Saturday, February 20, 2016

Recovering prudence

Take a look at the photo below (hat tip: here):

It seems so foolish. These are left-wing homosexuals who are demonstrating in support of the Islamification of Europe - when Islam right now in the Middle-East is brutally persecuting homosexuals.

On seeing the picture my first thought was that these people lack prudence. It is another reminder that some people do not have prudence and are therefore not fit for a leadership role in society.

I thought it interesting to look further into the quality of prudence and discovered that it was once considered to be a cardinal virtue. The Wikipedia page on prudence tells us that the word derives from the Latin "providential" meaning "foresight, sagacity" - and this, it seems to me, remains the core meaning of the virtue. It is exactly what the homosexual protesters lack: foresight and wisdom in considering the possible consequences of their demands.

The Wikipedia page also has a section on the "integral parts of prudence". These seem to have been formulated by St Thomas Aquinas, writing in the 1200s. Aquinas adds a great deal to understanding what is required for the virtue of prudence:

The following are the integral parts of prudence:
  • Memoria : accurate memory; that is, memory that is true to reality; an ability to learn from experience;
  • Docilitas : an open-mindedness that recognizes variety and is able to seek and make use of the experience and authority of others;
  • Intelligentia : the understanding of first principles;
  • Sollertia : shrewdness or quick-wittedness, i.e. the ability to evaluate a situation quickly;
  • Ratio : Discursive reasoning and the ability to research and compare alternatives;
  • Providentia : foresight – i.e. the capacity to estimate whether particular actions can realize goals;
  • Circumspection : the ability to take all relevant circumstances into account;
  • Caution : the ability to mitigate risk.

Given that prudence has so many parts, it shouldn't be a surprise that it does not come equally to people.

There is a very good and more detailed discussion of the virtue of prudence here.


  1. No, this is about envy and the desire to destroy other Whites in their society. For their status and justification.

    The DO NOT see the outside influences they are encouraging as relevant or even part of the issue. Certainly not as threats. What they ENVY at heart is the threat.

    They take for granted the society, its freedom and protections that other Whites (especially conservatives) will provide and defend for them. That is negotiable, salable, and easily bought back in their minds.

    This is the 'liberal' mindset. The imagine themselves 'anti-racist' because they do not believe that other racial/ethnic groups are real and have their own agendas. Everyone is malleable, and open to manipulation.

  2. The gullible fools in the photograph are about as distant from prudence as it is possible to be. It is unlikely they have ever strung a series of honest thoughts together in order to reach a logical conclusion in their lives. Their every belief, one can be assured, is based on emotion. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that they deserve what they will get.

    1. "Their every belief, one can be assured, is based on emotion."


      They've also never ever encountered consequences. You can be confident that most of them have never left their safe spaces on the university campus. They've never been challenged. They've never had to defend their opinions with logic or deal with facts. They've been allowed to get away with running on emotion.

    2. They are also about as far from attractive as it is possible to be. =)

  3. How can they be against Islamophobia, when Islamophobia doesn't even exist?

  4. One of the problems we face today is that the vast majority of the population have no first-hand experience of genuine evil. They have no idea what it might be like to live under a regime like the Nazis, or the Soviet communists in the days of Stalin or the Chinese communists in the days of Mao. They have no idea what it might be like to live under a theocratic regime. If they're part of the LGBTXYZ crowd and they're under 60 they have never experienced any actual oppression. If they're black and they're under 60 they have never experienced any actual oppression. If they're women of any age they have never experienced any actual oppression.

    If they're part of the Millennial generation they not only have no first-hand experience of genuine evil or oppression. They don't even have any second-hand experience of genuine evil or oppression.

    They do not have a clue how bad things can get when the rule of law breaks down, or when society starts to collapse, or when evil hard men get their hands on power.

    Those who make the most noise about being oppressed are those who have the least experience of oppression.

    1. I had just finished reading a piece on Jonathan Haidt when I saw your comment. Haidt is a liberal who set out to understand differences in moral understanding between conservatives and liberals. He found that liberals are very weak on the moral axis of "in group loyalty/wary of threats from the outside". The liberal moral imagination isn't attuned to this. This would then seem to make prudence more difficult for liberals. How can liberals prudently weigh up a threat of oppression from another group if they have no moral focus on the possibility of such a threat? Maybe they can't/won't unless and until it is actually happening. But this means that liberals have to be saved from themselves by those who have retained this moral focus. Haidt himself, despite identifying as a liberal, believes that liberalism left to itself will not work and will lead to collapse - that the moral focus of liberals is too narrow.