Let's just "teach" people not to murder!

As Claes Ryn has demonstrated, moral sentimentality increasingly has displaced moral realism in Western culture. We have always had moral education, and it has always taught people not to do bad things. But moral realism recognizes that evil is real, and that, whatever they are taught, some people embrace evil anyway, and so will do bad, indeed very, very bad, things. Furthermore, recognizing this, it is sensible to take steps to guard against such evil people.

Moral sentimentality, on the other hand, believes that evil can somehow be wished away if we all just adopt the right sentiments. Murder must exist only because we have somehow promoted a "murder culture." And anyone who advises unarmed people not to wander around in dark alleys in dangerous neighborhoods late at night must be "blaming the victim" of murder for their own death!

We have been teaching people not to murder since at least the code of Hammurabi, and probably even way before that. Hitler, who sang in a church choir while growing up, was certainly "taught not to murder." But according to the sentimentalists, anyone who, in 1936, was warning the French or the Poles to strengthen their defenses a bit must have been "blaming the victims"! And all Hitler really needed was a bit more education in "not committing genocide."

Or again, according to the moral sentimentalists, the problem with Jeffrey Dahmer must simply have been that he had not been taught not to engage in serial killing, cannibalism, and necrophilia. If only we did not have a "culture of serial killing, necrophilia and cannibalism," Jeffrey would have been a fine member of society!

Moral sentimentality, by refusing to accept the reality of evil, and thus rejecting the need for potential victims of evil to defend themselves against it, thereby ensures that there will continue to be more victims of evil than there would be if we were moral realists.


  1. It's not the existence of rape that they refuse to accept; it's the unfairness in how it affects men and women unequally.

    The unequal incidence of rape must be due to a cultural defect that can be corrected. The alternative would be to admit that men and women are different.

  2. You don't think ours is a murder culture? The US is a death cult through and through. Ask any Middle Eastern bride who's had her wedding interrupted by drone strike.

    1. C-Nihilist: We kill far too many people with our foreign policy. But that is not the reason that people kill each other in domestic disputes, robberies, etc.!

  3. I'd suggest in many cases it is! War tactics and tech come home to roost. Lots of ripple effects and chain reactions. Lot of strands in Duder's head. But that said, I'd maintain that foreign policy is only one (major) aspect of what could be called a broader culture of murder.

    A Clinton isn't the product of a principled order that teaches its people not to engage in killing. She didn't just slip through the cracks. She's not just a bad egg. She rose to the very pinnacle to become a candidate for the next CIC.

    But to address the OP, which seems to be making a point about rape and rape culture: Yes there are evil people, but evil people are made and culture is a contributing factor to their making.

    1. When a college campus is comparable to "wander[ing] around in dark alleys in dangerous neighborhoods," something is wrong.

    2. Rape is not treated as an inherent evil by cops or courts.

    3. At the risk of sounding like a SJW moral scold, the teaching of respect, with an emphasis on consent, or: teaching boys how not to rape, is an (important!) part of addressing the epidemic of rape.

    4. As for teaching and expecting women to defend and fight back, perhaps we could have prison rape victims give seminars on when to fight, when to just lay back and take it, and when to join a gang for protection. Maybe a TED Talk? Because, again, no reason the college experience (or walking home, or riding mass transit, or going to look at a couch you found on Craigslist,) shouldn't reflect the realities of prison.

    5. Raping someone without consent is evil. Full stop. But fucking someone, really, is like the 4th or 5th worst thing you can do to a person's body without consent. But there is an emotional health component afterward that is clearly made way worse through victim blaming, weird societal sexual hangups, "victim hood," stigmatization etc. You know, some of the things that contribute to the sense that there might be a culture of rape.

    So from one angle, I see the US as a death cult, with wars and torture, and see that war rapes, and even rapes among the ranks are swept under the rug...

    Then, from another angle I see the US as a punishment culture, with murderous police forces and mass incarceration, and see that prison rape is tolerated, and even celebrated as a bonus component of punishment...

    To me, it doesn't seem remotely difficult to understand where criticisms of rape culture are coming from.

    From a wider angle, (I am a fan of intersectionality,) these three "subcultures" all appear to me as aspects of a totalizing culture of domination, where society and its institutions celebrate and excuse, if not reward, domination in all of its forms.

    1. "When a college campus is comparable to "wander[ing] around in dark alleys in dangerous neighborhoods," something is wrong."

      Right: good thing they are NOT like that!

      "2. Rape is not treated as an inherent evil by cops or courts."

      WTF?! Can you show us some instance of a court declaring "Rape is really ok"? Of some police force declaring "We don't treat rape as a serious crime"?

      Don't we create lists of sex offenders that mark them for the rest of their life, even in cases where there was no violent rape, but only a 20 year old guy having consensual sex with his 17 year old girlfriend? Don't we have multiple TV shows depicting rapists as the lowest of the low?

      Compare the US today to antiquity, when "rape the women" was SOP when you conquered a city.

      "the epidemic of rape."

      Which doesn't exist: forcible rape is down 20% since 1990, with a much larger population.


      Again, WTF? Are you so deluded that you think walking home from the subway presents an equal risks of being raped to being in a prison?

      Once again, the actual incidence of rape is DOWN significantly from 25 years ago.

      "To me, it doesn't seem remotely difficult to understand where criticisms of rape culture are coming from."

      No, it isn't: it comes from utopian ideology. You're welcome.

    2. And by the way, I agree that the winking about prisoners being raped on TV shows is awful. But this actually demonstrates that rape itself is seen as a terrible bad, and is saying that this scumbag criminal deserves this bad as well as imprisonment. Yes, it's awful, but it absolutely doesn't make the case that rape is not seen as a bad!!

    3. Rape rates: peaked at 43 per 1000 in 1992. Down to 26 per thousand today. 40% decline.

      This rate was MUCH lower in 1960: 9 per thousand. Did we suddenly, after 1960, pick up a "culture of domination"?

      No: we had a "sexual revolution." But ideologues don't want to admit that it was their own "war of liberation" that brought these disasters upon us!

  4. I find your contrasting of "moral sentimentality" with "moral realism" to be confounding because "moral realism" is typically used to mean the idea that there is objective morality.