Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Nature is Supernatural

Men and women are faced with different Temptations. One difference is that men typically use power to obtain sex (e.g., Bill), while women use sex to obtain power (e.g., Hillary, riding the coattails of a powerful man). This truism is apparently rooted in different evolutionary strategies, but if this is the case, it doesn't negate free will. Rather, it's more like astrology: the stars incline but do not compel.

For the vast majority of human existence we have been hunter-gatherers -- 99% of that existence, according to Tucker. Therefore, if we want to know something about the ground floor of the psyche -- why man is the way he is -- it might be worthwhile to take a look at the ways and whys of our most venerable furbears.

More generally, if the evolutionary psychologists are correct, then we are definitely in the Wrong Place -- this is not my beautiful cave! -- and there's not much we can do about it. We have made our procrustean bed and now we have to live a lie in it. It is very much as if we have a nature designed for certain specific conditions, but those conditions are nowhere to be found -- like the old zoos that simply tossed the animals in cages without trying to replicate their environment.

But our environment is changing all the time, and since we adapt to it so quickly, it might lead one to believe that man has no nature. This is discussed in the excellent Making Gay Okay, which, based on the reviews, is making gays insane.

What is interesting is that traditionalists believe in an enduring human nature, and that this belief is in conformity with evolutionary science. So it is ironic in the extreme for leftists to call anyone else "anti-science," being that these scientifically correct mythtics are the worst offenders. They don't just deny the science, but try to block the scientific paths. One is not permitted to even think in certain directions, for fear of stumbling upon a Forbidden Truth.

Leftists believe in nature but not in NATURE, the latter of which transcends nature. NATURE is what the Founders were referring to with the crack about our rights being rooted in "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God." They surely didn't mean lowercase nature -- as if our natural rights are founded upon physics or biology or natural selection. If they were, then politics would be founded on the principle of kill or be killed, which is what nature teaches us.

By NATURE, the founders mean "in the nature of things," or just the way things ARE and reality IS. No rational person says "realities are," which is one more reason why leftists are intrinsically irrational, for to say that there are realities is to deny Reality, precisely.

Our "point of departure," writes Reilly, "must be that Nature is what is, regardless of what anyone desires or abhors." Thus, this places reality outside the domains of will and desire. As we've Schuonsplained on many occasions, the human being is composed of intellect, sentiment, and will, and if the latter two are detached from the former, we are soon enough in leftist Hell, where there is lots of hysteria and bullying but no truth.

Speaking of modern science, one thing we know conclusively about man is that Aristotle was correct: man is the political animal, which does not refer to vulgar politics, but rather, to the fact that man's nature is to be involved with others in order to create a society in which it is possible to pursue the Good.

We cannot do this if we are fundamentally atomistic monads, in which case community would just interfere with our nature. It would mean that any community is a kind of falsehood, and astonishingly, this is precisely what the uber-leftist Rousseau argued:

"The Rousseauian anthropology claims that man is not a rational, political animal and that society in any form is fundamentally alien, and alienating to individuals. In his origins, man was isolated and essentially complete on his own and in himself" (Reilly).

We can see how this primordial craziness is present in both leftism and libertarianism. In fact, it is the reason why leftism is confused with liberalism, because it posits a kind of radical freedom that is equivalent to nihilism.

But in reality, there can be no such thing as radical or pure freedom. Rather, as with all ultimate ontological categories, freedom only exists in a complementary relationship, in this case, to responsibility. And although the two necessarily coarise, responsibility must be ontologically prior, otherwise it would have no explanation. In other words, you cannot get from freedom to responsibility, whereas responsibility automatically implies freedom.

Also, freedom is purely abstract, with no positive meaning, whereas responsibility is concrete. It's like a woman's so-called "freedom to choose." Choose what? Anything? No, of course not. That kind of purely abstract freedom refers to nothing.

Rather, let's be honest: it is the freedom to kill her baby. Such freedom is of course completely divorced from responsibility, but also cannot possibly be rooted in nature. If it is in nature, then it is obviously present in female babies, so only male babies could be aborted in "good" conscience.

Thus, this so-called freedom can only be a positive freedom, but is there such a thing? I don't see how, without freedom becoming something it is not.

That is, natural freedom does not impinge on anyone else's freedom, and everyone is equally free (and responsible). But the positive right to abortion obviously impinges on the rights of others, including the father, the baby, and society in general.

Now, among other things, nature is objective, for which reason we are "subject" to it. It took a very long time for man to recognize this, apparently not until the ancient Greeks: "Before this discovery, ancient man was immersed in mythological portrayals of the world, the gods, and himself" (Tucker).

To put it another way, nature had been subject to man, not in reality -- as if rain dances or human sacrifice were successful in influencing nature -- but in the imagination, where man lived. Like Marx, man tried to change nature before understanding nature. But only by bowing to nature's laws are we able to use them as the boundary conditions for further exploration and evolution.

Once man "discovered" the objective world, it permitted us to inquire into its rational structure. Thus, interestingly, the discovery of objective reality proved that NATURE is supernatural, i.e., infused with a transcendent truth intelligible to man's intelligence. As such, you might say that the world became objective on one level, but subjective on a higher level, i.e., the divine plane (in that it had to be grounded in a deeper, wider, and higher intelligence, ultimately a Person).

Oh my. Way out of time. Why didn't someone tell me? As always, to be continued...


julie said...

Speaking of, well, all of it, I'm reminded again of the influence of agrarian society and of civilization in shaping man's psychosocial development. And again, of why the various cults of noble savagery and nature worship are so troubling.

But only by bowing to nature's laws are we able to use them as the boundary conditions for further exploration and evolution.

We've been watching a lot of Survivorman this past week; last night, there was one of those episodes where they (or rather, he) looks back at past episodes and reveals some of the reality that doesn't make the cut for the show. A couple of things stood out: one was the observation that he didn't like the idea of man being in opposition to nature, as though it's some kind of contest (and as though we could possibly "win").

Another was his discussion of the stark reality of just struggling through, day after day, and also some of the actual side effects of living off the land (the ultimate "Paleo" lifestyle): at one point, he picked up a parasitic infection in his mouth, probably from eating something in a South Carolina swamp, which lasted a year, was severe enough that he had to take most of his meals through a straw, and which an exotic disease and parasite specialist was completely unable to identify.

Thank god for civilization.

The show is interesting because of course it's not all terrible. Gaining wisdom about how to live off the land and essentially just one's own adaptability is always worthwhile. But if anyone thinks that - or anything close to it - is really the way it ought to be, they are insane.

Man in his most "natural" state doesn't have the luxury of properly being human.

mushroom said...

They surely didn't mean lowercase nature -- as if our natural rights are founded upon physics or biology or natural selection.

I was reading somewhere recently a piece by a man who rejected the idea of natural law and absolute right and wrong. His argument was that if there is Right and Wrong and these absolutes are knowable then (I think -- something shiny happened about that point) people might start thinking they are closer to Right than some others.

No, it wasn't something shiny. It was more like, why am I wasting my time reading this retard?

Anyway, the point is that, overall, the writer missed the Nature of Things point. As the Bible says, there is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is death. Like we were saying about Obama, his plans would work if reality could just be convinced to cooperate. It's as though reality never listens to his speeches.

mushroom said...

RE: that thing about race in the AD sidebar. In my opinion this is the key:

So why do so many people confidently argue that there is no such thing as race, because there are ‘no clear distinct racial boundaries’. This he calls ‘verbal subterfuge’, arguing: ‘When a distinct boundary develops between races, they are no longer races but separate species. So to say there are no precise boundaries between races is like saying there are no square circles.’

Humans are a lot like canines in that regard.

julie said...

Nothing to see here, folks - just some natral men, doing what comes natraly. It would only be unnatural if they were Western, white Christian men. Or Jews. Then the coverage would be wall-to-wall.