Marriage and Morality

Topic: Marriage
“Marriage is a cross-culturally ubiquitous feature of human societies…. men and women everywhere enter into individualized reproductive alliances… mutual obligation between wife and husband… expectation that the relationship will persist through pregnancy, lactation, and child rearing… legitimization of the status of the couple’s children… marriage is everywhere intelligible as a socially recognized alliance between a woman and a man, instituted and acknowledged as a vehicle for producing and rearing children.” (Buller 260)
“whereas the traditional view sees ancestral males as having ‘agreed’ to marriage imply in order to accrue the fitness benefits of bi-parental care of their offspring, Evolutionary Psychology sees ancestral males as having ‘agreed’ to marriage only on the condition that the investment of parental care that they cast upon children would return unto them.” (Buller 265)
“Evolutionary Psychology’s conception of the evolution of marital motives appears to be based on historically recent and geographically Western notions of romantic love between individuals.” (Buller 272) (but isn’t Buller’s argument based on … notions of female protection from male violence?)
“While certain cultural representations of romantic love may be specifically Western and recent, the reality is that people everywhere are strongly motivated by their own sense of whom they want as a mate.” (Buller 273)


Topic: Evolutionary Psychology
“The evolutionary hypothesis on about sex differences in jealous is domain-specific — it proposes that the psychological mechanisms of each sex will contain dedicated design features, each corresponding to the specific sex-linked adaptive problems that have recurred over thousands of generations of human evolutionary history.” (Buller 303) (why not life-cycle linked?)
“Evolutionary Psychologists have cited three kinds of evidence in support of their claims that he sexes have evolved ‘design differences’ in the psychological mechanisms of jealousy. First, a variety of questionnaire studies… a physiological study… legal ‘double standards’… indicates that our ‘folk psychology’ — our everyday means of understanding the behavior of our fellow humans — implicitly acknowledges a sex difference in the causes of jealous distress” (Buller 305-306)
“Thus, whereas Evolutionary Psychology sees the evolved function of male jealousy to be protection against misspending parental care, the mating effort hypothesis leads us to see the evolved function of male jealousy to be protection against losing paternity opportunities to another male. In short, from the perspective of the mating effort hypothesis, male jealousy evolved to promote paternity competition rather than to promote paternity certainty.” (Buller 308) (the only way this is a meaningful distinction is if there was widespread, open polyandry in paleolithic times. doubtful. the alternative is that it’s meaningless, but then what to make of Buller’s ‘While this distinction may be salient to a third party, it is a distinction that is unlikely to make an emotional difference to a male’ on 311?)
“Evolutionary Psychologists believe that each sex has its own sex-specific module for jealousy, which contains a lot of innate information about sex-specific threats to reproductive interests and domain-specific procedures for operating with that information.” (Buller 315)

Topic: Universal Man
“People in all cultures distinguish right from wrong, have a sense of fairness, help one another, impose rights and obligations, believe that wrongs should be redressed, and proscribe rape, murder, and some kinds of violence.” (Pinker 188)

Topic: Infidelity
“childless couples were half again as likely to divorce as couples with a single child, twice as likely to divorce as couples with two children, and four times as likely to divorce as couples with three or more children.” (Buller 261)
“Even in those models in which the payoff of parental care is very large, the evolved allocation to parental care remains small [for males], because the potential payoff for promiscuous mating is always larger.” (Buller 266)
“Often an individual will dissolve a marriage in order to marry someone else [for instance when] the couple may have drifted apart and stopped having sex [or perhaps] one spouse may be dissolving the marriage in order to “marry up.” (Buller 275)
“Thus, the overall incidence of paternal discrepancy is surely higher than 9 perfect, although standard genetics textbooks cite a conservative estimate of 10 percent.” (Buller 281)
“most women aren’t able to marry the men with the really good genes. This leaves the average married woman int he position of having access to high-quality males only through short-term matings.” (Buller 283)
“In [Shirley Glass’s and Thomas Wright’s] surveys, of the men and women who reported having had extramarital sex, well over half of the en also reported having very happy marriages, whereas the vast majority of the women reported being dissatisfied with their marriages.’ (Buller 290)
“women who were emotionally dissatisfied in their marriages were not significantly more likely to develop extramarital sexual involvements than were women who reported being happy in their marriages.” (Buller 291)
“the leading factor that would motivate female extrapair sexual involvements was retaliatory.” (Buller 292)
“although the costs of infidelity are different for the two sexes, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the two sexes must have evolved mechanisms with different ‘design features’ that specialize in tracking only events that are correlated with the costs specific to one’s sex.” (Buller 314) (I’m getting frustrated with these quantity v. quality arguments. As Stalin said, “Quantity has a quality all its own”)
“in no study did more women than men report sexual infidelity to be more upsetting than emotional infidelity.” (Buller 317)
“women believe that it is not particularly likely that a man’s having sex with a woman implies any kind of emotional involvement with her.” (Buller 324)
“Men who stray typically report a mere desire for sexual variety as the motivating factor, whereas women who stray typically report dissatisfaction in their marriages as the motivating factor.” (Buller 331)
“all subjects — whether men or women, homosexual or heterosexual — were far more likely to be distressed by an imagined sexual infidelity if they believed that sexual infidelity portends the end of a relationship.” (Buller 336)
“there was no significant difference between the one [male] group’s physiological arousal in response to imagined infidelity and the other [male] group’s physiological arousal in response to imagined sexual intercourse.” (Buller 339)
“Throughout the English speaking world, the common law recognizes three kinds of acts as sufficiently provoking to reduce murder to manslaughter [including] sexual contact with one’s wife.” (Buller 342)

Topic: Old Ideas
“In this experiment, Thornhill and Gangestad made us of the fact, which has been known for some time, that both sexes respond to subliminal scents (or pheromones) emitted by members of the opposite sex.” (Buller 287) (I remember health ed teachers in public school repeatedly stating that there were no human pheromones).

Topic: Human Exceptionalism
“But evolutionary biologists insist we are not fundamentally different from animals, and molecular geneticists and neurocientists insist we are not fundamentally different from inanimate matter.” (Pinker 176)

Topic: Morality
“We blame people for an evil act or bad decision only when they intended the consequences and could have chosen otherwise.” (Pinker 175)
“Whatever converts standards of responsibility into changes int he likelihood of behavior — such as the rule “If the community would think you’re a boorish cad for doing X, don’t do X” — can be programmed into an algorithm and implemented in neural hardware.” (Pinker 177) (also fits under neural networks and brain anatomy)
“The most risible pretexts for bad behavior in recent decades have come not from biological determinism but from environmental determinism: the abuse excuse, the Twinkie defense, black rage, pornography poisoning, societal sickness, media violence, rock lyrics, and different cultural mores” (Pinker 178)
“The difference between explaining behavior and excusing it is captured in the saying ‘To understand is not to forgive,’ and has been stressed in different ways by many philosophers, including Hume, Kant, and Sartre.” (Pinker 180)
“‘It won’t bring the victim back,’ say the opponents of capital punishment, but that can be said about any form of punishment.” (Pinker 181)
“The reason these practices strike us as barbaric is that they inflict more harm than is necessary to deter evil in the future.” (Pinker 182)
“the emotional coloring of an object is as much a figment as its physical coloring.” (Pinker 192)
“And in fact the Golden Rule has been rediscovered many times: by the authors of Leviticus and the Mahabharata, by Hillel…” (Pinker 193) (bs. Silver Rule is extremely common, though)

Topic: SysAdmin
“The logic of the determination seems to be: If someone tries to explain an act as an effect of some cause, the explainer is saying that the act was not freely chosen and that the actor cannot be held responsible.” (Pinker 179) (morality of SysAdmin implications)
“People who are emotionally driven to retaliate against those who cross them, even at a cost to themselves, are more credible adversaries and less likely to be exploited.” (Pinker 182) (variation in this could be the centerpiece of final project)
“We are that community, and our major level of influence consists in appealing to that inhibitor brain system.” (Pinker 183)
“people’s deterrence thresholds in real life aren’t pinned at just two values but are broadly distributed (one lash for some people, two for others, and so on), so many intermediate levels of punishment will be defensible, depending on how one weights the benefits of deterring wrongdoing against the costs of inflicting harm.” (Pinker 185) (excellent utilitarian defense of SysAdmin)

Topic: Homosexuality
“all three studies cited above found no significant difference between the responses of homosexual and heterosexual women to Buss’s [infidelity] dilemmas.” (Buller 320-321)
Definitions
mating effort hypothesis [means] long-term male parental care evolved because of sexual selection by females for males who provided child care.” (Buller 267) (yet how does this makes sense in respect to game theory, in which rape would have been considerably easier?)
jealousy… an emotional alarm that is designed to go off whenever we detect signs of a partner’s potential infidelity and to mobilize us to avoid or minimize our losses.” (Buller 277)
developmental perturbations… can be caused by a deleterious mutation or by exposure to pathogens or toxins during development.” (Buller 286-287) (a genetic “ruleset reset” during life? SysAdmin implications?)
developmental stability, a sign of genetic constitution that is able to resist the deleterious effects of pathogens, toxins, and minor mutations.” (Buller 287) (genetic resilience?)
Pain is a physiological alarm that warns of potential bodily damage and motivates withdrawal from the painful stimulus.” (Buller 302)
fear appears to have evolved as an emotional alarm that warns us of the presence of potentially harmful situations and motivates withdrawal from them.” (Buller 302)
Jealousy makes people more likely to be hyper-vigilant of their mates’ activities… monopolize their mates’ time… manipulate their mates’ emotions… derogate the rivals for their mates’ affections… enhance one’s own personal appearance, to threaten or become violent toward the rivals, to increase the frequency of public displays of possession… shower their mates with affection or gifts… turn up the sexual heat in the relationship… threaten or enact violence toward their mates… each sex rated most of these tactics, when employed by the opposite sex, to be at least moderately effective in preventing a mate from straying.” (Buller 303)
double-shot hypothesis, men and women are equally distressed by both emotional and sexual infidelity, but they differ in their beliefs about how closely the two forms of infidelity are linked int he minds and behaviors of members of the opposite sex… the fact that there is a consistent sex difference in [infidelity dilemma] results does appear to falsify the double-shot hypothesis, since that hypothesis seems inconsistent with a sex difference in response when only a ‘single shot’ of infidelity is guaranteed (Buller 322-323,326)
007 principle… in general, evolved creatures will neither store nor process information in costly ways then they can use the structure of the environment and their operations upon it instead.” (Buller 328) (either a truism or West Poleism)
relationship jeopardy hypothesis, according to which both sexes have the same evolved capacity to learn to distinguish threatening from nonthreatening extrapair involvements and to experience jealous upset to a degree that is proportional to the perceived threat to a relationship in which one has invested one’s reproductive effort.” (Buller 332)

Federal Courts Attack San Diego, Veterans, Christians, Democracy

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Cross,” Christian News Wire, 26 June 2006, http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/64487411.html.

The latest example of anti-democratic Judicial Tyranny is out of California (where else), where…

A three-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on June 21, 2006, that the majestic 30-foot cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego must be removed by August 1, or the city will face $5,000 per day fines.

Atheists began a crusade to remove the cross when they filed a lawsuit against the city 17 years ago. The cross, located in a city-owned park in the Pacific Beach area with a breathtaking 360° view of the California coastline, was built in 1953 as a Korean War Veteran Memorial. Christian groups found it a popular site for Easter sunrise services and other events.

800px-Mount_soledad_md
Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross

It gets worse.

In November, 2005, San Diegans approved Proposition A with an overwhelming 76% of the vote, which would have allowed the cross to remain by transferring the title to the land. A District Court judge ruled that Prop A was unconstitutional, but in an ironic twist, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled moments after the 9th Circuit that the city could appeal the Prop A ruling.

Extending the logic, I can’t imagine why other public crosses should stand in public places as public memorials

rfk_grave_md
The Grave of Robert F. Kennedy
Arlington, Virginia

The ugly, militant secularism of California’s federal courts is despicable. Due to judicial fiat, San Diego (must the city change her name as well? — tdaxp) is being forced to destroy a war memorial, a historic cross, a beloved part of history. Similar disgusting idiocy from Earl Warren began the War for the Courts. Agitprop, such as the California Federal Judiciary seems to automatically generate, may be the key to completing it.