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Culture War Roundup for the week of April 24, 2023

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But then you’re doubling down on any self-segregation. It’s the same with black-on-black violence: targets are rarely chosen from the general population, but from those close to the perpetrator.

Plus, there’s a difference between accepting other interracial marriages and feeling such attraction yourself.

Fifty years? My brother in Christ, we’re talking about the whole Enlightenment.

Back in the good ol’ days, moral outrage was less likely to decide your fate than plague or starvation. As state capacity grew and the world shrank, maybe that became less true. By the time of the European Wars of Religion, a little intolerance was able to deal a lot more damage.

It turns out enshrining some sort of tolerance frees up surplus. Common cause to deal with the real enemy, perhaps, or simply peace for those weary of war. The philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries went to great lengths to justify cooperation instead of defection. Sometimes they even succeeded, for a while, until the incentives to defect piled up.

By the American Revolution, states professed a morality of high-minded ideals. These dominated because they gave a real, material advantage over states with low tolerance. America’s North was willing to tolerate both the moral evil and the political threat of the South, because most people involved saw the sanctity of the Union as more valuable. When war came, millions bled.

The next century saw America rise to power as a (relatively) unified bloc. The more dire an outside threat, the more benefit could be gained from tolerating those close to you. Other comments note how WWII made major strides in American race relations, since an African American was still no Kraut. Across the globe, this was the century of ideological alliances, a first, second and third world. And the first world, the one preaching Enlightenment ideals, was the victor.

Pope Francis said that a man’s gayness was less important than whether “he searches for the Lord and has good will.” That framing of tolerance has always been one of the great advantages of Christianity.

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

1 Corinthians 3:5.

the rot set in

I gladly accept the "rot" of not having Catholic moralists imprisoning people for distributing condoms. We should be very hesitant to use the police powers of the state to enforce rules at the point of a gun.

The counterpoint is that without a unified set of rules, you cannot build the high trust society that creates high civilization. If I believe that prostitution is just fine, and you don’t, this is a place where I cannot build a bridge. If we can’t agree on the basic shape of our moral life, what we build is not a unified national identity but a series of squabbling tribes each trying to take for itself the benefits available while denying them to everyone else.

Okay. I'll accept Brazil levels of low trust and social cohesion if it keeps the Pope from deciding where my penis goes and if I may put a condom on it. If moral busybodies and hard rejection of live-and-let-live were the glue holding society together, then we'll have to pay that ugly price to keep the government out of my bedroom.

I think his point was that you don’t really have that choice- you have the choice between the pope telling you where you can stick your penis, and woke moralists doing the same thing.

It does seem like the woke have replaced the religious right as America's disapproving schoolmarms. I oppose them both and will maintain a consistent civil libertarian stance.

Though I rather doubt that opposing religious moral busybodies necessarily leads to progressive moral busybodies.

And I very much doubt that woke moralists will ever legally compel me to put my penis in someone I don't like. I'm married and monogamous. Noone can make me have sex with transwomen, etc.

More comments

The pope is not the only authority on the subject.

In the long run, the choice is between Sharia law and white Sharia.

While Brazil is coming to North-America, it was always over there if that's what you wanted.

It's not that ugly of a price, at worst few thousands dollars to move to your ideal society.