Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sexual history, marital stability & empirical reality: posts from the pathologist

The Social Pathologist and I have some differences on a few issues but he does write some very interesting posts.

For instance, he has been discussing the connection between female sexual history and later success in marriage. It turns out that the later a young woman becomes sexually active and the fewer sexual partners she has before marriage the better her chances of marital stability (see here, here and here).

There are several interesting graphs showing the statistics, including the one below.

What's notable is how steadily the first five bars rise. For each two year period that a girl delays sexual activity, there is a significant improvement in her chances of marrying successfully, with the effect lasting up to the age of nineteen.

There's a message to parents here not to give in to the advice that "she's going to start some time anyway." It does make a difference if the girl holds off when she is in her mid-teens.

The Social Pathologist has also written an interesting and very accessible post on empiricism. To briefly summarise: it was traditionally held that the mind was able to grasp elements of both empirical and non-empirical reality (empirical being defined as directly accessible to the senses).

However, the scientific revolution demanded that knowledge be tested through sense experience. This yielded success in the physical sciences, which seemed to confirm the approach.

The problem? The ultimate aims of human life, and the goods of human behaviour, are derived not through empirical investigation but from what the human mind grasps of a non-empirical reality:

Humans are interpersonal beings that relate to each other through behaviour, and behaviour implies imperatives. i.e. How to behave? Empirical observation does not give us a guide on this matter. Since empirical observation can show us how best to achieve our goals but it cannot give us those goals in the first place.

This could be part of the reason why liberalism has become so dominant. What happens if there is held to be no valid way of knowing about ultimate human aims or moral goods? Then claims about such aims or goods will be reduced to the category of subjective opinion (or, perhaps, of mere sentiment). As the Social Pathologist puts it:

The traditionalist view was that the knowledge of these goals came from the non-empirical realm something the empiricists rejected. They had to place the locus of these goals in the mind or self. Morality becomes self-generated or self-optimised. Here are the seeds of moral relativism.

And here too perhaps are (some of) the seeds of liberal autonomy theory. If human aims and goods are particular to my own mind or self, rather than something grasped as part of a non-empirical reality, then the world becomes a radically individualised place, a place of wandering individuals seeking to follow their own self-generated good, whatever that may be.

The one overarching "common good" remaining is to leave people unhindered to follow their personal, subjective, self-generated good or to give people equal resources to implement such goods.

It's interesting to note too that some of the Western thinkers most associated with empiricism are also closely associated with liberalism (e.g. Locke and Mill). So it does seem as if the connection between empiricism and liberalism is worth pursuing.


  1. But you've just demonstrated empirically that a traditionalist approach is better! :)

  2. I haven't read the entire post....but there is something else to take into consideration then just traditional values.

    Holding off on premarital sex is a sign of High-IQ, self-control, and the ability to 'think of the consequences.'

    A person with a high-IQ, self-control, and foresight is more likely to choose a partner wisely thus lessening the chances of divorce.

  3. Well I read the rest of the post....There's nothing I hate more than big bullshitty words and theories because it's stuff like this that got us into trouble in the first place...White people in general though seem to like them cuz it's good stuff to impress other white people during cocktail parties...

    Do you ever read Cambria Will Not Yield? He talks about this but references it as "the heart is connected to the mind."

    In our hearts, we know that sleeping around is wrong---hence the 'empty feeling' girls always talk about. In our hearts, we know that homosexuality is wrong...deep down inside it gives people the creeps. In our hearts we know interracial marriage is wrong, hence why so many people look askance at Heidi and Seal (black and white).

    You know what Mark, I think that Social Pathologist's post probably is a good account of Cocktail Party Conversation in New York City. But the common man, in his heart, knows better.

    Unfortunately those Cocktail Partiers in New York control the media, scientific endowments and have silenced the voices of the common man...the men whose hearts inspire their minds, not the other way around.

    They falsified the 'empirical' data like Franz Boas, and those nutty lesbians you once referenced and assured us that there was plenty of 'data' to justify the 'free for all' attitude....

    Like Simon in the UK says...Unbiased Empirical Data justifies the gut 'heart' feelings of the European.

  4. Continued from above...

    Your last few paragraphs totally sum up the "Libertarian Male" mind running rampant through the US.

    My friend is pro-gay marriage because "he doesn't want to put his personal views on anyone else" He just has this idea that a society can be run with all people pursuing their own individual goals. When I tell him my views he calls me fascist, a progressive, a lover of theological dictatorships. He wants to be completely autonomous and as he put it "If I want to drink I'll drink, I'll fuck whoever I want when I want and how I want" (literally that's what he said to me)

    Ignoring the obvious fact that's he's an upper-class spoiled brat douchebag...He even calls himself a 'minarchist' WTF?!

    Anyways, with his mindset....

    Eventually you'll start having high-IQ people with self-control be the only ones able to have stable pairings and healthy kids (assuming they don't get killed off in a race war)....the rest of society will devolve into madness and anarchy...

    Traditional mores were 'forced' *gasp* on society because they worked and because We Are In This Together.

    (sorry I'm getting off topic)

    "What happens if there is held to be no valid way of knowing about ultimate human aims or moral goods?"

    So cuz the cocktail party New York liberals got some philosophical ideas...we have to reinvent the Christian Wheel?

    These types of ideas are nothing more than infections of the mind...with the most vulnerable being those with no knowledge of history and connection with their 'gut' moral feelings (or they don't want to cuz their gay).

    There's a story where a *cough cough we'll use the word EvilPhilosopher* goes into a church and starts making the Christians doubt their values, and then a knight from the crusades goes up to the EvilPhilosopher, beats the shit out of him and kicks him out of the church. Then the knight says something along the lines of “that no one, unless he is an expert theologian, should venture to argue with these people. But a layman, whenever he hears the Christian religion abused, should not attempt to defend its tenets, except with his sword, and that he should thrust into the scoundrel’s belly, and as far as it will enter.”

  5. @Mark

    Thanks for the link.

    Holding off on premarital sex is a sign of High-IQ, self-control, and the ability to 'think of the consequences.'

    Nope, post coming up soon which disproves it.

    Marriage is a relationship, not a mathematical problem.

  6. Bullshit Social Pathologist.

  7. When I tell him my views he calls me fascist, a progressive, a lover of theological dictatorships.

    Just tell him Francisco Franco was one of the all-time great men, and he's a personal hero of yours. That might make him have a stroke and a heart attack.

  8. A society devoid of Christian morals turns into a society based upon natural selection.

    I don't even see how Social Pathologist can argue with my high-IQ, self-control, and 'think of the consequences' explanation.

    Marriage is a relationship...built upon problem solving, getting to know each others values, working through things.

    Who would most likely have the highest likelihood of dealing successfully with financial difficulties, arguments, in-laws and other marital challenges?

    A high-IQ person with the qualities aforementioned.

    We can see this just in the marriage rates between the races....Asians have the lowest divorce rates, whites, hispanics, then blacks.

    Seriously. You can't argue this. Don't try arguing with common sense or your nothing more than the guy that the knight from the Crusades tried to warn people about.

    Bullshitty theories are just that. Bullshit.

    That's why Christian morality is so important....It keeps EVERYONE in line despite their genetic biases.

  9. ""Who would most likely have the highest likelihood of dealing successfully with financial difficulties, arguments, in-laws and other marital challenges?

    A high-IQ person with the qualities aforementioned.""

    Not really, not if the distinctions between university educated and non university educated girls is any measure of IQ.

    Religious belief and family stability would be the biggest contributing factors. Income doesn't seem to matter and IQ I would think in the modern world would be a penalty to a stable relationship, mainly because of the education system which takes high IQ girls and tries to turn them into feminazis.

  10. By the way (and OT), dominoes are falling in Oz. What do you think will happen today? I just saw Katter sided with the Coalition. Two more to go.

  11. Atheists are left with only desires (our source of motivation), and beliefs (our means of desire fulfillment). So our goals, aims and morals are all reducible to sense/desire/emotion (otherwise they are non-sense).

    Does that lead to moral relativism or liberalism? Maybe. But not necessarily, because of: the desire for homogeneity; the homogeneity of desires; and the desire for group strength.

    In the short term, because of the human desire for homogeneity, radical change will be resisted by many. Particularly so if the culture encourages stability, unlike our current "just do it" mantra. Humans used to be very good at maintaining homogeneity (often too good for comfort).

    In the long term, there may be pressure to change the culture to that which maximises individual desires (assuming we're not already there). This might be a good thing if done slowly to avoid intergenerational alienation and maintain a degree of homogeneity along the way.

    Also, the desire for ethnic group strength (relative to other ethnic groups) may push the culture in yet another direction: towards behaviours which promote genetic strength.

    So we have more desires to balance other than to just be "radically individualised". Perhaps the better aim is: slowly towards a culture that is homogeneous, strong on group self-defence, and otherwise fulfilled individually.

    Easier said than done, though.

    I think humans are malleable homogeneists. We like to run with the pack, but the culture is somewhat flexible. But trying untether individual desires from cultural habits and the desire for homogeneity is not so easy to do.