In a world where no one recognizes truth or ethics, what do we fall back on?
This essay is outlined as follows.
- The Ideal Debate Dynamic
- The Current Debate Dynamic
- Case Study 1: Controversy surrounding Jordan Peterson among conservatives
- Case Study 2: Dalrock’s analysis of Dr. Paige Patterson’s Ouster
- Case Study 3: Sigma Frame on Presumed Slut Shaming
The Ideal Debate Dynamic
“Learning is growth. Growth is life. God is for life (and against that which stifles life.)
Learning primarily takes 3 forms: asking and answering questions, testing assumptions, proving and disproving hypotheses.
In a pro-growth environment, leaders will encourage inquiry, challenge assumptions, and attempt to disprove prevailing hypotheses. All of this is done for the betterment of the community… including for the betterment of the target of criticism (hence if one can’t handle criticism he shouldn’t be in leadership.) Of course these criticisms should be delivered with courtesy, but they should be delivered nonetheless if we’re to foster growth.
Unfortunately, many people reject growth in favor of stagnation… which might be synonymous with what you refer to as idolatry. In what we might call a pro-death environment, leaders indoctrinate their followers in an echo chamber. Untested assumptions are propagated as fact, and the longer they’re spoken, the more ‘true’ they become. And anyone who challenges the prevailing paradigm is ousted as an ‘enemy’ or a ‘heretic’ rather than given a fair hearing.
Those who are for life and growth cannot remain in unity for long with those who stand against such things. I think this is why Jesus was so harsh on the Pharisees. Though they were religious, they were anti-life, and therefore Christ treated them as an enemy.
Perhaps assessing whether there is growth or stagnation in the community is a good ‘fruit test’. Though even well-intentioned leaders can attract dogmatic followers. But we can at least assess how the leader responds to the necessary challenges of growth.”
The Current Debate Dynamic
Debates are typically won by the person who has the stronger Frame (or in some cases, the most positive public image or reputation). In the past, when the Righteousness vs. Guilt (RvG) ethical system dominated the west, the person who had the facts straight, and who had the most sound reasoning, naturally assumed the stronger Frame. Because everyone agreed to the tenets of the RvG structure, which dictated that facts and logic are fundamental truths worth building a legitimate argument upon, then everyone naturally agreed as to who the winner of the debate would be.
But since Feminism has introduced elements of the Honor vs. Shame (HvS) pseudo-ethical system into western society, this is no longer the case. The goal of having a debate in the HvS system is to enhance one’s own dignity and honor using reasonable narratives, rationalized justifications, and emotional appeals, and not to convince using facts and logic. This is why we see so much ‘virtue-posturing’ these days. Virtue-posturing is an attempt to augment one’s honor and social position within the HvS mindset.
Feminism has also introduced elements of the Power vs. Fear (PvF) ethical system as well. This is adamantly made clear in the article from Everyday Feminism, How Can You Tell if You’re Being Sexually Empowered or Objectified? Ask Yourself This Simple Question (April 14, 2015).
“How do we know when someone is being sexually liberated versus being sexually objectified, since they sometimes can look similar from the outside?”
“Well, the answer is simpler than you think: The difference is in who has the power.”
Granted, their concept of ‘power’ is more attuned to a purely emotional sense of indignantly rebellious, egotistical, cock riding sure insolence, rather than the more traditional definition of authority and brute force. However, this power has, in the past decade, developed into the form of government institutionalized social policies and law. Thus the same ethical structure applies.
First, let’s consider a hypothetical (but quite possibly real) example for the sake of discussion. Here, a RvG oriented proponent arguing for certain elements of a patriarchal Christian society would have clear facts and reasoning supporting his stance. (Many of these supporting facts and arguments have been covered within the Christian Manosphere.) But a HvS/PvF oriented Feminist opponent could reasonably claim to win the argument (in the eyes of fellow Feminists) merely by shaming the proponent for simply having such perspectives. This can be easily done by pointing out any characteristics of the GvR system which bring shame to anyone within that system. The PvF system applies within the arena of motive.
Remember, in the RvG system, the ‘bad guys’ are those who are shamed, since shame is somewhat analogous to guilt, in that it is an indicator of wrong doing. But the ‘bad guys’ in the HvS system are not those who are shamed, but instead are those who instill shame on others.
The surprising result is that any narrative which shames the RvG proponent could sincerely be considered ‘right’ by an HvS opponent, since truth is defined in the HvS system as that which garners honor. In this case, through a carefully contrived comparison to an apparently dishonored opponent.
If an observer is aware of this dynamic, then it becomes obvious that constructing a narrative specifically to shame an opponent, merely for the sake of winning an honor (virtue) based argument is not an inherently honourable thing to do, and is also duplicitous on many levels.
For instance, ‘female objectification’ and slut-shaming are condemned by the same individuals who seek to shame those who are presumptuously labeled as ‘chauvinist’ slut-shamers. It’s just a juvenile blame and shame game.
But if the participants in the debate remain unaware of this little game based on the separate pseudo-ethical system, then this debate becomes a fruitless exasperation for both the Christian/Traditionalist and the Intersectional Feminist/Liberal. The debate only serves to generate more tension and animosity.
The fact that this is now necessary, indicates that a shared faith in an ideal interrelational dynamic has broken down, and how lost many people have become in their personal search for truth and the meaning of life.
(I know some readers are trying to draw a link here to the post-modern expression of Chivalry. This is a topic to be covered in an upcoming post. Let it suffice to say that the western RvG system is presently conflated with Chivalry. For a discussion of this claim, please see here, and for an example, see here.)
Case Study 1: Controversy surrounding Jordan Peterson among conservatives
An earlier post, How to Dismantle the Idol of Fandom: Breaking the Fifth Wall (May 26, 2018), discussed the nature of fandom, and how to enhance an effective communication with the proponents of extreme fandom.
“The earlier part of this post describes how fandom lies somewhere between having a healthy respect for an influential figure, and pedestalizing them above their true spiritual position (i.e. idolatry). I feel it is important to make a clear distinction between them, so that we know exactly where the line is between having a ‘healthy’ regard, or an ‘unhealthy’ regard, for the person or ideology in question.” […]
“The latter part of this post describes some applications of this distinction, and points out how an added degree of awareness will strengthen one’s Frame when interacting with someone who holds certain values or beliefs that are foreign to one’s own. People may or may not be consciously aware of their own values, beliefs, and pseudo-ethical systems, and so they may never introduce these perspectives into the argument. Being able to understand a proponents unique underlying values and belief systems and speak to that person in their own ‘language’ [is an ability that will level the playing field].” […]
“I am not making a conclusion about the ethics of criticism in this post, but I am suggesting that the standard protocol for public debate needs to be modernized.”
The basic tenets of the two opposing, conservative based frames in this controversy are summed up here.
- Peterson’s opponents point to the fact that he is a Leftie, and suspect that he is a ‘controlled opposition’ by/to the Left. IOW, they see him as a Trojan horse.
- Peterson’s proponents, who want to see the entire corrupt pseudo-Marxist university system destroyed, see him as a ridiculously good frontman for standing up to Feminists and their ilk. IOW, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ idea.
The quality that makes Peterson valuable to both the Left and the Right in both cases is his ability to transcend the pseudo-ethics of both the Right and Left political subcultures. Doing so explodes the politico-babble and takes the game of the argument to a whole new level.
A new standard protocol for public debate should address this issue, because whether or not a pundit can break down the fifth wall is the key point of making the truth plain to all. This is the new standard for social sharpness. Anyone who can see this should be climbing the walls to widen his Frame and develop this same skill – for the money, for the popularity, for the political power, for the confident alphatude… whatever he can get out of it that floats his boat.
This is real power in a post-truth world. This is why Peterson’s fan base has skyrocketed.
Peterson himself seems to be content with the money and the popularity, so we should not be surprised to see his philosophies gel. Some people will be disappointed with that, but this reminds me of a SF Axiom: When you’re ‘on the ball’, figure out why you’re on the ball, so that you can stay on the ball! Peterson has broken the fifth wall, and that’s all he needs to do to remain in a position of influence.
But Vox and others (now including Rollo), never address this skill. They focus instead on his socialist sympathies, latent agnosticism, and various factual incongruences. It seems like they’re already too preoccupied with the sociopolitical nuances to see the bigger picture of how breaking the fifth wall can be used in their own personal discourse.
Case Study 2: Dalrock’s analysis of Dr. Paige Patterson’s Ouster
The recent calumniation of a noteworthy figure in the Southern Baptist Church, Dr. Paige Patterson has been a hot issue of discussion in the Manosphere lately.
- Dalrock: He had to know they would one day come for him.(May 26, 2018)
- Dalrock: Patterson’s crimes against feminism.(May 28, 2018)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Patterson counseled rightly and apologized wrongly(May 29, 2018)
- Dalrock: What is off about Patterson’s “two black eyes” story?(May 29, 2018)
- Dalrock: Hysteria grips Man-Up Headquarters.(May 30, 2018)
To break the fifth wall, it is imperative to extrapolate the goals and motives of the opposing factions. What are the goals of each side?
In the second and fourth posts above, Patterson’s apparent goal is to teach people (i.e. battered wives) about how the process of repentance works, and how people can facilitate that process by being obedient to God’s Word. Concerning the husbands’ repentance in the story – who can come to the Lord without experiencing His grace and mercy? (Grace is when you get something better than what you deserve. Mercy is when you don’t get something bad that you do deserve.) It seems obvious that the false religion of Feminism is seeking to eliminate grace and mercy from the equation.
Admittedly the process does appear ugly and ‘unfair’ from the human viewpoint, but the Lord deems our souls worthy of a sacrifice, even that of His Son, Jesus.
Praise God that he turned around! That’s the power of faith and obedience.
In the last post listed above, Dalrock does a nice job of spelling out the goals of the SJW’s.
“The goal of feminists wasn’t just to destroy the man, but to get complementarians to agree that all Christians should:
Never counsel anything short of divorce if a husband is accused of abuse.
Accept the full breadth of the Christian feminist definition of abuse, which is anything that a husband does or doesn’t do that upsets his wife.”
In the third and fifth post above, it is aptly shown that Patterson was largely in the right, concerning Christian doctrine, but verifiably offensive to Feminist sentiments. Thus, he was caught in the crux of the battle between Christianity and Feminism, and became a casualty. I would consider this to be a major blow against Christianity, and from the perspectives of both sides too.
One more insight I would add to Dalrock’s analysis is that Mohler and Burke proved to be Churchian stooges – snakes-in-the-grass who betrayed Patterson at the crucial moment when he most needed to be backed up by other outstanding theologians. If they had both stood behind Patterson, then their solidarity would have made Moore and the SJW’s blink. Perhaps the church as a whole is too converged for these guys to be aware of that. So they still have the mindset that it’s morally right to pamper the wimminz.
The point made in this post is that Dalrock has broken the fifth wall by revealing the essential nature of the altercation, which is eye opening to all his readers. This is evidently true because many commenters left statements of praise, such as,
“[Thank you Dalrock,] Your blog is like a monastery in the midst of a dying civilization.”
Dalrock has a fairly consistent habit of breaking the fifth wall, and this is one of the main reasons his blog endures as a standard go-to source of truth in the Manosphere.
Case Study 3: Sigma Frame on Presumed Slut Shaming
In the old days, slut shaming was a common tool used to keep women’s hypergamic nature from unraveling society. It seems to have been used by women much more effectively than by men. The usual idea here was to typecast morally loose women, or even women who were expressive of their sexuality, as ‘bad’ women*. The attachment of shame to extramarital sexual encounters served as a very effective check on women’s branch swinging ambitions, and thereby formed an institutionalized social norm which supported the continuance of monogamous marriages.
* Since the advent of Feminism and the Red Pill, we know that most all women are ‘bad’ by this definition.
The new dynamic concerning slut shaming is that shame is incurred, not on those who are sexually promiscuous, but on those who choose to point out the promiscuous behaviors of others (i.e. slut shame), thereby reversing the outcome with respect to societal stability. The new dynamic seeks to preserve a sense of dignity and honor, whether or not these attributes are actually merited.
With that said, let us now consider a ‘debate’ between a young wimminz, Madison Witham, and her ex-boyfriend, Justice Champion. Their story is covered in the following news articles.
- Fox News: Teen who accused boyfriend of slut-shaming her prom dress reveals photos of gown (May 5, 2018)
- Dalrock: Shame on him who thinks evil of it. (May 24, 2018).
- Daily Mail: US high school student, 16, who dumped her slut-shaming boyfriend after he said her prom dress ‘showed too much skin’ finally reveals the offending gown – but says she WON’T be attending (May 25, 2018)
- Sigma Frame: If the shoe fits… (June 1, 2018)
For her to ‘win’ the argument, she only has to convince a sizeable number of people within her social community that her stance is right or acceptable, and that her ex-boyfriend is the ‘bad guy’ for shaming her, as she claims. It doesn’t matter whether he actually had those intentions, she only needs to make it appear that way. Playing the ‘victim card’ works quite effectively here.
But if we knew for certain that Champion did not actually send the ‘you look like a slut’ message, and that it came from another guy, then it would become evident that the ‘slut’ label had, rather appropriately, hit home, and she would thereby lose all standing with everyone. Rather predictably, this aspect is never brought out in the news articles, because that would be questioning the larger narrative.
The last post listed above reveals a discrepancy between the narratives and the screen shots offered by the Witham and Champion. It is argued that Witham had a backup man who sent the “You look like a slut” message.
“She [probably] claimed that message was from Champion, and tried to use that message to defame Champion in an arrogant power play that she probably thought was humorous. But beyond her expectation, the news went viral, and then she was unable to back out of the lie without being ousted, so later, she had to decline going to the prom with Champion.”
“[If this is true, then] She is hamster spinning a false narrative, and she is chatting with and probably sleeping with (at least) two different men!”
This perspective is a potential fifth wall breaker, because generally, the Red Pill is a fifth wall wrecking ball. However, the truth of the matter will probably never reach the general public.
In any discussion or debate, the extent to which a critic or an observer, can accept an argument or criticism, respectively, is confined to how much they can agree with the perception of truth offered. Currently, there is nothing new or different about this precept, except that in the modern, post-truth world, truth itself has become a subjective part of the argument. So in order to have an argument or critique that conveys any applicable meaning (including how to decide who the winner of the debate should be), we must first identify what each person considers as truth within the context of their own pseudo-ethical structure, and work from there.
Because this dynamic requires such a long description, I have called it ‘breaking the fifth wall’ to make the discussion more conveniently eloquent.
The main points I wish for readers to take away from this essay are listed as follows.
- The structure of both formal, and informal styles of public debate have drifted far from being the ideal tool for analyzing facts, expressing viewpoints, and revealing truth.
- In the past, western culture had an RvG ethical structure, but ever since just before the turn of the century, western society has gradually adopted elements of both the HvS, and PvF ethical structures. This has had a colossal and divisive impact on public debate.
- Adherents to the RvG system (e.g. Peterson, Dalrock, and SF) seek clarity and truth above all else. Proponents of the HvS system seek to garner honor, while shaming their opponents. Constituents of the PvF system wish to rearrange the power hierarchies of society, and will invent seemingly unrelated arguments that serve to promulgate their wishes.
- In my opinion, being joined (e.g. LTR, or marriage) to someone of a different pseudo-ethical structure is more catastrophic than being joined to someone of another ‘religion’.
- Presently, there are few (if any) ethics in place concerning public criticism, but a valuable criticism should consider both sides of the argument (i.e. break down the fifth wall) with as little bias as possible, no matter which ethical systems are applied. Dalrock and Peterson, two examples discussed in this post, utilize this technique regularly, and I also attempt to do the same.
- If, in fact, the Left is using Peterson as a tool to divide the Right, this may be counteracted if the various Right wing factions would all agree that Peterson has masterfully broken down the fifth wall, and then address this fact within their discussions as a starting point of agreement. All other discussions which do not address this fact, will arguably become divisive.
- Getting into the habit of considering as many different viewpoints as possible is a powerful tool in strengthening one’s Frame. Be aware that the other participants in the debate may intentionally fail to address (or may be entirely ignorant of) other Frames and viewpoints. Breaking down the fifth wall is a master class application of exerting Frame.
- Boxer: Speech Acts and Psychopathy (June 4, 2018)