzed you!

    It's impossible to have such a conversation without "ad hominems" in a certain sense.

    The whole point is to play the "armchair psychologist".

    It's at least partly a game, and you, my friend, are taking it far too seriously.

    However, I apologize if I hurt your feelings - I did not mean to. A conversation of this sort pressupposes a certain emotional detachment, and I did not make this clear at the outset.

    However, I apologize if I hurt your feelings

    You didn’t hurt my feelings. You just wasted my time.

    Read More
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  113. @reiner Tor

    I wouldn’t call Dmitry psychopathic, imo he just takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme. It seems a bit immature to me (in the way of clever students who think they have the world figured out, with little regard for how most people think and act), but given the harmful ideas other high-IQ people believe in (and I have no doubt Dmitry is a high-achieving high-IQ person) one probably shouldn’t be too harsh on him.
     
    I didn’t call him psychopathic, in the last thread I called him a ‘sperg (or as you call it, “immature high IQ person who takes certain philosophical stances to an extreme,” “with little regard for how most people think and act”; in one word, a ‘sperg), and I still stand by that assessment. But the philosophical stance he took to an extreme is essentially an advocacy for psychopathy. It doesn’t make him psychopathic himself, but that’s what he advocates as normal.

    his ethnic or “racial” origins weren’t the problem by themselves
     
    Well, they are a problem if want to use him as an example of what Romans were like or what they admired.

    Well, they are a problem if want to use him as an example of what Romans were like or what they admired.

    I agree, it’s just that one can’t just say that someone from the Eastern Mediterranean wasn’t “Roman” per se during the later empire. “Roman” had always been a somewhat open identity, and by late antiquity many of the most fervent proponents of Romanness were in fact provincials (e.g. the important jurists Ulpian and Papinian probably came from the Eastern Mediterranean, and the last great Latin historian whose work has, in part, survived was Ammianus Marcellinus, a Greek speaker from Antiochia). But of course assimilation to Greco-Roman norms was generally expected (the Romans weren’t multiculturalists in the modern sense), and Elagabalus with his weird Oriental cult and his bizarre sexual behaviour definitely failed in that regard.
    Agree with you about Dmitry’s argument…it does seem very self-centered and aspergery.

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  114. @Twinkie

    You too are arrogant and materialistic.
     
    Cocky? Guilty as charged. My parish priest has been working on this for years! But, to paraphrase a once famous boxer, you’d be cocky too if you were I. But, being a religious man, I also know that I am but a speck of sand on a vast beach of humanity. That restrains my arrogance a great deal.

    Materialistic? Heck no. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I disdain money. If it weren’t for my wife and kids, I’d live in a cabin in the hill country with a couple of dogs.

    Money doesn’t give me joy. The most enjoyable time I had in the last 25 years was hunting and killing terrorists overseas with my blood-brothers. With me, it’s God, country, and family.

    You admire Mormons because you too admire “superiority” – your comments here show you’re into guns, the military, etc. You admire them for being hardworing, physically fit, frugal etc.
     
    You seem to have left out, conveniently enough in your fit of completely non-judgmental and strictly anthropological observation, my admiration for the amazing community spirit Mormons have toward their neighbors, Mormon or otherwise. They have a great deal of caritas, and that’s something I consider the most worthy trait to emulate.

    By the way, if I were an internet armchair psychologist, I’d say someone who keeps critiquing others about “superiority” obsession may be projecting and may in fact harbor an inferiority complex. But I am, in fact, not a licensed therapist, so... I guess I’ll just inject a smiley face here. :)

    The most enjoyable time I had in the last 25 years was hunting and killing terrorists overseas with my blood-brothers.

    In what country would that have been?

    It sounds pretty sick to me.

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  115. @Anon 2
    It's a valid point. However, I obviously meant "physical separation,"
    i.e., just because two persons have separate bodies, it doesn't mean
    they are actually separated on a deep level. This would require
    a whole essay but it essentially boils down to the "no man is an island"
    point of view. On a deep level we mutually interpenetrate each other
    while still retaining individuality

    just because two persons have separate bodies, it doesn’t mean
    they are actually separated on a deep level…..On a deep level we mutually interpenetrate each other
    while still retaining individuality

    If on a deep level bodies “mutually interpenetrate each other”, where does one end and the other begin?

    You cannot reconcile “separateness is an illusion” with “retaining individuality”. As long as we retain a sense of individuality, at any level, we are still in thrall of illusion.

    Read More
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  116. @Twinkie

    How do you reconcile these two judgements about the same people?
     
    1. Because truth matters to one’s soul.

    2. And because there is life hereafter and I fear that their adherence to their cult will lead to their loss of heaven.

    So does that not make their cult superior to your own?
     
    Why do some people have all this “superiority” obsession?

    Yes, Mormonism appears to be “superior” at attracting or producing people with good behaviors. But, Christ didn’t build the Church to save the good and the beautiful. He came to save the lost sheep and to rescue fallen souls. I love that the Church is one of the sinful. Were it the Church of the Perfect, it’d be the Church of One. I am a wastrel son, and He is my father who welcomes me back.

    Because truth matters to one’s soul.

    Your “truth” is that God needed the blood of an innocent scapegoat to appease his anger at mankind. And those who have not bought into this “truth”, or never heard of it, will be tortured for all eternity in the fires of Hell. On what spiritual, moral and rational basis did you accept this Bronze Age BS as the ultimate “truth”?

    Why do some people have all this “superiority” obsession?

    This is really funny coming from a narcissistic, status-obsessed, show off like you. How many times do you have to brag about your wealth, your education, your family, your neighborhood, your guns, your church, your martial skills and adventures etc? Which, by the way, proves that you are a fake christian:

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God”.

    “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword”

    (Jesus Christ)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    brag about
     
    Description is not “bragging.”

    fake christian
     
    I am a flawed Christian, not a “fake” one.
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  117. @Anon

    As I noted in my post of Quebec pre-Quiet Revolution, “Trad Catholics” fertility collapses extremely quickly as it appear to be reliant on a much larger ecosystem to work. At the height of Quebecois fertility explosion, nuns(who often served as ad hoc health service providers) were nearly 3% of the female population(!).
     
    Where's your post? Do you have a blog?
    That's a lot of nuns - all Russian clergy in 1912 made just 0.5% of the population.
    http://kazak.by/images/stories/new/1/rubakin-population-sosloviya-1912.jpg

    As per Wikipedia:

    The Quiet Revolution combined declericalization with the dramatic reforms of Vatican II. There was a dramatic change in the role of nuns, which previously had attracted 2–3% of Québec’s young women. Many left the convent while very few young women entered. The Provincial government took over the nuns’ traditional role as provider of many of Quebec’s educational and social services

    I’ll have to find the post later, its a comment in one of Mr. Karlin’s posts. I don’t have a blog, but I’ve been considering it.

    What follows is probably a dumb question, so I apologize. Was Russia known for having a lot of clergy at the time relative to other European nations?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Thanks.

    What follows is probably a dumb question, so I apologize. Was Russia known for having a lot of clergy at the time relative to other European nations?
     
    That's a totally fine question. I have no idea where to look up a comparison of Russia to other countries. Here are the numbers for 1908: 107 906 "white" clergy (priests, deacons and church workers), 9 729 monks, 12 712 nuns, 8 739 male novices, 39 781 female novices. Population of the Russian Empire was about 160 million people, out of which 70% were Orthodox.
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  118. @AaronB
    Ok, thanks for clarifying. I was hoping you were!

    "Relational" - I guess that's a halfway point between "monism" and "individualism"?

    Otherwise all religions are relational -they favor union with some greater whole, as opposed to modern atomism. Mormonism comes closest to modern atomism, tho. And Buddhism is certainly relational in this sense as well.

    You say Christianity doesn't favor retreating to a cave - the Desert Fathers? The monasteries? "Relational" can mean related to God and the absolute.

    Unlike the Sola Scriptura Protestants, I happen to believe in
    continuing revelation. Our spiritual technology is more advanced
    than 2000 years ago. For example, our understanding of the
    altered states of consciousness and mystical states is much better
    than in the time of William James. Hence the need to withdraw
    from society in order to grow spiritually is I think not as urgent
    as it was for the Desert Fathers.

    When I say that Christianity is inherently relational what I mean
    is that it urges us to transform our relationships. I mean this
    literally. For example, how to raise romantic love to a higher
    level, a Higher Love if you will. Nobody really understands what
    Higher Love might be in practice. This topic is explored in Robert
    Perry’s book “Relationships as a Spiritual Journey.” A Course in
    Miracles, a book that champions a reinvented form of Christianity,
    for example, contains, among other things, 365 spiritual exercises
    that are designed to raise our relationships to a higher level. Millions
    of people around the world are now practicing these exercises as
    the Course has been translated into over 25 languages

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Thanks for explaining that to me, it's very interesting.

    Very similar to aspects of Mormonism also.

    Sometime in the 19th century there began all sorts of attempts to combine ancient spiritual traditions with modern concepts like evolution and science and progress. Rudolf Steiner was a key figure in this, and Mormonism another. Hegelian ideas influenced this movement as well.

    My personal view is that these concepts cannot be combined - they are opposites, and attempting to combine them leads back to our modern mess through the back door, or incoherence.

    I think these new religions are for people who see the power and appeal of ancient ideas but are caught fast by modernity and can't quite let it go.

    I used to be opposed to this, but I'm not anymore - I wish you luck and hope you get comfort and happiness from your faith.

    As for better understanding of mysticism....

    I would argue that the whole point of a mystical state is that you do not understand it :)

    The conceptual mind is a limited human faculty and anything that can be understood is trivial. Mysticism attempts to get beyond the conscious mind.

    But I understand that for people who accept the myth of progress and human self development conscious understanding is everything, because humanity and it's faculties aren't puny, but fated to evolve into god like status.

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to explain
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  119. When I used the phrase ” mutually interpenetrate each other”
    I meant it in the same sense that in physics the electromagnetic
    and gravitational fields mutually interpenetrate each other. That’s
    simply a stronger form of saying that all human beings are
    interconnected on a deep level even though we appear physically
    separate. But every physicist knows we are in fact not separate since we
    create measurable electric fields which can be graphed and
    detected (albeit unconsciously) by a person standing close to us.
    People in expanded states of consciousness perceive others as
    energy beings, basically egg-shaped (which agrees with shaman lore)
    due to being surrounded by energy fields. It is sometimes said
    that a future illness can be detected in our energy field 20 years
    before it finally descends to the physical level and manifests itself
    in the physical body.

    Read More
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  120. @Anon 2
    Unlike the Sola Scriptura Protestants, I happen to believe in
    continuing revelation. Our spiritual technology is more advanced
    than 2000 years ago. For example, our understanding of the
    altered states of consciousness and mystical states is much better
    than in the time of William James. Hence the need to withdraw
    from society in order to grow spiritually is I think not as urgent
    as it was for the Desert Fathers.

    When I say that Christianity is inherently relational what I mean
    is that it urges us to transform our relationships. I mean this
    literally. For example, how to raise romantic love to a higher
    level, a Higher Love if you will. Nobody really understands what
    Higher Love might be in practice. This topic is explored in Robert
    Perry's book "Relationships as a Spiritual Journey." A Course in
    Miracles, a book that champions a reinvented form of Christianity,
    for example, contains, among other things, 365 spiritual exercises
    that are designed to raise our relationships to a higher level. Millions
    of people around the world are now practicing these exercises as
    the Course has been translated into over 25 languages

    Thanks for explaining that to me, it’s very interesting.

    Very similar to aspects of Mormonism also.

    Sometime in the 19th century there began all sorts of attempts to combine ancient spiritual traditions with modern concepts like evolution and science and progress. Rudolf Steiner was a key figure in this, and Mormonism another. Hegelian ideas influenced this movement as well.

    My personal view is that these concepts cannot be combined – they are opposites, and attempting to combine them leads back to our modern mess through the back door, or incoherence.

    I think these new religions are for people who see the power and appeal of ancient ideas but are caught fast by modernity and can’t quite let it go.

    I used to be opposed to this, but I’m not anymore – I wish you luck and hope you get comfort and happiness from your faith.

    As for better understanding of mysticism….

    I would argue that the whole point of a mystical state is that you do not understand it :)

    The conceptual mind is a limited human faculty and anything that can be understood is trivial. Mysticism attempts to get beyond the conscious mind.

    But I understand that for people who accept the myth of progress and human self development conscious understanding is everything, because humanity and it’s faculties aren’t puny, but fated to evolve into god like status.

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to explain

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    My pleasure! It was an interesting exchange
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  121. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    As per Wikipedia:

    The Quiet Revolution combined declericalization with the dramatic reforms of Vatican II. There was a dramatic change in the role of nuns, which previously had attracted 2–3% of Québec's young women. Many left the convent while very few young women entered. The Provincial government took over the nuns' traditional role as provider of many of Quebec's educational and social services
     

    I'll have to find the post later, its a comment in one of Mr. Karlin's posts. I don't have a blog, but I've been considering it.

    What follows is probably a dumb question, so I apologize. Was Russia known for having a lot of clergy at the time relative to other European nations?

    Thanks.

    What follows is probably a dumb question, so I apologize. Was Russia known for having a lot of clergy at the time relative to other European nations?

    That’s a totally fine question. I have no idea where to look up a comparison of Russia to other countries. Here are the numbers for 1908: 107 906 “white” clergy (priests, deacons and church workers), 9 729 monks, 12 712 nuns, 8 739 male novices, 39 781 female novices. Population of the Russian Empire was about 160 million people, out of which 70% were Orthodox.

    Read More
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  122. @Bliss

    Because truth matters to one’s soul.
     
    Your “truth” is that God needed the blood of an innocent scapegoat to appease his anger at mankind. And those who have not bought into this “truth”, or never heard of it, will be tortured for all eternity in the fires of Hell. On what spiritual, moral and rational basis did you accept this Bronze Age BS as the ultimate “truth”?

    Why do some people have all this “superiority” obsession?
     
    This is really funny coming from a narcissistic, status-obsessed, show off like you. How many times do you have to brag about your wealth, your education, your family, your neighborhood, your guns, your church, your martial skills and adventures etc? Which, by the way, proves that you are a fake christian:

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God”.

    “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword”

    (Jesus Christ)

    brag about

    Description is not “bragging.”

    fake christian

    I am a flawed Christian, not a “fake” one.

    Read More
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  123. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    That might be your prejudice looking at a particular photo of believers, but not at the complete movie of Christianity, particularly Catholicism. I don’t have their IQ numbers, but I don’t think Augustine, Aquinas, plenty of Jesuits, Mendel, Pascal or even JRR Tolkien were low IQ or uneducated. High or low IQ, we are really creatures prone to following fashion, prone to staying within collective thought.

    Read More
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  124. @Gladio
    Trad Catholics would be an interesting comparison, although it would be difficult to separate stats for them out from the broader Church.

    My impression is that they are both significantly more fecund than the general population amd the rest of the Church, while also having a higher average intelligence.

    Anecdotally, I attend a Latin Mass and most of the attendees are university-educated professionals of various kinds who aim to marry young and have as many children as they can.

    Late on the thread, being a trad Catholic myself, I was busy with the kids! And agree.Late on the thread, being a trad Catholic myself, I was busy with the kids! And agree.

    Read More
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  125. @AaronB
    Thanks for explaining that to me, it's very interesting.

    Very similar to aspects of Mormonism also.

    Sometime in the 19th century there began all sorts of attempts to combine ancient spiritual traditions with modern concepts like evolution and science and progress. Rudolf Steiner was a key figure in this, and Mormonism another. Hegelian ideas influenced this movement as well.

    My personal view is that these concepts cannot be combined - they are opposites, and attempting to combine them leads back to our modern mess through the back door, or incoherence.

    I think these new religions are for people who see the power and appeal of ancient ideas but are caught fast by modernity and can't quite let it go.

    I used to be opposed to this, but I'm not anymore - I wish you luck and hope you get comfort and happiness from your faith.

    As for better understanding of mysticism....

    I would argue that the whole point of a mystical state is that you do not understand it :)

    The conceptual mind is a limited human faculty and anything that can be understood is trivial. Mysticism attempts to get beyond the conscious mind.

    But I understand that for people who accept the myth of progress and human self development conscious understanding is everything, because humanity and it's faculties aren't puny, but fated to evolve into god like status.

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to explain

    My pleasure! It was an interesting exchange

    Read More
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  126. @Daniel Chieh

    I spend most of my income each month, not saving anything in the bank already.
     
    This reminds me of a wealthy family member(removed a few times) who, despite having income in the millions, never had children and seemingly intentionally accurred as much debt as possible. As a final "fuck you" to his relatives who disapproved of his lifestyle, after he found out that he had Parkinson's and could no longer maintain his life of base jumping, drugs and travel, he blew the remainder of his cash and killed himself in his house(to lower the value of his house). We know this because he left notes to that effect and also expressed his desire to place as much funeral debt as possible to his sisters.

    This way his assets would have lowered in value for resale by his relatives, none of his money would pass to anyone who condemned him, and his will explicitly specified that anything remaining would go to his mistress. Impressively, I think, for a suicide: he actually managed the last, getting a few hundred thousand dollars to his mistress.

    As Shadowrun's dragons teaches us, what are last wills and testaments for?

    Legacy and revenge.

    How common is it for Chinese men to take mistresses?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Very, but he wasn't Chinese. He's from the French Quebec side of the family.

    The specific reasons, roughly, for the split was because he had married reasonably well, but in his adventures around the world, he took up a dance partner, who promptly became a mistress, and then his second wife after he divorced the first one.

    Neither of his sisters approved of that - that was pretty bad. But they tolerated it.

    Then he did it again, only he didn't marry his second mistress. Or the third. Or the fourth. Being a highly Catholic family, this made him a persona non-grata especially since he didn't show any shame for it. Or have any issue from it. And I'm sure money was involved at some point.
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  127. @JohnnyWalker123
    How common is it for Chinese men to take mistresses?

    Very, but he wasn’t Chinese. He’s from the French Quebec side of the family.

    The specific reasons, roughly, for the split was because he had married reasonably well, but in his adventures around the world, he took up a dance partner, who promptly became a mistress, and then his second wife after he divorced the first one.

    Neither of his sisters approved of that – that was pretty bad. But they tolerated it.

    Then he did it again, only he didn’t marry his second mistress. Or the third. Or the fourth. Being a highly Catholic family, this made him a persona non-grata especially since he didn’t show any shame for it. Or have any issue from it. And I’m sure money was involved at some point.

    Read More
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