Tag Archives: Contraception

Deconstructing a Radically Autonomous Box of Subjectivity Part II

treeThordaddy gave me a lot of material to work with in the comment section of my last blog post “Deconstructing a Radically Autonomous Box of Subjectivity.” A great deal of what he pontificates about there has to do with abortion and contraception and the impact he believes they are having on his “race.” The perpetuation of his race seems to be equated with Christianity in his mind even though there is no scriptural or any other basis to support this. Quite simply, no where in the New Testament does Christ, St. Paul or any other writer talk about the preservation of one’s race as a priority spiritual or otherwise. If fact, the great commandment to love one’s neighbor directly transcends the very idea of racial priorities.

One claim he has been harping on lately is his feeling that liberals claim or believe “abortion [to be] a reproductive right” and by making this claim they equate abortion with reproduction. I have tried to explain to him that if some liberals do say “abortion is a reproductive right” what they probably mean is that the legal right to have an abortion is related to the right to reproduce and not that they are equal. He, however, proceeds with his rants as if this most obvious point was never made. This ability of his to wear intellectual horse blinders is exactly what I am talking about when I say that he exists in his own box of subjectivity. Within this box he his free to believe what he wants and to ignore the most obvious facts or logic if they conflict with his subjective viewpoint.

Another claim of his is, “THE ISSUE at hand is the white race’s existential crisis (and with him a dying Christianity) and the SELF-ANNIHILATING ETHOS of the liberals AND mainstream liberal ‘Christians.’” What I find interesting here is that he equates the ultimate survival of one’s “race” with one’s self. Moreover he sees the survival of the “white race” as the primary goal of Christianity. He often accuses “liberals” of believing in “self-annihilation for salvation” to which I think he is saying that liberals believe they achieve spiritual salvation through the annihilation of their race. Given that he is so obsessed will race, I suppose it makes some sense that he would feel this way. However, I am pretty sure no one he labels as a liberal Christian thinks race and spiritual salvation have any real connection at all. They are apples and oranges. As such, his accusation although it probably makes sense inside his box of subjectivity makes no sense outside of it in objective reality.

When asked what his basis within Christian dogma is for his beliefs his response is that Christ was a perfect man. Based on this premise he feels that man can strive to imitate this perfection which he also refers to as supremacy. This seems to be his rational for his doctrine of racist white supremacy although the logical connection between Christ’s perfection and the white race he feels to exist is unclear to me. This is especially true when considering the fact that Jesus himself was not a white man. Either Jesus was perfect in all things but race (which would make him imperfect) or his Semitic race is the perfect race (which would make the white race incapable of becoming perfect). Obviously, his logic seems to break down when subjected to scrutiny but I suppose inside his box of subjectivity (where rational scrutiny does not exist) it makes perfect sense.

He does make a point that the use of contraception demonstrates a desire not to reproduce specifically as to the sex act during which the contraception is used. However, he mistakenly expands this concept universally, claiming that the use of contraception demonstrates a desire never to reproduce at all (and by extension to annihilate one’s race). Obviously his expansion ignores the fact that a couple who uses contraception in one instance can and do choose not to use it in order to procreate in another. (Again, his box of subjectivity allows for this). He then argues that this desire not to procreate is an act of “self-annihilation.” Now obviously I still exist after I have had sex using contraception. So I must assume he equates the passing of my genetic material on to the next generation keeps me existing in some way. The fact that he places such importance upon the perpetuation of a blood line is interesting in and of itself. However, the fact that he wants to attribute this perpetuation of a blood line as a Christian spiritual priority is a bit bizarre. It is more than obvious to probably every other self-identified Christian that the physical blood line and race are of zero importance to spiritual salvation. There is no scriptural basis to his argument. Nor does his strange argument carry water that Christ’s spiritual perfection advocates for a doctrine of white racism.

I did bring up the example of a celibate religious and asked if this was not an example of self-annihilation according to his unique viewpoint. He responded, “No… Because the truly celibate stands as empirical exemplar of immaculate spiritual, intellectual and physical discipline. His incredible discipline is neither the thought of nor an act of self-annihilation.” This seems to be a weakness in his argument that the primary goal of Christianity is the perpetuation of the “white” race. By leaving room for spiritual (i.e., non physical or racial) salvation and ignoring the fact that the consequences of a lifetime of celibacy are far more devastating than the occasional use of contraception in terms of perpetuating the white race seems inconsistent at best.

He goes on to say, “The intent of the truly celibate IS NOT TO self-annihilate or refuse to bring more of one’s Self into this world, but rather, a calling to bring the most spiritually, intellectually and physically disciplined SELF that one can muster into REALITY.” By this he seems to argue that intent is the metric by which one can be labeled a “self-annihilator”. In other words, in order for one to be a self-annihilator he must intend to be one. I am pretty sure, however, that if I suggested it is not my intent to self-annihilate when I use contraception that he would not concede the point.

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Deconstructing a Radically Autonomous Box of Subjectivity

SkylineOver the course of my last two blog posts, How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog and The Mentality Behind Baiting and Trolling, as well as their respective comment sections I have been having a dialog with an individual named Thordaddy. I assume from his perspective our discussion has been a debate about what he thinks “Liberals” believe about abortion and contraception. From my perspective the dialog has been more of an exploration of his belief structure. In particular I have observed that he maintains this belief structure through the use of a box of subjectivity. Within this box he is free to make up his own definitions and rules of logic. In a sense he is free to believe anything he wants because inside the box his subjective mindset becomes objectively true.

Most notably, Thordaddy argues that Liberals believe abortion is reproductive right. He also argues that Liberals believe contraception is reproductive right. He defines reproductive right as the right to reproduce. Abortion / Contraception and reproduction are antithetical. Therefore Thodaddy concludes that the Liberals’ belief structure is illogical and wrong.

There are many problems with Thordaddy’s argument however.

First of all not all Liberals are in favor of abortion. In fact, it has been my experience that most people are liberal on some issues and conservative on others. A good example of this are Libertarians who tend to be conservative on issues of economics, public policy and foreign policy but liberal on social issues. So the label of Liberal as a monolithic category in which to place people is highly suspect. I suspect people who are monolithic in their thought structure (like Thordaddy) will always see the world and other people in this way. This tendency to categorize and label (in effect to place people in boxes) is analogous to the box of subjectivity in which he has placed himself.

Second, Thordaddy argues that because Liberals believe abortion “is reproductive right” and Liberals also believe contraception “is reproductive right” then abortion and contraception are per se the same thing. This is the transitive property which holds that if A = B and B = C then A = C. The problem with this argument is, however, that no one but Thordaddy use either phrase “abortion is reproductive right” or “contraception is reproductive right.” It would be more accurate to say that the right to abortion and the right to contraception are legal rights related to a person’s reproductive right. As such you might be able to say that C = A + B + Other rights not discussed in this blog post. But, this in no way makes A and B equal. A reading of the comment section in the previous posts will show that I pointed this out to Thordaddy but he did not acknowledge it. This is a great illustration of how he is free to believe what he wants within his box of subjectivity.

Third, Thordaddy switches back and forth between saying Liberals believe Abortion IS REPRODUCTIVE RIGHT (which no one does) and saying Liberals believe ABORTION IS A REPRODUCTIVE RIGHT whenever it suits his purposes to do so. These two phrases do not mean the same thing. The first phrase if true and if it is also true that Liberals believe “contraception is reproductive right” would support his transitive property argument. However, none of that is true. Thordaddy also says Liberals believe ABORTION IS A REPRODUCTIVE RIGHT (which is true to the extent that abortion is a legal right which is related to the reproductive process). However, the fact that he has argued using both phrases further diminishes the potency of his transitive property argument. Unfortunately, explaining these nuances is complicated. Accordingly, it is a simple task for him to persist in his illogical argument as if its logical flaws have not been demonstrated. This is a key strategy that allows him to remain inside his self constructed ideological box.

Fourth, Thordaddy self identifies as a Christian but does not seem to follow any of the tenants of Christianity. I do not say this to judge his religious beliefs, mind you. I am pointing it out because he has judged other people’s religious beliefs rather harshly. He seems to argue that because he self identifies as a Christian and he self identifies as a white supremacist that therefore Christianity is white supremacy. This is another obvious misuse of the transitive property objectively speaking. But it serves his subjective purposes well in that it provides moral cover for his racist beliefs even though there is no logic or reason supporting it. But logic and reason exist in the realm of the objective which he is not ultimately interested in. His ultimate interest is to remain encapsulated within his subjective box thinking that it is objective.

Fifth, Thordaddy argues that I am not Christian because I use contraception in the context of marriage after having had two children. Because he equates contraception and abortion he sees this (I presume) as a violation of the Sixth Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Kill.” (Ex 20:13). Let us put aside the argument that contraception is not killing a life but rather preventing a life from coming into existence in the first place. Let us also put aside the argument that abstinence and contraception produce the same result. Now, Jesus Christ (from whom Christianity gets its name and belief structure) stated that the “Great Commandment” is to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself. (Matt 22:36-40). This in effect, elevates Love Thy Neighbor above Thou Shall Not Kill in importance. Why then would he believe that the use of contraception bars a person from being a Christian whereas hating one’s neighbor does not?

Clearly, both logic and Christian doctrine are not his strong suite. But none of this matters to him while he is encapsulated inside his radically autonomous box of subjectivity.

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Contraception, Morality, Conservative Christians and Shame

I was involved in a comment section discussion for another blog post entitled “Breaking Sex.” The blog itself is a community for conservative Christians so it follows that they have a strong anti-contraception philosophy. Basically the author argued that contraception goes against the natural order of rolling the dice every time the urge to have sex is acted upon. Because the use of contraception goes against the natural order it is illicit and immoral. As evidence of the immorality of contraception the author points out the negative impact contraception has on the fertility rate and how a population that uses contraception will naturally be replaced by a population that does not use contraception and this is all indicative of God’s will.

It is always a little dangerous for me to get involved in comment section discussions, especially ones involving religion or politics. Although not my intent, people often interpret my view-point as hostile and accuse me (directly or through implication) of trolling. Once this happens it is easy to fall into the back and forth flame war type discussion. I used to relish this type of interaction but now I do my best to avoid them.

As I have stated many times before on my blog, these types of interactions are seemingly never about the actual ideas being discussed. They seem to always be about passive-aggressively shaming the other person. Of course this is always denied by both sides.

The Christian conservatives seemed to be arguing in favor of using shame as a means of enforcing morality on an otherwise immoral population. Specifically as to contraception one commenter argued life was better in the 1950’s when the use of contraception was outlawed both legally but also through shame and public opinion. I argued that shame is a poor means of motivating people to act morally because they will only do so grudgingly and with resentment. Further, when a person is shamed they tend to want to shame other people and it spreads like a virus creating a population of unhappy, repressed, dishonest and angry people.

This conversation does raise an interesting question. Is shame ever justified?

In his book Healing the Shame that Binds You author John Bradshaw argues that there is healthy shame and toxic shame. Healthy shame is normal and occurs when a person acts wrong and is repentant for acting that way. Toxic shame generally results from abusive situations and results in people carrying shame around with them wherever they go. They feel shame all the time in other words. I tend to overlook the healthy kind but I suppose there is a place for that. In my opinion most of the shame I see is the toxic variety so I have adopted a more sweeping anti-shame philosophy than probably John Bradshaw would espouse. Perhaps my situation is unique and my mindset is biased.

It is my observation that conservatives tend to be pro-shame as a glue that holds society together. Liberals use shame as well but generally to argue for freedom from an oppressive societal forces like religion or oppressive morality. My general feeling on the subject is that shame creates and spreads misery. In this respect I do not view shame as a fair trade-off for a well-organized society.

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