Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Problem with Gay Marriage, Transology

I was reading the comments on an article over at RedState about the Jenner transsexual case, and was struck by the repeated posts of "Zoe_Brain," referring to countless scientific papers that reported on the perfectly natural and physical nature of transsexualism.

Of course the other commenters were making standard conservative arguments against transsexualism by appealing to natural law and God's law.

In other words, we had "is" battling with "ought."

Now I take a different view on the whole World War G and World War T issue, and I suppose that my view amounts to "social Darwinism."

To tell the truth, I don't really know what Social Darwinism is supposed to be, only that it is bad.
Darwinism Good, Social Darwinism Bad. Everybody knows that.

Only I don't understand why there is any difference between the natural selection of beneficial genetic traits in the survival of living things and the natural selection of beneficial social/cultural traits in the survival of living things.

That was just a rhetorical flourish. Of course I know why Social Darwinism is Bad.

If the notion that society advances by the natural selection of social and cultural memes then the whole Leftist project is rubbish. The whole Leftist project is based on the notion that we know what is the best social/cultural arrangement for humans; it is the arrangement being advocated by the current generation of leftist political activists.

Let us therefore try to draw a bright line between left and right on this. In the leftist view, the just society is discovered by left-wing activism, organizing people politically and imposing the leftist solution on the rest of society by force. The right has a whole panoply of views, from the Christian view of God's law to the Enlightenment idea of natural law to the Burkean view of gradual reform, having regard for the ancestors and the generation yet unborn to the Hayekian view of human society as an irreducibly complex social organism. Force may or may not be appropriate.

My view is: we don't know how to organize society for the survival and the flourishing of humans and other species on this planet. All we have is a bunch of theories. So here is my take on the present issues:

Gay marriage: It's telling that religions down the ages have voted against homosexuality. Could it be that the religions that have valorized homosexuality have disappeared from this earth?

Transsexualism: Completely new, because prior to the current generation we didn't have the medical technology to do anything about it. But see gay marriage above.

Sexual revolution: Religions tend to be strongly pro-natal and strongly against libertine sexual behavior in women. And of course honor among women is chastity. Could the collapse of child-bearing in educated women, particularly in Germany where 40 percent of college-educated women are childless, be telling us something?

All I am saying is that when you normalize cultural memes like gay marriage, transsexualism, and sexual freedom in general, you are launching cultural memes into the social world that might have unanticipated consequences.

In fact, despite all the catchphrases about "freedom" and "safe spaces," all cultures valorize certain social behaviors and shame other behaviors. Some people shame sluts; other people shame privileged white males. The question is: which social behaviors are beneficial? And by beneficial I mean "promote human survival and flourishing."

We don't know. I'm a libertarian conservative, so I believe in freedom, because I believe that letting people make mistakes is the best road to the future. That way, I believe, mistakes will be made, and the people that make them will have to pay the price, even to the extent of getting a Darwin Award.

In my view, gay marriage and the normalization of transsexualism are mistakes because they encourage people to believe that there is no cost to veering off the mainstream of heterosexual pairing, marriage, and raising the next generation. People that do that should know that they are going off the mainstream of life.

In my view we already know that sexual libertinism is destructive, that the delay of childbearing is destructive, that the devaluing of lifetime marriage is destructive. But we are not allowed to say it.

In my view we will pay, at some point, a frightful cost, for our present cultural and social follies, courtesy of the left. And that cost might be as high as western civilizational annihilation.

Because that's how the world works. People and groups introduce political, economic, and cultural memes into the world. Some of the memes die immediately, but others grow and take over the world. Any meme, even one that takes over the world, might be destructive; we just don't know until we try it. People come into the world and adopt the memes they find close at hand. When they do so, they lash their lives to the mast of their particular cultural meme-boat.

And as their life works out they find out whether their choice was a good idea or whether it was a good idea at the time.

I don't have a problem with gays living together, if they want, or transsexuals changing their body parts, if they have the means to do it.

But I think that it's a mistake for society to go beyond tolerance to celebration of behaviors that veer off the mainstream of life. Because survival.


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