Another Dark Chapter In The History of Free Sex

captain-cook-entertained-by-the-natives-of-tahiti

The section below is from the book, “The Age of Wonder” which is an award winning volume that chronicles the connection between scientific discovery and the ideals of the Romantic Age. In the first Chapter the author writes about the history of Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery. Here he gives ample attention to the time Cook and his crew spent in Tahiti.

I am posting a lengthy section below, and it is worth reading all 4 paragraphs. This narrative is largely taken from the diary of James Banks who documented their experience. As I read this I was struck with more than a bit of Deja Vu. There is something familiar operating here.  What they witnessed in Tahiti fits the appetites of our generation for a mythical paradise of free and open sex.  But, he also narrated the suffering that grows from this kind of selfishness. What am I talking about? Infanticide and more. It is tempting to view native cultures as pure and innocent, uncorrupted by the ideas of western culture. However, the truth is different.  Every society has it’s own virtues and vices. Attempts to  portray any one culture or age as a eutopia usually exaggerate the virtues and ignore the vices.

This snapshot from history is not unique. It has been repeated many times in cultures ancient and modern.  The American generation that started the sexual revolution forgot to study history.  So now we are stuck in the painful double loop of both repeating and failing to learn from the sins of the past.  In spite of our most prurient longings there is no such thing as sex without consequences.

Here are a few things I took away from this passage:

  • This level of sexual debauchery often starts early. Young girls were taught to engage in lewd dances before they reached puberty.
  • There is no sexual sin without grave consequences to others.  We seem to believe that as long as we do not transgress the one sexual absolute of consent that everything will be just fine. But the way we wield the weapon of sex leaves deep wounds. Every culture that lives this way ends up damaging the weak and vulnerable, even if they once offered their consent. The rest of the account describe the horrible consequences of the plague of sexually transmitted diseases among the natives and sailors.
  • There is always a double standard in the world of free sex. In Tahiti men were allowed to get away with adultery while a woman would be beaten for it.  Part of this is because of that natural strength advantage that men have. The other is the fact that in reproduction the woman’s body is designed to carry the child. This is the way we are and it has implications, even in our sin. And the answer to this double standard is NOT that women should be able to be just as bad as men.
  • Banks spoke with several couples that had previously murdered 2 or 3 children and THEY EXPERIENCED NO REGRET. This is the long term effect of cultural sin. The fact that some people can commit horrible acts without empathy doesn’t make those acts virtuous. Just because some cultures engage in certain practices doesn’t mean they ought to.
  • The decision to kill an infant was driven by the men. When a man wanted free sex but was unwilling to take responsibility for the child, then that child would be killed, even against the wishes of the woman. The way that men manage their strength and leadership is often a driver in this kind of depravity.
  • The status of motherhood was despised. Once a woman had born a child, she was viewed with some degree of contempt.  High views of motherhood  are not compatible with a free-sex culture.

“The idea of sexual innocence proved more complicated for a European to accept: ‘All privacy is banished even from those actions which the decency of Europeans keep most secret: this no doubt is the reason why both sexes express the most indecent ideas in conversation without the least emotion; in this their language is very copious and they delight in such conversation beyond any other. Chastity indeed is but little valued especially among the middling people; if a wife is found guilty of a breach of it her only punishment is a beating from her husband. Notwithstanding this some of the Eares or chiefs are I believe perfectly virtuous.’

“What later came to be regarded as the most scandalous of all Tahitian customs, the young women’s seductive courtship dance, or ‘timorodee’, Banks describes with calm detachment and a certain amused appreciation: ‘Besides this they dance, especially the young girls whenever they can collect 8 or 10 together, singing most indecent words using most indecent actions and setting their mouths askew in a most extraordinary manner, in the practise of which they are brought up from their earlyest childhood. In doing this they keep time to a surprizing nicety, I might almost say as true as any dancers I have seen in Europe, tho their time is certainly much more simple. This excercise is however left off as soon as they arrive at Years of maturity. For as soon as ever they have formed a connection with a man they are expected to leave of Dancing Timorodee-as it is called.’

“The only Tahitian practice that Banks found totally alien and repulsive was that of infanticide, which was used with regularity and without compunction as a form of birth control by couples who were not yet ready to support children. Banks could scarcely believe this, until he questioned several couples who freely admitted to destroying two or three children, showing not the slightest apparent guilt or regret. This was a different kind of innocence, one far harder to accept. Banks pursued the question, and found that the custom originated in the formation of communal groups in which sexual favours were freely exchanged between different partners: ‘They are called Arreoy and have meetings among themselves where the men amuse themselves with wrestling &c. and the women with dancing the indecent dances before mentioned, in the course of which they give full liberty to their desires.’

“He also found that the Arreoy, and the custom of infanticide, owed their existence ‘chiefly to the men’. ‘A Woman howsoever fond she may be of the name of Arreoy, and the liberty attending it before she conceives, generally desires much to forfeit that title for the preservation of her child.’ But in this decision he thought that the women had not the smallest influence. ‘If she cannot find a man who will own it, she must of course destroy it; and if she can, with him alone it lies whether or not it shall be preserv’d.’ In that case both the man and the woman forfeited their place in the Arreoy, and the sexual freedoms associated with it. Moreover, the woman became known by the term ‘Whannownow’, or bearer of children. This was, as Banks indignantly exclaimed, ‘a title as disgracefull among these people, as it ought to be honourable in every good and well governed society.”

Holmes, Richard. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. Print. p. 37

How To Make Yourself and Your Kids Miserable: Helicopter Parenting

Evidently, helicopter parenting is all the rage. And the results are visible beyond the playground, all the way up to the nation’s most prestigious universities.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise, we have subtly and perhaps unknowingly shifted the meaning of family. Historically, families have been viewed as the context for teaching character and establishing our most important relationships.  More and more families are seen as a means to establishing financial success.

“Julie Lythcott-Haims noticed a disturbing trend during her decade as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University. Incoming students were brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seemed incapable of taking care of themselves.  (emphasis added)

“At the same time, parents were becoming more and more involved in their children’s lives. They talked to their children multiple times a day and swooped in to personally intervene anytime something difficult happened.

“From her position at one of the world’s most prestigious schools, Lythcott-Haims came to believe that mothers and fathers in affluent communities have been hobbling their children by trying so hard to make sure they succeed, and by working so diligently to protect them from disappointment and failure and hardship.”

Source: Ex-Stanford dean explains why helicopter parenting is ruining a generation | Fresno Bee

The Insanity of Using the Rights of Future Generations as An Argument For Abortion

 

I recently saw Planned Parenthood ReTweet this article (linked below) and I stared in disbelief.

PP insanity

Did they really just say that? That has to be someone pretending to be prochoice in order to make them look illogical…

Nope, they said it.

This is part of the insanity of abortion, that someone would try to make an argument for abortion by talking about the rights of children yet to be born.  Future generations must have the right to abort their children, even if they don’t have the right to exist. In this mindset, the right not to be pregnant trumps the right not to be killed.

But evidently we do have some responsibility to future generations? Are we responsible to them? We need to protect their rights?  On what basis? Which rights? If we don’t protect their rights, what happens?

“Will our daughters, sons and young neighbors have the same reproductive rights we have? Only if advocates of chosen childbearing tap the deep moral roots and emotions beneath abortion care.

Picture a future in which children come into the world by design rather than by default. In this future, young women and men pursue their dreams and form the families of their choosing without the ever-present risk of a surprise pregnancy that plagues young lives today. Contraceptives almost never fail, and most pregnancies are healthy thanks to “preconception care” and prenatal care.” (emphasis mine)

She also writes about an imagined pro-choice future:“In this future, young women and men pursue their dreams and form the families of their choosing without the ever-present risk of a surprise pregnancy that plagues young lives today. Contraceptives almost never fail, and most pregnancies are healthy thanks to “preconception care” and prenatal care.” (emphasis mine)

Again, note the argument. We should be able to terminate a life in order to make sure that other lives are healthy.  It sounds caring, but it is diabolical. Can you imagine if this ethic was applied to any other element of healthcare? If you’re not healthy, we’ll put you down like a dog at the vet.  (Which by the way, we should note that dogs have more rights than unborn children. You cannot inflict any pain on an animal while euthanizing it. Not so with children.)  That ethic may work for animals, but not for humans. This sounds like a soft expression of eugenics to me. Taking the life of sick people in order to improve the lives of everyone else is BAD MEDICINE.

As always, the defense of abortion is shrouded in deceptive mask of euphemisms about our dreams and prosperity. Absolute insanity

Insanity abortion

Source: Claiming Abortion Care as a Positive Social Good—Four Steps to Change the Conversation and Win

30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

My friend Katie shared this article with me. It is simple but still good. It might not seem like a big deal at first. But these discussions about how to do something simple, like talk with your kids, are important because it is easy to try,  and fail. Try again, fail again. And then give up. Sometimes perseverance combined with a little wisdom can win the day.

Mark it down, having lots of conversations with your kids should be at the very top of your priority list.  This might be the key (in broad terms) to raising your kids. It is not a silver bullet, but it is probably the next best thing.  Talk to them about everything. Mingle it with love, grace and truth. Sadly, most of us are looking for something more expensive, and more exotic, more worthy of social media. But the best things in life often seem ordinary.  Your kids don’t need more activities, and more technology. They need more time with you. The Bible is clear on this in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, which basically says we are to be talking with our kids all the time (and especially talking to them about God).

Sadly, many of us give people in lab coats more weight than scripture.  But in this regard, they have come to similar conclusions.  Talking with your children is good for them (and for you!).  It will help them build relationships, grow in emotional intelligence (and this article too), develop language skills,  improve school performance, etc.

By the way, you need to build a conversational relationship with your kids before major problems enter your household, and they will.  This means you need to do this before the teen years arrive. And you need to maintain this relationship during the teen years. If you regularly talk to your kids– all the time– then when they fail a test, get in a fight, crash the car, try out drugs, look at porn, (and fill in whatever other parenting nightmares you have) then you already have a well worn pathway to help shepherd them through the problems they are facing.

And yet…. talking with our children can be hard work. It can be draining to push for a conversation when they don’t want to talk.

Well, don’t give up… Try some of these. It is a silly list, but fun. There is much more to be said.

This one was one of my favorites:

“8. Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?”

Source: 30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

Vox: Where Philosophy Goes To Die

 

Crimes Against Philosophy

Trigger Warning: LOGIC

In this article (which you should read) philosophy professor Shaun Rieley takes Vox (a typically liberal publication) to task for its decision NOT publish an article by a prominent philosopher Torbjorn Tannsjo from Stockholm University.  Evidently the editors of Vox asked Tannsjo to contribute a piece for their magazine, but later decided not to publish it. What concerns Rieley, is not that Vox decided not to publish because they disagreed with the article, because they didn’t, but that they killed the piece because of the uncomfortable implications that might arrive from it.  That troublesome need for coherence…

Tannsjo argued that humans in general have a moral duty to reproduce offspring.  He arrives at this conclusion using some tight logical conclusions from utilitarian ethics.  The average person might think it is silly, but evidently his position is respected by professional philosophers and hard to evade.

All fine and good.   What is remarkable to me is that the editors at Vox don’t seem to disagree with Tannsjo, at least in general terms.  What bothers them is the idea that some conservative people might read the article and arrive at conclusions that are at odds with the editorial mission at Vox. They might use the ideas in the article to support a pro-life agenda.  It might become clear that Vox’s prochoice position is in conflict with their other values.

Rieley writes,

“In other words, it’s not so much that Tannsjo’s argument was wrong, so much as it could potentially be interpreted as giving aid to those who hold “wrong” (read: “conservative”) opinions on abortion and birth control.”

Now Vox has the right to publish whatever they like.  But what should concern everyone is that these kinds of ideological parlor tricks are happening more often.  The pattern of squashing dissent, or turning a blind eye seems to be happening more frequently in places where liberal thinkers run the show.  In my opinion, this is not intellectually honest. I have more respect anyone that acknowledges and attempts to wrestle through difficult questions  rather than toss them into the closet.

But instead we see the easy path of intellectual conformity.  We see a move to ignore or suppress facts and discussion that might disagree with the reigning wisdom.  It seems that Vox doesn’t trust people to think for themselves. They have to protect their dogma from any threats, even when those threats come from truth and reason.

Rieley continues,

“Philosophy proceeds by engaging with those various points of view, sometimes to defend what is being attacked, and sometimes to attack what is being defended. Indeed, this is how philosophy has proceeded since the time of Socrates. Without this back-and-forth, philosophy becomes all but impossible.

“Leiter laments that so few are interested in reasoning. This is true. It is much easier to retreat into the comfort of one’s own unexamined assumptions than it is to challenge them by thinking through difficult arguments that one finds disagreeable, and either assent to them, or learn to refute them.

“Nevertheless, free citizens of a republic are obligated to do the hard work of philosophical engagement. Liberty is hard work in this sense, but if liberty is to be sustained, this work is necessary. Unfortunately, by rejecting the piece, Vox has missed an opportunity to participate in the important task of facilitating this engagement.”

Source: Vox: Where Philosophy Goes To Die

How Do You Face Cancer When Your Job Is To Make People Laugh?

Best of Times-2

What is it like when your child has cancer? Sad. Confusing. Exhausting. Unbearable.

What is like when your child has cancer, and your job is to make people laugh? How does a comedian cope with tragedy?

This is a very moving story, told by Anthony Griffith the comedian about the time in his life when his career was at his highest, while at the same time coping with his daughter’s cancer.

Very powerful. Some strong language. Makes you think about what is truly important.

It often takes an episode of tragedy or loss to wake us up to what is important. But, the most important things are still right there in front of us when everyone is healthy. A word to the wise…

The camera is shaky for the first minute, but it settles down. A good use of 10 minutes of your life.

How does divorce affect children?

In doing some research to preach on marriage and divorce recently I have been simply overwhelmed by the mountain of evidence that shows that divorce is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. In many ways we are destroying our own future through the selfishness of divorce.